ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on June 28th, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Filmmaker Looking To Interview US & ROK Military Veterans For Documentary

» by in: Korean War

Here is an opportunity for ROK Drop readers that served in South Korea in the 1950′s & 1960′s to to be interviewed by a filmmaker shooting a documentary about the experiences of both American and South Korean servicemembers during this time period.  Below is a press release about the project:

Taylor Stanton sits in front of a monitor showing his grandfather (right) and his great uncle Herb Stankiewicz, who fought in the Korean War and never returned. 

My name is Taylor Stanton. I am a filmmaker working on a documentary project about veterans in Korea. The documentary will aim to develop a better understanding of the range of veterans’ experiences during the Korea War, as well, as during the massive political and social changes in post-war Korea.

My film crew and I will be in Korea throughout late July and August researching and filming interviews. We are hoping to talk with any Korean or American veterans who may have served during the 1950s or 1960s. We would love to hear from anyone who wishes to be interviewed, or anyone who simply would be willing to share their experiences with us. We are committed to capturing a well-rounded and diverse set of views, so any and all experiences or view points are welcome.
Anyone who may be interested, should contact Taylor Stanton at
Thank you for your interest, consideration, and support!
Taylor Stanton

More about the documentary can be read at this Korea Herald article.

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  • Ron Bump
    9:19 am on October 8th, 2012 1

    I was at Camp Casey in 58 & 59. Obviously many changes since then. If interested, I can share my experiences.

  • John Nowell
    7:24 pm on March 2nd, 2014 2

    I came to Korea on levy from Fort Lewis, Washington via a 21-day cruise aboard the U.S.S. Breckenridge. There were 400 troops on that ship all bound for duty in Korea. We left Oakland Army Terminal, California on 15 December 1964 and arrived at Inchon on 5 January 1965. I was assigned to 7th Inf Div stationed at Camp Casey, located at Dongducheon.

    Later, I was transferred to the 199th Personnel Service Company, 8th US Army Support Command, located at Main Post, Yongsan Garrison. I finished my active duty commitment on 23 February 1966 and remained in Korea getting a civil service job with Eighth Army Support Command (EASCOM), Personnel Services Directorate.

    What I saw in Korea in that short period of time was a country recovering from the devastation of the Korean War. The cease-fire began on 27 July 1953 (11 1/2 years before I arrived) and the United States played a key role in assisting the nation and the Korean people getting back on their feet.

    The population of Seoul in 1966, according to the Seoul City Statistical Year Book was 3,200,000. The city had nine districts called Ku, i.e., Yongsan-ku, Mapo-ku, etc.

    A streetcar served the city then, not the underground subway system that moves over 1,200,000 people today.

    They had buses, but I usually rode in a ‘Hapsung’ a mini-bus made from 55 gal barrel metal constructed on a truck frame. It wasn’t a comfortable ride as you could feel every bump in the road.

    In the city, there were various sounds up until the evening hours: tunes played on a flute by a blind masseuse; dancing and trances performed by a Mudang (sorceress) in a nearby home hoping to rid evil spirits from within the home or drive out evil spirits from an infected relative. And, the yut-jang-sa, a street vendor who pushed a cart around the city trading rock-hard rice candy for empty bottles and cans the children would bring to him for a piece of that candy. He would clank his super large shears that made a big noise to let the children know he was in the area and for them to gather their bottles and cans for trade.

    There were many other noises created by the local folks trying to make a living. But, in December 1968, the Mayor of Seoul declared and enforced a noise nuisance law that stopped all of these people from providing these services within the city limits. The street cars were uprooted and moved out of the city,

    Seoul City is a major International metropolis that rivals all other major cities of the world. The population in Seoul seems to stay around ten to eleven million persons. The number of Gus, no longer spelled KU, are 25, 16 more than the original nine when I arrived.

    Gangnam-Gu didn’t exist when I first arrived and neither did the other 15 GUs. In the mid to late 70s, I participated in the Miles for Millions walk-a-thons in the areas south of the Han River to raise money to buy meals for distribution to poor people in Korea as well as in other nations. I can tell you that we walked 20 kilometers (12 miles) on roadways under construction in what is now Socho-Gu and Gangnam-Gu. There were numerous chicken and pig farms as well as many rice fields. This redevelopment began in 1970 after the Han River bridge was built in Hannam-dong leading to the brand new Seoul-Pusan (Busan) expressway. It was two-lanes each way and was originally opened from Seoul to Suwon/Osan. The Korean Folk Village was constructed about 9 miles East of Suwon at that time.

    In November 1970, I lived in a brand new complex opened in Ichon-dong, within a five minute walk to Gate #13 (formerly Gate #17) on South Post Yongsan. This complex was called ‘Riverside Village’ as well as ‘Foreigner’s Village.’ It was comprised of 500 apartment units, 200 3-bedrooms and 300 2-bedroom units. They were only five-stories high without elevators. This is where many of the US civilians working for UNC/USFK/EUSA lived.

    Life in Seoul was slow-paced for many, but you could see the fortitude of the Korean people. They were building structures without modern equipment. Men would carry huge loads of building materials on their backs using the A-Frame (jigae). Women would use extra heavy clothe aprons to carry stones to throw on roadways being constructed. Talk about a labor force, these people worked long hours to get the job completed. I have nothing but praise for the stamina of these hard working people.
    If Mr. Stanton wants to contact me, email:

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    8:22 pm on March 2nd, 2014 3

    John thanks for sharing your memories. You provide invaluable first hand historical perspective about Korea’s modern history. Have you ever thought of writing a book?

  • guitard
    11:50 pm on March 2nd, 2014 4

    The narrative in Mr. Stanton’s press release about being in Korea in July and August is identical to the what I read back in June 2012.

    Is he coming back to Korea in July and August 2014?

  • John Nowell
    12:58 am on March 3rd, 2014 5

    GI Korea

    Thank you for your comments. I have considered writing a book as I do have significant memories I should put to paper or digits before my memory begins to fade. Who knows when that will be. I am still active: working for the Grand Ambassador Seoul hotel; as well as participating as a Councilor with the Korea Branch, Royal Asiatic Society; member of the Korean-American Assn; Consultant to the Chairperson, People-to-People, Korea National HQs; and whatever else I can join.
    I enjoy the ROK Drop. Please continue doing this.

    #4 Sorry to mislead you. I also thought the film crew would be coming to Korea this summer. I should have read the date line on that article. Perhaps Mr. Stanton needs more input from guys like us in the future.


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