Jeffrey Miller

A Writer's Life

Korean War Monuments on Bomun Mountain, Daejeon — 24th Infantry Division/UN Monument

On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the fall of Daejeon during the Korean War, I got up early this morning to visit Mt. Bomun or as it called in Korean Bomunsan to visit two Korean War memorials/monuments. I had no idea about these monuments in Daejeon until Mr. Chi Kap-chong told me about them when I was working on the article about the Korean War Participation Monuments for the Joong Ang Ilbo.

I thought it was quite far from where I live in Jayang-dong (near Woosong College), but as it turned out it was only about a fifteen-minute taxi ride away (well, maybe it wasn’t that close—I walked back and it took me about an hour). The monuments are located about a hundred meters up a small road that branches to the left (another road to the right takes you to a Buddhist temple).

The first monument is one dedicated to the United Nations and the U.S. 24th Division that bought crucial time for other US and UN forces to establish the Pusan Perimeter. It’s a simple, yet sober monument reminding one that the Korean War was fought under the flag of the United Nations and the great sacrifice that so many made in the defense of South Korea.

This is the inscription on the plaque:

To the Heroes of the Taejon Battle

Freedom is a lofty aim of man and the lifeblood of his soul. Eternal peace is another equally sacred ideal of man. Here was written a page of the glorious history of the United Nations in its efforts to defend freedom and peace for mankind.

The Communist army, which launched a treacherous invasion into the free south at the dawn of June 25, 1950, continued its advance after occupying Seoul. As free nations of the United Nations rose in repelling the aggressors, the 24th U.S. Division—the vanguard of the U.N. Forces—first engaged the enemy at Osan on July 5. The enemy finally surrounded and attacked Taejon on July 17. The 24th Division, outnumbered, staged a furious defense which lasted for 20 days until its commander Maj. Gen. William F. Dean, was missing in action while commanding the battalion at the front.

This humble monument is dedicated to the heroic action of the 24th Division in defense of freedom and peace.

March 31, 1959

11 Comments

  1. I was their in those dark days as so few try to stop so many.Was at the Air Strip on the 19 July as the NKPA Shell the air strip.

  2. It’s a unique design, I wonder what the V stands for and an odd choice of color, pink.

    • Nye,

      Maybe the “V” stands for victory. I am also not too sure why the monument is pink.

      What is interesting about this monument is that it is right across the road from a Buddhist temple. If you look at the date on the plaque–this date would be the number of years since Buddha’s birth.

  3. Franklin R. Lyon, Jr.

    July 20, 2010 at 4:17 am

    I was with the 24th Signal Co – Forward and helped set up communications in a church and school yard in Taejon soon after the North Korean army moved out. Behind the church, they left row upon row of heads sticking out of the ground. They appeared to have buried the victims in trenches up to their neck and then bashed their heads. When the bodies were dug out, there were cuts into their bodies like they were stabbed with swords. Air raid shelters around the church yard were also stuffed with bodies. Koreans told me the dead bodies were victims of the peoples’ courts. It was a terrible memory, hard to get out of my mind. When our motor group first drove through Taejon the people lined the roadway. I felt like they were praising us like we were saving angels sent from the Almighty.

  4. Mr. Bolt,

    Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. And thank you so much for serving our country during the Korean War.

    God Bless you and watch over you sir.

  5. Walt,

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your input on the nickname of the 24th Infantry Division.

  6. Thank you for posting this Jeffrey. I am the new historian for the 24th ID Association, and although maybe the members know about this, I was unaware of it. I will forward to the editor of the Taro Leaf. May we please have permission to use your photo of the memorial?

  7. Thank you for honoring the 24th ID by posting this photo!

  8. hey, i’m living in Daejeon right now. Can you tell me specifically where this monument is? I would love to check it out.

    Thanks for posting.

    • Neil,

      The mountain is right behind Hanvit Stadium, where the Hanhwa Eagles play. I don’t know the bus routes because I took a taxi to get there, but if you go past the stadium about 50 meters, you’ll come to a major intersection and there you will see the entrance to the mountain. Just follow the road up on the left; it’s about a 30-minute walk to the monuments.

      Jeffrey

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