Feb. 2012 Message from Jim Mazour
Dear 1960's decade JSA veterans:
It is time for another JSA veterans group information e-mail. I trust that everything is going well for each of you, and I do hope that you enjoy receiving these periodic information e-mails.
2013 TOUR TO KOREA
JSA vet Raymond Jones of Winslow, Maine, who organized the very successful 2009 tour to Korea and first international JSA reunion at Camp Bonifas and Panmunjom, has recently announced plans to organize another return tour to Korea in 2013. If you have any desire to again see the Republic of Korea, this is a great opportunity to do it, and in the company of other JSA veterans. For more information about this tour please go to Jones' website at: http://www.JSAsite.com
1976 AXE MURDERS INCIDENT FILM
Most JSA vets have probably seen the black & white photographs taken of the events of the 18 August 1976 Panmunjom axe murders incident, which were taken by 1LT Larry Shaddix from his position at observation post #5. However, very few of us have seen the movie film of this incident, which was taken by SP4 Timothy Gray from his position at checkpoint #3 adjacent to the Bridge of No Return.
I recently discovered a program entitled, "inside North Korea 2009 by chinese media" part 3 of 7 parts, posted at the popular website YouTube, which contains approximately 15 seconds of Gray's movie film of the axe murders incident in progress. (I don't know how long in length is the entire movie film shot by Gray). His shaky black & white film appears at the very beginning of this 10 minute 15 second program by Phoenix television in China. It is a chilling film clip to watch knowing that you are witnessing the event that resulted in the deaths of two JSA officers and injuries to a number of other JSA personnel at the hands of murderous North Korean guards. Click on the link below to view this program containing this film clip.
POST KOREAN WAR RELEASE OF AIR FORCE AND ARMY AVIATOR PRISONERS AT PANMUNJOM
In addition to the well-publicized 23 December 1968 release of the USS Pueblo crew (US Navy, US Marine and civilian personnel) by North Korea at Panmunjom, there were also six other lesser known events of North Korea releasing US Air Force and US Army aviators at Panmunjom who had been shot-down and captured after their aircraft strayed across the Korean DMZ into hostile North Korean territory during the Post Korean War period. Here is further information about these six events:
23 August 1955. North Korea returns wounded US Air Force pilot LT Guy Bumpus 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 crashes near Panmunjom during an August 18th flight over the Korea DMZ.
17 March 1958. North Korea returns an uninjured US Air Force pilot (name unknown) who was shot down by North Korean military on March 06th after his US Air Force North American F-86 Sabre jet fighter aircraft accidentally flew over the DMZ into North Korean air space. The pilot bailed out before aircraft crashed.
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 after it strayed over the Korea DMZ while on a mission of checking boundary markers.
03 December 1969. Operation Temple Bell. North Korea returns three US Army crew members – CPT David Crawford, WO Malcolm Loepke and SP4 Herman Hofstatter after 108 days of captivity following the shoot-down of their USA Army OH-23 Raven helicopter by North Korean ground forces. They were members of the 59th Aviation Company, and had been on a training flight on August 17th when it strayed over the Korea DMZ.
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.
22 December 1994. North Korea returns the body of US Army pilot CWO David Hilemon at the JSA/Panmunjom. He was killed in the crash of his US Army Bell OH-58 Kiowa helicopter on December 17th during an orientation flight over the Korea DMZ. His co-pilot CWO Bobby Hall survives the shoot-down crash and is captured by North Korean military.
29 December 1994. Operation Bobby Hall. North Korea returns US Army pilot CWO Bobby Hall at the JSA/Panmunjom after 12 days of captivity. Heilemon and Hall were members of the US Army’s 501st Aviation Regiment.
JSA vet Danti Rossi of Gardena California posted photographs of the 1969 Operation Temple Bell aviator prisoner release at Raymond Jones' JSA website. I would loved to receive further information (photos, newspaper articles, etc.) or first-hand accounts from any JSA vets who were present or participated in any of these aviator prisoner release events at Panmunjom. The is yet more of the rich history that is Panmunjom and the Joint Security Area.
SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT SPECIAL EXTRA EARNINGS FOR MILITARY SERVICE
Many of us are at or near the age to file for retirement benefits with the Social Security Administration. It is recommended that you take your Department of Defense Report of Separation from Active Duty FORM DD-214 with you at the time of initial filing for retirement benefits to assist in determining if you qualify for special extra earnings for military service. Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for your military service from 1957 through 2001 can be credited to your record for Social Security purposes. These extra earnings credits may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security benefits. So, bring your DD-214 with you when filing for Social Security. For more information, please click on the below Social Security Administration information link:
A thank you goes to JSA vet David Manson of North Las Vegas, Nevada for sharing this Social Security retirement benefits tip with us.
Jim Mazour, JSA 1973-74
West Des Moines, Iowa