Agent Orange in Korea
by Dan Woods, Veterans Service Officer, Holmes County
The Department of Veterans Affairs received a listing from the Defense Department of locations outside of Vietnam where Agent Orange was used or tested over a number of years. VA officials then met with DOD to get additional information. The information VA currently has gives periods of time, locations and chemicals used. It does not contain units involved or individual identifying information. VA is requesting this information from DOD.
The listings VA has are almost exclusively Army records, although there are an extremely limited number of Navy and Air Force records. These listings relate only to chemical efficacy testing and/or operational testing. The records VA has do not refer to the use of Agent Orange or other chemicals in routine base maintenance activities such as spraying along railroad tracks, weed control on rifle ranges, etc. VA has been informed that information on such use does not exist.
VA does have significant information regarding Agent Orange use in Korea along the DMZ. DOD has confirmed that Agent Orange was used from April 1968 up through July 1969 along the DMZ. DOD defoliated the fields of fire between the front line defensive positions and the south barrier fence. The size of the treated area was a strip 151 miles long and up to 350 yards wide from the fence to north of the "civilian control line." There is no indication that herbicide was sprayed in the DMZ itself.
Herbicides were applied through hand spraying and by hand distribution of pelletized herbicides. Although restrictions were put in place to limit potential for spray drift, run-off and damage to food crops, records indicate that effects of spraying were sometimes observed as far as 200 meters downwind.
The following units were in the area during the period of use of herbicide:
The four combat brigades of the 2nd Infantry Division. This includes the following:
3rd Brigade of the 7th Infantry Division. This includes the following:
Field Artillery, Signal and Engineer troops were supplied as support personnel as required.
The estimated number of exposed personnel is 12,056.
For additional information, contact your countyís Veterans Service Officer.
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