Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 26.6°C 79.88 °F at Taegu

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1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

July 26 Eighth Army orders withdrawal to prepared positions [note]


July 26

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A New York Times article said that South Koreans vehemently resent being called gooks by GIs. An unidentified diplomat in Tokyo, Japan was quoted as saying the attitudes of Americans had angered South Koreans "and might make them hostile."

The story also said South Korean resentment could cause many to join communist guerrillas.

-- The China News Agency reports that U.S. bombing raids on port city Wŏnsan killed 1,249 people and destroyed 1,088 homes and buildings.

-- The Senate approves a measure passed by the House to remove restrictions on the size of American armed forces and extended 295,000 enlistments due to expire within the next year.

-- Not enough men are volunteering for military duty, so Congress ups the draft quota for September and October to 100,000 each.

--- On July 26, 1947, President Truman signed the National Security Act, creating the Department of Defense, the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [note]

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26 July 1950
Five SB-17s were utilized this date for orbit missions. A total of forty one hours and thirty five minutes (41:35) was flown on these missions.
At 1110/K ADCC called and said they has picked up an SOS from a Navt Mars. The number of the aircraft was either N 8820 or N 8280. Position of the aircraft was unknown but it was believed that it was near Iwo Jima. The incident was later classified as a false alert.

At 1415/K the 507th AAA Bn. reported an explosion was sighted out to sea from Ashiya Air Base. The cause and type of explosion was unknown. ADCC was notified and asked to check and see if there were any overdue aircraft.

At 1450/K AAA Bn. called and informed the Flight to disregard the reported explosion as it was on the beach and not out at sea, and the crash fire crew was at the scene and had the situation in hand.

Two false alerts recorded this date. [note]

Army Policy

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General MacArthur protested vigorously upon being told that only five artillery battalions of the fifteen he had requested could be furnished him. He pointed out that fifteen battalions were an essential minimum based on ten infantry regiments fighting on the line at any given time. He had now decided that there should be twelve U.S. regiments in action at all times.

"Beyond doubt," he predicted, "the destruction of the North Korean forces will require the employment of a force equivalent at least to six United States infantry divisions in addition to ROK ground forces."

Fighting in World War II had proven conclusively, according to him, that a field army could sustain a successful offensive against a determined enemy, particularly over difficult terrain, only if it had non-divisional artillery in the ratio of at least one for one as compared to division artillery. While General MacArthur did not spell out these latest requirements, he implied that twenty-four battalions of non-divisional artillery would be needed. He recommended that, since the necessary battalions were not available, they be activated and "an intensive training program of appropriate scale be set in motion at once." [05-61] [note]

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He hated to give up any more ground to the North Koreans, but on 26 July, with the enemy pressing in on Taegu where irreplaceable signal equipment was in danger of being lost, Walker called Tokyo and asked permission to move his command post back to Pusan. He did not imply in any way that he wanted to pull his divisions back to the port city. [07-30]

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General Almond, who took Walker's call, told him that he, personally, objected to any such move. To remove the command post to Pusan would damage the army's morale. It might give the impression that the Eighth Army could not stay in Korea and might trigger a debacle.

As soon as Walker hung up, Almond went to MacArthur and recommended that MacArthur fly to Korea and talk to Walker at once. Apparently, Walker's attitude had shaken Almond's faith in the Eighth Army commander's judgment. Almond told MacArthur that he felt the situation in Korea had reached the critical stage and required MacArthur's personal observation. MacArthur pondered briefly, then told Almond that he would make the trip the next day. [note]

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On 26 July, MacArthur ordered Walker to prepare the 7th Division

"by intensified training and re-equipping for movement to Korea at the earliest practicable date."

This instruction illustrates the dual function then charged to General Walker.

While directing his divisions in combat against the North Korean Army, Walker, at the same time, remained responsible for the training and rebuilding of the 7th Division nearly a thousand miles away. The division then stood at less than half strength, with only 574 officers and 8,200 enlisted men. Moreover, many of the division's enlisted men had had little training, and few of the specialists and experienced noncoms taken from the division to patch up units going into combat in early July had been replaced. [09-30] [note]

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The question of which National Guard divisions should be called up had been under study for some time. General Collins had, on 21 July, asked the Chief, Army Field Forces, for recommendations.

July 26

Less than a week [the 26th] later General Bolté asked General Clark for an expanded study of the same problem.


In considering the problem, General Clark leaned heavily upon the continental Army commanders, soliciting their recommendations as to which divisions within their areas were best trained, best equipped, and most ready to go.

Sept 6

After careful study, General Clark submitted to the Department of the Army his recommendations of six divisions most appropriate to be called on the grounds of training, manning, equipment status, and general fitness.

The divisions recommended in order of priority of selection were

the 28th Division (Pennsylvania);

the 29th Division (Virginia and Maryland);

the 315t Division (Mississippi and Alabama);

the 37th Division (Ohio);

the 45th Division (Oklahoma); and

the 50th Armored Division (New Jersey). [07-28]

[08-28] Rad, C 62213, CINCFE to JCS, 6 Sep 50. [note]

DSC

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Citation:


The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to William DuBois Ware (O-0967794), Second Lieutenant (Infantry), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Second Lieutenant Ware distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces west of Sangju, Korea, on 26 July 1950.


On that date, Lieutenant Ware, Platoon Leader, Company I, placed personnel of his platoon in a defensive position on a ridge to the Battalion's front. The position was attacked from three sides by numerically superior enemy force armed with automatic weapons and supported by mortar fire. The position soon became untenable and Lieutenant Ware, arming himself with a rifle, ordered his men to withdraw. He was last seen firing from his position on the advancing enemy until his position was overrun.


Headquarters, Eighth U.S. Army, Korea: General Orders No. 54 (September 6, 1950) Home Town: Fayette, Texas (note)

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1950/07/26 - MacArthur orders Gen Walton "Johnnie" Walker to "stand or die" at Taegu - Pusan defense force increased to 92,000 U.S. with 91,500 ROK and 1500 Brit vs. 98,000 N.K. [note]

Nogun-Ri

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As a result of this meeting, EUSAK issued a four-part, detailed message on July 26, 1950 :

Part I: Effective immediately the following procedure will be adhered to by all commands relative to the flow or movement of all refugees in battle areas and rear areas. No refugees will be permitted to cross battle lines at any time. Movement of all Koreans in groups will cease immediately. No areas will be evacuated by Koreans without a direct order from Commanding General EUSAK or upon order of Division Commanders. Each division will be assigned three National Police liaison officers to assist in clearing any area of the civilian populace that will interfere with the successful accomplishment of his mission.

Part II: Procedure for clearing areas. Division commanders will inform National Police Officers of the area or sector to be evacuated, the route, and the time the area will be cleared. National Police will immediately clear the area. Food, water, and comfort items for these refugees will be provided by the Vice Minister of Social Affairs through the National Police. All refugees will move along their predetermined route to selected concentration areas from sunup until sundown. This will be a controlled movement under the direction and supervision of the National Police and representatives from the office of Korean Welfare Affairs.

Part III: Movement of Korean civilians during hours of darkness. There will be absolutely no movement of Korean civilians, as individuals or groups in battle areas or rear areas, after the hours of darkness. Uniformed Korean police will rigidly enforce this directive.

Part IV: To accomplish the procedure, as outlined in this directive, leaflets will be prepared and dropped in all areas forward and rear of the battle line to effectively disseminate this information. National Police will further disseminate this information to all Korean civilians by means of radio, messenger, and the press. 25


25 Message, EUSAK, CNR: G 20578 KGP, 26 Jul 50, sub: Controlled Movement of All Refugees. In Records of U.S. Army Commands, Korean Military Advisory Group, Box 23, RG 338, NARA. [note]

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As outlined above, [7/24 1000] the EUSAK issued its own expanded refugee policy on July 26, 1950 . The entry in the regimental diary was not an order but more likely the liaison officer's misinterpretation of the EUSAK's soon to be published guidance which stated,

"No, repeat, no refugees will be permitted to cross battle lines at any time, movement of all Koreans in groups will cease immediately."

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This policy also announced the assignment of three National Police officers to each division to act as liaison officers to assist in carrying out the new policy.

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Within 48 hours of the misleading regimental diary entry, on July 26th, the 1st Cavalry Division received the detailed refugee control policy, which clarified and superseded the 8th Cavalry Regiment's liaison officer's initial misinterpretation. There is no evidence that this misinterpretation was ever passed down from the Division Headquarters to the 5th or 7th CavalryRegiments, the subordinate battalions of the 8th Cavalry or any other units assigned to the division. [note]

Photograph 9
July 26, 1950 "A 75mm Recoilless rifle covering a road in Korea."

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National Archives, Record Group 407, Entry 429 Army AG Command Reports 1949-1954, Box 1088.
63
[note]

Photograph 10
July 26,1950 "A 3.5" Rocket Launcher team prepares to fire."

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National Archives, Record Group 407, Entry 429 Army AG Command Reports 1949-1954, Box 1088.
65

[note]

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With the 1st Cavalry Division clear of Yŏngdong, the division's units spent July 26 preparing new positions and reorganizing. The 8th Cavalry remained in the division rear near Hwanggan. The 5th Cavalry Regiment initially occupied forward positions near the village of Andae ri. [note]

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One of the UN’s few advantages was air power in the form of U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) assets. Fighters, bombers, fighter-bombers, transports, and reconnaissance aircraft helped to slow the North Korean advance. In fact, the UN air forces neutralized the North Korean air force and gained air superiority over South Korea and most of North Korea during the first month of the war.

In addition to air superiority, UN tactical air power’s other missions included interdicting North Korean supply lines and providing close air support for friendly ground forces, which required attacks on buildings, bridges, roads, and railroads.

All types of vehicles and troops appeared as military targets both at the front and behind enemy lines. Beyond the constantly shifting bomb line, tactical air elements freely attacked interdiction targets without fear of hitting friendly forces. Pilots sometimes identified what appeared to be large groups of refugees, moving at their own risk in the combat zone, as enemy troops and supply carriers. 78

As mentioned earlier, the North Koreans often used civilian refugees as human screens for patrols and flanking movements and as supply bearers.

By July 26, 1950 , stories abounded in the Air Force, the Army, and elsewhere about North Korean soldiers posing as civilians and infiltrating U.S. lines dressed in the traditional Korean white garb.

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EUSAK refugee policies soon denied the refugees entry or allowed passage through the lines at specific times during the day. These directives further provided that the U.S. soldiers turned the refugees over to the South Korean National Police. 79 [note]

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A discussion of Air-Ground operations is important because the AP said in a December 29, 1999, article that U.S. jets attacked Korean civilians and the Korean witnesses stated that U.S. airplanes strafed them.

In July 1950 , Field Manual (FM) 31-35 (dated August 1946) explained air-ground operations and the Tactical Air Control System that would manage these operations. FM 31-35 provided for a Joint Operations Center (JOC) manned by U.S. Army and Air Force intelligence and operations personnel.

The Joint Operations Center received Army requests for air support and planned and ordered daily air operations.

At the heart of the Joint Operations Center rested the Tactical Air Control Center (TACC), which provided aircraft control and warning and directed all airborne activity.

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The Joint Operations Center also communicated with individual Forward Air Controllers (FAC) in the Tactical Air Control Parties (TACP). The TACPs, which operated on the ground, mobile and close to the front lines, directed the aircraft to targets. 80 [note]

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Thus, by July 26, 1950 , the fundamental components of the Tactical Air Control System existed:

A critical point to note is that an ordinary ground soldier could not talk directly to a T–6 and request an air strike. Only the Tactical Air Control Party with the jeep-mounted AN/VRC-1 radios could talk to the Mosquito or an F–80.

At best, the infantry or cavalry soldier only carried a hand-held “walkie-talkie” radio or the larger backpack SCR-300 radio. To request an air strike,

an Army unit, usually at the battalion level or higher, passed a request up through Army channels to the Joint Operations Center;

the Joint Operations Center would validate the request and pass it to the Tactical Air Control Center (Mellow).

This process included Mellow checking with the deployed Tactical Air Control Parties, Mosquitoes, and Army spotters to acknowledge the target and direct the next available F–80s, F–51s, or Navy aircraft to attack the target.

This procedure was slow. A moving target could easily have vanished between the time a ground soldier reported something and an aircraft arrived. 87


87 Hist 5AF, Vol. II, Chap. IV, pp. 132-159;
Hist 6147 TCS (A), Jul 50;
5AF Combat Operations History, 25 Jun-31 Oct 50, extract, Document 13;
MSG, CG EUSAK to CG 20AF, et al, GX 20468 KGO, 24/1530K, Jul 50;
Hist Study #71, p. 26.


Sometime in mid-August 1950 , the 6147th Tactical Control Squadron began installing SCR-300 radios in some of the T–6s on a test basis. Although this experiment worked, talking directly with ground units still remained difficult. 88

88 Hist 6147 TCS (A), Aug 50, p. 12.

In an interview, a former 1st Cavalry Division Army Liaison pilot stated that he could talk to the Division G-3 but could not communicate with the ground forces. He did state that on one occasion he communicated with them by dropping a "message sack." [note]

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Most of the missions could contact Mellow upon arriving over Korea. Many were handed off once or twice to a Mosquito controller, a Tactical Air Control Party, or an Army air spotter. On July 26, those missions contacting Dragon Fly, the 24th Infantry Division air spotter, occurred in the 24th Division area to the south of the 1st Cavalry Division area.

Some aircraft found no targets. Most missions went to Taejŏn, Yŏngju, and Tanyang in the north or Yŏngdong in the south. Most of those aircraft that flew to Yŏngdong either hit the town or proceeded north, west, or south. [note]



XXV. Imagery


As part of the research effort, the Air Force History Team searched for tactical reconnaissance and gun camera film. The Team found 8th TRS film of the Nogŭn-ni area dated August 6 and September 19, 1950 . Some patterns are apparent near the tracks. A National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) photo interpreter maintains that these patterns show “an imagery signature of probable strafing.” 120


120 E-mail, AFRES to AFHSO/HOS, “NIMA Meeting,” 13 Jul 00; NIMA Final Report, “NIMA Imagery Analysis Report No Gun-Ri, Republic of Korea, Imagery of 6 August 1950 and 19 September 1950 ,” ND, p.11.


However, the Air Force Team showed this film to four retired photo interpreters of national reputation. All of them agree that the film shows no signs of bombing or strafing on the railroad tracks. 121


121 E-mail, AFRES to AFHSO/HOS, “PI Analysis and Bio,” 26 Jul 00, with 2 attachments, (1) Bio,
(2) Analysis.


The USAF History office consulted several photo analysts of national reputation, the first analyst found “no evident [sic] of strafing” on the larger pattern and “no apparent strafing damage” on the smaller pattern. The second analyst, the author of three books on World War II photo analysis, saw “no sign of strafing” on the large pattern and “no sign of . . . ground disturbance suggesting strafing” on the smaller pattern. The third analyst, who had been the senior Air Force instructor at the Department of Defense Advanced Imagery Interpretation School, saw “no evidence of strafing” in either pattern. The fourth analyst, whose photo-analyst career encompassed teaching, Special Operations, and various international assignments, found “no evidence or any indication of strafing by either cannon or machine-gun” on the larger pattern and “no evidence of strafing damage” on the smaller pattern. 122


122 Ibid.


A thorough investigation of the Air Force's role during this period of the Korean War yielded no evidence to suggest that Air Force aircraft strafed Korean refugees or enemy soldiers at, or near, Nogŭn-ni on July 26, 1950 .

In fact, no evidence of any Air Force activity in the vicinity of Nogŭn-ni exists. The Air Force Team did not find all mission reports for the 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron or the T–6 Mosquitoes, which leaves three missions of the 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at midday for which we cannot account.

However, the final Fifth Air Force recapitulation report for operations on July 26, 1950 shows no target struck in the vicinity of Nogŭn-ni on the 26th, and the imagery analysis shows no evidence as well. [note]

As reflected in after-action summaries, missions during the last week of July were planned carefully. The action summary for July 26 stated that:

“The missions for the various [aircraft] divisions were a result of information [presumably intelligence] concerning enemy dispositions issued by the Army and Air Force at Taegu last night. Tactical Air Control parties based in Korea established communication with the strike planes and assigned the various targets in and near the North Korea front lines.” 134


134 Ibid.

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In missions applying that planning factor, the VA-55 history report indicated that attacks “destroyed seventy percent (70%) of the village of Yŏngdong, minor damage to a railway bridge at Yŏngdong and many enemy troops destroyed.” 135

135 VA-55, Historical Report, 1 July 1950 to 31 December 1950 , 8.

The Valley Forge Operations Summary offered more detail: “Still on call to the TAC, the planes dropped 7 500#, 20 100#, 21 HVAR's (High Velocity Air Rocket) on a small town 7-8 miles NNE of Yŏngdong” (Nogŭn-ni is seven miles east-northeast of Yŏngdong. This location is not in the vicinity of Nogŭn-ni. There are numerous villages north-northeast of Yŏngdong at a range of seven to eight miles.). 136

136 Report of Operations, 20.

“Four ADs (Skyraiders), directed to “wipe out” Yŏngdong, hit the town with napalm, leaving it burning fiercely.” 137 [note]

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As a result of this meeting, EUSAK issued a four-part, detailed message on July 26, 1950 :


Part I: Effective immediately the following procedure will be adhered to by all commands relative to the flow or movement of all refugees in battle areas and rear areas. No refugees will be permitted to cross battle lines at any time. Movement of all Koreans in groups will cease immediately. No areas will be evacuated by Koreans without a direct order from Commanding General EUSAK or upon order of Division Commanders. Each division will be assigned three National Police liaison officers to assist in clearing any area of the civilian populace that will interfere with the successful accomplishment of his mission.


Part II: Procedure for clearing areas. Division commanders will inform National Police Officers of the area or sector to be evacuated, the route, and the time the area will be cleared. National Police will immediately clear the area. Food, water, and comfort items for these refugees will be provided by the Vice Minister of Social Affairs through the National Police. All refugees will move along their predetermined route to selected concentration areas from sunup until sundown. This will be a controlled movement under the direction and supervision of the National Police and representatives from the office of Korean Welfare Affairs.


Part III: Movement of Korean civilians during hours of darkness. There will be absolutely no movement of Korean civilians, as individuals or groups, in battle areas or rear areas, after the hours of darkness. Uniformed Korean police will rigidly enforce this directive.


Part IV: To accomplish the procedure, as outlined in this directive, leaflets will be prepared and dropped in all areas forward and rear of the battle line to effectively disseminate this information. National Police will further disseminate this information to all Korean civilians by means of radio, messenger, and the press. 7


7 Message, EUSAK, CNR: G 20578 KGP, 26 Jul 50, sub: Controlled Movement of All Refugees, In Records of U.S. Army Commands, Korean Military Advisory Group, Box 23, RG 338, NARA.


The NKPA frequently used civilian clothing and refugees to conceal their movements. The EUSAK's policy was intended to deny the NKPA that tactic while also safeguarding civilians by prohibiting refugees from crossing battle lines (Battle lines are the areas where there is contact with the enemy or contact is about to occur).

The policy did not state that refugees could not cross friendly lines and contains instructions for the handling of refugees in friendly areas (friendly lines are forward troop positions not in contact with the enemy). The policy emphasized the Korean government's responsibility for the control and screening of refugees to provide for their welfare. Nothing in this policy was intended to put refugees at risk. [note]

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It is very important to understand what was happening throughout the daylight hours of July 26 within the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, as they spent the day reorganizing and locating stragglers. The battalion's soldiers had abandoned a significant amount of equipment, including vital radios and crew-served weapons during their disorganized withdrawal in the early morning hours of that same day.

Nearly 200 men were unaccounted for. Major Witherspoon, the Regimental S-3 (Operations Officer), set up a collection point by the roadside, probably in the vicinity of Andae Ri, and consolidated the battalion.

The battalion spent the entire day going back and forth recovering the abandoned equipment and rounding up the stragglers.

This activity would have placed the soldiers and their vehicles exactly in the same location west of the Nogŭn-ni double railroad overpass where the Korean witnesses claimed (a) the air strike occurred in the early afternoon of July 26 and (b) the Americans engaged them with machine gun fire and drove them into the double overpass.

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It also placed these soldiers directly to the front of 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry positions in the vicinity of Andae Ri and on Hill 207 throughout the entire day.

1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, which had arrived from P'ohang during the afternoon of the 26th, relieved 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, later that day.

Hill 207 was the high ground west of what is now Highway 4, overlooking the double railroad overpass. Other elements of the 1st Cavalry Division were also passing through the vicinity of the double railroad overpass throughout the day on the 26th as the Division executed its withdrawal to Hwanggan. [note]

South then North

 

SC344638 - KOREAN CONFLICT
105-mm howitzer in action against the Communist-led North Korean invaders.

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26 July 1950. Korea.
Signal Corps Photo #8A/fec-50-4839 (Wayne

[note]

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At this time the KMAG advisers had serious trouble with "Tiger" Kim, the commander of the ROK 23rd Regiment. He was extremely brutal in his disciplinary methods. In the presence of several advisers he had his personal bodyguard shoot a young 1st lieutenant of his regiment whose unit had been surrounded for several days. This incident took place on 26 July. [note]

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ROK troops regrouped for another desperate counterattack, to be supported by all available U.N. sea, air, and ground weapons, in an effort to hurl the North Koreans back to the north of Yŏngdök. At this time Walker required hourly reports sent to his headquarters at Taegu. In action preliminary to the main attack, planned for the morning of 27 July, ROK troops during the night of the 26th captured seventeen machine guns, but took only eight prisoners. [note]

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On 26 July, after large numbers of recruits and replacements had entered the ROK Army, it had an effective assigned strength of 85,871 men, with a total assigned strength of 94,570. The combat divisions at that time varied in strength from just under 6,000 to almost 9,000 men. table 2 shows the organization and unit strengths of the ROK Army after the reorganization.

Strength
Total assigned 94,570
Total effective assigned 85,871
Wounded and nonbattle casualties 8,699
I Corps Headquarters 3,014
--Capital Division (1st, 17th, 18th Regiments) 6,644
--8th Division (10th, 16th, 21st Regiments) 8,864
II Corps Headquarters 976
--1st Division (11th, 12th, 15th Regiments) 7,601
--6th Division (2nd, 7th, 19th Regiments) 5,727
ROK Army Headquarters 3,020
--3rd Division (1st Cavalry, 22nd, 23rd Regiments) 8,829
--ROK troops 11,881
Replacement training Command 9,016
Chŏnju training Command 8,699
Kwangju training Command 6,244
Pusan training Command 5,356

table 2-ROK ARMY, 26 JULY 1950

[note]

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On the first and main road, the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry , held a blocking position northwest of Hamch'ang, supported by a platoon of tanks from A Company, 78th Tank Battalion and A Battery, 90th Field Artillery Battalion .

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Colonel Fisher was unable to concentrate his two-battalion regiment here for the defense of Sangju because the 1st Battalion had no sooner arrived on 25 July from P'ohang-dong than it was sent posthaste the next day to reinforce the 27th Infantry Regiment on the next north-south line of communications westward. Thus, in effect, one battalion of U.S. troops stood behind ROK units on the Hamch'ang approach. On the second road, that leading into Sangju from the west, the 24th Infantry Regiment assembled two, and later all three, of its battalions.
[notes]

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By 26 July the 24th Infantry had all three of its battalions concentrated in battle positions astride the road ten miles west of Sangju. Elements of the N.K. 15th Division advancing on this road had cleared the mountain passes and were closing with the regiment. [note]

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The next day, 26 July, the arrival of the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, on the 27th Infantry's right flank eased the precarious situation. [note]

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During the battle for Yŏngdong the 7th Cavalry Regiment headquarters and the 2nd Battalion arrived from P'ohang-dong and took up a position west of Kumch'ŏn.

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Reports reached them the night of 25-26 July of enemy gains in the 27th Infantry sector northward, which increased the uneasiness of the untested staff and troops.

After midnight there came a report that the enemy had achieved a breakthrough. Somehow, the constant pressure under which the 27th Infantry fought its delaying action on the Poŭn road had become magnified and exaggerated. The 7th Cavalry Regiment headquarters immediately decided to arouse all personnel and withdraw. During the withdrawal the 2nd Battalion, an untried unit, scattered in panic. That evening 119 of its men were still missing. [12-54]


In this frantic departure from its position on 26 July, the 2nd Battalion left behind a switchboard, an emergency lighting unit, and weapons of all types. After daylight truck drivers and platoon sergeants returned to the scene and recovered 14 machine guns, 9 radios, 120 M1 rifles, 26 carbines, 7 BAR's, and 6 60-mm. mortars. [12-55]

While this untoward incident was taking place in their rear, other elements of the 1st Cavalry Division held their defensive positions east of Yŏngdong. The 7th Regiment of the N.K. 3rd Division, meanwhile, started southwest from Yŏngdong on the Muju road in a sweeping flank movement through Chirye against Kumch'ŏn, twenty air miles east-ward.

That night, elements of the enemy division in Yŏngdong attacked the 1st Cavalry troops east of the town. Four enemy tanks and an infantry force started this action by driving several hundred refugees ahead of them through American mine fields. [note]

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On Wednesday, 26 July, EUSAK had issued an operational directive indicating that the army would move to prepared positions, stabilize the front line, and maintain a position from which it could initiate offensive action. The time of the movement was to be announced later. During the withdrawal, units were to maintain contact with the enemy. [12-64] [note]

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On 26 July, the day EUSAK issued its warning order for a planned withdrawal to a defensive position, General Walker telephoned General MacArthur's headquarters in Tokyo. General Almond, MacArthur's Chief of Staff, took the call. General Walker asked for authority to move EUSAK headquarters from Taegu to Pusan immediately for security of the army communications equipment which was virtually irreplaceable if destroyed or lost. He said the enemy was approaching too close to Taegu for its safety there. There was no indication in this conversation that General Walker contemplated having the army's tactical units themselves fall back on Pusan.

The withdrawals to a planned position Walker then had in mind would bring the enemy to the Naktong River. General Almond told Walker over the telephone that he would transmit the request to General MacArthur, but that he personally thought such a move at that time would have a very bad effect on EUSAK units and also on the ROK troops. It might lead to the belief that EUSAK could not stay in Korea and might be the forerunner of a general debacle. [12-67]


At the conclusion of the telephone conversation with Walker, General Almond related the substance of it to General MacArthur, strongly recommending that the latter fly to Korea at once-the next day-to talk with Walker. Almond said he felt the situation in Korea was critical and demanded the personal attention of the Far East commander. MacArthur said he would think about it.

Half an hour later he directed Almond to arrange for the flight to Korea the next morning. Almond notified Walker that evening of the projected trip. [note]

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The next day, 26 July, Col. Charles E. Beauchamp's 34th Infantry Regiment, on orders from General Church, moved from the Kunwi - Uisŏng area north of Taegu to Kŏch'ang [West of Taegu].

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At the same time the 24th Division headquarters and divisional troops moved to Hyŏpch'ŏn , where General [Church??] established his command post. Hyŏpch'ŏn is 12 air mile west of the Naktong River, 25 miles north of Chinju,_South_Korea.htm">Chinju, and 15 miles southeast of Kŏch'ang. It was reasonably well centered in the vast area the division had to defend. [17] [note]


The SS Luxembourg Victory left San Francisco on 26 July carrying eighty medium tanks. [15-41]

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Replacements from the United States also had begun to flow into the Far East Command for assignment in Korea. In July, several hundred officer and 5,287 of 5,300 promised enlisted replacements arrived in Japan and were hurried on to Korea.

The Far East Command indicated that the volume of replacements would increase during August and September and reach 16,000 in October. For the last ten days of July, the airlift brought an average of 42 officers and 103 enlisted men daily from the United States west coast, about 100 less than the 240 estimated at its inception as the airlift's daily capacity. [15-42]

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The type of war materiel coming into Pusan Harbor during July shows why the United Nations Command had to hold a defense perimeter around this vital port if the North Koreans were to be denied victory.

During the period of 2-31 July 1950, a total of 309,314 measurement tons of supplies and equipment were off-loaded at Pusan, a daily average of 10,666 tons.
[note]

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A leading American newspaper on 26 July, in a typical dispatch filed in Korea, described the attack against the 1st Cavalry Division at Yŏngdong as being "wave after wave." A subhead in a leading article in the same newspaper a few days later said in part, "We are still out-numbered at least four to one." [15-63]

[15-63] New York Times, July 26 and 30, 1950.

Other American newspapers reported the Korean War in much the same vein. The claim that enemy forces outnumbered United Nations troops at least four to one had no basis in fact.

High U.S. Army sources repeated the statements that U.S. forces were greatly outnumbered. The North Korean forces had outnumbered those of the United Nations after the near collapse of the ROK Army at the end of June and until about 20 July, but never by more than two to one. [note]

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On 27 July, the 7th Infantry Division was 9,117 men understrength-290 officers, 126 warrant officers, and 8,701 enlisted men.

The day before, FEC had relieved it of all occupation duties and ordered it to prepare for movement to Korea. [25-11] [note]

Citations

 

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500726 0000 DSC WARE

 

Silver Star

Kraemer, John [PFC SS A8thECB]

Smith, John D. [PFC SS D27thIR]

Tabor, Stanley Eugene [1stLt SS E19thIR]

Teener, David R. [2ndLt SS H27thIR]

[note]

The Forgotten War

 

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By the end of the following day, July 26, the 1st Cav had steadied down and redeployed into better defensive positions. The infantry was backed by 105-mm artillery batteries and the 155s of the 82nd FAB, commanded by Gerald N. Bench. But its "line" was "fluid," thin, and loosely held on all sides; NKPA pressure was mounting dangerously. Moreover, Hap Gay faced a problem at his rear. From Taegu Johnnie Walker sent word that he was "disappointed" in the performance of the 1st Cav.[6-50] [note]

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* * *
On the right of the 1st CAV the NKPA simultaneously and massively struck Kean,_William_B.(Bill)_MGen_USA.htm">Bill Kean's 25th Division, which had only just got into its new positions in the hills west of the Kŭmch'ŏn - Hamch'ang road. This assault was conducted by four fresh NKPA divisions (1st, 2nd, 13th, and 15th), which had bypassed Taejŏn to the north and circled southeast through Poŭn.[6-1] [note]

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By July 26 Kean entire 25th Division front was under massive and relentless NKPA attack. Yŏngdök's 27th and Fisher's 35th Infantry both performed well. White's 24th Infantry was viewed as a doubtful asset and, as a consequence, the overall effectiveness of the division was impaired. It could not maneuver as a three-regiment division without risk, and much of the energy of the 27th and 35th was expended in plugging holes created by alleged BUGOUTs in the 24th Infantry. The Army historian wrote that Walker was "disappointed and upset" with the division and so informed Kean.[6-63]

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Owing to the weakness of Walker's forces, the failure of most of the 1st Cav Division, and growing doubts about the reliability of the 24th Infantry, Walker's plan to stand firm before Taegu appeared to be unrealistic. However, at this decisive point in its campaign, the NKPA made a ruinous mistake: It split off two of its best divisions, the 4th and 6th, to mount a wide envelopment of EUSAK by going due south to the coast, then east through Chinju and Masan to Pusan.[6-64]

[Remember this when the Marines take them on in about a week]


It was a ruinous mistake because it dispersed and diluted the power of the NKPA at the very time it should have been massing for a coup de grace at Taegu. It violated the military principle of "concentration of force" at the main enemy, which in this instance was the weak and reeling EUSAK. Had the crack NKPA 4th and 6th divisions reinforced the severely weakened NKPA 3rd Division and the fresh NKPA 1st, 2nd, 13th, and 15th divisions, which were maneuvering for the assault on Taegu, there is little doubt that they could have overrun EUSAK and achieved a great victory. [note]

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Walker detected the flanking threat almost immediately. To counter it, he reluctantly called on his only reserve, John Church's shattered 24th Division, which had been out of the fighting for only two days. Walker's plan was to create a new "front" in the south, west of the Nam and Naktong rivers, to block the NKPA drive on Pusan.

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The recently mauled 19th and 34th regiments would move immediately south, almost to the coast, and establish a north-south line running from Chinju to Kŏch'ang.

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The 21st Regiment, which had only just relieved the 7th Cav's 1/7 at P'ohang and Yŏngdök, would remain temporarily in division reserve at Yŏngdök, but several thousand miscellaneous ROK troops in the southern area would be placed under Church's command.[6-65]

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The Chicks of the 19th now had a new commander, West Pointer (1930) Ned D. Moore, forty-three, replacing the wounded Stan Meloy. Like Mike Yŏngdök, Moore was an alumnus of Max Taylor's 101st Airborne Division. In the airborne assaults of the 101st in Normandy and Holland, Moore had served on Taylor's headquarters staff as G-1.

When the 101st was surrounded at Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge, Moore, owing to the suicide of the incumbent, temporarily served as division chief of staff until Mike Yŏngdök recovered from the battle wounds he incurred in Holland.

Moore had arrived in Japan in August 1948 and commanded a regiment of the 7th Infantry Division before moving on to the EUSAK G-3 section. He had not ever directly commanded troops in battle; but he had been closely associated with elite, aggressive airborne infantry in combat (he was shot in the hand in Holland but refused evacuation), and he well knew what to do.[6-66]

Moore remembered: "When I reported to Walker in Korea, he told me he wanted me to take over the all-black Twenty-fourth Regiment. Nobody, including me, wanted command of the Twenty-fourth. When Meloy got hit at the Kum River, Walker told me to take over the Nineteenth, then temporarily commanded by Tom McGrail.

I caught up with Bill Dean before the fall of Taejŏn and was in the division CP at Yŏngdong when the Thirty-fourth buggedout of Taejŏn. Then I was on my way to Chinju with the beat-up Nineteenth. I was `temporarily attached' for weeks as commander, but when Meloy did not return, I became permanent - and thereby escaped command of the Twenty-fourth." [note]

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Johnnie Walker had a favor to ask of Ned Moore. Walker's son, Sam, was arriving from the 82nd Airborne and needed a job. The older Walker had begun his career with the Chicks and apparently wanted Sam to carry on the family tradition. Would Moore take him?


"What kind of strings are you keeping on him?" Moore asked.


"Not a goddamned one," Walker replied. "He's just another infantry officer."
Moore took on this big responsibility, naming young Sam Walker commander of C Company in the 1/19. He remembered that Sam was "one of about fifteen kids in the regiment whose fathers had been my bosses."


As he set up his blocking position at Chinju, Ned Moore was simultaneously reorganizing and trying to re-man the decimated 19th.

He had no exec; that slot was being held open for the wounded Chan Chandler, who was expected to return.

Meanwhile, the S-3, Ed Logan, was filling in as exec.

West Pointer (1942) Elliott C. Cutler, Jr., a veteran of the ETO, replaced Logan as S-3.

The 1/19 (down to about 300 men) was now temporarily commanded by Robert L. Rhea, forty.

Tom McGrail had reverted to command of the 2/19 (about 300 men).

Despite the heavy losses sustained among the junior officers, Moore found a few good, strong combat leaders still in place - for example, Mike Barszcz.[6-67]

[note]

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Upon receiving these reinforcements [6-1/29 & 2/29th] from Okinawa, Ned Moore, who was being "advised" by the fat, deposed ROK Army chief of staff, Chae Byong Duk, ordered Mott's 3/29 to advance west from Chinju to Yŏngdong and make contact with the oncoming NKPA 6th Division. Mott, with Chae in tow, got his convoys moving in the early hours of July 26. [note]

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By July 26 Walker was forced to concede that holding operations by the 1st Cav and 25th Divisions were no longer feasible. He therefore prudently - but reluctantly - warned Hap Gay and Bill Kean to prepare to fall back to the Naktong River, about ten miles west of Taegu. Although Walker absolutely forbade any talk of further withdrawals, the EUSAK staff made secret plans to displace the American and ROK Army headquarters and Rhee government rearward to Ulsan or Pusan. The possibility of a complete evacuation from Korea - a Dunkirk - was now in the back of everybody's mind.[6-71]

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Walker was still on a short tether to GHQ. Having made up his mind about what must be done, he telephoned Ned Almond to ask for a GHQ okay for the withdrawal. Almond - 700 miles from the battlefield - was appalled by Walker's apparent defeatism and negative attitude. Almond stated that a general withdrawal of the 1st Cav and 25th Divisions and a rearward move of EUSAK headquarters to Pusan were sure to have a demoralizing effect on American and ROK GIs and would be viewed as the beginning of a "general debacle" that would almost certainly lead to a Dunkirk.[6-72]


After hanging up, Almond went immediately to see MacArthur. He relayed Walker's gloomy news and plans and urged MacArthur to go at once to Korea and put some ginger in EUSAK. [note]

U.S. Air Force

 

Craigie brought in Mr. Frank L. White, Manila representative of Associated Press. Had a brief talk with him.


Took Gilkeson, Craigie and Banfill to lunch at the Union Club. Sent a strong redline Personal to Van re his redline T. S. to me - utilization of aircraft and percentages of use as compared to World War II flying hours and tonnage dropped. Although our tonnages dropped and sorties flown are based on per aircraft available, it is higher than those logged during World War II from Tinian-Saipan.

[note]

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As a result of analysis of photo recon reports, the targets indicated on the map have been assessed by GHQ Target Group as either destroyed or seriously damaged. Damages which could be easily and fairly quickly repaired have not be included.

The targets which have been destroyed or damaged are not only those hit by B-29 medium bombers but also those attacked by other aircraft.
[One months into the war, this is all?]

22-RR Bridges
38-Highway Bridges
half a dozen both kinds damaged.
Number = RR Bridges
Alpha = Highway Bridges

[I don't see anything to brag about. The war has been going on for 30 day by now.] [note]

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

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

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On 5 July General Stratemeyer "earnestly solicited" General Vandenberg's personal assistance to get the FEAF aviation engineer units up to authorized strength with proper personnel specialties. On 14 July, when General Vandenberg was in Tokyo, General Stratemeyer explained the full import of the aviation-engineer problem to him:

"If we had aviation-engineer units even at nearly full strength with proper specification serial numbers," Stratemeyer said, "the operations from Korea would have been initiated from Taegu and Pusan last Friday [7 July]."[120]

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In Washington USAF authorities begged the Department of Army for assistance. In immediate actions, FEAF was authorized to retain any SCARWAF people who were slated to rotate to the United States, and some 870 specialists began to move by air to Japan on 14 July.[121]

On 26 July, however, FEAF requested 1,237 additional personnel to bring the units to full T/O&E strength, with a surplus of 685 men which FEAF could use to relieve and rotate personnel. The USAF was unable to comply with this request, stating as justification that the Army could not bring FEAF engineers to wartime strength without depleting its cadre sources and effort committed elsewhere. FEAF nevertheless insisted on full T/O&E strength as an absolute minimum and recommended that airmen with requisite qualifications be dispatched if engineer troops were not available from Army sources; indeed, General Stratemeyer recommended that such units and all responsibilities pertaining to them should be transferred to the Air Force. Finally, on 12 September FEAF was permitted to reorganize its aviation engineer units to a strength approximating full T/O&E status. [note]

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On 26 July, however, FEAF requested 1,237 engineer replacements, a number which would bring its units up to strength and provide a surplus of men who could relieve misfits and deserving individuals who were ready for rotation. USAF was unable to comply with this request, stating in justification that the Army could not bring FEAF's aviation-engineer units up to war strength without depleting its cadre sources which it needed to activate new units. [122]

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Plans, Preparations 73
General Stratemeyer nevertheless insisted that his engineers required full strength as an absolute minimum and recommended that airmen with requisite qualifications be dispatched if SCARWAF troops could not be made available. Indeed, General Stratemeyer suggested that aviation-engineer units and all responsibilities pertaining to them should be transferred to the Air Force. [123]

[note]

19th BG(M)

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23,24,25,26,27,28,29 1- week
30,31,01,02,03,04,05, 2-weeks
06,07,08,09,10,11,12, 3-weeks
13,14,15,16,17,18,19, 4-weeks
20 - the Navy sink the bridge [note]

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

Despite the dubious results of medium bombers in close support, General O'Donnell was required to reserve 15 aircraft each day for primary effort against tactical targets along the battle line, and between 10 and 26 July he used 130 B-29 sorties in such activity.

7.6 sorties per day [note]

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With 80 assigned B-29's on 26 July, O'Donnell had already informed FEAF that he meant to drop over 5,500 tons of bombs a month in an average of 1,785 flying hours, thus bettering the peak record of B-29 employment from the Marianas in World War II when the planes were new (with a troublesome untried engine to be sure), maintenance simpler, and replacement crews plentiful. Now his B-29's averaged 6 years of age and 1,000 to 2,000 aircraft hours. For the 8- to 11-hour missions, moreover, Bomber Command plane's would have no fighter escort, since F-80 's lacked the range necessary to penetrate to the borders of Manchuria, and the F-82 's, not considered effective escorts anyway, were needed for the air defense of Japan. [note]

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On 26 July General MacArthur approved the committee's recommendations and issued them as a directive .[64]

[64]
Msg. CX-58758, CINCFE to CG FEAF, 26 July 1950.

The establishment and acceptance of the FEC Target Selection Committee marked the beginnings of workable relationships for the control of theater air forces in the Far East. Since the committee did not attain a joint stature-equally representative of GHQ, FEAF, and NavFE-it was actually not long lived, but during the six weeks that it operated other improvised mechanisms began to control CINCFE's air forces.

An almost immediate result of the creation of the FEC Target Selection Committee was the demise of the GHQ Target Group. Although General Stratemeyer had thought that the GHQ Target Group would continue to prepare and recommend air targets to the FEC Target Selection Committee, this agency had so little capability for target research that it went out of business shortly after 2 August.

The bulk of air-target identification and development reverted to FEAF's Target Committee, which was composed of members of the Operations and Intelligence deputates of the headquarters staff.

Korean_War Ultimately expanded to include representatives of the Fifth Air Force and FEAF Bomber Command (and accordingly redesignated), the FEAF Formal Target Committee became in fact the basic theater agency for target selection. This committee selected major targets for attack and laid out air campaigns against target systems in accordance with basic programs approved by CINCFE and Commander, FEAE [65]

[65]
FEAF Rpt., II, 141-42.

Belatedly, at the end of July, improvised procedures brought some order to the fantastically confused command situation in the Far East, but these extempore arrangements never achieved the full fruits of unification. Certainly, at the outset of the Korean war, the defective theater command system prevented the fullest employment of airpower, delayed the beginning of a comprehensive air-interdiction program for more than a month, and, as will be seen, caused confusion and loss of effectiveness at the very time that every single aircraft sortie was vital to the survival of the EUSAK in Korea.

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Had he possessed a joint headquarters staff, General MacArthur might never have encountered these mischievous problems. To General Weyland, writing on 10 October 1950, one conclusion was inescapable:

"Whenever combinations of Air Force, Army, and Navy are in a joint command, it is essential that the Commander-in-Chief have a joint staff with proportionate representation of the services involved. "[66]

[66] Weyland, Some Lessons of the Korean War, 10 Oct. 1950. [note]

On the basis of the informal understandings undertaken at Taegu the night before, Navy and USAF pilots worked together in support of the EUSAK on 26 July. Some 60 carrier-based sorties, flown in four launchings, reported to the Joint Operations Center and were sent to front-line Mosquitoes, who controlled their attacks. Everyone seemed satisfied, or nearly so.

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General Partridge signaled that he was glad to have the Navy planes. He noted, however, that it was quite difficult to pinpoint enemy targets in southwestern Korea.#10

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General Walker called for a continuation of the fine work on the same pattern without interruption."#11

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Vice-Admiral Arthur D. Struble, commander of the Seventh Fleet, reported that the Mosquito control planes had done an excellent job but appeared to be numerically insufficient to handle both carrier and land-based planes.#12 [note]

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Using the telling argument that the Eighth Army would continue to find itself in a "critical" situation so long as the North Koreans continued to enjoy virtually uninterrupted routes back to their sources of supplies, General Weyland on the evening of 24 July persuaded the other members of the FEC Target Selection Committee to recommend that two B-29 groups should be freed from ground-support tasks and used to effect a steady and continuous interdiction program centered north of the 38th parallel.* On 26 July General MacArthur approved the recommendation and ordered that two medium-bomber groups would be used to destroy key communications centers, rail and highway bridges, and supply depots north of a line connecting the towns of Suwŏn and Kangnung.#44

*See Chapter 2, pp. 54-55.

126 U.S. Air Force in Korea
Since General Weyland had gotten agreement that FEAF target experts would select medium-bomber interdiction targets, the FEAF Target Committee promptly examined the concept for an air campaign designed to disrupt the enemy's use of North Korean communications.

Establishment of primary cut points at P'yŏngyang, Hamhung, Wŏnsan, and Sŏul would prevent rail movements through North Korea to the battle front.

For complete rail interdiction, however, additional rail cuts would be required on all main rail lines.

Further committee study showed that the North Korean highway system followed the same general terrain pattern as the railways.

Thus the destruction of key road bridges between the principal transportation centers-Sŏul, P'yŏngyang, and Hamhung-would hinder Communist motor transport in North Korea.#45

Given this concept for the interdiction of Communist transportation northward of Sŏul, the FEAF deputies for intelligence and operations worked closely to nominate specific interdiction targets. Intelligence established that the target did in fact exist and that its destruction would hamper enemy movement. Operations then established that the target fell logically into some phase of the interdiction program and that its destruction, together with the destruction of related targets, would materially increase the enemy's difficulties in moving supplies and equipment through the interdiction zone.#46 [note]

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With 80 assigned B-29's on 26 July, O'Donnell had already informed FEAF that he meant to drop more than 5,500 tons of bombs a month, thus bettering the peak record of B-29 employment from the Marianas in World War II when the planes were new, maintenance simpler, and replacement crews plentiful.#24

#24 Msg. BC-055-CG, CG FEAF BomCom to CG FEAF, 26 July 1950.

As good as the commanding general's promise, Bomber Command's B-29's averaged 8.9 sorties per month between 13 July and 31 October. During the period Bomber Command dropped 30,136 tons of bombs.#25 [note]

 

U.S. Marine Corps

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By July 26, however, the reinforcements amounted to three divisions and a regiment. Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker took command of the EUSAK (composed of all American and ROK ground forces in Korea) and issued a dramatic edict:

“I direct that all commanders take immediate steps to forcibly impress on all members of their commands the importance of fighting to the death… There will be no retreat from Korea.”

Supported by heavy bombardments from air and naval forces against NKPA units and supply lines, the Eight Army slowly began to stabilize the situation. The toehold in the southeastern corner of the Korean peninsula soon became known as the “Pusan Perimeter.” [note]

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And on 26 July the separate 29th Infantry RCT disembarked at Chinju on the south coast after a voyage from Okinawa. [REALLY????]

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The reinforced EUSAK was still too much outnumbered to vary its strategy of delaying actions with sustained counterattacks. While the new American units and the 25th Division fell slowly back toward the line of the Naktong, the regrouped ROK divisions were assigned sectors toward the north and east, where a secondary NKPA offensive threatened P'ohang-dong. Meanwhile, the exhausted 24th Division went into EUSAK reserve.

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The ground forces would doubtless have been in a worse situation if it had not been for hard-hitting United States naval and air support. Major General Emmett O’Donnell’s B–29 Superforts of the FEAF Bomber Command took off from Japanese bases to fly strikes on enemy supply routes, communications hubs, marshaling yards and other strategic targets all the way back to the Yalu. Task Force 77, ranging along the west coast, gave P'yŏngyang its first large-scale bombing on 3 July. [note]

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The Second Echelon consisted of six LSTs, three APs, and four Japanese freighters, while six LSTs made up the Third Echelon. These ships discharged their cargo from 23 to 29 July, having been delayed by Typhoon GRACE. And on the 30th, ComPhibGru One, as CTF 90, reported that the operation had been completed and no naval units were now at the objective.[29] [note]

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On the morning of the 26th a courier from Washington arrived at Camp Pendleton with a communication for General Smith indicating that the expanded 1st Marine Division would be composed of four types of personnel:

(1) Brigade units, to be combined with the Division upon arrival in the Far East;

(2) units of the 2nd Marine Division, to be ordered to Camp Pendleton to augment elements of the 1st;

(3) regular personnel to be called in from posts and stations; and

(4) final deficiencies to be filled by men from the Marine Corps Reserve who met minimum combat experience requirements.[12] [note]

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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 s 5 units; and
on 4 August, 25 units.

[note]

U.S. Navy

22 July

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USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) arrived at Yokosuka, Japan, with elements MAW-1 on board.

26 July

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Four days later, USS Sicily (CVE-118) arrived at the same port with a load of ammunition, and on

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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]

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On 26, 28 and 29 of July close support operations were conducted under control of Air Force Tactical Air Coordinators in an area along the front line from Yŏngdong north to Hamch'ang. Targets were mainly troops, armor, and transportation facilities. [note]

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

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25, 26,27,28,29
The HMS Triumph (R16) again furnished Combat Air Patrol and Anti-Submarine Petrol for the period 25 through 29 July augmented by one ADW type aircraft from the VALLEY FORGE. [note]

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19500726 0000 TF77, FIS by DD's [note]

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

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At noon on the 19th General Gay assumed command ashore. In the afternoon, with unloading completed, ships of the Attack Force shifted to heavy weather anchorages as Grace[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]

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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. [note]

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By now, too, there were signs that a crisis was making up in Formosa Strait. On the 21st a reported sighting of between 500 and 1,500 junks by the master of a British merchantman had led to special searches by Fleet Air Wing1.

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These proved negative, but on the 26th a VP 28 patrol plane was attacked by two fighters in the northern part of the Strait.

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In this situation, and as continuation of the support effort seemed of doubtful value, Struble recommended to ComNavFE that the Seventh Fleet move south to the Buckner-Formosa area for a possible sweep of the Strait. This proposal, however, was disapproved. The needs of EUSAK remained paramount, [note]

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On the east coast the last echelon of P'ohang shipping was completing its unloading when Admiral Higgins arrived with USS Toledo (CA-133) on 26 July. There the arrival of the heavy cruiser proved a useful addition to the destroyers on duty offshore, and to the field artillery battalion and the F-51 fighter-bomber squadron which had already reinforced this isolated theater.

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For the aviators, as for the contending ground forces, these east coast operations constituted a private war; lacking communications with the JOC at Taegu the squadron operated from the P'ohang airstrip on its own. Despite all difficulties coordination with the east coast naval forces was reasonably good, but there were still surprises; in August USS Helena (CA-75) helicopter and a destroyer would fish two downed F-51 pilots out of the Sea of Japan, neither of whom was aware that the ships off Yŏngdök were friendly. [note]

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

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

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

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

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]

[note]

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[note]

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[note]

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[note]

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[note]

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

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

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

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

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
07/25/50
9:00 AM
07/25/50
10:00 AM
07/25/50
3:00 PM
07/26/50
12:00 AM

0030 Korean Time

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Half an hour after midnight the motorized [3rd] battalion [Mott's 3/29] started for Yŏngdong. General Chae and some other ROK officers guided the column south out of Chinju through Konyang, where it turned north to strike the main Chinju-Yŏngdong road at Wŏnjon. In taking this route they had detoured from the direct road because of an impassable ford. The column spent the entire night trying to negotiate the narrow road and pulling vehicles out of rice paddies. [22]


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[note]

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Sometime during the night, probably after the breakthrough rumor circulated, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, thought that the NKPA had attacked the battalion; resultantly, the battalion withdrew from its established position.

Probably believing themselves in danger of envelopment, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, moved out in haste and became disorganized. The Regimental War Diary suggests that the battalion was under extreme NKPA pressure and withdrew to avoid envelopment. 55


55 War diary summary, Headquarters 7th Cavalry (Infantry), June-July 1950 . In the Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, AG Command Reports 1949-1954, Box 4431, RG 407, NARA.
[note]

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12 July 1950

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The next day he sent a detailed requisition for Army technical service units, showing, in order of priority within each service, the support units needed immediately and those needed later to carry on the essential service support operations in Japan by replacing units scheduled for Korea

Support units coming from the United States did not appear on this requisition of 12 July, but showed up two weeks later on a second requisition. [05-62]

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The stated requirements of the Far East Command for technical service units were viewed in Washington as reasonable and just, but were beyond the capabilities of the Department of the Army to supply. General MacArthur had requested over 200 company-sized units from Chemical, Engineer, Medical, transportation, and other technical services. This requisition, if filled, would involve shipment of 43,472 men and officers. The Department of the Army had only about 150 company-sized service units in the United States.

Between the extremes of sending only cadres from such units and sending every technical service unit from the United States to the Far East, the Department of the Army charted a middle course. Cadres would have little immediate value in Japan and Korea. But the General Reserve could not be stripped without disastrous effect upon the mobilization base. [05-63]

In order to preserve a minimum mobilization base and still take the edge off the Far East commander's most urgent requirements, Washington officials withdrew cadres for retention in the United States and sent about eighty service support units of company size to the Far East. Although these units were only at about 65 percent strength, their specialized composition and the technical know-how of their men and officers enabled them to function profitably, even at reduced strength. [05-64]

[note]

0529 Sun Rise

[note]

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At 5:35 AM local time on July 26, the Fighter-Bomber Wing issued its fragmentary order (FRAGO, or implementing order) for the 26th. The FRAGO outlined a B–26 escort mission; the strafing of an airfield at Konan as mentioned in the operations order and provisions for strip alert (S/A); the employment of Combat Air Patrols (CAP); and nighttime activities for the F–82s; in addition, the FRAGO identified takeoff times and intervals for the F–80 units to provide close-support missions. 90

90 Msg, COMFtrBOMWG 8 to COMFtrBOMGP 8, et al, OPR 319G, 26/0535K, Jul 50.

An examination of the F–80 mission summary reports for July 26 shows that the missions flown match the missions scheduled. 91

91 “List of F-80 Sorties for 26 Jul 50,” Mar 2000; Computer List “F-80 Sorties 26 July 1950 ,” 28 Jul 2000, 27 pages.

The Air Force History Team found mission summary reports for four (8th, 9th, and 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadrons, and the 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron) of the five F–80 squadrons flying on 26 July 1950 . 92

92 “Fighter-Bomber Final Mission Summary (FEAF Intel Form #5),” Reports, either the original handwritten forms or teletype copies, for the 8 and 9 FBS and the 39 FIS exist in Archives II RG 342, Mission Reports, boxes 9, 15 and 22. Typed facsimiles of the 35 FBS Reports are included in the 35 FBS history for Jul 50 located at AFHRA and available at AFHSO on microfilm roll K0487.

For the fifth squadron (80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron), the team found handwritten materials providing mission numbers, flying times, and target areas. The 36th Fighter-Bomber Squadron did not fly on July 26. 93

93 80 FBS mission data for 26 Jul 50 partially reconstructed from working papers found in Archives II, RG 342, 5AF OA Files, Box RD 3564.

The F–80s carried six .50-caliber machine guns and two or four five-inch, high-velocity aerial rockets (HVAR). At this time, F-80s could not carry bombs or napalm from Japan because of fuel limitations. 94

94 Air Materiel Command, “USAF Standard Aircraft Characteristics,” MCRE Report No. 2, amended through 22 Dec 50. [note]

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Man'gyŏng, North Korea or Mun'gyŏng, South Korea I think the latter

The three-hour reports also indicate that before dawn on July 26, an F–82 on a night intruder mission dropped two napalm bombs on Man'gyŏng. One bomb was a dud. 102
102
5AF Intelligence “Three Hour Report,” 26/0600K/July 1950 (Itazuke). [note]

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A little after daylight, the battalion [3rd] encountered a truck traveling south containing 15 to 20 badly shot-up South Koreans. They claimed to be the only survivors of about 400 local militia at Yŏngdong, which the North Koreans had attacked the night before.

Pondering this grave information, Colonel Mott led the battalion on to Wŏnjon on the main road. There he halted the battalion for breakfast and set up security positions.

Mott and Raibl decided that Colonel Moore should know about the happenings at Yŏngdong and, since the battalion did not have radio communication with the 19th Infantry in Chinju, Raibl set out by jeep to tell him. [a five-hour drive, they left at 0030 and just got there]

about 1100----


At Chinju, Raibl told Colonel Moore and Major Logan the story related by the wounded South Koreans. He requested authority for the 3rd Battalion, 19th Infantry, to dig in on a defensive position west of Chinju to cover the Yŏngdong road.

After considerable discussion, Colonel Moore told Raibl that the battalion should continue on and seize Yŏngdong. Major Raibl accepted the order reluctantly since he thought the battalion could not accomplish this mission.
note]

USS Valley Forge (CV-45)
where close air support missions were launched the 25th and 26th.
[note]

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However, the 8th Fighter-Bomber Squadron’s Mission #2 strafed vehicles one mile east of Yŏngdong around 7:00 AM on July 26. [note]

0730 Korean Time

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USS Valley Forge (CV-45) Shifting to the east and north, the carrier lay-off P'ohang-dong, on the east coast of Korea, early on the morning of 26 July. From here, she launched the Navy's contribution to close air support over the rapidly changing front lines. Two Corsair night fighters, three night ADs, four ADs, five F4Us and an F4U photo plane constituted the offensive sorties on the 0730 launch.

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Four other Corsairs made up the rescue sorties, and one AD3W teamed with two Firefly’s from HMS Triumph (R16) for the single defensive sortie.

The missions for the various divisions were a result of information concerning enemy dispositions issued by the Army and Air Force at Taegu last night. Tactical Air Control parties based on Korea established communications with the strike planes and assigned them various targets in or near the North Korean front lines.

Support I, consisting of the night elements of the Air Group, the photo plane and his escort split into two groups over the area. The four fighter type aircraft saw action only between Yŏnp'ung (36° -46’N, 128°00’E) and Mun'gyŏng (36°-44'N, 128°-06’E) where "Picklebarrel", an L-17, vectored them on 8 vehicles which were parked along the side of the road.

Five trucks, one armored jeep, one reconnaissance car, and what appears to be a tank were strafed with rockets and machine guns by the four aircraft, smoking three trucks and inflicting damage to the others. The pilots reported a possible hit and a near miss with rockets, followed by runs, with 20mm. The damaged trucks showed holes from runs, although the targets did not burn, and photos show bursts leading to the vehicles;

The armored jeep and tank were camouflaged with trees and shrubs, and the reconnaissance car with cloth spread over it. All the vehicles were parked on the shady side of the road utilizing the deception afforded by shadow to the maximum.

The three AD3Ms of the other group followed the wrong road to Taejŏn, never finding a target. Their bombs were all jettisoned in the mountains and the returned to the ship with their rockets.

Four ADs reported over Taegu and received some fire from friendly forces, then were called for some strikes against supply boxes at Nomson (35° -25’N, 127° -24’E).

Two 100 # and two HVARs were dropped with unobserved results.

At O’san-ni (35° -35’N, 127° -24’E) three 500# and two 100 # hit a red tile warehouse and left one end burning. Still on call to the TAC, the planes dropped 7 500#, 20 100#, 21 HVAR's on a small town 7-8 miles NNE of Yŏngdong. [was this Nogŭn-ni?]

On retirement, the town was burning in several locales. During the flight, friendly vehicles were soon proceeding west from Taegu and east from lines near Taejŏn.

Also on the hop, 4 Corsairs, who proceeded the ADs into their targets, scored a near miss on the warehouse at Onsan-ni. Results were unknown damage.

At the little town NNE of Yŏngdong, they used 500# bombs and rockets to start scattered fires, which the ADs Reported burning. HVAR's, which burned, ignited as if oil were present.

On the road nearby, 2 burned-out tanks were sighted, and a truck was strafed and damaged. [note]

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Early on the morning of the 26th Admiral Hartman assumed command of the Support Group, sortied from Sasebo with Cruiser Division 3 and Desdiv 111, and headed north to bombard the Korean coast. But his plans were to be rudely interrupted by the developments to the southward which had concerned Admiral Struble. [note]


On the morning of 26 July Partridge got the answer to another mystery, for General Walker told him that he had learned that someone in his staff had requested the additional naval air support. Walker acknowledged that this was not a correct procedure, and he promised that all requests made by the EUSAK for naval air support in the future would be submitted through the Fifth Air Force.#9


116 U.S. Air Force in Korea

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(top, left to right), VAdm. C. Turner Joy, USN. and Secretary of the Navy Francis P Matthews discuss the Korean crisis (Courtesy U.S. Navy).


(bottom) Planes in landing pattern over Task Force 77 (Herbert C. Hahn, Courtesy U.S. Navy).


Pusan Perimeter 117

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(top) A Soviet-built fighter shot down by a Navy fighter (Courtesy U.S. Navy).


(bottom) Snow-covered deck of the USS Valley Forge during operations in Korean waters. The planes on deck include an F4U Corsair (foreground) and an AD Skyraider; in the background is an H03S helicopter.

118 U.S. Air Force in Korea [note]

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The 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing fragmentary order for July 27, 1950 106

[106] MSG, COMFtrBOMWG8 to COMFtrBOMGP8, et al, OPR 328G, 26 / 1200Z July 1950 . [+9]

matched the F-80 squadron mission summary reports; the requirements and take-off times agreed with each other. [107]

[107] 80 FBS mission data for 26 Jul 50 partially reconstructed from working papers found in Archives II, RG 342, 5AF OA Files, Box RD 3564;
36 FBS Mission Summary Reports are located on AFHRA microfilm roll K0488. The 80th FBS did not fly on 27 July 1950 ;
"List of F-80 Sorties for 27 Jul 50," 25 September 2000.

Given the timing of the day's missions, only the three missions flown by the 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron with take-off times between 0600K and 0640K could have flown in the target area at 0715K (K, or Kilo, time represents local time in Korea). A weather reconnaissance flight to Korea from the 36th Fighter-Bomber Squadron (Mission 36-1) took off from Itazuke, Japan, at 0545K but returned at 0720K. The first of the 0700 flights, Mission 39-2, took off at 0710K and did not arrive in Korea until 0735K. Mission 39-1 was a strip alert scramble that occurred at 0755K. [108]

[108] 80 FBS mission data for 26 Jul 50 partially reconstructed from working papers found in Archives II, RG 342, 5AF OA Files, box RD 3564;
36 FBS Mission Summary Reports are located on AFHRA microfilm roll K0488. The 80th FBS did not fly on 27 July 1950 ;
"List of F-80 Sorties for 27 Jul 50," 25 September 2000. [note]

Within the force, morning of the 26th was marked by an extremely convincing submarine contact, but the early strikes led to little more than the destruction of some trucks on the enemy main line of communications. [note]

0945 Korean Time

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Eight more offensive sorties took off at 0945 when two divisions of F9Fs struck at communication lines between Suwŏn and Taejŏn. One pilot strafed and killed a horse pulling a horse cart on the road between the two cities.

People were seen moving along roads with no apparent general direction of travel. Those people appeared to congregate around vehicles already destroyed to Wave off attacking aircraft.

Near Ch'ŏnani a string of well strafed boxcars were observed, and between Suwŏn and Taejŏn the road was littered with hundreds of destroyed vehicles.

At Choch'iwŏn, one division leader strafed the only truck which appeared intact damaging it. Near the truck, he observed 6-8 destroyed tanks. [note]

1000 Korean Time

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Major Raibl returned to [left for] Wŏnjon shortly after noon and [got back about 1730] informed Colonel Mott of the instructions. [note]

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But in the afternoon, despite congestion of aircraft in the target area, one flight of four ADs at last found adequate control. The result was the reported destruction of 70 percent of Yŏngdong, a junction town just west of the saddle where two highways and the railroad come together, and two later flights of eight Corsairs applied more effort to this pressure point by striking troop concentrations in the region between Yŏngdong and Taejŏn. [note]

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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]

1315 Korean Time

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At 1315, 14 offensive sorties and 1 defensive sortie were launched. Four ADs, directed to "wipe out” Yŏngdong, hit the town with napalm, leaving it burning fiercely. From here, they were sent to a RR bridge west of the town, where one hit with a e100# bomb and one with a rocket damaged the span.

On a road WSW, one and a half miles from Yŏngdong, camouflaged vehicles were bombed, strafed, an rocketed, where it is conservatively assumed they destroyed 1 truck.

Nearby, two 100# bombs were dropped on a small village, igniting, two fires. Another village was rocketed and set afire; one more village was strafed with 20mm.

Observations gave news of relatively large numbers of friendly troops moving NW from Waegon (35°-59,N -128°-25’E) to Kunchon [Kimch'ŏn], with vehicles and artillery in company.

Four F4Us on the way into, the target, sighted two friendly trains headed north; one with all boxcars and the other with some flat cars apparently carrying heavy mechanized equipment. Also seen were two blown-out tanks just west of Yŏngdong.

Two to three miles west of town TAC sent them after "20 trucks" in the valleys where they exploded camouflaged ammunition stock piles and trucks under camouflage with more ammunition. Three trucks were burned and 2 more were damaged.

Pilots believe the controller estimated the camouflaged piles of ammunition to be trucks, so there were probably only 6-8 trucks in the area. NNE of this target, they strafed a small village, where the huts caught fire as if oil or vehicles were hidden within. At Yŏngdong, eight 100#, two 500#, and one napalm bomb started fires.

Four F4Us and two ADs were directed from Hungyong, (36°-44’N, 128°-05’E) NW to Yŏnp'ung, where they started fires with each of 4 napalm bombs. They were directed to bomb a narrow sketch of cliff road towards Hungyong and stock traffic. Twenty-nine HVAR's, eight 100#, and four 500# bombs damaged the road badly, leaving it passable only to light traffic. Halfway between the two cities, a destroyed tank appeared, possibly one strafed on the morning stride by the photo plane.

At 36°-45’N, 128°.031’E on the road, they saw 12 trucks destroyed. Half a mile SE of Yŏnp'ung strafed a camouflaged truck with 20mm, damaging it. An Air Force report on anti-aircraft at 37°-02'N, 128° -19.5’E was intercepted. [note]

1400 Korean Time

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At 1700 on 25 July they left Tokyo by plane for Korea. En route they landed at Itami, where the Brigade commander and Cushman made hurried adjustments to meet the new situation.[25]

Leaving Itami on the 26th, they flew to Fukuoka, Japan. There they transferred from their 4-engine Marine aircraft to a smaller Air Force plane which could be accommodated on the primitive landing fields of Korea. On the last lap of their journey, they reached Taegu at 1400.

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Taegu was a dismal place during this crucial phase of the UN delaying action. Hastily chosen as a headquarters by General Walker, the ancient town gave the appearance of a remote outpost. Its airstrip was crude. The fewness of the airmen and soldiers among the handful of transport and fighter planes served only to emphasize the critical situation of the UN forces.[26]

General Craig reported to General Walker immediately, while the Brigade G–3, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph L. Stewart, met with his EUSAK opposite, Colonel William E. Bartlett. Later, Walker’s chief of staff, Colonel Eugene M. Landrum, assembled all the Marine officers for an official briefing. He explained that the Brigade had not been earmarked for any specific mission. The battle situation was too fluid for firm plans. Information from the field was sketchy and unreliable, as outnumbered Army forces slowly retreated. From the time of first contact by American units, the front had been more of a blur than a distinct line. Landrum concluded by saying that the Brigade must be prepared to move anywhere after debarkation—and on a moment’s notice.[27]

After he and his officers had been assigned rooms in a temporary barracks, Craig requested permission to reconnoiter the combat zone.[28] Walker assented, providing his own plane and pilot for the trip. Accompanied by Stewart and Lieutenant Colonel Arthur A. Chidester, his G–4, Craig flew first to Pusan, where he checked harbor facilities, roads, and railways. There he conferred with Brigadier General Crump Garvin, USA, to initiate preparations for the Brigade’s arrival.[29]

Leaving Pusan, the Marine officers flew over Chinhae, which they discovered to be a suitable base, if necessary, for VMO–6 and the Brigade’s air support control unit. Cruising westward, they passed over Masan, then continued toward Chinju. From the latter vicinity, the enemy’s envelopment was then threatening the western approaches to Pusan. Veering northward, the reconnaissance party paralleled the Naktong River. The pilot, who was familiar with the ground, briefed his passengers along the way. By the time the plane returned to Taegu, the Marines had a broad picture of the critical areas most likely to become Brigade battlefields.[30] [note]

Korean_War Korean_War


At 1700 on 25 July they left Tokyo, Japan by plane for Korea. En route they landed at Itami, where the Brigade commander and Cushman made hurried adjustments to meet the new situation.[25]


Leaving Itami on the 26th, they flew to Fukuoka, Japan. There they transferred from their 4-engine Marine aircraft to a smaller Air Force plane which could be accommodated on the primitive landing fields of Korea. On the last lap of their journey, they reached Taegu at 1400.

[note]

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Of the three F–51 units, specific reports exist only on the Royal Australian Air Force No. 77 Squadron. This squadron flew two missions of four aircraft each.

The first mission was primarily an escort mission for B–26s charged with bombing pontoon bridges across the Han River near Sŏul.

After completing the escort mission, the F–51s, armed with .50-caliber machine guns and five-inch rockets, contacted Mellow, who steered them to Ch'ŏngsan to attack various targets.

One of the aircraft contacted Mosquito Jig, who directed the plane to targets north of Yŏngsan-ni,g-Ni [Yŏngsan-ni,-ni] . Mellow directed the second mission, also four F– 51s with machines guns and rockets only, to strafe roads west and north of Namwŏn up to Taejŏn.

Very few targets were visible. After landing at Taegu and refueling, the four F-51s became airborne again; Mellow vectored them to Yŏngju.

They then flew to Tangyang [Tanyang] and Punggi before returning to Iwakuni. [99]

[99] Ltr, Exec., Historical Records (Air Force), Air Force HQ, Dept. of Defense, Australia, to Chief, training Branch, IG, DA, US, 2000/1566 Pt. 1, 29 Feb 2000, with 2 attachments, No. 77 Squadron RAAF Unit History Sheet, Detail of Operations and Narrative [Combat] Reports, July 1950 . [note]


The team found no information on 80th [8th]Fighter-Bomber Squadron Mission #7, which may have gone to Yŏngdong around 2:00 PM on July 26. None of the F–80 mission reports on July 26 mention observing or strafing a large group of people in white clothing. [98]

[98] Computer generated map, “Yŏngdong, South Korea, F-80 Sorties - July 26, 1950 ,” See Appendix E. [note]

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The 40th Fighter Interceptor Squadron of the 35th Fighter Interceptor Group, operating out of P'ohang on the east coast, almost fought a separate war in supporting the ROK forces against attacks south from Yŏngdök toward P'ohang.

OPORD 24-50 gave the 40th the authority to use all of its aircraft on the east coast. Some “three-hour” intelligence reports describe 16 F–51 missions from P'ohang mostly to Yŏngdök, Yonju, and Tanyang. [100]

[100] Msg, COMAF FIVE ADV to JOC, et al, ADV-B-129, 25/1359Z, Jul 50, Document 16;
Whitty Paper, Document 26;
5AF Intelligence “Three Hour Report,” for K-3 (P'ohang) for 26 Jul 50 for 0900K, 1200K, 1500K, 1800K and 2100K.

No mission reports were available. The mission report section of Fifth Air Force intelligence issued the "Three-Hour Report" at three-hour intervals. This report provided brief results of missions flown during the previous three hours based upon the exit information provided to Mellow by aircraft leaving the combat area. Many of these reports match the mission reports completed by the squadron intelligence officer after debriefing the pilots. In the absence of mission reports for the two U.S. F–51 squadrons and the totaling of all sorties by type of aircraft in summaries such as the recapitulation report, the three-hour reports provided the only source available to differentiate mission results from K-2 and K-3 in Korea and Itazuke air base in Japan.

The Air Force History Team located a few three-hour reports for July 26, on the 51st Fighter Squadron (Provisional) at Taegu but found no mission reports. The 51st flew at least 10 missions. One morning mission and two late afternoon missions occurred in the Yŏngdong area on July 26.

During one of the late afternoon missions, three F–51s dropped four 500-pound napalm bombs in the Yŏngdong area. [101]

[101] 5AF Intelligence “Three Hour Report,” for K-2 (Taegu) for 26 Jul 50 for 0900K (2), 1200K, 1500K, 1800K (2) and 2100K. [note]

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Early on the morning of the 26th Admiral Hartman assumed command of the Support Group, sortied from Sasebo with Cruiser Division 3 and Desdiv 111, and headed north to bombard the Korean coast. But his plans were to be rudely interrupted by the developments to the southward which had concerned Admiral Struble.

At 1500 a dispatch came in ordering Hartman to proceed with Helena and the destroyers to Formosa at best speed. These instructions placed ComCrudiv 3 in a somewhat complicated situation, for he now found himself commanding two task groups in two different fleets, and charged with two missions separated by 15 degrees of latitude.

Operational control of Korean affairs was turned over to Admiral Higgins in Toledo, who was ordered to join the fire support ships off Yŏngdök; Helena and the destroyers reversed course and disappeared over the southern horizon; Toledo continued onward alone. But although only one of the heavy cruisers reached Yŏngdök, the arrival of 8-inch guns with their greater hitting power was helpful.
[note]

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The 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, spent the day reorganizing and recovering stragglers and equipment lost during the previous night's disorganized withdrawal. The battalion's soldiers had abandoned vital radios and crew served weapons during that movement. Nearly 200 men were missing. Major Witherspoon, the Regimental S-3 (Operations Officer), set up a collection point by the roadside, probably in the vicinity of Andae ri, and consolidated the battalion. [58]

[58] “Of Garry Owen in Glory: The History of the 7th U. S. Cavalry,” by Lt. Col. Melbourne C. Chandler. Hendricks-Miller Typographic Co. Washington, D.C. 1960.

The [2nd] battalion spent much of the day going back and forth recovering the abandoned equipment and rounding up the stragglers. [note]

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The 8th Fighter-Bomber Squadron’s mission #11 strafed a double railroad tunnel west of Yŏngdong around 5:00 PM on July 26. [note]

1715 Korean Time

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USS Valley Forge (CV-45)

Eight offensive sorties and 1 defensive sortie were launched at 1715 for the last launch of the day, The 8 Corsairs hit Ch'ŏngsan and set fires, then bombed and probably destroyed a small village 5 miles SW of Taejŏn. Nearby a power station vas damaged with fires being started in the transformers. [note]

1730 Korean Time

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Major Raibl returned to [left for] Wŏnjon shortly after noon and [got back about 1730] informed Colonel Mott of the instructions. [note]

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The 1st Cavalry Division's 6:00 PM July 26 PIR again provided no analysis of the enemy's most probable course of action. The PIR reported, however, that a diary taken from a dead guerrilla indicated that the enemy had an observation post in the division's rear "which commands almost all our positions." The PIR further reported that: "[D]efinite organized guerrilla tactics have been used with indications of coordination and direction from N.K. forces. Previous to this date only individual and small groups sniping has taken place in our rear areas." The division's pilots reported the first "flak AA [anti-aircraft] fire" since arriving in Korea. [60]

[60] Headquarters 1st Cavalry Division (Infantry), Periodic Intelligence Report #5, 1800 26 July 1950 , 1st Cavalry Division, Cavalry Divisions 1940-1967, Box 45, RG 338, NARA. [note]

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USS Valley Forge (CV-45)
On conclusion of the operations of the 26th, which at least represented some improvement over earlier efforts in support of EUSAK, the task force withdrew to refuel. CinCFE had expressed his enthusiasm over the effect of the carrier air attacks, and on the 27th the Fifth Air Force JOC, after politely describing the attacks of the 26th as "invaluable and much appreciated," inquired as to their results, requested information as to future operations, and stated it could handle as many flights as could be provided.

But a report from Admiral Doyle on the state of Army and Air Force control of tactical air seemed to indicate a need for basic reorganization and training before adequate standards could be obtained, while the Seventh Fleet, despite the compliments, remained unsatisfied with the results of its work [note]

1900 Korean Time

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1930 Korean Time

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Colonel Mott stopped the battalion at dusk at the village of Hoengch'on, situated about three miles from Hadong a bend of the tortuous mountain road.

[note]

1940 Korean Time


An Air Force captain with a radio jeep and a tactical air control party arrived a little later. His mission was to direct air strikes the next day and provide communication for the battalion. But en route his radio had become defective and now he could not establish communication with Chinju. [note]

1943 Sun Set

[note]

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The 39th Fighter-Bomber Squadron’s mission #11 at 8:00 PM on July 26 reported a tank and three trucks damaged east of Yŏngdong. [note]

2100 Korean Time

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2130 Korean Time

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According to the 7th Cavalry War Diary, the [2nd] battalion's leadership did not regain full control of the situation until 9:30 PM. [59]

[59] War diary summary, Headquarters 7th Cavalry (Infantry), June-July 1950 . In the Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, AG Command Reports 1949-1954, Box 4431, RG 407, NARA.

After the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, reorganized, the soldiers dug in on a ridgeline immediately east of and overlooking the hamlet of Nogŭn-ni and across the road from the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry. They recovered much of the equipment, but 119 men still remained missing. [note]

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According to the 7th Cavalry Regiment War Diary, the battalion's leadership did not regain full control of the situation until 9:30 at night on July 26. After the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, reorganized, the soldiers dug in on a ridgeline overlooking the hamlet of Nogŭn-ni and across the road and railroad to the north of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry.[ 21]

[21] Ibid.

As they reorganized, they recovered much of their equipment, but 119 men remained unaccounted for. [note]

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On July 26, 1950 , at 9:30 at night, 119 men were still unaccounted for. It will probably never be possible to reconstruct the activities of the scattered soldiers of the 2nd Battalion.

The U.S. Review Team determined that the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, arrived in the vicinity of Nogŭn-ni in the afternoon of July 26, 1950 . They relieved the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, and established their position east of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment.

The U.S. Review Team found that there was repeated contact reported between the 7th Cavalry and enemy forces in the vicinity of Nogŭn-ni on July 27 and July 28. The records indicate by this time that the 7th Cavalry had been told that there were no friendly forces to the west and south of No Gun Ri (i.e. back toward Yŏngdong).

The 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, reported an enemy column on the railroad tracks on July 27, which they fired upon. On July 29, the battalion withdrew as the NKPA advanced.

The U.S. Review Team concluded that, based on the available evidence, the 7th Cavalry Regiment was under attack, as they believed, between July 27 and July 29, 1950 , when in position near Nogŭn-ni. [note]

2200 Korean Time

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2259 Korean Time (1359 Zulu)

XXII. Tactical Air Operations on July 26, 1950


At 25/1359Z July 1950 [+9], Headquarters, Fifth Air Force Advanced, issued Operation Order (OPORD) 24-50 for July 26, covering all forces under its operational control, to include B–26, RF–80, F–51, T–6, and F–80 aircraft.

Some specific targets were designated, and B–29 operating areas were identified.

In addition to orders to conduct armed and visual reconnaissance of Taejŏn, Hamyang, and Yŏngju;

escort B–26s;

conduct weather reconnaissance;

and provide area fighter support for B–29s,

the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing provided close support missions as directed by Mellow. The first flight arrived in the target area by first light followed by other flights at 15-minute intervals. [89]


[89] Msg, COMAF FIVE ADV to JOC, et al, ADV-B-129, 25/1359Z, Jul 50. [note]

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EUSAK's PIR for midnight on July 26 estimated that three NKPA divisions opposed the 1st Cavalry and the 25th Infantry Divisions:

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the 3rd Division in the Yŏngdong area; the 2nd Division on the 3rd's left flank; and the 15th Division northwest of Taejŏn-Kumch'ŏn axis together with the deep envelopment to the south around EUSAK's left flank. [61]

[61] Headquarters EUSAK, Periodic Intelligence Report #14, 2400 26 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]

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In addition to the absence of mission reports for the two F–51 units, the Air Force researchers could find no reports for the 6147th Tactical Control Squadron T–6s. This unit did not exist formally until August 1 although the T–6s flew from 10 July onward. Mission reports exist from November 1, 1950 , when the squadron became a group.

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Nonetheless, the daily "Final Recapitulation-Summary of Air Operations" report for July 26, 1950 , issued by Headquarters, Fifth Air Force intelligence, does not identify any targets struck that day anywhere near Nogŭn-ni. [103]

[103] 5AF Intelligence, “Final Recapitulation -Summary of Air Operations Period 0001K-2400K, 26 Jul 50,” attachment to “Dec 99 TAC Air Briefing.” [note]


Wednesday July 26, 1950 (Day 032)

Korean_War 042 Casualties

As of July 26, 1950

1 12TH FIGHTER BOMBER SQUADRON
1 159TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
2 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
24 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
7 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
2 5TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
3 8TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
2 8TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
42 19500726 0000 Casualties by unit

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 17 2,111 1 2 0 2,131
Losses 0 42 0 0 0 42
To Date 17 2,153 1 2 0 2,173

Aircraft Losses Today 003

Notes for Wednesday July 26, 1950 - Day 032