Korean War (22)

Royal Canadians in Korea

Royal Canadians in Korea

 

8 September 1951, was the onset of Operation Miden when the Commonwealth Brigade created a firm bridge hold on the northern bank of the lower Injin River.  From this point, and then pushing forward, they created a line from Sanggorangpo to Chung-gol.  Their Engineers constructed and reopened roads and rebuilt 2 bridges; these would become vital links for the Canadians.

11 September, the division of Canadians , along with the Americans moved north, the 29th Brigade on the left and the 25th Brigade on the right.  They received little opposition and the operation was completed on 13 September.  27 September, the new commander of the 2nd Division, MGeneral Robert N. Young, called a halt to regroup.  The new plan was to have the 72nd Tank Battalion attack and cut off the Mundung-ni Valley and hills that made up the enemy supply lines.  The trail was heavily mined and road-blocked and the 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion was called in to clear the area and build a new roadway suitable for the Sherman tanks.  While this was in progress, the 9th, 38th and 23rd Infantry Regiments launched attacks on the ridge.

 

"Old Baldy"

“Old Baldy”

3 October, as Operation Miden ended, Operation Commando began, this being a fight for a hill nick-named “Old Baldy.”  The Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) went to the high ground by the Sami-chon River, the Americans were on the right and the 1st ROK Division on the left.  The Commonwealth, supported by artillery, launched their attack the first day.  The RCR, with the 1st Royal Ulster Rifles, followed the next day.  On 8 October, the Ulsters had Hill 217 and were extremely close and open to even more attacks by the enemy.

 

Royal Ulster Rifles

Royal Ulster Rifles

11 October, with 30 tanks in the lead, artillery pounding and planes soaring overhead, the 2nd Division stormed into the valley; this caught the North Koreans by surprise.  The Chinese 204th Division, moving in to assist, were given no time to dig in, causing massive casualties to the CCF.  The next day, for Hills 635.8 and 709.6, with 48 tanks in front, the Communist 610th Regiment had learned from the previous day’s fiasco and reinforced their anti-tank trenches and set up 49 infantry guns.  Along with their recoilless guns and rocket launchers, they destroyed 18 tanks and cost the Americans high casualties in the 23rd Regiment.

 

significant battles

significant battles

13 October, the 8th ROK Division launched  attacks on 4 hills and received a high casualty list.  The next day, 8 Sherman tanks attacked the Mundung-ni Valley and all were lost.  Two more were destroyed by anti tanks mines on the 19th.  While the tanks went through the enemy supply dumps and destroying 350 bunkers, a smaller team hit the Sat’ae-ri Valley, completing the circle and cutting off any chance the enemy had to reinforce.  The French captured the last Communist bastion.  The tanks never reached the town of Mundung-ni and this actually gave the North Koreans one of the few victories in this stage of the war. (South Korea celebrates this as a victory.)

Sherman tank, "Old Baldy"

Sherman tank, “Old Baldy”

In the first 16 months of the war, the 1st Cavalry lost 4,000 men, 4 times as many as they did in WWII and the unit was sent back to Japan.  The 45th (Oklahoma National Guard Division) were moved in to replace them.  The UN troops from August to October had lost 60,000 KIA, including 22,000 Americans; bringing the American casualty total to 100,000.  The enemy count was estimated at 234,000.  The numbers were climbing so high that the Chinese and North Koreans agreed to further talks to begin 25 October.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes –

Kenneth Lowell Brisbane – Canby, OR; US Army, WWII

Ralph Carr – Los Angeles, CA; US Navy, WWII PTO

David Fiske – Los Angeles, CA; US Air Force, WWII, fight surgeon

Ezra Koch – Saskatchewan, Canada & McMinnville, OR; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Takeshi Kohatsu – Montebello, CA; US born Nisei, Poston Relocation Center, US Air Force

Gerald Ryan – Hicksville & Merrick, NY; US Army,  Korea

John Wilson – Chicago, IL; US Navy, Korea

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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 October 24, 2013, in Korean War and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. Not as grand as the Centurions, but those old Shermans were great.

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  2. Have you ever entertained putting your work into a book format. Contact me about create a space. It is free and they walk you through it. I put out my book out there and it is selling.

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    • Thank you for complimenting me by saying it could make it as a book. I’m afraid the resources I use mostly allow me reprinting, but others (and far too many) want compensation if I went from a free blog to a book for profit. By the time I put in requests for specific pages, etc. I would no longer be around. (They don’t reply very quickly either – another reason.) Thanks for reading, Barry.

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      • I am sorry to hear that. Because I think it would be a fantastic book. Maybe you could redo it as a fiction work with real places and times. Just a thought.

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        • Frankly I never thought of that – like James Mitchner, historical but the names were changed to protect…

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          • Sounds good to me. Hope I gave you an inspiration. I think it would be a worthy idea. Like the Thin Red Line. I hope you do not mind but here is the Create a Space information. Look it over. Note my book, look it up. I chose the cover, they did the formatting and I set the price. It is only seven dollars so I think it will sell. Two bucks for delivery and they ship it. Neat. I am proud to announce that my book the Record Killer is now on create a space. You can purchase this book if you have a creative a space account. Go to
            https://www.createspace.com/3867837 in the top left and put in the information and my book should pop up. I am doing this for you to realize you can get your books published through create a space. They have a phone number and three locations in the world open twenty four hours to walk you through their procedures. It took me one hour. And viola I have the book ready to go. Of course if you wish to buy the book I would be pleased as punch. It is $7.00 and eighty four pages. It would be shipped to your house for about $3.50. You can set up your book the same way. I will be working on the Kindle situation and Amazon later next week. If you like serial killer books my is gentle, no graphics and gore and not sexual. It is more cerebral.

            I have ready many of your blogs and many appear frustrated not in writing but how to get their work out there. So here is a way of doing so. If it is helpful I am very happy. Put in comments some feedback. Good luck. Barry. Please note to create a space account it is really simple. I think if you did a few modifications your book would be doable. You could give some of the money to O’riley’s Wounded Warrior Project. Let him know what you think. If this prompts you to greatness then I have served a great purpose.

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  3. gpcox – Interesting to hear about the Canadians part in this war.

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  4. War sure claimed a lot of lives back then, before we had the surgical precision of the weapons we use now…

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    • That – and the fact that China had so many people, they could afford to charge their men, without regard for life, in their attempts to take out the UN troops.

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  5. Just to clarify for your readers, you mention the 9th, 38th and 23rd regiments launching attacks on the ridge. That was Heartbreak Ridge, which we have talkied about in your earlier posts. The Mundung-ni valley was just to the west of Heartbreak Ridge.

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    • Thank you, Rafe, for adding that. I realize that sometimes in my efforts to condense the data and make the posts brief, I am not as clear as I should be. I need people like you and Pierre to keep me on the straight and narrow.

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  6. I think it’s true that American histories of wars usually don’t emphasize or even mention much about specific participation of other nations , so your post is superior . Another good one !

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    • Thank you. I have tried to include the other countries, after all they were there, but the data is not always readily available or I am just not looking in the right places.

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  7. So many lives. You help us to always remember.

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  8. Wow. Those numbers are staggering.

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  9. This is a wonderful post. I lived in South Korea for several years and was able to see a couple of the old battlefields (unfortunately most of them are north of the DMZ). The ferocity of the war in Korea stunned even US veterans of the Pacific War! I look forward to more Korean War posts!

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    • I’m afraid so, but thanks for reading, Catherine.

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      • All the time I was reading I kept remembering that this was so soon after the 2nd World War and my Uncle Mac was in Hiroshima Japan with the BCOF at this time, after the dropping of the bombs which ended the war. Many of our Australian soldiers were also up there in Korea and, of course, we all have our own perspectives on these events.
        Your detailed research is brilliant!!! Thanks so very much.

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        • You are very welcome. Yes, we do all have our own opinions and here you are free to express them. (within certain limits of course, I do have younger people reading)

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  10. In the first 16 months of the war, the 1st Cavalry lost 4,000 men, 4 times as many as they did in WWII and the unit was sent back to Japan. The 45th (Oklahoma National Guard Division) were moved in to replace them. The UN troops from August to October had lost 60,000 KIA, including 22,000 Americans; bringing the American casualty total to 100,000. The enemy count was estimated at 234,000.

    Forgotten no more thanks to you…

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