Korea War

Explore the Oral Histories from Ypsilanti and Washtenaw County area Veterans who served in the Korea War

  • Woinowsk, Russell

    Russell Woinowsk was born on 8/8/1915 in Debut, Iowa. His father moved to Texas when Russ was young. Russ was in the ROTC in high school and eventually joined the National Guard in order to get help with his college expenses. He was able to complete two years before entering the Army. He wanted to be a pilot but "flunked out." His training turned to Bombardier School. Russ became a trainer. He was never assigned as a permanent member of a team. When he was sent to England, he was assigned to a B24 and completed 21 missions before the end of the war. Before V-E Day Russ was returned to the United States where he began training with a B29 group. The War ended before he was able to complete any missions. When the Korean Ward started, Russell was flying with B29's and completed 16 missions. He remained in the Air Corp retiring as a Lt. Colonel. During his service he received 2 DSC's and 4 Air Metals. He spent time in Turkey, the Philippines and many different States. Upon discharge, he returned to college and eventually received a Master's Degree in teaching. He spent 21 years teaching math (20 years in Romulus High School) before retiring because he was 70, the maximum retirement age. For a time, he and two friends owned and flew a Piper Cub. He and his wife had two children. He has four grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He was married for 51 years before his wife died. He lives with his son in Ann Arbor.
  • Turner, Amherst Hale

    Amherst Turner was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He earned his English degree and teaching certification from the University of Michigan while also participating in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC.) In 1961, after graduating from U of M, Amherst attended basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia and was trained as an officer. After his basic training, Amherst was shipped out to Korea and joined a unit guarding the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Amherst did this for for 13 months and became a 2nd Lieutenant in that time. Amherst returned to Fort Benning, was promoted to Captain and eventually was transferred to a base in Florida that was to serve as the staging area for a proposed invasion of Cuba. On this base, he served as a property book officer. In 1963, Amherst left the service, still involved in the reserves, and went into manufacturing. He was married in 1969 and had two children.
  • Swisher, Reuben Voss

    Reuben Swisher had nine years, two months and eighteen days on active duty, followed by five years in the Reserves. He was wounded twice in Korea and earned the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for valor while a combat infantryman. Swisher was seventeen years old when he served in Korea and was assigned to Fox Company of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was wounded on Hill 578 on February 15, 1951 at Chipyong-ni, near Yangpyoeng as part of a force defending the Wonju Line during "Operation Killer." Besides being wounded twice, he suffered frostbitten feet. After his Army service in 1950-1952 and rise to Corporal, he joined the Air Force in 1957 and served until 1964, achieving the rank of Technical Sergeant. Besides the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, he earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Korean Service Medal with three Bronze Stars, and the United Nations Service Medal. Swisher then served the Department of Veterans Affairs and earned several honors while employed there, followed by 400 hours of volunteer work at the VA Medical Center in Ann Arbor after his retirement in 1991. He also served as Commander of the Washtenaw County Chapter of Disabled American Veterans for seven consecutive terms.
  • Sherzer, John Allen

    John Sherzer served as a commissioned officer in both the Second World War and the Korean War.
  • Schaedig, Merlin John

    Merlin Schaedig is a Veteran of the Korean War. He was born on 10/19/1930 in Rogers City, Michigan. He obtained the rank of Sergeant before he was finally discharged. Merlin was part of the 25th Infantry Division. His awards and citations include the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Medal, the American Defense Medal, the ROK Service Award, and the Combat Infantry Badge. He currently lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
  • Schaedig, Ivan

    Ivan Schaedig was born in Rogers City, Michigan on January 28, 1932. He was drafted into the Army and after basic and specialized training, he was deployed to the Japan/Korean Theater of the war. While in Service, Ivan Schaedig obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was assigned to the Heavy Mortar Company, 21st Regiment, and the 24th Division. Ivan's Citations/Awards include the Korean Service Ribbon, the Bronze Star, the United Nations Service Medal, and the Republic of Korea Presidential Service Citation. After leaving the service Ivan returned to Alpena, Michigan.
  • Birmingham Jr., Roy O.

    Roy Birmingham, Jr. was born in Dayton, Ohio on December 21, 1928. He was nearly 22 years of age when he was drafted in 1950. After basic training and specialized training, Roy was assigned to the 8th Army Headquarters (EUSAK) Signal Corp. He spent time in Taegu and Yeondeungpo, Korea. Roy obtained the rank of Sergeant First Class before he was discharged in 1952. Roy currently lives in the Fox Run Living Center, in Novi, Michigan.
Browse all