War Wounds: Korea 1952
by Zakary Scott

"That was where the Navy wanted me, but there was no place to hide on a beach. I could be easily seen and shot. I desperately looked around."

The Korean War is often called "The Forgotten War" in the United States. Sandwiched between World War II and the Vietnam War, the three-year conflict caused over a million casualties but has never captured the public's attention as much as other twentieth century wars. Yet those who served in Korea had their lives forever changed by the experience, even if, as was the case with the author, no one seemed to notice when they returned home.

Scott's engaging memoir begins on his arrival in Japan in 1952. Before he even leaves the troop ship, however, he is given the unexpected task of being put in charge of making sure that all of the Navy personnel make it to the base, a job that will be plagued by transportation issues. This is merely the first of a series of unplanned adventures where Scott finds himself having to step out of his comfort zone and deal with crisis. The author has to use his wits to survive in the open sea, avoid enemy patrols when alone in North Korean territory, deal with the loss of his identification papers, perform emergency medical procedures with only a limited amount of training, and engage in a host of other often unpleasant and graphically depicted situations during his tour of duty.

Fans of M*A*S*H will undoubtedly see similarities between the TV show's fictionalized accounts and the author's own memories of wartime medical procedures, as well as the amorous and alcoholic interludes that seemed to typify the war for many of those involved. Entertaining and enlightening, Scott's book dusts off a frequently neglected chapter in our national story.

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