Is this the Bridge of No Return?

WEBMASTER NOTE: From an email I just received.  

I found your website when searching for photos of The Bridge Of No Return.  As you note, there is not a lot of info out there, and I thought you might be a resource to help identify a picture I found.

I’m not convinced at all, but I wonder if this is a picture of The Bridge Of No Return, circa 1951, looking South.

My uncle just passed away at 91, and I have been exploring his photo collection, including some breathtaking slides he took when attached to the Panmunjom talks as a Navy officer.

His writing on this slide says “Korea Bridge – Pan Mun Jom”

I believe his experiences were when the Armistice talks were first moved to Panmunjom from Kaesong, probably Fall 1951, and perhaps into Spring 1952. I believe he traveled regularly from the UN “Peace Camp” at Munsan to Panmunjom. He has slides labled “Peace Camp”, “Munsan”, “Imjin” (including the rebuilding of the Honker pontoon bridge, which would be shortly after 9/6/51), and “Pan Mun Jom”.

This one is clearly labled Pan Mun Jom

The supports look like what I can make out of the supports in later pictures.

The railings look nothing like later pictures, but clearly the bridge is damaged in this pic. I’m thinking part of the negotioations could have involved the repairs of the bridge, including very different railings.

The terrain clearly does not match any pictures looking North. I cant find many pictures showing the terrain on the South side.

I’ve tried to look for pictures of other bridges that could have existed in the area at the time, and haven’t found any that look similar.

If this is of interest to you, I’d be curious to know your thoughts, and I’d be happy to share some of the other photos.


Alan Lasky
Dummerston, VT

3 thoughts on “Is this the Bridge of No Return?

  1. This is a picture of the Bridge of No Return which goes across the Sachon River in between North and South Korea.  I have one that looks just like it that I took while serving at the JSA from 2007 to 2010.

  2. This is not Bridge of no return I was Stationed their in the 50s and went back for reunion in 2009–the bridge is  bad shape and not used now. type in bridge of no return and you will see a few pictures of it.

  3. I’m pretty sure at this point that my uncle’s picture is the Bridge of No Return, taken from an unusual angle, due to the time and circumstances that he was there. I believe his picture is looking uphill towards the future site of the JSA. I believe checkpoint #3 would be just above the bed of the truck on the right.
    Searching the web, I found this picture from c.  1956 from this page. I believe the trucks would be directly behind the subject. I can even convince myself the vegetation in the river bed lines up.
    There is also this pic from this page, which is clearly the same bridge, with the same damage.
    I still can’t get the terrain to line up enough to feel certain, and I will gladly defer to the folks reading this who know the area from personal experience.
    I put the full set of slides from his time in Korea and Japan up here if you would like to see them.

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