Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 28.6°C 83.48°F at Taegu    

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

 

 

Citations 29

 

  

"Master Sergeant Travis E. Watkins, H Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, earned the twelfth Medal of Honor of the Korean War (dated 8/31/50). When an overwhelming enemy force broke through and isolated thirty men of his unit, he moved about under the heavy fire, taking command, establishing a perimeter, and directing the repulse of continuous enemy assaults. When ammunition ran low, he went outside the perimeter to collect enemy weapons and ammunition, killing five of the enemy to accomplish this and being wounded in the process. At the critical point of a later enemy assault, he stood up in his foxhole to shoot down enemy grenadiers, receiving machine bullet wounds that paralyzed him from the waist down. When it became clear that his men must escape to friendly lines, he refused to be a hindrance to their evasion and insisted he be left in his position. Under his leadership, his small forced destroyed nearly 500 of the enemy before being forced to withdraw. Sergeant Watkins was never seen alive again." 

[note]

 

 

 

South then North

Perimeter Battle

 

 

Every battle has a turning point when the slack water of uncertainty becomes the ebb tide of defeat or the flood water of victory.

ADMIRAL CHARLES TURNER JOY

For most of the men who fought the battles of the Pusan Perimeter in early September 1950, it was a period of confusion. So many actions went on simultaneously that only a wide-screen view could reveal the situation as the commander had to cope with it in its totality. Since this panoramic approach is not feasible,

[we shall see]

the story in this chapter will follow the battles from the east coast near P'ohang-dong westward to Taegu and the Naktong River for the first two weeks of September. The next chapter will follow the battles for the same period of time in the southern part of the Pusan Perimeter.

It is necessary to keep in mind that not one of the battles in this phase of the war was an isolated event, but that everywhere over the extent of the Perimeter other battles of equal, greater, or lesser intensity were being waged. As an example of their impact, on 3 September 1950 General Walker faced at least five distinct and dangerous situations on the Perimeter-

  1. an enemy penetration in the east at P'ohang-dong,
  2. severance of the lateral corridor at Yŏngch'ŏn between Taegu and P'ohang-dong,
  3. alarming enemy gains in the mountains north of Taegu,
  4. the threat posed by North Korean units slicing through the defenses of the Naktong Bulge area of the lower Naktong,
  5. and enemy penetration behind the greater part of the 25th Division in the Masan area in the extreme south.

  

 

In addition, at this time in the east the ROK II Corps was on the point of collapse; above Taegu the 1st Cavalry Division withdrew closer to that city; and in the south disaster threatened the U.S. 2nd and 25th Divisions.

Action in the East-Task Force Jackson

Although the N.K. II Corps' general attack in the north and east was planned for 2 September, the enemy 12th Division, now numbering about 5,000 men, started earlier to move forward from the mountain fastnesses where it had reorganized after its defeat in the Kigye and P'ohang-dong area. (Map 14) The division was low in food supply, weapons, and ammunition, and its men were in a state of lowered morale.

[note]

 

 

biography  Army Symbolbiography 

 

The day before,(today) he [General Walker] had ordered the 24th Division to move from its reserve position near Taegu to the lower Naktong River to relieve the marines in the Naktong Bulge area of the 2nd Division front. It bivouacked that night in a downpour of rain on the banks of the Naktong near Susan-nil.

[note]

 

 

Unit Info       

The North Koreans struck the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, the night of 2-3 September on Hill 448 west of the Bowling Alley and two miles north of Tabu-dong, and overran it. On the right, E Company, although not under attack, was cut off and had to withdraw by a roundabout way. Lt. Col. Harold K. Johnson, commanding officer of the 3d Battalion, placed I Company in a blocking position just north of Tabu-dong astride the road.

[note]

 

 

  

The third day, Sunday, 3 September, was the worst of all. The weather was terrifically hot. There was no water, and only one can of C rations per man. Ammunition was almost gone. Since the previous afternoon, enemy mortar barrages had alternated with infantry assaults against the perimeter. Survivors later estimated there were about twenty separate infantry attacks-all repulsed.

Two enemy machine guns still swept the perimeter whenever anyone showed himself. Dead and dying were in almost every foxhole or lay just outside. Mortar fragments destroyed the radio and this ended all communication with friendly units.

Artillery fire and air strikes requested by Schmitt never came. Some enemy soldiers worked their way close to the perimeter and threw grenades into it. Six times Ouellette leaped from his foxhole to escape grenades thrown into it. Each time the enemy fired on him from close range. In this close action Ouellette was killed. Most of the foxholes of the perimeter received one or more direct mortar hits in the course of the continuing mortar fire. One of these killed Lieutenant Schmitt on 3 September. He had given his men heroic leadership and had inspired them by his example throughout three days and nights of the ordeal. The command passed now to 1st Lt. Raymond J. McDoniel of D Company, senior surviving officer. [24-6]

[note]

 

 

biography  Army Symbolbiography

Paul Freeman's

On 3 September, General Kean, speaking of the action during the past two days, said, "The close air support rendered by Fifth Air Force again saved this division as they have many times before." [24-50] This view was supported by General Walker in an interview in November. Speaking then to a U.S. Air Force Evaluation Group, General Walker said, "I will gladly lay my cards right on the table and state that if it had not been for the air support that we received from the Fifth Air Force we would not have been able to stay in Korea." [24-51]

Unit Info   Unit Info

It is not possible here to follow in detail the confused ebb and flow of battle behind the 35th Infantry. Battalions, companies, and platoons, cut off and isolated, fought independently of higher control and help except for airdrops which supplied many of them. Airdrops also supplied relief forces trying to reach the front-line units. Tanks and armored cars ran the gantlet to the isolated units with supplies of food and ammunition and carried back critically wounded on the return trips.

In general, the 35th Infantry fought in its original battle line positions, while at first one battalion, and later two battalions, of the 27th Infantry fought toward it through the estimated 3,000 North Koreans operating in its rear areas.

In the confused fighting in the rear areas there were several cases of North Korean atrocities. One of the worst occurred when a group of company mess parties in jeeps pulling trailers with hot breakfast were following tanks toward the front lines. About a mile and a half from G Company, 35th Infantry, the column came under enemy fire in a defile. The tanks went on through, but most of the other vehicles under Capt. Robert E. Hammerquist, 2nd Battalion S-3, turned back. At least one of the mess parties, however, pressed on after the tanks. Some of this group were captured. One of its members hid in a haystack and later escaped. He told of hearing the torture and murder of one man. He heard agonized screams, recognized the man's voice, and could hear him saying between sobs, "You might as well kill me now." Later when the area was cleared of enemy this man's body was found castrated and the fingers cut off. [24-52]

 Many soldiers of the 25th Division later saw the bodies of Americans lying in a ditch in the 35th Infantry area, their hands tied and their feet cut off. Still others saw dead Americans with their tongues cut out. Members of the N.K. 7th Division apparently perpetrated these atrocities. [24-53]

During the September offensive enemy action in rear areas of the 25th Division carried right to Masan.

[note]

 

 

Koread-War Koread-War 

From 23 August to 3 September the Far East Command allotted to the 7th Division the entire infantry replacement stream reaching FEC,

[note]

 

 

biography    biography  biography biography

biography  biography 

The issue came to a head on 3 September when Admirals Joy, Struble, and Doyle accompanied General Smith to the Dai Ichi Building for a showdown conference with Generals Almond, Ruffner, and Wright.

When it became clear that the group could not reach an agreement, General Almond went into General MacArthur's private office and told MacArthur that things had reached an impasse-that Smith and the Navy would not go in at Inch'ŏn without the 5th Marines. Hearing this, MacArthur told Almond, "Tell Walker he will have to give up the 5th Marine Regiment." Almond returned to the waiting group and told them of MacArthur's decision. [25-23]

[note]

 

Admiral Struble issued JTF 7 Operational Plan 9-50.

[note]

 

 

  Unit Info     

The NKPA 10th Division, which had been trounced by the 7th Cavalry in the August fighting, was positioned opposite the 38th Regiment. It was under orders to attack easterly in coordination with the NKPA 2nd Division, but for reasons not known, it failed to execute these orders. A few scattered 10th Division troops infiltrated Peploe's sector, but not in sufficient numbers to pose a serious threat. So spared, Peploe was able to "lend" Paul Freeman his 3/38, commanded by Everett S. Stewart.[9-33]

* * *

biography

The heavy NKPA penetration into Keiser's 2nd Division in effect cut it in half, with Freeman's 23d and Peploe's 38th on the northern side of the breach and Hill's shattered 9th on the southern side. Operating from his well guarded CP, Keiser put his ADC, Sladen Bradley, in charge of the southern sector and his artillery commander, Loyal Haynes, in charge of the northern sector.[9-34]

Paul Freeman and Loyal Haynes clashed. Freeman remembered:

 

I scarcely knew Haynes. He was fifty-five at the time, not robust. . . . Finding himself nearly in the front lines of desperate hand-to-hand combat did not appeal to him  to say the least. My first problem with Haynes was his calling me to report to him at his CP some miles to the rear. Twice this happened when we were at the critical stage of repulsing strong enemy attacks. Not only did I have to leave my CP but literally had to fight my way through rear area infiltrators to get to his CP. I finally told him in a respectful way that I believed it improper to summon a commander to the rear during a firefight and suggested he send one of his staff forward to my CP if he didn't want to come himself. Moreover, he diverted a tank company, sent to reinforce my sector, to reinforce the protection of his own CP.[9-35]

 

The command relationship rapidly deteriorated to the point that Haynes made the drastic decision to relieve Freeman. Freeman continued: "The only time Haynes came to my position was when he came mincingly through the mud to tell me I was relieved and to report to the division CP. I was so shocked and furious that I got in my jeep and drove right through the enemy positions to get there. . . . I had no respect for him from then on."[9-36]

The division G3, Maurice G. Holden, remembered the incident this way: "Haynes went up there and not long afterwards we got a coded message from him like `Request permission to relieve Freeman of command Twenty-third Infantry.' Keiser was an old friend of Freeman's, and he didn't really want to relieve him; but under the circumstances he had to follow the recommendation of the task force commander. He sent a message back to Haynes like `Concur. Send Freeman to division headquarters.' So Freeman  relieved  turned over the Twenty-third to his exec [9-Ed Messinger] and came in, totally exhausted, and fell dead asleep. In the meantime, Keiser sent me up to see the Twenty-third  to find out what happened and if the relief was justified. The Twenty-third staff thought Haynes was terrible; he'd never even been near the front. He had no idea what was going on. Keiser was glad to hear that. We woke up Freeman, and Keiser sent him back to his command."[9-37]

[note]

 

 

biography

Thereafter Freeman ignored Haynes and ran the battlefield the way he thought best. Making good use of Peploe's 3/38 and ably assisted by his combat experienced senior officers (Ed Messinger, James Edwards, Butch Barberis, Lloyd Jenson among others), Freeman got the 23d reorganized and dug into strong defensive positions on the "north shoulder" of the NKPA breakthrough. The fighting that ensued was furious and bloody. The 1/23 and 2/23 suffered nearly 50 percent casualties, including the commanders of all six rifle companies. In return, the 23d claimed to have virtually wiped out the NKPA 2nd Division, inflicting, according to Freeman, "more than 5,000 casualties." Later official records confirmed this claim.[9-38]

Meanwhile, to the south the division ADC, Sladen Bradley, and  John Hill were desperately trying to piece together the badly shattered 9th Infantry. As Bradley remembered it, Hill became physically exhausted and suffered a mental shock at having his regiment so badly decimated. Bradley recommended to Keiser that Hill be temporarily relieved for a rest at the division CP, but Keiser balked at that. He had already decided to sack Hill and reinstate the 9th's former commander, Chin Sloane. Hill, Bradley remembered, made a rapid recovery and demonstrated remarkable leadership by gathering together the companies of his regiment as they were able to escape and organizing them into an effective fighting force, which fell back on Yŏngsan.

* * *

When Johnnie Walker learned that the 2nd Division had been cut in half, he rushed to Keiser's CP. There Walker issued another of his unfortunate "stand or die" edicts. "We shall not surrender another inch," he told Keiser (who dutifully relayed the message to his troops), "and we shall hold regardless of cost.[9-39]

biography

After sizing up the situation, Walker came to a difficult and drastic decision: Once again he would have to call on Eddie Craig's Marines for help. The decision was drastic both because of the humiliation it would again cause the Army and because Craig's Marines were a vital element in the Inch'ŏn invasion plan. MacArthur had limited Walker's control of the Marines to September 4, with the tacit understanding they would not again be committed to combat in the perimeter. Walker had not only to commit them to combat but also to ask for an indefinite extension of his control. As he well knew, this request could cause a postponement, or even a cancellation, of Inch'ŏn.[9-40]

[note]

 

 

Unit Info  

For Johnnie Walker it was a case of immediate and urgent need. He became "extremely excited" and telephoned Ned Almond to deliver an ultimatum that shook GHQ, Tokyo: "If I lose the 5th Marine Regiment I will not be responsible for the safety of the front." After consulting with MacArthur, Almond called back to say that Walker could use the Marines in combat as was necessary; his control of them was extended beyond September 4.[9-41]

* * *

As Walker had foreseen, the decision to recommit Craig's Marines in the perimeter led to extreme difficulties among Inch'ŏn planners in Tokyo. The Fifth Marines and the First Marines (made up of called up reservists not yet annealed in combat) were to spearhead the assault. The more experienced Fifth Marines were scheduled for the most hazardous missions at Red Beach: the assault on Wŏlmi Island, the seawalls, and the city of Inch'ŏn itself. It would not be prudent or fair to order the First Marines, scheduled to land at the less hazardous Blue Beach, to carry out these Red Beach missions. Furthermore, the other regiment, the Seventh Marines, would not arrive in time to substitute in the assault.

Division Sholder Patch  

Seeking a possible solution to the problem, Ned Almond suggested that Charles Beauchamp's 32nd Regiment (of the 7th Division), which was scheduled to go ashore behind the Marines, be substituted for Craig's Fifth Marines. The commander of the 1st Marine Division, O. P. Smith, was flabbergasted. The 32nd Infantry had had no amphibious training. It was composed of about 40 percent ROKs  raw recruits with no training who could not speak English. "It became apparent to me," Smith noted in his journal, "that there was a complete lack of understanding at GHQ concerning the manner in which amphibious forces are mounted out." He said later that he "bitterly protested" this idea.[9-42]

The Marine objections led to a High Noon meeting between Almond and the Navy-Marine contingent on September 3. Almond opened the meeting by categorically stating that Inch'ŏn would go, as planned, on September 15 and the 32nd Infantry would substitute for the Fifth Marines. A "heated discussion" ensued. Admiral Turner Joy, who "carried the ball," Smith remembered, "really read off General Almond." When asked for his view on substituting the 32nd Infantry in "Red Beach" missions originally assigned to the Fifth Marines, Smith absolutely refused to use the 32nd in the assault. Rather than do that, he would substitute the First Marines at Red Beach and cancel Blue Beach, a modification in the plan that would be "very risky."[9-43]

   

As the meeting dragged on in acrimonious debate, Admiral Struble suddenly proposed a compromise: Pull the Fifth Marines out of the perimeter after brief use in the Naktong Bulge and send Walker another regiment of the 7th Division  the 17th  for a reserve. In Struble's proposal, the 17th would remain aboard ship off Pusan and not land except in case of dire emergency. If the situation in the perimeter developed in such a way that Walker could get by without it, the 17th would then be brought around to form the tail end of the Inch'ŏn force.[9-44]

[note]

 

 

 

 

   

This idea appealed to Almond. Later he enlarged upon it. He would not only give Walker the 17th Infantry  as a floating reserve but also divert to him (to land in Pusan) the Puerto Rican 65th Regiment, vanguard of the Army's 3d Division, which was en route from the States to Japan and which could be in Pusan by September 20, substituting for the 17th Infantry. Although MacArthur had assured the JCS that the 3d Division would remain in Japan (substituting for the Inch'ŏn bound 7th Division), he approved the plan without further recourse to the JCS and said to Almond: "Tell Walker he will have to give up the Fifth Marine Regiment."[9-45]

   Unit Info

And so it was decided. Walker could employ Eddie Craig's Fifth Marines in the Naktong Bulge in support of the 2nd Division with a twenty-four-hour extension, to midnight, September 5. After that it would out-load at Pusan for Inch'ŏn. As a substitute, Walker would get the 17th Regiment in floating reserve to be relieved on September 20 by the 65th Regiment, which would land in Pusan. Walker could not have been pleased with this decision. The Puerto Rican 65th Regiment, ridiculed in the Army as the "Rum and Coke" Regiment, was perceived as no more reliable than the 24th Infantry. It was a poor substitute for the Fifth Marines. However, knowing that MacArthur had approved the compromise, Walker made no further comments.[9-46]

* * *

The Fifth Marines reentered combat on September 3 in John Hill's 9th Infantry sector around Yŏngsan. It was the second time the Marines had come into the Naktong Bulge to rescue the Army. They knew the enemy and the terrain well. They counterattacked without delay, with Hill's ragtag 9th Infantry covering the right (or north) flank. By then, Sladen Bradley remembered, Hill had "regained his composure and had recuperated physically to a marked degree."[9-47]

The Marines, advancing methodically and well supported by tanks, artillery, and Marine close air, inflicted a terrible slaughter on the green NKPA 9th Division. The Marine historian wrote that the "picture of devastation" was "unequalled even by the earlier defeat of the NKPA 4th Division." There were "hundreds of enemy dead" strewn along the road, hillsides, and ridgelines. Moreover, as they drove toward the Naktong, the Marines provided the Army an unexpected dividend. They recaptured "a great quantity of United States Army equipment" abandoned earlier in the war: tanks, artillery, mortars, vehicles, small arms, ammo.[9-48]

[note]

 

 

         

Overrunning the more powerful ROK 3d and Capital divisions, the NKPA 5th and 12th divisions recaptured Pohang on September 3. In an effort to halt the BUGOUT of the ROKs, Coulter sacked the "hysterical" 3d Division commander and other ROK generals. When this failed to do the trick, he had
to call on Walker for American help.

  

 In response, Walker sent Dick Stephens's 21st Infantry and the newly created ROK 7th Division. As the NKPA drove on Kyŏngju, the ROKs urged Coulter to abandon his CP, but Coulter, apparently having decided to stand and fight to the death, refused to withdraw.[9-80]
 

[note]

 

 

In Japan it seemed for a time that all the pessimism about Inch'ŏn was fully justified. In early September not one but two typhoons bore down on Japan and Korea, imperiling final preparations. The first, Jane, with winds of 110 mph, struck Kobe on September 3. It generated forty foot waves which tore up the harbor, broke ships loose from their moorings, and delayed the loading of the First Marines for thirty-six hours. Hard on its heels, the second typhoon, Kezia, with winds of 125 mph, took a course for the Korea Strait, which the 260 ships earmarked for Inch'ŏn were to cross.[10-1]

8/30 - 9/4 Kezia 9/7 - 9/15

[note]

 

U.S. Air Force

 

 

biography   biography

 

Following is redline personal to Vandenberg sent out in line with my policy of keeping CSAF advised of pertinent info:

biography 

 

AP report from front quotes Major General Wm. B. Kean,[256] commander of the 25th Div, saying: "The AF saved this division."ť

AP report then continues, saying: "Kean issued a statement saying "the close air support rendered by 5th AF again saved this division as they have many times before. I am not just talking. I have made this a matter of official record." AP report. UP report quotes Kean as saying: "Close air support rendered by 5th AF has been magnificent."ť UP report. I am querying Fifth Air Force for complete text of "official record."ť Perhaps above statements will be of significance in connection with the current Washington interest in tactical aviation.


Major General Wm. E. Hall with a Colonel Welchner arrived in Tokyo.[257]
General Tunner, who reported in this morning, informed me (which I have passed on to Weyland) that General Vandenberg was sending to FEAF one group of C-46s (30 airplanes) which were due to arrive 1 October.

 (Queried Weyland to find out if we are getting with that group the supply and maintenance people - that I feel it should be a wing and not a group.) General Tunner also stated that General [Edward H.] White's (MATS) transport squadron could be made available upon our request for airlift as this squadron was being furnished 3 crews per airplane, but if we use it, we must notify General Edwards, D C/S, Ops, USAF, in advance, giving him the time with inclusive dates that its use is desired. Advised Weyland to keep me posted re above 2 subjects.

Sent the following official letter to O'Donnell, with copies to Craigie, Weyland and Crabb (and LeMay with the note: Dear Curt - just to keep you informed):

(1) This is to confirm my suggestions to you as given in General Weyland's office 1 Sept 50, that you figure out with your people some methods and new techniques on the use of your B-29s for emergency purposes in order to affect the outcome of the ground battle now taking place in Korea. You know the ground situation, plans of maneuver and the locations of their corps and division CPs. (2) I want these plans perfected in order to utilize the 500-pound and 250-pound frag clusters and the 500- pound napalm bomb of which we have a great supply. Also, consideration must be given to utilizing B-29s at low altitudes, perhaps in flights of three, squadrons, or even groups, in order to bomb visually below cloud decks. (3) Certainly with imagination and study as we can use this SAC weapon now more advantageously than in the past. Practically all the Joint Chiefs of Staff targets have been destroyed. (4) I desire that you give this immediate study and submit to me by endorsement hereon your ideas on how best to employ the B-29s in this emergency, using non- SAC tactical methods.


In answer to my redline of yesterday asking for additional air defense and telling Vandenberg that I'm stripping my forces to put all the power I can in Korea, the following was received: "re redline request this hq four F-80 squadrons for air defense requirement FEAF. This matter under study. You will be advised."ť


My immediate reply to above redline: "regrad TS 4070 AFOPD: my request was for a four squadron fighter wing. I did not specify F-80 squadrons."ť


Sent the following Memo to CINCFE: "I thought you would be interested in the attached chart which depicts graphically the weight, in terms of sorties, and the continuity of the joint air effort over Korea."ť

To Major General William B. Kean, CG of the 25th Infantry Division, sent the following:

The courageous action of your 25th Division in containing the heavy North Korean thrust during the past two days has been magnificent. Although your men have been in action almost continuously since first committed early in July and in spite of the numerical superiority enjoyed by your opponents, the 25th has not only absorbed everything that could be thrown at them, but also have bounded back in remarkable fashion. The deep admiration of the airmen of the Far East Air Forces goes to the men of the fighting 25th.


I have just read the investigation conducted by General Banfill, assisted by Colonel Tidwell, Staff Judge Advocate, and Major Ranlett,[258] an officer from the Inspector General's office, and as far as I can determine, the investigation is complete and I like the recommendation made; however, I am having it looked over by my Vice Commander, Administration and Plans, in order to seek his advice. The directive for the investigation was dated 31 August, subject: "Alleged Attack on Neutral Airfield Near Antung, Manchuria by United States Air Force F-51 Aircraft,"ť to:  Brigadier General Charles Y. Banfill, and signed by me.


On the 13th of Aug I sent a ltr to CINCFE, subj: "Air-Ground Operations,"ť and stated that although 5th AF procedures in coordination with 8th Army operations are based on FM 31-35, dtd Aug 46, which is based on WW II experiences and certain refinements derived from subsequent field exercises and maneuvers, I feel that more effective use could be made if an air-ground operations system were established within the Army. Amplified my reasoning for above and gave an estimate of personnel and equipment required: 1 senior officer with G-3 air experience to supervise the operation of the air-ground system; at the JOC in Hq
5th AF, there should be 9 G-3 air duty officers, 6 G-2 air duty officers, and required clerical help; one ground liaison officer team to brief pilots who are assigned missions which are closely integrated with ground action and to interrogate these air crews subsequent to each mission; suggest an Army photo interpretation center be established; and a communications of a mobile type to connect the components of the air-ground operations system mentioned above.

The following reply to my letter that is briefed above has been sent to 5th AF in Korea & Nagoya, read by Colonel Sykes, and copies made for the AG [adjutant general] File; the reply is quoted in part:

The CG, 8th Army has established an air-ground operations system in Korea based upon the principles of organization and procedure outlined in FM 31-35 and the pamphlet "Conduct of Air-Group Operations."ť The latter pamphlet was prepared jointly by the Office, Chief of Army Field Forces, and the Headquarters, Tactical Air Command, and represents the latest guide for the conduct of air-ground operations. This pamphlet has been reproduced by GHQ, FEC, and 40 copies were furnished by hq by referenced letter. The CG, 8th Army, is cognizant of the discrepancies in the present air-ground organization, as outlined by your letter, and every effort is being made to overcome these as soon as possible. The arrival of additional personnel, presently assigned or expected, will permit the complete staffing of the JOC with qualified personnel ... and will permit the dispatch of the necessary ground liaison officers to each 5th AF combat group to brief pilots and to interrogate crews subsequent to each mission. The personnel and equipment required to establish the Photo Interpretation and Reproduction Center and the necessary air-ground communication system are not presently available in the FEC but have been requisitioned from the ZI with request that movement of personnel and equipment be expedited....

[note]

 

 

Korean_War

The FEAF Bomber Command dealt expeditiously with communications choke points assigned to it, as is indicated by figure 7.

Korean_War

       

On 13 July the Wŏnsan marshaling yards had been attacked by the newly-arrived 22nd and 92nd Groups on their shake-down mission. Sŏul marshaling yards were hit on MacArthur's special order on 16 July.

On 7 August the two groups, joined by planes of the 98th Group which had left the U.S. only five days earlier, plastered the marshaling yards at P'yŏngyang. Hamhung marshaling yards were attacked by newly arriving 307th Group B-29's next day. Smaller forces of B-29's also attacked the marshaling yards at

  1. Changung-Ni,

  2. Chinnamp'o,

  3. Kilchu,

  4. Kowon,

  5. Oro-Ri,

  6. Rashin,

  7. Seishin (Ch'ŏngjin),

  8. Sigjin-Ni,

  9. Sinanju, and

  10. Sariwon

during August, while additional effort was placed against rail repair facilities at Wŏnsan and P'yŏngyang.

FEAF recognized that attacks against marshaling yards were chiefly valuable for the destruction of rolling stock concentrated there. Smaller missions attacked the key bridges assigned for Bomber Command destruction, and with a little experience the B-29 crews became exceptionally proficient in such work .

The most successful bombing tactic and the one generally used against bridges by medium bomber crews was an individual aircraft attack at an angle of 40 degrees, each plane releasing a string of four bombs on its run. Two groups adopted a procedure of dropping one bomb in the first run to obtain correct ballistic data and establish target altitude. In several instances the bridge so attacked was destroyed by this one bomb, but other bridges required many direct hits. Bomber Command, in fact, computed that 13.3 runs were required to destroy an average bridge, this number including multiple runs against a bridge by the same aircraft. For bridge attacks, Bomber Command generally used 500-pound GP bombs, admittedly not always the best ordnance, but crews often had to do their own loading and the command had to be prepared for last-minute changes in mission. In addition, larger tonnages of these bombs could be racked up in the B-29's than the heavier types.

The 500-pound bomb, dropped with a minimum intervalometer setting, was found satisfactory for flat concrete spans, but 1,000-pound or larger bombs were required for steel bridges. The degree of proficiency obtained in such attacks was shown in mission accomplishments: by 30 August Bomber Command had about completed work on the 44 key bridge targets assigned, and when on 4 September FEAF listed 56 more, Bomber Command destroyed 12 of them in three days

[note]

 

 

Pacific Air Forces patch  

On 31 August FEAF announced its decision to assume direct operational control of the 1st troop Carrier Task Force. General Tunner, who had returned temporarily to Washington, again reached Tokyo on the afternoon of 3 September, where he was briefed by FEAF on the mission of his command which he preferred to call the FEAF Combat Cargo Command (P).

 

This change in designation was accomplished and back-dated to 26 August, the effective date of Tunner's assumption of command. As originally established the Cargo Command got operational control of the

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

[note]

 

 

 

     

Clearing weather over Korea permitted FEAF pilots to throw what could be both literally and figuratively described as a "Sunday punch" at the North Koreans on 3 September.#129

 

 Fifth Air Force planes flew 249 close-support and 89 interdiction sorties, while 35 B-29's bombed enemy troop and equipment concentrations in nine towns lying close behind the battleline.#130

 

 During the morning a large share of the Fifth Air Force's fighter bombers supported the 2nd Division and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, the latter unit having been returned to the battleline in an effort to stay the enemy's drive toward Yŏngsan. During the day, however, the Reds unleashed new attacks along the northern rim of the perimeter southeast of Hajang and centered about the town of Kigye, a few miles inland from Pohang, These attacks indicated that the Reds were now launching a new offensive against Taegu's rail and highway communications to Pusan, and the Joint Operations Center had no choice but to send the Fifth Air Force's fighter-bombers against the new threat.#131

 

General Partridge had already asked Task Force 77 to continue to fly close support on 3 September, but he had been informed that the carriers had to refuel and could not operate that day. The Eighth Army, however, dispatched an urgent message to Tokyo, and, as a result, Task Force 77 broke off refueling and sent 28 sorties to support the ground troops at Yŏngsan. These Navy planes went directly to the Yŏngsan area and contacted air controllers there. Neither FEAF, the Fifth Air Force, nor the Joint Operations Center knew of the missions prior to the receipt of a routine message reporting the results of Navy operations.

These would be the last close-support strikes the Navy could provide for some time, for Task Force 77 would operate against communications targets in northwestern Korea on 4 and 5 September and then retire to Sasebo to outfit for the amphibious operation coming up at Inch'ŏn. General Partridge nevertheless called General Stratemeyer's attention to the latest breach of cooperation. "It is mandatory," he informed General Stratemeyer, "that Task Force 77 either supply proposed schedule of operations to Joint Operations Center in advance or require all flights to establish contact with Mellow control for assignment to specific forward controllers." #132

[note]

 

 

Pacific Air Forces patch

After making these arrangements, [8/22] General Tunner returned to Washington to gather a small staff for his new headquarters. Back in Tokyo on 3 September, Tunner immediately began to organize a centralized establishment to handle theater air-transport tasks. Up until this time air-transport and troop-carrier functions had always been considered to be separate, but General Tunner saw no reason why a single air-transport command, with one fleet of versatile aircraft, could not successfully accomplish both air-transport and air-assault missions. He accordingly organized the FEAF Combat Cargo Command (Provisional) on 10 September 1950 as a major operational command directly responsible to General Stratemeyer. The Combat Cargo Command assumed operational control over the 1st Troop Carrier Group (Provisional), the 314th Troop Carrier Group, and the 374th Troop Carrier Wing.#34

[note]

 

 

 On 3 September 1950 the Fifth Air Force activated the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Itazuke, but this visual reconnaissance organization would not receive its RF-51 aircraft until November 1950.

 

[and it would be another month after that before they would do anything]

In December 1950 the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron was just beginning to provide needed visual reconnaissance services,

[note]

 

U.S. Marine Corps

September 03, 1950 it was D-minus 12 for the men of the 1st Marine Division.

[note]

 

Korean_War

 

Tugok (2nd Naktong) South Korea (3-5 Sept)

 

Korean_War

Katkol (2nd Naktong 3-4) South Korea  (3-4 Sept)

 

 

biography

A typhoon on September 3 interrupted the work and soaked all the supplies on the docks.  It was an eerie repeat of the division’s troubles in New Zealand when it had mounted out on similar short notice for Guadalcanal.   Caption Sitter informed Chesty that the losses included all the regiments’ recreation equipment.  The colonel merely growled: “We came here to fight, not to play.”

 

   USN_Units

Information on the Inch'ŏn operation remained scarce until Puller flew up to Tokyo for a briefing from the division staff aboard the command ship, USS Mont McKinley (AGC-7). Due to the incredibly short time frame --- the division had to be loaded by September 9 --- Bowser and his assistants already had developed detailed plans for the landing and employment of the subordinate units of the 1st and 5th Marines.  Such decision normally were made by the regimental commanders, based on their analysis of how best to achieve the broad mission assigned by higher headquarters. 

 Chesty registered a vigorous protest over the loss of prerogative, but it was impossible to change things at this late date. In any case, the regimental and battalion staffs were more than busy the next few days supervising the reloading and trying to develop an adequate picture of the situation they would face.  The 1st Marines received only one set of aerial photos (which did not fully cover the objective) and each battalion was given only a few hours in which to use them.  Good information on the beaches did not make it into the hands of the assault battalions until a few hours before they sailed. The handful of days available to prepare for the operation --- “probably the shortest period ever allotted to a major amphibious assault” --- made such problems inevitable.  Matters were complicated further by physical separation.  Half of Puller’s regiment was fifty miles away at Otsu.  He was nearly three hundred miles from the division headquarters in Tokyo, while the 5th was still entangled in fighting in the Pusan Perimeter, and the 7th was at sea.  To add to the last-minute turmoil, the Secretary of the Navy decreed that no seventeen-year-olds could go into combat, so the division had to leave five hundred men in Japan.

 

P335

Puller spent one day visiting his troops at Camp Otsu.  It was the first opportunity to ride the Sergeant Orville W. Jones, the driver he had picked out at Pendleton. The strapping veteran of Okinawa maneuvered along the crowed road with speed and aggressiveness, attributes that immediately endeared him to his new boss.  The other Marine that soon became a fixture on Chesty’s personal staff was Sergeant Jan Bodey, a recently mobilized reservist who also had fought in World War II.   He was an expert with small arms and had a reputation for toughness that made him an ideal bodyguard. 

[note]

 

 biography   biography Army SymbolKoread-War

The Marines at the Bean Patch would have been flattered to know that they were the objects of an official tug of war at Tokyo. It was maintained by the EUSAK command and staff that Army morale would be hurt by taking the Brigade away from the Pusan Perimeter at a critical moment. On the other hand, General Smith contended that he needed the Brigade all the more urgently because the 7th Marines,[5] sailing belatedly from San Diego, would not be able to reach Inch'ŏn until a week after the proposed D-day of 15 September 1950. The Marine general was informed that the decision would depend upon the tactical situation in Korea.

   Koread-War

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]

Division Sholder Patch  

At this point the enemy rudely interrupted by launching an all-out offensive against the Pusan Perimeter on 1 September, and General MacArthur’s order was rescinded. Even though most of the Brigade’s heavy equipment was at the Pusan docks, waiting for shipping, GHQFEC decided that General Craig’s troops should again be used as “firemen” to extinguish an NKPA conflagration. Colonel Edward H. Forney, the Marine officer recently named deputy chief of staff of X Corps, suggested to General Smith the possibility of substituting an Army unit, the 32d Infantry of the 7th Infantry Division, for the 5th Marines. Smith demurred on the grounds that these troops had not been trained for amphibious warfare.

 

On 3 September, with D-day less than 2 weeks away, a conference was held in Tokyo to decide the question once and for all. X Corps was represented by

 General Almond opened the discussion by reiterating that the 32d Infantry would be substituted for the 5th Marines. In reply, General Smith mentioned the complications of an amphibious assault landing and urged that the operations plan be amended if the untrained Army regiment were to be employed.

Another solution, offered by Admiral Struble, was baited with reciprocal concessions. He suggested that the Brigade be employed briefly for counterattacks in the Pusan Perimeter, but that meanwhile the 32d or some other 7th Infantry Division regiment be moved from Japan to Korea. There it would become a floating reserve for EUSAK, thus releasing the Brigade units to take their former places in the 1st Marine Division for the Inch'ŏn operation. This compromise was finally accepted, and orders were issued for the Brigade to be withdrawn from Eighth Army control at midnight on 5 September.

[note]

 

 

biography   biography

At a conference on 1 September called by Admiral Struble and attended by Admirals Richard W. Ruble, John M. Higgins, and Sir William G. Andrewes (RN)[19] in addition to Generals Ruffner and Smith, it was
tentatively agreed that the cruisers would begin the bombardment on the morning of D-minus 1, and the destroyers that afternoon after a napalm air strike had been conducted against Wŏlmi-do on D-minus 4.


At another naval gunfire conference two days later, the napalm strike was delayed until D-minus 3.

[note]

 

 

USMC - 1MAW.png  

Air support, of course, was closely related to naval gunfire planning. After the arrival of CG 1st MAW and his staff at Tokyo on 3 September, part of the group proceeded at once to Itami Air Force Base while General Harris and selected staff members remained at Tokyo for planning conferences.

  Air support planning for Inch'ŏn was based on the decision that the sky over the objective area was to be divided between the organic air units of JTF–7 and X Corps.

USN_Units   USN_Units  

  JTF–7 counted on its fast carrier task force, TF–77, to gain air supremacy and furnish deep support and interdiction strikes. Close support for the landing was to be provided by the two squadrons of TG–90.5, on board the CVEs USS Sicily (CVE-118) and USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116), which had been the main air components of MAG–33 in support of the 1st Marine Provisional Brigade. In addition, the Attack Force commander could also call upon the aircraft of TF–77 for close support.

  Organic air support for X Corps was to be the mission of the Tactical Air Control set up under the operational control of the corps commander and the direct command of General Cushman. The inspiration for this organization came from Marine officers on the staff of X Corps. Their suggestions were accepted by General Almond, who used his authority as FECOM chief of staff to put the idea into effect.

    USMC - 1MAW.png 

  MAG–33 was designated by General Harris from the Forward Echelon, 1st MAW, to serve as TAC X Corps, with VMFs 212 and 312 in addition to VMF(N)–542 and the rear echelon of VMF(N)–513. These units were not to be assigned, however, until X Corps assumed control of operations in the objective area, whereupon they would be based at Kimp'o Airfield. Meanwhile, they remained under the administrative control of ComNavFE and MAG–12, with headquarters at the Itami AFB in Japan. The two Marine carrier-based squadrons and the forward echelon of VMF(N)–513, having come out to Korea in August as units of MAG–33, continued to be assigned temporarily to that group for administrative purposes.[22]

[note]

 

 

         

The recommendation of Brigade staff officers that the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, be designated for the assault on Wŏlmi-do was accepted by Division planners. Colonel Snedeker also proposed that the 1st Korean Marine Corps (KMC) Regiment of nearly 3,000 men be substituted for the 17th ROK Regiment, which he said was committed in the Pusan Perimeter and might not be available. The change was approved by GHQ on 3 September, with the Eighth Army being directed to provide weapons for the newcomers. This was the beginning of a relationship that would find the KMCs serving with distinction alongside the men of the 1st Marine Division and eventually becoming a fourth infantry regiment of the Division.

Seal of the Republic of Korea Marine Corps.svg

Activated in 1949 by the Republic of Korea, the unit took part in anti-guerrilla operations until the NKPA invasion. After the outbreak of hostilities, the KMCs fought creditably in UN delaying actions in southwest Korea. The turning point came when they were attached to the 1st Marine Division and sent to Pusan for test-firing of their new weapons before embarking for Inch'ŏn. Immediately the Koreans commenced to model themselves after U.S. Marines so assiduously as to win respect for their spirit and rugged fighting qualities.[3] They were quick to learn, despite the language handicap, and showed aptitude in mechanical respects.

 

  The main body of the 1st Marine Division troops landed at Kobe from 29 August to 3 September. Marine officers sent in advance to that seaport had found the authorities there “very cooperative” and brought back to Tokyo a billeting plan which General Smith approved. Since the facilities in and about Kobe were limited, two large APs were designated as barracks ships, thus making available a Marine labor pool at the docks.

At best, every hour was needed for the tremendous task of transferring cargo from merchant type shipping into assault shipping.[4] There was cause for anxiety, therefore, when a telephone message informed the command of the 1st Marine Division on 3 September that Typhoon JANE had struck Kobe with winds of 74 miles per hour. First reports had it that the USNS Marine Phoenix (T-AP-195) was on the bottom with all of the Division’s signal gear. Several ships were said to have broken their moorings and gone adrift; the docks were reported under 4 feet of water, and loose cargo on the piers had been inundated by breakers.

  Later accounts proved to be less alarming. The Marine Phoenix, having merely developed a bad list as a result of shifting cargo, was soon righted. Nor was the other damage as serious as had at first been supposed. But 24 hours were lost from the tight reloading schedule while Typhoon JANE kicked up her heels, and time was one commodity that could not be replaced. All operations at Kobe had to be speeded up to pay for this delay.

[note]

 

 

biography

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

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

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

[note]

 

U.S. Navy

 

 

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

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

[note]

 

 

 

USN_Units

The approach to this area, therefore, had necessarily been somewhat tentative. Early strikes on North Korea had been launched from south of 37°, and operations against southern targets had been conducted from the waters west of Mokp'o. But the tendency had been northward: on 20 August aircraft had been flown off in about 37°, and now on the night of 3 September Admiral Ewen took his force into the pocket, through the narrows between the Shantung Peninsula and Korea’s western tip, to launch on the morning of the 4th from a position on the 38th parallel against targets in the P'yŏngyang- Chinnamp'o region.

[note]

 

 

biography   biography   USN_Units
ComPhibGru One

and on the next day Admiral Doyle and General Smith sailed in USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) for Kobe, where the bulk of the Marine Division had just arrived from the United States.

Koread-War

          This speed in planning, essential as it was, also brought its problems. There was no time for joint training, no possibility of rehearsal. Division and Attack Force staffs had to plan for lower echelons without benefit of comment or opinion from the subordinates, and completed plans made their appearance as hand-outs to the regimental and task unit commanders involved. The risks of high speed concurrent planning for so complex an enterprise were illustrated by difficulties in shipping allocation: owing to lack of information on the characteristics of available vessels, the 34 transport and cargo types which MSTS WestPac had been requested to nominate for the invasion turned out to be too few,

[note]

 

 

          From a meteorological point of view, a war in Korea presents a problem to the maritime power, for most of the peninsula’s weather is manufactured over the continental land mass. Yet there is some compensation in the fact that the typhoons which afflict the area, and which provide the greatest single threat to military operations, are of oceanic birth, and can be tracked in their passage northwestward from the Marianas. Their season, which begins in June and extends to mid-September, had thus far precisely coincided with the war. Grace, who had caused some difficulties at the time of the Pohang landing, had been followed by two milder sisters, but September brought more trouble.

 On the 3rd, Jane had forced the evacuation of patrol squadrons from Japan to Okinawa, and had slashed through Kobe bringing gusts of up to 10 knots, damaging ships and gear assigned to the Marine Division, taking a full day from an already tight loading schedule, and depriving the brigade of air support from Ashiya.

One week later, as the Attack Force was preparing to sortie, Kezia was reported moving up from the Marianas, with a predicted arrival in Tsushima Strait on the 12th or 13th, just as the amphibious shipping was scheduled to cross her path.

Grace Jane Kezia

[note]

 

 

 

 

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Holding the town of Hyŏnp'ung was C Company, which withdrew from it under enemy attack during the night of 2-3 September.

Beginning with 3 September, Hyŏnp'ung for two weeks was either in enemy hands or a no man's land. [24-35]

North and east of the Hill 409 and Hyŏnp'ung area lay a virtually road less, high mountain area having no fixed U.N. defensive positions. This, too, was a no man's land in early September. Four miles north of Hyŏnp'ung was the Yongp'o bridge across the Naktong and the 1st Cavalry Division boundary. The Yongp'o bridge site was defended by the 3d Battalion, 23d Infantry, attached to the 1st Cavalry Division for that purpose, until 0410, 5 September, when the British 27th Infantry Brigade relieved it and went into
the line there. This, as previously noted, was the British brigade's first commitment in the Korean War.
[24-36]

[note]

 

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biography    Unit Info

The series of events that caused General Kean to change the direction of De Chow's attack toward Kŏmam-ni began at 0100, 3 September. The 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, protruded farther westward at this time than any other unit of the U.N. forces in Korea. Back of its positions on Sibidang-san the main supply route and rear areas were in enemy hands, and only in daylight and under escort could vehicles travel the road.

On Sibidang-san the battalion had held its original positions after the heavy fighting of pre-dawn 1 September, completely surrounded by barbed wire, booby traps, and flares, with all supporting weapons inside its tight perimeters. The battalion had the advantage of calling by number for previously zeroed and numbered protective fires covering all approaches, which were quickly delivered. An hour after midnight an unusually heavy enemy assault struck the battalion.

[note]

0130 Korean Time

 

 

The next morning, an hour and a half after midnight, the N.K. 12th Division, executing its part of the coordinated N.K. II Corps general attack, struck the Capital Division on the high hill masses south of the Kigye valley. This attack threw back the ROK 18th Regiment on the left in the area of Hills 334 and 438, and the ROK 17th Regiment on the right in the area of Hill 445.

[note]

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Unit Info      

Hard on the heels of Major Kim's warning that the North Korean attack would strike the night of 2 September, the blow hit with full force in the Bowling Alley area north of Taegu. It caught the 8th Cavalry Regiment defending the Sangju road badly deployed in that it lacked an adequate reserve.

The North Koreans struck the 2d Battalion, 8th Cavalry, the night of 2-3 September on Hill 448 west of the Bowling Alley and two miles north of Tabu-dong, and overran it. On the right, E Company, although not
under attack, was cut off and had to withdraw by a roundabout way. Lt. Col. Harold K. Johnson, commanding officer of the 3d Battalion, placed I Company in a blocking position just north of Tabu-dong
astride the road.

There, two enemy tanks and some enemy infantry struck it at 0200 in the morning of 3 September. In this action,  I Company, 8th Cavalry suffered many casualties but repelled the enemy attack. The overrun 2nd Battalion withdrew through the 3d Battalion which had assembled hastily in a defensive position south of Tabu-dong.

[note]

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Enemy soldiers employing submachine guns overran two artillery-machine gun perimeter positions, penetrating to the artillery pieces at 0300. There, Capt. Andrew C. Anderson and his men fought hand-to-hand with the North Koreans. Some of the guns fell temporarily into enemy hands and one North Korean scrawled on a howitzer tube, "Hurrah for our Company!" But the artillerymen threw the North Koreans out, aided greatly by the concentrations of fire from C Battery, 90th Field Artillery Battalion, which were placed within fifty yards of the battery and sealed off enemy reinforcements. In defending its guns in this night battle, A Battery lost seven men killed and twelve wounded-about 25 percent of its strength. [24-48]

[note]

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biography

This time Lieutenant Colonel Murray's plan was for the 1st and 2nd Battalions to advance up the Yŏngsan road with the 3d Battalion in support. The 2nd Battalion reached the road junction at about 0430 on 3 September, where it offloaded and began an administrative move to the line of departure. This road junction and the nearby heights were supposedly in American hands. Unfortunately, such was not actually the case.

[note]

 

 

biography

Between 0300 and 0430, 3 September, the 5th Marines moved to forward assembly areas-the

During the night, A Company of the engineers had considerable fighting with North Koreans and never reached its objective. [the marines left flank]

[note]

 

 

0450 Korean Time

 

biography

Low hanging clouds and smoke made for poor visibility on the morning of the 3d when General Craig set out on his customary pre-battle reconnaissance by helicopter. He was accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel Stewart, who had just returned from the 1st Marine Division planning conferences at Tokyo.

“We couldn’t see anything but an occasional mountain peak,” Craig recalled at a later date. “After flying around for some time, we had almost decided to return to the CP and complete the tour by jeep. Then Colonel Stewart noticed a hole in the clouds, and we dropped to an altitude where we had a good view of the front.” [15]

What Craig and Stewart saw was a long column of Marines fighting their way toward the line of departure.

Lieutenant Colonel Murray’s plan of attack for the 5th Marines called for the 1st and 2d Battalions to advance westward astride the Yŏngsan road, with 2/5 on the right. Taplett’s 3d Battalion would initially be in reserve, blocking the southern approaches to Yŏngsan.[16]

At 0450, 3 September, 2/5 detrucked about 800 yards from Yŏngsan and marched forward in a route column. Moving into the town a short time later, the Marines received small arms fire from snipers hidden in buildings, ditches and culverts. Most of them were liquidated as the column pushed through to the road junction at the western end of Yŏngsan by 0630.[17]

[note]

 

 

 

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0601 Sunrise

[note]

 

 

By dawn of 3 September the enemy penetration there had reached the vital east-west corridor road three miles east of An'gang-ni. As a result of this 5-mile enemy gain during the night the Capital Division all but collapsed. [22-9]

biography   biography deactivated 8/22

This dire turn of events forced General Coulter to withdraw the 21st Infantry at once from the line northwest of P'ohang-dong and concentrate it forthwith in the vicinity of Kyŏngju. The 2nd Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. Gines Perez, had joined the regiment as its third battalion on 31 August, but General Coulter had held it in Task Force reserve at An'gang-ni. That battalion now took up a horseshoe-shaped defense position around the town, with some elements on high ground two miles eastward where they commanded the Kyŏngju-P'ohang-dong highway. The rest of the regiment closed into an assembly area north of Kyŏngju.

[note]

 

 

     

At 1900 the evening of 2 September, Colonel Hill returned to his command post east of Yŏngsan where he conferred with Colonel Murray, commanding the 5th Marines, and told him that his line of departure
for the attack the next morning was secure. The troops holding this line on the first hills west of Yŏngsan were: G Company, 9th Infantry, north of the road running west through Kogan-ni to the Naktong; A Company, 2d Engineer Combat Battalion, southward across the road; and, below the engineers, F Company, 9th Infantry.

 Between 0300 and 0430, 3 September, the 5th Marines moved to forward assembly areas-the 2d Battalion north of Yŏngsan, the 1st Battalion south of it. The 3d Battalion established security positions southwest of Yŏngsan along the approaches into the regimental sector from that direction. [24-17]

2 Eng Bn DUI.jpg

During the night, A Company of the engineers had considerable fighting with North Koreans and never reached its objective.

At dawn 3 September, Reed led A Company in an attack to gain the high ground which was part of the designated Marine line of departure. The company fought its way up the slope to within 100 yards of the top, which was held by the firmly entrenched enemy. At this point Captain Reed caught an enemy-thrown grenade and was wounded by its fragments as he tried to throw it away from his men. The company with help from Marine tank fire eventually gained its objective, but this early morning battle for the line of departure delayed the planned attack. [24-18]

[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 had ordered the 2d Battalion, 38th Infantry, to move south and help the 23d 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.

 

 

At 0600, 3 September, an estimated 300 North Koreans launched an attack from Hill 284 against Col George B. ("Pep") Peploe's 38th Regiment command post. Colonel Peploe organized all officers and enlisted men present, including members of the mortar and tank companies and attached antiaircraft artillery units, to fight in the perimeter defense. Peploe requested a bombing strike which was denied him because the enemy target and his defense perimeter were too close to each other. But the Air Force did deliver rocket and strafing strikes.

This fight continued until 5 September.

[note]

 

The series of events that caused General Kean to change the direction of DeChow's attack toward Kŏmam ni began at 0100, 3 September. The 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, protruded farther westward at this time than any other unit of the U.N. forces in Korea. Back of its positions on Sibidang-san the main supply route and rear areas were in enemy hands, and only in daylight and under escort could vehicles travel the road.

On Sibidang-san the battalion had held its original positions after the heavy fighting of pre-dawn 1 September, completely surrounded by barbed wire, booby traps, and flares, with all supporting weapons inside its tight perimeters. The battalion had the advantage of calling by number for previously zeroed and numbered protective fires covering all approaches, which were quickly delivered. An hour after midnight an unusually heavy enemy assault struck the battalion.

 

 

Unit Info   Unit Info

The fight there continued until dawn 3 September, when the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, counted 143 enemy dead in front of its positions, and on that basis estimated that the total enemy casualties must have been about 500 men. [24-47]

In this night battle the 64th Field Artillery Battalion gave invaluable support to the 1st Battalion and became directly involved itself in the fighting. About fifty North Koreans infiltrated before dawn to A Battery's position and delivered a banzai-type assault.

[note]

 

 

 

At 0600 on 3 September, Typhoon Jane screeched in from the east.

[note]

 

0630 Korean Time

 

 

       

At 0450, 3 September, 2/5 detrucked about 800 yards from Yŏngsan and marched forward in a route column. Moving into the town a short time later, the Marines received small arms fire from snipers hidden in buildings, ditches and culverts. Most of them were liquidated as the column pushed through to the road junction at the western end of Yŏngsan by 0630.[17]

At this fork a secondary route branches from the main road through the large village of Myong-ni, about 2,000 yards northwest of Yŏngsan. Although still 1,000 yards from the designated line of departure, the 2d Battalion came under moderate fire from its right front. Moreover, dawn had brought indications of considerable activity and confusion ahead of the Marines. Ignoring the fire, Roise went forward about 500 yards to a low hill lying athwart the MSR. There he was jolted by the discovery that the 9th Infantry’s lines had collapsed.[18]

On the right of the road there was no friendly situation worthy of the name. To the left of the MSR, an Army tank unit was parked behind the little hill which Roise had reached, and to the front were 4 of its tanks—2 destroyed and 2 abandoned. Included in the wreckage ahead were 2 burned-out NKPA T–34’s.

       

Three hundred yards to the west, on the high ground south of the main road, Army troops were retreating from 1/5’s line of departure. The soldiers had buckled under an onslaught by the NKPA 9th Division, which had launched an all-out attack at first light.[19]

Having observed evidence of the confusing situation from their helicopter, Craig and Stewart landed some distance behind Yŏngsan and proceeded forward by jeep and foot. The Brigade commander located 1/5’s CP south of Yŏngsan and discovered that the battalion was slightly out of position. During 2/5’s delay in moving through the city, Murray had ordered Newton to swing westward and align his unit for the attack as best he could.

Darkness, coupled with confusion caused by the Army’s withdrawal and 2/5’s fight, had caused the 1st Battalion to move south of Chukchon-ni instead of Yŏngsan, as planned. Craig instructed 1/5’s commander to make a 500-yard correction northward during the actual attack.[20]

[note]

 

0645 Korean Time

 

biography

Roise was meanwhile taking the situation in hand north of the MSR. At 0645 he called Marine tanks forward to cover the withdrawal of 9th Infantry troops from the high ridge in 1/5’s zone.

Second Lieutenant Robert M. Winter led his platoon of M–26’s into hull defilade next to 2/5’s OP on the low hill and unleashed overhead fire in support of the Army troops. The pursuit by the North Koreans began to lag.

[note]

 

 

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0715 Korean Time

 

 

 

Despite enemy artillery fire in the 2d Battalion zone, Companies D and E jumped off from the road junction at 0715 to clear the Yŏngsan-Myong-ni road and secure the 5th Marines’ right flank.[21]

While this move was in progress, the last of the 9th Infantry troops vacated 1/5’s line of departure to the left front. Roise immediately smothered that ridgeline with fire from Marine tanks, artillery, air, mortars, and machineguns.

Despite this blanket of steel, enemy guns from the high ground were able to fire across the MSR at Company E as it cleared a series of hills below Myong-ni. These hills had been designated 2/5’s line of departure the previous day, but now were considered part of the first objective.

[note]

 

 

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At 0800, when Captain Samuel Jaskilka reported that Easy Company had completed its mission, Roise ordered Company D to push through Myong-ni and take the hill just northwest of that village.

 

Click here to view map

By this time the entire Brigade was shifting into high gear. Winter’s tanks on the little hill straddling the MSR were joined by the 1st Platoon, Able Company Engineers. The Army armored unit behind the southern portion of the hill suddenly went into hull defilade and added its firepower to that of the Marine M–26’s. Craig, Snedeker and Stewart crawled to the crest of the hill on the right side of the MSR and studied the front from positions between the Marine tanks and Roise’s OP.

 

The NKPA 9th Division had been stopped in its tracks when the Brigade’s supporting arms connected.

Then the Reds concentrated their fire on the little hill where Craig’s OP was located. Lieutenant Winter was shot through the neck and one of his men wounded while aiding him. Before being evacuated, the painfully wounded tank officer offered General Craig a bottle of whiskey left in his M–26.

Chaplains Sporrer and Hickey were taken under machinegun fire as they walked forward on the MSR toward the hill. “It’s lucky they’re poor shots,” said Sporrer as a second and third burst cracked over his head. The two chaplains arrived just in time to administer to the wounded being carried off the hill by the engineers.

[note]

 

 

While the 2d Battalion was maneuvering and fighting on the right of the road, the 2d Platoon of tanks pushed westward along the MSR from its early morning position 500 yards west of Yŏngsan. The Brigade armor became heavily engaged with enemy antitank weapons, and several casualties were taken as Marines exposed themselves from unbuttoned M–26’s to spot Communist emplacements. Second Lieutenant John S. Carson, who had taken over the platoon after Winter was wounded, fell before enemy machinegun fire and died instantly.

Going into hull defilade on another low hill overlooking the MSR, the 2d Platoon surprised three T–34 tanks on the road ahead and quickly destroyed them with 90-mm. fire. The tankmen then turned their guns on a wealth of targets spread across the front: Red antitank weapons, machinegun positions, troop concentrations, and groups either retreating or attempting to reinforce.

[note]

 

biography

Much like in the Champagne offensive [Second Battle of the Marne] during World War I, Companies D and E had to clear enemy from the main supply route in order to reach the jump off point north of Myong-ni by 0800.

[note]

 

 


  

Ellis and the rest stayed in their holes on the hill for two days [from 9/1], 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]

 

0855 Korean Time

 

    

At 0800, when Captain Samuel Jaskilka reported that Easy Company had completed its mission, Roise ordered Company D to push through Myong-ni and take the hill just northwest of that village.

 

Click here to view map

By this time the entire Brigade was shifting into high gear. Winter’s tanks on the little hill straddling the MSR were joined by the 1st Platoon, Able Company Engineers. The Army armored unit behind the southern portion of the hill suddenly went into hull defilade and added its firepower to that of the Marine M–26’s. Craig, Snedeker and Stewart crawled to the crest of the hill on the right side of the MSR and studied the front from positions between the Marine tanks and Roise’s OP.

 

The NKPA 9th Division had been stopped in its tracks when the Brigade’s supporting arms connected.

Then the Reds concentrated their fire on the little hill where Craig’s OP was located. Lieutenant Winter was shot through the neck and one of his men wounded while aiding him. Before being evacuated, the painfully wounded tank officer offered General Craig a bottle of whiskey left in his M–26.

Chaplains Sporrer and Hickey were taken under machinegun fire as they walked forward on the MSR toward the hill. “It’s lucky they’re poor shots,” said Sporrer as a second and third burst cracked over his head. The two chaplains arrived just in time to administer to the wounded being carried off the hill by the engineers.

[note]

 

       

Fifty-five minutes later, Companies A and B launched the 1st Battalion's assault from Chukchon-ni to capture Hill 91 East. The riflemen waded across knee-deep rice paddies covered by superb supporting fires delivered by air, artillery, mortars, and army tank destroyers. Just as the Marines started their attack, many stragglers from U.S. units began to emerge from hiding places in the foothills. This unexpected turn of events briefly interfered with the Marines's advance.

[note]

 

 

       

 

The Marine attack started at 0855 [55 minutes behind schedule] across the rice paddy land toward enemy-held high ground half a mile westward. The 1st Battalion, south of the east-west road, gained its objective when enemy soldiers broke under air attack and ran down the northern slope and crossed the road to Hill 116 in the 2nd Battalion zone. Air strikes, artillery concentrations, and machine gun and rifle fire of the 1st Battalion now caught enemy reinforcements in open rice paddies moving up from the second ridge and killed most of them.

[note]

 

       

North of the road the 2nd Battalion had a harder time, encountering heavy enemy fire when it reached the northern tip of Hill 116, two miles west of Yŏngsan. The North Koreans held the hill during the day, and

[note]

 

 

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  At Yŏngsan the enemy struck first on the morning of the 3rd, and a heavy attack launched at first light penetrated the Marines’ intended line of departure, a ridge occupied by the 9th Infantry about a half mile west of the town. As the brigade detrucked and moved forward the North Koreans were coming through the American lines, snipers were encountered as the troops marched through Yŏngsan, and as they emerged west of the town the Marines came under moderate enemy fire.

          As the Army troops pulled back, heavy fire by Marine artillery, tanks, and automatic weapons halted the North Korean advance. The brigade then began to press westward from Yŏngsan, to clear the hills controlling the road junction and the road leading onward to Obong-ni Ridge and to the bulge.

[note]

 

 

 

Unit Info      

During the day, elements of the N.K. 1st Division forced the 8th Cavalry I&R Platoon and a detachment of South Korean police from the Walled City of Ka-san on the crest of Hill 902, four miles east of Tabu-dong. On 3 September, therefore, Eighth Army lost to the enemy both Tabu-dong and Hill 902, locally called Ka-san, the dominant mountain-top ten miles north of Taegu. [22-52]

The North Koreans now concentrated artillery north of Hill 902 and, although its fire was light and sporadic, it did cause minor damage in the 99th Field Artillery positions. This sudden surge of the enemy southward toward Taegu caused concern in Eighth Army headquarters. The Army ordered a ROK battalion from the Taegu Replacement Training Center to a position in the rear of the 8th Cavalry, and the 1st Cavalry Division organized Task Force Allen, to be commanded by Assistant Division Commander Brig. Gen. Frank A. Allen, Jr. This task force comprised two provisional battalions formed of division headquarters and technical service troops, the division band, the replacement company, and other miscellaneous troops. It was to be used in combat should the North Koreans break through to the edge of the city. [22-53]

 

[22-Caption] RUINS OF ANCIENT FORTRESS and stone wall on the crest of Ka-san (Hill 902).

 

Eighth Army countered the North Korean advance down the Tabu-dong road by ordering the 1st Cavalry Division to recapture and defend Hill 902. This hill, ten miles north of Taegu, gave observation all the way south through Eighth Army positions into the city, and, in enemy hands, could be used for general intelligence purposes and to direct artillery and mortar fire. Hill 902 was too far distant from the Tabu-dong road to dominate it; otherwise it would have controlled this main communication route. The shortage of North Korean artillery and mortar ammunition nullified in large part the advantages the peak held as an observation point.

Actually, there was no walled city on the crest of Ka-san. Ka-san, or Hill 902, the 3,000-foot-high mountain which differs from most high peaks in this part of Korea in having an oval-shaped semi-level area on its summit. This oval is a part of a mile-long ridge-like crest, varying from 200 to 800 yards in width, which slopes down from the peak at 902 meters to approximately 755 meters at its southeastern end. On all sides of this ridge crest the mountain slopes drop precipitously. In bygone ages Koreans had built a thirty-foot-high stone wall around the crest and had converted the summit into a fortress. One man who fought in the shadow of the wall commented later, "It looked to me like they built that wall just to keep the land from sliding down." Most of the summit in 1950 was covered with a dense growth of scrub brush and small pine trees. There were a few small terraced fields. Koreans knew Ka-san as the Sacred Mountain. Near the northern end of the crest still stood the Buddhist Poguk Temple. 

[22-Caption] D COMPANY, 8TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION, position on the summit of Hill 755.

[note]


 

 

Unit Info  

Early the next morning, 3 September, the North Koreans heavily attacked Check's men in an effort to regain the ridge. Artillery, mortar, and tank fire barrages, and a perfectly timed air strike directed from the battalion command post, met this attack. Part of the battalion had to face about and fight toward its rear. After the attack had been repulsed hundreds of enemy dead lay about the battalion position. A prisoner estimated that during 2-3 September the four North Korean battalions fighting Check's battalion had lost 1,000 men. [24-63]


[note]

 



0935 Korean Time

Army Symbol8usa       Koread-War

Eighth Army, too, was in trouble, and at 0935 had called directly upon CincFE for the earliest possible return of the fast carriers.

[note]

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At 1100 Fenton and Stevens radioed Newton that they were ready for the assault, and the battalion commander immediately showered the objective with 81-mm. mortar fire to smother North Korean machineguns. Beyond the edge of the rice paddy in Company A’s zone, a sharp step led to the gentle incline at the base of the ridge. After a few yards, the gradual slope gave way to a steep rise which shot up abruptly to the crest of the high hill.

 Lieutenant Muetzel’s 2d Platoon held up at the step, using its protection against enemy fire while 1/5’s mortar barrage was falling. During the pause Technical Sergeant McMullen brought the 1st Platoon into position on Muetzel’s right and Lieutenant Fox aligned his 3d Platoon on the left. As soon as the supporting fire lifted, Muetzel jumped to his feet and shouted the command to assault. Every man in Company A’s skirmish line responded by scrambling up the hillside. The Marines made such a fearful racket that a whole company of alarmed North Koreans suddenly jumped up from concealed foxholes on the forward slope and fled toward the summit.

The panic-stricken Reds were easy targets for Company A’s riflemen and BAR men. Halting on the gentle incline, the Marines carefully took aim and killed most of the enemy soldiers. When the Communist survivors disappeared over the crest, Company A again surged upward and within minutes carried the summit.

[note]

 

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The 1st Battalion secured its initial objective about noon on 3 September. Company B’s next target was a continuation of the ridge running parallel to the MSR for 1,000 yards and topped by 4 conspicuous peaks. Able Company’s second objective was a hill stretching across its front beyond a 200-yard valley. This hill was connected to Stevens’ first objective by a narrow razorback ridge on the right which offered a poor route of approach.[22]

The two companies paused on their newly won positions to reorganize, evacuate wounded, and wait for a resupply of ammunition. There they came under heavy fire from the reverse slopes of their first objective and the high ground to the west. Several casualties were taken before Corsairs, requested by Newton , appeared for an air strike. As the Marine fighter planes unloaded their ordnance, large groups of enemy broke. Most of the Reds fled down the northern slopes, crossed the MSR and ascended Hill 117 in 2/5’s zone.

Newton reacted to reports of the rout by throwing heavy artillery fire across the enemy’s avenues of retreat. The hillsides and road were soon littered with bodies and equipment. While 1/5’s attack on its first objective was in progress, Company D had secured the 5th Marines’ right flank by clearing Myong-ni of moderate resistance and seizing the hill to the northwest of the large village. The new company commander,  First Lieutenant H. J. Smith, reported to Roise that he was receiving considerable machinegun and mortar fire from Hill 117. This high ground lay directly across 2/5’s front, stretching northward from the MSR to a point about 500 yards west of Myong-ni.

Smith’s reports, together with the news of the enemy’s withdrawal to Hill 117 from 1/5’s zone, led Roise to order Company D to attack the high ground from the north and cut off the North Korean retreat.

[note]

 

 

About noon, Second Lieutenant Sweet’s 3d [tank] Platoon joined the 2d and added its firepower to the fusillade. Another T–34 was knocked out when Sweet’s men blasted a thicket suspected of concealing an antitank gun. A fifth North Korean tank went out of action when it was abandoned by its crew on the left side of the road.

[note]

The terrain was difficult and fighting was hard, but by noon the initial objectives were in hand.

But there was no Marine air overhead for close support: Jane was centered over southern Honshu, and the fighter squadrons at Ashiya were weathered in.

[note]

 

Fortunately, the fighting on the 3rd appears to have turned the tide west of Yŏngsan. Although fresh from garrison duty, the North Korean 9th Division, which led the advance, was deficient in training in comparison with the enemy’s original front line units and was unable to stand up to the Marine Brigade. Early morning attacks along the road to the bulge moved rapidly forward, resistance was slight, and groups of fleeing Communists were cut down by artillery and Marine air. By mid-day the advance had covered a mile and a half, much destroyed and abandoned equipment had been overrun, and much U.S. gear recaptured. Further advance was authorized, afternoon brought the gain of another mile, and by evening the Marines were dug in on the hill from which, 18 days before, they had launched their first attack in the first battle of the Naktong.

[note]

 

Enemy artillery fire also temporarily delayed the attackers, but the intermediate objective, a small ridge, was secured by noon and Hill 91 East was in Marine hands by 1630.

[note]

 

 

       

  

 

The next day at noon, the newly arrived 3d Battalion [7th Cavalry] resumed the attack against Hill 518 from the south, over un-reconnoitered ground, and, as did the 1st Battalion the day before, in a column of companies that resolved itself in the end into a column of squads. Again the attack failed.


[note]

 

 

Wind velocity [of Typhoon Jane] reached 110 miles an hour at noon. Waves forty feet high crashed against the waterfront and breakers rolled two feet high across the piers where loose cargo lay. Seven American ships broke their lines and one of the giant 200-ton cranes broke loose. Steel lines two and a half inches thick snapped. Only by exhausting and dangerous work did port troops and the marines fight off disaster.

[note]


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19500903 1215 0111usmcops0

 

1221 Korean Time

 

 

biography     Def

At 1231 General Craig sent an urgent message to ComNavFE:

[note]

 

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biography   

In the afternoon of 3 September, enemy resistance across 1/5’s front weakened proportionately as it grew stronger in the 2d Battalion zone.

Newton launched his attack on Objective Two at 1510, after MAG–33 and 1/11 had softened up the North Korean positions.[23]

Company B drove down the ridgeline paralleling the MSR and in little more than an hour had seized its part of the objective, a peak directly across the road from Hill 117. During the 1,000-yard advance, Fenton reported another large group of enemy fleeing to 2/5’s zone. The information was quickly relayed to Roise, who had ample reason by this time to curse the fortunes of war.

biography  

In Company A’s zone, Stevens and his platoon leaders worked out a classic scheme of maneuver for seizing Hill 91, their part of the battalion objective. McMullen’s 1st Platoon and the company machineguns were to remain in position as the base of fire, while Muetzel’s 2d Platoon feinted across the 200-yard valley to the front. Fox’s 3d Platoon, earmarked for the main effort, would then circle to the south and flank the enemy’s right.

[note]

 

  

At the same time, General Walker started the newly activated ROK 7th Division toward the enemy penetration. Its 5th Regiment closed at Yŏngch'ŏn that afternoon, and the 3d Regiment, less its 1st Battalion, closed at Kyŏngju in the evening. Walker also authorized Coulter to use the 3d Battalion, 8th Infantry; the 9th Infantry Regimental Tank Company; and the 15th Field Artillery Battalion as he deemed advisable. These units, held at Yŏnil Airfield for its defense, had not previously been available for commitment elsewhere. The two antiaircraft batteries of automatic weapons (D Battery, 865th AAA Battalion, and A Battery, 933d AAA Battalion) were not to be moved from the airfield except in an emergency. [22-10]

[note]

 

 

 In the afternoon, the 1st Battalion advanced to Hill 91.

[note]

 

1342 Korean Time

 

 

 Def      biography

 At 1342, in response to this plea, ComNavFE instructed Task Force 77, then refueling and rearming southwest of Mokp'o, to give all practicable support to the Army since the Marine planes had been grounded by weather;

[note]

 

 

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biography     Def

at 1404 General Craig’s message was relayed to the force.

[note]

 

 

 

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During the afternoon and evening of 3 September, the N.K. 2d Battalion 2d Regiment 1stDivision, had occupied the summit of Ka-san.

[note]

Unit Info  

At Yŏngsan, despite the absence of air support, the Marines had continued their advance westward on the afternoon of the 3rd.

[note]

 

8usa  

Uncertainty as to final responsibility for Ka-san ended on the afternoon of 3 September after North Koreans had seized the mountain. The Eighth Army G-3 Section telephoned Col. Ernest V. Holmes, Chief of Staff, 1st Cavalry Division, and told him that the 1st Cavalry Division had responsibility for the Walled City. Holmes replied he believed that General Gay, who was then absent from the headquarters, would not like the decision, but that pending his return he would send a company of engineers to Ka-san. When General Gay returned to his command post he said that if the army had ordered the responsibility it had to be complied with, and he approved Holmes' decision to send a company to the mountain. [22-54]

       

After his telephone conversation with Eighth Army, Colonel Holmes ordered Lt. Col. William C. Holley, commanding officer of the 8th Engineer Combat Battalion, to report to Col. Raymond D. Palmer, commanding the 8th Cavalry Regiment. That afternoon Colonel Palmer in his command post on the Tabu-dong road outlined to Holley and the commanding officers of D Company, 8th Engineer Combat Battalion, and E Company, 8th Cavalry, his attack plan to regain control of Ka-san. The Engineer company, commanded by 1st Lt. John T. Kennedy, was to lead the attack, E Company following. Once the force had gained the crest and E Company had established itself in defensive positions, the Engineer company was to come off the mountain. Luckily, many of the men in D Company had been infantrymen in World War II. [22-55]

 

[note]

 

 

  

After fighting all that night the battalion [ Gordon Murch's 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry], the next day at 1500, reached a position 1,000 yards south of the original defensive positions of G Company, 35th Infantry.

[note]

 

 

      Unit Info attached as  Unit Info

After an early morning struggle on 3 September against several hundred North Koreans in the vicinity of the artillery positions, DeChow's battalion [3d Battalion, [27th] 28th [29th]  Infantry] launched its attack at 1500 over the high, rugged terrain west of the "Horseshoe," as the deep curve in the Masan road was called, four miles east of Kŏmam-ni. Its mission was to seize and secure the high ground dominating the Horseshoe, and then relieve the pressure on the 24th Infantry rear. Initially only one artillery piece was in position to support the attack. After the battalion advanced some distance, an enemy force, estimated at the time to number more than 1,000 men, counterattacked it and inflicted heavy casualties, which included thirteen officers. The K Company commander, 1st Lt. Elwood F. James, was killed while leading an assault. Additional tanks moved up to help secure the exposed right flank and rear, and air strikes helped to contain the enemy force. The battalion finally succeeded in taking the high ground. [24-45]

[note]

 

19500903 1510 0111usmcops0

19500903 1510 0111usmcops0

 

 

 

1530 Korean Time

 

  By 1530 in the afternoon the typhoon [Jane] began to blow out to sea. An hour later relative calm descended on the port and the cleanup work began. A few vessels had to go into dry-dock for repairs, some vehicles were flooded out, and a large quantity of clothing had to be cleaned, dried, and repackaged. [25-37]

[note]

 

1547 Korean Time

 

 

USN_Units

Once again all hands on the carriers doubled to flight stations, and at 1547 Admiral Ewen reported that his first strike would be off in an hour, with arrival over the lines at about 1745.

          Although their arrival had not been anticipated by Fifth Air Force, these flights, like those of the 2nd, found comparatively good communications and control. Twenty-two planes from Philippine Sea worked over troops in the Masan area in close proximity to American positions. Valley Forge sent in 24 aircraft in four flights, some of which attacked Kwangju and Samch'ŏnp'o, and some of which, despite bad weather, had considerable success under Marine control near Masan, where six Corsairs destroyed 2 tanks and 15 fieldpieces, damaged 2 other tanks, and strafed troops.

[note]

 

 

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Enemy artillery fire also temporarily delayed the attackers, but the intermediate objective, a small ridge, was secured by noon and Hill 91 East was in Marine hands by 1630.

First Lieutenant H. J. "Hawgjowl" Smith, the Company D commander, reported that he was taking fire from Hill 117 west of Myong-ni. Lieutenant Colonel Roise ordered Smith to assault the troublesome hill and told Capt. Samuel Jaskilka, the new Company E commander, to support Company D's attack by fire from Myong-ni. Company D was able to gain only a small foothold on the lower slope before being pinned down by enemy artillery and small arms fire. The 2nd Battalion lost eighteen killed and seventy-seven wounded, mostly from Company D, that day.

[note]

 

 

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In the evening, relief came in the form of rain. McDoniel spread out two blankets recovered with airdropped supplies the day before, and wrung from them enough water to fill a 5-gallon can. The men removed their clothing and wrung water from them to fill their canteens.

The fourth night passed.

[note]

 

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At Yŏngsan, despite the absence of air support, the Marines had continued their advance westward on the afternoon of the 3rd. By nightfall the originally scheduled line of departure had been gained or surpassed and the enemy, disorganized by the shock of this unexpected engagement, was retiring. But the front was a long one, re-curving into a deep salient north of the road, and the night was made miserable by cold, driving rain.

At sea, despite the improved results in close support, the task force was again trying to shake itself loose. In preparation for the proposed landing at Inch'ŏn Admiral Struble had established and ComNavFE had promulgated a new series of carrier aircraft operating areas, M through Q, along the west coast of Korea, and had called for operations in Areas P and Q, north of 38°, on the 4th, and in 0 and P, between 37° and 39° on the 5th. Pursuant to these instructions Admiral Ewen’s dispatch reporting his launch on the afternoon of the 3rd had stated that unless otherwise directed he intended to operate north of the parallel next day.

[note]

 

 

By mid-day the advance had covered a mile and a half, much destroyed and abandoned equipment had been overrun, and much U.S. gear recaptured. Further advance was authorized, afternoon brought the gain of another mile, and by evening the Marines were dug in on the hill from which, 18 days before, they had launched their first attack in the first battle of the Naktong.

[note]

 

 

But actually, during the afternoon and evening of 3 September, the N.K. 2nd Battalion, 2nd Regiment, 1st Division, had occupied the summit of Ka-san. [22-56]

[note]

 

 

  

A coordinated attack by armor, artillery, air, and infantry got under way and by 1800 the battalion had re-established the battle line. In this attack the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, killed 275 enemy and recovered a large part of the equipment G Company had lost earlier.

Colonel Gordon Murch's battalion remained on the regained positions during the night of the 3d.

[note]


 

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As darkness fell on the night of 3 — 4 September, the 1st and 2nd Battalions were widely separated. Each spent a miserable, wet night isolated from the other. Luckily, Korea's unpredictable weather interceded and chilly rain and strong winds prevented the enemy from mounting a coordinated counterattack.

[note]

 

 

          

That evening, D Company [8th Engineer Combat Battalion] loaded into trucks and in a driving rain traveled north, eventually turning off the main road to the designated assembly area. On the way they met two truckloads of South Korean police going south, some of them wounded. These were the police who, together with the detachment of the I&R Platoon, had been driven off Ka-san that afternoon. After waiting in the rain awhile for orders, the Engineer company turned around and went back to camp.

[note]


 

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USN_Units

While the Marines were pressing westward from Yŏngsan, Task Force 77 had moved north again into the Yellow Sea. This body of water, from the viewpoint of a carrier force commander, is a somewhat restricted one. As a result of the commanding position of the Shantung Peninsula, no part of the Yellow Sea is more than 200 miles from a Communist shore; above the latitude of Sŏul the operating area, less than 100 miles from Shantung, comes within progressively easier bomber range of the Soviet-occupied Port Arthur Naval Base Area. And for a carrier force dependent on the lee gauge, geography is compounded by meteorology: the prevailing light summer winds, of a mean velocity of six knots and from the northerly semicircle, do nothing to help the commander fight his way out if brought to action.

          The approach to this area, therefore, had necessarily been somewhat tentative. Early strikes on North Korea had been launched from south of 37°, and operations against southern targets had been conducted from the waters west of Mokp'o. But the tendency had been northward: on 20 August aircraft had been flown off in about 37°, and now on the night of 3 September Admiral Ewen took his force into the pocket, through the narrows between the Shantung Peninsula and Korea’s western tip, to launch on the morning of the 4th from a position on the 38th parallel against targets in the P'yŏngyang- Chinnamp'o region.

[note]

 

 

 

at [that] night D Company of the 5th Marines was isolated there. In the fighting west of Yŏngsan Marine armor knocked out four T34 tanks, and North Korean crew members abandoned a fifth. That night the marines dug in on a line generally two miles west of Yŏngsan. The 2nd Battalion had lost 18 killed and 77 wounded during the day, most of them in D Company. Total Marine casualties for 3 September were 34 killed and 157 wounded. Coordinating its attack with that of the marines, the 9th Infantry advanced abreast of them on the north. [24-19]

[note]

 

2200 Korean Time

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

biography  

Within the perimeter, however, life was still hard, and all possible support was desired. At 2201 on the 3rd General Craig evinced his concern in another emergency dispatch in which he reported the ‘‘situation intense," and in view of the state of affairs at Ashiya requested eight carrier planes on station throughout the 4th. But ComNavFE had already confirmed the proposed operations in Areas P and Q, and although he instructed the task force to be ready to provide support on order, his answer to General Craig reported a favorable weather forecast for Japan and stated that the fast carriers were committed to other areas.

Fortunately, the fighting on the 3rd appears to have turned the tide west of Yŏngsan. Although fresh from garrison duty, the North Korean 9th Division, which led the advance, was deficient in training in comparison with the enemy’s original front line units and was unable to stand up to the Marine Brigade. Early morning attacks along the road to the bulge moved rapidly forward, resistance was slight, and groups of fleeing Communists were cut down by artillery and Marine air. By mid-day the advance had covered a mile and a half, much destroyed and abandoned equipment had been overrun, and much U.S. gear recaptured. Further advance was authorized, afternoon brought the gain of another mile, and by evening the Marines were dug in on the hill from which, 18 days before, they had launched their first attack in the first battle of the Naktong.

[note]

 

 

2300 Korean Time

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

  

2355 Korean Time

       

  

Just before midnight, the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, received orders to pass through the 2nd Battalion and continue [on the north side] the attack in the morning. That night torrential rains made the troops miserable. The enemy was strangely quiet.

[note]

 

2400 Korean Time

 

Staff Sergeant Saweren J. Dennis and his 2d Squad of engineers crept forward at midnight 1,000 yards on the MSR and laid an antitank minefield across the road near the southern tip of Hill 117. On the way Dennis discovered an enemy antitank minefield embedded in the road. Although the engineers had never seen a Russian wooden-box mine before, knowledge gained from the study of intelligence manuals during the Brigade’s sea voyage enabled them to detect, remove, and disarm every mine in the field during darkness. The work was delayed a few minutes when Dennis traced a clanking sound to the roadside ditch and killed a Communist soldier frantically trying to insert a loaded magazine into his submachine-gun.

Before the engineers completed their work and retired to 1/5’s lines, Nature added an obstacle of her own to any enemy plans for a counterattack. A rainstorm broke, and the heavy downpour, accompanied by unseasonably icy winds, wrought misery on friend and foe alike for the rest of the night.

[note]

 

biography

THE CASUALTIES OF 2/5 for 3 September totaled 18 dead and 77 wounded, most of them being taken by Company D. (5th Marines had 30 +1 corpsman total) Lieutenant Colonel Murray ordered the 3d Battalion to pass through the 2d, therefore, and continue the attack on the right of the MSR at 0800 the next morning. The 1st Battalion was to resume its advance south of the MSR, while the Reconnaissance Company far out on the left would move forward to a new blocking position. [1]

 

[note]


Casualties

Sunday September 3, 1950 (Day 71

287 Casualties


1 11TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
1 1ST ENGINEER BATTALION - MARINES
2 1ST SERVICE BATTALION - MARINES
4 1ST SHORE PARTY BATTALION - MARINES
1 1ST TANK BATTALION - MARINES
1 20TH WEATHER SQUADRON
1 21ST INFANTRY REGIMENT
7 23RD INFANTRY REGIMENT
11 24TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 25TH ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY AW BATTALION
10 27TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
6 29TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
2 2ND ARMORED RECONNAISSANCE COMPANY
18 2ND ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
1 2ND REPLACEMENT COMPANY - DIVISION
16 35TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
20 38TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 3RD TRANSPORTATION AMPHIBIOUS TRUCK COMPANY
1 503RD FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (155MM )
1 512TH MILITARY POLICE COMPANY - CORPS
2 5TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
23 5TH MARINE REGIMENT
18 5TH REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
11 64TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
1 71ST HEAVY TANK BATTALION
4 72ND MEDIUM TANK BATTALION
34 7TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
5 8035TH SIGNAL SERVICE COMPANY
1 822TH ENGINEER AVIATION BATTALION
3 82ND ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY AW BATTALION
2 89TH MEDIUM TANK BATTALION (8072)
48 8TH CAVALRY REGIMENT
1 8TH ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION
2 99TH FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (105MM)
25 9TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
1 NAVY HOSPITAL CORPSMAN
   
287 (Notes)
   
   
   
   
   
   


Date USAF    USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous 85 5091 138 15 5329
Today 1 254 31 1 287
Total 86 5345 169 16 5616

Aircraft Losses Today 002

 

 Notes for Tuesday August 1, 1950 - Day 037

 

 

 

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