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rmj | all galleries >> Galleries >> The Passing Parade: my family pictures > 1953: Taegu Air Base (K-2), South Korea. Dad (left).
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1953: Taegu Air Base (K-2), South Korea. Dad (left).

K-2 operated F-84s as depicted on the sign at left. Dad was a medical officer visiting the base. At the time, we were living on Tachikawa AFB in Japan. The unidentified flying officer on the right has the distinct look of a true '50s cold warrior, with cigar in hand and the Korean War version of the crusher cap on his head. No doubt he earned his flying chops in WWII.

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Frank Pallone 12-May-2021 21:51
I was stationed at K-2 Air Base from June 1968 to June 1969. I was actually Air National Guard (ANG) and was called to active duty just 48 hours after USS Pueblo was seized by the North Koreans. I was in Taegu when the north started to mass troops along he DMZ in an apparent attack posture, just as the North Vietnamese did during Tet 1968. I was still in country when North Korean fighters shot down a US Navy recon aircraft in spring 1969. This was the EC131 incident. I'm still not sure how an all out war was avoided, but the diplomats certainly did their job splendidly. In summer 169 I rotate back home, and 6 months later, my six year enlistment ended. .
Kay Smith Mathews 26-May-2020 10:20
My father, Cecil A Smith, was there and spoke of building concrete airstrip. I will get his papers and put that information in - he was there two and a half years. Tall black hair - farmer from Georgia, Sylvester. He drove heavy equipment - rode around our farm Memorial Day Morning so thankful he came home. Army
Kay Smith Mathews 26-May-2020 10:16
My father, Cecil A. Smith, was there and spoke of building the concrete strip. He was army driving the heavy equipment to build the strip. I will get his papers to put this information in - he was there 2 1\2 years. I have some pictures. He was from Georgia - Sylvester. I think he was called Smitty. Tall - black hair - farmer. I rode around our farm Memorial Day morning thankful he came home. He passed away November 3, 2007 of brain cancer. I spent nights with him at the end of his life listening to him while on morphine. Evidently, civilian children perished. He spoke of how cold it was there and how he got a shotgun and killed dove there that they cooked!
Guest 05-Nov-2019 18:36
My Father was there when that pic was taken! He was in the 58th FBW at K-2 from '52-'53 (Nov.). Too cool to see this pic!
Guest 25-Oct-2019 23:11
I was stationed at K 2 in 1960-61
Robert L Jones 07-Oct-2019 23:26
Bob Jones - I was with the 822 EAB when it was an all Black Unit, and we built the Air Field and received a President
Unit Citation.
Robert L Jones 07-Oct-2019 23:26
Bob Jones - I was with the 822 EAB when it was an all Black Unit, and we built the Air Field and received a President
Unit Citation.
Robert L Jones 07-Oct-2019 23:26
Bob Jones - I was with the 822 EAB when it was an all Black Unit, and we built the Air Field and received a President
Unit Citation.
Jonh Hammond 09-Dec-2017 19:45
I served with Josh Beckham in Korea. A great guy. A note to Richard Styark. I was in A company of the 822nd EAB 1952-1953. I was a heavy equipment operator. There were two PSP runways . Then in April of 1952 we pulled up the PSP on one of them and put in a 9000 foot concrete runway. PSP was hard to maintain and was hard on the planes. We completed the job in June. I have a picture of the B-29 that landed on the wrong runway. After an investigation it was determined it was pilot error. Happy to answer any questions you may have.
Guest 03-Sep-2017 17:42
Please post this to any appropriate site

Josh Beckham , born in Arkansas, passed away 8/25/17 at 87. He served in Korea with the 822nd Eng Aviation Battalion from 1952 on.
Please remember him and all the others we owe.
Richard Styark 18-Jun-2017 16:25
I was stationed at K-2 from Sept. 1951 -- May 1952 ( 182nd Fighter Bomber F-84 D) and I never saw any concrete runways (only PSP). I do remember the B-29 that ran into the
construction vehicle during a night landing. Where was this concrete located ??

Richard Stark
Steph Roland, Veterans Advocate 18-Apr-2017 20:50
I am trying to help an Army Veteran prove his time in Korea, as NPRC (Nat'l Archives) did lose all his 'pertinent' location during service information in the 1973 fire. Does any of you that served in Korea (Taegu) in 1952/1953/1954 remember a (Cpl) Robert Cabbell from Cincinnati, Ohio?
Things he remembers:
- He was with the 822 EAB [C Co.]
- While en route via airplane from San Diego to South Korea, he says they were told they were "no longer Soldiers in the Army but now they're all Airmen in the Air Force" [presumably since they were heading to the Taegu Air Base].
- He remembers a battle buddy named Cecil Delsight (sp?) from the Western Ohio-area.
- B51s would land at "their" airfields, but he could never get close to them when they landed.
- A Korean cemetery on a hillside near a water-treatment plant.
- He distinctly remembers an unfortunate incident involving another Soldier named Haney (sp?), a 5 1/2 ton dump/tanker truck and a Korean girl.
- He also would retrieve/deliver the Company Commander's Jeep to the Field Depot.

ANY INFORMATION THAT YOU MAY HAVE FOR ME TO HELP MR. CABBELL WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. Be sure to add your name and contact info on anything you may have to share - Many Thanks!

Please email info or links to:
j tirrell 18-Feb-2017 21:16
does anybody remember a battle at tague that ended with one wounded andother retreating until they could get him out. sept 7th army, soldiers shot as the camedown gangplank of ship
Paul Smith 16-Oct-2016 02:02
I served in the 822nd EAB in 1947-48; the USAF had not been established at that time. The military had not racially integrated; all of the officers were White except for the chaplain and all of the enlisted men were Black. Just prior to the establishment of the USAF I was flown to Manila for TDY. From there I was flown to Tokyo for an additional week of TDY. While I was on TDY. the USAF was established and on paper half of the guys were left in the army and the rest became airmen; I was a soldier. As a consequence I had to wait a couple of weeks in Tokyo before I was shipped back to my unit by boat. Rank had been frozen and although I was a off, I was NCO I C of automotive equipment maintenance. I had staff sergeants under me who had transferred in and were undergoing OJT to become mechanics. 822nd's primary function was to improve Kadena Army Air Base so that it could more conveniently handle B-29s. When my enlistment was up, I joined the army reserves. In 1950 I was activated and assigned to the 376th Engineer Construction Battalion in Camp Carson, Colorado. We POMed and POEed there and were sent to Camp Gifu, Japan. We reassembled there, zeroed our rifles and headed to Pusan and arrived there in December 1950. This was in the early days of the Pusan Beachhead. Soon after arriving I asked about the 822nd. I was told that the 822nd had been disbanded, but it had distnguished itself. One evening, the Chinese had pinned a UN infantry unit against a vertical bluff. They paused with the intention of finishing them off the following morning. During the night the 822nd carved an escape route up that bluff and the UN unit escaped! I was never able to verify that report, but I was proud to have served in the 822nd!
Guest 16-Oct-2016 01:12
Paul Smith
I served in the 822nd EAB I 1947-48 when it was stationed on Okinawa. We improved Kadena Army Air Base for the B-29s that was based there. All of the enlisted men were Black and all of the officers except for the chaplain were White. I had the rank of off, but I was in charge of 2nd echelon maintenance of automotive equipment. Rank was frozen at that time. Some of the men under me were staff sergeants who had to undergo OJT to acquire skills as a mechanic. I 1947 I went to Manila and earned a spot on the track team to participate in the FEAF track meet in Tokyo. While I was in Tokyo, the USAF was established. Arbitrarily half of the men in the 822nd were transferred to the USAF and the others were left in the army; I remained in the army. I had traveled by air to Manila and Tokyo, but now that I was not an airman I had to wait weeks in Japan before I sailed back to Okinawa. In 1950 Iwas activated and was assigned to the 376th Engineer Construction Battalion. We POMed and POEed at Camp Carson, Colorado; geared up at Camp Gifu in Japan and arrived at Pusan in 1950 in the early days of the winter. The UN forces had been pushed back to the Pusan Beachhead. I inquired about the 822nd and was told that they had been disbanded. However, they had distinguished themselves by rescuing an infantry unit which had been pushed back against a vertical bluff. The Chinese paused to rest with the intention of finishing the 822nd in the morning. During the night the 822nd carved a road up that bluff and provided the UN troops an escape route! I was never able to verify that report, but I was proud to have served in the 722nd.
John W. Overton 18-Jul-2015 19:25
Hello all you "fly-boys" grounbd crews and pavenemt layers. My 59th MP Co. stationed at Tague provided security for your K-2 Air Base and the entire Tague Militry Command. I brought an M-8 to your area and one of the AC maintenance Officers that took the unspent .50 Cal. ammo out of the returning F-80s would get some target practice at a blank river banks with the .50 Cal. maching gun on my M-8. I was at Tague from about Marcch 1, 1952 until September 1, 1953. We (me and my MPs) brought the PW from Puson (sp) by railroad to a new POW camp near your base. My, how time flies.
John Hammond 28-Mar-2015 15:51
I have a copy of the book that Earl Tutt Lambert wrote. It is interesting and covers not only the 822nd but the war in general.
Richard Gamel 25-Feb-2015 16:24
I served with the 1248th AACS at K-2. So long ago that only vague memories remain of that year of my life. I'm impressed with the details recalled by posters on this page.
Rod O'Shea 18-Feb-2015 02:19
Hi, I was at K2 53-54 and was there when the armistice was signed (and not obeyed). I was a cryptographer and knew first hand how many aircraft we were losing. How do you know there were 130 lost? It was very cold and very wet in the Spring rains, Our q huts housed us well and the hired house boys made our lives a bit easier. I was making $98 tax free with free postage. Some deal huh! Our medical care was awful. Cardinal Spellman head of all Chaplins visited us and called my folks when he returned to Brooklyn NY. They wee enormously grateful to hear his words about me and my buddy from Brooklyn also. We were forced to have only 3.2 beer from USA so we bought Henikens from the Dutch. My first taste of that great beer.. We also pooled money together to get steaks from Japan.
We used script for money of course. What would you like to know? More about the f-84's? What Seoul looked like? A bobbing range north of k2? Downtown Taegu? War stories? Rand R's?.
T R Moates S/Sgt 17-Nov-2014 14:31
I was with 429FTR Squadron 1953 -1954 Whole group shipped out to Clovis NM in Nov 1954 Would like to hear from some people who were there then. SG Flowers, Capt Mohawk, Capt Earl J Archer, MSgt Owens, Capt Hansard, Sgt John Shepherd. Major Pitcock a few I rember
John Hammond 16-Jun-2014 19:44
This is the first I have seen this page. I was in a SCARWAF unit. That was army attached to the Air Force and built and repaired air bases all over Korea during the war. Glenn Groh is correct It was a B-29 that came in on the wrong strip and hit the piece of heavy equipment and flipped onto it's nose. I have pictures of it. I was also there to help build the new concrete runway. It was in 1952. I have a copy o f the letter we received from Air force Colonel David Knight thanking our SCARWAF unit for the fine job.
william childress 13-Dec-2013 18:50
Helloo Earl Lambert.....I am former SCARWAF (Pyongtaek 1952-53) and interested in some scuttlebutt saying Taegu K-2 was a major flopperoo, requiring a much longer time to complete than other airstrips. Can you clarify? I realize this is late but just now read your interesting letter. Add comment. William Childress
Gene Payne 10-Jul-2013 09:41
My name is Gene Payne; I came to K-2 from Itazuke Oct.1952; AFSC-29150; worked in classified communications as a Teletype Operator; when the base commander "fired" all the indigenous personnel, I was thrust into duty manning the PBX; I was on duty when a flight of USMC jets were diverted to K-2 from their home base because of an accident there; there was a mad scramble to guard their planes, feed, debrief, and house the pilots for the night; I had never even seen a PBX before that time, but evidently I handled it okay because I never heard any complaints; a week later the base commander rehired all the Koreans and I went back to my regular job; Coldest winter I ever spent in my life; the pot-belly stoves did not come close to keeping our Q-hut warm; I left for Tachikawa in June 1953, just thankful that I never had to shoot at anybody....and if anybody shot at me....they missed, Thank GOD!!
Guest 06-Jul-2013 20:00
In addition, was in the 58th FBS, Flight C. My aircraft number was 127
Aaron Block 06-Jul-2013 19:58
I was stationed at K2 during the last six months of the war as crew chief on F84. My name is Aaron Block for anyone that remembers the cold winters in the line shacks and the trips to Taegu. I can be reached at
Ed and Cynthia 07-Oct-2012 18:09
TAEGU - PSP, 30 September 1950

We believe that 1/Lt Ray W. Scgrecengost, Jr., USAF, was the one to actually make the first "full-stop" landing of an RF-80 jet (or perhaps "the" first jet) on the newly laid PSP at Taegu. This landing was logged as occurring on the morning of 30 September 1950.

Lt Schrecengost was flying his RF-80A "FT-404" on a recce "P" mission (1:55 logged flight time) that morning. The Mission "From" and "To" entries are entered as from "Itazuke J." to "Taegu". This flight has the "Remarks Data " entry of "Itazuke Korea Combat".

Based on Ray's oral description of that flight, he mentioned that he was flying as wing-man for his 8th TRS squadron commander (Major Jean K. Woodyard, Jr., USAF). They were returning together that morning from a "first light" Recce mission from Itazuke. He was following on final approach at Taegu in rather distant trail behind "Woody".

Ray described that landing as being made on freshly laid (new) Pierced Steel Planking (PSP), which apparently was still damp with condensation from the early morning dew. Major Woodyard touched down a little long and perhaps slightly hot, realized the braking conditions on the wet PSP were very poor, and made an immediate go-around (essentially a touch and go).

Alerted to these conditions, Ray then slowed his own approach speed and touched down on the very threshold, planting it hard in order to immediately spin up wheel rotation. Braking carefully but aggressively, he related that he was just able to get his aircraft stopped at the far end, thus making what he believed was the first RF-80 " full stop" landing there.

Ray then logged two additional recce flights that same day (30 September). His second flight was logged as :55 (minutes), with the Mission "From - To" entries of "Taegu, Kor Local" , and then a third flight of :35 (minutes) from Taegu back to Itazuke. His total flight time that day was 3:25.

* Footnote references: His "AF Form 5" listed his unit then as "8th Tac Rcn Sq, 5th AF, APO 929" and the primary flight that day (1:55 duration) as Mission Type "C-28”.

Ed and Cynthia (Schrecengost) Miller
carroll david 28-May-2012 14:52
I served in the headquarters company of the 930th Engr Aviation Group arriving Xmas day in Pusan in 1951. In the Spring of 1952 we moved to Taegu near K2.
Glenn Groh 01-Jun-2011 15:50
I was a control tower operator in AACS at K2 from late 1951 through late 1952. I remember the new runway being constructed. In fact, when it was partially completed and there was a large cement mixer off the side of the runway. I was working the tower, when a crippled B29 (I believe) had an emergency landing at night. On the approach the pierced steet runway was to the right of the new concrete. I advised to use the pierced steel, but I think under duress the pilot landed on the concrete. Half way down the runway the left wing crashed into the mixer. Fortunately no one was injured and after an inquiry it was blamed it on pilot error.
Glenn Groh
Guest 17-Mar-2011 20:38
I was stationed at K-2 with the 27th Fighter Wing (F-84's) somewhere in the time period 1950-51. We were in aircraft re-fueling. I recently met an A&M college student from Taegu and enjoyed an update on what was now going on in her city. S/Sgt Jimmy E. Cox, AF18337071, 27th Motor Vehicle Squadron.
Ken Marshall 21-Sep-2009 20:26
Hi Earl, Just saw your article about (K-2 )air base. I was there in 51 and 52 and helped build the concrete runway.It was quite a project,but was certainly a great help for the air force.
Earl Tutt Lambert 20-Feb-2009 20:05

I am in the process of writing a history of the 822nd Engineer Aviation Battalion (SCARWAF), an army group that built the PSP and concrete runways at K-2. The unit arrived from Okinawa in August '50 and initially built a 5,000 foot PSP strip followed by the completion of 9,000 foot concrete runway in June, '51. I served as an enlisted man from '51-'52 and have based my book on the diary of Captain Walker Bradshaw, a West Point graduate of '48. I hope to include all related activities in and around K-2 including details ofthe 130 aircraft lost during the war that flew out of Taegu.

If you have any material that would be of value in this book, please contact me.
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