Unit Details

27th Infantry Regiment

Various Documents

Unit Info  


CO Commanding Officer

Rank Name From To Status
  Col   Mike Michaelis    10Jul50     
             

XO Executive Officer

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

CoS Chief of Staff

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

S-1 Personnel

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

S-2 Intelligence

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

S-3 Plan sand Operations

Rank Name From To Status
             
 Capt  Frank U. Roquemore         Asst

S-4 Logistics

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

Regimental Artillery

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

 Heavy Mortar Company

Rank Name From To Status
             
             

 

 

 

Unit DetailsColonel Michaelis CO of the 27th Infantry Regiment

27th Infantry Regiment (United States)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



27th Infantry Regiment coat of arms
Active 1901–present
Country United States
Branch Infantry Branch (United States)
Type Infantry


Nickname "Wolfhounds" (Special Designation) [1]
Motto Nec aspera terrent
No Fear on Earth
March Wolfhound March
Mascot "Kolchak" A pure bred Russian Wolfhound
Anniversaries Organization Day (Victory at the Battle of Bayan) May 2
Engagements Philippine-American War

Banana Wars
Russian Civil War

Siberian Expedition
World War II

Battle of Pearl Harbor
Korean War

Battle of Pusan Perimeter
Vietnam War

Tet Offensive
Operation Golden Pheasant
Operation Just Cause
Gulf War
Iraq War
Afghanistan War


Commanders
Notable
commanders Lewis Millett


Insignia
Distinctive Unit Insignia



The 27th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed the Wolfhounds,[1] is a unit of the United States Army established in 1901, that served in the Philippine-American War, in the Siberian Intervention after World War I, and as part of the 25th Infantry Division ("Tropic Lightning") during World War II, the Korean War, and later the Vietnam War. More recently the regiment is currently deployed to Afghanistan for the second time, following two deployments to Iraq. The regimental march is the Wolfhound March.



 Service history


27th Infantry "Wolfhoundans" on parade in Vladivostock, August 1918
The 27th Infantry Regiment was established by act of Congress on 2 February 1901 and saw its first combat action while serving as part of the American Force sent to quell the Philippine Insurrection on the island of Mindanao.


During the Russian Civil War, the 27th Infantry served in the American Expeditionary Force sent to Siberia in 1918. This campaign has become an integral part of unit's history. The tenacious pursuit tactics of the regiment won the respect of the Bolsheviks, who gave them the name "Wolfhounds". This emblem continues to serve as the symbol of the 27th Infantry Regiment.


On 1 March 1921, the 27th Infantry Regiment was assigned to the Hawaiian Division. It served in the Hawaiian Division for over twenty years until it was relieved on 26 August 1941, and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division.


Stationed at Hawaii they were some of first to fire back at attacking Japanese war planes during Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The film From Here to Eternity was based on some of the Wolfhound regimental life. After seeing extensive action in the Pacific theater during World War II and the ensuing occupation of Japan, the 27th Infantry Regiment earned the nickname "Gentle Wolfhounds" for their loving support of the Holy Family Orphanage.

Korea


Occupation duties were cut short in July 1950 when the 27th Infantry departed for Pusan, Korea, to assist in holding the Pusan perimeter at the onset of the Korean War. The unit saw heavy action throughout the war, where they were considered the "fire brigade" for the 25th Infantry Division – in essence, making first combat contact with enemy forces. They saw significant fighting at Sandbag Castle.

The commander of the 27th Infantry Regiment offered David Hackworth command of a new volunteer raider unit; Hackworth created the 27th Wolfhound Raiders and led them from August to November 1951.

The 27th earned ten campaign streamers and three Presidential Unit Citations. Upon conclusion of hostilities in Korea, the unit returned to Schofield Barracks.

Vietnam


The 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry entered the Vietnam War in January 1966. During their five-year stay in Vietnam, the unit earned two valorous unit citations, and proved to be one of the last 25th Infantry Division units to return home. The Regiment did finally return to Hawaii in April 1971.


On 10 June 1987, the 2nd Battalion was relieved from their assignment to the 25th Infantry Division, and assigned to the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California. During their tour at Fort Ord the 2nd & 3rd Battalions were deployed to Honduras in 1988 in support of "Operation Golden Pheasant" and in 1989 they were deployed to Panama in support of "Operation Just Cause". On 15 September 1993, the Battalion was inactivated and relieved from assignment to the 7th Infantry Division.


The 2nd Battalion 27th Infantry was again activated on 31 August 1995, and this unit again carries its thirty battle streamers and twelve unit citations on its colors. The motto "Nec Aspera Terrent" translates to "Frightened by no Difficulties", as "Aspera" is Latin for "Work" or "Difficulty" and "Terrent" is Latin for "Fear", the same root as "Terror". It is often stated as "No Fear on Earth."


The 4th Battalion 27th Infantry was active in the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (L) at Schofield Barracks on the island of Oahu in Hawaii during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Also assigned to the 3rd Brigade was the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry. Elements of 4th Battalion were deployed during Operation Desert Storm and served as guards for Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf during their deployment. They also participated in clearing operations in Kuwait and a security element for later peace talks.


 Medal of Honor recipients


Korean War Medal of Honor recipients include:


John W. Collier, Corporal, Company C, 27th IN
Reginald B. Desiderio, Captain, Company E, 27th IN
Benito Martinez, Corporal, Company A, 27th IN
Lewis L. Millett, Captain, Company E, 27th IN
Jerome A. Sudut, Second Lieutenant, Company B, 27th IN


Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipients include:


John F. Baker, Jr., Sergeant (Then Pfc.), Company A, 2nd Battalion, 27th IN
Charles C. Fleek, Sergeant, Company C, 1st Battalion, 27th IN
Robert F. Foley, Captain, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 27th IN
Paul R. Lambers, Staff Sergeant, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 27th IN
Riley L. Pitts, Captain, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 27th IN


 Regimental Distinctive Insignia


The 27th Infantry Regiment consists of two battalions; the 1/27 and 2/27. Although some believe that there are actually two separate Distinctive Unit Insignia (DUI) (aka unit crest) which are issued in pairs, the Wolfhound crests: one for the 1st Battalion Wolfhound unit crest which has the Wolfhound facing to the left and 2nd Battalion Wolfhound crest has the Wolfhound facing to the right on the crest. While in a Class A uniform there are two different crests worn, one on each shoulder with the motto toward the shoulder seam and the head of the Wolfhound facing forward.


 Charitable activities


Both battalions of the 27th Infantry have entered the 50th year of the regiment's relationship with the children and staff of the Holy Family Home Orphanage, Osaka, Japan. During Christmas 1949, Wolfhounds visited the orphanage to deliver gifts and hold a Christmas party for the children. Recognizing the needs of the children, and the then-limited capacity for self-help in postwar Japan, the regiment turned what was to have been a one-time occurrence into flow of supplies, food, building materials, medical assistance, and most importantly, love from American soldiers and their families to the orphans. Soldiers from 1st and 2nd Battalions return to Japan every Christmas, and two children from the orphanage have visited Schofield Barracks annually since 1957. The relationship was recognized by Hollywood in 1956 when members of the regiment were profiled in the 1955 film, Three Stripes In The Sun, starring Aldo Ray.


 Battalion Commanders
1st Battalion
1981-1982 LTC William Peterson
1982-1985 LTC Howard Thacher Linke
1985-1987 LTC William Crittinden


2nd Battalion
?-1997 LTC Greg Lynch
1997-1999 LTC Jon Smart
2001-2003 LTC Tom Guthrie
2003-2005 LTC Walter E. Piatt
2005-2008 LTC Drew Meyerowich
2008–2010 LTC Raul E. Gonzalez
2010–Present LTC Daniel Wilson


3rd Battalion (inactive)


4th Battalion (inactive)


1991–1993 LTC Danny R. McKnight
1993–? LTC William B. Caldwell, IV


 Campaign Credits


27th Infantry "Wolfhounds" advance past dead Chinese soldier, south of Sŏul during Task Force 'Punch', February 1951


Philippine Insurrection: Mindanao
World War I: Siberia 1918; Siberia 1919
World War II: Central Pacific; Guadalcanal; Northern Solomons (with arrowhead); Luzon


Korean War:

UN Defensive;

UN Offensive;

CCF Intervention;

First UN Counteroffensive;

CCF Spring Offensive;

UN Summer-Fall Offensive;

Second Korean Winter;

Korea, Summer-Fall 1952;

Third Korean Winter;

Korea, Summer 1953


Vietnam: Counteroffensive; Counteroffensive, Phase II; Counteroffensive, Phase III; Tet Counteroffensive; Counteroffensive, Phase IV; Counteroffensive, Phase V; Counteroffensive, Phase VI; Tet 69/Counteroffensive; Summer-Fall 1969; Winter-Spring 1970; Sanctuary Counteroffensive; Counteroffensive, Phase VII
Armed Forces Expeditions: Panama


 Decorations
Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for SANGNYONG-NI
Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for TAEGU
Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for HAN RIVER
Valorous Unit Award for CU CHI DISTRICT
Valorous Unit Award for SAIGON
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation for 17 OCTOBER 1944 TO 4 JULY 1945
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for MASAN-CHINJU
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for MUNSAN-NI
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for KOREA
Valorous Unit Award Operation Iraqi Freedom 2007-2009


 Depictions in Media
James Jones wrote From Here to Eternity and The Thin Red Line based on his experiences in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii during the Attack of Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal during the Battle of Mount Austen, the Galloping Horse, and the Sea Horse as a member of the 27th Infantry Regiment.


 References
^ a b "Special Unit Designations". United States Army Center of Military History. 21 April 2010. Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. http://www.history.army.mil/html/forcestruc/spdes-123-ra_ar.html. Retrieved June 24, 2010.

 

Index

July 5

July 7

July 10

July 11

July 12

July 13

July 17

July 20

July 22

July 23

July 24 xxxx

July 25

July 26

July 27

July 28

July 29

July 31

August

August 1

August 2

August 3

August 4

August 6

August 7

August 10

August 11

August 12

August 13

August 14

August 15

August 16

August 17

August 18

August 19

August 20

August 21

August 22

August 23

August 24

August 25

 

 

 

 

July 5, 1950

Korean_War


Mike Michaelis recalled: "After World War Two they reduced a lot of us former regimental commanders to lieutenant colonel, saying we were too young to be colonels. They gave command of the regiments to old fogeys who had never been in combat or, if they had, not as troop leaders. When the Korean War started, they hauled out some of us regimental commanders who had had combat experience. . . .

Walker's chief of staff, Gene Landrum, called me into his office and said: `Congratulations! You're in command of the Twenty-seventh Wolfhounds. Your plane leaves in forty-five minutes.'

We'd just had our first child - a daughter. The only thing I had time to do was rush to the American Consulate with my wife and get our daughter certified so she wouldn't be a Japanese citizen. I put twenty-five dollars, a razor, and toothbrush in my pocket and took off."[6-9]

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July 7, 1950

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Beginning on 9 July [thru 7/25] a succession of American units had performed security missions at [K-3] Yŏnil Airfield below P'ohang-dong; first the 3rd battalion of the 19th Infantry [24ID],

Then sometime latter.....

25th ID

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then the 2nd Battalion of the 27th Infantry [25ID], next the 1st Battalion of the 35th Infantry [25ID], and that in turn gave way to the

1st CD

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1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalry Regiment [1CD]. Thus, in the course of two weeks, battalion-size units of all three United States divisions then in Korea had constituted a security force in the P'ohang-dong area behind the ROK 23rd Regiment.

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July 10, 1950

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General Dean tried to give this front additional strength by assembling there the advanced units of the 25th Infantry Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. William B. Kean. It was the second United States division to be committed in the war and arrived in Korea between 10 and 15 July.

On the 8th, General Kean and an advance party flew from Osaka, Japan, to Taejŏn for a conference with General Dean.

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Two days later the 27th Infantry Regiment (Wolfhound) landed at Pusan. There the regiment learned that its new commander was Lt. Col. John H. "Mike" Michaelis.

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The 27th Infantry at first went to the Uisŏng area, thirty-five miles north of Taegu.

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General Kean opened his first 25th Division command post in Korea at Yŏngch'ŏn, midway between Taegu and P'ohang-dong.

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Mike Michaelis 27th Infantry landed at Pusan on July 10 and mated with the 8th FAB, commanded by Augustus T. ("Gus") Terry, Jr., to form the 27th RCT. In keeping with Walker's plan to hold Taegu and P'ohang, the RCT was fragmented.


The regimental headquarters, one artillery battery, and the 1/27, commanded by Gilbert J. Check, thirty-seven, went directly north from Taegu into the mountains near Uisŏng to backstop the desperately fighting ROKs in that sector.


The 2/27, commanded by Gordon E. Murch, also thirty-seven, and another artillery battery went to P'ohang to backstop the ROKs who were still slowly retreating down the east coast road and to ensure the safety of the port until the arrival of the 1st Cav Division.[6-11]


Before moving out, Mike Michaelis assembled his officers and noncoms to prepare them for combat. He told them he wanted the men "stripped down," paratrooper style, to weapons, ammo, water, rations. All else would be disposed of.

"In other words, what they could put in a backpack - and that was it,"

Mike Michaelis said later. In the postwar years he had assiduously studied Oriental fighting tactics and jungle warfare. He passed along what he had absorbed from these studies: Always take the high ground overlooking your position; have every man drink a full canteen of water in the morning, then refill the canteen to ensure a proper level of body fluids throughout the day. In conclusion, Mike Michaelis said, Patton like,

"Remember, you're here to kill and not to be killed."[6-12]


As it happened, the ROKs at Uisŏng and along the east coast road put-up greater resistance than expected. The result was that the disparate 27th RCT elements had slight or no contact with the NKPA for ten days or more. This gave Mike Michaelis's Wolfhounds and Gus Terry's artillerymen time to adjust mentally and physically to the abrupt shift from a peacetime garrison to the battle zone and to the rigors of the South Korean terrain and climate, time to assimilate newcomers, and time to carry out realistic training exercises.
* * *

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The 24th’s band, which would stay behind at Gifu, played at the railroad station on 11 and 12 July, when the regiment departed Gifu on the first leg of its journey to Korea. The mood among the men was upbeat, bandsman Walter Bufford recalled. It seemed like a football game. The soldiers even called out as they passed, “Be ready to play us back at Thanksgiving!”59

Although few of the men could recall any problems, disturbances did apparently occur. Many Japanese girls were present. Some climbed aboard one of the trains, slowing its departure by what seemed to mortarman William Hough several hours. Soldiers were pulling them through the windows, Hough said, and the police had problems getting them off.

In another case, according to rifleman William Gregg, a black GI attempted to kiss his Japanese girlfriend goodbye on the loading platform at Camp Gifu. When a military policeman intervened, a scuffle occurred in which a number of nearby men participated.

In the end, those incidents were minor.

Much more menacing was a little noticed pattern of activity witnessed by a white platoon leader in Company K who had just arrived from the 7th Infantry Division, 2nd Lt. Alfred Tittel. As the trains pulled out, Tittel said, girls ran alongside, passing packages through the windows to their boyfriends within. Some of the bundles, according to Tittel, were later found to contain drugs.60

During the trip that followed, due to unexpected congestion at the ports, the Eighth Army diverted the 24th from its original destination at Sasebo to Camp Juno near the port of Moji, 100 miles to the northeast. It did the same to the all-white 27th and 35th Infantries, portions of which also used Moji.

Since no plans had been prepared to load the 24th at the port, an advance party of four officers had to improvise everything. Within a scant sixteen hours they set up a holding facility at Moji and a loading area at Kokura; located a small collection of fishing boats, fertilizer haulers, coal carriers, and tankers to transport the regiment to Korea; and made what arrangements they could to accommodate the unit’s men before the convoy departed. A lack of time and proper facilities kept the officers from preparing personnel- loading rosters. They also found it impossible to draw up plans to connect and move the regiment’s various parts with their equipment. Instead, equipment and personnel went on board the ships in the approximate order of their arrival.61

The confusion that reigned when the men of the 24th began pouring into the port provided an opportunity for lawless elements within the regiment to step out of line. While officers struggled to feed the troops and organize loading details, a number of individuals from Pierce’s 3rd Battalion decided to slip away for one last evening in town. Shortly thereafter the regimental adjutant, Major Wooldridge, received a call from the 25th Division’s assistant commander, Brig. Gen. Vennard Wilson, who stated that enlisted men from the 24th were “all over town causing disorders, such as being drunk, fighting, beating up civilians, and attempting rape.”62

The assistant operations officer of the 3rd Battalion, white 2nd Lt. Roscoe Dann, recalled walking down the middle of a street with Wilson and ordering men to “fall in.” He did not recall any great problem. A cook with the 3rd Battalion, Joseph Davis, however, remembered vividly that some of the men had weapons and that “they shot the town up. It was very bad.” A platoon leader in Company I, black 2nd Lt. Reginald J. Sapenter, also recalled shooting. He was alerted in the middle of the night, he said, to go into town and round up the troops. He met General Wilson in a jeep in the middle of a road and warned him to take cover because the men had weapons and ammunition and were taking pot shots. Wilson responded that Sapenter and his men had weapons as well, the clear implication being that they should respond as the situation dictated. In the end, return fire was unnecessary. Over the next three hours, according to Wooldridge, battalion officers organized squads to comb the town, detaining about seventy-five enlisted men and marching them down to the docks where they were needed to load ships. A number more escaped.63

Since all concerned rejoined their units and everyone embarked on time for Korea, neither the regiment nor the Eighth Army was much inclined to pursue the matter. When the Japanese police lodged a formal complaint, however, alleging that approximately one hundred black deserters from an unknown unit had killed a Japanese citizen, seriously injured another, and committed acts of rape, U.S. military authorities in Japan had no choice but to investigate. Unable to contact Wooldridge or other eyewitnesses within the 24th who could have confirmed, as enlisted man Joseph Davis put it, that the 24th had “shot up” Moji, the investigators were quick to dismiss the report as a gross exaggeration. Only ten soldiers had been implicated, they asserted, and no one had been killed or injured. They did concede, however, that the troops involved had responded with gunfire when the military police had arrived and that no one had been punished.64

Although only a small minority of the more than three thousand members of the 24th were involved in those incidents and the majority of the unit’s men went off to war without demur, the wholesale change of officers preceding and even during the move, the rumors and lack of communication attending it, and the episodes of un-discipline at Gifu and Moji raise many questions.

Were the regiment’s leaders at all levels, especially the new officers in the companies, capable of overcoming the problems that were clearly widespread within the regiment while at the same time dealing with the special circumstances of war? Would the lack of trust within the unit between whites and blacks, both officer and enlisted, have a bearing on how the regiment performed in battle? Was discipline, itself a function of trust, sufficient to give the men the tenacity and determination they would need to survive in combat?

Whatever the answers, the problems that accompanied the 24th’s move to Korea appear not to have occurred in all-white regiments making the same journey. Because of that, the disorders tended to confirm the prejudiced stereotypes of whites who were already disposed to question the decision to commit an all-black regiment to the war. “[Despite] the background of WW II in which like organizations functioned, the training background of the 24th in Japan and the inherent characteristic [sic] of the negro soldier,” the 35th Infantry’s commander, Colonel Fisher, thus avowed,

“the decision was to move the organization to Korea. The undisciplinary conduct on the part of this organization while it was awaiting sea transportation in Kokura, Japan, was a final demonstration indicative of the type of conduct which could be expected against an enemy.”65

July 11

July 11, 1950

Pulled out of Japan to help repel the invasion of South Korea, the 27th Regimental Combat Team (RCT) arrived in Korea on 11 July 1950 and saw their first action near Yŏngdong. The 8th FA’s fires were so intense that POWs wanted to see the automatic artillery the 8th was using.

 

The trip from Moji, on Japan’s west coast, to Pusan, on the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula, occurred on 11 and 12 July, took more than twelve hours, and covered 150 miles. With conditions Spartan in port and aboard ship, it was anything but refreshing for the officers or the men of the 24th. The equipment and personnel of the regiment were loaded on an assortment of old Japanese and American ships, many of them used for hauling fish and fertilizer.

 

 

“After much confusion,”

the 3rd Battalion’s war diary noted:

the battalion was alerted to board ship at 1200 hours and movement to the docks began. . . . Three companies . . . were returned to the staging area by direction of Brigadier General Wilson . . . with orders to wait there until all material, equipment, etc., had been loaded. At 2013 hours the units were again ordered aboard ship and . . . loaded on a Japanese vessel, Hari-Mura [sic], during the remainder of the night . . . The Battalion Commander and the Executive Officer were fortunate in being billeted in a 6’X 15’ cabin. There was no fresh water, cooking facilities, nor toilets aboard ship. All the rest of the battalion sat or slept on the filthy deck.66

Years afterward, the commander of the battalion’s Company L, Captain Biggs, recalled that the ship assigned to his unit still had fish in its hold. Alluding to the pungent smell that hung over much of Korea because the farmers of the country used human waste as fertilizer, he commented that “we stunk of fish and the smell of Pusan before we even saw it.”67

If the crossing to Korea proceeded without problems for most of the 24th, disorders continued here and there aboard ship. According to Lieutenant Komp, some stealing of rations, equipment, and even rifles occurred among the men on his ship. It was a sign, he said, that at least a few had little trust in their fellows and viewed the coming test of battle as every man for himself. Others, rifleman James Burke observed, had loaded a truck with “booze.” As a result, he said, “When we got to Korea, most of us were feeling pretty good.”68

In fact, if some seemed to be out for themselves, morale among the majority of the regiment’s members was high. Taking Colonel White at his word and packing their “pinks and greens” for a victory parade, few of the officers expected the war to last long. As for the enlisted men, some, according to rifleman Jerry Johnson, seemed eager to get to the front because the war would be an adventure, and it provided an opportunity to earn the coveted Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Others, according to rifleman Nathaniel Pipkins, were just

“tired of running up and down [the training area at] Fuji. This would be different.”69

All elements of the regiment had reached Pusan by 1400 on 13 July. When they arrived, they encountered a number of problems brought on by the haste in which the United States had gone to war. A lack of cranes and other equipment for unloading the ships at the port of Pusan was complicated by a sit-down strike by local stevedores either sympathetic to the Communists or hoping to sell their services at the highest possible profit. In the end, some units enlisted help in unloading their ships at gunpoint while others did the work themselves.70

Although indicative of poor discipline in portions of the 24th and a source of doubts on the part of whites about the advisability of committing the regiment to war, disturbances at Gifu [their base] and later at the port of Moji on the first leg of the trip from Japan to Korea involved only a small minority of the unit's men and said little about its readiness.

In fact, on paper, the 24th was probably more prepared for combat than the other regiments of the 25th Division. It had three full battalions instead of the two characteristic of the post-World War II Army, and if its equipment was old and worn and its men nervous and unseasoned, it had, at least, exercised at the regimental level in field maneuvers.

Gifu only here. Moji 7/2 noting about any trouble.

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Gifu Japan to Moji Japan

At Gifu wholesale changes in command, designed to improve leadership but calculated as well to ensure that segregation persisted on the field of battle, may have improved the quality of leadership in some units, but they fostered resentment in others, and they left intact the racial prejudice that would fester beneath the surface of the regiment in the weeks to come.

At Moji the rioting and looting brought on by a lack of discipline in part of one battalion augured poorly for the regiment as a whole. For if some companies seemed reasonably well trained and led, others clearly lacked the sort of discipline and leadership they would need during the trials to come.

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July 12, 1950

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The battalion commander, Welborn G. ("Tom") Dolvin (West Point, 1939; ), thirty-four, who had fought in Italy and the ETO, remembered how his outfit was thrown together:

"On July twelfth, while on the golf course, I. got verbal word that my orders had been changed to Korea. I met a cadre of a hundred fifty-five men from the Second Armored Division in California on July seventeenth. We flew to Tokyo, arriving on July nineteenth, where we picked up another cadre of seventy men.

My A Company left Tokyo by ship on July twenty-fourth and arrived in Pusan on July thirty-first. I flew over and met them on the dock at Pusan that day a mere fifteen days after activation of the outfit . We left Pusan for Masan, joining the Nineteenth and Twenty-seventh regiments on the following day."[7-3] [August 1st]

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July 13, 1950

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The next day, 13 July, the 27th Infantry moved from Uisŏng to Andong on Eighth Army orders to take up blocking positions north of the town behind ROK troops.

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On 13 July, with the U.S. 24th Division in defensive positions along the south bank of the Kum River, the front extended along that river to a point above Taejŏn, eighty miles south of Sŏul, where it bent slightly north of east to pass through Ch'ŏngju and across the high Taebaek passes south of Ch'ungju and Tanyang, and then curved slightly south to the east coast at P'yonghae-ri, 110 air miles north of Pusan at the southern tip of the peninsula. On all the principal corridors leading south from this line heavy battles were immediately in prospect.

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Closely related to the Yŏngdong action was the enemy advance southward on the next road eastward, the Poun-Hwanggan road. The N.K. 2nd Division, arriving too late on the east of Taejŏn to help in the attack on that city, turned toward Poŭn. Unless checked it would pass through that town and come out on the main Sŏul-Pusan highway at Hwanggan, about ten miles east of Yŏngdong. This would place it in the rear of the 1st Cavalry Division [did not get in country until the 15th] on the latter's main supply road.


The task of defending this road fell to the 27th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. 25th Division. Upon first arriving in Korea that regiment went to the Uisŏng area, thirty-five air miles north of Taegu.

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On 13 July it moved from there to Andong to support ROK troops, but before it entered action in the heavy battles then taking place in that area it suddenly received orders to move to

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On arrival in Pusan on July 13 the 24th RCT entrained immediately for Kŭmch'ŏn, Kimch'ŏn where it established its CP. Positioned to the left (or west) of the 27th RCT, its mission was to backstop the ROKs who were blocking the NKPA from seizing the road running from Kŭmch'ŏn north through Sangju to Hamch'ang to Yech'ŏn. Like the other Americans preceding them to Korea, the blacks of the 24th RCT were shocked by the heat and humidity, the filth and stench, and the awesome mountainous terrain. Many old pros - and some new ones - in the outfit were determined that the 24th would give a good account of itself, erasing forever from Army minds the hated and humiliating belief that "Negroes won't fight."[6-19]


In the view of most black professionals in the outfit, however, there was a serious obstacle to that goal. They believed that with few exceptions the white officers holding the senior positions in the regiment were of low caliber, or worse, completely unqualified by experience or training to lead troops in combat. These included the 24th's commander, Horton White (the only senior West Pointer in the regiment), and his exec. White had not hitherto commanded troops in combat. In World War II he had been G2 of MacArthur's Sixth Army in the Southwest Pacific.


One of the two young black West Pointers (both 1950) in the 77th ECC, David K. Carlisle, later wrote a history in collaboration with the 77th's commander, Charles Bussey, about his outfit's service in Korea. In it Bussey remembered two shocking episodes on the day the 24th arrived at Kŭmch'ŏn.


First, Horton White confided to Bussey that he was unable to command the regiment. "I'm too old for this," White told Bussey.

"I didn't realize it until this morning, but soldiering is for young'uns. Mine is all behind me. I'll do the job as required while I'm here, but I'll have to pack it in soon."*


Secondly, a key senior officer on 24th's staff, "a big, fat, lazy bastard," had a heart attack, which Bussey surmised was faked. The officer was immediately evacuated.[6-21]


*A fellow West Pointer who commanded a regiment in Korea concurred in White's self-evaluation: "White was an intelligence specialist who was not competent to lead troops."[6-20]

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The last of Bill Kean's 25th Division major combat elements, the 35th Infantry, arrived in Pusan on July 13.

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It was commanded by Horton White's West Point (1923) classmate, Henry G. ("Hank") Fisher, fifty. The 35th was mated with the 64th FAB, commanded by West Pointer (1932) Arthur H. Hogan, forty-two, to form an RCT.[6-29] Although Hank Fisher was a year older than White - by George Marshall's reckoning too old for regimental command - his attitude was completely different from White's: He was itching for a fight. Fisher well knew how to fight and command troops. Like Mike, [of the 27th RCT) he had successfully commanded an infantry regiment (the 317th of the 80th Division) through many months of tough fighting in the ETO.

The Army historian wrote that Fisher, "ruddy faced and possessed of a strong, compact body," was a "fine example of the professional soldier." He was "one of the ablest regimental commanders in Korea," who possessed an "exact knowledge" of weaponry and tactics. One of Fisher's young West Point (1945) officers, Sydney B. Berry wrote:

He was a professional in the finest sense of the word. He set high standards for his soldiers and his regiment and saw to it that we lived up to his expectations for us. He drove us in training with a sense of urgency and purpose. . . . Because "Hammering Hank Fisher," as we called him, had trained us in a tough, demanding, professional manner, we won battles in Korea from the beginning. Indeed, combat seemed easier than training under Hammering Hank Fisher. Many of us survived because of the tough, effective training Colonel Fisher had provided us.[6-30]

Upon landing at Pusan, the 35th, like the 27th Infantry, was fragmented. Johnnie Walker ordered Kean to send the 1/35, commanded by West Pointer (1939) Bernard G. Teeters, thirty-five, to P'ohang to relieve Mike's 2/27, so that the latter could rejoin its parent organization. Fisher, his regimental headquarters, and his 2/35, commanded by John L. Wilkin, Jr., forty-two, camped for a few days in a rear area near Yŏngju. This brief interlude before battle provided Fisher and his men with time to adjust to Korea, assimilate fillers, and engage in training exercises.[6-31]

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July 15, 1950

Korean_War

On or about 13 July, the N.K. 5th Division entered P'yonghae-ri, twenty-two miles above Yŏngdök and fifty miles from P'ohang-dong. There the 10th Regiment turned westward into the mountains and headed for Chinbo, back of Yŏngdök.

The enemy advances down the mountain backbone of central Korea and on the east coast had assumed alarming proportions. The attack on Yŏngdök, the first critical and major action on the east coast, was at hand.

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General Dean tried to give this front additional strength by assembling there the advanced units of the 25th Infantry Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. William B. Kean. It was the second United States division to be committed in the war and arrived in Korea between 10 and 15 July.

July 8, 1950

On the 8th, General Kean and an advance party flew from Osaka, Japan, to Taejŏn for a conference with General Dean.

July 10, 1950

Korean_War

Two days later the 27th Infantry Regiment (Wolfhound) landed at Pusan. There the regiment learned that its new commander was Lt. Col. John H. "Mike" Michaelis.

July 12, 1950

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On the 12th, a second regiment, the 24th Infantry, an all-Negro regiment and the only regiment in the Eighth Army having three battalions, arrived in Korea. Col. Horton V. White commanded it.

The 27th Infantry at first went to the Uisŏng area, thirty-five miles north of Taegu. General Kean opened his first 25th Division command post in Korea at Yongch'on, midway between Taegu and P'ohang-dong.

On 12, July General Dean ordered him to dispose the 25th Division, less one battalion which was to secure Yŏnil Airfield, so as to block enemy movement south from Ch'ungju. One regiment was to be in reserve at Kŭmch'ŏn ready to move either to the Taejon or the Ch'ŏngju area. [08-14]

July 13, 1950

The next day, 13 July, the 27th Infantry moved from Uisŏng to Andong on Eighth Army orders to take up blocking positions north of the town behind ROK troops.

July 15, 1950

Korean_War

Lastly, the 35th Infantry Regiment, commanded by Col. Henry G. Fisher, arrived at Pusan between 13 and 15 July. [08-13]

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July 17, 1950

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With the 21st Regiment of the 8th South Korean Division opposing the 31st Regiment’s advance toward Yech’on and reports arriving that the enemy was threatening Hamch’ang, General Kean decided to organize Task Force Able under General Wilson to secure the Hamch’ang- Kŭmch'ŏn road. Receiving permission to detach the 2d Battalion of the 24th from Eighth Army reserve, on the evening of 17 July he moved it north from Kŭmch'ŏn to hold roads coming through the mountains near Sangju, a town some ten miles south of Hamch’ang. Wilson took operational control of that battalion, the 3d Battalion of the 24th, and Company A of the 79th Tank Battalion shortly thereafter. He planned to use the 3d Battalion to block the roads around Hamch’ang. Employing the vehicles of Company B of the 65th Engineer Battalion to assist in transporting the unit to Hamch’ang, he left the engineers at Yech’on temporarily to serve as a rear guard.91

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On 17 July the commander of the 25th Infantry Division, General William B. Kean, visited Colonel White at Kŭmch'ŏn to discuss the situation. The 27th Infantry and White’s 3d Battalion were already supporting the South Koreans on the approaches to Andong. It seemed time to send additional units north to cover other areas. To that end, Kean decided to keep Fisher ’s 35th Infantry at the east coast port of P’ohang-dong, where the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division was slated to land shortly. Meanwhile, to fill the gap between Hamch’ang and Kŭmch'ŏn, White was to dispatch the 24th Infantry’s 2d Battalion to Sangju to participate in General Wilson’s Task Force Able. The 1st Battalion and the regimental headquarters would remain in reserve at Kumch’on.2 Although White kept tabs on his 2d and 3d Battalions, they were out of his control. His attention was thus of necessity directed toward his 1st Battalion, where minor organizational problems had developed.

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In preparation for this battle both Moore and Mike Michaelis received significant reinforcements: a platoon each of six Sherman medium tanks, mounting 76mm guns. These tanks, salvaged from World War II battle fields during Operation Rollup and refurbished by the Japanese, comprised the advance elements of the 89th Medium Tank Battalion, which Eighth Army had activated in mid-July and assigned initially to the 24th Division.

The battalion commander, Welborn G. ("Tom") Dolvin (West Point, 1939; ), thirty-four, who had fought in Italy and the ETO, remembered how his outfit was thrown together:

"On July twelfth, while on the golf course, I. got verbal word that my orders had been changed to Korea.

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I met a cadre of a hundred fifty-five men from the Second Armored Division in California on July seventeenth. We flew to Tokyo, arriving on July nineteenth, where we picked up another cadre of seventy men. My A Company left Tokyo by ship on July twenty-fourth and arrived in Pusan on July thirty-first. I flew over and met them on the dock at Pusan that day a mere fifteen days after activation of the outfit . We left Pusan for Masan, joining the Nineteenth and Twenty-seventh regiments on the following day.[[8/1] "[7-3]

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July 20, 1950

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On July 20, when Taejŏn fell, Walker concluded that the NKPA threat to Taegu from the west and northwest was greater than the threat from the north, where the ROKs were still fighting with surprising vigor and élan.

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He therefore ordered Bill Kean to suspend his ROK "backstopping" operations and redeploy the 25th Division (less Teeter's 1/35 at P'ohang) to face northwest, along the road from Kŭmch'ŏn to Hamch'ang.

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Yŏngdök, Mike Michaelis's 27th RCT would occupy the southernmost sector in front of Kŭmch'ŏn;

White's 24th RCT, the center sector in front of Sangju, where Kean would place the division CP);

and Fisher's 35th RCT, the northernmost sector in front of Hamch'ang.

Korean_War

ROK forces near Yech'ŏn would cover the division's right flank; the 1st Cav Division, scheduled to attack west up the Taegu - Taejŏn road, would cover the division left flank.[6-32]


In hindsight, Walker's critics faulted him for a "leisurely" early deployment of the 25th Division. It had "loitered" around Taegu for ten days, doing nothing of real consequence (except to retake Yech'ŏn), while the 24th Division was being savaged at the Kum River and Taejŏn, ostensibly "buying time" so the 25th (which was already there) and the 1st Cav could land.

In response to Walker's justification for the deployment - that he could not be certain the ROKs could hold the NKPA north of Taegu and holding Taegu was vital to his strategy - the critics pointed out that if Walker had taken the time to visit ROK units north of Taegu and P'ohang and assess their commanders and their spirit, he would have known that the NKPA attack, bedeviled by mountainous terrain and supply problems, had slowed to a crawl and that the ROK forces were more dependable than heretofore assumed.[6-33]

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July 22, 1950

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Closely related to the Yŏngdong action was the enemy advance southward on the next road eastward, the Poŭn-Hwanggan road. The N.K. 2d Division, arriving too late on the east of Taejon to help in the attack on that city, turned toward Poŭn. Unless checked it would pass through that town and come out on the main Seoul-Pusan highway at Hwanggan, about ten miles east of Yŏngdong. This would place it in the rear of the 1st Cavalry Division on the latter's main supply road. The task of defending this road fell to the 27th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. 25th Division. Upon first arriving in Korea that regiment went to the Uisŏng area, thirty-five air miles north of Taegu.

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On 13 July it moved from there to Andong to support ROK troops, but before it entered action in the heavy battles then taking place in that area it suddenly received orders to move to Sangju. En route to that place it received still other orders to change its destination to Hwanggan, and it closed there in an assembly area the night of 22-23 July.

General Walker had begun the quick and improvised shifting of troops to meet emergencies that was to characterize his defense of the Pusan Perimeter. The 27th Infantry's mission at Hwanggan was to relieve the decimated ROK troops retreating down the Poŭn road. [12-45] In carrying out Eighth Army's orders to block the Poŭn road, Colonel Michaelis assigned the 1st Battalion of the 27th Infantry the task of making contact with the enemy.

On the morning of 23 July, Lt. Col. Gilbert J. Check moved the 1st Battalion northward toward Poŭn from the Hwanggan assembly area. He took up defensive positions in the evening near the village of Sangyong-ni, south of Poŭn. The battalion assumed responsibility for that sector at 1700 after ROK troops fell back through its position. [12-46]

Colonel Check was unable to obtain from the retreating ROK troops any information on the size of the North Korean force following them or how close it was. That night he sent 1st Lt. John A. Buckley of A Company with a 30-man patrol northward to locate the enemy. Near Poŭn Buckley saw an enemy column approaching. He quickly disposed his patrol on hills bordering both sides of the road, and, when the column was nearly abreast, opened fire on it with all weapons. This fire apparently caused the enemy advanced unit to believe it had encountered a major position, for it held back until daylight. When the enemy turned back, Buckley and his patrol returned to the 1st Battalion lines, arriving there at 0400, 24 July. Six men were missing. [12-47]

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July 23, 1950

Korean_War


The 27th Infantry's Baptism of Fire


En route to that place it received still other orders to change its destination to Hwanggan, and it closed there in an assembly area the night of 22-23 July. General Walker had begun the quick and improvised shifting of troops to meet emergencies that was to characterize his defense of the Pusan Perimeter. The 27th Infantry's mission at Hwanggan was to relieve the decimated ROK troops retreating down the Poŭn road. [12-45]


In carrying out Eighth Army's orders to block the Poŭn road, Colonel Michaelis assigned the 1st Battalion of the 27th Infantry the task of making contact with the enemy.

On the morning of 23 July, Lt. Col. Gilbert J. Check moved the 1st Battalion northward toward Poŭn from the Hwanggan assembly area.

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On the first and main road, the 35th Infantry, held a blocking position northwest of Hamch'ang, supported by a platoon of tanks from A Company, A Company, 78th Tank Battalion, and A Battery, 90th Field Artillery Battalion. Colonel Fisher was unable to concentrate his two-battalion regiment here for the defense of on 25 July from P'ohang-dong than it was sent posthaste the next day to reinforce the 27th Infantry Regiment on the next north-south line of communications westward. Thus, in effect, one battalion of U.S. troops stood behind ROK units on the Hamch'ang approach.

Korean_War Korean_War

On the second road, that leading into Sangju 24th Infantry Regiment assembled two, and later all three, of its battalions. The 2nd Battalion of the 35th Infantry took up a hill position northwest of Hamch'ang and south of Mun'gyŏng on the south side of a stream that flowed past On the north side of the stream a ROK battalion held the front line. Brig. Gen. Vennard Wilson, Assistant Division Commander, insisted that F Company of the battalion should be inserted in the center of the ROK line north of the stream, and this was done over the strong protests of Colonel Fisher and the battalion commander, Lt. Col. John L. Wilkins. Wilson thought the American troops would strengthen the ROK defense; Fisher and Wilkins did not want the untried company to be dependent upon ROK stability in its first engagement. Behind the ROK and F Company positions the ground rose in another hill within small arms range. Heavy rains had swollen the stream behind the ROK's and F Company to a torrent that was rolling large boulders along its channel.

On 22 July the North Koreans attacked. The ROK's withdrew from their positions on either side of F Company without informing that company of their intentions. Soon enemy troops were firing into the back of F Company from the hill behind it. This precipitated an unorganized withdrawal. The swollen stream prevented F Company from crossing to the south side and the sanctuary of the 2nd Battalion positions. Walking wounded crowded along the stream where an effort to get them across failed. Two officers and a noncommissioned officer tied a pair of twisted telephone wires about their bodies and tried to swim to the opposite bank and fasten a line, but each in turn was swept downstream where they floundered ashore a hundred yards away on the same bank from which they had started. Some men drowned in trying to cross the swollen river. The covering fire of a platoon of tanks on the south side held off the enemy and allowed most of the survivors eventually to escape. In this fiasco, F Company lost 6 men killed, 10 wounded, and 21 missing. [12-20]

The next morning [23] five enemy tanks crossed the river and moved toward Hamch'ang. Artillery fire from a battery of the 90th Field Artillery Battalion knocked out four of the tanks. The fifth turned back across the river, and there an air strike later destroyed it.

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The next day, July 23, the NKPA infantry, led by five T-34 tanks, hit Fisher hard. However, in an astonishing display of marksmanship, the 155-mm batteries of James V. Sanden's 90th FAB knocked out four of the five tanks with HEAT shells. (A timely FEAF air strike got the fifth.)

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This feat gave the depleted 2/35 heart, and it held its ground until later in the day, when yet another collapse of the ROKs on the right and growing lack of confidence in the 24th Infantry induced Bill Kean to pull the 35th south to help the 24th defend Sangju. By then Teeters's 1/35, relieved at P'ohang, was en route to join Fisher, but Kean had to divert it to the left flank of the 24th Infantry, adjacent to the Wolfhounds, where the NKPA 2nd Division was threatening to force a breakthrough at Hwanggan.[6-62]

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Mike Michaelis's two-battalion 27th Infantry Wolfhounds, in position northwest of Hwanggan, encountered the NKPA 2nd Division's probing attacks on the night of July 23rd.

The Wolfhounds, supported by Gus Terry's superior 8th FAB, bit back with unusual, indeed even unprecedented, ferocity. Michaelis remembered his tactics:

"One thing I learned about the North Koreans: If things did not go exactly as they had planned, they had to stop everything and call back the company and battalion commanders, set up a new pattern, then come out again. So, if you could destroy their initial onslaught, you had them. I came up with what I called the `inverted snake procedure.' I would put one company astride the road leading into our positions, then take the high ground as far back as I could stretch, closing off the tail end. When the NKPA came down the road and bumped into the block, they'd start their usual probing on the flanks, forgetting [6-for the moment] the middle. I'd pull the middle back through and build up the flanks in the high ground. When finally you got down to the desperation point - in danger of losing your equipment and a lot of men - you broke contact and just hauled ass. That became our radio signal for withdrawal: How Able! How Able!"[6-52]

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July 24, 1950

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July 25, 1950

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(Not25es)

July 26, 1950

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July 27, 1950

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July 28, 1950

19500728 0000 DSC HARRIS, JAMES A., JR.*

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July 29, 1950

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July 31, 1950

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August 1950

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August 1, 1950

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August 2, 1950

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August 3, 1950

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August 4, 1950

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August 6, 1950

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August 7, 1950

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August 10, 1950

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August 11, 1950

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August 12, 1950

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August 13, 1950

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August 14, 1950

note

On August 4, elements of the North Korean 16th Infantry Regiment staged an assault across the Naktong between Companies I and L, 3/34 Infantry, and overwhelmed most of their positions. NKPA troops drove about five miles into the 24th Division sector, precipitating the First Battle of the Naktong Bulge, [5-19 Aug] which eventually involved the entire 24th Division, (19, 21,34th regiments) the U.S. 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, the newly arrived 9th Infantry Regiment and 1/23rd Infantry (both from the 2nd Infantry Division) and the 2/27th Infantry. The struggle lasted until August 19.

The 34th Infantry gave its all. Company K stayed on its 7,500-yard front along the Naktong alone until ordered out on about August 14. At the outset, the 1/34th launched a counterattack, but part of Company C was trapped in a grist mill, where the men valiantly held out until rescued. Captain Albert F. Alfonso, with remnants of Companies A, C and L, held a small perimeter at the nose of the bulge until ordered out on the night of August 8-9. Elements of the regiment took part in a number of counterattacks between August 6 and 18.

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      Unit Info  

Bowling Alley-The Sangju-Taegu Corridor

The 27th Infantry Regiment of the 25th Division had just completed its mission of clearing the North Koreans from the southern part of the Naktong Bulge area in the 24th Division sector when the enemy pressure north of Taegu caused new alarm in Eighth Army headquarters. Acting on the threat from this quarter, Eighth Army on 14 August relieved the regiment from attachment to the 24th Division

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Unit Info  Unit Info  

On the 14th, a reinforced company of the 35th Infantry, 25th Division, took up a defensive position south of the Naktong River at Namji-ri bridge, relieving units of the 27th Infantry there. Responsibility for protecting the bridge passed from the 24th to the 25th Division. [17-48]

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On August 4, elements of the North Korean 16th Infantry Regiment staged an assault across the Naktong between Companies I and L, 3/34 Infantry, and overwhelmed most of their positions. NKPA troops drove about five miles into the 24th Division sector, precipitating the First Battle of the Naktong Bulge, which eventually involved the entire 24th Division, the U.S. 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, the newly arrived 9th Infantry Regiment and 1/23rd Infantry (both from the 2nd Infantry Division) and the 2/27th Infantry. The struggle lasted until August 19.

The 34th Infantry gave its all. Company K stayed on its 7,500-yard front along the Naktong alone until ordered out on about August 14. At the outset, the 1/34th launched a counterattack, but part of Company C was trapped in a grist mill, where the men valiantly held out until rescued. Captain Albert F. Alfonso, with remnants of Companies A, C and L, held a small perimeter at the nose of the bulge until ordered out on the night of August 8-9. Elements of the regiment took part in a number of counterattacks between August 6 and 18.

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August 21, 1950

 

On 21-24 August 1950 the 8th FA killed over 3000 of the enemy as the 27th RCT halted a major North Korean attack near Teagu. The 8th FA saw intense fighting in all ten Korean campaigns, receiving three Presidential Unit Citations.

 

August 25, 1950

ROK relief of the 27th Infantry began at 1800, 25 August, and continued throughout the night until completed at 0345, 26 August.