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WTVC NewsChannel 9 :: News - Price of Freedom - Korean War Vet Relives Days as a POW

Korean War Vet Relives Days as a POW

Cleveland, Tennessee’s Bill Norwood saw things in the Korean War that he can't get out of his head.
"I had a guy ask me the other day have you been back to Korea?” Norwood told us.  “I said yes, I was there last night, the night before, and I'll probably be back there tonight."


In April of 1951 Norwood and his fellow soldiers were on patrol.  He was caught in a firefight and the machine gun he was using malfunctioned.


"There was me and one more guy who got out of there alive," Norwood said.


Norwood lived but was captured by the Chinese Army and was forced to march north.  That march lasted four months.


"We had to walk the trails in the darkness carrying our sick and wounded buddies with us,"


When they finally got to the POW camp conditions there were deplorable.


"It was so crowded and believe it or not you couldn't turn over you were sleeping side by side,” Norwood said.  “When one turned over everybody turned over.  It was crowded.  The food was scarce."


Norwood stayed there until August 1953 almost 2 and a-half years.
"The treatment was rough. They didn't like us," Norwood said.


He is 83 years old now.
"Hard times that we had that's a miracle really and I think of that every day," Norwood said.


He also thinks of the people trapped in that camp with him.
"I didn't have contact with those guys from 1953 until 1976," Norwood said.


It was a reunion of 12 in 1976.  It's grown through the years as large as 400 at one point.  This year that number was down to 71 survivors.
"These guys are closer than family,” Norwood said.  “Some of them are responsible for me being here today we all have our faults I guess.  In the end they're my rock."
By Josh Roe 







Korean War Vet Relives Days as a POW

Monday, November 11 2013, 06:47 PM EST

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