Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 26.7°C 80.06°F at Taegu

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

First Marine air strike launched by VMF-214.

[note]

Aug. 3

August

The 24th ID, which had gained about 10 miles against Red troops in an offensive begun Aug. 1, is attacked by reinforced North Korean units. GIs are fighting about 30 miles west of Pusan to keep from withdrawing to the Naktong River, which curves to within five miles of city Pusan before it reaches the Sea of Japan.

-- The 24th ID also reported finding two more GIs who had been bound and then shot by the North Koreans.

-- The Army orders 30,000 members of the volunteer and inactive reserve to report for active duty in September.

-- As 134 National Guard units are ordered to active duty, Congress votes to remove size limitations on the Army.

[note]

August


The 6204th Photo-Reconnaissance organization began sharing hangar and office space with Flight "A" at Johnson AB. This detachment employs B-17 type aircraft and is performing photo-reconnaissance mission related to Korean operation.


Four SB-17s and one SA-16 were used on orbit missions this date. A total of twenty nine hours and fifty minutes (29:50) was flown.


Captain Oscar N. Tibbets, USAF, assumed the duties of operations officer of Flight "D" this date.


At 1130/K, H-5, #49-2005 was airborne from Flight "D" for Pusan, Korea. This aircraft was escorted to Pusan by a troop carrier C-47 #0144.


Lt. Jernigan and Lt. Jeffers piloting an H-5 from Ashiya [Flight "D"] to Pusan in Korea developed a gas leak approximately 15 miles from Pusan. The fuel supply was diminishing so rapidly a decision was made to make a water landing while the aircraft was still under control. Upon landing in the Korean Straits the tail rotor blade was sheared due to the heavy seas of six to eight feet. A navy tug and crash boat were ordered to the scene and in an attempt to tow the H-5 to Pusan it capsized.

[note]

August

Aug. 3: The 18th FBG headquarters moved from Japan to Taegu for expanded F-51 operations. SA-16 amphibious rescue aircraft began flying sorties along the Korean coast to retrieve US pilots forced down during operations.

[note]

USMC F4U committed to combat

[note]

August August

As is now well known, MacArthur did get his landing at Inch'ŏn. The earlier BLUEHEARTS plans, shelved because of the deteriorating ground situation for the Eighth Army and the lack of appropriate amphibious forces, were pulled down [when?] and fleshed out once the perimeter at Pusan had finally been largely stabilized—with the essential assistance of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, which arrived in mid-August. [early August]

[note]

Distinguished Service Cross

August

MATTA *

* KIA

August

The next morning General Craig made a reconnaissance of the area in a HO3S-1. This flight began a new era in command and control. General Craig eventually came to call the helicopter the "emergency weapon" of the Brigade command and staff.15 The Brigade maneuvered rapidly with the intent of counterattacking and stopping North Korean penetrations. The helicopters of VMO-6 proved their worth. General Craig said of them:

Marine Helicopters have proven invaluable. . .They have been used for every conceivable type of mission. The Brigade utilized them for liaison, reconnaissance, evacuation of wounded, rescue of Marine flyers downed in enemy territory, observation, messenger service, guard mail at sea, posting and supplying of outguards on dominating terrain features and resupplying of small units by air. 16

General Joseph L. Stewart recalled the use of the helicopter when he was a Lieutenant Colonel and the G-3 of the 1st Provisional Brigade at Pusan, Korea:

.I was the G-3 of the brigade in Korea that employed the first helicopters in combat. . .It was really dramatic to observe those who hadn't seen a helicopter operate before, to see the reactions and expressions of those who saw for the first time how the helicopter could be of such great assistance to us in planning these fast moving, put-out-the-fire type of operations.17

Major Gottschalk, the Commanding Officer of VMO-6, stated, with historical significance, that the helicopter brought back a personal element to command and control on the battlefield that had not been seen in modern times:

...perhaps the most important use of the helicopter in the early months of the Korean War concerned command and control. The flexibility provided the Brigade Commander to control his forces, change direction of movement, give personal instructions to subordinate commanders, and observe the resultant battlefield movement in a dynamic fast moving situation provided a new dimension to tactical control of the battlefield in a difficult terrain setting. 18

Major Gottschalk said, speaking of medevac flights, that:

the availability of the helicopter to pick up wounded from units that were cut off some distance from the main body improved the morale of the men in the lines. [He added that rescue missions also] helped the morale of the fighter pilots in support of the Marine brigade.19

[note]

August

"Congress removed the existing limitations on the size of the Army. The Army issued an involuntary recall of 30,000 enlisted men, mostly from the Volunteer and Inactive Reserve, to report in September."

[note]

August

"Elements of Marine squadron VMO6, equipped with HO3S helicopters and OY observation aircraft, began operations in Korea."

[note]

South Koreans recaptured Yŏngdök.

[note]

August August August

The first air strike by Marine aircraft was launched by VMF214 from aboard the USS Sicily (CVE-118). Aircraft of the First Marine Aircraft Wing attacked targets in the southwest sector of Chinju.

[note]

South then North

August

The N.K. Army communiqué for 3 August, broadcast by the P'yŏngyang radio and monitored in Tokyo, claimed the capture of Andong on 1 August with 1,500 enemy killed and 1,200 captured. It alleged that captured equipment included 6 105-mm. howitzers, 13 automatic guns, 900 rifles, and a large number of vehicles. [12-12]

The ROK 8th Division, and some elements of the Capital Division which had joined it, lost very heavily in these battles. Enemy losses also were heavy. Prisoners reported that air attacks had killed an estimated 600 North Korean soldiers; that the 31st Regiment alone lost 600 men in the Andong battles; that the 2nd Battalion of the division artillery had expended all its ammunition and, rather than be burdened with useless weapons and run the risk of their capture or destruction, it had sent them back to Tanyang; that of the original 30 T34 tanks only 19 remained; and, also, that a shell fragment had killed their division commander. This enemy crack division, made up of veterans of the Chinese wars, was so exhausted by the Andong battle that it had no recourse but to rest where it was for several days in early August. [12-13]

[note]

On a line curving north and east from Waegwan, the divisions of the ROK Army also withdrew across the river, coordinating their moves with Eighth Army on the night of 2-3 August. In this movement, the ROK forces had some severe fighting.

[note]

August

Eighth Army on 3 August defined the boundary between the 24th and 25th Divisions as the south bank of the Naktong River, and made the commanding general of the 24th Division responsible for bridges, ferries, and small boats along the stream. General Church was to remove to the north bank, and destroy as he deemed advisable, all boats and ferries, and to prepare all bridges for demolition and blow them at his discretion.

At this time, Eighth Army planned for the 9th and 23rd Regiments of the 2nd Infantry Division to relieve the 24th Division in its sector of the line the night of 8 August, but events were to make this impossible. [15-22]

Opposite the 24th Division stood the N.K. 4th Division.

Above the 24th Division, the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division extended the line 18 air miles to a point 3 miles north of Waegwan. The actual river line was about 35 miles. The 7th Cavalry (less the 1st Battalion, which was in division reserve), the 8th Cavalry, and the 5th Cavalry Regiments were in position in the division sector, in that order from south to north. The division command post was at Taegu. Taegu, also Eighth Army headquarters, lay about 10 miles east of the Naktong River behind the center of the 1st Cavalry Division front. [15-23]

Opposite the 1st Cavalry Division was the N.K. 3rd Division.

The three American divisions each had fronts to defend from 20 to 40 miles long. The Naktong River Line at this time resembled closely the German front before Moscow after the first German withdrawal in 1941, when Guderian's divisions each had a front of 25 to 35 miles to defend. [15-24]

North of Waegwan, the ROK 1st and 6th Divisions of the ROK II Corps extended the line north along the Naktong for 20 more air miles, and thence north-east for about 10 miles toward Uisŏng. From there the 8th and Capital Divisions of the ROK I Corps continued the line northeast through Uisŏng where it turned east toward Yŏngdök on the coast. On the east coast the ROK 3rd Division held the right anchor of the U.N. line. The ROK Army headquarters was at Taegu with a forward command post at Sinnyong. ROK I Corps headquarters was at Uisŏng; ROK II Corps headquarters at Kunwi. [15-25]

North of Waegwan, the N.K. 15th and part of the 13th Divisions faced the ROK 1st Division; eastward, part of the N.K. 13th and the 1st Division faced the ROK 6th Division; beyond them the N.K. 8th Division stood in front of the ROK 8th Division; next in line, the N.K. 12th Division confronted the ROK Capital Division below Andong; and, finally, on the east coast the N.K. 5th Division and the 766th Independent Infantry Regiment faced the ROK 3rd Division. [15-26]

In summary then, the ROK Army held the east half of the line from a point just above Waegwan; the U.S. Eighth Army held the west or southern part. The ROK sector extended for about 80 air miles; the Eighth Army's for about 65 air miles. The ROK troops held the most mountainous portions of the line and the part with the poorest lines of communications.

The North Korean Army comprised two corps: I Corps controlled operations generally along the western side of the perimeter opposite the American units; II Corps controlled operations along the northern or eastern half of the perimeter opposite the ROK units. This enemy corps alignment remained unchanged throughout the Pusan Perimeter period of the war. [15-27]

The N.K. Army had activated its I Corps at P'yŏngyang about 10 June 1950, its II Corps at the same place about 12 June 1950. In early August 1950, the N.K. I Corps included the 3rd, 4th, and 6th (later also the 2nd, 7th, 9th, and 10th) Divisions; II Corps included the 1st, 5th, 8th, 12th, 13th, and 15th Divisions. Tanks and personnel of the 105th Armored Division were divided between the two corps and supported both of them.

The establishment of the Pusan Perimeter may be considered as a dividing line in viewing and appraising the combat behavior of the American soldier in the Korean War. The Pusan Perimeter for the first time gave something approaching a continuous line of troops. With known units on their left and right and some reserves in the rear, the men showed a stronger disposition to fight. Before the Pusan Perimeter, all through July and into the first days of August, there was seldom a continuous line beyond a battalion or a regimental position. Both flanks were generally wide open, and enemy troops moving through the hills could easily turn a defensive position. Supporting troops were seldom within reach. American soldiers, realizing the isolated nature of their positions, often would not stay to fight a losing battle. Few in July 1950 saw any good reason for dying in Korea; with no inspiring incentive to fight, self-preservation became the dominating factor.

[note]

August August

On the third day of August, FEAF issued to the Fifth Air Force and to the Navy lists of targets for coordinated interdiction attacks south of the 38th Parallel. In general, the Han River divided Fifth Air Force and FEAF Bomber Command zones. [15-32]

[note]

The marines went ashore at Pusan on 3 August and proceeded immediately to [the vicinity of] Masan in Eighth Army reserve.

[note]

on 3 August they [ROK] were 1,133 (128 KIA, 414 WIA, 591 MIA) in comparison with U.S. Army losses of 76. [15-56]

[note]

August

The next morning, 3 August, North Koreans attacked and drove the platoon off Fox Hill. That night F Company of the 5th Infantry counterattacked and recaptured the hill, which it held until relieved there by marine troops on 8 August. Nevertheless, Throckmorton's battalion was in trouble right up to the moment of the Eighth Army counterattack. There was every indication that enemy forces held the higher Sobuk-san area. [16-14]

[note]

August

The 5th Cavalry Regiment at Waegwan had a front of 14,000 yards. [42,000 feet = 7.95 miles] [19-7] In order to provide artillery fire support for such great frontages, the artillery firing batteries were placed about 7,000 yards behind the front lines and about 6,000 to 7,000 yards apart. Each battery laid its guns on two different deflections. By shifting trails it was possible to mass the battery fire. In some instances, two batteries could mass their fire, but an entire artillery battalion could not do so because of the great flank distance within a regimental sector. The artillery tried to achieve volume of fire by rapidity of firing. In one instance, ten 105-mm. howitzers fired 120 rounds in seventy seconds, an average of one round every six seconds for each gun. [19-8]

[note]

 

Citations

 

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500803 0000 DSC MATTA

 

Silver Star

Alvey, Newton [PFC SS L27thIR]

Lee, Christian C. [Maj SS OIC CAS CO TACS2]

Torres, Lawrence R. [PFC SS A8thFAB]

 

[note]

 

US Air Force

 

 

Timberlake in at headquarters from Korea. Sent a memorandum to COMNAVFE telling them they would have to get out of Johnson Air Base as we needed it and they couldn't go into Kisarazu. Recommended Itami which we were turning over in toto to the Navy (they could go into Sendai and Misawa).[170-More aircraft were arriving at Johnson and there wasn't any more room to accommodate them, thus the Navy was forced to vacate the base.]


Called to General MacArthur's office at 1900 hours. Those present were: (other than CINCFE and myself) Almond, Wright, and Weyland. We discussed with him a signal which he had received from General Walker telling him that a pilot had reported several convoys going south toward Seoul and three trains moving south toward Seoul. In the discussion, CINCFE reiterated that he wanted a line cut across Korea, north of Seoul, to stop all communications moving south. Of course, I was delighted to receive that direction as we had preached that doctrine since the B-29s arrived. Our intention is to pull the 19th Bomb Group, which was scheduled for close ground support, back to targets that will really
isolate the battlefield.[171-Because the ground situation up until then was so precarious, the B–29s had been used in a ground support role with little opportunity for strategic or interdiction bombing. On July 24, General Weyland was able to persuade the other members of the Target Selection Committee to release the B–29s from their ground support missions in order to pursue an interdiction role north of the 38th Parallel. Two days later, MacArthur approved this recommendation and set a line between Suwon and Kangnung, north of which the B–29s would destroy key targets, such as rail and highway bridges, supply depots, and communications centers. An initial list of interdiction targets was issued on July 28 and expanded on August 2. The following day, Stratemeyer ordered 5AF to destroy targets along a belt between the 37th and 38th parallels while the B–29s of Bomber Command went after targets farther north. Thus, when General MacArthur told Stratemeyer on the evening of the 3d to “stop all communications moving south,” Stratemeyer already had a comprehensive interdiction plan in place. (Futrell, pp 125-128.)] We were authorized to continue the third strike against Hungnam Chemical and Munitions Plant. After this strike, all three groups will be placed on interdiction of the rail and road communications net north of Seoul.


I directed General Weyland to put this into effect and to get information to General Partridge to put fighters and light bombers on the reported trains and convoys.


One F-51 believed hit by small arms ground fire; crashed near Kumch'on.

 

[note]

 

 

August August August August

Early in September EUSAK's critical plight brought naval planes back to try close support again. The difficulties encountered in these strikes surprised FEAF, which had thought most problems solved at the 3 August conference. The Navy, however, seems to have considered this merely an advisory conference, the decisions of which were not mandatory. And, although the Air Force understanding was otherwise, neither this conference nor any current directive actually stated that Eighth Army must make all of its requirements for close air support to the Fifth Air Force through the JOC. As a result, Walker requested naval close support without informing FEAF or the Fifth Air Force, and MacArthur ordered Joy to extend the desired support, again without informing FEAF.

[note]

19500803 0000 usaf0 - elastic bridge 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]

General Stratemeyer had already prepared to use these F-51's when on 11 July he had approved a plan to move the 18th Fighter-Bomber Group with its 12th and 67th Squadrons from the Philippines for temporary duty with the Fifth Air Force. By 30 July this contingent had converted to F-51's at Johnson, and on 3 August it had reached Taegu, where, next day [4 August], the 51st Fighter Squadron (P) was returned to its old designation as the 12th Squadron.

5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 24, 27, 30 Aug. 3,4

With the arrival of a fighter group, the air base unit at Taegu was redesignated and expanded to become the 6002nd Fighter Wing, Single Engine, comprising temporary duty squadrons typical of a wing organization. Hardly had this new organization been set up on 1 August, than the threat of an enemy attack at Taegu forced the withdrawal of all heavy equipment and large portions of the personnel. The 67th Squadron went back to Ashiya and on 6-7 August the remainder of the 18th Fighter-Bomber Group followed it there.

5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 24, 27, 30 aug 3,4, 6, 7, 8,

On 8 August the 6002nd Fighter Wing also moved back to Ashiya, leaving behind a newly activated 6149th Air Base Unit to serve 18th Group fighters as they staged through Taegu on combat missions. Other aircraft managed the same routine, and a total of 2,368 sorties were flown from Taegu during August and early September. (about 50 per 45 days)

[note]

August August

Hoping to get continued carrier close support for the hard-pressed Eighth Army, General Weyland asked NAVFE to continue such strikes in coordination with Partridge's headquarters, and at a NAVFE-FEAF conference on 3 August, the Navy agreed to give first priority to close support. The conferees recognized that not all naval aircraft would be used for close support and therefore accepted naval air strikes against interdiction targets south of the 38th parallel as second priority, and interdiction strikes north of the 38th parallel as third priority. It was agreed that the Navy would coordinate interdiction strikes south of the parallel with Fifth Air Force, north of the parallel with FEAF Bomber Command. FEAF also gave the NAVFE representatives a list of interdiction targets for dissemination in their command.

Back in South Korea in early August, it still seemed impossible to coordinate Navy carrier air with Fifth Air Force effort. On entering Korean waters, the carrier force commander informed Partridge that he planned to send his strikes to contact forward controllers directly, instead of reporting in to MELLOW over Taegu, so as to give his planes more time over the targets and allow them more discrimination in selecting targets. Anxious to secure cooperation, General Partridge did not object.

[note]

August

Movement of additional tactical organizations to Korea awaited the re-equipment of those units with F-51's from the United States. The aircraft carrier USS Boxer (CV-21), which managed an eight-day crossing of the Pacific, brought 145 F-51's which had been assembled for delivery by 27 July.

August

General Stratemeyer had already prepared to use these F-51's when on 11 July he had approved a plan to move the 18th Fighter-Bomber Group with its 12th and 67th Squadrons from the Philippines for temporary duty with the Fifth Air Force.

By 30 July this contingent had converted to F-51's at Johnson,

and on 3 August it had reached Taegu, where, next day, the 51st Fighter Squadron (P) was returned to its old designation as the 12th Squadron. With the arrival of a fighter group, the air base unit at Taegu was redesignated and expanded to become the 6002nd Fighter Wing, Single Engine, comprising temporary duty squadrons typical of a wing organization.

[note]

By 30 July this contingent had converted to F-51's at Johnson, and on 3 August it had reached Taegu, where, next day, the 51st Fighter Squadron (P) was returned to its old designation as the 12th Squadron.

[note]

On 3 August FEAF issued a list of interdiction targets south of the 38th parallel to the Fifth Air Force, a list which was also furnished to the Navy for coordinated attacks. In general, the Han River divided Bomber Command and Fifth Air Force areas of interdiction, but at Sŏul, Bomber Command was expected to take out the steel railway bridge while the Fifth Air Force destroyed a pontoon bridge which the enemy ran across the river at night. FEAF also suggested that the Navy use gunfire against bridges within 15 miles of both Korean coasts.

August

[note]

August

The whole committee accepted these views and incorporated them into a memorandum which was approved by General MacArthur on 25 July. **

** - General MacArthur's approval of this plan for interdiction was revealed on 3 August, when he called in Generals Stratemeyer, Almond, Wright, and Weyland to discuss a EUSAK message reporting several enemy convoys moving southward toward Sŏul. MacArthur emphasized that he desired a line cut across Korea, north of Sŏul, to stop all enemy communications moving south.

[note]

The warning alert, followed by appropriate operations orders, went out to the 22nd and 92nd Groups on or soon after 1 July. Officers and airmen who had been planning Fourth of July holidays found themselves packing crates, loading cargo planes, or standing in line before the boarding ramps of planes bound for the Far East. After hurried hours of packing and preparation, the deployment airlift got under way. The two groups scheduled flights of ten B-29's each day, departing their home bases on 5 through 7 July.

August

The 22nd left March Air Force Base, California, stopped off at Hickam for a rest period, then flew on to Kadena, with stops at Kwajalein and Guam.

August

The 92nd Group took off from Spokane Air Force Base, Washington, and followed a similar flight plan, with a final destination of Yokota Air Base.

The 98th and 307th Groups were equally well prepared for short-notice departures.

August

The 98th departed Spokane Air Force Base for Yokota between 2 and 4 August, and the

August

307th left MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, between 1 and 3 August, headed for Kadena.#128

[note]

August August

Early in August another of these unexpected actions placed the Fifth Air Force in a hazardous situation. Almost as an after-thought on 3 August, following the morning staff conference, General Walker took Partridge and Timberlake into his war room and told them that the Eighth Army was going to have to pull back without delay on the west to the line of the Naktong River. Apparently the Eighth Army staff had discussed this course of action for several days without giving any inkling of it to the Fifth Air Force - despite the fact that the ground withdrawal would jeopardize the security of the Mustang squadrons which Partridge had been pressing forward to the airfields at Taegu and P'ohang.#18

Although Partridge was confident that General Walker would stabilize his lines at the Naktong and successfully defend Taegu City and its airfield, the enemy was going to be too close to Taegu for comfort.

[note]

August August

This action seemed contrary to the agreement between NavFE and FEAF undertaken on 3 August, but the Seventh Fleet held that the record of this conference did not constitute a formal agreement.#33

The somewhat embarrassed Navy liaison officer at the Joint Operations Center explained that the Seventh Fleet did not understand that the letter issued after the 3 August conference was an order. "It was just a mutual agreement," he said, "there wasn't any order out to that effect from GHQ or higher headquarters. "#34

[note]

August

Having made Bomber Command responsible for the interdiction campaign in North Korea and for the destruction of 13 other major transportation targets south of the 38th parallel, General Stratemeyer on 3 August ordered the Fifth Air Force to destroy and maintain the destruction of key transportation facilities in the zone between the 37th and 38th parallels. In general terms, he charged the Fifth Air Force to interdict all lines of enemy transportation across this belt. At Sŏul General Partridge and General O'Donnell were to coordinate their operations. The B-29's would destroy the marshaling yards and the west railway bridge, while tactical aircraft would knock out the pontoon bridge.#48

[note]

At the meeting of NavFE and FEAF officers on 3 August, held to discuss coordination of air operations in Korea, the Navy representatives readily agreed to take on interdiction strikes, when they were not supporting friendly ground troops. They agreed to coordinate such strikes south of the 38th parallel with the Fifth Air Force. They further agreed that when the fleet desired to attack interdiction targets in North Korea it would so inform FEAF, which would check with Bomber Command and either approve the objectives for attack or designate alternate targets in the same general area. These agreements posed a new requirement to FEAF target planners. FEAF operations officers had initially indicated that they did not intend to designate any specific interdiction targets to General Partridge other than the pontoon bridge at Sŏul. At the conference with the Navy, however, FEAF representatives said that they were willing to provide the Fifth Air Force and the Navy with selected interdiction targets lying south of the 38th parallel. One record of the conference was to the effect that the FEAF deputy for intelligence would provide "as much target data as possible relating to these targets. "#50

[note]

Later on this same day-3 August-FEAF sent the Fifth Air Force a "recommended partial list of targets" lying between the 37th and 38th parallels. This same list of hastily selected interdiction objectives was provided to the Seventh Fleet.'#51

Up until this time in the Korean hostilities the ground officers who dominated General MacArthur's staff had been lukewarm toward air interdiction, but on the evening of 3 August General Stratemeyer unexpectedly obtained General MacArthur's unequivocal support for a comprehensive interdiction campaign.

Hurriedly summoned to a conference at the Dai Ichi building, Generals Stratemeyer and Weyland found Generals MacArthur, Almond, and Wright eager to discuss air interdiction, for these officers were alarmed by a message received from General Walker reporting that three trains had been sighted moving toward Sŏul and that several enemy convoys were en route south of that city headed toward the battleline.

General MacArthur emphatically stated that he wanted "a line cut across Korea, north of Sŏul, to stop all communications moving south." To speed the accomplishment of this project, General MacArthur authorized Stratemeyer to use all three of the medium-bomber groups for interdiction. General Stratemeyer was frankly jubilant, for the theater commander had at last extended his support to a project designed to strike the North Koreans where they were most vulnerable.#52

[note]

The comprehensive interdiction plan which FEAF instituted on 2 August [this wasn't agreed to until tomorrow] was well conceived and calculated to employ strategic bombers, tactical aircraft, and naval planes in coordinated attacks against the enemy's transportation system. But the plan had one major weakness which caused the Navy to become reluctant to continue with the program. The FEAF list of strategic interdiction objectives was completely valid, but the FEAF list of tactical interdiction objectives provided to the Fifth Air Force and the Seventh Fleet proved to be quite faulty, as might have been expected considering the fact that it was evidently drawn up on short notice without much study.

Early in August carrier pilots sent to attack the tactical interdiction objectives returned with reports that many of the bridges on the FEAF target list "were nothing but little cow-trail bridges, foot bridges, which we only wasted time and effort on. "#53

Pusan Perimeter 129

Air Force officers in the Joint Operations Center agreed that the Navy pilots had a legitimate complaint. The Navy fliers, said an Air Force intelligence officer, "would go out to the highway bridge and they could easily see tracks in the river bed where enemy troops and equipment had forded the usually shallow streams, or on many occasions the dry river bed itself." "We in the Joint Operations Center," he added, "couldn't see the necessity for bombing these bridges, however, the requirement was set up by FEAF and not by Fifth Air Force." #54

[note]

Again on 3 August the 22nd and 92nd Groups sent 39 aircraft on mission "Nannie Charlie" against the Bogun Chemical Plant. All squadrons bombed through the clouds from base altitudes of 16,000 feet. Bombing results were good to excellent, but the two overworked groups had not had enough aircraft on the mission to cover all aiming points.#22

#22 Ibid., FEAF BomCom Msn. No. 26, 3 Aug. 1950.

After this third attack against the Hungnam chemical complex in five days General Stratemeyer announced that the biggest explosives and chemical center in Asia could "no longer be considered a major factor in the Korean war."#23

[note]

US Marine Corps

The first troop train reached California on August 3.

[note]

After only 1 day of refresher flights at Itami, the pilots of VMF-214 landed their planes aboard the USS Sicily (CVE-118).

[note]

When Lieutenant Colonel Walter E. Lischeid’s VMF-214 landed on board the USS Sicily (CVE-118) on 3 August, eight of its Corsairs were immediately refueled and armed.

[note]

August

As early as 3 August, during the Brigade move from Pusan to Ch'angwŏn, General Craig and Lieutenant Colonel Stewart had flown by helicopter to Masan for a conference of troop commanders. There they joined General Walker and General Kean at the latter’s 25th Division command post. Also present was Brigadier General George B. Barth, artillery officer of the 25th.[37]

Craig suggested to the Eighth Army commander that some ROK army trainees be attached to the Brigade. There were thousands of such Korean recruits, and a few serving as scouts, interpreters, and rear-area guards would be of great value to the Marines. Walker agreed to provide the native troops and arm them as well. [38]

The Army leader confirmed the previous night’s telephonic orders which had caused the Brigade’s move to Ch'angwŏn. After the four generals had discussed the tactical situation on the southern flank, Walker directed Craig to have the Brigade prepared for commitment to combat any time after the evening of 5 August.[39]

August

This schedule worked out perfectly from Craig’s point of view. The Air Support Section at Chinhae had just established communications with the two carrier-based squadrons. Army-Navy-Marine co-operation thus enabled the Brigade commander to lead his entire air-ground team into battle.

[note]

August August

On the 31st, with the first reservists arriving at Camp Pendleton and the first contingents leaving Camp Lejeune for the West Coast, the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed CNO to expand the 2nd Marine Division to war strength while increasing the number of Marine tactical air squadrons from 16 to 18.[13]

Obviously, the 1st and 2nd Divisions could not be built up simultaneously without serious delays, and priority must be given to the 1st. It was equally obvious, moreover, that this expansion must be largely accomplished during the first week of August if the troops were to be made ready for embarkation between the 10th and 15th.

The first build-up troops to reach Camp Pendleton were three Organized Reserve units which arrived on 31 July—

the 13th Infantry Company, of Los Angeles;

the 12th Amphibian tractor Company, of San Francisco; and

the 3rd Engineer Company, of Phoenix, Arizona.

This was the beginning of an inundation which kept the camp keyed to a 24-hour day and a 7-day week. A torrent of troops poured into the vast military reservation by bus, train, and plane at all hours of the day and night.

Confusion seemed to reign from the tawny California hills to the blue Pacific; and yet this seeming chaos was under the control of veteran officers and NCOs who had mounted out before. Accommodations for the newcomers were not deluxe, but men were being processed, assigned, fed, and equipped as rapidly as they arrived. The tramp of feet could be heard all night long as details of troops drew clothing and equipment or reported for medical examinations. A total of 13,703 Marines reached Camp Pendleton during this busy week. Counting the personnel already on hand, troops of four categories were represented:

1. Officers and men remaining in 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton after dispatch of the Brigade = 3,459

2. Officers and men reporting from posts and stations up to 4 August = 3,630

3. Officers and men reporting from the 2nd Marine Division from 3 to 6 August = 7,182

4. Officers and men selected as combat-ready out of the total of about 10,000 reservists reporting by 7 August = 2,891
TOTAL = 17,162

The expansion took place in two phases. First, of course, came the bringing of the 1st Marine Division (less one RCT) up to war strength, including augmentation personnel and supplies for the units of the Brigade. Next, the organization of a third reinforced infantry regiment, the 7th Marines, was directed by a letter from CMC to CG 1st Marine Division on 4 August.[14]

[note]

August

On 3 August the remaining nine GCI squadrons of the Organized Aviation Reserve were ordered to El Toro.[17] By this time the buildup was so well in hand that Major General Field Harris, commanding the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, conferred with General Smith about aviation shipping for the embarkation.

In the autumn of 1946, after Operation CROSSROADS had given a glimpse into the tactical future, Generals Shepherd, Harris, and Smith were named as a Special Board “to orient the effort of the Marine Corps away from the last war and toward the next.” The result was recommendations leading to experiments with rotary wing aircraft as a means of tactical dispersion in amphibious operations against an enemy employing atomic weapons. Thus the Marine Corps worked out new helicopter combat techniques which were soon to create tactical history with the Brigade and Division in Korea.[18]

[note]

August August August

On 3 August the 1st Marine Division was directed by FMFPac to send 10 officers and 290 enlisted men to the Brigade by airlift. This draft was to be ready to move from Camp Pendleton by MATS planes on 9 August, but not until five days later did it finally proceed to San Francisco by rail and fly to Japan.

[note]

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

August



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]

August

The TAC and MGCI squadrons were activated at El Toro on 3 August, and on the same day, the remaining nine Reserve MGCI squadrons,

Nine days later, [8/12] Reserve VMFs

The VMFs were ordered to report as units, preserving. their squadron designations and increasing the number of VMFs to 18.

Thereafter, for a 'period of one month, no additional calls for aviation reservists were issued;

[note]

US Navy

August August

Marine Fighter Squadron 214, embarked in USS Sicily (CVE-118), attacked Chinju with rockets and incendiary bombs -- first action for marine carrier-based air.

[note]

August August

Elements of VMO-6, equipped with HO3S helicopters and OY observation planes, began operations in Korea, supporting the First Provisional Marine Brigade in the vicinity of Ch'angwŏn. Among the services rendered by the helicopters on their first day in a combat area were the delivery of rations and water to troops on a mountain and the evacuation of the more severe heat casualties.

3 August

August August August

VMF-214, operating from the escort carrier USS Sicily (CVE-118) in Tsushima Strait, began the combat operations of the First Marine Aircraft Wing in Korea with a rocket and incendiary bomb attack on Chinju. USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116), with VMF-323 on board, joined the action three days later and thus began a long service of close air support by Marine squadrons from light and escort carriers.

[note]

Marine infantry in vicinity of Masan-Ch'angwŏn on combat patrol aided by helicopter. First instance of this type of aircraft being used to carry rations and water and to evacuate personnel.

[note]

August August

On the 3rd the Corsairs of VMF 214 took off from Itami, landed aboard USS Sicily (CVE-118) early in the afternoon, and then, as the ship steamed toward Tsushima Strait, flew off their first air strike in support of ground forces in Korea. USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116), with the division commander on board, also got underway on the 3rd, escorted by destroyers USS Endicott (DMS-35) and USS HERBERT J. THOMAS (DDR-833) , to spend the next two days in refresher training for her squadron, while USS Sicily (CVE-118) moved into the Yellow Sea to strike targets on the Korean west coast.

While the units of Carrier Division 15 were performing these gyrations, efforts were being made to provide the communications and control facilities so essential to the effective cooperation of air and ground components. Marine Tactical Air Control Squadron 2 was split, the air defense section moving to Jtami, where the night fighters of VMF(N) 513 were to base, while the air support section was sailed for Pusan by LST, along with ground personnel of the observation squadron.

[note]

August opened in an atmosphere of crisis. All early estimates of the Korean problem had been invalidated, anticipations of speedy victory were dead, and the U.N. Command faced the excruciating question of whether it would be able to hold on the Korean peninsula, or whether its forces would be thrown into the sea. Space had been previously traded off for time, but both commodities were now in short supply. One natural defensive line remained, the line of the Naktong River. When this was reached it would be time to turn and fight.

There were now available to General Walker five reconstituted ROK divisions, the better part of four U.S. Army divisions, and the Marine Brigade. Although contemporary estimates gave the North Koreans a heavy numerical superiority, it appears in fact that U.N. combat strength already slightly exceeded that of the enemy. But it was the estimates that formed the picture, and in any event there was a critical shortage in reserves: where the North Korean People’s Army, holding the initiative and with victory in sight, could afford to accept heavy losses in exchange for important gains, for EUSAK any loss was a matter of grave concern.

Only at sea and in the air did the U.N. have important advantages. If proper employment of Air Force, Navy, and Marine aircraft, and of the fire support ships could offset the enemy’s presumed superiority of numbers, it was possible that with skill and bravery the line could be held. To accomplish more was for the moment out of the question. Even the holding mission seemed problematical enough. Yet while to those in the line the problem of chasing the enemy home again was for the moment of no concern, on higher levels it was being given active consideration.

To General MacArthur it seemed that a landing at Inch'ŏn followed by seizure of the Sŏul area, the hub of the Korean communications network, promised the best hope of a speedy decision. To carry out this landing, and to amputate the invaders from their sources of supply, amphibious shipping and a trained amphibious assault force were required. Repeated requests by CincFE for the early dispatch of the 1st Marine Division were finally answered in late July; the division would sail from the west coast in mid-August. But while this marked a considerable step toward the desired goal, other difficulties remained.

The objective on which General MacArthur had set his heart, however desirable strategically, presented serious tactical difficulties. The tidal range of the Yellow Sea and the hydrography of Inch'ŏn Harbor were limiting factors; to bring in and beach LSTs with supplies for the assault force required a tidal range of 29 feet, and spring tides of such a magnitude are limited to one three-day period a month. Thus strategy depended upon astronomy, and the future of the war upon the phases of the moon. One period of high tides would come in mid-September, and this date set the double problem for the United Nations Command. The Korean foothold had to be held for the intervening six weeks. The Marine Division had to arrive in time.

By early August the perimeter in which Eighth Army was to make its stand had assumed pretty much its final form. Through the latter part of July the North Korean invaders had continued their four-pronged advance, with one column in the east coast strip, two moving southeast along the main routes from Sŏul, and a flanking force on the right skirting the central hill mass. Tardy discovery of this last movement, which was opposed only by small ROK detachments, had brought the misdirected call for carrier strikes in the region east of Kunsan, and the movement of a battalion of the 29th Regiment westward from Pusan to Yŏngdong on the south coast.

The week from 29 July to 5 August saw the American and ROK forces retiring on all fronts. In the northwest the Communist armies advanced some 35 miles, streaming over the mountain wall and down into the Naktong Valley, to reach the river opposite Waegwan. In the northern hill sector the enemy pushed forward 15 to 20 miles, from Yŏngju to Andong on the upper Naktong. In the south, at Yŏngdong, affairs went badly; the American battalion and associated ROK troops were overrun and, while about 100 survivors were evacuated by ROK small craft from the Chinhae Naval Base and others escaped overland, casualties exceeded 50 percent.

At the start of the week United Nations positions had run northward from Yŏngdong to the divide between the Kum and Naktong basins, northeasterly to Yŏngju, and southeast to the coastal town of Yŏngdök. As the week ended U.N. forces held only about a seventh of the territory of the Republic of Korea, and had been compressed into an area measuring some 100 miles from north to south, and slightly more than half of that from east to west. From Chindong-ni on the south coast the line ran north along the Naktong River, and east through Andong to Yŏngdök, where ROK forces supported by naval gunfire still held fast.

Although the withdrawals of the previous week had diminished the area to be defended, they had complicated the problems of the defenders; paradoxically, the shrinkage of the perimeter had extended the fighting front. During the retreat phase the tactical problem had been to slow the North Korean advance along the principal communication routes. But now, with the enemy well inside the Naktong basin, his spearheads were no longer constricted by the hill masses and his freedom of maneuver was increased. In the north the advance to Andong, which brought him down into the lowlands and to an east-west highway leading to Yŏngdök, was followed by the eastward movement of the 12th Division to strengthen the attack on P'ohang. In the northwest the descent from the saddle toward Waegwan opened lateral communications east of the central hill mass, and permitted a southward displacement of Communist strength which brought pressure along the whole Naktong River line. It also posed a serious threat to Taegu, where the South Korean government had established itself, where there was an important airstrip, and where the Fifth Air Force had set up its Joint Operations Center. With the enemy inside the landing circle the Air Force was obliged to remove its planes to Japan and the JOC to Pusan, with all the complications in communication and control that such movements entail. How agreeable a prospect this situation afforded when viewed from the north is evidenced by a North Korean I Corps operation order of 3 August, which called for the capture of Taegu and Pusan by the 6th.

In this the enemy was to be disappointed. But the more extensive road system now available permitted him to redeploy his strength and, as August wore on, to exert heavy pressure at four points around the perimeter. Two of the crucial areas were inland, at Waegwan on the main line of communications, and on the Naktong front west of Yŏngsan-ni. Two were on the flanks, at P'ohang on the eastern shore, and in the south between Masan and Chinju. It was in this southern area, where the enemy flanking movement seemed to pose the most immediate threat to Pusan, that General Walker planned his first counteroffensive. It was for this spoiling attack that the Marine Brigade had been ordered forward, and had been combined with two RCTs of the 25th Division into Task Force Kean.

[note]

August

The Korean Navy, however, was already fully occupied in the west. On 3 August the ROK YMS 502 sank seven sailboats which were loading off Kunsan; four days later and 30 miles to the northward she sank two motor-boats, while other Korean units destroyed four small junks in the Haeju Man approaches above Inch'ŏn.

[note]

August August

On the 3rd, while General MacArthur and Admiral Struble were in Formosa, a conference was held in Tokyo in which FEAF deployed four generals and a colonel to face one captain, two commanders, and two lieutenant commanders.

The result was a memorandum providing that first priority for carrier operations would be in close support, second priority would go to interdiction south of the 38th parallel, and third priority to strikes on Bomber Command targets beyond that line.

Coordination for attacks south of 38° was to lie with Fifth Air Force; attacks on Bomber Command targets required clearance from FEAF.

Six plans, designated by letter, were devised for carrier employment, and the peninsula divided into six corresponding operating areas:

This emphasis on the support of troops inevitably meant that the operations of carrier aircraft would fall in large degree under the control of FAFIK, Fifth Air Force in Korea, and of its Joint Operations Center. On the face of it there was nothing illogical about the arrangement, which would presumably have been successful had it only worked, and similar conditions were shortly laid upon the escort carriers by ComNavFE.

But just as the problem of interdiction had raised command problems on the upper level, in the question of operational versus coordination control, so the commitment to close support was to bring almost insoluble difficulties in the tactical handling of aircraft over the lines, as doctrinal differences and the inadequacy of control mechanisms combined to frustrate the best efforts of the Striking Force.

Close support turned out to work best when least needed, and when the Seventh Fleet could most profitably be employed against northern bridges and other communications targets; in times of crisis around the perimeter it worked poorly or not at all. Faced with so wasteful an employment of his very considerable strength, and not having been consulted regarding the agreement, Admiral Struble declined to accept its definition of roles and missions, and the Seventh Fleet was soon attempting to break away from the perimeter.

[note]

Since the Koreans were busy elsewhere, U.S. and Commonwealth units were made available in the south. On 2 and 3 August the destroyer USS Higbee (DDR-806) patrolled the Namhae area but encountered no enemy movement.

[note]

On the 9th an important step was taken in support of west coast operations as an LST was sailed for Ŏch'ŏng-do, South Korea , an island 40 miles off Kunsan, to establish an advanced ROKN supply base which would eliminate the 300-mile round trip to Pusan.

August Map 7. Support of the Perimeter, 2–13 August 1950

Click on map for higher resolution image (220 KB).

Since the Koreans were busy elsewhere, U.S. and Commonwealth units were made available in the south. On 2 and 3 August the destroyer USS Higbee (DDR-806) patrolled the Namhae area but encountered no enemy movement. On the night of 4-5 August underwater demolition personnel from the fast transport USS Diachenko (APD-123) attempted to blow bridges north of the railroad town of Yŏsu, a natural jumping-off place for enemy shore-to-shore movement. But the landing force was repelled by a North Korean patrol, which arrived inopportunely by handcar, and Diachenko had to content herself with a 40-minute bombardment of the railroad yards. Four days later an imaginative B-29 report of heavy junk concentrations near Yŏsu brought the Canadian destroyers HMCS Cayuga (218) and HMCS Athabaskan (R79) on a flank speed sweep of the south coast, but with negative results. On the 12th the destroyer USS Collett (DD-730), from Admiral Higgins’ task element, steamed into Yŏsu Gulf to bombard the town.

For the first few days of August, while these coastal activities were in progress, the Seventh Fleet Striking Force lay at anchor in Buckner Bay.

[note]

August

1950 Aug 3, In South Korea Maj. Gen. Hobart R. Gay ordered the demolition of the Waegwan Bridge over the Naktong River to prevent enemy crossings. The bridge was filled with refugees. 25 miles down river the 650-foot long Tŭksŏng-dong bridge was also destroyed as refugees crossed.
(SFC, 10/14/99, p.A6)

[note]

Korean_War

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

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

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

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

Korean_War

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

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

[note]

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August

The withdrawal east across the Naktong by the 21st Infantry proceeded smoothly during the night of 2-3 August. The last of the regiment crossed the Koryong-Taegu bridge forty-five minutes past midnight,

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August

[The withdrawal east across the Naktong by the 21st Infantry was ] followed by the 14th Engineer Combat Battalion two hours later.

[note]

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August

Before dawn, new lines began to form in reverse as groggy Marines filed back aboard ships to get their last hot meal for many a day.

[note]

0530 Korean Time

The loading of heavy equipment and weapons, such as the 155-mm. howitzers, went on all during the night of 2-3 August at Waegwan. The last of the troops arrived on trucks of the 73rd truck Company at 0530, 3 August.

[note]

0536 Sunrise

[note]

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August

When dawn broke on 3 August, each Marine carried only his pack, weapon, ammunition, and rations.[23]

Despite the tumult of the sleepless night at Pusan, Lieutenant Colonel George R. Newton’s 1st Battalion set out for Ch'angwŏn shortly after 0600 on 3 August.

[note]

August

There was only one road for the movement of the 25th Division. This ran south from Sangju to Kŭmch'ŏn and then southeast to Waegwan on the Naktong River. Travel as far as Waegwan would be by foot and motor, from Waegwan to Masan by rail. The Kŭmch'ŏn-Waegwan road was the main supply road to the central front. Accordingly, there was ample opportunity for conflict, confusion, and delay in the movement of supplies north and of the 25th Division south over this road. Eighth Army headquarters recognized this danger. Colonel Landrum made available from headquarters to the army G-3 Section all the officers he could spare to assist in the orderly control of the 25th Division movement. These officers concentrated their attention at points where road restrictions or the presence or movement of other units threatened trouble. [15-3]

Equal or even greater effort had to be made to assure that the necessary rail equipment would be at hand to carry the division from Waegwan southward. At the time, with the enemy pushing the front back everywhere, there was a great demand for rail equipment to evacuate supplies and troops. Congestion in rail yards was almost indescribable. Units seeking transportation commandeered locomotives, cars jammed the tracks, native refugees crowded into cars, and general chaos threatened. The ROK 17th Regiment, moving southwest at this time to buttress the sagging 24th Division front in the Kŏch'ang area, further complicated the traffic problem. Without the planning, supervision, and hard work of American transportation troops, the Korean rail system would have failed at this time. [15-4]

The loading of heavy equipment and weapons, such as the 155-mm. howitzers, went on all during the night of 2-3 August at Waegwan. The last of the troops arrived on trucks of the 73d Truck Company at 0530, 3 August. These dust-caked men and their equipment, loaded into boxcars and gondolas, were on their way to the new front at 0600.

[note]

August August

The ROK 17th Regiment, covering the withdrawal of the other units (Colonel Stephens remained with it), crossed the river at 06:30, 3 August.

[note]

August

Between 0630 and 0700, the main body of the Marine ground force moved out of Pusan by road and rail. Vehicles over 2 1/2 tons, all heavy equipment, and the M-26 tanks were transported on flatcars. The roads were narrow and bumpy, and the churning wheels of the trucks threw up clouds of stifling dust that hung in the air and painted Marines and equipment a ghostly gray. Aboard the primitive trains, which frequently jolted to stops for no apparent reason, men tried vainly to fit themselves to miniature wooden seats constructed in perfect right angles. And always, the troops inhaled that characteristic odor drifting in from well-fertilized rice paddies.

[note]

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August

and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade closed at Pusan on 3 August.

The mounting toll of American casualties and the depleted ranks of Walker 's divisions underscored the great need for fresh fighting men in Korea {And} every feasible means of meeting this need was being exploited by the Department of the Army.

[note]

August

An all-night effort by all hands got the supplies ashore and deposited with the Pusan Base Command, additional transport was borrowed from the Army, and by 0700 the troops were moving toward the perimeter. By evening of the 3rd the Marines were deployed defensively west of the town of Ch'angwŏn.

[note]

Engineers unsuccessfully tried to blow the bridge at 0715. During the day the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion again prepared it for demolition and dropped it that night.

[note]

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On 3 August a conference of FEAF and NavFE representatives agreed that Navy pilots would give first priority to ground support under the tactical guidance of the Joint Operations Center, second priority to interdiction strikes south of the 38th parallel in coordination with the Fifth Air Force, and third priority to interdiction strikes north of the 38th parallel in coordination with the FEAF Bomber Command.#16

[note]

Early in August it seemed that adequate arrangements had been made whereby FEAF and NavFE planes would work in harmony in Korea.

[note]

The Affair at Chindong-ni

August

The town of Chindong-ni, where Colonel Michaelis had his command post, lies astride the south coastal road at a point where mountain spurs from the north come down to meet the sea. High finger ridges end at the northern edge of the town, one on either side of the dirt road from Chindong-ni via Haman and Kŏmam-ni to the Nam River. The ridge on the east side of this north-south road terminates in a high, steep bluff at the northeast edge of Chindong-ni. The 27th Infantry regimental command post was in a schoolhouse under the brow of this bluff.

In the school courtyard a battery of 155-mm. howitzers (A Battery, 11th Field Artillery Battalion) had emplaced. Close by was the 8th Field Artillery Battalion. Colonel Check's tired 1st Battalion and the attached four medium tanks had bivouacked there at midnight.

It was a stroke of the greatest good fortune for Colonel Michaelis and the 27th Infantry Regimental headquarters that Colonel Check and his 1st Battalion had returned to Chindong-ni during the night. The next morning, 3 August, just after the regimental staff had finished breakfast in the schoolhouse command post, a sudden fusillade of small arms fire hit the building and came through the open windows. [14-31] This first enemy fire came from the top of the bluff above the schoolhouse. It heralded an enemy attack which came as a complete surprise.

When the attack hit Chindong-ni, some of the security guards apparently were asleep. A few outpost troops mistook some of the enemy for South Koreans from other nearby outpost positions. [14-32] Several Americans came running shoeless down the hill to the courtyard. Colonel Michaelis and his staff officers pulled men from under jeeps and trucks and forced them into position. One soldier went berserk and started raking his own companions with machine gun fire. [14-33] An officer, by a well-placed shot, wounded him and stopped his murderous fire. Michaelis and Check with other officers and noncommissioned officers gradually brought order out of the chaos.

Capt. Logan E. Weston, 'A' Company commander, led an attack against the enemy positions on the hill overlooking the command post. He assaulted two enemy machine guns on the crest and eliminated their crews by accurate M1 rifle fire. Enemy fire wounded Weston in the thigh during this action, but after receiving first aid treatment he returned to the fight and subsequently was wounded twice more. Despite three wounds he refused to be evacuated. Ten days earlier he had likewise distinguished himself in leadership and in combat near Poŭn. [14-34] [check on this fellow see c12]

Soon the 1st Battalion had possession of the high ground near the command post. Its mortars and recoilless rifles now joined in the fight. Before long the 105-mm. howitzers were firing white phosphorus shells on concentrations of enemy troops reported from the newly won infantry positions. [14-35]

At the time they launched their attack, the North Koreans undoubtedly knew that artillery was at Chindong-ni, because small groups had brought it under small arms fire during the afternoon of August. But infantry were not there then, and apparently the enemy did not expect to find any there the next morning. If the North Koreans surprised he 27th's command post with their attack, they in turn were surprised by the presence of Colonel Check's battalion. Once engaged in the fight, and the initial attack failing, the local North Korean commander sent at least a second battalion to Chindong-ni to reinforce the one already there and tried to salvage the situation.

August

Lt. Col. Augustus T. Terry, Jr., commanding officer of the 8th Field Artillery Battalion, discovered the reinforcing battalion approaching in trucks about one thousand yards away on the Haman road from the north. The trucks stopped and the enemy battalion began dismounting. [14-36] Colonel Terry's artillery adjusted time fire on it. After the artillery shells began falling on them, the enemy soldiers dispersed rapidly into the hills and the threatened enemy counterattack did not materialize.

[note]

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Upon landing at Pusan on 3 August, the ground troops of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade were attached to General Walker's Eighth Army and went into a Reserve assembly near Masan. [09-24]

[note]

August

The next morning Michaelis thanked his lucky stars that Check had made it. A strong, undetected NKPA force perhaps a full battalion attacked the schoolhouse where he had located his CP. Decisively assisted by Check's battle hardened GIs, Michaelis and the headquarters staff not only contained the attack but inflicted a slaughter on the NKPA, killing perhaps as many as 600. Two war correspondents Marguerite Higgins and Harold H. Martin of the Saturday Evening Post who were visiting the CP and were very nearly hit during the action, added to the Michaelis legend with laudatory stories. Martin characterized Michaelis in an article as The Colonel Who Saved the Day.

When the dust of battle had settled, it was clear that Michaelis's big gamble had paid off handsomely. The NKPA had chosen to take both roads to Masan. Michaelis's decision to block the "south road may have indeed "saved the day" for Eighth Army or at any rate spared it a severe setback. Moreover, in the two actions Gilbert Check's 1/27 had dealt the North Korean 6th Division a telling blow, and it may well have saved the Chicks from another rout.

Johnnie Walker was elated. For the second time the Wolfhounds had won an important tactical and psychological victory. Michaelis had displayed outstanding initiative and battlefield savvy. Walker showered praise on him and gave him a battlefield promotion to full colonel (his second such promotion in two wars). Michaelis saw to it that Check got a DSC.[7-8]

August

An important factor in this victory was the debut of the 89th Tank Battalion. As Tom Dolvin put it, Although admittedly deficient in training, this unit acquitted itself admirably in its first action. Losses were relatively high: six tanks and some personnel casualties. But the effect on the enemy was great. They were used to our light M24s, which couldn't touch a T34. But our medium Shermans with a 76 mm gun could knock out a T34. That surprised them. After that engagement the enemy shifted his armored strength away from this sector."[7-9]

In the meantime, the rest of the 25th Division had arrived in Masan and the Army's 5th RCT had landed at Pusan. These three regiments were rushed to positions west of Masan: Henry Fisher's 35th to replace Moore's battered Chicks on the "north road"; Horton White's 24th Infantry to the hills on the left of the 35th. The 5th RCT replaced the 27th on the "south road," freeing the Wolfhounds to serve as Eighth Army reserve, or "Fire Brigade.'[7-10]

[note]

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August

Of the combat units, the 35th Infantry moved first, closing at Masan at 1000, 3 August.

[note]

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August August

By 1300 the North Koreans had withdrawn from the immediate vicinity of Chindong-ni. American patrols counted 400 enemy dead, a large number of them in the area where the 8th Field Artillery Battalion had taken the de-trucking enemy soldiers under fire. The defenders of Chindong-ni estimated they had killed and wounded 600 enemy soldiers. American casualties at Chindong-ni on 3 August were 13 killed and nearly 40 wounded in the 1st Battalion, with a total of 60 casualties for all units. [14-37]

Interrogation of prisoners later disclosed that two battalions of the 14th Regiment, N.K. 6th Division, made the attack on Chindong-ni. One battalion, with the mission of establishing a roadblock at the town, made the initial early morning attack. The other two battalions of the same regiment detoured farther to the east, with the mission of establishing roadblocks closer to Masan. One of them turned back to Chindong-ni and was dispersed by artillery fire as it was de-trucking. The enemy base of operations was on Sobuk-san, north of Chindong-ni. During this engagement, the enemy used commercial telephone lines. Signal officers, tapping them through the 27th Infantry regimental switchboard, monitored the enemy conversations. That night (3 August), an operations officer and a translator heard the commanding general of the N.K. 6th Division reprimand the commander of the 14th Regiment for losing so many men. [14-38]

While the prime objective of the 14th Regiment had been to cut the Masan road, another regiment, the 15th, apparently had the mission of capturing Masan or the high ground around it. [14-39]

When the attack on Chindong-ni failed, the 15th Regiment withheld the attack on Masan but did infiltrate the high ground southwest of the town.

The enemy 6th Division, which had driven so rapidly eastward from Yŏngdong, where it first encountered American troops on 27 July, had by now, in the course of a week, suffered heavy casualties which reduced it to about half strength. [14-40] After the battles of the Chungam-ni Notch and Chindong-ni, both sides regrouped and made ready for a new test of strength on the approaches to Masan.

August

The movement around the left flank of Eighth Army in late July had been the most brilliantly conceived and executed of the North Korean tactical operations south of the Han River. It had held within it the possibilities of victory-of driving U.N. forces from the peninsula. It had compelled Eighth Army to reinforce its units in the southwest at the expense of the central front, and to redeploy the U.N. forces along a shorter line behind the Naktong River, in what came to be called the Pusan Perimeter.

[note]

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August

As advance guard for the Brigade, it made the 40-mile trip in Marine and Army trucks, reaching a point 1 mile west of the town at 1400. There the battalion took up defensive positions astride the Ch'angwŏn-Masan road in order to cover the arrival of the remainder of the Brigade.[24]

Although he had orders to bivouac at Ch'angwŏn, General Craig decided to deploy the Brigade defensively to the west of the town. This decision was prompted by the enemy situation west of Masan, which was a scant 6 1/2 miles from Ch'angwŏn. Then, too, the Marine commander saw the layover as a final opportunity to check the field discipline of the Brigade.[25]

[note]

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On 30 July the 18th Group moved down to Ashiya, and on 3 August the group headquarters proceeded on to Taegu. Next day the 51st Fighter Squadron (Provisional) was returned to its old designation as the 12th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. The commander of the 18th Group had intended to move the 67th Squadron to Taegu without delay, but when he reached the forward airfield he found that its facilities could not yet serve a second squadron. The 67th Squadron accordingly had to remain at Ashiya.#148

[note]

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August

By 1600, all combat and support elements of the Brigade, with the exception of one tank platoon, had arrived in the Ch'angwŏn area. Southwest of the city the 1st Battalion was relieved of its responsibility on the left side of the Ch'angwŏn-Masan road, when 3/5 occupied the high ground in that area. Newton was then able to extend his right flank farther along the towering ridge north of the road.[26]

South of the MSR, a wide rice paddy stretched between 3/5’s positions and the town. Almost in the center of this low ground was a hill commanding a good all-around view of the entire area. It was on this dominating height that Lieutenant Colonel Harold S. Roise deployed his 2nd Battalion. Behind Roise, General Craig established his CP in a small basin among hills in the immediate vicinity of Ch'angwŏn. Close-in protection for his headquarters was provided by the engineer company and various headquarters units. Throughout the interior of the bivouac area were tank platoons and the batteries of Lieutenant Colonel Wood’s artillery battalion.

As night settled on 3 August, an army of phantoms invaded the Brigade perimeter and drove to the very fringe of Craig’s CP. The reaction of green troops was typical of men new to combat.

[note]

1630 Korean Time

August

When Lieutenant Colonel Walter E. Lischeid’s VMF-214 landed on board the USS Sicily (CVE-118) on 3 August, eight of its Corsairs were immediately refueled and armed. At 1630, the initial Marine offensive action of the war was launched as the fighter planes roared up from the carrier’s flight deck. Minutes later their incendiary bombs and rockets were hitting Red-held Chinju and the village of Sinban-ni. A series of strafing runs concluded the Marines’ greeting to the North Korean People’s Army.[33]

While the 2 Red bases were erupting in smoke and flame, 2 other pilots of the squadron flew from the Sicily to Taegu to be briefed on the broad tactical situation. They returned from their visit with maps and intelligence material for guidance in future operations.[34]

[note]

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An all-night effort by all hands got the supplies ashore and deposited with the Pusan Base Command, additional transport was borrowed from the Army, and by 0700 the troops were moving toward the perimeter. By evening of the 3rd the Marines were deployed defensively west of the town of Ch'angwŏn.

[note]

August

On the evening of 3 August, the third regiment of the division, the 19th Infantry, was relieved in its position at the Chungam-ni Notch west of Masan by the 35th Infantry of the 25th Division. It then moved northeast across the Naktong to the command post of the 24th Division at Ch'angnyŏng, arriving there the next day. From the time of its commitment in Korea on 13 July to 4 August, the 19th Regiment had lost:

Low on all supplies, it found individual clothing, hand grenades, 4.2-in. mortar ammunition, and flares and illumination shells all but impossible to obtain. [15-13]

August August

Simultaneous with the movement of the 24th Division to the east side of the Naktong, the 1st Cavalry Division, next in line above it, began withdrawing on army orders from the Chirye-Kŭmch'ŏn area to Waegwan on the east side of the river. The division withdrew without difficulty, except for the 5th Cavalry Regiment. This regiment, the last in the march order, was heavily engaged and one battalion nearly lost.

[note]


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August August

The 24th Infantry arrived at 1930 that evening. General Kean reached Masan during the day and assumed command of all the U.N. troops south of the Naktong River. The 25th Division completed the 150-mile move by foot, motor, and rail within a 36-hour period.

General Walker said that this "history making maneuver" saved Pusan. He said also that had the North Koreans attacked strongly on the Kŭmch'ŏn front while the division was passing over the single road through Kŭmch'ŏn, "we couldn't have done it." [15-6]

In recognizing the critical nature of the situation in the southwest and in acting with great energy and decisiveness to meet it, General Walker and his staff conceived and executed one of the most important command decisions of the Korean War.

[note]

1936 Sunset


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August August

Meanwhile, press reports speculating that MacArthur had made binding agreements and political promises to Chiang Kai-shek caused Washington officials considerable uneasiness since they could not judge the validity of these reports. In addition, the Department of State heard from its representative in Taipei that MacArthur was about to transfer fighter squadrons to Formosa, a move not authorized by Washington, and a move which General MacArthur had not actually planned. [20-14]

Chiang Kai-shek added fuel to the flame by issuing a public statement that could be interpreted as indicating the existence of extensive secret agreements between himself and MacArthur. [20-15] There was also an erroneous but widespread belief that MacArthur had made the trip to Formosa without the knowledge or approval of the nation's leaders.

Nevertheless, the uninformed speculation in the press and the lack of real knowledge as to what MacArthur had done on Formosa, coming at a time when the United States was trying to convince Communist China that there were no ulterior motives lurking behind President Truman's action toward Formosa, caused the President, in a sternly worded message over Secretary of Defense Johnson's signature, to caution MacArthur.

[note]

August

At dusk on 3 August, thousands of refugees crowded up to the bridges on the west side of the river, and repeatedly, as the rear guard of the 8th Cavalry would start across the bridge, the mass of refugees would follow.

The division commander ordered the rear guard to return to the west side and hold back the refugees. When all was ready the troops were to run across to the east side so that the bridge could be blown. This plan was tried several times, but in each instance the refugees were on the heels of the rear guard. Finally, when it was nearly dark, General Gay, feeling that he had no alternative, gave the order to blow the bridge. It was a hard decision to make, for hundreds of refugees were lost when the bridge was demolished. [15-15]

The refugee problem was a constant source of trouble and danger to the U.N. Command during the early part of the war. During the middle two weeks of July it was estimated that about 380,000 refugees had crossed into ROK-held territory, and that this number was increasing at the rate of 25,000 daily. The refugees were most numerous in the areas of enemy advance. In July and August 1950, the volume of refugees moving through U.N. lines was greater than at any other time in the war.

[note]

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August

By nightfall of 3 August, however, all units of the division were across the Naktong except the rear guard of the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, which had been blocking on the Sŏngju road, southwest of the Waegwan bridges. [15-14]

The main line railroad bridges and the highway bridge across the Naktong at Waegwan were to be blown as soon as all units of the 1st Cavalry Division had crossed. These bridges were the most important on the river. General Gay, in arranging for their destruction, gave orders that no one but himself could order the bridges blown.

[note]

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August

Shortly after 2200, a rifle shot cracked. Many Brigade Marines had never heard a weapon fired in combat, so they concluded that likely targets were present in the perimeter area. As nerve-taut men stared fixedly into the blackness, forms that had been harmless bushes and rocks took on the guise of Communist infiltrators.

The first shot was soon followed by others.

[note]

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August

Toward midnight, the firing developed into a continuous crackle, particularly in the immediate vicinity of the Brigade CP. Palpitating hearts pounded even more strenuously when two Marine machineguns began chattering in positions occupied by Brigade headquarters troops.

Anxiety also spread to the foxholes of the 5th Marines. In 2/5’s area one man was shot. The 1st Battalion suffered 2 casualties, 1 resulting from mistaken identity during challenging, the other inflicted when a weapon discharged accidentally.[27]

[note]


Casualties

Thursday August 3, 1950 (Day 040)

August 039 Casualties

As of August 3, 1950

1 11TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (155MM)
6 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 25TH ARMORED RECONNAISSANCE COMPANY
14 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 29TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
3 5TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
3 5TH REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
1 6002ND FIGHTER WING
3 72ND ENGINEER COMBAT COMPANY
1 8668TH ARMY UNIT MISSIONS COMMAND
3 8TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
1 8TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
39 19500803 0000 Casualties by unit

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 20 2,700 1 2 0 2,723
Losses 0 141 0 0 0 141
To Date 20 2,841 1 2 0 2,864

Aircraft Losses Today 000

Notes_for_Thursday_August_3,_1950_(Day_040)

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