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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, 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.
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.
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by launching an all-out offensive against the Pusan Perimeter on 1 September, and General MacArthur’s order was rescinded.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 Wright, the G–3, and
General Edward S. Almond, the new commanding general and former chief of staff, GHQFEC.
COMNAVFE (Admiral Joy),
COMSEVENTHFLT (Admiral Struble) and
COMPHIBGRUONE (Admiral Doyle) were the Navy officers present.
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.