• Faulty wiring suspected in Yongsan chapel fire
    By STARS AND STRIPES
    Published: January 4, 1968

    SEOUL — Faulty wiring may have caused the Christmas Eve fire which destroyed the main post chapel on Yongsan Compound, 8th Army officials said Wednesday.

    The chapel was listed as a total loss by post engineers. It was valued at $6;722.50 and its contents at $20,172.33.

    Deputy 8th Army Chaplain Col. Alphonse Fiedorczyk, left, and 8th Army Chaplain Col. David Reardon examine the charred remnants of the main post chapel’s pulpit.
    HOWARD BENEDICT/STARS AND STRIPES
    “It’s almost impossible to determine the exact cause, but our investigating board of three officers … indicated they believe it was a faulty wall-socket on the left side of the altar,” an engineer said.

    It was reported at 9:07 p.m. Firemen arrived three minutes later and the blaze was under control at 9:30 after 40,000 gallons of water was poured on it.

    Two pump trucks and three tankers from the Yongsan Fire Station, plus two pumpers and five tankers from local departments were called in to fight the blaze.

    Plans have been proposed for a new chapel, but the site and details are not yet final.

  • The community of the South Post Chapel organizer tours for its members to get to know the local culture.
    The photos of this post have been shared by @joseph-f-pagano-jr, one of the Faithful guardians from Yongsan.

    2008-10-POTTERY BUS TOUR RETURNS TO SOUTH POST CHAPEL and BUS TOUR TO POTTERY OUTLETS

  • Note from William Smothers (Bill):
    1959-1960 Photo of Yongsan Catholic Seminary building located southeast of Seoul in Yongsan. This is where my sister and I attended school in 1959 – the school was run by nuns of a French Catholic Order. Since there was no school available on the 8th US Army Compound in Yongsan in 1959, many American children went to school at this Convent up until 1960, when the American School on South Post opened.
    • Was this what we called “ASCOM” city which I think stood for Eight Army Support Command. We always knew it as the place where the stockade and the “ice cream factory” was located.

    • ASCOM City was co-located with Camp Market in Bupyong. Eighth Army Support Command was abbreviated EASCOM and later was renamed Field Army Support Command or FASCOM. HQs, EASCOM and HQs, FASCOM were located on Main Post Yongsan Garrison. ASCOM was where the 121st Evacuation Hospital was located as well as the 38th Replacement Depot. The 121th Evac was relocated to South Post and the 38th Replacement was relocated to Camp Coiner in the early 70s.

  • Note from Joseph Pagano, @joseph-f-pagano-jr

    A little background about the breakdown of the various Faith Communities in the United States Military. Statistically Catholics comprise approximately 26% of the Faith Based Groups with the remaining 74% comprising the various Protestant as well as other recognized Faith Groups.
    During the 14 plus years I coordinated the Catholic Community at the Yongsan Garrison we were very active with the Korean communities off base.
    – We had volunteers that worked with Korean Churches is feeding the homeless with hot soup and rise near the Seoul Train Station during the winter.

    – We donated used clothing to Catholic Churches that provided the clothing to the homeless in need.

    – We identified 3 orphanages in the area that were in need of help, and the help took on many faces and activities from group visits to the orphanages to spend time with the children; donating food, clothing and toys to the orphans; and our largest event, the Annual Orphans Christmas Party. This was an enormous event where at the Christmas Party the orphanages would have their children entertain us with songs, dances and skits and out youth groups would entertain them with songs, and skits. A huge Pot-Luck Dinner followed the entertainment and then the excitement of Santa’s visit where each child, called by name by Santa received two gifts, an article of needed clothing as well as a toy.

    – We established a relationship with the Salesian Missionary Priests who ran a home for boys. Most of the orphanages were populated with girls, but the Salesian Fathers established a home for boys. We provided group visits, items of clothing, school supplies as well as food to this home. We often had activities on base where we invited the boys from the home to partake in.

    – Many of the families established short term relationships with the children often inviting them opportunities time on base sharing with them our American culture. I emphasize short tern relationships because of two reasons – 1. Most families were assigned for only 2-year tours, and – 2. Because most of the children in the orphanages were not really orphans. They had parents of relatives who could not care for them which made then ineligible for adoption.

    I hope this little bit of info is helpful to you in some small way.
    Thank you for all that you are undertaking with this project. I thank you are awesome.
    God Bless.

  • Note from @joseph-f-pagano-jr : Fr Charlie, as he was Loving called, came and left Yongsan on more than one assignment. I worked with him on two of those assignments from my arrival in Korea on my 2nd time in Korea from 1996 until his 2nd and final retirement which I believe was in 2006 or 2007. This photo was taken in the front yard of the Papal Nuncio’s Residence, which by-the-way is next-door to the Blue House, the Korean President’s house!
    • Note from Joe Pagano @joseph-f-pagano-jr :
      Names of US Army Chaplains I worked with from 1996-2010 are; Father Charles (Charlie) Ehrhart (RIP), Father Joseph DeGregorio, Father Vincent Burns, Father James (Jimmy) Jones (RIP), Father Neal Buckon (Now Aux Bishop with AMS), Father Richard Spence (Now Aux Bishop with AMS), and Father Eric Albertson.
      Some of the Priests that assisted in supporting the Military at Yongsan are; Father Jack Heisie (RIP), Father Joseph (Joe) Lennon (RIP), Father Tony O’Birien (Still in Korea), Father Emil Denemark (Still in Korea), Father Adbasolo (Sill n Korea), and Father Gus Koe (Still in Korea).

    • Note and photo from Joe Pagano @joseph-f-pagano-jr:
      Who all remember this Awesome person? Rev. Charlie Ehrhart (RIP).
      • Note from @joseph-f-pagano-jr : Fr Charlie, as he was Loving called, came and left Yongsan on more than one assignment. I worked with him on two of those assignments from my arrival in Korea on my 2nd time in Korea from 1996 until his 2nd and final retirement which I believe was in 2006 or 2007. This photo was taken in the front yard of the Papal Nuncio’s Residence, which by-the-way is next-door to the Blue House, the Korean President’s house!

    • Note and Photo from Joseph Pagano @joseph-f-pagano-jr
      This photo was taken at a memorial celebration at the monument just outside of the 1st Signal Brigade Hq’s, a celebration held yearly in remembrance to those brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. I believe that is the US Ambassador to Korea with me (left). I do not remember the exact date but between 1982 and 1988?
    • Note and photo from Joseph Pagano @joseph-f-pagano-jr :
      This photo is with the Papal Nuncio, the Pope’s Ambassador to Korea with his Italian secretary. The Nuncio visited the Catholic community in Yongsan Garrison and celebrated Holy Mass for the Community at Memorial Chapel. This would have been sometime in the mid 1980’s. I am in the middle.
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