In September 1949, twenty year old Bill Skinner was sworn into the United States Army, little knowing that in less than one year, he too, like his father, would be subjected to frigid Asian winters.
In 1950, the North Korean Army invaded South Korea and quickly pushed the surprised South Korean Army and their American allies into a small corner of the Korean peninsula known as the Pusan Perimeter. While this military debacle was taking place, Bill was stationed in Japan with the 7th Infantry Division, out of harm’s way.
The Incheon Landing
Boots Too Small and Freezing Cold
Bill’s father, Austin, had told his son about the Siberian winters with temperatures fifty and sixty below zero. Fighting his way north with the 7th Infantry Division, 31st Polar Bear Regiment, Bill endured cold he had never known before, and which was only believable because his father had told him about his own Siberian experience. Ill fitting boots and lack of winter clothing proved troublesome to Bill, but the worst was yet to come.
Chinese Intervention and the Surrender
Prisoner of War and Repatriation
Right: Bill Skinner about the time he was released.
Today, Bill resides in Clarksburg. In 1980, he was instrumental in the formation of the West Virginia prisoner of war association known as Mountaineer Barbed Wire Chapter No 1.