This page has
lots of graphics. Please allow time to load.
John was in Korea from Dec, 55 to April, 57, with the 8th Army MPC, assigned to JSF UNCMAC (Joint Security Force United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission) at Advance Camp in Panmunjom.
He was an MP with the security section. His duty was to maintain security from the main gate of the camp along the two mile road to the Conference Area and another half mile to Ckpt. 3 at the Bridge of No Return, the furthest point north that anyone could go and the loneliest and most dangerous of all the checkpoints.
There were five checpoints, all with two MPs, except for Ckpt. 4, which was between the walkway of the NNSC (Swiss & Swede
Neutral Nations Camp) and the Conference Area, which was manned by one MP. The graveyard shift there extremely lonely and they were usually harrassed by the North Korean soldiers.
At Ckpt. 5, the Conference Area, there was confrontations with them on every shift, from rock throwing, cursing and spitting at each other, pushing and shoving, to drawing their weapons. Most of them were mean bastards but there were some that were very friendly and we would play ping-pong with them in their Rec Bldg. at the C A. It was rarity that we beat them.
The MP's had a jeep that patrolled the road from the camp to the C A. On many occasions the MP's would catch defectors (packages) coming from the north.
In June of 56, John moved up to the Escort Section. There, they were responsible for picking up and escorting all the top negotiators, high officials and visitors to and from the Conference Area, as well as many other destinations. An escort consisted of a lead jeep with an MP and the Officer in charge, followed by the sedan(s), 52 Chevy's, and a tail jeep with 2 MPs. They were heavily armed with 45s, grease guns, tear gas/masks, grenades and a rocket launcher. No one could enter the C A without wearing a yellow armband. They were issued at the camp gate and entrance to the DMZ. Escort was good duty because it gave the MP's the opportunity to get off the "Rockpile" (camp) and see other areas.
The camp was built on three levels on a hill, the bottom was all rocks. They lived in tents until quonsets were erected in the spring of 56. There was only 80 personnel, of which 50 were MPs. The other were motor pool, signal, mess and officers.
They were a close knit unit and for the most part, they all got along well. John tried over the years to locate some of them but have little success. He did have a mini-reunion with three this past June. Two were from the Boston area and one flew in from California. It was a great time for all of them.
John at the "line". Chinese soldier in jeep at the operationscenter.
Jay Gibler and John walking the conference area.
John and children from the orphanage at Munsani.
John, Jay Gibler and Ken Clagg at the conference center.
North Korean officers. Nicknamed "Smiling Jack" and "Shitface".Jack spoke perfect English and said he attended UCLA. Don't know if this was true or not.
Chinese soldier at guard shack at the base of the driveway leading to conference center. Road leads to "Bridge of No Return" and North Korea.
Fifteen year old houseboy Yong Dim. Nicknamed Johnny. Quarters for troops are upper right on the "Rockpile".
John and Jesse Masters. John was getting dressed for a escort run. It seems that Jesse was he camp comedian.
John with Cool Head Dave Farrel. At left is the houseboys camp.
Skip Nisonger and John getting some sunbathing time in on the rock accross from the camp.
John said that is the one he left behind, but they still keep in touch with one another.
Dale Roberts and John waiting for some rain in order to take a shower.
John at the line on the "Bridge of No Return" at checkpoint #3 which is off to the left of the sign.
John walking the conference area with Chinese soldiers.
Dale, John and Joe at Camp Casey. Joe is the boyfriend of a girl that John went to school with.
Cookout on the 4th of July. Henie, Wisonger, Lowman, Sharp, Unk, John and McGuigan.
John just before going on security duty.
Jay Gibler, "Skoshi" the mascot and John. They had Skoshi for about 3 months and he disappeared. They think that the Korean workers took him and ate him.
John on the firing range.
Rita Moreno was on a USO tour in Korea when John had his picture was taken with her.
Picture of John just before he drove the lead jeep for Rita Moreno's tour of the area.
In April of 2001 Rita was in John's home town. He had another picture taken with her. John is holding the picture that was taken in Korea many years before.
Rita Moreno, John and John's wife Linda.