Veteran Stories:
Frank Dyke

Army

  • KMAG Headquarters, Seoul, South Korea circa 1950.

    US Army File Photo
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"Every night, they come down from the North, come over into Seoul and surrounding districts and they’d steal and kill and do everything they wanted, nobody could stop them."

Transcript

They sent me to Korea and that was in September of 1950. So we were based in Seoul, we were in the Chosin Hotel first and that was the biggest hotel in Seoul and getting settled away and we had our own UN [United Nations] airplane all painted and this sort of thing and the idea behind those, people went there, representatives from all the countries in the UN. Then they brought in an American general and they pushed us all out and we stayed in the former residence sight of Korean Military Advisory Group, KMAG. So then we were outside of Seoul about four miles a place called Sobbingo, not too far from Yondongpo, was an American airport used by the Korean military. So we were based there for the rest of our stay. And the thing that the people don’t realize, there was thousands of guerrillas south of it. Every night, they come down from the North, come over into Seoul and surrounding districts and they’d steal and kill and do everything they wanted, nobody could stop them. And we were in this place, we were in, as I say, KMAG compound, and they would come down every night, shooting up. And we had weapons, we were issued American 45 automatic [pistol] and the [M1] carbine and at times, I’d tell the story that it was almost like the wild west, we’d go to bed at night and we’d hang our 45 on the bedstead. We left one day, the colonel and I, and we left and went in our white coloured jeep with UN figures on it and we went and we drove up, we were going to try to get as far as Pyongyang. But as we got up, the people started to show the fact that they didn’t like us up there so they started throwing bricks and stones and that and we never got very far. We got about halfway between Seoul and Pyongyang. So we went back and stayed in Seoul until the whole bunch came down the latter part of the year [after China’s entry into the war and the offensive which pushed UN forces further south].
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