Not to be forgotten

veteran’s corner

Tom Krabbenhoft

Post Christmas greetings. I hope everyone enjoyed Col. William Ziegler’s column last week. Hopefully he will write from time to time and share his insight and wit. He is a class act.

Speaking of class acts; on Tuesday, January 18th, at 6:30pm The Fargo Air Museum will host guest speaker Major General Alexander “Mac’‘ Macdonald sharing stories on his experience in the Korean War. General Macdonald flew 36 combat missions in Korea. He earned the highest rating as Air Defense Pilot- Master of Air Defense. $5 donation suggested, no preregistration required. Members are free.

Very few Korean War veterans remain. The ones with General Macdonalds military experience and career are exceptionally rare. Please come out and listen.

The Korean was groundbreaking in many aspects. First it is known as the “Forgotten War” due to the lack of attention it received. Five million military and civilian deaths is hardly forgotten by those families.

Second it is the first proxy war fought by established super-powers. The frost of the cold war was introduced in Korea. It showed that two philosophically different powers would draw blood. China emerged as a world power crossing the 38th parallel. In five short years they came from a submissive Japanese occupied populace to challenging America directly.

 Wars of the present are fought with tactics and technologies of the previous wars. WW2 being five years removed and the gargantuan efforts placed on weapon development from all sides. The Korean combat found themselves facing the deadliest weapons ever fielded. The opposing air forces for the first time used all jet aircraft along with large helicopter usage.

Bombing accuracy was well developed and CAS (Close Air Support) came screaming into their own. Artillery accuracy and communications came into their own and became additional tools.

Perhaps the biggest advancement was medical. WW2 saw numerous improvements in treatment of all injuries. The recent introduction of penicillin and better understanding of infections along with better sterilization processes. The injured had a much better chance of survival than any previous conflict ever.

Most significant however is dealing nuclear weapons into play. MacArthur advocated for the use of them. Hard to imagine what the world would look like had these been used.

The reverberations of the Korean War are with us today. They started with the French defeat in Indochina in 1954. Indochina would later become Vietnam.  Wars on almost every continent thereafter were backed by eastern or western superpowers. We are practically reminded daily of the despot dynasty that has come to and stayed in power in North Korea.

The “Forgotten War” has perhaps been the most influential war of the century. The 38th parallel is a line that has been drawn symbolically around the World many times.


Story ideas, Veterans stories or comments please contact me at

Comments are closed.

  • Facebook