Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 27.4°C 81.32 °F at Taegu;

Men were "dropping out like flies" from the heat 112°F at noon

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

Eight years ago today, the Marines landed on Guadalcanal. The 1st Marine Brigade will engage in first combat operations at Chinju today. They have already sustained 2 battle casualties and will incur another seven this day.

[note]

An American dawn attack catches the North Korean 1st and 6th Divisions while they're preparing for an all-out drive against Pusan, about 35 miles east. The U.S. force is made up of the 5th Regimental Combat Team, the 25th ID's 35th Regimental Combat Team and the 3rd Brigade, 1st Marine Division. In two days of hard, close combat over hills and rice paddies, the GIs and Marines inflict heavy North Korean losses. This time, some red units flee in panic. Americans break through the communist lines seven miles east of Chinju Aug. 9 and surround about 1,000 enemy soldiers. Land-based Air Force, Navy and Marine aircrews, as well as carrier-based Navy and Marine pilots, support the offensive. It is the first American drive to gain appreciable territory from the enemy.

[note]


The U.S. Army reports that American casualties through Aug. 6 total 2,616. Of that number, 153 are KIA, 1,590 wounded and 873 MIA. The report acknowledges the death total will rise after notification of next of kin.

-- An American report says the North Koreans are placing Red Cross signs on vehicles carrying weapons and troops. The communists attacked two UN ambulances. They also herd refugee women and children around their encampments to keep allied planes from bombing them.

-- Gen. Walker, 8th Army commander, says the Republic of Korea army has recovered from early disasters and is "a fighting force to be reckoned with." About 50,000 ROK soldiers hold a northern line stretching from Yŏngdök to the Naktong River.

-- Israel reports that an Israeli and seven Arabs were killed Aug. 6 when Israeli border guards drove Arab shepherds out of a Jewish area near Beersheeba.


-- Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan protest to the UN that an Israeli fighter plane attacked a Lebanese airline north of the Israeli frontier July 24, killing two passengers and wounding seven. Israel says the airline violated its airspace.


-- The Canadian government announced it would recruit soldiers for a special brigade, 4-5,000 strong, for service in Korea.

[note]

August

7-13 August 1950 - Southwestern Front (Brigade Action)

[note]

PAnsŏng, South Korea (Much'on-ni, South Korea)

Haman, South Korea

Masan, South Korea

Chinhae, South Korea

Chindong-ni, South Korea

Ch'ŏn'gong-ni, South Korea

Much'on-ni, South Korea

Chinju, South Korea

Uiryŏng, South Korea

Kosŏng, South Korea

Paedun-ni, South Korea

Sach'ŏn, South Korea (K-4)

August


Two SB-17s and one SA-16 were used this date for orbit missions. Twenty hours and ten minutes (20:10) were logged this date.


C-47 #5883, was airborne from Flight "D" for Pusan, Korea. This aircraft ferried supplies and personnel to the Advance Base in Korea, where the Rescue Unit is operating. This Unit is using helicopters to evacuate wounded from the battle lines to the hospital in Pusan.


At 1840/K an SA-16 was dispatched from Ashiya to 37° 20' N - 126° 31' E to pick up a downed Navy pilot. Fighter cover was furnished and upon arrival search was performed until darkness set in. On return to Ashiya the Flight was informed that the pilot had been picked up by a surface vessel.

August

The Sikorsky H-5 or HO3S

August

SA-16 Albatross

[note]

August August

The 98th BG flew its first mission in the Korean War shortly after 20 of its B-29s landed at Yokota. The 822nd Engineer Aviation Battalion completed the first phase of new runway construction, which allowed expanded USAF operations at Taegu.

[note]

August

Chindong-ni Area

[note]

Citations

 

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500807 0000 DSC KAWAMURA

19500807 0000 DSC STARKEY

 

 

Silver Star

 

Ciampa, Angelo P. [TSgt SS Cook 2ndBn5thMR]

Dodd, Carl Henry [MSgt SS E5thRCT]

Johnson, Gerald [Cpl SS F5thIR]

Reeves, Harold [MSgt SS GySgt D5thMR]

Strong, Gordon Malin [1stLt SS E5thRCT]

Walz, Fred L. [PFC SS 1PMB]

Williams, Marshall [Cpl SS G35thIR]

 

 

[note]

 

August

[note]

The board's rulings, unscientific and open to all sorts of legal complications, could only be stopgap measures, and when on 4 January 1950 the Army again requested clarification of the racial categories, the board quickly responded. Although it continued to defend the use of racial categories, it tried to soften the ruling by stating that an applicant's declaration of race should be accepted, subject to "sufficient justification" from the applicant when his declaration created "reason to doubt." It was 5 April before the board's new chairman, J. Thomas Schneider, Il issued a revised directive to this effect.

The board's decision to accept an applicant's declaration was simply a return to the reasonable and practical method the Selective Service had been using for some time. But adopting the vague qualification "sufficient justification" invited further complaints. When the services finally translated the board's directive into a new regulation, the role of the applicant in deciding his racial identity was practically abolished. In the Army and the Air Force, for example, recruiters had to submit all unresolved identity cases to the highest local commander, whose decision, supposedly based on available documentary evidence and answers to the questions first suggested by Congressman Holifield, was final. Further, the Army and the Air Force decided that "no enlistment would be accomplished" until racial identity was decided to the satisfaction of both the applicant and the service.

The Navy adopted a similar procedure when placed the board's directive in effect.

The new regulation promised little comfort for young Americans of racially mixed parentage and even less for the services. Contrary to the intent of the Personnel Policy Board, its directive once again placed the burden of deciding an applicant's race, with the concomitant complaints and potential civil suits, back on the services.

At the time the Army did not see this responsibility as a burden and in its quest for uniformity was willing to assume an even greater share of the decision-making in a potentially explosive issue. On 7 August the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, asked the Personnel Policy Board to include Army induction centers in the directive meant originally for recruiting centers only.

[note]

MacArthur begins counterattack from Pusan and stops N.K. attack

[note]

August

[note]

August

[note] [note]


"General Walker launched Task Force Kean against the North Korean 6th Division to seize the Chinju Pass and establish a new line along the Nam River. Three regiments, the Army’s 35th Infantry and 5th Regimental Combat Team and the 5th Marines, attacked abreast against a estimated 7,500 enemy troops. Unknown to the Eight Army planners was the presence of the North Korean 83rd Motorized Regiment of the 105th Armored Division supporting the 6th Division with T34 tanks."

[note]

[note]

August August August

MacArthur, accompanied by Admiral Struble, flew to Taipei on 31 July where for two days he conferred with Chiang Kai-shek and his generals. But not until five days after his return (7 Aug 50) to Tokyo did MacArthur report to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [20-13]

[note]

South then North

August

Battery B, 61st Field Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division, fires at North Korean positions across Pusan Perimeter Defenses along the Naktong River.
L. to R., Pvt. Alvin Essary of Tuscalossa, Ala.; Pvt. Miller T. Young of Avonmore, Pa.; Pvt. Harvey L. Lewis of Porterville, Calif.; Pvt. Abel Saunders of Venton, Va.; and Cpl. Lester Mortz of Sheridan, Oregon.
Waegwan, 7 August 1950.

[note]

After the Russian-built T34 tank appeared on the Korean battlefield, the Department of the Army acted as quickly as possible to correct the imbalance in armor. It alerted three medium tank battalions for immediate movement to Korea. These battalions were the 6th (M46), the 70th (M26 and M4A3), and the 73rd (M26).

Two of them were the school troop battalions of the Armored School at Fort Knox and of the Infantry School at Fort Benning;

the third was the organic battalion of the 1st Armored Division.

The Department of the Army notified General MacArthur on 10 July that it planned to ship these battalions to the Far East as the quickest way it could devise of getting medium tanks and trained crews to the battlefield.

Ships carrying these three tank battalions sailed from San Francisco on 23 July and arrived at Pusan on 7 August.

The tank battalions unloaded the next day [8/8].

For further reinforcement of Eighth Army, the SS Luxembourg Victory departed San Francisco on 28 July with eighty medium tanks in its cargo.

Still more armor reinforcements arrived on 16 August, when the 72nd Medium Tank Battalion, organic to the 2nd Infantry Division, landed at Pusan.

The 2nd Division also had two regimental tank companies. [12]

Ships carrying these three tank battalions [6th (M46), the 70th (M26 and M4A3), and the 73rd (M26)] sailed from San Francisco on 23 July and

[note]

August

In early August, General Walker received what he regarded as conclusive intelligence that the enemy plan had been to supply the North Korean enveloping force in southwestern Korea by water from the port of Kunsan [K-8] and other ports southward to and including Yŏsu. Walker said that had the enemy force driven straight and hard for Pusan instead of occupying all the ports in southwestern Korea, he would not have had time to interpose the strength to stop it. [14-41]

[note]

August

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.

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

Three days later Eighth Army transferred its troops and equipment to the 88th Medium Tank Battalion. Other tanks were on the way. [see 7/26] [who is the 88th mtb?] Captain Harvey's A Company, 88th Medium Tank Battalion, supported Colonel Fisher's regiment.

[note]

Who Attacks Whom?

On the right flank of Task Force Kean, the 2nd Battalion of the 35th Infantry led the attack west on 7 August.[Only the day before, an enemy attack had driven one company of this battalion from its position, but a counterattack had regained the lost ground. ]Now, as it crossed the line of departure at the Notch three miles west of Chungam-ni, the battalion encountered about 500 enemy troops supported by several self-propelled guns. The two forces joined battle at once, a contest that lasted five hours before the 2nd Battalion, with the help of an air strike, secured the pass and the high ground northward.

August

Chungam-ni to Much'on-ni

Ch'angnyŏng, South Korea

After this fight, the 35th Infantry advanced rapidly westward and by evening stood near the Much'on-ni road fork, the regiment's initial objective.

In this advance, the 35th Infantry inflicted about 350 casualties on the enemy, destroyed 2 tanks, 1 76-mm. self-propelled gun, 5 antitank guns, and captured 4 truckloads of weapons and ammunition, several brief cases of documents, and 3 prisoners. Near Pansŏng, Colonel Fisher's men overran what they thought had been the N. K. 6th Division command post, because they found there several big Russian-built radios and other headquarters equipment. For the 35th Regiment, the attack had gone according to plan. [16-11]

[note]

August August

From this rough ground surrounding Sobuk-san, the 24th Infantry
was supposed to clear out enemy forces of unknown size, but believed to be small. 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.

The next morning he and the 3rd Battalion [3/24] commander located the battalion four miles to the rear in Haman. Not all the men panicked. Pfc. William Thompson of the Heavy Weapons Company set up his machine gun and fired at the enemy until he was killed by grenades. [16-13]

Sobuk-san remained in enemy hands.

American units assigned to sweep the area were unable to advance far enough even to learn the strength of the enemy in this mountain fastness behind Task Force Kean.

[note]

August


The events of 7 August all across the Masan front showed that Task Force Kean's attack had collided head-on with one being delivered simultaneously by the N. K. 6th Division.


All of Task Force Kean's trouble was not confined to the area west of Chindong-ni; there was plenty of it eastward. For a time it seemed as if the latter might be the more dangerous. There the North Koreans threatened to cut the supply road from Masan. There is no doubt that Task Force Kean had an unpleasant surprise on the morning of 7 August when it discovered that the enemy had moved around Chindong-ni during the night and occupied Hill 255 just east of the town, dominating the road in its rear to Masan.

August August August


Troops of the 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry, and of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, tried unsuccessfully during the day to break this roadblock. In the severe fighting there, artillery and air strikes, tanks and mortars pounded the heights trying to dislodge the enemy. Batteries B and C of the 159th Field Artillery Battalion fired 1,600 rounds during 7-8 August against this roadblock. Colonel Ordway, at the marines' request, also directed the fire of part of the 555th Artillery Battalion against this height. But the enemy soldiers stubbornly held their vantage point.

[note]

August

A previous chapter recounted the series of bloody battles on the coastal road between the N.K. 5th Division and the ROK 3d Division through the first days of August. The fighting seesawed around Yŏngdök for two weeks, with first one side and then the other holding the town. This action. had ended with the ROK's temporarily regaining Yŏngdök. But they held it only briefly.


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

August August

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


On the morning of 7 August the attack resumed after another naval and artillery preparation. This drove the enemy to a point just south of Yŏngdök. [18-8]

[note]

August August

19500807 0000 18sn

On 7 August, also, General Walker sent a message to Colonel Emmerich telling him that the bridge below Yŏngdök at Kanggu-dong must be held. Up to this time an Engineer squad from the 24th Division had manned the demolitions on the 520-foot bridge there over the Osip-ch'ŏn. The squad was now called back to Taegu, and control of the demolitions passed to Korean troops with directions that they were to blow the bridge only upon instructions from Major Britton of KMAG.

[note]

August August


On 7 August, the 39th Squadron moved to the field, [Yŏnil Airfield]. [Joining the 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (35th Group) who had been there since 16 July]

[note]

August


Then the following night, 6-7 August, the third regiment of the division, the 23rd, together with two battalions of artillery, crossed below Naktong-ni on rafts. These crossings of the N.K. 13th Division were in the zone of the ROK 1st Division, but were several miles from that division's prepared positions. [19-10]


ROK troops attacked the 13th Division immediately after it crossed, forcing it into the mountains. There, the N.K. 13th Division, its elements uniting on the east side, launched a concerted night attack, broke the ROK defenses, and began an advance that carried it twenty miles southeast of Naktong-ni on the main road to Taegu. A week after crossing the Naktong, the 13th Division and the 1st Division were converging on the Tabu-dong area, about fifteen miles due north of Taegu. There lay the critical terrain for the northern defense of the city. [19-11]

[note]

August

The N.K. 15th Division, next of the enemy divisions in line southward, received approximately 1,500 replacements at Kŭmch'ŏn on 5 August, which brought its strength to about 6,500 men. The next day its 45th Regiment marched northeast toward the Naktong.

The regiment [45th Regiment] passed through Sŏsan on 7 August and crossed the river southeast of that town. United Nations planes strafed part of it in the crossing. Once across the river, the regiment headed into the mountains, encountering no opposition at first.

[note]

The Air Force B-29's on 7 August bombed and largely destroyed the P'yŏngyang Army Arsenal and the P'yŏngyang railroad yards.

[note]

On 7, 9, and 10 August they bombed and completely destroyed the large Chosen petroleum refinery at Wŏnsan. This plant, with its estimated capacity of 250,000 tons, annually produced approximately 93 percent of the North Korean petroleum products.

[If NKPA was a mechanized army, this might be really great news, but guess what, most of the troops walked into South Korea.]

[note]

August

After the Russian-built T34 tank appeared on the Korean battlefield, the Department of the Army acted as quickly as possible to correct the imbalance in armor. It alerted three medium tank battalions for immediate movement to Korea. These battalions were the 6th (M46), the 70th (M26 and M4A3), and the73rd (M26). Two of them were the school troop battalions of the Armored School at Fort Knox and of the Infantry School at Fort Benning; the third was the organic battalion of the 1st Armored Division. The Department of the Army notified General MacArthur on 10 July that it planned to ship these battalions to the Far East as the quickest way it could devise of getting medium tanks and trained crews to the battlefield. Ships carrying these three tank battalions sailed from San Francisco on 23 July and arrived at Pusan on 7 August. The tank battalions unloaded the next day. The 6th Medium Tank Battalion served as Eighth Army reserve near Taegu in August; the 70th joined the 1st Cavalry Division on 12 August; and the 73d on army orders sent its companies to support various ground operations around the Pusan Perimeter - A Company to Ulsan guarding the eastern main supply route, B Company to Task Force Bradley at KYŏngju and Kigye, and C Company to the 27th Infantry in the Bowling Alley north of Taegu.

August August

For further reinforcement of Eighth Army, the SS Luxembourg Victory departed San Francisco on 28 July with eighty medium tanks in its cargo. Still more armor reinforcements arrived on 16 August, when the 72d Medium Tank Battalion, organic to the 2d Infantry Division, landed at Pusan. The 2dDivision also had two regimental tank companies. [12]

[note]

August

[note]

August

Task Force Kean - 25th Infantry Division makes first US counter attack. Though opposed only by N.K.-6, about 7,500 troops, and given crucial support by the Marine Brigade, the attack eventually fails. 25id does get needed combat experience and, except for its 24th Regiment, performs well in rest of Perimeter battles

[note]

  

July 10, 23, 28 Aug 7, 8, 16

After the Russian-built T34 tank appeared on the Korean battlefield, the Department of the Army acted as quickly as possible to correct the imbalance in armor. It alerted three medium tank battalions for immediate movement to Korea. These battalions were the 6th (M46), the 70th (M26 and M4A3), and the 73rd (M26).

Two of them were the school troop battalions of the Armored School at Fort Knox and of the Infantry School at Fort Benning; the third was the organic battalion of the 1st Armored Division.

The Department of the Army notified General MacArthur on 10 July that it planned to ship these battalions to the Far East as the quickest way it could devise of getting medium tanks and trained crews to the battlefield.

Ships carrying these three tank battalions sailed from San Francisco on 23 July and arrived at Pusan on 7 August.

The tank battalions unloaded the next day [8/8].

For further reinforcement of Eighth Army, the SS Luxembourg Victory departed San Francisco on 28 July with eighty medium tanks in its cargo.

Still more armor reinforcements arrived on 16 August, when the 72nd Medium Tank Battalion, organic to the 2nd Infantry Division, landed at Pusan.

The 2nd Division also had two regimental tank companies. [12]

Ships carrying these three tank battalions [6th (M46), the 70th (M26 and M4A3), and the 73rd (M26)] sailed from San Francisco on 23 July and

The Forgotten War

August August


On Monday, August 7, Harriman, Ridgway, Norstad, and aides flew on to Taegu, where they met with Johnnie Walker and the Eighth Army staff and inspected some frontline units. All three visiting firemen were dismayed by what they found. Later, in a damning report, Ridgway wrote, in effect, that Walker's leadership of Eighth Army was abysmal. Ridgway found a "lack of force, acceptance of a mediocre staff and an unsound Base organization." Walker could not even name the "key commanders" in the ROK Army. Many of his senior staff officers appeared to be wanting in "energy and ability."[7-15]


The "mediocre" Eighth Army staff was presided over by Gene Landrum, who was nearing his sixtieth birthday. Ridgway's 82nd Airborne Division had fought alongside Landrum's 90th Division in Normandy when Landrum failed and Joe Collins relieved him of command. Ridgway found it difficult to believe that Walker would rely on Landrum too old and too weak for the task at this critical time. Nor was Ridgway much impressed by Walker's chief of plans (G3), artilleryman William Bartlett, fifty-one, whose three senior assistants were also artillerymen. Ridgway set wheels in motion which would result in early replacements for both Landrum and Bartlett and bring senior infantrymen into the planning section.[7-16]

August 7,1950
The visitors closely scrutinized Eighth Army's senior field commanders. Ridgway had nothing to say about the division commanders, but he judged that "some" regimental commanders were "very poor." They were too old and lacked "combat experience and aggressiveness." He named no names, but undoubtedly he was referring to the three regimental commanders in the 1st Cav (Rohsenberger, Nist, and Palmer) and the 24th Infantry's Horton White. Although both Dick Stephens (21st Infantry) and Hank Fisher (35th Infantry) were considerably overage for regimental command, they were doing well, as were the "youngsters," Michaelis (27th Infantry), Beauchamp (34th Infantry), and Moore (19th Infantry). Replacements being sent by the Pentagon didn't help. "Three out of five were over fifty," Ridgway wrote.*


*The average age of the nine regimental commanders in Eighth Army that day was forty-seven years. Rohsenberger at fifty-five was the oldest; Michaelis at thirty-eight, the youngest.

August

FYI The senior Marine was a brigadier general, Edward A. ("Eddie") Craig, fifty-three, ADC of the 1st Marine Division. In World War II Craig had commanded the 9th Marine Regiment ("Ninth Marines") on Guadalcanal and during the amphibious invasion of Bougainville and Guam, winning a Navy Cross and other decorations for heroism.

[note]

August August

Eighth Army as a whole, Ridgway went on, suffered from "a lack of knowledge of infantry fundamentals," "a lack of leadership in combat echelons," and "the absence of an aggressive fighting spirit." The ROK forces, Ridgway concluded, "are doing better than the U.S. forces. They are imbued with the only offensive spirit observed in Korea." Ridgway elaborated: The junior officers were "good except for a lack of knowledge." However:


[7-The] quality of soldier now engaged in Korea is not up to World War II standards.
[7-American troops are] easily stampeded. When attacked they do not respond with the fundamental infantry reaction to fire and movement, but instead call for artillery and air support and then withdraw if this does not suffice to interrupt the attack. Our troops do not counterattack an enemy penetration. Our forces do not maintain outpost protection nor flank protection. Weapons are not properly emplaced to obtain a good field of fire. troops take positions on tops of hills, apparently so they can be sure to see the enemy, and withdraw before he reaches them. . . . Our troops do not dig in and make no pretense at camouflaging their positions. They do not seek cover and concealment while moving by day. . . . They are visible to the enemy by terrestrial observation. ... Signal communication within the front line regiments is poor . . . partly due to equipment which is in marginal operating condition.... Tactical air support of front line units is not satisfactory... .

[note]

August


III
The arrival of the fresh and powerful American ground reinforcements in Pusan led Walker to believe he could do more than merely hold the southwest front against the NKPA 4th and 6th divisions. With the new power coming into his command, he would destroy those NKPA forces by offensive actions, the first major American counterattack of the war.[7-28]

August August


The overall plan for the southwest sector was as follows. John Church's weak 24th Division would remain on the defensive, dug in behind the Naktong River, and repel attacks of the NKPA 4th Division. It would then be relieved in place by the newly arriving 2nd Infantry Division and resume its postponed re-manning and reequipping.

August August August

Farther south, at Masan, Bill Kean's 25th Division, reinforced by the Army's 5th RCT and the Marine RCT, would launch an offensive westward to Chinju and beyond designed to overrun and crush the NKPA 6th Division, after which Kean's forces would circle north to envelop the NKPA 4th Division opposite the 24th Division.


Bill Kean would be assigned four regiments (known as Task Force Kean) for the offensive. These were Hank Fisher's 35th, Horton White's 24th, and the newly arrived 5th RCT and Marine RCT. The 35th, 5th RCT, and Marine RCT would spearhead the offensive; the 24th would serve as reserve. Mike Michaelis's 27th Wolfhounds would not participate. They would remain in the Eighth Army reserve, should their services be urgently required elsewhere.

Kean's staff worked out the plan of maneuver.

1. Fisher's 35th Regiment, which had recently relieved Ned Moore's Chicks on the "north road," would attack due west to the Much'on road fork.

2. The Army's 5th RCT, which had relieved Michaelis's Wolfhounds on the "south road," would retrace the route of Gilbert Check's 1/27, linking with the 35th at Much'on.

3. The Marine RCT would take a wide encircling route along the coast to Kosŏng and Sach'ŏn, then swing due north to Chinju, joining the 35th and 5th regiments for a combined assault on Chinju. Kean's 24th Regiment would provide security for the rear areas.

[note]

August



On paper, Bill Kean clearly had the edge. His 16,000 man task force outnumbered the reinforced NKPA 6th Division nearly two to one. His artillery was superior. His aggregate strength in medium tanks (about twenty-four) probably matched or exceeded that of the NKPA. He had substantial supporting air power; the NKPA had none. He was operating close to his supply base; the NKPA, vastly overextended, was short of ammo, gasoline, and everything else required to fight.


Offsetting these pluses were some significant minuses. Of the four infantry regiments in Task Force Kean, two (the 5th RCT and the Marine RCT) were green to combat; one (the 24th) was considered unreliable, and the other (the 35th) was comprised of only two under strength battalions, which had seen only about one week of hard combat.

Moreover, the Americans were not yet physically accustomed to fighting in mountainous terrain and the blazing heat. They tended to be "road bound" and to rely too much on mechanization and creature comforts. By contrast, the lean, hard soldiers of the 6th Division were among the most skilled and highly motivated combat veterans in the NKPA. They had not yet suffered a significant setback in the war. They had been told that the capture of Pusan would end the war and deliver all of Korea to the Communists.

[note]

August


Task Force Kean commenced operations on August 7. It began with an attack by Hank Fisher's 35th Regiment west along the "north road," led by John Wilkin's 2/35. For a while all seemed to go well. In a five hour battle Wilkin's men destroyed two T34 tanks and inflicted an estimated 350 NKPA casualties. By nightfall Fisher had closed on the high ground overlooking Much'on. There he dug in to await the arrival of the 5th RCT.

August


Unknown to Fisher, the NKPA had already got the tactical advantage. Several thousand NKPA troops had infiltrated into the empty, road-less hills between the "north" and "south" roads and were approaching the high ground overlooking the "south road," which the 5th RCT was to take to Much'on. In effect, the NKPA had secretly driven a wedge between the 35th and 5th RCTs. (See ELMS N.K 6th DIV on map)

August 7, 1950


The wedge struck Horton White's 24th Infantry, which was occupying the hills between the 35th and 5th regiments. The main force of the NKPA attack enveloped Sam Pierce's 3/24, which had earlier recaptured Yech'ŏn. During this action Private First Class William Thompson (of M Company), mortally wounded by grenades, heroically remained at his machinegun position. He was later awarded a Medal of Honor, the second such award of the Korean War. However, Pierce was wounded, and the battalion lost cohesion. The Army historian wrote that the battalion stampeded, that the S3, Christopher M. Gooch, was knocked down three times trying to stop the fleeing men, and that the battalion did not stop running until it reached Haman, four miles to the rear."[7-29]

[note]

August



This debacle resulted in the relief of Horton White. Kean sought a young, dynamic, and battle experienced commander to replace White; but none (Ned Moore, for one) at hand wanted the job, and Walker was apparently reluctant to "punish" any promising officers with the command. As a result, the job went to Arthur S. ("Art") Champeny (Washburn College, 1912), who was to be fifty-seven years old on August 13 four years older than his division commander, Bill Kean.[7-30]


Although Champeny was clearly past his prime and not physically fit for the rugged duty in Korea, he was not without combat experience. In World War I he had won a DSC. In World War II he had commanded the 351st Infantry (of the 88th Division) in tough fighting at Monte Cassino in Italy. In the postwar years (temporarily a brigadier general) he had served two years in the Korean occupation under John Hodge, organizing and training the Korean Constabulary. He knew Korea and its people well.[7-31]


The appointment of Champeny to command the 24th RCT was a great disappointment to most of the capable white and black officers in the outfit. Engineer Bussey, who had been fond of Horton White and even felt sympathy for him, wrote that Champeny was not only an offensive bigot but professionally incompetent. In the Carlisle-Bussey history they disparagingly described one of Champeny's "harebrained" ideas, which, had Bussey carried it out, would almost certainly have resulted in many casualties in the 77th ECC. Bussey repeatedly cited Champeny as proof of the Army's seeming determination to saddle the 24th with unqualified or incompetent white officers.[7-32]

August 7, 1950


At about the time Champeny arrived, however, the 24th did receive one highly competent senior officer, and a West Pointer (1938) at that. He was John T. Corley, thirty-six, one of about two dozen experienced battalion commanders the Army had rushed to Korea by air. A West Point boxer, Corley was a legendary fighter. As a battalion commander in the 1st Infantry Division in North Africa, Sicily, France, and Germany, Corley had won a DSC, five Silver Star medals, and numerous other awards for heroism. A devout Catholic, Corley was the father of seven children. Although he was fully qualified by dint of experience to command the 24th Regiment, he was so eager to return to combat that he willingly replaced the wounded Sam Pierce as commander of the disorganized 3/24.[7-33]
[note]

August August

August 7, 1950


The 5th RCT began its attack along the "south road" simultaneously with the attack of Fisher's 35th on the "north road." From the outset nearly everything went wrong. A heavy coastal fog forced a cancellation of FEAF close air support and reconnaissance missions. The 1/5, commanded by John P. Jones, Jr., thirty-nine, which led the regiment, blundered and took a wrong fork. Instead of heading northwest for Much'on, the 1/5 headed down the coastal road assigned to the Marines.[7-34]


The 5th RCT was commanded by Godwin Ordway, Jr., forty-nine, grandson of a Union Army general and son of a colonel in the artillery. He was a handsome, dapper West Pointer (1925), a noted disciplinarian and paperwork demon. During World War II he had been chief of staff of the First Army's 29th Division, which in company with the 1st Division led the assault on Omaha Beach. Subsequent to the assault, Ordway had commanded one of the division's regiments in the fierce hedgerow fighting in Normandy. But this first troop command in combat was short-lived.

Ordway got sick, was evacuated, and did not return to the division. He finished the war behind a desk in the G3 section of Bradley's Twelfth Army Group. In the postwar years he had served in the Pentagon as a Latin America specialist. Matt Ridgway, who was the Army's leading Latin America specialist, had recommended Ordway for promotion to brigadier general, but Eisenhower had rejected the recommendation.[7-35]


Since onetime First Army Chief of Staff Bill Kean was thoroughly familiar with Ordway's brief, unrealized tour as a regimental commander in Normandy, he may not have been overjoyed to find Ordway in his division, again commanding a regiment. In any event, Kean was rightly infuriated at the 1/5's blunder in taking the road assigned to the Marines. Thus Ordway launched operations. under a cloud.


Meanwhile, owing in part to the spotty performance of the 24th Regiment, the NKPA infiltrators attained commanding positions in the hills overlooking the "south road" at Chindong-ni and the road fork at Kogan. These infiltrators rained heavy fire on the "south road," delaying and disrupting the attack of Ordway's 5th RCT for two full days, further infuriating Bill Kean, who laid much of the blame on Ordway and, finally, exasperated, placed the 5th RCT under Marine control. It required the utmost efforts of all available forces on the "south road," including the Marines, to contain and eliminate the harassing fire of the infiltrators.[7-36]

August


The newly arrived Marine RCT, christened the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, was a formidable combat unit in all, 6,534 men. It consisted of the three battalion 5th Marine Regiment ("Fifth Marines"), furnished with the new 3.5inch bazookas; an artillery battalion with medium 105mm howitzers from the 11th Marine Artillery Regiment; a tank battalion equipped with the M26 Pershing (with a 90mm gun); and supporting aircraft. The last consisted of three squadrons of the 33rd Marine Air Group (with F4U Corsair prop planes) and one squadron of four two man Sikorsky helicopters the first American helicopters to be sent to a war zone.[7-37]

[note]

August August August


Disappointed by the 19th Infantry's counterattack, on the following day, August 7, Church ordered an all-out attack by the combined forces of the 19th and 34th to throw the NKPA back across the Naktong. However, Beauchamp's 34th (down to 1,000 men) was not able to contribute much.

Red Ayres's 1/34 and Gines Perez's 3/34, both shattered, scattered, and isolated, were hard pressed merely to hold in place. On the right (or north)Moore's 19th achieved only partial success. Robert Rhea's 1/19 bogged down; some of its elements were thrown back. However, Tom McGrail's 2/19, the northernmost of the forces, actually reached the river, but its position was precarious. The extreme heat and humidity and the rugged terrain retarded these efforts as much as (or more than) the NKPA. Moore reported to Church that his men were "dropping out like flies" from the heat. By sunset the counterattack had run out of steam; the NKPA had not been ejected.

[note]

August

The senior Marine was a brigadier general, Edward A. ("Eddie) Craig, fifty-three, ADC of the 1st Marine Division. In World War II Craig had commanded the 9th Marine Regiment ("Ninth Marines") on Guadalcanal and during the amphibious invasion of Bougainville and Guam, winning a Navy Cross and other decorations for heroism. The Fifth Marines were commanded by Raymond L. ("Ray") Murray (Texas A&M, 1935), thirty-seven. During World War II Murray had been a battalion commander in the Sixth Marines on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan, winning a Navy Cross and other awards for heroism.

The Army regimental commanders in Korea were jealous of these Marines, who arrived in Korea in a blaze of publicity. The majority of the Marine commanders and senior noncoms were combat experienced infantrymen who had fought Orientals in the Pacific War. The ranks were filled with physically tough young men who had joined the corps to fight, not to sightsee. The Marines had superior firepower in squads, platoons, and companies. Moreover, in addition to its organic tank and artillery battalions, the Marine brigade had its own integrated, well trained close air support. Whereas Army regiments still had to request FEAF close air support through a complicated, slow, and unsatisfactory chain of command, the Marines had support aircraft close at hand and virtually on instant call.

[note]

U.S. Air Force

 

 

Harriman party departed Haneda 1/2 hour late 0630 hours and arrived Taegu (South Korea) 9:47. Was met there by General Walker and General Partridge. Proceeded immediately to Walker's Hq. We then proceeded, less Mr. Harriman and General Walker to General Partridge's hqrs. Mr. Harriman had a conference with Mr. Muccio, our Ambassador to South Korea and some of his assistants. Following that, Mr. Harriman and General Walker visited President Rhee. Then they joined us at General Partridge's Hq where a very superior briefing was given to all. All the party, including General Timberlake and General Partridge, then proceeded to General Walker's mess where we had a very fine luncheon.

Immediately after lunch, by jeep we visited 1st Cav C. P., the Tuksong-dong regimental Hq, and after that visited one of the front-line battalions. From General Gay,[178-A long-time associate of George Patton’s, Maj Gen Hobart R. Gay had been Patton’s chief of staff with the I Armored Corps, Seventh Army, and Third Army. Gay took command of the 1st Cavalry Division in September 1949.] 1st Cav Commanding, right down through the regimental CP, battalion CP - Lts., Capts., Majors, Cols., and General Gay all spontaneously praised the out- standing support that they had received from the air. Naturally, this pleased all of us airmen. We departed battalion CP about 3:30, arrived Taegu where we immediately took off for Tokyo, arriving here at 2035 hours.


My reactions - as well as those of Generals Norstad, Ramey and Partridge - was that General Walker is in great need of a staff. The presentation made to Mr. Harriman and others, to my mind, was one of the poorest - while, in direct contrast, was the outstanding presentation made by General Partridge's staff. This was noticed by all.


Two F-51s with pilots lost behind North Korean lines.

 

 

[note]

 

August August

Finally, on 7 August the 39th Squadron received its Mustangs, and the air crews moved across to P'ohang that same day. In token of expanding activities at the east Korean base, the 6131st Fighter Wing, Single Engine was formed at P'ohang on 8 August.

[note]

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

Two weeks and two days, and the darn bridge is isn't down.

[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]

The FEAF Bomber Command dealt expeditiously with communications choke points assigned to it, as is indicated by figure 7 . On 13 July the Wŏnsan marshaling yards had been attacked by the newly-arrived 22nd and 92nd Groups on their shake-down mission.

August

1. Sinuiju, North Korea

2. Ch'ŏngju, Northwest Korea

3. Hamhŭng, North Korea

4. Sinanju, North Korea

5. Yŏnghŭng, North Korea

6. P'yŏngyang, North Korea

7. Wŏnsan, North Korea

8. Sariwon, North Korea

9. Changung-Ni, North Korea

10. Ch'ŏ-ngjin (Seishin) North Korea

11. Sŏngjin, North Korea

12. Taep'o-ri, South Korea

13. Haeju, North Korea

14. Inch'ŏn, South Korea

15. Suwŏn, South Korea

16. Wŏnjon, South Korea

17. Sŏul, South Korea

On 7 August the two groups, joined by planes of the 98th Group which had left the U.S. only five days earlier, plastered the marshaling yards at P'yŏngyang. Hamhung marshaling yards were attacked by newly arriving 307th Group B-29 's next day.

Smaller forces of B-29's also attacked the marshaling yards at Changung-Ni, Chinnamp'o, Kilchu, Kowon, Oro-Ri, Rashin, Seishin (Ch'ŏngjin), Sigjin-Ni, Sinanju, and Sariwon during August, while additional effort was placed against rail repair facilities at Wŏnsan and P'yŏngyang. FEAF recognized that attacks against marshaling yards were chiefly valuable for the destruction of rolling stock concentrated there. Smaller missions attacked the key bridges assigned for Bomber Command destruction, and with a little experience the B-29 crews became exceptionally proficient in such work .

[note]



Profiting from mistakes made in this initial deployment, [on 7/13 of the 22nd and 92nd Bombardment Groups] the 98th and 307th Bombardment Groups got to combat even faster. The 98th flew its first combat mission from Yokota Air Base on 7 August, five days after it had departed the United States, and the 307th launched its first combat strike from Kadena Air. Base on 8 August, exactly one week after its planes had left its home base in Florida.#126


During the Korean War, Yokota was used for combat missions over North and South Korea. Known units based there were:


Fighter Units


Bombardment Units


Reconnaissance Units

[note]



On 7 August the 22nd and 92nd Groups, joined by planes of the 98th Group which had left the United States five days earlier, plastered the marshaling yards and adjacent arsenal at P'yŏngyang. Aircraft of the newly arriving 307th Group hit P'yŏngyang's yards on 8 August, and a major effort flown by the 22nd, 92nd, and 98th Groups struck the oil refinery and marshaling yards at Wŏnsan on 10 August.#59

[note]

August



At the Target Selection Committee meeting General Weyland pointed out that someone would have to decide whether or not the B-29's could use incendiary munitions, and within a few days FEAF got the answer to this question-in the negative. Washington was very hesitant about any air action which might be exploited by Communist propaganda and desired no unnecessary civilian casualties which might result from fire raids. General Stratemeyer consequently directed General O'Donnell not to employ incendiaries without specific approval. #12

[note]

U.S. Marine Corps



August


7-13 August 1950 - Southwestern Front (Brigade Action)

[note]

August

On 7 August, the eighth anniversary of the 5th Marines' landing on Guadalcanal, 2nd Lt. John H. Cahill's 1st Platoon, Company G, 3/5, was ordered to reinforce a hard pressed army rifle company atop Hill 342 near Sangyong-ni about four miles away. The Marines were harassed by friendly fire, suffered terribly in the hundred degree heat, and were taken under long-range fire by the enemy as they crossed open rice paddies before climbing the steep slope. Only thirty-seven of the fifty-two men who started out reached the crest. This action was the first direct fire engagement by Marine ground troops in Korea.

[note]

August

One of the biggest problems began to appear on August 7, when units started test-firing their weapons. Many of the ordnance items brought from Camp Lejeune were badly worn, since peacetime budgets had provided little money for maintenance. The newer elements of the 1st Marines had received their arms from the Marine logistics depot at Barstow California,, where the Corps had stored huge quantities of equipment left over from World War II. But much of that material had been hastily put into preservation without regard for serviceability. Puller was amaze by the high rate of problems with weapons. Armorers worked around the clock.
[note]

August


Although the 1st Marine Division had enough problems at Camp Pendleton to keep a full war-strength staff busy, several of the key members were in Korea with the Brigade. The complete Division staff was never integrated until after the landing at Inch'ŏn. On 7 August, however, a dispatch from CinCFE requested that the “Commanding General, 1st Marine Division, and planning group capable of developing Division embarkation and landing plans be airlifted” to the Far East.[31]

General Smith decided that this flight could best be made in two echelons.

The first, which took off for Japan at 1400 on 16 August 1950, included a group of 12 officers and six enlisted men selected to initiate planning:


General Smith stayed at Camp Pendleton for two more days until he was assured that the main body of the Division had sailed. Then he accompanied the second echelon of planners which departed by air at
1410 on 18 August:


[note]

This was the beginning of an inundation which kept the camp keyed to a 24-hour day and a 7-day week. A torrent of troops poured into the vast military reservation by bus, train, and plane at all hours of the day and night. Confusion seemed to reign from the tawny California hills to the blue Pacific; and yet this seeming chaos was under the control of veteran officers and NCOs who had mounted out before.

Accommodations for the newcomers were not deluxe, but men were being processed, assigned, fed, and equipped as rapidly as they arrived. The tramp of feet could be heard all night long as details of troops drew clothing and equipment or reported for medical examinations. A total of 13,703 Marines reached Camp Pendleton during this busy week. Counting the personnel already on hand, troops of four categories were represented:

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


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


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


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


Subtotal 13,703


TOTAL = 17,162


The expansion took place in two phases.


First, of course, came the bringing of the 1st Marine Division (less one RCT) up to war strength, including augmentation personnel and supplies for the units of the Brigade.


Next, the organization of a third reinforced infantry regiment, the 7th Marines, was directed by a letter from CMC to CG 1st Marine Division on 4 August.[14]


3,459
3,630
7,182
2,891
------
17,162

[note]

August

Through it all, Marine aviators never lost the focus—support of their brother Marines on the ground.
(USMC photo)

"I'm a U.S. Marine, and I'll be one 'til I die."

Capt Theodore "Ted" Williams
Marine fighter pilot and member of
the Baseball Hall of Fame

[note]

U.S. Navy

August

1st Marine Brigade, in first action, launched attack southwest toward Kosŏng.

[note]

There were four carriers in Korean water's on this date.


Point Cruz (CVE 119)

August


CVE119 May 6, 1950


Philippine Sea (CV 47)

August


CV 47 July 1, 1950 - August 1, 1953


Badoeng Strait (CVE 116)

August


CVE 116 July 1, 1950 - February 1, 1953


Sicily (CVE 118)

August


CVE 118 July 1, 1950 - December 1, 1953

[note]

August


7 August
ZP2K-1 (subsequently Redesignated ZSG-2), a K-class airship modernized and equipped with inflight refueling equipment and attachments for picking up sea water as ballast, was delivered to the Navy.


7 August
Flight of a helicopter under automatic control was made at Mustin Field, Philadelphia, Pa., using an HO3S-1 helicopter equipped with a single axis automatic pilot. Successful test of this instrument confirmed the feasibility of a helicopter automatic pilot which was being developed under the leadership of L. S. Guarino at the Aeronautical Instrument Laboratory, Naval Air Material Center.

[note]

On 1 August, after five days in the Formosa area, Admiral Hartman headed north again, and on the 7th was bombarding the North Korean coast.

[note]

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

August

The 7th of August was therefore spent 70 miles to the northward, in the neighborhood of Samch'ŏk, where the task element ranged along a 25-mile stretch of coast, firing on targets selected from aerial photographs. A bridge across a small river was destroyed, road junctions were plowed up, embankments were knocked down across the highway, and two tunnels sealed by bombardment and landslide.

Samch'ŏk, Samcheok is a city in Gangwon-do, South Korea.

August

[note]

August August August

During this interval Admiral Struble visited Formosa, in company with General MacArthur, to perfect planning and liaison against the chance of a Communist invasion;

[MacArthur, accompanied by Admiral Struble, flew to Taipeh on 31 July where for two days[8/1-2] he conferred with Chiang Kai-shek and his generals. But not until five days [8/7] after his return to Tokyo did MacArthur report to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [13]]

[note]

The bombardment of the town of Tanch'ŏn in 40°28', carried out by USS Helena (CA-75) and Destroyer Division 111 on 7 August, marked the furthest north for U.N. surface forces since USS Juneau (CLAA-119) early raid. Located a couple of miles up an estuary at the point where two rivers join, Tanch'ŏn offered tempting rail and highway bridge targets, a marshalling yard, and some minor industrial facilities. With a VP 6 [PAtrOL SQUADRON SIX VP-6 “The World Famous Blue Sharks” (1943-1993) PAtrON SIX] spotting plane overhead, the force shot up boxcars in the yard and the town power plants, and inflicted a satisfactory 75 percent damage on the railroad bridge. The only excitement of the day was provided by the late arrival of a four-plane combat air patrol from Fifth Air Force, which showed no IFF and was only identified visually after batteries had been released.

August

[note]

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

[note]

August

On that day, the eighth anniversary of the landing on Guadalcanal, the Marine Brigade attacked westward. In this peninsula, as on that island, the weather was hot, humid, and exhausting. Three days of heavy and confused fighting followed while the hills controlling the road junction at Chindong-ni were cleared. But coordinated employment of brigade artillery and of Marine aircraft commuting in from the escort carriers broke up the enemy formations and chased them back into the hills. Tanks, vehicles, and guns were destroyed by the aviators from Admiral Ruble’s task group, and napalm and strafing helped to clear the heights.

The division commander, Rear Admiral Richard W. Ruble, took command on 7/12 of Task Group 96.2, Naval Air Japan.

[note]

August

To this planned schedule of raiding activity Admiral Joy now added carrier strikes. On 7 August he had noted that reports of enemy rail traffic promised useful employment for Task Force 77 in Area F;

[note]

August

In the meantime Admiral Joy’s surface forces had begun to converge on North Korea’s eastern shore.

On 7 August the USS Helena (CA-75) group, en route to relieve off Yŏngdök, had bombarded Tanch'ŏn.

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. Toledo 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, Helena relieved USS Toledo (CA-133), enabling her to return to Sasebo for upkeep.

August

[note]

August

VP-1 7 Aug 1950 27 Jul 1953 CD P2V-3/5

7 Aug 1950: On 25 June 1950, the North Koreans invaded South Korea. On 30 June President Truman authorized U.S. military forces to deploy to repel the aggressors. VP-1 deployed to WestPac under the operational control of FAW-1 (TG 70.6), beginning combat operations from Naha AFB, Okinawa, on 19 August 1950. The squadron’s primary duty was patrolling the sea lanes of the Formosa Straits for enemy resupply vessels.

[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]

Songs of the week

Korean_War

 

0000 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/06/50
9:00 AM
08/06/50
10:00 AM
08/06/50
3:00 PM
08/07/50
12:00 AM

August


Shortly after midnight, the 3rd Battalion received an unexpected message which precipitated the first Marine infantry action of the war. Colonel Michaelis radioed Taplett and passed on a directive from 25th Division, ordering the Marine battalion to commit immediately one reinforced platoon for the defense of Hill 342. He explained that this unit was to relieve a beleaguered Army company being slowly eaten away in a private war of attrition. Taplett informed the regimental commander that he could ill afford to spare 1 of his 6 rifle platoons, but was told in return that General Kean had ordered 342 held at all costs.[11]

5th Marines = 3 battalions, of 9 companies of 3 platoons (27 in total)
1st Provential Marine Brigade = 2 battalions of 4 companies of 3 platoons (12 in total)
Each battalion had 6 rifle platoons


Tagged with the ominous sounding name “Yaban-san” by Koreans, this hill resembles a huge molar whose roots rise from the MSR west of Chindong-ni and lead to a tremendous mass about 2,000 yards (a little over 1 mile) north of the road. There the ground climbs sharply, culminating in a peak 1,100 feet high. Beyond, a long saddle extends a few thousand yards northwest, connecting 342 with a height of almost 2,000 feet. The latter was a stronghold of NKPA 6th Division elements, making a determined bid to carry 342 and cut the MSR.


Assigned the mission of making the Brigade’s first ground contact was young Lieutenant Cahill of Company G. His 1st Platoon was reinforced with a machinegun squad and SCR-300 operator before he led it from 3/5’s perimeter. Moving westward on the MSR, the platoon reached Michaelis’ CP, located near the bridges south of Hill 99. Cahill was told that he would be met by a guide at a road junction 700 yards farther down the MSR. From this point the platoon followed a soldier who escorted Cahill to the CP of the 2nd Battalion, 5th RCT. This headquarters was situated just north of the road, on the tip of 342’s eastern “root,” 1 of the 2 long ridges leading to the hill itself.


The Marine officer was told to relieve the Army company on the summit and hold the hill with his platoon. Following a quick briefing, Cahill and the guide led the column northward from the CP, skirting the western base of the ridge. A few hundred yards along the way, the guide discovered that he had miscalculated in the darkness. More time was lost while the platoon descended to resume the correct route.

August

August

[note]

0100 Korean Time

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08/06/50
10:00 AM
08/06/50
11:00 AM
08/06/50
4:00 PM
08/07/50
1:00 AM

August

During the night the enemy moved sufficient forces across the Naktong to replace their losses and increase their strength. [02-1] When the division commander ( Maj. Gen. John H. Church) learned that the enemy had crossed the last good natural barrier in southern Korea, he committed his reserve, the 19th Infantry (24th Infantry Division), in an effort to drive the enemy back across the river.

August

[note]

August

During the night of 6-7 August, North Koreans dislodged a platoon of Throckmorton's [2/5 RCT] troops from a saddle below Fox Hill and moved to a point east and south of the spur. From this vantage point the following morning they could look down

See 8/2/50and 8/3/50 for references to Fox Hill.

[note]

Although the night of 6–7 August had been uneventful for 3/5’s front lines around Chindong-ni, Taplett’s CP near the base of Hill 255 came under sporadic shelling between 0100 and 0400. The first messages from Cahill, received about 0600, caused anxiety over the fate of his platoon.[12]

[note]

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 Philippine Sea concentrated her efforts on transportation facilities, while Valley Forge 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 Seoul.

During the night the force moved into the Yellow Sea, and on the 7th, from a position west of Mokp'o, swept airfields and flew strikes against bridges, warehouses, rail yards, and vehicles in the region south of the 38th parallel.

[not]

0200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/06/50
11:00 AM
08/06/50
12:00 PM
08/06/50
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2:00 AM

August August August

The 2nd Battalion left Ch'angwŏn at about 0200 on the seventh and arrived at Chindong-ni three hours later.

[note]

19500807 0200 0106usmcops0

0300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/06/50
12:00 PM
08/06/50
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08/06/50
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0400 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/06/50
1:00 PM
08/06/50
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08/07/50
4:00 AM

August August August

The 2nd Battalion left Ch'angwŏn at about 0200 on the seventh and arrived at Chindong-ni three hours later.

August 7, 1950 0500

Not long after that, Captain Kittredge was wounded by mortar fire and was evacuated. First Lieutenant William E. Sweeney took his place as Company E commander. That evening both 2nd Battalion rifle companies moved across the open valley to Hill 342, where they helped repulse a dawn attack (8/8/) by the NKPA.

[note]

0500 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/06/50
2:00 PM
08/06/50
3:00 PM
08/06/50
8:00 PM
08/07/50
5:00 AM

August August August

The 2nd Battalion left Ch'angwŏn at about 0200 on the seventh and arrived at Chindong-ni three hours later.

August 7, 1950 0500

Not long after that, Captain Kittredge was wounded by mortar fire and was evacuated. First Lieutenant William E. Sweeney took his place as Company E commander. That evening both 2nd Battalion rifle companies moved across the open valley to Hill 342, where they helped repulse a dawn attack (8/8) by the NKPA.

[note]

August August August

Eighth Army allowed Church to keep the ROK 17th Regiment in line the night of 6-7 August, and before dawn it repulsed several enemy crossing attempts in its sector.

On the morning of 7 August Task Force Hyzer relieved it, and the ROK 17th Regiment moved to Taegu to rejoin the ROK Army. This weakening of the line had been partly offset the previous afternoon by the arrival of the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division, at Ch'angnyŏng for attachment to the 24th Division. [17-24]

[note]

August

As the men threaded their way along the unseen trail, a few enemy artillery shells burst nearby. The column reached the end of the valley separating the two long spurs of 342, and a volley of rifle fire cracked in the darkness. Two of Cahill’s Marines were painfully wounded. Since the column was still in friendly territory, the guide advised Cahill not to climb 342 until dawn shed light on the mystery. It was then 0500, 7 August, and the Marine platoon had marched 3 miles from its original position.

[note]

August

At 0200 that morning, a long column of trucks had set out from Ch'angwŏn, carrying Lieutenant Colonel Harold S. Roise’s 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines.

The head of the convoy reached Chindong-ni about 0500 and entered the truck turn-around in a schoolyard at the base of Hill 255.[13] As 2/5 unloaded, the turn-around became a bottleneck of vehicles, men, and equipment which slowed movement on the MSR itself almost to a standstill. To make matters worse, the heavy traffic gradually pounded the schoolyard into a quagmire, so that trucks bogged down and added to the confusion.

While Roise was assembling his battalion, the entire area came under heavy mortar and artillery fire from the north. The sudden shelling, which caused 2/5’s first battle casualties, brought all traffic on the road from Ch'angwŏn to an abrupt halt.

Although the Marines of the 2nd Battalion were well covered behind Hill 255, bursts from shells striking the trees high on the ridge filled the air with fragments. Before the enemy mortars ceased, 1 Marine had been killed and 11 wounded, including Captain George E. Kittredge, Jr., commander of Company E.[14]

Lieutenant Colonel Murray, whose headquarters was behind Roise’s unit in the convoy, was still north of Chindong-ni when the column slowed almost to a standstill. He radioed 2/5’s commander and told him to keep the trucks moving despite the shelling. Roise replied that the muddy schoolyard, not enemy fire, was the main cause of the delay. Thus Murray received the first of many object lessons in Korean geography. He sat patiently in his jeep, while the column inched into Chindong-ni.[15]

August

After the regimental commander arrived in Chindong-ni, the 3rd Battalion, less Cahill’s platoon, reverted to his control. Because of the battle in progress on Hill 342 and enemy activity to the north of the village perimeter, Murray ordered 2/5 to occupy and defend an expanse of 255 above Company H’s positions. He directed 1/5 (following his headquarters in the column from Ch'angwŏn) to occupy Hill 99, thus relieving Company G to bolster Taplett’s lines on lower 255.[16]

[note]

0539 Sunrise

[note]

August

Shortly after first light, it was discovered that soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 5th RCT, had fired on the Marines, not realizing that friendly units were moving within the area.

As the sun rose in a cloudless sky, Cahill took the lead. First, he climbed the high ground joining 342 with its eastern spur, then crossed over and continued toward the peak from a southeasterly direction.

August

[note]

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Although the night of 6–7 August had been uneventful for 3/5’s front lines around Chindong-ni, Taplett’s CP near the base of Hill 255 came under sporadic shelling between 0100 and 0400. The first messages from Cahill, received about 0600, caused anxiety over the fate of his platoon.[12]

[note]

During the night of 6-7 August, the enemy succeeded in moving an unknown number of reinforcements across to the east side of the river in the bulge area.

[note]

August August August

The continuation of the American counterattack in the bulge, on the morning of 7 August, by the 19th Infantry and B Company of the 34th Infantry was a feeble effort. Extreme heat and lack of food and water were contributing factors in the failure to advance. The situation was not helped when friendly aircraft mistakenly strafed the 19th Infantry positions. In its zone, B Company, 34th Infantry, fell back after rescuing a few men of the Heavy Mortar Company who had been missing since the previous morning. On their part, the North Koreans pressed forward and occupied the greater part of Cloverleaf Hill and Obong-ni Ridge. In doing this, they established themselves on dominating and critical terrain astride the main east-west road in the bulge area. [17-27]

From the crests of Cloverleaf and Obong-ni the North Koreans could see the American main supply road stretching back to Yŏngsan-ni, five miles away and, for a distance, beyond that town toward Miryang. Cloverleaf (Hill 165), as its name indicates, is shaped like a four-leaf clover with its stem pointing north. Cloverleaf is somewhat higher than Obong-ni Ridge across the pass to the south of it. Obong-ni Ridge is a mile and a half long, curving slightly to the southeast with a series of knobs rising from 300 to 500 feet above the rice paddies at its base. The road, where it passes between Cloverleaf and Obong-ni, follows a winding, narrow passage of low ground. The village of Tugok (Morisil) lies at the southern base of Cloverleaf just north of the road. [17-28] Obong village lies at the eastern base of Obong-ni Ridge half a mile south of the road. These two related terrain features, Cloverleaf Hill and Obong-ni Ridge, were the key positions in the fighting of the Naktong Bulge. The battle was to rage around them for the next ten days.

August

On the morning of 7 August, while the North Koreans were seizing Cloverleaf Hill and Obong-ni Ridge, Col. John G. Hill received a summons to come to the 2nd Division headquarters. There he learned from the division commander [Laurence B. Keiser] that General Walker had ordered the 9th Regiment (-) to report to General Church.

[note]

August August

The enemy by now had begun to show increased interest in the hill positions along the Naktong still held by American troops. At dawn on 7 August, Captain Alfonso of A Company, 34th Infantry, discovered that the enemy had occupied the ridge on his right which overlooked his position. By radio he directed artillery fire on the hill. When he started a patrol out to determine the result, enemy fire drove it back.

An airdrop of supplies that afternoon was only partially successful. The company recovered little more than half the drop and lost some men to enemy fire in the process. The night passed quietly.

[note]

The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade (Reinforced) debarked at Pusan on August 2, 1950 and received its baptism of fire on August 7th [jump off at 0630], the same day that Booker was shot down. During the 67 days of its existence, the Brigade spent 41 days in the Pusan Perimeter fighting three significant offensive engagements with the North Korean enemy. Their aggressiveness, discipline and esprit were noted by a British observer, among others, and the Brigade was later awarded the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. [4]

[note]

AugustAugustAugustAugust

News from the front was not good. At 0630, after air and artillery preparations, the 5th RCT had jumped off on schedule. Just beyond the line of departure, it came to a sudden halt as a result of increased enemy activity north of the road. Elements of the NKPA 6th Division, paying little attention to the plans of Task Force Kean, had launched an attack of their own above the MSR.

The situation on Hill 342 kept the entire 2nd Battalion, 5th RCT, tied down in a fight to hold the Chinju road open. With the help of Cahill’s platoon on the crest, this mission was being accomplished; but the battalion was temporarily lost to its regiment, and the road itself was choked with men and vehicles unable to move.[18]

August

The Brigade was ordered to provide a battalion for the relief of the Army unit on Yaban-san, so that the 5th RCT could strike harder at the road junction 2 1/2 miles to the west.[19]

Just as 2/5 was ascending Hill 255, Lieutenant Colonel Murray received word from Brigade of the Marine commitment. The 5th Marines commander canceled Roise’s orders and directed him [take 2/5 and relieve 2/5rct] to relieve both Cahill’s platoon and the 2nd Battalion, 5th RCT, and to seize the remainder of Hill 342.[20]

[note]

August August

The Marines jumped off [at 0630] east of Masan on 7 August with the Army 5th RCT and elements of the 25th Infantry Division in the first sustained counterattack mounted by UN forces. General Craig had control of Army as well as Marine units during the most critical period of the initial two days, and carrier-based MAG–33 squadrons provided tactical air support. Enemy resistance was so shattered by the 9th that the Red Korean machine of invasion went into reverse for the first time.

[note]

August August August

During the fortnight at the beginning of August as his forces withdrew to the Naktong line and began to make counterattacks against the Communists, General Walker enjoyed the support of Air Force, Navy, and Marine aircraft. The heaviest ground fighting occurred at the southwestern end of the front, east of the city of Chinju, where Task Force Kean counterattacked the North Korean 6th Division. Named for the commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division, Task Force Kean comprised the 35th Regiment of the 25th Division, the 5th Regimental Combat Team, and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade. It was the initial blooding for the 1st Marine Brigade and the 5th RCT, these two units having just arrived in Korea from the United States and from Hawaii. With strong air support making up for deficiencies in artillery, Task Force Kean jumped off [at 0630]on 7 August, and by 11 August it captured strategic high ground east of Chinju. This courageous counterattack for the moment safeguarded the western approaches to Pusan.#27

[note]

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August

The optimism expressed by Beiderlinden on 5 August disappeared with startling speed two days later. General Hickey's talk with General Walker erased the slightly optimistic picture conjured by statistics and promises. General Beiderlinden appealed to General Almond on 7 August, pointing out that every division in Korea was suffering critical shortages of men and officers. Almond approved an urgent call on Washington for 8,000 men to reach the FEC within fifteen days. All infantry regiments in Korea were so weakened that unless these men reached them in two weeks, they would deteriorate so badly that major steps would be necessary to rebuild them. Most urgently needed were infantry and artillery soldiers, and company-grade officers. Almond urged, as a matter of highest priority, that airlift be expanded to get the 8,000 men to the theater by 20 August. [07-35]

The lack of replacements for Eighth Army's divisions resulted to a degree from the way in which replacements were used after they reached the Far East Command. Less than half of the 16,000 replacements arriving in Japan between 1 July and and 15 August went straight to Korea. Some were used to fill the 7th Division, but more were assigned to non-divisional units within Japan. About 25,000 men and officers under control of Eighth Army remained in Japan at this time. [07-36]

The fighting in Korea prompted staff agencies of GHQ FEC to seek more people. They took experienced replacements, particularly officers, out of the pipeline to Korea. At the same time, GHQ section chiefs kept at desk jobs many of their original men and officers who could have been sent as replacements. At other stations in the replacement stream from Japan to the battlefront, men and officers intended for combat duty were diverted to administrative and rear-echelon service. General Beiderlinden warned fellow members of the GHQ staff about allowing this practice to grow. General Headquarters could hardly justify its strident pleas for replacements if it kept these men from the fighting units.

[note]

August August

General Craig arrived at Chindong-ni shortly after 0700, just in time to be warmly greeted by the enemy shelling as he stepped from his helicopter. Since the Brigade attack scheduled for 7 August hinged on the 5th RCT’s success at the Tosan junction, Craig quickly arranged for a telephone line to that unit, so that his CP would be in constant contact.[17]

[note]

August August August


But on August 7, the 19th and 34th regiments failed to dislodge the North Koreans, who seized most of Cloverleaf Hill and part of Obong-ni Ridge. From that critical terrain astride the main east-west road in the bulge area, the enemy could see all the way to Yŏngsan-ni,, five miles to the east.


Cloverleaf, as its name implies, was shaped like a four-leaf clover, with the stem pointing north. It was somewhat higher than Obong-ni Ridge, across the pass to the south. Obong-ni Ridge (or No-Name Ridge to some Marines) was a mile and a half long, curving somewhat southeast in a series of knobs known as Hills 102, 109, 117, 143, 147 and 153. The village of Tugok lay at the southern base of Cloverleaf, north of the road between it and Obong-ni Ridge. Obong-ni village was at the eastern base of the ridge a half mile south of the road.

[note]

August

That morning, 7 August, a heavy fog in the coastal area around Chindong-ni prevented an air strike scheduled to precede the Task Force Kean infantry attack. The artillery fired a twenty-minute preparation. At 0720 the infantry then moved out in the much-heralded army counterattack. The 1st Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, led off down the road from its line of departure just west of Chindong-ni and arrived at the road junction without difficulty. [then went the wrong way]

[note]

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August

The platoon made good progress at the outset, but the heat became stifling; and all the while the slopes of 342 stretched ahead like a continuous wall. Stumbling, gasping for breath, soaked with perspiration, every Marine reached the point at which he barely managed to drag himself up the steep incline. There were choked curses as men gained a few feet, only to slip and fall back even farther.

Water discipline collapsed as canteens were quickly emptied. Marines began to drop along the slope, some unconscious, others doubled over and retching. The tactical formation of the platoon became ragged, but Cahill and his NCO’s urged the men upward.

Accompanied by Sergeant Lee Buettner, Cahill set out to contact the Army company commander on the summit and reconnoiter the area. Seventy-five yards from the top, he was fired on from the eastern slopes. Since he was in sight of the Army troops on the crest, it was obvious that the North Korean People’s Army had officially greeted the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade.

Convinced that he was encountering only sniper fire, Cahill ordered Buettner to stay behind and keep the platoon moving up a draw affording cover. Then, ignoring enemy marksmen, the young officer climbed up to the crest and entered a grim little company perimeter under constant rifle and machinegun fire from its front and both flanks.

[note]

August

It was 0830 when the Army company commander greeted Cahill and explained his defenses. It had been customary, he said, to man a broad front during the day and draw back into a tight perimeter at night. But the intense enemy fire of the previous night had not diminished after daybreak, with the result that his men still occupied their night perimeter. The Army officer added that he had returned his mortars to the base of the hill, since they had drawn too much fire to be effective. Deployed around a triangular perimeter conforming to the shape of 342’s peak were the remnants of his three shattered platoons.

While Cahill appraised the situation, his platoon labored up the hill under prodding by Buettner and other NCO’s. Well up the southeastern slope, the column suddenly came under automatic weapons fire from invisible enemy positions. The exhausted Marines set up weapons along the hillside and fired at area targets. Despite the blistering sun and whine of bullets, NCO’s led their fire teams and squads up toward the peak.

When the Marines reached Cahill, he learned that 1 man had been killed and 6 wounded, including Staff Sergeant Robert Robinson, platoon sergeant, and Sergeant Thomas Blackmon, platoon guide. A number of heat casualties were recuperating far down the slope, and one Marine had suffered an emotional collapse. Blackmon, despite a mortal wound, had been so intent on joining his platoon leader at the crest that four weary men were required to carry him down the hillside to safety. Three other able-bodied Marines also had to assist wounded men down the hill.

Of the 52 men who had set out the previous night, only 37, including those recovered from heat sickness, finally reached Cahill. As they assembled on the reverse slope of 342, a group of soldiers on the crest broke under a heavy volume of enemy fire and bolted from the perimeter. The Army company was on the verge of panic until a young Army lieutenant restored order and led the men back to their foxholes.

Cahill and his remaining NCO’s crawled around the perimeter to insert Marines in positions among those of the Army troops. This psychology was sound, for each infantryman, eyeing his Army or Marine neighbor, prided himself on setting a high standard of military conduct. From that time on, every man discharged his responsibility in a most exemplary manner.

Two more Marines had been killed instantly while being led to their positions by Sergeant Jack Macy.

These casualties brought the platoon’s total to 3 KIA and 8 WIA.

[note]

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August

The need for a headquarters organization was discussed [for Operation Bluehearts] on 7 August by the Joint Strategic Plans and Operations Group (JSPOG) of FECOM. Brigadier General Wright, G–3 of FECOM, received a memorandum from the other members of the staff recommending that the gap be filled in one of two ways—either by putting into effect Admiral Sherman’s plan, or by sponsoring the organization of a provisional corps headquarters. General Wright favored the first course of action, as did Brigadier General Doyle G. Hickey, FECOM deputy chief of staff. Ultimately, however, the FECOM chief of staff decided in favor of the latter command arrangement.[7]

[note]

August

Since the amphibious operation could not be made without a corps headquarters, members of JSPOG recommended that their chief, Brigadier General Wright, ask MacArthur either to organize a provisional corps headquarters locally or to bring from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo the Fleet Marine Force, Pacific (FMFPAC) headquarters, commanded by General Shepherd.

General Wright chose the latter course and suggested to General Almond that Admiral Arthur W. Radford, Commander in Chief, Pacific, be asked if the Marine headquarters could be moved.

"There is urgent need" General Wright argued, "to get a headquarters in being for the GHQ Reserve operation. This headquarters must be one that can operate in the field as a going concern with such things as situation reports, operations reports, communications, etc., happening automatically."

Forming a provisional headquarters from theater officers did not appeal to Wright.

"A provisional command group selected from GHQ officers will not be a going concern unless it has time to get together and train in the field,"

he pointed out.

"This is true no matter how efficient the individual officers are."

Too little time remained to form and train such a group since, Wright warned,

"With the target date of 15 September, only thirty days remain in which to complete the landing plan, embarkation plan and the embarkation of the assault element."

Wright cited amphibious doctrine which set from go to 150 days for planning. For this reason alone he felt that the trained headquarters from Hawaii should be used if available. Brigadier General Doyle G. Hickey agreed with Wright. Hickey told General Almond:

Utilization of this headquarters and staff which is already organized
and functioning offers many advantages over the hasty throwing
together of a provisional Corps headquarters and staff from available
personnel. The latter would be at best only a half-baked affair and
would contribute to reducing the efficient functioning of GHQ because
of the key personnel withdrawn. [09-2]

General MacArthur did not accept Wright's suggestion. First of all, after the amphibious landing at Inch'ŏn itself, CHROMITE would be an overland campaign. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, MacArthur wanted the detailed CHROMITE planning accomplished under his own close and constant supervision, and not by a group less subject to his direct view than his own GHQ staff. Wright therefore made no further attempt to bring in the outside headquarters. [09-3]

[note]

During the night the force moved into the Yellow Sea, and on the 7th, from a position west of Mokp'o, swept airfields and flew strikes against bridges, warehouses, rail yards, and vehicles in the region south of the 38th parallel. The realities of civil war were emphasized this day when the fleet, steaming some 70 miles offshore, passed through water containing many floating bodies, tied together in bundles and with their hands lashed behind their backs.

[note]

August August

As Lt. Col. Gordon E. Murch's 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, attacked north from Namji-ri, its F Company seized a bridgehead across the Naktong. Company personnel had to push through throngs of supposed refugees. At one point, a 'refugee' cart tipped over, spilling rifles and ammunition to the ground, and about a dozen enemy soldiers, disguised as civilians, began to flee across a field. Staff Sergeant Glenn Ellison and his comrades shot down eight of them.

[note]

August August

MacArthur held little hope that the key men transferred from the division to Korea could be replaced in kind, either from the United States or from Japan. Efforts to recover these specialists reached a new high on 7 August, when General Hickey visited Korea and sought the return of 7th Division specialists. Walker made a careful survey to determine if he could give up any of these men, but because of the low ebb in Eighth Army's fortunes and strength at the time, found their release impossible. [09-33]

The lack of specialists and trained men for the 7th Division was on General MacArthur's mind when he talked on 7 August with Harriman, General Ridgway, and General Norstad. MacArthur furnished a complete list of the specialists he needed but who could not be found in his command and asked why the Department of the Army did not quickly recruit experienced noncommissioned officers from among the many who had served in World War II. These men could be sent to him by fast ship and by air. [09-34]

[note]

August August August

Admiral Joy recommended to General MacArthur on 7 August that amphibious training of the 7th Division begin immediately even though the unit was then at less than half strength. He pointed out that the embarkation date for the prospective assault amphibious landing was 5 September and that training a RCT to conduct an opposed amphibious assault would delay it. He had already conferred with the commanding general of the 7th Division and had instructed him on the training objectives to be achieved before embarkation. These included proficiency in amphibious operations. General MacArthur ordered amphibious training for the 7th Division to begin as soon as possible, under the control and supervision of COMNAVFE. [09-41]

[note]

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August August

August 7, 1950 1015


WHILE 2/5 AND the 1st Platoon of Company G were fighting the enemy and weather on 7 August, Lieutenant Colonel Taplett’s 3rd Battalion sat out an ominous calm at Chindong-ni. From their positions on Hills 255 and 99, Captain Fegan and Lieutenant Bohn periodically called for supporting fires to check enemy movement in the northern approaches to the village.


At 1015 Second Lieutenant Lawrence W. Hetrick and his 3rd Platoon, Company A Engineers, completed the laying of the first Marine minefield, located across the Haman road a half mile above Chindong-ni.[1]

[note]

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Earlier in the day (0500), Lieutenant Sweeney had led Company E up the lower tip of 342’s western spur, then along the ridgeline toward the large hill mass. At intervals the company came under long range, ineffectual machinegun fire. But, as in the case of Finn’s unit, [see 1500 later today] the heat and terrain were more damaging than enemy bullets.

[note]

August August

After the 1st Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, had started westward, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, commanded by Lt. Col. Harold S. Roise, moved out at 1100 to relieve Throckmorton's battalion on the spur running up to Fox Hill. It ran head-on into the North Koreans who had come around to the front of the spur during the night. It was hard to tell who was attacking whom.

The day was furnace hot with the temperature standing at 112°. In the struggle up the slope the Marine battalion had approximately thirty heat prostration cases, six times its number of casualties caused by enemy fire. In the end its attack failed. [16-16]

[note]

August August

At 1120 on 7 August, General Craig received a telephone message from General Kean directing the Brigade commander to assume control of all troops in the Chindong-ni area until further orders. With this overall responsibility, Craig went forward to observe the 5th RCT in action. He ascertained by personal reconnaissance that enemy resistance was light, although few friendly gains were being made because of the scattered and confused nature of the fighting.[21] The MSR between Sangnyong-ni, at the base of Hill 342’s spurs, and the vital Tosan junction was jammed with men, vehicles, and equipment, while infantrymen probed the surrounding high ground in an effort to weed out snipers and infiltrators.

When 2/5 reached the road junction at which Cahill had been met by the Army guide during the night, Lieutenant Colonel Roise ordered Company D to move up the north fork, tracing the base of 342’s eastern spur, and seize both the spur and great hill itself. Company E, now commanded by 1st Lieutenant William E. Sweeney, was to pass behind Sangnyong-ni and seize the west spur. Such a deployment would leave the battalion spread thinly, but Roise’s orders were to protect the wide valley formed by the two long ridges. This could be done only by occupying both spurs and 342 itself.[22]

Outside of Chindong-ni, Major Morgan J. McNeely, 2nd Battalion S–3, had picked up Captain John Finn, Jr., CO of Company D, and the two officers drove ahead by jeep to the village of Taep'yong-ni at the eastern base of Hill 342. The staff officer informed Finn that Dog Company was to relieve a 5th RCT unit on the high ground above the clump of thatched huts. Both McNeely and an Army guide said that the Marines would meet no organized resistance in their climb.[23]

[note]

August August

The fight west of Chindong-ni on the morning of 7 August was in fact a general melee. Even troops of the 27th Infantry, supposed to be in reserve status, were involved. The general confusion was deepened when the treads of friendly tanks cut up telephone line strung along the roadside, causing communication difficulties.

Finally at 1120, when marine troops completed relief of the 27th Infantry in its positions, Brig. Gen. Edward A. Craig, commanding the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, assumed command, on General Kean's orders, of all troops on the Chindong-ni front. He held that command until the afternoon of 9 August. [16-17]

[note]

August

Just as the leading elements reached Finn at Taep'yong-ni—30 minutes after McNeely’s departure—the column came under rifle and machinegun fire from the high ground above the road and from the hamlet of Tokkong-ni across the valley on the right. The Marines thought they were being shot at by Army troops, but the chatter of Communist “burp guns”[24] soon convinced them that they were meeting enemy resistance.[25]

Finn ordered his men into the rice paddies bordering the road. Calling his platoon leaders, he told them that there was no real intelligence, but that the fire from Tokkong-ni would be ignored due to the company’s mission on 342. He assigned routes of ascent to each platoon. The 2nd, under Second Lieutenant Wallace J. Reid, would push through Taep'yong-ni and on up the hill at its juncture with the spur. On the left, Second Lieutenant Edward T. Emmelman would lead his 3rd Platoon to the top of the spur. The 1st Platoon, commanded by Second Lieutenant Arthur A. Oakley, would hold the right flank and ascend the southern slopes of 342 itself.[26]

Company D met scattered opposition. By the time it moved over the crest of the spur, five Marines had been wounded. The sun, however, had been more effective; for twelve men were completely unconscious from the 100° heat, and the rest of the company had neared the point of exhaustion.

Finn ordered his executive officer, First Lieutenant Robert T. Hanifin, Jr., to set up headquarters and the 60-mm. mortars on the high ground directly above Taep'yong-ni.

[note]

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August

It is not likely that Cahill’s men were interested enough in historic dates to recall that it was the eighth anniversary of the Marine landing on Guadalcanal in World War II. For at noon, the fight on Hill 342 took on aspects of a siege. Swarms of North Koreans inched upward toward the crest, taking advantage of cover and concealment as they kept a steady stream of rifle and machinegun fire cutting across the hilltop. Despite the visual handicap resulting from the enemy’s use of smokeless powder, the Marines and soldiers returned the fire with determination.

Due to the urgency of the situation on 342, the 2nd Battalion, 5th RCT, ordered its company to remain on the crest with Cahill’s platoon. Plans were already underway for a larger Marine force to clear the high ground.

In the meantime Cahill used his initiative to improve the situation. With his SCR-300, he called for Army artillery fire to silence the Communist mortars. When the first shells were fired for registration, he searched the perimeter and located an artillery forward observer. Accurate bursts were laid on likely looking mortar OP’s in enemy territory, yet the Communist tubes continued to fire.

August

With ammunition and water in critical supply, the Marine officer radioed 3/5’s CP and requested an air drop. Taplett’s Tactical Air Control Party relayed the message to the Brigade Air Section, and an Air Force R4D transport flew over the restricted drop area atop Hill 342. The precious supplies tumbled from the big plane—into enemy territory. A single recovered packet contained carbine cartridges, the one type not needed.

August 7. 1950 1200

The Brigade Air Section then turned the mission over to VMO-6. Every 5-gallon water can owned by the squadron was donated, and the more maneuverable OY-2’s were able to drop them within the confined perimeter.

Unhappily, the containers burst upon striking the ground, so that the parched hill defenders were able to salvage only a few mouthfuls of water apiece.

Sergeant Macy reacted with vigor. With Cahill’s permission, he organized a few volunteers into a patrol to search for water. Descending the perilous southeastern slope under fire, the little group struck out for the village of Taep'yong-ni, located along the base of Hill 342 ’s eastern spur and facing Hill 99 across the valley.

[note]

August

During the next few days General Church attacked with all the troops he could muster from his own under-strength division and from units attached to it by Eighth Army. The North Koreans, however, continued to build up their forces east of the Naktong. [02-2]

[note]

August

At mid-day, in response to the JOC request, an effort at support of the perimeter was made by eight Corsairs and nine ADs flown in from USS Philippine Sea (CV-47). These planes found a controller who had two tanks as a target, but who was unable to turn them over to the Navy flight as some F-80s from Japan required immediate handling. No controlled attacks, whether in close support or in interdiction, were therefore made.

The apparent wastefulness of these efforts in support of the perimeter, together with the availability of the escort carriers, now led both ComNavFE and Commander Seventh Fleet to consider springing the force loose for strikes to the northward

[note]

August August

When construction work began at Taegu on 18 July, dust and the psychological effect of aircraft landing and taking off from the adjacent lane were the 822nd Battalion's (SCARWAF) earliest problems. For a week work went on from dawn to dusk, and then round-the-clock shifts were instituted.

Near the west end of the old runway area the battalion encountered "Air Force blue" - clay (the soft silt which makes up Korean rice paddies). This soil would not sustain the weight of truck traffic, let alone a heavy plane.

Accordingly, the battalion had to excavate the soggy clay to a depth of five to ten feet and refill the pit with crushed stone. Augmented by about 500 Korean laborers, who laid PSP fairly well after three or four days' training, the battalion completed 4,300 feet of the new runway-called Strip "A'-on 7 August.

At this time Strip "A" was opened to air traffic, and the battalion began to renovate and lengthen the old sod-and-gravel strip, which was now designated Strip "B." As was the case with their comrades who were engaged in the same type of project over at P'ohang, the engineers at Taegu were so pressed for time that they were able to give very little attention to sound engineering procedures.#144

[note]

August August

August

There, instead of continuing on west as it was supposed to do, it turned left, and by noon was on a hill mass three miles south of the road fork and on the road allotted to the marine line of advance. How it made this blunder at the road fork is hard to understand. As a result of this mistake the hill dominating the road junction on the northwest remained unoccupied. The 1st Battalion was supposed to have occupied it and from there to cover the advance of the remainder of the 5th Regimental Combat Team and the 5th Marines. [16-15]

[note]

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As the afternoon wore on, the Army-Marine defenders clung to their precarious perch, despite swollen tongues and Communist fire. The enemy had succeeded in surrounding the entire Hill 342’s peak with a ring of fire. Several more casualties were inflicted on the infantry company, and a Marine machinegunner was killed instantly by a sniper who had worked his way to the south of the perimeter.

[note]

August1st Battalion 5th Marines

Lieutenant Colonel Newton’s 1st Battalion reached the village in the afternoon of the 7th and relieved Company G’s two platoons on Hill 99. Bohn took his company back across the valley and deployed on the lower slopes of 255 facing the Haman road.

August 8, 1950 0530

These positions were hit by close-in sniper fire during the night of 7–8 August, and at dawn the Marine infantrymen were startled to discover four N.K. soldiers emplaced less than 100 yards away in the valley. Both the enemy position and its occupants were quickly destroyed.[2]

[note]

August

An afternoon dispatch from Admiral Joy suggested that, subject to especially urgent need for close support, the carriers strike coastal targets in Area F, between Ch'ŏngjin and Hungnam, where many trains and much rolling stock had been recently reported, and where USS Helena (CA-75) was currently shooting up Tanch'ŏn.

August

This message crossed one from Admiral Struble in which he reported that after fuelling on the 8th he hoped to strike northward in Area E on the 9th, returning to Area B the next day; should however the Army require support at the perimeter, the force would fly missions in Area B on the 9th and in Area A on the 10th.

[note]

August

An airdrop of supplies that afternoon was only partially successful. The company [Captain Alfonso of A Company, 34th Infantry,] recovered little more than half the drop and lost some men to enemy fire in the process. The night passed quietly

[note]

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Having spent a sleepless night on the road from Ch'angwŏn to Chindong-ni, Finn’s infantrymen were fagged. It was now mid-afternoon, and the heat began to take its toll of Dog Company.

[note]

August

In the meantime, Finn was leading his three rifle platoons up the same southeastern approach to 342’s summit which Cahill’s platoon had scaled 12 hours earlier. The company commander could no longer overlook the combined effects on his men of heat and overexertion. A few hundred yards from the summit, he radioed Roise that Company D was exhausted. During the halt, Lieutenant Oakley climbed to the summit to contact the Army and Marine defenders.

He returned just before dark [1931] with Cahill and the Army company commander.[28]

In the hurried conference that followed, the Army officer advised Finn against finishing the rugged climb and assured him that his soldiers and Cahill’s platoon could defend the peak through the night. Informed of this by radio, Roise allowed Company D to hold its present position and relieve at dawn.[29]

[note]

August August August

As the airfield development program slowly unfolded, it became evident to General Partridge that the only air-planes which he could base in Korea during the immediate future would be Mustang fighters. Existing theater stocks of F-51's had provided minimum equipment for the 51st Squadron at Taegu and the 40th Squadron at P'ohang, but the movement of other tactical organizations to Korea would have to await the arrival of additional Mustangs from the United States.

August

Securing the planes from Air National Guard units, USAF moved 145 F-51's to Alameda, California, where they were cocooned for an ocean voyage and loaded on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Boxer (CV-21).

[note]

August

On 7 August the 39th Squadron received its allocation of Mustangs, and, accompanied by group headquarters, this squadron moved to P'ohang Airfield on the next day. Concurrently with the arrival of the fighter groups at Taegu and P'ohang, General Partridge redesignated and expanded the provisional support units at these fields into the 6002nd and 6131st Fighter Wings, Single Engine.#149

[note]

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August August

The fight west of Chindong-ni on the morning of 7 August was in fact a general melee. Even troops of the 27th Infantry, supposed to be in reserve status, were involved. The general confusion was deepened when the treads of friendly tanks cut up telephone line strung along the roadside, causing communication difficulties. Finally at 1120, when marine troops completed relief of the 27th Infantry in its positions, Brig. Gen. Edward A. Craig, commanding the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, assumed command, on General Kean's orders, of all troops on the Chindong-ni front. He held that command until the afternoon of 9 August. [16-17]

While these untoward events were taking place below it, F Company of the 5th Regimental Combat Team on the crest of Fox Hill was cut off. At 1600 an airdrop finally succeeded on the third try in getting water and small arms and 60-mm. mortar ammunition to it. The enemy got the first drop. The second was a mile short of the drop zone.

August August

The fight west of Chindong-ni on the morning of 7 August was in fact a general melee. Even troops of the 27th Infantry, supposed to be in reserve status, were involved. The general confusion was deepened when the treads of friendly tanks cut up telephone line strung along the roadside, causing communication difficulties. Finally at 1120, when marine troops completed relief of the 27th Infantry in its positions, Brig. Gen. Edward A. Craig, commanding the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, assumed command, on General Kean's orders, of all troops on the Chindong-ni front. He held that command until the afternoon of 9 August. [16-17]

While these untoward events were taking place below it, F Company of the 5th Regimental Combat Team on the crest of Fox Hill was cut off. At 1600 an airdrop finally succeeded on the third try in getting water and small arms and 60-mm. mortar ammunition to it. The enemy got the first drop. The second was a mile short of the drop zone.

[note]

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August

At dusk, Company E had reached the midway point along the ridge, and there it dug in for the night.

[note]

August

August 7, 1950 1700

Nearly all the infantry actions of the first 3 days owed a good deal to the support of the 1st Battalion, 11th Marines. Consisting of three 4-gun batteries, Lieutenant Colonel Ransom M. Wood’s outfit had relieved the 8th Field Artillery Battalion at Chindong-ni on the eve of D-day. Since the terrain afforded no suitable alternate areas, the Marine gunners moved into the positions vacated by the Army artillery, partly in the village and partly on the outskirts.

A total of 87 rounds were fired that first night in support of the 5th Marines, with the FO’s reporting good results. Before long, however, enemy counter-battery fires searched out friendly positions in the village.

[note]

As the Marine F4U-5 Corsair made its low-altitude photo run, an antiaircraft shell arced through the air and exploded in the port wing of the plane. The pilot, Captain Jesse V. Booker, saw oil dripping from his wing and knew immediately that the port oil cooler was severely damaged. He turned toward the Yellow Sea and radioed his two wing-mates that he was returning to their carrier, the USS Valley Forge and VF-50.

Within about a minute and a half the Corsair lost all of its oil supply making it impossible to continue the flight to the sea. Captain Booker was faced with the choice of parachuting or attempting to land his crippled plane deep inside enemy territory. He elected to ride the plane down. His wing-mates observed him land safely and run towards a wooded area. It was 5 :30 P.M., August 7, 1950.

[note]

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August

It was already early in the evening when Hanifin established a thin perimeter of headquarters personnel to safeguard the CP.[27]

[note]

August August

Flying back to Tokyo that night, Matt Ridgway, a man of high principles, whom one of his close friends described as a "12th Century knight with a 20th Century brain, agonized. He believed that Walkers leadership of Eighth Army was so poor that he should be relieved of command. Years before (1921 and 1922), Ridgway had served closely with MacArthur at West Point, when MacArthur was superintendent of the academy and Ridgway was manager of athletics. From that experience Ridgway was well aware of MacArthur's weaknesses, but on the whole, he admired him. He thought MacArthur was a military genius, and he still had a deep sense of loyalty to him. For that reason, and others, Ridgway felt compelled to recommend Walker's immediate relief to MacArthur. Yet to do so, Ridgway realized, was perilous. Walker had his back against the wall. His relief (and public disgrace) might further embolden the NKPA. MacArthur might misinterpret his motives and denounce Ridgway as a Truman lackey interfering with his operations or as a throat cutter trying to create a job for himself.[7-17]

In Tokyo Ridgway confided his inner thoughts to Harriman and asked for advice. Harriman (and Norstad) had also reached the conclusion that Walker should be relieved of command, but Harriman did not believe the suggestion should be made directly to MacArthur at this time, unless MacArthur himself opened the subject of "conditions in Eighth Army." It would be more prudent, Harriman suggested, first to talk the matter over with Collins, Bradley, Army Secretary Frank Pace, and others in Washington, including the president. Ridgway followed that advice with one exception. He expressed to MacArthur "in polite language" his view that the base organization was "unsound" and offered to send MacArthur an outstanding logistician, Paul F. Yount (who stood number one in the West Point class of 1930), to straighten it out. MacArthur apparently took no offense at this suggestion and "at once" accepted Ridgway's recommendation.

[note]

August August

Ironically, unknown to either Harriman or Matt Ridgway, at this time MacArthur's confidence in Walker, steadily undermined by Ned Almond, had eroded almost completely. Had Ridgway forthrightly raised the matter of Walker's relief, MacArthur might very well have been receptive to the idea, notwithstanding the repercussions. A further irony was that MacArthur had decided that if he did relieve Walker, Ridgway was the best man in the Army to replace him. Had the change of command occurred at this time, events in Korea would very likely have taken a different and more favorable course for the American Army.[7-19]

[note]


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August

He returned just before dark with Cahill and the Army company commander.[28]

In the hurried conference that followed, the Army officer advised Finn against finishing the rugged climb and assured him that his soldiers and Cahill’s platoon could defend the peak through the night. Informed of this by radio, Roise allowed Company D to hold its present position and relieve at dawn.[29]

[note]

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August

Then, on 7 August, he [MacArthur] submitted a full report of his conference with Chiang Kai-shek. He indicated Chiang's willingness to cooperate and that there was a real potential in the armed forces on Formosa, although substantial improvements would be necessary. He explained that he had directed periodic sweeps of the Formosa Strait by elements of the Seventh Fleet, periodic reconnaissance flights over certain of the coastal areas of China, and familiarization flights by small groups of United States aircraft to include temporary and refueling landings on Formosa. [20-18]

[note]

August August August

Having applied this pressure to the northeastern artery, the USS Helena (CA-75) group came southward during the night, and on the next day dropped a highway and a rail bridge near Sokcho, just above the 38th parallel. This work completed, Admiral Hartman relieved Admiral Higgins of his fire support responsibilities off Yŏngdök, and the Toledo group headed for Sasebo to replenish.

[note]

2030 Sunset

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August August

During the night attack an untoward incident occurred at the ROK 3rd Division command post. An enemy mortar barrage hit close to the command post and killed several soldiers. When the KMAG adviser sent to the ROK command post for a report on the situation his messenger brought back word that he could not find anyone there. An interpreter tried to find the division commander, General Lee. He returned and said the general and his staff could not be found. Upon receiving this information Colonel Emmerich and Major Slater searched the area with flashlights and finally, with the help of some ROK soldiers, found the general and his aide in a hillside dugout. Emmerich instructed the ROK commander to assemble his staff and return to the command post.

[note]

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Under cover of darkness, Red Korean troops wormed their way around the little perimeter on the summit of Hill 342.

[note]

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August

On the nights of August 6-7 and 7-8, the enemy reinforced their bridgehead at the bludge. 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

Monday August 7, 1950 (Day 44)

August 52 Casualties

As of August 7, 1950

2 11TH MARINE REGIMENT
6 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 21ST INFANTRY REGIMENT
6 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
7 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
5 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 5TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
8 5TH MARINE REGIMENT
10 5TH REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
2 68TH FIGHTER INTERCEPTOR SQUADRON
1 7TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
1 9TH FIGHTER BOMBER SQUADRON
1 9TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
52 19500807 0000 Casualties by unit

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 61 3167 2 3 3233
Today 3 40 9 0 52
Total 64 3207 11 3 3285


Aircraft Losses Today 006

Notes for Monday August 7, 1950 (Day 044)

cc cc 19500717 0000 Yŏngdök