On 21 March 2005 Camp McNab closed and preperations were made to transfer ownership of the facility to the Republic of Korea.
Off Korea's southern coast is the Chejudo Island, which the Koreans call the "Hawaii of Korea." Located less than 60 miles south of the Korean peninsula, Cheju patiently awaits the opportunity to surprise the unsuspecting traveler with its unforgettable charm as a subtropical paradise. USFK personnel and their families anxious to explore a completely different look at their host nation, could experience that special Cheju magic. The Morale, Welfare and Recreation had a facility located on the Southwest side of the island, a place to get away from the fast-pace daily routine of service members and DoD civilians. MWR assembled an on-site staff to serve and help transform this ancient fantasyland into an unforgettable getaway experience for our practical, modern military. The Recreation Center was located approximately 25 miles southwest from Cheju City, next to Mosulpo town. Located on a 9-Acre area adjacent to a ROKAF Compound.
Cheju Island comes complete with palm trees and an exciting cultural history dating back two thousand years. Cheju Island, blessed with such natural scenery, was well known as the 'Honeymoon' island and had also been called an Island of Fantasy and the Home of the Gods, thanks to its beautiful landscape and unique folk culture. The island surrounds Mt. Halla, a volcanic mountain that is the highest point in the Republic of Korea which stands 1,950 meters high. Halla is one of 360 volcano's on the island. The last volcano in Cheju erupted in 1002 forming Piyangdo island located off the West side of the island.
Cheju, the largest and most famous of the 3,300 islands of Korea, is approximately 169 miles from the southern mainland coast and 56 km from the nearest off shore island. Cheju-do, Korea's only province with a population of 500,000 and an area of 688 square miles was unique from the mainland in a number of ways. The founding myth presented interesting speculations as to where the people living in this area came from while it was the only place in Korea acknowledging a matriarchal type society in recorded history. Cheju was acknowledged as the landing place of the first large group of westerners to enter Korea on 16 August 1653, the result of a shipwreck, the Dutch sailing vessel "Sparrow Hawk" having run aground and broken up in a storm near the port of Mosulpo.
There were at most 300,000 people living on Cheju Island in the late 1940s. In early 1948 as Syngman Rhee and his American supporters moved to institute his power in a separate southern regime, the Cheju people responded with a strong guerrilla insurgency. American involvement in suppressing the rebellion included the training of counter-insurgency forces, interrogation of prisoners, and the use of American spotter planes. By early 1949 more than seventy per cent of the island's villages had been burned, and tens of thousands of refugees were packed into the coastline. American sources reported that 15,000 to 20,000 thousand islanders died, but the ROK's official figure was over 27,000. Upwards of 40,000 more people fled to Japan.
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