Note From Martin Limon
Thanks for sending these maps. They bring back a lot of memories. Of course, Yongsan Compound changed a lot over the years I was there (from 1968 until my last tour in 1986). The map from the late 1950s looks most like how I remember the compound when I arrived in 1968. Near Gate 7 is the Lower Four Club and just north of that is the enlisted barracks where the Honor Guard and to the right of that 8th Army Headquarters Company used to be billeted. Not too far away is the PX Snack Bar. The post theater in those days was over near Gate 5, which we used to think of as the Main Gate. The 8th Army Hqs building (#1) was of course a two-story red-brick building originally built by the Japanese Imperial Army; which is part of the reason we used to joke about “8th Imperial Army.” In one of the similar red brick buildings behind the Hqs building was PAO, the Public Affairs Office where I used to work. For a few months I later worked at the Stars & Stripes office which was way down on South Post in a small Quonset hut adjacent to the parking lot of the Commissary.
Off duty, from Gate 7 it was a little less than a mile walk to Itaewon. We would pass the Coulter Statue which sat right in the middle of the intersection (honoring an American general from the Korean War). Of course when they built Namsan Tunnel #3 and expanded the road heading south to the Han River and Chamsu Bridge, the statue was taken down. But in 1968, at night, vehicle traffic was light. Hard to believe now since it is a very busy intersection these days. So that was most of my world. I didn’t go to the Main PX much and the post library was in a small building just off the eastern edge of the parade field in front of the Headquarters Building. Things were quiet, almost sleepy in those days. Except for the huge Honor Guard ceremonies on special occasions. Cannon going off, a parade consisting of soldiers from South Korea, the U.S., Great Britain, and one or two other countries. The British soldiers always looked sharp, in their red coats and white gloves and snappy drill style, the mustachioed Sergeant Major waving his baton and shouting orders. After work, however, they were known to hoist a few pints. So did we.