Urban “Barney” Koster

Urban “Barney” Koster was born on August 18, 1929 in Breda, Iowa. Barney was drafted and stationed for 18 months in Tokyo, Japan during the Korean War. Barney had the honor of serving in the Army’s Honor Guard. He and his unit protected General Douglas MacArthur and his successors during the Korean conflict. Barney recalled that the general’s home always required a minimum of three guards during the day and a minimum of five guards during the night. The men in his unit also were stationed in old bomb shelters that had been occupied by the Japanese during World War II. The Army’s Honor Guard had little turnover and few opportunities for promotion. Barney was discharged after his 18 months of service and returned to Iowa as a corporal. He continues to live in Iowa with his wife, Pat.

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Korean War - Key Events

January 17, 1950

North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung proposes the “liberation” of South Korea to Soviet officials. Weeks of telegram exchanges between Beijing, Moscow, and P’yŏngyang follow, and by early spring Kim has secured assurances of support for the invasion from Soviet premier Joseph Stalin and Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

These events are taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica

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