Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 24.9°C 76.82°F at Taegu

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

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July 29 - General Walton H. Walker issues order that there will be no more retreats. [note]

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July 29
Gen. Walker orders 8th Army forces to "stand and fight." He adds that they must make an "Alamo" stand until UN forces are strong enough to counterattack. He vows there will not be a "Corregidor" surrender. -- The Vatican announces that children who join communist-led youth groups, and parents who encourage them, cannot receive sacraments from the Catholic Church. [note]

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Three SB-17s were used this date for orbit missions. Ten hours and twenty minutes (10:20) flying time was logged on these missions.

ADCC notified this Flight of a Mayday 30 miles out from this station. They requested the Flight to stand by as it was coming in to Ashiya. At 1705/K we were advised to disregard the Mayday as he had landed safely. One false alert recorded this date. [note]

19, 25, 28, 29

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Corps Headquarters


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

July 25
A few days later, General MacArthur revealed that his plans called for using one of these corps headquarters for an amphibious enveloping force, and stated that the operation could be deferred to no later than 25 September.

Although General MacArthur had not said specifically what use he intended to make of the other corps headquarters for which he had asked, the Department of the Army planners assumed that it would be placed under Eighth Army to serve in the breakout and exploitation phase following the initial amphibious assault.

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Officers of the DA G-3 section conferred on the matter with officers from Army Field Forces and determined that the Army could produce only one corps headquarters by the target date. The available corps (U.S. V Corps) was at 75 percent combat effectiveness. Only one signal battalion, the 4th, suitable for employment with a corps headquarters, was in active service in the United States, and it was at 60 percent strength. A lack of critical signal specialists made its estimated combat effectiveness 50 percent. Chances for a second corps looked slim to G-3's planners, particularly in view of the fact that no other corps signal battalion was on duty in the United States
and at least six months would be required to train one.

They concluded that furnishing one corps headquarters with corps troops to the U.N. commander for use in the planned amphibious operation was the maximum capability of the Army. The tasks for which the other corps was slated would have to be given to Eighth Army. [07-54]

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July 28


The Army Vice Chief of Staff, General Wade V. Haislip, disagreed vehemently. In his opinion, a second corps headquarters could most certainly be formed insofar as the staff personnel were concerned. Nor did he accept the G-3's position that it would take six months to train a signal battalion. He pointed out that the signal battalion to be used in defensive operations need not be so highly trained as one slated for offensive amphibious operations and directed G-3 to restudy the problem. [07-55]

July 29


As a result of General Haislip's interest, the Department of the Army told General MacArthur that it would be possible to activate and send to him a second corps headquarters, untrained but having all required staff members. An additional signal battalion could be called into service and made available in six months. Or, if he wished, this battalion could be sent, untrained and at little more than cadre strength, in two months. General MacArthur asked at once for the earliest movement of the first corps (I Corps) and for immediate activation and dispatch of the second (IX Corps). He asked that the second signal battalion be called in and sent to him at once regardless of condition. [07-56] [note]

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On 29 July, Admirals Sherman in Washington and Joy in Japan discussed by telex conference the prospective command organization and resulting flag officer requirements.[cmdctl-42]

CinCPacFlt

As Sherman later summarized the conversation to Admiral Radford, commanding the Pacific Fleet, the two discussed the idea of placing a new echelon between COMNAVFE and the Seventh Fleet commander.

Sherman refused to make “Struble subordinate to anyone junior to Joy [but] would concur in giving him higher responsibilities under Joy and letting aviation flag officers handle fast carrier forces. . . . Will consider personalities and comment further by dispatch.”[cmdctl-43]

Of this, Sherman advised Joy only that he “had communicated to Radford the highlights of our . . . telecon [telephone conversation].”[cmdctl-44]

Sherman had effectively interceded for Struble, his protégé, to ensure that he would command all naval forces at Inch'ŏn.

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On 29 July, Admirals Sherman in Washington and Joy in Japan discussed by telex conference the prospective command organization and resulting flag officer requirements.[cmdctl-42]

CinCPacFlt

As Sherman later summarized the conversation to Admiral Radford, commanding the Pacific Fleet, the two discussed the idea of placing a new echelon between COMNAVFE and the Seventh Fleet commander. [note]

DSC

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Citation:


The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to William M. Benefield, Jr. (O-1685718), Second Lieutenant (Corps of Engineers), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving with the 77th Engineer Combat Company, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Second Lieutenant Benefield distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces near Sangju, Korea, on 29 July 1950.


On that date, during daylight hours, the 77th Engineer Combat Company received orders to advance against the enemy's position. Information was received on the location of an enemy minefield in the path of the company's advance. Realizing the danger to personnel of the company, Lieutenant Benefield, with complete disregard for his personal safety, went forward alone. Although the area was swept by intense small-arms fire, he advanced to within two-hundred yards of the enemy position and attempted to remove the mine field. During this action Lieutenant Benefield was killed. [note]

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Private First Class, Orvin L. Morris, 27th Regiment, takes a much deserved rest during his evacuation to Pusan, Korea, on a hospital train. He was wounded by enemy mortar fire on front lines.
07/29/1950 [note]

27,28,29,30,31,01,02 July-August

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The preparatory barrages began at 0830. Then came the air strikes. The battle that then opened lasted until 2 August without letup.

[It has already been going on for a week, 7/17. Should go on until the 9th]

[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]

Maps

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[note]

"stand or die"

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"As the UN forces formed the 150mile long Pusan Perimeter, Lieutenant General Walton Walker issued the controversial ""stand or die"" order to Eighth Army." [note]

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Photograph 11
July 29, 1950
"South Korean refugees crowd roads leading south after being ordered to leave by the South Korean Army."

[note]

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Photograph 12
July 29, 1950
"South Korean refugees pouring out of village near Yŏngdök, Korea, going south." [note]

South then North

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The general pattern of 24th Infantry action during the last days of July was to try to hold positions during the day and then withdraw at night. On the evening of 29 July the 1st Battalion got out of hand. During the day the battalion had suffered about sixty casualties from enemy mortar fire. As the men were preparing their perimeter defense for the night, an inexplicable panic seized them and the battalion left its positions.

BUG OUT

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Colonel White found himself, the 77th Combat Engineer Company, and a battery of the 159th Field Artillery Battalion all that was left in the front line. He had to reorganize the battalion himself. That night the supporting artillery fired 3,000 rounds, part of it direct fire, in holding back the North Koreans.

In these last days west of Sangju, Maj. John R. Woolridge, the regimental S-1, set up a check point half a mile west of the town and stopped every vehicle coming from the west, taking off stragglers. He averaged about seventy-five stragglers a day and, on the last day, he collected 150. [12-27]

[I wonder when the last day was?] [note]

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Patrols reported to General Gay's headquarters that enemy troops were moving around the division's left flank in the direction of Chirye. On his right flank at the same time there was a question whether the 27th Infantry could hold. These developments caused General Gay to decide that although he was under no immediate enemy pressure he would have to withdraw or his division would be cut off from Taegu. Accordingly, he ordered a withdrawal to the vicinity of Kumch'ŏn where he considered the terrain excellent for defense. This withdrawal began on 29 July after the 27th Infantry had passed east through the division's lines. [12-57]

The 1st Cavalry Division took up new defensive positions around Kumch'ŏn, an important road center thirty air miles northwest of Taegu. The 8th Cavalry Regiment went into position astride the 7th Cavalry Regiment remained in its Hwanggan position until the other units had withdrawn, and then it fell back to a position on the Yŏngdong road about six miles northwest of Kumch'ŏn.

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The enemy flanking movement under way to the southwest through the Chirye area threatened the division's rear and communications with Taegu. Eighth Army strengthened the 1st Cavalry Division against this threat by attaching to it the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry.

This battalion had the mission of establishing a roadblock ten miles southwest of Kumch'ŏn near Hawan-ni on the Chirye road. [12-58] This proved to be a timely and wise move, for, on this very day, the enemy 7th Regiment began arriving at Chirye, only a few miles farther down the road. [note]


Three days later, on 29 July, General Walker issued his much discussed "stand or die" order and seemingly ruled out the previously announced withdrawal. The actual withdrawal of Eighth Army behind the Naktong River in the first days of August further confused the issue.


What prompted General Walker to issue his 29 July "stand or die" order?

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For several days both the 25th Infantry and the 1st Cavalry Divisions had been withdrawing steadily in the face of North Korean attacks, often in circumstances that seemed not to justify it, and with troops in panic and out of control. General Walker was disappointed and upset over the performance of the 25th Division in the Sangju area and he made this feeling known to General Kean, the division commander. [12-65]


General Walker was also disappointed over the inability of the 1st Cavalry Division to check the advance of the enemy on the Taejŏn-Taegu axis. This was apparent on the afternoon on 29 July when he visited the division command post in a little schoolhouse at Kumch'ŏn. He questioned the withdrawals and ordered that there be no more. General Gay replied that he himself did not know whether the withdrawals had been sound, but that he had feared his communications to the rear would be cut. General Gay had served as Chief of Staff for General Patton's Third Army in Europe in World War II.

This, his initial experience in Korea, was a defensive operation and, as he has since said, "he didn't know what to do about it." And always General Walker's earlier admonition to him in Taegu rang in his ears. [12-66]


General Walker himself was a most determined commander. His bulldog tenacity became a byword in Korea and it was one of the decisive factors in the summer battles of 1950. These characteristics caused him to smart all the more under the poor showing of many of the American units. He understood well the great problem of maintaining morale in his command at a time when Eighth Army was retreating rapidly toward its base of supply and, unless checked, would soon have its back to the sea. [note]

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Two days later, on Saturday, 29 July, General Walker visited the 25th Division command post at Sangju.


There he conferred with General Kean and afterward spoke to the division staff and issued his order to hold the line. The press widely reported this as a "stand or die" order to Eighth Army. A paraphrase of Walker's talk, recorded in notes taken at the time, gives a clear version of what he said:


General MacArthur was over here two days ago; he is thoroughly conversant with the situation. He knows where we are and what we have to fight with. He knows our needs and where the enemy is hitting the hardest. General MacArthur is doing everything possible to send reinforcements. A Marine unit and two regiments are expected in the next few days to reinforce us.
Additional units are being sent over as quickly as possible. We are fighting a battle against time. There will be no more retreating, withdrawal, or readjustment of the lines or any other term you choose. There is no line behind us to which we can retreat.
Every unit must counterattack to keep the enemy in a state of confusion and off balance. There will be no Dunkirk, there will be no Bataan, a retreat to Pusan would be one of the greatest butcheries in history. We must fight until the end. Capture by these people is worse than death itself. We will fight as a team. If some of us must die, we will die fighting together. Any man who gives ground may be personally responsible for the death of thousands of his comrades.

I want you to put this out to all the men in the Division. I want everybody to understand that we are going to hold this line. We are going to win. [12-69]


General Walker said much the same thing to his other division commanders at this time, but he did not repeat it to the other division staffs.


General Walker's words reached down quickly to every soldier, with varying results. Many criticized the order because they thought it impossible to execute. One responsible officer with troops at the time seems to have expressed this viewpoint, saying that the troops interpreted it as meaning, "Stay and die where you are."

They neither understood nor accepted this dictum in a battle situation where the enemy seldom directed his main effort at their front but moved around the flanks to the rear when, generally, there were no friendly units on their immediate flanks. [12-70]


A contrary viewpoint about the order was expressed by a regimental commander who said he and the men in his command had a great sense of relief when the order reached them. They felt the day of withdrawals was over, and "a greater amount of earth came out with each shovelful" when the troops dug in. [12-71]


Whatever the individual viewpoint about the order might have been, General Walker was faced with the fact that soon there would be no place to go in the next withdrawal except into the sea.

And it must be said, too, that the troops very often were not fighting in position until they were threatened with encirclement-they left their positions long before that time had arrived. It was actually this condition to which General Walker had addressed his strong words. But they did not immediately change the course of events. [note]

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Everywhere refugees fled the terror sweeping over southwest Korea with the advance of the North Korean Army and guerrilla units. An entry on 29 July in the diary of a guerrilla tellingly illustrates the reasons for panic:

"Apprehended 12 men; National Assembly members, police sergeants and Myon leaders. Killed four of them at the scene, and the remaining eight were shot after investigation by the People's court." [5]

[note]

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The next day, K Company [3rd battalion survivors] was attached to the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry, at Chinju, and L Company to the 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry, two miles to the south of Chinju. [34] [note]

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On 28 July the first indication appeared in American intelligence estimates that elements of the N.K. 6th Division might have moved south.

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The next day the Eighth Army intelligence section conjectured that the enemy had shifted troops southward. It stated that major parts of one enemy division probably were in the Chinju area and major elements of another in the Kŏch'ang area. While the estimate did not identify the enemy unit in the Kŏch'ang area, it erroneously repeated that "all elements of this division [the 4th] are attacking eastward along the axis Chinju-Masan." [37] Even after the Yŏngdong battle on the 27th, Eighth Army did not know that these troops were from the 6th Division.
[note]

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Aerial reconnaissance [13-during that day and ]the next showed heavy enemy traffic entering Yŏngdong from all roads and noted movement northeast on the Chinju road. American intelligence estimated that two enemy regiments with tanks were in the Yŏngdong area. [13-55] [note]

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One of the important bomber missions was to deny the enemy use of the pontoon bridge across the Han River at Sŏul, and to destroy the repaired railroad bridge there. Several attempts in July by B-29's to destroy the rail bridge failed, but on the 29th twelve bombers succeeded in hitting the pontoon bridge and reported it destroyed. [note]


The airlift of critically needed items from the United States tapered off at the end of July as surface transportation began to meet requirements. Some items such as the new 3.5-inch rocket were still being carried largely by airlift, 900 of them being scheduled daily for air delivery to Korea during August.

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The new 5-inch "shaped charge" rockets [6.5-Inch Anti-Tank Aircraft Rocket or ATAR - replaced the 5"] for Navy fighter planes, developed at the Navy's Inyokern, California, Ordnance Test Station, were at first delivered to Korea entirely by air. A special Air Force plane picked up at Inyokern on 29 July the first 200 of the shaped charge war-heads for delivery to the Far East. [15-44]
[note]

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According to their own testimony, the North Korean losses were far greater for this period than U.S. military sources estimated them to be at the time. On 29 July, General MacArthur's Intelligence Section set the figure at 31,000.

The Department of the Army estimated 37,500. [15-57]

Actually, the North Korean casualties appear to have been about 58,000, according to a study of prisoner of war interrogations. This large discrepancy was due apparently to a failure on the part of American authorities to realize how great were the casualties inflicted by the ROK Army. When the enemy is advancing there is little opportunity to count his dead. In some engagements, the ROK's decimated N.K. regiments and even whole divisions. [note]

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The North Korean successes upset MacArthur's plans as fast as he made them. He admitted this to the Joint Chiefs in a message on 29 July, saying,

"In Korea the hopes that I had entertained to hold out the 1st Marine Division [Brigade] and the 2nd Infantry Division for the enveloping counter blow have not been fulfilled and it will be necessary to commit these units to Korea on the south line rather than . . . their subsequent commitment along a separate axis in mid-September.... I now plan to commit my sole reserve in Japan, the 7th Infantry Division, as soon as it can be brought to an approximate combat strength." [25-5]

[note]

Citations

 

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500729 0000 DSC BENEFIELD

 

Silver Star
Lemay, Leland P. [Sgt SS A35thIR]

 

[note]

 

The Forgotten War

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TF77


19500730 0000 ROKN, Toledo and DD's, 1st CAV Land
19500731 0000 Toledo and DD's
19500801 0000 Belfast and Bataan, Toledo and DD's
---
19500724 0000 FIS by DD's
19500725 0000 TF77, FIS by DD's
19500726 0000 TF77, FIS by DD's
19500727 0000 ROKN, TF77 refueling, Toledo and DD's
19500728 0000 TF77, Toledo and DD's

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[note]

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During the night of July 28 - 29, Mike Michaelis,, having incurred 323 casualties and under strong pressure from the NKPA 2nd Division at Hwanggan, got permission from Bill Kean to pull back his Wolfhounds with cover provided by the nearby 7th and 8th Cav regiments.

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n turn, Hap Gay, fearing that the whole 1st Cav might be flanked, withdrew his division twelve air miles from Hwanggan to Kŭmch'ŏn.

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Bill Kean's 24th Infantry, now tightly bracketed by both the 1/35 and 2/35, pulled back into Sangju.[6-76]

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Walker may or may not have approved of these withdrawals. Inasmuch as they conformed to his earlier plans, squelched by MacArthur and Almond, the likelihood is that he did approve. Nonetheless, he still had a GHQ pistol at his head and he therefore felt compelled to make a public pretense of conveying MacArthur's unrealistic and unreasonable orders that Eighth Army must absolutely hold in place. [note]

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On July 29 Walker called on Bill Kean at Sangju, Hap Gay at Kŭmch'ŏn, and John Church at Hyŏpch'ŏn to give them and their staffs a pep talk. Walker was inept at public relations, and his talk proved to be unfortunate. As paraphrased in Kean's CP journal, Walker, after describing the American ground reinforcements which would soon arrive, went on to say:



We are fighting a battle against time. There will be no more retreating, withdrawal, or readjustment of the lines or any other terms you choose. There is no line behind us to which we can retreat. Every unit must counterattack to keep the enemy in a state of confusion and off-balance. There will be no Dunkirk, there will be no Bataan. A retreat to Pusan would be one of the greatest butcheries in history. We must fight until the end. Capture by these people is worse than death itself. We I will fight as a team. If some of us must die, we will die fighting together. Any man who gives ground may be personally responsible for the death of thousands of his comrades. . . . I want everybody to understand that we are going to hold this line. We are going to win.[6-77]

The exhortation would become famous - or infamous - as Walker's "stand or die" speech. Because it was inaccurate or silly in several respects, it was not well received. Contrary to Walker's assertion, there was a good line behind the division to which they could retreat: the Naktong River. In light of the NKPA infiltration and flanking tactics, it was silly to demand that American GIs not adjust to that smartly and give ground, as as Michaelis had done.

In fact, the exhortation was pointless. Over the next several days the 1st Cav and 25th Divisions were forced to fall back another fifteen miles. Simultaneously John Church's skeletal 24th Division, blocking the flanking drive of the NKPA 4th and 6th divisions on Pusan, was forced to give ground.

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[note]

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In the 24th Division's northern sector, near Kŏch'ang, Charles Beauchamp's 34th Regiment was hanging on - but barely. On July 29 the NKPA 4th Division fell on the 34th in a fury. Red Ayres's 1/34 and Jack Smith's 3/34 withdrew under the pressure, falling back toward Sanje. Simultaneously the elements of Charles Stratton's 13th FAB, supporting the 34th, panicked and bugged out.

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Church reinforced Beauchamp with the ROK 17th Regiment, which was still being advised by KMAG veteran Joe Darrigo, and with Dick Stephens's 21st Regiment (from P'ohang-Yŏngdök), which consisted then mainly of Brad Smith's 1/21. But Stephens, Beauchamp, Smith, and Darrigo were not able to contain the attack. [note]

U.S. Air Force

 

1150 hours, Mr. Tofte,[152] of Headquarters CIA delivered letter addressed to me. Sent message to COMNAVFE, with info copies to CINCFE, Com 7th Fleet, CG BOMBCOM:

Request you pass following message to Royal Navy: Sincerely regret instance Seafire aircraft apparently fired upon by our B-29s and one Seafire was set afire. Happy that pilot was rescued. Action under way to revise electronic recognitions procedures to preclude future unfortunate instances. Hope you will instruct Royal Navy pilots to remain out- side of .50-calibre machine gun range when attempting to identify, prior to an attack, four-engine aircraft.

Signed Stratemeyer.



Top Secret study completed last night; re my plan for the utilization of Far East Air Force[s] units in support of the defense of Formosa in case the Chinese Communists attack; finished at 1830 hours, and approved by me. I will submit this to General MacArthur tomorrow - or on my trip to Formosa.

Total of 7 copies were made which will be distributed if and when General MacArthur approves it as follows:

 1 cy [copy] General Turner,

1 cy General Stearley,

2 copies (red comeback cy and another) to Plans,

1 cy (green file copy) with AG Top Secret Control Officer,

1 cy to be left with the TS Control Officer, and

the original to CINCFE.[153]


Annalee and I had dinner with Lt. Cecil,[154] FEAF Officers' Club Manager, and Mrs. Cecil at 2000 hours, University Club.

 

[note]

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

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

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On 29 July the first C-97 inbound flight brought 63 litter patients from Tokyo to Travis in 23 hours, having stopped only at Wake and Hickam.

On later flights, because of the great range of the C-97, it was possible to eliminate the stop at Wake and thus cut some 500-odd miles from the trip. With such schedules, the wounded in Korea knew that there would be no wearisome voyages in ships and no exhausting train rides; the hospitals at which they would be treated would be no more than 72 hours from the war zone and home would be nearby. [notes]

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19th BG(M)


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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Nevertheless, on 24 July, General Weyland persuaded the FEC staff that two medium groups could best be employed against communications, while one gave battlefield support. With only three groups in the theater, no force was immediately available for industrial attacks, but on 29 July the JCS indicated that it was considering dispatch of two additional medium bombardment groups to the Far East to be used against targets north of the 38th parallel; if MacArthur accepted, the JCS was prepared to send a directive indicating the specific targets or target areas to be attacked.

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The proposition having been accepted by MacArthur, General LeMay alerted the 98th and 307th Bombardment Groups on 29 July for a minimum of 30 days temporary duty in the Far East. The 98th Group left Spokane for Yokota between 2 and 4 August, and the 307th departed from its home base at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, on 1-3 August, headed for Kadena.

Although the experiences of these units in preparing for short notice departures were similar to those of the first two groups, the actual movement benefited from the earlier example. The historical officer of the 98th Group stated that "completion of preparation for the move, personnel-wise, was expeditiously accomplished." [note]

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The last FEAF-augmentation project of the period originated not in the theater but in Washington, where the Joint Chick were disturbed over the fact that the three B-29 groups already in the theater had been allowed too little time for strategic bombing deep in North Korea. [Do you suppose the didn't like "Heavy Bombers" being used like "Medium Bombers"? Say it isn't so Joe.] On 29 July the Joint Chiefs proposed to send two additional B-29 groups for 30-day temporary duty in the Far East. provided they would he used for strategic bombing.

That same day the Strategic Air Command alerted the Fifteenth Air Force's 98th Bombardment Group (M) and the Second Air Force's 307th Bombardment Group (M). General MacArthur found the proposal "highly desirable," and on 1 August the two medium bomber groups got their movement orders.#116 [note]

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Back in Washington during July the Joint Chiefs of Staff became increasingly impatient with the delayed strategic bombing attack. So long as the North Koreans drew support from virtually bomb-free industries in North Korea, United Nations forces would find it difficult to defeat them on the battlefields of South Korea.

More mature study, moreover, demonstrated that North Korean industry was contributing significant strength to Russia in the cold war. At some plant in the chemical complex at Hungnam the North Koreans were reportedly processing monazite, a primary source of thorium and other radioactive elements used by Soviet Russia's atomic-energy program.

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In view of the geopolitical importance of the Hungnam chemical combine, General MacArthur authorized "special missions" against it, but he cautioned General Stratemeyer not to lessen the support which the Superfortresses were giving to the ground troops in South Korea.#8 [note]

U.S. Marine Corps

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At an Army briefing on the 29th, the Marines learned that the UN left flank was collapsing. An air of uneasiness pervaded Taegu, and Eighth Army headquarters began preparations for displacement to Pusan.

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Craig was told that the Brigade definitely would be committed in the southwest, unless a more critical situation suddenly sprang up elsewhere. Again the Army officers added that the Marine unit actually must be prepared to move in any direction on short notice.[47]

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With the approval of the Eighth Army, the Brigade commander immediately sent a message to COMNAVFE requesting that the Marine air group be made available to support the ground force by 2 August, and that VMO–6 be transported to Korea as quickly as possible.[48] Time was drawing short. [note]

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23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

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]


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]

U.S. Navy


29 July
First shipment 6.5 inch anti-tank aircraft rockets (ATAR), developed by Navy at NOTS Inyokern for the Air Force, delivered to the latter. [note]

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CV-45


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]


25, 26,27,28,29
The trIUMPH 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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CV-45

where close air support missions were launched from a position approximately 40 miles off the coast on the 28th and 29th. [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]

Through the hectic weeks of July, as the U.N. Command struggled to stem the enemy advance, naval operations fell into three interrelated categories. To support the campaign in the peninsula a steady stream of shipping was flowing into Pusan, while the Pohang landing, carried out by Task Force 90, permitted the rapid reinforcement of the front by the previously uncommitted 1st Cavalry Division.

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At the same time Task Force 77, the U.N’s long-range weapon, worked over North Korean air strength and communications, attacked targets of opportunity like the Wŏnsan refinery, and attempted to support the western front against the pressure of the numerically superior enemy. As troops and supplies were fed into Korea, and as Struble’s force struck northward and struggled with problems of communications and control, the units of Naval Forces Japan were busy on both sides of the peninsula. While patrol planes covered the maritime flanks, the gunnery units escorted shipping, bombarded enemy positions, and gave fire support to the ROK forces holding the east coast road.

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Like everyone else, the Fleet Air Wing 1 detachment had more jobs than it could easily handle. To perform the multitudinous duties of antisubmarine patrol, escort of convoy, weather reconnaissance, and shipping search, Captain Alderman had a total of eight PBM Mariner flying boats and nine P2V Neptunes. Shortly after their arrival in Japan the PBMs of VP 47 moved from Yokosuka to the RAAF base at Iwakuni, near Hiroshima

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Meanwhile the Neptunes of VP 6, which had reached Japan on 7 July and were operating out of Johnson Air Force Base at Tachikawa, were flying daily reconnaissance of the Korean east coast between 37° and 42°, and of the Yellow Sea and west coast as far north as 39°30'.

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

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

On the 29th, however, the opportunities open to the Neptunes were enlarged by authorization to attack enemy shipping and installations, and two at once complied by destroying, with rockets and 20-millimeter fire, a train on the east coast line near Ch'ŏngjin.

The arrival of Rear Admiral Ruble, Commander Carrier Division 15, and of his staff, enabled Admiral Joy to rationalize his air command. The Search and Reconnaissance Group was united with the other naval aviation activities in a new command, Naval Air Japan, which assumed responsibility for squadrons, aircraft, logistics, and bases. But while this improved the administrative situation, it in no way lightened the load for the 17 patrol planes and their crews, and when at the end of the month three RAF Sunderland flying boats reached Iwakuni from Hong Kong, they were most welcome.

On the east coast, day after day, bombardment of the enemy invasion route continued. Coordination with the troops ashore was improving steadily, Korean interpreters had been assigned the ships, an artillery officer had been attached to Admiral Higgins’ staff, and spotting planes were at least intermittently available. [note]


From the 27th to the 30th, in rainy, windy weather, USS Toledo (CA-133), USS Mansfield (DD-728), and USS Collett (DD-730) operated off the battle line. troops and other targets made for good shooting, and both shore and air spot were available; star-shell illumination by the ships aided the artillery ashore; the destroyers continued to alternate days’ duty in running north along the shoreline to bombard targets between Yŏngdök and the parallel. By month’s end the pressure was diminishing.

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The arrival of reinforcements and the reorganization of Task Group 96.5 greatly increased the strength available for operations in the Yellow Sea, where in the early days Alacrity had patrolled alone. Although Admiral Andrewes had assumed command of the West Coast Support Group in early July, the greater needs and opportunities of the east coast situation had made heavy demands upon his ships. Now, however, he had under his control the light cruisers HMS Jamaica (44), HMS Kenya , and HMS Belfast (C-35), the British destroyers HMS Cossack (D-57), HMS Cockade D34, and HMS Charity, the Australian HMAS Bataan (D-191), and the Netherlands Hr.Ms. Evertsen [note]

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27,28,29,30,31,01,02,03,04,05,06 July-August

01,02,03,04,05,06,07,08,09,10,11

On 27 July 8-inch guns were used for the first time against the invading army, as Toledo fired on troop concentrations, supplies, and revetments by day, and by night illuminated the battleline with star shell.

By careful conservation of ammunition this support was continued for 11 days, and so effective was the shooting of the cruiser and the destroyers, assisted by a 24th Division fire control party and by air spot, that only here did the battleline remain stable.

Cruising generally some 7,000 yards offshore, exchanging liaison personnel with the forces ashore by whaleboat, covering the seaborne arrival of supplies for frontline troops, and making arrangements for possible evacuation, the ships of Higgins’ element found their days full. [note]

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

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

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

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

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

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

[note]


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On 29 July, Admirals Sherman in Washington and Joy in Japan discussed by telex conference the prospective command organization and resulting flag officer requirements.[cmdctl-42]

CinCPacFlt

As Sherman later summarized the conversation to Admiral Radford, commanding the Pacific Fleet, the two discussed the idea of placing a new echelon between COMNAVFE and the Seventh Fleet commander.

42. Message, 281508Z, 28 July 1950, CNO to COMNAVFE, OA, NHC. This message set up the telex conversation for the next day.

[note]

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Sherman refused to make “Struble subordinate to anyone junior to Joy [but] would concur in giving him higher responsibilities under Joy and letting aviation flag officers handle fast carrier forces. . . . Will consider personalities and comment further by dispatch.”[cmdctl-43]

43. Message, 291561Z-NCC 18238, 29 July 1950, CNO to CINCPACFLT, OA, NHC.

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Of this, Sherman advised Joy only that he “had communicated to Radford the highlights of our . . . telecon [telephone conversation].”[cmdctl-44]

Sherman had effectively interceded for Struble, his protégé, to ensure that he would command all naval forces at Inch'ŏn.

44. Message, 291659Z-NCC 18239, 29 July 1950, CNO to COMNAVFE, OA, NHC.

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When Beauchamp returned to Kŏch'ang at 0300 everything was quiet. [note]

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In darkness an hour later (about 0400 29 July), a North Korean attack came from two directions. One force, striking from the north, cut off I Company. Another moved around the town on the north and then struck southward across the road east of Kŏch'ang. The 1st Battalion repulsed this attack, but then, without orders, fell back toward the secondary position three miles east of Kŏch'ang. Colonel Beauchamp met the battalion on the road and stopped it. [note]

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On July 29, the 34th was dug in near Kochang. The regiment had no switchboard and was short of mortars, rocket launchers and machine guns.

Its commander, Colonel Charles E. Beauchamp (appointed just before the struggle for Taejŏn), wanted to pull his regiment back three miles, but the new division commander, Brig. Gen. John H. Church, ordered him to stand fast.

Two NKPA attacks at 5 a.m. cut off Company I of the 3/34th and pushed the 1/34th out of position. Beauchamp halted the battalion on the road. The 1st Battalion later rescued all but one platoon of the cut-off unit. That same afternoon the 34th withdrew some 15 miles to the east. [note]

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Before dawn, 29 July, the 27th Infantry Regiment withdrew through the 1st Cavalry Division lines at Hwanggan to a position about a mile east of Kumch'ŏn. That afternoon Colonel Michaelis received orders from Eighth Army to move to Waegwan on the Naktong River near Taegu, as army reserve, instead of joining the 25th Division in the Sangju area.

In its five days of delaying action on the Poŭn-Hwanggan road, the 27th Infantry Regiment lost 53 men killed, 221 wounded, and 49 missing, a total of 323 battle casualties. The N.K. 2nd Division suffered heavily during this time, some estimates placing its loss above 3,000 men. [12-53] [note]

0532 Sunrise

[note]

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Before daylight the 3rd Battalion, also without orders, fell back through Kŏch'ang, leaving I Company isolated to the north. This battalion ran a gantlet of enemy automatic and small arms fire for a mile, but in the protecting darkness suffered few casualties. After daylight the 1st Battalion rescued all but one platoon of I Company. The men of this platoon were either killed or captured. [13-49]

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During the pre-dawn attack some small arms fire struck in the howitzer positions of A Battery, 13th Field Artillery Battalion, from a ridge 500 yards eastward. Maj. Leon B. Cheek, the battalion executive officer, awoke to the sound of the firing. Hurrying to the road he saw the battery commander, who said the enemy had overrun the artillery. The battery executive officer came up and told Cheek that everyone had "taken off," although he had ordered the men to their foxholes. When the firing began, he said, someone yelled, "Run for your life!" Two squads of infantry attached to the artillery to provide security had joined the stampede. [13-50]

Cheek stopped the wild shooting in his vicinity and started toward the howitzers. He ordered all prime movers driven back to the gun positions. Twelve men from the artillery and the drivers of the prime movers obeyed. From the infantry, a BAR man and three riflemen volunteered to go forward to cover the artillerymen while they pulled out the howitzers. Cheek placed these four men in firing positions and they soon almost silenced the enemy. A small enemy patrol of six or seven men apparently had caused the debacle. Cheek and the twelve artillerymen loaded the equipment and ammunition, hitched the prime movers to the guns, and, one by one, pulled the five howitzers to the road. They then withdrew eastward.

Korean_War

During 29 July the 34th Infantry Regiment withdrew eastward 15 miles to hill positions near Sanje-ri on the road to Hyŏpch'ŏn. From a point 3 miles south east of Kŏch'ang the road for the next 10 miles is virtually a defile. The with drawing 34th Infantry and its engineer troops blew all the bridges and at many points set off demolition charges in the cliffs overhanging the road.

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The 18th Regiment of the enemy division pressed on after the retreating 34th Infantry. The N.K. 4th Division left its artillery behind at Kŏch'ang because of the destroyed bridges ahead of it. In advancing to the Naktong River on the Hyŏpch'ŏn road, it employed only small arms and mortar fire. [13-51]

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It was anticipated that the enemy force which had captured Kŏch'ang would soon approach the Naktong River for a crossing below Taegu. This prospect created another difficulty for Eighth Army.

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To meet it, General Walker told General Church he would send to him the ROK 17th Regiment, one of the best South Korean units at that time.

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He also shifted the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, from the P'ohang-dong Yŏngdök area on the east coast to Hyŏpch'ŏn, where it took up defensive positions back of the 34th Infantry west of the town.

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[note]

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With the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, in the lead, the regiment passed through Hwanggan and occupied positions adjacent to the 5th Cavalry. The withdrawal of the 7th Cavalry from the vicinity of Nogŭn-ni early on the morning of July 29 marked the end of friendly activity in the area. The area was then under NKPA control. No U.S. troops returned to this area until after the breakout from the Naktong River defenses in September 1950 . The NKPA's first patrols entered Hwanggan later that day. 27 [see 9 am below]


27
War diary, 1st Cavalry Division, June-July 1950 . In the Records of U. S. Army Commands, Cavalry Divisions 1940-1967, Box 131, RG 338, NARA.


Finding: The U.S. Review Team found that, in the early morning hours of July 26, 1950 , the 2nd Battalion of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, without specific orders, but believing they were being enveloped, conducted a disorganized and undisciplined withdrawal from a position east of Yŏngdong to the vicinity of Nogŭn-ni. They spent the remaining hours of July 26 until late into that night recovering abandoned personnel and equipment from the area where the air strike and machine-gun firing on Korean refugees is alleged to have occurred. [note]

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On 29 July as a result of MacArthur's visit, Walker issued a widely publicized order, in the form of a public statement during a speech to the staff of the 25th Division. Walker stated that the Eighth Army would retreat no more, that there was no line to which it could retreat, and that, in effect, every man in Eighth Army would "stand or die" along the present line. [07-31]


The defensive line behind which Walker intended his troops to "stand or die" lay mainly on the Naktong River barrier in the west and fanned out from Pusan. Rectangular in shape, measuring nearly 100 miles from north to south and about fifty miles from east to west, the area quickly became known as the Pusan Perimeter. (See Map 1) [07-32] [note]

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He confided to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 29 July that, while the enemy's successes were upsetting his plans nearly as fast as they were made, he was still holding to the September date.

"In Korea," he said, "the hopes that I had entertained to hold out the 1st Marine Division [08-sic: Brigade] and the 2nd Infantry Division for the enveloping counterblow have not been fulfilled and it will be necessary to commit these units to Korea on the south line rather than . . . along a separate axis in mid-September."

He had not given up hope of mounting the waterborne attack even though he now admitted it might have to be staged out of the Pusan Perimeter rather than Japan.

Korean_War

And he informed the Joint Chiefs that as soon as the 7th Division could be brought to approximate strength he was going to throw it into the fight. [08-12]


General MacArthur realized that without full support from Washington the landing could not be made. And sensing, perhaps, a certain coolness among the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or at least an absence of enthusiasm approaching his own, he included an evaluation of amphibious landings with particular emphasis on Korea.

"It is essential, in my opinion," General MacArthur told his superiors, "to utilize our own strength in naval and air forces in the form of amphibious envelopment. When and if this can be accomplished, the ground initiative which the enemy now possesses will be wrenched from him and a decisive result made possible."

[note]

Korean_War

27,28,29
During the next three days Task Force 77 continued to support the Eighth Army, and it effected a workable solution to the front-line control problem which helped the Mosquitoes.

Navy controllers, flying AD dive-bombers, joined the Mosquitoes and remained on station with them for three to four hours. As Navy attack planes came in, they were controlled by either the Air Force or the Navy controller, whichever was available and not already working other aircraft.

At the conclusion of their strikes the Navy pilots checked out with "Mellow" control and made an oral report of their mission accomplishments.

At the end of this stint of close support duty, when the task force had to withdraw for replenishment, the Navy operations officer told the Joint Operations Center that the way naval pilots had been used was very satisfactory and effective, although some days Navy pilots had been short of targets.#13 [note]

Korean_War

That morning, 29 July, a platoon-sized patrol of the 16th Reconnaissance Company under Lt. Lester Lauer drove southwest through Chirye. Later in the morning, Korean police informed Lauer that an enemy battalion was in Chirye. He radioed this information to the Reconnaissance Company and asked for instructions.

The company commander, Capt. Charles V. H. Harvey, decided to take another platoon to the assistance of the one beyond Chirye. He set out immediately from Kumch'ŏn with the platoon and fourteen South Korean police. At the outskirts of Chirye this force surprised and killed three enemy soldiers. Beyond Chirye the little column drew scattered rifle fire. [note]

0830 Korean Time

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CV-45

Following the same general mission as yesterday, carrier planes hit targets near the front lines around Yŏngdong. They Navy was given its own bomb line and private area to destroy roads and answer any other call missions directed TAC in the vicinity. At 1000, the first group of planes returned from 24 offensive sorties (8 F9F, 8 AD, and 8 F4U) and 1 defensive sortie.

The jet sweep, launched at 0830, split into 2 divisions as yesterday. The first of these swept Nunsan (35°-58’N, 127°4-42’E), Chŏnju (35°-49’N, 127°-09’E), and Kongju (36°-27’N 127°-07’E) where they strafed 3 previously damaged vehicles.

The 2nd division hit farther east near Namwŏn (35°-25’N, 127°-22’E) where they strafe three RR cars attached yesterday. At Chinan they hit and damaged a small vehicle. Several trucks near Chuneong-ni were let go because the aircraft could not strafe the mountain side road. Two columns of troops were seen to scatter into nearby house in Kamjang-ni, so the planes strafed the building. At Kaltam-ni (35°30’N, 127°-08’E) 2 camouflaged trucks were probably destroyed.

Back with the props, 4 F4Us dropped one cluster of incendiaries on a wheelhouse near the Senchen-ni rail yards, starting several smoldering fires. To the south of town a RR and on adjoining highway bridges sustained damages; the former from a near miss with a 500# bomb, and the latter from a direct hit with a 100# bomb in the approach. No anti-aircraft was encountered. Two fires from yesterday attacks were seen still burning at Namson during the flight.

For more F4Us heard a controller a Yŏngdong (35°-05’N, 127°-46’E) yelling for many fighters, so they diverted before reaching Kŏch'ang (35°-40’N, 127°-54’E). At the target, by direction of the controller, they found at least 50 vehicles on the road east of town. Two of these vehicles were reported as definite direct hits were obtained with 5” rockets, 100# bomb, and strafing on a power substation at Nungju (34° -59’N, 126°-58’E). It was left burning and believed to be completely destroyed.

The seven ADs headed north for the area, which they had hit hard on the previous two hops of the day, stopping at Sunchon long enough to ignite a long building on the north side of town with a 500# bomb, destroying 1 truck, and damaging 2 others. Here, three of the planes left the formation for other targets, while the other four headed for the lucrative area near Yŏngdong.

Reporting to a controller over the city they were directed to a bridge and 3 villages in that order. The bridge sustained damage from 1 1000# and 3 500# near misses, a village 10 miles east of Yŏngdong showed furious fires from several 500# bomb hits, and 2 villages NW of town were damaged by fire, after being hit with their ration of the remaining bombs.

In subsequent strafing runs 1 truck was destroyed by rocket hit, 3 tuck were burned to the east, and 5 more were damaged in the same area.

A strafed train of horse carts was left in extreme disorder as the planes retired.

Meanwhile, the other three planes damaged 2 trucks and burned 1 jeep 5 miles SW of Kuryo. Lashing out at everything they saw, they damaged 1 truck at Koksong, damaged an unidentified vehicle under straw at Namwan, and burned a truck at Chumgnum-ni.

Directed to Kŏch'ang they damaged another bridge a near miss 100# bomb and a 500# bomb right in the approaches. Fires were started in Kŏch'ang and at a village 6-9 miles east.

Nearby they again went wild over numerous tucks and tanks, burning 1 truck, damaging 4 others, and damaging 2 tanks. White panels were seen in Unbong (35°-26’N, 127°-32’E) on the ground and vehicles. [note]

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Desperately short of men himself, General Walker urgently appealed to General MacArthur on 29 July for the 7th Division's 32nd Infantry to be flown into his perimeter.

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This appeal came shortly before the 5th RCT, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, and the 9th RCT of the 2nd Division landed at Pusan.

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Knowing that these three regiments were to arrive and aware of the low combat potential of the 32nd Infantry, General MacArthur denied this request, explaining that granting it "would completely emasculate present plans for the entire 7th Division, which is being reconstituted and will move to Korea, probably in late September." [09-31] [note]

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With the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, in the lead, the regiment passed through Hwanggan and occupied positions adjacent to the 5th Cavalry. This move did not occur without incident, however. Like the night of July 25-26, the regiment became confused and did not arrive in its new positions until sometime after 9:00 AM, even though the regiment had no contact with the enemy. Some indications suggest that this confusion represented another instance of poor coordination within the 7th Cavalry. The Operations Order called for the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, to have priority of movement. The 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, would travel over the railroad tracks behind the battalion's position and through the railroad tunnel into Hwanggan to join the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, already moving rearward on the road. 71

71 War diary, Headquarters 7th Cavalry (Infantry), 25 June-31 July 1950 . In the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, AG Command Reports 1949-1954, Box 4431, RG 407, NARA.

Apparently, the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry left its positions before the 2nd Battalion and arrived in Hwanggan first, creating a traffic jam that delayed the regiment's progress. [note]

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CV-45

On the 29th the Corsairs and Skyraiders shifted their efforts to the Yŏngdong-Sunch'ŏn region of the south coast, from which a battalion of the 29th Regiment, moved west from Pusan to block the passage south of the central hill mass, had just been driven by the North Korean 6th Division.

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Here pilots reported destruction of a score or more trucks and a couple of tanks and damage to bridges and rolling stock, and described control procedures as varying from very good to very bad. To the northward, on the Naktong River front, a morning strike of eight Panther jets found a controller who was at least frank to admit that he was overloaded and could not work them; four were detached on armed reconnaissance to the northward while the others, although unable to make radio contact, showed their initiative by following an F-80 flight in a strafing run on enemy troops. [note]

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CV-45

Following the same general mission as yesterday, carrier planes hit targets near the front lines around Yŏngdong. They Navy was given its own bomb line and private area to destroy roads and answer any other call missions directed TAC in the vicinity. At 1000, the first group of planes returned from 24 offensive sorties (8 F9F, 8 AD, and 8 F4U) and 1 defensive sortie. [note]

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Before noon, 29 July, an enemy column with three motorcycles in the lead approached the 2nd Battalion's advanced blocking position about six miles southwest of Chinju. Although there was an automatic weapon available, it did not fire on the column. The few rounds of artillery that fell were inaccurate and ineffective. The advanced unit, F Company, then withdrew to join the main battalion position just west of the Nam River four miles from Chinju. An air strike on the enemy column reportedly inflicted considerable damage, halting it temporarily. [13-56] note]

Korean_War

CV-45

Following the same general mission as yesterday, carrier planes hit targets near the front lines around Yŏngdong. They Navy was given its own bomb line and private area to destroy roads and answer any other call missions directed TAC in the vicinity. At 1000, the first group of planes returned from 24 offensive sorties (8 F9F, 8 AD, and 8 F4U) and 1 defensive sortie.

The jets sent two division on their 1130 sweep. One division hit and probable destroyed 1 camouflaged truck at Nampyong (35°.03’E, 126°-50’E) and probably destroyed another between Kwangju and Hwasun. Qne large horse cart and passengers were strafed in the same vicinity, destroying the cart; 1 vehicle between Kwangju and Yŏngdong was damaged. Under TAC they strafed building along river entrance at O’hwanggum-ni (34°-55'N 127° -38’E) and saw many people leave the huts after the run. This division was unable to contact “Mellow Control", end they also found control by "mosquito Peter" on channel four unsatisfactory, The other division strafed and damaged 2 trucks and 1 bus at Kwanju. At Namson, with the two photo planes from the carrier, they strafed the town, where F-51 Mustangs had started fires. No other targets were seen.

The 8 F4Us contacted the TACP at Yŏngdong where they were dir­ected to hit a highway bridge 3 miles cast of the city. Two direct 100# bomb hits end several misses combined to damage the structure and prohibit use for some time, at least. South and east of Yŏngdong, they saw many camouflaged vehicles along the roads. Splitting into teams, they damaged I truck, probably destroyed 1 tank, and damaged 2 camouflaged vehicles. 10 miles east of Yŏngdong, they attacked three settlements, strafing people in the villages and dropping napalm. Fires were started in all three. Three napalm duds were later ignited by 20mm fire. [note]

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The two platoons [Capt Harvey and Lt. Lester] joined forces at noon and started back.

In the northern part of Chirye, which Harvey's column entered cautiously, the lead vehicles came upon a partially built roadblock from which an estimated enemy platoon opened fire on the column, Harvey ordered his little column to smash through the roadblock.

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The M39 vehicle pushed aside the wagon and truck that constituted the partially built block, but only one jeep was able to follow it through. Enemy machine gun fire disabled the next vehicle in line; thus the northern exit from Chirye was closed. [12-59] Several hundred enemy were now in view, moving to surround the patrol.

The patrol pulled back to the south edge of town, set up three 81-mm. mortars, and began firing on the enemy machine gun positions. Cpl. Harry D. Mitchell, although wounded four times and bleeding profusely, stayed with his mortar and fired it until his ammunition was expended. Captain Harvey early in the fight had received a bullet through one hand, and now machine gun fire struck him again, this time cutting his jugular vein. He did not respond to first aid treatment and died in a few minutes. His last order was for the company to withdraw. [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]

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CV-45

Following the same general mission as yesterday, carrier planes hit targets near the front lines around Yŏngdong. They Navy was given its own bomb line and private area to destroy roads and answer any other call missions directed TAC in the vicinity. At 1000, the first group of planes returned from 24 offensive sorties (8 F9F, 8 AD, and 8 F4U) and 1 defensive sortie.

Direct hits were obtained with 5” rockets, a 100# bomb, and strafing on a power sub station at Nungju (34°59’N 126°58’E). It was left burning and believed to be completely destroyed.

The seven ADs headed north for the area, which they had hit hard on the previous two hops of the day, stopping at Sunchon long enough to ignite a long building on the north side of town with a 500# bomb, destroying 1 truck, and damaging 2 others. Here, three of the planes left the formation for other targets, while the other four headed for the lucrative area near Yŏngdong. Reporting to a controller over the city they were directed to a bridge and 3 villages in that order. The bridge sustained damage from 1 2000# and 3 500# near misses, a village 10 miles east of Yŏngdong showed furious fires from several 500# bomb hits, and 2 villages NW of town were damaged by fire, after being hit with their ration of the remaining bombs.

In subsequent strafing runs 1 truck was destroyed by rocket hit, 3 trucks were burned to the east, and 5 more were damaged in the same area. A strafed train of horsecarts was left in extreme disorder as the planes retired.

Meanwhile, the other three planes damaged 2 trucks and burned 1 jeep 5 miles SW of Kurye. Lashing out at everything they saw, they damaged 1 truck at Koksong, damaged an unidentified vehicle under the straw at Namwon, and burned a truck at Chumgnum-ni. Directed to Kochang they damaged another bridge a near miss 1000# bomb and a 500# bomb right in the approaches.

Fires were started in Kochang and at a village 6-8 miles east. Nearby, they again went wild over numerous trucks and tanks, burning 1 truck, damaging 4 others, and damaging 2 tanks. White panels were seen in Unbong (35°26’N 127°32’E) on the ground and vehicles. [note]

1400 Korean Time

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CV-45

Following the same general mission as yesterday, carrier planes hit targets near the front lines around Yŏngdong. They Navy was given its own bomb line and private area to destroy roads and answer any other call missions directed TAC in the vicinity. At 1000, the first group of planes returned from 24 offensive sorties (8 F9F, 8 AD, and 8 F4U) and 1 defensive sortie.

Twenty-three offensive Sorties (7 AD, 8 F4U, 8 F9F) and 1 defensive sortie (AD3W) took off in stages at 1300 and 1430 to hit more close support targets. The jet sweep was the first back with no losses. At Yŏngdong the first division probably destroyed 2 trucks and saw many of our planes over the area. Two ether divisions probably destroyed 1 jeep and 1 camouflaged truck at Posong. Near Yŏngdong they damaged one camouflaged truck and 1 camouflaged weapon carrier.

Operating in the same area, one division of F4Us attacked numerous camouflaged vehicles with rockets an 20mm machine gun fire. Several direct hits were observed and 6 vehicles were left burning, two of which were identified as trucks. The other 4 unidentified due to camouflage. One other truck received direct hits, but did not burn and was believed probably destroyed. Additional vehicles were strafed in the sane vicinity with results undetermined. troops in brownish-yellow uniforms were observed in the area, but the attack was concentrated on vehicles. The other division of F4Us hit targets of opportunity around Yŏngdong due to the large numbers of plane which congested the area south­east of Yŏngdong. troops and vehicles were reported hiding in a small settlement of about 10 huts, 5 miles NW of Konyang (35°03’N 127°58’E). Napalm hits were achieved on the settlement, burning it down. One truck at the edge of the village was hit squarely with a 5" rocket destroying it. Several oil or gas drums near the truck were ignited with 20mm fire. A camouflaged armored jeep was heavily damaged and left smoking 5 miles east of Yŏngdong. One exposed truck on the road 3 miles east of Kwangyang (34°-58’N, 127°-35’E) was strafed and damaged. Another truck was similarly damaged in the hills just north of Okkwa (35°-17’N,127°-08’E). [note]

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CV-45

The 1600 launch consisted of 11 offensive sorties (3AD and 8 F4U) and one defensive sortie. The two division of Corsairs contacted an air controller at Yŏngdong and were directed to bomb the vehicular bridge southwest of, and near, Yŏngdong. The bridge had been previously damaged, but suffered another direct hit with a 500# bomb which passed through the surface and exploded near the water. A large hole in the pavement was the only damage unless the bomb blast inflicted additional weakening from beneath.

Another 500# bomb blew a large crater in the road lending to the bridge. A napalm bomb hit one of the approaches to the bridge and ignited a wooden span and the repair lumber pile nearby.

The controller then directed the F4Us to several vehicles about 5-8 miles east of Yŏngdong. A previously strafed armored car was again strafed with damage unknown. One truck received a direct hit with a 100# bomb. The truck burned and was destroyed. Two additional gas or ammo trucks were exploded and destroyed by strafing. Friendly troops were seen about 3 miles east of the burning trucks with cerise panels displayed.

Three ADs were the only other planes at the target, and they reported damage similar to that described by the Corsairs at the bridge at Yŏngdong. One of their 500# bombs made a direct hit on the eastern abutment. Three miles east of town three napalm bombs were dropped on a village starting three good fires. [note]

Korean_War

CV-45

The 1600 launch consisted of 11 offensive sorties (3AD and 8 F4U) and one defensive sortie. The two divisions of Corsairs contacted an air controller at Yŏngdong and were directed to bomb the vehicular bridge southwest of, and near, Yŏngdong. The bridge had been previously damaged, but suffered another direct hit with a 500# bomb which passed through the surface and exploded near the water. A large hole in the pavement was the only damage unless the bomb blast inflicted additional weakening from beneath. Another 500# bomb blew a large crater in the road leading to the bridge. A napalm bomb hit one of the approaches to the bridge and ignited a wooden span and the repair lumber pile nearby. The controller then directed the F4Us to several vehicles about 5-8 miles east of Yŏngdong. A previously strafed armored car was again strafed with damage unknown. One truck received a direct hit with a 100# bomb. The truck burned and was destroyed. Two additional gas or ammo trucks were exploded and destroyed by strafing. Friendly troops were seen about 3 miles east of the burning trucks with cerise panels displayed.

Three ADs were the only other planes at the target, and they reported damage similar to that described by the Corsairs at the bridge at Yŏngdong. One of their 500# bombs made a direct hit on the eastern abutment. Three miles east of town three napalm bombs were dropped on a village starting three good fires.

In a gully one half mile to the east the controller directed them on target designated as trucks. Strafing 3 of the trucks parked close together in a grove, a tremendous explosion created a pyrotechnic display which was still exploding as they left. Believed to have ammunition in them, 3 trucks were evaluated as destroyed. Nearby a rocket into the rear end of a tank set it afire and ultimately destroyed it. 2 more trucks were burned, 1 by strafing, the other by napalm. An observed field piece present may be damaged, but no pilots saw hits on it. 40mm anti-aircraft was encountered, and one AD was hit in the wing. The gun emplacement was not spotted.

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CAP was furnished by the Spitfires of HMS Triumph (R16). [note]

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Three SB-17s were used this date for orbit missions. Ten hours and twenty minutes (10:20) flying time was logged on these missions.

ADCC notified this Flight of a Mayday 30 miles out from this station. They requested the Flight to stand by as it was coming in to Ashiya. At 1705/K we were advised to disregard the Mayday as he had landed safely. One false alert recorded this date. [note]

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July 29 marked the withdrawal of the 7th Cavalry from the vicinity of Nogŭn-ni and the arrival of the NKPA in Hwanggan. The 1st Cavalry Division continued its phased withdrawal to the Naktong River. No friendly forces returned to this area until the September breakout from the Naktong River defenses.

90

The 1st Cavalry Division's 6:00 PM July 29 PIR reported some NKPA patrol activity in the division's zone during the last 24 hours but "no concerted pressure at any point." The PIR offered no estimate of the enemy's most likely course of action. 73 [note]

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With the end of the day’s operations the Striking Force retired. Carrier operations during July, limited though they were by logistic problems and frustrated by difficulties in control, had been reasonably successful, but they had not been free from cost.

In addition to the aircraft destroyed in the deck crash of 4 July, two F9Fs, three F4Us, and a helicopter had gone into the water, and on the 22nd an AD had crashed and burned, taking its pilot down with it.

July 4, 1-HOS3, 1-AD3W, 2-AD4's, 1-F51

July 16 1-F9F

July 19 1-F9F-3

July 3 1-F4U

July 19 1-F4U

July 25 1-F4U

July 22 1-AD-4

Most downed personnel, however, had been fished out of the sea by screening ships; one pilot had been recovered 80 miles from the force by triumph’s amphibian plane; another, shot down behind enemy lines, had been picked up by an Army helicopter which in turn had gone down from fuel exhaustion, but both pilots ultimately had made contact with friendly forces.

Perhaps the most remarkable loss of the period had occurred on the 28th when a triumph fighter pilot on combat air patrol, vectored out to investigate a radar contact which showed unfriendly, had somewhat absentmindedly closed a B-29 only to find himself shot down west of Anma Do in the Yellow Sea. But he too was recovered by a destroyer.

British Seafire from HMS Triumph (R16)


Following the operations of the 29th five ADs were launched with pilot passengers to pick up replacement aircraft which had reached Japan in USS Boxer (CV-21);HMS Triumph (R16) and HMS Comus (R-43) were detached to Japan for further assignment to the west coast blockading force; Admiral Struble boarded a destroyer and headed for Sasebo in anticipation of a flying trip to Formosa with CinCFE; USS Valley Forge (CV-45) and her screen steamed south for Buckner Bay. There they anchored on the 31st and there, on the next day, Task Force 77 received a welcome accession of strength with the arrival of the carrier USS Philippine Sea (CV-47). [note]

Korean_War

CV-45

Following the same general mission as yesterday, carrier planes hit targets near the front lines around Yŏngdong. They Navy was given its own bomb line and private area to destroy roads and answer any other call missions directed TAC in the vicinity. At 1000, the first group of planes returned from 24 offensive sorties (8 F9F, 8 AD, and 8 F4U) and 1 defensive sortie.

The task force departed on the evening of the 29th for Buckner Bay, Okinawa, to replenish and rearm. [note]

1900 Korean Time

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1941 Sunset

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Korean_War

A disturbing entry appeared in Eighth Army's PIR for midnight on July 29: the 25th Infantry Division reported that a soldier who escaped the ambush of his patrol had seen NKPA troops shooting wounded American soldiers they had captured.

The PIR further reported some reduction in the NKPA 3rd Division's pressure against the 1st Cavalry Division's front but warned that aerial reconnaissance had revealed a large build-up in the vicinity of Chirye and south of the 1st Cavalry's new positions around Kŭmch'ŏn. Eighth Army evaluated this build-up as an effort by the NKPA 3rd Division to envelop the 1st Cavalry's left flank through a gap between the 1st Cavalry and the 24th Infantry Division to its south.

However, Eighth Army now considered the Taejŏn-Kŭmch'ŏn axis as the NKPA's secondary effort; increasing pressure in the 24th Infantry Division's zone, particularly around Kochang and Yŏngdong, suggested that the enemy's main effort had shifted to envelop Eighth Army's left flank coupled with increasing guerrilla activity in Eighth Army's rear areas. 74

74 Headquarters EUSAK, Periodic Intelligence Report #17, 2400 29 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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[note]


Casualties

Saturday July 29, 1950 (Day 035)

Korean_War 089 Casualties

As if July 29, 1950

14 16TH ARMORED RECONNAISSANCE COMPANY
4 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
2 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 25TH DIVISION ARTILLERY
HEADQUARTERS HEADQUARTERS BATTERY
2 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
6 29TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
41 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
7 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 3RD ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
2 65TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
3 77TH ENGINEER COMBAT COMPANY
5 7TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
1 8TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
89 19500729 0000 Casualties by unit

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 20 2,532 1 2 0 2,555
Losses 0 89 0 0 0 89
To Date 20 2,620 1 2 0 2,643

Aircraft Losses Today 000

Notes for Saturday July 29, 1950 - Day 035

19500729 0000 Third Rescue Squadron19500729 2000 ap 29 July 1950