Introduction: In this article I will try to explain how the mood of America created the term "Korea, The Forgotten War". Please be warned there are some controversial statements which may offend some readers. This article is written by Wayland Mayo, web site historian. All comments are his personal opinion.

World War II united the entire U.S. We held scrap drives, bond sales, and all chipped in to aid the war effort. The entire country was 100 % behind our troops. No protestors carrying signs and bull horns, anyone who was anti-American was met with heavy resistance. We held war rallies, went to see an abundance of war movies. Our entire life was consumed with patriotic expressions of genuine concern for the safe return of our troops. There was a dynamic ending that to this day brings great memories of the heroic sacrifices of our brave servicemen. The bottom line is-WE WON. It's a great feeling to be victorious, it brings out our pride, changes our lives, and makes us stand a little taller. After the war , in the late 40's, it was a great time for building the United States into an even greater nation. When all of our servicemen returned they needed everything, cars, clothes, most got married and built a home. It was the best of times. So it was a dream ending to the ugly side of war. We got over it, life returned to normal, babies were born, the American dream was a reality. The last thing on anyones mind was another war. We had installed a massive program to destroy nearly all of our weapons, tanks, ships, guns. We chopped up most of our aircraft. Why? Because we would never need them again, after all, the war was over, wasn't it?


When the American public learned that North Korea had invaded South Korea there wasn't much emotion shown. After all, who cared about Korea, we had no real political involvement there. Besides, it was a very small area which we could crush in a week. Most had not even heard of it. We had a small number of troops in South Korea and very shortly they were in danger of being pushed back into the ocean, an embarrassing thought. It would take time to send troops, and pretty soon it was panic time. A defeat was unthinkable. The United States completely underestimated the capability and determination of the North Koreans. The story is well known and I will not write a book here on the Korean War. Briefly: Truman placed General MacArthur in charge, and an immediate controversial relationship arose between the two. MacArthur wanted to drop the bomb, Truman was afraid it would lead to World War III. As our troops approached the Yalu River, hundreds of thousands Chinese troops rushed across the border attacking our forces. Russia was making menacing threats and the possibility of us fighting China and Russia was unthinkable. For the first time United States forces were outnumbered and forced to retreat. The final ending was an insulting defeat for us as we had to accept a negotiated ending. This defeat was hard to swallow, because the U.S. had obviously made a costly misjudgment, embarrassing to this day.

Story Part1 | Part2

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