Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 27.3°C 81.14 °F at Taegu     

Heavy Overcast with rain

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the liberation of Korea from Japan and coincidentally, the end of the Second World War.  Kim Il Sung expected the war he started to be over by now.

Intelligence officers in Tokyo say Aug. 15 that although no Russians have been sighted or captured with North Korean forces, it is plain the communists are using Russian tactics. One such tactic is to lay down heavy artillery barrages behind their own troops so the foot soldiers have no choice but to continue assaults.

[note]

 

3rd Rescue Squadron

15 August 1950
Two SB-17s and one SA-16 were used this date for orbit missions. The SB-17s flew a total of 16:15 and the SA-16 flew a total of 7:35, making a total of 23:50 flown on orbit missions this date.

At 0600/K ADCC notified Flight "D" that an F-51 was in trouble 25 miles north of Ashiya AB. One SB-17 and one SA-16 were airborne at 0625/K for the distress area. It was believed that the F-51 pilot had bailed out eight (8) miles north east of Ashiya AB. An oil slick was sighted at 33° 57' N - 130° 41' E. The pilot was not located by the aircraft performing the search and no wreckage was located. A crash boat was requested to proceed to the scene of the reported crash and conduct a search of the area. The crash boat arrived in the area at 1600/K and searched the area for four (4) hours. Negative results were reported from the aircraft and the crash boat. Time flown in SB-17 type aircraft was 7:30. Time flown in the SA-16 type aircraft was 4:35 Crash boat running time was 4:00 hours.

At 0815/K Flight "D" received a call from ADCC that an F-51 pilot was bailing out near O'Shima Island. His wing man was circling the area. SA-16 #8603, airborne at the time of the incident, proceeded to the distress area, arriving in time to observe the bail out and circled the pilot until he landed in the water. The SA-16 landed in the water and picked up the F-51 pilot. He was returned to Ashiya AB. The mission was completed.

A total of three false alerts was logged this date.

[note]

 

USAF B-29 1 x La-11 damaged

[note]

 

Eighth U.S. Army in Korea

from the way in which replacements were used after they reached the Far East Command. Less than half of the 16,000 replacements arriving in Japan between 1 July 1950 and 15 August went straight to Korea. Some were used to fill the 7th Division, but more were assigned to non-divisional units within Japan. About 25,000 men and officers under control of Eighth Army remained in Japan at this time. [07-36]

The fighting in Korea prompted staff agencies of GHQ FEC to seek more people. They took experienced replacements, particularly officers, out of the pipeline to Korea. At the same time, GHQ section chiefs kept at desk jobs many of their original men and officers who could have been sent as replacements. At other stations in the replacement stream from Japan to the battlefront, men and officers intended for combat duty were diverted to administrative and rear-echelon service.

General Beiderlinden warned fellow members of the GHQ staff about allowing this practice to grow. General Headquarters could hardly justify its strident pleas for replacements if it kept these men from the fighting units.

[note]

 

Koread-War   USN_Units  

On 15 August, MacArthur directed Almond to head a special planning group that would prepare the basic plans for, and constitute the nucleus staff of, CHROMITE. It became known as Force X, with MacArthur loyalist Major General Clark Ruffner as chief of staff and Marine colonel Edward Forney, of Mobile training Team Able, as deputy chief of staff. Forney’s personnel came with him to Force X, so at least some there knew about the actual execution of amphibious operations and had relationships with the Amphibious Group 1 and 1st Marine Division staffs.


trust is an important lubricant of a social system.

Kenneth Arrow, Nobel laureate in economics


Force X worked up a plan for a separate corps, to report directly to CINCFE until such time as the Eighth Army had made contact with it following the landing; it would then revert to Eighth Army control.

Were the arrangement accepted, who would command this independent corps? Because Inch'ŏn was primarily an amphibious operation and a highly risky one at that, it made considerable sense for MacArthur to appoint someone with substantial combat experience, especially in that discipline. Further, a corps-level command rated a lieutenant general. Given MacArthur’s predilection for choosing subordinate commanders well known to him, that individual would almost certainly come from his circle of personal acquaintances.

The first criterion suggested a Marine general officer; the second profoundly limited the number of possibilities, the most likely being Lieutenant General Lemuel C. Shepherd, then Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Pacific.

[note]

 

Citations

 

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500815 0000 DSC CARROLL

19500815 0000 DSC CLEABORN

19500815 0000 DSC ICKES

 

 

Silver Star

Brennan, Leo [Cpl SS A34thIR]

Kopp, Robert E. [Pvt SS C9thIR]

Kyzer, Aubrey E., Jr. [Sgt SS D9thIR]

Tucek, Joseph F. [PFC SS HvyMtrCo5thCR]

Vance, Billy B. [Pvt SS A34thIR]

 

 

[note]

 

 

 

 

Unit Info  

On August 15, the 24th Infantry held the center of the 25th Division's Pusan perimeter line. In the north, its positions were on relatively low ground, but as they went south, the line extended along ever steeper and more rugged ridges.

The line included Battle Mountain (also known as Hill 665, Old Baldy, Napalm Hill or Bloody Knob),

the Rocky Crags and Pil-bong (Hill 743) and extended to a point about 4,000 yards short of Sobuk-san (aka Bloody Sobuk).

A force of ROK troops was placed on Sobuk. From Sobuk, the ridges gradually became smaller as they neared Korea's southern coast, where the 5th RCT was located.

There were no trails or roads up either Battle Mountain or Pil-bong. It took climbers in good condition two to three hours to ascend Pil-bong, and three or four hours to climb Battle Mountain. Supply bearers needed six hours for a Battle Mountain round trip.

Maintaining wire communications was a nightmare. North Korean patrols constantly cut the wire, then ambushed wiremen trying to find the break. Evacuation of the wounded was even more difficult. It took six men to carry a stretcher off the mountain, often accompanied by an aid man and escorted by riflemen for protection. When it rained, the terrain was almost impossible to negotiate. That demoralizing situation would improve later in the war, when helicopters were introduced to evacuate the wounded.

[note]

 

biography   biography

"The Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA) program was born when General MacArthur ordered Eighth Army to increase the strength of each American company and battery with 100 Korean recruits. The KATUSAs, as they came to be called, were legally part of the ROK Army but with serve as part of American units. While largely untrained, the KATUSAs were a badly needed infusion of manpower to the depleted Eighth Army ground units."

[note]

 

     

Elements of 23rd and 27th Infantry Regiments and ROK 1st Division successfully defend Naktong (Pusan) Perimeter in the Battle of the Bowling Alley (west of Taegu).

[note]

 

August

Thus, by July 26, 1950 , the fundamental components of the Tactical Air Control System existed:

A critical point to note is that an ordinary ground soldier could not talk directly to a T–6 and request an air strike. Only the Tactical Air Control Party with the jeep-mounted AN/VRC-1 radios could talk to the Mosquito or an F–80.

At best, the infantry or cavalry soldier only carried a hand-held “walkie-talkie” radio or the larger backpack SCR-300 radio. To request an air strike,

an Army unit, usually at the battalion level or higher, passed a request up through Army channels to the Joint Operations Center;

the Joint Operations Center would validate the request and pass it to the Tactical Air Control Center (Mellow).

This process included Mellow checking with the deployed Tactical Air Control Parties, Mosquitoes, and Army spotters to acknowledge the target and direct the next available F–80s, F–51s, or Navy aircraft to attack the target.

This procedure was slow. A moving target could easily have vanished between the time a ground soldier reported something and an aircraft arrived. 87

Sometime in mid-August 1950 , the 6147th Tactical Control Squadron began installing SCR-300 radios in some of the T–6s on a test basis. Although this experiment worked, talking directly with ground units still remained difficult. 88

In an interview, a former 1st Cavalry Division Army Liaison pilot stated that he could talk to the Division G-3 but could not communicate with the ground forces. He did state that on one occasion he communicated with them by dropping a "message sack."

[note]

 

Eighth U.S. Army in Korea

XIV. Lessons Learned About the Enemy

In mid-August 1950 , Eighth Army published "Combat Information Bulletin Number One," distilling the experience of American forces after approximately six weeks of combat operations in Korea. Infiltration was

"a problem of major proportion. North Korean soldiers are coming through the lines as refugees, securing arms and uniforms behind our lines and operating against our rear."

The bulletin warned that the

 "fact that the enemy will occupy all terrain features that we do not physically occupy, with what appear to be civilians or refugees, has caused commanders to forcibly deny if necessary, any refugees within their sectors. They must be sent back toward the enemy lines."

 Infiltrating NKPA troops had proved capable of over-running American companies and even battalions; American units, the bulletin warned, had to ensure

"strong local security and perimeter defense in depth in every case regardless of the size unit and its location to the front line."

66

Headquarters Eighth United States Army Korea, Office of the Commanding General, "Combat Information Bulletin No. 1,"

Down loaded from the U.S. Army Military History Institute website, http://carlislewww.army.mil/cgi-bin/usamhi/DL/showdoc.pl?docnum=62.

Combat Lesson Number One

 

 While this document was issued without a date, other sources make it clear that it was issued sometime in mid-August 1950 . A number of items in the bulletin are taken from earlier periodic intelligence reports issued by Eighth Army. A draft version, dated 25 July 1950 , is included in "Report of First OCAFF Observer Team to the Far East Command."

Lieutenant Colonel Warren S. Everett, a General Staff officer who visited Korea in August, reported that just prior to his departure from Korea on August 24, Eighth Army published the bulletin. "Report on Visit of Lt Colonel Everett (representative of G-3, D/A) to RECOM and USARPAC, 19-30 Aug 1950 ." In File 333 Pacific, Box 94, G3 Top Secret Decimal File 1950 , RG 319, NARA.

67

To help prepare American soldiers going to Korea, the Department of the Army in August 1950 issued a pamphlet entitled Army Four-Hour Pre-Combat Orientation Course (Korea). The pamphlet included the following information about the enemy:

Charlie Company learned about guerrillas, the hard way. One day a group of Korean 'civilians' strolled into a quiet defense position occupied by a company outpost. One of the Koreans who spoke English offered to sell the soldiers a chicken. He reached under his cloak, but instead of a chicken produced a gun. In the fight that ensued, the Americans lost several men. The guerrilla problem is complicated by the fact that North Koreans and South Koreans look alike and talk alike. At the risk of offending their South Korean friends, Charlie Company learned to be cautious of all Koreans whose identity and loyalty were not definitely known.

67

Department of the Army Pamphlet No. 20-105, Army Four-Hour Pre-Combat Orientation Course (Korea), August 1950 . In Army Intelligence Decimal Files 1950 , Entry 2A, Box 572, RG 319, NARA.

[note]

 

Eighth U.S. Army in Korea

On 21 March [51] , Eighth Army had a new assistant chief of staff, G-3, for operations. Col. William C. Mudgett replaced Brig. Gen. John A. Dabney, who had held that post since 15 August1950.

[note]

 

South then North

 

biography


X Corps troops Assembled
By 20 July General MacArthur had settled rather definitely on the concept of the Inch'ŏn operation and he spoke of the matter at some length with General Almond and with General Wright, his operations officer.

On 12 August, MacArthur issued CINCFE Operation Plan 100-B and specifically named the Inch'ŏn-Sŏul area as the target that a special invasion force would seize by amphibious assault. [25-6]


On 15 August General MacArthur established the headquarters group of the Special Planning Staff (Force X) to take charge of the projected amphibious operation. For purposes of secrecy the new group, selected from the GHQ FEC staff, was designated, Special Planning Staff, GHQ, and the forces to be placed under its control, GHQ Reserve.

On 21 August, MacArthur requested the Department of the Army by radio for authority to activate Headquarters, X Corps, and, upon receiving approval, he issued GHQ FEC General Order 24 on 26 August activating the corps. All units in Japan or en route there that had been designated GHQ Reserve were assigned to it. [25-7] 

[note]

 

Underestimation of enemy losses in the first five weeks of the war led in turn to an exaggerated notion of the enemy forces facing the U.N. Command along the Pusan Perimeter. The enemy had probably no more than 70,000 men in his committed eleven divisions, one independent mechanized regiment, and one independent infantry regiment, as he began crossing the Naktong River on 4-5 August to assault the U.N. forces in the Pusan Perimeter.

A tabulation of estimated enemy strength by major units as of 5 August follows: [15-58]

August 5, 1950 NKPA unit strengths

No reliable figures are available for the number of enemy tanks destroyed and for tank troop casualties of the 105th Armored Division by 5 August, but certainly they were high. There were only a few tank replacements during July.

The first large tank replacement apparently took place about 15 August, when 21 new tanks and 200 tank crew men arrived at the front. Aerial action destroyed many new tanks before they could reach the battle zone. One captured major said the armored division was down to 20 percent strength by the time the battle for Taegu began.

 

[15-58] The estimates of both enemy losses and strength are based on
enemy materials-captured documents and interrogation reports. These, taken as a body, are believed to be more reliable than estimates prepared by U.. authorities as the battle progressed, which could be little better than guesswork. This is particularly true of the period under discussion as the enemy held the battlefield during the U.N. withdrawal movements to the Pusan Perimeter and there seldom was an opportunity to count his dead. The replacements received in the enemy combat units, as reported in prisoner interrogations, have been included in the strength figure.

[note]

 

Colonel Throckmorton succeeded Colonel Ordway in command of the regiment on 15 August. He was fired, see 8/12th.

[note]

 

Although the situation did not look good for the American forces in the bulge on 15 August, the harsh prospect nevertheless gave a distorted view unless one knew something of the picture on the "other side of the hill." Actually, the N.K. 4th Division was in desperate straits. Its food was in low supply. Ammunition resupply was difficult. One regiment, the 18th, reportedly received its last ammunition resupply on 14 August. Desertion among replacements, according to prisoners, reached about 40 percent. Half the replacements did not have weapons, and they were used for labor services in digging foxholes, carrying ammunition, and foraging for food. The slightly wounded received but little medical attention, and were immediately put back into the front line. A large part of the severely wounded died from lack of medical care. Only the former Chinese Communist Forces fanatical squad and platoon leaders maintained high morale. Estimated strength as of 5 August was 7,000 men. [17-62]

In discussing plans for the attack with Marine brigade and regimental commanders-Craig and Murray-Church and Hill learned that they did not want to launch an attack until the carrier-based Marine Corsairs could participate. The USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) and the USS Sicily (CVE-118) would not be in position to launch their planes until 17 August. Plans were made, therefore, to attack on that day. [17-63]

General Church was to command the co-ordinated attack of Army and Marine troops. The attack plan placed the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade on the left in front of Obong-ni Ridge. (Map 10)

(MAP 10) Destroying THE ENEMY BRIDGEHEAD 17-19 August 1950

On the extreme left, the 1st Battalion (-), 21st Infantry, was to protect the marines' left flank. The 8th [9th] Infantry stayed in front of Cloverleaf where it had been fighting for a week. The road between Cloverleaf and Obong-ni was the boundary between it and the marines. The 34th Infantry was north of the 8th [9th] Infantry. Beyond it the 19th Infantry formed the extreme right flank of the attack formations. The plan called for the 9th Infantry, after it took Cloverleaf, to be pinched out by the units on either side of it. They were to drive on to the Naktong. The 19th Infantry was to attack to the river and seize Ohang Hill, which the North Koreans had regained. The attack was to begin at 0800, 17 August. Fifty-four 105-mm. howitzers and one battalion of 155 mm. howitzers were in place to support the attack. [17-64]

[note]

 

The steadily deteriorating situation in the vicinity of P'ohang-dong caused Eighth Army on 15 August to order the ROK 3rd Division evacuated by sea. The division was to land at Kuryongp'o-ri, twenty air miles southward on the cape at the south side of Yŏngil Bay. It was then to relieve elements of the Capital Division in the line below P'ohang-dong and join in a planned coordinated attack northward. [18-26]

[note]

 

Unit Info  

The 27th Infantry Regiment of the 25th Division had just completed its mission of clearing the North Koreans from the southern part of the Naktong Bulge area in the 24th Division sector when the enemy pressure north of Taegu caused new alarm in Eighth Army headquarters. Acting on the threat from this quarter, Eighth Army on 14 August relieved the regiment from attachment to the 24th Division and the next day ordered it [27th ID] northward to Kyŏngsan-ni, in army reserve.

[note]

 

At this juncture, the North Koreans received their only large tank reinforcements during the Pusan Perimeter fighting. On or about 15 August, the 105th Armored Division received 21 new T34 tanks and 200 troop replacements, which it distributed to the divisions attacking Taegu. The tank regiment with the N.K. 13th Division reportedly had 14 tanks. [19-61]

[note]

 

  

When enemy penetrations in the Pusan Perimeter at the bulge of the Naktong caused General Walker to withdraw the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade from Task Force Kean, he ordered the 25th Division to take up defensive positions on the army southern flank west of Masan. By 15 August the 25th Division had moved into these positions.

The terrain west of Masan dictated the choice of the positions. The mountain barrier west of Masan was the first readily defensible ground east of the Chinju pass. (See Map IV.)

Place_Names/SNK_MAP_IV_Notch.pdf

The two thousand-foot mountain ridges of Sobuk-san and P'il-bong dominated the area and protected the Komam-ni (Saga)-Haman-Chindong-ni road, the only means of north-south communication in the army zone west of Masan.

Northward from the Masan-Chinju highway to the Nam River there were a number of possible defensive positions. The best one was the Notch and adjacent high ground near Chungam-ni, which controlled the important road junction connecting the Masan road with the one over the Nam River to Uiryŏng. This position, however, had the disadvantage of including a 15-mile stretch of the Nam River to the point of its confluence with the Naktong, thus greatly lengthening the line. It was mandatory that the 25th Division right flank connect with the left flank of the 24th Division at the confluence of the Nam and the Naktong Rivers. Within this limitation, it was also necessary that the 25th Division line include and protect the Komam-ni road intersection where the Chindong-ni - Haman road met the Masan-Chinju highway.

The Southern Anchor of the Army Line 1st

MAP 17 Chŏnju Region L552-NI52-2

 

From Komam-ni  a 2-mile-wide belt of rice paddy land extended north four miles to the Nam River. On the west of this paddy land a broken spur of P'il-bong, dominated by 900-foot-high Sibidang-san, dropped down to the Nam. Sibidang-san provided excellent observation, and artillery emplaced in the Komam-ni area could interdict the road junction at Chungam-ni. Colonel Fisher, therefore, selected the Sibidang-Komam-ni position for his 35th Infantry Regiment  in the northern part of the 25th Division defense line.

 The 35th Regiment line extended from a point two miles west of Komam-ni to the Nam River and then turned east along that stream to its confluence with the Naktong. It was a long regimental line-about 26,000 yards (about 14 miles). [20-1]

The part of the line held by the 35th Infantry-covering as it did the main Masan-Chinju highway, the railroad, and the Nam River corridor, and forming the hinge with the 24th Division to the north-was potentially the most critical and important sector of the 25th Division front. Lt. Col. Bernard G. Teeter's 1st Battalion held the regimental left west of Komam-ni; Colonel Wilkins' 2nd Battalion held the regimental right along the Nam River. Maj. Robert L. Woolfolk's 3rd Battalion (1st Battalion, 29th Infantry)1st Battalion, 29th [20-now 3rd Battalion, 27 Infantry], was in reserve on the road south of Ch'irwŏn from where it could move quickly to any part of the line.

South of the 35th Infantry, Colonel Champeny's 24th Infantry, known among the men in the regiment as the "Deuce-Four," took up the middle part of the division front in the mountain area west of Haman.

Below (south) the 24th Infantry and west of Chindong-ni, Colonel Throckmorton's 5th Regimental Combat Team was on the division left. On division orders, Throckmorton at first held the ground above the Chindong-ni coastal road only as far as Fox Hill, or Yaban-san. General Kean soon decided, however, that the 5th Regimental Combat Team should close the gap northward between it and the 24th Infantry. When Throckmorton sent a ROK unit of 100 men under American officers to the higher slope of Sobuk-san, enemy troops already there drove them back.  General Kean then ordered the 5th Regimental Combat Team to take this ground, but it was too late. [20-2]

The N.K. 6th Division Regroups West of Masan 1st

In front of the 25th Division, the N.K. 6th Division had now received orders from the North Korean command to take up defensive positions and to await reinforcements before continuing the attack. [20-3] From north to south, the division had its 13th, 15th, and 14th Regiments on line in that order.

[note]

 

Approximately 2,000 unarmed South Koreans conscripted in the Sŏul area joined the division by 15 August. At Chinju, the 6th Division issued them grenades and told the recruits they would have to pick up weapons from killed and wounded on the battlefield and to use captured ones.

[note]

 

The 1st and 3rd Regiments [of the 7th Division ] arrived at Chinju on or about 15 August.

[note]

 

The 2nd Regiment [of the 7th Division ] arrived at Yŏsu on or about 15 August to garrison that port. The 7th Division, therefore, upon first arriving in southwest Korea occupied key ports to protect the 6th Division against possible landings in its rear. [20-6]

[note]

 

Battle Mountain

Unit Info  Unit Info

 

At the same time that the North Koreans were trying to penetrate the 35th Infantry positions in the Sibidang-Komam-ni area, they sent strong patrols and probing attacks against the mountainous middle part of the 25th Division line. Since this part of the division line became a continuing problem in the defense of the Perimeter, more should be said about the terrain there and some of its critical features.

Old mine shafts and tunnels on the western slope of Sobuk-san provided the North Koreans in this area with ready-made underground bunkers, assembly points, and supply depots. As early as the first week of August, the North Koreans were in this mountain fastness and had never been driven out. It was the assembly area for their combat operations on the Masan front all during the month. Even when American troops had held the Notch position beyond Chungam-ni, their combat patrols had never been able to penetrate along the mountain trail that branches off the Masan road and twists its way up the narrow mountain valley to the mining villages of Ogok and Tundŏk, at the western base of Battle Mountain and P'ilbong, two peaks of Sobuk-san. The patrols always were either ambushed or driven back by enemy action. The North Koreans firmly protected all approaches to their Sobuk-san stronghold. [20-14]

When the 25th Division issued orders to its subordinate units to take up defensive positions west of Masan, the 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry, was still trying to seize Obong-san, the mountain ridge just west of Battle Mountain and P'il-bong, and across a gorge-like valley from them. At daybreak of 15 August, the 2nd Battalion broke contact with the enemy and withdrew to Battle Mountain and the ridge west of Haman. The 3rd Battalion of the 24th Infantry now came to the Haman area to help in the regimental defense of this sector. [20-15]

This high ground west of Haman on which the 24th Infantry established its defensive line was part of the Sobuk-san mountain mass. Sobuk-san reaches its highest elevation, 2,400 feet, at P'il-bong (Hill 743), eight miles northwest of Chindong-ni and three miles southwest of Haman. From P'il-bong the crest of the ridge line drops and curves slightly northwestward, to rise again a mile away in the bald peak which became known as Battle Mountain (Hill 665). It also was variously known as Napalm Hill, Old Baldy, and Bloody Knob. Between P'il-bong and Battle Mountain the ridge line narrows to a rocky ledge which the troops called the Rocky Crags. Northward from Battle Mountain toward the Nam River, the ground drops sharply in two long spur ridges. Men who fought there called the eastern one Green Peak. [20-16]

Place_Names/6819-I_Ŭiryŏng_L751-Naktong-buldge.pdf

At the western base (enemy side) of Battle Mountain and P'il-bong lay Ogok and Tundŏk, one and a quarter air miles from the crest. A generally north-south mountain road-trail crossed a high saddle just north of these villages and climbed to the 1,100-foot level of the west slope, or about halfway to the top, of Battle Mountain. This road gave the North Koreans an advantage in mounting and supplying their attacks in this area. A trail system ran from Ogok and Tundŏk to the crests of Battle Mountain and P'il-bong. From the top of Battle Mountain an observer could look directly down into this enemy-held valley, upon its mining villages and numerous mine shafts. Conversely, from Battle Mountain the North Koreans could look down into the Haman valley eastward and keep the 24th Infantry command post, supply road, artillery positions, and approach trails under observation. Whichever side held the crest of Battle Mountain could see into the rear areas of the other. Both forces fully understood the advantages of holding the crest of Battle Mountain and each tried to do it in a 6-week-long battle.

The approach to Battle Mountain and P'il-bong was much more difficult from the east, the American-held side, than from the west, the North Korean side. On the east side there was no road climbing halfway to the top; from the base of the mountain at the edge of the Haman valley the only way to make the ascent was by foot trail. Stout climbers required from 2 to 3 hours to reach the top of P'il-bong from the reservoir area, one and a half air miles eastward; they required from 3 to 4 hours to get on top of Battle Mountain from the valley floor. The turnaround time for porter pack trains to Battle Mountain was 6 hours. Often a dispatch runner required 8 hours to go up Battle Mountain and come back down. In some places the trail was so steep that men climbed with the help of ropes stretched at the side of the trail. Enemy night patrols constantly cut telephone lines. The wire men had a difficult and dangerous job trying to maintain wire communication with units on the mountain.

Bringing dead and seriously wounded down from the top was an arduous task. It required a litter bearer team of six men to carry a wounded man on a stretcher down the mountain. In addition, a medical aide was needed to administer medical care during the trip if the man was critically wounded, and riflemen often accompanied the party to protect it from enemy snipers along the trail. A critically wounded man might, and sometimes did, die before he reached the bottom where surgical and further medical care could be administered. This possibility was one of the factors that lowered morale in the 24th Infantry units fighting on Battle Mountain. Many men were afraid that if they were wounded there they would die before reaching adequate medical care. [20-17]

[why didn't they use choppers?]

   Unit Info  

In arranging the artillery and mortar support for the 24th Infantry on Battle Mountain and P'il-bong, Colonel Champeny placed the 4.2-inch mortars and the 159th Field Artillery Battalion in the valley south of Haman.

[note]

 

   Unit Info

When Colonel Champeny on 15 August established his line there [Engineer Road] was a 4,000-yard gap in the P'il-bong area between the 24th Infantry and the 5th Infantry southward. The 24th Infantry had not performed well during the Task Force Kean action and this fact made a big gap adjacent to it a matter of serious concern.

[note]

 

   Bio

While General Walker had many capable staff officers at his Eighth Army headquarters at this time, perhaps none was more valuable to him than Col. John A. Dabney, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, [assigned on 8/22] who had joined the Eighth Army in Korea during July.

[note]

 

Bio   Bio   Def

The drop in air delivery to Korea caused General Partridge, commanding the Far East Air Forces, to complain on 10 August that the Army was not fully using the airlift's 200-ton daily capacity. That day, Eighth Army ordered curtailment of delivery by the Red Ball Express and increased use of the airlift to its maximum capacity. The reason given for this action was a sudden apprehension that the port of Pusan could not process promptly the flow of water-borne supplies. The absurdity of the logistical situation was illustrated the next day, 11 August, when, upon General Partridge's suggestion, two 2 1/2-ton trucks were airlifted in a C-119 from Tachikawa Air Base in Japan to Taegu.

The Air Force planned to airlift two trucks daily in this manner.

As a result of this development, Eighth Army on 12 August ordered that, effective 15 August, the Red Ball Express be discontinued except on Tuesday and Friday of each week when it would carry cargo difficult for the planes to handle. Under this arrangement airlift tonnage greatly increased. On 16 August, transport planes carried 324 tons of cargo and 595 passengers; on 19 August, 160 tons of cargo and 381 passengers; on 28 August, 398 tons of cargo and 343 passengers; and, on 29 August, 326 tons of cargo and 347 passengers. [11]

[note]

 

MAP 18 Pusan L552-NI52-3

On 15 August, the ROK Army activated the Ground General School at Tongnae, near Pusan,

[note]

 

biography    biography

but it was not until 15 August that General MacArthur ordered it [Korean Augmentation to the United States Army ] -General Walker was to increase the strength of each company and battery of United States troops by 100 Koreans. The Koreans legally would be part of the ROK Army and would be paid and administered by the South Korean Government. They would receive U.S. rations and special service items. The Far East Command initially expected that each ROK recruit would pair with a United States soldier. [21-28]

[note]

 

on 15 August some light bombers and fighter-bombers joined in the interdiction campaign. This campaign sought the destruction of thirty-two rail and highway bridges on the three main transportation routes across Korea:

 (1) the line from Sinanju south to P'yŏngyang and thence northeast to Wŏnsan on the east coast;

(2) the line just below the 38th Parallel from Munsan-ni through Sŏul to Ch'unch'ŏn to Chumunjin-up on the east coast;

(3) the line from Sŏul south to Choch'iwŏn and hence east to Wŏnju to Samch'ŏk on the east coast.

The interdiction campaign marked nine rail yards, including those at Sŏul, 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. [21-4]

[note]

 

Koread-War

On 15 August General MacArthur established the headquarters group of the Special Planning Staff to take charge of the projected amphibious operation. For purposes of secrecy the new group, selected from the GHQ FEC staff, was designated, Special Planning Staff, GHQ, and the forces to be placed under its control, GHQ Reserve.

[note]

 

 

The Forgotten War

 

biography   

By first light Clifford's G Company (and a platoon of mortar-men from H Company) had been cut off atop the hill. His F Company escaped encirclement by a hurried withdrawal.[8-19]

Marcel Crombez was humiliated and furious. The NKPA "capture of Hill 303 gave the enemy not only the dominating terrain at Waegwan but also an opportunity to crow (on Radio P'yŏngyang) that the city had been "liberated from the imperialist warmongers.

Determined to regain the hill and city and rescue G Company and the mortar-men, Crombez counterattacked with all the force he could spare. Unfortunately the counterattack failed, but the survivors of G and H companies abandoned the hilltop in darkness and slipped through the NKPA lines to safety.

[note]

 

By August 15 the NKPA in this sector had advanced to Tabu, a mere fifteen miles north of Taegu, causing near panic in that city.

A sudden and entirely unexpected NKPA victory on the east coast heightened the panic in Taegu. In that sector the ROK 3rd Division had held the lackluster NKPA 5th Division at bay for weeks.

[note]

 

U.S. Air Force

 

Sent an R&R to VC Ops, ATTN D/Ops:

Reference my memorandum to you dated 14 Aug on the mission set-up for Wednesday, 16 August or Thursday, 17 August, all ground troops down to and including the squad must be briefed on this strike prior to time of drop. I talked with General Partridge at 0740 hours this morning and cautioned him of my desires reference this matter. He guaranteed that he would take same up with General Walker and that it would be done. Even though General Partridge will do as stated above, I want a very carefully worded directive given to him with information copies to the CG, 8th Army and CINCFE, clearly defining the boundaries of the target area with time and date of the attack.


Received a letter from Gill Robb Wilson in which he explained that getting news of what is happening is like "prospecting for diamonds in a bathtub."ť


My reply to him was that I had thought that he wasn't getting the news - correctly and factually, and that I, besides sending him straight dope from time to time, he would find news coming in better at home because I was getting my PIO difficulties ironed out. Told him we both hope to see him in November - and re his running for Congress would make no comment; however it will be great to have another real booster for air power in Wash on the Hill.

Sent the following memo to VC for Ops attention D/Ops:

Reference my memorandum to you dated 14 August (Reference the mass B-29 [70 aircraft] attack drop from 5,000 feet on North Korean front lines.) on the mission set up for Wednesday, 16 August, or Thursday, 17
August, all ground troops down to and including the squad must be briefed on this strike prior to the time of the drop. I talked with General Partridge at 1740 hours this morning and cautioned him re my desires reference this matter. He guaranteed that he would take same up with General Walker and it would be done. Even though General Partridge will do as stated above, I want a very carefully worded directive given to him with information copies to the Commanding General, Eighth Army and CINCFE, clearly defining the boundaries of the target area with time and date of attack

Sent the VC for A&P [administration and plans] a memo:

I want copies of the two T. S. signals that were sent to the CSAF reference our plans for the construction of a jet flying field and a transport flying field at Pusan forwarded to General Partridge. Maybe the two signals can be combined and the data set forth therein put in a letter in the form of a directive to Partridge. If the latter is done, I want to sign it.

Memo sent to VC for Ops thru VC A&P:

In a conference that I had with General MacArthur at 1810 hours last evening, the coming amphibious operation was discussed and the two points that he raised, and with which he is concerned were: (1) quickness with which we can rehabilitate the airfield at Kimp'o, and (2) have available fuel at that airfield as well as ammunition and bombs.199 He indicated to me that the distance from the salt water to the airfield was only some 15 miles. He was confident that a tanker could be docked and fuel quickly placed as well as ammunition and bombs. It is desired that the planning people working on this operation con- sider and study the above two questions raised and that a prepared expeditious solution be presented to me for approval.

Memo to VC for A&P:

Some two weeks ago I asked that some thought be given to the organization of a small command group, representing FEAF, to accompany me when I accompany CINCFE on any Far East Command movement out- side of Japan. To date, I have received nothing on this subject. Please give it attention and come up with a recommendation on the size and composition of such a command group.


Presented a strike album to CINCFE; book contains representative types of FEAF strikes accomplished; vehicular traffic attacked by fighters as their contribution toward interdiction and close support; strikes by light bombardment a/c in their contribution towards isolation of the battlefield; industrial targets attacked by medium bombardment a/c showing their contribution toward total destruction of the enemy's capability to wage war.

Sent a message to Norstad stating

In conference with CINCFE last evening, he directed that a signal be sent you reference your statements to him during your departing conference in his office regarding B-29 groups in theater. General MacArthur desires that the two recently arrived medium bomb groups be retained in this theater at least for an additional month which would mean 8 October and, further, that you be informed that in all probability he will request another and final delay until 8 November

B-29s report on their strike north of the 38th Parallel, one of the B-29s was attacked by a single-engine fighter. The fighter identified as an La-5, made two or three passes at the Superfortress, but broke off the engagement after the Superforts tail gunner fired some 100 rounds.[200] Several other enemy fighters were observed, but they did not close in for an attack.


11:30 A.M., General Ho called.


2:30 P.M., Ed Murrow with Nuckols. Murrow came by to say goodbye and said he was going to pass on to Van and Norstad the superior job we were doing out here.


7:00 P.M., Nuckols, Weyland and the Pichers to dinner at Mayeda House.

[note]

 

Koread-War

 

Just as the strategic attacks were getting underway, the JCS assigned additional targets on 15 August. These were

 

Although some of these targets were already included in FEAF's strategic target list, FEAF intelligence remained unable to identify the Tong Iron Foundry and the Sam Yong Industrial Factory, either from city plans or aerial photographs. To avoid needless civilian casualties the JCS further advised that Bomber Command drop preliminary warning leaflets enabling people living near strategic targets to escape the bombing attacks.

[note]

 

   Koread-War

FEAF

When exposed to air attack, the North Koreans proved adept at camouflage. Vehicles and armored equipment were concealed in tree-shaded, dry stream beds and ravines. False haystacks were built on top of tanks, and both tanks and vehicles were driven into houses to prevent their discovery from the air. Destroyed materiel was made conspicuous by an appearance of poor camouflage, a ruse which often caused aircraft to expend their ordnance on unproductive targets. troops remained hidden during daylight hours and were seen only in the morning or late evening when preparing for an attack or retiring from forward positions.

 Occasionally, when enemy troops were caught in the open, they would wave at the aircraft rather than disperse, thus seeking to create a doubt in the pilot's mind as to whether they were, friendly or hostile. When enemy troops were well dug-in, it was impossible to see them from an altitude higher than 100 to 150 feet. Such employment of force made the North Koreans difficult to handle on the ground and a confusing target from the air.

That the employment of tactical air power in South Korea was not always in conformity with accepted doctrines has already been noted in reference to many of CINCFE's directives, issued usually in the heat of a moment when EUSAK troops were hard pressed.

The tactical air victory in South Korea involved establishment of aerial superiority, interdiction of the battle area, and direct support for ground troops. Although the USAF doctrine has never maintained that these tasks are mutually exclusive, devoting all air effort first to aerial superiority, all effort next to interdiction, and finally, when the other phases are accomplished, all effort to direct support, USAF doctrine does insist that this sequence represents a logical priority of application of tactical air power. Deviations from the series was to hinder the employment of tactical air in South Korea.

August

[note]

 

Koread-War

By 15 August General Walker believed that he was nearing a stabilization along the Naktong line, and although Taegu eventually came under enemy artillery fire, the EUSAK defenses held. In the perimeter line were, from south to north, the 25th Division, the 1st Marine Brigade, the 24th Division, the 1st Cavalry Division, and the ROK 1st, 6th, 8th, Capitol, and 3rd Divisions. Division fronts, however, were exceptionally long, and the North Koreans were able to manage numerous infiltrations, any one of which, unless contained, might break the U. N. line.

[note]

 

an SA-16 picked up an F-51 pilot only 5 minutes after he had parachuted into the water.

[note]

 

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]

 

As it had promised, on 31 July the JCS specified strategic targets which, except for emergencies, were to be attacked by the 98th and 307th Groups. These were

(1) the two munitions plants and the railway shops and yards at P'yŏngyang;

(2) the three chemical plants at Hŭngnam;

(3) the oil refinery, railway shops, and railway yards at Wŏnsan; and

(4) the petroleum storage plant at Najin.

The JCS promised to name additional targets and suggested that MacArthur direct other similar targets to be hit if he believed they warranted bombing. For large-scale operations Bomber Command recognized that target priorities should be established strictly in accordance with the principles of target selection for strategic air war. Normally, assuming air superiority, direct war-supporting industries would be given first priority in the order of their importance, end products or general industries second priority, and basic processes industries third priority. Because of the relative smallness of the five main industrial complexes in North Korea, however, General O'Donnell recommended attack by areas rather than target systems. Priority targets in these areas were so close together that a minimum number of area raids would eliminate all targets more quickly than more specialized and scattered attacks upon targets of industrial similarity.

Def

The FEAF plan for medium bomber employment against industrial targets thus recommended five major urban areas for attack:

  1. P'yŏngyang:
    Army arsenals.*
    Railway shops and yards.*
    Railroad bridges.
  2. Ch'ŏngjin:
    Harbor and submarine base. **
    West harbor.
    Mitsubishi iron works.
    Japan iron works.
    Railway yards. **
  3. Wŏnsan:
    Oil refinery.
    Railway yards.*
    Port and naval base.
  4. Hungnam:
    Chosen nitrogen and explosives plant.*
    Nitrogen and fertilizer plant.*
    Chemical plant.*
  5. Rashin:
    Marshaling yards.
    Port and naval base.
    Oil storage areas.*

*Indicates JCS targets specified on 31 July 1950.

**Indicates JCS targets specified on 15 August 1950.

These were the important industrial areas of North Korea. P'yŏngyang, the capital of North Korea, was a key choke point on the main west coast railway, and its arsenals, well exploited by the Japanese, were now in Communist use.

Ch'ŏngjin, whose harbor had been leased to the USSR for 30 years, was the center of North Korean iron and steel production.

Wŏnsan was the center of petroleum refining as well as possessing one of the best harbors on the east coast, and Hungnam was a chemical center of large magnitude.

Rashin, on the east coast near the Siberian border, was an important rail center and an oil, gasoline, and explosives area.

If weather permitted visual bombing, FEAF believed that two medium bombardment groups could destroy the five complexes in about 30 days, but additional groups would be required to do the job in a similar length of time with radar bombing. Other scattered objectives, not suited for incendiary attacks, included:

  1. Petroleum facilities:
    Yongan coal liquefaction plant.
    Aoji-dong coal liquefaction plant.
  2. transportation targets:
    Chinnamp'o port and submarine base.
    Chinnamp'o railway terminal. **
  3. Electric power facilities:
    Changjingang hydroelectric plant #1.
    Changjingang hydroelectric plant #2.
    Pujon (Fusen) hydroelectric plant.

FEAF estimated that these targets would require some 845 tons of high explosives. The destruction of these key industrial targets would undoubtedly strip North Korea of the domestic potential for supporting Communist armies in the field, but it was still recognized by FEAF intelligence that much of the Red Korean war materiel came from areas beyond the Yalu.

This well thought out and comprehensive plan for attacking North Korea's strategic industries met approval in all but one important aspect: Washington was very hesitant about any air action which might be used for Communist propaganda and desired no unnecessary civilian casualties which might come from fire attacks in North Korea. Indiscriminate use of incendiaries was therefore not sanctioned. High-explosive raids would take longer, but the SAC groups proved so adept with radar bombing techniques that weather was not as much of a deterrent as FEAF planners had expected.

[note]

 

biography   biography

 

Close Support Operations - B-29 Operations


By the middle of August MacArthur considered the Korean ground situation stabilized, but General Walker, his forces holding long sections of line in light strength, was still fighting to keep the key city of Taegu. Enemy troops appeared to be building up across the Naktong for a penetration. In the emergency MacArthur made the entire B-29 strength available to EUSAK and on 14 August he called in Stratemeyer to suggest that carpet bombing was in order. At a FEAF conference on the same day,

 

 

O'Donnell laid out his [on the 14th] requirements for such a mission as follows:

On 15 August GHQ furnished FEAF a target which by a stretch of imagination met a few of these requirements: and area 3.2 miles wide and 7.5 miles long paralleling the west bank of the Naktong, just opposite Waegwan where the enemy was probing for a weak spot in the 1st Cavalry front. FEAF ordered a five-group mission against the target on 16 August, provided the weather permitted visual bombing.

19500000 usaf0

 

Lawotschkin La-5 FN.jpg        Boeing B-29

On 15 August an LA-5 attacked a 307th Bombardment Group  B-29 but was easily driven off by two bursts from the tail gunner.

[note]

 

    

On 12 August North Korean troops entered the port of P'ohang, and next day (the 13th) the 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group had no choice but to evacuate the embattled airfield and return to Tsuiki Airfield in Japan. Elements of the 6131st Fighter Wing departed by LST on 15 August and subsequently joined the 35th Group at Tsuiki. The evacuation was well managed. "No equipment was left behind," observed one fighter squadron, adding that "this was due partly to the fact that we did not have much equipment anyhow. "#39

A few days after the Air Force men abandoned P'ohang Airfield, the American task force rallied the ROK troops in the area and drove the Reds out of the port of P'ohang. But Air Force units would not be able to return to P'ohang while fighting raged on the Pusan perimeter, for the east coast area was too guerrilla ridden to accommodate combat air units.#40

 

August

An LST during landing operations.

[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]

 

   biography

On 15 August, the date predicted for the all-out enemy assault, Fifth Air Force fighter-bombers congregated in support of the 1st Cavalry Division. Shortly after dawn rocket-firing fighters knocked out two tanks spearheading a Communist probing attack near Waegwan, and later in the day strafers killed an estimated 300 enemy troops in this same area.

 Fifteen miles north of Taegu other fighter-bombers assisted the 1st ROK Division to break up a tank-led attack. Under close control, the fighter-bombers repeatedly attacked enemy tanks which got inside ROK defenses. At the close of the day on 15 August General Partridge radioed Stratemeyer that the expected enemy offensive had failed to develop. #100

Although General Partridge was concerned about the possibility of an enemy assault on the Waegwan front, he made no request for additional support-either from the Navy or from the FEAF Bomber Command. #lol

[note]

 

Koread-War  

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]

 

biography  

Cloud cover along the Naktong was too heavy to permit the medium-bomber operation on 15 August, but it was rescheduled for the next day.

 To General O'Donnell's dismay the target area which the Eighth Army designated for attack was a strip of terrain 3½ miles wide and 7½ miles long running along the Naktong northwest of Waegwan. In this area some 40,000 Communist troops were said to be preparing for an assault against the 1st Cavalry Division.

For the operation General O'Donnell had available two full medium-bomber groups and two squadrons each from the other three medium-bomber groups. With these 12 squadrons he realized that he would be unable to "saturate" the 27 square miles of the target area, but he thought that the ground situation merited an all-out attack if for nothing more than its psychological effect.

Bomber Command operations officers therefore divided the area into 12 equal squares and assigned each squadron an aiming point in the center of one of them. All crews were cautioned that they must place all of their bombs west of the river and that they must take especial care not to bomb any of the American troops who would be watching from the east bank of the Naktong.#l05

Each squadron gets two square miles, (11th and 12th could double up on one square mile).

[note]

 

On 15 August the Joint Chiefs designated additional strategic targets:

  1. the railway yards and shops and the harbor facilities at Ch'ŏngjin (Seishin);

  2. the railway yards, the "Tong Iron Foundry," and the "Sam Yong Industrial Factory" at Chinnamp'o;

  3. the railway yards and shops and the docks and storage areas at Sŏngjin;

  4. the railway yards at Hamhung;

  5. and the railway yards at Haeju.#10

[note]

 

   Def

A little later the Joint Chiefs of Staff forwarded further instructions that Bomber Command must drop warning leaflets notifying civilians to leave the industrial areas before the factories were attacked.#13

[note]

 

On 15 August an SA-16 crew picked up a Mustang pilot only five minutes after he had parachuted into the water off southern Korea. #77

[note]

 

U.S. Marine Corps

 

  

The 5th Marines enjoyed a day's well-earned rest at Miryang on 15 August. After eating their first hot meal since arriving in Korea almost two weeks before, the Marines were ordered into action at the Naktong Bulge. They captured all of their objectives and pushed the NKPA back across the river. These actions became a showcase of the effectiveness of the Marine air-ground team concept. Ground assaults were closely coordinated with air strikes and were preceded and continually supported by accurate artillery fire. Prompt evacuation of casualties, some by helicopter, kept the number of deaths from wounds to a minimum.

Unfortunately, numerous laudatory media reports about this action — not unlike the publicity at Belleau Wood in 1918 — occasionally drew the ire of other service commanders, most notably over the effectiveness of Marine close air support when compared to that provided to the army by the air force. This later fostered inter-service jealousy.

[note]

 

   9th RCT

Task Force Hill attacked on 11 August but lost its momentum in a confused situation which found the enemy attacking at the same time. Reinforced to a strength of three infantry regiments, Hill’s provisional unit again struck out against the bridgehead on 14 and 15 August.

[note]

 

    

THE MOVEMENT OF the Brigade to Miryang was completed by rail, LST and shuttling trucks on 15 August.

For the infantry, it meant the first hot meal in Korea, and the bivouac area seemed a cool, green paradise as compared to the sun-scorched hills the men had been climbing under fire this past week. A grove of stately trees provided shade; and thanks to the frugality of peasants who picked up every twig, the grass and moss were like a well-swept carpet. There the troops of the Brigade slept under the stars that night and swam in the nearby Miryang river. It was a veritable reunion for Leathernecks who swapped tales of experiences in the recent combats

Being Marines, they realized of course that this was merely an interlude between operations. The Brigade had passed under operational control of the 24th Infantry Division upon arrival in the Miryang area. And on the 15th General Craig reported to General Church’s CP to be briefed on the situation in the Naktong Bulge, where the next assault would be launched.

[note]

 

       biography   biography

Task Force Hill attacked on 11 August but lost its momentum in a confused situation which found the enemy attacking at the same time. Reinforced to a strength of three infantry regiments, Hill’s provisional unit again struck out against the bridgehead on 14 and 15 August. After encountering a stone wall of resistance, the task force was ordered to cease the attack and defend the ground it occupied east of the enemy pocket.[3]

This was the situation as outlined to General Craig at the planning conference, and he was also briefed on the topography of the target area. The Naktong Bulge west of Yŏngsan-ni, results from a bend in the river resembling a stubby thumb pointing westward. Bounded on three sides by the stream, with its inland border formed by a long valley, the bulge is an isolated terrain feature—a fortress of mountains topped by Hill 311, the key height.

As the Yŏngsan-ni, road reaches the Bulge from the east, it turns southwest, winds around Hill 311, and stops at the tip of the “thumb” where a ferry links it to the road west of the river.

Guarding the eastern approach to the natural fortress are two hills astride the Yŏngsan-ni, road—Finger Ridge to the north and Hill 207 to the south. The former is set off on the east by a deep gully containing the village of Tugok. Eastward from Hill 207 and directly below Tugok is Obong-ni Ridge—so called because of a village by that name at its eastern base.

Not only had the NKPA 4th Division overrun the Naktong Bulge; it had pushed on along the road to Yŏngsan-ni,, seizing Hill 207, Tugok, and both Finger and Obong-ni Ridges. These latest gains and the Bulge itself were being consolidated by elements of all three regiments.

Although units were somewhat depleted, at least 6 infantry battalions occupied the area, supported by 4 mortar companies, over 100 machineguns, and several artillery pieces. There were 4 or more T34 tanks within the bridgehead, and a signal and engineer company for overall support. As the spoils of earlier victories, particularly the one at Taejŏn, enemy arms were generously augmented by a number of American carbines and two 105-mm. howitzer.[4]

It was decided by  General Church and General Craig at their conference of 15 August that the entire 24th Division, Reinforced, would assault the enemy bridgehead at 0800, 17 August, after strong air and artillery preparations. The 19th and 34th Infantry would converge on the Bulge from the northeast. In the center, the 9th RCT and the Marine Brigade would strike frontally astride the MSR, the former on the north of the road and the latter on the south. The 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, was to hold blocking positions in the south to protect the left flank of the Brigade.[5]

On 15 August, front lines in the center of the zone were on Hill 125 and Observation Hill, both defended by the 9th RCT. A thousand yards to the rear, the 34th Infantry occupied Cloverleaf Hill and adjacent high ground. Before the attack, the Brigade was to relieve the 34th on position so that the Army unit could move to the north for its assigned mission. Then, at H-hour, the Marines would jump off from Observation Hill and seize Obong-ni Ridge—Objective One. Simultaneously, the 9th RCT would drive forward through Tugok and take Finger Ridge, from which it was to support the Brigade’s advance. The 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, would be under operational control of the 24th Division artillery commander, and priority for all supporting fires would go to the Marines.[6]

During the planning, General Church emphasized that Cloverleaf Hill must remain occupied and defended until Brigade Objective One was seized. He considered this hill of utmost importance in blocking the MSR to the 24th Division CP and Miryang. This collateral responsibility would tie up a number of Brigade troops and have strong influence on the tactics used against Obong-ni Ridge.[7]

Before the conference closed, Church promised Craig that 145 Army trucks would be available the next day to transport the Marines from their Miryang bivouac to an assembly area near the line of departure.[8]

[note]

 

 

The record of the Volunteer Reserve proved to be equally good after it was ordered to active duty on 15 August 1950. During the next seven and a half months, down to 31 March 1951, the Volunteer Reserve furnished 51,942 of the 84,821 reservists on active duty. As to the quality of these troops, about 99 per cent of the officers and 77.5 per cent of the enlisted were veterans of World War II.[15]

[note]

 

Def

Meanwhile, the last Organized Reserve ground units had been ordered to active duty and the 1st Marine Division was building up to war strength before mounting out. The need for additional personnel still existed, however, and Marine Corps Headquarters, in the administrative instructions of 15 August, directed that "all male enlisted members of the Volunteer Marine Corps Reserve in the ranks of Sergeant and below...." be ordered to active duty with a delay of 15 days. Thus, shortly after the departure of the last elements of the division from Camp Pendleton on 1 September, the first of these Volunteer Reservists began arriving.

[note]

 

Def

Execution of Delay Policy

At about this time, [8/1] a Board to Consider Requests for Delay in Assignment to Active Duty, composed of eight field grade Marine officers, was created. This Board, meeting daily, considered all requests forwarded by the Inspector-Instructors of the various reserve districts. Fully cognizant of the delay policies of the Department of Defense and the Marine Corps implementation of these policies, the members of the Board applied the established eligibility criteria to these requests, weighing each case in terms of hardship or the national interest against the immediate requirements of the Marine Corps.

On [Tuesday] 15 August, two weeks after the convening of the board, the Marine Corps, still far below the strength required and approved for its new commitments, ordered the directors of all Marine Corps reserve districts within the continental limits of the United States to order all male enlisted members of the Volunteer Reserve in the ranks of sergeant and below to extended active duty. Consequently, new instructions were issued incorporating the most recent personnel policy decisions. The new delay policy instructions were substantially the same as those issued for the Organized Reserve.

In the instructions of 15 August, the Commandant delegated the granting of delays for enlisted Volunteer Reservists for periods up to six months to reserve district directors, who were in a better position to investigate and evaluate the merits of the individual requests. To assist in evaluating requests for delay, the directors were further instructed to establish a review board composed of two officers in each district. The function of these boards was to consider the statements-and documentation submitted in support of requests for delay and to make appropriate recommendations to the director whether a delay was warranted under the provisions of the instructions.

the last Organized Reserve ground units had been ordered to active duty and the 1st Marine Division was building up to war strength before mounting out. The need for additional personnel still existed, however, and Marine Corps Headquarters, in the administrative instructions of 15 August, directed that "all male enlisted members of the Volunteer Marine Corps Reserve in the ranks of Sergeant and below...." be ordered to active duty with a delay of 15 days. Thus, shortly after the departure of the last elements of the division from Camp Pendleton on 1 September, the first of these Volunteer Reservists began arriving.

Copies of the promulgated personnel policies statements of the Department of Defense, including the List of Essential Activities prepared by the Department of Commerce and the List of Critical Occupations compiled by the Department of Labor, were furnished to each district to serve as a guide in determining the legitimacy of delay requests.

[note]

 

In addition to the forms set forth by the Department of Defense, the Commandant established other or more specific eligibility categories falling within the intent of the Department of Defense or the Marine Corps. These categories largely duplicated those previously promulgated in the administrative instructions issued to the Organized Reserve with three exceptions:

1. If an extreme hardship existed.

2. If an individual was enrolled in the Platoon Leader's Class or had been accepted for the Naval Reserve Officers training Corps or the Naval Aviation Cadet Program.

3. If the Reservist was under the verified age of 17 years.

In the cases of reservists under the age of 17 years, the district directors were further instructed to initiate discharge proceedings. The discharging of personnel, regular or reserve, falling in this category had long been Marine Corps policy. By15 August, however, with the question of calling 17 year olds to active service already assuming the stature of an important issue, the Commandant deemed it advisable to spell out the policy pertaining to reservists under the verified age of 17years.

[note]

 

U.S. Navy

 

USN_Units

First successful series of night raids on Korean East Coast by a landing party composed of a Navy underwater demolition team and U.S. Marines embarked in USS Horace A. Bass (APD-124); railroad bridges and tunnels destroyed.

[note]

 

USN_Units

Task Force 77 departed from Sasebo at 1742K, 15 August.

This time the route taken was for the east coast of Korea, The next two days were spent off the east coast with operations the first day south of 38*N and the second day north of the 38*N In the south,, bridges and supply dumps were hit; in the north, industrial targets, rail facilities and coastal shipping were attacked.

[note]

 

even miles west of Yŏngsan the river curves to the westward, then south, then east again toward Pusan, to enclose an area some three miles in each dimension, commanded by a central hill mass, and protected on the eastward by ridges running north and south across its entrance. Having crossed the river on 6 August, the enemy in the space of four days had expanded his lodgment to include the larger part of the 4th Division, the unit which Task Force Smith had run up against on 5 July.

Counterattacks on the 11th and on the 14th and 15th had failed to dislodge the three North Korean infantry regiments which, with artillery and tank support, now held the eastern ridges and were debouching onto the Yŏngsan-ni, road.

[note]

 

biography    biography

 

On the 3rd, while General MacArthur and Admiral Struble were in Formosa, a conference was held in Tokyo in which FEAF deployed four generals and a colonel to face one captain, two commanders, and two lieutenant commanders. The result was a memorandum providing that first priority for carrier operations would be in close support, second priority would go to interdiction south of the 38th parallel, and third priority to strikes on Bomber Command targets beyond that line.

FIFTH Air Force  

Coordination for attacks south of 38° was to lie with Fifth Air Force; attacks on Bomber Command targets required clearance from FEAF. Six plans, designated by letter, were devised for carrier employment, and the peninsula divided into six corresponding operating areas. Plans A through C called for the use of half the available aircraft in support of troops and half in interdiction in the designated area; plans E and F involved area attacks alone; plan D called for everything on close support.


This emphasis on the support of troops inevitably meant that the operations of carrier aircraft would fall in large degree under the control of FAFIK, Fifth Air Force in Korea, and of its Joint Operations Center. On the face of it there was nothing illogical about the arrangement, which would presumably have been successful had it only worked, and similar conditions were shortly laid upon the escort carriers by ComNavFE. But just as the problem of interdiction had raised command problems on the upper level, in the question of operational versus coordination control, so the commitment to close support was to bring almost insoluble difficulties in the tactical handling of aircraft over the lines, as doctrinal differences and the inadequacy of control mechanisms combined to frustrate the best efforts of the Striking Force.

USN_Units

 

Close support turned out to work best when least needed, and when the Seventh Fleet could most profitably be employed against northern bridges and other communications targets; in times of crisis around the perimeter it worked poorly or not at all. Faced with so wasteful an employment of his very considerable strength, and not having been consulted regarding the agreement, Admiral Struble declined to accept its definition of roles and missions, and the Seventh Fleet was soon attempting to break away from the perimeter.

By mid-month the primacy of close support had become a dead letter; the movements of the Seventh Fleet were being designated by periodic dispatches from CincFE; and the concepts of plan and area, set forth in the memorandum of 3 August, were tending to separate, with the letter designation indicating only the area to be attacked.

[note]

 

Koread-War  

On 15 August, following reports from KMAG of the critical condition of the ROK 3rd Division, General Walker ordered its evacuation by sea. To permit the ROKs to hold their little perimeter until shipping could be assembled, fire support was essential. This support was effectively given by the USS Helena (CA-75) task element, which also provided medical supplies by helicopter, and motor gasoline, brought up by destroyer from Pusan, by whaleboat.

[note]

 

 

Counterattacks on the 11th and on the 14th and 15th had failed to dislodge the three North Korean infantry regiments which, with artillery and tank support, now held the eastern ridges and were debouching onto the Yŏngsan-ni, road.

The danger was great. If the penetration could not be contained the lowland river valley route to Pusan would lie open to the enemy. The three Army regiments in the bulge, less than half-strength at the time the enemy crossed the river, had been heavily engaged for ten days. Nor were the Marines in much better case. To confront the crisis and restore the balance, three under-strength battalions were to be committed against perhaps twice their number; no replacements had reached the brigade since its arrival in Korea; the losses suffered in the Kosŏng offensive had not been made good; the battalions still lacked their third companies. But one British observer, watching the Marines as they moved up through Miryang, was emboldened to hope, though with "no valid reason," that the tragedy which threatened the entire Korean foothold might yet be averted.

[note]

 

14-24 August 1950

[note]

 

Korean_War

The most considerable of these took place on the15th, a day of widespread action on western and southern coasts, when YMS 503 Gwangju encountered 45 small craft in the gut between the end of the peninsula and the offshore islands, captured 30, and sank 15.

Much of this overwater movement seemed to originate at the port of Kunsan, attacks against which had been earlier prohibited by CincFE with a view to the preservation of harbor facilities. But these restrictions had by now been lifted, and on 15 August the cruiser HMS Jamaica (C-44), returning from patrol, bombarded factories and docks with satisfactory results. On the same day a third blow was struck against enemy south coast capabilities when Yŏsu, previously attacked by USS Diachenko (APD-123) and USS Collett (DD-730), was bombarded so thoroughly by HMS Mounts Bay (F-627) and HMCS Cayuga that no worthwhile targets were deemed to remain.

[note]

 

USN_Units   USN_Units

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]

 

   Def  

That this commitment was met was in itself an extraordinary administrative accomplishment. Starting with a total Fleet Marine Force strength of 28,000, less than half of which was in FMF Pacific, it took some doing to provide a division of more than 20,000 men, not to mention the 4,000 or so additional personnel of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, without complete disorganization of the Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, and of the supporting establishment. Only the President’s decision of 19 July to call up the Marine Corps Reserve enabled the Joint Chiefs to promise the division; only Marine confidence that an expedited arrival was both desirable and feasible produced the advanced departure date; only the availability of sufficient amphibious lift permitted this confidence.

By such interlocking circumstances CincFE was enabled to plan for a mid-September operation, but late July and early August was inevitably a time of controlled frenzy at Camp Pendleton, as security detachments, personnel from FMFLant, and reserves were processed and integrated into the violently expanding force.

Koread-War

Difficult enough in itself, this work was further complicated by the need to provide replacements for the brigade in Korea, a requirement which was met beginning in mid-August by a series of troop movements flown west by MATS.

[note]

 

Some 4,000 mines were quickly passed through Wŏnsan, and by 1 August mining had been begun at that port and at Chinnamp'o. In time Russian naval officers ventured as far south as Inch'ŏn, shipments of mines were trucked down from Chinnamp'o to Haeju, and before the bridges were knocked down consignments had reached Inch'ŏn, Kunsan, and Mokp'o by train.

This effort to counteract U.N. control of the sea went undetected.

In mid-August search planes had reported enemy barges and patrol craft at Wŏnsan and Chinnamp'o, but while in retrospect these were believed to have been engaged in mine laying, the intelligence was not so interpreted at the time. The operation plans of ComNavFE, Commander Seventh Fleet, and Commander Attack Force, while crediting the enemy with limited mining capabilities at Inch'ŏn, stated that available information indicated no mine-fields in that area.

[note]

 

Korean_War

Part 2. 15 August–21 September: North to Inch'ŏn

While "Chromite" was still in preparation the return to the north had begun. Although heavily engaged along the coast and busy with refugee evacuation, the ROK Navy had been able to mount offensive operations.

 Commander Luosey, who as CTG 96.7 operated this inshore fleet, was not privy to the Inch'ŏn planning, but the basic strategic situation was as clear to those in Pusan as it was to those in Tokyo, and the increasing probability that the perimeter would be held emphasized the value of deep flanking positions, whether for raids, landings, or the infiltration of agents.

On 15 August, therefore, CTG 96.7 advised ComNavFE of his intention, if not otherwise directed, of seizing the Tŏkchŏk-to Islands in the Inch'ŏn approaches as a base for intelligence activities and future operations.

[note]

 

WWII US Navy Minesweeper Patch VGC VT0010

Activation of the AMs in reserve in Japan had been approved early in the conflict. Nothing could be done about USS Mainstay (AM-261), owing to unavailability of replacement parts, but by mid-August USS Pirate (AMS-275)and USS Incredible (AM-249) were in operating condition. Ordered out from the west coast, the destroyer mine-sweepers USS Endicott (DMS-35)and USS Doyle (DMS-34) had reached Far Eastern waters in late July, but in the absence of enemy mining they had been diverted to other duties, in the first instance as screen for CarDiv 15 and subsequently in fire support. In August Admiral Joy had asked for a further increase in minesweepers, but the request was denied on the ground that other types had higher priority

[note]

 

 

 

Songs of the week

Korean_War

 

[note]

 

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biography  

Meanwhile, shortly after midnight on the 15th, the North Koreans attacked across a wide front. Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker, the Eighth Army commander, was upset. 'I am going to give you the Marine Brigade,' he told Church. 'I want this situation cleared up, and quick!'


Although the U.S. 24th Division's situation was grim, prisoners reported that the opposing NKPA 4th Division was also in poor condition, low on ammunition and supplies, and hurting in morale.

[note]

 

 

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   biography 9th RCT

At 0300 Colonel Hill ordered Smith to withdraw. The battalion fought its way out of encirclement before dawn and took up a new defensive position. It held this new position at the south end of the main battle line with the help of a counterattack by the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry, which had been strengthened that morning by the return of K and L Companies from their river hill positions. [17-54]

Very few of its members had any hope of dislodging the enemy when Task Force Hill continued the attack on the morning of 15 August. Clouds and rain still hampered air support. On the south end of Obong-ni, A and B Companies, 34th Infantry, fought a savage encounter with North Koreans on the ridge line. The 2nd Platoon of A Company, led by SFC Roy E. Collins, assaulted across a shallow saddle to an enemy-held knob. Enemy troops were just over the crest of it on the reverse slope. A grenade fight immediately developed. Men exchanged rifle fire at ten paces. One enemy soldier dived over the ridge line and tackled Collins around the waist. To his amazement, Collins learned that the enemy soldier wanted to surrender. This was the only way he could do it. Within fifty minutes after launching the attack, the platoon lost 25 men killed or wounded of the 35 who had dashed across the saddle.

Ten men withdrew while PFC Edward O. Cleaborn, a Negro, stubbornly stayed behind to get in one more shot. He lost his life trying to get that shot. With them the 10 able-bodied survivors took 9 wounded men, 3 of whom died before they reached an aid station. [17-55]

Elsewhere, the North Koreans fought Task Force Hill to a standstill. Colonel Hill had used all the resources at his command and had just barely held the enemy on his front. Having no reserve he was powerless to maneuver.

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Before dawn, 15 August, G Company men on Hill 303 could make out about fifty enemy troops accompanied by two tanks moving boldly south along the river road at the base of the hill. They also saw another column moving to their rear and soon heard it engage F Company with small arms fire. In order to escape the enemy encirclement, F Company withdrew southward.

[note]

 

  

Before dawn on Tuesday morning, 15 August, the mortar platoon became aware of enemy activity near Hill 303. The platoon leader telephoned the Commanding Officer, G Company, 5th Cavalry, who informed him that a platoon of some sixty ROK's would come to reinforce the mortar platoon.

[note]

 

0546 Sunrise

[note]

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About breakfast time the men (5th CR) heard tank motors and saw two enemy tanks followed by 200 or more enemy soldiers on the road below them. A little later a group of Koreans appeared on the slope. A patrol going to meet the climbing Koreans called out and received in reply a blast of automatic weapons fire. The mortar platoon leader, in spite of this, believed they were friendly. The watching Americans were not convinced that they were enemy soldiers until the red stars became visible on their caps. They were then close upon the Americans. The North Koreans came right up to the foxholes without either side firing a shot. Some pushed burp guns into the sides of the mortarmen with one hand and held out the other as though to shake hands. One of the enemy soldiers remarked later that "the American soldiers looked dazed." [19-43]

  

The 4th Company, 2nd Battalion, 206th Mechanized Infantry Regiment of the 105th Armored Division, apparently were the captors, although some members of Headquarters Company of the 45-mm. Artillery Battalion, 105th Armored Division, were present.

The North Koreans marched the prisoners down the hill after taking, their weapons and valuables. In an orchard they tied the prisoners' hands behind their backs, took some of their clothing, and removed their shoes. They told the Americans they would send them to the Sŏul prisoner of war camp if they behaved well.

Apparently the original captors did not retain possession of the prisoners throughout the next two days. There is some evidence that a company of the N.K. 3rd Division guarded them after capture. It appears that the enemy force that crossed the Naktong above Waegwan on the 14th and turned south to Hill 303 and Waegwan was part of the 3rd Division and supporting elements of the 105th Armored Division. In any event, the first night the North Koreans gave their prisoners water, fruit, and cigarettes. They intended to move them across the Naktong that night, but American fire prevented it. During the night two of the Americans loosened the shoe laces binding their wrists. This caused a commotion. At least one of the survivors thought that a North Korean officer shot one of his men who threatened to shoot the men who had tried to free their hands.

[note]

 

biography

General Church ordered the attack to continue at 0630, 15 August. It would commence on the left (south) flank of the task force zone where the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, was to lead off in a column of companies. The battalion commander chose Company A to lead the attack.

Eighth Army planned maximum artillery support and gave Task Force Hill priority on tactical airplanes. Early that morning, however, it began to rain, and thick clouds along the ridgelines interfered with effective operation of the planes.

Soon after first light on the morning of 15 August, the commander of Company A summoned the leader of the 1st Platoon (Lt. Melvin D. Schiller), to whom he briefly outlined the plan of attack. Lieutenant Schiller, whose platoon was to lead the company column, had time only to take his squad leaders to high ground where he could point out to them the objective and the general route to be followed. The 1st Battalion's objective was a ridgeline a mile and a half long and approximately four hundred feet higher than the stream and the rice paddies at the ridge's base. There were several separate peaks along the crest of the ridgeline. [02-7]

Followed by the rest of Company 'A', Lieutenant Schiller's platoon proceeded to the southeast end of the ride, took up its attack formation, waited a few minutes until the end of a fifteen-minute artillery preparation, and then started up the ridge in a general northwest direction. Members of the platoon, knowing that the North Koreans had repulsed a similar attack that Company B had made two days before, expected trouble.

For about a quarter of the distance, however, the platoon moved up the ridgeline without interference. Then two enemy machine guns, firing from the left, forced the platoon to the ground. When this happened, the company commander called Lt. Edward L. Shea and told him to take his 2nd Platoon through the stalled unit and continue the advance. Lieutenant Shea and one of his squad leaders (SFC Roy E. Collins) exchanged dubious glances. Their platoon consisted of 9 inexperienced men and 24 replacements who had joined the company three days before.

Motioning his men to follow, Lieutenant Shea started up the ridge.

"Let's take a look at it," he said, as he strode off erectly. As he neared the 1st Platoon's position, enemy fire forced him to the ground. He crawled up beside Lieutenant Schiller who was lying on his stomach behind a native grave mound which was about four feet high, four feet in diameter, and covered with neatly trimmed grass. Lieutenant Schiller was trying to locate the two enemy machine guns that were holding up the advance. He and Lieutenant Shea suspected that the guns were located on the short hill on the left flank, since the string of enemy bullets seemed to cross just above the grave. Just as the two platoon leaders reached this conclusion, a bullet struck Schiller's helmet. It cut his head, followed the curve of his helmet, passed through his shoulder, and emerged to lodge in Shea's leg just above the knee. The two officers, both casualties, immediately directed their platoons to open fire against the enemy guns. Friendly fire caused the enemy guns to suspend fire, and the attack moved forward along the ridge top with the company commander (Lt. Albert F. Alfonso) directing the platoons.

[note]

 

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biography     

In mid-August, General MacArthur was notified that I Corps headquarters and headquarters company, medical, and military police units, and the 4th Signal Battalion at reduced strength were ready to sail for his command. The signal battalion could not be brought to full strength before 1 November.

The IX Corps, less its signal battalion, could sail in about a month but would be untrained. The IX's battalion could, if trained Enlisted Reserve Corps fillers materialized as expected, sail for the Far East Command about 1 November, but if trained as a unit in the United States would not be ready until the end of 1950.

Artillery elements of both corps, including the additional non-divisional artillery units which General MacArthur had requested earlier and were being activated from Reserve and National Guard sources, would be only partly trained if they sailed with the other corps elements. The Department of the Army suggested that, since MacArthur's requirement for this artillery was not immediate, the units be kept in the United States and trained until ready to fight. [07-59]

General MacArthur apparently felt that, in this case at least, a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush. He wanted the corps as fast as he could get it regardless of condition. "Walker is now controlling four United States and five ROK divisions," he pointed out. Believing that the green units could get their training faster under him than in the United States, he asked that they be sent to him as soon as they had been filled to authorized strength. His request applied to all organic and attached elements of both I and IX corps. [07-60]

[note]

 

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0830

The two platoons worked well together, one group moving forward while the other fired at the enemy positions. Moving steadily, Company A soon reached the first high peak at the southwestern end of the ridgeline. It was about 0830 when the company stopped to plan for the continuation of the attack. There were freshly dug holes, but no enemy in the area.

Beyond this point the narrow crest of the ridge dipped slightly before rising again at the next peak. Formed by a spur ridge, the next high point appeared to be a rocky cliff, about four hundred yards away, which lay athwart the long ridgeline and the direction of attack. Just in front of the point where the cliff joined the main ridgeline, there was a depression, or saddle. During the few minutes that the company spent preparing to continue the attack, several of the men observed enemy soldiers moving near the saddle. On the previous day, members of Company A had seen an enemy machine gun firing from the top of the rocky cliff.

Lieutenant Alfonso pointed out the saddle in front of the rocky cliff and told MSgt. Willie C. Gibson (now leading the 2nd Platoon) to secure Lt. Alfonso then lined up the 1st Platoon behind an embankment on the high ground and assigned to it the mission of firing at any enemy interference, and especially to silence the enemy machine gun, if it fired. Under the protection of the 1st Platoon's base of fire, the 2nd Platoon would dash along the 500-yard-long ridge. Once the 2nd was in the saddle, the 3rd Platoon would follow and reinforce it.

Sergeant Gibson lined up his four squads in the order they were to leave. He planned to follow the 2nd Squad. He detailed Sergeant R. E. Collins at the end of the line to make certain that every man in the platoon moved out. Cpl. Leo M. Brennen (a squad leader and veteran of the Pacific war who had joined the company three days before) straightened and partially pulled the pin on a grenade he carried.

"I'll be the first man to go," Brennen said. "The rest of you guys follow me."

[note]

 

By 0830, North Koreans had completely surrounded G Company and a supporting platoon of H Company mortarmen on Hill 303. A relief column, composed of B Company, 5th Cavalry, and a platoon of tanks tried to reach G Company, but enemy fire drove it back. [19-37]

[note]

 

  

0845

Brennen jumped over the embankment and started running toward the objective. Sergeant Collins checked his watch. It was 0845. Three other men followed Brennen at fifteen-yard intervals, all of them running just below the crest of the ridge since enemy guns fired from the opposite, or southwest side of the ridge. Just after the fourth man left, the North Koreans fired several short bursts from the machine gun on the rock cliff, hitting two men from the 1st Platoon, one in the eye and the other in the neck. Both were killed at once.

"After that," one of the surviving men said, "it was just like jumping into ice water."

But the rest of the platoon followed, each man about ten or fifteen steps behind the man in front. No one was wounded until the next to the last man-Cpl. Joseph H. Simoneau-rose to go. A burst from the North Korean gun struck him in the leg and shoulder. He yelled, "I'm hit!" and fell back toward Sergeant Collins. Collins pulled him back, called the medics, and then, after notifying the leader of the 3rd Platoon that he was the last man from the 2nd, jumped over the protective hump of dirt and ran.

[note]

 

This had taken no longer than five minutes. Sergeant Collins had gone only a few steps when Corporal Brennen, the lead man, reached the end of the ridge. After running the entire distance, Brennen looked over the low, pinched ridge separating him from the enemy-occupied ground and saw three North Koreans sitting around their machine gun as if they were relaxing. The gun was about twenty yards in front of him. Brennen had one grenade ready to throw and he tossed it. As he did this, he noticed movement to his left and turned to see another enemy light machine gun and its crew nearer than the first. He fired one clip from his rifle at them at the same time the machine gun fired at him. Corporal Brennen hit both enemy soldiers manning the gun, and believed he killed them, but not until they had shot him through the leg. He slid down the hill a short distance to a protected area. A brief period of noisy, confused, and furious fighting followed.

As the members of the 2nd Platoon reached the saddle, they formed a firing line along their side of the little ridge. Lying close to the ground, they peered over the ridge frequently to observe and fire at the enemy, who was often only a few yards away. Three or four men who became casualties within a few minutes slid down the slope to join Corporal Brennen. There, Sergeant Gibson and a medic were now caring for the wounded.

Sergeant Collins, whom Lieutenant Shea had appointed second in command, reached the combat area a few minutes after the first burst of activity and took over the direction of the 2nd Platoon. Like Corporal Brennen, Sergeant Collins carried a grenade with the cotter pin straightened and the ring over his index finger so that he could flip out the pin quickly. A few seconds after he reached the saddle there was a burst of fire from an enemy burp gun on the left flank. Collins ran back toward the bank on the left end of the firing line and looked over the ridge just as a North Korean raised to fire into the American line. Collins dropped his grenade on the enemy side of the hill and jumped to one side as a burst from the burp gun dug into the ground near him. His grenade burst threw the burp gun into the air, and as Collins raised up to look over the ridgeline again another North Korean picked up the gun and tried to reload it. Sergeant Collins shot him with his rifle. At this moment SFC Regis J. Foley of the 3rd Platoon came up to Collins.

According to the plan, the 3rd Platoon was to follow immediately after the 2nd Platoon. Sergeant Foley, the first man behind Sergeant Collins, reached the saddle, but the next man mistakenly turned into another narrow area about two thirds of the way across. Consequently, the entire 3rd Platoon was lost to the action since it came under such heavy enemy fire that it could move neither forward nor to the rear.

"Foley," said Sergeant Collins, "you watch this end and don't let them get up here."

Collins then started back along the line of riflemen where several gaps had occurred as men became casualties. Some men were already yelling that they were out of ammunition, even though each rifleman had carried two bandoleers (160) and a full belt (80) of M-1 clips-a total of (240) 17 rounds. Sergeant Collins knew they would need help to win the battle they had started. Unaware that the 3rd Platoon had gone to the wrong area and was now pinned down by heavy enemy fire, and believing that it would soon join him, Collins sent a runner to the company commander asking for more help and for more ammunition. He especially wanted grenades, which were easy to toss over the ridgeline.

While he waited for word from the company commander, he went along the line, taking ammunition from those who were wounded or dead and distributing it to the men who were effective. By this time most of the men in the platoons were calling for help, wanting either ammunition or medics. In addition to the close-in fighting that continued, the enemy machine gun up on the rocky cliff had turned and was firing at the exposed rear of the 2nd Platoon. Fire from this gun varied according to the amount of fire that the 1st Platoon's base of fire delivered against it. When the covering fire was heavy, the enemy gun was quiet; but it resumed firing as soon, and as often, as the 1st Platoon quit.

[note]

 

biography

It took Sergeant Collins's runner eight minutes to make his round trip. He returned with a note from Lieutenant Alfonso which read, "Pull out."

At the far right of the line, Cpl. Joseph J. Sady yelled for a grenade. ?They're pulling up a machine gun here," he shouted.

Collins threw Lieutenant Alfonso's note down and took a grenade to Corporal Sady who tossed it over on the enemy gunners.

"That took care of them," he said.

An enemy rifleman, firing from a distance of ten steps, hit Corporal Sady in the head and killed him. The next man in the line killed the North Korean.

Sergeant Collins worked back along the line. At the left end Sergeant Foley, who had been stationed there to hold that flank, came sliding down the ridge bareheaded and bleeding. He had been hit by a split bullet that had apparently ricocheted from a rock and had cut into his head. Collins bandaged him and told him to go back and ask the company commander for more help. But as soon as he was gone, Sergeant Collins realized that because his ammunition was so low, and because less than half of his original strength remained, he had no alternative but to break contact and withdraw. He called down to tell Sergeant Gibson to start getting the wounded men out. Six men were wounded, two of them seriously, and Gibson started to evacuate them by moving them down a gully between the two hills to a road at the bottom.

Near the center of the saddle a Negro rifleman, PFC Edward 0. Cleaborn, concentrated on keeping an enemy machine gun out of action. Standing up on the ridgeline and shooting down into the enemy side of the hill, he kept killing North Koreans who tried to man the gun. He was excited and kept firing rapidly, calling for ammunition and yelling, "Come on up, you sons of bitches, and fight!"

Sergeant Collins told him to get down on the ground, but Cleaborn said, "Sergeant, I just can't see them when I get down."

About this time an enemy soldier jumped over the little ridge and landed on top of Sergeant Collins who was stripping ammunition from one of his men who had just been killed. The North Korean grabbed Sergeant Collins by the waist and held on tightly. Seeing this, Cleaborn jumped down and started after the North Korean who kept hiding behind Sergeant Collins. Collins eventually persuaded Cleaborn that the enemy soldier wanted to surrender, and Cleaborn went back to the firing line. Collins pushed his prisoner down to the ditch where Gibson was evacuating the wounded. Sergeant Gibson loaded the prisoner with the largest wounded man who had to be carried out, and started him down the gully toward the road.

By the time Sergeant Foley returned with a renewal of the company commander's instructions to withdraw, the evacuation of all wounded men was under way. As men left the firing line, they helped the wounded. Only six men remained in firing positions and several of these were so low on ammunition they had fixed their bayonets. Sergeant Collins told the six to fire a heavy blast at the enemy's position, and then move out quickly. All but Cleaborn fired a clip of ammunition and then started to leave. He reloaded his rifle and said he wanted to fire one more clip. As he jumped back on the ridge to fire again, he was killed by a bullet through his head. Sergeant Collins and the remaining five men ran back along the ridgeline, the route of their advance.

[note]

 

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biography

 

General MacArthur accepted Wright's recommendation and ordered the formation of a provisional planning staff, forerunner of the actual corps staff, from officers of his own GHQ staff. To conceal its true purpose, he designated this new group as the Special Planning Staff, GHQ. General Almond chose the officers for this staff and on 15 August directed them to begin part-time planning, and to continue to work on their regular jobs only as necessary.

Almond named Maj. Gen. Clark L. Ruffner, who had arrived from the United States on 6 August, as chief of staff of the Special Planning Staff. Ruffner assembled his staff in a bunker-type concrete structure near the Dai Ichi Building on 15 August. As a first step, these officers drew up a troop list and a standing operating procedure for the landing.

When General Ruffner asked what forces would be used for the landing and breakout, MacArthur replied, "The 7th Division which is half-under-strength, the Marine Brigade in Korea, other marines from the United States, and a battalion of Marines from the Mediterranean." [09-5]

MacArthur had not yet named a commander for the invasion forces. Near the end of the third week in August, General Almond suggested to him that the time had come to appoint such a commander. MacArthur turned to his chief of staff and said, "It is you." MacArthur told Almond that he would continue as chief of staff, Far East Command, "in absentia." He was so confident of ending the war by a quick victory at Inch'ŏn, that he believed Almond could return to Tokyo within only a few weeks after the initial landing. In effect, MacArthur put General Almond, as well as other officers on the new corps staff, on loan to the corps from GHQ for the landing operation. [09-6]

[note]

 

biography   biography

General Church came up to Colonel Hill's command post during 15 August and the two of them talked over the situation. Although they felt that the N.K. 4th Division was growing weaker from attrition and might have exhausted its offensive power in the costly stalemate fighting at Obong-ni and Cloverleaf, they did not see how they, on their part, could continue the attack. They agreed to discontinue the attack and defend in place. [17-56]

General Walker had by now become most impatient at the lack of progress in driving the enemy from the bulge. [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.] When the attack of 15 August failed, General Walker knew he must commit more strength into the bulge if he was to drive out the enemy. Impatient and angry, he came to Church's command post during the morning and said, "I am going to give you the Marine brigade. I want this situation cleaned up, and quick." [17-57]

[note]

 

  

It was 0932 when the men reached the little spur from which the 1st Platoon had been firing, just forty-seven minutes after the attack had begun. Of the original 36 men in the 2nd Platoon that morning, only 10 were unharmed. Nine wounded men walked or were carried down the ditch to the road, three dying before reaching the road. The other members of the platoon were dead.

The 1st Battalion's attack had been stopped. Other elements of Task Force Hill encountered similarly stubborn resistance, and during the afternoon the commander of the force recommended to General Church that the attack be discontinued and that the force dig in to defend the ground it occupied. [02-9]

[note]

 

Combat Actions DISCUSSION

 

1100 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/14/50
8:00 PM
08/14/50
9:00 PM
08/14/50
2:00 AM
08/15/50
11:00 AM

 

 

1200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/14/50
9:00 PM
08/14/50
10:00 PM
08/15/50
3:00 AM
08/15/50
12:00 PM

 

biography    

Walker returned to Taegu about noon and called a conference of some of his key staff officers to determine what forces were available to reinforce the 24th Division. The Marine brigade was en route from the Masan area to Miryang where it was to bivouac in army reserve.

[note]

 

 

1300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/14/50
10:00 PM
08/14/50
11:00 PM
08/15/50
4:00 AM
08/15/50
1:00 PM

[note]

 

 

1400 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/14/50
11:00 PM
08/15/50
12:00 AM
08/15/50
5:00 AM
08/15/50
2:00 PM

 

USN_Units

Further assistance to the besieged division came from Task Force 77, which got underway once more from Sasebo on the afternoon of the 15th, and during the night steamed north to the Sea of Japan for its scheduled operations against Areas C and F.

[note]

 

1500 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/15/50
12:00 AM
08/15/50
1:00 AM
08/15/50
6:00 AM
08/15/50
3:00 PM

 

1600 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/15/50
1:00 AM
08/15/50
2:00 AM
08/15/50
7:00 AM
08/15/50
4:00 PM

 

1700 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/15/50
2:00 AM
08/15/50
3:00 AM
08/15/50
8:00 AM
08/15/50
5:00 PM

 

USN_Units

Task Force 77 departed from Sasebo at 1742K, 15 August.

1800 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/15/50
3:00 AM
08/15/50
4:00 AM
08/15/50
9:00 AM
08/15/50
6:00 PM

 


 

1900 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/15/50
4:00 AM
08/15/50
5:00 AM
08/15/50
10:00 AM
08/15/50
7:00 PM

 

biography

At 1900, 15 August, Craig briefed his staff and unit commanders. The next morning the Brigade commander flew by helicopter to Church’s CP and received the actual attack order, which was identical with the planning of the previous day.[9]

[note]

 

 

1923 Sunset

[note]

 

2000 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/15/50
5:00 AM
08/15/50
6:00 AM
08/15/50
11:00 AM
08/15/50
8:00 PM

 

2100 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/15/50
6:00 AM
08/15/50
7:00 AM
08/15/50
12:00 PM
08/15/50
9:00 PM

 

 

2200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/15/50
7:00 AM
08/15/50
8:00 AM
08/15/50
1:00 PM
08/15/50
10:00 PM

2300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/15/50
8:00 AM
08/15/50
9:00 AM
08/15/50
2:00 PM
08/15/50
11:00 PM

  

 


Casualties

Tuesday August 15, 1950 (Day 52)

84 Casualties

1 15TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 18TH INSTALLATION SQUADRON
1 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
10 21ST INFANTRY REGIMENT
4 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
15 34TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 35TH FIGHTER BOMBER SQUADRON
1 529TH QUARTERMASTER PETROLEUM SUPPLY COMPANY
20 5TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
1 5TH MARINE REGIMENT
4 5TH REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
5 71ST HEAVY TANK BATTALION
3 72ND ENGINEER COMBAT COMPANY
5 7TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
11 9TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 USS CHEVALIER (DDR-805)
   
84 19500814 0000 Casualties by unit


As of August 15, 1950

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 69 3861 62 9 4001
Today 2 80 1 1 84
Total 71 3941 63 10 4085

Aircraft Losses Today 003

 

 

 

 

Notes for Tuesday August 15, 1950 (Day 52)

 

 

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