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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Des Moines in Polk County, Iowa — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Korean War

1950 - 1953

 
 
Korean War Memorial Side 1 image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
1. Korean War Memorial Side 1
Inscription.
Side 1
Early on the quiet Sunday morning of June 25, 1950 - June 24th in Washington - the North Korean Peoples Army attacked South Korea. They crossed the 38th parallel with 135,000 soldiers and 22 Russian built tanks. This action touched off one of the most tragic events of our time - What has been referred to as "Korea - the Forgotten War"

Side 2
The Valor of the Ground Forces
The Korean war was one of the bloodiest in history. In 37 months of fighting both sides used the most advanced machines of war, except atomic weapons. Jet aircraft were used in combat for the first time and the helicopter was used extensively. All of Korea, excepting the area inside the Pusan perimeter was laid waste.

Side 3
The mighty Navy command of the sea
More than one million civilians were killed and millions more were wounded and left homeless. United Nations forces suffered more than 1,460,000 casualties, more than 2,000,000 Chinese and North Koreans were killed, wounded or missing. The United States casualties included 54,246 killed, 103,284 wounded and 8,177 missing

Side 4
Superior was our air power
This monument is in honor of those 85,314 Iowans who served and their families. It is dedicated to those 508 Iowans who made the supreme sacrifice. May this war never be forgotten.

Korean War Memorial Side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
2. Korean War Memorial Side 2

 
Location. 41° 35.391′ N, 93° 36.148′ W. Marker is in Des Moines, Iowa, in Polk County. Marker is on E. Walnut Street. Touch for map. Marker is on the State Capitol grounds between E. Walnut Street and E. Court Ave. Marker is in this post office area: Des Moines IA 50319, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Combat Wounded Veterans (a few steps from this marker); A Reflection of Hope (within shouting distance of this marker); S-36 Submarine Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); William Boyd Allison (within shouting distance of this marker); War Of The Rebellion Monument (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Iowa Revolutionary War Monument (about 400 feet away); Iowa Veterans Memorial (about 700 feet away); Dedicated to You, A Free Citizen in a Free Land (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Des Moines.
 
Categories. War, Korean
 
Korean War Memorial Side 3 image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
3. Korean War Memorial Side 3
Korean War Memorial Side 4 image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
4. Korean War Memorial Side 4
Korean War image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
5. Korean War
In Washington, a 14-hour time difference made it June 24, 1950 when the North Koreans crossed the parallel. Early on the 25th the United States requested a meeting of the U.N. Security Council. The council adopted a resolution demanding an immediate cessation of hostilities and a withdrawal of North Korean forces to the 38th parallel.
Korean War image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
6. Korean War
President Truman relayed orders to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur in Tokyo to supply ROK forces with ammunition and equipment and to evacuate American dependents from Korea. When it became clear that North Korea would ignore the U.N. demands, the Security Council, at the urging of the United States, asked members to furnish military assistance to South Korea.
Korean War image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
7. Korean War
President Truman immediately broadened the range of operations and authorized the use of U.S. Army troops to protect Pusan. The United Nations reacted to aggression with a decision to use armed force. The United States would accept the largest share of the obligation in Korea, but still deeply tired of war would do so reluctantly.
Korean War image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
8. Korean War
The North Koreans quickly crushed South Korean defenses at the 38th parallel. The main North Korean attack force next moved toward Seoul. The South Korean capital and entered the city on June 28th. Fifty-three U.N. members signified support of the Security Council's action. Twenty-nine made specific offers of assistance. Twenty members and one non-member would eventually support U.N. action.
Korean War image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
9. Korean War
A unified command was established under General MacArthur. Farthest advance of North Korean army was Pusan. general Walton H. Walker, Commander of U.N. ground forces ordered his command to "stand and fight at any cost." The defense of the tiny Pusan perimeter is considered by many to be one of the great military feats of all time.
Korean War image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
10. Korean War
Against popular opinion General MacArthur planned and executed a landing at Inchon aimed at severing North Korean supply lines. Recapturing Seoul and cutting off North Korean troops between Seoul and Pusan led by Major General Edward M. Almond. The action was one of exemplary boldness.
Korean War image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
11. Korean War
General Walker attacked out of Pusan. The Eighth Army rolled forward in pursuit linking with the X Corps on September 25th. About 30,000 North Korean troops escaped above the 38th parallel. this action took U.N. forces into North Korea where a few reached the city of Chosan and the Changjin Reservoir. Action that brought China into the war.
Korean War image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 14, 2011
12. Korean War
U.N. forces were pushed out of North Korea resulting in a massive sea evacuation from Hungnam. China's entry into the war didn't dampen the resolve of U.N. forces. Battles with names like Punchbowl, Bloody Ridge, Old Baldy, Heartbreak Ridge and Pork Chop Hill will live in the memories of Iowans forever. Truce talks would begin in July 1951 at Kaesong and again in October at Panmunjom. Peace would not be gained until July 27, 1953 when a 2 1/2 mile demilitarized zone was agreed upon near the 38th parallel.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 13, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 610 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on October 13, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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