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Korean War: "Massacre Valley" Hoengseong

Article about: Hi Tate, I noticed you're from Taipei, Taiwan which begs to ask your interest in the Korean War and where exactly you'll be visiting so I can give you more local locations to visit. Also, I

  1. #1

    Default Korean War: "Massacre Valley" Hoengseong

    In early February 1951, South Korean troops were sent north to face off against
    North Korean soldiers south of Chuncheon city. They were backed up by U.S.
    infantry, tank and artillery forces that were placed under S.K. command.
    The S.K. troops were unable to dislodge N.K. troops and the sudden appearance of
    Chinese spooked them causing a landslide of retreating S.K. soldiers leaving the U.S.
    forces scrambling along with them down a country road. Soon the Chinese had the small ridgelines on both sides of the road forming a gauntlet the soldiers had to run through.
    The remains of wreckage and bodies of that tragedy was left there for over a month until U.S. Marines could venture up the valley and horrified by what they saw, they called it "Massacre Valley".

    So, I've made several trips to that area and the objects found so far actually point to chaos and panic.

    I found several CCF (Chinese Communist Forces) rice bowls,
    various types of casings and slugs everywhere
    also found 3 handgrenades that I'm guessing are S. Korean
    and my best find on the top of a small hill was my first U.S. coin.
    Likely, Chinese soldiers captured an American and turned out his
    pockets looking for anything of value.

    Despite the horror stories of that battle and atrocities, a number of times when
    CCF soldiers caught an American, they would take his valuables and hand him a
    paper pass that would allow him to simply walk away and back to his own lines.
    Naturally, that wasn't always the case specially in war.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Korean War: "Massacre Valley" Hoengseong

    The second and last time I went out to Hoengseon I went into this steep
    valley and within the area of a kitchen space I found 3 garand clips and
    many, many casings. So many I didn't bother collecting them all and then
    I found the trigger assembly for an M-1 garand.

    I could almost imagine that a U.S. soldier running from the Chinese found himself
    trapped on 3 sides by the steep hillsides to the front and sides as he ran into the
    valley. In a panic it looked like he was shooting in every direction. There weren't
    any slugs so I don't think anyone was shooting back.
    There's a cauliflower dent on the trigger housing and looks like a bullet struck it and
    shattered the weapon. As far as I can tell, it looks like the soldier managed to survive.
    Perhaps threw it down and ran like hell up those steep sides.

    It was cold and late by the time I found that trigger assembly. I hope to make a another
    trip out there soon and see if I can find the rest of it!
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  3. #3
    HVK is offline

    Default Re: Korean War: "Massacre Valley" Hoengseong

    Very very interesting. Although more recent than ww2 there are sure exiting spots to search. And all the parts tell a story... Keep up the good work !

  4. #4

    Default Re: Korean War: "Massacre Valley" Hoengseong

    Wow, very interesting !! Have you ever been to the "Walled City of Kasan" just north of Taegu ?? My uncle was killed there. I have always wanted to go to Korea and see where he died. God Bless my Uncle Harold and all those who died.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Korean War: "Massacre Valley" Hoengseong

    Intresting indeed!
    As in january 1951 the first Belgian troops took part at thise war ;there is a expo going on at thise momment at the Brussels War museum.
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Korean War: "Massacre Valley" Hoengseong

    I would love to go hunting in Korea. my uncle was a medic & he would never talk about it.a lot of the relics would nice to find since most of them were ww2 leftovers. I'm sure my uncle probably got a lot of crap being that he was a German- American. when I got my German helmet restored I had the guy put his name in it. may he R.I.P. I have a m-51 field jacket & one of the long cold weather field trench coats. I also bought a new? hbt uniform from a vets family it is stamped 1947. also I have a marine poncho with a staff sgt name painted inside & he painted U.S.M.C. & drew the 1st mar div patch on the left sleeve, it is also like new the leather parts look brand new also it had the wooden balls on the strings, they are still nicely covered in the original varnish. good luck with your hunting, if you go back there.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Korean War: "Massacre Valley" Hoengseong

    Thanks for the support HKV!

    No, I haven't done any reading or research in that area of South Korea yet. If you
    ever do deside to visit, then I'll definitely find out what I can and see about finding
    where you uncle may've been killed. But Daegu is now a major, spralling city and
    nothing like what you're uncle may have seen or been to.

    stuka f,
    It's funny you mentioned about the Belgian involvement because I was just doing some research and there was a battalion involved in "The battle of Imjin river" in April of 1951 and I know their exact positions in that battle. I haven't been there but it's in the plans for a Spring visit. It's a miracle they weren't wiped out....

    crazy horse,
    Yeah, a lot of these relics are exactly that. WW2 surplus and leftovers! Now if only I could start collecting actual uniforms from the Korean war which is a goal of
    mine in the not too distant future! Thanks!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Korean War: "Massacre Valley" Hoengseong

    I went back out to this site yesterday and hiked up a hill I've never been on so I
    didn't know what to expect, but I managed to find some relics. I was really happy to find relics belonging to the Browning Automatic Rifle for the first time so it turned out to be good day.
    The BAR magazine was on my wish-to-find list this year so I can cross that off. The part of a BAR bipod was an added bonus.
    Then I found a curious little tool with no markings. If anyone has any ideas please share them!
    Also any advice on preserving the magazine would be a great help! It'll only be a matter of months before it'll start chipping away because of rust. (But I'm in Korea and don't have access to a lot of needed materials )
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Korean War: "Massacre Valley" Hoengseong

    I'm visiting Korea next month, could you please show me the place with google map?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Korean War: "Massacre Valley" Hoengseong

    Lovely finds well done.
    Your mag is nice, I think you will need to empty it to clear out all the muck. Give it a good wash and remove the rust lumps by scraping them off with a knife, then give it a rub down with a wire brush or one of those metal type scouring pads. Finish off by washing once again in fresh water with an old toothbrush to remove the last of any loose residue. Then dry it well and leave it for at least a couple of days to completely dry out (longer could be better). Then using either a metal sealer or more easily obtained a matt varnish, paint it over the whole mag both inside and out. This must really cover all surfaces to seal the metal from the air and that's it.
    Obviously when displaying try to keep it out of a damp atmosphere and it will remain in this state, a good display piece you could also replace the rounds. Ive personally had no problems using this method for my finds and Im hoping all the items used will be readily available where you are.
    Keep up the good work on a little known side of the hobby.

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