LETTER – KEN KENDALL TO
TED BARKER (KOREAN WAR PROJECT)
Two weeks ago I was at a small reunion of guys I took basic with in October, November, & December 1948, Fort Sill, OK. Four of the eight guys there were in Korea, three of us in the 1950-1951 era. We all remembered hearing orders to shoot anyone from six to sixty, reason being that many Chinese and North Koreans were in the long lines of refugees fleeing South every time a great push was started by the Chinese and North Koreans.
In October 1950, in Wonson, North Korea, I was with a group of guys who captured a group of North Koreans hiding in a house and communicating with others by light flashing from the house on a small hill to another house on a small hill several miles away. Of the roughly 20 captured, a few were held for more interrogation while the rest were sent on to a POW camp. Of the few, one guy was singled out as he had on him when he was captured his enlistment "type" of papers into the North Korean Army and others that were his promotion to Corporal in the South Korean Army.
What I was getting at is that there were soldiers hiding among the civilians who formed the line of refugees, and with the great numbers of people, it was very hard to try and determine if all were civilians or if some were military. Another aspect of the "shooting" in the tunnel could have come from someone in the group of refugees shooting off a weapon and the following result of kill all that were there as no one could determine who was who in the tunnel.
I believe myself that this was brought up in an effort to put the USA in a situation where we were kill crazy, and to make us look bad.
Ken Kendall – HQ & HQ Co., 3rd Infantry Division