Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 27.9°C 82.22 °F at Taegu     

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

18, 19, 20, 21, 22

August 18 to 22 - The battle of "the Bowling Alley" north of Tabu-dong. U.S. forces hold back North Korean offensive.

[note]

 



Def

Aug. 19

At Fort Monroe, Va., Gen. Mark Clark, commander of Army Field Forces, announces that basic training will be cut from 14 to six weeks and toughened up. The recent policy of using "gentlemanly" NCO's to train recruits is scrapped in favor of using tough, old-line sergeants.

[note]

 

Aug. 18-22

U.S. warships fire on military targets between Hamhŭng and Changjin on North Korea's east coast. Both cities are bombed by B-29s on Aug. 19. The bombers revisit Hamhung Aug. 21 and Changjin Aug. 22.

-- On Aug. 21 the Navy says its carrier planes have destroyed 137 locomotives in North Korea since the invasion.

-- P'yŏngyang radio claims Aug. 22 that allied air raids have killed 11,582 civilians in six cities, including P'yŏngyang, from July 2-Aug. 3.

[note]

 

   Unit Info

 

During the period of this report, the H-5s based at Pusan, Korea, as an advance Rescue Detachment, performed twenty emergency evacuations of seriously wounded personnel from the front lines and one mission delivering medical supplies and medical personnel critically needed at the battle front. This detachment is under Flight "D"/a> for logistical support and is attached to Hq. Fifth Air Force for operational control. Flight "D" has furnished most of the personnel for this detachment.

Captain Bror C Seabur and crew departed in C-47 #1091 for Ashiya AB at 1100/K, among those aboard the aircraft were

Lt. Colonel Robert L Rizon, Operations Officer of Air Rescue Service, and Captain Edmund F O'Connor, Commanding Officer of Flight "A".

[note]

 

Aug. 19: US troops, aided by airstrikes, drove North Korean forces in the Yŏngsan-ni, bridgehead back across the Naktong River, ending the Battle of the Naktong Bulge. Sixty-three B-29s attacked the industrial and port area of Ch'ŏngjin in northeastern Korea. Nine Superfortresses of the 19th BG dropped 54 tons of 1,000-pound bombs on the west railway bridge at Sŏul, called the "elastic bridge" because repeated air attacks had failed to bring it down. Thirty-seven USN dive bombers from two aircraft carriers followed up the USAF attack. Aerial reconnaissance the next day revealed that two spans had collapsed.

Aug. 19-20: Partridge moved the Joint Operations Center from Taegu to Pusan because of enemy advances.

[note]

Citations

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500819 0000 DSC BARKER

19500819 0000 DSC SHELTON

    Medals

Navy Cross

19500819 0000 Navy Cross VOGEL

19500819 0000 Navy Cross VOGEL

Silver Star

Kelly, Walter J. [SFC SS A29thIR]

Schiavone, Frank [Cpl SS F27thIR]

Williams, Ernest M. [1stLt SS H24thIR]

 

[note]

 

Federation of American Scientists

 

A Navy carrier-based squadron joined the strikes [on west railway bridge across the Han at Sŏul] on 19 August, and that night the weakened "elastic bridge"  structure collapsed. In all, the destruction of this bridge had used up 80 Bomber Command sorties and 643 tons of bombs (and 31 days).

By mid-August 1950, General MacArthur, feeling that the defense of the Pusan perimeter was stabilizing, was planning an amphibious landing at Inch'ŏn, near Sŏul.

[note]

 

Forgotten Regiments of the Korean War

 


  

 

On August 18, elements of the NKPA 6th Division attacked the 2/24th on Battle Mountain Hill-665, overrunning Company E, and on the 19th they attacked the 1/24th, driving Company C from its position. Company A held on.

 According to Lt. Col. Roy Appleman, author of the Army's official history, the attack on the 18th tore a hole "nearly a mile wide in the line north of P'ilbong," which the enemy could exploit.

[note]

1st Provisional Marine Brigade

August

PFC Harold R. Bates and PFC Richard N. Martin rest atop the third objective (Hill 311) that U.S. Marines seized overlooking the Naktong River, South Korea, 19 August 1950. Photographed by Sgt. Frank C. Kerr, USMC. Note: Canteen in use, M1 Rifle carried by one Marine and M1 carbine with fixed bayonet carried by the other, who has a bayonet scabbard attached to his leg.

 

 

 

note]

 

South Korean forces recaptured P'ohang and Kigye.

[note]

 

"The UN accepted offers of troops from Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Thailand, and the Philippines."

[note]

 

"The USS Missouri (BB-63), the only active battleship in the Navy fleet at that time, departed Norfolk, Virginia, for Korea, arriving there on 15 September. "

 

[note]

 

South the North

 

Ironically, on 19 August, the day its [4th N.K. Div] defeat became final, the division received from the North Korean headquarters the order naming it a "Guard Division" for outstanding accomplishments in battle (Taejŏn). [17-84]

[note]

 

On Pihak-san, a 2,400-foot rugged peak six miles due north of Kigye, the 12th Division reorganized. In this reorganization, the 766th Independent Regiment lost its identity, its troops being distributed among the three regiments of the 12th Division.

After incorporating 2,000 replacements and the approximately 1,500 men of the 766th Independent Regiment, the division reportedly totaled about 5,000 men. This figure shows the severe casualties suffered thus far in the war by this division, originally composed mostly of CCF veterans. Though morale was low there was little desertion. [18-32]

In these battles attending the withdrawal of the North Koreans from the vicinity of P'ohang-dong, the ROK Capital Division by 19 August had advanced to a point two miles north of Kigye, the [ROK] 3rd Division entered P'ohang-dong, and Task Force Min reached a point a mile and a half north of the town.

[note]

 

  

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. The first replacements for the division arrived at Chinju on or about 12 August. Approximately 2,000 unarmed South Koreans conscripted in the Seoul 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.

 A diarist in this group records that he arrived at Chinju on 13 August and was in combat for the first time on 19 August. Two days (August 21) later he wrote in his diary, "I am much distressed by the pounding artillery and aerial attacks. We have no food and no water, we suffer a great deal.... I am on a hill close to Masan." [20-4]

[note]

 

The reinforced battalion that had driven the ROK police out of T'ongyong did not hold it long. U.N. naval forces heavily shelled T'ongyong on 19 August as three companies of ROK marines from Koje Island made an amphibious landing near the town. The ROK force then attacked the North Koreans and, supported by naval gun fire, drove them out. The enemy in this action at T'ongyong lost about 350 men, or about half their reinforced battalion; the survivors withdrew to Chinju.

[note]

 

   Unit Info

On 19 August the artillery moved farther to the rear, except for C Battery, which remained in the creek bed north of Haman at Champeny's insistence. Champeny in the meantime had ordered his engineers to improve a trail running from Haman northeast to the main Kŏmam-ni-Masan road. He intended to use it for an evacuation road by the artillery, if that became necessary, and to improve the tactical and logistical road net of the regimental sector. This road became known as the Engineer Road. [20-18]

[note]

 

   Unit Info

The next day, the enemy attacked Company C on Battle Mountain and routed it. Officers could collect only forty men to bring them back into position. Many ROK police on P'il-bong also ran away-only fifty-six of them remained in their defensive positions. American officers used threats and physical force to get others back into position. A gap of nearly a mile in the line north of P'il-bong existed in the 24th Infantry lines at the close of the day, and an unknown number of North Koreans were moving into it. [20-20]

[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] [note]

 

 Def  

  
The Korean battle situation in August 1950 caused the Department of the Army to decide to increase its strength there by moving the 3rd Infantry Division from the United States.

  

Anticipating future offensive operations in Korea, General MacArthur on 19 August requested troops for two corps headquarters and asked that these two corps be designated I and IX Corps. [21-14]

Losses in the American divisions fighting in Korea had been so great in the first two months that special steps had to be taken to obtain replacements. On 19 August to help meet this demand, Eighth Army Rear in Japan ordered what it called "Operation Flush out." This required that all units in Japan reassign part of their troops as replacements for use in Korea.

[note]

 

     

The movement of refugees through the front lines and their removal from the battle area was a constant source of worry to the military authorities in August. Between 12 and 19 August, the 25th Division helped the ROK police screen and remove more than 50,000 refugees from its battlefront area between Chindong-ni and the Nam River.

 Altogether, the 25th Division evacuated 120,335 refugees from its sector during August. In mid-August, the 24th Division estimated there were 100,000 refugees in its southern sector seeking an opportunity to cross the Naktong River.

[note]

 

On 19 August the strength of the ROK

The reported strength of ROK tactical organizations was as follows: [21-24]

Total 76,842
I ROK Corps Headquarters 1,275
Capital Division 16,376
8th Division 9,106
II ROK Corps Headquarters 499
1st Division 10,482
6th Division 9,300
ROK's Headquarters 2,159
3rd Division 7,154
P'ohang Task Force 575
Task Force Kim 4,025
Special type troops 14,641
training Center and Headquarters Company 1,250

The pay scale of the ROK Army in won per month was as follows, with the exchange rate of 4,000 won to one U.S. dollar:

Pvt ₩3,000 $0.75
Pfc 3,600 0.90
Cpl 4,500 1.125
Sgt 5,400 1.35
SSgt 6,000 1.50
MSgt 24,900 6.22
WO 29,700 7.425
2nd Lt 30,900 7.725
1st Lt 33,300 8.325
Capt 35,700 8.925
Maj 41,700 10.425
Lt Col 46,500 11.625
Col 51,300 12.825
Gen 60,000 15.00

[note]

 

   

The last of the 2nd Division's regiments, the 38th, known as "The Rock of the Marne" and commanded by Col. George B. Peploe, landed at Pusan on 19 August.

[note]

 

Def

Late in August the Air Force began flare missions over North Korea. B-29's would release parachute flares at 10,000 feet that ignited at 6,000 feet, whereupon co-operating B-26 bombers attacked any enemy movement discovered in the illuminated area. These M-26 parachute flares from World War II stock functioned poorly, many of them proving to be duds. [21-6]

Since capturing Sŏul, the North Koreans had built two pontoon bridges over the Han at that point, one north and one south of the rail and highway bridges. They had also started a new railroad bridge north of the old triple bridge group.

The steel cantilever railroad bridge on the west still stood, defying all the efforts of the Far East Air Forces to bring it down. For almost four weeks the Air Force bombed this bridge daily with 1-, 2-, and 4-thousand-pound general purpose bombs with fuse settings, intended to damage both the superstructure and the abutments.

Def

On 19 August, nine B-29's of the 19th Group dropped 54 tons of 1,000-pound bombs on the bridge, but it still stood. The same day, Navy carrier-based planes attacked the bridge, scoring eight direct hits, and brought it down. The next day when Air Force planes returned to the bridge they found that three spans had dropped into the river.'

[note]

 

U.S. Air Force

 

biography   biography

General Partridge called at 0920 and reported the following: He is consolidating his hqrs at Pusan and the opening of the JOC took place last night at 2000 hours at Pusan. He with a small command group will remain along side General Walker with his small command group at Taegu. He has excellent communications (telephone) with the JOC.


Yesterday morning apparently the Communists spread a rumor in Taegu that any of the civilian population that remained there would be shot, and, as a con- sequence, nearly the complete evacuation of Taegu took place by the civilians. The military did not know why this happened, but finally got the information. As a result, the roads to the rear from Taegu were a mass of humanity. They feel though the civilian population will begin to flow back to Taegu.


General Partridge reported the ground situation far less tense and that he along with General Walker was most optimistic.


I queried him as to whether he was obtaining "flash"ť reports from the  31st Recon Sq. [207] He said he knew of one, but couldn't answer as to whether they were coming in daily. I asked that he investigate and let me know as I am not satisfied that the information that should get to Partridge is being sent by "flash"ť report from the 31st Recon airplanes. (Carbon copies of above made - given to Craigie and Weyland.)

biography


Prepared an official letter (T.S.) to CINCFE subject: Evaluation of B-29
Area Bombing Effort 16 August 1950. Enclosed with this letter were copies of evaluation reports from Walker, Partridge, O'Donnell, and FEAF director of intelligence highlights of photo interpretation of post strike photos. Also enclosed was a map. I summarized the above enclosures and made the following recommendation: (a) that the B-29s not be employed on additional areas tentatively selected near the battle line. (b) that the B-29s be employed on the interdiction program and JCS targets in North Korea. (c) that aircraft of the Seventh Fleet normally be available for tactical employment.

Koread-War

 


The above letter delivered to Colonel Bunker, CINCFE's ADC at 1240 hours, today (19 Aug).


Following quoted in toto:


P'OHANG

July 10


The initial build up of P'ohang (K-3) started 10 July when an advanced Air Force party, engineer outfit, and AAA moved into the then vacant air strip which the Japanese had constructed in 1940.

July 11

On 11 July Air Police security teams, OSI and advanced parties of the tactical and support squadrons arrived.

July 14

400 airmen were airlifted on 13 July and 14 July we flew our first missions. Initially it was only planned to operate the 40th squadron from K-3 until the 39th Squadron could be converted from jets to '51s on or about 1 August.

The 40th with 20 aircraft was scheduled to fly between 30 and 40 sorties a day, and this average was maintained from 14 July to 1 August.


Our initial targets were generally on the east coast in support of the 23d ROK Regiment which at that time had been pushed back to Yŏnghae from some 30 miles up the coast.

 

From the 14th of July on the east coast show became more or less a personal battle between the 40th Fighter Squadron and the 5th North Korean Division, whose drive was stopped at Yŏngdök for the first time about July 23rd. Close liaison was established between K-3 and the following KMAG advisors with the 3d ROK Division and the 23d and 27th ROK Regiments: Colonel Emmerich, Major Britten, Captain Austin, Captain Putnam.[208]


These officers have all stated that it was largely through the efforts of the
Air Force on the east coast that the two ROK regiments were able to
finally hold the 5th Division at Yŏngdök. Up to this time they had been chopped almost in half in numbers and lost very nearly all of their
weapons, other than personal arms. The resultant stiffening of their resistance forced the 5th Division to dig into slopes surrounding Yŏngdök and for better than two weeks their offenses were stalled.


After this stoppage at Yŏngdök the front quieted down, suspiciously so. It became evident through South Korean police reports and KMAG intelligence reports that the North Koreans were infiltrating down through the slopes just west of P'ohang. I requested permission from the Fifth Air Force Hqrs to mount an air strike in these hills, and though very closely controlled by spotter planes the wooded area provided very little in the way of targets.

July 25


The information that 2,000 to 3,000 troops was in that area was passed through normal intelligence channels, and since about the 25th of July has appeared in very nearly all intelligence reports. The South Korean police and the South Korean naval headquarters at P'ohang were so concerned about this force that they evacuated all of the small villages just west of P'ohang.

 POW's brought in from these hills revealed to the OSI that they had left their battalions at Wanson [209] in groups of 25 under a junior officer with about 10-days supplies and had infiltrated through the hills to their present position. Only the officers were in possession of information regarding the mission, and none of these were captured.

July 20

From the 20th of July on we kept constant surveillance on this force with spotter type aircraft.

August 8

It wasn't until the 8th of August that the force began to move toward Kigye. Sporadic fighting that day occurred between South Korean police forces and the naval battalion and the North Koreans.

August 9

On 9 August the North Koreans moved into Kigye. General Farrell [210] of KMAG flew to K-3 that day and advised us that this band was merely a small group of guerrillas operating independently. This information was directly opposed to what our own intelligence people had learned from the South Koreans. That day General Farrell started out toward Kigye in a jeep with Bill Lawrence of the New York Times, Bill Boyle, Associated Press, and two other correspondents. They got no farther than P'ohang where he learned that the force in Kigye, and now some three miles south of Kigye, was larger than he had anticipated. He immediately requested 8th Army for a task force to be in place that night at K-3.

It was this task force, composed of tanks and infantry, which ran into the road block eight miles out of P'ohang and which suffered heavy casualties in trying to push through to the field at one o'clock in the morning. Parts of this force were ambushed in a defile southwest of P'ohang and chopped up pretty badly with small arms and machine gun fire. Through most of that night and the next day the objective of the North Koreans was P'ohang. Very little fighting occurred in their move on the town and they were in complete possession of it by noon.


From noon that day and for 24 hours P'ohang burned.

August 11

All during the day of the 11th, South Korean police kept reporting bands of NK's encircling us over the ridges to the west and south of the field. Sporadic firing onto the field and at the airplanes occurred all during the 10th, 11th, and 12th.

August 9


On the 9th of August I asked for three LSTs to be spotted in the harbor on the east coast, nine miles from our base. This was done and all of our heavy equipment was put on board. A perimeter was established about the town with Air Force troops with Lt Col Louis C. Adams [211] commanding.

August 11

This perimeter, however, was infiltrated on the 11th and the LSTs came under sniper fire and were forced to retire 2,000 yards off shore. BGen J. Sladen Bradley ,[212] in command of the task force assigned to guard the field, felt he could not guard the field adequately and still guarantee the road to the port. Therefore, all vehicles going to and from the port area with equipment were under heavy Air Force guard, and the three wounded that the Air Force sustained during this operation were the result of sniper fire on this road.

August 13


It wasn't until the morning of the 13th when General Partridge found out that (1) encirclement was more or less complete on three sides of the air field; (2) that the enemy had brought down artillery from Kigye; and (3) it looked as though little could be done about the sporadic firing the base was sustaining, that he ordered movement of the aircraft to K-2 and airlift of the remaining personnel to Tsuiki in Japan. This decision was made since it was no longer feasible to operate from K-3 on a reduced efficiency basis. With the airmen dug in and firing and under- going firing all during the hours of darkness, it left them little energy to do their daylight jobs.


In summary, I do not know whether more infantry would have helped the situation, but I do know that K-3 became less and less valuable as the enemy was about to infiltrate and take any part of the air strip under fire.

August 9

Our efficiency fell off rapidly with the first all-out perimeter defense of
300 men I established on August 9th. From there on out it was just a matter of time as to when we would have to move to another field in order to make our efforts worthwhile.


s/ Robert W. Witty, Colonel, USAF, Commanding Officer, K-3.

August 17

(17 Aug 50 date Col. Witty departed for ZI.) [213]

August 18


The above statement was read and initialed by: Craigie, Weyland and
Crabb, 18 Aug 50.

[note]

 

biography   biography   biography

On 19 July in a conference with Generals MacArthur and Almond, General Stratemeyer had occasion to point out that differences of opinion had arisen as to the relative value of targets selected. He emphasized that FEAF had a large and well organized target section and recommended that target problems could best be handled by specialists.

 Though all present agreed, no action was forthcoming at GHQ; General Stratemeyer then sent MacArthur a memorandum on 21 July strongly recommending the creation of a Target Selection Committee, to consist of Major Generals Doyle O. Hickey, Deputy Chief of Staff FEC, C. A. Willoughby, Assistant Chief of Staff G-2, and O. P. Weyland, Vice Commander for Operations FEAF, and a Navy representative.

It was his idea that both the FEAF and GHQ target selection groups would remain active, forwarding recommendations to the new GHQ Target Selection Committee. General MacArthur approved the memorandum, and the GHQ Target Selection Committee was established on 22 July 1950. The effect of this agreement was to restore the bulk of target identification to FEAF, and for the first time FEAF Bomber Command was able to go to work on a comprehensive interdiction program.

Problems of command, therefore, initially prevented an integrated program for the full employment of air power, delayed a comprehensive interdiction program by a little more than a month, and hindered full-scale application of carrier- and land-based air power to close support in Korea. The conclusion is inescapable that with a joint headquarters staff, MacArthur might never have encountered the target selection imbroglio.

"Whenever combinations of Air Force, Army, and Navy are in a joint command,"

concluded General Weyland,

 "it is essential that the Commander-in-Chief have a joint staff with proportionate representation of the services involved."

[note]

 

Strategic Air Operations - Propaganda

Attacks against North Korean industrial targets were nevertheless exploited for Communist propaganda, and in some parts of the free world, particularly Asia, there was objection to the strategic bombing. The London News Chronicle on 19 August speculated that U. S. B-29's might be doing more damage to the democratic cause than to the Communists in North Korea. An American news analyst pointed out that Asians regarded factories as something to lighten their labor and that they felt a personal loss when the North Korean industries were destroyed. India's press reaction assumed an alarming racial turn. The usually friendly India News Chronicle recalled that during World War II,

"Americans and other western people showed special solicitude, toward the European enemy, but adopted different codes of conduct in Japan and elsewhere in the east, culminating in the choice of Japanese towns as targets for the first atom bombs."

If it was strange that Communist propaganda exploited U. N. air attacks against legitimate military targets at the same time that the North Koreans massacred prisoners of war and drove helpless citizens to slaughter in order to shield their soldiers, it was almost equally remarkable from a military point of view that the U. N. Command was compelled to preserve the territorial sanctity of Manchuria, source of many of the North Korean soldiers and much war materiel. As has been seen, FEAF was not allowed to bomb targets near the Manchuria - Siberia borders by radar.

When FEAF erred in omitting the provisions from its operations order and Bomber Command bombed Rashin by radar on 12 August, USAF ordered an investigation, although no border violation was involved. In effect, Rashin, an important military target, could never be attacked unless its prevailing cloud cover suddenly dissipated.

[note]

 

On 19 August nine B-29's placed 54 tons of 1,000-pound bombs on the bridge, expecting surely to finish it off the next day. When they returned on the following day, however, they found that a Navy carrier-based strike had evidently put three spans of the now weakened bridge in the water.

 MacArthur nevertheless presented a U. N. trophy flag to both the 19th Group and the carrier unit for their accomplishments. Destruction of this west railway bridge at Sŏul had required 86 Bomber Command sorties and 643 tons of demolition bombs.

3 different bridge sites

August

[note]

elastic bridge 19th BG(M)

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

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

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

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

20 - the Navy sink the bridge

[note]

 

 

The 162nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (NP) was sent to the theater in order to provide Fifth Air Force some form of night reconnaissance. Alerted at Langley Air Force Base on 5 July, and hurriedly filled to near peacetime strength (a part of the fillers were jet mechanics with little experience on the squadron's conventional RB-26's), it was shipped to Itazuke where the ground echelon arrived on 19 August.

Meanwhile, the air crews had moved to Ogden, Utah for depot installation of flash cartridge equipment on their RB-26's, only to find that but 10 of the squadron's 16 planes could be modified for the new equipment. Then the flash equipment was pronounced too heavy for the old B-26's on the long over-water flight to Japan and was removed to be crated for air shipment. At Fairfield-Suisun, California, the equipment was diverted to water shipment for some reason, so that it was not until 26 August, 53 days after the alert at Langley, that the 162nd Squadron was finally ready and equipped for its first mission. The squadron moved to Taegu on 8 October.

[note]

 

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

 Alerted at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, on 5 July, the 162nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (Night Photography) was hurriedly filled to near peacetime strength (a part of the fillers were jet mechanics with little experience on the squadron's conventional RB-26's). Its ground echelon, traveling by water, reached Itazuke on 19 August. Mean-while, the aircrews had moved to Ogden, Utah, for depot installation of a new-type flash cartridge illumination system on their RB-26's. Then the flash equipment was pronounced too heavy for the old B-26's on the long, over-water flight to Japan, and it was removed to be crated for air shipment. But someone diverted the flash equipment to water shipment, so that it was not until 26 August, fifty-three days after the alert at Langley, that the 162nd Squadron was finally ready and equipped for its first mission over Korea. traveling with the air echelon of the 162nd Squadron, the 1st Sharon Beacon Unit arrived at Johnson Air Base on 9 August. Conveyed by air and water, the 363rd Reconnaissance Technical Squadron assembled both of its echelons at Itazuke Air Base on 18 August.#129

Considering their lack of mobility training and the mistakes that had been made, these Tactical Air Command units reached Japan in an acceptable length of time. (fifty-three days is ok, the war TODAY is 55 days old)

Plans, Preparations 75

[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]

 

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

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

Such a scale of effort continued until 20 August,

[note]

 

Koread-War

Of all the bridge targets assigned to the FEAF Bomber Command, none was so perverse as the steel cantilever west railway bridge at Sŏul, called by air crews the "elastic bridge" because of its stubborn refusal to fall. Only the 19th Group possessed bomb racks fitting 2,000-pound bombs, and it accordingly drew the task of destroying this rail bridge. Day after day, for nearly four weeks, the 19th Group hammered the bridge with 1,000-pound, 2,000-pound, and 4,000-pound general-purpose bombs. Blueprints were obtained from the Japanese who had built the bridge, fuze settings were varied to obtain damage to the super-structure as well as the abutments, but, despite numerous hits which forced the Communists to keep the decking under constant repair, the steel spans of the bridge still stood. So important was the destruction of the bridge that General MacArthur offered to commend the air unit that dropped it, and General Stratemeyer privately promised a case of Scotch whiskey to the crew who would take it down.#62

[note]

 

Koread-War  

Of all the bridge targets assigned to the FEAF Bomber Command, none was so perverse as the steel cantilever west railway bridge at Sŏul, called by air crews the "elastic bridge" because of its stubborn refusal to fall. Only the 19th Group possessed bomb racks fitting 2,000-pound bombs, and it accordingly drew the task of destroying this rail bridge. Day after day, for nearly four weeks, the 19th Group hammered the bridge with 1,000-pound, 2,000-pound, and 4,000-pound general-purpose bombs. Blueprints were obtained from the Japanese who had built the bridge, fuze settings were varied to obtain damage to the super-structure as well as the abutments, but, despite numerous hits which forced the Communists to keep the decking under constant repair, the steel spans of the bridge still stood. So important was the destruction of the bridge that General MacArthur offered to commend the air unit that dropped it, and General Stratemeyer privately promised a case of Scotch whiskey to the crew who would take it down.#62

.

.

.

.

Shortly after the noon hour on 19 August nine B-29's of the 19th Bombardment trailed in over Sŏul to place 54 tons of 1,000-pound bombs on the west railway bridge. The bomber crews reported numerous hits, so many, in fact, that they thought they could surely finish off the weakened bridge on the following day.#63

[note]

 

  

Mindful of its impending commitments for mounting an airborne operation and for providing additional air transport between Japan and Korea, FEAF had been making preparations for an expanded air-transport establishment during August. As FEAF planners attacked the problem of the airborne operation some complications were imminent since both the paratroopers and the troop-carrier units were in the United States.

The 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team was being organized at Camp Campbell, Kentucky, and the 314th troop Carrier Group was at Sewart Air Force Base, Tennessee. USAF signaled that the 314th Group would be available to FEAF any time after 15 August with 64 Flying Boxcar C-119's, a number of the new-type transports sufficient to lift 2,700 paratroopers. #25

Soon, however, the Department of Army notified USAF that the 187th would require simultaneous airlift for 3,500 paratroopers and their heavy equipment. Such a task as this posed a requirement for 140 C-119's, or their equivalents. USAF agreed to augment the strength of the 314th Group to 96 aircraft, but it stated that FEAF would have to meet the remainder of the requirement.#26

[note]

 

Despite efforts of the FEAF Bomber Command to make the bombing raids as humane as possible, Communist propaganda exploited the attacks to the utmost. The Russian representative in the United Nations Security Council charged that the United States was conducting barbarous and indiscriminate bombing attacks against peaceful towns and civilians.

 Although the Communist propaganda was untrue, the falsehoods gained some acceptance throughout the world. On 19 August the London News Chronicle speculated that the B-29's might be doing more damage to the democratic cause than to the Communists.#52

[note]

 

U.S. Marine Corps

 


August 19, 1950 it was D-minus 27 for the men of the 1st Marine Division.

[note]

 

The first echelon of the 1st Marine Division planning group had its preliminary briefing on 19 August, and the tractor elements of the Attack Force were scheduled to sail for the objective area on 9 September. This left an interval of 20 days for most of the Inch'ŏn planning—probably the shortest period ever allotted to a major amphibious assault.

Less than one-fourth of the officers and men of the 1st Marine Division staff were on the Mount McKinley when planning commenced. At that time the distribution of the staff was as follows:[6]

August

Click here to view table

The Marine planners aboard the Mount McKinley were short on elbow room as well as personnel, time, and equipment. Although it was an advantage to have the planning groups of the Attack Force and Landing Force together, the ship did not provide enough space for both without crowding. Moreover, the already undermanned Marine contingent had to be further reduced late in August by sending several officers to Kobe to meet incoming units. Thus the G–2 section, to cite one example, consisted of only two officers, one of whom was detached on this duty for a week.

“The issuance of and adherence to a planning schedule was utterly impossible,” commented the 1st Marine Division report. “Only by a virtual ‘around the clock’ working day, concurrent . . . planning by Attack Force (ComPhibGru One) and Landing Force (1st MarDiv), willing teamwork by both, and especially the amphibious ‘know-how’ of key staff members gained by long experience, was it possible to complete and issue . . . plans and orders for a most difficult . . . landing operation. The time-space factor denied any coordinated orientation, prohibited even the most elementary rehearsal, made it difficult to distribute orders, and gave subordinate units very little time for formulation and distribution of their plans.”[7]

Command relationships during the embarkation and assault phases were as follows:

August

Click here to view table

[note]

 

 

 

It was understood from the beginning that the Special Plans Staff, headed by General Ruffner, would be the nucleus of the future X Corps staff. In order to have the benefit of specialized amphibious knowledge, ten Marine and two Navy officers of TTU Mobile training Team Able were assigned on 19 August:

  1. Col H. A. Forney: Deputy Chief of Staff
  2. LtCol J. Tabor: Asst Coordinator, FSCC
  3. LtCol C. E. Warren: Asst G–4
  4. Maj J. N. McLaughlin: Asst G–3
  5. Maj J. F. Warner: Asst G–3
  6. Maj C. P. Weiland: Air Officer, FSCC
  7. Maj V. H. Vogel: Asst G–4
  8. Capt H. S. Coppedge: Asst G–2
  9. Capt T. A. Manion: Asst Signal Officer, FSCC
  10. Capt V. J. Robinson: Target Info Officer
  11. Lt L. N. Lay, USN: Asst Surgeon
  12. Lt W. A. Sheltren, USN: Asst NGF Officer, FSCC[10]

These officers did not begin their new assignment in time to contribute to the preliminary X Corps overall scheme of maneuver.

[note]

 

 

U.S. Navy

 

Period 15 August to 21 August

USN_Units

15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

 

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.

The ship fueled again on 18 August and took station off the west coast for operations on 19 August.

For this day's operations, the most important target was the railroad bridge at Sŏul. The bridge was knocked out but at a heavy price.

 

CDR R. M. Vogel, Commander Air Group ELEVEN was killed leading the attack.

[note]

 

USN_Units   USN_Units

On the next day, prior to giving similar treatment to the west coast, Task Force 77  fuelled from USS Passumpsic (AO-107) and USS Cacapon (AO-52), and rearmed from USS Mount Katmai (AE-16), the first ammunition ship to reach the Far East.

The 19th saw Admiral Struble’s force again in the Yellow Sea, giving support to the perimeter and striking targets in Areas A and B, while HMS Triumph (R16), operating independently, sent her aircraft against objectives to the southward. USS Philippine Sea (CV-47)’s interdiction strikes this day were concentrated on the vital railroad bridge at Sŏul, which had survived repeated attacks by FEAF and carrier aircraft. Nine ADs with two1,000-pound bombs each and nine F4Us with 500-pounders were sent against this target; the job was done, and photographs showed a span resting in the water, but at the cost of the loss of Commander Vogel, the air group commander.

[note]

 

USN_Units   USN_Units

and the morning launch of 18 planes brought satisfactory results. Although radio channels continued crowded, tactical air controllers were contacted as planned, and effective attacks ensued. In five separate areas between Hyŏpch'ŏn and the front lines large fires were started with gratifying effect, as numerous personnel ran out into the open where they could be strafed. This exploitation of the success in the Naktong bulge also accomplished the destruction of six troop-laden trucks, and of two command cars which were chased into a warehouse and there burned.

[note]

 

[note]

 

Korean_War

On the 19th Lee's force landed on Yŏnghŭng Do, in the Inch'ŏn approach channel, and in the days that followed expanded its control to other islands in the west coast bight.

[note]

 

Tactical Air Command Emblem.png  Continental Air Command.png

In the years of reduced military budgets prior to 1950, the USAF Tactical Air Command had become an operational headquarters under the USAF Continental Air Command in December 1948.

Even though it realized that tactical air units required global mobility, the Continental Air Command had had no funds to stand the costs of such a program.

    363rd RTS

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

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

[note]

 

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Unit Info  Unit Info

17, 18, 19, 20, 21

and an hour later enemy infantry attacked A Company, forcing two of its platoons from their positions, and overrunning a mortar position. After daylight, a counterattack by B Company regained the lost ground. This was the beginning of a 5-day battle by Colonel Teeter's 1st Battalion along the southern spurs of Sibidang, two miles west of Kŏmam-ni. The North Koreans endeavored there to turn the left flank of the 35th Infantry and split the 25th Division line.

 

[note]

 

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By 19 August the entire 2nd division had reached the Korean peninsula and was on its way into action as a unit. [05-68]

Supporting Artillery

Def

Lacking non-divisional artillery, MacArthur asked the Joint Chiefs on 19 July to send him light, medium, and heavy artillery battalions. He asked for six 155-mm. howitzer Battalions, self-propelled, as the first shipment. He also asked for an artillery group headquarters and a field artillery observation battalion. He pointed out that his division commanders in Korea would be forced, by the extensive frontages, broken terrain, and the limited road nets, to employ their divisions by separate RCT's.

With a projected American force in Korea, based upon JCS-approved deployments as of that date, of 4 Army divisions and 1 Marine RCT, there would be 13 American regiments available in Korea. At least ten of these regiments could normally be expected to be in the front lines at any given time.

Since only four battalions of 155-mm. howitzers would be present with division artillery units, six more battalions would be required if each of the ten regiments was to have a medium artillery battalion when it was used as an RCT. Two 8-inch howitzer battalions and the 155-mm. guns would be required for general support along the whole front. Light battalions could either reinforce division artillery units, or, if desirable, be committed in support of South Korean units.

General MacArthur noted that the profitable extent to which American artillery should be used in support of South Korean forces was under study by his staff.

[note]

 

 

 

0549 Sunrise

[note]

 

 

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0610 Korean Time

  

At 0610 on the morning of 19 August, 3/5’s 81-mm. mortars prepared the way for the final drive on Objective Three. Following close in the wake of the mortar bursts, Second Lieutenant Thomas P. Lennon led Company H through evacuated enemy positions. He reached the northern part of Hill 311 without meeting any opposition.

[note]

 

1st Provisional Brigade

This last Brigade objective was secured at 0645, leaving 1/5 atop Obong-ni Ridge, 2/5 on Hill 207 to which it had displaced on the 18th, and 3/5 in possession of the dominating height (Hill 311) of the Naktong Bulge. The reduction of the enemy bridgehead cost the Marines 66 dead, 1 missing in action, and 278 wounded.

[note]

 

   USN_Units

At 0645 on the 19th the hill was taken and the bulge secured, while west of the Naktong spreading waves of confusion, radiating outward from this setback, were expanded by attacks of strike groups from USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) against troop concentrations and supply dumps between Hyŏpch'ŏn and the river. Its task completed, the Marine Brigade was detached on the next day, assigned to Eighth Army reserve, and moved back to the Masan area. There the infantry bivouacked in a bean patch, and undertook a training program for Korean Marines, while the artillery was sent back to work at Chindong-ni, where enemy pressure had again begun to be apparent.

[note]

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101 Sig Bn COA.png

The 101st Signal Battalion was called into service on 19 August to meet the requirement for an accompanying signal unit. [07-58]

[note]

 

biography

IT WAS ALL over but the mopping-up operations. Battalion areas were carefully patrolled on 19 August to clear them of NKPA snipers or stragglers. During this process a patrol ranging along the Naktong river discovered three enemy 122-mm. howitzers hidden in a strip of woods on a hill. The pieces had not been touched by Marine air or artillery. What was more surprising, they were emplaced in a column to fire over one another—something new and wonderful that the Marines had never seen before.[1] General Craig concluded that these howitzers had fired the shells which landed on Marine positions to the bitter end.

[note]

 

0800 Korean Time

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Def   biography

In order to determine more precisely what was taking place in Tokyo , the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent two of their members to the Far East. General Collins and Admiral Sherman, accompanied by a staff of Air Force and Army officers, flew to Tokyo on 19 August to talk with MacArthur. [08-18]

[note]

 

       

On the morning of 19 August, the ROK 11th and 13th Regiments launched counterattacks along the ridges with some gains. General Walker ordered another reserve unit, a battalion of the ROK 10th Regiment, to the Taegu front to close a gap that had developed between the ROK 1st and 6th Divisions.

[note]

 

        


On the 19th, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, launched the final assault; at 8:45 a.m., the Marines and 34th Infantry linked up with each other.

The price had been high. The Americans lost 137 killed, 763 wounded, 564 missing, and at least 161 non-battle casualties. Of the total, Marine casualties were 66 killed, 278 wounded and 1 missing. Many of the Army missing were later classified as dead. For example, the surgeon of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, discovered the bodies of 30 soldiers in an overrun aid station. All had been murdered by the North Koreans.

The NKPA 4th Division, however, suffered horrendously. The Americans buried more than 1,200 of their dead. Estimated to have numbered no more than 8,000 men at the beginning of the battle, the North Korean division was reported to now number about 3,500. Only the enemy's lodgment on Hill 409 rremained. No effort was made to reduce it.

The U.S. 2nd Infantry Division replaced the 24th along the Naktong.

 

Casualties August 19 Saturday 07
Casualties August 18 Friday 32
Casualties August 17 Thursday 26
Casualties August 16 Wednesday 01
   
5th Marines KIA 66

[note]

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biography  

By 19 August, the regiment had been built up to nearly 4,000 officers and men and was undergoing intensive training. [09-46] Arrangements progressed ahead of the original schedule and General MacArthur was told that the 187th RCT would be at the port of embarkation by 12 September. He again objected that in order to accomplish his planned operation he would have to have the unit and its required airlift in Japan by 10 September.

But General Ridgway, himself an airborne officer, opposed any stepped-up shipment of the airborne RCT. He advised General Collins, after studying General MacArthur's objections,

 ". . . I think the only justification for compliance would be a situation so desperate that the addition of an RCT as a straight infantry outfit was necessary to save the situation. It does not appear to me that such is the case."

General MacArthur's objections were overruled and, in [13-16] mid-August, he was told not to expect the airborne troops in time for his landing operation. [09-47] 19500825 0900

[note]

 

The next morning, 19 August, marines and 34th Infantry troops met at the Naktong. Prisoners captured that morning said most of the North Korean survivors had crossed the river during the night. By afternoon, patrols to the river found no enemy troops. The (first) battle of the Naktong Bulge was over. [17-81]

The N.K. 4th Division lost nearly all its heavy equipment and weapons in the first battle of the Naktong Bulge. The Marine ordnance section, which gathered up most of the destroyed or abandoned enemy heavier weapons, recovered 34 enemy artillery pieces, 18 of them lined up along the Yŏngsan-ni,-Naktong River road for supporting fires along the main axis of enemy attack. The largest enemy artillery piece was 122-mm. in size. The North Korean casualties in this battle were heavy. The 24th Division buried more than 1,200 enemy dead. According to prisoners captured at the end of the battle, each of the three rifle regiments of the N.K. 4th Division had no more than approximately 300 to 400 men left after they re-crossed to the west side of the river. These prisoners said that about one-half their wounded died for lack of medical care. The entire 4th Division reportedly numbered about 3,500 men on 19 August at the end of the bulge battle. [17-82]

After the Obong-ni battle ended, a count of enemy weapons destroyed or abandoned there reportedly included 18 heavy machine guns of Russian or American manufacture, 25 light machine guns, 63 submachine guns of Russian or American manufacture, 8 antitank rifles, 1 3.5-inch rocket launcher, and quantities of ammunition and grenades. Included in the captured enemy equipment was a U.S. Army radio, SCR300, in good operating condition, set to the frequency of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. This indicated that the enemy had been intercepting conversations between A and B Companies the night of 17-18 August and probably had known precisely their locations and dispositions. [17-83]

The destruction, for all practical purposes, of the N.K. 4th Division in the battle of the Naktong Bulge was the greatest setback suffered thus far by the North Korean Army. The 4th Division never recovered from this battle until after the Chinese entered the war and it was reconstituted.

[note]

 

The  3rd Battalion, 5th Marines then spent a relatively quiet night on the slope before grabbing the summit of Hill 311 the next morning.

The actions of the 5th Marines were noteworthy. The vaunted In Min Gun got its first real taste of defeat at the Naktong Bulge. This time it was the Communists who were bugging out as they scurried back across the Naktong River on 18 August. Their retreat became a rout that turned into a slaughter when Marine supporting arms caught the disorganized enemy in the open. Air strikes, artillery, and mortars pummeled the hapless North Koreans as they raced for safety.

The next day was devoted to clearing out bypassed pockets of the enemy and combing the hills for NKPA wounded. The First Battle of the Naktong cost the Marines 66 dead, 278 wounded, and 1 missing, but the NKPA 4th Division had been decisively defeated and was no longer combat effective.

[note]

 

1000 Korean Time

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1200 Korean Time

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Unit Info  Unit Info

17, 18, 19, 20, 21

and an hour later enemy infantry attacked A Company, forcing two of its platoons from their positions, and overrunning a mortar position. After daylight, a counterattack by B Company regained the lost ground. This was the beginning of a 5-day battle by Colonel Teeter's 1st Battalion along the southern spurs of Sibidang, two miles west of Kŏmam-ni. The North Koreans endeavored there to turn the left flank of the 35th Infantry and split the 25th Division line.

[note]

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Eighth U.S. Army (Forward)  

On the afternoon of 19 August, the bulge battle over, Eighth Army ordered the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade released from 24th Division control. The brigade, reverting to Eighth Army reserve, assembled in the south near Ch'angwŏn, east of Masan, where it remained until 1 September. [17-85]

[note]

 

           

In the afternoon he ordered still another unit, the U.S. 23rd Infantry, to move up and establish a defense perimeter around the 8th and 37th Field Artillery Battalions eight miles north of Taegu. The 3rd Battalion took up a defensive position around the artillery while the 2nd Battalion occupied a defensive position astride the road behind the 27th Infantry.

[note]

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1500 Korean Time

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USN_Units   USN_Units   USN_Units

Navy pilots of Task Force 77 had already made two attacks against the railway bridge, and at midafternoon on 19 August the USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) and USS Valley Forge (CV-45) launched 37 Corsairs and Skyraiders against this target. These dive bombers scored eight hits, after which one of their number flew the length of the span at low level and reported that the bridge was still standing but unusable for the foreseeable future.#64

[note]

 

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1800 Korean Time

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1900 Korean Time

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1918 Sunset

[note]

 

2000 Korean Time

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2100 Korean Time

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2200 Korean Time

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Casualties

Saturday August 19, 1950 (Day 56)

61 Casualties

 

19500819 0000 Casualties by unit

7 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
3 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 25TH MEDICAL BATTALION
2 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
11 29TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
11 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 37TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
5 5TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
7 5TH MARINE REGIMENT
1 5TH REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
1 65TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
4 8TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
6 9TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 VF-111 FIGHTER SQUADRON
   
   
   
61 19500819 0000 Casualties by unit

As of August 19, 1950

 

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 71 4148 123 11 4353
Today 0 53 7 1 61
Total 71 4201 130 12 4414

 

Aircraft Losses Today 001

 

 

 

Notes for Friday August 19, 1950 (Day 56)

 

 

 

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