We welcome 88-year-old Bud Mendenhall of Fort Wayne, Indiana, to talk about his Navy service in the Korean War, when he participated in the Siege of Wonsan, the longest naval blockade in modern history.

Bud dropped out of school at age 17 in 1952 to join the Navy and “see the world.” After Boot Camp at Great Lakes and Gunner Mate training, he got assigned to the USS Carmick (DMS-33), a WWII destroyer converted into a destroyer minesweeper for the Korean War. The Carmick headed for the North Korean port city of Wonsan, a strategically critical location and one of the most heavily-mined harbors in the world. There, the US Navy shelled the city continuously while sweeping the approaches for mines. Meanwhile, from shore, North Korean gun batteries kept up fire on the ships at sea. Two minesweepers were sunk and dozens more US ships damaged by enemy fire. It was dangerous work. “We were scared all of the time,” says Bud.

Bud will be joining us from Fort Wayne’s Veterans National Memorial Shrine and Museum which hosts, among other things, a permanent Vietnam Wall that is an 80% size replica of the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. Come hear about the museum, life aboard a Korean War destroyer, and a critical naval operation of the Korean War.

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