Online Library of Selected Images:
-- EVENTS - The Korean War, 1950-1953

Activities in the United States
Overview and Selected Images



Seeing the Korean War as but one part of a global Communist challenge, the United States and its allies were spurred to undertake a substantial military buildup, ultimately reaching force levels much greater than had previously been acceptable. Before this began in earnest, however, critical shortages of men and materiel needed in Korea had to be addressed.

Beginning in July 1950, World War II era aircraft, ships and other equipment were withdrawn from "mothballs", quickly refurbished and placed back in service. Units were redeployed and new ones formed for early employment in the war zone. Naval reservists left their civilian occupations to return to active duty. Transportation systems were enhanced and industrial production increased. Naval and military hospital workloads greatly expanded as injured men were brought home for treatment.

Stateside defense activities accelerated into 1951 and were sustained during the next two years, as the Korean fighting peaked and then stabilized. Ship reactivations and modernizations continued. New aircraft, weapons and equipment were manufactured. Naval shipbuilding again got seriously underway, with urgently needed minesweepers heading the list of new types. As veterans returned home after completing their terms in the war zone, citizens were brought into the service, trained and sent overseas.

Politically, the Truman Administration's policy of limiting the war in Korea, while applying greater resources to the defenses of Europe and other strategically vital areas, provoked an intense controversy. As the war went on, the national attitude soured to a resigned sense that Korea was a war "we can't win, we can't lose, we can't quit", but was not accompanied by the vigorous protests that marked a later generation's limited war.

This page features a special image selection of Korean War activities in the United States.

For broader pictorial coverage of domestic Korean War activities, see:

  • Activities in the United States, June - December 1950;
  • Activities in the United States, 1951 - July 1953
  • A precis of our Korean War images, and links to more comprehensive pictorial coverage of that conflict:

  • The Korean War, June 1950 - July 1953 - Introductory Overview and Special Image Selection

  • Click the photograph to prompt a larger view

    Photo #: NH 97026

    "A Marine bids farewell to his wife and two daughters as elements of the famed Second Marine Division leave for the West Coast."


    This photo was probably taken as part of the 2nd Marine Division was sent from the Atlantic Coast to California to help form the 7th Marine Regiment, circa August 1950. The 7th Marines subsequently were sent to Korea in time to take part in the liberation of Seoul late in September.
    Quoted sentence is from the original picture caption. The photograph was published in "All Hands" magazine's March 1951 issue.

    Official U.S. Marine Corps Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 113KB; 740 x 615 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 96999

    Vought F4U-4 "Corsair" fighter


    "Corsairs Re-activated at San Diego"
    "Approximately 30 F4Us were recently de-mothballed at the Naval Air Station, San Diego. The fleet Navy fighters had rested in the preservative 'cans' for over two years."
    "After a brief testing period the Corsairs will be ready for operation."
    "Each humidity-controlled, sealed 'can' housed four Corsairs."
    Quoted caption was released with this photo on 26 July 1950. The photograph was taken by PHC Shireman, with caption written by JOC Samuelson.
    If the photograph was taken at the time of release, this represents an early view of Korean War "De-mothballing" of Navy ships, aircraft and equipment.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 114KB; 740 x 625 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 97005

    USS Cape Esperance (CVE-88)


    Raising the flag as the ship is recommissioned for Korean War service, at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, 5 August 1950.
    Members of the color detail are (from left to right):
    Quartermaster First Class Howard L. Foley, USNR;
    Seaman Bobby G. Young, USN
    Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Alva L. Dixon, USN;
    Seaman Apprentice Raymond E. Garcia, USN, and
    Seaman Cesar C. Abrajano, USN.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 121KB; 740 x 625 pixels

     
    Photo #: 80-G-427319

    USS Naifeh (DE-352)


    Crew salutes the National Ensign as Naifeh is recommissioned for Korean War service, at San Diego, California, 26 January 1951.
    Her Commanding Officer is Lieutenant Commander Cornelius J. Smits.
    Note 20mm guns in protective fabric covers on Naifeh's after deck.
    Escort Ships (DE) and Fast Transports (APD) laid up in reserve in the background are identified in Photo # 80-G-427319 (Complete Caption).

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 139KB; 740 x 620 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: 80-G-447599

    USS Impervious (AM-449)


    Is christened by Miss Mary Lin Moore, during launching ceremonies at the Martinolich Shipbuilding Company shipyard, San Diego, California, 29 August 1952.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 92KB; 590 x 765 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: NH 97031

    USS PC-581


    Alongside the Long Wharf in Newport, Rhode Island, just before she got underway to greet the ships of Escort Destroyer Division Sixty-One as they returned from a deployment to the Korean War zone on 14 March 1951.
    "CortDesDiv61", an Atlantic Fleet unit, had left Newport on 5 July 1950, and subsequently deployed to Korea via the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal. It returned to Newport via the Panama Canal, thus circumnavigating the Earth. The Division's ships were USS Fred T. Berry (DDE-858), the Division Flagship, USS Norris (DDE-859), USS McCaffery (DDE-860) and USS Keppler (DDE-765).

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 115KB; 740 x 605 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 97111

    USS Essex (CV-9)


    "Marine Corps Recruit Depot band and huge crowd welcome the aircraft carrier USS Essex at San Diego, Tuesday morning."
    Photograph and caption released by Commander Air Force, Pacific Fleet, Naval Air Station, San Diego, California, under date of 25 March 1952.
    Essex was returning to the U.S. from her first Korean War deployment.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 124KB; 640 x 675 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 95808

    USS Bataan (CVL-29)


    Photographed on 22 May 1953, as she was en route to Naval Air Station San Diego, California, following a deployment to Korean waters.
    Note crew paraded on the flight deck spelling out the word "HOME" and an arrow pointing over her bow. Aircraft on deck include 19 Grumman AF "Guardian" anti-submarine planes and a solitary Vought F4U "Corsair" fighter (parked amidships on the starboard side).

    U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 172KB; 740 x 605 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 97009

    Rear Admiral Bertram J. Rodgers, USN
    ,
    Commandant, Twelfth Naval District

    Shakes hands with Corporal Harry Beeson, USMC, after presenting him with his second Purple Heart medal in ceremonies at Oakland Naval Hospital, California, 20 September 1950. Corporal Beeson had previously been wounded in action during World War II, and again during the early part of the Korean War.
    On this occasion, RAdm. Rodgers presented Purple Heart medals to more than 115 Marine Corps, Navy and Army veterans of Korean War action. They were the first Purple Hearts awarded since the end of the Second World War.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 159KB; 740 x 615 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 94946

    Lieutenant Sarah Josephine Griffin, USN(NC) (Retired)


    Assists an injured Korean War veteran as he learns to use his two artificial legs, at the Rehabilitation Center, Naval Hospital, Oakland, California, 1951.
    Lieutenant Griffin, who had lost her lower left leg as a result of an accident, was recalled to active duty during the Korean War to work with other personnel who had suffered the loss of limbs.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Navy Nurse Corps Collections at the Naval History & Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 101KB; 600 x 765 pixels

     



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