Weather

Mean Temp 24.9°C 76.82°F at Taegu

Heavy Overcast

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


Overview

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.

On 21-22 July, heavy overcast prevented aerial reconnaissance and permitted the enemy to put his columns on the road during daylight and to move rapidly without fear of aerial attack.

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July 22
A regimental force of North Koreans retakes Yŏngdök. American and British warships continue to shell the town.

-- The U.S. Air Force claims that attacks on NKPA supply lines have drastically slowed the flow of supplies south. However, it will be another month before NKPA forces in the south are seriously affected.

-- Carrier planes attack oil depots and knock out bridges on both sides of the 38th Parallel.

-- DoD information reveals that $48.7 billion dollars has been spent by all the U.S. armed forces since July 1946. However, most of that amount was for demobilization, mothballing and general upkeep rather than beefing up the military. The figure does not include $4 billion spent by the Air Force for new planes since 1947, which so far have not been delivered. The Army had 1.8 million soldiers on Pearl Harbor Day compared to 600,000 now. Factories were producing 2,000 planes a month then and only 200 now.

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-- The 1950 census shows the U.S. population is 150,520,198, a growth of almost 19 million since 1940.

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3rd Rescue Squadron
Korean War Operations
22 July 1950
22 July 1950
Two SB-17s were used this date for orbit missions. Total flying time for these missions was eight hours and five minutes.

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July 22: The US Navy aircraft carrier USS Boxer (CV-21) arrived in Japan with 145 USAF F-51s aboard. The 3rd ARS deployed the first H-5 helicopter in Korea to Taegu.

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KPAFAC strength estimated down to 65 aircraft

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Army Policy

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On 22 July, they [JCS] notified General MacArthur that they would review their previous decision. They asked him to help by telling them what he meant to do with the Marine brigade between its arrival date in late July and 10 September. At the same time, they ordered the brigade brought to full war strength and the Marine Air Group enlarged to full squadrons. [09-21]

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Since officers, particularly in company-grade and combat arms, were needed badly, the Department of the Army, on 22 July 1950, appealed to Reserve officers to volunteer for active duty.

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On 22 July the 1st Cavalry Division relieved the 24th at Yŏngdong. In a 17-day losing battle against two superior North Korean divisions, the 24th had fallen back almost 100 miles, and had lost more than 2,400 men missing in action and enough materiel to equip a full division. [06-33]

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Awards and decorations

Lee E. Copeland, Corporal

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Venard Wilson, Brigadier General

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Photo #: NH 96977

Korean War Carrier Air Strikes, July 1950

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A fuel or ammunition train burns near Kŭmch'ŏn, North Korea, after being hit by planes from USS Valley Forge (CV-45). Photographed on the morning of 22 July 1950.

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Photo #: 80-G-653242
P'ohang Landing, July 1950

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Two "Scajap" (Shipping Control Administration Japan) LSTs unloading onto the breakwater at P'ohang, South Korea. Taken 22 July 1950, four days after the initial landings of the First Cavalry Division at P'ohang.

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A 105-mm howitzer in action against the advancing North Korean invaders, who had just taken Taejŏn.
22 July 1950.
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"After seventeen days of continuous combat, the US 24th Infantry Division had been driven back 100 miles, suffered more than thirty percent casualties, and had more than 2,400 men missing in action."

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The Department of the Army asked reserve officers to volunteer for active duty.

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Nogun-ri

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IX. Facing the Enemy
The last elements of the 24th Infantry Division passed rearward through Yŏngdong on July 22 to become, temporarily, the Eighth Army reserve.

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The 1st Cavalry Division's Operation Order 9-50, dated 7:00 AM July 22, identified the NKPA 2nd and 3rd Divisions as opposing the division, each with an estimated strength of 8,775 soldiers.

Elements of the NKPA 4th Division were reported to be in reserve behind the other two divisions.

The 1st Cavalry Division's intelligence staff warned that the most likely course of action for these enemy units was to "continue to advance on our positions in the vicinity southeast of Taejŏn with primary effort being to envelop our flanks and thus cut off our units one at a time. Envelopment will be attempted on both flanks with major effort coming from the southeast."

The order directed that civilians "infiltrating through our lines will be arrested and turned over to CIC [Counter-Intelligence Corps]."
28
1st Cavalry Division (Infantry), Annex B (Intelligence) to Operations Order 9-50, 22 0700-K July 1950 , copy in 1st Cavalry Division July 1950 War Diary, Box 4405, RG 407, NARA.

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The 5th Cavalry Regiment became the first unit committed to combat. The 5th's mission was to relieve the 21st Infantry and the other remaining elements of the 24th Infantry Division in the vicinity of Yŏngdong.
29
Activities report, Headquarters 1st Cavalry Division (Inf), July 1950 . In the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, AG Command Reports 1949-1954, Box 4405, RG 407, NARA.

This plan changed when the regiment could not advance from its assembly areas due to the congested roads. A combination of retreating U.S. and ROK troops, along with the ever-present refugees, made forward progress so slow that the 5th could not relieve the 21st Infantry in time.

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The 8th Cavalry moved forward to relieve the 21st and to prevent the occupation of Yŏngdong from the northwest and southwest.
30
War diary summary, 1st Cavalry Division, 25 June-November 1950 . In the Records of U.S. Army Commands, 1st Cavalry Division War Diary, 1950 , Box 42, RG 338, NARA.

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The Eighth Army knew that the loss of Taejŏn' and the withdrawal from the Kum River meant that the next defensive barrier was the Naktong River. With friendly forces still outnumbered by the NKPA, a series of planned withdrawals would prevent a repeat of the disastrous losses incurred in the defense of Taejŏn'. Since the 1st Cavalry Division could not defend Yŏngdong indefinitely, the division conducted a delaying action on the way back to the Naktong.

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The 7th Cavalry, meanwhile, had arrived in Korea on July 22, 1950 , as part of the division's second lift from Japan. The east coast of Korea was suffering a determined NKPA attack, and the 1st Battalion remained in the P'ohang-Dong area to defend the port and adjacent airfield.

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The remainder of the 7th Cavalry moved forward to the Yŏngdong area, arriving in its designated assembly area near the village Sot Anmak in the late afternoon. The 7th Cavalry's mission charged them with preventing enemy infiltration while also supporting the 5th Cavalry in the event the 8th Cavalry could not break contact and move east from Yŏngdong. 43
43
Ibid.

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Naval air power played a potentially relevant role in the fighting during this period as well, but no evidence exists that suggests that U.S. Naval aircraft willfully attacked civilian targets.

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Attack Squadron Fifty-Five (VA-55) and Fighter Squadron Fifty-Three (VF-53) participated in air operations during the last week of July 1950 .

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Both squadrons deployed aboard Valley Forge (CV 45) as part of Carrier Air Group Five (CVG-5) from 1 May through December 1, 1950 .

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Other squadrons deployed as a part of CVG-5 that could have participated in air operations near Nogŭn-ni were VF-51, VF-52, VF-55,

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Composite Squadron 3 Detachment C (VC-3 Det C), and VC-11. [123]

[123]
Grossnick, Roy A., et al, United States Naval Aviation, 1910-1995 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1995), 699-704.

A thorough study of the command histories and after-action reports held by the Naval Historical Center indicates that these squadrons also did not participate near Nogŭn-ni. Yet several documents provided some insight into close air support mission management and illustrated the priority placed on developing an effective command-and-control network.

The available archival records recount problems employing air assets to support the ground troops from the very beginning. On July 22, 1950 , this challenge was evident when carrier-based aircraft “were placed under the airborne control of the 5th AF while in support of ground forces in Korea.” [124]

[124]
Korean War, U. S. Pacific Fleet Operations, Commander-in-Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet, Interim Evaluation Report No.1, 25 June to 15 November 1950 , Volume III, 228. Hereafter Interim Evaluation Report.

On July 25 the results of the July 22 Navy missions were summarized in a memorandum to General Partridge, Commanding General, Headquarters, Fifth Advance, K-2, by noting that “the Navy had been unable on the 22nd [July] to make contact with your control [Air Force].” [125]

[125]

Rogers Memorandum.

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III. Key Issue 3: Tactical Situation July 22-29, 1950
Immediately after the 1st Cavalry Division disembarked in Korea, the Eighth Army directed the division to move forward to the Yŏngdong-Kŭmch'ŏn area.

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The 1st Cavalry Division deployed both the 5th and 8th Cavalry Regiments to defend Yŏngdong.

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The 8th Cavalry Regiment moved forward to relieve the 24th Infantry Division's 21st Infantry Regiment and to prevent the occupation of Yŏngdong from the northwest and southwest. [11]

[11]

War diary, 1st Cavalry Division, June-July 1950 . In the Records of U. S. Army Commands, Cavalry Divisions 1940-1967, Box 131, RG 338, NARA. A more detailed picture of the tactical situation is found in Chapter 3. (Also, see the maps in Appendix E, which show the locations of units during the last week of July).

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5th and 8th Cavalry deployments

With the 8th Cavalry initially deployed north and west of Yŏngdong, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, dug in east of the town in the vicinity of the village of Kwan ni to prevent a possible envelopment.

The 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, remained in Hwanggan for the moment. [12]

[12] Ibid.

On July 22, 1950 , the 8th Cavalry received their first enemy contact in the 1st Battalion's sector northwest of Yŏngdong. Heavy artillery and mortar fire fell throughout the day, and reports of enemy tanks surfaced for the first time.

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Southwest of town, the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, area remained quiet. Artillery fire from the 11th, 77th, and 99th Field Artillery Battalions accounted for five enemy tanks and 15 other vehicles.

The threat of envelopment became a real concern to the 8th Cavalry as an aerial observer saw groups of NKPA soldiers dressed in white southwest of Yŏngdong. [13]

[13] Ibid.

The threat of envelopment meant that the enemy would penetrate their positions and move in behind them, thus cutting them off and destroying them.

Realizing the serious danger to the 8th Cavalry, the 1st Cavalry Division ordered the regiment to disengage and withdraw to keep the NKPA from outflanking the regiment and decisively engaging it in Yŏngdong.

Eighth Army's strategy did not include fighting for every town and village. The Eighth Army lacked the necessary strength for that purpose. Instead, the Eighth Army opted to withdraw behind the last major defensible terrain feature, the Naktong River.

The division's withdrawal became part of this Army-level strategy. The plan called for the 5th Cavalry to support the 8th Cavalry's disengagement and rearward movement out of Yŏngdong to Hwanggan, where the 8th Cavalry would assume the role of the division's reserve. [14]

[14] Ibid

Hwanggan is approximately 2.5 road miles east of Nogŭn-ni.

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The 7th Cavalry, meanwhile, had arrived in Korea as part of the division's second lift from Japan. The east coast of Korea suffered a determined NKPA attack, and the 1st Battalion remained in the P'ohang-dong area to defend the port and adjacent airfield.

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South then North

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[Some of Wadlington's men [Led by an artillery major ] reached friendly lines the next morning, ] others on 22 July; some just disappeared and were never heard of again.

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Many [from the road block] finally reached safety at the 24th Division lines twenty miles farther east near Yŏngdong on 22 and 23 July. They came through singly and in small groups, but, in one or two instances, in groups of approximately a hundred men. Colonel Wadlington was among those who reached friendly lines on the morning of 22 July near Yŏngdong. [11-68]

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Yŏngdong-Kŭmsan area westward?]

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Most of the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry, reached Kŭmsan and there turned eastward to come through friendly lines at Yŏngdong. Included in these parties were Colonels McGrail and Ayres and Captains Montesclaros and Slack. They arrived at Yŏngdong on 21 and 22 July.

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The 2nd Battalion of the 35th Infantry took up a hill position northwest of Hamch'ang and south of Mun'gyŏng on the south side of a stream that flowed past

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On the north side of the stream a ROK battalion held the front line. Brig. Gen. Vennard Wilson, Assistant Division Commander, insisted that F Company of the battalion should be inserted in the center of the ROK line north of the stream, and this was done over the strong protests of Colonel Fisher and the battalion commander, Lt. Col. John L. Wilkins. Wilson thought the American troops would strengthen the ROK defense; Fisher and Wilkins did not want the untried company to be dependent upon ROK stability in its first engagement. Behind the ROK and F Company positions the ground rose in another hill within small arms range. Heavy rains had swollen the stream behind the ROK's and F Company to a torrent that was rolling large boulders along its channel.

On 22 July the North Koreans attacked. The ROK's withdrew from their positions on either side of F Company without informing that company of their intentions. Soon enemy troops were firing into the back of F Company from the hill behind it.

This precipitated an unorganized withdrawal. The swollen stream prevented F Company from crossing to the south side and the sanctuary of the 2nd Battalion positions.

Walking wounded crowded along the stream where an effort to get them across failed. Two officers and a noncommissioned officer tied a pair of twisted telephone wires about their bodies and tried to swim to the opposite bank and fasten a line, but each in turn was swept downstream where they floundered ashore a hundred yards away on the same bank from which they had started.

Some men drowned in trying to cross the swollen river. The covering fire of a platoon of tanks on the south side held off the enemy and allowed most of the survivors eventually to escape. In this fiasco, F Company lost 6 men killed, 10 wounded, and 21 missing. [12-20]

[27 men from 35thIR were lost, 19 from F Company]

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Simultaneously with his appearance on the Hamch'ang road at the southern base of the Mun'gyŏng plateau north of On 22 July, the same day that F Company of the 35th Infantry came to grief north of Hamch'ang, elements of the 24th Infantry Regiment had a similar unhappy experience west of Sangju.

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On that day the 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry, and elements of the ROK 17th Regiment were advancing into the mountains twenty miles northwest of the town. With E Company leading, the battalion moved along the dirt road into a gorge with precipitous mountain walls. Suddenly, an enemy light mortar and one or two automatic weapons fired on E Company. It stopped and the men dispersed along the sides of the road. ROK officers advised that the men deploy in an enveloping movement to the right and to the left, but the company commander apparently did not understand. Soon enemy rifle fire came in on the dispersed men and E and F Companies began withdrawing in a disorderly manner.

Col. Horton V. White, the regimental commander, heard of the difficulty and drove hurriedly to the scene. He found the battalion coming back down the road in disorder and most of the men in a state of panic. He finally got the men under control.

[one man from the 24th was killed today]

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Typhoon Helene [or GRACE] swept over the Korean coast and prevented landing of the 7th Cavalry Regiment and the 82nd Field Artillery Battalion until 22 July. For three days ships could not be unloaded at Pusan and Eighth Army rations dropped to one day's supply. [12-33]

Even though it had received 1,450 replacements before it left Japan, 100 of them from the Eighth Army stockade, the division [1CD] 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).

[Grace did finish yesterday, and the topical storm doesn't start for another three days]

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On 22 July the 8th Cavalry Regiment relieved the 21st Infantry, 24th Division, in its positions at Yŏngdong and the 1st Cavalry Division thereby assumed responsibility for blocking the enemy along the main Taejŏn-Taegu corridor. [12-34]

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In a conference at Taegu General Walker gave General Gay brief instructions. In substance, Walker told Gay:

"Protect Yŏngdong. Remember there are no friendly troops behind you. You must keep your own back door open. You can live without food but you cannot last long without ammunition, and unless the Yŏngdong-Taegu road is kept open you will soon be without ammunition."

In the week that followed, these words of Walker's rang constantly in General Gay's ears. [12-35]

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Leaving Taegu, General Gay joined his troops and General Palmer at Yŏngdong. Colonel MacLean, from the Eighth Army G-3 Section, was present and had given instructions that one battalion should be posted four miles northwest of Yŏngdong on the south side of the Kum River, and that another battalion should be placed two miles southwest of Yŏngdong. The first would cover the approach along the main Taejŏn-Taegu highway, the second the approach on the Chosan-ni-Muju-Kŭmsan road.

General Palmer had protested this disposition of troops to Colonel MacLean on the ground that the enemy could encircle and cut off one battalion at a time and that neither battalion could support the other.

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Palmer wanted to place the 1st Cavalry Division on a line of hills just east of Yŏngdong and then have the 24th Division withdraw through it.

General Gay agreed with General Palmer and stated that he could not comply with Colonel MacLean's instructions unless Eighth Army confirmed them over the telephone.

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The army headquarters did confirm the orders, and the two battalions of the 8th Cavalry Regiment went into the two blocking positions, the 1st Battalion on the Taejŏn road northwest of Yŏngdong and the 2nd Battalion southwest of Yŏngdong.

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General Gay placed the 5th Cavalry Regiment on the high ground east of the town in a blocking position. [12-36]


The strength of the Eighth Army at this time, with the 1st Cavalry Division in the line, was about 39,000 men. Less than three weeks earlier, when there were no American troops in Korea, such a number would have seemed a large force indeed. [12-37]

Total 39,439
EUSAK 2,184
KMAG 473
1st CAV Div (Inf) 10,027
24th Inf Div 10,463
25th Inf Div 13,059
Pusan Base 2,979
ADCOM 163
Misc Personnel 91

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The 1st Cavalry Division Loses Yŏngdong
The enemy paused but briefly after the capture of Taejŏn.

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After a day's rest in that town, which it had helped to capture, the N.K. 3rd Division departed the city on 22 July, advancing down the main highway toward Taegu.

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On 13 July it moved from there to Andong to support ROK troops, but before it entered action in the heavy battles then taking place in that area it suddenly received orders to move to Sangju. En route to that place it received still other orders to change its destination to Hwanggan, and it closed there in an assembly area the night of 22-23 July.

General Walker had begun the quick and improvised shifting of troops to meet emergencies that was to characterize his defense of the Pusan Perimeter. The 27th Infantry's mission at Hwanggan was to relieve the decimated ROK troops retreating down the Poŭn road. [12-45] In carrying out Eighth Army's orders to block the Poŭn road, Colonel Michaelis assigned the 1st Battalion of the 27th Infantry the task of making contact with the enemy.

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The optimistic forecasts of the first days of the war as to the American military strength needed to drive the invaders northward had now given way to more realistic planning. By 22 July, some Eighth Army staff officers had even suggested that it might be necessary to deploy ground troops in Korea until the spring of 1951, to accomplish the objectives stated in the U.N. Security Council resolutions. [12-76]

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On 21-22 July, heavy overcast prevented aerial reconnaissance and permitted the enemy to put his columns on the road during daylight and to move rapidly without fear of aerial attack.

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Alarm at Eighth Army headquarters began to grow. ]

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The Fifth Air Force had moved its advance headquarters from Itazuke, Japan, to Taegu on 16 July. The most advanced air bases in Japan-Itazuke and Ashiya-were hardly close enough to the battle area of early and middle July to allow more than fifteen to twenty minutes of support by jet fighters. When weather was bad the F-80 jets could scarcely fly a mission at the front and get back to Itazuke.

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When Major Raibl (3/29) arrived at Taegu on 22 July, he found Col. Allan D. MacLean, Eighth Army Assistant G-3, in no mood to listen to or discuss the lack of combat readiness of the 19th Infantry.

Raibl talked at length with General Walker, who was sympathetic but indicated that the situation was urgent. When he left Taegu, Raibl understood that the two battalions would have a minimum of three days at Pusan to draw equipment and zero-in and test fire their weapons. [19]

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During the battle for Taejŏn, U.N. aerial observers had reported enemy movements south of the Kum River near the west coast. U.N. intelligence mistakenly concluded that these troops were elements of the N.K. 4th Division.

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A report from the Far East Command to Washington on 21 July noted this enemy movement and attributed it to that division. The next day a similar report from the Far East Command stated,

"The 4th North Korean Division ... has been picked up in assemblies in the vicinity of Nonsan."

Enemy forces in battalion and regimental strength, the report said, were moving in a "southward trend, colliding with local police forces." General MacArthur's headquarters considered this

"a very bold movement, evidently predicated on the conviction of the enemy high command that the Allied units are potentially bottled up in the mountainous areas northeast of the headwaters of the Kum River. ... The potential of the advance of the enemy 4th Division to the south is altogether uncomfortable, since at the moment, except for air strikes, there is no organized force capable of firm resistance except local police units." [6]

General Walker knew enemy units were moving south of the Kum River into southwest Korea and maintained aerial observation of the roads there when flying weather conditions permitted.

His intelligence section wanted distant armored reconnaissance of this region, but the armored vehicles and personnel to carry it out were not available. In addition to aerial reconnaissance, however, there were the many reports from local South Korean police units. These often were vague, conflicting, and, it was thought, exaggerated. [7]

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By 22 July the U.N. forces in Korea equaled those of the North Koreans, and in the closing days of the month the United Nations gained a numerical superiority, which constantly increased until near the end of the year.

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In the meantime, carrier-based planes from the USS Valley Forge (CV-45), which was operating in the Yellow Sea, on 22 July destroyed at Haeju in North Korea six locomotives, exploded eighteen cars of a 33-car train, and damaged a combination highway and rail bridge. [15-31]

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Citations

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

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Silver Star

Lackner, Clarence [MSgt SS3 F35thIR]

 

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The Forgotten War

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The next day Wadlington, Red Ayres, and Tom McGrail, leading little bands of 34th Regiment survivors, arrived in Yŏngdong.[5-72]

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Of all the "mistakes" Bill Dean had made as commander of the 24th Division, none had been greater than his decision to attempt to hold Taejŏn an extra day.

The cost was frightful. Of the 4,000 Americans deployed in defense of the city with the 34th, 1,150 (30 percent) were dead, wounded, or missing and presumed dead, the vast majority (874) in the last category.

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Red Ayres's 1/34 had suffered about 28.5 percent casualties (203 of 712 men); the captured Newton Lantron's 3/34, about 38.4 percent (256 of 666);

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Tom McGrail's 2/19, about 29.5 percent (211 of 713).

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The 11th, 13th, and 63rd FABs suffered similar heavy casualties and lost most of their 105mm and 155mm howitzers.[5-73]

So ended the second week of American ground combat in Korea. The NKPA had gained another twenty-five air miles (from the Kum River to Okch'ŏn), making the total gain for the two weeks seventy-five air miles.

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Yet another American regiment, the 19th, had been chewed to pieces; the 34th Infantry had been mauled for the third time - this time decisively.

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The loss of 24th Division equipment over the two weeks, according to the Army historian, was sufficient to equip a full American division.[5-74] The loss included a total of thirty-one 105mm howitzers and five 155mm howitzers.

For the 24th Infantry Division these two weeks had been a ghastly time, one of the greatest ordeals in Army history.

By July 22 at Yŏngdong its surviving commanders could account for only about half the men committed to Korea: 8,660 of 15,965. More than 2,400 men - including Bill Dean - were missing, and most of them were dead.

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The toll on senior commanders had been heavy: three regimental commanders (Martin killed; Meloy wounded and evacuated; Lovless sacked), one regimental exec (Chandler, wounded and evacuated),

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two regimental S3s (Dunn severely wounded and captured; McDaniel captured and to be murdered),

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five battalion commanders (Cliff Jensen and Otho Winstead killed; Newton Lantron captured; Delbert Pryor and David Smith medically evacuated),

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and numerous other field grade officers dead, wounded, missing, or sacked. One FAB commander (Dawson) had been temporarily evacuated as a NBC; another (Dressler) had been killed.[5-75]

By all rights the 24th had well earned a ticket home, or at least back to Japan, for extensive rest and recuperation (R and R), re-manning, refitting, and retraining. But MacArthur and Walker, irrevocably committed to their fantastical strategy, could not afford that humanity. What was left of the 24th was desperately needed to hold the shrinking American perimeter.

The 24th would be re-manned, refitted, and recommitted on the spot. Perhaps then believing Bill Dean would reappear at any hour to resume his duties, on July 22 Johnnie Walker gave command of the 24th to the frail, sickly, fifty-eight-year-old John Church, who since the arrival of the Eighth Army headquarters at Taegu and the deactivation of ADCOM no longer had a job.

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The decisive victory of the NKPA at Taejŏn with its heavy American casualties caused deep consternation and a drastic change of plans at GHQ, Tokyo.

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For the second time GHQ was compelled to postpone the Inch'ŏn amphibious landing. The 2nd Infantry Division and the Marine RCT then under orders to carry it out were diverted, as the 1st Cav had been earlier, to land at Pusan to reinforce the 24th, 25th, and 1st Cav divisions. But MacArthur, still believing an early Inch'ŏn landing was the key to victory, did not abandon the concept. He laid new plans to carry it out with other forces.[5-76]

[note]


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Horton White's 24th Infantry - fresh from the 3/24's victory at Yech'ŏn - was deployed on the right of the Wolfhounds at Walter Preston's steady 159th FAB. By that time White had delegated substantial tactical responsibility to his capable new exec, Paul Roberts. On July 22 the 2/24, commanded by Horace E. Donaho, was ordered to patrol to the northwest of Sangju.

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It would maneuver with elements of the ROK 17th Infantry Regiment, now being advised by KMAG officer Joe Darrigo. The Army historian wrote that the 2/24's leading companies, E and F, were ambushed by NKPA and thereafter

"began withdrawing in a disorderly manner."

When Horton White hurried forward, the historian wrote,

"he found the battalion coming back down the road in disorder and most of the men in a state of panic: He finally got the men under control."[6-56]

The Army historian went on:

"The tendency to panic continued in nearly all the 24th Infantry operations west of Some black officers who were present during the July combat at One who did so was the commander of F Company, Roger S. Walden, then twenty-eight. A pioneer black paratrooper and an alumnus of the Triple Nickles, Walden had joined the 24th Infantry earlier in the year, rising to command A Company of the 1/24 before the war broke out, after which he was assigned to command F Company. He remembered:

"On the attack to the northwest from Sangju we had been assigned a line of departure (LOD). We headed up the road in a column of companies, E Company in the lead. Long before reaching the LOD E Company ran into an enemy roadblock. The men held up for thirty to forty minutes and the rest of the companies deployed to either side of the road to await developments. Shortly thereafter we were withdrawn to the rear, not in a state of panic - there was no panic whatsoever - to carry out a new task."[6-58]

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The 24th Infantry suffered 323 battle casualties (27 killed; 293 wounded) at Sangju, To the contrary.* Whether true or not, word began to spread through the white Army that the 24th was not dependable, that the blacks were cowardly and would not fight. In the words of black paratrooper Bradley Biggs, the 24th was summarily "lynched" then - and later in the Army's official history.

In defense Biggs and other able men in the outfit - Bussey, Carlisle, Walden - would charge that the failures in the 24th then and later were no worse than those in the white regiments and furthermore that most of the failures were due to the high turnover, incompetence, and racism of the white leaders in the 24th, "none of whom wanted to serve in the outfit in the first place," as Walden put it, and who regarded an assignment to the 24th as the "kiss of death" for their careers.[6-59]

*The black commander of A Company, Leon A. Gilbert, was court-martialed (under Article of War 75) for deserting his position and refusing a direct order to engage the enemy. Found guilty, Gilbert was sentenced to death, but President Truman commuted the sentence to twenty years of hard labor. These charges and countercharges would echo down through the years. Inasmuch as no historian has undertaken a dispassionate and objective study of the 24th Infantry in Korea, it is difficult to assess the pros and cons. However, even a cursory examination of the charges by the blacks who were present leads to the conclusion that the Army's official account is thinly researched, canted, insensitive, and utterly unreliable as "black history."

[note]

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The right (or north) sector of the 25th Division was occupied by Hank Fishers's 35th Infantry. Owing to the temporary detachment of Teeters's 1/35 to guard P'ohang [on 7/13] for the 1st Cav landing, Fisher at first had merely one battalion: Wilkin's 2/35, supported by artillery and a platoon of five light tanks. The division ADC, Vennard Wilson, who was designated tactical commander in this sector, further weakened Fisher's position by drawing off one company (F) to backstop the ROK forces in Fisher's right flank.[6-6o]

The NKPA 1st Division began probing attacks in Fisher's sector on July 22. Under growing pressure, the ROKs on his right broke and fled, leaving Wilkin's green F Company alone and exposed. The NKPA infantry flanked F Company and brought it under fire from the rear, causing panic and a BUGOUT. Most of the Americans escaped, but some were lost trying to get across a stream swollen by the incessant rain. In what the Army historian described as a "fiasco," F Company was thoroughly disorganized and sustained heavy casualties.[6-61]

[note]

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The hundreds of men of the 34th Regiment and McGrail's 2/19 who were cut off or trapped in Taejŏn and withdrew or escaped to the hills southward all had hair-raising adventures as well. Many senior officers, including Ayres, McGrail, and Jack Smith, made it out, but others did not.

Ayres's 1/34 exec, Leland Dunham, was shot in the neck and killed on the Kŭmsan road. The 34th's new S3, William McDaniel, was captured and probably murdered in captivity for his defiance to torture and brainwashing.[5-70]

Probably the largest 34th Regiment group was led out by the 1/34 platoon leader William Caldwell and the 1/34 S3, Sidney M. Marks, a tough World War II paratrooper.

Caldwell remembered:

"The first battalion was decimated. I ended up on the high ground south of Taejŏn with Marks and three other officers and about two hundred men, many of them wounded. We had no maps, no communications, no ammo, except that on our backs, no food, no water, no vehicles. We headed south, then west, moving rather ponderously because of the injured and wounded. On the third day without food, men went into the fields and dug up potatoes and vegetables and ate them raw, a distressing sight.

"On the third or fourth night Marks and I, who were in superb condition, were elected to go ahead of the main party and try to find friendly forces and get help - transportation. We finally managed to reach a ROK headquarters, where we were refused help until Marks threatened to create an `international incident.'
The ROKs relinquished three trucks, and we shuttled the men to the ROK headquarters. The ROKs would do nothing more for us, nor would the [5-American] Army command in Pusan, which we raised by landline. We then commandeered a train and went due south to Yŏsu, on the coast, cooking our first edible food - eggs - in the engine boiler and washing them down with sips of sake and beer, the first purified liquid we'd had since Taejŏn. At Yŏsu we commandeered a boat, loaded our troops, and sailed for Pusan, where we were issued new gear and sent back into the line - every soldier in that group now a fighter."[5-71]

[note]

US Air Force

 

0800 hours General Stearley reported in at my office. He and Mrs. Stearley had arrived at 0630 hours at Haneda and will be our guests at Mayeda House. He is to be CG of Twentieth Air Force.


General Partridge called and requested information from us as to when Marine aviation will arrive, if they will occupy Itami, under whose control they will be, and what their job will be when not supporting Marine brigade.[141-Marine Air Group (MAG) 33, part of the 1st Marine Air Wing, began arriving at Itami (at Osaka) on August 1. The squadrons of the group would support the ground troops of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, which landed at Pusan on August 2. Two of MAG-33's squadrons, VMF-214 and VMF-323, spent little time at Itami, instead going aboard the escort carriers Sicily and Badoeng Strait a few days later for operations. A third squadron, VMF(N)-513, was based at Itazuke. Its night-fighter Corsairs came under 5AF control for night heckler operations over Korea. (Lynn Montross and Capt. Nicholas A. Canzona, USMC, The Pusan Perimeter [U.S. Marine Operations in Korea, 1950-1953] [Washington, 1954], pp 89-90.)]


Instructed VC for Ops to get an answer to Partridge before midnight tonite. Partridge also protested about the Navy reserving air space of 100 miles in diame- ter re the recent landing of the 1st Cav[alry] Div[ision]. He was not permitted to fly thru the area to support the battlefront and could not get into one of his airdromes, K-3. Told Ops we must keep out of their hair, but we are not going to let them get in our hair - and to coordinate with Navy and get situation cleaned up as all that is necessary is to inform FEAF commanders where Navy is operating - and when.


This week's Newsweek out with my likeness on the cover. Also contains profiles on Partridge, Timberlake and myself.


O'Donnell called; suggested placing Colonel Wiley D. Ganey, his operations [officer] in FEAF for a 7 to 10 day liaison tour. Accepted his offer with alacrity.


Sent a radio to Nugent requesting the services of a Colonel James Ferguson,[142-Col Ferguson led the 405th FG in World War II. Following the war, he was on the Air University faculty and Chief of Staff of the American Mission in Turkey. From June 1950-June 1951, he was assistant to the Vice Commander, FEAF, and later, Assistant Deputy for Operations, FEAF.] for indefinite TDY with this headquarters. Weyland concurred.

Attended 1030 ops session in GHQ.


Received General MacArthur's memorandum in reply to my "first phase interim Air Operations Release"ť upon which he stated that he disapproved the type of release that I had recommended but that he had no objection whatever to Air Force communiqués being put out and that he read same daily and thought them informative. I turned this paper over to PIO for necessary action. CINCFE told me again that I could write to my commanders and tell them that he was pleased beyond all expectations with the operations to date and that Air Force had performed magnificently. I directed my PIO, Colonel Nuckols, to get the draft letter that I had given him and to revamp it if he so desired and get it up to me for signature.


After the ops session yesterday, General MacArthur approved my recommendation for a top target selection group consisting of Hickey, Willoughby, Weyland, and a Navy designate.[143-

This group was the outcome of an attempt by MacArthur’s headquarters to establish some kind of target selection and priority. Initially, a GHQ Target Group (consisting of an officer from the G-2 section, one from G-3, and an Air Force member and a Navy member from the Joint Strategic Plans and Operations Group, all working part-time on this project) recommended the targets and what needed to be done to ensure the coordinated use of the available air power. It also analyzed the target systems and the priorities assigned, and advised on how to use FEAF and Navy aircraft on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, the target group attempted to control target selection too closely, leaving FEAF and 5AF out of the decision making process.


The GHQ Target Group was unable to perform its duties as had been planned (numerous mistakes in target selection being one problem area), and Stratemeyer requested on July 21 that a senior officer GHQ target selection committee be established. Based on information from the GHQ Target Group and the FEAF Target Section, this high-level committee would present its target recommendations to General MacArthur.
Admiral Joy would not name a member to the committee, stating that the Seventh Fleet’s primary mission was the defense of Formosa and that in light of this, any decision to employ its aircraft in Korea really rested with
MacArthur. Nevertheless, he said that Navy aircraft would continue to be used in Korea for general or close support strikes under FEAF’s coordination control.


This senior committee lasted little more than six weeks. When it became obvious that most of the information on targets was coming from FEAF, a FEAF Formal Target Committee was established. This group soon became the de facto theater agency for target selection. (Futrell, pp 50-55; Hist, FEAF, 25 Jun-31 Dec 50, pp 9-10, 49.)]

[note]

 

CINCFE still pointed out that there would be times when some front line missions would be desired and asked me if 72 hours would be ample advance notice. I told him that I didn't need that long, but I must have 48 hours notice and those were the instructions he gave to General Almond.


The Stearleys had lunch and dinner with us and remained overnight; they depart for Okinawa 0900 hours, 23 July, from Haneda.


General Dean is officially listed as "missing in action."ť

Weather unfavorable; results of bombings unobserved.

Korean_War

During July and August the 374th Wing lifted 30,027 passengers and 22,073.4 tons of freight from Ashiya and Tachikawa. Arrival of additional aircraft facilitated some expansion of transport operations, while improved airfields in Korea permitted use of heavier aircraft.

Four C-119 's, for example, were assigned to the 374th Wing on 22 July, and were able to land in Korea with a load of trucks. In addition, on 26 August the 374th Wing received two new provisional squadrons, the 46th and 47th, each with 29 C-46 aircraft.

[note]

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

Korean_War

By 16 July 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.

Korean_War

That same day, on the southwestern front, the 24th Division was forced out of Chinju.

[note]

Korean_War

Following the clarification of target selection and the appointment of a GHQ Target Selection Committee on 22 July, FEAF was quick to press for a settlement upon a proper interdiction program. [Remember they still could not hit anything now thru the next month]

[note]

Korean_War

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 ad 24th? then 25, 26 and 27th]

[note]



10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. 17, 18.,19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

Korean_War

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]

Korean_War

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

13-16=3 days, 22-30=8 days

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

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

[note]

Korean_War

At a conference with Stratemeyer on 22 July General MacArthur approved the creation of a FEC Target Selection Committee, and he further agreed that the first duty of the new committee would be to devise a sound interdiction program which would sever the flow of reinforcements and supplies to the Communist forces in South Korea. Generals Hickey, Willoughby, and Weyland were named members of the committee, and Admiral Joy was asked to designate a Navy member.#59

#50
Stratemeyer diary, 22 July 1950;

Weyland journal, 22 July 1950. .

19500723 1536 05202usafik0

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Admiral Joy, however, did not care to name a member to the committee. He explained that the Seventh Fleet would perform "hit-and-run" general and close air-support strikes in Korea under FEAF's coordination control, but the Seventh Fleet's primary mission was to defend Formosa.

Any decision to commit the Seventh Fleet's air-striking power to Korea was a matter which had to be carefully considered in the light of hostile threats to Formosa, and Admiral Joy thought that General MacArthur should make these decisions personally.#60

#60 Msg. ComNavFE to CINCFE, 230736Z July 1950 1536K

[note]

Korean_War

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. #1o1

[note]

But as July progressed General Partridge's air-facilities planning went completely awry. Prospective airfield sites at P'yŏngt'aek, Taejŏn', and Kunsan were lost to the North Koreans. Both General Stratemeyer and General Partridge had expressed the expectation that the airfield at Pusan (K-1) could soon be prepared to support a tactical air group, but an on-the-spot survey made by General Timberlake and Lt. Col. William S. Shoemaker, the staff engineer of Advance Headquarters, revealed that Pusan could not be immediately improved.

Korean_War

Colonel Shoemaker accordingly established a detachment which would keep Pusan's airstrip sufficiently patched to permit light transport and emergency landings, and General Timberlake had diverted Company A of the 802nd Engineer Battalion to undertake an improvement project at Pohang Airfield (K-3), on the southeast coast of Korea. #142

Korean_War Korean_War

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

Korean_War

Acquainted with the emergency, the Department of Army issued orders to prevent such an exodus, but these orders left the 822nd with a serious morale problem.

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

By noon on 13 July the 822nd loaded the majority of its personnel aboard a Baltic Coastal steamship, and the last of three smaller vessels which carried equipment sailed from Okinawa on 22July. On 16 July the first company of the 822nd unloaded at Pusan, and on 30 July the last of the battalion moved northward by train from the South Korean port. At Taegu the 822nd commander had received instructions to repair the existing sod-and-gravel runway so that it could handle "moderate traffic for a minimum time," this without halting air operations.

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

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

[note]

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Early in August, when Fifth Air Force Mustang squadrons were retreating to Japan, elements of the 1st Marine Air Wing became combat ready in the Far East.

Beginning of 22 July, the 1st Marine Air Wing's advanced echelon-actually Marine Aircraft Group 33, led by Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Cushman-established a base of operations at Itami.

The doctrine and organization for air support practiced by the Marine Corps were designed to support an amphibious mission. Since Marine infantry troops were put ashore by small amphibious craft and could not expect much support in the way of organic artillery, Marine aviation was expected to make up deficiencies of organic artillery.

Each Marine infantry division could normally expect the support of a Marine air wing, the latter being a small tactical air force with its own ground-control intercept and tactical air-control squadrons, as well as combat aviation.

Since the Marines utilized air support as a substitute for artillery, air observers accompanied each infantry battalion. To insure an air strike within five to ten minutes against enemy targets in close proximity to the front lines, the Marine air units kept aircraft orbiting on station over the ground Marines.#23

#23
ORO-R-3 (fec), Preliminary Evaluation of Close Air-Support Operations in Korea, 1 Feb.1951, pp. 13-65.
Pusan Perimeter 121

According to the organization of the Marine Corps, the 1st Marine Air Wing was the air component of the 1st Marine Division, and, by the same arrangement, Marine Aircraft Group 33 was an integral part of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade. In Korea, however, the Marine infantry units would for the most part fight in the Eighth Army's battleline, with the result that the Marine air units had to be subjected to some form of coordination control from the Fifth Air Force.

"At such time as the Marine Wing may be committed to shore-based operations in Korea," stated General Stratemeyer on 22 July, "it will operate under the control of the Commanding General, Fifth Air Force, except as may be directed for special operations. "#24

#24
Msg. AX-3101, CG FEAF to CG FAFIK, 22 July 1950.


[in effect he is sending himself love notes]

Korean_War

One of the Marine squadrons-VMF (N)-513-was a night-fighter unit, equipped with F4U-5N all-weather Corsairs.

This squadron joined the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Itazuke Air Base and began to fly night-intruder attacks under the coordination control of the Fifth Air Force.

The Fifth Air Force assigned missions to this Marine squadron in its daily operations orders, and at the conclusion of their missions the Marine pilots were interrogated and their mission reports were forwarded to Fifth Air Force.#25

#25
TAPE interview with Maj. James D. Patton, n.d.

[note]

Korean_War

"I would say that in a long-term war," stated General Weyland, "tactical airpower will contribute more to the success of the ground forces and to the over-all mission of a theater commander through a well-planned interdiction campaign than by any other mission short of the attainment of air supremacy. "#41


As a generic term used by the Air Force, "interdiction" means any air action which prevents, or delays, or destroys enemy movements of men and supplies to the zone of a ground battle. In order to achieve desired results, any air-interdiction campaign must be well planned as to its objectives and persistently sustained in its execution. Such operations always achieve their maximum success when the enemy is closely engaged by friendly ground troops and forced to use up his supplies in active ground combat at the same time as air attacks in his rear deny him needed resupply and replacements of combat casualties.



"Had our available tactical airpower and medium bombardment effort been initially placed upon a well-planned interdiction program," said General Weyland, "I believe the over-all mission would have been advanced appreciably." #42



Sporadic air-interdiction efforts during July had undoubtedly delayed the Communists, but during the time in which FEAF aircraft were required to center their attacks in the immediate battle area Communist logisticians had benefited from virtually unimpeded movement north of Sŏul. Visual air-reconnaissance reports disclosed heavy southbound rail traffic on the east-coast transportation routes. From Ch'ŏngjin southward to Hungnam all marshaling yards and rail sidings were loaded with rolling stock. See Ch'ŏngjin to Hungnam

Air reconnaissance also revealed that the Reds had repaired the rail routes between Sinuiju and Sŏul and between Sŏul and Wŏnsan.

see Sinuiju and Sŏul and Wŏnsan

Reconnaissance photography taken on 22 July at Sŏul revealed that the Reds had floored half of the double-track west railway bridge across the Han and were using it to serve both vehicular and rail traffic.

The Reds had also thrown a pontoon bridge across the Han, immediately downstream from the old highway bridge. The Reds used this pontoon bridge only at night; during daylight hours it was broken up and concealed somewhere along the Han's banks.

The North Koreans appeared to be trucking most of their supplies southward from Sŏul, but there were reports that they were running one train a night between Sŏul and Ch'ŏnui.

All of these activities indicated that the North Korean army possessed a highly competent modern staff organization which was directing its logistical resources toward carefully planned objectives.

While FEAF had been supporting the Eighth Army, Red logisticians had established a capability

"to move supplies and personnel over comparatively long distances by rail to within a very short distance of the front lines." #43

[note]

30

July 5

July 16

July 22

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

One North Korean pilot, shot down over Anyang on 29 June, confirmed this estimate of Communist war-plan assumptions. "Soviet advisors have ordered us to bomb South Korea," said this North Korean pilot, "because they know for sure the South Koreans have very few planes and only small ones."#83

#83 Msg. A-017, ADCOM to CINCFE, 30 June 1950.

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

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

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

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

[note]

Korean_War

The newest developments in air rescue were taking place in the immediate area of the ground fighting in South Korea. On 7 July 1950 the 3rd Squadron sent two L-5 aircrews and aircraft to Korea. Called Mercy Mission No. 1, the L-5 pilots attempted several pickups without much luck, for the little liaison planes could not operate from the rice paddy lands of Korea.

Korean_War

On 22 July, however, the rescue flight at Ashiya sent an H-5 helicopter detachment to Taegu, which soon attracted General Partridge's notice. In a few days, moreover, the Eighth Army's surgeon called on the helicopters to help him evacuate critically wounded soldiers from front-line aid stations to the 8076th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital at Miryang and the 8054th Hospital in Pusan. The helicopter could operate in the mountainous and rice-paddy terrain where the liaison planes could not function.

Early in August 1950 General Partridge accordingly directed the 3rd Squadron to station six of its nine helicopters in Korea, and General Stratemeyer asked USAF to give him 25 H-5's to be used by a special evacuation and utility squadron. By stripping other commands, USAF started 14 H-5's to the Far East, but it ruled that the 3rd Squadron would continue to handle the mercy missions.

[note]

US Marine Corps

Korean_War

By next morning, when the tent camp area had become a sea of newly risen canvas, the news was even better, Smith told Puller:

“The commandant is hand-picking your team, Lewie. He’s sending you two thousand post and station men. There’ll be almost no Reserves in the First Marines.”

As they streamed in, Puller found that more than 90 percent of the officers and about 80 percent of the enlisted men from the post and stations were veterans of World War II. When the trainloads of regulars from Lejeune came in they had the look of well-drilled youngsters in fighting trim, though most were postwar recruits. Puller and a small staff fed the new arrivals into tents and made up outfits with a mixture of regulars and those from scattered posts.

There was little chance to improve the raw material he was given and Puller fought a losing battle for equipment. Strangely, dog tags were the hardest item to find in the rush to prepare for shipping to Korea and the men wore no identification until they reached Japan. Most training was limited to the rifle range.

The three-battalion commanders who had come from Camp Lejeune reported their weapons were fair --- but no new ones had been issued as they left camp.

“We’ll see, ”Puller said. “I’ll meet you on the range in the morning at daybreak.”

The rifles and automatic weapons were in poor condition and marksmanship with them was impossible. With the aid of an expert gunner, Puller checked every weapon in the regiment and discarded 67 percent of all rifles as unfit for use. New ones hurried down from the supply base at Barstow, in allegedly perfect condition, were also poor and Puller ordered 37 percent of these surveyed out.

Puller wasted little time cursing the civilians who had stored these weapons at the end of World War II, supposedly in condition for use in the next emergency:

“Hell, they didn’t even take the trouble to separate the broken ones from the good ones and jammed ‘em all into cosmoline without looking at them. What a way to run a country!”

Somehow, almost every man was supplied with a good weapon and fired twenty-five rounds with it under Puller’s eye. The commander spent most of his waking hours on the range, driving to see that firepower was provided, and that it would be accurate.

He was not long in making himself know to the rank and file, thought he moved unobtrusively. Lieutenant George Chambers, a veteran platoon leader in B Company of the First Battalion, noted that Puller habitually wore old utilities as he worked and that passing privates thought he was only a gunnery sergeant: “Hi Gunny!” Puller only grinned and waved; other colonels might have put the men under arrest for less.

Lieutenant Lew Devine, a rifle platoon commander in F Company, was just out of Annapolis when he reported to Pendleton, nattily uniformed and sternly military. Devine reported in an old Quonset hut shed. As he talked with the captain on duty he noticed a man seated on the floor, chewing on a pipe. The collar of his utilities was turned up and the lieutenant could see no insignia.

“I tried to brush him off when he spoke to me,” Devine said. “I thought maybe he was some old character hanging on, the way he was telling the Captain how we’d kick hell out of the North Koreans when we got there. I thought maybe he was even someone they had to sweep up. I gave him a sharp reply about something, but he took no offense. Fortunately, he turned his head and I saw the eagles on his collar and I knew who he was in a flash. I had heard hundreds of tales about Puller, and he was a legend to me long before, in World War II.
“His greatest touch was his earthiness, his ability to make the men feel he was one of them. They’d literally have gone off to Moscow with him.”

The same appeal to the troops brought Puller one of the most faithful and capable companions of his career --- Sergeant Orville Jones.

Jones was an Okinawa veteran of World War II, a big, slow-moving blond from Bremen, Indiana, who had been an unlicensed driver of steel trucks in the Midwest throughout his teens; he had torn down and reassembled his first old Ford at fifteen. He was a nine-year man in the Corps when he met Puller.

A quartermaster man searched the camp for a man of combat experience as Puller’s driver --- but he must be a man that could read and make maps, and could judge distances. Jones resisted: “

Tell him you couldn’t find a soul in this regiment. I know that old man from what they said in the war. You go with him and you’ll get killed off. He likes to go right on up there.”

That night Jones went to the improvised beer hall in his area and stood in the long line waiting to be served. He also caught his first glimpse of Puller inn the flesh. The Colonel entered and sat at the bar.

“Who’s in charge here?” he asked. A corporal indicated a lieutenant, who thrust his head through the door: “Last night you ran out of beer, Lieutenant?”

“Yes, sir. I’m afraid we did.”

“And what you served was warm?”

“Yes, sir.”

“It won’t happen again, Lieutenant. You understand me?”

“I sure do, sir.”

“Maybe you don’t. These boys are going to war, and some of them won’t be coming back. They’re working like hell all day and half the night to get ready, most of ‘em at least sixteen hours straight. What they do with their off hours is their own business, and if they want a couple of beers, Lieutenant, they’re going to get ‘em.”

[note]

Korean_War

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.

Korean_War

Two days later the 24th Division, now commanded by Church, was relieved south of Taejŏn by Major General Hobart R. Gay’s 1st Cavalry (dismounted) Division, which had landed at P'ohang-dong on the 18th.

Korean_War

And on 26 July the separate 29th Infantry RCT disembarked at Chŏnju on the south coast after a voyage from Okinawa.

[note]

As previously noted, the Pentagon on 22 July approved the Marine Corps’ plan Able which provided for the expansion of the Brigade to war strength.

Korean_War Korean_War Korean_War

General Cates immediately set machinery in motion to bolster the ranks of that unit.

With the approval of Admiral Sherman, he cut into the rosters of Marine security detachments throughout the United States and arranged for the personnel thus released to be channeled to Craig’s command.

It was also possible now to implement an earlier plan relating to casualty replacements for the Brigade.

[note]

Korean_War Korean_War

On 22 July the gears of mobilization were already enmeshed. Taking this into account along with the urgency of MacArthur’s last communication, the Joint Chiefs showed the first signs of relenting in their reply to Tokyo.

Korean_War

This time they informed the Army general that they were reconsidering his problem, but added that he must advise them of the proposed employment of the Brigade up to 10 September and the possibility of adjusting that deadline.

The same message carried the encouraging news that a directive had already been issued to bring both the Brigade and its air group to full war strength.[13]

In answer, MacArthur stated his intention to retain the Brigade in Japan, unless a more critical situation developed in Korea prior to 10 September. He described his operation planned for mid-September as an amphibious landing in the rear of the enemy’s lines.

Korean_War

This seaborne attack, he added, would be designed to envelop and destroy the Communist invader in conjunction with an offensive from the south by the Eighth Army.

The General concluded his message on notes of conditional optimism and grave warning:

“Although exact date of D-day is partially dependent upon enemy reaction during month of August, I am convinced that an early and strong effort behind his front will sever his main lines of communications and enable us to deliver a decisive and crushing blow. Any material delay in such an operation may lose this opportunity. The alternative is a frontal attack which can only result in a protracted and expensive campaign to slowly drive the enemy north of the 38th parallel.”[14]

[note]

Korean_War and CinCPacFltKorean_War

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

Korean_War

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]

Korean_War

The Marine general’s statement was one of the main factors in causing the Joint Chiefs to advise MacArthur on the 22nd that they were reconsidering their stand.

During the next 48 hours, as dispatches sped back and forth across the Pacific, a compromise was reached.

CinCFE was promised his Marine division in time for his target date—but it was to be a division minus one RCT. In other words, the infantry regiment of the Brigade would be supplemented by another RCT and supporting troops with appropriate Marine air.

But the Joint Chiefs were adamant in their decision that MacArthur must wait until autumn or even winter for his third RCT.

These preliminaries cleared the way so that General MacArthur’s request was finally approved by JCS on 25 July, the day when General Smith took over command of the 1st Marine Division. The Marine Corps was directed to build the division (less one RCT) up to full war strength, and a date of departure of 10–15 August for the Far East was set.

1st Marines, 5th Marines and the 11th Marines, with the 7th Marines to come-on later.

[note]

22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 3, 4

Korean_War

Meanwhile, orders to Organized Reserve units were being issued at established intervals.
On 22 July, 25 units were ordered to active duty;
on 24 July, 23 units;
on 25 July, 18 units;
on 26 July, 13 units;
on 27 July, 6 units;
on 3-August, 5 units; and
on 4 August, 25 units.

Mobilization of the Organized Reserve(Ground)

[note]

19, 20, 21, 22

Korean_War


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]

Korean_War

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]

Korean_War


The following information is essential to an understanding of Marine Corps delay policies, was taken from the administrative instructions of 22 July 1950:


(4) BASIC POLICIES FOR DEFERMENT OF INDIVIDUALS OF ORGANIZED RESERVE UNITS :
(a) Inspector-Instructors will, preceding actual assignment to active duty, interview each Reservist initiating deferment request in writing. Strict application of the below criteria will be applied to any reservist 35 years of age or under; liberal application of the below criteria will be applied to reservists 36 years of age and above.
(1) This interview will determine status of individuals in the following categories:
(a) If the individual is employed by a firm principally engaged in production of obviously un-essential products or services to the national security.
(b) If the individual is employed in a critical industry (considering present status of utilization of industry for national security) or in the field of scientific research important to national security.
(c) and operator of a business If the individual is sole owner -establishment.
(d) If the individual is pursuing education in the fields of scientific research, medicine, or dentistry and has satisfactorily completed under-graduate work.
(e) If the individual is enrolled in an educational institution and has one semester or less to complete for a diploma or degree. (High School or College)
(f) If the individual is employed in civilian status in another service or Department of Defense.
(g) If the individual is a member of the Platoon Leaders Class in good standing and has satisfactorily completed either the Junior or Senior course of summer training or is now participating in such training.


( b) The Inspector-Instructor will not defer anyone in category

(a) above.
(c) The Inspector-Instructor may defer from call to active duty, awaiting instructions of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, individuals in category (b) under the following conditions:
(1) The individual's employer certifies in writing
(a) That the individual occupies a key position that cannot be sustained by an. alternative, such as, job breakdown or simplification or modification of production process.
(b) That the employer includes a justification to the Inspector-Instructor's satisfaction why the above cannot be accomplished.
(d) The Inspector-Instructor may defer from call to active duty awaiting instructions of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, individuals in category (c) under the following conditions:
(1) If the individual proves to the Inspector-Instructor that without a doubt his business or establishment cannot operate in his absence without additional time to make necessary arrangements.
(e) The Inspector-Instructor may defer from call to active duty, awaiting instructions of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, individuals in categories (d) and (e) under the following conditions:
(1) That the individual obtain a written letter from the institution in which he is matriculating stating that he is in good standing and meets the requirements established for these categories.
(f) In case of category (f) the Inspector-Instructor will contact the Commanding Officer of the facility or establishment and have the Commanding Officer certify that the individual occupies a key position that cannot be sustained by alternatives, such a s job break-down or simplification or modification of production process,
(g) The Inspector-Instructor will defer those individuals in category (g).
(h) Urgency of civilian work being performed by the Reservist will be weighed in urgency of military job to be performed by the Reservist.
(i) The Inspect or-Instructor will mail via Air Mail all requests and supporting correspondence for deferment direct to Headquarters, Marine Corps CODE DA for final decision and disposition.
(j) All persons deferred for a specific period or awaiting deferment action by the Commandant of the Marine Corps will be transferred to Class II from the unit to the appropriate District Headquarters prior to departure of the unit for the station of initial deployment.


Subsequently, however, the Secretary of Defense directed that a committee be convened to evolve a delay policy for implementation of all the Armed Services, This committee was convened in the last week of July. As an indication of how well adapted the Marine Corps plan was to the exigencies of the reserve mobilization, it is pertinent to note that the Marine Corps policy was adopted in too-too except for minor modifications. On 1 August, the Department of Defense promulgated its delay policy, the most relevant portions of which are set forth here:


CRITERIA FOR DELAY IN CALL TO ACTIVE DUTY


1. Members of the Civilian Components employed or engaged in critical civilian occupations or essential activities and who are needed for immediate utilization the military services. Such members will be considered for delay in call to active duty only if the following criteria are met.
(1) The member is principally engaged or employed in a civilian occupation appearing on the Department of Labor List of Critical Occupations; and in a highly essential activity necessary to the national health, safety, or interest as defined in the Department of Commerce List of Essential Actives; or
(2) The member is otherwise engaged or employed in a key position in a highly essential activity necessary to the national health, safety, or interest as defined in the Department of Commerce List of Essential Activities.
(3) It is established after careful consideration of the member's or his employer's written request that the member in fact complies with the criteria of 1 or 2 above, and that there are unique circumstances surrounding the member's employment or work which give him essential knowledge or experience not possessed by any available replacement possessing the same skill.


2. Members of the Civilian Components Occupying Critical Key Managerial, Jobs,
The following applies only in the case of a member occupying a critical key managerial position not otherwise accounted for in the Department of Labor List of Critical Occupations. Such member may be authorized delay in call to active duty by the military department concerned only if all the following criteria are met:
a. The member's call to active duty would cause material loss in production, services, or research necessary to the national health, safety or interest.
b. Written representation is submitted giving specific justification for delay in call to active duty.


page 55

c. The urgency of the civilian work outweighs the need of the armed forces for his services.
d. Request for delay in call to active duty of men under 26 years of age will be considered only in exceptional cases.
3. Members of Civilian Components enrolled, in educational institutions or engaged in research and scientific activities.


Call to active duty of a member enrolled in an educational institution may be delayed until completion of the school term in which the member is then registered. A member pursuing a professional graduate course or engaged in research in a technical or scientific field of primary interest to the Department of Defense should be granted delay in call to active duty. Such delay will be based upon the merits of the individual case.
The Department of Defense, however, did furnish three important documents, which proved of inestimable value in the execution of delay policy. These were the Memorandum on Mobilization Assignments of Key Civilian Personnel within the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce List of Essential Activities, and the Department of Labor List of Critical Occupations, which provided delay standards and lists of occupations deemed essential to the civilian defense effort. ,

[note]

Korean_War

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]

Korean_War

Initial Problems Encountered in Execution of Delay Policy

In the execution of the Marine Corps policy instructions issued on 22 July, the most immediate and emphatic public reaction was concerned with the calling to active duty of those Organized Reservists with more than one semester to complete for their diplomas or degrees. Since the majority. of the reservists in this category were high school students, and, for the most part under 18 years of age, an understandable protest was engendered by the parents and friends of these Marines.

The typical protest read as follows:

My son, Private John Doe, USMCR, is a member of an Organized Marine Corps Reserve unit ordered to active duty. He is 17 years old and has two semesters to complete before he receives his high school diploma. To interrupt my son's education now would probably mean that he will never complete his high school education. When I gave my consent to his enlistment, I understood that he would not be called to active duty without his consent. Therefore, I protest the singling out of these young boys who have not completed their secondary school education. to do the work of trained and mature men.


page 56

In response to such correspondence, the Marine Corps, fully cognizant of anxieties and sacrifices. inherent in the mobilization of Reserve components, could reply only that:

1. Membership in the Organized Reserve, from the cessation of World War II hostilities to 19 July, was .purely voluntary and any reservist's request for discharge during that period was honored.

2. Those reservists over the age of 17 years, but less than 18, were enlisted with the consent of their parents or guardians and that, if the enlistment contract of a reservist falling in this age group was signed with-out parental consent, a discharge for the Marines concerned could be, (or could have been) effected, provided that the discharge is (or was) requested within 90 days after the date of enlistment.

3. Marine reservists. ordered to extend active duty were afforded the opportunity to complete their high school studies through correspondence courses offered by the Marine Corps Institute and the United States Armed Forces Institute. [USAFI]

4. It has been and always will be insofar as practicable, the policy of the Commandant of the Marine corps not to send Marines into combat until they have received proper training.

Usually unstated, but equally pertinent to the issue raised by the rapid and widely inclusive character of the mobilization, were other important, indeed vital, considerations. The most prominent of these were:-

1. The pay, cost of training, and benefits of 17year old reservists were the same as those of older Marines of the same military background.

2. Experience has proved that young Marines, after proper training, make excellent combat troops. To deprive the Marine Corps of this source of personnel, already trained or partially trained, would have meant a marked reduction in the availability of reservists, the breaching of the established mission of the Organized Reserve; and the jeopardizing of the Marine Corps capacity to carryout promptly its assigned and projected commitments.

3. The formulation of Marine Corps personnel policies is circumscribed by, and functions in conformance with, the policies laid down by the Defense Department. It is only within narrow limits, and with the approval of the Secretary of the Navy, that the Marine Corps may initiate a policy that is unique within the Military Establishment.

The relevant provisions of the Secretary of Defense policy relating to members of the reserve states that "Call to active duty of a member enrolled in an educational institution be delayed until the completion of the school term in which the member is then registered" and "Requests for delay in call to active duty of men under 26 years of age will be considered only in exceptional cases."

The Marine Corps, however, in its implementation of this policy, went a step further, limiting delay for student reservists to those with one semester or less to complete for their diplomas or degrees. Included in this provision were added reservists that still had a semester to complete for their diplomas or degrees but not yet enrolled for the fall semester. On the other hand, the other Armed Forces in adapting the Defense Department delay policy to their needs were able to adopt a more lenient interpretation. The, Air Force authorized delay for all registered student reservists who desired delay; the Army did not call up reservists in the 17 year old age group; and the Navy did not call to active duty pay grades E-1 and E-2, the two lowest pay grades and the ones in the comparatively high proportions of 17 year old high school reservists.

This difference in implementation made it difficult for the Marine Corps to-justify its delay policy. Inevitably, a comparison between the Marine Corps policy and that of the other Armed Forces resulted, which often crystallized into sharply expressed displeasure with the Marine Corps policy. In many cases, complaints were channeled through Congressmen; this routing evoked considerable Congressional interest.. The gist of the correspondence was that the Marine Corps delay policy was less lenient than that of the other Armed Forces. This conclusion has merit and inspires no contradiction.

The justification of Marine Corps delay policy has -at ,least equal merit considering increased commitments of the Marine Corps and the important potential contribution of 17 year old reservists to the successful fulfillment of these commitments; the Marine Corps had no reasonable alternative. In the last analysis, the choice lay between the interests of the citizen Marines, .who had knowingly obligated themselves for possible extended military service, and the interests of the nation, which are always paramount, especially in time of national peril.

It was certain that for some, the mobilization of reserve components resulted in economic dislocation, personal in-convenience, and hardship. Although the Marine Corps expected that some sacrifice would necessarily be imposed upon a portion of the reservists called to active duty, it was not the intention of the Commandant that any reservist should endure an extreme hardship if it could be avoided. Accordingly, on 28 July, which was three days prior to the reporting date of the first reservists, the Commandant authorized all Inspector-Instructors to defer from call to active duty cases involving extreme hardship and to await instructions from Marine Corps Headquarters.

[note]

US Navy

Korean_War Korean_War

18, 19, 22, 25

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

See P'ohang to Hamhung map.

[note]

Korean_War

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]

Korean_War Korean_War

At dawn on the 22nd the Air Group was launched, the ADs and F4Us as close air support for the ground forces in South Korea and the jets for targets North of Sŏul. The propeller aircraft wore unable to contact the close air support controllers on the prescribed channels and attacked secondary targets in the Sŏul area.

Morning and afternoon strikes were launched with the task force staying in an area approximately 100 miles west of the Korean coast. A four-plane F4U Combat Air Patrol plus an Anti-Submarine patrol consisting of one ADW type aircraft and one AD as investigator was maintained throughout the day.

[note]

Korean_War

1. Ensign D. R. STEPHENS, USN, 513260/1310. Killed 22 July 1950 in crash and explosion of an AD-4 near Kangnyong-ni, Korea.

2. Ensign K. E. THOMSON, USN, 496511/1310. Missing. Forced down (F4 U-4B) uninjured, from AA fire near front lines 15 miles of Posŏng 22 July. Present whereabouts unknown.

[note]

Korean_War Korean_War Korean_War Korean_War

22 July
USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116)arrived at Yokosuka, Japan, with elements MAW-1 on board. Four days later, USS Sicily (CVE-118) arrived at the same port with a load of ammunition, and on 1 August, USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) reported to Commander, Seventh Fleet in Buckner Bay, Okinawa. These were the first carrier reinforcements to arrive in the Far East and the beginning of carrier deployment to the combat area that, by the war’s end, totaled 11 attack, one light and five escort carriers sent into action — some for two or three tours.

[note]

19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29

Korean_War Korean_War

At noon on the 19th General Gay assumed command ashore. In the afternoon, with unloading completed, ships of the Attack Force shifted to heavy weather anchorages as Grace[Duration July 16 – July 21], the first typhoon of the season, was reported heading for Korea Strait.

On the 22nd Grace came up the coast, bringing gusts of 50 knots to Yŏngil Man and delaying the arrival of the second echelon of shipping. This had been scheduled to come in on the 21st, but the MSTS units reached P'ohang only on the 23rd, and the chartered Japanese freighters the next day. The LSTs of the third echelon arrived on the 26th and 29th.

For a variety of reasons, unloading of the follow-up shipping was somewhat slow.

The MSTS transports suffered from their shortages of personnel; the Japanese freighters lacked trained hatch crews and unloading gear, and the ever-present language problem complicated supervision; after two days of continuous labor the shore party was getting tired.

Nonetheless the work proceeded. On the 23rd the commanding officer of a Navy LST was directed by Admiral Doyle to take over the duties of senior officer present, and late in the evening the force commander sailed in USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7), with USS Union (AKA-106), USS JAMES E. KYES (DD-787), and USS Diachenko (APD-123), for Tokyo.

A week later it was all over, and CTF 90 was able to report the completion of operations at P'ohang and the withdrawal of all shipping from Yŏngil Man. But this report was by way of formality, for the strategic rewards of the operation had long since been apparent. On 22 July, four days after the initial landing, the 1st Cavalry Division had relieved the battered 24th Division southeast of Taejŏn.
22 June

[note]

Korean_War

In the meantime the events of the 22nd had prompted a review of the mission of the Seventh Fleet. The waste of effort consequent to the inability of his strike groups to reach the controllers had led Struble to look for more profitable employment elsewhere.

Casting his eyes northward, he proposed to ComNavFE a change of schedule which would call for two days of strikes against east coast targets from Ch'ŏngjin southward, coupled with cruiser and destroyer bombardment between 40° and 41°, and asked for detailed target information.

Korean_War

But by this time a new emergency was developing in Korea. The P'ohang landing had been successful, the main front had been reinforced, but west of the central hill mass the advance of the North Korean 6th Division had continued unopposed. The entire southwestern region had been overrun, and the invaders were moving eastward with nothing to block their path.

[note]

Korean_War

At dawn on the 22nd, from a location in the Yellow Sea northwest of Kunsan, USS Valley Forge (CV-45) launched her air group. Although his force was now down to a single carrier, Struble undertook the double mission of support of troops and attack on northern targets: the propeller-driven ADs and F4Us were sent off to the eastward to work under airborne controllers from Fifth Air Force in close support of the ground forces; the jets headed north to attack targets beyond Sŏul

The air support mission, first of the Korean War, went awry as the strike aircraft, unable to reach the controllers on the prescribed radio frequencies, resorted to attacks on secondary targets in the area of the capital

In the afternoon a second effort met with similar results, and after recovery of the strike group the force headed southward to rendezvous with USS Navasota (AO-106). By this time USS Valley Forge (CV-45) was down to a little less than a one-day supply of aviation gasoline.

[note]

At 0600 on the 21st, after a 15-minute bombardment of the town, two star shells from USS Juneau (CLAA-119) gave the signal for the attack, and by 0717 the South Koreans had overrun Yŏngdök. Firing in support of the advance continued throughout the day, and Juneau, HMS Belfast (C-35), and the destroyers expended more than 800 rounds.

In the afternoon Belfast and USS Mansfield (DD-728) retired to Sasebo while Juneau, with USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) and USS Higbee (DDR-806), continued close off Yŏngdök

On the 22nd, in preparation for further advance, 243 rounds were fired by the cruiser, but this time things went badly. The enemy counterattacked in force, the artillery observer was forced to retire, communications broke down, and weather had again grounded the spotting planes.

[note]

Little by little order emerged from chaos. By late July coordination with the British west coast element had been established and the Korean Navy was back in effective action.

Korean_War

On the 22nd YMS-513 repeated her earlier exploit by sinking three more enemy vessels off Chulp'o, and the next day YMS 301 [JMS-301] had a brush with small craft in the same area.

The tide began to turn as Admiral Sohn reached South Korea with the newly acquired submarine chasers and the ROKN helped take the steam out of the enemy's offensive push toward Pusan. On July 22nd, YMS-513 destroyed a trio of Communist supply vessels near Chulp'o.

Less than a week later, PC-702 and PC 703 caught a group of enemy sampans carrying ammunition west of Inch'ŏn and sank twelve of them.

[note]

Korean_War

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

Korean_War

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]


0000 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/21/50
9:00 AM
07/21/50
10:00 AM
07/21/50
3:00 PM
07/22/50
12:00 AM

0030 Korean Time


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25th Infantry Division Annex A (INTELLIGENCE) to Operation Order No. 8, 220030 July 1950 -- "CG 8 ROK Div has advised that persons in white clothing seen frequently on the tops of the hills adjacent to MSR's and other routes are not friendly. He advised immediate remedial action be taken to prevent this observation of friendly movement and disposition." 55
55
Annex A (Intelligence) to Operation Order No. 8, 25th Infantry Division, 220030 Jul 50. In 25th Infantry Division G-3 Journals, Box 682, RG 338, NARA.

[note]

0100 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/21/50
10:00 AM
07/21/50
11:00 AM
07/21/50
4:00 PM
07/22/50
1:00 AM

0200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/21/50
11:00 AM
07/21/50
12:00 PM
07/21/50
5:00 PM
07/22/50
2:00 AM

0250 Korean Time

Korean_War

[note]

0300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/21/50
12:00 PM
07/21/50
1:00 PM
07/21/50
6:00 PM
07/22/50
3:00 AM

0400 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/21/50
1:00 PM
07/21/50
2:00 PM
07/21/50
7:00 PM
07/22/50
4:00 AM

0500 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/21/50
2:00 PM
07/21/50
3:00 PM
07/21/50
8:00 PM
07/22/50
5:00 AM

0526 Sun Rise

[note]

Korean_War


At dawn on the 22nd, from a location in the Yellow Sea northwest of Kunsan, USS Valley Forge (CV-45) launched her air group. Although his force was now down to a single carrier, Struble undertook the double mission of support of troops and attack on northern targets:

Korean_War

the propeller-driven ADs and F4Us were sent off to the eastward to work under airborne controllers from Fifth Air Force in close support of the ground forces;

the jets headed north to attack targets beyond Sŏul.

The air support mission, first of the Korean War, went awry as the strike aircraft, unable to reach the controllers on the prescribed radio frequencies, resorted to attacks on secondary targets in the area of the capital.
[note]

0600 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/21/50
3:00 PM
07/21/50
4:00 PM
07/21/50
9:00 PM
07/22/50
6:00 AM

0700 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/21/50
4:00 PM
07/21/50
5:00 PM
07/21/50
10:00 PM
07/22/50
7:00 AM

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On July 22, the intelligence staff provided guidance on this issue, directing that civilians "infiltrating through our lines will be arrested and turned over to CIC [the Counter-Intelligence Corps]."
8
Headquarters 1st Cavalry Division (Infantry), Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, "G-2 Monthly Narrative for 25 June to 31 July 1950 ," 1 August 1950 , Box 4405, RG 407, NARA;
Headquarters 1st Cavalry Division (Infantry), "Standard Operating Procedure: Intelligence," 10 July 1950 , File Oper Rpt 1950 -51, Box 7, 1st Cavalry Division, Cavalry Divisions 1940-1967, RG 338.

The division's intelligence SOP was firmly grounded in FM 30-5; 1st Cavalry Division (Infantry), Annex B (Intelligence) to Operations Order 9-50, 22 0700-K July 1950 , copy in 1st Cavalry Division July 1950 War Diary, Box 4405, RG 407, NARA.

[note]

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Korean_War

3rd Rescue Squadron
Korean War Operations
22 July 1950
At 0825/K ADCC notified the Flight to scramble an aircraft to investigate wreckage sighted by a C-47 returning from Pusan. It was located by the SB-17 in the vicinity of Okino Shima (34° 13' N - 130° 07' E). It proved to be Japanese fishing rafts instead of wreckage. Alert was called off at 0930/K. [note]

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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 [7/21/0900], others on 22 July; some just disappeared and were never heard of again]. [11-60]

[note]

0930 Korean Time

Korean_War

3rd Rescue Squadron
Korean War Operations
22 July 1950

At 0825/K ADCC notified the Flight to scramble an aircraft to investigate wreckage sighted by a C-47 returning from Pusan. It was located by the SB-17 in the vicinity of Okino Shima (34° 13' N - 130° 07' E). It proved to be Japanese fishing rafts instead of wreckage. Alert was called off at 0930/K.

[note]

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Korean_War


3rd Rescue Squadron
Korean War Operations
22 July 1950
Ay 1137/K the Flight's ground station received a message from aircraft #2106, a B-29 that had engine trouble. At 1140/K the Flight received a message that the B-29 had feathered one engine, was continuing to his home base, and needed no further assistance. Two false alerts this date. [note]

1140 Korean Time

Korean_War


3rd Rescue Squadron
Korean War Operations
22 July 1950
Ay 1137/K the Flight's ground station received a message from aircraft #2106, a B-29 that had engine trouble. At 1140/K the Flight received a message that the B-29 had feathered one engine, was continuing to his home base, and needed no further assistance. Two false alerts this date. [note]

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At noon on 22 July the 24th Infantry Division turned over the front-line positions at Yŏngdong to the 1st Cavalry Division.

The division's consolidated strength on that day was 8,660 men. Seventeen days had elapsed since division troops had first met North Koreans in combat at Osan on 5 July.

In that time, two enemy divisions had driven it back 100 miles in a southeasterly direction. In these two and a half weeks, the division had suffered more than 30 percent casualties.

More than 2,400 men were missing in action.

It had lost enough materiel to equip a division.

Losses in senior officers of field grade had been unusually severe.

And then finally, at Taejŏn, the commanding general of the division was missing in action.

Charged with carrying out a delaying action, the division had held the enemy on its front to an average gain of about six miles a day. On 22 July, with General Dean still missing in action, Eighth Army ordered Maj. Gen. John H. Church to assume command of the 24th Division. [11-80]


Soldiers of the 24th Division faced many handicaps in their early battles with the North Koreans. Often the unit commanders were new to the units and did not know their officers and men;


there were few qualified officer replacements for those lost;


communication was a most serious and continuing problem-there was a lack of telephone wire, and
the batteries for radios were outdated and lasted only an hour or so in operation or they did not function at all;


there was a shortage of ammunition, particularly for the 60-mm., 81-mm., and 4.2-inch mortars;


dysentery at times affected a fourth of the men;

and always there were the rumors, generally absurd and groundless, which kept the men agitated and uneasy.


The maps, based on the Japanese survey of 1918-32, were often unreliable, resulting in inaccurate artillery fire unless directed and adjusted by an observer.


Road and convoy discipline was poor.


Driver maintenance was poor.


There were many heroic actions by American soldiers of the 24th Division in these first weeks in Korea. But there were also many uncomplimentary and unsoldierly ones.

Leadership among the officers had to be exceptional to get the men to fight, and several gave their lives in this effort. Others failed to meet the standard expected of American officers. There is no reason to suppose that any of the other three occupation divisions in Japan would have done better in Korea than did the U.S. 24th Division in July 1950. When committed to action they showed the same weaknesses.


A basic fact is that the occupation divisions were not trained, equipped, or ready for battle. The great majority of the enlisted men were young and not really interested in being soldiers. The recruiting posters that had induced most of these men to enter the Army mentioned all conceivable advantages and promised many good things, but never suggested that the principal business of an army is to fight. (Be an ARMY of ONE!)


When the first American units climbed the hills in the Korean monsoon heat and humidity, either to fight or to escape encirclement by the enemy, they "dropped like flies," as more than one official report of the period states. Salt tablets became a supply item of highest priority and were even dropped to troops by plane.


One participant and competent observer of the war in those first days has expressed the conditions well. He said,

"The men and officers had no interest in a fight which was not even dignified by being called a war. It was a bitter fight in which many lives were lost, and we could see no profit in it except our pride in our profession and our units as well as the comradeship which dictates that you do not let your fellow soldiers down." [11-81]


As part of the historical record, it may be worthwhile to record General Dean's own judgment after turning over in his mind for several years the events of Taejŏn, and after having read this chapter in manuscript. Many of the things related in this chapter he did not, of course, know at the time. Here are the words of this brave and honest soldier, written seven and a half years after the event.


Hostile and friendly dispositions, which are now quite clear, were much more obscure at the time. I stayed in Taejŏn for a number of reasons:
(1) In an effort to stimulate the fighting spirit of the 34th Infantry and attached troops there in the city.
(2) The second reason was as an example to the ROK leaders and also to give confidence to the ROK forces.
(3) The third was to see at close hand just what kind of a fighter the North Korean was.

It is now clear to me that I was too close to the trees to see the forest, and therefore was at the time blind to the envelopment that the North Koreans were engineering. Not until we turned off on the road to Kumsan and we ran into the North Korean detachment dug in at intervals along that highway did I realize what had happened. I was disturbed about the infiltrators into the City of Taejŏn itself, but I was not alarmed and I was sanguine of extricating the 34th Infantry until I had deft the city on the Kumsan road and realized that there had been an envelopment of major proportions. But even then, I did not realize the extent of the envelopment and my earnest prayer at the time was that the majority of the 34th Infantry would not take the Kumsan road but would leave by way of the Okch'ŏn road.
Subsequent events have proved that it would have been better if we had all headed down the Kumsan road because I am certain we could have cleared that and gotten a greater number through....

In retrospect, it would appear that the 21st Infantry Regiment should have been employed to secure the exit from Taejŏn. But I never issued such an order and my reason for not doing so was that I was convinced that the 21st Infantry Regiment should hold the commanding terrain just west of Okch'ŏn to prevent an envelopment from the north, which would cut off both the 21st Infantry Regiment and the 34th Infantry Regiment and permit the enemy to drive through Yŏngdong and south through Yŏngdong to Kumch'on and hence south.
My big two errors were:
(1) Not withdrawing the 34th Infantry Regiment the night of the 19th of July, as originally planned;
(2) releasing the 24th Reconnaissance Company to the 34th Infantry Regiment. [11-82]

Korean_War


After the fall of Taejŏn the war was to enter a new phase. Help in the form of the 1st Cavalry Division had arrived. No longer would the 84th Division and the ROK Army have to stand alone.

[note]

1230 Korean Time

Korean_War Korean_War Korean_War

X. July 22, 1950
The 8th Cavalry Regiment became the first element to make contact with forward elements of the 24th Infantry Division, relieving the 21st Infantry Regiment northwest of Yŏngdong at 12:30 PM on July 22, 1950 .

Korean_War

The 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, moved into position on the Taejŏn-Yŏngdong Road north of town near Ojong ni while the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, covered the southern flank astride the Kumsan-Muju Road. There was no contact between the battalions and there was no friendly troops stationed in the town itself. 31
31
War diary journal, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 18-30 July 1950 . In the Records of U.S. Army Commands, Cavalry Regiments 1940-1967, Box 42, RG 338, NARA.

Un'gye-ri, South Korea

I can not find Ojong-ni on any of my maps, therefore I've included a close up of the Un'gye-ri, area.

Korean_War


With the 8th Cavalry initially deployed north and west of Yŏngdong, the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, dug in east of the town in the vicinity of the village of Kwan ni to prevent a possible envelopment.

Paengma San, South Korea

I can not find Kwan-ni and on any of my maps, therefore I've included a close up of the Paengma San, area.

Korean_War

The 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, remained in Hwanggan for the moment. The 8th Cavalry did not have long to wait for contact with the enemy.

[note]

1238 Moon Rise

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By 1300 Yech'ŏn was secured, [burnt down] and 3rd Battalion turned over control to the ROK 18th Regiment of the Capital Division the task of holding the town.

21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

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]

[note]

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After recovery of the afternoon strike group about 1700, the task forces headed southward to rendezvous with the USS Navasota (AO-106) for the purpose of refueling aviation gasoline and fuel oil.

[note]

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25th Infantry Division Periodic Report #10, 221800K to 231800K July 1950 -

"Again, white clad farmers appeared with rifles after contact was made with the enemy. Extreme caution should be used in allowing native civilian personnel to remain in close proximity to troops when on approach march or in contact (24 RCT)." 56

56
Periodic Report #10, 25th Infantry Division, 221800K to 231800K July 1950 . In AG Command Reports (War Diaries) 1949-1954, 25th Infantry Division History Jul 50, Entry 429, Box 3746, RG 407, NARA.

[note]

Korean_War

The 1st Cavalry Division's first PIR was dated 6:00 PM July 22 and reported only one minor contact by an 8th Cavalry Regiment patrol with a NKPA patrol in the previous 24 hours. Division aerial observers, however, reported large numbers of refugees moving east towards Yŏngdong.

The PIR warned that based on recent engagements,

"it is expected [that the] enemy has large remaining forces."

Five possible enemy courses of action against the division were listed:

1) Attack the 5th Cavalry Regiment with elements of 2-3 divisions;

2) Envelop one or both flanks of the 8th Cavalry Regiment;

3) Attack the left flank of the division;

4) Defend current positions with current forces;

5) Reinforce current units and execute any of the preceding four options.

The PIR advised that the most likely enemy course of action adopted the first two options, attacking both the 5th and 8th Cavalry Regiments concurrently. The next most likely course of action involved an attack on the division's left flank. 32
32
Headquarters 1st Cavalry Division (Infantry), Periodic Intelligence Report #1, 1800 22 July 1950 , 1st Cavalry Division, Cavalry Divisions 1940-1967, Box 45, RG 338, NARA.

[note]

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1946 Sun Set

[note]

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Eighth Army's next PIR for midnight on July 22 reported a change in the enemy's intentions, stating that the NKPA was most likely shifting its main effort to the central sector along the Ch'ŏngju - Hamch'ang and Yŏngju-Andong axes in the ROK I Corps's zone to the north of the 1st Cavalry Division's zone.

This new evaluation of the enemy's intent resulted from reports described the Taejŏn area as "relatively quiet," the NKPA's failure to maintain heavy pressure along the Taejŏn-Kŭmch'ŏn axis after the 24th Infantry Division's withdrawal from Taejŏn, and a terrain analysis of the enemy's likely avenues of approach.

Recent bad weather supported this conclusion, Eighth Army believed, and limited American aerial reconnaissance and "reduced opportunities for identifications in retrograde operations."

These conditions provided the NKPA "with an excellent opportunity for lateral movement and re-concentration of elements of the 2 to 3 divisions previously committed in the Taejŏn area." 33


33 Headquarters EUSAK, Periodic Intelligence Report #10, 2400 22 July 1950 , File 319.1 (PIR July), Security Classified General Correspondence 1950 , Adjutant General Section, Eighth U.S. Army, Box 714, RG 338, NARA. [note]

2338 Moon Set


Casualties

Saturday July 22, 1950 (Day 028)

Korean_War 036 Casualties

As of July 22, 1950

1 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
5 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
27 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 60TH TRANSPORTATION TRUCK COMPANY
1 8TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
1 VA-55 ATTACK SQUADRON
36 19500722 0000 Casualties by unit
Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 17 1,785 1 0 0 1,803
Losses 0 36 0 2 0 38
To Date 17 1,021 1 2 0 1,841

Aircraft Losses Today 001

Notes for Saturday 22, 1950 - day 028