Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 28.6°C 83.48°F at Taegu 

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

the following land at Pusan today:

6th (M46 Patton's),

70th (M26 Perishing's and M4A3 Sherman's) and

73rd (M26) medium tank battalions

NKPA attempts to penetrate Naktong (Pusan) Perimeter and is repelled by 24th, 2nd, and 25th Infantry Divisions along with Marine elements in the First Battle of the Naktong Bulge.

[note]

It has been alleged by at least one officer of General MacArthur's staff that MacArthur, on 8 August 1950, when Ridgway was a member of a group accompanying Averell Harriman to Japan and Korea, told Ridgway that, if anything happened to Walker, "you are my No. 1 choice. General Ridgway later said privately that General MacArthur never mentioned the subject to him on that visit to the Far East.'

Gen. Lauris Norstad, the only other officer in Averell Harriman's party in this Far East Command visit, told Ridgway that MacArthur had said to him that MacArthur wanted to see Ridgway in command of Eighth Army. Ridgway was taken aback at this news and burst out to Norstad, "Oh, don't you breathe a word of that while I am up here anyway, because it would look as though I was seeking a job there, which I am not at all." Later, Ridgway learned that General MacArthur had indeed recommended him as a replacement if anything happened to Walker. But he had the impression that higher officials in the Pentagon had other plans for him.

[note]

August August August

President Truman signs a bill authorizing $350 million to modernize the Navy, to include building the first nuclear submarine.

-- Two U.S. immigration officials testifying to the President's Commission on Migratory Labor charge farm "pressure groups" persuaded the federal government to ignore illegal Mexican farm workers. Other testimony given to the commission indicates that illegal Mexican workers are paid 20 cents an hour.

[note]

August

Captain William B. Hopkins's case was typical. A citizen of Roanoke, Virginia, he was called up on August 8, forced to close his law office after two years of practice.

"I lay awake every night," he recalls, "thinking about how I was going to say good-bye."

[note]

August

Seeing his visitors off [Tuesday 8/8/1950] at Haneda, the General shouted "loudly," Harriman recalls, so all could here, "'The only fault of your trip was that is was too short."' The envoy wrote his report to Truman during the return flight. MacArthur's trip to Formosa, he wrote, had been "perfectly natural," and he was convinced that the Supreme Commander was loyal to "constitutional authority." On that basis he felt that "political and personal considerations should be put to one side and our government [should] deal with General MacArthur on the lofty level of the great national asset which he is." Yet, Harriman continued:

For reasons which are rather difficult to explain, I did not feel that we came to a full agreement on the way we believe things should be handled on Formosa and with the Generalissimo. He accepted the President's position and will act accordingly, but without full conviction. He has a strange idea that we should back anybody who will fight Communism, even though he could not give an argument why the Generalissimo's fighting Communists would be a contribution towards the effective dealing with the Communists in China.
I pointed out to him the basic conflict of interest between the U.S. . . . position as to the future of Formosa, namely, the preventing of Formosa's falling into hostile hands . . . [while] Chiang, on the other hand, had only the burning ambition to use Formosa as a steppingstone for his reentry to the mainland. . . .
I explained in great detail why Chiang was a liability, and the great danger of a split in the unity of the United Nations. . . I pointed out the great importance of maintaining UN unity among the friendly countries, and the complications that might result from any missteps in dealing with China and Formosa.[51]

[note]

 

One SB-17 and one SA-16 were used this date for orbit missions. Thirteen hours and thirty minutes (13:30) was logged on these missions.

On the return trip to Ashiya, one of the F-51s escorting the SA-16 on the search mission, developed engine trouble. The pilot bailed out about twelve miles southeast of the northern tip of Tsu Shima. The SA-16 landed in the open sea and picked up the pilot of the F-51. The aircraft returned the pilot to Itazuke AB and then returned to Ashiya AB. The pilot was in the water approximately ten minutes.

The Pararescue team of Flight "A" headed by S/Sgt Alvin Gladson, volunteered to aid in installing all new accessories to the Flight briefing room. New maps and map boards, a better lighting system and plans for installing a projector in operations are underway. Other improvements are under way and will [generate performance gains] upon completion of the project.

[note]

Aug. 8: The enemy threat to Taegu forced the 18th FBG to evacuate to Ashiya. The 307th BG, newly based in Okinawa, flew its first mission.

[note]

August

Task Force Kean area of operation

[note]

8 August 1950 images

August

[note]

Citations

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

 

19500808 0000 DSC BATLUCK

19500808 0000 DSC HALL

19500808 0000 DSC JAMES

19500808 0000 DSC MACY

    Medals

Navy Cross

DAVIS, JAMES CARROLL*

 

Silver Star

Dower, Frank J. [1stLt SS A19thIR]

Fegan, Joseph G., Jr. [Capt SS2 CoCo H5thMR]

Lopez, Conrad F. [SFC SS2 A34thIR]

Sanders, Edward [PFC SS Eng EUSAIK]

Terrio, Donald [PFC SS H5thMR]

 

[note]

 

The night of August 8th found Captain Victor A. Armstrong flying the first night medevac by lifting a wounded regimental surgeon to safety.

August

The HO3S proved to be a rugged aircraft that could continue to fly regardless of hard landings in rough terrain and taking enemy small-arms rounds. Lieutenant General Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., Commanding General, FMFPac, after observing the helicopters operate in Korea, said:

Later in Korea I saw helicopters come in with a dozen bullet holes in their wings and bodies--unless they are hit in a vital part, they will continue to fly.20

[note]

August August August

"As part of Task Force Kean in the first American counter attack of the war, the leading 35th Infantry Regiment of the 25th Infantry Division had advanced to its initial objective, the high ground just north of Much'on-ni. The regiment was then ordered to hold until the 5th Regimental Combat Team could come up on the left."

[note]

South then North

August August August August

The next day, 8 August, the regiment [2/35] advanced to the high ground just short of the Much'on-ni road fork. There Fisher received orders from General Kean to dig in and wait until the 5th Regimental Combat Team could come up on his left and join him at Much'on-ni. While waiting, Fisher's men beat off a few enemy attacks and sent out strong combat patrols that probed enemy positions as far as the Nam River. [16-12]

Behind and on the left of the 35th Infantry, in the mountain mass that separated it from the other attack columns, the fight was not going well. 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.

[note]

August August

Colonel Hill had received reports as early as 8 August that the North Koreans were working at night on an underwater bridge across the Naktong at the Ki hang, or Paekchin, ferry site in the middle of the bulge.

[note]

August

and the next day the 6131st Fighter Wing was formed at the P'ohang base.

[note]

The Air Force Abandons Yŏnil Airfield

August August

Some United States ground and air service troops had been at Yŏnil Airfield before the 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (35th Group) moved there on 16 July from Ashiya, Japan.

On 7 August, the 39th Squadron moved to the field, and the next day the 6131st Fighter Wing was formed at the P'ohang base. But, even as these expanding air activities at Yŏnil were taking place, another and opposite current of events began.

On 8 August, aviation engineers there received orders to evacuate their heavy equipment. In the next few days, as the North Koreans occupied the hills around P'ohang-dong and west and southwest of Yŏnil Airfield, FEAF officials became alarmed for the safety of their aircraft. They feared that enemy troops would be able to bring up mortars and artillery to bombard the strip, and that enemy infantry might overrun it. [18-21]

[note]

August August

In the north, the N.K. 1st Division between 6 and 8 August crossed the Naktong River between Hamch'ang and Sangju in the zone of the ROK 6th Division.

[note]

August 8, 1950

At Ch'onan it [N.K. 10th Division] left the trains and continued southward on foot, passing through Taejŏn and arriving at the Naktong opposite Waegwan on or about 8 August. [ It had started from Sukch'on for the front by rail about 25 July. ]

[note]

August August

On the 8th, Stratemeyer ordered Partridge to increase the night sorties to fifty;

[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.

Ships carrying these

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.

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].

[note]

August August August

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

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

[note]

August

Marines moving down from Hill 311

[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

By this time the 2nd Infantry Division was disembarking in Pusan. Owing to the immediate need for reinforcements on the Taegu front and other factors, Johnnie Walker had vetoed the proposed plan for the 2nd Division to relieve the 24th Division en bloc in the Naktong Bulge. However, in view of John Church's inability to clear the NKPA from the Naktong Bulge, Walker ordered the 2nd Division to send forces to assist.

The 2nd Infantry Division, composed of the 9th, 23rd, and 38th regiments, was one of the most famous outfits in the Army. Owing to its outstanding performance in the ETO in World War II especially in the Battle of the Bulge it had been selected to be retained in the ever shrinking postwar Army. But it too had felt the money pinch. When the division was alerted for duty in Korea in early July it was short 5,000 men. However, the ranks were hurriedly filled by various means before the division embarked and it arrived in Korea at full combat strength.[7-55]

The commander of the 2nd Infantry Division was Laurence B. ("Dutch") Keiser, fifty-five. He was a West Point classmate (1917) of Joe Collins, Matt Ridgway, and Mark Clark. One of the few officers in that class to see combat in World War I, Keiser had been a sensation on the battlefield. At age twenty-three he was named to command an infantry battalion in the 5th Division and won a Silver Star for gallantry. But that was the last time Keiser commanded troops in combat. During World War II he served in Italy for five months as chief of staff of VI Corps under John P. Lucas, who was sacked at Anzio. He finished the war a brigadier general and chief of staff of the Fourth Army in Texas, lagging far behind his more illustrious classmates, who by then were wearing three and four stars.

[note]

August

During his peacetime career Keiser had twice served with the 2nd Infantry Division, and like many alumni of that famous outfit, he was drawn to it again. In November 1948, after a postwar tour with the Army's advisory group in China, Keiser joined the 2nd Division at Fort Lewis, Washington, as ADC. In February 1950 Joe Collins promoted him to two stars and command of the division, a capstone to Keisers thwarted career.

August 8, 1950

Keiser's chief assistants were the usual mixed bag of a peacetime Army division. His ADC, Joseph Sladen Bradley, fifty, was a West Point classmate (1919) of Bill Kean's. During World War II Bradley had served in the Southwest Pacific with the 32nd Division as chief of staff and commander of an infantry regiment, winning a DSC, two Silver Star medals, and other awards. He made no secret of his desire to command a division. The artillery commander was Loyal M. Haynes (Knox College, 1917), fifty-five, who had fought with the AEF in France, but who manned Stateside desks throughout World War II. In the opinion of the senior officers in the division Haynes "was not physically and mentally up to the job. Nor was the very senior chief of staff, West Pointer (1916) Joseph M. Tully, who "went bananas" shortly after arriving in Korea and was replaced.[7-57]

As a division commander Dutch Keiser was not universally loved. Mike Michaelis put it bluntly: "Frankly, Dutch Keiser was a lousy commander. Keiser's new chief of staff, Gerald G. ("Gerry) Epley (West Point, 1932), promoted from division G2, more or less agreed. Epley found Keiser "alert and "lucid" and admired him personally, but "he wasn't the kind of commander a division should have. He rarely left his CP to visit units in the field. He communicated with his field commanders by telephone and sent Sladen Bradley [7-the ADC] out to serve as his eyes and ears."

The first of the divisions units to reach Pusan was the 9th ("Manchu) Regiment. Mated with the 15th FAB, commanded by John W. Keith, the 9th was a fully manned and equipped and powerful RCT. But it had two possible weaknesses: a "bastard" command setup and one all black battalion.

Before its alert for duty in Korea the 9th had been commanded by West Pointer (1926) Charles C. ("Chin) Sloane, Jr., forty-eight. During World War II Sloane had been G2 to Eisenhower and Mark Clark in London, North Africa, and Italy. More recently he had gained fame for conceiving the idea of a well trained permanent "aggressor force" for Army war games, which had been publicized in Life magazine. After the 2nd Division had been alerted, Dutch Keiser "recalled many of his recently departed officers, Chin Sloane among them.[7-59]

[note]

August August

Unknown to Keiser at the time he recalled Sloane, the Pentagon had sent him a batch of new senior commanders. Among them was a colonel, John G. Hill, fifty, who was directed to take command of the 9th Infantry. Hill had fought ably as an enlisted man in the AEF and afterward attended West Point (1924). But like Keiser, Hill had not commanded troops in combat in World War II. In the postwar years he had served four years in Europe as a senior staff officer. His son, John Hill Jr. (West Point, 1946), was then serving in the 7th Cav.

Keiser was very fond of Sloane and angry that the Pentagon had forced on him these new commanders, especially Hill, whom he did not know and whom he ridiculed as a "damn staff officer" (dismissing Hill's long peacetime service with troops). The upshot was that Keiser appointed Hill commander of the 9th RCT and left Sloane as 9th regimental commander. It was an unwise and completely unworkable compromise which, in effect, gave the 9th dual or co-commanders. (Note reference to BASTARD command structure)

The 9th Infantry's black battalion was its 3rd. It was composed of veterans of the deactivated 25th Infantry and other black outfits, plus a large number of postwar volunteers and draftees. Its commander was a capable, combat experienced white, former National Guard officer D. M. ("Mac") McMains, thirty-nine. He had fought in the 112th Cavalry Regiment in the Southwest Pacific, rising to battalion commander and regimental exec. After the war he had returned to civilian life, but in 1948 he went on fulltime active service, first as commander of the 3/9, then a year later (when it was decided all officers of the 3/9 should be black) as exec of the 9th Infantry.

Shortly before the Korean War broke out, McMains was routinely transferred to the Far East. While on leave he suffered severe head and face injuries in an automobile accident which required hospitalization and plastic surgery.

Upon receiving the war alert, Dutch Keiser recalled McMains to resume command of the 3/9 from the black officer who had succeeded him, H. Y. Chase. Notwithstanding his injuries, McMains was pleased to return to command the 3/9, which he had trained well. He and a new combat experienced white exec, William H. Frazier, Jr., forty-two, had supervised its preparations for shipment to Korea and combat.

August August August August

No doubt owing to the perceived problems in Champeny's 24th Infantry, Eighth Army did not fully trust the 3/9. Upon its arrival in Pusan, Johnnie Walker decided not to commit it directly into hard combat. Instead, he ordered that the 3/9, plus one of Keith's 15th FAB batteries, a company of Shermans of the 72nd Tank Battalion, engineers of the 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, and other forces, be sent to guard the FEAF airfield at Yŏnil, near P'ohang. This task force was commanded by the ADC, Sladen Bradley, and Chin Sloane. "Called Task Force Bradley" In this way the 3/9 was introduced to combat in Korea gradually and the Hill-Sloane command problem was temporarily postponed. However, the deletion of the 3/9 left the 9th Infantry with merely two infantry battalions (and two supporting artillery batteries), a composition that would considerably penalize and confuse its leaders, who were accustomed to the standard three battalion formation.[7-64]

[note]

August August August

On the morning of August 8, while Ned Moore's 19th Infantry was engaged in yet another futile counterattack, John Hill jeeped forward to confer with John Church. The NKPA, Church said, had "busted right through" the 24th Division center. He wanted Hill to "attack at once," not later than 3:00 P.M. Hill protested: His troops had been on the road from Pusan all night; most were green; they needed a rest and time to steady down and get their bearings. Church gave Hill one extra hour. The two battalion 9th Infantry would attack at 4:00 P.M. directly west into the NKPA, throw them out, and regain the Naktong River positions.

These vague and impetuous orders were ill considered and unfortunate. As it happened, unknown to Church, the NKPA had made a serious penetration farther south in the division's left sector, loosely held by Gines Perez's 3/34. These NKPA troops were moving eastward and would soon pose a serious threat to the division's rear and to its road net.

In hurriedly committing the 9th Infantry, Church had blundered badly. As one professional analyst of the battle put it, "The result was to squander the 24th Division's only foreseeable major reinforcement in simply bolstering the center of the threatened sector, while the enemy continued to exploit an opening of major proportions on the division's left."

[note]

US Air Force

 

 

The Harriman party attended FEAF briefing. Set up an office for Mr. Harriman and General Norstad in Room 210. Sent a redline personal to Vandenberg telling him that "advance elements of the 2 new B-29 groups participated in FEAF Bomber Command strategic mission against communication targets in North Korea 4 days and 23 hours after their departure from the ZI."[ť179-Like Stratemeyer, the JCS believed that the three B-29 groups already in the Far East had not spent enough time on strategic bombing. They realized that the B-29s had been used to help keep the North Koreans from rolling up the Americans and South Koreans, but they still wanted to institute a strategic bombing program and offered two groups for this purpose on a 30-day temporary duty.

The 98th BG left the United States on August 5 and flew its first mission out of Yokota on the 7th. One day later the 307th BG flew its first mission from Kadena. Just one week before the group had been in Florida. (Futrell, pp 71, 73.)]


Called both Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Gay and relayed to them that I had seen their respective husbands, etc.


1000 hours, four of our combat pilots were interviewed by General Norstad in my office.

Partridge forwarded a copy of the letter Ambassador Muccio had written to the Fifth Air Force and which Partridge had circulated among Fifth Air Force:

It has been my intention, ever since the Korean airlift of June 27th, to express to you in writing my sincere and abiding appreciation for the out- standing job done by you and your command. In the face of extremely short notice and of considerable hazard, the officers and crews of the Fifth Air Force planes employed took necessary action to airlift over 500 persons to Japan and to safety. In the absence of the arduous and heroic work of your crews, it is to be feared that many of the evacuees would have fallen into enemy hands. Every commendation is due the officers and men of your Air Force who participated and I join the evacuees in expressions of gratitude for a job well done.
 s/ John T. Muccio, Ambassador.


Sent a "Stratline"ť to Partridge:

"It is desired that you step up night bombing sorties with all type airplanes your Air Force including B-26s, F-82s, F-51s and F-80s and when you first reach 50 sorties per night, I desire a 'Stratline' message to that effect."ť

Sent an R&R [routing and record sheet] to Vice Commander for Operations requesting a 100 B-29 airplane strike as soon as can get same cleared from the Target Committee. General Vandenberg will be notified by Redline on the date of the target of the strike; as soon as strike completed, I want another Redline sent to General Vandenberg giving him the results of the strike.

Gave General Norstad the following memo:

In view of the fact that we have received over here in the Far East practically all of the tactical air available within the Air Force and in view of the fact that the Army has called to active duty four (4) National Guard divisions, I feel that action should be taken as follows: Whenever the Army calls to active duty National Guard or Reserve divisions, the Air Force should call to active duty the necessary reserve units and/or National Guard units necessary to give tactical support to the ground divisions called. We do not dare in the Air Force to fail to supply the tactical support to such National Guard or Reserve divisions that are called to active duty.

Gave General Norstad the following memo:

General O'Donnell of the FEAF Bomber Command reported to me that we are encountering serious trouble with valve guides in the modified engines. The new, cast-iron guide is breaking loose from the guide boss and we have made a special check at FEAF Bomber Command and have found that 21 engines in one group with this difficulty. I recommend that you ask General Wolfe to get on this personally. Believe he knows about it because UR's [unsatisfactory reports] were submitted while these SAC organizations were based in the ZI and an emergency UR has been submitted since they have arrived here. The people at Sacramento are aware of this difficulty as are those at Oklahoma City; think it would be well for General Wolfe to have experts from Air Materiel Command or Curtiss-Wright give us some advice on this.[180-McClellan AFB, near Sacramento, had processed the 145 F-51s for delivery to Korea on the Boxer and was processing more F-51s, F-80s, and soon, F-86s. At Oklahoma City, Tinker AFB personnel were involved with logistics support for B-29s, B-50s, and B-36s.] I do think this is urgent. We have representatives of the Materiel Division, FEAF, and the Materiel Officer of the FEAF Bomber Command making a detailed inspection this date in an attempt to arrive at a possible local curative action - or submit further detailed information which can be forwarded should circumstances so indicate.

Following is a copy of a letter, written by Partridge to General Walker, dtd 4 August 50:

Today for the first time I have had an opportunity to review the events of the past six weeks and to evaluate the air effort in terms of what was accomplished as contrasted with what might have been done. In retro- spect, the results have been up to expectations but it would appear that there are certain fundamental deficiencies in the relationship between your staff and mine which have in some instances militated against air operations, both as to volume and as to effectiveness. Weighed down as you are with the grave responsibility of conducting ground operations under most adverse circumstances, I am loathe to raise such basic points as those set forth below; yet the urgent requirement that your units enjoy the maximum in air assistance overbalances my reluctance to present the Fifth Air Force viewpoint. Undoubtedly these considerations have not come to your attention, and the purpose of this letter is to acquaint you with the situation. In reviewing the past six weeks of operations, it is quite apparent that in anticipating requirements, the Fifth Air Force has been caught off balance repeatedly by unexpected ground force actions. For example, although we had been operating over Korea since 26 June, the movement of the 24th Division was made without any planning on the Air Force side beyond that necessary for airlift. Our coordinating par- ties for controlling the close-in air support eventually caught up with the division but precious time was lost. The 25th Division moved later under similar circumstances. Subsequently, important decisions affecting both the Army and Air Force were made without air participation in the plan- ning. Some of these decisions were implemented before the Air Force was notified. The general withdrawals to the present positions fall in this category. Decisions as to headquarters locations are of especial impor- tance and timely arrangements to install communications are essential if adequate effective air support is to be secured. Yet the Air Force planning in this respect has had to follow rather than run concurrently with yours. I mention these examples not in any sense of complaining, for I am fully aware that circumstances beyond your control or mine have intervened to prevent better coordination. The point I do want to emphasize is that the Air Force has been operating at a disadvantage, and that only the flexi- bility of our organization permitted us to catch up. As remedial action, it is most urgently requested that the Air Force be accorded opportunity to participate concurrently with your staff in any planning being under- taken. It is not enough that the Air Force be brought in after the pro- ject is well formed. As soon as an Army idea is presented for consideration, my staff should be advised and should immediately con- tact their opposite numbers at your headquarters. Similarly, Air Force projects should be discussed and worked on by your people. You have recently assigned Colonel H. S. Robertson to duty as G-3 Air in the Fifth Air Force operations center. May I suggest that he be used as con- tact officer, that he be kept fully informed of all projects to be taken under study, and that he be specifically directed to pass the information to Colonel Meyers, my assistant chief of staff for operations. Obviously this system will work only if Colonel Robertson enjoys the complete confidence of your planning personnel, and the same applies to Colonel Meyers who will pass project information in the opposite direction through Colonel Robertson. Both are senior responsible officers, and I have full confidence in their ability to handle this assignment. Allied to the above subject is a matter which gives me grave concern. This is the importance of Taegu to your operations in Korea. We have mentioned this point before, but I have never given you a firm appraisal of the prospects if K-2 airstrip should become untenable because of enemy action. First, the insecurity of K-2 has already caused me to withhold movement of three squadrons of F-51s to that base and one squadron to K-3. This means that even now while we still hold this strip 100 air- planes fly from Kyushu rather than from Korea and their effectiveness is roughly one-third what it would be if Korea-based. Second, it must be anticipated that should K-2 fall, K-3 in the P'ohang-dong area will soon follow. Before this occurs, the remaining two squadrons of F-51s will be returned to Japan with concurrent reduction in their rate; airlift into Korea will be almost eliminated and light aircraft for control and reconnaissance purposes will be reduced in number as well as in effectiveness. Furthermore, even after added airstrips can be built in the Pusan area, Air Force units will probably be seriously hampered in their operations from these new locations because of the unfavorable weather which usually exists in that locality.


For these reasons, I should like to suggest that in future planning you instruct your people to give a high precedence to any line of action which will afford security to K-2. In a tight situation in which air power may tip the scales in our favor, the continued utilization of Korean airfields by our fighters is a major factor. If by chance, the line of action adopted achieved marked successes in the southwest at the expense of Taegu, the net result might prove disastrous.


E. E. Partridge.


Saw Harriman - Norstad party off at Haneda 1530 hours. Dallas Sherman[181-Sherman was the head of Pan American Airways Far East office.] appealed to me re retention of their APO [Army Post Office] number.

Called Hickey and got an OK for appointment.


Mission report: One enemy aircraft reported north of K-3 at 2230; type unknown, believed to be small airplane.

 

[note]

 

 

August August August August

August 8, 1950

When the 98th and 307th Groups arrived in the theater, General Stratemeyer on 8 August ordered O'Donnell to put the strategic offensive into effect, using the maximum effort of two B-29 groups against industrial targets every third day.#14

#14 Daily diary D/Opns. FEAF, 8 Aug. 1950; msg. AX-4143; CG FEAF to CG FEAF BomCom, 12 Aug. 1950.

This allocation of effort continued in force until 20 August, when General Weyland, arguing the fact that several of the newly designated Joint Chiefs of Staff strategic objectives were actually interdiction targets, persuaded the FEC Target Selection Committee to commit three medium-bomber groups to strategic bombing.#15

[note]

August

According to the best American intelligence estimate, the Chinese Communists had about 116,000 regular troops in Manchuria on 8 July, 217,000 on 8 August, 246,000 on 30 August, and, by 21 September, transfers from southern and central China had augmented the Manchurian garrisons to an estimated 450,000 men. Many of these troops belonged to Communist General Lin Piao's Fourth Field Army, which was normally stationed in Manchuria, but which had been transferred south to participate in operations against Hainan and Formosa, and, following the postponement of this aggression, might merely be returning to its home stations.#8

[note]

August

August 8, 1950

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

[note]

August

August 7, 1950

Finally, on 7 August the 39th Squadron received its Mustangs, and the air crews moved across to P'ohang that same day.

August 8, 1950

In token of expanding activities at the east Korean base, the 6131st Fighter Wing, Single Engine was formed at P'ohang on 8 August.

Even as the expanded wing operations began at P'ohang, however, it was evident that the base was in grave danger from North Korean guerrilla infiltration. The aviation engineers there were directed to pull out their heavy equipment on 8 August, a task which resulted in the loss of a few items of heavier machinery which could not be easily moved.

[note]

19500808 0000 usaf0 - elastic bridge 19th BG(M)

23,24,25,26,27,28,29 1- week

30,31,01,02,03,04,05, 2-weeks

06,07,08,09,10,11,12, 3-weeks

13,14,15,16,17,18,19, 4-weeks

20 - the Navy sink the bridge

[note]

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

[note]

August August

August 8, 1950

Two days later General Stratemeyer ordered Partridge to step up night attack sorties to 50 a day, using B-26 's, F-82 's, F-51 's, and F-80 's. General Partridge had already tried F-80 night intruders, but they had found it impossible to strafe enemy road traffic, which could not be easily identified at fast speeds even on moonlit nights. Night attack missions by F-82's had been of little value except against known and fixed targets, such as airfields and towns.

Some F-51 night harassing missions had been attempted with "almost nil" destructive results; although targets could be located by the Mustang pilots without too much difficulty, rocket or machine-gun fire so blinded the pilots that accuracy was impossible. Night dive bombing was not effective since targets were not easily discernible from any appreciable altitude and faulty depth perception generally induced early release and inaccurate drops.

[note]

August August

On 8 August General Stratemeyer ordered O'Donnell to execute industrial attacks with a maximum effort of two groups every third day while the normal effort of three groups would remain committed to daily interdiction attacks. General O'Donnell was authorized to select the industrial targets for attack.

While the prohibition on incendiaries necessitated additional sorties, General O'Donnell privately hoped to improve on the seven missions per B-29 per month which MacArthur had said would satisfy him.

[note]

August

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

[note]

August

According to the best American intelligence estimate, the Chinese Communists had about 116,000 regular troops in Manchuria on 8 July, 217,000 on 8 August, 246,000 on 30 August, and, by 21 September, transfers from southern and central China had augmented the Manchurian garrisons to an estimated 450,000 men.

Many of these troops belonged to Communist General Lin Piao's Fourth Field Army, which was normally stationed in Manchuria, but which had been transferred south to participate in operations against Hainan and Formosa, and, following the postponement of this aggression, might merely be returning to its home stations.#8

[note]

August August August August

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

The swiftness of the medium bomber deployment to combat was possible only because of well-established Strategic Air Command mobility plans which had been designed for just such an emergency. In conjunction with the execution of its primary mission, the Strategic Air Command held the responsibility of maintaining air force units in readiness "for employment against objectives of air attack in any location on the globe." All units assigned to the Strategic Air Command were required to be "highly mobile organizations, capable of being dispatched without delay, to distant bases.#

Command letters, directives, and manuals gave, in complete detail, the various requirements for executing the mobility plan. Emphasis had been placed upon the equipment of all units for thirty days' operations with a minimum amount of support from operating bases. Flyaway kits contained spare parts and served as a kind of airborne base supply. Bomb-bay bins carried other essential supplies. Each wing commander maintained a reserve of spare engines, engine quick-change pack-ups, and power pack-ups. The wing mobility plans and preparations had been tested in overseas movements.

The 22nd and 92nd Groups had been in the Far East and the United Kingdom; the 98th Group had been in the Far East, the United Kingdom, and at Goose Bay; and the 307th Group had served temporary duty in the United Kingdom and Germany.#127

See Rivičre-du-Loup Incident

[note]

August August

On 4 August General Partridge accordingly suspended all plans for moving additional air units to Taegu and began to back-pedal those that were already there to safer locations in Japan. This order caught the ground echelon of the 8th Fighter-Bomber Group on its way to Korea; it had to turn around and go back to Tsuiki. On 6 August the 18th Fighter-Bomber Group moved back to Ashiya, and

August

on 8 August the 6002nd Fighter Wing also departed for Ashiya, after first having organized the 6149th Air Base Unit which would remain behind to service Mustangs as they staged through Taegu on combat missions. The aviation engineers ceased all construction work and evacuated their heavy equipment to Pusan.#19

[note]

  

For several days at P'ohang Airfield Air Force ground crews serviced Mustangs by day and defended the strip against infiltrating guerrillas at night, but by 8 August it seemed doubtful that P'ohang Airfield could long remain in friendly possession. Aviation engineers accordingly evacuated their heavy equipment and remained to help with the ground fight.

[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]   [note]

US Marines

August1st Battalion 5th Marines

August

Left to right: Lt Col George Newton, Bn Cmdr 1/5, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade Maj. John Russell, CO Weapons Co. Capt. John Stevens, CO Able Co. Capt. Ike Fenton, CO Baker Co. Capt. Walter Godenius, CO H&S Co. (Photo courtesy of John Stevens, Dixon's former commander, used with permission)

August August August
HRS-2 Capt. Ike Fenton CO Baker Company Col. Puller and General Craig

[note]

The Division did not go out in convoy, but had been moving a ship or two at a time until August 8, when loading began on the fleet of nineteen vessels, which was to bear Puller’s First Regiment and others.  Loading was complete by August 22, but a blown boiler delayed them further.

[note]

 

Sach'ŏn Offensive

[note]

 

Wading through chest-deep water by night, pulling crude rafts loaded with vehicles, heavy weapons and supplies, the North Koreans placed an entire reinforced regiment on the east bank by 8 August. Termite tactics during the next 2 days broadened their foothold until the Naktong Bulge was overrun by most of the NKPA 4th Division.

[note]

 

Bio

It is a curious circumstance that not until 8 August did General Smith himself have his first information as to the Inch'ŏn landing. The basic directive of 25 July had merely specified that the main body of the Division would embark from San Diego, prepared for combat. The commanding general did not learn even unofficially about the time and the place of the proposed operation until he was told by General Fellers. While reporting at Camp Pendleton on his return from Japan, the TTU commander gave General Smith an informal account of the conference which took place on 4 July at FECom Headquarters in Tokyo.[19]

[note]

 

   NBSD Logo.jpg

Narrow time limits did not permit the assembly of supplies and equipment delivered at Camp Pendleton under the relentless pressure of urgent deadlines. FMFLant air and ground units arriving from Camp Lejeune brought their own organization equipment, which was staged through the Recruit Depot at San Diego. Much of the heavy equipment from the Barstow, California, Annex, Depot of Supplies, was delivered dockside and loaded without further inspection. Not until arrival at Kobe, Japan, were such items as the LVTs finally given a mechanical checkup.[23]

Ammunition was delivered from the depots to the Naval Station, San Diego, for loading. The following units of fire were specified by Division Embarkation Plan 1–50:

(1) 3 UF in hands of 1st Marines, LVT, tank, and artillery units; 1 UF in hands of all other units;
(2) 2 UF in hands of 1st Ordnance Bn for the 1st Marines, LVT, tank, and artillery units;
(3) 4 UF in the hands of the 1st Ordnance Bn for other units.[24]

Even after all items of initial supply had been assembled, the problem was by no means solved. Since the Division and Wing would be operating under Army and Air Force control, it became necessary to establish a long-range policy for resupply. The best answer seemed to be the procedure adopted by the Brigade, providing that the Army and Air Force furnish all supplies not peculiar to the Marine Corps. The latter would be provided by Marine or Navy agencies automatically in 30–day increments, with 120 days of resupply allotted to ground units and 90 days to air units.

 Thereafter, supply was to be requisitioned as needed. And in the lack of a service command as such, the G–4 section of FMFPac was committed to the task of preparing and submitting resupply requisitions for items in this category.[25]

Five hundred civilians were employed to help with the reconditioning of motor transport and other heavy equipment which had been “in mothballs” at Barstow since the end of World War II. Such items had to be put through the shops in many instances and restored to operating condition before delivery. The enormous supply depot in the California desert erupted with activity as trains of flatcars and long columns of motor trucks were routed to San Diego.

The actual loading and embarkation were conducted almost according to schedule in spite of such handicaps as inadequate dock facilities, the reception of supplies and equipment from a variety of sources, a shortage of stevedores, and piecemeal assignments of shipping. Only 54 stevedore crews were available out of the 90 requested, and commercial ships were necessary to supplement naval shipping.

 Nevertheless, the loading began on 8 August and was completed by the 22nd. The following 19 [named plus 17 more] ships were employed to mount out the main body of the 1st Marine Division:

The Inch'ŏn-Sŏul Operation, Ch 2, Embarkation of 1st Marine Division Page 2 of 3

[note]

US Navy

Fleet Air Japan established by COMNAVFE, relocating NAVAL AIR JAPAN.

[note]

 

Bio

For the moment, at least, the threat to the southern end of the perimeter had been ended by the advance of Task Force Kean. On the coast the Marines had repelled the enemy with heavy loss; inland the 35th Infantry had briefly regained the heights along the Nam River east of Chinju. In this region North Korean units now faced difficult problems of reorganization and re-equipment, and their long supply line was suffering increasingly from the cumulative effects of interdiction strikes

As the second week of August was ending, (Sunday August 13) the critical sectors of the perimeter were on the Naktong front west of Yŏngsan, in the northwest beyond Taegu, and on the east coast in the vicinity of P'ohang. The response to this altered situation was quickly evident in the redeployment of U.N. naval forces. Admiral Joy had been directed to carry out demolition raids on the Korean coast, and as the Marine Brigade moved northward to the Naktong bulge the weight of naval effort shifted to the northeast and to the enemy’s coastal line of communications with the Soviet Maritime Provinces.

August

North of the 40th parallel the Korean coastline is precipitous, with mountains rising steeply from the sea. Constricted by this geography, the railroad for more than 40 miles runs close to the shore, and is thus accessible to naval gunfire and to landing parties. Here in the first weeks of war USS Juneau (CLAA-119) had carried out her raid; this vulnerable area was now to be brought under all forms of naval attack.

Execution of this work was facilitated by the arrival from San Diego of the fast transport USS Horace A. Bass (APD-124), Lieutenant Commander Alan Ray, a destroyer escort conversion carrying four LCVPs and with a capacity of 162 troops.

August

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

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

[note]

 

Bio Task Force 95

on 8 August the West Coast Element acquired its own air strength when HMS Triumph (R16), her yard period completed, reported in with HMS Comus (R-43) to Andrewes’ control. The availability of Triumph was of particular importance in view of the hydrography of the west coast, which restricted the movement of heavy ships and so made aircraft the more useful. Destroyers and cruisers could bombard, and could check traffic passing around the headlands, but the important inshore patrol had thus far been largely left to the ROK Navy.

[note]

 

USN_Units   USN_Units   USN_Units

The bombardment of the town of Tanch'ŏn in 40°28', carried out by Helena 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 marshaling yard, and some minor industrial facilities. With a VP 6 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.

Having applied this pressure to the northeastern artery, the USS Helena (CA-75) group came southward during the night, and on the next day [Aug 8] dropped a highway and a rail bridge near Sokch'o-ri, 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]

 

On the 8th the importance of this task was emphasized by high level estimates which indicated that the enemy had reached the end of his supply line, that he was especially short of gasoline for tanks and trucks, and that efforts at seaborne supply were to be anticipated.

[note]

 

  

Four days later an imaginative B-29 report of heavy junk concentrations near Yŏsu brought the Canadian destroyers HMCS Cayuga (218) and HMCS Athabaskan (R79) on a flank speed sweep of the south coast, but with negative results.

[note]

 

   USN_Units

Within the force the search went on for ways and means of improving the close support situation. On the 8th, on the basis of reports from liaison pilots returning from Taegu, Admiral Hoskins identified the principal problems as the "understandable" ignorance of carrier capabilities at Fifth Air Force headquarters, the inadequate communications set-up there, and the Seventh Fleet’s desire to maintain radio silence when possible. As remedies he proposed the immediate assignment of a captain aviator, experienced in carrier and close support operations, as liaison officer with Fifth Air Force in Korea, and the establishment of communications channels which would permit, and of policies which would ensure, a continuous two-way flow of information.

[note]

 

Elsewhere, however, things were more ominous: on the 8th, during the fighting at Chindong-ni, the North Koreans built up their Naktong bridgehead to regimental strength, and by the 10th the enemy 4th Division was across the river.

[note]

 


Two days later a new weapon became available for raids from the sea as the submarine transport USS Perch (ASSP-313), a conversion capable of carrying 160 troops and with a cylindrical deck caisson providing stowage for landing equipment, reached Yokosuka from Pearl Harbor. A British offer of a squad of Royal Marines provided Perch’s raiding personnel, and brought immediate preparations for attacks on the east coast transportation.

[note]

 

Such an eventuality had been foreseen, and preliminary planning for a water evacuation of P'ohang was underway. Three LSTs were ordered up to take out Air Force ground personnel, and on the 8th the removal of heavy equipment from the P'ohang airstrip was begun.

[note]

 

Yet despite all obstacles loading of the division was begun on 8 August, two days ahead of schedule.

[note]

Korean_War

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

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

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

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

Korean_War

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

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

[note]

0000 Korean Time

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

0100 Korean Time

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

      Bio

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 2d Division headquarters. There he learned from the
division commander that General Walker had ordered the 9th Regiment (-) to report to General Church.

Hill started his troops to the bulge area at 0130,

[note]

0200 Korean Time

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

0300 Korean Time

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

0400 Korean Time

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

0500 Korean Time

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

 

   Bio

8 August 1950 (this date is a guess,  is it right?)

One of its regiments attacked the enemy in the field a single month after the first alert.

The speed with which this division reached Korea as an effective fighting force is remarkable when the scale of the shipment and its many complications are considered. When it began preparing for shipment in early July, the 2nd Division was far from combat-ready. General Mark W. Clark, then chief of Army Field Forces, had predicted after inspecting the division in June that it would not be ready to fight for at least four months. The division was approximately 5,000 men short of war strength. Used during the preceding year as an overseas replacement pool, it had undergone a personnel turnover of 138 percent in that period. [05-49] General MacArthur's first move on being told that the division was coming to his theater had been to ask that it be brought to full war strength before sailing. [05-50]

In order to comply, the Department of the Army transferred hundreds of men from other units at Fort Lewis to the 2nd Division. But putting approximately 1,500 replacements awaiting shipment to the Far East from Fort Lawton into the division evoked an objection from General MacArthur. He remonstrated that all replacements scheduled for his command must come to him directly and not to be used as fillers for the 2nd Division. He considered it "imperative that the meager strength authorized units in combat be maintained." [05-51] The Army had taken this action in order to get the 2nd Division to Korea at full war strength as quickly as possible. The 1,340 replacements already assimilated by the 2nd Division could not be retrieved. Further diversions were stopped because of General MacArthur's objection, even though Army officials felt that their method would have put the greatest number of men in the Far East Command in the least period of time. [05-52]

[note]

 

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.

Captain Finn was wounded and turned command of Company D over to 1st Lt. Robert T. Hannifen Jr., who commanded Dog Company until the arrival of Capt. Andrew M. Zimmer. Eleven Marines were killed or seriously wounded, but the hill was held and more than three hundred attackers from the NKPA 6th Division were left on the battlefield when the enemy pulled back.

With Hill 342 safely in American hands, Task Force Kean (a joint task force composed of elements of the army's 5th and 27th RCTs and the 5th Marines) directed its attack toward Kosŏng. The 5th Marines fought alongside army units for the next two days to clear the enemy from a key road junction at Tosan. Captain Fegan of Company H led an attack across open ground to force the enemy off dominant terrain.

[note]

 

Failing the first day to accomplish its mission, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, resumed its attack on Fox Hill the next morning at daybreak after an air strike on the enemy positions. This time, after hard fighting, it succeeded. In capturing and holding the crest, D Company of the Marine battalion lost 8 men killed, including 3 officers, and 28 wounded. The enemy losses on Hill 342 are unknown, but estimates range from 150 to 400. [16-18]

August

[16-Caption] FOX HILL POSITION near Masan, 7 August. (Hill 342)

[note]

 

August1/5Bio 3/5

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]

 

Just before dawn the soldiers and Marines were greeted by bursts of short-range rifle and machinegun fire. The defenders returned the fire and hurled grenades down the slopes, but a small force of North Koreans succeeded in crawling close enough to launch an assault against the northeast leg of the triangle.[30]

A fierce hand-to-hand struggle ensued at the point of contact, and the Communists were thrown back down the hill. One of Cahill’s men died of bayonet and gunshot wounds, and another Marine and several soldiers were wounded.[31]

[note]

 

Bio1st 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.

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]

Shortly after daybreak on 8 August—while Cahill was being relieved on Yaban-san—the Marines of Company H noted a column of troops climbing Hill 255 from the direction of the Haman road. Believing the newcomers to be ROK soldiers, Fegan’s men watched as the long file reached the high peak beyond the plateau forward of the Marine positions. When the group set up facing Company H, Fegan became skeptical enough to alert his riflemen and machine gunners. His precautions were timely, for the visitors immediately opened fire on the Marines.[3]

This surprise attack had a critical effect on the Task Force Kean sector. In possession of the high ground above 3/5, the North Koreans were able to block the Masan-Chindong-ni stretch of the MSR, leaving most of the American ground forces out on a limb for supply and reinforcement purposes. Thus when the 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry, advanced from Masan to relieve both 3/5 and 2/5 on their respective hills, (5th RCT on Hill 342 & 2/5 on Hill 342; it was driven off the fire swept road north of Chindong-ni.[4]

Upon being informed of the enemy’s presence, Taplett ordered Company H to attack and destroy the Communist position. Fegan called his two platoon leaders[5] while the Marine infantrymen in the line exchanged shots with the enemy across the plateau. After a quick briefing, Second Lieutenant John O. Williams led his 1st Platoon to the long tableland.[6]

Echeloned to the right, the skirmish line pushed aggressively over the open area, firing on the enemy as it moved forward. The platoon closed to within 30 yards of the Communist-held peak, but showers of hand grenades and continuous machinegun fire pinned down the attackers. Fegan sent a message forward, directing Williams to work around the enemy’s left flank. Although one fire team succeeded in reaching the rocks below the N.K. positions, the flanking maneuver failed.

The 3rd Platoon had taken several casualties. Marines still in the open area were unable to advance, while those who had attempted the envelopment could only cling to the steep slopes above the MSR. When some of this group were struck by enemy fire, the impact sent them rolling helplessly down the sharp incline.

Convinced that Williams could not carry the peak, Fegan ordered him to pull his platoon back toward the line of departure and reorganize. While the withdrawal was in progress, the company commander ordered the 3rd Platoon to pass through the 1st and continue the attack. There was no response to the order.[7]

Fegan realized that the men were momentarily unnerved after witnessing the failure of the first attack. The company commander, therefore, assumed control and personally led the 3rd Platoon forward on the plateau. Halfway across the open area, the new skirmish line passed through Williams’ outfit as it was reforming. The Marines of the 3rd Platoon responded with confidence to Fegan’s leadership. They crossed the tableland in a wedge formation with 1 squad at the apex and the other 2 slightly withheld. Air strikes and artillery preparations had little effect against the rocky crag beyond the plateau, so that the final assault was fought to a finish with small arms and grenades.[8]

Staff Sergeant John I. Wheatley, one of the prime movers, fell wounded along with several of his men. Sergeant Edward F. Barrett, shot in the elbow and hip, lay helpless, exposed to enemy fire, until Captain Fegan carried him back to safety.

The 3rd Platoon gained the rocky summit and worked its way through the NKPA position, a foxhole at a time, while the enemy resisted to the death.

A column of NKPA reinforcements bound for Hill 255 was spotted during the action by Company G from its positions facing the Haman road. The enemy platoon struck out across the valley from the high ground north of Hill 99, then attempted to ascend 255 via the same route used by comrades at dawn. The Marines of Company G and their supporting arms cut loose with a hurricane of fire. And after scattering in panic, the enemy survivors scuttled back to their starting point.[12]

 Corporal Melvin James[9] hit the Red Korean left flank with his squad and drove deep into the enemy position. The NKPA right flank was rolled up by a vigorous assault sparked by Technical Sergeant Ray Morgan and Private First Class Donald Terrio[10] as each knocked out a Communist machinegun and its crew.

Having wiped out the main enemy position, the 3rd Platoon advanced northward about 200 yards to a gulf where the high ground fell away abruptly. Beyond this depression rose the highest step of the ridgeline’s rugged staircase: Hill 255 with a height of more than 800 feet above the MSR. The three squads held up here to await further orders. How Company’s fight up to this time had cost the Marines 6 dead and 32 wounded.[11]

Lieutenant Colonel Murray, upon being informed of the progress made by How Company, directed Taplett to halt the attack and dig in for the night. While Fegan’s men were carrying out this order under NKPA artillery and mortar fire, MAG–33 and the Marine artillery roared into action. The saddle north of How Company’s lines was pounded so mercilessly that the enemy pulled back from Fegan’s immediate front.

[note]

0540 Sunrise

[note]

 

Dog Company 2nd Battalion 5th Marines

Finn’s men struck out for the summit shortly after daybreak on 8 August. With three platoons abreast along the southern face of 342, Dog Company pushed upward swiftly, brushing aside light resistance. Upon reaching the perimeter, the Marines came under a storm of fire from N.K. positions which ringed the northern half of the hill.[32]

The relief was effected, nevertheless, and Cahill’s thinned squads descended Hill 342 together with the shattered Army company. The Marine platoon had lost 6 killed and 12 wounded—more than a third of the 52 men who had set out from Chindong-ni.[33] But its determined stand with the beleaguered Army unit had saved the height and frustrated the Communist attempts to establish a bastion overlooking the MSR.

Company D fared no better than its predecessors at consolidating the crest of 342 and clearing upper slopes which were crawling with North Koreans. Finn’s unit took several casualties in the fire fight that accompanied and followed the relief of the original defenders. Two of those killed in action were Second Lieutenants Oakley and Reid. The only surviving platoon leader, Lieutenant Emmelman, received a serious head wound as he was pointing out targets to a Marine machinegunner.[34]

Captain Finn, seeing Reid’s motionless form lying ahead of the company lines, crawled forward to recover the body. Having moved only a short distance with his burden, the company commander himself was struck in the head and shoulder by enemy bullets. Barely conscious and almost blinded by blood, Finn crept back to his lines on his hands and knees.

A corpsman administered first aid and Company D’s first sergeant helped the officer down the steep slope.[35] On the way the pair met Lieutenant Hanifin, who was leading company headquarters and the mortar section to the high ground from their positions of the previous night. Finn informed the executive officer that he was now in command of the company.[36]

Reaching the summit, Hanifin had just enough time to reorganize his defensive positions and emplace the 60-mm. mortars before the Communists launched another attack. Again Marine rifles, machineguns, and grenades scorched the northern slopes. Again the enemy was beaten back, leaving the hillside littered with dead. But Company D’s casualties had mounted meanwhile to 6 killed in action and 25 wounded.[37]

[note]

0600 Korean Time

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07/30/50 3:00 PM 07/30/50 4:00 PM 07/30/50 9:00 PM 07/31/50 6:00 AM

Unit Info  Unit Info

On the whole, Task Force Kean’s scheduled drive on Chinju and Sach'ŏn had not met with much success during the first 48 hours. The only advance was made on the right, where the 35th Infantry seized its first objective and inflicted an estimated 350 casualties on the enemy.[17]

In his capacity as provisional commander of all units along the Masan-Chinju axis, General Craig was directing the Army operations at the front and in the rear areas of the Task Force sector. Thus on 8 August he ordered the 5th RCT to continue its attack and take Tosan, so that his Marines could make progress on the road to Sach'ŏn.

After preparatory fires, the Army regiment again pushed forward toward its immediate objective. Enemy resistance was much heavier than on the day before; nevertheless, some gains were made from the starting point near the village of Singi. The attack was also slowed by the narrow MSR carrying the entire traffic load for the Task Force. Heavy fighting above the road on Hills 255 and 342 added to the congestion and confusion on the vital artery.

 Lt Col George Newton’s 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, had been ordered to move forward from Chindong-ni at 0600, 8 August, with the mission of attacking along the south fork of the Tosan junction preparatory to seizing a regimental objective which would be designated later.[18]

Leaving its positions on Hill 99 at the assigned time, the battalion was stalled immediately at the bridges on the MSR below. The road was still clogged with soldiers and Army vehicles, making it impossible for the Marine unit to proceed.[19]

General Craig, who was in the vicinity, told Newton to hold up until the situation at the front became clarified. Company B, commanded by Captain John L. Tobin, was ordered back up on the hill it had just descended; and the battalion waited, three miles from its line of departure.[20]

[note]

 

  

Then, on the third night, 7-8 August, an estimated two more battalions [of enemy] crossed the river in four different places. Enemy units that tried to cross north of the bulge were driven back by the 21st Infantry; they then shifted southward to cross. [17-26]

[note]

 

    

The next morning, 8 August, Alfonso's men could see North Koreans crossing the Naktong below them in six boats, each holding about ten to twelve men. They radioed for an air strike, and later, at a range of 1,000 yards, engaged the enemy force with their .50-caliber machine gun, causing the North Koreans to disperse along the river bank. There the air strike came in on them, with undetermined results.

[note]

0700 Korean Time

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Def

When General Ridgway returned to Washington, he met with the Army Policy Council and, at the request of the Secretary of the Army, reported his observations on the combat situation. Ridgway had come away from Korea convinced that Walker would hold the Pusan Perimeter. Enemy pressure was still great enough to force limited tactical withdrawals from the edges of the perimeter and the actual final line had not yet been developed, but the defensive line would be held successfully and the beachhead kept intact. Regardless of his favorable prognosis, General Ridgway was quick to point out that General Walker had a serious problem. His forces still faced a ruthless and savage foe. Any idea that the North Koreans would weaken or fall back was faulty and dangerous. As an example, General Ridgway cited enemy reaction to the strongest offensive thrust yet made by Walker 's forces. Eight American battalions had attacked in the southern sector to stop an enemy move at Pusan . Within an hour after the attack jumped off, the enemy counterattacked fiercely and effectively. [07-43]

Bio

United Nations forces were still too few in number to carry on a defense according to the book. One division held a 21,000-yard front with six battalions. The enemy could infiltrate the thinly defended front at night and attack from the rear the next morning. General Walker had not had time to organize the ground effectively. General MacArthur had told Ridgway that he was pleased with the support given him by Washington, but had asked for more. After Ridgway reported to the council, General Collins told Secretary Pace that the request for more men and units was already being studied by his staff, but that he was gravely concerned by the demands. [07-44]

Def      

At a special meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff held later the same day to hear General Ridgway's formal report and to consider the Far East commander's needs, General MacArthur's request for another division occasioned a debate. Some members of the Joint Chiefs wanted to send the 82nd Airborne or a National Guard division instead of the understrength 3rd Division. General Ridgway recommended that the 3rd Division be sent since he felt that the combat-ready airborne division must stay in the United States for use in a general emergency. After a 15-minute discussion, the tenor of thought among the Joint Chiefs inclined toward the same view-namely, to send the 3rd Division and to fill it up from any and every source. No final decision was made at this time, but (General Collins and Admiral Sherman were charged with examining the matter urgently and reaching a recommendation by 10 August. [07-45]

  

General Bolté, Army G-3, did not believe that the 3rd Division could be filled and sent to (General MacArthur without seriously delaying the Army's plans for rapid expansion of training activities in the United States. He told General Collins that the 3rd Division could reach the Far East by 15 September, untrained and worthless for combat, but that the training and mobilization base in the United States would suffer as a result. If General Collins could see his way clear to delay the division until December, it could be built up with National Guard and Enlisted Reserve Corps (ERC) fillers without ruining the ZI training base and could arrive in the Far East as a reasonably well-trained division. If General Collins considered it absolutely necessary to give General MacArthur another division by 15 September, the 82nd Airborne could be sent. According to General Bolté, the 82nd, already at about 85 percent strength, would not need many fillers. Furthermore, it would be ready to fight on arrival. Its departure, of course, would leave the continental United States without a combat-ready division. [07-46]

General Bolté's views did not prevail. The JCS decided to send the 3rd Division to FECom.

[note]

 

 

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1/11th Marines

Early the next morning a Marine battery took a direct hit from an NKPA 122-mm. shell. Two men were killed and 8 wounded by a blast which destroyed a 105-mm. howitzer. Thus, reversing the usual rule, the artillery suffered heavier casualties than the infantry at the jump-off of the Brigade attack.[30]

The gunners needed no further admonitions to dig foxholes, gun-pits and ammunition pits. During the confused fighting around Chindong-ni, it was not unusual to have one battery laid on an azimuth generally east, another west, and a third to the north.

“I think that this is one of the most important lessons we learned in fighting infiltrating troops,”

commented Lieutenant Colonel Ransom M. Wood;

“artillery must be able and always prepared to fire in any direction on a moment’s notice.”[31]

[note]

 

8/8/50 The other two regiments, the 48th and 50th, departed Kŭmch'ŏn later and began crossing the Naktong between Indong and Waegwan before dawn of 8 August. The men waded the river in four feet of water at two ferry sites, four and six miles north of Waegwan. Tanks and vehicles crossed on an underwater bridge at the upper ferry site. The major initial crossing occurred at the upper ferry site six miles from Waegwan where an estimated two battalions and at least two tanks had crossed by 0810. The North Koreans supported this crossing by direct tank fire from the west side of the river. The Air Force estimated seven tanks were in firing position there. These tanks evidently succeeded in crossing the river during the day. The  N.K. 15th Division  seized Hills 201 and 346 on the east side of the river at the crossing site, before advancing eastward into the mountains toward Tabu-dong, seven air miles distant. [19-12]

Eighth U.S. Army in Korea

Considering these enemy crossings the most serious threat yet to appear against Taegu, Eighth Army made plans to support the ROK Army with American troops in the event of an enemy penetration. The Air Force, in the meantime, discovered the underwater bridge six miles north of Waegwan and dropped 1,000-pound bombs on it with undetermined results. [19-13]

[note]

 

  

and [John G. Hill] reported to General Church about 0830, 8 August. Church told Hill he wanted him to attack at once and drive the North Koreans from the bulge salient. [17-29] After some discussion it was agreed that the 9th Infantry would attack at 1600.

The 9th Infantry, at full strength in troops and equipment and its men rested, contrasted strongly with the regiments of the 24th Division on the line.

On 8 August, the strength of the 24th Division regiments was approximately as follows:

The combat effectiveness of the 24th Division then was estimated to be about 40 percent because of shortage of equipment and under strength units. Fatigue and lowered morale of the men undoubtedly reduced the percentage even more.

Hill's 9th Infantry relieved B Company, 34th Infantry, on part of Cloverleaf Hill  and members of the Heavy Mortar Company who were fighting as riflemen across the road near Obong-ni Ridge. Colonel Hill placed the 1st Battalion of the 9th Infantry on the left of the Yŏngsan-ni, road, the 2nd Battalion on the right side. His command post was at Kang-ni, a mile and a half eastward toward Yŏngsan-ni,. Two batteries of the 15th Field Artillery Battalion (105-mm. howitzers) supported his attack, with twelve 155-mm. howitzers [from the 11th FAB] and additional 105-mm. howitzers of the 24th Division on call. Hill's immediate objectives were Cloverleaf Hill and Obong-ni Ridge. [17-31]

[note]

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Def   Bio  

For this reason, and because no airborne RCT's, except for those of the 82nd Airborne Division, were ready to fight immediately, the Joint Chiefs of Staff denied MacArthur's July request. [09-42] But they did take steps to ready an airborne unit for deployment as soon as possible. Whereas MacArthur actually had asked for an RCT from the 82nd Airborne Division, the Joint Chiefs of Staff decided against weakening the only effective infantry division left in the United States and chose instead an RCT from the 11th Airborne Division.

[note]

 

By 8 August North Koreans, totaling a reinforced regiment had waded the river and pulled raft-loads of heavy equipment including trucks, across with them. Two days later they appeared to have two regiments in strong positions east of the Naktong. [02-3]

[note]

 

Bio

On Tuesday morning, August 8, MacArthur again met with the full Harriman party, this time in his office at the Dai Ichi Building. For the next two and a half hours he told the group how he would win the war in Korea and what further assistance he would require from Washington to do. Ridgway thought MacArthur's briefing was "brilliant." It was made, Ridgway wrote later,

"with utmost earnestness, supported by every logical military argument of his rich experience, and delivered with all of his dramatic eloquence."

Moreover, contrary to the prevailing view in Washington, Ridgway taw no evidence that MacArthur was being disloyal to Truman.

"His recognition of authority superior to him, if his channels of command and of his sphere of responsibility was clear and unmistakable, and his loyalty to duly constituted superior authority was equally manifest.

Time was working against America in Korea, MacArthur asserted. An early military victory was "essential.' ' Any delay in achieving it increased the chances of "direct military participation" by Chinese Communist or Soviet forces and the possibility of a winter campaign when the weather in Korea was frigid "comparable to my native state of Wisconsin" and would result in heavy non-battle casualties from frostbite. To achieve an early victory, MacArthur continued, American forces must launch "a coordinated offensive," mounted by Eighth Army and an additional, independent corps to land amphibiously at Inch'ŏn by September 25. And

"once launched, this operation must be given every chance of success."

 MacArthur would personally "take in" the Inch'ŏn force and remain in Korea for two or three weeks, as necessary.

[note]

 

Bio and Bio

To carry out the coordinated offensive successfully, MacArthur continued, he really needed an "additional army of four divisions." However, he well understood the overall weakness in the General Reserve and that the four National Guard divisions called up would require extensive training and equipping. He therefore planned to carry out Inch'ŏn with merely two divisions, the 7th in Japan and the full 1st Marine Division. Since utilizing the 7th Division would utterly denude Japan of American fighting forces and leave Japan vulnerable to Soviet attack, it was "compelling that he have the 3rd Infantry Division (from the General Reserve) by September 15 to replace it, the full 1st Marine Division by the same date, and another Marine division (the 2nd) by October 15. Moreover, MacArthur urgently required replacements for battle casualties. He was losing 1,000 men a week (a total of nearly 9,000 as of that date) and the Pentagon was "not even keeping up with my losses." The Pentagon should "treble trans-Pacific shipping."

Besides all that, MacArthur insisted, "every effort" should be made to secure troops from the other members of the United Nations at the earliest possible date. He suggested, among others, Britain, Canada, Australia, and "perhaps even France. The British, he opined, could send troops from Hong Kong and Singapore in "1000 man increments (battalions) without delay. "Has the great British Army sunk so low it can't afford one division? he asked.

27th British Infantry Brigade

(This challenge, soon relayed to London, produced almost immediate results. On August 24 the British two battalion 27th Infantry Brigade in Hong Kong embarked for Korea.)

[note]

Bio

As for Formosa, MacArthur again asserted that he did not believe the Chinese Communists would launch an attack there. If they did, MacArthur said (as Ridgway noted),

"I would go there and assume command, and deliver such a crushing defeat it would be one of the decisive battles of the world a disaster so great it would rock Asia and perhaps turn back communism. Meanwhile, he repeated, America would be well advised to back the Nationalists, whose potential could be increased "

enormously with the military aid list GHQ was preparing.[7-21]

August

The Harriman party left Tokyo that same day and flew back to Washington. Every member was bedazzled and certain that MacArthur's plan for winning the war with an Inch'ŏn invasion was sound and should be backed by every resource the Pentagon could spare. Ridgway left convinced that MacArthur should have the 3rd Infantry Division, even though it had already been gutted and was but a skeletal force. Harriman told Ridgway (as Ridgway noted) that "

political and personal considerations should be put to one side and our government deal with General MacArthur on the lofty level of the great national asset which he is."

[note]

 

August

By this time both Harriman and Norstad had decided that Ridgway should replace Walker as commander of Eighth Army in Korea. On return to Washington Harriman would recommend that change to Truman, Johnson, Bradley, Pace, and Collins. On the plane Norstad privately broached the subject with Ridgway, saying,

"I think you ought to be in command here." Ridgway must have been flattered, but he replied: "Please don't mention that, it will look as though I was coming over here looking for a job and I'm not."

In Washington Harriman turned in his and Ridgway's reports to Truman, Johnson, Bradley, and others. The overall effect was to build considerable support at the White House for MacArthur and the Inch'ŏn landing. But the JCS remained skeptical about an amphibious landing at Inch'ŏn. When Ridgway appeared before the chiefs to deliver MacArthur's request for the 3rd Infantry Division to replace the 7th Division in Japan, he encountered doubt and debate. Subsequently it was decided that Collins and Forrest Sherman would go to Tokyo to examine the Inch'ŏn plan in greater detail before the JCS endorsed it. Owing to the deplorable state of the 3rd Division, the chiefs seriously but briefly considered sending MacArthur the 82nd Airborne Division. However, when Ridgway suggested the possibility of incorporating the Puerto Rican 65th Regiment into the 3rd Division and other measures to provide the division greater strength, the chiefs accepted his ideas. Three days later, on August 11, Truman approved the transfer of the 3rd Division from the General Reserve to the Far East, with the understanding that it would not be sent to Korea but be based in Japan, in effect replacing the 7th Division.

Still very much concerned over the "leadership, organization and planning" in Eighth Army, Ridgway, as Harriman had suggested, met individually with Pace, Collins, and other top-level Army officials to convey his misgivings about Walker. Ridgway expressed the belief that Walker could hold the Pusan Perimeter but that he should be replaced before Eighth Army went on the offensive. Pace (perhaps influenced by Harriman), according to Ridgway's notes,

"indicated his own conviction that a change ought to be made as early as possible but that he was uncertain as to the best method of making it."

Thinking out loud about a replacement for Walker, Pace mentioned both Ridgway and West Pointer (1919) Alfred M. ("Al") Gruenther, fifty-one, then serving in the Army's upper echelons as deputy chief of staff for plans. Gruenther, who had been chief of staff to Mark Clark in Italy during World War II, had never led troops in combat.

Joe Collins appeared less anxious to sack Walker. He told Ridgway that on his forthcoming visit to Tokyo to discuss Inch'ŏn with MacArthur, he would

"visit Korea and, based on [7-sic] his observations at the time, would take up with MacArthur the question of Eighth Army command, Organization and Staff."

Should a change be necessary, Collins thought that either Ridgway or West Pointer (1915) James A. Van Fleet could replace Walker. Collins preferred Van Fleet because Ridgway was slated to replace Haislip as vice chief and because Ridgway might become "so involved I couldn't get you out." When Collins asked Ridgway what his "preference" might be, Ridgway replied that if America was headed for World War III (as still seemed likely to him),

"I would prefer to fight in Europe."

[note]

 

Bio   Bio

The next morning 8/8/50 he [Colonel Emmerich] requested that the division commander [General Lee] be relieved. [18-9]

At this time the 1st Separate Battalion and the Yŏngdŭngp'o Battalion were inactivated and their troops absorbed into the ROK 22nd and 23rd Regiments.

[note]

 

August  

Meanwhile, Harriman proposed to President Truman that Ridgway replace Walker as commander of Eighth Army. Truman's reply was to "talk to Bradley about it." The upshot was that Bradley and Collins decided that if Collins determined on his forthcoming trip to Korea that Walker should be replaced and if MacArthur concurred in this decision, Ridgway would be proposed to MacArthur as Walker's replacement. However, Collins did not inform Ridgway of this decision.

[note]

 

The 2nd Battalion's attack progressed the next day, supported by artillery, mortars and airstrikes.

[note]

 

August

Over the next two days [Mon and Tue] , the presidential envoy [ Averill Harriman,] flew to Pusan for a quick inspection of UN lines and conferred with the General for more than eight hours, sometimes alone, sometimes with Gen. Lauris Norstad and Ridgway. After the first day an aide confided in a correspondent that the two men were "pretty much in agreement." There were no details, however, not even for SCAP officials. "In fact," Sebald notes,

"the underlying purpose of Harriman's visit never was entirely clear to us . . . although we had a definite stake in it. We could only guess, as did many others, that the President was seeking to reinforce his strict policy that Formosa should not be used as a base of operations against Mainland China." [48]

That was the gist of it. MacArthur promised a swift victory in Korea, said he hoped he could launch his offensive there before the onset of winter because delay would increase the chances of Chinese intervention, and predicted that if Mao tried to seize Formosa he himself would assume command there and

"deliver such a crushing defeat it would be one of the decisive battles of the world,"

but most of the time was spent discussing the shaky relations between Taipei and Washington. The General acknowledged that Chiang could never re-conquer China, though he suggested facetiously that

"it might be a good idea to let him land and get rid of him that way."

His own problem, he said, was strategic. He had been charged with the defense of Formosa, and in that role he was crippled by the tension between the KMT and the U.S. administration.

"We have not improved our position by kicking Chiang around," he said, "and I hope that the President will do something to relieve the strain between the State Department and the Generalissimo."

 That was reasonable, but then he encroached on diplomatic prerogatives by adding that he would "never" recognize Peking because that would strengthen Mao's prestige. It should be the U.S. goal, he said, to destroy that prestige.[49]

Harriman explained that

"the President wants me to tell you that you must not permit Chiang to be the cause of starting a war with the Chinese Communists, the effect of which might drag us into a world war."

 Reviving the KMT forces for a full-scale attack on the mainland, he said, had not been the intent of America's UN allies in supporting U.S. resistance to North Korean aggression on that peninsula. MacArthur replied:

"As a soldier, I will obey any orders I receive from the President."

 However, he thought it his duty to point out that in his view the Seventh Fleet's patrolling of the Formosa Strait cut two ways. It shielded Chiang, but it also "protected" the Red Chinese. According to his intelligence, it had released two Red field armies from defensive positions in South China. Later he would remind Washington of that warning.[50]

[note]

1000 Korean Time

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1100 Korean Time

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Bio  

About 1130, as the fire fight slackened, Roise phoned Hanifin from his OP on the eastern spur. The conversation had no sooner begun when the company commander collapsed from heat exhaustion. A veteran NCO and a young officer promptly filled the command vacuum. Company D’s gunnery sergeant, Master Sergeant Harold Reeves, assumed control of the three rifle platoons with the confidence of long experience. Second Lieutenant Leroy K. Wirth, a forward observer of 1/11, took responsibility for all supporting arms, including the planes of MAG–33 circling overhead. The NCO of almost 30 years service and the young officer repeatedly ranged forward of the front lines to spot enemy positions for air strikes and make new appraisals of the situation.

Company D remained steady, and never again did the North Koreans seriously threaten the hilltop.[38]

   

The 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry, was scheduled to relieve 2/5 on Hill 342 during the afternoon of 8 August; but the Army unit was unable to reach the area for reasons to be explained later. [see 0530 and 1300] Informed of the change in plans, Roise kept his battalion busy with consolidation of positions and evacuation of casualties.

Company E moved forward a few hundred yards along the western spur of 342 and dug new foxholes. Captain Andrew M. Zimmer reported from regiment, where he had been an assistant S–3, and took command of Company D.[39]

Although the North Koreans continued to harass the “iron triangle” on the crest, there was no more hard fighting. A few additional casualties were taken by Zimmer’s company, most of them occurring while Marines tried to retrieve airdropped supplies which had fallen wide of their mark.[40]

During the fighting on 342, Major Walter Gall, commander of 2/5’s Weapons Company, had dispatched a small patrol to eliminate the enemy machineguns in Tokkong-ni. After a brief fire fight which cost three friendly casualties, the withdrawal of the patrol left the Communists still entrenched in the village. When the Marines returned to Weapons Company lines on the eastern spur, First Lieutenant Ira T. Carr turned his 81-mm. mortars on Tokkong-ni and brought the enemy fire to an end.[41]

[note]

1200 Korean Time

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1300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
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Bio

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.

   Koread-War

These hopes, however, were to be deferred by a dispatch from ComNavFE, received on the afternoon of the 8th as the force was fuelling from USS Passumpsic (AO-107) and USS Cacapon (AO-52) to the south of Cheju Do. Concern for the safety of Eighth Army had led CincFE to order the entire carrier air effort placed on close support and close interdiction from 8 to 17 August. With this order the southward displacement of Seventh Fleet operations, developing ever since FEAF’s first request for attacks in the northeastern quadrant of Korea, reached its ultimate conclusion.

For the next ten days, it appeared, the carriers were to be frozen in support of the perimeter. Close support, in this context, meant support of Army units under JOC control; the Marine Brigade, with its organic Tactical Air Control Squadron and with its own aircraft operating from the escort carriers, was well cared for. But the Army needed everything it could get; the North Koreans had forced the Naktong, and had a regiment across the river at the big bend west of Yŏngsan-ni,.

[note]

 

    

That afternoon, the North Koreans began registering mortar and artillery fire on A Company's position, but ceased firing as soon as their registration was accomplished. Alfonso and his men noticed an enemy column far off, moving toward them. From this and the mortar and artillery registrations, they concluded that the enemy would deliver a coordinated attack against them that night. Alfonso requested permission to withdraw at 2300, and this was approved by both the battalion and regimental commanders.

[note]

 

  

August 8, 1950 1345

Finally the word came to move up. While 1/5 worked its way along the crowded road, George R. Newton walked ahead and reached the CP of the 1st Battalion, 5th RCT, located on a hillside between Singi and Oryong. There he learned that the Army unit’s companies were already on the high ground all around the junction and that the rice paddies between the battalion CP and these companies were full of North Koreans. The Army commander considered his subordinate units cut off.[21]

[note]

1400 Korean Time

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Shortly afterwards, at about 1400, the head of 1/5’s column reached Newton and again came to a halt, a mile and a half from its line of departure. Arriving on the scene at this time was a dispirited Army staff sergeant, dripping with mud and water. He said that he had just returned from Hill 308, south of the road junction, where his unit was heavily engaged with the enemy. And he added that Communist machineguns covering the wide rice paddy between 308 and the MSR had forced him to crawl almost the whole distance.[22]

Lieutenant Colonel Murray, while driving from Chindong-ni to the front, was stopped on the road by Major General Kean himself. The 25th Division commander directed the Marine officer to arrange for a night relief of the 1st Battalion, 5th RCT. Kean stated that he would inform Brigade headquarters of this change in plans as soon as possible.[23]

It had become a question as to whether Task Force Kean or the NKPA 6th Division controlled Tosan. Newton radioed the 5th Marines commander and asked for enlightenment. Murray, having just finished his conversation with General Kean, ordered the battalion commander to postpone the jump-off until nightfall.[24]

After withdrawing to the outskirts of Sangnyong-ni, 1/5 went into an assembly area beneath the western spur of Hill 342. There the battalion commander received specific orders to relieve the 1st Battalion, 5th RCT, on positions southwest of Tosan at midnight, 8 August, and secure the troublesome road junction once and for all. [25]

Newton was to have his battalion at the Army CP no later than 2300, when it would be furnished guides to lead the way across the broad rice paddy to Hill 308.

[note]

1500 Korean Time

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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 re-designated and expanded the provisional support units at these fields into the 6002nd and 6131st Fighter Wings, Single Engine.#149

[note]

 

Fifth Air Force armed reconnaissance attacks not only destroyed Communist troops and equipment while they were en route to the battleground, but they also forced the enemy to move his supplies only at night over damaged roads. But so long as the Reds moved at all neither General Stratemeyer nor General Partridge would be satisfied.

 Weather reconnaissance pilots over Korea at night told of lighted enemy truck convoys moving southward to the front lines. To combat this enemy traffic, General Partridge needed a night-intruder unit, but the Air Force possessed no such organization. During World War II the 47th Bombardment Group (Light) had flown night-intruder missions in Italy's Po River Valley, and after the war the 47th had returned to the United States to experiment and determine optimum night-intruder tactics. In 1948, however, the 47th Group had traded its B-26's for B-45 jet bombers and was no longer concerned with night attacks.#81

Since the USAF possessed no night-intruder organization, the Fifth Air Force would have to devise its own means of combating Communist night travel.

During July the Fifth Air Force used one flight of the 68th Fighter All-Weather Squadron's F-82's (three aircraft) for offensive night operations over Korea, but General Partridge did not think that these planes had much value except against known and fixed targets, such as airfields and towns. Early in August, when Marine Squadron VMF(N)-513 began to operate from Itazuke, the all-weather Corsairs provided eight to ten sorties per night. More effort was needed. The F-80 pilots tried their hand at night interdiction, but they found it all but impossible to strafe enemy road traffic, which could not be easily identified at jet speeds, even on moonlit nights. Mustang pilots attempted night-harassing missions with "almost nil" results: the Mustang pilots located targets easily enough but their rocket and machine-gun fire blinded them.#82

Late in July a few 3rd Bombardment Group crews who had been assigned to the 47th Group began to fly night-intruder sorties. The 3rd Group B-26's were quite different from the planes they had flown in the 47th Group, for they had no radar altimeters, short-range navigation radar (shoran), or AN/APQ-13 blind-bombing radar, but in their initial employment over Korea the 3rd Group crews met apparent success. They could sight the lights of a Red convoy and even though the hostile vehicles almost always blacked out before the B-26's could make a pass the light-bomber crews felt that they could remember the convoy's position well enough to get in one good strafing pass.#83

Disturbed by reports that night movements were allowing supplies to reach the Communists, General Stratemeyer directed Partridge on 8 August to step up night-attack sorties to 50 each night, using any of his airplanes which could operate in the dark.#84

General Partridge was not willing to reduce day operations so sharply in order to get more night sorties, but he nevertheless directed the 3rd Group to place half its effort on night operations. The 8th and 13th Squadrons accordingly alternated in the night-intruder role, one squadron flying night missions one week and day missions the following week. By using the light-bomber squadrons in addition to the all-weather squadrons the Fifth Air Force managed to fly an average of 35 night-intruder sorties each night during August.#85

Each intruder organization dispatched its crews singly at periodic intervals during the night to reconnoiter pre-briefed transportation routes-the assigned mission being to harass enemy convoys and force them to move without their lights, thus increasing the enemy's problem of resupplying his combat forces.

As August wore on 3rd Group night intruders, who had begun to supplement their strafing attacks with 160-pound fragmentation bombs, reported that they were sighting fewer and fewer lighted convoys. Communist night convoys were now creeping and not speeding to the front lines.#86

Other evidence indicated that the North Koreans, already hypersensitive to fear of the night intruders. While he was being carried northward by his Communist captors, General Dean reported that his guards dismounted from their truck and took cover each time they heard an airplane, no matter how black the night.#87

[note]

 

Bio    

When Throckmorton's 2nd Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, came off Fox Hill on 8 August after the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, had relieved it there, it received the mission of attacking west immediately, to seize the hill northwest of the road junction that the 1st Battalion [5th RCT] was supposed to have taken the day before. At this time, Throckmorton had only two companies effective after his week of combat on Fox Hill. Nevertheless, he moved against the hill but was unable to take it. His attack was weakened when supporting artillery failed to adjust on the target.

In the late afternoon, General Kean came up to the 2nd Battalion position and, with Colonel Ordway present, said to Colonel Throckmorton, "I want that hill tonight." Throckmorton decided on a night attack with his two effective companies, G and E. He put three tanks and his 4.2-inch and 81-mm. mortars in position for supporting fire. That night his men gained the hill, although near the point of exhaustion. [16-20]

[note]

1600 Korean Time

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Colonel Hill's 9th Infantry attacked straight west late in the afternoon of 8 August against Cloverleaf and Obong-ni. On the right, the 2nd Battalion [2/9] succeeded in capturing part of Cloverleaf by dark, but not control of it or that side of the pass. On the left, the 1st Battalion likewise succeeded in gaining part of Obong-ni Ridge.

[note]

 

  

August 8, 1950 - Harassed and rushed, Hill got his two battalions and Keith's artillery batteries in place and attacked late, at 4:45 P.M., in utterly strange terrain and with no overall picture of the friendly and enemy dispositions in his mind.

The full-strength (850 men) 1/9, commanded by John E. Londahl, forty-two, attacked on the right.

The full-strength 2/9, commanded by Fred L. Harrison, attacked on the left.

Most of the men were green to combat; many were in poor physical condition. The intense heat and humidity came as a terrible shock and, as one Army historian put it, "slowed the advance to a crawl." Meeting heavy NKPA fire, Londahl's 1/9 recoiled and drifted northwesterly, away from the center of the fighting. Harrisons 2/9, advancing against lesser resistance, however, made fair progress. Even so, the 9th Infantry was soon compelled to stop, well short of the Naktong, having achieved very little.

[note]

1700 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
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1800 Korean Time

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

1900 Korean Time

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

1931 Sunset

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2000 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
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2100 Korean Time

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

2200 Korean Time

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

 

Bio1st Battalion 5th Marines

August 8, 1950 Newton was to have his battalion at the Army CP no later than 2300, when it would be furnished guides to lead the way across the broad rice paddy to Hill 308. As it proved, the Marine unit actually reached the designated rendezvous at 2200. But even though an hour early, Newton discovered that the soldiers on 308 were already withdrawing. Moreover, no guides had been provided.[26]

The Marine battalion continued westward through Singi and stopped on the MSR about a half-mile short of Tosan. Here a narrow dike branched south from the road, and the soldiers were returning along this trail from Hill 308 to the MSR. Since the footpath was pointed out as Newton’s route of approach, he had little choice but to wait until the Army troops made the crossing.

[note]

 

    

At 2230, Alfonso removed his wounded to the base of the hill; the others followed. As the company started to withdraw along the road, heavy enemy fire fell on their vacated position. The North Koreans soon learned that the Americans were not there and redirected fire along the road. The company was supposed to withdraw to friendly lines south of the road at the southern end of Obong-ni Ridge. But, in a series of mistakes, one platoon kept to the road or close to it and ran into an enemy position at the northern end of Obong-ni. There it lost heavily.

[note]

2300 Korean Time

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

 

  

Throughout the night of 8–9 August, 1/11 and 3/5’s mortar platoon dropped a steel curtain across the battalion front, with the result that no enemy activity was noted.[13]

[note]

 

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

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

[note]

 

Commitment of the fresh 9th Infantry did not appreciably help the American situation. On the night of August 8-9, Captain Albert F. Alfonso's force of A and L companies was ordered back from its exposed position along the Naktong. One platoon kept close to the road instead of moving south around Obong-ni, and suffered heavy casualties. The rest of the group entered U.S. lines well after daylight.

[note]


Casualties

Tuesday August 8, 1950 (Day 45)

August 70 Casualties

As of August 8, 1950

5 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 21ST INFANTRY REGIMENT
3 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
2 26TH ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY AW BATTALION (SP)
1 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 38TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 38TH ORDNANCE MEDIUM MAINTENANCE COMPANY
1 40TH FIGHTER INTERCEPTOR SQUADRON
5 555TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
18 5TH MARINE REGIMENT
8 5TH REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
1 72ND ENGINEER COMBAT COMPANY
1 8TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
3 9TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
2 NAVY HOSPITAL CORPSMAN
70 19500808 0000 Casualties by unit
Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 64 3206 12 3 3285
Today 1 49 18 2 70
Total 65 3255 30 5 3355

Aircraft Losses Today 003

 

Notes for Tuesday August 8, 1950 (Day 45)

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