Leaders and Scoundrels
Someone in high authority will have to make up his mind as to what is our goal.
Gen. Oliver Smith
Though hundreds of military men and women served in responsible positions during the Korean War, few, other than General of the Army Douglas A. MacArthur, are remembered. Certainly General MacArthur, heroic leader of World War I and World War II, as well as occupation commander of Japan, deserves to be remembered. But he is often remembered only at the cost of acknowledging the significant participation made by others.
But there were many who made a meaningful impact on the United Nations mission in Korea--a not just because they were dedicated soldiers, though most were. It was not just because they did their jobs in some incredible manner. Rather, they represent all those who, having been given a job, did it to the best of their ability. Some were leaders, one or two were scoundrels, but all provide interesting pictures of the war.
Obviously the selection of persons to be included in either category is arbitrary and subject to disagreement. Just as obviously, these people are all on the United Nations side; I have not chosen North Korean or Chinese leaders. These, appearing in no special order, are my selections.
General Walker rose to command Eighth Army in Korea by means of a career pattern typical for general officers. His assignments included the Meuse- Argonne campaign during World War I. In 1943 he accepted command of XX Corps, which was then assigned to Gen. George S. Patton's Third Army. After World War II, Walker was sent to Chicago to command Fifth Army. Then, in 1948, he was assigned to Japan to assume command of the Eighth U.S. Army.
When the Korean War broke out, General Walker had been ordered to take Eighth Army to the defense of South Korea. Pushed back by the North Korean