My Visit to Vietnam

5-18 March 2013

I took a 2 week comprehensive tour of Vietnam, traveling from Hanoi in the north, down to Can Tho in the Mekong Delta. I saw the site of the Khe Sanh Combat Base, the Rockpile, the site of the Lang Vei Special Forces Camp, the Hanoi Hilton prison, the Vinh Moc Tunnels, Chu Lai, the Cu Chi Tunnels, the War Remnants Museum, the former Presidential Palace plus many other interesting locations. I have posted approximately 275 photographs. Click on the above photograph to view the pictures and maps, or CLICK HERE.


 

Neil Mishalov's

Korean Photo Collection 1968-1969

Copyright © Neil Mishalov

COPYRIGHT NOTICE


Anyang, Korea

June, 1968

3 March 2004

Thanks to Mr. Kim Sung Nam for taking the comparison photograph


Seouksu-Dong, Korea

Home of the 83rd Ordnance Battalion

1968

The below photo, taken in September, 2006, shows that the site of the 83rd Ordnance Battalion is now occupied by an apartment complex.

Go HERE for additional pictures of Seouksu-Dong taken in 2009.

Thanks to Mr.Kwon Ojin for taking the 21st Century photographs of Seouksu-Dong.


I was drafted into the U.S. Army on 6 September 1967, 5 months shy of my 25th birthday.

I was inducted into the military at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, New York, and did basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina from 18 September 1967 through 10 November 1967. I was in Company E, First Training Brigade, Fourth Battalion. The Vietnam War was raging at that time, and the U.S. Government was sending vast quantities of men and material into the ever-widening conflagration. After completing basic training, most of the men in my company received orders to go to Fort Polk, Louisiana for advanced infantry training, which was almost a sure ticket to Vietnam. Sadly, some of the men from my basic training outfit did not return from Vietnam alive. I thought that I would also be sent to Vietnam. However, fate decided otherwise; I was sent to South Korea and served 13 months on the Korean Peninsula.

Upon completion of basic training, I received orders to go to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, to be trained as a Guided Missile Propellant and Explosive Specialist (Military Occupation Specialty: 55F20). Redstone Arsenal is located adjacent to Huntsville, Alabama, and at the time, civilian scientists were at Redstone, testing rocket motors for the U.S. space program. When they test fired the Saturn rocket motors, which would soon take the first men to the moon, the ground shook. I was at Redstone Arsenal during the North Vietnamese/Viet Cong Tet Offensive that took place during January 1968 and I was also at Redstone Arsenal during the North Vietnamese siege of the U.S. Marine base at Khe Sanh. I vividly remember watching the brutal fighting on the television set located in the company recreation room.

A significant event took place in the East Sea (The East Sea is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the Sea of Japan), off the coast of Wonsan, North Korea, during the Vietnam Tet Offensive and the siege of Khe Sanh. That occurrence has been largely forgotten, because of the ferocious fighting taking place at the same time in Vietnam. On 23 January 1968, the day after my 25th birthday, the North Koreans captured the American spy ship USS Pueblo, and incarcerated the captain and crew. Perhaps that's why, shortly thereafter, I received my orders to go to South Korea.

I arrived in South Korea on 10 March 1968, and was assigned to the 7th Ordnance Company (Special Ammo), which was part of the 83rd Ordnance Battalion of the 8th Army. We were headquartered in Seoksu-dong, a small village near Anyang, about 25 miles south of Seoul; our mission was to store and maintain tactical nuclear warheads and rockets. The storage facility was located within a high security area about 5 miles up a dirt mountain road from the living area. The weapons were stored in tunnels dug into the surrounding mountains. The MSA (maximum security area) had an infantry company from the 7th Infantry Division living on-site and performing perimeter guard duty, the 260th Military Police Company was doing interior guard duty with guard dogs, and the 7th Ordnance Company (SA), was doing the ammo humping.

Shortly after I arrived at my Korean duty station, the Command Sergeant Major of the 83rd Ordnance Battalion, CSM Daniel Nifong, chose me to become the 83rd Ordnance Battalion mailman. I was a very fortunate trooper; I got my own jeep, a Colt 45 pistol, and was told to go to 8th Army headquarters in Yongsan, near Seoul, twice a day, six days a week, to get the mail. No one hassled me as long as I delivered the mail correctly and promptly.

Photography was a hobby of mine prior to being drafted into the U.S. Army, and I brought my cameras and lenses with me to Korea. The pictures in this collection were taken with one of two Nikon F bodies, and either a 50mm f1.4 lens or a 200mm f3.5 lens. All of the images are from 35 mm color slides; most of the film I used was Agfachrome slide film shot at ASA 50. Almost all of the film was purchased with photo processing included. So, after a roll of film was exposed, I sent the film back to the States for processing.

After returning from Korea, I was discharged from active military duty at Fort Lewis, Washington, on 12 April 1969. I probably viewed and showed the Korean and Japanese 35mm slides 2 or 3 times after I returned home. Then, for the next 33 years, the pictures were stored away unseen, but not forgotten.

In early 2002, Jerry Kotler, a long-lost classmate from Levittown Memorial High School, class of 1960, was sending me digital e-mail attachments of 35mm slide photos he had taken during the 1970's. I was curious how he was converting his old 35mm slides to digital images. He told me he was using an Epson 1250 Photo scanner, and so, the next day I purchased one. All of these Korean and Japanese color digital images have been scanned from the original 35mm slide format using the Epson 1250 Photo scanner, a Macintosh G4 733mhz computer running OS X 10.2 and Adobe Photoshop 7.0.

Below are the links to my Korean and Japanese photo collections. I hope you enjoy them.

Neil Mishalov
Berkeley, California


8th Army

83rd Ordnance Battalion

7th Ordnance Company (Special Ammo)

10 March 1968 - 12 April 1969



1968-1969 Korean Picture Collection

My 1968-1969 Korean photo collection consists of more than 1100 color and black & white pictures of Korea

My Color Pictures of Korea: 1968-1969

600+ Color Photographs

Images Copyright © Neil Mishalov

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Click on a photo to access that specific collection of pictures

KOREA March, 1968 PART I

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Collection of 21 pictures

KOREA March, 1968 PART II

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KOREA May, 1968

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KOREA June, 1968 PART I

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Collection of 49 pictures

KOREA June, 1968 PART II

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Collection of 42 pictures

KOREA June, 1968 PART III

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Collection of 17 pictures

KOREA July, 1968

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Collection of 76 pictures

KOREA August, 1968 PART I

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Collection of 41 pictures

KOREA August, 1968 PART II

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Collection of 57 pictures

KOREA November, 1968

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Collection of 34 pictures

KOREA December, 1968

Bob Hope Xmas Show

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Collection of 22 pictures

KOREA Nov, 1968 PART I

Helicopter Mission

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Collection of 26 pictures

KOREA Nov, 1968 PART II

Helicopter Mission

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Collection of 10 pictures

KOREA February, 1969 PART I

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Collection of 35 pictures

KOREA February, 1969 PART II

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Collection of 47 pictures

KOREA February, 1969 PART III

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Collection of 30 pictures

KOREA March, 1969

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Collection of 59 pictures

KOREA April, 1969

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Collection of 22 pictures

 

My Black and White Pictures of Korea 1968-1969

500+ Black and White Photographs

Images Copyright © Neil Mishalov

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Click on a photo to access that specific collection of pictures

The village of Seoksu-dong

A small village located about 15 miles south of Seoul. Home of the 83rd Ordnance Battalion. Now incorporated as part of Anyang City.

Korea 1968

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Collection of 88 pictures

Anyang City

In 1968 the population was approximately 50,000 people. In 2004 the population was more than 600,000 people.

Korea 1968

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Collection of 158 pictures

83rd Ordnance Battalion

7th Ordnance Company (SA)

260th Military Police Company

HHC, 83rd Ordnance Battalion

Korea 1968

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Collection of 76 pictures

South Korean Armed Forces Day

Seoul, Korea, August,1968

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Collection of 72 pictures

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Road scenes around Anyang, and fishing in the Yellow Sea

Korea 1968

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Collection of 20 pictures

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Japan, November 5-17 1968

Yokohama and Tokyo

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Collection of 122 pictures

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In early January, 2004, I located more than 500 additional photographs of Korea. The newly located pictures consist of black and white 35mm negatives exposed and developed by me in 1968-1969.

The camera that I used to take these pictures was a Nikon F with either a Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens or a Nikkor 200mm f3.5 lens. I used Kodak Plus-X (ASA 125) black and white film; I developed and processed the film by using the darkroom facilities available at the 83rd Ordnance Battalion Craft Shop. The film negatives were then stored away in glassine envelopes, unseen and untouched, for the next 35 years.

During January and February, 2004, I scanned all of the black and white 35mm negative film using an Epson 3170 Scanner, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, a Macintosh G4 -733mhz computer and OS X 10.3.2.



Pictures of Korea taken between the 1950's and 1970's by United States soldiers.

I first started posting my Korean pictures on this web site in 2002, since that time I have subsequently posted pictures of Korea taken by other United States servicemen who were stationed in Korea between 1954 and 1972.

At this time I have posted photos taken by Donald Gaydos in 1954-1955. I also have posted photos taken by Paul E. Black in 1958-1959 and I recently added photos taken by Dick Scheedel in 1965-1966. I have also placed a link to pictures taken by Bob Auerhahn in 1969-1970.

The pictures give the viewer the ability to see how Korea looked in the eyes of United States soldiers stationed in Korea; going back more than 50 years. These photographs are precious reminders of what once was, and is no more.

I know I speak for Donald, Paul, Dick and Bob when I say I hope you enjoy this tour of old Korea.

Images Copyright © Donald Gaydos, Paul E. Black, Dick Scheedel and Bob Auerhahn .

Click on a photo to access that specific collection of pictures

Korea 1954-1955

Pictures taken by Donald Gaydos

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Collection of 34 pictures

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Korea 1958-1959

Pictures taken by Paul E. Black

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Collection of 78 pictures

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Korea 1965-1966

Pictures taken by Dick Scheedel

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Collection of 62 pictures

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Korea 1970-1971

Pictures taken by Bob Auerhahn

Go HERE to see Bob's pictures.



My return to Korea and Japan: September-October 2003

Korea and Japan: Sept-Oct 2003


A reunion of three former U.S. soldiers who were stationed in Korea during 1968-1969

San Francisco, 2004

We were assigned to the 7th Ordnance Company (Special Ammo) of the 83rd Ordnance Battalion; which was part of the 8th United States Army. The reunion took place in San Francisco, California during July, 2004


.........

Korea: Then and Now

View some fascinating comparisons of photos of the same scenes taken in 1968-69 and 2003

Thanks to Mr. Jing Ho Hwang, Mr. Sung Nam Kim and Mr. Ho Shik Lee for the comparison photographs

Seoul: Then and Now PART 1

Seoul: Then and Now PART 2

Anyang City Area: Then and Now



Anyang, Korea: March 2003

Anyang City, Korea: March 2003

Thanks to Mr. Ho Shik Lee for the 38 images of modern day Anyang City



1968-1969 Japanese picture collection

Japan: November 1968, Part I

Japan: November 1968, Part II

Japan: November 1968, Part III

Japan: March 1969, Part I

Japan: March 1969, Part II


News articles about my Korean photographs

Go Here for an article, WRITTEN IN ENGLISH, in Arirang, Spring 2005, the publication of The American Woman's Club of Korea. This feature article is about my Seoul: Then and Now pictures

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Go Here for an article, WRITTEN IN ENGLISH, in The JoongAng Daily and published on 23 October 2003. This feature article is about my return to Korea

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Go Here for an article, WRITTEN IN KOREAN, in which I was interviewed by The Anyang Times

Go Here for an ENGLISH TRANSLATION of the interview in The Anyang Times

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Go Here for an article, WRITTEN IN KOREAN, that appeared in The Korea Herald

Go Here for an ENGLISH TRANSLATION of the article written in The Korea Herald

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Go Here for an article, WRITTEN IN KOREAN, that appeared on Oh My News.Com

Go Here for an ENGLISH TRANSLATION of the article written in Oh My News.Com

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Go Here for an article, WRITTEN IN ENGLISH, that appeared in the Pacific edition of Stars and Stripes on 25 August 2003


A 1967 edition of a map of the South Korean area depicted in the above Korean photo collections.

Click on the map to see a full size image

Travel Ideas

Temples to Visit in Japan

Japanese Meditation

Stress Relief Through Meditation

Meditation

Meditation at Buddhist Temples



Go to: Digital Photo Page Index

Go to: Vietnam War Medal of Honor Citations

Go to: Home Page

E-Mail: Neil Mishalov

Updated 7 August 2013