Department of Defense photographers recorded the Americans who fought and served in the Korean War. In 2012, a veterans group turned over a collection of 138 photos taken in the first three months of the conflict to Betty Perkins-Carpenter, who’s spent the last three years trying to identify all the American and Koreans pictured in the collection. Perkins-Carpenter is an 83-year-old Air Force Veteran who trained stateside soldiers in water safety during the conflict.
Tiana Stephens and Betty Perkins-Carpenter show off a selection of the Korean war photos.
The collection was originally given to the Monroe County chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association by Brenda Clattenberg, whose father collected the prints while he worked at the Batavia Daily News. The veterans association enlisted Perkins-Carpenter to research the images. Based on the captions on the back of each image, these look like photos the DoD sent to American newspapers looking to cover the war.
In commemoration of the cease fire that ended the conflict on June 27, 1953, Perkins-Carpenter has partnered with Kodak and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle newspaper to create a digital archive of the images that you can see here.
The project is looking for help in identifying as many people as possible in the photos. If you served in Korea or have a family member who did, check out the images and see if you know anyone. Even if you’ve got no direct connection to that conflict, it’s a telling and insightful collection of images showing soldiers at war.