• Note from Robert Bunce
    Folks:
    I was drafted back in the 60’s. I ended up in the Army in Yongsan for about 6 months in 1965/66. After that I ended up with the 44th Engineers in Waegwan, followed by other work with the 44th at Fort Beavers.
    Back in the mid-60’s, South Korea was still recovering from 50 years of Japanese occupation, followed by the Korean war, which trashed about everything. Today’s Korea is far different. It is totally unfortunate that North Korea continues on their wacky path. The Koreans are hard working and smart. What a power the united Koreas would be.
    Back in my days, as I see it, the Army created a Korean middle class. The engineers made about $100 a month. The Korean guards made about $150 a month. The house boys made about $100 per month. The Korean Service Corps people made about nothing, but got room and board.
    The business girls made about $100 a month. Otherwise, they would be picking rice in a field for nothing, or may have been killed at birth. The family needed males, not females.
    This is all a fact of life as it was.
    In short, the Army, by some odd means, created an economy. At this time I would hope that much of it is gone forward, but at the time it did a lot of good.
    Note to mention, the 44th Engineers was mandated to do a lot of infrastructure work. This came under the heading of “training money.” They had money to build concrete block schools. I personally was involved with paving dirt roads and constructing a major bridge. As far as I can see, we did a lot of good. And, the Koreans were major contributors to this work.
    Bob Bunce
  • Photos and information from: Darrell Brown
    Discovered Tunnels from North Korea. Location, and Tunnels specifications since the 70’s
  • The lock gates at Incheon port, by Mr. Nam,

    In the summer of 1973, we Trans-Asia Engineers (TAE) at the Building 1510, Yongsan Garrison, had an engineering contract for the field quality control of the Dock #2 Construction at Incheon Port where the ocean going military transport of the United States ships military supplies and materiel from the CONUS and unload them at the Incheon dock.
    The project was then financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the design was done by a marine specialty firm in the United States. We in Korea were responsible to control the quality of the cement, reinforcing bars, aggregates, sand and its mixing rate, among others. TAE had a Soils/material Testing Laboratory, the first and only civilian operated laboratory equipped with a various machines and equipment for the testing of the construction materials and soils analysis in Korea. The lab performance was conducted strict in accordance with the standard requirements of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the American Concrete Institute, and so on.
    A civil engineer of TAE named Edgar G. Kelly and I were responsible in the field to check the quality of the mountains of concrete to be poured into dock construction and had taken beam and cylinder samples and brought to the lab for compression and bending tests. Some compression test results, as I dimly remember now, had failed to meet the standard requirements and we have had some arguments with the contractors in the field.
    I’ve been curious and wanted to see the current conditions of the lock gates and docks, and visited the port yesterday. The lock gate zone was a security area and I was asked to present my IDs and to answer some questions.
    When I said that I was one of the quality control inspectors during its construction, a man invited me to get in his car and we drove around the two locks and gates. The whole system seemed in very good working order and the area have been well maintained.
    At Incheon harbor, there is a maximum 10 meters (33 ft.) difference in the range of tides caused by the different locations of the moon, so that the outer sea level changes every hour. The two horizontally running exterior and interior water gates
    raise and lower the water level where ship is floating in the lock so that it can enter into and egress from the inner port where the water level is maintained at the high tide. There are multiple locks in the Panama Canal.
    The large passenger ship in the lock now entering into the inner port (in the photo) is China’s Weidong Ferry. She appears to be empty of Chinese passengers as I noticed there were no visitors standing on the decks to view the Korean harbor.
    President Xi is discouraging his people’s visit to South Korea in an effort to pressure on the THAAD deployment in the country by the U.S. Military.
    The dark shades of the current geopolitical rows appear everywhere.
    By Nam Sang-so, a former architect/engineer of TAE. April 23, 2017

  • Note from Mr.Nam:

    I just happened to, while walking in the City Hall Plaza today Monday, notice YongsanLegacy’s email about the subject photo taken by Bill Smother’s father, Mr. Leroy Smothers who was a civil engineer working for a USAID project in installing water pipe in Seoul.

    So, I went to the Office of Water Works, Seoul Metropolitan City, located near French Embassy, as the City Hall’s archive/library closes on Mondays.

    The young boys and girls there couldn’t be any help but they gave me Aris Water advertisement brochures that showed how clean water the City is supplying to the citizens.

    In early 1970s TAE performed civil engineering designs for the water treatment facilities project which was financed by the IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development – World Bank) that included the raw water intakes and treatment facilities along the Han River;
    at Gui, Ttuseom, Noryangjin and Gayang. I was partially involved in the project.

    Comparing with some data obtained at the Water Works Office, Seoul City map, and my memories, I reached a tentative conclusion that the photo was taken at about Jungryang River before it joins with Cheongkye stream. The location is about the mid distance between the Gui Central Water Treatment Facility and Ttuksom water intake along the main Han River. (See attached map where arrow points at). The low treeless hill seen behind the temporarily built bridge in the photo seems where Hanyang University currently is located.

    The steel pipes, just painted without anti-corrosion cement or asphalt cover, laid on dry riverbed ready for burial and welding connections in the photo appear 24 inch diameters which show that they are raw water intake pipes. These steel pipes get rusty soon as there was no anti-corrosion system applied such as Cathodic Protection (CP) by placing magnesium as sacrificial metals for rusting.

    Starting around 1984, Seoul City had replaced the old steel pipes with cement-mortar-lined ductile cast iron pipes and later stainless or copper pipes (for below 50 mm dia).
    The City started using PE pipes (Polyethylene) some time around 1989.

    Nam, Seoul, April 17
    P.S. There was no color film available in 1959 in Korea. @sangsonam

  • Mr. Nam @sangsonam do you recognize where this could be? We found this photo by Bill Smother, It is from a few years before you joined TAE . See note below from Bill Smothers:
    1959 photo of a steel pipeline for water under construction in Seoul, Korea.
    The photographer, my father Leroy Smothers, was a civil engineer working for USAID. He assisted in the rebuilding of Korea’s water treatment facilities and pipelines
    • Note from Mr.Nam:

      I just happened to, while walking in the City Hall Plaza today Monday, notice YongsanLegacy’s email about the subject photo taken by Bill Smother’s father, Mr. Leroy Smothers who was a civil engineer working for a USAID project in installing water pipe in Seoul.

      So, I went to the Office of Water Works, Seoul Metropolitan City, located near French Embassy, as the City Hall’s archive/library closes on Mondays.

      The young boys and girls there couldn’t be any help but they gave me Aris Water advertisement brochures that showed how clean water the City is supplying to the citizens.

      In early 1970s TAE performed civil engineering designs for the water treatment facilities project which was financed by the IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development – World Bank) that included the raw water intakes and treatment facilities along the Han River;
      at Gui, Ttuseom, Noryangjin and Gayang. I was partially involved in the project.

      Comparing with some data obtained at the Water Works Office, Seoul City map, and my memories, I reached a tentative conclusion that the photo was taken at about Jungryang River before it joins with Cheongkye stream. The location is about the mid distance between the Gui Central Water Treatment Facility and Ttuksom water intake along the main Han River. (See attached map where arrow points at). The low treeless hill seen behind the temporarily built bridge in the photo seems where Hanyang University currently is located.

      The steel pipes, just painted without anti-corrosion cement or asphalt cover, laid on dry riverbed ready for burial and welding connections in the photo appear 24 inch diameters which show that they are raw water intake pipes. These steel pipes get rusty soon as there was no anti-corrosion system applied such as Cathodic Protection (CP) by placing magnesium as sacrificial metals for rusting.

      Starting around 1984, Seoul City had replaced the old steel pipes with cement-mortar-lined ductile cast iron pipes and later stainless or copper pipes (for below 50 mm dia).
      The City started using PE pipes (Polyethylene) some time around 1989.

      Nam, Seoul, April 17
      P.S. There was no color film available in 1959 in Korea. @sangsonam

  • Note from Mr. Dewey McLean
    The 3rd TMRS (Transportation Military Railway System) contolled all rail movements of troops and war materials in Korea during the Korean War. Headquartered in Yongsan in the old Yongsan Middle School complex, it was composed of the 712th and 724th Transportation Railway Operating Battalions (TROB) and the 765th Transportation Railway Shop Battalion (TRSB). The 712th TROB, headquartered at Yongdungpo, handled all rail traffic north of Taejon. The 724th, headquartered at Pusan, handled rail traffic from Pusan to Taejon. The 765th was headquartered at Pusan. This map was prepared by the 3rd TMRS Engineering Section.
    The map is believed to be done before the Korean war based on the boarder between North and South Korea shown in the map.
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