HEADED FOR JAPAN. I knew a mistake was being made by our dear American Government. The Defense Department was ordering the Army to leave the Korean Peninsula with only 500 troops left behind for the South Korean Army. The 7th Infantry was being sent to Hokkaido which is the northern island of the Japanese Empire.
This note indicates that I left Korea on 5 January 1949 and was headed for Japan. Some of the people I was leaving behind were restless too. These pictures sent to me by S. K. Dong, the minister of the church in Seoul tells the story better than I can.
The caption on back of this pictures was Bro Dong’s handwriting indicating the Yun Sun Oh was remaining faithful in attendance at the church. The soldier in uniform was one of the 500 troops left behind.
I was pleased that Yun Sun Oh had remained faithful. In February 1949 I had settled in my routine duties as a clerk typist at Division Headquarters on Hokkaido.
The back of this picture notes the Captain in the picture as C. W. Miller who was a Chaplain with the U. S. Army and was very helpful after the American troops left. Number 2 is S. K. Dong and number 3 is Choong More Ung – brother Dong’s son. Number 4 is Sister Kang whose husband had died 8 years prior to this picture. The others shown were baptized by the Captain on October 31, 1948 in Pusan due to the unrest of the people knowing what was going to happen after the American Troops left South Korea.
Hokkaido was very cold that winter. That gear I have on it not truly winter gear. I couldn’t stay out in that weather very long. We did not know then that we would have to fight in colder weather with this type of gear in about a year.
My friend, Bob Cordry “enjoying” the cold weather with me.
Our office space was nice and warm. It was a pentagon shaped building and the G-3 section had one half of the 1/5th side of this pentagon building. We could communicate better than before. Sargent Wetzel was not on my case as much because he had no privacy to berate me and others. I was waiting for warm weather to come so I could explore the island more.
Bob Cordry in the cold weather in Northern Japan.
The winter of 1948 – 1949 in Hokkaido, Japan
CONTINUATION OF SUNDAY IN KOREA – We are now into Sunday afternoon. After the church services we went our separate ways. I will be shopping for a new pair of shoes. Read chapter 45 for the reason I now need some new shoes.
Most of the citizens of South Korea in 1948 considered themselves practicing Buddhism.
It looks like they are playing a shoot em up western at this theatre today.
Little did I know as I left Korea in early 1949 that I would ever come back. Fate would not have it. More about the Korean War later. I was looking forward to Occupation Duty on the Northern Island of Japan – Hokkaido.
I was not able to find a replacement for my dress shoes that were “exchanged” at the church services. I got back to the barracks and changed into my combat boots and wore those a few days until I was able to requisition a new pair of dress shoes.
Read the left side first then the right side.
We continue with a week-end off duty and visiting the city of Seoul. The pictures and comments under them speak for themselves but there will occasionally be comments 70 years after the tour in pre Korean War tour of duty.
This little girl was wandering around like she was lost but probably was doing some errands for her mother and was slow walking it.
Most citizens got their news about what was going on using the sidewalk news postings.
After worship services we all go our different direction. The afternoon I decided to visit the busy area of town where most of the well-to-do people shopped. I was looking for a new pair of shoes. I wore a perfectly good pair of GI shoes to worship. In Korea you take your shoes at the entrance. I stayed around a little longer than the others to talk to Brother Dong and when I got back to get my shoes someone had left me their ragged shoes and took my good shoes. Bro. Dong was very apologetic and said that during the sermon he had noticed a fellow that had never been there before come in and stay awhile and then leave early.
Part two of this Sunday afternoon will be covered in Chapter 46.