Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Korean War

Pencil sketch by Art Price.

“I’ve been following the war news, listening to it with half-closed ears.  I just pray they won’t take you.  I’ll feel terrible if you’re taken away from me.”
           June Anderson
           Letter to Art Price, July 10, 1950

Internationally, the lead players in the Cold War – the United States, the Soviet Union, and the People’s Republic of China – were all focused on the Korean peninsula in 1950.  The North Korean Army, supported by the Chinese, invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950.  The United Nations Security Council immediately
                                                                                  responded with a condemnation,
                                                                                  followed in two days by a resolution
                                                                                  to militarily assist South Korea.

Sketch of President Truman by Art Price.
Under the leadership of President Harry S. Truman, the United States took a firm stand against communist expansion, committing the US military to full involvement in defense of South Korea.  With the Battle of Osan on July 5, 1950 (just five days before June’s letter referenced above), the United States engaged in the first major battle of the war, suffering an unexpected defeat.  Just four years after the end of World War II, the United States was faced with the prospect of engaging in another prolonged and bloody war.

With hostilities rapidly escalating in Asia, many Reservists were being called back to service.  Art had remained in the United States Naval Reserve following his Navy service (1944-1947).  During the summer of 1950, he met with a lawyer at least twice regarding his status in the Reserve.  There are indications that Art was seriously considering reenlisting at this time, probably against June’s wishes.  It’s unclear why a lawyer was involved.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
General Omar Bradley, pencil sketch by Art Price.

General Douglas MacArthur, pencil sketch by
Art Price.
(For Monday – rejection and grilled cheese sandwiches.)
© 2011 Lee Price

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