story & photo
by Anne Pappalardo
Harold Mazur, the son of Polish immigrants and one of six sons, attended Hartford High School and graduated in 1950. After working with his older brother in a family business, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to six months of basic training at Fort Dix, NJ. He was assigned to the Korean Military Advisory Group (KMAG) in Tae Gu, South Korea, from 1953-54.
The KMAG was one of the first military advisory groups formed and was responsible for providing support and training to South Korean soldiers. It helped develop a more efficient Korean military by helping train Republic of Korea (ROK) soldiers in tactics, use of weapons, equipment and communications. As a sergeant for the KMAG, Harold provided office support and maintained records for officers.
He recalls General Maxwell Taylor visiting his base. Gen. Taylor was the first Allied general to land in France on D-Day and commanded the 101st Airborne Division for the rest WWII. He was Army Chief of Staff during the Korean War.
While he was on leave he visited Japan and visited the Tosho-gu Shrine and Gardens in Nikko, Japan, the city of Yokohama, and the Ginza district of Tokyo. He fondly remembers visiting a local orphanage on weekends with his buddies, playing ball with the children and bringing them treats.
After his discharge in 1954, he chose to attend college, taking advantage of the GI Bill. He graduated from Providence College in 1960, married his wife Janice in 1963, and lived in Hartford for many years. They raised three daughters, Anne Pappalardo, Mary Ziomek, and Kathy Carlman, and worked for the Connecticut State Labor Department Federal Credit Union in Wethersfield for many years. He and Janice eventually moved to Maine, where they met and where Janice was raised. Janice passed in 2003 and Harold currently resides in Glastonbury. He keeps busy and has seven grandchildren.
Harold says, “If you love your country and they need you, you serve if they call on you. I knew that I was going to do what everyone else did from our neighborhood that had served in WWII. You served your country when it needed you.”