Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 23.9°C 75.02 °F at Taegu     

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

 

Citations


Medals    Medals    Medals

Medal of Honor

19500831 00mh KOUMA, ERNEST R.

19500831 00mh OUELLETTE, JOSEPH R.

19500831 00mh WATKINS, trAVIS E.

 

 


Medals   

Distinguished Service Cross

19500831 0000 DSC HUTCHIN

19500831 0000 DSC JENSON

19500831 0000 DSC SCHMITT

19500831 0000 DSC TAYLOR

19500831 0000 DSC TRINEN

 

 

    Medals

Navy Cross

Silver Star

Brisco, James Ervin [Pvt D82ndAAAAWB]

English, James [Capt SS FltLdr VMF-214]

Haase, Elvin W. [PFC SS L35thIR]

Haynes, Loyal M. [BGen SS 2ndDivArty]

Jorgenson, Donald J. [Cpl SS D23rdIR]

Lowry, Leonard [Capt SS2 CO C38thIR]

Quinn, Edward B [1stLt SS1 A72ndTB1ndID]

Roope, James S. [SFC SS D23rdIR]

Tassey, George [Capt SS D23rdIR]

[note]

 

 

31 August–
19 September

Second Battle of the Naktong Bulge.

[note]

 

biography   biography   biography

President Truman states at a news conference that the 7th Fleet will be withdrawn from Formosa after the Korean War ends.

Major League Baseball.svg

-- Brooklyn Dodgers' first baseman Gil Hodges becomes the second man in baseball to hit four homers in one game as the Dodgers beat the Boston Braves 19-3. Lou Gehrig was the first player to accomplish the feat.

[note]

 

Two SA-16s and three SB-17s were used this date for orbit missions. The SA-16s flew 13:50 and the SB-17s flew 23:05 making a total of 36:55 minutes flying time.

Flight "D", one L-5 was used this date for emergency evacuation mission. The patient was suffering from acute appendicitis and needed immediate medical care which could not be given at this base. The patient was evacuated from Ashiya AB to Itazuke AB. Fifty minutes flying time for this mission.

H-5s in Korea flew six sorties for a total of six hours and fifty minutes. Four patients evacuated from the front lines. Three sorties flown for transportation of medical supplies and personnel. One L-5 flew 1:30 for delivery of medical personnel.

One false alert was recorded at Flight "D" this date.

[note]

 

    

Aug. 31: After a 10-day lull in the ground fighting, North Korean forces launched a coordinated offensive against the entire Pusan Perimeter. Fifth Air Force provided close air support for the defending UN troops. Seventy-four B-29s bombed mining facilities, metal industries, and marshaling yards at Chinnamp'o in the largest strategic bombing mission of the month. Among the targets were aluminum and magnesium plants.

[That was air force "close support"?  JOKE.

 

    

Aug. 31: After a 10-day lull in the ground fighting, North Korean forces launched a coordinated offensive against the entire Pusan Perimeter. Fifth Air Force provided close air support for the defending UN troops. Seventy-four B-29s bombed mining facilities, metal industries, and marshaling yards at Chinnamp'o in the largest strategic bombing mission of the month. Among the targets were aluminum and magnesium plants.

[That was air force "close support"?  JOKE.

[note]

 

KPA commences "Fifth (Pusan) Phase"

The Northeast PLA commanders request that the CMC make every effort to ensure Soviet air support before the PLA entered ground combat in Korea. If not, ground forces should be held back until such support was available.

[note]

 

CHAPTER THREE

2nd & 25th Division

- Image result for pusan perimeter- -

* North Korean Communist forces appeared to be near complete victory at the end of August and during the first part of September of 1950. Along the southern coast of Korea enemy troops were within thirty miles of Pusan, the only port and supply base left to the United Nations army.

American troops holding this Pusan perimeter at the time consisted of four divisions and a brigade occupying a line in the general area of the Naktong River from Waegwan south to Masan-a straight-line distance of seventy miles. The irregular front line was twice that long. South Korean soldiers manned the northern section of the perimeter from Waegwan to P'ohang-dong on the east coast.

[note]

 

biography       biography   biography

Three days later, Joy sent a message to Sherman (copy to Admiral Struble) inquiring as to whether under Navy Regulations he had the authority to “designate second in command of a joint [multiservice] task force. If not[, I] request authority [to] designate Rear Admiral James H. Doyle as second in command to Vice Admiral Struble for coming operation.”

The response came from the Secretary of the Navy later that day (copies to Radford and Struble): “You are hereby empowered to make details in command of a task force or other task command as is authorized for a commander in chief by Article Thirteen Forty Five Navy Regulations. This includes the authority requested in your 310349Z to CNO.”

[note]

 

 Unit Info   Unit Info   Unit Info

On August 31, the NKPA launched a general offensive against the 24th and the neighboring 35th Infantry regiments of the 25th Division. Clay Blair, in The Forgotten War, writes that the enemy attacked the 24th and 35th with two regiments each. The main thrust at the 24th, by elements of the North Korean 6th and 7th Infantry divisions, came against the 2nd Battalion. The battalion line was soon penetrated. Remnants of Company F pulled back, while Company G was fragmented early on, and the bulk of Company E was also displaced. According to the Army's official history, there were several instances of 24th soldiers' bugging out during that action. Some were later substantiated, but others proved to be false.

The 2nd Battalion rear area was chaotic, teeming with North Korean soldiers as well as men from the overrun units, mortar men, medics, engineers, headquarters personnel, military policemen, vehicles from those units, the artillery, etc. Because of the chaos in the battalion's rear, including at the battalion CP, it seemed that no one was in charge.

The entire 24th Regiment has been condemned ever since for its performance at that time, but two factors contributed to the situation.

The NKPA attack on the 35th Infantry, on a broader front, penetrated the center of its line, held by 300 ROK policemen. Soon hundreds of North Koreans were also in the 35th's rear areas. The 27th Infantry counterattacked and with elements of the 24th and 35th battled NKPA troops in the rear areas for more than a week, finally wiping them out. More than 2,000 North Korean dead were buried behind the lines.

[note]

 

  

During the month of August 1950, the helicopters of VMO-6 logged 580 flights and a total of 348 flight hours with their HO3S's.[21]

General Craig was such an advocate of the use of helicopters he wrote the following regarding their use in Korea and in future conflicts:

VMO-6 was flown to Pusan from Japan. These aircraft have been invaluable in reconnaissance and the helicopters are a Godsend in this type of terrain, not only for reconnaissance but for supporting of combat patrols in mountainous terrain; for supply of food, water, ammunition; but also for the evacuation of casualties. .

By separate dispatch to you.. .a request has been made to bring out elements of the Helicopter transport Squadron. It is believed that this innovation will meet with outstanding results in combat in this mountainous terrain for the landing of patrols on top of mountain ranges.. .The helicopters presently available have been invaluable beyond expression ...[However) I feel they will not be able to sustain all the demands.[22]

[note]

 

"Far East Air Force B29s completed air strikes on the docks and railway yards at Sŏngjin and the industrial factory at Chinnamp'o. From 28-31 August, aircraft dropped 326 tons of bombs on Sŏngjin and 284 tons on Chinnamp'o."

[note]

 

     

The second battle of the Naktong Bulge began as the North Korean I Corps crossed the lower Naktong River in a well planned attack against the US 2nd and 25th Infantry Divisions.

[note]

 

biography   biography  Def  Koread-War

By the end of August the Communist propaganda mill showed that it had been at work. The Russian delegate to the United Nations, Jacob A. Malik, claimed to have received a cable in the form of a protest by 39 captured American officers "against further senseless bloodshed in Korea. " The supposed petitioners included the name of Jesse V. Booker. [2]

2The Evening Star, August 31, 1950, p. B14.

On several occasions the North Koreans took one or two captured American officers from their cell and placed them before a firing squad. Sometimes they went through all the motions of an execution without actually firing the fatal shots. At other times the tableau ended with the sharp crack of rifles and one or two American officers fell dead. Some, like Major John Joseph Dunn of the Army and Captain Booker of the Marine Corps, faced the firing squads several times. Others were less fortunate. The original group of 39 officers dwindled to eight. Major Dunn and Captain Booker were among the eight) [1]

[note]

 

 

South then North

 

 

        

Battle Mountain changed hands so often during August that there is no agreement on the exact number of times. The intelligence sergeant of the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, said that according to his count the peak changed hands nineteen times. [20-33]

From 18 August to the end of the month, scarcely a night passed that the North Koreans did not attack Old Baldy. The peak often changed hands two or three times in a 24-hour period. The usual pattern was for the enemy to take it at night and the 24th Infantry to recapture it the next day.

This type of fluctuating battle resulted in relatively high losses among artillery forward observers and their equipment. During the period of 15-31 August, seven forward observers and eight other members of the Observer and Liaison Section of the 159th Field Artillery Battalion, supporting the 24th Infantry, were casualties; and they lost 8 radios, 11 telephones, and 2 vehicles to enemy action. [20-34]

In its defense of that part of Sobuk-san south of Battle Mountain and P'ilbong, the 1st Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, also had nearly continuous action in the last week of the month.

[note]

 

  

The month of August ended with the fighting in the mountain's on the southern front, west of Masan, a stalemate. Neither side had secured a definite advantage. The 25th Division had held the central part of its line, at Battle Mountain and Sobuk-san , only with difficulty and with mounting concern for the future.

[note]

 

biography

At the end of the month, eight fighter squadrons were engaged in combat operations in Korea. They were about all that could be supported at the Kyushu bases. In July, FEAF flew 4,635 sorties in close support of ground troops in Korea (149.5 sorties per day); in August, 7,397 sorties (238.6 sorties per day). An average of 40 sorties daily supported each U.S. division in the August Pusan Perimeter battles.

A colorful pilot from Ohio, Maj. Dean E. Hess, who had a record of 63 combat missions in Europe in World War II, had been assigned to train South Korean pilots. He was known to many as "the one man Air Force of the South Korean Army" and by his call sign "MacIntosh One." Hess was grounded by official order near the end of August after he had flown 95 combat missions in less than two months. [21-2]

Aviation engineer units available to the Far East Air Forces in July had been badly under strength and deficient in technical training. This slowed the construction of six planned airfields in Korea and, together with the ground reverses, prevented a deployment of fighter planes to bases there. [21-3]

[note]

 

The Air Force B-29's on 7 August bombed and largely destroyed the P'yŏngyang Army Arsenal and the P'yŏngyang railroad yards. On 7, 9, and 10 August they bombed and completely destroyed the large Chosen petroleum refinery at Wonsan. This plant, with its estimated capacity of 250,000 tons, annually produced approximately 93 percent of the North Korean petroleum products.

Throughout the month the Air Force bombed the chemical complex in the Hŭngnam area, the largest in Asia, dropping 1,761 tons of bombs there in the period between 30 July and 19 September. It bombed the Najin docks only 17 miles south of the Siberian border and 10 air miles from Vladivostok. (Najin was an important port of entry for vessels carrying supplies from Vladivostok and it was also a rail center.) The bombers struck the metal-working industry at Songjin with 326 tons of bombs on 28 August,

and three days later (8/31) they heavily damaged the aluminum and magnesium plants at Chinnamp'o with 284 tons of bombs. [21-5]

[note]

 

The Far East Command's "Operation Rebuild" by August had assumed the proportions of a gigantic production of ordnance materiel. Before the end of 1950 it had expanded to employ 19,908 people in eight Japanese shops.

In August, 1950 two 1/2-ton trucks alone were repaired. During the first three months of the Korean War practically all ammunition the U.N. and South Korean forces used came from rebuild stocks in Japan.

[note]

 

During August, therefore, 6 U.S. medium tank battalions landed in Korea, 5 of them in the first eight days of the month.

  1. 6th Tank Battalion, 24th Infantry Division

  2. 56th Amphibious Tank and Tractor Battalion, 2nd Engineer Special Brigade

  3. 64th Tank Battalion (Colored), 3d Infantry Division

  4. 70th Tank Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division

  5. 72nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division

  6. 73d Tank Battalion, 7th Infantry Division

  7. 89th Tank Battalion, 25th Infantry Division (formed from 8072nd Army Unit assets)

  8. 140th Tank Battalion, 40th Infantry Division

  9. 245th Tank Battalion, 45th Infantry Division

  10. 8072nd Army Unit, Medium Tank Battalion (assets reorganized as 89th Tank Battalion)

 

There were, in addition, 4 regimental tank companies and about 30 light tanks for reconnaissance purposes. The tanks in the battalions were about equally divided between M26 Pershings and M4A3 Shermans, except for 1 battalion which had M46 Pattons. The tank battalions averaged 69 tanks.

Through 22 August, Eighth Army had lost 20 medium tanks in action. [21-13] By the third week of August (13-19) there were more than 500 U.S. medium tanks within the Pusan Perimeter.

[note]

 

  

Of the five planned new divisions, the ROK Army intended to reactivate first the ROK 7th Division and second the ROK 11th Division. General MacArthur warned that the new divisions could be equipped only from stocks delivered from the United States. The ROK Army did not wait upon the planned schedule, but was in the process of reactivating the ROK 7th Division at the end of August, forming at least one battalion in each of the 3rd, 5th, and 8th Regiments.

Task Force Min as an organization disappeared from the ROK Army Order of Battle and became instead the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 5th Regiment, ROK 7th Division. [21-25]

[note]

 

   11thFAB     

At the same time, Eighth Army also reduced to paper status the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion, which had been in support of the 34th Infantry, and transferred its troops and equipment to the newly activated C Batteries of the 11th, 13th, and 52nd Field Artillery Battalions. The effective dates for the transfer were 26 August for the artillery and 31 August for the infantry.

The troops of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, were transferred to the 19th Infantry as its newly activated 3rd Battalion [how many?] and the men of the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry, were transferred to the 21st Infantry as its newly activated 2nd Battalion [how many?]. Out of the nearly 2,000 men who originally entered Korea with the 34th Infantry on 3 July, there were 184 left in the regiment at the end of August-the rest either had been killed, wounded, or were missing in action. [see not many!!!]

Division Sholder Patch  

Colonel Beauchamp was reassigned to the command of his old regiment, the 32nd Infantry of the 7th Division. [21-37]

  

Simultaneously with this action, General Walker transferred the 5th Regimental Combat Team to the 24th Division as its third regiment. The 5th Regimental Combat Team at this time numbered about 3,500 men. The 6th Medium Tank Battalion with about 650 men also was to be attached to the 24th Division. The division still needed approximately 4,000 replacements. [21-38]

Unit Info      Unit Info

The 27th and 35th Regiments of the 25th Division had received their third battalions early in August with the transfer to them of the two battalions of the 29th Infantry.

[note]

 

 Army SymbolEighth U.S. Army (Forward)     

At the end of August, therefore, the 4 U.S. divisions in Korea had finally built up their regiments to the normal 3 battalions. [21-39]

In Eighth Army a confused order of battle had prevailed generally throughout August. Battle conditions frequently had compelled the army to separate battalions and regiments from their parent organizations and send them posthaste to distant points of the Pusan Perimeter to bolster a threatened sector. All divisions except the 1st Cavalry at various times were broken up by this process. At the end of August, Eighth Army made an effort to unscramble the disorder.

[note]

 

        

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 2nd 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. [21-44]

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, (Actual 7) the ROK 1,328; on 21 August the American battle losses were 49, (actual 27) the ROK, 2,229. [21-45] ]

[note]

 

USN_Units     

On 31 August, the aircraft carrier USS Sicily (CVE-118) alone launched 38 sorties. ROK troops reported finding the bodies of many North Koreans, apparently killed by air attack. They also found many suits of white clothing scattered on the ground, abandoned when enemy soldiers changed into uniforms.

Coincidentally with this air action in the Kigye area; U.S. naval vessels continued their efforts to help stop the N.K. 5th Division on the east coast.

A cruiser and two destroyers concentrated their fire power on the Hŭnghae area five miles north of P'ohang-dong where the enemy division's troop assembly and forward supply center were located. On 29 and 30 August the three vessels fired almost 1,500 5-inch shells at enemy targets there in support of the ROK 3rd Division. Despite this aerial and naval support, on the last day of August the battle continued to go against the ROK forces both at Kigye and P'ohang-dong. [22-7]

[note]

 

Midnight Near Masan

Unit InfoUnit InfoUnit InfoUnit InfoUnit Info

On 31 August 1950 the 25th Division held a front of almost thirty miles, beginning in the north at the Namji-ri bridge over the Naktong River and extending westward on the hills south of the river to the Nam's confluence with it. (Map V) It then bent southwest up the south side of the Nam to where the Sobuk-san mountain mass tapered down in its northern extremity to the river. There the line turned south along rising ground to 850-foot-high Sibidang-san (Hill 276), crossed the saddle on its south face through which passed the Chinju-Masan railroad and highway, and continued southward, climbing to 2,200-foot-high Battle Mountain (Hill 665) and on to 2,400-foot-high P'il-bong (Hill 743). From P'il-bong the line dropped down spur ridge lines to the southern coastal road near Chindong-ni.

August

[23-Caption] MOUNTAIN MASS WEST OF HAMAN. The town is in the center foreground; the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment, position is on the crest of the second ridge west of Haman.

Colonel Fisher's 35th Infantry held the northern part of the division line, approximately 26,000 yards of it from the Namji-ri bridge to the Chinju-Masan highway. The regiment was responsible for the highway.

 Colonel Fisher considered his weakest and most vulnerable point to be a 3-mile gap along the Naktong River between most of F Company on the west and its 1st Platoon to the east. This platoon guarded the Namji-ri cantilever steel bridge on the division extreme right at the boundary with the 2nd Division across the Naktong.

[note]

 

Before the morning of 1 September had passed, reports coming in to 2nd Division headquarters made it clear that North Koreans had penetrated to the north-south Ch'angnyŏng-Yŏngsan road and cut the division in two; the 38th and 23d Infantry Regiments with the bulk of the division artillery in the north were separated from the division headquarters and the 9th Infantry Regiment in the south.

General Keiser decided that this situation made it advisable to control and direct the divided division as two special forces. Accordingly, he placed the division artillery commander, Brig. Gen. Loyal M. Haynes, in command of the northern group. Haynes' command post was seven miles north of Ch'angnyŏng. Task Force Haynes became operational at 1020, 1 September. [23-31]

Southward, in the Yŏngsan area, General Keiser placed Brig. Gen. Joseph S. Bradley, Assistant Division Commander, in charge of the 9th Infantry Regiment, the 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, most of the 72nd Tank Battalion, and other miscellaneous units of the division. This southern grouping was known as Task Force Bradley.

All three regiments of the enemy 2nd Division-the 4th, 17th, and 6th, in line from north to south-crossed during the night to the east side of the Naktong River into the 23rd Regiment sector.

The enemy 2nd Division, concentrated in the Sinban-ni area west of the river, had, in effect, attacked straight east across the river and was trying to seize the two avenues of advance into Ch'angnyŏng above and below Lake Up'o.

map

Place_Names/PDF_MAPs/35°40'N_128°15'E_6820-I_CHANGYONG_L751.pdf

Place_Names/MAP_17_Chŏnju_Region_L552-NI52-2.pdf

 

 

The water area of this lake [Lake U-p'o] and the surrounding marshland varied according to the season and the amount of rainfall. On 31 August 1950, Lake U-p'o was a large body of water although in most places only a few feet deep. [23-32]

[note]

 

Koread-War

As a final means of checking on conditions in Inch'ŏn harbor, the Navy on 31 August sent Lt. Eugene F. Clark to Yonghung-do, an island at the mouth of the ship channel ten sea miles from Inch'ŏn. There, Clark used friendly natives to gather the information needed. He sent them on several trips to Inch'ŏn to measure water depths, check on the mud flats, and to observe enemy strength and fortifications. He transmitted their reports by radio to friendly vessels in Korean waters. Clark was still in the outer harbor when the invasion fleet entered it. [25-35]

The Ships Load Out

At the end of August the ports of Kobe, Sasebo, and Yokohama in Japan and Pusan in Korea had become centers of intense activity as preparations for mounting the invasion force entered the final stage. The 1st Marine Division, less the 5th Marines, was to outload at Kobe, the 5th Marines at Pusan, and the 7th Infantry Division at Yokohama. Most of the escorting vessels, the Gunfire Support Group, and the command ships assembled at Sasebo.

The ships to carry the troops, equipment, and supplies began arriving at the predesignated loading points during the last days of August. In order to reach Inch'ŏn by morning of 15 September, the LST's had to leave Kobe on 10 September and the transports (AP's) and cargo ships (AK's) on 12 September. Only the assault elements were combat-loaded. Japanese crews manned thirty-seven of the forty-seven LST's in the Marine convoy. [25-36]

[note]

 

        

During November the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division joined the X Corps in Korea. One of its regiments, the 65th, had been in South Korea for more than two months. It had embarked on two transports in Puerto Rico on 25 August, passed through the Panama Canal, and sailed directly for Korea. It arrived at Pusan on 22 September and disembarked the next day (23 Sept. 50). The other two regiments, the 7th and 15th, and the division headquarters sailed from San Francisco between 30 [31] August and 2 September. The last ship of the division transports arrived at its destination, Moji, Japan, on 16 September

[note]

 

 

[note]

 

 

U.S. Air Force

 

 

 

Wrote another letter to Vandenberg urging temporary promotion for Darr H. Alkire to Brigadier General. Sent a carbon of this letter to Nate Twining[245] to see if he can't push it a little. Feel very strongly about Alkire's promotion - which is deserved, and some tangible recognition for his efforts is due him.

Craigie came up with his "first nickle"¯[246] with respect to the informational redline I send to Vandenberg which is as follows:

Of 31 RR bridges and 12 highway bridges designated primary targets for BOMCOM, 19 RR bridges and 8 highway bridges were reported intact as of 22 August. As of this date, only 3 RR bridges and 2 highway bridges remain usable. One of these RR bridges was damaged but was again placed in operation by the enemy. We are really getting precision results from our B-29s.


(Info'd Curt LeMay on this redline)

  


Also sent a commendatory letter re "Increased Effectiveness of Bombardment Attacks Against Bridges"¯ to Col. James V. Edmundson, CO, 22nd Bomb Group, thru O'Donnell, with copy to LeMay. I commended them for their enthusiasm, deter mination, and outstanding professional ability- and told them, I didn't and do not, forget the ground crews who make such bombing possible.

Group Captain Barclay left the following transcripts of cypher signals:

Following signal is for the Air Adviser from Air Ministry London: AX
4329 30 August. The following is for Barclay from Pearson. Begins. With reference to your signal AAJAP 122 of 28 August we are dispatching on
30 August 24 low level bomb sights Mark 3 with mounting brackets, flex- ible drive, computer lighting control panels, and pocket handbook.

Par 2. Consignment consists of crates 28 which are going via America by U.S. military a/c.

Par 3. It is presumed the Americans know how to fit and that they are aware that suction drive is needed. Will you please state whether or not a technician is wanted. I shall be grateful if you will notify me when these items are safely received in Tokyo.

Also follows is a copy of the confidential letter written Sir A. N. Noble Bart, C.M.G., Foreign Office by Sir Alvary Gascoigne:

I showed your ltr of 11 Aug (YT 223/6) to my air advisor who drafted the telegram of which you complain. He tells me that General Stratemeyer, the CG of FEAF, has himself asked to be quoted as asking for the highest possible priority to be given to the telegram requesting provision of a night intruder expert from the R.A.F. for duty with the 5th AF. The General wishes me to stress that the appointment was of such urgency that even the saving of a few hours in lodging his request was of the utmost importance. The General has written personally to the Chief of the United Kingdom Air Staff, Sir John Slessor, to thank him for the very prompt action which was taken in the matter. I think that you will agree that, in view of the above, we were in fact justified in using the priority "emergency"¯ in this case, strange though it may have looked at your end.

Redline, TS received from Vandenberg:

I must have not later than 2400Z, 31 August as complete a report as pos- sible of your investigation of possible F-51 attack on airfield on Manchurian border, 27 Aug 50. Report should be in two parts:

A. Statement of facts as determined by that time;

B. Based on facts available, statement of your judgment as to whether the attack was made.

Par. 2. Assume you are keeping MacArthur informed. The necessity for closest security on this subject at this time should be apparent to you.

After receipt of above, immediately sent following reply to Vandenberg - TS - redline:

Have arranged to conduct investigation today my headquarters Tokyo. Parties concerned have been ordered here. Report will be made to you prior to 2400/Z, 31 August. MacArthur has been and will be kept fully informed.


The personnel concerned in above redline to Vandenberg arrived at Haneda at 1855 hours and were immediately brought into headquarters where the investigation was conducted. Draft of redline reply to Vandenberg brought to Mayeda House at about 2100 hours, was re-drafted by me and dispatched last night. Following is the signal that I dispatched:


Par. 1. An investigation of circumstances surrounding incident reported to you in my redline AO 229 is in progress.

   67th Fighter Squadron.jpg

Part A. Facts, as disclosed, indicate that an attack of an airfield in Manchurian territory, southwest of city of Antung, was made on 27 Aug 50, in late afternoon. One (1) F-51 aircraft, of 67th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 18th Fighter Bomber Group, made attack. Facts further substantiated by pilot of second F-51 aircraft, of same unit, who was following attacking aircraft at higher altitude but did not participate in attack. Pilot in second aircraft witnessed attack.

Part B. In my judgment, an attack was made.

Par. 2. MacArthur will be informed this message. Investigation is continuing and detailed report will be courier mailed soonest.


In the meantime my PIO has been in the line of fire from newsmen. He sent following radnote to Sory Smith:


Press queries here ask for comment on charge presented to United Nations that four American fighters flew across Yalu River on August 29. Following is our response to these queries:

"All of our pilots and air crews have been meticulously briefed to scrupulously avoid any action that might be construed as a border incident. Specifically they have been cautioned to refrain from crossing any North Korean border. We do not plan to comment on each detailed individual report."¯

Request comment and/or guidance.

 

 

 

[245]. At this time, Lt Gen Nathan F. Twining was head of personnel at Headquarters, USAF. In October, he became Vice Chief of Staff, USAF. Later he became the Air Force chief of staff and, finally, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

[246]. In the context of Stratemeyer's comments, the term "nickle"¯ is unclear. However, during World War II the term was used to indicate a propaganda leaflet and it is possible Stratemeyer is using it to mean a propaganda or public relations effort.

[note]

 

In its outline of tasks for subordinate units, FEAF was finally able at a somewhat late date to direct the Fifth Air Force to

The 1st troop Carrier Task Force (Combat Cargo Command) was to be

FEAF Bomber Command was to

These basic plans had already been elaborated in informal discussions. On 31 August General Crabb met with Brig. Gen. T. J. Cushman, deputy commanding general of the 1st Marine Air Wing, who was assigned as X Corps tactical air commander for the operation. They agreed that one group of Marine air would be moved from the escort carriers to Kimp'o as soon as possible after the field was secured. Since FEAF's current interdiction plan was considered sufficient, a proposal by FEAF that it attack all bridges in a 25-mile wide belt outside of the objective area was not accepted by X Corps. After D plus 3 two B-29 groups were to continue daily on the interdiction program, with the Navy assisting by dive bombing missions, and three B-29 groups were to press attacks against industry and communications. Between D minus 10 and D minus 3, a major B-29 effort was planned against all profitable marshalling yards on the main line leading into Sŏul from the north. The conferees also agreed that it might be well to destroy the North Korean capital of P'yŏngyang with a major, incendiary attack shortly after the landing, perhaps on D plus 3.

[note]

 

Unit Info  

In these supporting operations, jet aircraft proved generally satisfactory. In fact, 49th Group pilots maintained that the F-80 's could "do everything that conventional aircraft are capable of and do it more accurately." When asked the hardest thing about flying an F-80 in combat, Lt. Col. Charles H. Williams, commanding one of the 49th Group's squadrons, replied, "Walking to and from the plane before and after missions."

The F-80's demonstrated that they could stand heavy damage and yet remain flyable. A concentrated firing pattern provided by six nose guns, plus a lack of torque, made the F-80C an excellent strafer, although its great speed proved a slight deterrent to close support strikes, some of which were made within 50 yards of friendly troops. Still the F-51 was no mean aircraft, and it presented far fewer problems than the F-80, which had never before been tried in combat. A statistical recapitulation of the F-80 and F-51 in Korean combat is shown in table 3.

table 3

STATISTICAL COMPARISON OF THE F-51 AND F-80, JULY-NOVEMBER 1950

 

 

July August September October Noavember
Total in Combat Units:        
F-80 145 128 138 187 169
F-51 20 141 139 144 131
Total Sorties Flown:          
F-80 4117 3683 3279 4314 4013
F-51 683 4846 4196 2337 2344
Sortie Rate:          
F-80 28.4 28.8 23.8 23.1 23.7
F-51 34.2 34.4 30.2 16.2 17.9
           
Total Combat Ready:
F-80 69 75 94 128 107
F-51 14 93 83 76 83
Bomb Expenditure          
F-80 34 4 34 19 162
F-51 213 1540 2065 696 980
Rocket Expenditure          
F-80 7761 6732 7659 8662 9565
F-51 2876 15581 13861 6495 8367
.50 Cal Expenditure          
F-80 24494 30700 25869 25758 28424
F-51 7273 47336 36477 16299 15372
Aircraft Losses          
F-80 10 12 21 36 44
F-51 12 38 60 80 95
Total Losses 22 50 81 116 139

August chart

This statistical comparison, for the most part, represents the initial difficulties encountered in getting the F-80C's into full combat usage. The major problem of the jets was that which had been anticipated: lack of range under combat loading conditions. Equipped with normal 165-gallon wing tanks during the first few days of Korean hostilities, 49th Group F-80's could spend only 15 minutes in combat areas, some 350 air miles from their base in Japan. With insufficient time to locate targets, only about 25 percent of the sorties flown were effective, but if permitted as much as 45 minutes in the target area, the pilots were sure that they could make 90 percent of their sorties count.

Misawa-wing-tip-fuel-tanks

 The 265-gallon wing tanks, as has been seen, soon provided the extra range needed. With these tanks, the 49th Group figured that its F-80C's were capable of successful airfield sweeps at a radius of 525 miles.

 Carrying rockets and a full load of ammunition, the F-80C's could operate against close support targets at a radius of 375 miles. Before it departed Itazuke in October, the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group was flying a majority of its missions at an extreme range of 500 miles, logging as much as 2 hours and 50 minutes per sortie. At this distance, however, the jets could allow only a 15-20 minutes flight on the deck over the target area.

Use of the large tip tanks permitted jets to furnish support in Korea, but since they were attached to wing shackles, the fighters could not carry bombs or napalm tanks without further modification. The 8th Group developed bomb racks to be mounted on the two outside rocket posts, but this design was almost immediately superseded by racks designed within the 49th Group to be bolted to the wing structure between the outside rocket post and the wing tip.

FEAMCOM started production on these racks, but combat tests of F-80's with 500-pound bombs showed that the arrangement appreciably slowed the aircraft in flight and caused a definite aileron flutter. At the end of August, the 49th Group design was superseded by factory installed Lockheed pylons which seemed to be best suited for use on F-80 aircraft. The 8th Fighter-Bomber Squadron ran two tests to determine maximum cruise control, one carrying 500-pound bombs and one carrying 100-gallon napalm tanks. With large tips, these loads could be carried 350 miles, allowing 15 minutes in the target area and a 10 percent fuel reserve; with small tip tanks, the radius was reduced to 250 miles, and 50 to 75 miles was the maximum range without external fuel.

At the end of September, 3 sets of pylon racks designed by the Air Materiel Command had been received by FEAMCOM and 47 more were on order. As installed on F-80's, they provided three inches more ground clearance than did the Lockheed racks, which had been originally designed for F-51 aircraft. By the latter part of September, 49th Group jets were carrying two to four tanks of napalm on close support missions with no great difficulties; in fact, jet pilots claimed that they could obtain greater accuracy in dropping at high speeds. Thus it was that by the fall of 1950 many of the problems inherent in jet aircraft were being solved, and, everything considered, the jet fighter was filling USAF expectations as a fighting aircraft.

[note]

 

Koread-War

Fortunately [on 7/2] MATS fell heir to already established routes across the Pacific, although two of them had been closed down and reopening the way stations would be troublesome.

  1. In June 1950 only the mid-Pacific route was in use: travis, Hickam, Johnston Island, Kwajalein, and Japan, with a stop at Iwo Jima if necessary;

  2. the great circle route - McChord, Anchorage, Shemya, and Japan -had been used by a contract carrier until June 1949 and then discontinued.

  3. A third route from Hickam to Japan via Wake had been abandoned in May 1950, when the Navy and a civil airline had ceased operating at Wake.

In addition to reopening all three of these routes, MATS Pacific Division was to make several C-97 flights directly from Hawaii to Japan.

On 31 August, Midway Island was also opened for eastbound traffic between Japan and Hawaii. Although there were many logistic problems connected with the opening of additional way stations, the most acute was at Wake where gasoline storage facilities were severely limited.

[note]

 

Def  

While the Combat Cargo Command was an operational headquarters, problems of organizational manning and aircraft maintenance and supply inevitably affected its functions. Of all aircraft on hand, the new C-119 's of the 314th troop Carrier Group presented the greatest mechanical problems. The group had been given these aircraft only 7 months prior to overseas movement, and during that time they had revealed an almost chronic propeller malfunction. A high supply priority had reduced the group AOCP rate from 12 percent in July to 4 percent at the end of August, and the intrinsic deficiencies of the propeller units were believed to have been corrected before the C-119's left Smyrna Air Force Base, Tennessee.

After much scrounging for supplies, the group had also been provided three flyaway kits, each containing a pre-packed 30-day supply level for 16 C-119's.

1503rd Air Transport Group
Air Materiel Command

Originally intended to operate on a temporary and limited schedule primarily with airborne troops, the C-119's, once they reached Japan, were instead consigned to maximum cargo effort, with the result that requirements for spare parts far exceeded resupply phasing established by the Air Materiel Command. Chiefly because of control assembly and propeller shortages, the daily percentage of C-119 type aircraft in commission speedily declined from a high of 92 percent on 15 September to a low of 41 percent on 18 November.

In recognition of the supply problem, the use of C-119's was first limited to three hours daily and soon declined to two. Operating eight hours a day with adequate supply and the necessary aircrews, General Tunner figured that the great bulk of the work done with approximately 90 C-119's (with the exception of airborne operations) could have been done with about 30 C-119's.

[note]

 

Pacific Air Forces patch

On 31 August FEAF announced its decision to assume direct operational control of the 1st troop Carrier Task Force. General Tunner, who had returned temporarily to Washington, again reached Tokyo on the afternoon of 3 September, where he was briefed by FEAF on the mission of his command which he preferred to call the FEAF Combat Cargo Command (P). This change in designation was accomplished and back-dated to 26 August, the effective date of Tunner's assumption of command. As originally established the Cargo Command got operational control of the

These actions completed the organizational framework necessary to the expanding transport operations into Korea.

[Even so on 25 July General MacArthur had asked for C-119 aircraft to implement the employment of one airborne RCT, and even though the USAF had made the 314th troop Carrier Group (M) available to FEAF after 15 August by 9/10 (two months later) they still didn't have the required aircraft].

[note]

 

With so many B-29 's on Okinawa, in easy range of Chinese jet-fighter fields, the entire 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group initially had to remain at Naha Air Base. Maintenance of this "minimum" air defense establishment was admittedly at the expense of the tactical air effort in Korea, and at the end of August General Partridge had only eight fighter squadrons available to him for combat operations in Korea, while six were deployed for the air defense of Japan and five others for the defense of other parts of the FEC.

 There were, however, extenuating circumstances for FEAF's defensive establishment. Not all of the defensive units were in static employment, for General Partridge rotated crews and units between the defense and the offense, thus giving some relief from constant operations. The eight offensive fighter squadrons, moreover, were about all that could be supported at Kyushu bases.

August

[note]

 

biography

In August 1950 an Indian newspaper 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.

 Secretary Acheson officially invited General MacArthur's attention to this statement.[17]

To the end of the Korean war FEAF would be bound by a rule which was finally stated [in April 1953] in this language: "Every effort will be made to attack military targets only, and to avoid needless civilian casualties.[18]

[note]

 

biography   biography  

Further discussions elaborated these basic agreements on 31 August, when General Crabb met with General Cushman, the deputy commander of the 1st Marine Air Wing who was assigned to X Corps as tactical air commander.

General Cushman stated that no Air Force tactical planes would need to operate in the amphibious objective area from D-day onward. As soon as the aviation engineers prepared an operating surface, Marine Aircraft Group 33 would go ashore from its escort carriers and base at Kimp'o.

FEAF would provide the aviation engineers to rehabilitate Kimp'o and would maintain an airhead at this airfield. As soon as appropriate, the Fifth Air Force would move a combat group into the objective area.

Between D minus 10 and D minus 3, a major B-29 bombing effort was planned against all marshaling yards on the main rail line leading into Sŏul from the north. This effort, plus FEAF's current interdiction operations, should be sufficient to isolate the Sŏul-Inch'ŏn area. The X Corps did not accept another FEAF plan which called for the B-29's to knock out all bridges in a 25-mile-wide belt outside the amphibious objective area.#10

[note]

 

As its contribution to the Inchon operation, General Stratemeyer directed the FEAF Bomber Command to emphasize interdiction operations designed to isolate the amphibious objective area, to continue to attack strategic targets in North Korea, and to conduct special missions including tactical air support, photo and visual reconnaissance, and the distribution of psychological warfare leaflets. [18]

Late in August, when General O'Donnell had informed FEAF that his B-29 groups lacked enough outstanding bridge targets "to go around," the FEAF deputies of operations and intelligence had begun to plan FEAF Interdiction Campaign No. 2.

On 2 September FEAF furnished a list of 56 rail and road bridges to the FEAF Bomber Command for destruction.[19] The new interdiction plan represented some careful thought. The interdiction planners recognized that the destruction of bridges would not decisively influence the military situation at the front lines in a short time, for a North Korean division had proved able to continue to fight with only 50 tons of resupply each day. But in the event of a Chinese or Russian intervention the new interdiction program was calculated to hinder the movement of troops to the front, to disrupt their resupply, and to place limits on the numbers of Chinese or Russian troops who could be employed at the front lines.[20]

The Inch'ŏn planners agreed that Interdiction Campaign No. 2 would meet most of their special requirements, but they requested that a major B-29 effort would be flown against the marshaling yards on the main rail lines leading into Sŏul from the north between D minus 10 and D minus 3.#21

[note]

 

India's press assumed an alarming racist note. As has been seen, 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. "#54

World press comments such as these made it evident that the United Nations Command would have to fight the Reds with ideas as well as bombs.

[note]

 

  

The arrival of the 98th (5 August) and 307th (8 August) Groups gave Bomber Command the strength it needed for tactical and strategic bombing, but the two groups based at Yokota and the three groups flying from Kadena seriously over-crowded the airspace surrounding both of these airfields. Stringent traffic control and ground-controlled approach (GCA) techniques were mandatory.

During August the Kadena GCA provided 553 radar-controlled landings, and the emphasis on the radar-approach training brought control personnel up from a "relatively weak and inefficient" status to an "efficient and effective status."#29

[note]

 

U.S. Marine Corps

 

 

August 31, 1950 it was D-minus 15 for the men of the 1st Marine Division.

[note]

 

     

Orders came to El Toro on 16 August for the overseas movement of the remaining elements of the 1st MAW. Units affected were Wing Headquarters Squadron 1 and MAG–12, comprising Headquarters
Squadron 12, Service Squadron 12, VMF–312, VMF–212, VMF(N)–542, and the rear echelon of VMF(N)–513.


VMF–312 and the rear echelon of VMF(N)–513 were loaded on the USS Sitkoli Bay (CVE-86) with their aircraft and sailed on 24 August.

 

Three days later (27th) VMF–212 and VMF(N)–542 embarked on the USS Cape Esperance (CVE-88), and the USNS General C.G. Morton (T-AP-138)  weighed anchor with the remaining components on 1 September.[5] This completed the overseas movement of the 1st MAW, since General Harris and his staff had departed from El Toro by air for Japan the day before Aug 31.

[note]

 

Three days later VMF–212 and VMF(N)–542 embarked on the USS Cape Esperance (CVE-88), and the USNS General C.G. Morton (T-AP-138)  weighed anchor with the remaining components on 1 September.[5] This completed the overseas movement of the  1st MAW since General Harris and his staff had departed from El Toro by air for Japan the day before.

[note]

 

biography

The Brigade G-3, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph L. Stewart, reported as liaison officer on the 31st. When he returned to the front, the 5th Marines was attacking, and he discussed landing schedules with Lieutenant Colonel Raymond L. Murray while the regimental commander directed the action.

“This,” remarked General Smith, “was hardly in accordance with accepted procedure for planning amphibious operations.”[2]

The recommendation of Brigade staff officers that the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, be designated for the assault on Wolmi-do was accepted by Division planners. Colonel Snedeker also proposed that the 1st Korean Marine Corps (KMC) Regiment of nearly 3,000 men be substituted for the 17th ROK Regiment, which he said was committed in the Pusan Perimeter and might not be available. The change was approved by GHQ on 3 September, with the Eighth Army being directed to provide weapons for the newcomers.

[note]

 

 

X Corps OpnO No. 1 was dated on the 28th, though not received by Division until the 30th. By that time, Division planning had made so much progress that Embarkation Order 1–50 was issued on the last day of the month, followed on 4 September by the final draft of Division OpnO 2-50. Operations orders of JTF–7 and TF–90 were issued concurrently.

[note]

 

 

U.S. Navy

 

 

USN_Units   USN_Units

28, 29, 30, 31

And when Admiral Hartman and the USS Helena (CA-75) group arrived to relieve next day P'ohang was still in U.N. hands. Aircraft from Task Force 77 took off some pressure on the 26th, reinforcements were again moved in by EUSAK, and from the 28th to the 31st close support was provided by the Marine airmen from USS Sicily (CVE-118). The last day of August saw friendly forces making sizable gains.

[note]

 

USN_Units   USN_Units   USN_Units

28, 29, 30, 31

And when Admiral Hartman and the USS Helena (CA-75) group arrived to relieve next day P'ohang was still in U.N. hands. Aircraft from Task Force 77 took off some pressure on the 26th, reinforcements were again moved in by EUSAK, and from the 28th to the 31st close support was provided by the Marine airmen from USS Sicily (CVE-118). The last day of August saw friendly forces making sizable gains.

[note]

 

Korean_War

Once again excitement diminished for a time, but on the 31st PC-702 sank two large motorboats and damaged another near Chinch'ŏn.

Together with increasing enemy activity on the southern front, and with ComNavFE’s previously expressed concern about inshore traffic near Namhae Island, these south coast actions led to the inauguration of a new fire support station in Chinhae Man, a bay which, reaching in to Chindong-ni and Masan, gave water access to the southern end of the perimeter.

[note]

 

  

Along the perimeter the operations of the 31st were on a diminished scale, as both sides continued to prepare for the future. Increased strength and diminishing pressure had permitted General Walker to relieve the 24th Division for a well-earned rest. In the bean patch at Masan the Marine Brigade was enjoying its tenth day of respite from combat, and was busying itself with the training of South Korean marines and with preparations for the next operation.

At sea, activity was of a routine nature: the fire support ships at P'ohang and Chinhae remained busy, the ROK Navy was fully engaged, but bombardment of the northeastern supply line had temporarily ceased.

Air strength available for the support of the perimeter had also declined, as a result both of decreased enemy pressure and of the requirements of the planned invasion of Inch'ŏn. The Fifth Air Force was still operating from Japanese bases, and its daily total of support sorties had dropped well below that of early August;

USS Sicily (CVE-118), after four days in support at P'ohang, was en route to Sasebo, whither USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) had preceded her and where both were scheduled to remain until 5 September; Admiral Ewen’s plans for Task Force 77 contemplated spending the next four days on railroad targets in the northwest in order to isolate the future battlefield.

But all the plans were changed and all the schedules scrapped by the development of the biggest crisis so far.

[note]

 

   USN_Units

from the 28th to the 31st close support was provided by the Marine airmen (VMF-214) from USS Sicily (CVE-118). The last day of August saw friendly forces making sizable gains.

[note]

map10t Map 10. The Period of Crisis, 25 August–4 September 1950

Click on map for higher resolution image (218 KB).

[note]

 

 

 

Music

 

Music

[note]

 

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On August 31, the NKPA 2nd and 9th Infantry divisions crossed the Naktong both north of and into the old bulge area, and the struggle started all over again. This time, the North Koreans were not driven back across the Naktong until the final enemy retreat from the entire Pusan perimeter following the Inch'ŏn landing on September 15.


150x200


This article was written by Uzal W. Ent and originally appeared in the August 1994 issue of Military History magazine. For more great articles be sure to subscribe to Military History magazine today!

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0559 Sunrise

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With the enemy turned back north of Taegu, General Walker on 24 August issued orders for the 27th Infantry to leave the Bowling Alley and return to the 25th Division in the Masan area.

The ROK 1st Division was to assume responsibility for the Bowling Alley, but the U.S. 23rd Regiment was to remain north of Taegu in its support.

 ROK relief of the 27th Infantry began at 1800, 25 August, and continued throughout the night until completed at 0345, 26 August.

On 30 August the regiment [27th Infantry] received orders to move from near Taegu to Masan, and it started at 0800 the next morning (31st), personnel going by train, vehicles by road.

[note]

 

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By 31 August, 8,652 Koreans had joined the 7th Division. [09-38]

[note]

 

     
  

But, by the end of August, little progress had been made toward attaching Koreans to American units other than the 7th Division. The 1st Cavalry Division had 739 Koreans, the 2nd Division had 234, the 24th Division had 949, and the 25th Division 240. [09-40]

[note]

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biography

MacArthur continued to favor crossing the parallel even after his G-2, General Willoughby, reported on 31 August that

 ". . . sources have reported troop movements from Central China to Manchuria for sometime which suggest movements preliminary to entering the Korean theater."

 Willoughby placed the number of regular Chinese troops in Manchuria at about 246,000 men, organized into nine armies totaling thirty-seven divisions. Eighty thousand men were reported assembling near An-tung, just across the Yalu from Korea. [10-10]

[note]

 

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On the last day of the month the 2nd Division moved E Company south to a reserve position in the 9th Infantry sector. [23-27]

Two roads ran through the regimental sector from the Naktong River to Ch'angnyŏng.

In effect, the 1st Battalion of the 23rd Regiment guarded these two approach routes to Ch'angnyŏng.

The forty-two men of the 2nd Platoon, B Company, 23rd Infantry, led by 1st Lt. William M. Glasgow held outpost positions on seven hills covering a 2,600-yard front along the east bank of the Naktong north of Pugong-ni. Across the river in the rice paddies they could see, in the afternoon of 31 August, two large groups of enemy soldiers. Occasionally artillery fire dispersed them.

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After dark on the evening of 31 August, 1st Lt. Charles I. Caldwell of D Company and 1st Lt. Edward Schmitt of H Company, 9th Infantry, moved their men and weapons to the base of Hill 209, which was within B Company's defense sector and overlooked the Paekchin ferry crossing of the Naktong River.

The raiding force, E Company, was still in its regimental reserve position about two miles west of Yŏngsan, getting ready with the engineer platoon to move to the crossing site. Colonel Hill, the regimental commander, went forward in the evening with the 4.2-inch mortar platoon to its position at the base of Hill 209 where the mortarmen prepared to set up their weapons. Schmitt and Caldwell took their section leaders up the hill and showed them where they wanted the weapons set up. The first of the carrying parties soon followed them.

It was now a little after 2100, and dark. The closest front line unit was B Company on top of Hill 209, approximately a mile north of the river road which curved around the hill's southern base.

1400

The regimental chaplain, Capt. Lewis B. Sheen, had gone forward in the afternoon to B Company to hold services.

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Unit Info

Late in the afternoon of 31 August, observers with G Company, 24th Infantry, noticed a lot of activity a mile to their front. They called in two air strikes that hit this enemy area at twilight. Artillery also took it under fire. All line units were alerted for a possible enemy attack. [23-5]

[note]

 

 

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On the evening of 31 August, A Company, [9th Infantry] in accordance with orders just received, moved from its ridge positions overlooking Agok and the river to new positions along the river below the ridge line. [23-15]

That evening Sgt. Ernest R. Kouma took a Pershing tank to Agok to replace one that had developed gun trouble. Kouma placed his tank on the west side of Agok about forty yards from the Ki-Hang ferry.

[note]

 

 

1901 Sunset

[note]

 

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At 2000 a heavy fog covered the river. [Naktong, around Agok]

[note]

 

  

Just before dusk turned to darkness, 1st Lt. William M. Glasgow and the men in his 1st Squad saw "a large and bizarre torchlight parade" come out of the hills and proceed toward the river. Glasgow immediately reported the spectacle to the battalion command post. The artillery forward observer, who estimated the crowd to number 2,000 people, thought they were refugees. When the matter was referred to Colonel Freeman, he immediately ordered the artillery to fire on the torchbearers. With each bursting shell some of the torches disappeared but others took their places and the procession continued unchecked toward the river bank. [23-28]

[note]

 

 

2030 Korean Time

 

 

     

The Wolfhound Regiment completed the move by 2030 that night, 31 August. [19-81] And a very fortunate move it proved to be, for it arrived in the nick of time, as a later chapter will show.

As if to signalize the successful defense of the northern approach to Taegu in this week of fighting, a 20-year-old master sergeant of the ROK 1st Division executed a dangerous and colorful exploit. MSgt. Pea Sung Sub led a 9-man patrol 6,000 yards behind the North Korean lines to the N.K. 13th Division command post. There his patrol killed several enemy soldiers and captured three prisoners whom they brought back with no loss to themselves. General Paik gave the daring sergeant 50,000 won ($25.00) for his exploit. [19-82]

Colonel Murch's 2nd Battalion and Colonel Check's 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, had gained something of a reputation for themselves in the Bowling Alley north of Taegu.

The defense in depth behind their front line by the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 23rd Infantry, had frustrated all enemy efforts to gain control of the gateway to Taegu. The supporting tanks and the artillery had performed magnificently. During the daytime, Air Force attacks had inflicted destruction and disorganization on the enemy. And on the mountain ridges walling in the Bowling Alley, the ROK 1st Division had done its full share in fighting off the enemy thrust.

Survivors of the 1st Regiment, N.K. 1st Division, joined the rest of that division in the mountains east of the Taegu-Sangju road near the walled summit of Ka-san. Prisoners reported that the 1st Regiment was down to about 400 men and had lost all its 120-mm. mortars, 76-mm. howitzers, and antitank guns as a result of its action on the east flank of the N.K. 13th Division at the Bowling Alley. [19-83]

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Unit Info  

the 27th Infantry, of the 25th Division which had arrived at Masan only the night before at 2030 to relieve the 5th Regimental Combat Team,

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2100 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
6:00 AM
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7:00 AM
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12:00 PM
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9:00 PM

 

An hour later dogs started barking on the far side of the Naktong, and continued to bark in the otherwise unbroken silence [Naktong, around Agok]

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After dark on the evening of 31 August, 1st Lt. Charles I. Caldwell of D Company and 1st Lt. Edward Schmitt of H Company, 9th Infantry, moved their men and weapons to the base of Hill 209, which was within B Company's defense sector and overlooked the Paekchin ferry crossing of the Naktong River. The raiding force, E Company, was still in its regimental reserve position about two miles west of Yŏngsan-ni,, getting ready with the engineer platoon to move to the crossing site. Colonel Hill, the regimental commander, went forward in the evening with the 4.2-inch mortar platoon to its position at the base of Hill 209 where the mortarmen prepared to set up their weapons.

Schmitt and Caldwell took their section leaders up the hill and showed them where they wanted the weapons set up. The first of the carrying parties soon followed them. It was now a little after 2100, and dark.

The closest front line unit was B Company on top of Hill 209, approximately a mile north of the river road which curved around the hill's southern base.

The regimental chaplain, Capt. Lewis B. Sheen, had gone forward in the afternoon to B Company to hold services. [23-23] On top of Hill 209, Chaplain Sheen and men in B Company after dark thought they could hear a swishing sound in the water below them. By straining their eyes and staring through field glasses for a long time into the near darkness, they made out a long line of North Korean soldiers wading the river.

The first enemy crossing at the Paekchin ferry caught the Heavy Mortar Platoon wholly unaware in the act of setting up its weapons. It also caught most of the D and H Company men at the base of Hill 209, only a little more than half a mile from the crossing site. The North Koreans killed or captured many of them.

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   3 ADA COA.jpg

At 2100 the first shells of what proved to be a two-hour enemy artillery and mortar preparation against the American river positions jarred the fascinated Glasgow and his companions from their absorbed contemplation of the torchlight scene. As the enemy barrage rolled on, North Korean infantry crossed the river and climbed the hills in the darkness under cover of its fire.

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2200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
7:00 AM
07/31/50
8:00 AM
07/31/50
1:00 PM
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10:00 PM

 

until enemy mortar shells began falling on the American-held side of the river at 2200. [Naktong, around Agok]

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2215 Korean Time

  

Fifteen minutes later a heavy enemy mortar preparation struck A Company's [9th Infantry] positions. American mortars and artillery began firing counter battery. Some of the A Company men reported they heard noises on the opposite side of the river and splashes in the water. [23-16] [Naktong, around Agok]

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2230 Korean Time

 

Suddenly at 2230 the fog lifted and Kouma saw that an enemy bridge, already two-thirds completed, was being laid across the river directly in front of him. He ordered his tank gunner to lay the 90-mm. cannon on the bridge and he himself went to the .50-caliber machine gun mounted behind the tank cupola. Kouma's gunner opened fire on the bridge and the bridging party; the other tank and the two antiaircraft vehicles joined in the action. After about a minute of this heavy fire the bridge collapsed, and after another two minutes the ponton boats used to hold the bridge in place broke loose. Machine gun fire then sank many of them. Except for the barking of the dogs across the river and an occasional mortar round, silence once again reigned as Kouma's guns fell silent after the destruction of the bridge.

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2300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
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8:00 AM
07/31/50
9:00 AM
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2:00 PM
07/31/50
11:00 PM

  

Late on the night of 31 August the enemy launched his greatest effort. Around the entire perimeter from P'ohang to Haman heavy attacks began, very great forces were committed to the Naktong River front, and almost at once it was obvious that a major emergency was at hand. All troops were ordered out of reserve, all air support was urgently called for.

[note]

 

At 2300 this quiet suddenly gave way to a small arms fight which flared around the left side of A Company north of the tanks. This gunfire had lasted only two or three minutes when the A Company roadblock squads near the tanks received word by field telephone that the company was withdrawing to the original ridge positions and that they should do likewise. Someone in the outpost shouted, "We are moving out, tankers!" [23-17] Then, as  Kouma tells it:

The infantry outpost had hardly left when I spotted seven men running towards me from the direction of where Able Company's CP formerly was located. I halted them and noticed that they were wearing the division patch. [The Indianhead of 2nd Division, which the newly augmented Koreans wore on their herringbone twill as did regular members of the division. Company A had some of these South Koreans.] One of them spoke excellent English. All seven came next to my tank ... three of them crawled on the deck of the tank and informed me that a large force had crossed the river farther down approaching my position and that most of Able Company were killed or captured. At the time I had the idea that they were part of the 9th Infantry. During this time I was on top of the turret checking my 50 cal. machine gun. At a given signal they leaped from the tank and began throwing grenades on the tank and about the same time a steady spray of machine gun and rifle fire began hitting the tanks and AA guns from the crest of the high bluff about 150 yards to my right. My gunner at once took them under fire as well as SFC Berry's and the AA guns. I got back in the turret and threw about 7 or 8 grenades over the house as well as inside the house through the door which faced us. [23-18]

In this exchange, enemy grenades and fire wounded Kouma twice. Enemy soldiers now attacked the tanks and the antiaircraft vehicles from the rear. The group approaching the quad-50 knew the password and overran the vehicle, killing all crew members except one who escaped. Several men in the second, the dual 40-mm. gun vehicle (M-19), were wounded but this tracked vehicle escaped to the rear. The two tanks were alone. They quickly changed their positions, driving out from under the cliffs and near the village to open ground with clear fields of fire for 200 yards in every direction. There they repelled repeated attacks, some enemy soldiers reaching within twenty yards of the tanks before they turned back leaving their dead and wounded.

[note]

 

  

At 2300 the barrage lifted. A green flare signaled the North Korean assault. A few minutes later enemy grenades showered into Glasgow's position. After a short fight at close quarters, Glasgow and his men ran off the hill toward the rear. Similar assaults took place elsewhere along the battalion outpost line.

[note]

2330 Korean Time

 

Shortly before midnight the North Koreans struck, first hitting F Company on the north side of the pass on the Chungam-ni-Haman road. The ROK troops in the pass left their positions and fell back on G Company south of the pass. The North Koreans captured a 75-mm. recoilless rifle in the mouth of the pass and turned it on American tanks, knocking out two of them. They then overran a section of 82-mm. mortars at the east end of the pass.

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Unit Info   Unit Info

Meanwhile, action-packed events were taking place simultaneously to the north, on the right side of the 25th Division line. Half an hour before midnight, 31 August, an enemy self-propelled high-velocity gun from across the Nam fired shells into the position of G Company, 35th Infantry, overlooking the river.

Within a few minutes, enemy artillery had taken under fire all front-line rifle companies of the regiment from the Namji-ri bridge west. Under cover of this fire a reinforced regiment of the N.K. 7th Division crossed the Nam River and attacked F and G Companies, 35th Infantry. Other enemy soldiers crossed the Nam on an underwater bridge in front of the paddy ground north of Kŏmam-ni and near the boundary between the 2nd Battalion, led by Lt. Col. John L. Wilkins, Jr., holding the river front and Lt. Col. Bernard G. Teeter's 1st Battalion holding the hill line that stretched from the Nam River to Sibidang-san and the Chinju-Masan highway.

In the low ground between these two battalions at the river ferry crossing site, Colonel Fisher had placed about 300 ROK police. He expected them to hold there long enough in case of a major attack to serve as a warning device. Guns from the flanking hills there could cover the low ground with fire. Back of Kŏmam-ni he held the 3rd Battalion ready for use in counterattack to stop an enemy penetration should it occur.

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Colonel Hill was there, but escaped to the rear just before midnight, together with several others, when the division canceled Operation Manchu. His S-3, who was with him, delayed a bit and never got out. The first heavy weapons carrying party was on its way up the hill when the enemy engulfed the men below. It hurried on to the top where the advance group waited and there all hastily dug in on a small perimeter. This group was unmolested during the night.

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2350 Korean Time

 

With this tense situation as the setting, the N.K. I Corps before midnight 31 August started its great offensive.

[note]

 

 

2355 Korean Time

 

 

  

By the end of August the North Korean People's Army was in desperate straits. The Reds had to win, and win quickly, or lose everything. The Red commanders evidently decided to make supreme, all-out, human-wave attacks. Shortly before midnight on 31 August, on the southwestern end of the Pusan perimeter, the Communists unleashed elements of five divisions against the U.S. 25th and 2nd Divisions.

[note]

 

  

Word of the enemy crossing that had caught the support elements of Task Force Manchu flat-footed had been received at the 2nd Division headquarters. This news, together with the heavy enemy barrages that had developed all along the river, caused the division to cancel Operation Manchu five minutes before midnight.

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The 35th Infantry-The Rock of the Nam


On the 25th Division's right flank and north of the Haman breakthrough, the 35th Infantry Regiment at daylight, 1 September, still held all its positions except the low ground between Kŏmam-ni and the Nam
River, which the two companies of ROK police had abandoned at midnight. (See Map V.)

 

[note]

 


Casualties

Thursday August 31, 1950 (Day - 68)

92 Casualties

 

19500831 0000 Casualties by unit

 

19 23RD INFANTRY REGIMENT
8 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
4 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
2 38TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 5TH MARINE REGIMENT
4 5TH REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
1 61ST FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
4 7TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
24 82ND ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY AW BATTALION
24 9TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 VMF 214 - MARINE FIGHTER SQUADRON 214
   
   
   
   
   
92 19500831 0000 Casualties by unit

 

As of August 31, 1950

 

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 80 4425 137 14 4656
Today 91 1   92
Total 80 4516 138 14 4748

 

Aircraft Losses Today 001

 

 

Notes for Thursday August 31, 1950 (Day - 68)

 

 

 

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