19500904 0000 MONDAY
4 SEPTEMBER 1950
Dispatched my weekly letter to Gill Robb Wilson. Banfill brought in this "nickel" in line with my policy to keep Vandenberg abreast of items of interest, but decided to hold it for 24 hours. Banfill stated:
162d TAC Rcn Sq aircraft from 3,000 feet at 040030/K Sept 50: Scattered lights of estimated 200 vehicles going generally south
from Yangsi (39°59'N - 124°28'E). Numerous vehicles coming across Manchurian border above Yangsi into Korea. Other vehicular convoys observed on adjacent roads in general area between Yangsi and P'yŏngyang. Fifth AF reports missions have been laid on to attack these targets.
AG Ltr, 370.2 (8 July) CG, signed by General Almond reads as follows:
In order to obtain the maximum effectiveness in the employment of all air resources in the Far East Command and to insure coordination of air efforts, the following conclusions agreed to by the Commander, United States Naval Forces, Far East, and Commanding General, Far East Air Forces, are approved and adopted as policy:
(a) CG, FEAF, will have command or operational control of all aircraft operating in the execution of Far East Air Forces mission as assigned by Commander-in-Chief, Far East. This includes operational control of naval land based air when not in execution of naval missions which include naval reconnaissance, anti-submarine warfare, and support of naval tasks such as an amphibious assault.
(b) Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Far East, will have command or operational control of all aircraft in execution of missions assigned by Commander-in-Chief, Far East, to Naval Forces, Far East.
(c) Coordination: (1) Basic selection and priority of target areas will be accomplished by the GHQ target analysis group with all services participating.(2) Tasks assigned by CINCFE, such as amphibious assault, will prescribe the coordination by designation of specific areas of operation. (3) When both Navy Forces, Far East, and Far East Air Forces are assigned missions in Korea, coordination control, a Commander-in-Chief, Far East, prerogative, is delegated to Commanding General, Far East Air Forces.
(The above ltr sent to both COMNAVFE and myself)
On 4 September, I sent to CINCFE, subject: Coordination of Air Operations, as follows:
(a) Annex 'F' to Operations Order No. 1, "Coordination of Air Operations, Headquarters United Nations Command," 2 September 1950 (TS).
(b) Letter, CINCFE, AG 370.2, (8 July 1950) CG, subject: "Coordination of Air Effort of Far East Air Forces and United States Naval Forces, Far East." (Secret)
2. During the joint meeting of Army, Navy and Air Force commanders held in the office of Chief of Staff, GHQ, 30 August 1950, I presented the air coordination directive of 8 July 1950 (reference b), and it was agreed by the commanders present that this agreement would remain applicable to future operations. Annex 'F' to Operations Order No. 1 (reference a) contains some elements which are not in accordance with this agreed to directive. In order to avoid misunderstanding, I deem it imperative that Annex 'F' be in complete consonance with this directive.
a. Par. 3 of reference a states in substance that aircraft operating outside of the objective area on missions assigned by CINCUNC [Commander in Chief, United Nations Command] to COMNAVFE are subject to coordination as arranged between COMNAVFE and CG FEAF.
b. It is recognized that COMNAVFE must have control of air operations within the objective area during the amphibious phase. Air operations outside of the objective area are part of the overall air campaign, and during the amphibious phase contribute to the success of the amphibious operation. Air operations before and after D-Day, outside of the objective area, must be coordinated in accordance with paragraph c (3), reference b, which states: "When both Navy Forces, Far East, and Far East Air Forces are assigned missions in Korea, coordination control, a Commander-in-Chief prerogative, is delegated to Commanding General, Far East Air Forces."
a. Par. 4 of reference a states in substance that the sweeping of airfields within a radius of 150 miles from a point located at latitude 37 degrees and longitude 125 degrees is a mission assigned COMNAVFE, effective on receipt of the order.
b. The mission of maintaining air supremacy over all of Korea is the continuing responsibility of the Commanding General, Far East Air Forces. With the exception of Kimp'o and Suwŏn airfields, the remaining airfields are outside of the objective area. The mission of sweeping airfields at all times, with the exception of the two fields in the objective area during the amphibious assault, is a responsibility of the Commanding General, Far East Air Forces, and coordination control must be exercised by him in accordance with paragraph c (3), reference a.
5. Par. 8, reference a, states in substance that COMNAVFE will designate approach and retirement routes for aircraft such as troop carrier and cargo aircraft in the objective area. The operations of troop carrier aircraft are of special nature and require thorough knowledge for the successful accomplishment of their mission. Before designating retirement routes in the objective area, COMNAVFE must coordinate with CG FEAF.
6. The principle established in par. a of reference b that CG FEAF will have "control of naval land-based air when not in execution of naval missions which include naval reconnaissance, anti-submarine warfare, and support of naval tasks, such as amphibious assault" has been omitted in reference a.
To avoid any possible misunderstanding, this principle should be applied and stated in ANNEX 'F' to OPERATIONS ORDER NO. 1.
7. I therefore recommend that:
a. The last line of paragraph 3, reference a, be changed to read: "These latter missions are subject to coordination control of CG FEAF."
b. The 3d sentence of par 4, reference a, be changed to read: "The sweeping of these and other located fields in the area indicated, to insure air supremacy within the objective area, is a mission assigned jointly to COMNAVFE and to CG FEAF with coordination control exercised by CG FEAF." Delete the 4th sentence of par. 4, reference a.
c. The 1st line of Par 8, reference a, be changed to read "COMNAVFE, through appropriate commanders, and after coordination with and approval by CG FEAF, will designate approach and retirement routes for a/c such as troop carrier and cargo a/c and other transient a/c in the objective area."
d. Add par. 9 to reference a to read as follows: "Control of air operations including those of land-based naval and marine units in the objective area will pass from COMNAVFE to CG FEAF when directed by CINCUNC after completion of the amphibious phase."
8. The foregoing recommendations are indicated in Inc. C, recommended "Re- vised Copy - Annex 'F' to OPERATIONS Order No. 1." Signed G. E. S., etc.
(Recommended Revision - Annex 'F' - Coordination of Air Operations to
OPERATIONS ORDER NO. 1.)
1. Appendix 1 delineates the Initial Objective Area. Within this area, COM- NAVFE, thru appropriate commanders and agencies, control all air operations, including air defense and close support of troops from 0600 D-3 until relieved by orders of CINCUNC.
2. Appendix I further indicates:
a. A number of areas, designated as areas MIKE, NAN, OBOE, PETER, and QUEEN, which will be employed both in the pre-assault and post- assault phases to assist in the coordination between Far East Air Forces and Naval Forces Far East in the area outside the objective area.
b. A zone in which COMNAVFE is responsible for tactical interdiction affecting the objective area from 0600 D-3 until relieved by CINCUNC. This zone is the area between the outer limits of the objective area and the line R-R as shown on Appendix I
3. Far East Air Forces controls the operation of all a/c outside the objective area with the exception of a/c operating in the execution of missions assigned by CINCUNC to COMNAVFE. These latter missions are subject to coordination control by CG FEAF. [emphasis in original.]
4. Various airfields lying within a radius of 150 miles from a point located at
Latitude 37 degrees and Longitude 125 degrees constitute a definite threat to the conduct of the operation. Such fields have been located at or in the vicinity of P'yŏngyang, Sinmak, P'yŏnggang, Ongjin, Haeju, Kimp'o, Suwŏn, Taejon and Kunsan. The sweeping of these and other located fields in the area indicated, to insure air supremacy within the objective area, is a mission assigned jointly to CG FEAF and [emphasis in original] COMNAVFE effective on receipt of this order, with coordination control exercised by CG FEAF. (See paragraph 3, above). In correlation with such sweeps, Navy air elements will conduct strikes against military targets of opportunity and will, at the request of FEAF, undertake such interdiction missions as are consistent with the primary mission.
5. Requirements for air operations in the objective area, during the period 0600 D-3 to disestablishment of the objective area, which exceed the capabilities of COMNAVFE, will be requested from CG FEAF by COMNAVFE. In the event CG FEAF is unable to provide such support without undue interference with other missions assigned, he will so report to CINCUNC and inform COMNAVFE.
6. Except under emergency conditions, requests on CG FEAF for medium bomber strikes will be requested at least 72 hours prior to the TOT [time over target] desired. Where a question arises as to priority of missions, the decision will be made by CINCUNC.
7. In emergency, the tactical air commander in the objective area may request air support direct from CG 5th AF. If such support is not consistent with 5th AF commitments and capabilities, priority for such support will be designated by CINCUNC.
8. COMNAVFE, thru appropriate commanders, and after coordination with and approval by CG FEAF [emphasis in original], will designate approach and retirement routes for a/c, such as troop carrier and cargo a/c, and other transient a/c in the objective area. Such a/c will be subject to the control of established control agencies in the objective area.
9. Control of air operations, including those of land-based naval and Marine units in the objective area, will pass from COMNAVFE to CG FEAF when directed by CINCUNC after completion of the amphibious phase [emphasis in original]. (By Command of General MacArthur.)
259. The term "coordination control" was almost an oxymoron in the Korean War. Throughout the war, both General Stratemeyer and his successors had trouble establishing either "coordination" or "control" of the various Air Force, Navy, Marine, and foreign air units fighting in Korea. One reason for this problem was that the term was a newly-coined one and had not been officially defined. Almost as an afterthought, the following unofficial definition was prepared by a GHQ staff officer later in the war:
"Coordination control is the authority to prescribe methods and procedures to effect coordination in the operations of air elements of two or more forces operating in the same area. It comprises basically the authority to disapprove operations of one force which might interfere with the operations of another force and to coordinate air efforts of the major FEC commands by such means as prescribing boundaries between operating areas, time of operations in areas and measures of identification between air elements." (Futrell No. 71, p 12.) Despite the fact there was no official definition of the term, General MacArthur never clarified its meaning and apparently never intended to. MacArthur evidently attached little importance to this matter, his July 8 directive on this subject being written in such a way as to indicate that his headquarters would retain the final say on "coordination control."
With the term un-clarified by MacArthur and only an unofficial definition written much later, it is no wonder "coordination control" would remain ambiguous and subject to diverse interpretations by the various services. It remained a problem area for Stratemeyer for months, causing him to expend much energy and time on the subject that could have been better spent in other areas. (Futrell, pp 49-51, 54-55; Futrell No. 71, p 12.)