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Lot 83: Rare Photograph of U.S. Generals Clark & Weyland Signing Korean Armistice
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Rare Photograph of Generals Clark and Weyland Signing the Korean Armistice Agreement********** KOREAN ARMISTICE AGREEMENT. SP. 1p. 4to. Munsam, Korea, July 27, 1953. A black-and-white Wide World Photos photograph of American Army General MARK CLARK (1896 1985; “Mark W. Clark”) signing the armistice that ended the Korean War. Signed later with his rank, place, date, and time (“1300 hours”). Countersigned by American Air Force General OTTO P. WEYLAND (1903-1979; “O.P. Weyland”), who served as commander of Far East Air Forces during the Korean War. ********** Following the end of World War II, American fear of Communism reached a fever pitch with Soviet atomic bomb testing and the June 1950 invasion of South Korea by the communist North. The establishment of the Truman Doctrine, by which the United States agreed to help free nations resist communist aggression, prompted President Truman to send U.S. forces along with those from the United Nations, led by Douglas MacArthur, to defend South Korea. The Korean War, which lasted from June 1950 to July 27, 1953, was the first armed conflict of the Cold War. ********** Although discussion of an armistice began in 1951, it was not until July 27, 1953, that the armistice was signed, ending all hostilities on the Korean Peninsula. The agreement detailed the terms of the cease fire including exchange of prisoners of war and the establishment of a demilitarized zone. Representatives of the United Nations and the Korean People’s Army signed the document at Panmunjom and the documents were brought to advance headquarters near Munsan to be signed by United Nations Commander Clark “in the presence of some of his high-ranking officers, Vice Admiral Robert P. Briscoe, commander of the naval forces in the Far East; Gen. Otto P. Weyland, head of the Far East Air Forces; Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, Eighth Army commander; Lieut. Gen. Samuel Anderson of the Fifth Air Force, and Vice Admiral J. J. Clark, heading the Seventh Fleet,”(“Truce is Signed, Ending the Fighting in Korea,” The New York Times, July 27, 1953). ********** During WWII, Clark, the youngest lieutenant general in the army, had been a prominent participant in the lengthy, yet ultimately successful invasion of Italy headed by Dwight D. Eisenhower, after which he was made Allied commander of Italy and Allied high commissioner for Austria. In May 1953, he succeeded General Ridgeway as commander of the United Nations High Command. As the armistice was signed without a United States victory, Clark commented when adding his signature, “I cannot find it in me to exalt at this hour,” (The Korean War: An Encyclopedia, Sandler). ********** Weyland distinguished himself during World War II by leading air support during General Patton’s Third Army’s 1945 advance on Germany. Patton called Weyland “the best damn general in the Air Corps,” (Patton’s Third Army in World War II, Green and Brown). By 1951, he was a commanding general of Far Eastern Air Forces and the United Nations Air Forces and, in 1952, was made a four-star general. After the war, he helped Japan reorganize its aircraft industry and air defenses. ********** Wide World Photos was the photo agency of The New York Times. ********** Several Wide World Photos black ink stamps on the verso as well as pencil notations about the signers. Remnants of paper pasted to the verso and in very fine condition.