Notes


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USN_Units

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

 

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

 

 

 At 1233 Commander Task Force 77 advised the JOC by flash message that his first strike would be on station at 1430, and at 1315 the planes began to lumber off the decks:

Ten minutes [1325] later the aircraft that had been recalled from the north were landed on.

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


As the task force drove southeastward, and as the strike group flew toward the perimeter, the Marine Brigade was moving north to Miryang and to the Naktong bulge. Higher levels were also bestirring themselves:

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

 

Koread-War      USN_Units

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

 

 


At 1630 ComNavFE passed these suggestions on to Admiral Ewen;

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

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

1900 Admiral Joy instructed Admiral Ewen to comply.


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


Both carriers had launched again at 1430. This time the planes from Valley Forge did useful work on the 25th Division front, destroying much of the town of Haman, burning trucks on the road nearby, and flattening an enemy-occupied ridge west of the town.

But Philippine Sea’s group again failed to find a controller and was obliged to seek its own targets along the river.

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


The response to the all-out emergency was thus in large part wasted, and conditions over the perimeter were back to what they had formerly been.

 Not a single plane from Philippine Sea had been used in controlled attacks, and of a task force total of 85 sorties, 43 had attacked without positive control. JOC’s emergency call had received an emergency response, but the total of about 280 Air Force and Navy sorties flown on the 1st in support of the emergency along the Naktong was more than could be handled, and by afternoon, when the carrier planes reported in, the system had been overwhelmed and had collapsed.

Intentions had been good, and the effort commendable, and at 1800 ComNavFE sent the force a "well done" for its prompt response and for its support of the 25th Division. Equally, however, the situation was susceptible of improvement, and the suggested dispatch of liaison officers worth acting upon. The last event of the day within the force was the launch of a night aircraft, with Commander Weymouth, Philippine Sea’s air group commander, embarked as passenger for Pusan.


The difficulties over the perimeter had greatly exasperated Admiral Ewen, with the result that he ordered his pilots to spend no more than five minutes in attempting to gain contact with JOC or with control aircraft before proceeding to pre-briefed targets outside the bombline. Fortunately, however, the need for this procedure was considerably diminished by the efforts of Weymouth and the JOC personnel to improve communications and control; the Navy would supply the controllers for the 2nd Division front, and so get a clear radio channel; the Air Force would waive the requirement of checking all planes in through JOC.