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Oral history interview with Joseph A. Heiss, 2005.

Author: Joseph A Heiss; Mik Derks; Wisconsin Veterans Museum.; Wisconsin Public Television.
Edition/Format:   Archival material : VHS tape : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Joseph A. Heiss, a Madison, Wisconsin native, discusses his service in the 442nd Counterintelligence Corps during the Korean War.
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Details

Genre/Form: Personal narratives, American
Named Person: Joseph A Heiss; Dave Schreiner; Harry S Truman
Material Type: Videorecording
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Joseph A Heiss; Mik Derks; Wisconsin Veterans Museum.; Wisconsin Public Television.
OCLC Number: 700942325
Notes: Raw footage interview filmed by Wisconsin Public Television for its documentary series, "Wisconsin Korean War Stories."
Previously known as WCKOR083 and WCKOR084.
Event notes: Interviewed by Mik Derks on May 2, 2005 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Description: Videorecording : 2 videocassettes (ca. 30 min.); sd., col. ; 1/2 in. Transcript : 20 p. Military papers : 0.1 linear ft. (1 folder)
Details: VHS-C format.
Other Titles: Wisconsin Korean War stories.

Abstract:

Joseph A. Heiss, a Madison, Wisconsin native, discusses his service in the 442nd Counterintelligence Corps during the Korean War.

Heiss mentions enlisting a week after graduating from Madison Central High School, basic training at Fort Knox (Kentucky), welder school at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and volunteering as a chaplain's assistant. Transferred to Camp Holabird (Maryland), he speaks about duties as a Counterintelligence Corps clerk typist. While at home on leave the week before his scheduled deployment, Heiss tells of dislocating his shoulder in an ice boat accident, recuperating at a hospital at Great Lakes (Illinois), and having to defend himself against a charge of being AWOL. Assigned to Japan with the 441st Counterintelligence Corps Attachment, he states he landed in Tokyo the same day the war in Korea began. Redesignated as the 442 Counterintelligence Corps, Heiss describes landing in Pusan (Korea), moving to 8th Army Headquarters at Taegu, and being assigned the duty of unit photographer. He touches on working with a Korean Navy code-breaking unit in Seoul before being assigned to the Tactic Liaison Office (TLO). He details driving alone to Inchon and his only encounter with a Catholic chaplain while in Korea. Heiss discusses duty with the Republic of Korea Army's 7th Division, and later the 3rd Division, gathering intelligence and depositing and retrieving agents in North Korea-occupied areas. He portrays crossing a single-man pontoon bridge under fire and comments on difficulties caused by the shifting front lines. Transferred to G2 in the 3rd American Division, he talks about bringing the bored dental officer out on patrol and trying to tag along on a parachute drop with a Ranger unit. Heiss portrays coming under mortar fire, being stunned by the fancy conditions in an officer's mess, and riding a captured, soot-belching Japanese minesweeper. Heiss relates stealing a Korean truck and getting caught because they put too many numerals in the fake identification number. He explains that his replacement was killed within days of Heiss's departure. Heiss reflects on adapting to war and why he survived when his replacement died. He touches on not wearing rank and once being brought into camp under guard after forgetting the day's password. He details happening across three surrendering Chinese troops, being unable to turn them over to the military police, bringing them in to division headquarters, and repeating the same actions later after capturing a North Korean. Heiss touches on combat stress, losing a lot of weight, and being labeled as "nervous" after his return to the States. He addresses the difficulties faced by South Korean refugees and work relationships with his South Korean intelligence agents. He portrays a couple close encounters with minefields. Heiss mentions working in a message center in Japan until his return to the States, where he was assigned to Camp Holabird as a barrack sergeant. He states that no one really cared about his homecoming. He discusses being enthralled with the 1942 Badger football team as a kid and hearing that Dave Schreiner had been killed. Heiss touches on his two uncles' service during World War II and his positive opinion of President Truman.

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