The Korean War was between North Korea and South Korea beginning in June 1950. North Korea invaded South Korea following tensions between the two countries. China and the Soviet Union supported North Korea, while the United States and allied countries supported South Korea. The fight between the two countries ended with an armistice on July 27, 1953. The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was created to separate the two countries. Unfortunately, there was no peace treaty signed. In late 1966, Kim II Sung, the North Korean leader, began sending guerrillas into South Korea. This action set off a three-year conflict known as the “Second Korean War.” Kim thought by targeting U.S. forces as well as U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, the U.S. would withdraw from South Korea. U.S. troops in Korea were mostly draftees serving a 13-month tour. In April 1968, the Department of Defense declared the DMZ as a hostile fire zone, entitling service members stationed in the area to receive hostile fire pay. By May 1969, the intensity of the conflicts had reduced substantially. Apparently, North Korea had abandoned its hopes of starting an insurgency in South Korea. December 3, 1969, the release of three U.S. soldiers who had been captured when their OH-23 helicopter was shot down is regarded as the official end of the conflict.
This week we salute Frank Vassau. Frank was a draftee, serving in the U.S. Army for two years. He served in the “Second Korean War”. Frank’s military occupational specialty was artillery surveyor. He became quite proficient with the T1 6, the Theodolite, a surveying tool. Frank said he grew up with running water. His mother had him run to the spring and back with water for the household. He noted a time when he felt very close to God. He was at observation post (OP) St. Barbara. Looking up into the night sky, locating the North Star and Yildun (Delta Ursae Minoris), he felt he could reach up and touch the heavens. Frank is the curator at the Rosebud County Museum. He has one daughter, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Have a story to share? Email or call me email@example.com Phone: 406-351-9775
Dr. Irene Dickerson is a retired Army Colonel living her best life in Big Sky Country.