Photography by Gary Wonning
The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south.
Please click on the photos for articles and photos relating to the era.
By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself. They felt, an rightfully so that communism could not be allowed to spread across the world, it had to be stopped.
Unlike World War II and Vietnam, the Korean War did not get much media attention in the United States. It became the forgotten war. The most famous representation of the war in popular culture is the television series “M*A*S*H,” which was set in a field hospital in South Korea.
Many feared it was the first step in a communist campaign to take over the world. For this reason, nonintervention was not considered an option by many top decision makers. (In fact, in April 1950, a National Security Council report known as NSC-68 had recommended that the United States use military force to “contain” communist expansionism anywhere it seemed to be occurring, “regardless of the intrinsic strategic or economic value of the lands in question.”)
The Korean War was relatively short but exceptionally bloody. Nearly 5 million people died. More than half of these–about 10 percent of Korea’s prewar population–were civilians. (This rate of civilian casualties was higher than World War II’s and Vietnam’s.) Almost 40,000 Americans died in action in Korea, and more than 100,000 were wounded.
A truce was obtained, with neither side winning, the start of an illadivised trend in American warfare that continues today.
Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.
Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.
Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.
Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.
What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.
To contact Gary: