Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 27.7°C 81.86°F at Taegu      

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

 

week 008

Today begins the sixth week of the Korean war. 4,414 American Servicemen will have be killed by the end of this week Saturday August 19, 1950 (Day 56)

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First U.S. counterattack collapses.

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U.S. Air Force mechanics and aircrews take up rifles and defend the P'ohang Airfield on the east coast. U.S. soldiers and tanks rush to bolster the defense, and the airfield is held. Fighter planes are flown out Aug. 13 to prevent them being destroyed in the continuing ground fighting around the field and the city of P'ohang.

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Three days after Harriman's departure [Thurs 8/10/1950 ] SCAP issued a new statement excoriating those who had interpreted his trip to Formosa as a political move. The visit, he said, had been "maliciously represented to the public by those who invariably in the past have propagandized a policy of defeatism and appeasement in the Pacific." Since "defeatism" and "appeasement" were precisely the words Republican critics were using to describe administration courses of action -in Asia, MacArthur appeared to be back in the fray.

 Sebald expressed "deep distress" over this new incident. "These public statements," he wrote, gave "aid and comfort to the enemy by demonstrating divisions in our leadership and weaknesses in our national purpose." During World War II, he later noted, the General had presided over the victorious alliance which had defeated Japan. Now "the alliance itself became the second front in MacArthur's constant skirmishing with the outside world." [52]

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Following Mao's instruction, the NEBDA held a meeting attended by division level officers on 13 August. The meeting, according to the recollection of Du Ping, director of the Political Department of the Thirteenth Army Corps, reached the consensus that the Chinese should "take the initiative, cooperate with the Korean People's Army, march forward without reluctance, and break up the enemy's dream of aggression."[77]

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13 August 1950
Two SB-17s and two SA-16s were used this date for orbit missions. The SB-17s flew 11:25 and the SA-16s flew a total of 14:15. Total time flown on orbit missions this date 25:40.

There were three (3) false alerts this date in the Fukuoka area.

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Endangered by the NKA advance to P'ohang, two squadrons of F-51s in the 35th FIG moved from nearby Yŏnil airfield in South Korea to Tsuiki AB, Japan.

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Endangered by the NKA advance to P'ohang, two squadrons of F-51s in the 35th FIG moved from nearby Yŏnil airfield in South Korea to Tsuiki AB, Japan.

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Citations

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500813 0000 DSC BUDD

19500813 0000 DSC FEAR

19500813 0000 DSC JACKSON

19500813 0000 DSC NONNWEILER

19500813 0000 DSC SWING

 

Silver Star

 

Holder, Harry L. [Pvt SS B19thIR]

Ledbetter, Frank O. [PFC SS B5thMR]

Poffinbarger, Robert L. [Cpl DD MedCo5thIR]

Stuffelbeam, Myron [PFC SS B5thRCT]

Taylor, T.J. [Cpl SS G7thCR]

 

 

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Forgotten Regiments of the Korean War

 

  

By the 13th, it [Lt. Col. John T. Corley, 3/24th] was stalled by terrain and a stubborn enemy. A long, bloody struggle for control of some of those ridges went on from mid-August until the breakout from the perimeter in late September.

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August

 

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South then North

 

Pfc. Letcher V. Gardner (Montgomery, Iowa), Co D, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, fires on a North Korean emplacement along the Naktong River, near Chingu.

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 79th Field Artillery Regiment COA.svg 79th FAR

Lt. Col. Clarence E. Stuart arrived in Korea from the United States on 13 August and assumed command of the 555th Field Artillery Battalion.

West of Bloody Gulch, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, repulsed a North Korean attack at Taejŏng-ni on the morning of 13 August. That afternoon, the battalion entrucked and moved on to the Much'on-ni road fork. There it turned east toward Masan.

[note]

 

 

        

 

Battle at Cloverleaf-Obong-ni

 

During the enemy infiltration around Yŏngsan-ni,, fighting continued at Cloverleaf, Obong-ni, and northward. There, the 9th Regimental Combat Team, the 19th Infantry, and elements of the 34th Infantry succeeded in denying gains to the enemy division, and so tied down its main force that the N.K. 4th Division could not exploit its penetrations southward.

Task Force Hill still had its mission of driving the enemy out of the bulge and back across the Naktong. With the North Korean penetration south and east of Yŏngsan-ni, eliminated on 13 August, Colonel Hill planned an attack the next day with his entire force against the Cloverleaf-Obong-ni positions.

One hundred aircraft were to deliver a strike on these positions. Artillery was to follow the strike with a concentrated barrage. The attacking ground formations were essentially the same, and held the same relative positions, as during their abortive attack three days earlier.

 The enemy division apparently had its 5th Regiment on the north in front of the 19th Infantry, the 16th Regiment on Cloverleaf and Obong-ni, part of the 18th Regiment back of the 16th, and the remainder of it scattered throughout the bulge area, but mostly in the south and east. [17-50]

August

[17-Caption] POINT OF A COMBAT COLUMN moving toward its position near Yŏngsan-ni,.

Page 306 SOUTH TO THE NAKTONG, NORTH TO THE YALU

Task Force Hill was far from strong for this attack. The two battalions of the 9th Infantry were down to approximately two-thirds strength, the 19th Infantry was very low in combat-effective troops, and the three rifle companies of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, had a combined strength of less than that of one full strength rifle company. [17-51]

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   Bio

In the midst of the battle of the bulge a new enemy crossing of the Naktong occurred in the 1st Cavalry Division sector, just above the 24th Division boundary. This enemy force, estimated at two battalions, established itself on Hill 409, a mountain near Hyŏnp'ung.

Because the area concerned was more accessible by roads from the 24th Division sector than from the 1st Cavalry Division sector, General Walker on the evening of 13 August shifted the 24th Division boundary northward to include this enemy penetration.

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Occasionally after 13 August a crippled fighter plane came down at Yŏnil in an emergency landing, and many fighters refueled there as long as the fuel lasted. [18-24]

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(10 thru 13th ? not user when Helena provides support)

 

The ROK 3rd Division Evacuated by Sea

While the battles for P'ohang-dong and the entrance to the Yŏngju corridor were being fought behind it, the ROK 3rd Division-cut off by the N.K. 5th Division above P'ohang-dong since 10 August-was fighting to save itself from destruction. Well aware that it had isolated the ROK division, the N.K. 5th Division now strove to destroy it. Constant enemy attacks compelled the ROK division to reduce the extent of its perimeter. The division command post moved four miles farther south from Changsa-dong to the water's edge at Toksong-ni, where KMAG advisers thought LST's could land.

The principal fire support for the shrinking ROK perimeter came from the cruiser USS Helena (CA-75) and three destroyers offshore, and from the Fifth Air Force. A tactical air control party and artillery observers directed air strikes and naval gunfire at critical points on the perimeter. Two helicopters from the Helena brought medical supplies for the Korean wounded. [18-25]

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On 13 August the ROK's carried 313 of their wounded on board a supply LST at Changsa-dong. Later in the day at Toksong-ni, this LST struck rocks and opened a hole in its hull. All the wounded had to be transferred to another LST over a walkway in a heavy running sea. DUKW's (amphibious trucks) took 86 of the more critically wounded ROK's to a Korean hospital ship which arrived and anchored 500 yards offshore. The LST then sailed for Pusan.

[note]

 

The fighting in the vicinity of P'ohang-dong between North and South Koreans became a dog-eat-dog affair. Both sides lost heavily. The ROK's renewed their attack on 13 August when the 17th Regiment, reverting to control of the Capital Division, drove forward, supported by U.S. artillery and tanks from Task Force Bradley, to the hills north of P'ohang-dong.

[note]

 

  

When Hill 268 was examined carefully on 13 August, the enemy dead, equipment, and documents found there indicated that the 7th Regiment of the N.K. 3rd Division had been largely destroyed. The 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, counted between 300 and 400 enemy dead in the battle area. The battalion itself suffered 14 men killed, and 48 wounded in the 2-day battle. [19-23]

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Among the enemy dead were found the bodies of two colonels. Found, also, were many enemy documents. One of these documents, dated 13 August, said in part:

Kim Il Sung has directed that the war be carried out so that its final victory can be realized by 15 August, fifth anniversary of the liberation of Korea....

Our victory lies before our eyes. Young soldiers! You are fortunate in that you are able to participate in the battle for our final victory. Young soldiers, the capture of Taegu lies in the crossing of the Naktong River ... The eyes of 30,000,000 people are fixed on the Naktong River crossing operation ...

Pledge of all fighting men: We pledge with our life no matter what hardships and sacrifice lies before us, to bear it and put forth our full effort to conclude the crossing of the Naktong River. Young Men! Let us protect our glorious pride by completely annihilating the enemy!! [19-34]

These words may have stirred the young soldiers of the N.K. 10th Division but their promise was not fulfilled. Instead, the Naktong valley and surrounding hills were to hold countless North Korean graves.

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A diarist in this group [Approximately 2,000 unarmed South Koreans conscripted in the Sŏul area joined the division] records that he arrived at Chinju on 13 August

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By the third week of August [13th is Sunday] there were more than 500 U.S. medium tanks within the Pusan Perimeter.

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Koread-War   Koread-War  

From 23 August to 3 September the Far East Command allotted to the 7th Division the entire infantry replacement stream reaching FEC, and from 23 August through 8 September the entire artillery replacement stream.

By 4 September the division had received 390 officers and 5,400 enlisted replacements. General MacArthur obtained service units for the X Corps in the same way-by diverting them from scheduled assignments for Eighth Army. The Far East Command justified this on the ground that, while Eighth Army needed them badly, X Corps' need was imperative. [25-12]

 In response to General MacArthur's instructions to General Walker on 11 and 13 August to send South Koreans to augment the 7th Infantry Division, 8,637 of them arrived in Japan before the division embarked for Inch'ŏn. Their clothing on arrival ranged from business suits to shirts and shorts, or shorts only. The majority wore sandals or cloth shoes. They were civilians-stunned, confused, and exhausted. Only a few could speak English. Approximately 100 of the South Korean recruits were assigned to each rifle company and artillery battery; the buddy system was used for training and control. [25-13]

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On 2 August, I Corps was activated at Fort Bragg, N.C., with General Coulter in command.


Eleven days later General Coulter and a command group arrived in Korea and began studies preparatory to a breakout effort from the Perimeter.

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The Forgotten War

 

     

Led by Barberis, the 1/23 attacked toward Yŏngsan-ni,, in conjunction with the 2/27 and 3/27, on August 13. Like most American units newly committed to combat in Korea, the 1/23 had a rough first day. One Army historian wrote: "Unprepared for the heat and humidity of a Korean August and poorly conditioned for hill climbing, the men struggled slowly from one ridge to the next. Meanwhile, the combat hardened 2/27 and 3/27 cracked through the NKPA and cleared the MSR and went into Yŏngsan-ni,.

Later that day Hutchin himself led a patrol of his 1/23 into the town. Still later the rest of his battalion marched wearily in behind him. Credited with another smashing triumph ("saving the 24th Division), the Wolfhounds withdrew that night for other missions. Hutchin's 1/23 remained to reinforce the division and to guard the MSR against further NKPA incursions.

        

With his rear at last under control, Church refocused his attention on his "front. The situation there was still grave. In renewed, vicious attacks, wave after wave of stoic NKPA troops had inflicted further grievous casualties on the 9th and the ragged remnants of the 19th and 34th regiments.

The 9th, bravely attempting to preserve its honor, was hit particularly hard. In E Company of Walker's 2/9 all the officers had been wiped out on five separate occasions. Throughout the regiment sergeants routinely commanded platoons in place of lieutenants. In all, on August 13 the 9th suffered 140 battle casualties and 59 non-battle casualties, mostly from heat exhaustion. Ned Moore's 19th Infantry journal noted that the men of Londahl's 1 /9 were "too exhausted even to remove their own dead."

Charles Payne of the 1/34 remembered the fighting:

Masses of gooks poured over the hills and through the gaps like a flood. Our people were fighting like seasoned troops but were just being overpowered.... Hour after hour we held the North Koreans off. . . . Time and time again the gooks rushed us. Each time we'd lose a man, the gooks would lose many. The ground was covered with their dead. We stacked our dead around us for protection. The battle seemed to go on forever.[7-73]

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   Task Force Hill

Determined finally to eject the NKPA from the 24th Division front, Church that night (August 13) ordered Hill, John G. [Col CO 9thIR] to take command of all the available infantry and launch yet another counterattack on the following day. Reeling with fatigue and lack of sleep, Hill summoned the no less exhausted Beauchamp, Charles Edward [Col. CO 34thIR], Moore, Ned Dalton [Col. CO 19thIR], and Smith, Charles Brad [Lt. Col. CO 1bn21stIR]  to his CP.

 

They drew plans which would employ all seven depleted infantry battalions (about 4,000 men), backed by all available artillery (five batteries, mounting thirty howitzers) and (they hoped) supported by FEAF close air. Hill also attempted to draw Hutchin, Claire E.[Officer CO 1Bn23rdIR] 's newly arrived and powerful 1/23 (900 men) into this combined force.

Barberis, Cesidio V. "Butch"[Maj. 1Bn9thIR] remembered:

"I stopped off at John Hill's Ninth Regiment CP and told him the MSR was clear and we would be happy to help evacuate his wounded, et cetera, et cetera. Hill was in quite a dither. In fact, in my estimation he was not in control of his faculties. He was quite irrational. He ordered me to position the battalion in the line. I explained we were not under his command but under Church's direct command. He was quite forceful in telling me that he was giving me a direct order and that I would comply with that direct order. I telephoned Church, and in short order he countermanded Hill and told me to maintain my vigil on the MSR and await further orders."

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U.S. Air Force

 

 

I furnished an album to General Lowe, the President' representative, covering FEAF's operations in Korea the past 47 days since the war started. It included the operations of the fighter-bombers, the recon, the B-29s, the light bombers and the cargo aircraft. It gave our kills and losses including personnel, aircraft, tanks, etc. It also included strike pictures of the P'yŏngyang marshaling yards and arsenal, the oil refinery and marshaling yards at Wonsan and the chemical complex of three targets at Konan (Hungnam) and several pictures of the actual tank kills by the Fifth Air Force. General Lowe's remark to me this morning, prior to his departure, was to the effect the Air Force was "tops"ť out here and if the war could be ended by middle of November, the credit belonged with the Air Force.

After talking with Pat, wrote the following memo to VC for Ops

(info to VC A&P):

In a telephone conversation with General Partridge at Taegu this morning, he reported the following: Captain Tracy,[189-Capt John S. Tracy.] USN, was assigned to the Eighth Army as Navy liaison. He was sent over to General Partridge for use as a Navy liaison officer with the Fifth Air Force. General Partridge felt that since his assignment was with the Eighth Army, he could not utilize his services and now has assigned to him a Lieutenant Commander Burch,[190-Lt Cdr John A. Murch.] USN. This morning, General Walker called on General Partridge and they had a very crisp, but pleasant, difference of opinion as to the use of the Joint Operations Center and its location. Field Manual 31-35, published by the Department of the Army, clearly states the functions of the Joint Operational Center, its location and the overall control of that body as an Air Force function although it is made up of the three (3) Services "Army, Navy, and Air Force" and justly so. General Partridge reported to me that there was a great possibility that General Walker would protest the control and operation of that center to Headquarters, Far East Command and this paper is written to you to prepare you to defend the Air Force interpretation and use of the Joint Operational Center before the Far East Command staff who might raise the question. Your experience in Europe should very definitely prove beyond all shadow of a doubt the proper use of a Joint Operational Center and I desire that you represent me in any discussions that are raised on this subject. [191-The Joint Operations Center (JOC) was composed of Army and Air Force personnel and comprised two sections. One, the air-ground operations section, was Army-manned and sent to the second section Army requests for tactical air missions. The second section, made up of Air Force personnel, then ordered available tactical air units to implement the Army requests. The JOC first began operating from Taejon on July 5 but had to relocate to Taegu between July 16-19 when the fall of Taejon became imminent.

Though not part of the JOC, a tactical air control center (TACC) worked closely with it. Through the TACC, which was really a communications center, General Partridge was able to control his aircraft. Although air defense was one of its duties, the TACC at Taegu operated primarily as fighter director control for close sup- port missions. Target identification and control of the actual strikes were functions of two different teams. Operating in the front lines with radio-equipped jeeps were the tactical aircraft control parties (TACP). The other team used T-6 aircraft, known as "Mosquitoes,"ť for airborne control of strike aircraft.

In actual practice, most of the functions of the JOC were taken over by 5AF personnel, the Eighth Army being unable, or unwilling, to staff its air-ground section. It would be some months before the JOC truly became a joint operation.]

 

 

General Orders #46, dtd 9 August AS CORRECTED issued:

Subject: Organization of United States Fifth Air Force in Korea.

1. As directed by the Commander-in-Chief, Far East and confirming the VOCG of 24 July 1950, the Fifth Air Force in Korea is established as of
24 July 50 as a major operational command of the Far East Air Forces with headquarters at APO 970. The Fifth Air Force with headquarters at Nagoya, Japan remains as now established and organized.

2. Announcement is made of the appointment as of 24 Jul 50 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. This order does not change the structure, administrative organization or functions of the Fifth Air Force, Nagoya, Japan, to which all Fifth Air Force units and personnel remain assigned.

5. The Commanding General, Fifth Air Force in Korea will maintain his operational headquarters in close proximity to Eighth Army headquarters in Korea.

Sent a buck slip to IG in answer to an R&R submitted by Weyland re the establishment of an Air Evaluation Board which would collect, record, correlate evaluate and inform me and the VCs on: past, present, and future training of FEAF units and associated Army and Navy units; shortcomings or difficulties and action taken to overcome them; coordination procedures within FEAF and with other major commands under FEC; efficiency of operating procedures; and bomb, rocket, and other loadings and their relation to different type targets.

In my buck slip to the IG referred him to my memo dtd 21 July, relieving him from duty with D/Ops [deputy for operations], returning him to IG and memo of 25 July, subject: Inspection System during Korean Operations. Told him I considered the IG and his group of officers to be my Air Evaluation Board, and, in addition, to the directives that I have issued, desired that the IG perform those suggestions as listed by Weyland above.


Air base at K-3 evacuated. PIO at K-3 announced above. This should not have been done; however, reporters were present and they would have said something. Eighth Army does this all the time.

 

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On 13 August, a basic misunderstanding of the nature of the Joint Operations Center came to light in a "very crisp but pleasant" discussion between Generals Walker and Partridge . Proceeding on the theory that the JOC's Air Force combat operations section was his only means for controlling air support, Partridge assumed that the Air Force had primary interest in the center. By the same token, he viewed the Army air-ground operations section as the agency for the presentation of Eighth Army requirements to the Fifth Air Force.

When Marine and Navy air units operated in conjunction with the Air Force, Partridge believed that those components should be represented in the JOC's combat operations section. But Admiral Joy, whose forces were not bound by FM 31-35, assigned his liaison officers directly to EUSAK headquarters, and although General Walker commonly sent them on over to the JOC, the Navy liaison officers still remained attached to EUSAK. Walker believed that the JOC should consist of three sections, Army, Navy, and Air Force, and he seemed to believe that the JOC might be located as properly in Eighth Army headquarters as in that of the Fifth Air Force.

General Walker thus overlooked the fact that the JOC relied largely on the Air Force for its communications. He appeared to believe that Air Force, Navy, and Army representatives in the JOC should discuss and agree upon the manner of execution of request for air support missions. On the other hand, Partridge thought that the ground forces should present their requirements through the air-ground operations section, and that he would determine, through the combat operations section, how the requirements were to be met.

 "To allow such an important decision to be subjected to possible compromise," he asserted, "would be shirking my responsibilities."

 

 

Happily, the differences of opinion between Walker and Partridge remained largely academic and had no effect on the operations of the control system. Shortly after mid-August, General Walker evidently lectured his staff on the necessity for cooperation with Fifth Air Force, and from that time on, according to General Timberlake , "the coordination with the Eighth Army-Fifth Air Force was executed perfectly."

"I am entirely familiar with [Field Manual] 31-35," General Walker stated on 25 November, "and am in complete accord with its provisions."

Yet with doctrinal procedures misunderstood at the top levels of command in Korea, it is not remarkable that there should have been similar misunderstandings at lower levels. During the latter part of July, a division commander and his artillery officer asked an Air Force observer when he thought the Air Force was going to be able to install the necessary communications lines to provide the air-ground operations request net.

 Apparently the question was based on World War II experience, and neither officer had heard of an Army air-ground signal liaison company. In another instance, an Air Force observer found a division G-3 frantically searching for the air liaison officer to get him to make out an air support request; the G-3 officer did not understand that it was his responsibility to make the request.

All too frequently, battalions telephoned frantic requests for air support to the division G-3, and the requests were passed on to the JOC with no screening at any level. When, the many unscreened requests reached the JOC, the inevitable result was an arbitrary decision as to which requests could be honored. "The system," remarked one officer, "had been simulated for so long in training" that the machinery for it did not exist when it was desperately needed.

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FIFTH Air Force

The Extemporized Tactical Control System - Control Process

With all air elements of the tactical control system in being, the Fifth Air Force ordered the following procedure for execution of a support mission.

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August

Pusan in the early stages of planning seemed to offer acceptable possibilities for a jet airfield. However, Colonel Shoemaker on 3 July found that the runway, mere concrete wash on four inches of rubble, was rapidly breaking up under transport traffic. The north end of the runway, moreover, was at the water level of surrounding rice paddies. So situated, the field offered almost nothing in the way of dispersal parking or cantonment areas. Shoemaker set up a small detachment to keep the airfield in some degree of repair and got the field closed to planes heavier than C-47's. Using Korean conscripts and when this proved unsatisfactory locally contracted workers, the detachment kept the airfield patched up on a day -to- day basis until other airfields were available for use.

Meanwhile, FEAF representatives had located another field on the east coast of Korea at P'ohang, which had a runway similar in construction to that at Pusan but in better condition When Company A, 802nd Engineer Aviation Battalion reached Pusan, it was therefore diverted to P'ohang on 10 July;

two days later [7/12], the work of placing a 500-foot PSP overrun and constructing taxiways and hardstands was started. Two large spongy areas had to be dug out and refilled preliminary to laying the taxiway planking, and the speed of construction demanded that grading of a part of the taxiway be omitted. The first combat mission was flown from the strip on 15 July, and by 19 July completion of a cross taxiway permitted combat units to use as much of the field as had been completed at that time.

Enemy pressure against the P'ohang area forced the engineers to evacuate on 13 August.

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Korean_War

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

[note]

 

    

During July the Fifth Air Force had staffed its side of the JOC and the tactical control system, and it had further improvised the MOSQUITO control procedure. Unfortunately, the Eighth Army was unable to complete its side of the air control organization. Although the Eighth was responsible for its own communications between divisions and the JOC, the Air Force had been compelled to undertake this function, an uncertain improvisation with SCR-399 high-frequency radio. The Eighth Army, moreover, had been unable to staff the air-ground section with its requisite number of officers.

On 13 August General Stratemeyer pointed out that this section of the JOC lacked nine G-3 air duty officers, six G-2 air duty officers, and sufficient clerks to process the work of the section.

The army had not provided an army photo interpretation center specified in Field Manual 31-35, August 1946, and, while the Fifth Air Force could photograph the front line daily, it could not interpret and reproduce all the photos needed by the Eighth Army.

   Division Sholder Patch   Definitons

GHQ FEC replied on 1 September that the Eighth Army was aware of the discrepancies and would attempt to remedy them when more personnel arrived. Meanwhile, GHQ professed satisfaction with the control system in effect:

It is fully appreciated that essential elements of the air-ground system were not available in the Far East Command at the outbreak of the Korean emergency and that substitutes and field expedients were necessary. That such a highly successful and workable system has been developed in a relatively short period of time speaks well of the resourcefulness and ability of the commanders concerned.

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      Unit Info

Meanwhile, FEAF representatives had located another field on the east coast of Korea at P'ohang, which had a runway similar in construction to that at Pusan but in better condition When Company A, 802nd Engineer Aviation Battalion reached Pusan, it was therefore diverted to P'ohang on 10 July; two days later, (7/12)the work of placing a 500-foot PSP overrun and constructing taxiways and hardstands was started. Two large spongy areas had to be dug out and refilled preliminary to laying the taxiway planking, and the speed of construction demanded that grading of a part of the taxiway be omitted.

The first combat mission was flown from the strip on 15 July, and by 19 July completion of a cross taxiway permitted combat units to use as much of the field as had been completed at that time.

Enemy pressure against the P'ohang area forced the engineers to evacuate on 13 August.

[note]

 

    

During July the Fifth Air Force staffed its side of the JOC, put together the other elements of the tactical control system, and improvised "Mosquito" control procedures. Unfortunately, however, the Eighth Army was long unable to provide the personnel and communications required by its air-ground operations system. The Eighth Army was slow to staff the air-ground operations section of the JOC with requisite personnel. In mid- August, for example, this section still lacked nine G-3 Air duty officers, six G-2 Air duty officers, and enough clerks to process the work of the section.#130

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Bio   Bio

On 13 August General Stratemeyer outlined the actions which had been taken in Korea and asked General MacArthur to notice that the Eighth Army had not yet established the air-ground operations system contemplated in joint doctrine.

General MacArthur's head-quarters replied that the Eighth Army was aware of its deficiency and would attempt to remedy it as soon as it obtained the necessary personnel and equipment. Meanwhile, GHQ expressed satisfaction with the improvised control system.

"It is fully appreciated that essential elements of the air-ground system were not avail-able in the Far East Command at the outbreak of the Korean emergency and that substitutes and field expedients were necessary. That such a highly successful and workable system has been developed in a relatively short period of time speaks well of the resourcefulness and ability of the commanders concerned."#140

[note]

 

  

Marine Aircraft Group's two day-fighter Corsair squadrons-VMF-214 and VMF-323-were committed to the support of the 1st Marine Brigade, and early in August these two squadrons took station aboard the baby flattop carriers USS Sicily (CVE-118) and USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116). These two escort carriers comprised Task Element 96.#23, which located itself just off the southern shore of Korea. When the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade went into action, VMF-214 and VMF-323 followed the organic Marine air-control system and gave the Marine infantry-men some 45 close-support sorties each day.

While supporting the Marine brigade, the Marine airmen did not report to the Joint Operations Center, but at General Partridge's request the 1st Marine Air Wing sent a liaison officer to join the Air Force combat-operations section. During those intervals in which the Marine brigade was not in action, Marine Aircraft Group furnished its Corsair capabilities to the Joint Operations Center for the support of the entire Eighth Army battleline. In these periods the Marine liaison officer at the Joint Operations Center sent reporting schedules to the escort carriers. According to these schedules, Marine pilots checked in with "Mellow" control, received targets and front-line controller designations, and upon the completion of their missions they checked out with "Mellow" and returned to their baby carriers.#26

[note]

 

 

On 12 August North Korean troops entered the port of P'ohang, and next day the 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group had no choice but to evacuate the embattled airfield and return to Tsuiki Airfield in Japan.

[note]

 

Koread-War

13, 14,15,16,17, 18, 19, 20

FEAFBC

Effective on 12 August, the normal daily effort of three B-29 groups was directed at bridges.

Such a scale of effort continued until 20 August,

[note]

 

Koread-War FEAFBCBio   Bio

Prompted by reports received from Korea, however, General MacArthur viewed the enemy build-up against Taegu with the greatest alarm. On 13 August MacArthur called Stratemeyer to his office, discussed the significance of the reported enemy concentrations, and stated that he desired that the entire B-29 force be used to "carpet bomb" certain areas in which operations reports indicated the presence of large enemy troop concentrations. #102

On the afternoon of 13 August EUSAK informed the Fifth Air Force that MacArthur had made the entire B-29 effort available for ground support on 15 August.#103

[note]

 

 

   Bio   Bio

"We are in no position to select or wait for favorable weather," General O'Donnell announced at the beginning of the strategic bombing campaign.#27

In each of the strategic missions Bomber Command therefore dispatched an airborne commander in a weather aircraft ahead of the striking force. This senior officer had authority to direct the method of attack, to decide whether the target could be bombed by radar, or to direct the mission to an alternate target. All formation-bombing attacks were planned along the best axis for a radar bombing run, and squadron formations usually dropped on the lead bombardier, whether the bombing was visual or by radar. When clouds at bombing altitudes prevented formation attacks, the airborne commander could call for a "Hometown" attack in which a bomber stream of individual aircraft crossed the target at one-minute intervals, bombing individually by radar. The "Hometown" procedure sacrificed the close bombing pattern desirable against industrial targets, but it permitted Bomber Command to surmount the worst of bombing weather.#28

[note]

 

Even radar missions were outstandingly accurate: one radar-directed strike knocked out the Chosen nitrogen explosives factory but did practically no damage outside the factory area.#50

[note]

U.S. Marine Corps

 



Bio   Bio  

On August 13, Smith told Puller to identify fifty volunteers for a commando outfit desired by MacArthur’s chief of staff, Major General Edward M. Almond.  Although the division eventually would avoid that levy, it was emblematic of the unnecessary turmoil assailing the Marines from all sides.

[note]

 

   Bio  

Puller’s troops clambered aboard their ships beginning on August 13.

[note]

 

Bio   Def

Generals Shepherd and Cates arrived for the main embarkation on the 13th and 14th respectively, accompanied by Major General Franklin A. Hart and Brigadier General Edwin A. Pollock. While these general officers were being acquainted with the progress made so far, the USS Titania (AKA-13) blew out two boilers after being about 20 percent loaded. Since the repairs would require about ten days, a commercial freighter was provided as a last-minute replacement.

[note]

 

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.

It also added to the problems of staff officers at Camp Pendleton and Pearl Harbor, since replacements must be sent to the Brigade. With this in mind, the Commandant had begun the organization of the 1st Replacement Draft of approximately 800 men on the date of Brigade activation on 7 July. These troops, however, were absorbed into the 1st Marine Division when it expanded to war strength, as was a second draft (also designated the 1st Replacement Draft) of 3,000 men.[21]

[note]

 

U.S. Navy

 

Unit Info

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-Dong . 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.

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 Juneau had carried out her raid; this vulnerable area was now to be brought under all forms of naval attack.

August   USN_Units

 

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. 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]

 

Def

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 Pyongyang. This dispatch elicited a request from Fifth Air Force, received on the 12th as the carrier bombers struck marshaling yards near Seoul and as jet fighters swept airfields and communication lines, which indicated that all effort was still wanted in Area B.

Although undertaking to comply if necessary, Commander Seventh Fleet observed in reply that he had been cleared by GHQ to strike northward the next morning, and would do so if his efforts could be spared. Apparently they could.

The prospective ten-day freeze had actually lasted five, and on the 13th aircraft from both carriers ranged north of the parallel, attacking transportation targets at P'yŏngyang, Chinnamp'o, Haeju, and way stations with good results, especially in the destruction of locomotives.

On conclusion of this day’s operations the force retired southward, passed HMS Triumph (R16) and her escorts who were steering north to take over the Yellow Sea duty, and headed for Sasebo to replenish.

[note]

 

         

This singular situation, in which two of the brigade’s battalions were fighting at Changchon while the third was engaging 25 road miles to the rear, was ended by orders to withdraw.

On the 13th, as the 3rd Battalion continued its clean-up of hills around Chindong-ni, the others disengaged and headed back to rejoin. Although it was disappointing to be pulled back after an advance of 26 miles in four days, and after inflicting heavy damage on superior forces, there were serious reasons behind the decision. The situation in the Naktong bulge was very nearly out of control.

[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.

By 10 August the ROK 3rd Division, outflanked on its landward side, had been forced to hole up at Ch'ongha, ten miles north of P'ohang, where it was surrounded.

Having bypassed the South Koreans, the enemy advance now gained momentum, and on the 11th heavy demands were made upon the fire support ships south of Yŏngdök. USS Helena (CA-75) got four tanks this day, as her helicopter was flying KMAG personnel to P'ohang to confer with General Walker, but naval gunfire was not enough.

On the 12th, tank-led troops of the North Korean 5th Division fought their way into the town, where they were joined on the next day (13th) by elements of the 12th Division, switched eastward from the northern mountain front

[note]

 

USN_Units

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

a week later [after the 7th], as the task force was returning to Sasebo, the continued influx of such intelligence brought similar recommendations from Fifth Air Force Headquarters in Korea. Pressure on the northern front, naval and Air Force intelligence which emphasized the importance of the east coast route, and the suggestions of the naval liaison officer led on the 13th to a request from FAFIK for carrier interdiction of Area C on the 16th, to be followed by attacks on rail and other transport facilities in Area F, between Wŏnsan and Ch'ŏngjin.

[note]

 

Bio

On the 13th, in response to reports of enemy shipping at Wŏnsan, Admiral Hartman established blockading stations in 39° 50' and 40° 50'. Enemy movement on shore was also receiving attention: between 13 and 16 August, while the ship employed the daylight hours in bombardment of rail targets, the raiders from USS Horace A. Bass (APD-124) carried out three night landings between 41° 28' and 38° 35' which resulted in the destruction of three tunnels and two bridges. In anticipation of future attacks by USS Perch (ASSP-313), ComNavFE had by this time established a joint zone for surface and submarine operations, Area 7, between 40° and 41° on the Korean east coast.

[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. By 10 August the ROK 3rd Division, outflanked on its landward side, had been forced to hole up at Ch'ongha, ten miles north of P'ohang, where it was surrounded. Having bypassed the South Koreans, the enemy advance now gained momentum, and on the 11th heavy demands were made upon the fire support ships south of Yŏngdök. USS Helena (CA-75) got four tanks this day, as her helicopter was flying KMAG personnel to P'ohang to confer with General Walker, but naval gunfire was not enough.

On the 12th, tank-led troops of the North Korean 5th Division fought their way into the town, where they were joined on the next day [13th] by elements of the 12th Division, switched eastward from the northern mountain front.

Little beyond naval gunfire and strikes by Air Force planes remained available for the defense of P'ohang. Yet although the former was handicapped by the withdrawal of fire control personnel ashore, and although the latter were preparing to evacuate that very day, the intensity of these efforts forced the enemy to retire temporarily on the afternoon of the 13th. But so serious was the Communist threat that an emergency call was made for reinforcements.

To defend the airfield American tanks and infantry and an ROK regiment were hurried north; to prevent a major breakthrough, much of EUSAK’s scant reserve was ordered up to Yŏngju. But the advancing columns became entangled on the way with infiltrators disguised as refugees, and progress was slow.

USN_Units

Such, however, was the importance attached to the east coast railroad that, in the midst of the P'ohang crisis, USS Helena (CA-75) and two destroyers were withdrawn to bombard the bridges and tunnels at Sinchang in the north.

[note]

 

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On the other Marine front, 25 miles distant, 1/5 had a return engagement before dawn on 13 August with the enemy in the Changchon area. Company commanders had received orders the night before to alert their units at 0400 for the withdrawal.

 General Craig’s Op Order 10–50 was a complete and well planned field order, despite the need for haste; but the enemy interrupted with a surprise attack launched from concealed positions occupied under cover of darkness.[9]

[note]

 

At about 0400 on 13 August, the NKPA began probing the Company B positions on Hill 202 then launched a surprise attack that overran one platoon.

The fighting was so desperate that the Marines were forced to knock out two of their own machine guns when the enemy began using them. Company B had to conduct a fighting withdrawal in order to reach its assigned position on the road.

[note]

 

Baker Company’s defense setup for the night on Hill 202 consisted of the 3rd, 1st, and 2nd Platoons tied in from left to right in that order. The action began at 0450 with enemy automatic weapons fire. Marine 60-mm. mortar illuminating shells revealed an NKPA infiltration on the right in the area of the 2nd Platoon.

[note]

 

Koread-War

Marines traditionally take care of their dead and wounded and the thought of Marines missing in action is repugnant. Yet on August 13, 1950 within the Pusan Perimeter eight Marines were left to the enemy.[1]

1. Derived from the following sources :

1st provisional Marine Brigade (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, Special Action Report, 2 August to 6 September, 1950. A Report of Operations with Eighth U.S. Army in Korea. Appendix 8 to Annex A, p.1; and

Lynn Montross and Captain Nicholas A. Canzona, U.S. Marine Operations in Korea, Vol. 1 : The Pusan Perimeter (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1957) 9 pp. 152-56 ; and

Andrew Geer, The New Breed (New York : Harper & Brothers, 1952), pp. 53-55.

Company B, 5th Marines, on Hill 202[2] received the brunt of a North Korean attack beginning at 4:55 A. M. that morning. The initial onslaught overran a machine gun section wiping out all but two men.

2. 202 meters high. Hills are generally designated by their height above sea level, and often descriptive names will be used as well.

[note]

 

This effort soon proved to be a diversionary attack for the purpose of masking the main blow. At 0455 3 enemy flares went up, 2 red and 1 green. They were the signal for an assault on the left flank at the other end of the Baker Company position. The enemy, as a wounded Marine NCO put it afterwards, was “right on top of the 3rd Platoon in a few seconds” with grenades and burp guns.[10]

This was one of the occasions when the Marines were painfully reminded that the NKPA 6th Division had been made up originally of veterans of the Chinese civil war, conditioned by experience for the rigors of night fighting. Marine security had not been at fault, yet the enemy had managed to creep forward in uncanny silence to positions within grenade-throwing distance.

In an instant the Marine position was overrun, with the machinegun section being wiped out except for two men. Communication troubles added to the confusion. Platoon radios had been rendered inoperative by mud and water while crossing rice paddies, and telephone wires were believed to have been cut. Two runners were killed during Tobin’s efforts to maintain contact with the hard pressed troops on the left flank. A third runner got through with orders for the remnants of the platoon to fall back within the perimeter of the adjacent 1st Platoon.

The troubles of Baker Company were compounded at this stage when the enemy turned two of the Marines’ own machineguns against them.

[note]

 

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[B/1/5] On Hill 202, before daylight the next morning, a North Korean force overran the 3rd Platoon of B Company. One group apparently had fallen asleep and all except one were killed. Heavy casualties were inflicted also on another nearby platoon of B Company. Shortly after daylight the Marines on Hill 202 received orders to withdraw and turn back toward Masan. During the night, B Company lost 12 men killed, 16 wounded, and 9 missing, the last presumed dead. [16-25]

[note]

 

Bio

During the next hour the fight became a slugging match. When the first gray light of dawn permitted some visibility, Baker Company 3.5" rocket launchers knocked out the two Marine machineguns being fired by the enemy. The left flank was holding well when the 60-mm. mortars ran out of ammunition. To make matters worse, the artillery FO’s radio took destructive hits from machinegun fire just as the enemy changed the direction of his attack. Now his main effort was being channeled up the draw between the 1st and 2nd Platoons for the obvious purpose of splitting the company and beating it in detail. The attackers had been bled white by casualties, however, and Tobin’s men had little difficulty in beating off the new assault.

[note]

 

0544 Sunrise

[note]

 

 

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Koread-War

The company commander was directed to disengage at 6:30 A.M. Although it appeared certain that the eight Marines of the machine-gun section had been killed, the company commander requested a delay of one hour before withdrawing in order to counterattack and recover the bodies. The urgency of their redeployment ruled out any delay, however, and the Marines reluctantly left Hill 202. Seven of the missing Marines were transferred to the killed in action list the following month when their bodies were recovered.

[note]

 

Battalion orders were received through Able Company to disengage at 0630 and pull down from the high ground to the trucking point at Newton’s CP. Tobin was now depending on Company A radios for 4.2” and 81-mm. mortar support which slowed up enemy efforts. As his first move toward breaking off action, he ordered his 3rd and 1st Platoons to withdraw into the perimeter of the 2nd.[11]

By this time the enemy had fallen back toward the lower levels of Hill 202. Small arms fire had slackened but the Marines still received mortar bursts.

Tobin ordered his executive officer, Captain Francis I. Fenton, to take the wounded across the rice paddies to the road with (what was left of) the 3rd Platoon and Headquarters troops. The company commander remained on the hill to cover this movement with the other two platoons. After Fenton got well underway, Tobin ordered the 2nd Platoon down to the road.

[note]

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At 1900, when General Barth arrived, he asked when the Marine battalion would be ready to attack.
Taplett replied that he already had one company on the first objective, and the 25th Division ADC congratulated the Marines on their promptness. He approved Taplett’s course of action and gave his sanction for the seizure of the rest of the dominating high ground the following morning.

 

Again the Marines received the most cordial cooperation from the Army. General Barth ordered several light tanks and three M–44 armored personnel carriers to support the attack at 0700 on 13 August. The same Army artillery battery was assigned to the operation, and Battery C of the 11th Marines took part after arriving the night before. As it proved, the infantry needed little assistance to seize the remaining objectives against negligible resistance.

[note]

 

 

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Then, a squad at a time, the remaining Marines disengaged; and the Baker Company commander came off Hill 202 with the last squad at 0815. The entire movement had been accomplished with precision, and a final air strike kept the enemy quiet at the climax.

Considering the fury of the fighting on Hill 202, a Marine casualty list of 12 KIA, 18 WIA, and 8 MIA was not as large as might have been expected.

[Actually there were 25 KIA]

 The idea of men missing in action is always disturbing to Marine officers, but it was considered a moral certainty that the eight casualties of this type were killed when the enemy overran the machinegun section on the Baker Company left flank.[12] Before leaving Hill 202, Captain Tobin asked permission to lead an attack for the purpose of recovering the bodies. He believed that he could retake the lost ground in an hour, but his request could not be granted at a time when the battalion was belated in carrying out Brigade withdrawal orders.[13]

 

Samch'ŏnp'o to Sach'ŏn to Chinju

It fell to the engineers and armor to cover the rear after the infantry pulled out. Midway between Sach'ŏn and Kosŏng, the MSR is joined by a road from Samch'ŏnp'o, a minor seaport on the tip of the peninsula. In order to block this approach to the Brigade’s southern flank, General Craig ordered the engineers to mine the road.

Samch'ŏnp'o to Sach'ŏn to Chinju

 First Lieutenant Nicholas A. Canzona was assigned to the task with a detachment of his 1st Platoon of Able Company, 1st Engineer Battalion. After laying an extensive field, this officer discovered to his embarrassment that he had erred in arming nearly half of the mines with wrong fuses, so that they were harmless. Apparently the moral effect was enough, however, to keep the enemy at a distance.

Lieutenant Hetrick’s 3rd Platoon of the engineer company brought up the Brigade rear on the morning of 13 August to crater roads, lay anti-tank minefields and destroy bridges and culverts. Personnel left behind for such missions had the privilege of riding the rearmost tank to catch up with the column.[14] Thus the withdrawal proceeded systematically and was completed without enemy interference.

[note]

 

 

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Bio

The Forces MacArthur planned his bold amphibious venture at Inch'ŏn sustained only by hope, credit, and promises. At no time during his planning did he have the men and guns he would need. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, moreover, frequently told MacArthur that, with the military resources of the United States at rock bottom and because of the short-fused target date on which MacArthur adamantly insisted, the needed men and guns might not arrive on time. The disagreements over time, place, and method of landing stemmed in part from this fact and were certainly of less significance.

MacArthur well knew that even with the fullest support by Washington he might not have by his chosen D-day enough trained men and equipment to breach enemy defenses and to exploit a penetration. trained men, especially those with amphibious training, were at a premium in the United States as well as in the Far East. To assemble, equip, and move these men secretly and swiftly to the battle area by 15 September would require an enormous, finely coordinated effort by all involved. The difficulties were appalling, and to surmount them called for extraordinary energy and ingenuity.

   Bio  


The nature and location of the planned landing dictated that it be directed by a tactical headquarters separate from the Eighth Army. General Walker had his hands full in the Pusan Perimeter and could not easily divide his attention, effort, or staff. The size of the landing force, initially set at about two divisions, indicated a need for a corps command. It was for this reason that MacArthur, concurrently with his efforts to bring the two corps headquarters to his theater in late July, had asked that the commander and planning staff of the I Corps be flown to Tokyo. [09-1]

[activated 8/2 in Japan 8/10, koura 8/13]]

But by the time General Coulter and his skeleton staff reached Japan, a need for the I Corps in the Pusan Perimeter forced MacArthur to send Coulter on to Korea.

[note]

 

   79th Field Artillery Regiment COA.svg

The next morning the battalion [3/5] attacked west with the mission of rescuing survivors of the 555th Field Artillery Battalion reported to be under the bridge at the village. Colonel Murray in a helicopter tried to deliver a message to these survivors, if any (there is no certainty there were any there), but was driven back by enemy machine gun fire. The marines reached the hill overlooking Pongam-ni and saw numerous groups of enemy troops below. Before they could attempt to attack into Pongam-ni itself the battalion received orders to rejoin the brigade at Masan. [16-43]

[note]

 

Bio   Bio

Church told  Walker on the 13th that the entire N.K. 4th Division was across and in the 24th Division sector. General Walker discounted this with the curt rejoinder, "That is not my information." Church insisted nevertheless that such was the case. Intelligence later confirmed General Church's estimate.

[note]

 

The North Koreans Turned Back From the Kyŏngju Corridor

While it seems clear that enemy patrols and miscellaneous groups of soldiers had entered P'ohang-dong as early as 10-11 August, it was not until the 13th that the North Korean communiqué claimed its complete liberation.

Large elements of the N.K. 12th Division, advancing from the direction of Kigye, entered the town on that day. But, like others before them, they did not remain long. An officer of the enemy division, when captured later, said the 1st Regiment withdrew from P'ohang-dong after three hours because of an intense naval bombardment and severe air strikes.

The 12th Division then took up positions on the hills west and southwest of the town. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 2nd Regiment occupied the hills six miles southwest of P'ohang-dong and threatened the Yŏnil Airfield. Elements of the N.K. 5th Division meanwhile had reached the hills just north of P'ohang-dong. [18-28]

[note]

 

       

That hilltop was engulfed by air strikes and artillery fire when the last Marines left the slope at about 0900. Company B lost 15 men killed, 33 wounded, and 8 (presumed dead) missing in action during the fight for Hill 202. Many men had a bitter taste in their mouths when ordered not to retrieve the bodies of their fallen comrades. No warrior wants to leave behind the dead, but sometimes there is no other choice. This was one of those times. Unknown to the men of Company B was that the situation elsewhere had taken a turn for the worst and required immediate action by all available forces.

Lieutenant Colonel Murray faced an unusual tactical situation. The 5th Marines had to attack in two opposite directions at the same time. While the front of the Marine Brigade was fighting at Changchon, the rear element had to reverse its order of march to recapture the high ground at Chindong-ni.

         

This latter task fell to the 3rd Battalion. Luckily, the objectives were lightly held, and only one Marine was wounded when Lieutenant Colonel Taplett's men retook the familiar ridges. The Marines then searched for survivors of an overrun army artillery battalion before calling for air strikes to destroy the abandoned self-propelled howitzers.

Although most Marines were unaware of it at the time, the reason they were called back from Chindong-ni and Changchon was that the enemy had penetrated the Naktong River Line and threatened the key road junction and communications center at Masan. It was imperative that the resulting "Naktong Bulge" be eliminated or the entire Pusan Perimeter would be at risk. The Marines were considered the most reliable of the UNC forces, so they were used as a "fire brigade" to be moved around to shore up the most threatened sectors of the UNC perimeter.

[note]

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Bio

 

By 1000 the Marine rifle companies were in full possession of the two commanding ridgelines. No casualties were suffered or inflicted.

Despite the lack of opposition, the enemy had not pulled out of the area. When Lieutenant Colonel Murray made a helicopter flight to drop a message to survivors of the 555th, his helicopter was ambushed in a defile by NKPA marksmen concealed on both sides. Only the pilot’s skillful maneuvering got them out safely, and they were unable to complete their mission.

A plan for the Marines to advance to the west across the valley floor while the Army 5th RCT attacked rearward to meet them was considered by the 25th Division. Taplett’s battalion would have been accompanied by 2/5, then on the way to the Chindong-ni area.

But this scheme of maneuver was canceled, and the 2nd Battalion of the 5th RCT relieved 3/5 on 14 August. By that time, as will be related later, other elements of the Brigade were on the way to an assembly area at Miryang in preparation for an operation in another sector.

At least the attack by 3/5 enabled elements of the 25th Division to rescue survivors of the artillery batteries who straggled back. Both Taplett and Stewart believed that enemy numbers in the area had been much smaller than the original Army estimate of 2,000 to 2,500 men. The 3/5 commander wanted to complete his mission by attacking to recover the howitzers and other lost equipment while the opportunity still existed. But he was unable to accomplish this aim because of orders for Brigade withdrawal, and the artillery pieces were never recaptured. Air strikes were called to destroy them after the relief of the Marine battalion, and the area itself was abandoned a few days later when 25th Division units fell back before renewed NKPA attacks.

[note]

 

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By noon of the next day, 13 August, the strength of one company was down to 20 men and of the other to 35. This loss of strength was not due to casualties. Corley's battalion attack stopped two and a half miles from the captured artillery positions. [16-44] [troops buged-out]

[note]

 

 79th Field Artillery Regiment COA.svg     

At Bloody Gulch, the name given by the troops to the scene of the successful enemy attack, the 555th Field Artillery on 12 August lost all eight of its 105-mm. howitzers in the two firing batteries there. The 90th Field Artillery Battalion lost all six 155-mm. howitzers of its A Battery. The loss of triple Nickel artillerymen has never been accurately computed.

The day after the enemy attack (8/13) only 20 percent of the battalion troops were present for duty. The battalion estimated at the time that from 75 to 100 artillerymen were killed at the gun positions and 80 wounded, with many of the latter unable to get away. Five weeks later, when the 25th Division regained Taejŏng-ni, it found in a house the bodies of 55 men of the 555th Field Artillery. [16-45]

The 90th Field Artillery Battalion lost 10 men killed, 60 wounded, and about 30 missing at Bloody Gulch-more than half the men of Headquarters and A Batteries present. Five weeks later when this area again came under American control, the bodies of 20 men of the battalion were found; all of them had been shot through the head. [16-46]

[note]

 

Bio      Bio

The next day at noon, 13 August, General Church sent a plane to bring Colonel Hill for a conference with General Walker at the 24th Division command post. Walker asked Hill, "Can you raise the roadblock?" Hill replied, "Yes, I have just flown over it, and I can clear it by night." Walker seemed satisfied with this assurance. [17-43]

[note]

 

Even though U.S. infantry units and tanks were at Yŏnil on 13 August, FEAF on that day decided to abandon the field. The order came about noon. Not a single crater dented the runway as the F-51's took to the air to fly away.

Bio   Bio

It appears that Colonel Witty, commanding the Air Force units at Yŏnil, recommended the evacuation of the field and was supported by General Partridge, commander of the Fifth Air Force.

Army officials had no part in the decision to abandon the Yŏnil field. Army units remained at the field and it never was brought under effective enemy fire. [18-22]

[note]

 

 

 

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On the afternoon of 13 August and that night, the 5th Regimental Combat Team traveled back eastward. It was depleted and worn. Military police from the 25th Division were supposed to guide its units to assigned assembly areas.

[note]

 

United Press International (UPI) logo.svg

The first news of the Fifth Air Force evacuation of Yŏnil Airfield was in the form of a United Press report, filed at 1320.

[note]

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      Bio

The attack continued northward the next day with the 3rd Battalion, 27th Infantry, assisting the 2nd Battalion. By mid afternoon of 13 August both battalions reached their objective, the high ground north and east of Yŏngsan-ni,. Colonels Hill and Beauchamp met Colonel Murch in Yŏngsan-ni, as the latter's 2nd Battalion effected juncture with Task Force Hill. In this advance, the 27th Infantry troops overran four pieces of enemy artillery; two of them were captured U.S. 105-mm. howitzers. [17-46]

  

Still another American reinforcement had been converging on the enemy at Yŏngsan-ni,-the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry, of the 2nd Division. This battalion had just arrived at Miryang where it received orders to attack west. In this, its first action, it had nine cases of heat exhaustion but only one battle casualty. [17-47] Some of its troops met an advanced unit of the 27th Infantry a mile east of Yŏngsan-ni,.

[note]

 

 

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   Bio     

 

Thus, by evening of 13 August, General Walker's prompt action in committing the 27th Infantry, together with the 24th Division's employment of headquarters and engineer troops, had eliminated the dangerous enemy penetration south and east of Yŏngsan-ni,.

[note]


 

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1925 Sunset

[note]


 

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Casualties

Sunday August 13 1950 (Day 50)

 

 

99 Casualties

1 14TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
1 159TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 15TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
2 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
2 21ST INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 23RD INFANTRY REGIMENT
7 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 26TH ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY AW BATTALION (SP)
1 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
8 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
25 5TH MARINE REGIMENT
11 5TH REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
1 65TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
23 7TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
13 9TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 USS WILTSIE (DD-716)
99 19500813 0000 Casualties by unit

 

As of August 13, 1950

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 67 3749 37 8 3861
Today   73 25 1 99
Total 67 3822 62 9 3960

Aircraft Losses Today 000

 

 

 

 

 

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