“Being At Sea Was What I Liked”: A Naval Ensign Leading Landing Craft Ashore At Inchon

Charles Cammack III


Charles Cammack grew up in Huntington, West Virginia, in a family that had been in the insurance business for generations. He remembers physical education in school being replaced during WWII with close order drill. When it came time for college, he wanted to go to the Naval Academy, but instead went to Princeton for a year of academic preparation. At Princeton, he joined Naval ROTC, and pursued his commission there. Shortly after graduating, the Korean War began, and his ship, USS Bexar, an APA Attack Transport Ship, sailed from Norfolk to the Mediterranean, where she picked up 1,600 Marines, and then on to Japan in preparation for deploying to Korea. He participated in landings at Inchon and Wonson, and helped with the evacuations at Chinnampo and Inchon. After the Korean War, he transferred to the Naval Reserves and started his own insurance company. In this interview, he talks about his childhood during WWII, attending Princeton and participating in Naval ROTC, and training as a midshipman. He describes leading twelve landing craft ashore at Inchon, and hearing bullets cracking as they flew past. He discusses in depth some of the various roles of junior Naval officers during the Korean War, and the techniques used to land troops and supplies during combat operations. He discusses his experiences in the world of insurance, and developing a company to fill a niche in the field. Finally, he reflects on his service during the Korean War in the Navy.


conflicts Korean War
topics Leadership Courage Injuries Camaraderie Teamwork Life After Military
interviewer David SIry
date 29 March 2019


name Charles Cammack III
institution Princeton, Harvard
graduation year 1950
service Navy
unit USS Bexar; USS Cayuga County
specialty Inchon landings
service dates 1950 1970