Colonel Wright reached the decision, with Ambassador
Muccio's approval, to evacuate all KMAG personnel from Korea except
thirty-three that Colonel Wright selected to remain with the ROK Army
headquarters. Most of the KMAG group departed Suwŏn by air on the 27th.
Strangely enough, the last evacuation plane arriving at Kimp'o that evening from Japan brought four correspondents from Tokyo:
They joined a KMAG group that returned to Sŏul.
Colonel "Tiger Kim," feeling the force of the N.K. 5th Division for the first time, requested that he be sent reinforcements. Colonel Emmerich, senior KMAG adviser with the ROK 3d Division, in turn requested that the ROK Army release immediately the ROK 1st Separate Battalion and the Yŏngdŭngp'o Separate Battalion from their anti-guerrilla operations in the Chiri Mountains of southwest Korea. This was granted and the two battalions, numbering about 1,500 men armed with Japanese rifles and carbines, moved by rail and motor transport to the east coast.
Late in the afternoon of 11 July the command post of the ROK 23d Regiment withdrew south into Yŏngdök. When the 3d Division commander arrived at P'ohang-dong, pursuant to Colonel Emmerich's request that he take personal command of his troops, he ordered the military police to shoot any ROK troops found in the town. That proved effective for the moment. The next day, young Brig. Gen. Lee Chu Sik arrived on the east coast to assume command of the division.
On 13 July Colonel Emmerich and the KMAG detachment with the ROK 3d Division forwarded to Eighth Army a demolition plan for use on the coastal road and bridges.
Maj. Clyde Britton, one of the KMAG officers, was to be responsible for giving authority to blow any of the bridges. The long bridge at Yŏngdök was recognized as the most important feature on the coastal road, and it was to be held intact unless enemy armor was actually crossing it.
At this time interrogation of an enemy prisoner disclosed
that the North Koreans had a plan to blow a bridge near An'gang-ni, on the lateral
corridor from Taegu to P'ohang-dong and to blow both ends of the Ch'ongdo railroad
tunnel between Pusan and Taegu. Destruction of the tunnel would constitute a serious
blow to the logistical support for the front-line troops. Two American officers
with two platoons of ROK troops went to the tunnel to protect it.
On 14 July, Brig. Gen.
Lee Chu Sik, Commanding General, ROK 3d Division, indicated that he
wanted to move the division command post to P'ohang-dong and to withdraw his
troops south of Yŏngdök. Colonel Emmerich told him this could not be done-that
the east coast road had to be held at all costs. General Walker had given a
great deal of attention to the east coast situation because he knew it was
isolated from the rest of the ROK command and needed close watching, and Col.
Allan D. MacLean
of the Eighth Army G-3 staff was in constant communication with Colonel Emmerich.
July 16, 1950
Two days later
[16th] the ROK 23rd Regiment gave way and streamed south. The KMAG advisers considered the situation grave. In response to an inquiry from Colonel Collier of Eighth Army, Colonel Emmerich sent the following message:
Situation deplorable, things are popping, trying to get something established across the front, 75% of the 23rd ROK Regiment is on the road moving south. Advisers threatening and shooting in the air trying to get them assembled, Commanding General forming a straggler line. If straggler line is successful we may be able to reorganize and re-establish the line. If this fails I am afraid that the whole thing will develop in complete disintegration. The Advisory Group needs food other than Korean or C rations and needs rest.
Sometime in August Emmerich will ask that Lee be removed from command.