[S.D. Kelsey--home movies] Reel 9
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Digital copy of this film: nhf-2507_0009a.mov
Digital copy of this film: nhf-2507_0009b still.mov
Can notes: "Korea"
Anecdotal Comments & Reflections
the Korean War

Life during war in Korean village; the year 1951. Army trucks and personnel in the streets and the countryside has been laid waste by the desolation of civil war. Reality is harsh.

Daddy as Commander of an air strike base located along the coast of South Korea; this Air Force Base was the command center of air strikes into North Korea by fighters and bombers. He had been promoted to Full Colonel at Montgomery, Alabama, just a year before; the youngest serviceman, in any branch, to be so honored. While on a USO tour Marilyn Monroe had her photo taken with Daddy; he sent it home. Mother found being a warrior's wife too difficult to bear and had told him if he went to Korea the marriage was over. He went, they stayed together another 21 years, but it was over.

A banner strung across a thoroughfare in a Korean city reads, “GIVE US UNIFICATION OR GIVE US DEATH”. Many decades later, Chris Orestis would marry Grace Hahm, an American Korean and her father, the Reverend S. K. Michael Hahm would be instrumental in opening the closed border between North and South Korea so that relatives could visit with each other, the first time in 50 years.

The scene depicts the explosion of bombs and weaponry and the harvesting of crops, diametrically opposed yet necessary occurrences in wartime. The scene goes on to show human laborers with their heavy loads crossing a bridge and ladies sweeping with old-fashioned straw brooms, causing more dust than cleaning the road. A ship unloading cargo is seen. The citizenry were carrying great burdens, yet they could smile through it all.

In the countryside a laborer is seen walking a paddlewheel to irrigate a field. Children are seen swimming or washing in a river.

Military life is pictured in the scenes depicting German shepherd guard dogs practicing their attack, guard, and kill commands. God and Church were also a part of daily practice in the service and [Cardinal Spellman of New York] is seen ministering to his flock. Daddy is seen being given a citation by [Cardinal Spellman]. The Korean War was a brutal and deadly war. The weather was harsh, the terrain was cruel and almost as many American lives were lost in this conflict as were lost in Vietnam 14 years later.

Daddy is next seen with a Korean made bow and arrow, the same one he came home with in 1952. He walked off the plane in his flight suit carrying the bow and arrow and he had a huge grin on his face.

We now see aerial scenes that have Daddy in the cockpit. He was flying the F-86 Sabre. He once flew his jet high into the skies with only one aim, to break the sound barrier. He flew his jet as high as he could get it to fly safely and then turned downward into a nosedive and screeched down through the altitudes. He had to quit just 2,000 feet shy of land and came within a hair's breath of breaking the barrier but he never achieved this dream. He is seen climbing into his jet with a groundscrewman attaching his parachute. Then he is seen dropping bombs on a practice bomb site.

This item may be available for reuse, please contact Northeast Historic Film for more information
Copies of this film: 3
Showing 1 - 3 of 3:
1) 2507.0009_F8
8 mm film; [350 ft.]; Silent; b&w and color
2) nhf-2507_0009a.mov
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