Example Grand Marshall Bios

1) William Bender

  • US Marine Corps
  • 1st Marine Brigade, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division
  • Sergeant
  • Served as radio high speed operator
  • Dates in Korea: June 28, 1950 – Feb 17, 1951
  • Participated in the battles at Pusan perimeter, Nakdong River, Inchon Landing, Gimpo airfield, Han River crossing, securing of Seoul, Yudamni to Hagaru to Chosin Reservoir, Masan.
  • Was wounded with shrapnel in the left leg in the Pusan perimeter battles.
  • After the Korean War, Mr. Bender was responsible for training NATO forces in Mediterranean countries in calling in air support and landing by sea. He served in Italy, France, Germany, Egypt, and Greece.
  • Member of the Arizona Chosin Few

2) David Bothwell

  • US Marine Corps
  • 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.
  • Corporal
  • Served as a battalion supply sergeant. Responsible for handling supplies for the troops and also served on guard duty in the DMZ area.
  • Dates in Korea: April 19, 1954 – 1955
  • Places of service: 38 th Parallel and DMZ area, Imjin River
  • Served as Commander of West Valley Chapter of Korean War Veterans Association.
  • When asked why he enlisted, he says, “Korean War was going on and thought it was my duty to serve my country. I am really proud of having served there.”

3) Lew Bradley

  • US Marine Corps
  • 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Aircraft Group 12, Marine Aircraft Maintenance Squadron 12
  • Sergeant
  • Helicopter Rescue Crew Chief. Responsible for rescuing pilots whose planes had gone down. Performed maintenance of the helicopters and other aircrafts.
  • Dates in Korea: May 1952 – November 1953
  • Place of service: Pyongtaek (K-6) Marine Air Base, Pohang (K-3) Marine Air Base near Daegu
  • Participates in Unified Arizona Veterans, Commander of Arden Rowley Chapter of Korean War Veterans Association of Arizona. Inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame.

4) John Collins

  • US Air Force
  • 18th Fighter Bomber Wing
  • Airman First Class
  • Places of service: US Air base K-55 at Osan, Korea
  • Dates in Korea: January 1953 to November of 1953
  • Served as radio mechanic in the 18th Communication Squadron.
  • Responsible for the base communication center in telephone/teletype carrier maintenance and troubleshooting. His job was to keep long distance lines of communication open. Most of the time, he worked at night, seven days a week.
  • He says, “We lost nearly as many men in three years in Korea as we lost in the ten years of Vietnam. I hope people will remember those numbers. I sincerely hope there will be a day when the Korean War isn’t called the Forgotten War.”

5) John Fleet

  • US Army
  • 8th Combat Engineers, 1st Calvary Division
  • Sergeant 1st Class
  • Dates in Korea:
    • 1st tour during Korean War- September 1950 – August 1951
    • 2nd tour in Korea- 1959 – 1960
  • Served as Combat medic, provided medical treatment for his platoon. His job was to treat the wounded and stay on the front lines with the troops. Jeeps would come up and take the wounded back to the battalion aid station.
  • Places of battle: Pusan perimeter battles, Unsan, North Korea, Battle of Chipyong-ni, Operation Killer, Chorwon
  • Special awards: Bronze Star
  • After the Korean War, he went back to serve a second tour in Korea and then went on to serve in the Vietnam War as well.
  • He says about the Korean War, “we were sent there to prevent South Korea from being taken over by communism. We went to help the Korean people and it was a worthy war. I was honored to have taken part in it.”

6) Richard Graham

  • US Marine Corps
  • Easy Company, 3rd platoon, 2nd battalion, 1st Marines Division
  • Dates in Korea-September 15, 1950 to August 11, 1951
  • Places of battle: Participated in the Inchon Landing, battles at Youngdeungpo, retaking of Seoul, Chosin Reservoir (Changjin) battles, Koto-ri, Masan, Andong, Wonju, Operation Killer, Hill 676
  • Private First Class and promoted to Corporal in May 1951
  • Served as Rifleman
  • Special Medals or Commendations: Bronze Star with Combat V for Valor
  • He belongs to the Marine Corp League. Member of the Arizona Chosin Few
  • Mr. Graham says that the Korean War experience made him into a stronger person.

7) Robert Hnizdil

  • US 8th Army
  • I Corps, 1st Field Artillery Observation Battalion, HQ Battery and 8th Army, 443rd Quartermaster Battalion, 569th Office Machine Repair Detachment
  • Corporal
  • Dates in Korea: November 1952 to February 1954
  • Places served: Chorwon area, 38 th parallel, Uijongbu, Dongduchon
  • Responsible for managing and distributing supplies to support the artillery battalion.
  • Member of the West Valley Chapter of Korean War Veterans Association
  • He says, “It would have been great then as it would be today, if Americans knew about the Korean War and of the Communist threat of North Korea, China and Russia. It was not known then and probably never will be known, how close we came to the use of atomic weapons and World War III”

8) Robert Johnson

  • U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  • Headquarters and Service Company, 7th Regiment, 1st Marine Division
  • Responsible for motor transport
  • Corporal
  • Dates in Korea: September 1950 – Sept 1951
  • Participated in Inchon Landing, Battle of Seoul, Chosin Reservoir battles, Masan
  • Currently serves and has served for the past 17 years, as the President of Arizona Chosin Few.
  • He says of the Korean War, “We stopped Communist aggression. More study should be given to the Korean War in American schools.”

9) Nelson Ladd

  • US Army
  • 84th Engineers Construction Battalion, 2nd Engineering Group Headquarters company, 8th Infantry Division.
  • Corporal
  • Cleared land mines at Panmunjom in preparation for the POW exchange, participated in the construction of the Libby Bridge at Imin River, Participated in construction for refugee shelters after Pusan Fire.
  • Dates in Korea : April 1953- July 1954
  • Places of service: Munsan, Imjin River, Pusan, Seoul, Uijongbu
  • He says, “Saving Korea was worth it. Korea became a democracy. They took advantage and made tremendous strides to go forward. Now they are helping other countries and giving back. That is what makes it worth it. “

10) Wes Stapleton

  • US Army
  • 44th Engineer Group, 546th Engineer Fire Fighting Company. The 546 th Engineer Fire Fighting Group was later renamed as 8075 th Army Unit Fire Fighting Group.
  • Sergeant First Class
  • Dates in Korea –
    • First tour in Korea- 1946
    • Second tour during Korean War – January 1953- April 1954
  • Place of Service, Busan, Korea
  • Responsible for leading all American and Korean fire fighters in Pusan. Responsible for protecting all UN military supply warehouses and millions of Korean refugees in Pusan from fire hazards.
  • Special Medals and Honors- Received the Legion of Merit from US Military for his service as Fire Chief in Korea.
  • Currently, he serves as the Commander of West Valley Chapter of Korean War Veterans Association of Arizona.

11) Donald Taylor

  • US Marine Corps
  • Marine Transport Squadron, 1st Marine Air Wing
  • Corporal
  • Served as crew chief and aircraft mechanic- R5D- four engine transports- in charge of the airplane and assist the pilots on takeoff and landing. Transported troops and supplies.
  • Dates served in Korea War: 1952-1953
  • Places served in Korea: all US airfields in Korea- Pusan, Seoul, Gimpo, Pytongtaek, etc.
  • Past commander of Arden Rowley Chapter of Korean War Veterans Association. Volunteer with the USO Arizona. Served as VFW District and Post Commander. Inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame
  • He enlisted because he “always wanted to be a Marine. We defended the Korean people from Communist aggression. I just wish there was peace in Korea today. “
Daisy Mountain Veterans
Scroll to Top