This week is the 59th anniversary of General Douglas MacArthur’s Incheon Landing Operation that changed the course of the Korean War. In honor of this anniversary I have decided to post some pictures I took from when I visited the Incheon Landing Memorial in Korea that commemorates this important operation. The Incheon Landing Memorial Monument Hall is located just south of the actual landing location in Incheon in the neighborhood of Songdo. The memorial is fairly new and houses a nice collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the landing operation and the Korean War. The best part is that admission into the museum is free.
The entrance to the memorial features a large archway adorned with the flags of the 16 countries that participated in the Korean War. This is common with Korean War memorials in Korea. Even though the US provided the overwhelming amount of combat forces during the war, every memorial gives equal recognition to all 16 countries that provided forces to fight the North Korean communists during the war. I climbed up the stairs to the second outside level of the memorial and I was able to see a static display of aircraft and equipment used during the Korean War. The display also included a modern day landing craft that is used for amphibious operations by the Korean Army today:
The third level of the memorial houses a large statue that honors the soldiers that fought at Incheon Harbor on September 15, 1950. The statue is detailed and quite impressive:
It should be noted that US Marines, US Army soldiers, as well as troops from the South Korean Army all fought during the landing. However, the 1st Marine Division were the first troops to land at Incheon to free the port from the communist occupiers. In recognition of the US Marines, near the statue is a bronze plaque that pays tribute to the US 1st Marine Division that spearheaded the Incheon Landing Operation. Like the Marine heroes in action at Incheon that fateful day, today’s 1st Marine Division was the same unit used to lead the November 2004 successful assault to retake the terrorist held city of Fallujah in Iraq:
It will be interesting to see if there will ever be a 1st Marine Division plaque ever stood up in Fallujah one day as well. From here I headed back down to the first level of the memorial to enter the museum. The museum is actually put together quite nicely with events of the Korean War and the Incheon Landing Operation presented in chronological order complete with explanations of the exhibits presented in Korean, English, and Japanese by the push of a button.
If anyone ever ends up in Korea for whatever reason make sure you visit the Incheon Landing Memorial. It is free and really well put together to help visitors understand the significance of this operation. To reach the memorial just get off at the Incheon train station and have a taxi taking you to Songdo where the Memorial is located.