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  • 작성자 사진Kim Min-ji

[Feature] The 10 Great Heroes Who Made Today's Republic of Korea

No.164 / Jun 12, 2023


The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs and the Republic of Korea (ROK)–The United States (U.S.) Combined Forces Command (CFC) co-produced a dedication video to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the ROK–U.S. alliance this year. The video was produced with the intention of remembering value of alliance for freedom and solidarity and the security alliance between the ROK and the U.S. starting from the Korean War. This video was made with respect to President Yoon Seok-yeol’s state visit to the U.S. In the U.S., it was screened about 680 times a day from April 20 to May 5, local time, on the Times Square electronic board in New York. Among the top 10 heroes of the Korea–U.S. alliance were “Douglas MacArthur, United Nations (UN) Commander-in-Chief”, “James Van Fleet and his son James A. Van Fleet Jr.”, “William Earl Shaw and his son William Hamilton Shaw”, “Air Force Colonel Dean Hess”, “Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Puckett Jr.”, “U.S. Army Colonel Kim Young-ok”, “Army General Paik Sun-yup”, “the former Air Force Chief of Staff Kim Doo-man”, “Army Colonel Kim Dong-seok”, and “Marine Colonel Park Jung-mo”.


“We have no place to be further pushed here. Please shoot me if I retreat.” Paik Sun-yup

Army General Paik Sun-yup, who was selected by the U.S. government as the four major heroes of the Korean War, destroyed three North Korean divisions in the battle of Tabu-dong, where 30% of the North’s total power was concentrated. If the division led by him had been defeated in that battle, the Nakdonggang River front would have collapsed, and with a high probability, North Korea would have won the Korean War and unified the region under communism. Paik Sun-yup led 1st Division to victory, despite their poor troops, while famously declaring “Shoot me if I retreat.” Like Kim Won-bong, who is a person with conflicting reviews, a great independence activist and a trigger for the Korean War, he is considered a pro-Japanese group who defeated independence activists and a hero who led to victory in the Korean war.


“I came to Korea to win.” James Van Fleet

James Van Fleet served as the 8th U.S. military commander during the Korean War and kept the battlefield until the end, saying, “I came here to win, and if you do not want to fight with me, go home right away.” He is also called the “Father of Korean soldiers” because he contributed to the strengthening of the Korean military by establishing the Korea Military Academy.


“Fly in The Sky with Belief.” Dean Hess

During the Korean War, Dean Hess took charge of the BOUT-1 unit established by the U.S. Air Force to train F-51 fighter jets and train combat pilots, transforming the early Korean Air Force, which was a barren land for air operations, into a combat force, and is thus called the “Godfather of the Korean Air Force.” In addition, he is widely called “the father of Korean orphans.” He contributed to transporting more than 1,000 war orphans from Seoul to Jeju Island when the Chinese People’s Support Army came down during the January 4 retreat in 1951.

The freedom of the South Korea has survived thanks to the sacrifices of veterans who risked their lives thinking of the South Korea as their own country. The Ajou Globe (The AG) hopes people will watch the video and have more time to learn and commemorate veterans that people have not known or only knew their names.


 

By Kim Min-ji, AG Senior Editor

mmoboo77@ajou.ac.kr

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