Topic: Pyongyang, North Korea
Replies: 12   Last Post: Feb 21, 2018 5:42 PM by: V_Bled22
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Replies: 12  

Pyongyang, North Korea

Posted: Feb 20, 2018 7:17 PM

In today's (2/20/18) issue of the Seneca Journal, is a photo of a battered bridge over the Taedong River in Pyongyang with refugees shown all over the girders trying to escape from the Chinese Army. Former AP photographer, Max Desfor, who took the photo, died recently at the age of 104. When we left Pyongyang on Dec.1,1950, we crossed the river on a pontoon bridge. There is a nice article along with the photo. The photo brought back a lot of memories. When we left Pyongyang the road was covered with refugees fleeing toward South Korea. For some, every thing they had was on their back or in their arms. A few had a wheelbarrow and even fewer had a donkey and cart. Some were even carrying the elderly. It was truly a heart breaking situation. The river had been iced over but from this photo it appears the ice had broken up and moved down river.


Re: Pyongyang, North Korea

Posted: Feb 20, 2018 7:35 PM

I visited South Korea last year on business. What a vibrant economy and amazing country. It is crazy that we are only one generation removed from a war torn mess of a country

Re: Pyongyang, North Korea

Posted: Feb 20, 2018 7:38 PM

I served in S Kor in 2016. S Kor is a beautiful country. They actually pride themselves in keeping their roads really clean and free of trash. I had a chance to do some bass fishing while over there. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I also visited the DMZ and boy talk about some sights! The DMZ is so unspoiled and almost prehistoric as all the trees you see are gigantic, just like you would see at the Congaree National Monument. I also visited the Bridge of No Return. The DMZ is a place everyone should know about.


I served as the CO of an Army HQ command in the DMZ

Posted: Feb 20, 2018 8:09 PM

at Camp Greaves from 1971 to 1972, and we called it the wild country.

Access was across the Freedom Bridge, an old RR trestle with wooden planks, and we never travelled without being heavily armed. Two fortified guardposts overlooked North Korean bunkers and outposts, as well as North Korea's Propaganda Village.

My unit was reenforced with both admin and combat units, which conducted recon and patrolling missions, as the DMZ at that time was considered a hot zone. By the time I arrived most of our ops centered around North Korean infiltrators attempting mischief within our area.

It was amazing, nevertheless, to see the progress of the south since the close of hostilities. Although I enjoyed the tour, upon returning stateside I had this wild west mentality and carried loaded pistols in my car a number of years, as well as stashing weapons in my home....Then again, I was living in the Columbia area. lol

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Re: I served as the CO of an Army HQ command in the DMZ

Posted: Feb 20, 2018 8:12 PM

Nice to read your posts again!

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Thank you. It's great to have a little more time

Posted: Feb 20, 2018 8:41 PM

to spend with good friends like yourself.

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It must have been awful to live...

Posted: Feb 20, 2018 11:27 PM

in a nice place like the Korean DMZ then move to a dump like Columbia.

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Re: Pyongyang, North Korea

Posted: Feb 20, 2018 9:17 PM

I went up and down South Korea five times and was beginning to feel like I knew every Korean along the way. First, I entered Korea at Inchon and then to Pyongyang, The Chinese entered the war and we went down to Pusan. Next, I went up to the 38th Parallel to join a Combat Engineering Company. Then it was back to Pusan and Japan. Back to Pusan and once more to the 38th Parallel. When I received orders to come home, it was back down to Pusan. Somewhere in there should have been some "Frequent Rider Miles" and a lot of "Frequent Walking Miles".

I've been back to South Korea twice, once in the 1980's and again in the 1990's. Seoul had considerable damage during the war but they had rebuilt and revitalized the country to the extent it was entirely different from what I remembered during the war. I did not get to some of the more rural areas but assume vast changes had been made in those areas during the ensuing years.

The South Koreans. particularly those who were living during the war, have been most grateful to those of us who served during the war. I have received several medals from the Koran Government over the years and currently in the process of receiving another.


Occasionally, I called in a chopper to fly

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 4:45 AM

from the DMZ to C&S meetings south at Army HQ's and got to see a good bit of the countryside by air.

Perhaps, some of the most impressive sites were the tank traps built along major arteries along with huge construction venues across the country. I always flew with the doors open, so I could either take pictures or bail out quickly upon touchdown. lol

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Re: Pyongyang, North Korea

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 6:45 AM

Interesting Joe - love your posts. My Dad fought in Korea '52 to '53 with the Wolfhounds (27th Inf Reg - M Company). He was also there for the ceasefire in July '53. He ran one of the first prisoner exchanges at the DMZ after the ceasefire (still have the prisoner tag that he pulled off the first Chinese soldier he processed). He became really pissed at the condition of our boys coming back from the Nork/Chinese prison camps. After seeing the way our boys were treated he started stripping the Nork/Chinese prisoners down to their skivvy's sending them back North in nothing but their underwear. Not a real payback compared to the torture, starvation, physical, and mental abuse our guys endured... Korea was a real meat grinder - the old man wouldn't talk much about it until I was in ROTC at Clemson. It is a real shame at how Korea has truly been a forgotten war by a lot of folks where the combat was as brutal as it could get.

I ended up doing 27 years in the Army (retired a couple of years ago) - went all around the world but never went to Korea. Saw plenty of the middle east and Latin/South America...

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Re: Pyongyang, North Korea

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 11:43 AM

Perhaps I need to clarify one point. When I was in Korea, we referred our position as being at or near the 38th Parallel. There was very little distance between the two forces. The DMZ had not been established at that time. Some of you who were in Korea at a later date can probably better explain the DMZ. It is my understanding the DMZ does not necessarily follow the 38th Parallel. The Eastern end of the DMZ is above the 38th. and the Western end may be a bit below the 38th. How wide is the DMZ? And, are my statements re the DMZ in error?


Re: Pyongyang, North Korea

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 5:29 PM

Thank you for your service to our country

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Re: Pyongyang, North Korea

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 5:42 PM

What a pleasure to read - as usual. This entire thread was awesome to read. Lot's of TU's. Thank you all for your service.

Replies: 12  


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