October 30 – Happy Birthday William Amberger

AmbergWilliam Amberger was still a student at Amsterdam, New York’s Wilbur Lynch High School when he decided to enlist in the US Army in November of 1949. At that time it was becoming alarmingly clear that a war was brewing in the Asian nation of Korea. That country had been run by Japan from 1910 until the very end of World War II. Once the war in Europe had been decided, the US wanted the Soviet Union to declare war on Japan. One of the concessions made to get Josef Stalin to do so was permitting the Soviet Army to occupy the northern portion of Korea. The US Army ended up occupying the southern portion.

So like Germany, Korea was effectively split into two countries after the war and separate governments were set up to administer each. The problem was that neither of those two governments would recognize the other and both wanted to make Korea one country again. So when it became clear that both Russia and the newly turned communist government of China were lending military support to the North Korean effort to invade the South, the US did the same for the South Koreans. On May 1, 1950, just six months after he left Lynch High School as a student to become a soldier, Private William Amberger, who grew up on Union Street in Amsterdam, NY, found himself in South Korea along with the rest of his Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry, Regimental Combat Team…

You can read the rest of my story about this Amsterdam hero in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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