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

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

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


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