NEWS | Oct. 23, 2019

Two Men, Two Eras, Join to Pay Tribute to First Eighth Army General

By Kenji Thuloweit Eighth Army Public Affairs Office

U.S. ARMY GARRISON-HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- Two men separated by generations, but connected by the Korea War, joined Eighth Army leaders to honor the memory of Gen. Walton Harris Walker Oct. 10 at U.S. Army Garrison-Humphreys.

Retired Gen. Paik Sun-Yup, South Korea's first four-star general and Eighth Army honorary commander, visited Eighth Army headquarters to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony in front of the Gen. Walton Walker statue. There, he was met by retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Sam S. Walker II, the grandson of Gen. Walton Walker, the commanding general of Eighth Army at the start of the Korean War.

The purpose of the visit was to pay tribute to Gen. Walker and revisit the origins of the enduring alliance between the Republic of Korea and United States, which remains one of the most important relationships in the world.

Paik and Walker II were joined by family members and were afforded the opportunity to take photos in front of the Gen. Walton Walker statue and Eighth Army time capsule. The party also visited the United Nations Command monument by U.S. Forces Korea headquarters and the Paik Sun-Yup Auditorium within.

Paik is the foremost ROK Army general of the Korean War. When North Korea launched their general offensive against the Republic of Korea June 25, 1950, then Colonel Paik was commander of the ROK 1st Infantry Division.

During the course of the Korean War, he became the first South Korean to achieve the four-star general rank. According to his biography, General Paik participated in all 10 of the major campaigns of the war and was the ROK's initial representative to the armistice negotiations. Later, Paik served twice as ROK Army Chief of Staff and was also Chairman of the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff. He retired from active duty in 1960 as the most highly decorated soldier of the ROK Army.

Walker II was a career Army aviator who flew Chinooks as a captain at Camp Humphreys in the early 1980s. Not only is he the grandson of Gen. Walton Walker, he is also the son of Gen. Sam Walker who served as the commanding general of Allied Land Forces, South East Europe, in the late 1970s, according to his military biography.