Email from Tom Hall on his trip back to Fort Beavers in 1983
Well, Sarge, now that
I've found a website dedicated to Camp
Beavers, Korea, I suppose it's true that you can find just
about anything on
I served at Camp Beavers from April 1962 to April 1963 as a
tank crewman in B Company of the 2nd
Medium Tank Battalion of
the 40th Armor. Looking over your website I learned for the
first time that shortly
after I departed in 1963, the
battalion became the 1st Battalion of the 73rd Armor.
However, even though the
unit designation was changed, the
great photos on your website make it clear that the look of
the base itself did
not change too much during the 3-4 years
until 1967 while the base continued in use by American troops.
own part, I had the opportunity to visit Camp Beavers
in January 1983, exactly 20 years after I had served there.
This was during a business trip I had made to Japan, and for
the hell of it, I bought a second ticket on KAL and flew
to Korea fo about a week, or so. During that week I went up
to Camp Beavers, which in early 1983 was the
home of a ROK
Army unit, an infantry battalion, I think.
The biggest change to me wasn't the base, although that
changed somewhat. For one thing the road that ran through the
middle of the base was completely open to
The area to the north of the road where A & B Companies had
been in 1962-63 was in 1983
a fenced-in compound, seperate
from the part of the base south of the road where HHC, C, D,
and E Companies
had been located. I also noticed that things
like the movie theater, special services building, etc, had
torn down. I guess the ROK Army troops in 1983 didn't
need such things.
Again, even though the base had changed
somewhat, what was
really different in 1983 was the village of Tae-jon-ni, just
to the west of the base. No
longer was it the site of bars,
etc., that catered to GIs, particularly on the south side of
the river that ran through
Tae-jon-ni. Instead, it was a real
quiet farming village that was much smaller than it had been
when the 40th
Armor was there in the early 1960s.
On the day I was there in January 1983, I talked with some of
with the help of a former KATUSA who said he'd
served with the U.S. Army in the early 1960s. The villagers
said they remembered the 40th Armor (and I guess the 73rd
Armor, too.) They said we "made a lot of noise."
sure if they were referring to the sound of the tanks as they
moved through the riverbed that ran through
the village, or if
they meant us young GIs when we were on pass in the village.
Probably both, I guess.
the people were real friendly, and a young woman in a
small store there told me she could not recall ever before
any former GIs, who had returned after about 20 years.
I told her and the other folks in the store I had just come
to check up on them, and see how they were getting along.
They all laughed about that, and asked if I was going to come
back in another 20 years. I told them I'd have to check with
my wife about that. As it turned out, my
interested in going on vacation to Korea, and instead talked
me into going to Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay
instead of Korea.
Again, you've got a great website with some real interesting
David Sabie Recollection:
1/73 served in the Korean War and was most often attached
to ROK units. It does not get a lot of attention in histories but does appear in more detailed work. The battalion was demobilized
after the war.
Men I met in August of 63 told me that I was lucky to have
arrived after it was reconstituted from an old (unit unknown) unit and redesignated as 1/73. I did not understand at the time
what these guys were talking about but have learned that 1/73 was reconstituted (minus D company) in July of 63.
As it existed Beavers at the time of my arrival 1/73 consisted
3 tank companies
1 attached engineer company (don't know if they were combat
(I do not know how many tank platoons each company had and
never knew how many tanks were at Beavers. I suspect there were three platoons per company with four tanks per platoon but
I cannot ever recall seeing 36 tanks in the field.)
Notable equipment included
Tank retrievers (chasis unknown but it was standard issue
and may still be in service)
Standard 2 ½ ton truck, ¾ ton truck, and "jeep"
Battalion HQ had a full S-1, S-2, S-3, and S-4 complement,
but I think they were "G-1, G-2..." The battalion headquarters building also housed ROK armored units had what we thought
was an M-36. I have not been able to confirm this but do know they operated with a lesser tank than the M-48.
Post Office located at Battalion HQ
Telephone (field style) located at Battalion HQ
EM Club down hill from company HQ
on left of road possibly between PX and Barber shop-George
NCO Club down hill from company
HQ on right of road-George
Officers Club located across from Battalion HQ
Snack Shop down hill right below
company HQ on left of road-George
PX located at the base of the hill
near massage palor and athletic field-George
Gym included basketball court
Craft Shop included wood working, camera, other hobby choices
Massage Parlor to the best of my knowledge it was legitimate
and was located at the base of the hill next to athletic field-George
Library down hill from company HQ on left of road
Barber Shop cannot recall where it was (I
believe it was down hill right below Snack Shop on left of road-George)
USO style facility had piano room, small stage, and red cross
girls ever infatuated with people other than e.m.
Battalion Medical was at the base of the hill down from HHQ.
Some medical problems went to Casey.
Officers Quarters were on the east side of Beavers.
Tank Companies were on the east side of Beavers.
The engineer company was near the west entrance.
Transportation repair as was most repair was not at the highest
level of difficulty but was shipped to Casey or Seoul. Repair that was done at Beavers was in a facility at the bottom of
the HHQ hill.
Water for personal use was only available in the mess and
Physical functions of Battalion S-1 - S-4 were north of the
Any updates or corrections
would be appreciated.
Memories from Ron Graham 5/21/2010
I did find one guy I served with, he called
me last night, he's in Wy. it's been forty years so we talked awhile, he has a year book from our old MSA#31 Det. that has
most of everyone's old home towns this will help me in looking them up. A lot of us went to Fort Beavers out of Sheridan Training
School Knox Ky. July of 70 AIT was on M48s. There was talk of the camp being turned over right away. Still had to hump on
foot patrols and night guard on tanks. Had live fire once, found out a lot of rounds were too old to fire. Eng. had to dispose
of them. Not sure of date but there was a riot at front gate. I was on duty that day, had to give a report to IG on what happened,
I know one village woman lost a baby, was hit they said by an MP. They wanted their money owed by GI's before we shipped
out. Slicky Boys put women and kids up to fence and hit the front gatehouse with rocks from stream on other side of road,
all windows broken out and MPs hit. I know there was a page about it Stars and Strips newspaper. ROK's came and flattened
all quonset huts put up tents, said it would make the ROK's too soft
living in them. That was the last of Fort Beavers as we knew it.
Who thought this idea for
camaraderie up I do not know. When I arrived at the 1-73rd in June 1966, the
Kimchi Jug game had been in existence for some considerable time already.
Since there were two infantry divisions in Korea, the 7th and the 2nd,
armor/cavalry units were dwarfed by the number of infantry and artillery
battalions. To foster camaraderie between the "lonesome" armor/cavalry units
in the 7th ID the Kimchi Jug game was conceived. The units involved were the
1-73rd and the 2-10th Cav. The 2-10 Cav was at Camp Kaiser. Depending upon who
the 7th ID CG was, the 2-10 was either a divisional unit or a component of the
1st Brigade based at Camp Kaiser. While I was in Korea we had no liaison at
all with the armor/cavalry units of the 2nd ID except that in Oct/Nov 66 NCOs
from one of the 2nd ID armor battalions acted as graders for us at TCQC at
A formal set of rules was
written up. One of the units started out in possession of the jug. The jug was
supposed to be located in the officers club out in the open, not hidden in a
closet for instance. One or more officers from the unit seeking to "capture"
the jug had to do so during the time of day when the club would be open for
business. This meant after duty hours during weekdays or perhaps starting at
noon on Saturday or Sunday. The idea was to get to know the armor officers in
the other unit. This meant you had a "few" drinks together. At some point
during the visit, one or more of the "visiting" officers would attempt to
"liberate" the jug from the current holder. I recall the rules stating that
once you got out the door or the building with it in your possession, it was
your unit's until the other unit came to "visit" your club and tried to get it
back. Now if the guys in the unit currently in possession of the jug saw your
guys making off with it and managed to "tag" them before they got out of the
building, your unit's attempt had failed. Tag meant not tackle or punch but a
gentle slap on the arm or back or whatever part could be reached before the
absconders got out the door.
Walt Mays recalls a time when
the 2-10 Cav had the jug and a number of 1-73rd officers went to their club to
"socialize." Walt and another officer "cased" the club and found out where the
jug was located. It was not in the main bar area. The room/area it was in was
in proximity to the latrine and not in line of sight of the main bar. Walt and
the other officer talked to one or two more conspirators and came up with a
plan. Walt and one officer went to the area where the the jug was located and
secured it. They then took it into the latrine. Conveniently, there was an
exterior window. They opened the window and passed the jug out to the
officer(s) waiting outside. They took the jug to their vehicle and returned to
Ft B. Walt and his accomplice returned to the bar to have another drink before
departing. Very well done.
What led to the demise of the
Jug was that the CO of the 2-10 Cav was either visiting Ft B on official
business or just passed thru in the middle of an afternoon. He went into the
club, located the Jug and walked off with it and took it back to Camp Kaiser.
The Korean club manager and/or his assistant observed this take place. This
was clearly outside the rules. I do not know how soon it was before the 1-73rd
organized a "raiding party" to go after the Jug. I do not know if we were
smart or not but the longer you let the other guy hold whatever it is you want
the less his vigilance will be.
On the occasion of our
"visit/raid" I believe we were wearing khakis. So it must have at least been
it May 1967. Dick Dreiman was by then, I think, the Bn S4. He got a jeep and
also arranged for a 2.5tn truck. I think 8-10 of us from the 1-73rd might have
gone. As I recall when we arrived the 2-10 Cav CO was in the club wearing some
casual civvies and reading some Army manual. There were maybe two or three
other officers present. The CO was surprised of course. He said they were
expecting to have their Squadron Oganizational Readiness Test (ORT) in a
couple of days and they could not socialize. The ORT began with a no notice
alert. We could have one drink and we would have to leave. What did this guy
think we had come there at 2000-2100 in the evening for? Some of our guys
ordered drinks and some others, this being their first visit to the 2-10 club
started looking around. Of course they were looking for the jug too. They
found it and reported back to whoever was nominally in charge of our
The 2-10 CO may have finally
guessed why we had come. I think he sent one of his people out to try and
gather reinforcements. The 2-10 had filled the jug with sand and had piled
several obstacles around it. Our "liberating" detail was sent to take
possession and moved off to do so. The CO began to get chesty and tried to
exercise his superior officer status. The jug was fairly large as I recall and
now filled with sand was quite heavy. This now became like rugby. Most of our
guys became blockers and tried to prevent the 2-10 people from "tagging" ours.
As I recall, one of their guys did get his hand(s) on the jug but we were not
going to give up so easily in view of the underhanded and illegal method by
which their CO had taken the jug from the Ft B club. The jug only had so much
tensile strength and being pulled two or three ways at once, it cracked and
fell to the floor crashing into several pieces. Our guys scooped up the pieces
and beat feet for the exit.
We piled into our vehicles
and headed out of the 2-10 area. Now not being satisfied, as we exited the
2-10 area they had a sign like we did over the highway at the entrance to Ft
B. We had a rope or a cable in the 2.5tn and hooked it up around the support
of the sign and to the towing pintle. One good jerk from the truck and down it
came. I think we went round trip to Camp Kaiser using the Greek Valley Road
entering and departing from the West Gate. I fully expected to see an MP jeep
or two, red light flashing coming after us but none did.
Back at Ft B we all
celebrated our "victory" with several rounds at the club.
The next evening at the
supper in the club, LTC Mather was quite upset with our conduct as related to
him by the 2-10 CO in a phone call. LTC Mather was reminded of the illegal
manner in which the jug had been removed from Ft B. What happened after that I
know not for in about a month or so I went back to the USA. This experiment in
camaraderie had failed.