Oral History interview of Don Leitstein. Interview conducted by Josh Webb at Lady Lake, Florida.
0:30 Birth place and birth date; 0:45 Growing up in Brooklyn, New York; 1:50 Siblings; 2:25 Previous family military service; 3:50 Parents occupation; 4:45 Quit school to work; 5:30 Pushes draft up; 6:10 Reaction to Korean Conflict; 7:10 Reason for pushing draft number up; 7:50 Reaction to the armistice; 8:35 Entering basic training; 9:05 Initial impressions of the military; 10:10 Making friends in the military; 10:40 Going through the training at boot camp and the gas chamber; 11:50 Radar school at Ft. Bliss, Texas; 12:45 Dealing with Antisemitism and racism; 14:00 Dealing with new weather and wildlife in Texas; 15:00 Playing sports in free time; 16:23 Visited friend in El Paso; 17:15 Communicating with family while at Ft. Bliss; 17:40 Shipped by plane to Korea; 18:35 Getting to Korea, and then to unit; 19:30 Feelings on arriving to his unit; 21:10 Duties at Inchon, Korea; 22:50 Dangerous moments while in Korea; 24:30 Winters in Korea; 24:53 Free time in Korea; 25:50 Segregation and discrimination in the unit; 27:30 Communicating with family back home; 28:10 DMZ and moving around Korea; 29:30 Working at headquarters after the armistice; 31:05 Returning home and discharge; 33:15 Transitioning to civilian life; 34:25 Reaction from the community on return from Korea and job prospects; 36:00 Gets a job installing flooring and gets married; 38:30 Decide to retire in Florida, moves to Fort Lauderdale and then the Villages; 40:00 Involvement with veterans' organizations; 40:45 Advice for people joining the service; 42:35 Escorting a prisoner back to headquarters; 43:30 Encountering enemy infiltrating compound; 44:30 Digging latrines due to Article 15 and fighting with comrades; 46:05 Not wanting to talk about service; 46:55 Conclusion.
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
White - Non Hispanic
War or Conflict
Begin/End date of Service - 1st
Entrance into Service
Branch of Service
Unit of Service
68th Antiaircraft Artillery (AAA) Gun Battalion, 8th Army
Location of Service
Inchon (Korea); Uijeongbu (South Korea)
Prisoner of War
Service Related Injury
National Defense Medal; Governor's Medal; Korean Defense Service Medal
Radar Tech, forward Observer Azimuth Operator 90 MM Antiaircraft Gun.
Served in Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
City of Birth
Country of Birth
Location of Interview
Lady Lake, Florida.
Leitstein, Don; Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Personal Narratives; United States. Army
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
Length of Interview
Department of History, University of Central Florida
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. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/
University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UCF Community Veterans History Project
Central Florida, RICHES of, "Leitstein, Don interview" (2015). Veterans Oral Histories. 387.