Testimony to the Bombing
Gong Du-Up (83 years old in 1995).
Present at Dokdo on 6/8/48.
Mr. Gong was interviewed in 1995 by an Ulleungdo and Dokdo advocacy group. He related the following information in his interview: Some days before June 8, 1948, he was drying brown seaweed on the beach near
Mulgol on Suh-do (the west islet), when an airplane
flew by and shot randomly at the ocean nearby, killing
scores of seagulls. He guessed they were
'fighter-bombers', as the gun muzzles appeared on the
main wings of the plane. He quickly returned to
nearby Ullung Island with his two collegues, Ahn
Changsoo and Choi Yangguk (both now deceased). The
men felt that their lives had been in danger, and
reported the incident to Lee Jong-O, the police chief.
After a few days, they were told not to worry and to
continue working, and they set out again to gather
seaweed at Dokdo.
Dokdo-comprised of islets Suhdo and Dongo. The bombers flew across the islets from the Northwest to the Southeast on their bomb-run.
time of the raid to be between 10 o´clock and 11
o´clock in the morning. He remembers 32 boats at sea
near the islets. Most of them were from Kangwon
Province and one had rice and liquor to trade for the
brown seaweed that was being collected. According to Mr. Gong's testimony,
all of the boats that were working near the west islet
(Suh-do) were destroyed in the bombing. Some
fishermen were waving the Korean ´Taeguk´ flag at the
aircraft to stop the attack. Some boats attempted to
make an escape, but were unsuccessful. The only
boats that survived were a boat from Kangwon Province
and Mr. Gong's boat, but both were damaged and
Haksang (83 years old in 1995). Present at Dokdo on
After returning home, Mr. Gong protested to police
chief Lee Jong-O, but the police could not give any
explanation. Mr. Gong reported that he did not
receive any compensation for his losses and he does
not know if any was received by the families of the
dead. Until now, the number of fishermen who died are
known to be 30, but according to Mr. Gong, the work on
many of the boats required 5 to 8 people to be on
board. In his estimation, about 150 to 320 people
must have been killed.
Jang Hanksang was interviewed in the summer of 1995 by an Ulleungdo and Dokdo advocacy group. Mr. Jang stated that he was the
owner of a ship at the time. He was gathering brown
seaweed near Dongdo at the time of the raid. The
raid began near a pebble beach named Mulgol on the West Islet and continued across to the East Islet. After the planes were heard near Ullung
Island, two formations of 12 bombers were seen above Dokdo. Mr. Jang had anchored at the East Islet to process
and dry the brown seaweed he had collected. The raid
came from 600 meters (2,000 feet) above. He was too
terrified at the sight of people being hurt and and
boats sinking to remember how long the attack lasted.
After the attack, he tried to return to Ullung Island
in his boat (a 15 ton wooden boat), but it was
impossible to sail. With him, he had a man with a
serious gash in his side, another with shattered teeth
and an ankle blown off by shrapnel, a man named Lee
Sangjoo, and Gong Do-up.
wooden boat came by in the evening. Those who could
move, boarded the vessel, while the two men who were
seriously injured had to be left on the sinking boat.
After returning to Ullung Island, Mr. Jang was
hospitalised for a month. He remembers several
Americans came to ask how he was, but he received no
compensation for his losses.
Like Mr. Gong, Mr. Jang remembers that it took about 5
to 8 people per vessel to operate a powerboat at the
time. He believed that about 80 vessels of all sizes were sunk that
day at Dokdo.
Chung Sangyeol (76 years old in 2005). Present at Dokdo on 6/8/48.
Chung Sangyeol being interviewed for the Korean television network, MBC.
Chung Sangyeol was 19 years old at the time of the bombing, and was present at Dokdo on June 8, 1948 when the bombing occurred. Mr. Chung was interviewed by journalists from the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation in June 2005. In this interview, Mr. Chung stated that he was at Suhdo (West Islet) when the bombing started, and had sheltered himself from the bombing underneath a rock formation. Like Mr. Jang and Mr. Gong, he asserted that the island was subjected to both bombing and strafing.
Chansoo, son of Kim Taehyun, a man killed in the
As Mr. Kim
was only 3 years old at the time, he remembers what
adults had said about the day his father died. He
said that on the day of the attack, (at about 11
o'clock in the morning) airplanes flew to Dokdo.
Ullung Island residents saw flashes of explosions in
the direction of Dokdo and became frightened. He is not
sure because he was so young at the time, but the US
military did provide some compensation. However, it
was all used in raising the memorial monument and the
families did not receive any of