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Indianapolis in Marion County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial

 
 
Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 20, 2019
1. Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial
Inscription.  
In Memory of Those Who Gave Their Lives

August 5, 1950

Hi Folks,

Things are going smooth here today and it wouldn't hurt my feelings any if they stayed that way.

Your loving son,
Jim

(James W. Farmer)
Killed in Action
November 13, 1950


June 11, 1951

Dear Mom, Dad, Mary & Sarah,

This artillery behind us is going continuously. It really shakes the ground. This squad I am in hasn't had a casualty as long as they have been here, (almost a year).

Love,
John

(John F. Welches)
Killed in Action
June 19, 1951


Following its liberation from Japan at the end of World War II, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel. The Soviet Union occupied the area north of the 38th parallel, and the United States the area to the south. The United States assumed that this was a temporary arrangement until the United nations could supervise free elections. The Soviet Union refused to allow the U.N. to hold free elections, installed a communist government in North Korea (the Democratic
Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 20, 2019
2. Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial
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People's Republic of Korea), and began to train and equip a modern army. With full American support, the U.N. supervised free elections in South Korea, which resulted in the establishment of the Republic of Korea headed by Synman Rhee.

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when the North Korean Communist forces crossed the 38th parallel and invaded South Korea with the consent of the Soviet Union, which equipped and financed its communist ally throughout the war. The Soviet Union did not send ground troops to Korea, but 26,000 Soviet air force personnel served in Korea along with a large number of military advisers. President Harry S. Truman believed that this communist aggression must be stopped if the United Nations was not to suffer t he same fate as the League of Nations, which fell into disrepute by failing to deter the Japanese in Manchuria in 1931 and the Italians in Ethiopia in 1935.

At the request of the United States, the United Nations Security Council met in special sessions on June 27, 1950 and asked all member nations to aid South Korea. On June 30 President Truman ordered the first American ground forces to Korea. Great Britain, Australia, Turkey, the Philippines and Canada also sent troops, but the Korean War was largely a joint American - South Korean operation with General Douglas MacArthur serving as both U.S. and U.N. commander.

At
Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 20, 2019
3. Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial
first the outnumbered U.N. forces retreated, but by July 30, U.N. lines were stabilized at the Pusan Perimeter, a pocket defined by a line extending about 100 miles to the north and 50 miles to the west of the South Korean seaport of Pusan. On September 15, General MacArthur launched Operation Chromite, a daring amphibious landing at Inchon, the seaport of Seoul. At the same time, General Walton Walker's 8th Army broke out of the Pusan perimeter and took the offensive. The North Korean forces were soon in full retreat.

December 2, 1951

Dear Dad,

Then came the Chinese, wave after wave. Death walked through our ranks last night. I wonder sometimes if I will ever make it from this place---back home again to Indiana.

Your loving son,
Gene

(Gene C. Robinson)

Summer 1953

Dear Twila,

Chung is one of the Koreans attached to our Army. He's really a good fellow. We must never forget why we are here, fighting for their freedom.

Love,
Kenny

(Kenneth A. Kling)

The U.N. army advanced deep into North Korea, and by November the war appeared to be won. Unfortunately a large Chinese Communist force secretly crossed the Yalu River and forced the outnumbered U.N. forces into an agonizing retreat. The gallant Eighth Army and the 1st Marine
Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 20, 2019
4. Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial
Division responded to the dynamic leadership of General Matthew B. Ridgway, who took command when General Walker was killed in a jeep accident in December, and halted the Chinese offensive, recaptured Seoul on March 14, 1951, and pushed the communist forces back across the 38th parallel.

President Truman, following the unanimous advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, decided not to strike back directly at China. Fearing a Soviet attack in Europe, the Joint Chiefs cautioned that the Korean War must remain a limited war. A frustrated General MacArthur could not accept this strategy and was removed from command in April 1951. General Ridgway replaced him as U.N. Commander and General James Van Fleet assumed command of the 8th Army.

Truce talks began on July 10, 1951, but sporadic heavy fighting continued until July 27, 1953, when an armistice was signed leaving Korea divided at the 38th parallel, but guaranteeing the freedom of South Korea. Indiana will never forget its brave fighting men and women who endured some of the most difficult combat conditions in history to defend South Krea against community aggression.

As General Matthew Ridgway so poignantly summarized America's rational for being in Korea:

"The real issues are whether the power of western civilization as God has permitted it to flower in our own beloved lands, shall defy and
Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 20, 2019
5. Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial
defeat communism, whether the rule of men who shoot their prisoners, enslave their citizens, and deride the dignity of man, shall displace the rule of those to whom the individual and his individual rights are sacred."

In Memory of Those Who Gave Their Lives

Fort Gordon Georgia 1965

Dear Dad,
Pop, if I do go into combat, I intend on doing my job to the best of my ability. However, I don't intend on being a hero. I might be wrong; but in my way of thinking, the only heros there are are the men who get killed in the process of doing the job.

Love always,
Lary

(Lary D. Fogle)
Killed in Action
December 20, 1965


April 20, 1966

Dear Mother,

A year is a long time to spend in a place like this, but I believe I will make it. For I want nothing more than to see my family and loved ones once again on my own soil

Love to all,
Eurey Lee

(Eurey L. Hatchett)
Killed in Action
July 3, 1966


October 13, 1966

Dear Mom and Dad,

Dad, do you remember the war stories you told me? Well, I've got some of my own now; only thing is, I don't think I'll be telling them for a while.

Merry Christmas,
Jim

(Jame N. Katrenics)
Killed in Action
April
Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 20, 2019
6. Indiana Vietnam and Korean Wars Memorial
8, 1967


At the end of World War II, France sought to reestablish its control over Vietnam, a former colony, which had been seized by the Japanese. The French fought an eight year war (1946-1954) against the Communist Viet Minh forces led by Ho Chi Minh. The French were defeated and withdrew after signing a peace treaty at Geneva on July 21, 1954, which divided Vietnam at the 17th parallel. The United States took no formal part in this struggle but President Harry S. Truman had extended substantial financial aid aid to the French. To prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam, President Dwight D. Eisenhower pledged full U.S. support for the South Vietnamese government of Ngo Dinh Diem. President Eisenhower sent more financial aid and several hundred military advisers. By the time President Eisenhower left office, South Vietnam was under heavy attack from communist guerrillas, the National Liberation Front (Viet Cong), who were controlled and armed by North Vietnam.

In January 1691, President John F. Kennedy reaffirmed the commitment to assist South Vietnam. Vast amounts of additional aid were sent and the numbers of advisers increased to over 16,000 by the end of 1963, but the Viet Cong steadily grew stronger.

By the time President Lyndon B. Johnson took office in November 1963, after President Kennedy's assassination, South Vietnam was
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in a grave crisis. President Johnson continued the policy of aiding South Vietnam, but hoped to avoid direct military involvement. In august 1964, North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked the destroyer U.S.S. Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin. Congress responded by passing the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which authorized President Johnson to use whatever force he deemed necessary to defend South Vietnam. On February 7, 1965, the Viet Cong attacked American advisers at Pleiku. President Johnson responded by launching Operation Rolling Thunder, and intense bombing of North Vietnam. On March 8, 1965, with South Vietnam near collapse, President Johnson made the fateful decision to send U.S. ground forces. Two Marine battalions landed at Da Nang to defend the air base. This token force was to increase to 550,000 troops by 1968.

In Memory of Those Who Gave Their Lives

May 20, 1967

Dear Jane,

I'm getting some more prosepective about what going on here. I'm sure that in principle we are doing right, but it's hard to stand by that when a very real death is the consequence in men's struggle for freedom.

Love,
Steve

(Stephen P. Muller)
Killed in Action
July 2, 1967


October 18, 1967

Hi Mom and Dad,

We got some of the best Marines in the world
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with us here, I wouldn't want to be any place else.

Love always,
Larry

(Ernest L. Bridges)
Killed in Action
April 4, 1968


December 13, 1967,

Dear Mom & Dad & Kids,

Most of us are scared to death but somebody has to fight this dirty war.

Love always,
Fred (the soldier boy)

(Frederick B. King)
Killed in Action
November 25, 1968


On January 31, 1968, the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese launched a surprise offensive throughout South Vietnam during Tet, the lunar New Year celebration, in treacherous violation of a cease fire. Even though the American and South Vietnamese forces would recover from the setbacks suffered during the Tet offensive, a war-weary President Johnson decided not to pursue the subsequent military advantage. On March 31, 1968, he announced that he would not seek reelection, but would devote himself entirely to ending the war in Vietnam.

Richard M. Nixon assumed the presidency in January 1969, and pursued a policy of "Vietnamization," or gradually turning the war over to the South Vietnames. In August 1969, Henry Kissinger, head of President Nixon's National Security Council, began secret meetings with Le Duc Tho, chief negotiator for North Vietnam. The North Vietnamese finally signed a peace agreement on January 27, 1973, and all U.S. Forces were withdrawn. At the same time identified prisoners of war were repatriated, with the last of those U.S. POW's coming home on March 28, 1973.

Tragically, the cease-fire was never actually implemented and North Vietnam overran South Vietnam in 1975. Saigon fell on April 30, 1975, bringing an end twenty-five years of American involvement. Throughout the long conflict, the Soviet Union and China supplied North Vietnam with vast quantities of arms.

The Vietnam War was the most controversial war in America's history, but the objective, to save Southeast Asia from communist tyranny, was a noble one. No American should ever question the valor and patriotism of the brave men and women who fought so well with so many military limitations imposed upon them. Indiana can be very proud of its valiant men and women who served with great distinction. Their courage and devotion to duty will never be forgotten.
 
Erected 1996.
 
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: War, KoreanWar, Vietnam. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #33 Harry S. Truman, the Former U.S. Presidents: #34 Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Former U.S. Presidents: #35 John F. Kennedy, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #37 Richard M. Nixon series lists.
 
Location. 39° 46.563′ N, 86° 9.445′ W. Marker is in Indianapolis, Indiana, in Marion County. Memorial is on North Meridian Street north of East North Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Indianapolis IN 46204, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Scottish Rite Cathedral (within shouting distance of this marker); American Legion Mall (within shouting distance of this marker); Veterans Memorial Plaza (within shouting distance of this marker); Indiana World War II Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Benjamin Franklin (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named American Legion Mall (about 400 feet away); Susan B. Anthony (about 400 feet away); Glencoe Building (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Indianapolis.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 27, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 78 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 22, 2021