Memory of a Nice Summer Day

Courtesy of George Cole

"A historical note. In the account of Korean incidents 1967, that I sent earlier, there is mention of a MG Frank M. Izenour. I recall an encounter with him.

Probably in July or early-August 1967, I was working Checkpoint 1. Sometime in the afternoon, a chopper landed on the ball field, across from the checkpoint. A Lt. came over and told me that Gen. Izenour (who I think had piloted the chopper) would have to be waived through the gate, into the DMZ, where he would be inspecting his troops. I told the Lt. that the general didn't appear to have the proper insignia to go into the zone, so, I couldn't let him pass through. He'd have to get the proper insignia. The Lt. might have asked what insignia was needed, but I don't recall.

The Lt. asked me what I would do to stop the general from passing into the DMZ. I patted the holster for my .45, and said that 'Sir, I have 7 rounds here; when I run out, I'll have to think of something else.' The Lt. looked a bit shocked, and walked back to the general and his entourage. It was Brig. Gen. Izenour at the time. I was iritated that the Lt. had been so officious; 'When the general comes to the gate, you will have to...'

A minute or so later, here comes the general in a Jeep, and everyone (driver & 3 passengers) was wearing the necessary insignia: MP brassard and blue DMZ enameled badge. I didn't ask to see any ID cards.

I saluted, raised the gate, and saluted as the Jeep passed through. Brig. Gen. Izenour returned the salute. Didn't see the Lt. in the Jeep. Then, I looked back toward the chopper, there was the Lt., standing in a sulking position, in the shade of an acacia tree. He wasn't wearing the MP brassard that he wore when he was in my checkpoint. I presumed that the general borrowed other necessary insignia from the Lt."

Memory of a nice Summer day.

webmaster: I had to query George further on this. To the best of my knowledge, he was the first JSA MP to make public the fact that, by regulation, MPs on duty do not have to salute officers. He responded:

"Often, the 2nd Div. people acted a though we were just hassling them. One of the NNSC officers had earlier announced that the next time that he came across some GIs in the DMZ who didn't have the appropriate insignia, the men working Checkpoint 1 would lose a stripe. Other rules also applied.

As for the Lt., he probably didn't realize the power of an MP on duty. An MP on duty can issue a direct order. About the salute, an MP on duty doesn't have to salute, and doesn't have to return a salute. It is a courtesy. I appreciated the fact that the general was obeying our (UN) rules.

George"