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Korean War P.O.W. - SFC Gordon Madson


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I recently discovered this great little uniform group on eBay. The seller claimed that the the original owner was a prisoner in Korea. Being that there was no name, laundry mark, or insignia, just two shirts and a barely issued Ike jacket, I asked the seller for the owner's name and if there was anything else from the estate, but only got a clue that he was an attorney in Iowa and they had a suitcase with his name and service number on it, which they offered to include for free. Some quick research yielded SFC Gordon L. Madson, an attorney from Iowa who was indeed a P.O.W. during the Korean War.


Madson served with the 23d Infantry Regt., 2d Div. in Korea. He was wounded from grenade shrapnel on March 2, 1952, hospitalized, and returned to duty. Shortly after, on May 18, 1951, his platoon was surrounded by the Chinese. Madison was ordered to hold his position and hold the line while the rest of the platoon evacuated whatever hill they were on. Madison and a few other men were cut off and surrounded, captured by the Chinese.


He spent the next 27 months marching up to the Yalu, fighting the terrain and hunger. He said the P.O.W.s were mostly for propaganda purposes and weren't treated nearly as poorly as prisoners of the Japanese in WWII. He has an entire interview online: here.


I have also begun creating a page for him on my website. There really is a lot to read from the transcript and I think I will shorten it up quite a bit...perhaps if I choose only quotes or something. http://captainofthe7th.wix.com/rcmcollection#!madson/c1ruk


As far as the shirts go, I like the white on red Korea tab. I have replaced all of the insignia, the ribbon bar needs some work, but I wanted something to display on the uniform. I am not sure that he is actually eligible for two awards of the Purple Heart. This is my first uniform to a P.O.W....he has the most amount of O/S bars I have seen for someone who was in only Korea.



Exhausting & Dirty Work

Interested in buying identified or re-searchable Korean War uniforms, groupings, medals and more.

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