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The JSA brassard worn by soldiers of the JSA.


JSA Vets have lost a friend: LTC Wayne A. Kirkbride (Ret.)

7/13/50 -- 9/25/11


Wayne Kirkbride was guest speaker at the 2011 JSA reunion in Orlando and gave permission for his talk to be recorded.

Left Click here to listen or right click to download. (11.2mB)

Some of his photo aides can be found below.



"Five foot two, Eyes of Blue, I can whip all of you!" Wayne's plebe "poop", USMA


I first met Wayne Kirkbride via e-mail in 2006 while planning the 2007 Las Vegas JSA veterans reunion.  I was very familiar with his name as the author of four books about the Joint Security Area (JSA) unit, Panmunjom and the Korea DMZ, which I had eagerly read some years before.  He was a 1972 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, and, in the summer of 1976, then Captain Kirkbride was an adjutant with the Second Infantry Division where he was a participant in Operation Paul Bunyan.   It was this experience that would later lead Wayne to write four books about the axe murders incident, Operation Paul Bunyan, Panmunjom and the Korea DMZ.  

Wayne was my first choice as the banquet dinner speaker at this year's 2011 JSA veterans reunion in Orlando, and he immediately accepted my invitation to attend.  He graciously donated autographed copies of his books, which were given away as raffle gifts to reunion attendees.  Wayne gave an excellent presentation to our group, and we thanked him with a  framed picture of the Poplar tree being cut down during Operation Paul Bunyan.  The back of the picture was signed by every JSA veteran attending this reunion.  At the end of this reunion, Wayne gave me a copy of his latest book, "When God Says Yes - The Prayer of King Asa," and we promised to get together again at a future reunion. 

JSA veterans have lost a good friend with the tragic mountain climbing death of Wayne Kirkbride.  He will always be in my thoughts as the individual who has done more than anyone else to record and preserve the rich history that is the Joint Security Area, Panmunjom and the Korea DMZ.  Good bye my friend.

 Jim Mazour, JSA 1973-74
West Des Moines, Iowa




This is horrible news, Wayne was an unforgettable man.


Col Michael W Anastasia,

JSA Commander, 2006-8



Wayne Kirbride's book about Operation Paul Bunyan made public some things that I wanted to be made public.  I was happy to see this in his book.

Mark Luttrull, JSA 1975-76

West Palm Beach, FL



I met Wayne in 1976 while assigned to Alpha company, 2/9 Inf. He was the Battalion S-1 and I was the CO's driver for Alpha Company. It was my task to get paper work signed each morning and it was his task to sign most of it.   And so it continued until I was about to DEROS and I happened to be at battalion HQ when his wife brought their daughter in for all to meet.  Afterwards, he would tell people I was the first non-family member to hold his new daughter.  That was more than 35 years ago. 


Wayne has always been a generous man.  When he found out I was involved with web sites telling the story of Operation Paul Bunyan and the DMZ he immediately gave me permission to use anything from any of his books that would be of use.  "That is one of the reasons I wrote the books," he told me, "to tell the story".  His last book is given away for the asking by the church he attended for many years in Sylvester, GA.


His first wife died of cancer in October 2009.  Almost a year later he casually mentioned that there were three qualities he would look for in another woman:  "She has to love Jesus, she has to love hiking, and she has to love me." When I asked why he was number 3 on the list he said that as much as he loved to hike, she had better love it as much as he.  And then, shortly afterwards, he married Melanie.


Wayne was one of the greatest men I have ever known.  I would (and, several times, did) drive hundreds of miles just to see him and I never wasted a trip.  He had nearly 700 friends on his Facebook page and hundreds of photos of himself, family and friends.  He loved his Lord, his country and his family.   And he loved to hike.


He was my friend.


Wayne Johnson