Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 24.6°C 76.28°F at Taegu [note]

Rainy, windy weather [note] [note]

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration July 15 – July 19
Peak intensity
110 km/h (70 mph) (1 -min), Unknown

Korean_War

Tropical Storm Flossie

Category 1 typhoon (SSHS)
Duration July 16 – July 21
Peak intensity
130 km/h (80 mph) (1 -min), Unknown

Korean_War

July 16 to 21 Typhoon Grace

Overview

Today begins the fourth week of the Korean war. 1,138 American Servicemen will be killed this week.

Air Force 0
Army 1,136
Marines 0
Navy 2
Casualties for fourth week 1,138

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South Korean troops repelled an attempted amphibious landing by North Korean forces near Yŏngdök. MacArthur calls it a "devastating" defeat and the "most conclusive setback" of the communists. The ROK Army also holds off several Red divisions around Chŏnju, Hamch'ang and Andong. Their efforts protect the 24th's withdrawal to Taejŏn.

-- Refugees from Sŏul said the first thing North Koreans did when they entered the city June 28 was to destroy the jail. Many released prisoners join the Red army. One freed prisoner, Kim Chung Che, former Sŏul police official jailed for communist activities, is made chief of police of Sŏul. The invaders also entered peoples' homes and took nearly all their food.

-- North Koreans massacre 30 U.S. soldiers and a Catholic chaplain north of the Kum River.

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16 July 1950
Four SB-17s were used this date for weather reconnaissance and orbit missions. Twenty nine hours and thirty five minutes (29:35) flying time was logged on these missions.

At 0855/K the Flight received a call from Hq. 3rd Rescue Sq. at Johnson AB, that one of our SB-17s #374 was returning from orbit at Ashiya with a possible fire on board. The ground radio station at this Base was unable to contact the distressed aircraft.

SB-17 #539 was airborne at 0918/K and instructed to intercept and escort the distressed SB-17. The distressed SB-17 landed safely at Ashiya at 0950/K.

SB-17 #539 continued on his original mission.

At 1130/K ADCC called that a Mayday was 55 miles from Ashiya and to stand by for further instructions.

At 1150/K ADCC called that the Mayday was false and to disregard the instructions previously given.

At 1250/K this Flight was notified of another mayday 120 miles from this station.

At 1345/K the Mayday was considered false. Three false alerts for this date.

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The 19th Infantry and its attached artillery lost nearly one-fifth of their men and officers while vainly trying to keep the superior enemy force from crossing the Kum on 16 and 17 July. Having breached American defenses on the last natural barrier before the key railroad center of Taejŏn, the enemy slashed southward, intent on taking Taejŏn with a further view, apparently, of capturing the new South Korean capital of Taegu.

[note]

 

"US Army Chaplain Herman G. Felhoelter became the first chaplain to earn an award for heroism and the first to lose his life in the Korean War. Voluntarily remaining behind with several critically wounded soldiers, he and his group was overwhelmed and killed by the Communists. Chaplain Felhoelter was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross."

[note]

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Just prior to the outbreak of hostilities in Korea , the Communist World Peace Committee held an international meeting in Stockholm and introduced what has come to be known as the "Stockholm Peace Appeal". In commenting on the meeting and the resultant "Appeal", the Swedish Prime Minister, the Honorable Tage Erlander, said on July 16, 1950,

"It is with feelings of disgust that we in Sweden witness the brandishing of the name of our capital in international Communist propaganda". [1]

1. Great Britain, Keesing's Contemporary Archives, 1950-1952. Vol. VIII, (London : Keesing's Publication s Ltd ., July 22-29, 1950), p. 10864 .

The Stockholm Peace Appeal was later circulated throughout many of the POW Camps in North Korea, and Kanggye was the first camp in which this particular petition was circulated.

[note]

South then North

The North Korean 3rd Division fought the battle of the Kum River on 16 July without tanks south of the river. Most of the American light tanks in the action gave a mixed performance.

At the roadblock on one occasion, when Major Logan ordered two tanks to go around a bend in the road and fire on the enemy machine gun positions in an attempt to silence them while the regimental column ran through the block, the tankers refused to do so unless accompanied by infantry.

Later these tanks escaped through the roadblock without orders. An artillery officer meeting General Dean at the south end of the roadblock asked him if there was anything he could do. Dean replied,

"No, thank you," and then with a wry smile the general added, "unless you can help me give these tankers a little courage." [10-68]

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The 19th Infantry regimental headquarters and the 1st Battalion lost nearly all their vehicles and heavy equipment north of the roadblock. The 52nd Field Artillery Battalion lost 8 105-mm. howitzers and most of its equipment; it brought out only 1 howitzer and 3 vehicles. The 13th and 11th Field Artillery Battalions, two miles south of the 52nd, withdrew in the late afternoon to the Taejŏn airstrip without loss of either weapons or vehicles. [10-69]

The battle of the Kum on 16 July was a black day for the 19th Infantry Regiment. Of the approximately 900 men in position along the river only 434 reported for duty in the Taejŏn area the next day.

A count disclosed that of the 34 officers in the regimental Headquarters, Service, Medical, and Heavy Mortar Companies, and the 1st Battalion, 17 were killed or missing in action. Of these, 13 later were confirmed as killed in action.

All the rifle companies of the 1st Battalion suffered heavy casualties, but the greatest was in C Company, which had total casualties of 122 men out of 171. The regimental headquarters lost 57 of 191 men. The 1st Battalion lost 338 out of 785 men, or 43 percent, the 2nd Battalion, 86 out of 777 men; the 52nd Field Artillery Battalion had 55 casualties out of 393 men, or 14 percent.

The total loss of the regiment and all attached and artillery units engaged in the action was 650 out of 3,401, or 19 percent. [10-70]

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Two days later the ROK 23rd Regiment gave way and streamed south. The KMAG advisers considered the situation grave. In response to an inquiry from Colonel Collier of Eighth Army, Colonel Emmerich sent the following message:

Situation deplorable, things are popping, trying to get something established across the front, 75% of the 23rd ROK Regiment is on the road moving south. Advisers threatening and shooting in the air trying to get them assembled, Commanding General forming a straggler line. If straggler line is successful we may be able to reorganize and re-establish the line. If this fails I am afraid that the whole thing will develop in complete disintegration. The Advisory Group needs food other than Korean or C rations and needs rest. [12-2]

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The battles in the mountains between the North and South Koreans in July were often bitter and bloody with losses high on both sides. One of the most critical and protracted of these began about the middle of the month near Mun'gyŏng between the N.K. 1st Division and the ROK 6th Division for control of the Mun'gyŏng pass and plateau.

On the next major axis west of the Andong road, where at the end of the month the N.K. 12th Division was recuperating from its heavy battles, lay the town of Sangju. It was a crossroads center for all the mountain roads in that part of Korea.

Situated south of the Mun'gyŏng plateau and the dividing watershed between the Han and the Naktong Rivers, it had a commanding position in the valley of the Naktong, forty-five air miles northeast up that valley from Taegu.

7/16].

Refugees and stragglers poured south into and through the town. Many ROK units were retreating to and some had passed south through it. Fighting had already been joined between North Koreans and ROK forces for control of the Mun'gyŏng plateau when the U.S. 25th Division received orders from General Walker to concentrate there to bolster ROK defenses of the central mountain corridors. [12-17]

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General Walker looked to the 25th Division to help the ROK forces in central Korea prevent a movement of major enemy forces into the valley of the upper Naktong.

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The Fifth Air Force had moved its advance headquarters from Itazuke, Japan, to Taegu on 16 July.

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

The three tanks were shipped to Pusan where they arrived on 16 July, the first American medium tanks in Korea. With them were Lieutenant Fowler and fourteen enlisted crew members. trained to operate M-24 Chaffee light tanks, they were now expected to become familiar with the Pershing tank.

The tanks gave trouble because of improper fan belts that would stretch and permit the motors to overheat. Belts made in Japan were either too short or too long despite emergency orders for corrections in them. [13-72]

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Bomber Command

Three days later [from 7/13] , thirty B-29 bombers struck the railroad marshaling yards at Sŏul. [15-29]

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Some United States ground and air service troops had been at Yŏnil Airfield before the 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (35th Group) moved there on 16 July from Ashiya, Japan.

[note]

Citations

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

 

19500716 0000 DSC BAILEY

19500716 0000 DSC BROWN

19500716 0000 DSC COOK

19500716 0000 DSC DIANDA

19500716 0000 DSC DUSEK

19500716 0000 DSC FELHOELTER

19500716 0000 DSC HOTCHKISS

19500716 0000 DSC MacGILL

19500716 0000 DSC MELOY

19500716 0000 DSC ROUSH

19500716 0000 DSC RUDDELL

19500716 0000 DSC SHANHOLTZ

19500716 0000 DSC STRATTON

19500716 0000 DSC TABOR

19500716 0000 DSC VAN ORMAN

Silver Star

Arakawa, Jack C. [PFC SS C19thIR]

Armor, Marshall H. Jr. [Mag SS HqBtry52ndFAB]

Bean, Billy T. [Pvt SS B52ndFAB]

Buttrey, Linton J. [Capt SS MedCo19thIR]

Canales, Rudolph M. [PFC D19thIR]

Carter, James M. [PFC SS B19thIR]

Clegg, Arthur L. [Sgt SS HqBtry13thFAB]

Collingsworth, Raymond E. [PFC SS B52ndFAB]

Cook, John W. [Maj SS Hq1stBn19thIR]

Dusablom, Walter D. [Pvt SS B19thIR]

Edwards, Ollie W. [MSgt SS D19thIR]

Fenstemacher, Edgar W. [Capt SS Hq19thIR]

Fullen, Robert L. [1stLt SS A13thFAB]

Gewin, Leonard (or Lennard) E. [1stLt SS A78thHB]

Green, Leon A. [Pvt SS B19hIR]

Grimes, John R. [1stLt SS A26thAAAAWB]

Hackett, Allen P. [Capt SS Adj 1stBn19thIR

Hall, Abner Charles [Pvt SS B19thIR]

Hungerford, Victor Jr [MSgt SS G19thIR]

Johnson, Merlin E. [PFC SS B19thIR]

Killingsworth, Lee E. [Pvt SS 2ndPlt HvyMortarCo19thIR]

Lake, Jesse F. [Pvt SS B52ndFAB]

Logan, Edward O. [Maj SS1 HqHqCo19thIR]

Pogreba, Rudolph R. [SFC SS A3rdECB]

Prescott, Coleman Lee [Capt SS HqBtry13thFAB]

Reed, Howard Rex [Cpl SS B19thIR]

Russell, Donald B. [1stLt SS FEAF]

Sansky, Michael J. [2ndLt SS HqHwCo19thIR]

Schlinghoff, Leonard M. [Pvt SS 2ndPlt HvyMtrCo19thIR]

Sharp, Allen R. [Sgt SS HqBtry13thFAB]

Smith, Laverne N. [Pvt SS 2ndPltHvyMtrCo19thIR]

Sosa, Cayetano [PFC SS B52ndFAB]

Sullivan, Daniel Patrick [SFC SS HqBtry13thFAB]

Thompson, John R., Jr. [Capt SS B11thFAB24thID]

Tittle, James I. [2ndLt SS B52ndFAB]

Vinterella, John [PFC SS B52ndFAB]

Wallace, Charles A. [PFC SS A13thFAB]

 

 

[note]

The Forgotten War

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In the early morning hours of July 16, in complete darkness, the NKPA 3rd Division, backed by heavy artillery, tank, and machinegun fire, crossed the Kum River and hit Meloy's Chicks. Winstead's 1/19 absorbed the initial blow.

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Winstead urgently requested Allen's 11th FAB to fire flares to light up the battlefield, but owing to a communications foul-up, there was an agonizing delay.

During it hundreds of NKPA got across the river and overran and outflanked Winstead's 1/19 position. Meloy, who stood side by side with Winstead in the thick of this fighting, urgently summoned reinforcements from his thin reserve, then bravely led a counterattack, during which the 1/19's exec, John M. Cook, the S1, Alan Hackett, and the S3, Wayne B. Macomber, were killed.[5-32]

[note]

U.S. Air Force

 

Generals Ankenbrandt and Maude arrived 0930; billeted
Imperial. 1000 departed for Kadena with General O'Donnell. Press reports North Koreans assaulting our positions on Kum River and that we are holding although meager groups of North Koreans did manage to cross in some locales. First figures of casualties announced by FEC - estimated 8 to 9 thousand North Korean casualties; American casualties in neighborhood of 500.


USAF reports that General Weyland, who will be my vice commander for operations, due to arrive Tokyo 19 July; General Stearley, who is Kincaid's replacement, will arrive 21 July.[123-Kincaid was finishing his tour as commander of 20AF. Maj Gen Ralph F. Stearley relieved him on July 31.]
B-29s over marshaling yards at Seoul; had high cover of F-80s; target visual for approx 2 min[utes] of bomb run, then target obscured by clouds, but results believed to be excellent; flak moderate to light. However, 2d squadron in contrast to first, reported enemy aircraft seen, but they did not attack. 3d squadron bombed visually, good results, flak moderate, inaccurate, and no fighters. The bombing mission in the Ch'ungju area reported light and meager anti-aircraft fire; results good to excellent; no enemy aircraft encountered.


United Nations have opened an office on the second floor of the building - adjacent to the Allied Council chambers.[124-The Allied Council for Japan had been constituted shortly after World War II. Comprised of representatives from the U.S., the British Commonwealth, China, and Russia (all with veto powers), it was an advisory group to the Washington-based Far Eastern Commission. This latter organization consisted of 11 nations that had fought Japan and was supposed to run Japan in a similar manner to what was done in Germany. Actu- ally, neither the Allied Council nor the Far Eastern Commission had much effect except to muddy the political waters.]


Was met at Kadena by General Kincaid, Colonel Graff, Colonel Condron,[125-Col John E. Condron, 20AF PIO.] and some members of the 19th and 22d Bomb Groups. Immediately proceeded to the 22d Bomb Group camp which was inspected and which represents hard work and much help from the Army on Okinawa. General O’Donnell was greatly pleased with the improvements that had taken place in one week. I remained there until the 22d returned from its strike mission on Seoul; listened to some of the debriefings and then addressed the majority of the combat crews and said generally, the following:


I told them about General Vandenberg's letter of commendation, and welcomed them to the Far East Air Forces. I specifically let them know that my head- quarters and that of the Twentieth Air Force Headquarters would help them with every means possible. I cautioned them about their gunners being alert at all times over Korea; I advised them to keep their historical records daily; I also pointed out that they would be called up to perform from time to time a mission that is not known to them as members of SAC and that on these missions they would simply have to throw the book away and get in and pitch and destroy the targets that would be assigned to them. Such ground support missions would not last long, but would last until the ground situation stabilized.


I then proceeded to the 19th Bomb Wing debriefing room where I made the award of the Legion of Merit to Colonel Graff, their group commander; following that, General Kincaid read my letter of commendation to the 19th Group after which General O'Donnell addressed the group.


My remarks to the 19th were the same as those made to the 22d Group except I emphasized the need for alertness on the part of gunners while over Korea.

Made a broadcast on the local station by tape, thanking General Sheetz[126-Maj Gen Josef R. Sheetz, commanding general of the Army's Ryukyu Command.] and his staff, the anti-aircraft artillery and all ground personnel, both military and civilian, for their help to the Twentieth and the bomb groups now stationed here.


General Kincaid had a group of 12 for dinner which included General Sheetz, his chief of staff, Colonel Graff, Colonel Edmundson (22d group commander), Colonel Ganey, General O'Donnell's top man in the Bomber Command whom he has placed there to supervise the work of the two groups, Colonel Weltman, and Colonel and Mrs. McHenry.[127-Col James V. Edmundson had seen action at Pearl Harbor, Midway, the Solomons, Europe, and with B–29s in the CBI and the Marianas in World War II; Col Wiley D. Ganey, FEAF Bomber Command deputy for operations; Col John H. Weltman, 51st FIW commanding officer; Col George A. McHenry, commander of the 6332d Air Base Wing]


Got to bed about 10:30 P.M.

[note]

     

Prospective airfield sites were lost to the enemy at P'yŏngt'aek and Taejŏn, so that by early July only the site at Taegu remained practicable as an air base in central Korea. FEAF therefore decided to concentrate the full 822nd Engineer Aviation Battalion, plus the 919th Engineer Aviation Maintenance Company, at Taegu.

Orders were issued to the units on Okinawa on 8 July, and by 16 July the first elements were unloading at Pusan; on 30 July the last of the battalion had moved northward into Taegu by train from the South Korean port. Here the aviation engineers hurriedly laid down a new PSP runway, seemingly without much attention to the sub-grade, and started renovation of the old strip which had been in use during the month.

On 16 August, just as the battalion was returning to work on the old strip and necessary taxiways, word was received that enemy pressure demanded evacuation of all engineer troops except a small maintenance detachment. Some 4,300 feet of the new runway, however, was in use by tactical units.

August

The engineer units thus labored to meet short deadlines with worn equipment and confused logistical support. Heavier construction equipment had to be left at the Pusan harbor because of the impracticability of moving it forward. The age of other equipment caused numerous breakdowns, and, with almost no flow of spare parts, the engineers cannibalized some items to keep like items running.

Large stocks of construction material were on hand in ECA dumps, and these stocks were drawn upon until Army supplies could begin to arrive from Japan. Pierced-steel planking assumed particular importance because of its world-wide shortage and handling difficulty. Frequently classified as a "portable" surfacing, it was shipped in bundles of 30 planks which would cover 375 square feet but which weighed approximately a ton. Thus a standard runway of 150 by 5,000 feet required 1,928 tons of PSP. The metal planking, moreover, was stored and controlled by the Pusan Logistical Command, and, being of use to non-aviation activities, some of the PSP was diverted to the construction of an ammunition unloading beach at Pusan and an ordnance service station at Taegu.

[note]

Prospective airfield sites were lost to the enemy at P'yŏngt'aek and Taejŏn, so that by early July only the site at Taegu remained practicable as an air base in central Korea.

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FEAF therefore decided to concentrate the full 822nd Engineer Aviation Battalion, plus the 919th Engineer Aviation Maintenance Company, at Taegu.

Orders were issued to the units on Okinawa on 8 July, and by 16 July the first elements were unloading at Pusan; on 30 July the last of the battalion had moved northward into Taegu by train from the South Korean port.

Here the aviation engineers hurriedly laid down a new PSP runway, seemingly without much attention to the sub-grade, and started renovation of the old strip which had been in use during the month. On 16 August, just as the battalion was returning to work on the old strip and necessary taxiways, word was received that enemy pressure demanded evacuation of all engineer troops except a small maintenance detachment. Some 4,300 feet of the new runway, however, was in use by tactical units.

[note]

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When its 40th Squadron had converted to F-51's and had gone to P'ohang on 16 July, the 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group and its 39th Squadron had remained at Ashiya, where they continued to fly F-80's.

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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. [8.1 planes per day for 16 days]

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6, 10, 12, 15, 27

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

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Battlefield control for the medium bombers proved difficult, especially in the fluid ground situation, and on 16 July three B-29's bombed the town of Andong by mistake, killing 22 civilians.

[note]


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Meanwhile, back in Japan the 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (35th Group) began to convert to F-51 Mustangs on 11 July and completed conversion on 16 July. On the latter day this squadron was alerted to move from Ashiya to P'ohang, and squadron air crews moved there that same day. At P'ohang the squadron was virtually out of contact with the world, since communications could not be established with Fifth Air Force headquarters, only 45 miles away across the mountains at Taegu. The 35th Fighter Group headquarters and its 39th Squadron remained at Ashiya during July, continuing operations with F-80C 's.

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

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16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23

By 16 July North Korean columns were aiming a pincers movement against Taejŏn, and when EUSAK held there temporarily, the North Korean command initiated a wide left-flank movement down through west Korean coastal routes, reaching Chŏnju and Iri on 20 July, Kwangju on 23 July, and capturing the major southwest port city of Mokp'o on 24 July. These movements, virtually unopposed except by a few ROK police, opened the way for a drive against the port cities of Masan and Pusan. Meanwhile, on the central front EUSAK was flanked out of Taejŏn, forced to withdraw to Yŏngdong on 25 July, and gradually pressed back to Kŭmch'ŏn, where defensive positions were established on 31 July. That same day, on the southwestern front, the 24th Division was forced out of Chinju.

[note]


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The GHQ Target Group held its first meeting on 16 July, seeking to define its responsibilities more exactly. At this session, Brig. Gen. J. V. Crabb , FEAF Deputy for Operations, flatly stated that FEAF could not accept any concept whereby the GHQ Target Group selected individual targets from the front lines deep into enemy territory.

[How does this get resolved?]

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On 16 July, for example, eight B-29's, contacting the JOC for a mission, were sent to bomb a concentration of six enemy tanks at a road junction near Konju.

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

Sŏul marshaling yards were hit on MacArthur's special order on 16 July.

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Because of enemy pressure against Taejŏn, some of the personnel moved back to Taegu on 16 July and began to set up for operations there, while the Taejŏn section continued to operate, using radio jeeps for communications, until 19 July, when the remainder of the JOC moved back to Taegu.

[note]

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

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

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

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

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

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

[note]

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: a senior officer from the G-2 section, serving as chairman; an Air Force member and a Navy member from the Joint Strategic Plans and Operations Group, appointed by the chief of that agency; 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: advise on the employment of Navy and Air Force offensive airpower in conformity with the day-to-day situation; recommend air targets or target areas; `recommend measures to insure coordinated use of available airpower; and maintain a continuing analysis of target systems and priorities assigned. 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 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]

Korean_WarTarget Group Korean_War

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 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]


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The Shooting Star fighters were new in the Far East, but they were the oldest of USAF operational jets. They had been designed as counter-air interceptors. As interceptors, their primary weapons were six .#50-caliber machine guns. FEAF's F-80's also had mid-wing rocket posts, which permitted them to carry up to 16 5-inch high velocity aircraft rockets (HVAR's), but none of them were equipped with pylon bomb racks.

With its internal fuel, an F-80C had a radius of action of approximately 100 miles, but each plane was provided with two 165-gallon external fuel tanks which it carried on wing-tip shackles.

Loaded with rockets and two 165-gallon tip tanks, an F-80C had an operational radius of approximately 225 miles. Instead of fuel tanks, the plane could carry two 1,000-pound bombs on its shackles, but its operational radius in this configuration was the 100 miles possible with internal fuel.

All of these ranges were not only quite short, but they also assumed that the F-80 jet would, for the most part, fly at the high altitudes (above 15,000 feet) where it attained its most favorable rate of fuel consumption. Any length of time spent at low altitudes, either en route to a target or seeking an objective for attack, rapidly exhausted an F-80's fuel and decreased its radius of flight.#75

#75 Msg. OPS-1878, CG FAF to CG FEAF, 16 July 1950; FEAF Rpt., I, 15.

USAF planners were completely aware of the operational limitations of the F-80 aircraft, but these planes were designed as short-range interceptors and were not meant to be used for ground attack.

Specifically adapted for air-ground operations was the Republic F-84E "Thunderjet.

FEAF had been scheduled to get some of these more modern F-84's beginning in 1949, but because of the inadequate Japanese airfields General Stratemeyer had been compelled to ask, instead, for nothing "hotter" than F-80C's.#76

#76 Ltr., Stratemeyer to CINCFE, subj: Airfield Program for Japan, 17 June 1949.

[note]

Korean_War

Acting in compliance with General MacArthur's order for 16 July, General O'Donnell dispatched 47 B-29's of the 19th and 22nd Groups against the Sŏul railway marshaling yards and 8 B-29's of the 92nd Group against tactical targets.

At Sŏul the bomber crews destroyed rolling stock, cut the main rail lines, and set afire the large repair and assembly shops. The aircraft of the 92nd Group attacked targets reported to them by "Angelo." A part of them were sent to the western end of the battleline, where they bombed a concentration of troops and six tanks at a road junction near Kongju and a marshaling yard and oil dump at Choch'iwŏn.

On the central front, however, three of the bomber crews mistook their location and bombed the town of Andong, killing 22 friendly civilians.#62

[note]

Korean_War Korean_War

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]

During the same three weeks of July in which the North Korean ground blitz, American airmen of the Air Force and Navy won a significant victory over the small but aggressive North Korean Air Force. As they made preparations to launch their attack against their southern neighbor, North Korean war-planners must have assumed that the United Nations would not intervene in Korea. In such a circumstance the North Korean air arm could be expected to attain air superiority over the Republic of Korea.

One North Korean pilot, shot down over Anyang on 29 June, confirmed this estimate of Communist war-plan assumptions.

"Soviet advisors have ordered us to bomb South Korea," said this North Korean pilot, "because they know for sure the South Koreans have very few planes and only small ones."#83
#83 Msg. A-017, ADCOM to CINCFE, 30 June 1950.

According to American intelligence estimates, the North Korean Air Force possessed at the beginning of hostilities some 132 combat aircraft and a total strength of about 2,000 men. It was a new air force-many of the combat aircraft had been received as late as the spring of 1950-and it was short of trained pilots. The North Korean airman shot down in South Korea on 29 June told his interrogators that the NKAF had only 80 pilots, two of whom were good and 40 were counted to be of fair proficiency.#84

#84 USAF Daily Staff Digest, 5 July 1950; OSI FEAF Rpt. No. 38-5-50, subj: North Korean Air Force, 16 Aug. 1950.

Taking into consideration the reported scarcity of North Korean pilots and the vigor with which the NKAF was employed in the opening days of the hostilities, FEAF intelligence thought it "highly possible" that Soviet instructor pilots participated in the initial phase of the war in Korea.#85

#85 Msg. AX-3110, CG FEAF to CofS USAF, 22 July 1950.

[note]

U.S. Marine Corps

Korean_War

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

Korean_War

The ROK army, as might be supposed, was badly battered and much in need of reorganization. At the end of the first week of invasion, the ROK missing in action had reached a total of about 34,000. Whole battalions had been scattered like chaff, yet it speaks well for the spirit of the troops that most of the missing eventually returned to their units.[10]

The odds against them had made it a hopeless fight, but these Korean soldiers would give a good account of themselves when they had better training and equipment.

The United States forces were finding it hard sledding, for that matter.

[note]

Korean_War

On 7 July, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for a unified command in Korea, and President Truman named General MacArthur as commander in chief.

Korean_War

Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker, who had been one of Patton’s best officers in World War II, was appointed commander of the Eighth United States Army in Korea (EUSAK) on 12 July, and 4 days later [16th] he assumed control of all ROK ground forces.

[note]

Korean_War

After Murray and his headquarters transferred to the USS Pickaway (APA-222) off San Clemente Island, the USS Henrico (APA-45) 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.

Repairs were started in urgent haste, since there was no other ship available. For security reasons, the Marines were forbidden to leave ship except for training on the dock. On the nights of the 16th and 17th, they sat on deck and gazed longingly at the beckoning lights of San Francisco.

[note]

Korean_War

AS THE SHIPS of the Brigade vanished over the horizon, Generals Craig and Cushman rushed to complete final administrative details at their respective West Coast bases. Then, in the early morning of 16 July, the advance party, consisting of the two commanders and parts of their staffs, boarded a transport plane at the Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, and began the long journey westward.

The first stop was Pearl Harbor, T. H., island “Pentagon” of America’s vast defensive network in the Pacific. On arrival, Craig and Cushman immediately reported to General Shepherd. In company with him, the two visitors called briefly on Admiral Radford. Later, Shepherd, his staff, and the advance party met at Fleet Marine Force Headquarters for a conference on the problems incident to the Marine commitment in combat.[1]

The Brigade commander painted a vivid picture of his provisional fighting force, stressing both its potential and its handicaps. He repeatedly emphasized the necessity for the addition of a third rifle company to each infantry battalion.

With equal fervor he spoke of the need for two more 105-mm. howitzers in each battery of his artillery battalion. He told how the Brigade had been forced to leave behind much of its motor transport because of limited shipping space, and he requested that replacement vehicles be provided as soon as possible.

His presentation was not falling on deaf ears; for combat-wise officers knew only too well how such shortages would restrict the maneuverability, firepower, and mobility of the Brigade.

Finally, Craig repeated his earlier request that steps be taken immediately to provide for monthly replacement drafts of 800 men. If the peace-strength Marine unit were committed to combat in the near future, he said, it could ill afford to watch its already thin ranks dwindle indefinitely.[2]

Leaving behind a maze of support and reinforcement problems for FMFPac Headquarters, the Brigade advance party boarded its plane and set out for Japan.

[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]

U.S. Navy

On 16 July 1950, the VALLEY FORGE, with Air Group FIVE embarked, left Buckner Bay, Okinawa, sortied with elements of the SEVENTH Fleet, and proceeded for the Sea of Japan to support United States Forces in South Korea in accordance with Commander SEVENTH Fleet Secret OpOrder 10-50.

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[note]

19500716 0000 cv45 cag5

Korean_War

16 July
Fleet Air Wing 1 headquarters moved from Guam to Naha on Okinawa to direct patrol squadron operations in the Formosa Strait.

[note]

Korean_War

On the 5th Admiral Andrewes, with HMS Belfast (C35) HMS Cossack (D-57) and HMS Consort (D-76) 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.

[note] [note] [note]

Korean_War Korean_War

The 24th Infantry Division had completed its movement to Korea by 6 July. Hard on its heels the 25th Division began to move, its first elements loading at Moji on Shimonoseki Strait on the 8th, and subsequent echelons at Inland Sea ports and at Sasebo; for this movement Japanese time-chartered ships were extensively used.

Korean_War

The third major Army unit to be lifted from Japan was the 1st Cavalry Division, and this, since handling facilities at Pusan were clogging from overload, was put in over the beaches.

Korean_War

This movement was accomplished by Admiral Doyle’s Amphibious Group, temporarily augmented by the loan from MSTS of two AKAs, three T-APs, one ocean tug, five LSTs, and four time-chartered Japanese Marus.

Korean_War

Late in July the final intra-theater movement of the initial phase brought in two battalions of the 29th Infantry Regiment from Okinawa.

Korean_War

On the 16th MSTS assigned two Japanese passenger vessels and a cargo ship to this lift, and on the 24th these troops were landed at Pusan.

[note] [note]

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On [Saturday] 8 July activation of facilities at Fallbrook and Seal Beach, California, was begun, and Bangor Annex, at Keyport in Puget Sound, was made available for the outloading of Army and Air Force ammunition.

For all services requirements skyrocketed. The planned overseas movement of Army ammunition alone was to rise from zero to 77,000 tons for the month of August [8/31], a growth paralleled by increased calls for general stores, refrigerated provisions, and for personnel.

The Military Sea transportation Service had prepared for a predicted movement of 66,000 tons of cargo to the Far East in July [7/31]; in fact it ended up moving 312,000 tons and 30,000 passengers.

More tonnage was urgently required and was being hastily assembled by Captain William R. Thayer, Deputy Commander MSTS Pacific; by the third week in July [7/16] the transports under his control had increased from 20 to 31, and 12 commercial vessels had been taken on under time charter

[note]

Korean_War

By this time the invasion was again a four-pronged affair. Unknown to the Americans, the North Korean army had split its main force a second time, and had sent the 6th Division with attached troops southward to Kunsan, which it entered on the 16th, and toward the southwestern tip of the peninsula. In pursuit of the retiring 24th Division the enemy main body, now seven divisions strong, pressed southeastward from Taejŏn along the main road and rail line toward the saddle which gives access to the Naktong Basin. Five divisions were moving through the mountains to the Andong area, while on the east coast the 5th Division continued its solitary southward course.

[note]

No requests from ashore were received on the 14th, and visibility remained poor, but with evening USS Juneau (CLAA-119) let off a few rounds against truck headlights on the road south of Ulchin. On the 15th, however, the cruiser and USS De Haven (DD-727) had a big day on the 20-mile stretch between 36°34' and 36°52' where the road runs generally close to the sea. For the first time an Army liaison plane was available to provide air spot, and a total of 645 rounds of 5-inch ammunition, expended against troops, shore batteries, and other targets, included a little night work against road traffic with the aid of star shell illumination.

Joined by USS Mansfield (DD-728) on the next day, [the 16th] Higgins covered the coast between 36°30' and 37°15', and the three ships fired 173 rounds against targets of opportunity along the highway.

Korean_War

MAP 15 Andong Region L552-NJ5-15

[note]

Korean_War

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

VP 28, a PB4Y-2 Privateer squadron, was moved up from Guam to Okinawa; VP 46, a PBM-5 Mariner squadron with units at Sangley Point and Buckner Bay, was ordered forward to the Pescadores along with the tender USS Suisun (AVP-53); Commander Fleet Air Wing 1 was relieved of responsibilities at Guam and instructed to advance his headquarters to Okinawa.

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 [the 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

[note]

Korean_War

On 16 July, as the Seventh Fleet started north to cover the P'ohang landing, Admiral Joy [Commander, Naval Forces Far East.] issued Operation Order 10-50 governing the conduct of carrier attacks against the North Korean forces.

The planning for these operations had seen the emergence of the first of a series of problems concerning carrier employment which was to trouble naval commanders throughout the campaign. So far as support of the P'ohang landing was concerned there was no difficulty: this was a conventional naval task in which all hands felt quite at home.

But attack on the North Korean forces and installations beyond the beachhead raised problems of coordination with the Air Force. Subsequent to the first carrier attack on P'yŏngyang, General Stratemeyer had requested the Seventh Fleet to confine its further strikes to northeastern Korea, north of the 38th parallel and east of 127° E, with target priorities beginning with rail and highway cuts and running down through petroleum facilities to airfields.

Yet such an employment of carrier aviation, however desirable in the situation of the moment, was certainly not envisaged in the existing unification agreements. The roles and missions papers for the armed forces, worked out during the painful period of unification, made interdiction of enemy land power and communications an exclusive Air Force function in which the Navy could participate only after a complicated bureaucratic procedure of authorization. The fact that naval air was not to be so used had been one of the reasons advanced in support of the cancellation of construction of the carrier USS United States.

It had, of course, been recognized that in an emergency the instruments at hand and the urgency of the situation would take precedence over paper agreements. But there was the further difficulty that the employment of carrier aviation in interdiction was not contemplated in current naval thinking. On the one hand the interdiction of land communications calls for continuous effort; on the other, it was felt that logistic considerations and the dangers of air and submarine attack made it undesirable for carriers to operate for more than two days in the same location. By autumn, when concern over air and submarine opposition had greatly subsided and when underway replenishment had improved, the carriers would be operating for protracted periods in the same locality. But autumn was far away, and in the intervening period of emergency things would become worse before they became better.

Korean_War

This triple conflict between legislation, doctrine, and the exigencies of the situation was to prove the less manageable owing to difficulties in coordination with the Air Force. Although these, stemming both from doctrinal differences and from technical difficulties in communication, were never to be completely solved, some steps had already been taken.

On 8 July General Stratemeyer had advised CincFE that it was essential that he have "operational control" of all naval aircraft in the theater. To the Navy, quite apart from doubts as to FEAF’s technical capability to handle this effort, the implications of the request appeared excessive, involving as they did the authority to control carrier movements as well as to assign targets, and after some discussion a CincFE letter of the 15th delegated "coordination control" to the commanding general of FEAF. It was on the basis of this agreement that Struble had cleared with FEAF his plans to strike northward from P'ohang and that Joy issued his operation order of 16 July.

[note]

Korean_War

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.

[note]

Korean_War Korean_War Korean_War

The plan for the Seventh Fleet tactical air control party, worked up at Buckner Bay, had contemplated a pooling of USS Valley Forge (CV-45) and HMS Triumph material and personnel, but the sortie on the 16th had interrupted preparations

[note]

Korean_War

On 9 July, with Lieutenant David C. Holly and five enlisted men, Luosey arrived at Pusan and assumed operational control of the Korean Navy. Six days later President Rhee formally turned over command of the ROK armed forces to General MacArthur, and on 17 July Admiral Sohn arrived with the other two PCs.

Luosey’s first days were spent in extemporizing logistic support at Pusan for U.N. ships, in establishing liaison with the Army, and in gaining the confidence of the Koreans. On the 15th, inshore patrol sectors were established along both coasts south of 37° and a detachment of Korean Marines was sailed for Kunsan by LST in an attempt to hold that port.

Korean_War

On the next day the [ROK] Marines were landed, and a large store of government rice evacuated, but possession of Kunsan was brief.

Heavily engaged on the 17th by an entire North Korean regiment, the 600-odd Marines were lifted out two days later [18th] to begin a minor epic of landings, forced marches, engagements, and retreats, which by the end of the month had brought the survivors to Chinju.

[note]


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Korean_War

At 0300 Sunday, 16 July, an enemy plane flew over the Kum and dropped a flare. It was the signal for a co-ordinated attack. The intensity of the fire that now came from enemy guns on the north bank of the river was as great, General Meloy has said, as anything he experienced in Europe in World War II.

Under cover of this intense fire the North Koreans used boats and rafts, or waded and swam, and in every possible way tried to cross the river. American artillery, mortar, and supporting weapons fire met this attack. [10-41]

Korean_War Korean_War

Representative of the accidents that weigh heavily in the outcome of most battles was one that now occurred. One of the 155-mm. howitzers of the 11th Field Artillery Battalion had been as signed to fire flares over the river position on call. At the most critical time of the enemy crossing, the 1st Battalion through the regiment requested a slight shift of the flare area.

Normally this would have taken only a few minutes to execute. But the artillery personnel misunderstood the request and laid the howitzer on an azimuth that required moving the trails of the piece. As a result of this mishap there were no flares for a considerable period of time.

Colonel Winstead, the 1st Battalion commander, said that mishap and the resulting lack of flares hurt his men more than anything else in their losing the south bank of the river. [10-42]

[note]

At 03:00 on 16 July, the North Koreans launched a massive barrage of tank, artillery and mortar fire on the 19th Infantry's positions and North Korean troops began to cross the river in boats. The North Korean forces gathered on the west bank and assaulted the positions of 1st Battalion's C and E companies, followed by a second landing against B Company. North Korean forces pushed against the entire battalion, threatening to overwhelm it. The regimental commander ordered all support troops and officers to the line and they were able to repulse the assault. However, in the melee, North Korean forces infiltrated their rear elements, attacking the reserve forces and blocking supply lines. Stretched thin, the 19th Infantry was unable to hold the line at the Kum River and simultaneously repel the North Korean forces.

0400 Korean Time

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Korean_War

Enemy troops succeeded in crossing the river at 0400 in front of the gap between C and E Companies on the regimental right and struck the 1st Platoon of C Company for the fourth time that night. In the midst of this attack, Lt. Henry T. McGill [MacGill]called Lt. Thomas A. Maher, the 1st Platoon leader, to learn how things were going. Maher answered, "We're doing fine." Thirty seconds later he was dead with a burp gun bullet in his head.

North Koreans in this fourth assault succeeded in overrunning the platoon position. The platoon sergeant brought out only about a dozen men. C Company consolidated its remaining strength on the middle finger of Hill 200 and held fast. But the North Koreans now had a covered route around the east end of the 1st Battalion position. They exploited it in the next few hours by extensive infiltration to the rear and in attacks on the heavy mortar position and various observation and command posts. [10-43]

Simultaneously with this crossing at the right of the main regimental position, another was taking place below and on the left flank of the main battle position. This one lasted longer and apparently was the largest of all.

[note]

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0522 Sun Rise

[note]

Korean_War

At daybreak,[0522] men in B Company saw an estimated 300 to 400 North Korean soldiers on high ground southwest of them-already safely across the river. And they saw that crossings were still in progress downstream at a ferry site. Enemy soldiers, 25 to 30 at a time, were wading into the river holding their weapons and supplies on their heads, and plunging into neck-deep water. [10-44]

From his observation post, Colonel Meloy could see the crossing area to the left but few details of the enemy movement. Already B Company had called in artillery fire on the enemy crossing force and Colonel Meloy did likewise through his artillery liaison officer. Capt. Monroe Anderson of B Company noticed that while some of the enemy moved on south after crossing the river, most of them remained in the hills camouflaged as shrubs and small trees. Lieutenant Early, fearing an attack on his rear by this crossing force, left his 3rd Platoon and moved back to a better observation point. There for an hour he watched enemy soldiers bypass B Company, moving south. [10-45]

[note]

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Korean_War

Sunrise 0522 1949
Moonrise 0554 2054
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Korean_War

By this time it seemed that the North Koreans were crossing everywhere in front of the regiment. As early as 0630 Colonel Winstead had reported to the regiment that his command post and the Heavy Mortar Company were under attack and that the center of his battalion was falling back. The enemy troops making this attack had crossed the river by the partly destroyed bridge and by swimming and wading.

[note]

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Korean_War

They made deep penetrations and about 0800 overran part of the positions of A Company and the right hand platoon of B Company behind the dike. They then continued on south across the flat paddies and seized the high ground at Kadong-ni.

Lt. John A. English, Weapons Platoon leader with B Company, seeing what had happened to the one platoon of B Company along the dike, ran down from his hill position, flipped off his helmet, swam the small stream that empties into the Kum at this point, and led out fourteen survivors. [10-46]

This enemy penetration through the center of the regimental position to the 1st Battalion command post had to be thrown back if the 19th Infantry was to hold its position.

Colonel Meloy and Colonel Winstead immediately set about organizing a counterattack force from the 1st Battalion Headquarters and the Regimental Headquarters Companies, consisting of all officers present, cooks, drivers, mechanics, clerks, and the security platoon. Colonel Meloy brought up a tank and a quad-50 antiaircraft artillery half-track to help in the counterattack.

[note]

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Korean_War

This counterattack farce engaged the North Koreans and drove them from the high ground at Kadong-ni by 0900. Some of the enemy ran to the river and crossed back to the north side. In leading this attack, Maj. John M. Cook, the 1st Battalion Executive Officer, and Capt. Alan Hackett, the Battalion S-1, lost their lives. [10-47]

Colonel Meloy reported to General Dean that he had thrown back the North Koreans, that he thought the situation was under control, and that he could hold on until dark as he, General Dean, had requested. It was understood that after dark the 19th Infantry would fall back from the river to a delaying position closer to Taejŏn. [10-48]

Roadblock Behind the 19th Infantry

But events were not in reality as favorable as they had appeared to Colonel Meloy when he made his report to General Dean. Colonel Winstead, the 1st Battalion commander, soon reported to Colonel Meloy that while he thought he could hold the river line to his front he had no forces to deal with the enemy in his rear.

Fire from infiltrated enemy troops behind the main line was falling on many points of the battalion position and on the main supply road. Then came word that an enemy force had established a roadblock three miles to the rear on the main highway.

Stopped by enemy fire while on his way forward with a resupply of ammunition for the 1st Battalion, 2nd Lt. Robert E. Nash S-4 telephoned the news to Colonel Meloy who ordered him to go back, find Colonel McGrail, 2nd Battalion commander, and instruct him to bring up G and H Companies to break the roadblock. Almost simultaneously with this news Colonel Meloy received word from Colonel Stratton that he was engaged with the enemy at the artillery positions. [10-49]

All morning the hard-pressed men of the 19th Infantry had wondered what had happened to their air support. When the last two planes left the Kum River at dark the night before they had promised that air support would be on hand the next morning at first light. Thus far only six planes, hours after daylight, had made their appearance over the front. Now the regiment sent back an urgent call for an air strike on the enemy roadblock force.

[note]

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Korean_War Korean_War

About 1000, Colonel Perry, commanding officer of the 52nd Field Artillery Battalion, from his command post near Tuman-ni three miles south of the Kum River, saw a long string of enemy soldiers in white clothing pass over a mountain ridge two miles westward and disappear southward over another ridge.

He ordered A Battery to place fire on this column, and informed the 13th Field Artillery Battalion below him that an enemy force was approaching it. A part of this enemy force, wearing regulation North Korean uniforms, turned off toward the 52nd Field Artillery Battalion and headed for B Battery

Men in B Battery hastily turned two or three of their howitzers around and delivered direct fire at the North Koreans. The North Koreans set up mortars and fired into B Battery position.

One of their first rounds killed the battery commander and his first sergeant. Other rounds wounded five of the six chiefs of sections. The battery executive, 1st Lt. William H. Steele, immediately assumed command and organized a determined defense of the position. Meanwhile, Colonel Perry at his command post just south of B Battery assembled a small attack force of wire, medical, and fire direction personnel not on duty, and some 19th Infantry soldiers who were in his vicinity.

He led this group out against the flank of the North Koreans, directing artillery fire by radio as he closed with them. The combined fire from B Battery, Colonel Perry's group, and the directed artillery fire repelled this enemy attack. The North Koreans turned and went southward into the hills. [10-52]

[note]

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Korean_War

Scattered, spasmodic firing was still going on in the center when Colonel Meloy and his S-3, Maj. Edward O. Logan, left the regimental command post about an hour before noon to check the situation at the roadblock and to select a delaying position farther back.

Before leaving the Kum River, Meloy gave instructions to Colonel Winstead concerning withdrawal of the troops after dark. [10-50]

Korean_War

The enemy soldiers who established the roadblock behind the regiment had crossed the Kum below B Company west of the highway. They bypassed B and F Companies, the latter the regiment's reserve force. Only enough enemy soldiers to pin it down turned off and engaged F Company.

During the morning many reports had come into the regimental command post from F Company that enemy troops were moving south past its position. Once past F Company, the enemy flanking force turned east toward the highway. [10-51]

Korean_War

[note]

Korean_War Korean_War Korean_War

Before noon the enemy force again turned east to the highway about 800 yards south of the 52nd Field Artillery position.

There it opened fire on and halted some jeeps with trailers going south for ammunition resupply. Other vehicles piled up behind the jeeps. This was the beginning of the roadblock, and this was when Colonel Meloy received the telephone message about it. South of the roadblock the 11th and 13th Field Artillery Battalions came under long range, ineffective small arms fire.

The artillery continued firing on the Kum River crossing areas, even though the 13th Field Artillery Battalion Fire Direction Center, coordinating the firing, had lost all communication about 1100 with its forward observers and liaison officers at the infantry positions. [10-53]

[note]

01145 Korean Time

Korean_War


The North Korean roadblock, a short distance below the village of Tuman. where the highway made a sharp bend going south, closed the only exit from the main battle position of the 19th Infantry. At this point a narrow pass was formed by a steep 40-foot embankment which dropped off on the west side of the road to a small stream, the Yongsu River, and a steep hillside that came down to the road on the other side. There was no space for a vehicular bypass on either side of the road. South of this point for approximately four miles high hills approached and flanked the highway on the west. As the day wore on, the enemy built up his roadblock force and extended it southward into these hills.

When Colonel Meloy and Major Logan arrived at the roadblock they found conditions unsatisfactory. Small groups of soldiers, entirely disorganized and apathetic, were returning some fire in the general direction of the unseen enemy. While trying to organize a group to attack the enemy on the high ground overlooking the road Colonel Meloy was wounded. He now gave to Colonel Winstead command of all troops along the Kum River.

[note]

1150 Korean Time

Korean_War

The principal enemy units pressing toward Masan and Pusan in the southern sector were identified as the NKPA 6th Infantry Division and the 83rd Motorcycle Regiment.

Composed entirely of Chinese civil war veterans in July 1949, the 6th Division had at that time been the 166th Division, 56th CCF Army, which later entered Korea as a completely equipped unit. Its three infantry regiments, the 13th, 14th, and 15th, were distinguished throughout the invasion for a high esprit de corps.

After capturing Yŏngdŭngp'o, an industrial suburb of Sŏul, the 6th had pushed southward and won fresh honors by forcing the river Kum and taking Kunsan by storm.[29]

On the eve of the Kunsan operation, according to a captured enemy document, troops of the 6th were informed that they were facing a United States Army regiment.

“Since this unit is planning to advance to the north, it is our mission to envelop and annihilate it. . . . We are fully prepared and confident of success in this operation.”[30]

A numerical superiority as well as good combat discipline enabled the initial assault waves to cross the Kum in pneumatic floats and establish a bridgehead before noon on 16 July 1950.

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In the battle of the Kum River on 16 July one sees the result of a defending force lacking an adequate reserve to deal with enemy penetrations and flank movement. Colonel Meloy never faltered in his belief that if he had not had to send two-thirds of his reserve to the left flank after the collapse of the 34th Infantry at Kongju, he could have prevented the North Koreans from establishing their roadblock or could have reduced it by attack from high ground.

The regiment did repel, or by counterattack drive out, all frontal attacks and major penetrations of its river positions except that through C Company on Hill 200. But it showed no ability to organize counterattacks with available forces once the roadblock had been established. By noon, demoralization had set in among the troops, many of whom were near exhaustion from the blazing sun and the long hours of tension and combat. They simply refused to climb the hills to attack the enemy's automatic weapons positions.

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The N.K. 3rd Division, for its part, pressed home an attack which aimed to pin down the 19th Infantry by frontal attack while it carried out a double envelopment of the flanks. The envelopment of the American left flank resulted in the fatal roadblock three miles below the Kum on the main supply road. This North Korean method of attack had characterized most other earlier actions and it seldom varied in later ones.

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Meloy believed that this counterattack might have temporarily stabilized the situation and that he could hold the line at least until dark. But he was overly optimistic; the NKPA had outflanked him in the thin seam between the 19th and 34th. The NKPA infantrymen moving to the rear soon attacked Perry's 52nd FAB position and threw up a strong roadblock behind the buckling 1/19.

Learning of this, Meloy and his S3, Edward O. Logan, twenty-eight, gathered a pickup force to break the roadblock and headed south about noon. In the fight to break the block, Meloy was severely wounded in the calf by shell fragments and was no longer capable of commanding, but he refused evacuation. To succeed him temporarily Meloy bypassed his inexperienced (West Point, 1940) exec, coast artilleryman Homer B. ("Chan") Chandler, and chose the 1/19's commander, infantryman Otho Winstead.[5-33]

[note]

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In accordance with Operation Order 10-50, Task Force 77 of the Seventh Fleet sortied from Buckner Bay, Okinawa, at noon on 16 July.

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Major Logan established communication with General Dean about 1300. He told him that Meloy had been wounded, that Winstead was in command, and that the regimental situation was bad. Dean replied that he was assembling a force to try to break the roadblock but that probably it would be about 1530 before it could arrive at the scene. He ordered the regiment to withdraw at once, getting its personnel and equipment out to the greatest possible extent. Soon after this conversation, enemy fire struck and destroyed the regimental radio truck, and there was no further communication with the division. Colonel Winstead ordered Major Logan to try to reduce the roadblock and get someone through to establish contact with the relief force expected from the south.

[note]

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Winstead inherited a confused and disintegrating flock of Chicks. At that point his former outfit, the 1/19, now commanded by Robert M. Miller, was flying apart and trying to withdraw but was thwarted by the roadblock at the rear. Perry's 52nd FAB was under heavy attack; the more rearward 11th and 13th FABs were loading up and pulling out.

In the left (or west) sector Tom McGrail and his 2/19 forces were falling back under vicious fire, bypassing the roadblock to the west, as instructed by Meloy. Leaving Logan to try to break the roadblock, Winstead went forward to steady the 1/19 and probably to find some way of evacuating the wounded Meloy around the roadblock. Shortly thereafter Winstead was killed by enemy fire.[5-34]

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Apprised of this latest disaster, Bill Dean came forward from Taejŏn, leading a mini-rescue force: two light tanks and four antiaircraft (A/A) vehicles.* South of the roadblock Dean met the regimental S3, Ed Logan, and the 2/19 commander, Thomas M. McGrail, both of whom had skirted around it with various forces.

Logan volunteered to lead the rescue team against the road block, but Dean chose McGrail for that mission, ordering Logan to the rear to find and prepare a new defensive line in front of Taejŏn.

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*Two of these vehicles were M16 halftracks mounting four interlinked .50caliber machine guns (Quad 50s).

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The other two were M19, fully tracked vehicles, mounting two interlinked 40mm Bofors automatic cannons (Twin 40s).

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M-24 Chaffee (Light) Tank

Developed - or over-developed - in World War II as A/A weapons to fend off prop planes, they were obsolete A/A weapons in the jet plane age. However, in Korea, these weapons, each with terrific firepower, proved to be highly useful in supporting the infantry. Hence A/A battalions were to be much in demand.[5-35]

While this discussion was going on, the exec, Chan Chandler, came barreling south on the road in a jeep, leading four other jeeps loaded with wounded, all of which had run the roadblock. In this perilous journey all the wounded men had been hit again one or more times; Chandler himself had been struck in the leg. Chandler continued going south and was eventually evacuated, along with other wounded Chicks, to a hospital in Japan, where he was to remain for forty-five days before rejoining the regiment.[5-36]

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Winstead then started back to his 1st Battalion along the river. Shortly after 1330 he ordered it to withdraw. In returning to the Kum, Winstead went to his death. [10-54]

During the previous night the weather had cleared from overcast to bright starlight, and now, as the sun climbed past its zenith, the temperature reached 100 degrees. Only foot soldiers who have labored up the steep Korean slopes in midsummer can know how quickly exhaustion overcomes the body unless it is inured to such conditions by training and experience.

As this was the initial experience of the 19th Infantry in Korean combat the men lacked the physical stamina demanded by the harsh terrain and the humid, furnace-like weather. And for three days and nights past they had had little rest. This torrid midsummer Korean day, growing light at 0500 and staying light until 2100, seemed to these weary men an unending day of battle. [Sunrise 0522 1949 Moonrise 0554 2054]

When the 1st Battalion began to withdraw, some of the units were still in their original positions, while others were in secondary positions to which enemy action had driven them. In the withdrawal from Hill 200 on the battalion right, officers of C Company had trouble in getting the men to leave their foxholes. Incoming mortar fire pinned them down. Cpl. Jack Arawaka, a machine gunner, at this time had his gun blow up in his face. Deafened, nearly blind, and otherwise wounded from the explosion, he picked up a BAR and continued fighting. Arawaka did not follow the company off the hill.

As 2nd Lt. Augustus B. Orr led a part of the company along the base of the hill toward the highway he came upon a number of North Korean soldiers lying in rice paddy ditches and partly covered with water. They appeared to be dead.

Suddenly, Orr saw one of them who was clutching a grenade send air bubbles into the water and open his eyes. Orr shot him at once. He and his men now discovered that the other North Koreans were only feigning death and they killed them on the spot. [10-55]

When C Company reached the highway they saw the last of A and B Companies disappearing south along it. Enemy troops were starting forward from the vicinity of the bridge. But when they saw C Company approaching from their flank, they ran back. Upon reaching the highway, C Company turned south on it but soon came under enemy fire from the hill east of Palsan-ni.

An estimated six enemy machine guns fired on the company and scattered it. Individuals and small groups from the company made their way south as best they could. Some of those who escaped saw wounded men lying in the roadside ditches with medical aid men heroically staying behind administering to their needs.

On the west side of the highway, F Company was still in position covering the withdrawal of B Company. At the time of the withdrawal of the 1st Battalion, F Company was under fire from its left front, left flank, and the left rear. [10-56]

As elements of the withdrawing 1st Battalion came up to the roadblock, officers attempted to organize attacks against the enemy automatic weapons firing from the high ground a few hundred yards to the west.

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One such force had started climbing toward the enemy positions when a flight of four friendly F-51's came in and attacked the hill.

This disrupted their efforts completely and caused the men to drop back off the slope in a disorganized condition.

Other attempts were made to organize parties from drivers, mechanics, artillerymen, and miscellaneous personnel to go up the hill-all to no avail.

Two light tanks at the roadblock fired in the general direction of the enemy. But since the North Koreans used smokeless powder ammunition, the tankers could not locate the enemy guns and their fire was ineffective.

Lt. Lloyd D. Smith, platoon leader of the 81-mm. mortar platoon, D Company, was one of the officers Major Logan ordered to attack and destroy the enemy machine guns. He and another platoon leader, with about fifty men, started climbing toward the high ground. After going several hundred feet, Smith found that only one man was still with him. They both returned to the highway. Men crowded the roadside ditches seeking protection from the enemy fire directed at the vehicles. [10-57]

Several times men pushed vehicles blocking the road out of the way, but each time traffic started to move enemy machine guns opened up causing more driver casualties and creating the vehicle block all over again. Strafing by fighter planes seemed unable to reduce this enemy automatic fire of three or four machine guns. Ordered to attack south against the enemy roadblock force, F Company, still in its original reserve position, was unable to do so, being virtually surrounded and under heavy attack.

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McGrail climbed in a jeep and led the mini-rescue team up the road to break the roadblock. It soon came under heavy NKPA machinegun fire. All four A/A vehicles, on which McGrail was counting heavily, were knocked out with 90 percent casualties. The two light tanks fired off all their ammo and then withdrew.

McGrail managed to crawl away from his wrecked jeep and escape south unhurt. Later in the day Dean named him to temporary command of what was left of the 19th. A second effort to break the roadblock, led by a tough and skilled company commander, Michael Barszcz, was called off just as Barszcz made contact with the NKPA.[5-37]

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About 1430, Major Logan placed Capt. Edgar R. Fenstermacher, Assistant S-3, in command at the roadblock, and taking twenty men he circled eastward and then southward trying to determine the extent of the roadblock and to find a bypass.

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The 21st Infantry Regiment completed its withdrawal across the Kum at 1600, but stragglers were still crossing the river five hours later. A thin line of approximately 325 men held the new blocking position at the river, 64 men from the 3rd Battalion, the rest from the 1st Battalion. [07-48]

In the series of battles between Ch'ŏnui and Choch'iwŏn the under-strength two-battalion 21st Infantry Regiment had delayed two of the best North Korean divisions for three days. It was the most impressive performance yet of American troops in Korea, but the regiment paid heavily for it in loss of personnel and equipment.

[note]

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Half of the town of Kunsan was occupied before nightfall, and the United States and ROK defenders withdrew under cover of darkness.

Next came the “end run,” with 6th Division units racing toward the capture of Namwŏn, Kwangju, Yŏsu, and Mokpu in the southwest corner of the peninsula. No opposition awaited except ineffectual delaying actions by ROK constabulary troops. After mopping up a few small pockets of resistance, the 6th Division pushed eastward to lead the North Korean drive toward Pusan.

[note]

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After expending their ammunition, the tanks about 1600 turned around and headed back down the road. McGrail crawled back along the roadside ditch and eventually got out of enemy fire. The personnel in the four antiaircraft vehicles suffered an estimated 90 percent casualties. The location of the wrecked Meloy and Logan jeeps would indicate that McGrail's relief force came within 300 to 400 yards of the regimental column piled up behind the roadblock around the next turn of the road. [10-61]

Back near Kongju on the regimental west flank, G Company came off its hill positions and waited for trucks to transport it to the roadblock area.

Elements of H Company went on ahead in their own transportation. Captain Montesclaros stayed with the I&R Platoon, and it and the engineers blew craters in the road. They were the last to leave.

At Yusŏng General Menoher met Capt. Michael Barszcz, commanding officer of G Company, when the company arrived there from the west flank. Fearing that enemy tanks were approaching, Menoher ordered him to deploy his men along the river bank in the town.

Later Barszcz received orders to lead his company forward to attack the enemy-held roadblock. On the way, Barszcz met a small convoy of vehicles led by a 2 1/2 ton truck. A Military Police officer riding the front fender of the truck yelled, "Tanks, Tanks!" as it hurtled past. Barszcz ordered his driver to turn the jeep across the road to block it and the G Company men scrambled off their vehicles into the ditches. But there were no enemy tanks, and, after a few minutes, Barszcz had G Company on the road again, this time on foot. Some distance ahead, he met General Dean who ordered him to make contact with the enemy and try to break the roadblock. [10-62]

[note]

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About 1430, Major Logan placed Capt. Edgar R. Fenstermacher, Assistant S-3, in command at the roadblock, and taking twenty men he circled eastward and then southward trying to determine the extent of the roadblock and to find a bypass.

Approximately two hours later [1630], he and his group walked into the positions of the 13th Field Artillery Battalion which had started to displace southward. A few minutes later Logan met General Dean. With the general were two light tanks and four antiaircraft artillery vehicles, two of them mounting quad .50-caliber machine guns and the other two mounting dual 40-mm. guns. [10-58]

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In carrying out Meloy's instructions and going back down the road to find Colonel McGrail and bring G and H Companies to break the roadblock, Nash ran a gantlet of enemy fire. His jeep was wrecked by enemy fire, but he escaped on foot to the 13th Field Artillery Battalion position. There he borrowed a jeep and drove to McGrail's command post at Sangwang-ni on the regimental extreme left flank near Kongju.

After delivering Meloy's orders, Nash drove back to Taejŏn airstrip to find trucks to transport the troops. It took personal intercession and an order from the assistant division commander, General Menoher, before the trucks went to pick up G Company. Meanwhile, two tanks and the antiaircraft vehicles started for the roadblock position. Colonel McGrail went on ahead and waited at the 13th Field Artillery Battalion headquarters for the armored vehicles to arrive. They had just arrived when Logan met General Dean. [10-59]

Logan told General Dean of the situation at the roadblock and offered to lead the armored vehicles to break the block. Dean said that Colonel McGrail would lead the force and that he, Logan, should continue on south and form a new position just west of Taejŏn airfield. While Logan stood at the roadside talking with General Dean, a small group of five jeeps came racing toward them. Lt. Col. Homer B. Chandler, the 19th Infantry Executive Officer, rode in the lead jeep. He had led four jeeps loaded with wounded through the roadblock. Every one of the wounded had been hit again one or more times by enemy fire during their wild ride. [10-60]

McGrail now started up the road with the relief force. One light tank led, followed by the four antiaircraft vehicles loaded with soldiers; the second light tank brought up the rear. About one mile north of the former position of the 13th Field Artillery Battalion, enemy heavy machine gun and light antitank fire ripped into the column just after it rounded a bend and came onto a straight stretch of the road. Two vehicles stopped and returned the enemy fire. Most of the infantry in the antiaircraft vehicles jumped out and scrambled for the roadside ditches. As McGrail went into a ditch he noticed Colonel Meloy's and Major Logan's wrecked jeeps nearby. Enemy fire destroyed the four antiaircraft vehicles.

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About 1800, several staff officers decided that they would place Colonel Meloy in the last tank and run it through the roadblock. The tank made four efforts before it succeeded in pushing aside the pile of smoldering 2 1/2-ton trucks and other equipment blocking the road. Then it rumbled southward.

About twenty vehicles followed the tank through the roadblock, including a truck towing a 105-mm. howitzer of the 52nd Field Artillery Battalion, before enemy fire closed the road again and for the last time.

A few miles south of the roadblock the tank stopped because of mechanical failure. There Captain Barszcz and G Company, withdrawing toward Yusŏng, came upon it and Colonel Meloy.

No one had been able to stop any of the vehicles for help that had followed the tank through the roadblock. Instead, they sped past the disabled tank. The tank commander, Lt. J. N. Roush, upon Colonel Meloy's orders, dropped a thermite grenade into the tank and destroyed it. Eventually, an officer returned with a commandeered truck and took Colonel Meloy and other wounded men to Yusŏng. [10-64]

[note]

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At about 6:00 P.M. the men who were caring for the wounded Meloy north of the roadblock decided to run the gauntlet. They put Meloy in a surviving light tank and set off, leading about fifteen other vehicles, including a rig towing one of Perry's 105 howitzers. The tank and trucks ran the block without major damage or casualties.

However, south of the block the tank carrying Meloy broke down. The tank crew tried to flag down a truck to pick up Meloy, but disgracefully, all fifteen vehicles in the convoy sped around the tank, leaving the wounded regimental commander to fend for himself. Lucky for Meloy, Mike Barszcz, who was then breaking off his attack, came upon Meloy and provided help and protection.

Soon thereafter Tom McGrail's S3, Kenneth J. Woods, came up and put Meloy in a truck and escorted him to safety. Meloy (who won a DSC for his actions that day) eventually wound up in the same hospital with his exec, Chandler. When he recovered from his wounds, Meloy was rotated to the States to continue an exemplary professional career, which earned him four stars.[5-38]

The shattered Chicks ran, straggled, or marched to the rear by various routes. Dean directed the bulk of them to the division CP area, which had displaced easterly about thirty miles, from Taejŏn to Yŏngdong. There Tom McGrail was able to collect and reorganize his 2/19, and it became the 24th Division reserve.

Fortunately the NKPA, busy regrouping and making plans and celebrating another big victory - and bringing tanks across the Kum River did not press the attack on Taejŏn for another two days.

Dean was to boast in his memoir that the celebrated Chicks "did a lot of killing and made the enemy pay full price for the ground won," but the historical data do not support him. The NKPA suffered hardly at all; the Chicks were thoroughly mauled. Of some 900 men on the river line when the NKPA attacked on July 16, only half that number could be found the next day.

Winstead's 1/19 alone suffered a shocking 43 percent casualties: 388 of 785 men. Seventeen of its senior officers were dead. Miller Perry's 52nd FAB lost [5-left] eight of its nine howitzers, all its ammo, and most of its vehicles.[5-39]

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1949 Sun Set

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About six miles north of Yusŏng and two miles south of Tuman-ni, G Company came under long-range enemy fire.

Barszcz received orders to advance along high ground on the left of the road. He was told that enemy troops were on the hill half a mile ahead and to the left. While climbing the hill the company suffered several casualties from enemy fire. They dug in on top at dusk.[1949]

A short time later a runner brought word for them to come down to the road and withdraw. That ended the effort of the 19th Infantry and the 24th Division to break the roadblock behind the regiment. [10-63]

Efforts to break the enemy roadblock at both its northern and southern extremities disclosed that it covered about a mile and a half of road. The enemy soldiers imposing it were on a Y-shaped hill mass whose two prongs dropped steeply to the Yongsu River at their eastern bases and overlooked the Sŏul-Pusan highway.

Behind the roadblock, the trapped men had waited during the afternoon. They could not see either of the two attempts to reach them from the south because of a finger ridge cutting off their view. Not all the troops along the river line, however, came to the roadblock; many groups scattered into the hills and moved off singly or in small units south and east toward Taejŏn.

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About an hour after the tank carrying Colonel Meloy had broken through the roadblock, Captain Fenstermacher, acting under his authority from Major Logan, ordered all personnel to prepare for cross-country movement. The critically wounded and those unable to walk were placed on litters. There were an estimated 500 men and approximately 100 vehicles at the roadblock at this time. Captain Fenstermacher and others poured gasoline on the vehicles and then set them afire. While so engaged, Captain Fenstermacher was shot through the neck.

[note]

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Both North Korean divisions were now across the Kum River, both were ready to advance to the attack of Taejŏn itself.

The 3rd Division was closer to the city and approaching it from the northwest.

The 4th Division, in the Kongju-Nonsan area, was northwest and west of the city and in a position to join with the 3rd Division in a frontal attack or to move south and then east in a flanking movement that would bring it to the rear of Taejŏn.

The road net from Kongju and Nonsan permitted both these possibilities, or a combination of them. After its successful crossing of the Kum on the 14th, the 4th Division apparently had been gathering its forces and waiting on the 3rd to complete its crossing effort so that the two could then join in a co-ordinated attack.

In the North Korean plan, a third division, the 2nd, was supposed to join the 4th and the 3rd in the attack on Taejŏn. This division was advancing on the east of the other two and had been heavily engaged for some days with ROK troops in the Chinch'ŏn-Ch'ŏngju area, where it suffered crippling casualties. As events turned out, this division did not arrive in time to join in the attack, nor did the other two need it.

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Had it come up as planned it would have appeared on the east and southeast of Taejŏn, a thing that General Dean very much feared and which he had to take into account in his dispositions for the defense of the city.

If past practice signified anything for the future, the North Koreans would advance against Taejŏn frontally with a force strong enough to pin down the defenders and attack first with tanks in an effort to demoralize the defenders.

Thus far, their tanks had led every advance and nothing had been able to stop them. While this frontal action developed, strong flanking forces would be moving to the rear to cut off the main escape routes. This North Korean maneuver had been standard in every major action. The N.K. 4th Division was in a favored position to execute just such a flanking maneuver against Taejŏn from the west and southwest. Had the 2nd Division arrived on the scene as planned it would have been in a position to do the same thing from the east and southeast. The 3rd Division was in position between these two divisions and undoubtedly was expected to exert the main frontal pressure in the forthcoming attack.

In any deployment of his forces against the North Koreans in front of Taejŏn, General Dean faced the fact that he had only remnants of three defeated regiments. Each of them could muster little more than a battalion of troops.

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Osan, Ch'ŏnui, and Choch'iwŏn had reduced the 21st Infantry to that state;

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P'yŏngt'aek, Ch'ŏnan, and the Kum River (Battle of Taejŏn)had left only a decimated 34th Infantry; and

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16 July at the Kum River had sadly crippled the 19th Infantry.

In addition to numerical weakness, all the troops were tired and their morale was not the best. General Dean braced himself for the job ahead. He himself was as worn as his troops; for the past two weeks he had faced daily crises and had pushed himself to the limit.

Dean's Plan at Taejŏn

After dark on 16 July [2000], the 34th Infantry on orders from General Dean fell back approximately twenty miles from the vicinity of Nonsan to new defensive positions three miles west of Taejŏn. Col. Charles E. Beauchamp, who had flown to Korea from Japan to take command of the regiment, established his command post at the Taejŏn airstrip just to the northwest of the city.

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General Dean consolidated all remaining elements of the divisional artillery, except the 155-mm. howitzers of the 11th Field Artillery Battalion, into one composite battalion and emplaced it at the airstrip for the defense of the city. The airstrip itself closed to ordinary traffic.

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About 2100 the last of the men at the roadblock moved eastward into the hills. [10-65]

One group of infantrymen, artillerymen, engineers, and medical and headquarters troops, numbering approximately 100 men, climbed the mountain east of the road. They took with them about 30 wounded, including several litter cases.

About 40 men of this group were detailed to serve as litter bearers but many of them disappeared while making the ascent. On top of the mountain the men still with the seriously wounded decided they could take them no farther.

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Chaplain Herman G. Felhoelter remained behind with the wounded. When a party of North Koreans could be heard approaching, at the Chaplain's urging, Capt. Linton J. Buttrey, the medical officer, escaped, though seriously wounded in doing so. From a distance, 1st Sgt. James W. R. Haskins of Headquarters Company saw through his binoculars a group of what appeared to be young North Korean soldiers murder the wounded men and the valiant chaplain as the latter prayed over them. [10-66]

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Casualties

Sunday July 16, 1950 (Day 022)

Korean_War 420 Casualties

As of July 16, 1950

8 13TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 17TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
366 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 21ST INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 24TH ARMORED RECONNAISSANCE COMPANY
1 24TH DIVISION ARTILLERY HEADQUARTERS
HEADQUARTERS BATTERY
4 24TH SIGNAL COMPANY - DIVISION
3 26TH ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY AW BATTALION (SP)
17 3RD ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
15 52ND FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 620TH AIR CONTROL AND WARNING SQUADRON
3 78TH HEAVY TANK BATTALION
421 19500716 0000 Casualties by unit

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 39 689 0 0 0 728
Losses 0 420 0 0 0 420
To Date 39 1109 0 0 0 1148

Aircraft Losses Today 001

Notes for Sunday July 16, 1950 - Day 022