Interview with Gasper J. “Gus” Impiccini

From the interview with Gasper J. “Gus” Impiccini of Clarksville, PA conducted by Rick Martinez by phone from the Fort Worden History Center on November 16,2004. Mr. Impiccini served in the US Army Co.D 532 EBSR 2nd Engineer Special Brigade, from 1949 to 1952. He was stationed at Fort Worden from June 1949 to July 1950. He took part in the Inchon Landing in September 1950, and served in Korea for 14 months in total. Here he discusses his experiences:

“The landing was tough on me because they started hitting that beach about two o’clock in the morning, says full pack and rifles, you’re going to shore. I was scared. I didn’t remember what to do, couldn’t run. All of our LST equipment was on there, we could see it sitting in the mud on shore. We set up the beach head there and started bringing troops and equipment.

…I have some shrapnel in my chest from North Korea but it wasn’t major or anything. …I do not know how I survived. We weren’t equipped for that conflict. We didn’t have great shoes with insulated boots. We were over there with those engineer boots and that’s it. And our clothes, had no clothes at all to keep us warm….A few guys were killed in our outfit. It wasn’t nice, you know.

…When I first got to Fort Worden I thought it was the end of the world because there’s a lot of rednecks up there. I wasn’t used to that kind of people. To tell the truth, they were all good guys after I got to know them all. They looked after me good. A lot were World War II veterans, and that’s why I’m still here today, because they were in combat before and they knew all the angles.

…When we were in North Korea, when we made the big push up there in Hungnam, they brought us in a Merchant Marine ship with supplies. They went on strike. It was kind of discouraging to all of us. We went on board and unloaded it. Some of the other guys from Company D would know too, because we were up there in winches and unloaded their ship. We had guys stationed there with loaded rifles in case those Merchant Marines had any problem with our guys working the winches unloading that cargo. It’s sad, wartime and then they went on strike and they wouldn’t unload the ship.”

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