On June 25, 1950, the Korean War begins when North Korean troops invade South Korea, but the report goes largely unnoticed in Seattle. Seattle's principal role during the three-year conflict will be as a port of embarkation through which personnel and materiel flow to the Far East.
News of the invasion by North Korea came on a Sunday. The first indication of the seriousness of the event came the next day when military installations in Puget Sound and in Alaska were placed on full alert. Even after President Harry S. Truman ordered U.S. Troops to Korea to aid in its defense, servicemen enroute to the Far East through Seattle's Port of Embarkation at Pier 91 did not express concern. On June 30, Mayor William F. Devin (1898-1982) officially notified Civil Defense leaders of the liklihood of nuclear attack.
Air Force Captain Raymond Shillereff of Seattle became a hero on June 30 by being the first to shoot down an enemy airplane with a jet.
Seattle's first combat fatality was probably Marine Corporal Richard E. Hawley, age 22, who had attended O'Dea and Garfield High Schools. He was killed in action on August 12, 1950. Three Seattle men, Marine PFC Edward Dale Darchuck, age 19; Army Lieutenant Milfred L. Kostoff, age 25; and Marine PFC John M. Hausmann, age 18 were all killed in action on August 29.
Plans to close the Navy's Sand Point Naval Air Station were postponed and the aircraft maintenance and training activities there went to six days a week. The Boeing Co. had little direct role in the war since its military contracts were geared toward the construction of nuclear bombers. The Korean War remained conventional in nature. Boeing B-29 bombers, built during World War II and Boeing C-97 transports, built afterwards played important roles in the conflict.
The war eventually claimed more than 33,000 U.S. lives as well as approximately 3.5 million Asian lives over next three years. The state of Washington counted 558 among the dead (including at least...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document