DMZ PHOTO COLLECTION BY LT JIM SKIFF
I recently found this site and thought it would be interesting to post some of my information. After attending AOB at Ft Knox, Kentucky, I opted to 1049 for an assignment other than the Armor School. They honored my request and after graduation in November, 1966 I took leave and then went to Korea in January, 1967. After making a untypical 2nd Lt. mistake, I was assigned to the 1/23rd Infantry, at Camp Young. Here I was an Armor Officer and was given a Recon Platoon on the DMZ. At that time the Recon Platoon, was part of HHC and had Machine Gun jeeps, 2 106mm jeep mounted, and an infantry squad. I'm the first to admit that I made some mistakes but all in all I grew to love the assignment. Typically we would patrol the actual DMZ Line about twice a week, and then split duty with the Mortar Platoon on OP Dort. The platoon also was assigned night ambush patrols along the DMZ. Also if there was any contact, the Platoon was sent as a quick reaction force. I can recall a specific instance when a position came in contact with an infiltrator and we spent the night with them guarding the body. Also reacted to the tradegy at Alpha Company when the sleeping quarters were blown.
I was given the Imjin Scount Certificate in April ,1967 and again in July, 1967. I am poor on names but I served with a great bunch of people and had some good folks in my platoon. The CO of 1/23 at that time was a Black Lt. Col who was one of the best officers I served with. He was nicknamed Papa Bear. I was assigned the duty of taking out 4 man patrols for three days at a time into the DMZ and Papa Bear was the call sign.
For me Korea was a good learning experience. I always had an ultimate assignment to Viet Nam and took leave between Korea and Viet Nam. In Viet Nam I was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, 3 Squadron , 4th Calvary. I spent 1 1/2 tours in Viet Nam and after an assignment at West Point left the military as a Captain. I was honored to receive the Silver Star, Bronze Star, 2 Purple Hearts, Air Medal and Army Commendation Medal. I mention this not to brag but to once again say that my time on the DMZ was the best training one could ever have while serving with a great bunch of couregeous people. I don't think people in the US realized that your time in Korea was as dangerous as serving in Viet Nam. My regard to all who have "Walked the Line.
Recon Platoon Leader
2nd Infantry Division