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Camp Bonifas

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 Camp Liberty 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 golf".

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.


Alex photo 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
[Quintanilla collection]