Mean Temp 13°C 55.4°F at Taegu
In March 1950 the United Nations announced that military observers would report on incidents along the border. Everyone assumed that there would be many of them. They would be duly reported by the wire services and the New York Times in a paragraph or two. Stiff notes would be exchanged, outrageous claims made, border guards doubled. Then watchful calm would return. Bloodshed would be slight. No armies would clash. Certainly the peninsula would never become a great world battlefield.
Thus, although until April 1950 Stalin did not attempt to extend the Soviet position in Korea beyond the limits established by the Allied wartime agreements, the means he used to retain control over the Soviet zone made it more likely that the northern leaders themselves would upset the crude balance of power the Allies had established on the peninsula.
The documentary evidence released thus far indicates that Stalin’s interest in maintaining control over the northern half of Korea stemmed from the territory’s strategic significance and its potential as a source of economic resources. These two benefits could be secured without continuing the military occupation, as long as a reliably “friendly” government was maintained in P'yŏngyang. Therefore, after proposing in September 1947 an immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from Korea, Soviet troops left the peninsula by the end of 1948, seven months before the withdrawal of American forces, but the USSR retained in North Korea military advisors, technicians, and naval personnel.
In the spring of 1950 Stalin’s policy toward Korea took an abrupt turn. During meetings with Kim Il Sung in Moscow in April, Stalin approved Kim’s plan to reunify the country by military means and agreed to provide the necessary supplies and equipment for the operation. The plan to launch the assault on South Korea was Kim’s initiative, not Stalin’s. The Soviet leader finally agreed to support the undertaking only after repeated requests from Kim.
Furthermore, Stalin’s purpose was not to test American resolve; on the contrary, he approved the plan only after having been assured that the United States would not intervene. The documentary evidence for these conclusions comes from a highly classified internal history of the Korean War written in 1966 by staff of the Soviet Foreign Ministry, apparently for the purpose of providing background information for Soviet officials who were at that time discussing with Chinese and Vietnamese officials possible Soviet aid to North Vietnam in its battle with the United States.
This document gives the following account of the events leading up to the onset of the war:
After separate elections in 1948 in South Korea and the formation of the puppet government of Syngman Rhee , on the one hand, and the formation of the DPRK, on the other, relations between the North and the South of the country were sharply aggravated. The Sŏul regime, as well as the DPRK, declared its claim to be the authority in all of Korea. The situation at the 38th parallel became even more tense in 1948 after the withdrawal of Soviet and American troops from Korea.
During this period, Kim Il Sung and other Korean leaders were firmly determined to unify the country by military means, without devoting the necessary attention to studying the possibility that existed at that time for peaceful reunification through the broad development of the democratic movement in South Korea.
In the DPRK, a people’s army was created which in manpower and equipment significantly surpassed the armed forces of South Korea. By January 1, 1950, the total number of DPRK troops was 110,000; new divisions were hastily being formed.
Calculating that the USA would not enter a war over South Korea, Kim Il Sung persistently pressed for agreement from Stalin and Mao Zedong to reunify the country by military means. (telegrams #4-51, 233, 1950).
Stalin at first treated the persistent appeals of Kim Il Sung with reserve, noting that “such a large affair in relation to South Korea... needs much preparation,” but he did not object in principle. The final agreement to support the plans of the Koreans was given by Stalin at the time of Kim Il Sung’s visit to Moscow in March-April 1950.
Following this, in May, Kim Il Sung visited Beijing and secured the support of Mao. The Korean government envisioned realizing its goal in three stages:
1) concentration of troops near the 38th
2) issuing an appeal to the South for peaceful unification
3) initiating military activity after the South’s rejection of the proposal for peaceful unification.
At Stalin’s order, all requests of the North Koreans for delivery of arms and equipment for the formation of additional units of the KPA were quickly met. The Chinese leadership sent to Korea a division formed from Koreans who had been serving in the Chinese army, and promised to send food aid and to transfer one army closer to Korea “in case the Japanese enter on the side of South Korea.”(telegram 362, 1950)
Again, scholars will not be able to find any written account of this visit in Chinese sources available now. Chinese officials and researchers who might have knowledge of this visit generally believe that Kim told Mao only his determination to unify Korea through military means, but not his specific military plan; let alone had he released to the Chinese the date of his action. Kim was relying more on the Soviets than on the Chinese.
Before further materials about Kim's visit are declassified, we can go no farther than what is offered by these sources. What should be emphasized here is that
(1) the simple fact that Kim informed Mao of his intention of attacking the South on his way back from Moscow tells us that both the Soviet Union and China had at least some pre-knowledge of North Korea's war preparations; and
(2) it is far too premature to conclude that Mao and the CCP leadership did not support Kim's intention of attacking the South, as argued by Hao Yufan and Zhai Zhihai in their generally plausible article on China's decision to enter the Korean War.
Otherwise, scholars will feel extremely perplexed to understand why the CCP decided to send as many as 50,000-70,000 Korean-nationality PLA soldiers back to Korea together with their military equipment from late 1949 to mid-1950.
The viewpoints of Xu Yan, a Chinese expert on the history of the Korean War, is noteworthy here:
"In accordance with the principles of Marxism-Leninism, the CCP did not want to interfere with the internal affairs of other countries; nor would it fail to support the revolutionary struggles of other peoples. After Japan's surrender, Stalin, for the purpose of averting direct Soviet-American confrontation, hindered the Chinese revolution. The CCP leadership and Mao Zedong, with this experience, would in no circumstance fail to support revolutions in other countries."
Xu's argument definitely makes good sense.
Obviously, it is still difficult to make a conclusive judgment about the extent of China's participation in the preparation of the North Korean invasion. What seems certain, however, is that CCP leaders knew in advance Kim Il-Sung's intention, if not his concrete plan, to unify the entire Korean Peninsula through military means. While it is risky to conclude that Mao and the CCP leadership had actively supported Kim's plan, it seems safe to say that they at least did not oppose Kim's intention. And in any case, the CCP's attitude toward Korea had a close connection with the Sino-Soviet alliance treaty.
In April and May 1950, large shipments of arms coming from the Soviet Union re-equipped the Army and Air Force. North Korea received heavy artillery prime movers, armor, automatic weapons, and propeller-driven aircraft in considerable quantity. [02-64]
The organization and training of the North Korean Army remained under the close control of the Russians. Key army commands fell only to men completely amenable to Russian direction. Russian advisers accompanied North Korean Army units from the first, but gradually decreased in numbers as trusted North Korean officers were developed.
The official and secret reports on the tactical capabilities of the ROK ground forces by Roberts and Muccio during the spring of 1950 were uniformly upbeat, often glowing. In March 1950 Roberts told the Pentagon that the North Korean troops were definitely "inferior" to the ROK troops.
The following month [April] Muccio, addressing a large group of State Department officials in Washington, boasted that progress in training the ROK Army had been "heartening" and had "kept pace" with the North Koreans.
Johnson employed much the same technique when
Jacob K. Javits of New York, who with several other legislators had become
interested in the joint congressional-citizen commission proposed
by the Committee Against Jim Crow, introduced a resolution in the House calling for a complete investigation into the racial practices and policies of the services by a select House committee.
Johnson tried to convince Chairman Adolph J. Sabath of the House Committee on Rules that the new service policies promised equal treatment and opportunity, again using the new Army regulation to demonstrate how these policies were being implemented.
The Javits resolution came to naught, and although that congressman still harbored some reservations on racial progress in the Army, he nevertheless reprinted an article from Our World magazine in the Congressional Record in April 1950 that outlined "the very good progress" being made by the Secretary (p. 392) of Defense in the racial field.[15-49]
Javits would have no reason to suspect, but the "very good progress" he spoke of had not issued from the secretary's office. For all practical purposes, Johnson's involvement in civil rights in the armed forces ended with his battle with the Fahy Committee.
Certainly in the months after the committee was disbanded [ Fahy Committee adjourned [July 6 1950] .] he did nothing to push for integration and allowed the subject of civil rights to languish.
The integration of the United States Army was not accomplished by executive fiat or at the demand of the electorate. Nor was it the result of any particular victory of the civil rights advocates over the racists. It came about primarily because the definition of military efficiency spelled out by the Fahy Committee and demonstrated by troops in the heat of battle was finally accepted by Army leaders. The Army justified its policy changes in the name of efficiency, as indeed it had always, but this time efficiency led the service unmistakably toward integration.
Race and Efficiency: 1950
The Army's postwar planners based their low estimate of the black soldier's ability on the collective performance of the segregated black units in World War II and assumed that social unrest would result from mixing the races. The Army thus accepted an economically and administratively inefficient segregated force in peacetime to preserve what it considered to be a more dependable fighting machine for war. Insistence on the need for segregation in the name of military efficiency was also useful in rationalizing the prejudice and thoughtless adherence to traditional practice which obviously played a part in the Army's tenacious defense of its policy.
An entirely different conclusion, however, could be drawn from the same set of propositions. The Fahy Committee, for example, had clearly demonstrated the inefficiency of segregation, and more to the point, some senior Army officials, in particular Secretary Gray and Chief of Staff Collins, had come to question the conventional pattern. Explaining later why he favored integration ahead of many of his contemporaries, Collins drew on his World War II experience. The major black ground units in World War II, and to a lesser degree the 99th Pursuit Squadron, he declared, "did not work out." Nor, he concluded, did the smaller independent black units, even those commanded by black officers, who were burdened with problems of discipline and inefficiency. On the other hand, the integrated infantry platoons in Europe, with which Collins had personal experience, worked well. His observations had convinced him that it was "pointless" to support segregated black units, and while the matter had "nothing to do with sociology itself," he reasoned that if integration worked at the platoon level "why not on down the line?" The best plan, he believed, was to assign two Negroes to each squad in the Army, always assuming that the quota limiting the total number of black soldiers would be preserved.[17-1]
Footnote 17-1: Interv, author with Collins.(Back)
But (p. 429) the Army had promised the Fahy Committee in April 1950 it would abolish the quota. If carried out, such an agreement would complicate an orderly and controlled integration, and Collins's desire for change was clearly tempered by his concern for order and control. So long as peacetime manpower levels remained low and inductions through the draft limited, a program such as the one contemplated by the Chief of Staff was feasible, but any sudden wartime expansion would change all that. Fear of such a sudden change combined with the strong opposition to integration still shared by most Army officials to keep the staff from any initiative toward integration in the period immediately after the Fahy Committee adjourned [July 6 1950] .
Even before Gray and Collins completed their negotiations with the Fahy Committee, they were treated by the Chamberlin Board to yet another indication of the scope of Army staff opposition to integration.
training units in the United States were subject to many of the stresses suffered by the Eighth Army, and without fanfare they too began to integrate. There was little precedent for the change. true, the Army had integrated officer training in World War II and basic training at the Women's Army Corps training Center at Fort Lee, Virginia, in April 1950.
But beyond that only the rare black trainee designated for specialist service was assigned to a white training unit. Until 1950 there was no effort to mix black and white trainees because the Army's (p. 435) manpower experts always predicted a "social problem," a euphemism for the racial conflict they feared would follow integration at large bases in the United States.
Not that demands for integration ever really ceased.
19500400 0000 18474Int00
A revision of Defense Department manpower policy combined with the demands of the war to change all that. The imposition of a qualitative distribution of manpower by the Secretary of Defense in April 1950 meant that among the thousands of recruits enlisted during the Korean War the Marine Corps would have to accept its share of the large percentage of men in lower classification test categories. Among these men were a significant number of black enlistees who had failed to qualify under previous standards. They were joined by (p. 463) thousands more who were supplied through the nondiscriminatory process of the Selective Service System when, during the war, the corps began using the draft. The result was a 100 percent jump in the number of black marines in the first year of war, a figure that would be multiplied almost six times before war inductions ran down in 1953. (table 11)
table 11—black Marines, 1949-1955
|Date||Officers||Enlisted Men||Percent of Corps|
The 24th Infantry in Japan
The 24th Infantry's service in the occupation of Japan was a model not only of the tensions that dogged all-black units in that day but also of the subtle interplay those problems could have with the many challenges the Army faced in the postwar period. On the surface, conditions within the unit seemed favorable. The regiment was well situated in its base at Gifu, and life seemed good for its troops. Down below, however, there was much that was wrong.
To begin with, the Army itself was undergoing extreme turbulence. Personnel strengths gyrated up and down throughout the postwar period as budgets and manpower policies changed with the political winds. training declined, equipment shortages grew, and officers who might have sought to make the military a career left the service. training improved in 1949 but still remained inadequate.
The Eighth Army in Japan provides a case in point. Most of its soldiers were civilians at heart, intent upon enjoying the pleasures of life in occupied Japan, where a GI's salary could pay for an abundance of readily available pleasures. In many units, black-market activities thrived, alcoholism was rife, and venereal disease flourished. But the number one transgression in the Eighth Army in the spring of 1950 was drug abuse. It spread with sometimes near abandon in many units, particularly those that served like the 24th Infantry in or near large port cities.
The 24th Infantry, for its part, experienced the same difficulties as the rest of the Army, but it generally maintained high esprit de corps. It gained a deserved reputation for its prowess at sports and its fine marching. Its training was on a par with that of most other units, and at the beginning of the Korean War it was one of a few that had undergone some form of regimental maneuvers. While the General Classification Test scores for its men were significantly lower than for the whites in other regiments, those figures were inadequate as measures of innate intelligence. Indeed, many white officers assigned to the regiment would later insist that the enlisted men and noncommissioned officers of the unit, whatever their schooling, often knew their jobs and did them well.
Even so, the 24th remained a racially segregated regiment, and the effects of that system ate incessantly into the bonds that held the unit together. They were often hidden at Gifu, which had become an artificial island for blacks—"our own little world," as some of the men described it—but even there, discontent festered just beneath the surface calm. Unwritten but firmly held assignment policies, for example, ensured that black officers, whatever their competence, would rarely if ever command whites. Throughout the years prior to the Korean War, as a result, except for one lieutenant colonel, the senior commanders of the regiment were white. As for its field-grade officers, only the chaplains and a few majors in unimportant assignments were black.
The mistrust that resulted on both sides was largely hidden behind a screen of military conventions and good manners, but it was still there. Black officers were frustrated and resentful. They saw that most promotions and career-enhancing assignments went to white officers, some of whom were clearly inferior to them in education and military competence. Aware, as well, that few if any of them would ever rise to a rank above captain, they could only conclude that the Army considered them second class. They retaliated by developing a view, as one African-American lieutenant observed years later, that the 24th was a "penal" regiment for white officers who had "screwed up." The whites, for their part, although a number got along well with their black colleagues, mainly kept to themselves.
The tensions that existed among the regiment's officers had parallels in enlisted ranks. At times, black soldiers worked well with their white superiors and relations between the races were open, honest, and mutually fulfilling, primarily because the white officers recognized the worth of their subordinates and afforded them the impartiality and dignity they deserved. Many whites, however, shared the racially prejudiced attitudes and beliefs common to white civilian society. Although infrequent, enough instances of genuine bigotry occurred to cement the idea in the minds of black enlisted men that their white officers were racially prejudiced.
As the regiment's stay lengthened at Gifu, an unevenness came into being that subtly affected military readiness. In companies commanded by white officers who treated their men with respect but refused to accept low standards of discipline and performance, racial prejudice tended to be insignificant, and a bond, of sorts, developed between those who were leaders and those who were led. In others, often commanded by officers who failed to enforce high standards out of condescension, because they wished to avoid charges of racial prejudice, or because they were simply poor leaders, the bonds of mutual respect and reliance were weak. On the surface, all seemed to run well within those units. Underneath, however, hostility and frustration lingered, to break forth only when the units faced combat and their soldiers realized their lives depended on officers they could not trust.
The problem might have had little effect on readiness if officers had received the time to work out their relationships with their men, but competition among them for Regular Army commissions, under the so-called Competitive Tour Program, produced a constant churning within the regiment. Officers arrived at units, spent three months in a position, and then departed for new assignments. In addition, the officer complements of entire companies sometimes changed abruptly to maintain segregation and to ensure that a black would never command whites. Under the circumstances, officers often had little time to think through what they were doing. Not only were their own assignments temporary, the group of officers they commanded was also in constant turmoil. A confluence of good officers might, for a time, produce a cohesive, effective, high-performing company, but everything might dissolve over night with a change of command.
Under the circumstances, the personality of the regimental commander was vital, and for much of the time in Japan the unit was commanded by an officer who seemed ideally suited for the job. Strong, aggressive, experienced, Colonel Michael E. Halloran held the respect and support of most of his subordinates, whether commissioned or enlisted. The performance of the regiment while he was in charge was all that anyone could have expected at that time and in that place. The effectiveness of Halloran's successor is more in question. Colonel Horton V. White was intelligent and well intentioned, but his low-key, hands-off style of command did little to fill the void when Halloran departed.
It would be interesting to determine what the results would have been if the 24th had gone to war under Halloran rather than White, but the efficiency of a unit in combat is rarely determined by the presence of a single individual, however experienced and inspiring. What is clear, is that if the 24th went into battle much as the other regiments in the Eighth Army did—poorly trained, badly equipped, and short on experience—it carried baggage none of the others possessed, all the problems of trust and lack of self-confidence that the system of segregation had imposed.
1950/04 - Stalin met with Kim Il-sung in Moscow but would not support Kim's plan to invade SK unless Mao agreed to help: "If you should get kicked in the teeth, I shall not lift a finger. You have to ask Mao for all the help."
Kim visited Mao in Beijing and assured Mao as he had assured Stalin that the U.S. would not respond. Mao gave his approval because Mao was planning to invade Formosa and wanted Stalin's help. Stalin began to send Soviet supplies to N.K. and to plan the invasion, using the cover story that it would be a "counterattack" provoked by an alleged attack by SK. Mao was preoccupied with planning the Formosa attack and was surprised when the sudden invasion began in June.
An HTL–3 had replaced the HTL–2 after it had sustained severe damage in a crash during April 1950 .
Although the squadron did not possess 18 aircraft as the original planners had envisioned and CNO had approved, by the end of June, HMX–1 was one aircraft in excess of the authorized level .
at the end of June was likewise near the authorized level. It had been
readjusted in April 1950 to 20 officers and 90 enlisted men with the squadron
reporting a total of 23 officers and 86 enlisted. 
In April 1950, they first appeared over Shanghai, thwarting a Nationalist Chinese bomb campaign. They were flown by Soviet pilots. The fighting over Shanghai was not widely reported. Intelligence failed to note the presence of MiGs.
Air units selected for Korean deployment did not come primarily from Frontal Aviation, the tactical arm of the regular Soviet Air Forces. Rather, most came from interceptor regiments of the Air Defense Forces, or PVO, which was then on its way to becoming a separate service branch.
Until 1950, no MiG-15 interceptor regiments were stationed in the Far East. They were concentrated in the Moscow Air Defense District to protect the capital against US bomber attack. As a result, the squadrons earmarked for Korea were drawn from elite units.
The first large Soviet aviation unit sent to Korea was an air defense interceptor division commanded by Col. Ivan Kozhedub, who, with sixty-two victories, was the top Soviet ace of World War II. Due to the pilot's celebrity status, Stalin personally ordered Colonel Kozhedub not to fly combat missions. The division's lead elements left Moscow in mid-November. At that time, a MiG-15 interceptor regiment numbered thirty-five to forty aircraft, and a division usually included three regiments.
Soviet MiG-15 regiments were based on Chinese fields in Manchuria. Many Soviet regiments underwent preliminary training at Soviet bases in the neighboring Maritime Military District.
In addition to these three divisions, the N.K. 1st and 4th Divisions each had one regiment of CCF veterans. All the units from the CCF Army upon arrival in North Korea received Soviet-type arms and North Korean uniforms and were retrained in North Korean tactical doctrine, which closely followed the Russian.
Research and development for better equipment was practically stopped following World War II and there was little to be expected in the future. Procurement, if possible, was even worse.
A new heavy tank had been developed, but due to budget constraints only 310 were built; in June 1950, they were all in the United States.
The 3.5 inch rocket launcher
had been introduced to replace
the ineffective World War II
2.36 "bazooka". However, due to budget constraints,
only a few 3.5's were available in June 1950; none were available in the Far
Less than three months prior to the beginning of the Korean War, Omar Bradley received a TOP SECRET letter from Mr. Vannevar Bush outlining the Army's failure to advance in research and development. He commented on the almost negligible acquisition of new technology necessary for the Army to be effective in combat. He recommended that the Army must procure advanced weapons and ammunition to combat Russian tanks.
... we have the means of rendering those heavy tanks absolute, of turning a great asset into a liability, of throwing the enemy preparations into confusion and forcing upon him sweeping readjustments which will take him years. We have the means in embryo in our hands now. If we had been sufficiently alert we could have had them, several years ago, but at least we have them now.
123. Blair Collection, Letter to General Omar Bradley, Chairman JCS, from Mr. Vannevar Bush, Folder: 1950, Chapter 1988, Boid= Omar N. Bradley - Chronological Files 1948-1950, 7.
He also referred to the need to develop new munitions and hardware such as antiaircraft guns and rockets, ground to air missiles, antitank mines and even new means of laying them.
124. Ibid., 7.
The technology and means to modernize the Army and other Services existed, but the senior military and civilian leadership lacked the vision and aggressiveness to improve combat effectiveness. This technology certainly would have saved many American lives as combat multiplier's against the North Koreans in June 1950.
This month, the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) would number 1,859 officers and men. They had a total of 16 aircraft:
and 39 trained pilots. Not exactly an offensive air corps.
United States policy, however, permitted a few liaison planes for cooperation with the ROK ground troops, and, using this wedge, the ROK authorities tried to organize an air force. On 10 October the ROK activated a separate air force, assuring the United States that the expansion meant no more than air force representation on the ROK joint chiefs of staff, that it would not affect the economy of their country. By April 1950, however, they had organized a force of
187 officers and
1,672 enlisted men;
39 of their 57 pilots were trained.
Even without the additional military forces desired, ROK security troops wire successful in a campaign against Communist guerrilla infiltration into their country. Ambassador John J. Muccio pointed out that guerrilla strength had been reduced from 2,000 in September 1949 to an estimated 577 in April 1950.
Yet the FEC G-2 in April 1950
"believed that there will be no civil war in Korea this spring or summer . . . The most probable course of North Korean action this spring and summer is the continuation of its efforts to overthrow the South Korean Government by the creation of chaotic conditions in the republic through guerrilla activities and psychological warfare."
Conversion from propeller-driven F-51's to jet aircraft had posed problems inherent in the jet program. For example, FEAF was short in fuel servicing units for jet aircraft: in April 1950 General Stratemeyer had predicted that any dispersal of air units to fields not equipped with base servicing facilities would further dissipate his "already overtaxed servicing equipment to a point of relative combat ineffectiveness."** By far the greatest problem of the jet aircraft, however, had to do with wing-brackets for attaching auxiliary fuel tanks and ordnance and with the design of the existing auxiliary wing tanks.
Though General Partridge believed it imperative that the F-80C's range be extended with wing tanks larger than the standard 165-gallon tanks, so much difficulty had been experienced with S-2 bomb racks on the F-80's that, in April 1950, some 38 of these fighters assigned to the Fifth Air Force were incapable of carrying either wing-tip tanks or bombs. When the Korean war began, these problems of wing racks and tanks had not been solved.
MacArthur, moreover, had ruled that no resources from the Japanese economy would be used for military construction not involving the occupation of Japan, and accordingly had disapproved FEAF's request for Japanese funds to develop fields for jet fighters.
|35th FIW||3rd BW(L)|
Military intelligence agencies in the Far East correctly assessed the build-up of North Korean forces, but they were unable to agree as to the likelihood of a Korean war. In April 1950 Far East Command intelligence believed
"that there will be no civil war in Korea this spring or summer....The most probable course of North Korean action is the continuation of its efforts to overthrow the South Korean government by the creation of chaotic conditions in the republic through guerrilla activities and psychological warfare."69
Recognizing the limited value of battalion-level training, General Partridge worked earnestly to secure closer joint operations with the Eighth Army. Following the failure of communications in a joint theater-command post exercise early in April 1950, Partridge specifically recommended that a joint operations center be established, with regularly assigned Army, Navy, and Air Force representatives. Unfortunately, this proposal was not approved by the Far East Command.#83
The semi-annual report of the Secretary of Air Force, published in April 1950, spoke of the "completion of the downward readjustment to 48 groups.
As late as April 1950, during the FEC command post exercise, General Partridge and Timberlake had carefully reviewed Field Manual 31-35, Air-Ground Operations, the joint doctrinal publication which represented the best of learning regarding the cooperation of air and ground forces in the land campaigns of World War II. They were thus well versed in the philosophy of the employment of tactical air power and of the organization required for the cooperative operations of a tactical air force and a field army in a theater of war.
[Study they may have, but it is interesting that the USAF with many more aircraft only provided 50% more close air support than that of the 1st MAW during the entirety of the Korean War]
The final phase of development came in January 1950 with the expansion of the air regiment into a division under the command of Wang Yun, promoted to major general. Strength of the unit in April 1950 was estimated at about 1,675 officers and men, including 364 officers, 76 pilots, 875 enlisted men, and 360 cadets.
The receipt of more Soviet planes at this time brought the number of aircraft up to 178, including 78 YAK-7B fighters, 30 PO-2 primary and YAK-18 advanced trainers, and 70 Il-10 ground attack bombers.
Captured documents indicate that the aviation training program was speeded up along with other NKPA activities during the last few months before the invasion.
A group of TTU officers and enlisted men under the command of Colonel Forney made up Mobile training Team Able in the spring of 1950. Sailing from San Diego in April, these Marines were accompanied by a second group of amphibious specialists, the ANGLICO (Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Company) instruction team commanded by Lieutenant Edward B. Williams, USN.
The ANGLICOs, composed of both Navy and Marine Corps personnel, evolved in 1949 to assist Army units lacking the forward air control and naval gunfire control units which are integral in Marine divisions. Growing out of the responsibility of the Marine Corps for the development of those phases of landing force operations pertaining to tactics, techniques, and equipment employed by landing forces, the first company was formed in answer to the request of Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, USA, for a unit capable of giving an Army division this sort of amphibious fire support. After taking part in the MIKI exercises with the Sixth Army in Hawaii during the autumn of 1949, this ANGLICO split up into instruction teams assigned to various Army units. 
Training Team Able and Lieutenant Williams’ ANGLICO team reached Japan just in time to cooperate with a third organization of amphibious specialists, Rear Admiral James H. Doyle’s Amphibious Group (PhibGru) One of the Pacific Fleet. The three teams were given a mission of training one regiment from each of the four Eighth Army divisions in Japan. But the instruction program had only been launched when it was interrupted by the Korean conflict.