January 5, 1950 (Thursday)





Korean_War Korean_War

Edwin Wentworth Kenworthy (left) was executive secretary on President Harry S. Truman's Committee for Equality of treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services (Fahy Committee) today he wrote a letter to assistant secretary of the Air Force Eugene Martin Zuckert (right), in which he praised the Air Force. He told Zuckert, that most of the commanders he had interviewed had praised integration, they especially liked the use of equal standards for all, and the resulting better utilization of manpower. [note]


Korea and the border

In the past six (6) months there had been in excess of 400 "border incidents." The Parallel was very much like a war zone. Nightly both sides would send out patrols to take prisoners or just to disrupt and kill each other. This activity was punctuated with artillery duels, but given the inadequacy of the ROK's weapons, their shots no doubt fell short of their targets, the same could not be said for the NKPA. [note]


The status of South Korea and Formosa

Back on 20 December 1948 in Life magazine, MacArthur had said that the fall of China would impearl the United States. Since then China had indeed fallen, and the Republicans in Congress wanted a commitment made to Formosa of protection, and a statement to Peking that the United States would never recognize them.


Last month the National Security Council (NSC) convened to resolve the issue. Brave soles that they were, some wanted to retreat to Hawaii and leave all of Asia to the communists. Others just wanted to disavow Formosa.


The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) submitted MacArthur's proposal (the one he had given them a year earlier) and along with Acheson did not support him but rather said we were militarily unable to support Formosa because of other commitments around the world.


Consequently today Truman announces a hands-off Formosa policy:

"The United States has no desire to obtain special rights or privileges or to establish military bases on Formosa at this time. Nor does it have any intention of utilizing its armed forces to interfere in the present situation. The United States Government will not pursue a course which will lead to involvement in the civil conflict in China. Similarly, the United States Government will not provide military aid or advice to Chinese forces on Formosa."

Exactly what did that mean? If Mao's China attacked Chiang Kai-shek's Formosa , would the United States stand by and watch? If that is all they did, then once China had taken Formosa, why would North Korea delay any longer the expected invasion of the south? This announcement severely undermined the morale of KMAG, the Rhee government, and the ROK Army, to say nothing of how Chiang felt.

Within the next two (2) weeks, statement made by other United States representatives would cause even GHQ to wonder out loud what was going on. [note]

Possible attack in March or April


Coinciding with the Truman announcement, KMAG passed the word that they expected the North Korean to initiate an invasion during March or April 1950. [note]

Notes for Thursday January 5, 1950