16 April 2013

Korean Yang Kyoungjong Captured in Wehrmacht Uniform

Image size: 1306 x 1600 pixel. 521 KB
Date: Tuesday, 6 June 1944
Place: Utah Beach, Normandy, France
Photographer: Unknown US Army personnel

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. Yang (March 3, 1920 – April 7, 1992) was a Korean soldier who remarkably fought during World War II in the Imperial Japanese Army, the Soviet Red Army, and later the German Wehrmacht! 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. 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" (Ostbataillon), 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! He was freed from a POW camp in Britain on May 1945 and moved and settled in America in 1947. He lived near the Northwestern University in Illinois until he died on April 7, 1992. He lived as an ordinary US citizen without telling his unbelievable life story even to his two sons and one daughter! His amazing story was the subject of a recent Korean movie; "My Way" (2011).



  1. i"ve seen the movie....nice post bro..

  2. me too Thanks Sir.!

  3. Saw the movie too..worth checking out. Thank you for the info on the picture.