By 1 September, when Lieutenant Eugene F. Clark arrived at Yŏnghŭng Do, considerable information concerning the defenses of Inch'ŏn had been collected by intelligence teams under Lieutenant Commander Ham Myong Su, ROKN. And reports from the British indicated that the seizure of Yŏnghŭng Do had caused the enemy to shift forces southward to guard against a possible mainland landing.
Map 12. The
Click on map for higher resolution image (157 KB).Inch'ŏn Approaches, August–September 1950
So far, so good, but on 1 September, as the invasion plans were moving to completion, there came the enemy’s last and greatest effort to crush the Korean beachhead. In this hour of crisis Eighth Army needed all the help that it could get, and again phase one threatened to interfere with phase three. Not only did enemy pressure bring emergency calls for the retention of Task Force 77 in close support; it also threatened to make the Marine Brigade unavailable for the Inch'ŏn landing. Previous orders to release the brigade on 4 September were cancelled on the 1st, and for the second time the Marines were committed to the Naktong front.
Faced with the danger that EUSAK’s needs might prevent the release of the brigade, General Almond proposed to replace it at Inch'ŏn by a regiment of the 7th Division. To the Navy and Marine commanders the assignment of this unit, untrained in amphibious operations and with a large infusion of South Korean recruits, would force abandonment of the two-beach assault for one in which the infantry would be landed in column behind the 1st Marines, with all the implications that this might have for the success of the operation. But the issue was fortunately resolved by Admiral Struble who, while insisting on the release of the brigade, observed that Eighth Army’s need for a reserve could be met by embarking a regiment of the 7th Division and moving it to Pusan, where it could be either landed in support of the perimeter or sailed to rejoin its parent organization at Inch'ŏn.
On this basis it was settled. Release of the brigade was rescheduled for evening of the 5th. The requests for Task Force 77 were turned down by ComNavFE. For all of its magnitude the Communist offensive had succeeded neither in breaking the perimeter nor in diverting important forces from the impending counterstroke.