Paul Winemiller served on Korean War armistice commission

Paul Winemiller, who lives in Village on the Isle in Venice, Florida joined the Army and was shipped to Korea in 1954. After graduating from college at Ohio University he went on active duty for two years with the Panmunjom Armistice Commission.

“I think because my regular army commission was in the Adjutant Generals’ Corps I ended up working on the armistice group. One of the things I got involved in was a Korean War orphanage group. The orphanage was about two miles from our headquarters unit. My Lutheran Church back home in Cresline,Ohio, sent “Care Packages” to the church in Korea.

“Who was running the church?” I asked Winemiller. “A South Korean lady. “The church was located at Munsan-ni near the 38th Parallel. It had 40 kids who ran in age from babies to high school students.

“There was a nearby girls’ school consisting of girls in middle school and high school. For Christmas we thought we’d get them dresses. I flew over to Tokyo and bought dresses for dresses for all the girls. Each girl had a package with her Christmas dress in it.

1st Lt Paul Winemiller is shown with the founder of the orphanage on the far left and a few of the children he looked after in Korea. Photo provided

1st Lt Paul Winemiller is shown with the founder of the orphanage on the far left and a few of the children he looked after in Korea. Photo provided

“On Christmas Eve we handed out the dresses to the girls at the flag pole at our base. We had dresses for 35 girls I would say.

“When I arrived at Panmunjom Maj. Gen. Clark was the base commander. He was there six months. Then we had an Air Force major named Parks. Then we had an admiral who took over for the U.N. in Korea.

“How was it dealing with the North Koreans?” I asked.

“I took a VIP up to Panmunjom. The guard on their side was a little Chinese Communist guy,” Winemiller explained.

“How about the regular North Korean people?

“I didn’t get to see much of the North Korean people. They were very much out of sight.”

“Was there any particular incident that comes to mind while you were up there at Panmunjom?” I asked.

“We had a ‘Bouncing Betty’ anti-personnel mine that killed a colonel of ours along the DMZ. That was about it.”

By this time Winemiller was a first lieutenant and a member of the adjutant Generals Corps in Panmunjom.

“After I got out of the service I went in the seminary. Then I volunteered to go to Japan,” he said. “I went to seminary school for a year before going overseas. Then I met Katharine and we got married.

Winemiller and his wife went to Japan for 10 years as missionaries.

“After that we were assigned to Yamaguchi, a precinct in Japan. It was a 400,000 suburb of Tokyo. We were the only Americans living in the city of Ube. “From 1962 until 1969 we returned to Japan for a second tour. We lived in Tokyo during the second tour.

In 1969 we returned to our home state of Ohio. I was looking for an assignment to a local church. I was assigned to Christ Lutheran Church in Kerry, Ohio. This is on Route 23 between Columbus and Toledo, Ohio. I served there for about four years.

“Then I moved to Florida and started another Lutheran Church in Nokomis, Fla. 1973,” Winemiller said. We were there 12 years. Then we went to Spring Hill Lutheran Church in Spring Hill, Fla. We were there eight years.

“Because Katharine’s father was a widower living near Deland we decided to move to Florida. I became assistant pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Daytona Beach. Then in 2000 we moved to Venice because our kids were all here.

The Winemillers have three children: Stephen, James, and Susan.

Winemiller today at age 88. Sun photo by Don MooreWinemiller’s File

Name: Paul Winemiller
D.O.B: 30 Oct 1930
Hometown: Crestline, OH
Currently: Venice, FL
Entered Service: 17 June 1952
Discharged: 30 April 1956
Commendations: National Defense Service Medal, Parachutist Badge

This story was first published in the Charlotte Sun newspaper, Port Charlotte, Fla. on Monday, August 26, 2019, and is republished with permission.

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