News

SUU Professor’s Documentary about Southern Utahns in Korean War to Air on BYU-TV

May 04, 2005
Author: Renee Ballenger
Category: Academics


The award-winning documentary by Jon Smith, Associate Professor of Communication, and Department Chair, at Southern Utah University, about courageous southern Utah national guardsmen in the Korean War, will air on BYU-TV throughout the month of May.

“Miracle at Kapyong: The Story of the 213th” is a half-hour documentary that depicts unusual military heroism and spiritual dimensions in the story of the Utah National Guard 213th Battalion's remarkable service in the Korean Conflict.

Six hundred men from five small southern Utah communities--Richfield, Fillmore, Beaver, Cedar City and St. George--were activated in 1950. Typical duty required the field artillery units to fire their howitzer guns at the enemy miles away. However, the units from Cedar City and Richfield, with about 225 men engaged in one particular small arms and hand-to-hand fight at Kapyong with more than 4000 enemy Chinese for about a 12-hour period. They killed 500 and captured 800 Chinese. The Utah battalion sustained no fatalities. In fact, all 600 of the original southern Utahns came back alive. The unit received a Presidential citation for “unshakeable determination and gallantry.” The documentary is dedicated to the battalion’s commander, the late Lt. Colonel Frank Dalley.

The documentary was produced and directed by Smith, who interviewed dozens of veterans, reviewed hundreds of documents and photographs, obtained never-seen-before- on-television footage from the National Archives and consulted with the Utah National Guard in order to prepare the script. Lt. Colonel Dan Roberts, Utah National Guard, wanted the story told and asked the university if it could produce the documentary. The project was funded by individual donations and grants.

The documentary won first place for documentaries in the 2002 Broadcast Education Association International Video Festival. It will now be a featured program on BYU Television during the month of May on the following scheduled dates and times:

May 5 @ 3am May 10 @ 3pm May 14 @ 2am May 22 @ 2:30 pm

May 23 @ 9pm May 28 @ 10:30 pm May 29 @ 9:30 pm

May 31 @ 9 am

And, the documentary will also air on KBYU-TV on May 22 @ 10:30pm.

--SUU—

Through its more than 100-year history, Southern Utah University has evolved from a teacher training school into its current role as a comprehensive, regional university to 6,000 students from across the globe. It serves the southern region of Utah and contiguous counties in surrounding states with undergraduate and graduate programs in six colleges. People of the region look to the University for outreach services, culture, economic and business development, higher learning, regional history, public affairs, major academic specialties, and significant entertainment and recreation. Accentuated by the notable, economic value of its services, SUU's hallmark is its quality staff, faculty and academics.

Contact Information:
Renee Ballenger
435-586-1997
ballenger@suu.edu