Koje-do (part one)

Pacific Paratrooper

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On February 1952, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Far Eastern Affairs, U. Alexis Johnson, suggested a screening program for the POWs held by the UN troops.  This would constitute interviewing and segregating them into repatriates and non-repatriates.  On 27 February,  Pres. Truman approved the plan and made it the final US position at the Panmunjom peace talks.  Washington was under the impression that this would give each POW a freedom of choice – that was far from the truth.

UN prisoner of war camp No. 1, a rocky, hilly, 150 square mile island in the Korean Strait approximately 30 miles southeast of Pusan, was a constant problem, but now it was about to get even worse.

The first serious incident occurred on 18 February between a battalion of the US 27th Infantry Regiment and the communist POWs.  After the event, 8th Army commander, Gen. Van Fleet, appointed…

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