From the Stars and Stripes archives
General Dean returns
Medal of Honor hero to leave for Tokyo
PANMUNJOM, Sept. 4 — Maj. Gen. William F. Dean came back today.
The 54-year-old Medal of Honor hero who fought side-by-side with his troops while commanding the 24th Division during the early days of the war rode to freedom after three years of Red captivity.
Dean, bought to Panmunjom in a separate (Russian) jeep, received loud cheers and applause from other returnees. His face was coated with powder-like dust. He was wearing traditional blue prison garb with a red tie.
AS THE jeep pulled into the receiving area, he started to get out but a Red official motioned him back in until his name was formally checked off the list.
His face somewhat wrinkled but with a bright look in his eyes, the heroic general shook hands with the Americans who crowded around him and then was whisked off for the 45-minute ride to Freedom Village.
After chatting with official members of the reception camp, he stood by for Allied and Red photographers who had been crowding the area all morning.
AFTER DECLINING a private sedan ride to the processing warehouse, Dean climbed into an ambulance with four other returnees.
The general was overheard asking anxiously for news from his 24th Division members, especially of the two soldiers who were with him for the first ten days after he was cut off from his unit.
"I consistently worried about those two chaps," he said.
Although he has been in Kaesong awaiting repatriation for three days, it was expected by many officials that the Reds would hold America's No. 1 hero until last to insure the return of some of the top-ranking Communist prisoners still in U.N. isle compounds.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER his arrival at Panmunjom, the Fifth Air Force announced that the general will be flown to Tokyo this afternoon aboard the personal B-17 belonging to Lt. Gen. S. C. Anderson, Fifth Air Force commander.
The Air Force said Dean would mot arrive in Tokyo until late tonight or early tomorrow morning.
At the "freedom warehouses" the top-ranking Allied and ROK officers greeted him including U.N. Commander General Mark Clark.
A close friend of ROK President Syngman Rhee and former military governor of South Korea, Dean is scheduled to receive the highest Republic of Korea military award from Rhee.
Dean, according to men returned who were captured at the same time, was last seen in July, 1950 going after a Red tank with a bazooka on his shoulder.
Other reports indicate he was captured, sick and wounded, after wandering around behind enemy lines following the fall of Taejon the same month.
THE U.N. announced today that both sides have agreed to wind up the exchange on Sunday after 33 days.
At the same time, the U.N. announced that the first Chinese PWs to leave their isle prisons since Aug. 14 are on the way north for repatriation. The shipment included 24 officers, 90 enlisted men and 81 Chinese civilians.
This group might include many of the high-ranking prisoners held by the Allies and also some of the leaders of the bloody Koje-do riots.
The 31st day of the "swap" dawned clear and sunny today as the Reds handed over another 95 Americans, 5 Britons and 200 South Koreans.
LOUD SHOUTS of joy and wild rebel yells sounded in the reception area as the returning Yanks and Britons arrived and began unloading. Returning ROKs were singing their national anthem.
Meanwhile, 24 other Americans flew towards Hawaii and the U.S. last night on "the freedom airlift."
Another 19 Yank repatriates arrived in Japan late yesterday for further medical examinations and treatment. It brought the total number of repatriates brought to Japan daring the operation to 671.