One of the longest continuously operating posts in Korea, Post 10216 started in 1964, chartered in 1970. It was originally located in the basement of the Victoria Hotel from 1964-1977, then went through several relocations before finally finding a home in the basement of the Pacific Hotel. As one enters the Post, you will find an atmosphere that is friendly and comfortable with plenty of tables, pool table, dart boards, the Canteen bar, walls decorated with pictures of a Korea/military/Osan AB theme and shelves of military aircraft models. In addition you will find special dedication walls to include (not limited to) the Tuskegee Airmen in honor of our own Tuskegee Airmen MSgt (Ret) James "Jim" Price who unfortunately passed away on 20 Jul 2008. Jim was one of the founding members of the post. In Feb 1998 VFW Post 10216 sponsored now retired Colonel Millett's return to the scene of his historic battle for the very first time since that battle on Hill 180. He was invited as the guest speaker during the annual Hill 180 Memorial Ceremony that year and on 6 Feb gave a most memorable and tear invoking speech. Sponsored by VFW Post 10216 and the 8th US Army 3rd Battlefield Coordination Detachment-Korea (BDC) COL Millett returned to Osan AB every year following through 2003 to participate in the Hill 180 ceremonies and spend time with the members of the VFW post named in his honor. In Feb 2000 COL Millett helped dedicate a stone on Hill 180 to the first 6 US personnel to die at the onset of the Korean War. In 2001 he attended the Hill 180 ceremony during a 50th Korean War anniversary specifically honoring his actions. In 2002 the BCD dedicated the 'Millett Room' in the BCD headquarters building to him. And in 2003 COL Millett spent time at the Osan BX signing pictures and visiting with the many service members and family members of the Osan and surrounding military community. During each visit the Medal of Honor recipient has been honored and welcomed as a distinguished guest of VFW Post 10216.
The following is a historical record from the first 10216 post commander, Earle L. Dowd.
Department of Pacific Areas Aid-de-Camp Neil Tremblay was TDY to Osan AB from the 555th TFS out of Naha AB, Japan in 1970. Earle Dowd was assigned to Det 9, 47th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service (ARRS) (PEDRO) at Osan AB. Neil started informal discussions with the possibility of forming a post, which had twice before failed. It started with approximately six names, no monies from Dept. they were assigned a charter membership and temporary positions of post formation to organize. A meeting was held with the Osan Air Base Commander, the Airman, NCO, & Officers Club managers to grant permission to operated the poroposed VFW on military grounds. The charter said that they would not attempt to open a VFW Canteen for profit on base and try to compete with club operations. The clubs furnished meeting space without charge.
Jim Price supplied transportation for several trips to the Seoul VFW Post at no cost to attend meetings to form the post. A Post number was suggested as Post 180 but numbers cannot be picked and are assigned by VFW National. A name had to be chosen, Osan AB, Task Force Smith, Hill 180, or Memorial Post Hill 180 were the contenders. To get the word out an no league bowling team was formed with jerseys to advertise the Post. It worked well being that anyone assigned to Korea was authorized the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal which qualified them for membership. We hosted meetings with Seoul to also help Camp Humphreys create a post. Finally, our charter was established. The original leadership of our new post was:
Commander: Earle L. Dowd, Previous Active Member
Sr. Vice: Fritz Barber, Previous Active Member
Jr. Vice: Jack Fowler, New Member
Quartermaster: Frank B. George, Previous Member
Chaplain: William E. Tidrich
Asst. Chaplain: Jim Price
Adjutant: Dick Walters
Transportation Chairman: Jim Price
In early 1971 the ARRS air rescue command discontinued rescue coverage at Suwon AB and was downsized, and Commander Dowd had to leave. Some members were advanced and special elections were held to fill the vacancies. -- Earle L. Dowd