Camp Bonifas is a Republic of Korea Army post (with a small
United States Army force of the United States Forces Korea present)
located 400 meters from the southern boundary of the Korean
Demilitarized Zone and 2400 meters from the military demarcation
line, within the Joint Security Area and Panmunjom, along the
Military Demarcation Line, which forms the border between South
Korea (the Republic of Korea) and North Korea (the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea).
Camp Bonifas is home to the United Nations Command Security
Battalion - Joint Security Area, whose primary mission is to monitor
and enforce the Armistice agreement of 1953 between North and South
Korea. South Korean and American soldiers (known as "security
escorts") conduct the United Nations Commander DMZ Orientation
Program tours of the JSA and surrounding areas.
The camp was formerly known as Camp Kitty Hawk and
Bell, but was re-named on August 18, 1986, in honor of U.S. Army
Captain Arthur G. Bonifas (posthumously promoted to major), who
along with 1LT Mark T. Barrett, were both killed by North Korean
soldiers in what has become known as the
Axe Murder Incident.
Camp Liberty Bell is actually still in the area, just to the right
of Camp Bonifas and technically is an independent camp, however
everyone just refers to the entire area as Camp Bonifas.
Camp Bonifas is home to the par 3, one-hole "golf course"
with an Astroturf green and surrounded on three sides by minefields
and is so famously names by Sports Illustrated as
"the most dangerous hole in
This is where you begin your DMZ adventure, by entering Camp Bonifas,
changing busses to a JSA bus, being briefed at
Ballinger Hall and finally
beginning your tour up into the JSA.
||Photo of Alex Quintanilla at the DMZ in Korea (exact date unknow).
"I worked the lead cover telephone cable from JSA to where the
meetings were held. I had the opportunity to be at a meeting.
The road was not paved and during and escavation to bury a telephone
pole with dug up a motar round. I had a chance to visit my brother
in Con Thien, S. Vietnam a forward observer for artillary at the
DMZ." Alex Quintanilla