Background of the Korean War Association & A Brief Account of the Korean War

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The Korean War Association in Antioch, Tennessee was founded by six Korean War veterans in 1987.  It raised funds -- over $230,000--designed, erected, and dedicated in 1992 a state memorial to Korean War veterans.  The names of the 851 Tennesseans killed in action are engraved on the memorial, including three who were awarded the Medal of Honor by Congress: William F. Lyell, Charles F. Pendleton, and Ray E. Duke.

During the campaign a newsletter went out to over 1500 veterans.  The lead articles covered the major aspects of the war in chronological order, while the rest spotlighted Tennessee veterans. 

In October of 1992 the Association had the opportunity to preview a six hour documentary, "Korea, the Unknown War," which would be aired later.  It had a definite left-leaning spin.  The script writer was Jon Halliday who had been editor of "The New Left Review" in London, while the historian, Bruce Cummings, was married to a native Korean who was a leader of student revolts against the South Korean government.  When appraised of the situation by the Association, three of the program's American advisors, after reviewing the program for themselves, had their names removed from the credits.  They were Gen. Richard Stilwell, who was chairman of the national committee working for a Korean War memorial in Washington; Billy C. Mossman, an official Army historian of the war; and Jack James, a prize-winning journalist with UPI who was in Korea during the first part of the war. 

The Association decided to make a documentary on the war: changed its name from Tennessee Korean War Memorial Association to the present name.  A group of scholars, authors and historians was assembled to support the work.  There is a great deal of competition for funds for documentaries.  We were turned down four times by the National Endowment for the Humanities and twice by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

A huge amount of research went into the articles for the newsletters and to the proposals for funding.  This information was consolidated into a 28 page book, "A Brief Account of the Korean War."  Over 2,500 copies have been made.  It is being used at three universities, two history museums, high schools, and by the national organization, Korean War Veterans Association.

    - Jack D. Walker, Director of Special Projects

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