Overview

July 10 - Fifth Air Force destroys large contingent of North Korean tanks and troops stalled at P'yŏngt'aek.
July 10 to 12 - U.S. Forces retreat down the Sŏul-Taejŏn road. Sŏul-Taegu line

[note]

Korean_War

July 10
The 25th Infantry Division in Japan begins loading gear onto ships to move to Korea. The movement will be complete July 18.

-- Cpl. Ernie Wheeler, 30, San Francisco, a Stars and Stripes reporter, and INS reporter Ray Richards, 56, Denver, are killed covering combat.

[note]

July 8-12
Airstrips are built in South Korea, enabling short-range F-80 Shooting Star jet fighters to support American soldiers. On July 10 U.S. and Australian aircraft fly 300 missions.

8, 9,10,11, 2

[note]

July 6 (continued through the 12th)
Newly arrived 24th Infantry Division troops are thrown against advancing North Korean forces. Outnumbered and outgunned, they are only able to slow down the communists.

-- The 34th Infantry Regiment fights delaying actions in P'yŏngt'aek and Ch'ŏnan on July 6. Two days later, the 34th engages the North Korean Army in a five-day battle at Choch'iwŏn.
-- There were many reports of green American troops breaking and running just like South Korean troops when they couldn't stop tank-supported North Korean troops with bazookas, rifles and grenades. In their fear and frustration, they complained about the "slaughterhouse."
-- An unidentified officer was quoted July 12, "You don't fight two tank-equipped divisions with .30 caliber carbines. I never saw such a useless damned war in all my life."
-- U.S. tanks that went into action against Russian-built tanks July 10-12 were no match for the heavier enemy armor. There were many counts of bravery among the outgunned Americans. One was Sgt. J.R. Glaze, Dallas, who couldn't stop a heavier Russian tank after hitting it 13 times from 30 meters. He dismounted his tank and knocked out two North Korean tanks with a bazooka.

6, 7, 8, 9, 10,11,12

[note]

Korean_War

One week later, on 7 and 10 July, Zhou, under Mao's instruction, chaired two conferences focusing on military preparations for the Korean conflict. A crucial decision was made at these conferences: the Thirteenth Army Corps under the Fourth Field Army would be immediately transformed into the Northeastern Border Defense Army (NEBDA) to prepare for "an intervention in the Korean War if necessary."[73]

[note]

Army Policy

Korean_War

The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended that General of the Army Douglas MacArthur be placed in command of United Nations forces. [06-6] President Truman accepted their recommendation and notified General MacArthur of his appointment on 10 July 1950.

[note]

First Visit From Washington

President Truman sent two members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Collins and General Vandenberg, to the Far East on 10 July 1950. They were to bring back firsthand information to use in establishing the scope of expansion of the U. S. military program.

[note]

Korean_War

An American corporal, wounded in the shoulder, was captured by a North Korean patrol on July 10, 1950. During the following 5 days, with his hands tied behind his back, he was beaten with rifle butts and forced to march double time with pebbles in his shoes until he dropped from the excruciating pain and exhaustion. His torture was further aggravated when his captors placed a can opener his open shoulder wound and applied lighted cigarettes to his pebble-torn feet. [18]

Charles E. Kinard, formerly a corporal with the 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Division, testified: ·

Corporal KINARD. * * *

First they put rocks in my shoes and they would chase me around until I would fall. I had lost quite a bit of blood and when I would come to, they would be giving me the cigarettes to my feet and legs and various places.

* * * * * * *

Senator POTTER. To your bare feet?

Corporal KINARD.

That is right. Then giving me all this, they decided they would try something new, at which time they had taken the C ration can opener which was on a dog tag hanging around my neck. They inserted that into the wound in my left shoulder and give them a half twist, and one of them said
"ptomaine poison." * * * After he inserted this into my wound then, I taken it out. He slapped me and hit me on my shoulder, on the wound, with the butt of his rifle, and put it back in there. Well, I decided it would be best if I left it in there * * *.

[note]

Central Intelligence Agency

Korean_War

Intelligence Memorandum 303, 10 July 1950, Soviet Capabilities with Respect to Japan in the Light of US Commitment in Korea

[note]

Intelligence Memorandum 304, 10 July 1950, Effects of a Voluntary Withdrawal of US Forces From Korea

[note] [note] [note] [note]

Command and Control

Conflict over Naval Command Relations.

On 10 July, Struble sent to Joy, with an information copy to the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Forrest Sherman, a message outlining the role he proposed to play in support of the 24th Division and the pending amphibious operation: close support for two days, working through Doyle, embarked on USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7).[cmdctl-16]

Struble preferred air strikes on the west rather than east coast of Korea but was unenthusiastic about any such strikes, cautioning that operational losses would “reduce capabilities for later amphibious operations.”[cmdctl-17]

Thus commenced a campaign by Struble to alter a command structure that he believed inappropriate to the tasks at hand.

Joy replied (copy to Sherman) that the Seventh Fleet was to “conduct repeated air strikes against Wŏnsan and other selected targets from Sea of Japan [thus, the east coast] on day before landing. Cover initial stages of landing as necessary before retiring.”[cmdctl-18]

Radford, in Hawaii, had already supported Joy’s position in a message to the Chief of Naval Operations (copy to Joy):

“Carrier strikes by a single carrier or accompanied only by British CVL [light carrier] are a calculated risk which will increase with each operation. Under present circumstances this risk must be taken.”[cmdctl-19]

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Korean_War

[This is just the 1st request of a Marine Division]
On 25 July, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) finally approved a request by MacArthur on 10 July for a war-strength Marine division (less one regimental combat team, or augmented regiment).

AP

[09-18] (1) Rad, CX 58327, CINCFE to JCS, 21 Jul. 50. (2) This statement reflects General MacArthur's conviction that "Washington" followed a policy of slighting his command in favor of the western European area. General Whitney's account of this transaction is interesting, if abbreviated.

". . . on July 10," Whitney says, "MacArthur asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the 1st Marine Division. Profiting by his experience with Washington's penchant for skeletonizing his forces, he carefully stipulated a division at full strength. He was turned down flat. He patiently tried again five days later, saying: 'I cannot emphasize too strongly my belief in the complete urgency of my request.' He was turned down again."

See Whitney, MacArthur; His Rendezvous With History, p. 343. [09-19] Memo, Gen. Shepherd, CC FMPAC, for Adm. Radford, CINCPAC, in JSPOG, GHQ, UNC files. [09-20] Memo, Gen. Bolté for Gen. Collins, 21 Jul. 50, sub: Augmentation of Provisional Marine Brigade, in G-3, DA file 320.2 Pac, Case 24.

[note]

Korean_War

MacArthur had met and spoken with Shepherd on 10 July regarding getting Marines into the Far East, and evidently they had got on well. Shepherd had been assistant division commander of the 1st Marine Division under MacArthur’s overall command for the Cape Gloucester operation in World War II. Shepherd certainly was available—his FMF post was administrative. Moreover, by all accounts he wanted an active role at Inch'ŏn, not only for personal professional reasons but in the interests of the Marine Corps.[cmdctl-29]

However, several days (the exact date remains uncertain) after Force X began its work [after 8/15] , Almond had occasion to speak with MacArthur regarding logistics issues, and in their conversation the question of a designation for the landing force came up; MacArthur decided that it would be called X (that is, Tenth) Corps. Almond inquired as to who would command X Corps, for he believed it essential that whoever it was become involved immediately in the planning. MacArthur replied that he would think it over and let Almond know later in the day. When they met again, MacArthur told Almond:

“It’s you.”[cmdctl-30]

One may reasonably question this choice over Shepherd. Almond had no amphibious experience and precious little as a combat commander, and Inch'ŏn was one of the most complex amphibious plans in history. Several factors plausibly account for this selection, however.

First, Almond had loyally served MacArthur as his chief of staff and was the officer personally closest to him. It may have been simply a matter of rewarding a subordinate, and in any case it was MacArthur who would hold the reins.[cmdctl-31]

Second, MacArthur’s principal focus was not the actual amphibious assault but the subsequent land campaign, especially the capture of Sŏul. MacArthur’s World War II experience in the Southwest Pacific had included no amphibious assaults of the type that had characterized the Central Pacific; his landings had been but prefaces to the main efforts.

Finally, the potential political difficulty of designating a Marine general officer to command Army troops in combat, in light of the imbroglio that had followed Holland Smith’s relief of Ralph Smith on Saipan in 1944, may have played a part.[cmdctl-32]

[note]

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19500710 0000 DSC BERNARD, CARL F.

19500710 0000 DSC BURNS, CHARLES E.*

19500710 0000 DSC FINLEY, JOHN W.

19500710 0000 DSC GLAZE, J. R.

19500710 0000 DSC TYLER, RUSSELL P.


Air Interdiction

The Korean War had some unique factors that affected air interdiction (AI), including terrain and the Chinese sanctuary. It also provides examples of effective and ineffective air interdiction, demonstrating the importance of integrating air interdiction efforts into the overall theater campaign.


Factors Affecting Air Interdiction in Korea

Korea favors air interdiction, being a 400-nautical-mile long peninsula varying in width from about l00 to about 300 nautical miles. It is extremely mountainous, resulting in over 85 percent of the terrain being unsuitable for vehicles. At the time of the war, traffic was concentrated on the few roads and railroads of the existing network. The depth of most rivers varies from deep (between March and September) to fordable at other times. During winter many rivers (including the Yalu) freeze over.54

An important factor affecting interdiction was the sanctuary the UN extended to Chinese territory, allowing buildup of vehicles and supplies in China. Additionally, the Communist soldiers needed few supplies by US standards; and they were able to use manpower to carry supplies and to implement effective countermeasures such as using camouflage, restricting travel to night, and deploying repair teams for rails, roads, and bridges.55 Finally, the static front that developed and the reduced need for ground maneuver limited the effectiveness of interdiction.


Effective Air Interdiction

Initially, as UN forces retreated to establish the Pusan perimeter, FEAF began conducting air interdiction to cut the lengthening NKPA supply lines. In combination with long lines of communication and heavy ground fighting, interdiction greatly reduced the fighting capability of the NKPA and resulted in extreme shortages of men and virtually all supplies.56 Tile bombing of bridges is usually emphasized in this AI campaign, but AI in the form of armed reconnaissance, usually by naval and FEAF fighter-bombers, had the major impact. Fighters roamed the roads and rails, looking for lucrative targets and strafing and rocketing trains and convoys. For example, on 10 July 1950, an F-80 discovered a convoy backed up behind a downed bridge and called in additional air. A combination of F-80s, F-82s, and B-26s destroyed 117 trucks, 38 tanks, 7 half-tracks, and killed numerous soldiers.57

From the enemy soldier's viewpoint, the effect was devastating. One prisoner described such an attack:

"En route from Kwangung area the 8th [NKIIA] division was attacked many times by aircraft and lost ten 76mm. field guns, three 122mm. howitzers, 20 tanks, and 50 trucks loaded with ammunition and equipment."58

This is similar to the experiences of World War II, such as at Normandy, when armed reconnaissance by fighter-bombers was very effective in interdicting enemy ground forces en route to the battlefield in what is now called battlefield air interdiction (BAI).59 However, interdiction alone did not lead to victory. It was the combination of this continual air interdiction with ground maneuver (the Inch'ŏn landing), and ground offensives (the Eighth Army's breakout from Pusan) that resulted in the rout and destruction of the NKPA.60 This theater-level integration of interdiction into the campaign was the key to success.

Besides helping destroy the NKPA, air interdiction made another significant contribution to the UN effort. When the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) intervened in the war late in November 1950, the restrictions on CCF maneuver created by interdiction allowed Eighth Army to break clear and retreat to prepared defenses. For nearly three weeks, the Eighth Army was out of contact while air interdiction sorties hammered the CCF.61

Throughout the war, AI forced the enemy to travel at night, limiting his maneuver, the distance he could travel, and the availability of his supplies, thus reducing the CCF's capability to mount or sustain offensives.62 Nevertheless, air interdiction made a significant contribution to victory only when it was combined with maneuver of ground forces as an integral part of the theater campaign.

[note]

MiGs

Korean_War

"At Taejŏn, Lieutenant Harold E. Morris demonstrated a T6 trainer aircraft to be better suited for the airborne controller mission than liaison aircraft. "

[note]

Korean_War

"The first engagement between US and North Korean tanks occurred near Ch'ŏnui. One enemy T34 was destroyed while two outclassed US M24 Chafee light tanks were lost. Near P'yŏngt'aek, the Air Force achieved its greatest single day destruction of enemy tanks and trucks during the war."

[note]

Nogunri

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"North Korean prisoners of war are searched and interrogated at Reg. CP, south of Ch'ŏnui, American soldiers watch prisoners closely before they are questioned."

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Korean_War

Between the start of the war and the 1st Cavalry Division's move from Japan to Korea, the division's intelligence staff "gathered and disseminated available information on Korea, made plans, held briefings, secured necessary equipment, addes [sic] personnel and arranged for distribution of maps throughout the command."

On July 10, the division published an intelligence standing operating procedure to provide guidance on conducting intelligence operations. The procedure only briefly mentioned civilians, directing that

"all natives in operational areas will, in the event of any doubt, be considered as hostile until definitely proven friendly."

The procedure did not mention how units should handle civilians attempting to move through American positions.

[note]

Air Force leadership soon determined that the Air Force needed another element to maintain effective contact between the Joint Operations Center and the Tactical Air Control Parties and to direct the F–80s to a target before the aircraft ran out of fuel. That component was the Airborne Tactical Air Controller, which, in the absence of enemy air opposition, could conduct tactical reconnaissance over the battlefield and immediate enemy rear areas and provide air-to-air direction for tactical aircraft arriving from Itazuke. 82

Korean_War

A control team tested the L–5G liaison aircraft on July 9, 1950 , but the aircraft proved too slow and its power generator fitted the SCR-522 airborne radios poorly. The next day, a T–6 with an eight-channel AN/ARC-3 radio worked successfully. 83

[note]

South then North

Korean_War

The early plan for the amphibious operation received the code name BLUEHEARTS and called for driving the North Koreans back across the 38th Parallel. The approximate date proposed for it was 22 July, but the operation was abandoned by 10 July because of the inability of the U.S. and ROK forces in Korea to halt the southward drive of the enemy. [25-2]

Meanwhile the planning for an amphibious operation went ahead in the Far East Command despite the cancellation of BLUEHEARTS. These plans were undertaken by the Joint Strategic Plans and Operations Group (JSPOG), Far East Command, which General Wright headed in addition to his duties as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3. One of Wright's deputies, Col. Donald H. Galloway, was directly in charge of JSPOG. This unusually able group of planners developed various plans in considerable detail for amphibious operations in Korea.

[note]

Korean_War

On 10 July, General MacArthur received his fourth command assignment-Commander in Chief, United Nations Command. The General Headquarters, Far East Command (GHQ FEC), then became the principal part of General Headquarters, United Nations Command (GHQ UNC).
[1 SCAP, 2 CINCFE, 3 CG USAFFE (see 6/25/50)]

Nearly a year before, General MacArthur had established on 20 August 1949 the Joint Strategic Plans and Operations Group (JSPOG), composed of Army, Navy, and Air Force representatives. This top planning group, under the general control of General Wright, G-3, Far East Command, served as the principal planning agency for the U.N. Command in the Korean War.

[note]

American tanks on the morning of 10 July near Ch'ŏnui engaged in their first fight of the Korean War. They performed poorly. In the afternoon, tanks participated in the 3rd Battalion counterattack and did better. One of them got in a first shot on an enemy tank and disabled it. Two American light tanks were lost during the day. [07-35]

Elements of the N.K. 4th Division had pressed on south after the capture of Ch'ŏnan and they had fought the battle of Ch'ŏnui. Leading elements of the N.K. 3rd Division, following the 4th by one day, apparently came up to Ch'ŏnui late on the 10th. They found the town such a mass of rubble that the reserve regiment bypassed it. [07-36]

[note]

Korean_War

These enemy operations in the mountainous central part of the peninsula were conducted by Lt. Gen. Kim Kwang Hyop, commanding general of the North Korean II Corps, with headquarters at Hwach'ŏn. On or about 10 July, the North Korean high command relieved him for inefficiency because his corps was several days behind its schedule, replacing him with Lt. Gen. Kim Mu Chong. [08-4]

Korean_War Korean_War

Below Wŏnju, while the ROK 6th Division tried to defend the Ch'ungju corridor, the ROK 8th Division upon arriving from the east coast tried to establish a line to defend the Tanyang corridor, the next one eastward. After seizing Ch'ungju and Chech'on, the N.K. 12th Division converged on Tanyang and on July [???? assume the 10th ] encountered the ROK 8th Division just north of that village.

[note]

Korean_War

The ROK 8th Division in its withdrawal from the east coast was supposed to concentrate in the vicinity of Wŏnju-Chech'on. For several days the ROK Army headquarters had only vague and fragmentary information concerning its location. Eventually, in moving from Tanyang toward Ch'ungju on Army order the division found the enemy blocking its way. Instead of trying to fight through to Ch'ungju or to make a detour, the ROK 8th Division commander decided, in view of the exhaustion of his troops and the time involved in attempting a detour over mountain trails, that he would transfer the division to Ch'ungju by rail on a long haul southward to Yŏngch'ŏn, thence to and through Taegu. A KMAG adviser found part of the division at Yŏngch'ŏn, between P'ohang-dong and Taegu; other parts appear to have reached Taegu. The ROK Army issued new orders to the 8th Division which sent it back by rail to the upper Han River area. There on the south side of the upper Han River in the Tanyang area the 8th Division had concentrated by 10 July to defend the Yŏngju-Andong corridor. [08-5]

American and ROK strategy and tactics in this part of Korea now centered on holding the Mun'gyŏng and Tanyang passes of the Han-Naktong watershed. Both offered excellent defensive terrain.

The major part of the North Korean Army was striking in a great attack on a wide front against the southern tip of the peninsula. Five divisions moved south over the two mountain corridors; while a sixth followed a western branch of the first corridor, the road from Ch'ŏngju through Poŭn to Hwanggan where it entered the Sŏul-Taegu highway.

Over the first mountain corridor and across the Mun'gyŏng plateau came three North Korean divisions, the 1st, 13th, and 15th, supported by the 109th Tank Regiment of the 105th Armored Division. [08-6]

Over the second, or eastern, corridor came two North Korean divisions, the 12th and 8th.

In the eastern mountains there were also 2,000-3,000 partisan guerrillas who had landed in the Ulchin area at the beginning of the war with the mission of operating as an advance element to prepare for the easy conquest of that part of South Korea. This group functioned poorly and was a big disappointment to the North Korean Army.

[note]

Korean_War

On the east coast along the Sea of Japan the N.K. 5th Division and the 766th Independent Infantry Unit after crossing the 38th Parallel moved south with virtually no opposition. The high and all but trackless Taebaek Range, with almost no lateral routes of communication through it, effectively cut off the east coast of Korea below the 38th Parallel from the rest of the country westward. Geography thus made it an isolated field of operations.

At Kangnung, on the coastal road, twenty miles below the Parallel, the 11th Regiment of the 5th Division swung inland on an 8-day 175-mile march through some of the wildest and roughest country in Korea. It passed through P'yŏngch'ang, Yŏngwŏl, and Ch'un yang.

At the last place the regiment met and fought a hard battle with elements of the ROK 8th Division which were withdrawing inland to the Tanyang area. [08-8] The regiment then turned east and joined the rest of the division at Ulchin on the coast on or about 10 July. In this arduous march through and along the mountains bordering the east coast, the N.K. 5th Division lost from all causes about 1,800 men.

Meanwhile, the North Koreans succeeded in landing amphibiously a large party of civilians at Ulchin. They had been specially trained at P'yŏngyang to take charge of the civil government in this eastern province. When it reached Ulchin, the 766th Independent Infantry Unit separated from the 5th Division and started westward into the mountains with the mission, as reported by prisoners, of infiltrating southward in small units and cutting communications between Pusan and Taegu.

One of the enemy's major tactical mistakes of the Korean War was failure to press rapidly south on the east coastal road after crossing the Parallel. By sending strong reconnaissance parties out into the wild and rugged mountains inland from the coast to make sure its rear would not be threatened, the N.K. 5th Division dissipated some of its strength and lost valuable time. There seems little doubt that had it pressed south with all possible speed and effort the division could have been in P'ohang-dong within two weeks after the war began and thus have turned, on this flank, the entire ROK and American line across the peninsula. Once in P'ohang-dong it would have been in a position to advance directly on Pusan.

After the ROK 8th Division withdrew inland the only troops on the east coast to oppose the enemy were the ROK 23rd Regiment of the 3rd Division. Col. Kim Chong Won, better known as "Tiger Kim," an unusually big and strong man for a Korean, commanded this regiment. The regiment went into action against Communist guerrillas in the vicinity of Ulchin and P'yonghae-ri in early July.

Beginning on 10 July it engaged the N.K. 5th Division in battle on the coastal road in the vicinity of P'yonghae-ri. From this time on through July there was hard fighting on the coastal road for control of Yŏngdök and the northern approaches to P'ohang-dong. [08-9]

[note]

Korean_War

General Dean tried to give this front additional strength by assembling there the advanced units of the 25th Infantry Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. William B. Kean. It was the second United States division to be committed in the war and arrived in Korea between 10 and 15 July.

On the 8th, General Kean and an advance party flew from Osaka, Japan, to Taejŏn for a conference with General Dean.

Korean_War

Two days later the 27th Infantry Regiment (Wolfhound) landed at Pusan. There the regiment learned that its new commander was Lt. Col. John H. "Mike" Michaelis.

[note]

Korean_War

The 27th Infantry at first went to the Uisŏng area, thirty-five miles north of Taegu.

Korean_War

General Kean opened his first 25th Division command post in Korea at Yŏngch'ŏn, midway between Taegu and P'ohang-dong.

[note]

Korean_War

Despite losses and low morale among its troops, officers drove the 2nd Division southward toward Chinch'ŏn, twenty miles east of Ch'ŏnan.

Korean_War

There on 9 July, one day after Ch'ŏnan had fallen, the ROK Capital Division and South Korean police ambushed one of its battalions capturing four pieces of artillery and twenty-seven vehicles. This began a three-day battle between the enemy division and the ROK Capital Division.

9, 10, 11

[note]

Korean_War

Upon receiving word the next day that the 2nd Infantry Division and certain armor and antiaircraft artillery units were under orders to proceed to the Far East, General MacArthur replied that same day, 10 July, requesting that the 2nd Division be brought to full war strength, if possible, without delaying its departure. He also reiterated his need of the units required to bring the 4 infantry divisions already in the Far East to full war strength. He detailed these as

4 heavy tank battalions,

12 heavy tank companies,

11 infantry battalions,

11 field artillery battalions (105-mm. howitzers), and

4 antiaircraft automatic weapons battalions (AAA AW), less four batteries. [09-29]

[note]

Korean_War

General MacArthur on 3 July requested that the new rocket launcher be airlifted to Korea. The first of the launchers, together with an instruction team, left travis Air Force Base in California on 8 July and arrived at Taejŏn on the 10th.

The first delivery of the new weapon arrived at Taejŏn on 12 July. That same day selected members of the 24th Infantry Division began to receive instructions in its use. The 3.5-inch rocket launcher was made of aluminum and weighed about fifteen pounds. It looked like a 5-foot length of stovepipe. It was electrically operated and fired a 23-inch-long, eight-and-a-half-pound rocket from its smooth bore, open tube.

The rocket's most destructive feature was the shaped charge designed to burn through the armor of any tank then known. [11-26]

[note]

Korean_War

The 3.5-inch rocket launcher

The first of the launchers, together with an instruction team, left travis Air Force Base in California on 8 July and arrived at Taejŏn on the 10th.

[note]

Korean_War

[he was demoted 16 days before he failed in his misison?]

The Army reportedly demoted the II Corps commander, Lt. General Kim Kwang-hyop, to corps chief of staff, about 10 July, replacing him with Lt. Gen. Kim Mu Chong. The order given to the 12th Division was almost impossible to carry out. The distance from Yŏngju to P'ohang-dong was about seventy-five air miles, and the greater part of the route, that beyond Andong, lay across high mountain ranges traversed only by foot and oxcart trails. Just to march across these mountains by 26 July would have been no mean feat. [12-11]

[note]

Korean_War

M-26 Chaffee (70th and 73rd Tank Battalions)

Korean_War

M-4A3 Sherman (70th Tank Battalion)

Korean_War

M-46 Patton ( 6th Tank Battalion)

After the Russian-built T34 tank appeared on the Korean battlefield, the Department of the Army acted as quickly as possible to correct the imbalance in armor. It alerted three medium tank battalions for immediate movement to Korea. These battalions were the 6th (M46), the 70th (M26 and M4A3), and the 73rd (M26). Two of them were the school troop battalions of the Armored School at Fort Knox and of the Infantry School at Fort Benning; the third was the organic battalion of the 1st Armored Division. The Department of the Army notified General MacArthur on 10 July that it planned to ship these battalions to the Far East as the quickest way it could devise of getting medium tanks and trained crews to the battlefield.

[note]

Korean_War

The early plan for the amphibious operation received the code name BLUEHEARTS and called for driving the North Koreans back across the 38th Parallel. The approximate date proposed for it was 22 July, but the operation was abandoned by 10 July because of the inability of the U.S. and ROK forces in Korea to halt the southward drive of the enemy. [25-2]

Meanwhile the planning for an amphibious operation went ahead in the Far East Command despite the cancellation of BLUEHEARTS. These plans were undertaken by the Joint Strategic Plans and Operations Group (JSPOG), Far East Command, which General Wright headed in addition to his duties as Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3. One of Wright's deputies, Col. Donald H. Galloway, was directly in charge of JSPOG. This unusually able group of planners developed various plans in considerable detail for amphibious operations in Korea.

[note]

 

  

July 10, 23, 28 Aug 7, 8, 16

After the Russian-built T34 tank appeared on the Korean battlefield, the Department of the Army acted as quickly as possible to correct the imbalance in armor. It alerted three medium tank battalions for immediate movement to Korea. These battalions were the 6th (M46), the 70th (M26 and M4A3), and the 73rd (M26).

Two of them were the school troop battalions of the Armored School at Fort Knox and of the Infantry School at Fort Benning; the third was the organic battalion of the 1st Armored Division.

The Department of the Army notified General MacArthur on 10 July that it planned to ship these battalions to the Far East as the quickest way it could devise of getting medium tanks and trained crews to the battlefield.

Ships carrying these three tank battalions sailed from San Francisco on 23 July and arrived at Pusan on 7 August.

The tank battalions unloaded the next day [8/8].

For further reinforcement of Eighth Army, the SS Luxembourg Victory departed San Francisco on 28 July with eighty medium tanks in its cargo.

Still more armor reinforcements arrived on 16 August, when the 72nd Medium Tank Battalion, organic to the 2nd Infantry Division, landed at Pusan.

The 2nd Division also had two regimental tank companies. [12]

Ships carrying these three tank battalions [6th (M46), the 70th (M26 and M4A3), and the 73rd (M26)] sailed from San Francisco on 23 July and

 

 

Citations

 

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

 

19500710 0000 DSC BERNARD

19500710 0000 DSC BURNS

19500710 0000 DSC FINLEY

19500710 0000 DSC GLAZE

19500710 0000 DSC TYLER

Silver Star

Alberty, Estell C. [Pvt SS D21stIR]

Alkire, Charles [Capt SS D21stIR]

BOGGS, EDWARD H. [TSgt SS 3rdARS]

Barronton, John C. [1stLt I21stIR]

Brown, Hugh A. [SFC SS L21stIR]

Brown, Walter Jr. [PFC SS Med 567thAmbCo24thID]

Childers, Junior Albert [1stLt SS K21stIR]

Dahnke, Earl W. [Pvt D21stIR]

Ewing, John D. [PFC SS D21stIR]

Haney, J. Bruce [2ndLt SS 52ndFAB]

Lopez, Conrad F. [SFC SS A34thIR]

Parks, Jack Fredrick [PFC SS D21stIR]

Pure, Ervin H. [2ndLt SS1 HqCo1stBn34thIR]

Snyder, Elwood M. [PFC SS K21stIR]

Tyler, Russell P. [Sgt SS K21stIR]

 

[note]

 

The First War we lost

Korean_War

The power and professionalism of the NKPA and the lackluster performance of the 24th Division came as a terrific shock to GHQ, Tokyo. It soon became evident that the proposed amphibious landing of the 1st Cav at Inch'ŏn was a pipe dream. The division was redirected to land at or near Pusan to reinforce the 24th and 25th Divisions. In addition, MacArthur bombarded the Pentagon with urgent requests for additional troops, both for service in Korea and to provide for the defense of Japan, which had been virtually denuded by the commitment of three divisions to Korea and manpower levies on the other to reinforce them. Between July 2 and 10 MacArthur requested:

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The requests were accompanied by steadily escalating rhetoric. On July 7 MacArthur reported that he was confronted by an "aggressive and well trained professional army" which had "demonstrated superior command of strategic and tactical principles" in the drive south of Sŏul. By July 10 he had judged the situation to be "critical." Expressing doubt that the Americans could hold the southern tip of Korea, MacArthur requested, in addition to the foregoing, "a field army of four full divisions and component services."[5-3]

These cables and telecons "jolted" the JCS, which until then was still vastly underrating the NKPA. MacArthur's urgent requests for massive ground reinforcements raised many thorny questions, among them:

Even if the ground forces could be scraped together, how deep should America commit itself on the Asian mainland to what could conceivably be a Russian diversion or feint as a prelude to an all-out assault on Western Europe or the Middle East?

Was the fiscally conservative president now willing to spend the vast sums of money required and take the political risk of partial or full mobilization to "draw a line" against Joe Stalin in Korea?[5-4]

All three military services were hard pressed to reinforce MacArthur, but none more so than the Army. It was then composed of but ten "tactical" divisions:

four in Walker's Eighth Army,

one in Germany (1st Infantry) to give the embryonic NATO some substance, and

five (2nd and 3rd Infantry, 2nd Armored, 11th and 82nd Airborne) in the so-called General Reserve.

Of the five in the General Reserve, one division (2nd Armored) was deemed unsuitable for deployment in a "police action" in a place which was "not good tank country," and two (3rd Infantry, 11th Airborne) were pitifully under strength, being composed of but two regiments of two battalions.

Only two divisions (2nd Infantry, 82nd Airborne) of the five in the General Reserve could be classed as anywhere near ready for deployment to Korea, but the 82nd was ruled out because it was highly trained for special missions and lacked the proper weapons and equipment required for sustained ground combat.[5-5]

In addition to these ten tactical divisions, the Army had about eleven independent tactical regiments or RCTs scattered here and there. These included

one (29th) in MacArthur's command on Okinawa, guarding SAC bases;

one (5th) in Hawaii;

one (65th) in Puerto Rico, whose principal mission was to protect the Venezuelan oil fields;

one (14th) in Camp Carson, Colorado, on standby to join another RCT in Alaska should trouble arise there;

one (33rd) in Panama;

and a half dozen elsewhere.

These regiments also had been reduced to two battalions each; most were nowhere near authorized strength.[5-6]

Without a partial call-up of the National Guard or the Army's Organized Reserve components, there was no way to meet MacArthur's request for eleven infantry battalions, plus an additional army of four divisions, plus fillers.

There were only eighteen under strength infantry battalions in the General Reserve. To fulfill MacArthur's requests would require the deployment of the entire General Reserve (plus everything else that could move) to the Far East, leaving the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico (and the Venezuelan oil fields), and the Panama Canal Zone completely vulnerable.[5-7]

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In order to acquaint MacArthur personally with these realities, and to make an independent assessment of the situation in South Korea, Truman ordered that two members of the JCS go to Tokyo and Korea. Soldier Joe Collins and airman Hoyt Vandenberg were the logical nominees. They departed in great haste on July 10.[5-8]

The temporary absence of Joe Collins left the Army's general staff in the hands of Ham Haislip and "general manager" Matt Ridgway. Inasmuch as Haislip's presence was required in the JCS "tank," at the White House, and on Capitol Hill, he was away from his office most of the day, leaving Ridgway, already hollow-eyed from lack of sleep, the "man in charge."

On Ridgway's shoulders fell the considerable burden of deciding how to do everything possible to help MacArthur without so stripping the United States and its possessions of military power as to invite a Soviet attack or a fifth column takeover.

Early in the Korean crisis Ridgway had rightly concluded that some degree of mobilization - calling up the National Guard or the Army's Organized Reserve - would be required, and he had been urging that course without stint. But the JCS, perhaps reflecting Truman's desire to downplay the crisis or save money, continued to oppose mobilization. Joe Collins believed calling up the Guard was inadvisable because of the possible adverse "impact upon the economy and morale" and because Guard units would require extensive training (overtaxing limited Army facilities) before they could be classed as combat effective.

Consequently Ridgway and the general staff were initially compelled to choose reinforcements for MacArthur from the meager Army forces already in existence. In short, they would have to gut the General Reserve.[5-9]

Ridgway recommended that the following forces be dispatched to MacArthur as soon as possible:


· The entire 2nd Infantry Division for combat in South Korea, increasing numbered American divisions there to four.
· The two battalions of the 29th Regiment on Okinawa (but not the headquarters) and the three battalions of the 5th RCT in Hawaii (either independently or as an RCT) to bring the regiments of the 24th or 25th Divisions to full strength.

· Two battalions plus three battalion "cadres" of the 3rd Infantry Division to flesh out the 1st Cav and 7th Infantry divisions.

· An airborne RCT, not from the "untouchable" 82nd Airborne Division as MacArthur requested, but from the far less effective, under strength 11th Airborne Division.

· Three tank battalions, eleven 105mm artillery batteries, a brigade of combat engineers, and other support units.

· Individual fillers, both experienced and inexperienced, from any and all units, except the 82nd Airborne, to go by air where possible.

· Several 3.5inch bazooka instruction teams, with weapons and ammo, to go under highest priority by air.[5-10]

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These recommendations were promptly approved (in some cases by the president), and by July 10 - as Bill Dean was withdrawing into the Kum River line - Ridgway had placed all units on alert for movement to the Far East. In total, the Army had met, to the best of its ability, most of MacArthur's initial requests for organized combat units: the 2nd Infantry Division; an airborne RCT; seven infantry battalions required to bring the three divisions already committed to combat in Korea up to strength,* plus three battalion cadres for the uncommitted 7th Infantry Division; and tank, artillery and engineer units. The transfers gutted the General Reserve, leaving only the 82nd Airborne Division intact. The large and complicated matter of supplying MacArthur an additional four division field army with all supporting components plus a full Marine Corps division was left for discussion among MacArthur and Collins and Vandenberg.

*The 25th Division, with a surplus of black troops, was short only two infantry battalions, not three.

These initial commitments to GHQ were carried out while the Army was still trying to operate under the crippling Truman-Johnson manpower and budget ceilings. But the march of events soon swept away the ceilings. In a mere ten days the authorized strength of the Army climbed from 630,000 to 740,000, a force level to be achieved by extending the tours of those men already on active duty, by a larger draft, and by a call-up of certain individuals in the Organized Reserve. At the same time the JCS requested an $11 billion supplemental appropriation, bringing the total for the 1951 fiscal budget year to $22,651,000,000. Louis Johnson rejected the request as "too high." However, by that time Johnson had become a discredited non-person whose out-of-cadence opinions counted for nothing. Truman swiftly overruled him and sent the bill to Congress.[5-11]

Despite the energy and enthusiasm Matt Ridgway had brought to fulfilling MacArthur's initial requests, his eyes and the eyes of many of his staffers remained fixed on Western Europe for signs of other, perhaps more catastrophic Soviet moves. In a memo Ridgway reminded one and all that MacArthur's responsibility was "local" compared with that of the JCS, that it was possible that if all MacArthur's requests were met, it might

"dangerously deplete or even exhaust our presently available resources in certain critical categories,"

and that the Pentagon should not yield to the temptation to give MacArthur

"a book of blank checks, just because he is presently front stage in what may after all prove to be a mere `affair of outposts.' "[5-12]

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Mike Michaelis 27th Infantry landed at Pusan on July 10 and mated with the 8th FAB, commanded by Augustus T. ("Gus") Terry, Jr., to form the 27th RCT. In keeping with Walker's plan to hold Taegu and P'ohang, the RCT was fragmented.

The regimental headquarters, one artillery battery, and the 1/27, commanded by Gilbert J. Check, thirty-seven, went directly north from Taegu into the mountains near Uisŏng to backstop the desperately fighting ROKs in that sector.

The 2/27, commanded by Gordon E. Murch, also thirty-seven, and another artillery battery went to P'ohang to backstop the ROKs who were still slowly retreating down the east coast road and to ensure the safety of the port until the arrival of the 1st Cav Division.[6-11]

Before moving out, Mike Michaelis assembled his officers and noncoms to prepare them for combat. He told them he wanted the men "stripped down," paratrooper style, to weapons, ammo, water, rations. All else would be disposed of.

"In other words, what they could put in a backpack - and that was it,"

Mike Michaelis said later. In the postwar years he had assiduously studied Oriental fighting tactics and jungle warfare. He passed along what he had absorbed from these studies: Always take the high ground overlooking your position; have every man drink a full canteen of water in the morning, then refill the canteen to ensure a proper level of body fluids throughout the day. In conclusion, Mike Michaelis said, Patton like,

"Remember, you're here to kill and not to be killed."[6-12]

As it happened, the ROKs at Uisŏng and along the east coast road put-up greater resistance than expected. The result was that the disparate 27th RCT elements had slight or no contact with the NKPA for ten days or more. This gave Mike Michaelis's Wolfhounds and Gus Terry's artillerymen time to adjust mentally and physically to the abrupt shift from a peacetime garrison to the battle zone and to the rigors of the South Korean terrain and climate, time to assimilate newcomers, and time to carry out realistic training exercises.
* * *

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US Air Force

 

 

Received following reply from COMNAVFE with reference to their press release and my memo to him of 9 July:

If any of young Lanham's statements are generally interpreted to imply real criticism of his Air Force flying comrades, I am sure that I would speak for both of us in expressing sincere regrets. Both services, at the pilots' level, have high mutual regard for each other's professional abilities and I trust that we will avoid any tendency to become over-sensitive about the remarks attributed to relatively junior individuals who are not fully experienced in dealing with press conferences. The flying that your people have been doing the last two weeks is described by my air officers as superb. The United States Air Force officers in our carrier air groups have made an enviable reputation as outstanding "operators"¯ We certainly will not let any small matter of unconfirmed quotes mar this high mutual regard.

Received a bit of "static"¯ from the C of S [Chief of Staff], GHQ - particularly my deputy for operations, General Crabb, which prompted me to write and discuss following memo with CINCFE:

During the past war you had great confidence in General Kenney [93-During World War II, Gen George C. Kenney commanded 5AF and Allied Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific, and subsequently, the Far East Air Forces. From almost the beginning he had enjoyed a good relationship with MacArthur. From April 1946 to October 1948, he was commander of SAC. He then was Commander, Air University until his retirement in August 1951.] and then in General Whitehead[94-Lt Gen Ennis C. Whitehead took over command of 5AF from Kenney in June 1944. Whitehead also replaced Kenney as FEAF commander in December 1945. He, too, had a good relationship with MacArthur. Stratemeyer relieved Whitehead as FEAF commander in April 1949.] who followed General Kenney. It is my desire to perform in the same manner and to gain the same confidence that you had in them. What the Far East Air Forces have done so far in 15 days, operating from bases in Japan and Okinawa, I consider outstanding. It is my opinion that had not we gone into action when we did in conjunction with the Ground Forces that you have been able to get into South Korea that the whole of South Korea would now be in the hands of the North Koreans. Per your instructions given to me last night by the Chief of Staff, General Almond, I have changed the B-29 targets for today to tanks, vehicles and troops von the roads and railroads north of Ch'onan; this is to be done without control. If we are successful in gaining contract with General Partridge's and General Dean's tactical control group and targets are designated south of Ch'onan, certain B-29s will be diverted to these targets. Yesterday, today and until further notice all effort of the Fifth Air Force is and will be in direct support of our ground troops in South Korea. It is my opinion and unless you direct otherwise, I will operate every combat airplane in the Far East Air Forces in support of ground troops against only those targets in battle- field support as suggested by the Fifth Air Force advanced CP [Command Post] in conjunction with General Dean's tactical air direction center.


There are now in Japan and Okinawa, in the 92d Medium Bomb Group, Yokota, Japan, fifteen (15) B-29s and in the 22d Medium Bomb Group at Kadena, Okinawa, twenty-six (26) B-29s. I have been informed by General O'Donnell that we will be able to fly our first mission Friday, 14 July. Your directions to me will be conducted in the most efficient manner that we can plan and I am sure that it is not your intention to tell me how to do the job. My leaders and I are fully competent to direct and control the Far East Air Forces. I urge your support in this confidence.

Following the Ops briefing in GHQ, I talked to CINCFE and added this note to the above quoted memo:

Memorandum for the record - 10 July 1950 - I talked with General MacArthur for about twenty (20) minutes - 1135 to 1155 hours - this date and he gave me entire confidence and support in every question I raised. He stated he had the same confidence in me that he ever had in Generals Kenney and Whitehead and emphasized that I would run my show regardless of instructions as I saw fit. [95-The FEC staff was Army-dominated, with few Air Force officers in positions of responsibility. This was a carryover from World War II when MacArthur never had, nor wanted, a joint staff. However, at that time, air matters had been left to Kenney to handle. Much of this same thinking and staff setup was utilized in the immediate post-war years. MacArthur told Stratemeyer what he wanted done, but it was up to Stratemeyer to see how it was carried out. However, when South Korea was attacked, there were many officers, of which General Almond was a particular offender, who tried to take the direction of air operations upon themselves. This, of course, was a circumvention of Stratemeyer's position as FEAF commander. Most of the Army officers had little knowledge of Air Force philosophy and/or operations and wished to run the war from Tokyo. General Almond ordered that any requests for air support had to go through GHQ before being passed on to FEAF and 5AF. This was a slow, laborious, and utterly inefficient way to run tactical air operations, and Stratemeyer quickly objected to this and other attempts to usurp his authority. Fortunately, MacArthur saw the fallacy of letting some of his Army subordinates run an Air Force show and allowed Stratemeyer to act as he saw fit on Air Force matters. If MacArthur had not had confidence in Stratemeyer, this matter might not have ended in the Air Force's favor. (Futrell, pp 45, 48.)]

Dispatched the following redline message (Top Secret) to CSAF and COMGEN [Commanding General] SAC:

Redline personal to Vandenberg from Stratemeyer: reference today's B-29 bomber mission CINCFE considers and I agree ground situation in Korea so critical that every possible effort must be used to break up motorized concentrations on roads in battle areas. He fully understands that this is emergency procedure only. He is most enthusiastic about the results obtained from the Far East Air Forces since our commitment to combat.
(Redline to CSAF: originated 1345K [local time]; placed on the wires
1355K; received at Hq USAF 1406K; received by Vandenberg 1418K - total elapsed time - 33 minutes!)


Received word from staff C-54 (I had sent Hill and Melgard on 8 July to Hickam to pick up the Craigies) that it would land tomorrow, 11 July at 1100 hours at Haneda.[96-Maj Clayton C. Hill, Stratemeyer's personal pilot; 1st Lt Robert B. Melgard; Maj Gen Laurence C. Craigie, the incoming FEAF vice commander for administration and plans.]

 Annalee will meet them on my behalf complete with flowers and our offer of hospitality, etc. Maddocks,[97-Maj Robert. A. Maddocks.] Craigie's administrative assistant, will meet the plane and see that they are taken care of.

At 1700 hours held a meeting with the press. Following are my remarks: Because of the many requests that have come in to my PIO, Colonel Van
Meter, for an interview with me, I am holding this meeting this afternoon. I have here some very carefully prepared statistical data which I have had mimeo- graphed - copies of which will be given to you. I will read it to you so that in case there are any questions that you desire to ask, I will attempt to clear them up. I urge upon you the importance of security and that you not publish anything that I do not cover this afternoon. I am sure you understand that during World War II there were cases where information was published which gave great comfort to the enemy and brought about the killing and wounding of many Americans. We have now been at this business of war in Korea for the past 15 days and when you consider that we have operated from bases in Japan and other bases, the great effort that has been brought to bear upon the North Korean armed forces, in my opinion, has not only been outstanding, but, in many many instances unbelievable and almost miraculous. We have brought air power in the form of United States Air Force jets, light bombers, medium bombers, night fighters and day fighters to bear on the enemy both in the air and on the ground wherever it has been necessary. The only deterrent to these operations thus far has been - WEATHER. When it is good in Korea, it is usually bad in Japan, and when it is good in Japan, it has been bad in Korea. In spite of this, though, our American officers and airmen have performed so superbly - both in daring and efficiency - that I have nothing but praise - repeat - praise for them. Every request that General of the Army Douglas MacArthur has indicated as a desire has been met in spite of the bad weather, the long flights to the battle area, and the instrument conditions under which many, many, many of our sorties have had to land. The Fifth Air Force, under the command of Major General Earle E. Partridge, has carried the brunt of the air war so far. Just last night, one of his F-80s returned to base and it took 11 passes by GCA [ground controlled approach], the last one being with flares, to get him down. This was successful. Recently, one of our flights returned to base with 4 jet airplanes; GCA was not operating; the ceiling was 100 feet with one mile visibility and light rain; and the flight commander brought his entire flight in safely. Our RAAF comrades with their 77th Fighter Squadron have performed magnificently from the date they were put under my operational control. Our transport pilots, C-54, C-46, and C-47, who carry out their mission over the battle zone from Suwon to Pusan, do so with daring, with skill and with bravery. As you gentlemen know, a unit under my command is the 19th Bomb Wing serving under the orders of Major General Alvan C. Kincaid. From its base in the Far East, it has daily - except for two days of bad weather - done a great job over both North and South Korea. The South Koreans, although only a handful, are doing the job with their few Mustangs. Naval aviation under Admiral Struble, on air strikes 3 and 4 July, effectively performed their mission. The Army's liaison pilots are daily flying missions over the combat zone, assisting us in Far East Air Forces as well as the Army in its command and staff job. I desire to call to your attention the great work that has been done by my entire staff, my logistics command under Brigadier General John P. Doyle, and the weather and communications people. Without this laborious and technical effort we could not function. Theirs has been a job well done too. I guarantee to you gentlemen that the Far East Air Forces is a well integrated team; furthermore, the Far East Air Forces is a part of a bigger team and that is

the Far East Command made up of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. Under the great leadership and command ability of our boss, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and all his assistants, I am confident, that because we are in the right and have the backing of the world democracies and the United Nations, we will be successful in our operations on the ground, at sea, and in the air against the Communists of North Korea.

Following is the matter I quoted (bulletin circulated to all pressmen present) and read at the meeting:

Far East Air Forces Activity Report, 25 June to 10 July 50: Since the beginning of Korean operations, weather has been continuously deterrent to FEAF operational effort. In spite of this, FEAF combat aircraft have flown a total of 1,570 sorties. These figures do not include cargo missions by C-54s, C-46s and C-47s. FEAF combat losses since the beginning of operations total 20. These do not include 5 C-54 aircraft or the one Australian Mustang reported missing. FEAF personnel losses to 1100, 10 July, total 26, including officers and airmen. Total number of aircraft claimed by FEAF, the Navy, the South Korean Air Force and ground troops are:

DESTROYED:

FEAF 17, NAVY 5, S. KOREANS 1, GROUND FIRE 1; total 24.

PROBABLY DESTROYED:

FEAF 5, NAVY 0, S. KOREANS 0, GROUND FIRE 0, total 5.

DAMAGED:

 FEAF 4, NAVY 8, S. KOREANS 0, GROUND FIRE 0, total 12.

 

 Breakdown of the above totals is as follows (does not include naval air):

SORTIES (flown) 128 B-29; 212 B-26;
1078 F-80; 100 F-82; 52 F-51 (including RAAF) - 1570 total.

COMBAT: (Losses) 0 B-29; 8 B-26; 10 F-80; 2 F-82; 0 F-51. Total 20.

 PERSONNEL (Losses) Dead - 7 officers, 2 airmen; Wounded 5 officers, 0 airmen; Missing 8 officers and 4 airmen. Total 20 officers and 6 airmen.

 Total damage inflicted by Far East Air Forces, including RAAF (does not include naval air strikes):

DESTROYED:

71 tanks, 272 trucks, 14 locomotives, 0 railway cars, 16 other vehicles, 2 buses, 9 half tracks, 2 troop trains, 65 box cars.

PROBABLY DESTROYED:

3 tanks, 22 trucks, 0 locomotives, 4 railway cars, 8 other vehi- cles, 1 bus, 0 half tracks, - troop trains, - box cars.

DAMAGED:

 49 tanks, 183 trucks, 10 locomotives, 10 railway cars, 6 other vehicles, 1 bus, 2 half tracks, 1 troop train, 12 box cars. TOTAL: 123 tanks, 477 trucks, 24 locomotives, 14 rail- way cars, 30 other vehicles, 4 buses, 11 half tracks, 3 troop trains, 77 box cars.

In addition to the reports shown in the above figures, Fifth Air Force fighter and ground attack aircraft have attacked ground troops with unknown but considerable losses; blasted artillery positions; strafed and burned-oil storage tanks, railroad tracks, inflicted damage on marshaling yards; and at all times, when weather permitted, given ground support to our troops. B-29 bombers have blasted important port installations at Chinnamp'o and Wonsan; major oil, nitro- gen and other important industrial targets at Wonsan, Hungnam and P'yŏngyang; and major North Korean airfields and the largest South Korean airfield at Seoul.[98-Chinnamp'o lies von North Korea's west coast at the mouth of the Taedong River. It was the site of some important metals producing plants. Although small, its harbor could take ships of almost any draft. On the opposite coast, Wonsan was a well-developed port and a major railway center. Concentrated here were North Korea's oil refineries. About 50 miles north of Wonsan is Hungnam, another major port. Its importance lay in the fact that it had the most extensive basic-chemical and light-metals industry in the Far East. P'yŏngyang, as the capital of North Korea and its largest city, was a major target from the beginning. It was also the site of a large arsenal complex (second in size in the Far East only to Mukden in Manchuria), extensive railway yards, and an aircraft maintenance center.]


Vital rail and highway bridges, both north and south of the 38th Parallel, have been destroyed. As a result of these missions, FEAF aircraft have held air superiority from the first and enemy activity has all but disappeared. Strategic strikes on rail, bridge and highway communications already have brought numerous reports of bottlenecks in North Korean transportation and damage resulting from these is being keenly felt by North Korean Forces in the forward area. Vital supplies such as gasoline and ammunition are known to be short and becoming short in many localities. By these efforts, FEAF has played an important role in slowing the North Korean southward march against the time when our own forces can be marshalled in sufficient strength to turn the tide. Given a break in the weather, an increased FEAF air potential will shortly make itself felt in no unmistakable terms. The Air Force contribution up to now has been effective. Its effectiveness will increase immeasurably with each passing week.

 

Lt. Ralph Hall taxis his bomb and rocket-laden F-51 for another ground attack mission.


Members of the press who heard my above statements were:

 Members of my staff who were present at the time were: General Crabb, D/O [Director of Operations], Colonel Rogers, D/I [Director of Intelligence], Colonel Van Meter, PIO, Major Maddocks, Adm. Asst to VC, Major Hower and Mr. Smith, PIO.[99-Maj Henry H. Hower, a FEAF staff officer; Smith's full name is unknown.]


After my meeting with press, immediately called CINCFE and thru the ADC [aide-de-camp], Colonel Bunker, at 1740 hours informed him the results of a B-29 mission which hit visually from 1355 hours to 1530 hours and which encountered no flak and no fighters. Results reported: 14 excellent; 2 poor. This call was at CINCFE's request. At 1745 hours called General Almond to read him the report of the mission.


Mission reports from the daily ops sheet indicate an excellent show for the Air Force over targets. However, notice recurrence of reports that our aircraft "unable to contact controller"¯ when in controller area.

INTERESTING AS HELL cant find their own.

 

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July 10: Carefully timing airstrikes to coincide with the departure of USAF counter-air patrols for refueling, four enemy Yaks bombed and strafed the USA 19th Infantry Regiment at Ch'ŏngju.

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The 5th Air Force began using T-6 trainer aircraft for forward air control missions, because liaison airplanes were not fast enough to elude enemy fire. F-80s caught an enemy convoy stopped at a bombed-out bridge near P'yŏngt'aek. Along with B-26s and F-82s, they attacked the convoy and claimed destruction of 117 trucks, 38 tanks, and seven half-tracks.

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Meanwhile, FEAF representatives had located another field on the east coast of Korea at P'ohang, which had a runway similar in construction to that at Pusan but in better condition When Company A, 802nd Engineer Aviation Battalion reached Pusan, it was therefore diverted to P'ohang on 10 July;

two days later [7/12], the work of placing a 500-foot PSP overrun and constructing taxiways and hardstands was started. Two large spongy areas had to be dug out and refilled preliminary to laying the taxiway planking, and the speed of construction demanded that grading of a part of the taxiway be omitted. The first combat mission was flown from the strip on 15 July, and by 19 July completion of a cross taxiway permitted combat units to use as much of the field as had been completed at that time.

Enemy pressure against the P'ohang area forced the engineers to evacuate on 13 August.

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Command Relationships and Decisions - Navy issues

Learning that Marine aircraft were also to come to the Far East, General Stratemeyer requested on 8 July that with the exception of units used in air-sea warfare operations, all land-based Navy and carrier-based aviation when operating over Korea would be placed under his operational control. Land-based fighters, based either in Japan or in Korea, would be in turn placed under the operational control of the Fifth Air Force.

Having received no reply to this memorandum, General Stratemeyer sent another to General MacArthur on 10 July. [Almond actually responded on the 8th with his "directive"] He had no desire to control Navy planes engaged in air-sea warfare and mining operations, but he recommended that all land-based naval aircraft and all carrier-based aircraft, when engaged in attacks against Korean land targets, be placed under his operational control.

He would, of course, undertake neither to control nor to direct the movements of carriers into, or out of, operational waters. He construed operational control to mean "the authority to designate the type of mission, such as air defense, close support of ground forces, etc., and to specify the operational details such as targets, times over targets, degree of effort, etc., within the capabilities of the forces involved." Operational control vested in him as commander of FEAF would normally be exercised in the following manner:

Land based Naval air units with fighter and attack type aircraft will be placed under the operational control of the Commanding General, Fifth Air Force, for employment in air defense, fighter cover, escort and close support missions.

Carrier based Naval air units of fighter and attack type aircraft when within the area of operations, will be placed under the operational control of Commanding General, Far East Air Forces, and If engaged in close support of ground forces or in air defense of Japan and of the area of operations, will be placed under the operational control of the Commanding General, Fifth Air Force.

If engaged in destruction of the enemy's communications, industry and other facilities, but not in close support, will be employed in target areas, upon targets and within time periods specified by Commanding General, Far East Air Forces.

If engaged in escort of bomber formations, will be placed under the operational control of Commanding General, Fifth Air Force.

Provided that, once a carrier force enters the area of operations, alteration of the basic mission will not be directed without concurrence of Commander, Naval Forces, Far East.

Under General Stratemeyer's plan, COMNAVFE would retain control of air-sea warfare and mine laying aircraft. [Big of him, hugh?]

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10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. 17, 18.,19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Despite the dubious results of medium bombers in close support, General O'Donnell was required to reserve 15 aircraft each day for primary effort against tactical targets along the battle line, and between 10 and 26 July he used 130 B-29 sorties in such activity.

[17 days in 130 sorties = 7.6 average planes/sorties each day - half of the 15 planes available. Wonder where the other 7.4 planes were doing?]

Actually the first B-29 raid was not until the 13th.

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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.

6, 12, 27

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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).

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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]

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In describing results of B-29 activity on 10 July, FEAF stated that they had performed excellently against clearly defined targets like railways, bridges, and towns, but that results against targets of opportunity assigned by ground control (tanks, trucks, and troops on the road from Ch'ŏnan to Suwŏn) were unknown, except that the bombs hit in prescribed areas.

Where did they drop them from? 30,000'

[note]

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Late on the afternoon of 10 July, a day on which bad weather had kept most planes grounded, a flight of F-80 's slipped in under the overcast at P'yŏngt'aek to discover a large convoy of tanks and vehicles, lined up bumper-to-bumper, just north of a bombed-out bridge. All available B-26 's, F-82 's, and F-80's were rushed to the scene, and the attack destroyed 117 trucks, 38 tanks, 7 halftracks, plus a large number of enemy soldiers.

[note]

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These guys have more excuses than Obama.

The close support rendered by the 19th Group's medium bombers on 10 July proved to be more hinder-some than helpful. General Partridge telephoned that the ten B-29's sent to attack mechanized targets of opportunity had been unable to contact his front-line tactical air-support parties. Partridge euphemistically said that the B-29's bombing results were "un-known. He did know, however, that the B-29's had taken targets which he had meant to assign to his own B-26's, which were best qualified for low-level operations against enemy vehicles, tanks, and troop columns. Consequently, the B-26's had been sent to attack bridges, which could have best been destroyed by the medium bombers.

[note]

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"Unless you direct otherwise," General Stratemeyer told General MacArthur on 10 July,

"I will operate every combat airplane in the Far East Air Forces in support of ground troops against those targets in battlefield support as suggested by the Fifth Air Force Advanced Headquarters in conjunction with General Dean's Headquarters.

But General Stratemeyer was gravely troubled on three counts.

MacArthur's staff was telling FEAF how to conduct its air operations, and the way these staff men wanted air operations conducted was quite inefficient.

Tactical air operations could not be managed from Tokyo: battlefield air support was a matter which concerned General Partridge and General Dean.

And Stratemeyer resented implications that FEAF had not been doing a good job in Korea. [poor baby]

On the morning of 10 July Stratemeyer wrote a memorandum which he personally carried to General MacArthur. In his memorandum and in his discussion Stratemeyer reminded MacArthur of the great confidence which he had placed upon Generals Kenney and Whitehead.

[notice that Whitehead did not like Stratemeyer]

He, Stratemeyer, hoped to merit a similar degree of confidence. "Your directions to me," Stratemeyer told MacArthur, "will be conducted in the most efficient manner that we can plan, and I am sure that it is not your intention to tell me how to do the job. General MacArthur replied that he had the same confidence in Stratemeyer that he had had in Generals Kenney and Whitehead. He was personally enthusiastic about FEAF's accomplishments in Korea. MacArthur also emphasized that Stratemeyer was to run his "show" as he saw fit, regardless of instructions from GHQ staff members.#38

After receiving this show of confidence from the commander in chief, General Stratemeyer signed and dispatched formal mission letters to the FEAF Bomber Command and Fifth Air Force. On 11 July he directed Bomber Command to handle deep interdiction and strategic targets; on 12 July he made the Fifth Air Force responsible for tactical air operations in Korea.#39

[note]

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When this memorandum [0900] was re-ported to be unacceptable to the Naval Forces Far East, General Stratemeyer drafted an amplification of his ideas on 10 July. He explained that he had no desire to control Navy planes when they engaged in authorized Navy air tasks. He stated that he would not attempt to control or to direct the movements of Navy carriers. Once a carrier force entered the area of operations its assigned missions would not be altered without the concurrence of Admiral Joy.

Stratemeyer further stipulated that he construed operational control to mean nothing more than

"the authority to designate the type of mission, such as air defense, close support of ground forces, etc., and to specify the operational details such as targets, times over targets, degree of effort, etc., within the capabilities of the forces involved.#

In conclusion, Stratemeyer pointed out that a

"sizable potential" of air forces was at MacArthur's disposition, but he voiced the fear that, without proper coordination, the full effect of the air striking power would be dissipated. Uncontrolled air operations over Korea, moreover, would endanger the safety of the various participating air units.#45

#45 Memo. for MacArthur from Stratemeyer, subj: Coordination of Air Effort of FEAF and NavFE, 10 July 1950.

50 U.S. Air Force in Korea

[note]

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Back in Washington the USAF Chief of Staff, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, had the utmost sympathy for Stratemeyer's requirements. Better than any other man, Vandenberg knew the needs of a tactical air war, for in World War II he had commanded the Ninth Air Force in Europe. Vandenberg's oral instructions left no doubt that he wanted FEAF to be given the strongest possible support.

"We want," he said, "to...insure the position of the USAF in this job that is being done over there, be sure that it is being done with the very best equipment in the shortest time. When the request comes in, that request must be fully met.#106

#106 Resumes of a Conference . . . with Gen. Vandenberg and Air Materiel Command Staff, 10 July 1950.

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Some continued efforts were made to use liaison planes, but on 10 July Lt. Harold E. Morris brought a T-6 trainer aircraft to Taejŏn, and in flights during the day he demonstrated that this plane was best able to perform airborne control. One thought at this time was that the T-6 was fast enough to survive enemy air attacks whereas liaison aircraft did not have enough speed to evade the enemy. North Korean Yaks had shot down several liaison-type aircraft in the early stages of the war. [The war is 16 days old, and they've not mentioned any liaison types getting shot down. According to the KORWALD there were NO such losses yet] [Also look ahead July 1951 and see "On the other hand, the T-6 was too "hot" to operate from an average ground division's light aviation airstrip."

1951 here

By the summer of 1951 the Mosquito planes were seldom permitted to penetrate more than two miles into enemy territory, and 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron RF-51's instead sought targets to the rear of the enemy's lines.126 The Fifth Air Force gave some thought to employing F-51 aircraft as Mosquito planes, but the problem of getting additional communications equipment into the Mustangs was too great.127 On the other hand, the T-6 was too "hot" to operate from an average ground division's light aviation airstrip. At the Eighth Army 's suggestion, the 6147th Group tested L-19 aircraft as control planes in July 1951 but rejected them as being too vulnerable to enemy ground fire.128 While the T-6 would continue to be a not entirely satisfactory vehicle for an airborne coordinator, the Fifth Air Force continually worked to adapt it to its mission.

[note]

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Solely in view of the ground emergency, for he well understood that such was not a proper use for strategic bombers, General Stratemeyer also issued orders that the 19th Bombardment Group would support the battle-line on 10 July.#47

If the Communists had vigorously prosecuted their attack following their capture of Ch'ŏnan on 8 July, they might well have destroyed the 24th Division, leaving the route to Taejŏn, 'Taegu, and Pusan bare of defenders.#48

But the North Korean divisions showed signs that they were feeling the effect of the damages wrought upon them by American air attack. Men of the NKPA 3rd Division, who were captured by General Dean's troops, said that a lack of food and sleep and attacks by American .aircraft had , materially lowered the combat effectiveness of this crack division, which had been spearheading the attack. After taking Ch'ŏnan, the Communists were compelled to pause and build up their strength.#49

[If any of this BS were true, MacArthur would not have had to order the dumb-shits thus "You must consider your mission primarily direct support of ground troops.#36 What a jerk!]

As the Communists regrouped, General Partridge employed the full strength of the Fifth Air Force in support of the 24th Division. In the tactical emergency, he manned ten Mustangs, which had been withdrawn from storage in Japan, and sent them into combat. The pilots took the Mustangs off from Itazuke early on the morning of 10 July, flew initial combat strikes, and then landed at Taegu and replenished for several more missions during the day. Airlifted fuel and armament from Ashiya supported the forward area operation.#50

#50 Msg. ADV-525, FAF Adv. to FEAF, 9 July 1950.

[note]

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On 10 July General MacArthur informed General Dean that he was concerned by the continued evidence of enemy movements in columns southward from the line Ansŏng-Chech'on through central Korea. Pending the arrival of American ground reinforcements in the area. MacArthur suggested that General Dean would do well to ask the Fifth Air Force to neutralize these columns#57

[From the note it looks like MacArthur told USAF-IK to get their act together]

#57 Msg. CX-57575, CINCFE to CG USAFIK, 10 July 1950.

92 U.S. Air Force in Korea

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Gun crew firing 155-mm howitzer at North Koreans. 10 July 1950 (Courtesy US. Army).

[note]

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Drawing the Battleline 91

The F-80 pilots were active during the day, and in the late afternoon hours a Shooting Star flight slipped in under the clouds at P'yŏngt'aek to discover a large convoy of tanks and vehicles lined up north of a bombed-out bridge.

[What is available?]

All available B-26's, F-82's, and F-80's rushed to the scene, and the combined attack destroyed
117 trucks,
38 tanks,
7 half-tracks,
and a large number of enemy soldiers.

"This attack," commented the Fifth Air Force director of combat operations, "was considered by many to have been one of the decisive air-ground battles of the entire conflict.#51

[Given this note #51 and the fact that war lasted another three years, why would he use that quote, as if it meant something? His source didn't go past October!]

#51 Hist. FAF Cmbt. Opns., 25 June -31 Oct. 1950, Appen. B; Hist. FAF, 25 June-31 Oct. 1950, II, 144.

At intervals during the day, ten B-29's sought to attack targets of opportunity such as tanks, trucks, and troops on the roads between Ch'ŏnan and Suwŏn. Each of the Superfortress crews made from three to ten bomb drops. Their results were reported as "excellent" against clearly defined targets such as bridges and towns, but the medium-bomber crews

[the B-29 is not a medium bomber,
unless you compare it to a B-36, B-47 or B-52!]

made no claims for destruction against targets of opportunity, except for a direct hit on a 20-car freight train.#52

#52 Msg. AX-2456, CG FEAF to USAF, 10 July 1950.
Assisted by the 280 combat air strikes
[at ten planes per strike that is 28 strikes]
flown on 10 July, the troops of the 24th Division established positions at Kongju and Choch'iwŏn. Anchoring their defenses along the Kum River line, the 24th Division's forces hoped to defend the key city of Taejŏn.#53
#53 FEAF Opns. Hist., I, 45.

[note]

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Preparatory to the arrival of "Dallas," the Fifth Air Force, effective on 10 July, organized the 51st Fighter Squadron (Provisional) at Taegu. This squadron was authorized to take over the American personnel from "Bout-One" and the "Dallas" people. To provide logistical support for the provisional fighter squadron, the Fifth Air Force organized the 6002nd Air Base Squadron and dispatched it to Korea.#70

Drawing the Battleline 95

The "Dallas" squadron proceeded by air transport from the Philippines to Johnson Air Base, Japan on 10 July. While the pilots hurriedly checked out in Mustangs, the ground echelon drew supplies and other equipment. After ferrying their planes to Taegu, the "Dallas" pilots flew their first combat missions on 15 July.#71

[They just got an order to get their shit together,
and it still takes them 5 more days before they do anything at all.]

[note]

After allocating F-51's to the provisional squadron at Taegu, FEAF had enough of these conventional fighters remaining in its theater stocks to equip another squadron for service in Korea. Someone from FEAF reported that the old Japanese airfield on the east coast of Korea near the town of P'ohang could be repaired for Mustang operations, and after a flight over the area on 7 July General Timberlake and Lt. Col. William S. Shoemaker, the staff engineer at Advanced Headquarters, made the decision to develop P'ohang Airfield (K-3). Already Company A of the 802nd Engineer Aviation Battalion had loaded aboard an LST at Naha Harbor, Okinawa, and on the night of 10 July it arrived in Yŏngil Bay, off P'ohang Airfield.' Unloading its equipment across the beaches, Company A began work on 12 July, its immediate task being to put a 500-foot pierced steel plank (PSP) extension on the existing runway, to construct a taxiway, and to build 27 hardstands for Mustangs.#72

[note]

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At Ashiya on 10 July the 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron of the 35th Group was informed that it would be the first Fifth Air Force squadron to convert to Mustangs. To give logistic support at P'ohang, the Fifth Air Force organized the 6131st Air Base Unit there on 14 July, and on 16 July the 40th Squadron moved its newly acquired Mustang fighters to this advanced airfield.#73

[note]

Korean_WarKorean_War

Timing their attack to coincide with a moment at which no Fifth Air Force planes were in the vicinity, four North Korean Yaks bombed and strafed the U.S. 19th Regiment at Ch'ŏngju on 10 July.#91

#91 DA-TT-3499, 11 July 1950.

[note]

After allocating F-51's to the provisional squadron at Taegu, FEAF had enough of these conventional fighters remaining in its theater stocks to equip another squadron for service in Korea.

Someone from FEAF reported that the old Japanese airfield on the east coast of Korea near the town of P'ohang could be repaired for Mustang operations, and after a flight over the area on 7 July General Timberlake and Lt. Col. William S. Shoemaker, the staff engineer at Advanced Headquarters, made the decision to develop P'ohang Airfield (K-3).

Already Company A of the 802nd Engineer Aviation Battalion had loaded aboard an LST at Naha Harbor, Okinawa, and on the night of 10 July it arrived in Yŏngil Bay, off P'ohang Airfield.' Unloading its equipment across the beaches, Company A began work on 12 July, its immediate task being to put a 500-foot pierced steel plank (PSP) extension on the existing runway, to construct a taxiway, and to build 27 hardstands for Mustangs.#72

[note]

U.S. Marines Corps

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10 Jul The Commander in Chief, United Nations Command (CinCUNC) asks Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to authorize expansion of Marine Brigade to full war-strength division.

[note]

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After hostilities began, the need for replacement officers became so urgent that one entire class at the P'yŏngyang academy was commissioned wholesale on 10 July 1950 and sent to the front after 20 days of instruction.[17]

Three Soviet officers, a colonel and two lieutenant colonels, reportedly acted as advisers to a faculty composed of NKPA majors. The five departments of the Academy were devoted to infantry, artillery, engineering, signaling, and quartermasters’ duties.

[note]

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The 5th Marines spent four days [7,8,9,10] packing, boxing, and preparing supplies and equipment for embarkation at Camp Pendleton. A few men were hurriedly sent to the range to familiarize themselves with new weapons like M20 3.5inch rocket launchers and M26 Pershing tanks. Concurrently, streams of men from Camp Pendleton and trainloads of refurbished World War II–era equipment from the desert supply center at nearby Barstow flooded the port of embarkation at San Diego.

[note]

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General Shepherd’s few days in Tokyo were filled with conferences, and history was made on 10 July during the course of a conversation with General MacArthur at FECom Headquarters. The commander in chief was not optimistic about the situation at the front. Not only had the NKPA invasion developed into a formidable threat at the end of the first two weeks, but the possibility of Red Chinese or Soviet armed intervention could not be dismissed.

[note]

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The only hope of an early UN decision, General MacArthur told CG FMFPac at their conference of 10 July, lay in the launching of an amphibious assault to cut supply lines in the enemy’s rear. This situation, he added, reminded him of the critical days of World War II in the Pacific, when troops trained in amphibious techniques were urgently needed to make ship-to-shore landings on Japanese-held islands. In a reminiscent mood, MacArthur recalled the competence shown by the 1st Marine Division while under his control during the New Britain operation of 1943–1944. If only he had this unit in Japan, he said, he would employ it at his first opportunity as his landing force for the Inch'ŏn assault.

Shepherd, who had been assistant division commander of the 1st Marine Division during the New Britain landings, immediately suggested that the UN supreme commander make a request that the 1st Marine Division with appropriate Marine air be assigned to him. This possibility had apparently been put aside by MacArthur after being limited to an RCT in his request of 2 July. He asked eagerly if the Marine general believed that the division could be made available for an Inch'ŏn landing as early as 15 September. And Shepherd replied that since the unit was under his command, he would take the responsibility for stating that it could be sent to Korea by that date, minus the infantry regiment and other troops of the Brigade.[22]

The Inch'ŏn-Sŏul Operation, Ch 1, Request for a Marine Division Page 1 of 2

Thus was history made without pomp or ceremony during the conference at FECom Headquarters. The date was 10 July, but it was already D-minus 67 for thousands of American young men. On farms and in offices, in cities and villages from coast to coast, these civilians had no inkling that just 67 days later they would be fighting their way ashore in a major amphibious operation. For they were Marine reservists, and the 1st Marine Division could not be brought up to full strength without calling them back into uniform. Shepherd realized, even while assuring MacArthur that the division could be made combat-ready by 15 September, that the activation of the Brigade had left the division with less than the strength of a single RCT. Nearly as many men would be required to bring it up to full strength as were contained at present in the entire Fleet Marine Force.[23] But so great was his confidence in the Marine Corps Reserve that he did not hesitate to take the responsibility.

Nor did MacArthur lose any time at making up his mind. That very day, 10 July, he sent his first request to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a Marine division.

As the conference ended, Shepherd found the UN supreme commander “enthusiastic” about the prospect of employing again the Marine outfit that had been his reliance seven years before in the New Britain operation. He planned to stabilize the front in Korea as soon as possible, he said, as a prelude to the landing in the NKPA rear which he believed would be decisive.[24]

The Inch'ŏn-Sŏul Operation, Ch 1, Request for a Marine Division Page 2 of 2
The Inch'ŏn-Sŏul Operation
Lynn Montross and Nicholas A. Canzona
Chapter 1. The Communist Challenge
America’s Force-in-Readiness

Long before the New Britain landing, Cates and Shepherd had learned from first-hand experience as junior officers how decisive a force-in-readiness can be. The lieutenant from Tennessee and the lieutenant from Virginia took part in June 1918 with the Marines who stopped the Germans by counterattacking at Belleau Wood. In terms of human tonnage, two Marine regiments did not cut much of a figure in the American Expeditionary Force. What counted was the readiness of the Marines and a few outfits of U.S. Army regulars at a time when most of the American divisions had not yet finished training.

More than three decades later, as CMC and CG FMFPac, both Marine generals were firm advocates of the force-in-readiness concept as a basic mission of the Marine Corps.

It was a mission that had evolved from practice rather than theory. During the half century since the Spanish-American War, there had been only two years when U.S. Marines were not on combat duty somewhere.

It had long been a tradition that the Marines, as transitory naval forces, might land on foreign soil without the implication of hostilities usually associated with invasion. This principle was invoked, along with a liberal interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine, by the State Department from 1906 to 1932 in the Caribbean and Central America. As a means of supervising unstable governments in sensitive strategic areas, Marines were sent to Cuba, Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and China for long periods of occupation.[25]

U.S. Marines were not only web-footed infantry during these overseas operations; they also distinguished themselves as scouts, cannoneers, constabulary, engineers, and horse marines. As modern warfare grew more complex, however, the time came when the Leather-necks could no longer sail on a few hours’ notice as a “gangplank expeditionary force” made up of men detailed from the nearest posts and stations.
[Yet, that is pretty much what MacArthur and Shepherd had just agreed to!]

No longer could such light weapons as machine guns, mortars, and mountain howitzers serve as the only armament necessary for seizing a beachhead.

The Fleet Marine Force evolved in 1933, therefore, to fill the need for a corps of highly-trained amphibious specialists capable of carrying out a major ship-to-shore assault against modern defensive weapons. New landing craft as well as new landing tactics and techniques were developed during the next ten years, and the reputation of the Marine Corps as a force-in-readiness was upheld in the amphibious operations of World War II.

During these three eventful decades of Marine development, General Cates and General Shepherd had participated in all the stages while ascending the ladder of command. Thus in the summer of 1950, they were eminently qualified for leadership in the task of building the 1st Marine Division up to war strength for the amphibious operation which General MacArthur hoped to launch on 15 September.

[notes]

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As a prerequisite, the sanction of Congress and authorization of the President had to be obtained before the Marine Corps Reserve could be mobilized.

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General MacArthur’s request of 10 July for a Marine division went to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who referred it to General Cates. The Commandant could only reply that it would be necessary to call out the Reserve, and no action was taken on this first request. It was enough that a beginning had been made, and CMC put his staff to work on the necessary studies and plans.

General Shepherd was meanwhile winding up his visit to Tokyo by conferring with Admirals Joy and Doyle and Generals Almond and Stratemeyer. The Air Force general tentatively confirmed (subject to discussion with his staff) the assignment of Itami Airfield in Japan to Marine air units. He also informed CG FMFPac that he accepted as valid the principle of employing Marine air in support of Marine ground forces.[26]

[26] CG FMFPac memo to CMC, 11 Jul 50.

The Inch'ŏn-Sŏul Operation, Ch 1, America’s Force-in-Readiness Page 1 of 2

The air situation in Korea had struck General Shepherd as abounding in paradoxes. He noted that

“B-29’s are employed against tactical targets to the dissatisfaction of all concerned—the Air Force because of misemployment of its planes, and the ground forces because of the results achieved. Carrier aircraft, despite the wealth of close support targets available, were committed against deep and semi-strategic targets. Jet fighters, with little enemy air to engage, have been assigned to close support work despite a fuel restriction which holds them to no more than 15 minutes in the combat zone. Only a very limited number of aircraft adaptable to tactical support missions are available (F–51 and B–26) and there appears to be urgent need for suitable close support aircraft along with competent air-ground liaison units.”[27]

[27] Ibid.
These conclusions had much to do with a Marine policy, dating back to World War II, of insisting whenever possible on Marine close air support for Marine ground forces. Without disparaging other techniques, Marines believed that their own fliers, trained in Marine infantry methods, could provide the most effective tactical air for Marine infantry.

The Inch'ŏn-Sŏul Operation, Ch 1, America’s Force-in-Readiness Page 2 of 2
The Inch'ŏn-Sŏul Operation
Lynn Montross and Nicholas A. Canzona
Chapter 1. The Communist Challenge
Planning for the P'ohang Landing

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While General Shepherd was flying back to Pearl Harbor, a succession of sleepless nights awaited the officers of PhibGru One, the ANGLICO group, and training Team Able. Upon the shoulders of these amphibious specialists fell the task of drawing up the orders, planning the loading, and mounting out the troops of the 1st Cavalry Division for its landing of 18 July at P'ohang-dong.

[note]

US Navy

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On the 5th Admiral Andrewes, with Belfast, Cossack and Consort, was detached to join the blockading forces in compliance with orders from ComNavFE, Admiral Struble flew to Tokyo by carrier plane, and Task Force 77 continued on to Buckner Bay. There it arrived on 6 July, and there it was retained until the 16th.

6, 7,8 ,9 10, 11, 12, 13,14 ,15, 16

[note]

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Vice Admiral C. Turner Joy COMNAVFE

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Admiral Arthur W. Radford CINCPA

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Admiral Forrest P. Sherman
CNO

10 July As directed by COMNAVFE, naval blockade extended to include ports of Wŏnsan and Chinnamp'o. CNO directed CINCPACFLT to sail Task Force Yoke when ready.

[note]

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Sicily, alerted on 2 July, was sailed on the 4th for Pearl Harbor and Guam, to strengthen the antisubmarine capabilities of Western Pacific forces.
The division commander, Rear Admiral Richard W. Ruble, was ordered forward with his staff by air to help handle the rapid build-up of naval air strength in Japan.

On 10 July admiral and staff reached Tokyo,
and two days later [12th] Ruble took over command of Task Group 96.2, Naval Air Japan.

[note]

On 6 July USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) got underway from San Diego for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived on the 14th to commence a ten-day period of accelerated training exercises.

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,12, 13, 14

[note]

Squadron Aircraft Tail Code Notes
VMF-214 F4U-4B WE (aboard 1 Aug-13 Nov)
VS-21 TBM-3E/S BS (aboard to 3 Dec)
HU-1 Det HO3S-1 UP

USS Sicily (CVE-118), alerted on 2 July, was sailed on the 4th for Pearl Harbor and Guam, to strengthen the antisubmarine capabilities of Western Pacific forces.

The division commander, Rear Admiral Richard W. Ruble, was ordered forward with his staff by air to help handle the rapid build-up of naval air strength in Japan.

On 10 July admiral and staff reached Tokyo, and two days later Ruble took over command of Task Group 96.2, Naval Air Japan.

[note]

So much activity required a coordinating authority and so, at ComServPac's request, the Chief of Naval Operations on 10 July established Service Squadron 3 as the Navy's principal logistic agent in the Western Pacific. Captain Austin was transferred from Service Squadron 1 to take command of this new force, which was gathering at Buckner Bay.

[note]

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Another Marine, however, had preceded them to Tokyo. The Commanding General of the Fleet Marine Force Pacific, Lieutenant General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., USMC, had flown west on the 7th, and on the 10th conferred with General MacArthur. On the same day, as a result of this discussion, CincFE asked the Joint Chiefs for the entire 1st Marine Division.

[note]

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Aerial View of P'ohang-dong

On 10 July Admiral Doyle’s suggestion of P'ohang was accepted, planning proceeded at an accelerated rate, and the activity was legalized on the 12th when Commander Naval Forces Far East issued his Operation Order 9-50 . The affair was christened with the code name "Bluehearts."

[note]

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Fortunately there was a solution. P'ohang was still in friendly hands. On 10 July U.S. troops were reported guarding the airstrip, an aviation engineer unit was landed by LST, and Fifth Air Force was preparing to move in a fighter squadron. On the 11th some officers from the Amphibious Group and Cavalry Division staffs were flown to P'ohang, to return two days later with useful and previously unavailable information.

[note]

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Part 4. 10–31 July: Seventh Fleet Operations
At Buckner Bay, 600 miles to the southward, Admiral Struble’s staff had been working on ways to deal with the Seventh Fleet’s Formosan responsibilities while planning with Admiral Hoskins for further carrier strikes in Korea.

In Formosa, where some expected an invasion attempt before mid-August by a force of up to 200,000, rivalries and dissension on the upper levels and low morale below raised the prospect of rapid collapse in the event of a landing in strength. Seventh Fleet control of the Strait was consequently the crucial factor; with the Seventh Fleet involved in Korea, warning of attack was essential; on 10 July, therefore, as Struble returned from his visit to Taipei Formosa, redeployment of the Seventh Fleet patrol planes was begun.

VP 28, a PB4Y-2 Privateer squadron, was moved up from Guam to Okinawa;

VP 46, a PBM-5 Mariner squadron with units at Sangley Point and Buckner Bay, was ordered forward to the Pescadores along with the tender Suisun;

Commander Fleet Air Wing 1 (Guam) (ComFltAir ONE) was relieved of responsibilities at Guam and instructed to advance his headquarters to Okinawa. Thus Commander Fleet Air Wing 1 (Okinawa)

[note]

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In Korea his [Struble] presence was urgently desired. On 9 July General Dean, then commanding all Army units in Korea, had inquired hopefully about the possibility of carrier air support.

In response Struble next day advised Admiral Joy of his willingness to help out either with close support or with further strikes on west coast targets, while noting that until ammunition reached Okinawa on the 18th he would be limited to two days of close support operations.

For effective work in support of troops the front line communications problem was governing; if the Tactical Air Control Squadron from Mount McKinley could be made available, all would be well; if not, Seventh Fleet could supply a small control team, although equipment would have to be provided it. Subject to these considerations Struble proposed to sail from Buckner on the 11th for operations on the 13th and 14th.

The offer, however, was not accepted. Admiral Joy’s reply stated that he knew of no plans for carrier close support, and that the Tacron was not designed for shore employment.

[note]

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From the first days of war General MacArthur had hoped to deliver a counterstroke directed at the Inch'ŏn-Sŏul region, the strategic solar plexus of Korea. Early in the fighting he had conceived the idea of landing the 1st Cavalry Division at Inch'ŏn, and from 4 to 8 July the staff of Amphibious Group had grappled with this problem. But the rapid advance of the enemy, which forced abandonment of this scheme in favor of the decision to land the cavalrymen at P'ohang, made it plain that translation of idea into actuality would involve an assault landing, and posed a requirement for amphibiously trained troops. Not unnaturally, therefore, the 10th of July, the day the P'ohang landing was decided upon, was also the day of CincFE’s first request for an entire Marine division.

[note]

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As early as 10 July shipments of mines were rolling southward down the east coast railway from the Vladivostok region. One week later Soviet naval personnel had reached Wŏnsan and Chinnamp'o and were holding mine school for their North Korean friends.

This reaction, which wholly justified Admiral Joy’s concern with the northeastern railroad route, was sufficiently rapid to get the mines through before the limited Seventh Fleet and NavFE forces could be brought to bear. Some 4,000 mines were quickly passed through Wŏnsan, and by 1 August mining had been begun at that port and at Chinnamp'o.

In time Russian naval officers ventured as far south as Inch'ŏn, shipments of mines were trucked down from Chinnamp'o to Haeju, and before the bridges were knocked down consignments had reached Inch'ŏn, Kunsan, and Mokp'o by train.

[note]

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[note]

Index to Life Magazine

[note]

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Five page article about MacArthur

[note]

The Consequences
Monday, July 10, 1950

From the moment he proclaimed U.S. air & sea support for the reeling Koreans, Harry Truman had seen the next fateful decision marching toward him in seven-league infantry boots. At midweek he ordered the National Security Council into secret session to size up U.S. troop positions in the Far East. Before the council lay Douglas MacArthur's report that the U.S. dough foot would have to come and come fast to South Korea if the high-sounding words of 24 hours before were to have any meaning.

It was a problem the NSC had wrestled with before. As long ago as last January, the policymakers had drawn the broad outlines of U.S. action in case of Korean invasion: the quick recourse to the United Nations Security Council and the dispatch of arms aid (which the President had set in motion soon after the Communists began rolling). But in its blackboard arguments, NSC had never been able to make up its mind about sending U.S. troops.

Infantryman Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, had held that Korea wasn't worth it from the standpoint of pure military strategy; the State Department—backed by the Navy—had said it very well might be, for reasons of U.S. prestige in Asia and U.S. leadership in the world.


The Troops March.

Now the argument was ancient history. Politics, strategy and the prestige of the democratic world were so tightly intertwined in Korea that no one could separate them, and nobody tried. After a brisk, businesslike session, the members locked up their papers, snapped their briefcases and carried their report off to Harry Truman.

Two mornings later, Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas was called at home at 8 o'clock by a summons to an11 a.m. White House conference. In the Cabinet room he found the same gathering of congressional leaders and Cabinet members who had listened to the President's statement early in the week. They waited for 20 minutes before Harry Truman came in, took a seat next to fellow Missourian Dewey Short, and asked General Bradley to recite the bad news from Korea. When Bradley had finished, the President slowly read off the text of his decision to throw U.S. troops into the battle, to allow the Air Force to bomb "specific military targets" in Communist North Korea, and to order the Navy to blockade the entire Korean coast.


Brisk Show.

Later that day 66-year-old Harry Truman seemed to walk with a weary man's heavy tread. He wasn't usually one to worry about decisions once made, he confided to the New York Herald Tribune's Carl Levin, but on the Korean affair he couldn't help worrying about the inevitable consequences. That worry creased his face even while he put himself through a brisk show of business-as-usual, talking California politics with Jimmy Roosevelt, laying a cornerstone in the blazing Washington heat, addressing the Boy Scouts at Valley Forge.

At week's end, with a more buoyant step, he strode up the gangway of the Presidential Yacht Williamsburg at Philadelphia, to join daughter Margaret on a quick, quiet cruise to Washington. He had made the big decisions; the next steps would come from Tokyo, Korea—and Moscow.

[note]

19500710 0000 time - CASUALTY LIST

19500710 0000 Time Article

19500710 0000 time - Time for Unity

19500710 0000 time - The Time in Korea

19500710 0000 Time - Little Man & Friends

19500710 0000 Time - Help Seemed Far Away

19500710 0000 MacArthur in Time

19500710 0000 time - The Brave 474th

19500710 0000 time - Leadership in Action

19500710 0000 time - For Small Fires

19500710 0000 time - Blueprints for War


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Sun Rise 0518 1952
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Moon Phase 18% 25 days

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HMS Jamaica

Korean_War

USS Juneau (CL-119)

Since the threatened encirclement of the Korean forces north of the town remained only a threat, HMS Jamaica (C-44) was relieved and ordered to Sasebo, the destroyers were left to provide fire support, and USS Juneau (CLAA-119) proceeded to Pusan.

There Admiral Higgins spent the day in conference with Korean and U.S. Army authorities, and in attempts to round up more interpreters and to obtain some solid information on the situation ashore.

With evening the cruiser proceeded north again, and from 0200 to 0330 of the 10th bombarded the port of Samch'ŏk, following which she headed south to check once more on the situation at P'ohang. But another more northerly mission was now brewing.

On the 10th a dispatch from ComNavFE instructed Rear Admiral John H. Higgins, (TG 96.5) to extend his blockade as far north as practicable, and reemphasized the importance of the coastal tunnels on the Ch'ŏngjin-Wŏnsan railroad. With these targets in mind equipment had already been procured and plans worked out to land a demolition party, and following another night on coastal patrol and a dawn bombardment of Yangyang and Sokcho, USS Juneau (CLAA-119) and USS Mansfield (DD-728)headed north for the region between Tanch'ŏn and Sŏngjin.

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From the low ridge east of Ch'ŏnui one normally could see the road for a mile beyond the town, but not on the morning of 10 July. The day dawned with a ground fog billowing up from the rice paddies. With it came the North Koreans.

At 0555 the American soldiers could hear enemy voices on their left. Fifteen minutes later those on the ridge at the center of the position heard an enemy whistle at the left; then firing began in that direction. Soon, some of the men near Colonel Stephens began shooting blindly into the fog. He promptly stopped them.

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10 July 1950
Two SB-17s were used for weather and orbit missions this date. Seventeen hours (17:00) were logged on these flights.

One SB-17 dispatched this date to the area north of Fukuoka near the northern tip of the Island of Tsu-Shima to search for a pilot of F-80 reported to have bailed out at that location on 9 July 1950. A total of five hours (5:00) was logged on the mission with negative results.

Flight "D" was notified by the Base Commander of Ashiya Air Base that it would have to move all offices now located in the Base Operations building. The only space available was in the Hangar where they were originally located. This move took approximately two (2) days to complete.

At 0635/K the Flight was notified that an aircraft was overdue and to stand by. At 0730/K received a call that the aircraft had landed safely. One false alert recorded this date.

This information taken from the official 3rd Rescue Squadron history archived at the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base.

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At 0700, enemy mortar fire began falling on the ridge. Lt. Ray Bixler with a platoon of A Company held the hill on the left. The rate of small arms fire increased and those in the center could hear shouting from Bixler's platoon. It was apparent that the main enemy attack centered there, coming from the higher hill beyond it. A concentration of friendly registered mortar fire covered the little valley between the two hills and in the early part of the morning prevented the enemy from closing effectively with Bixler's platoon. But an enemy force passed to the rear around the right flank of the battalion and now attacked the heavy mortar positions. At the same time, enemy tanks came through Ch'ŏnui on the highway and passed through the infantry position. The men on the ridge could hear the tanks but could not see them because of fog. [07-29]

[note]

0730 Korean Time

Korean_War

At 0730/K received a call that the aircraft had landed safely. One false alert recorded this date.

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Operation BLUEHEARTS died aborning. The failure of the weak American and weaker ROK forces to halt the enemy and the forced commitment of the 1st Cavalry Division before 22 July made the operation, in July or even in August, quite infeasible. It was canceled on 10 July. [08-4]

[some one thought the landing at P'ohang was the "New" Bluehearts operation]

[note]

Korean_War

At 0800 the fog lifted. Ch'ŏnui was still burning. Four tanks came into view from the north and entered the village. Stephens radioed for an air strike. Then the men heard tank fire to their rear. The enemy tanks that had passed through the lines earlier were joining their flanking infantry force in an attack on the American heavy mortar position. Stephens had already lost wire communication with the mortarmen; now he lost radio communication with them. The mortars fell silent, and it seemed certain that the enemy had overrun and destroyed them. Although artillery still gave support, loss of the valuable close-in support of the 4.2-inch mortars proved costly. [07-30]

[note]

Korean_War Korean_War

American tanks on the morning of 10 July near Ch'ŏnui engaged in their first fight of the Korean War. They performed poorly.

In the afternoon, tanks participated in the 3rd Battalion counterattack and did better. One of them got in a first shot on an enemy tank and disabled it. Two American light tanks were lost during the day. [07-35]

Elements of the N.K. 4th Division had pressed on south after the capture of Ch'ŏnan and they had fought the battle of Ch'ŏnui. Leading elements of the N.K. 3rd Division, following the 4th by one day, apparently came up to Ch'ŏnui late on the 10th. They found the town such a mass of rubble that the reserve regiment bypassed it. [07-36]

[note]

Korean_War

With scarcely a pause the NKPA attacked the Stephens force at Ch'ŏnui on the morning of July 10. Concealed by a heavy ground fog, T34 tanks led the enemy formation. At 8:00 A.M. the fog lifted to reveal a swarm of NKPA tanks and infantry advancing frontally and on both flanks.

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The information on the amphibious capabilities of the new force was well received by General MacArthur since it blended admirably with plans then being developed by his staff. He radioed Washington at once, asking that the Marine brigade, "in view of the extensive opportunity for amphibious employment," be expanded to a full Marine division with appropriate air support. [09-14]

[note]

Korean_War

North Korean infantry came from Ch'ŏnui at 0900 and began climbing the ridge in a frontal attack against the center of the position. The artillery forward observers adjusted artillery fire on them and turned them back. Men watching anxiously on the ridge saw many enemy fall to the ground as they ran. The T34's in Ch'ŏnui now moved out of the town and began spraying the American-held ridge with machine gun fire.

[note]

Korean_War

The commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division had been informed of the possible deployment on 7 July, but with the decision against air transport to Japan, no immediate action was taken. Planning continued, however, for possible movement by ship.

Korean_War

When General Collins learned during his conference in Tokyo that General MacArthur's plan for Inch'ŏn included a role for the airborne RCT, he was somewhat concerned. He told General Almond, after hearing the latter describe the planned seizure of the north bank of the Han River by an airborne unit, that the Joint Chiefs of Staff would take a very personal interest in how General MacArthur employed the airborne troops.

He assured General Almond that the Joint Chiefs of Staff would do their best to furnish planes to drop the vehicles and howitzers of the RCT, but cautioned against wasteful and improper employment of these specially trained troops. "Don't overestimate what one RCT can do," the Army Chief of Staff warned Almond. "Don't get too grandiose in your planned utilization of the limited troops available." [09-43]

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Shortly after 1100, intense small arms fire erupted again at Lieutenant Bixler's position on the left. The absence of the former heavy mortar fire protecting screen enabled the enemy to close with him. The fog had lifted and men in the center could see these enemy soldiers on the left.

[note]

Korean_War

July 10, 1950
Inspired by the presence of Stephens, these green Americans fought stoutly for about three-hour - until about 11:00 A.M. - then began to buckle and flee. Stephens tried to stop the flight, but it was useless; the familiar American stampede through the stinking, slippery rice paddies was not to be stopped. The panic was intensified when two Air Force F80 jets mistakenly strafed Stephens's men with machine guns and Ben Allen's 11th FAB also mistakenly bombarded them with 155mm shells.[4-78] Later Dick Stephens commented:

There was no incentive for our men to fight well except strong leadership and high unit spirit. They saw no reason for the war ... [4-and] had no interest in a fight which was not even dignified by calling it a war.... It took strong leadership and a very high spirit to get them to put their hearts in it. It was a bitter fight in which many lives were lost and we could see no profit in it except our pride in our profession and our units as well as the comradeship which dictates that you do not let your fellow soldier down.[4-79]

July 10
Falling back on his main positions at Choch'iwŏn, Stephens ordered Delbert Pryor to launch his 3/21 on a counterattack toward Ch'ŏnui. But West Pointer Pryor was unable to carry out these orders - and was soon evacuated as a no battle casualty (NBC). He was replaced as battalion commander by Carl C. ("Cliff) Jensen, thirty-eight. The 21st's exec, Fritz Mudgett, remembered with resentment that Del Pryor

"failed when the chips were down" and wound up in a desk job in Tokyo, "far removed from combat."[4-80]

Backed by the four light tanks, Cliff Jensen led the 3/21 counterattack. The tanks "performed poorly." The division G3, West Pointer (1934) James W. Snee, remembered:

"The division had back orders two years old for recoil oil, so the tank 75mm guns had never been fired. When the guns were fired in Korea, it was done by lanyard and promptly blew off the tank turrets."

Two of the tanks were lost, but one got a lucky hit on a T34 and disabled it.[4-81]

Korean_War

July 10, 1950

Jensen regained a ridge south of Ch'ŏnui - no small achievement - but was unable to advance farther. On the recaptured ground his men discovered a grisly and outrageous sight: six dead American POWs, hands tied behind their backs, each shot in the back of the head. The discovery of this atrocity infuriated Jensen and his men and spurred them to fight with a savagery and purpose theretofore lacking.

[note]

1125 Korean Time

Korean_War

Bixler radioed to Stephens at 1125 that he needed more men, that he had many casualties, and asked permission to withdraw. Stephens replied that he was to stay-"Relief is on the way."

[note]

1130 Korean Time

Korean_War

Five minutes later it came in the form o an air strike. Two American jet planes streaked in, rocketed the tanks without any visible hits, and then strafed the enemy infantry on the left. The strafing helped Bixler; as long as the planes were present the enemy kept under cover.

Soon, their ammunition expended, the planes departed. Then the enemy infantry resumed the attack.

While the air strike was in progress, survivors from the overrun recoilless rifle and mortar positions in the rear climbed the ridge and joined the infantry in the center of the position.

[note]

1132 Korean Time

Korean_War

At 1132, according to Bigart's watch, friendly artillery fire began falling on the ridge. Apparently the artillerymen thought that enemy troops had overrun the forward infantry position and they were firing on them. Enemy fire and tanks had destroyed wire communication from the battle position to the rear, and the artillery forward observer's radio had ceased working. There was no communication. Stephens ran to his radio jeep, 100 yards to the rear of the foxholes, and from there was able to send a message to the regiment to stop the artillery fire; but it kept falling nevertheless. [07-31]

[note]

1135 Korean Time

Korean_War

As the men on the ridge crouched in their foxholes under the shower of dirt and rocks thrown into the air by the exploding artillery shells, Stephens at 1135 received another report from Bixler that enemy soldiers surrounded him and that most of his men were casualties. That was his last report. The enemy overran Bixler's position and most of the men there died in their foxholes.

Even before the friendly artillery fire began falling, some of the men on the north (right) end of the ridge had run off. About the time of Bixler's last radio message, someone yelled,

"Everybody on the right flank is taking off!"

Stephens, looking in that direction, saw groups running to the rear. He yelled out, "Get those high priced soldiers back into position! That's what they are paid for." A young Nisei from Hawaii, Cpl. Richard Okada, tried to halt the panic on the right but was able to get only a few men together. With them he formed a small perimeter.

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[07-Caption] SOUTH OF Ch'ŏnan, a battery of 155's fires on the enemy-held town, 10 July.

[note]

1205 Korean Time

Korean_War

At 1205 Colonel Stephens decided that those still on the ridge would have to fall back if they were to escape with their lives. On a signal from him, the small group leaped from their foxholes and ran across open ground to an orchard and rice paddies beyond. There they learned, as thousands of other American soldiers were to learn, that crossing flooded rice paddies in a hurry on the narrow, slippery dikes was like walking a tightrope. While they were crossing the paddies, two American jet planes strafed them, thinking them enemy soldiers. There were no casualties from the strafing but some of the men slipped knee-deep into mud and acquired a "lifelong aversion to rice." Stephens and his small group escaped to American lines. [07-32]

In this action at Ch'ŏnui, A Company had 27 wounded and 30 missing for a total of 57 casualties out of 181 men; D Company's loss was much less, 3 killed and 8 wounded. The Heavy Mortar Company suffered 14 casualties. Of the total troops engaged the loss was about 20 percent. [07-33]

Upon reaching friendly positions, Stephens ordered Colonel Jensen to counterattack with the 3rd Battalion and regain the Ch'ŏnui positions. Jensen pressed the counterattack and regained the ridge in front of the town, but was unable to retake Bixler's hill south of the railroad. His men rescued about ten men of A and D Companies who had not tried to withdraw under the shell fire.

Korean_War

Jensen's counterattack in the afternoon uncovered the first known North Korean mass atrocity perpetrated on captured American soldiers. The bodies of six Americans, jeep drivers and mortar-men of the Heavy Mortar Company, were found with hands tied in back and shot through the back of the head. Infiltrating enemy soldiers had captured them in the morning when they were on their way to the mortar position with a resupply of ammunition. An American officer farther back witnessed the capture. One of the jeep drivers managed to escape when the others surrendered. [07-34]

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That same afternoon the Air Force finally came through with meaningful help to the infantry. A flight of F80 jets, dipping down through the overcast at P'yŏngt'aek (twenty-five miles north), found a juicy target: NKPA tanks and trucks lined bumper to bumper on the highway. While maneuvering to attack this target, the jets summoned help. In typical Air Force hyperbole FEAF described the attack as "one of the decisive air ground battles of the entire conflict." The combined air power that afternoon claimed to have destroyed an estimated 38 tanks, 7 halftracks, and 117 trucks and to have killed a "large number" of NKPA soldiers.[4-82]

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Korean_War

On the afternoon of 10 July American air power had one of its great moments in the Korean War. Late in the afternoon, a flight of jet F-80 planes dropped down through the overcast at P'yŏngt'aek, twenty-five air miles north of Ch'ŏnui, and found a large convoy of tanks and vehicles stopped bumper to bumper on the north side of a destroyed bridge. Upon receiving a report of this discovery, the Fifth Air Force rushed every available plane to the scene-B-26's, F-80's, and F-82's-in a massive air strike. Observers of the strike reported that it destroyed 38 tanks, 7 half-track vehicles, 117 trucks, and a large number of enemy soldiers. This report undoubtedly exaggerated unintentionally the amount of enemy equipment actually destroyed. But this strike, and that of the previous afternoon near Ch'ŏnui, probably resulted in the greatest destruction of enemy armor of any single action in the war. [07-37]

[USAFIK does not describe any activity in the afternoon yesterday it does say: Fifth Air Force planes claimed 197 trucks and 44 tanks destroyed for the 7-9.]

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Korean_War Korean_War

In a message to Colonel Stephens at 2045 General Dean suggested withdrawing the 3rd Battalion from this position. But he left the decision to Stephens, saying,

"If you consider it necessary, withdraw to your next delaying position prior to dawn. I am reminding you of the importance of the town of Choch'iwŏn. If it is lost, it means that the SKA [07-South Korean Army] will have lost its MSR [07-Main Supply Route]."

An hour later, in talking to a regimental staff officer, Dean authorized falling back four miles to the next delaying position two miles north of Choch'iwŏn, but ordered,

"Hold in your new position and fight like hell. I expect you to hold it all day tomorrow." [07-41]

Korean_War

[07-Caption] DEFENSE OF Choch'iwŏn. Engineer troops prepare to mine a bridge.

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2145 Korean Time

Korean_War Korean_War

An hour later, in talking to a regimental staff officer, Dean authorized falling back four miles to the next delaying position two miles north of Choch'iwŏn, but ordered, "Hold in your new position and fight like hell. I expect you to hold it all day tomorrow." [07-41]
[07-Caption] DEFENSE OF Choch'iwŏn. Engineer troops prepare to mine a bridge.

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[note]


Casualties

Monday July 10, 1950 (Day 016)

Korean_War 067 Casualties

As of July 10, 1950

48 21ST INFANTRY REGIMENT
10 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 3RD ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
4 52ND FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 567TH MEDICAL AMBULANCE COMPANY
2 620TH AIR CONTROL AND WARNING SQUADRON
1 8033RD ARMY UNIT SPECIAL TROOPS
67 19500710 0000 Casualties by unit

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 28 190 0 0 0 218
Today 2 65 0 0 0 67
Total 30 255 0 0 0 285

Aircraft Losses Today 002

Notes for Monday July 10, 1950 - Day 016