View From Cold Bunker

District Marine Saw Farce at Truce Site

International News Service

WITH THE FIRST MARINE DIVISION IN KOREA, March 6. — The five American Marines, one of them a Pittsburgh district man, sat in their ringside to history overlooking Panmunjom and cursed bitterly as they watched a shiny American sedan roll into the tent city site of the suspended armistice talks.

They huddled in their windswept, chill outpost and muttered about the futility of the armistice efforts.

Far below on the valley floor geysers on mud and water erupted as Allied artillery blasted into Chinese outposts flanking the neutralized corridor to Panmunjom.

At an earlier time, when hopes for armistice had been high, I had been inside Panmunjom where the facts were mine. This day I was on the outside looking in and seeing the tableau through the eyes of the fighting men who have watched it from their bunkers for almost two years.


This meeting of liaison officers, exchanging angry notes about alleged violations of the strange rules of this twilight areas, was a "joke" to S/Sgt. William McMillan Jr., of 1810 James St., Monroeville.

"After a while, these meetings get to be a standard joke." the 24-year-old sergeant sarcastically explained. For all we know, they probably have their demi-tasse and then come out again and go home."

McMillan is a world champion with the pistol. Last year he was a member of the Marine team that established a new world record with the .38 and .22 at the international matches in Oslo, Norway.

Earlier in the year McMillan placed seventh on the Marine team in the Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland.

McMillan has been a Marine almost six years, enlisted shortly after he graduated from Turtle Creek High School.

His father, William, is a Westinghouse Electric Corp. supervisor. Mr. and Mrs. McMillan also have a daughter Clara Mae, 14.

Pittsburgh Sunday SUN-TELEGRAPH, March 8, 1953

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