Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 25.9°C 78.62°F at Taegu

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

Naktong (Pusan) Perimeter is set up

[note]

Pusan Perimeter established by UNC in southeastern end of Korea.

First evacuation of casualties from Pusan by Marine Observation Squadron Six (VMO-6) helicopters.

[note]

Pusan Perimeter in southeastern Korea established by U.S. and Republic of Korea troops.

[note]

August

When the North Koreans failed to force the UN forces from Korea, the CCP leadership became concerned with a possible reversal of the Korean situation and speeded up preparations for Chinese involvement in the Korean War.

On 4 August 1950, the CCP politburo met to discuss the Korean situation. According to the memoirs of Bo Yibo, a member of the CCP Central Committee at that time, Mao made his opinion clear at the meeting:

"If the U.S. imperialists won the war, they would become more arrogant and would threaten us. We should not fail to assist the Koreans. We must lend them our hands in the form of sending our military volunteers there. The timing could be further decided, but we have to prepare for this."[75]

[note]

August

Three SB-17s and one SA-16 were used this date for orbit missions. Twenty one hours and twenty minutes (21:20) was flown this date.

Flight "D" received information that a flight of F-51s were overdue at 2200/K.

At 2235/K the flight dispatched an SB-17 to perform a communications check of the airfields in Korea, to determine if the aircraft had landed. Due to darkness, a visual search could not be made.

The SB-17 could not establish communications with the airfields. It returned to Ashiya and landed after a two hour (2:00) flight.

At 2345/K this Flight was advised that all the aircraft had landed safely at a Korean airfield.

[note]

B-29 attacks against key bridges north of the 38th parallel initiated FEAF Interdiction Campaign No. 1.

[note]

CIA Weekly Summary Excerpt, 4 August 1950,

Soviet Return to the UN

[note]

Distinguished Service Cross

WESTON

August

On August 4, elements of the North Korean 16th Infantry Regiment staged an assault across the Naktong between Companies I and L, 3/34 Infantry, and overwhelmed most of their positions. NKPA troops drove about five miles into the 24th Division sector, precipitating the First Battle of the Naktong Bulge, which eventually involved the entire 24th Division, the U.S. 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, the newly arrived 9th Infantry Regiment and 1/23rd Infantry (both from the 2nd Infantry Division) and the 2/27th Infantry. The struggle lasted until August 19.

The 34th Infantry gave its all. Company K stayed on its 7,500-yard front along the Naktong alone until ordered out on about August 14. At the outset, the 1/34th launched a counterattack, but part of Company C was trapped in a grist mill, where the men valiantly held out until rescued. Captain Albert F. Alfonso, with remnants of Companies A, C and L, held a small perimeter at the nose of the bulge until ordered out on the night of August 8-9. Elements of the regiment took part in a number of counterattacks between August 6 and 18.

[note]

Eighth Army established a defensive line along the Naktong River just fifty miles short of the sea. Journalists labeled this line as the Pusan Perimeter.
[note]

August

"Fleet Air Wing 6 was established in Tokyo, Japan, under the acting command of Captain John C. Alderman. The wing was assigned operational control over all US and British patrol squadrons in the Japan-Korea area."

[note]

South then North

The Naktong River Line, as many called it, was the vital position where Eighth Army intended to make its stand.

August

On 4 August, General Church issued to the 24th Division an order typical of those issued to American troops at this time. He directed that every man in the division know the order. It said:

Defensive and alternate positions must be prepared, routes reconnoitered, intensive patrolling of the river at night, communications perfected, and each individual know his job. There will be no withdrawal nor need there be any if each and every one contributes his share to the preparation, and, if attacked, has the will to fight it out here.
Every soldier will under all circumstances retain his weapon, ammunition, and his entrenching tool. Without these he ceases to be a soldier capable of defending himself. Many of our losses have been occasioned by failure to dig a foxhole when the time permitted. [15-18]

[note]

August

The Pusan Perimeter

August

The Pusan Perimeter positions taken up by the American and ROK forces on 4 August enclosed a rectangular area about 100 miles from north to south and about 50 miles from east to west. (See Map IV.)

August

The Naktong River formed the western boundary of the Perimeter except for the southernmost 15 miles below the point where it turned eastward after its confluence with the Nam. The Sea of Japan formed the eastern boundary, and the Korea Strait the southern boundary. An irregular curved line through the mountains from above Waegwan to Yŏngdök formed the northern boundary.

Yŏngdök on the east coast stood at the northeast corner of the Perimeter, Pusan was at the south-east corner, Masan at the southwest corner, and Taegu near the middle from north to south, but only about 10 miles from the western and threatened side of the Perimeter.

From Pusan, Masan is 30 air miles west, Taegu 55 miles north-west, P'ohang-dong 60 miles northeast, Yŏngdök 90 miles northeast. With the exception of the delta of the Naktong and the east-west valley between Taegu and P'ohang-dong, the ground is rough and mountainous. The mountains are particularly forbidding in the northeast above P'ohang-dong.

In planning for the defense of the Perimeter, Eighth Army believed it needed at least two reserve forces, one in the vicinity of Kyŏngsan, 10 miles southeast of Taegu, which it could use to bolster any part of the line in the center and in the P'ohang-dong area of the east coast, and another in the vicinity of Samnangjin-Miryang, which it could use against any threatened or actual enemy breakthrough along the lower Naktong or the Masan corridor. [15-19]

General Walker reported to the Far East Command at this time that he thought the 24th Division would have to be completely rehabilitated before it could be effective. He also doubted that the 25th Division had offensive capabilities. He intended to use the 30,000 ROK trainees, he said, mostly to bring the existing ROK divisions to full strength. After that was done, he would begin the organization of new ROK divisions. [15-20]

August August August

The deployment of U.N. forces on the arc curving from the southwest to the northeast as the battle of the Perimeter opened was as follows: U.S. 25th Infantry Division, U.S. 24th Infantry Division, U.S. 1st Cavalry Division, and then the ROK 1st, 6th, 8th, Capital, and 3rd Divisions, in that order.

In the southwest, Eighth Army had hoped to anchor the line near the coast on the Chinju pass, but the enemy had forced the line eastward to a point just west of Chindong-ni, whence it ran northward from the coast to the Nam River below Uiryŏng, a few miles west of the confluence of the Nam and the Naktong.

August August August August

The 27th, 24th, and 35th Regiments of the 25th Division were on line in that order, south to north, with some ROK's (Task Force Min) interspersed among them, particularly in the 24th Infantry sector.

August August

The division command post was at Masan. [15-21] In addition, General Kean had at hand the 5th Regimental Combat Team, attached to the 25th Division, and the 89th Medium Tank Battalion.

Opposite the 25th Division stood the N.K. 6th Division and the 83rd Motorized Regiment of the 109th Armored Division.

August August August August

Next on the U.N. line was the U.S. 24th Division. Its zone lay north of the Nam and along the east bank of the Naktong for 25 air miles, or about 40 miles of river front. The 34th and 21st Infantry Regiments and the ROK 17th Regiment were on line in that order, south to north. The 19th Infantry was in division reserve, re-equipping after arriving from the Masan front on 4 August. The 21st Infantry front was so long that Colonel Stephens, the regimental commander, placed seven .50-caliber machine guns with crews from the 14th Engineer Combat Battalion in the main line of resistance. The division command post had now moved to Miryang.

[note]

Except 'A' Company, which already had arrived, the 8072nd Medium Tank Battalion, a provisional organization equipped in Japan with repaired tanks salvaged from the Pacific island battle-fields of World War II, came into Pusan harbor on 4 August.

[note]

More than half the total battle losses were in the 24th Infantry Division which up to 4 August listed 85 men killed, 895 wounded, and 2,630 missing for a total of 3,610 battle casualties. [15-55]

Actually the KIA was 15x50 approx. = 750 or ten times what was reported.

[note]

August August

An official report from General MacArthur to the Department of the Army gave U.N. troop strength in Korea on 4 August 1950 as 141,808: [15-61]

Strength
Total 59,238
Total Army 50,367
EUSAK 2,933
KMAG 452
1st Cavalry Division 10,276
2nd Infantry Division 4,922
24th Infantry Division 14,540
25th Infantry Division 12,073
Pusan Base 5,171
1st Provisional Marine Brigade 4,713
FEAF (Korea) 4,051
Other 107
ROK Army (Estimated) 82,570

This report indicates that American ground combat units, as of 4 August, totaled more than 47,000 men. The principal ROK combat strength at this time was in five infantry divisions recently filled to a strength of approximately 45,000 men. [15-62]

Thus, on 4 August, the United Nations combat forces outnumbered the enemy at the front approximately 92,000 to 70,000.

The relative U.N. strength opposed to the North Koreans at the front in early August was actually much more favorable than commonly represented.

[note]

The enemy drive on Pusan from the west along the Chinju-Masan corridor compelled General Walker to concentrate there all the reinforcements then arriving in Korea. These included the 5th Regimental Combat Team and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade - six battalions of infantry with supporting tanks and artillery. Eighth Army being stronger there than at any other part of the Pusan Perimeter, General Walker decided on a counterattack in this southernmost corridor of the Korean battlefront. It was to be the first American counterattack of the war.

The plan for a counterattack grew out of a number of factors-studies by the Planning Section, G-3, Eighth Army; the arrival of reinforcements; and intelligence that the North Koreans were massing north of Taegu. Although army intelligence in the first days of August seemed to veer toward the opinion that the enemy was shifting troops from the central to the southern front, perhaps as much as two divisions, it soon changed to the belief that the enemy was massing in the area above Taegu. [16-1]

The Army G-3 Planning Section at this time proposed two offensive actions in the near future. First, Eighth Army would mount an attack in the Masan-Chinju area between 5-10 August. Secondly, about the middle of the month, the army would strike in a general offensive through the same corridor, drive on west as far as Yŏsu, and there wheel north along the Sunch'ŏn-Chŏnju-Nonsan axis toward the Kum River-the route of the N. K 6th Division in reverse. This general offensive plan was based on the expected arrival of the ad Infantry Division and three tank battalions by 15 August. The planning study for the first attack stated that the counterattack force "should experience no difficulty in securing Chinju." [16-2] [4 Aug]

[note]

August

By 4 August, the N.K. 4th Division had concentrated its three regiments in the vicinity of Hyŏpch'ŏn and was studying the American dispositions and defenses opposite it on the east side of the Naktong. An officer from the division headquarters, captured later, estimated the division had a total strength of about 7,000 men at this time with about 1,500 men in each of the infantry regiments.

The division, with little or no preparation for it, intended to make an immediate crossing of the river in co-ordination with other crossings northward. [17-6]

August

On the American side, General Church considered the northern part of the 24th Division zone the more difficult to defend and reinforce because of its poor road net. He believed for this reason that the North Koreans were more likely to cross the river in that part of the division zone rather than in the southern part. Therefore, when the N.K. 4th Division crossed in the southern part, opposite the 34th Infantry, the crossing was not where he had anticipated it would be, and it also came sooner than he had expected. [17-7]

[note]

August

General Walker's primary objective in August was to retain a foothold in Korea. From this he intended to launch an attack later when his forces were of sufficient strength. Walker kept saying to his key staff officers and to his principal commanders substantially the following:

"You keep your mind on the fact that we will win this thing by attacking. Never let an opportunity to attack pass. I want the capability and opportunity to pass to the offensive. Until that time comes I want all commanders to attack-to raid-to capture prisoners and thus keep the enemy off balance. If that is done, more and more opportunities to hurt the enemy will arise and our troops will be better prepared to pass to a general offensive when things are ripe. [19-1]

General Walker wanted the foothold in Korea to include the rail route from Pusan north through Miryang to Taegu, eastward to KYŏngju, and back to Pusan. (See Map IV.) This would make possible the logistical support necessary for a breakout offensive later. To retain this circumferential communication net, General Walker had to combine a fine sense of timing with a judicious use of the small reserves he was able to assemble at any given time. [19-2] He had to know just when to move his limited reserves and where. They had to be at the right place and not too late. A study of the defensive fighting of the Pusan Perimeter by Eighth Army and the ROK Army will reveal that Walker proved himself a master in it.

[remember COMINT See August 2, 1950]

The difficulty of forming a small reserve was one of the principal problems that confronted the Eighth Army staff during August and September 1950. It was a daily concern to the Eighth Army commander. Colonel Landrum, Eighth Army's chief of staff during August, considered it one of his most important daily tasks to find any unit that could be "tagged" as an army reserve. This search included both Eighth Army and ROK troops. It was considered a certainty that any troops so designated would be committed somewhere on the Perimeter within twenty-four to forty-eight hours. One of General Walker's daily greetings to his chief of staff was, "Landrum, how many reserves have you dug up for me today?" [19-3]

General Walker left most of the headquarters work to his staff. He spent the greater part of each day on visits to his combat units. It fell to Colonel Landrum to keep him fully informed of what had happened around the Perimeter front during his absence from headquarters. Landrum did this every day when Walker returned to Taegu. In addition to keeping in close touch with the army G-2, G-3, and G-3, Air, Colonel Landrum made it a practice to telephone each major combat unit sometime between 2200 and midnight each night and talk with the unit commander or the chief off staff about the situation on that part of the front. This provided fresh information and reflected the state of mind of the various commanders at that moment. On the basis of these nightly telephone calls, General Walker often planned his trips the next day. He went where he felt a serious situation was or might be developing. [19-4]

The central, or Taegu, front was to present its full measure of problems involving the use of limited reserves hastily assembled from another part of the perimeter. It was a sector where the Eighth Army commander needed to make a reasonably correct appraisal of the situation day by day. For here several corridors of approach southward converged on the valley of the Naktong, and the enemy forces advancing down these corridors were assembling in relatively great strength in close supporting distance of each other. The enemy frontal pressure against Taegu developed concurrently with that on both flanks already described.

The North Koreans Cross the Naktong for the Attack on Taegu

The enemy forces assembled in an arc around Taegu, from south to north, were the N.K. 10th, 3rd, 15th, 13th, and 1st Divisions, and elements of the 105th Armored Division. They reached from Tŭksŏng-dong on the south, northward around Waegwan to Kunwi. [19-5] This concentration north and west of Taegu indicated that the North Koreans expected to use the natural corridor of the Naktong valley from Sangju to Taegu as a principal axis of attack in the next phase of their drive south. [19-6] (Map 13)

August

(Map 13: THE N.K. ATTACKS ON TAEGU, 4-24 August 1950.)

THE TAEGU FRONT Page 337

August

Across the Naktong opposite the five North Korean divisions, in early August, were, from south to north, the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division and the ROK 1st and 6th Divisions of the ROK II Corps. The boundary between the 1st Cavalry Division and the ROK 1st Division lay about two miles north of Waegwan and ten air miles northwest of Taegu. The 70th Division and part of the 3rd Division were opposite the 1st Cavalry Division. Opposite the ROK 1st and 6th Divisions were part of the 3rd, and the 15th, 13th, and 1st Divisions, together with supporting units of the 105th Armored Division.

Like the 24th Infantry Division just south of it, the 1st Cavalry Division had a long front. From south to north, the 7th, 8th, and 5th Cavalry Regiments were on line in that order. The two battalions of the 8th Cavalry Regiment west of Taegu each had a front of about 10,000 yards.

[note]

August

On 4 August FEAF began B-29 interdiction attacks against all key bridges north of the 37th Parallel in Korea, and

[note]

Citations

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500804 0000 DSC WESTON

 

Silver Star

Foley, Warren J. [BM3 SS UDT-3 SOG AGONE]

Sheldon, Thomas F. [MSgt SS D27thIR]

 

[note]

 

 

The Forgotten War

August

On about July 25 Dean and Tabor were surprised by an enemy patrol and, in a hair-raising escape into the rice paddies, became separated. Tabor was captured on August 4 and died in captivity.[5-67]

[note]

[note]

August August

Still fearing that MacArthur might have made a secret deal with Chiang or might otherwise exceed his authority with respect to Formosa, Truman felt compelled to place MacArthur on a tight rein. On August 4, at the president's direction, the JCS cabled MacArthur to say, in effect, that the original neutralization" policy toward Formosa was still in force and that "only the resident has authority to order or authorize military action against concentrations on the mainland." MacArthur promptly replied that he "fully under-stood" and that he was "operating meticulously" in accordance with the resident's policy. He added that "under no circumstances" would he "extend the limitations of his authority" and hoped that neither Truman nor Johnson "had been misled by false or speculative reports from any source."

[note]

August August

Many people concerned with this minor but distracting episode had made mistakes in judgment. The JCS had begun the chain of errors by its flimsily based "war warning" on July 27th to MacArthur and by acquainting him with its unapproved and foolish recommendations to allow the Nationalists to bomb the Chinese mainland and mine the coastal waters. The JCS had compounded that error by authorizing MacArthur's visit to Formosa without specific White House approval of the exact timing. MacArthur, in turn, had acted precipitously, and he had, as customary, overblown rather than underplayed his visit. Moreover, his premature radio message to the Pentagon about moving the F-80s to Formosa had served only to heighten distrust of him. Truman made mistakes by not exercising firmer control over what the JCS was telling MacArthur and by not issuing specific instructions to the Pentagon - and MacArthur - on the timing and scope of the visit.

What was most important about this episode was that it left Truman with a feeling of vast unease about MacArthur's loyalty and, if some sources can be believed, his mental stability. As Truman understated it in his memoirs,

"The implication was - and quite a few of our newspapers said so - that MacArthur rejected my policy of neutralizing Formosa and that he favored a more aggressive method."

As for MacArthur's mental stability, Truman allegedly told interviewer Merle Miller that there were times when he believed that MacArthur was

"out of his head and didn't know what he was doing."

[note]

After MacArthur's controversial trip to Formosa, President Truman, feeling the need to establish closer liaison with MacArthur, decided to send a personal representative to meet with him. Truman chose W. Averell Harriman, onetime governor of New York, Roosevelts wartime ambassador to Moscow, Truman's ambassador-at-large for the Marshall Plan, and, since June 25, senior White House national security adviser and troubleshooter. Before Harriman took off for Tokyo on August 4, Truman, as Harriman recalled, gave him two messages for MacArthur:

"One was: 'I want him to stay clear of Chiang Kai-shek and not to get us into a war with Mainland China.' The other was: 'I want to find out what he wants and, if it's at all possible to do it, I will give it to him.' "[7-11]

* * *

About this same time the JCS likewise felt a need for closer liaison with MacArthur. For one thing the JCS still had grave doubts about the proposed amphibious landing at Inch'ŏn, and the doubt was spreading far and wide. It seemed that MacArthur was being deliberately vague about the details of Inch'ŏn and the chiefs could not understand why.

Accordingly, the JCS detailed Matt Ridgway and Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (and acting Vice Chief of Staff) Lauris Norstad (West Point, 1930) to accompany Harriman to Tokyo, to brief MacArthur on JCS thinking and to find out what MacArthur was up to. The generals took along several subordinates to do legwork. In addition, Ridgway hand carried a letter from Joe Collins to MacArthur, wishing him well and expressing the hope that MacArthur could win in Korea with the six plus American divisions already in the Far East or on the way.[7-12]

[note]

US Air Force

 

Headquarters' Advance evacuating Taegu for Pusan.[172-

Since the invasion began, the NKPA had enjoyed a succession of victories and was compressing the U.S. and ROK troops into a steadily shrinking area anchored on Pusan. Despite tremendous losses inflicted on both armored and infantry forces by FEAF and Navy planes, the North Korean attacks continued unabated from the south coast near Hadong to the Naktong River west and north of Taegu and thence east to Yŏngdök. Yet, there was a sense of desperation about these enemy assaults, a sense not yet felt by the ground troops who had to stem these vicious attacks.

The North Koreans realized that time was running out on them. More U.S. divisions were arriving in Korea, along with more equipment for the ROK forces; FEAF planes were roaming the skies at will and more aircraft were becoming available. If the North Koreans had any chance of victory, it had to be now, before the U.S. and ROK defenders grew too strong.

Now in Korea to help bolster the battered 24th Division were the 1st Cavalry and 25th Infantry Divisions. The 2d Infantry Division and the 1st Marine Brigade would also soon be in action. But like the 24th Division, the first battles of these ill-prepared and undermanned units were costly to them.

A major enemy attack from any place around the shrinking perimeter was possible, but General Walker, the Eighth Army commander, felt the main thrust would occur in front of Taegu. Taegu is 55 miles from Pusan, with a railroad and a good (by Korean standards) road between the two cities. A major water barrier, the Naktong River, runs east to west above Taegu before turning south and then southeast to empty into the Korea Strait at Pusan. Walker did not have sufficient forces (only the 1st Cavalry Division and the 1st and 6th ROK Divisions) to oppose five North Korean divisions in the Taegu area. (Appleman, pp 335-336.) Preferring to have the Naktong in front of him rather than behind, General Walker ordered his forces to retire across the river on the night of August 1. The North Koreans followed close behind the retiring troops and pressed on toward Taegu. They never reached the city, though at one point they were in artillery range of it. Both Generals Walker and Partridge began planning to move their headquarters south. Eighth Army head- quarters did not actually move until September, but General Partridge decided to split his staff, sending most of them back to Pusan to open an alternate command post on August 4. He and a skeleton staff remained at Taegu with the Joint Operations Center (JOC). In late September, the Pusan detachment returned to Taegu. (Futrell, pp 120, 176.)

]


Visited FEAMCOM: departed my CP [command post] 1100 hours for FEAMCOM. Lunched with General Doyle in his new officers' club which to my mind is the best club in FEAF and which was built by General Doyle in spite of many handicaps. He has always had my support in this. Visited all his maintenance and supply buildings as well as his machine shops. Met all his Japanese foremen as well as the non-commissioned foremen. I made a special effort to meet the Japanese foremen to tell them and to have them pass on to the Japanese in FEAMCOM's employ that we in FEAF appreciate very much the effort and fine work that the Japanese employees are doing for us in our effort against the North Koreans in Korea. They all seemed very pleased to receive this statement. Returned to my CP at 1630 hours.


B-29 bombed marshaling yards at Seoul. Reported, in addition to their strikes, that 4 single-engine aircraft were observed taking off from Kimp'o during the bomb run but that no attacks were made on the B-29s.

Sent a letter to Gill Robb Wilson of the New York Herald Tribune as a result of a squib (squib referred to quoted in red in my letter to Mr. Wilson.) that appeared under his name in the Nippon Times of 3 Aug 50. My letter as follows:

I was quite amazed and disturbed at a piece by you published yesterday, 3 August, in the Nippon Times. I understand that it is quite an old article of yours published in the States on or about 6 July. I refer specifically to the article which contains the paragraph:

"Our land-based tactical air power effectiveness has been so poor against North Korean targets that the planes of the aircraft carrier Valley Forge and the British carrier Triumph had to take over the burden of the tactical air action in North Korea."

Knowing you so well and also your penchant for accuracy, I am sure that you had either (a) inaccurate information, (b) partial information, or (c) were deliberately misinformed. The facts in the case are something like this: Since the Korean affair started, the Far East Air Forces fighters (F-80s, F-51s and F-82s) have flown more than 6,000 sorties, firing more than 3 million rounds of ammunition, launching more than 12 thousand rockets, and about 300 tons of bombs released on enemy targets. Our light bombers (the B-26s), although only a meager force, have flown 700 sorties, firing 135 thousand rounds of 50 caliber ammunition, launching more than 650 rockets and have dropped 1,000-plus tons of bombs. Our medium bombers (the B-29s) have flown about 700 sorties and have dropped more than 5,000 tons of high explosives. By far the greater proportion of the above accumulative effort has been in a tactical air power role, for, as you of course know, even the B-29s for quite a period were used in a close interdiction program sometimes within a few miles of the front lines. Air supremacy was gained early in the conflict by the Far East Air Forces and has been maintained ever since. Tactical air power, as represented by our F-51s, F-80s, F-82s, our B-26s, and in many instances by our B-29s, have operated every day since we first went into action on June 27. Without exception, close support to our embattled ground forces has been given every day in spite of some spells of weather that normally would be classed as "un-flyable" Our sorties rate has risen as additional aircraft became available from a scant 140 - 160 per day to a figure of more than 500 per day. Once again, I repeat every day [underlined in original] - not in sporadic efforts with large time gaps in between. Now a word about our accomplishments. Forty-nine enemy aircraft have been positively destroyed by the Far East Air Forces, either in air to air combat or by ground attack on enemy airdromes. An additional 7 have been claimed as destroyed and finally, 19 aircraft are in the totals as damaged. The effectiveness of our air supremacy may be indicated by the fact that there has not been a single sighting of an enemy aloft for almost two weeks. Our accomplishments in direct support of the battle are significant and are the true payoff of tactical air power. Our pilots claim to have destroyed 232 tanks and to have damaged 209 more. These claims are unevaluated and are just what the word implies - claims. However, General MacArthur's headquarters, only three days ago, announced that careful evaluation of pilot claims, augmented by factual findings by ground observers, credit the Air Force with definitely destroying 111 tanks which ground observers or others have seen to burst into flame or otherwise show evidence of total destruction. North Korean prisoners of war have stated that the most feared enemy of the tank man is the F-80 and its rockets. Of these they are in constant mortal fear. During the period of the operations of the Far East Air Forces in combat, we have materially assisted the ground forces by destroying almost 1,000 trucks, about 30 locomotives, more than 38 field guns and many box cars. While I have no exact totals on the operations by other arms of our military establishment, I can assure you that their total number of sorties is well under 1,000 and that even their accumulative and unevaluated claims of destruction to enemy materiel are only a fraction of the authenticated destruction by the Far East Air Forces. These facts I place at your disposal, Gill, not in an effort to refute your article, which I am sure was written in good faith, but rather to keep you informed and advised on progress of our air operations here in the Far East. If the information contained in this note is of value to you, I will be happy to keep you filled in from time to time on air operations as we see it here at FEAF. With kindest and warmest personal regards, I remain, etc. P.S. As a last word, may I tell you that contrary to pre-Korean prophecies by some on the complexity of the F-80 and its unsuitability for close support work, this jet fighter originally designed for high altitude interception has flown about 70% of the total fighter sorties to date and has done 85% of v damage thus far inflicted. G. E. S.[173-173. Until his heart attack, Stratemeyer corresponded almost every week with Wilson]

 

 

Reconnaissance reports high activity in the Seoul - Inch'ŏn area.
Marines expect to have Corsair sq. operating with their controllers, but under Fifth Air Force general coordination, today.

 

 

[note]

On 4 August the bulk of United Nations troops on the west front were withdrawn to positions on the east bank of the Naktong River, which offered the last good defensive barrier available to EUSAK in South Korea - an 8 to 10 mile wide valley and a stream which was moderately difficult to ford. Only at the southwest end of the line, where the Naktong curves eastward to debouch at Pusan, was the river of no defensive value, but in this area a tributary river, the Nam, offered some cover.

[note]

Until otherwise notified, General Almond desired FEAF to continue the majority of medium bomber strikes into the area between the front lines and the 38th parallel; targets north of the 38th parallel might be bombed as secondary objectives. General Stratemeyer issued the approved support plan on 18 July, and complying with CINCFE's wishes, he
revised Bomber Command's mission by specifying the following priorities of effort:

1. close support operations directed by FEAF and beyond Fifth Air Force capability;

2. enemy air-bases and aircraft on them when intelligence indicated a profitable target;

3. interdiction of the battlefield by destroying and maintaining destruction of highway and railway bridges between 37° and 38° from coast to coast;

4. destruction of petroleum refineries and storage;

5. destruction of enemy industrial targets including electric power plants.

He ordered O'Donnell to meet the first priority to the exclusion of all others. All three medium bombardment groups were to be used each day at the rate of seven sorties per aircraft each month, a rate to be raised to ten sorties when logistics permitted. The three medium groups were to continue in close support until 25 July, at which time GHQ would release two of them for a coordinated interdiction campaign.

On 4 August all B-29 groups were to be released from close support targets, but they would be required for special ground cooperation missions later in the month.

[note]

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]

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 [4 August], the 51st Fighter Squadron (P) was returned to its old designation as the 12th Squadron.

[note]

August

During July the North Koreans made no serious offensive in the mountains of the east coast front, where ROK troops managed to contain the NKPA 5th Division. Early in August, however, the enemy began massing north of Yŏngdök, while guerrillas formed in the mountains inland from P'ohang. By 11 August these irregular troops were down upon the town and airfield at P'ohang, objectives of great importance but inadequately defended by Task Force Bradley, a holding force of an infantry battalion, an artillery battery, and a company of tanks. While the North Koreans never managed to secure control in this vicinity, General Partridge had no choice but to withdraw air units from the new base at P'ohang, thus reducing his Korean-based air force by half.

General Partridge had cautioned EUSAK on 4 August that loss of P'ohang would adversely affect air support, but EUSAK, threatened on the Naktong, could respond but feebly to the danger.

[note]

[On 7/18 it was planned that] On 4 August all B-29 groups were to be released from close support targets, but they would be required for special ground cooperation missions later in the month.

[note]

August 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. 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.

August August

The 98th and 307th Groups were equally well prepared for short-notice departures. The 98th departed Spokane Air Force Base for Yokota between 2 and 4 August, and the 307th left MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, between 1 and 3 August, headed for Kadena.#128

[note]

The Reds gave every indication that they hoped to use their remaining planes and such additional aircraft as they might be able to secure from the Soviet and Chinese supporters. Early in August, for example, the Korean Reds repaired the runways and built protective revetments at Kimp'o and Suwŏn. Probably they hoped to use these forward airfields for staging attacks against United Nations' ground troops, but FEAF airmen were too alert to permit this. On 4 August B-29 crews attacking the Sŏul marshaling yard observed enemy fighters taking off from Kimp'o. Next day Fifth Air Force fighter pilots strafed and bombed the airfield, reporting nine enemy aircraft destroyed and an equal number probably destroyed.#102

[note]

August

On 4 August General Partridge accordingly suspended all plans for moving additional air units to Taegu and began to back-pedal those that were already there to safer locations in Japan. This order caught the ground echelon of the 8th Fighter-Bomber Group on its way to Korea; it had to turn around and go back to Tsuiki. On 6 August the 18th Fighter-Bomber Group moved back to Ashiya, and on 8 August the 6002nd Fighter Wing also departed for Ashiya, after first having organized the 6149th Air Base Unit which would remain behind to service Mustangs as they staged through Taegu on combat missions. The aviation engineers ceased all construction work and evacuated their heavy equipment to Pusan.#19

[note]

August

General Partridge also felt compelled to evacuate all the heavy gear and all persons who could be spared from the Advance Headquarters. General Walker announced that he intended to take his own headquarters back to Ulsan, if the situation deteriorated too much. But Partridge did not have enough communications equipment to plan to go to this midway position, and he elected to move his own rear echelon directly to Pusan. Starting on 4 August, the main bodies of Advance Headquarters and the 6132nd Tactical Air Control Group went southward to establish an alternate command post and control facilities in Pusan. General Partridge and a skeleton staff remained with the Joint Operations Center in Taegu.#20

General Partridge and Timberlake recognized that Walker was burdened with a grave responsibility for conducting ground operations under the most adverse circumstances. They were also aware that circumstances beyond Walker's control had often prevented better coordination. Nevertheless, Partridge felt that the time had come to discuss the matter of closer cooperation with Walker. On 4 August he accordingly wrote Walker a letter and took it to him for discussion. In this letter Partridge recalled numerous evidences of a lack of cooperation between the air and ground-planning functions. He proposed that the Eighth Army and Fifth Air Force had to keep each other better informed of future plans. In line with this thought, General Partridge gave Walker a brief but firm appraisal of the value of the airfield at Taegu to air-ground operations. If Taegu was lost, P'ohang Airfield was bound to fall into the enemy's hands, and then the Fifth Air Force would have no airfields in Korea other than the unsatisfactory field at Pusan.

"In a tight situation in which airpower may tip the scales in our favor,"

Partridge cautioned,

"the continued utilization of Korean airfields by our fighters is a major factor. If, by chance, the line of action adopted achieves marked success in the south-west at the expense of Taegu, the net result might prove disastrous." #21

General Walker evidently discussed this letter of remonstrance with the Eighth Army staff, for after 4 August the Eighth Army would keep the Fifth Air Force conversant with all ground-force plans.#22

[note]

August August

Because of MacArthur's particular interest in the rolling stock and supplies which had accumulated in Sŏul's marshaling yards, General O'Donnell sent the 19th Group there on 4 August and followed up this smashing attack with another mission flown by the 22nd and 92nd Groups on the next day. After these two missions Bomber Command reported that Sŏul's transportation facilities would be "inoperative for a considerable period of time. "#58

[note]

US Marine Corps

August

Accompanying the 4 HO3S helicopters in the flight to Pusan from Japan on 2 August were 4 of VMO-6’s OY-2 observation planes. The other 4 light aircraft remained in Japan, to be used as spares. On 4 August the LST which had been dispatched by Cushman and Weir also arrived at the South Korean port. While two helicopters flew to Ch'angwŏn to operate from Craig’s CP, the others, together with the rest of VMO-6 and the Air Support Section, moved to the airfield at Chinhae.

[note]

August

The squadron [VMF-214] flew 21 sorties on 4 August against enemy bases controlling the pressure on Eighth Army’s southern flank. Racing in from the sea, gull-winged Marine planes struck at bridges, railroads, and troop concentrations in the Chinju and Sach'ŏn areas.

[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

Meanwhile, orders to Organized Reserve units were being issued at established intervals.

[note]

August August

The next day Puller took command of the 1 Marines, consisting of the redesignated 2 Marines (headquarters company 1/2 and 2/2) and 1/6. These outfits were based on peacetime table of organization; each battalion had just two rifle companies of two platoons each and there was a proportional shortage in heavy weapons and support units.  As a consequence, three rifle companies, six additional rifle platoons, and a number of other elements had to be built from scratch.  In all, Puller needed about 1,200 men to reach his full authorization of just over 3,900 Marines and sailors.  He also had to take under his wing the newly created third rifle companies for each battalion of the 5 Marines.  A good portion of theses men came from the regulars released from Navy stations.  The rest were members of the Organized Reserve who had combat experience or a relatively high level of training.

[note]

August August

The flow soon became a torrent, and within a week, one would have been justified in terming the influx a flood. Also contributing was a steady stream of regulars: approximately3,600 Marines from 105 posts and stations had poured into Camp Pendleton by 4 August. By 6 August, during one 96-hourperiod, approximately 6,800 Marines from the 2nd Marine Division) and 350 Navy personnel had arrived at Camp Pendleton. All the while, reservists continued to report.

[note]

US Navy

Fleet Air Wing 6, commissioned and given operational control of all American and British patrol squadrons located in Japan-Korea area.

[note]

FAW-6 was established at Tokyo, Japan, under Acting Commander Captain John C. Alderman, and assigned operational control over all United States and British patrol squadrons in the Japan-Korea area.

[note]

On the 2nd, four helicopters and four spotting planes of VMO 6 were flown from Japan to Pusan, and then onwards to Chinhae on the 4th, as the LST with the ground crews reached Pusan.

[note]

On the 4th further strikes were flown against the enemy in the Chinju area, and with evening the Sicily group steamed into the Yellow Sea and headed northward.

[note]

On 4 August good work was done at a village near Yŏngdök in cooperation with rocket-firing Air Force fighters: troops were dispersed, large fires were started, and when clearing smoke revealed the fire-fighters at work the process was repeated.

[note]

August

On 1 August the task group was dissolved, Admiral Hartman headed his ships back northward, and after three days at Sasebo for logistics sailed once again for the northeastern coast of Korea, where air sightings had reported a thousand railroad cars in the region between 40° and 42° N. This time he got there.

[note]

August

For the moment, however, the effort was to be in support of the front. On 4 August Admiral Struble issued an operation order which called for strikes on targets previously selected and coordinated with FEAF, instructed the carrier task group to establish direct communications with the JOC at Taegu and attack enemy troops and targets in the forward areas, and established a fueling rendezvous with the oiler USS Cacapon (AO-52) for the 7th.

[note]

was sailed for Ŏch'ŏng-do, an island 40 miles off Kunsan, to establish an advanced ROKN supply base which would eliminate the 300-mile round trip to Pusan.

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 Higbee patrolled the Namhae area but encountered no enemy movement. On the night of 4-5 August underwater demolition personnel from the fast transport Diachenko 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 Cayuga and Athabaskan on a flank speed sweep of the south coast, but with negative results. On the 12th the destroyer Collett, 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 August

On 4 August, the task element joined Air Force fighters in a combined air-sea strike on an enemy-held village near Yŏngdök.

The following day, her 8 inch guns, directed by airborne controllers, rendered call-fire for the front-line troops. USS Toledo (CA-133) then moved some 70 miles north to the area around Samch'ŏk where she cruised along a 25-mile stretch of coastline and shelled a number of targets. During that interdiction run, she demolished a bridge, chewed up highway intersections, and generally wreaked havoc on communist supply lines. On the 6th, USS Helena (CA-75) relieved Toledo, enabling her to return to Sasebo for upkeep.

[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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0200 Korean Time

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August

The commotion finally died down around 0300, after cursing NCO’s convinced the military novices that they had been firing at delusions of their own overwrought imaginations.

[note]

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0537 Sunrise

[note]

August

Although such a reaction is not uncommon among untried troops, this realization was no balm to a wrathful Brigade commander at dawn on 4 August. [surnise 0538] Craig called in leaders of the most obvious offenders and severely reprimanded them. He made it known in no uncertain terms that such conduct would not be tolerated again; and from that time on, every man in the Brigade took him at his word.

The remainder of the stay at Ch'angwŏn was relatively calm. On one occasion a group of seven unidentified persons was spotted atop a mountain overlooking the Brigade area. Closer scrutiny disclosed that the individuals had radios and were carefully observing all activity within the Marine perimeter. A platoon of infantry was dispatched to destroy what was apparently an enemy observation post; but by the time the rifleman scaled the height, both intruders and radios had disappeared.

The climb caused a number of heat prostration cases within the platoon, for Korean terrain and heat were giving Marines their first bitter taste of a crippling combination. Brigade helicopters, flown to Pusan on 2 August, set a combat precedent by delivering rations and water to the infantrymen on the mountain, and by evacuating the more severe heat casualties.[28]

While Craig’s ground force spent its time patrolling and training around Ch'angwŏn, VMO-6 and the Air Support Section (MTACS-2) were readying themselves.

[note]

0600 Korean Time

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As an example, the number of men returned to combat from hospitals on 4 August equaled 30 percent of the casualties received on the same day. He told Almond that the Department of the Army appeared to be providing replacements to the limit of its capability. His greatest concern, justified in light of the latest report from Washington, was whether there would be a sufficient reservoir of replacements in the United States to keep supplying the FEC's needs until Selective Service, National Guard, and Reserve personnel could be called to duty and made available. [07-34]

[note]

0800 Korean Time

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August

With the destruction of the Waegwan bridges, Eighth Army by the morning of 4 August had destroyed all the bridges across the Naktong on its front. Its troops were in defensive positions on the east bank awaiting enemy crossings.

[note]

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August August

By 4 August, MacArthur saw clearly that if the amphibious force for the Inch'ŏn landing included an Army division, his own command would have to provide it. He therefore called upon Walker to rebuild the 7th Division by 15 September. Walker was to let MacArthur know at once of any difficulties in getting the necessary material and people. MacArthur himself assisted the rebuilding process by moving to the division from Okinawa 1,600 men originally intended for a third battalion of the 29th Infantry Regiment. He also diverted to the division an antiaircraft artillery automatic weapons battalion newly arrived from the United States, as well as two companies of combat Engineers, and sent a rush call to the ZI port of embarkation asking that the three infantry battalion cadres destined for the division be sent without delay. [09-32]

[note]

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On 4 August, Jacob Malik, USSR representative to the United Nations, proposed that the "internal civil war" in Korea be discussed with Chinese Communist representation in the United Nations and that all foreign troops be withdrawn from Korea.

[note]

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August August

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

Late in the afternoon of the 4th the strengthened Seventh Fleet sortied from Buckner Bay and headed north once more "to conduct air operations in support of ground forces."

[note]

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1935 Sunset

[note]

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August August

On 4 August, MacArthur was reminded in no uncertain terms,

"No one other than the President as Commander-in-Chief has the authority to order or authorize preventive action against concentrations on the mainland. The most vital national interest requires that no action of ours precipitate general war or give excuse to others to do so." [20-16]

[note]

2100 Korean Time

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August

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.

[note]

 

On August 4, elements of the North Korean 16th Infantry Regiment staged an assault across the Naktong between Companies I and L, 3/34 Infantry, and overwhelmed most of their positions. NKPA troops drove about five miles into the 24th Division sector, precipitating the First Battle of the Naktong Bulge, which eventually involved the entire 24th Division, the U.S. 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, the newly arrived 9th Infantry Regiment and 1/23rd Infantry (both from the 2nd Infantry Division) and the 2/27th Infantry. The struggle lasted until August 19.

The 34th Infantry gave its all. Company K stayed on its 7,500-yard front along the Naktong alone until ordered out on about August 14. At the outset, the 1/34th launched a counterattack, but part of Company C was trapped in a grist mill, where the men valiantly held out until rescued. Captain Albert F. Alfonso, with remnants of Companies A, C and L, held a small perimeter at the nose of the bulge until ordered out on the night of August 8-9. Elements of the regiment took part in a number of counterattacks between August 6 and 18.

 

[note]

 


Casualties

Friday August 4, 1950 (Day 041)

August 022 Casualties
As of August 4, 1950
3 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
3 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
5 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 3RD LOGISTICAL COMMAND HEADQUARTERS (B)
3 522ND SIGNAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
1 5TH MARINE REGIMENT
3 65TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
1 99TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
22 19500804 0000 Casualties by unit

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 58 3058 0 2 0 3118
Today 0 21 1 0 0 22
Total 58 3079 1 2 3140

Aircraft Losses Today 001

Notes_for_Friday August 4, 1950 (Day 041)

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