Posted in Military History

43 years ago: NKoreans murder Bonifas and Bennett in DMZ attack

On 18 August 1976, a team of U.S. Army and South Korean soldiers headed out to trim a tree on the South Korean side of the De-militarized Zone. The men were unarmed, only carrying axes they would use to trim a tree that obstructed their view. Soon, they were confronted by a belligerent North Korean officer they had nicknamed Lt. “Bulldog” who advised them that N. Korean dictator Kim Il Sung had personally planted the tree and cared for it. Capt. Arthur G. Bonifas ignored the officer’s protests, which sent the offended officer back across the Bridge of No Return for reinforcements.

In moments, Lt. Bulldog was back, this time on a truck loaded with communist soldiers armed with crowbars and clubs. When Bonifas again ignored the demands to stop, the North Koreans pounced on the Americans and South Korean soldiers, savagely beating and hacking them with axes. All but one of the outnumbered crew were wounded, and Bonifas lay dead. 1st Lt. Mark Barrett died of his wounds while enroute to the hospital. Continue reading “43 years ago: NKoreans murder Bonifas and Bennett in DMZ attack”