Click to Watch the Episode

Anthony Grzegorzewski / Staff SGT. Air Force


The Douglas C-124 Globe Master II, nicknamed "Old Shaky", was a heavy-lift cargo aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California.

Performed heavy lift cargo operations to and from Korea. On 27 September 1951, a C-124A began FEAF-hosted service tests labeled Operation PELICAN. In a little over one month, the aircraft flew 26 missions between Japan and Korea, carrying an average load of 34,000 pounds, double the amount carried on the C-54. In one mission in 1951, a C-124 airlifted a record 167 patients from Pusan in South Korea. Unfortunately, because of the weight of the aircraft, it was limited to only four airstrips in Korea

Operational history First deliveries of the 448 production aircraft began in May 1950 and continued until 1955. The C-124 was operational during the Korean War, and was also used to assist supply operations for Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica. They performed heavy lift cargo operations for the US military worldwide, including flights to Southeast Asia, Africa and elsewhere. From 1959 to 1961 they transported Thor missiles across the Atlantic to England. The C-124 was also used extensively during the Vietnam War transporting materiel from the U.S. to Vietnam. Until the C-5A became operational, the C-124, and its sister C-133 Cargo-master were the only aircraft available that could transport very large loads.

U.S. threat of atomic warfare On 5 November 1950, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) issued orders for the retaliatory atomic bombing of Manchurian PRC military bases, if either their armies crossed into Korea or if PRC or KPA bombers attacked Korea from there. The President ordered the transfer of nine Mark 4 nuclear bombs "to the Air Force's Ninth Bomb Group, the designated carrier of the weapons ... [and] signed an order to use them against Chinese and Korean targets", which he never transmitted. Both the Pentagon and the State Department were nonetheless cautious about using nuclear weapons because of the risk of general war with China and the diplomatic ramifications. Truman and his senior advisors agreed, and never seriously considered using them in early December 1950 despite the poor military situation in Korea

When Eisenhower succeeded Truman in early 1953 he was similarly cautious about using nuclear weapons in Korea, including for diplomatic purposes to encourage progress in the ongoing truce discussions. The administration prepared contingency plans for using them against China, but like Truman, the new president feared that doing so would result in Soviet attacks on Japan. The war ended as it had begun, without American nuclear weapons deployed near battle.

Gerald Stork / CPL US Army


The Western Union Company / “I Regret to Inform You”

During World War II, families with sons in military service dreaded the Western Union "boy on his bicycle" to arrive at their home with a telegram from the War Department or the Navy Department. The message began: The Secretary of War (for soldiers and airmen) or Secretary of Navy (for sailors and marines), regrets to inform you that [name, rank and serial number of the man in the military service] was killed in action (or missing in action).

Troop sleeper

In United States railroad terminology, a troop sleeper was a railroad passenger car which had been constructed to serve as something of a mobile barracks (essentially, a sleeping car) for transporting troops over distances sufficient to require overnight accommodations. This method allowed part of the trip to be made overnight, reducing the amount of transit time required and increasing travel efficiency.


John Letterio / CPL US Army


Battle of Pusan Perimeter

A large-scale battle between United Nations and North Korean forces lasting from August 4 to September 18, 1950. It was one of the first major engagements of the Korean War. An army of 140,000 UN troops, having been pushed to the brink of defeat, were rallied to make a final stand against the invading North Korean army, 98,000 men strong.

After six weeks, the North Korean force collapsed and retreated in defeat after the UN force launched a counterattack at Inchon on September 15. The battle would be the furthest the North Korean troops would advance in the war, as subsequent fighting ground the war into a stalemate.



The United Service Organizations Inc. (USO Show) is a nonprofit organization that provides programs, services and live entertainment to United States service members and their families. Since 1941, it has worked in partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD), relying heavily on private contributions and on funds, goods, and services from various corporate and individual donors. Although congressionally chartered, it is not a government agency. The USO operates 160 centers worldwide

In 1947, the USO was disbanded, due partly to lack of funds. In 1951, when the United States entered the Korean War, Secretary of Defense George Marshall and Secretary of the Navy Francis P. Matthews requested that the USO be reactivated "to provide support for the men and women of the armed forces with help of the American people." According to war historian Paul Edwards, Between 1952 and 1953, not a day went by without the USO providing services somewhere in Korea. At home or overseas, in 1952 it was serving 3.5 million in the armed forces using much the same methods of operation as it did in World War II.

Many stars, both well-known and new, came to perform, including Bob Hope, Errol Flynn, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor, Piper Laurie, Jane Russell, Paul Douglas, Terry Moore, Marilyn Monroe, Danny Kaye, Rory Calhoun, Mickey Rooney, Jayne Mansfield, Al Jolson and many others



The 22nd Crash Rescue Boat Squadron (22nd CRBS) was a U.S. Air Force combat search and rescue unit formed during the Korean War. While its original task was ocean rescue of downed pilots, its speedy and well-armed boats soon became prime vehicles for inserting spies, espionage agents, and sabotage parties into enemy territory for the 6004th Air Intelligence Service Squadron. Despite the hazards of both their overt and covert missions, the airmen of the 22nd CRBS never lost a boat during their clandestine operations in the war.


Personnel: The master of the boat was usually ranked as an E-5 or E-6. His crew of seven to nine subordinates included a medic, radio operator, engine man, and cook. The latter had alcohol stoves available, but no refrigeration. Fresh water was hand pumped, and limited to 500 gallons on the 63-foot R-1 boats, with some of that needed for the engines' cooling systems. The unbathed unshaven crew had little or no heat in the boats.

While a month's sea duty was considered the maximum, crew members often spent twice that time afloat without a break. Casualties were incurred via poor diet, illness, and exposure, as well as communist actions.

Operations: Korean waters offered stiff challenges to the crash rescue boats. The sea was not only freezing cold, with floating ice; the rise and fall of Korea's 30 foot tides are among the greatest in the world. The weather was no more hospitable, sometimes hitting minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

The crash rescue unit was soon involved in more than rescue missions. Since there were no alternative vessels available, the crash rescue boats became engaged in covert operations involving the friendly guerrillas on the islands scattered off both the east and west coast of Korea. The scanty official records show that between 16 November 1951 and 10 January 1952, Crash Rescue Boat R-1-667 inserted espionage agents into Port Arthur, Manchuria, as well as on the Chinese shore of the Yalu River. During November, one of these agents was noted to be a blond blue-eyed Caucasian who failed to be ex-filtrated.

By war's end, despite the hazards of infiltrations behind enemy lines into North Korean and China, the 22nd Crash Rescue Boat Squadron had lost no boats. Its last reported activities were in August 1953.