Army - 630th Engineers

 
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630th Engineers - A Brief History

[KWE Note: The following brief history of the Army's 630th Engineers was submitted to the KWE by Floyd King of Johnstown, NJ.  The information was taken verbatim from the unit history of the 630th Engineers Company LE.]

This unit was attached to the 19th Combat Engineer Group and came to Korea on October 7, 1950.  It worked its way north to the Hungnam area, was evacuated from there to Pusan, and began to work its way north again building roads and airfields.

Our largest project was to build the K-52 airfield near Yanggu, North Korea, beginning September 26, 1951.  This was unfortunate because it left the winter time with its frozen ground in which to make the large cuts and fills.  The following seven months were spent with the entire company on the Yanggu airfield.  This was a 6500 foot airfield, 250 feet wide.  It had two warm-up aprons, 450x300 feet, a taxi-way 120 feet wide, 5000 feet long and two adjacent parking aprons--one 300 feet by 850 feet and one 500 feet by 700 feet.  It was designed for 40,000 LB wheel loads, but actually was built much stronger as a safety measure due to the fact that most sub-grade and base courses were of necessity placed and stabilized during the winter time.  Unfortunately, the most satisfactory location available was one that spanned rice paddies and hills.  Consequently it was necessary to make cuts as deep as 30 feet for thousands of feet and hundreds of feet wide and to follow these with fills as deep as 16 feet for thousands of more feet.  The completed job required the movement of two and a half million yards, the construction of 3,375 feet of culvert with a cross section area as large as 64 square feet, the destruction of a rock hill containing about 100,000 cubic yards, and the crushing of about 40,000 cubic yards of rock.

Most of this work was done under the worst weather conditions.  The field was completed July 28, 1952 except for the spreading of about 10,000 cubic yards of the crushed rock surfacing material.  This was the largest airfield completed in North Korea at that time.  In July 1954, this airfield was turned over to the Republic Army of Korea.

The 630th Engineers built 22 airfields ranging in length of 1200 feet to 6500 feet, K-52.  The 1200 foot was built overnight at Chungju, January 3, 1951 for the use of 10th Corps liaison planes, such as the Stinson L-17, which was sometimes called "the Grasshopper."

 

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