April 2012 Message from Jim MazourDear 1960's decade JSA vets:
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POST KOREAN WAR RELEASE OF AVIATOR PRISONERS AT PANMUNJOM
In my February 12, 2012 e-mail, I identified six documented incidents involving the shoot down, capture, and eventually release of survivors and/or bodies of US Army and US Air Force aviators at Panmunjom during the post Korean War time period. Here is further information about three of these events.
23 August 1955. North Korea returns wounded US Air Force pilot LT Guy Bumpas and the body of CPT Charles W. Brown at the JSA/Panmunjom. Their US Air Force North American LT-6 utility/training aircraft was shot down by North Korean ground fire and crashed near Panmunjom during an August 18th flight over the Korea DMZ.
Below is a link to a 1955 Webster County, Kentucky obituary for CPT Brown, which provides more information about this event.
16 May 1964. North Korea returns US Army pilots CPTs Benjamin Stutts and Carleton Voltz after exactly one year of captivity following the shoot-down of their US Army OH-23 Raven helicopter by North Korean military when it strayed over the Korea DMZ while on a mission checking boundary markers.
Below is a link to Army aviator Cecil Shipp Jr's shaky photograph (image is reversed) taken in flight of Stutts and Voltz being flown from the JSA Advance Camp to Seoul following their release. Note the JSA soldier seated inside the helicopter of this flight. Can anyone identify this JSA soldier?
Did you know that CPTs Stutts and Voltz became a part of our government's investigation into the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy? Following their military debriefings, it came to the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that certain comments were made to these two prisoners by their North Korean Communist captors about who killed President Kennedy. At the time, the FBI was trying to determine the extent of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald's connections to Communist countries, and it was interested in determining if the North Koreans ever mentioned the name of Oswald to Stutts and Voltz. Below is a link to 1964 FBI memorandum regarding this matter.
16 July 1977. North Korea returns wounded US Army pilot CWO Glenn Schwanke and the bodies of three dead crew members - CWO Joseph Miles, SP5 Robert Hayes and SGT Ronald Wells, after their US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter had been shot down by North Korean military on July 14th. They were members of the 17th Aviation Battalion, and had strayed over the Korea DMZ during a training flight.
JSA vets David James and Patrick Fenton (77-78) have posted information and photographs of this release on the Internet's Facebook website page for JSA Veterans. Scroll down to the January 2012 time period for at least three separate postings.
A LONG MILITARY ARMISTICE COMMISSION MEETING AT PANMUNJOM
On April 12, 1969 the 289th Military Armistice Commision (MAC) meeting was held at Panmunjom. In the long 40-year history of MAC meetings, it would go down as one of the longest duration meetings because of the stubbornness of a North Korean delegate.
Armistice agreement protocol required that delegates may leave the meeting room only after a formal proposal to adjourn, and it was customary for the side calling the meeting to also proposal its adjournment. North Korean delegate - General Lee Choon-song, called this meeting, but for some unknown reason he would not call for its adjournment. United Nations Command delegate - US Air Force Major General James B. Knapp, was not about to break meeting agreement protocol and call for its adjournment, so the meeting went on - and on - and on. There was one period with four straight hours of total silence as the two delegates and their aids glared at each other across the table in total silence. Finally, after over 11 hours, General Lee stalked out of the room, bringing to an end yet another strange MAC meeting.
Do any of you 1969 JSA veterans recall pulling security duty at Panmunjom for this MAC meeting?
KOREA DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL
John Lynn (71-72) of Devon, Pennsylvania reports that he has been successful in being awarded the Korea Defense Service Medal (KDSM), and encourages other JSA veterans who served in Korea from 27 July 1954 to the present to also request this medal. John wrote, "Great News! Just got a letter today from the National Personnel Records Center informing me that I am eligible for KDSM. Tell all the JSA guys that all I did was send in my DD214 and (for good measure) my hostile fire pay orders."
Below is a link to further information about obtaining the KDSM.
SPREADING THE WORD ABOUT JSA
Paul Carlson (78-79) of Wadena, Minnesota wrote last month to share with us that he just finished a presentation to the local Rotary Club about a brief history of the Joint Security Area (JSA) unit and its part in the history of the Korea DMZ. He wrote, "It was well received, and no one seemed to mind that the meeting ran 10 minutes over. I have to admit I choked up a bit talking about the axe murders incident and recalling the tales of it from those who were there. Several Rotarians shook my hand afterwards and thanked me for the presentation." And, he goes on to say, "I wore my 2007 Las Vegas JSA veterans reunion polo shirt for the first time since this reunion, and I can't get over how good it feels to wear it and how proud I am to have earned it."
Paul, thank you so much for sharing this experience with us, and thank you for spreading the word about the rich history of the JSA unit. I encourage all JSA veterans to take every such opportunity to speak to public groups about our old Korea DMZ unit and its unique mission to the history of Korea.
2013 KOREA TOUR DATES
Tour organizer Raymond Jones (69-70) has announced the dates for the 2013 tour to Korea for JSA veterans. It will be April 05 to 15, 2013 with the possibility of an optional tour to Jeju Island before the main tour.
For more information about this tour, please go to Jones' JSA website link below: http://www.jsasite.com/
If you know of any JSA veterans that are not getting my periodic JSA/Panmunjom information e-mails, please let me know, and I will be happy to add any and all JSA veterans to my list to receive these information e-mails.
Jim Mazour, JSA 1973-74
West Des Moines, Iowa
For JSA veterans by a JSA veteran www.jsasite.com