Overview

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

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July 16-21 Typhoon Grace


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Abandon Taejŏn.


20 21

On 7-20 the 24th's 3rd Bn, reinforced by a battery of the 159th and a platoon of the 77th, was the 1st 25th Division element to go into action at Yech'ŏn. In an extraordinary 2-day action hailed around the world as the US' initial Korean War victory, the reinforced bn drove the enemy from the town and recaptured it at a cost of 2 Americans killed and 10 wounded in action to at least 258 enemy dead.

[note]

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20 Jul CMC orders to duty Organized Marine Corps ground reserve units, consisting of 22 units and 4,830 personnel. Partial call up for 6,000 air reservists in 30 Marine Fighter (VMF) Squadrons and 12 Marine Ground Control Intercept (MGCI) Squadrons.
20 Jul Taejŏn, temporary Republic of Korea (ROK) capital, captured.

[note]

19, 20, 21, 22

July 19 to 22 - Battle for Taejŏn. U.S. troops retreat. Major General William F. Dean 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]

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July 20-24
Parts of the NKPA's 4th Division continue down the west coast after overcoming resistance by the South Korean Marines at Kunsan. Encountering only light resistance they take the port of Mokp'o-si and then Haenam, virtually at the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula. In 30 days, the Reds had fought their way 230 miles from the 38th Parallel. What has helped them is a sizable guerrilla force. [note]


July 20
Gen. MacArthur declares

"the first phase of the campaign has ended and with it the chance for victory by the North Korean forces."

Even though U.S. and Korean forces are still losing ground, the general says the Reds "failed to exploit" the situation after capturing Sŏul.

"We are now in Korea in force, and with God's help we are there to stay until the constitutional government of the Republic of Korea is restored,"

he vows. The statement is reminiscent of MacArthur in World War II when he declared The Philippines capital Manila was liberated when the Japanese army still controlled most of the city.

-- The UN Commission on Korea in Pusan added more manpower to investigate war crimes charges against the North Korean Peoples' Army.

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-- The NKPA launches a massive tank-led assault against Taejŏn. Soldiers of the U.S. 24th Infantry Division reportedly knock out about a dozen tanks with a new "super bazooka" that fires 3.5-inch rockets. The Reds overcome their stiff opposition, and by night have entered the city and have it nearly surrounded. Most of Taejŏn is burning. Maj. Gen. William F. Dean, 24th ID commander, orders his troops to retreat. They have to fight their way out of the city.

-- Gen. Dean is missing in action. During the battle for Taejŏn, he and many of his commanders were in the front lines to encourage their young and green soldiers.

[note]

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In the last ten days of July the Joint Chiefs had repeatedly reminded MacArthur of their anxiety over the Formosa situation, and two of the Chiefs, Collins and Hoyt Vandenberg, had flown to Tokyo to explain the President's concern over possible Nationalist raids on the mainland.

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The General was given the unenviable job of explaining to Chiang, as tactfully as possible, that the Seventh Fleet would intercept any such raiders and send them home.[38]

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As early as late July, convinced that "the period of piecemeal entry into action" was over, that "the fight for time against space" was won, he had felt confident enough to entrust the safety of the battlefield to Walker while he flew to Formosa for a conference with Chiang Kai-shek.[37]

[note]


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20 July 1950
One SB-17 was utilized this date for orbit and weather recon missions. Eight hours and thirty five minutes (8:35) total flying time.
There were no false alerts this date due to high winds and the effects of an approaching typhoon. Very few aircraft were airborne this date.

[note]

`````

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Frustration in Korea * 385

Two days later I received a message from the managing editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, stating that his paper had imposed self-censorship. Once again a free press exhibited its fullest commitment to the burdens of a free society.


By July 20th, the period of piecemeal entry into action was over, the painful rearguard type of retreat under pressure of overwhelming numbers was ended, the fight for time against space was won. The enemy's plan and great opportunity depended upon the speed with which he could overrun South Korea once he had breached the Han River line. This chance he had now lost through the extraordinary speed with which the Eighth Army had been deployed from Japan to stem his rush. When he crashed the Han line, the way seemed entirely open and victory was within his grasp. The desperate decision to throw in piecemeal American elements as they arrived by every available means of transport from Japan was the only hope to save the situation. The skill and valor thereafter displayed in successive holding actions by the ground forces in accordance with this concept, brilliantly supported in complete co-ordination by air and naval elements, forced the enemy into continued deployments, mostly frontal attacks, and confused logistics which so slowed his advance and blunted his drive that we bought the precious time necessary to build a secure base. With the issue fully joined, our future action could be predicated on choice. We now held South Korea, and, in the face of overwhelming numbers, had relatively few casualties.

[1,820 to date, including 587 on this date alone]

The area in which I had military responsibility having been enlarged to include Formosa and the Pescadore Islands, I felt it necessary, late in July, to visit the island in order to determine its military capabilities for defense.

Among the problems which were discussed was the prompt and generous offer of the Nationalist Chinese to send troops to join the United Nations forces in Korea. The belief of all concerned, however, was that such action at this time might so seriously jeopardize the defense of Formosa that it would be inadvisable. Arrangements were completed for effective co-ordination between the American forces under my command and those of the Chinese Nationalists, the better to meet any attack which a hostile force might be foolish enough to attempt. Such an attack would, in my opinion, stand little chance of success. It was a great pleasure for me to meet my old comrade-in-arms of the last war, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. His indomitable determination to resist Communist domination aroused my sincere admiration.

386 * REMINISCENCES

To my astonishment, the visit to Formosa and my meeting with Chiang Kai-shek was greeted by a furor. My habitual critics, including those within the United Nations who advocated appeasement of the Soviet Union and Red China, naturally set in with their cudgels, but I was some-what startled to find myself attacked by certain groups within the United States itself. It did not dawn on me that my visit to Formosa would be construed as political or in any way undesirable. I was merely trying to make my own military estimate of the situation. There was such a frenzy of irresponsible diatribe, some of the misrepresentations so gross and obviously malicious, that I felt it necessary to make a further statement:

There have been so many misstatements made with reference to my trip to Formosa that in the public interest at this critical moment I feel constrained to correct them. This trip was formally arranged and coordinated beforehand with all branches of the American and Chinese Governments. It was limited entirely to military matters, as I stated in my public release after the visit, and dealt solely with the problem of preventing military violence to Formosa as directed by the President — the implementation of which directive is my responsibility. It had no connection with political affairs and, therefore, no suggestion or thought was ever made from any source whatsoever that a political representative accompany me. The subject of the future of the Chinese Government, of developments on the Chinese mainland, or anything else outside the scope of my own military responsibility was not discussed or even mentioned. Full reports on the results of the visit were promptly made to Washington. This visit has been maliciously misrepresented to the public by those who invariably in the past have propagandized a policy of defeatism and appeasement in the Pacific. I hope the American people will not be misled by sly insinuations, brash speculations and bold misstatements invariably attributed to anonymous sources, so insidiously fed them both nationally and internationally by persons ten thousand miles away from the actual events, which tend, if they are not indeed designed, to promote disunity and destroy faith and confidence in American institutions and American representatives at this time of great world peril.

Frustration in Korea * 387

The Administration apparently became somewhat alarmed at our deteriorating prestige in the Orient, and President Truman issued a public statement saying:

"The occupation of Formosa by Communist forces would be a direct threat to the security of the Pacific area and to the United States forces performing their lawful and necessary functions in that area."



I received the following message from President Truman:

"At my direction, my assistant, W. Averell Harriman, will leave here Friday 4 August by air to confer with you in Tokyo on political aspects of Far Eastern situation. Announcement of mission will be made here. Warm regards."



As special envoy from President Truman, Averell Harriman was sent to Tokyo to advise the President on political aspects of the Far Eastern situation. Harriman and I were friends of long standing. While superintendent of West Point I had hunted ducks on his preserve near Tuxedo. We discussed fully global conditions. I found him careful and cautious in what he said, but gained these very definite impressions:

He left me with a feeling of concern and uneasiness that the situation in the Far East was little understood and mistakenly downgraded in high circles in Washington.

[note]

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July 20: Despite FEAF close air support, the NKA took Taejŏn, forcing the remnants of the USA 24th Infantry Division to withdraw to the southeast. US ground forces defending Taejŏn had suffered, in seven days, almost 30 percent casualties. Maj. Gen. Otto P. Weyland arrived in the Far East to assume the position of FEAF vice commander for operations. Fifth Air Force pilots in F-80s shot down two more enemy aircraft, the last aerial victories until November. Enemy air opposition by this time had virtually disappeared, a sign of UN air superiority.

[note]

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KPA "Third Phase" terminates

See all phases

[note]

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USAF F-80C 2 x Yak-9

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KPAFAC Yak-9 1x B-29 damaged

[note]

Army Policy

On 19 July, they told him to decide whether he wanted combat replacements or a war-strength combat division. The second increment of the 2nd 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."

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Fifteen hundred replacements sailed with the 2nd Division on 20 July.

[note]


Port officials had already rounded up most of the men originally released and had shipped them on 20 July. The rest would be shipped out as soon as statutory authority was granted to keep all enlisted men in the service for an additional year. [05-57]
As fast as ships were loaded they left for Korea. [note]

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The 24th Division lost Taejŏn on 20 July in a hard-fought 2-day battle. The division commander, General Dean, was captured after becoming separated from his troops during the withdrawal from Taejŏn. Division casualties approached 30 percent.

[note]

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The commitment of the 25th Division and the 1st Cavalry Division against the North Koreans had slowed, but not stopped, the enemy's drive, and did not come in time to prevent the fall of Taejŏn to the enemy on 20 July. The loss of all Korea loomed as a very real possibility. Nevertheless, by that date General MacArthur had discussed his idea with General Almond and General Wright and had ordered detailed plans drawn Up for an amphibious envelopment. Primary emphasis, he directed, was to be on Inch'ŏn as the assault site, but he also specified that alternate plans be prepared.


Wright's planning officers at once began to ready the basic framework of a plan for an amphibious assault landing at Inch'ŏn during September and to draw up several alternate plans as well.

[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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until the afternoon of the 20th at which time a southward course was taken to pass through Tsushima Strait in order to take position for strikes on the west coast of Korea.

[note]

Awards MoH and DSC

Sgt. Elmer E. Burkholder

Sgt. Albert Catanese

PFC Robert E. Dare

PFC Donald V. Flowers

SFC Frank D. Rorrer

PFC Charles T. Zimmerman

Sgt. GEORGE D. LIBBY

[note]

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This attitude was closely related to the Army's estimates of white morale: white soldiers, the argument ran, especially many among those southerners who comprised an unusually high proportion of the Army's strength, would not accept Integration. Many white men would refuse to take orders from black superiors, and the mutual dependence of individual soldiers and small units in combat would break down when the races were mingled.

Although these beliefs were highly debatable, they were tenaciously held by many senior officials and were often couched in terms that were extremely difficult to refute. For instance, Royall summed up the argument on morale:

"I am reluctant—and I am sure all sincere citizens will be reluctant—to force a pace faster than is consistent with the efficiency and morale of the Army—or to follow a course Inconsistent with the ability of the Army, in the event of war, to take the battlefield with reasonable assurance of success.[40]

[40]Testimony of the Secretary of the Army, Fahy Cmte Hearings, 28 Mar 49, morning session, p. 28.

But in time the Fahy Committee found a way, first suggested by its executive secretary, to turn the efficiency argument around. Certainly a most resourceful and imaginative man, Kenworthy had no doubt about the immorality of segregation, but he also understood, as he later told the Secretary of the Army, that whatever might be morally undeniable in the abstract, military efficiency had to govern in matters of military policy. His study of the record and his investigation of existing service conditions convinced him that segregation actually impeded military efficiency. Convinced from the start that appeals to morality would be a waste of time, Kenworthy [had] pressed the committee members to tackle the services on their own ground—efficiency.[14-41]

Footnote 14-41: Ltr, Kenworthy to SA, 20 Jul 50, FC file; see also Memo, Kenworthy for Chief of Military History, 13 Oct 76, CMH.(Back)
[The committee folded on 7/6]

[note]

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The US 24th Infantry Regiment of the 25th Infantry Division was bloodied in an ill-fated counterattack at Yech'ŏn.

[note]

Nogun-ri

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Prisoner of War interrogation by 24th ID G-2 Language Section, July 20, 1950 -- " ...He and another PW like him was attached to a guerrilla unit of about twenty men. All of these soldiers were dressed in civilian clothing and their rank were not known..." 54
54
Prisoner of War Interrogation, 24th Infantry Division G-2 Language Section, 20 Jul 50. In AG Command Reports (War Diaries) 1949-1954, 24th Infantry Division, Box 3471, RG 407, NARA.

[note]


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On July 20, the 1st Cavalry Division received a copy of Eighth Army's "Combat Lesson Number One." The lesson outlined the infiltration tactics used by the NKPA, noting that individuals or small groups "work themselves behind our lines under cover and then assemble at a pre-designated point." From that point, the now reassembled NKPA unit would "attack against the rear or flanks of our troops." The lesson warned that the location of the assembly points in the American rear areas used by infiltrators "must be determined promptly by aggressive patrolling and intelligence operations." Then "reserve echelons supporting front line units, particularly artillery or armored vehicles, must be promptly dispatched to [the] area in order to liquidate the assembled forces." 25
25
Serial Number 28, Headquarters 1st Cavalry Division July 1950 Journal, copy in 1st Cavalry Division July 1950 War Diary, Cavalry Divisions 1960-1967, Box 54, RG 338, NARA.

As noted earlier, the 1st Cavalry Division lacked sufficient personnel and their full complement of units to form the reserve echelons capable of dealing with infiltrators assembling in their rear areas.
79

[note]

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July 20 - 30 ROK 3rd Division, in desperate fighting, make only successful holding operation on Peninsula to that time
20 July

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Taejŏn is captured by NKPA;

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24th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, captures Yech'ŏn.

[note]

South then North

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Advance Headquarters, Fifth Air Force, opened at Taegu on 20 July.

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The forward element in the control system of the close air support was the tactical air control party, consisting of a forward air controller (usually an officer and an experienced pilot), a radio operator, and a radio repair man who also served as jeep driver. Six of these parties operated with the 24th Division in Korea in the early days of the war. As soon as others could be formed, one joined each ROK corps and division, and an Air Liaison Officer joined each ROK corps to act as adviser on air capabilities for close support.

The Fifth Air Force began using T-6 trainer aircraft to locate targets on and behind enemy lines. The controllers in these planes, using the call sign "Mosquito," remained over enemy positions and directed fighter planes to the targets. Because of the call sign the T-6's soon became known in Army and Air Force parlance as Mosquitoes. The Mosquito normally carried an Air Force pilot and a ground force observer. The plane was equipped with a Very High Frequency radio for contact with tactical air control parties and fighter aircraft in the air. It also had an SCR-300 radio for contact with front-line ground troops. The ground force observer and the pilot in the Mosquito, the control party, and the forward infantry elements co-ordinated their information to bring fighter aircraft to targets where they delivered their strikes, and also to direct ground fire on enemy targets in front of the infantry. [07-38]

In the early part of the war the F-51 (Mustang), a propeller-driven fighter, predominated in the Air Force's close support effort. This plane had shown to good advantage in World War II in low-level close support missions. It had greater range than the jet F-80 and could use the rough, short fields in Korea. Most important of all, it was available. For close support of Marine troops when they were committed later, a tried and tested plane, the Marine F4U Corsair, was used.

The F-51 was capable of carrying 6 5-inch rockets and 2 110-gallon napalm tanks, and it mounted 6 .50-caliber machine guns.

The F-80 could carry 2 110-gallon napalm tanks, and mounted 6 .50-caliber machine guns with about the same ammunition load as the F-51. It could also carry 2 5-inch rockets if the target distance was short. Both the F-51 and the F-80 could carry 2,000 pounds of bombs if the mission required it.

The F4U could carry 8 5-inch rockets, 2 110-gallon napalm tanks, and it mounted 4 20-mm. cannon with 800 rounds of ammunition. If desired it could carry a 5,200-pound bomb load.

The F-51 had a 400-mile operating radius, which could be increased to 760 miles by using external gas tanks.

The F-80's normal radius was 125 miles, but it could be increased to 550 miles with external tanks.

The F4U had a shorter operating range. With external tanks it reached about 335 miles. [07-39]

[note]

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On to [20] July Colonel Emmerich went to Yŏnil Airfield to discuss with Col. Robert Witty, commanding the 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group, the co-ordination of air strikes at Yŏngdök. These promised to become more numerous, because on that day the 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron became operational at Yŏnil.

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General Walker and General Partridge flew to Yŏnil Airfield from Taegu to join in the discussions, and Kean, of the 25th Division also joined the group there.

Emmerich briefed the commanders thoroughly on the situation. General Walker ordered that the 3rd ROK Division must retake Yŏngdök.

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When Colonel Emmerich relayed Walker's orders to Lee, Chu Sik 3rd ROK Div of the ROK division the latter was upset, but he received instructions from higher ROK authority to obey the Eighth Army commander. [12-5]

[note]

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The first action between elements of the 25th Division and enemy forces appears to have occurred at Yech'ŏn on 20 July. Company K, 24th Infantry, led by 1st Lt. Jasper R. Johnson, entered the town during the afternoon. When other units of the 3rd Battalion failed to take a ridge overlooking the town on the left, he requested and received permission to withdraw from the town for the night. [12-18]

TABLE 2-ROK ARMY, 26 JULY 1950

Total assigned 94,570

Total effective assigned 85,871

Wounded and nonbattle casualties 8,699

I Corps Headquarters 3,014

Capital Division (1st, 17th, 18th Regiments) 6,644

8th Division (10th, 16th, 21st Regiments) 8,864

II Corps Headquarters 976

1st Division (11th, 12th, 15th Regiments) 7,601

6th Division (2nd, 7th, 19th Regiments) 5,727

ROK Army Headquarters 3,020

3rd Division (1st Cavalry, 22nd, 23rd Regiments) 8,829

ROK Troops 11,881

Replacement Training Command 9,016

Chŏnju Training Command 8,699

Kwangju Training Command 6,244

Pusan Training Command 5,356

Meeting at the battalion command post, the commanders of the various units planned a renewed assault for 0500 the next morning. Artillery and mortars zeroed in as scheduled, and soon the town was in flames. By this time, however, Yech'ŏn may already have been abandoned by the enemy.

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At Hamch'ang, Col. Henry G. Fisher, commanding the 35th Infantry, received early that morning an erroneous message that the North Koreans had driven the 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry from Yech'ŏn.

He started for the place at once. He found the battalion commander [Lt. Col. Melvin E. Blair] about five miles west of the town, but was dissatisfied with the information that he received from him.

Fisher and a small party then drove on into Yech'ŏn, which was ablaze with fires started by American artillery shells. He encountered no enemy or civilians. The 3rd Platoon, 77th Engineer Combat Company, attached to Company K, entered the town with the infantrymen and attempted to halt the spread of flames-unsuccessfully, because of high, shifting winds.

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By 1300 Yech'ŏn was secured, and 3rd Battalion turned over control to the ROK 18th Regiment of the Capital Division the task of holding the town. The Capital Division now concentrated there the bulk of its forces and opposed the N.K. 8th Division in that vicinity the remainder of the month. [12-19]

(guess on date, because it talks about planning) General Kean and his 25th Division had to guard two main approaches to Mun'gyŏng plateau and passed through Hamch'ang at the base of the plateau about fifteen miles due north of Sangju.

[note]

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

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The next day the 8th Cavalry Regiment followed by rail and motor, and closed in an assembly area east of Yŏngdong that evening. Brig. Gen. Charles D. Palmer, division artillery commander, commanded these two forward regiments.

[note]

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

[1] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 100 (N.K. 6th Div), pp. 33-35;
GHQ fec Sitrep, 20 Jul 50.

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

[2] EUSAK WD, Briefing for CG and G-3 Sec, 20 Jul 50.

The 6th Division departed Chŏnju on or about 20 July.

[note]

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The USNS General Nelson M. Walker (T-AP-125) arrived at Okinawa on the 20th with about 400 recruits. They were hastily disembarked and allowed to take with them only their toilet articles, driven to the battalion areas, assigned to companies, issued arms and field equipment, and moved back to the Naha docks.

[note]

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Of the eleven infantry battalions requested by General MacArthur in early July to make up shortages within the infantry divisions of the Far East Command, two battalions from the 19th Infantry Regiment on Okinawa were the first to arrive in Korea. The history of these units between the time they were alerted for probable combat use in Korea and their commitment in battle shows the increasing sense of urgency that gripped the Far East Command in July, and how promises and estimates made one day in good faith had to be discarded the next because of the growing crisis in Korea. And it also shows how troops not ready for combat nevertheless suddenly found themselves in it.

About the middle of July, Maj. Tony J. Raibl, Executive Officer, 3rd Battalion, 19th Infantry, learned in Tokyo that the Far East Command expected that the regiment would have at least six weeks' training before being sent to Korea. [18] Yet, immediately after making that estimate, the Far East Command issued orders to the regiment on 15 July to prepare for movement. All troops were placed in two battalions, the 1st and 3rd. Lt. Col. Wesley C. Wilson commanded the 1st Battalion and Lt. Col. Harold W. Mott, the 3rd Battalion. The regimental headquarters was to remain behind as a nucleus for a new regiment that would assume responsibility for the ground defense of Okinawa.

On 20 July at Yokohama, Major Raibl learned that the two battalions [1st and 3rd] would not come to Japan but would sail directly for Korea, where they would receive at least ten days of intensive field training in the vicinity of Pusan before they would be committed.

[note]

X Corps troops Assembled

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By 20 July General MacArthur had settled rather definitely on the concept of the Inch'ŏn operation and he spoke of the matter at some length with General Almond and with General Wright, his operations officer.

On 12 August, MacArthur issued CINCFE Operation Plan 100-B and specifically named the Inch'ŏn-Sŏul area as the target that a special invasion force would seize by amphibious assault. [25-6]

On 15 August General MacArthur established the headquarters group of the Special Planning Staff to take charge of the projected amphibious operation. For purposes of secrecy the new group, selected from the GHQ FEC staff, was designated, Special Planning Staff, GHQ, and the forces to be placed under its control, GHQ Reserve.

On 21 August, MacArthur requested the Department of the Army by radio for authority to activate Headquarters, X Corps, and, upon receiving approval, he issued GHQ FEC General Order 24 on 26 August activating the corps. All units in Japan or en route there that had been designated GHQ Reserve were assigned to it. [25-7]

[note]

The Landing Controversy

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All through July and August 1950 the Joint Chiefs of Staff gave implied or expressed approval of MacArthur's proposal for an amphibious landing behind the enemy's battle lines. But while it was known that MacArthur favored Inch'ŏn as the landing site, the Joint Chiefs had never committed themselves to it. From the beginning, there had been some opposition to and many reservations about the Inch'ŏn proposal on the part of General Collins, U.S. Army Chief of Staff; the Navy; and the Marine Corps.

The FEC senior planning and staff officers-such as Generals Almond and Hickey, Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff; General Wright, the G-3 and head of JSPOG; and Brig. Gen. George L. Eberle, the G-4-supported the plan. [25-15]

The Navy's opposition to the Inch'ŏn site centered largely on the difficult tidal conditions there, and since this opposition continued, the Joint Chiefs of Staff decided to send two of its members to Tokyo to discuss the matter with MacArthur and his staff. A decision had to be reached. [7/19 Washington DC] On 20 July General Collins and Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, Chief of Naval Operations, left Washington for their conference with MacArthur. Upon arrival in Japan, [7/23] Collins and Sherman engaged in private conversations with MacArthur and key members of his staff, including senior naval officers in the Far East.

[note]

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[note]

Citations

Medals       

Medal of Honor
19500720 0000 mh*LIBBY, GEORGE D.

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500720 0000 DSC BURKHOLDER

19500720 0000 DSC CATANESE

19500720 0000 DSC DARE

19500720 0000 DSC FLOWERS

19500720 0000 DSC RORRER

19500720 0000 DSC ZIMMERMAN

 

 

 

Silver Star

Barry, Edgar L. [Sgt SS A26thAAAAWB]

Biederstadt, Cletus [Cpl SS 24thMedBn]

Blalock, Douglas W. [2ndLt SS A26thAAAAWB]

Boyd, Ralph C. [Lt SS 24thQMC]

Brewer, Aubrey H. [Cpl SS SvcCo34thIR]

Carlton, Merrill H. [Col SS T-6 FEAF]

CARLTON, MERRILL H. [LtCol SS T-6 USAF]

Charles, J.D. [Cpl SS A11thFAB]

Clarke, Arthur M. [1stLt SS FAB24ID]

Cunningtubby, Clyde [PFC SS MedCo34thIR]

Fields, Buddy R. [Cpl SS HMCo34thIR]

Frattaroli, James J. [Cpl SS A11thFAB]

Gray, Lemuel T. [Sgt SS A11thFAB]

Haskins, Clinton J. [Pvt SS B63rdFAB]

Hatfield, Raymond Davidson [Capt SS Hq24thID]

Kelley, John A. [PFC SS A11thFAB]

Koppelman, Marvin [PFC SS B13thFAB]

Kriwchuk, Joseph [PFC SS ServBtry63rdFAB]

Lane, William D., Jr. [Sgt SS MedCo34thIR]

Leal, Albaro Sr. [Sgt SS C3rdECB]

Lee, William G. [SFC SS PioneerPltHqCo1stBn34thIR]

Long, Louis C., Jr. [MSgt SS ServCo34thIR]

Lucid, Edward [Pvt SS HvyMotarCo34thIR]

Rowlands, Richard A. [Capt SS Liaison-Officer 34thIR]

Schreiner, George W., Jr. [1stLt SS C3rdECB]

Slay, Maurice S. [Capt SS 63rdFAB]

Wadlington, Robert L. [LtCol SS 34thIR]

Walker, Porter [Cpl SS A11thFAB]

 

 

[note]

The Forgotten War

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Moving up aggressively on July 20, the 3/24 BCT promptly encountered heavy NKPA mortar, machinegun, and rifle fire. Deploying his three rifle companies (I, K, L) to the south and west of Yech'ŏn, and backed by the heavy weapons company (M), Pierce bivouacked for the night, and planned a textbook assault on Yech'ŏn on the following day.[6-23]

[note]

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On July 20, when Taejŏn fell, Walker concluded that the NKPA threat to Taegu from the west and northwest was greater than the threat from the north, where the ROKs were still fighting with surprising vigor and élan.

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He therefore ordered Bill Kean to suspend his ROK "backstopping" operations and redeploy the 25th Division (less Teeter's 1/35 at P'ohang) to face northwest, along the road from Kŭmch'ŏn to Hamch'ang.

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Yŏngdök, Mike Michaelis's 27th RCT would occupy the southernmost sector in front of Kŭmch'ŏn;

White's 24th RCT, the center sector in front of Sangju, where Kean would place the division CP);

and Fisher's 35th RCT, the northernmost sector in front of Hamch'ang.

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ROK forces near Yech'ŏn would cover the division's right flank; the 1st Cav Division, scheduled to attack west up the Taegu - Taejŏn road, would cover the division left flank.[6-32]

In hindsight, Walker's critics faulted him for a "leisurely" early deployment of the 25th Division. It had "loitered" around Taegu for ten days, doing nothing of real consequence (except to retake Yech'ŏn), while the 24th Division was being savaged at the Kum River and Taejŏn, ostensibly "buying time" so the 25th (which was already there) and the 1st Cav could land.

In response to Walker's justification for the deployment - that he could not be certain the ROKs could hold the NKPA north of Taegu and holding Taegu was vital to his strategy - the critics pointed out that if Walker had taken the time to visit ROK units north of Taegu and P'ohang and assess their commanders and their spirit, he would have known that the NKPA attack, bedeviled by mountainous terrain and supply problems, had slowed to a crawl and that the ROK forces were more dependable than heretofore assumed.[6-33]

[note]

US Air Force

 

 

Major General O. P. Weyland,135 my new vice commander for operations, with a Colonel Meyers,[136-Probably Col Gilbert Meyers, 5AF deputy for operations.] arrived 0715. During the Far East Command ops meeting this morning, I stressed the fact that we were devoting all recon efforts for the next two or three days to the location of North Korean aircraft on the ground besides taking pictures of both airdromes and post-strike results. After the ops meeting with General Almond, I introduced Craigie and Weyland to MacArthur and heard a wonderful discourse by him on our operations and efforts from the receipt of the President's directive to date.


General Orders issued relieving General Eubank and designating Craigie as my vice commander of administration and plans and Weyland as my vice commander for operations.

1400 hours I told General Crabb and Colonel Price to discuss with General Weyland and bring General Craigie into it, General MacArthur's plan of maneuver come about 15 September. I directed that they consider and have recommendations ready for my approval of a small command group in case General MacArthur's plans materialize; when he moves, I will move.


1600 hours visited FEAF Bomber Command and had a long talk with General O'Donnell in the presence of General Eubank and explained to O'Donnell in great detail why the Bomber Command, for a while, would really be a battle support command south of the 38th Parallel.
I made it plain to him that he must follow out General MacArthur's and my directives and become a member of the ball-team. He accepted this in fine spirit and he told me that I need not worry about his group or crews - that they would put out and do as directed. He did point out, however, the great confusion that had been caused by constant change of orders. I explained why this happened and apologized, and gave him to believe that we would do everything in our power to get orders to him in ample time to brief his crews and plan his mission.


We had dinner in his quarters, present: Generals O'Donnell and Eubank and myself, Colonel Bondley[137-Col C. J. Bondley, Jr., FEAF Bomber Command vice commander.] (O'Donnell's C of S), Colonel Ganey (O'Donnell's operations chief), Colonel Putnam[138-Col Claude E. Putnam, Jr.] (92d group commander), and a squadron commander and bombardier who flew one of the missions the other morning.


F-80 on armed recon mission reported at 1815 K, north of Kum River at Taejon, 2 Yak-9s made pass in the air. Both enemy a/c destroyed; one went down burning and a pilot was observed bailing out.
B-29 mission reported one Yak-3 and 1 LAGG-3 damaged in air; observed smoking. One of the B-29s was hit by fighter fire and one B-29 by flak; each sustained only minor damage.

[note]

 

 


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Military Air Transport Service (MATS) air evacuation began where the Combat Cargo Command left off in the Tokyo area. At the outbreak of the war the Pacific air evacuation operation, under control of the 1453rd Medical Air Evacuation Squadron, was moving about 350 patients a month. The first 26 war casualties did not leave Tokyo by C-54 until 20 July, but a total of 535 patients were evacuated during the remainder of the month and the number increased to 3,645 patients in September. The MATS evacuation operation soon employed the routes, facilities, and aircraft regularly assigned to the Pacific airlift, and planes which transported cargoes and personnel to Japan became air evacuation ships on their return.

Because of the time which would have been needed to convert civilian airliners, however, they initially carried none but ambulatory patients. The evacuation aircraft, carrying their regular crew plus flight nurses and medical technicians, normally flew eastward from Tokyo, through Guam and Kwajalein (or Wake or Midway) to Hickam, and finally left their patients at Travis.

[note]

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

By 16 July North Korean columns were aiming a pincers movement against Taejŏn, and when EUSAK held there temporarily, the North Korean command initiated a wide left-flank movement down through west Korean coastal routes, reaching Chŏnju and Iri on 20 July, Kwangju on 23 July, and capturing the major southwest port city of Mokp'o on 24 July. These movements, virtually unopposed except by a few ROK police, opened the way for a drive against the port cities of Masan, and Pusan.

Meanwhile, on the central front EUSAK was flanked out of Taejŏn, forced to withdraw to Yŏngdong on 25 July, and gradually pressed back to Kŭmch'ŏn, where defensive positions were established on 31 July. That same day, on the southwestern front, the 24th Division was forced out of Chinju.

Chŏnju, Kwangju, Mokp'o

[note]

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On 19 July the USS Valley Forge (CV-45) 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]

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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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Headquarters, Fifth Air Force in Korea opened at Taegu on 20 July along side the JOC/TACC, thus establishing command and control at one location.

[note]

Despite the concentration of all of FEAF's air capabilities in the front-line areas, General Dean's forces were unable to hold the key city of Taejŏn, which fell to the Red Koreans on 20 July.

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On this same day Maj. Gen. Otto P. Weyland arrived in Tokyo to assume the duties of FEAF vice-commander for operations. During World War II General Weyland had commanded the XIX Tactical Air Command which, in cooperation with the U.S. Third Army, had set new standards for joint-service teamwork. His experience in tactical air warfare permitted him to make a penetrating diagnosis of FEAF's troubles. Basic to all of FEAF's problems was the fact that GHQ was "essentially an Army staff." Lacking joint representation of air, naval, and ground officers, the GHQ staff was unable to accomplish the most efficient and timely employment of airpower in Korea.#56

The GHQ Target Group did not have sufficient experience or stature to perform the important duties which had been assigned to it. To give him the advice he needed, General MacArthur required a "senior target committee" which would be composed of officers of wide military experience. Weyland was also critical of the GHQ-ordered interdiction efforts, which were seeking to disrupt enemy communications immediately behind the battleline. This, he said, "was like trying to dam a stream at the bottom of a waterfall. #57

[note]

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Lt. David O. Stegal. wounded while on a combat mission. is helped out of a B-26 by Lt. Henry Van Depol. base surgeon. and Lt. Charles M. Coin. 20 July 1950

[note]

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Wishing to clean up the task which had been so well begun by Task Force 77, General Stratemeyer diverted 14 B-29's from ground support on 20 July and sent them to crater the runways and dispersal areas at P'yŏngyang's Heijo Airfield [K-23 or K-24] and at Onjong-ni Airfield [K-22].#97

[note]


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With a few unimportant exceptions the North Koreans were able to make no further offensive use of their remaining aircraft after 20 July, and the United Nations possessed a virtual air supremacy over all of Korea. The Communists, however, were not inactive in the air through their own choice. Intelligence officers at FEAF estimated on 22 July that the North Koreans still possessed 65 of their original aircraft, of which perhaps 30 might be in operational condition.

[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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Superfortress gunners also revealed their proficiency. In the Sŏul area on 20 July alert turret gunners of the 19th Group drove off two Communist fighters before they could do more than slightly damage one of the bombers.#99

[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."

[note]

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In the absence of established procedures and responsibilities, aeromedical evacuation gained acceptance through its demonstrations of utility, but the system employed was always far from perfect.

When American troops landed in Korea in July 1950, the Eighth Army implemented traditional systems for moving and hospitalizing its sick and wounded. As a matter of policy, the Eighth Army stated the rule that patients expected to return to duty within thirty days would be hospitalized in Korea. Men requiring specialized treatment or more than thirty days' hospitalization could *be moved to general hospitals in Japan.

*At the outbreak of the Korean war, the Military Air transport Service was providing aeromedical evacuation for about 350 patients a month who were moved from Tokyo to the United States. The first C-54 loaded with Korean war casualties left Haneda International Airport on 20 July 1950, and the Military Air transport Service soon employed the routes, facilities, and planes that transported personnel and cargo to Japan to return casualties to the United States. Between 26 June 1950 and 31 July 1953 the Military Air transport Service transported 43,196 Korean war casualties to the United States for further hospitalization or special medical treatment. USAF Statistical Digest, Fiscal Year 1953, p. 520 586 U.S. Air Force in Korea

Recognizing that the speed with which a front-line casualty received adequate medical care frequently determined his survival, and knowing of Korea's limited surface transportation, General Stratemeyer moved quickly to afford medical air evacuation to the Eighth Army troops in Korea.

At the war's beginning Flight 3, 801st Medical Air Evacuation Squadron, was attached to the 374th troop Carrier Wing at Tachikawa, and on 4 July 1950 General Stratemeyer informed General MacArthur that FEAF was prepared to accomplish air evacuation of casualties from Korea. #95

#95 Office of Surgeon General, Dept. of AF, First Report of the USAF Medical Service, 1 July 1949-30 June 1952, p. 237; FEAF Opns. Hist., I, 35. .

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*At the outbreak of the Korean war, the Military Air transport Service was providing aeromedical evacuation for about 350 patients a month who were moved from Tokyo to the United States. The first C-54 loaded with Korean war casualties left Haneda International Airport on 20 July 1950, and the Military Air transport Service soon employed the routes, facilities, and planes that transported personnel and cargo to Japan to return casualties to the United States. Between 26 June 1950 and 31 July 1953 the Military Air transport Service transported 43,196 Korean war casualties to the United States for further hospitalization or special medical treatment. USAF Statistical Digest, Fiscal Year 1953, p. 520 586 U.S. Air Force in Korea

[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]

US Marine

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Puller arrived [San Frisco on the 20th] in Southern California in the heat of late July [Friday 7/21/50] and found the San Diego area a bedlam. Marine Reservists thronged in from every corner of the nation; thousands of vehicles stored since World Ward II were being overhauled and driven to port; trains bore regulars from the East Coast. Unattached officers came from everywhere, without a call, volunteers for war. The 1st Marine Division was being created almost from scratch.

[note]

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P328
The Puller family flew out of Hawaii on July 20 [Thursday] and parted ways in San Francisco, with Virginia and the children heading home to Saluda for the duration. A few days later, Smith announced Chesty’s new billet --- he would have the daunting task of re-creating his old 1st Marines in short order out of a wide array of materials. The situation called for a leader who would drive forward through all obstacles to meet the objective. Smith knew he hade picked the right man in Puller and “was glad to have him.”

P328
Chesty pitched in to prepare for the arrival of his troops. The outfit would come to life in Tent Camp 2, nestled in a small valley bordered by low, brown hills. It was fifteen miles of poor road away form the main part of the base and had not been used since World War II, but it had one advantage --- firing ranges for all infantry weapons radiated outward from the site, placing training venues within easy hiking distance. Puller started the work of reopening long abandoned mess halls and erecting tents.

P328
Chesty quickly found out that he would be able to build his regiment on a solid base. The 1st Marines and the division headquarters would depart as directed in mid-August; the 7th Marines would come into being and follow them overseas by the end of the month. Smith thus gave Puller priority, which meant that he would receive the bulk of the units from Camp Lejeune.

[note]

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Officers as well as men were expendables in this Thermopylae of the rice paddies. Because of the large proportion of green troops, colonels and even generals literally led some of the counterattacks in the 18th-century manner. Colonel Robert R. Martin, commanding the 34th Regiment of the 24th Division, fell in the thick of the fighting while rallying his troops.

General Dean stayed with his forward units, personally firing one of the new 3.5” bazookas until the enemy broke through. He was reported missing for months, but turned up later as the highest ranking United States military prisoner of the conflict in Korea.

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

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

[note]

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On 20 July the two commanders called on General Stratemeyer. Marine Air was the focal point of discussion as they again explained the organization of their fighting team. When they informed Stratemeyer of MacArthur’s decision to keep the Brigade intact, the air officer gave them further assurance that MAG–33 would always be available to support the Marine ground force.[16]

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Originally, the Army planned to base the Marine ground elements at
Sasebo, Japan, and the air group 400 miles away at
Itami Field, near Kobe. Craig and Cushman realized that the resulting large gap would give rise to problems in liaison, training, and supply. Hoping to change such an undesirable arrangement, the Brigade staff carefully studied the layout of available land and facilities.

Armed with the results of this research, Craig proposed to General Headquarters that all Marines be based in the Kobe-Osaka-Kyoto area. After he outlined the advantages of keeping the Brigade and its supporting aviation close together, Wright responded encouragingly to the recommendation.[17]

[note]

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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.

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The following day Cates called CNO and submitted Plans Able and Baker, the proposed procedures for building both the Brigade and 1st Marine Division to war strength.

In the meantime JCS had notified MacArthur that his request could not be granted until late fall “without unacceptable weakening {of} the Fleet Marine Force Atlantic.”[11] When the U. N. commander received this message, he countered immediately with the reply:

“. . . Most urgently request reconsideration of decision with reference to First Marine Division. It is an absolutely vital development to accomplish a decisive stroke and if not made available will necessitate a much more costly and longer operational effort both in blood and expense.
“It is essential the Marine Division arrive by 10 September 1950 as requested. While it would be unwise for me to attempt in this message to give in detail the planned use of this unit I cannot emphasize too strongly my belief of the complete urgency of my request. There can be no demand for its potential use elsewhere that can equal the urgency of the immediate battle mission contemplated for it.
“Signed MacArthur”[12]

[note]

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During the voyage, strict wartime security measures, including radio silence, were enforced on all ships. While the North Koreans were believed to have no warships left afloat, their naval capabilities remained hidden from the outside world by a blur of question marks. No one realized more than the commander of Task Group 53.7[23] that it was much too early to take Soviet Russia for granted.

The USS Henrico (APA-45) now traveling independently, had a spine-chilling experience during her second night out of Oakland. [left on the evening of the 18th] The ship’s radar picked up two “unidentified submarines” which appeared to be converging on the stern of the lone vessel. General Quarters was sounded. While sailors peered into the darkness from their battle stations, several hundred Marines joked weakly in the troop compartments below the waterline. After an anxious hour, the persistent spots on the electronic screen vanished.

Shipboard life for the Brigade was otherwise uneventful. The troops took part in physical drills as vigorously as the limited confines of vessels would allow. Daily classes and conferences emphasized those subjects most relevant to the news reports trickling back from the front. Success of North Korean armor stimulated keen interest in land mines and the new rocket launchers. Press commentaries on the battleground’s primitive environment made even field sanitation a serious matter. Since there was no military intelligence available on the North Korean forces, officers and NCO’s turned to publications on Russian tactics and weapons.

As previously noted, Sasebo, Japan, was the original destination of the ships transporting the Brigade’s ground elements. The USNS Achernar (AKA-53), USS General A. E. Anderson (APA-111), and USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) were bound for Kobe with MAG–33. When Craig’s proposal for consolidation was approved by General Headquarters, the entire convoy was ordered to Kobe.

[note]

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The important communications center of Taejŏn had to be abandoned by 24th Infantry Division units on 20 July, and it was growing apparent that the Eighth Army would be hard-pressed to retain a foothold in Korea until reinforcements from the States could give the United Nations a material equality.

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It was a time when every platoon counted, and the fresh regiments of General Gay’s division were rushed to the Yŏngdong area two days after their landing [7/18] to relieve weary and battered elements of the 24th Infantry Division.

[note]

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The Joint Chiefs of Staff were still not convinced that a Marine force could be embarked to meet General MacArthur’s deadline of 10 September without stripping FMFLant units to a dangerous extent.

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On the advice of Admiral Sherman, they informed CinCFE

on 20 July that a Marine division could not be sent before November or even December.

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General Shepherd had a great deal to do with shaping the ultimate decision.

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On the 20th, when CNO conferred with Admiral Radford on the question of a Marine division, the Commander of the Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT) in his turn asked the opinion of the Marine general.

General Shepherd replied that a Marine amphibious striking force could be raised for the proposed Inch'ŏn landing without seriously weakening the Fleet Marine Force as a whole. This striking force, he predicted, would prove to be

“the key of achievement of a timely and economical decision for our arms.”[11]

[note]

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Following the capture of Taejŏn on 20 July, the Red Korean columns of invasion speeded up their “end run” around the Eighth Army’s open left flank.

[note]

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Events now moved rapidly. On 20 July, 22 units with a total strength of 4,830 were ordered to extended active duty with a delay of ten days. During the next 15 days (21 July-4 August), the entire Organized Ground Reserve was ordered to active duty on a schedule that took into account the state of readiness of the various units, their proximity to scheduled stations of initial deployment, and the facilities available to receive and care for them. In all, orders were issued to138 units with a total strength of 1,880 officers and 31,648 enlisted Marines.

[note]


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On the next day, 20 July, 22 Organized Reserve ground units (4,830 men) were ordered to report for extended active duty with a ten day delay. (4)
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).
With this step, a period of extensive planning, swift action, and pure hard work was initiated, a pattern that was to persist for some. time to come. At Headquarters Marine Corps, planners established a schedule of reporting dates, which took into consideration the state of readiness of the various reserve units, the proximity of these units to their initial station of deployment, and the means available to receive and care for them. In addition, the arrival dates of the reporting units were staggered to avoid the overtaxing of available facilities as much as possible and eliminate much of the confusion and hardship that would have resulted from the arrival of very large numbers of Marines at camps where the influx of personnel was normally much lower.

At Camp Pendleton and Camp Lejeune, facilities and supplies available for the billeting, feeding, training, and processing of the incoming Marines were carefully reviewed. Measures were taken to expand facilities and increase supplies in proportion to the new demands.

[note]

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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:.

1. 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.

The next day, the Secretary of Defense issued to the Secretary of the Navy a memorandum that read,

"By direction of the President, you are hereby authorized to order to active duty such units and individuals of the Marine Corps Reserve as may be required. This delegation of authority confirms our prior oral discussions of this subject."

On the same day, the Secretary of the Navy, cognizant of thee immediate personnel requirements of the Marine Corps, directed the Commandant to order all Organized Reserve ground units to extended active duty.

The decision to mobilize the total Organized Ground Reserve necessarily imposed other considerations upon Marine Corps planners--how many reservists were needed to meet the immediate requirements of the Marine Corps? and what percentage of those Marines ordered to active duty, (allowing for resignations, discharges, delays, and physical disqualifications), would be found qualified for extended active duty?

On the basis of a study performed at Marine Corps Headquarters, it was estimated that approximately 80 percent of the 33,527 members of the Organized Ground Reserve would be available for actual mobilization. But under the newly proposed and eventually approved personnel ceiling of 138,013 men, even a 100 percent availability of the Organized Ground Reserve would have left the Marine Corps far short of the target strength. It was necessary, therefore, to make every effort and take every possible legitimate action to increase the potential availability of the reserve.

Obviously, it was impractical to order reservists to active duty, and at the same time, to continue the policy of discharging reservists at their own request. To have done so would have been to deplete a vital source of manpower at a time when the Marine Corps needed all of its available Organized Ground Reserve and would soon be in need of most of its Volunteer Reserve. Such a policy would have, in addition, created an administratively impossible task at a time when administrative efficiency and expedition were at a premium.

Confronted with the necessity of utilizing as many reservists as possible, the Marine Corps originally applied a rigid standard to the new policy bearing upon the discharge requests of en-listed reservists. Those requests that had been approved and delivered by 19 July were deemed valid, but those requests not yet processed and delivered were not completed.

As the administrative load of Marine Corps Headquarters decreased and the apparent injustice imposed upon those reservists that had requested discharges prior to 19 July became clear however, the Commandant approved a Marine Corps policy change, which made it mandatory that discharges be effected incases where reservists had requested discharges in good faith prior to 19 July.

[note]

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Motivated by substantially the same reasons as those that had prompted the suspension of voluntary discharges, the Commandant on 20 July directed that transfers from the Organized Reserve be suspended, and on the same day, ordered the first Organized Reserve units to report for extended duty with a delay of 10 days.

[note]

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DELAY POLICY
(8)Evolution of Delay Policy

8. During the early days of the mobilization, the words DEFERMENT and DELAY were often used interchangeably. However, in November 1950 DEFERMENT was officially defined as "The authority granted to an individual not a member of the reserve forces of the armed services, postponing the reporting date from military service under existing Selective Service laws." DELAY was defined as. "The postponement of the reporting date specified in the initial orders to active duty for members of the reserve forces."

For the purposes of this project, the word DELAY will be used throughout, except in cases of quotations.

Beginning on 20 July, the ordering to active duty of Marine reservists entailed the promulgation of detailed instructions pertaining to personnel, supply, and administrative matters, These instructions, issued in conformance with established Marine Corps procedure, played an essential part in the execution of an orderly mobilization of the reserve and in ensuring that uniformly fair consideration would be given to the multitude of problems that inevitably arise in an operation of this nature.

Of particular concern to the purpose of this project was the problem encountered by the Marine Corps. in attempting to reconcile its pressing need for a maximum realizable avail-ability of its reserve, the civilian requirements of the national interest, and the desire to prevent undue hardship from weighing upon those reservists called to active duty. Since the national interest was often served, and undue hard-ship forestalled, by the granting of delays, a close examination of the evolution of delay policy and its application by the Marine Corps is clearly in order.

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]

US Navy

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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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until the afternoon of the 20th at which time a southward course was taken to pass through Tsushima Strait in order to take position for strikes on the west coast of Korea.

[note]

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20 July
Fourteen squadrons of the Organized Reserve were activated for duty with Naval Aviation forces. Included were eight carrier-fighter and two carrier-attack squadrons, one antisubmarine squadron, two patrol squadrons, and one Fleet Aircraft Service squadron.

[note]

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Only on 20 July, after a bitter three day fight in which General Dean, the division commander, was captured, was Taejŏn lost and the 24th Division forced once again to retreat.

[note]

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On the 20th, in winds of up to 40 knots, the force cruised the Sea of Japan, and late in the day headed south through Tsushima Strait to get clear of Grace’s skirts and gain an operating position off the west coast of Korea.

[note]

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The need for some competent control group to handle close support had already received consideration. Four days earlier 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 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.

So things stood when the crisis in the west and Eighth Army’s call for help led Struble to renew his suggestion for the employment of the Tacron or of a Seventh Fleet control party. These proposals also were to prove abortive.

The plan for the Seventh Fleet tactical air control party, worked up at Buckner Bay, had contemplated a pooling of USS Valley Forge (CV-45) and HMS Triumph (R16) material and personnel, but the sortie on the 16th had interrupted preparations.

The recommended employment of the Tacron was vetoed at the instance of Admiral Doyle, who felt its personnel would be spread unprofitably thin. The upshot was that efforts to increase the yield of carrier operations in close support were limited to attempts, themselves badly needed, to improve radio communications between the Seventh Fleet Striking Force and the JOC.

[note]

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Meanwhile the Neptunes of VP 6, which had reached Japan on 7 July and were operating out of Johnson Air Force Base at Tachikawa, were flying daily

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reconnaissance of the Korean east coast between 37° and 42°, and of the Yellow Sea and west coast as far north as 39°30'.

But the lack of enemy seaborne traffic made the flights unproductive, while coordination with surface units was hindered by the remoteness of Johnson AFB from other naval activities.

There were also certain difficulties in communications; on 20 July a VP 6 pilot spent three hours inside Typhoon Grace looking for a convoy he had been instructed to escort, only to discover on his return that the weather had kept the ships in port.

[note]

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For the next two [19 & 20] days USS Juneau (CLAA-119), HMS Belfast (C-35), and the destroyers operated off Yŏngdök, 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]


But at Yŏngdök, as all around the perimeter, pressure continued to be severe, information scanty, and communications inadequate. The forces defending the town had lost contact with General Walker’s headquarters: a EUSAK message advising that the general situation was critical and that the line had to be held reached the Army ashore only after relay by USS Juneau (CLAA-119).

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Admiral Doyle, too, was in the dark, and on the 20th, with his second echelon scheduled to reach P'ohang the next day, asked for information on the situation and prospects at Yŏngdök. Again the whaleboat was called away, and information brought back from shore indicated that landing operations could be safely continued, and that the ROK forces were planning the recapture of Yŏngdök on the morrow.

[note]

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USS Sicily (CVE-118) reached Guam on 20 July; as the submarine menace had not materialized she there disembarked her squadron and sailed for Yokosuka, where she arrived on the 27th.

Four days later, on 31 July, USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) and the transports entered Kobe.

[note]

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Not unnaturally, therefore, the 10th of July, the day the P'ohang landing was decided upon, was also the day of CincFE’s first request for an entire Marine division.

Twice repeated in the days that followed, this request bore fruit on 20 July, with JCS approval of the movement to Korea of the 1st Marine Division, Major General Oliver P. Smith, USMC, with an arrival scheduled for November or December. But on the next day a most urgent request from CincFE for a reconsideration of this date was accompanied by his statement that its arrival by 10 September was "absolutely vital . . . to accomplish a decisive stroke."

[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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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 on the 20th] 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]

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At 0300, 20 July, a platoon of the Reconnaissance Company drove cautiously out of Taejŏn down the same road to check on security. Enemy fire stopped the platoon at the same roadblock. There platoon members saw the bodies of several men of the earlier patrol and their four destroyed jeeps. A little earlier, at 0300, word had come in to Taejŏn that a jeep had been ambushed on the Okch'ŏn road. [11-21]

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It would seem clear from these incidents that enemy units were moving around to the rear of Taejŏn during the night-in just what strength might only be guessed. But for reasons that cannot now be determined these events were not so evaluated at the time of their occurrence. General Dean has stated that he did not know of the enemy roadblock on the #3 Kŭmsan road-apparently it was not reported to him. He did learn of the jeep incident on the Okch'ŏn road but dismissed it as the work of a few infiltrators and of no special importance because the road subsequently seemed to be clear. [11-22]

Taejŏn-The Second Day

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Shortly after 0300, 20 July, the S-2 of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, who since dark had remained in the battalion forward observation post, ran into Colonel Ayres' command post and said that the North Koreans had overrun the observation post and penetrated the battalion main line of resistance. Ayres has said that this was his first knowledge of the enemy's general attack. He could now hear small arms fire to the front and right and see flares bursting at many points over the battalion position. There seemed to be no action on the battalion left in C Company's position. [11-23]

The enemy attack, infantry and armor, came down both sides of the highway and rolled up the battalion right flank. Other enemy infantry attacked from the north against this flank. The North Koreans penetrated to the 81-mm. and 4.2-inch mortar positions behind the rifle companies and then struck Headquarters Company.

[note]

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On the following day, July 20, the NKPA 3rd and 4th divisions encircled, overran, and utterly shattered the American infantry standing before Taejŏn.

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In effect, the 34th Infantry and McGrail's attached 2/19 ceased to exist as organized fighting units. The battalions flew apart; little groups of soldiers fought in cohesive and desperate battles to escape the trap. Over 650 kia.

Red Ayres's 1/34 was hit first. In darkness, about 3:00 A.M., NKPA armor and swarms of infantry came down the highway and overran the battalion. As small arms fire slammed into his CP, Ayres sent a warning to Beauchamp by messenger, then ordered his men to evacuate. Ayres led one party out into the night; his exec, Leland Dunham, led another. Both independently headed south.

[note]

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At daylight on July 20, the NKPA 4th Division's 5th Infantry Regiment struck the 1/34th with infantry and six to eight tanks, forcing Company B northward. Company A held until about 11 a.m., when it withdrew toward Taejŏn. The battalion CP was attacked at 4 a.m. and forced to displace an hour later.

[note]

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About 0400 small arms fire hit the Korean house in which the 1st Battalion command post was located and riflemen from the overrun front line began coming into the Headquarters Company area. Ayres tried, and failed, to communicate with his front line companies. He sent a message to the regimental headquarters that tanks had penetrated his position and were headed toward the city.

There is some evidence that the infantry bazooka teams abandoned their positions along the road when the attack began. And rifle companies certainly did not fight long in place. In the growing confusion that spread rapidly, Ayres decided to evacuate the command post.

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Maj. Leland R. Dunham, the battalion executive officer, led about 200 men from the Heavy Mortar Company, the Heavy Weapons Company, and the 1st Battalion Headquarters southward from the Yudung valley away from the sound of enemy fire. Colonel Ayres and his S-3 followed behind the others. Day was dawning. [11-24]

In Taejŏn, Colonel Beauchamp received Ayres' report that enemy tanks were in the 1st Battalion position. Later, telephone communication to the 1st Battalion ended and Beauchamp sent linemen out to check the wires. They came back and said they could not get through-that enemy infantry were on the road near the airfield. The regimental S-3 did not believe this report. Beauchamp went to his jeep and started down the road toward the 1st Battalion command post to find out for himself just what the situation was.

At the road junction half a mile west of Taejŏn, where the main Sŏul highway comes in from the northwest to join the Nonsan road, an enemy tank suddenly loomed up out of the darkness. The tank fired its machine gun just as Beauchamp jumped from his jeep; one bullet grazed him, others set the vehicle afire. Beauchamp crawled back some hundreds of yards until he found a 3.5-inch bazooka team. He guided it back to the road junction. This bazooka team from C Company, 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion, set the enemy tank on fire with rockets and captured the crew members. It then took a position to guard the road intersection. Later in the morning this rocket launcher team and one from the 24th Reconnaissance Company destroyed two more T34 tanks approaching from the direction of the airfield. [11-25]

This action at the crossroads just west of Taejŏn in the pre-dawn of 20 July is the first verifiable use of the 3.5-inch rocket launcher against the T34 tanks. This rocket launcher had been under development since the end of World War II, but none had been issued to troops because of the difficulty in perfecting its ammunition. The ammunition had been standardized and in production only fifteen days when the Korean War started.

General MacArthur on 3 July requested that the new rocket launcher be airlifted to Korea. The first of the launchers, together with an instruction team, left Travis Air Force Base in California on 8 July and arrived at Taejŏn on the 10th.

The first delivery of the new weapon arrived at Taejŏn on 12 July. That same day selected members of the 24th Infantry Division began to receive instructions in its use. The 3.5-inch rocket launcher was made of aluminum and weighed about fifteen pounds.

It looked like a 5-foot length of stovepipe. It was electrically operated and fired a 23-inch-long, eight-and-a-half-pound rocket from its smooth bore, open tube. The rocket's most destructive feature was the shaped charge designed to burn through the armor of any tank then known. [11-26]

[It took 8 days before they actually use it]

[note]

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When Beauchamp returned to his command post after his encounter with the enemy tanks he found that there was still no communication with the 1st Battalion. A little later, however, a regimental staff officer told him radio communication with the battalion had been re-established and that it reported its condition as good. It was learned afterward that the 1st Battalion had no communication with the regiment after Ayres reported the enemy penetration of his position. The only plausible explanation of this incident is that North Koreans used Colonel Ayres' captured radio jeep to send a false report to the regiment.

Disturbed by reports of enemy penetrations of the regimental defense position, Colonel Beauchamp after daylight ordered the 3rd Battalion to attack into the gap between the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, and the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry. K Company with part of M Company started to execute this order but it never reached the designated area.

On the road leading to the airfield it had a sharp encounter with an enemy force. Six T34 tanks and an estimated battalion of enemy infantry scattered part of the troops.

In this action, SFC Robert E. Dare of K Company courageously covered and directed the withdrawal of the advanced platoon at the cost of his own life. The entire force withdrew to its former 3rd Battalion position. [11-27]

In its defensive positions on the ridge east of the airfield, the 3rd Battalion remained undisturbed by enemy action throughout the morning except for a small amount of mortar and artillery fire. A peculiar incident had occurred, however, which no one in the battalion could explain. (some one had gone missing)

[note]

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The pre-dawn attack against the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, the first tank approaches to the edge of Taejŏn, and the subsequent North Korean repulse of the K and M Companies' attack force near the airfield apparently were carried out by the 5th Regiment, N.K. 4th Division, together with its attached armored support. This regiment claims to have captured the Taejŏn airfield by 0400, 20 July. [11-29]

But after these spectacular successes which started the wholesale withdrawal of the 1st Battalion from its positions west of the city, the enemy force apparently halted and waited for certain developments elsewhere. This probably included completion of the enveloping maneuver to the rear of the city. Only tanks and small groups of infiltrators, most of the latter riding the tanks, entered Taejŏn during the morning. All these actions appeared to be related parts of the enemy plan.

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Neither Colonel Beauchamp nor his executive officer at the time knew of the North Korean repulse of the K and M Company attack force that was supposed to close the gap between the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, and the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry. About the time this event was taking place near the airfield, Colonel Beauchamp told General Dean of his early morning experience with tanks at the edge of the city, and Dean also was informed erroneously that the 1st Battalion was holding in its original battle positions. From the vantage point of Taejŏn everything seemed all right. At this time, however, General Dean instructed Beauchamp to plan a withdrawal after dark on the Okch'ŏn road. Dean then telephoned this information to the 24th Division command post at Yŏngdong . [11-30]

[note]

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In the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry, positions covering the Nonsan road there had been alarms during the night, and some false reports had reached Taejŏn that the enemy had overrun the battalion position. Actually, E Company held its position near the bridge, but north of the road F Company under enemy pressure withdrew approximately 200 yards about daylight. [11-31]

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When Major Dunham led the 1st Battalion and the 34th Infantry Headquarters group south, followed at a short interval by Colonel Ayres and his small party, it was just after daylight. These men passed along a protected route behind the high ground held by F Company, 19th Infantry. They had expected to reach the Nonsan road about three miles away and there turn east on it to enter Taejŏn. As Ayres neared the road he could see F Company on the hill mass to his right (west) engaged in what he termed a "heavy fire fight." As he watched he saw the company begin to leave the hill. He continued on and saw ahead of him the main body of his headquarters group climbing the mountain on the other side of the Nonsan road.

Major Dunham, on reaching the road with this group, met and talked briefly there with Colonel McGrail who told him he had had reports that enemy tanks had cut that road into Taejŏn. Upon hearing this, Dunham led his party across the road into the mountains. When Ayres reached the road enemy machine gun fire was raking it and the bridge over the Yudung. Ayres led his party under the bridge, waded the shallow stream, and followed the main group into the mountains southward. These two parties of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, united on high ground south of Taejŏn about an hour before noon. Even earlier, the rifle companies of the battalion, for the most part, had scattered into these mountains. [11-32]

The rumor of enemy tanks on the Nonsan road that caused the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, group to go into the mountains instead of into Taejŏn had come to Colonel McGrail soon after daylight. A jeep raced up to his command post east of the Yudung bridge. The men in it said that three enemy tanks blocked the road junction just outside the city (they had seen the tanks from a distance, apparently, and had not known they had been knocked out) and that they had seen three more tanks approaching the junction from the airfield. Colonel McGrail could see smoke hanging over Taejŏn and hear explosions and gunfire. He turned to 2nd Lt. Robert L. Herbert and ordered him to take his G Company's 2nd Platoon and open the road into the city. On the way Herbert encountered a bazooka team which he persuaded to accompany him. He also passed a rifle company getting water in a streambed. This unit identified itself as Baker Company, 34th Infantry; it continued south toward the mountains. Upon arriving at the road junction, Herbert found two T34 tanks burning and a third one that had been destroyed earlier. Lieutenant Little and a reinforced squad armed with two bazookas held the road fork. The burning wreckage of the Heavy Mortar Company, 34th Infantry, littered the road back toward the airfield. A mile to the north three enemy tanks stood motionless. Some men of H Company, 19th Infantry, passed the road fork on their way into Taejŏn. Herbert's platoon joined Little's squad. [11-33]

After Herbert's platoon had departed on its mission, Colonel McGrail lost communication with Colonel Beauchamp's command post. He had now learned from Major Dunham that the enemy had overrun the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, on the Yusŏng road to the north of him. His own F Company had started to fall back. The general feeling of McGrail's 2nd Battalion staff was that enemy troops had cut the road between the battalion and Taejŏn and were probably in the city itself. [note]

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McGrail's 2/19 came under heavy attack at dawn - about the time Red Ayres and Leland Dunham were retreating through its sector. The attack was led by T34 tanks, accompanied by considerable infantry. Out of contact with Beauchamp's CP, knowing that the 1/34 had disintegrated, and believing that the NKPA had got behind him and cut off his line of retreat into Taejŏn, McGrail gave orders for his 2/19 to evacuate its positions and head south in the general direction that the Ayres and Dunham groups had gone. These orders uprooted the last organized American resistance before Taejŏn. In this headlong flight McGrail, too, "disappeared" for a while, but he was to survive and escape to friendly lines.[5-57]

[note]

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0525 Sun up

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At daylight on July 20, the NKPA 4th Division's 5th Infantry Regiment struck the 1/34th with infantry and six to eight tanks, forcing Company B northward. Company A held until about 11 a.m., when it withdrew toward Taejŏn. The battalion CP was attacked at 4 a.m. and forced to displace an hour later.

[note]

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After dawn these two fleeing groups merged in Tom McGrail's 2/19 sector and continued heading south.[5-54]

Upon receiving Ayres's report, Beauchamp jumped in his jeep and raced out in darkness to the 1/34 area, presumably to steady the battalion. On the way he nearly collided head-on with a T34 tank, which sprayed the jeep with machinegun fire. Grazed by a bullet, Beauchamp leaped out into a ditch and retreated on foot.

In due course he met up with a 3.5inch bazooka team. He led the team back down the road and found the tank. In the first known instance of a 3.5inch bazooka victory, the team got close, fired, set the tank on fire, and captured its crew.[5-55]

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Returning to his command post, Beauchamp, still unaware that the 1/34 had disintegrated and evacuated and deeply worried about reports of a penetration between it and McGrail's 2/19, called on his regimental reserve, Newton Lantron's 3/34. He ordered Lantron to attack with two "companies" into the gap between what he supposed was the 1/34 and 2/19 "line."

Lantron complied, but his force (the skeletal K and M companies) ran head-on into six T34s and an estimated battalion of NKPA infantry which forced the task force to retreat in disarray.

Lantron himself soon "disappeared" from the 3/34 CP in a jeep. He was believed to be dead, but as was discovered much later, he was captured by the North Koreans. When Lantron was declared missing several hours later, Beauchamp named M Company commander Jack E. Smith, who turned twenty-nine that day, to reorganize and lead the remnants of the 3/34.[5-56]

[note]

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After the next heavy enemy attack Company A, and the remainder of the entire 24th Division, fell back again, this time to the Pusan perimeter.

The attack began soon after daybreak on the morning of 20 July. In Company A's area, Sergeant Williams and three other members of the Weapons Platoon were among the first to discover it. They were manning bazookas with the mission of blocking the main road leading from the north into Taejŏn. As daylight increased on the morning of 20 July Williams noticed movement on hills about three hundred yards to the right. He watched as three skirmish lines of North Koreans came over the hilltop. Other enemy soldiers appeared on hills to the left of the road. After watching for several minutes, he raced back about five hundred yards to a Korean house in which the battalion's command post was located. The other three men followed.

There was a high, mud wall around the command post. Williams ran through the gate and into the house, where he hurriedly described the enemy force, claiming that North Koreans were "just boiling over the hill!"

"Well, Sergeant," answered the battalion commander, "you're a little excited, aren't you? "

"Yes, sir, I am," said Williams. "And if you'd seen what I just saw, you'd be excited too."

Just as the two men went through the gate to look, several flares appeared to the north. Suddenly the enemy began firing tank guns, artillery, mortars, and machine guns in a pattern that covered the entire city, including the immediate area of the 1st Battalion's headquarters.

"I guess we'd better get out of here," said the commander, and turned back into the building.

It was only a few minutes after dawn. Soon the entire battalion was moving south again. Captain Osburn kept Company A together as a unit-at the beginning at least-but many men from the battalion were on their own, units were mixed together, and organization was lost in the confusion.

Some men threw away their shoes again and walked barefoot. Most of them had trouble finding food, and for all of them it was a disheartening repetition of their first contact with the North Korean Army.

They did not go back to Japan. They had seen only the beginning of fighting on the Korean peninsula. But when they again came to a halt beyond the Naktong River, and turned to make another defensive stand against the North Koreans, they had ended the first phase of the Korean conflict.

Other United Nations troops had arrived in Korea. The period of withdrawal was over. Members of Company A and the rest of the 34th Infantry had lost their overconfidence and had gained battle experience. They soon settled down to a grim defense of the Pusan perimeter.

[note]

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General Dean and his aide, Lieutenant Clarke, had awakened about 0530 to the sound of small arms fire. As Clarke made the bed rolls he remarked to General Dean, "I don't think we'll sleep here again tonight." The general agreed.

Sometime later an enemy tank passed close to the 34th Infantry command post headed west out of the city.

General Dean immediately started in pursuit of this tank accompanied by two 2.36-inch rocket launcher teams.

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The tank went through Lieutenant Herbert's roadblock without being fired on. It was mistaken for a friendly tank until too late for action.

When General Dean's party arrived at the road fork, Herbert explained what had happened. Subsequently this tank re-entered the city and was destroyed, apparently by a 155-mm. howitzer, at the southwest edge of Taejŏn.

During the morning, Dean and his party lost an opportunity against 2 other tanks on the airfield road when the bazooka man with them missed with his only rocket. [11-40] By 0900, 4 of the 5 tanks known to have entered Taejŏn had been destroyed.

[note]

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However, a counterattack into the gap between the 1st Battalion and 2/19th Infantry by elements of the 3/34th Infantry shortly after daylight was thwarted by six North Korean tanks and a battalion of the 5th Infantry.

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Elements of the 34th Infantry, remnants of the division's artillery battalions, the division recon company, engineer battalion and part of the 19th Infantry tried to defend Taejŏn, but they were overwhelmed and forced to withdraw through enemy fire. It was a rout.

Company L, 34th Infantry, which remained in the city as a rear guard, lost 107 out of 153 men.

The 34th lost at least 530 men out of its total strength of 1,549 present at Taejŏn.

Leadership losses in the regiment since entering combat included four regimental commanders and two operations officers in just over two weeks.

The 1st Battalion lost its executive officer on July 20, and the 3/34th lost two battalion commanders (Lantron was taken prisoner on July 20) and its operations officer. The division commander, General Dean, was also missing in action. It was later learned that he, too, had been taken prisoner.

[note]

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Back at Taejŏn, the first North Korean tanks had reached the edge of the city before dawn. They came from the northwest along the Yusŏng road and from the airfield. There is no evidence that the 3.5-inch bazooka teams of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, posted along the Yusŏng road engaged these tanks.

Soon after daylight two enemy tanks entered the city from somewhere to the northwest. They were soon followed by a third. Enemy soldiers crowded their decks. These tanks drove to the center of Taejŏn and there unloaded soldiers who spread quickly into buildings and began the sniping that continued throughout the day.

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The two tanks then turned back past the large compound where the Service Company of the 34th Infantry had established the regimental kitchen and motor pool.

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The 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry, also had its kitchen trucks in this compound. Approximately 150 men were there when the two enemy tanks opened fire on it with their tank cannon. This fire killed several men, destroyed vehicles, and set an ammunition truck on fire. After shooting up the compound, the tanks rumbled away and fired at various targets of opportunity. [11-38]

Not until after the tanks had left the compound area did any of the men there locate a 3.5-inch bazooka. Then, in trying to drive out snipers from nearby buildings, someone fired a 3.5-inch white phosphorus rocket into a building setting it afire. The fire spread rapidly to other wood and straw structures in the city until large parts of Taejŏn were burning, from this and other causes.

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Bazooka teams from the 24th Reconnaissance Company set out after the two tanks. These tanks, meanwhile, encountered two jeep-loads of men at the Medical Company headquarters, killed all but two, and wounded them. One tank ran over one of the wounded as he lay helpless in the road. A bazooka man finally got in a shot against one of these tanks, hitting it in the side and bouncing it off the ground, but the tank kept on going.

At the railroad station, this tank fired into supplies and equipment, starting large fires. There, with a track off, it came to the end of its journeys. Rifle fire killed the tank commander. A rocket hit the second tank and knocked a piece of armor three feet square from its front plate. A third tank for a period survived a rocket that penetrated the top turret. Pfc. Jack E. Lowe and Cpl. Robert B. Watkins of the 24th Reconnaissance Company were the bazooka men who scored the destructive hits on these tanks. [11-39]

[note]

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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. Taking Yech'ŏn was unimportant in itself, but it greatly boosted regimental morale, since that was the first town retaken by U.S. troops since the war began.

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Yech'ŏn was turned over to troops of the ROK Capital Division's 28th Regiment, who later lost it during an enemy counterattack.

[note]

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Bill Dean appeared at Beauchamp's CP early that morning, soon after Beauchamp had led the successful 3.5inch bazooka attack against the T34. The two senior commanders, unaware of the disaster taking place at the "front," calmly discussed and agreed upon an orderly withdrawal of the 34th that night to Okch'ŏn.

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During these discussions Beauchamp got the wrong impression that Dean had ordered Stephens's 21st Infantry to come west from Okch'ŏn and cover the withdrawal of the 34th. At that time Dean appeared to be completely rational; however, several hours later, when a messenger arrived at Beauchamp's CP from McGrail's disintegrating 2/19 to report the attack and ask for orders, Dean patted him on the back and said superciliously:

"My boy, I am not running this show, Beauchamp is."[5-58]

To many, Dean's behavior appeared to be bizarre. For the moment, at least, his world narrowly focused down to an obsessive desire to fight T34 tanks, as Robert Martin and Beauchamp had done. Leaving overall military operations in the hands of Beauchamp and his staff, he set out into the city on his hunting trip, leading two 2.36inch bazooka teams. They soon found a tank, but the gunner missed repeatedly and finally ran out of ammo. Reportedly a frustrated Dean then emptied his .45 pistol at the tank.

Later he joined a 3.5 inch bazooka team which also found a tank. Dean and the team stalked it through the city streets for several blocks until they found a good firing position on the second floor of a building. Under Dean's direction the team fired three rounds. All hit. As the tank burst into flames, Dean cried exultingly:

"I got me a tank![5-59]

[note]

Korean_War Korean_War

A word needs to be said about the men of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, and the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry, who were driven from or left their positions west of Taejŏn during the morning of to [20] July and climbed into the hills south of the Nonsan road.

Most of them escaped. These men traveled all night. One large party of 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, troops, which included Captain Barszcz' G Company, 19th Infantry, was led by Captain Marks. It passed through Kumsan, where a few small parties turned east toward Yŏngdong . But the main party continued south, believing the enemy might have cut the road eastward.

[note]

Korean_War

During the morning, Dean and his party lost an opportunity against 2 other tanks on the airfield road when the bazooka man with them missed with his only rocket. [11-40] By 0900, 4 of the 5 tanks known to have entered Taejŏnhad been destroyed. [note]

Korean_War

The N.K. 3rd Division joined the 5th Regiment of the N.K. 4th Division in maintaining frontal pressure against Taejŏn in the afternoon of the 20th and enveloped it on the north and northeast. The 3rd infiltrated the city heavily in the latter part of the afternoon. The enemy tanks that penetrated Taejŏn in the morning apparently belonged to the 107th Tank Regiment of the 105th Armored Division, attached to the N.K. 4th Division ever since the crossing of the 38th Parallel. Some of the tanks that entered the city later in the day were probably from the 203rd Tank Regiment attached to the N.K. 3rd Division. [11-77]

The N.K. 2nd Division, which was supposed to have joined the 3rd and 4th in the attack on Taejŏn, failed to come up in time. This all but exhausted division did not leave Ch'ŏngju until on or about the 18th. It then moved through Pugang-ni southwest toward Taejŏn, apparently intending to cross the Kum River in the vicinity of the railroad bridge. It had yet to cross the Kum when it received word on 21 July that Taejŏn had fallen. The 2nd Division thereupon altered its course and turned southeast through Poun, headed for Kumch'on. (see map Poun, to Kumch'on) [11-78]

[note]

Korean_War

The battalion commander, Major Lantron, disappeared. Lantron got into his jeep about 0930, drove off from his command post, and simply did not return.

[note]

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Korean_War Korean_War

The 2/19th Infantry was also attacked. Since the 1/34th had apparently withdrawn, the 2/19th commander began withdrawing his battalion. By 10 a.m., both battalions had pulled out, opening the way to Taejŏn. In the battle for Taejŏn, rocket-launcher teams from several units including the 3/34th (which had been deployed to the rear of the 1st Battalion and on the northern road into Taejŏn) knocked out eight T-34 tanks.

[note]

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Korean_War

At daylight on July 20, the NKPA 4th Division's 5th Infantry Regiment struck the 1/34th with infantry and six to eight tanks, forcing Company B northward. Company A held until about 11 a.m., when it withdrew toward Taejŏn. The battalion CP was attacked at 4 a.m. and forced to displace an hour later.

[note]

Korean_War

Colonel Wadlington learned of Lantron's disappearance about 1100 when he visited the 3rd [3/34] Battalion. In Lantron's absence, Wadlington ordered Capt. Jack E. Smith to assume command of the battalion. Some weeks later it was learned that Lantron was a prisoner in North Korea. [11-28]

[note]

Korean_War

About 1100 Captain Montesclaros of the S-3 Section volunteered to try to get into Taejŏn and reach the regimental headquarters for instruction. Colonel McGrail gave him his jeep and driver for the trip. [11-34]

Montesclaros reached the road junction without incident, saw the burning enemy tanks, met Lieutenant Herbert's platoon at the roadblock, and, much to his surprise, found the road into the city entirely open. At the edge of the city, Montesclaros encountered General Dean. Montesclaros reported to him, gave the position of the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry, and asked for instructions. General Dean patted Montesclaros on the back and replied,

"My boy, I am not running this show, Beauchamp is."

Dean took Montesclaros to the 34th Infantry command post. Beauchamp was not present, but from a member of his staff Montesclaros obtained a written order. Before placing it in his shirt pocket, Montesclaros glanced at the order. It directed McGrail to bring his battalion back to the west edge of Taejŏn. [11-35]

Montesclaros drove back down the road to the 2nd Battalion command post. He found it deserted. Not a living person was in sight; a dead Korean lay in the courtyard. Puzzled, Montesclaros turned back toward Taejŏn. After driving a short distance, he turned back to the command post to make sure no one was there; he found it the same as before. No one, neither friend nor foe, was in sight. A strange stillness hung over the spot. Again he turned back toward Taejŏn. He overtook E Company on the road and instructed it to go into position there. At the edge of Taejŏn, Montesclaros met 1st Lt. Tom Weigle, S-2 of the battalion, who told him that McGrail had established a new command post on a high hill south of the road, and pointed out the place. Montesclaros set out for it and after walking and climbing for forty-five minutes reached the place. Colonel McGrail and his command post were not there, but a few men were; they knew nothing of Colonel McGrail's location.

Montesclaros started down the mountain with the intention of returning to Taejŏn. On his way he met Lieutenant Lindsay and E Company climbing the slope. They said the enemy had overrun them on the road. Looking in that direction, Montesclaros saw an estimated battalion of North Korean soldiers marching toward the city in a column of platoons. A T34 tank was traveling west on the road out of Taejŏn. As it approached the enemy column, the soldiers scurried for the roadside and ducked under bushes, apparently uncertain whether it was one of their own. Montesclaros decided not to try to get into Taejŏn but to join E Company instead

1121 Korean Time


19500720 1145 11sn

What had happened at the command post of the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry? Simply this, believing that the enemy had cut him off from Taejŏn, Colonel McGrail decided to move his command post to high ground south of the Nonsan road. He instructed E Company to fall back, and then his radio failed. McGrail and his battalion staff thereupon abandoned the command post shortly before noon and climbed the mountain south of Taejŏn. [11-36] Already F Company had given way and was withdrawing into the hills.

Soon not a single unit of the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry, was in its battle position west of Taejŏn. Nearest to the city, G Company was the last to leave. its place. From his hill position, Captain Barszcz, the company commander, had seen enemy tanks two and a half miles away enter Taejŏn just after daylight and had reported this by radio to Colonel McGrail's headquarters. Later in the morning he lost radio communication with McGrail. Shortly after noon, Capt. Kenneth Y. Woods, S-3, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry, arrived at G Company's position and gave Captain Barszcz instructions to join the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, group that had passed him in the morning headed south, and to withdraw with it. The G Company 60-mm. mortars were firing at this time.

[note]

Korean_War

The number of enemy tanks that entered Taejŏn during the day cannot be fixed accurately. Most of them apparently entered Taejŏn singly or in small groups. It appears that American troops had destroyed 8 enemy tanks in Taejŏn or its immediate vicinity by 1100, 6 of them by 3.5-inch rockets and 2 by artillery fire. Engineer bazooka teams destroyed 2 more T34 tanks in the afternoon. If this is a correct count, United States soldiers destroyed 10 enemy tanks in Taejŏn on to [20] July, 8 of them by the new 3.5-inch rocket launcher, first used in combat that day. [11-43]

Korean_War

Not every round from a 3.5-inch bazooka stopped a T34 tank in the Taejŏn street fighting as has been so often stated. Three bazooka teams of the 24th Reconnaissance Company, for instance, made seven hits at close range (30 to 70 yards) on 3 tanks and stopped only 1 of them.

Korean_War

Fifth Air Force planes also destroyed an undetermined number of enemy tanks at Taejŏn. In the morning, soon after the initial penetration of approximately 15 tanks along the Yusŏng road, the Air Force knocked out 5 before they reached the city.

An enemy tank crew member captured during the day reported that planes destroyed others north of Taejŏn. It appears that the North Koreans lost at least 15 tanks at Taejŏn, and possibly more. [11-44]

The enemy tanks largely failed in their mission within Taejŏn itself; They did not cause panic in the city, nor did they cause any troops to leave it. They themselves lost heavily, mostly to the new 3.5-inch bazooka which they encountered for the first time. Taejŏn demonstrated that for the future there was at hand an infantry weapon that, if used expertly and courageously, could stop the dreaded T34. [note]

Korean_War

The movements of large bodies of men on the Kumsan road toward Taejŏn in the early afternoon of 20 July actually were seen at close hand by Colonel Ayres, the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, but he could not get the information to the men in the city.

Just before noon, on the mountain southwest of Taejŏn, he had turned over command of the approximately 150 men of the battalion with him to the executive officer, Major Dunham, with instructions to take them down to the Kumsan road three miles south of Taejŏn and there establish a blocking position to protect the rear of Taejŏn.

Then he set off with a small party including Maj. Curtis Cooper, his S-3; Capt. Malcolm C. Spaulding of the Heavy Weapons Company; a runner; his radio operator; an interpreter; and Wilson Fielder, Jr., a Time Magazine correspondent. About 400 yards short of the Kumsan road Ayres' party encountered North Korean soldiers on the hillside. In the scramble that followed, four men escaped-Ayres, Cooper, Spaulding, and the interpreter; the others were either killed or captured. Fielder's body was found some months later. Ayres and those with him who escaped hid in some bushes and during the afternoon watched North Koreans set up machine guns near them. They also saw an estimated battalion of enemy troops march north toward Taejŏn along the Kumsan road below them. That night the group escaped. [11-50]

[note]

Korean_War

What had happened at the command post of the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry? Simply this, believing that the enemy had cut him off from Taejŏn, Colonel McGrail decided to move his command post to high ground south of the Nonsan road. He instructed E Company to fall back, and then his radio failed. McGrail and his battalion staff thereupon abandoned the command post shortly before noon and climbed the mountain south of Taejŏn. [11-36] Already F Company had given way and was withdrawing into the hills. [what about D?]

Soon not a single unit of the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry, [D, E and F] was in its battle position west of Taejŏn. Nearest to the city, G Company was the last to leave. its place. From his hill position, Captain Barszcz, the company commander, had seen enemy tanks two and a half miles away enter Taejŏn just after daylight and had reported this by radio to Colonel McGrail's headquarters.

Later in the morning he lost radio communication with McGrail.

Shortly after noon, Capt. Kenneth Y.[J or Y] Woods, S-3, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry, arrived at G Company's position and gave Captain Barszcz instructions to join the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, group [A, B, C] that had passed him in the morning headed south, and to withdraw with it. The G Company 60-mm. mortars were firing at this time.


[Think G is actually D?]

[note]

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Korean_War Korean_War

After this little triumph Dean returned to Beauchamp's CP. The two senior commanders, still apparently not aware of the disaster that was taking place all around them, sat down for a lunch of heated C rations and again discussed the withdrawal. Dean, revising his earlier plan for a night withdrawal, now believed it should begin immediately, in daylight. Beauchamp fully concurred and relayed the orders to his S3, William McDaniel, who dutifully put the orders in writing and sent them off by messenger to the CPs of Red Ayres, Jack Smith (newly commanding the 3/34), and Tom McGrail. Of these men, only Smith, still holding a thin guard not far from the besieged 34th Infantry CP, received the orders and could comply.[5-60]

[note]

Korean_War

At noon another tank entered Taejŏn. A 3.5-inch bazooka team from the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion hunted it down and destroyed it. Soon afterward still another penetrated into the city and rumbled past the regimental command post. General Dean led a group, joined later by a 3.5-inch bazooka team from the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion, in pursuit of this tank. After an hour or more of climbing over walls and fences and dodging through houses stalking it, with enemy snipers firing at them frequently, General Dean and his party brought this tank to bay.

[note]

1205 Korean Time

Korean_War

Nor was this the only encounter with North Koreans close to the Kŭmsan road that afternoon. Major Dunham led his men down toward the Kŭmsan road, as directed by Ayres. On the way they had a fire fight with what they took to be a band of guerrillas. They disengaged and moved into the draw at Kuwan-ni about three miles south of Taejŏn. Enemy troops there fired on Dunham's party from nearby finger ridges. This fire hit Dunham in the neck, mortally wounding him, and there were other casualties. All in this party who could do so now fled west to the Yudung valley at Masu-ri. But none of these incidents were known to Dean, Beauchamp, and the men in Taejŏn. [11-51]

Although the purpose was not apparent to the men in Taejŏn, enemy troops to the west and northwest of the city shortly after noon began to close on the city and exert increased frontal pressure to coincide with the movement of the enemy forces that by now had had time to get to the rear of the city.

[note]

1215 Korean Time

Korean_War

Several incidents took place shortly after noon that, properly interpreted, should have caused deep alarm in Taejŏn. There was the urgent telephone call from an artillery observer who insisted on talking to the senior commander present. Beauchamp took the call. The observer reported a large column of troops approaching Taejŏn from the east. He said he was positive they were enemy soldiers.

The "road from the east" Beauchamp interpreted to be the Okch'ŏn road. Beauchamp had misunderstood a conversation held with General Dean that morning to mean that Dean had ordered the 21st Infantry to leave its Okch'ŏn position and come up to Taejŏn to cover the planned withdrawal.

What Dean had meant was that he expected the 21st Infantry to cover the withdrawal from its Okch'ŏn positions in such a way as to keep open the pass and the tunnels east of the city. (With respect to the pass and tunnels, Dean miscalculated.)

Now, receiving the report of the artillery observer, Beauchamp, with the erroneous concept in mind, thought the column was the 21st Infantry approaching Taejŏn to protect the exit from the city. He told the observer the troops were friendly and not to direct fire on them. Events proved that this column of troops almost certainly was not on the Okch'ŏn road but on the Kŭmsan road southeast of Taejŏn and was an enemy force. [11-48]

[note]

1030 Washington DC Time

Korean_War

Truman speech before Congress requested $10b for the "police action" and made radio speech to the American people that was vague and ambiguous - no mobilization for complete victory as in WWII

[note]

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Korean_War

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 until the afternoon of the 20th at which time a southward course was taken to pass through Tsushima Strait in order to take position for strikes on the west coast of Korea.

[note]

Korean_War

About 1300 Barszcz issued his orders for the withdrawal. The 3rd Platoon was to follow the Weapons Section and bring up the rear. In the withdrawal, however, unknown to Captain Barszcz, the Weapons Platoon leader asked the 3rd Platoon leader to precede him, as he had some mortar ammunition he wanted to expend. The Weapons Section never got out-the entire section of one officer and eighteen enlisted men was lost to enemy action. [11-37]

Except for the small group at the road junction half a mile west of the city, all the infantry and supporting weapons units of the two battalions in the battle positions west of Taejŏn had been driven from or had left those positions by 1300.

All of them could have come into Taejŏn on the Nonsan road. Instead, nearly all of them crossed this road approximately two miles west of the city and went south into the mountains.

[note]

Korean_War Korean_War

At noon another tank entered Taejŏn. A 3.5-inch bazooka team from the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion hunted it down and destroyed it. Soon afterward still another penetrated into the city and rumbled past the regimental command post. General Dean led a group, joined later by a 3.5-inch bazooka team from the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion, in pursuit of this tank.

After an hour or more of climbing over walls and fences and dodging through houses stalking it, with enemy snipers firing at them frequently, General Dean and his party brought this tank to bay.

[note]

Korean_War

In the early afternoon, Lieutenant Herbert's platoon sergeant called his attention to a large column of troops on high ground westward from their roadblock position just west of Taejŏn. Herbert watched them for a while and decided that they were enemy troops. He then moved his men to a knoll south of the road and into defensive positions already dug there. The enemy force, which Herbert estimated to be in battalion strength, stopped and in turn watched Herbert's force from a distance of about 600 yards. [11-52] This probably was the same column that Montesclaros had seen on the Nonsan road about noon.

Back of Herbert's knoll position at the southwestern edge of the city was a battery of 155-mm. howitzers. A runner from the battery arrived to ask Herbert about the situation, and Herbert went back with him to talk with the battery commander.

At the artillery position he found howitzers pointing in three different directions but none toward the southwest, where the enemy force had just appeared. Herbert asked that the pieces be changed to fire on the enemy in front of him. The battery commander said he could not change the howitzers without authority from the battalion operations officer. Herbert talked to this officer on the field telephone but failed to secure his approval to change the howitzers.

[note]

Korean_War


The N.K. 3rd Division joined the 5th Regiment of the N.K. 4th Division in maintaining frontal pressure against Taejŏn in the afternoon of the 20th and enveloped it on the north and northeast. The 3rd infiltrated the city heavily in the latter part of the afternoon. The enemy tanks that penetrated Taejŏn in the morning apparently belonged to the 107th Tank Regiment of the 105th Armored Division, attached to the N.K. 4th Division ever since the crossing of the 38th Parallel. Some of the tanks that entered the city later in the day were probably from the 203rd Tank Regiment attached to the N.K. 3rd Division. [11-77]

The N.K. 2nd Division, which was supposed to have joined the 3rd and 4th in the attack on Taejŏn, failed to come up in time. This all but exhausted division did not leave Ch'ŏngju until on or about the 18th. It then moved through Pugang-ni southwest toward Taejŏn, apparently intending to cross the Kum River in the vicinity of the railroad bridge. It had yet to cross the Kum when it received word on 21 July that Taejŏn had fallen. The 2nd Division thereupon altered its course and turned southeast through Poun, headed for Kumch'on. [11-78]

[note]

Korean_War

The first action between elements of the 25th Division and enemy forces appears to have occurred at Yech'ŏn on 20 July. Company K, 24th Infantry, led by 1st Lt. Jasper R. Johnson, entered the town during the afternoon. When other units of the 3rd Battalion failed to take a ridge overlooking the town on the left, he requested and received permission to withdraw from the town for the night. [12-18]

Meeting at the battalion command post, the commanders of the various units planned a renewed assault for 0500 the next morning.

[note]


Korean_War

Admiral Struble had advised ComNavFE on the afternoon of the 20th that he hoped to conduct a one-day strike on west Korea on the 22nd, spend a day in refueling and rearming his force, and return on the 24th and 25th for further attacks against west coast targets. But this schedule depended on factors beyond his control, on weather and on the availability of replenishment ships. The tanker USNS Navasota (AO-106) was by this time on hand to fuel the force, but for rearming the situation was less clear, and depended on whether theUSS Grainger (AK-184), which had reached Okinawa on the 18th with a load of aircraft ammunition from Guam, could rearm the force at sea. Failing in this it would be necessary to proceed to Sasebo, with consequent delay.

[note]

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Korean_War

About 1400 a group including General Dean, a corporal carrying the bazooka, an ammunition bearer, and two or three riflemen entered a 2-story business building through a back courtyard and climbed to the second story. Looking out from the edge of a window, they saw the tank immediately below them. General Dean has since written that the muzzle of the tank gun was no more than a dozen feet away and he could have spat down its tube. Under General Dean's directions the bazooka team fired into the tank. Captain Clarke has described what followed:

"I remained by the corner of the building in front of the tank to use my Molotov cocktail on it if it began to move. The first round [3.5-inch rocket] hit the tank, and the occupants began to scream and moan. The second round quieted most of the screaming and the third made it all quiet. We all then withdrew to a better observation post and observed the tank burning."

[11-41] This was the incident that led to the much-quoted remark attributed to General Dean that day,

"I got me a tank."

General Dean's personal pursuit of enemy tanks in Taejŏn was calculated to inspire his men to become tank killers. He was trying to sell to his shaky troops the idea that

"an unescorted tank in a city defended by infantry with 3.5-inch bazookas should be a dead duck." [11-42]

[note]

Withdrawal From Taejŏn-Roadblock

Korean_War

The sequence of events and the time of their occurrence in Taejŏn on the afternoon of 20 July have been impossible to establish with certainty in all instances. Participants and survivors have different recollections of the same event and of the time it occurred. Some recall incidents that others do not remember at all. Battalion and regimental records were all lost during the day and night and, except for an occasional message entry in the 24th Division journals made at Yŏngdong many miles to the rear, there is no contemporary record extant to fix time. Yet despite these difficulties in reconstructing the story of that eerie and bizarre afternoon, it is believed the jigsaw puzzle has yielded to the long and laborious efforts to solve it.

Korean_War

When he returned to the 34th Infantry command post after stalking and destroying the tank in the center of Taejŏn, General Dean joined Colonel Beauchamp for a lunch of cooked C ration. They discussed the situation, which did not seem particularly alarming to them at the time. It would be difficult to find a parallel to the bizarre situation-the two commanders quietly eating their late lunch in the belief that their combat forces were still in battle position a mile or two west of the city, while actually the two battalions were scattered in the hills, completely ineffective for any defense of Taejŏn. Except for a few scattered enemy infiltrator-snipers in Taejŏn, the city was quiet.

During the conversation, Dean told Beauchamp that instead of waiting for dark as they had planned earlier, he wanted him to initiate a daylight withdrawal because the chances would be better of getting the transportation out safely. The time of this instruction was about 1400. [11-45]

Colonel Beauchamp immediately set about implementing the order. He instructed Maj. William T. McDaniel, the regimental operations officer, to send messages by radio or telephone to all units to prepare to withdraw. He then wrote out on paper duplicate orders and sent them by runners to the three infantry battalions. There was then no telephone or radio communication with the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, or the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry. The runners, of course, never reached these two battalions. But it appears that neither Dean nor Beauchamp received any report on this.

[note]

Korean_War

Now that Dean had officially ordered the withdrawal, Beauchamp deemed that his most urgent responsibility at the time was to make certain the route east to Okch'ŏn remained open.

Korean_War

Accordingly he jumped into his jeep and sped through the city to the Okch'ŏn highway, where he still believed (erroneously) he would find Stephens's 21st closing up to hold the exit. To his dismay, Beauchamp found no sign of Stephens or his men, merely four light tanks of the division Recon Company. Climbing a hill, Beauchamp saw swarms of NKPA infantry advancing from the south to the northeast, apparently with the intent of blocking the Okch'ŏn road.

Beauchamp tried to mount a defense of the road with the tanks, some A/A halftracks, and retreating truck borne infantry, but to no avail. In an effort to hurry Stephens forward (as he thought), Beauchamp drove east to Brad Smith's 1/21 CP. There he learned to his further dismay that Smith had no orders to move into Taejŏn to cover the 34th's withdrawal.

Beauchamp desperately telephoned the division CP to get this vital operation started, but Pearson Menoher - anxious to get a clear picture of the situation and word of Bill Dean - ordered Beauchamp to report to the division CP immediately.[5-61]

Faced with the harsh realities of combat in Korea, Beauchamp may have regretted his earlier optimism about holding Taejŏn and urging Dean not to withdraw the 34th on the night of July 1920. Years later he said:

"It was just criminal to send our troops into battle manned and equipped the way they were. When I took over, the Thirty-fourth's two battalions were down to about half strength, and many of these were green fillers. . . . It was just lucky that any of us got out of there alive."[5-62]

Back in Taejŏn at Beauchamp's decamping CP, Bill Dean was mystified - and angered - by Beauchamp's disappearance. Believing that Beauchamp had foolishly left his CP to go forward to reestablish contact personally with Ayres or had bugged out, Dean turned over command of the withdrawal to his old ETO cohort, the 34th's exec, Pappy Wadlington, and the new S3, William McDaniel.

By that time Jack Smith had withdrawn the remnants of the 3/34 (L Company plus) close to the regimental CP. These infantrymen - the only remaining organized infantry in the 34th - established a perimeter to cover the loading and withdrawal. In so doing, L Company suffered 70 percent casualties: 107 of 153 men.[5-63]

[note]

Korean_War

The NKPA, meanwhile, had encircled Taejŏn from the southwest and established blocks on the Okch'ŏn and Kumsan highways.

Korean_War

Learning of the block on the Okch'ŏn highway (but not of that on the Kumsan highway), Dean radioed Menoher at the division CP in Yŏngdong to "send armor" to break it.

Shortly thereafter Beauchamp departed the division CP with five light tanks, going west through Stephens's 21st Infantry sector. Along the way Beauchamp came across about sixty fleeing riflemen of the 3/34 and turned them around to help. There was no offer of assistance from the 21st Regiment, which, unknown to Beauchamp, was then making withdrawal plans of its own.

By the time Beauchamp's puny, nervous force reached the block, the NKPA was well dug in, and it easily repulsed Beauchamp's well-intentioned but lackluster attack. Beauchamp soon conceded his effort was hopeless and returned to the division CP.[5-64]

[note]

1500 Korean Time

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Korean_War

The 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry, did receive the withdrawal order. It and the other miscellaneous units in and about the city received the withdrawal instructions about 1500. The planned march order for the movement out of Taejŏn gave the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry, the lead, followed by the artillery; the Medical Company; the 34th regimental command group; 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry; and last, the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry. [11-46]

After watching Beauchamp get off the orders to his units to withdraw, General Dean stepped out of the command post. He could see and hear friendly fighter planes overhead. He walked down to the end of the schoolhouse command post building where Lieutenant Hillery had set up the tactical air control party's equipment. In conversation with Hillery, Dean found that the former was having difficulty in getting target assignments from the 34th Infantry even though the planes reported many below them.

In the confusion of getting out the withdrawal orders and making ready for it themselves the command group apparently did not give much attention to the TACP reports. Then there was also a reluctance to give targets close to Taejŏn because of the many mistaken attacks in recent days and weeks on American and ROK troops. General Dean remained with the TACP for some time and called several strikes on North Korean artillery and tank concentrations reported by the planes.

[note]

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What had happened to Beauchamp? About the time the first of the vehicles started to form into convoy at the command post and the tanks from Yŏngdong led the first of them out of Taejŏn, Colonel Beauchamp got into his jeep and drove to the southeast edge of the city along the withdrawal route. There he came upon four light tanks of the 24th Reconnaissance Company and ordered the tankers to defend the southeast side of the city and the Okch'ŏn road exit.

Starting back into Taejŏn, Beauchamp discovered on glancing back that the tanks were leaving their positions. He turned around and caught up with them on the Okch'ŏn road. But in running after the tanks he came under enemy small arms fire. After stopping the tanks, Beauchamp decided to climb a nearby knoll and reconnoiter the situation.

From this eminence he saw numerous groups of enemy troops moving across country south of Taejŏn toward the Okch'ŏn road. Because he had been under fire on the road he knew that some of them had already arrived there.

Knowing that the convoys for the withdrawal were forming and that the first vehicles already had gone through, Beauchamp decided to go on with the two tanks he had with him to the pass four miles east of the city and to organize there a defensive force to hold that critical point on the withdrawal road.

At the pass, Beauchamp put the tanks in position and stopped some antiaircraft half-track vehicles mounting quad .50-caliber machine guns as they arrived in the early phase of the withdrawal. Some artillery passed through, and then a company of infantry.

Beauchamp tried to flag down the infantry commander's vehicle, intending to stop the company and keep it at the pass. But the officer misunderstood his intent, waved back, and kept on going.

[note]

1530 Korean Time

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About this time a young lieutenant of the 1st Cavalry Division Tank Company arrived in Taejŏn with P platoon of tanks. Dean expressed to him his surprise at seeing him there and asked what had brought him. He replied that he had come in response to a request received at Yŏngdong from the 34th Infantry for tank escort out of Taejŏn for administrative vehicles.

The young officer in turn told what a start he had received on seeing the smoldering T34 tanks in the center of Taejŏn.

Various units had begun to form in the streets around the command post for the withdrawal, and the tank officer started with the first of them for Yŏngdong . This was about 1530 or 1600. [11-47]

[note]

1600 Korean Time

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Later in the afternoon, just after the 1st Cavalry Divisionplatoon of tanks led the first vehicles out toward Yŏngdong , General Dean received an aerial report through the TACP of a truck column of about twenty vehicles moving north toward Taejŏn on the Kumsan road.

Dean inquired of the 34th Infantry operations officer if they could be friendly and received the reply that they were the 24th Reconnaissance Company and not to direct an air strike on them. Dean later became convinced that these were North Koreans who had come up from the rear through Kumsan. [11-49] But this is not certain because a Reconnaissance Company group did drive in to Taejŏn from its patrol post about this time.

[note]

1620 Korean Time

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Enemy sniper fire built up sporadically on the road below the pass. From his vantage point Beauchamp saw a locomotive pulling a few cars halted by enemy small arms fire at the tunnel.

Okch'ŏn Tunnel

This locomotive had departed Iwon-ni at 1620, so the time of this incident must have been approximately 1630. [about 16 miles]

Still expecting the 1st Infantry to cover the withdrawal route, Beauchamp decided that the best thing he could do would be to hurry up its arrival. He drove eastward to the command post of the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, and from there telephoned the 21st Infantry regimental command post in Okch'ŏn. It chanced that General Menoher was there. He instructed Beauchamp to come on in to Okch'ŏn and give a detailed report. [11-54] But again, none of these happenings were known in Taejŏn.

[note]

1630 Korean Time


Enemy sniper fire built up sporadically on the road below the pass. From his vantage point Beauchamp saw a locomotive pulling a few cars halted by enemy small arms fire at the tunnel. This locomotive had departed Iwon-ni at 1620,

so the time of this incident must have been approximately 1630.

Korean_War

Still expecting the [??] 1st Infantry to cover the withdrawal route, Beauchamp decided that the best thing he could do would be to hurry up its arrival. He drove eastward to the command post of the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, and from there telephoned the 21st Infantry regimental command post in Okch'ŏn. It chanced that General Menoher was there. He instructed Beauchamp to come on in to Okch'ŏn and give a detailed report. [11-54] But again, none of these happenings were known in Taejŏn.

[note]

1645 Korean Time

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The locomotive had been sent to Taejŏn as the result of General Dean's telephone request to the 24th Division a little earlier.

In midafternoon, Captain Hatfield tried to send a rolling supply point of ten boxcars of ammunition out of the Taejŏn railroad yard to Yŏngdong .

Returning to the rail yard at the northeast side of Taejŏn, Hatfield discovered that the Korean crew had uncoupled the locomotive from the supply train and fled south in it.

It was then that Dean had telephoned the division to dispatch a locomotive immediately to Taejŏn to pull out this train. The nearest rail yard was at Iwon-ni, fifteen miles southeast of Taejŏn. Only armed guards had kept the Korean train crews there on the job. Enemy fire on the locomotive from Iwon-ni punctured the water tender.

Though under sniper fire at the railroad yards, Hatfield awaited the arrival of the locomotive. When it pulled into the yards more enemy fire hit it. The engineer said the locomotive was so damaged that it could not pull the train out.

To Hatfield's dismay, the Korean engineer threw the locomotive in reverse and backed speedily southward out of the yard.

At the tunnel southeast of Taejŏn enemy fire again swept over the locomotive and grenades struck it, killing the engineer. The fireman, although wounded, took the train on into Okch'ŏn. Some American soldiers rode the train out of Taejŏn. According to 24th Division records, the time was 1645.

[note]

1700 Korean Time

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By this time the North Koreans in front of Herbert's men had set up mortars and begun to shell his position and also the howitzers. This fire killed several artillerymen and caused casualties in the infantry group. Herbert sent a runner into Taejŏn to report and ask for instructions.

At the 34th Infantry command post a group of fifty men was assembled from Headquarters Company and sent back under Lt. William Wygal, S-2 of the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry, with instructions to Herbert to hold where he was until the artillery could be evacuated. So Herbert's augmented force exchanged fire with the North Koreans and held them to their ridge position.

General Dean observed this fire fight from the command post and thought it was going well for the American troops. He mistakenly thought, however, that it was McGrail's 2nd Battalion troops that were engaged. About this time, Dean walked back from the TACP to the 34th Infantry command post and asked for Colonel Beauchamp. It was about 1700. To his surprise he was told that no one had seen Beauchamp since about 1500. Like Major Lantron in the morning, he had just disappeared. Dean remembered that he had expressed a great deal of concern to Beauchamp about the loss of communications with the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, and that he had directed someone to get through and find Ayres. When he learned that Beauchamp had left the command post shortly after 1500 he concluded that Beauchamp had personally gone forward to contact Ayres. It was not until some three years later after he was repatriated from North Korea that General Dean discovered that this was not the fact. [11-53]

[note]

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[note]

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At the tunnel southeast of Taejŏn enemy fire again swept
over the locomotive and grenades struck it, killing the engineer. The fireman, although wounded, took the
train on into Okch'ŏn. Some American soldiers rode the train out of Taejŏn. According to 24th Division
records, the time was 1645.

Informed of this untoward incident, Dean again telephoned the division, and at 1700 he received a telephone call that it was sending another locomotive, this time under guard. Dean informed Hatfield of this and the latter waited at the rail yard. Hatfield was killed by enemy soldiers there while waiting for the locomotive that never arrived.

[note]

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About 1700 in the afternoon when he discovered that Colonel Beauchamp was not at the command post and that no one there knew where he was, General Dean turned to Colonel Wadlington, the regimental executive officer, and told him to get the withdrawal under way in earnest.

Wadlington called in the 3rd Platoon of the 24th Reconnaissance Company which had held a position a few miles down the Kumsan road on the north side of the enemy roadblock that had been discovered during the night.

For their own reasons the enemy forces in that vicinity had seen fit not to attack this platoon and thereby alert the 34th Infantry to the enemy strength in its rear. In coming in to Taejŏn to join the withdrawal convoy, the platoon drew machine gun fire near the rail station.

Pvt. James H. Nelson engaged this enemy weapon with a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on a 2 1/2-ton truck and knocked it out. [11-56]

In response to the earlier withdrawal order, Capt. Jack Smith had brought the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry, in trucks to the designated initial point at the street corner in front of the regimental command post.

When he arrived there, Major McDaniel told him that General Dean wanted a perimeter defense established to protect the initial point and to support an attempt to recover a battery of 155-mm. howitzers. Smith unloaded L Company for the perimeter defense and sent the rest of the battalion on to join the convoy that was forming.

Instead of withdrawing their howitzers while Herbert's force held off the enemy force at the west edge of Taejŏn, the artillerymen had shown no desire to limber up the pieces under fire. When Herbert left his position to fall back to join the withdrawal he noticed the howitzers.

The North Koreans quickly moved up and occupied Herbert's old position when he withdrew from it, and some advanced to the battery position. From these places they began firing into the city. Learning of the impending loss of the 155-mm. howitzers, General Dean ordered Colonel Wadlington to organize a counterattack force from personnel at the command post to rescue the pieces.

Major McDaniel, the regimental S-3, volunteered to organize and lead the counterattack. He drove the enemy soldiers from the battery position and kept down hostile fire until he could bring up tractor prime movers, hitch them to the howitzers, and pull out the pieces. Lack of tractor drivers prevented taking them all out; those left were rendered inoperative. [11-57]

By this time word came back to the command post that enemy small arms fire had knocked out and set afire two or three trucks at the tail end of the first group of vehicles to leave the city, and that they blocked the street at the southeast edge of Taejŏn. Flames could be seen in that corner of the city, and the sound of small arms fire came from there. Dean then rewrote a radio message to be sent to the 24th Division. It said in effect, "Send armor. Enemy roadblock eastern edge City of Taejŏn. Signed Dean." Dean directed that the message be sent in the clear.
The general then went over to the Capitol Building with his interpreter to see if he could find a northward route out of the city that would pass over the tableland east of the railroad station and swing around to hit the Okch'ŏn road some miles from the city. The Koreans in the building were panic-stricken and he could get no information from them. Dean hastened back to the command post and, being informed that Beauchamp had still not returned, he directed Colonel Wadlington to close station and move out.

Enemy fire into and within the city had increased considerably. One result was that an enemy mortar shell scored a direct hit on the collecting station of the 24th Infantry, wounding ten men. Captain Smith from his perimeter defense post reported that he could see North Koreans advancing from the airfield. Wadlington told him to hold them off until the convoy could escape.

Wadlington showed General Dean his place in the convoy. He told Dean that he was going to lead the convoy with two jeeps, each carrying five men, and that Major McDaniel was going to be at the tail of the column. With L Company already engaging approaching North Koreans, Captain Smith asked Dean how long he was to hold the company in position as a covering force.

Dean told him to give them forty-five minutes and then to withdraw. [11-55]

[11-55] Dean, MS review comments, 20 Jan 58: 24th Div WD, G-4 Daily Summ, 20 Jul 50: Ibid., G-2 Jnl, entry 1372, 202140 (interv with personnel on locomotive): entry 1350, 201907: and entry 1401, 210950 Jul 50; Dean and Worden, General Dean's Story, p. 37.

[note] [note]

1755 Korean Time

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BUG-OUT
Dean looked at his watch as he drove out the gate of the command post. It was 1755. Outside in the street he talked briefly with Wadlington and the senior officers riding the lead vehicles. He told them that very likely they would get sniper fire in the city, but that once outside he thought they would be all right. He instructed that if sniper fire was encountered and the column stopped for any reason, everyone was to dismount and clean out the snipers.

[note]

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Not all the troops withdrawing from Taejŏn followed the main Okch'ŏn highway, although they were supposed to.

Many missed the tricky turn at the southeast edge of the city and found themselves on the Kumsan road. Once on this road and under fire they kept going.

After holding off the enemy at the Taejŏn command post perimeter while the convoy got away, Captain Smith quickly loaded his L Company, 34th Infantry, into waiting trucks and started it on its way through the city.

By this time enemy machine guns were firing across nearly every street intersection. Passing the Okch'ŏn turn inadvertently, Smith kept on down the Kumsan road.

Korean_War

Outside the city he found the road littered with trucks, jeeps, and various kinds of abandoned equipment. At an enemy roadblock he organized approximately 150 men, including about fifty wounded, and salvaged a prime mover, two 2 1/2-ton trucks, and four jeeps.

The group fought its way south through several miles of small roadblocks, clearing the last one just before dark [1947]. In this group Smith had men from practically every unit that had been in Taejŏn. Some of them had been with General Dean earlier in the evening.

Smith led his group south through Kŭmsan, Anui, and on to Chinju near the southern tip of Korea. From there he telephoned Pusan and a hospital train was dispatched to him at Chinju. Smith left the wounded in Pusan, but continued on with the others to Taegu, where they joined other elements of the 3rd Battalion that had escaped.

[note]

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Of all the incidents in the withdrawal, none was more dramatic or attended by such gripping subsequent drama as the adventures of General Dean. They began on the Kumsan road. When he missed the Okch'ŏn turn, it was probable that General Dean would not get far. There had been enemy roadblocks on the Kŭmsan road since the night before. A mile from the city Dean stopped his jeep where a wrecked truck lay on its side in the ditch with several wounded soldiers in it.

He loaded these into his two jeeps and waved them on. He and two or three other soldiers soon clambered on to an artillery half-track that came south on the road. Riding in one of the jeeps ahead, Lieutenant Clarke was hit in the shoulder by enemy fire a mile farther down the road.

Another mile ahead his group came to a knocked out truck blocking the road. There an enemy force had established a roadblock with machine gun and rifle fire. Clarke and the other men tumbled from the jeeps into the right-hand ditch. Dean and those on the half-track did the same when they arrived a few minutes later.

General Dean and the others crawled through bean patches and a garden to the bank of the Taejŏn River where they lay concealed until darkness came [1947]. It must have been at this time that Captain Smith and his L Company party fought their way through that roadblock.

[note]

1800 Korean Time

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It was a few minutes after 1800 when the large, main convoy started to move. [11-59]

Korean_War

With Wadlington at its head the convoy rolled down the street. Some parts of the city were now blazing furnaces, and in places swirling smoke clouds obscured the streets. Soon the convoy stopped while those in the lead removed a burning ammunition trailer and telephone poles from the way. Then it continued on and swung into a broad boulevard.

There the convoy encountered heavy enemy fire, both machine gun and small arms, sweeping up and down the avenue. Colonel Wadlington and the men in the two lead jeeps dismounted and opened fire.

In about five minutes enemy fire slackened. Wadlington ordered the men in the second jeep to lead out, saying he would join them as soon as he saw that the convoy was moving.

After the head of the convoy passed him, Wadlington and his men got into their jeep and started forward to overtake the head of the column. Not able to pass the trucks, however, they swung off at a corner to go around a block. This route led them to a series of misadventures-they found themselves in dead-end streets, cut off by enemy fire, and eventually in a dead-end schoolyard on the east side of the city. There Wadlington and his companions destroyed their vehicle and started up the nearby mountain.

Korean_War

Meanwhile, the convoy hurried through the city, drawing enemy sniper fire all the way. One 2 1/2-ton truck in the convoy smashed into a building at an intersection and almost blocked the street for the rest of the vehicles. Then the first part of the convoy took a wrong turn through an underpass of the railroad and wound up in the same dead-end schoolyard as had Colonel Wadlington. There were approximately fifty vehicles in this part of the convoy.

These men abandoned their vehicles. Led by an artillery major and other officers the group of about 125 started into the hills, first going north away from the sound of firing and later turning south. During the night[7/20] the group became separated into several parts.[ Some of the men reached friendly lines the next morning, others on 22 July; some just disappeared and were never heard of again]. [11-60]

[note]

Korean_War

After the first part of the convoy took the wrong turn, the remainder kept on the street leading to the Okch'ŏn road. A little farther on they drove through walls of fire as buildings burned fiercely on both sides. Just beyond this point, General Dean's vehicle and an escort jeep sped past an intersection. They were scarcely past it when Lieutenant Clarke said to Dean that they had missed the Okch'ŏn turn. Enemy fire prevented them from stopping to turn around, so they kept on going south down the Kumsan road. [11-61]

Just outside the city on the Okch'ŏn highway the convoy encountered enemy mortar fire. A shell hit the lead vehicle and it began to burn. A half-track pushed it out of the way. The convoy started again. Enemy fire now struck the half-track, killed the driver, and started the vehicle burning. Machine gun fire swept the road. Everyone left the vehicles and sought cover in the roadside ditches.

Some in the convoy saw North Korean soldiers rise from rice paddies along the road and spray the column with burp gun fire.

When the enemy mortar fire stopped the column, SFC Joseph S. Szito of the Heavy Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry, set up a 60-mm. mortar in the roadside ditch and fired at a group of North Koreans on a hill just south of the road. A little later he set up an 81-mm. mortar and fired about thirty rounds of smoke shells in an effort to cloak a proposed attempt to push the destroyed half-track off the road so the undamaged vehicles could proceed. But enough men would not go out into the stream of enemy fire to clear the road. Enemy mortars soon hit and destroyed three more vehicles. The men then poured gasoline on most of their still undamaged vehicles, set them afire, and started for high ground to the north. [11-62]

Korean_WarTaejŏn-sn-Map_27.jpg" width="291">

Enemy mortars searched up and down the highway, making a shambles of everything on it. The latter part of the convoy now came up to the stalled and burning vehicles. These men scrambled out of their vehicles, sought cover in the ditches, and prayed for darkness. One survivor of this group estimates that there must have been 250 men bunched together in an area fifty yards square.

[note]

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Lead elements of the 8th Cavalry Regiment were ashore by 0610 18 July, and the first troops of the 5th Cavalry Regiment came in twenty minutes later.

Typhoon Helene swept over the Korean coast and prevented landing of the 7th Cavalry Regiment and the 82nd Field Artillery Battalion until 22 July.

19500725 0000 Tropical Storm Helene

Duration July 25 – July 28

[I think he meant GRACE]

For three days ships could not be unloaded at Pusan and Eighth Army rations dropped to one day's supply. [12-33]

[12-33] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 3 (N.K. 1st Div), pp. 32-33; Ibid., Issue 104 (N.K. 13th Div), p. 60.

Even though it had received 1,450 replacements before it left Japan, 100 of them from the Eighth Army stockade, the division was understrength when it landed in Korea and, like the preceding divisions, it had only 2 battalions in the regiments, 2 firing batteries in the artillery battalions, and 1 tank company (light M24 tanks). On 19 July, the 5th Cavalry Regiment started toward Taejŏn.

The next day the 8th Cavalry Regiment [1st CavDiv]followed by rail and motor, and closed in an assembly area east of Yŏngdong that evening. Brig. Gen. Charles D. Palmer, division artillery commander, commanded these two forward regiments.

[note]

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At about 6:00 P.M. Bill Dean gave the order to evacuate the 34th Regiment CP, which by then was under heavy attack. Pappy Wadlington and McDaniel (who had courageously salvaged some valuable 155mm howitzers of the 11th FAB and rendered the rest inoperative) had organized a large convoy of trucks and other vehicles.

While the pitiful remnants of Jack Smith's 3/34 covered, the miscellaneous troops at the CP boarded the trucks and moved out into the flaming, chaotic streets of Taejŏn, which were now infested with NKPA tanks and soldiers.[5-66]

It was a wild ride through a hail of enemy fire. Some jeeps and trucks spun out of line and crashed. Others got lost.

Wadlington's jeep made a wrong turn into a cul-de-sac. He was forced to abandon the jeep under fire and eventually escaped on foot. After unsuccessfully exploring for various exits from the city, Dean mistakenly turned his jeep due south, down the Kumsan road. He soon ran into a NKPA block. He and his aide, Arthur M. Clarke (a pilot), abandoned the jeep and took to the hills with a group of stragglers who were hoping to infiltrate south or southeast to friendly lines after dark. Many were wounded; Dean and Clarke helped them along as best they could.

[note]

1900 Korean Time

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1947 Korean Time

1947 Sun Set

[note]

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Just after dark an effort was made to break the roadblock from the Okch'ŏn side. When Colonel Beauchamp reached the 21st Infantry command post that afternoon he told General Menoher of the threatened roadblock. Menoher directed him to take the rifle company that had come through the pass and a platoon of light tanks at the 21st Infantry command post and go back and hold the pass open.

Beauchamp took the five tanks and on the way picked up approximately sixty men of I Company, 34th Infantry. It was getting dark when the group passed through the lines of the 21st Infantry.

Short of the pass, one of the tanks hit an enemy mine.

Then a hidden enemy soldier detonated electrically a string of mines. The riflemen moved cautiously forward. From a position near the pass they could see enemy mortars firing from both sides of the road, but mostly from the western side. Some of the riflemen worked their way as far forward as the highway tunnel, but they never got control of the pass or any part of the highway west of it.

In about two hours the tankers and the men of I Company had expended their ammunition and withdrawn. [11-66]

All night long the several hundred men caught in the roadblock walked south and east through the mountains. During the night the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, aid station near Okch'ŏn exhausted its medical supplies in treating wounded men arriving from the Taejŏnarea.

[note]

By this time many men of the 24th Division were fleeing Taejŏn.Korean_War Among them was Sergeant George D. Libby of Company C, 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion, who left in a crowded two-and-a-half-ton truck. NKPA fire disabled and stopped the truck at a roadblock, killing or wounding every man in the truck except Libby. Simultaneously tending to the many wounded and firing at the NKPA with a carbine, Libby held out until an artillery tractor came on the scene. Placing one of the wounded in the cab of the tractor, Libby positioned himself so that he shielded the driver from NKPA fire. While the tractor crashed the roadblock, Libby sprayed the NKPA with carbine fire, killing or wounding several. The tractor got through the block safely, but Libby, severely wounded in the arms and legs, died from loss of blood. For this selfless act he was awarded the Medal of Honor - the first of the Korean War.[5-65]

[note]

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When darkness came, 2nd Lt. Ralph C. Boyd, commanding a truck platoon of the 24th Quartermaster Company, with the help of some others, located six vehicles that appeared to be undamaged and still able to run. They were a fulltrack artillery prime mover, two half-track vehicles, two 2 1/2-ton trucks, and a jeep. Boyd had the driver of the prime mover push vehicles to the side of the road and clear a path while he and others loaded the seriously wounded onto the half-tracks.

When the prime mover had cleared a path, the other vehicles started forward with most of the men walking in the roadside ditches. Boyd told them to maintain silence and not to return any enemy fire. Boyd's group turned into a narrow dirt road running north from the main highway and traveled on it for some time without trouble.

Then, suddenly, enemy machine gun fire ripped into the little group. It knocked Boyd off the prime mover. In falling, he struck a rock and lost consciousness. When he regained it sometime later everything was quiet and the vehicles were gone. Upon discovering that a bullet had only creased his knee, he got to his feet and ran two and a half miles into the lines of the 21st Infantry. [11-63]

Korean_War

Engineer troops of C Company, 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion performed well in the withdrawal from the city, but they suffered heavy losses. Two examples of their heroism should be mentioned. Enemy mortar fire destroyed Pvt. Charles T. Zimmerman's jeep and wounded Zimmerman. Enemy soldiers then directed small arms fire at his group. Although wounded by a mortar fragment and eleven bullets, Zimmerman killed five enemy soldiers and destroyed two machine guns. [11-64]

Another member of the engineers, Sgt. George D. Libby, was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic behavior that evening. Enemy fire at the roadblock area disabled the truck in which he was riding and killed or wounded everyone in it except him. Libby got into the roadside ditch and engaged the enemy. Twice he crossed the road to give medical aid to the wounded. He stopped an M-5 artillery tractor going through the roadblock, put the wounded on it, and then placed himself on the enemy side of the driver. He wished to protect the driver as he realized that no one else present could drive the tractor out. In this position Libby "rode shotgun" for the tractor and its load of wounded, returning enemy fire.

The tractor stopped several times so that he could help other wounded on to it. In passing through the main enemy roadblock, Libby received several wounds in the body and arms. Later, the tractor came to a second roadblock and there he received additional wounds in shielding the driver. Libby lost consciousness and subsequently died from loss of blood, but the tractor driver lived to take his load of wounded through to safety. [11-65]

[note]

After dark Dean's party crossed to the west side of the river and started climbing a high mountain. This was just north of the little village of Nangwol. General Dean and others in the party took turns in helping a badly wounded man up the steep slope. Once, Clarke dissuaded Dean from going back down the mountain for water.

Korean_WarTaejŏn-ch-on.jpg">

Nangwol-li and the Taejŏn-ch'on (River)

Korean_WarTaejŏn-ch-on_River.jpg">

[note]

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Just after dark an effort was made to break the roadblock from the Okch'ŏn side. When Colonel Beauchamp reached the 21st Infantry command post that afternoon he told General Menoher of the threatened roadblock. Menoher directed him to take the rifle company that had come through the pass and a platoon of light tanks at the 21st Infantry command post and go back and hold the pass open. Beauchamp took the five tanks and on the way picked up approximately sixty men of I Company, 34th Infantry. It was getting dark when the group passed through the lines of the 21st Infantry. Short of the pass, one of the tanks hit an enemy mine. Then a hidden enemy soldier detonated electrically a string of mines. The riflemen moved cautiously forward. From a position near the pass they could see enemy mortars firing from both sides of the road, but mostly from the western side. Some of the riflemen worked their way as far forward as the highway tunnel, but they never got control of the pass or any part of the highway west of it.

In about two hours the tankers and the men of I Company had expended their ammunition and withdrawn. [11-66] While at the pass area, Beauchamp saw that most of the men in the engineer platoon he had left there in the afternoon had been killed defending the pass-their bodies lay strewn about on the ground. Among them was the lieutenant he had instructed only a few hours before not to blow the tunnel but to hold it open for the Taejŏn troops. The two tanks and the antiaircraft vehicles had driven to the rear.

Although there were enemy troops scattered all along the escape route out of Taejŏn, their principal roadblock began about two miles east of the city on the Okch'ŏn road near the little village of Chojon. The roadblock extended a mile from there to the first railroad and highway tunnels east of Taejŏn. In this stretch, the Sŏul-Pusan highway and the double-track Mukden-Pusan railroad parallel each other along a little stream with high ground closing in from both sides. Most of the enemy fire came from the west side of the defile, but in the later stages of the roadblock action there were also enemy mortars, automatic weapons, and riflemen firing from the east side. [11-67]

[11-66] Interv, author with Beauchamp, 1 Aug 52; Ltr, Stephens to author, 24 Mar 52: 24th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, entry 196, 201930 Jul 50; 21st Inf WD, 20 Jul 50; New York Herald Tribune, July 21 and 23, 1950

[11-67] Various interviews with survivors from the roadblock and the records of the 21st Infantry and the 24th Division place the eastern limit of the enemy roadblock at the first railroad tunnel southeast of Taejŏn.

[note]

2200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/20/50
7:00 AM
07/20/50
8:00 AM
07/20/50
1:00 PM
07/20/50
10:00 PM

2245 Korean Time

2300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/20/50
8:00 AM
07/20/50
9:00 AM
07/20/50
2:00 PM
07/20/50
11:00 PM

Korean_War

EUSAK Periodic Intelligence Report No. 8, 202400 July 50 --

"Enemy reportedly moved toward our lines along the tops of mountain ridges disguised as farmers whose dress is predominantly white. Women and children accompanied these groups. When the enemy reached a point adjacent to and behind friendly lines, they were equipped with arms. Upon a given signal, fire was directed from ridges upon the U.S. flanks and rear forcing the friendly forces to retire. Further to the rear the withdrawing forces were cleverly ambushed." 53

53
Eighth U.S. Army Adjutant General Section 1944-56, Security-Classified General Correspondence 1950 , Box 714, RG 338, NARA.

[note]

Korean_War

While this disaster was taking place during the evening and night of 20 July just east of Taejŏn, the 21st Infantry Regiment held its defense positions undisturbed only three or four miles away. Only when Beauchamp telephoned the regimental command post at Okch'ŏn and talked with General Menoher there, and later, in person, reported in detail, did Colonel Stephens and his staff know of the serious trouble developing in Taejŏn and on the escape road eastward. [11-69]

It would have taken several hours to get the 21st Infantry troops down from their hill positions for any effort to clear the Taejŏn exit road. And it was well after dark before it was known definitely at Okch'ŏn that the enemy had in fact successfully established a roadblock and that the Taejŏn troops were being decimated. It was too late then for the 21st Infantry to act in relief of the situation. To have accomplished this the regiment would have needed an order during the morning to move up to the eastern exit of Taejŏn and secure it.

That night at the 21st Infantry command post in Okch'ŏn, General Menoher and Colonel Stephens discussed the situation. Stephens said he thought the North Koreans would try to cut off his regiment the next day and that if the regiment was to survive he wanted authority to withdraw it in a delaying action rather than to "hold at all costs." Menoher agreed with Stephens and left it to his discretion when and how he would withdraw. General Menoher returned to Yŏngdong about midnight. [11-70]

[note]

Korean_War

About midnight Dean wandered off into the dark to get some water from a stream, fell down an embankment, hit his head, and went out like a light. When he awoke, he could not find Clarke or the others.

Korean_War

He later met up with Lieutenant Stanley Tabor of McGrail's 2/19 and they wandered the hills for the next several days, dodging NKPA patrols.

[note]

Korean_War

For eight critical days its thinning ranks waged the unequal fight to retain Taejŏn, but the 24th Division had neither weapons enough nor troops enough to hold back the Communists.

At last, at midnight on 20 July, the 24th Division was compelled to abandon the city. Among the men lost in the last day's battle was the division commander, General Dean, who remained in Taejŏn when the enemy tanks broke through and was captured by the North Koreans.#78

The loss of Taejŏn was a bitter blow to the United Nations' cause in Korea, but the North Koreans had been forced to slow the tempo of their ground attack. In this delaying battle airpower had been a pillar of American strength. "Without question the Air Force definitely blunted the initial North Korean thrust to the southward," stated General Dean shortly before his capture.

"Without this continuing air effort it is doubtful if the courageous combat soldiers, spread thinly along the line, could have withstood the onslaught of the vastly numerically superior enemy. "#79

In evaluating the effect of the medium-bomber attacks against enemy transportation targets in the battle zone, the chairman of the GHQ Target Group stated that

"It is very evident from a study of the...road and rail lines that the operations of the enemy have been seriously impeded by the bombing operations."#80

[USAF will ridicule this group, but quote them?"]
98 U.S. Air Force in Korea

Korean_War

Two weeks earlier General MacArthur had thought it "highly problematical" that American troops could hold the southern tip of Korea, but he had gained the time he needed to send other American reinforcements into Korea. Now he could say of the enemy,

"He has had his great chance but failed to exploit it.#81

Keenly appreciative of the role that airpower had played against the North Korean blitz, General MacArthur asked Stratemeyer to pass a commendation to his airmen.

"The contribution of the Far East Air Forces in the Korean conflict has been magnificent," stated MacArthur. "They have performed their mission beyond all expectations. #82

3. American Airmen Establish Air Superiority

[note]


Casualties

Thursday July 20, 1950 (Day 026)

Korean_War 586 Casualties

As of July 20, 1950

32 11TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (155MM)
1 13TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
81 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
2 21ST INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 24TH INFANTRY DIVISION HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
2 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
4 24TH MILITARY POLICE COMPANY - DIVISION
9 24TH QUARTERMASTER COMPANY - DIVISION
3 24TH SIGNAL COMPANY - DIVISION
3 26TH ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY AW BATTALION (SP)
1 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
55 3RD ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
1 5TH MARINE REGIMENT
15 63RD FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
586 19500720 0000 Casualties by unit

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 42 1192 0 0 0 1234
Today 0 586 0 0 0 586
Total 42 1778 0 0 0 1820

Aircraft Losses Today 000

Notes for Thursday July 20, 1950 - Day 026