Severely Wounded During The Korean War: A Rakkasan Remembers

Ervin Wicklander


Ervin Wicklander was born in a log house in Minnesota in 1933. In 1951, he joined the Army with some friends. He wanted to serve in armored units, but the Army needed volunteers to attend basic training in Hawaii, so he switched to the infantry and volunteered for airborne training. He deployed to Korea in early 1952 and participated in suppressing the Koje-Do prison riot, guarding the North Korean prisoners in their new camp. He was then moved up to the front lines, where he was severely wounded by an 82mm mortar round that peppered him with shrapnel. He was evacuated by helicopter to a hospital ship and eventually back to Tokyo Hospital. After his recovery, he was medically discharged from the Army and became an electrician. He has returned to Korea multiple times for anniversaries of the war. In this interview, Ervin Wicklander talks about his training, and his service in Korea. He describes being wounded and treated by the twin Bezouska brothers, the medics in L Company (see Tony Bezouska’s interview for his description of treating Ervin Wicklander). He recalls being evacuated all the way back to the States, and remembers meeting his two brothers in Tokyo when they came to visit him in the hospital. Finally, he reflects on what his service means to him.


conflicts Korean War
topics P.O.W.s Courage Injuries
interviewer David Siry
date 14 September 2016


name Ervin Wicklander
service Infantry
unit 3rd Battalion, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team
service dates 1951 1952