Topic: Part 3 --- First Class Travel to Pyongyang
Replies: 1   Last Post: Apr 19, 2018 10:30 PM by: TigerKAT84
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Part 3 --- First Class Travel to Pyongyang

Posted: Apr 19, 2018 4:37 PM

First, let me explain our situation. During WW2, in Europe I was always with my company or part of my company. Travel orders were explicit and we knew exactly where we were going. For this trip, my travel orders were for an individual traveling from the United States to a unit in Korea constantly on the move. It was only in Yongdongpo`, South Korea, when I learned that four other men would join me. Two, like myself, were recalled reservists, one was a company member returning from emergency leave in the states and the other, a company member returning from a visit to the hospital, having been injured in line of duty.

Part 2 had us arriving in Pyongyang about 10:00 PM one bitterly cold night. The five of us were ushered to a 24-man tent, occupied mostly by officers. WOW !!!! There were about three oil-burning heaters in the tent and we could feel the warmth as soon as we entered. WE were informed the mess hall was open 24 hours each day so, after "defrosting", we ventured over to the mess hall thinking we would get "left-overs". Were we in for a surprise. There was food galore and no "C" rations. The mess hall was a permanent building and it was warm. Hot coffee and our choice of multiple items, making our visit appear to be similar to someone's last meal before facing execution. The thought wasn't that far fetched when one considers we were not there to sight-see or to enjoy the sub-zero temperatures.

After a good night's sleep and a hot shower, we made our second trip to the mess half to see what we would find on the breakfast menu. Another good meal in a warm atmosphere. There was no rush because we would be notified later in the morning about transportation to the 205th. We also leaned the camp where we were located was a former North Korean Army camp. During our short time at Yongdongpo` and our trip to Pyongyang, the two men already assigned to the 205th., gave us a brief run down of the 205th. The company consisted of five teams of about 30 men each. Teams were assigned to divisions and other Army units and the entire company had not been together since soon after their arrival in Korea. Most of the teams were short on personnel and the three of us reservists would fill some of those vacancies.

We had returned to our tent and were awaiting further orders when in walked a Sgt asking for the five men going to the 205h. We were told to pack our gear, dress for cold weather, stow our gear on the truck waiting outside and hop aboard ---- the 205th. was not in Pyongyang and we would be going back to Seoul. I don't remember about the other two, but we three WW2 vets had about all we could stand. We asked to see the Camp Commander, a Colonel. We stated our case, insisting no element of the 205th was in Seoul. One thing we learned during WW2, if you want to know if a unit is located in the area, check with the Army Post Office. We asked the Colonel if there was a Post Office unit nearby. He said "yes, it's just outside the main gate". He gave us permission to check it out, so off we went.

Arriving at the PO, we asked if the 205th Signal Repair Company was in the area. They checkred the records and said, "yes, Team "C" is here in Pyongyang" and told us where it was. Pyongyang was a large city and we knew nothing about the city, We reported back to the Colonel and told him about our find. We asked if he could have someone take us to the location and he said "No". No one in the camp knew anything about the city. There we were, we now knew Team "C" was in Pyongyang, our trip back to Seoul was canceled but we had no way to get to Team "C's" location.

It was back to the Post Office to explain our plight. We begged, we pleaded, "can you please have someone take us to the location of the 205th" Maybe it was our tears on bended knee that chugged at their heart strings because they finally said, "YES". We jumped aboard the truck and returned to the camp to get all of our gear. That good news made us forget about the bitter cold for a few minutes. We hastilly threw our gear on the truck and we rode and we rode and we rode and finally arrived at a huge warehouse. We stopped in front of the warehouse and the driver said, "this is it". That warehouse was so huge it would make our football indoor practice facility look like a one room house.

(What I though would be a two-part story has now turned into a four-part story. I'll finish this sometime next week. Have to make a short trip)


Re: Part 3 --- First Class Travel to Pyongyang

Posted: Apr 19, 2018 10:30 PM

I may have said this before, but I wish you had taught HS history in the late 1970's! I can visualize everything you write about!

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