Chapter 3
1945-1990: THE COLD WAR ERA

Korean War (1950-1953)
"America's Forgotten War"

"Duty. Honor. Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn."

General Douglas MacArthur (1880 - 1964)
Address to the cadets of the U.S. Military
Academy in accepting the Thayer Award
May 12, 1962

General Douglas MacArthur
–U.S. Army Truman Museum & Library photo

The Cold War

The end of World War II left the United States and the USSR the two greatest powers in the world. However, by 1947, friction over the treaties with Austria, Germany, and Japan and Soviet aggression in Eastern Europe brought increasing tension. By the end of 1948, the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union was considered a cold war.

After World War II the Korean peninsula, about the size of the state of Utah, extending 635 miles in length and 150 miles across at its widest, had been divided along the 38th parallel into South Korea and North Korea. The South declared itself the Republic of Korea and the North, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In 1950, armed conflict arose in Korea between Soviet-backed Communist forces and United Nations forces led by the United States. U.S. policymakers were committed to extending the Truman Doctrine, which called for the containment of Communism in southeast Asia.

June 25, 1950 – North Korea invades South Korea along the line of demarcation. This action marks the beginning of the conflict, eventually called the Korean Conflict. Secretary of State Dean Acheson and President Truman are persuaded to commit air and naval power to the region and to deploy the 7th Fleet to the Taiwan Strait to prevent mainland China from invading the island of Taiwan. In all, fifteen nations, in addition to the United States, send combat troops to fight in Korea.

Mainers proudly voted in honor of loved ones who served in Korea:

My husband, Benjamin W. Barr, Sr., served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict. He believed in freedom for everyone. He loved his country and our flag. I have listened to my husband talk of the war and watched the tears fall down his face. But when I asked him and my uncles who served in World War II and Korea why they went in to the service, their answer was simply, "So our brothers, sisters and our children to come wouldn't have to go." They gave so much so we would be free and safe.
Janice A. Barr, Medway

My father, Benjamin W. Barr, Sr., served in the Korean Conflict. Although he was not an honored hero in a military way, he will always be my hero. Also, his dedication to veterans, their families, and our community is an honor in itself. He loved his country, the State of Maine, and veterans in general. At his memorial service a gentleman said it about as well as anyone possibly could: "I feel I am standing in the shadow of a very great man." Indeed sir, you were.
Kimberly M. Lyons, Lincoln

I am voting in honor of my brother, William J. Champlin, who served in the Army in Korea. He helped lead 7 men to safety from behind enemy lines.
Francis T. Champlin, Van Buren
Served from 1957-1961

Paul Joseph Pepin
Paul Joseph Pepin

I will vote in honor of my husband, Petty Officer, 2nd class, Paul Joseph Pepin, who served in the Navy for four years during the Korean Conflict. He served aboard the battleship New Jersey and took part in ship to shore bombardments, making it safer for the ground crews to do their jobs. He was the recipient of three battle stars and the Korean Presidential Unit of Citation, among others. I am very proud of him and the positive attitude he has regarding the defense of our great country.
Joyce H. Pepin, Newport

Deanna and Elmer
Deanna & Elmer "Bud" Hallett


When I vote, I will do so with pride in honor of my husband, Elmer "Bud" Hallett, who served with honor in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict. He was in the hospital on Election Day 2000, but I was pleased to be able to acknowledge his service time and to give a very sick man a smile. He died November 19 and is sadly missed.
Deanna Mosher Hallett, Hallowell

Charles M. Johnson
Charles M. Johnson

C Company First Batallion Sixth Marines Second Division
C Co. 1st Bn 6th Marines 2nd Div.

My father, Charles M. Johnson, was a staff sergeant in the Marine Corps and served 5 years in the service. He was in the Korean Conflict and was wounded twice. He received a Bronze Star, 2 Purple Hearts, and other medals. I am very proud of him.
Gary C. Johnson, Sr., Fairfield

My father, Jerry L. DeWitt, turned 18 while he was in Korea. He was a Ranger. My mother, Sharon H. Howard, served in the Airborne Women's Army Corps.
Hans D. DeWitt, Wilton

Some of the most well known battles of the Korean War were the several battles for Pork Chop Hill, Old Baldy, and Heartbreak Ridge:

My father, Edward Ouellet, enlisted in the U.S. Army in April of 1952, leaving home with high ideals and a strong sense of duty for his country. After he was wounded at Pork Chop Hill, he spent over 4 months in a hospital in Japan and received a Purple Heart. When he returned home, he married and raised 4 children. My father shared with us his beliefs of patriotism. He motivated us with encouragement to serve our country. Where we come from and from whom we come determines our character. I am proud to be my father's daughter. I am proud of the veteran who raised me.

Brenda Boyce, Ashland

Edward Ouellet
Edward Ouellet

I will be proudly wearing the veteran button in honor of my father, Jesse R. Wilson, who fought in the Korean Conflict with the United States Army's 180th Infantry Regiment and 45th Infantry Division on Old Baldy. After ten months of being on the front lines, my dad was hit by a mortar and wounded in the right leg. He was given the Purple Heart for shedding his blood for the freedom of our country. I am very thankful for the sacrifices he made and that he is alive today to tell me about them.
Debra L. Wilson, Old Town

Fred C. Berry, Jr.
Fred C. Berry, Jr.


I am voting in honor of Cpl. Fred C. Berry, Jr., a native of Brunswick, who died on June 27, 1951. We were behind enemy lines, flushing out the enemy. Suddenly we were fired on by a 2-machine gun nest on high ground. Fred turned and attacked, firing as he went. He cleaned out gun No. 1 and started for gun No. 2. He was almost there when a grenade got him. He was awarded the Silver Star posthumously.
Joseph W. Boulet, Sanford
Served in Korea, 1951

Compelling responses honoring veterans of the Korean War recalled those who unselfishly and valiantly gave their lives in service to their country, some at particularly young ages:

My brother, PFC Donald G. Feeney, served in the 1st Marine Division in the Korean Conflict. He died on November 9, 1950, with only a few weeks left to serve. He was only 20 years old.
Evelyn J. (Feeney) Cave, Orrington

George Riley Burton
George Riley Burton


My brother, Cpl. George Riley Burton, served in Korea in the 15th Field Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Army. He died in a North Korean prison camp of wounds and beriberi. He was 18 years old.
Hilda E. Thibodeau, Veazie

My father, Captain Roger W. Jellison, was an Air Force pilot killed in action in 1957. I am also voting in honor of my mother, Jo Doris Jellison, who was an active duty registered nurse in the USAF from 1948-1956.
Michael Jellison, Hampden


I am voting in honor of my uncle, Kenneth Wayne Merrill, who served in the Army. According to a letter sent to the family, "A Chinese mortar round killed him as he almost single-handedly held off an enemy regiment on June 3, 1953." He was only 19 years old. He was very proud to serve his country. He received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart, among other citations.
Donnalene MacDonald, Casco

Kenneth Wayne Merrill
Kenneth Wayne Merrill

My cousin, Harry L. Sargent, Jr., was in the Army in the tank division when he was killed during the Korean Conflict. He is buried on a knoll overlooking the Korean War Memorial with his name etched in granite in the Hope Cemetery in Bangor. He was the only child of Harry and Emily Sargent of Hampden.
Judith C. Mosier, Yarmouth

I will be voting in honor of John Hickey, who served in the Air Force in the Korean Conflict. He was shot down and died in a POW camp. He was the only one from Maine that I met over there. This is for John Hickey and all the others on the Korean War Memorial in Bangor.
Carl A. Leighton, Princeton
Served in Korean Conflict, 1951-52

When I vote, I will pay tribute to my brother, Cpl. Irving Munroe, who was a member of a B-29 bomber squad flying without fighter escort deep in North Korea. They were attacked by large numbers of North Korean jet fighters and shot down. On 1 June 1951 he became MIA. He was 19 years old.
Jack J. Munroe, Stetson
Served in Korea and Vietnam, U.S. Army Ret.


The Maine Korean War Memorial was dedicated July 29, 1995, two days after the national memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.

It is located on a beautiful site next to a tranquil pond in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Bangor, Maine, and it salutes all veterans of the first United Nations action since the end of the Second World War.

The memorial reflects the work of a small group of Korean War Veterans who began in 1992 to plan how to construct an appropriate memorial to the Korean War honoring all Maine servicemen and women, especially those who were killed in Korea.

On polished granite slabs are engraved the names of 233 Maine men who died in Korea. Eight additional names are to be added as a result of further investigations. The memorial also provides visitors with a history lesson about the "Forgotten War".

Maine Korean War Memorial

I will be voting in honor of Roy Sandvik, United States Marines. He was killed in action in Korea. He was one of my best friends.
Kenneth Carlsen, Brooklyn, NY
Served in Korea, USMC


I will be voting in honor of my uncle, Glendon Philbrick, who was killed in the Korean Conflict serving in the Army for our freedom. He died 3 days before the war was over.
Tina Marie Richard, Clinton

Glendon Philbrick
Glendon Philbrick

I will be voting in honor of Joe Mahoney, USMC, my first buddy killed in Korea.
Richard G. Chick, Winthrop
Served in Korea

Equally touching are responses that honor the sacrifice, patriotism, and dedication of loved ones who did their duty abroad and then came home:

My grandfather, Kenneth L. Hall, Sr., was in the Navy during the Korean Conflict. He was a gunner's mate on a ship. While he was serving, he contracted pneumatic fever and was sent home. He and my grandmother were married for 45 years before he passed away in 1995. I would like to vote in his memory and in honor of a time in his life of which he was very proud but spoke little.
Jennifer M. Bassett, Auburn

I will vote in honor of my wife, Shirley Ayer Lupo, who joined the Navy in 1952 but was required to be discharged in 1955 because she got married. (At that time if a female married, she had to leave the military.) Her most interesting flight was in 1954 when she took French troops from Indo-China back to Paris.
Raymond R. Lupo, Hampden
Served 5 years in the Navy and 15 years
in the Air Force in Korea, Vietnam and the Congo

Frank William McDade
Frank William McDade


My father, Frank William McDade, fought in Korea. I am proud that he helped secure the freedom we now hold so dear. This is a great way to honor him.
Earl Matthew McDade, Bangor

Army Nurse Corps personnel serving in Korea followed time-honored traditions in accepting the challenging responsibilities of combat nursing. They managed over-whelming numbers of critically wounded soldiers in MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) units, in Field Hospitals, and Evacuation Hospitals.

The exact number of Army Nurse Corps officers who saw action in the Korean War is unknown; estimates of nurse participants vary from 540 to 1,502.

The Air Force Nurse Corps assisted in the evacuation of about 3,900 patients after the Chinese intervention in the war. By the end of the war, they had helped evacuate about 350,000 patients.

The Navy Nurse Corps served in hospitals as well as aboard ships where battle casualties were admitted. Hospital ships were a new type of mobile hospital moving from place to place, supporting invasions, aiding evacuations, or staying near the coast as needed.

Army Nurse Corps
–U.S. Army photo

Jeannie Harrington
Jeannie Harrington


I am voting in honor of my companion, Jeannie Harrington, who was a CT in the Navy in the early 50's and served as a reservist on active duty. She was the founder of WAVES National with a unit in Maine.
Ralph Dicks, Milo

My son, Russell Lane Jr., served his country in the Army in Korea. I'm proud he served. Everyone should. It would be a better place to live.
Russell Lane, Sr., Bristol

My brother, Vaughan L. Tardiff, is the oldest of 12 children, 9 boys and 3 girls. Vaughan served in Korea. All the rest of the brothers also served in the military for a total of 106 years.
Gerald E. Tardiff, Brewer
Served in Vietnam, USMC (Ret.)


When I vote, I will be paying tribute to my husband, Sylvio L. Thibodeau, a veteran who served in Korea. He is a very active V.F.W. member. He puts up 16 flags in our town on each holiday when flags are designated to be flown.
Lucille F. Thibodeau, Lee

Sylvio L. Thibodeau
Sylvio L. Thibodeau

Cornelius J. Begin, Jr.
Cornelius J. Begin, Jr.


I am voting in honor of Cornelius J. Begin, Jr., my husband, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1951 - 1955 aboard the USS Wasp. He was honorably discharged in 1955.
Dorothy L. Begin, Winslow

It was the patriotism of my father, Cornelius J. Begin, Jr., and his love for his country that encouraged me to join the Navy thirty years later.
Donna J. Fenton, Vassalboro
Served in U.S. Navy from 1981-86

Norman O'Clair
Norman O'Clair

My brother, Norman O'Clair, served our country in the Army during the Korean Conflict. He was the sole survivor of a landslide and was seriously injured. He is now 71 years old. I admire his bravery and sacrifice. He is the oldest of fourteen children and I am the youngest. He got news of my birth while on a hospital ship on his way back home to the states. Another brother, Paul, wanted to be with Norman in Korea and lied about his age to join the Army. He was on his way to Korea the same time Norman was on his way back home.
Catherine Herson, Sorrento


I am voting in honor of my husband, William R. Gilbert, who served in the Army in Korea from 1956-1958.
Alice M.Gilbert, Fairfield

William R. Gilbert
William R. Gilbert

Aftermath of the Korean War

The United States, North Korea and China signed an armistice. However, the agreement failed to bring about a permanent peace.

U.S. forces had not previously seen a conflict like Korea. The battles were hard-fought, the enemy was unpredictable, and the weather was extreme. Over 1.7 million Americans served in Korea. Estimates are that more than 33,000 service members died. There were over 103,000 casualties and 7,140 military personnel taken as prisoners of war.


There were 131 Medals of Honor awarded to U.S. servicemen for their actions during the Korean War. Three Medals of Honor were given to veterans from Maine.

Army Medal of Honor
Navy Medal of Honor
Airforce Medal of Honor

Major Charles J. Loring"The last Air Force Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously to Major Charles J. Loring Jr. Loring was an F-80 pilot and flight leader assigned to the 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. On November 22, 1952, he led a quartet of F-80's against enemy artillery emplacements on Sniper Ridge which were harassing friendly ground troops. After verifying his target, Loring began his bombing run. Enemy fire was extremely heavy and accurate throughout his dive and his aircraft was hit and crippled.

Disdaining any attempt to head for safety, Loring pulled up in a deliberate and controlled maneuver. He then turned and dove into a group of active gun emplacements, destroying them.

In a ceremony in the White House held on May 5, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented the Medal of Honor to Loring's widow.

On October 1, 1954, Limestone Air Force Base, Maine, was renamed Loring Air Force Base in his honor."

from The Archives of the Portland Press Herald

Major Charles J. Loring
Major Charles J. Loring

Corporal Clair Goodblood,of Fort Kent, served in the U.S. Army, Company D, 7th Infantry Regiment during the Korean War.

According to his Medal of Honor Citation:
"Corporal Goodblood distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations on 24 and 25 April 1951 near Popsu-dong, Korea. Corporal Goodblood, a machine gunner, was attached to Company B in defensive positions on thickly wooded key terrain under attack by a ruthless foe. In bitter fighting which ensued, the numerically superior enemy infiltrated the perimeter, rendering the friendly positions untenable. Upon order to move back, Corporal Goodblood voluntarily remained to cover the withdrawal and, constantly vulnerable to heavy fire, inflicted withering destruction on the assaulting force... He fearlessly maintained his one-man defense, sweeping the onrushing assailants with fire until an enemy banzai charge carried the hill and silenced his gun. When friendly elements regained the commanding ground, Corporal Goodblood's body was found lying beside his gun and approximately 100 hostile dead lay in the wake of his field of fire. Through his unflinching courage and willing self-sacrifice the onslaught was retarded, enabling his unit to withdraw, regroup and resecure the strongpoint. Corporal Goodblood's inspirational conduct and devotion to duty reflect lasting glory on himself and are in keeping with the noble traditions of the military service."

Goodblood Memorial

CPL Clair Goodblood
Medal of Honor Memorial
Burnham, Maine
Dedicated on May 25, 1998
Built by
CPL Clair Goodblood Chapter, KWVA, Augusta, Maine

For more information visit:

Captain Lewis L. Millett, of Mechanic Falls, served in the U.S. Army, Company E, 27th Infantry Regiment, during the Korean War.

According to his Medal of Honor Citation:
"Captain Millett distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action in the vicinity of Soam-Ni, Korea on February 7, 1951. While personally leading his company in an attack against a strongly held position he noted that the 1st platoon was pinned down by small-arms, automatic, and antitank fire. Captain Millett ordered the 3rd platoon forward, placed himself at the head of the two platoons, and, with fixed bayonet, led the assault up the fire-swept hill... His dauntless leadership and personal courage so inspired his men that they stormed into the hostile position and used their bayonets with such lethal effect that the enemy fled in wild disorder. During this onslaught Captain Millett was wounded by grenade fragments but refused evacuation until the objective was taken and firmly secured. The superb leadership, conspicuous courage, and consummate devotion to duty demonstrated by Captain Millett were directly responsible for the successful accomplishment of a hazardous mission and reflect the highest credit on himself and the heroic traditions of the military service."

*Colonel (Ret.) Lewis L. Millett, one of the four surviving Maine Medal of Honor recipients, currently resides in Idyllwild, California


from United States of America's Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients and Their Official Citations, provided by the Office of the Adjutant General, State of Maine

Special Citations Given to Two Medal of Honor Recipients Born in Maine

Corporal David B. Champagne, entered the service in Rhode Island but was born in Waterville, Maine, and served in U.S. Marine Corps, Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, in Korea. On 28 May 1952, "Cpl. Champagne, by his valiant leadership, fortitude, and gallant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death, undoubtedly saved the lives of several of his fellow Marines. His heroic actions served to inspire all who observed him and reflected the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."

Sergeant George D. Libby, entered the service in Connecticut but was born in Bridgton, Maine, and served in the U.S. Army, Company C, 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion, 24th Infantry Division, near Taejon, Korea. On 20 July 1950, Sgt. Libby's "sustained, heroic actions enabled his comrades to reach friendly lines. His dauntless courage and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself and uphold the esteemed traditions of the U.S. Army."


from United States of America's Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients and Their Official Citations, provided by the Office of the Adjutant General, State of Maine

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