Monday, July 7, 2008

As Time Goes By

Please attend the tale of WD4NGB, who spent twenty-two years in the US Army, including four stints in Korea, stretching the whole of his career: the first in 1960-61, the last in 1981-82--from the period of Syngman Rhee's ouster and Park Chung-hee's coup to Park's assassination and the civil unrest that followed.

WD4NGB is the ham radio call sign of Bruce Richards, who has had a fascinating life, and usually a camera to record it with. Best of all, he has converted and shared some of his photos on his webpage at He also provides some context and history and the occasional humorous observation, such as when describing his memories of 17th Trans Bn, I Corps, 1960:
I remember my Squad Leader was Cpl Ortez, or Ortega, and my Plt Sgt was SFC Robinson, who loved Vat69 Scotch and milk, but I have no idea what I had for Lunch yesterday.

I have two little pics here from his website, to entice you to check it out--Ouijongbu, old and new:
Photo of a street in Ouijongbu, 1960 by Bruce Richards Photo of part of Ouijongbu, 2008 by Bruce Richards

Alert readers and others may recall that Ouijongbu was the closest village to the 4077th, generally speaking. I intend to visit as many locations named in the TV show M*A*S*H as I can during my stay. Now, I wonder which set of skyscrapers has that time capsule from the second-to-last episode (As Time Goes By) buried under it?


Anonymous said...

The author of the book M*A*S*H was, according to my sources, stationed at the 43rd Surgical Hospital, Mobile, Army, just down the road from Camp Red Cloud. (M*A*S*H, Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, was better box office than S*H*M*A, I guess.)

I spent a year with I Corps Special Troops, Camp Red Cloud, Ouijongbu, Korea, Feb '70 to Feb '71.

During my "visit" I had the utter pleasure of viewing the movie "M*A*S*H" in the CRC Post Theater! (Remember, it took a while for the first run flicks to get from CONUS to the field.) What a hoot!

My most vivid memories of Korea are these:

1. "Winter Kimche Breath" smell exactly like acetylene.

2. You may not tee off on the 4th hole of the CRC Golf Course when helicopters are arriving or departing.

3. About April, (recall I arrived in country in February), the whole area starts to smell like S*H*I*T as the rice paddies thaw.

Enjoy your time there. The Korean people are a proud and humble bunch. The Korean politicians are as crooked as ours.

Captain, Artillery

Tuttle said...

Thank you for sharing your memories. I saw M*A*S*H in the movies at about age nine, when my family lived in Thailand.

While being the little brother has its disadvantages (such as getting the crap beat out of me on a daily basis by the bigger brothers), advantages included getting to tag along when they went to the movies--Thailand didn't seem to observe any kind of ratings system.

I must say, though, it sounds really cool to have seen that movie while at the locale in which it was set!

Anonymous said...

I served in the Public Information Office as a Photographer from 1960-1961 - Stationed at Camp Red Cloud...Bruce Bosinius

Anonymous said...

nadhoI spent 13 months with the 43rd MASH in 1960-61. Probably the most educational time of my life. I have many wonderful memories of the unit and personnel. I think the title "medic" is the one I cherish most from a very eventful life. Best regards to all my Korean "cousins". David N Lee