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5th Air Force, 6147th Tactical Control Squadron
My name is William H. Hayward and I served in Korea from August 12, 1950 until May 25, 1951 with the 5th Air Force, 6147th Tactical Control Squadron (ABN) at Taegu, (K-2); Pusan (K-1); Kimpo (K-14); Seoul Municipal (K-16); P'Yong Yang East (K-24); P'Yong Teak (K-6); and Chun Chon (K-47).
We were known as the "Mosquitoes". Our pilots flew unarmed T-6 aircraft in close air support of the ground troops, in which they directed air strikes and artillery fire. In February of 1951 the Unit was decorated with a Presidential Unit Citation. In early 1951, we started to receive the newly modified T-6G's that were equipped with rocket rails that allowed us to carry 2 1/2 inch WP rockets that we used to mark targets for the fighter-bombers.
In my 9 yr and 3 month service from December 28, 1948 until March 31, 1958 I earned the Good Conduct Medal w/2 knots; The Korean SM with 5 stars; the United Nation SM; the National Defense SM, a Presidential Unit Citation and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. After my Military service I completed a total of 39 years service in the US Civil Service with the Federal Aviation Administration as an Electronic Technician.
I can be contacted at email address
5th Air Force, 6147th Tactical Control Squadron
My name is William H. Hayward and I served in Korea from August 12, 1950 until May 25, 1951 with the 5th Air Force, 6147th Tactical Control Squadron (ABN) at Taegu, (K-2); Pusan (K-1); Kimpo (K-14); Seoul Municipal (K-16); P'Yong Yang East (K-24); P'Yong Teak (K-6); and Chun Chon (K-47).
We were known as the "Mosquitoes". Our pilots flew unarmed T-6 aircraft in close air support of the ground troops, in which they directed air strikes and artillery fire. In February of 1951 the Unit was decorated with a Presidential Unit Citation. In early 1951, we started to receive the newly modified T-6G's that were equipped with rocket rails that allowed us to carry 2 1/2 inch WP rockets that we used to mark targets for the fighter-bombers.
In my 9 yr and 3 month service from December 28, 1948 until March 31, 1958 I earned the Good Conduct Medal w/2 knots; The Korean SM with 5 stars; the United Nation SM; the National Defense SM, a Presidential Unit Citation and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. After my Military service I completed a total of 39 years service in the US Civil Service with the Federal Aviation Administration as an Electronic Technician.
I can be contacted at email address
17th Infantry Regiment
The 17th "Buffalo" Regiment was organized by act of Congress 26 June 1812 and was officially known as the Seventeenth U.S. Infantry (Kentucky). The regiment's first engagment with the enemy was in 1813 as a part of the Army commanded by Major General William Henry Harrison, during the war of 1812. By Presidential order, the regiment was again activated on 4 May 1861. During the Civil War, the 17th participated in a total of 22 campaigns. After that, it participated in the Spanish-American War. From Cuba, the regiment was sent to the Phillipines where its troops participated in several campaigns against the Moros. During WWI, the regiment was assigned to the 11th Division and helped form many units in the National Army and National Guard.
In 1943, the 17th wrested Attu and Kiska in the Aleutian chain away from the fanatically defending Japanese. "B", "F", and Service Companies who fought as riflemen received the Distinguished Unit Citation for their part at Holtz Bay. In early 1944, the 17th took 15 islands in the Marshall Island campaign. In the Phillipines, the entire regiment received the Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation. Then to Okinawa, where the 17th spearheaded the drive to cut the island in half and speed the conquest of one of the most heavily defended atolls in the Pacific. On 8 September 1945 the 17th landed at Inchon and took over its part in the occupation of Korea. In 1948 the regiment was moved to Japan.
KOREAN WAR PARTICIPATION
After the beginning of the Korea hostilities, the regiment went to Fugi for training and re-equpment. On 15 September 1950, the landing at Inchon was made and the regiment played a major role in the capture of Seoul. It was awarded is second Distinguished Unit Citation. Then a motor march to Pusan led to a second landing at Iwon, north of the 38th paralle. The 17th fought its way north, and was the only American unit to reach the Yalu River.
The Chinese intervention heralded the withdrawal to Hungnam. The 17th was evacuated 20 December 1950 and at Christmas was in training north of Taegu. Col. William Quinn, affectionately called Buffalo Bill, was the inspiration for calling the 17th the Buffalo Regiment. After this the Buffaloes participated in the heavy fighting around Chunari.
Next they moved to the Punch Bowl area and then to the "Iron Triangle" area on the combat front. It was here in October 1952 that the regiment participated in some of its heaviest fighting in the Korean War, in the now-famous battles for Triangle Hill, Sniper Ridge, Charlie and ROK outposts.
On 31 October 1952 the 17th was given sealed orders for new assignment in the south at prisoner of war camps. On 7 November 1952 Col. William L. Hardick took command of the 17th. After a two month tour of duty as a security force, the 17th rejoined the 7th Division in the Old Baldy and T-Bone sector. On 3 May 1953, Col. Theodore C. Mataxis assumed command of the Buffaloes.
- Pfc. Joseph Rodriguez
- Cpl. Einar Ingman
- Capt. Raymond Harvey
- Cpl. William Lyell
CAMPAIGN STREAMERS - KOREA
- UN defensive
- UN offensive
- CCF intervention
- First UN counter-offensive
- UN summer-fall offensive
- CCF spring offensive
- Second Korean winter
- Korea summer-fall 1952
- Third Korean winter
- Korea summer-fall 1953
Submitted by Doug Fargo, Charles Town, WV
No unit knows the brave history and proud traditions of the American soldier better than the 32nd Infantry Regiment. Its exciting battle record is forever entwined with the victories of the7th and 25th Infantry Divisions. The 32 Regiment was first organized 7 August 1916 at Schofield Barracks on the Island of Oahu. At its activation its Colors were presented by the Queen of Hawaii, Queen Lilioukalani, and it has, therefore, borne the honored title, "The Queen's Own."
During World War I units of the 32nd Infantry were escorts for German prisoners of war being transferred from the United States to Hawaii. On 20 July 1918, the 32d Infantry was transferred to Camp Kearny, California, where it became part of the 16th Infantry Division. The unit was inactivated on 2 September 1921 at Fort Lawton, Washington. The 32d Infantry Regiment was reactivated 1 July 1940 at Fort Ord, California, and was rushed to the Aleutian Islands in the spring of 1943 after the Japanese landed on Attu. The Regiment played a major role in retaking the first territory lost during World War II on the island of Attu. It invaded the island at Massacre Bay on 10 May 1943. During the next 20 days it faced heavy combat and learned first hand the Japanese fight or die philosophy. Few prisoners were taken, and each enemy emplacement had to be taken by fierce hand-to-hand fighting. Names of Bloody Point, Holtz Bay, Chicago Harbor, Sarans Pass, Murder Point, and Fish Hook Ridge were forever seared in the minds of the men of the 32d Infantry Regiment. On 30 May 1943, the last remnants of the Japanese garrison made one final suicidal attack and were eliminated. They lost some 1700 dead, and only 11 prisoners were taken during the entire campaign. The "Queen's Own" had developed into a battle hardened, powerful strike force destined to lead U.S. forces in amphibious assaults from the frozen arctic wastelands to the steaming hot jungles of the South Pacific. After their victorious baptism of fire in the Aleutian Campaign, the 32d sailed for Hawaii for intensive training in amphibious landings and jungle fighting.
On 1 February 1944, it assaulted the Kwajalein Atoll. For the next five days it fought doggedly from pillbox to pillbox through deadly fire, and on 5 February the Atoll was secured. The 32d Infantry had written another bloody page of its history in a classic display of coordination and concentrated annihilation of the complete enemy garrison of some 3,000. The Regiment returned to Hawaii for more jungle training and on 25 September joined General Douglas MacArthur's forces and spearheaded the assault on the island of Leyte in the Phillipines. Names like Breakneck Ridge, Limon, and Ormac were added to the history of the 32d Infantry. Fighting in the swamps, tropical jungles and mountains of Leyte, through drenching typhoons and searing heat the 32d battled 37 miles in 60 days of the bitterest fighting in the Pacific Theater.The Regiment's last campaign of World War II began 1 April 1945 with the landing on Okinawa. During that campaign the 32d won the nickname, "Spearhead." It led the 7th Division's attack on Okinawa by first bisecting the island and then driving down the eastern side. Naha, Katena Airfield, Hill 178, Red Hill, and Yonbaru became resting places for friend and foe as the 32d led attacks down the island. The fighting became the worst yet encountered. The 32d Infantry soldiers fought day and night in pitched battles, overcoming severe logistical problems and suicidal Japanese counterattacks to lead the division down the Chinon Peninsula. The battle of Okinawa raged for 82 days with the men of the 32d Infantry effectively beating down the enemy. Three days after the surrender of the Japanese, on 5 September 1945, the 7th Division with, of course, its 32d Infantry Regiment sailed for Korea where it assumed occupation duty and established defensive positions along the 38th parallel. The years of peace following the end of World War II were short ones marked by drastic reductions in strength and support of our Armed Forces. During the early part of 1949, the 7th Division was transferred to Japan to replace the 11th Airborne Division and, along with other units, the 32d Infantry watched its combat readiness decrease on a never ending curve. This was to prove costly.
At 0400 hours, 25 June 1950, the North Korean Army struck across the 38th parallel in a sudden, powerful drive. The Communists captured Seoul in three days and pushed Allied Forces all the way across the peninsula to the Pusan Perimeter. The U.S. forces in Japan went into high gear to improve combat readiness, and some were sent to Korea with whatever they had.
On 16 September 1951, U.S. forces struck at the mid-section of the North Korean army in the daring amphibious landing at Inchon. North Korean forces could not stop the fierce attack of the 32d as it advanced toward the Han River. On 25 September, the 32d crossed the Han River under intense enemy fire and captured a prominent hill mass just outside Seoul. The 32d continued to capture all of its assigned objectives and played a paramount role in the liberation of Seoul for which it received the Navy Distinguished Unit Citation.
On 30 September 1950, the 32d Infantry moved 350 miles overland to the port city of Pusan and prepared for another amphibious landing of the war. On 28 October it left Pusan harbor for a landing at Iwon and then advancing to the Korean-Manchurian border. The next day it disembarked and fought north along the Pungsan, Kapsan, Hyesanjin axis toward Manchuria. On 21 November a task force composed of elements of the 32d and supporting units reached the Yalu River on the Manchurian border.
On 28 November, Communist Chinese forces intervened in mass striking Allied Force along the entire peninsula. The 2d and 3d battalions of the 32d Infantry held their ground against a CCP Division and made an orderly withdrawal to Hungnam. The 1st Battalion then at the Chosin Reservoir area was cut off and only after long, bloody, and heroic fighting through freezing weather was able to work its way south. The Regiment covered the withdrawal of the 1st Marine Division as they reached the safety of the ships in Hungnam harbor. After the Marines and tons of equipment were safely aboard, the Regiment systematically loaded and returned to Pusan on transports.
For distinguishing himself to the highest degree possible, Lt. Col. Doc C. Faith, commander of the 1st Battalion, was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in the Chosin Reservoir action. Forevermore, the term "Frozen Chosin" will live in the vocabulary of those heroic soldiers of all ranks and grades who survived that dreadful experience. Those of us who have served or will serve in the "Queen's Own" owe them a debt of gratitude and remember them with pride.
After withdrawing from Hungnam and assembling near Yongchon the 32d moved northward and met heavy resistance at Tanyang. At one time its weapons were being fired in every direction to ward off attacks. The bitter cold added to the normal problems of warfare, but it was able to fight its way to Chechon and from there the advance was continuous. The Regiment was moved to the central front just before the Allies reached the 38th parallel and fought in the Inge area.The long awaited Communist spring offensive hit the Allies at this point, and the 32d held against overwhelming odds. The Regiment received commendations for this action, and the 3d battalion was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation. The Regiment was ordered to withdraw when it became necessary to straighten the Allied lines. The second enemy offensive ended in failure, the advance northward began again, and elements of the 32d were the first to enter Chunchon. The Division smashed forward northwest of the Hwachon Reservoir to the final objective east of Kumwha. Defensive positions were set up, and aggressive patrolling was carried out daily until the 7th Division went into reserve.
In July 1951 Lieutenant Colonel John M. Hightower (now Major General) replaced Colonel Charles M. Mount (now Major General) who had served with distinction as a Battalion Commander and Regimental Commander of the 32d Infantry. Shortly after the change of command, an Ethiopian Battalion was attached to the Regiment. Fortunately, the 7th Division was still in reserve, so the 32d had time to put the Ethiopians "through their paces" to see just what they could do. They went through all of the usual tactical maneuvers and were considered ready to go. They did need more practice with small arms and crew served weapons, so ammunition was made available for that purpose. The Ethiopians stayed with the Regiment and were remarkable; gallant and completely dedicated. They never had a man missing in action or a case of frost bite or trench foot despite the frightful winter weather. Also in July truce talks began, but the war was by no means over. The Communist Koreans and Chinese were still extremely dangerous. A very sensitive area was the "Punch Bowl", so named for its physical looks, and its neighboring mountain range. The 32d was sent there to occupy defensive positions and to establish a battalion Patrol Base about a thousand yards in front of the defensive line. An American battalion occupied the Patrol Base, one was on the line, one was in reserve, and the Ethiopians were in the Punch Bowl. The battalions rotated through the Patrol Base on a weekly basis.
In the hot, humid days of late August 1952, the 32d slashed viciously at the dug-in enemy. It slowly worked its way north and attacked enemy forces on "Old Baldy." The battle raged for ten days before the Regiment secured its objective.
The defensive role of the Regiment ceased abruptly in October 1952, and on 14 October it jumped off in support of "Operation Showdown."
Elements of the 32d passed through the 31st Infantry to take over the assault of Triangle Hill. Bitter, bloody hand-to-hand fighting and countless deeds of heroism marked the struggle to take the hill mass overlooking the ruined village of Kumhwa. By 16 October, the 32d had captured its objectives on the famed "Jagged Dome." Entering its third year of the War, the 32d occupied positions on the central Korea front, patrolling and defending its sector in heavy snow and arctic winds. December 1952 found the Regiment fighting for "Pork Chop Hill." For three days and nights it defended its own sector, breaking up an attack by an entire Chinese division. On 6 July, the enemy launched a massive attack with two Chinese divisions. The main objective was "Pork Chop Hill." The battle lasted five days during which time the 32d assisted in the annihilation of more than nine battalions.
Korean War Streamers:
Army Presidential Unit Citation (Kumhwa)
Sep 50-Mar 51 - Col. Charles G. Beauchamp
44th Engineer Battalion
Constituted 15 August 1917 in the National Army as the 47th Engineer Railway Maintenance-of-Way Battalion. Organized 31 March 1918 at Camp Sheridan, Alabama. Converted and redesignated 7 September 1918 as the 47th Regiment, Transportation Corps. Regiment broken up 12 November 1918 and its elements reorganized and redesignated as follows:
Headquarters & Headquarters Company disbanded; Companies A, B, & C as the 41st, 42d, and 43d Companies, Transportation Corps, respectively.
41st, 42d, & 43d Companies, Transportation Corps, demobilized 19-20 June 1919 at Camp Dix, New Jersey.
Former 47th Regiment, Transportation Corps, and the 41st, 42d, and 43d Companies. Transportation Corps, reconstituted 10 September 1936 in the Regular Army; concurrently, consolidated with the 47th Engineer Battalion (constituted 1 October 1933 in the Regular Army) and consolidated unit designated as the 47th Engineer Battalion.
Redesignated 13 January 1941 as the 47th Engineer Regiment. Activated 1 August 1941 at Ft. Ord, CA. Redesignated 1 August 1942 as the 47th Engineer General Service Regiment. Regiment broken up 26 April 1944 and its elements reorganized and redesignated as follows: 2d Battalion as the 1397th Engineer Construction Battalion; (Headquarters & Headquarters & Service Company as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1176th Engineer Construction Group; 1st Battalion as the 47th Engineer Construction Battalion -- hereafter separate lineages)
1397th Engineer Construction Battalion inactivated 20 February 1946 on Okinawa. Redesignated 29 April 1947 as the 44th Engineer Construction Battalion. Activated 31 December 1948 at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Redesignated 1 April 1954 as the 44th Engineer Battalion. Assigned 17 February 1992 to the 2d Infantry Division.
44th Campaign Participation Credit & Decorations - Korean War
Decorations - Korea:
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered Korea
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered
45th US Infantry Division
ORDER OF BATTLE
1 January 1952 - 27 July 1953
NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, units listed are US Army organizations. Units of other services or other nationalities are indicated as such in each entry.
All attachments are for all functions unless specifically qualified in parentheses as to extent of attachment.
A. Record of Events
BACKGROUND: A National Guard Div from Oklahoma, the 45th US Div was called into active service on 1 Sep 1950. It received fillers and began an intensive training program on 6 Nov 1950 at Camp Polk, LA. Under the command of Brig Gen James C. Styron since activation, the Div arrived overseas in April 1951 with the dual mission of providing security for Hokkaido, Japan, and completing its training. On 18 Nov, the Div was alerted for movement to Korea. The Regts of the Div moved to Korea as follows:
180th Inf Regt 5 Dec
179th Inf Regt 17 Dec
279th Inf Regt 28 Dec
As of 17 Dec 1951, the Div was assigned to Eighth US Army. On 18 Dec, it was attached to I US Corps. By 23 Dec, the Div assumed responsibility for a sector of Line Jamestown (MLR), formerly held by the 3d US Div. As 1951 ended, all elements of the Div were in Korea in a combat status and the Div was performing its mission of defending its sector of Line Jackson (MLR).
January 1952: The Div, Command Post at Taegwang-ni, occupied, defended, and improved positions in the relatively static I US Corps sector of Line Jamestown (MLR). Sector responsibility extended from Omgogae to Noltari. The Div was deployed with the 180th Inf Regt on the right, flanking the 9th ROK Div, and the 179th Inf Regt on the left, flanked by the 3d US Div. The 279th Inf Regt was in div reserve. On 15 Jan, the 279th Inf Regt relieved the 180th Inf Regt, which then reverted to div reserve. Div Artillery supported the Div throughout the month. The 245th Tank Battalion remained in div reserve, but was physically located in the sector of the 9th ROK Div, blocking the most likely avenue of approach for enemy armor.
Throughout the period, ambush and reconnaissance patrols were extremely active. Three major raids were conducted by elements of the 179th and 180th Regts against strong enemy positions in the Hill 223 and Hill 290 areas. Despite bitter resistance, friendly forces succeeded in inflicting heavy casualties upon the enemy. The remainder of the combat activity centered about artillery fire placed on known and suspected enemy positions and personnel.
Battle casualties for January - 156.
February 1952: The Div continued its mission of occupying, defending, and improving its positions along Line Jamestown (MLR).
The Div was deployed with the 179th Inf Regt on the left, 279th Inf Regt on the right, and the 180th Inf Regt in reserve. On 6 Feb, the 179th Inf Regt was relieved by the 180th Inf Regt. On 27 Feb, the 279th Inf Regt was relieved by the 179th Inf Regt, which then reverted to div reserve positions. The 245th Tank Battalion remained in reserve positions in the 9th ROK Div sector covering enemy armor approaches. Div Artillery remained in support.
From 10-16 Feb, during Operation Snatch, all personnel remained out of sight and all weapons were silenced to simulate a friendly withdrawal and deceive the enemy into exposing himself. Initially successful, the plan's effort was materially lessened by alertness of enemy intelligence agencies in securing information as to friendly intentions.
Constant contact with the enemy was maintained by an aggressive and continuous patrol program. Several raids were conducted by friendly forces.
Friendly patrols, during the month, destroyed 9 enemy bunkers, 43 buildings in enemy territory, and damaged 16 other enemy buildings and 1 outpost.
Battle casualties for February - 43.
March 1952: The Div retained its defensive mission as it occupied its previously reported positions. The combat situation remained static.
The Div was deployed with the 180th Inf Regt on the left, the 179th Inf Regt on the right, and the 279th Inf Regt in reserve. On 17 Mar the 180th Inf Regt was relieved by the 279th Inf Regt and reverted to reserve positions.
The 245th Tank Battalion, physically located in the sector of the 9th ROK Div, remained as part of div reserve, with one company in direct support of the 9th ROK Div. Div Artillery remained in support of the Div during Mar.
During the relief from 15-17 Mar, both regts and their supporting artillery battalions implemented Operation Rehearse, involving movements from secondary defensive lines, Wyoming and Consolidate to Line Jamestown (MLR) under a simulated tactical situation. Due to restrictions imposed by higher Hq, no large raids were conducted. The Div maintained an active defensive role, keeping contact with the enemy by aggressive operation of patrols. Ambuscades and listening posts were maintained nightly.
On 22 Mar, an outpost in the 179th Inf Regimental sector was probed and partially overrun by an estimated enemy company. Other elements from the 179th Inf Regt counterattacked, reoccupied, and secured the position. Enemy had 31 KIA, 1 POW.
Battle casualties for March - 72.
April 1952: The Div continued to defend its assigned sector on Line Jamestown (MLR). Battle positions remained unchanged along the static front.
The 279th Inf Regt occupied the left sector of the Div front, while the 179th Inf Regt occupied the right sector. On 9 Apr, the 179th Inf Regt was relieved by the 180th Inf Regt, which had been in div reserve. On 11 Apr, the 20th Philippine Inf Battalion became attached to the Div and further attached to the 179th Inf Regt. On 28 Apr, the 179th Inf Regt relieved the 279th Inf Regt and assumed responsibility for the left sector. Div Artillery supported the Div throughout the month, and the 245th Tank Battalion remained in reserve. While each inf regt was in div reserve, it implemented on Operation Rehearse.
Due to restrictions imposed by higher Hq, no large raids were conducted. The Div maintained an active defense role, keeping contact with the enemy by aggressive operation of patrols ranging in size to reinforced platoons. One company-sized sweep per week was made in the Div sector.
Operation Ferret, conducted on 18 Apr, consisted of a search for unauthorized personnel in the Div's sector.
Battle casualties for April - 102
May 1952: The Div, with Command Post at Taegwang-ni, retained its defensive mission and continued to occupy and defend its assigned sector.
The Div was deployed with the 179th Inf Regt on the left, the 180th Inf Regt on the right, and the 279th Inf Regt in reserve. On 17 May, the 180th Inf Regt was relieved by the 279th Inf Regt and it reverted to div reserve. Div Artillery supported the Div throughout the period. The 245th Tank Battalion remained in reserve positions. The 1st ROK Div was on the left flank, and the 9th ROK Div remained on the right flank.
Although the enemy exhibited a more aggressive attitude and employed artillery in increasing amounts, the combat situation in the Div sector remained static.
The Div maintained an active defense, keeping contact with the enemy by aggressive patrol actions. The enemy strongly resisted friendly patrols, and displayed a great deal of aggressiveness in small scale attacks on friendly outposts.
18-21 May: Combat patrols from 20th Philippine Inf Battalion raided Outpost Eerie. Elements of this unit, in five attempts, twice reached the tactical barbed wire surrounding the objective. Six enemy bunkers were destroyed, 7 bunkers damaged, 71 enemy KIA, 10 WIA. Friendly had 10 WIA, 1 MIA.
21 May: Maj Gen David L. Ruffner assumed command of the Div.
26 May: Enemy attacked an outpost on Hill 200 with an estimated two reinforced companies. The outpost was reinforced by a platoon from the MLR. After a four-hour firefight, the enemy withdrew.
Battle casualties for May - 146
June 1952: The Div continued to actively defend its sector of Line Jamestown (MLR) during the month.
The Div was deployed with the 179th Inf Regt on the left, the 279th Inf Regt on the right, and the 160th Inf Regt in reserve. On 2 June, the 180th Inf Regt relieved the 179th Inf Regt. On 10 June, the 19th Philippine Inf Battalion became attached to the Div and the 20th Philippine Inf Battalion was relieved from attachment. On 17 June, the 179th Inf Reg with the 20th Philippine Inf Battalion attached, relieved the 180th Inf Regt. Div Artillery and the 245th Tank Battalion continued in support.
Action increased sharply, and the need to strengthen the OPLR was clearly indicated. Div forces seized and occupied a series of selected terrain features, in Operation Counter, the possession of which provided an adequate OPLR. Enemy forces reacted violently, particularly in the left sector at Outpost Eerie, with company to regimental size attacks in addition to numerous smaller engagements. By 14 June, the desired OPLR was established.
4-12 June: First phase, Operation Counter, conducted with elements of 180th and 279th Inf Regts occupying 10 outpost objectives.
12 June: Second phase, Operation Counter, began with elements of 180th Inf Regt and 245th Tank Battalion raiding objectives on Pokkae Ridge and Outpost Eerie. A tank-infantry attack on Pokkae Ridge resulted in 31 enemy KIA, estimated 35 WIA. Friendly had 4 WIA, 1 tank lost.
13 June: Outpost Eerie secured after bitter attacks in which close air and artillery support were used. Repeated enemy cuonterattacks repulsed.
Battle casualties for June - 1004
July 1952: General mission of Div remained defensive in nature. During the period 14-18 July, the Div was relieved by the 2nd US Div on Line Jamestown (MLR), pursuant to Plan Thunder Indian. The Div moved by echelon to reserve positions in X US Corps sector, assuming the role of Eighth US Army reserve.
As the period began, the Div was deployed with the 179th Inf Regt on the left, 279th Inf Regt on the right, and the 180th Inf Regt in reserve. On 2 July, the 180th Inf Regt relieved the 279th Inf Regt.
Upon relief, completed 18 July, the Div was attached to X US Corps and Div Artillery was placed under opnl etl of X US Corps to support the 7th ROK and 8th ROK Divisions. The 245th Tank Battalion was attached to the 2nd US Division until 29 July, when the battalion (-Co B) returned to Div control. The Regts took up blocking positions as follows: 179th Inf Regt at Yanggu, 180th Inf Regt at Hwachon, and 279th Inf Regt at Inje. The Div Hq was at Yanggu.
Action from 7-18 July was the heaviest of the entire time spent on line. Enemy attacks of battalion size were made repeatedly against OPLR and MLR positions. Patrol activity was aggressively conducted by both sides. Several battalion sized raids were successfully conducted by the Div.
A training program was initiated immediately upon arrival in reserve positions, aimed toward the maintenance and improvement of combat efficiency and the installation of confidence in small units through team training. Preparations for combat exercises up to regimental-size were undertaken as the period closed.
Battle casualties for July - 367
August 1952: The Div, with Command Post at Yanggu, remained in Eighth US Army reserve in the X US Corps sector. The Div had 3 missions: (1) Provision of a mobile reserve force capable of limiting penetrations and mounting counterattacks; (2) security of the Corps rear area; (3) continue training to develop a skillful team, while integrating Korean personnel attacked to the Div.
Div Artillery remained under operational control of X US Corps, giving support to ROK divisions. The Regts maintained blocking positions as previously reported. The 245th Tank Battalion was at Sochon-ni.
Pursuant to the Div's basic mission, detailed operational plans were formulated and elaborated. The training program continued, stressing team training and practical work under field conditions. Field exercises emphasized fire support and troop leading procedures.
Battle casualties for August - 6
September 1952: The Div remained in Eighth US Army reserve from 1-21 Sept and continued its training and security missions. The Div occupied positions as previously reported. Div Artillery continued under X US Corps control. The 245th Tank Battalion was direct support of the 8th ROK Div.
On 18 Sept, Operation Plan Eightbird was published, calling for the relief of the 8th ROK Div by the Div. The actual relief took place during the hours of darkness between 21-25 Sept, and the Div occupied positions on Line Minnesota (MLR) between the I ROK Corps, to the right, and the 25th US Div to the left. Sector responsibility extended from a point northeast of Ihyon-ni to Sachon-ni.
The 8th ROK Div passed to operational control of the Div at 212000 Sept. Early on 22 Sept, the 279th Inf Regt completed its relief of the 16th ROK Regt. The 179th Inf Regt relieved the 21st ROK Regt in div reserve positions. During the first night of the relief, an estimated two-battalion enemy force attacked and overran friendly positions in the 10th ROK Regt sector. The positions were successfully restored, but reliefs were delayed until early on 25 Sept, when the 180th Inf Regt relieved the last elements of the 10th ROK Regt. The Div was now deployed with the 279th Inf Regt on the left, the 180th Inf Regt on the right, and the 179th Inf Regt in div reserve at Inje. The Div was supported by the 245th Tank Battalion. Div Artillery assumed direct support of the Div at 270700 Sept, upon its release from X US Corps control.
Tactical activity during the ten days the Div occupied positions on Line Minnesota (MLR) was primarily defensive in nature. Daily patrols by all front line companies were instituted, with a patrol line established to designate the minimum limit of patrol movement. Enemy probes and attacks during this period were numerous, due to the close proximity of opposing lines in the left sector. The heaviest tactical action occurred on the night of 26-27 Sept, when numerous contacts, with enemy units up to company size were made along the MLR.
Battle casualties for September - 65
October 1952: The Div continued an active defense of its assigned sector of Line Minnesota (MLR) in the X US Corps sector. The Div was flanked by elements of the 25th US Div and 40th US Div on the left and by the 11th ROK Div on the right.
The Div, Command Post at Manbakchon, was deployed with the 279th Inf Regt with the 19th Philippine Battalion attached, on the left, the 180th Inf Regt on the right, and the 179th Inf Regt in div reserve. On 27 Oct, the 179th Inf Regt relieved the 279th Inf Regt, which reverted to div reserve. The 245th Tank Battalion was in Div reserve during the month. Div Artillery provided artillery support for the Div throughout the period.
Friendly action during the period was primarily defensive. An active patrol program calling for daily patrols by front line companies was continued throughout Oct. All means of defensive organization were initiated, expanded, and perfected. Emphasis was placed on the importance of multiple bands of protective wire. All fire plans were evaluated, tested, and improved.
Enemy action was limited to company size engagements, while most enemy forces engaging friendly patrol and outpost elements consisted of small groups numbering less than squad strengths. Numerous contacts and engagements were seen, particularly in the left sector.
Battle casualties for October - 163
November 1952: The Div continued an active defense of its assigned sector of Line Minnesota (MLR) in the X US Corps sector during Nov.
The Div was deployed, as the period began, with the 179th Inf Regt on the left, the 180th Inf Regt on the right, and the 279th Inf Regt in div reserve. During the period 24-27 Nov, the 279th Inf Regt relieved the 180th Inf Regt, which then reverted to div reserve. Div Artillery provided artillery support during the period. The 245th Tank Battalion remained in reserve throughout the month.
Tactical operations of the Div throughout the month consisted of an aggressive patrol program, periodic raids, and the active defense and improvement of positions along Line Minnesota (MLR). Enemy action was limited to reinforced platoon size engagements while most enemy forces engaging friendly patrol and outpost elements consisted of small groups in squad strengths. The regimental relief effected in the Div's right sector during the period 24-27 Nov was followed by an increase in tactical action across the entire front during the remainder of the month.
A detailed training program was published to continue previous training schedules designed to insure the high degree of readiness and combat effectiveness required of all Div units.
Battle casualties for November - 213
December 1952: During the initial 27 days of Dec, the Div continued an active defense of its assigned sector of Line Minnesota (MLR). The Div, Command Post at Nambakchon, was flanked on the left by the 40th US Div, and on the right by the 11th ROK Div. The Div was deployed with the 179th Inf Regt on the left, the 279th Inf Regt on the right, and the 180th Inf Regt in reserve near Inje. Div Artillery and the 245th Tank Battalion were in support of the Div.
Plan Cherry Blossom was implemented on 27-30 Dec, when the Div was relieved on line by the 12th ROK Div and reverted to X US Corps reserve. In reserve, the Regts took up positions as follows: 179th Inf Regt at Inje, 180th Inf Regt at Kowan-tong, 279th Inf Regt at Hwachon. These locations were juxtaposed across II ROK Corps and X US Corps sectors astride three main north-south valleys offering likely enemy routes of advance. After the relief, the 245th Tank Battalion remained in position and gave direct support to the 12th ROK Div. Div Artillery supported the Div until 30 Dec, when it passed to operational control of X US Corps with the mission of supporting the 12th ROK Div.
Tactical operations of the Div throughout the month consisted of an aggressive patrol program, periodic raids and the defense and improvement of positions along Line Minnesota (MLR). With the exception of an unsuccessful company size raid against Hill 812, defended by elements of the 179th Inf Regt, on Christmas Day, enemy action was limited to reinforced platoon size engagements, with most enemy forces engaging friendly patrol and outpost elements consisting of squad size groups.
Battle casualties for December - 122
January 1953: During the period 1-28 Jan, the Div, Command Post at Nambakchon, remained in X US Corps reserve, executing a training program and occupying blocking positions as previously reported. The Division Artillery was under X US Corps control giving direct support to the 12th ROK Div. The 245th Tank Battalion continued its direct support role to the 12th ROK Div.
On 22 Jan, Operation Plan Buckshot was announced, directing the relief of the 40th US Div by the Div (-Div Artillery). On 28 Jan, the relief was initiated when the 180th Inf Regt relieved the 224th Inf Regt (40th US Div) in the center sector. On 30 Jan, the 279th Inf Regt relieved the 160th Inf Regt (40th US Div) in the left sector. At 300800, with the passing of sector responsibility, the 5th US RCT, occupying the right sector, was attached to the Div. The 19th Philippine Battalion occupied MLR positions in the 5th US RCT sector. At this same time, the 245th Tank Battalion was attached to the 40th US Div, and the 40th Div Artillery and the 140th Tank Battalion were placed under operational control of the Div. Div Artillery remained under operational control of X US Corps in support of the 12th ROK Div. On 31 Jan, the relief was completed when the 179th Inf Regt relieved the 223rd Inf Regt (40th US Div) in reserve positions. The Div was now deployed between Paeam and Ihyon-ni.
Combat activity, during the closing days of the month, consisted of 2 small-scale patrol engagements.
Battle casualties for January - 10
February 1953: The Div continued an active defense of its newly assigned portion of Line Minnesota (MLR) in the X US Corps sector. The Div sector included the Punchbowl, No-Name Ridge, Heartbreak Ridge, and Sandbag Castle.
The Div was deployed with the 279th Inf Regt on the left, the 180th Inf Regt in the center, the 5th US RCT on the right, and the 179th Inf Regt in reserve. The 40th Div Artillery gave artillery support to the Div until 3 Feb, when it was relieved by Div Artillery, which supported the Div for the remainder of Feb. Tank support was furnished by the 140th Tank Battalion until 11 Feb when it was released from attachment and left the Div sector to relieve the 245th Tank Battalion, which was then occupying positions in the 40th US Div sector. On 13 Feb, the 245th Tank Battalion was relieved from attachment to the 40th US Div and returned to its parent unit to provide tank support for the remainder of the month. On 20 Feb, the 279th Inf Regt was relieved by the 279th Inf Regt and reverted to div reserve positions.
Combat activity during the period was characterized by extensive and aggressive small-scale patrol actions. On the evening of 8 Feb, a company-sized attack took jplace against Co. L, 19th Philippine Inf Battalion positions. After a 30-minute firefight, the enemy withdrew with an estimated 7 KIA, 9 WIA.
Battle casualties for February - 56
March 1953: The Div conducted an active defense of its portion of Line Minnesota (MLR) in the center of the X US Corps sector. Numerous small-scale probes and patrol actions highlighted the month's combat activity along the Heartbreak Ridge, No-Name Ridge, and Sandbag Castle areas.
The Div was deployed with the 179th Inf Regt on the left, the 180th Inf Regt in the center, the 5th US RCT on the right, and the 279th Inf Regt and 62nd ROK Regt in reserve positions. During the period 1-3 March, the 19th Philippine Inf Battalion and 62nd ROK Regt relieved the 5th US RCT on line, with the 5th US RCT taking up reserve positions. The 245th Tank Battalion and the 45th Div Artillery supported the Div until 16 Mar, when they both assumed missions in support of the 20th ROK Div. On the same date, the 62nd ROK Regt and its sector were relieved from operational control of the Div and returned to control of the 20th ROK Div. On 17 March, the 224th Inf Regt (40th US Div), after a move into the Div reserve positions relieved the 279th Inf Regt which then moved out for PW guard duty on Koje-do under KCOMZ attachment. On 24 March, the 19th Philippine Inf Battalion was relieved on line by elements of the 5th US RCT, and moved to reserve positions.
On 16 March, Maj. Gen. David L. Ruffner, Commanding General of 45th US Div, departed for ZI and Brig. Gen. P.D. Ginder became the Div Commanding General.
Battle casualties for March - 76
April 1953: The Div continued an active defense along Line Minnesota (MLR) during Apr.
As the month began, the Div was deployed with the 179th Inf Regt on the left, the 180th Inf Regt in the center, the 5th US RCT on the right, and the 224th Inf Regt (40th US Div) in reserve. The 279th Inf Regt was guarding PW's on Koje-do during the month. Div Artillery and the 245th Tank Battalion continued missions in support of the 20th ROK Div. On 3 March, the 19th Philippine Inf Battalion was replaced by the 14th Philippine Inf Battalion. On 15 March, the 5th US RCT was relieved on line by the 224th Inf Regt (40th US Div) was reverted to Div reserve. The 5th US RCT was relieved of attachment on 18 Apr. On 19 Apr, the 160th Inf Regt (40th US Div) occupied div reserve positions and came under the operational control of the Div. On 27 Apr, the 224th Inf Regt was released from attachment and reverted to control of its parent unit, and the 160th Inf Regt was relieved from operational control of the Div.
There were numerous small-scall engagements along the Heartbreak Ridge - No-Name Ridge - Sandbag Castle front during the period, with the combat activity being highlighted by two attacks of company-size against friendly positions.
On 15 Apr, a reinforced company-sized attack took place against elements of the 179th Inf Regt. Grenades, automatic weapons, and artillery fire was used by the attacking force. After a 45-minute skirmish, the enemy disengaged. Enemy casualties were 5 KIA, 25 estimated KIA, 25 estimated WIA.
Battle casualties for April - 56
May 1953: The Div continued its primary mission of defending and improving its positions along Line Minnesota (MLR), while occupying the left center sector of the X US Corps area.
The Div was deployed with the 179th Inf Regt on the left, 14th Philippine Inf Battalion in the center, 180th Inf Regt on the right. The 279th Inf Regt continued to guard PW's at Koje-do. Div Artillery and the 245th Tank Battalion continued to support the Div as well as to give support to adjacent units.
Patrol clashes continued to be the primary combat activity in the Div sector. 14 Philippine Inf Battalion units encountered the largest group of enemy during the period when on 28 May, a security patrol engaged an estimated 75 enemy. The enemy withdrew after a 5-minute firefight with 2 enemy KIA. Friendly casualties consisted of 1 WIA.
Operation Plan Big Star Power, a plan of withdrawal under pressure from Line Minnesota (MLR) to Line Kansas, a secondary defense line, in event of a successful enemy attack and penetration, was formulated during this period.
Battle casualties for May - 44
June 1953: The Div continued its primary mission of defense and improvement of its portion of Line Minnesota (MLR).
The Div was deployed with the 179th Inf Regt on the left, 14th Philippine Inf Battalion in the center, 180th Inf Regt on the right. On 4 June, the 279th Inf Reg was released from KCOMZ control and began a movement to rejoin the Div. On 22 June, the 279th Inf Regt was released from X US Corps control, on 24 June it relieved the 180th Inf Regt in the right sector. The 180th Inf Regt then reverted to div reserve positions. Div Artillery and the 245th Tank Battalion continued to give direct support to the Div and general support to adjacent units.
Primary action along the main battle positions continued to be that of patrols. Three large probes occurred during the month. The largest group encountered was composed of two reinforced companies. On 1 June, when the force attempted to penetrate the main battle positions near Sandbag Castle, a four hour and fifty minute firefight occurred. Elements of the 180th Inf Regt repulsed the attack. Two more enemy companies reinforced the original group, but were also driven back. Enemy casualties were 23 estimated KIA, 110 estimated WIA.
Battle casualties for June - 72
July 1953: During the period 1-5 July, the Div conducted a movement westward from its Paeam - Ihyno-ni sector and relieved elements of the 7th ROK and 20th ROK DIv's in the Tongsongol - Paeam sector on the left flank of X US Corps. The Div maintained an active defense of this sector until 272200 July, when a "cease-fire" was effected. The Div initiated, at this time, a withdrawal from MLR positions to new Post Armistice Main Battle Positions where it conducted training to maintain readiness for immediate combat.
As the month opened, the Div was deployed along the Heartbreak Ridge - No-Name Ridge - Sandbag Castle sector with the 179th Inf Regt on the left, the 14th Philippine Battalion in the center, the 279th Inf Regt on the right, and the 180th Inf Regt in div reserve positions. Div Artillery and the 245th Tank Battalion were in support.
On 2 July, the 180th Inf Regt relieved the 5th ROK Regt in the 7th ROK Div sector and assumed responsibility for the Hill 1220 area. Two days later, the 279th Inf Regt was relieved by the 224th Inf Regt (40th US Div) and moved to the Christmas Hill area, relieving elements of the 20th ROK Div on 5 July. Sector responsibility was assumed at this time. Div Command Post was located at Tokkol-li.
On 11 July, the 179th Inf Regt was relieved of its sector by the 223rd Inf Regt (40th US Div) and reverted to X US Corps reserve at Tokkol-li. The 5th US RCT was attached to the Div on 14 July and occupied MLR positions in the extreme left sector. The 179th Inf Regt relieved the 180th Inf Regt on 19 July, with the latter unit reverting to reserve positions.
At 272200 July, the Div ceased fire and began preparations to withdraw to the area behind the Demilitarized Zone.
The enemy opposing the Div generally pursued a policy of limited objective attacks during the month. Highlight of the combat activity consisted of two attacks made on the nights of 14-15 July and 17-18 July, in which slight temporary gains were made against forward elements. Friendly counterattacks immediately made up lost ground.
Battle casualties for July - 513
45th US Infantry Division
* Remained Commanding General from 1951
C. Next Higher Command
*Indicates unit remained assigned or attached from 1951
D. Assigned Units
* Indicates unit remained assigned from 1951
E. Attached Units
Korean Service Corps
* Indicates unit remained attached from 1951
F. Detached Units
* Indicates unit remained detached from 1951
G. Coordinates of Key Terrain Features
Source for the 45th material: Order of Battle EUSAK, 1950 - 1953, Office of the Chief of Military History, Eighth United States Army Korea (EUSAK), United States Army Forces, Far East, photocopy.
76th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Heavy) Unit History
The 76th Engineer Battalion has a long and colorful history dating back to 1933 when it was constituted in the Regular Army as the 40th Engineers.
Redesignated the 340th Engineers (General Services) on 1 January 1938 and activated 5 March 1942 at Vancouver Barracks, Washington, the unit moved to its first major engineering test, construction of the Alaska-Canadian Highway from Ceslin, Yukon Territory, to Lower Post, British Columbia.
Braving bitter winds and temperatures of 70 degrees below zero in the winter and 90 degrees and swarms of mosquitoes during the summer, the unit pushed through the last connecting link in the ALCAN Highway. During the remainder of 1942 and into 1943, the unit worked on improving the highway and constructing secondary roads. For accomplishments on the ALCAN Highway, the Battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation. During 1944, the new 340th Engineer Construction Battalion moved through Darwin, Australia; Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea; the Island of Morotai in Netherlands East Indies; and Luzon, Philippines in support of the war effort.
On 9 May 1949, the unit was redesignated as the 76th Engineer Construction Battalion on the Island of Okinawa and a year later received the dubious honor of being the first Engineer Construction Battalion to arrive in Korea aboard the Shinko Maru after the start of the Korean Conflict. During its stay in Korea, the 76th distinguished itself to the extent of receiving three Meritorious Unit Commendations and two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations with A Company, 76th Engineers receiving an additional Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.
The colors of the 76th Engineer Battalion bear campaign streamers for the New Guinea and Luzon campaigns during World War II and ten campaign streamers for the Korean War. It also carries a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation for World War II. The Battalion's distinctive insignia is red and carries symbols representing service during its two campaigns in World War II. A Sea Lion, which is part of the arms of Manila, signifies service in the Philippines, and the head of a stone club represents service in New Guinea. Its motto "Laborare est Vincere". "To work is to Conquer", is an appropriate phrase to describe the history of the 76th Engineer Battalion.
The Battalion returned to the United States on 30 June 1971 following 29 years of overseas service. Unit was inactivated June 1985
Submitted by , NJ
159 FA Bn, Battery B History submitted by Sgt. Francis G. Lewis (Ret), Korea 1952/53.
"Over hill-over dale, as they hit the dusty trail, those caissons go rolling along." The Artillery theme song is most befitting to the 159th Field Artillery Battalion's history during the Korean War. They have literally traveled every hill and dale from Pusan to the Yalu River, engaging the enemy along the way, and writing a brilliant history by their deeds, actions and achievements.
The Korean history of the 159th Field Artillery Battalion reads as a fiction story, rather than one of factual activity. The thunderous roar and burst of shells from the guns of the 159th Field Artillery Battalion split the Korean air for the first time on 17 July, 1950. That day marked the first of 1109 consecutive days of combat. The mission of the battalion was to deliver direct support artillery fire for the 25th Infantry Division. Within days after being committed to action, the officers and men of the 159th Field Artillery Battalion began writing their history with a glorious scroll. They brought honorable recognition upon the unit for the first time by their valorous "Stand or Die" battle at Masan, where they fired around the clock, pouring more than one thousand rounds of 105 mm shells into the enemy daily.
During the historic defense of the Pusan Perimeter this Battalion had the honor of supporting "Task Force Kean." Again the personnel brought honor and glory to their history. Gun positions were heavily shelled by enemy mortars and artillery. Command posts of units to their front were overrun; all vehicles and radios of the forward observers were lost. The enemy swept in over the hills as the batteries were in the midst of displacing to new locations. Seeing the enemy almost upon them, the men uncoupled their howitzers, spread trails, stood fast and fought. They fought off wave after wave of enemy troops by direct fire and successfully defended their guns and positions. When the smoke of battle cleared, more than 150 enemy dead were counted in front of the one battery's parapets.
After the historic break-out of Pusan, the battalion began marching and fighting its way northward through Sunchon, Namown, Iri, Younchon, Suwon, Seoul, Munsan, Sutkol, Oridong, Kaesong, Pyoungyang and finally reached Unsan about 35 miles from the Manchurian border. The 159th Field Artillery Battalion took part in the withdrawal of United Nations troops after the Chinese intervention, 27 November 1951, the withdrawal stopped at Youngdongpo on the Han River.As the action in Korea progressed, so did the Battalion. The men not only progressed in effectiveness and efficiency, but their guns grew with them. On 12 November, 1951, they were re-organized and converted from a light artillery battalion to a 155mm Howitzer medium artillery battalion, and joined the "I" US Corps Artillery. The battalion was then moved to the western front to give direct artillery support for the 1st Marine Division. The effectiveness of the battalion while supporting the Marines can best be described by quoting part of a letter to the battalion commander "The delivery of timely, intense, and accurate fire during each engagement with the enemy, was accomplished in such a manner as to inflict maximum casualties on the enemy and thereby provide commensurate security to friendly forces. By the delivery of such fire support you have achieved success which has rarely, if ever, been paralleled in the current conflict."
The spring of 1953 found the enemy dug deep in defensive positions, upon which light and medium artillery had little, if any, effect. There was only one solution - heavier and more destructive artillery. Again the Battalion was required to spread its wings and grow. Without missing one fire mission in support of the 1st Marine Division, the battalion converted its equipment to 240-mm Howitzers, and trained its crew within 60 days.
The day finally came when the 159th Field Artillery Battalion was ready to be committed to action, as the giant of artillery in Korea. It was secretly deployed across the entire I Corps front; Battery A pulled into position supporting the 1st ROK Division and US 7th Infantry Division, near Yonchon on the central front; Battery B dug into position behind the British Commonwealth Division; and Battery C supported the 25th Infantry Division sector.
On the morning of 16 May 1953, a new more threatening thunder split the Korean air. The 365 lb. projectiles began crashing deep into enemy territory -- the long destructive fingers of the 240-mm howitzers were clawing at previously untouched fortifications; gun emplacements, personnel bunkers, bridges, and avenues of approach to the front lines. It was from these positions that the 159th Field Artillery Battalion was called upon to support ground elements defending against the enemy's heaviest attacks during the last months of the war. It took part in such important engagements as Pork Chop, Hills 181 and 70, Big and Little Nori, the Hook, Bunker Hill, Vegas, Carson, Elko, and on BAK and Queen against thirty thousand attacking Reds. Brigadier General Kim Dong Bin, Division Commander, wrote to the Commanding Officer of the 159th Field Artillery Battalion, "You have displayed outstanding performance which enabled our infantry units to repel the repeated enemy attacks of an estimated division force on Hills "BAK" and "Queen" since, 25 June 1953. Your accurate counter battery fires forced great losses to the enemy side, and brought us success in securing our MLR." The truce which was signed on the 27th day of July 1953 accomplished what the enemy could never do. It silenced the mighty guns of the 159th Field Artillery Battalion.
The true character, efficiency and fighting qualities of this great Artillery Battalion are best described in a letter received by the Battalion Commander from Lt. General T.W. Milburn, then Corps Commander, who wrote in part, "You were cool in the face of danger, and resourceful in difficult situations. You fought together as a team with confidence in your weapons, and each other, and you came out on top. I know that you always will. The results of this battle, a great and crucial one, have been all that I could ask for. You officers and men can well be proud of the job you have done, as I am."
Today, the 159th Field Artillery Battalion rests with its guns in the field of Korea; but, fully combat ready to take up the battle should the enemy ever again attempt, by force of arms, to convert a free people to the life of slavery under the Red Banner.
250th Ordinance Ballistic Technical Service Detachment
This is a picture of my father's unit. Included on the picture: Back (L-R) Cpl. Ross, Cpl. Robert Monahan, Cpl. Mosher, Scotty, John Capp (Or Copp?), Sgt. George Mackey Front (L-R) Lt. Harrison, Sgt. Perry, Sgt. Charles Kohr, Burneff. Absent are: John Whitman, Lt. Aide. Lt. Harrison got captian bars before leaving Korea. The 250th was formed at Aberdeen Proving Grounds sometime during the fall or winter of 1949. They went from there to Fort Sill, Oklahoma and stayed till sent to Korea in 1950 (October or November). David Monahan.
300th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
Wyoming Army National Guard
1946 - 30 March 300th AFA Bn. formed and recognized
1950 - 25 June Korean War begins - 300th returns to home station from Summer camp at Camp Carson, CO.
1950 - 19 August 300th AFA Bn Federalized for the Korean War
1950 - 29 August Departed from home station for Fort Lewis, WA.
1951 - 23 January Shipped out of Fort Lawton - Pier 97 aboard the U.S.N.S. General M.C. Meigs for 21 rought days at sea.
1951 - 15 February 300th AFA Bn landed in Pusan, Korea. We are camped at the Pusan Area Assembly Depot to service equipment.
1951 - 8-16 March Moved to Sodong-ni on the Naktong River for training.
1951 - 17 March Moved to Kumhae for advance training and live fire RSOP's
1951 - 12 May Left Kumhae for two day trip to the railhead at Wonju. Formed march order and proceeded to 2nd Division rear. Took position with the 23rd Regiment at Chaun-ni.
1951 - 15 May First rounds fired on the enemy at Chaun-ni, Korea in support of the 23rd Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
1951 - 16-21 May The Battle of Soyang - Awarded the first of two U.S. Presidential Unit Citation U.S. Meritorious Unit Commendation R.O.K. Presidential Unit Citation Moved many times - sometimes 3 times a day - until the Battle of Soyang ended. During one 24 hour period "A" and "C" Batteries fired 7,200 rounds.
1951 - 18 May "A" Battery trapped with elements of 2nd Infantry Division and the French Battalion by a heavily defended Chinese road block. "C" Battery put a heavy volume of fire on theroad block allowing friendly elements to slip by the road block. Later, the battery fired covering fire on the MSR to prevent close pursuit of our forces as they withdrew to new defensive positions.
1951 - 22 May "C" battery detached and sent to Task Force Ladue - an Infantry-Tank spearhead into enemy territory near Puungam-ni with elements of the 3rd Infantry Division.
1951 - 25 May Task Force Chopper - a spearhead deep into enemy North Korea with the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team.
1951 - 28 May The Battle of Inje - "A" Battery at the head of the spearhead was ambushed by a vastly superior force of Chinese. The Battalion suffered 2-KIA, and 32-WIA. 7 Silver Stars adn 10 Bronze Stars for Valor were awarded - mostly to members of "A" Battery.
1951 - 28 May-8 June Trapped in Inje for 10 days. All food, ammunition, and supplies were dropped by parachute from C-119s. Dead and wounded were flown out by helicopter.
1951 - 9 June At Sanghok, North Korea the 300th was attached to the 1st Marine Division and placed up with the 60 mm Mortars. The Battalion was a tempting target and received more [than] 100 rounds of Chinese 76 mm artillery in about an hour. This action resulted in 1-KIA and 14 wounded with 10 "Cowboy Cannoneers" receiving Bronze Star Medals for Valor.
1951 - 10-16 June Situated at An Dong, fired heavy concentrations for the 1st Marine Division in intense fighting in the Punchbowl. 300th took casualties of 1 KIA, 15 WIA.
1951 - 25 June Occupied positions at Changgakai (Homestead Valley). The Korean War is one year old today. Estimated enemy losses are 600,000 including 100,000 men who surrendered. The division between North & South Korea is approx. the same as a year ago. ROKA losses are 212,500 with 21,600 KIA. American casualties 78,000 of which 21,300 were KIA. The civilian population paid the highest price. 469,000 casualties with 170,000 dead.
And it's not over.
1951 - 8 July "C" Battery, 300th AFA Bn. fires the [its] 100,000th round at the enemy. It took only 52 days. Ave. 1,923 rounds/day. Beginning of the battle of Taeu-san (Bunker Hill). The 300th fired 9,640 rounds in three days in support of the ROK Capital Marine Division.
1951 - 26-30 July The Battle of Taeu-san continues. The marines have been replaced by the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division, and the Netherlands and French Battalions. The fighting is fierce. The sky is alight all night from exploding shells & bombs.
1951 - 18-28 August The Battle of Bloody Ridge with the 2nd Infantry Division - Battalion fired 9,788 rounds on the 28th. 300th fired 46,646 rounds on Bloody Ridge - 1,389 enemy dead.
1951 - 30 August 300th moved through the Mundung-ni Valley which was clogged with troops shifting from Bloody Ridge in a miserable downpour of rain to the east side of the Punchbowl to occupy a position previously occupied by a ROKA 8th Division, 105 mm artillery unit. The Battalion is supporting the 7th Regiment of the 1st Marine Division on the assault of Yoke Ridge.
1951 - 13 Sept-5 Oct The Battle of Heartbreak Ridge with the 2nd Infantry Division. U.S. casualties 597 KIA, 3,064 WIA, 84 MIA.
1951 - 15 September The 300th AFA fired the [its] 200,000th round into enemy territory. 123 days of combat.
1951 - 7 October Moved to Sangyang-bae in support of the ROKA 8th Infantry Division and their assault on the Kim Il Sung Range.
1951 - 30 November Still at Sangyang-bae and have been firing every day but now dug in for the winter. Received heavy shelling tonight, suffered 1 KIA, 11 WIA. It is cold.
1951 - 25 December Got shelled again tonight courtesy of Chinese artillery. It is cold - it has been -20 degrees nearly every night.
1952 - 26 January The 300th fired its 300,000 round. 256 days of combat.
1952 - 30 January At this point the 300th had the following official record Known Addit'l Probable Troops killed 7,733 16,178 Troops wounded 197 1,181 Machine guns destroyed 209 2 Artillery pieces destroyed 18 2 Bunkers destroyed 274 13 Vehicles, Ammo-supply dump 83 5 The 300th had fired 303,932 rounds of 105 mm ammunition.
1952 - February "A" Battery fires the [its] 300,000th round from position at Sangyang-bae. Brigadier General Sweeney pulled the lanyard. After he watched several Fire Missions, he named the 300th "Machine Gun Artillery".
1952 - 20 March Left Sangyang-bae and traveled 85 miles o Sang-bang-ri on the south bank for the Kumsong River.
1952 - April Became part of the 5th Field Artillery Group in support of 6th and Capital ROK Divisions. Heavy firing on Capitol Hill and Finger Ridge.
1952 - May Intense firing during CCF May Day batle. (60,000 rounds fired, 25-30 WIA)
1952 - 23 June Moved 4 miles south at 0500, more than 500 rounds [of] Chinese artillery hit "A" battery's vacant area.
1952 - June Outbreak of Hemmoragic Fever. All tubes declared unsafe and replaced.
1952 - July Moved to new location at No-dong-ni
1952 - 14-25 October Battle of Sniper Ridge with the 7th Infantry Division near Kumhwa on the right leg of the Iron Triangle.
1952 - 3 November Battle of Hill 851 with the 40th Infantry Division in the Heartbreak Ridge area. Very cold with heavy snow.
1952 - 25 December Fired heavy concentration on T-Bone Hill in support of teh 38th Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division to repel Chinese [forces] during intense battle. Also fired heavy concentrations in support of 179th Regiment, 45th Infantry Division when [they] were hit hard by [the] North Koreans at Hill 812.1953 - February Moved agin into Kumsong Bulge. "A" Batter is further into North Korea than any other American unit.
1953 - 12 March Moved 7 miles to position on Oridong River
1953 - May Fighting increasing. Heavy buildup of CCF troops. 300th ready to CSMO on short notice.
1953 - 10-16 May Battle of the Kumsong River Salient. Last Communist Offensive. 300th AFA Bn. overrun and has a 360 degree field of fire. Fights its way out and takes many of the 555th FIeld Artillery with them. 555th loses 300 KIA & MIA. 300th receives its second U.S. Presidential Unit Citation U.S. Meritorious Unit Commendation ROK Presidential Unit Citation. 300th moves 12 miles south to new defensive position.
1953 - 27 July Korean War ends [an armistice is signed].
1954 - 27 September 300th AFA Bn. ends Federal service.
772nd Military Police Battalion
Photo taken August 4, 1952
Rail Security Activities in Korea
The supervision and responsibility of railway security entered a new phase during the military operations in Korea. Initially, Military Police were assigned by the Army Provost Marshal to guard trains in conjunction with Korean National Railway Police who afforded security from guerrillas operating beyond the lines. This system prevailed until September 1951.
At this time, control was shifted from the Army Provost Marshal to the Military Railway Service, thus linking the operations and security of the railroads in the same headquarters. At all times, the security of bridges, tunnels and right of ways has been the responsibility of the National Police of the Republic of Korea. Although this may appear a radical departure from established procedures, it actually follows the new concept of technical service Military Police and Provost Marshals who must integrate into their operations many factors not common or normal to usual military police activities.
The 772nd Military Police Battalion, after eleven months duty with X Corps on the MSRs and the historic evacuation of Hamhung, was assigned to Railway Security duty on 5 September 1951 and has become identified as the hub of railway security activities. Initial operations of this battalion were under Second Logistical Command under which the Third Transportation Military Railway Service operated until activation of the Korean Communications Zone in the fall of 1952. At that time, the Third Transportation Military Railway Service became a major subordinate command. The military police battalion assumed an integral part of the operation of the railway system as a "sister" to the operating and shop battalions. The original mission of securing all United Nations supplies, passengers, rolling stock and main marshaling yards in Korea remained unchanged.
Photo taken July 1952
Because sufficient US personnel were not available for adequate security, an 800 man Korean National Police Battalion was made available. Known as the First Escort Guard Battalion, Korean National Police, it was attached for operation control to the 772nd MP Battalion, but the individual companies were directly attached to lettered M.P. companies. The Korean Escort Guards were integrated into the operation and rode trains and guarded yards under U.S. M.P. supervision. Only in trains of lower priorities did they ride without MPs. At the outset, headquarters of the 772nd MP Battalion was established in Taegu with "A" Company in Taejon, "B" Company at Pusan, "C" Company at Young Dong Po and "D" Company in Yongchon. This assignment has not been altered. During September, October and November of 1951, guerrilla activity was encountered along the rail net as trains and RTOs were attacked. Most of this action occurred between Taegu and Taejon on the main line and to a greater extent in the Southwest provinces.
In February 1952, the first guerrilla daylight attack occurred against Train No. 1862 at Pongnim, on the East Coast, north of Youngchon. In March 1952, the 772nd MP Battalion was short 7 officers, 9 warrant officers, and 178 enlisted men under TO&E strength, which resulted in long tours of duty. This condition prevailed for almost a year despite the increase of operational missions.
In November of 1952, elements of the First Cavalry Division were attached to the 772nd MP Battalion until March 1953. During this period cavalrymen from the Eighth, Seventh (Garry Owen) and Fifth Cavalry Regiments wore MP brassards and rode trains and guarded marshaling yards along with the 772nd MPs. Today crests of these famous old Indian fighting units are seen in day rooms and mess halls flanking the 772nd MP crest as a token of the esteem in which the KPs held these units.
Routine assignments provide a wide variety of working conditions for rail security military police although the bulk of the requirements are freight supply trains. Here two US MPs and two Korean Escort guards ride trains of twenty five to thirty cars on trips varying from five to twelve hours. They are cold in winter and hot in summer and always dirty from coal smoke and cinders. Many stops afford ample opportunity for pilferage of any kind of supplies. These men have only their wits, carbines and high powered pistol-grip searchlights to keep these cargoes secure.
In the marshaling yards, shotgun guards, both MPs and Korean Police, secure cars as they are being transferred and assembled and at points where guards are changed, maintain status while the trains are halted.
However, the MPs who draw passenger train duty can turn out in shined and polished inspection gear for the day and night U.N. express trains and perform what is virtually "stateside" duty enroute. When a business car is attached with a General Officer or VIP on board, another special MP is on board that day for the trip.
Another variation of duty is the hospital train whose frequency fluctuated as patients were shuttled from forward clearing stations to hospitals in rear areas. Records show many trains operating simultaneously during certain peak periods. MPs assigned to such duty frequently remained on board the hospital train for four or five days and might guard wounded enemy prisoners of war on the final return trip to Pusan.
March 1952 - Joel Davis leaning against the MP jeep.
With the signing of the truce came the transfer of prisoners of war to the Demilitarized Zone, a tremendous rail operation. Procedures for this were planned and tested during Little Switch, which opened on 19 April 1953 and continued for 14 days as sick and wounded prisoners were moved north over the entire length of the rail line.
The Provost Marshal, 3d Transportation Military Railway Service was responsible for the external security of this operation and coordinated U.S. Military Police, ROKA Military Police and Korean National Police in the operation. In order to prevent incidents resulting from possible demonstrations by local civilian population against the prisoners of war, security details were established to deny all access to the trains at the numerous way points on the 300 mile route where it was necessary to stop for routine service.
Each of these points were manned by a Military Police Officer and an MP detachment supplemented either by ROKA MPs or National Police. This was a heavy requirement in addition to the normal operations of the 772nd MPs. So tight was the security on the opening day of Little Switch that service crews were almost unable to water the locomotive at one point.
When the prisoners on the sixth train demonstrated enroute a detachment from the 772nd MPs boarded the train at Taegu supporting the assigned security detail for the remainder of the trip. Despite several long delays and loss of operating time, this train arrived at destination on schedule, without further incident. A 772nd MP officer rode the pilot engine a half hour ahead of each train, checking the lines and station security from Pusan to Munsan-Ni.
When Operation Big Switch opened on 4 August to run until 9 September 1953, the prisoners were transported by water to Inchon from where they were shuttled to Yong Dong Po and finally to Freedom Bridge Station, just across the Imjin River. This resulted in a shorter line of communication but also required a large number of trains daily. Because of the excessive load imposed on "C" company, requirements for the 772nd MPs were held to a minimum and security of the Inchon-Munsan line reinforced by Infantry units from Eighth Army along with National Police.
On the second day of Big Switch, the civilian population began demonstrations against the returning North Korean and Chinese prisoners as a result of insults, propaganda and demonstrations enroute by these individuals. Rocks were thrown at trains, causing some injuries of personnel and prisoners. Because the stations were not accessible, the civilians spread out on the right of way and eluded police who attempted to dissuade them. When National Police were finally increased until they were almost "holding hands" between Inchon and Munsan-ni, control was established again.
MPs in training. Front row l to r Lt. Col. Wm. McClure (battalion commander), Eugene Koupal, Robert Floss, Warren McGees, Carl Davis, Saivator Catail, Joseph Grigg. Back row l to r 1st. Lt. Arthur McKinney (commanding officer), Leo Nibert, Henry Coamoletti, Charles Todd, Joel Davis, Salvatore Aiello, Joe Quintana, Charles Doan.
The demonstrations reached their maximum peak during a truck movement of prisoners occasioned when a washout required this means of transfer. Several hundred casualties, some serious, resulted from rock throwing along the MSR where civilians had positions more advantageous than on the right of way. When the non-repatriates were transferred following Big Switch, security was reduced to a minimum as the civilian population reserved its role and welcomed these prisoners with music, flag waving, speeches, and other friendly demonstrations.
Railway pilferage requires investigation of every actual or possible shortage not only to affix blame for the occurrence but also to enable corrective operational measures to be taken. A Military Police Criminal Investigation section utilizing indigenous (organizational paid) investigators, Korean National Police Detectives along with U.S. investigators are deployed in five locations throughout Korea. Under the operational control of the Rail Provost Marshal, this section has an unusual record of government property recovered many times in excess of that reported lost or stolen. This has been attributed to the reluctance of consignees to utilize normal channels to cover losses, preferring the easier method of using the Korean Combat Certificate, since the latter entailed much less work. Since the latter is no longer authorized, more pilferages are being confirmed and reports may return to a normal basis before long.
MPs Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice
Piercy, Pvt. Roderick A., Co. D, died 9 November 1950
Unofficial History - 772nd Military Police Battalion
November 12, 1953 - The train was stopped at a small Korean station. It was dusk. It was difficult to distinguish objects. The MP had just dismounted from the guard car, his rifle slung over his shoulder. He began walking toward the puffing and sighing locomotive some 20 boxcars ahead. Suddenly he stopped; there seemed to be something moving up ahead by the side of one of the cars. "Chungee!" he shouted; the rifle was off his shoulder and in his hands. The dark spot started, turned and began to run. "Chungee!" he shouted again; this time a cartridge was clicked into the chamber. He raised the rifle, preparing to shout again. The figure stopped. The MP advanced cautiously toward it. As he approached the boxcar, he noticed the seal was broken and the door partially opened. Something was laying on the ground. He kept his eyes on the figure ahead. He could hear his partner's steps crunching on the gravel as he ran around from the other side of the train to help. The Korean was young, about 24. He looked at the MPs with blank eyes. In his hands were boxes of rations he had just removed from the boxcar.
This scene is repeated dozens of times daily all over free Korea. The military policemen are members of the 772nd Military Police Battalion. They are the men that have thwarted thousands of attempts to pilfer United Nations supplies moving by rail to UN troops all over Korea. They are the men that insure that millions of dollars worth of supplies and equipment reach their destinations so that a war may be fought or a peace secured.
These MPs are a proud lot, they belong to a proud unit. A unit that is justly proud, for behind it lies a history in which any man or any military unit would have great pride; a history that is full of missions assigned and missions accomplished.
It all began in the spring of 1942 when the War Department decided that a new military police battalion was needed to operate in the Zone of the Interior. Authorization for such a unit to be activated was issued, to become effective on 6 May 1942. However, under the duress of
war it wasn't until 1 June 1942 that actual activation took place. Men from the 44th Infantry Division, then at Fort Lewis, Washington, were sent to Fort Ord, California. Officers from Military Police units all over the United States gathered at Fort Ord. Then, under the command of
Major Howard P. Cress, the new battalion was organized and put into operation under the designation of the 772nd Military Police Battalion (ZI), a name that later developed a distinguished reputation. The unit went immediately into basic training at Fort Ord, finishing such training on November 17 of that year. From Fort Ord it was ordered to Fort Lewis to perform routine post military police duties. But this assignment was to last only a short time. Soon more orders were received. This time to proceed to Boeing Field, Washington, with the mission of securing the vital Boeing aircraft plants against possible subversive action. This included guarding the highly secret and invaluable Norden bombsight. Charlie Company was sent to Renton, WA where it guarded the plant during the preliminary work on the now-famous B-29 Superfortress.
This mission of plant security continued until May of 1943 when the battalion moved to Vancouver Barracks, WA. With the exception, once again, of Company C, the unit went into training. Company C proceeded on to Longview, Washington where it took over the job of guarding the militarily-important bridge over the Columbia River. In August Charlie Company was again reassigned, this time moving to Portland, Oregon, Army Air Base. In Portland, the company performed town patrol for that city and the City of Vancouver. Also, motorized patrols were put on the Columbia River Highway leading from Portland to The Dalls.
The highlight of the unit's stay at Vancouver Barracks occurred on November 5, 1943. On the morning of that day battalion headquarters received an alert notice that the battalion should be ready to move that evening. Some 18,000 Japanese aliens being detained at the Tulelake Detention Camp had begun an armed uprising. The march was begun that evening and the battalion moved out, meeting Charlie Company outside Portland. The "Deuce" and three other MP battalions arrived at Tulelake late that night. A perimeter defense was immediately set up around the compound. Foot and jeep patrols were put out. Scout cars armed with mounted machine guns roamed the area. The four battalion commanders and their staffs gathered to decide a plan of action. It was decided that first, a barbed-wire fence should be built around the compound, which heretofore was unfenced. Next it was decided that a mass shakedown should take place for the purpose of confiscating all weapons and contraband and to pick out the ringleaders.
Early the next day an engineer unit completed the fence surrounding several hundred acres of ground. Then the shakedown began. Men were spaced out on three sides of the compound some 15 to 20 feet apart. Two of these lines stretched almost a mile down the compound. Then searching parties entered the compound. As these parties searched each block of houses, the guard lines moved in behind to prevent anyone from slipping contraband into houses already searched. Meanwhile jeeps and scout cars roamed the area. The search was thorough and nothing was left to chance. Long-range radio transmitters and receivers were seized, thousands of home-made weapons were taken, large caches of food were discovered, although lack of food was one of the reasons given by the Japanese for the uprising. Then the ringleaders were seized and put into a separate compound. Thereafter, things returned more or less to normal. The "Deuce" remained on the scene for about two weeks. It and two other battalions then returned to their stations leaving one battalion in charge.
The Vancouver Barracks assignment continued until 31 January 1944, when the battalion was ordered to Fort Lewis again, this time for extensive training preparatory for overseas movement. Following this training the unit was sent by rail to the Boston Port of Embarkation. However, the long-awaited move never materialized. In July of 1944 the "Deuce" moved to Fort Devens, Massachusetts. At Fort Devens, the companies were broken up into groups of one officer and forty-five enlisted men. These groups proceeded to various ports of debarkation along the Atlantic Coast and the rail lines, including Boston, New York, and Norfolk, VA. During the next six months, these groups, using Fort Devens as a base of operations, escorted trains of German prisoners of war from the ports to POW camps throughout the United States. The trains averaged anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 POWs apiece. One assignment during the time was that of sending a detachment of men to Boston to guard the all-important Christmas mail going to and from the European Theater of Operations.
Once again the battalion received orders to move, this time to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Fairmont Park. Here, once again, Company C was detached and sent into downtown Philadelphia to perform town patrol. The remainder of the unit stayed at Fairmont Park and went into training. Besides training, the battalion was called upon as a "show" battalion. That is, it arranged, planned, and performed almost all the military ceremonies and parades in Quaker City. These included parades for a great many returning war-famous heroes such as Generals Marshal, Clark, Wainwright, Patton, and others. The war's end found the "Deuce" still in Fairmont Park.
The end of the war brought about a great many releases from the Armed Forces. The men of the "Deuce" were no exception. By January of 1946 the unit found itself greatly understrength. On the 18th of January the unit moved to Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, Pennsylvania, in order to obtain additional strength and further training. Almost a complete turnover of officer and enlisted personnel was received from the 702nd, the 804th, and the 797th MP Battalions, all three of which were in the process of being deactivated. On 12 April 1946 the battalion moved to Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Most of the time was spent in extensive training and on parades throughout the Second Army Area. The battalion paraded in Pittsburgh, Bradford, Penn., Richmond, VA, Palmerton, Penn., Fort Dix, N.J., Elizabethtown, Penn., Shenandoah, Penn., Hershey, Penn., Philadelphia, Boston, Shamokin, Penn., Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD, and Allentown, PA.
The battalion, less Company A which remained at Carlisle Barracks, moved to Fort Meade on 12 November 1946. On 20 November of that year, Company D was ordered to Green Haven, New York. The unit remained there until March 30, 1947, during which time they escorted General Prisoners to Branch Disciplinary Barracks throughout the country. Companies B and C performed normal post guard duties and trained during the absence of Company D. On 15 February 1948 Company B, less two platoons moved to Fort Eustis, VA while the third platoon of Baker Company went to Carlisle Barracks. On the same day, Company A was transferred from Carlisle Barracks to Fort Knox, Kentucky. On 24 May 1948 Lt. Col. Samuel A. Smith assumed command of the "Deuce." At that time the unit was performing a variety of duties including operation of the Post Prison Records Section, the Post Stockade, and the Post Provost Marshal Office. The battalion furnished personnel for motorized patrols, walking patrols, interior guard at the Post Stockade and over the Post, prisoner chasers, control points, and other sundry MP duties. Lt. Col. John B. Manley, Jr., a graduate of West Point, succeeded Col. Smith as the battalion commander on November 3, 1948. It was under Col. Manley that "The Deuce," a weekly battalion newspaper, published its first issue.
With few exceptions this small newspaper has continued to be published since that time. The newspaper has perhaps reached the superior grade for newspapers of its type under the command of Lt. Col. Charlie G. Bare and the editorship of Pfc. Royce C. Blair during the battalion's stay in Korea.
Company B was reassembled in May of 1949 and moved to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where it joined Company A and assisted that company in performing the duties enumerated above. The same year the unit was redesignated as a General Reserve unit. Also a notice came down that the unit might be moved overseas; thus, POM training was initiated.
Then in mid-June of 1950 the world saw the People's Army of North Korea invade southern Korea. This sudden outbreak of hostilities immediately affected the "Deuce". Almost at once the battalion, now under the command of Lt. Col. Thomas Barton, received orders for overseas shipment. The move for which the unit had prepared so many times had finally come about.
In early September the battalion loaded its equipment on rail cars and its personnel in troop coaches and proceeded from Fort Meade and Fort Knox to Fort Lawton. Here for the first time since November of 1946 the battalion was reunited. This is one of the few times in its history that the entire battalion has been together. Arriving at Fort Lawton on 9 September, the next five days were spent unloading equipment from rail cars into ships. On September 15, aboard the USS Gen. A.W.
Greely, the 772nd left the United States for the first time since its activation eight and a half years ago. After a brief stop at San Francisco and an eighteen day sea voyage the unit arrived in Yokohama, Japan on October 3. Leaving a detachment in Yokohama to unload the equipment when it arrived on another ship, the unit boarded a Japanese troop train and went to the Kobe Port of Embarkation. Aboard the USS Noble, the battalion journeyed around the southern end of Korea and northward into the harbor at Inchon arriving on October 8, a five day voyage. The next day part of the battalion was called upon to drive 100 trucks south to Pusan. The remainder of the unit was taken to Kimpo Air Field and flown to Pusan. Here they were met by the detachment they had left in Japan with the organizational equipment. Since leaving Fort Lawton, the men had had nothing but their own individual equipment and arms. In Pusan the battalion was billeted with the 212 MP Company while awaiting arrival of the men bringing the trucks down from Inchon. Hour after hour, during these few days, was spent in drills, inspections, and preparation of equipment. The truck convoy finally arrived. On the 18th of October the battalion was loaded aboard the USS Munnimari and taken out into Pusan harbor, where it stayed for the next 12 days. The Munnimari finally sailed and the battalion disembarked at Wonsan, the most naval-bombed port in history, on 1 November.
Here once again the battalion was separated. Company D stayed at Wonsan while the rest of the battalion went to Hamhung, arriving there on November 10. On the way to Hamhung the battalion convoy was ambushed once by guerrillas; however, no personnel casualties were suffered. Arriving at Hamhung, the unit was immediately disposed; Company A began processing prisoners of war, who were now both Chinese and north Korean; Companies B, C, and Headquarters proceeded on the the historic port of Hungnam, where the two letter companies set up bridge and MSR security and road checkpoints on the route between Hamhung and Hungnam. Here great difficulty was encountered, not from enemy action or the withdrawing United Nations troops, but with thousands of Korean civilian refugees fleeing to the Hungnam port in front of the Chinese Communist advance. The mission of the two companies was not only to get these refugees back to the port and aboard waiting ships, but also to aid in loading UN troops and POWs into the ships.
Meanwhile, Company D, which had stayed at Wonsan, was assigned two missions, one, the security of X Corps headquarters, and two, to process prisoners of war. Operating the Corp PW compound, the company processed some 500 POWs a day arriving from the division compounds of the First Marine Division. The compound averaged some 1300 prisoners on hand each day. From Wonsan these POWs were loaded aboard ships in the harbor and taken south. On 25 November Dog Company moved to Hungnam, where it and the rest of the battalion participated in the famous Hungnam evacuation.
During this time, the Hungnam port was probably the busiest port in the world as United Nations troops withdrew and evacuated before the Chinese onslaught. The "Deuce's" part was undoubtedly important in the evacuation. As it was responsible for aiding in keeping order in the evacuation, getting troops, equipment, POWs, and refugees down the MSR, onto the beach and into a miscellaneous variety of ships. As elements of the 3rd Infantry Division fought a holding action, men of the "Deuce" saw unit after unit leave Hungnam, saw thousands of refugees and hundreds of POWs evacuated. Finally on December 22, two days before the port fell to the Communists, Companies A, C, and headquarters pulled out with X Corps Headquarters. The same day, as units of the 3rd Division began their evacuation, Companies B and D boarded ships and left. On Christmas Eve, two days later, the last of the 3rd Division left and the evacuation was completed.
From Hungnam, battalion headquarters, Companies A and C landed at Pusan and then went up to Kyung-ju with X Corps headquarters. Companies D and B landed at Uisan and proceeded to Kyung-ju, arriving there on December 23. At the time of this writing (November, 1953) this was the last time all the companies of the battalion were located at the same installation.
At this time, the "Deuce" entered into a period during which it became one of the most distinguished military police units in Korea. Oddly enough, it is during this period that the battalion became only indirectly concerned with the battle in the front lines. Assigned the mission of controlling the main supply routes in eastern Korea, and shortly after, that of its present mission, railway security, the men of the Deuce became active participants in the little known war between the UN Forces and bandits and Communist guerillas.
On January 3, 1951, Charlie Company left the Battalion for Andong and then Uisong to begin MSR patrol. Baker Company arrived in Taegu five days later, immediately setting up town patrol in that city and operating road patrols between Taegu and Yongchon, northeast of Taegu.
Meanwhile, headquarters, A and D Companies moved to Yongchon, arriving there on January 8, 1951. Company A patrolled the MSRs northward from Yongchon toward Uisong, meeting patrols on the road eastward to Pohang on the coast, southward to Kyung-ju, and westward toward Taegu, meeting Company B patrols near K-2 Airbase.
During this time Company C was patrolling the MSR out of Uisong. However, in early February moved to Andong and took over operation of Tanyang Pass defile, probably one of the longest defiles used by the UN in Korea. This mountain defile began just north of Pungii (Punki), a small town north of Yonju. Beginning here, the mountain road permitted only one-way traffic for anything larger than 1 3/4 ton truck for the next six miles. At the top of the Pass the road widened just enough to permit two convoys to pass each other. Then for another six miles to a point just south of Tanyang the road was once again one-way, making a total of a 12-mile defile.
To cope with this situation, the company put one platoon at Pungii and one platoon at Tanyang. A detachment of men of both platoons was stationed and billeted at the top of the Pass. When a convoy reached the beginning of the defile it would be met by MPs. The men at the top of the pass, who were in communication with both ends of the defile, would be notified. Upon receiving the "go-ahead" the convoy would be escorted to the top of the pass, stopping at the wide turn-around spot.
Here it would wait until a convoy coming from the other direction arrived. They would pass each other at this point, then be escorted down the other side. A third platoon of Company C was also stationed at Tanyang and performed MSR patrol north of Chechon. This made a total of over 150 miles of rough mountainous Korean road patrolled by the battalion.
The primary mission of the "Deuce" in performing MSR patrol at this time was, of course, to see that convoys of supplies, equipment, and men moved to the front and back with the greatest ease and speed possible. This, in itself, was not an easy job. It meant more than just operating traffic control points, defiles, and motor patrols. It also meant making roads of, and helping the drivers of vehicles that had broken down; keeping thousands of civilian refugees, who were both fleeing and returning to their homes, from blocking traffic; apprehending AWOLs and deserters; seizing US property illegally possessed by Koreans; repairing road and bridge signs; and enforcing rules and regulations. However, what probably made this mission of MSR patrol the most difficult was the action of bandits and Communist guerillas. This action forced the battalion into, not only guarding their own posts and patrols from attack, but also assisting in the security of convoys, roads and bridges.
Perhaps one of the outstanding incidents involving guerillas, from the viewpoint of the battalion, occurred on January 30, 1951. At about 0700 hours that morning, a patrol of Company A was ambushed by guerrillas near Hahoedong. The three USMPs and the one Korean National Policeman were killed, after a brief fight. Immediately upon receiving the news Col. Barton took an armored car and two Jeep-loads of men into the area. The party encountered the guerrillas a short time after noon up in the mountains. A fire fight began immediately. For this action one Silver Star and five Bronze Stars for valor were awarded; one of the Bronze Stars going to a Korean Interpreter, one of the few Korean civilians to receive such an award from the United States.
Meanwhile, the battalion began to get an inkling of what its mission was to be in the future. Company D, at Yongchon, was called upon to perform railway security on the important ammunition-bearing rail line going from Ulsan port to Chechon and later into Seoul. At this time Dog Company was given the mission of security between Yongchon and Andong, some fifty miles north. Most of this rail security work consisted of guarding ammunition and hospital trains, although quite a bit of other type of freight was transported over the line.
Because of the value of hospital and ammunition trains and because of the large amount of guerrilla activity in the area, these trains were heavily guarded. Each train carried four USMPs and at least five ROKA MPs or KNPs. Besides individual arms, they were armed with two 30-caliber machine guns near the engine and two 30-caliber machine guns at the rear of the train, along with several boxes of grenades. This relatively heavy armament resulted in the companies having a great many more machine guns than front-line fighting troops.
In early March Baker Company moved its headquarters from Taegu to Andong with C Company, who had moved there in mid-February. Company B began doing MSR patrol southward to Yongchon and assisting Company D in its mission of rail security. Through the spring and summer the Battalion continued its mission. For a short time in late May it was called upon to furnish a detachment of men to X Corps Provost Marshal to help evacuate prisoners of war from the 24th, 7th, and 2nd USA Divisions and the 6th ROK Division to Wonju. In early July Charlie Company moved its headquarters to Chechon but continued its mission of MSR patrol.
Finally, one day in late August notification was received from Eighth Army Headquarters that the "Deuce" would discontinue its mission of MSR patrol and take over the responsibility of security for all United Nations supplies moving by rail in Korea. The importance of this new mission can not be underestimated. By this time the fighting line had become relatively stable and the railroads were doing more and more. Therefore, supplying front line troops with convoys of trucks all the way from southern ports to the 38th parallel was quickly become obsolete. The railroads offered much faster and easier method of moving supplies. In 1952 virtually all United Nations supplies left the ports by rail. Thus, on September 5, 1951, Battalion Headquarters was established in Taegu, the home of the "Deuce's" new boss, the 3rd Transportation Military Rail System. The same day Company B arrived in Pusan and Company C arrived in Yongdong-Po; Company A had moved to Taejon a week earlier. Company D remained at Yongchon to operate on the same rail line as it had done previously.
In order to understand the mission of the "Deuce", that of railway security, it is necessary to briefly review the railway situation in Korea. At present there are two main rail lines used by the United Nations in Korea. The major one of these is the only double track line in Korea. It begins at Pusan on the southern coast and runs up into Manchuria where it joins the Russian Trans-Siberian Railroad. Before World War Two, one could travel from Pusan to Moscow and into Eastern and Western Europe entirely by rail. At present the UN uses this line only up to Seoul and into Kaesong. Main stops on the line include Taegu, Taejon, Yongdong-Po, and Seoul.
The other line used by the UN begins at the port of Ulsan on the East Coast, runs north-northwest into Youngchon, Wonju, and Changyangi, a suberb of Seoul. This line is a single track line and usually referred to as the East Coast Line. There is also a single track line running from the port of Inchon into Seoul.
In order to perform its mission the Battalion was separated as previously described and areas of responsibility along the rail lines were assigned. Company D, located at Yongchon, was given the job of security for the entire East Coast line, running from Pusan to Ulsan, Kyong-ju, Yongchon, Wonju and into Changyangi.
Baker Company, with headquarters at Pusan, was given responsibility for the main line as far north as Taegu. Also a spur line running from Samanjin, a small town just north of Pusan, to Masan. The company also takes care of a spur track running between Taegu and Yongchon. They were also given the job of security for the extensive rail yards in Pusan. Detachments were put out at different stations for the purpose of yard security. These included men at Pusanjin, Masan and Samnanjin. Company A was given the area along the Main Line from Taegu to Yongdong-Po. They also covered a spur line from Taejon to Kunsan. Headquarters was located at Taejon; detachments were put out at various points including Kumchon, Kunsan, Chonan, Suwon, for the purpose of yard security. A large detachment was placed at Taegu, not only for yard security but for the purpose of relieving Baker Company men.
Charlie Company took the trains over from Able Company at Yongdong-po, and continued on the main line as far north as Munsan. It was also responsible for the line running from the famed port of Inchon into Seoul. A detachment was placed at Inchon to guard the yards and on the trains originating at Inchon. On this line, other detachments were placed at Yongsan and Seoul. The East Coast line, after reaching Changyangni continues on north into the front lines. This track was also given to Company C. Detachments were established at Changyangni, Uijongbu, and Taekwangi. Another detachment was established at Chunchon on the single trakc line running east of Seoul. In total, the battalion was given the responsibility of securing 970 territorial miles of rail line and rail yards. Men of the "Deuce" were located at 21 different towns spread all over Southern Korea.
To assist the battalion a battalion of Korean National Police, Railway Division, was attached for operational control. One company of this battalion was stationed with each company of the "Deuce". This unit later became known as the First Escort Guard Battalion, Korean National Railway Police. Once again the men of the "Deuce" found themselves faced by an old enemy and a new, different type of enemy.
They continued to fight that unpublicized "war behind the lines". Hardly a week or month went by for the next year and a half that some encounter with guerrillas or bandits did not occur. These activities ranged all the way from attacks on towns and Railway Transportation Offices to sabotaging of tracks, bridges, and attacks on trains.
But they were also faced with the task of preventing South Koreans, heretofore considered friendly, from pilfering rail cars. This proved to be a task requiring even more effort than needed to cope with guerrillas.
At this time South Korea, ravished twice by war, was overpopulated by refugees from the Communist-held north. There was not always enough for everyone. This situation naturally produced a segment of Koreans who resorted to stealing from what probably seemed to them an overly wealthy United Nations Army. This segment was by no means a majority of the Korean population, nor was it a large part of it. But it was large enough to make the mission of the "Deuce" most difficult. These people proved to be most skillful and ingenious in their activities. Age and sex made little difference; persons apprehended included all types and ages. "Deuce" guards soon found that there were hundreds of ways in which a rail car could be pilfered.
The battalion established itself in its railway security job under the command of Lt. Col. W.K. McClure who became the CO of the "Deuce" shortly after its mission was changed. Col. McClure took over on December 10, 1951. He was succeeded by Lt. Col. Charlie G. Bare less than a year later on September 26, 1952. While under those two commanders the "Deuce" achieved a reputation in Korea of a unit that can do its job and do it well. During the command of Col. Bare the battalion made remarkable progress in the improvement of morale.
Despite a serious shortage of personnel which forced the companies to employ even overhead personnel for train guards, the more of the battalion was steadily improved. Under Col. Bare the AWOL rate, the VD rate, and the number of court-martials were constantly on the decline.
Athletic teams were organized with a large portion of the men participating. In the summer of 1953 the battalion's softball team won the Korean Communications Zone championship.
The "Deuce", always proud of its branch of service, was the first battalion in Korea to achieve 100 percent membership in the Military Police Association.
On November 12, 1953, Col. Bare was rotated back to the United States to assume command of the 503rd MP Battalion at Fort Bragg. He was succeeded by Lt. Col. Albert E. Sherron, former provost marshal of VI Corps. During 1952 several administrative changes took place in the "Deuce". At first the unit was assigned to the Second Logistical Command. However, in early August it was reassigned to the Korean Base Section, and later in the month to the newly created Korean Communications Zone, under which it now serves. For a short while in 1952 the battalion commander served both as CO of the "Deuce" and Provost Marshal of the 3rd TMRS. Later a separate PM office was established at 3rd TMRS which had moved its headquarters to Seoul.
In their job "Deucemen" have found that they are likely to encounter a great many more problems than one would think. For instance, in July 1952 the job of security was greatly increased as trains were hampered by floods, particularly on the East Coast Line. This meant that whole trains would be held up at some small station for great lengths of time. A stopped train is most susceptible to pilferage. Often guards on trains coming into a station would find nothing there but a charred pile of timbers of what used to be the RTO; a result of bandit action. In September of 1952 they engaged in mercy work when a train full of school children was wrecked between Inchon and Yongdongpo. A riot of Korean War veterans in the Pusanjin railyards the same month was another problem.
During April of 1953 the "Deuce" played a part in an operation that was probably one of the important steps toward an armistice in Korea. It had been agreed by the United Nations and the Communist force to exchange sick and wounded prisoners of war. This Operation Little Switch meant that Communist sick and wounded POWs would have to be transferred from their hospital camp in Pusan through South Korea to Freedom Village near Panmunjon. It was decided that this movement would be made by rail for the most part. It was also recognized that there would possibly be demonstrations by South Koreans against these POWs.
The "Deuce" was called upon to guard against such demonstrations.
NOTE The Korean War Veterans National Museum & Library has more information about the 772nd Military Police on file for those interested.
937th Field Artillery Battalion
The combat record of the 937th Field Artillery Battalion, April 1951-January 1952, was provided to us by member Emmett Healy of Darien, Illinois. The battalion arrived in Korea in March 1951 at Pusan. Guns and men were moved to Inchon by LST boat and put in staging area for inspection and to check firing of guns, plus further training in small arms, machine gun and bazooka firing. They were moved into combat April 1, 1951. At that point in time, Healy joined the battalion as a replacement cannoneer in battery C of the battalion. He attained the rank of staff sergeant. Using command reports (which do not include unobserved missions or rounds fired by A battery, Healey was able to recap a combat record of the 937th in Korea 1951-early 1952. The battalion provided general support of the 1st Marines:
April 1951 - 650 missions fired, 7910 rounds expended, 1806 enemy casualties, 11 enemy artillery pieces, 3 enemy tanks.
May 1951 - 640 missions fired, 8686 rounds expended, 3866 enemy casualties.
June 1951 - 407 missions fired, 4428 rounds expended, 428 enemy casualties, 1 supply dump, 10 buildings.
July 1951 - 324 missions fired, 2933 rounds expended, 260 enemy casualties, 3 enemy artillery pieces, 1 supply dump, 2 buildings, 1 mortar position.
August 1951 - 382 missions fired, 3040 rounds expended, 83 enemy casualties, 4 enemy artillery pieces, 2 supply dumps, 6 pill boxes.
September 1951 - 514 missions fired, 5232 rounds expended, 1054 enemy casualties, 20 enemy artillery pieces, 10 machine guns, 3 supply dumps, 3 mortar positions, 16 pill boxes, 2 vehicles, 1 boat sunk, 1 bridge blown, 5 bunkers.
October 1951 - 782 missions fired, 7421 rounds expended, heavy losses - enemy casualties, 8 damaged enemy artillery pieces, 19 enemy artillery pieces destroyed, 1 machine gun, 15 supply dumps, 6 buildings, 3 damaged vehicles, 4 destroyed vehicles, 10 bunkers.
November 1951 - 948 missions fired, 9430 rounds expended, 355 enemy casualties, 7 enemy artillery pieces, 2 machine guns, 1 supply dump, 4 buildings, 3 pill boxes, 2 vehicles, 43 bunkers.
December 1951 - 605 missions fired, 5670 rounds expended, 115 enemy casualties, 7 damaged enemy artillery pieces, 5 destroyed enemy artillery pieces, 3 machine guns, 4 supply dumps, 3 buildings, 1 damaged vehicle, 34 bunkers.
January 1952 - 1133 missions fired, 9359 rounds expended, 181 enemy casualties, 1 damaged enemy artillery pieces, 4 destroyed enemy artillery pieces, 1 damaged enemy tank, 3 damaged machine guns, 4 destroyed machine guns, 2 damaged supply dumps, 20 destroyed supply dumps, 1 damaged vehicle, 73 bunkers, 15 artillery positions, 6 machine gun positions.
955th Field Artillery Battalion
It was Battery A who fired those first six rounds in Korea on the night of April 8, 1951. The mission was fired at 1840 hours in support of the 13th FA Bn's fire part of the 24th US Infantry Division. On that night, Battery A and Headquarters Battery moved into position and on the following day, Batteries B & C moved into position. From that time on, the firing was heavy as the big CCF Spring Offensive was getting under way. On April 23, 1951, the 955th received orders to cover the withdrawal of elements of the 24th Division in the face of the CCF Offensive. It was in ths maneuver, after being in combat for only 15 days, that the 955th rose to one of its peaks of greatness.
The 13th FA Bn, which was firing supporting fire for one of the infantry companies of the 24th Division, enlisted the 955's aid in laying down a barrage to enable the 13th FA's forward observation party and the infantry company to withdraw from a position in which they were practically surrounded. During the time this barrage was being laid, the CCF broke through the flank of the 13th FA Bn and it was necessary for them to displace. The 955 remained and fired almost continuously for 4 hours until the 13th could pull through the e+wape gap and re-lay at a rear position.
During this covering action, firing was at a tremendous rate; to cite one example, a section in Battery C fired 3 rounds in 11 seconds, the third one being fired with a broken lanyard. For its outstanding work in allowing the 13th FA to escape with a minimum number of casualties and all of its weapons intact, the 955th received the nickname "Big Brother" from that organization.
Toward the end of April, the 955th was moved, along with the 24th division and became attached to I Corps and the primary mission was support of the 13th FA Bn's firing. Defensive positions were the mainm item on the agenda for the battalion until late in May when the 955th started preparations for support a rumored UN offensive.
After being assigned to the 3rd Division late in May, the 955th went into another period of heavy firing in which they supported the 3rd Division in their drive form the 38th parallel to the heart of the Iron Triangle. Also during this period of time, nuisance air raids by the enemy made the operations of the battalion more difficult as extensivemair defense measures were applied. On June 13 the battalion was assigned to "Task Force Hawkins," a push which was designed to take Pyongyang. In direct support of the 15th Regiment of the 3rd Division, the 955th laid heavy preparational fires and were credited with immensely aiding the regiment in taking Hill 717, a vital point in the direct route to Pyongyang.
July of 1951 brought Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York on an inspection tour of the battalion. He was accompanied by I Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Milburn and 3rd Division Commander Maj. Gen. Soule.
Operational activity was light during this month with slightly over 4,000 rounds being expended. Battery B displaced to a forward position and fired in direct support of several task forces of the 3rd Division. The splendid showing made by the forward battery brought a letter of commendation from Brigadier General Walters of the 3rd Division Artillery. This action took place in August 1951. It was this action which opened the way for sure successful drive on Pyongyang.
Early in September, a small push by Chinese Communist Forces overran two outposts near the battalion and the 955th laid down heavy fire on these hills to enable troops of the 25th Division, to which we were then attached, to retake the positions. So effective was the battalion's fire that when the 25th Division troops stormed the hills, they found that less than half of the troops there were alive. Moving back to the 3rd Division, this battalion participated in operation "Cleanup" in which the 955th fired many bunker destruction missions.
In October of 1951 the battalion established a record, which was later smashed, of 4,021 rounds fired in one 24 hour period. It was the 16th day of October when the enemy assaulted Hill 281 and the 955th was one of the few artillery battalions able to bring fire upon the necessary area. With cannoneers working without rest for the full period, the huge total of 4,021 rounds fell upon the charging Chinese, blunting the force of their assault and enabling the gallant defenders nto send them reeling with a furious counterattack.
The 955th was attached, for a brief time, to the 1st Cavalry Division. On the nights of 18, 19 December 1951, the enemy made a bold attempt in strength to capture Hill 281 from friendly units but again the heavy artillery fire by this and other units serving in the sector broke the attack. On 22 Decmeber the 955 FA Bn became operational as the 955 FA Bn Group. On 4 December 1951, the battalion fired its 100,000 round.
The new year brought a change of battalion commanders. Maj. Gerald C. Morgan of Sioux City, Iowa took charge of the battalion when Lt. Col. Gillen, the former commander, was transferred to I Corps Provisional Group. Maj. Matheny also arrived in the battalion, taking over the duties of battalion executive officer. On 13 February the battalion was relieved as the 955 FA Bn Group and was placed under operational control of the 987 FA Bn Group. There was a marked increase in the amount of counter-battery fire received by the battalion but no major casualties and only minor equipment damage was suffered.
Pvt. Joe B. Oliver, a member of the outfit only a week, was the first man to fall victim to the enemy as a direct result of his fire. Oliver, a member of Battery A, was setting out an aiming stake for his gun section when an incoming artillery shell exploded nearby, fatally injuring him. This was on 13 March 1952. Later in March, the battalion moved 138 miles on a day-night road march without an accident and took up positions in the X Corps area.
In April, the battalion remained in the X Corps sector, with only moderate firing and receiving no counter-battery fire. Harrassing mortar and artillery fire continued to plague the OP parties and on 10 May the CCF demonstrated their ability to mass artillery when a 30 round TOT hit on and around the OP. It was during this period that two wiremen from Headquarters Battery and a member of the OP party from Battery C earned Bronze Star medals; one of the medals, to Pfc. Blackledge of Battery C, being for valor as he left the OP bunker and proceeded 150 yards down the forward slope of the hill to get a map which had blown out of the observation bunker. His path carried him through a mined area and his return trip was through enemy mortar fire as the CCF had spotted him when he left the bunker.
Two more Bronze Stars for valor were awarded members of the battalion in June when Lt. Rutledge and Cpl. Korotky, both of Battery B, encountered an enemy sniper while members of an OP party. Korotky and Lt. Rutledge left the OP bunker and crawled 150 yards forward to a ledge where they could observe the sniper. The enemy marksman was so concealed that he could not be seen. However, Rutledge and Korotky waited all afternoon amid a storm of mortar rounds and snipers bullets and finally, as the sun was setting behind the ridge on which the sniper was concealed, the enemy sharpshooter was silhouetted in the rays of the sun, perched in a small crevice. One fast shot from Lt. Rutledge's M-1 and the sniper tumbled from his hiding place, no longer of any use to the CCF.
Also during the month of June, Pfc. Schildgen of Battery B earned a Purple Heart when he was wounded by an enemy mortar round which landed just 15 feet from the truck in which he was riding while taking supplies to the OP party. There was also an increase in counter-battery fire received by the battalion in the area with the only appreciable damage being done when a round of enemy 76mm artillery exploded just 10 feet from the corner of the S-1 tent, riddling the end of the tent and doing slight damage to some of the equipment inside.
In July, the 955th moved back into the IX Corps sector, into the Chorwon area. Through the latter part of July, August, and September, activity remained fairly quiet. In August, one observation bunker of the battalion sustained a direct hit from enemy 76mm artillery but there was no damage to the bunker or to personnel therein. During this period, late July and all of August, almost unceasing heavy rains mired the battalion and made observation as a normal operation almost impossible.
Four generals visited the battalion during the month: General Cleland, acting Corps Commander, General Jenkins, Corps Commander, General Colbern, IX Corps Artillery Commander, and General Kim 9th ROK Division Commander. lt. Col. Daivd M. Easterday assumed command of the battalion on 23 September 1952, replacing Lt. Col. Morgan.
The heaviest action since entering Korea was encountered in October of 1952 by the 955th when the CCF made their big push on Whitehorse.
Teaming with the other battalions in that sector of IX Corps Artillery, the 955th rained death and destruction upon the fanatic attacking Chinese troops, expending an amazing total of 5,235 rounds in one 24 mhour period. It was also during this attack that 1st Lt. Terrence J. McLarnon, Battery Commander of Battery B, was killed in action. On the night of 8 October, when the enemy counter-battery was the heaviest, Lt. McLarnon was in the exec post. He left the exec post to check on the welfare of his men and shortly afterward, a round landed near him, killing him almost instantly.
After the Whitehorse Mountain incident had died down, this battalion was sent as a Task Force in the Kumhwa area when they laid artillery support for a small UN offensive. Later, the remainder of the battalion was again located in the central sector. During the latter part of October and during November, a total of 15 Purple Hearts were awarded to men of the battalion.
Surviving the rigors of the second winter in Korea, the 955th FA Bn took the battalion tests given by IX Corps Artillery early in March and passed with a score of 86.6. A resume of the battalion's activities since arriving in Korea shows that by November the 955 battalion had fired 258,380 founds in combat with an estimated 15,124 enemy casualties. There were six enemy tanks and 546 enemy vehicles destroyed, 356 bunkers demolished, 4 mortars wiped out, 146 enemy artillery pieces silenced and one rocket launcher liquidated. Added also to this total, six packs of mules, which were utilized by the CCF in a supply train that never got through, thanks to the 955th.
8070th Military Police Escort Guard & POW Proc. Co
The 8070 was made up of personnel from 8th. Army Stockade and Sugamo Prison. Went to Korea July 1950 from Japan, opened up first POW Camps in Pusan and later surveyed Koje-do as potential POW Camps. the 8220th. MPEG opened Koje-do as POW Camps winter of 50-51. Intereseting thing about Koje-do was that during WWII it had been a Japanese mini-submarine station at the opposite end of the island. Also the 60th. Field Hospital(POW) was at the camps in Pusan. Also had a Russian woman and daughter at the camp, husband was an advisor with NKDPA. William G. Mahar
8219th Army Unit
I served in Korea in 1952-53 in a special Army unit identified as the 8219th Army Unit, a special unit created in Korea. That unit was an Artillery unit which consisted of two sections:
Their purposes were survey functions in support of Artillery gun and rocket batteries. The Topo Section typically consisted of about 43 enlisted men and one officer; the Metro Section, which was detached from the Topo group, consisted of 9 enlisted men and one officer.
This Army Unit was attached to IX Corp Artillery, in Central Korea, for rations and supplies.
8240th AU FEC/LD (k)
Most TOP SECRET unit in 8th Army during war. Responsibilities were the training of UN Partisan (guerilla) fighters fron the North Korean above the 38th. Units were stationed on the islaand off the west coast and a cou ple island off the east coast. The purpsoe of these Partissan was to harash and ambush and destry all and any NKVA an CCF units that they came in contack with. The secondary was the recovery of downed UN pilots shot down in North Korean. Unit was 18,000 strong whn I left and most were jump qualified and trained by American advsiors sent in to instruct them. Many of our men were stationed as teams on line with each front division with the purpose of sending CCF and NKVA agents across the lines. Two reference books are Dark Moom and White Tiger. Both are authentic.
One result of the expansion of the Marine Corps during the Korean War was the commissioning of VMA-332. On 23 April 1952, it was officially formed and commissioned at MCAS Miami, Florida as Marine Attack Squadron 332. On 24 June the squadron received its first aircraft, four F6F-5 Hellcats. The squadron began its change over to F4U-4 aircraft on 15 October. On 1 December 1952, Lt. Col. John B. Berteling, took command and continued in command throughout the Korean era. The squadron patch with straw hat and cane, along with the polka dots, was designed from the fact that the tail code was "MR" and so the name "gentlemen" squadron and "Polka Dot" aircraft cowlings was adopted. The squadron was eventually assigned a combat role in the war. During April 1953 the squadron went on a ten day carrier "shakedown" cruise out of Mayport, FL aboard the USS Salerno Bay (CVE-110).
Toward the end of May, VMA-332 began movement to the Far East. The squadron was initially based at Itami, Japan. It was then deployed on board the USS Bairoko (CVE-115) replacing VMA-312 the "Checkerboards". The newer "Polka Dot" squadron lost no time in repainting their veteran Corsair's checkered cowlings with red dots on a white background. Its primary mission was to help enforce the blockade of the west coast of Korea and to conduct air strikes against Communist coastal and inland targets. Col. Berteling's logbook indicates that the first operational flight from the Bairoko was on 18 June. In July, the number of missions against enemy installations increased. The squadron continued to operate from the USS Bairoko in the Yellow Sea until the armistice went into effect on 27 July. It remained deployed on board the Bairoko until after the fighting ended. VMA-332 was the last US squadron to fly F4U Corsairs from a CVE aircraft carrier into combat.
The squadron was then transferred to the USS Point Cruz (CVE-119) in August. The aircraft carrier remained deployed in the waters off Korea and Japan through the fall of 1953. Marine Attack Squadron 332 was later transferred ashore on 22 November and stationed at Itami, Japan. During this time most of the squadron personnel were reassigned to duty stations in Korea and Japan. In December, the squadron received orders to return to the United States and to proceed to its old home base at MCAS Miami.
It arrived at its destination two days before Christmas.
Richard A. Newell
108 Pine Needle Lane
First Provisional Marine Brigade Band
Departed San Diego, CA on 14 July 1950 aboard the USS George Clymer (APA 27). Arrived at Pusan, Korea on 2 August 1950. During the 18 day convoy voyage, several concerts were played for the troops in the galley of the "Greasy" George. After landing in Pusan, the instruments were stored and the Band members were assigned duties in and around the Brigade Headquaters - perimeter guards, runners and/or other things that needed to be done.
Subsequent casualties that occurred in the 5th Marine Regiment caused a call to go out for volunteers from service troops for replacements. The Band was then broken up into smaller units and served, attached to various units as stretcher bearers, ambulance drivers, graves registration, battalion runners and other tasks.
Performed as a Band on several occasions, the most prominent being a regimental parade at the "Bean Patch" near Masan, Korea when the President of South Korea -- Synghman Rhee -- visited the Brigade Headquarters. During this visit, General Edward Craig, commander of the Brigade, presented 87 Purple Hearts and other medals to members of the Brigade that had so earned them. It would be well to indicate that the band instruments were stored immediately upon arrival at Pusan on 2 August and were retrieved for the aforementioned occasion and were promptly restored immediately afterwards.
The Band was de-activated on 10 September and was attached to the Shore Party of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regimental Combat Team for the subsequent Inchon Assault on the island of Wolmi-do located in Inchon harbor. This landing occurred on the early morning of 15 September from 0630-0645 and Shore Party landed in the 3rd wave. Duties included unloading equipment and/or gear from the Landing Ship Utilities that had brought us ashore from the USS Fort Marion (LSD-22).
After spending several days on Wolmi-do, the group was reattached to the 1st Marine Division Headquarters that had located near Kimpo Air Field near Seoul, Korea. It would be well to indicate that the total time that the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was in existence was less than 60 days.
Personnel Roster - HqCo, H&S Battalion, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade (Reinf.) FMF, 31 July 1950. (This list was gleaned from the official roster of the Brigade (#1196) just before the administrative landing in Pusan, Korea on 2 August 1950.)
Banks, Cpl. Edward B. Jr. - Percussion
Baron, Pfc. Edward R. (had a Band MOS, but was not believed to be part of the band)
Billiter, Sgt. Oscar - Clarinet
Bower, Pfc. Wyman D. - Percussion
Brannock, MSgt. Avant M. - Drum Major
Caplanson, Pfc. Pantelis - Trombone
Conover, SSgt. Samuel - Saxophone
Cook, Cpl. Thomas J. - Trumpet
Daum, Cpl. Ernest G. - Trumpet
Davis, Sgt. Donald E. - Trombone
Dean, Cpl. Charles C. - Trumpet
Guerin, Pfc. Leopold C. - French Horn
Hartfiel, Cpl. Frederick - Saxophone
Kissire, Pfc. Charles W. - French Horn
Laskowski, Pfc. Joseph E. - Trumpet
Legband, Sgt. Rolf - Clarinet
McCormick, Cpl. Laird J. - Tuba
Miller, Cpl. Philip G. - Trumpet
Miller, Sgt. William D. - Trombone
Mulligan, MSgt. Carrol J. - Bandmaster (also played the saxophone)
Nolan, Pfc. Gerald J. - Percussion
Rabenold, Cpl. Randolph - Baritone Horn
Rabenold, Cpl. Raymond W. - Clarinet (the Rabenolds were cousins)
Rimovsky, Sgt. Andrew W. - Trumpet
Scaffidi, Cpl. Sandy J. - Tuba
Scumaci, Pfc. Frank D. - "Peck Horn" (French or Alto Horn)
Smith, Cpl. Robert A. - Tenor Saxophone
Wright, Sgt. Robert L. - Trombone
Yamaguchi, Pfc. Jack T. - Clarinet
Yardas, TSgt. Bernard L. - Baritone
Of these brigade band members, the following were known (as of April 1, 1999) to now be deceased Billiter, Daum, Rimovsky, Smith, and Yardas.
US Marine Chronology of the Korean War*
25 Jun North Korean People's Army, with 60,000 troops and 100 Russian tanks, crosses 38th Parallel to invade South Korea.
25 Jun United Nations Security Council calls for end of agression and withdrawal of NKPA troops.
27 Jun UN, adopting a U.S. resolution, proclaims NKPA attack a breach of world peace. Aska member nations to assist ROK in repelling invasion.
27 Jun Pres Truman orders U.S. air-sea units to support ROK and for U.S. Seventh Fleet to neutralize Formosan Strait.
28 Jun NKPA captures Seoul, South Korean capital.
29 Jun Pres Truman orders naval blockade of Korean coast; authorizes Far East Commander, Gen MacArthur, to send U.S. ground troops into Korea.
30 Jun Pres Truman receives Congressional authorization to order into active service any or all reserve components of Armed Forces. for a period of 21 months.
2 Jul CNO directs that Marine reinforced regiment with supporting air be prepared for assignment to Far East.
2 Jul CinCFE requests Marine RCT-air unit for Far East. This was inception of 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, formed less than a week later.
3 Jul Inchon captured by North Koreans.
5 Jul - UNC fights series of delaying actions in Korea.
7 Jul U.N. Security Council authorizes formation of a United Nations Command as counterforce against NKPA aggression.
7 Jul 1st ProvMarBrig activated at Camp Pendleton, under BGen Edward A. Craig. Basic elements of 6,534-man Brigade are 5th Marines and MAG-33.
8 Jul Gen MacArthur named Commander, UNC.
10 Jul CinCUNC asks Joint Chiefs of Staff to authorize expansion of Marine Brigade to full war-strength division.
12-14 Jul 1st ProvMarBrig embarks for Korean theater.
12 Jul LtGen Walton H. Walker named CG, Eighth U.S. Army in Korea.
19 Jul CinCUNC makes 2d request for Marine division.
19 Jul Pres Truman authorizes Defense Dept to call up reserve units and individuals.
19 Jul CMC alerts Marine Corps organized reserve units for call to active duty following
20 Jul CMC, Gen Clifton B. Cates, orders to duty Organized Marine Corps ground reserve units, consisting of 22 units and 4,830 personnel. Partial callup for 6,000 air reservists in 30 Marine VMF and 12 MGCI squadrons.
20 Jul Taejon, temporary ROK capital, captured.
21 Jul CinCUNC makes 3d request for Marine division.
25 Jul UNC defense at Pusan deteriorates. CinCUNC orders 1st MarProvBrig directly to Korea.
25 Jul JCS directs Marine Corps to build 1st Mar Div to war-strength.
31 Jul Masan and Chinju fall to enemy.
2-3 Aug 1st ProvMarBrig arrives Pusan. Moves to bivouac area near Masan.
3 Aug First Marine air strike launched by VMF-214.
4 Aug Pusan Perimeter established by UNC in southeastern end of Korea.
4 Aug First evacuation of casualties from Pusan by Marine VMO-6 helicopters.
6 Aug First air mission flown by VMF-323.
6-8 Aug CinCUNC confers with U.S. military-diplomatic officials about proposed Inchon amphibious landing.
7-13 Aug Marine Brigade engaged in first combat operations at Chinju.
10 Aug First Marine helicopter rescue made by VMO-6 to recover downed pilot.
10-24 Aug 1st Mar Div units embark for Korea.
16 Aug EUSAK X Corps activated for coming Inchon-Seoul operations. Principal elements are 1st Mar Div and Army 7th Inf Div.
17 Aug Marine Brigade opens battle for Obong-ni ("No Name") Ridge, leading way to destruction of enemy bridgehead at Naktong and first UNC victory in Korea.
17 Aug 7th Marines activated at Camp Pendleton and on 1 Sep embarks for Far East, arriving 21 Sep.
1-5 Sep NKPA launches all-out offensive to break UNC perimeter defense at Pusan. In Second Naktong Battle, Brigade contains enemy at Yongsan.13 Sep 1st ProvMarBrig deactivated and absorbed by 1st Mar Div for Inchon operation
15 Sep D-Day, Inchon amphibious assault, spearheaded by 1st Mar Div.
17 Sep 1st Mar Div (5th Marines) recaptures Kimpo Airfield.
19-25 Sep Enemy resistance at Pusan begins to collapse. NKPA troops in retreat north from Pusan.
27 Sep 1st Mar Div recaptures Seoul. ROK Capital officially liberated 29 Sep.
30 Sep Communist China Foreign Minister Chou En-lai warns "The Chinese people will not supinely tolerate seeing their neighbord being savagely invaded by the imperialists."
30 Sep-Oct 1 ROK 3d Div crosses 38th Parallel inpursuit of retreating NKPA.
7 Oct UN General Assembly authorizes UNC forces to cross 38th Parallel to defeat NKPA.
10 Oct Wonsan, east coast port at 39th Parallel, captured by ROK troops.
10 Oct Chinese repeat warning of intervention in Korean conflict.
16 Oct First Chinese Communist troops secretly enter Korea from Manchuria.
19 Oct Pyongyang, North Korean Capital at 39th Parallel, captured by EUSAK.
26 Oct Chinese troops attack ROK units at Yalu River and points south of Sino-Korean border.
26 Oct 1st Mar Div lands at Wonsan, establishes security for port, and drives north.
1 Nov UNC forward elements reach positions along Yalu. First Russian-built MIG appears along Yalu to attack U.S. aircraft.
2 Nov Strong Chinese and NKPA forces attack EUSAK at Unsfan, causing withdrawal across Chongchon River. First identification of Chinese Communist Force (CCF) in Korea.
3-7 Nov Initial Marine encounter with CCF. 7th Marines units defeat major elements of 124th CCF Division.
6 Nov MacArthur warns JCS that movement of CCF across Yalu threatens UNC position.
15 Nov Marine units reach Chosin Reservoir area in X Corps drive north.
24 Nov MacArthur announced "win the war" offensive. EUSAK begins advance toward Yalu.
26-27 Nov CCF, 200,000-strong, attack EUSAK troops forcing withdrawal. 1st Mar Div isolated at Yudam-ni, west of Chosin, MSR cut.
28 Nov-3 Dec 1st Mar Div truns back CCF attacks. Prepares to move south. Regroups at Hagaru-ri for drive to Hungnam.
4 Dec Pyongyang recaptured by enemy.
5-7 Dec 1st Mar Div evacuates wounded by air and fights through to Koto-ri.
6 Dec Innovation of using airborne TADC as tactical CP to control air support.
10 Mar First Marine jet squadron to fly in combat, VMF-311, begins operations.
11 Dec 1st Mar Div completes fighting breakout from Chosin entrapment. Beins march to join rest of X Corps at Hungnam.
15 Dec 1st Mar Div deployed from Hungnam to Pusan.
15 Dec UNC establishes new defensive line at 38th Parallel.
18 Dec-27 Jan Marine division routes enemy guerrilla forces in Masan-Pohang-Sondong-Andong area.
23 Dec EUSAK CG Walker killed in jeep accident. Gen Matthew B. Ridgway named to succeed him.
24 Dec Hungnam evacuation completed by X Corps.
29 Dec Large enemy buildup reported north of 38th Parallel, preparing for new attack.
31 Dec-Jan 1 Enemy launches all-out offensive against UNC across 38th Parallel, pushing EUSAK back 10-12 miles.
4 Jan Seoul recaptured by Communists.
7-15 Jan Enemy offensive halted, UNC sets up new defense line along Pyongtaek-Wonju axis, at 37th Parallel.
25 Jan UNC reassumes offensive. Operation THUNDERBOLT launches by I and IX Corps to regain territory south of Han River.
Jan-Feb 1st Mar Div continues antiguerrilla operationg in Masan area.
7 Feb Communists forced north of Han River. UNC retakes Inchon peninsula.
Mid-Feb 1st Mar Div reassigned from X to IX Corps.
21 Feb Operation KILLER, a general limited objective advance by U.S. IX and X Corps, ordered by Gen Ridgway. 1st Mar Div reenters frontlines for operation.
7 Mar Operation RIPPER begins in central and eastern zones, with advance across Han by IX and X Corps.
14 Mar Seoul retaken by U.S. Eighth Army for second time.
27-31 Mar 1st Mar Div occupies 28,000-meter sector north of Hongchon. UNC elements reach 38th Parallel.
1-21 Apr 1st Mar Div in general advance north to Hwachon Reservoir.
8 April Operation RIPPER clears enemy troops from South Korea east of Imjin River.
11 Apr Pres Truman relieves Gen MacArthur as CinCUNC, replacinfg him by Gen Ridgway, CG, EUSAK. LtGen James A Van FLeet named Commander, EUSAK.
15 Apr UNC establishes defensive line along 38th Parallel, or KANSAS Line. Enemy heavily emplaced in Chorwon-Kumhwa-Pyonggang ("The Iron Triangle") assembly area.
22 Apr-8 Jul CCF launches all-out "Spring Offensive."
23-27 Apr 1st Mar Div halts CCF left flank breakthrough of IX Corps, establishes defense line in Chunchon vicinity.
30 Apr UNC completes withdrawal to new defense line north of Seoul. Intelligence reports indicate CCF plans renewed attack.
1 May 1st Mar Div reassigned to X Corps.
9 May 1st MAW squadrons participate in FAF 300-plane strike on Sinuiji, near Yalu. Biggest raid of war to date.
16 May Second phase of enemy offensive begins. CCF drives south from Iron Triangle area, making penetrations 15-20 miles deep along the front.
20 May FAF launches Operation STRANGLE, massive all-out interdiction effort.
21 May UNC launches counter offensive, pushes enemy north of 38th Parallel again. 1st Mar Div drives toward Yanggu at eastern end of Hwachon Reservoir.
30 May Eighth Army back on KANSAS Line again.
1-16 Jun 1st Mar Div advances northeast from Hwachon Reservoir to Punchbowl. Claws out daily gains of 1,000-2,000 meters, reaching objective despite heavy NKPA fire.
Mid-Jun UNC forces consolidate positions at 38th parallel. UNC front approximately the same lines as when Communist spring offensive began.
23 Jun UN Soviet delegate, Jacob Malik, proposes cease-fire discussions.
30 Jun UN notifies enemy of its readiness to discuss an armistice.
10 Jul Truce talks begin at Kaesong and fighting dies down along front. UN delegation led by U.S. Vice Admiral C. Turner Joy. Communists represented by LtGen Nam Il, NKPA.
26 Jul Negotiations at Kaesong agree on preliminary agenda.
5 Aug UNC suspends truce talks because of armed enemy troops in neutral area. Cease-fire talks resumed 10 Aug.
22 Aug Communists halt cease-fire talks, charge UN aircraft has violated neutrality zone.
31 Aug In final UNC offensive of the war, 1st Mar Div opens assault at Punchbowl. UN launches limited attcks to straighten line.
5 Sep 1st Mar Div ganis initial objectives in Punchbowl area, new ridgeline to become part of line MINNESOTA, EUSAK defensive line. Heavy attacks by IX Corps at Heartbreak and Bloody Ridge.
13 Sep HMR-161 effects first Marine mass helicopter combat resupply maneuver, Operation WINDMILL I.
18 Sep Marines advance to Soyang River, north of Punchbowl.
21 Sep Operation SUMMIT, first helicopter deployment of a combat unit, lands 224 fully-equipped troops and 17,772 lbs of cargo in Punchbowl area.
25 Oct Following two weeks of discussion between liaison officers, truce talks resumed at new site, Panmunjom.
28 Oct Cease-fire line agreed upon as present line of contact.
11 Nov HMR-161 conducts first frontline relief of a Marine battalion, in Operation SWITCH.
12 Nov Gen Ridgway, CinCUNC, orders EUSAK Commander, Gen Van Fleet to cease offensive operations and begin active defense of UN front.
Nov-Dec General stalemate along Korean battlefront during truce discussions.
18 Dec Prisoner of war lists exchanged by UN and Communists.
2 Jan UNC proposes principle of "voluntary repatriation" in POW exchange.
3 Jan UNC proposal violently rejected by Communists.
Jan-Apr Disorders in UNC prison camps as screening of prisoners begins.
22 Feb Communist Korean Foreign Affairs Minister charges America with renewed bacteriological warfare attacks in North Korea. Chinese Communist Foreign Minister Chou En-lai, issues similar statement on 8 Mar, alleging U.S. flyers participate in "germ warfare."
17 Mar 1st Mar Div reassigned from X Corps eastern-Korea position to I Corps far western end of EUSAK line. Takes over approximately 35 miles of Line JAMESTOWN on 24 Mar.
28 Apr Adm Joy presents UN "final offer," insists on voluntary repatriation principle.
7-11 May Rioting prisoners at Koje-do camp seize Gen Dodd and hold him hostage, until order restored.
12 May Gen Mark W. Clark succeeds Ridgway as CinCUNC, upon latter's departure to assume NATO command from Gen Eisenhower.
22 May MajGen William K. Harrison succeeds Adm Joy as chief of UN delegation at Panmunjom.
Jun-Oct General stalemate along battlefront while truce talks deadlocked on POW repatriation question. Sharp limited objective attacks made by enemy against UNC defensive line.
9-16 Aug First major Marine ground action in western Korea, Battle of Bunker Hill (1st Marines).
19-20 Aug HMR-161 Operation RIPPLE introduces tactical innovation of transporting 4.5-inch rocket battery weapons and personnel to new firing position.
29 Aug Largest one-day FAF air assault of entire war, "All United Nations Air Effort" sends 1,403 sorties against North Korean Capital, Pyongyang.
22-26 Sep First resupply of MLR regiment by helicopter in Operation HAYLIGHT.
8 Oct UNC adjourns armistice talks "indefinitely"; complete deadlock on POW question.
26-28 Oct Battle of the Hook (7th Marines).
4 Nov Dwight D. Eisenhower elected President.
17 Nov India introduces compromise plan at United Nations.
2 Dec President-elect Eisenhower begins three-day tour of Korea.
3 Dec UN General Assembly adopts compromise Indian resolution by 54 to 5 vote.
Jan-Feb Winter lull in fighting. Cease-fire talks remain suspended.
2 Feb President Eisenhower, in State of Union message, ends "neutralization" of Formosa Strait.
11 Feb Gen Maxwell D. Taylor assumes EUSAK command from Gen Van Fleet.
22 Feb UNC proposes exchange of sick and wounded POWs, as preliminary step in full exchange of prisoners.
5 Mar Premier Joseph Stalin of Russia dies. Georgi Malenkov named to succeed him.
26-30 Mar 1st Mar Div combat outposts Vegas-Reno-Carson (5th Marines) under heavy attack.
28 Mar Communists accept UN proposal to discuss exchange of sick and wounded POWs.
30 Mar Chou En-lau indicates Communists will accept Indian UN compromise proposal. Truce talks to be resumed.
12 Apr 1st MAW flies first night CAS missions, using intersecting searchlight beams to mark enemy targets.
20-26 Apr Exchange of sick and wounded POWs, "Operation LITTLE SWITCH," takes place at Panmunjom, under direction of Munsan-ni Provisional Command.
26 Apr Truce talks resumed at Panmunjom.
5 May 1st Mar Div relieved by U.S. 25thInfDiv; 1st Division assigned mission of I Corps Reserve.
7 May Communists accept UN proposal that prisoners unwilling to be repatriated be kept in neutral custody within Korea, rather than be removed elsewhere to a neutral nation.
28-30 May Savage fighting while truce details worked out by negotiators. CCF launches regimental-strength attack against I Corps sector. Heavy action in Nevada Cities and Hook area outposts. Marine tanks and artillery in support of defending 25th Inf Div line units.
6 Jun ROK national Assembly demands freedom for anti-Communist North Koreans held in South Korean POW camps. Civilian demonstrations break out in various EUSAK and I Corps localities.
8 Jun Agreement reached on POW question. POW nonrepatriates to be turned over to five-member neutral commission to decide disposition of POW cases. Pres Rhee declares armistice terms unacceptable to South Korea.
9 Jun ROK National Assembly unanimously rejects truce terms.
10-17 Jun Communists launch heaviest offensive in two years against ROK II Corps sector in Kumsong area. Heavy penetrations, with ROK II Corps pushed 4000 yards south to new MLR.
18 Jun Breakout of 25,000 North Korean anti-Communist prisoners from South Korean POW camps, assisted by ROK guards. Release ordered by Pres Rhee as protest against proposed armistice.
18-20 Jun Communists accuse UNC of complicity in freeing prisoners; truce talks suspended.
23-25 Jun Pres Rhee continues opposition to truce terms. Walter Robinson, U.S. Asst. Sec. of State for Far East and Gen Mark Clark start confidential talks with Rhee.
7-8 Jul COPs Berlin-East Berlin (7th marines right regimental sector) under attack during Marine relief of 25thInfDiv.
8 Jul 1st Mar Div assumes operational control of its former MLR sector, relieving 25thInfDiv.
8 Jul Communists agree to resume armistice negotiations; talks reconvened 10 July.
11 July Robertson announces that Pres Rhee will no longer oppose truce terms.
11 Jul Maj John F. Bolt, VMF-115, becomes first Marine jet ace with kill of his fifth and sixth MIGs.
13-20 Jul CCF launches even larger offensive than June attack along Korean front. IX and ROK II Corps MLR reestablished south of Kumsong River.
19 Jul Negotiators at Panmunjom reach agreement on truce.
19 Jul Marine outposts Berlin-East Berlin overrun; I Corps decrees positions should not be retaken.
24-27 Jul Heavy enemy attack in Berlin Complex ("Boulder City") area held by 7th and 1st Marines.
27 Jul Cease-fire agreement signed at Panmunjom at 1000. Fighting ends. Armistice effective at 2200.
5 Aug-6 Sep Final exchange of prisoners in Operation BIG SWITCH, at Panmunjom.
*Copied exactly from Lt. Col. Pat Meid and Maj. James M. Yingling. Operations in West Korea. Vol. 5 of U.S. Marine Operations in Korea 1950-1953. Washington, D.C. Historical Division Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, 1972.
Letter from Howard J. Burkhalter, Auburn, NY, June 23, 1994 "I was a Chief Electrician Mate and was assigned to a new mine sweeper, the USS Pledge AM277, in May 1944 being built in Mobile, AL. The USS Pledge was a fleet mine sweeper meaning we did escort duty as well as mine sweeping. One of my duties as Chief Electrician Mate was training and top secret clearance to maintenance and operation of the top secret Magnetic Mine Sweeping Controller. Only the mine sweeping officer and myself had keys to this Controller. My general quarters and mine sweeping operations station was at the Controller located on the bridge. If the ship struck a mine or was hit by enemy action and was sinking, the order to abandon ship would be given. My responsibility was to operate a self-destruct key on the Controller that would destroy the Controller and instruction manuals before I abandoned ship. I left the USS Pledge in October 1945. We had several hits by aircraft engagements and struck two mines but none involving the sinking of the ship.
The USS Pledge was involved in the Korean War and was mine sweeping Inchon, Korea harbor. The ship struck a mine and immediately sank but the Magnetic Mine Sweeping Controller was not self-destructed for some reason. The Navy was afraid the North Koreans would go after the Controller which they knew was Top Secret and give it to Red China or Russia. The Navy sent some Navy frogmen into Inchon Harbor under sight of the North Koreans to destroy the Controller. The operation was successful and the Controller was destroyed.
USS Sarsi ATF - 111 US Navy
USS Sarsi ATF
The Sarsi sank off of the coast by Hungnam when it hit a floating contact mine approximately 11:40 p.m. August 27, 1952. There were 92 crew members; 5 lost, 2 trapped on board--1 swam toward shore and was shot and the chief quartermaster went into cardiac arrest and drowned.
Geoge Cornell and two others left the ship at noon for discharge. The ship sank that night while on patrol. Other ships in the area at the time were: USS Platte A0 24 (Cornell was on that ship); USS Mount Katmia; and USS Boyd DD544. The Platte picked up the Sarsi survivors and returned them to Sasebo.
There is a Sarsi Survivors Association that is still looking for the following Sarsi survivors: John D. Bennett, Earl D. Crow, Johnnie T. Germaine, James W. King, Jack L. Nicholls, Carl R. Williams, Joseph E. Kenny, Ira Barton, Joseph D. Breeden, Louis F. Fuller, Jackie R. Hill, James A.W. Keller, Richard McDonald, Hubert M. Paul, Harold L. Taylor, Cecil M. White, Raymond E. Wood. If you are one of the Sarsi survivors, see the museum's Reference Desk page under Navy.
The U.S.S. Kenneth Whiting AV14 was built by the Todd Ship Yard and commissioned sometime around 1943-1944. I don't know the date, but Jonpot does. The Kenneth Whiting served in the Pacific Theatre during WW-2 where she earned two battle stars.
My experience with the U.S.S. Kenneth Whiting AV-14 was in the 1953-54 time frame. I was transferred from VR-3 at Moffett Field, CA to the Kenneth Whiting and served as an AE-3 in the V-3 division. I made one cruise to Iwakuni Japan where we tended VP-47. I was transferred TAD to VP-47 where I made second class on May, 16, 1954 and then returned to the Kenneth Whiting. After the Iwakuni Cruise, the Kenneth Whiting returned to the Long Beach Naval Shipyard where she was dry docked and over hauled. Somewhere around the end of 1954, I was transferred to VS-21 at Brown Field, CA. I was discharged as AE-1 in June of 1955.
I originally joined the Navy to have a chance at the NAVCAD program, which was full at the time of my enlistment. I got my chance while I was serving with VR-3 but was rejected because I was 1/2 inch too short. Since I was not able to achieve my goal of becoming a Naval Aviator, I did not re-enlist.
A snapshot that I took with a box camera at Iwakuni Bay in 1954.
A snapshot of the KW memorial plaque at the Chester Nimitz Museum in 1998.
A snapshot of some of the plank owners at the 1998 annual reunion in San Antonio, TX. The good looking shipmate in the center is John Potthoff, who will be happy to supply the skinny on our ship. Jonpot has a real desire to spread the word.
If I may be of any service to you, feel free to contact me at your convenience. I have lots of reunion photos but, unfortunately, no more of the ship.
War Veterans Association
The Korean War And Turkey's Position
Although the Second World War had ended and five years had passed, peace had not been signed. For the claims of the "two Great powers" on arranging the world had transformed into a fight. Meanwhile, the nations, whose independence was declared to be the cause of the war, could not be prevented from falling within the Iron Circle. Countries were being intervened in and borders were being played with under the mask of "Democracy" or "Rights" administration.
The Russian "Security Area" replaced the German "Life Area."
"Liberal Individualism" and "Dictatorial Collectivism" replaced the "New Order" of the Germans. The victorious were not trying to realize peace and justice but they were trying to expand into the whole world. As a natural result, everyday concern raising events were erupting, in different parts of the world. The "Cold War" was continuing with occasional "Small Warm Wars." The world which expected peace to come from victory and which yearned for security, woke with terror on the morning of 25 June 1950, at a time when it had not yet recuperated from the fatigue of the war, upon the sound of artillery exploding in Korea.
North Korea, which was under Russian control, attacked South Korea which was under United States supervision and rapidly proceeded to advance. The parties which had separated into Eastern and Western Camps had finally passed from Cold War to Warm War and started to test each other in a serious and relentless manner.
Turkey, which monitored the developments since the victory with attention and concern, accepted that the world had come to a point of serious decision and position. Although Turkish-Russian relations remained at the border of diplomatic discussions, they were not yet far from causing concern. The undertaking of war by a country under Russian control, against a brother country population, had no doubt a warning meaning. Also, Turkey, which was against the gaining of supremacy through territorial gains by use of force, supported the United Nations Organization as a requirement of the "Peace at Home, Peace on Earth" principle of Ataturk. Turkey was advocating that world problems be solved by the United Nations Organization and not the "two Big powers."
Turkey, believing in the value of peace, security and justice, also considering the importance of friendship and solidarity and complying with the call of the United Nations Organization was the first nation after the United States to run to the help of South Korea with a large force. Turkey once again took a forward and great step to show those which left her all alone in face of demands and pressures which threatened her existence or those which supported her in a fearful and indecisive manner, that their position was wrong, by means of effective behavior. Turkey felt obligated to help South Korea as a requirement, which she could not abandon, of her mission to protect peace, security and justice; imposed on her by its geopolitical situation in a critical part of the world.
Turkey, which was against the use of force for the realization of desires while the ways for reconciliation and discussion were open in the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council, took its place among the peaceful nations which ran to the call of the United Nations Organization, exactly for this reason. The rest was left to the capabilities and success of the Brigades sent to Korea.
Expectations of Turkey and the World from the Korean War
When Turkey decided to assist South Korea, she knew that this would produce widescale and important results both domestically and in the foreign sphere. The results of this decision, whether they are positive or negative, but in both cases affecting Turkey, would be formed and established according to, first of all and especially the results which the soldiers sent to Korea would obtain on the battlefields. For this reason the eyes of the World, as well as those of the State and of the whole Nation, were on our soldiers which were going to Korea.
The Turkish Republic was for the first time putting its soldiers to the test on an international and hard battlefield. Thus the doubts and concerns about whether the Historical Heroism of the Turkish Army which had not entered the Second World War would be continued by the Republic generations have come to light. It was vitally important that the news which would come from our soldiers in Korea absolutely be news of success. For it was as if the State had put the burden of its security and development in a significant way on the shoulders of these soldiers For this reason the importance of the hopes attached to them and the tasks expected from them was very great.
Now, we can address the aims which were hoped to be realized with the efforts which the soldiers sent to Korea would show on the battlefields. The aims pursued by Turkey can be expressed in summary as follows
- To provide for peace and reconciliation by the United Nations Organization as an effective establishment and to provide for the solution of all problems through discussion.
- To prevent the tendencies of the Superpowers or the regional pacts established by Developed Countries for global hegemony.
- To preclude intervention in internal affairs of nations, political and economic pressures, armed expansionism and actions to achieve political superiority.
- To support the countries which are attacked, immediately and effectively by every means and if required by destroying the war machinery of the aggressors.
- To work for the establishment of the required assistance and solidarity environment for a happy, free world which is confident of the future.
Now we can take a look at how the Turkish soldiers accomplished the war tasks which they undertook.The Tasks Accomplished by our Soldiers in Korean Combat
The Turkish Brigade had been the subject of the world's praise, by showing a very superior combat capability which provided our state with honor through the successes it won one after the other during the three year period of blood and fire starting from the hardest and most critical moment it entered the battlefield until the signing of the "Ceasefire" agreement. Because addressing all the battles of the Turkish Brigades, however briefly, will extend the subject, we will just suffice to list the battles fought and briefly address the most important ones.
The Turkish brigades, between the dates of November 1950 and July 1953, have fought the following battles the Kunuri diversion; the Kumyangjangni-Illi-431-639 -Imjin attacks; 22/23 April 1951; the Chorwon-Seoul diversion; the Taegyewonni defense; the Barhar-Kumhwa-701 attacks; and the Wegas defense battles. We will not just talk here about the battles accomplished by our Brigades--for the Turkish brigades have accomplished all their war tasks without default but about four important battles which affected the course of the war. And these are the battles of Kunuri, Kumjangjangni, Taegyewonni and Wegas.
The Kunuri Battle
The United Nations Forces started to attack on the morning of 24 November 1950, under the command of Five Star General Douglas MacArthur with the objective being the Yalu River (Border Line). At this time the Turkish Brigade was constituting the reserve force of the IXth Army Corps, 3.5 km. west southwest of the town of Kunuri. The attacks of the United Nations Forces had easily developed until the evening of 25 November. However the attacks of the Chinese which started as raids on the night of 25/26 November 1950, created great surprise and confusion at the fronts.
When morning came on 26 November it was understood that the Chinese Forces had penetrated the front of the II'nd South Korean Army Corps situated in the Central Segment of the front and that they had stalked behind the U.S. Divisions situated on the western segment of the front.
Especially the Chinese Forces, advancing towards Tokchon from the area of the II'nd South Korean Army Corps had started to threaten the Eighth Army and specifically the IX'th Army Corps.
Therefore upon the IX'th Army Corps advance the Turkish Brigade on reserve against the forces threatening its eastern side and back. After dusk on 26 November the Turkish Brigade began to march by way of the Kunuri-Kaechon-Sinnimni-Wawon-Tokchon. The Brigade was given the task of capturing the town of Tokchon. The Turkish Brigade had started to advance towards the battlefield having undertaken a very rare and heavy war task which reserves could ever meet against disproportional enemy forces and under negative conditions.
Having spent the night in Wawon the Brigade restarted to march at 0530 in the morning (27 November). As the units were crossing the steep Karill Yon Mountain and as the Advance Guard were descending on the Tokchon Valley (1430 hrs) the Army Corps gave the order "Do not advance any further and get on the defensive on the line which you have reached." General Tahsin RAZICI having read in the order the seemingly innocent and unimportant news "If you do not have troops in Changsangni, our aircraft have identified a force about the size of a regiment whose nationality is unknown" perceived a danger and ordered the Turkish Brigade to get on the defensive not where the Army Corps ordered, but on the Wawon line 15 km, back west. General Yazici's decision would take the Turkish Brigade back from the point of destruction and bring it to a point which would prevent the destruction of the allied forces.
Let us briefly dwell here. We have to show the degree of validity of the claim that "the U.S. general spent the Brigade by using it as a pawn" which had been tried to be imposed on our public. When our accounts are looked at it is obvious how General Tahsin Yazici took responsibility whenever required to protect the existence of the Brigade and to successfully implement the tasks of war. General Yazici never gave in to the short and dark orders of the U.S. generals such as Stop-Go.
The reinforced Reconnaisance Unit which was the rear guard of the Brigade prevented the enemy from striking the Brigade at night, by distracting the enemy raid which started on the night of 27/28 November at 2400 until dawn on 28 November. At 0800 hours on 28 November the Wawon Battle of the Brigade began. That day all of the attacks of the numerically superior enemy forces first against the Pass Axis and then against the Pass' Points of Shoulder were broken. In the fore-noon the close enveloping operations were defeated with our counter offensives.
In the afternoon upon the efforts of the enemy to cut the Kunuri-Wawon road by transferring forces to the back beyond the effective area of the Brigade, General Yazici ordered preparations to be made for the withdrawal of the Brigade to the Sinnimni segment. It was understood that both sides of the Brigade were open and that friendly forces had withdrawn. We would want to strongly emphasize this point.
During the Korean War the enemy always found the opportunity to surround the Brigade by penetrating neighboring friendly unit fronts. But no enemy attack ever succeeded in penetrating the front of the Turkish Brigade. The Brigade started to withdraw to the Sinnimni segment from Wawon after dusk at 1830 hours. The units which withdrew to Sinnimni hastily started to occupy defensive positions. At 2400 hours the attack of the enemy started in the form of a raid. While the units which were situated in favorable terrain continued to defend, the other units of the Brigade failing to hold started to withdraw towards Kunuri. Part of the units which had withdrawn were stopped west of Sinnimni through the tough and resolved stance of the Brigade Command and put in a new defensive position.
Fore-noon on 29 November an attack was undertaken with an Infantry Company to save the II'nd Battalion and the 2nd Company which were under enemy encirclement in Sinnimni. The enemy circle was broken and the safe withdrawal of the units to Kaechon was provided for. The attacks undertaken by the enemy in the afternoon against the Kaechon position were destroyed to their last soldiers. However the forces which the enemy sent beyond the effective area of the Brigade to the back could not be stopped.
Faced with this situation, at 1530 hours General Tahsin Yazici ordered the II'nd and III'rd Battalions to withdraw to the west of Kaechon. Before the battalions could get 2 km. away from Kaechon, they were divided into small groups by the effective fires they received from three directions. As the Brigade was entering the night of 29/30 November, the Hacham-Kunuri road was cut and the enemy circle was complete. At 1715 hours the I'st Battalion which had withdrawn from Kaechon engaged in combat in the Hacham circle. Although the units were dispersed and liason and management was non existent, the small groups managed by the young officers started to break the enemy circle. The Brigade succeeded in getting out of the Hacham circle through attack and infiltration actions which continued all night long.
On 30 November 1950 the various groups advancing to Sunchon from the south of Tunuri met with a new enemy circle here. The Sunchon Pass had been under enemy control for the past two days. The attacks which the 2nd US Division undertook from the north and the British Brigade from the south had not produced results. After a short rest, our infantry started to attack the enemy which had dug in on the Sunchon Pass. With this attack in which US Infantry and tanks also participated the pass was opened.
The bayonet of the Turkish Infantry had once again asserted its rule, and had opened the Sunchon Pass where the 2nd Division had come up against a stone wall. Thus the battles of the Brigade which were given the name Kunuri came to an end in a successful conclusion. The Turkish Brigade had succeeded to provide the necessary time and space for the withdrawal by preventing the encirclement of the Eighth Army and the IXth Army Corps and the destruction of the 2nd US Division, through the battles it fought on the dates of 27-30 November. The Turkish Brigade, which had no war experience, was affecting a great battle from its roots, was saving the friendly Army, which was starting to roll down a dangerous cliff, by stopping the superior numbers of enemy forces. Thus the Brigade was achieving fame in the world by playing an important role in the course of the war in its first battle.
Echoes of the Kunuri Battle
"4500 soldiers in the middle of the firing line have known how to create miracle. The sacrifices of the Turks will eternally remain in our minds." - Washington Tribune
"The courageous battles of the Turkish Brigade have created a favorable effect on the whole United Nations Forces." - Time
"The surprise of the Korean battles were not the Chinese but the Turks. It is impossible at this moment to find a word to describe the heroism which the Turks have shown in the battles." - Abent Post
"The Turks have shown in Kunuri a heroism worthy of their glorious history. The Turks have gained the admiration of the whole world through their glorious fighting in the battles." - Figaro
"The Turks who have been known throughout history by their courage and decency, have proved that they have kept these characteristics, in the war which the United Nations undertook in Korea." - Burner - U.S. Congressman
"There is no one left who does not know that the Turks, our valuable allies, are hard warriors and that they have accomplished very great feats at the front." - Claude Pepper, U.S. Senator
"I now understand that the vote I gave in favor of assistance to Turkey was the most fitting vote I gave in my life. Courage, bravery and heroism are the greatest virtues which will sooner or later conquer. In this matter, I know no nation superior to the Turks." - Rose - U.S. Senator
"While the Turks were for a long time fighting against the enemy and dying, the British and Americans were withdrawing. The Turks, who were out of ammunition, affixed their bayonets and attacked the enemy and there ensued a terrible hand to hand combat. The Turks succeeded in withdrawing by continuous combat and by carrying their injured comrades on their backs. They paraded at Pyongyang with their heads held high." - G.G. Martin - British Lieutenant General
"The Turkish forces have shown success above that expected in the battles they gave in Korea." - General Collings - Commander US Army
"We owe the escape of thousands of United Nations troops out of a certain encirclement to the heroism of the Turkish soldiers. The Turkish soldiers in Korea have added a new and unforgettable page of honor to the customs and legends of heroism of the Turkish nation." - Emanuel Shinwell - U.K. Minister of Defense
"The heroic soldiers of a heroic nation, you have saved the Eighth Army and the IX'th Army Crops from encirclement and the 2nd Division from destruction. I came here today to thank you on behalf of the United Nations Army." - General Walton H. Walker, Commander, Eighth Army
"The Turks are the hero of heroes. There is no impossibility for the Turkish Brigade." - General Douglas MacArthur - United Nations Forces Commander in Chief
"The military situation in Korea is being followed with concern by the whole American public. But in these concerned days, the heroism shown by the Turks has given hope to the American nation. It has inculeated them with courage. The American public fully appreciates the value of the services rendered by the Turkish Brigade and knows that because of them the Eighth American Army could withdraw without disarray. The American public understands that the United Nations Forces in Korea were saved from encirclement and from falling in to the hands of the communists by the heroism shown by the Turks." - 2 December 1950, from the commentary of a US radio commentator The Turkish Brigade, as can be understood from the summary of the Kunuri battles and the echoes it produced in the world, had successfully accomplished its mission. The Brigade was proud to have informed the country of the news of success which the state and nation expected, at the highest level. A handful of soldiers had provided the state with power, great opportunities and esteem.Kumyangjangni Battle
The United Nations Forces had been morally and materially very shaken at the end of the enemy attacks which had started on the night of 25/26 November 1951. The efforts to stop the enemy were not producing any results. The Chinese who had gained the initiative were advancing and were striking the United Nations Forces blows one after the other.
Winter, snow, battles lost one after the other and the losses suffered had left nothing resembling morale in the United Nations soldiers. The atmosphere was one of total defeat. The Chinese had become something which could not be stood up against or dealt with. From private to general the Army was engulfed in an air of subversive, dissolving, and collapsing panic. The various reconnaissance units were returning in panic and giving exaggerated hope breaking reports. Thus under these conditions plans had been started to be prepared for the evacuation of Korea and the units were ordered to reconnoiter secretly the avenues of withdrawal and places to board transport.
In these hopeless and dark days in which the soldiers had completely lost their will to fight and the Chinese had advanced just waving their arms, according to rumors General MacArthur said "Try for once the Turkish Brigade, wait for the news which will come from them. Do not make a decision before letting the Turkish Brigade reconnoiter."
Whatever the case was, the Brigade this time was being sent to the fire at a critical stage, just as it was at Kunuri. The Brigade was being given a new and important war task, which would play an important role on the testing of the battles.
On 25 January 1951 the Turkish Brigade started to advance towards enemy lines by starting from two columns. After advancing 1.5 km. the enemy was engaged. The companies started to attack enemy positions like arrows out of bows. At 100 hours the fortified positions of the enemy were entered and enemy resistance was crushed. The companies did not wait long to open and spread again and started to look for the enemy.
After advancing north about 2.5 km. the defensive positions of the enemy were encountered at the 185 altitude Hill line. The 10th Company succeeded in entering the enemy defense position at 1500 hours in this segment where intensive fire battles took place. A relentless and close combat had started all along the front. The enemy was defending its position literally to "its last breath". Darkness had fallen but decisive results could not be obtained. The enemy was resisting and our soldiers were attacking. A very complex and dangerous situation had occurred with the enemy and friendly forces mixed within each other.
The Army Corps gave the order for "Turks to fix their bayonets where they reach and not withdraw even one step".
The companies thought attacking and finishing the job of the enemy more logical than waiting nose to nose with the enemy under the maddening cold and as if on cue started attack all together. At 0500 hours on the morning of 25 January the defensive positions of the enemy were wholly captured. The Infantry who did not want to let the enemy take a breather continued to advance at 0700 hours on 26 January. After 5 km. a new defensive line of the enemy was encountered. The Brigade was attacking with all its capabilities in this segment which the enemy was defending with all its power and insistence.
In this battle in which the Brigade emerged with honor, the attack which the enemy undertook against Seoul produced no results. The command which did not want to miss the opportunity formed by the Brigade breaking the attack power and morale of the enemy did not delay the decision to replace defense with attack. The enemy which could not find the opportunity to change its battle formation from attack to defense started to withdraw towards the 38th parallel suffering a heavy defeat.
As the Brigade was taken back after this famous new battle it was met with the enthusiastic show of sympathy and appreciation by the friendly soldiers along the way. The friendly soldiers were running along the road and shouting, "The First Returns". The location where the Brigade gave the night battle on 17/18 May was given the name "The Turkish Fortress".
The commander in chief of the United Nations Forces, General Matthew B. Ridgway, said, "I had heard of the fame of the Turkish soldiers before I came to Korea. The truth is I had not really believed what I had heard. But I now understand that in fact you are the best, and most trustworthy soldiers of the world" and thus explained the emotions he felt and the assessments he reached from the Teagyewonni Battle.
Now let us briefly and last address the Wegas [Vegas] Battle of the Brigade.
The Turkish Brigade Provides "Cease Fire"
In June 1951 the United Nations Forces had advanced up to the Imjin River-Chorwon-Kumhwa line. The trials at 1950 and 1951 could not obtain decisive results and the parties mutually went on the defensive and stopped the attack operations. This meant that the Korean War had remained where it started and that the war had not reached the established objective. Now no other operations could be made except ambush, reconnaissance and battle front line conflicts. The great military operation had stopped. The parties who understood that they could not solve the Korean problem with arms had started "cease fire" discussions.
The discussions held at Panmunjon were protracting and were not reaching a result. The fact that the discussions were often being out and reconciliation could not be provided was increasing the chances of the big military operation restarting. For this reason the parties were strengthening their defense lines, and were waiting ready to meet possible attacks. The enemy had started to prepare in order to once more try its luck with arms. The attack which had been undertaken not much later with large forces against the front of the Turkish Brigade had two aims. Either they would have their demands accepted at the Panmunjomn "cease fire" discussions or they would reach the conclusion by penetrating allied lines.
Thus this attack which the enemy had much previously planned in a detailed manner and put into implementation by using all its experience had started on 28 May 1953 at 1948 hours. The techniques employed and the will to fight shown by the enemy in this attack had been of a commendable level. In this attack, which continued for thirty hours, all the echelons of the enemy from private to general fought with all their strength in the recognition of the importance of the aim pursued.
For this battle would be the last one to establish the result in Korea.
In case of defeat they would have to accept the consequence, but if success would be achieved the military operation would develop and at least political advantages would be gained.
Thus the Turkish Brigade had to again meet an enemy attack which had a decisive aim and which was well prepared and resolute. In the front the positions were very close to each other. Such a situation had serious tactical disadvantages. Besides, having to wait in tight, humid and dark positions was tiring and irritating the soldiers. As the days passed in such a manner on 28 May at 1948 hours the war again became bloody with the attack of the enemy supported by intense fire. The enemy attacks which intensified on the front of the II'nd Battalion of the Brigade led to very bloody and sometimes crisis-like battles on the hills of Garson [Carson], Big Wegas [Vegas], Elko and Little Wegas [Vegas] which continued for thirty hours.
The aforementioned hills changed hands frequently during the bloody battles which continued in big savagery from 1948 hours on 28 May 1953 to 2400 hours on 29 May night and day without stopping. The enemy started the attack at 1948 by smokebombing the Little Wegas Hill. It entered positions at 2000 hours. As the enemy was reinforcing Little Wegas, our Infantry counter attacked at 2115 with fire support. At 2119 the enemy started to run having failed to hold. The enemy which managed to capture a bunker was destroyed at 2151 with bombs and bayonet charges. At 2152 hours, Garson and Elko were completely smoked. The enemy is turning Big Wegas into hell with artillery and mortar fire. The enemy which entered Big Wegas was thrown back at 2158 with bayonet charges.
Ammunition began to run low at the battle front lines. At 2208 the enemy re-entered Big Wegas. At 2220 hours enemy reinforcements reached Big Wegas. At 2220 hours enemy reinforcements reached Big Wegas. The enemy was subjected to intense artillery fire. At 2240 a counter attack was undertaken against Big Wegas. The enemy attacked Garson at 2245 hours. At 1315 hours our Infantry re-capture Big Wegas. The enemy who had entered Elko was thrown back at 2315 hours. No opportunity was given to the enemy, which had entered Little Wegas, to hold and as a result of a counter attack the Hill was re-captured at 2334 hours. At 2330 the enemy entered Big Wegas. At 2353 the enemy attack against Elko and Garson began. Wired and wireless communications were cut.
The situation started to present a full scale crisis. Hand to hand combat is continuing at battle front lines. At 0040 hours the enemy started to attack Little Wegas. The enemy is trying to capture the battle front lines before daylight. At 0120 the enemy enters Garson.
At 0150 fighting continues with the enemy who has entered some of the bunkers on Little Wegas and Big Wegas. Communications cannot be established with Garson. At 0323 those enemy soldiers entering Little Wegas and those approaching in order to reinforce surrender to our soldiers.
At 0347 the Brigade gives the order to attack Big Wegas. Garson is in the hands of the enemy. At 0427 the enemy reinforces Big Wegas. At 0505 Garson is being shelled. Little Wegas in holding but the wounded can not be evacuated. With the attack at 1050 we take Big Wegas. The enemy is running. Everywhere there are dead and wounded. At 1115 the American company attacked Garson from Elko, however, upon being surrounded by the Chinese, started to withdraw at 1600 hours. At 1543 the Chinese entered Elko. Hand grenade combat started in Elko. The enemy occupied a bunker. After this it entered Big Wegas at 1615. Our infantry immediately counter attacked and threw the enemy back. The battle is continuing high tension.
At 1933 hours the enemy started to attack Little Wegas from Big Wegas.
At 2005 our 2'nd Artillery Battery started to burn. At 2021 it had completely burned. At 2050 the Division decided to evacuate Wegas.
The enemy can not enter Wegas. But at 2109 our infantry withdraw upon orders. At 2020 Wegas is completely evacuated. The command who fought the enemy had been given the required lesson decided to stop the bloody battle. At the end of the bloody battles which continued for thirty hours the enemy, with the withdrawal of our battalion, had captured Big Wegas, Elko and Garson. But because it had used up all its attack strength it could not undertake another attack against the main battle line.
The attacks of the enemy which it undertook with the large forces it had concentrated and with strong artillery and mortar groups, for thirty hours was caught up in the battle front lines. During these battles, according to the report of our artillery advance surveillance officer, we suffered 300 and the enemy around 2000 casualties. On the other hand General Ridgway explains the casualties suffered in the battles with the following figures "The Turkish Brigade suffered 104 dead and 376 wounded. The enemy losses were established to be 2200 dead and 1075 wounded" (*).
(*) Refer to "The Korean War" written by the General Matthew Ridgway - p. 220.
The enemy understood after this battle that there was no option but to "cease fire" and to restart the laying-down-of-arms negotiations in a lively and willing manner. In fact before long the "cease fire" was signed. The Turkish Brigade affected the "cease fire" which was signed in Korea, through the battles it fought on 28 and 29 May 1953. As can be seen, the Turkish Brigade had often demonstrated successes during the Korean battles, which affected the course of the war. Finally, the Turkish Brigade also fought the last battle leading to the "cease fire". Of course all these battles were not easy and without loss.
The major conclusion reached from the battles fought by the Turkish Brigades in Korea is that the Turkish soldiers have not bruised the impression of historical Turkish heroism, the young generations who had experience with new and modern warfare weapons and equipment and also of war reaffirmed their fighting capability in this war of coalition in which they participated; demonstrated that they were worthy of the trust and support of the State and Nation expected from them in the best manner.
No doubt that our State would not withold its attention and support from the obeying, sacrificing and trustworthy soldiers who had really achieved a great task; had provided great political and economic opportunities and esteem for the State, and would do its utmost for them to reach the level of life they deserved. The soldiers who fought in Korea were proud to return to their homeland with these hopes, with joy and peace of mind. Ataturk's aphorism "In no army of the world has a soldier been encountered with a heart so pure and so strong as yours" has been the motto of the Turkish soldier.
The Great Services Rendered to the Security by the Turkish Brigade
Our soldiers who fought in Korea
- Firstly, have demonstrated that the Turkish Armed Forces have a strong advanced "military culture".
- Have demonstrated that the "tradition of heroism" of the Turkish Army is continuing, that the Turkish soldier who is known as a hard warrior has not changed, that their capabilities as warriors are maintained.
- Have proven that they are superior as units or individuals, under all circumstances, beyond comparison with the enemy.
- The battles fought by the Turkish Brigades in Korea are being studied at foreign military schools and the conclusions are being tried and implemented.
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower who came to Ankara while the Korean War was continuing indicated that the NATO door which was once shut in our face was being opened to Turkey by saying that "No doubt the strongest and most reliable protector of the European civilization is the Turkish Army".
- As a friend looked for by Europe, Turkey was immediately accepted to NATO and the equipping of the Turkish Army was given important priority.
- The insufficient aid to develop Turkey also in an economic way started to significantly increase and take place at an effective level. Thus an indirect but effective and great contribution was made for the development of Turkey.
- Because of the Turkish soldier who had taken the title of "Number One Soldier" of the war in Korea, the "soldier associations" of foreign friendly countries had taken a very beneficial attitude and understanding for the Turkish nation. In fact, we saw this attitude recently in an event which took place in Australia in the undertakings of the ANZAC's who had great respect for Turks and which continued to feel this way with the Korean War.
As it is known, the Australian government like the European countries, had decided to allow workers to immigrate to its country. However these workers could not be of the yellow or second class races. This was a government decision. It was learned by the Turkish Ambassador in Australia (Mr. Baha Vefa Karatay) that Turkey had been included in the second class races and this had created disillusionment. At a cocktail party in which ANZAC's were also present our Ambassador hinted at this decision which their government took while talking to the ANZAC's. The ANZAC's did not quite believe what they heard. However when they found out that what was said was true, they immediately acted and persuaded their government to reverse its decision. The taking of Turkish workers into Australia only started after this undertaking.
- We could say that the extraordinary successes shown by the Turkish soldiers in Korea have also been effective in preventing the cold and warm conflicts around us, which often take a fiery form, from jumping our borders.
We Have Given Medals to 3 US Generals.
The medals of Matthew Ridgway, Maxwell Taylor, and Mark Clark who were found worthy of award by the Korea War Veterans Association were presented by Ambassador Sukru Elekdag in a ceremony conducted at the Washington Embassy. Washington (Hurriyet) - Medals were given to 3 retired generals who commanded the United Nations forces during the Korean War, in a ceremony said "The days we fought side by side with the Turkish soldier in Korea are unforgettable memories for me." In the ceremony which was also attended by officials of the U.S. Defense and State Departments, Ambassador Sukru Elekdag who personally presented the awards of General Mark Clark, General Maxwell Taylor and General Matthew Ridgway who were found worthy of award by the Korea War Veterans Association, said "The Korea War in which Turkish and American soldiers fought side by side has constituted an important milestone in the relations between the two countries."
Distinguished Unit Caption
The Congress of the United States of America has awarded the Turkish Brigade which fought in Korea the "Distinguished Unit Citation." The "Distinguished Unit Citation" is found world wide in only three military units, two of which are U.S. units and one of which is a Turkish unit. "We live together with the Korea Heroes. History is congratulating each Turk."
*Source Pages. 4-11, "Three Years in Korea A Brief History of I US Corps, 12 September 1950-to-12 September 1953," prepared by Historical Section, G-3, I Corps.
On 19 September 1945 the Corps, with the assigned 33d Division, sailed from Lingayen Gulf for Japan, landing on the Island of Honshu three weeks after the formal surrender, on 25 September. Other units of the Corps followed and were assigned areas of responsibility. There followed a period during which the terms of the surrender were supervised and enforced; Japanese military installations and material were seized, troops were disarmed and discharged, and the means of warfare disposed of. The manifold duties of the Occupation included conversion of industry; repatriation of Foreign Nationals; and supervision of the complex features of all phases of Japanese government, economics, education, and industry. From 15 November 1945 until 1 February 1948 the Corps was commanded by Major General Roscoe B. Woodruff. As the purely Occupational mission was accomplished, troops of the Corps turned more to military training and field exercises designed to prepare them for combat. At this time the Corps was comprised of the 24th and 25th Infantry Divisions which were deployed on Kyushu and mid-Honshu respectively. Lieutenant General (then Major General) Joseph M. Swing assumed command of the Corps in February 1948, to be succeeded by Lieutenant General (then Major General) John B. Coulter in February of the following year. On March 28, 1950, the Corps was formally inactivated in Japan.
The Korean Conflict
The Corps had only a short period of inactivity, for with the entry of American troops into Korea it was again to be the "first"; I US Corps was reactivated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on 2 August 1950 and advance elements of the headquarters took their place in the Pusan perimeter on 27 August. The headquarters, designated "Task Force Jackson," assumed control of the I Republic of Korea Corps, the 21st Regimental Combat Team, and the 3d Battalion Combat Team of the 9th Infantry Regiment. On 12 September, under command of Lieutenant General (then Major General) Frank M. Milburn, the Corps became operational.
Four days later the Corps participated in the attack that was to mark the changing tide of American fortunes; from the Pusan perimeter Corps troops pushed northward against crumbling enemy opposition to establish contact with forces of the 7th Infantry Division driving southward from the beachhead established by the amphibious landings at Inchon. Major elements of the North Korean Army were destroyed and cut off in this aggressive penetration; the link-up was effected south of Suwon on 26 September. The offensive was continued on to the north, past Seoul, and across the Thirty-eighth Parallel on 1 October. The momentum of the attack was maintained, and the race to the North Korean Capitol, Pyongyang, ended on 19 October when elements of the 1st ROK and 1st Cavalry Divisions both entered the city. The advance continued, but against unexpectedly increasing enemy resistance. On 25 October the first Chinese prisoners of the Eighth Army front were taken by Corps troops. By the end of October the city of Chongju, forty miles from the Yalu River border of North Korea, had been captured.
The complexion of the conflict suddenly changed when on 27 November massed Chinese attacks were launched against troops of the Corps. The overwhelming strength of these massed assaults forced the withdrawal of friendly forces. Valiant actions, unnumbered examples of personal intrepidity, and the skillful use of all forces and agencies of the Corps enabled the withdrawal to be effected. The Chinese attacked in the face of tremendous fires, seemingly indifferent to the number of their casualties. Friendly forces were able to remove much of their supplies; that which could not be removed was destroyed to preclude its use by the enemy. Early in 1951, Seoul fell for the second time to the Communists. Following the establishment of defenses south of the capital city, the United Nations forces resumed the offensive; on 15 January the Corps was attacking to the north, Seoul was liberated again on 14 March. The momentum of this attack carried the Corps over the Thirty-eighth Parallel.
As Corps troops approached the "Iron Triangle" formed by the cities of Chorwon, Kumhwa, and Pyonggang-- a vital enemy supply and communication center--the Communist resistance increased. On 22 April 1951 the enemy took up the offensive; his attacks were again marked by masses of men thrown against Corps positions without regard for losses.
These fanatical attacks were countered by the controlled withdrawal of friendly troops, according to prearranged plans, to previously prepared defensive positions. At each position the maximum casualties were inflicted upon the enemy and most advantageous use was made of our fire power, then our forces were moved to the next phase line prior to being over-run by the enemy. This tactic proved successful and the momentum of the Communist offensive was absorbed, it was stopped short of Seoul, and then its depleted forces were driven back by the United Nations counter-offensive that carried the Corps troops north of the Imjin River, to the positions that they were to occupy with slight alteration until the Armistice Agreement was reached more than two years later.
The line was stabilized by 27 May 1951.The peace talks began in July, and action along the front was light for the remainder of the summer. Lieutenant General (then Major General) John W. O'Danile assumed command of the Corps in July. In October, Operation "Commando" was launched with the objective of improving Corps defensive positions in the vicinity of Chorwon and of enabling our forces to develop the rail line from Seoul to Chorwon to Kumwha. The missions of the offensive were achieved and the action for the remainder of the year continued light.
While the period from late 1951 until the Armistice was agreed upon and signed in July 1953 saw no battle ranging over large areas, no great offensive moves, the whole period was one of intense military activity.
With the relative stability of the fighting lines came the necessity for constructing semi-permanent fortifications. As the enemy's artillery potential rose, Corps troops were forced to increase the strength of these positions. This work was never completely done enemy fire reduced many bunkers that had to be rebuilt, thaws following cold weather weakened emplacements that had to be repaired, roads to grant access for tanks and positions from which they could deliver direct fire into enemy positions had to be constructed.
In addition to this work was the ever-present necessity for aggressive patrolling to locate and destroy the enemy, to capture prisoners, and to screen friendly positions and activities from the Communists. These essential patrols were not to receive much-deserved publicity, but to the men who had to go on them, they represented combat of an intense and extremely dangerous nature.
The major offensive engagements of the period were generally limited objective attacks and raids by I US Corps troops to keep the enemy off the terrain features close-in to the Main Line of Resistance, to hinder the enemy build-up, and to keep the troops in an aggressive attitude.
The major defensive engagements were efforts to hold outposts located in front of the Corps defense positions and intended to protect the main positions. These efforts were made under severe handicaps, for these positions were frequently far out in "no man's land" and easier of access to the attacking enemy than to friendly reinforcement and counterattack. In some cases they had to be evacuated in view of the cost of holding them against obvious enemy intentions to gain them at any cost. Under these circumstances the outposts could no longer be considered of tactical value; they had outlived their function of early warning and delaying enemy attacks on the Main Line of Resistance.
Constant engagement in minor offensive or defensive missions, continual training of all units, and continuous alert - these characterized the activities after the late fall of 1951.
For three weeks, beginning in the last days of December 1951, the Communists unsuccessfully attempted to wrest positions near Tumae-ri from the determined 1st ROK Division. These efforts cost an estimated seven thousand enemy casualties. In June 1952, a ten-day attack against 45th Infantry Division outposts was likewise hurled back.
On 28 June 1952 Lieutenant General (then Major General) Paul W. Kendall assumed command of the Corps. The aggressive patrolling continued; the toll taken of the enemy attackers mounted steadily as proof to the enemy that his attempts to penetrate the Corps' Main Line of Resistance were futile, but he seemed not to consider this terrible cost.
September began with renewed enemy attacks against the outposts that protected the main line. Enemy attacks up to regimental size against garrisons of platoon and company strength were turned back without exception by the determined infantrymen of the Corps aided by the skill of their supporting tankers, artillerymen, and service troops. Fighting teamwork of the highest order, sparked by individual and unit bravery and devotion to duty, was demonstrated to be superior to these fanatical attacks of the Communist hoards. The names of Bunker Hill, The Hook, Kelly, Old Baldy, Nori, and Pork Chop are synonymous with the gallantry of the men of I US Corps. All along the front, the enemy was driven back with thousands of casualties.
On 23 January 1953, the first major action of the year was initiated with a raid by aggressive infantrymen of the 1st ROK Division against the enemy's Big Nori positions. The next months saw many such raids which harassed the enemy, captured prisoners, and destroyed defensive works.
Beginning in March, the Communists were continually attacking the Corps outposts. In that month, troops on Old Baldy were withdrawn, on orders from Corps, after extracting a tremendous price in casualties from the enemy.
On 10 April 1953 Lieutenant General (then Major General) Bruce C. Clarke, who was to see the Corps through the remainder of its combat, assumed command from General Kendall.
The fighting on the outposts continued; the 7th Infantry Division stopped wave after wave of the Chinese thrown against Pork Chop. Troops of the Turkish Brigade, attached to the 2th Infantry Division, defending Berlin, Vegas, Carson, and Elko fought fiercely in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. They were ordered to evacuate all but the Berlin position at the end of May. The Commonwealth Division ejected the Chinese after their assault on the Hook. The 1st ROK Division troops were ordered off the positions on Queen, Bak, and Hill 179 when heavy enemy assaults divested the positions of their tactical value. The closing days of the fighting saw the 7th Infantry Division withdrawn from Pork Chop and the 1st Marine Division ordered to evacuate the Berlin positions for the same reason.
The truce negotiations which had been in progress for the preceding two years reached an end with the signing of the Armistice Agreement at 1000 on 27 July 1953. According to the terms of the agreement, it became effective twelve hours later and required the withdrawal of Corps troops two thousand meters from the Demarcation Line running between the contending forces. The word was passed to the lowest echelons of the Corps and the firing ceased a few minutes before the historic hour. As the realization that the fighting was over spread among the front-line soldiers, they emerged slowly from their bunkers, not in an elated mood as might have been expected, but with the knowledge that another phase of the war had been reached and a sober understanding that the truce represented a temporary cease-fire requiring the continuation of the alert, ready-for-action attitude of the past. The old positions were dismantled for the salvage of timbers, wire, sandbags, and other fortification materials needed on the new line. The troops moved back to the new Main Battle Position and began the hard work of preparing it to meet the threat of another Communist onslaught. The Demilitarized Zone, extending two thousand meters on either side of the Demarcation Line, had to be marked and lanes through it cleared of mines and obstacles. Supply and service installations had to be displaced, roads to the new areas had to be constructed, and new plans had to be drawn.
As these activities taper off, the training of replacements and the constant re-training of units assumes greater importance. In every mind is the knowledge that an enemy attack my come; in every heart is the determination to turn it back.
Major American units which have served in the I US Corps in the Korean conflict have been the 1st Cavalry, 1st Marine, 2d Infantry, 3d Infantry, 7th Infantry, 24th Infantry, 25th Infantry, and the 45th Infantry Divisions. Others of the United Nations having fought by the side of these American units are the 1 Commonwealth Division, composed of British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and Indian troops; the Capitol, 1st, 7th, and9th Republic of Korea Infantry Divisions; and smaller units, integrated into American divisions, representing the Philippines, Belgium, Thailand, Greece, Turkey, the Netherlands, France, Colombia, and Ethiopia. Thus the I US Corps has achieved its success as an Allied unit.
On 12 September 1953, the I US Corps completed three years of service in the Korean conflict. It saw the darkest days of the Pusan perimeter give way to the elation of a victorious drive almost to the Yalu. It absorbed the general offensive that marked the intervention of the Chinese Communist Forces into the conflict, and later pushed these forces out of South Korea. Following this drive it was again called upon to stanch the flood of attacking Chinese as they mounted their second and last major effort to drive the United Nations Forces from Korea. After a masterfully fought delaying action, I US Corps troops again turned to the offensive and drove northward until halted by the Communist request for the initiation of the "truce talks." In the stabilized war which followed, Corps troops were ordered to hold their positions. This they did; the enemy was never able to penetrate the Corps' Main Line of Resistance despite his desperate efforts to do so.
Whatever the Nation's leaders call upon it to do, the "First" Corps will fulfill future missions as it has past ones. The heritage of I US Corps -- success -- is a matter of record.
Battles of Honors - Korean War
Copyright © 1998 Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library
Copyright © 1998 Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library