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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


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[a week later]

Seeking a long-delayed solution to this recurring problem, General Stratemeyer took the matter to General MacArthur and obtained his approval to a directive which instructed the Eighth Army to request all its air support-including that from Task Force 77-from the Fifth Air Force. Such requests for naval air support would be sent from the Fifth Air Force to FEAF, which, after coordinating with NavFE, would submit them for General MacArthur's approval or disapproval.#133


#129 FEAF Opns. Release No. 86, 3 Sept. 1950.

#130 FEAF Opns. Hist., I, 143.

#131 Msg. ADV-GEN-D-1021, CG FAFIK to CG FEAF, 4 Sept. 1950.

#132 Barcus Bd. Rpt., bk. 1, appen. 2, pp. 125-39; msg. ADV-OPS-P-1026, CG FAFIK to CG FEAF, 4 Sept. 1950.

#133 Stratemeyer diary, 10 Sept. 1950; msg. VC-0260-CG, CG FEAF to CINCFE, CG EUSAK, ComNavFE, and CG FAFIK, 10 Sept. 1950.




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