Major (LTC) William Thomas McDaniel

There was a group of POWs, many from the 24th Division, captured near Taejon South Korea, on July 20, 1950.  This group became known as the Major McDaniel group. He was with HQ 34 Regiment of the 24th Division.

They were also paraded through Seoul like we Tigers were. Later they were taken to Pyongyang like we were. They were taken to the infamous Sunchon tunnel where they were slaughtered! On 21, October this group of 250 American POWs were outside of the Sunchon Tunnel (the same tunnel we went through earlier).

The first group removed from the train was a group of 15 which included Major McDaniel. They were ordered to face away from the guards and then shot.  Burp guns, Rifles and pistols were used.  Many more of the whole group were shot the same way.

The North Korean Officer in charge was a Major Chong Myong Sil.  THIS WAS THE TIGER!

After this bloodletting that NK Major came to our group on Halloween 1950. For some reason two or 3 men who were not shot at the tunnel came to our group and are known to the Tiger Survivors. 

It is now very chilling to learn of this.  But we did find out what and why he was sent to our group and that was to march us until we died.

I know all this because I have a copy of the interrogation report of a Jr Lt Lee Hae Do, who was in the same NK unit the Tiger was in.  He was captured by our troops!

I now believe that had it not been for all the high ranking civilians with us none of us would have survived.  At one time the Russian Ambasador came past our group in a sedan.  He must have made a report about that encounter. Some of the civilians told me they saw him at that time.

Shorty Estabrook, 6/30/2022

More information about the Major:

https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/american-homefront/2016-03-11/korean-war-pow-honored-65-years-later

https://valor.militarytimes.com/hero/7171


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