Mean Temp 23.6°C 74.48°F at Taegu [note]
Rainy, windy weather [note]
The Korean War is divided into Ten (10) named phases, as follows:
- UN Defensive: June 27-September 15, 1950
- UN Offensive: September 16-November 2, 1950
- Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) Intervention: November 3, 1950-January 24, 1951
- 1st UN Counteroffensive: January 25-April 21, 1951
- CCF Spring Offensive: April 22-July 8, 1951
- UN Summer-Fall Offensive: July 9-November 27, 1951
- Second Korean Winter: November 28, 1951-April 30, 1952
- Korea, Summer-Fall 1952: May l-November 30, 1952
- Third Korean Winter: December 1, 1952-April 30, 1953
- Korea, Summer 1953: May l-July 27, 1953
UN, adopting a U.S. resolution, proclaims NKPA attack a breach of world peace. Asks member nations to assist the Republic of Korea (ROK) in repelling invasion.
President Harry S. Truman orders U.S. air-sea units to support ROK and for U.S. Seventh Fleet to neutralize Formosan Strait. [note]
June 27 - All non-Korean civilians evacuated from Inch'ŏn by air and sea and from Pusan (women and children only) by sea to Japan. One hundred American civilian workers asked to stay in Pusan and await arrival of American troops. [note]
June 27 - All non-Korean civilians evacuated from Inch'ŏn by air and sea and from Pusan (women and children only) by sea to Japan. One hundred American civilian workers asked to stay in Pusan and await arrival of American troops. [note]
Additional aircraft, personnel and spare parts are being rushed to Flight "D" and a heavy workload is being carried by the two (2) C-47s. A great deal of assistance is being given to the 3rd Bomb Wing in transporting supplies and personnel to bases in southern Japan.
The "In Commission" status of all aircraft remains very high with engine changes and maintenance being completed in record time. Incidents of distressed aircraft needing interception and escort, evacuation flights under extremely hazardous conditions follow one after another at Flight "D".
An additional duty of weather reconnaissance over the strike area was undertaken. Time flown by SB-17s this date from Flight "D" alone was twenty-seven hours and forty minutes (27:40). Part of this time was logged in escorting a C-54, which had been shot up while returning from Korea. Two (2) other incidents involved F-80s running low on fuel. Surveillance flights, both day and night, are being requested from Flights "A" and "C", by higher headquarters. [note]
Lt. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer
Earle Everard Partridge
5th Air Force
June 27: The UN Security Council called on all UN members to aid South Korea vai Resolution 83. President Truman directed US air and sea forces to assist South Korea, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief, Far East Command, ordered FEAF to attack North Korean units south of the 38th parallel. Lt. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer, commander, FEAF, who was in the United States when the war broke out, returned to Japan.
(Partridge then served as acting FEAF vice commander until July 7.) FEAF used Kimp'o airfield, near Sŏul, and Suwŏn airfield, some 20 miles south of Sŏul, for emergency air evacuation of 748 persons to Japan on C-54s, C-47s, and C-46s. Cargo aircraft assigned to the 374th troop Carrier Wing (TCW) and FEAF headquarters accomplished the airlift, escorted by F-82s, F-80 jet fighters, and B-26 light bombers.
Air Battle of Suwŏn.
Fifth Air Force embarked on a mission to establish air superiority over South Korea, partially to prevent the North Korean air force from attacking South Korean forces and to protect evacuation forces. When North Korean aircraft appeared over Kimp'o and Suwŏn airfields, the USAF aircraft flying air cover engaged the enemy in the first air battle of the war. Maj. James W. Little, commander, 339th FAWS, fired the first shot.
Lt. William G. Hudson, 68th FAWS, flying an F-82, with Lt. Carl Fraser as his radar observer, scored the first aerial victory. In all, six USAF pilots shot down over Kimp'o seven North Korean propeller-driven fighters, the highest number of USAF aerial victories in one day for all of 1950.
Fifth Air Force B-26s, flying from Ashiya AB, Japan, attacked enemy targets in South Korea in the evening, but bad weather made the raids ineffective. Fifth Air Force established an advance echelon at Itazuke AB, Japan, and moved B-26s to Ashiya and RF-80s to Itazuke for missions in Korea. The 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing (FBW) organized a composite unit of USAF and South Korean airmen at Taegu airfield, South Korea, to fly F-51D Mustangs. [note]
- Hudson/Fraser USAF F-82G 1 x Yak-9 First USAF kill of the war
- Little/U/I USAF F-82G 1 x Yak-9
- Moran/U/I USAF F-82G 1 x Yak-9
- Schillereff USAF F-80C 1 x Il-10
- Dewald USAF F-80C 1 x Il-10
- Wayne USAF F-80C 2 x Il-10
- DPRK Il-10 6 x ROK T-6 destroyed on ground
The weekly summary reports the USSR is moving in the direction of Yugoslavia.
Strubles command, based at Subic Bay, was the primary U.S. western Pacific naval force.
Its striking force was essentially a single carrier group: the carrier USS Valley Forge (CV-45), the cruiser USS Rochester (CA-124), and eight destroyers. There were three submarinesUSS Segundo (SS-398), USS Catfish (SS-339), USS Cabezon (SS-334)and a submarine rescue vessel, USS Florikan (ASR-9).
The Fleet Air Wing consisted of nine PB4Y-2 Privateers at Guam (with a small seaplane tender, USS Suisun (AVP-53), at Saipan) and nine PBM Mariner seaplanes at Sangley Point in the Philippines (two were at Yokosuka, and five were en route to Pearl Harbor). [note]
Exchange of Views Regarding the Invasion of South Korea, June 27-29, 1950
Aide-Memoire from the U.S. government delivered to the Soviet deputy foreign minister by the U.S. ambassador, today the following note:
My Government has instructed me to call to your attention the fact that North Korean forces have crossed the 38th parallel and invaded the territory of the Republic of Korea in force at several points. The refusal of the Soviet Representative to attend the United Nations Security Council meeting on June 25, despite the clear threat to peace and the obligations of a Security Council member under the Charter, requires the Government of the United States to bring this matter directly to the attention of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In view of the universally known fact of the close relations between the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics and the North Korean regime, the United States Government asks assurance that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics disavows responsibility for this unprovoked and unwarranted attack, and that it will use its influence with the North Korean authorities to withdraw their invading forces immediately.
The Soviet reply, June 29, 1950:
1. In accordance with facts verified by the Soviet Government, the events taking place in Korea were provoked by an attack by forces of the South Korean authorities on border regions of North Korea. Therefore the responsibility for these events rests upon the South Korean authorities and upon those who stand behind their back.
2. As is known, the Soviet Government withdrew its troops from Korea earlier than the Government of the United States and thereby confirmed its traditional principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of other states. And now as well the Soviet Government adheres to the principle of the impermissibility of interference of foreign powers in the internal affairs of Korea.
3. It is not true that the Soviet Government refused to participate in meetings of the Security Council. In spite of its full willingness, the Soviet Government has not been able to take part in the meetings of the Security Council inasmuch as, because of the position of the Government of the United States, China, a permanent member of the Security Council, has not been admitted to the Council, which has made it impossible for the Security Council to take decisions having legal force. [note]
On June 27 the United Nations Security Council authorized member nations to help repel the invasion; President Truman immediately ordered American forces under the command of General MacArthur to Intervene. Less than five years after the end of World War II, the United States was involved in another major conflict. [note]
The North Korean invasion of the republic on 25 June 1950 and the inability of South Korean forces to check it prompted an abrupt reversal of the American position. Behind the change was a belief that the invasion was not simply an extension of a local jurisdictional dispute but a break in the wider cold war. Viewing the attack in this light, President Harry S. Truman and his principal advisers concluded that it had to be contested on grounds that inaction would invite further armed aggression, and possibly a third world war.
The immediate American response was to label the invasion as a threat to world peace before the United Nations. This step was not taken primarily to produce troop and materiel support, although such support was forthcoming. The ease and speed with which the North Korean invasion force was driving south made clear that there was not enough time to assemble a broadly based U.N. force. Only the United States could commit troops in any numbers immediately, these from occupation forces in Japan. Nor were North Korean authorities, who anticipated a quick victory, expected to submit to U.N. political pressure. Rather, the United States sought the moral support of the United Nations and the authority to identify resistance to the North Korean venture with U.N. purposes.
Resolutions adopted by the U.N. Security Council on 25 and 27 June 1950, worded almost exactly as American representatives offered them, gave the sanction and support desired.
For the next two days the 11th and 13th ROK regiments would fight valiantly at the Imjin in a vain attempt to hold back nearly two full NKPA divisions, whose attack was led by a battalion of T34 Russian tanks. [note]
|Date of Loss:||500627|
|Circumstances of Loss:||Shot up over Korea, landed safely at Fukuoka|
During South Korean evacuation of Suwŏn Airfield, a 37mm anti-tank gun is hauled out of the area for repairs, by a weapons carrier. International News Photos. [note]
1950/06/27 - Tuesday, 2nd UN meeting approved use of ground troops; Truman ordered the 7th Fleet to the Taiwan Strait to protect Formosa. - 11 days later, a 3rd meeting authorized a UN command under Gen. Douglas MacArthur - 15 nations would contribute 40,000 troops, plus 300,000 from the U.S. and 500,000 from ROK [note]
A patrol of F80C Shooting Stars from the 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron intercepted eight Ilyushin IL10 fighters over Kimp'o. Captain Raymond E. Schillereff and Lieutenant Robert H. Dewald each scored single victories while Lieutenant Robert E. Wayne claimed a pair IL10s. These were the first air-to-air victories achieved by jet fighters in US Air Force history. [note]
"Flying a F82G Twin Mustang in a defensive mission over Kimp'o Airfield, Lieutenant William G. ""Skeeter"" Hudson, 68th Fighter (All-Weather) Squadron, destroyed a Yak7U fighter and was officially credited with the first aerial victory of the Korean War. Lieutenant Carl Fraser occupied the second cockpit as copilot." [note]
President Truman ordered US air and sea forces to support the Republic of Korea. The UN Security Council called on member nations to aid in repelling aggression in Korea. The US 7th Fleet was ordered to the Straits of Formosa to counter a possible invasion of Taiwan. [note]
The president announced that he had ordered sea and air forces in the Far East to give support and cover to Republic of Korea forces and had ordered the Seventh Fleet to take steps to prevent an invasion of Formosa.
In a night meeting the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling upon all its members to assist the Republic of Korea in repelling the armed attack on its territory. [note]
On June 27th, the United Nations Security Council met again and passed another resolution. In this one, after noting the events, and particularly the failure of the North Korean authorities to desist from the attack and withdraw their military forces to the 38th Parallel, the Security Council concluded that "urgent military measures are required to restore international peace and security," and recommended "that the members of the United Nations furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack."
Thus, step by hesitant step, the United States went to war against Communism in Asia. I could not help being amazed at the manner in which this great decision was being made. With no submission to Congress, whose duty it is to declare war, and without even consulting the field commander involved, the members of the executive branch of the government agreed to enter the Korean War. All the risks inherent in this decisionincluding the possibility of Chinese and Russian involvement applied then just as much as they applied later.
My immediate problems were pressing ones. Would United States air and naval forces be enough? Could the South Korean defenders, supported by these forces and supplied with armor, make a successful stand against the powerful war machine that was rolling down upon them from the north? Or would United States ground troops have to be thrown into the battle after all South Korea was lost? In past wars there was only one way for me to learn such things. There was only one way now. I decided to go to Korea and see for myself. [note]
|1||Dewald, Robert||1LT||Air Force||35 Sq||F80||IL 10||1|
|2||Hudson, WIlliam||1LT||Air Force||68 Sq||F82||YAK 11||1|
|3||Little, James||Maj||Air Force||339 Sq||F82||LA 7||1|
|4||Moran, Charles||1LT||Air Force||68 Sq||F82||LA 7||1|
|5||Schillereff, Raymond||Cpt||Air Force||35 Sq||F80||IL 10||1|
|6||Wayne, Robert||1Lt||Air Force||35 Sq||F80||IL 10||2|
The failure of the N.K. 2nd Division to capture Ch'unch'ŏn the first day, as ordered, caused the N.K. II Corps to change the attack plans of the N.K. 7th Division. This division had started from the Inje area, 30 miles farther east, for Hongch'ŏn, an important town southeast of Ch'unch'ŏn. The II Corps now diverted it to Ch'unch'ŏn, which it reached on the evening of 26 June. There the 7th Division immediately joined its forces with the 2nd Division in the battle for the city. 
Apparently there were no enemy tanks in the Ch'unch'ŏn battle until the 7th Division arrived
The battle continued through the third day, 27 June. [note]
On 27 June, Far Eastern time, therefore, General MacArthur had authorization to intervene in Korea with air and naval forces. [04-9]
During the night of 27 June the United Nations Security Council passed a second momentous resolution Resolution 83 calling upon member nations to give military aid to South Korea in repelling the North Korean attack. After a statement on the act of aggression and the fruitless efforts of the United Nations to halt it, the Security Council resolution ended with these fateful words:
"Recommends that the Members of the United Nations furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security in the area." [04-10]
Thus, events on the international stage by the third day of the invasion had progressed swiftly to the point where the United States had authorized its commander in the Far East to use air and naval forces below the 38th Parallel to help repel the aggression and the United Nations had called upon its member nations to help repel the attack. The North Koreans were now in Sŏul.
Evacuation of U.S. Nationals From Korea
From the moment United States KMAG officers in Korea and responsible officers in General MacArthur's Far East Command headquarters accepted the North Korean attack across the Parallel as an act of full-scale war, it became imperative for them to evacuate American women and children and other nonmilitary persons from Korea. [note]
On 27 June the evacuation of American and other foreign nationals continued from Kimp'o and Suwŏn Airfields at an increased pace.
During the morning 3 North Korean planes fired on four American fighters covering the air evacuation and, in the ensuing engagement, the U.S. fighters shot down all 3 enemy planes near Inch'ŏn.
Later in the day, American fighter planes shot down 4 more North Korean YAK-3 planes in the Inch'ŏn-Sŏul area.
Colonel Wright reached the decision, with Ambassador Muccio's approval, to evacuate all KMAG personnel from Korea except thirty-three that Colonel Wright selected to remain with the ROK Army headquarters. Most of the KMAG group departed Suwŏn by air on the27th.
Strangely enough, the last evacuation plane arriving at Kimp'o that evening from Japan brought four correspondents from Tokyo:
They joined a KMAG group that returned to Sŏul.
President Truman issues a press release, that announces our involvement in Korea, and that we will provide support to the Philippines, and the French in Vietnam. [note]
When the North Koreans continued to advance, the Security Council passed a resolution [Resolution 83] on 27 June urging U.N. members to provide military assistance to South Korea. President Truman quickly ordered General MacArthur to send air and naval forces to aid the ROK troops and when these proved insufficient to halt the fast moving Communist battle forces, the President instructed MacArthur to commit U.S. ground units, too
Since other members of the United Nations indicated that they intended to send contingents to Korea, the U.N. Security Council asked the United States to form a unified command and appoint a commander. President Truman accepted the responsibility of American leadership and named MacArthur as the first U.N. commander. MacArthur would receive his instructions through the Army Chief of Staff, acting as executive agent for the joint Chiefs of Staff
Although the United Nations sought to bolster the South Korean cause, the war proceeded at a disastrous pace. Taking full advantage of surprise and superior troops, the North Korean Army overran the ROK defenses at the 38th Parallel and reached Sŏul in four days. The South Korean forces fell back, broken and disorganized. To slow down the victorious advance of the North Koreans, General MacArthur was forced to commit his major ground units on a piecemeal basis and trade space for time. Finally, the U.S. and ROK defensive lines were driven back to a narrow perimeter around the port of Pusan in the southeastern corner of the peninsula.
As the battle lines stabilized along the Pusan Perimeter, the initial advantage of the North Koreans passed. They had counted upon overwhelming ROK resistance and securing control of all of South Korea before American aid could become effective. The extension of the conflict exposed their own weaknesses. Their longer lines of supply and communication became more vulnerable to U.N. air attack and their small navy was destroyed by the U.S. naval forces which imposed a blockade on the Korean coast. With the arrival of U.S. reinforcements and the reorganization of ROK troops into effective combat units, MacArthur was able to plan a counterattack.
Leaving Walker to carry out a coordinated ground attack upon the perimeter, MacArthur organized a separate corps, the U.S. X, for an amphibious assault behind the North Korean lines. [note]
A redline from General Vandenberg[31-A "redline" was the designation given certain very important messages for prompt and special handling. By then-current Air Force regulations, the Secretary of the Air Force, the Under Secretary, the Chief of Staff, USAF, and certain other individuals as spelled out in the regulations were the only persons authorized to send or receive redline messages. As Chief of Staff, Gen Hoyt S. Vandenberg was authorized to send this redline. (Woodford A. Heflin-editor, The United States Air Force Dictionary [Maxwell AFB, Ala., 1956], p 431.) General Vandenberg held many important positions during World War II, including that of Chief of Staff, 12AF; Chief of Staff, North African Strategic Air Forces; Deputy Chief of Staff, Headquarters AAF; Deputy Commander in Chief, Allied Expeditionary Air Force; and Commander, 9AF. After the war, he was Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Operations, Commitments, and Requirements, then held several intelligence assignments. Between September 1947 and April 1948, he was Air Force vice chief of staff. On April 30, 1948, Vandenberg became Chief of Staff, USAF.] requested further data as to why our F-82 pilot avoided combat over Inchon yesterday. This message was answered about 0820 stating that the pilots were operating under normal instructions, but that these instructions have now been amended.
There seemed to be a lot of pressure to secure an answer to the Vandenberg redline, but it was most difficult to secure any additional data other than that which had already been submitted.
(Page as per General Partridge missing from his diary.)
He mentioned the fact that the British Commonwealth Overseas Forces
[BCOF] were not available for employment against the North Koreans.
I had scarcely returned to my office from this conference when I was again called to the Dai Ichi Building for a teleconference with Washington. Present were Generals MacArthur, Almond, Hickey, Beiderlinden, Willoughby, Wright and Eberle, and Admiral Joy. Colonel Fortier was also there.[32-Maj Gen Doyle O. Hickey, Deputy Chief of Staff, FEC; Brig Gen William A. Beiderlinden, FEC G-1. Col L. J. Fortier was on the FEC intelligence staff.]
The teleconference directed a major reversal of policy on the part of the US government. CINCFE [Commander-in-Chief, Far East] was directed to employ such naval and AF [air forces] as were at his disposal to bolster the SK [South Korean] forces and restore the territorial integrity of that nation. Seventh Fleet was given the task of establishing Formosa as a neutral island, preventing attacks from the mainland and vice versa. There were other pertinent details, particularly those regarding public relations. CINCFE was adamant that the successful operation in Korea depended largely on the restitution of the spirits of the Korean Army and the people, and, for that reason he urged that Washington immediately announce the provisions of the decision. Washington hedged and intimated that
12 hours would elapse before the announcement was made.
CINCFE turned to me and directed immediate action, but, at the same time he warned that it would be necessary for FEAF to be prepared to continue the air defense of Japan against the attacks of the Russian AF.
He directed that a message be sent to British Commonwealth Overseas Forces stating that our instructions included action by US forces only, and that no operations outside Japan are contemplated for BCOF units. CINCFE said that he had received a message from Chennault regarding the use of his transports and if we needed those transports we should ask GHQ to secure them. Concurrently, it was announced that PavnAm and Northwest Airlines would be used to evacuate dependents and non-combatants (civilians) to the U.S.[33-As FEAF's, or for that matter, the entire Air Force's, airlift capability was seriously understrength at this time (the Military Air Transport Service had only 597 aircraft in 1950), it was necessary to use commercial carriers for non- essential work such as this. (Dick J. Burkard, MAC Historical Handbook, 1941-1984 [Scott AFB, Ill.,1984], p 95.)] It was announced that 682 people were aboard the M⁄S Reinholt . CINCFE agreed that General Church should proceed to Suwon under air cover. His survey group is now being changed to a command group and will provide the advanced echelon for GHQ headquarters. CINCFE has assumed operational control of KMAG and General Church is to be the directing commander on the spot.
The move of the 19th Bomb Group to Okinawa was approved by General
MacArthur and he stated flatly that it sounded like a good idea.[34-The 19th BG moved 22 four-engine Bâ29 medium bombers from Guam to Kadena Air Base immediately upon receipt of orders.]
CINCFE stated his firm belief that the third night following 27 June will be the critical one here in Japan. He feels that if there is an attack in the near future, it will be made on the night of Thursday or Friday of this week.
CINCFE decided that the strategy of air defense was a matter for the air commander to decide and directed that this authority be delegated to General Stratemeyer.
CINCFE then directed that following each air mission, a communiqué be prepared and sent to General MacArthur's headquarters for issuance. The general was almost jubilant at the end of the conference.
He outlined the far-reaching results which will be achieved if the air effort can be made effective tonight and tomorrow. He stressed again and again the necessity of hitting the North Korean forces in the next 36 hours with every resource at our disposal, carrying the action through the night if this is possible. He expressed the firm conviction that vigorous action by the FAF would result in driving the North Korean forces back into their territory in disorder.
Upon return from the teleconference, I briefed General Stratemeyer and thereafter visited Intelligence and Operations in order to set up a better system of reporting for the operations that are to be conducted. Not long afterwards I was called again to GHQ to sit in on the final staff conference on FEC's field order. There were no new major items covered during this talk. Following the conference I again briefed General Stratemeyer on the plan.
The evening was spent in endeavoring to ascertain what action had been taken during the past 24 hours and in the preparation of an "Air Intent" for the following period.[35-An Air Intent Notice was a summary of proposed air actions that were to take place within the next few days.]
During the course of the evening, General Almond called to give me a very rough time indeed regarding the failure of the AF to drop a single bomb in Korea yesterday. During the course of the teleconference, I had been so incautious as to predict that we would have a B-26 mission operating against the North Korean forces before dark. This mission did come off, but smaller than had [been] anticipated because most of the B-26 aircraft were engaged in escort activities. The small force of five airplanes which finally took off were aborted due to bad weather; in addition to that, the strikes that were scheduled to continue through the night were scattered because of the bad weather.
General Almond took a dim view of the entire proceeding and said so in no uncertain terms, particularly when he discovered that the forecast for this morning's weather was bad. He repeated again and again that in order to save the South Korean forces and their government from collapse, it is mandatory that we take some visible action in support. He wanted bombs put on the ground in that narrow corridor between the 38th [Parallel] and Seoul, employing any means and without any accuracy. Following my extended conversation with General Almond, I called Timberlake and Al Kincaid and did my best to convey the urgency of the situation and to spur them on to a full-out effort. Both were most cooperative and understanding.
Following the staff meeting, I briefed General Stratemeyer on the proposed operations for the day and endeavored to secure additional information on the actual progress of events.
At ten o'clock General Crabb and I were called to General Almond's office and discussed with him not only the current plan of operations, but the mechanical method by which we would brief him and he in turn was to brief General MacArthur.
We returned from this conference barely in time to improvise a new map and return for the Chief of Staff's conference at 1130; briefings by Admiral Morehouse.[36-Rear Adm. Albert K. Morehouse, chief of staff to Adm Joy.] General Crabb brought the people present up-to-date on past events and current contentions.
General Almond made a considerable point of insisting that the Joint Information Center which is being set up on the sixth floor of the Dai Ichi building must be used for the Joint Staff. It was pointed out to him by several people there it would be impossible to operate in this manner, but he insisted that we try it and we supply the necessary liaison and intelligence officers to make the system function. FEAF's room is 619 and is at present entirely bare of all except the most meager furniture.
During the course of the conference, I made arrangements thru General
Hickey to insure that the AF might use in Korea such elements of the anti-aircraft artillery units now under our operational control as may be necessary to insure some security for our advanced bases such as Suwon. Initially, there had been considerable opposition to this project because the directive issued by CINCFE precludes the use of Army troops in support of the SK forces.[37-Though the fighters and radars were part of the Air Force, the third part of the air defense team, the antiaircraft artillery (AAA), belonged to the Army. This separation had been a bone of contention between the two services for many years. With the exception of those AAA units belonging to divisions, 5AF exercised operational control over all other AAA units. But at this early stage of the war, before permission was given MacArthur to use Army troops in Korea, he was understandably reluctant to authorize the use of any Army forces in that country. (Futrell, p 430: FEAF Mission Directive, July 12, 1950, Annex 4 of FEAF Opns Hist., 25 Jun-31 Oct 50, Vol. I.)]
General Willoughby announced with great pride that he had produced the war's first propaganda pamphlet and provided each man present with a sample.
During the course of the afternoon, arrangements were made with Major
Story[38-Lt Col Anthony F. Story, MacArthurs personal pilot.] to provide for a flight by the Bataan to Suwon; aboard will be
CINCFE.[39-MacArthurs personal aircraft was a C54 named Bataan.] General Stratemeyer will accompany the party and they expect to be gone approximately two (2) days. In order to insure the completeness of the arrangements, I appointed Lieutenant Evans[40-First Lt William J. Evans, Partridges aide-de-camp. This type of training apparently did prove invaluable, for Evans retired from the Air Force in 1978 as a full general.] as project officer for FEAF and sent him to Itazuke and thence to Suwon. In this way he becomes my official liaison officer and he will, incidentally, secure a reading on the "folks" at Suwon. This will provide me with some additional second-hand information on the field and will, at the same time, give Evans training which will later prove invaluable to him. The flow of information has improved considerably this date. We are still hours behind on events in the FAF and almost entirely without information on those of the Thirteenth. I also had a long conversation regarding the positive information reaching this headquarters. He (Timberlake) assured me that the details were being supplied and after perusal of our daily intelligence, I'm inclined to believe him. Of all the confusion I've observed in wartime, that produced in Ops [Operations] Intelligence wins the prize. They are operating in a temporary establishment pending the completion of their Ops Room and are completely disorganized with respect to each other and to the remainder of the hqrs. This must be corrected.
After endeavoring all night to find enough information so that Col. Van Meter[41-Lt Col Samuel N. Van Meter, acting PIO for FEAF.] could issue a public relations release, I abandoned the project at one o'clock in the morning and went to bed.
Arrived Haneda 1120 hours.[43-Haneda is located in the southern part of Tokyo on Tokyo Bay.] Immediately assumed command and was briefed on events to date by General Partridge. Since it was apparent that South Korea needed more than support and supplies from the Air Force, the President commits the United States toward assuring the political integrity of South Korea and decrees such support entails tactical methods. (At the same time the President brought Formosa into the defense orbit.)[44-On this day, President Truman ordered the Seventh Fleet to take what actions and dispositions were necessary to prevent a Communist attack on the island of Formosa. At the same time, he strongly urged Chiang Kai-shek to discontinue his attacks on the Communist forces on the China mainland and in neighboring waters. The Seventh Fleet was also to make sure this advice was followed. (See relevant materials in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1950, Vol. VII [Washington, 1976], pp 179-180, 187-188, 201-203.)] Airlift progressing; evacuees taken out by airplane and sea. Reconnaissance and actual combat proving that North Koreans supported by Yak3s, Yak5s, and some Il10s. FEAF handicapped in this shooting war by not being per- mitted to cross the 38th Parallel to destroy enemy at its source of stag- ing. Seventh Fleet, under Vice Admiral Struble 45, participating.
A provisional fighter unit hurried into Taegu after a brief formative period in Japan. The Fifth Air Force established Detachment 1 of the 36th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Itazuke on 27 June, equipped the detachment-better known by its code name of BOUT-ONE - with F-51's, and moved it to Taegu. At the same time the Thirteenth Air Force was forming another F-51 squadron, utilizing the personnel of the 12th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. This so-called DALLAS squadron left Clark on 10 July, was flown to Johnson where it picked up F-51's, and by 15 July it had flown its first missions in combat. These two provisional units were combined at Taegu on 10 July as the 51st Fighter Squadron, Single Engine (Provisional). [note]
On June 27, the United Nations Security Council approved a resolution which recommended that U.N. member nations provide assistance to the Republic of Korea in repelling the armed attack against its territory. Three days later, President Truman authorized U.S. aerial forces to attack military targets inside North Korea.
The influx of so many aircraft into Korea to defend against the Communist attack required the rapid construction of additional military bases. [note]
With the outbreak of Korean hostilities, responsibility for providing weather services to the USAF and to U. N. ground units fell upon the 2143rd Air Weather Wing, the major unit of MATS Air Weather Service in the Pacific. The 2143rd Wing consisted of three ground weather squadrons,
the 20th in Japan,
the 15th in the area of the Philippines, Okinawa, and Guam, and
the 31st in the Hawaiian and Marshall Islands;
the wing also possessed two aerial weather reconnaissance squadrons, the 512th in Japan and the 514th on Guam. The latter was primarily concerned with flying synoptic reconnaissance and typhoon missions. Additional weather data was obtained from stations of the Japanese national weather service and from the Ryukyuan weather service.
Although the importance of weather in military operations has been increasingly played down as the all-weather potentialities of the armed services have been emphasized, weather remained a major factor in planning and operations in Korea. A multitude of factors increased the need for better weather prediction services:
- jet aircraft operations require higher altitude forecasting and more accurate, better time interval forecasts;
- pattern bombing by medium bombers requires good weather and some Korean targets were physically unsuitable for radar bombing;
- the dependence of the ground forces for air support in Korea made ceiling and visibility information important;
- and finally, long-range flights of all planes required accurate and extended wind, route, target, and terminal forecasts.
The Air Weather Service was also called upon to provide terminal forecasts to ground force units operating in Korea.
On 27 June the first weather detachment was airlifted with a package weather station to the landing strip at Taegu. After this, weather units were among the first organizations to move into new Korean bases and among the last to move out. With the exception of heavy vehicles, the 20th Weather Squadron generally moved its detachments by air transport, normally using the squadron's C-47for the purpose. [note]
On the morning of June 26, 1950, the USAF's 68th Fighter Squadron sent four F-82G aircraft from Itazuke Air Base in Japan to provide aerial cover for two Norwegian ships which were being loaded with civilians evacuating Sŏul. While covering a motor convoy of civilians on the Sŏul-Inch'ŏn road, two of the F-82s were attacked by two Russian-made LA-7 fighters, presumably flown by North Korean pilots. [probably 2 LA-9's] Rather than endanger the civilians below, the two F-82s pulled up into the clouds instead of engaging the LA-7s. The next day, two YAKs attacked the early morning USAF flight.
This time, however, the four F-82s accepted the challenge and shot down both YAKs. The first victorious F-82, piloted by Lt. William G. Hudson and carrying Lt. Carl Fraser as Radar Operator, claimed its YAK over Kimp'o Airfield in full view of those on the ground. During the time Hudson was firing at the YAK, Fraser was attempting to photograph the action with a malfunctioning 35mm camera. While this was taking place, Lt. Charles Moran shot down the second YAK, although the tail of his F-82 was damaged by machine-gun fire from the North Korean airplane during the engagement. [note]
The 49th Fighter-Bomber Group had also been divided by squadron maneuvers, with the 9th Squadron at Komaki (Nagoya) and the 8th Squadron at Yokota; pilots and minimum ground crews of the 9th flew to Itazuke on 27 June, while minimum echelons of the 8th Squadron reached this base on 29 June.
Before the Korean war was many months old the United States began to know some of the many problems inherent in its role as the executive agent of the United Nations. During the first several months of hostilities the only official guidance given by the United Nations to operations in Korea was the Security Council resolution of 27 June, which recommended that member nations "furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the invasion and restore international peace and security within the area. Whether this resolution authorized United Nations forces to enter and liberate North Korea was uncertain. [note]
High on the list of factors to be considered in any estimate of a combat situation is an analysis of the area of military operations. Human and natural geography dictate the manner in which ground forces will fight their battles. Weather and climate are determinants of air operations. Although the Air Force had taken strides toward all-weather capabilities, target and terminal weather would continue to be a major-operation consideration in Korea.
As early as 27 June FEAF air planners were predicting that the Korean peninsula was going to be an inhospitable site for any sort of armed conflict.#86
The peninsula of Korea thrusts down toward Japan, like an arm joined to the shoulder of Asia. It is bounded on the north by the winding Yalu and Tumen rivers which separate it from Manchuria and Siberia, on the east by the Sea of Japan, on the south by the Korea Strait, and on the west by the Yellow Sea and Korea Bay. In shape, Korea resembles Florida, and its area (85,000 square miles) approximates that of the state of Minnesota. Korea's greatest length is about 575 miles. It is narrowest at a line projecting eastward from the city of Sinanju: at this "neck of Korea" the peninsula is about 95 miles wide. South of Sŏul the average width of the peninsula is about 150 miles. On the surface of the globe Korea is at the center of a triangle formed by China, Russia, and Japan. The capital city of Sŏul, which is approximately midway along the peninsula, lies 240 miles from the tip of China's Shantung peninsula, 340 miles from the Japanese island of Kyushu, 730 miles from Tokyo, and 800 miles from Okinawa.#87
Plans, Preparations 63
One of the first things that airmen observed was that Korea was a land of mountains and gorges, deep ravines and narrow valleys, mud flats, marshes, and rice paddies. In the north jagged mountain peaks reach 9,000-foot elevations. A wall of mountains-the North and South Taebaek ranges-rises abruptly from the east coast and reaches crests of 5,000 to 6,000 feet at an average distance of ten miles inland. Spurs from these mountains radiate to the west and southwest and cover nearly all of Korea. River systems are patterned by the mountainous terrain. Streams of any size flow west or southwest from the western slopes of the main east-coast ranges. From north to south these major rivers are: the Yalu, which separates Korea from Manchuria; the Ch'ongch'on, which débouché into the Korea Bay near Sinanju; the Han, on which Sŏul is located; the Kum, north of Taejŏn; and the wandering Naktong, which flows west and south around the town of Taegu and then east to empty into the Korea Strait near Pusan. From the air the gray-green ridges and valleys of Korea are so little distinguished from each other as to make target identification extremely difficult.
The topography of Korea, its age-old ties with China, and the Japanese occupation, all gave precedence to the development of Korea's west coast communications lines. The few good highways follow the axis Pusan-Taegu-Sŏul-Kaesŏng-P'yŏngyang-Sinuiju. Aside from corridor routes from Sŏul and P'yŏngyang to the Wŏnsan-Hungnam area on the eastern coast, Korea's lateral communications are, for the most part, little better than mountain trails. The backbone of Korea's over-land transportation system was its railroads-some 3,500 miles of standard-gauge lines which had been built by the Japanese.
A main rail line originates at Pusan and runs northward through Taegu, Taejŏn, Sŏul, and P'yŏngyang to cross the Yalu at Sinuiju. Lateral spurs leave this main line at Ch'ŏnan and Taejŏn for the southwest coast and then circle back eastward along the south coast at Pusan. Two other rail lines run diagonally across Korea from Sŏul and P'yŏngyang to Wŏnsan and Hungnam. On the eastern coast a rail line from the Vladivostok area in Siberia crosses the Tumen River and follows the narrow coastal flats to a point southwest of Samch'ŏk, where it terminates. The railways were well constructed. Their substructures were heavily ballasted and most bridges were of modern construction. Both railways and roads followed the courses of rivers and valleys: the road commonly topped the ridges, but the railroads tunneled through them. These tunnels promised refuge to trains and vehicles, and the surrounding hills and mountains would provide excellent platforms for gun and warning positions. Any cross-country movement would be difficult because of the prevailing rice culture, especially on the western slopes, where paddies lay next to the communications routes and were terraced as high as 5,000 feet up the mountains.
Neither North nor South Korea had many good seaports. Pusan, at the southeast tip of the peninsula, is the best port in the country. The west coast has extensive mud flats and extremely high tides. Inch'ŏn, the port for Sŏul, has a 27-foot tide, and its basic capacity depended upon a tidal basin which could serve only small vessels. Secondary west-coast ports-Kunsan, Yŏsu, Mokp'o, and Chinnamp'o-had been developed primarily to serve fishing and agricultural interests. The ports at Wŏnsan and Hŭngnam, on the north-eastern coast, held significance for supporting military operations in the hinterland of these two cities.
64 U.S. Air Force in Korea
Ground Control Approach Units like this one track aircraft and assist pilots making instrument landings in bad weather
Plans, Preparations 65
In South Korea the Japanese had built more than ten military airfields, but the South Koreans, having only a token air force, had kept few of these fields in use. Kimp'o and Suwŏn were the only airfields suited for high-performance aircraft. Kimp'o had been improved during the American occupation and was the most modern airfield in Korea. Suwŏn had a 4,900-foot concrete runway and adjacent air facilities. The next best airfield in South Korea was at Pusan: this air-field's runway was 4,930 feet long, but it was built of a concrete wash on four inches of rubble. On the eastern coast of Korea, near the fishing village of P'ohang, was a 5,000-foot runway similar to that at Pusan. Here the surrounding areas were better drained, and satisfactory for building taxiways and additional facilities, but the strip could not be significantly lengthened because of declines at each end. At Taegu the ROKAF had been making some use of a 3,800-foot clay-and gravel runway and a few other facilities. In addition to these airfields there were short sod strips at Sach'ŏn, Taejŏn, P'yŏngt'aek, Kwangju, Kunsan, and Chinhae.#88
The existing airfields in southern Korea generally occupied the most acceptable sites, but none of them could meet American criteria, even for limited air operations.
Existing maps and charts which revealed the topographic features and
human improvements of Korea were more accurate than those which are available for many parts of the world. Most Korean maps were based upon the Japanese Imperial Land Survey, which had established an abnormally dense geodetic control upon the peninsula. Aerial maps and charts for South Korea were based upon aerial-mapping photography and were for the most part accurate. North of the 38th parallel, however, little aerial mapping had been possible before June 1950, with the result that the ground maps and aeronautical charts covering North Korea were often inaccurate. Site errors of up to 500 feet were common, errors of up to 1,000 feet were not uncommon, and one instance was found where a map feature was one-half mile off from its actual geodetic location.#89 [note]
|F-80 Shooting Star||F-51 Mustang|
The officers who were planning FEAF's war deployment meant to use every F-80C jet fighter which could he spared from defensive purposes, but they also recognized that the Fifth Air Force would need to employ every conventional F-51 Mustang it could secure. Everyone seemed to like the way the jet fighters were performing, but the planners recognized that the Mustangs had a longer range and could operate from shorter and rougher airfields.
General MacArthur had given ten Mustangs to the Republic of Korea. and a detachment of the 36th Fighter-Bomber Squadron was training ROK pilots at Itazuke.
Thirty more Mustangs were being withdrawn from theater storage and prepared for combat, and the FEAF planners recommended that these Mustangs be used to equip a provisional fighter squadron, which could operate from Iwakuni until such time as accommodations were prepared in Korea.#100
General Stratemeyer approved this plan. [note]
General Timberlake was puzzled by the lack of Army and Air Force planning manifest in the sudden movement of American troops to Korea, but he correctly surmised that the Fifth Air Force would be required to provide support for the American ground troops. In Tokyo General Partridge also assumed that the Fifth Air Force would have to serve the role of a tactical air force in Korea.
As late as April 1950, during the FEC command post exercise, Generals 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. Somewhat later, after touring Korea as a representative of the U.S. Army Field Forces, Brig. Gen. Gerald J. Higgins, Director of the Army's Air Support Center, would think it
"highly significant that the Commanding General, Fifth Air Force, was apparently the first individual in the theater to recognize, and take steps to implement, the necessity of coordination of the efforts of the air and ground troops. #4
[They Navy was in the process of training the Army in CAS? (not mentioned here)]
The intimate degree of air and ground cooperation which had spelled victory in World War II had been born of teamwork between air and ground commanders-Coningham and Alexander in North Africa, Quesada and Hodges in France, and Weyland and Patton in Germany-who lived together in adjacent headquarters and employed their forces in a common war against the Nazi enemy. On 27 June General Timberlake had already established an advanced echelon of Fifth Air Force headquarters at Itazuke, and on 2 July the Fifth Air Force's director of operations and his staff went down to this airfield in southern Japan, completing the manning of the advanced echelon.#5
From Tokyo General Partridge sent word that he wanted the advanced echelon of Fifth Air Force headquarters to move to Pusan and become operational not later than 8 July,#6 [note]
At the same time as the men of the Shooting Star squadrons were exploring the tactical capabilities of their jet fighters, Generals Partridge and Timberlake recognized that they needed to operate as many conventional F-51 Mustangs from Korean bases as could be supported over there. The only airfield that could be used without extensive rehabilitation was five miles northeast of the city of Taegu.
Early in July Taegu Airfield had little to offer:
- a sod-and-gravel runway which was full of pot holes,
- two concrete buildings, and a
- wooden mess hall which the Japanese had built.
As it alone was ready for immediate occupancy, Taegu Airfield (or "K-2," as it was soon designated) became the destination of the "Bout-One" project, the composite unit of American and South Korean airmen which the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing had organized on 27 June. General Partridge had feared that the Korean pilots might not be able to fly the ten Mustangs which he provided, and he had gotten permission to assign nine USAF instructor pilots to the project. [note]
On 27 June the 20th Weather Squadron airlifted its first station weather detachment with portable weather equipment to the airfield at Taegu. After this weather detachments were among the first organizations to move into new Korean airfields and among the last to move out. Because of the demands in Korea, the 20th Squadron expanded the number of its regular detachments from 13 at the war's start to 32 in November 1950. [note]
On land the NKPA columns advanced almost at will during the first 4 days. Nearly a hundred tanks and as many planes were employed by the two main columns advancing on Sŏul, and on 27 June 1950 the ROK seat of government was removed to Taejŏn while Far East Air Force planes were evacuating United States citizens.
ROK fugitives, winding southward in an endless stream of humanity, choked every road and multiplied the difficulties of the defense. To add to their misery, one of the bridges across the river Han was blown prematurely when masses of Koreans were crossing.
The fall of Sŏul on the 28th ended the first stage of the offensive as the NKPA forces halted for regrouping. Ch'unch'ŏn had surrendered in east-central Korea, so that the invaders held a ragged line stretching from Chumunjin on the east coast through Ch'unch'ŏn, Kap'yŏng and Sŏul to the port of Inch'ŏn on the west coast.
The beaten and in some instances shattered ROK forces were meanwhile falling back through Suwŏn in the hope of establishing new positions of defense.
A strategy of delaying actions was the only course open to General MacArthur for the time being. One of his first decisions led to the establishment on 27 June of the GHQ Advanced Command Group at Suwŏn under the command of Brigadier General John H. Church, USA. This group had as its primary mission the reorganization of the demoralized ROK forces, which were already reporting thousands of men missing in action. Secondary missions were to keep Tokyo informed as to military developments and expedite the delivery of supplies. As early as 27 June, 119 tons of emergency supplies had been sent to Korea by air, and an additional 5,600 tons were being loaded on ships in Japan.
American naval and air forces lost no time at getting into action after President Truman's authorization. United States Naval Forces in the Far East, under the command of Vice Admiral C. Turner Joy, had as their principal element the Seventh Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Arthur D. Struble. Its tactical organization, Task Force 77, immediately clamped down a blockade on the Korean coast after wiping out enemy naval opposition. Other warships of the Seventh Fleet were meanwhile blockading Formosa to guard against the possibility of Chinese Communist intervention by means of an attack on the last Nationalist stronghold.
The United States Far East Air Forces, commanded by Lieutenant General George E. Stratemeyer, USAF, consisted of eight and a half combat groups responsible for the defense of Japan, Okinawa, Guam and the Philippines. Primary missions assigned to the fighter and bomber squadrons were the elimination of NKPA air opposition and the retarding of enemy ground forces by means of interdictory air strikes on bases and supply routes.
Geography being a first cousin of strategy, maps of Korea were almost literally worth their weight in diamonds both in Tokyo and at the Pentagon. For that matter, they were nearly as rare as diamonds, and it became necessary in many instances to work with outdated Japanese maps.
On the map of Asia the Korean peninsula resembles a thumb dipping down into the Yellow and Japan seas. For centuries it has been the sore thumb of Asiatic power politics, so that trouble in Korea resulted in a twinge being felt in the capitals of Europe. But small as Korea appears on the map, it is actually about 575 miles in lengtha peninsula resembling Florida in shape but having about the area of Minnesota.
Variations in climate are comparable to the gradient from Maine to Georgia along the Atlantic seaboard of the United States. Extremes ranging from summer weather of 105° F. to winter temperatures of 40° below zero have been recorded. A monsoon season of floods is to be expected in July and August, followed by a period when typhoons are a possibility. Altogether, it is a climate which can contribute no little to the difficulties of a mechanized invader.
It would be almost an understatement to say that Korea is mountainous. Few areas of the earths surface are so consistently rugged. Bleak cliffs seem to thrust themselves dripping out of the sea on the East Korean littoral.
Littoral refers to the coast of an ocean or sea, or to the banks of a river, lake or estuary. It is usually used as an adjective, but may also be used as a noun. The littoral zone is defined as the area between the high water and low water marks. The word is derived from the Italian litorale.
The peaks become higher and more perpendicular as they march inland, until altitudes of 9,000 feet are reached.
The principal chain of mountains extends from the Yalu in the north along the east coast to the Pusan area. Just south of the 38th parallel a spur branches off diagonally to southwest Korea in the region of Mokpu. The remainder of the peninsula consists largely of smaller ranges and foothills.
The few broad valleys are found chiefly on the west coast, which has a good many indentations and estuaries. Here also are most of Koreas large rivers, flowing west and south. Of little aid to navigation, these streams are broad and deep enough to hamper military operations; and in the monsoon season, floods become a menace.
As if the west coast were paying a penalty for being less mountainous, mud flats and islands hamper navigation. And here the tides are among the highest in the world, with an extreme range of about 30 feet existing at Inch'ŏn in contrast to unusually moderate tides along the east coast.
The west and south are the agricultural areas of Korea. Nothing is wasted by peasants who till every inch of the lowland flats, rice paddies, and terraced hills. Due to their back-breaking toil rather than many natural advantages, Korea was able to export as much as half of its two food staples, rice and fish, under the Japanese administration.
The population, estimated at 25,000,000 in 1945, increased both by immigration and a high birth rate during the next 5 years until as many as 29,000,000 inhabitants were claimed. Sŏul was a capital of a million and a half residents, and the two leading seaports, Pusan and Inch'ŏn, had not far from a quarter of a million each.
Modern office buildings, factories and street railways were found in combination with muddy streets and thatched huts on the outskirts.
A standard-gauge rail network, built largely by the Japanese, linked the principal cities and connected in the north with the Manchurian railways. The highway system was good for an Asiatic country but inadequate for the purpose of an invader on wheels and tracks. Hard-surfaced roads were few and far between, and the ordinary earth roads were churned into bogs during the monsoon season. Air transportation was limited to only a few large airfields and emergency landing facilities.
Altogether, Korea promised to be a tough nut to crack, when it came to geography, for the officers poring over maps in Tokyo.
The United States ground forces in the Far East comprised the understrength 7th, 24th, and 25th Infantry Divisions and the 1st Cavalry (dismounted) Division of the Eighth United States Army, which had been stationed in Japan since the end of World War II. These divisions had only about 70 percent of their personnel, the regiments being limited to two battalions.
The explanation of these deficiencies goes back to the end of World War II. Popular clamor for the speedy discharge of the victorious United States forces had resulted in American military sinews becoming flabby during the next few years. Strenuous recruiting had been necessary to maintain the small army of occupation in Japan at part strength, and it was no secret that many of the men were attracted by the expectation of travel and light occupation duties. The possibility of battle had scarcely been anticipated when the invasion began, and combat readiness left a good deal to be desired. training on the company level had been good on the whole, but both officers and men were handicapped by the lack of maneuvers for units larger than a battalion.
Shortages in equipment were equally serious. There were not enough mortars, recoilless rifles and other weapons even if there had been enough maintenance parts and trained maintenance technicians. Most of the arms, moreover, consisted of worn World War II equipment which had seen its best days. Finally, the divisional armored units had been provided with light M24 tanks, instead of the heavier machines normally employed, because of the weak bridges in Japan.
It was, in brief, an unprepared and ill-equipped little army of occupation which represented the first line of United States defense in the Far East. [note]
At a second meeting, on 27 June, the Council proclaimed the NKPA attack a breach of world peace and asked member nations to assist the Republic of Korea in repelling the invasion.
For the first time in the war-racked 20th century, a group of nations banded together for peace had not only condemned an aggression but appealed to armed force to smite the aggressor. On the same day that the Security Council passed its historic resolution, the United States announced that it was giving immediate military aid to the Republic of Korea. President Truman, as commander in chief, ordered American naval and air forces into action. Fifty-two other members of the United Nations approved the recommendations of the Security Council. Their pledges of assistance included aircraft, naval vessels, medical supplies, field ambulances, foodstuffs and strategic materials.
Only 3 of the 56 nations responding to the Council were opposed to the majority decision. They were the Soviet Union and her two satellites, Poland and Czechoslovakia, which had been brought into the Communist orbit by compulsion after World War II. [note]
The reaction of the United Nations was prompt and decisive. On 27 June with Resolution 83, the UN Security Council denounced the NKPA attack as a breach of world peace and called upon member nations to aid the Republic of Korea. The United States and 52 other nations approved this resolution, which was opposed only by the Soviet Union and two of its satellites.
As the NKPA tanks entered Sŏul, just evacuated by American nationals, President Truman ordered American air and sea forces in the Far East to support the shattered ROK army. With the U.S. Seventh Fleet protecting Formosa, Task Force 77 bombed and bombarded points on the Korean coast. Far East Air Forces (FEAF), consisting of eight and a half combat groups commanded by Lieutenant General George E. Stratemeyer, USAF, flew interdictory strikes meanwhile from bases in Japan against NKPA supply lines.
Within a few days the NKPA air force, consisting of about 100 YAK-type planes, was driven from the skies except for occasional night raids. It would appear that a mountainous peninsula of few good roads would be a favorable area for strategic bombing, since our naval forces were denying the sea lanes to the enemy.
Yet the FEAF bombers could not prevent the aggressors from bringing up supplies at night by means of truck, animal, and human transport. The columns of invasion were doubtless hampered, but they continued to roll on southward in spite of interdictory strikes. [note]
As directed by CINCPACFLT, COMSEVENTHFLT
(VADM Struble) at Buckner Bay, Okinawa, reported for duty to CINCFE (GEN. Douglas MacArthur).
President Truman ordered Naval and Air Forces in Far East to support operations of South Korean Forces and directed Seventh Fleet to take steps to prevent an invasion of Formosa.
North Koreans captured Sŏul. [note]
With Supplies and troops on the move, and with gunnery ships converging on the Korean coast, it remained to reach inland by air. Air strikes could destroy the North Korean Air Force. Air strikes could harass the invading formations, interrupt their supply, and so help in the ground battle which was about to be joined. Air supremacy, indeed, seemed the key to modern war: without it victory was impossible; with it victory followed as the night the day. Its attainment was a matter of utmost urgency.
The Far East Air Forces had been committed, along with the Navy, to the support of the Korean Republic on 27 June; [note]
As early as 27 June an Advance Command Group under Brigadier General John H. Church, USA, had been established at Suwŏn, some 25 miles south of Sŏul, to help in reorganizing ROK forces and to expedite logistic assistance. But events soon demonstrated the optimism of this assignment, and on 30 June, with the arrival of the North Korean People's Army momentarily expected, this group was withdrawn to the southward. [note]
Lacking word from Admiral Joy as to the pattern of anticipated needs, and lacking also a subordinate Service Force commander in the forward area to coordinate requirements, the staff at Pearl Harbor undertook at once, by deduction and by intuition, an estimate of what was required. This work was expeditiously done. The estimate was ready by the night of 26-27 June in the form of a revised loading plan for USS Mount Katmai (AE-16), and was at once promulgated by dispatch for comment. [note]
0000 Korean Time
|6/26/50 9:00 AM||6/26/50 10:00 AM||6/26/50 3:00 PM||6/27/50 12:00 AM|
Midnight found the northern defenses of the city under small arms fire with armor rumbling toward the outskirts. [note]
0100 Korean Time
|6/26/50 10:00 AM||6/26/50 11:00 AM||6/26/50 4:00 PM||6/27/50 1:00 AM|
0200 Korean Time
|6/26/50 11:00 AM||6/26/50 12:00 PM||6/26/50 5:00 PM||6/27/50 2:00 AM|
0300 Korean Time
|6/26/50 12:00 PM||6/26/50 1:00 PM||6/26/50 6:00 PM||6/27/50 3:00 AM|
Empowered by a U. N. Security Council resolution of 25 June branding the North Korean regime as an aggressor, President Truman directed more positive action on the evening of 26 June. The Far East Command was to offer the fullest possible support to permit ROK forces to re-form their lines. Specifically, all restrictions previously preventing full use of FEAF to support and assist the defense of ROK territory were lifted as far north as the 38th parallel. Similarly, U. S. Naval forces could be used without restriction in coastal waters and sea approaches of Korea against forces found south of the 38th parallel. For good measure, the President ordered the Seventh Fleet to prevent any invasion of Formosa and insure at the same time that Formosa would not be used as a Chinese Nationalist base for attacks against the Chinese mainland.
0341 Korean Time
Immediately upon receipt of the presidential directive, FEAF struck at North Korean targets affecting the safety of American nationals in Korea, and at 0341 hours, 27 June, it sent a message to the Fifth Air Force ordering it to establish air superiority over South Korea and to prevent by aggressive action any North Korean interference with ROK troops or with U.S. evacuations . Later, on the 27th General MacArthur assumed formal command of all U.S. military activities in Korea, and GHQ FEC issued instructions designed to execute the President's orders. In addition to the outlined mission for FEAF and NAVFE, the Eighth Army was ordered to support those commands, to support evacuation, and to give the ROK such logistic support as was ordered. In an administrative annex to the instructions, FEAF was also directed to provide aircraft and air technical supplies to the ROK as ordered and to establish and operate an air lift from Japan to Korea to support the ROK forces. [note]
0400 Korean Time
|6/26/50 1:00 PM||6/26/50 2:00 PM||6/26/50 7:00 PM||6/27/50 4:00 AM|
From the morning of 27 June (Korean time), FEAF transports and commercial aircraft brought out others during two days of flights, and the remaining surface evacuation was from Pusan.
A total of 2,001 people-1,527 of them U. S. nationals-were evacuated, all of them to Japan, 923 by air and the remainder by surface transportation. Most Americans evacuated were members of AMIK, U.S. Government employees, military personnel, and their dependents. Missionaries comprised the next largest group of American evacuees. [04-36]
Mounting in intensity, the battle for South Korea raged into its third day on 27 June, with Sŏul the prime objective of the North Korean attack. The communists apparently judged that with the ROK capital in their hands the rest of South Korea would yield easily. By the evening of 27 June, the main North Korean forces were fourteen miles north of Sŏul. [note]
Ammunition from stocks available in Japan was therefore hastily loaded onto two ships bearing the agreeably symbolic names of USNS Sergeant George D. Keathley (T-APC-117) and USNS Cardinal O'Connell Aircraft Transport (AKV-7). The operation order covering this movement was sent out by Admiral Joy's headquarters in the early hours of the 27th, and in the course of the next two days sergeant and prelate sailed forth to war.
General MacArthur formed at once a survey party of thirteen GHQ General and Special Staff officers and two enlisted men, headed by Brig. Gen. John H. Church. Its mission upon arrival in Korea was to help Ambassador Muccio and KMAG to determine logistical requirements for assisting the ROK Army.
0500 Korean Time
|6/26/50 2:00 PM||6/26/50 3:00 PM||6/26/50 8:00 PM||6/27/50 5:00 AM|
While the Church party was en route by air to Sŏul's Kimp'o Airport, Truman met a second time with his advisers at Blair House on the night [3-8 PM] of June 26, Washington time.
Arriving at Itazuke a few hours before dawn on 27 June, the air evacuation order caused Colonel Price some concern. The F-82 planes and pilots were fatigued: one all-weather pilot had flown fifteen hours out of the preceding thirty-eight.
[The were not flying in the dark, so what????]
The C-54 transport contingent had been released and had scattered to routine duties. In short order, however, Colonel Price got two C-54's from the 374th Wing and eleven C-47's from the FEAF base flight and from FEAMCom. Designing to provide an umbrella over the transports, Colonel Price directed his F-80 jet fighters (which had their most economical fuel consumption at high altitudes) to fly high cover over Sŏul. The F-82 pilots were instructed to orbit at lower levels. To be safely certain that Colonel Price had enough fighters, Fifth Air Force operations flashed the word to the 9th Fighter-Bomber Squadron (49th Wing) to move from its maneuver station at Komaki Air Base to Itazuke on the morning of 27 June.#34
At the appointed time the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing was ready to execute the air evacuation order. Before dawn the first transports left Itazuke with F-82 route escort, and at first light orbiting F-80's established themselves along the Han River, south of Sŏul. [note]
0515 Korean Time
USS Piedmont (AD-17)
USS Navasota (AO-106)
0600 Korean Time
|6/26/50 3:00 PM||6/26/50 4:00 PM||6/26/50 9:00 PM||6/27/50 6:00 AM|
General MacArthur formed at once a survey party of thirteen GHQ General and Special Staff officers and two enlisted men, headed by Brig. Gen. John H. Church. Its mission upon arrival in Korea was to help Ambassador Muccio and KMAG to determine logistical requirements for assisting the ROK Army. The party left Haneda Airfield at 0400, 27 June, and arrived at Itazuke Air Base in southern Japan two hours  later.
During the first two days of the Korean hostilities the United States obviously hoped that the Republic of Korea would be able to win its own battle without armed assistance from the outside. Just before dawn on 27 June Ambassador Muccio had to inform the ROK prime minister, who begged for American air support. that FEAF planes were not allowed to attack the Communist guns and tanks which were decimating ROK defenses.#38
In a few hours, just after noon, President Truman at Blair House, would reverse these instructions. Had these instructions been issued on day one of the invasion, it is possible that the entire war would have been short lived.
Even without air support, the ROK Army made a valiant and supreme effort at first light on 27 June.
The ROK 2nd and 7th Divisions, plus elements of the 5th Division. launched an attack toward Uijŏngbu. Within an hour or so this last supreme effort was shattered, and the broken remnants of the three divisions streamed back toward the Han River.
The city of Sŏul could now be taken when the Reds wanted it. and the demoralized ROK chief of staff [fat little ROK chief of staff, General Chae] told all who would listen that the loss of the capital city meant the collapse of South Korea. [note]
0640 Korean Time
With further deterioration of the ROK army and with refugee-clogged roads hindering motor transportation, most of FEAF's activities on 27 June were necessarily devoted to evacuation and cover for American nationals: F-80's for top cover, F-82's for low cover, and C-46's, C-47's, and C-54's for transportation were off for Korea beginning at 0640 hours. A decision by KMAG to evacuate its administrative personnel added to the load of persons to be flown out of Kimp'o and Suwŏn during the day. The Fifth Air Force nevertheless received orders to pick up 250 persons at Kimp'o, 313 from Suwŏn, and when this was completed, 375 from Pusan, all on the 27th if humanly possible. Since Sŏul was expected to fall during the day, the Fifth Air Force sent out strong fighter cover, flying 131 F-80 and 32 F-82 sorties during the day.
Not a one ventured north, to attack the T-34's that were such a shock to the ROK troops. [note]
0700 Korean Time
|6/26/50 4:00 PM||6/26/50 5:00 PM||6/26/50 10:00 PM||6/27/50 7:00 AM|
While the Church party was en route by air to Sŏul's Kimp'o Airport, Truman met a second time with his advisers at Blair House on the night [3-8 PM] of June 26, Washington time.
0800 Korean Time
|6/26/50 5:00 PM||6/26/50 6:00 PM||6/26/50 11:00 PM||6/27/50 8:00 AM|
While the Church party was en route by air to Sŏul's Kimp'o Airport, Truman met a second time with his advisers at Blair House on the night [3-8 PM] of June 26, Washington time.
Early on the morning of 27 June the M/S Reinholte finally met escorting destroyers. At this time the Fifth Air Force got permission to cover the convoy with B-26 aircraft during the remainder of its voyage to Fukuoka port.#31
Thereafter, during the day, Colonel Price improvised to meet constantly changing requirements. General MacArthur's staff first assured FEAF that only 375 persons required transportation, nearly all from Kimp'o. But both the American Embassy and KMAG decided to release all nonessential people, and, to expedite the airlift, they divided the evacuees between Kimp'o and the small airfield at Suwŏn, about 20 miles south of Sŏul.
During the morning the United Nations Commission on Korea decided to evacuate to Japan, further swelling the number of persons awaiting air transportation at Kimp'o.
Communications between Itazuke and the Korean airfields proved unreliable, and before the day was over each aircrew arriving at Itazuke reported the number of persons still requiring transportation, and the 8th Wing dispatched planes to get them.
So much confusion jangled the nerves of the evacuees (none of them were ever quite sure that a departing aircraft might not be the last), but all who waited were picked up before dusk. [note]
0900 Korean Time
|6/26/50 6:00 PM||6/26/50 7:00 PM||6/27/50 12:00 AM||6/27/50 9:00 AM|
0905 Korean Time
0729 Washington Time
At 1929 hours [Monday 26th] [1926+1400=3326-2400=0929] Secretary Acheson telephoned
President Truman and told him that reports from Korea were so bad that another conference was advisable. Truman instructed Acheson to summon the
same group that had conferred the night before to another Blair House meeting at 2100 hours.
1000 Korean Time
|6/26/50 7:00 PM||6/26/50 8:00 PM||6/27/50 1:00 AM||6/27/50 10:00 AM|
While the Church party was en route by air to Sŏul's Kimp'o Airport, Truman met a second time with his advisers at Blair House on the night [3-8 PM] of June 26, Washington time. The news from South Korea was still fragmentary, but what was there, Joe Collins reported, was now "bad." The ROK Army was crumbling. The Rhee government had apparently abandoned Sŏul to the NKPA. The fat little ROK Army chief of staff, General Chae, Collins said, had "no fight left in him." Truman, almost in despair, said, "I don't want to go to war," but he insisted that America had to do all in its power to help the South Koreans. American military aid had to be escalated.[3-25]
For the first time there was serious talk of committing American ground forces. Louis Johnson and Omar Bradley cautioned against that step. Bradley said (and Collins agreed) that if American ground forces were committed to South Korea, there would have to be a general "mobilization," including a call-up of the National Guard and Reserves, so the Army could meet its commitments elsewhere. Bradley suggested that it might be preferable to wait a "few days" before doing that. The president and Acheson agreed, and the conferees decided to inform MacArthur explicitly that the use of American ground forces in South Korea was "not authorized."
Before this second Blair House meeting, George Kennan had reached the conclusion, based in part on ambassadorial intelligence reports, in part on intuition, that Moscow would probably limit overt aggression to the Far East but that it might be multi-pronged. As Johnson and the JCS had been warning, Formosa could be a "likely" target. Kennan's views, together with those of the JCS, had caused Acheson to regard the Formosa problem with greater concern. Conceivably Chiang might even take advantage of the crisis to stage a "return to the mainland," fatally exacerbating the military crisis in the Far East. [note]
Hence, that night and later the ever-hawkish Acheson began to view Korea and Formosa as a related problem. He therefore recommended that Formosa be "neutralized"
by American sea power. Truman and the other conferees agreed to this and to several other, more bellicose measures:
- Air Force and Navy planes operating over South Korea in support of the evacuation of American civilians through Kimp'o Airfield and Inch'ŏn would be directed to go "all-out" in "fullest" support of the ROK Army, but operating only south of the 38th Parallel.
- The Seventh Fleet would be diverted from its destination (Sasebo, Japan) to the Formosa Strait, where it would prevent a Communist attack on Formosa or a Nationalist attack on the mainland. A special carrier task force would be sent to Japan in lieu of the Seventh Fleet.
- MacArthur would be placed in command of all American forces operating in, over, or around South Korea as well as of the Seventh Fleet at Formosa.[3-26] [note]
1100 Korean Time
|6/26/50 8:00 PM||6/26/50 9:00 PM||6/26/50 2:00 AM||6/27/50 11:00 AM|
Throughout Monday the situation in Korea deteriorated rapidly. MacArthur's latest message was alarming;
"... our estimate is that a complete collapse is imminent."
There was now no doubt! The Republic of Korea needed help at once if it was not to be overrun. I directed the Secretary of Defense to call General MacArthur on the scrambler phone and to tell him in person what my instructions were. He was to use air and naval forces to support the Republic of Korea with air and naval elements of his command, but only south of the 38th Parallel.
2100 26th Washington Time
When the second Blair House conference assembled, [Monday 2100 6/26 2100+1400= 3500-2400= 1100] General Bradley stated that General MacArthur's dispatches made it apparent that the ROK forces could not hold Sŏul and were, in fact, in danger of complete collapse. As senior cabinet officer, Secretary Acheson spoke first. He said that the Security Council would meet again on the next afternoon, Tuesday, [6/27] and at this time the United States would press for the adoption of a resolution recommending assistance to the South Koreans. But there was not time to wait for the additional resolution. [note]
Acheson therefore recommended that the U.S. Navy and Air Force be ordered to provide the fullest possible cover and support to South Korean forces south of the 38th parallel.
He repeated a suggestion that he had made the night before: that the U.S. Seventh Fleet be ordered to prevent any attack against Formosa, and that the Chinese Nationalists "be called upon" to cease any military action against the Chinese mainland.
Acheson also recommended increased American military aid to the Philippines and Indo-China.
No one objected to these recommendations. President Truman approved them, and at 2140 hours [Monday 2140 6/26 2140+1400= 3540-2400= 1140] the second Blair House conference broke up.#75 [note]
1145 27th Korean Time
Despite the understandable anxiety of passengers awaiting the transports in Korea, none suffered physical injury. This record of safety was due in part to the F-80 and F-82 fighter cover, which knocked down at least seven North Korean aircraft during the day.
during the afternoon jet pilots of the 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron shot down four Korean planes, later described as IL10's. All of the enemy planes were encountered in the Sŏul area, where the transports were picking up American nationals at nearby Kimp'o airfield.
Weather, which had begun to turn bad late on the afternoon of 27 June, was worse at Japanese bases on the 28th. [note]
1200 27th Korean Time
|6/26/50 9:00 PM||6/26/50 10:00 PM||6/27/50 3:00 AM||6/27/50 12:00 PM|
At about noon five Yak fighters swept over Sŏul at 10,000 feet, headed for Kimp'o. Waiting for the Reds were five F-82 fighters of the 68th and 339th squadrons, and in a few minutes Lt. William G. Hudson, Maj. James W Little, and Lt. Charles B. Moran each destroyed one of the enemy planes. The other Communist pilots fled. Each of the American pilots was, in various quarters, credited with the first aerial victory of the Korean war. In 1953, however, the Fifth Air Force reviewed conflicting testimony and officially stated that Lieutenant Hudson, 68th Fighter All-Weather Squadron, had destroyed the first Communist aircraft in Korea #36 [note]
- Hudson/Fraser USAF F-82G 1 x Yak-9 First USAF kill of the war
- Little/U/I USAF F-82G 1 x Yak-9
- Moran/U/I USAF F-82G 1 x Yak-9
- Schillereff USAF F-80C 1 x Il-10
- Dewald USAF F-80C 1 x Il-10
- Wayne USAF F-80C 2 x Il-10
- DPRK Il-10 6 x ROK T-6 destroyed on ground
The decision to give air and naval assistance to the Republic of Korea was made at Blair House on the evening of Monday the 26th, Washington time, midday of the 27th in the Far East. [note]
1300 Korean Time
|6/26/50 10:00 PM||6/26/50 11:00 PM||6/27/50 4:00 AM||6/27/50 1:00 PM|
In an early afternoon teleconference with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General MacArthur warned that ROK army units were no longer able to resist the determined Communist offensive. "Our estimate." he stated. "is that a complete collapse is imminent."#39 It was starkly apparent that the Republic of Korea could not survive without active American military assistance. [note]
On the afternoon of the same day Admiral Joy assumed operational control, but feeling that Sasebo, in the rapidly developing circumstances, was a little close to the Russian air concentration at Vladivostok, diverted the force to Okinawa. [note]
1155 Washington Time
Before midnight [Monday 2345 6/26 2345+1400= 3745-2400=1345] the Joint Chiefs had MacArthur and his staff assembled for a teleconference. The Joint Chiefs of Staff now stated that all restrictions preventing FEAF from supporting and assisting in the defense of ROK territory were lifted for operations below the 38th parallel.
Similarly, they continued, Navy forces might be used without restriction against aggressor forces in coastal waters and sea approaches to the Republic of Korea, south of the
38th parallel. The purpose of the change in orders, stated the Joint Chiefs, was to clear North Korean forces from the Republic of Korea#76
Because of delays at Lake Success President Truman had ordered American forces into action several hours before the Security Council adopted a resolution  specifically recommending that member states furnish assistance to the Republic of Korea. Secretary General Trygve Lie nevertheless considered Truman's order to be "fully within the spirit of the Council's resolution of June 25." "I, for one," said Lie, "welcomed the United States' initiative." [note]
1400 Korean Time
|6/26/50 11:00 PM||6/27/50 12:00 AM||6/27/50 5:00 AM||6/27/50 2:00 PM|
1445 Korean Time
While there awaiting further orders before proceeding to Sŏul, General Church received telephone instructions from Tokyo about 1425 changing his destination from Sŏul to Suwŏn because it was feared the former might be in enemy hands by the time he got there. MacArthur had by this time received the Joint Chiefs of Staff directive which instructed him to assume operational control of all U.S. military activities in Korea. Accordingly, he redesignated the survey group as GHQ Advance Command and Liaison Group in Korea (ADCOM), and gave it an expanded mission of assuming control of KMAG and of lending all possible assistance to the ROK Army in striving to check the Red drive southward.[04-26] [note]
Such was the difference in time between Washington and Tokyo that it was midafternoon on 27 June when General MacArthur received the instructions directing him to use air and naval forces in support of the South Koreans. [note]
1500 Korean Time
|6/27/50 12:00 AM||6/27/50 1:00 AM||6/27/50 6:00 AM||6/27/50 3:00 PM|
Early on the afternoon of 27 June Communist airmen made a second attempt to attack the American transports at Kimp'o. This time the North Koreans sent out eight IL-10 fighters. These improved versions of the dread Stormovik plane of World War I1 proved a feeble match for the four F-80C jet fighters which the 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron had posted on air alert over Sŏul. Very quickly, with a minimum of maneuver, the 35th Squadron pilots blasted down four of the Red planes, and the other Red pilots turned tail and ran. In this air battle Capt. Raymond E. Schillereff and Lt. Robert H. Dewald scored single victories and Lt. Robert E. Wayne shot down two enemy planes. These were the first aerial victories for a USAF jet fighter. They clearly demonstrated that even these oldest jets were superior to one of the best conventional aircraft of World War II. When the Red pilots who survived this air battle got back to their home airfield-most probably Heijo airfield at P'yŏngyang - they evidently passed the word that the Fifth Air Force was shooting to kill. No more aggressor plans appeared in the Sŏul area on 27 June.#37 [note]
In the afternoon the Security Council met again at Lake Success to vote on an American-sponsored resolution which called upon members of the United Nations to assist the Republic of Korea in repelling the attack. Action was for a time delayed while the Indian and Egyptian delegates sought vainly to obtain instructions from their governments, but in the evening the vote was taken and the resolution passed.
Following so rapidly upon the President's announcement of American action, this move by the United Nations led to an extraordinary rise in spirit throughout the western world. For the first time within memory the democracies seemed to have produced a leader who would stand fast in time, and little heed was paid to Soviet denunciation of the U.N. action as illegal. But while hearts were high the news was increasingly bad: the forces of the Republic of Korea were disintegrating, the invaders were advancing almost unopposed, the capital of Sŏul had fallen. [note]
1600 Korean Time
|6/27/50 1:00 AM||6/27/50 2:00 AM||6/27/50 7:00 AM||6/27/50 4:00 PM|
1700 Korean Time
|6/27/50 2:00 AM||6/27/50 3:00 AM||6/27/50 8:00 AM||6/27/50 5:00 PM|
1800 Korean Time
|6/27/50 3:00 AM||6/27/50 4:00 AM||6/27/50 9:00 AM||6/27/50 6:00 PM|
Twelve hours after receiving his orders, at 1800 hours [Tokyo Time] General MacArthur published his operations instruction detailing the new mission relative to Korea and Formosa.
FEAF was charged to attack and destroy all North Korean troop concentrations, tanks, guns, supply elements, and other military targets south of the 38th parallel; to prevent reinforcement of North Korean military forces south of the 38th parallel; and to continue evacuation and supply missions to and from Korea. FEAF was cautioned to undertake no air operations north of the 38th parallel, except in self-defense.
In another paragraph of these same instructions the Naval Forces Far East (NavFE) was charged to attack and destroy all enemy vessels found in Korean coastal waters south of the 38th parallel; to destroy North Korean invasion forces along the coasts of South Korea; and to isolate Formosa from the Chinese mainland.
In yet another paragraph the Eighth Army was directed to support FEAF and NavFE and to provide logistical support to the Republic of Korea.#80
First Six Days
F-80's move toward Communist frontline positions.
At the Meiji building FEAF operations officers had not waited for the formal CINCFE operations orders but had been implementing General MacArthur's verbal orders. To the Fifth Air Force went instructions to dispatch visual and photo reconnaissance sorties to Korea. Another urgent message directed the Fifth Air Force to make B-26 attacks against the enemy all night long on 27/28 June.#81
Next came a schedule of missions for 28 June. The Twentieth Air Force was ordered to move all combat-ready B-29's from Guam to Kadena and to dispatch them against such targets of opportunity as assemblies of tanks, artillery, and military columns.#82
The Fifth Air Force was directed to make extreme efforts with two squadrons of B-26's, four squadrons of F-80's, and two squadrons of F-82's. Targets were to be tanks, artillery and military columns, supply dumps, ground transport, bridges, and moving traffic in the area between the 38th parallel and the front lines.#83
During the evening of 27 June General MacArthur laid another operational task upon FEAF. NavFE and the Eighth Army had been preparing to dispatch two vessels to Korea with ammunition, but these waterborne lifts would not get there soon enough. Accordingly, FEAF would airlift 150 tons of ammunition from Tachikawa to Suwŏn on 28 June and 200 tons per day thereafter until about 1 July, when water transport would begin to take effect. This airlift was primarily utilitarian, but the CINCFE staff also reasoned that air shipments of ammunition would demonstrate the immediacy of American aid to Korea. The Eighth Army would provide the ammunition and operate the port of aerial embarkation at Tachikawa. Receiving this mission, the Fifth Air Force made the commander of the 374th troop Carrier Wing responsible for all airlift to Korea, and he was authorized to arrange for fighter cover from the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing.#84
26 U.S. Air Force in Korea
The Han River bridge near Sŏul.
Before nightfall on 27 June the Fifth Air Force made the deployments required for the next day's missions. Four RF-80's of the 8th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (Photo Jet) moved down from Yokota to Itazuke. The flight echelon of the 3rd Bombardment Group and the 13th Bomb Squadron moved from Johnson to join the 8th Squadron at Ashiya.#85
Because of circumstances which it could not control, however, the Fifth Air Force's execution of light bomber strikes against Korea on the night of 27/28 June was somewhat disappointing. For one thing, six of the 8th Squadron's ten B-26's were flying continuous cover for the refugee ship Reinholte, which was still plodding along toward Fukuoka. The other B-26's were sent out from Ashiya shortly before dark, with instructions to find and attack a Communist tank column reported to he somewhere north of Sŏul. Weather and darkness forced these planes to return to base without engaging the enemy.#86 [note]
The generally calm atmosphere that had pervaded the Sŏul area during the first two days of the invasion disappeared on the third. The failure of the much discussed counterattack of the ROK 7th and 2nd Divisions and the continued advance of the North Korean columns upon Sŏul became known to the populace of the city during 27 June, and refugees began crowding the roads. During this and the preceding day North Korean planes dropped leaflets on the city calling for surrender. Also, Marshal Choe Yong Gun, field commander of the North Korean invaders, broadcast by radio an appeal for surrender. [03-49] The populace generally expected the city to fall during the night. By evening confusion took hold in Sŏul.
A roadblock and demolition plan designed to slow an enemy advance had been prepared and rehearsed several times, but so great was the terror spread by the T34 tanks that "prepared demolitions were not blown, roadblocks were erected but not manned, and obstacles were not covered by fire." But in one instance, Lt. Col. Oum Hong Sup, Commandant of the ROK Engineer School, led a hastily improvised group that destroyed with demolitions and pole charges four North Korean tanks at a mined bridge on the Uijŏngbu-Sŏul road. [03-50] A serious handicap in trying to stop the enemy tanks was the lack of antitank mines in South Korea at the time of the invasion-only antipersonnel mines were available. [03-51] [note]
1827 Korean Time
Sunrise 0512 - 1954
Moonrise 1838 - 0258
Moon Phase 94% 12 days
1900 Korean Time
|6/27/50 4:00 AM||6/27/50 5:00 AM||6/27/50 10:00 AM||6/27/50 7:00 PM|
General MacArthur's survey group entered Korea at 1900, 27 June, and at that time he assumed his newly authorized control of all U. S. military activities in Korea. Maj. Gen. John H. Church, who headed the group which was designated GHQ Advance Command and Liaison Group (ADCOM), had instructions to make contact with Ambassador Muccio and ROK officials and to send MacArthur reports on the developing situation. A concomitant mission was to instill an enthusiastic will to fight among ROK soldiers and officials. [04-37]
Ambassador Muccio met the group at the Suwŏn airport, south of Sŏul and Church established a temporary command post in the town of Suwŏn. After a frustrating period of communications failures and general confusion, Church made contact with General Chae Byong Duk, Chief of Staff, ROK Army and suggested they establish a joint headquarters. Chae agreed. [04-38]
Church told Chae that he had to use any organized group in the vicinity to resist the entry of North Koreans into Sŏul by street-to-street fighting. He recommended straggler points between Sŏul and Suwŏn to stop the retreating ROK soldiers and to reorganize them into effective units. He insisted that the Han River bordering Sŏul on the south be defended at all costs. [note]
After dark, on 27 June, the ADCOM group landed at Suwŏn and proceeded into the town of Suwŏn to establish its command post in a school building, which already sheltered the headquarters of the ROK Army. First reports from the Korean commander were not good. He had lost about 40 percent of his troops, the major portion of his automatic weapons, and most of his few artillery pieces [105 M-3's] . Although the ROK commander did not know exactly where his units were, the ADCOM group posted a situation map indicating where the ROK troops were believed to be.#97
The fate of South Korea looked gloomy, but General Church saw some ray of hope. He thought that the South Korean troops were as good as the North Koreans, the major difference being that the latter had the initiative. If the ROK's could be made to hold anywhere, it would be behind the shelter of the broad and swiftly flowing Han River. This line would have to be held. General Church therefore announced his intention to keep ADCOM at Suwŏn. This location was convenient to the Han battle line and was also the last remaining airfield in central Korea. On the negative side, Suwŏn had no communications with the outside world. To make telephone calls to Tokyo, General Church had to drive about 17 miles south of Suwŏn to a telephone relay station. Although he used this line, it was not secure against possible wire taps.#98 [note]
The ADCOM group arrived at Suwŏn Airfield at 1900, 27 June, where Ambassador Muccio met it. General Church telephoned Colonel Wright in Sŏul, who advised him not to come into the city that night. The ADCOM group thereupon set up temporary headquarters in the Experimental Agriculture Building in Suwŏn. [04-27] [note]
En route to Kimp'o Airfield, the John Church party received a warning that Kimp'o might be in enemy hands. Accordingly, the pilot diverted to an airfield at Suwŏn, about twenty miles south of Sŏul. By the time the plane landed, at 7:00 P.M. on June 27, Korean time, the JCS had delegated MacArthur command of all American forces then in South Korea, and MacArthur had radioed Church that his party would henceforth bear the more imposing - and martial - title "GHQ Advance Command (ADCOM)."[3-27]
Church found South Korea in utter chaos. The Rhee government had indeed abandoned Sŏul. Rhee was temporarily in Suwŏn but preparing to withdraw to Taejŏn, a railroad hub sixty-five miles south of Suwŏn. KMAG had disintegrated; its personnel were evacuating with the civilians or straggling all over Korea. The road south from Sŏul was jammed with fleeing ROK soldiers, thousands of refugees, and a few reporters and photographers. The fleeing ROKs had hastily and stupidly blown the bridge over the Han River, just south of the city of Sŏul. In so doing, the ROKs had cut off thousands of their own troops and most of their heavy weapons, transport, and supplies.[3-28]
Having been misled about the quality of the ROK Army, Church was flabbergasted to find it in total rout. He later wrote that he attributed the collapse to "lack of leadership . . . rather than fear." In the fighting most of the ROK officer corps, never strong to begin with, had melted away. Many ROK soldiers were eager to stand and fight, but they didn't know how or where; they were leaderless. The worst offender was the fat little ROK chief of staff, General Chae, who had abandoned Sŏul with Rhee, leaving his troops to fend for themselves.[3-29] [note]
Church had come to South Korea merely to gather facts, but the circumstances he encountered led him to upgrade his role drastically. In effect, John Church assumed command and direction of the tattered ROK Army and the defense of South Korea. As he and his staff saw the situation, the best - indeed, the only - option left was to throw up a strong defense on the south bank of the Han River. During that night all effort was directed toward that single laudable, but very ambitious, objective. [note]
The evacuation was an inter-service affair: on the 26th, as the destroyers were steaming west to cover the departure from Inch'ŏn, Air Force fighters orbited over the harbor;
on the 27th loading of refugees was also commenced at Pusan, FEAF transport aircraft began to fly personnel out of the capital's airfield at Kimp'o, and Air Force fighters destroyed seven enemy aircraft in the area of Sŏul. [note]
2000 Korean Time
|6/27/50 5:00 AM||6/27/50 6:00 AM||6/27/50 11:00 AM||6/27/50 8:00 PM|
2004 Korean Time
President Truman, on 27 June 1950, ordered General MacArthur to deploy the Seventh Fleet to prevent attacks on Formosa by the Chinese Communists and, conversely, attacks by the Formosan garrison on the Chinese mainland. [20-7]
In a public announcement on the same date, President Truman explained that he had taken this action because,
"the occupation of Formosa by Communist forces would be a direct threat to the security of the Pacific area and to United States forces performing their lawful and necessary functions in that area."
He also fended off any charge that the United States intended to seize the island stronghold by declaring,
"The determination of the future status of Formosa must await the restoration of security in the Pacific, a peace settlement with Japan, or consideration by the United Nations." [20-8] [note]
2015 Korean Time
At 2015 that evening Admiral Joy's Operation Order 5-50, the basic order of the Korean naval campaign, was issued. In this dispatch ComNavFE informed his forces that President Truman had ordered the fullest possible support of South Korean units south of the 38th parallel "to permit these forces to reform," and had instructed the Seventh Fleet to take station to prevent either a Communist invasion of Formosa or the use of that island for operations against the mainland.
USS Juneau (CL-119)
Task Group 96.5, composed of USS Juneau CL-119) and the four destroyers of Desdiv-91, was designated the South Korea Support Group, instructed to base at Sasebo, and ordered to patrol Korean coastal waters, oppose hostile landings and destroy vessels engaged in aggression, provide fire support to friendly forces, anti cover shipping engaged in evacuation or in carrying supplies to South Korea. [note]
On the evening of the 27th, when ComNavFE's operation order was promulgated, Admiral Higgins' Support Group was widely dispersed. The flagship Juneau, with the task group commander embarked, was leaving Sasebo to investigate a reported North Korean landing on the island of Koje Do, southwest of Pusan; in the Yellow Sea USS De Haven (DD-727) was escorting a Norwegian freighter with the first evacuees from Inch'ŏn,
1827 USS Mansfield (DD-128) Met SS MARINE SNAPPER, the second evacuation ship, and escorted out of inshore waters
2032 Korean Time
As daylight faded, low clouds began to close in the airfield at Ashiya, and the next B-26 mission could not depart until 2032 hours. One of these five planes aborted for mechanical causes, but the other four went on to Korea, only to find the battle area blanketed by clouds.#87
First Six Days 27
The The bad weather was beyond human control, but the lack of results was extremely annoying to Maj. Gen. Edward M. Almond, who, as MacArthur's chief of staff, was impressed with the need for air action. During the night Almond telephoned General Partridge and several times, repeated that in order to save the South Koreans, FEAF would have to display' visible supporting actions. Almond stated that he "wanted bombs put on the ground in the narrow corridor between the 38th parallel and Sŏul, employing any means and without any accuracy." General Partridge called Brig. Gen. Edward J. Timberlake, deputy commander of the Fifth Air Force, and General Kincaid and spurred them "on to a full-out effort. #88 [note]
2040 Korean Time
Though F-80's and B-26's had been scheduled to begin ground attacks during the day, bad flying weather in the target area held up take-offs until 2040 hours, when five B-26's got off Itazuke on what could be only a night harassment. [note]
2100 Korean Time
|6/27/50 6:00 AM||6/27/50 7:00 AM||6/27/50 12:00 PM||6/27/50 9:00 PM|
2200 Korean Time
|6/27/50 7:00 AM||6/27/50 8:00 AM||6/27/50 1:00 PM||6/27/50 10:00 PM|
2245 Korean Time
If anyone in Blair House had misgivings about the mandate which was being given to the General, he kept it to himself.
Shaken by Republican charges that they were impotent against Communist challenges, the leaders of the Democratic administration were resolved to take the hardest possible line against the In Min Gun. They desperately needed a victory to refute McCarthy and his fellow GOP demagogues that, not strategic considerations, nor "the possible conquest of millions of hearts and minds throughout the world," a catchword of the day, was their chief motive and Douglas MacArthur, whatever his defects, was adroit at producing victories.
As they broke up, some of them were warmed by another flicker of satisfaction, a glint of gallows humor. Had Mao pursued Chiang to Formosa a year earlier, the United States would have stood aside. Since then domestic politics had made official U.S. indifference to Chiang's fate impossible. Thus Formosa had become a festering sore, a source of endless embarrassment to the White House.
Now they would let the Republican conservatives' favorite General see how he liked it. [What a bunch of crap] [note]
By 2245 hours that night all transports had returned to Japan and 748 persons had been brought to safety. Though F-80's and B-26's had been scheduled to begin ground attacks during the day, bad flying weather in the target area held up take-offs until 2040 hours, when five B-26's got off Itazuke on what could be only a night harassment. [note]
2300 Korean Time
|6/27/50 8:00 AM||6/27/50 9:00 AM||6/27/50 2:00 PM||6/27/50 11:00 PM|
Before midnight, 27 June, the defenses of Sŏul had all but fallen. The 9th Regiment, N.K. 3rd Division, was the first enemy unit to reach the city. Its leading troops arrived in the suburbs about 1930 but heavy fire forced them into temporary withdrawal. [03-52]
About 2300 one lone enemy tank and a platoon of infantry entered the Secret Gardens at Chang-Duk Palace in the northeast section of the city. Korean police managed to destroy the tank and kill or disperse the accompanying soldiers. [03-53] [note]
When the air evacuation operation officially ended shortly before midnight on 27 June, a total of 748 persons had been flown to safety in Japan. [note]
Throughout 27 June the North Korean Air Force amply demonstrated that it wanted to destroy the helpless transports. [note]
2400 Korean Time
The Sergeant Keathley, a Military Sea transportation Service (MSTS) ship, left North Pier, Yokohama, at midnight 27 June bound for Pusan, Korea, with 1,636 long tons of ammunition and twelve 105-mm. howitzers on board. [note]
Lt. Col. Peter W. Scott at midnight had taken over temporarily the G-3 adviser desk at the ROK Army headquarters. When reports came in of breaks in the line at the edge of Sŏul he saw members of the ROK Army G-3 Section begin to fold their maps. Colonel Scott asked General Chae if he had ordered the headquarters to leave; the latter replied that he had not. [03-54]
Tuesday June 27, 1950 (Day 3)