Weather

25.5 C - 77.9 F at Taegu

Overview

 

Headquarters Fort Lewis was reestablished and the post staff was announced in General Orders No. 1, dated 12 July 1950.

(Notes)

 

July 12
Col. Robert R. Martin, 48, Toledo, Ohio, is posthumously awarded the first Distinguished Service Cross given for Korean action. He was killed July 8 while attacking a North Korean tank 12 yards away with a bazooka.

-- The 1st Cavalry Division begins loading ships in Yokohama for the trip to Korea.

Rep. Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr., D-Texas, urges Truman to give the North Koreans one week to withdraw from South Korea or have their cities flattened by atomic bombs.

[note]

-- Hearst newspapers on June [JULY] 12 blame the State Department for preventing Congress from giving "adequate military aid to Korea."

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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, 12

[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, (8th) 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]

So ended the first week of American ground combat in Korea. From Osan to today, it had not gone well for the Americans. Under cover of foul weather the NKPA had advanced an impressive fifty air miles from Suwŏn to the Kum River, suffering only moderate casualties. It had shattered or disorganized two American regiments comprising four infantry battalions plus several artillery batteries and supporting units. Perhaps 3,000 Americans were dead, wounded, missing, or captured.

In their panicky BUGOUTS the Americans had left enough weapons, equipment, and ammo on the battlefields to fit out one or two NKPA regiments.

The Americans had achieved little in this piecemeal and disorganized waste of precious lives and equipment. At most they delayed the NKPA a total of three, possibly four, days. Notwithstanding Army claims to the contrary, these delays were not in any way decisive to the American forces and might well have been matched at less cost by a consolidated and cohesive defense behind the Kum River. Moreover, the collapse of these ill-trained, ill-equipped, ill-led, and thinly disposed American units in first combat was a psychological victory of incalculable dimensions to the NKPA. In combat, as elsewhere, success breeds success.

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12 July 1950
Three SB-17s were utilized this date for orbit and weather recon missions. A total of twenty-four hours and five minutes (24:05) logged on these flights

Received a call from ADCC that a B-29 was down in the target area. later notified that, due to enemy action, the Flight would not send an aircraft to the area. This notification was received from Fifth Air Force. One false alert recorded this date.

Flight "D" completed the move from Base Operations building to the Hangar this date. All offices and sections are again grouped together at one location. The organization as a whole operates more efficiently since the move but is a little crowded.

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US Eighth Army takes command of ground operations in Korea
July - August
Savage fighting begins in the Southern Peninsula, eventually settling around the Pusan Perimeter. US garrison troops, totally unprepared for infantry warfare against a veteran, ferocious enemy, suffer terrible casualties and many defeats. Stiffened by veteran infantry regulars, including the 1st Marine Brigade, the Perimeter was eventually stabilized in some of the most vicious fighting of the entire three year war.

[note]

CIA

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Daily Summary Excerpt, 12 July 1950, Possible Assault on Taiwan

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Daily Summary Excerpt
July 12, 1950
Subject: Possible Assault on Taiwan

U.S. Embassy Saigon transmits a U.S. Army report that the Chinese Communist Government is planning an attack on Taiwan "around 15 July" and that the attack may coincide with an uprising on the island. As supporting evidence the report points to: (1) recent troop movements and concentrations in East China; (2) preparations of Chinese mainland airfields and the arrival of aircraft and personnel needed for airborne operations; (3) recent declarations regarding Taiwan by Chinese Foreign Minister Chou En-lai; (4) a reported journey to Moscow by Mao Tse-tung on 4 July; (5) a recent Nationalist purge on Taiwan which source believes will strengthen opposition to Chiang Kai-shek; and (6) the extent of the U.S. involvement in Korea, which source feels increases prospects for the success of an early attack on Taiwan.

(CIA Comment: CIA has no information regarding a second Moscow trip by Mao nor is there any available evidence supporting the report that Communist China has selected 15 July to invade Taiwan. However, an analysis of recent Chinese Communist troop movements, propaganda and press comment indicates that the Peiping regime may now be capable of launching an assault against Taiwan.)

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On 12 July Joy CinCNFFE instructed Struble CO7thFlt (this time with Sherman, CNO Radford CinCPacFlt, and MacArthur as information addressees) to cancel the air strikes scheduled for 17 July;

“[I] desire [that] you plan [to] support Rear Admiral Doyle’s landing for two days.”[cmdctl-23]

The resulting arrangement was that Doyle would request support from Struble through Joy, and Operation Order 9-50 so directed. Presumably, this would assuage Struble’s objection to a de facto subordinate relationship to Doyle.

[note]

19500712 0000 DSC JENSEN, CARL C.*

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Photo #: NH 96995
USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116)
Loading Marine Corps F4U-4B "Corsair" fighters at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California, for transportation to Korea, July 1950. Badoeng Strait carried planes and aircrew of Marine Air Group 33 as part of the trans-Pacific movement of the First Provisional Marine Brigade, the initial Marine Corps deployment of the Korean War. She left San Diego in mid-July and arrived at Kobe, Japan on 31 July, flying her planes off the following day.

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"In a series of desperate battles, the 21st Infantry Regiment fought delaying actions from Ch'ŏnui to Choch'iwŏn. Not only did the two under strength rifle battalions of the ""Gimlet"" Regiment delay two of the best North Korean People’s Army divisions, but they turned in the best battle performance of US troops in the war to that date."

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24th Infantry Division Counter Intelligence Corps team, July 12, 1950 -- "A 2LT in NKPA was interrogated and said he and another soldier were issued civilian clothing to wear on patrol. These were the clothing they had on at time of capture." 48
48
Report, Counter Intelligence Command (CIC) Team, 12 Jul 50. In AG Command Reports (War Diaries) 1949-1954, 24th ID, Entry 429, Box 3471, RG 407, NARA.


25th Infantry Division memo to G-3, notes on liaison trip to U.S. Army Forces In Korea and 24th Infantry Division, July 12-14, 1950 -- "Guerilla activity - Pot shots at single vehicles are not uncommon. En[emy] soldiers are infiltrating in civ clothes." 49
49
Memorandum, 25th Infantry Division, Notes on Liaison trip to United States Army Forces in Korea (USAFIK) and 24th Infantry Division, 12-14 Jul 50. In 25th Infantry Division G-3 Journals, Box 680, RG 338, NARA.

-33-

[note]

South then North

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Only when the ROK troops at Ch'ŏngju were forced to fall back after the U.S. 24th Division, on 12 July, lost Choch'iwŏn, twelve miles westward, did the enemy division enter the town. [08-2]

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Ch'ŏngju and Choch'iwŏn

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The N.K. 1st Division, having entered the central sector from the northwest, turned south at Ch'ungju and on the 12th approached positions of the ROK 6th Division just above Mun'gyŏng.

The N.K. 15th Division, meantime, joined the attack after following the 7th Division from Ch'unch'ŏn to Wŏnju. At Wŏnju, the 15th veered westward, passed through Yŏju, then turned south, clearing the town of Changhowŏn-ni after a stiff battle with ROK forces.

By 12 July, the 15th occupied Koesan, eighteen miles northwest of Mun'gyŏng. See map Wŏnju to Yŏju to Changhowŏn

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The next day [12th], young Brig. Gen. Lee Chu Sik arrived on the east coast to assume command of the division.

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On the 12th, a second regiment, the 24th Infantry, an all-Negro regiment and the only regiment in the Eighth Army having three battalions, arrived in Korea. Col. Horton V. White commanded it.

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On 12, July General Dean ordered him [General Kean ] to dispose the 25th Division, less one battalion which was to secure Yŏnil Airfield, so as to block enemy movement south from Ch'ungju. One regiment was to be in reserve at Kimch'ŏn ready to move either to the Taejŏn or the Ch'ŏngju area. [08-14]

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General Walker Assumes Command in Korea

As it chanced, the retreat of the U.S. 24th Infantry Division across the Kum River on 12 July coincided with the assumption by Eighth United States Army in Korea (EUSAK) of command of ground operations.

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After the defeat of the 24th Division on 11 and 12 July north of Choch'iwŏn, General Walker decided to request immediate shipment to Korea of the ground troops nearest Korea other than those in Japan. These were the two battalions on Okinawa. Walker's chief of staff, Colonel Landrum, called General Almond in Tokyo on 12 July and relayed the request.

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The N.K. 3rd Division Crosses the Kum Against the 19th Infantry

The third and last regiment of the 24th Division, the 19th Infantry, commanded by Col. Guy S. Meloy, Jr., began to arrive in Korea on 4 July. Nearly ninety years earlier the 19th Infantry Regiment had won the sobriquet, "The Rock of Chickamauga," in a memorable stand in one of the bloodiest of Civil War battles. Now, on 11 and 12 July General Dean moved the 1950 version of the regiment to Taejŏn as he concentrated the 24th Division there for the defense of the city.

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Before dark of the 12th, the 19th Infantry was in position to relieve the 21st Infantry Regiment on the south bank of the Kum, [but the formal relief and transfer of responsibility for the regimental sector did not take place until 0930 the next day.] [10-29] Fourteen years earlier General Dean had served as captain in the regiment in Hawaii. [10-29]

The 19th Infantry's zone of responsibility was a wide one, extending from high ground just east of the railroad bridge, 8 miles due north of Taejon, westward along the river to within 3 miles of Kongju. This was an airline distance of 15 miles or a river distance of almost 30 miles because of the stream's numerous deep folds. Necessarily, there were wide gaps between some of the units in disposing a regiment-a 2-battalion regiment at that-over this distance. The main regimental position was astride the Seoul-Pusan highway where it crossed the Kum River at Taep'yong-ni, about midway of the regimental sector. (Map 7)

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The 3.5-inch rocket launcher
The first delivery of the new weapon arrived at Taejŏn on 12 July.

[note]

 

Citations

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500712 0000 DSC JENSEN

 

Silver Star

Aitcheson, James R. [SFC SS A78thHTB]

 

[note]

The Forgotten War

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While the 24th Division was undergoing its terrible ordeal, two other Eighth Army divisions arrived in South Korea: the 25th, followed by the 1st Cav, which had been diverted from the ill-conceived amphibious assault at Inch'ŏn.

Advance elements of the 25th Division had landed at Pusan from July 10 to 12, while the 24th Division was withdrawing behind the Kum River. These forces could have provided vital reinforcements for the 24th Division in the battle for Taejŏn, but they had to address another serious problem the NKPA then posed.

Despite some unexpectedly heroic delaying action by the ROKs on the "central front," the NKPA was pushing steadily south toward the major road and rail hub Taegu, where Walker had established Eighth Army headquarters.

If the ROKs in that sector buckled and the NKPA captured Taegu, the American forces west of the city would be cut off and trapped, and Pusan would be exposed and probably lost as well, dashing any hope of evacuating American survivors.

As Walker viewed the unfolding situation, it was thus absolutely vital to hold Taegu. The plan he evolved was as follows.

Most of the 25th Division's forces would be deployed directly north from Taegu to backstop the ROK forces on the "central front."

In addition, some division elements would occupy and hold P'ohang, the seaport east of Taegu on the Sea of Japan.

This would provide an uncontested landing area for the 1st Cav Division or an alternative evacuation port for American forces should Pusan be lost.

While the 25th Division held to the north, the 1st Cav, upon landing at P'ohang, would proceed at top speed directly west on the Taegu - Taejŏn road to reinforce the 24th Division.

[note]

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The next of the 25th Division regiments to arrive in Korea was the full-strength (three battalions) black 24th Infantry Regiment, which landed at Pusan on July 12. It was mated with the black 159th FAB to form the 24th RCT. The 159th was also at full strength (three firing batteries of six 105mm howitzers). Both black units were commanded by white officers: the 24th Infantry by West Pointer (1923) Horton V. White, forty-nine; the 159th FAB by Walter J. Preston. The principal subordinate elements (battalions; firing batteries) were commanded by a mixture of white and black officers, but white officers predominated in the senior positions. Attached to the RCT was the black 77th Engineer Combat Company (ECC). Commanded by Charles M. Bussey, a black fighter pilot in World War II, the 77th was also at full strength.[6-13]

On paper, the 24th RCT was the strongest and best equipped American fighting force yet to reach Korea, but neither Walker nor Kean expected much from it. They subscribed to the widespread view in the Army that "Negroes won't fight." Walker's lack of confidence in these black troops may have in part influenced his decision to employ the late arriving 1st Cav, rather than the 25th Division, to reinforce the 24th Division at Taejŏn.
* * *
The history of blacks in the Army was a long and shameful tale, more or less paralleling black history in American civil life. The Army had never wanted black soldiers. But in the Civil War, World War I, and World War II political and other circumstances compelled it to accept large numbers of blacks. Inasmuch as the Army, like most of the nation, was racist and practiced rigid segregation, the presence of blacks in its ranks created enormous and expensive problems, such as providing "separate but equal" living, training, and recreational facilities. It also posed delicate and difficult questions about opening the professional officer corps to qualified blacks.[6-14]

During the Civil War the Union Army took in 186,000 blacks. They were assigned to sixteen segregated infantry regiments commanded by white officers.

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After the war, in recognition of the contribution of these blacks to the Union victory, Congress decreed that the Army would indefinitely maintain four (segregated) regiments on active status: the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry. This well intended tribute had an unfortunate side effect. In the words of one black historian, the creation of these permanent black units "institutionalized segregation" in the Army, making it far more difficult to break down barriers.

[note]

During the mass mobilization for World War I the Army took in 404,000 blacks, of whom 368,000 were draftees. Most blacks were assigned to menial and demeaning "service units." However, in response to pressure from black activists and others, the Army, as an experiment, fielded two black infantry divisions, which in those days were composed of four regiments each.

Commanded at the senior and most subordinate levels by white officers, these divisions were the 92nd and 93rd.

Both divisions were sent to France with the AEF.

The 92nd, which saw little action, was assigned to the American Army; the 93rd, which saw considerable action, fought with the French.

The 92nd was judged a failure; the 93rd, barely successful.

The allegedly poor performance of these two divisions gave rise to the view in the twentieth century American Army that "Negroes won't fight."

In the years between the wars, when the professional Army shrank to about 140,000 men, the active duty black population fell commensurately to about 4,000. Racism was rampant. Most blacks were assigned, on paper, to the congressionally mandated four black regiments: the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry.

In practice, however, most blacks were consigned to demeaning post duties such as collecting garbage, policing lawns, operating the laundries, driving trucks, providing senior officers domestic help ("orderlies"), or entertaining the troops with gospel songs. As in the civilian sector, blacks were denied opportunities for schooling and advancement.

Black officers were a rarity.

The mobilization for World War II brought nearly 1 million black reservists, volunteers, and draftees into the Army. Most were assigned to segregated service units, and the Army hoped to keep them there and away from battlefronts. However, once again pressure from black activists and others, and the Roosevelt White House, compelled the Army (and Army Air Corps) to field numerous black combat units.

Because of the spotty performance of the 92nd and 93rd divisions in World War I, the Army initially intended to restrict these ground units to regimental size or smaller.

Accordingly, early in the war the 24th Infantry was sent independently to the Southwest Pacific Theater.

However, the mounting outside pressure soon forced the Army to reverse itself and field three full-scale infantry divisions, which were commanded mostly by white officers: the 2nd Cavalry (incorporating the 9th and 10th Cav regiments); the 92nd and 93rd (incorporating the 25th Infantry).

In addition, the Army activated numerous independent battalion size antiaircraft, antitank, tank, and artillery units - and even a token black parachute battalion, the 555th or "triple Nickles."[6-15]

[note]

The performance of these black combat forces was uneven. Sent to North Africa, the 2nd Cav Division was declared a complete failure. It was deactivated without seeing combat; its men were assigned to rear area service units.

Sent to the Southwest Pacific Theater, the 93rd was employed principally to occupy rear areas and perform "service" chores.

However, its 25th Infantry, temporarily attached to the Americal Division on Bougainville, did well in brief combat.

A battalion of the independent 24th Infantry (the 1/24), which had spent most of its time performing "service" duties (as stevedores, etc.), also did well in brief fighting on Bougainville, while temporarily attached to the 37th Division. Reorganized as an independent unit, the full 24th Infantry later distinguished itself during mopping up operations on Guam and Saipan.

Of all these black outfits, the 92nd Division, commanded by Ned Almond, was the most conspicuous - and controversial. It was committed piecemeal to combat in Italy in September 1944. First to arrive was its 370th RCT (called the 92nd Combat Team), which pursued retreating Germans north of Rome with some success.

However, when the Germans dug in behind the Arno River, the 370th bogged down. Arriving later, the division's 365th and 371st regiments did no better. To provide the division added punch (and replacements), Fifteenth Army Group commander Mark Clark gave it a fourth regiment, the 366th, patched together from independent black antiaircraft units already in Italy. When all these measures failed to inspire the division, Clark broke it up.

He withdrew the 365th, 366th, and 371st regiments into army and corps reserves and substituted two new regiments: the famous 442nd, composed of Japanese-Americans, and the 473rd, also newly created from deactivated antiaircraft units. The black 370th Regiment, re-staffed by "The Most Capable" of the men in the 365th, 366th, and 371st, remained on the battle line with the 442nd and 473rd, but the latter two did most of the division's heavy fighting. Almond pronounced the 370th to be "reasonably safe" but only with "constant attention" and "careful leadership."

In contrast, many of the smaller black units did well in World War II combat. Notable among these in the ETO were the 761st Tank Battalion, the 969th FAB, and the 614th Tank Destroyer Battalion. All received Presidential Unit Citations for valorous performance. During the Battle of the Bulge, when Eisenhower faced an emergency shortage of riflemen, he created thirty-seven over strength black infantry platoons, made up of volunteers and commanded by white officers. Thrown into combat with scant unit training, these 4,500 black riflemen performed as well as - and in some instances better than - the men in comparable white units. The success of these smaller black units (most commanded by white officers) in comparison with the larger units (divisions, regiments) persuaded many senior officers that if the Army were again forced to field black combat units in a major war, they should be no greater than battalion size.

[note]

The uneven performance of black units in combat was puzzling and frustrating. After World War II, when it became fashionable in the Army to analyze battle factors "scientifically," Army boards and committees studied the "Negro problem" endlessly and exhaustively.

Ned Almond and a majority of white officers blamed the failures on their perception that blacks were stereotypically "Sambos" and "Uncle Toms": cowardly and lazy; prone to panic and hysteria; indifferent to or contemptuous of military discipline, customs, and tradition; and mentally inferior for modern warfare.

Contrarily, blacks and a minority of senior white officers argued that the failures were due largely to the abysmally low caliber of white officers assigned to lead the blacks (most capable white officers avoided such assignments), to the general lack of education among blacks, and - not least - to the Army's institutionalized segregationist policy, which automatically relegated blacks to second or third-class status, creating nearly insurmountable hostilities and undermining the will to fight. Reflecting on this last aspect in relation to the 92nd Division, Mark Clark agreed:

"The Negro soldier needed greater incentive and a feeling that he was fighting for his home and country and that he was fighting as an equal."[6-16]

In the minority view the solution to the Army's postwar "Negro problem" was simple: Educate the blacks already in the Army, integrate them into white units, and provide incentive by opening up all possible avenues of career advancement. But the senior Army staff was no more prepared for such a drastic step than American society as a whole.

In 1948, when President Truman issued an executive order designed to encourage desegregation of the armed forces, the Army, which had strong emotional, economic, and political ties to the Deep South, fought the order by every conceivable stratagem. Justifying the Army's position, Chief of Staff Omar Bradley wrote Truman that it would be "hazardous" to employ the Army deliberately "as an instrument of social reforms."[6-17]*

*There was one exception. In the postwar years 82nd Airborne Division commander James M. Gavin, entirely on his own, integrated the personnel of the elitist 555th ("triple Nickles") Parachute Battalion into his division.[6-18]

When the Korean War broke out, the Army was still rigidly segregated and racist. Owing to the drastic shrinkage in its size and the majority view that large black units were undesirable, Congress had relieved the Army of its obligation to maintain four black regiments on active service. Of the four "traditional" black regiments, only the 24th Infantry (organic to the 25th Division) in Japan remained, and it survived mainly because its larger structure was required to absorb the many blacks in Japan and because Ned Almond wanted the blacks out of sight and in one place.

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The 24th Infantry was thus a legacy of the shameful treatment of blacks in the U.S. Army. It was staffed with professionals from its pre-World War II days, from the 9th and 10th Cav, 25th Infantry, the 92nd and 93rd divisions, and a sprinkling of men from the triple Nickles, other elitist World War II black battalions, and draftees.

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The battalion commander, Welborn G. ("Tom") Dolvin (West Point, 1939; ), thirty-four, who had fought in Italy and the ETO, remembered how his outfit was thrown together:

"On July twelfth, while on the golf course, I. got verbal word that my orders had been changed to Korea. I met a cadre of a hundred fifty-five men from the Second Armored Division in California on July seventeenth. We flew to Tokyo, arriving on July nineteenth, where we picked up another cadre of seventy men.

My A Company left Tokyo by ship on July twenty-fourth and arrived in Pusan on July thirty-first. I flew over and met them on the dock at Pusan that day a mere fifteen days after activation of the outfit . We left Pusan for Masan, joining the Nineteenth and Twenty-seventh regiments on the following day."[7-3] [August 1st]

[note]

US Air Force

 

 

Following memo delivered via officer courier to General Willoughby personally, Imperial Hotel, Room 248.

Memo to CINCFE subject: Announcement to the North Koreans - (1) Reference your approval of my recommendation of last evening it is recommended that:

 (a) All available channels of communication be used by you to notify those responsible for current operations of the North Korean armed forces that it is your intent to destroy by air bombardment all railroad centers, airfields, heavy industry locations, port facilities and sub bases, POL storage facilities, refineries and railroads and highways used by their armed forces.

(b) All persons be warned to leave such areas and remain at points sufficiently far removed to avoid needless loss of life. (c) The sole action on the part of North Korea which will prevent such action on your part is the withdrawal of all North Korean armed forces above the 38th Parallel, complete cessation of all hostile activity, and an agreement by the North Korean government to abide by any future decisions of the United Nations.

 

1310 General Almond forwarded the following message at express wish of CINCFE:

He (CINCFE) has noticed in a radio from USAFIK to CINCFE, dtd 12
July, #ROB 312, Part 2, in which General Dean reports that the 1st Korean Army Corps, south of the river on the general line (1043 - 1534 to 1172 - 1567), pressure decreasing on the front.[103-Although there had been an earlier command designated USAFIK, this message refers to a new ground command established on July 4 under Major General Dean. The main force under Dean's command was his own 24th Division plus a smattering of small units. USAFIK was short-lived, being replaced on July 12 when Lt Gen Walton H. Walker, commander of the Eighth Army, took over. Walker's command was then referred to as EUSAK (Eighth U.S. Army in Korea).] The 1st Division lost all ammo and some trucks as a result of a B-29 raid (General MacArthur interpreted 1st Division to be the 1st North Korean Division) and expresses high appreciation for those B-29 strikes. In Part 4 of the same radio, General Dean again expresses his appreciation for the close sup- port of FEAF planes against railways, etc. and commends FEAF on excellent help.


1500 hours in conference with General Partridge who reported to me today on his operations thus far in Korea and Japan, and received the following information from me: (1) I directed that while General Vandenberg was here we would not discuss the improper use of the B-29s as I agreed with General MacArthur to use them as close support because of the ground situation. (2) I informed him that the Boxer would bring to Japan 150 F-51s, 150 pilots and 400 mechanics.[104-The Essex-class carrier Boxer. In reply to General Stratemeyer's requests for more men and materiel, these F-51s (actually only 145 plus 6 L-5s), along with pilots and mechanics, were recalled from the Air National Guard. Shipment by carrier was the most expeditious method of moving large quantities of aircraft and men. (Field, p 89.)] (I have just learned that it will sail from San Diego, today, 12 July.) Sent Boxer's departure date to General Partridge. (3) I asked him if we here in Hqs were hindering his operations in any way and, if so, how and what we can do to help him do his job. He gave me his plans for the reduced air defense of Japan which I approved. He called my attention to the fact that he had heard a rumor to the effect that we were forming an engineer command. I told him that we had heard nothing of it and that if any such command would be formed, I would so advise him as it is his business, would be at his recommendation, and under him and not under FEAF. (5) I informed him that his plan for the use of fighter squadrons from Clark and Naha was approved and awaited only his request for the movement orders. (6) I informed him and directed that he pass it down along the line that there would be no inter-service criticism by any of us. (7) I warned him that I was sure General Vandenberg would want to come direct to his Advance CP to discuss his plans with him; however, General MacArthur had requested that I discourage any trip to Korea by General Vandenberg. There has been too much publicity re his arrival and General MacArthur bases his request to me on that publicity.

The following memorandum for the record [underlined in the original] dated 12 July 1950, subject: "Fighter Defenses for the Japanese Home Islands,"ť was given to General Partridge:

The following arrangements will be made by the Fifth Air Force for the defense of the Japanese home islands. At Misawa, Johnson, and Itazuke Air Bases, there will be established a minimum of one squadron of F-80s and one flight of F-82 aircraft. During the hours of daylight, when good weather prevails, four F-80 aircraft will be maintained on a strip-alert status. During inclement weather and during darkness, at least two F-82 aircraft will be maintained on the alert. The remainder of the F-80 squadrons and the F-82 flights not required for the regular alerts will be retained in the local area and will be prepared to engage in combat operations in a minimum of time. By this arrangement, normal training and transition can be accomplished, but the possibility that the aircraft might be called upon for combat operations will be kept constantly in mind. As soon as the number of pilots and aircraft permit an additional squadron of F-80s will be stationed in the Tokyo area and the strength of the F-82 aircraft in that area will also be proportionately increased.


Mission reports - continued strafing, bombing of targets and support of
ground units. However, member of F-80 flight reporting in from a strafing mission in Chungin [?, probably Ch'ungju] area, the target being Chungin area, that destroyed 4 trucks, 1 half-track, and a jeep-type vehicle; damaged 1 truck and saw considerable vehicles between Ansŏng and Yongsŏng all previously knocked out. Contacted by B-29 who reported being attacked by 2 Yaks and crew was bailing out. Had insufficient fuel to go to their aid. All crew of B-29 bailed out.
Recommend no flights to same area because no targets of value.

Another report from a C-47 mission:

...cargo and passenger mission completed... Yaks over strip at Taejon; no attack; L-4 shot down two minutes west of field; crewmen evacuated to Kyushu. Guerrilla activity around strip.

[note]

Tactical Build-up in Korea and Kyushu - P'ohang

Fifth Air Force experience at P'ohang was similar to that at Taegu. The 6131st Air Base Unit was organized there on 12 July as a temporary duty organization with personnel and equipment from separate supporting elements of the 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group.

[note]

on July 12 - the next day - two Yaks destroyed a B-29 near Sŏul, while two others shot down an L-4 and attacked F-80's near Choch'iwŏn.

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Tactical Air Control in Korea

ALTHOUGH THE Far East Air Forces possessed air superiority over Korea from the outset of hostilities, this superiority could contribute little to the ground campaign without an adequate system of tactical air control . Establishment of such a system of control was the most trying aspect of the air campaign for South Korea, for, as already emphasized, FEAF was moving from a defensive establishment to an offensive war and lacked the personnel and equipment for a tactical control organization.

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Committed to a static deployment for the defense of Japan, a mission which had dictated a troop and equipment list entirely different from that required in tactical air operations, the Fifth Air Force nevertheless improvised a command and control organization with commendable rapidity and considerable ingenuity. Assuming the mission before it was formally assigned by General Stratemeyer on 12 July, the Fifth Air Force undertook to maintain air superiority in the combat zone, to support USAFIK and ROK forces, to provide fighter escort for B-29 missions when requested, to conduct troop carrier operations, to conduct air reconnaissance, and to destroy enemy ground and sea transport and communications facilities. The Fifth Air Force, moreover, remained responsible for the air defense of Japan.

What a crock of BS

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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 (802nd Engr Bn) 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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10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. 17, 18.,19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

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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.

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

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After its initial aggressiveness over Kimp'o and Suwŏn in the opening days of hostilities, the NKAF declined rapidly in effectiveness, but not without making determined efforts to assist the ground campaign. Minor strafing attacks were directed against the HMS Black Swan and two ROK vessels on 3 July, and four Yaks dropped anti-personnel bombs on ROK troops south of Kimp'o, killing 68 ROK soldiers.

On 4 July aircraft knocked out a communications repeater station near Osan.

Four planes strafed and bombed Chŏnju on 11 July, and the next day two Yaks destroyed a B-29 near Sŏul, while two others shot down an L-4 and attacked F-80 's near Choch'iwŏn.

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5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 24, 27, 30 Aug. 3,4

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Tactical Build-up in Korea and Kyushu Although the airfields were barely of minimum standard, the Fifth Air Force rushed temporarily designated units into Korea with a speed confusing to participants. The 6002nd Air Base Squadron was organized at Sasebo effective 6 July, with directions to proceed to Pusan on or about the same day and establish a base there. At Pusan the squadron was directed on to Taegu where it took over establishment of an operational air base. One officer has left a vivid description of the first days at Taegu:

It may be stated without equivocation that many "lost souls" were located at Taegu. Morale was beginning to be a problem for personnel did not know what their mission was and many men skilled in technical specialties in the maintenance of aircraft and equipment found that there were few aircraft to be maintained and many ditches to be dug. We were in an area of filth, amidst rice paddies filled with water and human excreta. We were sleeping and living in pup tents, under shelter halves, in the paddies and on the hillsides. During the rains the hillsides became torrents and the paddies became even more full of filth.

The Fifth Air Force redesignated the squadron as the 6002nd Air Base Unit on 12 July, but the unit did not learn of its new name until 27 July because communications back to Itazuke were uncertain during the month. 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.

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).

6, 10, 12, 15, 27

On 16 July the first echelon of Fifth Air Force Advance headquarters was flown from Itazuke to new quarters in the city of Taegu, and by 24 July the whole body was located at that forward area.**

**The Joint Operations Center had already opened at Taejŏn on 5 July and had moved back to Taegu on 16 July 1950.

5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 16, 24, 27

Effective on 24 July the advance echelon was redesignated as the Fifth Air Force in Korea. Movement of additional tactical organizations to Korea awaited the re-equipment of those units with F-51's from the United States. The aircraft carrier USS Boxer (CV-21), which managed an eight day crossing of the Pacific, brought 145 F-51's which had been assembled for delivery by 27 July. General Stratemeyer had already prepared to use these F-51's when on 11 July he had approved a plan to move the 18th Fighter-Bomber Group with its 12th and 67th Squadrons from the Philippines for temporary duty with the Fifth Air Force. By 30 July this contingent had converted to F-51's at Johnson, and on 3 August it had reached Taegu, where, next day [4 August], the 51st Fighter Squadron (P) was returned to its old designation as the 12th Squadron.

5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 24, 27, 30 aug 3,4

With the arrival of a fighter group, the air base unit at Taegu was redesignated and expanded to become the 6002nd Fighter Wing, Single Engine, comprising temporary duty squadrons typical of a wing organization. Hardly had this new organization been set up on 1 August, than the threat of an enemy attack at Taegu forced the withdrawal of all heavy equipment and large portions of the personnel. The 67th Squadron went back to Ashiya and on 6-7 August the remainder of the 18th Fighter-Bomber Group followed it there.

5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 24, 27, 30 Aug. 3,4, 6, 7, 8,

On 8 August the 6002nd Fighter Wing also moved back to Ashiya, leaving behind a newly activated 6149th Air Base Unit to serve 18th Group fighters as they staged through Taegu on combat missions. Other aircraft managed the same routine, and a total of 2,368 sorties were flown from Taegu during August and early September. (about 50 per 45 days)

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The Fifth Air Force redesignated the squadron [The 6002nd Air Base Squadron] as the 6002nd Air Base Unit on 12 July, but the unit did not learn of its new name until 27 July because communications back to Itazuke were uncertain during the month.

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The 31st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron had similarly hectic experiences at the beginning of hostilities. At first two electronics countermeasures (ECM) crews were sent to Yokota on temporary duty and the rest of the squadron started combat missions by flying from Okinawa to Japan via Korea; photos were processed at Yokota and the aircraft then returned to Okinawa via Korea. This system not only delayed the delivery of information to the tactical units but made the maintenance of aircraft flying from two bases difficult. The squadron therefore started moving to Yokota, on 12 July and by 27 July opened headquarters there.

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For night photographic reconnaissance an RB-26 squadron was to be furnished; this unit, the 162nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, (NP) began moving from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, on 12 July and arrived in Japan by 18 August.

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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, 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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July 12: Four Military Air transport Service airplanes arrived in Japan from the United States carrying 58 large 3.5-inch rocket launchers (bazookas) and shaped charges desperately needed to destroy North Korean tanks.

Enemy fighters shot down one B-29, one B-26, and one L-4, the first North Korean aerial victories. (Everyone has a different story)

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In its first mission, the 92nd BG, flying from its base at Yokota, bombed the Sŏul marshaling yards

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KPAFAC Yak-9 1 x B-29 1 x B-26 damaged 1 x L-4

Another story

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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 staffmen 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.

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. 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

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On 12 July the 19th Bombardment Group was sent to attack bridges and communications targets 30 to 50 miles behind the enemy's lines, and on 13 July the newly arrived 22nd and 92nd Bombardment Groups dispatched a radar-directed attack against the marshaling yards and oil refinery at Wŏnsan. This mission marked the entry of the two new groups into combat, and it was the first combat mission flown by the FEAF Bomber Command.#55

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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).

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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

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Although the F-80 jet fighters, which were flying almost 200 sorties each day against the enemy's front-line troops and communications, and the B-26 light bombers, which were attacking bridges and supply dumps immediately behind the battleline, represented the predominant portion of the Fifth Air Force's firepower, the Mustangs based at Taegu and P'ohang displayed great utility during the critical days of mid- July.

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At Taegu the 51st Fighter Squadron had wire communications with the air-control center in Taejŏn, and its planes were available for scrambles when the ground situation demanded immediate air-support missions. In the early days at Taegu the Mustangs used light-case 500-pound bombs filled with thermite and napalm with great success against both tanks and troops.

The Russian-built tanks had a good bit of rubber in their treads and even a near miss with flaming napalm would usually ignite and destroy the armored tank. The fire bombs were peculiarly demoralizing to North Korean foot soldiers.

"The enemy didn't seem to mind being blown up or shot," said Major Hess. "However, as soon as we would start drop-ping thermite or napalm in their vicinity they would immediately scatter and break any forward movement."#74

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At P'ohang the 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron was so bereft of communications as to be virtually out of contact with the rest of the world, but it began a "more or less personal battle" with a force of 1,500 North Korean regulars and guerrillas, which, opposed by a single South Korean regiment, was advancing down the coastal routes from P'yonghae, bent on capturing P'ohang.

Averaging better than 34 sorties with 20 F-51's each day that weather permitted (and for a week sorties were flown in less than 150-foot ceilings), the 40th Squadron wrought heavy damages upon its east-coast enemy. North Korean prisoners taken by the ROK regiment reported that air attack had knocked out nearly all of their transportation. They said that the North Korean commander had in-formed his superiors that he would be unable to accomplish his mission unless he received more troops.#75

96 U.S. Air Force in Korea

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(top) The destructive path of a napalm bomb spreading toward a tank, (bottom) the same fighting machine as the scene clears.

Drawing the Battleline 97
The United Nations air attack and ground defense had delayed the Communist drive along the Ch'ŏnan-Taejŏn axis, but the three divisions of North Koreans which opposed the surviving troops of the 24th Division were too strong to be stopped.

The Reds launched probing attacks up and down the Kum River line, and successfully forded this barrier at Samgyo-ri and Kongju. Now, the North Koreans could again outflank the 24th Division and seize the key city of Taejŏn, but at this moment, when every day counted toward the success of the United Nations cause, air attack forced the Communists to change their tactics.

Enemy forces were reluctant to move or fight by day, tanks and trucks used back roads and trails when they had to make daylight marches, forward-area supply dumps were dispersed, and all troops exercised vigorous camouflage discipline. Such tactics reduced the enemy's vulnerability to air attack, but they also slowed the rate of his ground advance.#76

Fifth Air Force pilots, using steeper angle-rocket attacks and napalm, were decimating the enemy's tanks, and as the 24th Division battled in Taejŏn the ground troops also obtained weapons which could deal effectively with the Red armored threat.

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On 12 July four Military Air transport Service planes arrived in Japan from the United States carrying the Army's king-size bazooka, the new 3.5-inch rocket launchers and shaped charges which could knock out a North Korean tank.

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These rocket launchers were flown to Taejŏn without delay, and 24th Division troops found them highly effective, close-range antitank weapons.#77

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Next day, in the same area, three Yaks surprised a flight of F-80's while the latter pilots were strafing ground targets. The jet pilots successfully evaded, but they were low on fuel and could not counterattack.

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On 12 July Communist pilots were extremely active. Enemy fighters shot down a single 19th Group B-29 which was attacking targets in the vicinity of Sŏul. In midafternoon two Yaks jumped a flight of F-80's while the latter were strafing in the frontlines near Choch'iwŏn. Once again the jet pilots evaded and escaped damage but they were unable to pursue their attackers. Later in the afternoon two other Yaks shot down an L-4 liaison plane.#92

[ There is no record of any L-4 loss during the entire war]

[There is an F-51 lost today, but not mentioned by USAF]

[There is a b-29 and an f-80 lost today]

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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).

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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

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U.S. Marine Corps

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On 7 July, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for a unified command in Korea, and President Truman named General MacArthur as commander in chief. Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker, who had been one of Patton’s best officers in World War II, was appointed commander of the Eighth United States Army in Korea (EUSAK) on 12 July, and 4 days later [16th] he assumed control of all ROK ground forces.

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General Cates was on hand at the docks from 12 to 14 July when the Brigade sailed.

12,13,14

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At sea the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was unaware of the decisions and difficulties developing on higher levels. Nevertheless, that tactical organization was having enough trouble of its own. On 12 July, Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, and the 1st Amphibious tractor Company departed San Diego on board the LSD’s USS Fort Marion (LSD-22) and USS Gunston Hall (LSD-5).

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Designated Task Unit 53.7.3, the twin amphibious ships sailed 2 days before the rest of the Brigade and were scheduled to join the main convoy, Task Group 53.7, before crossing 160° east longitude. [20] Max speed is 17 knots for these two vessels.

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General Smith had known before his arrival at Pendleton that his first task would be the building up of the 1st Marine Division to full peace strength. As early as 12 July, a dispatch from CNO had warned CinCPacFlt that this expansion would take place, including the elements of the Brigade.[3]

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U.S. Navy

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The U.S. government kept its word. The greatest reward ever given went to the family that aided a B-29 crew shot down on 12 July 1950, two weeks after the start of the Korean War. The crewmen, badly injured, were found by North Korean civilians. Yu Ho Chun found the blood chit in the pocket of one flier. He gave the Americans medical aid. Then, at great personal risk, he put them on a junk and sailed them 100 miles down the coast to safety. Two weeks later the North Korean Army found Chun, tortured him, and then killed him. But, 43 years later in 1993 the United States paid $100,000.00 to his son, Yu Song Dan.

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Only one B-29 was shot down on this date, and of the crew two became POS's and died while captured. The others were all rescued.

12 July
First increments of 1st Marine Brigade sailed for Far East from San Diego.

COMNAVFE. set up Naval Air Japan as temporary organization for all naval aeronautical activities in Japan.

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USS Sicily (CVE-118)

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 Ruble took over command of Task Group 96.2, Naval Air Japan.

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The command Naval Air, Japan was set up in Tokyo to provide an interim staff to administer the expanding aviation forces in the Far East, and on 9 August was formally established as Fleet Air, Japan, with Rear Admiral George R. Henderson in command.

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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

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The first forward movement concerned the long-range patrol planes. On 26 June the seaplane tender USS Gardiner's Bay (AVP-39) which had completed fitting out for a tour in the Western Pacific, sailed from San Diego for Yokosuka, where she arrived on 12 July.

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The first forward movement concerned the long-range patrol planes. On 26 June the seaplane tender USS Gardiner's Bay (AVP-39) which had completed fitting out for a tour in the Western Pacific, sailed from San Diego for Yokosuka, where she arrived on 12 July.

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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 Ruble took over command of Task Group 96.2, Naval Air Japan.

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On 12 July, exactly ten days after the receipt of the warning order, the LSDs sailed from San Diego with the tanks and the amphibious tractor companies, and two days later the rest of the convoy followed.

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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."

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Thus the situation called for a landing on the southern or eastern coast. The problem was to find an objective with easy access to the interior, north or west of Pusan and south and east of the advancing enemy.

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."

The town of P'ohang, which would shortly receive these visitors from overseas, had some 50,000 inhabitants. Located about 65 miles north of Pusan, it lies on the western shore of Yŏngil Man, a bay about six miles wide. To the southeast Yŏngil Man is protected by a high peninsula; on the west it is bordered by dunes, with sand hills beyond; the bottom affords good holding ground. At P'ohang there were two long jetties with ten feet of water alongside where landing craft could unload; from P'ohang rail and road communications ran south to Pusan and, more important for the purpose of the moment, west through the mountains to Taegu; there was an airstrip of sorts nearby. All in all, the choice of objective was both obvious and sound.

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The limitations on Seventh Fleet endurance, moreover, made him want to hold it in reserve to cover the landing of the 1st Cavalry Division, and on the 12th a dispatch operation order instructed Admiral Struble to provide objective air cover at P'ohang, support of the landing force, and such additional effort as might be directed.

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In still other categories the situation was improving. As an offshoot of Captain Austin’s Service Squadron 3, [ComServRon 3] a second logistic command had been created in Service Division 31, which opened for business at Sasebo on 1 August and which would steadily grow in strength.

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And other United Nations ships were coming in; in addition to those incorporated in Admiral Andrewes’ west coast element, one French and two New Zealand frigates arrived on 1 August to reinforce the escort group.

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By now, too, the air and ground components of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade were approaching the theater of action. The ships of Task Group 53.7, which had been assembled by the Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet to lift this contingent, had sailed from southern California ports on 12 and 14 July.

During the following two weeks, as fighting in Korea increased in intensity, the task group had steamed steadily westward across the Pacific. Steadily, that is, except for a pair of near-serious mishaps.

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0000 Korean Time

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12 July 1950 - USS Mansfield (DD-728) In company with USS Juneau (CLAA-119) at the direction of CTG 96.5, received demolition party of six Marines, six Naval enlisted, Marine officer, and one (1) Commander US Navy. The demolition party assembled in the Mansfield's mess hall where they blackened their faces and did their final preparations for their task of planting explosives on the North-South main railroad line.

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Moving onward through the darkness the two ships (USS Mansfield (DD-728) and USS Juneau (CLAA-119)) reached the target area, ten miles south of Sŏngjin, at midnight.

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12 July 1950 - In company with USS Juneau (CLAA-119) at the direction of CTG 96.5, received demolition party of six Marines, six Naval enlisted, Marine officer, and one (1) Commander US Navy. The demolition party assembled in the Mansfield's mess hall where they blackened their faces and did their final preparations for their task of planting explosives on the North-South main railroad line.

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Proceeded at high speed to coastline North Korea at Lat 40°30"N where at 0105 (USS Mansfield (DD-728) approached with 1,000 yards of shore and put demolition party ashore. As the party approached land in the motor whale boat, the propeller was fouled with the anchor line and, while the party was able to be put ashore for their mission, the whale boat crew was left the task of clearing the propeller. Of the three MANSFIELD Petty Officers manning the boat, only Lon Franklin was later awarded the Bronze Star for participating in this action, which strongly suggests it was Franklin who did the diving to clear the propeller, thus enabling the party to safely return to the MANSFIELD after the raid. [found him online, but without the citation.]

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Sun Rise 0519 1951
Moon Rise 0213 1744
Moon Phase 6% 27 days

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0305 Demolition party completed planting charges in railroad tunnel and returned to ship. Ship rejoined USS Juneau (CLAA-119) at sea and proceeded south at high speed.

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0330 Korean Time

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Although the results of the enterprise were unobserved, later reports of broadcasts by the North Korean radio seemed to indicate that the scheme had worked. By 0330 Commander Porter's party was back aboard, safe and sound, and with the distinction of having been the first members of the armed forces of the United States to invade Korea north of the 38th parallel. With their mission completed USS Juneau (CLAA-119) and USS Mansfield (DD-728) headed south again, and by noon of 12 July had rejoined USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) on patrol between 37° and 38°.

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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 [5 days latter] and arrived at Taejŏn on the 10th. The first delivery of the new weapon arrived at Taejŏn on 12 July [two weeks latter]. 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]

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The 21st Infantry held at Ch'ŏnui and Choch'iwŏn for three days, slowed two enemy divisions, but, after losing heavily in men and equipment, had to give way on 12 July.

East of the main Sŏul-Taegu rail and highway lines, the ROK Army tried to stem the North Korean drive through the mountainous central and eastern regions. In bloody hand-to-hand fighting that cost both sides dearly, the North Koreans continued to advance. No defensive line appeared to offer the prospect of a determined stand. [05-8]

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MacArthur's Estimates

The under-strength American division so hastily deployed to Korea was unable to stop the North Korean drive, but this fact did not become evident for several days after the initial encounter at Osan.

The situation in Korea could not be accurately evaluated even in Tokyo let alone in Washington, where Army officials could do little but wait impatiently for clarification through General MacArthur's estimates and descriptions. Until these estimates arrived, Washington could neither plan adequately nor gauge the scope of the job to be done. The Army's plans for supporting MacArthur had to be based on requirements established either directly or obliquely by his estimates. Washington authorities had no recourse, in these early days, but to accept his judgment of capabilities and requirements at face value.

They knew the limits of the nation's immediate resources. General MacArthur told them what was happening in Korea and what he felt had to be done. In the search for a balance between what they had and what was needed, the nation's military leaders followed advice from the Far East Commander which they could not accurately evaluate. [05-9]

MacArthur's early estimates fell short in appraising the ultimate necessary force, but not in their appreciation of the caliber of the enemy and the seriousness of the threat. The tenor of reports from Church, Dean, and others had already convinced General MacArthur that the situation was indeed serious. The degree of seriousness remained to be determined. He did not immediately arrive at a full appreciation of the strength of the North Korean attack. General MacArthur progressively revised upward his estimate of the strength he would need to defeat the North Koreans.

Late in June, he had implied that two American divisions could restore order. [05-10]

[note]

Korean_War Korean_War

Meanwhile, Pappy Wadlington, still temporarily commanding the 34th, withdrew it down the fork to Kongju, pursued by the NKPA 4th Division. The 34th's principal surviving force was Red Ayres's 1/34, reorganized and partly reequipped while the 3/34 was being mauled at Ch'ŏnan. Wadlington was backed by some batteries of Robert Dawson's 63rd FAB, four newly arrived light tanks, and some combat engineers. Three of the four tanks were lost, but Wadlington got the shattered 34th and the 63rd FAB guns behind the Kum River with minimal casualties, a tribute to the professionalism and courage of Red Ayres, who commanded the rear guard.[4-85]

Korean_War

Korean_War

By the early hours of July 12 the remnants of Stephens's 21st and Wadlington's 34th regiments were at last digging in behind the Kum River, backed up by artillery batteries of 11th, 52nd, and 63rd FAB's.

The infantry forces were wretchedly weak: Brad Smith's mauled 1/21 on the right, plus a few stragglers from the shattered 3/21; Red Ayres's 1/34 on the left, plus a few stragglers of Lantron's 3/34.

Korean_War

Replacements and fillers were rushing north from Pusan to the 34th, but as yet there were none for the 21st. Consequently, Dean decided to pull the 21st to the rear and replace it with his fresh but green 19th Infantry, then arriving in the battle zone from Pusan.
* * *

[note]

Korean_War Korean_War Korean_War

Five days later, on 12 July, MacArthur named Walker commander of the ground forces in Korea.

Korean_War

The USAFIK headquarters was deactivated, and General Church's ADCOM group was ordered to Tokyo. [05-20]

The extension of Eighth Army's area of responsibility to include Korea introduced the unique situation of an army fighting on one land mass with responsibility for its own logistical support, including port operation and procurement of supply, while administering occupied territory on another land mass several hundred miles away and serving as its own zone of communications.

Korean_War or Korean_War

For the sake of convenience, forces in Korea were referred to as Eighth U.S. Army in Korea (EUSAK) and those remaining in Japan were still referred to as Eighth Army or as Eighth Army Rear. General Walker retained command of both.

Korean_War

When Walker assumed command in Korea, he had approximately 18,000 troops spread along a defensive line running along the south bank of the Kum River to a point just above Taejŏn, there curving northeastward through { Ch'ŏngju } and across the Taebaek Range below { Ch'ungju } and Tanyang, finally bending southward to the east coast of P'yonghae-ri. [05-21]

Although General MacArthur had hoped to save the 1st Cavalry Division for a later amphibious operation, he yielded to battlefield necessity and sent that unit to Korea in mid-July. The division loaded out of the Yokohama area between 11 and 17 July aboard LST's, other U.S. naval craft, and Japanese-operated cargo ships. The unit was prepared to make an amphibious landing on the east coast of Korea near P'ohang-dong, against enemy opposition if necessary.

[note]

Korean_War Korean_War

When the Chief of Staff, GHQ, and the Chief of Staff, Eighth Army, reached agreement in a telephone conversation on 12 July that two battalions of the 29th Infantry on Okinawa should be sent to Korea as soon as possible, General MacArthur ordered the Commanding General, Ryukyus Command, General Beightler, to build these battalions to war strength and send them to Japan without delay. [05-37]

Korean_War

General Walker asked that the two battalions be sent directly to the battle area, bypassing Japan. He said he would give them any training they needed.

[note]

Korean_War

General MacArthur asked on 11 July that several hundred officers and men qualified for this function be flown to his area with all possible haste

The next day he sent a detailed requisition for Army technical service units, showing, in order of priority within each service, the support units needed immediately and those needed later to carry on the essential service support operations in Japan by replacing units scheduled for Korea.

[note]

0519 Sun Rise

[note]

Korean_War

Toward evening of the 11th, after he had full information of the fate of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, General Dean ordered A Company, 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion, to prepare every possible obstacle for the defense of the Choch'iwŏn area and to cover, if necessary, the withdrawal of the regiment.

Korean_War

Dean also started the [19th] [18th] Infantry Regiment and the 13th Field Artillery Battalion from Taegu and P'ohang-dong for Taejŏn during the day. [07-46]

That night the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, rested uneasily in its positions two miles north of Choch'iwŏn. It had to expect that the North Koreans would strike within hours.

At dawn an enemy patrol approached C Company's position, and members of the battalion saw hostile movement on both flanks.

[note]

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On 12 July Department of the Army officials sent detailed instructions to MacArthur. They directed him to avoid any appearance of unilateral American action in Korea.

"For world-wide political reasons," they cautioned, "it is important to emphasize repeatedly the fact that our operations are in support of the United Nations Security Council."

In furtherance of this, General MacArthur would identify himself whenever practicable as Commander in Chief, United Nations Command (CINCUNC), and whenever justified, would emphasize in his communiqués the activities of forces of other member nations. [06-7]

[note]

By mid-July so much American military strength had been drawn into the Korean War that American military capabilities for action elsewhere had been much reduced. Reserves of trained men and materiel diminished as MacArthur's units were brought up to war strength and given service support and replacement. A further drain upon reserves of critical specialists and equipment would result as operations progressed. [06-13]

A key Army officer commented at this time,

"Our ground force potential is so seriously depleted that further significant commitments of even a division or more in size would vitally weaken our national security at home." [06-14]

The possibility that U. S. troops might be thrown out of Korea was far from academic. The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff pointed out on 12 July that the under strength U. S. 24th Division was facing 9 North Korean divisions numbering 80,000 men and equipped with a total of from 100 to 150 modern tanks.

The enemy not only had a great advantage in numbers of men and in tanks and artillery, but was also well trained, and was fighting determinedly and with great skill.

The JIC concluded that the North Korean Army was capable of threatening the security of Pusan within two weeks.

Lt. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration, had sketched the same depressing picture for the secretaries of the armed services on 10 July. He told these men that, while MacArthur's forces had definitely slowed the enemy, they could not hold unless they were substantially reinforced. [06-16]

Forced withdrawal of U. S. troops from Korea would be a political as well as a military calamity. It could weaken American alliances and build up communist political influence. It could discredit U. S. foreign policy and undermine confidence in American military capabilities.

Voluntary withdrawal could be more damaging than a failure to have sent troops to Korea in the first place. American commitments would be marked as unreliable by other nations and considerable doubt would be cast on American ability to back up commitments in the future. The United Nations actions resulted mainly from U. S. initiative, and withdrawal from intervention on behalf of the United Nations could greatly weaken American leadership within the United Nations.

Failure in Korea could force the United States to revise drastically its policy of general containment of communism by reducing or limiting its commitments and by planning to combat communist expansion only at selected points. The United States would undoubtedly have to start partial military and industrial mobilization to ready its forces for other, almost certain, aggressions; or, in another approach, to begin full mobilization so as to be prepared to threaten full-scale war in case of further Soviet aggression. [06-16]

[note]

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At a meeting on 12 July 1950 with Secretary of the Army, Pace ranking officers of the Army General Staff complained that they were working in the dark.

Lt. Gen. Edward H. Brooks, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, told the Secretary that he had already scraped the bottom of the barrel to find men for MacArthur. He had stripped the United States of trained specialists. But until someone told him just how much the Army was going to expand in the face of the obvious threat to American security, he had no way of knowing how many new specialists he should train

General Bolté, the Army's Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, backed Brooks, charging that, without a clear goal, he too was being forced to operate on a "piecemeal basis."

The Army's supply chief, Lt. Gen. Thomas B. Larkin, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, told the same story. "Hand-to-mouth" described his supply program, he said, until he knew how many troops were going to Korea and how many would be mobilized to replace them. [07-10]

[Note Larkin is not G-4 on this date - Herman Feldman is]

[07-10] Min., 20th mtg., Army Policy Council, 12 Jul. 50, in G-3, DA file 334 APC, sec. 1.

Siding completely with the Army General Staff, General Clark, Chief, Army Field Forces, told Secretary Pace that definite planning goals must be established for all aspects of the Army's expansion as soon as possible. Pace assured these officers that he would press for definite guidance from above.

"It is urgently necessary that a decision be taken as soon as possible as to the forces to be mobilized, because upon this is predicated the vital and related problems of procurement, training capacity, and the degree of required industrial mobilization," he said. [07-11]

[07-11] Ibid.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, assisted by their special planning groups, were of course involved in comprehensive study of these very problems. They were, in certain respects, dependent on the individual services for recommendations and, in this case, required definite proposals from the Army as to the optimum degree of Army expansion.

[note]

0740 Korean Time

At 0740 on 12 July, Joy issued his Operation Order 9-50, setting forth the overall command organization for the landing (Figure 2).

Korean_War

Overall Command Organization P'ohang-dong Landing, 17 July 1950

Doyle, who as Commander, TF 90 reported directly to Joy, would command the attack force, landing the 1st Cavalry Division to seize the beachhead at P'ohang-Dong, and then support its exploitation. Struble, who also reported directly to Joy, was to provide carrier aircraft over the objective area and close air support of ground operations of the landing force as requested by CTF 90, as well as to conduct additional carrier air operations as directed by COMNAVFE. The objective area was to be defined by CTF 90. Command relations between CTF 90 and the landing force were to be governed by current doctrine:

“Command responsibilities for accomplishment of assigned tasks on shore passes to commander landing force upon establishment ashore [of] his command post, at which time he will come under command of CG [commanding general] Eighth Army. The exact time [of] this transfer will be provided by dispatch originated by commander attack force [Doyle].”[cmdctl-20]

[note]

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The next day the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion and the 34th Infantry crossed the Kum.

[note]

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Onward came the NKPA 3rd Division, like a great relentless flood. On July 12 it skillfully attacked Brad Smith's newly integrated 1/21, which was composed of many green replacements. Smith held for about two hours. Then, for the second time, he was overwhelmed and forced to give orders to withdraw. This time the withdrawal, steadied by Smith, was "orderly." Moving one company at a time by truck, Smith fell back behind the Kum River.

[note]

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By the time the trenches and holes were dug in, it was mid-afternoon of 9 July. Company A got an issue of rations and, for the first time, one of ammunition. The Weapons Platoon received one 60-mm mortar.


This preparation for combat weakened the rumor about returning to Japan. Instead, Captain Osburn and his officers told the men or another infantry division then en route from Japan. The sky was clear, the sun hot and, for the first time in several days, the men had dry clothing.

The battalion remained in the area without incident until 12 July. That morning it registered the 81-mm and the 4.2-inch mortars and issued more ammunition to the men. It had the first friendly mortar fire and the first abundant supply of ammunition since early morning of 6 July.

[note]

0930 Korean Time

Korean_War

At 0930 an estimated enemy battalion, supported by artillery fire, attacked Smith's left flank. Very quickly a general attack developed by an estimated 2,000 enemy soldiers. Colonel Stephens decided that the under-strength 1st Battalion, with its large percentage of replacement and untried troops, would have to withdraw.

[note]

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Colonel Stephens decided that the under-strength 1st Battalion, with its large percentage of replacement and untried troops, would have to withdraw.

At noon, 12 July, he sent the following message to General Dean:

"Am surrounded. 1st Bn left giving way. Situation bad on right. Having nothing left to establish intermediate delaying position am forced to withdraw to river line. I have issued instructions to withdraw." [07-47]

Colonel Smith disengaged the 1st Battalion by moving one company at a time Regimental trucks loaded the troops near Choch'iwŏn. While the infantry were displacing southward, enemy artillery began shelling the regimental command post in Choch'iwŏn. The retreat was orderly and there was no close pursuit.

[note]

Korean_War

With their mission completed USS Juneau (CLAA-119) and USS Mansfield (DD-728) headed south again, and by noon of 12 July had rejoined USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) on patrol between 37° and 38°.

The North Korean 5th Division had by this time reached south of the 37th parallel, and on the 12th the Army called for naval bombardment of the cliff road in 36°50'.

[note]

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1520 Korean Time

Korean_War

A blood chit used by UN pilots during the Korean war. (Australian War Memorial)

A B-29 (44-69866) is lost, and ten of the crew are eventually rescued as a result of efforts of a North Korean that saw the Blood Chit they were carrying. When he returned to North Korea, he and five others were executed for their efforts. In 1993 the son of the man that rescued them, Yu Song Dan, presented the chits to the U.S. Government and was paid $100,000.00 for his fathers good works.

1530 Korean Time


By 1530 the 1st Battalion occupied new defensive positions on the south bank of the Kum River where the highway crossed it at Taep'yong-ni.

[note]

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Korean_War

That evening, when Smith found time for a head count, he had but 325 men, including 64 from the 3/21.

These actions of the 21st Regiment at Ch'ŏnui and Choch'iwŏn and the FEAF attack at P'yŏngt'aek delayed the NKPA at least two days and possibly three.

However, the cost to the 21st was ghastly: Of its 2,400 men, 1,400 were dead, wounded, or missing, including Cliff Jensen and most of the 3/21.

Korean_War

Even so, Bill Dean was pleased by the fighting spirit the regiment had demonstrated by comparison with the 34th, and he awarded Stephens a DSC [for period 7/9-7/13] for his brave front-line, foxhole leadership. Moreover, war correspondents who witnessed the action showered praise on Stephens and made him temporarily famous. One, Keyes Beech, wrote that notwithstanding Stephens's age, girth, and lack of charisma, he

"fought with grace and ease under the most trying conditions."[4-84]

[note]

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The last of the infantry and Colonel Ayres, the 1st Battalion commander, crossed at dusk. General Dean's instructions were to

"leave a small outpost across the river. Blow the main bridge only when enemy starts to cross."

To implement this order Colonel Wadlington had L Company hold the bridge and outpost the north bank for 600 yards. [07-49]

[note]

Korean_War

1st Bn 34th IR That afternoon, at 1700, an enemy shell landed in the area.

Others followed and within a few minutes North Korean soldiers appeared in large numbers. Instead of hitting frontally, the leading enemy soldiers circled wide and attacked the 1st Platoon, which was outposting a high point of the hill, on the right flank. After suffering heavy losses on the morning of 6 July, only ten men remained in that platoon. Five of these were killed at the very outset of the fighting on the 12th when the North Koreans overran their positions and shot them in their holes. The five remaining men from the 1st Platoon escaped and joined one of the others.

[note]

Korean_War

At about 5 p.m. on July 12, the NKPA attacked the 1/34th near Kongju. The battalion held until about 2:30 a.m. on the 13th, then silently withdrew, concealed in the shadow of a hill. [no moon]

[note]

At about 5 p.m. on July 12, the NKPA attacked the 1/34th near Kongju.

The battalion held until about 2:30 a.m. on the 13th, then silently withdrew, concealed in the shadow of a hill.

[note]

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1951 Sun Set

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Until dark there was a heavy volume of fire and after that occasional exchanges with small arms until about 0230 on 13 July when, under orders, Company A abandoned its hill and moved very quietly back, following a river south for a short distance until it was beyond range of North Koreans' rifles.

[note]

Korean_War

Engineer demolition troops had blown, but only partially destroyed, the highway bridge over the Kum at 2100, 12 July.

[note]

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Message No. 1 from 24th Infantry Division G-2, 12-2200 July 1950 --

"reports confirmed by reliable sources indicate that North Korean troops in small groups enter homes along line of advance, reappear in civilian clothing concealing small arms and infiltrate to our flanks and rear for the purpose of harassing our troops." 47

[note]

Korean_War

After receiving this show of confidence [on the 10th] 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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Casualties

Wednesday July 12, 1950 (Day 018)

Korean_War 190 Casualties

As of July 12, 1950

1 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
179 21ST INFANTRY REGIMENT
2 28TH BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON
7 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
190 19500712 0000 Casualties by unit

 

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 30 422 0 0 0 452
Today 2 188 0 0 0 190
Total 32 610 0 0 0 642

Aircraft Losses Today 002

Notes for Wednesday July 12, 1950 - Day 018