SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU)– A local Sioux City Korean War veteran went overseas to be a jack of all trades in his early 20s, and while at war he received a souvenir only a handful of veterans he’s met obtained.
“I was in the navy reserve and got drafted out of the navy reserve into the infantry and I went into the army,” said Frank Curry, a Korean War veteran.
In August of 1951, Frank Curry was sent overseas to Korea, spending 8 months in the Kumhwa Valley and another 3 months stationed at Heart Break Ridge.
“I was little bit of everything; I run the radios, I run the switchboard, and at times I was laying barbed wire, land mines, I was carrying ammo for the machine gun, and actually infantryman, and on occasions carrying some of the dead back and that’s what really hurt,” said Curry.
While at war, Curry and his fellow soldiers tried their best to have some fun despite their circumstances. However, Curry can describe his experience in three words.
“Korea was hell, any war is hell. We were taking this hill 1062 and a lot of the bois got hit and I had to carry some of them back. Sometimes we was out so far from our main line, and help, and medication that they were gonna die before they got help we were so far out. That’s another thing we wasn’t really planned for,” said Curry.
During his time in Korea, Curry received a souvenir which he says he’s met only a handful of veterans that have them as well.
“The Chinese at Christmas time in 1951 they come in and hung stockings on our barbwire and in there’s this hanky that I have from the Chinese Republic Army and there’s a little pin on there says dove peace and a Christmas card,” said Curry.
According to the Imperial War Museum, the “propaganda” handkerchief was written and delivered by the ‘Chinese People’s Volunteers’ and was one of many attempts to use psychological warfare on South Korean soldiers and especially their allies. Many of the handkerchiefs had sentences like ‘Those Who Love You Want You Back Home – Safe And Sound’ and ‘It’s No Disgrace To Quit An Unjust War’ with illustrations in the corners.
Near the end of Curry’s tour, he was stationed in Japan to practice amphibious landings, which is an operation used to get troops to shore. After his service was up at the age of 22, Curry worked at a hardware store before joining the Sioux City Police, where he’d serve the community until his retirement in 1985.