On this day: a memorial service in Korea

WAR & CONFLICT BOOK ERA: KOREAN WAR/DEATH & DESTRUCTION

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3rd December 1950: A wounded chaplain is photographed conducting a memorial service over the snow-covered bodies of dead US Marines.

The image was taken during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War.

On this day…

Freed Korean “Comfort Women” – women forced to work as sex slaves for the Empire of Japan during the Second World War – talk to US soldiers in a photograph dated the 14th of August, 1944.

It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of women from Asia, as well as several hundred from the Netherlands and Australia, were treated this way.

Captured_comfort_women_in_Myitkyina_on_August_14_in_1944 Comfort Women - women forced to work as sex slaves for the Empire of Japan - after being freed by US soldiers. 14th August 1944. X

Here is the official caption of the photograph:

“Three Korean “comfort girls” (captured in Burma), photographed while being interrogated by Capt. Won Loy Chan (San Francisco, California), Tech. Sgt. Robert Honda (Hawaii) and Sgt. Hirabayashi (Seattle, Washington), all of the G-2 Myitkyina Task Force of the U.S. Army.”

On this day: Australians in Korea

7th November 1950 Troops from C Company, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), watch for the enemy while a village in the valley below burns. The village was set on fire b

A village in a Korean valley burns on the 7th of November, 1950 as troops from C Company, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR) look on. They are searching for enemy soldiers.

17 000 Australians served in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953.

The image is from the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

On this day: Seoul in Ruins

WAR & CONFLICT BOOK
ERA:  KOREAN WAR/DEATH & DESTRUCTION

This photograph, dated the 1st of November, 1950, is from the US Army archives and shows an elderly woman searching through the rubble of Seoul over four months into the Korean War.

It would be more than three years between the beginning of the war and the 1953 armistice. However, Korea remains divided.

On this day: Nagasaki Destroyed

These aerial photographs show the Japanese city of Nagasaki before and after the American nuclear bomb attack on the 9th of August, 1945.

Amongst those in the city at the time of the bombing were thousands of conscripted Korean workers and hundreds of Western (Allied) prisoners of war. Not all of them survived.

Nagasaki_1945_-_Before_and_after_(adjusted) Nagasaki, Japan, before and after the atomic bombing of 9th August, 1945.

On this day…

USS_Manatee_(AO-58)_HMAS_Warramunga_(I44)27th June 1951 A United States Navy fleet oiler (left) refuels a Royal Australian Navy destroyer (right) off the Korean Peninsula during the Kore

27th June 1951: The United States Navy fleet oiler, USS Manatee (left) refuels the Royal Australian Navy destroyer, HMAS Warramunga (right) off the Korean Peninsula during the Korean War.

On this day: the death of a dictator’s mother

Kim_Jeong_Suk_1 North Korea in 1945 Korean anti-Japanese guerrilla, a Communist activist, North Korean leader Kim Il-sung_s first wife, Aged 25

In her mid-twenties in 1945. X

Kim Jong-suk, a Korean anti-Japanese guerrilla fighter, Communist, and mother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, died on the 22nd of September, 1949.

North_Korea_-_Great_Mother_(5015266475) Great Mother Kim Jong Suk safeguarding Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung at the risk of her life.

The “Great Mother” as a fighter in a propaganda painting. X

Twenty-nine at the time of her death, while the official state explanation is that she died of the hardships of fighting for Korea, it is thought she possibly died either giving birth to a stillborn son, from tuberculosis, or from a gunshot wound. Her death is not even mentioned in her biography.

Heo_Jong-suk_and_Kim_Jong-suk_ather_in_Pyongyang Heo Jong-suk and Kim Jong-suk 1948.

The year before her death. X

Kim Jong-suk was the first wife of Kim Il-sung, and the grandmother of current leader Kim Jong-un. She is buried in the “Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery” near Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea.

Christmas as a prisoner of war.

The Chungkai Camp was operated by the Japanese during World War Two, and prisoners – including soldiers from Britain and the Commonwealth – were made to work on the Burma–Thailand Railway.

This “Christmas card” is in the collection of London’s Imperial War Museum, and was created in either 1943 or 1944. It depicts Father Christmas in a loincloth, carrying a sack of presents through a bamboo fence.

It was very dangerous to make images while a prisoner in the camp. One prisoner, Jack Chalker, reported his sketches of camp life being discovered by a Korean guard. Chalker was beaten for days as punishment.

the-chungkai-camp-was-operated-by-the-japanese-during-world-war-two-this-christmas-card-is-in-the-collection-of-londons-imperial-war-museum-and-was-created-in-either-1943-or-1944