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Ascomdepot68

Ascom Depot- Storage Of Ao

Question

I was stationed at HHC USA ASCOM Depot from March 1968-March 1969. From March to October 1968 I was assigned to the Quality Assurance Directorate and from October to March 1969 I was the supply sergeant for HHC. As part of my duties at QA on at least two occasions I personnaly inspected damaged barrels of AO at the northern end of the rail line coming into the depot. AO was seen stored in the rear of 2 1/2 ton trucks several times in the vehicles for issue park area which was directly across from my then office about 75 yards or so from the depot headquarters and about the same distance from our living quarters.

A friend and I dug in the area of the area near the end of the tracks looking for coins and found many. This included the contaminated area but in 1968-69 who knew of the dangers of AO?

What many people don’t know is that ASCOM Depot was built on top of an abandoned Japanese munitions factory which included extensive underground facilities. These facilities were at a later date compromised by the underground river that runs from west to east under the depot.

It is all and well that the VA has seen fit to authorize presumptive exposure to those stationed on the DMZ. How about those in the supply chain from Inchon to ASCOM to the units that hauled the stuff?

In July 2010 I filed for AO disability for ischemic heart disease. Currently pending a decision. The last time I talked to them on February 7, 2011 the lady hung up on me while I was reading a prepared statement to her.

Consider the following. I have read countless stories in the last few months that the stuff was also sprayed far away from the DMZ, I’ve read that it was brought in on airplanes at Kimpo. Both are plausible. The AO I saw was brought in by train from Inchon.

I can’t speak to the point if it was ever sprayed at ASCOM. I can’t speak to whether or not the barrels at ASCOM were ever compromised after initial receiving or storage at ASCOM. I can only speak to the fact that on two occasions barrels leaked and that I personnally saw the barrels and was around them on occasion.

Consider the following. Ninety five percent of the US Army forces entering Korea in a non unit capacity came thru the 177th or 178th Replacement Co at ASCOM. Some didn’t, like SGTM, MI, ASA, Field grade officers but by and large most spent a day or two there.

In July 1968 a couple of thousand Air Force personnel spent some time there also. Where did the water supply for ASCOM area come from? What unit was responsible for providing water to the various compounds? How many houseboys (they polished our shoes every day),

how many command and non command dependants came onto the base, how many KN personnel worked on or visited the base (yes including the business girls), how many took a shower, how many ate in the mess halls, how many had their clothes washed, how many Department of Army civilians worked on the base ( I recall 4), how many whatever……. Ok, we have spillage, storage,underground river, unknown water source.

Consider this. Before stating this let me say I have the utmost repect for the crew of the USS Pueblo. Commander Bucher first stepped foot on The Bridge of No Return at 1130 hours on December 23, 1968. Lt Murphy the XO was last across at exactly 1200 noon. The crew was taken by bus a distance of less than 450 meters to the center of the JSA where they shaved,showered and ate a light lunch. They listened to a couple of speeches and then got on buses to ride to Camp Kittyhawk(now Camp Bonifas) where they boarded Huey’s

to take them to the 121st Evac at ASCOM. The first of 8 helicopters landed there at 1320 hours. So for what 20 minutes total they were in an area that may have been sprayed and most of that time was spent inside a bus. Remember the DOD claims that AO was never sprayed inside the DMZ which by definition includes the JSA. Again no disrespect meant, but does that sound like equitable treatment??

For those of you who don’t know the period has been extended from July 1969 to August 1971 but again only those units recognized. At least they recognized that the stuff has residual effects. Problem is I have read everywhere from up to and including 100 years.

ASCOM Depot proper and areas around it are now high rise apartments, school, etc. The area north of the depot is now a GM/Daewoo plant. I wonder what, if any, remediation was done?

I am in the midst of compiling a map of ASCOM Depot as it was during 1968-1969. If anyone has photos or info concerning AO I would be glad to hear from you. I don’t want to publish what I have at present since it might serve to “taint” some memories, but once finished I will disseminate it to anyone who wants it. You may contact me at nowpastdue@att.net.

Check any old orders you have for info to get “buddy letters”. If you want send me a scan and I will try to locate, it’s a hobby of mine. At present I have a list of about 50 men who were there 1968-69.

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ASOMDEPOT68,

Everybody know's that [AO] was used some in Korean war. It takes time to for them to sort it out. This lady at the VA must of had a bad day. What kind of heart problem's have you had?

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"Consider this. Before stating this let me say I have the utmost repect for the crew of the USS Pueblo. Commander Bucher first stepped foot on The Bridge of No Return at 1130 hours on December 23, 1968. Lt Murphy the XO was last across at exactly 1200 noon. The crew was taken by bus a distance of less than 450 meters to the center of the JSA where they shaved,showered and ate a light lunch. They listened to a couple of speeches and then got on buses to ride to Camp Kittyhawk(now Camp Bonifas) where they boarded Huey’s

to take them to the 121st Evac at ASCOM. The first of 8 helicopters landed there at 1320 hours. So for what 20 minutes total they were in an area that may have been sprayed and most of that time was spent inside a bus. Remember the DOD claims that AO was never sprayed inside the DMZ which by definition includes the JSA. Again no disrespect meant, but does that sound like equitable treatment??"

It is the same regard for USS Pueblo crew as "one boot on ground Vietnam" or a 20 minute pit stop in Danang.

All Blue Water Navy veterans have yet to receive "equitable treatment."

BWNVVA is still aggressively still fighting for that.

I am privileged to know the first vet to prove AO in Thailand as well as the first CONUS AO awarded veteran.

They did a LOT of research and leg work.The Thailand vet is responsible for the Thailand Directives we have had now for a few months- and awards to Thailand vets have been made that-without his work- would probably NOT have ever been made.

I myself had an AO claim I was told by vet reps and others that it would never succeed. It did succeed.Research and medical evidence are everything so I commend the work you are doing.

"As part of my duties at QA on at least two occasions I personnaly inspected damaged barrels of AO at the northern end of the rail line coming into the depot. AO was seen stored in the rear of 2 1/2 ton trucks several times in the vehicles for issue park area which was directly across from my then office about 75 yards or so from the depot headquarters and about the same distance from our living quarters."

By damaged if you mean the barrels were leaking, proof of above might well award your claim.

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PS if you put 'Leaking barrels of AO 'into the hadit search feature here , there has been discussions here on that and it might help you.

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ASOMDEPOT68,

Everybody know's that [AO] was used some in Korean war. It takes time to for them to sort it out. This lady at the VA must of had a bad day. What kind of heart problem's have you had?

In July 2007 I woke up one night to go to the restroom. Took forever to raise my leg to get in pants leg. Finally did. Thought my leg was just asleep. Next morning entire right side was numb. Got a few things straightened out

and when over to VA for the first time in 20 years. Doctor put me through a few tests, then an EKG. Told me I had a heart attack and stroke. VA put me in hospital. Spent 2 days thickening my blood up tried to balloon out

the arteries but that didn't work. Doctor (civilian) said your arteries are the worst I've ever seen. Spent 4 days thinning my blood and went in for 4 bypass. Echocardiograms later show heart at 40-45%.

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"Consider this. Before stating this let me say I have the utmost repect for the crew of the USS Pueblo. Commander Bucher first stepped foot on The Bridge of No Return at 1130 hours on December 23, 1968. Lt Murphy the XO was last across at exactly 1200 noon. The crew was taken by bus a distance of less than 450 meters to the center of the JSA where they shaved,showered and ate a light lunch. They listened to a couple of speeches and then got on buses to ride to Camp Kittyhawk(now Camp Bonifas) where they boarded Huey's

to take them to the 121st Evac at ASCOM. The first of 8 helicopters landed there at 1320 hours. So for what 20 minutes total they were in an area that may have been sprayed and most of that time was spent inside a bus. Remember the DOD claims that AO was never sprayed inside the DMZ which by definition includes the JSA. Again no disrespect meant, but does that sound like equitable treatment??"

It is the same regard for USS Pueblo crew as "one boot on ground Vietnam" or a 20 minute pit stop in Danang.

All Blue Water Navy veterans have yet to receive "equitable treatment."

BWNVVA is still aggressively still fighting for that.

I am privileged to know the first vet to prove AO in Thailand as well as the first CONUS AO awarded veteran.

They did a LOT of research and leg work.The Thailand vet is responsible for the Thailand Directives we have had now for a few months- and awards to Thailand vets have been made that-without his work- would probably NOT have ever been made.

I myself had an AO claim I was told by vet reps and others that it would never succeed. It did succeed.Research and medical evidence are everything so I commend the work you are doing.

"As part of my duties at QA on at least two occasions I personnaly inspected damaged barrels of AO at the northern end of the rail line coming into the depot. AO was seen stored in the rear of 2 1/2 ton trucks several times in the vehicles for issue park area which was directly across from my then office about 75 yards or so from the depot headquarters and about the same distance from our living quarters."

By damaged if you mean the barrels were leaking, proof of above might well award your claim.

By damaged I mean the barrels had holes torn in the side from forks on forklifts made by Korean workers who were offloading the drums from the railcars from Inchon. One of my jobs was to investigate damage claims on materials lost, stolen, or damaged while it was in the hands of the respective contractors from the ships hold up to and including the time it was places in the warehouse, then it was considered accepted. Example: once 2700 pair of OG107 (fatigue) trousers with waist of 27 inches came up missing. The lot was in the ship on arrival,they

were taken off the ship and placed on a barge for the trip to the dock at Inchon. The pants never made it. The barge owner who held a contract for that part of the delivery was backcharged against whatever he was due. In the case of the AO the company that held the contract

for getting the stuff off the railcars and into the warehouse was backcharged. We (I) in such a case would go down and "guesstimate" the amount of loss by rocking the drum and estimating how much had been lost. At the time I touched the barrels they were not leaking all over

my hands or anything or actively gushing out onto the ground. My friend and I dug in the same are for coins before and after these two occasions that I know of. Ay the time there was no adverse knowledge concerning AO. We did fill out a slip of paper on the loss or damage but I

can't imagine they stil exist. What type of "proof" do you think would satifsy the VA? I have a "buddy statement" about the digging for coins in the area and pictures of some of the coins. I don't have any paperwork or pictures of "leaking" drums.

As to the lady having a bad day. I guess. About two hours ago I found that they had " requested service personnel records that document awards, medals, decorations, military occupational specialty, and asignments" on Dec 20, 2010 on a claim filed July 6, 2010. Sounds to me like they are looking for DD214's. I sent both of mine with the claim they received on July 6, 2010. They supposedly have the records (?) now since they report receipt on January 19, 2011.

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