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Kim Il-sung’s "Mansions Special Volunteer Corps"

There is considerable evidence that, in addition to living a life far more luxurious than any capitalist exploiter of the masses, around 1978 the late Korean Dictator Kim Il-song (r. 1945-1994) instituted something called the “Mansions Special Volunteer Corps”.  This was a specially recruited body of, reportedly, some thousands of women who staffed the dictator’s many houses, hunting lodges and country cottages, and saw to the “Great Leader’s” needs in other ways as well. 

The corps apparently still exists and is divided into several branches:

  • Kippeunjo -- Happy Brigade”
  • Haengbokjo – Felicity Brigade” 
  • Manjokjo – Satisfaction Brigade”
  • Kwabu-jo – Widows’ Brigade”

The women staffing these “brigades” were recruited by a nation-wide network of Communist Party agents who sought out attractive women in their teens or early twenties, including comely young widows for the Kwabu-jo.  While the women of all the corps were available for the physical gratification of the Dictator, and apparently his family members, those of the Kippeunjo were usually trained singers, actors, or other entertainers, the Haengbokjo were masseuses, and the Manjokjo the primary sex workers, while the Kwabu-jo were available to select members of the regime as a sign of dictatorial favor.

Apparently women discharged from the “Mansion Service Corps” gained some material benefits, which may have encouraged some women to volunteer or families to offer their daughters for service; but most of the “troops” seem to have been conscripts.  Considering the number of women involved, it’s likely that most never met the dictator.

One of the brigades was assigned to Kim Jong-Il, the son of the “Great Leader”, during his old man’s lifetime, and he later inherited the entire corps, though his tastes reportedly ran to buxom blonde types. 

The “Mansions Special Volunteer Corps” served two generations of Kim dictators, and logically should now have passed to the newest member of the family to rule North Korea, Kim Jong-un, who inherited the “throne” in early 2012.  The recent prominence given Ri Sol-ju, his wife of three years, may, however, indicate that the “Mansions Special Volunteer Corps” will shortly pass into the dustbin of history.

 

Private McMurtee’s Services are No Longer Needed

The 15th Infantry was activated in the Regular Army on February 11, 1847, for the War with Mexico.  The regiment was to be recruited in Ohio, and so once company officers had been selected, they dispersed to assigned areas to begin the task of recruiting troops.  Captain Daniel Chase, a native of Connecticut who had settled in Ohio, was named commander of Company D, which was to be recruited in the Maumee Valley.

One day, as the company was preparing to ship out, a woman with a chubby child in her arms turned up at Captain Chase’s little encampment and demanded to see an officer.  

The company’s deputy commander, First Lieutenant William H. H. Goodloe, a native Ohioan, presented himself, and the woman rather angrily said, "So, sir, you've clapped your dirty sojer trappings on my husband, have you?"

"Who is your husband?" demanded the lieutenant.

"Billy McMurtee, and a bold boy he is, so plase ye.  But it's a dirty thing o' you, my pretty man, to take him from his wife and children."

"Can't be helped," said the lieutenant, "it's too late now."

But the woman would not be deterred.  Crying, "Then take the baby, too," she pushed the child into the lieutenant’s arms.  Adding, "Take 'em all, I'll send you four more today," the woman stalked off quickly, as one account has it, “leaving the unfortunate lieutenant with the new recruit squalling in his arms.”

Soon afterwards, Private McMurtee was given an unprecedented discharge and sent home with the chubby child in his arms, disappearing forever from the pages of history.  In contrast, those of whom McMurtee had, however briefly, been a comrade, made a somewhat more notable mark.   

·         The 15th Infantry: Arriving by ship at Vera Cruz, the 15th Infantry was incorporated into a brigade commanded by Franklin Pierce and moved inland to join General-in-Chief Winfield Scott's army advancing on Mexico City.  The regiment fought with distinction in the battles of Contreras (Aug. 19-20) and Churubusco (Aug. 20), as well as several smaller engagements before storming the walls of Chapultepec in Mexico City itself (Sept. 12-13).  Following garrison duty in Mexico City and Cuernavaca, the regiment returned to the United States in August 1848 and was soon disbanded.  Although the present 15th Infantry (formed in 1861) often claims the honors of earlier regments with that designation, it has no formal links to them

  • Daniel Chase: Breveted major for Contreras and Churubusco, and promoted to major in May of 1848, shortly before returning to the United States and being mustered out of the service.  He returned to the army as a major in the newly formed 13th Infantry in October of 1861.  During the Civil War he was breveted lieutenant colonel for Chickasaw Bluffs and colonel for Arkansas Post.  He retired at the end of 1864, and died in 1877.
  • William H. H. Goodloe: Wounded at Churubusco and was reported to have died of his wounds in several documents and historical accounts of the war.  In fact, however, he survived.  Resigning from the service at the end of 1847, he appears to have collected a disability pension until his death, sometime after 1877.
  • George L. Willard:  A native of New York, he enlisted in the 15th Infantry as a private and served through the war with Mexico, rising to sergeant.  Commissioned in the 8th Infantry as a second lieutenant.  On the outbreak of the Civil War he became a major in the new 19th Infantry.  Made a colonel in the Volunteer Army, he commanded the 125th New York in 1862-1863, serving at Harper’s Ferry (where the entire command became prisoners-of-war) and at Gettysburg, where he was killed in action at the head of his regiment near Plum Run at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863.
  • John Braden: Another New York native, he emigrated to Michigan after his immediate family died in a cholera epidemic and served as a private in the 15th U.S. during the Mexican War.  In 1861, he enlisted in the Fifth Michigan Infantry, was wounded several times, and rose to First lieutenant before resigning at the end of his three-year enlistment. He went on to father eight children and died in Detroit in 1895.
  • George W. Morgan: After having fought with San Houston in the Texas Revolution, he attended West Point and served as Colonel of the 15th U.S. during the Mexican War.  During the Civil War, Morgan was a brigadier general serving near Cumberland Gap in Kentucky (whence he was forced to retreat in September, 1862), West Virginia, Chivckasaw Bluffs and Arkansas.  He resigned in 1863 over the recruitment of black troops.  A congressman after the war, he died in 1893.

With a Little Help From Our Friends: We’d like to thank John Braden for his proofreadatorial skill. 

 


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