Streaming Media


Oral History interview of Thomas Thiel. Interview conducted by Thiel, Thomas at Mount Dota Public Library in Mount Dora, FL.


0:00 Introduction; 0:42 Early Life; 1:05 Life on a Farm/ Working on a farm; 4:05 Disconnected nature of rural life/ Growing up on a farm; 5:36 Family Members drafted; 6:25 The prominence and effect of the draft on everyday life; 8:30 Receiving a draft notice/ Feelings on the draft/ Friends who were drafted; 9:55 Family reaction to the draft notice/ News of the Korean War before being drafted; 11:10 Basic Training/ Composition of Basic Training Unit; 13:25 Day to Day Life in Basic Training/ Infiltration Course in Basic Training; 17:00 Departure to Korea; 21:00 Value of typing skills; 21:49 Landing in Korea/ Personal beliefs about role in Korea; 24:51 Additional Training in Korea; 26:31 Assignment to Easy Company/2nd Battalion/ 24th Infantry Division/ Korean Native Help to American Military units; 28:32 Recoilless Rifle and Mortar Training/ Targets of Recoilless Rifle/ Usage of Recoilless Rifle, Mortars, and Rocket weaponry; 33:04 The loss of hometown friends during the war/ Friendly Fire from Air Force or Artillery; 36:37 Letters written to dead comrades/ Friendly Fire; 40:41 Instructor in an infiltration course; 41:11 Life on a Korean Hillside/ Importance of "Loving Mother Earth" or digging cover; 42:57 Operation NOMAD/ Memorable Death of a young soldier; 48:25 Frequency of Hill operations/ Corps Reserve role; 50:42 Integration of Segregated Units/ Buildup to Operation NOMAD; 52:34 Personal Research about NOMAD, writings of NOMAD, and personal memories of NOMAD; 56:14 History of the early war and other veterans' service; 58:00 Effect on military service on personal belief system; 58:42 Chinese military tactics/ Mass infantry charge; 1:00:10 Reflection on evolution on American Military; 1:01:20 History of development of Korean War; 1:04:25 Korean friend's story about Chinese Invasion; 1:07:10 Encounter with Chinese soldiers; 1:09:15 Battle of Woonson from American and Chinese perspective; 1:10:45 Losing Comrades/ Most Memorable- Leaving Korea; 1:12:00 Final Assignment in the Army.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Upper Sandusky (Ohio)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State


War or Conflict

Korean Conflict



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Army

Unit of Service


Location of Service


Highest Rank

Sergeant First Class; SFC

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury



See the video

City of Birth

Upper Sandusky

Country of Birth

United States


Thiel, Thomas

Interview Date


Location of Interview

Mount Dota Public Library in Mount Dora, FL.


Thiel, Thomas J.; Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Personal Narratives; United States. Army

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES; University of Central Florida


Thiel, Thomas

Length of Interview

101 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida


Video; MovingImage


All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576.


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type