Overview

January 1, 1950 (Sunday)

 

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Integration

In contrast to the alarms and crises of preceding years the early months of 1950 brought an appearance of stability in the world at large. Within the Defense Department things were quieter. In Europe Tito's defection from the Russian bloc had been followed by termination of the civil war in Greece. The Berlin blockade had ended, West Berlin remained free, and the development in the autumn of 1949 of two German governments amounted to an acknowledgment that for the foreseeable future the German question would remain insoluble. In Asia the Chinese civil war was over, the Mandate of Heaven had been withdrawn from Chiang Kai-shek, the Generalissimo with his remaining forces had retired to Formosa, and the Chinese People's Republic had been proclaimed. In Korea, as in Germany, agreement to disagree had been institutionalized in the formation of two governments. Although the state of the world was not one to bring entire satisfaction to American policy makers, things appeared to be settling down.

In many respects, moreover, it could be said that the United States had responded brilliantly to the challenge with which it had been faced. Far from withdrawing from a degenerate outer world, the American government had reacted with extraordinary fertility of imagination, and had accomplished some notable acts of statecraft. The Truman Doctrine had marked the turning point, and had signaled a determination to face up to the problems of mid-century, but the Truman Doctrine by no means stood alone. The vision of Secretary Marshall's Harvard speech had borne fruit in the European Recovery Program, which began operations in the summer of 1948. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the diplomatic reply to the Czech coup and the Berlin blockade, became operative in 1949, as did a Mutual Defense Assistance Program designed to give arms to those who manned the frontiers of freedom. Enactment of the Point Four program, intended to make freedom worth defending where needs were more material than conceptual, seemed in early prospect. Progress in rationalizing the defense establishment had been less obvious, but it could be maintained that the military had met with great success their only test of strength: the work of the Air Force, assisted by Navy and RAF transport squadrons, in maintaining the Berlin airlift, had not only led to diplomatic triumph but had presented to the world a picture of a United States that was determined, restrained, and possessed of extraordinary operational capabilities.

Nevertheless it should be noted that the successes of American policy were largely European: in Asia the settling dust revealed a situation at variance with all earlier hopes. The principal effects of Communist success in China were perhaps two: to increase the importance of Japan as the pivot of American policy in the Orient and, since Europe seemed more amenable as well as more important, to reemphasize the European orientation of diplomacy. Two countries, Germany and Korea, were divided by the frontiers of the divided world, yet while American divisions were held in Germany the last American troops were withdrawn from Korea in June 1949. That the defense of South Korea was now a matter for the South Koreans themselves could be assumed from the tendencies in American military policy brought out in the October hearings, as well as from speeches by General MacArthur and Secretary of State Acheson which drew the American strategic frontier through the Korean Strait.

Despite the transfer of responsibility for Korean unification to the United Nations and the withdrawal of American troops, the Republic of Korea remained a problem for American policy makers. Since 1945: American aid to Korea had annually exceeded the sum of $100 million, and the economy of the Republic was wholly dependent on congressional appropriation and the ECA. Similar circumstances doubtless obtained above the parallel, but the steady southward flow of refugees, which did nothing to simplify the economic problems of the Republic, gave evidence of a less tactful and less generous protecting power.

There was also a military problem. In the north the Russians had set up a military academy in 1945, and three years later had activated the North Korean People's Army, three divisions strong. In the course of time the North Koreans were provided with Soviet tanks; by 1949 three more infantry divisions had been activated; a rapid expansion in the spring of 1950 raised NKPA strength to ten infantry divisions, a number of infantry regiments, and an armored brigade. An aviation unit had been created in 1946; in 1948 the obsolete Japanese aircraft used for training began to be replaced by newer types received from Russia; by 1950 the number on hand was approaching the hundred mark.

The People's Republic boasted a navy of some 45 small craft, including a few 60-foot aluminum-hulled Russian torpedo boats; at Najin, in the northeast, the Russians administered a training program for Korean naval personnel; there and at Ch'ŏngjin and Unggi the Soviet Navy enjoyed the use of base facilities.

In the Republic of Korea the situation was otherwise. Following the withdrawal of American fighting forces the United States had provided, at the request of the Korean government, a small Korean Military Advisory Group, and military supplies for a force of 50,000 men were left behind. But while an impressive quantity of small arms, vehicles, ammunition, and artillery was transferred, along with some 20 training planes, and while further deliveries were scheduled under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program, the capabilities of the South Korean Army remained somewhat limited. As a result of the belligerence of Syngman Rhee, who seemed quite prepared to attempt a forcible unification of the peninsula, this army was given no tanks, no medium or heavy artillery, and no military aircraft.

By 1950 the strength of the ROK Army was approaching the 100,000 mark and eight divisions had been organized. Small unit training had made good progress, but experience in large-scale maneuvers was lacking and there had been no training in defense against tanks. Nevertheless, the Military Advisory Group was optimistic, and its confidence that ROK forces could handle the threat from the north was apparently accepted on the higher levels.

The Republic's navy, somewhat larger than its northern counterpart, had been established in 1948 on the foundation of the coast guard set up during the American occupation. Its strength in 1950 was something over 7,000 men; its headquarters were in an office building in Sŏul and its principal base facilities at Chinhac on the south coast; its ships were large ex-United States YMS types and ex-Japanese minesweepers and picket boats. Some advice and assistance had been provided in the early years by former United States Coast Guard personnel attached to the KMAG, but money and material had been sadly lacking, ships had been kept in operation only by cannibalizing, morale had been low, and defections had taken place. In 1949, however, prospects had brightened with the receipt of a shipment of spare parts from the United States, and Rear Admiral Sohn Won Il, ROKN, the Chief of Naval Operations, had gone to America to bring back four ex-U.S. Navy 173-foot steel-hulled PCs. Something, too, had happened to morale, for the money to purchase one of these vessels had been provided by subscription of the officers and men, an unusual event in any navy.

So the Far East still presented problems, and not only in Korea. The Communist success in China had become a major subject of domestic political dispute; a large proportion of American ground strength remained on occupation duty in Japan; inevitably the American posture in the Orient was kept under review. General J. Lawton Collins, USA, the Army Chief of Staff, had visited Japan in the autumn of 1949, and June of 1950 saw a renewal of high-level travel to the Far East. The Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff flew to Manila for discussions with Vice Admiral Arthur D. Struble, Commander Seventh Fleet; John Foster Dulles, consultant to the Secretary of State, paid a visit to Korea; all then proceeded to Japan for talks with General MacArthur. While at Sŏul Mr. Dulles had addressed the Korean National Assembly, and had assured his audience of the strength and resolution of the free world and of the support of the American people. Intended as a diplomatic counter to North Korean threats, the speech proved unsuccessful, and photographs of Mr. Dulles peering across the 38th parallel were shortly featured in the Communist press as it hailed him as the strategist of South Korean aggression.

By the time these visitations took place the ostentatious military preparations in the north had alarmed the Rhee government, and had led the U.N. Commission to establish a system of border observers. For some time, also, reports of increasing North Korean strength had been available to the intelligence section of the Far East Command in Tokyo. An appreciation of December 1949, which considered it axiomatic that the Russians would be unwilling to permit the survival of a non-Communist Korean state, had commented on the arrival of reinforcements from Manchuria and suggested that spring would bring a period of danger. In January it was reported that March and April had been designated as the time for an attack on South Korea. In March it was noted that recent evidence pointed to an invasion in June. Subsequent information indicated that the inhabitants were being evacuated from the border zone north of the parallel, and that North Korean regular divisions had been deployed along the dividing line.

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Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr
Between 25 November 1949 and 5 April 1950 , operations with the HRP were halted as all aircraft of that model were grounded for mechanical reasons.

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Black Demands

World War II marked the beginning of an important step in the evolution of the civil rights movement. Until then the struggle for racial equality had been sustained chiefly by the "talented tenth," the educated, middle-class black citizens who formed an economic and political alliance with white supporters. Together (p. 124) they fought to improve the racial situation with some success in the courts, but with little progress in the executive branch and still less in the legislative. The efforts of men like W. E. B. DuBois, Walter White, and Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP and Lester Granger of the National Urban League were in the mainstream of the American reform movement, which stressed an orderly petitioning of government for a redress of grievances.

But there was another facet to the American reform tradition, one that stressed mass action and civil disobedience, and the period between the March on Washington Movement in 1940 and the threat of a black boycott of the draft in 1948 witnessed the beginnings of a shift in the civil rights movement to this kind of reform tactic. The articulate leaders of the prewar struggle were still active, and in fact would make their greatest contribution in the fight that led to the Supreme Court's pronouncement on school segregation in 1954. But their quiet methods were already being challenged by A. Philip Randolph and others who launched a sustained demand for equal treatment and opportunity in the armed forces during the early postwar period. Randolph and leaders of his persuasion relied not so much on legal eloquence in their representations to the federal government as on an understanding of bloc voting in key districts and the implicit threat of civil disobedience. The civil rights campaign, at least in the effort to end segregation in the armed forces, had the appearance of a mass movement a full decade before a weary Rosa Parks boarded a Montgomery bus [12/1/55] and set off the all-embracing crusade of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The growing political power of the Negro and the threat of mass action in the 1940's were important reasons for the breakthrough on the color front that began in the armed forces in the postwar period. For despite the measure of good will and political acumen that characterized his social programs, Harry S. Truman might never have made the effort to achieve racial equality in the services without the constant pressure of civil rights activists.

The reasons for the transformation that was beginning in the civil rights struggle were varied and complex.[5-1]

Fundamental was the growing urbanization of the Negro. By 1940 almost half the black population lived in cities. As the labor shortage became more acute during the next five years, movement toward the cities continued, not only in the south but in the north and west.

Attracted by economic opportunities in Los Angeles war industries, for example, over 1,000 Negroes moved to that city each month during the war. Detroit, Seattle, and San Francisco, among others, reported similar migrations. The balance finally shifted during the war, and the 1950 census showed that 56 percent of the (p. 125) black population resided in metropolitan areas, 32 percent in cities of the north and west.[5-2]

Footnote 5-2:

Though much of the increase in black employment was the result of temporarily expanded wartime industries, black workers gained valuable training and experience that enabled them to compete more effectively for postwar jobs. Employment in unionized industries strengthened their position in the postwar labor movement. The severity of inevitable postwar cuts in black employment was mitigated by continued prosperity and the sustained growth of American industry. Postwar industrial development created thousands of new upper-level jobs, allowing many black workers to continue their economic advance without replacing white workers and without the attendant development of racial tensions.

The armed forces played their part in this change. Along with better food, pay, and living conditions provided by the services, many Negroes were given new work experiences. Along with many of their white fellows, they acquired new skills and a new sophistication that prepared them for the different life of the postwar industrial world. Most important, military service in World War II divorced many Negroes from a society whose traditions had carefully defined their place, and exposed them for the first time to a community where racial equality, although imperfectly realized, was an ideal. Out of this experience many Negroes came to understand that their economic and political position could be changed. Ironically, the services themselves became an early target of this rising self-awareness. The integration of the armed forces, immediate and total, was a popular goal of the newly franchised voting group, which was turning away from leaders of both races who preached a philosophy of gradual change.

The (p. 126) black press was spokesman for the widespread demand for equality in the armed forces; just as the growth of the black press was dramatically stimulated by urbanization of the Negro, so was the civil rights movement stimulated by the press. The Pittsburgh Courier was but one of many black papers and journals that developed a national circulation and featured countless articles on the subject of discrimination in the services. One black sociologist observed that it was "no exaggeration to say that the Negro press was the major influence in mobilizing Negroes in the struggle for their rights during World War II."[5-4]

Footnote 5-4:

E. Franklin Frazier, The Negro in the United States (New York: Macmillan, 1957), p. 513.(Back)

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Secretary of the Navy
James Vincent Forrestal

Korean_War

Secretary of the Navy
John L. Sullivan


In a sense, the black officers had the cards stacked against them. As Nelson later explained, the bureau did not extend to its black line officers the same consideration given other reservists.

While the first twelve black officers were given unrestricted line officer training, the bureau assigned them to restricted line positions, an added handicap when it came to promotions and retention in the postwar Navy.

All were commissioned ensigns, although the bureau usually granted rank according to the candidate's age, a practice followed when it commissioned its first black staff officers, one of whom became a full lieutenant and the rest lieutenants, junior grade.

As an overage reservist himself, Lt. Dennis D. Nelson remained on active duty after the war through the personal intervention of Secretary Forrestal.

His tour in the Navy's public relations office was repeatedly extended until finally on 1 January 1950, thanks to Secretary Sullivan, he received a regular commission.[9-40]


Footnote 9-40: Nelson, "Integration of the Negro," pp. 157-59; Ltr, Nelson to author, 10 Feb 70; Interv, Nichols with Sullivan.(Back)

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Korean_War

"The Golden Thirteen",
the first African-American U.S. Navy Officers

Photographed 17 March 1944.

13, 14 and 15 are missing

They are (bottom row, left to right):

Ensign James E. Hare, USNR; 2

Ensign Samuel E. Barnes, USNR; 3

Ensign George C. Cooper, USNR; 4

Ensign William S. White, USNR; 5

Ensign Dennis D. Nelson, USNR; 6


(middle row, left to right):


Ensign Graham E. Martin, USNR; 7

Warrant Officer Charles B. Lear, USNR; 8

Ensign Phillip G. Barnes, USNR; 9

Ensign Reginald E. Goodwin, USNR; 10


(top row, left to right):


Ensign John W. Reagan, USNR; 1

Ensign Jesse W. Arbor, USNR; 11

Ensign Dalton L. Baugh, USNR; 12

? 13

Korean_War

FIRST 13 BLACK OFFICERS IN THE NAVY. From left to right:

10, 13 is missing

(top row)

John W. Reagan, 1

Jesse W. Arbor, 11

Dalton L. Baggy; sp Baugh 12

(second row)

Graham E. Martin, 7

W. O. Charles B. Lear, 8

Frank C. Sublett; sp Frank E. 14

(third row)

Phallic S. Barnes, sp Phillip G 9

George Cooper, 4

Reginald Goodwin; 15

(bottom row)

James E. Hare, 2

Samuel E. Barnes, 3

W. Sylvester White, 5

Dennis D. Nelson II 6

Korean_War

First 12 African-American U.S. Navy Officers



Photographed in February 1944, soon after attaining officer rank in the Naval Reserve.


They are

5, 10, 13 is missing

(seated in front row, left-to-right):

Ensign George C. Cooper, USNR; 4

Ensign Graham E. Martin, USNR; 7

Ensign Jesse W. Arbor, USNR; 11

Ensign John W. Reagan, USNR; 1

Ensign Reginald E. Goodwin, USNR; 15

(standing in back row, left-to-right):

Ensign Dennis D. Nelson, USNR; 6

Ensign Phillip G. Barnes, USNR; 9

Ensign Samuel E. Barnes, USNR; 3

Ensign Dalton L. Baugh, USNR; 12

Ensign James E. Hare, USNR; 2

Ensign Frank E. Sublett, USNR; 14

Warrant Boatswain Charles B. Lear, USNR. 8

Picture #1 13, 14 and 15 are missing

Picture #2 10, 13 is missing

Picture #3 5, 10, 13 is missing

Total 5, 10, 13, 14 and 15 are missing from

13 is missing from all 3


Cold War

Korean_War

The preparatory work was completed by late June and the CCP Central Committee decided that the mission would be led by Liu Shaoqi, who was authorized to discuss with Stalin all important problems concerning the international situation and Sino-Soviet relations.

He would introduce to Stalin the considerations underlying the CCP's policy line (especially the CCP's policy of including non-Communist democrats into the CCP-led People's Political Consultative Conference), convince Stalin that the Chinese Communists were not Titoists, and lead the Soviets to a better understanding of China's situation and the nature of the Chinese revolution.

He would also pursue practical Soviet support for the Chinese Communist regime, including a guaranteed Soviet recognition of the new China and Soviet military and other assistance. If everything went smoothly, this mission would open the way for a personal trip by Mao to the Soviet Union in the near future.[22]

Mao and the CCP leadership saw Liu's visit as a crucial step in establishing strategic cooperation with the Soviet Union. To guarantee the success of Liu's trip, Mao knew that he had to do something significant and noticeable.

So it was not a coincidence that he issued his "lean-to-one-side" statement [6/30/49 or 7/1/49] only two days before Liu's delegation departed.

When Mao praised the Soviet Union as the undisputed leader of the international progressive forces, he had sent out an unmistakable message to Stalin: Now Stalin had no reason to suspect that the CCP leadership shared the thinking of Titoism.

During the CCP delegation's stay in the Soviet Union, they held four formal meetings with Stalin and other top Soviet leaders, touching upon a series of crucial themes.

First, to the surprise and satisfaction of Liu and his comrades, Stalin apologized for failing to give sufficient assistance to the CCP during the civil war.

According to Shi Zhe's recollection, Stalin asked Liu in the second meeting: "Have we disturbed you [in China's civil war]?" Liu replied: "No!" Stalin answered: "Yes, we have been in the way of hindrance to you because our knowledge about China is too limited."[23]

Although Stalin's apology came in a private meeting, Mao and the CCP leadership were deeply impressed by it. Most important of all, CCP leaders viewed this as a clear sign of Stalin's willingness now to treat his Chinese comrades as equals. Later, many top CCP leaders, including Mao, Liu, and Zhou, mentioned Stalin's apology on different occasions, using it as a strong justification for the CCP's "lean-to-one-side" approach.[24]

Second, the discussion focused on Soviet support of the newly-established Chinese Communist regime. Around the time of Liu's visit, CCP leaders were concerned about the problem of international recognition of the Communist regime in China.

While deeply convinced that the United States and other Western countries would not offer quick recognition, Mao and the CCP leadership were not sure if Moscow and the "new democracies" in Eastern Europe would give immediate recognition to the new regime.

Liu spent a lot of time explaining to Stalin the CCP's domestic and international policy, emphasizing that the system of people's political consultative conference, which the CCP would adopt for the new China, followed China's specific situation. In no circumstance would the CCP give up its leadership in post-revolution China. Stalin's response was again very positive.

When Liu told Stalin that the CCP planned to establish a central government on 1 January 1950, Stalin believed that the Chinese should do this even earlier, stressing that

" a long-time anarchic status in China should not be allowed."

Stalin had actually sent to the Chinese here a clear signal of his unconditional support to the new China.

Encouraged by Stalin's attitude, the CCP leadership decided to accelerate steps to form the central government and the psychological distance between the CCP leadership and the Soviets, if any, shortened.[25]

Third, Liu's visit produced a CCP-Soviet cooperation on the settlement of the Xinjiang (Sinkiang) problem, which was an important and substantial achievement for the CCP.

As a strategically important region located in Northwestern China, next to Russian Kazakh, Xinjiang, its northern part in particular, had long been viewed by the Russians as their sphere of influence.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, several bloody disputes emerged between China and Russia in Northern Xinjiang.

After the triumph of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, V. I. Lenin's Soviet Russia acknowledged China's sovereignty over Xinjiang, but the Soviet Union had never fully given up its claim of interests there.

In November 1944, a pro-Communist rebellion backed by the Soviet Union erupted in Tacheng, Ili, and Ashan, three northern most counties in Xinjiang, and had since controlled that area.

When the CCP achieved decisive victory against the GMD in China's civil war in 1949, Xinjiang became one of few regions still controlled by the GMD.

During Liu's visit to the Soviet Union, Stalin told Liu that according to Soviet intelligence reports, the United States was planning to help Muslim GMD forces in northwestern China establish an independent Islam republic in Xinjiang, which, he believed, would be extremely harmful to both the CCP and the Soviet Union.

He offered to use the Soviet-supported revolutionary forces in Northern Xinjiang to check the GMD so that it would be easier for the PLA to enter Xinjiang.[26]

Then Moscow helped the CCP Central Committee to establish direct contact with the revolutionary forces in Northern Xinjiang by assisting Deng Liqun, the CCP Central Committee's liaison person, to travel from Moscow to northern Xinjiang.

Before the PLA finally took over Xinjiang in October 1949, the Soviet Union and Outer Mongolia became the central linkage of communications and transportations between the CCP Central Committee and CCP agents in Xinjiang.[27]

Most important of all, in their meetings Liu and Stalin touched upon problems concerning the international situation and the division between the Chinese and the Soviets of responsibility in promoting the world revolution and Asian revolution.

Stressing that a new world war was quite impossible in the near future and that the world revolutionary forces were marching forward and were much stronger than ever before, Stalin expressed the hope that the CCP would play a more important role in pushing forward the rising tide of world revolution, especially in East Asia.

He made it very clear that he hoped to see the Chinese and the Soviets divide their spheres of responsibilities within the international Communist movement: while the Soviet Union would focus on the West, China would take more responsibilities in the East.

Stalin stressed that he was not flattering the Chinese, but telling the truth. As the Chinese, Stalin believed, had greater influences upon colonial and semi-colonial countries in the East, it would be easier for China to help promote Eastern revolution than for the Soviet Union.

Liu, on the other hand, emphasized to Stalin that the Chinese viewed the Soviet Union as the undisputed leader of the progressive forces of the world.

He seemed very cautious in acknowledging before Stalin that China would become the center of the Eastern revolution (In Shi's memoirs, he mentions that when Stalin suggested to toast for "the center of revolution moving to the East and China," Liu refused to make response).

But Liu agreed that Communist China would try to contribute more in promoting revolutionary movements in Asia.[28]

We may fairly conclude that Liu's conversation with Stalin had produced a crucial consensus: while the Soviet Union would remain the center of international proletarian revolution, the promotion of Eastern revolution would become primarily China's duty.


There is no indication in Chinese sources available today that the Korean problem was involved in Liu's talks with Stalin.

Several GMD and South Korean sources mentioned that during the spring, summer and fall of 1949, China, North Korea, and the Soviet Union conducted a series of secret exchanges on military cooperation's between them in Northeastern China (Manchuria) and Korea.

The CCP and North Korea, these sources alleged, signed a mutual defense agreement in March 1949, after the North Korean leader Kim Il-sung's visit to the Soviet Union, according to which the CCP would send PLA soldiers of Korean nationality back to North Korea.[29]

No Chinese sources can prove the existence of the alleged March 1949 agreement. In my interview with Yao Xu, a Chinese authority on the history of the Korean War, he firmly denied the possibility of such an agreement.[30]

But we do know now that in July and August of 1949, right around the time when Liu Shaoqi was in the Soviet Union, the 164th and 166th Divisions of the PLA's Fourth Field Army, the majority of whose soldiers were of Korean nationality, were sent back to North Korea.[31]

Considering the fact that a close relationship existed between the Soviet Union and Kim Il-sung's North Korean regime and that the problem of promoting revolutionary movements in East Asia was one of the central topics of Liu-Stalin conversations, we have no reason to exclude the possibility that the Chinese and the Soviets had discussed such matters as China's support of the Korean revolution and sending PLA soldiers back to Korea during Liu's visit.

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By January 1950 the XH–16's lengthy development period was seen as seriously retarding the Marine Corps helicopter program and although it was not desired to divert funds for its support, emphasis was placed on allocation of funds toward the proposed 3,000 pound payload helicopter. The diversion of the remaining XH–16 Navy research and development funds was also viewed as meeting with CNO approval provided the Navy could be persuaded to terminate its support of the XH–16 project.

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Notes for Sunday January 1, 1950