INT: Now you were in Korea when the war ended, July 1953. There'd been very heavy casualties on the American side, the rest of the UN force, enormous casualties on the Korean people, the Chinese people. Did you feel at the time, when the war came to an end, that it had been worth it?
JG: Well, I think as the war went on, and the losses became greater than anyone had anticipated that there began to be some question about whether the sacrifice was more than we were gaining. I personally didn't feel that way. I thought we had done the right thing in trying to push back what I saw as a straight Communist incursion, but it was an expensive war. We had lost a lot of people. We think of the Vietnam War, that became most unpopular in this country, and it was a war that went on for almost ten years and in that war, about fifty eight million... I'm sorry, fifty eight thousand Americans lost their lives. Now Korea is almost the forgotten war, in that we didn't pay that much attention to our losses in Korea, but in Korea, in a three year war, we lost fifty three thousand people. So per day or war, or per year, if you want to put it on that basis, it was a more lethal combat exchange than was the Vietnamese War, you can't compare one with another, of course, but it was... I think one reason that the Korean War didn't get more attention or didn't go down in the history books as a major type conflict wasn't that there weren't enough people killed, there certainly were. But I think it came so soon after World War Two. Nobody really after all the devastation of World War Two and hundreds of thousands of people being killed and casualties all over the world, and then we went back into a peace-time mode and we sort of disarmed ourselves and all the allies did the same thing. Well then came Korea and we committed ourselves to Korea and the United Nations forces there and that we were the United States of course was the major force in that UN effort and it was something that I think because it came so soon after all the devastation of World War Two, it just didn't get the same attention as even the Vietnam War did later on. And so I was glad some years ago to help sponsor the Vietnam memorial, because I felt that there had not been that proper attention given to something and I hoped that history would show that there were people who went out there and did some things that worth while doing at the time in trying to preserve freedom and trying to prevent the North from over-running South Korea.
INT: I think you've done a tremendous amount...
INT: You've done a lot to put the forgotten war back in the front of people's minds and memories, in the Korean War memorial and in your writings and so on. But taking back to what you felt at the time, did you feel as a flyer in Korea that the campaign was forgotten, that people back home in the United States weren't really following what was going on, weren't interested in what was going on? Did that come across to you at the time?
JG: Some of the feeling of lack of public interest did come across at the time, because we were certainly aware in Korea of the growing disenchantment with the Korean War. But at the same time, I don't think we dwelt on that. We were there, we were in combat, we were in daily flights going up and you didn't ponder too much at this when… You know, war focuses your attention very, very much to your oindividual situation and we were more concerned with that than with aelse. Some of the uncertainty of the war had been... that was early in the days of the war when they moved up and down the peninsular a couple of times and by the time I was in the Korean War, the lines had pretty well stabilised and were there and there was still a lot of active fighting and still a lot of people being killed, but the lines were more static at that time and so it wasn't one of these fluid situations where you weren't even sure which troops it was you were looking at on the ground. It was more of a static situation and so we knew where the bomb line was, we had maps that accurately portrayed where our troops were and where their troops were and so we knew pretty well where to hit. After the war, when I came back then to the States, I was very proud of the action I had been in in the Korean War, as were the other pilots also. And I think no matter what anyone might have thought as far as big international policy went, we were proud of the way we had acquitted ourselves in that war. And I still feel that way about it today. When I think of the Korean War and when I helped sponsor the Korean War memorial here, it's not for me, I don't look at it that way at all. I don't need a memorial to remind me of what happened in that war. I can remember very vividly seeing someone shot down, a friend of mine going down and the things we did and staying over that person and trying to get help in, a helicopter and things like that. Doing things maybe to try and get him out that would be considered foolish by anybody that just looks at it objectively, but those are my memories of the war. But I think in something where we had fifty three thousand Americans that sacrificed their lives, as well as those from other nations too, I want to see that memorial so that people would remember, so that my grandchildren, when they come to Washington and look at that, will know that there was some sacrifice back in those days. And I guess that's the way we look at every war memorial, but the Korean War memorial has a very special meaning to me, because of that. When I go over there, I can remember what happened. I can remember people that were in crashes or watching a parachute come down, a friend, and seeing a person shot down and things like that that are just as vivid, seems to me as though they happened yesterday, not clear back in the 1950s, so that's what the Korean War memorial is all about.
INT: Thank you very much.
END OF INTERVIEW