Mean Temp 17.7°C 63.86°F at Taegu
May 11, 1950 (Thursday)
- The McMinnville UFO photographs, among the most famous photos purported of an unidentified flying object were taken by Paul Trent, a farmer near McMinnville, Oregon, after his wife spotted a flying disc. Trent developed the pictures, showed them to a local banker who placed them on display, and a reporter for the McMinnville Telephone Register ran the story after inquiring, and the photos would appear later in LIFE Magazine. "Skeptics found nothing to disparage the Trents' integrity," it would be written 48 years later, "and no financial motive for having faked UFO pictures."
- Dongshan Island was captured by 10,000 Communist Chinese troops from the Nationalist Chinese.
- A coal mine gas explosion in a deep mine, near Mons in Belgium, killed at least 41 miners, all of whom had been working 1,650 feet underground.
The War Department's problems with its segregation policy were only intensified by its insistence on maintaining a racial quota. Whatever the authors' intention, the quota was publicized as a guarantee of black participation. In practice it not only restricted the number of Negroes in the Army but also limited the number and variety of black units that could be formed and consequently the number and variety of jobs available to Negroes. Further, it restricted the openings for Negroes in the Army's training schools.
At the same time, enlistment policies combined with Selective Service regulations to make it difficult for the Army to produce from its black quota enough men with the potential to be trained in those skills required by a variety of units.
Attracted by the superior economic status promised by the Army, the average black soldier continued to reenlist, thus blocking the enlistment of potential military leaders from the increasing number of educated black youths. This left the Army with a mass of black soldiers long in service but too old to fight, learn new techniques, or provide leadership for the future.
Subject to charges of discrimination, the Army only fitfully and for limited periods tried to eliminate low scorers to make room for more qualified men. Yet to the extent to which it failed to attract educated Negroes and provide them with modern military skills, it failed to perform a principal function of the peacetime Army, that of preparing a cadre of leaders for future wars.
In discussing the problem of low-scoring Negroes it should be remembered that the Army General Classification Test, universally accepted in the armed services as an objective device to measure ability, has been seriously questioned by some manpower experts. Since World War II, for example, educational psychologists have learned that ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds have an important influence on performance in general testing.
Roy K. Davenport, who eventually became a senior manpower official in the Department of Defense has, for one, concluded that the test scores created a distorted picture of the mental ability of the black soldier. He has also questioned the fairness of the Army testing system, charging that uniform time periods were not always provided for black and white recruits taking the tests and that this injustice was only one of several inequalities of test administration that might have contributed to the substantial differences in the scores of applicants.[l03]
The Air Force's segregation policy had meanwhile created a critical situation in the black tactical units. The old 332nd, now the 332nd Fighter Wing, shared with the rest of the command the burden of too many low-scoring men35 percent of Lockbourne's airmen were in the two lowest groups, IV and Vbut here the problem was acute since the presence of so many persons with little ability limited the number of skilled black airmen that the Tactical Air Command could transfer to the wing from other parts of the command. Under direction of the command, the Ninth Air Force was taking advantage of a regulation that restricted the reenlistment of low-scoring airmen, but the high percentage of unskilled Negroes persisted at Lockbourne. Negroes in the upper test brackets were not reenlisting while the low scorers unquestionably were.
Throughout its long existence, the Fahy Committee was chiefly concerned with the position of the Negro in the Army. After protracted argument it won from the Army an agreement to abolish the racial quota and to open all specialties in all Army units and all Army schools and courses to qualified Negroes.
Finally, it won the Army's promise to cease restricting black servicemen to black units and overhead installations alone and to assign them instead on the basis of individual ability and the Army's need As for the other services, the committee secured from the Navy a pledge to give petty officer status to chief stewards and stewards of the first, second, and third class, and its influence was discernible in the Navy's decision to allow stewards to transfer to the general service.
The committee also made, and the Navy accepted, several practical suggestions that might lead to an increase in the number of black officers and enlisted men.
The committee approved the Air Force integration program and publicized the success of this major reform as it was carried out during 1949; for the benefit of the reluctant Army, the committee could point to the demonstrated ability of black servicemen and the widespread acceptance of integration among the rank and file of the Air Force In regard to the Marine Corps, however, the committee was forced to acknowledge that the corps had not yet "fully carried out Navy policy. "
The Fahy Committee won from the services a commitment to equal treatment and opportunity and a practical program to achieve that end. Yet even with this victory and the strong support of many senior military officials, the possibility that determined foes of integration might erect roadblocks or that simple bureaucratic inertia would delay progress could not be discounted.
There was, for example, nothing in the postwar practices of the Marine Corps, even the temporary integration of its few black recruits during basic training, that hinted at any long-range intention of adopting the Navy's integration program. And the fate of one of the committee's major recommendations, that all the services adopt equal enlistment standards, had yet to be decided. The acceptance of this recommendation hinged on the results of a Defense Department study to determine the jobs in each service that could be filled by men in the lowest mental classification category acceptable to all three services. Although the Navy and the Air Force had agreed to reexamine the matter, they had consistently opposed the application of enlistment parity in the past, and the Secretary of Defense's Personnel Policy Board had indorsed their position. Secretary Forrestal, himself, had rejected the concept, and there was nothing in the record to suggest that his successor would do otherwise. Yet the parity of enlistment standards was a vital part of the committee's argument for the abolition of the Army's racial quota. If enlistment standards were not equalized, especially in a period when the Army was turning to Selective Service for much of its manpower, the number of men in the Army's categories IV and V was bound to increase, and that increase would provide strong justification for reviving the racial quota.
The Army staff was aware, if the public was not, that a resurrected quota was possible, for the President had given the Secretary of the Army authority to take such action if there was "a disproportionate balance of racial strengths."
The Army's concern with disproportionate balance was always linked to a concern with the influx of men, mostly black, who scored poorly on the classification tests. The problem, the Army repeatedly claimed, was not the quantity of black troops but their quality. Yet at the time the Army agreed to the committee's demand to drop the quota, some 40 percent of all black soldiers scored below eighty. These men could rarely profit from the Army's agreement to integrate all specialist training and assignments. The committee, aware of the problem, had strongly urged the Army to refuse reenlistment, with few exceptions, to anyone scoring below eighty.
Fahy reminded the
Secretary of the Army
Frank Pace, Jr., by
letter today, that the Army was still enlisting men that scored below 70 on the
Army General Classification Test
(AGCT) which was introduced in March 1941 as
its principal instrument for the measurement of a soldier's learning ability. Contrary to what had been agreed to in April 1946.
On 11 May 1950 Fahy reminded Secretary of the Army Frank Pace, Jr., that despite the Army's promise to eliminate its low (p. 377) scorers it continued to reenlist men scoring less than seventy.[14-143]
His [Rear Admiral James H. Doyle, commanding Amphibious Group 1] command had spent early May 1950 conducting landing exercises in southern California for the benefit of U.S. Army Command and General Staff College observers.[cmdctl-12]
MacArthur had requested that the Navy train his Eighth Army troops in amphibious techniques, and on 20 May Amphibious Group 1 had sailed for Japan, where it had reported to COMNAVFE and was designated Task Force 90. Its only ships were the command ship USS Mount McKinley (AGC 7), the assault transport USS Cavalier (APA 37), the assault cargo ship USS Union (AKA 106), the tank landing ship USS LST 611, and the fleet tug USS Arikara (ATF 98). However, Doyle himself had considerable amphibious experience, and his staff officers were virtually all veterans of World War IIís Central and Southwest Pacific amphibious operations.[cmdctl-13]
11 May 1950 Soviet pilot I.I. Shinkarenko claimed to have downed a USAF B-24 (PB4Y?).
A Viking missile was successfully launched from USS Norton Sound (AV-11), near Christmas Island, south of Hawaii [how about Indonesia]. It was the first Viking launched from a ship and set a new altitude record for American-built single-stage rockets of 106.4 statute miles.
After special modifications in February and March 1950 at San Francisco Naval Shipyard, Norton Sound launched a five ton Viking rocket 11 May in project "Reach". This rocket carried a 500 pound scientific instrumentation package to an altitude of 106.4 miles, and provided additional data on cosmic rays.
Project "Reach" concluded the first phase of Norton Sound's history as a mobile missile launching platform. This first phase was devoted to extending scientific research frontiers and gaining experience prerequisite to firing tactical weapons. The second phase required the application of the resultant knowledge. The newer missiles launched from the ship had a more direct bearing on the future of the Navy's combatant missile capability
A State Department report from Sŏul as of 11 May 1950, at some variance with these estimates, credited the North Korean Army with 103,000 soldiers and constabulary troops of all types (excluding 25,000 provincial police), 65 tanks, including some T-34's, 296 light and medium artillery pieces, 780 medium and heavy mortars, and 356 45-mm. antitank guns. Aircraft attributed to the North Korean Air Force were set at 100 YAK aircraft, 70 IL-10 attack planes, and 10 reconnaissance planes.
Later reports, believed more accurate, gave the North Korean Army 135,000 men organized into 8 infantry divisions, 1 armored brigade, 2 half-strength divisions, 1 separate infantry regiment, and 1 motorcycle reconnaissance regiment. Many of these troops were veterans from the armies of the USSR and Communist China. In addition to large amounts of artillery, the North Koreans possessed 150 T-34 Russian-made tanks and 180 high-performance combat aircraft. [02-73]