Overview

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And, even as the unit moved from Pusan to [note]

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Defense of the Kum River Line, 19th Infantry [note]

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July 13 - July26

N.K.-6 drives unnoticed down the West Coast, capturing Chŏnju, murdering ROK civil servants wherever they found them, and begins an assault on Chinju, having outflanked the Eighth Army. N.K.-6 is positioned to drive to Pusan and cut off all UN forces in Korea

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13–16 July
19th and 34th Infantry Regiments, 24th Infantry Division, fight delaying actions at Kum River line. [note]

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July 13 - Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker appointed to command the ground forces in Korea.

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July 13 to 16 - Assault of North Koreans begins against the U.S. troops on the Kum River ending with the crossing of the Kum River and withdrawal of U.S. troops.

[note]

July 13-14
Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson ordered the services to stop releasing information on troop and unit movements.

-- However, the departure of the 1st Marine Division from San Diego on July 14 is widely reported.

-- On July 14 Johnson says he has ordered 500 military doctors to Japan and Korea at MacArthur's request.

[note]

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July 13
Gen. MacArthur reports 488 American casualties since U.S. forces joined the fighting in South Korea -- 42 killed, 190 wounded, 256 missing.

In actuality there were over 624 Killed, as of yesterday 12 July.

In contrast to press reports of many American troops fleeing in panic from North Korean forces, He called the U.S. retreat "one of the most skillful and heroic holding and rear-guard actions in history." He pointed out that American soldiers were often outnumbered 10-1, but they have inflicted far greater casualties upon the communists. MacArthur also says South Korea would have been overrun already without U.S. soldiers.

-- The general announces that the Eight Army, commanded by Lt. Gen. Walter H. Walker, will command all U.S. ground forces in Korea from Taegu.

[note]

13 July 1950
Three SB-17s were used for weather recon and orbit missions this date. Twenty-four hours and twenty-five minutes (24:25) were logged on these flights.

Two SB-17s were dispatched this date to search for the crew of a B-29 which had exploded near the island of Oki-Gunto. (As noted in the operational summary).

At 1220/K ADCC notified the Flight that they had a Mayday.

At 1300/K ADCC advised that the Mayday had proceeded out of the area and to disregard the alert.

At 1910/K received a call from ADCC concerning a T-6 on a mission over the enemy lines. Pilot stated he was lost and the orbit ship tried to give him a "Fix", but could not make the T-6 pilot understand. The pilot of the T-6 was instructed to locate a town and bail out as he was running low on fuel.

No further word was heard from the pilot after 2330/K and it was believed he bailed out somewhere near the front lines. Three false alerts recorded for this date.

[note]

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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 [Military Governor of Okinawa] Commanding General, Ryukyus Command, General Beightler, to build these battalions to war strength and send them to Japan without delay. [05-37] 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.

21 July 1950 This request was granted, and on 21 July the two battalions sailed from Okinawa for Pusan, arriving four days later. [05-38]

CHAPTER V: Emergency Conditions, Emergency Measures

1 July 1950 General Bolte, the G-3, Department of the Army, had suggested to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration, General Ridgway, on 1 July that the 5th RCT stationed in Hawaii, be sent to Korea. [05-39]

11 July 1950 Ten days later, when General Collins paused in Hawaii on his way to visit the Far East Command, he looked into the matter. In a teleconference with Ridgway in Washington, Collins asked him to query key staff officers on whether it would be better to send the 5th RCT as a unit or break it down into battalions and battalion cadres to bring other fec regiments up to war strength. His own feeling was that the 5th RCT should be employed as a regiment; not cannibalized. Ridgway and other staff officers agreed, recommending that the regiment be sent to Korea at its existing strength with all possible speed.

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On 13 July the Joint Chiefs of Staff authorized the commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific, to send the regiment to Pusan at once.

[note]

Army Policy

Speculating on 13 July that developments in Korea were part of a general USSR plan which might involve correlated actions in other parts of the world, the JCS planning staff said:

It is now apparent from Korea that Russia is embarking upon an entirely new phase in her program of world-wide Communist domination. This is a phase in which she is now utilizing for the first time the armed forces of her satellites to impose by military strength a Communist-dominated government upon a weak neighboring state considered incapable of successful military opposition. [06-11]

A reappraisal of United States objectives and resources thus became necessary. And the Joint Chiefs of Staff constantly faced the major question,

"How much of our military strength can we commit to Korea without seriously damaging our ability to meet a global emergency?"

A correct solution to this problem would enable them to determine, for instance, if partial mobilization was needed. A second question was,

"If we limit our commitments to Korea because of the greater global threat, can we drive the North Koreans behind the 38th Parallel?" [06-12]

Enemy victories in Korea forced the Joint Chiefs to take action without awaiting answers to the vital questions. Courses of action had to be considered individually as they arose. Decisions on them were greatly influenced by General MacArthur's recommendations, but as each new move weakened the potential means, without lessening the mission, it brought the need for answers to these questions into urgent focus.

[note]

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On 13 July the Department of State proposed to the Secretary of Defense that reports be sent to the Security Council each week. These would keep world attention on the fact that the United States was fighting in Korea for the United Nations, not itself.

Apprehensive over world reaction to the naval blockade of Korea ordered by President Truman on 30 June, the Department of State was convinced that the Security Council resolutions of 25 and 27 June amply justified the blockade, but wished the actual blockade declaration reported to the Security Council in order to remove any doubt as to its legality. A report from the unified command on the blockade seemed in order.


This proposal focused the attention of the Joint Chiefs on the need for a definite arrangement on how and when reports should be made to the United Nations.

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Late in July they directed General MacArthur to send them a report on the actions of his forces every two weeks. The Joint Chiefs would, in turn, submit the report through the Secretary of Defense to the Department of State for presentation to the Security Council of the United Nations by the American delegation at Lake Success, New York.

General MacArthur was assured that he would be consulted in advance if political considerations made it necessary at any time for the Joint Chiefs to alter his reports. [06-9]

[note]

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On 13 July, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India suggested to Premier Stalin and Secretary of State Acheson that Communist China, more formally, the Peoples' Republic of China, be admitted to the U.N. Security Council and that the United States, USSR, and China,

"with the help and cooperation of other peace-loving nations,"

informally explore means to end the Korean War.

[note]

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Loading of the ships of the transport and tractor Group, as it was termed by the operation order, commenced at noon that day [7/11]; it departed for Pusan on 13 July.

[note]

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Bomber Command

General O'Donnell established Headquarters FEAF Bomber Command (Provisional) at Yokota Air Base in a directly subordinate status to FEAF. From this location on 13 July, only nine days after movement orders were issued, O'Donnell sent the 19th and 22nd Groups against railway yards and a major oil refinery at Wŏnsan. O'Donnell would later recall:

It was my intention and hope that we would be able to got out there and to cash in on our psychological advantage in having gotten into the theater and into the war so fast, by putting a very severe blow on the North Koreans, with an advanced warning, perhaps, telling them that they had gone too far in what we all recognized as being a case of aggression ... and go to work burning five major cities in North Korea to the ground, and to destroy every one of about 18 major strategic targets.... Tell them to either stop the aggression and get back over the thirty-eighth parallel or they had better have their wives and children and bedrolls to go down with them because there is not going to be anything left up in Korea to return to.


When Stratemeyer heard O'Donnell's proposal, he told him that overriding political and diplomatic considerations prevented its acceptance. The order was out that indiscriminate use of incendiaries would not be sanctioned and that no unnecessary civilian casualties would come from air attacks. Before long, O'Donnell remarked, "We are fighting distinctly 'under wraps'."

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After the attack on Wŏnsan, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander in chief (CINC), United Nations Command (CINCUNC)/Far East Command (CINCFE), gave the Eighth US Army in Korea (EUSAK) first claim on all B-29 resources for supporting strikes to be flown between the battle line being drawn around the Pusan perimeter and the 38th parallel. Maj. Gen. Otto P. Weyland, who was FEAF vice commander and who would take command when Stratemeyer suffered a heart attack, argued for a comprehensive air-interdiction plan reaching far into North Korea. Otherwise, Weyland said,

"It was like trying to dam a stream at the bottom of a waterfall."

[note]

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Among some factors worth noting concerning the 24 Inf's initial weeks' commitment to Korean War action are:

On his 1st day in Korea in Jul 1950, the original regimental executive officer feigned a heart attack and cowardly had himself medically evacuated

There was not a physically fit/professionally competent regimental commanding officer until LtCol Corley succeeded to command on 9-6

During its 1st 3 months in action the 24 INF experienced 13 changes (of which only 2 were casualty related) in bn commanders as compared to 1 and 3 changes, respectively, in the 25th Division's other (i.e, white) regiments.

[note]

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The Korean War (1950 to 1953) was the last American conflict involving segregated units of the armed forces, i.e. the US Army. 3 American infantry divisions -- the 25th, the 2nd, and the 3rd -- contained black combat units during 1950/51.

Among the 25th Division's 3 infantry regiments was the Army's last black 24th Infantry, the largest black unit to serve in Korea. (The 24th Infantry was also the Army's only 3-bn regiment in action during initial weeks of the war.

Other American regiments 1st committed to action from peacetime occupation duty in Japan contained only 2 bns.)

[note]

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Accompanied by the black 159th Field Arty bn and the black 77th Engineer Combat Co, the 24th Infantry [of the 25th ID]arrived in the Korean Combat Zone beginning 7-13.

[note]

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"Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker, commander of Eighth Army, assumed command of all ground forces in Korea, establishing his headquarters at Taegu."

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The newly arrived 22nd and 92nd Bombardment Groups launched a radar directed attack against the marshaling yards and oil refinery at Wŏnsan. This mission marked the groups’ entry into combat and the first combat mission flown by Far East Air Forces Bomber Command.

[note]


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As the front squeezed in upon Taejŏn, the T–6s evacuated to Taegu on July 13 and fell under the 6132nd Tactical Air Control Squadron's command the following day. The Joint Operations Center followed in stages between July 14 and 19.

[note]

South then North

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On the next corridor eastward, the N.K. 12th Division carried the main burden of the attack all the way south from the Parallel to the upper Han River. Some of its advanced troops crossed the river on the [13] July and

[note]

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On or about 13 July, the N.K. 5th Division entered P'yonghae-ri, twenty-two miles above Yŏngdök and fifty miles from P'ohang-dong. There the 10th Regiment turned westward into the mountains and headed for Chinbo, back of Yŏngdök. The enemy advances down the mountain backbone of central Korea and on the east coast had assumed alarming proportions. The attack on Yŏngdök, the first critical and major action on the east coast, was at hand.

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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.

[note]

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The next day, 13 July, the 27th Infantry moved from Uisŏng to Andong on Eighth Army orders to take up blocking positions north of the town behind ROK troops.

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On 13 July, with the U.S. 24th Division in defensive positions along the south bank of the Kum River, the front extended along that river to a point above Taejŏn, eighty miles south of Sŏul, where it bent slightly north of east to pass through Ch'ŏngju and across the high Taebaek passes south of Ch'ungju and Tanyang, and then curved slightly south to the east coast at P'yonghae-ri, 110 air miles north of Pusan at the southern tip of the peninsula. On all the principal corridors leading south from this line heavy battles were immediately in prospect.

[note]

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

The next morning [13th] they dynamited it again, and this time two spans dropped into the water.

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[note]

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On 30 June, Lt. Col. Lewis A. Hunt led the vanguard of American officers arriving in Korea to organize the logistical effort there in support of United States troops. Less than a week later, on 4 July, Brig. Gen. Crump Garvin and members of his staff arrived at Pusan to organize the Pusan Base Command, activated that day by orders of the Far East Command.

This command was reorganized on 13 July by Eighth Army
as the Pusan Logistical Command, and further reorganized a week later.

The Pusan Logistical Command served as the principal logistical support organization in Korea until 19 September 1950 when it was redesignated the 2nd Logistical Command.

[note]

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General Walker upon verbal instructions from General MacArthur assumed command of all United States Army forces in Korea effective 0001 13 July. [09-2]

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That evening, General Church and his small ADCOM staff received orders to return to Tokyo, except for communications and intelligence personnel who were to remain temporarily with EUSAK.


A total American and ROK military force of approximately 75,000 men, divided between 18,000 Americans and 58,000 ROK's, was then in Korea. [09-3]


General Walker arrived in Korea on the afternoon of 13 July to assume personal control of Eighth Army operations. That same day the ROK Army headquarters moved from Taejŏn to Taegu to be near Eighth Army headquarters.

General Walker at once established tactical objectives and unit responsibility. [09-4]

Eighth Army was to delay the enemy advance, secure the current defensive line, stabilize the military situation, and build up for future offensive operations.

The 24th Division, deployed along the south bank of the Kum River in the Kongju-Taejŏn area on the army's left (west) was to "prevent enemy advance south of that line."

To the east, in the mountainous central corridor, elements of the 25th Division were to take up blocking positions astride the main routes south and help the ROK troops stop the North Koreans in that sector.

Elements of the 25th Division not to exceed one reinforced infantry battalion were to secure the port of P'ohang-dong and Yŏnil Airfield on the east coast.

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[09-Caption] GENERAL WALKER talks with Colonel Katzin, who has just presented him with the United Nations flag.

[note]

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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 [Military Governor of Okinawa] Commanding General, Ryukyus Command, General Beightler, to build these battalions to war strength and send them to Japan without delay. [05-37] 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.

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The next day [13], General MacArthur ordered the Commanding General, Ryukyus Command, General Beightler, to prepare the two battalions for water shipment to Japan. [09-30]

The worsening tactical situation in Korea caused General MacArthur on 13 July to order General Stratemeyer to direct the Far East Air Forces to employ maximum B-26 and B-29 bomber effort against the enemy divisions driving down the center of the Korean peninsula.

[note]

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The Kum River is the first large stream south of the Han flowing generally north from its source in the mountains of southwestern Korea. Ten miles east of Taejŏn, the river in a series of tight loops slants northwest, then bends like an inverted letter U, and 12 miles northwest of the city starts its final southwesterly course to the sea.

For 25 miles upstream from its mouth, the Kum River is a broad estuary of the Yellow Sea, from 1 to 2 miles wide. In its semicircle around Taejŏn, the river constitutes in effect a great moat, much in the same manner as the Naktong River protects Taegu and Pusan farther south and the Chickahominy River guarded Richmond, Virginia, during the American Civil War.

Protected by this water barrier, generally 10 to 15 miles distant, Taejŏn lies at the western base of the Sobaek Mountains. To the west, the coastal plain stretches northward to Sŏul and southwestward to the tip of Korea. But south and southeastward all the way to the Naktong and on to Pusan lie the broken hills and ridges of the Sobaek Mountains. Through these mountains in a southeasterly course from Taejŏn passes the main Sŏul-Pusan railroad and highway. Secondary roads angle off from Taejŏn into all of southern Korea. Geographical and communication factors gave Taejŏn unusual military importance.

The Sŏul-Pusan railroad crossed the Kum River 8 air miles due north of Taejŏn. Nine air miles westward and downstream from the railroad, the main highway crossed the river. The little village of Taep'yong-ni stood there on the southern bank of the Kum 15 air miles northwest of Taejŏn. At Kongju, 8 air miles farther westward downstream from Taep'yong-ni and 20 air miles northwest of Taejŏn, another highway crossed the Kum.
Engineers blew the highway bridges across the Kum at Kongju and Taep'yong-ni and the railroad bridge at SInch'ŏn the night and morning of 12-13 July. On the approaches to Taejŏn, engineer units placed demolitions on all bridges of small streams tributary to the Kum. [10-1]

Downstream from Kongju the 24th Reconnaissance Company checked all ferries and destroyed all native flat-bottomed boats it found in a 16-mile stretch below the town. Checking below this point for another twenty miles it came to the south side of the river. In the arc of the river from Kongju eastward to the railroad crossing, General Menoher, the assistant division commander of the 24th Division, then ordered all similar boats seized and burned. [10-2]

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General Dean and his 24th Division staff had a fairly clear idea of the situation facing them. On 13 July, the division intelligence officer estimated that two enemy divisions at 60 to 80 percent strength with approximately fifty tanks were closing on the 24th Division.

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Enemy prisoners identified them as the 4th Division following the 34th Infantry and the 3rd Division following the 21st Infantry. This indicated a two-pronged attack against Taejŏn, and perhaps a three-pronged attack if the 2nd Division moving south next in line to the east could drive ROK forces out of its way in time to join in the effort. [10-3]

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Behind the moat of the Kum River, General Dean placed his 24th Division troops in a horseshoe-shaped arc in front of Taejŏn. The 34th Infantry was on the left, the 19th Infantry on the right, and the 21st Infantry in a reserve defensive blocking position southeast of Taejŏn. On the extreme left, the 24th Reconnaissance Company in platoon-sized groups watched the principal river crossing sites below Kongju. Thus, the division formed a two-regiment front, each regiment having one battalion on the line and the other in reserve. [10-4]

The 24th Division was in poor condition for what was certain to be its hardest test yet. In the first week, 1,500 men were missing in action, 1,433 of them from the 21st Regiment. That regiment on 13 July had a strength of about 1,100 men; the 34th Infantry had 2,020 men; and the 19th Infantry, 2,276 men. There were 2,007 men in the division artillery. The consolidated division strength on strength 14 July was 1,440 men. [10-5]

[note]

At 0400 hours 13 July, D Company of the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion blew the steel truss bridge in front of Kongju.

0000
A few hours after daybreak an enemy squad walked to the water's edge, 700 yards from a 34th Infantry position across the river, and set up a machine gun. On high ground north of this enemy machine gun squad, a North Korean tank came into view. [10-10] The men of the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry, now had only the water barrier of the Kum between them and the enemy.

That afternoon, the North Koreans began shelling Kongju from across the river.

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(Map 6: DEFENSE OF THE KUM RIVER LINE, 34TH Infantry, 14 July 1950)

DISASTER AT THE KUM RIVER LINE Page 125

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[10-Caption] MOVING SOUTH across the Kum River bridge on 14 July.

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The command situation for Colonel Wadlington continued to worsen as both the regimental S-2 and S-3 were evacuated because of combat fatigue. Then, that night, K Company, a composite group of about forty men of the 3rd Battalion in such mental and physical condition as to render them liabilities in combat, was withdrawn from the Kum River Line with division approval and taken to Taejŏn for medical disposition. [10-11]

There were now only two understrength rifle companies of the 34th Infantry in front of Kongju-L Company on the left and I Company on the right of the road on the river hills, with some mortars of the Heavy Weapons Company behind. These troops knew of no friendly units on their left (west). From the 19th Infantry on their right, Capt. Melicio Montesclaros had visited the I Company position and told the men there was a 2-mile gap between that flank and his outpost position eastward on the regimental boundary.

[note]

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There is no one but yourself to keep your back door open. You can live without food, but you cannot last long without ammunition.

Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker to Maj. Gen. Hobart R. Gay, Korea, July 1950

Yŏngdök and the East Coastal Corridor

While the battles of the Kum River and Taejŏn were being fought on the main axis south from Sŏul, many miles eastward, the enemy 5th Division pressed forward against Yŏngdök, a key point where a lateral road came in from the mountains to meet the coastal road. (Map III) The ROK 3rd Division had orders to hold Yŏngdök. It was certain that heavy battles would be fought there.

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Yŏngdong, South Korea

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On 13 July Colonel Emmerich and the KMAG detachment with the ROK 3rd Division forwarded to Eighth Army a demolition plan for use on the coastal road and bridges.

Maj. Clyde Britton, one of the KMAG officers, was to be responsible for giving authority to blow any of the bridges. The long bridge at Yŏngdök was recognized as the most important feature on the coastal road, and it was to be held intact unless enemy armor was actually crossing it.

At this time interrogation of an enemy prisoner disclosed that the North Koreans had a plan to blow a bridge near An'gang-ni, on the lateral corridor from Taegu to P'ohang-dong and to blow both ends of the Ch'ongdo railroad tunnel between Pusan and Taegu. Destruction of the tunnel would constitute a serious blow to the logistical support for the front-line troops. Two American officers with two platoons of ROK troops went to the tunnel to protect it.

[note]

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Closely related to the Yŏngdong action was the enemy advance southward on the next road eastward, the Poun-Hwanggan road. The N.K. 2nd Division, arriving too late on the east of Taejŏn to help in the attack on that city, turned toward Poŭn. Unless checked it would pass through that town and come out on the main Sŏul-Pusan highway at Hwanggan, about ten miles east of Yŏngdong. This would place it in the rear of the 1st Cavalry Division [did not get in country until the 15th] on the latter's main supply road.

The task of defending this road fell to the 27th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. 25th Division. Upon first arriving in Korea that regiment went to the Uisŏng area, thirty-five air miles north of Taegu.

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On 13 July it moved from there to Andong to support ROK troops, but before it entered action in the heavy battles then taking place in that area it suddenly received orders to move to

[note]

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Departing Yesan on 13 July, the N.K. 6th Division started south in two columns and crossed the lower Kum River. (See Map III.) The larger force appeared before Kunsan about the time the 3rd and 4th Divisions attacked Taejŏn. The port town fell to the enemy without resistance. The division's two columns united in front of Chŏnju, thirty miles to the southeast, and quickly reduced that town, which was defended by ROK police. [1]

The N.K. 6th Division was now poised to make an end run through southwest Korea toward Pusan, around the left flank of Eighth Army. In all Korea southwest of the Taejŏn-Taegu-Pusan highway, at this time, there were only a few hundred survivors of the ROK 7th Division, some scattered ROK marines, and local police units. [2]

[note]

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[13-On 28 June, the fourth day of the war, Col. Olaf P. Winningstad, Eighth Army Ordnance chief, found three M26 Pershing medium tanks at the Tokyo Ordnance Depot in bad condition and needing extensive repairs, including rebuilt engines.] The repair work began at once and was completed on 13 July.

[note]

As if the Air Force didn't toot its own horn enough, here in South then North, Appleman toot's all over the place.

Air support, tactical and strategical, and the state of logistics at the end of July after the first month of war both exercised continuing and pervasive influence on the course of the heavy August battles of the Pusan Perimeter.

In the first month of the Korean War, close air support of ground troops was a vital factor in preventing the North Koreans from overrunning all Korea, and in gaining for the United States the margin of time necessary to bring in reinforcements and accumulate the supplies needed to organize the Pusan Perimeter.

By mid-July the U.N. Air Force had all but stopped movement of enemy troops, armor, and truck convoys during daylight. This imposed the greatest difficulties on North Korea in supporting its front-line troops, and it slowed the North Korean advance.

During the first month, the U.N. air arm comprised U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine planes and some Royal Australian Air Force planes and troops. By the end of July, the U.N. ground forces in Korea were receiving proportionately more air support than had General Bradley's Twelfth Army Group in World War II. [15-28]

In mid-July, the FEAF Bomber Command began an ever heightening attack on strategic enemy targets far behind the front. The first such target was Wŏnsan on the east coast. This communications center linked Vladivostok in Russia Siberia with North Korea by rail and sea. From it, rail lines ran to all the North Korean build-up centers. The great bulk of Russian supplies for North Korea in the early part of the war came in at Wŏnsan, and from the beginning it was considered a major military target. In the first heavy strategic bombing of the war, FEAF hit this busy port city, on 13 July, with 400 tons of demolition bombs.

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The United Nations front 13 July 1950

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Citations

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500713 0000 DSC O'DONNELL

 

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The Forgotten War

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Joe Collins and Hoyt Vandenberg arrived in Tokyo on the morning of July 13, the day after Bill Dean had emplaced his 19th and 34th regiments behind the Kum River.

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They went immediately to the Dai Ichi Building, where they met with MacArthur, Ned Almond, Johnnie Walker, and others, including four-star Admiral Arthur W. Radford, who had survived the 1949 "Admiral's Revolt" and was now the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, with headquarters in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.[5-13]

MacArthur, who by date of rank was fourteen years senior to Collins and twenty years senior to Vandenberg and who outranked both by a star (five to four), staged a dazzlingly dramatic briefing. Pacing his small, Spartan office, puffing thoughtfully on his pipe, he was, Collins remembered, "cool and poised" and spoke with "confidence and élan" in "vigorous and colorful language" as though, Collins wrote, "addressing not just his immediate listeners but a larger audience unseen."

On the strategic level MacArthur did not believe Moscow wanted all-out war but would provide maximum "underground" support to the North Koreans through China and Manchuria. The challenge should be met by the United States without "delay or halfway measures." He wanted a "maximal effort." He urged his JCS visitors to "grab every ship in the Pacific and pour the support into the Far East." Admittedly America held a poor hand in the Far East, but long experience had convinced him that

"it is how you play your poor hands rather than your good ones which counts in the long run."

A decisive Communist defeat in Korea would check the spread of communism everywhere.

On the tactical level MacArthur cautioned Collins and Vandenberg (and the greater unseen audience) not to underestimate the "toughness, skill and leadership" of the NKPA (as GHQ had done). Now that three American divisions had been committed to South Korea, he was confident the situation would ultimately be "stabilized." He reiterated his recently expressed view that two full-strength field armies comprising eight divisions and supporting components would be required in Korea.

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To provide for the security of Japan, he urged that the Japanese police force be converted to a constabulary of four divisions, equipped with American gear.

[note]

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His grand plan for defeating the NKPA was as follows.

He would first "isolate the battlefield" by closing off NKPA supply routes at the China and Russia borders with American air power. For this purpose he would need additional Air Force medium and heavy bombers [remember a heavy bomber is the B-36, a medium bomber is a B-29, and light bombers are B-25-26, according to the Air Force) and another Navy task force. This air operation provided a "unique opportunity" for using atomic bombs, MacArthur said, but he did not pursue this drastic suggestion in detail.

After the battlefield had been isolated and stabilized, MacArthur went on, his intention was not merely to drive the NKPA back across the 38th Parallel but rather to "destroy" it. This he would do by reviving the recently canceled Inch'ŏn amphibious landing plan, designed to trap the NKPA in giant pincers between those forces and an attacking Eighth Army. The Inch'ŏn landing would be carried out by the oncoming 2nd Infantry Division and the Marine Corps RCT already promised him and then embarking or preparing to embark in the States, plus the airborne RCT. After the NKPA had been destroyed, the problem would be to "compose and unite Korea," and that might require American occupation of the entire peninsula.[5-14]

Joe Collins demurred from these Delphic pronouncements on several counts:

First, he refreshed MacArthur on the general American war plan. As in World War II, American grand strategy put Europe first, the Far East second. America had made new commitments to the defense of Western Europe, to NATO. These commitments must be honored.

Secondly, Collins doubted that MacArthur's requests for two field armies comprising eight full divisions could or would be met. He could guarantee the eight infantry battalions and artillery batteries required to bring the three divisions already in Korea up to strength, the three battalion cadres for the 7th Division, armor and engineers, the full 2nd Division, the airborne RCT, replacements, and possibly a full Marine division, but beyond that he could not go. The General Reserve, already gutted, could not be reduced further.

Thirdly, although he approved of an amphibious landing behind the NKPA in principle, Collins had strong reservations about the chosen site, Inch'ŏn. That cramped port had huge (thirty-plus-foot) tides and treacherous currents and was dominated by a fortified island, Wŏlmi-do.

Moreover, the troops advancing inland on Sŏul would immediately have to cross the formidable Han River.

This was the first indication to Douglas MacArthur that the Truman administration could not - or would not - go all out in his support in the Far East; that insofar as possible the conflict in Korea would be handled with a minimum of force; that personally MacArthur was to be shortchanged, as he believed he had been in World War II.

MacArthur and Ned Almond were furious - but they concealed their anger. MacArthur said he well understood the reasoning behind America's war plans, but he questioned the wisdom of saving firefighting equipment for one quiescent district while another district was burning uncontrollably. America would win in Korea or lose everywhere.[5-15]

[note]

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From Tokyo [5-leaving about noon] Collins and Vandenberg flew to Korea in a C47 with Johnnie Walker - a six hour trip.

By that time Walker had established Eighth Army headquarters in Taegu, a large city with good communications facilities and an airstrip, fifty-five air miles northwest of Pusan and sixty-five miles southeast of Taejŏn. A "tired and greatly worried" Bill Dean jeeped rearward from Taejŏn to Taegu in order to meet with Collins and Walker.

Owing to the need to fly out of Taegu before dark, [5-2001] Collins. and Vandenberg stayed only one hour.[5-16]


The military overview in South Korea as presented to Collins and Vandenberg that evening, July 13, by Eighth Army briefer's was not altogether reassuring.[5-17]

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• On the "western front" at the day old Kum River line, the NKPA 3rd and 4th Infantry divisions (and possibly another, the 2nd) were preparing to renew the assault and had already commenced a withering artillery barrage.

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Dean's newly arrived 19th Regiment had relieved the shattered 21st on the river, backed up closely by Miller Perry's 52nd FAB and more deeply by Allen's 11th and the 13th FABs.

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On the left of the 19th was the reorganizing 34th Regiment, backed up closely by Dawson's 63rd FAB. Dean still had no faith in the 34th.

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The 1st Cav Division, redirected from Inch'ŏn to southern Korea, would land on July 18 and immediately move up to reinforce the 24th Division in Taejŏn. Walker believed with its help he might stabilize the western front. But he desperately needed extra infantry battalions to bring the regiments up to strength, fillers and replacements, the bigger 3.5 inch bazookas and other antitank weapons, and, not least, greatly improved close air support from FEAF.

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• On the "central front," directly north of Taegu, the NKPA was driving south from Wŏnju along two parallel corridors, aiming for Taejŏn.

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To avoid that catastrophe - and to put backbone in the ROK Army - Walker was directing the newly arriving 25th Division to reinforce that sector.

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Collins and Vandenberg returned to Tokyo [5-7/13 2300] , where they again conferred with MacArthur, then flew back to Washington, where they arrived on July 14, Washington time.

[note]

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On arrival in Pusan on July 13 the 24th RCT entrained immediately for Kŭmch'ŏn, Kimch'ŏn where it established its CP. Positioned to the left (or west) of the 27th RCT, its mission was to backstop the ROKs who were blocking the NKPA from seizing the road running from Kŭmch'ŏn north through Sangju to Hamch'ang to Yech'ŏn. Like the other Americans preceding them to Korea, the blacks of the 24th RCT were shocked by the heat and humidity, the filth and stench, and the awesome mountainous terrain. Many old pros - and some new ones - in the outfit were determined that the 24th would give a good account of itself, erasing forever from Army minds the hated and humiliating belief that "Negroes won't fight."[6-19]

In the view of most black professionals in the outfit, however, there was a serious obstacle to that goal. They believed that with few exceptions the white officers holding the senior positions in the regiment were of low caliber, or worse, completely unqualified by experience or training to lead troops in combat. These included the 24th's commander, Horton White (the only senior West Pointer in the regiment), and his exec. White had not hitherto commanded troops in combat. In World War II he had been G2 of MacArthur's Sixth Army in the Southwest Pacific.

One of the two young black West Pointers (both 1950) in the 77th ECC, David K. Carlisle, later wrote a history in collaboration with the 77th's commander, Charles Bussey, about his outfit's service in Korea. In it Bussey remembered two shocking episodes on the day the 24th arrived at Kŭmch'ŏn.

First, Horton White confided to Bussey that he was unable to command the regiment. "I'm too old for this," White told Bussey.

"I didn't realize it until this morning, but soldiering is for young'uns. Mine is all behind me. I'll do the job as required while I'm here, but I'll have to pack it in soon."*

Secondly, a key senior officer on 24th's staff, "a big, fat, lazy bastard," had a heart attack, which Bussey surmised was faked. The officer was immediately evacuated.[6-21]

*A fellow West Pointer who commanded a regiment in Korea concurred in White's self-evaluation: "White was an intelligence specialist who was not competent to lead troops."[6-20]

[note]

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Hence the 24th RCT entered the battle zone with weak leadership at the top. Fortunately there was one capable, combat experienced senior white officer in the 24th: Paul F. Roberts, thirty-four, who had been twice wounded and often decorated (Silver Star Medal, etc.) in World War II. To strengthen the top leadership, White chose Roberts to be the regimental exec. Carlisle and Bussey remembered that Roberts was "tough as nails and sharp as a tack" and did "a superior job," which enabled White to "take things easy."[6-22]

The 24th RCT spent about a week in Kŭmch'ŏn acclimatizing itself and preparing for battle. Its task forces patrolled along its assigned road as far north as Yech'ŏn. During that time the ROKs fought surprisingly well, but the NKPA gradually pushed them southward.

[note]

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The last of Bill Kean's 25th Division major combat elements, the 35th Infantry, arrived in Pusan on July 13.

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It was commanded by Horton White's West Point (1923) classmate, Henry G. ("Hank") Fisher, fifty. The 35th was mated with the 64th FAB, commanded by West Pointer (1932) Arthur H. Hogan, forty-two, to form an RCT.[6-29] Although Hank Fisher was a year older than White - by George Marshall's reckoning too old for regimental command - his attitude was completely different from White's: He was itching for a fight. Fisher well knew how to fight and command troops. Like Mike, [of the 27th RCT) he had successfully commanded an infantry regiment (the 317th of the 80th Division) through many months of tough fighting in the ETO.

The Army historian wrote that Fisher, "ruddy faced and possessed of a strong, compact body," was a "fine example of the professional soldier." He was "one of the ablest regimental commanders in Korea," who possessed an "exact knowledge" of weaponry and tactics. One of Fisher's young West Point (1945) officers, Sydney B. Berry wrote:

He was a professional in the finest sense of the word. He set high standards for his soldiers and his regiment and saw to it that we lived up to his expectations for us. He drove us in training with a sense of urgency and purpose. . . . Because "Hammering Hank Fisher," as we called him, had trained us in a tough, demanding, professional manner, we won battles in Korea from the beginning. Indeed, combat seemed easier than training under Hammering Hank Fisher. Many of us survived because of the tough, effective training Colonel Fisher had provided us.[6-30]

Upon landing at Pusan, the 35th, like the 27th Infantry, was fragmented. Johnnie Walker ordered Kean to send the 1/35, commanded by West Pointer (1939) Bernard G. Teeters, thirty-five, to P'ohang to relieve Mike's 2/27, so that the latter could rejoin its parent organization. Fisher, his regimental headquarters, and his 2/35, commanded by John L. Wilkin, Jr., forty-two, camped for a few days in a rear area near Yŏngju. This brief interlude before battle provided Fisher and his men with time to adjust to Korea, assimilate fillers, and engage in training exercises.[6-31]

[note]

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On the "eastern front" - the Sea of Japan seacoast - the NKPA advance had been desultory, slowed in part by an ill-advised diversion of NKPA forces westward into the TAEBAEK Mountains, mudslides on the coastal highway, and the notable resistance of the ROK 23rd Regiment. Nonetheless the NKPA had advanced as far south as Yŏngdök, threatening P'ohang, a seaport which Walker intended to develop as an alternate to the overtaxed Pusan and the site of a FEAF fighter strip. Two battalions of ROKs had been directed to P'ohang. They would be supported by American engineers and antiaircraft units.[5-18]

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Notwithstanding the precarious situation on all three fronts, Walker was sanguine. He might be forced to abandon Taejŏn, but he did not intend to yield Taegu. The situation would gradually turn in his favor: Every mile the NKPA advanced cost it dearly in blood and equipment and took it that much farther from its supply base. Contrarily, each mile Eighth Army yielded tended to consolidate it into a smaller perimeter which was more easily defended. If the Pentagon rushed the requested men and equipment to Korea, Walker believed he might be able to hold a perimeter until such time as the planned Inch'ŏn landing relieved the pressure on Eighth Army.

[note]

U.S. Air Force

 

Lt. General Walker named CG [Commanding General] Eighth United States Army Korea (EUSAK).[105-When Walker took command of EUSAK, he controlled a force of approximately 18,000 Americans and 58,000 Koreans. (Appleman, pp 109-110.)]

General Stratemeyer greets the Air Force chief of staff, Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, upon his arrival in Japan on July 13, 1950.


0700 Generals Vandenberg, Collins, and party

[106-Rear Adm Wellings, Military Sea Transportation Service vice commander; Col Richard A. Grussendorf, General Vandenberg's executive; Col Godfrey D. McHugh, Vandenberg's aide-de-camp; Col L.A. Denson was in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, U.S. Army; Lt Col D. D. Dickson was in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, U.S. Army; Lt Col Stanley R. Larsen, General Collins aide-de-camp.] arrive Haneda. Greeting party: General MacArthur, Walker, Almond; Admiral Joy and myself. Party to go direct from Haneda to GHQ for conference.


1000 hours, our briefing for General Vandenberg and party.


1100 take off, in staff C-54 with Vandenberg party for Itazuke. Left approx[imately] 1500 hours, C-47 for Taegu; returned Korea 1930; (returned Haneda 0030 hours, 14 July.)


Ground forces withdrawn to Kum River.


First raid by FEAF Bomber Command (Prov); 56 B-29s out of 57 on target mission, bombing by radar, the Wonsan marshaling yards. Results unobserved because of weather. 22d and 92d Medium Bomb Groups participated.

Weather generally unfavorable. One C-47 crashed after unloading cargo at Taejon; aircraft damaged beyond repair; crew returned to base.


One B-29 aircraft lost due to mechanical reasons; no details available at present, but six of the crew picked up by fishing boat.


Got to bed at 0300 hours, the morning of the 14th.

[note]

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July 13: Forty-nine FEAF Bomber Command B-29s from the 22nd BG and the 92nd BG bombed marshaling yards and an oil refinery at Wŏnsan, North Korea.

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The 3rd Air Rescue Squadron (ARS) began flying SB-17 aircraft off the Korean coast to drop rescue boats to downed B-29 crews. Advancing enemy troops forced the airborne control function to move southeastward from Taejŏn to Taegu. Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker, commander, Eighth Army in Korea, assumed command of all US ground forces in Korea.

[note]

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By 11 July the 24th Division crisis appeared to have been weathered, and on 13 July Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker assumed command of all U.S. Army forces in Korea, announcing his command as the Eighth U.S. Army in Korea (EUSAK), with headquarters at Taegu. That same day, MacArthur, finding another enemy troop concentration on the center of the EUSAK front, ordered FEAF to employ maximum B-26 and B-29 effort against transportation targets in an area which included Ŭmsŏng, Changhowŏn, Chech'on, and Changho-ri (on the east coast).

On 15 July MacArthur further informed Walker that future emergency use of medium bombers would be directed whenever EUSAK desired. He evidently meant to continue using medium bombers in the very manner which Stratemeyer lead thought wasteful in the first two weeks of hostilities.

[note]

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The FEAF Bomber Command dealt expeditiously with communications choke points assigned to it, as is indicated by figure 7 . On 13 July the Wŏnsan marshaling yards had been attacked by the newly-arrived 22nd and 92nd Groups on their shake-down mission.

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USAF Historical Study No. 71 - USAF Museum

[note]


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It was FEAF's first intention to use Bomber Command for strategic air operations, including attacks against important urban centers, strikes on industrial targets contributing to the North Korean war effort, and destruction of the enemy's transportation system north of the Han River.

Thus, the first mission for the 22nd and 92nd Groups, 13 July, was a strategic attack against the railway marshaling yard and Rising Sun Oil Refinery at Wŏnsan; after this initial mission, however, MacArthur demanded that medium bomber effort be employed in close support missions.

[note]

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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.

[Interesting when you consider the 1st B-29 bombing run was today - 13 July 1950 ?]

[note]

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On 13 July a weather B-29 with General O'Donnell aboard led the first B-29 strike from Japan against North Korean targets. Other reconnaissance flights dropped psychological warfare leaflets.

[note]

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On 13 July MacArthur further directed FEAF to use a maximum B-26 and B-29 effort against transportation targets in an area which included Ŭmsŏng, Changhowŏn, Chech'on, and Changho-ri.

[note]


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On 13 July, only nine days after receiving word 8,000 miles away in the United States that the B-29 's were to move to FEAF, General O'Donnell sent the 22nd and 92nd Groups on a combat mission to Wŏnsan, an achievement which demonstrated the mobility and striking power of the USAF.

To General Vandenberg the mission indicated a "high degree of esprit, mobility, and technical competence." The swiftness of the movement was possible only because of well-established SAC mobility plans which lead been designed for just such an emergency.

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In conjunction with the execution of its primary mission, SAC had the responsibility of maintaining air force units "for employment against objectives of air attack in any location on the globe." This mission required

  1. the training of strategic bombardment crews and units for the performance of global bombardment operations";

  2. detailed planning for combat air operations;

  3. training and staging combat, service, and supporting units for theater of operations or other overseas deployment;

  4. joint operation with other commands; and

  5. the performance of such special missions as the Chief of Staff, USAF, or the JCS might direct.

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The SAC missions obviously required that units assigned to the command be "highly mobile organizations, capable of being dispatched without delay, to distant bases." Command letters, directives, and manuals gave, in complete detail, the various requirements for carrying out the mobility plan. Unit essential equipment (UEE) was listed and enumerated to assist the individual commanders in preparing for their move to an operating base outside the Zone of Interior.

[note]

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O'Donnell thus announced that he would not ask for fighter escort unless enemy air opposition materially increased. As good as the commanding general's promise, Bomber Command's B-29's did better the record of World War II, each medium bomber averaging 8.9 sorties per month between 13 July and 31 October. During the period Bomber Command dropped 30,136 tons of bombs. 8.9x30=270 aircraft.

[note]

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On 13 July the airborne control organization moved back to Taegu, where it became known as the MOSQUITO squadron, an appropriate name which appears to have come from an early radio call sign for the unit. After three weeks of informal existence, the MOSQUITO squadron was officially organized as the 6147th Tactical Control Squadron Airborne, effective on 1 August.

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[note]

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On 13 July General Stratemeyer obtained permission to move the 18th Group and another one of its squadrons to Japan.#97

Having ascertained the minimum air-defense forces which would remain in place, FEAF operational planners sought airfields suited to the deployment of the air striking force. Whatever glimmer of hope there was that jet fighters could be based in Korea was extinguished as heavily loaded trans-port planes tore up the lightly surfaced runway at Pusan.

Now it was clear that all of the jets would have to be based on Kyushu, at Itazuke, and Ashiya.

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The 49th Fighter-Bomber Group (less its 7th Squadron) moved from Misawa to join the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Itazuke.

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But before the 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group could go to Ashiya some disposition had to be made of the 3rd Bombardment Group's B-26's which were already there. FEAF planners cast covetous glances at Iwakuni Air Base, but Great Britain had not yet announced whether Commonwealth forces would support South Korea. [even though the Australians made 77 Squadron available].

[note]

Asked his formula for winning battles, Confederate General Nathan B. Forrest replied: "Get there first[est] with the most[est] men.#

Recognizing that this axiom of the American Civil War was a vital truth in an era of global nuclear war, the United States Air Force had made determined efforts to instill the need for mobility into all of its tactical units. The story of the trans-Pacific movement of the organizations which were ordered to FEAF's support now provided examples of air mobility at its best and at its worst.

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On 13 July 1950, nine days after receiving word 8,000 miles away in the United States that the medium bombers were to move to the Far East, General O'Donnell sent the 22nd and 92nd Bombardment Groups on a combat mission to Wŏnsan, an achievement which demonstrated the mobility and striking power of the Strategic Air Command. To General Vandenberg this accomplishment indicated a "high degree of esprit, mobility, and technical competence.#125

[note]

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Immediately after concluding their missions, the airborne controllers went into Taejŏn City and were interrogated by the combat operations section. The information which they furnished permitted the combat operations officers to keep their situation maps up to date with current locations of friendly and hostile troops.

Enemy pressure against Taejŏn forced Major Carlton to move the airborne control function back to Taegu Airfield on the morning of 13 July.

Here he received additional T-6 aircraft and pilots, and, although the organizational status of the airborne controllers remained anomalous, they soon gained a popular name.

In a Fifth Air Force fragmentary operations order issued on 15 July the airborne controllers were given radio call signs as "Mosquito Able," "Mosquito Baker." and "Mosquito How." The call sign was catching and appropriate, and thereafter the unit was commonly called the "Mosquito" squadron and the airborne controllers and their planes were called "Mosquitoes."#18

[Didn't the British employ the Mosquito name in WWII?]

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T-6 "Mosquito" parked on a PSP in an improvised revetment in Korea.

[note]

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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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Although the staunch resistance of the 24th Division and the fury of the Fifth Air Force air attack temporarily stalled the enemy's thrust down the Sŏul-Taejŏn axis, other Communist columns were on the march. Through the central mountains of Korea a parallel column had been advancing by way of Wŏnju and Ch'ungju toward Hamch'ang. Another enemy force was moving down the eastern coastal routes toward P'ohang.#56

[note]

Three days later General MacArthur judged that the concentration of hostile troops in central Korea posed a "critical situation." Accordingly, he asked General Stratemeyer to concentrate a maximum medium- and light-bomber effort against rail and road junctions, bridges, passes, and other targets in the general area hounded by the towns of Ŭmsŏng, Changhowŏn, Chech'on, and Changhoe-Ri. #58 Ŭmsŏng, Changhowŏn, Chech'on, and Changho-ri.

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On 13 July-the same day MacArthur was concerned with the central front-Communist troops on the Taejŏn front again surged into action and compelled the 24th Division to withdraw to defensive positions south of the Kum River.#59

In order to meet this coast-to-coast attack. General Stratemeyer announced that all elements of his air command would put their primary effort on the main battleline "until the threat to our front-line troops is eliminated.#60

[note]

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On the evening of 13 July Maj. Gen. Laurence C. Craigie acting vice-commander of FEAF, brought the news of the Korean ground emergency to General O'Donnell at Bomber Command headquarters. Here a plan was hurriedly worked out to the effect that ten B-29's of the 92nd Bombardment Group would attack targets along the battleline as directed by Fifth Air Force controllers.

Next morning [14 July 1950 the Superfortress crews took off from Yokota at nine-minute intervals. Eight of the aircraft successfully contacted "Angelo" control at Taejŏn and obtained specific targets in the vicinity of Ch'ŏngju. which they bombed with "fair to good results."

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At Taegu City, on 13 July, General Walker assumed command of all American ground forces in Korea, designating his headquarters as the Eighth U.S. Army in Korea, with a short title of "EUSAK." General Walker's headquarters absorbed the Army personnel of USAFIK, ADCOM (GHQ Advance Command and Liaison Group in Korea), and KMAG, all of which were discontinued.#114

During the week which followed the establishment of the Army headquarters in Taegu additional American ground troops reached Korea.

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The 25th Infantry Division crossed from Japan and went to Hamch'ang, where it was in a position to block Communist attacks against Taegu from the north.

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The 1st Cavalry Division landed across the beaches at P'ohang [on 7/17] and rushed to relieve the battered 24th Division at Yŏngdong, northwest of Taegu.#115
104 U.S. Air Force in Korea

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As soon as he learned where General Walker's headquarters were to be located, General Partridge "went all out" to establish his own command post in Taegu.#116

Because he remained responsible for the air defense of Japan and for the logistical support of Air Force units in Japan, General Partridge had no choice but to divide his head-quarters into two echelons.

[note]


But as July progressed General Partridge's air-facilities planning went completely awry. Prospective airfield sites at P'yŏngt'aek, Taejŏn, and Kunsan were lost to the North Koreans. Both General Stratemeyer and General Partridge had expressed the expectation that the airfield at Pusan (K-1) could soon be prepared to support a tactical air group, but an on-the-spot survey made by General Timberlake and Lt. Col. William S. Shoemaker, the staff engineer of Advance Headquarters, revealed that Pusan could not be immediately improved. Colonel Shoemaker accordingly established a detachment which would keep Pusan's airstrip sufficiently patched to permit light transport and emergency landings, and General Timberlake had diverted Company A of the 802nd Engineer Battalion to undertake an improvement project at P'ohang Airfield (K-3), on the southeast coast of Korea. #142


The second airfield in Korea selected for development was the ROKAF facility at Taegu (K-2). FEAF decided to move the 822nd Engineer Aviation Battalion from Okinawa and concentrate it at Taegu. With the 822nd, although not attached to it, would travel the contact platoon of the 919th Engineer Aviation Maintenance Company. On 5 July the battalion commander and his operations officer flew to Tokyo, where they were oriented as to the prospective duty in Korea. These officers explained that half of their personnel were scheduled to return to the United States immediately, either because of the completion of their overseas tours or for discharge from the Army. Acquainted with the emergency, the Department of Army issued orders to prevent such an exodus, but these orders left the 822nd with a serious morale problem.

To correct the problem, FEAF deployed to Korea engineer aviation units manned by Special Category Army Personnel with Air Force (SCARWAF) troops. Although they suffered chronic shortages of adequately trained personnel, as early as July 1950, the 802nd and 822nd Engineer Aviation Battalions were repairing and extending runways at P'ohang and Taegu.

By noon on 13 July the 822nd loaded the majority of its personnel aboard a Baltic Coastal steamship, and the last of three smaller vessels which carried equipment sailed from Okinawa on 22July.

On 16 July the first company of the 822nd unloaded at Pusan, and on 30 July the last of the battalion moved northward by train from the South Korean port. At Taegu the 822nd commander had received instructions to repair the existing sod-and-gravel runway so that it could handle "moderate traffic for a minimum time," this without halting air operations.

To correct the problem, FEAF deployed to Korea engineer aviation units manned by Special Category Army Personnel with Air Force (SCARWAF) troops. Although they suffered chronic shortages of adequately trained personnel, as early as July 1950, the 802nd and 822nd Engineer Aviation Battalions were repairing and extending runways at P'ohang and Taegu.

By the end of the Korean War, the engineer aviation units in Korea included the 417th Engineer Aviation Brigade with its subordinate units: three groups, ten battalions, three companies, and one detachment. The engineer aviation units repaired, renovated, and expanded air bases all over Korea for the basing and staging of FEAF, Fifth Air Force, and other UN aircraft, including fighters, fighter-bombers, and transports. Among the airfields they repaired or expanded, besides P'ohang and Taegu, were Kimp'o, Suwŏn, P'yŏngyang, Pusan, Hoengsŏng, Ch'unch'ŏn, Chinhae, Ch'ungju, Kunsan, Sŏul, and P'yŏngt'aek. At most of these airfields the engineers laid pierced-steel planking for runways and taxiways and replaced inadequate foundations. They also constructed airfield facilities such as jet fuel storage tanks and hardstands. At airfields captured from the enemy, aviation engineer personnel filled in bomb craters and patched runways.

[note]

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Heralding its arrival in the Far East, the FEAF Bomber Command dis-patched the 22nd and 92nd Bombardment Groups in a strategic strike against the marshaling yards of Wŏnsan on 13 July. General O'Donnell immediately laid plans for a second mission against the railway yards in P'yongyang, but, immediately following the first strike, the GHQ Target Group called for a justification of the strategic bombing plan. After an exhaustive briefing, the GHQ Target Group decided not to seek operational control over the strategic air attacks, but it nevertheless resolved to designate Superfortress targets [medium bombers according to the Air Force] under "special circumstances."#6

6 Hist. FEAF BomCom, July-Oct. 1950, I, 6-7.

Such "special circumstances" prevailed during the remainder of July, for General MacArthur insisted that the Superfortresses would support the Eighth Army.

[note]

U.S. Marine Corps

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

[note]

As a preliminary step in the P'ohang landing, a reconnaissance party of Army, Navy, and Marine officers flew from Tokyo on 11 July into the objective area. They returned two days later with valuable information about the beaches, depths of water, and unloading facilities.

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“Because of the extraordinary speed with which the landing at P'ohang-dong was conceived, planned, and executed,” said the report of ComPhibGru One,

“there was no opportunity for conventional and orderly planning. . . . Since all echelons of the planning force were installed in offices at GHQ in Tokyo, it was possible to employ the quickest and most informal ways of doing business. Telephone conversations and oral directives were used in place of dispatches, letters, and formal orders.”[28]

[Ever hear of "Operation Shoe String"? it started on 7 August 1942; just eight years previous.]

[note]

U.S. Navy


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]

Admiral Hartman’s force was only a day out of Long Beach when USS Toledo (CA-133) was ordered forward at best speed, and two days later USS Helena (CA-75) and Destroyer Division 111 were detached from the task group with orders to hurry onward. Thus scattered by the need for haste the ships steamed west: Toledo reached Pearl Harbor on the 9th and left on the 11th; the Helena group arrived on the 11th and left on the 13th; the tankers, the submarines, and the two remaining destroyers pressed on behind.

For destroyers en route to the Far East the distances west of Pearl posed problems of fuel consumption: steaming at 24 knots would save a day in transit, as compared to steaming at economical speed, but would also necessitate refueling. But the oilers with which they had left the coast were far behind, none was available at Pearl for forward deployment, and the facilities at Midway Island, on the direct route westward, had been deactivated in May on instructions from the Department of Defense.

The budgetary ceiling had thus affected not only the strength of the Pacific Fleet but also its mobility in time of crisis. Reactivation of Midway was clearly in the cards, but for the moment extemporization was necessary. Two chief petty officers, recent graduates of the Service Force Petroleum School, were rounded up and embarked on the first destroyer as it was leaving Pearl Harbor. On arrival at Midway the chiefs activated the fuelling system and replenished two of the destroyers from the oil which remained in the tanks, while Helena refueled the others.

[note]

Admiral Hartman’s force was only a day out of Long Beach when USS Toledo (CA-133) was ordered forward at best speed, and two days later USS Helena (CA-75) and Destroyer Division 111 were detached from the task group with orders to hurry onward. Thus scattered by the need for haste the ships steamed west:

USS Toledo (CA-133) reached Pearl Harbor on the 9th and left on the 11th; the USS Helena (CA-75) group arrived on the 11th and left on the 13th; the tankers, the submarines, and the two remaining destroyers pressed on behind. For destroyers en route to the Far East the distances west of Pearl posed problems of fuel consumption: steaming at 24 knots would save a day in transit, as compared to steaming at economical speed, but would also necessitate refueling.

But the oilers with which they had left the coast were far behind, none was available at Pearl for forward deployment, and the facilities at Midway Island, on the direct route westward, had been deactivated in May on instructions from the Department of Defense.

The budgetary ceiling had thus affected not only the strength of the Pacific Fleet but also its mobility in time of crisis. Reactivation of Midway was clearly in the cards, but for the moment extemporization was necessary. Two chief petty officers, recent graduates of the Service Force Petroleum School, were rounded up and embarked on the first destroyer as it was leaving Pearl Harbor. On arrival at Midway the chiefs activated the fuelling system and replenished two of the destroyers from the oil which remained in the tanks, while Helena refueled the others.

With the war still in its second week very considerable reinforcements were on their way. Three days after American troops first entered action, naval fighting strength equal to the original Western Pacific deployment had set sail from the continental United States. But the departure of these units from the west coast found the Pacific Fleet approaching the bottom of the barrel. On 8 July, in order to provide some slight reserve for new contingencies, the Chief of Naval Operations authorized the activation of certain units of the mothball fleet.

[note]

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In the absence of underwater ordnance in Japan, and with the submarine problem still unclarified, depth charges were given priority: on 13 July a shipload reached Yokosuka, followed on the next day by another of 5-inch and 40-millimeter ammunition.

By this time also a load of 8-inch cruiser ammunition was at sea en route from Guam to Sasebo, and another ship had been sailed for Buckner Bay with aircraft ordnance for Task Force 77

[note]

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Although this east coast threat was opposed only by the ROK 3rd Division, it was accessible to bombardment from the sea.

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ROK forces were also operating on the northern mountain front in the Andong - Chungju area, and the U.S. 25th Division was moving up from Pusan to Hamehang, (Hamch'ang) north of Taegu, to block this enemy advance.

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It was the plan of General Walker, who assumed command of all ground forces in Korea on 13 July, to employ the 1st Cavalry Division to reinforce the 24th Division on the main enemy route of advance, and to push the 29th Infantry, which was coming from Okinawa, west from Pusan to a blocking position south of the central hill mass.

[note]

On the 13th USS De Haven (DD-727) came up from Pusan with an artillery major for Admiral Higgins' staff and, although air and ground observers were still unavailable, communications were established with the 25th Division artillery detachment which was supporting the eastern front.

Coastal fog on the 13th made targets hard to distinguish, but USS Juneau (CLAA-119) and De Haven nevertheless spent a busy day shooting at the cliff road in response to the Army request, at troops in Ulchin, at Mukho, at a railroad yard on the local line which leads back into the mountains, and at POL storage in the harbor of Samch'ŏk.

The shooting was good, but the distressing ineffectiveness of 5-inch shells against roads and bridges made the arrival of 8-inch gunned cruisers from the United States appear increasingly urgent.

[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 [13th] with useful and previously unavailable information.

[note]

The attack on the Wŏnsan refinery gave rise to an interservice conflict of claims. Air Force planes had attacked the city between 6 and 13 July

[note]


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General Walker upon verbal instructions from General MacArthur assumed command of all United States Army forces in Korea effective 0001 13 July. [09-2]

That evening, General Church and his small ADCOM staff received orders to return to Tokyo, except for communications and intelligence personnel who were to remain temporarily with EUSAK. A total American and ROK military force of approximately 75,000 men, divided between 18,000 Americans and 58,000 ROK's, was then in Korea. [09-3]

General Walker arrived in Korea on the afternoon of 13 July to assume personal control of Eighth Army operations. That same day the ROK Army headquarters moved from Taejŏn to Taegu to be near Eighth Army headquarters. General Walker at once established tactical objectives and unit responsibility. [09-4]

Eighth Army was to delay the enemy advance, secure the current defensive line, stabilize the military situation, and build up for future offensive operations.

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The 24th Division, deployed along the south bank of the Kum River in the Kongju-Taejŏn area on the army's left (west) was to "prevent enemy advance south of that line."

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To the east, in the mountainous central corridor, elements of the 25th Division were to take up blocking positions astride the main routes south and help the ROK troops stop the North Koreans in that sector. Elements of the 25th Division not to exceed one reinforced infantry battalion were to secure the port of P'ohang-dong and Yŏnil Airfield on the east coast.

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[09-Caption] GENERAL WALKER talks with Colonel Katzin, who has just presented him with the United Nations flag.

[note]


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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]

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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]

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.

On July 13, the 34th and 19th Infantry regiments, plus the divisional recon company and the I&R platoon, defended a 34-mile-long line on the Kum River, the first major obstacle to the NKPA's advance since they had crossed the Han River farther north.

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Kongju and Yongsŏng

The 34th's 3rd Battalion was on the river, and the 1/34th was at Yongsŏng, about two miles to the south.

[note]

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0230 on 13 July when, under orders, Company A (Capt. Osburn) 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]

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.

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On July 13, the 34th and 19th Infantry regiments, plus the divisional recon company and the I&R platoon, defended a 34-mile-long line on the Kum River, the first major obstacle to the NKPA's advance since they had crossed the Han River farther north. The 34th's 3rd Battalion was on the river, and the 1st was at Yongsŏng, about two miles to the south.

An estimated 5,000 to 6,000 troops of the NKPA 4th Division, backed by 20 tanks of the 105th Brigade's 793rd Tank Battalion, were poised to attack the 34th Regiment at Kongju, while roughly the same number of men from the NKPA 3rd Infantry Division prepared to take on the 19th.

American front-line strength along the Kum was not more than 2,000 men. Communications within the 3/34th were poor. Telephone wire was almost unobtainable, and most radios lacked replacement batteries. All three rifle companies of the battalion were distributed along a two-mile river front. That night the 40 exhausted men of Company K were evacuated to Taejŏn, leaving about 104 men in the remaining two units to carry on the defense.

[note]

0257 Korean Time

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Sun Rise 0520 1951
Moon Rise 0257 1841
Moon Phase 2% 28 days


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At 0400 hours 13 July, D Company of the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion blew the steel truss bridge in front of Kongju. A few hours after daybreak an enemy squad walked to the water's edge, 700 yards from a 34th Infantry position across the river, and set up a machine gun. On high ground north of this enemy machine gun squad, a North Korean tank came into view. [10-10] The men of the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry, now had only the water barrier of the Kum between them and the enemy. That afternoon, the North Koreans began shelling Kongju from across the river.

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(Map 6: DEFENSE OF THE KUM RIVER LINE, 34TH INFANtrY, 14 July 1950)


DISASTER AT THE KUM RIVER LINE Page 125

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[10-Caption] MOVING SOUTH across the Kum River bridge on 14 July.

The command situation for Colonel Wadlington continued to worsen as both the regimental S-2 and S-3 were evacuated because of combat fatigue. Then, that night, K Company, a composite group of about forty men of the 3rd Battalion in such mental and physical condition as to render them liabilities in combat, was withdrawn from the Kum River Line with division approval and taken to Taejŏn for medical disposition. [10-11]

There were now only two understrength rifle companies of the 34th Infantry in front of Kongju - L Company on the left and I Company on the right of the road on the river hills, with some mortars of the Heavy Weapons Company behind. These troops knew of no friendly units on their left (west). [and the 19th was 2 miles away on their right]

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From the 19th Infantry on their right, Capt. Melicio Montesclaros had visited the I Company position and told the men there was a 2-mile gap between that flank and his outpost position eastward on the regimental boundary.

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[note]


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After daylight Osburn and his men crossed the long bridge over the Kum River. For another day Company A and the rest of the battalion stayed there while North Koreans assembled on the north bank of the river.

[note]


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Immediately upon reaching Tokyo on 13 July 1950, Collins and Vandenberg talked with General MacArthur and key members of his staff. General MacArthur impressed upon them the dangers of underestimating the North Koreans. He described the enemy soldier as a tough, well-led fighter who combined the infiltration tactics of the Japanese with the armored tactics of the Russians in World War II.

General MacArthur praised the North Korean Army's ability to march, maneuver, and attack at night. So far, his own forces had not been able to do the equivalent successfully. The North Korean Army exploited its tank firepower to the greatest advantage. Its armored tactics were extremely efficient and approximated, in his words,

"the norm of tank effectiveness standard in the Soviet Army."

The flexibility of the North Korean commanders had been very apparent in their quick adoption of night operations as a countermeasure against intensified air attacks by American forces. [06-17]

General MacArthur confessed that the only hope he had seen a week earlier had been "a desperate rearguard action," to slow the North Korean Army by "throwing everything in Japan into the fight." He had done this as fast as he could although his own forces were, as he phrased it,

"tailored for occupation duty and not for combat." [06-18]

By now he had taken a brighter view. He told Generals Collins and Vandenberg that, while he could not predict where the military situation would be stabilized,

"that it will be stabilized is indisputable."

Originally, he had planned to stand near Suwŏn and then to envelop the north bank of the Han River. After recapturing Sŏul, he would have cut the enemy's line of communications and his withdrawal route. He conceded that his forces were now too far south and too weak to carry out this plan. He had, therefore, postponed its execution until the situation could be stabilized and reinforcements reached him. He placed no blame on General Dean or his men. General Dean had done as well as any man could. The troops had done everything possible, but they were out-gunned, outnumbered, and without adequate defense against the enemy's armor. [06-19]

General MacArthur then outlined his recommendations for winning the fight in Korea. In his opinion, the success of the United States in Korea and the speed of achievement of that success would be in direct proportion to the speed with which the United States sent him reinforcements. All American forces he could spare from Japan would have been sent to Korea by August. If the United States backed this commitment with sufficient reinforcements from the zone of the interior, there would be, in MacArthur's mind, no question as to the result. Without full support, the result would vary in direct proportion to the support received. MacArthur contended that if he were giving advice he would say,

"In this matter, time is of the essence." [06-20]

He expressed extreme impatience with delay or partial measures. The strength of any military stroke depended entirely upon its speed. Accordingly, General MacArthur wanted to

"grab every ship in the Pacific and pour the support into the Far East."

He would not start modestly and build up, but would make the complete effort at the beginning. In emphasizing these points, the veteran commander said,

"Business as usual-to hell with that concept." Admittedly the United States was "playing a poor hand here," but long experience had shown General MacArthur that "it is how you play your poor hands rather than your good ones which counts in the long run." [06-21]

The question of how much American strength should be saved for areas in other parts of the world obviously interested General MacArthur less than the Joint Chiefs. He believed that winning in Korea would slow down worldwide communism more than any other single factor. He assured his visitors that he fully understood the American obligation to maintain its global military posture.

But he made a colorful analogy to point out the error of withholding strength from the Korean battlefront. Assuming the world to be a metropolis of four districts of which District No. 1 was the most important and District No. 4 least so, General MacArthur asked his visitors to consider whether a fire in No. 4 should be allowed to burn uncontrolled because city officials were saving their fire equipment for District No. 1. As he concluded,

"You may," he said, "find the fire out of control by the time your equipment is sent to No. 4."

A general conflagration should not be handled by attempting to place Korea or the FEC in terms of priority of area. General MacArthur felt that the United States would win in Korea or lose everywhere. [06-22]

General Collins particularly wanted answers to several specific questions which could help solve the major questions facing the Joint Chiefs.

He asked General MacArthur when he would be able to mount a counteroffensive and how many American troops he would need in Korea after the fighting ended. Both questions were keyed to the thorny issue of how much the United States should expand its military program. General MacArthur insisted that a categorical reply to the first question was impossible. When three divisions had been committed to Korea, he hoped to stabilize the situation. He intended then to infiltrate north and follow any North Korean withdrawal. He was centering his hopes on an amphibious operation. The overland pursuit of North Korean forces was incidental to this operation.

As to the second question, General MacArthur told General Collins that he would not merely drive the invaders across the 38th Parallel. He meant to destroy all their forces and, if necessary, to occupy all of North Korea.

"In the aftermath of operations," he said, "the problem is to compose and unite Korea."

His troop requirement in the Far East Command under this situation would be eight infantry divisions and an additional Army headquarters.
Not only General MacArthur but also two of his key officers took advantage of General Collins' presence to press for additional forces.

General Walker, commander in Korea, and General Almond, chief of staff, FEC GHQ, each emphasized the need for eleven more infantry battalions and 3,600 fillers to be sent by air. The fillers were needed to build up the 7th Division, which General Walker described as "only a crust." General Collins made no on-the-spot commitment since arrangements to meet these requirements were already under way.

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From the Tokyo conference, General Collins and General Vandenberg flew to Korea. Collins talked briefly at Taegu with Walker, Dean, and members of the Eighth Army staff. Agreeing with General MacArthur's analysis of the combat scene, Walker told Collins that, barring unforeseen circumstances, he could hold an extensive bridgehead with the troops en route to Korea from Japan. The commander of the battered 24th Division, General Dean, was very worried over his losses. On the day of General Collins' visit, the total of missing soldiers from Dean's 24th Division had risen from 200 to well over 800. [06-23] [Total Army dead was 606 on this day]

[note]

The increasingly grave turn of events on the ground strengthened MacArthur's determination to strike amphibiously. He told Generals Collins and Vandenberg of his intentions on 13 July and outlined a tentative strategy. He had not yet chosen a target date nor a definite landing site, but informed Collins and Vandenberg that as soon as the North Koreans had been stopped, he would attack their rear on the west coast. He believed that Inch'ŏn would be the best place to strike. But he was also considering landing beaches at Haeju and Chinnamp'o, both north of Inch'ŏn.

A day later, General Collins talked with some of MacArthur's key staff officers about the proposed landing. The Army Chief of Staff, aware of the tremendous tidal changes at Inch'ŏn, questioned the wisdom of a landing there. Rear Adm. James H. Doyle, assistant to Admiral Joy and a man of much experience in amphibious techniques, agreed that a landing at Inch'ŏn could be extremely difficult and would require considerable preliminary naval bombardment. But he told Collins that it could be done. [08-5]

Turning to General Almond, Collins asked how the assault troops would cross the formidable barrier of the Han River after landing at Inch'ŏn. Almond pointed out that amphibious trucks, available in the theater, could be used to ferry troops. The crossing would probably be unopposed since General MacArthur would use the airborne RCT to seize and secure the north shore of the Han. General Collins returned to Washington without committing himself, either for or against the planned operation. But he described to his fellow members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to his Army staff assistants the broad outlines of the maneuver MacArthur had in mind. [08-6]

[note]


A few days after this request, General Collins arrived in Tokyo where, in a discussion of the need for forces on 13 July, General Almond upped MacArthur's previous request, asking Collins for a 2-division corps of Marines. The Army Chief of Staff replied that the Marines were in the same position as the Army, very short of men, and that even if another Marine division could be built, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had other plans for it. But, before leaving Japan, General Collins told General MacArthur privately that he believed one full Marine division could be sent him.


In Washington, meanwhile, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had in Collins' absence agreed to bring the 1st Marine Division to war strength. This decision received strong backing from Admiral Radford who personally urged the Chief of Naval Operations to give General MacArthur a full Marine division as soon as possible. Admiral Sherman supported Radford, but with reservations. Radford's support nonetheless proved instrumental in bringing the 1st Marine Division to war strength. [09-15]

[note]

0700 Generals Vandenberg, Collins, and party (

  1. Lt. Gen Rallings, comp USAF:

  2. Major Gen F. H. Smith, Chief Plans and Programs, Sec., USAF. ;

  3. Major Gen. Wm. F. Mckee, Asst. Vice Csusaf,

  4. Rear Admiral Augustus J. Wellings, Deputy Dir. , MSTF;

  5. Col Grussendorf, USAF;

  6. Col. McHugh, USAF;

  7. Col. Denson, G4, USA Army;

  8. Lt. Col Dickson, G3, USA Army;

  9. Lt. Col. Larsen, Aide)[106]

arrive HANEDA. greeting party: General McArthur, Walker, Almond; Admiral Joy and myself. Party to go direct from Haneda to GHQ for conference.

[note]


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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.

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 [13th]. 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 Taejŏn, 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 Sŏul-Pusan highway where it crossed the Kum River at Taep'yong-ni, about midway of the regimental sector. (Map 7)

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[note]

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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.

Korean_War Korean_War

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]

[note]


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1000 Our briefing for Gen. Vandenberg and party.

[note]


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1100. Take off, [from Tokyo] in staff C54 with Vandenberg party for Itazuke.

[note]


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The second airfield in Korea selected for development was the ROKAF facility at Taegu (K-2). FEAF decided to move the 822nd Engineer Aviation Battalion from Okinawa and concentrate it at Taegu.

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With the 822nd, although not attached to it, would travel the contact platoon of the 919th Engineer Aviation Maintenance Company.

On 5 July the battalion commander and his operations officer flew to Tokyo, where they were oriented as to the prospective duty in Korea. These officers explained that half of their personnel were scheduled to return to the United States immediately, either because of the completion of their overseas tours or for discharge from the Army. Acquainted with the emergency, the Department of Army issued orders to prevent such an exodus, but these orders left the 822nd with a serious morale problem.

By noon on 13 July the 822nd loaded the majority of its personnel aboard a Baltic Coastal steamship, and the last of three smaller vessels which carried equipment sailed from Okinawa on 22 July.

On 16 July the first company of the 822nd unloaded at Pusan, and on 30 July the last of the battalion moved northward by train from the South Korean port.

At Taegu the 822nd commander had received instructions to repair the existing sod-and-gravel runway so that it could handle "moderate traffic for a minimum time," this without halting air operations. After these repairs were made the battalion was to construct a 5,000-foot pierced steel plank (PSP) runway alongside the existing strip.#143

[note]

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General Walker arrived at Taegu on 13 July, and Hurst says he was the first guard to go on duty at the general's door. From that time on he was one of those who guarded the general and stood guard post at his CP or at his residence. Hurst felt from what he saw and heard that two older officers on the general's staff, Cols. William A. Collier and Eugene M. Landrum, ran the head-quarters. General Walker always called Landrum "General Landrum." Walker's and Landrum's offices and homes were always adjacent to each other, he said. Hurst considered General Walker a very moral and conventional person and strictly "business" with everyone.
x336

Disaster in Korea

General Walker used two special jeeps in dashing around to his troop positions in the battles of the Pusan perimeter. He followed much the same pattern in North Korea most of the time. Often Hurst's job was to handle the .50-caliber machine gun in the second jeep, which carried a guard detail to protect the general. These trips were always marked by fast driving to keep up with the general's jeep, which was driven by M. Sgt. George Belton, who was considered by the others to be an extremely fast and sometimes reckless driver.

[note]

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At noon on 13 July, Doyle finally issued his own operation order, designated 10-50, having received firsthand intelligence from a team of Amphibious Group 1 and 1st Cavalry Division staff officers that had flown into P'ohang-Dong on the 11th.

[note]


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The Journey to Korea and First Assignments

All elements of the regiment had reached Pusan by 1400 on 13 July. When they arrived, they encountered a number of problems brought on by the haste in which the United States had gone to war. A lack of cranes and other equipment for unloading the ships at the port of Pusan was complicated by a sit-down strike by local stevedores either sympathetic to the Communists or hoping to sell their services at the highest possible profit. In the end, some units enlisted help in unloading their ships at gunpoint while others did the work themselves.70

Although indicative of poor discipline in portions of the 24th and a source of doubts on the part of whites about the advisability of committing the regiment to war, disturbances at Gifu [their base] and later at the port of Moji on the first leg of the trip from Japan to Korea involved only a small minority of the unit's men and said little about its readiness.

In fact, on paper, the 24th was probably more prepared for combat than the other regiments of the 25th Division. It had three full battalions instead of the two characteristic of the post-World War II Army, and if its equipment was old and worn and its men nervous and unseasoned, it had, at least, exercised at the regimental level in field maneuvers.

Gifu only here. Moji 7/2 noting about any trouble.

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Gifu Japan to Moji Japan

At Gifu wholesale changes in command, designed to improve leadership but calculated as well to ensure that segregation persisted on the field of battle, may have improved the quality of leadership in some units, but they fostered resentment in others, and they left intact the racial prejudice that would fester beneath the surface of the regiment in the weeks to come.

At Moji the rioting and looting brought on by a lack of discipline in part of one battalion augured poorly for the regiment as a whole. For if some companies seemed reasonably well trained and led, others clearly lacked the sort of discipline and leadership they would need during the trials to come.

[note]


1500 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/13/50
12:00 AM
07/13/50
1:00 AM
07/13/50
6:00 AM
07/13/50
3:00 PM

Korean_War Korean_War Korean_War

Left Itazuke approximately 1500 hours, C47 for Taegu;

[note]


1600 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/13/50
1:00 AM
07/13/50
2:00 AM
07/13/50
7:00 AM
07/13/50
4:00 PM


1700 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/13/50
2:00 AM
07/13/50
3:00 AM
07/13/50
8:00 AM
07/13/50
5:00 PM


1800 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/13/50
3:00 AM
07/13/50
4:00 AM
07/13/50
9:00 AM
07/13/50
6:00 PM


1900 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/13/50
4:00 AM
07/13/50
5:00 AM
07/13/50
10:00 AM
07/13/50
7:00 PM

1930 Korean Time

Korean_War Korean_War Korean_War

return to Taegu, Korea 1930 ;

[note]

1951 Sun Set


2000 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/13/50
5:00 AM
07/13/50
6:00 AM
07/13/50
11:00 AM
07/13/50
8:00 PM


2100 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/13/50
6:00 AM
07/13/50
7:00 AM
07/13/50
12:00 PM
07/13/50
9:00 PM


2200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/13/50
7:00 AM
07/13/50
8:00 AM
07/13/50
1:00 PM
07/13/50
10:00 PM


2300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/13/50
8:00 AM
07/13/50
9:00 AM
07/13/50
2:00 PM
07/13/50
11:00 PM


Casualties

Thursday July 13, 1950 (Day 019)

Korean_War 016 Casualties

As of July 13, 1950

2 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
2 21ST INFANTRY REGIMENT
6 325TH BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON
6 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
16 19500713 0000 Casualties by unit

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 32 610 0 0 0 642
Today 6 10 0 0 0 16
Total 38 620 0 0 0 658

Aircraft Losses Today 003

Notes for Thursday July 13, 1950 - Day 19