Notes

19500730 0000 13sn

Korean_War

On 27 July, Colonel Moore sent Colonel Wilson with the 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry, north from Chinju to relieve Colonel Rhea in the Anui area. Colonel Rhea was then to bring his battalion south to Chinju, where Colonel Moore planned to concentrate the 19th Infantry. The relief took place at Umyong-ni in the early afternoon of 27 July. Wilson's battalion had no artillery, armor, or air support. A platoon of 4.2 mortars had only two rounds of white phosphorous shells for ammunition. Mounted messengers traveling over thirty-five miles of road were the only means of communication between Wilson and Colonel Moore's command post. [38]

In the early afternoon, Colonel Rhea and their weapons from the Heavy Weapons Company, from Umyong-ni to relieve A Company, 19th Infantry, at Anui. A Company was engaged in a small arms fight and its relief could not be accomplished at once. Colonel Rhea returned to Umyong-ni, leaving instructions that the company should follow him as soon as possible, which he expected would be shortly.

At Umyong-ni Rhea waited about five hours for A Company. Then, when reconnaissance toward Anui showed that an enemy force had cut the road, he started just before dusk with the rest of the battalion for Chinju as ordered. [39]

Meanwhile, Colonel Wilson had sent 2nd Lt. Frank Iwanczyk, Assistant S-3, with two jeeps from Umyong ni to make contact with the 34th Infantry at Kŏch'ang; 1st Lt. Sam C. Holliday, S-2, went to make contact with the ROK troops at Hamyang.

Iwanczyk set off northward. At the Anui crossroads he checked his map and then led off toward Kŏch'ang, waving the other jeep to follow. Because of the heavy dust the second jeep kept well behind the first. A mile north of the crossroads, an enemy machine gun, hidden in a native hut on a turn of the road, suddenly poured devastating fire into the lead jeep. The bodies of all four men fell from the wrecked vehicle into a rice field.

The second jeep stopped with a jerk and the men jumped into the ditch by the road. After three or four minutes of silence, seven or eight North Korean soldiers started down the road. They passed the first jeep and, when nearing the second, they shouted and started to run toward it. Pvt. Sidney D. Talley stood up and fired his M1 at the North Koreans. He killed two of them. His three companions now joined in firing. The surviving North Koreans turned and ran back. One of the Americans scrambled up the bank, turned the jeep around, the others jumped in, and the driver raced back to the Anui crossroads. There, they excitedly told members of B Company about the roadblock. At the battalion command post they repeated their story. [40]

By this time, Lieutenant Holliday had returned from Hamyang. There he had found somewhat less than 600 men of the ROK 7th Division and 150 fresh South Korean marines from Mokp'o. Holliday with three men now set off for Anui. Two and a half miles short of the town, enemy fire from a roadblock destroyed their jeep and wounded one man in the chest. Holliday covered the withdrawal of his three men with BAR fire, and then followed them. Relieved finally at Anui about 1600, A Company, 19th Infantry, loaded into trucks and started south to join Rhea's battalion. A mile below the town the company ran into a fire fight between North and South Korean troops and was stopped. After enemy fire wrecked six of its vehicles, the company destroyed the others, abandoned its heavy equipment, and started on foot through the hills toward the 34th Infantry positions at Kŏch'ang.

July 28th

The next morning 64 Ameri-can and 60 ROK soldiers came in to Colonel Beauchamp's positions there. Why this force did not return to Anui and join Lieutenant Hughes is not known. [41] Meanwhile at Anui, Lieutenant Hughes' B Company, 28th Infantry, was under attack from superior numbers closing in from three sides, and by nightfall it had been forced back into the town.

Hughes made plans to withdraw across the upper Nam River to a high hill east of the town. Two officers and sixteen men got across before enemy automatic fire cut off the rest. After vainly trying to help the rest of the company to break out eastward, the eighteen men went over the hills to the 34th Infantry position at Kŏch'ang. In Anui the cutoff troops engaged in street fighting until midnight. Those who escaped walked out through the hills during the next several days. Approximately half of the 215 men of B and D Companies, 29th Infantry, taking part in the Anui battle, were either killed or listed as missing in action. [42]

Colonel Wilson and the rest of the battalion at Umyong-ni meanwhile knew nothing of the fate of B Company at Anui except that enemy forces had engaged it, and that roadblocks were above and below it. Wilson made two unsuccessful attempts to send help to B Company. The enemy troops that had closed on Anui were advanced units of the N.K. 4th Division. They were well aware that a mixed force of American and South Korean troops was only a few miles below them.

To deal with this force, elements of the division turned south from Anui early on 28 July. In defensive positions about Umyong-ni and Hamyang, Colonel Wilson's men were on the east side of the Nam River. Col. Min Ki Sik's remnants of the ROK 7th Division and a small force of South Korean marines were on the west side. American mortar fire turned back the small enemy force that approached Umyong-ni. On the west side of the river near Hamyang a hard fight developed. There, the South Koreans seemed about to lose the battle until their reserve marines fought through to the enemy's flank. This caused the North Koreans to withdraw northward. From prisoners captured in this battle Wilson learned of the American defeat at Anui the day before. [43] Learning that evening that the enemy was moving around his battalion on back trails in the direction of Chinju, Colonel Wilson began, after dark, the first of a series of withdrawals.

July 29th??????

On 30 July the battalion reached the vicinity of Sanch'ong, twenty miles north of Chinju, and went into defensive positions there on orders from Colonel Moore. Colonel Min's ROK troops also withdrew southward, passed through Wilson's positions, and continued on into Chinju. [13-44]