Overview

Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale (SSHS)
Duration July 15 – July 19
Peak intensity
110 km/h (70 mph) (1 -min), Unknown

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Tropical Storm Flossie


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

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July 16 to 21 Typhoon Grace

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19 Jul CinCUNC makes 2nd request for Marine division.
19 Jul President Truman authorizes Defense Dept. to call up reserve units and individuals.


19 Jul The Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC), Gen Clifton B. Cates, alerts Marine Corps organized reserve units for call to active duty following Presidential announcement. [note]

19, 20, 21, 22

July 19 to 22 - Battle for Taejŏn. U.S. troops retreat. Major General William F. Dean becomes separated from his command and on August 25, 1950 is captured by North Koreans.

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34th Inf Reg., 24th Div., 8th Army reduced to paper status and it's few remaining troops and equipment went to the 19th Inf Reg. There were not enough men left in the 34th to make a full size Company. [note]

Supporting Artillery

Emergency Conditions, Emergency Measures

Lacking non-divisional artillery, MacArthur asked the Joint Chiefs on 19 July to send him light, medium, and heavy artillery battalions. He asked for six 155-mm. howitzer Battalions, self-propelled, as the first shipment. He also asked for an artillery group headquarters and a field artillery observation battalion. He pointed out that his division commanders in Korea would be forced, by the extensive frontages, broken terrain, and the limited road nets, to employ their divisions by separate RCT's. With a projected American force in Korea, based upon JCS approved deployments as of that date, of 4 Army divisions and 1 Marine RCT, there would be 13 American regiments available in Korea.

At least ten of these regiments could normally be expected to be in the front lines at any given time. Since only four battalions of 155-mm. howitzers would be present with division artillery units, six more battalions would be required if each of the ten regiments was to have a medium artillery battalion when it was used as an RCT.

Two 8-inch howitzer battalions and the 155-mm. guns would be required for general support along the whole front. Light battalions could either reinforce division artillery units, or, if desirable, be committed in support of South Korean units. General MacArthur noted that the profitable extent to which American artillery should be used in support of South Korean forces was under study by his staff. [note]


July 19

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President Truman requests $10 billion to beef up the American military for not only Korea, but to be able to confront communist challenges in other parts of the world.

-- The Army and Air Force agree to let prior service reserve officers volunteering for duty to keep the one-grade promotions given at the end of their World War II active service.

-- MacArthur receives another title to go along with CINCUN and U.S. commander in Korea. ROK President Syngman Rhee names him commander of all South Korean military forces.

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-- At the end of the week, the North Korean advance is along a line across the peninsula beginning on the west coast just below Taejŏn and running just slightly northeast.

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[note]


July 17-19

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U.S. and Australian fighters and bombers hit North Korean forces all along the front. American pilots down two Yak-9s July 17 and three more on July 19, making 31 air kills for the U.S. Air Force. [note]

As he testified on Capitol Hill the following spring, he hoped by an

"arrogant display of strength to fool the enemy into the belief that I had a much greater resource at my disposal than I did. I managed to throw in a part of two. battalions of infantry, who put up a magnificent resistance before they were destroyed--a resistance which resulted, perhaps, in one of the most vital successes that we had. The enemy undoubtedly could not understand that we would make an effort with such small forces. Instead of rushing rapidly forward to Pusan, which he could have reached within a week, without the slightest difficulty, he stopped to deploy his artillery. . . . We gained ten days by that process. . . . By that time we had landed .. . the First Cavalry Division on the east coast, and they moved over and formed a line of battle... . From that time on I never had the slightest doubt about our ability to hold a beachhead. And on July 19, in the first communiqué that I recall I issued, I predicted that we would not be driven into the sea".[32]

[note lots more]

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3rd Rescue Squadron
Korean War Operations
19 July 1950

19 July 1950
Two SB-17s were used this date for weather recon and orbit missions. Fifteen hours and five minutes (15:05) were logged on these missions.


At 1143/K the Flight received a call from ADCC stating that a B-29 was 100 miles out on a heading of 110° with one engine out and to stand by for further instructions.

At 1148/K the Flight was notified to disregard the above message.

At 1810/K ADCC called and said a PBM type aircraft was out of gas at 34° N 130° 25' E, and wanted the Flight to investigate and report their findings. Later notified that the PGM had landed at Iwakuni Air Base. A total of two false alerts for this date. [note]


July 19:

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In a dogfight near Taejŏn, 5th Air Force F-80s shot down three enemy Yaks, the highest daily number of aerial victories this month.

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In the campaign to establish air superiority in the theater, seven F-80s of the 8th Fighter-Bomber Group (FBG), led by Lt. Col. William T. Samways, destroyed 15 enemy airplanes on the ground near P'yŏngyang.

[note]

[note]

Army Policy

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By 19 July the Joint Chiefs of Staff had asked for and received a third increase in authorized military strength. The Army limit was lifted to 834,000, a jump of 93,500 spaces. Some of this addition, too, was scheduled for the Far East Command as combat and service support units and replacements. The JCS set aside the lion's share for twenty more antiaircraft artillery battalions and other units to augment the depleted General Reserve. [07-16]

But a paper army wins no battles and deters no aggressor.

The Army's authorized strength had to be transmuted into actual strength quickly. Voluntary recruitment, Selective Service, recall of individual Reservists, and ordering National Guard and Organized Reserve Corps units to active service were means used to fill the Army's manpower needs. When the Korean War began the Department of the Army was relying almost entirely on volunteers to fill its enlisted ranks. Authority existed for procuring new soldiers through the draft under the Selective Service Extension Act of 1950, but the Army had made little use of it. [note]

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The Department of the Army on 19 July had discarded peacetime strengths and authorized full combat table of Organization and Equipment (TO & E) strength for all divisions operating in the Far East Command. This increase in authorized men and officers, technically called filler replacements, when added to the number of combat-loss replacements which MacArthur said he needed by 1 September 1950, brought the total replacement requirements of the command to 82,000 men. [05-27] [note]

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Army officials were anxious not only to meet the requirements set up by the Far East Command but also to do so in the manner designated by General MacArthur. On 19 July, they told him to decide whether he wanted combat replacements or a war-strength combat division. The second increment of the 2d Division, scheduled to sail the next day, would leave at only half strength because men from other stations in the United States could not reach Fort Lewis by sailing time.

The division commander opposed sailing at only half strength, especially when 3,500 men were at west coast ports of debarkation awaiting shipment to the FEC as replacements. Since airlift was very limited, these replacements could not reach the FEC for at least three weeks. Washington asked General MacArthur for an immediate decision as to whether 1,500 of these replacements could be placed with the second increment of the 2nd Division when it sailed the next day. [05-53]

General MacArthur's preoccupation with replacements led him to compromise by agreeing that the maximum number of men from the ports of debarkation could be sent on the same ships as the 2nd Division, but not assigned to the division. "Anything," his reply stated, "that will speed up movement of replacements to this theater is desired." [note]

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

According to Air Force officials, this abnormal arrangement was not only unproductive but wasteful. Since the target group performed its function using a standard Army Map Service 1:250,000 map to select targets for medium bombers without checking its information from other sources, an unusual situation developed. Of 220 targets selected by the group between 17 July and 2 August, 20 percent did not exist on the ground.[The group was reformed as of July 21st according to Stratemeyer's wishes]

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The FEAF commander called on General MacArthur and the latter's chief of staff, General Almond, on 19 July to complain of this procedure. [note]

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When President Truman, on 19 July, asked General MacArthur for his estimate of the Korean situation, he received a reply that revealed a new confidence, quite a contrast with the glum prognoses issued earlier in the month. The North Koreans, MacArthur told the President, had lost their great chance for victory. The extraordinary speed with which Eighth Army had been deployed from Japan and the brilliant coordinated support by air and naval elements had forced the enemy into

"continued deployments, costly frontal attacks and confused logistics.... I do not believe that history records a comparable operation."

His forces still faced a difficult campaign. They would be hard pressed and could expect losses as well as successes. But the initiative no longer lay entirely with the North Koreans, and United Nations troops held Southern Korea securely. Apparently heartened by the recent promises of reinforcements which would increase his own strength as attrition cut the enemy's strength, General MacArthur assured President Truman,

"We are now in Korea in force, and with God's help we are there to stay until the constitutional authority of the Republic is fully restored." [06-32]

[note]

Congressional action on 30 June 1950 gave the President the authority to order units and individual members of the Organized Reserve Corps (ORC) and units of the National Guard of the United States into active federal service for a period of twenty-one months. [07-18]

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On 19 July President Truman delegated this authority to the Secretary of Defense, who further delegated it to the secretaries of the military departments. [07-19]

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In the case of both officers and enlisted men, the Army established and carried out a policy of recalling individuals from the Inactive and Volunteer Reserves. In order to avoid enfeebling Active Reserve units, already understrength in most cases, and to enable these units, if it became necessary to call them into service, to come on duty in some semblance of combat readiness, the Army felt that it should not take their officers and men. true, the men and officers in these units had been receiving pay for attending drills and were, or could logically be expected to be, more ready for active service than Inactive or Volunteer Reservists. Nevertheless, when it became necessary to fill Reserve and Regular units it was deemed necessary to draw on the Inactive and Volunteer Reserves. Persons who were members of the Active Reserve, assigned to units, drilling regularly, and receiving current training were not recalled to active duty as individuals.

Membership in the Inactive Reserves meant, in fact, that officers and men had accepted a Reserve status and all its attached obligations but would not, or could not, spend the time required for training in the Active Reserve. The fact that a man was in the inactive portion of the Reserve did not, however, obviate his obligation to serve if his country needed him. Volunteer Reserves were those members of the Active Reserve who were not assigned to mobilization troop basis units. [note]

19, 25, 28, 29

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Corps Headquarters


By late July, it had become apparent that U.N. forces, comprising American divisions, ROK divisions, and units expected from member nations of the United Nations, would soon be so numerous that tighter tactical control would be necessary. In anticipation of such a development, General MacArthur, on 19 July, called on the Department of the Army for two corps headquarters. He asked that these headquarters be sent as soon as possible with attached medical and military police units and with two signal battalions. If feasible, these two headquarters should be designated I and IX Corps. [07-63] [note]

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On 19 July, General MacArthur called again for the 1st Marine Division, this time stipulating that all units of the division and the air wing should arrive by 10 September. He also asked that equipment and personnel be sent at once to bring the 5th Marine RCT, already on the way, to full war strength. [09-16]


To fill the 1st Marine Division, the Marine Corps drew men and equipment from all over the United States. So empowered by Presidential authority, the corps called 138 units with a strength of 1,800 officers and 31,648 enlisted Marines, its entire Organized Ground Reserve, to active service.

It also brought 6,800 Regulars of the 2nd Marine Division from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to Camp Pendleton. An effort was made, however, to avoid stripping the Atlantic area completely of Marines.

Admiral Sherman felt that denuding the Atlantic area would be too dangerous; and at Sherman's insistence, the Joint Chiefs of Staff informed General MacArthur that they could not send him the full Marine division before November or December. Nor could they determine the extent to which the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade could be strengthened until Admiral Sherman conferred with Admiral Radford in Hawaii. [09-17] [note]

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In August, the Peiping regime accused the United States of aggression against Formosa and asked the United Nations Security Council to order the withdrawal of ". . . all of the United States armed invading forces from Taiwan...." [20-20]

19500825 2000 25 August 1950

In refutation of this charge, President Truman on 25 August directed United States Ambassador Austin to address the Secretary-General, Trygve Lie, on the matter.

Austin sent Lie a complete account of the official American attitude toward Formosa, including a 19 July statement to the Congress by President Truman in which he declared

". . . that the United States has no territorial ambitions whatever concerning that island, nor do we seek for ourselves any special position or privilege on Formosa."

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See entire [message]

See Radio message to the American people [ later that day]

[note]

Yech'ŏn, 7/19 and 7/20

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The mistrust endemic to the 24th Infantry began to appear just as soon as word arrived at Gifu in early July 1950 that the regiment was to depart for Korea along with its associated engineers and artillery. Almost immediately, rumors began to circulate among both whites and blacks that the regiment would never go into combat because of the supposed poor performance of all-black units in earlier wars. Then, as the date of departure approached, white officers began to hear reports that a black chaplain had undermined the chain of command by suggesting during a meeting that it was inappropriate for men of color to fight one another on behalf of whites.

Black officers received unsubstantiated word that the black commander of the 1st Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel James F. Lofton, had been reassigned to prevent him from commanding whites in combat. And, even as the unit moved from Pusan to Sangju in central South Korea, a speculative story made the rounds to the effect that the regimental executive officer had faked a heart attack rather than go into combat with an all-black unit.

Although indicative of poor discipline in portions of the 24th and a source of doubts on the part of whites about the advisability of committing the regiment to war, disturbances at Gifu and later at the port of Moji on the first leg of the trip from Japan to Korea involved only a small minority of the unit's men and said little about its readiness. In fact, on paper, the 24th was probably more prepared for combat than the other regiments of the 25th Division. It had three full battalions instead of the two characteristic of the post-World War II Army, and if its equipment was old and worn and its men nervous and unseasoned, it had, at least, exercised at the regimental level in field maneuvers.

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Unlike Major General William F. Dean's 24th Infantry Division, the unit also had the opportunity to introduce itself gradually to combat rather than have to face enemy fire from almost the moment it arrived. Indeed, its 3rd Battalion [3/24] was fortunate enough to win a small victory at Yech'ŏn, one of the first successes of the war for United Nations forces.

While hardly significant for the course of the war, Yech'ŏn could have had important benefits for both the 3rd Battalion and the rest of the 24th. Once the soldier has tasted victory, so the reasoning goes, his self-confidence rises and combat becomes easier for him to face. In the case of the 24th, however, there was no time for Yech'ŏn to take root.

[note]

CAG-5

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In general, the remainder of the flights and sweeps on the 18th, 19th, 22nd and 25th were "armed reconnaissance" in nature and covered an area inland from P'ohang to north of Hamhung on the east coast and on the west coast ranged from Kwangju north to Kaesŏng going inland as far as Namwŏn. Targets attacked and damaged were airfield installations, railroad facilities, locomotives and rolling stock, bridges, power stations, oil tanks, small boats, factories, troops and vehicles. [note]

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The HMS Triumph (R16) operated with us at all times,[ July: 18, 19, 22, 25, 26, 28 and 29.] except July 22, providing CAP and ASP. [note]

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The Marine Corps had been authorized on 19 July to call up its reserves; Marine security forces throughout the United States were reduced 50 percent; [note]

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On the morning of the 19th the air group was again launched at dawn to strike North Korean targets. Only propeller aircraft were launched for the afternoon strike.

[note]

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A four-plane Seafire Combat Air patrol and two-plane Firefly antisubmarine patrol by the HMS Triumph (R16) augmented by one ADW type from the USS Valley Forge (CV-45) was maintained throughout the daylight hours of the 18th and 19th. [note]

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In the afternoon 12 Ads, 16 "F4Us, and 1 F4U-5N took off on strikes and a photo mission against the enemy. primary target for ADs has was Kogen RR bridge, but the weather over Korea was so bad that they diverted to a small bridge 3 miles west of Wŏnsan..

The ground was completely overcast except for two thin spots, one just south of Wŏnsan and the other just off Hungnam. All but 2 of the places dropped their bombs as the small bridge, where two near misses with 1000# bombs were made.

From there, they flew to Sondok airfield where they saw 9 intact aircraft on the south side of the field, staggered. Also on the field, the remains of 3-4 more burned planes were sighted.

On retirement, they left 3 more burning and 2 others smoking. One of the two planes with hung 1000# bombs, dropped his bomb on a hanger at Sondok, while the other plane dropped his on an unidentified group of building is the Southeast corner of Hŭngnam, South Hamgyong, North Korea.

The flight leader reported white bursts of anti-aircraft through the overcast at 10,000’ with about the same accuracy as when the enemy could see the aircraft. This accuracy would suggest some kind of control for the guns, thought not good.

The Corsairs aimed their strikes at Hungnam, where a supposed natural gas plant was assumed to be. Dropping 5 G.P 2 napalm, and firing 6 HVAR’s, the pilots produced only quick extinguishing of the napalm jelly, and the pilots were not satisfied with the estimate of the target. The roofs of building in the area were reported as rusty and little used. Flying north, they followed the railroad to Hungnam, where they staffed the rail yard, exploding 5 locomotives and damaging 3. Installations in two yards were strafed with results unknown. No anti-aircraft was encountered.

The photo plane and his escort flew within 50 miles of the Manchurian border, reporting that the track was open all the way from the border to Humhung. No tunnels were damage. At Sinchang one part of the tunnel was being repaired, although factories were in operation with 8 trains observed shuttling in or near them. The tracks formerly believed to cut across the just of land from Sŏngjin north to Odajin were observed to follow the coast line.

At Chaho (40°.10’N 129°-40E) l locomotive was exploded.

At Tancken (40°-27N.129°-00’E) 2 more were exploded by the escort.

Further north a last locomotive was exploded just before entering a tunnel at Songho-dong (41°-05’N 129°-44’E). Steam came from both entrances to the tunnel.

At Sinchong a 100’ barge was left burning. Another smaller barge was strafed at Sŏngjin. No enemy anti-aircraft were seen or encountered.

The attack planes, unable to contact TAC, and unable to see Sŏul because of weather, flew to Tack'chon here two division bombed the BR bridge, target 69. Dropping their 1000# and 500# bombs, they destroyed the bridge, leaving it buent and twisted, with a span in the center sagging. Photos confirm this report. The approaches also received direct hits with bombs and rockets.

A factory at Hanju was subsequently struck with rockets and 20mm, sustaining unknown damage.

The third division of ADs hit another combination RR and vehicular bridge northwest of Tosong-ni. With 2 direct hits, 1 1000# and 1 500#, a complete span on the vehicle side was dropped. Photos show a complete section missing near the cost end of the bridge. Damage must also have been inflicted upon the adjacent RR tracks. Five miles north of the bridge, an army truck was left burning by the division leader. Near Ronju in a rail yard already burned out, a 12 car train lost its locomotive with a steam explosion. Also in the yards a string of 100# bombs put one into the roundhouse, with a large hole observed in the roof. One pilot strafed a power station near Hacju observing a large white flash as it a transformer had shorted. No anti-aircraft was encountered.

One division of Corsairs could not find an opening in the overcast at any point so jettisoned their rockets and bombs at sea on the return to the ship. However, the other group of F4Us went into the bride at Tack'chon with the two divisions of Sky raiders making the hits with 500# bombs in the approaches to the highway bridge. Their observations agreed with those of the returning bomber pilots. Then, moving north, three power stations were hit and left smoking. Fires in the transformers are believed to have been ignited. These targets were a Peakchon, Kauher, and Hanchonjun. Photos confirm these damages. They also saw the burning train and reported about 6 cars burning furiously. Photos show 10-12 burning and the possibility of the fires spreading is very pronounced. Light bursts of anti-aircraft were seen between Packehen and T’osong-ni, believed to have come from slit trenches on the hill overlooking the combination bridge 3 ½ miles northeast of T’osong-ni.

The photo planes and their escorts were with the Ads and F4Us throughout the strike, and their pictures give excellent confirmation of all damage inflicted. [note]

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Upon completion of flight operations, Typhoon Bill Condition I was set as directed by Commander SEVENTH Fleet. After setting condition I, the Task Force cruised in the Sea of Japan [note]

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In general, the remainder of the flights and sweeps on the 18th, 19th, 22nd and 25th were "armed reconnaissance" in nature and covered an area inland from P'ohang to north of Hamhung on the east coast and on the west coast ranged from Kwangju north to Kaesŏng going inland as far as Namwŏn. Targets attacked and damaged were airfield installations, railroad facilities, locomotives and rolling stock, bridges, power stations, oil tanks, small boats, factories, troops and vehicles. [note]

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The HMS Triumph (R16) operated with us at all times,[ July: 18, 19, 22, 25, 26, 28 and 29.] except July 22, pro­viding CAP and ASP. [note]

Distinguished Service Cross

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SFC John F. Little

1st Lt. Earnest P. Terrell


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On July 19,, the 1/34th Infantry was positioned along the Kap-ch'on River west of Taejŏn, astride the Kongju Road.

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The 2/19th Infantry, south of the 1/34th, was also on the Kap-ch'on River , defending the Nonsan Road.

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[note]

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While confusion in its command structure bedeviled the 34th Infantry, the 24th, commanded by Colonel Horton V. White, suffered because of an additional factor--segregation. Many of the black regiment's white officers held prejudices that affected both their leadership and their later evaluations of the 24th's troops. The regiment experienced its first significant action in Korea when its 3rd Battalion, under Lt. Col. Samuel Pierce, Jr., tried to retake the town of Yech'ŏn on July 19, 1950.

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[note]

Photo #: 80-G-428152

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Grumman F9F-3 "Panther", of Fighter Squadron 52 (VF-52)
Taxies forward on USS Valley Forge (CV-45) to be catapulted for strikes on targets along the east coast of Korea, 19 July 1950. Note details of the ship's island, including scoreboard at left. [note]

Photo #: NH 96982

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Lieutenant (Junior Grade) W. Boyd Muncie Disembarks from a HO3S helicopter, upon his return to USS Valley Forge (CV-45) on 19 July 1950, following his rescue from the Sea of Japan by an amphibian "Sea Otter" from HMS triumph. The first Naval Aviator to be shot down by North Korean anti-aircraft fire, he spent two and a half hours in the water.

[note]

PPhoto #: NH 96998

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Captain David Booker, USMC (left)
"Mans his aerial reconnaissance plane on flight deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier with the Seventh Fleet." Quoted caption was released with this photo on 19 July 1950. If the view was taken at about that time, the carrier would be USS Valley Forge (CV-45), then the only 7th Fleet carrier, which was engaged in early Korean War operations. Capt. Booker's plane is a Vought F4U-5P "Corsair". Note its camera hatch low on the fuselage behind the cockpit.

[note]

Photo #: NH 96979
USS Valley Forge (CV-45)

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A Vought F4U-4B fighter is fueled and armed with 5-inch rockets, prior to strikes against targets on the Korean east coast, 19 July 1950.

[note]

Photo #: 80-G-418592
Wŏnsan Oil Refinery, Wŏnsan, North Korea

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Burning after being struck by USS Valley Forge (CV-45) aircraft on 18 July 1950. photograph may have been taken on 19 July, when smoke from these fires was visible from the carrier, operating at sea off the Korean east coast.

[note]

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General Jerome's memo was only the latest of many attempts to convince the Department of the Navy to increase the Marine Corps ' inventory of aircraft for the Korean buildup .

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On 19 July, General Cates submitted a request to the Secretary of the Navy for an additional four Marine fighter squadrons in an effort to increase the total to 12 .

[note]

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The US 24th Division began the defense of Taejŏn.[note]

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"In the third such move in as many weeks, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended the Army authorized strength to be increased to 834,000. President Truman approved this request the following day." [note]

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25th Infantry Division G-3 Activities Report of July 19,1950 -- "The units were advised to be alert for enemy disguised as peasants with weapons and uniforms in bundle. These soldiers were infiltrating behind our lines." 51


[51] Activities Report, 25th Infantry Division G-3, 19 Jul 50.. In AG Command Reports (War Diaries) 19491954, 25th Infantry Division History Jul 50, Entry 429, Box 3746, RG 407, NARA. [note]

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In the 7th Cavalry Regiment, the regimental operations officer or the regimental intelligence officer briefed each company "on the situation and [gave] pointers on combat, what to expect, how to react, and the like." 10

[10] Headquarters 7th Cavalry (Infantry), War Diary July 1950 , Entry for 18 and 19 July 1950 , Box 4431, RG 407, NARA. [note]

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In July 1950 , the intelligence staffs at Eighth Army and the 1st Cavalry Division employed a variety of source materials in their efforts to view the battlefield and understand the NKPA. Much of the material used by intelligence staffs came from subordinate units: information on engagements with NKPA units; reports of shelling by NKPA artillery and mortars; reports from ground patrols; and reports from aerial observers using L-5 and L-17 liaison aircraft. Battalion and regimental intelligence sections at times provided their analysis of the situation along with the material they forwarded to higher echelons. Other sources used by army and division intelligence staffs included post-mission pilot debriefings provided by Fifth Air Force; aerial photo reconnaissance; American advisors serving with Republic of Korea (ROK) units; Korean National Police units; South Korean officials; South Korean civilians, usually refugees crossing American lines; interrogations of captured NKPA personnel; and examinations of captured NKPA weapons and material. In August and September 1950 , during the battles on the Pusan perimeter, interception and analysis of NKPA radio traffic played an important role, but this capability was not available during the withdrawal to the perimeter in July 1950 [11]

[11] Most of the various sources used by army and division intelligence staffs to develop their analyses are noted in the Periodic Intelligence Reports these staffs produced. For communications intelligence, see Aid, 45-48. Doctrine concerning sources is in FM 30-5, 25-31.

[note]

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VI. 1st Cavalry Division in 1950
The 1st Cavalry Division (Infantry) was organized, like the other divisions stationed in Japan in 1950 , according to a table of Organization and Equipment (TOE) published in 1948. 15

15 table of Organization and Equipment No. 7-11N, 21 April 1948, Department of the Army.

As discussed in Chapter 2, the authorized peacetime manning levels for this period meant that the three infantry regiments comprised only two of the three battalions normally assigned. Likewise, each regiment lacked its authorized tank company. These missing units did not represent the only personnel and organizational shortfall in this peacetime structure; the division artillery battalions were reduced to two firing batteries. In addition, the division's equipment was largely of World War II vintage. These limitations had little impact on a force tasked only with occupation duty. The early days of the Korean War, however, clearly laid bare the inadequacies of this structure for combat.

Historians generally accept the fact that the soldiers of the Army of Occupation functioned merely as a constabulary, ill-trained and ill-equipped to fight a modern war against a well-trained and well-equipped adversary. While critical limitations in the training and equipment of the 1st Cavalry Division existed, the officers and men were not incompetent or unprofessional in any way. After reviewing a portion of the pre-publication manuscript of the first volume of the Army's official history of the Korean War, South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu by Roy Appleman, General Douglas MacArthur took strong exception to the frequent references to the poor state of the troops under his command in Japan. In a letter to the Chief of Military History concerning the manuscript, he underscored the fact that soldiers in Japan met the same standards the Army demanded of soldiers stationed anywhere else in the world. If the standards proved inadequate, that fault rested with the Army. MacArthur wrote:

The criticism, by implication, seems to apply solely to occupation troops. This is incorrect. The same weaknesses existed in all American troops. The divisions that came later to Korea from the United States were no better or worse than those from Japan. The policies, which caused these deficiencies, were formulated in Washington, not in the Occupation. 16

[16] Letter, Douglas MacArthur, 15 November 1957,, sub: Manuscript South to the Naktong. In Records of the Army Staff, Box 747, RG 319, NARA.

The 1st Cavalry Division's critical personnel shortages proved just as serious as the shortages in organization.

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To bring the 24th Infantry Division up to strength prior to that division's departure from Japan for Korea, the 1st Cavalry Division transferred to the 24th Division nearly 800 men, most of them senior non-commissioned officers. [17]

[17] War diary, 1st Cavalry Division,, 25 June-November 1950 . In the Records of U.S. Army Commands, Military Historian's Office, Organizational History Files, Box 42, RG 338, NARA.

The Army made every effort to correct these shortfalls through promotion and reorganization, but no organization can effectively perform its mission with so many non-commissioned officers missing.

VII. training and Equipment in the 1st Cavalry Division
To assume that no training, or inappropriate training, occurred in Japan is also misleading. The 1st Cavalry Division was relieved of its occupation duties in 1950 specifically to conduct comprehensive unit training. The division initiated a training cycle designed to progress from the individual soldier to the regimental level. The deployment alert left the 1st Cavalry Division unable to finish its training plan. In the case of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, this program had focused on squad-, platoon-, and company-level training and had not progressed to the battalion and regimental level. [18]

[18] War diary, 1st Cavalry Division, June-July 1950 . In the Records of U. S. Army Commands, Cavalry Divisions 1940-1967, Box 131, RG 338, NARA.

The material condition of the 1st Cavalry Division also affected its fighting ability. Several shortages existed in all units in Korea; the 1st Cavalry was no exception. General Walker, the Eighth Army Commander, issued these instructions to the Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, General Gay:


You will take over from what is left of the 24th Division northwest of Yŏngdong, protect Yŏngdong, but remember that there are no friendly troops behind you. You must keep your back door open. You can live without food, but you cannot exist long without ammunition and unless the Yŏngdong -- Taegu Road is kept open, you will soon be without ammunition. 19

[19] Letter, Headquarters III Corps, 24 August 1953, sub: Manuscript South to the Naktong. In Records of the Army Staff, Box 746, RG 319, NARA.

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The 1st Cavalry Division quickly recognized the reality of these instructions. The division also experienced shortages in ammunition and other supplies. These shortages influenced the pace of the withdrawal. The threat of infiltration and flanking attacks remained until the division reached the Naktong River, but the need to secure the supply route from Taegu was equally important in the decision to move rapidly from Hwanggan to Kŭmch'ŏn. [note]

IV. The Periodic Intelligence Report

Intelligence from higher echelons, both regularly scheduled reports and spot reports, could do much to shape an organization's understanding of the enemy and the wider battlefield. While higher echelons sent subordinate units spot intelligence reports as required by the tactical situation, most of the intelligence flow from Eighth Army to the divisions, and from divisions to their regiments, came in the form of a "Periodic Intelligence Report" (PIR). Eighth Army's daily PIR covered the period from midnight to midnight.

The PIR outlined the enemy situation at the end of the period (often by using an enclosed overlay or map);

briefly discussed enemy operations during the period and then reviewed operations in more detail by component elements (infantry, artillery, armor, and so on);

reported any new enemy tactics, weapons, and material encountered; provided estimates of enemy losses, combat efficiency, morale, and supply status;

and forecasted the next day's weather.

The last paragraph of the PIR discussed the enemy's possible courses of actions and the intelligence staff's estimate of the enemy's probable courses of action. Occasionally, the PIR included an annex that provided detailed information on subjects such as the enemy order of battle or enemy tactics and equipment. The PIRs prepared by division intelligence staffs and sent to regiments followed the same format; however, divisions used a 24-hour reporting cycle of 6:00 PM to 6:00 PM. [12]

[12] FM 30-5, 75-77.

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V. The Accuracy of the Eighth Army’s Intelligence


Overall, despite the weaknesses in the Army's intelligence capability, Eighth Army and the 1st Cavalry Division during this period had sufficiently accurate combat intelligence. Neither Eighth Army nor the 1st Cavalry Division suffered serious reverses because the NKPA caught them by surprise.

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As the 24th Infantry Division delayed the NKPA between July 5 and July 19, Eighth Army collected enough enemy information to provide the 1st Cavalry Division with an accurate outline of the tactics they could expect the NKPA to use. During the remainder of the month, Eighth Army provided its divisions with more detailed information on the NKPA, culminating with the publication of "Combat Information Bulletin Number One."

Eighth Army tended to overestimate the strength the NKPA would commit to the Taejŏn--Kŭmch'ŏn axis. The Eighth Army missed, until late July, the 4th Division's turn to the south after the capture of Taejŏn to join the 6th Division in the effort to envelop Eighth Army's left flank. By July 26, the Eighth Army had identified the three NKPA divisions that opposed the 1st Cavalry and the 25th Infantry Divisions, although the Eighth Army probably overestimated the combat effectiveness of these units (During July, Eighth Army significantly underestimated the number of casualties its units, the Fifth Air Force, and the ROK Army inflicted on the NKPA.). This tendency further manifested itself in the fact that most American units, when making initial enemy contact, magnified the size and strength of the enemy forces because they lacked the combat experience required to make accurate judgments. [13]

[13]
Headquarters Far East Command,, Military Intelligence Section, General Staff, "History of the North Korean Army," July 1952, 56-58, 74-75, 79-80 (copy in File Geog V Korea 314.7 North Korean Army, U.S. Army Center of Military History, Washington, D.C.); Roy E. Appleman, South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu (Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1961), 263; "Report of the First OCAFF Observer Team to the Far East Command," 8. [note]

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The division traveled by sea to Korea in two lifts. The 5th and 8th Cavalry comprised the first lift, and the 7th Cavalry arrived in the second lift. The 5th and 8th Cavalry arrived in Korea on July 18 and moved forward to the Yŏngdong area the following day. The battle for Taejŏn already raged, and the North Koreans began surrounding the 24th Division.

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The 24th desperately needed replacements and a chance to reorganize. The 34th Infantry Regiment, caught in Taejŏn by the 3rd NKPA Division, was incapable of offensive action. The 1st Cavalry Division now faced this same enemy division in Yŏngdong. [note]

South then North

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Perhaps a word should be said about the close air support that aided the ground troops in their hard-pressed first weeks in Korea. This support was carried out by United States Air Force, Navy, Marine, and Australian fighter planes and some U.S. fighter-bombers. Beginning early in the war, it built up as quickly as resources would permit. On 3 July the Far East Air Forces established a Joint Operations Center at Itazuke Air Base, on Kyushu in Japan, for control of the fighter planes operating over the Korean battlefield. This center moved to Taejŏn in Korea on 5 July, and on 14 July to Taegu, where it established itself near Eighth Army headquarters.

By 19 July, heavy communications equipment arrived and a complete tactical air control center was established in Korea, except for radar and direction-finding facilities. [note]

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[To accomplish part of the build-up he needed to carry out his plan of campaign in Korea, MacArthur on 8 July requested of the Department of the Army authority to expand the infantry divisions then in the Far East Command to full war strength in personnel and equipment.] He received this authority on 19 July. [09-26] [note]

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[a typhoon that had narrowly missed the area on this date. Should make naval ops difficult.] [note]

The enemy entry into Yŏngdök began three weeks of fighting for this key coastal town, with first one side and then the other holding it. Two or three miles of ground immediately south of it became a barren, churned up, fought-over no man's land. The first ROK counterattack came immediately. On 18 July at 0545 an air strike came in on the enemy front lines. Heavy naval gunfire pounded the Yŏngdök area after the strike. At 0600 the United States light cruiser USS Juneau (CLAA-119) fired two star shells over the ROK line of departure. Newly arrived reinforcements took part in the attack as ROK troops advanced behind the screen of naval gunfire to close rifle range with the North Koreans. At the same time, other naval guns placed interdiction fire on the North Korean rear areas. These heavy support fires were largely responsible for a North Korean withdrawal to a point about three miles north of Yŏngdök for reorganization. [12-4] But this success was short lived. Elements of the N.K. 5th Division regained the town the next day, driving the ROK's back to their former positions south of it. [note]

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On 19 July, the 5th Cavalry Regiment started toward Taejŏn. [note]

Citations

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500719 0000 DSC LITTLE

19500719 0000 DSC TERRELL

 

 

Silver Star

BOGGS, EDWARD H. [TSgt SS 3rdARS]

Bryant, James B. [2ndLt SS2 B34thIR]

Bryant, James B. [2ndLt SS B34thIR]

Caldwell, William D. [1stLt SS HqCo3rdBn19thIR]

Cox, Roy L. [2ndLt SS B34thIR]

Edenbo, John W. [Capt SS B-29 USAF]

Hattan, Roy E. [LtCol SS CO 63rdFAB]

Kristanoff, George Walter [1stLt SS 24thReconCo]

Smith, John H. [Sgt SS A11thFAB]

Stepanek, John Godfrey [SFC SS 24thReconCo]

Watkins, Robert B. [Cpl SS 24thRecon]

 

[note]

 

The Forgotten War

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By the time Beauchamp took command of the 34th, Dean had conceived a crude plan for holding Taejŏn two more days.

The 34th Regiment, supported by batteries of the 11th, 13th, and 63rd FABs (in all 4,000 men), would meet and block the NKPA in the northwest sectors near the airstrip, where the 34th CP was located. Lighter forces were deployed southwest and south; one company (L) would block the road from Nonsan. The division Reconnaissance Company, temporarily attached to the 34th, would block due south on the road to Kŭmsan.

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Since Dean was still greatly concerned about the reported NKPA drive from the northeast (through the retreating ROKS, on the "central front"), he left Stephens's battered 21st in the Okch'ŏn area, considerably east of the city along the Taejŏn–Taegu road, to hold an exit through which the 34th could withdraw. The shattered 19th remained in the Yŏngdong area as division reserve.[5-46]

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The NKPA plan for capturing the city was designed to take advantage of the weaknesses in this defensive deployment. The 3rd Division would attack frontally, as Dean expected, down the main Sŏul–Pusan highway from the northwest. But there would be no attack from the northeast at Okch'ŏn. Moreover, unknown to Dean and not expected, the 4th Division was to mount a sophisticated encircling attack from the southwest through Nonsan and Kumsan, where the American defenses were weakest. Beauchamp unwittingly played into his enemy's hands when he (unknown to Dean) ordered the division Reconnaissance Company, which was blocking south on the Kumsan road, to pull into the city to reinforce the 34th directly. This, as Dean wrote later, not only made the division "blind as to what the enemy was doing on the south flank" but also considerably thinned out its southern defense.[5-47]

The NKPA attack on Taejŏn began on the morning of July 19.. As expected, the 3rd Division hit hard with artillery and tanks from the northwest at Yusŏng, where Red Ayres's 1/34 was dug in on the main highway. Two of Ayres's outposted platoons were flanked and cut off, but the rest of the battalion held on for the better part of the day, supported by the guns of the 11th and 13th FABs, emplaced at the rear, and by sporadic (and largely ineffective) FEAF air strikes. [note]

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The new commander of the 34th was Charles E. Beauchamp (pronounced boshamp), a West Pointer (1930), who until then had been commanding the 32nd Regiment of the 7th Division in Japan. To assist in the challenge confronting him, Beauchamp brought the 32nd's S3, William T. McDaniel, a West Pointer (1941) to be S3 of the 34th.[5-43]


Beauchamp, at age forty-two, was the youngest regimental commander in Korea so far, and the greenest. During World War II he had not served with a combat unit. He had fought the war in the ETO in rear area staff jobs, specializing in logistics. After the war he requested a troop command but did not get it until March 1950, when he took over the 32nd Infantry. He had spent the postwar years on the staffs of the Infantry School, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Army's Counter-Intelligence School. He remembered that Walker had ordered him to Korea because "I was younger than most of the regimental commanders in the Far East." He had never met Bill Dean.[5-44] [note]

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On about July 19 the NKPA seized Yech'ŏn, an important road hub. In response, Johnnie Walker ordered Bill Kean to counterattack and recapture the town. That first combat assignment of the 25th Division fell to the 24th RCT.
White gave the Yech'ŏn mission to a battalion combat team (BCT) built around the 3/24, commanded by Samuel Pierce, Jr. The 3/24 had earlier patrolled Yech'ŏn and knew the terrain. [note]

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The [89th Tank] battalion commander, Welborn G. ("Tom") Dolvin (West Point, 1939; ), thirty-four, who had fought in Italy and the ETO, remembered how his outfit was thrown together:

"On July twelfth, while on the golf course, I. got verbal word that my orders had been changed to Korea. I met a cadre of a hundred fifty-five men from the Second Armored Division in California on July seventeenth. We flew to Tokyo, arriving on July nineteenth, where we picked up another cadre of seventy men. My A Company left Tokyo by ship on July twenty-fourth and arrived in Pusan on July thirty-first.

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I flew over and met them on the dock at Pusan that day a mere fifteen days after activation of the outfit . We left Pusan for Masan, joining the Nineteenth and Twenty-seventh regiments on the following day."[7-3] [note]

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In his debut to combat, Beauchamp, like Martin, Stephens, and Meloy, was full of fire and brimstone, determined to make the 34th fight. Later he wrote:

"We could have withdrawn on the night of July 19/20 with probably no losses. I feel that to some extent I influenced General Dean to stay on the 20th. I felt very confident on the evening of July 19th that we could hold the enemy out of Taejŏn another day and believe I so told General Dean."[5-45]

[note]

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Bill Dean, perhaps nearly crippled by exhaustion, could not be found. He had not returned to the division CP at the end of the day. In effect, command of his division devolved temporarily to his ADC, Pearson Menoher. Later Dean himself shed no light on his whereabouts that night. He wrote:



I was forward of my own headquarters on the night of July 19. . . . I went to sleep to the sound of gunfire . . . [5-and] awoke very early, although I had been short of sleep for almost a month. . . . The situation was so confused that I could not even be certain we still held a solid line northwest of the city; and very few important command decisions were made at the time. Very few of the things I did in the next twenty-four hours could not have been done by any competent sergeant - and such a sergeant would have done some of them better. ...[5-53]

[note]

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In order to determine more precisely what was taking place in Tokyo, the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent two of their members to the Far East. General Collins and Admiral Sherman, accompanied by a staff of Air Force and Army officers, flew to Tokyo on 19 August to talk with MacArthur. [18]

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Meeting privately with General Collins and Admiral Sherman upon their arrival in Tokyo, MacArthur covered general aspects of the whole Korean operation, [note]

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That day Ayres did not, as expected, have 3.5inch bazookas to fight the T34 tanks in his sector. The platoon leader William Caldwell remembered:

"We had sent people from the First Battalion back to the division headquarters to receive instructions and weapons. Unfortunately, on July nineteenth, as these people were returning to battalion in a two-and-a-half-ton truck, the truck overturned, and the weapons and certain teams were lost. Later in the day one three-point-five-inch rocket launcher was delivered to A Company, First Battalion, and it was effectively used on the following day. How many others were lost, I don't know."[5-49]


AAlmost simultaneously with the attack on the 1/34, the NKPA's 4th Division, which had gone south to Nonsan, then circled east, struck with unexpected force at the 34th block at Yonsan, manned by L Company of Newton Lantron's 3/34. To bolster the line, Beauchamp rushed forward part of the division Reconnaissance Company, then put in a call for help to the division CP at Yŏngdong.

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Dean, who became "worried," ordered the division reserve, the 2/19, temporarily commanded by its exec, Glyn W. Pohl, into Taejŏn as backup for Beauchamp. Since Pohl had broken his eyeglasses and was "virtually blind," McGrail rreassumed command of the 2/19 and gave Pohl command of the reorganizing 1/19. Dean himself rushed ahead of the 2/19 to Yonsan with two light tanks. When McGrail and the 2/19 got to Yonsan and entered the fight, McGrail found Dean directing the tank fire like a platoon leader.[5-50]

Although Beauchamp welcomed Tom McGrail's 2/19 at Yonsan, there was still a gap of one mile, between it and Ayres's 1/34. Platoon leader William Caldwell remembered:

"It was impossible to establish what would be considered a normal defensive position of contact between units and interlocking fires. We had no unending defense line. There were wide gaps between units and within units. This left units with open flanks. The enemy, with predominance in numbers and vehicles, always had the initiative. Invariably he struck down roads into our positions with tanks and infantry in close support. When those forces were stopped, he made wide envelopments around both flanks, often overrunning the artillery units in the rear, disrupting command posts and even attacking medical units. In addition to this, he sent large numbers of men posing as refugees through and around our lines with rifles, machine guns, and mortars hidden in `refugee' bundles. These `refugees' then assembled in large groups at predestinated areas back of our positions and struck from the rear."[5-51]

[note]

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On 19 July the Valley Forge was back with orders to support the ground troops, a matter of some surprise to Partridge and Walker since GHQ had arranged it without consulting them. General Partridge insisted that the carrier pilots must follow the same operating procedure as Fifth Air Force flyers, and despite early complaints by Navy pilots that they could not raise MELLOW control, better liaison produced satisfactory strikes on 25 July and more were scheduled for the following two days.

[So what happened on the 19 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24th? then 25, 26 and 27th] [note]

US Air Force

 

 

Invited Sir Alvary Gascoigne[131-Head of the United Kingdom Liaison Mission in Japan.] to attend the briefing with me. Cleared same with my intelligence people. However, after meeting General Robertson, pointed out that this might lead to precedence, the setting of which might prove embarrassing. I explained that my gesture was well-intentioned, etc., but that could see his point too.


0930 hours presented awards to MATS pilots re their combat zone flying. (Capt. Ernest C. Ford, 1st Lt. Donald W. Akers, 1st Lt. Garland G. Virden, T/Sgt Irving W. Moore, T/Sgt. Adolph J. Yescalis.)[132- What unit these men are from or what awards they were given is unknown]


1200 hours, Major General Robert B. McClure, USA,[133-Maj General McClure had just taken over as the Ryukyus area commander. In World War II, he had seen action in the South Pacific and from 1944 to 1946 had been the U.S. chief of staff to Chiang Kai-shek.] who is the new
Ryukyus CG, called; we had lunch at the house.


Results of the Navy’s air strikes reported. Claim 26 airplanes destroyed at P’yongang; since we destroyed 2 aircraft yesterday and 3 today, convinced an air build-up underway in North Korea. Sent radio Fifth AF Adv[ance headquarters] and BomCom directing intensification of reconnaissance.


Had a conference with General MacArthur at 1815 hours and talked from the following notes:

From the results of the Navy’s air strike yesterday, where they destroyed - damaged 2v6 airplanes at P'yŏnggang and our destroying 2 yesterday and 3 more today, I am confident that there is being made an air build-up in North Korea. Our intelligence people indicate that there are airplanes on the ground at (#1) P'yŏnggang, (#3) Onjong-ni, (#5) Mirim-ni. Bombing will be visual if possible; by radar if not. The weather over the immediate battlefront is predicted “poor” for tomorrow (20 July); however, one bomb group medium will be given targets in the area between the 37th and 38th Parallels and will attack if possible. I propose for air strikes tomorrow (20 July) to use one bomb group medium on the airfield and supply dump of bombs and fuel at (#1) P'yŏnggang, (#3) Onjong-ni, (#5) Mirim-ni. Visual if possible; by radar if not, and one bomb group medium on the airfield and supply dump of bombs and fuel at........ [in original] Our reconnaissance pictures show that there are great sup- plies of fuel, bombs and other types of supplies just adjacent to these airdromes. Because of weather, we might have to do radar bombing; however, these airdromes are in North Korea and if all bombs do not hit target areas, it should be no concern. If an air build-up is made in North Korea and they should be able to hit Itazuke and Ashiya, such a loss would be greater than the loss of a battalion, or a regiment, or even a division in the outcome of the battle for Korea.




General MacArthur agreed with me in the presence of General Almond where we had a discussion reference the airdrome missions. During this discussion I pointed out to General MacArthur, in General Almond’s presence, that I had a target section that was working hard on strips of targets south of the 38th Parallel and forward of the bomb line and strips north of the 38th Parallel which, if in our opinion, would be destroyed, would be most beneficial to the battle. I emphasized my target section and Far East Command target section should get together and come to a mutual agreement in order to avoid presentation to General MacArthur
for decision. He, General Almond, and I agreed that should and could be done. I also pointed out to General MacArthur that still in the lower sections of the staff, the officers in effect believe that you (General MacArthur) had not approved my Wonsan strike and in General MacArthur’s presence I urged the Chief of Staff to eliminate this feeling in order that we can get a ball team and eliminate the dissension between his staff and mine. General Almond agreed to do this.


After returning to General MacArthur’s office, his remarks to me were: “Strat, we always have that kind of thing,” to which I replied, “I know it, but we ought to eliminate it when it crops up.” He agreed.


About 2300 hours I called General Picher[134-Brig Gen Oliver S. Picher, normally Inspector General, FEAF, but then acting as deputy for operations] and directed that he inform all commands that for the next few days great effort should be put on the reconnoitering of hostile airdromes.


Following is a brief of the “remarks” from the mission reports:

Total: 18 aircraft destroyed; one probable; and seven damaged.


Asked my Operations for a report on napalm usage.

[note]

 

 

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Meanwhile, FEAF representatives had located another field on the east coast of Korea at P'ohang, which had a runway similar in construction to that at Pusan but in better condition When Company A, 802nd Engineer Aviation Battalion reached Pusan, it was therefore diverted to P'ohang on 10 July; two days later [7/12], the work of placing a 500-foot PSP overrun and constructing taxiways and hardstands was started. Two large spongy areas had to be dug out and refilled preliminary to laying the taxiway planking, and the speed of construction demanded that grading of a part of the taxiway be omitted. The first combat mission was flown from the strip on 15 July, and by 19 July completion of a cross taxiway permitted combat units to use as much of the field as had been completed at that time.

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

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

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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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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. [note]

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16, 17, 18, 19

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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Marine aircraft furnished a third agency of air support in the campaign for South Korea. A forward echelon of the 1st Marine Air Wing arrived in Tokyo on 19 July, and the remainder of this organization reached Japan on small carriers about 1 August. [note]

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The 8th Fighter-Bomber Group made another successful sweep against the enemy airfield at P'yŏngyang on 19 July. Led by Lt. Col. William T. Samways, the group commander, seven F-80 's made pass after pass over the field, destroying at least 14 enemy fighters and 1 twin-engine bomber. In such aerial combat as they saw fit to undertake, North Korean pilots preferred harassing tactics to concerted action. They usually chose to stay under the clouds, pop up for a quick shot, and then duck back into the under-cast. Yet even these conservative tactics cost them planes which they could ill afford to lose, and U. N. pilots seldom had difficulty shooting down such enemy planes as they met in the air.

[note]

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Targets selected by the GHQ Target Group continued FEAF aircraft on missions in the same immediate battlefield area the list of targets forwarded on 19 July confined medium bomber efforts to critical facilities and troop concentrations between the bomb line and a line well south of the 38th parallel, running from Taean to Samchok. Medium bombers, by CINCFE direction, were taken off interdiction targets on several days during this period and sent against battlefield objectives.

[note]

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With the organization of FEAF Bomber Command on 8 July, O'Donnell assumed control of the 19th Bombardment Group and the 31st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron.

The latter unit was ordered to Yokota on 19 July,

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and later in the month arrangements were made at Kadena to receive still another SAC group, the 307th, and at Yokota to take a fourth, the 98th. As organized, FEAF Bomber Command was to be a purely operational headquarters; it was to occupy Fifth and Twentieth Air Force bases on a tenant status, and administration and supply of its groups was to be accomplished by those air forces. FEAF Bomber Command, however, was recognized as a major subordinate command of FEAF.

[note]

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The GHQ Target Group retained its authority to designate medium-bomber targets and to establish target areas and priorities of these areas for air attack.#53 On 19 July the GHQ Target Group recommended its first list of 22 B-29 targets, nearly all of which were rail or road bridges around the periphery of the battle area.#54

52 U.S. Air Force in Korea


Almost immediately FEAF target experts noted that the GHQ Target Group was not conversant with problems of target selection. The first batch of targets, for example, required FEAF to destroy railway bridges at Yŏngwŏl and Machari, but there was no railway through these towns. Subsequent target lists prepared by the GHQ Target Group were no more accurate. Out of a total of 220 targets designated by this group, some 20 percent of the objectives did not exist. Later investigation showed what had happened. A principal source of error was the group's use of an obsolete map of Korea, which included railway lines that had been projected but never built. In another case the target group was guilty of faulty map reading, for it designated a river "bridge" which was marked as a ford on the map consulted. Correct maps, based on aerial photography, were available to the target group in the G-2 Section. Many of the bridges which the target group designated for air attack were later seen to have spanned small streams where a destroyed structure could be easily by-passed, even in a normally rainy Korean summer. A USAF evaluation board later commented:

"The GHQ Target Group was unfamiliar with the time-honored Intelligence principle of confirming reported information by checking several sources.#55

[note]

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As the war developed in Korea FEAF found need for several other organizations. To handle the Fifth Air Force's expanding photographic reconnaissance capability. FEAF requested a reconnaissance technical squadron, and on 19 July USAF issued orders for the 363rd Reconnaissance Technical Squadron to proceed from Langley Air Force Base to Itazuke.#114

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Preliminary Bomb Damage Assessments are phoned in from these still-wet "quickies". [note]

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General MacArthur orally agreed that some better employment must be found for the medium bombers, and before the end of the day of 18 July he sent Stratemeyer written orders to employ most of the medium-bomber effort in the area between the bombline and the 38th parallel, the purpose being to isolate the battlefield.65

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Next day a CINCFE directive ordered Stratemeyer to center sustained medium-bomber effort against critical communications facilities and troop concentrations to be found between the bombline and a general line drawn between the towns of Taean (on the west coast) and Samch'ŏk, this zone being about 60 miles deep behind the front lines. A list of 19 bridges and road junctions, selected for attack by the GHQ Target Group, accompanied this directive.#66 As has been seen,* many of these bridge targets listed for attack by the GHQ Target Group were taken from erroneous maps and did not exist, but General Stratemeyer forwarded the GHQ target directives to General O'Donnell for attack.

*See Chapter 2, p. 52 Medium-bomber crews still were unable to obtain the targeting photographs which they required for most effective operations, but their bombing attacks on such specific targets as road junctions and bridges were quite effective. Most of the bridges were small structures, and the medium-bomber crews, flying alone or in pairs, proceeded to the target area, sized up the objective, and quite frequently severed a bridge with a part of a bomb load.

By 24 July General Stratemeyer figured that the bombers had destroyed 58 bridges and had damaged 31 others during the period in which MacArthur had held the medium bombers to close and general support of ground troops.#67 [note]

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Along the battleline jet pilots of the 8th Group shot down one Yak on 17 July, three on 19 July, and two more on 20 July. [note]

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Alerted to the tactics of the North Korean fighter pilots, who seemed to be timing their attacks along the frontlines to catch American jets when they were low on fuel, Fifth Air Force forward air controllers and fighter pilots began to work together to break up the Communist scheme of operations. Along the battleline jet pilots of the 8th Group shot down one Yak on 17 July, three on 19 July, and two more on 20 July. Excellent coordination by air-ground radio control was said to have been largely responsible for these successful interceptions. "We were attacking enemy targets when we were called by the ground controller and informed of the Yaks," explained one F-80 pilot on 19 July, "and that controller took us right to them although we were low on ammunition and just about ready to go back to our home base. "#98 [note]

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Moving their attention to east-coast airfields on 19 July, the carrier pilots strafed and destroyed 15 enemy planes at Yŏnp'o and three others at a dispersal airfield near Sondok.#95

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On 19 July Fifth Air Force pilots also hit hard at North Korea's elusive air strength. Photographic reconnaissance had discovered a small grass strip immediately north of the 38th parallel near P'yŏnggang, and some 25 planes were camouflaged under tree branches along the west edge of this field. The enemy was obviously not expecting an air attack when seven F-80's of the 8th Fighter-Bomber Group, led by Lt. Col. William T. Samways, the group's commander, dropped in at low level over P'yŏnggang during the midafternoon of 19 July. Making pass after pass over the airfield, the F-80 pilots destroyed 14 enemy fighters and one twin-engine bomber on the ground. The jet pilots also strafed seven other planes, but because they did not burn, these planes could be counted only as "damaged. "#96 [note]

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

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Using a radio jeep as "Angelo" control, Colonel Murphy and a few other officers continued to operate at Taejŏn until the evening of 19 July, when the remaining personnel were finally compelled to evacuate to Taegu.

On the morning of 20 July control of tactical support aircraft was assumed at Taegu, and the radio control station was now designated with the call sign of "Mellow."#122 [note]

MacArthur & US Marine Corps

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Shortcomings in quantity rather than quality of Marine personnel made expansion a problem on 19 July 1950, when General MacArthur sent his third request to the Pentagon for a Marine division with appropriate air. Again the Joint Chiefs referred the matter to General Cates, who was prepared with two plans worked out in detail by his staff—

Plan ABLE, providing third rifle companies and replacements for the Brigade; and

Plan BAKER, designed to bring the 1st Marine Division up to full war strength by calling reservists to active duty.

These plans were based on the personnel statistics of 30 June 1950. The grand total of 74,279 Marines on active duty at that time (97 per cent of authorized strength) was distributed as follows:

A breakdown of the Operating Forces reveals that the Fleet Marine Force numbered 27,703 men, the security detachments included 11,087, and 1,574 Marines were afloat. Of the 11,853 in FMFPac, 7,779 were in the 1st Marine Division, and 3,733 in the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. The 15,803 Marines in FMFLant included 8,973 in the 2nd Marine Division and 5,297 in the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.[8]

These figures make it evident that the 1st Marine Division could not be brought up to war strength of about 25,000 troops without drawing upon the 33,527 (77 per cent of authorized strength) in the ground forces of the Organized Reserve, and the 6,341 (94 per cent of authorized strength) in the aviation forces. The ground personnel were distributed among these units:

The Organized Reserve was exceeded as a reservoir of potential man power by the Volunteer Marine Corps Reserve, which had a total of 90,044 men and women on 30 June 1950. This total included 2,267 volunteer reservists on continuous active duty with the regular establishment, about 5,000 training in some 200 volunteer training units, and 1,316 in the Fleet Reserve.

Altogether, the strength of all Marine reserve components (less volunteer reservists on active duty) amounted to a total of 128,959, or nearly double the number of Marines in the regular establishment.[9]

Behind every Marine regular, figuratively speaking, stood two reservists who were ready to step forward and fill the gaps in the ranks. Thus it was scarcely far-fetched when some inspired public information officer coined the phrase “Minute Men of 1950” for these recent civilians who made it possible for the 1st Marine Division to hit the beaches at Inch'ŏn.

The Inch'ŏn-Sŏul Operation, Ch 2, Mobilization of Marine Corps Reserve Page 1 of 3

Events moved swiftly on 19 July. Only a few hours after the receipt of CinCFE’s third request, the mobilization of the Marine Corps Reserve was authorized by President Truman with the sanction of Congress. Headquarters Marine Corps, on the hill overlooking the Pentagon, was ablaze with lights that summer night; and decisions were made which enabled four important steps to be taken next day:


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As early as 19 July,, the dynamic ROK leader had made it plain that he did not propose to accept the pre-invasion status quo. He served notice that his forces would unify Korea by driving to the Manchurian border. Since the Communists had violated the 38th Parallel, the aged Rhee declared, this imaginary demarcation between North and South no longer existed. He pointed out that the sole purpose of the line in the first place had been to divide Soviet and American occupation zones after World War II, in order to facilitate the Japanese surrender and pave the way for a democratic Korean government. In May 1948, such a government had come about in South Korea by popular elections, sponsored and supervised by the UN. These elections had been scheduled for all Korea but were prohibited by the Russians in their zone. The Communists not only ignored the National Assembly in Sŏul, but also arranged their own version of a governing body in P'yŏngyang two months later. The so-called North Korean People’s Republic thus became another of the Communist puppet states set up by the USSR.

That the United Nations did not recognize the North Korean state in no way altered its very real status as a politico-military fact. For obvious reasons, then, all UN decisions relating to the Communist state had to take into account the possibility of reactions by Soviet Russia and Red China, which shared Korea’s northern boundary. At the outbreak of the conflict on 25 June 1950, the UN Security Council had, by a vote of 9–0, called for an immediate end to the fighting and the withdrawal of all NKPA forces to the 38th Parallel.[3] This appeal having gone unheeded, the Council on 27 June recommended “... that the Members of the United Nations furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security in the area.’[4] It was the latter authorization, supplemented by another resolution on 7 July, that led to military commitments by the United States and to the appointment of General MacArthur as over-all UN Commander. These early UN actions constituted adequate guidance in Korea until the Inch'ŏn landing and EUSAK’s counteroffensive turned the tide. With the NKPA in full retreat, however, and UN Forces rapidly approaching the 38th Parallel, the situation demanded re-evaluation, including supplemental instructions to the military commander. The question arose as to whether the North Koreans should be allowed sanctuary beyond the parallel, possibly enabling them to reorganize for new aggression. It will be recalled that Syngman Rhee had already expressed his thoughts forcibly in this connection on 19 July; and the ROK Army translated thoughts into action on 1 October by crossing the border.



Click here to view map [note]

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During July, General MacArthur had repeatedly requested a war-strength Marine division with appropriate air support for employment in Korea, and as a result, the Joint Chiefs of Staff asked the Commandant how much time the Marine Corps would require to create a third regimental combat team for the 1stMarine Division. The Commandant could only reply that the Marine Corps did not possess enough personnel to form an additional regimental combat team without calling Marine reservists to active duty. The step was authorized by the President, with Congressional sanction, on 19 July. The die was cast!

At Headquarters Marine Corps, the scene became one of feverish activity with staffs burning midnight oil to ensure the most orderly mobilization possible under the limitations imposed by time. Now, previously made plans began to pay off. Within a period of two hours, a mobilization team had gone into action and recommended four important preliminary steps.

Reserve district directors were warned that the Organized Reserve would shortly be' ordered to active duty. The Commanding General, Marine Barracks, Camp Pendleton, was told to expect approximately 21,000 Organized Reservists in the near future.

The Commanding General, Marine Barracks, Camp Lejeune, was told to expect approximately 5,1300. And the Commandant, with Secretary of Navy approval, ordered that the practice of discharging Marine Corps Reserve personnel at their own request be discontinued.
[note]

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Five days later, on 19 July, the President authorized the Defense Establishment to call units and individuals of the reserve components to the colors. Within a matter of hours, a warning order was dispatched to the Reserve District Directors informing them that Organized Reserve units would shortly be called to extended active duty in excess of 30 days. Simultaneously the whole Marine Corps mobilization team moved into action.

Meanwhile, a survey and evaluation of previous Marine Corps studies on the percentage of availability of the on-board strength that could be expected in the Organized Reserve had been made, [3]

[3] As early as 24 November 1947 , a study of Reserve availability indicated an 80 percent availability of the Organized Reserve.

and an 80 percent expected availability was confirmed.
On 19 July, therefore, upon receipt of authorization to call reservists to active duty, the Commandant alerted the Commanding Generals of the Marine Barracks at Camp Pendleton and Camp Lejeune to expect 21,000 and 5,805 reservists, respectively, commencing on 1 August. [note]

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4. To facilitate mobilization and to make the maximum possible number of reservists available for active duty, the Commandant on 19 July ordered the cancellation of active duty training for all Organized Reserve ground units and suspended active duty training for Volunteer Reserves (Ground). On 21 July, the Commandant also issued instructions transferring all" continuous active duty" personnel to "extended active duty" and ordered the suspension of active duty training for Volunteer Reserves (Aviation). [note]

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INVOLUNTARY SERVICE, RESIGNATION, AND DISCHARGE

Advantages and Obligations of Reserve Membership
Following World War II, Congress made service in the reserve components of the Armed Forces more attractive. Existing benefits were increased and new ones added, so that by 1950, members of the reserve were receiving opportunities and privileges never previously paralleled in United States reserve history.

Specifically, the Marine Corps offered to Organized Reservists longevity pay, and commensurate with their grade or rank, increased pay not only for service performed during each two-hour weekly drill but also for participating in the annual 15-,day active duty training program, which the Marine Corps executed in the summer months. During training periods, Organized Reservists received instruction in current Marine Corps techniques and operated up-to-date equipment. In addition, the Marine Corps offered these reservists the opportunity to acquire specialized skills having civilian as well as military application. The Marine Corps Institute, which had long offered reservists the opportunity of obtaining high school and college credits through correspondence courses, expanded its curriculum to include a wide variety of technical courses.

Enrollment in the Marine Corps Reserve was also enhanced by the initiation of a retirement program and a more generous promotion system.

Less specifically, but nevertheless implicit in affiliation with the Organized Reserve, reservists were given opportunities to develop and maintain social contacts with like-minded men in a purposeful environment, to engage in a wide range of athletic activities designed to improve physical fitness, and to enjoy the extensive recreational facilities available to members of the Organized Reserve. Of a less tangible nature, but also implicit in affiliation with the Organized Reserve, was the patriotic satisfaction and pride of serving in a "ready-to-fight" organization of the Armed Forces of the United States.

The extension of benefits, training programs, and privileges obviously entailed a large outlay of funds and a considerable expenditure of the physical and material resources of the Marine Corps. In return, Organized Reservists committed them-selves to call for active duty in conformance with the established mission of the Organized Reserve--"to provide units effectively organized and trained in time of peace for immediate mobilization in the event of a national emergency."

The Volunteer Reserve, too, played a vital part in the planning and execution of the Marine Corps Reserve program. Designed primarily for members that desired affiliation with the Marine Corps but whose personal activities or location did not permit them to participate conveniently in the activities of an organized unit, the Volunteer Reserve nevertheless provided a reliable source of trained manpower.

Since its peacetime contribution to the Marine Corps Reserve program was substantially less than that of the Organized Reserve, the Volunteer Reserve compensation was proportionally lower. Volunteer Reservists, with the cooperation and assistance of the Marine Corps, had the opportunity to organize and maintain volunteer training units, which pursued group study while preserving their Marine Corps affiliation. Although Volunteer Reservists did not receive remuneration for training activities performed at home, they could volunteer for annual Volunteer Reserve active duty training, and if selected, they received the full pay and allowances of their grade or rank. In addition, they were given also the opportunity to amass retirement credit points. The number of points acquired by the Volunteer Reservist was dependent upon his membership in the Volunteer Reserve and the degree of his participation in the various Marine Corps activities available to him; namely, volunteer training units, active duty training, Marine Corps Schools extension courses, and Marine Corps Institute correspondence courses. In return for these advantages, the Volunteer Reservist, like the Organized Reservist, obligated himself to serve on active duty in time of war or national emergency, Volunteer Reservists whereto be assigned a definite and important role in the mobilization of the Marine Corps Reserve. This function of the. Volunteer Reserve also is best described by its mission--"to provide the Marine Corps with the minimum requirement of trained personnel, including specialists and technicians, for complete mobilization...."

Serving to further encourage enrollment in the reserve was the assurance, in provisions of Congressional legislation, that a reservist would not be called to active duty without his consent except for war or the declaration of a national emergency. Equally documentable was the provision. that a reservist would-be discharged or allowed to resign upon his own request except during war or a period of national emergency.

Normally, the procedure followed in calling reservists to active duty was; for the various Armed Forces, having determined their personnel requirements in a given situation, to request the authority necessary to call the specific numbers of reservists needed to increase their strengths in proportion to their assigned and projected commitments.
42
Pre-Korean Policy

Prior to 30 June 1950, the Marine Corps, in matters pertaining to active service resignations and discharge, was guided by the Naval Reserve Act of 1938, which stated in part that a member of the Marine Corps Reserve:
...may be ordered to active duty by the Secretary of the Navy in time of war or when in the opinion of the President a national emergency exists, and may be required to perform active duty throughout the war or until the national emergency ceases t o exist; but in time of peace... a Reservist may be. ordered to or continued on active duty with his consent only.

In the implementation of this legislation, the Marine Corps Manual, issued in accordance with naval regulations, and with the approval of the Secretary of the Navy, prior to 19 July 1950, stated that members of the Marine Corps Reserve may be assigned to continuous active duty with their consent only. The manual further stated that.

" When not on active duty, no officer of the Marine Corps Reserve shall be discharged in time of peace, except upon his own request or for full and sufficient cause, in the discretion of the Secretary of the Navy" and that an enlisted Reservist "...will be discharged upon his own request, except USMC-V personnel obligated for service...."

Proceeding from these premises, the Marine Corps gave reservists dual assurances:

1. That they would not be called to active duty without their consent except in case of war or national emergency;
2. That they would be discharged or allowed to resign upon their own request. These pledges were honored until well after the commencement of hostilities in Korea and the active participation of United States forces in that conflict. Then new legislation and increased commitments resulted in legally sanctioned new policies. [note]

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Meanwhile, the Armed Forces conducted rapid but extensive surveys of their material and manpower resources in preparation for the. eventuality that sizable American military forces would be committed in the Far East. As a result, the Department of Defense and its subordinate military departments arrived at certain basic conclusions, which thereafter contributed to the decisions and events affecting the mobilization of the reserve components. Prominent among the resulting decisions was the resolution that, in the interest of an expeditious and effective mobilization, voluntary separation from the reserve components should be suspended except in unusual cases. The first measure taken to implement this decision came on 15 July, when the Chief of Naval Personnel ordered that the discharge of Naval reservists upon their own request held in abeyance

Four days later, the President, in a. message to Congress entitled, "Situation in Korea," underlined the seriousness of the Far Eastern conflict and the measures that had to be taken, first to mitigate and then to terminate the crisis created by the North Korean invasion. With regard to the increased requirements for military manpower, the President stated:

I have authorized the Secretary of Defense to exceed the budgeted strength of military personnel for the Army, Navy, and Air Force,... I have also authorized the Secretary of Defense to meet the need for military manpower by calling into active Federal service as many National Guard units and as many units and individuals of the Reserve forces of the Army, Navy, and Air Forces as may be . required.

The date of the President's message, 19 July, was a day of importance not only to the nation as a whole and the military generally but also to the Marine Corps in particular, for on that date the Marine Corps, with the approval of the Secretary of the Navy, put into execution its plans for limited mobilization. In the implementation of these plans, two events of particular significance to Marine reservists occurred:

11. The Commandant issued the following order: "Effective Immediately, Discharges Marine Corps Personnel at Own Request Pursuant Para 10354 MarCorps Manual Discontinued until Further Notice. SecNav Approves. 2. The Organized Marine Reserve was alerted for extended active duty. [note]

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Fortunately, the Korean crisis and the subsequent decision to call reservists to active duty found the Marine Corps ready to cope with the need for an equitable and readily employable delay policy. When, on 19 July, the Marine Corps received authorization to call its reserve to active duty, the Division of Plans and Policies immediately drafted a delay policy based on its mobilization plan, and on the next day this policy was dispatched as part of the administrative instructions to the first Organized Reserve ground units ordered on 20 and 21 July to active duty.

These instructions, consolidated on 22 July, subsequently became the basic policy reference with regard to the mobilization of the Organized Marine Reserve. [note]

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Marine aircraft furnished a third agency of air support in the campaign for South Korea. A forward echelon of the 1st Marine Air Wing arrived in Tokyo on 19 July, and the remainder of this organization reached Japan on small carriers about 1 August.

US Navy


19 July
First Navy plane shot down by North Korean AAA. [note]

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If Formosa was to be defended, coordinated planning was obviously necessary, and the state of Nationalist morale was such as to require stiffening. Arriving in Tokyo on the afternoon of 5 July, Struble had proposed a prompt resumption of carrier strikes, this time from the Sea of Japan. But decision on these was delayed, the talk turned to the Formosa problem, and the suggestion of a visit to that island was approved by General MacArthur.

On the 6th, Commander Seventh Fleet flew back to Buckner Bay, and on the next day boarded a destroyer for a high-speed run to Taipei and two days of talks with the Generalissimo and the Nationalist military. Another few days would see the Formosa Strait under reconnaissance by planes of Fleet Air Wing 1, but the question of a surface patrol was more difficult.

With the gunnery ships committed up to their ears in Korea, and with the situation there calling ever more urgently for Task Force 77, all that remained were the submarines of the Seventh Fleet. On 18 July USS Catfish (SS-339)was sailed from Yokosuka for a reconnaissance of the China coast, and was followed on the next day by USS Pickerel (SS-524)

Finally, the northern sector, so great in undisclosed potentialities, was also brought under surveillance. On 7 July the first patrol plane reinforcements reached the Far East, and the long range P2V Neptunes of VP 6 were at once assigned to search in the Sea of Japan. On the 23rd the submarine USS Remora (SS 487) escorted by USS Greenlet (ASR-10), headed north from Yokosuka for a patrol of La Pe'rouse Strait.

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La Pe'rouse Strait.

[note]

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General Craig and General Cushman had remained behind to tidy up administrative detail. On the 15th they departed by air from El Toro to Japan, where they arrived on 19 July. Another Marine, however, had preceded them to Tokyo.

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

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Apart from the question of who hit what, the strikes of 18 and 19 July raise questions as to target selection in a police action. The objectives were, of course, in accordance with the desires expressed by FEAF concerning attacks by Seventh Fleet aircraft on North Korean targets.

But the aspect of strategic air warfare which emphasizes attack on industrial plant is slow to have effect at the battleline; the real strategic targets were outside Korea, and destruction of North Korean facilities as of this date would seem merely to have promised difficulties in reconstruction, assuming U.N. success in the campaign.

Overshadowed though it was by the refinery quarrel, it seems probable that the destruction of grounded aircraft by the Valley Forge air group was the most important result of the two-day operation; together with some similarly successful sorties by Air Force jets on the 19th, this pretty well liquidated the North Korean Air Force. But habits are hard to break, and just as the carrier commanders were reluctant to undertake continuous operations in the same area, so others found it difficult to divest themselves of strongly held notions on air warfare; on 31 July a message from the Joint Chiefs urged the strategic bombing of North Korean industrial targets.

[note]

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The need for some competent control group to handle close support had already received consideration. Four days earlier [23-4=19] EUSAK—Eighth U.S. Army in Korea—had requested that the Anglico which had been attached to the 1st Cavalry Division for the P'ohang landing be assigned on completion of that operation to assist the Joint Operations Center in control of naval gunfire and naval air.

The request had been approved by Admiral Joy’s ComNavFE headquarters, and Admiral Doyle was so instructed on the 20th. But by then the Anglico was returning to Yokohama by sea, and by the time of its arrival it had come to seem more profitable to retain it in Japan to train Army and Air Force personnel. [note]

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Morning of the 18th found USS Valley Forge (CV-45), HMS Triumph (R16), and their screening ships in the southern Sea of Japan, some 60 miles northeast of P'ohang. At dawn local antisubmarine and combat air patrols were launched by Triumph, and Valley Forge sent off a target combat air patrol and a support group of attack planes to assist the landing. No alternative targets seem to have been given the support group; the location of the front line and the needs of the ROK 3rd Division were apparently unknown; and when the landing proved unopposed and the task force was released from its air commitments the support group jettisoned its load.

Except for the requirement of a combat air patrol over P'ohang, the Valley Forge air group was now available for attacks on North Korean targets.

On the 18th and 19th, therefore, strikes were flown against railroad facilities, industrial plants, and airfields from P'yŏnggang and Wŏnsan north through Hungnam and Hamhung. In the two days of attacks two aircraft were lost, but both pilots were recovered. About 50 grounded aircraft were sighted, of which more than half were destroyed and the remainder damaged, while flights north along the railroad on the 19th exploded four locomotives. But the biggest explosion was at Wŏnsan.

This seaport city, located at the head of the Korean Gulf and at the east coast focus of Korean rail communications, had grown rapidly under the Japanese regime. Its population, now of the order of 150,000, had tripled within a generation. It was the site of a number of manufacturing plants, and the center of a considerable complex of petroleum installations, developed to support Japanese continental expansion, which included the largest refinery in Korea. Following the arrival of the Russians in 1945 this refinery had for some time been inactive, but in 1947 a joint Russian-North Korean enterprise had been formed to operate it, Soviet supervisors had been provided, and late in the next year crude oil began to arrive in Soviet tankers for processing. [note]

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For the next two [19 & 20] days Juneau, Belfast, and the destroyers operated off Yŏngdök-gun, between 36° 17' and 36°30', and although the spotting planes were grounded by the passage of Grace, the gunners’ efforts met with great success. Two days of shooting up the valley at troop concentrations in Yŏngdök cost the ships some 1,300 rounds and got them a radio station, more than 400 enemy troops "by actual count," and enthusiastic reports from the shore fire control personnel. [note]

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With the brigade on its way, General Craig and General Cushman flew westward, reaching Tokyo on 19 July. There in conference with the Commander in Chief they learned the plans for their employment. It was the hope of CincFE to mount an amphibious counterstroke, and by a September landing at Inch'ŏn to seize the Sŏul transportation complex and sever the invaders from their source of supply. To carry out this plan he had asked for the entire 1st Marine Division. The brigade would be held in Japan until the rest of this force arrived. [note]


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Only the President’s decision of 19 July to call up the Marine Corps Reserve enabled the Joint Chiefs to promise the division; only Marine confidence that an expedited arrival was both desirable and feasible produced the advanced departure date; only the availability of sufficient amphibious lift permitted this confidence. [note]

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19 July
24th Infantry Division begins defense of Taejŏn. [note]

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Two days later [16th] 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]

[note]

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17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 Week 1

24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 Week 2

31, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06 Week 3

07, 08, 09 The Red 5th Division retakes Yŏngdök

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On 17 July the North Koreans drove the disorganized [ROK 23rd IR] regiment south of Yŏngdök. The loss of this town so quickly was a demoralizing blow, and Eighth Army became at once concerned about it. During the day the first United States artillery to support the ROK's on the east coast, C Battery of the 159th Field Artillery Battalion, entered the fight. [12-3]

The enemy entry into Yŏngdök began three weeks of fighting for this key coastal town, with first one side and then the other holding it. Two or three miles of ground immediately south of it became a barren, churned up, fought-over no man's land. The first ROK counterattack came immediately.

 

[note]


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19 JULY


In a pre-dawn launch, Air Group FIVE sent 13 ADs, 19 F4Us and 24 F9Fs against the enemy farther north. The primary target for attack and fighter-bombers was the Bongun Plant at Hamhung, with secondary importance given the Kogen RR bridge. The jet sweeps were launched to against Yŏnp'o, Sondok, and Kanko West airfields.

Finding no planes at Kanko West, the sweep went on to Yŏnp'o and Soldok. At the former, pilots saw up to 12 aircraft on the field, and at the latter they saw up to 15. The planes more typed as Yaks and IL-10s. In 20-25 concentrated runs on the two fields, flying in a figure eight from one field to the other, the two sweeps left 13 planes burning, on the two fields, 7 at Sondok, 6 at Yŏnp'o, 5-6 others estimated as damaged, for trough no fire occurred, some hits mere observed. Ten runs were made on the hangers, which were damaged but not burned.

Retiring to the cost and north, two runs on 4 cargo tanks at the tip of the breakwater in Hungnam. Former destroyed bye fire, and four more damaged as a result of strafing runs. North of the pier, a power sub station was also strafed, sustaining some damage.

With the ADs, weather seemed to be the worst enemy, for the target was obscured by combination industrial smog and clouds. Coverage was given as .8 by pilots of all divisions. However, the flight pushed over on a plant with 4 tall chimneys, believed to be the primary target. Six 2000# bombs, six 1000 bombs, and 4 HVAR's were unloaded into this target, but although hits more seen, poor visibility obscured a proper evaluation of results.

After this run, they retired to the south where they found another factory at Humpyong-ni. Firing what rockets were still left from the first run and 20mm machine Guns they strafed the factory, observing a hit nears the base of a lone, tall stack with one rocket. Visibility once again obscured evaluation of results. Four gun boats at Wŏnsan drew attention by firing AA at the planes hear the town. One small boat was underway headed out the mouth of the bay, two were larger craft in the process of getting underway near the center of the bay and 1small boat was anchored near the south side of the bay. The three still in the bay threw up a fair barrage of 20mm and 50mm ; but knocked down no ADs. Once plane was hit in the radome under the port wind, but that was the only damage All 12 .ADs strafed the three Gunboats in the harbor thoroughly, silencing the gun on one of them. The only anti-aircraft encountered was from craft in Wŏnsan Harbor.

Three divisions of Corsairs followed the AD into the target dropping their napalm and 500# G.P. bombs into the sane area that the ADs hit. One pilot observed a hole in the roof of a long building in the area. At Humpyong-ni some planes still had napalm and bombs so they hit the factory after the bombers, noting; smoe at the base of the stack and small fires in the buildings. The Gunboats also drew the 12 Corsairs, so they thoroughly strafed them with rackets on 20mm. LTJG Muncie's F4U received flak damage in the oil cooler or oil line on his first puss, so that his engine began to smoke on pull out. Heading back for the ship, he was forced to ditch at approximately 39°-02'N, 128°-54'E. A CAP was maintained over him-until the Sea Otter from the HMS Triumph (R16) landed and picked him up. The pilot was unhurt. The other division of Corsairs diverted, hitting some tanks in the city of Hungnam, which were mistaken for the chemical plant. Here they dropped. 3 napalm and 1 500# G.P. on the tanks observing, direct hits, no fire. One bomb hit a long building and the explosion was observed. At Wŏnsan, a third run was made on a building at the oil refinery. The re­finery, hit yesterday by sorties, was still burning furiously with a column of smoke rising to 5000 feet. Anti-aircraft fire from .30 or .50 caliber was observed in NW Wŏnsan.

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Wŏnsan Oil Refinery, Wŏnsan, North Korea, burning after being struck by USS Valley Forge (CV-45) aircraft on 18 July 1950. Photograph may have been taken on 19 July, when smoke from these fires was visible from the carrier, operating at sea off the Korean east coast. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-418592).

Two night fighters and a night AD went after rolling stock up the coast. Five miles south of Changjŏn, two locomotives exploded from 20mm fire. Three miles south of Wŏnsan, a third locomotive was exploded and three oil tank cars were set afire. At Hupkok one final locomotive was seen to explode steam. Also at Chonnjin, thc planes burned 2 more oil cars and strafed and damaged track.

The photo plane and his escort found targets in the area also. They observed 6 aircraft burning at Sandon, 2 and Yŏnp'o. Then, at Hamhung they strafed a locomotive and observed a stream of water issue from one of the holes in the boiler. At Kowan just north of the town, 8 locomotive were waiting in the yard. The escort went down and steam exploded three of them. No anti-aircraft was encountered.

[note]

Sunrise

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The North Korean attack against Taejŏn got under way the morning of 19 July. The first blow was an air strike against communication lines in the rear of the city. At 0720, six YAK's flew over the lines of the 21st Infantry and dropped four bombs on the railroad bridge two miles northwest of Okch'ŏn. One bomb damaged the bridge, [note]

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At 1000, after the 24th Reconnaissance Company had arrived at Taejŏn , Colonel Beauchamp sent its 2nd Platoon, consisting of thirty-nine men, southwest along the Nonsan road. [note]

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General Dean had left Taejŏn that morning intending to go briefly to Yŏngdong. On the way he stopped at the 21st Infantry command post at Okch'ŏn. There he said suddenly about 1000 that he was worried about the disposition of the 34th Infantry and was going back to Taejŏn. [11-13] [note]

1030 Korean Time

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Half an hour later, three miles west of the Kap-ch'on River, enemy fire struck the patrol from both sides of the road. It withdrew to the river and there joined the platoon of L Company on the east bank of the stream. The remainder of L Company arrived and deployed. [11-12] [note]

1035 Korean Time

1035

When he arrived there, action already had started at the L Company roadblock on the Nonsan road. The battle of Taejŏn had begun. Dean stayed in Taejŏn. [note]

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Shortly after 1115 the second strikes of 28 offensive ADs and F4U sorties were launched under continuing bad weather conditions. Following shortly were 18 jet sorties. Defensive sorties of CAP and ASP were continued over the force throughout the day.

It was again found impossible to contact the TAC and strike groups proceeded to target areas with lines of communication, trains, trucks, bridges and tunnels as primary targets.

Principal target areas were centered around the YOMAN-TOSONG-MI-KARSŎNG-SIGMAR areas. Two rail yards were strafed with one locomotive destroyed, several previously damaged ones further shot up and various coal and box cars strafed. Two tank cars were holed with 20 mm but refused to burn. The train carrying fuel and ammunition set afire in the morning was again attacked and one more section set blazing.

Six tunnels were attacked by ski-bombing and rockets. No appreciable damage is estimated except in one case where 500# bombs exploding inside caused flame to shoot out one end and debris to shoot out the other.

One camouflaged locomotive was discovered under netting by a tunnel mouth and exploded. One train and one locomotive in tunnels were attacked by bombs, rockets and strafing with no visible results.

Two tracks were burned – one on a bridge, and one additional track, apparently carrying ammunition was strafed and disintegrated in a violent explosion. Two RR bridges were bombed with hits on approaches resulting in damage to rails and ties.

A burned-out power station from the morning’s attack was hit by 20 mm and the one remaining transformer was burned out. An undamaged power station was hit with two-thirds of the transformers set afire.

While strafing a truck at about 37°-55’N 125° -30’S near KANGMYONG-NI, Ensign Donald E. Stevens, VA-55, failed to pull out of his dive and his AD was seen to crash and explode. [note]

1130 Korean Time

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Meanwhile, just before noon, the North Koreans began shelling the Taejŏn airstrip with counterbattery fire. This fire, coming from the north and northwest, built up to great intensity during the afternoon. [note]

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The North Korean attack against Taejŏn got under way the morning of 19 July. The first blow was an air strike against communication lines in the rear of the city. At 0720, six YAK's flew over the lines of the 21st Infantry and dropped four bombs on the railroad bridge two miles northwest of Okch'ŏn. One bomb damaged the bridge,

but by noon B Company of the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion had repaired it and restored rail traffic in both directions. The YAK's strafed near the regimental command post and dropped propaganda leaflets signed by three American officers and three noncommissioned officers captured at Osan two weeks earlier. Four planes then strafed the Taejŏn airstrip.

Later in the day, the crews of A Battery, 26th Antiaircraft Battalion, supporting the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, shot down two YAK's near Yusŏng, just west of Taejŏn. [11-9]

The U.S. Air Force also went into action early on the 19th. It bombed and burned known and suspected points of enemy concentration west and southwest of Taejŏn.

Aerial observers at noon reported that the enemy had partially repaired the bridge across the Kum River at Taep'yong-ni, ten miles north of Taejŏn, and that tanks and artillery were moving south of the river.

The Air Force operated at considerable disadvantage at this time, however, for there were only two strips in Korea suitable for use by F-51 and C-47 types of aircraft-
the K-2 dirt strip at Taegu and the similar K-3 strip at Yŏnil near P'ohang-dong. South of Chinju, the K-4 strip at Sach'ŏn was available as an emergency field.

Most of the tactical planes flew from Japan. [11-10] [and did not use the local air fields.] [According to the Air Force K-3 was all ready for full operation, wonder why they didn't really use it? "The first combat mission was flown from the strip on 15 July, and by 19 July completion of a cross taxiway permitted combat units to use as much of the field as had been completed at that time."]

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After completing its crossing at Kongju, the N.K. 4th Division split its forces for a two-pronged attack on Taejŏn. The bulk of the division, comprising the 16th and 18th Infantry Regiments, the Artillery Regiment, and most of the tanks, went south to Nonsan and there turned east toward Taejŏn. Some of the infantry of these regiments may have moved south out of Nonsan in a wheeling movement through Kŭmsan to the rear of Taejŏn.

Others apparently moved across back country trails to strike the Kŭmsan road south of and below Taejŏn. The 5th Infantry Regiment, supported by one tank company, left Kongju on the secondary road running southeast through a mountainous area to Yusŏng, and apparently was the first enemy unit to arrive at the outskirts of Taejŏn. [11-11] [note]

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At noon on the 19th General Gay assumed command ashore. In the afternoon, with unloading completed, ships of the Attack Force shifted to heavy weather anchorages as Grace, the first typhoon of the season, was reported heading for Korea Strait. [note]

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At noon on 19 July, Major General Gay established his command post and assumed responsibility for operations ashore. [note]

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Lt. (jg) R. (n) Heiderer, VF-52 crashed into the sea during a catapult shot at 1215 due to apparent power failure of his F9F-3. He was picked up by helicopter and suffered no injuries.

One group of jets headed for KITO airfield, 10 miles west of Sŏul in the hopes of surprising planes on the ground. Several damaged plans were observed on the field and five to ten others believed to be heavily camouflaged or dummies were observed by one pilot. Hangars, barracks areas and AA positions were strafed.

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Grumman F9F-3 "Panther", of Fighter Squadron 52 (VF-52), taxies forward on USS Valley Forge (CV-45) to be catapulted for strikes on targets along the east coast of Korea, 19 July 1950. Note details of the ship's island, including scoreboard at left. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-428152).

The most spectacular damage occurred at Inch'ŏn. Attached by first one group of F9Fs and then by the other, seven huge oil storage tanks and two small ones were destroyed by burning. Fires started by 20mm ammunition blazed fiercely with towering flames and black smoke extending thousands of foot into the clouds. Leaking oil caught fire and flamed throughout the vicinity. Photographs confirm the destruction of this principal oil storage installation.

Two locomotives were knocked out and small fires were started in a possible small refinery in Inch'ŏn. The oil storage facilities at Inch'ŏn naval base were strafed but no visible damage resulted although this installation appeared to have been previously damaged.

In most areas AA was absent, light or meager. At Kimp'o airfield, however, the most intense AA yet experienced in Korea was encountered. Although relatively light in caliber (estimated mostly 20mm to 40mm), the fire was intense and accurate. At least two jet aircraft suffered minor AA damage.

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Throughout the most successful operations of the day’s strikes, photographic planes of MAG-12 provided excellent coverage. No indications of enemy radar were observed by QUEEN Planes. [note]

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The 2nd Battalion, 18th [19th] Infantry, arrived at Taejŏn from Yŏngdong about this time, just after noon. [note]

2230 Washington DC Time

See Radio message to the American people [at 10:30 PM]

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The 2nd Battalion, 18th [19th] Infantry, arrived at Taejŏn from Yŏngdong about this time, just after noon.

By 1300, Colonel McGrail, the battalion commander, had the unit ready to move out at the railroad station. There he received an order saying the North Koreans were breaking through L Company's blocking position at the Kap-ch'on River and he was to attack there immediately and restore the position. When he arrived at the scene of fighting McGrail found General Dean there with two tanks, directing fire. [11-14]

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McGrail's battalion attacked immediately with two companies abreast astride the Nonsan road, E on the left (south) and F on the right (north).

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On the right an enemy force was in the act of enveloping the north flank of L Company, 34th Infantry. F Company raced this enemy force for possession of critical high ground, taking and holding it in the ensuing fight. On the left, E Company moved up south of the road, and G Company occupied a hill position a mile behind it. Even with the newly arrived battalion now deployed covering the Nonsan road, there was still a mile-wide gap of high ground between it and the left of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, to the north. [11-15]

Co-ordinated with the North Korean advance along the Nonsan road was an enemy approach on the main Sŏul highway. There in the Yusŏng area, B Company of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, came under heavy attack. Enemy flanking parties cut off two platoons half a mile north of Yusŏng. In the fighting there both platoon leaders were wounded and several men killed.

Colonel Ayres from his observation post east of the Kapch'on River could see large groups of North Koreans assembling and artillery going into position in the little valley northwest of Yusŏng. He directed artillery fire and called in air strikes on these concentrations. In the afternoon he requested and received authority from Colonel Beauchamp to withdraw B Company from its exposed position at Yusŏng to the main battalion position back of the Kap-ch'on River. The company successfully withdrew in the evening. [11-16] [note]

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However, by 2:00 P.M. Ayres, seeing that his position was growing perilous, recommended to Beauchamp that the regiment withdraw into the city that night. This recommendation was not well received by the gung ho Beauchamp, who rejected it forthwith.[5-48] [note]

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By early afternoon, Colonel Ayres was convinced that a major enemy attack was impending. At 1400 he recommended to Colonel Beauchamp that the regiment withdraw that night. Beauchamp rejected this, thinking they could hold the enemy out of Taejŏn another day, and he so told General Dean. After dark, however, Beauchamp moved his 34th Infantry command post from the airfield into Taejŏn. At the same time all the supporting artillery displaced from the airfield to positions on the south edge of the city. [11-18] [note]

1435 Korean Time

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Message from Commanding General, EUSAK, dated 191435K July 1950 -- "One report in west sector N.K. troops entered our lines posing as peasant refugees carrying unassembled firearms and uniforms in bundles." 52 [note]

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

Meanwhile, just before noon, the North Koreans began shelling the Taejŏn airstrip with counterbattery fire. This fire, coming from the north and northwest, built up to great intensity during the afternoon.

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That evening, General Dean told Major Bissett that he had seen as much incoming artillery fire at the Taejŏn Airfield that day as he had ever seen in one day in Europe in World War II. Frequent artillery concentrations also pounded the main battle positions of the 34th Infantry. [11-17] [note]

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Two days of east coast strikes had gone off well, but nature now intervened to change the schedule. Concerned by the time involved in commuting between Okinawa and the scene of action, Commander Seventh Fleet had been expediting arrangements for underway replenishment and was contemplating a shift of base forward to Sasebo; the plans of the moment called for the force to fuel at sea on the 20th in preparation for two more days of operations.

But the approach of Typhoon Grace forced postponement, and with completion of flight operations on the 19th all ships set Typhoon Condition One and prepared for the worst in the way of weather.
[note]

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Sun Set

1948 Sun Set

While confusion in its command structure bedeviled the 34th Infantry,

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the 24th, commanded by Colonel Horton V. White, suffered because of an additional factor--segregation. Many of the black regiment's white officers held prejudices that affected both their leadership and their later evaluations of the 24th's troops.

The regiment experienced its first significant action in Korea when its 3rd Battalion, under Lt. Col. Samuel Pierce, Jr., tried to retake the town of Yech'ŏn on July 19, 1950.

Darkness intervened in the attack, but the 3rd seized the town on the following day with little trouble. [note]

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As darkness fell, Colonel Ayres ordered his motor officer to move the 1st Battalion vehicles into Taejŏn. He did not want to run the risk of losing them during a night attack. Only one jeep for each rifle company, two jeeps for the Heavy Weapons Company, the battalion command jeep, and the radio vehicle were left at the battle positions.

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On the left of the defense position F Company of the 19th Infantry had been under attack all afternoon. After dark men there heard noises on their right flank, and it became apparent that enemy soldiers were moving into, and possibly through, the mile-wide gap between them and the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry. [11-19] [note]

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Taejŏn was ominously quiet during the evening. Occasional showers from the edge of a typhoon that had narrowly missed the area settled the stifling dust raised by the vehicular traffic in the city. As the night wore on the quiet gave way to ominous noises. At his command post Colonel Ayres about 2200 heard the rumble of tanks on his right. He sent a patrol out to investigate. It never reported back. Ayres telephoned Beauchamp and told him he thought enemy troops were moving around the city and again recommended withdrawal. [11-20] [note]

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By early afternoon, Colonel Ayres was convinced that a major enemy attack was impending. At 1400 he recommended to Colonel Beauchamp that the regiment withdraw that night. Beauchamp rejected this, thinking they could hold the enemy out of Taejŏn another day, and he so told General Dean. After dark, however, Beauchamp moved his 34th Infantry command post from the airfield into Taejŏn. At the same time all the supporting artillery displaced from the airfield to positions on the south edge of the city. [11-18] [note]

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The various thinly linked elements of the 34th and McGrail's 2/19 soon found themselves under severe and relentless pressure. After dark Beauchamp withdrew his exposed CP and artillery, but not his infantry, closer to the city.

At about 10:00 P.m. the battle wise Red Ayres, rightly convinced that his 1/34was being encircled by tanks and infantry, again proposed to Beauchamp that the infantry withdraw into the city. Even though by that time Beauchamp had received reports of roadblocks on the Kumsan and Okch'ŏn roads - indicating a massive encirclement from the southwest and south - he again rejected withdrawal of the infantry as inappropriate.[5-52] [note]

2220 Moon Set

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0900 Washington DC Time

Chapter 4. The Advance Party

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.

morning


On 19 July the big aircraft discharged its passengers at the Haneda Airport, near Tokyo. General Craig immediately reported to his naval superior, Admiral Joy. Later the Brigade commander, General Cushman, and the other officers of the advance party, assembled at General Headquarters, Far East, where they would get their first glimpse of the war through the eyes of the United States Army.

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They conferred first with Major General Edward A. Almond, USA, and Brigadier General Edwin K. Wright, USA. The former was Chief of Staff to General MacArthur, while the latter served as G–3 on the staff.

After Almond and Wright had received a report on the organization and capabilities of the Brigade air-ground team, they ushered the two Marine generals into the office of MacArthur.[3]

The commander in chief greeted his visitors cordially and expressed his pleasure at having Marines in his command again. He commented briefly on the excellence of the 1st Marine Division and certain Marine air units which had served under him during World War II. The general smiled as he mentioned a rumor to the effect that he had been prejudiced against Marines during the Pacific War.

Sweeping aside this tale as being unfounded, he said that he had always held the greatest admiration for the Corps and would welcome its units to his command any time.[4]

Following this reception, MacArthur meticulously briefed Craig and Cushman on the critical situation in Korea, where the war was already entering its fourth week. The commander in chief disclosed his tentative plans for commitment of the Marines:

he would hold the Brigade in Japan as a force in readiness until an entire Marine division could be assembled.

If he could have this division by September, he intended to launch an amphibious assault against the port of Inch'ŏn on the west coast. Striking deep in the Communist rear, he would sever the long lines of communications linking North Korean bases to the Communist invaders at the front. Thus isolated, the latter would quickly wither, and Walker’s Eighth Army could smash out of the Pusan Perimeter.[5]

When MacArthur concluded, he and Craig discussed the organization of the Brigade. The Marine general emphasized that his command was an air-ground team; and though few in numbers, the Brigade had a powerful potential if its air arm remained integral. MacArthur assured him that the Marine combination would remain intact, unless some emergency dictated otherwise.

Craig next mentioned that the infantry and artillery units of the Brigade were at peace strength. MacArthur was surprised to learn that each battalion had just 2 rifle companies, and each battery only 4 guns instead of 6. He was even more surprised to find that each of the 6 infantry companies had 50 men less than the number called for in Marine war tables. The Army leader had been aware of certain shortages when he sent a message to the Pentagon on 10 July, requesting the Joint Chiefs of Staff to authorize expansion of the Brigade to a full war-strength division.[6]

He believed at the time, however, that the Brigade itself would be formed on a wartime basis. Now, confronted with reality, he ordered his chief of staff to prepare another dispatch to the Joint Chiefs, asking that the Brigade be expanded to full war strength and reiterating his request for an entire division.[7]

MacArthur concluded the conference by informing Craig that the Marine fighting team would remain in Japan under operational control of Joy’s headquarters. This was good news to the Brigade commander. Being attached to the Naval command meant that his Marines would be free to train and otherwise prepare for their future amphibious mission; whereas an assignment to the Eighth Army’s rear echelon might have entailed time consuming occupational and administrative duties.[8]

Although the solution to Marine Corps problems had seemed simple enough in MacArthur’s office, it was quite another story on the other side of the world in Washington. The Joint Chiefs of Staff had rendered no decision on the general’s 10 July request for a Marine division.

Nevertheless, General Cates ordered his staff to draw up detailed plans for expansion so that immediate action could be taken if authorization were forthcoming.

As a result, Plans Able and Baker were prepared, the one designed to augment the Brigade to war strength, the other to explore the requirements for creating a full division. To cover these possibilities together with the Corps’ other irrevocable commitments throughout the world, Marine planners were drawn more and more toward a single basic conclusion—if President Truman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff granted MacArthur’s request, the Marine Corps Reserve would have to be mobilized at once.

When the Joint Chiefs received the message which MacArthur had dictated in General Craig’s presence, they requested an estimate from the Marine Corps on how long it would take to form a war-strength division. General Cates summed up his case:

the Marine Corps, numbering only 74,279 officers and men,[9] was committed on a global basis. There was a brigade on its way to Korea, a peace-strength division on the Atlantic Coast,[10] and a battalion landing team permanently assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet. There were detachments of Marines assigned for domestic security, shipboard duty, and overseas security. Moreover, in order to carry out any expansion program on a sound basis, it would be necessary to maintain cadres of experienced personnel in various training centers.

The Commandant’s presentation made it clear that any immediate expansion would, as proved by simple arithmetic, be dependent upon mobilization of the Reserve.

Accordingly, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended to President Truman that the Organized Marine Corps Reserve be called to active duty. That same morning, 19 July, Admiral Sherman notified General Cates of this decision. The Commandant lost no time at ordering his staff to alert all Reserve units. His grounds for haste were well founded; for in the afternoon a presidential proclamation announced that the “citizen-Marines” would be mobilized.

[note]


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During the voyage from Japan to Korea, the division intelligence staff, reinforced with a team from the 441st Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) Detachment, continued preparing for combat, although the staff received "very meager" information on the North Korean People's Army (NKPA) from the Eighth Army staff. 9
9
"G-2 Monthly Narrative for 25 June to 31 July 1950 ;" Headquarters EUSAK, Periodic Intelligence Report #7, 2400 19 July 1950 , File 319.1 (PIR July), Security Classified General Correspondence 1950 , Adjutant General Section, Eighth U.S. Army, Box 714, RG 338, NARA. [note]


Korean_War

Eighth Army's PIR for midnight on July 19 reported that increased pressure in the Taejŏn area and "the probable shift of elements of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Divisions to the West and South West" indicated that the enemy's main effort would indeed be along the Choch'iwŏn-Taejŏnaxis. The PIR also passed along information obtained from interrogating captured NKPA soldiers.

Enemy tactics included "a frontal attack with flanking movement supported by artillery.

The unit attacking frontally is widely dispersed and keeps up heavy fire, while strong flanking elements constitute the main effort."

Enemy soldiers said they had been told that Japanese troops were fighting on behalf of the South Korean government and that "Americans will retreat in combat." 24


24
"G-2 Monthly Narrative for 25 June to 31 July 1950 ;" Headquarters EUSAK, Periodic Intelligence Report #7, 2400 19 July 1950 , File 319.1 (PIR July), Security Classified General Correspondence 1950 , Adjutant General Section, Eighth U.S. Army, Box 714, RG 338, NARA. [note]


Casualties

Wednesday July 19, 1950 (Day 025)

Korean_War 060 Casualties

As of July 19, 1950

3 11TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (155MM)
18 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
10 24TH ARMORED RECONNAISSANCE COMPANY
2 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
26 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 36TH FIGHTER BOMBER SQUADRON
1 3RD ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
1 620TH AIR CONTROL AND WARNING SQUADRON
1 8054TH MOBILE ARMY SURGICAL HOSPITAL
1 HEADQUARTERS FIFTH AIR FORCE
64 19500719 0000 Casualties by unit

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 17 1,121 1 0 0 1,139
Losses 0 60 0 0 0 60
To Date 17 1,181 1 0 0 1,199

Aircraft Losses Today 005

Notes for Wednesday July 19, 1950 - Day 025