Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 18.5°C 65.3°F at Taegu [note]

Rainy, windy weather [note]

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

Korea Temps - 1950-1953 - Station 143 (Taegu)


Overview

NKPA captures Sŏul, South Korean capital.

[note]

The NKPA captures Sŏul. ROK government officials relocate to Taejŏn, 75 miles south of Sŏul. The NKPA drive was led by 100 Russian-built tanks.

Early in the morning, ROK commanders panicked and ordered bridges leading south over the Han River to be destroyed. ROK military forces withdrawing from the city are on the bridges when engineers blow them up. More South Korean soldiers are drowned when they tried crossing the river in overloaded boats. Many ROK troops and whatever heavy equipment they had are stranded north of the river.

President Truman signs a bill that officially abolishes the horse cavalry, while creating an armor branch. It also combines coast and field artilleries into a single branch.

During World War II, the First Cavalry Division (1st Cav), still technically a mounted force in matters of structure, was the only cavalry unit to see combat in the war but fought as an armored unit without its horses. The horse cavalry and the cavalry branch were formally abolished with the reorganization following the National Security Act of 1947, although the First Cavalry Division, first with armor and then air mobile via helicopters, retained the insignia and designation.

[note]

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June 28 B-26 aircraft of the 13th and 8th Bomb Squadron attacked the enemy with 12 aircraft and had the first fatalities that day. The first missions were flown against N Korean troops in the Han river area and other targets of opportunity June 28 to 29 - Sŏul captured by North Korean Army. The Republic of Korea Army is destroyed. Explosion destroys the Han River Bridge. British Far Eastern Fleet ordered to assist South Korea. [note]

American Ceasar

Detachment X, thirty-five men of the 507th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, was the first US ground force unit to arrive in Korea. Within a short time the detachment shot down a Yak fighter with quad-fifty caliber machineguns, suffering five wounded in the action.

Therefore the White House authorized the transfer of a contingent of U.S. troops-men of the 507th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion - to Korea. They were told to hold Suwŏn airfield while other American soldiers and sailors secured fields and docks in the vicinity of Pusan, on the southeast tip of the Korean peninsula. A deadly sequence was forming. Once aircraft are committed,. they must have airstrips. Airstrips need ground crews, and these crews have to be protected by U.S. infantry. The same pattern would emerge later in Vietnam [note]

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Orbit missions were continuing around the clock at Flight "D". These orbit missions cover any incidents arising.

Incidents this date were a B-26 running low on fuel with a possible ditching in the offing. This aircraft landed safely, however, the next incident involved a B-26 reported to have ditched at (36° 30' N 126° 00' E).

Another C-54 shot up on return from Korea, was escorted one hundred seventy-five (175) miles to Fukuoka safely.

The last incident had two (2) B-26s overdue. Last known position was at (37° 10' N 126° 30' E), on a heading of 290° and disappeared in the weather. Total SB-17 time for this date was twenty-three hours and fifteen minutes (23:15).

[note]

June 28: North Koreans captured Sŏul, forcing the South Korean government to move to Taejŏn. Enemy forces also occupied nearby Kimp'o airfield and, on the east coast, Mukho naval base below Kangnung.

North Korean Yaks strafed Suwŏn airfield, destroying one B-26 and one F-82.

In the first USAF airstrikes of the Korean War, more than 20 B-26s of the 3rd Bombardment Group (BG) attacked Munsan railroad yards near the 38th parallel and rail and road traffic between Sŏul and the North Korean border. One, heavily damaged by enemy anti-aircraft fire, crashed on its return to Ashiya, killing all aboard. Flying from Kadena AB, Okinawa, the 19th BG, in the first B-29 medium bomber strikes of the Korean War, four attacked a railroad bridge and targets of opportunity such as tanks, trucks, and supply columns along North Korean invasion routes.

Bad weather over Japan limited 5th Air Force sorties, but 18 fighters flew close air support and interdiction missions. More than 30 F-80s from Itazuke escorted C-54s and B-26s flying between Japan and Suwŏn. First Lt. Bryce Poe II, in an RF-80A, flew USAF's first jet combat reconnaissance mission, photographing the NKA advance elements and reporting clearing weather over the front in Korea. C-54s and C-47s flew out the last of 851 US citizens evacuated by air from South Korea. FEAF transports airlifted 150 tons of ammunition from Tachikawa AB, Japan, to Suwŏn. [note]

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USAF RF-80A, B-26 and B-29 committed to combat; 21 x B-26 and 4 x B-29 make support strikes [note]

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DPRK Yak-9

1 x F-82 strafed on ground

1 x B-26 strafed on ground

1 x C-54 strafed on ground

[note]

CIA

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TOP SECRET

CIA: No Soviet military preparation in Germany or Austria... At the same time warning that the USSR's would not need a great deal of preparation time. [note]

Seventy-two hours after the NKPA invasion had begun, it was obvious to Joe Darrigo and his KMAG cohorts that the battle to stop the NKPA invasion was lost. The causes for this disaster were numerous, but the main ones were Truman's inability to grasp grand strategy - to back American foreign policy with adequate military power - and his battery commander's view that he was a victim of Pentagon budget flimflams.

South Korea obviously required a continuing American military presence to ensure its survival until the embryonic ROK Army had matured and been properly equipped.

Truman's crippling cuts in the Army's budget had compelled a premature American withdrawal from South Korea, leaving that new and unstable nation ripe for conquest.

The inexplicable and ill-advised public statements by Acheson in January and Connally in April of 1950 may well have encouraged Moscow and P'yŏngyang to proceed when they did. The timing may also have been prompted by the status of training in the ROK and American Eighth armies.

Further delays would have confronted the NKPA with a better trained ROK Army and, should America intervene (as MacArthur had promised Rhee he would) a better trained Eighth Army. Whatever the case, considering the strategic situation that existed, an NKPA invasion on June 25, 1950, was bound to succeed. [note]

Far East Air Force aircraft dropped the first psychological warfare leaflets over Korea. [note]

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"Sergeant Leroy Deans, Korean Military Advisory Group, received a wound in the eye thereby earning the first ground combat Purple Heart of the Korean War." [note]

By 28 June Sŏul had fallen, the North Koreans had closed up along the Han River to a point about 20 miles east of Sŏul, and had advanced as far as Samch'ŏk on the east coast. [note]

South then North

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On 28 June, American fighter planes, under orders to attack any organized body of troops north of the Han River, mistakenly strafed and rocketed the ROK 1st Division, killing and wounding many soldiers. After the planes left, Colonel Paik got some of his officers and men together and told them, "You did not think the Americans would help us. Now you know better." [03-24]

The ROK 1st Division held its positions at Korangp'o-ri for nearly three days [25+3=28th] and then, outflanked and threatened with being cut off by the enemy divisions in the Uijŏngbu Corridor, it withdrew toward the Han River. [note]

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NKPA cross the Han River

[note]

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The defending ROK 6th Division finally withdrew southward on the 28th on orders after the front had collapsed on both sides of it. The North Koreans then entered Ch'unch'ŏn. Nine T34 tanks apparently led the main body into the town on the morning of 28 June. [03-32]

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The enemy 2nd Division suffered heavily in the battle for Ch'unch'ŏn; its casualty rate reportedly was more than 40 percent, the 6th Regiment alone having incurred more than 50 percent casualties. According to prisoners, ROK artillery fire caused most of the losses. ROK counterbattery fire also inflicted heavy losses on enemy artillery and supporting weapons, including destruction of 7 of the division's 16 self-propelled SU-76-mm. guns, 2 45-mm. antitank guns, and several mortars of all types. [03-33] The N.K. 7th Division likewise suffered considerable, but not heavy, casualties in the Ch'unch'ŏn battle. [03-34]

Immediately after the capture of Ch'unch'ŏn the 7th Division pressed on south toward Hongch'ŏn, while the N.K. 2nd Division turned west toward Sŏul. [note]

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On28 June the commander of the 8th Division sent a radio message to the ROK Army Chief of Staff saying that it was impossible to defend Kangnung and giving the positions of the 10th and 21st Regiments. [note]

The ROK 8th Division successfully executed its withdrawal, begun on 27-28 June, bringing along its weapons and equipment. [03-39] [note]

Sŏul fell on the fourth day of the invasion. (25+4-1)=28 [note]

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The United Kingdom Defense Committee on 28 June placed British naval forces in Japanese waters (1 light fleet carrier, 2 cruisers, and 5 destroyers and frigates) under the control of the U.S. naval commander.

On the next day June 28 he announced that British naval forces in Japanese waters were placed at the disposal of US authorities to act on behalf of the UN Security Council.

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The Canadian government immediately offered naval support, followed

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on 29 June by the governments of Australia and New Zealand. Orders from the Admiralty were sent directing the commander in chief Far East "to place the Royal Navy at present in Japanese waters at the disposal of the US Naval Command."2 Admiral Brind had already offered the use of his fleet to Admiral Joy for "any humanitarian mission" and warned Admiral Andrewes that he might soon be called on for action under the UN Charter.

This naval force came under General MacArthur's control the next day. [note]

One flight of U.S. planes bombed targets in Sŏul on the 28th. Enemy planes destroyed two more American planes at Suwŏn Airfield during the day. [05-7] [note]

Land-based planes of the Far East Air Forces began to strike hard at the North Koreans by the end of June. On the28th, the Fifth Air Force flew 172 combat sorties in support of the ROK Army and comparable support continued in ensuing days. General Stratemeyer acted quickly to augment the number of his combat planes by taking approximately 50 F-51's out of storage. [note]

Concurrently with the initiation of air action, the naval forces in the Far East began to assume their part in the conflict. On 28 June the American cruiser USS Juneau (CLAA-119) arrived off the east coast of Korea, and [note]

Meanwhile, the victorious North Koreans did not stand idle. The same day that Sŏul fell,28 June, elements of the enemy's 6th Division started crossing the Han River west of the city in the vicinity of Kimp'o Airfield and [note]

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MSTS Cardinal O'Connell (AKV-7)

Early the next day,28 June, a second ship, the MSTS Cardinal O'Connell, feverishly loaded a cargo from the Ikego Ammunition Depot. Airlift of ammunition began also on the 28th from Tachikawa Air Base near Tokyo. [note]

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On 28 June, the fourth day of the war, Col. Olaf P. Winningstad, Eighth Army Ordnance chief, found three M26 Pershing medium tanks at the Tokyo Ordnance Depot in bad condition and needing extensive repairs, including rebuilt engines. [note]

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The Korean War had scarcely started when the Far East Command began to consider the threat of CCF intervention. On 28 June its daily intelligence summary stated that the possibility existed that North Korea might receive Chinese Communist reinforcements from Manchuria. [note]

USAF

 

biography

Up late and barely made the 8:30 staff meeting. This was a rainy day in Tokyo in contrast to our recent excellent weather and the weather was dubious in the vicinity of Itazuke and Seoul.


The early reports indicated that even with the utmost effort on our part, our actual accomplishments in support of the Korean forces were negligible. Bad weather prevented any take-off before seven o'clock and some of the aircraft which departed returned almost immediately.

[note]

Unfavorable weather; B26 sortie aborted.
Government of South Korea has moved to Taejon.[46-Because of the chaotic and obviously dangerous situation developing north of Seoul, the South Korean government decided to move to Taejŏn, a town about 85 miles south of Seoul. Some of the members of the National Assembly decided to remain in Seoul, most being captured and executed by the Communists when the city fell.]
Ambassador Muccio encountering difficulties in bolstering morale of Rhee and his general staff. South Koreans falling back; Kimpo and Seoul taken. My big headache at present is to man my command and get it operating on a 7-day, 24-hour day week. USAF promises AC&W [Aircraft Control and Warning] personnel and equipment needed for the primary mission of FEAF - the defense of the home islands of Japan. All combat aircraft and crews of the 19th Bomb Wing moves to Okinawa. 850 people evacuated without incident.

 

Evacuees from Korea are assisted from a C54 after arriving in Japan on June 27, 1950

 

[note]

 

 

Four (4) aircraft [see details] and four (4) men [Casualties]were lost today.

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Weather, which had begun to turn bad late on the afternoon of 27 June, was worse at Japanese bases on the 28th. FEAF planes, nevertheless, began to attack North Korean targets, the F-80's leaving Itazuke in a murk of low visibility and a ceiling of less than 200 feet. The Fifth Air Force flew 12 missions, including 21 B-26, 11 F-82; and 24 F-80 sorties during the day, while four B-29's of the Twentieth Air Force's 19th Bombardment Group, which was in process of moving from Guam to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, struck military targets of opportunity.

The 8th Fighter-Bomber Group, 350 miles from its base, found the shooting extremely good: the road nets north of Sŏul were crammed with North Korean tanks, trucks, troops, and artillery, and the F-80's left fires visible for 50 miles. Other planes shot up the railway yards at Munsan.

FEAF transports hauled ammunition and supplies into Korean airfields, bringing out enough personnel on their return trips to run the evacuation figures up to 851 persons that day, and to 862 persons on the 29th - figures comparing favorably with the 905 taken out by other means.

With much of the fighter cover off on offensive sweeps, however, enemy air activity got a good chance at the transports. A 22nd troop Carrier Squadron C-54 was destroyed by strafing at Suwŏn, and during the afternoon a flight of four Yaks damaged another of the squadron's C-54's approaching Suwŏn. Yaks also destroyed a 68th Squadron F-82 which had been forced down at Suwŏn, and other Yaks strafed a B-26 at that same airfield.

Next day [29th], North Korean planes bombed and strafed a C-54 as it was unloading supplies. Suwŏn, which the U.N. forces hoped to utilize as an advanced airhead, was becoming an embattled zone, and thus far the performance of the North Korean pilots was proving somewhat better than had been expected. One Yak pilot, whose plane was hit and smoking, completed his run over Suwŏn to destroy the U.S. aircraft he had selected as a target.

FEAF air attacks began on 28 June at a time of great crisis. Loss of Sŏul had so disheartened the South Koreans that Ambassador Muccio believed that ROK resistance would have collapsed overnight had U. S. aid not been extended. A KMAG officer urged that receipt of even token amounts of ammunition by air would do much to demonstrate that American aid was actually being given; broadcasts of assistance on the way were of little value to Korean morale since radios were practically nonexistent in rural areas.

On 28 June Maj. Gen. John H. Church, Chief of KMAG, estimated that the ROK army had lost about 40 percent of its numbers and that only a part of the remainder still retained individual weapons. General Church hoped to hold the Han River line, but he was becoming increasingly pessimistic about Suwŏn airfield, which enemy Yaks were hitting each time the U.S. fighter cover departed. Lt. Col. John McGinn, air liaison officer at Suwŏn, was more optimistic. He had a concrete runway, a store of gasoline, and he was preparing gridded maps for close support. All he wanted was some planes staged up forward. "We will moider 'em," he promised General Partridge. The American Embassy in Korea asked for as many air strikes as possible for the 29th in order to boost the morale of badly discouraged South Koreans along the Han River. [note]

B-26 aircraft of the 13th and 8th Bomb Squadron suffer casualties at Han [note]

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GHQ ADCOM

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

Sometime on 28 June ADCOM secured a high-frequency radio which had belonged to KMAG, only to find that the assistance group had destroyed its codes. The only cryptographic device immediately at hand was Mr. Muccio's State Department code, and messages so encoded would have to go all the way to Washington for decoding and retransmission to Tokyo.#99 [note]

USMC

The capital city of Sŏul fell June 28 and some of the ROK forces reeled back in defeat. The South’s only hope lay in outside assistance. [note]

On the 28th General Cates CMC had his first conference with Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, Chief of Naval Operations. He noted on his calendar the next day: “Recommended to CNO and SecNav that FMF be employed.” [note]

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On the 28th General Cates had his first conference with Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, Chief of Naval Operations. He noted on his calendar the next day: “Recommended to CNO and SecNav that FMF be employed.”

The steps leading up to this decision may be traced back to the conference of 28 June, when Cates gave Sherman a summary of the strength of the Marine Corps. Along with other branches of the service, it had taken cuts in appropriations since World War II, so that total numbers were 74,279 men on active duty—97 percent of authorized strength. The Fleet Marine Force had a strength of 27,656—11,853 in FMFPac (1st Marine Division, Reinf., and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing) and 15,803 in FMFLant (2nd Marine Division, Reinf., and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing).[13]

Neither of these understrength divisions, General Cates pointed out, could raise much more than an RCT of combat-ready troops with supporting air. [note]

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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, Kapyong and Sŏul to the port of Inch'ŏn on the west coast. [note]


The first step had been taken on 28 June. General Clifton B. Cates, Commandant of the Marine Corps, conferred at the Pentagon with Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, Chief of Naval Operations. He urged that troops of the Fleet Marine Force be employed, and CNO promptly informed Vice Admiral C. Turner Joy, Commander of Naval Forces, Far East (ComNavFE), that a Marine RCT could be made available if General MacArthur desired it.[5]

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CinCFE had hoped that an entire Marine division could be sent to the Far East. But after being briefed by Admiral Joy as to the limitations of Marine Corps numbers, he had to content himself with the request for an RCT.

Admiral Sherman acted at once. With the approval of JCS and the President, he ordered Admiral Radford to transport the Marine units across the Pacific. This was the inception of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade (Reinf.), which was activated on 7 July with three squadrons of Marine Aircraft Group 33 as its air component.[6] [note]

USN

UN Security Council ordered military sanctions against North Korea.

British admiralty placed Royal Naval units in Japanese waters at disposal of COMNAVFE (VADM Joy). COMNAVFE. requested British ships to rendezvous at Buckner Bay, Okinawa. [note]

The Far East Air Forces had been committed, along with the Navy, to the support of the Korean Republic on 27 June; like the Navy they had already seen action. On the first day of the invasion Air Force fighters on patrol over the Sea of Japan had been fired on south of the parallel by a small North Korean convoy; two days later transport planes had flown American nationals out of Kimp'o and fighters covering the evacuation had destroyed some enemy aircraft; the first missions in support of the ROK Army had been dispatched on the 28th.

Like the rest of the defense establishment, FEAF had planned on a different war. The 19th Bombardment Group at Guam, the only such unit in the Far East, was trained for strategic attack. The equipment and training of the fighter groups stationed in Japan had been tailored to the mission of air defense, a responsibility which the coming of war in Korea did little to diminish, and which, for a time, it promised perhaps to emphasize. Nevertheless the decision to commit American forces was followed by a rapid movement of the bombers to Okinawa, whence they flew their first missions against the invader, and by concentration of available fighter strength in the Fukuoka area in Kyushu, where the Fifth Air Force, Lieutenant General Earle E. Partridge, USAF, set up an operations center. But although these Kyushu airfields were the closest available to Korea, the limited endurance of the F-80C permitted it to remain only very briefly in the target area, and effective operations waited upon the establishment of Korean bases, the manufacture of new wing tanks, or a change in aircraft type.

Lack of target information for the bombers and the limited capabilities of Air Force fighters placed great premium upon carrier-borne aviation. Never, perhaps, had the virtues of free movement upon the face of the waters shone so brightly, even to those who had long derided this instrument of war. [note]

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In the United States the logistic agencies of all three services were struggling with a flood of emergency requisitions for medical and hospital supplies, for equipment in general, and above all for ammunition. All along the west coast naval ammunition facilities which had been operating in reduced or maintenance status were expanded. In June, Port Chicago in San Francisco Bay had a normal weekly handling capacity of 1,250 tons of naval ammunition. On the 28th CincPacFleet called for operations on a three-shift basis, extra personnel was laid on, and within a month Port Chicago was out loading more than 9,000 tons a week for both Navy and Army. [note]

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On 28 June Patrol Squadron 6, a medium landplane squadron operating nine [Lockheed] P2V-5 Neptunes, was deployed forward from Barber's Point, Oahu . By the 7th the squadron had reached Japan where, in the absence of any suitable naval air station, it operated out of Johnson Air Force Base at Tachikawa . [note]

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The first few days of combat had made it evident that the North Korean People's Army was not going to be frightened home again either by United Nations resolves or by the intervention of token American forces. Shortly it seemed doubtful whether the commitment of all available Far Eastern strength would stop the invaders. Further reinforcements became increasingly urgent, and these, necessarily, had to come from outside the theater. Although foreign help had been promised, its arrival was some time off. But in Hawaii the Army was preparing a regimental combat team for sailing, on the west coast a division had been alerted, and MSTS was assembling the shipping for these lifts. And the Marines, too, were on their way.

In addition to the ten Army combat divisions in existence in 1950 the United States could also call on the two divisions of the Fleet Marine Force.

Total Fleet Marine Force strength at this time was about 28,000 men, of whom 12,000 were in FMF Pacific, in the 1st Marine Division and its attached 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, and the balance of almost 16,000 in FMF Atlantic, the 2nd Marine Division and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. Headquarters of the Fleet Marine Force Pacific were at Pearl Harbor; the 1st Marine Division was at Camp Pendleton, California; Marine Air Wing 1 was at nearby El Toro. Like all branches of the armed forces the Marines had suffered from austerity: all units were understrength, and the 1st Marine Division was operating with two platoons to a company and two companies to a battalion.

The United States Marines have landed on many foreign shores since Lieutenant O’Bannon and his immortal six set out from Alexandria to march on Tripoli. But in the middle of the 20th century their special claim to fame, and the basis of their mission as defined in the National Security Act, rested on their development of the techniques of amphibious warfare. The success of the Corps in developing workable techniques for assault from the sea against defended objectives, considered by some the most far-reaching tactical innovation of the Second World War, was achieved in the face of overwhelming expert opinion that such attacks were no longer possible. Contemplating the sad spectacle of Gallipoli, a distinguished naval historian of the interwar period had commented that while Great Britain might perhaps survive another war, she could never survive another Churchill. In fact, however, she did both, while the Navy and Marines destroyed the presumed basis for this judgment by spearheading the amphibious advance from Guadalcanal to Okinawa, an advance in which they suffered no single check.

The United States now found itself confronted with difficulties in Korea, a peninsula with a long shoreline and located on the far side of an ocean. A priori, one would assume this a made to order theater for the Marines, and the responsible Commander in Chief had already shown his interest: early in 1950, in connection with his mission of defending Japan, General MacArthur had requested instructors to train his occupation forces in amphibious warfare. Navy and Marine training specialists had consequently been provided, along with Admiral Doyle’s Amphibious Group, and had just begun to hold school in Japan when the invasion broke.

Yet amphibious warfare, in 1950, was out of favor with many due to strategic preconceptions, and the Marines with others for other reasons. In the congressional hearings on the unification troubles the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had described the amphibious landing as a thing of the past, and had observed that anyhow he had taken part in the two greatest amphibious operations of history and the Marines had not. The prediction awaited the test of time; the statement, certainly correct, might well have been amplified to point out that the Army troops which stormed the beaches of Europe did so in accordance with doctrine developed by the Marine Corps and the Navy. Even in war the pen and the guiding brain are at times as significant as the sword.

Quite apart from their amphibious specialty, there were other advantages to be derived from the commitment of the Marines to Korea. What was needed was needed fast; the Corps lives with its bags packed. While the requirement to go anywhere at short notice had made the Marines mobile, the requirements of the assault from the sea had led to the development of an extremely powerful package of strength. Man for man there was probably no more powerful force in existence anywhere. The ground elements made up a heavily armed and highly professional outfit in which every individual could handle a rifle. The air-ground team, long hoped for but delayed by World War II requirements, had by the end of that war become a fact, and the Marines had no need to wheedle their necessities in the upper regions out of a separate force with separate preoccupations. All their pilots had had infantry training; all were carrier qualified, and could operate from decks offshore until airstrips became available. With these capabilities, and with this understanding of the requirements on the surface of the earth, they commanded and deserved the confidence of the riflemen below.

Again, the Fleet Marine Force was well trained. As a small organization , the Marines had found it possible to maintain recruiting without recourse to trade and travel propaganda; since their withdrawal from North China they had been able to attend to business without the distractions of occupation duty. Between December and June the units of FMF Pacific had gone through two field exercises of regimental size or larger, an amphibious demonstration, and various lesser drills involving submarines, helicopters, and the seizure of San Nicholas Island by an airlifted battalion.

A further factor of importance, and one again suggestive of the realism of the Corps, was its readiness for movement. Naval movement plans, it is true, are almost automatic, but for other forces preparations are necessary, and the Marines appear to have been the only people in the armed services with concrete arrangements for anything less than that Armageddon euphemistically known as a "general emergency." In 1948 plans had been worked out for the rapid movement of a regimental combat team and a Marine air group from the west coast to any point in the Pacific, and the materiel bureaus of the Navy Department were on ten-day notice to provide the necessary mounting-out equipment.

Finally, Marines are volunteers both in fact and by temperament. Their inbred highly competitive attitude had been strengthened by the post-war atmosphere within the Pentagon, with its repeated rumors of plans for the abolition of the Corps or for its limitation to guard duty. At Corps headquarters, where there hangs a painting of the Korean landing of 1871, there was little question as to involvement in this war, and on 28 June the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Clifton B. Cates, USMC, recommended to the Chief of Naval Operations employment of the Fleet Marine Force in Korea. [note]

On 28 June CincPacFleet asked the Chief of Naval Operations for operational control of the west coast squadrons, and two days later the request was granted.

Part 6. Air transport and Air Reinforcement

No aspect of armed force has received more emphasis in our time than the military employment of the airplane. First conceived of as a means by which the commander could tell what was going on on the other side of the hill, aircraft have had their principal impact in two other areas: as long-range gun, extending the distance at which blows may be aimed and delivered, and as flying vehicle, capable of the rapid movement of goods regardless of obstacles on the surface of the earth. With ground and surface reinforcements headed westward, it remains to consider the air aspect of the transoceanic deployment in support of the Korean campaign.

This, it need hardly be said, was no independent phenomenon. The use of the air is intimately connected with the course of affairs below. In reconnaissance as in transport, whether of explosives, troops, or supplies, the mission of the airplane is defined by the course of events on land and sea. And while in all these functions the airplane has developed tremendous capabilities, in all it depends on surface logistic support. If, as has so often been said, communications dominate war, the aerial capability has both solved old requirements and imposed new ones in this controlling field.

Command of the air, so essential to western-style war, depends in a transoceanic theater on command of the seas. Like the Army, the Air Force is projected, supported, and sustained by surface shipping. In some sense this fact has been neglected as the result of what may be described as optical illusion. Aircraft in flight, indeed, resemble air theorists on paper in their apparent independence of logistic problems. But although the flexibility of the airplane is extraordinary, within its limits of range and performance, it is equally true that the logistic requirements of a modern air force are immense. Where bases do not exist they must be constructed; where they do exist they must be supported; the appetite for fuel and ammunition, spare parts, shops and tools, runway surfacing, buildings and personnel, which is evinced by any considerable deployment of air strength is a very impressive one. The plane in the air on its mission is the end product of an elaborate, costly, and highly developed organization.

Yet given the base facilities and the aircraft, it is possible to deliver across great distances not only ammunition to the ultimate consumer but much else besides. In the Second World War the possibilities of airborne operations were dramatically demonstrated by the German conquests of Norway and Crete, and by the Allied airdrop into Normandy in 1944. Equally if not more important were the logistic feats accomplished through air supply: in Burma the British planned a whole campaign around this capability; in France, although insufficient air tanker capacity halted Patton's tanks in 1944, the final advance into Germany saw the airlift bringing up half a million gallons of gasoline a day. Nothing so colossal was to supervene in Korea, although air supply would prove a priceless asset, but from the beginning air transport was called on to assist the overseas deployment.

Since air transport offered the quickest method of alleviating critical shortages, the call for help was urgent. From all services requests came flooding in for vitally needed gear and personnel. For Naval Forces Far East, communicators to handle the dispatch load, boat crews for undermanned amphibious shipping, individuals of all ranks and rates were hurried west to build up personnel to something approaching wartime complement, to staff the expanding base facilities, and perhaps most urgent of all, to staff the staffs. The result of this overwhelming demand was to force an extremely rapid expansion upon the air transport facilities of the armed services, the Military Air Transport Service and the Fleet Logistic Air Wing.

The Military Air transport Service, operated by the Air Force, is the aerial counterpart of MSTS. Established as a unified logistic organization pursuant to the National Security Act, MATS operates what is in effect a scheduled airline between major traffic generating points around the world. To supplement this schedule by providing feeder service to dispersed naval activities, the flexibility of non-scheduled operations, and something to fall back on in a general emergency when MATS would be pretty well mortgaged to other activities, the Navy had set up its Fleet Logistic Support Wings. Of these there had originally been two, one on each coast, but the passion for centralizing which had afflicted the Defense Department had led to their merger, despite objections from the fleet commanders, into a single Fleet Logistic Air Wing, responsible to the Chief of Naval Operations and with headquarters at Patuxent River, Maryland.

At the outbreak of hostilities three Navy air transport squadrons were employed in the Pacific to supplement the regular MATS schedule.

One, under the operational control of CincPacFleet, was operating six R5Ds from Barber’s Point, Oahu;

the second was flying four JRM Martin Mars flying boats out of Alameda;

the third, with five R5Ds and two R6Os was at Moffett Field.

This capacity was speedily to prove inadequate.

On 28 June CincPacFleet asked the Chief of Naval Operations for operational control of the west coast squadrons, and two days later the request was granted. [note]

0000 Korean Time

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Soon after he had gone to bed, according to Colonel Greenwood, Maj. George R. Sedberry, Jr., the G-3 adviser to the ROK Army, telephoned him that the South Koreans intended to blow the Han River bridges.

Sedberry said that he was trying to persuade General Kim Paik Il, ROK Deputy Chief of Staff, to prevent the blowing of the bridges until troops, supplies, and equipment clogging the streets of Sŏul could be removed to the south side of the river. There had been an earlier agreement between KMAG and General Chae that the bridges would not be blown until enemy tanks reached the street on which the ROK Army headquarters was located. Greenwood hurried to the ROK Army headquarters. There General Kim told him that the Vice Minister of Defense had ordered the blowing of the bridges at 0130 and they must be blown at once. [03-55]

Maj. Gen. Chang Kuk, ROK Army G-3 at the time, states that General Lee, commander of the 2nd Division, appeared at the ROK Army headquarters after midnight and, upon learning that the bridges were to be blown, pleaded with General Kim to delay it at least until his troops and their equipment, then in the city, could cross to the south side of the Han. It appears that earlier, General Chae, the Chief of Staff, over his protests had been placed in a jeep and sent south across the river. According to General Chang, General Chae wanted to stay in Sŏul. But with Chae gone, General Kim was at this climactic moment the highest ranking officer at the ROK Army headquarters. After General Lee's pleas, General Kim turned to General Chang and told him to drive to the river and stop the blowing of the bridge.

General Chang went outside, got into a jeep, and drove off toward the highway bridge, but he found the streets so congested with traffic, both wheeled and pedestrian, that he could make only slow progress. The nearest point from which he might expect to communicate with the demolition party on the south side of the river was a police box near the north end of the bridge. He says he had reached a point about 150 yards from the bridge when a great orange-colored light illumined the night sky. The accompanying deafening roar announced the blowing of the highway and three railroad bridges. [03-55] [note]

0100 Korean Time

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Korean_War

Beginning about 0100, 28 June, KMAG officers at ROK Army headquarters tried repeatedly to telephone him the information that the ROK Army headquarters was leaving Sŏul. This would necessitate a decision by Colonel Wright as to whether KMAG should also leave. But the telephone message never got to Colonel Wright because Colonel Mahoney who took the calls refused to disturb him. Finally, after the ROK Army headquarters staff had departed, Lt. Col. Lewis D. Vieman went to Colonel Wright's quarters for the second time, found the houseboy, and had him awaken Colonel Wright. Colonel Vieman then informed Colonel Wright of the situation.[04-21]

The latter was just leaving his quarters when the Han River bridges blew up. Colonel Wright assembled all the Americans in a convoy and started for a bridge east of the city.[04-22] En route they learned from Korean soldiers that this bridge too had been blown. The convoy turned around and returned to the KMAG housing area at Camp Sobinggo.

[note]

Five and a half hours later [ 2015+530=2545] the order (Admiral Joy's Operation Order 5-50,) was amplified to designate as primary targets for the attention of the task group the coast and off-lying islands from T'ongyŏng-si, west of Pusan, to Ulsan on the east, and the east coast sector between Samch'ŏk and Kangnung. [note]

0200 Korean Time

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This news was made public at noon on Tuesday the 27th. Following an earlier meeting with congressional leaders at the White House, the President announced that pursuant to the action of the Security Council he had ordered naval and air support of the Republic of Korea, and that he had instructed the Seventh Fleet to prevent either an attack on Formosa from the mainland or an invasion of China by the forces of Chiang Kai-shek. The mood of other governmental bodies matched his own: the House of Representatives extended the Selective Service Act by a vote of 315 to 4; in the Senate the action was unanimous. [note]

0215 Korean Time

The gigantic explosions, which dropped two spans of the Han highway bridge into the water on the south side, were set off about 0215 with no warning to the military personnel and the civilian population crowding the bridges.

Two KMAG officers, Col. Robert T. Hazlett and Captain Hausman, on their way to Suwŏn to establish communication with Tokyo, had just crossed the bridge when it blew up-Hausman said seven minutes after they crossed. Hazlett said five minutes.

Hausman places the time of the explosion at 0215. Several other sources fix it approximately at the same time. Pedestrian and solid vehicular traffic, bumper to bumper, crowded all three lanes of the highway bridge. In Sŏul the broad avenue leading up to the bridge was packed in all eight lanes with vehicles of all kinds, including army trucks and artillery pieces, as well as with marching soldiers and civilian pedestrians. The best informed American officers in Sŏul at the time estimate that between 500 and 800 people were killed or drowned in the blowing of this bridge. Double this number probably were on that part of the bridge over water but which did not fall, and possibly as many as 4,000 people altogether were on the bridge if one includes the long causeway on the Sŏul side of the river.

Three American war correspondents-Burton Crane, Frank Gibney, and Keyes Beech-were just short of the blown section of the bridge when it went skyward. The blast shattered their jeep's windshield. Crane and Gibney in the front seat received face and head cuts from the flying glass. Just ahead of them a truckload of ROK soldiers were all killed. [03-57]

There was a great South Korean up roar later over the premature destruction of the Han River bridges, and a court of inquiry sat to fix the blame for the tragic event. A Korean army court martial fixed the responsibility and blame on the ROK Army Chief Engineer for the "manner" in which he had prepared the bridges for demolition, and he was summarily executed. Some American advisers in Korea at the time believed that General Chae ordered the bridges blown and that the Chief Engineer merely carried out his orders. General Chae denied that he had given the order. Others in a good position to ascertain all the facts available in the prevailing confusion believed that the Vice Minister of Defense ordered the blowing of the bridges. The statements attributed to General Kim support this view.

The utter disregard for the tactical situation, with the ROK Army still holding the enemy at the outskirts of the city, and the certain loss of thousands of soldiers and practically all the transport and heavy weapons if the bridges were destroyed, lends strong support to the view that the order was given by a ROK civilian official and not by a ROK Army officer.

Had the Han River bridges not been blown until the enemy actually approached them there would have been from at least six to eight hours longer in which to evacuate the bulk of the troops of three ROK divisions and at least a part of their transport, equipment, and heavy weapons to the south side of the Han. It is known that when the KMAG party crossed [came back and waded] the Han River at 0600 on 28 June the fighting was still some distance from the river, and according to North Korean sources enemy troops did not occupy the center of the city until about noon. Their arrival at the river line necessarily must have been later.

The premature blowing of the bridges was a military catastrophe for the ROK Army. The main part of the army, still north of the river, lost nearly all its transport, most of its supplies, and many of its heavy weapons. Most of the troops that arrived south of the Han waded the river or crossed in small boats and rafts in disorganized groups. The disintegration of the ROK Army now set in with alarming speed.

ROK troops held the North Koreans at the edge of Sŏul throughout the night of 27-28 June, and the North Koreans have given them credit for putting up a stubborn resistance. During the morning of the 28th, the North Korean attack forced the disorganized ROK defenders to withdraw, whereupon street fighting started in the city. Only small ROK units were still there. These delayed the entry of the N.K. 3rd Division into the center of Sŏul until early afternoon. [03-58] [note]

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At 0300, on 28 June, all Americans remaining in the city were ordered to leave. [note]

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On 28 June, Chae gathered about 1,000 ROK officers and 8,000 men and organized them into units near Suwŏn. Then he dispatched them to defensive positions on the south bank of the Han River. [04-39]

That evening, Church felt "a reasonable defense of the Han River line from the south bank could be accomplished." But if the 38th Parallel were to be restored, he believed, American ground forces would have to be used. He radioed this opinion to MacArthur together with an admittedly fragmentary report of the situation. [04-40] [note]

Seventy-two hours after the NKPA invasion had begun, it was obvious to Joe Darrigo and his KMAG cohorts that the battle to stop the NKPA invasion was lost. The causes for this disaster were numerous, but the main ones were Truman's inability to grasp grand strategy - to back American foreign policy with adequate military power - and his battery commander's view that he was a victim of Pentagon budget flimflams.

South Korea obviously required a continuing American military presence to ensure its survival until the embryonic ROK Army had matured and been properly equipped.

Truman's crippling cuts in the Army's budget had compelled a premature American withdrawal from South Korea, leaving that new and unstable nation ripe for conquest.

The inexplicable and ill-advised public statements by Acheson in January and Connally in April of 1950 may well have encouraged Moscow and P'yŏngyang to proceed when they did. The timing may also have been prompted by the status of training in the ROK and American Eighth armies.

Further delays would have confronted the NKPA with a better trained ROK Army and, should America intervene (as MacArthur had promised Rhee he would) a better trained Eighth Army. Whatever the case, considering the strategic situation that existed, an NKPA invasion on June 25, 1950, was bound to succeed. [note]

The next day about 0400 Colonel Hazlett and Captain Hausman, KMAG advisers, arrived at Suwŏn from Sŏul. They told General Church that the Han River bridges were down, that some North Korean tanks were in Sŏul, that the South Korean forces defending Sŏul were crumbling and fleeing toward Suwŏn, and that they feared the majority of KMAG was still in Sŏul and trapped there. [04-28]

[28] Church MS; Interv, author with Col Robert T. Hazlett, 11 Jun 54;
Interv, author with Hausman, 12 Jan 52.

Such was the dark picture presented to General Church before dawn of his first full day in Korea, 28 June.

General Church asked Hazlett and Hausman to find General Chae, ROK Chief of Staff. [note]

On the morning of 28 June the southward drifting polar weather front stood over the airfields on Kyushu, but the Fifth Air Force had to fly, weather or no weather. Into the murky dawn from Itazuke Lt. Bryce Poe II took off alone in his RF-80A to reconnoiter and photograph the vanguard of the NKPA. Terminal weather at Itazuke was the "foulest imaginable," but Poe found target weather in Korea to be clearing, and he accomplished a successful mission-the first reconnaissance sortie of the Korean war and the first USAF combat jet reconnaissance sortie of all time.#89

The tactical weather report that Poe brought back was encouraging. If pilots could get airborne and then, at the completion of their missions, get back down through the low-lying clouds for safe landings, they could fly strikes to Korea. [note]

0500 Korean Time

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Early on the 28th Juneau anchored off the southeastern shore of Koje Do, a party was sent ashore by whaleboat, difficulties in communication with the inhabitants were somehow surmounted, and the fact established that the island remained peaceful and undisturbed. Following this check on his southern area of responsibility, Higgins headed north, [note]

However, by dawn on June 28 (his birthday) Church realized that in view of the paucity of ROK infantry and a complete lack of heavy weapons, the objective was beyond his capability.[3-30]

That morning he conveyed the bad news to MacArthur by radio. He told GHQ, Tokyo, that the ROK Army was incapable of restoring the status quo ante bellum in South Korea. In order to recapture Sŏul and reestablish ROK positions at the 38th Parallel, Church said (as he wrote later) that "it would be necessary to employ American ground forces." The response to this momentous conclusion was a cryptic message from Tokyo informing him that a "high-ranking" officer would arrive at Suwŏn on the following morning if the airfield was usable. Realizing that the "high-ranking" officer could only be MacArthur, Church told GHQ that so far Suwŏn was still in friendly hands but to exercise utmost caution.[3-31] [note]

0600 Korean Time

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Had the Han River bridges not been blown until the enemy actually approached them there would have been from at least six to eight hours longer in which to evacuate the bulk of the troops of three ROK divisions and at least a part of their transport, equipment, and heavy weapons to the south side of the Han. It is known that when the KMAG party crossed [came back and waded] the Han River at 0600 on 28 June the fighting was still some distance from the river, and according to North Korean sources enemy troops did not occupy the center of the city until about noon. Their arrival at the river line necessarily must have been later.

The premature blowing of the bridges was a military catastrophe for the ROK Army. The main part of the army, still north of the river, lost nearly all its transport, most of its supplies, and many of its heavy weapons. Most of the troops that arrived south of the Han waded the river or crossed in small boats and rafts in disorganized groups. The disintegration of the ROK Army now set in with alarming speed.

ROK troops held the North Koreans at the edge of Sŏul throughout the night of 27-28 June, and the North Koreans have given them credit for putting up a stubborn resistance. During the morning of the 28th, the North Korean attack forced the disorganized ROK defenders to withdraw, whereupon street fighting started in the city. Only small ROK units were still there. These delayed the entry of the N.K. 3rd Division into the center of Sŏul until early afternoon. [03-58] [note]

The first C-54 loaded with 105-mm. howitzer shells took off at 0600 28 June for Suwŏn, Korea.[05-21] [note]

Korean_War

USS Cabezon (SS-334)

USS Cabezon (SS-334) made a fast turnaround at Hong Kong and joined with the others on the 28th off the northern tip of Luzon. Revised orders from Commander Seventh Fleet changed their destination also from Sasebo to Okinawa, and there they arrived on 30 June, to be joined next day by the submarine rescue vessel USS Greenlet (ASR-10) from Guam.

Korean_War

USS Greenlet (ASR-10)

At Buckner Bay new orders were received, and on the 3rd Greenlet and her three charges sailed in company for Yokosuka. [note]

0603 Korean Time

Sun Rise

[note]

0700 Korean Time

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A young USAF officer, Lt. Col. John McGinn, was one of the most active members of the ADCOM group. Early on the morning of 28 June, when transport aircraft began to land at Suwŏn, Colonel McGinn went to the airfield, rounded up some trucks and Korean laborers, and began to organize the Suwŏn airhead.

During the morning General Timberlake sent from Ashiya a battery of quadruple-mounted .50-caliber machine guns, served by a detachment of men from the 507th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, and a tactical air-control party, with two very high-frequency radio jeeps.

The VHF radios did not have enough range to reach back to Japan, but McGinn put one of them to work controlling air traffic and used the other to communicate targets to fighters which circled above Suwŏn.

To get these targets, McGinn drove the six miles separating the airfield from the command post, studied the Korean situation map in General Church's office, and selected likely looking objectives several miles out in front of known ROK positions.

Recognizing the security violation involved, McGinn broadcasted several of the targets in the clear to fighters overhead. He also wrote target descriptions (he had no American maps) and gave them to transport pilots to carry back to Itazuke. [note]

Off from Ashiya at 0730 hours, a 3rd Bombardment Group strike force of 12 B-26's bombed the busy railway yards up near the 38th parallel at Munsan, and then the light bomber crews swept southward at low level over the railway and nearby highway, strafing and rocketing targets of opportunity. This tree-top high attack was costly to the Reds, but hostile ground fire riddled many of the B-26's. One lost an engine and set down at Suwŏn; a second limped back to Ashiya where it had to be junked; a third crew lost sight of the weather-shrouded runway at Ashiya and crashed, killing everyone aboard. [note]

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General Church asked Hazlett and Hausman to find General Chae, ROK Chief of Staff. Several hours later [0800] General Chae arrived at ADCOM headquarters. Church told him that MacArthur was in operational control of the American air and naval support of the ROK forces, and that the group at Suwŏn was his, MacArthur's, advance headquarters in Korea. At Church's suggestion Chae moved the ROK Army headquarters into the same building with Church's ADCOM headquarters.

General Church advised General Chae to order ROK forces in the vicinity of Sŏul to continue street fighting in the city; to establish straggler points between Sŏul and Suwŏn and to collect all ROK troops south of the Han River and reorganize them into units, and to defend the Han River line at all cost. [04-29] [note]

0900 Korean Time

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The invasion of South Korea found Admiral Doyle's Amphibious Group busy with its training duties. On the morning of the 25th Task Force 90 got underway from Yokosuka, with elements of the 35th Regimental Combat Team embarked, to conduct landing exercises outside Tokyo Bay. Although operations were carried out on the 26th and 28th, in accordance with the training order, the attention of both teachers and pupils was progressively distracted by reports of happenings in Korea. During the second landing observers from the Far East Air Forces were ordered back to their stations; on completion of the exercise the ships returned at once to Yokosuka to debark the troops. [note]

0930 Korean Time

Later in the day the 3rd Group sent out another mission of 12 B-26's. Three of these planes aborted from mechanical causes, but the others attacked road and rail traffic north of Sŏul.#90

The B-26 light bombers had enough fuel to let them take chances, but prevailing 200-foot ceilings and limited visibilities at Itazuke made F-80 operations risky. It was 310 miles from Itazuke to the Han River, a distance that stretched the range of the jet interceptors. All of them would return to base with little fuel. If they could not find enough visibility to allow them to land without delay, the pilots would have to bail out and save themselves.

The risk was great, but in the middle of the morning and again in the middle of the afternoon Colonel Price dispatched six flights of F-80's, each of four planes. North of Sŏul the Shooting Star pilots found the hunting good.

Road nets were crammed with North Korean tanks, trucks, troops, and artillery, and the F-80 pilots left fires visible for 50 miles.#91

In all, the F-82 squadrons flew 11 sorties to Korea during the day. Most of these planes flew top cover for the transports which were landing at Suwŏn.

One 68th Squadron fighter developed mechanical trouble and had to land at Suwŏn.#92 [note]

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1130 Korean Time

The "high-ranking officer" mentioned in the radio message of the 28th was General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. Shortly before noon on 28 June, General MacArthur called Lt. Col. Anthony F. Story, his personal pilot, to his office in the Dai Ichi Building in Tokyo and said he wanted to go to Suwŏn the next day to make a personal inspection. Colonel Story checked the weather reports and found them negative - storms, rains, low ceiling, and heavy winds predicted for the morrow.[04-31] [note]

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10:45 PM Washington Time

Korean_War

United Nations Security Council Resolution 83

The vote was 7 to 1, with Yugoslavia voting against it. Russia was absent, continuing a boycott of the council because of the UN's refusal to seat Communist China. [note]

1245 Korean Time

On the bright side, the UN Security Council had just voted 9 to 0 to condemn the PA aggression as "a breach of the peace," and America's UN ambassador, Warren Austin, was drafting a second, stronger resolution, calling upon member nations to "render such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security to the area."* Truman had already decided that the principal assistance should be provided by the armed forces of the United States. In a stunning reversal of its previous public policy, the administration was moving' to defend a peninsula which was of negligible strategic value, posed no threat to U.S. security, and had been so far as the world knew written off by Washington. Later MacArthur would write:

"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 .. . agreed to enter the Korean War." He added: "All the risks inherent in this decision including the possibility of Chinese and Russian involvement applied then just as much as they applied later." [4]


* This was passed at 10:45 P.M. on Tuesday, June 27. [6/28/1950 1100] The vote was 7 to 1, with Yugoslavia voting against it. Russia was absent, continuing a boycott of the council because of the UN's refusal to
seat Communist China.


Although the commander in Tokyo was not consulted at that stage, he was an invisible presence at the mahogany Blair House table, and his name was mentioned repeatedly. After canvassing the group, which the President christened his "war cabinet," Truman made three decisions.

One
MacArthur would be ordered to evacuate the two thousand Americans in Korea, covering the operation with fighter planes which would avoid airspace north of the Parallel.

Two
Simultaneously, he would send ammunition and every available piece of military equipment in Japan and on Okinawa to the ROKs.

Three
Last, his theater was expanded to include Formosa and the Pescadores, and the Seventh Fleet, now placed under his command, was to patrol the Formosa Strait, "quarantining the fighting," in Acheson's phrase, "within Korea."


In those days it was assumed that all Communist nations acted in concert. Truman was worried about Soviet strikes in the Middle East or Berlin, and in official Washington there was a very real fear that Peking, coordinating its movements with P'yŏngyang, might sail against Formosa. The last thing the United States wanted now was a resumption of the Chinese civil war.[5] [note]

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Early on the 28th Juneau anchored off the southeastern shore of Koje Do, a party was sent ashore by whaleboat, difficulties in communication with the inhabitants were somehow surmounted, and the fact established that the island remained peaceful and undisturbed.

Following this check on his southern area of responsibility, Higgins headed north, and in the afternoon [1300] put the landing party ashore at Ulsan with similar result.

With evening Juneau again got underway, and continued up the coast to patrol the 25 mile area between Samch'ŏk and Kangnung, which was reported to have been occupied by the enemy.

In Korea the situation was shrouded in uncertainty, and available intelligence was both fragmentary and confusing. False reports had caused the investigation of Koje Do and Ulsan, and a more tragic instance of misdirected effort was now to follow. [note]

At Lake Success it was clear that seven votes-the required majority-favored armed assistance to the Republic of Korea. but the Security Council had been holding up a vote until the delegates from India and Egypt could obtain instructions from their home governments. Finally, in the evening hours [9PM 2100 2100+1400=3500-2400=1300] of 27 June, the Security Council waited no longer, but adopted by a vote of seven in favor and one (Yugoslavia) opposed a resolution which recommended that "the Members of the United Nations furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel armed attack and restore international peace and security in the area.#77 Once again the Soviet delegate, who could have vetoed the resolution, did not attend the meeting of the Security Council.

[That tells me, they wanted the UN to intervene.
They just stood down from the Berlin air-lift, but had set off an A-bomb, they were tweaking Truman's nose] [note]

Early on the 28th USS Juneau (CLAA-119) anchored off the southeastern shore of Koje Do, a party was sent ashore by whaleboat, difficulties in communication with the inhabitants were somehow surmounted, and the fact established that the island remained peaceful and undisturbed. Following this check on his southern area of responsibility, Higgins headed north, and in the afternoon put the landing party ashore at Ulsan with similar result. With evening Juneau again got underway, and continued up the coast to patrol the area between Samch'ŏk and Kangnung, which was reported to have been occupied by the enemy.

In Korea the situation was shrouded in uncertainty, and available intelligence was both fragmentary and confusing. False reports had caused the investigation of Koje Do and Ulsan, and a more tragic instance of misdirected effort was now to follow. [note]

At about 1330 hours on 28 June four Yaks strafed Suwŏn Airfield, disabling the F-82 and B-26 which had been forced to land there. [note]

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Truman announces at noon that he has ordered the Air Force and Navy to fight with the South Koreans. He had given the order to MacArthur about two hours earlier.

-- Congress votes to support the president. Members also vote to extend the draft by a year. The governments of Great Britain, West Germany and France declare unanimous agreement with the vote.

-- Late in the night, the UN Security Council passes a resolution asking member countries "to furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea … to repel the attack and to restore international peace." The resolution removes all restraints from noncommunist nations to commit resources to expelling North Korean invaders, an action that comes to be viewed as having no end in sight. [note]

June 27 - United Nations asks member countries to aid the Republic of Korea. Republic of Korea Army abandons Sŏul. President Truman announces U.S. intervention. [note]

1500 Korean Time

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The 16th Regiment of the N.K. 4th Division entered the city about mid-afternoon. [03-59] One group of ROK soldiers in company strength dug in on South Mountain within the city and held out all day, but finally they reportedly were killed to the last man. [03-60]

At least a few North Korean tanks were destroyed or disabled in street fighting in Sŏul. One captured North Korean tanker later told of seeing two knocked-out tanks in Sŏul when he entered. [03-61]

The two North Korean divisions completed the occupation of Sŏul during the afternoon. Within the city an active fifth column met the North Korean troops and helped them round up remaining ROK troops, police, and South Korean government officials who had not escaped.

200

In the first four days of the invasion, during the drive on Sŏul, the N.K. 3rd and 4th Divisions incurred about 1,500 casualties. [03-62] Hardest hit was the 4th Division, which had fought the ROK 7th Division down to Uijongbu. It lost 219 killed, 761 wounded, and 132 missing in action for a total of 1,112 casualties. [03-63] [note]

After reaching the south bank, about 0800, the KMAG party struck out and walked the 15-mile cross-country trail to Anyang-ni, arriving there at 1500, 28 June. Waiting vehicles, obtained by an advance party that had gone ahead in a jeep, picked up the tired men and carried them to Suwŏn. Upon arriving at Suwŏn they found Colonel Wright and his command radio already there. After Although in the first few days some getting across the river Wright had members of the KMAG group report turned through Yŏngdŭngp'o, which, contrary to rumors, proved to be free of enemy and had then traveled the main road.[04-24] [note]

By 1517 in the afternoon, transport planes had departed Japan with a total of 119 tons of ammunition. [note]

1530 Korea Time

In the latter part of the afternoon four B-29's of the 19th Bombardment Group arrived over Korea. As they were briefed to do, two of these Superfortresses flew up the parallel road and rail lines between Sŏul and Kapyong and the other two covered similar arteries between Sŏul and Uijongbu. Each bomber crew toggled out bombs against anything that looked to be worth a bomb.#93 It was a strange employment for the strategic bombers, but General MacArthur had called for a maximum show of force.

The American embassy in Korea liked the strikes which FEAF flew on 28 June, but, for the following day, it suggested that FEAF center its attacks in the vicinity of Sŏul. Even if there were no worthwhile objectives, the embassy believed that constant visual display of American airpower was "fundamental" if ROK troops on the south banks of the Han were to hold their ground.#94

But while FEAF was flying "morale" attacks, the North Korean Air Force was having a field day. [note]

Later in the day the 3rd Group sent out another mission of 12 B-26's. Three of these planes aborted from mechanical causes, but the others attacked road and rail traffic north of Sŏul.#90

The B-26 light bombers had enough fuel to let them take chances, but prevailing 200-foot ceilings and limited visibilities at Itazuke made F-80 operations risky. It was 310 miles from Itazuke to the Han River, a distance that stretched the range of the jet interceptors. All of them would return to base with little fuel. If they could not find enough visibility to allow them to land without delay, the pilots would have to bail out and save themselves.

The risk was great, but in the middle of the morning and again in the middle of the afternoon Colonel Price dispatched six flights of F-80's, each of four planes. North of Sŏul the Shooting Star pilots found the hunting good.

Road nets were crammed with North Korean tanks, trucks, troops, and artillery, and the F-80 pilots left fires visible for 50 miles.#91

In all, the F-82 squadrons flew 11 sorties to Korea during the day. Most of these planes flew top cover for the transports which were landing at Suwŏn.

One 68th Squadron fighter developed mechanical trouble and had to land at Suwŏn.#92 [note]

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Late in the afternoon Warrant Officer Donald Nichols appeared at Suwŏn with several recommended air targets. At Ambassador Muccio's request, Nichols was now maintaining personal liaison with the ROK chiefs of staff. His air targets included the Sŏul main railway station, the former American motor pool in Sŏul where 30 Communist tanks were reported to be parked, and an enemy propaganda radio transmitter in Sŏul. Nichols had already annotated the locations of these targets on Korean maps, and McGinn sent them back to Itazuke by a departing transport. #100 [note]

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After his arduous trip to South Korea MacArthur returned to his home in Tokyo for a good night's sleep. While he slept, the JCS, now receiving a continuous stream of reports from various sources in Korea and Japan, began to realize that with the ROK Army disintegrating, it was doubtful that American air and sea power alone could save South Korea. During that day - June 29, [3-11AM] Washington time - the full JCS concluded, reluctantly, that if South Korea were to be saved, the use of some American ground forces could probably not be avoided much longer.[3-43]

Two purely military considerations pushed the chiefs closer to committing limited American ground forces that day.

The first was the need to ensure the safety of the airfield at Pusan. It and the field in Suwŏn (which might be lost at any hour) were the only two air installations in South Korea capable of handling the big four engine C54 Air Force transports which were now being employed to bring in emergency supplies of ammunition to the ROKs and to evacuate American stragglers.

The second consideration was the need to ensure the safety of the South Korean seaports of Pusan and Chinhae (twenty miles east of Pusan), which the American Navy was using as unloading points for ammo and supplies.[3-44]

[note]

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Early on the 28th Juneau anchored off the southeastern shore of Koje Do, a party was sent ashore by whaleboat, difficulties in communication with the inhabitants were somehow surmounted, and the fact established that the island remained peaceful and undisturbed. Following this check on his southern area of responsibility, Higgins headed north, and in the afternoon put the landing party ashore at Ulsan with similar result. With evening USS Juneau (CLAA-119) again got underway, and continued up the coast to patrol the area between Samch'ŏk and Kangnung, which was reported to have been occupied by the enemy.

In Korea the situation was shrouded in uncertainty, and available intelligence was both fragmentary and confusing. False reports had caused the investigation of Koje Do and Ulsan, and a more tragic instance of misdirected effort was now to follow. [note]

At about 1830 hours six other Yaks, working in pairs, appeared over Suwŏn. They jumped a 6th troop Carrier Squadron C-54 in the landing pattern and sieved the transport before its pilot could hit the deck and head back to Ashiya for an emergency landing. These same Yaks caught a 22nd troop Carrier Squadron C-54 on the ground and destroyed it.#95 From Taejŏn Ambassador Muccio warned General Stratemeyer not to land any more transports at Suwŏn unless fighter cover was overhead.#95

So far the Far East Command had no definite plan of action for its operations in Korea, but Brig. Gen. John H. Church's ADCOM group was beginning to function. [note]

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1930 Korean Time

Korean_War


On Wednesday, the fourth day of the war, MacArthur decided that it was time he visited the front. At dusk he summoned four American correspondents to his Dai Ichi office. He told them he didn't know whether U.S. air, naval, and logistical support would be enough to save the ROKs:

"In past wars there has been only one way for me to learn such things. There is only one way now. I have, decided to go to Korea and see for myself."

The Bataan would fly him there tomorrow, June 29. The plane was unarmed. He didn't know where they would land; Kimp'o field, the airstrip closest to Sŏul, had been captured, and Suwŏn, twenty miles south of the capital, was considered unsafe. His staff wanted him to settle for Pusan; the port closest to Japan, but he rejected that; it was too far - two hundred miles from the fighting. The reporters were invited to accompany him to Suwŏn, but he wanted them to know he couldn't guarantee fighter cover.

"If you're not at the airport," he said, "I'll know you have other commitments." All four replied that they would be there. He smiled. "I have no doubt of your courage," he said. "I just wanted to give your judgment a chance to work."

[note]

1939 Moonrise

Korean_War

Sunrise 05123 - 1954
Moonrise 1939 - 0350
Moon Phase 99% 13 days

19500628 1939 Moonrise

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Casualties

Wednesday June 28, 1950 (Day 5)

Korean_War 6 Casualties

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 0 0 0 0 0 0
Losses 6 0 0 0 0 6
To Date 6 0 0 0 0 6

Aircraft Losses Today 4

North Korean's Aircraft Losses Today 7

Notes for Wednesday June 28, 1950 - Day 4

[note]