The Korean War is often called the “forgotten war.” It began when North Korea invaded South Korea. The United States became involved in the warfare to support South Korea from invasion by Russian-backed North Korea. From 1950 to 1953 the conflict escalated and millions of combatants and civilians died on both sides, including close to 40,000 Americans. Here are 24 photos from the battlefields…
1. US howitzers in action in Seoul, South Korea, during 1950.
2. US Marines in landing crafts make their way to Inchon as the battle rages in 1950.
3. An American soldier uses a flamethrower to burn out North Korean soldiers in March 1951.
4. A view from the bows of the USS Missouri as the main batteries fire on enemy targets off North Korea in 1952.
5. A portrait of American Lieutenant Colonel Francis S. Gabreski as he sits in the cockpit of his Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane. Gabrewski was the top American fighter ace with 28 kills and later became an ace in the Korean War.
6. Two soldiers train their 30-caliber machine gun on North Korean positions on the western front in 1952.
7. Marines duck for cover as a shell explodes near their position in 1952.
8. A weary and dispirited survivor of a lost battalion sits in despair in 1950.
9. A South Korean woman tries to comfort another as she cries over a wooden coffin containing a loved one in 1952.
10. The bound hands of a dead Korean civilian, who was killed by retreating North Korean troops in 1951, stick out from the snow.
11. Private John Baldridge, an American soldier suffering from frostbite while serving in the Korean War, examines his fingers while he recovers at Percy Jones Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1951.
12. An American soldier comforts a comrade in distress following a fierce battle in 1953.
13. Refugees, mostly Chinese, retreat from the ruins of Inchon, a key port that was bombarded and invaded by American forces in September 1950.
14. Korean women weep as they identify family members killed by North Korean forces in 1953. The victims were forced into caves near Hamhung, which were then sealed off so that the men would suffocate.
15. Korean civilians are killed after an attempt to flee from North Korean forces. They were caught in the line of fire during a night attack near Yongsan in August 1950.
16. Thousands of North Koreans fleeing their homes brave the icy waters of the Taedong River in 1950.
17. Left: A US soldier feeds a small kitten while in a trench dug by US soldiers along the line of defense. Right: A fatally wounded Marine receives his last rites from a Catholic chaplain in the field.
18. A helmet riddled with bullet holes left beside the body of a soldier killed on the way to Maeson Dong on Sept. 2, 1950.
19. Headlines at a newsstand in New York's Grand Central Station in November 1950 describe the looming threat of atomic retaliation during the war.
20. Chinese prisoners of war are held by US forces before being transferred to Taiwan in 1954.
21. Marilyn Monroe sings to US Marines stationed in Korea after the Korean War in 1954.
22. Cpl. Howard Ross sweeps his wife Leah off her feet after returning home from war in 1954.
23. Overlooking headstones on Armistice Day, a group of both WWII and Korean War veterans pay their respects in 1951.