Task Force Smith: One Day Of Combat And Three Years Of Prison

Ray Mellin


Ray Mellin grew up in Stamford, Connecticut, one of seven children. His mother died in childbirth, and his father was an alcoholic. At the age of 5, he was sent to live in a children’s home. In 1949, he joined the Army, and volunteered for the Presidential Honor Guard at Ft. Myer, Virginia. He then volunteered to become a Lab Technician at the Pentagon. Shortly after he was assigned to the Pentagon, he was given orders for Japan, where he spent ten days before deploying as a medic with Task Force Smith. On July 4, 1950, the Task Force arrived in position north of Osan, South Korea, and on July 5, 1950, Ray Mellin was captured on his first day in combat. He was a prisoner of war for three years. In this interview, he discusses his childhood, and his experiences in the peacetime army. He describes serving in Task Force Smith, being captured, and the conditions of his initial detainment. He explains what life was like as a P.O.W., including descriptions of various camps and his daily routine. Finally, he talks about his life after the war, and dealing with post-traumatic stress.


conflicts Korean War
topics Courage P.O.W.s PTSD Returning from War Military Medicine
interviewer David Siry
date 24 October 2016


name Ray Mellin
unit 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment – Task Force Smith
specialty Lab Tech, Medic
service dates 1949 1953