Notes


19500901 0000 14104usafik0

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

142   U.S. Air Force in Korea

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

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

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