|Author: William Shadish|
Dr. William Shadish was a Korean War combat physician and prisoner of war. His descriptions of medical care on the front lines differ considerably from those found in the popular fictional television series, "M.A.S.H.," or in most Hollywood films. Even more important is his portrayal of the North Korean POW camps, where his captors, in preparation for their indoctrination programs, deliberately sought to weaken the physical and mental well-being of their prisoners. Dr. Shadish fought valiantly, and often successfully, against these so-called "brainwashing" sessions. He also stubbornly demanded better food, shelter, clothing, and medical care for his men. Such aggressive tactics earned him the enmity of the Chinese camp officers, as well as several trips to the punishment hole. Despite his courageous efforts, William Shadish, like all returning American prisoners, faced accusations of collaboration on his return to the States. That such charges reflected the Red Scare tenor of the times more than they did reality mattered little to these men who had sacrificed so much for their country.