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Camp John C. Pelham was a small base 8 (short) miles south of the DMZ in Western Corridor of South Korea. For the troops serving in Korea now, the term the Western Corridor is something they may have never heard of. The camps in the Western Corridor all closed down around 2004. But to the GI's who served on these small bases, the memories of these camps will never die.

The Western Corridor refers to the western sector of military camps in the 2nd Infantry Division area of operations north of Seoul. The Western Corridor camps are located to the west of the main US military hubs in Dongducheon and Uijongbu near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates North from South Korea. The bases located in the Western Corridor is where the first line of American units. These units of the 2nd D were assigned with the task slowing down any North Korean attack. These units were greatly out numbered, and were to be nothing more than a speed bump for the North Korean Army. The unit with this responsibility was the 2/17 Artillery Regiment located at Camp Pelham.

Camp Pelham was one of the camps north of Seoul authorized Hardship Duty Pay. The Hardship Duty Pay is paid to troops who are permanently assigned to areas where it is authorized or who serve 30 consecutive days of temporary duty in those areas. Several factors are considered in determining whether a location qualified for the pay: climate, physical and social isolation, sanitation, disease, medical facilities, housing, food, recreational and community facilities, political violence, harassment and crime. The extra pay provides meaningful financial recognition to troops assigned in areas where living conditions are Substantially below US standards.

This camp wasn’t always called Camp Pelham and in fact has went through three name changes over the years. It was first called Camp signRice at the time the camp was first established in 1951 during the Korean War. The land where the camp was built was originally an apple orchard. After the camp was built it was used as the headquarters for the United Nations Command (UNC) Military Armistice Conference Delegation. The UNC at the time was conducting armistice negotiations with the North Koreans and Chinese in the Panmunjom area. One building, a movie theater, was the only permanemt building on base until the 70's. Two years later after the war began, July 27, 1953 UNC Commander General Mark W. Clark signed the Armistice Agreement ending the war in the Camp Rice theater. At first the theater, which was demolished in the 1970s, was the only building on the base, which consisted of 14 tents, volleyball courts, a baseball diamond and a skeet range. Around this time the camp changed its name to Camp Pelham in honor of prominent Civil War artilleryman Lt. Col. John C. Pelham. Later the name Garry Owen would become the third and final name for the camp until it was one of the bases closed in 2004 and turned over to the ROK.

Army Community Service was not available. The 2nd Infantry Division's 17 installations operated on a hub system that gave Division soldiers access to services not available on their installations. Camp Pelham was near Camp Howze, which offered many of the services not available on Camp Pelham. No Housing Office, Education Center, or Family Employment Assistance was provided. Family Quarters were not available. Almost all of the Division's soldiers served one-year unaccompanied tours. All soldiers lived in on-post quarters.

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