©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|Remembering the "Forgotten War"
|A former local resident and Korean War veteran doesn't remember that war as fondly as he does World War II.
Bob Kniss of Galesburg spoke on his brother Paul's behalf Friday at a ceremony honoring Korean War Vets at the Galesburg VFW.
Paul Kniss served in Korea through the Air Force, but was held captive in Korea for over 500 days, and was one of the last to be set free.
Bob Kniss says the POW's were often lined in front of firing squads, with dummy shells fired at them, as a way into coercing them to confess to actions Kniss knows they didn't do.
He says his brother figured out a way around that eventually.
"The trick was to lie in a way that they could remember, and that they didn't get another soldier in trouble," Bob Kniss said. "If you confirmed what someone else said, [the POW camp guards] would be happy and leave you alone. If [the story] was different, they would pound on you and pistol-whip you with a gun butt. [Paul's] only revenge would be to sleep on his blue prison pants, pressing a crease in the front and back. The guards didn't want his pants to be creased, as he was a prisoner."
Bob Kniss says his brother Paul, who worked as a fiight instructor, left Korea with 30 names of other soldiers he was imprisoned with.
He says his brother, after also serving in World War Two, felt that two wars was enough or him, but felt really honored to be recognized for his service in what was otherwise the "forgotten war."
(Bob Kniss speaks about his brother, retired 1st Lt. Paul Kniss, Friday night during a ceremony at the Galesburg VFW.)
(A member of the Young Marines gives a Korean War veteran a series of gifts Friday night. WGIL News Story and Photos by Will Stevenson.)
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