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Yang Kyoungjong

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Yang Kyoungjong

Birth
North Korea
Death
7 Apr 1992 (aged 72)
Evanston, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Burial
Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown Add to Map
Memorial ID
View Source
Former POW of the Russians, Germans, and American forces in WW II.

American paratroopers in Normandy in June 1944 thought they had captured a Japanese soldier in German uniform, but he turned out to be Korean. His name was Yang Kyoungjong.

In 1938, at the age of 18, Yang had been forcibly conscripted by the Japanese into their army in Manchuria. A year later, he was captured by the Red Army after the Battle of Khalkhin-Gol and sent to a labour camp. The Soviet military authorities, at a moment of crisis in 1942, drafted him, along with thousands of other prisoners, into their forces.

Then, early in 1943 he was taken prisoner at the Battle of Kharkov in Ukraine by the German army.

In 1944, now in German uniform, he was sent to France to serve with one of the Wehrmacht's eastern battalions made up of Soviet prisoners to defend Normandy at the base of the Cotentin peninsula. After time in a prison camp in Britain, he went to the United States. Yang settled there and died in Illinois in 1992.

Read more:
Yang Kyoungjong (c. 1920 – April 7, 1992) was a Korean soldier who fought during World War II in the Imperial Japanese Army, the Soviet Red Army, and later the German Wehrmacht.[1][2][3][4]

In 1938, at the age of 18, Yang was in Manchuria when he was conscripted into the Kwantung Army of the Imperial Japanese Army to fight against the Soviet Union. At the time Korea was ruled by Japan. During the Battles of Khalkhin Gol, he was captured by the Soviet Red Army and sent to a labour camp. Because of the manpower shortages faced by the Soviets in its fight against Nazi Germany, in 1942 he was pressed into fighting in the Red Army along with thousands of other prisoners, and was sent to the European eastern front.[1][3]

In 1943, he was captured by Wehrmacht soldiers in Ukraine during the Battle of Kharkov, and was then pressed into fighting for Germany. Yang was sent to Occupied France to fight in a battalion of Soviet prisoners of war known as the "Eastern Battalion", serving in a battalion located on the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy, located close to Utah Beach. After the D-Day landings in northern France by the Allied forces, Yang was captured by paratroopers of the United States Army in June 1944. The Americans initially believed him to be Japanese in German uniform, and he was placed in a prisoner-of-war camp in the United Kingdom. At the time, Lieutenant Robert Brewer of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, reported that his regiment captured four Asians in German uniform after the Utah Beach landings, and that initially no one was able to communicate with them. Yang later emigrated to the United States, where he lived until he died in Illinois in 1992.
Former POW of the Russians, Germans, and American forces in WW II.

American paratroopers in Normandy in June 1944 thought they had captured a Japanese soldier in German uniform, but he turned out to be Korean. His name was Yang Kyoungjong.

In 1938, at the age of 18, Yang had been forcibly conscripted by the Japanese into their army in Manchuria. A year later, he was captured by the Red Army after the Battle of Khalkhin-Gol and sent to a labour camp. The Soviet military authorities, at a moment of crisis in 1942, drafted him, along with thousands of other prisoners, into their forces.

Then, early in 1943 he was taken prisoner at the Battle of Kharkov in Ukraine by the German army.

In 1944, now in German uniform, he was sent to France to serve with one of the Wehrmacht's eastern battalions made up of Soviet prisoners to defend Normandy at the base of the Cotentin peninsula. After time in a prison camp in Britain, he went to the United States. Yang settled there and died in Illinois in 1992.

Read more:
Yang Kyoungjong (c. 1920 – April 7, 1992) was a Korean soldier who fought during World War II in the Imperial Japanese Army, the Soviet Red Army, and later the German Wehrmacht.[1][2][3][4]

In 1938, at the age of 18, Yang was in Manchuria when he was conscripted into the Kwantung Army of the Imperial Japanese Army to fight against the Soviet Union. At the time Korea was ruled by Japan. During the Battles of Khalkhin Gol, he was captured by the Soviet Red Army and sent to a labour camp. Because of the manpower shortages faced by the Soviets in its fight against Nazi Germany, in 1942 he was pressed into fighting in the Red Army along with thousands of other prisoners, and was sent to the European eastern front.[1][3]

In 1943, he was captured by Wehrmacht soldiers in Ukraine during the Battle of Kharkov, and was then pressed into fighting for Germany. Yang was sent to Occupied France to fight in a battalion of Soviet prisoners of war known as the "Eastern Battalion", serving in a battalion located on the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy, located close to Utah Beach. After the D-Day landings in northern France by the Allied forces, Yang was captured by paratroopers of the United States Army in June 1944. The Americans initially believed him to be Japanese in German uniform, and he was placed in a prisoner-of-war camp in the United Kingdom. At the time, Lieutenant Robert Brewer of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, reported that his regiment captured four Asians in German uniform after the Utah Beach landings, and that initially no one was able to communicate with them. Yang later emigrated to the United States, where he lived until he died in Illinois in 1992.

Gravesite Details

Born in Shin Eu Joo, in what is now North Korea


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