8240th Army Unit (AU) Association
United Nations Partisan Forces Korea (UNPFK)
The 8240th AU Association is a group of Korean veterans who fought as partisans under the control of the United Nations Command during the Korean War. We will not rewrite their history here, but I've posted this info to help understand why this Chapter is bonded to them and why we support them.
At the onset of the Korean War, which began with the North Korean invasion of the South in June 1950, the US Army had no "Special Forces" as we do today that were trained to conduct unconventional or guerilla warfare behind enemy lines, but the need quickly arose. The US Army learned it had "large anti-communist partisan forces" that had escaped North Korea and had set up ad-hoc bases on islands off the coast and were conducting limited operations into their homelands in North Korea, so the Army quickly assigned US advisors to support, equip, and train these partisans. These US advisors included Army Rangers, personnel who had guerrilla warfare experience from WWII, and personnel who could think "outside the box" and operate in austere conditions with limited support.
The Partisan forces grew in strength to approximately 38,000 by the end of the war and had a significant impact on the outcome [It is estimated that it took approximately two divisions of Chinese Communist and North Korean forces to provide rear-area security against partisan operations]. The number of advisors grew as well to support and advise the growing number of partisans. Special Forces as we know it today began in mid-1952, and in early 1953, approximately 90 officers and men from the second graduating class of the new SF school arrived to support these partisans operations. Herein lies our link to the 8240th AU, and that kinship continues to this day.
Some interesting points:
Mr. Park, the President of the 8240th AU Association and former Commander of a partisan unit during the war, gives his speech each year at the 8240th Memorial on Gyodong Island in South Korea. He points to a house on the North Korean shore just across the straits... "That is my house. I have not been there since the war. I hope my family still lives there and is safe, but I suspect not."
|8240th Army Unit article, Stars & Stripes 21 Sep 07 Issue|