Friday, July 08, 2011

The 1971 Anjeong-ri race riot, Part 2

In my last post, I looked at Korean reports on the July 9, 1971 race riot which occurred in Anjeong-ri, outside Camp Humphreys. On July 16, Stars and Stripes published a long article about the incident:


Black GIs on Rampage
Riot-Torn Anjong-Ni—Why It Happened

S&S Korea Bureau

ANJONG-NI, Korea—A sign hangs on the rear wall of the security guard house at the Camp Humphreys main gate which lists the names of 12 bars.

Beside each is a pair of nails from which a small plaque is hung to tell American GIs who are the life's blood of this village of perhaps 2,000 population, 60 miles south of Seoul, the situation in each bar. A black plaque means the place is on limits; a yellow one means it is off limits.

Since 9:30 p.m. July 10, all the plaques have been yellow. The sign will remain that way for a very long time, Camp Humphreys commander, Col. John C. McWhorter, says.

A few minutes past 9 p.m. that Friday, 50 black soldiers from Camp Humphreys walked into Duffy's Tavern, one of the plushest of the bars which line a pathway GIs call "the alley," climbed up on the stage and told everyone to leave the club. In minutes, they had demolished it and moved on to three other clubs which, they say, discriminate against blacks. Those were demolished too. "They didn't stay around each place very long," McWhorter said.

"They hit one place, then moved to the next. Some news stories have said there were whites involved, but that is not true. This was between a group of black soldiers and Koreans."

More than 200 MPs and Korean National Police swarmed into the area and struggled to separate the combatants. McWhorter ordered the village put off limits and the MPs began moving Americans back up Anjong-Ni's single dusty street.

"We had about 80 men who were moving back toward the gate with a crowd of Koreans following them. The Koreans started throwing rocks and, to break up the crowd and protect the camp, we used tear gas grenades/' he said.

"Some shots were fired from .45 cal. pistols.

"No one was shot down here. There are rumors that some people were shot but that isn't true. All the shots were fired into the air to break up the crowds."

Four bars were extensively damaged. Four days after the riot, young Korean men loafed amidst the wreckage, playing go (Japanese chess), coming alert only when newsmen came in too look at the damage. Then, they hobbled about.

The bar owners are claiming 20 million won ($54,000) damage and the 8th Army Claims Office is accepting claims. If they are legitimate, they will be paid, an Army spokesman said.

The damage does not appear that extensive.

There were no houses damaged. One shop window was broken, apparently by a rock, and the Koreans reportedly were throwing the rocks.

By 11:30 p.m., most of the Americans were out of the village and safely behind concertina wire which had been stretched across the gate. About 10 U.S. dependents were moved out of the village and onto the compound.

"There was one man down here on leave with his wife. We brought them on the base Friday night and moved them out the next day," McWhorter said.

Saturday, U.S. MPs swept through the village twice in a door-to-door search for other Americans.

"There was a lot of anger out there, a lot of tension. The men who got caught in it went into hiding. They were afraid," McWhorter said.

One man, a Negro, was caught by villagers as he tried to make his way back to Camp Humphreys Saturday and was beaten. Police rescued him. Another man, who was injured Friday night, was found during a search and was taken back to the post dispensary.

"This man was not involved in the riot. He's one of my best EOT (equal opportunities and treatment) men, and he definitely was not involved in it.

"We don't know, yet, exactly who was involved. We're investigating, but no one has been charged yet. There were many people hurt, but just because a person was hurt doesn't mean that he was involved in it. Many were simply bystanders.

Anjong-Ni is not an unusual village.

Its single unpaved, pot-holed street is lined with vegetable stores, a hotel — which the manager says soon will boast a miniature golf course and a swimming pool—tailor and shoe shops which hawk the outlandish fashions of the young and souvenir stores which offer everything from peace beads to intricately etched Korean brassware.

The 12 bars which dot "the alley" are by GI bar standards in Korea, plush, but they are like GI gin mills anywhere. Camp Humphreys is Anjong-Ni's major industry. It is the reason the village was built and the people and the village could not exist without it.

Its future is now shrouded in a cloud which has put the economy of other towns, other people, in jeopardy: racial discrimination.

Duffy's, where Friday night's riot began, is a major source of the discrimination, blacks say.

"We have no place here to relax. The bartenders don't like to serve us, the girls don't like to sit with us," they say.

These are the same complaints that other GIs in Japan, the Philippines, in other areas of Asia, have. They are difficult to prove.

In Friday night's riot, 14 Americans and Koreans were injured and were treated at U.S. military medical facilities. One Korean, a slim man nicknamed "Johnny," the manager of Duffy's, was evacuated to the 121st Evac. Hospital in Seoul for treatment of three stab wounds in the abdomen.

In town, people were saying Johnny was dead and a secret funeral had been held for him Monday.

Monday afternoon, Johnny was returned from Seoul and he was driven from the base to his home in a Pacific Stars and Stripes station wagon, one of the few U.S. forces vehicles allowed into the village that day. As we moved through the concertina wire at the gate, people in a crowd glared at us. The crowd had gathered a few moments earlier when base officials decided to allow Korean women through the gate to visit their boy friends.

Then someone recognized Johnny and word that he was not dead spread quickly down the street. In seconds, the hostility vanished and people ran alongside the car, shouting welcome home and smiling for the first time in four days.

As we took him home, Johnny told us about his club and about what happened.

"I was in the club about 9 p.m. and a bunch of black soldiers came in and told everybody to get out. I ran next door to call the police. We've had a lot of trouble here before and I knew, there was going to be trouble again."

"When I got back to the club, I couldn't get inside because the black soldiers had pushed everybody out. I could hear them tearing up the place. When they left, I followed them to the street. There were a lot of people around and suddenly someone stabbed me. I don't know who did it. There were too many people around."

"I don't know why they did it. Somebody said it was because there was fight between a black soldier and a white soldier at my club early in the evening. That's not true. There wasn't any fight before 9 p.m.

We asked point-blank if there was racial discrimination in Duffy's.

Johnny lowered his head and answered very quietly, "no."

"Is the service you give whites any different than that you give blacks?"

He ignored the question and waved out the window at a woman who was running beside the car, waving at him.

The manager of another bar gave at least one piece of concrete evidence of discrimination.

"A lot of it has to do with credit. Many of the bars use chit books. When a soldier doesn't have any money he can use the chits and pay on pay day. We had a bar owners meeting and some of us argued that the chit books are no good. They only cause problems."

He said other bar owners will extend credit to white soldiers, but not to blacks. He said his bar does not extend credit, to anyone.

Some people in town — and some on base — say that gangsters have been brought into town to keep the blacks out. They say the gangsters are being paid two million won ($5,400) for the job.

"All I know," an MP said, "is that since Friday a lot of girls have been leaving and a lot of men have been coming in."

"Those are rumors," McWhorter said. "We've heard that's being done and are investigating, but so far we haven't confirmed it."

The riot at Anjong-Ni Friday night has served one purpose: It has brought the black soldiers and white soldiers a little closer together.

Monday, when GIs were allowed to go back into the village with an MP escort to pick up their belongings, blacks were not allowed to go.

"No sweat, man," white GIs said time and again, "I'll get your stuff for you."

Anjong-Ni's bars now are faced with a choice: Either clean up their town and end discrimination or go broke.

"The village will stay off limits indefinitely," McWhorter said. "It will be off limits until each man who goes out the gate receives the same treatment as the next man."


That article places the blame in a rather different place than the Korea Times articles did, specifically noting the credit system as a source of discrimination. Note also the way in which the off limits decree was being used to punish the Korean club owners.

One of the few books that delves into the racial tensions within USFK in the early 1970s is Katharine Moon's 'Sex Among Allies: Military Prostitution in U.S.-Korea Relations.' She not only looks at media reports, but also uses internal USFK documents and interviews with Korean and American officials. (The information that follows is found on pages 67-74 of the book.)

One of the things she notes as contributing to tension at that time was the fact that, as part of the Nixon doctrine, 20,000 US troops were pulled out of Korea by the end of 1971. As a SOFA subcommittee put it in 1972,
The drawdown of U.S. forces introduced new elements of tension into traditionally friendly relationships. Accompanying base closures and restationing of U.S. forces resulted in widespread dislocations among Koreans living in villages adjacent to U.S. bases… and resulted in increased competition among bar owners, “business girls,” and merchants.
Moon notes that while problems had always existed in the camptowns, Koreans were generally able to overlook them for the sake of their livelihoods. As their livelihoods became threatened, this began to change, and as this was happening, in the summer of 1971 fights between black and white soldiers began to spill over into the camptowns and involve Koreans. An investigation by the Joint SOFA Committee noted that most incidents took place in or near clubs in the camptowns:
A careful review of such incidents reveals that a large number, if not a majority, of such clashes arise from feelings by black servicemen that they are being discriminated against in some respect by either white servicemen or Korean service personnel working in various Korean clubs… More specifically, investigations reflect that black charges of discriminatory practices in Korean clubs relate to the performance of three functions by club proprietors and their managers and personnel. These are 1) alleged or real discrimination against black servicemen in the service or food or beverages on club premises; 2) alleged or real discrimination by bona fide hostesses working in the clubs against black servicemen in their entertainment or dancing functions on club premises; 3) alleged or real discrimination against black servicemen by club management in the selection of types of music played within the clubs.
The Psychological Operations unit of the Eighth Army found that
[t]his [increased Korean] involvement [in racial confrontations] normally assumes three forms of progression. First, the Koreans aggravate racial problems [existing on post] by discriminatory practices. Second, they are often the injured party during black/white confrontations, suffering physical and/or property damage. Third, they demonstrate, often violently, against U.S. troops in general and against blacks in particular… Discriminatory practices by the Koreans are usually of a passive nature rather than one of violence. In the clubs, such practices include poor service, unfriendliness, and sometimes refusal to even serve black soldiers. Among business girls, such practices take on two forms. Some of the business girls refuse to associate with blacks. Some also discriminate against Koreans who do associate with blacks and consider those Koreans to be of lower status than those who go only with white soldier[s]. Polarization has developed to the point that some girls are called ‘black’ because of their frequent association with blacks.
Moon mentions racial attitudes Koreans have towards those (Korean or foreign) who have darker skin, but describes “American racial ideology” as the “primary source of Korean’s racism towards African-Americans, both in Korea and in the United States.” Supporting this are quotations from US military personnel:
“Korean locals have been subjected to the attitudes of the white majority for so long that they practice discrimination without even being aware of what they’re doing.”

“[It is] undoubtedly true that in many instances club owners and the hostesses are discriminatory towards one group or the other… However, it must be recognized that we have created this condition through patronage habits and individual or group behavior. … In many instances, vociferous groups have forced Korean clubs to cater to only a certain group and exclude all others. … Korean business establishments willingly try to correct those undesirable practices over which they have control but are in a dilemma when they try to correct a situation which is created and controlled by the patrons. Korean businessmen, hostesses, and residents have been drawn into the midst of the current turmoil."
The influence of American racial attitudes seems clear enough from this photo from the Kyunghyang Sinmun:
Other than "BLACK, BLACK, BLACK" and "Go back to cotton field," it's hard to read the banners, though Moon writes that the one on the right reads "We don't need any ni--ers" [as did Stars and Stripes in another article at the time].

The one on the left may also say "we will show you our might" (or 'right', though the line below it in Korean seems to read "안정리 주민 일동" (All the citizens of Anjung-ri), which perhaps supports reading it as "might."

To be sure, "Go back to cotton field" is specifically American, and supports the idea that some of these attitudes were learned from white Americans in Korea.

This essay summarizes Moon's account of what happened in response to the race riots:
Congressman Ronald Dellums, himself an African-American, accused the Korean government and people of mistreating black servicemen. Dellums supported pulling U.S. troops out of Korea, stating that they did not need to be where they were not wanted.

In order to entice the American military to continue to stay on the Korean peninsula, the South Korean government initiated the Camptown Clean-up Campaign (1971-1976). This campaign had two major goals: the first was to regulate and control the spread of venereal diseases among kijich’on women, and the second was to press for behavioral and policy changes regarding discrimination against black military personnel. This included educating Korean club owners and employees as well as white American soldiers about racial discrimination. Club owners were also encouraged to post signs that read: “Serve All Customers Equally,” and “Don’t Discriminate—Participate.”
Moon's book is primarily about the Camptown Clean-up Campaign, and it looks at how it sought to manage the roles prostitutes played as 1) vectors of disease (and thus subjected them to increasing state control through mandatory STD tests) and 2) as, in some ways, ambassadors for Korea, since they were often the Koreans with whom soldiers had the closest connections.. On the one hand, the campaign involved active Korean government and US military involvement in controlling aspects of (and thereby abetting) prostitution, and on the other an attempt to end discrimination towards black soldiers by the Koreans who most often were in contact with them. The acknowledgement that this had become an intolerable problem only came with the riots that took place in Anjeong-ri 40 years ago tomorrow.

There are other aspects of the US military presence in Korea at this time which are very interesting, but I'll have to delve into those when I have more time...


Anonymous said...

Amazing documentary work. Very interesting read.

I've heard mixed things about Moon's book but now I want to track down a copy.

My parents (American) lived here in Korea in 1974. My dad was on loan from the US Dept. of Agriculture trying to perfect "Tongil Rice" in Suwon. I don't think he ever stepped foot on a US military base at the time but now I need to ask him. The 70's camp-towns make Itaewon ca. 2011 sound like Disneyland.

Robert Gardner said...

I was an African American soldier stationed at Camp Humphreys from 1970 - 1971. I was assigned to the 19th Aviation Company, a Ch-47 Helicopter unit. Racial problems were a common occurrence on base as well as in the village. At that time the primary entertainment for the G.I.'s was the main club alley and consisted of for clubs. The "T" Club, The Lower 7 Club, The Triple 7 Club, and Duffy's. Of the four clubs only the Triple 7 Club catered to the Black G.I. This was done by the type of music played and the friendliness of the club girls. Black G.I.'s could go to the other clubs but service was bad and the girls refused to dance or be seen with the Black soldier for fear of being blacklisted by the White soldiers. The trouble escalated when the owner of the Triple 7 Club closed the club for renovations. The Triple 7 Club was not as well appointed as the other clubs, but the owner promised to improve things if the Black G.I.'s would patronize it. When the club reopened it was on the same level of appointment as the other clubs, but without notice it abruptly closed. It was later discovered that the other club owners had pressured the closure because they didn't want a club that catered to Black G.I.'s in the alley. It must be understood that this was indeed an alley, very congested and not easy to navigate through. The entrances to the clubs were all on the alley and so all the traffic made entering the clubs difficult. Blacks, Whites, and Koreans were in very close contact with each other. With all the racial tensions created by the actions in the clubs this close contact in such a closed confined area was just a bomb waiting to explode. When the Triple 7 Club was closed, the Black soldiers were left with no place to go in the alley since their treatment in the other clubs was made plain. This was the start of the conditions that lead to the riot. The village was put off limits for a short time and the cause of the closing of the Triple 7 Club was investigated. The conspiracy of the club owners was discovered but nothing could be done, but the military did institute some changes. The clubs were required to observe a 4 to 1 music arraignment, for every four rock songs played one soul song was played. I rotated back to the states in May 1971, I heard about the riot while home on leave and knew of some of the men who where involved. It was a sad time in our military's history with Vietnam and all. I was reassigned to Camp Humphreys in 1975 -1976, things were better but the ghosts of the past were still present, the clubs were still there and practicing pretty much in the same manner. The one club in the village that catered primarily to Blacks, the U.N. Club was in another part of the village away from the main club alley.

matt said...

Thanks for the comment! It's always nice to read first-hand accounts of what happened...

Unknown said...

I was stationed at Camp Humphreys from May 1970 to June 1971 and I remember the riot was during my R and R in Japan in the first two weeks of April. The night of the attack of the Frags was I think in May.

TommyD said...

Was there May 70 May 71 I was the supply sergeant of 545th Med Dispensary. It was a volatile time to say the least. Relations between black and white GI's was not good. I am white. I had no ill feelings toward the afro-american GI's but the polarization was there. A black friend P. Officer was told by another black J. Stewart that he was either with them or against them. I am sure he was told this because he was friends with a white GI mainly me. I was in the Top Hat Club when it was overrun by blacks at the time the Triple 7 was closed. I managed to get out the door and J. Stewart grabbed me and said Dunn you best get away from here. Johnny had been the manager of the Top Hat most of the time that i had been there I am not sure when he moved to Duffys. I wonder if Johnny is still alive. He was maligned in the article I believe. I am not saying that the blacks had no basis for feeling discriminated against but it was the time of black power and they were caught up in the movement.

TommyD said...

TommyD here, The clubs had their regulars. The Top Hat was where the 545th Med Disp. the APO, the Finance group always went intermingled with others. Triple 7 was strictly a black club. Everyone just thought that was the way it was and excepted it until the triple 7 was closed. Some thought the medics were to blame because we had a preventative medicine dept. that not only checked out the VD cases but also checked the chlorine residual of the ice and water at the clubs and could shut them down if they were not adding chlorine to the water. The problems that evolved were unfortunate and should have never happened if the army had been more disciplined.

TommyD said...


Very little activity here. But I have to say this the blacks in 1970-71 formed an organization called the Dubois after W.E.B. DuBois 1868-1963 one of the founders of the NAACP who was opposed to black leaders of the time such as Booker T. Washington. Washington had the philosophy that blacks should elevate themselves through education whereas DuBois preached elevation through violence. Leading DuBois to resign from NAACP in 1934. He was considered to be a Communist and finally renounced his American citizenship in 1961 and then officially joined the Communist Party. He died in 1963 at age of 95. I would like to comment to Mr. Robert Gardner that just because when he returned to Camp Humphreys in later years and the U.N. Club was the only one that catered to blacks,you must realize that is where the blacks went. If they had integrated and made white friends all the clubs would have most likely accepted them. Just saying.

Unknown said...

Phil R
I was an MP at Casey and NCO of the Walk which patroled the village of Tongduchon (also know as Dongduchon by some. July 72 was the worst of the race war and we were in the middle of it. Groups of Afro-American GIs were jumping white GIs and using straight razors, or beating them. Whites started to go to the vill in groups and continued the conflict. I called for an ambulance more than a couple times with soldiers sliced up or beaten. The worst night we (the MPs) shut down the village with all our company and some infantry assigned to help (with ax handles). Tensions were high for a few weeks with scattered fights and attacks but nothing like the main riot. Shortly after the main incidents I was sent by the Provost Marshal to the North side (which was mostly Black GIs and Korean) to try and start intigration the part of the vill. I went in on patrol with two other MPs (Johnny O and Charlie B) both Afro-Americans. Tension was very high, for me anyway as I was the only white in that part of the North side. Going through one club, the music stopped as we crossed through the club and exited. And I can say I trusted Johnny and Charlie with my life. Really good guys. I guess growing up in northern Cal I never dealt with race issues (that I saw) I encountered in Korea. Seemed that blacks hated whites and whites hated black and Puerto Ricans were in the middle but they all hated the MPs. But there were some really great times too.

Unknown said...

I was stationed at Camp Casey 1/73 Armored battalion in 1974. I was a white 17 year old kid when I first arrived. I can still remember being indoctrinated on day one about the separate arrangements off post. In Tongduchong, I was warned to stay out of the section known as "the Crack". That was where the brothers hung out and you could expect a whuppin if you went there. The separation of races had been going on for some time I guess because it was well entrenched in 1974. I was rather naive at that age so I just accepted the situation without much thought. Both blacks and whites warned newbies to hang with them or be branded a traitor ( n-lover or uncle Tom etc. ) Each side had it's own "dap" which was basically an extended handshake that you greeted someone in your group with. That was probably brought over from Vietnam as this was in that era. Integration efforts had not worked, at least at that point. The clubs in the ville were still divided by race, white, black, Puerta Rican. I can only guess that over time this atmosphere changed but I have learned that racial bias and stereotyping are hard to change.
I was only 18 when I arrived at Fort Bliss to find that the racial grouping , while still present was not nearly as bad as it was in Korea. Needless to say, I did a lot of growing up while enlisted 1974 - 1980.

Unknown said...

I was s camp humphreys from 74-76. I remember the UN club was where the brothers usually hung out, the NCOs and country dudes hung a duffys, the heads hung at the T Club. I'm white, but played drums in a soul band called The Godfather band. We didn't have racial tension in the band and I hung at the UN club a few times. Lucky me...lived in the vile and toured most of the country playing music from Taegu and Pusan up to Camp Casey. Great memories.

Unknown said...

The Anjongi race riots of 1971 almost cost me my life. I was assigned to ASA as a 72-B commcenter specialist.
The night the riots broke out I was in my hooch with a half dozen white soldiers from the same unit. As a black soldier I never noticed the discrimination at the heart of the routing. Most of my friends were white and we pretty much hung together.
The riots caught us all off guard. When we found out about it the morning after the first night, several of my so called friends left me and went back to the safety of Camp Humphries leaving me to fend for myself.
One soldier white soldier from Wisconsin refused to leave me behind. Must be something he learned in Vietnam. He became my friend for life.
We hid out in our hooch for 2 days thanks to a sympathetic Korean woman to whom I owe my life.
We were airlifted out of the vill on the 3rd day by an ASA chopper in a scene straight out of a war movie. The Korean gangs were closing in on our hooch as the chopper lifted myself and my friend to safety. I never met the pilot, but I thank him for saving us.
The incident was not covered by civilian or military media who probably never knew about it.
But I never forgot the courage of my friend who was prepared to give his life to help protect me.
And my deepest gratitude to the pilot who flew the unauthorized mission that saved my life.

Unknown said...

I watched the riots on tv in the US, the day before flying to Seoul. After spending the first night at ASCOM, I was sent to Camp Humphreys, then reassigned to Camp Mercer. I heard what was happening, but there was a lot of bull crap. Stories really get blown out of proportion. I heard that Koreans had rioted and lynched some black officers, really? Later on we had an incident at Camp Mercer, some southern white redneck guys burned a cross, later a gang of blacks came thru the barracks and beat hell out of some of the white guys. I guess I was lucky, but the black guys that were on the rampage knew me to well that I was not racist. Certainly an interesting time.

Unknown said...

I was there in '75-76 played in a soul band called "Godfather Part II". I remember the clubs and the 4:1 rule. Also played in a country band "cross country jam". I pretty well lived in the village...

Anonymous said...

I am Gregory Morrison, I was SP5 and I was assigned to 45th Transportation Company, first I was to say I did meet a nice young lady named Lee she worked at the 7 Club. She was not a business woman, would love for her to find this note of mine. I was assigned to Camp Humpreys from 1971-1972. They several clubs all of which has been dated above. My personal experience was very rewarding, does anyone remember Happy Mountain, did you know you could turn right out the main gate and meet a village totally different than outside Camp Humpreys all these ladies did not have a VD card.

Won was 400 too a a US Dollar, US dollars were not authorized to be spend downtown. If you were luckly you could get a better exchange rate when they changed colors. They called in Holes in fence. Brown doors anyone remember?

Unknown said...

i WAS THERE JAN '71-'72 AT CAMP HUMPHREY with 520 Maint. Co. We were called on alert, to report at company area. We were then ordered onto back of trucks, many still in civilian clothes, and taken to the main gate where we were issued baseball bats axe and pick handles, but no firearms. We were told to defend the camp of a possible 'take-over' from Korean protestors. We were told, if attacked, to strike legs and arms only. My First Sergeant's name is Hart and we spent most of the night on our feet, forming a human barricade. Sergeant Hart said ''With a show of force, we can scare them off''. I don't recall the exact day or month, but I think it was a weekend because I was watching a movie at the theater when lights came on and someone said 'Report to your units'. I thought it was only another drill, where we fall-in for muster formation with helmet and web gear and afterwards, draw weapons from armory. This is the first drill time we didn't draw weapons. We had our M-17 gas make on our web gear, someone mentioned tear gas might be used at the main gate. The road leading from our compound to the main gate zig-zagged, with bunkers lined with sand bags, yards apart and the road was made of hard packed dirt. I thought to myself, 'so, this may not be the first such alert''. I was young and did a lot thinking that night and so were everyone else at the gate. We whispered to one another but only when necessary to do so. It was

foggy, straining to see or hear anything. Just before sunrise, trucks took us back to our units. I was one of many with civilian clothes, helmet, web gear and baseball bat.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know if there is a link or email address to 7 club I would love to drop a line there and say Hello. I was at Camp Humphrey's 45th Transportation Company September 71-September 1972. I really had a great, we had those old metal around barrack's when we had to attach a 5 gallon of fuel to keep warm. I also remember that POT was very easy find. Duffy bag I was told cost 5 dollars. Most barracks were set up of juicer's or POT Heads, you need to tell the truth when you moved in barracks what side of the fence you were on. My self I love my drinks, I could get high just by walking to the other end of barracks looking for some on CQ. Gregory Morrison SFC, Retired

Unknown said...

Some of what you said is true. I too was there in 1972, between Jan '71-Feb '72 with 520th Maint Company, 23rd Support Group. CQ do not leave their post to walk through barracks. You said metal around barracks, you mean quanset huts, corrogated metal buidings, half-round. We never called them 'metal around barracks'. The heater was in center of barracks, diesel fueled from a gerri-can which did keep us warm. We took turns being on 'fire watch' all night to regulated the heater so it doesn't get too hot and re-fuel when necessary. Never heard of a Duffy bag. We did have duffle bags 'overseas bag'. I think you meant a nickle-bag, five dollars sounds right. G.I.'s did smoke pot in the barracks and non-pot smokers did wake up high with second hand smoke. I wasn't a lifer, got smart and got out when ETS.

Unknown said...

Keith Strozewski

Hello to all my fellow Korean vets. I was in Korea from 70-Feb to Mar-72. I was assigned to 21st Finance Section D in Camp Humphrey's. When I got to Korea the Army was giving you a 6 month early out if you extended for a year so I took advantage of it. Then in late 71-72 the Army said anyone in the army for 3 years got 6 months early out. So my buddies that went back to the states got out the same time as me anyway. But I loved Korea. So much to learn and so little time. (2 years) I handled the finance records for ASA, 520th and 19th Aviation. I was there during the riots. What's not being mentioned was all that happened to lead up to the riot. There was always tension between Koreans, Blacks and Whites. All were at fault for the riots. Whether it was on post (between Whites and Blacks) at the EM and NCO clubs or in the village at one of the clubs. It did not happen nightly but occasionally. With the riot in the village everyone knew it was coming. Days before it happened you started to see more and more Korean men sitting out front of stores on the main street. I lived in the village for the two years that I was there and only had to live on base during the riots. The Mama-sans, Bar owners, girls, ASA and Camp Humphreys in general knew it was going to happen but did not know when it was going to start. I used to take out newbies that first came into country to introduce them to the owners of the clubs, the mama-sans I knew, Girls etc. I can't remember the name of the Black soldier that was in our unit but here was his story about what happened to him during the night the riot began. He was in his "hooch" when Koreans came in and pulled all the Black soldiers out and started to beat on them with bats. He got hit twice and a Korean shouted he is 21st Finance quit hitting him. A few of them carried him to the gate and turned him over to the MP's. From the infirmary in the morning he thanked me for taking him around and making sure he was known to all. The Triple 7 was kitty corner from Duffy's and he would frequent both as I would too. I hope things have improved in Korea but I doubt it. No more than in the United States. Respect is the key.

A special hello to TommyD of the 545th Med Disp. Wish I could remember everyone but so goes the mind. I used to be called "Zeke" and wore a big round straw hat in the office and out.
Still remember the cookouts with Medics, Mp's, cooks (they supplied the steaks) on the small hill (bump) between the Fiance office a the huts. Remember, we used to say we could not live without each other. Mp's to get us out to the village, Fiance to give use the money needed to be out in the village, Medics to give give us a shot when our trip to the village went wrong and cooks to feed us great food on post.

A million stories so little time! Be safe my friends.

jim said...

I was there, assigned to c company , 802nd. engr. Bn. The black soldiers had been throwing hand grenades at the mess hall a few days prior to the riots. In addition the had stolen grenades from the ammo dump. It was not safe for white soldiers in town. The whole problem was due to a weak command. Soldiers were walking around, needing haircuts, wearing torn and dirty uniforms, and doing about what ever they wanted to do. If an NCO attempted to correct them he, as I was, was called before the commander and told to back off. I was sent to a project in Taegue, after I corrected a group of soldiers. The commander told me that his soldiers worked and were expected to get dirty. When I reminded him that we were all in the same army, he sent me packing. I had just arrived from another unit that had been shut down After the riot the village was put off limits. My wife, who was Korean, attempted to bring my son on post because he was having a febrile seizure. The gate guard would not allow her on post, although she presented a valid ID and a US passport for my son. He was six months old. She had to take him by taxi to Suwon and the Korean/German hospital for emergency care. He almost died. I was not notified until the next day. My wife told me the the gate guard was black. When I threatened to involve my uncle(he was an Airforce general) they agreed to transfer me to another unit. The black soldiers were out of control. In 1975 I arrived in Germany, only to see the same problems with the black soldiers.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the comments. Most don't believe how bad things were but there were a few times that were great.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your post. Verifies what I was stating.

Unknown said...

I have to add that in the MIDDLE Co.there wasn't any racial issues. We all hung out together because everyone hated the MPs. Especially The Walk as we paroled the village.

Unknown said...

I was there with the 19 th Aviation and the Trouble actually started in United States and Germany,Philippines and in Vietnam.The actual Rioting started in Seoul Korea. The 19th Aviation was tasked by 8 th Army to bring Armed Infantry from Camp Casey on the DMZ to Seoul to quell the Rioting in Seoul by Black Soldiers. We slept in our Helicopters on the Kimpo Airfield. We stayed for two days. Then were ordered to standby on full alert for the commanding General.The fighting in Anjung Ri took place when the people Rioting at Seoul returned to their Units at Camp Humphries.The ones who were MP'S placed Fragmentation Grenades in the Helicopters on the Flight Line.One of our Units Members opened up the door on Guard Duty to retrieve some water from his ship and opening the front door of the Chinookk the Grenade went off hitting him in the Face Neck and Chest. This was done because we transported thee Troops to stop the Rioting in Seoul.Myself SFC Storey and staff Sgt Gorski Climbed you back Ramp of each Helicopter to search for more Booby Traps .We found several Grenades some set as Booby Traps and some in the Engine Exhausts.