Friday, September 24, 2021

Beginning ~ in 1946


"In Seoul, Korea, on June 15, 1946, only days before he sailed for home after World War II, my dad, Major Warren William McAllister, was presented with a jade locket by four Korean insurance companies.  He carried the locket home in his breast pocket instead of shipping it, because, he said, it was very valuable, and things could go missing if mailed through the military APO."

The Jade Locket and the Red Star: An Untold History of the Invasion of Okinawa and Why Korea Is Now Two Countries Instead of One ~ by Joan Uda, 2012, memoir/history, 281 pages

Until the end of WWII, Korea was a single nation.  In July 1945 as the war ended, Joseph Stalin’s Red Army had already pushed south of the 38th parallel in Korea.  A group of American military officers, to prevent Stalin from taking all of Korea, drew a line separating North Korea from South Korea, and rushed American soldiers through Inchon Harbor into Seoul.  This American action created the division in Korea that still exists today.  South Korea has an enormously successful economy, and North Korea is still a starving military dictatorship threatening to send missiles against the USA.  Major Warren W. McAllister, U.S. Army, was on the first ship into Inchon.  This is Major McAllister’s story, based on two years of research, the major's 201 file, his complete military file of orders and other documents, plus letters, photos, and personal recollections.

I'm calling this a memoir as well as history (as in the title) because the first part reads like a memoir to me.  And then I found that Joan Uda, the author, also called it a memoir:
"Before I began this memoir, I assumed that the American soldiers heading to Korea from Okinawa would have received an in-depth briefing about Korea" (p. 160).

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