Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 28.7°C 83.66 °F at Taegu     

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

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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.

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A clash between President Truman and Gen. MacArthur over Formosa policy dominates the news. The U.S. government's official position on the island was delivered to the UN where Russia echoed red Chinese charges that the U.S. had turned the island into a base. The statement says that the status of the island is still to be determined, but the 7th Fleet was deployed to guard against a Chinese invasion and to protect U.S. forces in Korea.

Veterans Of Foreign Wars Logo.jpg

Meanwhile MacArthur sends a statement to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In it he says Formosa is a key part of what he envisions as a perimeter of Pacific islands used to protect the U.S. mainland from Chinese attack.

U.S. News & World Report logo.png

When Truman learns of the position paper, he orders MacArthur to recall it. The VFW cooperates but U.S. News & World Report has printed it in its Aug. 28 edition. Reacting to a Republican outcry, Truman sends a message to MacArthur praising his leadership. The message also contains a copy of the policy delivered to the UN. That is interpreted as a warning to MacArthur to clear policy statements with the White House.

Republicans say Formosa and the "gagging of MacArthur" will be issues in this year's congressional races.

House Speaker Sam Rayburn, D, Texas, says that MacArthur is doing a good job as long as "he stays in his own field and doesn't try to run the foreign policy of the U.S."

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U.S. warships fire on military targets between Hamhŭng and Ch'ŏngjin 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]

 

Citations

Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500821 0000 DSC CORLEY

19500821 0000 DSC HOLLIS

 

Silver Star

Reinburg, Joseph Hunter [Maj SS CO VMF(AW)(N)-513]

 

biography   biography

Unfortunately, Doyle and Almond failed to work well together. Two days before the 23 August conference in Tokyo, Doyle had told Almond that he must brief MacArthur on the details of the Inch'ŏn landing; Almond had responded that MacArthur was not interested in details. Doyle insisted that CINCFE must be made aware of them in order to make his decisions, and Almond only reluctantly agreed. Whether the difficulty began only at this time or had existed before, it continued unabated through the later Hungnam evacuation. Much of Doyle’s problem with Almond stemmed from the same source as Smith’s—disdain for Almond’s professional experience and judgment, as manifested in decisions Doyle found imprudent. Clearly Doyle also did not care for Almond personally, though this would not have mattered had he respected him.

In contrast, Doyle and Smith worked extremely well together, quickly becoming friends and remaining so in the decades following the war. Each had the highest respect for the other’s professionalism and expertise, and they developed the utmost confidence and trust in each other. This was facilitated by their (and their staffs’) close physical proximity aboard USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) Moreover, Doyle and Smith shared antipathies toward Struble and Almond, based on similar judgments of their expertise and characters. Consequently, Doyle, Smith, and their respective staffs worked together quickly, efficiently, and informally in the planning for Inch'ŏn. This in turn established a solid foundation on which the work for the next operation might proceed.

[note]

 

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19500821 0000 04frkw0
Forgotten Regiments of the Korean War

The NKPA did not exploit the gap, but they attacked the 1/24th on the 20th, again driving Company C from its position. The 3rd Battalion counterattacked, regaining most of the lost ground.

In that assault, 2nd Lt. Ted Swett served as the ninth platoon leader that the 3rd Platoon of Company L had had so far in the war. He was wounded on the 21st, and it took six hours to carry him down the mountain. That same morning, Companies I and L retook lost ground but were again driven off by an estimated two-battalion NKPA assault.

The struggle for Battle Mountain went on through the rest of August. At times, according to an Army historian, individuals in the front-line units of the 24th pulled out of position without orders, or "bugged out" in Korean War terminology. No doubt some men did bug out, but most of the troops stayed, fought and died, inflicting heavy casualties on the North Koreans.

 

The 24th's own battle losses were severe, and division reserves were scarce. At one point, the 77th ECC and ROK troops were committed to the bloody defensive battle. The summit of Battle Mountain changed hands 19 times between August 15 and August 31, according to calculations of the Intelligence sergeant of 1st Battalion. The 24th regiment suffered 500 battle casualties in August. In that month, too, the 3/34th had three different battalion commanders.

The 2nd Battalion held 6,000 yards of the regiment's right on hills west and southwest of Haman. Company F held 1,300 yards on the right. Next was Company G, also on a 1,300-yard frontage. Company E, to the left of G, held twice the frontage of either of the other two units, but one platoon was positioned by itself 1,300 to 1,400 yards south of the bulk of Company E.

 

[note]

 

The Joint Chiefs of Staff Meet with General MacArthur, 21 August 1950

On 21 August 1950, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Forrest P. Sherman and Army Chief of Staff General J. Lawton Collins flew to Tokyo to represent the Joint Chiefs of Staff in meetings with General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and other Pacific area and Korean War commanders.

 On the agenda was General MacArthur's plan to reverse the tide of the conflict with an amphibious landing at Inch'ŏn, Sŏul's port city. Over the next few days, he was able to persuade the other participants, virtually all of them skeptics, that his strategically inspired concept would be, if not easy to execute, at least "not impossible". These meetings were important precursers to the historic Inch'ŏn Invasion of mid-September 1950.

This page features pictures taken when members of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff came to Japan to meet with General Douglas MacArthur. It also includes views of Admiral Forrest Sherman visiting ships operating off Korea.

For other views of U.S. senior commanders during the first months of the Korean War, see:

Photo #: 80-G-422487

Admiral Arthur W. Radford, USN, Commander in Chief, Pacific and Pacific Fleet, (left) and
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief, Far East

Confer while awaiting the arrival of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at Tokyo, Japan, 21 August 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 84KB; 740 x 610 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.
Photo #: 80-G-422491

Major General Edward M. Almond, U.S. Army, Commanding General, Tenth Corps, (left)and
Lieutenant General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., USMC, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific

Confer at Tokyo, Japan, while awaiting the arrival of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 21 August 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 99KB; 740 x 615 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.
Photo #: 80-G-422492

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief, Far East, (center)

Greets Army Chief of Staff General J. Lawton Collins (left) and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, as members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff arrive at an Tokyo, Japan, airfield, for conferences concerning future operations in Korea, 21 August 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 102KB; 740 x 605 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

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18, 19, 20, 21, 22

     

In savage fighting, ROK 3rd and 8th Divisions stopped three N.K. divisions, N.K.-8, N.K.-12 and N.K.-5. in their assault down the eastern Kyŏngju Corridor to Pusan.

[note]

 

August

 

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Some outside observers drew similar conclusions [8/15] . An article by correspondent John Osborne in the August 21, 1950 , issue of LIFE entitled "Report From The Orient: Guns Are Not Enough," provided the American public some insights about the problems that NKPA tactics, especially their exploitation of civilians, posed for American troops. In this article, Mr. Osborne portrayed vividly the situation in Korea and stressed the need for American leaders to recognize the union of politics and military operations in war rather than trying to segregate the two. He argued that because of the tactics used by the North Koreans, the war against the Communists in Asia could not be won by military means alone:

To attempt to win it so, as we are now doing in Korea, is not only to court final failure but also to force upon our men in the field acts and attitudes of the utmost savagery. This means not the usual, inevitable savagery of combat in the field but savagery in detail -- the blotting out of villages where the enemy may be hiding; the shooting and shelling of refugees who may include North Koreans in the anonymous white clothing of the Korean countryside, or who may be screening an enemy march upon our positions, or who may be carrying broken-down rifles or ammunition clips or walkie-talkie parts in their packs and under their trousers or skirts.

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South then North

 

Tank Action in the Bowling Alley, 21 August.

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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]

 

Another group of 2,500 replacements conscripted in the Seoul area joined the 6th Division on or about 21 August, bringing the division strength to approximately 8,500 men.

In the last week of August and the first week of September, 3,000 more recruits conscripted in southwest Korea joined the division. The 6th Division used this last body of recruits in labor details at first and only later employed them as combat troops. [20-5]

As a part of the enemy build-up in the south, another division now arrived there - the N.K. 7th Division. [it had been activated on 3 July]

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August was a month of heavy casualties for Eighth Army. Battle casualties in its four divisions were for the 24th Division, 1,941; 25th Division, 1,800; 1st Cavalry Division, 1,503; and the 9th Regiment of the 2d Division, 827.

Non-battle casualties were high in all units, many of them caused by heat exhaustion; the 9th Regiment alone had 419 non-battle casualties. Loss among officers was very heavy. [44]


During the same period, battle losses had been far greater in the ROK Army than in United States forces, but non-battle casualties were fewer. On some days ROK battle losses were wholly disproportionate to American.

As extreme examples, on 6 August American battle losses were 74, the ROK 1,328; on 21 August the American battle losses were 49, the ROK, 2,229. [21-45]

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biography   Def

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]

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The Forgotten War

 

biography   biography   biography

Joe Collins and Forrest Sherman arrived in Tokyo on August 21 to confer with MacArthur about the details of the Inch'ŏn landing. MacArthur arranged a full-scale briefing for late afternoon, August 23, giving them a chance to pay a quick visit to Korea, where, unknown to MacArthur, Collins was to assess Walker's ability to continue in command of Eighth Army.[8-34]

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Cover Story

 

U.S. Air Force

 

 

21 AUGUST

1 950

0800 hours met the Collins-Sherman party which included:

Sent a redline personal to Vandenberg: "Three spans west railroad bridge, the only one that was standing yesterday morning, now in the drink. Edwards and Armstrong with me now."

 

 

125

PART ONE: THE BITTER DAYS

Bombs from 19th BG Superfortresses make sure that the "elastic bridge" does not bounce back. One span of the bridge (lower) can be seen in the water.

Stearley arrives from Okinawa. He joined Edwards, Craigie, Weyland and myself at lunch at the Union Club at 1230.


Partridge's morning report to me indicated that OSI info he is getting is good and timely and he is making use of it. However, General Willoughby was thru there several days [earlier] and indicated in a "vague" manner that the OSI was to be reconsolidated. Partridge stated that full impact of Willoughby's casual remark was lost on him until Nichols expressed concern over reconsolidation of some of his activities with location at another spot. Partridge stated he viewed this with alarm inasmuch as Willoughby did not enlighten him as to whole picture of reconsolidation. Partridge further stated that Harris [219] is now at Pusan and comes to Partridge's hqrs. daily.


Upon my return from meeting General Edwards I was informed that three spans of the main RR [railroad] bridge at Seoul was down; immediately sent Vandenberg a redline message to that effect.


There is now some controversy as to who caused this destruction. I talked with Colonel Graff and the lead pilot of the 19th Group and they both informed me that prior to the release of bombs, all spans were put [in place] but one was leaning out of line and they very definitely stated that none were in the water. About 1220 hours, General Briggs called from Okinawa and stated that they have

126

THE THREE WARS OF LT. GEN. GEORGE E. STRATEMEYER : HIS KOREAN WAR DIARY

An RF-80 provides proof that the bridge is indeed down. Both the 19th BG and Carrier Air Group 11 shared credit for the bridge's destruction.

a photograph taken just prior to the 19th Group's attack and that the photograph showed spans down and in the water. I directed that a Stratline message be sent confirming the Briggs report to me.


My reaction to all the above is as follows:


The bridge has been under constant attack with 500, 1,000, 2,000 and six- teen 4,000 lb. bombs since this war started. The Navy has attacked the bridge twice and day before yesterday with 1,000 pounders. The fact that the bridge is down is the important thing and the credit should be given to the Navy and the Air Force although the majority of the bomb drops have been from B-29s.


If I am confirmed in my above reaction, such a statement will be made at the GHQ briefing tomorrow.


Sent a "morale" letter to General Gilkeson who is unhappy that he is on Guam and not in the thick of things. Explained to him that Buster Briggs is not in command of the 19th - but it is under the command of O'Donnell. Since 4 of the 5 B-29 groups were SAC units, it seemed only sensible to add Gilkeson's group too as their missions were identical. Briggs has only a few officers and airmen and acts as a link and coordinator between the 3 groups on Okinawa and O'Donnell's headquarters. He is not a commander and issues no orders to the three groups.[220]
 

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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; 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."

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At 1236/K Flight "D" personnel observed an F-51's engine cutting out on take-off from Ashiya AB. The H-5 was prflighted and airborne at 1237/K . The F-51 crashed at the end of the runway after he had jettisoned his napalm tanks. There was no explosion or fire and the pilot jumped out of the aircraft uninjured, and ran about one hundred yards from the aircraft where the H-5 picked [him] up. The H-5 returned to base operations with the pilot. It is believed that this is the fastest rescue on record.

Four false alerts were recorded this date.

[note]

 

While the Eighth Army was initially lukewarm toward the evacuation of its casualties by Air Force transports, the Eighth Army's surgeon eagerly exploited the 3rd Air Rescue Squadron's helicopter detachment for the evacuation of front-line casualties to mobile army surgical hospitals.

 As has been seen, General Stratemeyer asked USAF on 14 August 1950 to organize and dispatch to him an "evacuation and utility squadron" with 25 H-5 helicopters and the trained medical personnel required to handle front-line evacuation work.

(On the 14th: USAF ruled at this time that the Air Rescue Service must have first claim on all helicopters, and it refused to allow Stratemeyer to form a special evacuation squadron)

Later on USAF would percieve that such a function as this was a logical and desirable extension of its assault troop-carrier effort, but in August 1950 some USAF officers in Washington observed that their planning for aeromedical evacuation "has not included the U.S. Army function of evacuation from front-line battle stations" and hesitated to set a precedent.

The USAF Surgeon General nevertheless urged that Stratemeyer's request should be met, and USAF on 21 August agreed to send FEAF 14 H-5's and to raise the 3rd Air Rescue Squadron's allocation to 23 helicopters. USAF ruled at this time that the Air Rescue Service must have first claim on all helicopters, and it refused to allow Stratemeyer to form a special evacuation squadron. #97

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U.S. Marine Corps

 

August 21, 1950 it was D-minus 25 for the men of the 1st Marine Division.

[note]

 

Meanwhile, the 1st Division, less the 7th Marines, sailed for the Far East. The first cargo vessels weighed anchor on 10 August, followed on 14 August by the first attack transport.

Loading was completed on 21 August, and the last ship sailed on the 24th; and a week later, on 1 September, the 7th Marines (Reinforced), less one infantry battalion, shipped out, close on the heels of its parent organization.

[note]

 

 

U.S. Navy

 

 

USN_Units   USN_Units   USN_Units

 

Carrier based planes of TF 77 (USS Valley Forge (CV-45) and USS Philippine Sea (CV-47)) set new record with 202 sorties in one day in P'yŏngyang area.

[note]

 

USN_Units     

On the 21st, the Task Force 77 again moored in Sasebo to replenish.

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USN_Units

For the first few days of August, while these coastal activities were in progress, the Seventh Fleet Striking Force lay at anchor in Buckner Bay. During this interval Admiral Struble visited Formosa, in company with General MacArthur, to perfect planning and liaison against the chance of a Communist invasion; the carrier USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) arrived from the United States on 1 August, and Rear Admiral Edward C. Ewen, Commander Carrier Division 1,, flew in from Pearl and reported aboard.

From 21 to 25 August, while the perimeter continued generally quiet and the coasts busy, Task Force 77 was replenishing at Sasebo.

[note]

 

Map 9. Support of the Perimeter, 14–24 August 1950

 

[note]

 

USN_Units     

From 21 to 25 August, while the perimeter continued generally quiet and the coasts busy, Task Force 77  was replenishing at Sasebo.

[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.

 

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0551 Sunrise

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   Def

On 21 August, General MacArthur asked to be allowed to activate, from sources already available in his theater, Headquarters, X Corps. Department of the Army readily granted this authority. [09-7]

The Special Planning Staff had already prepared its version of the best organization for the new corps headquarters. General Almond approved it. The major deviation from standard corps tables of Organization and Equipment was the addition of a small transportation section and an area command, headquarters and headquarters detachment, of about ninety officers and men.

General Ruffner told General Almond that, since X Corps would be operating separately "until such time as link-up is effected," it would have to carry out some functions normally carried out by an Army headquarters. [09-8]

The corps was activated without a TO & E, table of Allowances, or table of Distribution being prescribed. The staff used published equipment and personnel tables as guides, but modified the structure to enable the corps headquarters to operate as a separate corps along the lines of a field army headquarters. As a result, all equipment drawn had to be requisitioned and such requests had to be approved as items over and beyond authorized allowances.

Each requisition, in fact, had to be reviewed personally by the corps G-4, Col. Aubrey D. Smith, and approved by the chief, Supply Division, G-4, GHQ. Limited time, inexperienced people, and the urgent press of planning the impending operation greatly complicated this problem. [09-9]

[note]

 

The next morning, 21 August, a patrol of two platoons of infantry and three tanks went up the road toward the enemy positions. White flags had appeared in front of the American line, and rumors received from natives alleged that many North Koreans wanted to surrender. The patrol's mission was to investigate this situation and to form an estimate of enemy losses. The patrol advanced about a mile, engaging small enemy groups and receiving some artillery fire. On its way it completed the destruction with thermite grenades of five enemy tanks disabled in the night action.

 The patrol also found 1 37-mm. antitank gun, 2 self-propelled guns, and 1 120-mm. mortar among the destroyed enemy equipment, and saw numerous enemy dead. At the point of farthest advance, the patrol found and destroyed an abandoned enemy tank in a village schoolhouse courtyard. [19-68]

[note]

 

On the morning of 21 August, the 1st Battalion (less A Company), 5th Regimental Combat Team, attacked across the 24th Infantry boundary and secured Sobuk-san against light resistance. That evening a strong force of North Koreans counterattacked and drove the 1st Battalion off the mountain.

[note]

 

The third regiment was activated as the 7th Marines on 17 August at Camp Pendleton. Two understrength battalions of the 6th Marines from Camp Lejeune and individual Regulars and Reserves were assigned to the new regiment. Its other battalion, the peace-strength battalion from the Mediterranean, sailed directly to Japan from its post with the fleet. A third rifle company and third platoons for the battalion's other two companies formed with the main body of the 7th Marines. [09-26]

21 August 1950

Admiral Sherman, during his visit to the Far East Command in late August, queried his Washington headquarters on the arrival date of this final component of the division. He was touring the battlefront in Korea when the discouraging reply reached him.

"The limiting factor," Sherman learned, "is the readiness of Marine Corps troops, which cannot be advanced ahead of an already tight schedule."

 Owing to the need for training, the two Marine battalions from the United States could not reach the Far East Command until 19 September, while the battalion coming from the Mediterranean would arrive in Korea on 12 September.

"It is impossible," Admiral Sherman was told, "for the entire Marine Division to arrive in Japan by 10 September." [09-27]

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Still farther northward along the mountain spine, in the Battle Mountain area, affairs were going badly for the 24th Infantry. After C Company lost Battle Mountain, air and artillery worked over its crest in preparation for an infantry attack planned to regain Old Baldy. The hot and sultry weather made climbing the steep slope grueling work, but L Company was on top by noon, 21 August. Enemy troops had left the crest under the punishing fire of air, artillery, and mortar. They in turn now placed mortar fire on the crest and prevented L Company from consolidating its position. This situation continued until mid-afternoon when an enemy platoon came out of zigzag trenches a short distance down the reverse slope of Old Baldy and surprised L Company. One enemy soldier even succeeded in dropping a grenade in a platoon leader's foxhole. The other two platoons of the company, upon hearing firing, started to leave their positions and drift down the hill. The North Koreans swiftly reoccupied Old Baldy while officers tried to assemble L and I Companies on the eastern slope. Elements of E Company also left their position during the day. [20-24]

American air, artillery, mortar, and tank fire now concentrated on Battle Mountain, and I and L Companies prepared to counterattack.

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     biography

At 1300 on the 21st Craig arrived by helicopter at a new Brigade bivouac area near Masan that was to be recorded in capital letters as the Bean Patch. It was just that—a bean patch large enough to accommodate a brigade. But from this historic spot the Marines were to fight their way around the peninsula during the next 5 months and complete the circuit to their identical starting point.

General Craig arrived along with the Brigade advance elements. After setting up his CP, he reported to General Kean, of the 25th Division, who was in control of the bivouac area. Kean divulged that the situation in his sector had deteriorated. The enemy had made several penetrations, and Brigade assistance might be required in the event of further breakthroughs. As it was, Kean had been authorized by Eighth Army to employ Brigade artillery along with his own; and 1/11 proceeded the next day to the familiar Chindong-ni area in support of 25th Division Infantry.

Orders were received from Eighth Army for the Brigade infantry to be prepared to counterattack in the 25th Division sector as part of its reserve mission. General Craig and Lieutenant Colonel Stewart made a helicopter reconnaissance of the areas of greatest activity, but events proved that the Marine rifle battalions were not needed.

Unit training, including the checking and firing of all weapons, was conducted at the Bean Patch; and Marine patrols were sent out to the rear of the 25th Division to watch for infiltrating forces. Patrols in rugged country were fed hot meals delivered in special containers by the versatile helicopters of VMO–6.

Truckloads of supplies rolled in daily from Pusan, including some of the equipment left behind at the docks when the Brigade landed. But no tentage was available, and the exhausting marches of combat had forced the men to discard everything except fighting tools. In the lack of shelter tents, therefore, the Marines lived in the open at the Bean Patch.

[note]

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USN_Units

On the evening of the 20th the carriers turned southward and headed for Sasebo, where they arrived at 1400 on the 21st.

However satisfactory to the naval commanders, this northward diversion of carrier effort was only reluctantly accepted by EUSAK. So frequent and urgent, indeed, had been the calls from Eighth Army and the JOC that Admiral Joy had asked CincFE to remind all interested commands of the complex chain through which the services of the Seventh Fleet were properly to be requested.

[note]

 

 

 

 

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1900 Korean Time

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1915 Sunset

[note]


 

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biography   biography   biography   biography

President Truman subsequently sent Averell Harriman to Tokyo, reputedly to caution MacArthur not only to keep the President better informed, but, on other than military matters, to make recommendations, not decisions.

 Afterward, Harriman stated that General MacArthur had not overstepped his military bounds in making the trip to Formosa; President Truman announced his satisfaction with General MacArthur's performance; and General MacArthur declared that anyone who hinted of friction between himself and the President was guilty of "sly insinuations, rash speculations and bold misstatements." [20-19]

[note]

 

That evening at dusk the 27th Infantry placed an antitank mine field, antipersonnel mines, and trip flares across the road and stream bed 150 yards in front of the infantry line. A second belt of mines, laid on top of the ground, was placed about 100 yards in front of the buried mine field.

[note]

 

biography   biography   biography   biography

A week earlier, General MacArthur, who had been invited to speak at the Fifty-First National Encampment of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Chicago, sent instead a paper which he proposed be read at the meeting. In this paper, MacArthur stressed the strategic importance of Formosa and insisted that the United States must, at any cost, retain control of that island. He strongly hinted that the United States would be able to use Formosa as a base in any future operations against the Asiatic mainland. He pointed out also that Formosa would be a formidable threat to American security if controlled by an unfriendly power, terming it an "unsinkable aircraft carrier and submarine tender." "Nothing could be more fallacious," he charged, "than the threadbare argument by those who advocate appeasement and defeatism in the Pacific that if we defend Formosa we alienate continental Asia. Those who speak thus do not understand the Orient." [20-22]

This strong statement (of 21st) evoked an equally strong reaction from President Truman when he was informed of it by Averell Harriman on 26 August before its publication. The President read MacArthur's paper to Harriman, General Bradley, and Secretary Johnson, then directed that MacArthur withdraw the statement. Secretary Johnson immediately cabled MacArthur that the President directed him to withdraw the message ". . . because various features with respect to Formosa are in conflict with the policy of the United States and its position in the United Nations." [20-23]

According to Johnson, when the President learned that MacArthur's rather lengthy statement to the VFW had been transmitted through Army communications facilities from Japan, he was particularly indignant. Johnson testified before the Senate committee, later investigating the relief of General MacArthur, that on 26 August President Truman discussed with him the advisability of relieving MacArthur as the commander in Korea, but decided to take no such action at that time. [20-24]

General MacArthur's immediate response to the Presidential order was to fire a protest to the Secretary of Defense, claiming that his VFW message had been carefully prepared to support fully the President's policy decision of 27 June with respect to Formosa and pointing out that the subject of Formosa had been freely discussed in all circles, "Governmental and private, both at home and abroad." MacArthur obviously felt he could separate his views as a private citizen from those as the commander in chief, United Nations Command. For he observed that the views embodied in his statements to the VFW were "purely my personal ones." Noting that the VFW undoubtedly had given wide distribution to his speech in advance press releases, MacArthur advised Johnson that suppressing his message under these conditions would be a grave mistake. [20-25]

General MacArthur nevertheless was ordered to withdraw his message to the veterans' group. President Truman later softened the blow to MacArthur's feelings by transmitting to him the text of Austin's message on Formosa to Secretary-General Lie and his own letter to Austin on the same subject with the statement, "I am sure that when you examine this letter . . . you will understand why my action of the 26th in directing the withdrawal of your message to the Veterans of Foreign Wars was necessary." [20-26]

Let's see this letter too.

I am sure that when you examine this letter . . . you will understand why my action of the 26th in directing the withdrawal of your message to the Veterans of Foreign Wars was necessary." [20-26]

[note]

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Later that evening, 21 August, the North Koreans shelled the general area of the 27th Infantry positions until just before midnight. Then the N.K. 13th Division launched a major attack against the ROK units on the high ground and the Americans in the valley. Nine tanks and several SP guns supported the enemy troops in the valley. Because it was on higher ground and more advanced than any other American unit, C Company on the left of the road usually was the first to detect an approaching attack.

That evening the C Company commander telephoned that he could hear tanks out front. When the artillery fired an illuminating shell he was able to count nineteen vehicles in the attacking column on the road. The tanks and self-propelled guns, firing rapidly, approached the American positions. Most of their shells landed in the rear areas. Enemy infantry moved forward on both sides of the road. Simultaneously, other units attacked the ROK's on the high ridges flanking the valley.

American artillery and mortar fire bombarded the enemy, trying to separate the tanks from the infantry. Machine gun fire opened on the N.K. infantry only after they had entered the mine field and were at close range.

The Pershing tanks in the front line held their fire until the enemy tanks came very close. One of the American tanks knocked out the lead enemy tank at a range of 125 yards. A 3.5-inch bazooka team from F Company knocked out a SP gun, the third vehicle in column. The trapped second tank was disabled by bazooka fire and abandoned by its crew.

Artillery and 90-mm. tank fire destroyed seven more enemy tanks, three more SP guns, and several trucks and personnel carriers. This night battle lasted about five hours. The fire from both sides was intense.

On the American side, a partial tabulation shows that in support of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, B Battery, 8th Field Artillery Battalion (105-mm. howitzers), fired 1,661 rounds, the 4.2-inch mortar platoon fired 902 rounds, the 81-mm. mortar platoon fired 1,200 rounds, and F Company itself fired 385 60-mm. mortar rounds. The enemy column was destroyed.

[note]

 

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General Kean now alerted Colonel Throckmorton to prepare a force from the 5th Infantry to attack Sobuk-san. On the morning of 21 August, the 1st Battalion (less A Company), 5th Regimental Combat Team, attacked across the 24th Infantry boundary and secured Sobuk-san against light resistance.

That evening a strong force of North Koreans counterattacked and drove the 1st Battalion off the mountain.

At noon the next day (22nd), the 1st Battalion again attacked the heights, and five hours later B Company seized the peak. General Kean now changed the boundary line between the 5th Regimental Combat Team and the 24th Infantry, giving the Sobuk-san peak to the former.

During the night, the North Koreans launched counterattacks against the 1st Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, and prevented it from consolidating its position.

On the morning of 23 August, A Company tried to secure the high ground 1,000 yards southwest of Sobuk and link up with B Company, but was unable to do so. The enemy considered this particular terrain feature so important that he continued to repulse all efforts to capture it, and kept A Company, 5th Regimental Combat Team, nearby, under almost daily attack. [22]

Northward from B Company's position on Sobuk, the battle situation was similar. Enemy troops in the Rocky Crags, which extended from Sobuk-san toward P'il-bong, took cover during air strikes, and napalm, 500-pound bombs, and strafing had little effect. As soon as the planes departed they reoccupied their battle positions. Elements of the 24th Infantry were not able to extend southward and join with B Company of the 5th Regimental Combat Team. [23]

 

Still farther northward along the mountain spine, in the Battle Mountain area, affairs were going badly for the 24th Infantry. After C Company lost Battle Mountain, air and artillery worked over its crest in preparation for an infantry attack planned to regain Old Baldy. The hot and sultry weather made climbing the steep slope grueling work, but L Company was on top by noon, 21 August. Enemy troops had left the crest under the punishing fire of air, artillery, and mortar. They in turn now placed mortar fire on the crest and prevented L Company from consolidating its position.

This situation continued until midafternoon when an enemy platoon came out of zigzag trenches a short distance down the reverse slope of Old Baldy and surprised L Company. One enemy soldier even succeeded in dropping a grenade in a platoon leader's foxhole. The other two platoons of the company, upon hearing firing, started to leave their positions and drift down the hill. The North Koreans swiftly reoccupied Old Baldy while officers tried to assemble L and I Companies on the eastern slope. Elements of E Company also left their position during the day. [24]

 American air, artillery, mortar, and tank fire now concentrated on Battle Mountain, and I and L Companies prepared to counterattack.

This attack made slow progress and at midnight it halted to wait for daylight.

 

[note]

 


Casualties

Monday August 21, 1950 (Day 58)

 

27 Casualties

 

2 23RD INFANTRY REGIMENT
8 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
4 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 37TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 511TH QUARTERMASTER SERVICE COMPANY
1 5TH MARINE REGIMENT
6 5TH REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
1 7TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
1 82ND ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY AW BATTALION
1 9TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
   
   
   
   
   
   
27 19500821 0000 Casualties by unit

 

As of August 20, 1950

 

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 73 4213 131 13 4430
Today   26 1   27
Total 73 4239 132 13 4457

 

Aircraft Losses Today 001

 

 

Notes for Monday_August_21,_1950_(Day_58)

 

 

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