Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 25.8°C 78.44 °F at Taegu

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

week 007

Today begins the sixth week of the Korean war. 3,861 American Servicemen will have be killed by the end of this week Saturday August 12, 1950 (Day 49)

[note]

August

3rd Rescue Squadron

One SA-16 and one SB-17 were used this date for orbit missions. Total flying time for these missions was fifteen hours and fifteen minutes (15:15). These missions are flown as a protective coverage for the area between the Air Bases on the northern tip of Kyushu and Korea.

The H-5s are beginning to pay for themselves after just a few days of operation. They have evacuated 32 patients from the front lines. Had these patients been sent back from the front by ambulance or other means they would have died due to the time element so critical were their wounds.

[note]

August

Aug. 6: FEAF began nightly visual reconnaissance of enemy supply routes.

[note]

August

The North Korean army managed to cross the river on August 6, but was met by a stronger resistance, and they retre

[note]

Citations

Medals       

Medal of Honor

19500806 0000 mh *THOMPSON, WILLIAM.

 


Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

 

19500806 0000 DSC LENON

 

    Medals

Navy Cross

19500806 0000 DSC HUNDLEY

19500806 0000 DSC LENON

 

 

Silver Star

 

Back, George A. [1stLt SS A34thIR]

Blankinship, James I. [Cpl SS HMC35thIR]

Cahill, John J. H. [2ndLt SS G5thMR]

Kappler, Lewis B. [PFC SS A78thTB(M)]

Kearns, John A. [Capt SS CO 24thReconCo]

Lockart, Lilburn L. [PFC SS B13thFAB]

Payne, Charles E. [Capt SS HqCo3rdBn19thIR]

White, David John [Sgt SS B13thFAB]

Yates, Ervin W., Sr. [SFC SS TankCo(M)21stIR]

 

 

[note]

 

 

August August

On August 6, Company L was ambushed near the town of Sobuk with a fury and suddenness that left the unit in disarray. Company M was struck that night. During that fight, machine-gunner PFC William Thompson gave his life to stop the enemy and save many of his comrades, for which he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

August

Meanwhile, a task force built around Company I and a platoon of another segregated unit, the black 77th Engineer Combat Company (ECC), was ambushed on its way to contact U.S. forces near Chindong-ni. At least 12 men were killed and an unknown number wounded, and seven or eight members of the 77th ECC were missing. The unit's commander, Captain Charles M. Bussey, later rescued those men in a daring foray.

That day, too, a sick Colonel White was relieved of command by 57-year-old Colonel Arthur S. Champeny, and Colonel Pierce of the 3/24th was wounded in action.

[note]

August

Marine Squadron VMF323 flew its first air mission of the Korean War.
"Private First Class William Thompson, M Company, 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, earned the fourth Medal of Honor of the Korean War. While his platoon was reorganizing under cover of darkness, it was attacked by an overwhelming mass of enemy forces. PFC Thompson set up his machinegun in the path of the onslaught and swept the enemy with withering fire, checking them long enough for his platoon to withdraw to a more tenable position. Hit repeatedly by grenade fragments and bullets, he refused to withdraw and continued to deliver deadly, accurate fire until killed by an enemy grenade. He was the first African-American to earn his country’s highest award during the Korean War. "

[note] [note]

August

[note]

South then North

August August

The Marine brigade was attached to the 25th Division on 6 August. The brigade comprised the 5th Marines, commanded by Lt. Col. Raymond L. Murray, plus a brigade headquarters group. The three battalions of the regiment had only two rifle companies each and a Heavy Weapons Company. The brigade had a strength of 4,725 men. Most of the officers and about 65 percent of the noncommissioned officers of the Marine brigade were combat veterans. [15-40]

Initially, General MacArthur had planned to use the Marine brigade in an amphibious operation behind the enemy lines. The situation at the time the brigade arrived in Far Eastern waters, however, required its unloading at Pusan. Every available man, it appeared, would be needed to hold the Pusan Perimeter.

[note]

August August August

On 6 August Eighth Army issued the operational directive for the attack, naming Task Force Kean as the attack force and giving the hour of attack as 0630 the next day. [16-5] The task force was named for its commander, Maj. Gen. William B. Kean, Commanding General of the 25th Division.

Altogether, General Kean had about 20,000 men under his command at the beginning of the attack. [16-6] Task Force Kean was composed of the 25th Infantry Division (less the 27th Infantry Regiment and the 8th Field Artillery Battalion, which were in Eighth Army reserve after their relief at the front on 7 August), with the 5th Regimental Combat Team and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade attached. It included two medium tank battalions, the 89th (M4A3) and the fist Marine (M26 Pershing's). The 25th Division now had three infantry battalions in each of its regiments, although all were under strength. [16-7]

The terrain and communications of this chosen field for counterattack were to some extent known to the American commanders. American units had advanced or retreated over its major roads as far as Yŏngdong in the preceding two weeks. Certain topographic features clearly defined and limited the corridor, making it a segment of Korea where a planned operation could be executed without involving any other part of the Perimeter.

The Chinju-Masan corridor is limited on the south by the Korean Strait, on the north by the Nam River from Chinju to its confluence with the Naktong, fifteen miles northwest of Masan. Masan, at the head of Masan Bay, is at the eastern end of the corridor; Chinju, at the western end of the corridor, is 27 air miles from Masan. The shortest road

(MAP 8) TASK FORCE Kean 7-12 August 1950

distance between the two places is more than 40 miles. The corridor averages about 20 miles in width. (Map 8)

The topography of the corridor consists mostly of low hills interspersed with paddy ground along the streams. South of the Nam, the streams run generally in a north-south direction; all are small and fordable in dry weather. In two places mountain barriers cross the corridor. One is just east of Chinju; the main passage through it is the Chinju-toc (pass). The second and more dominant barrier is Sobuk-san, about eight miles west of Masan.

The main east-west highway through the corridor was the two-lane all-weather road from Masan through Kŏmam-ni, Chungam-ni, and Much'on-ni to Chinju. The Keizan South Railroad parallels this main road most of the way through the corridor. It is single track, standard gauge, and has numerous tunnels, cuts, and trestles.

An important spur road slanting southeast from Much'on-ni connects it with the coastal road three miles west of Chindong-ni and ten miles from Masan. The coastal, and third, road hugs the irregular southern shore line from Masan to Chinju by way of Chindong-ni, Kosŏng, and Sach'ŏn.

The early summer of 1950 in Korea was one of drought, and as such was unusual. Normally there are heavy monsoon rains in July and August with an average of twenty inches of rain; but in 1950 there was only about one-fourth this amount. The cloudless skies over the southern tip of the peninsula brought scorching heat which often reached 105° and sometimes 120°. This and the 60-degree slopes of the hills caused more casualties from heat exhaustion among newly arrived marine and army units in the first week of the counterattack than enemy bullets.

The army plan for the attack required Task Force Kean to attack west along three roads, seize the Chinju pass (Line Z in the plan), and secure the line of the Nam River. Three regiments would make the attack: the 35th Infantry along the northernmost and main inland road, the 5th Regimental Combat Team along the secondary inland road to the Much'on-ni road juncture, and the 5th Marines along the southern coastal road. This placed the marines on the left flank, the 5th Regimental Combat Team in the middle, and the 35th Infantry on the right flank. The 5th Regimental Combat Team was to lead the attack in the south, seize the road junction five miles west of Chindong-ni, and continue along the right-hand fork. The marines would then follow the 5th Regimental Combat Team to the road junction, take the left-hand fork, and attack along the coastal road. This plan called for the 5th Regimental Combat Team to make a juncture with the 35th Infantry at Much'on-ni, whence they would drive on together to the Chinju pass, while the marines swung southward along the coast through Kosŏng and Sach'ŏn to Chinju. The 5th Regimental Combat Team and the 5th Marines, on the night of 6-7 August, were to relieve the 27th Infantry in its front-line defensive positions west of Chindong-ni. The 27th Infantry would then revert to army reserve in an assembly area at Masan. [16-8]

August August

While Task Force Kean attacked west, the 24th Infantry Regiment was to clean out the enemy from the rear area, giving particular attention to the rough, mountainous ground of Sobuk-san between the 35th and 5th Regiments. It also was to secure the lateral north-south road running from Kŏmam-ni through Haman to Chindong-ni. Task Force Min, a regiment-sized ROK force, was attached to the 24th Infantry to assist in this mission. [16-9]

On the eve of the attack, Eighth Army intelligence estimated that the N. K. 6th Division, standing in front of Task Force Kean, numbered approximately 7,500 effectives. Actually, the 6th Division numbered about 6,000 men at this time. But the 83rd Motorized Regiment of the 105th Armored Division had joined the 6th Division west of Masan, unknown to Eighth Army, and its strength brought the enemy force to about 7,500 men, the Eighth Army estimate. Army intelligence estimated that the 6th Division would be supported by approximately 36 pieces of artillery and 25 tanks. [16-10]

[note]

August August

Only the day before, an enemy attack had driven one company of this [2nd] battalion [35th IR] from its position, but a counterattack had regained the lost ground.

[note]

August

Affairs there had taken an ominous turn on 6 August, the day preceding Task Force Kean's attack, when North Koreans ambushed L Company of the 24th Infantry west of Haman and scattered I Company, killing twelve men. One officer stated that he was knocked to the ground three times by his own stampeding soldiers.

[note]

August

Col. Arthur S. Champney succeeded Col. Horton V. White in command of the 24th Regiment in the Sobuk-san area on 6 August.

[note]

August

During the 6th, while these plans were being readied, on the east coast, it was possible from the ROK 3rd Division command post to see, through field glasses, the North Korean and ROK troops locked in battle at grenade range on Hill 181.

[note]

August

On 6 August, American planes observed ten barges engaged in ferrying troops across the river. The enemy division, although reinforced by 2,500 green replacement troops-partly at Hamch'ang and partly after crossing the river-was still only at half-strength. Many of the replacements did not have weapons and were used in rear areas in miscellaneous duties. This division, upon attacking toward Kunwi, met stubborn resistance from the ROK 6th Division and did not reach that town, twenty-five air miles due north of Taegu, until about 17 August. In battle there with the ROK 6th Division, it suffered further losses before it was able to advance south to the Tabu-dong area and the approaches to Taegu. [19-9]

[note]

August

The next day its 45th Regiment marched northeast toward the Naktong.

[note]

August

The supremacy of the Fifth Air Force in the skies over Korea forced the North Koreans in the first month of the war to resort to night movement of supplies to the battle area. To counter this, General Stratemeyer ordered nightly visual reconnaissance of the enemy supply routes, beginning on 6 August.

[note]

August

The success of the Red Ball Express cut down the amount of airlift tonnage. This fell from 85 tons on 31 July to 49 tons on 6 August. The express eliminated the need for nearly all airlift of supplies to Korea from Japan. It delivered supplies to Korea in an average time of 60-70 hours, while the airlift delivery varied from 12 hours to 5 days. The Red Ball delivery was not only far cheaper, it was more consistent and reliable. [21-10]

[note]

During the same period, battle losses had been far greater in the ROK Army than in United States forces, but non-battle casualties were fewer. On some days ROK battle losses were wholly disproportionate to
American.

As extreme examples, on 6 August American battle losses were 74, the ROK 1,328; on 21 August the American battle losses were 49, the ROK, 2,229. [21-45]

[note]

August August August

August6, 1950

The X corps' chief of staff was Maj. Gen. Clark L. Ruffner, who had arrived from the United States on 6 August and had started working with the planning group two days later. He was an energetic and diplomatic officer with long experience and a distinguished record in staff work. During World War II he had been Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Forces, Pacific Ocean Areas, in Hawaii. The X Corps staff was an able one, many of its members hand-picked from among the Far East Command staff.

The major ground units of X Corps were the 1st Marine Division and the 7th Infantry Division. In the summer of 1950 it was no easy matter for the United States to assemble in the Far East a Marine division at full strength.

August

August 6, 1950

The corps' chief of staff was Maj. Gen. Clark L. Ruffner, who had arrived from the United States on 6 August and started working with the planning group two days later. He was an energetic and diplomatic officer with long experience and a distinguished record in staff work. During World War II he had been Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Forces, Pacific Ocean Areas, in Hawaii. The X Corps staff was an able one, many of its members hand-picked from among the Far East Command staff. The major ground units of X Corps were the 1st Marine Division and the 7th Infantry Division. In the summer of 1950 it was no easy matter for the United States to assemble in the Far East a Marine division at full strength.

[note]

The Forgotten War

August

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, Roosevelt's 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 Inchon, and the doubt was spreading far and wide. It seemed that MacArthur was being deliberately vague about the details of Inchon 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 was.[7-12]

August

The Harriman party landed in Tokyo on the morning of Sunday, August 6, Tokyo time. MacArthur met the plane, and the two principals drove to the Dai Ichi Building, trailed by a convoy of staff cars bringing the rest of the party. After attending the GHQ morning briefing, the party lunched with MacArthur and his wife at their home in the American Embassy. Later that day, while Ridgway and Norstad conferred with Almond and other GHQ staffers and made arrangements for a quick trip to Taegu, MacArthur and Harriman conferred for another two hours, mostly about the two Chinas.

In a report he later submitted to Truman, Harriman made it clear that there was little hope that MacArthur would ever fully embrace the Truman-Acheson hands-off policy toward the Nationalists. As a soldier, MacArthur told Harriman,

"he would obey any orders that he received from the President."

MacArthur accepted the president's position on Formosa and would act accordingly but, Harriman added, without full conviction.

" MacArthur, Harriman continued, "has a strange idea that we should back anybody who will fight communism" and that Washington should stop "kicking Chiang around"

and support the rejected JCS recommendation to bomb Communist concentrations on the mainland and possibly support Chiang's dream of a

"reentry to the mainland."

Moreover, MacArthur strongly opposed Acheson's conciliatory policy toward Peking, designed to draw China back into the American orbit.[7-14]

[note]

August August August August

While Task Force Kean was mounting its offensive in the southern sector, John Church's 24th Division, holding defensive positions farther north along the Naktong River opposite the crack NKPA 4th Division, was undergoing yet another ghastly ordeal. It began on August 6, when the NKPA 4th (honored with the title "Sŏul Division for having captured the South Korean capital) unexpectedly launched a massive assault across the Naktong River into the 24th Divisions positions at a bend in the river, which the GIs called the "Naktong Bulge."

In contrast with Task Force Kean, the 24th Division was pitifully weak and exhausted. Its total strength was 9,882 regulars. It grandly rated itself as 53 percent combat effective, but 40 percent probably would have been closer to the mark. Its three infantry regiments (of two battalions) were gravely depleted. Ned Moores 19th numbered but 1,910 men; Dick Stephenss 21st, 1,670; and Charles Beauchamps 34th, 1,402. All regiments and other division elements were gravely short of tanks, weapons, ammo, and vehicles.

The Naktong River "front occupied by the 24th Division ran south-north from the confluence of the Nam and Naktong rivers to the village of Hyŏnp'ung. As the crow flies, the "front was about twenty-two miles long, but in reality, the twisting course of the Naktong made it thirty-four miles. The front was manned, south to north, by Beauchamps 34th Infantry, Stephenss 21st Infantry, and the attached ROK 17th Regiment (2,000 men), which was still being advised by Joe Darrigo. Moore's 19th Infantry was in division reserve near the division CP at Ch'angnyŏng, about seven miles behind the river in the center of the division front.

Owing to the acute shortage of manpower and the vast division frontage to be covered, the 34th and 21st were thinly dispersed along the river. Each of the two American regiments at the river had merely one battalion forward. The other battalions were immediately behind, in reserve. At the river the rifle and heavy weapons companies were outposted on key hills. The division's four (depleted) FABs, two combat engineer battalions (3rd and 14th), the division Recon Company and one battery of A/A vehicles, and the surviving Chaffee light tanks were scattered here and there along the front in support of the infantry.

[note]

August

In Beauchamp's southernmost 34th Infantry sector, the 3/34 (at 50 percent strength with 493 men) outposted the river, while Red Ayres's 1/34 (515 men) was in reserve. The 3/34 now had its fifth commander in a month of combat. The new man was one of the replacement battalion commanders flown to Korea, forty-one-year-old Gines Perez. Perez was a reservist who had made the Army a career after he had been called to active duty in 1941. During World War II, as exec of the 12th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division, Perez had fought the Japanese in New Guinea and in the Philippines on Leyte and Luzon. Under his temporary command, the 12th Cav had dramatically liberated Santo Tomas University in Manila, where the Japanese had interned and starved about 3,900 Allied civilians.

When he arrived in Korea and reported to John Church's CP, Perez found administrative chaos. At first he was mistakenly assigned to command an artillery battalion; but after an awkward dinner with Church's artillery commander, Henry Meyer, the mistake was realized, and the next day Perez got himself properly reassigned to the infantry, drawing command of the 3/34. He remembered:

"I didn't see any foxholes. I said [to the acting commander]: Don't you make foxholes here?' He said, `Well, certainly, but the men have lost all their entrenching tools.' . . . I said `... I want to see some foxholes dug and I want to see at least one foxhole per man.' "

During the early morning hours of August 6 the NKPA 4th Division (7,000 men) crossed the Naktong and struck the 24th Division in an all-out attack. The main weight came in Perez's sector on his second night in command. When he realized it was not a probing attack but the real thing, he tried to alert Ayres and Beauchamp by radio. Unable to raise them, he sent messengers, but they went astray. Seeing that he was being overrun and outflanked, Perez made the very hard decision to withdraw his CP. He told his staff that if the CP were not withdrawn, "we'd all be dead before noon."

Perez retreated eastward to Ayres's 1/34 CP. Finding Ayres asleep, Perez woke him and gave him the news. Ayers appeared not to believe him. As Perez recalled, Ayres

"got up very leisurely and had breakfast." Perez went on: They thought I was a newcomer [to combat], scared, and just bugging out." Beauchamp, now alerted, later told Perez: "We were watching you like a hawk. If what you said hadn't turned out [to be true] you were relieved."

[note]

August

When it became clear that what Perez reported was true, Charles Beauchamp ordered Ayres to counterattack with his 1/34. Perhaps too hastily, Ayres sent his C Company, commanded by newcomer Clyde M. Akridge, hurrying forward by truck, while the other two came behind on foot. Rushed fragmented into battle, the battalion suffered a severe setback. Akridge's C Company was decimated; A and B companies were stopped in their tracks. Wounded three times, Akridge had to be evacuated. While bravely attempting to rescue the men of C Company, Ayres himself was trapped and cut off for hours. "He came out crawling on his belly," Perez remembered. Meanwhile, during the confused action that day Perez's 3/34 fled in all directions, as did Battery B of the 13th FAB, whose men left behind four or five howitzers and numerous vehicles.

August

John Church apparently was not fully apprised of the weight of the NKPA attack. Perhaps believing it was merely a strong probe, he ordered Ned Moore's reserve 19th Infantry to counterattack, clean out the NKPA, and restore the divisions positions at the river by dark. In response, Moore sent Tom McGrail's 2/19 forward by truck and alerted Robert Rhea to prepare to follow with his 1/19. Both of the 19ths battalions, bedeviled by a shortage of trucks, conflicting information, and other factors, were slow to move up.

[note]

U.S. Air Force

 

 

0923 ETA [estimated time of arrival] of Harriman party. This group composed of

CINCFE with Joy, Almond, Sebald, Whitney, and myself form official greeting party.[175-William J. Sebald, MacArthur’s SCAP political advisor.]

Mr. Harriman billeted at the Embassy; the others at the Imperial, with exception of Norstad and Ramey - our guests at Mayeda House. (Also Major General C.P. Cabell arrived.)[176-Harriman had been sent by the President to discuss with MacArthur the administration’s and the JCS’s policies on Far East matters, particularly those concerning Formosa and China. MacArthur was apparently not impressed with President Truman’s thinking, a viewpoint that Harriman noted and passed on to Truman. (J. Lawton Collins, War in Peacetime [Boston, 1969], p 150; Alexander, pp 166-167.) Additionally, the party was there to see if Macarthur’s continual requests for men and equipment were realistic or just “the sky is falling” attempts to obtain all he could get. They decided he needed what he requested. (“History of the
JCS,” Vol. III, pp 195-197.)
]


Immediately after the party landed, went direct to GHQ for their briefing. Group had lunch with General MacArthur.


Stratemeyer greets Lt. Gen. Lauris Norstad, the acting Vice Chief of Staff, USAF, upon the latter's arrival with the Harriman party on August 6, 1950.

Dispatched a radio of some length to General Vandenberg on the performance of the F-80, giving him detailed statistics, etc. re the worth of the F-80.


Two F-51s crashed behind North Korean lines; apparently lost thru small arms fire.


General Spivey reports in - to head up Fifth Air Force Rear.


SAC reports they are sending Maj. General T. S. Power[177-Maj Gen Thomas S. Power, Vice Commander, SAC. In 1957, he became Commander in Chief, SAC.] to Guam for a TDY period of approximately 3 days.


Had all the USAF people to Mayeda house for cocktails and dinner as well as the Craigies & Gen. Banfill.

 

[note]

 

 

 

August

August

68th Fighter All Weather Squadron F-82G Twin Mustang 46-376 based at Itazuke AB, 1950

Interdiction - Night Attacks 68th AWFS

Cognizant that night movements were permitting supplies to the North Korean battle line, FEAF ordered Bomber Command to conduct nightly visual reconnaissance of Korean routes beginning on 6 August.

[note]

August

The 67th Squadron went back to Ashiya and on 6-7 August the remainder of the 18th Fighter-Bomber Group followed it there.

[note]

August

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]

19500706 0000 usaf0

August

"I wouldn't trade the F-80 for all the F-47's and F-51's you could get me," said General Stratemeyer. "It does a wonderful job in ground support and can take care of the top-side job if enemy jets appear.#38

[note]

August

Other Fifth Air Force Mustangs went to P'yŏngyang on 6 August, where they destroyed nine combat aircraft on the ground. Four North Korean planes were claimed as damaged at P'yŏngyang and three more were hit but not claimed as destroyed in a follow-up strafing attack flown against Kimp'o Airfield.#103

[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 August

In a conversation with General Stratemeyer on 6 August Admiral Joy reported the difficulties his pilots were meeting over Korea and questioned whether naval aircraft ought to continue to try to support the ground forces. General Stratemeyer assured Admiral Joy that no more naval planes would be used for ground support than could be profitably employed and controlled. He explained that Fifth Air Force pilots were often unable to secure close-support targets but that in such event these pilots were briefed to attack an interdiction target. in order that Navy pilots might use the same procedure, General Stratemeyer reminded Joy that he had already provided NavFE with a list of more than 100 tactical interdiction targets lying between the bombline and Sŏul.#30

[note]

U.S. Marine Corps

August

Firing M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) aboard ship one day out from Pusan.

[note]

August August

On 6 August, the 5th Marines received orders to move about thirteen miles southwest to Chindong-ni to participate in the first Eighth Army offensive in Korea. The first Marine unit out was Taplett's 3/5, which was attached to the 25th Infantry Division.

[note]

August

[note]

August August

On 6 August, the 5th Marines received orders to move about thirteen miles southwest to Chindong-ni to participate in the first Eighth Army offensive in Korea. The first Marine unit out was Taplett's 3/5, which was attached to the 25th Infantry Division.

[note]

August August

On 6 August came a thundering bid for fame by VMF-323, as its sleek Corsairs streaked toward Korea. Operating from the deck of the USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116), the squadron flew 30 sorties in deep support forward of Eighth Army lines. Carrying the mail with 500-pound bombs, 20-mm. cannon and 5-inch rockets, Marine pilots struck at Communist troop concentrations, vehicles, supply dumps, bridges and railroads.[36]

[note]

August August

On 5 August, the USS Sicily (CVE-118) steamed into the Yellow Sea. Marine planes (VMF-214) descended on Inch'ŏn, Sŏul, and Mokp'o, battering airfields, factories, warehouses, railroads, bridges, and harbor facilities. The same pattern of destruction was repeated the following day.[35]

[note]

August August August August

ON 6 AUGUST 1950 the Brigade was attached to the 25th Infantry Division and ordered forward to Chindong-ni. The area from that village westward toward the Tosan junction was occupied by thinly spread elements of the 5th RCT and the 27th Infantry. While the former took over front line positions preparatory to launching the main attack on the next day, the latter was gradually displacing rearward to go into Eighth Army reserve.[1]

[note]

August

The ability of the Russians to cross the widest rivers in World War II, using only determination and field expedients, constantly amazed Wehrmacht generals with much better equipment.[1] This know-how seemed to have been passed on to the NKPA, judging by the crossings of the Han and Kum Rivers early in the Korean conflict.

On 6 August 1950, the Red Koreans gave a repeat performance when they forced a 1,000-man bridgehead across the Naktong river, thus breaching the last natural barrier protecting the lifeline from Pusan to Taegu. The 24th Infantry Division was unsuccessful in its immediate attempts to dislodge the enemy.[2]

[note]

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

[note]

August

Basically, the problem was to select those reservists that by virtue of previous training or military experience were best qualified for inclusion in the 1st Marine Division. It was in the vital interests of both the division and the individual reservist that the task be performed with the minimum degree of error. An inadequately trained man is too often a liability in a combat situation, endangering his own life and those of his fellows, and lowering the combat efficiency of his unit.

Since the urgency for the 1st Marine Division departure did not permit the usual deliberative process of analyzing all training records, interviewing the men and their officers, and of giving practical tests, certain criteria that would compromise a rapid selection, the means available, and the standards of selection with the task to be performed were established for the selection of reservists. Accordingly, two general categories, Combat-Ready and Non-Combat-Ready, were set up.

Combat-Ready was defined as applying to those reservists that had been members of the Organized Reserve for two years and had attended one summer camp and 72 drills or two summer camps and 36 drills, or, that were veterans with more than 90 days service in the Marine Corps. Non-Combat-Ready was applied to all reservists that did not meet these standards. It had a subdivision called Recruit Class, which applied to all that had less than one year's service in the Organized Reserve or had poor drill attendance records. The establishment of these standards was neither hastily nor lightly considered, but represented the collective professional judgment of some of the most experienced field commanders in the Marine Corps.

Even so, the Combat-Ready standard fell short of representing an optimum Marine Corps goal for training; it could be said, however, that these reservists, while certainly not so well trained as the Marine Corps would have liked them to be, nor so well trained as they would have been if more time had been available, had the training required for a combat assignment.

Serving to increase the problem of selecting Combat-Ready reservists was the fact that although the majority of the reserve units reported with their records in excellent shape, many either became separated from their records in the hurried movement or were unable to complete them. By itself, this lack would not have resulted in a serious situation, but coupled with the narrow time limitations, it created a problem that had unfortunate repercussions. For example, the margin of error in the selection of reservists for combat assignment was increased, MOSs were scrambled, and the payment of some personnel was delayed by as much as two months. In addition, the dearth of reliable records imposed a severe handicap on the already strained administrative staffs of both Camp Pendleton and the 1st Marine Division at a time when efficiency and dispatch were at a premium.

[note]

August

To help overcome this deficiency, staff personnel inter-viewed reservists before the commander decided whether or not the reservists qualified for the Combat-Ready category. In these interviews, reservists often manifested a strong desire to be classified as Combat-Ready, and this desire influenced many of them to present an overly optimistic picture of their previous training. A reservist's statement to the effect that he considered himself qualified for combat was not accepted as proof of his fitness, however, and his unit officers were questioned as to the qualifications. At the same time, any reservist that felt he needed more training, and so suggested, was at once removed from further consideration for immediate assignment to combat duty with no prejudice.

Reservists falling into the Non-Combat-Ready category, but not into the Recruit Class, generally were assigned to the Continental Security Forces to help restore the 50 percent reduction in those forces; to replace regulars in overseas security detachments on a man-for-man basis and thus make additional regulars available for combat; and to the training and Replacement Regiment, where they could make up their training deficiencies and themselves become available for combat as replacements for the 1st Division. Approximately 30 percent fell into this category.

Those reservists falling into the Recruit Class, approximately 20 percent, were generally assigned to recruit training; some were temporarily placed with administrative and service organizations

. Approximately 50 percent of the Organized Reservists, including all officers, fell into the Combat-Ready category, and 2,891 of these were assigned to the 1st Marine Division.

August

To help overcome this deficiency, staff personnel inter-viewed reservists before the commander decided whether or not the reservists qualified for the Combat-Ready category. In these interviews, reservists often manifested a strong desire to be classified as Combat-Ready, and this desire influenced many of them to present an overly optimistic picture of their previous training. A reservist's statement to the effect that he considered himself qualified for combat was not accepted as proof of his fitness, however, and his unit officers were questioned as to the qualifications. At the same time, any reservist that felt he needed more training, and so suggested, was at once removed from further consideration for immediate assignment to combat duty with no prejudice.

Reservists falling into the Non-Combat-Ready category, but not into the Recruit Class, generally were assigned to the Continental Security Forces to help restore the 50 percent reduction in those forces; to replace regulars in overseas security detachments on a man-for-man basis and thus make additional regulars available for combat; and to the training and Replacement Regiment, where they could make up their training deficiencies and themselves become available for combat as replacements for the 1st Division. Approximately 30 percent fell into this category.

Those reservists falling into the Recruit Class, approximately 20 percent, were generally assigned to recruit training; some were temporarily placed with administrative and service organizations

. Approximately 50 percent of the Organized Reservists, including all officers, fell into the Combat-Ready category, and 2,891 of these were assigned to the 1st Marine Division.

[note]

August

To help overcome this deficiency, staff personnel inter-viewed reservists before the commander decided whether or not the reservists qualified for the Combat-Ready category. In these interviews, reservists often manifested a strong desire to be classified as Combat-Ready, and this desire influenced many of them to present an overly optimistic picture of their previous training. A reservist's statement to the effect that he considered himself qualified for combat was not accepted as proof of his fitness, however, and his unit officers were questioned as to the qualifications. At the same time, any reservist that felt he needed more training, and so suggested, was at once removed from further consideration for immediate assignment to combat duty with no prejudice.

Reservists falling into the Non-Combat-Ready category, but not into the Recruit Class, generally were assigned to the Continental Security Forces to help restore the 50 percent reduction in those forces; to replace regulars in overseas security detachments on a man-for-man basis and thus make additional regulars available for combat; and to the training and Replacement Regiment, where they could make up their training deficiencies and themselves become available for combat as replacements for the 1st Division. Approximately 30 percent fell into this category.

Those reservists falling into the Recruit Class, approximately 20 percent, were generally assigned to recruit training; some were temporarily placed with administrative and service organizations

. Approximately 50 percent of the Organized Reservists, including all officers, fell into the Combat-Ready category, and 2,891 of these were assigned to the 1st Marine Division.

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: approximately 3,600 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.

Fortunately, even before the arrival of the first reservists, an extensive survey had been conducted of the facilities and supplies at Camp Pendleton. On the basis of this survey, estimates had been made of the increased facilities and supplies that would be needed to support the vastly increased strength of the post. As rapidly as possible, measures were taken to expand facilities and augment supplies, with the result that all new arrivals were properly fed, housed, and clothed, even if many Marines had to be taken off one train and immediately set to helping prepare for the arrival of the next.

Headquarters Marine Corps planned the arrival dates on a staggered schedule to facilitate the reception and care of each arriving increment before the appearance of the next, Even so, and despite the extensive planning and the 24-hour, 7-day working week instituted at Camp Pendleton, the rate of daily arrivals taxed facilities to the limit, and over, but an essential job had to be and was being done,

As rapidly as reserve units arrived, they were billeted, processed, and classified. In the process, units were disbanded and the personnel utilized. wherever the need was greatest. Every effort was made to assign reservists to tasks that would best realize their training and skills.

Those reserve Marines not assigned to the division rendered assistance in almost every function at Camp Pendleton. They served in the service and administrative organizations, in training with and serving on the staff of the training and Replacement Regiment, and in working parties that assumed many of the mounting out responsibilities of the 1st Marine Division, so that it might receive the maximum amount of training before shipping out for combat operations, The assignment of newly mobilized reservists to a combat unit in such a short space of time was contrary to both the desires of the Marine Corps and the previously established plans, which called for extensive periods of training. The decision was reached only after close consultation and much soul-searching among high-ranking Marine officers, but the harsh realities of a highly demanding war offered no choice, and the decision was made.

[note]

August

By 6 August the total infantry strength in the Reserve had fallen to 40,000. [07-12]

Throughout July, Department of Defense officials were aware of the situation, and national leaders had assumed, before Korea, that mobilization, if required, would be all-out mobilization of national military resources. The action in Korea fell far short of global war, but proved big enough to involve the greater portion of the nation's active ground forces by the end of the first month of fighting. With American Reserve military strength so weakened, some degree of mobilization became mandatory. The nation's military leaders had to decide the degree of mobilization required and also the best method of recruiting additional effective forces swiftly with the least damage to the nation's morale and economy. The solution had to be reached under pressure and in haste. [07-13]

[note]

U.S. Navy

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]

August August

By 5 August communications had been established between the brigade’s air support control personnel and the escort carriers at sea. On the 6th USS Sicily (CVE-118) and USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116)rendezvoused off the southwestern tip of Korea, Admiral Ruble’s staff joined him by breeches buoy, and air and ground forces were ready to operate as a unit.

It was high time. Ch'angwŏn is less than 30 miles from Pusan. Six miles or so beyond Ch'angwŏn lies the town of Masan, and beyond Masan was the North Korean 6th Division. Distances in Korea, in early August, were very small.

[note]

August August

On the 6th the USS Sicily (CVE-118) group moved southward to strike targets at Kunsan and Mokp'o and troops on the south coast, and to rendezvous with USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) and her attendant destroyers.

[note]

August August

August

The 6th of August saw the task force still south of Korea, attacking objectives assigned by air controllers and bridge and highway targets from Yŏsu north to Hwanggan. Once again USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) concentrated her efforts on transportation facilities, while USS Valley Forge (CV-45) flew 24 Corsair and 22 Skyraider sorties under JOC control. The emphasis, as on the previous day, was on the Chinju assembly area and on enemy lines of communication behind it; but attacks were also made on troop and transportation targets behind the central Naktong front, in the Waegwan area, and in the important neighboring junction town of Kŭmch'ŏn. Claims for the day included destruction of a large supply dump, five trucks, two jeeps, and a tank, damage to a number of bridges, and many troop casualties; the distribution of effort represented a useful attempt at close interdiction, if not at close support of troops in combat.

With the day’s work completed and with pilots’ reports at hand, the situation was discussed by Admiral Struble and his carrier division commanders. To Admiral Ewen the results of the effort in close air support appeared quite simply "negligible." Admiral Hoskins felt the work handicapped by the cumbersome centralization of JOC control, which required excessive expenditure of time in checking in and securing target assignments, and by the tendency of Eighth Army to call for maximum effort and so bring saturation of control facilities. The upshot of the discussion was a pair of dispatches from Commander Seventh Fleet to ComNavFE, in which he reported an urgent request from JOC for "close support" of ground operations on the next day, expressed his doubts as to the value of such an effort, proposed that the escort carriers be given the whole job on the 8th, and stated his desire to strike the important west bridge at Sŏul.

[note]

August

On 6 August a group of underwater demolition and Marine reconnaissance personnel was assigned to USS Horace A. Bass (APD-124), and the resultant package designated the Special Operations Group. Two days later a new weapon became available for raids from the sea as the submarine transport USS Perch (ASSP-313), a conversion capable of carrying 160 troops and with a cylindrical deck caisson providing stowage for landing equipment, reached Yokosuka from Pearl Harbor. A British offer of a squad of Royal Marines provided Perch’s raiding personnel, and brought immediate preparations for attacks on the east coast transportation.

To this planned schedule of raiding activity Admiral Joy now added carrier strikes.

[note]

August

Having crossed the river on 6 August, the enemy in the space of four days had expanded his lodgment to include the larger part of the 4th Division, the unit which Task Force Smith had run

[note]

August

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

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

On 27 July 8-inch guns were used for the first time against the invading army, as USS Toledo (CA-133) fired on troop concentrations, supplies, and revetments by day, and by night illuminated the battleline with star shell.

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

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

[note]

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]

0000 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
9:00 AM
07/30/50
10:00 AM
07/30/50
3:00 PM
07/31/50
12:00 AM

August

With soft 'pops,' red and yellow flares shot up and glowed briefly and eerily in the warm night. At one minute after midnight, August 6, 1950, 800 men of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment of the North Korean Peoples Army (NKPA), 4th Infantry Division, began crossing the Naktong River near the Ohang ferry site.

The troops carried no heavy weapons or mortars. After crossing, they formed up quietly in a column of platoons and moved stealthily through a draw leading into American lines. Their objective was the town of Yŏngsan-ni,, about eight miles behind the lines of the U.S. 24th Infantry Division.

And so began the First Battle of the Naktong Bulge, a key part of the general North Korean offensive against the U.S. and South Korean defenders of the Pusan perimeter at the tip of the Korean peninsula.

Before North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950, few U.S. troops were stationed in the South–and the four U.S. Army divisions in nearby Japan were woefully below strength and undertrained. Indeed, assignment to the U.S. 1st Cavalry (actually, infantry) and the 7th, 24th and 25th Infantry divisions had meant fairly easy occupation duty. After June 1949, some serious training was begun, but only on a limited scale.

Worse, the 24th and her sister divisions also lacked one-third of their authorized infantry and artillery commands and two-thirds of their anti-aircraft complement. They had only 15 to 20 tanks per division, instead of the 142 authorized. The tanks were often the M-24 light tanks, no match for the Russian-made T-34 that supported the North Korean drive southward.

Instead of their authorized strength of 18,804 officers and men, the divisions in Japan were allocated only 12,500. As the closest division to Korea–and the easiest to send–the 24th was the first command deployed. It was brought up from a strength of 12,197 men to 15,965 from the commands in Japan just before departing for Korea.

[note]

August

At 0001 on 6 August, red and yellow flares burst luridly over the Naktong. A few minutes later, the 34th Infantry's Observation Post (OP) No. 1 on the south side of the Bulge reported small arms fire in its immediate front. This apparently was a North Korean attempt to divert attention from the opposite side of the salient, where several battalions of the 16th North Korean Regiment were beginning to cross the Naktong. Large numbers of the enemy used rafts, constructed earlier in the hills bordering the river, while others simply waded across. Although a few drowned, most arrived safely on the east bank.

August

Hill 207 and Hill 311

There they came under scattered fire from elements of L Company's outpost line, which caused them to move northward along the river bank before entering the hills.

[note]

0100 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
10:00 AM
07/30/50
11:00 AM
07/30/50
4:00 PM
07/31/50
1:00 AM

August

The initial contact, (with L Company) which occurred around 0115, ended almost immediately as the North Koreans disappeared in the darkness.

[note]

0200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
11:00 AM
07/30/50
12:00 PM
07/30/50
5:00 PM
07/31/50
2:00 AM

August

At 0200, 6 August, the 34th Infantry reported to the 24th Division that an enemy force had penetrated between I and L Company . The North Koreans [3/16 4th NKID] moved along the draw without making any effort to attack the companies on the hills overlooking the river. They overran the 4.2-inch mortar position, but in so doing fully alerted the battalion command post near by. Aware now of the enemy penetration, most of the troops there escaped to the rear. Colonel Perez, commander of the 3rd Battalion, made his way back three miles along the Yŏngsan-ni, road to the 1st Battalion command post and there gave Colonel Ayres his first news of the enemy crossing. [17-1

[note]

August

By 0200, enough scattered contacts had developed to indicate that an enemy penetration of unknown strength was occurring on the right center of L Company, near its sector boundary with I Company. Artillery batteries in the regimental rear were warned to watch for infiltrators.

[note]

August

At 0205, increased firing on the right caused the 34th Infantry's S3 to notify division headquarters that in his opinion an attack had begun. Solid information on enemy strength and positions was still lacking, however, so little further action was taken. Left to themselves, the North Koreans already across the Naktong continued to move eastward through the hills, while others crossed the river to join them.

[note]

0300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
12:00 PM
07/30/50
1:00 PM
07/30/50
6:00 PM
07/31/50
3:00 AM

August

By 3 a.m. on August 6, the North Koreans had penetrated to the village of Kogong-ni, overrunning 3rd Battalion's CP and a detachment of the regiment's Heavy Mortar Company.

[note]

August

Hill 311

Around 0300, their leading elements reached the vicinity of the village of Kogono-ni, which lay in a valley traversing the base of the salient. Located just off the road to Yŏngsan and the regimental rear, the village was the site of the 3d Battalion command post (CP) and a detachment of the Heavy Mortar Company. Overrunning the area, the North Koreans forced Lieutenant Colonel Perez, his command group, and the mortarmen to withdraw eastward in haste (see map 4).2

August

Map 4

[note]

Around 0330, Perez arrived at Lieutenant Colonel Ayres' 1st Battalion, which was in reserve near Kang-ni four miles to the rear. Perez burst into Ayres' CP and informed him of what had happened at the river. This was Ayres' first indication that anything was wrong; For some reason, Perez' flight was not transmitted to division headquarters at Ch'angnyŏng.

[note]

0400 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
1:00 PM
07/30/50
2:00 PM
07/30/50
7:00 PM
07/31/50
4:00 AM

August August August August

For some reason, Perez' flight was not transmitted to division headquarters at Ch'angnyŏng.

Instead, at 0430, the 34th Infantry reported only that from thirty to eighty enemy had crossed the river in the I Company sector and engaged in a brief fire fight before disappearing in the darkness.

[note]

August August August

By 0545, the 19th, 21st Infantry', and 17th (ROK) Regiments, as well as division artillery, had all been alerted. a

[note]

0500 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
2:00 PM
07/30/50
3:00 PM
07/30/50
8:00 PM
07/31/50
5:00 AM

On 6 August 1950 380 close-support sorties had been flown, by FEAF.

[note]

August

Colonel Beauchamp, the 34th regimental commander, at 0520 reported to General Church:

"Enemy are across river in force in center of my sector. It's pretty dark and situation is obscure. I am committing my reserve [1st Bn] at daylight to clear up the situation. Get me a liaison plane in the air at dawn." [17-12]

Beauchamp ordered Ayres to counterattack with the 1st Battalion and restore the regimental position. At dawn there was no indication that the rifle companies of the 3rd Battalion on the hills along the river, except L Company , had yet come under attack. Some elements of L Company had been forced out of position and withdrew about a mile from the river. The enemy apparently was content to leave the river line troops alone except where they lay across his axis of advance. He was concentrating on penetrating behind the river positions.

After the escape of the 3rd Battalion headquarters troops, the positions of B Battery, 13th Field Artillery, eastward at the northwestern base of Obong-ni Ridge lay completely exposed to the enemy.

[note]

August

No further information was supplied to the division until 0520, when Colonel Beauchamp reported that the North Koreans had made a crossing in force in the center of the 34th Infantry's position. Beauchamp announced he was committing Ayres' 1st Battalion in a counterattack at first light, and he requested an artillery liaison plane to assist in locating the enemy. The division G3 duty officer, in turn, notified his section chief, arranged for the liaison plane, and requested that Eighth Army's Air Operations Center provide air strikes at dawn.

[note]

0534 Sunrise

[note]

0600 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
3:00 PM
07/30/50
4:00 PM
07/30/50
9:00 PM
07/31/50
6:00 AM

August

Alerted (2d Battalion of the 19th) at 0600 and

August

At Kang-ni, Ayres prepared to move his battalion (1/34) forward at dawn, which occurred around 0630. He placed Capt. Clyde Akridge's Company C in five trucks with orders to drive toward the river until Ayres stopped them. Companies A and B followed on foot, while Ayres rode ahead of the battalion with a small command group to discover what was happening near the river.

[note]

August

In only one respect was there cause for optimism. North Korean attempts. to cross into the undefended sector of the Bulge had slackened markedly under the pressure of air and artillery interdiction of the crossing sites. The first air strike had occurred at 0645, just after sunrise, when four F-80s arrived and strafed suspected crossing points.

[note]

0700 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
4:00 PM
07/30/50
5:00 PM
07/30/50
10:00 PM
07/31/50
7:00 AM

August

On 6 August, General Hickey, Deputy Chief of Staff, GHQ, flew into this perimeter, carrying with him a brief of the plans for the amphibious landing. The hard-pressed Walker agreed with the concept and with the detailed provisions of the plan. But members of General Walker's staff, particularly those of his G-3 section, were skeptical of Eighth Army's ability to carry out the coordinated frontal assault provided by the plan. They frankly and openly doubted that the divisions then in the Pusan Perimeter could drive through the mountains to the Kum River.

Bridges were out all across the Eighth Army front. Walker was seriously short of trucks. But the biggest obstacle, according to the Eighth Army staff, would be the North Korean Army, which would be intact and capable of fierce and sustained resistance even though the amphibious assault in its rear was successfully carried out. Some of Walker 's officers felt that the North Koreans would, if driven from the roads, take to the surrounding hills and prevent the American divisions from breaking out to the north.

One key officer suggested that Eighth Army take the much longer coastal route up the west coast where roads were good and flank protection would be afforded by the Yellow Sea. Eighth Army officers generally agreed that after the landing in the north Walker would need at least two more divisions before he could break out. [08-13]

[note]

August August

General MacArthur sent his deputy chief of staff, General Hickey, into the Pusan Perimeter on 6 August to confer with the Eighth Army commander. Walker told Hickey he was worried about the condition of the 24th Division. He appraised that unit's combat worth as negligible after a month of hard fighting. Before it could become effective again, it would have to be completely rehabilitated. His other divisions were in somewhat better condition. The 25th Division, which had seen less action than the 24th and which had been less severely attacked by the enemy, was in fairly good shape. General Walker expressed some doubts as to its offensive capabilities, as he felt it lacked leadership. The Eighth Army commander told General Hickey that, because they were too few, all his army staff members were overworked. That they were not getting enough rest was being reflected in the quality of their work. [07-33]

The first weeks of August were marked by savage North Korean efforts to break through the Pusan Perimeter. Several enemy penetrations across the Naktong into Eighth Army's lines came perilously close to success, but in each case skillful deployment of reserves along interior lines enabled Walker to contain and beat back the enemy thrusts. Fresh units arriving in the perimeter were quickly thrown into the fight at key points in the perimeter.

[note]

August August

By 0700, Ayres (1/34) was moving-as Beauchamp informed General Church when the latter called with orders to "clear up the situation." Passing en route the position of Battery B, 13th Field Artillery Battalion, Ayres drove to Perez' abandoned CP at Kogono-ni, where he saw no enemy troops.

[note]

August

Fifteen minutes later, four F-51s relieved the jets and continued the search for targets. Thereafter, aircraft appeared over the area at regular intervals throughout the day, attacking enemy boats on the river and small parties of North Koreans moving through the hills. In addition, fighter-bombers made numerous strikes on targets west of the Naktong to impede the enemy buildup.

[note]

August August

Just as the trucks carrying Company C arrived at Ayres' position, North Koreans hidden in the hills above the village directed a heavy fire Lt. Col. Harold B. Ayres, Commander, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry into the small convoy. Ambushed before they could dismount, Akridge's men sustained several casualties and momentarily became disorganized. In the face of increasing North Korean fire, Ayres ordered Akridge (C/34) to assault the high ground with Company C, while he himself directed the fire of the company's 60-mm mortars. Akridge, who had only been with the company a few days, quickly received three wounds, and C Company's attack collapsed under a hail of North Korean bullets. Ayres continued to direct the mortars until his ammunition was exhausted and several mortarmen around him were hit. He then withdrew with his command group and succeeded in escaping without injury, although several of his staff were wounded in the process.

Ayres spent the next several hours (until 1300) working his way back to the remainder of the battalion. The remnants of Company C took shelter around a grist mill near the ambush site. Three miles to the rear, the remainder of the 1st Battalion, accompanied by two quad-.50 half-tracks, marched westward under the supervision of Colonel Beauchamp.

[note]

0800 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
5:00 PM
07/30/50
6:00 PM
07/30/50
11:00 PM
07/31/50
8:00 AM

August

On 6 August, General Hickey, Deputy Chief of Staff, GHQ, flew into this perimeter, carrying with him a brief of the plans for the amphibious landing. The hard-pressed Walker agreed with the concept and with the detailed provisions of the plan. But members of General Walker's staff, particularly those of his G-3 section, were skeptical of Eighth Army's ability to carry out the coordinated frontal assault provided by the plan. They frankly and openly doubted that the divisions then in the Pusan Perimeter could drive through the mountains to the Kum River.

Bridges were out all across the Eighth Army front. Walker was seriously short of trucks. But the biggest obstacle, according to the Eighth Army staff, would be the North Korean Army, which would be intact and capable of fierce and sustained resistance even though the amphibious assault in its rear was successfully carried out. Some of Walker 's officers felt that the North Koreans would, if driven from the roads, take to the surrounding hills and prevent the American divisions from breaking out to the north.

One key officer suggested that Eighth Army take the much longer coastal route up the west coast where roads were good and flank protection would be afforded by the Yellow Sea. Eighth Army officers generally agreed that after the landing in the north Walker would need at least two more divisions before he could break out. [08-13]

[note]

August August

In response to this letter, [8/2 General Weyland informed Admiral Joy] Admiral Joy's chief of staff [Rear Adm A.K. Morehouse on 8/6/50] reminded Weyland that the over-all policies governing the employment of naval aircraft had to be decided at the NavFE-FEAF operating level, with General MacArthur's approval. One such policy was that maximum air effort should be expended in ground support. Allocation of targets implementing the close-support policy would be accomplished by the Joint Operations Center in Korea. All other naval air operations against other targets would be coordinated with FEAF, and wherever practicable with the Fifth Air Force.'#15

[note]

August August

President Truman sent his special assistant, Averell Harriman, to Tokyo on 6 August, primarily to discuss Far Eastern political matters with General MacArthur. General Ridgway and Lt. Gen. Lauris Norstad of the Air Force accompanied Mr. Harriman. While these officials were in Tokyo, General MacArthur took the opportunity to express his views on the situation facing him in Korea, MacArthur believed that speed was the keystone of victory over the North Koreans. He told Harriman and the military officers that the United States could not afford to wait for a slow build-up of forces in Korea. The United States must destroy the North Korean Army as early as possible. If not, the Russians and Chinese Communists, MacArthur feared, would be able to strengthen their protégé by shipping in more arms and supplies. MacArthur also saw in a failure to settle the matter speedily, political dangers. United Nations members would grow discouraged and Oriental peoples would be disappointed with, and lose confidence in, the United States. [08-14]

[note]

August August August

At 0830 this battery [B Battery, 13th Field Artillery,] reported small arms fire in its vicinity. The 24th Division now estimated that 800 enemy were east of the river in its zone. [17-13]

Upon receiving the order to counterattack straight down the Yŏngsan-ni,-Naktong River road, Colonel Ayres directed his executive officer to mount C Company in trucks and send it down the road until he, Ayres, stopped it. Behind C Company, A, B, and the Weapons Companies under the executive officer were to follow on foot. Just the day before, 187 replacements had joined the battalion.

Ayres, his S-3, and the Assistant S-3 set off in a jeep down the road toward the river, ahead of the troops, to form an estimate of the situation. They reached the vacated 3rd Battalion command post without sighting enemy troops. While looking around the command post and making plans for deployment of the 1st Battalion when it came up, Ayres and those with him received fire from the hills above them. The trucks carrying-C Company now began to arrive. While the men de-trucked, enemy fire hit two of them. [17-14]

Ayres hurried to Capt. Clyde M. Akridge, who had been in command of C Company only a few days, and directed him to attack and seize the high ground above the former 3rd Battalion command post. Akridge organized his company and started forward as enemy fire gradually increased. In leading the attack, Captain Akridge was wounded three times and was finally evacuated.

Ayres took shelter at a culvert a short distance to the rear. From there he, the weapons platoon leader, and mortarmen placed 60-mm. mortar fire on the enemy-held hill until their ammunition was expended. While standing up to direct this fire, the mortar sergeant was practically cut in half by machine gun fire. Other men, lying prone, were hit. Ayres saw that he would have to get back to A and B Companies if he were to influence the actions of the battalion. With several members of the battalion staff he dashed across the rice paddy. Enemy fire hit two of the party but all reached the slopes of Obong-ni Ridge. They worked their way around the now abandoned artillery position to the rear. [17-15]

Before Ayres and his party escaped, B Battery, 13th Field Artillery Battalion, had come under enemy fire.

[note]

August

At 0830, as they neared the village of Sangnigok, they encountered several platoons of North Koreans, who opened fire on them from the hills west of the road. Between this firefight and the one at Kogono-ni lay Battery B, 13th Field Artillery Battalion, which could hear the firing but as yet could see no enemy. As a precaution, the battery commander sent twenty men to a nearby ridge top as a security guard.

[note]

August August August

At 0835, General Church notified Beauchamp that one battalion of the 19th Infantry would be committed to assist in counterattacking the penetration. Beauchamp was to "clean out" the area, then return the 19th's battalion to division reserve.

[note]

August August

(2d Battalion of the 19th) ordered to Beauchamp's support at 0835,

[note]

August August August

Fifteen minutes later, the Battery B, 13th Field Artillery Battalion of five 105-mm howitzers was attacked by an estimated 200 North Korean troops, who began to rake the gun positions with machine gun and mortar fire. The artillerymen fought back and for a time held their own. By this time, General Church had become concerned about the extent of the North Korean penetration and the lack of progress that had been made in erasing it. Following a series of reports from the 34th's OP No. 2 that enemy units were in the rear of the Heavy Mortar position in the north end of the Kogono-ni valley, Church decided to reinforce the 34th's sector.

[note]

0900 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
6:00 PM
07/30/50
7:00 PM
07/31/50
12:00 AM
07/31/50
9:00 AM

August

* The first break in the Naktong defense line at the central sector of the Pusan perimeter occurred during the early morning of 6 August 1950 when an estimated one thousand enemy troops crossed the Naktong River and penetrated the zone of the 34th Infantry (24th Infantry Division). The regimental commander immediately committed his reserve and counterattacked, but the North Koreans clung to their bridgehead on the east side of the river.

[note]

August

Acheson insisted that the General's knuckles be rapped, so Secretary of Defense Johnson reminded him that he must continue to block any KMT forays against the Chinese coast, adding sharply:

"No one other than the President as Commander-in-Chief has the authority to order or authorize preventive action. against concentrations on the mainland."

MacArthur replied that he "understood" and would be "meticulously" governed by the directive, but to make assurance doubly sure and avoid any further embarrassment, Truman sent his roving envoy, Averill Harriman, to Tokyo "so that," in the President's words, "the General might be given a firsthand account of the political planning in Washington."[46]

Accompanied by Generals Lauris Norstad of the Air Force and Matthew B. Ridgway, the army's Deputy Chief of Staff, Harriman was met by MacArthur at Haneda at 9:15 on the morning of [Saturday] August 6. During their drive to the embassy guesthouse, Harriman later reported to Truman, the General enthusiastically "described the satisfactory political development in Japan since my last visit. He spoke of the great quality of the Japanese; his desire to work, the satisfaction of the Japanese in work, his respect for the dignity of work. He compared it favorably to the desire in the United States for more luxury and less work." Although Americans might forget it, the Supreme Commander was still carrying his full burden as ruler of Nippon. It was clear to Harriman that pacificatory SCAP, not warring CINCFE, was the role he enjoyed most.

[note]

August August

At 0900, Brig. Gen. Pearson Menoher, assistant division commander, reported to General Church from the 34th Infantry's sector. According to Menoher, Company C of Ayres' 1st Battalion was in Battery B, 13th Field Artillery Battalion's position under small arms fire, while Companies A and B were 1,000 yards to the rear but moving forward.

Beauchamp planned to maneuver Ayres' battalion in a southwesterly direction, then to the northwest to eliminate the penetration. Since the enemy was estimated to be in no more than company strength, Menoher believed the 19th Infantry's battalion might not have to move beyond Kang-ni. Unfortunately, conditions at the area of penetration were not as expected. Ayres' battalion was a shambles; Company C was no more than a remnant making a last stand near Kogono-ni; A and B were held up near Sangnigok; and the battalion commander was making his way back through the hills on foot. Battery B had been encircled and was pinned down by mortar and automatic weapons fire. Near the river, most of L Company had withdrawn about a mile to the southwest and had been cut off by the North Korean thrust. In sum, instead of being under control, the situation was badly deteriorating.

[note]

August August August August

The two artillery batteries in the sector assisted the aircraft as much as possible but were hindered by range limitations and lack of available guns. When Battery B, 13th Field Artillery Battalion, became immobilized by enemy fire, the only tubes available in the 34th's Infantry sector were the six 155-mm howitzers of Battery B, 11th Field Artillery. Interdiction of enemy activity in the hills east of the Naktong was not as successful as that in the river valley. Companies A and B of Ayres' 1st Battalion remained stalled near Sangnigok throughout the morning, although supported by fire from two quad-.50 antiaircraft half-tracks. One of these vehicles, however, was damaged by an antitank rifle, and the battalion executive officer, directing the attack in Ayres' absence, was wounded. With Ayres' battalion fragmented, no aid was available for Battery B, which had been encircled since 0900.

[note]

1000 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
7:00 PM
07/30/50
8:00 PM
07/31/50
1:00 AM
07/31/50
10:00 AM

August

At 1030 the battery [B Battery, 13th Field Artillery Battalion] commander assembled about 50 men and withdrew along a narrow road with one howitzer, four 2 1/2-ton trucks, and three smaller vehicles. They abandoned four howitzers and nine vehicles. The battery lost 2 men killed, 6 wounded, and 6 missing. [17-16]

August

Meanwhile, in its attack, C Company had no chance of success; enemy troops were on higher ground in superior numbers. The North Koreans let loose a heavy volume of small arms and automatic fire against the company, and soon the dry creek bed in which the men were moving was strewn with dead and dying. After Colonel Ayres had dashed from the culvert across the rice paddy, Lieutenant Payne and Lt. McDonald Martin, the latter wounded, ran from the same culvert to a grist mill a short distance away, and south of the road. There, others joined them in the next few minutes. In the fight outside, more than half the company became casualties. According to the recollection of the battalion commander, there were about thirty-five survivors in the company. [17-17]

While C Company met the advancing North Koreans, A and B Companies had started forward on foot from the battalion area before rations could be issued to them. When he arrived at the 1st Battalion command post at Kang-ni, Colonel Beauchamp learned that C Company had lost heavily to enemy action up ahead and had been dispersed. He went forward at once and joined A and B Companies, the latter cautiously leading the advance. The B Company point met an enemy squad and killed ten of the enemy soldiers as they tried to run back. Two antiaircraft vehicles, each mounting four .50-caliber machine guns, were in the forefront of the attack that now got under way with A Company on the left of the road and B Company on the right. Colonel Ayres rejoined the battalion at this time. Even though enemy resistance at first was light, the intense summer heat slowed the pace. Soon B Company on the right encountered strong enemy forces on Cloverleaf Hill. They halted its advance and knocked out one of the quad-50's on the road. On the left, A Company under Capt. A. F. Alfonso continued its advance with only a few casualties, passing the overrun artillery positions and reaching the area where C Company had been overwhelmed by the enemy. [17-18]

The light tank in the lead fired on the grist mill, supposing it to be enemy held, and scored a direct hit. This fire killed one, mortally wounded two, and wounded less severely several other C Company men inside. Then the tank and A Company men came charging up to the mill where several survivors of C Company had been fighting off North Koreans since early morning. North Korean soldiers several times had rushed to within grenade range of the building but had not succeeded in entering it. Inside, the men had stacked their dead against the walls to protect the living from small arms fire. Thus, after a day-long ordeal, the survivors were rescued by the A Company attack.

Captain Alfonso and his men set about loading dead and wounded into abandoned but still operable 2 1/2-ton trucks. This done, he put a driver and two riflemen from his company on each truck, and, with the tank leading, he sent the vehicles back through enemy fire toward friendly lines. Lieutenant Payne, knocked unconscious when the tank shell exploded against the grist mill, regained consciousness for a few seconds when he was thrown into a truck and heard a man say, "Payne is dead as a mackerel." A little later he again regained consciousness when the truck ran into a ditch under enemy small arms fire. This time he was able to crawl and walk the remaining distance to safety. [17-19]

Following the road, Alfonso continued his attack toward the river against light resistance.

[note]

August

Finally, C Company's Lieutenant Payne asked for volunteers to go for help. Witzig and another man volunteered, but intense fire drove Witzig's companion back into the mill. Witzig managed to crawl about 40 yards before being blown up into the air and knocked unconscious. He had three wounds in the back. Coming to, he looked up to see a North Korean soldier reaching for his belt and grenades. Witzig killed him with his .45-caliber automatic pistol. Then he was hit again, his helmet spinning off. At first he thought he had been shot in the head, but he then realized the blood and flesh on his hands were from the back wounds he had patched up with his aid packet. Retrieving his helmet, he saw that its whole right side had been blown away.


Corporals John Nearhood and Harold Tucker, braving heavy enemy fire, dragged Witzig back into the grist mill. Every man who could handle a weapon helped to fend off the determined enemy assault. The wounded Witzig manned a Browning Automatic Rifle. The situation was now desperate. Nearhood volunteered to go for help and was quickly killed by enemy fire.


Soon after, Captain A. F. Alfonso's A Company, led by a tank, came to the rescue. Unfortunately, a tank round went through the grist mill, mortally wounding three of the men and injuring several more, all members of C Company.


After seeing that the dead and wounded of C Company were evacuated, Alfonso's company continued the attack, eventually reaching L Company on the river. The combined force numbered 90 men, including the wounded.


In the meantime, Company B had been stalled on Cloverleaf Hill (Hill 165) by the enemy.

August August


By then, General Church, thoroughly alarmed, had ordered the 24th Reconnaissance Company and the 19th Infantry forward. That alleviated the pressure, but the enemy was across the river and on high ground.

[note]

August

To facilitate the early relief of the 27th Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel Robert D. Taplett’s 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, departed from Ch'angwŏn at 1040, 6 August, and arrived at Chindong-ni less than 2 hours later.

[note]

August

the (2d Battalion of the 19th) moved by truck at 1000 from its camp on the Ch'angnyŏng-Yŏngsan road.

[note]

August

At 1000 on the morning of 6 August, a detachment of South Korean police went to the village of Sadung to evacuate any civilians who might remain. Located on the Naktong floodplain below the hills occupied by Companies M and K, the partially destroyed village contained few civilians but proved to be full of North Korean soldiers who had crossed the river secretly during the night. The police were driven from the village by the North Koreans, who then fired on a nearby squad of Company K. In the absence of Major McConnell, the battalion commander, his executive officer called for mortar and machine gun fire to be placed on the village, but communications problems delayed transmission of the order.

[note]

August August

A few minutes later, at 1110, another message from the 21st Infantry's Heavy Mortar Company reported North Koreans moving into the positions vacated by the men of I Company. (see map 4). 27

August

The new information thoroughly alarmed General Church . He ordered Beauchamp of the 34th Infantry to take all necessary measures to return Company I to its original positions and to relieve the officers responsible for the withdrawal. He authorized Colonel Stephens of the 21st Infantry to direct artillery fire upon the North Koreans now seen to be occupying the hills across the valley from the 21st Infantry positions. This valley was crucial because it contained a road leading directly from the river to the division's command post at Ch'angnyŏng. With this road potentially open to the enemy, the composite defense platoons at division headquarters hastily manned a perimeter around the town. To block this avenue of approach and reinforce his crumbling front,

[note]

August

At 1030, the Battery B, 13th Field Artillery Battalion commander concluded that his only hope was to withdraw along a trail to the southeast.

[note]

August August August August

Apprehensive, the lieutenant commanding I Company. ordered a withdrawal northward into the 21st Infantry's sector. Company I, joined by detachments from the 34th's Heavy Mortar Company, M Company (Weapons), and Battery A, 26th AAA Battalion, crossed into the zone of the 21st Infantry shortly after 1030. This fact was noted by the 21st Infantry's left flank unit-its own Heavy Mortar Company-and reported to regimental headquarters.

[note]

August August

At 1055, the 21st Infantry' passed this information on to division, which had been unaware of I Company's retreat.

[note]

1100 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
8:00 PM
07/30/50
9:00 PM
07/30/50
2:00 AM
07/31/50
11:00 AM

August

Gathering about fifty men, he managed to extricate one howitzer and several trucks before enemy fire forced him to abandon the remaining four guns and numerous vehicles around 1100.

[note]

August

It (2/19) reached its assembly area at Yu-ri, five miles away, around 1100.

[note]

August August

Ten minutes later, General Church directed Col. Ned Moore of the 19th Infantry to "get up there and clean out the enemy. I'll send your other battalion to you!' At the same time, he ordered Moore's 1st Battalion to leave its position northwest of Ch'angnyŏng and follow the rest of the regiment to Yu-ri. Although it moved by truck, the 1st Battalion required approximately two hours (until 1300) to travel the eleven miles to its destination.

[note]

August August August

General Church at 1150 dispatched the 24th Reconnaissance (Recon) Company down the road toward the river to assist I Company in restoring the line. By this time, Company I had withdrawn two miles to the vicinity of one of the 21st Infantry's reserve companies, where it reported it had been facing several thousand enemy troops. In addition to committing the 24th Recon Company, Church also allocated part of the 19th Infantry to bolster the 34th.

[note]

1200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
9:00 PM
07/30/50
10:00 PM
07/31/50
3:00 AM
07/31/50
12:00 PM

August August

At noon General Church sent the 24th Division Reconnaissance Company to block the Naktong River-Ch'angnyŏng road adjacent to I Company's former position. The Reconnaissance and I Companies then attacked an enemy force that had by now occupied a hill near Pugong-ni, but they were repulsed with considerable loss. [17-21]

By midmorning, General Church had become convinced that the bulk of the enemy east of the river were in the bulge area. He thereupon committed the 19th Infantry in an attack west along the northern flank of the 34th Infantry. In this attack, the 19th Infantry trapped approximately 300 enemy troops in a village east of Ohang Hill, a mile from the river, and killed most of them. [17-22]

The day's action had not been without creditable performances by the American troops. The counterattack of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, had driven back the enemy's advanced units and regained part of Cloverleaf Hill.

This, together with the fact that K, L, and A Companies held hill positions above the Naktong without any sign of panic, prevented the enemy from seizing at the outset the road net through Yŏngsan-ni,.

August August

Also, it gave time for the 19th Infantry, and later the 9th Infantry, to move up for counterattack.

Artillery fire and aircraft had kept the crossing sites covered, and after daylight prevented enemy reinforcements from reaching the east side of the river.

Just as the battle of the Naktong Bulge got under way, regrouping of ROK troops made it necessary for Eighth Army to order the ROK 17th Regiment released from the 24th Division. This regiment had been holding the right flank of the division line. To take its place temporarily in the emergency, General Church hastily formed Task Force Hyzer (3rd Engineer Combat Battalion, less A Company; 78th Heavy Tank Battalion, less tanks; and the 24th Division Reconnaissance Company).

[note]

August

To facilitate the early relief of the 27th Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel Robert D. Taplett’s 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, departed from Ch'angwŏn at 1040, 6 August, and arrived at Chindong-ni less than 2 hours later.

August

Hill 342

August 6, 1960 1230

The infantry unit was accompanied by the 1st Battalion, 11th Marines; the 2nd Platoon, 75-mm. Recoilless Guns; and the 3rd Platoon, Company A Engineers. After assembling in a schoolyard north of the village, 3/5 relieved the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, on and around Hill 255.[2]

One and a half miles out of Chindong-ni, the road from Masan takes a sharp turn so that it is running generally north and south before it enters the village. Hill 255 borders the west side of the road, rising from the valley floor just above Chindong-ni and climbing northward to its summit in a series of prominent steps. Its ridgeline is narrow, with the eastern slopes falling steeply to the Masan route while its western wall plunges sharply to the valley and road connecting Chindong-ni and Haman.

Taplett set up his CP, headquarters units, and weapons company along the first step of the hill. Higher up, at the top of the second rise, Captain Joseph C. Fegan deployed Company H in defensive positions facing generally north. Forward, a long narrow plateau stretched for 250 yards before the third step of the ridge rose abruptly to the second highest peak on the hill. Noting the advantages of the commanding ground to his north, Fegan requested permission to move his company forward to that area. Since this would have placed him 500 yards from the nearest 3/5 unit, the request could not be granted.[3]

The battalion commander intended to keep his defenses as tightly knit as possible in order to discharge his mission of blocking the approaches to the Masan-Chindong-ni MSR. Despite vigorous patrolling by 25th Division units in the mountains between the coastal village and Haman, intelligence reported increasing numbers of enemy troops, heavy weapons, and equipment in the area to the north. It appeared that large NKPA forces were slipping through and descending on Chindong-ni to “cut off the windpipe” of Walker’s southern flank.

First Lieutenant Robert D. Bohn, commander of Company G, deployed his 2nd and 3rd Platoons on Hill 99, to the west and across the valley from 255. He arranged his defenses to block the approaches from the high ground on his north (actually an extension of Hill 99) and from the valley to the west, separating him from massive Hill 342.[4]

On a small knoll at the base of Hill 255 was deployed Company G’s 1st Platoon, commanded by Second Lieutenant John H. Cahill. With the 75-mm. recoilless gun platoon attached, this unit guarded the Haman road 600 yards from Chindong-ni.[5]

On high ground east of the MSR and beyond the village sat the 2nd Platoon of Company H, with the mission of defending against infiltration from the direction of the sea and the mountains southeast of the road to Masan.[6]

This completed the infantry deployment. Company H had its three platoons spread over 1,500 yards, while those of Company G ranged at least an equal distance. Due to the lack of a third company, Taplett had no reserve other than a handful of headquarters troops. Thus 3/5 got its taste of things to come in a strange war of mountains and men.

As the riflemen were digging their hilltop holes with traditional distaste, other supporting elements of the Brigade and 5th Marines began to arrive at Chindong-ni and set up for business. These included the Brigade Reconnaissance Company and a platoon of the regimental 4.2-inch Mortar Company.[7] All Marine units in the area temporarily came under control of 3/5’s Battalion Commander. Taplett was given the added responsibility of handling all area requests for tactical air support.[8]

For the time being, the 3rd Battalion itself was under operational control of Colonel John H. Michaelis, USA, commander of the 27th Infantry “Wolfhounds.” Verbal instructions from Major General Kean on 6 August had given the Army officer control of all troops in the Chindong-ni area. When a second Marine battalion arrived in the locale, command would then pass to General Craig.[9]

[note]

August

Organizing its cooks and mechanics into an extra platoon, the 24th Reconnaissance (Recon) Company departed Ch'angnyŏng just before noon.

[note]

1300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
10:00 PM
07/30/50
11:00 PM
07/31/50
4:00 AM
07/31/50
1:00 PM

August August

By the time the Battery B, 13th Field Artillery Battalion reached safety near Yŏngsan in early afternoon, it had lost two killed, six wounded, and six missing. At approximately the same time that Battery B escaped, the right flank of the 34th Infantry began to collapse. Although not under direct attack, the men of I Company. could hear the firing on their left gradually move toward their rear.

[note]

August August

By early afternoon, Lieutenant Colonel Ayres had managed to rejoin Companies A and B of his battalion, which were still stalled at Sangnigok. After adjusting mortar fire on suspected enemy positions, Ayres ordered the advance to resume. Company B assaulted a series of low hills to the right of the road, while Company A deployed in the rice paddies on the left. Although the men in the hills found the going difficult, Capt. A F. Alfonso's Company A eventually worked its way forward to the abandoned gun positions of Battery B, 13th Field Artillery Battalion. Supported by the remaining quad-.50 half-track, Company A deployed forward of the battery position, while a detail searched for survivors of the morning's action. Satisfied that he had recovered everyone left behind, Alfonso pressed forward with his men into the valley Company C had entered earlier in the day. There he found thirty-five of Akridge's men making a final stand in a small grist mill. North Koreans had approached within grenade range of the mill but had not been able to overrun it. Gathering up the dead and wounded they could find, Alfonso's men loaded them into abandoned trucks and sent them to the rear, escorted by the half-track and several riflemen.

[note]

August

Meeting no enemy resistance, the leading elements of the 24th Reconnaissance (Recon) Company reached the river around 1300. After contacting I Company, the recon company commander drew up a plan to recapture the lost defensive positions on the hills overlooking the river.

[note]

1400 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
11:00 PM
07/31/50
12:00 AM
07/31/50
5:00 AM
07/31/50
2:00 PM

August

As the afternoon passed, more North Koreans attempted to join their comrades in Sadung by floating their equipment across the river on small rafts. Several were killed by fire from the hills, but others arrived safely and disappeared into the village.

[note]

1500 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
12:00 AM
07/31/50
1:00 AM
07/31/50
6:00 AM
07/31/50
3:00 PM

August August

By the time Company A resumed its advance toward the Naktong, it was late in the afternoon. Company B was unable to join it, having been halted by enemy resistance in the hills north of the abandoned artillery position.

While Alfonso's Company A cautiously proceeded down the road to the river, men of Battery B, 13th Field Artillery Battalion returned to their former position and removed two more howitzers and trucks before being driven off by sniper fire from the hills. Ahead of them, Company A soon encountered strong enemy resistance. Halting his column, Alfonso suppressed the North Korean fire with several rounds from a 60-mm mortar, then ordered his men forward. The riflemen fired left and right as they moved down the valley toward the Naktong.

[note]

August August

Behind Ayres' battalion, Lt. Col. Thomas McGrail's 2d Battalion, 19th Infantry, had moved to a line of departure northeast of Sangnigok by 1500.

[note]

August

Reinforced by the recon company's rifle squads and supported by the fire of its light tanks, Company I launched a counterattack around 1500. The first hill was gained easily, but once on the reverse slope, the infantrymen came under heavy fire from automatic weapons and mortars located on the next hill to the south. Covered by an artillery barrage, I Company. withdrew once more, all the way to the position of the supporting tanks.

August August

Although men of the company claimed they had been surrounded by up to 4,000 North Koreans, the commander of the 21st Infantry's Heavy Mortar Company, who was observing from a hill to the north, estimated that the enemy force numbered no more than 150 men. Concluding that I Company was useless for further offensive action that day, the commander of the 24th Recon Company moved both units to high ground near the road and established defensive positions for the night.

[note]

By midafternoon, artillery had finally been brought to bear on Sadung, but with little effect.

[note]

1600 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
1:00 AM
07/31/50
2:00 AM
07/31/50
7:00 AM
07/31/50
4:00 PM

August

By 1600, Taplett had reported his command post location and defensive positions to Michaelis. Immediately afterwards he ordered mortars and artillery to lay registration fires on the northern approaches to Chindong-ni.[10] Having left the phantoms of Ch'angwŏn far behind, the Marines of the reinforced battalion settled down for the night.

August

[note]

August August

It was late afternoon before McGrails 2/19, supported by the division Recon Company, finally launched an attack. McGrail regained the sector abandoned by Perez's skittish I Company 34th IR and attempted, without success, to put the I Company back on its position.

[note]

August August

Approximately one hour later, it (2/19) began to advance slowly in a northwesterly direction in order to seal off the southern half of the area vacated by I Company of the 34th Infantry. The plan of maneuver called for the battalion to seize Hill 146, about a mile west of Sangnigok, then to turn north to another ridge a mile from the first, and finally to assault westward one half mile to the hills overlooking the Naktong. Given the heat of a Korean August and the rough terrain, McGrail's assignment was ambitious at best. Enemy resistance, though slight, further delayed the advance. Meanwhile, Colonel Moore held Lieutenant Colonel Rhea's 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry, in reserve until McGrail's advance clarified the situation. While the 19th Infantry attempted to regain the southern half of I Company's original position, the 24th Reconnaissance (Recon) Company attempted to regain the northern half.

[note]

August

At 1620, McConnell (3/21) reported that K Company's right flank squad was being driven back by at least fifty North Koreans from Sadung.

[note]

August

In hopes of eradicating the penetration before nightfall, Colonel Stephens, at 1630, ordered Lieutenant Colonel Smith to drive the enemy from Sadung. Although counterattack plans had been prepared earlier for just such a contingency, it was several hours before Smith's Company A was in position to attack. Meanwhile, North Koreans in Sadung began to infiltrate eastward through a draw leading into the rear of M Company. Artillery concentrations were the only force available to suppress North Korean activity until 1900, when Company A's counterattack finally began.

August

[note]

1700 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
2:00 AM
07/31/50
3:00 AM
07/31/50
8:00 AM
07/31/50
5:00 PM

August

In the southern half of I Company's old position, the 19th Infantry was somewhat more successful than other counterattacking elements had been. Finally committed to attack northwest from the vicinity of Sangnigok in late afternoon, McGrail's 2d Battalion reached its first objective, Hill 146,, by 1715. Leaving F Company on Hill 146, McGrail turned the remainder of the battalion northward toward his second objective, Hill 174.

[note]

1800 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
3:00 AM
07/31/50
4:00 AM
07/31/50
9:00 AM
07/31/50
6:00 PM

August August August

On the evening of 6 August the 27th Infantry Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, held the front lines west of Chindong-ni. The 27th Regiment was near the road; the 2nd Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, on higher ground to the north.

During the evening the rest of the 5th Regimental Combat Team relieved 27th Infantry front-line troops, and the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, relieved the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, in its reserve position. The next morning the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, was to relieve the 2nd Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, on the high ground north of the road. When thus relieved, the 5th Regimental Combat Team was to begin its attack west.

[note]

August August

Entering the fight at 6:00 P.M., Robert Rhea's 1/19 attempted an aggressive sweep to the rivers edge but bogged down far short of it. The troops of the 34th and 19th Infantry and the Recon Company spent a fitful and scary night intermingled with NKPA on hilltops awaiting daylight.

To the right (or north) of this action, Dick Stephenss 21st Infantry went on full alert as well. Stephens had outposted the river with John H. McConnell's decimated 3/21 (360 men) and most of the 14th Engineer Combat Battalion (472 men), serving as infantry. Brad Smith's depleted 1/21 (540 men), less C Company, which was still at P'ohang, was in reserve, reinforced by a company of the 14th Engineers. Fortunately for Stephens and his men, the NKPA activity in this northern zone was limited to strong patrolling, which the 3/21 repulsed with comparative ease.

Farther north yet, in the sector held by the ROK 17th Infantry Regiment, which served as the link between the 24th and 1st Cav divisions, all was quiet. Because the 17th was desperately required elsewhere to bolster diminishing ROK forces, Eighth Army pulled it out that day. To fill the gap it left, John Church organized Task Force Hyzer, named for a West Point (1937) engineer, Peter C. Hyzer, who commanded the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion. Task Force Hyzer (about 800 men) was composed of the 3rd Engineers, a light tank company (less its tanks), and the division Recon Company. The requirement to deploy Task Force Hyzer to this northernmost sector to replace the ROKs seriously depleted Church's combat reserves in the center and southern sectors.

[note]

August

Although Rhea's 1st Battalion had been available to him since 1300, Colonel Moore did not commit it to action until 1800. The original plan of attack called for Rhea (1/19) to follow McGrail to Hill 146, then wheel southward and sweep through the Naktong Bulge. With only three hours of daylight remaining, this proved impossible to accomplish, thus dashing General Church 's hopes of restoring the river line by dark. Rhea moved westward with Company C on the left and B on the right, and A in reserve. Part of Company B reached Hill 146 without difficulty, but its 2d Platoon came under fire from Hill 165 to the south. Company C also encountered fire from Hill 165, causing the unit to recoil.

As night approached, Rhea consolidated all of his companies in the vicinity of Hill 146, established communications with the 2d Battalion to the north, B Company, 34th Infantry, to the south, and waited for daylight. Thus ended the final counterattack of the day in the 34th Infantry sector.

August

The North Korean penetration in the 34th Infantry zone was not the only problem for General Church as darkness fell on August 6. North Korean units had crossed the Naktong in the sectors guarded by the 21st Infantry' and the 17th ROK Regiment. An estimated two squads of North Koreans had crossed in boats on the left of the ROK sector just before dawn, but the battalion commander had quickly committed his reserve company and the penetration had been contained. Unfortunately, Eighth Army had decided to withdraw the 17th ROK Regiment from 24th Division control as part of a general reorganization of South Korean forces. The regiment had been scheduled to depart on the morning of 6 August, but the crisis in Church's sector caused Eighth Army to delay the movement for twenty-four hours. To replace the South Koreans, Church created Task Force Hyzer from three companies of the 3d Engineer (Combat) Battalion, Company A of the 78th Heavy Tank Battalion (less tanks), and, ultimately, the 24th Reconnaissance (Recon) Company. In the 21st Infantry's sector, an action resulting from another enemy crossing remained unresolved at nightfall.

[note]


1900 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
4:00 AM
07/31/50
5:00 AM
07/31/50
10:00 AM
07/31/50
7:00 PM

August August

Artillery concentrations were the only force available to suppress North Korean activity until 1900, when Company A's counterattack finally began.

A South Korean policeman captured earlier in the day managed to escape during one of the barrages, and he reported at least 150 North Koreans in the village. In spite of heavy enemy fire and communications difficulties with its own supporting artillery, Company A drove the North Koreans back into Sadung but could go no farther. As darkness covered the valley, the company managed to secure a toehold in the north end of the village and held it throughout the night (for location of Sadung, see map 3)

August

19500806_1900_LP001

August August

Reaching Hill 174 with E and G Companies by 1900, he estimated that 300 North Koreans were caught in the village of Ch'ŏngdan, between Hill 146 and Hill 174. Believing his force to be too weak to assault the village, McGrail directed heavy mortar and automatic weapons fire on the enemy position until darkness prevented further action. The North Koreans, who probably numbered far fewer than 300 men, then withdrew unhindered, while their destruction was reported to the 24th Division.

[note]

August August

On 5 August the North Koreans attacked again and drove the ROK's south of the town to Hill 181.

General Walker sent a personal message to Colonel Emmerich, the KMAG adviser with the ROK 3d Division, saying that the lost ground must be regained. Plans were made for a counterattack the next night.

During the 6th, while these plans were being readied, it was possible from the ROK division command post to see, through field glasses, the North Korean and ROK troops locked in battle at grenade range on Hill 181.

The night attack got under way at 1930 with a 15-minute air attack using rockets, napalm, and bombs. Naval gunfire and an artillery preparation for another fifteen minutes followed the air attack.

[note]

August

Although Rhea's 1st Battalion had been available to him since 1300,

[note]

1933 Sunset

[note]

August August

Just after sunset, Company A reached the river, where it found elements of Company L, which had withdrawn earlier in the day from their original positions at the nose of the salient. Because the combined force numbered only about ninety men and the enemy had closed in behind them, Alfonso decided to establish a defensive position there. He opened communications with Ayres by radio relay through Company B two miles in the rear. Designated force commander by Ayres, Alfonso then requested an airdrop of food, water, ammunition, and medical supplies for his beleaguered troops (see map 5). (It will come tomorrow afternoon)

August

Hill 311

[note]


2000 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
5:00 AM
07/31/50
6:00 AM
07/31/50
11:00 AM
07/31/50
8:00 PM

August August August

Just after sunset, about 2000, A Company reached the river and joined part of L Company which was still in its position overlooking the Naktong. The combined group was only about ninety men strong. They sought temporary safety in a well dug perimeter position. Fortunately they succeeded in establishing radio contact with the 1st Battalion through an L Company artillery forward observer's radio by relay through B Company. [17-20]

While A Company pushed on to the river, B Company dug in on part of Cloverleaf Hill. Quiet gradually settled over the area. The day's action made it clear that the North Koreans had penetrated eastward north of the Yŏngsan-ni,-Naktong River road to Cloverleaf Hill, but had not yet crossed south of the road to Obong-ni Ridge. Cloverleaf and Obong-ni together formed a high backbone across the Yŏngsan-ni, road about three miles east of the Naktong River and nearly halfway to Yŏngsan-ni,.

While the 1st Battalion counterattack was in progress, I Company abandoned its hill position northward overlooking the river on the regimental right flank. The Heavy Weapons Company, a mortar platoon, and A Company, 29th Antiaircraft Automatic Weapons Battalion, joined I Company in withdrawing northeast into the zone of the 21st Infantry. These units were not under attack. Adjacent units of the 21st Infantry saw this movement and reported it to General Church. He immediately ordered Colonel Beauchamp to stop this unauthorized withdrawal and to relieve the company commanders involved. Beauchamp sent his executive officer, Colonel Wadlington, to the scene at once. Wadlington found the men moving east, turned them around, and marched them back toward their former position.

[note]

August

Then at 2000 the ROK 22nd and 23rd Regiments moved out in the infantry attack. They drove the North Koreans from Hill 181 and held it during the night.

[note]

August

On the next night, August 6-7, the ROK 17th Infantry repulsed enemy attempts to cross the Naktong in the northern sector. By prior plan, the ROK unit then traded off with fresh American troops while the U.S. 21st Infantry halted the enemy after they developed a lodgment in the village of Sadung near the river. Three companies of the 34th also held to their riverside positions for the moment.

August August

Now, too, the 19th and elements of the 34th were poised for a counterattack against the northern shoulder of the enemy penetration. Local counterattacks had gained time for the 19th and, later, the 9th Infantry–a new and untried regiment from the freshly arriving 2nd Infantry Division–to move against the North Koreans.

[note]

2100 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
6:00 AM
07/31/50
7:00 AM
07/31/50
12:00 PM
07/31/50
9:00 PM

August

When darkness fell, the artillery continued interdiction fire on these crossing sites. The 24th Division had seventeen 105-mm. and twelve 155-mm. howitzers available to deliver supporting fires covering thirty-two miles of front. [17-23]

[note]

August August

On the evening of the 6th, as the enemy held firmly to his bridgehead, General Church ordered the 34th and 19th Infantry Regiments to continue the counterattack the next morning. [17-25]

[note]

August

General Church had wanted the enemy penetrations destroyed by nightfall, because failure to do so would allow the North Korean 4th Division an opportunity to reinforce the estimated two battalions of its 16th Regiment already east of the Naktong. With the results of his counterattacks in hand, Church knew that the river line could not be restored that night, and he regretfully informed General Walker of that fact at 2130.

Enemy activity in the 17th ROK and 21st Infantry' sectors, although worrisome, was sufficiently localized to cause little concern. In contrast, the North Korean advance to the base of the salient in the 34th Infantry sector was potentially quite serious. There, at least 12,000 yards of river frontage lay open to enemy exploitation under cover of darkness. Recognizing that the enemy would probably seek to expand his foothold east of the Naktong, Church outlined his own plan for the next day in Operations Instructions No. 18. The 19th and 34th Infantry regiments were to continue their counterattacks toward the river, while the 21st Infantry defended its sector and Task Force Hyzer relieved the 17th ROK Regiment.

[note]

2200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
7:00 AM
07/31/50
8:00 AM
07/31/50
1:00 PM
07/31/50
10:00 PM

August

Throughout the night, American artillery fired into all known or suspected river-crossing sites, but the North Koreans still reinforced their bridgehead.


The main attack, it now could be seen, had come through the gap between the 34th Infantry's I and L companies. [about 3am]

[note]

August August August August

Church ordered the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, to Yŏngsan-ni, and told his operations officer, Lt. Col. James Snee, to seek whatever aid he could. Snee asked Eighth Army for the use of the 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Church also ordered a reconnaissance company sent to Yŏngsan-ni,.

[note]

2300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
8:00 AM
07/31/50
9:00 AM
07/31/50
2:00 PM
07/31/50
11:00 PM

August

On the nights of August 6-7 and 7-8, the enemy reinforced their bridgehead. At least two battalions crossed on August 7-8, and the NKPA 4th Division completed its crossing on August 10, using an underwater bridge and rafts. Trucks, heavy mortars, about 12 artillery pieces and possibly some tanks were moved into the bulge.

[note]


Casualties

Sunday August 6, 1950 (Day 43)

August 76 Casualties

As of August 6, 1950

2 13TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 159TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 16TH ARMORED RECONNAISSANCE COMPANY
1 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 23RD INFANTRY REGIMENT
8 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 26TH ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY AW BATTALION (SP)
1 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
41 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
9 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 40TH FIGHTER INTERCEPTOR SQUADRON
3 5TH REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
2 64TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 71ST HEAVY TANK BATTALION
2 77TH ENGINEER COMBAT COMPANY
1 7TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
76 19500806 0000 Casualties by unit
Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 60 3092 2 3 3157
Today 1 75 0 0 76
Total 61 3167 2 3 3233

Aircraft Losses Today 002

Notes for Sunday August 6, 1950 (Day 043)

 

Pictures as of August 6, 1950

 

cc cc