The Korean War: 24 Cool Facts

As of late, we have seen North Korea in our news feeds on a daily basis. The chance they have developed a smaller nuclear warhead seems to be the newest issue.

President Trump has vowed that if the North keeps pushing U.S. “buttons,” we will rain down fire and brimstone upon them.

Some people have said we should have done more when we were at war with North Korea.

It was a war that we really do not hear much about in comparison to other wars. So in today’s post, I am going to give you 24 cool facts about the Korean War. They are in no particular order, so read all and learn about the Korean War.

Fact #1: When And Why

The Korean War began on June 25th, 1950 and ended July 27th, 1953. The reason for it was the fact that North Korea is a Communist country and below the 38th Parallel, South Korea is Democratic. The North invaded South Korea trying to impose their Communist ways.

Fact #2: Should Have Been Called World War III

If the Korean War would have been declared an actual war, it very well could have been considered a World War.

Communist North Korea also had China and the Soviet Union aiding them and had support from other Communist countries.

The United Nations are the ones who called for South Korean aid. While the United States took the lead, the other countries who joined in were:

  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Turkey
  • Australia
  • Philippines
  • New Zealand
  • Thailand
  • Ethiopia
  • Greece
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Belgium
  • South Africa
  • Netherlands
  • Luxembourg

Fact #3: A General Was Captured By North Koreans Early In The War

Major General William Dean was Commander of the 24th Infantry Division. It was approximately 1 month into the war when his division was battling the North Koreans at Taejon. Dean was separated from his troops and fell down an embankment getting injured. He was captured and kept in a North Korean POW camp until the end of the war.

Dean was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Other posts you may enjoy:

  1. Honorable Immigrants: Korean and Vietnam Wars
  2. 10th Mountain Division – Campaigns & Decorations
  3. 2nd Infantry Division – Campaigns & Decorations
  4. 25th Infantry Division – Campaigns & Decorations

Fact #4: Our Northern Friends

While it was a Northern neighbor attacking their Southern comrades, the United States can greatly thank our Northern neighbor for their involvement.

The Korean War was the 3rd deadliest conflict Canada was ever involved in. Approximately 26,000 Canadians served and 516 were killed.

Fact #5: Jet Warfare

The Korean War was the first war to have jets battling jets.

Fact #6: The American Officer Who Caused Enemy Confusion

It was the Battle of Inchon and an a U.S. Marine Corps officer, Kurt Lee was leading his men against Communist Chinese.

Kurt is a Chinese American and he yelled at the enemy in Mandarin Chinese which confused them allowing the Marines to cause heavy damage.

Fact #7: Korean War Movies

While there are many movies about other wars, there were very few about the Korean War. The better ones were:

And we dare not forget the long running television series M.A.S.H.

Fact #8: Police Action

While it is called a war, the Korean War was never a declared war. It was a police action according to President Harry Truman.

Fact #9: The Korean War Has Never Really Ended

There was never a treaty signed, just an Armistice. All that meant was a ceasefire. There has never been a peaceful settlement, so essentially, the Korean War still goes on.

Fact #10: Missing Americans

There are still over 7,500 American soldiers unaccounted for from the Korean War.

Fact #11: Eating Tootsie Rolls

The code for mortar rounds during the Korean War was “tootsie rolls.” Using that code, mortar rounds were ordered. They were sent exactly what they asked for, crates loaded with those chewy candies. Tootsie Rolls everywhere.

Fact #12: Frostbite

A large percentage of soldiers died from frostbite because of extreme below zero conditions.

Fact #13: Death Counts

Death counts were high during the Korean War:

  • The United States had over 35,000.
  • South Korea had over 215,000 military and around 1,000,000 civilian.
  • North Korea had over 400,000 military and about 600,000 civilian.
  • China had about 600,000 military.

Fact #14: The POW Biker

A prisoner of the North Koreans, Lieutenant John Thorton would ride his motorcycle around the POW camp daily.

It was an imaginary motorcycle.

But the North Koreans couldn’t take it anymore, they called him in and took his bike away.

Fact #15: Primary Military Leaders

The U.N. Forces and U.S. Military was led by General Douglas MacArthur and later General Matthew Ridgway.

The North Korean military was led by Choi Yong kun.

Fact #16: The DMZ

A demilitarized zone was created separating North from South. It is about 4,000 yards wide and each side is patrolled.

It is said that from time to time, a bullet will be shot across the zone.

Fact #17: Al Gore’s Father

The once Vice President’s Father had proposed to Congress about creating a “nuclear waste field” in the DMZ. This would keep both sides from crossing.

“But wouldn’t that create more global warming Mr. Gore senior?”

Fact #18: When Hell Froze

If you ever see a bumper sticker that says: Once Upon a Time Hell Froze Over. We Were There. You are probably behind a Korean War Veteran who was at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. They say that temperatures dropped to below 50 degrees below zero.

The devil was seen wearing a parka and mittens.

Fact #19: Taiwan Or North Korea?

China had plans of originally invading Taiwan, but the United States 7th Fleet stopped those actions, so China sent those forces to North Korea.

If they would have allowed the takeover of Taiwan, North Korea probably would have been defeated.

Fact #20: The Highest Decoration

As a result of the Korean War, there were over 130 Medals Of Honor given to soldiers.

Fact #21: 700 Brits

The British Gloucestershire Regiment who had around 700 battle hardened soldiers held out against around 27,000 Chinese 63rd Army who were advancing. The Brits killed upwards of 11,000 Chinese while the Brits lost 58.

Fact #22: The Reckless Sergeant

Earning 2 Purple Hearts, they called her reckless… Staff Sergeant Reckless was a Marine hero.

She was a Chestnut Mare; yes, a horse and was featured in Life Magazine.

Fact #23: The Napalm Surrenders

The U.S. dropped a lot of napalm. The psychological damage had North Korean soldiers surrendering to the planes when they made a 2nd pass.

Fact #24: Both Sides

One country did not choose a side during the Korean War. India provided medical aid to both sides.


Well like I said earlier, the Korean War has never officially ended.

It nearly started again over a Poplar tree that was in the DMZ that the U.S. wanted cut down. Some soldiers were killed trying to do so, so President Ford ordered a massive chainsaw party and the tree came down.

But now we have this North Korean leader threatening a nuclear attack on the United States.

What will happen?

Hopefully our President and nation’s leaders will come up with a plan…

How about cloning Dennis Rodman and sending the clone in to assassinate the “Loco” North Korean leader?

Just a thought…

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you learned a few things about the Korean War you did not know.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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