The South Korean city of Uijongbu has a long history of being host to hundreds of thousands of US Soldiers over the past 60 years. Out of all the current and past US military bases in the city Camp Stanley has housed more Soldiers than any other:
View Camp Stanley in a larger map
Where Camp Stanley is located today was originally a truck depot during the Korean War and became a tent city to house troops following the war. The tent city was eventually named after Colonel Thomas H. Stanley in 1958 who was the commander of the 36th Engineer Regiment during World War II that was killed in a vehicle accident in Italy. I could not however find the reason why this camp was named after someone killed in World War II. If anyone knows please leave a comment. I have seen some of the veteran sites out there that offer old photographs of Korea but Bruce Richards’ site is the best archive of old photographs of USFK facilities I have seen yet. Using Bruce’s picture archives here are a few historic photographs of Camp Stanley:
For those that have been stationed at Camp Stanley before, the above image of tent city is starkly different from what has been built on the camp today. Not only is the camp extremely different but so is the terrain because the mountains in the background look completely deforested compared to the thickly forested slopes of the mountains today.
In this aerial photo from 1955 the rice paddies that still surround the camp to this day can be seen:
This next image from 1961 shows how much development took place in less then 10 years with all the tents replace with quonset huts and other permanent buildings:
This next image shows a 1964 image of the “ville” adjacent to Camp Stanley:
Here is an image of the airfield in 1965:
The first real barracks built on Camp Stanley in the 1970′s are the buildings pictured below which are still visible today:
Here is what the front gate of Camp Stanley looked like in 1975:
Here is an image of Camp Stanley from the 1980′s:
The large quonset hut building in the picture above was what was used as the Camp Stanley PX until the new facility was opened in 2005. Needless to say the new PX was a huge upgrade compared to the old one.
Needless to say Camp Stanley has changed a lot of the years and is currently a logistical support base for the 2nd Infantry Division after long being the home to 2-2 Aviation Battalion and the division’s artillery units for many years. Camp Stanley has actually escaped being surrounded by urban sprawl due to the fact that is located right next to a Korean prison and it’s adjacent rice paddies. From Camp Stanley you can sometimes hear the prisoners singing songs and cadence from the prison. You can often see them working in the prison’s rice paddies as well. The picture below is of Camp Stanley as viewed from Surak Mountain that show the rice paddies in front of the camp:
This picture provides another view of Camp Stanley as seen from Cheonbo Mountain in Uijongbu:
The Uijongbu Prison is easily seen due to its distinctive blue roof. Camp Stanley also has a distinctive tree lined road that leads to its side gate that goes right by the prison. While driving up the road the prison can easily be seen:
Camp Stanley is the largest base in Uijongbu which due to its size is the only US military installation in Uijongbu that has a true “ville” located adjacent to it appropriately called Stanleyville. The base is located in the southeastern corner of the city and since it is surrounded by mountains and rice paddies it is unlike other bases 2ID where it has not consumed by the urban sprawl. There has been talk in the past about closing Camp Stanley, but I think as long as 2ID remains north of Seoul this camp will remain open due to its size and location that is not a burden on the local community. Here is the north entrance to Camp Stanley from the road leading up to the camp past the prison:
Compared to the earlier 1975 image the gate to the camp has changed a bit over the years. Right next to this gate is the Nameless Music Cafe:
The other way of accessing the camp is by continuing to drive down Highway 43 to the camp’s main gate. While driving down the highway there are some really nice views of Suraksan Mountain that can be seen:
Here is the eastern gate into Camp Stanley as seen from Highway 43:
This is the gate primarily used for military vehicles to enter the installation from. Here is a view looking inside of Camp Stanley:
Here is a view of some of the barracks buildings on the facility:
Here is a picture of the old PX building that was pictured above which has been turned into a education center:
Right next to the old PX building is the new building that was opened back in 2005:
The new Camp Stanley PX when it opened was quite nice and I was surprised by how big it was considering the size of the camp plus the fact that other nearby installations were all being closed out back in 2005. Well the employees at the PX found other people to sell the merchandise to as the Camp Stanley PX would have the distinction of operating one of the largest blackmarketing rings in the country that was finally broken up in 2009. Here is the view looking to the east from the PX which on a clear day has quite a nice view of the nearby mountains across the valley filled with rice paddies:
Here is the view from the PX looking up the hill towards Surak Mountain where one of the few quonset huts on Camp Stanley is still visible:
Next to the PX is the Community Bank which is still open and serving customers on Camp Stanley:
Near the bank is the post chapel:
Near the church there is also a small theater on the camp:
Across from the PX is the commissary which now has this map posted on it in case somebody some how gets lost on this small post:
This commissary is the past has been recognized as the best small commissary overseas in the US military:
This commissary is actually pretty good because my wife and I found the customer service to be outstanding and the employees very friendly:
For being a small commissary the shelves were stocked with most items Americans would want to buy, but my only gripe like with many other commissaries in Korea is that the blackmarketing was easy to spot:
All in all though by 2ID standards Camp Stanley is pretty nice installation though it is much quieter now a days compared to past years when it was home to artillery and aviation units. Likewise the ville outside of Camp Stanley, the appropriately called Stanleyville has also died down with the exit of all those combat arms soldiers. There is still enough soldiers here though where Camp Stanley is still home to the only real soldier “ville” in Uijongbu where one can find the typical juicy bars, pawn shops, chicken on a stick shacks, counterfeit clothing stores, coin & plaque shops, and other typical staples of a “ville” in Korea:
The ville also has some apartments for families to live in for those thinking about bringing their families to Korea. The few that I have seen were pretty rundown and I almost had to have one soldier move out of his apartment until the landlord agreed to fix some safety issues. For those that have lived in Stanleyville please leave a comment and let everyone know what you thought about your time living there? Likewise if you have been stationed on Camp Stanley please share your thoughts about the camp in the comments section.
The final picture once again from Bruce Richards site is an aerial picture of what Camp Stanley looks like today:
In the above aerial image you can see Camp Stanley in the middle of the image while Stanleyville is the area with the blue roofed buildings on the left. The Uijongbu Prison can be seen on the right side of the picture. The fields of rice that could be seen in the earlier images, like I said before are still visible today around Camp Stanley and are worked by the prisoners housed at the correctional facility. I hope everyone enjoyed this profile of Camp Stanley considering it days are supposedly numbered due to impending USFK transformation plan if it ever happens. Due to Korean governmental delay games and US budget issues I wouldn’t be surprised if Camp Stanley is open for another decade or more.
If you have an interesting or funny veteran story from your time in Korea I would love to hear it. If it is a good story I am willing to publish it here on the ROK Drop. It doesn’t matter what decade you served just as long as it is interesting or funny. If you have a story to share you can e-mail the story to me at gikoreaonline – at – yahoo.com. Thanks for reading the ROK Drop.
More “A Profile” series postings worth checking out:
- A Profile of the Western Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
- A Profile of USFK’s Western Corridor Camps
- A Profile of USFK Camps In Dongducheon
- A Profile of the TDC Ville
- A Profile of Bosan-dong Ville
- A Profile of Teokgeo-ri
- A Profile of Uijongbu
- A Profile of USFK Camps In Uijongbu
- A Profile of Closed Out USFK Camps In Uijongbu
- A Profile of Camp Red Cloud
- A Profile USFK Camps In Seoul
- A Profile of the Korea Training Center
- A Profile of the Chinese Tunnel
- A Profile of Camp Mujuk
- A Profile of Camp Page
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