Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Heungam Evacuation - Ned Forney

At the bi-monthly lecture on Korea hosted by the Royal Asiactic Society, Ned Forney shared the remarkable and largely untold story of the United Nation’s first humanitarian operation and the largest US military amphibious evacuation of civilians, under combat conditions, in American history. Ned’s grandfather, the late Edward H. Forney, a colonel in the US Marine Corps, was attached to the US Army X Corps during the first six months of the Korean War. As the senior Marine working for Gen. Edward Almond, the commanding officer of X Corps, Forney helped plan the Incheon and Wonsan Landings and was then the evacuation control officer for the Heungnam withdrawal in December 1950.

During the 15-day operation, over 105,000 US, ROK, and British servicemen were evacuated, along with 17,500 jeeps, trucks, tractors, artillery pieces, and tanks and 350,000 tons of fuel, ammo, and supplies. It was not simply another Dunkirk. In addition to the military withdrawal, 100,000 North Korean refugees were also rescued from Heungnam. Colonel Forney, Admiral James Doyle, the US Navy commander responsible for the naval operations during the withdrawal, and Dr. Hyun Bong-hak, a Korean civil affairs officers and interpreter attached to X Corps, all played a pivotal role in the historic, unprecedented operation.

There are an estimated one million descendants of the Hungnam evacuees now living in freedom in South Korea, the United States, and throughout the world. ROK President Moon Jae-in is one of them. With the support of the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs (MPVA) and the Hungnam Evacuation Memorial Committee, Ned has interviewed 30 former Hungnam refugees and during his lecture will weave their tragic stories into the larger untold saga of the Hungnam Evacuation. 

Write up on the presentation via the RASKB website and this picture as posted in a RASKB email
Ned Forney writes and presents extensively on the evacuation and the people effected. Following are direct links to his homepage with content related to the Hungnam Evacuation:
Korean War Babies Born on the Meredith
More on the Heungam Evacuation
Other Forney Heungam-related articles

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