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2ID Museum Korea Part 4

Axe Murder at Panmunjom

On August 18, 1976, North Korean troops attacked a UN tree pruning party at Panmunjom.  The area is a joint security area and both the North Koreans and UN could construct buildings.  The NKs abused this and built guardhouses on the UN side in order to isolate the UN posts.  The tree blocked the view between two UN posts and was seen as a danger.  Capt. Bonifas and Lt. Barrett were bludgeoned to death with their own tools by communist soldiers.

Operation Paul Bunyan

Three days after the murders, Task Force Brady composed of men of the 2nd Division and ROK Army moved into Panmunjom and cut the tree down.  Bombers carrying nuclear weapons flew above South Korea ready to strike if war broke out.

This is a portion of the cut-down tree, a Normandy poplar.

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