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

Click on photos to enlarge.
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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

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on August 20, 2013, in Korean War, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 49 Comments.

  1. You had written, “Patterned after his WWII strategy of ‘leapfrogging’ amphibious landing operations, MacArthur….” I think you know where I am headed on this. Who do YOU think came up with this island hopping strategy? Nimitz was given overall credit in some circles but I read somewhere (a bazillion years ago) that a junior naval officer had brought it up in some meeting…

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    • Koji, I’m going to have to concede to your memory; I honestly can not recall (I apologize for that). Perhaps when I get back into WWII we’ll find the facts about that. Thank you for bringing it up – something to make note of.

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  2. Not only are these posts really interesting, but it’s important that we keep documenting the past as you have been doing. We need to remember where we have been, and by ‘we’, I mean the up and coming generations too, and not only our generation whose peers, parents or grandparents may have been involved in such actions. Also, the way you have set out this post with the photographs is really striking. Thank you.

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    • Thank you very much for the compliments, especially from a fellow blogger with such magnificent photos on her own site. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to visit and comment here.

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  3. gpcox – Interesting and informative, as usual. I wouldn’t expect anything less.

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  4. Between your posts and the follow comments, I am gaining quite an education. I too would be happy to read more stories about the women of war.

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    • Thanks to encouragement from people like you and Gallivanta, I will get right on it for September’s guest post. Thanks for giving me your opinion, Mrs. P.

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  5. This post is excellent. I would certainly use these posts to teach HS college students about history if that were my area. Thank you for sharing these informative posts. I also found the Maggie Higgins story fascinating. Keep ’em coming!

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    • Thank you. I keep checking and double-checking to make certain of the accuracy, the main problem (same as in WWII) is the date – crossing the date line causes an error here and there by one day.

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  6. gpcox, I had zero idea that the intel on Inchon was essentially absent. So it appears it was Lady Luck that popped her head out for Browser?

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  7. The story of Maggie Higgins looks like it needs a post of its own 🙂

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  8. This week I watched “Tae Guk Gi” (Brotherhood of War), part of which is set at the Naktong River, I think. The movie mentions the US Marines landing at Inchon.

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  9. An interesting and well written post.. Thank you !!

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  10. Interesting. . .Until I read this post, I hadn’t realized that there were female war correspondents during the Korean War.

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    • There are a lot of things I’m learning as well as I get into this research. Thanks for stopping in Sheryl.

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    • Higgins was the only independent female war corresdponent in the Korean War. There was another woman, part of a husband and wife team of correspondents, but she did not go to the front as Higgins did. There were lots of ugly rumors accusing Higgins of getting her stories by sleeping with officiers. I have no way of knowing if that was true, but I doubt it. I did not know her well but I remember her as a very competent correspondent. I don’t know anything about her Inchon landing story.

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  11. Coucou ami(e) blogueur

    Je t’ai nominé (e) pour le Versatile Blogger Award

    J’espère que celà te plaira

    Voic i le lien pour y accéder, et voir quelques règles ” très gentilles ”

    http://wp.me/p2mqcl-nn

    Toutes mes félicitations, et bonne continuation, cher(e) ami (e)

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  12. Hi there, I find your posts so informative and provide an insight to what the men and women involved in the wars actually went through. Your research and subsequent posts are so much more compelling than any history book that I read at school. It is a shame that schools do not use sites like yours as they captivate the reader and want you to read more.

    best wishes
    Charlotte

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    • It would be nice if teachers took the time to get the students involved in the story of history – but all I keep hearing about is ‘I don’t get paid enough,’ and that to me is a cop-out for just being lazy. Thanks for reading and good luck with your career – it is definitely off to a fantastic start!

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  13. These are the greatest photos, and the history is riveting. Not hard to see why Maggie dominates the comments.

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  14. Did Maggie Higgins leak the upcoming Inchon invasion ? I’m unclear on that .

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    • That is how the data sounded; maybe the enemy just didn’t believe her. I was surprised she wasn’t reprimanded in some way, especially with Washington being so upset.

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  15. I used to work with a female news writer who has a similar personality as Maggie Higgens. While not quite as pretty, my contemporary is blessed with a charming personality, and nose for news. She also pushes the “acceptable” level of propriety to write a story.

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  16. Like Washington’s shelling of Boston the manipulation of the topography use is valuable component military science.

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  17. Pierre Lagacé

    Always learning new things…

    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.)

    I concur with MacArthur…

    Like

  18. Pierre Lagacé

    A reblogué ceci sur Lest We Forget and commented:
    Korean War Part 5

    Like

  1. Pingback: US National Archive : A Century Of War – 24 Disk | Dokumenter Sejarah Perang

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