Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 28.8°C 83.84°F at Taegu    

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

August 9, 1950 (Wednesday)

 

 

Citations

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

 

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Aug. 9
The Red 5th Division retakes Yŏngdök from South Korean troops. The enemy managed to get reinforcements despite heavy bombing of coastal supply roads by allied warplanes.


-- The president signs a bill that allows the Coast Guard to search foreign ships and control their entry into U.S. ports. Since the Senate approved the bill July 28, the Coast Guard has already stopped and searched a Soviet ship and two Finnish vessels.


-- The Senate passes a bill authorizing the death penalty for spying in peacetime, and sends it to the House. The bill allows prison terms of up to 30 years for espionage against the United States. It also passes two other measures. One gives the head of "sensitive" agencies the power to fire people who are suspected of being security risks. The other authorizes the federal government to ban from the United States any foreigner, to include ambassadors, who "endanger the welfare or the safety of the U.S."

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August

Two SB-17s and one SA-16 were used this date for orbit missions. Eighteen hours and fifty five minutes (18:55) were logged for these missions.

Captain Bressan, the CO of Flight "B", met Colonel Jenkins, the Misawa Base Commander, and his staff. The many problems pertaining to housing and office space were discussed, and it was felt that all possible aid would be extended to Flight "B". It was agreed that hangar space, communications set-up and other facilities be used by both Flights "C" and "B".

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Lt. Col. John T. Corley, a highly respected officer, took command of the 3/24th on August 9.

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Integration

 

The Army Air Forces commander, on the other hand, opposed integrating the cemeteries, as did the Chief of Staff, who on 22 February 1947 rejected the proposal. The existing policy was reconfirmed by the Under Secretary of War three days later, and there the matter rested.55

Not for long, for civil rights spokesmen and the black press soon protested. The NAACP confessed itself "astonished" at the Army's decision and demanded that Secretary Patterson change a practice that was both "un-American and un-democratic."56 Marcus Ray predicted that continuing agitation would require further Army action, and he reminded Under Secretary Royall that cemeteries under the jurisdiction of the Navy, Veterans Administration, and Department of the Interior had been integrated with considerable publicity. He urged adoption of the Quartermaster General's recommendation.57 That was enough for Secretary Patterson.

On 15 April [1947] he directed that the new sections of national cemeteries be integrated.[8-58]

It was a hollow victory for the reformers because the traditionalists were able to cling to the secretary's proviso that old sections of the cemeteries be left alone, and the Army continued to gather its dead in segregation and in bitter criticism. Five months after the secretary's directive, the American Legion protested to the Secretary of War over segregation at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minnesota, and in August 1950 the Governor's Interracial Commission of the State of Minnesota carried the matter to the President, calling the policy "a flagrant disregard of human dignity."[8-59]

The Army continued to justify segregation as a temporary and limited measure involving the old sections, but a decade after the directive[3/19/56] the commander of the Atlanta Depot was still referring to segregation in some cemeteries.[8-60]

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Private First Class Clarence Whitmore, voice radio operator, 24th Infantry Regiment, reads the latest news while enjoying chow during lull in battle, near Sangju, Korea. 08/09/1950 United States Information Agency.

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South then North

 

Bio

Brig. Gen. Edward A. Craig, commanding the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, relinquished command of all troops on the Chindong-ni front.

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Lt. Col. John T. Corley, the much-decorated United States Army battalion commander of World War II, had assumed command of the battalion just three days before, on 9 August.

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   Bio

Serious trouble for General Walker developed in the east during the threatened enemy breakthrough in the Naktong Bulge. North Korean attacks in the Kigye and P'ohang-dong area became critical as the ROK divisions there suddenly gave way and threatened to collapse. The blow came with a suddenness that contained the element of surprise. Eighth Army, low in reserves, was ill-prepared to meet an enemy breakthrough in the east, with its main forces already fully and even desperately engaged elsewhere.

Through July and into the first week of August, there were repeated rumors and reports of strong guerrilla groups in the mountains ten or fifteen miles northwest of P'ohang-dong. These reports in time were treated as casually as the repeated cry of "Wolf!" by the boy in Aesop's fable.

The KYŏngju Corridor to Pusan

Throughout the Pusan Perimeter fighting, the terrain in the P'ohang-dong area exercised a dominant influence on the action there and on General Walker's tactical plans for the defense of that part of the Perimeter. A natural corridor here led straight to Pusan. (See Map IV.)

From Taegu a lateral highway and railroad ran east to P'ohang-dong, 50 air miles away. This lateral corridor is the first valley route to the east coast of Korea south of the Sŏul - Ch'ŏrwŏn - P'yŏnggang-Wŏnsan corridor, 225 miles to the north. Situated on this route about midway between Taegu and P'ohang-dong is Yŏngch'ŏn. There, the only important north-south road between Taegu and the east coast comes down from Andong and Uisŏng through the mountains to meet the lateral valley road. East of this road for a distance of 40 air miles to the coast, lies a rugged mountain area entirely devoid of improved roads.

Twelve miles west of P'ohang-dong in the lateral Taegu corridor is the town of An'gang-ni, and 6 miles north of it is the smaller town of Kigye. The latter is situated at a point where several trails and a poor road debouch southward from the mountains into a north-south valley that enters the Taegu - P'ohang-dong lateral corridor at An'gang-ni. This north-south valley continues on south past An'gang-ni to Pusan, 60 air miles away. KYŏngju, an important rail and highway center in the Taegu - P'ohang-dong - Pusan  triangle, lies 12 miles south of An'gang-ni in this corridor. These terrain facts explain why the towns of Kigye, An'gang-ni, and KYŏngju assumed importance in the eastern battles.

At P'ohang-dong the coastal road (41) from the north swings inland along the HYŏngsan-ni,-gang to a point less than 2 miles from An'gang-ni where it bends south and enters the KYŏngju corridor to continue on to Pusan. Militarily, P'ohang-dong itself was of slight importance, although its port permitted a partial supply by water of the ROK and the small U.S. forces on the east coast. Rather, it was the eastern half of the Pusan Perimeter communications net, the Taegu - Yŏngch'ŏn - An'gang-ni - KYŏngju-Pusan route-almost a sea-level valley route the entire distance-that was of critical importance. If it should be cut by the enemy for any appreciable period of time the Taegu position would become untenable.

The eastern part of the Perimeter was not as strongly held as other parts of the line. General Walker did not have the troops and supporting heavy weapons to hold the front strongly everywhere. At some points he had to take risks. Seeing that the mountains to the north in the P'ohang-dong area were almost a trackless waste, he thought it unlikely that the North Koreans could move forward heavy equipment and supplies in sufficient quantity to exploit a penetration there, should one be made, for a continuing drive on Pusan. [18-1]

Contrasting with the rugged terrain and the lack of a good communications system in the enemy's field of operations in the east, General Walker had the interior valley rail and highway net over which he could rush reinforcements to the area. He considered as another source of U.N. strength the proximity of the Yŏnil Airfield six miles south of P'ohang-dong, and within two to five minutes' flying time of the critical areas, should the North Koreans reach the lateral corridor.

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The North Koreans Reach P`ohang-dong

  

On this eastern flank of the Pusan Perimeter, three North Korean divisions and an independent regiment pressed against the ROK defenders in August 1950.

The 8th Division drove down the Uisŏng road toward Yŏngch'ŏn, the 12th Division plunged into the mountains southeast of Andong and headed for P'ohang-dong, the 766th Independent Regiment left the coastal road at Yŏngdök and swung southwest into the mountains toward Kigye and An'gang-ni, and the 5th Division drove down the coastal road from Yŏngdök, with some of its infantry units infiltrating through the mountains around the ROK 3rd Division. [18-2]

  

The first of these divisions, the N.K. 8th Division, failed to penetrate to the Taegu-P'ohang lateral corridor. Near Uisŏng on Wednesday 9 August (week 7), the ROK 8th Division caught part of its forces by surprise and almost annihilated one battalion of the 3rd Regiment, causing 700 casualties. The division's 2nd Regiment then entered the battle and itself suffered heavy losses, though it won back the ground previously lost to the ROK's.

In this fighting along the Uisŏng -Yŏngch'ŏn road, ROK troops achieved some success against enemy armor. ROK infantry defended an antitank mine field covering both sides of the road in a narrow valley near a bridge. Two enemy tanks approaching the bridge struck mines. Three more enemy tanks and a self-propelled 76-mm. gun approached. Before they could turn around on the blocked road a flight of F-51 fighter planes came over firing rockets and dropping napalm on the six armored vehicles. All were destroyed. This affair provides a good example of multiple reporting. The Far East Air Forces claimed six kills; not to be outdone, the ROK engineers claimed the same number. [18-3]

The enemy 8th Division was so badly hurt in this fighting that it was unable for a week to continue the drive on Yŏngch'ŏn, and then it advanced only a few miles south of Uisŏng before in the face of continuing strong ROK opposition it halted to await reinforcements. [18-4]

Next in line eastward, the N.K. 12th Division, now bearing the honorary name, "The Andong Division," crossed the upper Naktong at Andong and plunged into the mountains in an effort to carry out its orders to capture P'ohang-dong. Its fighting strength was only a fraction of what it had once been. At this time the 2nd Battalion of the Artillery Regiment sent all its artillery pieces back to Tanyang on the upper Han River because of failure to obtain ammunition for them. [18-5]

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The ROK Capital Division was supposed to establish contact with the ROK 3rd Division across this mountainous region. Reports were rife that enemy groups, the largest estimated at 2,000 men, were in the mountains inland from the coast. On 9 August, Eighth Army headquarters received a report that regular North Korean Army troops were in the "guerrilla area" northwest of P'ohang-dong, threatening the coastal road and the Yŏnil Airfield.

On that day the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the ROK 25th Regiment, a new unit just arrived from Taegu, attacked north from Kigye with orders to effect a juncture with the [ROK] 3rd Division south of Yŏngdök. Two and a half miles north of Kigye, an enemy counterattack hurled the regiment back to a point two miles southeast of the town. It was now clear that, although the ROK 3rd Division held the coastal road from a point twenty miles above P'ohang-dong, there were no defenses inland in the mountains and enemy units were operating in this area. [18-6] (Map 11 )

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The ROK 1st Division the next day reported it had regained the high ground at the crossing sites. The enemy force, however, had not been destroyed or driven back across the river. It had simply moved on eastward deeper into the mountains.

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Koread-War

 

The interdiction campaign marked nine rail yards, including those at Seoul  [Sŏul, South Korea], P'yŏngyang, and Wŏnsan, for attack, and the ports of Inch'ŏn and Wŏnsan to be mined. This interdiction program, if effectively executed, would slow and perhaps critically disrupt the movement of enemy supplies along the main routes south to the battlefront. [4]

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

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

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Def

The daily rail and water Red Ball Express from Yokohama to Sasebo to Pusan, beginning on 23 July, operated with increased efficiency in August and demonstrated that it could deliver promptly to Korea any supplies available in Japan. On 5 August, for instance, it delivered 308 measurement tons; on 9 August, 403 tons;

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The forgotten war

 

Bio      Unit Info

By August 9 Eddie Craig had got most of the mess on the "south road" cleared up, and Task Force Kean resumed operations with Ordway back in independent command of the 5th RCT. As originally planned, the Marines took the lightly defended coastal road southwest to Kosŏng and Sach'ŏn, and they made sensational advances. As also originally planned, Ordway took the road northwest to Much'on, to link with Fisher's 35th Regiment, but in contrast with the Marines, Ordways operations ended in an epic disaster.

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During the action in the southwest sector of the Pusan Perimeter in the first two weeks of August the NKPA continued pressure on the Taegu front. However, the NKPA having split off four of its crack divisions (2nd; 4th; 6th; 9th [sb 3rd) to fight in the southwest sector, its strength at Taegu was greatly diminished.

Initially, only four NKPA divisions (1st; 3rd; 13th; 15th) remained to mount the attack on the main axis from the northwest. Three of these divisions (1st; 3rd; 15th) had been severely mauled in earlier fighting and probably were at no more than half strength (about 5,000 men). The 13th, activated in June 1950, was not well trained or battle-experienced. A fifth division (10th) was added to the Taegu front in early August. However, it, too, was green and had no combat experience, and furthermore, the Army historian wrote, it was saddled with "inept" commanders.[8-1]

Beyond that, the NKPA plan to take Taegu was not well conceived. Rather than concentrate the five divisions (about 35,000 men) for a massed attack along a single line of advance from the northwest, the NKPA spread them fanwise, across a forty mile arc of the perimeter, to conduct, in effect, five separate attacks down several roads. None of the individual attacks had sufficient force behind it to exploit a breakthrough.

* * *

Walker had three divisions (about 35,000 men) defending the northwest sector: the 1st Cav and the ROK 1st and 6th divisions. The 1st Cav, dug in behind the Naktong River directly west of Taegu, held a sector which stretched along the meandering Naktong, south to north, from Yongp'o to Waegwan. The ROK 1st Division held a sector from Waegwan north along the Naktong to the town of Naktong. The ROK 6th Division continued the line eastward.[8-2]

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In the 1st Cav sector there were two key sectors to defend: Waegwan, on the main Taejŏn–Taegu highway, where a secondary road from the southwest intersected, and, farther south, Yongp'o, where a road from Koryong crossed the Naktong and continued in a northeasterly direction to Taegu. Hap Gay placed the two-battalion 5th Cavalry at Waegwan, and the 2/7 at Yongp'o, which was not then under enemy attack. The two-battalion 8th Cavalry filled the gap between the 5th Cav and the 2/7. The 1/7 served as division reserve.

  

The 1st Cav was still a skittish division with poor and aged leadership at the regimental level. Hap Gay took one step to remedy that weakness: He sacked the 5th Cav's Carl Rohsenberger. Gay's ADC, Charlie Palmer, remembered: "Carl was willing and brave, but just too old and too deaf."[8-3]

To replace Rohsenberger, Gay and Palmer selected West Pointer (1925) Marcel Gustave Crombez, forty-nine. Born in Belgium, Crombez had enlisted in the Army as a private in 1919. Two years later he gained an appointment to West Point, where he had overlapped three years with Charlie Palmer. During World War II Crombez had missed out on the choice combat assignments, serving Stateside as a troop trainer and inspector for the Army Ground Forces. At the tail end of the war (1945) he finally got assigned to a combat command (108th Regiment, 40th Division) in the Pacific, but he saw no noteworthy action and received no awards. Temporarily promoted to colonel, he reverted to lieutenant colonel after the war. He commanded the 17th and 32nd Infantry Regiments of the 7th Division in Korea during the Occupation, following which, in 1949, he got his eagles back.

Although at forty-nine Crombez was also "old" for regimental command, his benefactor, Charlie Palmer, believed him to be a "hell of a good field soldier" who could put backbone in the lackluster 5th Cav. Another senior 1st Cav commander shared that view. He remembered that Crombez was "an aggressive commander and he was respected." But not everyone in the 1st Cav Division agreed. Many viewed Crombez as an inept troop leader who was utterly insensitive to his losses and to the welfare of his men, an egotist and self-promoter who was in Korea principally to "get his ticket punched" as a combat regimental commander to better qualify himself for promotion to general. One West Pointer with the 5th Cav said: "Brave, yes. Professional, no." Another West Pointer said: "He was a son-of-a-bitch."[8-4]

The Taegu sector was substantially strengthened by the arrival on or about August 7 of three American heavy tank battalions, which Matt Ridgway had sent directly from the States. These were the 6th (equipped with new Pattons),commanded by West Pointer (1935) John S. ("Red") Growdon; the 70th (Pershings, Shermans), commanded by William M. ("Bill") Rodgers; and the 73rd (Pershings), commanded by Calvin S. Hannum.

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70 Arm Rgt DUI.png

The commander of the 70th Tank Battalion, Bill Rodgers, forty-two, who had commanded a tank battalion in combat in the Southwest Pacific Theater, remembered how his outfit was slapped together and shipped to Korea:

At the Armored School at Fort Knox they called me in on Monday morning and said I had been named commander of the Seventieth and must leave with it for an unspecified overseas assignment on Friday morning. Five days! It was nothing more than a paper outfit, consisting of about two hundred men who were serving as demonstration troops for the school. We did not have a single item of equipment, . no nothing!

The most urgent matter was to find tanks for our three tank companies. At that time they had placed a lot of [8-World War II M26] Pershings up on concrete pedestals around Knox, to serve as monuments. We took these Pershings we called them "monument tanks" off the pedestals and used them to equip one company. We drew Shermans from the Rock Island Arsenal for the other two companies. Meanwhile, they were sending me tankers from all over; nobody knew anybody else. But we left by train on Friday morning as ordered. About one week later we sailed from California on a ship with two other tank battalions [8-the 6th and 73rd], whose men had the same kind of hectic stories to tell. We landed at Pusan and went straight into combat, a complete bunch of strangers with no training, employing the [8-fortyfour] Shermans and the [8-twentytwo] Pershing "monument tanks," which had a good 90mm gun, but many defects, to say the least, and were lacking some essential parts, such as machine guns.

Notwithstanding the slapdash manner in which these three tank battalions were assembled, the use of the flawed "monument" Pershings, and the lack of unit training, the tankers and their 200 odd tanks were a very welcome sight and greatly lifted spirits in the UN Forces at Taegu.

Bill Rodgers's 70th Battalion was assigned to the 1st Cav immediately and would remain attached to the division.

Red Growdon's 6th and Calvin Hannum's 73rd battalions were placed in Army reserve near Taegu. Later, the 6th was attached to the 24th Division, but Hannum's 73rd was withdrawn from the Pusan Perimeter and attached to the 7th Division for Inch'ŏn.[8-7]

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The NKPA drive on Taegu began in the 1st Cav sector on August 9, merely a day or so after Crombez assumed command of the 5th Cav. The full but weak NKPA 3rd Division crossed the Naktong in darkness south of Waegwan and struck hard in the sector held by the 1/5.

That battalion finally had a permanent commander, Morgan B. Heasley, another recent arrival in Korea. Heasley had commanded a battalion in combat at the end of World War II, but he apparently had little stomach for another war. "Johnnie Walker was at the airport when Heasley arrived," West Pointer (1948) Harry A. Buckley, in the 1/5 A Company, remembered. "He said to Heasley: 'I'm sending you up to the river to die.' That welcome did not go over too well with Heasley.

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Heasley, however, had a flaw: a serious weakness for the bottle. "When he was sober he was good," the battalion S3, James Gibson, remembered, "but he had a terrible drinking problem. He was drunk half the time he was in Korea. Crombez was aware of this weakness, yet curiously, he kept Heasley on the job. "Why he did was a big mystery no one ever solved, Gibson remembered. Buckley and others in the 1/5 would recall that Heasley, in fact, was merely a convenient figurehead; that the able Gibson tactically commanded the battalion in all but title.[8-10]

When the NKPA 3rd Division hit the 1/5 it met a hot reception. Alerted in advance by intelligence, the 1/5 was waiting. It responded by lighting the night with brilliant flares and, by that light, delivered a hurricane of fire from well-emplaced large and small weapons. This heavy, concentrated fire, the Army historian wrote, "decimated" two of the three regiments of the NKPA 3rd Division.

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US Air Force

 

 

General Orders 46 issued:

Organization of United States Fifth Air Force in Korea.

(1) As directed by the Commander-in-Chief, Far East and confirming the VOCG [verbal orders of the commanding general] of 24 July 1950, the Fifth Air Force in Korea is established as of 24 July 1950 as a major command of the Far East Air Forces with Headquarters at APO 970 in addition to Fifth Air Force in Japan.

(2) Announcement is made of the appointment as of 24 July 1950 of Major General EARLE E. PARTRIDGE, 33A, USAF, as Commanding General, Fifth Air Force in Korea in addition to his duties and responsibilities as Commanding General, Fifth Air Force in Japan.

(3) As directed by the Commander-in-Chief, Far East all foreign air units (except foreign naval air units) which are stationed in Japan or Korea will be placed under the control of the Commanding General, Fifth Air Force.

 (4) The Commanding General, Fifth Air Force in Korea will maintain his headquarters in close proximity to Eighth Army headquarters in Korea.

 

 


General Whitney called; said he took up with CINCFE question of permit- ting General Frank E. Lowe (who is an advisor to the President) to fly to Korea on a FEAF Bomber Command mission. General Whitney says CINCFE says it is OK and decision rests with General Lowe as to whether he wants to go.


Bob Considine [182-Considine was a noted newspaperman, author and movie screenwriter. Among his books were 30 Seconds Over Tokyo and The Babe Ruth Story.] (cleared into this theater as representing INS [International News Service]) with Col. Nuckols called at 1430. The following is gist of my remarks:

The F-80 versus the F-51: Pilots do not want to change; quick switch from defensive Japanese mission to Korean offensive mission;

F-80 has operated every day since 27 June; destruction in air - 16 kills versus one loss. F-80 flew 28 sorties per assigned aircraft;

F-51s flew 26;

 F-80 from Japan longer than F-51 from Korea;

F-80 attrition rate one per 200 sorties;

F-51 nearly 2 (1.8) per 200 sorties.

F-80 has driven enemy from the sky; hence ground forces freedom of action. F-51 can be used for ground support only because of above. F-80 has performed all tactical reconnaissance. F-80 can take battle damage and come home. F-80 is superb as a gun and rocket platform; no torque like F-51. F-80 defends itself against obsolescent aircraft and jet; F-51 cannot. F-80 can escort bombers 600 nautical miles. F-80 can protect Army's rear bases against high altitude bombers. F-80 can do more things and better than F-51.


Bomber Command: Interdiction north of 38th Parallel; mass destruction of targets in North Korea.

Special Orders No. 131 issued naming Brigadier General Delmar T. Spivey as Vice Commander, Fifth Air Force, Rear, as of 6 August 50.

Operations analysts reports in on BOMCOM operations of 7 Aug over P'yŏngyang marshaling yard and arsenal; almost complete destruction of entire arsenal installation; damage so complete on marshaling yard tabulation impossible to make re the damage. Stated to press that "this is the second military target that we can scratch from our current list. The first was the industrial complex at Konan."

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elastic bridge

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

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Def   Def

In the years of reduced military budgets prior to 1950, the USAF Tactical Air Command had become an operational headquarters under the USAF Continental Air Command in December 1948. Even though it realized that tactical air units required global mobility, the Continental Air Command had had no funds to stand the costs of such a program.

Alerted at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, on 5 July, the 162nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (Night Photography) was hurriedly filled to near peacetime strength (a part of the fillers were jet mechanics with little experience on the squadron's conventional RB-26's). Its ground echelon, traveling by water, reached Itazuke on 19 August.

 Mean-while, the aircrews had moved to Ogden, Utah, for depot installation of a new-type flash cartridge illumination system on their RB-26's. Then the flash equipment was pronounced too heavy for the old B-26's on the long, over-water flight to Japan, and it was removed to be crated for air shipment. But someone diverted the flash equipment to water shipment, so that it was not until 26 August, fifty-three days after the alert at Langley, that the 162nd Squadron was finally ready and equipped for its first mission over Korea. traveling with the air echelon of the 162nd Squadron, the 1st Sharon Beacon Unit arrived at Johnson Air Base on 9 August. Conveyed by air and water, the 363rd Reconnaissance Technical Squadron assembled both of its echelons at Itazuke Air Base on 18 August.#129

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Bio  

Under the circumstance of a friendly air superiority, which was virtually an air supremacy, General O'Donnell was able to notify the Fifth Air Force early in August that his strategic bombers would not require fighter escort for their missions into North Korea."#111

Without fear of enemy air attack, Navy aircraft carriers-even the small escort carriers-would be able to stand close off the shores of Korea and launch their air attacks. Outnumbered Eighth Army ground troops were completely free to move and maneuver by day, while an extraordinarily large close air-support effort kept the enemy pinned down and forced the Communists to move and attack only at night. Lacking the challenge of a first-rate opposing air force, the United Nations air forces would for some time be able to employ successfully their obsolete propeller-driven aircraft in Korea. In any war with a major air power, the aerial supremacy so readily attained in Korea would probably be dearly purchased in terms of pilots, planes, and air effort.

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Bio  

But the Navy did not find this employment profitable, and, after a particularly vexatious day on 9 August, when many flights of carrier planes were unable to contact either "Mellow" or the Mosquitoes, Admiral Struble messaged Admiral Joy that the maximum effort of the fleet was not being used in South Korea.#31

Pusan Perimeter 123

Koread-War    Koread-War

Acting without coordination with FEAF, NavFE secured permission from the GHQ staff to transfer its operations into North Korea, where naval pilots soon found "a multiplicity of extremely lucrative and profitable targets well suited to carrier-aircraft strikes." #32

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

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

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US Marine Corps

 

The 1st Battalion mounted a successful assault to capture Hill 308 on 9 August. The 2nd Battalion then launched a night attack to secure Paedun-ni. This unrelenting pressure was too much for the NKPA.

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On the following day, 9 August, the Division issued Operation Order No. 1–50, which provided for the movement of the Division (less the Brigade and one RCT) to the Far East to report upon arrival to CinCFE for operational control. Embarkation was to be carried out in accordance with Embarkation Plan No. 1–50 of 6 August.

[Less the 5th Marines and 7th Marines]

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By this date, 17,162 Marines in Camp Pendleton were eligible for reassignment to the 1st Marine Division. There was no time, of course, for much training.

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Bio


Task Force Kean

Enemy resistance was so shattered by the 9th that the Red Korean machine of invasion went into reverse for the first time.

From the 9th to the 13th, when they were relieved, parallel columns of Army and Marine assault troops drove from Chindong-ni nearly to Chinju, a distance of about 40 miles by the seacoast route. It was only a local setback for the enemy, to be sure, but it had a heartening effect for tired UN forces which had known only delaying actions so far.

This makes not a lot of since compared with this:

The Forgotten War: As also originally planned, Ordway took the road northwest to Much'on, to link with Fisher's 35th Regiment, but in contrast with the Marines, Ordways operations ended in an epic disaster.

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US Navy

 

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.

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Korean_War

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

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   Bio

Admiral Struble’s plan to hit targets in Area E was now perforce abandoned. The 9th of August again found the carriers west of Mokp'o, flying strikes against the Inch'ŏn-Sŏul area. There, for the first time, antiaircraft fire of moderate intensity was encountered; there, at Air Force request, the three-span bridge over the Han at Sŏul was attacked and hit with 1,000-pound bombs.

      USN_Units

West of Taegu a four-plane flight, sent in to the perimeter from USS Valley Forge (CV-45), discovered adequate control and destroyed a tank. At sea the larger sphere of relations between east and west was illustrated when a screening destroyer recovered five friendly floating Koreans, one of whom claimed U.S. citizenship.

[note]

 

   Bio  

On the next day Admiral Ewen listed as major deficiencies the absence of reliable communications, both between the carriers and JOC and at the scene of action, and the oversaturation of aircraft at the objective. Stating that less than 30 percent of the fleet’s potential was being used in close support, he suggested that Admiral Struble tell ComNavFE "the whole story," and urged the assignment to the air control function of aircraft with adequate endurance and reliable radio gear, and the employment of the USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) air support party to improve communications in the perimeter.

[note]

 

 

Korean_War

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

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

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

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

Korean_War

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

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

[note]

 

 

 

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In a subsequently issued re-designation [FEAF G.O. #46 9 Aug] which was made retroactive on 24 July, General Stratemeyer established the Fifth Air Force in Korea, and recognized it as a major command of the Far East Air Forces.#120

[note]

 

August August

As soon as housing and communications were provided in the missionary school compound which would shelter it in Taegu City, Fifth Air Force (Advance) began to move to the forward location, and at 0001 hours on 24 July Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Fifth Air Force (Advance), became operational in Taegu City.#119

August

In a subsequently issued re-designation [FEAF G.O. #46 9 Aug] which was made retroactive on 24 July, General Stratemeyer established the Fifth Air Force in Korea, and recognized it as a major command of the Far East Air Forces.#120

Several Fifth Air Force staff offices had begun to function in Taegu well before 24 July. Sometime after 12 July, when he realized that Taejŏn would be lost, Lt. Col. John R. Murphy began to move the heavier equipment and a part of the personnel of the Air Force combat operations section back to Taegu.

August

When he established EUSAK in Taegu, General Walker named officers to serve as G-2 and G-3 Air representatives in an air-ground operations section of a joint operations center, and thus, effective on 14 July, the Fifth Air Force-Eighth Army joint operations center began to function.#121

[note]

 

Bio1st Battalion 5th Marines

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. This was accomplished shortly after midnight, and the column of Marines was left alone in the night on unfamiliar ground reported to be crawling with enemy.[27]

The promised guides reported for duty at this time. They turned out to be two South Korean civilians. Without further ado, the advance on Sach'ŏn was launched when a long single file of skeptical Marines fell in behind two unknown natives whose loyalty had to be accepted on faith. Following the 1,200-yard trail in the darkness was time-consuming as well as nerve-chilling. A misstep on the narrow, slippery dike usually meant a spill into the muck and filth of the paddy for some hapless infantryman. Not only would he delay all those behind, but he would not be as fragrant as a rose in the nostrils of his comrades when he regained the dike. Finally the head of the file reached the base of Hill 308, having encountered not a single enemy on the way. As more and more men threaded their way in from the paddy, tactical integrity was slowly regained.

[note]

 

 

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The 7th Regiment of the 3rd Division started crossing the Naktong about 0300 9 August at a ferry site near the village of Noch'on, two miles south of the Waegwan bridge. The river at this point had a firm sandy bottom and a depth of five feet. The troops waded across holding their weapons above the water. Discovering the crossing, elements of the 5th Cavalry Regiment directed automatic weapons fire against the enemy force and called in pre-registered artillery fire on the crossing site. Although the enemy regiment suffered some casualties, the bulk of it reached the east bank safely and moved inland into the hills. [19-15] One of the soldiers wrote in his diary of the crossing:

Gradually advanced toward the river. Enemy shelling is fierce. Arrived at the shores of the river. The terrible enemy has sent up flares. The Naktong River is flowing quietly and evenly. Entered the river. After advancing 200 meters, shooting began with the firing of an enemy flare. The noise is ringing in my ears. Have already crossed the river. Occupied a hill. A new day is already breaking. [19-16]

Half an hour after the 7th Regiment had crossed, the 8th and 9th Regiments started crossing the river south of it. By this time, the 5th Cavalry Regiment and all its supporting mortars and artillery were fully alerted. Flares and star shells brightly illuminated these two North Korean regiments in midstream. American fire from all supporting weapons, with the artillery playing the dominant role, decimated the enemy troops and turned them back to the west side. Only a small number reached the east side. There, either they were captured or they hid until the next night when they re-crossed the river. [19-17]

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The night of 8–9 August was relatively quiet on 342. Obviously weakened by casualties, the enemy gave the Marine positions a wide berth. NKPA harassing fires consisted of periodic bursts from long-range machineguns and antitank guns.[42]

[note]

 

note

19500809 0500 17sn

Cloverleaf Hill and Obong-ni Ridge. [17-31]

  

Colonel Hill's 9th Infantry attacked straight west late in the afternoon of 8 August against Cloverleaf and Obong-ni. On the right, the 2d Battalion 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. But that night the North Koreans regained the ridge. This situation changed little the next day. [17-
32]

[note]

 

Just after daylight, at 0500 on 9 August, a great explosion rocked the area of the bridge. The commanding officer of the ROK 22nd Regiment had ordered the bridge blown withut securing approval from Major Britton. About 350 ROK soldiers of the regiment were still north of the Osip-ch'ŏn when the bridge dropped. Many of these soldiers drowned in trying to cross the deep estuary flowing into the Japan Sea. The ROK division chief of staff demanded that the regimental commander be relieved or he would court martial him and place him before a firing squad. The Korean Army relieved the regimental commander at once.

The blowing of the Kanggu-dong bridge compelled the withdrawal southward of the ROK command post to Changsa-dong on the afternoon of 9 August to escape enemy artillery fire.

[note]

 

0541 Sunrise

[note]

 

  

Commitment of the fresh 9th Infantry did not appreciably help the American situation.

On the night of August 8-9, Captain 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]

 

Bio1st Battalion 5th Marines

Finally the head of the file reached the base of Hill 308, having encountered not a single enemy on the way. As more and more men threaded their way in from the paddy, tactical integrity was slowly
regained. Dawn of 9 August was already breaking when the rear of the column completed the crossing.[28]

Daybreak brought a radio message from Murray, directing 1/5 to continue the attack to the southwest immediately and seize Hill 308. With Tobin’s company leading, the battalion ascended the northern slopes in a long column. The climb took the Marines more than 1,000 feet upward and 2,000 yards to the south. Before the summit was reached, the relentless sun and terrain had taken its toll of Newton’s infantrymen.

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Triangulation Hill (Hill 268)

At daylight, 9 August, General Gay at 1st Cavalry Division headquarters in Taegu learned of the enemy crossing in his division sector south of Waegwan. As first reports were vague, he decided to withhold action until he learned more about the situation. A report informed him that 1st Lt. Harry A. Buckley, Acting S-2, 5th Cavalry Regiment, had personal knowledge of the enemy crossing. General Gay sent for the lieutenant and, while awaiting his arrival, placed the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, in reserve on one-hour alert.

Upon reporting to General Gay at the division headquarters, Lieutenant Buckley stated:

Just prior to daylight this morning, I, with a small group of men from the I&R Platoon, was on reconnaissance. Approximately 45 minutes prior to daylight, I observed enemy forces moving up the ridge line just northwest of Hill 268. The enemy were moving at a dog trot in groups of four. Every fourth man carried an automatic weapon, either a light machine gun or a burp gun. I watched them until they had all disappeared into the brush on Hill 268. In my opinion, and I counted them carefully, the enemy was in strength of a reinforced battalion, approximately 750 men. General, I am not a very excitable person and I know what I saw, when I saw it, where I was when I saw it, and where the enemy was going. [19-18]

Bio

A few minutes later, General Walker arrived at the division headquarters. He asked General Gay what his plans were. The latter replied that at least an enemy battalion had crossed the Naktong and was on Hill 268, that another enemy regiment was at that moment trying to cross the river under heavy fire from the 5th Cavalry Regiment, and that as soon as he was sure of his ground he was going to attack the enemy on Hill 268 and drive them back across the river. Walker commented, "Fine, be sure you are right before you move because this enemy battalion might be a feint and the real attack could well be coming farther to the left. [19-19] Events were later to prove this possibility correct.

[note]

 

   Bio  

During that night (August 8 - 9) the NKPA exploited the penetration in Perez's 3/34 sector on the left (or south). But John Church, fixated on his center, continued to dismiss this growing threat. At dawn on August 9 he ordered John Hill's 9th Infantry to resume its attack toward the Naktong. Londahl's 1/9 and Harrison's 2/9 responded, but again the attack did not go well. Both battalions ran straight into a strong NKPA counterattack. Casualties in the 2/9 were heavy. The commander, Fred Harrison, lost a leg; his exec, Joseph A. Walker, assumed command of the battalion.[7-66]

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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.

The rest of the company and the L Company  men with it finally reached the 1st Battalion lines east of Obong-ni well after daylight, 9 August. [17-33]

Farther south near the river that morning, K Company received enemy attacks, one enemy group overrunning the company's forward observation post. Even though the enemy was behind it, the company received orders to hold.

[note]

 

By daybreak only about 1,000 NKPA troops remained in the hills east of the river, and owing to the heavy American fire, they were virtually stranded.[8-11]

  

To clean out the NKPA survivors and reinforce the area against another attack Hap Gay called on his reserve, the 1/7. This battalion was commanded by a forty-one-year-old West Pointer (1933), Peter Demosthenes Clainos, who was born in Greece and reared in New Hampshire. At West Point he had been a featherweight (129 pounds) boxing champ. He was still a featherweight and an intense, chain-smoking, combat-experienced fighter. During World War II he had trained a Greek battalion which wound up (minus Clainos) fighting in the Mediterranean Theater with British commandos. Clainos went on to command a battalion in the Pacific where he was wounded and won a Silver Star for heroism.

 He remembered: "When Korea started, Eighth Army took about forty percent of my men to fill out the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth divisions. I landed in Korea at sixty-seven percent of my authorized strength. We were first assigned to backstop the ROKs at P'ohang with heavy weapons not troops. We gave the ROKs fire support and watched the fighting all around us from a hilltop for four days, rotating companies, to get the smell of gunpowder. This gradual initiation into combat proved to be invaluable training for the men; it built confidence.

"We were Hap Gay's favorite battalion. We became the so-called Palace Guard at Taegu. The press called us Clainos's Clouters or Clainoss Cavaliers. We were greatly reinforced with manpower, artillery, and tanks to make a battalion combat team. Whereas the normal battalion had eight hundred-plus men, I had fifteen hundred. It was a very powerful, self-contained force designed to clean out the enemy when he concentrated in force and broke through our thin lines.[8-12]

[note]

 

Bio

Over the next two days Clainos and his Clouters mounted a powerful and devastating counterattack in the 1/5 sector. Of the 1,000 NKPA troops that got across the Naktong, 700 were killed, wounded, or captured. The remaining 300 fled back across the river to find that the once-mighty 3rd Division victors at the Kum River and Taejŏn had been reduced to a disorganized unit of barely 2,500 men. Its abortive attack on the 5th Cav, the Army historian wrote, had been a "catastrophe," and it could pose no further serious threat to Taegu.[8-13]

The next NKPA attack came at Yongp'o, where the 2/7 faced the road from Koryong. The assault was mounted by the ineptly led, green NKPA 10th Division, which had only just arrived at Koryong. Its attack was probably planned to coincide with that of the NKPA 3rd Division, but something went wrong. The 10th Division did not jump off until August 12, three days behind the 3rd, a lapse that gave Hap Gay time to redeploy Clainos's Clouters.

[note]

 

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Bio

From 7 to 9 August, with the battalion displacing forward as the infantry advanced, 89 missions and 1,892 rounds were fired. Targets consisted largely of enemy mortar positions. The terrain offered some knotty problems in firing close support missions, due to steep slopes; but the OY’s of VMO–6 did a good job of spotting.

Fifty ROK policemen were attached to 1/11 at this time to be used as security troops. Wearing bright green uniforms and rubber shoes upon arrival, they became the responsibility of the battalion to feed, equip and train in marksmanship, sanitation and ammunition handling. The rice-eating Koreans turned up their noses at American food for a few days, but soon they could compete with any chow-hounds in the outfit. [32]

Another difficulty was experienced in convincing the newcomers that NKPA prisoners were to be brought in alive. Many personal scores remained to be paid off in war-torn Korea, but eventually the ROK’s learned to control their hatred for the invaders.

As the men of 1/5 were consolidating their hilltop and searching for water to relieve heat prostration cases, Murray radioed Newton to withdraw his unit to the road below and continue the attack to Paedun-ni. The regimental commander was determined to speed up the advance to the south, since intelligence had reported no enemy on the high ground south of Hill 308.[33]

With almost half of Companies A and B stricken by heat sickness, Newton had no choice but to leave them in position on the high ground for the time being. He descended the hill to form a tactical column with Headquarters and Weapons Companies and an attached platoon of tanks.

Reaching the low ground northwest of Hill 308, the battalion commander discovered that his Japanese maps, as usual, bore only a slight resemblance to the actual ground. During the early weeks in Korea, the map situation was a thorn in the side of every tactical commander. Not only were maps of local areas extremely scarce, but the few available were of early Japanese vintage, almost consistently at variance with the terrain. Grid systems were confusing, villages misnamed and misplaced, and roads either not illustrated at all or else plotted inaccurately. Lack of contouring left the conformation and extent of ridges entirely to the imagination of the map reader. These shortcomings were a constant source of concern; for troop leaders often were misled, even to the extent of getting completely lost.

On the ground itself, there is an intersection called Oso-ri some 600 yards south of the Tosan junction. The routes leading both south and west from this crossroads go to Paedun-ni. An unimproved road, the southward passage is more rugged, while the other, being good by Korean standards, follows a smoother course through the town of Taesil-li.

Newton s map showed only the latter improved road, so he formed his column and headed it toward Taesil-li, a thousand yards west of the intersection.[34] Murray’s map showed both roads, but in this case the southern route was erroneously drawn in as the better road. It was thus Murray’s intention that 1/5 use this avenue of approach. And since he had spoken of it as the “improved” road, Newton was misled into choosing the route to Taesil-li.[35]

The quickly formed column of tanks and infantry had gone only a few hundred yards when the point stopped at a stretch of road littered with land mines. A call went out for a demolitions team. From his CP near Chindong-ni, Captain George W. King dispatched his 1st Platoon, Able Company Engineers. Arriving at the scene, the Marine troubleshooters discovered the obstacles to be merely American antitank mines, apparently spilled on the road from an Army vehicle.

About this time, Lieutenant Colonel Murray arrived at Oso-ri and informed 1/5’s commander that he was on the wrong road. Newton reasoned that his unit was following the correct route. After comparing the conflicting maps, the regimental commander studied the terrain and directed Newton to pull his column back and take the road to the south. Then Murray returned to Sangnyong-ni, climbed into an observation plane, and was flown over the route to confirm his decision.[36]

There was no small amount of confusion as the long column of tanks, infantrymen, and engineers pulled back along the narrow road to the intersection. And it was unfortunate for 1/5 that General Craig reached the area while the milling was at its worst. Unaware of what had taken place earlier, the Brigade commander did not refer to the delay and congestion in the most soothing terms.[37]

While the column was being reformed on the southern road, villagers from Taesil-li informed the Marines that a badly wounded American was lying in the hamlet. Craig’s jeep driver sped to the clump of thatched huts and returned with a soldier who was more dead than alive, having been left behind by retreating NKPA forces. The man was rushed to the rear for medical attention, while Craig stayed forward to supervise the attack. [38]

The long file of Marines and tanks began moving southward along the winding road below Hill 308. Newton had notified his company commanders of the change, so that they could meet him by descending the western slope of the high ground.

About a mile south of the confusing intersection, the point of 1/5’s column rounded a sharp curve. It was greeted by a lone North Korean machinegun hidden in a native hut at the center of the bend. While a Marine brigadier watched with professional satisfaction, a team of infantrymen with a rocket launcher closed on the hut and quickly destroyed the enemy position.

[note]

 

  

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]

The systematic reduction of enemy positions on Hill 255 the next morning was a triumph of supporting arms. Marine artillery shells led off at 0825, followed by Marine air which worked the enemy over with the first close-support payload of napalm recorded so far in the Korean conflict. And four minutes before Company H launched its final attack on the hill, airborne TAC reported the objective neutralized.[14]

Fegan’s men scaled the peak against negligible opposition. Two knocked-out machineguns and a few enemy dead were all that remained at the summit.[15]

The plan for eliminating the threat to the MSR called for a Marine advance along Hill 255 to grid line 1350. North of this boundary, the ridge would be cleared by Army troops approaching from Masan.

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Bio   Bio

KATUSA - Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army.

In a related action, General MacArthur ordered General Walker to strengthen each company and battery of American troops under his command by adding a hundred Koreans as rapidly as individual arms and equipment could be procured. The increase was to be made without regard to the present or future strength of the ROK Army. He authorized Walker to raise the ROK Army to any number he deemed practicable or advisable and to requisition equipment when the figure had been determined. [09-39]

[note]

 

 

There was desultory sniping during the morning of the 9th, but Brigade intelligence reported a gradual withdrawal of the enemy northward.[43]

[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]

 

By the morning of August 9 John Church was exhausted and nearly at wits' end. The heretofore ignored NKPA infiltrators closed in on the 24th Division CP at Ch'angnyŏng, forcing it to displace fifteen miles to the rear, to KYungyo. During this chaotic and humiliating displacement, Johnnie Walker flew in unannounced and raised all kinds of hell. Had he had a free hand, Walker probably would have relieved John Church of command. However, MacArthur had sent Church to Korea; he was thus MacArthur's boy" and an untouchable. The upshot was a decision to mount an all-out coordinated division counterattack in the center at 5:00 P.M., employing all surviving forces of Hill's 9th, Moore's 19th, and Beauchamp's 34th Infantry. FEAF close air support and the 11th, 13th, and 15th FABs would "soften up" the NKPA prior to the jump-off.

[note]

 

Bio

At 0930, 9 August, General Gay ordered Lt. Col. Peter D. Clainos, commanding the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, to eliminate the enemy penetration. The battalion moved at once from its bivouac area just outside of Taegu, accompanied by five tanks of A Company, 71st Heavy Tank Battalion. This motorized force proceeded to the foot of Hill 268, also known as triangulation Hill, three miles southeast of Waegwan and ten air miles northwest of Taegu. The 61st Field Artillery Battalion meanwhile heavily shelled the hill. The hill was doubly important because of its proximity to lines of communication. The main Korean north-south highway from time immemorial, and the main double-track Pusan-Sŏul-Harbin, Manchuria, railroad skirted its base. [19-20]

August

[19-Caption] TRIANGULATION HILL, near Waegwan in the 5th Cavalry sector, under fire on 10 August.

 

 

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   Unit Info

Company H sighted soldiers of the 24th Infantry at 1125 as they moved southward to the grid line, and the long ridge was considered secure. It had been no light price, however, that 3/5 paid to open the MSR. Casualties on Hill 255 totaled 16 dead and 36 wounded, and since nearly all had been taken by Company H, Fegan’s outfit was reduced by 25 percent.[16]

[note]

 

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Bio

 

Dawn of 9 August was already breaking when the rear of the column completed the crossing.[28]


Daybreak brought a radio message from Murray, directing 1/5 to continue the attack to the southwest immediately and seize Hill 308. With Tobin’s company leading, the battalion ascended the northern slopes in a long column.

Before the summit was reached, the relentless sun and terrain had taken its toll of Newton’s infantrymen. Fortunately, enemy resistance amounted to mere sniping; and by noon, 9 August, the massive terrain feature belonged to the Brigade.[29]

[note]

 

  

At 0930, 9 August, General Gay ordered Lt. Col. Peter D. Clainos, commanding the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, to eliminate the enemy penetration. The battalion moved at once from its bivouac area
just outside of Taegu, accompanied by five tanks of A Company, 71st Heavy Tank Battalion. This motorized force proceeded to the foot of Hill 268, also known as Triangulation Hill, three miles southeast of Waegwan and ten air miles northwest of Taegu. The 61st Field Artillery Battalion meanwhile heavily shelled the hill. The hill was doubly important because of its proximity to lines of communication. The main Korean north-south highway from time immemorial, and the main double-track Pusan-Seoul- Harbin, Manchuria, railroad skirted its base.

At noon the artillery fired a preparation on Hill 268, and the 1st Battalion then attacked it under orders to continue on southwest to Hill 154. Hill 268 was covered with thick brush about four feet high and some trees eight to ten feet high. The day was very hot. Many 1st Battalion soldiers collapsed from heat exhaustion during the attack, which was not well coordinated with artillery fire. The enemy repulsed the attack. [19-21]

[note]

 

Finally, after three days of fighting, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, and elements of two battalions of the 24th Infantry joined on Hill 255 east of Chindong-ni, shortly after noon on 9 August, and reduced the roadblock. There were 120 counted enemy dead, with total enemy casualties estimated at 600. On the final day of this action, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, which carried the brunt of the attack, had 70 casualties, half of them caused by heat exhaustion. During its two-day part in the fight for this hill, H Company of the marines suffered 16 killed and 36 wounded. [16-19]

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That afternoon Company D was relieved by an Army unit when 2/5 turned over responsibility for the hill to the 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry. The fight had made veterans out of the men Zimmer led down to the road, but the company paid with 8 dead and 28 wounded.[44]

Documents taken from enemy dead disclosed that the defenders of Hill 342 had been opposed by elements of the 13th and 15th Regiments of the N.K. 6th Division. Lieutenant Cahill qualified his report of 150 enemy dead as “conservative,”[45] and 2/5 set the total at 400 after its fight.[46] The actual number of fatalities inflicted by Marine-Army infantry and supporting arms probably lies somewhere between these two estimates.

At any rate, the Red Korean commander had committed at least two rifle companies supported by machineguns, mortars and artillery. The force thrown against Yaban-san could be estimated at 500 to 600 troops, and they had failed in their attempt to cut the MSR.[47]

[note]

 

Bio

For three days the N. K. 6th Division had pinned down Task Force Kean, after the latter had jumped off at Chindong-ni. Finally, on 9 August, the way was clear for it to start the maneuver along the middle and southern prongs of the planned attack toward Chinju.

The 5th Marines on the Coastal Road

On the afternoon of 9 August, the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, took over from the 1st Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, the hill position on the coastal road which the latter had held for three days. The army battalion then moved back to the road fork and turned down the right-hand road. At last it was on the right path, prepared to attack west with the remainder of its regiment. [16-21]

The 5th Marines that afternoon moved rapidly down the coastal road, leapfrogging its [1st and 3rd] battalions in the advance. Corsairs of the 1st Marine Air Wing, flying from the USS Sicily (CVE-118) and USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) in the waters off the coast, patrolled the road and adjoining hills ahead of the troops. This close air support delivered strikes within a matter of minutes after a target appeared. [16-22]

[note]

 

The blowing of the Kanggu-dong bridge compelled the withdrawal southward of the ROK command post to Changsa-dong [about 8 miles south] on the afternoon of 9 August to escape enemy artillery fire.

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Bio1st Battalion 5th Marines

It was late afternoon [8/9/50 1600] as the column resumed its march to the south. Covering several hundred more yards without incident, it reached the top of a 400-foot pass where the road knifed between Hills 308 and Hill 190. There Newton was joined by Companies A and B from Objective One.[39] The 1st Battalion was ordered to hold up and take defensive positions astride the pass.

[note]

 

    

At 1600 on 9 August, the Brigade was relieved of mopping up duties in the Chindong-ni area, leaving 2/5 immediately available to the 5th Marines commander. The 3rd Battalion was delayed overnight by several hours of security duty until Army units could take over.[41]

[note]

1700 Korean Time

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Bio

At 1700 that afternoon Craig’s operational control of all troops in the area came to a close. At the end of the 54-hour period of the Marine general’s overall command, the road junction had been cleared, and both Army and Marine columns were making progress toward the objective.

[note]

 

The attack went off as scheduled, but it, too, utterly failed. Numbed with exhaustion, the survivors of the 19th and 34th regiments were simply incapable of further action. In Moore's 19th Regiment, an Army historian wrote, Tom McGrail's 1/19 ([2/19] about 300 men) "did not even attempt to advance." Robert Rhea's 2/19 ([1/19] about 280 men) made a feeble stab, but casualties from enemy fire and the heat continued to be heavy. Rhea and his S3 were evacuated with heat prostration. The story in Beauchamp's shattered 34th Infantry was similar. Neither Red Ayres in the 1/34 (about 300 men) nor Gines Perez in the 3/34 (about 300 men) was able to mount any sort of offensive action.

The burden of the attack thus fell on the 9th Infantry. Londahl's 1/9 and Walker's 2/9 made a mighty effort but little progress. A platoon commander in the 9th Heavy Weapons Company, William R. Ellis, a veteran of combat in the ETO, remembered that then and later the "9th fought magnificently" in the Naktong Bulge and took grievous losses, especially among the officers. He wrote: "The original group of officers was gallant (far beyond those who followed) and far under ranked as well. Most of the rifle company commanders were [7-only] first lieutenants, which was a disgrace in itself. They were forty-year-old, gray-haired World War II combat veterans and still lieutenants in combat in 1950. I knew all of them and have regretted at times that I did not join them [7-in death] for they by-and-large died unknown and unrewarded for their bravery."

[note]

1800 Korean Time

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Bio

By evening of the 9th the Marines were on the move, with orders to capture Paedun-ni, five miles down the coastal road, before daylight.

[note]


 

1900 Korean Time

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Bio

Thus, the drive toward Sach'ŏn had finally taken shape, and the Brigade was entering its own zone of responsibility. As darkness fell on 9 August, 1/5 was in position 2 miles south of the Tosan line of departure, and General Craig had already set in motion plans for a night attack.

On 9 August the Brigade commander was convinced that the absence of resistance in 1/5’s path indicated unpreparedness on the part of the enemy. To exploit the advantage, he ordered Murray to execute a night attack and capture Paedun-ni before daylight, 10 August.[40]

[note]

 

 

 

1931 Sunset


 

2000 Korean Time

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2100 Korean Time

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Bio

Lieutenant Colonel Roise’s battalion, having been relieved on Hill 342, entrucked at Sangnyong-ni in the evening and reached its assembly area near Hill 308 at 2100.

[note]

 

Def

Commander Seventh Fleet told "the whole story," or at least a good deal of it, on the night of 9-10 August in a message to ComNavFE with information copies to CincFE, EUSAK, FEAF, and Fifth U.S. Air Force . This dispatch pointed out the "urgent and continuing need of air support for our ground forces," described the problems of control of aircraft at the objective, and reported "only partial employment" of aircraft sent in to Taegu.

 Recognizing that the air controllers were operating under great difficulties, and that the Navy ought to assist in any way it could with officer personnel and communications arrangements, Admiral Struble noted that the Seventh Fleet remained prepared to contribute control aircraft as it had previously done, and once again suggested that "possibly" USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7)y air control personnel could help out.

Although no specific mention was made of the problem of inter-force communications, or of Hoskins’ proposed assignment of a qualified and senior liaison officer, there were possibilities here if only they were acted on. But none of the commanders to whom the dispatch was addressed seems to have followed it up, and ComNavFE’s response was not entirely helpful.

Apparently as a result of semantic confusion, Admiral Struble’s report had been interpreted not as "partial employment" in close support, but as indicative of failure to expend ordnance, and the reply observed that this was "not understood" in view of the number of interdiction targets available in the south. Employment of the Mount McKinley Tacron was refused on the ground that it was engaged in training operations, and the other suggestions were passed back to the operating commanders. Commander Seventh Fleet was instructed to furnish airborne controllers as arranged with JOC; the Commanding General Fifth Air Force was invited to state any needs for personnel and communications assistance.

This exchange of generalities seems merely to have strengthened Admiral Struble’s desire to get away from the perimeter and strike northward. For although he at once requested information on interdiction targets from all hands, his revised intentions for the future called for strikes in Area B on the 12th, followed by a move north to attack the region between Sinanju and P'yŏngyang.

[note]

 

2200 Korean Time

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Bio

Lieutenant Colonel Roise’s battalion, having been relieved on Hill 342, entrucked at Sangnyong-ni in the evening and reached its assembly area near Hill 308 at 2100.

Two hours later the unit marched southward on the new MSR to make the night attack on Paedun-ni. Passing through 1/5’s lines at 0115, 10 August, the weary Marines pressed on toward their target against no resistance.

[note]

 


Casualties

Wednesday August 9, 1950 (Day 46)

54 Casualties

As of August 9, 1950

1 15TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
4 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 26TH ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY AW BATTALION (SP)
10 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
2 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 55TH ORDNANCE AMMUNITION COMPANY
1 5TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
8 5TH REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
1 61ST FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 63RD FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
15 7TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
9 9TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
54 19500809 0000 Casualties by unit
Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 65 3255 30 5 3355
Today   54     54
Total 65 3309 30 5 3409

Aircraft Losses Today 000

 

Notes for Wednesday August 9, 1950 (Day 46)

 

 

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