This year marks 65 years since the start of the Korean War. The three-year battle claimed the lives of nearly 36,000 American soldiers. However, many of us know more about the “forgotten war” from what we’ve seen on the hit TV show, M*A*S*H.
Local veteran and former radiologist Dr. Gerhard W. Schottman served at the MASH in Uijeongbu, South Korea, in 1952. He was one of the many soldiers who helped save the lives of the 105,000 soldiers wounded in the war.
Every day, he waited for helicopters to land with injured soldiers inside. Dr. Schottman, who also served in World War II, says the casualty was so high because of the shortage of doctors. They all worked long hours and had limited resources. That was something he says wasn’t depicted on the show.
From 1952-1953, Dr. Schottman served at three different evacuation hospitals. He became close friends with many of the soldiers, including a former baseball player for the New York Yankees, Bobby Brown. It was those relationships that helped guide him through the toughness of battle.
His experience there followed him in his work at St. Luke’s Health Systems, where he spent 38 years as a radiologist and became chair of that department. He now lives at Claridge Court and is known to give presentations to fellow residents about his experience in the Korean War and the renowned MASH unit.