Overview

Korean_War

July 14
In Los Angeles, Brig. Gen. William L. Roberts, commander of the U.S. Military Mission to Korea before the invasion, says the reason the U.S. didn't give planes, tanks and heavy guns to South Korea was "to prevent the South Koreans from attacking."

-- North Korea invaded the Republic of Korea because the South's economic growth "could no longer be tolerated," according to Arthur C. Hunce, U.S. economic cooperative chief to South Korea, speaking in Tokyo. He says in 1949 South Korea had lowered inflation, upped industrial output by 50 percent and exported rice for the first time.

[note]

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In a little rite atop the Dai Ichi roof on July 14, J. Lawton Collins, then the army Chief of Staff, presented the Supreme Commander with the blue and white UN colors.

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Sonorously SCAP responded, "I accept this flag with the deepest emotion...." The rest of his speech was forgettable. As a turn of the century officer, bound by the oath he had taken on the plain at West Point in 1899, he could not transfer his loyalty from the Stars and Stripes to this bunting from Lake Success.

It should be noted that this did not, however, prevent him from trying to exploit his dual allegiance. In the White House view, CINCFE's chain of command ran from the army Chief of Staff through the Joint Chiefs to the President, who acted as agent for the United Nations.

The General disagreed. As Sebald notes:

"I recall several instances in which MacArthur's status as a public official became a prime topic. In the light of subsequent events, there was more than academic significance to the question whether the General was acting purely as an American official in his positions as SCAP and United Nations commander or whether he was an international officer. In the. prevailing Washington view, MacArthur was an American official, and subject. to all the requirements of such a position. . . . The General had different ideas. . . . He expressed the opinion that SCAP was an international officer. He could be called to account, MacArthur said, only in consequence of an agreed Allied position. When I repeated the Washington attitude on this point, the General called it incorrect." [16]

Later this would cause problems, but apart from his attempts to manipulate his twin titles, CINCFE never mentioned the rooftop ceremony again. He even omits it from his memoirs. Possibly he thought it somewhat incongruous. In a way it was. The situation in Korea was Orwellian.

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A former ally of the United States, the Soviet Union, was championing a captive state, North Korea, in a conflict in which the South Korean foe was being supported by the United Nations, to which the Russians belonged, while the Soviets, meanwhile, were demanding the right to participate in treaty negotiations with a former enemy of the Americans and the Russians - Japan which would bring peace between Japan, which was becoming the base for anti-P'yŏngyang forces, and the United States, now the Soviets' archenemy.

To crown it all, the grand, alliance fighting the puny North Koreans seemed to face imminent defeat.

[note]

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Three SB-17s were used on the orbit and weather recon missions this date. A total of twenty-three hours and twenty minutes (23:20) flying time was logged on these flights.

One C-47 and two SB-17s were dispatched to the area where the B-29 was reported to have crashed yesterday.

Total flying time was twenty hours and forty minutes (20:40). Negative results were reported. The area was deemed given one hundred percent (100%) coverage.

At 1125/K received a call from ADCC that they had a Mayday 25 miles south of Kagoshima (31° 30' N - 130° 30' E).

At 1205/K alert was called off as it was false.

At 1625/K received a call that the natives had reported an unidentified aircraft fired on them in the vicinity of Fukuoka.

At 1650/K received a call from ADCC to disregard the above alert as it was an F-80 that had fired his guns accidently.

Two false alerts recorded this date.

[note]

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July 14: The 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group (FIG), moving from Japan to a new airfield at P'ohang, became the first USAF fighter group to be based in South Korea during the war.

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The 6132nd Tactical Air Control Group (Provisional), the first tactical air control unit in the war, activated at Taegu under Col. Joseph D. Lee. It provided forward, ground-based air control for aircraft providing close air support of UN forces. A 5th Air Force-Eighth Army Joint Operations Center began to function at Taegu, and 5th Air Force activated its advance headquarters at Itazuke

JOC notes:

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]

Army Policy

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Many National Guard units were not divisional in nature, had specialized functions, and were made up of specialists and other men trained during World War II. These units appeared to be a likely source of strength for MacArthur's forces, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, although hesitating to call on National Guard divisions, asked for authority to call to active duty some other National Guard units if required.

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"The Joint Chiefs of Staff," they told the Secretary of Defense on 14 July, are of the opinion that the emergence of the Korean situation cannot be fully met or in time by merely strengthening units already in existence or by filling them with untrained men through the Selective Service process or recruitment. Also it has developed that the requirements for units and personnel cannot be met on the basis of voluntary return of Reserves to active duty for which approval presently exists....


The Joint Chiefs of Staff request that the Secretary of Defense obtain at once authority for the three Services to call to active duty, within such personnel ceilings as have been or may be approved, such selected National Guard units and selected units and individuals of the Army, Navy, or Air Force as may be required to meet the demands of the Korean situation. [07-23]

[note]

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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.

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A day later [7/14], 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]

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Two days later, on 14 July, President Rhee assigned control of his nation's forces to General MacArthur, stating in a letter transmitted through the U. S. Ambassador to Korea:

In view of the joint military effort of the United Nations on behalf of the Republic of Korea, in which all military forces, land, sea and air, of all the United Nations fighting in or near Korea have been placed under the joint operational command and in which you have been designated Supreme Commander, United Nations Forces, I am happy to assign to you command authority over all land, sea and air forces of the Republic of Korea during the period of continuation of the present state of hostilities, such command to be exercised either by you personally or by such commander or commanders to whom you may delegate the exercise of this authority within Korea or adjacent seas. [06-8]

Although the Security Council asked the United States to report to the United Nations on activities of the unified command, no procedure was specified.

[note]

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All regiments of the 25th Division had arrived in or were en route to Korea by 14 July. They went into battle at once.

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The 1st Cavalry Division was by this time also preparing for an amphibious landing on the east coast of Korea. In order to bring these two divisions and the 24th Division to some semblance of effective fighting strength, MacArthur stripped the remaining FEC combat force, the 7th Division, of trained officers and men.

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While this cannibalization of the 7th fell far short of building up the other units to a satisfactory war strength, it left the 7th Division a skeleton, temporarily useless for combat. [05-18]

[note]

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

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

The possibility that U. S. troops might be thrown out of Korea was far from academic. The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff pointed out on 12 July that the under strength U. S. 24th Division was facing 9 North Korean divisions numbering 80,000 men and equipped with a total of from 100 to 150 modern tanks. The enemy not only had a great advantage in numbers of men and in tanks and artillery, but was also well trained, and was fighting determinedly and with great skill. The JIC concluded that the North Korean Army was capable of threatening the security of Pusan within two weeks. Lt. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration, had sketched the same depressing picture for the secretaries of the armed services on 10 July. He told these men that, while MacArthur's forces had definitely slowed the enemy, they could not hold unless they were substantially reinforced. [06-16]

Forced withdrawal of U. S. troops from Korea would be a political as well as a military calamity. It could weaken American alliances and build up communist political influence. It could discredit U. S. foreign policy and undermine confidence in American military capabilities. Voluntary withdrawal could be more damaging than a failure to have sent troops to Korea in the first place. American commitments would be marked as unreliable by other nations and considerable doubt would be cast on American ability to back up commitments in the future. The United Nations actions resulted mainly from U. S. initiative, and withdrawal from intervention on behalf of the United Nations could greatly weaken American leadership within the United Nations.

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

[note]

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Secretary Johnson, on 1 July, asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff how he should approach the general problem of military assistance from other nations for the Korean fighting.

He wanted to know if the United States should actively solicit other nations for troops and, if so, what kind of troops should be sought. The passing of the United Nations Security Council resolution of 7 July made definite standards for accepting or turning down forces mandatory.

Johnson received no answer until 14 July, when the Joint Chiefs told him that a number of unknown factors, including combat efficiency and logistics, made a blanket answer impractical. Because of these very factors they urged that, in every case in which a nation volunteered forces, the Joint Chiefs of Staff be consulted. [07-6]

They saw that some nations which might offer military forces to the unified command might not have the resources to provide effective fighting forces. To accept forces so poorly trained, equipped, and prepared as to be a military liability in Korea would be unwise. Indiscriminate acceptance of troops, without regard to actual combat needs in Korea, could create an unbalanced military team. The Secretary of Defense assured the Joint Chief of Staff that he would seek their comments on any force offered for Korea. [07-7]

[note]

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To tighten his control of the air effort in Korea, General MacArthur on 14 July established a GHQ Target Group, composed of a chairman, a senior Army officer from Willoughby's G-2 section, and Air Force, Navy, and Army members. This group was to advise on the use of Navy and air offensive power "in conformance with the day-to-day situation." The group would recommend targets and priorities which the Air Force and Navy would bomb. The decisions of the target group were passed to the G-3 who passed on the orders to FEAF. Few of the members appointed to the group were experienced pilots and their method of operation consisted of studying maps of Korea, selecting likely targets from these maps, and directing that they be bombed. It was an unwieldy and impracticable method. [06-29]

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According to Air Force officials, this abnormal arrangement was not only unproductive but wasteful. Since the target group performed its function using a standard Army Map Service 1:250,000 map to select targets for medium bombers without checking its information from other sources, an unusual situation developed. Of 220 targets selected by the group between 17 July and 2 August, 20 percent did not exist on the ground.

[note]

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General Collins returned to Tokyo early on 14 July, leaving for Washington the same day. Before leaving, the Army Chief of Staff gave General MacArthur his personal ideas on which major units he could count on having for the offensive which he had in mind. In addition to the four divisions already in the Far East, these units were the 2nd Division, the 1st Marine Division, the 4th RCT, the 29th RCT, and an RCT from the 11th Airborne Division.

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General MacArthur, after getting Collins' views, told the Chief of Staff that he would make his plans on the basis of the anticipated strength of these units. If Russia or Communist China intervened in force, the plans would have to be changed. He assured Collins that he fully understood the problems faced in Washington and the necessity of maintaining some kind of General Reserve. [06-24]

Air Operations-July 1950

While possible steps to improve MacArthur's ground strength were being considered, moves to improve air operations in Korea were under way. Since there was no provision in the FEC GHQ staff organization for joint representation of the Navy and Air Force, the central command of air operations over Korea was not possible below the level of General MacArthur himself. Anomalous and inefficient operations sometimes resulted.

[REMEMBER THEY HAVE ONLY BEEN FLYING SINCE THE 12TH and I don't remember reading anything about as yet]

In early July, as an example, the Navy sent planes from Task Force 77 against targets that FEAF planned to attack the following day. As a consequence, the Air Force medium bombers sat on the ground the next day since it was too late to set up other targets. [06-25]

[note]

Combat Actions

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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.

Daybreak

After daylight [on the 14th] 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.

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Then, on 14 July, one group of North Koreans crossed the Kum River and successfully attacked a battery of artillery in that vicinity. [63rd FAB]

The entire battalion moved out by truck on the 15th and fell back to the city of Taejŏn,

[note]

CIA

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Weekly Summary Excerpt, 14 July 1950, Communist China’s Role ;


184. Weekly Summary Excerpt, 14 July 1950, Communist China’s Role


SECRET


COMMUNIST CHINA'S ROLE



As it becomes more apparent that the fighting in Korea will be prolonged, the military capabilities of the Chinese Communists, as-well as Soviet intentions regarding the use of these capabilities, provide the principal key to the outcome of the fighting in Korea and to whether the fighting will spread to other areas of the Far East. Before the US action in Korea, the Chinese Communists were believed capable of launching, individually or simultaneously, successful military action against Korea, Hong Kong and Macao, or Indochina; a Chinese Communist invasion of Taiwan, though costly, was also considered within Communist capabilities. Events since theca, however, have affected Chinese Communist capabilities for action in the three key areas of Korea, Taiwan, and Indochina, and have raised_ new political and strategic problems regarding the use of Chinese Communist military forces in these areas.



Aid to Korea The USSR will be confronted with a difficult problem if forced to decide whether to permit a North Korean defeat or to use Chinese Communist troops to win or prolong the struggle indefinitely. Although a North Korean defeat would have obvious disadvantages, the commitment of Chinese Communist forces would not necessarily prevent such a defeat and a defeat under these circumstances would be far more disastrous, not only because it would be a greater blow to Soviet prestige throughout the world, but because it would seriously threaten Soviet control over the Chinese Communist regime. Even a victory in Korea through the use of Chinese Communist troops would have its disadvantages for the Kremlin. The presence of Chinese Communist troops in Korea -would complicate if not jeopardize Soviet direction of Korean affairs; Chinese Communist prestige, as opposed to that of the USSR, would be enhanced; and Peiping might be tempted as a result of success in Korea
09-


SECRET



SECRET



to challenge Soviet leadership in Asia. In addition to these purely internal difficulties, the use of Chinese Communist forces in Korea would increase the risk of global war, not only because of possible UN or US reaction but because the USSR itself would be under greater compulsion to assure a victory in Korea, possibly by committing Soviet troops.

Taiwan Invasion The principal problems confronting the Kremlin in deciding whether to permit an invasion of Taiwan are the nature and extent of US re-action and the risk of global war precipitated because of the spread of Communist military aggression. Several factors may lead to a decision to launch an assault on Taiwan before the typhoon season in late August. Recent evidence indicates that Chinese Communist forces are poised for the invasion and available land, sea and air forces may now be capable of launching a successful assault. If a sizeable beachhead is established, the resultant panic in Nationalist ranks might well induce desertions and snowballing defections sufficient

to cause a virtual collapse of organized Nationalist resistance. The Peiping regime is already publicly committed to the Taiwan operation and the operation would not divert forces which might be needed in Korea. In addition, the USSR may reason that US support of Taiwan would gain less international support than the defense of South Korea and that the invasion should be under-taken before the US can reinforce its "neutralization" forces in the Formosa Strait. Despite these favorable considerations
the fact remains that an invasion of Taiwan would be an immensely costly operation with the resulting political and strategic ad-vantages balanced by the increased risk of precipitating a' global war which it is believed the USSR does not presently desire.
-10-


SECRET



SECRET



Support for Indochina Indochina offers the Chinese Communists their greatest opportunity for expanding Communist influence in Asia with the minimum military or political risks. From a military viewpoint, the Indochina conflict has been a stalemated Despite considerable successes, the French have been unable fully to capitalize on their superiority in equipment and manpower because of the essentially guerrilla nature of the fighting and the terrain which prevents large-scale operations. Given equipment and supplies similar to that of the French, the forces of Ho Chi-Minh could shift the course of the present inconclusive warfare in their favor. The Chinese Communists have the capabilities to supply the material needed by Ho Chi-Minh and may be expected to step up such assistance in the immediate future.
-11-


[note] [note]

P'ohang-Dong—the Operation Bluehearts Event.

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The heavy transports completed loading late on 14 July. Another advance party was flown in the next day to obtain up-to-the-minute intelligence on the enemy situation—it was still unclear whether the operation would be an assault landing or an unopposed (“administrative”) landing—while the transport group and its destroyer screen passed through Shimonoseki Straits.

[note]

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The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade—cobbled together from elements of the 1st Marine Division, principally the 5th Marine Regiment and Marine Aircraft Group 33—had sailed for Japan on 14 July. It comprised 463 officers and 6,109 enlisted (plus 42 naval officers and 179 sailors), leaving only about thirty-five hundred FMF personnel at Camp Pendleton.

12 Jul— KOREA———14 Jul

The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade sailed from San Diego on board the USS General A. E. Anderson (APA-111), USS Achernar (AKA-53), USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) (MAG-33);

USS Fort Marion (LSD-22), USS Gunston Hall (LSD-5), USS Alshain (AKA-55),USS Whiteside (AKA-90), USS Pickaway (APA-222), USS George Clymer (APA-27), USS Henrico (APA-45) (ground Forces);

for Pusan, Korea. (Montross and Canzona, I, p. 53).

[note]

Awarads

19500714 0000 DSC PARtrIDGE, EARLE

19500714 0000 DSC RAY, LAWRENCE A.

19500714 0000 DSC StrATEMEYER, GEORGE E. [LtGen CG FEAF]

19500714 0000 DSC WALKER, WALTON [LtGen CG EUSAK]

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General Headquarters Far East Command (GHQ FEC) assumed responsibility for targeting. The chief of staff established the GHQ Target Group on 14 July 1950 and made it responsible for target nominations.

However, the GHQ Target Group was not capable of performing this task. The work of this group was neither systematic nor thorough. It resulted in information of questionable value.

Of the 220 primary and secondary targets that the group nominated, 20 percent did not even exist.[33]

The remaining targets were often unsuitable for attack by aircraft.

Finally, of the targets that did exist and that were suitable for attack by aircraft, many were not supported with adequate imagery or information.

Eventually, FEAF took on a greater portion of the target-nomination process, and gradually became the theater-targeting body. It was responsible for nominating targets that were the basis for air campaigns meeting the needs of the FEC.[34]

However, it was two years before there was a fully integrated joint targeting effort.

also see

GHQ Advance Command and Liaison Group in Korea

GHQ Target Analysis Group

GHQ Target Group

GHQ Target Selection Committee

and

FEAF Formal Target Committee

FEAF Target Committee

FEAF Target Section

FEC Target Selection Committee

[note]

 

USN_Units

U.S. personnel wait to board USS Boxer (CV-21) at Alameda, California, for a fast trip to Japan, circa 8-14 July 1950. On 14-22 July, the ship carried an emergency shipment of 170 Air Force and Navy aircraft, plus personnel and equipment, to the Korean War zone in a record 8 1/2 day trans-Pacific crossing. Two of the 145 USAF F-51 "Mustang" fighters carried are visible on her flight deck.

 

[note]

 

 

South then North

Close Air Support (CAS)

Perhaps a word should be said about the close air support that aided the ground troops in their hard-pressed first weeks in Korea. This support was carried out by United States Air Force, Navy, Marine, and Australian fighter planes and some U.S. fighter-bombers. Beginning early in the war, it built up as quickly as resources would permit.

On 3 July the Far East Air Forces established a Joint Operations Center at Itazuke Air Base, on Kyushu in Japan, for control of the fighter planes operating over the Korean battlefield.

This center moved to Taejŏn in Korea on 5 July, and on 14 July to Taegu, where it established itself near Eighth Army headquarters.

By 19 July, heavy communications equipment arrived and a complete tactical air control center was established in Korea, except for radar and direction-finding facilities. Advance Headquarters, Fifth Air Force, opened at Taegu on 20 July.

[This center [at Itazuke Air Base,] moved to Taejŏn in Korea on 5 July, ] and on 14 July to Taegu, where it established itself near Eighth Army headquarters.

[note]

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When General Barth arrived at Ch'ŏnan that morning [July 6] he found there two troop trams carrying A and D Companies and a part of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry. They were the parts of the battalion not airlifted to Korea on 1 July with Task Force Smith.

Barth put them in a defensive position two miles south of Ch'ŏnan.

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When General Barth returned to Ch'ŏnan in the early afternoon the advance elements of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, were already there.

He ordered the 1st Battalion to join elements of the 21st Infantry in the defensive position he had just established two miles south of the town.

Lovless had already telephoned from Ch'ŏnan to Dean at Taejŏn giving him the P'yŏngt'aek news. [07-8]

Familiar aspects of war were present all day in Ch'ŏnan.

Trains going south through the town were loaded with ROK soldiers or civilians. Everyone was trying to escape southward.

C07 Delaying Action: P'yŏngt'aek to Choch'iwŏn

Dean that evening started for Ch'ŏnan. There he presided over an uncomfortable meeting in Colonel Lovless' command post. Dean was angry. He asked who had authorized the withdrawal from P'yŏngt'aek.

Colonel Ayres finally broke the silence, saying he would accept the responsibility. Dean considered ordering the regiment back north at once, but the danger of a night ambuscade caused him to decide against it. Instead, he ordered a company to go north the next morning after daylight.

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General Barth remained at Ch'ŏnan overnight [7/6-7] and then started for Taejŏn.

He [General Barth] remained in command of the 24th Division artillery until 14 July when he assumed command of his regular unit, the 25th Division artillery. [07-9]

[note]

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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 1e [13] July and] the division captured the river crossing at Tanyang on the 14th.

The 12th then fought the ROK 8th Division for control of the Tanyang Pass near the village of Punggi, northwest of Yŏngju. It outflanked the ROK positions astride the road at Tanyang Pass and forced the 8th Division to withdraw southward. By the middle of July the North Koreans were forcing the Taebaek Mountain passes leading into the valley of the upper Naktong River. [08-7]

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

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

At the last place Ch'un yang the regiment met and fought a hard battle with elements of the ROK [check date - not mentioned again until after the break-out see below]

[note]

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The last important act in establishing unified command in Korea took place on 14 July when President Syngman Rhee of the Republic of Korea placed the security forces of the Republic under General MacArthur, the United Nations Commander. [09-8]

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Although there appears to be no written authority from President Rhee on the subject, he verbally directed General Chung Il Kwon, the ROK Army Chief of Staff, to place himself under the U.N. Command. Under his authority stemming from General MacArthur, the U.N. commander, General Walker directed the ROK Army through its own Chief of Staff.

The usual procedure was for General Walker or his Chief of Staff to request the ROK Army Chief of Staff to take certain actions regarding ROK forces. That officer or his authorized deputies then issued the necessary orders to the ROK units. This arrangement was changed only when a ROK unit was attached to a United States organization.

The first such major action took place in September 1950 when the ROK 1st Division was attached to the U.S. I Corps. About the same time the ROK 17th Regiment was attached to the U.S. X Corps for the Inch'ŏn landing. Over such attached units the ROK Army Chief of Staff made no attempt to exercise control.

Actually the ROK Army authorities were anxious to do with the units remaining nominally under their control whatever the commanding general of Eighth Army wanted. From a military point of view there was no conflict on this score. [09-9]

When political issues were at stake during certain critical phases of the war it may be questioned whether this command relationship would have continued had certain actions been taken by the U.N. command which President Syngman Rhee considered inimical to the political future of his country.

One such instance occurred in early October when U.N. forces approached the 38th Parallel and it was uncertain whether they would continue military action into North Korea. There is good reason to believe that Syngman Rhee gave secret orders that the ROK Army would continue northward even if ordered to halt by the U.N. command, or that he was prepared to do so if it became necessary. The issue was not brought to a test in this instance as the U.N. command did carry the operations into North Korea.

[note]

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At Taep'yong-ni the Kum River in mid-July 1950 was 200 to 300 yards wide, its banks 4 to 8 feet high, water 6 to 15 feet deep, and current 3 to 6 miles an hour. Sandbars ran out into the streambed at almost every bend and the channel shifted back and forth from the center to the sides. The river, now swollen by rains, could be waded at many points when its waters fell.

On the regimental right, the railroad bridge lay just within the ROK Army zone of responsibility. A mile and a half west of the railroad bridge a large tributary, the Kap-ch'on, empties into the Kum.

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On high ground west of the railroad and the mouth of the Kap-ch'on, E Company in platoon-sized units held defensive positions commanding the Kum River railroad crossing site. West of E Company there was an entirely undefended 2-mile gap. Beyond this gap C Company occupied three northern fingers of strategically located Hill 200 three miles east of Taep'yong-ni. [10-31]

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Downstream from C Company there was a 1,000-yard gap to where A Company's position began behind a big dike along the bank of the Kum. The A Company sector extended westward beyond the Sŏul-Pusan highway at Taep'yong-ni. One platoon of A Company was on 500-foot high hills a mile south of the Taep'yong-ni dike and paddy ground.

The command post of Lt. Col. Otho T. Winstead, commander of the 1st Battalion, was at the village of Kadong, about a mile south of the Kum on the main highway. Colonel Meloy's regimental command post was at the village of Palsan, about a mile farther to the rear on the highway. [10-32]

The 2nd Battalion with two of its rifle companies was in reserve back of the 1st Battalion. Behind A Company, east of the highway, were two platoons of G Company; behind B Company, west of the highway, was F Company. The 4.2-inch mortars of the Heavy Mortar Company were east of the highway.

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Artillery supporting the 19th Infantry consisted of A and B Batteries, 52nd Field Artillery Battalion;

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A and B Batteries of the 11th Field Artillery Battalion (155-mm. howitzers);

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and two batteries of the 13th Field Artillery Battalion. Lt. Col. Charles W. Stratton, commanding officer of the 13th Field Artillery Battalion, coordinated their firing.

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The 52nd Field Artillery Battalion, in position along the main highway at the village of Tuman-ni, about three miles south of the Kum, was farthest forward.

Behind it two miles farther south were the 11th and the 13th Field Artillery Battalions. [10-33]

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26th AAA & 78th HTB

The larger parts of the 26th Antiaircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion and of A Company, 78th Heavy Tank Battalion (light M24 tanks), were at Taejŏn.

[note]

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On 14 July, Brig. Gen. Lee Chu Sik, Commanding General, ROK 3rd Division, indicated that he wanted to move the division command post to P'ohang-dong and to withdraw his troops south of Yŏngdök.

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Colonel Emmerich told him this could not be done-that the east coast road had to be held at all costs. General Walker had given a great deal of attention to the east coast situation because he knew it was isolated from the rest of the ROK command and needed close watching, and Col. Allan D. MacLean of the Eighth Army G-3 staff was in constant communication with Colonel Emmerich.

THE FRONT LINE MOVES SOUTH Page 183

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[12-Caption] THE A FRAME, a familiar sight in Korea and the most commonly used method of packing supplies.

Support of the ROK 3rd Division had stabilized to the extent that large fishing vessels moved from Pusan up and down the coast, supplying the ROK's with ammunition and food, without being targets of the United States Navy.

News that a railhead would be established at P'ohang-dong and a daily supply train would arrive there from Pusan promised soon to relieve the situation still further.

On land, each ROK commander had his own system of recruiting help and had large numbers of untrained combat troops and labor groups carrying supplies into the hills on A-frames. At this stage of the war, typical food of the ROK soldier was three rice balls a day-one for each meal-supplemented along the coast by fish.

The rice was usually cooked behind the lines by Korean women, then scooped out with a large cup which served as a measuring device, pressed into a ball about the size of an American softball, and wrapped in a boiled cabbage leaf.

Whether his rice was warm or cold or whether flies and other insects had been on it, seemed to have little effect on the ROK soldier. Apparently the Korean people had become immune to whatever disease germs, flies, and other insects carry. [12-1]

As the east coast battle shaped up, it became apparent that it would be of the utmost importance to have a fire direction center to co-ordinate the 81-mm. mortars, the artillery, the fighter aircraft, and the naval gunfire.

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Such a center was set up in a schoolhouse south of Yŏngdök with Capt. Harold Slater, the KMAG G-3 adviser to the 3rd Division, in charge of it and Capt. John Airsman as artillery adviser. The ROK 3rd Division artillery at this time consisted of three batteries of four 75-mm. pack howitzers and one battery of 105-mm. howitzers.

[note]

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On 14 July ROK troops withdrew in front of the advancing North Koreans and set off demolitions at two bridges, two tunnels, and two passes between Yŏnghae and Yŏngdök on the coastal road. United States naval vessels bombarded roadside cliffs next to the sea to produce landslides that would block the road and delay the North Korean

[note]

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On 14 July the ROK Army activated its II Corps with headquarters at Hamch'ang. It was composed of the 6th and 8th Divisions and the 23rd Regiment. This corps controlled ROK operations in the eastern mountains and, to the extent that it could, it tried to control the 23rd Regiment on the east coast. [12-15] But this latter effort never amounted to very much.

It looks like this may have actually occurred on the 24th

[note]

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Between 12 and 14 July the division [1stCD] loaded on ships in the Yokohama area. But, by this time, the steady enemy successes south of the Han River had changed the objective from a landing in the enemy's rear at Inch'ŏn to a landing on the east coast of Korea at P'ohang-dong, a fishing town sixty air miles northeast of Pusan.

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Its mission was to reinforce at once the faltering 24th Division. A landing at P'ohang-dong would not congest still further the Pusan port facilities, which were needed to land supplies for the troops already in action; also, from P'ohang-dong the division could move promptly to the Taejŏn area in support of the 24th Division. The date of the landing was set for 18 July. [12-32]

[note]

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the brigade began loading [the 9th] at San Diego and Long Beach, Calif., and sailed for the Far East on the 14th.

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How to use South Korean manpower to the greatest advantage became one of the most important problems early in the conduct of the war. An immediate need was for more troops to oppose and stop the advancing North Koreans. A longer range need was to build up the manpower of the allied forces to the point where they could drive the enemy back across the 38th Parallel.

The program adopted was threefold:

(1) fill the five ROK divisions to full strength with replacements;

(2) activate new ROK divisions; and

(3) attach large numbers of South Korean recruits to American units (a novel expedient).

As part of its projected expansion program the ROK Army opened training schools and centers for officers and replacements. On 14 July it opened the 1st Replacement training Center at Taegu. This center at first operated on a 10-day schedule to receive and send out 1,000 men daily.

[note]

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Defense of the Kum River Line (34thIR)

[note]

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Front Moves South (14 July - 1 August 1950)

[note]

 

Citations

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

 

19500714 0000 DSC PARTRIDGE

19500714 0000 DSC RAY

19500714 0000 DSC STRATEMEYER

19500714 0000 DSC WALKER

 

Silver Star

Barter, Charles Tracey [Maj SS Hq63rdFAB]

Dressler, William E. [Maj SS 63rdFAB]

Lombardi, Arthur P. [2ndLt SS A63rdFAB]

Southerland, Lyndell Manuel [Capt SS A63rdFAB]

Stahelski, Anthony F. [Capt SS B63rdFAB]

 

 

[note]

The Forgotten War

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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]

Johnnie Walker and Bill Dean had great faith in Dean's green 19th Infantry Regiment, which had taken up positions on the Kum River with the 34th. Historically the 19th was famous for its stand in the Civil War battle at Chickamauga, where it well earned its sobriquet "The Rock of Chickamauga." Its men proudly called themselves "Chicks." Upon graduation from West Point, Walker had served first with the Chicks in Texas, later joined by young Eisenhower. In the mid1930s Bill Dean had served a two-year hitch with the Chicks in Hawaii.[5-22]

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One reason for the optimism was the 19th's commander, a brainy, highly regarded West Pointer (1927), Guy Stanley ("Stan") Meloy, forty-seven. Like Stephens of the 21st, Meloy had not ever commanded troops in battle. He, too, had been chief of staff of an infantry division in the ETO, the 103rd, which had often fought side by side with Dean's 44th in Seventh Army and Haislip's XV Corps. Beginning in early 1945, Meloy's boss, the 103rd's commander, had been the tough-minded Army hero of Bastogne: Anthony C. ("Tony") McAuliffe, former artillery commander of the 101st Airborne Division, who had spurned a German demand for surrender with the most famous Allied cry of defiance in World War II: "Nuts!"[5-23]

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By the time the 19th Regiment relieved the 21st Regiment on the Kum River, the fluke cold wave had passed and the Korean weather had returned to normal for mid-July: blazing hot and jungle humid. The summer days were sixteen hours long: 5:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. The enervating weather, long daylight hours, stink of the rice paddies, and utter lack of any creature comforts were a rude shock to the Chicks.[5-24]

[note]

More so was the rude introduction to combat. The Americans had blown the Kum River bridges and dug in on the south bank, but the river did not stop the NKPA artillery, mortars, tank and machinegun fire. It was vicious and accurate and seemingly without respite. Stan Meloy judged it to be as intense as the worst the Germans had thrown at his 103rd Division in the ETO. The majority of the Chicks, green to combat, were terrified.[5-25]

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On the day after Collins's visit to Taegu, July 14, the NKPA assault on the Kum River line began with a powerful attack by the 4th Division on the left, in Pappy Wadlington's 34th Infantry Regiment sector at Kongju.

The regiment was deployed thus:

Newton Lantron's newly reorganized and reinforced 3/34 at the river;

Red Ayres's 1/34 behind in reserve; and, farther south, batteries of

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Robert Dawson's 63rd FAB.

The preparatory artillery barrages had been so intense that Wadlington had lost one whole "company" (forty men comprising K) of the 3/34, plus his own S2 and S3 to "battle fatigue." The loss of K "company" left Wadlington with only two companies at the river.[5-26]

[note]

US Air Force

Departed Mayeda House[107-This was a so-called “U.S. house” — a fine house taken over for use by U.S. personnel. ] at 0830 and proceeded to General O’Donnell’s FEAF Bomber Command headquarters. [108-At Yokota Air Base.]

General Vandenberg conferred with General O’Donnell, his staff and Colonel Zoller [109- Col Virgil L. Zoller, then Yokota AB commander and later, 3rd BW commander.] (base commander) for about 1 hour 15 minutes. A very fine congratulatory letter was drafted, patting the FEAF Bomber Command, plus the 19th Medium Bomb Group, on the back. Text of letter:

Subj: Recognition of Achievement.

(1) I was delighted to find upon my arrival in the Far East yesterday morning that you had already launched ninety-eight percent of your available bomber strength on your initial strike against strategic targets in North Korea, only nine days after receiving word in the United States, 8,000 miles away, that you were to move to the Far East Command. Your accomplishment clearly indicates the mobility and striking power of the United States Air Force. It is in the highest tradition of our service and superbly demonstrates the high degree of esprit, mobility and technical competence that you have achieved.
(2.) The 500 tons of bombs you delivered in the face of adverse weather conditions, which necessitated one hundred percent radar bombing, should give food for thought to those in the world who would violate by military aggression the peace and independence of others.
(3.) Please pass on to all members of your command my sincere congratulations. s/ Hoyt S. Vandenberg, General, USAF.

Departed Yokota and proceeded to FEAMCOM where we were met by General Doyle and while here General Vandenberg became familiar with our putting into commission all F–51s in storage - which was completed today. He observed the B-26 reconditioning, some eleven of which were under individual crew chief build up concurrently.

At 1100 hours departed FEAMCOM for Mayeda House where we had lunch, after which we proceeded to my office and General Vandenberg, with Generals McKee, Rawlings and Smith completed and signed a number of administrative messages to be sent to Washington. Following from CSAF to AVC/S [Assistant Vice Chief of Staff] USAF, Top Secret, Redline, quoted in full:

Redline to Norstad [110-Lt Gen Lauris Norstad had been 20AF chief of staff, deputy chief of Air Staff, and assistant chief of Air Staff at AAF Headquarters in World War II. In October 1947, he became Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, USAF, and since May 1950, also acting Vice Chief of Staff, USAF. The following October, he became Commander- in-Chief, USAFE.] from Vandenberg. Immediately upon arrival had conference with General MacArthur who outlined past actions and current and anticipated situation. He expressed satisfaction with Air Force contribution to date, calling it superior. I next visited Partridge at Itazuke. The Fifth Air Force is going all out under sound leadership. I talked to the pilots of two of the fighter groups engaged in continuous support missions. These young men have the old stuff on the ball. Group and squadron commanders display courageous leadership and amazing initiative and ingenuity. I visited Taegu, the first operational fighter field in Korea, now operating together with a small Korean force, fourteen F–51s. The Fifth plans to increase force there to four squadrons as soon as steelmat, engineer troops and equipment can be forwarded via the over-worked railroad from Pusan. It is estimated that this will be completed within two weeks. A strip on the east coast above Pusan, K-3, is operational today with two squadrons of the 35th Fighter Group with F–51s.[111- Because of the wide variety in spelling of Korean place names, it was decided to assign each airfield in Korea a “K-site” number to provide an exact identification/location. The accompanying table shows K-sites in the Spring of 1951.] Eventually they plan to put both F–51s and F–80s on this strip. The theater will have made Army commitments to the limit of its resources by mid-August. Prior to that time the ZI [Zone of Interior] must have taken up the burden for all necessary reinforcements and replacements.

NEW SUBJECT. Expect to leave here today at 1400 arriving Washington early Saturday morning. Request Weyland meet me in my office at 1000 hours Saturday with Stearley.

NEW SUBJECT. Stratemeyer assures me that if we had aviation engineer units at nearly even full strength with proper SSNs[112-Now obsolete, the Specification Serial Number corresponds with an Air Force Specialty Code which identifies a related grouping of duties and tasks making up a job or specialty. ] as our Air Force units, the operations from Korea would have been initiated from both strips last Friday. Our insistence on operational units rather than skeleton units paid dividends in our ability to go into action immediately. Believe this should be brought to the Secretary’s immediate attention.

1330 hours, General Vandenberg had his appointment with General MacArthur at which time he very explicitly and masterfully explained to General MacArthur the use of ground support aviation and the use of strike B–29s. General MacArthur agreed with everything General Vandenberg said and so announced himself. He (General MacArthur) did however point out that there would be times when we would have to use B–29s in close support. General Vandenberg then departed for Haneda, and, with General Collins, boarded the Constellation after saying goodbye to General MacArthur and myself.

I advised General Hickey of our B–29 plan and he agrees that it is OK and proper.

During General Vandenberg’s drafting of his redline to Norstad, he asked me how much sooner would we have had airfields operating in South Korea if we had had aviation engineer units at nearly even full strength with the proper SSNs. I told him Friday (this in concert with my Deputy for Materiel).

SOURCE: Fifth Air Force Histories, 1 January - 30 June, 1 July - 31 December 1951

Following is Alkire’s [113-Col Darr H. Alkire, Deputy for Materiel, FEAF. ] statement for the record:

It is estimated that with combat-ready, fully-equipped engineer aviation units, assigned to command in FEAF, completely manned with the proper SSNs, two airfields (K-1 and K-3) would have been completed by 7 July 50 and a third (K-2) would have been operational today (14 July 50).

After Vandenberg’s departure, sent the following memos to my staff: To the Deputy for Intelligence: Ball the jack[114- “Ball the Jack” was an old railroad term meaning “full speed ahead.” In other words, Stratemeyer was telling his deputy to expedite this matter.] on answering CSAF’s questions re North Korean airplanes, where they are located, or dispersed, where they are being serviced - and how. In Manchuria?

NEW SUBJECT: Strike target on the hydro-electric power plant on the Manchurian border which is just inside North Korea.

To the Deputy for Personnel: Ball the jack on getting latest info that was passed on by General Rawlings re the Armed Forces Mutual Benefit Association insurance company, and getting such info to our young pilots and young officers. NEW SUBJECT: FEAF getting 800 critical SSNs for our aviation engineer units - they are being airlift[ed]; be sure procedure set up to insure proper assignment and an ample number gotten to the engineer units now operating under the Fifth Air Force.

To the Director of Communications: General Ankenbrandt and General Maude enroute to FEAF;[115- Gen Francis L. Ankenbrandt, Director of Communications, Headquarters USAF; Brig Gen Raymond C. Maude, Assistant for Development of Programs, Headquarters USAF. ] have your communications and personnel needs ready (CSAF says plenty of equipment available for our use); set up an ‘instant flash’ communications net connecting Yokota AFB and Advance Fifth AF hqs and Twentieth AF on Okinawa. Be prepared to discuss number of TPS–1–B that we need throughout the command. [116-A TPS–1–B was a type of early warning radar. ]

To the Deputy for Materiel: Be sure that ALL OLD AMMUNITION is either dumped and destroyed by other means.

To the Deputy for Operations: Look into the possibility that all these fishing boats being reported off the shore of Korea are fishing vessels; think they are slipping oil, etc. through out blockade by that means. Even if cargo only fish, my opinion this would help the effort in Korea if we could stop even that industry.

Informed via memo the Deputy for Materiel that we are getting 100 F–80Cs and that is all we get until we holler for more or when we reconvert back to F–80Cs from F–51s.

Sent a memo to CO of 2143rd Air Weather Wing that CSAF authorized me to divert airplanes and crews of the weather squadrons whenever essential for the operation of the Bomber Command or for other weather service in FEAF; however, when this is done, an info redline shall be sent for me to him so stating in order that he can keep General (MATS) Kuter[117-Maj Gen Laurence S. Kuter, commander of the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) since 1948. During World War II, he commanded the 1st Bomb Wing in England and the Allied Tactical Air Forces in North Africa before returning to Washington to become Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Plans and Combat Operations. ] advised as to the diversion.

Sent a letter to O’Donnell telling him to make up a folio of blip pictures of Wŏnsan marshaling yards, blip pictures of Seoul bridge complex and bridge complex of P'yŏngyang - so can point out difficulties to CINCFE of radar bombing compared to visual bombing.[118-“Blip” pictures were radarscope photos of targets. however, fuel supply prevented the F–80s from following: The B–26 landed safely at Taejon; crew OK - back at Ashiya.]

Colonel and Mrs. Nuckols, my new PIO and his wife, had dinner with us. Mission report: Weather unfavorable for part of day, lifting later on. F–80s report 2 Yaks destroyed on ground at Kimp’o; also that damage to field repaired and 7 camouflaged Yaks reported at Kimp’o.

After some absence, Yak fighters reappear; F–80s report while on a rocket and strafing mission, N and NE of Suwŏn area, Yak–9 made a run on some B–26s, knocking out the #2 engine of one of the ‘26s. When F–80s attacked, they ran; however, fuel supply prevented the F–80s from following: The B–26 landed safely at Taejon; crew OK - back at Ashiya.

 

[note]

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It was obviously the view of the FEC staff that most of the coordination should be undertaken at the FEC staff level, through the agency of the GHQ Target Analysis Group, which, according to the 8 July directive, was to accomplish "basic selection and priority of target areas.

" This GHQ Target Group was established on 14 July** as a part-time organization, composed of

  1. a senior officer from the G-2 Section, serving as chairman,

  2. an Air Force and

  3. a Navy member from the Joint Strategic Plans and Operations Group, appointed by the chief of that agency, and

  4. a member of the Operations Group G-3, appointed by the G-3.

These four men, supported by consulting members from NAVFE and FEAF when requested, were to advise on the employment of Navy and Air Force offensive air power in conformance with the day-to-day situation,
recommend selection and priorities of targets or target areas;

recommend measures to insure coordinated use of available air power; and

maintain a continuing analysis of target systems and priorities assigned.

The target group was to meet daily, or at the call of its chairman, and the FEC G-3 was to implement its recommendations with CINCFE orders.

** Establishment of the GHQ Target Group on 14 July 1950, offers further evidence that the "8 July directive" was actually written at a later date. It will be noted that this directive of "8 July" refers to the GHQ Target Analysis Group (it was referred to by variations of its proper name during the period) as if it had already been established, although this action did not take place until 14 July. Why the "8 July directive" was updated, and why it was given a file date of 8 July is not readily apparent

[note]

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WHILE EUSAK forces were retreating Southward toward the Naktong, General MacArthur began to plan an amphibious encirclement of the North Koreans. He explained the concept to Gen. J. Lawton Collins, Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, while the latter was in Tokyo during July [7/13-15] .

Briefly, it contemplated a mid-September amphibious landing by a two-division corps in the rear of the enemy and an attack from the south by an augmented and reinforced EUSAK. An airborne regimental combat team (RCT), flown directly from Japan, was to drop in the target area soon after D-day to seize key communications centers immediately ahead of the troops advancing from the beachhead.

The exact date of D-day was contingent upon North Korean activity during August, but MacArthur was convinced that an early and strong encirclement would sever the enemy's communications and prepare him for a decisive and crushing blow. The only alternative was a frontal attack, which could result in a protracted and expensive campaign to drive the enemy north of the 38th parallel. The amphibious maneuver, on the other hand, was a MacArthur specialty, constantly employed with great success during World War II .

[note]

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The Extemporized Tactical Control System - Components

The Tactical Air Control Center (TACC) is the focal point for aircraft control and warning activities of the tactical air force. Through it the tactical air force commander controls all air activity of his air force. Among its other duties, which include air defense as well as offense, the TACC controls aircraft on tactical air missions as directed by the combat operations section. It is desirable for it to be located near the JOC, but it is imperative that it be in an area where VHF communications are most favorable.

At Taejŏn a detachment of the 620th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron extemporized a TACC, while the 6132nd Tactical Air Control Squadron was being organized back at Itazuke, effective 14 July. This squadron, later redesignated as the 6132nd Tactical Air Control Group, moved almost immediately to Taegu where it established a full scale TACC, with AN/TTQ-1 plotting equipment and VHF radio. Since no radar equipment was in use in the field, the principal duty of the TACC was fighter direction control for close support. Enemy pressure forced the withdrawal of the heavy TACC equipment from Taegu to Pusan on 30 July, but a small scale TACC remained operational at Taegu.

[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.

17 days x 15 aircraft = 255 not 130.
130 aircraft / 17 days = 7.64 sorties

[note]

It was obviously the view of the FEC staff that most of the coordination should be undertaken at the FEC staff level, through the agency of the GHQ Target Analysis Group, which, according to the 8 July directive, was to accomplish "basic selection and priority of target areas." This GHQ Target Group was established on 14 July** as a part-time organization, composed of

  1. a senior officer from the G-2 Section, serving as chairman,

  2. an Air Force and

  3. a Navy member from the Joint Strategic Plans and Operations Group, appointed by the chief of that agency, and

  4. a member of the Operations Group G-3, appointed by the G-3.

[note]

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Unfortunately, the status of Special Category of the Army With the Air Force (SCARWAF), especially aviation engineer troops, was critical at the beginning of hostilities and admitted of no ready solution. On 5 July General Stratemeyer "earnestly solicited" General Vandenberg 's personal assistance, to get the FEAF aviation engineer units up to authorized strength, a matter which USAF immediately began discussing with the Department of Army. Some 870 replacements were scheduled to begin moving by air on 14 July.

[note] [note] [note]

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Again on 14 July, after press reports had quoted Syngman Rhee as voicing a firm determination that ROK troops would not stop at the 38th parallel when they returned northward, the State Department warned Ambassador Muccio that "all statements on this delicate question should be avoided. #7

[note]

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GHQTG

Start off on the 15th, go back to the 14th, then jump to the 16th and end up on the 13th? What kind of writing is this?

Other language in the 15 July directive indicated that its promulgators actually had not attached any great significance to the "coordination control" authority which was granted to General Stratemeyer. Another paragraph of the directive provided that " Basic selection and priority of target areas will be accomplished by the General Headquarters target analysis group with all services participating. "

On 14 July General Almond established the GHQ Target Group as a part-time duty for its members, who were:

  1. a senior officer from the G-2 section, serving as chairman;

  2. an Air Force member and

  3. a Navy member from the Joint Strategic Plans and Operations Group, appointed by the chief of that agency;

  4. and a member of the G-3 operations group, appointed by the G-3.

These four officers, supported at their request by NavFE and FEAF consultants, were charged to:

The Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, FEC was charged to implement the target group 's recommendations with CINCFE orders.48

Since its charter of authority was quite broad, the GHQ Target Group attempted more exactly to define its responsibilities at its initial meeting on 16 July. General Crabb attended this meeting and was alarmed by what he heard. One concept was that the target group had authority to select targets from the front lines deep into enemy territory.

Crabb stated bluntly that FEAF could not accept such an idea as this. He reminded the group that Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker had established Headquarters, Eighth U.S. Army in Korea (EUSAK) at Taegu on 13 July and that General Partridge was in the process of moving Advance Headquarters, Fifth Air Force (5thAF(A))from Itazuke to Taegu. Crabb asserted positively that tactical air targets should be selected at the tactical air force-field army level in Taegu.#49

[note] [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 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."

[note] [note]

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At Ashiya on 10 July the 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron of the 35th Group was informed that it would be the first Fifth Air Force squadron to convert to Mustangs.

To give logistic support at P'ohang, the Fifth Air Force organized the 6131st Air Base Unit there on 14 July, and on 16 July the 40th Squadron moved its newly acquired Mustang fighters to this advanced airfield.#73

[note] [note]

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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.

On 14 July he activated Headquarters and Head-quarters Squadron, Fifth Air Force (Advance) at Itazuke. At this time Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Fifth Air Force (Rear), continued to function at the old station in Nagoya.' #117

In an official delineation of mission responsibilities, the Taegu headquarters was charged with the direction of the tactical air war in Korea. The Nagoya headquarters, soon to be commanded by Brig. Gen. Delmar T. Spivey, who assumed the duty as a Fifth Air Force vice-commander on 10 August, supervised the air defense of Japan and attended to air logistical and administrative matters in Japan. "1188

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By 14 July, however, the ground situation in Korea was again reported to be "critical.# Against almost impossible odds General Dean's ground troops were battling to hold the key communications center of Taejŏn.

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General MacArthur said that the extraordinary situation demanded exceptional measures, and Stratemeyer ordered the Fifth Air Force and Bomber Command to apply their main effort in the battle area "until the threat to our front-line troops is eliminated. #40

During the first two weeks of July General Stratemeyer had been seeking solutions to another theater air-force problem: the coordination of land-based and carrier-based air operations over Korea.

On the several occasions during World War II when he had "borrowed" fast carrier task forces from the Pacific Fleet, General MacArthur had employed these carrier task forces against targets lying beyond the range of FEAF's land-based bombers. Such geographical coordination had worked fairly well in the vast reaches of the Southwest Pacific, but under such arrangements the massed power of land-based and carrier-based aviation could not simultaneously be brought to bear on significant targets.#41

Moreover, Korea was too small to permit geographical coordination.

[can you believe this shit???]

[note]

Several Fifth Air Force staff offices had begun to function in Taegu well before 24 July [On the morning of 20 July??? see below]. Sometime after 12 July, when he realized that Taejŏn would be lost, Lt. Col. John R. Murphy began to move the heavier equipment and a part of the personnel of the Air Force combat operations section back to Taegu. When he established EUSAK in Taegu, General Walker named officers to serve as G-2 and G-3 Air representatives in an air-ground operations section of a joint operations center, and thus, effective on 14 July, the Fifth Air Force-Eighth Army joint operations center began to function.#121

Using a radio jeep as "Angelo" control, Colonel Murphy and a few other officers continued to operate at Taejŏn until the evening of 19 July, when the remaining personnel were finally compelled to evacuate to Taegu. On the morning of 20 July control of tactical support aircraft was assumed at Taegu, and the radio control station was now designated with the call sign of "Mellow."#122

[note]

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Thus far in the war Colonel Murphy's control function had possessed only the most rudimentary communications facilities. Back in the United States the USAF had alerted the 502nd Tactical Control Group for movement to Korea, but the war would not wait the many weeks that would be required to get this regular group into action.

In an effort to make a provisional organization serve control and warning needs in Korea, General Partridge on 14 July organized the 6132nd Tactical Air Control Group (Provisional), under the command of Colonel Joseph D. Lee. Drawing personnel and equipment from the air-defense establishment in Japan, Colonel Lee formed the provisional control group at Itazuke and immediately began to move to Taegu.

On 23 July the 6132nd Group established a Tactical Air Control Center (TACC) adjacent to the JOC, and at this time took over the operation of control station "Mellow." Inasmuch as no radar equipment was deployed in Korea for control and warning purposes during the time that it functioned, the principal duty of the provisional TACC was to supply the tactical air-direction radio communications required by the combat operations section of the JOC.#123

[note]

US Marine Corps


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The need for trained and ready reservists was not long forthcoming. Five days after the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, the President received Congressional authorization

"to order into active service any or all Reserve components of the Armed Forces."

In anticipation of orders to come, Headquarters Marine Corps on 14 July, instructed the directors of all Marine Corps Reserve Districts within the continental limits of the United States to discreetly take all steps possible to prepare for the mobilization of the Organized Reserve on short notice.

[note]


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P322
Headquarters, as usual would not cooperate. The personnel division issued order for Puller to report to the 1st Marine Division in mid July [14th] 1950 after the arrival of his replacement in Hawaii.

While the thought of rejoining his old outfit may have had some appeal, the current version was a far cry from the powerful organization that had stormed its way across the Pacific just a few short years before.

Under peacetime tables of organization, the 1st and 7th Marines did not exist and the three battalions of the 5th Marines each had only two rifle companies with just two rifle platoons apiece. With 1,900 officers and men, the regiment had barely half its designated wartime strength.

Things were even worse from Chesty’s personal perspective. Lieutenant Colonel Raymond L. Murray was slated to take command of the 5th in June, which would leave only staff billets for the infantry colonels in the division. Puller could not complain too loudly about the selection, as Murray had commanded 2/6 through Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Saipan and garnered a Navy Cross, two Silver Stars, and a Purple Heart in the process.

P323
The situation might have been even more unfortunate for Chesty, except that O. P. Smith, now a major general, was shifting form his billets as assistant commander [Commandant] to take charge of the division in August.

Headquarters was sending Colonel Edward W. Snedeker to be the division chief of staff and Smith was concerned that Snedeker was junior to there [the] other officers who would join at the same time, one of them Puller.

By tradition and necessity, the chief of staff was the senior billet after the commanding general and assistant division commander. Smith was not about to give up Snedeker, who “was the only one with suitable qualifications that could be made available,” so he arranged for two of the colonels to go to the barracks at Pendleton instead.

He opted to keep Puller despite the seniority problem (probably because Smith knew Chesty would not use that as a lever to demand the billet responsible for all staff work). Smith’s decision saved Puller from being shunted into a garrison staff job. If this were to be his final tour, it would at least be in some capacity with a field organization

[note]

On July 5 he fired off telegrams to the Commandant (Now General Cats) and O. P. Smith, asking for permission to report immediately to Pendleton instead of waiting for the arrival of a relief. Chesty argued that his service in Haiti, Nicaragua, and the Far East would “prove of value in assignment to combat duty in Korea” and he expressed his “earnest desire to carry out my orders as soon as possible.” Smith was sympathetic since he was trying to speed up his own transfer to the division, but Cates was unwilling to act on Puller’s request. The assistant commandant told his old friend to work on getting Shepherd , now head of FMFPac, to release him from the barracks without a replacement.

Smith now had just the job for Chesty: “it appears that we may have to activate another regiment at Camp Pendleton when we get the personnel… I believe Puller would be an excellent man to whip this new regiment into shape and I am going to recommend to the Commandant that Puller now be detached in advance of the arrival of his relief.” In the end, Cates authorized FMFPac to immediately release Chesty “in event services [of] Col Puller can be spared.”

The message departed HQMC on July 14[Friday]. That same day Shepherd directed the colonel to head for California. The Puller family packed furiously, then he and Virginia attended a long scheduled bash. Chesty wanted to enjoy one last night out before another protracted separation. She recalled: “Lewis was the life of the party…” He had reason to celebrate. At the cost of a few telegrams and with the help of two friends, he was on his way to war again.

[note]

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14 July, 1950 saw VMO-6, commanded by Major Vincent J. Gottschalk, embarked on the USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) bound for Korea.[14] After only 31 months of evaluation for both the concept of helicopter employment and the aircraft themselves the Marines were on their way to war for the first time with helicopters.

[note]


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Time was of the essence to the Marine Corps, however, and the most readily available model was chosen, the HRS-1.

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Meanwhile, the Marine Corps had activated the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade at Camp Pendleton, California shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War. The brigade was formed under the command of Brigadier General Edward A. Craig , a World War II veteran of Bougainville, Guam , and Iwo Jima.

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The new organization consisted of the 5th Marines and Marine Aircraft Group 33 (MAG–33).Commanding the MAG was Brigadier General Thomas J. Cushman who had recently been Commanding General, Aircraft, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. General Cushman's MAG was composed of three Marine fighter squadrons VMF-323, VMF-214, VMF(N)-513 and VMO-6.


The observation squadron, VMO–6, had been operating with eight OY–2 fixed-wing aircraft at Camp Pendleton, California, but was expanded in early July for deployment as a composite squadron by the addition of four HO3S–l's.

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Along with the four helicopters came seven officers and 30 enlisted men from HMX–1.Taking command of the newly reorganized squadron was Major Vincent J. Gottschalk. With the addition of the helicopters, VMO–6 became the first squadron of its kind. The squadron sailed from San Diego, on 14 July on board the USS Badoeng Strait (CVE–116) bound for Korea.

[note]

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The remaining units of the 24th Infantry Division were in action by 7 July, having arrived by sea from Japan. They were followed by the 25th Infantry Division, commanded by Major General William B. Kean, which completed the movement to Korea on 14 July.

These first outweighed United States forces had no choice except to trade space for time in a series of delaying actions. Although the units had to be employed piecemeal at first, they slowed up the main thrust of the enemy—the advance of three NKPA divisions, well supported by armor, down the Sŏul-Taejŏn axis.

Seldom in history have American forces ever endured a worse ordeal by fire. Unprepared morally as well as materially, snatched from soft occupation duties in Japan, they were suddenly plunged into battle against heavier battalions. The “Land of the Morning Calm” was to them a nightmare land of sullen mountains and stinking rice paddies. There was not even the momentary lift of band music and flag waving for these occupation troops, and they were not upheld by the discipline which stiffens the spines of old regulars.

Considering what they were up against, the soldiers of the 24th and 25th have an abiding claim to a salute from their countrymen. They fought the good fight, even though they could keep militarily solvent only by withdrawals between delaying actions.

Officers as well as men were expendables in this Thermopylae Battle of Thermopylae of the rice paddies. Because of the large proportion of green troops, colonels and even generals literally led some of the counterattacks in the 18th-century manner. Colonel Robert R. Martin, commanding the 34th Infantry of the 24th Division, fell in the thick of the fighting while rallying his troops. General Dean stayed with his forward units, personally firing one of the new 3.5” bazookas until the enemy broke through. He was reported missing for months, but turned up later as the highest ranking United States military prisoner of the conflict in Korea.

American light tanks could not cope with the enemy’s T–34’s; and even when the first few medium tanks arrived, they were equipped only with 75-mm. guns against the heavier NKPA armament. Not until the third week of ground force operations, moreover, did the United States artillery units receive 155-mm. howitzers to supplement their 105’s.

There was nothing that the ground forces could do but withdraw toward the line of the river Kum. Here a stand was made by 24th Division units at Taejŏn, an important communications center. But the enemy managed to establish bridgeheads, and the fall of the town on 20 July marked the end of the first phase.

[note]

Korean_War

General Cates was on hand at the docks from 12 to 14 July when the Brigade sailed. His long cigarette holders were famous, and no second lieutenant in the Corps could throw a more military salute. As he eyed the ground forces filing past, the Commandant could only have felt that Marine traditions would be upheld. A good many of the PFC’s, it is true, were too young to have seen action in World War II, though nearly all had been well grounded in fundamentals. Perhaps at the front they might become victims at first of their own over-anxiety. But they would doubtless grin sheepishly about it afterwards and become combat-hardened in a short time.

A glance at the NCO’s, the platoon leaders and company commanders of the Brigade could only have brought a gleam of pride to the Commandant’s battle wise eye. With few exceptions, they were veterans of World War II who could be relied upon to get the best out of their men. And it may be that the Commandant was reminded of the remark attributed to General William T. Sherman during the Civil War:

“We have good corporals and sergeants and some good lieutenants and captains, and those are far more important than good generals.”[27]

Nobody could give a more smooth and eloquent talk than General Cates before a Washington audience. But when it came to saying farewell to the Brigade troops, he addressed them in the language of Marines.

“You boys clean this up in a couple of months,” said the Commandant, “or I’ll be over to see you!”[28]

[note]

Korean_War

As far back as 14 July, the Commandant had ordered activation of the First Replacement Draft, fixing its departure for Korea at 10 August.[15] Thus Craig could be assured of early reinforcement by more than 800 officers and men if the course of the war necessitated a premature commitment of his Brigade.

[note]

Korean_War

Misfortune struck again a few hours after Task Group 53.7 steamed from San Diego on 14 July. The transport USS Henrico (APA-45) developed a serious mechanical failure and was declared temporarily un-seaworthy. This ship was carrying Lieutenant Colonel Murray, his regimental staff, and the entire 1st Battalion Landing Team.[22]

After Murray and his headquarters transferred to the USS Pickaway (APA-222) off San Clemente Island, the Henrico limped back toward California with about one-third of the Brigade’s fighting force. The vessel docked at the United States Naval Supply Depot, Oakland, on the 16th.

[note]

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It was not even certain, when the division commenced loading at Yokohama on 14 July, that P'ohang-dong could be held by the ROKs long enough for a landing to be effected. Three reinforced NKPA divisions were making the enemy’s main thrust down the Sŏul-Taejŏn axis.

They were opposed only by weary 24th Infantry Division units fighting delaying actions while falling back on Taejŏn and the line of the river Kum. Along the east coast and the mountains of the central sector, five regrouped and reorganized ROK divisions held as best they could. Two of these units in the center were being relieved by the U.S. 25th Infantry Division, which completed its movement to Korea on the 14th.

[note]

Korean_War

Lack of amphibious shipping in the area made it a Herculean labor to provide boat servicing gear, general securing gear, debarkation nets, towing bridles, and boat and vehicle slings in less than a week. By 14 July, however, enough shipping to move the four embarkation groups of the division had been assembled at Yokohama—two MSTS transports, two AKA's, six LSU's, and 16 LST's in addition to LCVP's and LCM's.

See Operation Blue Hearts for more complete list of units involved.

[note]

Korean_War Korean_War

The division had meanwhile been reduced to 3,386 officers and men as compared to a strength of 7,789 on 30 June 1950. It had been stripped of its principal operating elements to build up the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, which numbered about 5,000 officers and men when it sailed from San Diego to the Far East on 14 July under the command of Brigadier General Edward A. Craig.

[note]

Korean_War Korean_War Korean_War Korean_War Korean_War

To this end, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade (Reinforced) was activated at Camp Pendleton on 7 July, with the 5th Marines of the 1st Marine Division (Reinforced) and MAG-33 of the 1stMarine Aircraft Wing as the basic elements.

Seven days later, [14 July] the brigade, composed of approximately 6,500 well-trained aviation and ground regulars, weighed anchor for Kobe, Japan.

But while still at sea, on 25 July, the brigade ground elements were diverted from Japan and ordered to land in Korea, where reinforcements were urgently needed.

[note]

The need for trained and ready reservists was not long forthcoming. Five days after the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, the President received Congressional authorization "to order into active service any or all Reserve components of the Armed Forces."

In anticipation of orders to come, Headquarters Marine Corps on 14 July, instructed the directors of all Marine Corps Reserve Districts within the continental limits of the United States to discreetly take all steps possible to prepare for the mobilization of the Organized Reserve on short notice.

[note]

US Navy

14 July
COMNAVFE authorized attacks on unidentified submarines in self defense or when offensive action against our forces was indicated. .

Main body of 1st Marine Brigade sailed from San Diego with approximately 6,000 troops.

[note]

Korean_War

The USS Badoeng Strait (CVE 116) began it first of three tours off Korea today. The Death Rattlers VMF-323 and a detachment of Helicopter Squadron One were aboard.

[note]

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]

Korean_War

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

The remaining carrier strength of the Pacific Fleet, Carrier Division 15, consisted of the escort carriers USS Sicily (CVE-118), another recent immigrant from the Atlantic, and USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116). These were ships of the postwar CVE 105 type, (USS COMMENCEMENT BAY) modeled on the old USS SANGAMON (AO-28) class of converted tankers which had seen so much service in the war against Japan. Based at San Diego and normally assigned to antisubmarine warfare duty, the ships of CarDiv 15 were also from time to time employed to give carrier refresher training to Marine fighter squadrons from El Toro. The outbreak of war found Badoeng Strait en route to Pearl Harbor on a summer training cruise, with a Marine fighter squadron, 223 reserve midshipmen, and five visiting professors of disciplines ranging from economics to forestry on board.

All this was quickly changed and the division disassembled to solve some urgent problems. Badoeng Strait landed her professors at Pearl and returned hastily to San Diego, where she disgorged the trainees and began loading more Marine aircraft and aircrews on a 24-hour basis.

[note]

Korean_War

In the absence of underwater ordnance in Japan, and with the submarine problem still un-clarified, 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]

Korean_War

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

[note]

Korean_War

The Air Force got the planes to the docks and on the 14th, carrying 145 F-51s and six L-5s for the Air Force, 19 Navy planes, a Marine GCA unit, and a capacity load of fuel, ammunition, and personnel, USS Boxer (CV-21) steamed out the Golden Gate and headed west.

[note]

Korean_War

No requests from ashore were received on the 14th, and visibility remained poor, but with evening USA Juneau (CLAA-119) let off a few rounds against truck headlights on the road south of Ulchin.

[note]

On the 14th, as the minesweepers started work in Yŏngil Man, the tractor group of LSTs, towing the LSUs and with two fleet tugs as escort, sailed from Tokyo Bay, to be followed on the morrow by the transport group. The route was south along the coast of Japan, then north by Bungo Strait through which Yamato, mightiest battleship in the world, had sortied on her final cruise in vain attempt to strike the American fleet off Okinawa. Turning westward through the Inland Sea, the force steamed past Shimonoséki , where almost a century before the U.S.S. Wyoming had engaged the forces of the Daimyo of Choshu, at the Battle of Shimonoséki Straits and then into the Korean Strait.

[note]

These movements were expeditiously completed. Captain Grant had his wing headquarters in operation at Naha Air Force Base by the 15th; on the next day [16th] VP 28 began daily patrols of the China coast and northern Formosa Strait; by 17 July VP 46 was flying searches in the southern sector.

Korean_War

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

On the basis of this forward deployment Commander Seventh Fleet proposed on the 16th that General MacArthur announce the imminent commencement of naval air reconnaissance of Formosa Strait. The proposal was approved the same day, and having brandished the weapon of publicity against the Chinese Communists, Admiral Struble sailed from Buckner Bay to employ his Striking Force against the North Koreans.

Korean_War

In response Struble next day [10th] advised Admiral Joy of his willingness to help out either with close support or with further strikes on west coast targets, while noting that until ammunition reached Okinawa on the 18th he would be limited to two days of close support operations.

For effective work in support of troops the front line communications problem was governing; if the Tactical Air Control Squadron from USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) could be made available, all would be well; if not, Seventh Fleet could supply a small control team, although equipment would have to be provided it. Subject to these considerations Struble proposed to sail from Buckner on the 11th for operations on the 13th and 14th.

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

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

Two days later [14th] Struble again flew to Tokyo for talks with Admiral Joy and General Stratemeyer; a schedule was worked out which called for two days in support of the landing and in northward strikes against the enemy, a day for replenishment, and two more days of operations; an east coast area was cleared with FEAF for strikes on the 18th and 19th.

On the basis of this forward deployment [VP28 & VP 46] Commander Seventh Fleet [Struble] proposed on the 16th that General MacArthur announce the imminent commencement of naval air reconnaissance of Formosa Strait. The proposal was approved the same day, and having brandished the weapon of publicity against the Chinese Communists, Admiral Struble sailed from Buckner Bay to employ his Striking Force against the North Koreans.

[note]

In still other categories the situation was improving. As an offshoot of Captain Austin’s Service Squadron 3, a second logistic command had been created in Service Division 31, which opened for business at Sasebo on 1 August and which would steadily grow in strength. And other United Nations ships were coming in; in addition to those incorporated in Admiral Andrewes’ west coast element, one French and two New Zealand frigates arrived on 1 August to reinforce the escort group.

By now, too, the air and ground components of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade were approaching the theater of action. The ships of Task Group 53.7, which had been assembled by the Pacific Fleet Amphibious Force to lift this contingent, had sailed from southern California ports on 12 and 14 July. During the following two weeks, as fighting in Korea increased in intensity, the task group had steamed steadily westward across the Pacific. Steadily, that is, except for a pair of near-serious mishaps.

[note]


0000 Korean Time

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00030 Korean Time

1000 Our briefing for Gen. Vandenberg and party.

1100. Take off, in staff C54 with Vandenberg party for Itazuke. Left approximately 1500 hours, C47 for Taegu; return Korea 1930 ; (returned Haneda 0030 hours 14 July )

Ground forces withdraw to Kum River.

First raid for FEAF bomber command (prov); 56 B29s out of 57 on target mission, bombing by radar, the Wŏnsan marshaling yards. Results unobserved because of weather. 22nd and 92nd medium bomber groups participated. Weather generally unfavorable. 1 C47 crashed after unloading cargo at Taejŏn; aircraft damaged beyond repair. Crew returned to base.

1 B29 aircraft lost due to mechanical reasons; no details available at present , but six of the crew picked up by fishing boat.

Go to bed 0300 hours, the morning of the 14th.

[note]

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One day out of San Diego, about 400 miles.
At noon on 13 July, the well deck of the Fort Marion accidentally flooded, the water rising to a height of 5 feet among the Brigade’s M–26 tanks.

[note]

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1100. Take off, in staff C54 with Vandenberg party for Itazuke. Left approximately 1500 hours, C47 for Taegu; return Korea 1930 ; (returned Haneda 0030 hours 14 July )

Ground forces withdraw to Kum River.

First raid for FEAF bomber command (prov); 56 B29s out of 57 on target mission, bombing by radar, the Wŏnsan marshaling yards. Results unobserved because of weather. 22nd and 92nd medium bomber groups participated. Weather generally unfavorable. 1 C47 crashed after unloading cargo at Taejŏn; aircraft damaged beyond repair. Crew returned to base.

1 B29 aircraft lost due to mechanical reasons; no details available at present , but six of the crew picked up by fishing boat.

Go to bed 0300 hours, the morning of the 14th.

[note]

Korean_War

At noon on 13 July, the well deck of the Fort Marion accidentally flooded, the water rising to a height of 5 feet among the Brigade’s M–26 tanks. An hour passed before the ship’s pumps could drain the compartment, and briny water damaged 14 of the new armored vehicles, 300 90-mm. projectiles (then in critical supply), and 5,000 rounds of .30-caliber ammunition.

When news of the flood damage reached Brigade headquarters, then still at San Diego, the message was rushed to Craig. He immediately sent a dispatch to Captain English, authorizing him to jettison the ruined ammunition. He added that replacement armor would be requisitioned from the Barstow depot without delay.

Craig then contacted the supply base and was promised that 14 M–26’s would be commissioned and on their way to San Diego within 24 hours. The Brigade commander was preparing to request additional shipping for the vehicles when messages from the Fort Marion reported that 12 tanks could be restored to operating condition at sea. The remaining two would require new parts and 72 hours of repair work upon debarkation.[21]

As already noted, the Marines were placing heavy reliance on their armor, confident that it was a match for the enemy’s Russian-built T–34 tank in Korea. Consequently, Craig’s staff reacted to the flood reports with concern. Headquarters FMFPac was asked to include four M–26’s in its first resupply shipment to the Brigade; arrangements were made for new parts to be flown to the port of debarkation, and ammunition to replace that damaged in the flood was loaded on board the larger convoy.

[note]

0349 Korean Time

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Sun Rise 0521 1950
Moon Rise 0349 1932
Moon Phase New Moon 9:04 P.M.

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Personnel o:f the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, FMF (Reinforced) embarked aboard ships comprising Task Group 53.7 at San Diego, California.

Brigade Command Post closed at Camp Joseph H. Pendleton at 1200. (0500 7/13)

Opened aboard USS GEORGE CLYMER (APA-27) at 1500. (0700 7/13)
Commandant of the Marine Corps and party inspected loading preparations at San Diego, California.

[note]

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0521 Sun Rise

(Notes)

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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).

Korean_War

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.

Shortly after daybreak of the 14th, American troops on the south side of the Kum at Kongju heard enemy tanks in the village across the river. By 0600, enemy flat trajectory weapons, possibly tank guns, were firing into I Company's area. Their target apparently was the mortars back of the rifle company. Simultaneously, enemy shells exploded in air bursts over L Company's position but were too high to do any damage. Soon thereafter, L Company lookouts sent word that enemy soldiers were crossing the river in two barges, each carrying approximately thirty men, about two miles below them.[vicinity of Odong-ni]

[note]

Korean_War

Personnel o:f the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, FMF (Reinforced) embarked aboard ships comprising Task Group 53.7 at San Diego, California.

Brigade Command Post closed at Camp Joseph H. Pendleton at 1200. (0500 7/13)

Opened aboard USS GEORGE CLYMER (APA-27) at 1500. (0700 7/13)
Commandant of the Marine Corps and party inspected loading preparations at San Diego, California.

[note]

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The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was activated at Camp Pendleton, California, on 5 July around the 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, and Marine Air Group 33 of the 1st Marine Air Wing. The provisional brigade began loading from the west coast almost immediately and sailed on 14 July with about 4,500 ground troops. This number included engineers, a tank company, a light artillery battalion, a 4.2-inch mortar company, amphibious elements, and three infantry battalions, and about 1,350 men in the air group.

[note]

0930 Korean Time

They estimated that about 500 North Koreans crossed between 0800 and 0930.

Korean_War

The weather was clear after a night of rain. The 63rd Field Artillery Battalion sent aloft a liaison plane for aerial observation. This aerial observer reported by radio during the morning that two small boats carrying men were crossing the Kum to the south side and gave the map co-ordinates of the crossing site. Apparently this was part of the same enemy crossing seen by L Company men. The battalion S-3, Maj. Charles T. Barter, decided not to fire on the boats but to wait for larger targets. One platoon of the 155-mm. howitzers of A Battery, 11th Field Artillery Battalion, in position east of Kongju fired briefly on the enemy troops. But Yak fighter planes soon drove away the liaison observation planes, and artillery fire ceased. [10-12]

Soon after the enemy crossed the river below L Company, Lieutenant Stith, the company commander, unable to find the machine gun and mortar sections supporting the company and with his company coming under increasingly accurate enemy mortar and artillery fire, decided that his position was untenable. He ordered L Company to withdraw.

[note]

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On the 14th, while North Korean mortar and artillery fire fell on the battalion, an estimated 500 soldiers of the NKPA 16th Regiment crossed the Kum River about two miles to the south. [vicinity of Odong-ni] Believing his position untenable, the Company L commander, 1st Lt. Archie L. Stith, withdrew his unit around 11 a.m. Stith then left to find the battalion CP, which he finally located 20 miles south of Konju, and reported his decision to the new battalion commander, Major Newton W. Lantron--who summarily relieved him of command and threatened to court-martial him.

Korean_War

The NKPA 16th Infantry also attacked the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion (FAB). At least two of the battalion's howitzers were destroyed by North Korean mortar fire. The men were unable to get the other eight guns out, so they disabled them. Ayres' 1/34th was ordered to the 63rd FAB positions to "save any men or equipment in the area," but was told to return at dark. His men met intense small-arms and machine-gun fire from high ground overlooking the artillery position. After locating a few wounded men and some jeeps in operating condition, he withdrew the battalion to Nonsan at nightfall.

[note]

Korean_War

The men left their positions overlooking the Kum shortly before 1100. When Sgt. Wallace A. Wagnebreth, a platoon leader of L Company, reached the positions of the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion, he told an unidentified artillery officer of the enemy crossing, but, according to him, the officer paid little attention. Lieutenant Stith, after ordering the withdrawal, went in search of the 3rd Battalion headquarters. He finally found it near Nonsan. Learning what had happened, the battalion commander relieved Stith of his command and threatened him with court martial. [10-13]

The 63rd Field Artillery Battalion Overrun

Korean_War

Three miles south of the river, the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion had emplaced its 105-mm. howitzers along a secondary road near the village of Samgyo. The road at this point was bordered on either side by scrub-pine-covered hills. From north to south the battery positions were A, Headquarters, B, and Service.

The artillery battalion had communication on the morning of the 14th with the 34th Regimental headquarters near Nonsan but none with the infantry units or the artillery forward observers with them on the Kum River Line. The day before, the commanding officer of the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion, Lt. Col. Robert H. Dawson, had been evacuated to Taejŏn because of illness, and Maj. William E. Dressler assumed command of the battalion.

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During the day I Company, 34th Infantry, had stayed in its position on the river line. Enemy mortar fire had fallen in its vicinity until noon. In the early afternoon, artillery from across the river continued the shelling. The acting commander, Lt. Joseph E. Hicks, tried but failed to locate L Company and the 3rd Battalion Headquarters. A few men from the Heavy Weapons Company told him that enemy roadblocks were in his rear and that he was cut off. Except for the enemy shelling, all was quiet in I Company during the day. That night at 2130, pursuant to orders he received, Hicks led I Company over the mountains east and southeast of Kongju and rejoined the regiment. The 34th Infantry occupied new positions just east of Nonsan early in the morning of 15 July. [10-25]

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Aerial strikes on the 14th failed to prevent the build-up of enemy armor on the north side of the Kum opposite Taep'yong-ni. Tanks moved up and dug in on the north bank for direct fire support of a crossing effort. Their fire started falling on the south bank of the Kum in the 19th Infantry's zone at 1300, 14 July. Late in the day an aerial observer reported seeing eleven enemy tanks dug in, camouflaged, and firing as artillery. There were some minor attempted enemy crossings during the day but no major effort. None succeeded. [10-34]

The afternoon brought the bad news concerning the left flank-the collapse of the 34th Infantry at Kongju.

[note]

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Korean_War

About 1330 an outpost of the artillery battalion reported enemy troops coming up the hill toward them. It received instructions not to fire unless fired upon as the men might be friendly forces. As a result, this group of enemy soldiers overran the machine gun outpost and turned the captured gun on Headquarters Battery. [10-14]

Thus began the attack of the North Korean 16th Regiment on the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion. Enemy reconnaissance obviously had located the support artillery and had bypassed the river line rifle companies to strike at it and the line of communications running to the rear.

[Not necessarily, they may have just flanked the 34th and ran into a surprise package.]

Korean_War



[10-Caption] KUM RIVER BRIDGE EXPLOSION

Now came enemy mortar fire. The first shell hit Headquarters Battery switchboard and destroyed telephone communication to the other batteries. In rapid succession mortar shells hit among personnel of the medical section, on the command post, and then on the radio truck. With the loss of the radio truck all means of electrical communication vanished. An ammunition truck was also hit, and exploding shells in it caused further confusion in Headquarters Battery. [10-15]

Almost simultaneously with the attack on Headquarters Battery came another directed against A Battery, about 250 yards northward. This second force of about a hundred enemy soldiers started running down a hill from the west toward an A Battery outpost "squealing like a bunch of Indians," according to one observer. Some of the artillerymen opened up on them with small arms fire and they retreated back up the hill. Soon, however, this same group of soldiers came down another slope to the road and brought A Battery under fire at 150 yards' range. Mortar fire began to fall on A Battery's position. This fire caused most of the artillerymen to leave their gun positions. Some of them, however, fought courageously; Cpl. Lawrence A. Ray was one of these. Although wounded twice, he continued to operate a BAR and, with a few others, succeeded in holding back enemy soldiers while most of the men in the battery sought to escape. Soon a mortar burst wounded Ray and momentarily knocked him unconscious. Regaining consciousness, he crawled into a ditch where he found fifteen other artillerymen-not one of them carrying a weapon. All of this group escaped south. On the way out they found the body of their battery commander, Capt. Lundel M. Southerland. [10-16]

Back at Headquarters Battery, enemy machine guns put bands of fire across both the front and the back doors of the building which held the Fire Direction Center. The men caught inside escaped to a dugout, crawled up a ravine, and made their way south toward Service Battery. In the excitement of the moment, apparently no one saw Major Dressler. More than two and a half years later his remains and those of Cpl. Edward L. McCall were found together in a common foxhole at the site. [10-17]

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Korean_War

After overrunning A and Headquarters Batteries, the North Koreans turned on B Battery. An enemy force estimated at 400 men had it under attack by 1415.

They worked to the rear of the battery, set up machine guns, and fired into it. The battery commander, Capt. Anthony F. Stahelski, ordered his two machine guns on the enemy side of his defense perimeter to return the fire. Then enemy mortar shells started falling and hit two 105-mm. howitzers, a radio jeep, and a 2 1/2-ton prime mover. A group of South Korean cavalry rode past the battery and attacked west toward the enemy, but the confusion was so great that no one in the artillery position seemed to know what happened as a result of this intervention. The North Koreans kept B Battery under fire.

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At 1500 Captain Stahelski gave the battery march order but the men could not get the artillery pieces onto the road which was under fire. The men escaped as best they could. [10-18]

An hour and a half after the first enemy appeared at the artillery position the entire 63rd Field Artillery Battalion, with the exception of Service Battery, had been overrun, losing 10 105-mm. howitzers with their ammunition and from 60 to 80 vehicles.

The 5 guns of A Battery fell to the enemy intact. In B Battery, enemy mortar fire destroyed 2 howitzers; artillerymen removed the sights and firing locks from the other 3 before abandoning them.

Meanwhile, Service Battery had received word of the enemy attack and prepared to withdraw at once. A few men from the overrun batteries got back to it and rode its trucks fifteen miles south to Nonsan. Stragglers from the overrun artillery battalion came in to the Nonsan area during the night and next morning [15th]. Eleven officers and 125 enlisted men of the battalion were missing in action. [10-19]

It is clear from an order he issued that morning that General Dean did not expect to hold Kongju indefinitely, but he did hope for a series of delaying actions that would prevent the North Koreans from accomplishing an early crossing of the Kum River at Kongju, a quick exploitation of a bridgehead, and an immediate drive on Taejŏn. [10-20]

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The 1st Battalion a little after 1700 moved out northward in a column of companies in attack formation. The three-mile movement northward was without incident until C Company approached within a hundred yards of the overrun artillery position. Then, a few short bursts of enemy machine gun and some carbine fire halted the company.

Dusk was at hand. Since his orders were to withdraw if he had not accomplished his mission by dark, Colonel Ayres ordered his battalion to turn back. At its former position, the 1st Battalion loaded into trucks and drove south toward Nonsan. [10-23]

Korean_War

As soon as the 24th Division received confirmation of the bad news about the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion it ordered an air strike for the next morning, 15 July, on the lost equipment-a practice that became standard procedure for destroying heavy American equipment lost or abandoned to enemy in enemy-held territory. [10-24]

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1950 Sun Set

(Notes)

19500714 1200 1stpmb HD Jul 1950

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Korean_War

That night at 2130, pursuant to orders he received, Hicks led I Company over the mountains east and southeast of Kongju and rejoined the regiment. The 34th Infantry occupied new positions just east of Nonsan early in the morning of 15 July. [10-25]

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[10-19] Interv, Mossman with Tucker, 31 Jul 50; 24th Div WD, 14 July 50. Enemy sources indicate the N.K. 4th Division occupied Kongju by 2200, 14 July, and claim that the 16th Regiment in overrunning the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion captured 86 prisoners 10 105-mm. howitzers, 17 other weapons, 86 vehicles and a large amount of ammunition. See ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 94 (N.K. 4th Division), p. 46

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Casualties

Friday July 14, 1950 (Day 020)

Korean_War 064 Casualties

As of July 14, 1950

2 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 24TH DIVISION ARTILLERY HEADQUARTERS
HEADQUARTERS BATTERY
1 24TH MEDICAL BATTALION
2 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 52ND FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
57 63RD FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
64 19500714 0000 Casualties by unit
Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 38 620 0 0 0 658
Today 64 0 0 0 64
Total 38 684 0 0 0 722

Aircraft Losses Today 002

 

Notes for Friday July 14, 1950 - day 20