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Although a resolution to begin trade with Korea was initially defeated in Congress, it does pass. (2, 21)




Anchoring below Pyongyang in the Taedong River, an American merchant ship named the General Sherman is attacked by Koreans. Its crew is massacred. Americans immediately want to investigate the incident and to speak to the Korean king, both to no avail. (2,21)




Sent to investigate the General Sherman incident, Commander Robert W. Schufeldt and his USS Wachusett’s crew sails from China to western Korea. Unfortunately, inclement weather ends the investigations. (21)




The USS Shenandoah’s crew, including commander John C. Febiger, sail to the Taedong River’s mouth. There local authorities communicate with them, giving them a letter. A response to Schufeldt’s investigation, the letter states that once provoked, the local population became a mob force, killing the General Sherman’s crew. (21)




American forces attack forts by the Yom-ha River in Korea. Over 250 Koreans die in the fighting. (21)

Under orders from Secretary of State Hamilton Fish, the American Minister to China Frederick F. Low goes to Korea to secure a treaty protecting shipwrecked sailors stranded on Korean shores. (21)



March 30

Dropping anchor near the Han River’s mouth are five American war ships. (2)


An American squadron of gunboats and warships sails for Korea. Among those aboard is American Minister to China Frederick F. Low. Near Inchon, Low and members of his staff meet with local officials but no treaty, commercial or otherwise, is signed. (21)

June 1-3

While sailing to the Yom-ha/Salee River, an American naval observation team receives incoming fire from Korean shore batteries. The American ships respond, silencing the Korean batteries. When Korean authorities refuse to take responsibility for the attack, Low orders an attack on Korean fortifications on the Salee River. As a result, American forces destroy or capture five forts. In the fighting, Koreans sustain around 250 KIAs, and the Americans sustain 3 KIAs and 3 WIAs. Still, Korean authorities refuse to begin talks with Low. (21)

June 10

Following a bombardment, American Marines storm ashore, establish a beachhead, and overrun Korean forces guarding Seoul’s sea approaches. In recognition for their actions, one sailor and six Marines are awarded a Medal of Honor. (2)

July 3

The mission a failure since Korean authorities still refuse to talk with Low, the American war ships withdraw from Korea. (2,21)



May 22

America officially opens trade with the Kingdom of Korea. Originally sent to investigate the General Sherman incident in 1866, Commodore Robert W. Schufeldt signs the agreement for the Americans. The United States and Korea sign the Treaty of Chemulpo. (2,21,29)



The first American officers, three, arrive in Korea to serve as military advisors. (29)



The king of Korea proclaims that America is like an elder brother to his kingdom. (2)



Russia is defeated by the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War. American President Theodore Roosevelt aids in the negotiations which ends with the Treaty of Portsmouth. Under the treaty’s guidelines, Russia accepts Japan’s interests in Korea. The Korean king is coerced into allowing the Japanese to declare his nation one of its protectorates. (2,21,32,39)



Korea is annexed as a colony of the Japanese. (2,18,21,29,32)




Korean Americans appeal to President Woodrow Wilson to aid a movement toward Korean independence from Japan. Wilson does not respond. (21)



August 15

Truman receives Stalin’s approval for General Order Number One which divides Korea at the 38th parallel into a sphere of Russian occupation in northern Korea and a sphere of American occupation in southern Korea. (21,A)

December 1

At the Cairo Conference, the Big Three (Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin) support restoring Korea’s independence "in due course." Korean nationalist are angered by this clause. (1,21,A1)



The United Nations is formed. (18)

July 24

Korea’s future is again mentioned by the Big Three at the Potsdam Conference. (11)

August 8

Russia declares war on the Japanese. (2,18,31,40)

August 10

At the War Office, colonels Dean Rusk and Charles Bonesteel are instructed to come up with a dividing line in Korea between the Russian and American occupation spheres. They suggest the 38th parallel. (17,B)

August 11-12

Russian forces invade Korea. (2)

August 14

World War II officially ends when the Japanese formally announce their surrender. Continuing their advance, Russian forces near Kaesong. (2,40)

September 2

Aboard the Missouri, the American Pacific commander, Gen. Douglas MacArthur oversees the Japanese surrender. General Order One, issued by MacArthur, gives details for the Japanese surrender in East Asia; in Korea, Japanese forces above the 38th parallel are to surrender to Russian forces and Japanese forces below the 38th parallel are to surrender to American forces. (41,2,21)

September 8

US Army occupations forces land in Korea to disarm and repatriate Japanese nationalists. (15,29,21,39)

September 9

Japanese forces south of the 38th parallel surrender to American Lt. Gen. John R. Hodge. (2,29)

October 3

Although no elections are held, the Soviets proclaim Kim Il Sung as the leader in northern Korea. (2)

October 14

The Russian occupational forces stage a pro-Kim Il Sung rally in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang (1)


In Moscow, a joint Russian-American Commission meets to discuss Korea. They agree to a five-year trusteeship of Korea. (2,21)


According to Lt. Gen. Hodge, Russian forces are building fortifications along the 38th parallel. (2)



Joseph McCarthy is elected to the Senate. (28,32,17)


Winston Churchill delivers his "Iron Curtain" speech. (11)


The State Department decides that if conditions arise, American forces will not defend Korea. (21)



The Department of Defense, National Security Council, and Central Intelligence Agency are created under the National Security Act. (2,21)

The House Un-American Activities Committee is formed to investigate communists and their influence in American society. (38)

January 1

General Headquarters, Far East Command is officially established. (2)


The Truman Doctrine is proclaimed. Issuing Executive Order 9835 which creates a Federal Employee Loyalty Program, Truman authorizes the screening of federal employees for any signs of communism. (11,38,21,39)

March 5

Kim Il Sung and other members of his government meet with Stalin to discuss Russian military aid to North Korea. (3)


Acting Secretary of State Dean Rusk receives word from then Secretary of War Robert Patterson that American forces should withdraw from Korea as soon as possible. (39)


The Marshall Plan is announced. In his Foreign Affairs article, George Kennan first writes of "containment." (11,39,38)


The Air Force is established as its own branch of the armed forces. (2,21)


In Hungary, Soviets first purge all anti-communist leaders and then rig elections, insuring a pro-Soviet government. (38)


Physicist Klaus Fuchs is charged with being a Russian spy. (17)

September 17

Due to American efforts, the UN General Assembly’s agenda includes the issue of Korean independence. (2,21)

September 29

The Joint Chiefs of Staff conclude that the Korean peninsula is not of vital importance to America’s security. (21,5)

November 14

The UN General Assembly passes a resolution sponsored by the American delegation. It calls for a single government in Korea. As a result, a UN Temporary Commission (UNTCOK) on Korea is created to oversee the election of a united Korean government. (2,21,39)




The UN Temporary Commission on Korea arrives in Seoul. (2)

January 24

The commander of Russian occupation forces in northern Korea refuses to allow the UN Temporary Commission on Korea into his territory. As a result, UN-sponsored elections are not held in northern Korea. (21)


The communists overthrow the government in Czechoslovakia. Conceding that the Russians will probably overtake all of Korea, the JCS nevertheless recommends withdrawing all American forces from Korea. Russian occupation forces formally activate the North Korean People’s Army. (11,21,38)


The Marshall Plan is approved. (11)

April 2

Truman approves NCS-8 which states that America will help southern Korea with its armed forces and economy, but will not defend it against a communist attack from the north. (21)

May 10

Although the UN Temporary Commission on Korea is refused admittance into northern Korea, elections in southern Korea are held nonetheless. Southern Koreans elect a National Assembly and Syngman Rhee is chosen as president. (2,21,39)

June 24

The Russians begin the Berlin Blockade. The US responds with the Berlin Airlift. (32)

July 17

The first session of the Republic of Korea’s (ROK’s) National Assembly is held. (10)

July 26

President Truman issues an executive order to desegregate the armed forces. The Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Forces in established. (30,38,2)

July 30

Whittaker Chambers and Elizabeth Bentley appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee. They both declare that the State Department has been infiltrated by communists. The hearings continue on through August. (32,17)

August 15

With the establishment of the Republic of Korea, the American occupation in Korea officially ends. Rhee is inaugurated as the ROK’s first president. (2,10,21,29)

September 9

In northern Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is created with Kim Il Sung as its premier. (1,2,3,10,21)


American military forces begin withdrawing from South Korea. Kim Il Sung declares his government’s jurisdiction over the entire Korean peninsula. (2,29)


ROK forces brutally put down a communist-led uprising. (21)


Truman wins his presidential re-election bid. (17,30)


The UN General Assembly passes a resolution which declares the ROK government the lawful Korean government since UNTCOK was able to observe its elections. A high-level, small Russian military mission has arrived in the North Korean capital. (39,21)

December 31

By this date, all Russian forces have been withdrawn from North Korea, according to the Russians themselves. (2,21)



Kim Il Sung makes two trips to Moscow this year to request military assistance. Russia does send much military aid (technology, arms, ammunition, and varying other supplies) to North Korea. In addition, Kim and Stalin sign a "treaty of friendship." (3)


From his headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, Gen. Douglas MacArthur gives his recommendations to the JCS: although ROK military forces would not be able to repel a North Korean invasion, American forces should not defend South Korea. In fact, American combat forces should be removed from the Korean peninsula immediately. (21)

January 21

Dean Acheson becomes secretary of state. (17)


MacArthur defines American defense perimeters which exclude Korea. (32)


NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is formed. (11,2,39)


Stalin finally ends the Berlin Blockade. (11)

June 27

Concluding that America should respond to a North Korean invasion, the State Department submits this matter to the United Nations. (21)

June 30

US Army occupation forces in Korea have withdrawn. (15,21,11,C)

[American time]

March 29

Upon Truman’s approval, a Provisional American Military Advisory Group to South Korea is established. (29)


The Provisional American Military Advisory Group to South Korea is officially called KMAG. KMAG is activated. (2,29,D)


The communists under Mao Zedong take over mainland China after Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek fled to Formosa, present day Taiwan. (1)

September 23

Truman announces that the American monopoly on atomic devices has ended; the Soviets have exploded their own device. (2,32,17,E)

October 1

The communist People’s Republic of China is officially proclaimed. (11,31,39)

October 10

The ROK Air Force is activated. (21)

October 12

Secretary of State Acheson announces that America will not recognize the People’s Republic of China. (32)

December 9

The last Nationalist Chinese forces leave mainland China for Formosa. (2)

December 30

Truman approves NSC-48/2, which, among other things, sets American Far East policy. It states that America must prevent the spread of communist power from the mainland of Asia into the Pacific. (21)



The UN Security Council, which includes 15 member nations, is formed. (18)

In the early months of the year, border clashes occur along the 38th parallel. (21)


The Truman administration announces that Chiang Kai-shek’s government will no longer receive American aid. Angered over Nationalist China’s seating (not communist China’s seating) at the UN, the Russians begin a boycott. (1,11,32)

January 1

To date, the North Korean Army numbers 110,000 and is quickly growing. (3)

January 12

In a speech to the National Press Club, Secretary of State Dean Acheson leaves South Korea out of America’s defensive perimeter in the Far East. (5,11,21,30,31,32,17,21,39)

January 14

Chinese forces attack the American consulate offices in Peking. (32)

January 19

The House of Representatives defeats an aid bill for Korea. (21)

January 21

First accused of being a communist by Whittaker Chambers in July of 1948, Alger Hiss is convicted of perjury. Hiss had worked in the State Department. (32,39)

January 31

Truman announces that he has authorized research for the development of a hydrogen bomb. (11,32,21,E1)


Klaus Fuchs confesses to being a Russian spy; he admits he gave atomic secrets to the Russians. He is sentenced to a prison term of 14 years. (27,39,17)

February 9

Beginning his rabid anti-communist crusade with a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, Senator Joseph McCarthy announces that 205 communists are supposedly working in the State Department. (32,38,17,39)

February 14

The Russians and Chinese sign the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance. (21,11)

February-April Kim Il Sung visits Moscow to win Stalin’s approval for his Korean reunification plan. Stalin does give his support, especially since Kim believes that Americans won’t defend South Korea. Stalin begins to send military assistance in support of the planned North Korean invasion. (3,11)

March 15

The KMAG commander concedes that North Korean forces could defeat ROK forces and that the communists could overtake the Republic of Korea. (21)

Spring American intelligence discovers that elements of the Russian Air Force have been sent to the coastline of mainland China. It is feared that the communists may attack Formosa. (11)


Completed, NSC-68 proposals include the tripling of the American defense budget in response to the idea that the communism has become global, monolithic movement. (11,21,39)


Stalin tells Mao that North Korea and China must work together. After visiting Moscow, Kim visits Beijing and gains Mao Zedong’s support. Mao believes that Americans will not come to South Korea’s defense. Soviet weaponry continues to arrive via freighters. At the end of this month, the North Korean Army (Korean People’s Army), along with their Russian military advisers, state that their forces are ready to concentrate on the 38th for the invasion. With Kim’s insistence, the date of invasion is June 25. Helping to advance Kim’s invasion scheme, Stalin begins replacing his military advisors in North Korea with combat-experienced personnel. These new Russian forces to North Korea draft a "Preemptive Strike Operational Plan," what becomes known as the "6-25" plan or the plan to invade South Korea. (3,11)

May 2

In a U.S. News and World Report interview, the Chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee Tom Connally states that American forces will not defend South Korea if an aggressor strikes against the nation. (21)

June 1

Far East Air Force’s Intelligence Section states that an invasion by North Korean forces will defeat South Korea. (21)

June 19

Although it believes that the North Koreans had contemplated an invasion into South Korea, the CIA concludes that the assault had been called off and Kim will instead rely on subversion and propaganda. Yet, the CIA concludes that if North Koreans do choose to invade South Korea, they will overtake northern South Korea, including the South Korean capital. (11,21)

June 23

Mao orders some of his army corps to deploy to the Strait of Formosa. (11)

June 25

At 0400, North Korean troops invade South Korea. The UN Security [Korean time+] Council obviously absent the Russian delegate, demands that the North Koreans withdraw. At first reluctant to do so, the North Korean invasion persuades Truman to approve NSC-68. (1,2,11,12,16,21,34)

June 24

While relaxing at his Independence, Missouri home, President Harry S. Truman [American time] receives a phone call at 8:00 PM from his Secretary of State Dean Acheson. Acheson informs him of the North Korean invasion. (24,21)

June 26

John Muccio, the American ambassador to Korea, orders American dependents in South Korea and the US Embassy’s nonessential personnel to evacuate to Japan. Fighters of the 5th Air Force begin providing cover for the US Embassy in Seoul. Both American naval and air forces are ordered to support ROK ground forces and protect American civilian evacuees. (2,18,29,21)

JUNE 27 - SEPTEMBER 15, 1950 UN DEFENSIVE (2,19)

June 27 North Korean forces occupy Chunchon and capture Kimpo airfield. Since the North Koreans have refused to withdraw, the UN Security Council requests that UN member nations aid South Korea in repelling the invading North Koreans. President Harry S. Truman issues a "war message" to Americans and declares that American naval and air forces will assist South Korea. Hoping to keep the Nationalist and communist Chinese from attacking each other, Truman sends the 7th Fleet to the Formosa Straits. In addition, Truman sends a dispatch to Stalin assuring him of America’s limited objectives and hopes that the Russians will help restore peace in the Far East. He also allocates more aid, military and otherwise, to the French fighting the Viet Minh. The Armed Services Committee of the Senate begins action to call up reserve units. The 8th Squadron’s B-26s deliver the initial UN air strikes against enemy objectives. F-80s from the 35th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 8th Fighter Bomber Wing first see combat and down four enemy Ilyushin 11-10s. In shooting down a North Korean Yak fighter with his F-82, Lt. William F. Hudson distinguishes himself as the pilot who shot down the first enemy plane of the war. Giving information to air units and people on the ground, elements of the 512th Recon Squadron fly the first weather recon mission over Korea. Sent to investigate the situation in South Korea, an American survey team under Brig. Gen. John H. Church, ADCOM, arrives at Suwon. (1,2,11,12,16,32,33,34,35,21,39)

June 28

North Korean forces capture the south Korean capital of Seoul.  [Korean time] (2,3,8,9,12,20,21,1,16,17)

June 28

Mao tells his State Council that the Americans have invaded Asia. ADCOM’s commander Brig. Gen. Church reports to MacArthur that American troops must help restore the South Korean-North Korean border. In the chaos surrounding the North Korean invasion, many of the ROK Army troops are trapped north of the Han River when its own engineers blow the bridges over the river too soon. (11,21,2,39)

June 29

At the Suwan Airfield, Americans sustain their first casualties of the war (5) when members of the 507th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion, Detachment X, defend against enemy aircraft. The initial American naval shore bombardment occurs when the USS Juneau fires on Mukho. Eighteen B-26s from the 3rd Bombardment Group, 5th Air Force strike the Heijo Airfield near Pyongyang. In this attack alone, the enemy loses 25 aircraft. The UN Security Council votes to militarily assist South Korea. Responding, Great Britain sends its Far Eastern Fleet to assist South Korea. At a press conference, President Truman agrees with a reporter when asked if the action in Korea could best be described as a "police action." Truman approves the sending of American ground forces to Korea to guard Pusan and maintain communications. (34,26,21,2)

June 30

President Harry S. Truman authorizes the use of American ground forces for combat, to defend South Korea. He also authorizes a naval blockade of the Korean coastline, and the US Air Force’s bombing of North Korea. Truman meets with members of Congress to detail his decisions concerning the American response to the North Korean invasion. Congress passes an extension of the selective service. Congress also votes to give the commander in chief the power to call National Guard and reserve units to active duty. Truman signs the bill into law, Public Law 599. (1,2,6,9,12,16,21,30,32,33,39)


On the homefront, the FBI arrests Julius Rosenberg on the suspicion that he is a Russian spy. (27)

July 1

The first American ground forces, members of the 24th Division (Task Force Smith), begin to arrive in South Korea. (1,2,6,9,12,16,21,30,32,33,39,34)

July 2

The war’s only surface naval engagement occurs when the USS Juneau, HMS Jamaica, and the HMS Black Swan engage North Korean naval forces. The North Korean forces lose two motor boats and three torpedo boats. In addition, 2 North Korean troops are captured. (2,12,21,34)

July 3

North Korean forces capture Inchon. Air strikes from the USS Valley Forge and HMS Triumph begin against North Korean airfields and the North Korean capital. They mark the first carrier-based air strikes for UN forces in the war. The Valley Forge’s AD-4 Skyraiders and F9F Panthers first go into combat in this war with these strikes. In fact, two American pilots from VF-51, Air Group 5 shoot down two enemy Yak-9 aircraft, the Navy’s first kills in the war. Alarmed that they were not notified or consulted by the Truman administration concerning America’s response to the North Korean invasion, Congress nevertheless does give its support to Truman’s actions. (2,25,21,35,34)

July 5

By this date, Maj. Gen. William F. Dean, who is already the commander of the 24th [Korean time] Infantry Division, has assumed command of the United States Army Forces in Korea (USAFIK). Overwhelmed by North Korean forces at Osan, Task Force Smith withdraws but does delay the enemy advance. This is the first ground force engagement for American troops. As a result of the first week of American ground fighting, a bill is passed calling up the Marine Reserve, and ninety-two National Guard units. (2,9,12,20,21,16,1,17,34)

July 6-8

The 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division troops engage North Korean forces at Pyongtaek and Chonan. (2,34)

July 7

The UN Security Council appoints Truman (the US) as its executive agent to fight aggression in Korea. Authorizing the use of the UN flag, it also recommends the establishment of a UN Command. (1,2,12,16,39)

July 8

American general Douglas MacArthur is appointed by Truman to become the first UN commander in the Korean War. (2,21,F)

July 8-12

North Korean forces are delayed after clashes with 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division forces at Chochiwon. (2,34)

July 10-18

The 25th Infantry Division arrives in Korea from Japan. (2,F1)

July 10

At Chonui, UN forces discover that the North Korean forces have murdered six 24th Division soldiers. Rendered defenseless by their captors, their hands were bound behind their backs. (12,G)

July 12

Around Yokohama, the 1st Cavalry Division begins loading for Korea. (2)

July 13-16

Elements of the 19th and 34th Infantry Regiments of the 24th Infantry Division engage North Koreans forces at the Kum River. As a result, the enemy advance is delayed. (34,2)

July 13

Near Taejon and Konji, American forces are attacked by two North Korean divisions. The commander of the 8th Army, Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker, is given command of all American and ROK Army forces on the Korean peninsula. The 20th Air Force’s 19th Bombardment Wing delivers the first B-29 strike of the war. (40,2,16,33,35,21,H)

July 14

The first air strike from Japan occurs when ten B-29s from the 92nd Bombardment Group strike North Korean targets. After an investigation, the Senate’s Tydings Commission issues its findings - McCarthy’s pronouncements of communists in the State Department are both a hoax and a fraud. (34,40,I)


The American 25th Infantry and the 1st Cavalry arrive in South Korea. (1)

July 15

North Korean forces cross the Kum River. ROK forces are transferred to the UN commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur. From Okinawa, the 29th Regimental Combat Team leaves for Korea. (2,3,16,J)

July 8 - August 30

North Korean forces encounter UN delaying actions. (12,K)

July 17

Because they have been placed under the UN command, the 8th Army now commands all ROK ground forces. The first 2nd Infantry Division soldiers leave Seattle, heading for Korea. (2,29,21)

July 18

Task Force 90 lands at Pohang. Under "Operation Blueheart," the 1st Cavalry lands there. The 25th Infantry Division also arrives in Korea. (2,12,16,33,21)

July 19

President Truman gives his secretary of defense the authority to call up the National Guard and Organized Reserve. As a result, he orders the Organized Marine Corps Reserve units to immediately report for active duty. On August 15th, the Volunteer Marine Corps Reserve is to report. (2)

July 19-21

Maj. Gen. Dean and his 24th Infantry Division forces make a heroic stand in Taejon but they must evacuate the burning city. North Korean forces occupy Taejon. Still, American forces have delayed the enemy advance. Separated from his forces, General Dean is missing in action. (2,3,12,16,30,29,21,40,L)

July 20

After this date, UN air forces virtually have air supremacy in the Korean skies. American forces stage the first successful counterattack and drive the North Korean forces out of Yechon. (2,34)

July 22

The Department of the Army calls for its reserve officers to voluntarily report for active duty. (2)

July 24

Fifth Air Force Headquarters moves to Korea from Japan. In Tokyo, the headquarters for the UN Command is established. (2)

July 25

American naval aircraft complete the first close air, emergency support missions. Near Chinju, the 29th Regimental Combat Team is committed to battle. Once in mothball status, the USS Princeton is returned to duty, to be manned primarily by naval reserve members. The 5th Regimental Combat Team leaves Hawaii for Korea. (21,2,34)

July 27

Signing Public Law 624, Truman extends armed forces enlistments for a period of one year. Fifty thousand receive their draft notices and are to report in September for their training. (2)

July 29

8th Army commander Walton H. Walker delivers his "stand or die" speech. (2,21,M)

July 31

Arriving in Korea is the 5th Regimental Combat Team. The first medium tank engagement occurs near Chinju when Lt. Samuel Fowler’s forces encounter North Korean forces. Although the American forces delay the enemy, North Korean forces still capture Chinju. Gen. Douglas MacArthur and members of his staff fly to visit Chiang Kai-shek in Formosa. As a result, Averell Harriman is later sent to emphasize America’s "Neutralize Formosa" policy with MacArthur. A Security Council resolution, which calls for the UN Command to be responsible for civilian support and relief, is passed. (5,20,21,2)

August 1

The 24th Infantry Division’s 19th and 29th Infantry Regiments engage the North Koreans in the Battle of the Notch. Elements of the 2nd Infantry Division arrive in Korea. Russia ends its boycott by sending its delegate, Jacob Malik, back to the UN where he takes over the Security Council presidency. (34,16,2,33)


Russian delegate to the UN Jacob Malik accuses the United States of planning a war in Korea, of murdering Korean civilians in air raids, and of trying to enslave the world. American air forces bomb territory in China close to the Yalu River. Truman asks for Congressional support of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a measure requiring those who have been trained in subversive tactics and espionage from political parties or foreign governments to register with the federal government. Once planning an invasion of Taiwan for this month, Mao has decided to call it off. On the homefront, the FBI arrests Julius Rosenberg’s wife Ethel for spying. (6,3,11,27)

August 2

Arriving in Korea is the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade. Activated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, I Corps receives its orders to Korea. (16,33,2)

August 3

VMF-214 launches the initial Marine air strike. Elements of the Army Volunteer and Inactive Reserve are called up for active duty; thirty thousand are to report in September for active duty. (2)

August 4

The Pusan Perimeter is established as American and ROK forces hold against the North Korean forces. The first air-evacuation of American casualties is completed by Marine VMO-6 helicopters. Mao tells his Politburo that China must aid North Korea and intervene as a volunteer army. The Russians call for all foreign troops in Korea to withdraw. (1,2,9,11,12,21,34)

August 4

American forces defend the Naktong/Pusan Perimeter. (34)

August 6-8

In Tokyo, MacArthur meets with members of the JCS and Truman administration to discuss a possible landing at Inchon. (20)

August 7

The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade enters battle at Chinju. (2)

August 8

The fury of anti-communism is obviously felt in Washington, D.C.; in submitting a measure to Congress, Truman supports harsher treatment of spies and aliens. (27)

August 8-18

The first Battle of the Naktong Bulge occurs. Elements of the 24th Infantry Division, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and 25th Infantry Division hold against North Korean attacks. (2,34,N)

August 10

1st Marine Division elements sail for Korea. Activated at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, IX Corps receives its orders for Korea. The Air Force Reserve’s 437th Troop Carrier Wing and the 452nd Light Bombardment Wing are called to active duty. In addition to increasing Army strength to 1,081,000, Truman approves the call of the 28th, 43rd, 40th and 45th National Guard units, as well as the 196th and 278th Regimental Combat Teams. Also, 7862 Army reserve lieutenants and captains are called up, ordered to report in September for active duty. Introduced to Congress on this date, the Internal Security Act or what becomes known as the McCarran Act is eventually passed. This act states that communists are a national security danger and they must register with the Attorney General. In addition, communists are denied certain government jobs, particularly defense jobs. Among the other laws passed in this act, likely saboteurs and spies can be detained. Communist party members and officers must also put labels on their propaganda identifying it as communist material. (27,2)

August 10-20

In the Battle of Pohang, North Korean forces first seize the city. American naval forces evacuate ROK forces. Eventually, ROK forces retake Pohang in this battle. (2)

August 12

The planning for "Operation Chromite," the Inchon landing, begins. (21)

August 15

8th Army begins the recruitment of personnel into KATUSA, the Korean Augmentation to the US Army. Despite the UN holding actions, Kim Il Sung continues to push his forces to occupy Pusan by this date. (3,21)

August 15-20

West of Taegu, the Battle of the Bowling Alley occurs. The 27th and 23rd Infantry Regiments, along with ROK forces, decimate North Korean forces. (2,34,O)

August 16

In Japan, the X Corps is activated for the Inchon invasion. The 7th Marines’ 3rd Battalion leaves for Korea from Crete. (2)

August 17

Two members of the JCS, Forrest Sherman and J. Lawton Collins, meet with MacArthur to discuss the amphibious landing at Inchon. At Camp Pendelton, California, elements of the 7th Marine Regiments are activated. Near Waegwon on Hill 303, UN forces discover the bodies of twenty-six 5th Cavalry Regiment soldiers who had been bound and shot by the North Korean Army. MacArthur openly criticizes the Truman administration’s Formosa policy in a letter to the VFW annual convention. (17,2,5,12,32,35,34,P)

August 18

The first large scale tank-to-tank battle of the Korean War occurs at Taegu. Elements of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 27th Regiment (under Lt. Cols. Gilbert Check and Gordon Murch) hold against enemy tanks. (21)

August 20

MacArthur openly blames Kim Il Sung and his military commanders for the atrocities. (12)

August 23

Members of the Truman administration and the JCS again meet with MacArthur in Toyko to discuss the Inchon landing. Seventy-seven thousand more Army Organized Reserve Corps members are called up for active duty. (2,21)

August 25

North Korean forces capture Gen. Dean who was separated from his forces in the July battle for Taejon. Wandering the Korean hills for 36 days, he had hoped to reach the lines of friendly forces. He is the highest ranking communist-held POW of the war. (2,21)

August 26

After X Corps is activated, MacArthur appoints Maj. Gen. Edward M. "Ned" Almond to command it. The 63rd Field Artillery Battalion and the 34th Infantry Regiment is replaced by the 5th Regimental Combat Team. To be rebuilt, they move to Japan. (2,21)

August 26-27

Leaving Puerto Rico for Korea is the 3rd Infantry Division’s 65th Infantry Regiment. (2)

August 28

The JCS approves MacArthur’s proposal for the Inchon invasion.

August 29

Coming from Hong Kong, the British 27th Commonwealth Brigade arrives to help American and ROK forces. (1)

August 30 The remainder of the 3rd Infantry Division sails for Korea. (2)

August 31 - September 19

The Second Battle of the Naktong Bulge occurs as elements of the 1st Cavalry Division, 2nd Infantry Division, 24th Infantry Division, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, and 25th Infantry Division battle North Korean forces. (34,Q)  Fall Congress approves a draft of doctors. (21)

September 1

Sailing for Korea are the 7th Marine Regiment and elements of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. (2)

September 3

On this day, 8th Army forces fight five defensive battles against North Korean forces. North Korean forces threaten Taeju. (21,16,33)

September 4

In another first of the war, a H-5 successfully rescues a downed pilot behind enemy lines. In a three-day battle, the 25th Division defeats enemy forces at Masan. (2,33)

Early September

President Truman signs the Defense Production Act. Under this act, he has the authority to grant loans to production companies, impose credit restrictions and rationing, and control wages and prices. (6)

September 6

North Korean forces capture Pohang. Sailing for Korea is the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. (21,2)

September 7

To prepare and embark for the Inchon invasion, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade is withdrawn from the Pusan Perimeter fighting and reassembled in Pusan. (2)

Mid September

Truman signs the Revenue Act which raises taxes to increase the defense budget, among other things. (6)

September 12

On the homefront, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union stops the "Beer Issue." (12)

September 13

Absorbed into the 1st Marine Division, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade is disestablished. At Taegu, becoming operational is the I Corps. (2)

September 15

In "Operation Chromite," X Corps elements cut the North Korean lines by firsts attacking Wolmi-do and successfully landing at Inchon. (34,2,9,17,1,21,12,16,20,8,33,39)


September 16

The 8th Army begins its breakout of the Pusan Perimeter. (2,21,8,33,12,39,R)


UN forces discover a grizzly sight at Taejon; up to 7,000 South Korean civilians, 42 American soldiers, and 17 ROK soldiers had been murdered by the North Korean forces. All of their bodies had been dumped in shallow trenches. (2,12,34,S)

September 17

The 5th Marine Regiment captures Kimpo airfield. As a result, Corsairs from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing soon land and conduct combat operations. Landing at Inchon, the 7th Marine Regiment rejoins the 1st Marine Division. (21,39,34,2,T)

September 18

Lead elements of the 7th Infantry Division, the 32nd Infantry Regiment, land at Inchon. On the American homefront, the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Armed Forces is formed and holds its first meeting. (2,20)

September 19

The secretary of defense, Louis Johnson, resigns from office. (2)

September 20

Crossing the Han River is the 1st Marine Division. (2,34)

September 21

American forces seize Tabu-dong. First under Joint Task Force Seven, all on-shore forces around Inchon and Seoul are placed under X Corps command. On the homefront, George C. Marshall becomes the new defense secretary. (21,2)

September 23

At Miryang, becoming operational is IX Corps. (2)

September 24

Because of stiff North Korean resistance, Gen. "Ned" Almond calls in the Army’s 7th Division to aid the Marines’ advance toward Seoul. (1)

September 24-25

The 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team arrives at Kimpo airfield. (2,U)

September 25

The 24th Division captures Kumchon. Although the fighting in Seoul continues, MacArthur announces that UN forces have retaken the South Korean capital. With the success of the Inchon landing, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff decide to permit UN military operations into North Korea. (1,21,2,V)

September 26

Near Tanchon, the USS Brush sustains damage after it hits a mine. (34)

September 27

The 24th Division captures Taejon. X Corps and 8th Army forces link up near Suwon. Responding to the JCS recommendation which is backed by the Defense and State Departments, Truman approves military operations into North Korea. Hoping to dissuade the Chinese from intervening, the Joint Chiefs of Staff order General MacArthur to send only ROK forces near the Yalu River. (4,20,30,32,21,2,39)

September 28

By this date, X Corps has retaken Seoul. (3,10,12,20,34,W)

September 29

UN forces sustain 21 KIAs after the Magpie, a minesweeper, hits a mine off of the North Korean coastline. As the North Korean Army disintegrates, Kim Il Sung sends an urgent plea to Stalin for military assistance. If direct Russian aid is not possible, Kim requests the creation of volunteer units from other communists nations, especially China. Secretary of Defense Marshall tells MacArthur that his forces should feel unhampered tactically and strategically in their march north from the 38th parallel. MacArthur and Rhee enter Seoul, and MacArthur ceremoniously returns the South Korean capital to its president. (34,2,3,11,16,21)

September 30

Twenty-seven Americans are wounded and another five die as a result of the USS Manfield’s hitting a mine. Mao’s government begins sending warnings that they will not tolerate "imperialists" invading their neighbors. (34,12)


Task Force 90 lands at Wonsan. (2)


As the battle lines move closer to the Chinese border, UN artillery fires into Chinese territory. (3)

October 1

ROK forces begin to cross the 38th parallel into North Korea. MacArthur calls for a North Korean surrender. Stalin requests that Mao send in a "volunteer" force to help North Korea. All elements of the 3rd Infantry Division’s 65th Infantry Regiment have arrived in Korea. (1,11,12,16,30,33,17,2,39)

October 2

Mao decides that his forces will intervene. In a telegram to Stalin, Mao states that his forces will enter the war as a "volunteer army" but also mentions the potential consequences of entering the war against the Americans. (4,11,X)

October 3

Although Mao has already decided to intervene, the Chinese send one more warning to the American forces: Chinese Preimier Zhou Enlai calls Indian ambassador Panikker to a meeting where Enlai gives him a warning to pass onto the Americans - if American forces cross into North Korea, Chinese forces will intervene. (4,2,Y)

October 5

Stalin tells Mao that together, China and Russia are stronger than and can defeat Great Britain and America. In other words, he does not fear a war with America. (11,32)

October 7

With President Truman’s backing, Great Britain’s delegate Kenneth Younger introduces a resolution to the UN General Assembly. The resolution, which calls for the establishment of a unified Korean government through elections, passes. American forces soon begin crossing into North Korea. Mao tells Stalin that he plans to eventually deploy nine divisions to the defense of North Korea. (4,9,11,21,12,20,30,17,2,39)

October 8

Mao send orders for the formation of Chinese People’s Volunteers, and informs Kim Il Sung that his forces will intervene in Kim’s behalf. (4,16,17)

October 9

Elements of the 1st Cavalry Division cross the 38th parallel. Chinese leaders Lin Biao and Zhou Enlai meet with Stalin to discuss China’s current position in regards to the fighting. They also discuss providing a sanctuary for the North Korean forces. MacArthur receives a JCS directive authorizing him to continue action in North Korea if Chinese forces intervene as long as, in his judgment, his forces have "a reasonable chance of success." (34,11,21,2,39)

October 9-17

The 1st Marine Division leaves Inchon, sailing for Wonsan. (2)

October 10

ROK forces have captured Wonsan. (2,12,20,33,21,39) [American time]

October 12

In Wonsan Harbor, two minesweepers, the Pledge and the Pirate, sink after hitting mines. The Chinese plan of battle is finalized: Chinese forces of the 38th, 39th, and 40th Field Armies and elements of the 41st Field Army will cross into the war zone at Andong. (34,1,9)

October 13

Stalin promises Zhou Enlai that the Chinese forces will receive military assistance from Russia. (11)

October 14

The first Chinese forces cross the Yalu into North Korea. (1,2,12,Z)

October 14-17

After a 350-mile march, the 7th Infantry Division leaves Pusan, sailing for the eastern coast of Korea. (2)

October 15

President Truman and UN commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur meet for a conference on Wake Island. At this same time, Chinese generals Chen Yi and Lin Pao move their forces across the Yalu River.(5,12,2,9,16,33,12,39)

October 18

ROK forces occupy Hungnam and Hamhung. (16,33,AA)

October 19

The 1st Cavalry Division becomes the first American unit in the North Korean capital. (2)

October 19-20

The 8th Army, including the 1st Cavalry Division and the 1st ROK Division, capture the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. (1,2,9,12,16,33,21,39,34)

October 20

In the first of its two parachute, aerial assaults, the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team strikes at Sukchon-Sunchon. The bodies of 75 GIs, who were executed by the North Koreans, are found at Sunchon. Reports arriving at UN/Far East Forces Headquarters in Tokyo state that Chinese artillery batteries have crossed into North Korea. American planes bomb the Chinese columns and supposedly kill Mao’s eldest son, Maj. Mao Anying. X Corps Headquarters moves to Wonsan. (2,16,33,21,34,BB)

October 21

Under Kim Il Sung’s direction, a new North Korean capital is established at Sinuiji. (2)

October 23

Another grizzly sight is discovered: 128 American troops are found executed at Kunsang. (12,34)

October 24

MacArthur sends non-ROK forces closer to the Yalu River. In response, the Joint Chiefs of Staff remind MacArthur of their September 27 directive. In his defense, MacArthur refers to Marshall’s September 29 message. Crossing the Chongchon River are the 27th Commonwealth Brigade and the 24th Division. (1,12,20,39)

October 25

Chinese forces begin their first phase offensive. ROK forces fight Chinese forces near the Yalu. They capture a Chinese soldier at Unson and report the capture to UN Forces headquarters. The prisoner of war is taken to Pyongyang for questioning where he warns of a large number of Chinese troops entering the war zone. Chinese forces attack elements of the X Corps. (34,1,16,2)

October 26

Some ROK units, including the 6th ROK Division, have completed their mission by reaching the Yalu River. ROK I Corps’ 26 Regiment captures Chinese soldiers at Sudong. Landing at Wonsan, X Corps elements, including the 1st Marine Division, continue their assault into North Korea. (5,9,12,20,2,33,CC)

October 27

Although 2 Chinese POWs are interrogated, their warnings that the Chinese have intervened are ignored. (1,2)

October 29

Landing at Iwon is the 7th Infantry Division. (2)

October 30

Ordered to replace the ROK I Corps in the Changjin (Chosin) Reservoir area, the 1st Marine Division moves out from Wonsan. (2)

October 31

The 24th Division, I Corps arrives at its furthest north point, between Sonchon and Chongo-Dong. (12,DD)

October 27

The UN advance is halted by the first Chinese offensive. Attacked at Unsan, the 8th

November 1

Army withdraws across the Chongchon River. Chinese forces decimate the ROK 6th Division at Yongdu. (1,16,20,33,17)

November 1

Two Chinese divisions attack and almost completely destroy the ROK 15th Infantry Regiment, 1st Division and the US 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division at Unsan. By this time, six Chinese armies have intervened and are attacking both fronts of the UN forces. The Chinese Air Force intervenes with the entrance of the first Russian MiG-15s. From Hamhung, the 7th Marine Regiment begins moving toward the Chosin Reservoir. Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk is informed by the Director of the Office of Chinese Affairs O. Edward Clubb that Chinese intervention has been confirmed. (2,9,12,16,35,21,39,EE)

November 2

Chinese forces clash with 7th Marine forces near Sudong. (21,FF)


A fortnight after Chinese forces enter North Korea, the Russian air force is sent to Korean periphery. Eventually, 70,000 Russians aid the North Korean and Chinese forces in the fighting by serving in the 64th Independent Fighter Aviation Corps. (3)


First week of November

Chinese forces attack elements of the X Corps. (1,2,5)

November 5

The UN is officially notified of the Chinese intervention. (12)

November 6

MacArthur refers to the Chinese intervention as "one of the most offensive acts of international lawlessness of historic record." UN forces hold the Chongchon River line against Chinese forces. Although Chinese intervention has been confirmed, the reality of the Chinese intervention is not officially felt in Washington, D.C. until this date. (16,33,39)

November 7

Chinese forces disengage and pull back. (4,12)

November 8

A massive air strike is launched as 79 B-29s bomb Sinuiju’s bridges over the Yalu. The [Korean time] first jet-to-jet battle occurs over Sinuiji when F-80s from the 51st Fighter InterceptorWing battle enemy MiG-15s. Air Force Lt. Russell Brown shoots down an enemy MiG-15. On this date, the Korean Service Medal is authorized. (34,16,33,35,21,2)

November 9

A Lt. Cdr. Amen, the commander of Panther squadron VF-111, records another first in the war; he is the Navy’s first pilot to record a kill against a jet aircraft, a MiG-15. Once again, the Truman administration tries to assure China that it has no hostile intentions toward China. (35,39)

November 10-26

As the 8th Army continues its advance in the west, X Corps continues its advance through North Korean in the east. (9,12,21)

November 15

Three hundred thousand Chinese troops have crossed the Yalu and are poised to strike UN forces. (12)

November 16

Hoping to avoid further hostilities, Truman once again tries to assure China that he does not intend to extend the hostilities into China. (16)

November 17

By this date, the 3rd Division has landed at Wonsan. (12,2,16,33,GG)

November 18

Aware of American under-estimates of his troop size, Mao sends a message to his field commander, Marshal Peng Dehuai, celebrating this misconception. He glories in the advantages that this will yield his forces. He also orders Peng to release any UN prisoners of war taken. (4)

November 21

Elements of the X Corps, 7th Infantry Division patrols, become the first American troops to reach the Yalu. (5,12,2,34)

November 24

Arriving at UN Headquarters is Wu Xiuquan and the rest of the communist Chinese delegation. Under MacArthur’s orders, UN forces begin what MacArthur believes will be the "final offensive" of the fighting. At Hyesanjin, the 7th Division’s 17th Regiment reaches the Yalu. In Europe, America’s 7th Army is activated. (1,9,12,16,20,17,2)

November 25

For propaganda purposes, Chinese forces release 57 American POWs. (16,33)

November 25

Chinese forces mass a counteroffensive. (34)

November 25-27

The Chinese forces of 300,000 launch their second offensive. They strike against the 8th Army by the Chongchon River and against X Corps at the Chosin (Changjin) Reservoir. In fact, while the 8th Army contends with 200,000 Chinese, the Marines at the Chosin Reservoir face three divisions of the Chinese 9th Army Group. Communists forces have destroyed the II ROK Corps near Tokchon. UN forces begin to withdraw. At first underestimating the Chinese forces, the UN Command realizes this new enemy’s massive strength in numbers. MacArthur’s home-by-Christmas drive to the Yalu has ended. (1,5,9,12,16,20,21,2,8)

November 26

UN commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur, along with his staff, refuse to condone retreat. Walker reports that the ROK 2nd Corps disintegrated against the Chinese attacks and that the Chinese forces have continued their advance through this gap. In response, the American 1st Cavalry moves near the Taedong River to block the Chinese advance. The Chinese drive between 8th Army forces in western North Korea and X Corps forces in eastern North Korea. (1,8)

November 27

Commanders of the Chinese forces assume control of all communist forces. (12)

November 28

MacArthur reports to the White House that the Chinese have intervened in full force. Consequently, Truman calls a special meeting to consider the new situation in the Far East. Americans on the homefront are stirred by the newspapers headlines as MacArthur announces that his advance to the Yalu faced unexpected problems, Chinese forces. He states, "We face an entirely new war." At Singalpajin, Task Force Kingston reaches the Yalu. (1,2,34)

November 29

Chinese forces decimate Task Force Drysdale. 8th Army commander Walker orders a withdrawal to Pyongyang. (2,21)

November 30

X Corps commander Gen. Almond orders a withdraw to Hungnam. In a press conference, Truman implies that the use of the atomic bomb in the Far East is being considered. At Kunu-ri, Lt. Col. Alarich L. Zacherle of the Second Infantry Division orders his battalion colors to be burned to ensure they will not be captured by Chinese forces. The Chinese do overrun the area and inflict numerous casualties. For instance, of 1,079 in the 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, only 266 officers and troops make it to the safety of Yongdong-Po. Only 145 of the 238 captured survive their captivity. (1,7,39,17,2,11)

November 26

Battle of the Chongchon River (9)

November 27

Battle of the Chosin (Changjin) Reservoir (2,21,HH)

November 27

Chinese forces annihilate Task Forth MacLean/Faith.

December 1

They also encircle the 1st Marine Division which is fighting its way toward Hungnam. (34,2)

November 29

In the Battle of Kunu-ri, 130,000 Chinese forces attack 8th Army forces. Serving as the 

December 1

8th Army’s rearguard, the 2nd Infantry Division is all but destroyed. (2,21,34)


The 27th Fighter Escort Wing conducts the first F-84 missions of the war. In the United Nations, the ROK is again proclaimed as the only Korean legitimate government. Truman appoints Dwight D. Eisenhower as the first NATO commander. (10,30,36,21)

December 1

The 1st Marine Division reaches Yudam-ni. Between Kunu-ri and Sunchon, Communist forces ambush and inflict 3000 casualties on the Turkish and ROK forces, and the American 2nd Infantry Division. Chinese forces overrun UN forces at Memu-Li. (1,12,16,33)

December 2

MacArthur urges the Truman administration to allow his forces to bomb bases in Manchuria. 8th Army forces have completed their evacuation to the Pyongyang defensive line. (8,2)

December 3

8th Army forces are ordered to abandon the Pyongyang defensive line as supply depots in the capital are put to fire. (2,21)

December 3-7

Task Force 90 elements evacuate Wonsan. Aboard are 10,013 tons of cargo, 1,146 vehicles, 7,009 Korean refugees, and 3,834 military personnel. (2,34)

December 4

Mao instructs his commanders in a new strategy, to surround enemy forces but not attack them. Mao presumes that having been surrounded, the UN forces will call for reinforcements, an act which will then expose more enemy troops to attacks by his Chinese forces. (4)

December 5

Chinese forces capture Pyongyang. Task Force 90 elements evacuate 5,900 ROK troops and 1,800 American military personnel from Chinnampo. (1,2,16,20,12,II)

December 6

The 1st Marine Division begins their final breakout from the Chinese encirclement, and slowly and steadily moves toward Koto-ri. On this day, they reach Hagaru-ri. (1,12,JJ)

December 7, 1950

Elements of Task Force 90 evacuate Inchon. Altogether, 54,741 tons of cargo, 1,404

January 5, 1951

Vehicles, and 68,913 military personnel are evacuated. (2)

December 8

The 1st Marine Division reaches Koto-ri. (12)

December 9

Continuing southward, the 1st Marine Division arrives at Chinhung-ni. X Corps receives orders from the Far East Command to evacuate Hungnam by the use of Task Force 90. (12,2)

December 10

X Corps begins its evacuation of Hungnam. (2,1,16)

[American time]

December 13

Mao orders Marshal Peng and his forces to cross into South Korea and attack in the Kaesong area. (4)

December 14

Passing a resolution, the UN seeks a cease-fire. (2)

December 15

American F-86 Sabrejets first fly in Korean skies. The 8th Army withdraws across the 38th parallel. Leaving Hungnam, the 1st Marine Division sails for Pusan. The 8th Army establishes a new defensive line at the Imjin River. In a television and radio address, President Truman states that the Soviet Union is trying to overtake free nations, as is evidenced by the actions against South Korea. As a result, America must increase its armed forces strength and numbers, aid other nations by strengthening their defenses, and uphold the United Nations’ principles. He calls for an expansion in wartime production and materiel, and a military of 3.5 million. He also announces that he will declare a state of national emergency the next day. In response, draft calls accelerate. (20,37,21,2,6,39,34)

December 16

Truman declares a state of national emergency. The Office of Defense Mobilization is organized to coordinate mobilization. (21,33,2,39)

December 17

Over Sinuiji, Lt. Col. Bruce Hinton of the 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron records the first F-86 Sabrejet kill against a MiG-15. (35)

December 19

Officers of the Chinese People’s Volunteers receive orders for the third offensive. (1)

December 20

In response to the previous day’s orders, Chinese forces march south of the North Korean capital. (1)

December 21

MacArthur imposes military censorship. Leaving Hungnam, the 7th Infantry Division sails for Pusan. Hoping to traumatize ROK forces into abandoning the fight and their American allies, Mao orders Marshal Peng and his forces to especially attack ROK forces south of the 38th parallel. (4,21,2,KK)

December 22

The Chinese reject a cease-fire. On the homefront, 7,585 Army reserve officers are called up for active duty, to report in March of 1951. (16,2)

December 23

8th Army commander Gen. Walton H. Walker dies in a jeep accident. (2,20,21)

December 24

The last ships of the UN forces’ evacuation leaves the port of Hungnam. Among those aboard is the 3rd Infantry Division. Its industrial complex already in ruins, Hungnam’s waterfront is destroyed by UN engineers to insure that the enemy does not take advantage of anything left behind by UN forces. In all, the X Corps have evacuated 91,000 civilians and 105,000 military personnel from Hungnam. Mao’s messages to Marshal Peng show that he believes UN forces should not be driven from the indefensible 38th parallel; clearly he is preparing for a massive spring offensive. The 8th Army assumes control of the X Corps. (1,4,9,12,20,22,21,2,34)

December 25

Chinese forces cross the 38th parallel into South Korea. Sent to replace Walker, Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway arrives in Tokyo and meets with UN commander MacArthur. (1,16,33)

December 27

Ridgway assumes command of all ground forces on the Korean peninsula since X Corps

[Korean time] is now part of the 8th Army. (16,18,20,33,21,2,39)

December 29

Due to the Chinese intervention, orders to MacArthur and his forces have been changed - if possible, maintain a stronghold in South Korea without suffering heavy losses. (5)

December 31

Chinese forces begin their third phase offensive. (2,1,16,20,21,34)



January 5, 1951

As a result of the anti-communist fury in America, a Michigan state law is passed, nullifying wills that leave bequests to subversive causes. A law is passed in Indiana to bar subversives from state employment. (27)


In the Masan-Pohang-Sondong-Andong area, the 1st Marine Division soundly defeats guerrilla forces in the "Great Pohang Guerrilla Hunt." Mao still hopes to drive all UN forces from the Korean peninsula as quickly as possible. (34,4)

January 4

Against the Chinese forces, UN forces leave Seoul and move to the Pyongtaek-Wonju-

[American time] Samchok line. (1,2,8,9,10,12,20)

January 5

Communist forces retake Kimpo airfield. UN forces abandon Inchon. (2)

January 7-15

UN forces establish a new defense line by the 38th parallel but are pushed south by enemy forces. They stop the enemy advance near Wonju and then retake the offensive. (2,1,12,16,33,LL)

January 13

In a personal letter to UN commander MacArthur, President Truman does mention withdrawing UN forces from South Korea to nearby islands but only as a last resort. The American delegation votes for another cease-fire resolution at the UN. (5,16)

January 14

UN forces are along the 37th parallel. (9)

January 15

In "Operation Wolfhound," UN reconnaissance teams seek out the enemy and find him near Osan. (20)


The fighting front stabilizes near the 38th parallel. (18)

January 17

Once again, the Chinese reject a cease-fire. Elements of the 8th Army enter Suwon. (16)

January 19

Congress approves resolutions which call for the UN to declare Chinese forces aggressors. (39)


January 25

Ridgway and his forces begin their first general offensive against the combined North Korean and Chinese forces. As I and IX Corps advance to the Han River, "Operation Thunderbolt" begins. UN forces soon seize Wonju. (1,5,9,12,20,21,2,39,34,MM)

January 26

Chinese forces disintegrate near Suwon against the Turkish Brigade’s bayonet charge.  As a result of this charge's success, Ridgway orders all troops in the 8th Army to 'fix bayonets' to build morale.  UN forces take Suwon. (2,21,42)

February 1

The Battle of Twin Tunnels occurs. In addition to declaring communist China an aggressor, the UN General Assembly votes to end the fighting in Korea by "peaceful means." (1,9,16,32,2,34)

February 27th

Infantryman and Medal of Honor winner Captain Lewis L. Millett leads his unit in the last deliberate bayonet charge in the military history of America. "S.L.A. Marshall described this as the 'greatest bayonet attack by U.S. soldiers since Cold Harbor in the Civil War."  The People’s Daily and Peking radio report that Koreans have supposedly seen American airdrops of cholera-infected insects. (2,21,42)

February 3

The 23rd Infantry Regiment Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division occupies the village of Chipyong. Elements of the 1st Cavalry Division are also present. (2)

February 5

"Operation Roundup" begins as the X Corps advances on the eastern flank. (34,20,2,NN)

February 5-9

On Hill 440, a 25th Infantry Division task force annihilates attacking Chinese forces. (34)

February 10

Continuing their offensive, 8th Army forces capture Inchon and the Kimpo airfield. (1,33,21)

February 11-13

The Battle of Hoengsong occurs. American forces suffer their largest concentrated loss of lives in the war when communist forces ambush and kill 530 members of the 15th and 503rd Field Artillery Battalions. (34)

February 11-17

Chinese forces launch their fourth-phase offensive. Much of the enemy’s thrust is into the 2nd Division area. (20,33,2)

February 12-21

Chinese forces strike the Wonju/Chipyong area. (34)

February 13-15

In the Battle of Chipyong, UN forces hold the village despite being surrounded by elements of five to six Chinese divisions. (2,9,16,20,33,21,34)

February 16

As Task Force 95 begins its blockade of Wonsan Harbor, the UN naval siege of Wonsan begins and continues for 861 days. This marks the American navy’s longest, effective seige of an enemy port in history. (34,2)

February 19

Once part of X Corps, the 1st Marine Division now becomes part of IX Corps. (2)

February 21

The X and IX Corps begin to advance in "Operation Killer." (2,16,20,33,39,34,OO)

March Mao boastfully tells Stalin that once hundreds of thousands of Americans have been slaughtered on the battlefield, Americans will retreat and the communists’ problems in Korea will be solved. The communists continue their allegations by stating that American artillery has been shooting typhus germs over the Imjin River and American Army forces have sent typhus-infected animals into four "known" locations. (1,11,21)

March 7

UN forces begin "Operation Ripper," which is also known as "Operation Courageous." Elements of the 8th Army, X and IX Corps, cross the Han River. (2,16,20,33,39,34,PP)

March 8

House of Representatives Minority Leader Joseph W. Martin sends UN commander MacArthur a copy of his speech calling for the use of Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists troops to open a second front in the Far East fighting. In addition, Martin asks for MacArthur’s opinions on the matter. (5)

March 14-15

UN forces recapture Seoul. (1,5,12,8,16,20,21,2,33,QQ)

March 21

8th Army forces occupy Chunchon. (2,16,33)

March 23

In its second parachute, aerial assault, the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team strikes at Munsan-ni in "Operation Tomahawk." (2,16,21,34)

March 24

MacArthur proposes that the communists meet with him in a battlefield conference to end the war. (8,21,33,RR)

March 25

The first UN forces cross the 38th parallel. (21)

March 27-31

Elements of the 8th Army reach the 38th. (2,SS)

March 31

UN forces reach the Idaho Line. (20)

April The Chinese forces launch a spring offensive. Once lost to UN forces, communist forces attack the Iron Triangle and succeed. The American Navy first uses jet fighters as bombers when two F9F-2B Panthers from the VF-191, the USS Princeton, strike against a railway bridge around Songjin. (2,35)

April 1-3

Elements of the 8th Army cross the 38th parallel. (2,16,33,21)

April 5

Advancing toward the Kansas Line, UN forces begin "Operation Rugged." Republican Minority leader in the House of Representatives, Joseph Martin reads a letter from MacArthur on the House floor. In the letter, MacArthur responds to Martin’s March 8 request by strongly criticizing the Truman administration’s foreign policy in the Far East. (20,1,16,21,32,2,TT)

April 6

In response to MacArthur’s letter, Truman seeks advice from his advisers concerning a dismissal of the UN commander. (1)

April 9

The JCS unanimously recommends Truman relieve MacArthur. (39)

April 11

Continuing their advance, UN forces begin to reach "Operation Rugged" objectives. UN commander MacArthur is relieved by President Truman. Due to a press leak, the dismissal orders are released to White House reporters at 1:00 AM, even before MacArthur himself is notified. General Matthew B. Ridgway assumes command of the UN forces. (1,2,9,12,16,20,21,32,33,39)

April 12

The first major aerial fight occurs between UN and communist forces. The enemy loses 9 MiG-15s. Also, a B-29 formation is attacked by 40 enemy MiG-15s. (34)

April 14

Gen. James Van Fleet assumes command of the 8th Army. "Operation Rugged" is completed as all advancing UN forces have reached the Kansas Line. (20,21,2)

April 19

MacArthur gives his "Old Soldiers Never Die" speech before both houses of Congress. Continuing the UN advance, I and IX Corps reach the Utah Line. (2,16,20,21)


April 22

The Chinese begin an offensive and stop the UN forces’ advance to Line Wyoming in "Operation Dauntless." Fighting against 250,000 Chinese troops, UN forces withdraw yet halt communist forces north of the South Korean capital. The Far East Command begins its plan of troop rotation. Although other nations send their troops home as units, it decides to send its troops home individually after a certain amount of months served in Korea. (2,12,16,20,21,33,39)

April 22-25

The Battle of Gloucester Hill occurs; on hill 235, Chinese forces surround and cut off the British Bridage’s 1st Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment at the Imjin River. UN forces try to resupply them by air drops, to no avail. Forced to abandon the hill, only 169 of the total 850 in the regiment have not been wounded or killed in the battle. (2,21,39)

April 22-30

With 27 infantry divisions, Chinese forces attack a 40-mile 8th Army front. Denying the South Korean capital to the enemy, 8th Army forces hold. (2)

April 25

The Senate unanimously votes to investigate America’s Far East military situations. The Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees are to be in charge of the investigation. (6)

April 30

The Chinese forces break contact. (9)


UN forces retake the Iron Triangle. The foreign minister of North Korea claims that American troops are maliciously spreading smallpox germs. (2,21)

May 1

Once again, the 1st Marine Division is assigned to X Corps. (2)

May 3

The Senate begins its investigation of American military policy in the Far East. The hearings last eight weeks, until May 31st. Among others, MacArthur, Acheson, Marshall, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff testify. By this date, UN forces have stopped the latest Chinese offensive. (2,6,12,21,39,UU)

May 6

The 1st Cavalry Division captures Uijongbu. (21)

May 9

Three hundred American Air Force planes stage a massive strike against Sinuiju. (2,34)

May 16-22

Another Chinese offensive, the Soyang offensive, is stopped by American forces. (9,12,16,20,33,21,39,VV)

May 16-19

Along the No-Name Line, the May Massacre occurs when 10 to 12 Chinese divisions strike the 2nd Division. (19,WW)

May 17

Task Force 77 sustains its highest number of casualties in a single day, 4 pilots killed and 6 aircraft lost. (34)

May 20

Over Sinuiju, 50 communist jets attack the 4th Fighter Interceptor Group. Flying his F-86 Sabrejet, Captain James Jabara becomes the first jet ace in the history of aviation. Under "Operation Strangle," the Far East Air Force begins a massive interdiction campaign against enemy supply lines. To recapture the Kansas Line, UN forces begin "Operation Detonate." (2,XX)

May 21

8th Army forces begin a counter-offensive and drive the communist forces back, beyond the 38th parallel. (12,2)

May 23

N forces continue their advance north. (9,2,33)

May 28

Inje and Hwachon are occupied by 8th Army forces. (16,33)

May 30

Still advancing, the 8th Army reaches the Kansas Line. From the Hwachon Reservoir, the 1st Marine Division advances toward the Punchbowl. (20,2)


China joins in the North Korean allegations that Americans are conducting bacteriological warfare. (21)

June 1

With the advance of IX and I Corps toward the Wyoming Line, "Operation Piledriver" begins. Secretary of State Dean Acheson states that America is willing to accept a truce line near the 38th parallel. (20,21,YY)

June 5

After first meeting on May 31, George Kennan again meets with Jacob Malik to state the US’ desire for an armistice and reiterate the dangerous state of world affairs. In response, Malik tells Kennan that the US should approach the Chinese and North Koreans since Russia is not a belligerent in the war.

June 10-16

North Korean forces attack the UN-held Punchbowl. (34)

June 11

The 8th Army fends off two communists drives and begins driving into the Iron Triangle. (8)

June 12

In the war, naval forces sustain their single largest combat loss when a mine hits the destroyer Walke. Thirty-five are wounded and another twenty-six are killed. (34)

June 13

UN forces are at the 38th parallel. Fighting occurs at Chorwon and the Iron Triangle. 8th Army forces take the Iron Triangle. (9,12,33)

June 15

UN forces reach "Operation Piledriver’s" terrain objectives. (20,ZZ)

June 19

Signing the Universal Military Training and Service Act, Truman lowers the draft age to 18, extends the draft until July 1, 1955, and increases service time from 21 to 24 months. (2)

June 23

In a UN radio program, Russian delegate Jacob Malik calls for the warring parties on the Korean peninsula to begin armistice talks. (6,9,12,16,2,20,21,39)

June 25

Chinese radio voices state the desire for a cease-fire. (16,33)

June 27

Alan G. Kirk, the American ambassador in Moscow, visits the Soviet Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, A.A. Gromyko and raises questions concerning the Soviet proposals. (3)


On the homefront, seventeen communists are arrested by the FBI in New York City. (27)

June 29

American allies in Korea are informed by Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk of

[Korean time] Ridgway’s coming statement concerning cease-fire talks. (39)

June 29

Via the Armed Forces radio, on orders from the Truman administration, UN

[American time] Commander Matthew B. Ridgway proposes the idea of armistice talks to Kim Il Sung and Mao Zedong. (3,16,6,20,33,2,39)

June 30

Commander of the North Korean Army Kim Il Sung and Commander of the Chinese

[American time] People’s Volunteers Peng Dehuai agree to begin negotiations. They propose the site at Kaesong. (3,16,6,33,2,AAA)

July 3

Ridgway sends his approval of Kaesong, again sending a message via the Armed Forces radio. (6,33)


July 10

After a successful July 8 meeting between liaison officers, the negotiation talks officially begin. (8,12,2,16,21,33,9,20)


UN forces under Van Fleet stage an offensive in the Punchbowl area. Maj. Gen. Clovis Ethelbert Byers replaces Lt. Gen. Edward M. Almond. In California, fifteen communists are indicted. In Dennis v. United States, the Supreme Courts upholds the Alien Registration Act (Smith Act) of 1940, which makes it illegal for anyone to advocate overthrowing any government in America by violent means. (2,27,6,28,21)

July 12

UN chief negotiator C. Turner Joy breaks off the talks and tells the communists that the UN must receive equal treatment, press and otherwise, at the site of negotiations. (39)

July 17

The talks begin again. (39)

July 22

After Forrest P. Sherman’s death, Adm. William F. Fechteler assumes the role of chief of naval operations. (2)

July 26

Negotiators reach agreement on the armistice talks agenda. (16,33)

Late July

The 2nd Infantry Division’s 38th Infantry Regiment captures Hill 1179 near the Punchbowl in the Battle of Taeusan. (34)


To fight the communists on the homefront, indictments continue in the United States against seven communists in Hawaii, and six in both Maryland and Pennsylvania. (27)

August 1

UN forces launch attacks along the front lines. The battles of Heartbreak Ridge and

October 31

Bloody Ridge occur. (9,21,BBB)

August 4

A company of armed communist soldiers marches through the Kaesong conference site. (21)

August 5

After communist forces violate the neutral zone at Kaesong, UN commander Ridgway breaks off the talks. (8,2)

August 10

The negotiation talks resume. (8,21,2)

August 15

Once again trying to interrupt enemy supply and communication lines, UN air forces renew "Operation Strangle" strikes by bombing Pyongyang. (21)

August 17

Communist forces accuse UN forces of allegedly ambushing some of their troops near Kaesong, and they demand an apology. UN negotiators deny their request for an apology. The AD-5 Skyraiders are initiated into combat. (20,35)

August 18

Held by the North Koreans in June and fought over in July, the Punchbowl is again an area of fighting when ROK forces attack nearby. (2)

August 23

Accusing the UN forces of conducting air attacks against Kaesong, the

[American time] communists break off the talks after UN negotiators refuse an apology.   (8,16,20,21,2,39)

August 25

The first UN fighter escort mission occurs when F2H Banshees of VF-172, USS Essex, accompany B-29s to the enemy’s Rashin marshalling yards. (35)

August 27

ROK forces advance to the Punchbowl. (2)

August 31

The 1st Marine Division, along with the attached 1st ROK Marine Regiment, attack the September 3 and seize the Punchbowl. (2,20)

September 2

2nd Infantry Division forces attack Heartbreak Ridge and Bloody Ridge. (20)

September 5

The 2nd Infantry Division takes over Bloody Ridge. (2,21)

September 13

Helicopters continue to make their presence known in the war. Another first occurs HRS-1 helicopters complete aerial resupply operations. They carry Marines and gear to the 2nd battalion, 1st Marines near the Soyang River. (2,21,CCC)

September 13-17

Continuing the offensive, the 2nd Infantry Division attacks communist forces on & October 5-15 Heartbreak Ridge. UN forces do succeed. (2,20,21,34)

September 15

American Marines attack Hill 749. (34)

September 17

Becoming the secretary of state is Robert A. Lovett. (2)

September 18 Marines move north of the Punchbowl, toward the Soyang River. (20)

October 1

The 8th Army officially ends segregation in its units. The 69th Field Artillery Battalion and the 14th Infantry Regiment replace the disbanded 159th Field Artillery Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, and the 24th Infantry Regiment. (2)

October 3-19

Advancing to the Jamestown Line are five I Corps divisions. (2)

October 3

"Operation Commando" begins. In the next sixteen days, elements of the 1st Cavalry Division capture Hills 418, 313, 334, 287, 247, and 272. (21,DDD)

October 7

The negotiators agree on the new talks site of Panmunjom. (2)

October 10

The talks begin at Panmunjom. (39)

October 12

Continuing the UN advance, IX Corps moves toward the Jamestown Line. (20)

October 13-22

In "Operation Nomad and Polar," UN forces advance to what becomes Line Missouri. (34)

October 15

Under "Operation Polecharge’s" directives, elements of the 1st Cavalry Division capture Hill 346, and capture Hill 230 on October 18. (21)

October 25

Called off, the talks begin again at Panmunjom. (8,16,20,21,2,39)


Aviation history records another first when combat troops complete a battlefield movement by helicopter; a HMR-161 helicopter transported 950 soldiers to the front lines and 950 back to the rear area. (2,21)

November 3

UN forces hold against a North Korean attack on Heartbreak Ridge. (21)

November 12

UN commander Ridgway orders 8th Army commander Van Fleet to begin an active defense and cease the offensive. To defeat guerrilla forces in South Korea, the ROK Army begins "Operation Ratkiller." (20,21,2,34,EEE)

November 27

Having been called off again, the truce talks resume. The end of the fighting seems near when negotiators agree on a cease-fire line if a truce is reached in 30 days. (8,9,12,21,39)

NOVEMBER 28, 1951 - APRIL 30, 1952 SECOND KOREAN WINTER (2,19)

November 30

In a rare move, 31 F-86s attack a 50-MiG escort of enemy bombers. The F-86s do shoot down 12 enemy aircraft. (34)

December 5-29

After being replaced by the 45th Infantry Division, the 1st Cavalry Division moves to Japan. (2)

December 18

The communists and UN negotiators exchange POW lists. (8,12,21,39)



The Korean GI Bill of Rights, Public Law 550, is enacted. Although the courts later overturned it, a Michigan state law requires the registration of communists with the state. (6,27,21)

January 1

A massive UN air and artillery campaign is waged against the communist forces. This bombardment lasts the entire month. (20)

January 2

UN negotiators propose voluntary repatriation for all POWs. (2,21)


The screening of POWs for repatriation occurs. Often disorder breaks out during the screenings. (16,20,FFF)


After the 40th Infantry Division replaces it, elements of the 24th Infantry Division move to Japan. (2)

January 8

Beginning what becomes 18 months of deadlock in the talks, the communist negotiators reject the UN proposal of voluntary repatriation. (2,GGG)

February 2

The North Koreans continue their own propaganda assault by accusing UN forces of conducting germ warfare. Continuing his propagandistic pronouncements, the Russian delegate to the UN Jacob Malik accuses American forces of firing toxic gas-filled bullets. (2,21,12)

February 18

On Koje-do, communists POWs riot. The communists earnestly begin a massive propaganda campaign accusing American forces of conducting biological warfare. (8,21,39)

February 22

The North Koreans again accuse UN forces of conducting germ warfare. (2)

March 15

The ROK Army terminates "Operation Ratkiller." (21,2)

March 17

The 1st Marine Division is reassigned, to I Corps. (2)

March 23

Communist and UN forces fight for Pork Chop Hill. (21)


In hopes of seeking the Republican nomination for president, NATO commander Dwight D. Eisenhower asks to be relieved of his command. At a UN Disarmament Commission meeting in New York, Soviet UN delegate Jacob Malik continues his propagandistic program; he accuses American air forces of dropping germ-infected pork, crows, crackers, ants, spiders, crickets, fleas, flies, yellow leaves, and goose feathers over North Korea. (6,17)

April 2

Once again, POWs at Koje-do riot. (9)

April 17

Signing Executive Order 10345, Truman extends armed forces enlistments for nine months. (2,34)

April 21

During a gunfire support mission near Kojo, North Korea, 30 crew members of the St. Paul die as a result of a powder fire.

April 24

Informed on April 20th that 103,000 of 173,000 UN-held POWs state they will refuse repatriation to their homelands, the communists break off the negotiations. (2,8,HHH)

MAY 1 - NOVEMBER 30, 1952 KOREAN SUMMER-FALL 1952 (2,19)


To date, the UN and communist negotiators have agreed on all terms except the prisoner of war question. (3)

May 2

Once again, the communist negotiators reject the UN proposal of voluntary repatriation. (2)

May 7-11

The question of communist POW repatriation still stalls the negotiations. Communist POWs capture the commander of the Koje-do POW camp, Brig. Gen. Francis T. Dodd. After Brig. Gen. Charles Colson gives in to their demands, the communist POWs release Dodd. Both Colson and Dodd are demoted to colonels. (2,8,9,12,16,20,21,39)

May 12

As Gen. Ridgway becomes the NATO commander, Gen. Mark Clark replaces him as UN commander in the Far East. (3,12,16,20,21,2)

May 13

Chinese POWs at the Koje compound riot. In response, the camp commander, Brig. Gen. Hayden L. Boatner changes the camp. Among the other changes, he creates smaller, separated compounds. (21)

May 22

Replacing Adm. C. Turner Joy, Maj. Gen. William K. Harrison becomes the chief of the UN negotiation team. (2,39)

May 25

Responding to three enemy raids, nine 245th Tank Battalion, 45th Infantry Division tanks conduct raids on the 45th’s sector. (34)

May 28

Two Chinese companies attack a 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, patrol. (34)


The truce talks are deadlocked on the POW repatriation issue as fighting continues along the stalemated front lines, including Whitehorse Hill. (9)

June 6

"Operation Counter" begins. (20,34)

June 7-20

UN forces hold the line and inflict many casualties as the communists attack the hills of Old Baldy, Pork Chop, Capitol, T-Bone, and Heartbreak Ridge. (8,21)

June 10

The last major POW riot at Koje-do begins. (21)

June 12

Brig. Gen. Boatner, the new commander of the Koje-do POW camp, ends the POW riots. (9,21,39)

June 14

The 45th Infantry Division has occupied all objectives, patrol bases, for "Operation Counter." (20,34)

June 16-29

Chinese forces attack Pork Chop Hill, Old Baldy, and Snook (Outpost 9). (34)

June 23

The largest air raid of the war to date occurs when 500 UN aircraft attack various dams and electric power systems in North Korea. They strike the Chosen, Kyosen, Suiho, and Fusen dams. (12,16,21,2,39,34)


UN forces conduct massive air raids against the North Korean capital in "Operation Pressure Pump." (21,16)

July 3

In various front line sectors, elements of the 7th Marines, 7th Division, and 45th Division engage Chinese forces. (34)

July 11

In another raid on Pyongyang, 40 targets are hit by UN aircraft. (34)

July 17

UN and communist forces battle for Old Baldy. (34)

August 4

August 12-16

The Battle for Bunker Hill occurs.

August 29

The largest air raid of the war occurs when 1,403 UN aircraft strike Pyongyang. (2,34)

August 30

Four Americans are killed and another four die when a mine sinks the Sarsi around Hungnam. The Sarsi is the last American naval vessel to be lost in the war. (34)

September 1

Hitting 150 miles into North Korea is the first guided missile from a carrier. The biggest all-navy raid occurs when 144 carrier-based planes attack and destroy the Aoji, North Korea oil refinery. (8,34)

September 6-8

In a 51-hour seige on Outpost Bruce, 38 American Marines are wounded and 19 are killed. (34)

September 17-24

Chinese forces attack the 65th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division on Outpost Kelly. (34)

September 18-21

Chinese and UN forces continue to fight for Hill 266. (34)

September 19

Discussing preserving the Chinese and North Korean positions, Stalin and the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai also discuss prisoner of war exchanges. (3)

September 22

Chinese forces are attacked by the 245th Tank Battalion, 45th Division. (34)

October 6-13

Chinese forces attack UN forces on the central and western fronts. (34)

October 8

A stalemate on the battlefield is joined by a stalemate in the armistice talks; UN commander Mark Clark calls off the talks after the question of the POW exchange has become deadlocked. (8,9,16,2)

October 9

The 7th Fleet commences its bombardment of enemy supply lines and facilities, marking the beginning of the "Cherokee" strikes. These strikes continue until July of 1953. (34,21)

October 14-25

The Battle for Sniper Ridge occurs. In "Operation Showdown," the 7th Infantry Division strikes Chinese forces near Kumhwa. (34)

October 21

A North Korean shore battery hits the USS Lewis, killing 7 crew members. (34)

October 24

In a campaign speech, Republican presidential nominee Dwight D. Eisenhower states that he will go to Korea if elected. (16,2,39)

October 26-28

The Battle of the Hook occurs. (34)


In "Operation Decoy," UN naval forces, including the USS Iowa, strike targets near Kojo, North Korea, and Task Force 90 simulates a 1st Cavalry Division Regimental Combat Team landing. The communist forces respond as expected when they send reinforcements near Wonsan. In response, UN forces then move more of their own forces on or near the front lines. UN Commander Clark unifies Far East Command, the Far East Air Force, and the Naval Forces Far East into one command. (18,21,2,III)


In the only direct, known attempt by Russian air forces to attack UN naval forces in the war, Russian MiG-15s dogfight American naval aircraft near the USS Oriskany. (21)

November 1

Americans successfully complete their research by detonating a hydrogen bomb device at Eniwetok. (11,17,III1)

November 3

At Heartbreak Ridge, UN forces hold against a North Korean attack. (2,34)

November 4

Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected president. (12,16,21,2)

November 15

Replacing John Muccio, Ellis O. Brigges becomes the American ambassador to the ROK. (2)

DECEMBER 1, 1952 - APRIL 30, 1953 THIRD KOREAN WINTER (2,19)


The International Red Cross proposes an exchange of sick and wounded POWs. (39)

December 2-5

Fulfilling a campaign pledge, president elect Dwight D. Eisenhower completes a three-day Korean tour. (8,12,16,21,JJJ)

December 14

On Pongam-do, UN forces suppress a POW riot and breakout attempt. The UN forces intensify their own psychological warfare campaign. (21,20,9,39)

December 25

On T-Bone Hill, Chinese forces attack and are repelled by 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division forces. Elements of the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division holding Hill 812 are attacked by North Korean forces. (34)




Signing an executive order, President Truman expands the federal loyalty screening program to include Americans working in the United Nations. (6)

January 12

Four hundred forty UN aircraft hit Sinaju. (8)

January 20

Eisenhower is inaugurated as president. Replacing Dean Acheson, John Foster Dulles becomes secretary of state. Charles Wilson becomes the new secretary of defense. (17,2)

January 25

In "Operation Smack," 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division troops attack Spud Hill. (34)

February 3

While conducting a raid on Ungok (Hill 101), 15 members of the 5th Marines are killed and 55 are wounded. (34)

February 11

Lt. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor assumes command of the 8th Army due to Van [Korean time] Fleet’s retirement. (2,8,9,12,30,16)

February 22

Once again, the UN negotiators propose an exchange of wounded and sick POWs. (9)

March 1

Chinese forces fire 8,000 rounds at the Pork Chop Hill-Old Baldy complex. (2)

March 3

The talks resume. (12)

March 5

Joseph Stalin dies. (9,11,12,21,2)

March 9

Communist forces ambush a patrol of the 7th Infantry Division and a patrol of the 2nd Infantry Division. As a result, UN forces sustain 32 KIAs, 7 MIAs, and 55 WIAs. (34)

March 13

Task Force 77 aircraft destroy Chongjin, North Korea. (34)

March 17

Chinese forces attack 2nd Infantry Division-held Little Gibraltar. (34)

March 20

The UN naval bombardment against Kosong marks the largest bombardment by the navy against enemy lines in the war. (34)

March 23

Chinese forces attack Pork Chop Hill and Old Baldy. Although UN forces hold on Pork Chop Hill, they do not on Old Baldy. A counterattack to regain Old Baldy is planned for March 27 and 28 but 8th Army commander Taylor cancels them; thinking of the number of potential casualties, he believes that Old Baldy is not strategically important to 8th Army defenses. (2,21,39,KKK)

March 25

Chinese force attack and seize Hill 266. (20)

March 26-30

Chinese forces attack Outposts Vegas, Reno, and Carson which the 5th Marines are holding. (34)

March 28

Chinese forces attack five 25th Infantry Division outposts. The communist leaders agree to what becomes Operation Little Switch, an exchange of wounded and sick prisoners of war. (2,9,12,39)

March 29

Chinese forces seize three of the five 25th Infantry Division outposts they attacked a day earlier. (20)

April 16 - 18

UN and communist forces again clash on Pork Chop Hill. UN forces hold. (2,9,21,39,34)

April 20 - 26

Operation Little Switch takes place at Panmunjom. (2,9,12,34,LLL)

April 26

The negotiators return to the peace talks. (2)

MAY 1 - JULY 27, 1953 KOREAN SUMMER-FALL 1953 (2,19)


The UN air forces strike irrigation dams in North Korea. (12)

May 13

The 58th Fighter Bomber Wing conducts a raid against Toksan Dam, an irrigation system. (34)

May 20

If "conditions arise," the National Security Council has agreed to extend ground and air operations into China and intensify ground operations in Korea. (16)

May 28-30

Chinese forces attack the I Corps area, and the fighting especially turns savage in the Hook area and Nevada Cities areas. 14th Infantry Division forces capture Outpost Elko. (34)

May 28

UN negotiators present their final terms and threaten to break off the negotiations if the communist delegation rejects the terms. 25th Division outposts are attacked by Chinese forces. (16)

May 29

Upset by the terms of negotiation, the South Korean delegation boycotts the talks. (8)

May 31

Rhee exclaims that his country will continue to fight to re-unify all of Korea, even if the ROK must fight alone. (8)

June 4

The communist and UN negotiators agree to voluntary POW repatriation. The negotiators have now decided on all issues before them. (2,39,21,8,12,16,MMM)

June 9

Unfortunately, the National Assembly of the ROK government rejects the armistice terms. (12)

June 10-18

Chinese forces attack Outpost Harry, but are withheld. (34)

June 14

Communists forces begin an offensive, especially against ROK forces. They attack ROK forces near Kumsong. (20,21,12)

June 15

Communists forces attack and push ROK forces backs up to two miles back in the east central part of Korea. Launching 184 sorties, the USS Princeton sets the Korean War record for the number of offensive sorties from an aircraft carrier in a single day. Flying 910 sorties, Marine and naval aircraft set the record for the largest combined number of sorties on a single day. (8,20,34)

June 15-20

Continuing their offensive, Chinese forces attack and seize two outposts in the I Corps area. (20)

June 18

Trying to sabotage the armistice talks, ROK President Syngman Rhee orders the release of over 25,000 communist prisoners of war. (2,8,12,21,39)

June 19

On the homefront, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed for treason amidst much controversy. (27)

June 20

Angered by Rhee’s latest actions, the communist negotiations order the return of the POWs and leave the talks. (8,12)

June 24

In response to the communists attacks on ROK forces, the 5th RCT, and the 40th and 45th Infantry Divisions are sent to the front lines to support the ROKs. (34)

June 25

As the communist forces attack ROK forces on the field, an American delegation meets with Rhee to convince the ROK government to accept the armistice. (9,12)

June 29

Urging the communists to return to the talks, UN commander Clark hopes the warring parties can sign an armistice despite Rhee’s clear opposition. (8)

June 30

Flying 217 combat missions, Marine Air Group 12 sets a new record. A new air combat record is set when UN F-86 Sabrejets destroy fifteen communist MiG-15s without losing one of their own. Replacing Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg, Gen. Nathan F. Twining becomes the Air Force chief of staff. (34,8,2)


Task Force 77 is equipped with weapons of nuclear capabilities. Birmingham, Alabama goes beyond the ordinances other cities have passed; it orders the city’s communists to leave city limits within 48 hours. Other cities, like Macon, Georgia, follow its example. Lafayette, Indiana, bans the advocacy of communism. (21,27)

July 2-12

Moving from Japan, the 24th Infantry Division is sent to Korea to help with POW camp security and rear area defenses. (2)

July 6

Communist forces attack Pork Chop Hill and do succeed. (2)

July 7-8

Communist forces attack Outpost Berlin and Outpost East Berlin. (34)

July 7-9

UN counterattacks against now communist-held Pork Chop Hill fail. (2)

July 8

The communists respond that they want to continue the talks. (8)

July 10

The talks resume. 8th Army commander Taylor decides to concede Pork Chop Hill to the enemy; he believes that its location is not valuable enough to justify potential high casualty numbers. The next day, the remaining UN forces on the hill withdrawal. (8,39,2,21,NNN)

July 7

The ROK government finally agrees to the terms of negotiations. (9,OOO)

July 13-20

The final communist offensive occurs in the Battle of the Kumsong River Salient which involves elements of the IX Corps. (34)

July 13

Nearly 80,000 communists forces attack ROK forces in central Korea. The ROK forces are subsequently driven back sixty square miles. (8,20,2)

July 14

Communist forces overrun the 555th Field Artillery Battalion. Since it is now attached to the 2nd Infantry Division, the 187th Airborne Regiment Combat Team returns to Korea from Japan. (34,2,PPP)

July 18

Reversing the tide of battle, ROK forces stall and then drive the communist forces back up to five miles in east central Korea. (8)

July 19-20

Communist forces overrun the lone 81 Marines holding Outpost Berlin and Outpost East Berlin. (34)

July 20

The ROK II Corps and the IX Corps establish a MLR along the Kumsong River. They stop the communist attack. (20)

July 22

UN forces shoot down the last MiG-15 of the war at 1700 hours. (12)

July 24-26

Communist forces attack 3rd Infantry Division forces on Sniper Ridge, and Boulder City which is held by the 1st and 7th Marines. On Hills 119 and 111, American Marines fight their last ground battles. This date marks the last ground war battles for American troops. (34)

July 25

Task Force 77 aircraft sets a new record by flying a total of 600 offensive and defensive sorties in one day. (34)

July 27

UN forces shoot down the last communist aircraft in the war at 1030 hours. Flying thelast UN air combat mission is a RB-26 from the 162nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. After a Marine AD bombs communist positions, the naval war comes to an end at 9:25 PM. At 1000 hours, the warring parties sign the armistice which goes into effect officially at 2200 hours. At 10:00 PM, July 26, American time, President Eisenhower informs Americans of the armistice in a television and radio address. (2,12,22,23,35,1,8,16,20,21,9,39,34)

July 28

Near Ansan, North Korea, an explosion kills five members of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. (34)

August 8

The US and ROK sign a mutual security treaty. (21)

August 15

Operation Big Switch, the main exchange of prisoners of war occurs. (2,12,21,34)

August 17

The Russians successfully conduct a test of a thermonuclear (hydrogen) device. (17,PPP1)

August 28

The armistice is approved by the UN General Assembly. (21)

September 4

Gen. William F. Dean, a prisoner of war, is released. (2,21)

September 21

North Korean Lt. Kum Sok No defects and lands his MiG-15 at Kimpo airfield. (21,36)

September 23

The UN command turns over its 22,604 prisoners of war who refused repatriation to the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission. (2,21)

September 24

The communists turn over their 359 non-repatriates. The Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission keeps the non-repatriates for a total of 120 days, as specified in the armistice agreements. Still refusing repatriation, the POWs are released as they wish. (2,21)


By the year’s end, America has sent over $1 billion in aid to the French fighting the Viet Minh. (1)



March 1

In the Marshall Islands, America successfully explodes its first hydrogen bomb. (17)

April 26

The fifth Geneva Conference opens to discuss Asian matters, including Korean reunification. The conference lasts until June 15th. (21,39)

May 7

Viet Minh forces defeat the French at Dien Bien Phu. (17)



February 5

Four Chinese MiG-15s attack an UN RB-45 over the Yellow Sea. Twelve MiGs dog- fight 8 American F-86s. As a result, two MiGs are shot down and another is damaged. (13)

March 17-18

The 24th Infantry Division relieves the 1st Marine Division which then leaves South Korea. (13,15)

August 18

North Korean ground fire shoots down an unarmed American T-6 used for training. One American is killed and another is wounded. (13)

November 22

The Russians successfully test a hydrogen bomb. (17)




Leaving South Korea is the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. (15)



March 27

North Korean forces fire on a patrol of twelve men. (13)

July 1

The US Far East Command officially ends. (15)

October 15

After the 1st Cavalry Division replaces them, the 24th Infantry Division leaves the DMZ. The 7th Infantry Division is also on the DMZ. (13,15)



March 6

Ground fire from North Korea shoots down an American F-26. (13)


Chinese forces finally leave North Korea. (3,31,21)



April 20

After being fired upon by North Korean aircraft, an American pilot makes an emergency crash landing south of the South Korean capital. The pilot dies. (13)



October 1

Since the armistice signing, the first American KIA along the DMZ falls on this date. (13)

November 23

Attacking Outpost Susan, North Koreans wound one American and kill another. (13)



May 17

North Koreans shoot down an American OH-23 helicopter in their territory. Kidnapping two crewmen, they hold them captive for a year. (13)

July 29

North Koreans ambush a jeep. As a result, three Americans are KIA and another is WIA. (13)

August 4

North Koreans begin their assault on an UNC guard post. Thirteen soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division are involved in this two-hour engagement. Fighting continues the following nights. (13)



November 14

Along the DMZ, North Korean forces attack an American Air Force aircraft. (13)



April 27

Flying over the Sea of Japan, an American RB-47 is fired upon by two North Korean MiG-17s. (13)

May 18

North Korean ground fire shoots down Army aircraft. (13)

July 1

The 1st Cavalry Division is replaced by the 2nd Infantry Division. (13,15)

November 18

A North Korean patrol wounds a 2nd Infantry Division sergeant. (13)



November 2

One-half mile south of the DMZ, North Koreans ambush an eight-man patrol. Six Americans and one ROK soldier of the 2nd Infantry Division are KIA while another is WIA. Since the armistice signing, this North Korean assault is the most serious attack on American forces. (13)



February 12

In an ambush, North Koreans kill a 2nd Infantry Division soldier. (13)

May 22

A saboteur uses satchel charges to shatter barracks of the 2nd Infantry Division. Sixteen troops are wounded and two are killed in this attack. (13)

July 16

North Koreans attack and kill three 2nd Infantry Division troops. (13)

July 28

Forces begin building a barrier fence in the American DMZ sector. The barrier is completed on September 28. (13)

August 10

North Koreans ambush a truck carrying 7th Infantry Division troops near Freedom Village. Sixteen are wounded and three are killed. (13)

August 22

After a jeep hits a mine, North Koreans fire on the jeep, killing one 2nd Infantry Division soldier and wounding another. (13)

August 28

North Korean forces attack and fire 3,000 rounds at C Company, 76th Engineer Battalion near the JSA. Fourteen are wounded and two are killed. (13)

August 29

Five 2nd Infantry Division soldiers are wounded and another two are killed after their vehicles hit mines. (13)

September 13

North Korean forces destroy seven carloads of military supplies when they blow up a couple of trains by Seoul. This takes place in the 2nd Infantry Division’s area and luckily, there are no casualties. (13)

October 7

North Korean forces attack an American boat patrolling the Imjin River. After being wounded by the gunfire, a 2nd Infantry Division soldier drowns. (13)



January 19

Following the sighting of 31 North Korean soldiers near Pobwonni, American forces conduct search operations. (13)

January 23 North Koreans seize the American USS Pueblo off Wonsan. Out of the crew of 83, four are wounded and another dies. As a result of the North Korean action, aircraft from the 18th TFW arrive in Kimpo in "Operation Combat Fox." A 32-ship task force, which includes the Ticonderoga and the USS Enterprise, is deployed to the Sea of Japan. Eventually, 3,000 Reservists and National Guardsmen arrive in South Korea. Eleven months after their capture, USS Pueblo crewmen are released on December 23. (13)

January 24

North Korean forces kill a 2nd Infantry Division soldier. (13)

January 26

An American soldier of the 2nd Infantry Division is killed south of the DMZ. (13)

January 29

Four North Korean agent teams trying to infiltrate into South Korea are repelled by elements of the 2nd Infantry Division. (13)

April 2

The Defense Department finally authorizes hostile fire pay for soldiers serving north of the Imjin River. (13,QQQ)

April 14

Two Americans are killed and two others are wounded when their truck is ambushed by North Korean forces. (13)

April 18

In the JSA, UNC guards are attacked by North Korean guards. (13)

April 21

An American dies and three others are wounded when a 7th Infantry Division patrol clashes with 50-75 North Korean troops in the southern part of the DMZ. Four North Koreans die in the fighting. (13)

April 27

North Korean forces ambush an American patrol near Panmunjom. As a result, 2 members of the 7th Infantry Division are wounded. (13)

July 21

Two American soldiers, one of the 2nd Infantry Division and the other of the 7th Infantry Division, are killed in firefights. (13)

July 30

One 2nd Infantry Division soldier is killed and three others are wounded in two clashes with North Korean forces south of the DMZ. (13)

August 5

One 2nd Infantry Division soldier is killed and four others are wounded in a North Korean attack. (13)

August 18

During a clash with eight North Korean troops south of the DMZ, two 7th Infantry Division NCOs are killed. (13)

September 2

A force of 15-20 North Koreans attacks three American officers in the JSA. (13)

September 19

A firefight occurs in the 2nd Infantry Division’s area. As a result, four North Korean soldiers are killed. (13)

September 27

North Korean forces ambush a jeep carrying soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division. In this attack south of the MDL, two Americans die. (13)

October 5

Ambushed by North Korean forces, two 2nd Infantry Division soldiers are wounded and another is killed. (13)

October 23

In a firefight with North Korean forces, five 2nd Infantry Division soldiers are wounded and another is killed. (13)

December 26

The Department of the Army authorizes the Combat Medic Badge and the Combat Infantryman Badge for selected troops in South Korea. (13)



March 15

North Korean forces at a guard post fire on a 2nd Infantry Division work party which is replacing markers along the MDL. On patrol, one American is killed and two others are wounded in a firefight. Unfortunately, the evac helicopter carrying the wounded crashes killing its 5 crew members, two GIs, and one Korean. (13)

April 15

Thirty-one crew members of an unarmed EC-131 recon plane are killed when 2 North Korean MiG-17s shoot them down in the Sea of Japan. A 29-ship task force, Task Force 71, is formed to protect future recon flights. (13,15)

April 23

A UNC guardpost in the southern part of the DMZ is attacked by North Korean forces. (13)

July 21

In a 35-minute firefight, 2nd Infantry Division soldiers repulse North Korean forces. (13)

July 30

In the JSA, 15 UNC personnel are attacked by a force of 45 North Korean guards. (13)

August 17

North Koreans shoot down an OH-23 helicopter over territory held by the North Koreans. Having been wounded in this action, the crew members are not released until December 3. (13)

October 18

Although it was flying a truce flag, North Koreans ambush a truck and kill four 7th Infantry Division soldiers. All four had been shot through the head. (13)



June 14

A North Korean soldier is killed by 2nd Infantry Division soldiers near Panmunjom. (13)

August 31 North Korean forces are intercepted and fired upon by 2nd Infantry Division forces, not once but in three incidents. (13)

October 1

North Korean ground forces shoot at an American Army helicopter. (13)

October 12

North Korean civilians and guards wielding clubs attack UNC security personnel in the JSA. Seven are injured as a result of the attack. (13)



Replacing the Nationalist Chinese delegation, the People’s Republic of China is formally admitted to the UN. (18)

March 12

The 1st ROK Division assumes responsibility for America’s 18.5-mile DMZ sector then under the 2nd Infantry Division. (13,15)

April 1

After serving 24 years there, the 7th Infantry Division leaves South Korea. South Korean forces relieve the 2nd Infantry Division on the line. (13,15)



September 1

Although tension and danger remains high on the line, hostile fire pay is terminated for American forces in Korea. (13,15)



March 3

In the JSA, 30 American personnel are attacked by a force of 120 North Koreans. (13)

May 9

North Korean forces on the Imjin River fire on 2 American helicopters. (13)

May 10

North Korean forces fire on 2 other American helicopters. (13)

November 15

Elements of the ROK Army discover an underground tunnel, built by North Korean forces, which extends 1,000 yards into the UNC occupied and controlled side of the armistice zone. (13)

November 20

A naval officer is killed and four other servicemen are wounded when a North Korean device explodes in the tunnel’s complex. (13)



June 30

Ten North Korean guards attack and wound an Army major. (13)



August 18

Thirty North Koreans, wielding metal pipes and axes, murder 2 Army officers and wound 4 other American personnel as they were trying to trim a tree in the DMZ. (13,21)

August 21

"Operation Paul Bunyan" begins as 26 gunboats and additional forces of 300 troops

September 8

support the 2nd Engineer Battalion as they cut down the tree of the August 18th attack. The USS Midway leads Task Force 77.4 to the coast of Korea. Aircraft from Guam, Okinawa, and Idaho are also sent to South Korea. North Koreans fire on and hit one American helicopter. (13,15)



July 14

Inadvertently flying into North Korean airspace, a CH-47 Chinook is shoot down by North Korean forces. Although three other crew members die, a pilot survives only to be captured. (13,15)

July 16

North Koreans release the captured pilot of the CH-47. (13)



December 7

In a heavy fog, some American forces stumble into a North Korean minefield. Four are wounded and one is killed. Another body is recovered 5 days later. (13)



November 23

North Korean forces fire on and wound an American soldier. (13)



October 28

Under Public Law 99-572, plans for the Korean War Veterans Memorial are approved. (18)



October 1

This date marks the end of the DMZ era. The ROK forces at Guard Post Collier assume responsibility for American forces’ last one-mile DMZ sector which had been under the 503rd Infantry Regiment. Still, American duty continues in the JSA. (15,RRR)



December 17

North Korean forces down an American helicopter. The pilot is killed. (15)



September 8

This date marks the 50th year of American duty in South Korea. (15)

July 27

The dedication of the Korean War Veterans Memorial occurs. (18)



October 17

Under Section 1067 the "Program to Commemorate [the] 50th Anniversary of the Korean War" of Public Law 105-261, the fighting in North and South Korea from 1950-1953 is officially called a war. (14)



Fifty Years in Korea (15)

September 8, 1945 - June 30, 1949

American Army Occupation of Southern Korea

The 17th and 32nd Infantry Regiments, 7th Infantry Division accept the surrender of Japanese forces in southern Korea. The 6th, 7th, and 40th Divisions (XXIV Corps) and eventually the 5th RCT make up the American forces.

July 1, 1949 - June 24, 1950

American forces comprise the Korean Military Advisory Group.

June 25, 1950 - July 27, 1953

Korean War

January - October 1954

The 3rd, 40th, 45th, 2nd, and 25th Infantry Divisions are redeployed/leave South Korea.

October 1, 1962 - August 4, 1963

Three 1st Cavalry Division troops are killed in ambushes and firefights on the DMZ.

November 2, 1966 - October 18, 1969

In the DMZ Border War, 44 Americans are killed and another 111 are wounded.

January 23, 1968 - April 1969

In "Operation Combat Fox," the Fifth Air Forces reacts to the North Korean seizure of the USS Pueblo. One sailor dies as a result of the seizure.

January 23 - Summer 1968

In "Operation Formation Star," Task Force 77.5 reacts to the what becomes known as the Pueblo crisis.


*This chronology does not cover all actions, statements, or events before and during the war, and after the armistice signing.

Unless otherwise specified, the units listed are American units. Specific UN units will be featured in the "UN Involvement" web-page.

The ten US Military Campaigns of the Korean War are bold-faced and in capital letters.

The forty-two sources listed below were used to compile this chronology. Few sources mentioned whether the date was in Korean or American time but whenever possible, Korean or American time is mentioned. Concerning the actions with years only, the source(s) did not list specific dates. In post-armistice actions, North Koreans means North Korean forces unless otherwise specified.

+According to Harry G. Summer Jr., Washington, D.C. Eastern Standard Time is ten hours later than Korean time and Eastern Daylight Time is eleven hours later.

A Source 21 also states that Truman and Stalin agreed to General Order One on August 15, 1945.

A1 Source 40 mentions that the Cairo Conference occurred in November.

B Source 21 says this occurred on August 11th.

C Source 11 simply says mid-1949.

D Although source 21 says that KMAG is activated on May 2nd, it also says it was activated on July 1.

E Various sources disagree over the date the Russians exploded an atomic device. For example, source 11 states this happened on August 29th, source 17 states September 3, and sources 21 and 40 simply states this occurred in September.

E1 According to source 30, Truman ordered the establishment of a hydrogen bomb program in March of 1950.

F Source 2 also states July 10th, but source 33 says MacArthur became the UN commander on the 7th.

F1 According to source 1, the 25th Infantry Division arrived in Korea in mid-July. Sources 16 and 33 state that they arrived on July 18th.

G Source 8 mentions that the first communist atrocities were reported on July 11th. Seven American bodies had been found, shot in the head, their hands tied behind their backs.

H According to source 33, the B-29 bombardment of North Korea began on July 6th.

I Source 40 did mention that the Senate Republicans rejected the findings of the Tydings Commission.

J Source 2 also mentions that the ROK forces were transferred on July 14th.

K Source 9 says this occurred between July 5 -August 4.

L According to source 34, the fighting in Taejon occurred on July 19th-20th.

M Source 20 mentioned that Walker gave this speech on July 31st.

N According to sources 9 and 12, the first Battle of the Naktong Bulge was from August 5-19.

O Source 21 says it’s August 18-27.

P Source 21 states MacArthur’s criticism is announced on August 20th while source 40 states that it’s the end of August.

Q Sources 9, 12, and 8 mention that the Second Battle of the Naktong Bulge occurs between August 27th-September 15th.

R Source 34 mentions that the 8th Army breakout from the Pusan Perimeter was from September 16-27.

S According to source 12, UN forces discovered 500 ROKs, 7000 civilians, and 40 Americans.

T Source 2 mentions that UN forces captured Kimpo on September 18th.

U Source 16 says the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team arrived at Kuiupo Airport on the 24th.

V According to source 2, MacArthur mades this announcement on the 27th.

W There is much disagreement over the exact date X Corps liberated Seoul. Sources 3,10,12,20,and 34 state this occurred on the 28th. Sources 1,8,9,16,17,33 mention this happened on the 26th. Source 21 states this occurred on the 27-28th while source 2 mentioned that the 7th Infantry Division and 1st Marine Division liberated Seoul on the 27th. Source 2 also mentioned that on September 28th, UN forces had cleared the city of the enemy.

X Source 2 says Mao made the decision to intervene on October 4th.

Y Source 40 states this occurred on October 2nd.

Z There is much disagreement over this date. Source 17 mentions October 13th, source 9 says October 12th, and source 32 states October 16th. Source 3 simply says the Chinese intervention occurred in the last half of October, and source 5 states that the Chinese began to intervene during the Wake Conference. Source 31 simply states the intervention began in October of 1950.

AA Source 2 says this happened on October 17th.

BB Source 12 states that UN forces found the grizzly discovery at Suchon on October 21st.

CC Source 2 mentions that the 1st Marine Division landed at Wonsan between October 26-28.

DD Source 34 says it’s November 1st and at Chonggodo.

EE Sources 34 and 2 say this Unsan battle was from November 1-2.

FF According to source 34, the fighting lasted from November 2-7.

GG There is much disagreement over this date. For instance, source 2 states the 3rd Division landed between November 5-17 while source 12 says it landed from November 15-17. Then, sources 16 and 33 state they landed on November 12th.

HH Source 34 says the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir lasted from November 27-December 9.

II Source 12 also mentions that communist forces captured Pyongyang on December 4.

JJ Source 21 states that the 1st Marine Division reached Hagaru-ri on December 4th.

KK According to source 2, MacArthur imposed military censorship on December 20th.

LL According to sources 1,12,16, and 33, UN forces began this offensive on January 8th.

MM Source 34 states that "Operation Thunderbolt" lasted until February 20th.

NN Source 21 says "Operation Roundup" began on February 4, and source 34 mentions that it continued until February 24th.

OO Source 34 says "Operation Killer" continues until March 7th.

PP Source 34 mentions that "Operation Ripper" continued until April 4th.

QQ Besides what the fore-mentioned sources say for March 14-15, there is much disagreement over the date Seoul was recaptured by UN forces. For example, source 10 says it’s the 10th of March while source 12 says it’s the 18th. Source 40 says it’s March 24th.

RR Source 40 mentions that MacArthur’s proposal was an ultimatum to the communist forces.

SS Sources 16 and 33 say that 8th Army forces reached the 38th on March 22nd.

TT Source 34 states "Operation Rugged" continued until April 15, and source 21 says Operation Rugged" and "Operation Dauntless" together lasted from April 1-22.

UU According to source 34, the Chinese offensive ended on April 29th.

VV Source 34 says this Chinese offensive began on May 17th. Source 20 says it ended on May 23rd while source 2 says it ended on May 20th.

WW According to source 34, the May Massacre occurred on May 16-21.

XX Sources 21 and 40 mention that "Operation Strangle" began on June 2nd. Source 34 says "Operation Strangle" continued until September 20th and "Operation Detonate" lasted until June 8th.

YY According to source 34, "Operation Piledriver" began on June 3rd.

ZZ Source 34 states that "Operation Piledriver" ended on June 12th.

AAA Source 40 mentions this agreement is reached on July 1st.

BBB According to source 34, the Battle for Bloody Ridge lasted from July 18-September 5.

CCC Source 34 mentions that on September 21st, in "Operation Summit," Sikorsky S-55 helicopters recorded a first when they deployed a combat unit of 228 Marines.

DDD Source 34 states that "Operation Commando" continued until October 9th.

EEE According to source 2, "Operation Ratkiller" began on December 2nd, under Task Force Paik.

FFF Source 9 mentions that the POW screenings began April 2nd, and source 40 says April 8th.

GGG Source 12 says the negotiators rejected this on January 3rd.

HHH Source 16 states that the communist negotiators were informed on April 19th that 62,000 of the 132,000 communist POWs would refuse repatriation.

III Source 2 says it was a simulated landing of the 8th Regimental Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

III1 According to source 30, this occurred on October 30th.

JJJ Source 2 states that the dates for Eisenhower’s Korean tour were December 5-8.

KKK Source 34 mentions that the Chinese attacks began on March 23-24.

LLL According to sources 2, 21, and 40, Operation Little Switch ended on May 3rd.

MMM Sources 8,12, and 16 state that this POW agreement was made on June 8th. Source 20 says that the negotiators agreed on all points of negotiation on July 19th.

NNN Source 34 mentions that the UN forces were ordered to withdraw on July 10th.

OOO According to source 12, the ROK government finally agreed on July 11th.

PPP Source 34 states that the 187th Regiment Combat Team was attached to the 2nd Infantry Division during the Battle of the Kumsong River Salient.

PPP1 According to source 11, this occurred on August 12th.

QQQ Source 18 says it became effective on April 1st.

RRR According to source 13, ROK forces assumed responsibility for the last sector of the American DMZ line on October 4th.


(1) Spurr, Russell. Enter the Dragon: China’s Undeclared War Against the U.S. in Korea, 1950-51. New York: Newmarket Press, 1988.

(2) Summer, Jr., Harry G. Korean War Almanac. New York: Facts on File, 1990.

(3) Petrov, Vladimir. "Soviet Role in the Korean War Confirmed: Secret Documents Declassified." Journal of Northeast Asian Studies 113 (Fall 1994): 42-67.

(4) Christensen, Thomas J. "Threats, Assurances, and the Last Chance for Peace: The Lessons of Mao’s Korean War Telegrams." International Security 17 (Summer 1992): 122-54.

(5) Guttmann, Allen, ed. Korea and the Theory of Limited War. With an Introduction by Allen Guttmann. Problems in American Civilization Series. Boston: D.C. Heath & Co., 1967.

(6) Wiltz, John Edward. "The Korean War and American Society." In The Korean War: A 25-Year Perspective, ed. Francis H. Heller. 112-58. With a Preface by Francis H. Heller. Lawrence: Regents Press of KS, 1977.

(7) Streeby, Larry. "Trip to Korea." Bulletin-Second Infantry Division Korean War Veterans Alliance. (Winter 1999): 12.

(8) Nebraska Korean War Veterans Reunion. Chronology.

(9) Fehrenback, T.R. This Kind of War: A Study in Unpreparedness. New York: MacMillan, 1963.

(10) Kim, Yung-kwon, and Lee Soo-jung, eds. A Handbook of Korea. With a Foreword by Kim Seong Jim. Rev. ed. Seoul: Korean Overseas Information Service, 1979.

(11) Gaddis, John Lewis. We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History. Council of Foreign Relations. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997.

(12) Korea 1950-1953 Map. Honolulu: E.L. Brady, 1987.

(13) "Dangerous Duty on Korea’s DMZ." VFW Magazine, March 1992. 28-29.

(14) Public Law 105-261. 17 October 1998. Section 1067 "Program to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of the Korean War." Photocopy.

(15) "In Defense of Northeast Asia." VFW Magazine September 1995. 36-37.

(16) Arizona Korean War Memorial Dedication Pamphlet. Chronology.

(17) Halberstam, David. The Fifties. New York: Villard Books, 1993.

(18) Martin J. O’Brien, The Korean War: Forgotten Soldiers of a Forgotten War . . . No Longer Forgotten. 1997.

(19) Joe Matthews. Interview by Lynnita Sommer, 8 November 1998. Transcript. Korean War Project. Douglas County Museum, Tuscola, IL.

(20) Ridgway, Matthew B. The Korean War: How We Met the Challenge, How All-Out Asian War Was Adverted, Why MacArthur Was Dismissed, [and] Why Today’s War Objectives Must be Limited. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967.

(21) Sandler, Stanley, ed. The Korean War: An Encyclopedia. NY:, Garland Publishing, 1995.

(22) Department of State. "The President’s Message to the Nation." Armistice in Korea: Selected Statements and Documents. Far Eastern Series 61. 1953.

(23) Department of State. "Text of Armistice Agreement." Armistice in Korea. Selected Statements and Documents. Far Eastern Series 61. 1953.

(24) "Acheson’s Phone Call to the President." 24 June 1950. Harry S. Truman Library. Student Research File. B. File. Korean War: Responses to North Korea’s Invasion. Boxes 1 and 2. Papers of George M. Elsey.

(25) "Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress." 2 July 1950. Harry S. Truman Library. Student Research File. B File. Korean War: Responses to North Korea’s Invasion. Boxes 1 and 2. Papers of George M. Elsey.

(26) "President’s Conference." 29 June 1950. Harry S. Truman Library. Student Research File. B File. Korean War: Responses to North Korea’s Invasion. Boxes 1 and 2. Papers of George M. Elsey.

(27) Fried, Richard M. Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy Era in Perspective. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1990.

(28) Nash, Gary B., Julie Roy Jeffrey, John R. Howe, Peter J. Frederick, Allen F. Davis, and Allan M. Winkler, eds. The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society. 4th ed. Vol. 2. New York: Longman, 1998.

(29) Sawyer, Robert K. Military Advisors in Korea: KMAG in Peace and War. Ed, Walter G. Hermes. United States Army Historical Series. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1962.

(30) Dawson, Joseph G. III, ed. Commanders in Chief: Presidential Leadership in Modern Wars. With a Foreword by Raymond G. O’Connor. Modern War Studies. Lawrence, KS: Univ. Press of KS, 1993.

(31) Brogan, Patrick. The Fighting Never Stopped: A Comprehensive Guide to World Conflict Since 1945. New York: Random House, 1990.

(32) LaFeber, Walter. America, Russia, and the Cold war 1945-1996. With a Foreword by Robert A. Divine. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997.

(33) Voorhees, Melvin B. Korean Tales. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1952.

(34) "America’s War in Korea: A GI’s Combat Chronology, 1950-1953." VFW Magazine. June/July 1993. 28-34.

(35) Jackson, Robert. World Military Aircraft Since 1945. New York: Scribner, 1979.

(36) Scutts, Jerry. Air War over Korea. London: Arms and Armour Press, 1982.

(37) Futrell, Robert Frank. The United States Air Force in Korea 1950-1953. With a Foreword by Richard H. Kohn. Rev. ed. Washington, D.C.: Office of Air Force History, 1983.

(38) Chafe, William H. The Unfinished Journey: America Since World War II. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1995.

(39) Kaufman, Burton I. The Korean War: Challenges in Crisis, Credibility, and Command. America in Crisis Series. New York: Knopf, 1986.

(40) Hart-Landsberg, Martin. Korea: Division, Reunification, and U.S. Foreign Policy. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1998.

(41) Martin, James Kirby, Randy Roberts, Steven Mintz, Linda O. McMurry, and James H. Jones, eds. America and its People. 2nd ed. Vol 2. New York: Harper Collins, 1993.

(42) Blair, Clay. The Forgotten War America in Korea 1950-1953. New York Doubleday, 1987.

Compiled by Tricia North with help from Dick Wainwright, Frank Bensley, Marty O’Brien, John Mallon, and Joe Matthews. Edited by Dick Wainwright and Frank Bensley.

Copyright © 1998 Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library

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