The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » Donald M. Griffith

"If we don't tell our story, then nobody will know."

   Donald M. Griffith
Image of Donald M. Griffith
Donald M. Griffith, 2003
War: Korean War, 1950-1955
Branch: Marine Corps
Unit: F Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Regiment, 1st Marine Division
Service Location: Japan; Korea
Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
POW: Yes
Place of Birth: Toledo, OH
View Full Description

Donald Griffith's account of three years as a prisoner of North Korea reads like a laundry list of indignities, beginning with his captors' indifference to wounds he suffered immediately before his imprisonment. He was thrown into a pig pen for a month and saw a fellow G.I. lose his mind and die, he watched in horror as another soldier's diseased feet came right off with his boots, and he was temporarily blinded after being subjected to medical experiments. He cites his superior training by the Marines as an advantage in surviving his POW ordeals.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (10 clips)
»Complete Interview  (82 min.)
»Photo Album (1 photo)
More like this
»POWs in Korea or Vietnam
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (10 items)
An encounter with Bob Hope. (02:36) Coming ashore under fire at Inchon. (06:14) "Where's Korea? I never heard of it." (00:41)
Substandard diet of rice and water. (01:28) Medical experiements on prisoners. (04:08) A brief escape; confined to a pig pen. (06:00)
"Fighting in a different direction;" captured by the Chinese. (08:05) A fraternity of honor. (02:37) Honored at the White House. (03:26)
Released on his birthday; first days as a free man. (04:26)  
Home » Donald M. Griffith
  The Library of Congress
  May 29, 2007
Veterans History Project Home
Contact Us