Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 28.6°C 83.48°F at Taegu    

Heavy Overcast torrential rains

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

 

Citations

 

22 Citations

 

   Unit Info  

In early Sep 1950, the 25th Infantry Division's commander, Major General William B. Kean, recommended to 8th Army Hqs that the 24th IR be relieved of frontline combat service. This recommendation was ignored by the late General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and, subsequently, the record shows that the 24INF fought at least as well as other American regiments during the remainder of its last tour of duty until deactivated 10-1-1951.

The problems confronting the regiment deepened when the fighting shifted south from Sangju during August and September to the area west of Masan on the Pusan Perimeter. Casualties among officers reached critical levels, with some companies going through five commanders in less than a month, and the replacements were often inexperienced and untrained in infantry skills. The situation was little better among the sergeants. As for the enlisted men, many replacements reported for duty unable even to load and fire their rifles without first receiving instruction. Already deteriorating, the self-confidence of the unit and the trust of its members in one another worsened. More failures occurred.

Despite the pattern, when the 24th IR pulled into the Pusan Perimeter, it managed to hold the line. In the fight for Battle Mountain, Company C was reduced to a shell and other portions of the regiment suffered heavily. Misfortune, nevertheless, continued to dog the regiment. Focused on the mountains south of Haman rather than on the low hills just to the west of the town, the unit was unprepared on 1 September when the enemy attacked through the center of its position and the 2nd Battalion collapsed. Unreliable South Korean troops manning portions of the line were partially to blame. So were a weak regimental reserve and poorly fortified positions. A key ingredient in the collapse, however, was the large number of stragglers who left their positions without leave during the early portions of the fight. Remnants of Companies E and G held on. Much of Company F escaped to the north. The battalion command post conducted a brief but spirited defense. Even so, the 2nd Battalion ceased to exist as a combat organization, and only the fortuitous presence of the 27th Infantry saved the day.

The white leadership of the regiment and the division blamed the soldiers of the 24th for what had happened, but they themselves were at least as much at fault. The new regimental commander, Colonel Arthur J. Champeny, and his staff had not only approved the weak tactical dispositions of the 2nd Battalion, but Champeny himself had done much to destroy whatever self-confidence was left in the regiment's men by making ill-advised, public remarks about the conduct of blacks in World War II.

"Champeny’s command of the Regiment was brief and controversial. The day after taking command, (on Aug 6, 1950) Champeny reportedly told members of the Regiment’s 3rd battalion that his experience during World War II showed that "coloreds did not make good combat soldiers" and had a "reputation for running". Champeny later defended his comments as an attempt to stir the unit’s pride and the historical evidence is mixed as to its impact. Champeny's defense of his actions did not convince many of the Regiment's black troops. "I found Colonel Champeny biased, gutless and totally inefficient." 

It was at that point that General Kean recommended that the Eighth Army dissolve the regiment. The evidence submitted—a whole series of exhaustive interviews with black and white officers—gave overwhelming testimony to the presence of heavy straggling within the unit but said little about the tactical incompetence and the accumulating failures of leadership that were at the root of what had happened. Kean's recommendation led to further investigations and to a determination that the 24th should indeed be disbanded, but the Eighth Army's inability to organize a new regiment to take the unit's place on short notice put the decision on hold for a time.

In the interim, Champeny, and his successor of 5 September, Colonel John T. Corley, moved at last to punish chronic stragglers. Long overdue, the effort put an effective end to the problem, but the court-martials that followed did nothing to rehabilitate the 24th Infantry's reputation in the eyes of white commanders. Indeed, a sentence of death handed down against a lieutenant who had refused to return to the line only added to the aura of shame surrounding the regiment.

[note]

 

   Unit Info

In early Sep 1950, the 25th Infantry Division's commander, Major General William B. Kean, recommended to 8th Army Hqs that the 24INF be relieved of frontline combat service. This recommendation was ignored by the late General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and, subsequently, the record shows that the 24INF fought at least as well as other American regiments during the remainder of its last tour of duty until deactivated 10-1-1951.

During 1951, back in the US, the 24th's famous CO, the late Brigadier General John T. Corley, sought to dispel others criticism by pointing out that in action "exceeding in roughness" anything he had witnessed in Europe 24th Infantrymen had fought as well as his own 1INF Division soldiers during WW2. But then-Col Corley was ordered to cease demonstrating his regard for his Korean War regiment by General Mark W. Clark because, reportedly, "some people in high places" were beginning to become alarmed.

[note]

 

biography

Twice in the following week Mao's antiaircraft guns on the, Manchurian side of the Yalu had fired at U.S. bombers flying on the Korean side, once near the Sui-Ho reservoir and once in the vicinity of Sinuiju, and Truman had been sufficiently concerned to express the hope on September 1

"that the people of China will not be misled or forced into fighting against the United Nations and against the American people."

But except for George Kennan, most U.S. sinologists felt, in Acheson's words, that such an outcome was "not a probability."

[note]

 

The 41st Commando, Royal Marines, numbered about 240 officers and men, all volunteers. The unit had been formed in England in August and flew to Japan on 1 September. There it underwent some training in the use of American-made weapons. Later it made three raids on North Korean rail lines behind the front lines, following the Inch'ŏn landing on the west coast of Korea. In mid-November a decision was made to transfer the commando unit to northeast Korea, where it would be attached to the 7th Marine Regiment and used as a second reconnaissance company.

The commando arrived at Hŭngnam on 20 November and eight days later started north for the Chosin Reservoir. That evening it arrived at Koto-ri, where its commander, Lieutenant Colonel Drysdale, learned that it would continue its journey on the morrow and that he would be commander of a combat task force to open the road to Hagaru-ri.[08-2]

[note]

 

MiGs

 

"First Lieutenant Frederick F. Henry, F Company, 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, became the Korean War’s seventh Medal of Honor recipient. Lieutenant Henry’s unit was holding a strategic ridge near Amdong when a superior enemy force attacked it. Seeing his platoon disorganized by the initial assault, he left his foxhole led them in reforming a defensive line, checking the enemy’s advance. Without communication to the rear, he ignored his severe wounds and determined to hold his position as long as possible after ordering the wounded evacuated and their weapons and ammunition brought to him. Ordering his platoon to withdraw, he remained behind to cover their movement. When last seen alive he was firing all available weapons until his ammunition was expended and his position overrun. His one man stand accounted for fifty of the enemy and bought time for the main line of resistance to throw back the attack." 

[note]

 

"Master Sergeant Ernest R. Kouma, A Company, 72nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, became the sixth Korean War Medal of Honor recipient. Then Sergeant First Class Kouma’s unit was supporting infantry elements on the Naktong River front when a North Korean force of 500 men crossed the river and attacked their position, inflicting heavy casualties. While covering the infantry’s withdrawal, Sergeant Kouma’s platoon had two tanks overrun, one destroyed and one forced to withdraw. Holding his ground, he kept his tank in position throughout the night, fending off repeated attacks. When enemy troops surrounded his tank, he manned the .50 caliber machine gun on the rear deck and delivered pointblank fire into the enemy. Running out of machinegun ammunition, he continued to fight with his pistol and grenades. After more than nine hours of constant combat, he withdrew his vehicle through eight miles of enemy held territory, destroying three machinegun nests along the way. In all he and his crew killed an estimated 250 of the enemy. Rejoining his company, he ignored his many wounds and attempted to re-supply his tank and return to the battle. Master Sergeant Kouma survived to receive America's highest award, the only tanker so honored during the Korean War." 

[note]

 

"Private First Class David M. Smith, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, earned the Korean War’s eighth Medal of Honor. PFC Smith was a mortar gunner when a massive enemy attack overran forward positions and rendered the friendly positions untenable. Before his section could withdraw, the enemy had encircled and closed in on its position. Seeing a grenade lobbed into the midst of his group, PFC Smith shouted a warning and flung himself upon it, smothering the explosion with his body. His intrepid act saved five men from death or serious injury at the cost of his own life." 

[note]

 

"Private First Class Luther H. Story, A Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, became the ninth Medal of Honor of the Korean War. After bearing off several banzai attacks by a large enemy force, A Company was in danger of being cut off and surrounded. PFC Story, a weapons squad leader, has just moved his men to a position overlooking the Naktong River when he observed a large group of North Koreans crossing. Seizing a machinegun from his wounded gunner, he fired on the column, killing or wounding an estimated 100 of the enemy. As his company was withdrawing, he spotted an enemy truck loaded with troops and towing an ammunition trailer. Shouting a warning, the stood in the middle of the road throwing grenades into the truck, renewing this attack after replenishing his grenade supply. When the company was forced to deploy in a rice paddy when struck by a large North Korean force, PFC Story disregarded wounds to rally the men about him and repel the attack. Realizing his wounds would slow the withdrawal of his comrades, he remained behind to cover them. When last seen alive he was firing every weapon available fighting off another hostile assault."

[note]

 

"Sergeant First Class Charles W. Turner, 2nd Reconnaissance Company, 2nd Infantry Division, earned the tenth Medal of Honor of the Korean War. When a large enemy force attacked his platoon, SFC Turner, a section leader, quickly organized his unit for defense. Observing that the attack was directed at the tank section 100 yards away, he dashed through a hail of fire, mounted one of the tanks, and manned the exposed turret machinegun. Although under intense fire, he delivered effective deadly fire on the enemy, pointing out targets for the tanks 75mm main gun, and destroyed seven enemy machinegun nests despite several wounds. Ignoring the more than fifty direct hits on the tank that shot away the periscopes and antenna and struck the machinegun mount three times, he continued to man his weapon until a burst of fire killed him. His action enabled his company to regroup and successfully counterattack."

[note]

 

"US Air Force Captain Iven C. Kincheloe, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, claimed his fifth air-to-air victory in his F86 Sabre ""Ivan"" to become the tenth ace of the Korean War. Captain Kincheloe accounted for four MiGs in six days."

[note]

 

Koread-War

US Navy Lieutenant Eugene F. Clark was put ashore at Yŏnghŭng-do to command an operation to gather intelligence for the impending amphibious assault at Inch'ŏn.  

[note]

 

 

REMINISCENCES

biography biography and biography

My (MacArthur) opinion of the strategic importance of Formosa was shared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On September 1st, they officially recommended that the island and its disposition be kept out of any political bargaining at a forth-coming meeting of the foreign ministers. "The strategic consequences of a Communist-dominated Formosa," the Joint Chiefs advised, "would be so seriously detrimental to United States security that in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the United States should not permit the disposition of Formosa to be recommended in the first instance or decided by any commission or agency of the United Nations."

Def  

But the pressure against our Nationalist Chinese ally of World War II did not cease. It had started immediately after the war's end, with the argument, mentioned before, that the Chinese Communists were really only "agrarian reformers" — a claim that has become one of modern history's bitterest jests. It was, of course, given its greatest impetus when General Marshall made the tragic mistake of using American prestige as a lever for attempting to force a coalition government on Chiang Kai-shek. And it manifested itself most vocally when I tried to implement the President's directive to defend Formosa by strengthening the alliance between Nationalist and United States military forces.

 

The arguments took many forms. At first, the claim was that Chiang's government was corrupt. Somehow, the reasoning ran, rule by the Kuomintang was even worse than a Communist police state, and, therefore, any change would be for the better. Why they would ally with the same Chiang against the Japanese, but not against the Communists, was never clear. But it was perfectly clear to me now that it was only a question of time when my head would roll.

[note]

 

 

South then North

 

At the beginning of September American tanks outnumbered the enemy's on the Pusan Perimeter battlefield by at least five to one.

[note]

 

Altogether, during August, 11,115 officer and enlisted replacements arrived in Korea from Japan and the United States. [21-15] The United Nations Command had a supported strength in Korea on 1 September 1950 of nearly 180,000 men, according to figures available at the time. The major organizations reported their personnel strengths as follows:

  Total 179,929
eusa U.S. Eighth Army 78,762
2nd Infantry Division 17,498
24th Infantry Division 14,739
25th Infantry Division 15,007
1st Cavalry Division 14,703
ROK Army 91,696
 1st Provisional Marine Brigade 4,290
27th British Infantry Brigade British 27th Infantry Brigade 1,578
 Fifth Air Force 3,603

Available for aerial action over Korea and naval action in the waters around it there must be counted an additional 33,651 men in the Far East Air Forces, 330 men of the Royal Australian Air Force, and 36,389 men in the U.S. Naval Forces, Far East. [21-16]

[note]

 

   ICONs      eusa

At the beginning of September the United Nations had a large numerical superiority of men in the line divisions and in army reserve. In the skies over the battlefield and in the coastal waters guarding the Perimeter flanks, United Nations aerial and naval might was virtually uncontested.

Approximately 600 American medium tanks mounting 90-mm. and 76-mm. guns were in the battle area on 1 September, as contrasted with probably not more than 100 North Korean Russian-built medium T34 tanks mounting 85-mm. guns. Eighth Army also had overwhelming superiority in artillery and mortar fire.

[note]

 

By 1 September the food situation was so bad in the North Korean Army at the front that most of the soldiers showed a loss of stamina with resulting impaired combat effectiveness. [21-48]

The North Koreans directed the Pusan Perimeter battles from their Front Headquarters in Kŭmch'ŏn. Marshal Choe Yong Gun, the North Korean Minister of Defense, was Deputy Commander of the North Korean Armed Forces. He had formerly been associated with the Chinese Communist 8th Route Army. In command of the Front Headquarters during August and September was General Kim Chaek. His chief of staff was Lt. Gen. Kang Kon until the latter was killed near Andong by a land mine explosion on 8 September.

The II Corps from its headquarters at Mun'gyŏng directed the action from north of Taegu eastward to the coast. Lt. Gen. Kim Mu Chong, a graduate of the Whampoa Military Academy under Chiang Kai-shek and a Communist veteran of the Chinese wars, commanded the II Corps. He had accompanied Mao Tse Tung (Mao Zedong) on the "Long March" and reportedly was the only one of thirty Koreans to survive that march.

The I Corps, which had captured Sŏul in the early days of the war, had direct charge under the Front Headquarters for the western half of the enemy arc around the Perimeter, from Waegwan south to the Korea Strait. Lt. Gen. Kim Ung, a spectacular soldier, commanded the I Corps. Kim had gone from Korea to the Whampoa Military Academy and eventually served with the Communist 8th Route Army in North China where reportedly he became a brigade or division commander. He was generally considered the ablest of the North Korean field commanders. He was energetic and harsh, feared rather than loved by his subordinates. His I Corps headquarters was at Chon-ju. [21-49]

With time running against it, the North Korean High Command prepared a massive co-ordinated offensive all around the Pusan Perimeter for the first of September. As the North Korea People's Army prepared for its great effort, it brought 13 infantry divisions, 1 armored division, 2 armored brigades, and miscellaneous security forces into the line.

On the I Corps front, reaching from opposite Taegu southward along the Naktong River, in line from north to south, were the 10th, 2nd, 4th, 9th, 7th, and 6th Infantry Divisions. Elements of the 105th Armored Division and the newly arrived 16th Armored Brigade supported these troops. The 16th Armored Brigade, really a regiment, had forty-three new T34 tanks when it left P'yŏngyang in August to take part in the September offensive. Back of the 6th Division was the 104th Security Brigade.

Deployed along the II Corps front from northwest of Taegu eastward to the coast and in line from west to east were the 3d, 13th, 1st, 8th, 15th, 12th, and 5th Infantry Divisions. Elements of the 105th Armored Division and the newly arrived 17th Armored Brigade supported this corps. The 17th Armored Brigade, also actually a regiment, had forty new tanks when it left P'yŏngyang.

[note]

 

The North Korean force assembled at the front on 1 September for the assault against the Pusan Perimeter numbered about 98,000 men. Perhaps a third were raw recruits, most of them forcibly conscripted in South Korea and hastened to the front with little or no training and with few weapons. It is believed that the major organizations had personnel strength approximately as follows: [21-52]

Total 97,850
1st Infantry Division 5,000
2nd Infantry Division 6,000
3d Infantry Division 7,000
4th Infantry Division 5,500
5th Infantry Division 7,000
6th Infantry Division 10,000
7th Infantry Division 9,000
8th Infantry Division 6,500
9th Infantry Division 9,350
10th Infantry Division 7,500
12th Infantry Division 5,000
13th Infantry Division 9,000
15th Infantry Division 7,000
104th Security Brigade 2,000
  105th Armored Division   1,000
16th Armored Brigade 500
17th Armored Brigade 500

According to this not much has changed since the beginning of the war

the 104th & 8th are new, and its up form 80,000….(BS)

 

 

[note]

 

Aerial observation on 1 September disclosed that North Koreans were moving southward in the mountains above Kigye and P'ohang-dong.

[note]

 

Enemy Breakthrough at Yŏngch'ŏn

     

In the high mountains between the Taegu sector on the west and the Kyŏngju-east coast sector, two North Korean divisions, the 8th and 15th, stood ready on 1 September to attack south and sever the Taegu-P'ohang-dong corridor road in the vicinity of Hayang and Yŏngch'ŏn, in coordination with the North Korean offensive in the Kigye-P'ohang area.

Hayang is 12, and Yŏngch'ŏn 20, air miles east of Taegu. The N.K. 8th Division was astride the main Andong-Sinnyŏng-Yŏngch'ŏn road 20 air miles northwest of Yŏngch'ŏn; the 15th was eastward in the mountains just below Andong, 35 air miles north of Yŏngch'ŏn on a poor and mountainous secondary road. The objective of the 8th Division was Hayang; that of the 15th was Yŏngch'ŏn, which the enemy division commander had orders to take at all costs.

Opposing the N.K. 8th Division was the ROK 6th Division; in front of the N.K. 15th Division stood the ROK 8th Division. [22-27]

[note]

 

biography      biography  

Greatly concerned at the beginning of September over the North Korean attack and penetration of the southern sector of the Pusan Perimeter in the 2nd and 25th Divisions' zone, General Walker on 1 September ordered the 1st Cavalry Division to attack north or northwest in an effort to divert to that quarter some of the enemy strength in the south.

General Gay's initial decision upon receipt of this order was to attack north up the Sangju road, but his staff and regimental commanders all joined in urging that the attack instead be against Hill 518 in the 7th Cavalry zone, and they talked him out of his original intent. Only two days before, Hill 518 had been in the ROK 1st Division zone and had been considered an enemy assembly point. The 1st Cavalry Division, accordingly, prepared for an attack in the 7th Cavalry sector and for diversionary attacks by two companies of the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry, on the 7th Cavalry's right flank. This left the 8th Cavalry only one rifle company in reserve. The regiment's 1st Battalion was on the hill mass to the west of the Bowling Alley  [top center of map 15] and north of Tabu-dong; its 2nd Battalion was astride the road.

Attack on Taegu 2-15 September 1950.pdf

[note]

 

Unit Info  

Complying with Eighth Army's order for what was in effect a spoiling attack against the North Koreans northwest of Taegu, General Gay on 1 September ordered the  7th Cavalry to attack the next day and seize enemy-held Hill 518. Hill 518 (Suam-san) is a large mountain mass five miles northeast of Waegwan and two miles east of the Naktong River. It curves westward from its peak to its westernmost height, Hill 346, from which the ground drops abruptly to the Naktong River. Situated north of the lateral Waegwan-Tabu-dong road, and about midway between the two towns, it was a critical terrain feature dominating the road between the two places.

After securing Hill 518, the 7th Cavalry attack was to continue on to Hill 314. Air strikes and artillery preparations were to precede the infantry attack on 2 September. Forty pieces of artillery, four-fifths of that available to the 1st Cavalry Division, were to support the attack. [22-35]

[22-Caption] 1ST CAVALRY OBSERVATION POST overlooking the enemy-held Hill 518 complex northeast of Waegwan, 1 September.

[note]

 

North Korean Breakthrough in the South

      Unit Info

Exact knowledge of the terrain regulates the dispositions of the troops and the order of battle.... Knowledge of the country is to a general what a rifle is to an infantryman and what the rules of arithmetic are to a geometrician.

FREDERICK THE GREAT, Instructions for His Generals

The dog days of August had given way to September. Casualties during the next two weeks were to be the greatest of the Korean War. To the men of Eighth Army, these were to be the worst of "the days along the Naktong." And, as if to envelop this deadly clash of arms with a misery of nature's own making, the elements brought to the battlefield blackened skies and torrential rains. It was the end of the summer monsoon season.

Aerial reconnaissance in the last week of August had disclosed to Eighth Army exceptional enemy activity behind the lines opposite the U.S. 2nd and 25th Divisions in the southern part of the Pusan Perimeter. Ominously, the enemy had built three new underwater bridges across the Nam River in front of the 35th Infantry in the 25th Division sector. Aerial bombing only temporarily and partially destroyed these bridges, for they could be repaired overnight.

Eighth Army intelligence credited the North Koreans with having moved one or two new divisions and about twenty tanks to the Hyŏpch'ŏn area on the west side of the Naktong River, (along the Hwang-gang) opposite the U.S. 2nd Division.

[note]

 

  

On 1 August, [on September 1] therefore, the 23rd Regiment was in a new sector of which it had only a limited knowledge. It took over a 16,000-yard (9+ Miles) Naktong River front without its 3d Battalion which had been attached to the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division. Colonel Freeman, the regimental commander, deployed the 1st Battalion on the high ground along the river with the three companies abreast. Actually, the 1st Battalion, under Lt. Col. Claire E. Hutchin, Jr., little more than out posted the hills with platoons and squads. He placed the 2nd Battalion in a reserve position approximately eight miles in the rear of the 1st Battalion and in a position where it commanded the road net in the regimental sector.

[note]

 

   Unit Info

The defensive battles on the Masan front during August and early September brought to a head a problem that had bothered General Kean ever since the 25th Division entered the Korean War; in a larger sense, it
was a problem that had concerned Eighth Army as well. Two of the division's regiments, the 27th and the 35th, had performed well in Korea.

Not so the 24th Infantry, the division's third regiment. Ever since its
entrance into combat in the Sangju area in July the Negro regiment had given a poor performance, although there were some exceptions and many individual acts of heroism and capable performance of duty.

The unstable nature of the regiment was demonstrated in the fighting on Battle Mountain during August. Then, on the night of 31 August-1 September two battalions evaporated in the face of the enemy, and a large part of them repeated this performance four nights later (9/4).

[note]

 

The Battle of Yŏngsan

On the morning of 1 September the 1st and 2nd Regiments of the N.K. 9th Division (the 3d Regiment had been left at Inch'ŏn), in their first offensive of the war, stood only a few miles short of Yŏngsan after a successful river crossing and penetration of the American line. At that point the chances of the division accomplishing its assigned mission must have looked favorable to its commanding general, Pak Kyo Sam.

As the N.K. 9th Division approached Yŏngsan, its 1st Regiment was on the north and its 2nd Regiment on the south. The division's attached support, consisting of one 76-mm. artillery battalion from the I Corps, an antiaircraft battalion of artillery, two tank battalions of the 16th Armored Brigade, and a battalion of artillery from the 4th Division, gave it unusual weapon support. Crossing the river behind it came the 4th Division, a greatly weakened organization, far under strength, short of weapons, and made up mostly of untrained replacements. A captured enemy document referred to this grouping of units that attacked from the Sinban-ni area into the Naktong Bulge as "the main force" of I Corps. Elements of the 9th Division reached the hills just west of Yŏngsan during the afternoon of 1 September. [24-10] (Where the hell was the Air Force?)

[note]

 

biography

 

 

Sometime today 9/1

General Hickey replied that General MacArthur had the day before approved the use of the marines if and when Walker considered it necessary.

A few hours after this conversation General Walker, at 1315, attached the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade to the 2nd Division and ordered a co-ordinated attack by all available elements of the division and the marines, with the mission of destroying the enemy east of the Naktong River in the 2nd Division sector and of restoring the river line. The marines were to be released from 2nd Division control just as soon as this mission was accomplished. [24-15]

[note]

 

      

Still farther northward in the zone of the 38th Infantry the North Koreans were far from idle. After the enemy breakthrough during the night of 31 August, General Keiser on 1 September [what time?] had ordered the 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry, to move south and help the 23rd Regiment establish a defensive position west of Ch'angnyŏng. In attempting to do this, the battalion found enemy troops already on the ridges along the road. They had in fact penetrated to Hill 284 overlooking the 38th Infantry command post. This hill and Hill 209 dominated the rear areas of the regiment.

[note]

 

   biography   biography    

On that first day of the enemy thrust, a critical situation existed in the 25th Division sector. Because of it, General Walker flew to General Kean's command post at Masan. In the ensuing discussion there, Kean asked Walker for authority to commit the remainder of the 27th Infantry Regiment (Walker had already released one battalion to Kean's control for use in the 24th Infantry sector) against the large enemy groups behind the 35th Infantry. Walker refused.

By mid-afternoon, however, Kean felt that the situation was so critical that he ordered the 2nd Battalion, commanded by Colonel Murch, to attack behind the 35th Infantry. A large part of the division artillery was under direct infantry attack and he felt it mandatory upon himself to commit the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry.

He gave this order on his own authority as the responsible commander on the ground, notwithstanding General Walker's earlier refusal. At a later date when General Walker knew all the facts, he approved General Kean's action. [24-41]

[note]

 

     

On 30 August, General Smith had sent a dispatch to X Corps requesting that the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade in Korea be released from Eighth Army on 1 September to prepare for mounting out for Inch'ŏn.


MacArthur ordered that the Marine brigade be available on 4 September for that purpose.

But  no sooner was this order issued [released from Eighth Army] than it was rescinded on 1 September because of the crisis that faced Eighth Army after the great North Korean attack had rolled up the southern front during the night. [25-22]

Eighth Army's use of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade in the battle near Yŏngsan threatened to disrupt the Inch'ŏn landing according to Marine and Navy opinion. A tug of war now ensued between General Smith, supported by the U.S. Naval Forces, Far East, on the one hand and General Walker on the other for control of the 5th Marines.

The Marine commander insisted he must have the 5th Marines if he were to make the Inch'ŏn landing. General Walker in a telephone conversation with General Almond said in effect,

"If I lose the 5th Marine Regiment I will not be responsible for the safety of the front."

Division Sholder Patch  

Almond sided with Walker despite the fact that he was to be commander of the Inch'ŏn landing force, taking the view that the X Corps could succeed in its plan without the regiment. He suggested that the 32nd Infantry Regiment of the 7th Division be attached to the 1st Marine Division as its second assault regiment. General Smith and NAVFE remained adamant.

[note]

 

   15thIR

 

During November the U.S. 3d 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) .

The other two regiments, the 7th and 15th, and the division headquarters sailed from San Francisco between 30 August and [1] 2 September. The last ship of the division transports arrived at its destination, Moji, Japan, on 16 September

[note]

 

 

The Forgotten War

 

biography

In the papers they presented, these Soviet experts drew attention to recent ominous shifts in the deployment of Chinese Communist military forces. There was an impressive buildup in progress in Manchuria. Intelligence reported that during August the number of "regular" (as opposed to "militia") Chinese troops in Manchuria had doubled  from 115,000 to 246,000. Moreover, there was every indication that the buildup was continuing. It was possible, the CIA paper suggested, that the Chinese troops might be ordered to aid the NKPA and would confront American forces at the 38th Parallel.

Even so, the momentum for crossing the 38th Parallel continued to build in Washington. "It would have taken a superhuman effort to say no," Harriman reflected later. "Psychologically, it was almost impossible not to go ahead and complete the job." While the precise details, orders, and caveats were being hammered out, Truman and Acheson launched diplomatic moves at the UN to gain support for this course. In a nationwide radio broadcast on September 1 Truman signaled American intentions: "We believe that Koreans have a right to be free, independent and united." The key word was "united."[8-69]

Nonetheless Truman was still very much concerned about possible Chinese Communist intervention in Korea. In the same speech he went out of his way to placate and court Peking. "We do not want the fighting in Korea to spread into a general war. . . . We hope in particular that the people of China will not be misled or forced into fighting against the United Nations and against the American people, who have always been and still are their friends." Since the speech came only a week after the furor over MacArthur's VFW message, he felt compelled to add: "We do not want Formosa or any part of Asia for ourselves."

There was no direct response from Peking. However, there were already indirect signs that Peking was edging toward more intimate association with P'yŏngyang. A Peking propaganda magazine, World Culture, wrote in August that the "barbarous action of American imperialism" in Korea not only menaced peace in Asia but also threatened the security of China in particular. "It is impossible to solve the Korean problem without the participation of its closest neighbor, China," the article went on. "North Korea's friends are our friends. North Korea's enemy is our enemy. North Korea's defense is our defense. North Korea's victory is our victory." At the UN, representatives of Peking, seeking recognition (and the "seat" held by the Chinese Nationalists) and abetted by the Soviets, increasingly intruded, covertly and overtly, into discussions relating to the Korean War.[8-70]

[note]

 

And so it was decided. On about September 1 the NKPA would make one last, desperate effort to push the Americans into the sea. The offensive would, for the first time, be intricately coordinated. But because of the lack of time and ability to redeploy forces and other factors rapidly, the plan was flawed. Rather than mass at one place for a decisive breakthrough, the NKPA would again attack everywhere at once around the perimeter. Four plus divisions would renew the drive to Pusan in the southwest sector toward Masan and the Naktong Bulge; three plus divisions would renew the drive to Taegu in the northwest sector; four divisions would renew the drive on Pohang in the northeast sector.[9-1]

In preparation for this offensive the NKPA substantially reinforced the perimeter. It added fresh, trained combat units, principally the 7th Infantry Division, sent to reinforce the 6th Division in the southwest sector, and two new armored regiments, the 16th and 17th, equipped with about forty T34 tanks each. In addition to regular forces, the NKPA rounded up about 35,000 boys and young men in North and South Korea and sent them south to help re-man the divisions at the perimeter. These troops brought the NKPA tactical forces to a total strength of about 98,000 men.[9-2]

The new tanks and the 7th Division gave the NKPA added punch, but on the whole it was a desperately tired and ragtag army. The surviving old hands had been fighting continuously for two months. There was an acute shortage of everything: artillery; rifles; burp guns; ammo; food; gasoline; medicine. The 35,000 fillers  constituting about one third of the army  were cannon fodder. They had no training whatsoever. Many had not even been issued individual weapons.

Of the three main NKPA drives, the strongest would again be that mounted in the southwest sector. It would be carried out by a total of five numbered divisions:

 the wrecked 4th (5,500 men);

the recently mauled 6th (reinforced to 10,000 men);

the newly arrived veteran but under strength 2nd (6,000 men);

the newly arrived green 7th (9,000 men);

and the newly arrived green 9th.

The last had dropped one of its regular regiments, the 87th, in the Sŏul-Inch'ŏn area but had created a new regiment with fillers, bringing it back to near full strength (9,350 men). These forces, supported by elements of the new 16th Armored Regiment, constituted nearly 40 percent of all NKPA troops at the perimeter: about 40,000 men.[9-3]

[note]

 

In planning the offensive in the southwest sector, the NKPA generals committed yet another tactical blunder. Rather than mass the four plus divisions on a single line of advance for a power punch through, they spread them out along a long front for a simultaneous frontal attack. The 2nd and 9th (and surviving remnants of the 4th) would attack toward the Naktong Bulge; the  6th and 7th, toward Masan. By this arrangement the NKPA denied itself power in depth to exploit a breakthrough. To succeed, the offensive had to break through across the entire front simultaneously.

biography     

Fortunately for Walker and his troops, the Eighth Army code breakers had intercepted and decoded NKPA radio traffic describing some features  but not all  of the offensive. Believing the strongest NKPA effort would once more come in the southwest sector, Walker had time to redeploy to meet that threat.

biography    biography   biography biography  

He pulled Michaelis's Wolfhounds and Paul Freeman's 23d Regiment out of the Bowling Alley and sent them to the southwest sector: the Wolfhounds back home to Bill Kean's 25th Division at Masan; the 23d back home to Dutch Keiser's 2nd Division, which had displaced Church's reorganizing 24th Division in the Naktong Bulge area immediately north of the 25th. In addition, Walker postponed the transfer of Throckmorton's 5th Regiment, then deployed on the "south road" at Chindong-ni, to the 24th Division, which had moved into reserve near Taegu. Finally, he did his utmost to delay the departure of Eddie Craig's Marines, then near Masan preparing to embark for Inch'ŏn.

biography    Unit Info    biography    Unit Info

These redeployments gave Walker far more strength in the southwest sector than he had enjoyed theretofore. There were, in total, eight infantry regiments, most of which now had three battalions. On the extreme south flank near Masan, Bill Kean's 25th Division controlled four regiments (south to north): Throckmorton's 5th; Champeny's 24th; Michaelis's 27th; and Fisher's 35th. Continuing the line northward into the Naktong Bulge, Dutch Keiser's three 2nd Division regiments were disposed (south to north): John Hill's 9th (less the 3/9); Freeman's 23d (less the 3/23); and the 38th. The Fifth Marines, near Masan, were in position to reinforce either the 25th or the 2nd Division. All eight regiments were powerfully backed by tanks, artillery, and Marine and FEAF close air support.

   biography

The weakest sector was the Naktong Bulge, held by John Hill's 9th and Paul Freeman's 23d. Both regiments were shy one battalion. McMains's black 3/9 was still in the northeast sector near Pohang. Freeman's 3/23 had been temporarily attached to the 1st Cav. Moreover, Hill had incurred heavy casualties in his 1/9, and these losses had not yet been fully replaced. As a result of all this, there were only about 3,500 men in the four battalions defending the Naktong Bulge.

[note]

 

biography

The NKPA offensive began in earnest during the night of August 31. Most of the troops, responding to the do-or-die challenge, were fired up to an extraordinary degree. They attacked fanatically, showing little or no concern for losses.

These were trying days for Johnnie Walker  worse than the fall of Taejon and the retreat to the Naktong River in July. Every morning he faced frantic messages from his division commanders reporting enemy breakthroughs and urgently requesting immediate help. He had to weigh carefully the threat of one enemy breakthrough against the other before committing his reserves. At the same time he had to exert every effort to rally the spirits of his troops, many of whom were in Korea much against their will and not yet convinced that South Korea was worth saving.

To accomplish these daily tasks, Walker was almost always in the field. Every morning at dawn he flew over the entire front line in his small plane. After returning to Taegu, he met briefly with his staff, issued orders, then took off again at terrifying speed in his siren equipped jeep, trailed by a small convoy of well armed vehicles, one carrying a powerful radio by which he maintained continuous contact with Eighth Army headquarters and the division CP's. His jeep had a custom-built steel handhold which enabled him to stand as he rode along, displaying himself to his troops (and to the enemy). He kept a shotgun close at hand in the jeep to defend himself should his convoy be ambushed.[9-4]

His personal pilot, infantryman Eugene M. ("Mike") Lynch, twenty-three, an enlisted tanker in World War II who won a battlefield commission and learned to fly in the postwar years as a sideline, remembered: "He was not an impressive individual. He did not have physical `command presence.' His chest had slipped; he was pudgy. He didn't talk much. All business. No chitchat. But he was a great man, a fighter. A fundamental fighter.

When we flew the front every morning  to look at the enemy and our own troop deployments  we'd fly very, very low, sometimes only fifty (50) feet up. He had no fear whatsoever of ground fire. It meant nothing to him. He was determined to find out for himself what was going on. After these flights he knew more than the Eighth Army staff knew. When he saw our troops bugging out, he'd get me to chop the throttle. We'd glide down over them, and he'd yell out the door: `Stop where you are! You're not under attack. You've got a good defensive position. Hold it.' "

The exec of Ned Moore's 2/19, Kenneth Woods, recalled Walker's presence on the battlefield:

Our very conscientious supply officer, Bob [9-Robert E.] Nash, went to the rear by jeep to check on some rations and ammunition. He came to a major crossroads, which was congested from all four directions by heavy traffic, with no one directing traffic. No MPs. Nash jumped out of his jeep to investigate the problem. Reaching the intersection, he heard someone say in a loud, authoritative voice, "Captain, come here." Nash looked around to face the Eighth Army commander, General Walker, who asked: "What's going on here? What are these units?" Nash replied: "I just arrived, sir. I don't know." Walker said: "Are you in command here?" Nash said: "No, sir." With that the general threw up his arms and shouted: "Then assume command!" Several hours later, when he got back to our CP, Nash was still shaking.[9-6]

[note]

 

Koread-War

The scale of the NKPA September 1 offensive was large; its main parts were complex. Clockwise around the perimeter were four major battles, all launched simultaneously.

 

September Offensive

Southwest Sector

The Naktong Bulge

Northwest Sector

Northeast Sector

 

 

Southwest Sector

Chinju

The NKPA  6th and 7th divisions (about 20,000 men), attacking out of Chinju toward Masan, moved line abreast along two familiar routes: the 6th on the "south road" and the 7th on the "north road." They were supported by tanks and motorized artillery.

Unit Info

The NKPA  6th Division, perhaps deliberately, aimed enormous power  two full regiments  directly at the black 24th Regiment. The result, in the account of the Army historian, was instant chaos and disaster.[9-7]

Ever since its minor victory at Yech'ŏn in July, morale in the 24th Regiment (under two successive white commanders, Horton White and the fifty-seven-year-old Art Champeny) had been going steadily downhill. Many black officers who were present would continue to insist that the fault was largely attributable to inept white leadership.

During the month of August the 24th Infantry had been continuously on the front line on Hill 625 (Hill 665), which would be remembered as "Battle Mountain." The fighting there had been particularly vicious and arduous. The regiment had incurred a total of 500 battle casualties (75 dead, 425 wounded); many others were felled by the heat. A veteran of the fight remembered that Battle Mountain changed hands "nineteen times" in August. During the battle the 2/24 had three commanders: Horace Donaho, George R. Cole, and finally, Paul Roberts, the regimental exec, who assumed command temporarily.[9-8]

The Army historian's account of the 24th's August fighting on Battle Mountain is the most scathing indictment of an Army regiment (white or black) ever published. Black GIs are repeatedly depicted as fleeing cowards, white officers as heroic figures attempting to stem the stampedes, often at great personal risk. Many black officers who were on the scene insist that the historian's account (which fails to note the 24th's 500 battle casualties) is grossly inaccurate and racist, part of the Army's public "lynching" of the regiment, which, they assert, did no worse than some white regiments. Until an objective history of the 24th Infantry in Korea is produced the truth of this account cannot be assessed.[9-9]

[note]

 

   Unit Info  

When the NKPA  6th Division struck the 24th Infantry on September 1, the Army historian wrote, "most of the 2nd Battalion . . . fled its positions" and was soon "no longer an effective fighting force."[9-10] This opened a gap in the 25th Division front through which the two NKPA regiments poured, endangering the whole 25th Division and its supply base at Haman. But the commander of the 2/24's F Company, paratrooper Roger Walden, whom the historian did not interview, took issue with the official account:

My F Company held the right sector of the battalion and G Company held the left sector. When the North Koreans struck I was personally in the OP [9-outpost] position in my right platoon's area. My left platoon was adjacent to G Company, just off the road passing through the battalion sector. My third platoon was in reserve.

The North Koreans attacked down the road and (I assume) penetrated G Company, then continued on the road to overrun the battalion CP area. My F Company did not flee. It never evaporated or disappeared, nor did it panic. We stayed put and engaged the enemy all night long and suffered heavy casualties. My left platoon was badly mauled. . . . During the night we lost all communications with battalion headquarters.

Previous instructions had stated that [9-in event of a NKPA penetration] we were to move rearward to the next high ground. At daylight we did so  on my order. But the North Koreans were in our rear and now held that ground. Having only fifty to seventy troops with me and no communications with battalion, I figured an attack on the hill would have been disastrous. Believing it more important to move north and tell the 35th Infantry its left flank was now exposed, we did so  again on my order  giving them a complete report of the North Korean penetration. On my order we then marched several miles rearward to the 25th Division CP [9-near Haman] where we manned a perimeter while the 2/24 was reorganized. On about September 4 the reorganized battalion moved back into its original positions.[9-11]

In the meantime, the historian wrote, Art Champeny had ordered the 1/24, commanded by Gerald G. Miller, to counterattack and close the gap. The temporary 2/24 commander, Paul Roberts, and about forty of his men joined the attack. However, the historian wrote, "upon contact with the enemy, the 1st Battalion broke and fled to the rear."[9-12]

  

When word of the heavy NKPA penetration in the 24th Infantry sector reached Bill Kean he had a contingency plan ready. It called for Throckmorton's 5th Regiment to counterattack northward out of Chindong-ni, while Michaelis's 27th counterattacked westward out of Masan. Since the Wolfhounds were still technically in Eighth Army reserve, Kean had to request authority to commit them. Walker was cautious; he would release only one battalion, Gilbert Check's 1/27.[9-13]

[note]

 

biography   Unit Info

When Gilbert Check reached  Art Champeny's  CP near Masan, the scene, as described by the Army historian, was "chaotic":

 

Vehicles of all descriptions, loaded with soldiers, were moving down the road to the rear. Many soldiers on foot were on the road.  Col. Champeny  [9-sic] tried repeatedly but in vain to get these men to halt. The few enemy mortar shells falling occasionally in the vicinity did no damage except to cause the troops of the 24th Infantry and intermingled South Koreans to scatter and increase their speed to the rear. The road was so clogged with this frightened, demoralized human traffic that Colonel Check had to delay his counterattack. In the six hours he waited at this point, Check observed that none of the retreating troops of the 1/24 and 2/24 battalions, 24th Infantry, could be assembled as units.[9-14]

The counterattack by Check, supported by Throckmorton's 5th Regiment, temporarily closed the hole in the 24th's line and inflicted heavy casualties on the NKPA. Champeny, Roberts, Miller, and Check rounded up the 1/24 and 2/24 and put them back in the line, but almost immediately, the Army historian wrote, the units gave way again. In the ensuing debacle Walker authorized Kean to commit George De Chow's 3/27 to assist Check. Utterly exasperated, Kean, writing that the 24th Infantry was "untrustworthy and incapable of carrying out missions expected of an infantry regiment," urged Walker to disband the outfit and reassign its troops as fillers in the white regiments. But Walker was not willing to commence formal integration in Eighth Army or lose yet another numbered regiment.[9-15]

[note]

 

   Unit Info

Immediately to the north of the 24th Infantry sector, powerful elements of both the NKPA 6th and 7th divisions struck Hank Fisher's 35th Infantry, deployed along the much fought over "north road." Fisher was ready. Like the 5th and 27th regiments, his 35th was combat hardened. Recently it, too, had been brought to full strength by the addition of the other Okinawa battalion, the 1/29 (redesignated 3/35), now commanded by a World War II veteran, Robert L. Woolfolk III, thirty-five.[9-21]

Thousands of NKPA troops swarmed at Fisher's positions. In an awesome display of courage, tenacity, and battlefield skill, the 1/35 under Bernard Teeters, the 2/35 under John Wilkin, and Woolfolk's 3/35 held steady on their positions, inflicting an appalling slaughter on the NKPA. However, when an attached ROK element gave way, 3,000 of the enemy went around Fisher's flanks and isolated the 35th.[9-22]

biography

When Kean heard that Fisher was surrounded and cut off, he urgently requested authority to commit the remaining battalion of the Wolfhounds. Maddeningly, Eighth Army headquarters refused. Believing Walker had not been apprised of the gravity of the situation, Kean ignored the refusal and, on his own authority, ordered Gordon Murch's 2/27 forward. Later, again on his own authority, Kean diverted George De Chow's 3/27 from Corley's 24th sector to assist in the rescue mission.[9-23]

Backed by tanks and unusually effective FEAF close air support, Murch and De Chow broke through the swarms of NKPA to Fisher's perimeter. They found him coolly manning his CP. "I never intended to withdraw," Hank Fisher said laconically; "there was no place to go." Thereafter, while he remained on his perimeter positions, Murch and De Chow, soon joined by Check's 1/27, savaged the NKPA in Fisher's rear, killing no fewer than 2,000.[9-24]

By these timely and aggressive actions, Kean's 25th Division not only repulsed but virtually destroyed the NKPA 6th and 7th divisions. Much of the credit was due Kean for overriding Eighth Army's obtuse orders to hold the Wolfhounds in reserve. Throckmorton and Fisher were credited for outstanding work in holding firm on the division flanks; in particular, Fisher won a DSC, and the 35th was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation. The publicity again went to Michaelis's Fire Brigade, first for closing the hole in the 24th Infantry, secondly for cracking through to Fisher's perimeter, thirdly for the savage slaughter inflicted on the NKPA in Fisher's rear. The publicity was not undeserved.

[note]

Go go September Offensive

 

The Naktong Bulge

   biography   biography  

Owing to the recent carnage inflicted on the NKPA 4th Division in the Naktong Bulge and an unusual and unfortunate breakdown in intelligence, Walker did not expect the strong NKPA attack in Dutch Keiser's 2nd Division sector. Paul Freeman, who was not privy to the secrets of code breaking, later put it this way: "Eighth Army had superior intelligence. . . . They seemed to know where everything was coming. General Walker and his staff did a magnificent job of getting his few troops to the right place at the right time to stop some attack or other, and how he missed out on this one I can't understand. But we certainly did miss out on it."[9-25]

 

Lacking a battalion each, Hill's 9th and Freeman's 23d were thinly deployed, one battalion out posting the river, one behind in reserve. Moreover, the battalions were not solidly dug in. Dutch Keiser did not encourage the customary (and prudent) use of sandbags, barbed wire, and other measures to strengthen defensive positions on the dubious ground that it would rob the troops of their offensive spirit.

This need to act offensively  no doubt heartily approved by Walker  had led Keiser to dispatch the Manchus of John Hill's 9th Infantry on a strong but, as it turned out, ill-timed probing mission across the Naktong. To man this hush-hush mission (Operation Manchu), Hill called on his reserve company, some engineers, elements of his two heavy weapons companies, and other forces, consisting of nearly 700 men. This redeployment further, and drastically, thinned out the 9th Infantry river line, rendering it highly vulnerable to enemy attack.[9-26]

Opposite Hill and Freeman, the NKPA had concentrated two divisions, the 2nd and green 9th in the 4th Division sector. The 9th Division (9,350 men) in the southernmost zone, faced Hill's Manchus. The 2nd (6,000 men), to the north of it, faced Freeman's 23d. These divisions and surviving elements of the 4th (about 5,500 men) comprised in total about 21,000 men. They were to cross the Naktong, drive through the bulge to Yŏngsan, then angle southeasterly toward Miryang, linking with the 6th and 7th divisions for the all-out assault on Pusan. They were backed by considerable artillery.

The NKPA 9th Division, reinforced by some 4th Division survivors, crossed the Naktong into John Hill's 9th Infantry sector. The attack utterly surprised Hill and his regimental staff and Keiser's aide-de-camp, West Pointer (1945) Thomas A. Lombardo, all of whom were at the river, launching Operation Manchu. Hill survived, but his S3 and Lombardo were killed in the onslaught, as were many others. Caught flatfooted and ill deployed for defense, the 9th Infantry was almost immediately overrun and disorganized, leaving the door to Yŏngsan wide open.[9-27]

Many men of the 9th Infantry caved in and surrendered. But others fought back heroically, at or beyond the river or before Yŏngsan. Four enlisted men of the 9th Infantry, all killed, won the Medal of Honor in these actions: Luther H. Story of the 1/9 and Loren R. Kaufman, Joseph R. Ouellette, and Travis E. Watkins of the 2/9. Two other enlisted men of the 2nd Division units supporting the 9th Infantry also won the Medal of Honor: Ernest R. Kouma, who survived, and Charles W. Turner, who was killed. In the 2/9 West Pointer (1950) John M. Murphy, who was cadet first captain of the class, and later a congressman (1962–1980) from New York, won a DSC.[9-28]*

 

*Murphy was wounded during this action but returned to his unit. About one-half of the West Pointers from the classes of 1949 and 1950 in the infantry branch were rushed to Korea to serve as platoon leaders or company commanders. Casualties in this group were very high. In the class of 1949: 27 killed; 52 wounded. In the class of 1950: 34 killed; 84 wounded. Casualties among junior officers from the classes of 1945 - 1948 were less severe, but still heavy compared to casualties among non-West Point officers: a total of 61 killed, 124 wounded.[9-29]

[note]

 

   biography

Simultaneously the weaker NKPA 2nd Division, also reinforced by some 4th Division survivors, crossed the Naktong and struck Paul Freeman's 23d, in the sector directly north. Fortunately Freeman was not also engaged in a probing attack. But his river line was paper-thin, manned only by Claire Hutchin's 1/23. Overwhelmed by the force of this massive surprise attack, the 1/23 was scattered and disorganized, and many of the surviving elements were cut off and isolated. Freeman counterattacked with part of his reserve, Colonel James W. Edwards's 2/23, but despite the bravery of the 2/23 exec, Lloyd K. Jenson, who led the attack and won a DSC, the 2/23 could not link with the 1/23. In the chaos of this hand-to-hand battle Freeman's CP was overrun, and he was very nearly lost.[9-30]

biography  

To the north of Freeman's 23d Infantry sector stood Keiser's green three battalion 38th Regiment, which had been in Korea a total of eleven days.

The 38th was commanded by West Pointer (1925) George B. ("Pep") Peploe, fifty. Unlike Hill and Freeman, whom the Pentagon had foisted on Keiser at the last minute, Peploe was a "Keiser man" who had commanded the 38th since August 1949. However, like Hill and Freeman, Peploe was a "staff officer" who had never commanded troops in battle. In World War II he had been G3 of a Stateside infantry division of the Armored Command at Fort Knox, and of XIII Corps, which fought in the ETO.[9-31]

Those who knew Peploe well admired his professional competence and coolness under fire, but they had mixed and contradictory recollections of him as a person. His 2/38 commander, West Pointer (1937) James H. Skeldon, thirty-six, judged him this way:

"I considered Pep to be an extremely able C.O. who was courageous, peppery (hence his nickname, Pep), smart, aggressive, analytical, cynical, vindictive at times but amenable to reason."

Another West Pointer who served under Peploe remembered:

 "He was a driver, not a leader. He would rip into you, but he wouldn't balance it out with praise. He'd try, but when it came to praise, he'd freeze up and people would wind up mad at him."

Peploe's S3, Warren D. Hodges, twenty-seven, thought Peploe was able and brave but could be "impetuous." Hodges told this story to illustrate the latter characteristic:

"When we were first facing the North Koreans on the Naktong, some of the GIs, showing good initiative, fashioned rafts and swam the river in darkness to make probes in enemy positions. In the process they lost their helmets and shoes and other equipment. Since they had gulped some river water, they were advised to get typhoid boosters. Pep, unaware of all this, happened to come along when the men were in the aid station getting the shots. Seeing them without helmets and shoes, he laced into them something awful. Later, when he was briefed on the initiative they had shown, he gave all of them medals.[9-32] 

[note]

 

Go to September Offensive

 

Northwest Sector

biography      biography   biography

Directly to the north of  Dutch Keiser's 2nd Division stood Hap Gay's 1st Cavalry Division, still holding the northwest sector. Gay's responsibility had been enlarged  and complicated  by Walker's decision to withdraw Michaelis's 27th IR Wolfhounds and Paul Freeman's 23d  from the Bowling Alley. To fill that critical gap in the defense of Taegu, the 1st Cav had extended itself farther north and east and redeployed two of its regiments. Marcel Crombez's 5th CR remained on its positions east of Waegwan, blocking the Taejon-Taegu road, but Cecil Nist's 7th Cav had leapfrogged from the 5th's left flank to its right flank, and Ray Palmer's 8th Cav had come around to the right of the 7th Cav to block the Bowling Alley. Into the void on the left (or south) flank of the division, caused by the repositioning of the 7th Cav, Walker had temporarily deployed Freeman's attached 3/23 at Yongp'o, where the 2/7 had trounced the NKPA 10th Division, which was still opposite that place but was still mysteriously quiescent.[9-53]

The 1st Cav's front was very long by the usual military standards, but the division now had a little more manpower and artillery to cover its key roads and hills. In the last week of August three new American battalions arrived to bring the three regiments up to authorized strength. In addition to these, Gay could call on the two infantry battalions of the British 27th Infantry Brigade, which arrived from Hong Kong at about the same time and which Walker placed in reserve in hills on the division's south flank, behind the attached 3/23.

 Altogether Hap Gay had at his call twelve numbered infantry battalions, backed by five artillery battalions  the four normally serving the 1st Cav, plus the 9th FAB (155mm howitzers) which had come independently to Korea and which had been supporting the ROK 1st Division.

Inasmuch as the six "veteran" infantry battalions of the 1st Cav had suffered very heavy casualties in the July and August fighting, Gay warmly welcomed the three new American battalions. These had been hurriedly slapped together in the States and rushed to Pusan. Two of the three had had no field training; however, all were well equipped and well officered, and each contained many combat experienced NCOs. The units were:

[note]

 

Unit Info  

Of these three battalion commanders, Johnny Johnson was destined to go right to the top of the Army: four stars and chief of staff (1964-68) in the Vietnam War era. He was, in the words of a contemporary, "a very intelligent, very serious," restrained, and modest man, a "devoutly religious Catholic" who could "say a prayer without sounding phony" and who insisted that no one blaspheme in his presence.

Early in World War II Johnson, commanding a battalion on Bataan, had been captured by the Japanese. His religious faith and strong inner courage had carried him through the Death March and three years' imprisonment in the Philippines, Japan, and Korea. He emerged from that experience a skeleton (100 pounds) who was barely able to walk and who believed his Army career was finished because of the Army prejudice against those who had surrendered on Bataan. But in the postwar years he had brought himself up-to-date, he had attended the Command and General Staff School, and by quietly but firmly asserting himself, he had got assigned to the 7th Infantry.

[note]

 

  

 When Johnson's battalion was attached to the 8th Cav, its commander, Raymond D. Palmer, in recognition of Johnson's ability and seniority, offered to promote him regimental exec. Johnson turned the job down. "I believed that somebody who knew the battalion had to stay with it until it had engaged in battle. I preferred being a battalion commander to being a regimental executive officer anyway."[9-57]

  

In contrast, Marcel Crombez resented the arrival of Edgar J. Treacy in the 5th CR. During World War II Treacy, a handsome, bright Army "comer," had become a protégé of XIV Corps commander Oscar W. Griswold and was promoted to full colonel  on a par with Crombez, who was ten years his senior. As such  the story went  Crombez and Treacy had crossed swords someplace. One account had it that Treacy had served on a board which had recommended Crombez's reduction in rank to lieutenant colonel after the war. Whether this was the case, or whether, as others in the 3/5 analyzed it, Crombez was "jealous" of Treacy's high Army connections and "command presence" and obvious bright future, there was an instant personality clash between Crombez and Treacy which would lead to extreme difficulties for the 3/5 and ultimately, some would charge, to Treacy's death. The S3 of the 1/5, James M. Gibson, remembered: "The Third Battalion hated Crombez and vice versa."[9-58]

The NKPA offensive in the northwest sector was mounted by the three NKPA divisions already in place: the 1st, 3d, and 13th. The 3d and 13th had been reinforced with fillers, the former to 7,000 men, the latter to 9,000 men. In total, the three divisions numbered about 22,000 men, of whom probably a third were green, untrained recruits, many of whom did not possess individual weapons. Many of these fillers had to be prodded into battle at pistol point.[9-59]

Knowing in advance this NKPA attack in the northwest sector was coming, Walker gave Gay orders to launch a "spoiling" attack to disrupt it. These orders were in keeping with Walker's personal belief in a strong offense as the best defense, a view that was not in conflict with Army doctrine. However, in view of the fact that the 1st Cav was only just finding itself, had never engaged in large-scale offensive operations, and was composed of many depleted or green, untried battalions and two regimental commanders (Cecil Nist, Ray Palmer) who were question marks, Walker's orders may have been premature and ill advised. The creation of a strong defensive posture with a substantial mobile reserve (such as Clainos's Clouters) to meet the NKPA attack might have been a better alternative.[9-60]

  

At first Gay  no shrinking violet  wanted to attack straight up the Bowling Alley with Ray Palmer's 8th Cav Regiment . The staff, however, persuaded him to attack from the division center with Cecil Nist's 7thCav, which had recently got its 1/7 back from the Eighth Army reserve and one of the new battalions from the States. Although the 7th Cav had never fought as a unified three battalion unit, Gay bowed to his staff recommendations. To support this attack, Gay put most of the division artillery behind the 7th Cav, thus dangerously thinning out other defenses. In addition, he called on FEAF to deliver a massive strike, employing bombs and napalm.[9-61]

[note]

 

  

Cecil Nist designated his two battletested battalions to spearhead the attack: the 1/7 under Pete Clainos and the 2/7, which, because of the temporary absence of Gil Huff, recovering from a wound, was commanded by Omar T. Hitchner. But Murphy's Law prevailed; everything that could go wrong did. The FEAF strike was a flop; the massive artillery salvos did little damage; the plan of attack was poor. The well entrenched NKPA troops, supported by 82mm and 120mm mortars, decisively repulsed Clainos and Hitchner. A second ill-advised attack by James Lynch's new and untested 3/7, replacing the 1/7, did no better.[9-62]

This futile spoiling attack had the effect of poorly disposing the entire division to meet the NKPA offensive. When it struck, the 1st Cav reeled in disarray. Major elements in all three regiments were soon outflanked. In some units soldiers bugged out, abandoning weapons, vehicles, and ammo. The 7th Cav was the worst offender. Finding hundreds of NKPA soldiers on the hills in its rear, it had to fight its way back toward its point of departure. In so doing, it all but disintegrated. In this chaotic withdrawal through the hills, some 7th Cav companies became separated and had to fight alone. On September 6th the temporary 2/7 commander, Omar T. Hitchner, was killed; pending Gil Huff's return, the battalion was completely reorganized by a new exec, thirty-four-year-old West Pointer (1942) John W. Callaway.[9-63]

  

When the 7th Cav fell apart in the division center  Marcel Crombez 5th Cav, on the left at Waegwan, was exposed. At that time Paul Clifford's 2/5 had just retaken Hill 303 again. When the NKPA 3d Division swarmed at Hill 303, Clifford prudently and wisely requested permission to withdraw, but Crombez refused, giving as his reason that Clifford had to hold Hill 303 until all elements of the 7th Cav had safely withdrawn. Clifford stayed put on Hill 303 as ordered, but in doing so he incurred very heavy casualties.[9-64]

  

On On the division right the NKPA 13th Division hit hard at Raymond D. Palmer's poorly deployed 8th Cav, astride the Bowling Alley. The enemy overran Gerald Robbins's thin 2/8, forcing it to withdraw hurriedly. Palmer brought up Harold K. ("Johnny") Johnson's 3/8, which managed to block long enough for the 2/8 to straggle through to the rear. This NKPA victory gave it not only the long sought town of Tabu, but also the commanding high ground on Hill 902, where the ruins of an ancient walled city, Ka-san, provided good long-range mortar positions overlooking Taegu  merely ten air miles to the south.[9-65]

Believing the main NKPA attack was aimed down the Bowling Alley, and that the NKPA hold on Hill 902 imperiled the 1st Cav  and Taegu  Johnnie Walker insisted that Hap Gay retake Hill 902 immediately. Gay delegated that tough task to Ray Palmer's 8th Cav, reinforcing it with D Company of William C. Holley's 8th Engineer Combat Battalion. Palmer chose E Company of Robbins's 2/8 for this vital mission, but its commander balked and had to be relieved of command. The new commander was almost immediately wounded; yet another new one finally led E Company up the hill behind the engineers.

[note]

 

Ray Palmer himself joined the troops in this hurried, ill planned, uphill counterattack. Mounted in miserable wet, foggy weather against very strong enemy positions in the ruins atop Hill 902, it had not the slightest chance of success. Scores of men in D company ECB and E Company 2/8 were lost, including Private First Class Melvin L. Brown, who, on September 4th though mortally wounded, heroically stood at his post  to win a posthumous Medal of Honor. During this futile fight the engineers incurred 50 percent casualties, including D Company commander John T. Kennedy, who was wounded and evacuated.[9-66]

[note]

 

Go to September Offensive

 

 

Northeast Sector

 

The NKPA offensive on the northeast front, designed to recapture Pohang and drive on Taegu through the "back door," was to be carried out by the four NKPA divisions already in place: the 8th and 15th in the TAEBAEK Mountains; the 5th and 12th on the coast. These divisions, chewed to pieces in the August fighting, were reinforced by independent NKPA units or raw fillers to an average strength of about 6,500 men each (for a total of about 26,000 men). In keeping with the  NKPA strategy of attacking everywhere at once, the four divisions were not concentrated but rather spread across a rugged front, forty miles wide.[9-74]

        

This sector was still defended by four ROK divisions: 3d, 6th, 8th, and Capital. Since early August these ROKs, supported by American warships and carriers operating in the Sea of Japan and advised by KMAG, had been fighting with increased élan and skill, inflicting heavy casualties on the NKPA. However, the ROKs were still an unstable quantity: valorous one moment; panicky the next. They could not be completely trusted.[9-75]

     

For that reason Walker had moved John Church's rebuilding 24th Division to Taegu, in position to backstop the ROKs. Inasmuch as Walker had deactivated the 34th Regiment and delayed the attachment of Throckmorton's 5th Regiment, Church had only two regiments: Ned Dalton Moore's 19th and Richard W. (Dick)  Stephens's 21st. However, these regiments had been brought up to full strength by the addition of Red Ayres's 1/34 (now 3/19) and Gines Perez's 3/34  (now  2/21) and by fillers from the States.

Should the ROK divisions fail, these two American regiments, comprising six infantry battalions, were available to reinforce them. In addition, D. M. ("Mac") McMains's black 3/9, plus support forces, was still in the area near Pohang.

Up to this time Walker had been commanding Eighth Army without the benefit of subordinate corps headquarters. In the occupation years the four divisions of Eighth Army had been organized into I and IX Corps (each commanding two divisions), but these corps headquarters had been abolished before the war for economy reasons. In his July shopping list MacArthur had requested that the Pentagon send him two corps headquarters; but other reinforcements had taken priority, and the first of these headquarters I Corps did not arrive in Korea until mid-August.[9-76]

[note]

 

biography

The corps commander was a very senior two star general, John B. Coulter, fifty-nine, who, like Walker, came to his post from command of the Fifth Army in Chicago. He had been chosen for this important job in Walker's army by MacArthur and Almond, without the usual and customary consultation with Walker. For that reason, and others, Walker received Coulter with less than overwhelming enthusiasm.[9-77]

Coulter's ties to MacArthur and Almond stretched back over many years. Like MacArthur, he was a graduate of the West Texas Military Academy (1911). In World War I he had served with MacArthur in France in the 42nd ("Rainbow") Division. During World War II he commanded the 85th Infantry Division in Italy, fighting alongside Almond's 92nd Division. In the postwar years he had been assistant commanding general of John Hodge's XXIV Corps in the Korean occupation and, until its deactivation in March 1950, commander of Eighth Army's I Corps in Japan.[9-78]

When the NKPA 5th and 12th divisions began the attack on Pohang, the ROK 3d and Capital divisions gave way and then suddenly collapsed. Owing to Coulter's extended occupation experience in Korea, Walker placed him in command of the ROK front and issued the ROKs a stern order to "stand in place and fight." With only his chief of staff, Andrew C. Tychsen, fifty-seven, in tow, Coulter hurriedly established an advanced CP at Kyŏngju, behind the crumbling ROK front at Pohang. Tychsen, who had served Coulter as G3 during the Korean occupation, was named the "hatchet man," authorized by Coulter to use "whatever force" he needed to restore order in the panicky ROK high command. Knowing the ROKs well, Tychsen did not particularly relish the chore. "There we were, only General Coulter and myself, mind you," he remembered.[9-79]

[note]

 

Go to September Offensive

 

biography   biography   biography

Initially America had entered the Korean War with the aim of evicting the NKPA from South Korea and restoring the status quo ante bellum. By the time of Inch'ŏn President Truman had made the decision to enlarge the war. American forces would cross the 38th Parallel, wipe out whatever was left of the NKPA, depose the Communist regime of Kim Il Sung, and unify Korea under a single, popularly elected government.

The decision to invade North Korea was unanimously supported by the senior members of the Truman administration: Dean Acheson; George Marshall, the new secretary of defense; Omar Bradley and the other members of the JCS; and, of course, MacArthur, his GHQ, and his senior field commanders, Johnnie Walker and Ned Almond. The decision was also approved by Dwight Eisenhower, still president of Columbia University.

Many factors influenced Truman's final decision:

 

• An overpowering urge to get rid of the "Korean problem" once and for all. If the Communist government of North Korea remained in power, there was every likelihood that it would rebuild the NKPA and attempt to invade South Korea again. Such an invasion could be deterred only by maintaining American troops in South Korea indefinitely - a costly, unpopular diversion of American military resources to a non-strategic area. Moreover, Washington had to confront this reality: Syngman Rhee had not the slightest intention of stopping his ROK Army at the 38th Parallel. He was hell-bent to unify Korea by force. The ROK Army could be restrained only by American military force, an unthinkable course of action.

[note]

 

 

·    The growing public demand for complete victory and revenge. Only five years after World War II Americans were conditioned to clear-cut and overwhelming victories, concluding with "unconditional surrender," followed by war crimes trials designed to punish aggressors legally. Americans were outraged by the Communist resort to "raw aggression," the atrocities inflicted on the South Koreans and American GIs, and shocked and grieved by the 27,500 American battle casualties.

·    The unspoken but urgent need to liberate American (and ROK) prisoners of war from the NKPA. By the time of the decision the NKPA had captured an estimated 2,500 American soldiers and perhaps ten times that

number of ROKs.

·    The pressures of American politics. The Democrats faced a tough off‑year election in November. The Republicans had made considerable headway in planting the idea that the Truman administration was "soft on communism" at home and abroad and, as a result, had "blundered" in the Far East. To stop at the 38th Parallel would bring further accusations of "appeasement" and "timidity," perhaps (in view of his VFW statement) even from MacArthur himself. A resounding, unequivocal victory in Korea would show the Truman administration to be decisive and tough.

·    The hope that wresting North Korea from Moscow's yoke would not only profoundly diminish Soviet strategic designs and influence in the Far East but also eventually drive a wedge between Peking and Moscow. A unified, non-Communist Korea, it was suggested, might someday provide adjacent Manchuria with a market for trade, ultimately drawing China back into the American orbit.

·  The hope that a smashing American victory in Korea would have a positive impact on Asians who had embraced or were flirting with communism in Indochina Malaya, Indonesia, the Philippines, and elsewhere. MacArthur had told visitors at GHQ: "Victory is a strong magnet in the East."

·    A belief that Moscow was not willing to run the risks of global war including deployment of nuclear weapons - by directly supporting the NKPA on the battlefield.

·    A belief that Peking was not willing to run the risks entailed in Korean intervention. The Mao government, then preparing to celebrate its first anniversary in office, was burdened by massive domestic political and economic problems. It did not appear likely that it could afford the time, money, and resources to challenge the powerful American forces in Korea. While its army was impressive in numbers (and battlefield experience), it was so lacking in artillery, tanks, and other mechanized weapons as to invite contempt by the American Army.

·    A new confidence in MacArthur. In war, as elsewhere, nothing succeeds like success. As a result of Inch'ŏn, MacArthur's stock had climbed at the White House. Truman was more disposed to give MacArthur's military views greater weight. MacArthur was insistent that North Korea be invaded and was personally convinced that neither Russia nor China would intervene in Korea.

[note]

 

 

·    The influence of George Marshall. Although he was no longer the vigorous figure of World War II, Marshall was still revered by Truman, who had unreserved faith in his judgment. Marshall was not a zealous advocate of invading North Korea, but he shared MacArthur's belief that North Korea must be invaded.

·    An unwillingness to engage in negotiations with P'yŏngyang, Peking, or Moscow, aimed at gaining a peaceful settlement of the war and unification of Korea. Negotiations with Communists smacked of appeasement and timidity. Furthermore, no senior members of the Truman administration believed that negotiations could result in a satisfactory outcome.

·    A new Washington impulse, seldom (if ever) publicly expressed, to assume a power position worldwide and roll back communism. Acheson had planted the seeds of this new concept in NSC-68. Although NSC-68 had not yet been formally "implemented" by the government, as a result of Korea Washington was then embarked on the massive rearmament program recommended in NSC-68. America had intervened in Korea at first merely to "draw a line" on Soviet expansionism, the ultimate expression of the containment policy. The decision to cross the 38th Parallel into North Korea and engage in a "rollback" reflected the new aggressiveness recommended in NSC-68.[12-1]

 

The pros and cons of crossing the 38th Parallel, and recommended courses of action, were summed up by the National Security Council in a paper numbered NSC-81, produced on September 1. While this paper was a master-piece of equivocation, the thrust was clear. Provided there was no indication of Soviet or Red Chinese intervention, America should persuade the United Nations to pass a resolution authorizing MacArthur's forces to cross the 38th Parallel to destroy the NKPA and to provide for the unification of Korea by free elections.

[note]

 

 

U.S. Air Force

 

   biography

LtGen George Edward Stratemeyer

Nuckols received from Sory Smith in answer to his radnote the following:

Your quoted response to queries concerning border incidents checked with Chief of Staff, Secretary of Air Force, and Under Secretary Early.[247] Your handling exactly correct. Mr. Early suggests particular emphasis on final sentence, "we do not plan to comment on each detailed individual report." signed Smith

Partridge arrives. Gave him my copy for action of the Norstad redline to me which reads:

The fol[lowing] statement was introduced at UN Security Council today, quoted in part:

 "At 1745 hours on Aug 29, 4 U.S. fighters flew over from Korea and invaded and reconnoitered from the air above La-koo-shao of the Kuan-Tien district of China on the right bank of the Yalu River. After that they flew along the right bank of the Yalu River to Chang-tien-ho- kou, about one kilometer from La-Kao-sho, where they fired shots at Chinese civilian boats, killing one Chinese fisherman and wounding 2 others. At 1750 hours the same fighters came to the air above Koo-Lau- Tsu to the northeast of Antung where they again fired shots at civilian boats, killing three Chinese fishermen, severely wounding two and slightly wounding three others."

Investigate and report as to possible basis for this statement.

My immediate redline reply to Norstad is:

Partridge in my office and signal has been turned over to him for investigation. Report will be made as soon as received. My comments are: On 29 Aug, F-51 flights were made over northwest Korean territory in order to investigate incident of 27 August; the pilots were particularly thoroughly briefed not to violate the border and it is my opinion that they did not repeat not.

Quoted in toto is the redline Vandenberg sent me in reference to this whole border incident as it emanates from the floor of the Security Council:

The US delegate[248] to the Security Council of the United Nations today made this statement:

 "On August 28 there was submitted to the Security Council a communication from Mr. Chou-en Lai complaining that military aircraft operating under the Unified Command in Korea had overflown and strafed Chinese territory in Manchuria.

On Aug 29 on behalf of my Government I submitted to the Council a reply to that complaint which stated that the instructions under which aircraft are operating under the Unified Command in Korea strictly prohibit them from crossing the Korean frontier into adjacent territory and that my government had received no evidence that these instructions had been violated. In that communication, I also expressed the view that my government would welcome an investigation on the spot by a Commission appointed by the Security Council. As soon as we received the complaint from Mr. Chou- en-Lai, the United States military authorities operating under the Unified Commander of the United Nations Forces in Korea were instructed to make an immediate investigation to determine whether there was any evidence to indicate that the charges were well-founded. Reports have now been received which indicate that one F-51 aircraft of the 67th Fighter Bomber Squadron may have violated Chinese territory in Manchuria and strafed an airstrip in the late afternoon of Aug 27, 1950.

This evidence has not been confirmed, but indicates the possibility that the F-51 aircraft attacked an airstrip at Antung in Manchuria approximately 5 miles from the Korean border. If this evidence is confirmed my government is prepared to make appropriate response in compensation for the damages which have occurred. As I stated in my communication of Aug 29 strict instructions have been issued by the military authorities in Korea to confine their operations to the territory of Korea. For example, on June 29, 1950, in an order to the military forces it was stated that "special care should be taken to insure that operations in North Korea were well clear of the frontiers."

Again on July 2, 1950, the Secretary of Air Force of the United States directed the CG of Air Force operations to emphasize the necessity of full briefing to air crews so that there will be no possibility of attacking targets beyond the territory of North Korea. These same instructions were emphasized again to the military commanders in the beginning and middle of August. The evidence which has so far been developed, indicating as it does the possibility that an aircraft of the United Nations Forces in Korea may have violated territory in Manchuria and attacked an air field there, only serves to emphasize the desirability of sending a United Nations commission to the area which can make an objective investigation of these charges. My government believes that the Security Council should establish such a commission without delay. The authorities of North Korea and Manchuria should provide it with the necessary freedom of movement and safe conduct so that it may make a thorough investigation of the facts. For their part, the United States military authorities would extend to the Commission full cooperation including access to pertinent records.

The Commission when established can make an immediate investigation of the incident complained about an Aug 27 and if it finds that an attack did in fact occur, my government is prepared to make payment to the SYG [Secretary-General] for appropriate transmission to the injured parties such damages as the Commission shall find to be fair and equitable. (In such case, my government will see that appropriate disciplinary action being carried out by the Unified Command in Korea.) I am requesting that the SYG O[ffice] transmit a copy of my statement in the Council this after- noon to Mr. Chou-en Lai."

If queried on this subject you will restrict your comments to the facts as stated in this statement.

Received the following letter from General Spivey, the VC for Fifth AF in Nagoya:

Just before leaving Washington, I participated in actions leading to greater protection of our strategic Air Force. General Vandenberg and General Fairchild,[249] before his death, as well as the Air Staff, put very great emphasis on protecting SAC aircraft and SAC and MATS bases essential to the implementation of our war plans. I believe I am correct when I state that the reason they placed such great emphasis on our strategic capability is that they felt that our atomic capability is the greatest single deterrent to Russian aggression, and that if war ensues it will be our greatest capability for winning the war. As a consequence, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, have given first priority to our atomic capability in all their planning. It is the Air Force's position that in case of war, the targets most likely to be attacked by the enemy will be our atomic carriers. The logic behind this is obvious when one considers that if our atomic carrier capability is destroyed, the enemy need not fear destruction by our bombs but may take his time in delivering his own stockpile. General Vandenberg ordered the following actions be taken to protect SAC's atomic capability:

(1) All SAC and MATS bases to be utilized by SAC in carrying our agreed war plans have been fenced with a perimeter fence enclosing the flying field and inhabited areas; an inner fence with guard towers and search lights surrounding the parking areas, maintenance areas, operation areas and gasoline dispersion points. This fencing program cost approximately $3,000,000.

(2) Restriction of the bases to all personnel not essential to the operation of the base. Those entering must have passes and are checked in and out of restricted areas.

(3) The Air Police squadron of each base has been augmented by 200 additional guard personnel.

(4) FBI, OSI and CIC activities have been greatly increased in the vicinity of each base.

(5) Notified the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the Air Force must have at least one fighter squadron and one AAA battalion on or near each critical base.

 During my recent inspection of Fifth Air Force bases, I found at Yokota a most lucrative target for the enemy. Two groups of B-29s were parked two to a hardstand and wing tip to wing tip along the parking ramp. They were loaded with bombs and gasoline and were so closely jammed together that it appeared to me that detonation of the bombs on any one of the aircraft would start a chain reaction destroying the other, or that if one caught fire, the others might also burn. The proximity of this base to North Korean bases makes it possible for Yak type aircraft to make flights from North Korea to Yokota.

Even if the North Koreans lacked the navigational and pilot ability to fly to Yokota, it is not inconceivable to me that well-trained Manchurian or Chinese pilots might be used for this purpose without implicating China, Manchuria or Russia. I am sure, and my air defense people agree with me, that if only one or two such aircraft arrived at Yokota, damage to the B-29s would be exceedingly great, possibly disastrous to both groups. Inspection of the radar installations in the vicinity, ADCC and the TCC [tactical control center] at Johnson, convinces me that it is possible for low flying aircraft, or aircraft taking advantage of background clutter caused by the mountains near Tokyo, to reach Yokota without being detected before they are within two or three minutes of the field. There are three gun battalions and one AW [automatic weapons] battalions located in the vicinity of Yokota. It is problematic whether they would keep a flight of two or three aircraft from strafing or bombing the aircraft at Yokota. On the ground I found that there was a distinct lack of defense against overt or covert action. I believe it is possible for an armed group of Reds to do material damage to aircraft at Yokota or at any other base in the Fifth Air Force if they were clever and disguised themselves as American officers. In a staff car or truck they could drive onto the base and down the line without so much as being challenged. The strategic Air Force believes that the danger from sabotage and overt action poses a threat greater than that of air attack. I believe this is especially true in Japan. In order to lessen the possibility of damage to the aircraft based at Yokota, I have taken the following actions:

(1) Directed the base commander to confer with General O'Donnell concerning protection of his aircraft at Yokota.

a. To increase the guard personnel at Yokota to the extent necessary to secure the base properly.

b. To restrict access to the base to the extent necessary to keep unauthorized persons off the base.

c. To inaugurate a pass system which will positively identify authorized personnel.

d. To set up strong points on the base, this to be accomplished in conjunction with the AAA.

(2) Directed the air defense commander at Johnson Air Base to increase to the greatest possible extent the air protection for Yokota Air Base. I recommend that the following actions be taken to insure greater security for the B-29 groups now located at Yokota:

(1) That dispersal areas be rushed to completion at the earliest possible date.

(2) That the air-craft now at Yokota be dispersed to hardstands which have already been completed.

(3) That the possibility of deploying one group to another base be explored. In this connection Komaki should be considered.

(4) That the recommendations of the anti-aircraft commander concerning the replacement of the AW battalion, which was recently removed from the Tokyo area, be expedited.

(5) That the heavy anti-aircraft artillery now on Johnson Air Base be deployed to recommended off- base positions.

(6) That man-proof fencing be installed at Yokota to the same extent being erected on SAC bases in the U.S. I feel so strongly about preserving our atomic capability that I am constrained to write you this letter.

 

I believe that we should not accept any risk which we can anticipate and eliminate when our long-range striking force is involved. I shall keep you posted as to our air defense and ground defense capabilities.

Sent above letter with this R&R to Craigie:

Attention is invited to the attached letter from General Spivey, etc., which has the concurrence and approval of Major General Partridge, CG Fifth AF. I approve every recommendation made by General Spivey and direct that every possible action be taken by FEAF Hqrs to bring about the action recommended. It is realized that some of these actions will require additional funds and must receive the approval of CINCFE. You will utilize the attached letter and this memorandum to secure such funds and approval as is necessary from higher authority.


This morning, in conference with CINCFE, I secured his approval to deploy and make available to Fifth Air Force for operations in Korea the following units: The wing hqrs and two squadrons from Okinawa - F-80Cs; leaving there one squadron with its essential supporting units. One squadron from Johnson AFB, leaving there one squadron. All the F-80s from Misawa except one flight of F-80Cs; to utilize the squadron that I have required for air defense at Itazuke, to be utilized for operations in Korea. The all-weather fighters to remain as now deployed.[250]
I presented to General MacArthur the complete file on the F-51 incident around Antung, Manchuria, including the last signal from Norstad, and the long signal from Vandenberg in which he quoted Mr. Austin before the UN. General MacArthur's instructions to me were to put out no publicity except that as shown in Vandenberg's signal reference Mr. Austin.


The letter (which is quoted in full above) from General Spivey, approved by General Partridge, received by me this date, makes strong recommendations for the security of our air bases in Japan - particularly those in the Tokyo area. I approved every one of those recommendations and directed the VC for A&P to take the necessary action to implement them. I further directed my VC A&P to make requisition on the AF in Washington to replace for air defense purposes all units with supporting organizations that I have turned over to Partridge for operations in Korea.
While in conference with General MacArthur, at which General Partridge was present, I told him that I was very concerned about the ground situation. For the first time, he impressed me that he was concerned also and that he indicated that he turned over to Walker the Marine Brigade, the 17th ROK Rgt., and all ammunition that he contemplated using on the planned amphibious operation. He then stated as follows:

"Strat, I'm not ordering you to do this, but if I were you, as the overall Air Force commander and because of the seriousness of the ground situation in Korea, I would utilize every airplane that I had, including the B-29s to assist in the latest all-out effort that the North Koreans are mounting against General Walker's ground forces."

I indicated to him that that was exactly what I intended to do.


Upon my return to my office, Generals Weyland, Craigie, Partridge and I went into a conference; the same time got in touch with General O'Donnell and directed that he report to me without delay. We discussed the use of the B-29s; the use of what Navy and Marine airplanes we could secure, and I was just informed at 1435 that the Navy would be able to make available this afternoon 40 sorties for close support and that the Marines at Itami would be flown to Ashiya and also will get into the fight in close support this afternoon. Generals Weyland, O'Donnell and Partridge are now in conference to come up with the recommended use of the B-29s tomorrow.


In my conference with General Partridge this morning, the following subjects were discussed: General Lowe's visit to Korea tonight or tomorrow; the use of the night recce squadron at Itazuke; the use of napalm on the ferry slips and facilities near Sŏul; the operations of the 3d Bombardment Group (light); the possible desire of Marines to utilize Tsuiki when they are required to vacate Miho (I gave an emphatic "No") and temporary assignment to me of a bachelor F-80 pilot, who had flown some 50 missions in order to let Capt Melgard to get into the battle. On this latter subject, he stated that Timberlake was securing the individual and that I would be informed.


It is my opinion that the American ground forces are not taking the initiative and fighting. It is further my opinion that they are not aggressive unless they have total, all-out air support. Yet, the North Koreans without any air support and in spite of tremendous casualties that they are receiving from our air, they are aggressive at all times. When one considers the tremendous havoc and casualties that we (air) have inflicted on personnel, armor, and on trucks, and they still keep coming, one can not but admire them as an enemy. Again, in my opinion, General Walker needs a staff - and an aggressive one. I wonder what would happen within our lines if there was enemy air and it had killed 1,200 of our people on a division front as we did yesterday in front of the 3d South Korean Division.[251]

 

Dispatched the following memorandum to CINCFE by courier:

The normal effort of three B-29 bomb groups will participate in support on designated targets at safe distances beyond bomb line tomorrow, 2
September. Two groups with normal effort which are already loaded with
1,000 lb. demolition bombs will continue the priority interdiction pro- gram. Plans are being made to utilize B-29s in support of ground forces on Sunday, 3 September. I have had General Partridge and General O'Donnell together with my Operations people this afternoon and we will continue efforts utilizing the B-29s wherever in our opinion they will favorably affect the ground situation.

After conferring with O'Donnell, I sent the following priority message to LeMay and Twining, with info to the Bomb Command:

This radio in 2 parts:

Part I For LEMAY: I am in great need of a commander to command 19th Bombardment Group (Medium). I have in mind Lt Colonel Payne Jennings, now Assistant Operations Officer, FEAF Bomber Command, but who should be promoted immediately to the grade of Colonel. General O'Donnell in my office and concurs in this transfer. If promotion recommended cannot be approved, can you furnish me a qualified group commander?

Part II for TWINING: If LeMay agrees to this transfer, urgently recommend promotion to temporary Colonel, Lt Colonel Payne Jennings. Will appreciate you advise on action taken. I have known Jennings since 1943 as he was with me in India-Burma-China as first pilot on B-24 and performed superbly. After serving two years overseas he was returned to ZI and assigned to SAC.

He was one of the few lieutenant colonels in SAC who commanded outstandingly for one year a B-29 group, namely the 301st Bombardment Group (Medium) at Salina, Kansas. Although 19th Group has been in the war since 27 June and has performed creditably, it now needs an energetic, highly technically qualified group commander. The present group commander, Colonel Theodore Q. Graff has commanded the group for approximately a year and in combat over two months. It is my opinion that he now should be rotated, as I contemplate recommending in the case of other group commanders, to the ZI, and a new group commander appointed.


Colonel Heflin,[252] SAC, called on me in my office.

[note]

 

Koread-War

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

On 1 September the North Koreans unleashed a particularly desperate effort at the southwestern end of the EUSAK perimeter, where natural defensive barriers were weakest. Their heaviest attack was astride the Naktong east of its juncture with the Nam, and the enemy effected a penetration of the 25th Division; just northward, the 2nd Infantry Division, which had replaced the 1st Marine Brigade in the line, was also roughly handled, but it dealt the enemy heavy casualties. Sapped by ground combat and constant aerial attack, the North Korean army had lost most of its vitality, and this last desperate assault was turned back. By mid-September the moment world be ripe for a United Nations counter-landing at Inch'ŏn.

The, North Korean People's Army managed its attack with ability. It attached tank battalions to assault rifle divisions for spearheading major offensives, and during the first part of the campaign, U. N. forces lacked the armored power and ground weapons to stop the tanks. Without air action the enemy's armor would have prevailed. North Korean infantry employment revealed a keen appreciation of terrain and guerrilla tactics. Enemy infantry disguised as civilian refugees, often accompanied by women and children, constantly infiltrated U. N. lines and, once at the rear, effected road blocks, harassments, and ambuscades.

Deception was common: groups of soldiers would pretend surrender while others attacked from concealed positions; refugees were often driven into U. N. positions, creating confusion preparatory to frontal or flanking movements.

[note]

 

Koread-War

During July and August the USAF drew upon its regular and reservist manpower resources to meet FEAF's requirements for Air Force personnel. By 1 September 1950 FEAF had an authorized strength of 46,233 officers and men and possessed 45,991 assigned. This was a substantial increase in personnel strength from the strength of 39,975 authorized and 33,625 assigned total personnel which FEAF had possessed on 30 June.#117

 Much of this increased strength was in the new tactical units which reinforced FEAF, but FEAF also received combat crew personnel to bring its tactical units up to wartime strength and augmentation authorizations which permitted it to increase the manning of its headquarters staffs and to activate a number of table-of-distribution air-base organizations. Recognizing Stratemeyer's need for the best knowledge of the Air Force, General Vandenberg offered many of his most experienced officers for service in the Far East.

But in spite of persevering efforts to do so, USAF was not able on short notice to supply all of the specialized categories of Air Force personnel which were requested. Navigators and bombardiers remained in such short supply in the 3d Bombardment Group that these officers in July flew three times as many missions as other rated personnel. Not until September would the group receive a full complement of reservist bombardiers and navigators, men who would need refresher training. Most of FEAF's units continued to be alarmingly short of specialists in aircraft accessories, ordnance, and communications. #118

Some of these personnel shortages were attributable to the fact that the USAF, in the years between wars, had lost many of its trained technicians to the lure of the higher wages paid by private industry. Other deficiencies were attributable to faults in personnel planning. A serious shortage in the category of intelligence specialists known as photographic interpreters posed a problem which USAF would not be able to solve for more than a year. Most USAF photo interpreters had left the service at the end of World War II, and, because the jobs lacked rank, few regular officers had selected the field as a military career. No reservist photographic interpretation unit had been created to provide a reservoir of trained Air Reserve officers for a war emergency.#119

[note]

 

biography   biography   biography  

On the morning of 1 September General Partridge was in Tokyo to discuss the forthcoming amphibious operation at Inch'ŏn, and General Timberlake was the acting commander of the Fifth Air Force. At the Eighth Army's morning conference General Walker told Timberlake that the Communist attack was a major effort and that the "situation was critical." #117

142   U.S. Air Force in Korea

biography     

 Not many minutes elapsed before General Timberlake put through a telephone call to General Weyland in Tokyo. Timberlake told Weyland that he was going to concentrate the Fifth Air Force in support of the 2nd and 25th Divisions, but he needed authority to employ the F-80 squadrons which were reserved in Japan for air defense. General Timberlake reminded Weyland that the escort carriers USS Sicily (CVE-118) and USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) had returned to Japan to prepare for the Inch'ŏn operation, and he asked that the small carriers be returned to action in Korea.#118

At the same time as Generals Timberlake and Weyland were talking over the telephone, Generals Stratemeyer and Partridge were called into conference with General MacArthur. "Strat," said MacArthur, "I'm not ordering you to do this, but if I were you, as the over-all Air Commander, I would utilize every airplane that I had, including the B-29's, to assist Walker in dealing with the latest all-out effort the North Koreans are mounting."  Stratemeyer replied that he intended to do exactly as General MacArthur suggested. Immediately after returning to his office in the Meiji building General Stratemeyer called Weyland and Partridge into conference and got in touch with General O'Donnell. Already FEAF operations officers had made arrangements for the Marine air squadrons.

The USS Sicily (CVE-118) was in port with its aircraft aboard and was not available, but the Badoeng Strait (CVE-116)'s Corsairs were ashore at Itami, and they would be able to fly to Ashiya, fuel and arm there, and begin sorties over Korea on the morning of 2 September. From General O'Donnell Stratemeyer learned that two B-29 groups were already loaded with 1,000-pound bombs and would have to continue with their assigned interdiction missions. The other groups, however, would provide 24 B-29's to strike Communist targets in the towns of Kŭmch'ŏn, Kŏch'ang, and Chinju on 2 September.#119

[note]

 

  80thfightersquadron.jpg

Because of the Eighth Army's emergency requirements for air support on 1 September, General Weyland released Japan air-defense squadrons for service against Korean targets. The 80th Fighter Bomber Squadron (8th Group) at Itazuke was immediately available for tactical air operations.

[note]

 

 

Although the movement of the tactical air wings to Korea necessitated hard work, Fifth Air Force pilots were elated because of reduced flight time and no more over-water flights. Living conditions at Pohang were primitive, reported the 40th Squadron, but the stay at Tsuiki had conditioned personnel to all forms of hardship. After Tsuiki, Pohang was not so bad.

Unit Info  

Within a few weeks living conditions improved at most Korean bases. During the latter part of October personnel of the 49th Group moved from tents to Korean-built barracks, a welcome change with the arrival of cold weather.

On 1 September the Fifth Air Force announced that a person with six weeks in Korea would be entitled to three days of temporary duty in Japan at a station of his choice. "This little project has much to do with the high morale maintained in the squadron," wrote the 8th Squadron's historical officer. There was some discontent that FEAF had not announced any definite number of missions prerequisite to rotation, but in October most personnel were glad to have made the move to Korea, where, with the effective strength of the Fifth Air Force brought to bear, it did not appear that the war would be continued very long.#120

[note]

 

Def

 On 22 August 64 B-29's retraced their way to Rashin, but bad weather forced the bombers to attack secondary targets at Ch'ŏngjin (Seishin). At this juncture the State Department strongly objected to the continuance of Rashin as an air target, and on 1 September the Joint Chiefs put the city off limits for air attacks.#33

 The Joint Chiefs of Staff apparently reasoned that Rashin was an important center of Communist supplies but that the movement of these supplies could be effectively interdicted somewhere along the long coastal route leading southward from the border city. Later on, during the course of congressional hearings on affairs in the Far East, General MacArthur's supporters would cite the Rashin experience as "a flagrant example of political interference in military decisions. "#34

[note]

Def

Fearful of border violations, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had put Rashin off limits to air attack on 1 September 1950,*

[note]

 

Koread-War

According to agreements between the U.S. Army and the USAF Air Force undertaken in 1946, the Army was supposed to manage the interpretation and quantity reproduction of photography flown for it by the Air Force.

The Joint Training Directive for Air-Ground Operations provided that a Joint Photo Center, located at the reconnaissance airfield, would comprise on the air side a reconnaissance technical squadron and on the ground side an engineer photographic reproduction and distribution organization and Army photo interpreter teams.

Once the Air Force developed, titled, and made five prints of each negative on photography requested by the Army, the Army photo interpreters were expected to provide necessary interpretation and the engineer organization was supposed to reproduce desired quantities of the photographs and deliver them to ground units.[10]

 

#10 C/Army Field Forces and CG Tac. Air Comd., Joint Training Directive for Air-Ground Operations, 1 Sept. 1950, par. 138.

 

Eighth Army knew its responsibilities but was unable to secure any photographic Technicians until February 951and then it received only 86 men who were organized into interrupter and reproduction detachments.

See NOTE for missing info

(I don't know now, but I think this is were the USAF cry's about how it could not do even and close to adequate job of photo recon for the Army.  The 1 July 1951 info about Polifka does not appear to be in my file at this time....

[note]

  80thfightersquadron.jpg

 

Because of the Eighth Army's emergency requirements for air support on 1 September, General Weyland released Japan air defense squadrons for service against Korean targets.

The 80th Fighter Bomber Squadron (8th Group) at Itazuke was immediately available for tactical air operations.

[note]

 

U.S. Marine Corps

 

 

September 01, 1950 it was D-minus 14 for the men of the 1st Marine Division.

[note]

 

biography

Loading was complete by August 22, but a blown boiler on USS Titania (AKA-13) delayed them further and they finally cleared the States on September 1.  Puller still did not know their destination.

The ships were so jammed with equipment that there was limited room for training or exercises, but some officers gathered their companies on deck hatches for lectures in night patrol, guerrilla fighting, and weapons drill.  Lieutenant Joe Fisher of I Company, a Massachusetts boy who had been seasoned at Iwo Jima, specialized in map reading and bayonet fighting practice with his men.  Fisher was an impressive figure, six feet two inches tall and a muscular 235 pounds

 

There was an effort at an exercise program and Puller did some stationary running with the men to keep in trim.  He one saw half a dozen Marines chipping paint off a deck, assigned to the task by some Navy officer.  He dismissed them: “Throw those chippers over the side and go about your business.  Let the Navy paint the dammed ship.  You’re going to fight this war.”

 

Almost as soon as they left port Puller and other officers were bending over maps of Korea, speculating as to their landing place.  Several fingers jabbed at the port of Inch'ŏn on the west cost as the obvious target for an amphibious strike. “It’ll be there,” Puller said, “providing the Eighth Army can hold on until we get in.”

[note]

 

biography

Lieutenant General Lemuel C . Shepherd, Jr. Commanding General, FMFPac, after an inspection trip to the war zone during which he was briefed on and viewed the operations of the brigade and of VMO—6, echoed General Craig's praise of helicopters and repeated his call for more of them :

  There are no superlatives adequate to describe the general reaction to the helicopter. Almost any individual questioned could offer some personal story to emphasize the valuable part played by the five H03S planes available.* Reconnaissance, liaison, visual flank security, movement of security patrols from one key locality to the next, posting and supply of security detachments and many more . There is no doubt that the enthusiasm voiced by the brigade is entirely warranted . Moreover the usefulness of the helicopter is not by any means confined to a situation such as encountered in Korea . No effort should be spared to get helicopters—larger than the H03S-ls if possible —but helicopters in any form, to the theater at once —and on a priority higher than any other weapon . [11]

In view of General Shepherd ' s statement pertaining to the helicopter in Korea, Brigadier General Clayton C. Jerome, who relieved Major General Wallace as the Director of Aviation on 1 September 1950,  sent a memorandum to Admiral Cassady in which he included General Shepherd' s statement. General Jerome said "this emphasizes the [remark] I made the other day in connection with the requirements for helicopters, more helicopters, and more helicopters in the Korea Area. " [12] Major General Lamson-Scribner recalled the period :

Just prior to the receipt of General Shepherd's letter, General Jerome and I attended a conference [at] which Admiral Cassady, was chairman of the Navy Aircraft Procurement Program for Fiscal 51 . The program was for only a relatively few helicopters . We insisted that we needed more than programed for purchase . Admiral Mel Pride, Chief of BuAir, remarked in essence `If you know as little about helicopters as we do you would not get into one .' Admiral Cassady said , `Mel, the Marines want them . Make some changes in the program to provide more helicopters for the Marines .' [13]

[note]

 

biography


In view of General Shepherd ' s statement pertaining to the helicopter in Korea, Brigadier General Clayton C. Jerome, who relieved Major General Wallace as the Director of Aviation on 1 September 1950, sent a memorandum to Admiral Cassady in which he included General Shepherd' s statement. General Jerome said

"this emphasizes the [remark] I made the other day in connection with the requirements for helicopters, more helicopters, and more helicopters in the Korea Area. " [12]
12. Jerome memo .


Major General Lamson-Scribner recalled the period :
Just prior to the receipt of General Shepherd's letter, General Jerome and I attended a conference [at] which Admiral Cassady, was chairman of the Navy Aircraft Procurement Program for Fiscal 51.The program was for only a relatively few helicopters. We insisted that we needed more than programmed for purchase. Admiral Mel Pride, Chief of BuAir, remarked in essence `If you know as little about helicopters as we do you would not get into one .' Admiral Cassady said , `Mel, the Marines want them. Make some changes in the program to provide more helicopters for the Marines .' [13]

General Jerome's memo was only the latest of many attempts to convince the Department of the Navy to increase the Marine Corps ' inventory of aircraft for the Korean buildup.

 

Korean_War

On 19 July, General Cates submitted a request to the Secretary of the Navy for an additional four Marine fighter squadrons in an effort to increase the total to 12 .

[note]

 

3RDMARDIV.png   

While the Tactics and Techniques Board was involved in laying out the future helicopter program, other planning had been underway for the mobilization of Marine forces to meet the demands of the Korean situation. Included in the overall buildup was the activation of the 3d Marine Air - craft Wing and the 3d Marine Division. The reduction of forces put into effect after World War I I had left the Marine Corps with only two active Marine aircraft wings and divisions. The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing was located on the West Coast at MCAS, El Toro, California, and the 2nd Wing was stationed at MCAS, Cherry Point, North Carolina, on the East Coast. For reasons of economy and availability of air base facilities and airfield complexes, the plan for the 3d Wing placed it also on the East Coast at a former naval air station at Miami, Florida. Planning called for the formation and commissioning of three additional helicopter squadrons in the 3d Wing at the Miami base.[61]

[note]

 

  

The 5th Marines returned to Miryang on 1 September and, scarcely thirty-two hours after the Purple Heart Parade ended, was attached to the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division, the same division in which the regiment had served during World War 1, to fight the Second Battle of the Naktong.

[note]

 

  

In short order, the necessary unit transfers and personnel joining were made and the authorized composition and strength of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing achieved.

Units -of the 1stWing mounted out and sailed for the Far East on 17 and 24 August, and the remaining units, including an augmentation detail for MAG-33 containing 60 percent reservists, sailed on 1 September. By 17 September, all these units had arrived at their destinations.

[note]

 

biography   biography  

On 30 August he sent a dispatch to X Corps—the new Army tactical organization activated by CINCFE especially for the Inch'ŏn operation—requesting that the Brigade be released from its Army commitments on 1 September.

In response, General MacArthur issued an order restoring the unit to the 1st Marine Division on the 4th.[6]

[note]

 

       HHS logo   MASS2-LOGO SMALL.jpg         

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]

 

Koread-War

Army planning had been initiated by the Joint Strategic Plans and Operations Group until 16 August, when the “Special Planning Staff” was set up at GHQ to issue directives for Operation Plan CHROMITE.

 Published on 12 August as CinCFE Operation Plan No. 100–B, it was based on these assumptions:

(a) that the North Korean ground advance would be stopped in time to permit the build-up of our forces in South Korea;

(b) that our forces in South Korea would be built up to the capability of mounting effective offensive operations against NKPA forces opposing them;

(c) that we retain air and naval supremacy in the area of operation;

(d) that the NKPA ground forces would not receive major reinforcements from the USSR or Red China;

(e) that there would be no major change in the basic disposition of the NKPA forces.[9]

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

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

 

These officers did not begin their new assignment in time to contribute to the preliminary X Corps overall scheme of maneuver. The main provisions, as communicated to General Smith at General Ruffner’s briefing conference of 23 August, were as follows:

Inch'ŏn

(1) The 1st Marine Division, as the landing force, was to seize the urban area of Inch'ŏn (line A–A); to capture a beachhead (line B–B); to advance as rapidly as possible and seize Kimp'o Airfield (line C–C); to clear out the south bank of the Han River (line D–D); to cross the river, seize Sŏul and secure the commanding ground to the north (E–E); and, finally, to fortify and occupy this line with reduced forces until relieved (apparently by the 3rd Infantry Division, still in the United States), whereupon the Division was to re-cross the Han and seize a line (F–F) about 25 miles southeast of Sŏul.

(2) The 7th Infantry Division was to land behind the Marines and advance on their right flank to seize the commanding ground south of Sŏul and the south bank of the river (line D–D); to continue the advance to phase line (E–E); and to conduct a reconnaissance in force to the south (line F–F). There, on the line from Suwŏn to Kyŏngsan-ni, the 7th Infantry Division and 1st Marine Division would form the strategic anvil as Eighth Army forces advanced from the Pusan Perimeter in the role of hammer.

(3) The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing was to furnish air support, air direction, and air warning for the Corps with units operating from Kimp'o Airfield. It was also to be prepared to operate a control center ashore on order. [11]

The Special Plans Staff gave General Smith a study explaining the purposes of these maneuvers. “The B– B line in this study appeared to be a suitable beachhead line,” he commented, “and we decided to concentrate our efforts on plans for its seizure. Subsequent operations would be reserved for later consideration.”[12]

 

Good planning, of course, depended on accurate intelligence. All possible information about the objective area had been gathered by the staff of PhibGru One before the arrival of the 1st Marine Division planners. Air Force planes had taken hundreds of photographs at every stage of the tide. Hydrographic reports and navigation charts had been studied. Army and Navy men familiar with Inch'ŏn during the American occupation after World War II were interrogated as well as NKPA prisoners captured by the Eighth Army. Although a great deal of useful data was compiled, some disturbing questions remained. How high were the sea walls of Inch'ŏn? Were the mud flats suitable for landing either troops or vehicles at low tide? Approximately how many NKPA guns were hidden on Wŏlmi-do?… These were some of the intelligence gaps which must be filled before an effective plan could be drawn up for an assault landing.

  misd    ppp

PhibGru One made its material available to the G–2 Section of the 1st Marine Division, and the two staffs worked together on the SS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) in close cooperation. Attached were the 163rd Military Intelligence Service Detachment (MISD) and the 441st Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) Team. Both of these units had been furnished by FECom and consisted of Army commissioned and enlisted personnel as well as native Koreans serving in liaison, interpretation, and translation capacities.

Even when a question could not be answered conclusively, it was up to the G–2 sections of the Attack Force and Landing Force to arrive at a conclusion for planning purposes. For instance, it was never satisfactorily determined from available sources—JANIS publications, strategic engineering studies, Naval Attaché reports, and photographic interpretation reports—whether LVTs would be able to traverse the mud flats of the Inch'ŏn harbor area. And since there remained some doubt, planning proceeded on the assumption that the answer was negative. This proved to be the correct as well as the prudent decision, later developments revealed.

Another G–2 planning problem concerned the effect that the height of the sea walls would have upon the landing. Photographs at hourly stages of the tide made it appear that the masonry was too high for the dropping of ramps at any time. As a solution, G–2 officers hit upon a device reminiscent of the storming of castles during the Middle Ages. Scaling ladders were recommended with the suggestion that they be built of aluminum with hooks at one end to be attached to the masonry. Construction was started at Kobe, but the order could be only partially filled before D-day, and wooden ladders were built as substitutes.

It is hardly necessary to point out the importance of estimates as to the numbers and defensive capabilities of the enemy. Yet the G–2 sections on the USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) were up against a peculiar situation cited in the 1st Marine Division report:

“Our accumulated knowledge of the enemy’s military tactics, prior to our landing at Inch'ŏn on 15 September 1950, consisted almost in its entirety of knowledge about the enemy’s offense. . . . With but few exceptions, UN forces were forced to take a defensive stand and denied the opportunity to study large scale enemy defensive tactics from actual combat. Thus it was that our assault landing was made with relatively little prior knowledge regarding the enemy’s probable reaction to a large-scale offensive of this nature, particularly when it involved the penetration into the very heart of his newly acquired domain”[13]

Photographic coverage showed the Inch'ŏn harbor area to be honey-combed with gun positions and other defensive installations. On the other hand, daily aerial observation indicated that most of them were not occupied. G–2 conclusions during the planning phase often had to be based on such conflicting evidence, even though the penalties of faulty interpretation might be drastic. But after being viewed with due suspicion, signs of negative enemy activity were finally accepted as valid in estimates of light to moderate NKPA resistance.

“Sadly lacking as was information on the objective area,” commented the Division G–2 report, “more so was that on the enemy in the area.”

Early in September, however, the Attack Force and Landing Force concurred in the initial X Corps estimate of 1,500 to 2,500 NKPA troops in the immediate area, consisting largely of newly raised personnel.[14]

Radio reports of first-hand observations in the objective area, though coming too late for initial planning purposes, confirmed some of the G–2 estimates. This dangerous mission was undertaken by Lieutenant Eugene F. Clark, a naval officer on General MacArthur’s JSPOG staff. U.S. and British Marines provided an escort on 1 September when the British destroyer HMS Charity (R-29) brought him from Sasebo to a point along the coast where the South Korean patrol vessel PC-703 Sam Kak San  waited to land him at Yŏnghŭng-do, an island about 15 miles southwest of Inch'ŏn.[15]

Clark went ashore with a small arsenal of firearms, grenades and ammunition, as well as 30 cases of C rations and 200 pounds of rice. He quickly made allies of the 400 friendly Korean inhabitants of the island and organized his own private little “army” of about 150 youths from 14 to 18 years old. These “troops” were posted about Yŏnghŭng-do for security, since the near-by island, Taebu-do, was occupied by 400 NKPA soldiers within wading distance at low tide.

The naval officer had no illusions as to what his fate might be in the event of capture. Day and night, he kept a grenade within reach, since he did not intend to be taken alive. When the long expected enemy attack from Taebu-do materialized, he commandeered a “one-lung” South Korean motor sampan and fought it out with the NKPA motor sampan escorting boats filled with soldiers. The enemy began the strange “naval” battle with a few badly aimed rounds from a 37mm tank gun. Clark and his crew of three friendly Koreans finished it with a long burst from a .50 caliber machine gun. After sinking the NKPA motor sampan, he destroyed another boat with 18 soldiers aboard and captured three prisoners for questioning.

One night the intrepid lieutenant rowed a dinghy to the Inch'ŏn sea wall. When the tide went out, he tested the mire by wading in it up to his waist. This experience led to the sending of a radio report, “Inch'ŏn not suitable for landing either troops or vehicles across the mud.”

Korean youths, posing as fishermen, brought intelligence which Clark included in his daily radio messages. One of these spies made an effort to count the guns on Wŏlmi-do and describe the locations. Others took measurements of the Inch'ŏn sea wall and penetrated as far inland as Sŏul to report numbers and positions of NKPA troops.

Clark declined all offers to evacuate him. As the climax of his exploit, he managed to restore the usefulness of the lighthouse on Palmi Island which the enemy had put out of commission. This structure, the former entrance beacon for Inch'ŏn by way of Flying Fish channel, served him as a refuge when he had to leave Yŏnghŭng-do hurriedly just ahead of NKPA troops who landed in force and butchered 50 civilians of both sexes. Clark, who received a Silver Star, stuck it out on Palmi until midnight of 14 September, when he turned on the beacon light to guide the amphibious task force.

[note]

 

Def  

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

[note]

 

Meanwhile, the 1st Division, less the 7th Marines, sailed for the Far East. The first cargo vessels weighed anchor on10 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

 

 

The Marine Brigade, in the meantime, had been on the move, northward to Miryang on the 1st, and westward to Yŏngsan on the 2nd, prior to attacking once more into the Naktong bulge.

[note]

 

biography  biography

In the effort to acquire reliable information Army personnel who had served in Inch'ŏn were rounded up and quizzed, photographic missions were laid on, the Air Force flew some photo interpreters out from the United States, and on 1 September a naval officer, Lieutenant Eugene F. Clark, was put ashore with two interpreters, a radio, and some small arms on the friendly-held island of Yŏnghŭng Do, 15 miles below Inch'ŏn.

          In the meantime, and on the basis of such intelligence as was available, the work of the planners continued. On his arrival in Tokyo Admiral Struble was briefed by Doyle’s staff on the problems of Inch'ŏn, issued orders for concurrent planning, and undertook to give oral decisions as needed as the work went on. The flagship USS Rochester (CA-124), on her arrival, was berthed alongside USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) to keep the staffs in close proximity.

[note]

 

Koread-War

By 1 September, when Lieutenant Eugene F. Clark arrived at Yŏnghŭng Do, considerable information concerning the defenses of Inch'ŏn had been collected by intelligence teams under Lieutenant Commander Ham Myong Su, ROKN. And reports from the British indicated that the seizure of Yŏnghŭng Do had caused the enemy to shift forces southward to guard against a possible mainland landing.

Map 12. The

Click on map for higher resolution image (157 KB).

Inch'ŏn Approaches, August–September 1950

          So far, so good, but on 1 September, as the invasion plans were moving to completion, there came the enemy’s last and greatest effort to crush the Korean beachhead. In this hour of crisis Eighth Army needed all the help that it could get, and again phase one threatened to interfere with phase three. Not only did enemy pressure bring emergency calls for the retention of Task Force 77 in close support; it also threatened to make the Marine Brigade unavailable for the Inch'ŏn landing. Previous orders to release the brigade on 4 September were cancelled on the 1st, and for the second time the Marines were committed to the Naktong front.

          Faced with the danger that EUSAK’s needs might prevent the release of the brigade, General Almond proposed to replace it at Inch'ŏn by a regiment of the 7th Division. To the Navy and Marine commanders the assignment of this unit, untrained in amphibious operations and with a large infusion of South Korean recruits, would force abandonment of the two-beach assault for one in which the infantry would be landed in column behind the 1st Marines, with all the implications that this might have for the success of the operation. But the issue was fortunately resolved by Admiral Struble who, while insisting on the release of the brigade, observed that Eighth Army’s need for a reserve could be met by embarking a regiment of the 7th Division and moving it to Pusan, where it could be either landed in support of the perimeter or sailed to rejoin its parent organization at Inch'ŏn.

          On this basis it was settled. Release of the brigade was rescheduled for evening of the 5th. The requests for Task Force 77 were turned down by ComNavFE. For all of its magnitude the Communist offensive had succeeded neither in breaking the perimeter nor in diverting important forces from the impending counterstroke.

[note]

 

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

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

[note]

 

 

 

 

0000 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
08/31/50
9:00 AM
08/31/50
10:00 AM
08/31/50
3:00 PM
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As the final hours of August gave way to the first hours of September, North Korean soldiery crossed the lower Naktong at a number of points in a well-planned attack. From Hyŏnp'ung southward to the coast, in the zones of the U.S. 2nd and 25th Divisions, the enemy's greatest effort struck in a single massive coordinated attack.

[note]

 

Unit Info   Unit Info

The position of B Company, 35th Infantry, on 1,100-foot-high Sibidang-san, flanking the Masan road two miles west of Kŏmam-ni and giving observation over all the surrounding country, was certain to figure prominently in the enemy's attack. It was a key position in the 25th Division line. The enemy's preparatory barrage there lasted from 1130 to midnight.

Under cover of it two battalions of the N.K. 13th Regiment, 6th Division, moved up within 150 yards of the American foxholes. At the same time, enemy tanks, self-propelled guns, and antitank guns moved toward Kŏmam-ni on the road at the foot of Sibidang-san.

An American Sherman tank there destroyed a T34 just after midnight, and a 3.5-inch bazooka team destroyed a self-propelled gun and several 45-mm. antitank guns.

On the crest of Sibidang-san, an antipersonnel mine field stopped the first enemy infantry assault. Others followed in quick succession. They were met and turned back with the fire of all weapons.

[note]

 

   Unit Info   Unit Info

The N.K. 9th Division's infantry crossing of the Naktong and attack on its east side near midnight quickly overran the positions of C Company, north of A Company. There the North Koreans assaulted with unusual force, to the accompaniment of green flares and blowing of whistles. The company held its positions only a short time and then attempted to escape. Many of the men moved southward, a few of them coming into A Company's ridge line positions near Agok during the night. Most of C Company moved all the way to the 25th Division positions south of the Naktong. On 1 September that division reported that 110 men of C Company had come into its lines. [23-20]

[note]

 

     

From approximately 2130 until shortly after midnight the N.K. 9th Division crossed the Naktong at a number of places and climbed the hills quietly toward the 9th Infantry river line positions. Then, when the artillery barrage preparation lifted, the North Korean infantry were in position to launch their assaults. These began in the northern part of the regimental sector and quickly spread southward. Chaplain Sheen in the B Company perimeter heard cries of "Manzai!" northward and saw many flares light the sky in that direction. At the river crossing below him he could hear enemy troops working on a bridge. By this time the sounds of enemy tanks and trucks and shouting men came up from the river. And from the hills up stream the men in B Company heard, ever so often, after a flurry of small arms fire, a massed shout which they interpreted as the North Korean capture of another position. [23-24]

note]

 

A North Korean Puzzle

  

While the N.K. 2nd Division was making its great effort near the middle of the U.S. 2nd Division line, a sister organization, the N.K. 10th Division, on its left to the north failed to give the assistance that was expected of it in the coordinated corps attack. And therein lies one of the greatest North Korean failures of the war to exploit an opportunity.

The singular behavior of this enemy force puzzled American commanders at the time, although they were thankful that it took the pattern it did. The N.K. 10th Division was the northernmost major organization of the N.K. I Corps.

A large part of it occupied Hill 409 in a deep fold of the Naktong River just west of Hyongp'ung. Elements of this division streamed off Hill 409 the night of 31 August-1 September and struck the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry, which formed the extreme right flank of the U.S. 2nd Division.

[note]

 

      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 3d Battalion ready for use in counterattack to stop an enemy penetration should it occur.

Unexpectedly, the ROK police companies near the ferry scattered at the first enemy fire. Half an hour after midnight enemy troops streamed through this hole in the line, some turning left to take G Company in flank and rear, and others turning right to attack C Company, which was on a spur of ground west of the Kŏmam-ni road. The I&R Platoon and elements of C and D Companies formed a defense line along the dike at the north edge of Kŏmam-ni  

[note]

 

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In the attack against A Company, the North Koreans happened to strike the 1st Platoon, which was near Agok, but they did not find the 2nd Platoon northward, commanded by 2nd Lt. Albert J. Fern, Jr. Fern could tell by the sound of combat that C Company on his right and that part of A Company on his left were under heavy attack. Two stragglers from C Company soon told him the North Koreans had overrun that company. The A Company commander, 1st Lt. Adam B. Rodriguez, quickly found it necessary to abandon his command post in Agok and withdraw up the ridge to his original positions, ordering his subordinate units to do likewise. Fern's 2nd Platoon had a skirmish with a small group of North Koreans in the dark in going up the slope. On top, the company reassembled and went into perimeter defense positions. For them the rest of the night passed quietly.

[note]

 


72nd Tank Batallion

About 0130, SFC Oscar V. Berry informed Kouma his tank engine was overheating and that he was going to withdraw. A mile to the rear Berry's tank engine caught fire and he abandoned the tank. Kouma maintained his position throughout the night.

[note]

 

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25th Division
  24th Infantry

About 0200, 1 September, men in an outpost on the right flank of Colonel Corley's battalion watched an estimated 600 enemy soldiers file past at a distance of 100 yards, going in the direction of Haman. Viewed during the night from the high ground of the 3d Battalion, Haman seemed to be in flames.

[note]

 

     

 

At 0200, B Company's turn came. A truck stopped at the bottom of the hill, a whistle sounded, then came a shouted order, and enemy soldiers started climbing the slope. The hills on both sides of B Company were already under attack as was also Hill 311, a rugged terrain feature a mile and a half back from the river and apparently the enemy's principal immediate objective. The North Koreans apparently were not aware of the Task Force Manchu group lower down on the hill for it remained unmolested during the night. But higher up on Hill 209 the enemy drove B Company from its position, inflicting very heavy casualties on it.

[note]

 

      Unit Info

In the middle of the 25th Division line, south of the 35th Infantry, the enemy breakthrough at Haman became a terrifying fact to the division headquarters after daylight, 1 September. General Kean, commanding the division, telephoned Eighth Army headquarters and requested permission to commit, at once, the entire 27th Infantry Regiment, just arrived at Masan the previous evening and still held in Eighth Army reserve.

General Walker denied this request, but did release one battalion of the regiment to General Kean's control. [24-58] General Kean immediately dispatched Colonel Check's 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry-which had been alerted as early as

0200-from its assembly area near Masan toward Haman, to be attached to the 24th Infantry upon arrival at Colonel Champeny's [sp] command post.

[note]

 

0230 Korean Time

Unit Info   Unit Info

By 0230 the B Company, 35th Infantry, riflemen were stripping machine gun ammunition belts for their rifles. The 1st Platoon of C Company, at the base of the mountain behind B Company, met the emergency by climbing Sibidang-san in forty-five minutes with an ammunition resupply for the company.

[note]

 

  

Approximately at 0300, 1 September, the 9th Infantry Regiment ordered its only reserve, E Company, which was to have been the striking force of Task Force Manchu, to move west along the Yongsan- Naktong River road and take a blocking position at the pass between Cloverleaf Hill and Obong-ni Ridge, about three miles from the river and six miles from Yongsan. This was the critical terrain where so much heavy fighting had taken place in the first battle of the Naktong Bulge.

Fighting began at the pass at 0230 when an American medium tank of A Company, 72nd Tank Battalion, knocked out a T34 at Tugok (Morisil). [Merisel??] E Company (9thIR) never reached its blocking position.

[note]

 

 

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Approximately at 0300, 1 September, the 9th Infantry Regiment ordered its only reserve, E Company, which was to have been the striking force of Task Force Manchu, to move west along the Yŏngsan-Naktong River road and take a blocking position at the pass between Cloverleaf Hill and Obong-ni Ridge, about three miles from the river and six miles from Yŏngsan. This was the critical terrain where so much heavy fighting had taken place in the first battle of the Naktong Bulge [of 5-6 August].

[note]

 

  
23rd Infantry

On the regimental left along the main Pugong-ni - Ch'angnyŏng road enemy soldiers completely overran C Company by 0300, 1 September. Capt. Cyril S. Bartholdi, the company commander, and most of his men were lost. Only seven men of C Company could be accounted for,

[note]

 

  

As the enemy attack developed during the night, [early morning] Colonel Hutchin succeeded in withdrawing a large part of the battalion, less C Company, to his command post just north of Lake U-p'o and the hills there covering the northern road into Ch'angnyŏng, three miles east of the river and five air miles west of the town. B Company lost heavily in this action.

When word of Colonel Hutchin's plight and of the disaster that had overtaken C Company reached regimental headquarters, Colonel Freeman obtained the release of G and F Companies from 2nd Division reserve and sent the former to help Hutchin and the latter on the southern road toward Pugong-ni and C Company. Maj. Lloyd K. Jensen, executive officer of the 2nd Battalion, accompanied F Company down the Pugong-ni road.

Place_Names/Place_Names_Detail/p/Ponch'o-ri,_South_Korea_35°40'N_128°15'E_L751_changnyong-6820-i.pdf

This force was unable to reach C Company, but Major Jensen collected stragglers from it and seized high ground astride this main approach to Ch'angnyŏng near Ponch'o-ri above Lake Samor-ho, and went into a defensive position there.

[note]

 

The End of Task Force Manchu

  

It will be recalled [9/1 0200] that the North Koreans who crossed near the middle of the Naktong Bulge in front of B Company, 9th Infantry, surprised the advanced support elements of Task Force Manchu at the base of Hill 209 where the Yŏngsan road came down to the Naktong. Some elements of the two Heavy Weapons Companies, D and H, had already started to climb the hill to emplace their weapons there when the North Korean surprise river crossing caught most of the support elements and the Heavy Mortar Company at the base of the hill. This crossing was about five miles north of the enemy crossing that had all but destroyed A Company near the division's southern boundary.

The perimeter position taken by the men of D and H Companies, 9th Infantry, who had started up the hill before the North Koreans struck, was on a southern knob (about 150 meters high) of Hill 209, half a mile south across a saddle from B Company's higher position. As the night wore on, a few more men reached the perimeter. In addition to the D and H Company men, there were a few from the Heavy Mortar Platoon and one or two from B Company. Altogether, there were approximately 60 to 70 men, including 5 officers, in the group-an actual count was never made. An inventory of the weapons and equipment disclosed that the group had 1 SCR-300 radio; 1 heavy machine guns, 1 operable; 2 light machine guns; 1 BAR; about 20 M1 rifles; and about 40 carbines or pistols. Lieutenant Schmitt assumed command of the group. [24-2]

During the night Lieutenant Schmitt established radio communication with the 1st Battalion, 9th infantry, and received promises of help on the morrow.

[note]

 

Unit Info   Unit Info

[note]

Of all the 2nd Battalion  [35th Infantry] units, G Company received the hardest blows. Before dawn of 1 September enemy troops had G Company platoons on separate hills under heavy assault. Shortly after 0300 they overran the 3d Platoon, Heavy Mortar Company, and drove it from its position. These mortar men climbed Hill 179 and on its crest joined the 2nd Platoon of G Company.

Meanwhile, the 3d Platoon of G Company, on a low hill along the Nam four miles from its juncture with the Naktong, was also under close-in attack.

 

0330 Korean Time

A strong enemy force surprised and delivered heavy automatic fire on it at[A Company, 72nd Tank Battalion,]  0330 from positions astride the road east of the pass. The company suffered heavy casualties, the killed including the company commander and General Keiser's aide [Thomas A. Lombardo] who had accompanied the force.

[note]

 

  
23rdIR

Enemy troops during the night passed around the right flank of Colonel Hutchin's northern blocking position and reached the road three miles behind him near the division artillery positions. The 23d Infantry Headquarters and Service Companies and other miscellaneous regimental units finally stopped this enemy penetration near the regimental command post five miles northwest of Ch'angnyŏng.

[note]

 

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   Unit Info  

Colonel Champeny at 0400, 1 September, moved the 24th Regiment command post from Haman two miles northeast to a narrow defile on the New Engineer Road. At this time, an enemy group attacked C Battery, 159th Field Artillery Battalion, a mile north of Haman. Two tanks of Lt. Col. Welborn G. Dolvin's the 88th [89th] Tank Battalion helped defend the battery until the artillerymen could pull out the howitzers and escape back through Haman and then eastward over this recently improved trail. [23-9]

The enemy assault did not strike the southern part of the line held by Corley's 3d Battalion, 24th Infantry, and Colonel Throckmorton's 5th Infantry. That part of the line, however, did receive artillery and mortar fire and some diversionary light attacks.

[note]

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Unit Info   Unit Info

On the crest of  Sibidang-san, an antipersonnel mine field stopped the first enemy infantry assault. Others followed in quick succession. They were met and turned back with the fire of all weapons.

By 0230 the B Company, 35th Infantry riflemen were stripping machine gun ammunition belts for their rifles. The 1st Platoon of C Company, at the base of the mountain behind B Company, met the emergency by climbing Sibidang-san in forty-five minutes with an ammunition resupply for the company.

Just before dawn (0540) the enemy attack subsided. Daylight disclosed a great amount of abandoned enemy equipment scattered on the slope just below the crest, including thirty light and three heavy machine guns. Among the enemy dead lay the body of the commanding officer of the N.K. 13th Regiment. [23-13]

[note]

 

With the critical parts of Cloverleaf Hill and Obong-ni Ridge in enemy hands before dawn of 1 September, the best defensive terrain between Yŏngsan and the river was lost. The 2nd Division now had to base its defense of Yŏngsan on relatively poor defensive terrain, the low jumbled hills at the western edge of the town. [23-26]

[note]

 

    Unit Info   Unit Info

During the predawn hours of 1 September, when the N.K. 7th Division troops had swung left after crossing the Nam River to roll up that flank, widen the gap, drive the American troops from their hill positions overlooking the Nam River, and secure a broad bridgehead for the division, the first American unit they encountered was  G Company, 35th Infantry, at the north shoulder of the gap.

While some enemy units peeled off to attack G Company, others continued on and engaged E Company, two miles downstream from it, and still others attacked scattered units of F Company all the way to its 1st Platoon, which guarded the Namji-ri bridge. There, at the extreme right flank of the 25th Division, this platoon drove off an enemy force after a sharp fight.

[note]

 

 

0540 Sunrise

[note]

 

 

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    Unit Info   Unit Info

South of the pass, at dawn, 1st Lt. Houston M. McMurray found that only 15 out of 69 men remained with him, 8 from his own 1st Platoon, G Company, and 7 ROK's of a group he had taken into his position during the night. The enemy attacked his position at first light. They came through an opening in the barbed wire, supposedly covered by a BAR, but the BAR men had fled. Throwing grenades and spraying the area with burp gun fire, the North Koreans quickly overran the position. [23-6]

[note]

 

  

The fact is that shortly after the enemy attack started most of the 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry, fled its positions. The enemy passed through the line quickly and overran the 2nd Battalion command post, killing many men there and destroying much equipment. Haman was then open to direct attack. As the enemy encircled Haman, Colonel Roberts, the 2nd Battalion commander, ordered an officer to take remnants of the battalion and establish a roadblock at the south edge of the town. Although the officer directed a large group of men to accompany him, only eight did so. The 2nd Battalion was no longer an effective fighting force. [23-8]

[note]

 

  

About 0200, 1 September, men in an outpost on the right flank of Colonel Corley's battalion watched an estimated 600 enemy soldiers file past at a distance of 100 yards, going in the direction of Haman. Viewed during the night from the high ground of the 3d Battalion, Haman seemed to be in flames.

At dawn, men in the battalion saw an estimated 800 enemy troops enter the town. [23-10]

[note]

 

Unit Info   Unit Info

Unexpectedly, the ROK police companies near the ferry scattered at the first enemy fire. Half an hour after midnight enemy troops streamed through this hole in the line, some turning left to take G Company in flank and rear, and others turning right to attack C Company, which was on a spur of ground west of the Kŏmam-ni road.

 The I&R Platoon and elements of C and D Companies formed a defense line along the dike at the north edge of Kŏmam-ni where tanks joined them at daybreak.

But the enemy did not drive for the Kŏmam-ni road fork four miles south of the river as Colonel Fisher expected him to do; instead, he turned east into the hills behind Fisher's 2d Battalion. [23-12]

[23-12] The Distinguished Unit Citation was awarded the 35th Infantry Regiment for action on 11 September 1950. Supporting Docs, AG files. 25th Div WD. 1 Sep 50; EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, 0120 1 Sep 50; 2d Bn, 35th Inf, Narr of Act, 31 Aug-1 Sep 50; 35th Inf WD, 31 Aug 50; I&R Plat Unit Hist, 1 Sep 50; Interv, author with Fisher, 5 Jan 52.

[note]

 

   Unit Info

Daylight disclosed a great amount of abandoned enemy equipment scattered on the slope just below the crest, including thirty light and three heavy machine guns. Among the enemy dead lay the body of the commanding officer of the N.K. 13th Regiment. [23-13]

At daybreak, 1 September, a tank-led relief force of C Company headquarters troops cleared the road to Sibidang-san and resupplied the 2nd Platoon, B Company, with ammunition just in time for it to repel a final North Korean assault, killing seventy-seven and capturing twenty-one of the enemy.

Although Colonel Fisher  35th Infantry held all its original positions, except that of the forward platoon of G Company, it nevertheless was in a dangerous situation. Approximately 3,000 North Korean soldiers were behind its lines. The farthest eastern penetration reached the high ground just south of Ch'irwŏn overlooking the north-south road there.

[note]

 

About 0130, SFC Oscar V. Berry informed Kouma his tank engine was
overheating and that he was going to withdraw. A mile to the rear Berry's tank engine caught fire and he abandoned the tank. Kouma maintained his position throughout the night. With the coming of daylight the enemy attempts to destroy the tank by infantry attack ceased. At 0730 Kouma started back toward friendly lines and got through safely, firing into enemy positions on the way.

[note]

 

General Walker's Decisions on 1 September

   Unit Info   Unit Info

At daybreak of 1 September, General Keiser at 2nd Division headquarters in Muan-ni, seven air miles east of Yŏngsan on the Miryang road, knew that his division was in the midst of a crisis.

A massive enemy attack was in progress and had made deep penetrations everywhere in his sector except in the north in the zone of the 38th Infantry. The N.K. 9th Division had effected major crossings of the Naktong at two principal points against the 9th Infantry; the 2nd Division, three major crossings against the 23d Infantry; and the 10th Division had crossed more troops in the Hill 409 area near Hyŏnp'ung in the 38th Infantry sector.

At 0810 General Keiser telephoned Eighth Army headquarters and reported the situation as he then understood it, indicating that the heaviest and deepest enemy penetrations were in the 9th Infantry sector.

[note]

 

  

1st Lt. Adam B. Rodriguez succeeded in withdrawing most of A Company [A Company, 9th Infantry of the 2nd Division, ] to its old positions on the ridge line back of the river. From there at daylight the men could see enemy soldiers on many of the ridges surrounding them, most of them moving east. After several hours, Lieutenant Fern, 2nd Platoon leader, sent a patrol down the hill to Agok to obtain supplies abandoned there during the night. The patrol encountered a small enemy group in the village, killed three men and sustained two casualties, but returned with much needed water, rations, and ammunition.

[note]

 

The 35th Infantry-The Rock of the Nam

Unit Info   Unit Info

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. [8/31 2400] (See Map V.)

In a counterattack after daylight, K Company and tanks had partially regained control of this area, but not completely. Large numbers of North Koreans, by this time, however, were behind the battle positions of the 35th Infantry as far as the Ch'irwŏn-ni and Chung-ni areas, six miles east of Kŏmam-ni and the front positions.

[note]

 

0930 Korean Time

 Eighth U.S. Army (Forward)

On its part, the Eighth Army staff had sufficient information soon after daybreak of 1 September to realize that a big enemy attack was under way in the south.

[note]

 

Unit Info   Unit Info

After daylight, Capt. LeRoy E. Majeske, G Company  [G Company  3d Platoon 2nd Battalion [35th Infantry] commanding officer, requested artillery concentrations and air strikes, but the latter were slow in coming.

[note]

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When daylight came Schmitt and his group saw that they were surrounded by enemy. One force occupied the higher knob half a mile above them, formerly held by B Company. Below them, North Koreans continued crossing the river and moving supplies forward to their combat units, some of them already several miles eastward.

[note]

 

Unit Info   Unit Info

The North Koreans continued to cross the Nam River after daylight on 1 September in the general area of the gap between the 1st and 2nd Battalions. [35th Infantry ]  Aerial observers saw an estimated four companies crossing there and directed proximity (VT) fuse fire of the 64th Field Artillery Battalion on the crossing force, which destroyed an estimated three-fourths of it. Fighter planes then strafed the survivors.

[note]

 

 

0730 Korean Time

 

     Unit Info

When the enemy attack broke through the 2nd Battalion, Colonel Champeny ordered the 1st Battalion, about three miles south of Haman on the Chindong-ni road, to counterattack and restore the line. Colonel Roberts, a superior battalion commander, assembled all the men of the disorganized 2nd Battalion he could find-about forty-to join in this counterattack, which got under way at 0730. But it was of short duration. Upon contact with the enemy, the 1st Battalion broke and fled to the rear.

Thus, shortly after daylight the scattered and disorganized men of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 24th Infantry had fled to the high ground two miles east of Haman. The better part of two regiments of the N.K. 6th Division poured into and through the 3-mile-wide Haman gap. [23-11]

[note]

 

At 0730 Kouma started back toward friendly lines and got through safely, firing into enemy positions on the way. [23-19]

[note]

 

0755 Korean Time

 

Fifteen minutes after the fighters had been landed aboard, (0755) the JOC’s scream for help was received.

 

 

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      USN_Units   USN_Units

Two hundred and seventy-five miles to the northwest, in the center of the Yellow Sea, the carriers had launched that morning at 0800 against transportation facilities in the Sŏul complex and to the northward. USS Valley Forge (CV-45) aircraft had dropped a span of the rail bridge below Sariwŏn and had attacked transportation targets near Hwangju and on the Ongjin peninsula; USS Philippine Sea (CV-47)'s bombers had struck the P'yŏngyang railroad bridge and marshaling yards, and cars and equipment along the tracks to the northward; the sighting in the course of this activity of flatcars loaded with steel girders gave evidence of the effectiveness of previous bridge attacks.

[note]

 


  

Farther up the slope, enemy tank fire hit E Company [24thIR] at midnight. The company commander, 1st Lt. Charles Ellis, an able and courageous officer, ran over to his left flank when he heard a noise there. He found that his 3d Platoon was leaving its position. Ellis threatened the platoon leader, saying he would shoot him if he did not get back in position, and fired a shot between his feet to impress him. Ellis then went to his right flank and found that platoon also leaving its position. During the night everyone in E Company ran off the hill except Ellis and eleven men. Several E Company men in fleeing their position had run through their own mine field and were killed.

 It is worthwhile to anticipate a bit and tell the fate of Ellis  and his small group of men who stood their ground. Enemy fire pinned them down after daylight. When three or four of the group tried to run for it, enemy machine gun fire killed them. Ellis and the rest stayed in their holes on the hill for two days, repelling several attacks in that time. Ellis was then able to withdraw southward up the mountain to the 3d Battalion's position. In his withdrawal, Ellis, discovering a man who had been injured earlier in a mine explosion, entered the mine field to rescue him. [23-7]

[note]

 

     

The 2nd Division, however, did not leave Colonel Hutchin to his own devices in his isolated perimeter position. Instead, [look ahead to 1400] on the morning of 1 September, it started the 3d Battalion, 38th Infantry, in an attack westward from the 23rd Regiment command post near Mosan-ni to open the enemy-held road to the 1st Battalion.

[note]

 

0810 Korean Time

 

USN_Units  

At 0810 in the morning of 1 September the Marine Brigade was alerted, and shortly after ten o’clock the Joint Operations Center got off an emergency message to Task Force 77;

  • MAJOR ENEMY ATTACK LAUNCHED ACROSS RIVER FROM Tŭksŏng-dong SOUTH TO COAST x
  • ALL AVAILABLE EFFORT FOR CLOSE SUPPORT REQUIRED SOUTHERN SECTOR IMMEDIATELY x
  •  SITUATION CRITICAL x
  • REQUEST ARMED RECCO FROM BEACH NORTH TO Tŭksŏng-dong TO DEPTH OF TEN MILES WEST OF BOMB LINE x
  • REQUEST IMMEDIATE ACKNOWLEDGMENT.

 

Fifteen minutes after the fighters had been landed aboard, (0755) the JOC’s scream for help was received. The response was immediate. Admiral Ewen at once turned his force to the southeast and built up speed to 27 knots. Strike missions in the air north of Sŏul were recalled at 1155, and the combat air patrol was vectored out to help them find the fleet in its new position.

[note]

 

  

At 081o [0810] General Keiser telephoned Eighth Army headquarters and reported the situation as he then understood it, indicating that the heaviest and deepest enemy penetrations were in the 9th Infantry sector.

The picture of the situation darkened as the morning hours passed. Liaison planes rose from the division strip every hour to observe the enemy's progress and to locate 2nd Division front-line units. Communication from division and regimental headquarters to nearly all the forward units was broken.

[note]

 

0845 Korean Time

biography   biography

 

So far during the morning of 1 September General Stratemeyer had no knowledge as to whether or not Task Force 77's fast carriers might be ordered to the support of the Eighth Army. At 0845 hours the Joint Operations Center had asked Task Force 77 for support, but the fast carriers were far away in the northeastern Yellow Sea en route to make interdiction strikes north of Sŏul. The Navy thinks the call for help was made at 0810.

[note]

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biography      Army Symbolbiography 

At 0900 General Walker requested the Air Force to make a maximum effort along the Naktong River from Toksong-dong, [sp Tŭksŏng-dong] just above the 2nd Division boundary, southward and to a depth of ten to fifteen miles west of the river. He wanted the Air Force to isolate the battlefield and prevent enemy reinforcements and supplies from moving across the river in support of the North Korean spearhead units. The Far East Command requested the Navy to join in the air effort, and the Seventh Fleet, pursuant to NAVFE orders, turned back from its strikes in the Inch'ŏn-Sŏul area and sped southward at full steam toward the southern battle front. General Walker came to the 2nd Division front at noon and ordered a "stand or die" defense. He had already ordered ground reinforcements to the Yŏngsan area. [23-34]

For a few hours during the morning of 1 September, General Walker weighed the news coming in from his southern front, wavering in a decision as to which part of the front most needed his Pusan Perimeter reserves. Since midnight the N.K. I Corps had broken his Pusan Perimeter in two places

In the 2nd Division sector enemy troops were at the edge of Yŏngsan, the gateway to the corridor leading twelve air miles eastward to Miryang  and the main Pusan-Mukden railroad and highway.

Walker had a critical decision to make. He had in reserve three under strength infantry regiments and the 2-battalion British 27th Infantry Brigade which was not yet completely equipped and ready to be placed in line. Even so, this was an unusually large reserve for Eighth Army in the summer of 1950. The three U.S. regiments available to Walker were the

       

Walker alerted both the 24th Division headquarters, together with its 19th Regiment, and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade to move at a moment's notice; the 24th Division either to the 2nd or 25th Division fronts, and the marines to an unannounced destination.

[note]

 

  

Later in the morning enemy barges crossed the Naktong below A Company  [A Company, 9th Infantry of the 2nd Division, ] but they were out of range. 1st Lt. Adam B. Rodriguez sent a squad with a light machine gun to the southern tip of the ridge overlooking Agok to take these enemy troops under fire. About halfway down, the squad came upon a critically wounded Negro soldier. Around him lay ten dead North Koreans. The wounded man was evacuated to the company command post but died that afternoon. When the squad reached the tip of the ridge they saw that an enemy force occupied houses at its base. They reported this to Lieutenant Fern, who called for artillery fire through the forward observer. This artillery fire was delivered within a few minutes and was on target. The North Koreans broke from the houses, running for the river. At this the light machine gun at the tip of the ridge took them under fire, as did another across the Naktong to the south in the 25th Division sector. Proximity fuse artillery fire decimated this group. Combined fire from all weapons inflicted an estimated 300 casualties.

[note]

 

      2 Eng Bn DUI.jpg

On the morning of 1 September, with only the shattered remnants of E Company at hand, the  9th Infantry had virtually no troops to defend Yŏngsan. General Keiser in this emergency attached the 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion to the regiment. The 72nd Tank Battalion and the 2nd Division Reconnaissance Company also were assigned positions close to Yŏngsan.  John G. Hill planned to place the engineers on the chain of low hills that arched around Yŏngsan on the northwest.

Capt. Frank M. Reed, commanding officer of A Company, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, led his company westward on the south side of the Yŏngsan-Naktong River road; Lt. Lee E. Beahler with D Company of the 2nd Engineer Battalion was on the north side of the road. Approximately two miles west of Yŏngsan an estimated 300 enemy troops engaged A Company in a fire fight.

Two quad-50's and one twin-40 gun carrier of the 82nd AAA Battalion supported Reed's men in this action, which lasted several hours.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Beahler protested his position because of its long frontage and exposed flanks. With the approval of General Bradley, he moved his Engineer company to the hill immediately south of and overlooking Yŏngsan. A platoon of infantry went into position behind him. Captain Reed was now ordered to fall back with his company to the southeast edge of Yŏngsan on the left flank of Beahler's company. There, A Company went into position along the road; on its left was C Company of the Engineer battalion, and beyond C Company was the 2nd Division Reconnaissance Company. The hill occupied by Beahler's D Company was in reality the western tip of a large mountain mass that lay southeast of the town. The road to Miryang came south out of Yŏngsan, bent around the western tip of this mountain, and then ran eastward along its southern base. In its position, D Company not only commanded the town but also its exit, the road to Miryang. [24-11]

North Koreans had also approached Yŏngsan from the south. The 2nd Division Reconnaissance Company and tanks of the 72nd Tank Battalion opposed them in a sharp fight. In this action, SFC Charles W. Turner of the Reconnaissance Company particularly distinguished himself. He mounted a tank, operated its exposed turret machine gun, and directed tank fire which reportedly destroyed seven enemy machine guns. Turner and this tank were the objects of very heavy enemy fire which shot away the tank's periscope and antennae and scored more than fifty hits on it. Turner, although wounded, remained on the tank until he was killed.

[note]

 

Counterattack at Haman

   Unit Info

In the middle of the 25th Division line, south of the 35th Infantry, the enemy breakthrough at Haman became a terrifying fact to the division headquarters after daylight, 1 September.

Army Symbol8usa  

General Kean, commanding the division, telephoned Eighth Army headquarters and requested permission to commit, at once, the entire 27th Infantry Regiment, just arrived at Masan the previous evening and still held in Eighth Army reserve. General Walker denied this request, but did release one battalion of the regiment to General Kean's control. [24-58]

 

General Kean immediately dispatched Colonel Check's 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry-which had been alerted as early as 0200-from its assembly area near Masan toward Haman, to be attached to the 24th Infantry upon arrival at Colonel Champeny's command post. The 1st Platoon of the 27th Regiment's Heavy Mortar Company; a platoon of B Company, 89th Tank Battalion; and A Battery, 8th Field Artillery Battalion, reinforced Check's battalion.

[note]

 

0930 Korean Time

 

     

Beginning at 0930 and continuing throughout the rest of the day, the light aviation section of the division artillery located front-line units cut off by the enemy, and made fourteen drops of ammunition, food, water, and medical supplies. As information slowly built up at division headquarters it became apparent that the North Koreans had punched a hole six miles wide and eight miles deep in the middle of the division line and made lesser penetrations elsewhere. The front-line battalions of the 9th and 23rd Regiments were in various states of disorganization and some companies had virtually disappeared.

General Keiser hoped he could organize a defense along the Ch'angnyŏng -Yŏngsan road, five to eight miles east of the Naktong River, and prevent enemy access to the passes eastward leading to Miryang and Ch'ŏngdo. [23-33]

[note]

 

0935 Korean Time

 

USN_Units

At 0935 jet sweeps from both carriers had been sent against airfields in the Sŏul-Suwŏn region and against the harbor of  Chinnamp'o.

[note]

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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 23rd 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.

[note]

 

Counterattack at Haman

   Unit Info

In the middle of the 25th Division line, south of the 35th Infantry, the enemy breakthrough at Haman became a terrifying fact to the division headquarters after daylight, 1 September.

Army Symbol8usa  

General Kean, commanding the division, telephoned Eighth Army headquarters and requested permission to commit, at once, the entire 27th Infantry Regiment, just arrived at Masan the previous evening and still held in Eighth Army reserve. General Walker denied this request, but did release one battalion of the regiment to General Kean's control. [24-58]

biography    

General Kean immediately dispatched Colonel Check's 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry-which had been alerted as early as 0200-from its assembly area near Masan toward Haman, to be attached to the 24th Infantry upon arrival at Colonel Champeny's command post. The 1st Platoon of the 27th Regiment's Heavy Mortar Company; a platoon of B Company, 89th Tank Battalion; and A Battery, 8th Field Artillery Battalion, reinforced Check's battalion.

[note]

 

     Unit Info   biography

Check' with his battalion arrived at Colonel Champeny's 24th Infantry command post two miles east of Haman at 1000. [24-59]

The scene there was chaotic. Vehicles of all descriptions, loaded with soldiers, were moving down the road to the rear. Many soldiers on foot were on the road. Colonel Champeny tried repeatedly but in vain to get these men to halt. The few enemy mortar shells falling occasionally in the vicinity did no damage except to cause the troops of the 24th Infantry and intermingled South Koreans to scatter and increase their speed to the rear. The road was so clogged with this frightened, demoralized human traffic that Colonel Check had to delay his counterattack. In the six hours he waited at this point, Check observed that none of the retreating troops of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 24th Infantry, could be assembled as units.

  

Sgt. Jack W. Riley of the 25th Military Police Company tried to help clear the road. Men ran off the mountain past him, some with shoes off, half of them without weapons, and only a few wearing helmets. He shouted for all officers and noncommissioned officers to stop. None stopped. One man who appeared to have some rank told him, "Get out of the way." Riley pulled back the bolt of his carbine and stopped the man at gun point, and then discovered that he was a first sergeant. Asked why they would not stay in and fight; several in the group that Riley succeeded in halting simply laughed at him and answered, "We didn't see any MP's on the hill."

[note]

 

 

 

biography
2 Eng Bn DUI.jpg

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.

 

[23-Caption] AREA OF MAIN DEFENSIVE POSITION in front of Ch'angnyŏng.

  

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 U-p'o.

[note]

 

 

1045 Korean Time

 

Unit Info  Army Symbol8usa  

The crisis for the 25th Division was not lessened by Eighth Army's telephone message at 1045 that the 27th Infantry was to be alerted for a possible move north into the 2nd Division sector.

   Unit Info

West of Haman the North Koreans and Check's men faced each other during the night without further battle, but the North Koreans, strangely for them, kept flares over their position. In the rear areas, enemy mortar fire on the 24th Regiment command post caused Colonel Champeny to move it still farther to the rear.

[note]

 

 

1100 Korean Time

 

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  Army Symbolbiography    biography

As the morning passed, General Walker decided that the situation was most critical in the Naktong Bulge area of the 2nd Division sector. There the North Koreans threatened Miryang and with it the lifeline of the entire Eighth Army position. There, for the moment at least, was the most critical spot of the far-flung battlefield. An hour before noon General Walker ordered General Craig to prepare the marines to move at once.

[note]

 

    

During the morning and early after-noon of 1 September the Joint Operations Center sent 59 Fifth Air Force fighter-bomber sorties to the support of the 2nd Division, which was fighting to hold its positions behind the bend of the Naktong.

[note]

 

1120 Korean Time

 

USN_Units

At 0935 jet sweeps from both carriers had been sent against airfields in the Sŏul-Suwŏn region and against the harbor of Chinnampo.

The fighters returned aboard at 1120, just after a second propeller strike group was flown off against North Korean bridges and marshaling yards.

[note]

 

1130 Korean Time

 

biography  

At about 1130 hours Brig. Gen. Edwin K. Wright, MacArthur's G-3, called FEAF and said that General MacArthur had told Admiral Joy to give FEAF anything it asked in the way of naval air support.

[note]

 

1133 Korean Time

 

Koread-War

By telephone, at 1215 hours, Colonel George E. Price, FEAF's assistant director of operations, told General Timberlake that Task Force 77 would support the Eighth Army and that its aircraft would begin to arrive over the battle area at about 1425 hours.

The Joint Operations Center had already received this information in a message dispatched by the fast-carrier task group at 1133 hours. General Timberlake wanted the fast-carrier assistance, but he could not but note that the Joint Operations Center would have only a few hours in which to get ready for the arrival of the carrier planes.#120

[note]

 

1135 Korean Time

 

USN_Units  

At 0810 in the morning of 1 September the Marine Brigade was alerted, and shortly after ten o’clock the Joint Operations Center got off an emergency message to Task Force 77;

 

Fifteen minutes after the fighters had been landed aboard (0755), the JOC’s scream for help was received. The response was immediate. Admiral Ewen at once turned his force to the southeast and built up speed to 27 knots.

[note]

 

1145 Korean Time

 

Unit Info   Unit Info

At 1145, the enemy had almost reached the crest of the hill, and only the narrow space covered by the air identification panel separated the two forces. A few minutes later Majeske was killed, and 2nd Lt. George Roach, commanding the 3d Platoon, [G Company  2nd Battalion 35th Infantry] again reported the desperate situation and asked for an air strike.

The Air Force delivered the strike on the enemy-held side of the hill, and this checked the assaults. But by this time many enemy troops had captured and occupied foxholes in the platoon position and from them they threw grenades into other parts of the position. One of the grenades killed Lieutenant Roach early in the afternoon. SFC Junius Poovey, a squad leader, now assumed command. In this close fight, one of the heroes was Cpl. Hideo Hashimoto, a Japanese-American, who edged himself forward and threw grenades into the enemy holes, some of them only ten to fifteen feet away.

[note]

 

 

1155 Korean Time

 

USN_Units

Strike missions in the air north of Sŏul were recalled at 1155, and the combat air patrol was vectored out to help them find the fleet in its new position.

[note]

 

 

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The situation on Eighth Army's southern front was chaotic by midday of 1 September. The North Koreans at one place had crossed at the Kihang ferry, captured Agok, engaged Kouma's tanks, and scattered A Company, 9th Infantry of the 2nd Division, at its positions from Agok northward. (See Map VI.)

[note]

 

1210 Korean Time

 

 

Just after noon the action order came and the Marine Brigade made ready to depart at 1330. They were going back to the bulge area. [23-35]

[note]

 

1215 Korean Time

 

Koread-War   biography   USN_Units

By telephone, at 1215 hours, Colonel George E. Price, FEAF's assistant director of operations, told General Timberlake that Task Force 77 would support the Eighth Army and that its aircraft would begin to arrive over the battle area at about 1425 hours. The Joint Operations Center had already received this information in a message dispatched by the fast-carrier task group at 1133 hours. General Timberlake wanted the fast-carrier assistance, but he could not but note that the Joint Operations Center would have only a few hours in which to get ready for the arrival of the carrier planes.#120

[note]

 

1231 Korean Time

 

   Koread-War  

Higher levels were also bestirring themselves: at 1231 CincFE had ordered all-out support for Eighth Army, and as the carriers were completing their preparations for the second launch a dispatch relaying this information was received from ComNavFE.

[note]

 

 

1233 Korean Time

 

USN_Units

At 1233 Commander Task Force 77 advised the JOC by flash message that his first strike would be on station at 1430, and

[note]

 

1245 Korean Time

 

Koread-War      USN_Units

 In Tokyo, in the course of the afternoon, FEAF informed Admiral Joy’s headquarters that as of 1245 the critical situation was in the 2nd Division sector at the Naktong bulge, asked emergency action to put both the aircraft of Task Force 77 and USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116)'s squadron, then shore-based at Ashiya, on close support, and suggested sending any required liaison officers to the JOC at Pusan and the operation of Navy control aircraft from Taegu.

[note]

 

 

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In the afternoon, light aircraft dropped food and ammunition to the company; only part of it was recovered.

The 1st Battalion ordered Rodriguez to withdraw the company  [A Company, 9th Infantry of the 2nd Division, ] that night.

[note]

 

 

 

 

 

1315 Korean Time

 

   USN_Units

at 1315 the planes began to lumber off the decks: 12 ADs carrying three 1,000-pound bombs apiece, and 16 Corsairs, each with one 1,000-pounder and four rockets.

[note]

 

1325 Korean Time

 

   USN_Units

Ten minutes later the aircraft that had been recalled from the north were landed on.

[note]

 

1344 Korean Time

 

 

At 1344 a second flash message to JOC described the composition of the first strike group, and advised that it would be followed an hour later by a second of identical composition and armament.

As the task force drove southeastward, and as the strike group flew toward the perimeter, the Marine Brigade was moving north to Miryang and to the Naktong bulge.

[note]

 

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Enemy troops were not long in discovering the Task Force Manchu group. They first attacked it at 1400 that afternoon, and were repulsed. That night an estimated company attacked three times, pressing the fight to close quarters, but failed each time to penetrate the tight perimeter.

[note]

 

  

Meanwhile, during these actions in its rear, the 1st Battalion, 23d Infantry, was cut off three miles westward from the nearest friendly units. On 1 September Colonel Hutchin had received instructions from the regiment to withdraw to the Ch'angnyŏng area. At 1400 he sent a tank-infantry patrol to see if his withdrawal road was open. It reported that an estimated enemy battalion held the mountain pass just eastward of the battalion's defense perimeter. Upon receiving this report Colonel Hutchin requested permission by radio to remain in his present position and from there try to obstruct the movement of North Korean reinforcements and supplies. That evening Colonel Freeman approved this request, and thus began the 1st Battalion's 3-day stand as an island in a sea of enemy. During this time C-47 planes supplied the battalion by airdrops. [24-30]

[note]

 

1430 Korean Time

 

 

USN_Units

When Task Force 77's fliers began to report in, the Joint Operations Center sent the Navy pilots to support the 2nd Division. Although Task Force 77 launched 85 sorties during the afternoon, the Navy support did not work out very well for several reasons. Having reversed course, the Navy carriers launched maximum striking forces while they were still some 250 miles from the target area. All flights were supposed to report to "Mellow control"  and obtain target designations and directions. But when the swarms of Navy planes, already short on fuel from their 250-mile trip, began to report to "Mellow," the result was fairly obvious: communications channels were overloaded and could not handle all of the Navy's flights within the time permitted by their reduced fuel loads. Some of the Navy planes could not wait and had to jettison their bombs and return to their carriers without making a contribution to the battle.#125

[note]

 

Both carriers had launched again at 1430. This time the planes from USS Valley Forge (CV-45) did useful work on the 25th Division front, destroying much of the town of Haman, burning trucks on the road nearby, and flattening an enemy-occupied ridge west of the town. But USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) group again failed to find a controller and was obliged to seek its own targets along the river.

[note]

 

Koread-War   USN_Units

Within the perimeter, in the meantime, the old troubles in control had again arisen to plague the close support effort. On its arrival over the lines the 14-plane strike group from USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) was instructed to attack a tank concentration east of the bombline; the flight leader made a preliminary low pass, observed white stars on the vehicles and no attempt to take shelter by the personnel, and called off the attack; the group then foraged for targets on its own and attacked troop concentrations and a bridge on the Naktong River. USS Valley Forge (CV-45) aircraft, instructed to orbit because the controller had no targets, spent 45 minutes circling while the Mosquito called in a flight of F-51s on an enemy troop concentration. Deprived of this target, so suitable to their 1,000-pound instantaneous and VT-fused bombs, the group was finally directed to attack villages along the Naktong front.

[note]

 

1445 Korean Time

 

 

     Unit Info

At 1445, General Kean's orders for an immediate counterattack to restore the 24th Infantry positions arrived at Champeny's command post. Gilbert Check quickly completed his attack plan. For half an hour the Air Force bombed, napalmed, rocketed, and strafed Haman and adjacent enemy-held ridges. Fifteen minutes of concentrated artillery barrages followed. Haman was a sea of flames.

[note]

 

 

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Unit Info Unit Info

Aerial observers saw another large group in the open at the river later in the day and directed artillery proximity fuse fire on it with an estimated 200 enemy casualties. [24-39]

 

[24-Caption] BATTLE TROPHY. Men of the 35th Infantry display a North Korean flag captured in the Sibidang-san area on 5 September.

The enemy I Corps plan of attack below the Nam River, as indicated by the North Korean action, seemed to be for its 6th Division to push east along the main Chinju-Kŏmam-ni-Masan highway through the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, and at the same time for major elements of its 7th Division to swing southeast behind the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry, and cut the Ch'irwŏn road. This road crossed the Naktong River over the cantilever steel bridge at Namji-ri from the 2nd Division zone and ran south through Ch'irwŏn to join the main Masan highway eight miles east of Kŏmam-ni near the village of Chung-ni, four miles northwest of Masan. These two avenues of approach-the Kŏmam-ni - Masan highway and the Ch'irwŏn road converging at Chung-ni-formed the axes of the enemy attack plan.

Engineer troops counterattacking up the secondary road toward Ch'irwŏn during 1 September made slow progress, and enemy troops stopped them altogether in the early afternoon. The 35th Infantry was now surrounded by enemy forces of the N.K. 6th and 7th Divisions, with an estimated three battalions of them behind its lines. Speaking later of the situation, Colonel Fisher, the regimental commander-a professional soldier, trained at West Point, and a regimental commander in World War II-said,

 "I never intended to withdraw. There was no place to go. I planned to go into a regimental perimeter and hold." [24-40]

His regiment demonstrated its competency to do this in the September battle along the Nam, winning a Distinguished Unit Citation for its performance there.

[note]

 

The Battle of Yŏngsan

On the morning of 1 September the 1st and 2nd Regiments of the N.K. 9th Division (the 3d Regiment had been left at Inch'ŏn), in their first offensive of the war, stood only a few miles short of Yŏngsan after a successful river crossing and penetration of the American line. At that point the chances of the division accomplishing its assigned mission must have looked favorable to its commanding general, Pak Kyo Sam.

As the N.K. 9th Division approached Yŏngsan, its 1st Regiment was on the north and its 2nd Regiment on the south. The division's attached support, consisting of one 76-mm. artillery battalion from the I Corps, an antiaircraft battalion of artillery, two tank battalions of the 16th Armored Brigade, and a battalion of artillery from the 4th Division, gave it unusual weapon support. Crossing the river behind it came the 4th Division, a greatly weakened organization, far under strength, short of weapons, and made up mostly of untrained replacements. A captured enemy document referred to this grouping of units that attacked from the Sinban-ni area into the Naktong Bulge as "the main force" of I Corps. Elements of the 9th Division reached the hills just west of Yŏngsan during the afternoon of 1 September. [24-10]

[note]

 

1600 Korean Time

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   Unit Info  

At 1600, the 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry, assembling in the rear of the 27th Infantry, could muster only 150 to 200 men. [24-60]

[note]

 

1615 Korean Time

 

Koread-War   USN_Units

Both ships launched jet sweeps at 1615 and again at 1745 with similar results; USS Valley Forge (CV-45) fighters, failing to find controllers, attacked small boats in the river and trucks along the roads; those from USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), equally uncontrolled, returned without firing a shot.

[note]

 

1630 Korean Time

USN_Units

FEAF informed Admiral Joy’s headquarters that as of 1245 the critical situation was in the 2nd Division sector at the Naktong bulge, asked emergency action to put both the aircraft of Task Force 77 and USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116)’s squadron, then shore-based at Ashiya, on close support, and suggested sending any required liaison officers to the JOC at Pusan and the operation of Navy control aircraft from Taegu.

 

At 1630 ComNavFE passed these suggestions on to Admiral Ewen;

[note]

 

biography   755tank

Gilbert Check's infantry moved out in attack westward at 1630, now further reinforced by a platoon of tanks from A Company, 79th Tank Battalion. Eight tanks, mounting infantry, spearheaded the attack into Haman. North Koreans in force held the ridge on the west side of the town, and their machine gun fire swept every approach-their "green tracers seemed as thick as the rice in the paddies." Enemy fire destroyed one tank and the attacking infantry suffered heavy casualties.

[note]

 

1640 Korean Time

 

USN_Units

ten minutes later the Marines were ordered to deploy Sicily’s squadron to Ashiya next day to reinforce the effort in Korea.

[note]

 

 

1700 Korean Time

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Leaving one's family was hard enough, but leaving one's native land was painful too.  Major Francis Parry, an artillery officer, recalls:

"Early on the evening of September 1, 1950, we slipped out of San Diego's magnificent harbor and headed into the setting sun. It was an unforgettable experience. As the Marine band played `Goodnight, Irene'-a favorite of the moment-hundreds of troops crowding the deck of the USS Bayfield (APA-33) broke into song. The families and friends swarming on the dock below began to join in. As the ship eased its way past Point Loma into the darkening Pacific, the harbor reverberated with that haunting refrain."

[note]

 

1745 Korean Time

USN_Units

Both ships launched jet sweeps at 1615 and again at 1745 with similar results; USS Valley Forge (CV-45) fighters, failing to find controllers, attacked small boats in the river and trucks along the roads; those from USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), equally uncontrolled, returned without firing a shot.

[note]

 

USN_Units   USN_Units

          The response to the all-out emergency was thus in large part wasted, and conditions over the perimeter were back to what they had formerly been. Not a single plane from USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) had been used in controlled attacks, and of a task force total of 85 sorties, 43 had attacked without positive control. JOC’s emergency call had received an emergency response, but the total of about 280 Air Force and Navy sorties flown on the 1st in support of the emergency along the Naktong was more than could be handled, and by afternoon, when the carrier planes reported in, the system had been overwhelmed and had collapsed.

[note]

1800 Korean Time

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Koread-War

At 1800 FEAF was advised by courier that the fast carrier aircraft were already in action and that all else had been provided for. In the meantime another emergency call from JOC had requested all available effort on the 2nd against continuing enemy pressure on the Naktong front, and shortly after 1900 Admiral Joy instructed Admiral Ewen to comply.

[note]

 

 
Baker Zulu

Intentions had been good, and the effort commendable, and at 1800 ComNavFE sent the force a "well done" for its prompt response and for its support of the 25th Division.

   biography  

Equally, however, the situation was susceptible of improvement, and the suggested dispatch of liaison officers worth acting upon. The last event of the day within the force was the launch of a night aircraft, with Commander Weymouth, USS Philippine Sea (CV-47)’s air group commander, embarked as passenger for Pusan.

          The difficulties over the perimeter had greatly exasperated Admiral Ewen, with the result that he ordered his pilots to spend no more than five minutes in attempting to gain contact with JOC or with control aircraft before proceeding to pre-briefed targets outside the bombline.

Fortunately, however, the need for this procedure was considerably diminished by the efforts of Weymouth and the JOC personnel to improve communications and control; the Navy would supply the controllers for the 2nd Division front, and so get a clear radio channel; the Air Force would waive the requirement of checking all planes in through JOC.

[note]

 

Unit Info   Unit Info

By 1800, Sergeant Poovey had only 12 effectives left in the platoon [3d Platoon, G Company  2nd Battalion 35th Infantry]; 17 of the 29 men still living were wounded. With ammunition almost gone, Poovey requested and received authority to withdraw into the main G Company position.

[note]

 

biography    biography

"It is believed," General Timberlake reported at the close of the day on 1 September, "that General Walker's request of this morning has been fulfilled."  Along the 40 miles of front held by the 2nd and 25th Divisions Fifth Air Force fighter-bombers had provided 167 close-support sorties during the day.#121 [The Navy provide 80+ only there was no direction from the air force's JOC]

[note]

 

 

 

1825 Korean Time

 

biography  

But Gilbert Check's battalion pressed the attack and by 1825 had seized the first long ridge 500 yards west of Haman;

[note]


 

1900 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
09/01/50
4:00 AM
09/01/50
5:00 AM
09/01/50
10:00 AM
09/01/50
7:00 PM

 

biography   biography       USN_Units

In the meantime another emergency call from JOC had requested all available effort on the 2nd against continuing enemy pressure on the Naktong front, and shortly after 1900 Admiral Joy instructed Admiral Ewen to comply.

[note]

 

  

 

Although 3/11 was spread over seven ships, I directed that each battery commander and key staff officer do his best to conduct whatever training was feasible. On the USSBayfield (APA-33) the FDC and communications section, among others, were able to get in urgently needed drills. In fact, the FDC had to be organized and trained almost from scratch since we had brought only four trained men from Camp Lejeune, or about one third of the needed complement. That the FDC was rendered functional at all in the less than three weeks available and under the crowded conditions aboard ship was commend­able. That it was managed with such success was in equal measure due to Major Callender's (Jimmy) knowledge and dedication and the quality of the Reserves we received at the last minute at Camp Pendleton. About 170 men, or about 25 percent of our strength, joined the night before we embarked. The Reserves were mostly from the state of Oregon and Houston, Texas. Many were college students or recent graduates of the University of Oregon or Oregon State. Their intellectual capacity was such that they needed to be told the details of their jobs only once. Jimmy's FDC was filled with men who had scored over 140 on the General Classification Test (GCT), high scores even for officers.

The FDC, the three firing-battery executives, the eighteen gun section chiefs and their gunners, and the communicators that tie them all together make up the gunnery team. The gunnery team is the heart of the field artillery battalion. It is a heart that must beat powerfully and with precision, promptly converting observer calls for fire into battery fire commands. The fire commands are then quickly translated into range and deflection settings for each howitzer. The speed and accuracy of this operation is the real measure of an artillery battalion. Of course, the battalion must be positioned and repositioned tactically so that it can do its gunnery job most effectively. The battalion must also be protected from interfering forces and supplied with ammunition.

The FOs, the communicators, and the service elements are also a vital part of the battalion, but it is the gunnery team that must deliver the battalion's fire-power in appropriate quantity where and when needed. This takes knowledge, training, teamwork, and dedication to the fire points of gunnery at every level. That proficiency in this critical area was attained despite the handicaps (not the least of which was the cold fact that the FDC had not controlled a single round of the battalion's fire in training) speaks volumes about the caliber of 3/11 personnel.

[note]

 

 

1931 Sunset

[note]

 

2000 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
09/01/50
5:00 AM
09/01/50
6:00 AM
09/01/50
11:00 AM
09/01/50
8:00 PM

 

That night North Korean soldiers crossed the low ground around Yŏngsan and entered the town from the south. [24-12]

[note]

 

biography  

But Gilbert Check's battalion pressed the attack and by 1825 had seized the first long ridge 500 yards west of Haman;

by 2000 it had secured half of the old battle position on the higher ridge beyond, its objective, one mile west of Haman. Two hundred yards short of the crest on the remainder of the ridge, the infantry dug in for the night. [24-61]

[note]

 

USN_Units

All day air strikes had harassed the enemy and prevented him from consolidating his gains and reorganizing for further coordinated attack. Some of the planes came from the carriers USS Valley Forge (CV-45)  and USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), 200 miles away and steaming toward the battlefield at twenty-seven knots.

[note]

 

2100 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
09/01/50
6:00 AM
09/01/50
7:00 AM
09/01/50
12:00 PM
09/01/50
9:00 PM

 

  

Lieutenant Fern's 2nd Platoon led the A Company  [2nd Platoon , A Company, 9th Infantry of the 2nd Division] withdrawal immediately after dark, moving eastward along the ridge crest. At the eastern tip the platoon started down. Near the bottom the leading men saw a column of about 400 North Koreans marching on the road some 200 yards below them with a number of machine guns mounted on wheels.

Rodriguez ordered the company to circle back up the ridge and away from the road. Fern was to bring up the rear and carry with him the wounded, two of whom were litter cases. Transporting the wounded over the rough terrain in the darkness was a slow and difficult task and gradually Fern's platoon fell behind the others. By the time he reached the base of the ridge he had lost contact with the rest of the company.

At this juncture a furious fire fight erupted ahead of Fern. Enemy machine gun fire from this fight struck among the 2nd Platoon and pinned it down. For their safety, Fern decided to send the wounded back into the ravine they had just descended, and put them in charge of Platoon Sgt. Herbert H. Freeman and ten men. Several stragglers from the advanced elements of the company joined Fern and reported that Rodriguez and the rest of the company had run into a sizable enemy force and had scattered in the ensuing fight. Lieutenant Rodriguez and most of the company were killed at close range. In this desperate action, Pfc. Luther H. Story, a weapons squad leader, so distinguished himself by a series of brave deeds that he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Badly wounded, Story refused to be a burden to those who might escape, and when last seen was still engaging enemy at close range. Of those with Rodriguez, approximately ten men escaped to friendly lines.

[note]

 

Unit Info   Unit Info

After dark, the 29 men, 3 of them carried on stretchers, [3d Platoon, G Company  2nd Battalion 35th Infantry] escaped by timing their departure from the hill with the arrival of friendly tanks which engaged the enemy and diverted attention from the beleaguered men on top.

[note]

 

2200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
09/01/50
7:00 AM
09/01/50
8:00 AM
09/01/50
1:00 PM
09/01/50
10:00 PM

2300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
09/01/50
8:00 AM
09/01/50
9:00 AM
09/01/50
2:00 PM
09/01/50
11:00 PM

  

1230 Korean Time

 

Unit Info   Unit Info

The group reached the [rest of]  G Company position on Hill 179 half an hour before midnight. [24-42]

[note]

 


Casualties

Friday September 1, 1950 (Day 69)

386 Casualties

 

19500901 0000 Casualties by unit

3 159TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 19TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
105 23RD INFANTRY REGIMENT
26 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 25TH SIGNAL COMPANY - DIVISION
3 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
4 29TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
4 2ND ARMORED RECONNAISSANCE COMPANY
1 2ND ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
1 2ND INFANTRY DIVISION HEADQUARTERS COMPANY
1 2ND REPLACEMENT COMPANY - DIVISION
22 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
2 37TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 38TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
27 38TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 52ND FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 545TH MILITARY POLICE COMPANY
2 5TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
11 5TH REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
3 65TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
2 72ND MEDIUM TANK BATTALION
1 77TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
2 79TH MEDIUM TANK BATTALION
11 7TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
1 8226TH COMMUNICATIONS GHQ LONG LINES SIGNAL GROUP
1 82ND ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY AW BATTALION
1 8TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
2 8TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
144 9TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 USS PHILIPPINE SEA (CV-47)
   
   
   
386 19500901 0000 Casualties by unit

 

As of September 1, 1950

Date USAF    USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 80 4516 138 14 4748
Today 385   1 386
Total 80 4901 138 15 5134

Aircraft Losses Today 002

 

 

Notes for Friday September 1, 1950 (Day 69)

 

 

 

cc cc

19500901  9999 Friday