Korean War - Burial of American Dead

Description
Carl Mydans was coming to the end of his assignment as TIME-LIFE bureau chief in Tokyo when North Korea decided to invade South Korea. During the first few weeks of the Korean War, the fighting was referred to as nothing more than a "police action." Once casualties began to increase, the conflict became a war.
Undermanned American forces were sent to quell the situation and the consequences can be seen in images such as this. On assignment for LIFE, Mydans followed a fresh battalion of the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division in its mission to strengthen the American defense line near Yong Dong. The effort was futile because some of the units had been cut off or infiltrated by greater numbers of North Korean forces, leading to retreat.
Back at the medical station, the wounded slowly began arriving. Eventually, the bodies of the dead were buried in an impersonal grave a few miles from where they died. In this photograph, Chaplain John G. Burkhalter reads a prayer while the shrouded bodies of 21 men are lowered and placed side by side in this grave near Kumch'on.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
photograph
Date made
1950
photographer
Mydans, Carl
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 13 1/2 in x 9 in; 34.29 cm x 22.86 cm
place made
Korea
ID Number
2005.0228.130
accession number
2005.0228
catalog number
2005.0228.130
subject
Photography
Carl Mydans
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Carl Mydans
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.