Commander, Naval Forces, Far East

COMNAVFE Commander, Naval Forces, Far East



Joy, C. Turner Vice Adm. ComNavFE USN 1950-1953


Vice Admiral C. Turner Joy
Struble, Arthur D. VAdm.

COMNAVFE authorized COMSEVENTHFLT to continue strikes after 3 July as practicable.

June 25

In a teleconference between Washington and Tokyo that evening, General MacArthur received his instructions. The JCS ordered him to send any ammunition and equipment to Korea which he believed necessary to prevent the loss of the key Sŏul-Kimp'o-Inch'ŏn area. He was to give such supply movements air and naval cover, and take such additional action as proved necessary to safeguard the evacuation of noncombatants from Korea. To augment naval cover, the JCS ordered the U. S. Seventh Fleet to Sasebo Harbor where it was to report to Vice Adm. C. Turner Joy, Commander of Navy Forces, Far East (COMNAVFE). The JCS warned MacArthur that further high level decisions might be expected as the situation developed.

June 25, 1950

The Fleet's principal base of operations was on the island of Luzon, where the Navy, following the war, had developed new facilities at Subic Bay and an airfield at Sangley Point. Peacetime operations of the Seventh Fleet were under the control of Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, Admiral Arthur E. Radford, but standing orders provided that, when operating in Japanese waters or in the event of an emergency, control would pass to Commander Naval Forces Far East. There were, however, certain problems implicit in this arrangement: Admiral Radford's area of responsibility included potential trouble spots outside the limits of the Far East Command; lacking an aviation section on his staff, the control of a carrier striking force and of patrol squadrons would present problems for ComNavFE; Admiral Struble was senior to Admiral Joy.

Although early postwar policy had called for the maintenance of two aircraft carriers in the Western Pacific, the reductions in defense appropriations had made this impossible: for some time prior to January 1950 no carrier had operated west of Pearl; current procedure called for the rotation of single units on six-month tours of duty.  In these circumstances Admiral Struble's Seventh Fleet Striking Force, Task Force 77, was made up of a carrier  "group" containing one carrier, a support "group" containing one cruiser, and a screening group of eight destroyers. The duty carrier in the summer of 1950 was USS Valley Forge (CV-45), an improved postwar version of the Essex class, completed in 1946, with a standard displacement of 27,100 tons, a length of 876 feet, and a speed of 33 knots.

Flagship of Rear Admiral John M. Hoskins, Commander Carrier Division 3, Valley Forge had reported in to the Western Pacific in May, at which time her predecessor, USS Boxer (CV-21), had been returned to the west coast for navy yard availability.

June 25, 1950 1200


A message ninety minutes later gave confirmation. General MacArthur immediately informed Washington and, within a few hours, sent the first comprehensive situation report on the Korean fighting. [04-16]

As the news from Korea worsened later that first day, General MacArthur warned Washington officials, "Enemy effort serious in strength and strategic intent and is undisguised act of war subject to United Nations censure." But he hardly realized how strong it was. His situation report showed only three North Korean divisions along the entire border. [04-17]


American Ambassador to Korea Muccio conferred with President Rhee, who said that the ROK Army would be out of ammunition within ten days. Muccio quickly cabled MacArthur for replenishment.


The Ambassador had already directed the acting chief of KMAG, Colonel Wright, to request an immediate shipment of ammunition for 105-mm. howitzers, 60-mm. mortars, and .30-caliber carbines. [04-18]


Before the day was out, [6/25] General MacArthur ordered General Walker to load the USNS Sergeant George D. Keathley (T-APC-117), then in Yokohama Harbor, with 105,000 rounds of 105-mm. ammunition and 265,000 rounds of 81-mm. mortar, 89,000 rounds of 60-mm. mortar, and 2,480,000 rounds of .30-caliber carbine ammunition. He wanted the Keathley to reach Pusan no later than 1 July. He directed FEAF and COMNAVFE to protect the Keathley en route and during cargo discharge. In his information report to the Department of the Army, MacArthur said that he intended

"to supply ROK all needed supplies as long as they show ability to use same." [04-19]

These actions MacArthur took independently. He received no authority from the JCS to supply the ROK until the following day, at 1330, 26 June. {this appears to be incorrect}

Korean_War Korean_War

An abortive ROK counterattack in the vital Uijŏngbu corridor failed on 26 June, and North Korean entrance into Sŏul seemed assured. [04-33]

Emergency Evacuation

Def   Def   Koread-War

The unexpectedly rapid and powerful communist onslaught exposed some 1,500 American civilians to immediate peril. The majority were families of AMIK personnel, most of them in the Sŏul area. Additionally, more than a hundred women and a sizable number of male employees were working at Department of State, ECA, and KMAG installations.



According to the evacuation plan drawn in July 1949 by GHQ and named CHOW CHOW, the CG Eighth Army, CG FEAF, and COMNAVFE were assigned responsibilities to evacuate U. S. civilians, U. S. military personnel, and designated foreign nationals. The plan estimated that North Korean forces would require at least ninety-six hours to overrun the Sŏul-Inch'ŏn area. [04-34]