Monthly Archives: August 2013

Korean War (9)

187th RCT jump from FEAF transports

187th RCT jump from FEAF transports

18 October 1950, General Peng and his Communist “volunteers” crossed the Manchurian border and reached the town of Pakchon under the cover of night. Disguised as refugees, by the following day, 260,000 men and their artillery began crossing the Yalu River. They traveled over the concrete road atop the Suiho dam that MacArthur had been ordered NOT to destroy. With B-29s flying overhead, the CCF troops built wooden bridges, painted to look like the river, and submerged them to be unseen from above.

314th Troop Carrier Wing

314th Troop Carrier Wing

The 187th Rakkasans, after a final debriefing were informed that due to worsening weather condition their jump was delayed. 20 October, at 1030 hours, the troopers were told to ‘chute up’ and they began boarding 73 C-119s of the 314th Troop Carrier Wing and 40 C-47s from the 21st Troop Carrier Wing. At noon, the first plane took off headed for DZ William, southeast of Sukchon. Sfc William Ignatz recalled their rendezvous in a 9-plane V of Vs over the Han River and then going north along the west coast of Korea. Fighters strafed DZ William and at 1400 hours, he heard, “GO!” The veterans of WWII in his plane yelled, “Geronimo” as they jumped and only encountered sparse sniper fire. In all, 1,470 men and 74 tons of equipment were unloaded.

The 3/187th went south of Sukchon setting up roadblocks across the highways and railroad. The 1/187th was assigned to clear the Sukchon area and secure the high ground to the north. The 1st platoon of Engineers reached Songnani-ni at 1530 hours and was met by enemy fire. The porters continued to move their equipment and reached Namil-ni. General Bowen set up his headquarters post at Chanyi-ni on Hill 97.

DZ Easy was another jump, this one southwest of Sukchon and the Rakkasans marched into Sunchon in a column of twos. Pfc Kirksey remarked on the noise that echoed in the streets as the 2,500 North Koreans tossed their weapons. The two drops at the two DZs would total 4,000 men and 600 tons of materiel. Although many of the NKPA were already heading north, the jumps were considered a success. Unfortunately, the Allied POWs they were scheduled to rescue had previously been moved. (unknown to Allied intelligence) Unaware of the Chinese presence, MacArthur flew in for his fourth visit in time to witness the jumps.

October 1950 Korea map

October 1950 Korea map

21-22 October, I Company of the 3/187th, 8 miles south of Sukchon, headed down the railroad while K Company took the highway to meet up with the 27th Commonwealth Brigade coming north. I Company was caught in an ambush by a North Korean battalion and their 120mm mortars and 40mm guns. A heavy firefight ensued for two hours. With 90 men missing, they retreated back to Hill 281. Fortunately, the NKPA withdrew to their former positions. Medic Private First Class Richard G. Wilson, with I Company, returned to the battlefield of Opari to remain and tend the wounded. Two days later, his body was found riddled with bullets. He was given the Medal of Honor posthumously for self-sacrifice.

Harvey Kurtzman comic books  - Frontline Combat & Two-Fisted Tales were so well researched that the soldiers enjoyed them as much as the home front

Harvey Kurtzman comic books – Frontline Combat & Two-Fisted Tales were so well researched that the soldiers enjoyed them as much as the home front

The 1st Cavalry discovered the POW train, that the 187th was to intercept, heading toward Suchon. Many of the prisoners had previously been executed; out of 370 Americans, 23 were still alive although two died that night. On 22 October, the North Korean capital was moved to Sinuijiu.

937th Field Artillery self-propelled 155-mm "Long Tom" guns

937th Field Artillery self-propelled 155-mm “Long Tom” guns

K Company/187th had their battle one mile north of Yongyu. After the combat with heavy fire, they entered the town and dug in on Hill 163 just north. A line of hills ran diagonally across the railroad and highway between Pyongyang and Opari; 2,500 of the North Korean 239th Regiment were dug in there. A column of these troops strolled down the road pretending to be ROKs and they got away with the ruse until dawn broke. L Company and Headquarters Company could see who they truly were and opened fire. Heavy combat again followed and 3 G.I. machine-gunners were killed. MSgt. Willard Ryals, with bullets streaming passed him. reached one of the guns and fired back. He received the Silver Star. When Pyongyang was secure, I Corps headed to the Yalu River.

Two companies of the Argyll 1st Battalion moved into Yongyu and the Australian 3rd Battalion arrived. Four companies seized the road attacking the NKPA as they went on. The CO of the Argylls, Lt. Colonel Charles Greene, had his command post attacked by a large enemy force, but even as it came down to hand-to-hand combat, the NKPA lost about 270 KIA and 200 captured against the Australians having only 7 wounded. The enemy fled and the Middlesex 1st Battalion linked up with the American 187th RCT. The Presidential Citation was awarded to the 3rd Battalion/187th, the 3rd Platoon A Company 127th Engineers and the 2nd Section of the Antitank Platoon for the battle at Yongyu and then went into reserve until their next jump. The 1st Battalion received battle honours for the Battle of Pakchon.

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30 August 1950

Farewell Salutes –

Victor Keve – Brooklyn, NY & W. Palm Beach, FL; U.S. Army, WWII

Elden Arthur King – Highland, MI & Boynton Beach, FL; U.S. Army, Korea

Carroll Madison – Richmond, VA & Lake Worth, FL; U.S. Navy, WWII signal-man aboard ship, Atlantic Coast and D-Day

Joseph Jackson Paul – N. Palm Beach, FL; U.S. Army, SSgt. WWII

Philip Vultaggio – Amityville & Massapequa, NY & Delray Beach, FL; U.S. Army Pfc 115th Infantry/29th Division, WWII

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Resources: “Rakkasans” by Gen. EM Flanagan; “Korean War” by Stephen Badsey; “MacArthur’s War” by Stanley Weintraub; Palm Beach Post; National Archives;Tiny Tot Comics; U.S. Army Military History Institute

Korean War (8)

Lt. Dan Chandler briefs his "frogmen" before they set out to disarm mines

Lt. Dan Chandler briefs his “frogmen” before they set out to disarm mines

9 October 1950, the Marines began to debark, but each wave of troops was forced to wait for a rising tide. The Eighth Army now crossed the 38th parallel and by the following day, the Marines were headed for Hungnam. The ROKs, some with bleeding feet, continued north. Admiral Doyle criticized General Almond since the United Nations had stated that no non-Koreans troops were to be used in provinces bordering the Soviet Union or Manchuria. ROK troops were already reaching Wonsan by 11 October, making an amphibious landing unnecessary.

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To top things off, the waters off Wonsan were heavily filled with chemical, pressure and electronic mines. Admiral Struble assembled 21 minesweepers, 9 of which were Japanese. (This was against every diplomatic rule.) The clearing flotilla amassed at Sasebo and moved across the Japan Sea. The cruiser Rochester, with 5 destroyers, at first spotted 61 mines and then later discovered more than they could chart. The Missouri fired 163 rounds to detonate them, to no avail. After which, 39 fighter-bombers from the Leyte Gulf and the Philippine Sea dropped 1,000 lb. bombs, but concussion alone would not set off the hidden mines.

USS Merganser w/ USS Conserver off Wonsan, Korea

USS Merganser w/ USS Conserver off Wonsan, Korea

As of 9 October, the Allied forces were in a two-prong attack headed north. The Eighth Army, under General Walker was moving up from Seoul and X Corps, the victors at Inchon, on the eastern coast.

ROK minesweeper blown after hitting a mine

ROK minesweeper blown after hitting a mine

12 October, two Navy sweepers, Pledge & Pirate were blown up. Captain Richard Spofford called in the flying boats to assist the rescue of survivors. The mines seemed to multiply as a Japanese and ROK sweeper both disappeared; each had heavy casualties.

As Walker’s troops crossed over the 38th line, they found the NKPA had reorganized and reinforced their units. Hobart Gay’s 1st Cavalry went up against heavy resistance, but managed to get behind the enemy and capture Kumchon. Then, along with the 24th Division and the ROK 1st Division, they raced to Sariwon – the halfway point in the road to the North Korean capital.

The Argyll 1st Battalion

The Argyll 1st Battalion

The Scottish Argyll 1st Battalion, equipped with Sherman tanks, cleared the way for the 1st Cavalry and an orchard full of North Koreans. As evening came, the situation became confused. The NKPA thought the Argylls were Russian and the Scots believed the enemy were ROKs. Greetings were exchanged until Lieutenant Fairey realized the mistake and heavy fighting ensued. The North Koreans fled north – right into the Australian 3rd Battalion.

US Navy F-4U Corsair waits to take off from the USS Philippine Sea

US Navy F-4U Corsair waits to take off from the USS Philippine Sea

During this time, Moscow and Beijing were having heavy discussions concerning Korea. Mao wanted more Russian involvement and Stalin appeared to be reneging on his promises; Stalin wanted no war with the United States. When 2 Air Force jets strafed a Soviet airfield near Vladivostok on 8 October by mistake, the U.S. State Department offered an apology and compensation, but Stalin chose to ignore the incident altogether. MacArthur relieved the commander of the 49th Fighter-Bomber Group at K-2 in Taegu and ordered two of the pilots court-martialed.

12 October, Stalin sent Kim an invitation to rescue what was left of his North Korean army by crossing into Manchuria or Siberia. If Kim had accepted, the war would have been over then and there, but the following day, Mao confirmed that the Chinese would support the North Koreans. If war was to be fought with the U.S., best it be done on Korean soil was Mao’s ideology. Stalin responded by rescinding his invite to Kim and offered him good luck.

Back in the U.S., Senator Joseph McCarthy was in full swing with his “Communism in American Government” statements and claiming the Democratic party was soft on Communism. Three ex-FBI agents published, “Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television,” which became the infamous Black List of actors, composers, broadcasters, director, etc. The “red threat” and Cold War were in full swing.

Tuman and MacArthur on Wake Island, 15 Oct. 1950

Tuman and MacArthur on Wake Island, 15 Oct. 1950

Truman and MacArthur met on Wake Island 15 October and neither man was thrilled to be there. Their discussion lasted all of 90 minutes and the transcript was stamped TOP SECRET, filed and forgotten, but Colonel Larry Bunker stated that MacArthur expected the war to be over by Thanksgiving. (The Chinese were still not interring at this point.) When the conversation turned to France in Indochina, MacArthur stated, “…the best France has, couldn’t win… not an ounce of aggressiveness.” (The first ten American military advisers were already in Vietnam.) Truman closed the subject with, “You can’t do anything with the French.” Before he left, Truman presented the general with his fifth Distinguished Service Medal.

In his memoirs, MacArthur would write, “The conference on Wake Island made me realize that a curious and sinister change was taking place in Washington… This put me in an especially difficult situation. Up to now I had been engaged in warfare as it had been conducted through the ages – to fight to win. But I could see that the Korean War was developing into something quite different. There seemed to be a deliberate underestimating of the importance of the conflict to which the government had committed – and was expending – the lives of United States fighting men.” The CIA and the Brazilian Foreign Office, after their investigations, came to the same conclusion.

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The Face of War

The Face of War

Farewell Salutes –

Vivian Joyner – Racine, WA; U.S. Army nurse

Thomas Verell, Sr. – Alexandria, VA & Naples, FL; U.S. Army Reserves, Korea, 38 year career

Frederick Van Voorhees Bronner – Albany, NY & Jupiter, FL; U.S. Navy, USS Amphitrite (ARL-29), WWII

Henry A. Deppe – Eastchester & Rye, NY – U.S. Army, 1st Lieutenant, WWII

Frank Guimond, Jr. – Springfield, MA; USMC photo interpreter, Korea

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Berthold Beitz – 1913-2013

As a German businessman from a pro-Nazi family, he was sent to work in the Polish town of Boryslaw (now the Ukraine) as an executive for Carpathian Oil Co.. Upon seeing a Jewish mother who was carrying her child shot and killed, he began using his connections to save some 800 Jews from the Nazis. Some were even hidden in his cellar at home, where his wife cared for the. Letters he later received from the survivors were bound in a book. After the war, he became an envoy between East and West during the Cold War.

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Resources: “The Week magazine; National Archives; history.navy.mil; Truman Library; “Korean War” by Stephen Badsey; “The Korean War” by Maurice Isserman; “MacArthur’s War” by Stanley Weintraub; the Palm Beach Post

Korean War (7)

casualty evacuation, Sikorski S-51 in background

casualty evacuation, Sikorski S-51 in background

The 5th Marines were under MacArthur’s orders to capture Kimpo (ASAP) as it would be beneficial in retaking Seoul. A Marine Corsair landed on Kimpo as bulldozers prepared to fill the craters in the runways. He was hustled off the field and the official first aircraft to land was a Sikorsky helicopter from Marine Observation Squadron 6. The squadron’s 8 helicopters were the only such aircraft used in Korea.

Sept. 1950, LST Munsan wrecked near Chansadong

Sept. 1950, LST Munsan wrecked near Chansadong

22 September 1950, Walker’s 8th Army was barely moving as troops from the Inchon landing were nearing Seoul. The 187th Rakkasans began landing at Kimpo airfield. Lt.Colonel Delbert Munson assumed command of the field which had mainly been cleared by the previous troops. Once the entire regiment was in place, their mission was to clear the Kimpo peninsula; the 1st Platoon, L Company took the point to go after North Korean guerrillas that were heading north. On 27 September at 1230 hours, the 187th was ambushed by approximately 400 of the enemy and the heavy combat lasted 4 hours.

Sept. 1950, U.S. troops in Seoul

Sept. 1950, U.S. troops in Seoul

MacArthur departed for Japan, leaving General Almond with a reminder to take Seoul back. In the States, newspapers made headlines of the success at Inchon while reservists were being called up for duty. According to Colonel Alpha Bowser, Gen. O.P. Smith’s deputy, “… nothing was fast enough for Almond… he had a habit of treating the Han River like it had 5 or 6 bridges across it, and of course it had none.” On 24 September, Almond pulled his jeep in front of Gen. Smith’s command post to threaten the Marines 5th Regiment, in particular,(who had been fighting since the first landings), if they did not “make headway” in the next 24 hours, he would divert Gen. Barr’s 7th Division to the center of the Seoul front. Barr noted in his diary for that day, “Almond displayed a complete ignorance of the fighting qualities of the Marines.” On 29 September, the 1st Battalion of the 187th attacked, heading northwest, and 10 men were lost in the battle as they approached Tongjin. They continued sweeping the hills and then would call Naval aircraft in to finish off the area.

Inchon 15 Sept. 1950

Carol H. Graham, from Tuscola, Tx, w/ 3 POWs at Inchon, 15 Sept. 1950

Syngman Rhee anticipated being reinstated as head of a unified nation and Truman responded that the United Nations would decide if troops were to cross the 38th parallel. The fight for Seoul would be done house-by-house and street-by-street as the NKPA intensified. Almond continued to push the men in his attempts to keep on MacArthur’s schedule.

26 September, Russian T-34 tanks rolled down the avenues of Seoul and American Marines were there to fight them. Streets and individual buildings changed hands repeatedly. With orders to take the capital city for the planned restoration ceremonies for Rhee, the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Marines stormed the National Assembly building and routed the North Koreans room-by-room. Lt. Charles Mize, a veteran of Okinawa, won a Navy Cross for Valor, for this operation.

Marines inspect captured enemy weapons

Marines inspect captured enemy weapons

During the ceremonies, Seoul continued to burn. Although in his speech Rhee called the day one of “unity, understanding and forgiveness,” an historian would say differently. Whereas the Communists had killed anyone in allegiance with South Korea, execution squads were now liquidating anyone who was accused of collaborating with the north – even as the ceremonies took place. On 29 September, MacArthur and Rhee both left for Kimpo field, in separate planes.

The North Koreans seemed to become lost and fell apart in the high-tech war and retreated to reorganize. (It would become evident to the Allied forces to shoot at the enemy buglers. Each one blew a different command and without them, the troops became confused.) Fifth Air Force Mustang fighter-bombers were dropping napalm in areas above the Naktong River with 110 pound tanks of the stuff. This was at first costing the U.S. $600 per tank, but was down to $36.35 now that it was produced in Japanese remodeled factories, thanks to Lt.Commander Edward Metcalf.

North Korean officers would often allow themselves to be captured while disguised as enlisted men. Once inside a POW camp, they could organize the prisoners to rally against their American guards. The American altruistic care of prisoners would actually create another problem. There were already about 110,000 POWs near Pusan alone – now how to get enough food and clothing not only for them but for the South Korean refugees – MacArthur was begging Washington for assistance.

Col. Richard Stephens w/ Maggie Higgins, Taegu

Col. Richard Stephens w/ Maggie Higgins, Taegu

When Maggie Higgins, reporter, met with MacArthur in Tokyo, she noticed his usually neat desk with congratulatory messages sprawled across it for the Inchon landing and she remarked on them. The general said, ” I’m afraid I can’t take these messages too seriously.” He then proceeded to tell her about when he was a pretty good baseball player at West Point and the sound of the cheers – until the day his knee gave way while running to catch a fly ball, “…the boos of the crowd were louder than the cheers had ever been.”

General Walker had ROK troops under his command, but at the same time, Syngman Rhee was telling them to ignore American orders and head into North Korea. Walker requested the Eighth Army be combined with the X Corps, but MacArthur refused. Inchon was jammed with Marines waiting to sail on to Wonsan and they were receiving the supplies that arrived directly from Japan while the Eighth Army was running out of fuel and supplies and becoming quite exhausted defending the perimeter.

Crossing the 38th Parallel

Crossing the 38th Parallel

1 October, offensive forces crossed the 38th parallel towards the Yalu River with the ROKs in the lead. The following day, the entire 187th RCT reassembled at Kimpo and continued with their training jumps while MacArthur kept them in reserve. General Walker was not a fan of the airborne as a rule and made it clear, in no uncertain terms, to MacArthur that he did not approve of the unit being held back.

British 29th Inf. Brigade meet up w/ G.I.s at Naktong River, Sept. 1950

British 29th Inf. Brigade meet up w/ G.I.s at Naktong River, Sept. 1950

4 October, General Almond was in Seoul and received Colonel Overshine’s 31st Infantry of the 7th Division. He was hoping he could find a reason to have the colonel sacked due to a friendly fire mishap on 26 September. Overshine was blamed for the incident and relieved the next day. (It is my belief that something else was coming into play.) That same morning, Colonel Powell’s 17th Infantry Regiment caused 5 casualties and 55 injured – but Powell was NOT sacked.

7 October, the 1st Marine Division prepared to board the ships that would take them the 850 mile U-turn voyage around the peninsula, while the 7th Infantry traveled by rail to Taegu and Pusan. NKPA troops were left behind to cause trouble another day. Gen. Almond went aboard the Mount McKinley and sent a sour message to MacArthur about MGeneral Barr. Barr had been warning other officers to obey every whim of Gen. Almond, lest they wind up like Overshine.

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Farewell Salutes –

David C. Jones – Aberdeen, SD & Washington DC; General, Joint Chiefs of Staff 1978-82, Commander of Headquarters USAF, Korea & Vietnam

Elmer Bourdage – Seattle, WA; U.S. Navy submarine service, USS Snapper, PTO WWII

Brian McGahan – Waltham, MA; U.S. Army, Vietnam

George W. Domasco – Sun City, AZ; U.S. Army WWII

Gregory R. Fine – Wasington DC & PA; Captain U.S. Navy submarine service

Jesus Villa – Glendale, AZ; U.S. Army, WWII PTO, 542nd Engineer Regiment

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Resources: “Rakkasans” by Gen. E.M. Flanagan; Koreanwaronline.com; “MacArthur’s War” by Stanley Weintraub; “Warfare of the 20th Century” by Christopher Chant; “The Korean War” by Maurice Isserman; “Korean War” by Stephen Badsey; facilities.grc.nasa.gov

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Korean War (6)

Briefing before landing on Wolmi-do

Briefing before landing on Wolmi-do

General Almond (with no seaborne experience) would command the X Corps and it would remain separate of the 8th Army and General Walton Walker. The Navy, represented by Admiral Arleigh Burke, told MacArthur that the harbor at Inchon had natural obstacles and typhoon season was quickly approaching, the landing should take place sooner than originally planned. The 7th Division and 5th Marines were to be utilized despite Walker’s objections. The 187th Regimental Combat Team was included in the original plans, but MacArthur chose to keep them in reserve and ordered the South Koreans to be used to fill in the gaps.

Transport Wantuck sets out loaded w/ Marines

Transport Wantuck sets out loaded w/ Marines

10-12 September 1950, a flotilla of 261 transports, warships and support vessels left for Korea under the flags of Australia, Canada, Britain, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the U.S.. Thirty-seven of the 47 U.S. ships had Japanese aboard them to man the LSTs and hundred that would be stevedores to assist in unloading the supplies at Inchon. Japan would play a major role in the war, including the factories that boomed with American contracts. MacArthur’s flagship, the USS Mount McKinley, sailed 13 September, just hours before the Naval guns opened up on the Inchon area.

The first landing was to be on Wolmi-do, an island off Inchon that had previously been bombed with napalm. (The ships approaching picked up a transmission from those pilots that said they were carrying napalm, but over the radio, they heard it as, “We have the A-Bomb,” hence a rumor started that MacArthur was going to nuke the Communists began to circulate.) A joint CIA and military operation code-named, “Trudy Jackson”, led by Eugene Clark, an older naval lieutenant who had scouted the area before WWII, preceded the landing and entered the dismantled lighthouse on the island and made it operational to guide in the approaching ships. The team also sunk an enemy patrol boat that happened to come up on them.

Wolmi-do

Wolmi-do

15 September, at 0629 hours, the destroyer, De Haven ceased firing its guns and at 0633 hours, the Marines hit the beach at Wolmi-do in Fish Channel, wave # 1 went on Green Beach while Marine Corsairs flew overhead dropping smoke bombs. The Inchon landing comprised Red Beach at the main port and Blue Beach, south of the city. Inchon was secured by midnight and 50,000 men would land in the next four days. The North Koreans were taken by surprise, but they were far from defeated.

On the evening of the 16th, the Marines had pushed 6 miles inland with General O.P. Smith in command at a forward post. Early the next morning, Lt.Colonel Harold Roise saw about 200 North Korean infantry with 6 Russian T-34 tanks. They seemed unaware of the U.S. presence. As they were talking and laughing, they were ambushed by the Marines and eliminated by the American troops equipped with tanks and rocket launchers. MacArthur, Almond and Struble left the flagship to survey the field. Unperturbed by the threat of sniper fire, MacArthur walked around the enemy’s smoking wreckage and remarked, “You damned Marines! You always seem to be in the right place at the right time. You could not have staged a more spectacular performance if you had planned and rehearsed it.” (They had done just that in their field training exercises.) When told that he should return to safety, the general responded, “No, anywhere my men are, I will go.” And, he was seen talking to officers and enlisted men alike even as things took a bad turn. (These are the kind of actions that endeared the general to men like Smitty.)

map from the Marine Gazette

map from the Marine Gazette

The 32nd Regiment of the 7th Division arrived shortly after the Marines. Every third soldier was a barely trained South Korean draftees; 1,873 ROKs to 3,241 Americans. As the troops moved on, the USS Missouri fired their 16″ guns from 28 miles away. The Marines had to slow down and this gave the NKPA time to burn down the Han River bridges. American amtraks crossed the river and bridge sections that remained were overlaid with pontoons for the heavier equipment to cross. On Hill 186, the 1st Marines entered into hand-to-hand combat.

In a POW camp at Manpo, in the far north, a small boy approached Larry Zellers and Father Philip Crosbie at the fence. He handed them a note. Once translated, it turned out to be a communique by Radio Taegu reporting the Marine landing at Inchon under direction of General Douglas MacArthur. The time the prisoners received the message was a mere 2 hours after it happened! The boy continued to deliver updates until he was told that the guards were becoming suspicious and it was too dangerous for him to return.

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Updated WWII News –

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While walking through a barn near Normandy, France last summer, Glyn Nightingale’s teenage son discovered an old canteen. After washing it off, he saw “J.J. Ricks” stamped on it. Corporal Jesse J. Ricks was 24 in 1944 when he last saw the canteen. After months of research, the Nightingales traveled thousands of miles to return the possession to its rightful owner, who is now 92 years old. Mr. Nightingale said, “It was the least he could do for a man who gave him so much. I probably would be speaking German if it wasn’t for these guys.” The canteen will be donated to Camp Blanding where it will remain on display along with some of Ricks’ medals and other items found with his canteen.

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Farewell Salutes –

Marshall E. Baker – Chanderville, IL & Alexandria, VA; Colonel, U.S. Army, 8th Bomber Command, WWII ETO, 32 year veteran, 2 Legions of Merit & Bronze Star

Demetrius Jim Poumakis – (80) Lake Worth, FL: U.S. Air Force

Edith Dodge – (92), Fort Belboir, VA; American Red Cross, WWII

Margaret Hines – Washington,D.C.; Office of Secretary of Defense & the Pentagon, Korean War, retired after 23 years.

Joseph Malecek – Chicago, IL &Ft. Lauderdale, FL; U.S. Army, WWII

Thomas Ronald Reagan – (88) Oakland Park, FL; WWII veteran

Richard Point – W.Hazleton, PA; U.S. Navy, WWII

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Resources: “Korean War” by Stephen Badsey; “Rakkasans” by Gen. E.M. Flanagan; “The Korean War” by Maurice Isserman; “Warfare of the 20th Century” by Christopher Chant; “MacArthur’s War” by Stanley Weintraub; “Hey Mac, Where Ya Been?” by Henry Berry; Library of Congress; Korean War on line.com; Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentenial; taylorempire airways.com

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Korean War (5)

4th Gun Section, A Battery, 15th FA Bn, Sgt. Fausto (left) at Naktong Perimeter

4th Gun Section, A Battery, 15th FA Bn, Sgt. Fausto (left) at Naktong Perimeter

The 5th Marines that sat below the Naktong River in the west worked hard to live up to their reputation as they faced a more experienced enemy. They began to send out patrols to spot areas of concentration and radioed the Marine Corsairs. These aircraft would then drop their napalm and the artillery would follow up.

Pilots of the 77 RAAF at Taegu, Korea, standing by the wing of a Mustang

Pilots of the 77 RAAF at Taegu, Korea, standing by the wing of a Mustang

Among the first in was the 77 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force and the HMAS Shoalhaven and the Bataan of the Royal Australian Navy, It was with misgivings that London ordered the 27th Brigade to be shipped from Hong Kong. Called ‘Operation Graduate,’ they would be followed by the 29th Brigade and an Australian Battalion on 23 August 1950. Equipment was scarce for these men. In late August and into September, MGeneral Lawrence Keiser and his 2nd Infantry Division would arrive with more than 500 Pershing and Sherman tanks and new motorized antiaircraft vehicles. Bombardments were proving to be unsuccessful. The In Min Gun knew how to dig in and then reappear in places no one thought possible, but the NKPA bridgeheads across the Naktong River were wiped out after the heavy fighting.

U.S. Marines at Naktong River

U.S. Marines at Naktong River

Patterned after his WWII strategy of ‘leapfrogging’ amphibious landing operations, MacArthur planned to send in replacements to salvage Pusan. (The original name of the plan was Bluehearts.) This would be coordinated with a landing to isolate Seoul from the north. Inchon, on the west coast, looked good for an outflanking operation, but it had drastic tidal shifts, a narrow channel and fortified off-shore islands. Because of this, MacArthur felt the enemy would not expect the invasion. Force X was formed for Operation Cobalt. When MGeneral Edward Almond asked the general who would head the group, the reply was, “It’s you.”

M26 Pershing tank w/ 1st Marines

M26 Pershing tank w/ 1st Marines

General Alpha Browser, as G-3, was ordered to assist in the planning of the operation, but knew nothing of the port, until someone said there was a warrant officer available who had once been the assistant port director at Inchon. Browser said, “Oh, for Christ’s sake, give me his name!” The general complained that there were no maps of the area except those from WWII. A man from the Far East Air Force overheard and said, “What pictures do you want?” Browser had found a gold mine in his assistants.

Inchon invasion map

Inchon invasion map

17 August, the First Provisional Marine Brigade were given the assignment to spearhead the attack in the Naktong Bulge. The troops had to force the North Koreans out of a series of ridges overlooking the Naktong River. The roughest battle was a ridge called Obong-ni, nicknamed “No Name Ridge,” and then “Bloody Ridge.” Sixty-six Marines were lost and 300 wounded, but the North Korean 4th Division was destroyed.

"The Bowling Alley"

“The Bowling Alley”

18-24 August, the Allies received information that the NKPA were attacking Taegu along the Taegu-Sanjy Road, nicknamed the “Bowling Alley.” The 27th Infantry Regiment held the high ground with their Pershing tanks. In one final all-out push, the North Koreans attacked the U.S. 25th Division, 2nd Division and the 1st Cavalry and the ridges were recaptured by the enemy. The Marines went back up the ridges while the Army rolled into the other fronts.

Maggie Higgins, the correspondent for the NY Herald-Tribune, once again in her ambition to go and report the front news, horrified Washington by breaking the secrecy code of yet another major operation – Inchon. Yet, she would remain the ‘darling’ of both MacArthur and the Marines. (One peek at her photo should explain that one.)

Marguerite (Maggie) Higgins, Korean War correspondent

Marguerite (Maggie) Higgins, Korean War correspondent

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Current news update – A hero’s ring is returned to his family. http://sachemspeaks.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/its-better-to-give-than-to-receive/

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Farewell Salutes –

Martha Lee McDonnell Carew – Orlando, FLL & Dorchester, SC; U.S. Army, 23 years as a Transportation Specialist

Epthian Leach – Warrenton, VA; U.S. Army, Viet Nam, Silver Star & Purple Heart

Manuel Landman, M.D. – Bethesda, MD & Plantation, FL; Captain, U.S. Army Air Corps, WWII

Donald Deforest Fleming – Jennings Lodge, OR & Seattle, Washington; U.S. Army, WWII

David Lawrie – Virginia; U.S. Navy, WWII, D-Day & 26 years as U.S. Air Force OSI Investigator

Richard Shepard – Kirkland, Wash.; USMC, WWII

Bernie Burke – Boston, MA & Bonita Springs, FL; U.S. Navy, WWII 8th Beach Battalion

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Resources:

WWII Database; “Korean War” by Stephen Badsey; “The Korean War” by Maurice Isserman; “Warfare of the 20th Century” by Christopher Chant; “MacArthur’s War” by Stanley Weintraub; “Hey Mac, Where Ya Been?” by Henry Berry; history.army.mil; museum syndicate.com; film noir photos. blogspot; Seattle Times; Boston Herald; South Carolina Post & Courier; Australian War Museum

Korean War (4)

M*A*S*H* doctors of the 8055th

M*A*S*H* doctors of the 8055th

The first M*A*S*H* unit 8055 (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital), arrived in Korea 8 July 1950 and attached to the Eighth Army. Unit 8055 would prove to be so successful that Congress realized the need for more such units and enacted the Doctors Draft Act, Public Law 779 on 1 September. Physicians under 51 years of age could then be drafted and an increasing amount of residents and interns were tagged for Korea. (Members of the 8055 M*A*S*H* have stated that the television series depicted their unit quite well.)

Nurses of the 8055th

Nurses of the 8055th

General Walton Walker, commander of the Eighth Army in Korea was receiving troops for the 29th Infantry Regiment with only 8 weeks of basic training under their belts. On 24 July, they were sent into combat at Chinju with untested mortars and brand new .50 machine guns still packed in Cosmoline grease. The 3rd Battalion was ambushed and the call for air support went unheard when the radios refused to work. Of the 757 men, 313 died or were taken prisoner. (The North Koreans were not taking prisoners unless they felt the men held some intelligence of importance. The treatment and torture of those prisoners equaled what we hear of today happening to our men overseas.)

Generals Collins, MacArthur & Sherman, Korea, August 1950

Generals Collins, MacArthur & Sherman, Korea, August 1950

29 July, every soldier in the field received the same order, “There would be no more retreating… There is no line behind us… Every unit must counterattack to keep the enemy in a state of confusion… We must fight to the end.” MacArthur issued this statement after spending an hour and a half in the war zone. The press would call this order the “stand or die.”

North Korean invasion 25 July - 4 August 1950

North Korean invasion 25 July – 4 August 1950

On 30 July, three Canadian destroyers: Cayuga, Athabaskan and Sioux arrived in Sasebo, Japan with orders to sail immediately to Korea. No. 426 Transport Squadron, RCAF, flew the first of 600 round trips this month and during the war, they would carry over 13,000 passengers and 3 million kilograms of freight; also 22 RCAF fighter pilots were attached to the U.S. Fifth Air Force. During July, the USS Juneau had numerous gunnery operations as well as US Naval destroyers and British Royal Navy ships, including the HMS Belfast. The tiny South Korean Navy, with their patrol crafts were active on the west coast; checking inland waterways for activity. In late July, the cruisers USS Helena (CA-75) and USS Toledo (CA-133) joined the 7th Fleet’s flagship USS Rochester (CL-124) and the 8″ guns began to play an important role in Korea.

2 August, the 6th NKPA Division, met unexpectedly up with the 19th Infantry Regiment and the 24th Infantry Division as they protected the pass 5 miles short of Masan, in what would later be called the Battle of the Notch. The North Koreans retreated and regrouped up in the mountainous terrain after the Air Force attacked their truck columns. The U.S. troops protected the southern flank of Pusan for the 5 days needed for further support to arrive.

camouflaged command post

camouflaged command post

The Soviets decided that the more the U.S. was involved in Korea, the less effective they would be in Europe. So, also on 2 August, Russian, Jacob Malik, resumed his United Nations Security Council seat to assist Stalin with his agenda. The Revolutionary Military Committee (Communist military VIPs) were meeting in Beijing. It was here that Mao and his generals planned their aid to North Korea and an attack on Formosa. General Walker began throwing everything he had into the war. The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, largely troops of the 5th Marines, a regiment of the 1st Marine Division along with the U.S. Army’s 2d Infantry Division and the British 27th Brigade, entered Pusan. They headed west and spent the night at Changwon on their way to Masa, 7 miles from the enemy lines.

6 August, about 800 North Koreans waded across the Naktong River in the 34th Infantry area. The 1st Battalion was halted at Cloverleaf Hill with the extensive fighting. The 19th and 34th were sent to counterattack and the 25th Infantry Division was ordered to Chinju.

15 August, Walker called in the Navy to rescue the ROK 3rd Division Task Force 77. Two carriers bombarded the coast while a destroyer, led by 4 LSTs moved in to evacuate 5,800 troops and 1,200 refugees. Most of the materiel given to the ROKs by the U.S. was left behind. Despite all this, Rhee communicated to MacArthur of the good job being done.

Edward R. Murrow in Korea 1950

Edward R. Murrow in Korea 1950

When Edward R. Murrow made his final broadcast, from Tokyo 15 August, he said, “The Eighth Army and 5th Marines were committed to that push along the southern end of the peninsula to secure the high ground east of Chinju. This is not a decision forced upon us by the enemy. Our high command took it because, in the words of one officer who was in position to know, ‘We decided we needed a victory.’ The result of that victory was the loss of an important airfield…'” The broadcast continued on with additional criticism of the military and management of the war. Murrow’s broadcast was sent by teletype to CBS in New York. CBS Executive, Frank Stanton, telephoned Murrow and informed the reporter that his piece gave aid and comfort to the enemy and he was scrubbed from his own show. Murrow remained silent for a month and then his piece ran in “Newsweek.”

Click on map and photos to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes –

Archie Carlson, Jr. – Burlington, Iowa & Washington D.C.; U.S. Navy, WWII

Dennis Harpool – Haymarket, VA; U.S. Army, Vietnam, 2 Bronze Stars

Phyllis Shanklin – Washington D.C. & Ashburn, VA; Office of War Information, WWII

Frank Ridge – N.Y.C., NY; U.S. Army, WWII, Battle of the Bulge, Bronze Star

Roseanne Dial – (95) – Argyle, MO & Fairfax, VA; civilian employee of U.S. Navy, WWII until 1979

Henry Paige – Bethesda, MD; Lieutenant, U.S. Navy

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Resources: “The Korean War” by Maurice Isserman; “MacArthur’s War’ by Stanley Weintraub; “Warfare of the 20th Century” by Christopher Chant; “Korean War” by Stephen Badsey; history.navy.mil; Korean War – educator.org (the memoirs of Harold E. Secor, medic Unit # 8055); USA Today.com; Wodumedia.com

V-J Day/ Paratrooper Padre poem

V-J Day postcard

V-J Day postcard

PARATROOPER PADRE

by: Peter S. Griffin

copied in full from Paratroopers of the 50’s, http://home.hiwaay.net/~magro/poemsww2.html

In loving memory of Monsignor Francis L. Sampson, Major General (Ret.) U.S. Army (2/29/12 – 1/28/96)

001 (746x562)

Father Francis L. Sampson,a man of the cloth
The PARATROOPER PADRE, his mission, not a soul lost…!
An elite soldier, who jumped from the sky,
A faithful companion, for one who might die…
 
The Paratrooper’s greatest fear,
The Angel of Death, oh so near…!
“Praise the Lord, pass the ammunition,”
An accurate description of the combat condition…!
 
Hungry, tired, dirty, pushed to the edge,
Praying to God, dodging bullets of lead…
Facing death at every turn,
God’s saving grace, the soldier does yearn…!
 
But there’ one comfort, he surely does know,
By his side, the PARATROOPER PADRE, wherever he goes…
Offering encouragement, dispelling confusion,
Comforting the wounded, granting absolution…
V-J Day headlines

V-J Day headlines

 
A shining example, for all who are near,
This servant of God, showing no fear…
Bursting shells, agonizing yells,
Death’s horrible smell, the panic he quells…
 
The peace of God, he spreads to all,
Saving body and soul, was his call…
His comforting words, his caring touch,
No mortal man could care as much…!
 
To dying men, he gave much comfort,
A Christian death, a prayerful tear…
God’s embrace, relieved the fear,
All the troopers knew he cared…
 
Braving the hardships, of many a war,
The sacraments of God, he gave to all…
Soldiers lose their fear of death,
Last Rights given, all is forgiven…!
 
This is the greatest gift, Paratrooper Padres can give,
The keys to Heaven, is for the forgiven…!
He patched their bodies, to make them whole,
He risked his life to save their souls…!
C-47s of the 54th Troop Carrier Wing  1945

C-47s of the 54th Troop Carrier Wing 1945

 
Enduring all that war could give,
To prisoners of war he gave the will to live…!
Deprived of all, but their faith,
Father Sampson spread God’s saving grace…
 
Hearing confessions, saying Mass,
Tortured souls, pains that last…
Near starvation, dying of thirst,
Facing atrocities, all the worst…!
 
Bringing aid and comfort to soldiers in need,
The sacred Last Rights, the blessed last deed…
To many dying troopers, he put minds at ease,
Father Sampson turned death to blessed victory…!
 
Our PARATROOPER PADRE, a man we could kiss,
Served in three wars, no ordinary accomplishment…!
WWII, Korea and Viet Nam,
To so many lives, he restored the calm…
 
Now is the time to say HOORAY…!
To Father Sampson, our PARATROOPER PADRE…!
Thank you sir, for all you’ve done,
In three wars, OUR HEARTS YOU HAVE WON…!
 
 
 

VE_VJ_Day (1)500dc71ca071e.preview-620

Click photos to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes –

Edward McPherson – Iselin, PA & Aliso Viejo, CA; U.S. Navy, ship welder, WWII

N. Burton Wilkins – Santa Monica, CA; U.S. Army Signal Corps ’43-’46, Philippines

Michael Diesel – Hicksville, NY & Lake Worth, FL; U.S. Navy, WWII USS McCook

Michael Guerrisi – Queens, NY; USMC, Korea

Hilga Swanson – (93) Born in Norway, East Hampton, NY; Pres. of Salvation Army’s Auxillary

John Pfau – Chicago, IL & Plantation Gardens, FL; U.S. Navy, WWII

Charles Lefkowitz – Livingston, NJ & Boynton Beach, FL; U.S. Army, WWII, Battle of the Bulge

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Guest Post – Rationing Gone Wild by gpcox

I wrote this article to help the readers picture what the WWII era was really like on the home front. Judy has a category, “Guest Posts and re-posts” where they can pick up all the articles I have written for the Greatest Generation Lessons.

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

Rationing Gone Wild

 

By: GPCox

  https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com

Blog - Rationing - Shate my car - 8.114.2013

The Second World War was fought on two fronts and as we’ve seen in previous posts, the home front rarely received the credit it deserved for its efforts.  The generation that endured the Great Depression, worked long, hard hours and were often forced to use the barter system to survive now, for the war effort, had shortages for most everything.  If you can name it – there was probably a ration book for it and a black market to get it; if you dared.  The children also pitched in by giving, what money they could earn, back into the family.

Rationing started just weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor and sugar was the first product to be rationed when sales ended 27 April 1942 and commercial manufacturers received a ration of about 70% of their normal consumption and ice cream producers…

View original post 988 more words

Korean War (3)

tfsmithfirstpg

MacArthur, in his memoirs, stated that he began his plan for Operation Bluehearts (later named Chromite); the amphibious landing above Seoul to cut off the enemy. This was without approval from Washington. General Stratemeyer radioed Earl Partridge, deputy commander of the FEAF, “Take out North Korean airfields immediately. No publicity. MacArthur approves.” The general was counting on official approval after the fact – which he did receive. But, Maggie Higgins, reporter for the NY Herald-Tribune, did report the incident claiming that she had no knowledge of a security blackout. (The media interfered even back then.)

29 June 1950, Truman gave MacArthur the authority to restore order up to the 38th parallel, but Acheson made a broader interpretation of the statement. Russia said openly they would not interfere unless the U.S. crossed outside of North Korea. (They were quite willing to let the Chinese do their fighting for them.) The 24th Division, under MGeneral William, was ordered to make ready. As all occupation forces were, the unit was inexperienced, included few WWII veterans and were using WWII left-over equipment, but their proximity to Korea made them the obvious choice to land at Pusan. The U.S. Navy had its first combat action on this date. The USS Juneau (CL-119), the flagship of RAdmiral John Higgins fired her 5″ guns at shipping and shore targets.

North Korean invasion 25 July - 4 August 1950

North Korean invasion 25 July – 4 August 1950

Knowing that the news of American troops going to Korea would leak out, Truman announced,”This is all very delicate. I don’t want it stated any place that ‘I’ am telling MacArthur what to do. He is not an American general now, he is acting for the United Nations.” (Everyone in the loop knew otherwise, along with General Marshall having a firm hold on Truman’s ear.)

Norway, traditionally a neutral country, no longer held a peaceful attitude after spending 5 years under Nazi control. Wilhelm Munthe de Morgenstierne, the Norwegian ambassador to Washington, went to Acheson personally at the State Department to convey those feelings from Trygve Lie, the First Secretary General of the U.N. to support the international action.

In seeing additional troops enter Korea in piecemeal fashion, General Dean reported to Doyle Hickey, Deputy Chief of Staff to MacArthur, that “I am convinced that the North Korean Army and the North Korean soldier and his status of training and equipment have been underestimated.” He had politely implied that the American troops, equipment and training were highly overrated. The logistics outside Tokyo were primitive, the list of inadequacies huge and maps were non-existent. (Gen. Dean, with no previous combat experience, won the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions and leadership. His medal was awarded to his wife since he became MIA and presumed KIA. Later he was found after being a POW. A very brave and honorable story)

Russian T-34 tank

Russian T-34 tank

30 June, Task Force Smith was formed, (named for Lt. Col. Charles Smith), and included the 21st, 34th and 19th divisions to join the 24th. They also would be using outdated weapons and many of the shells being duds as they landed 5 July. Immediately, they were attacked by the enemy with Russian T-34 tanks and the first American soldier was killed. (his name lost in history). There had already been Air Force casualties. After three days of fighting, 85 men were dead or missing out of a 130-man rifle company. MacArthur radioed the Pentagon that he needed 4 to 5 divisions, an airborne regimental combat team and an armored group; and this was the minimum. The NKPA leadership and tactical skills were rated as “excellent,” as good as any seen in WWII.

Gen. William F. Dean

Gen. William F. Dean

Gen. Dean’s 25th Division deleted the 7th in the attempt to be brought up to strength and embarked for Korea on 9 July. Communications were poor, the radios had short-range and replacement batteries were nowhere to be found. With the ROK forces running south and no way to distinguish the northern and southern troops, the first 4 Royal Australian pilots, on their first mission, sprayed a ROK ammunition train at Pyongtaek. An American pilot, having the same problem, was shot down and taken prisoner. MacArthur ordered ALL ROK vehicles to have a white star painted on top to be visible from above.

Edward R. Murrow in Korea

Edward R. Murrow in Korea

Edward R. Murrow was met by fellow CBS correspondent, Bill Downs, who sported a full beard and was covered with dirt from the front, told Murrow, “Go back! Go back you silly bastard! This ain’t our kind of war. This one is for the birds!” (In the future, Murrow would call this warning, “the best advice he ever ignored.”) Murrow watched as what was left of a black unit from the 24th Infantry return. The highest ranking officer of that regiment, Lt. Col. Forrest Lofton, refused to go to Korea. He remained at Gifu in Honshu. He was a follower of a preacher that held the opinion that it was inappropriate for black soldiers to fight an enemy of “color.”

The communist soldiers who had infiltrated groups of refugees made heroin easily available to the incoming troops and as the 24th debarked at Moji, the military began receiving reports of rape, robbery and desertion. Drugs were now entered as yet another problem in the war. The soldiers were shipped out on freighters, ferries and fertilizer haulers and they regrouped on 13 July in Pusan, boarded trains for Pohang and then onward to Kumchon by truck. There they were ordered to dig in and protect ROK forces on one side and the 27th on the other. The next day, they were under fire.

At Yechon, 20 July, Dean was injured and captured. The next day, the city was temporarily re-occupied by the 24th. Two days after that, when the 1st Cavalry Division relieved them, the 24th retreated 100 miles and had abandoned most of their equipment and had lost 30% KIA. Unashamed of their retreat, the men were heard singing “The Bugout Bogie”:
When the Commie mortars start to chug,
The Ol’ Deuce Four begin to bug…
When you hear the pitter-patter of little feet,
It’s the Ol’ Deuce Four in full retreat.

Washington disliked the term ‘bugout,’ but the press continued to use it.

Lt. Leon A. Gilbert refused a direct order to take his men back into the fight. He was given a chance to change his mind, on the threat of a treason charge, “No,” he said, “I’ll get killed.” Gilbert was tried and given the death sentence, but Truman intervened and cut the sentence down to 20 years. Following his sentencing, mass court-martialing of whole units of the 24th ensued.

The embarrassing facts about the war gradually made their way out even as reporters made their headlines out of the smallest of victories. Truman carefully chose his words to retain public support from here on out. I believe it is becoming clear why many of us learned very little of this war during our school years.

Click photos to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes –

Edward O’Hara – Phoenix, AZ; U.S. Navy, PT boat radioman, WWII

Hugh Sisler – Friendsville, ME; U.S. Navy, WWII Aleutians and Okinawa

Alice Magruder Thompson – born 1914, Washington D.C.; pilot with the Civil Air Patrol & administrative aide Dept. Of Navy

Frederick Walton, Jr. – Maryland; U.S. Air Force, WWII

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Resources: “MacArthur’s War” by Stanley Weintraub; militarymuseum. org; history.army.org; Wikipedia; “Warfare of the 20th Century” by Christopher Chant; history.navy.mil; “Korean War” by Stephen Badsey

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Be sure to tune in for my latest guest post for Greatest Generation Lessons this coming Tuesday, “Rationing Gone Wild” is a step back in time for the home front. See you there.

Korean War (2)

A face of the war

A face of the war

General MacArthur flew to Korea for an inspection tour and witnessed fires eating through Seoul and the city about to be captured. His report was cabled to Washington, but would not be received until 29 June.

Four war correspondents, Keyes Beech of the “Chicago Daily News;” Frank Gibney of the “Time”;” Burton Crane from “The New York Times” and Marguerite Higgins, also of the “NY Herald-Tribune,” hitched a none-way ride on a transport plane going to Kimpo airfield. The pilot informed them that his orders from Tokyo said to swoop low enough to look for American evacuees, if no one was spotted, they would have to leave since the field was actually in enemy hands. As it turned out, thirty people stood there on the runway frantically waving at the C-47.

Maggie Higgins w/ MacArthur, June 1950

Maggie Higgins w/ MacArthur, June 1950

Once they were on the ground, the reporters located a car and drove to the KMAG Headquarters. General Chae told them, “We fightin’ hard now. Things gettin’ better.” But, as they saw nothing but chaos around them, none of the reporters were convinced. Maggie Higgins grabbed her typewriter and jumped into a jeep with Colonel Wright to head south. Boatmen had to be coaxed by gun point to ferry the correspondents and soldiers across the Han River where they picked up a dirt trail going over the hills to reach Suwon. At this site, Higgins met Brig. General John Church, head of the “survey group,” now known as the Advance Command Group. He knew little about Korea, but had been a division commander in Europe during WWII. (Korea would be a learning experience for soldiers and officers alike.)

It was the 27th in the U.S. when the United Nations Security Council met again at Lake Success on Long Island. Russia was still boycotting, but made a point to complain that Mao’s regime had not been allowed to replace Chiang’s delegate. Once again, the members were urged to assist South Korea in repelling the “armed attack.” The vote was 7-1 in favor; Yugoslavia voted no, while Egypt and India abstained.

The Pentagon authorized the 507th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion to protect the airfield and secure the docks at Pusan for men and supplies to land. President Rhee of South Korea fled Seoul and afterward, announced in a radio broadcast that the United States was to blame for his country’s plight. Meanwhile, the Navy started a blockade and the Air Force knocked out enemy communications.

General Church had been given command of an army in total disarray. He stated to Harold Noble, from the embassy, “I would rather have 100 New York City policemen than the whole Korean army.” (This is no reflection on the future ROKs who would receive combat training and proper equipment.) With so much of the war being fought up close and personal, all the troops needed to become combat experienced immediately.

RF-80A  Shooting Star, Korea

RF-80A Shooting Star, Korea

General George Stratemeyer, commander of the FEAF, temporarily grounded the C-54 Bataan due to weather conditions that produced a zero ceiling of visibility. Lt. Bryce Poe II took off in a RF-80A Shooting Star to find the leading edge of the NKPA forces; this was the first combat sortie by an American jet. F-80 pilots were ordered to bomb anything above the Han River and they proceeded to empty their napalm.

MacArthur w/ the "Bataan", a Lockheed C-121A Constellation in Korea.  Plane would later be used by Gen. Ridgeway.

MacArthur w/ the “Bataan”, a Lockheed C-121A Constellation in Korea. Plane would later be used by Gen. Ridgeway.

At a meeting in Taejon, MacArthur and Church assessed the deteriorating situation. General Chae was blamed for the premature destruction of the Han River bridges and four enemy planes (YAKS) circled over the Bataan as the generals watched the faster P-51s shoot down two of them; the other two escaped to the north. The “Life” photographer, David Douglas Duncan, said that MacArthur looked buoyant as he said, “Let’s get up to the front and have a look;” which he did. Upon his return to Suwon, he remarked, “Nobody is fighting.” MacArthur and four pressmen returned to Tokyo. The reports that the correspondents sent home were later described as ‘bordering on fiction.’

Click on photos to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes –

Roy Krieger – Springfield, VA; USMC (Ret.) Lt. Colonel, 3 wars w/ Purple Heart, Bronze Star w/ combat V, Navy Commendation Medal

Charles Van Winfree – Hopkinsville, KY & Longboat Key, FL; U.S. Army in Middle East during WWII

Wendell Martin Houston – Charleston, SC; Colonel U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, WWII & Korea

Martha Dee Campbell – Benton, AR & AZ; U.S. Air Force 21 years

Martin Dicken – Laurel, MD; USMC, Vietnam

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Personal note – I had Frank Gibney down as working for the incorrect publication, it is now re-edited as “Time.” I apologize to my readers for the mistake.