Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thanksgiving Day in 1950’s style

Thanksgiving at home hasn't changed much...

Thanksgiving at home hasn’t changed much…

TO ALL MY FRIENDS, READERS AND CASUAL VISITORS –  

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!

the turkey gets cooked...

the turkey gets cooked…

and we look forward to dessert!

and we look forward to dessert!

Thanksgiving by Rockwell

Thanksgiving by Rockwell

USS Vulcan at sea

USS Vulcan at se

Hockey game - 3rd Princess Patricia's Battalion won 4-2 vs 1st Batt/Royal 22nd Reg.  The matches took place "in the sound of heavy guns of the nearby US Army  artillery"___Vince Courtnay

Hockey game – 3rd Princess Patricia’s Battalion won 4-2 vs 1st Batt/Royal 22nd Reg. The matches took place “in the sound of heavy guns of the nearby US Army artillery”___Vince Courtnay

anyone with a free minute enjoyed this action

anyone with a free minute enjoyed this action

In the field… frien

Click on to enlarge

For Some a Grand Hanukkah 

hanukkah_1950_1206_peter_m_kahn_fil

FOR EVERYONE OUT THERE — HAVE A GREAT DAY!

and everyone gets stuffed...

and everyone gets stuffed…

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Two items for our veterans…

two stories for our veterans and volunteers

two stories for our veterans and volunteers

Please click on to read.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Purple Heart

Purple Heart

Alfred Bosland – Woodhaven, NY & Delray Bch., FL; US Navy, WWII, Purple Heart, PTO

Wayne Boswell – Okeechobee, FL; US Army, Vietnam

David Jeremiah – Ft. Myer, VA; US Navy, Admiral (Ret.), VChairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, CO Pacific Fleet, Cruiser Destroyer Group 8, Destroyer Squadron 24 & CO USS Preble (DDG-46)

Charles Norton, Jr.; Quincy, MA; US Army, MSgt., Korea

Lenard Kramer – Los Angeles, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, B-17 navigator

Kathryn Kurka – Custer, SD & Los Angeles, CA – US Army nurse, WWII, India & Burma, 73rd Evacuation Hospital

Martin Reinis – Santa Monica, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, B-17 pilot

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Personal note – 

I apologize for the disorganization in this post – the format would not cooperate today – perhaps it is on holiday as well.  Thank you for coming by.

For another great site – before you make your first toast of the day – http://dshenai.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/interesting-insightful-toasts-for-thanksgiving/

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Korean War (29)

Junks

Junks

9 May 1952, a daring and highly successful raid was carried out by the Haeju Patrol and Defense Unit, along with air strikes from the HMS Ocean and gunfire support of the HMAS Bataan.  A large amount of enemy supplies were captured, 150 enemy KIA, they destroyed 27 houses and damaged 50 others.

23 May, the HMCS Athabaskan received enemy gun shots, but silenced them in short order in the Taedong Man area.  On the east coast, Kosong area, the USS Douglas H. Fox received enemy shore gun fire, but also located and eliminated the problem.  The next day in the Kojo area, the Fox did the same.  The ROK government declared martial law in Pusan and the arrests of the Korean National Assembly began.

MiG Alley circled

MiG Alley circled

25 May, MiG-15s were again increasing their aggressive actions in northwest Korea.  The progressive increase, all during the month, indicated the enemy’s intention to defend the area between the Yalu and Chonzchoin Rivers.  On the west coast, guerrillas carried out a raid in the Pongyang-ni area with the support of the HMS Belfast & Whitesand Bay, LST 1089 and the USS Bataan aircraft.  Reports showed 300 enemy KIA and 4 captured.

HMCS Nootka

HMCS Nootka

31 May, the HMCS Nootka on northern patrol with the USS John W. Thompson & Endicott received 160 rounds from 7 enemy coastal radar-controlled guns east of Chuuronjang and not one hit.  The naval counter-fire damaged 4 guns.  At Hongwan Roads, the armed whaleboat from the USS Murrelet encountered 2 enemy sampans who faked their surrender.  The enemy tossed a grenade and followed with small arms fire – none of the enemy survived as the Americans returned fire. (A site to see the Nootka and crewmen is at: http://www.picsearch.com/HMCS-Nootka-pictures.html)

**With all this action I am relating, many others have been omitted.  What so many resources refer to as a “lull in fighting” by land and sea forces is inaccurate.  The UN forces had been and continued to go above and beyond what the historians and I relate.

Marine Fighter Squadron 312

Marine Fighter Squadron 312

1 June, the HMS Constance captured her fourth enemy junk.  This one contained 3 Chinese soldiers and 15 un-friendlies.   The island of Yongi-do is once again in friendly guerrilla hands; after persistent fighting, the enemy returned to the mainland.  The Marine Fighter Squadron 312 aboard the USS Bataan received a congratulatory message from RAdmiral John Gingrich for their outstanding performances under difficult conditions during the last operating period.

Aerial view of Wonsan bombing damage

Aerial view of Wonsan bombing damage

4-5 June, the Fast Carrier Task Force accumulated and submitted a list of major power plants in North Korea suitable for air and gun strikes.  Plan ‘Insomnia’, an operation involving groups working midnight to daylight in heckling the enemy, destroyed 4 locomotives.  At Wonsan, 3 US ships fired on and silenced the 75mm enemy guns firing on the minesweepers.

6-7 June, the USS Symbol accepted the voluntary surrender of 8 North Koreans.  The HMCS Nootka destroyed one sampan and captured one with 3 prisoners.

Amphibious Construction Battalion

Amphibious Construction Battalion

9 June, the guerrilla garrison on Mu-do successfully repelled an enemy attack and destroyed 4 of the 7 junks used for the attempted invasion.  A detachment of 3 officers and 75 men of the Amphibious Construction Battalion One began the construction of an emergency landing strip on Yo-do Island (Wonsan).

11 June, intelligence reported that an order had been issued to North Korean and Chinese troops to prepare for offensive action.  Also, the largest enemy troop and supply concentrations of the war had already been accumulated at Sibyou-ni, Yangdok, Koksan, Hoeyang and Pyongyang.  A recon party in a motor whaleboat from the USS Buck saw no activity, but a sampan with 6 North Korean soldiers voluntarily surrendered to the ship off Kosong.  The POWs were delivered  to the 1st ROK Corps Intelligence Unit.

14 June, the USS Skagit, LSM 226 and LSTs of Task Force 90 began to lift engineers and equipment to selected sites for the new POW compounds in preparation for further dispersal of prisoners that still remained at the riotous Koje-do site.

Click on images to enlarge.

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WWII Update…

the "Flying Pencil" (Archaeology magazine)

the “Flying Pencil”
(Archaeology magazine)

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Farewell Salutes – 

John Lovering, Sr. – Sommerville, MA & Rockville, MD; US Navy, WWII, Naval Air crewman and radio gunner

Gleason Moore – Providence, RI & Riviera Beach, FL; US Army, Vietnam

Arthur Francis O’Day – Stoughton, MA & NYC, NY; US Army, 51st Signal Battalion, Korea

Dante J. Orsini, Sr. – South Glen Falls, NY; USMC, WWII, FDR Presidental Guard & PTO

Louis Ristaino, Sr. – East Boston, MA; US Army, WWII

James “Alex” Trieste – Delray Beach, FL; US Navy, Vietnam

Zenon Wisnicki – Toronto, Canada; Royal Canadian Air Force

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Korean War (28)

harbor picture at Wonsan

harbor picture at Wonsan

 

21 April 1952, during combat operations off Kojo, a serious powder fire developed in the No. 1, 8″ turret on the USS St. Paul; 30 men were killed as a result.  ROK troops left the USS Horace A. Bass to commence 8 different amphibious landings.  Their missions being to acquire intelligence and destroy what they could all along the northeast coast of Korea.  This operation would last 2 weeks.

25 April, intelligence reported a stockpiling of sand and gravel along the rail spur at Pyongyang East airfield which indicated that the North Korean Air Force was planning to repair the jet base.  An aerial photo of the bays, just west of No-do Pan-do (Wonsan) showed 83 small boats and 17  60-foot vessels.

USS St. Paul

USS St. Paul

30 April, the USS Horace A. Bass had a successful landing party go ashore on the north coast of Korea.  They exploded a 120-pound charge on a railroad bridge and an 80-pound charge on the adjacent tracks.  A north bound train was halted by 57mm rifle fire.  When another engine began pulling the train south, it was hit by the firing from the USS Doyle.  The landing party returned to the ship with 3 prisoners.

1 May, aerial photos showed the presence of 8 new heavy AA guns and 8 automatic weapons protecting rail and highway bridges southwest of Hamhung.  This was the first confirmation of heavy gun movement on the east coast.  In the Haeju area, an enemy commander was killed, documents were confiscated and 12 prisoners captured.

General Mark Clark

General Mark Clark

5 May, General Mark Clark assumed the command of the UN Far East Command.  6 May, the USS Douglas H. Fox captured 3 sampans and 15 North Koreans in the Singhang-ni region and later that same day, captured a 32′ sampan and 23 North Koreans around Paegan-dan.  Aerial recon reported a lot of enemy road traffic in Wonsan and on the roads south.  Guerrillas reported that the Chinese troops were reinforcing the peninsula opposite the island of Yongmae-do.

USS Douglad H. Fox

USS Douglad H. Fox

Douglas H. Fox, DD779 patch

Douglas H. Fox, DD779 patch

7 May, the USS James C. Owens battled with 6 gun batteries near the Songjin Lighthouse.  She was hit 6 times with 2 men killed and 7 wounded.  She also received some material damage, but operation readiness was still satisfactory.  Aerial recon spotted 4,000 enemy vehicles in North Korea, the most activity to date.

8 May, the 5th Air Force changed its priorities from transportation networks to North Korean depots and industry.; now under the command of MGen. Glen Barcus, while Gen. Mark Clark took the UN command.

12 May, in the Wonsan are, the US ships Maddox, Laffey, Herbert J. Thomas and Evansville, along with minesweepers were engaged in an hour-long battle; 3 enemy gun positions were destroyed.  In the Hungnam area, the USS Douglas H. Fox sent out an armed raiding party in a motorized whale boat.  She was fired on by rifle fire and gun batteries which were silenced in short order.  The landing party returned with 30 prisoners.  Six aircraft left the Valley Forge and Princeton at night and destroyed 9 locomotives.

14 May, the First Marine Division began Operation Timber.  This was a tedious collection and movement of logs for bunker construction.  These may seem to be a minor mention, but operations such as these were vital to the UN defense.

 

On the east coast, Marine Patrol Group TG 95.2, while interrogating 7 POWs, learned that the enemy was planning an attack on Yodo soon, with about 80 fishing sampans for transport.  The enemy troops for that operation were already massing at 2 locations near He-do Pan-do.

Click onto images to enlarge.

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Vietnam Hero…

Heroic Vietnam veteran's story

Heroic Vietnam veteran’s story

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Farewell Salutes – 

Roger O’Neil Boyer – Fleetwood, PA & N.Palm Bch., FL; US Navy, USS Intrepid

Bronze Star

Bronze Star

Robert Campo – Sommerville, MA; USMC, Korea

Andrew “Van” Cason, Jr.; Delray Beach, FL; US Army, on island of New Caledonia, WWII

Donald Hansen – Maynard, MA; US Navy, Ensign, USS New York, WWII

Sylvia Gelders McLaren – Tampa, FL; USO, WWII, the “Melodears”

Richard Fremont-Smith – Boston, MA & Ft. Lauderdale, FL; US Coast Guard 22 years, Vietnam, Bronze Star, CG Liasion Officer to Asst. Sec. of Defense at the Pentagon and then Red Cross.

George Weston – Montreal, Canada; Grenadier, WWII, CANLOAN officer, Lt. in Glasgow Highlanders

Milton “Mac” Uloth – Burlington, Canada; RCNVR, Lieutenant, WWII

 

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Koje-do (part two)

a compound at Koje-do

a compound at Koje-do

10 May 1952,  General Colson signed a statement admitting to past UN POW guard infractions and promises for improved future treatment, and at 2130 hours, Gen. Dodd walked out of Compound 76.  Clark wanted Ridgeway to make a public statement on the situation, but he refused until 12 May.  An investigation began.  Dodd and Colson were returned to their originals ranks of colonel and General Yount received a formal reprimand.

General Francis Dodd

General Francis Dodd

Gen. Clark appointed BGeneral Hayden “Bull” Boatner as new camp commander; a man with 10 years experience in Asia.  Col. Harold Taylor was made his deputy.  The 187th  RCT were notified in Japan that they had 4 hours to be ready to go back to Korea on 15 May.  They were amazed, disgusted and shocked upon seeing the camp.  The sections put under their control were, 76, 77, 78, 80 and a female compound.  76 was the “headquarters” and had tunnels linking it to the others.  The British Commonwealth Division was also brought in and assigned to Compound 66.

Libert statue built by POWs

Liberty statue built by POWs

10 June, Boatner had the 187th ready to move POWs and Colonel Lee was told to prepare his fellow prisoners.  Lee refused and the Rakkasans went into attack mode.  The CO of C Company went to the gate an hour later and asked to see an officer – the prisoner spat in his face.  With the POWs armed as well – literally all hell broke loose.  As the troops entered the compound, the POWs began throwing sheet-metal spears and others made from tent poles.  They used Molotov cocktails and carried flails made from barbed wire.

General Hayden "Bull" Boatner

General Hayden “Bull” Boatner

The “HQ” tent, filled with prisoners, was set on fire and the troopers ran in to save POWs from the blaze.  Tanks from B Co/64th Tank Battalion/3rd Division moved in and still the battling went on for another 2 hours.  Unfortunately, the 187th could see POWs, who were trying to surrender, being murdered by their own camp leaders.  The “battle” of Koje-do cost the POWs 43 men killed and 139 wounded (about half by their own officers).  The 187th lost Cpl. John Sadler KIA and 13 wounded.

Koje-do camp

Koje-do camp

After the prisoners were moved, Compound 76 was cleared and the troopers found stashes of 1,000 Molotov cocktails, 3,000 metal-tipped spears, 4,500 knives and a working telegraph set.  In the tunnels they discovered a woman and child.  In another area, 50 anti-communist prisoners who had been executed  and thrown down the wells were discovered, along with approximately 100 bodies in shallow graves.  They also found plans for a break out and take-over of the island set for 20 June.  Col. Lee was found cowering in a trench and attempting to pass himself off as a female.

Communist POW, Col. Lee

Communist POW, Col. Lee

The next day, as screening continued, the troopers found that since the compounds, who had witnessed # 76’s display, more amiable to obeying orders.  After these prisoners were moved out, the intelligence dept. moved in and discovered human excrement in every drawer, file cabinet, pots and pans and cargo packs.

From the men who were there –

Ralph Hodge, 38th Regiment/2nd Infantry Division, who had witnessed Dodd’s capture, “As young grunts, fresh from 5 months on the line, we thought being assigned to guard POWs would be a ‘walk in the park’.  Little did we realize that we would become embroiled in an epic situation that would have a serious impact on the outcome of that god-awful Forgotten War.”

Fred Ervin of Company K/9th Infantry Regiment/2nd Infantry Division, said,” I was on radio duty that night Dodd was released from the compound.  I woke up my CO, Captain Worrick of New York and told him.”

Marshall Rogers said, “I was a platoon sergeant in Charlie Company/38th Infantry Regiment.  If an order would have been given to destroy us, it would have been successful.  Hundreds would have been killed by us, but eventually the numbers alone would have overwhelmed and destroyed us.  In reality, we were the prisoners.

Ron Simmons  from Support Co/187th ARCT spoke of when they first arrived, “…we drove through a series of dirt streets that were surrounded by POW compounds…some had dead bodies laid out near the fences covered with blankets.  It was a tense situation…we were located above the base of the hill, we could look down on the compounds.  They were an ugly sight.  Mean and hostile.”

guarding a work detail

guarding a work detail

Lt.Col. Russell Whetstone, commander of the 1st Battalion/187th , related, “…the “honey-bucket” details, guarding 50 POWs each, was a daily, dawn-to-dusk operation.  And, by Geneva Convention rules, the POWs were allowed a 10-minute break each hour…the prisoners would drop their poles and honey buckets, squat, smoke and yell their demands.”

Click on images to enlarge – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Richard Basden – Miami, FL & Surprise, AZ; US Air Force  MSgt., 30 yrs., Vietnam

James Belhassen – Boone, Iowa & Scottsdale, AZ: US Army, Korea

Silver Star w/ Oak Leaf Cluster

Silver Star w/ Oak Leaf Cluster

Joseph Croci – Elmhurst, IL; US Air Force, Korea

Thomas Flanagan – Chicago, IL; US Navy, Vietnam

Robert Friedrich – Irving Park, IL; US Army Signal Air Corps, Sgt. , WWII

James Hansen – Chicago, IL & Jupiter, FL;  US Navy Lieutenant, WWII

Richard Howell – Lake Worth, FL; US Air Force, Vietnam

Thomas Murch – Gilbert, AZ; US Air Force, Lt. Colonel (Ret.)

Edward Pettengill – Phoenix, AZ; US Army Sgt. Major (Ret.), Korea, Vietnam; Purple Heart, Bronze Star & Silver Star w/ Cluster

Koje-do (part one)

images (1)

On February 1952, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Far Eastern Affairs, U. Alexis Johnson, suggested a screening program for the POWs held by the UN troops.  This would constitute interviewing and segregating them into repatriates and non-repatriates.  On 27 February,  Pres. Truman approved the plan and made it the final US position at the Panmunjom peace talks.  Washington was under the impression that this would give each POW a freedom of choice – that was far from the truth.

UN prisoner of war camp No. 1, a rocky, hilly, 150 square mile island in the Korean Strait approximately 30 miles southeast of Pusan, was a constant problem, but now it was about to get even worse.

Australian newspaper item

Australian newspaper item

The first serious incident occurred on 18 February between a battalion of the US 27th Infantry Regiment and the communist POWs.  After the event, 8th Army commander, Gen. Van Fleet, appointed BGen. Francis Dodd as the camp commander in the hopes of improving discipline, yet Dodd did not speak Korean or Chinese and had had little experience in Asia.  Dodd, his deputy, Col. Maurice Fitzgerald, and his staff devised Operation Spreadout.  This plan would send about 82,000 POWs and civilian internees to new camps on the mainland and Cheju-do island.

Specially trained communist agents were instructed by the Chinese high command to be captured so as to create disturbances by any means available.  On 13 March, a work detail passing Compound 76 was stoned and South Korean guards fired, killing 12 and wounding 26 prisoners.  In the attempts to halt the gunfire, a Korean program staffer and a US Army officer were wounded.  The entire US 38th Infantry Regiment was then sent in because intelligence felt the communists were planning a jail break.

Van Fleet requested that the screening be postponed, but Ridgeway denied the suggestion.  The screening began on 11 April in the “most friendly” of the compounds.  Two days later, in Compound 95, a medical party was captured by the POWs and South Korean soldiers used clubs to rescue them.  A riot broke out, ROK guards opened fire and a US Army officer, with a jeep-mounted machine-gun stopped a rush on the gate.  Three POWs died, 60 wounded, I ROK soldier went missing and 4 were wounded.

General Yount, in command of the entire POW system, began to move the Koreans who refused repatriation from Koje-do to Pusan, Masan, Yongchon, Kwangju and Nonsan.  The UN screening teams worked their way through 22 of the 28 easiest compounds while being protected under heavy guard.  By 19 April, Dodd’s teams had screened 106,376 POWs and civilian internees.

English being taught at Koje-do

English being taught at Koje-do

Operation Spreadout thus far was relatively peaceful, but there were still 43,000 violent POWs to go; approximately 37,628 were commanded by colonels Lee and Hong and 5,700 directed by the as yet unidentified Mr. Pak.  The constant progress to move the prisoners forced the communist leaders into action. (According to communist reporters Winnington and Burchett, the “Koje-do Three acted without orders from the high command which later brought them into disgrace.)

29 April, the North Korean officers of Compound 76 asked to meet with Lt.Col. Wilbur Raven, a Military Police officer and enclosure commander over a cigarette ration dispute.  When Raven entered the “headquarters” hut and began hearing the demands, about a hundred POWs stormed the building and captured him.  They then brought out a EE8 field phone for him to talk to Dodd, who rejected their demands.  Raven was then released – but – this proved to be merely a rehearsal.

Archives, Dodd capture

Archives, Dodd capture

7 May, while Dodd and Raven discussed prison conditions and screening at Compound 76’s fence, a “honey bucket” crew returned and the guards opened the gates.  Dodd was captured; Raven escaped by holding on to a pole and kicking at the prisoners until help arrived.  BGen. Charles Colson showed up with an American Infantry Battalion.  The POWs posted signs around the compound stating that Dodd would die if his rescue was attempted.

Only tear gas and riot-suppression methods were used and Van Fleet ordered no media coverage as they amassed firepower to neutalize the hard core prisoners of Compounds 76, 77 and 78.  Gen. Clark, not having been briefed about the POW situation by Ridgeway, was upset to learn of the “biggest flap of the entire war.”

To be continued in the following post….

Click on images to enlarge.

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A WWII update…

Please click this article to read.

Please click this article to read.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Kenneth Adler – Fair Lawn, NJ & Delray Beach, FL; US Navy, WWII

Bronze Star

Bronze Star

Ralph Anderson – Farmington, Conn & Boca Raton, FL; US Navy, Pearl Harbor, PTO

Richard Beaumont – Reading, MA & Lake Worth, FL; WWII, 9th Infantry Div., Bronze Star

Stefan Bedzmierowski – Chicago, IL; served in the 5th Kresowa Infantry Div./Polish II Corps, ETO

John Gates – Arlington, VA; US Air Force & civilian employee Pentagon

Helen (Grillet) Keag – Chicago, IL; US WAC, WWII

John R. Martin – NYC, NY & Jupiter, FL; US Air Force, Korean War

Peter Micciche – NY & Oakland Park, FL; US Army, Korea

Richard Redford – Sauble Beach, Canada; WWII veteran

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Resources – “Rakkasans” by General EM Flanagan; US National Archives; Trove; Korean War online.org; history.army.mil; space4peace.com; history.net; PMO Operations  Album, Wiki; War Behind the Wire; ABC-clio Schools; The Week magazine for WWII story

VETERAN’S DAY

Veterans Day_1

In my own small way, a Thank You to each and every person who has served in the military to help protect my way of life…

 “Ole Top”

by Chuck Hall

1st Sgt. Phil "Ole Top" Dierickx, USMC, WWII, Korea, Vietnam

1st Sgt. Phil “Ole Top” Dierickx, USMC, WWII, Korea, Vietnam

I never got to meet him,
Nor serve in his command.
But I knew many like him,
Who bravely made their stand.
 
From what the “Bandits” tell me,
He dearly loves the Corps
Took real good care of comrades,
And took that one-step more.
 
‘Twas up in frozen Chosin,
When things looked bleak and bad.
He used his strength and wisdom,
And everything he had.
 
 
For those who fought beside him,
Who never will  forget.
He gave them will and courage,
Resolution, faith and grit.
 
The Corps has many heroes,
And stories they all tell.
“Ole Top’s” a hero in my book,
He served his hitch in hell.
 
 

veterans-day-1

Night Intruder Lament

__Author Unknown

I have a story to tell you
A story of men bold and brave
Have fought, and some died for their Country
With a brightly burning plane for their grave.
 
On an island we called Honshu
With the broad, blue Pacific all around
We set up our tents and our shelters
And dug holes for our safety in the ground.
 
At night, when day fighters are sleeping
And we call Hacksaw for a fix
The Heavens are filled with our thunder
And the roar of our Baker-26.
 
On a cold moonless night in December
The order was read with a sigh
And a happy-go-lucky young pilot
Took his plane and his crew out to die.
 
They went with a smile all unknowing
‘Twas only a Korean patrol
Too bad that their duty included
Their answering God’s Final Roll.
 
Moonshine gave them their vector
Surveillance to the Yalu and back
They say the last words they transmitted
“We wish we were back in our sacks.”
 
One hour stretched into seven
It was no time to jest or grin
We knew as we waited and listened
Another Night Intruder had augured in.
 
There was no one to see and report it
No help from a searching patrol
Just three name scratched from the roster
Who will no longer answer the call.
 
So lift up your glasses my buddies
In honor of those who fought the fight
The sleep you enjoy out of danger
Is because of the boys who fly at might.
 
memorial_ny_01

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I wish I could include so many other links for wonderful Veteran’s Day salutes, but that would be impossible – here are a few –

Pierre Lagacé and his cousin Joe pose us questions about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at:

http://athabaskang07.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/lest-we-forget-3/

CJ did a great job with:

http://morguemouse.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/the-things-that-make-a-soldier-great/

And, concerning our future generations:

http://allaboutmanners.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/the-inquisitive-child-a-remembrance-day-poem/

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Farewell Salutes – 

Dorothy Baldwin – Devonshire, England & Arlington, VA; British Army nurse, WWII

William Benson – Clearwater, FL; US Navy, WWII & Korea

Alexander (Sandy) Cameron – Toronto, Canada; CSTJ, CD, AdeC, Colonelmemorial_fl_07

Thomas Camp, Jr. Washington DC; BrigGeneral, US Army, WWII & Korea

August Genge – Niles, IL; US Army, WWII

Charles Nardoni – Chicago Heights, IL; US Army, Korea & Vietnam

Ted Okita – Chicago, IL; US Navy, WWII

David Polzin – Toronto, Canada; WWII

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Korean War (27)

1st Commnwealth Division representatives

1st Commnwealth Division representatives

 

23 March 1952, a Special Missions Group, one Army enlisted man, one civilian photographer and 41 South Korean troops left the USS Wantuck to take prisoners and destroy railroad tracks behind enemy lines near Chunminjin.  An enemy patrol was spotted, but no contact was made.  The interrogation of the POWs continued to hint at a CCF 6th Phase offensive that would begin in the spring.

24 March, the USS Brinkley Bass received a direct enemy hit from the shore batteries at Ho-do Pando (Wonsan); 5 men were wounded, but despite radio and electrical damage, the ship returned to duty after the seriously wounded sailor was sent to safety.  The 1st Marine Division relieved the 1st ROK Division and took control of their area.  On the island of Ho-do (west coast), the enemy made and amphibious landing and overwhelmed 2 KMC squads with the aid of mortar and artillery fire from shore; 23 Koreans were KIA.  Three days later, He-do was also taken over by the enemy.

map26

1 April, was the largest air battle of the year to date with the Chinese, approximately 363 MiGs were involved.  In 7 separate clashes, 10 MiGs were downed, 3 probably destroyed and 12 damaged; only one F-86 was lost on the UN side.

10 April, in the Wonsan area, TF-77 carried out a coordinated strike using the guns of the USS St. Paul, Hanson and the Fast Carrier Task Force planes to hit the area.  The 7th Fleet was ordered to be prepared, on 4 hours notice, to use their paravanes in a general emergency against moored mines at the approaches to the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea.

paravane

paravane

12 April, reports came to naval intelligence that the communist forces were building to defend the coastal areas of Whanghee Province against US amphibious forces making an attack.  During this month, US Air Force Captain James A. Van Fleet, Jr. was shot down.

13 April, TF-77 conducted a one-day maximum effort against Chongjin in coordination with one cruiser and 3 destroyers.  The sorties launched from the USS Philippine Sea and Boxer.  They dropped 200 tons of aircraft ordnance on the target area.

14 April, intelligence from Hong Kong reported a build-up of CCF in strength and defense construction along the entire South China coast.  They believed it was a anti-invasion preparation, complete with artillery guns, trenches and dugouts.  The 1st Marine Division replaced the 1st Commonwealth Division, adding an additional 9,000 yards to their area of responsibility.

hmas_bataan_book__70098.1368929945.1280.1280

15 April, the HMAS  Bataan bombarded the enemy controlled island of Yukto. The USS Silverstein battled with  heavily camouflaged enemy batteries east of Hungnam.  At Wonsan, 3 North Korean soldiers surrendered; the steady flow of those who gave themselves up and those captured from sampans by TF-95 were a constant influx of information. (TF-95 were west coast patrols of the Task Force which included ships from the Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy and the U.S.)

17 April, Naval Intelligence reported that an estimated 2,000 enemy troops were massed on the mainland to attack Yongmae-do island.   They were also planning for attacks on Sogom, Porum, Kakhoe, Songmo, Kyo-dong Kulto and Kotkpo in a 3-phase offensive.

18 April, 850 of the 5th Korean Marine Corps Battalion were lifted by US helicopters from Kimpo to across the Han River.  There they would truck to the 1st Korean Marine Corps Regiment area.  The following day, the US 1st Marine Division set up a special covering force to protect the UN Truce Team at Panmunjom, should the talks break down. [This indicated to me, that intelligence was well aware of the rocky state of the negotiations.]

20 April, TF-90 began to lift the 38th Regiment from Inchon to Koje-do; 163 officers, 2,987 enlisted men.  [The reason for this will become rather clear in 2 future posts on the state of affairs at Koje-do (island); a large and dangerous prison camp.]

General Matthew Risgeway

General Matthew Risgeway

In this month, General Matthew Ridgeway is promoted and moved to NATO.  His replacement is General Mark Clark; he had led the US Fifth Army in Italy during WWII and had a reputation for his political skills.  He was now CINCFE (Commander-in-Chief, Far East and CINCUNC (Commander-in-Chief, UN forces).

At the same time, the Americans restored Japanese self-government  and abolished MacArthur’s old post of  SCAP; (Supreme Commander of Allied Powers)

Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes –

Steve Adams – Burnwood, Australia; WWII w/ the British troops, ETO

Edwin Buck – Chicago, IL; US Navy, WWII2919573205_5a3a5035a8_b (800x545)

Joseph Croci – Elmhurst, IL; US Air Force, Korea

John Fullerton – Walkerton, Canada; 25th Toronto Service Battalion, Lt. Colonel

John Hiller – Sammamish, WA; US Navy, WWII

Ross Lennox – Montreal, Canada, WWII flight instructor, only Canadian pilot to fly all of Canada’s SeaKing Fleet; Ret as Chief Test Pilot

Dominick Oddo – Chicago, IL; US Navy WWII

Dale Showalter – Olathe, CO & Livermore, CA; US Air Corps, WWII

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Korean War (26)

2-160

 

1 March 1952, the Patrol Squadrons VP-22 and 47 of Fleet Air Wing One reported spotting a 32-vessel Russian convoy in the Formosa area in the China Sea.   The USS Endicott, during a counter-battery fight on the east coast, Chuuronjang area, eliminated the gun fire from shore.  On the west coast, the enemy began to group-up for an attack on Re-do; the fighting held off the enemy.

2 March, the LST 561 foundered off Yongpyong-do on the west coast with a loss of all hands.  This included 2 US Naval officers, (including the commander of the LST Division-12), 2 US Army officers, one ROK naval officer, 5 USN enlisted men and 2 Royal Marines.  Due to a threat of a planned demonstration led by the Japanese Communist Party in the Chigasaki beach area, Naval Beach One organized a task force to evacuate personnel and supplies in the area.

USS Samuel N. Moore

USS Samuel N. Moore

6 March, in the Songjin Harbor, HMAS Warramunga, USS Samuel N. Moore and Carrier Task Force-95 began Operation Roof Lifter.  Large numbers of buildings and houses were destroyed and many fires were started.  The next day, truck tracks in the ice indicated a landing of enemy supplies from Chinnampo.  It was suspected they were for plans of attack on Sok-to and/or Cho-do.

 

Under Water Demolition Team

Under Water Demolition Team

11 March, Mine Squadron-3 and UDT-5 (Underwater Demolition Team) on the USS Colonial recovered the first R-MYaM; a new type of Russian mine, a moored, contact, chemical horn mine laid by a surface craft for use in shallow water.  Two Banshee jets from Marine Photo Squadron-1, on a photo mission suffered severe damage when they were attacked by 4 swept-wing enemy fighters.

12 March, Operation Alcatraz, a reconnaissance landing on a small island in enemy territory just south of the Suwon Dam lighthouse was successful.  A friendly guerrilla landing on Cho-do island killed 60% of the enemy and was now in UN hands; the occurred on Onchon-do.

MK-4 rocket "Mighty Mouse"

MK-4 rocket “Mighty Mouse”

13 March, the commander of the First Marine Aircraft Wing, MGeneral Christian Schilt, USMC, informed naval operations of his statistics relevant to the recent Mighty Mouse (2.75″) rocket evaluation program.  The weapon, with folding fins, was not the success it was hoped for.  It was later scraped once air-to-air missiles became available.

15 March, Truman ordered that the Military protection of Formosa, the Pescadores and the Philippines would now be under CINCPAC (Commander in Charge Pacific).  An enemy night raid on Yongmae-do was halted by the HMS Concord.

17 March, the 29th Infantry Regiment started their amphibious training on Okinawa.  Some of the small islands just off shore of Kojo, Korea were attacked by the enemy.  The USS Hamner put a landing party ashore on Nan-do where enemy forces were suspected.

18 March, the Amphibious Redeployment Group (TG-90.5) composed of 2 AKAs, 3 LSDs, 10 LSTs and 2 PCEC started to lift the 1st Marine Division tanks, heavy equipment and troops from Sokcho-ri to Inchon (Going from the east coast to west coast.).  This would take 7 days to complete.

Former Philippine President (then Lieutenant) Fidel Ramos; platoon commander that took Hill Eerie

Former Philippine President (then Lieutenant) Fidel Ramos; platoon commander that took Hill Eerie

21 March, guerrillas and ROK AMC-309 raided the north bank of the Han River; 25 of the enemy killed and their barracks were burned.  The 1st Marine Division CP moved to the Tongji-ri area.  The 3rd Platoon, K Company, 179th Infantry, made up of 26 men (2 rifle squads, a light machine-gun  squad and 60 mm squad) set out to take Hill Eerie about 10 miles west of Ch’orwon.  The CCF attacked at 2330 hours and the machine-gun fight went on until the troops of Hill 418 supported with additional machine-guns and mortar fire.

Company C/14th Engineer Combat Batt./8th US Army w/ a barrage balloon M-1 VLA (35'x14') to mark the perimeter of the Panmunjon Armistice Conference. 22 March 1952

Company C/14th Engineer Combat Batt./8th US Army w/ a barrage balloon M-1 VLA (35’x14′) to mark the perimeter of the Panmunjon Armistice Conference. 22 March 1952

22 March, K Company was overrun by the enemy.  Captain Clark’s men on Hill 418 were ordered to retake the Hill.  They later withdrew to the MLR.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Gordon Gotzinger – Mesa, AZ; USMC, Vietnamsize0

Vincent Brezinsky – Plainfield, IL; US Navy, Korea, USS Mathews

George Coon – Floral Park, NY; US Army, WWII

Robert Fields – Kirkland, WA; US Navy, WWII, Chief Petty Officer, USS Franks

Glenna Ann Evanson – Seattle, WA; office of the Secretary to the Army Corps of Engineers, WWII

Edward O’Brien – Westbury, NY; US Army 1st Lt., WWII, ETO

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Resources: history,navy.mil; “Korean War” by Stephen Badsey”; “The Korean War” by Maurice Isserman; Wiki; korean on line.com; Koreanwar2.org; !st Marine Division Records; Korean War 60th Anniversary

Korean War (25)

No. 4 gun, Battery "B", 999th Armored Field Artillery Batt./US Army - Cpl. Andrew Williams fires gun (at right) from Doro, AL 23 Feb. 1952

No. 4 gun, Battery “B”, 999th Armored Field Artillery Batt./US Army – Cpl. Andrew Williams fires gun (at right) from Doro, AL 23 Feb. 1952

 

Politics was still running the Korean War as 1 February 1952 rolled around and Ridgeway informed the commanders of the US Naval forces of his “deepest concerns over the recent series of possible infractions by UN aircraft of neutral areas centering around Panmunjom and of authorized supply convoys on the Wyongyang-Kaesong road.”  He directed them to take action as the communists might use the actions as propaganda and effect the UN talks.

2 February, naval intelligence received reports that the enemy left the Sunwi-do and Yoncho-do islands, leaving about 2000 refugees.  The following day, the USS Manchester fired on an enemy battalion supply dump, political headquarters and supply shelters at Hojo; artillery, and equipment were destroyed and approximately 550 enemy troops were killed or wounded.

8 February, the enemy withdrew from the island of Changmin-do, Sunmi-do and Yongu-do off the west coast because of ROK marines and LSMR  (Landing Ship, medium rocket) firing.  Mahap-to was taken by the enemy.  Friendly guerrillas were evacuated by the HMAS Warramunga.

Wonsan Harbor map

Wonsan Harbor map

10-15 February, the US Army began Operation Clam-Up; whereby the army troops would cease all activity with the enemy in a ruse to lure them even closer to into an ambush.  New mines began to appear in the Wonsan Harbor.  In the vicinity of Sokto-Cho, the HMAS Bataan was hit by a 76 mm shell, but sustained no casualties.

17 February, the HMCS Athbaskan and Nootka, along with the HMS Cardigan Bay and HMAS Bataan fired flak successfully against an enemy air strike.  The following day, the islands of Wi-do, Pa-do, Dunmad-do and Yongho went into enemy hands.

19 February, ROK personnel and guerrillas were beginning to surrender in light of a North Korean amnesty grant giving full pardon to anyone who committed political, military or economic crimes, if they confess to the North Korean authorities.  A total of 389 MiGs were observed, the most to date ever spotted.

HMNZS Taupo, Korean east coast

HMNZS Taupo, Korean east coast

20 February, approximately 250 North Koreans tried to make an amphibious landing on the island of Yang-do near Sonjin.  The HMNZS Taupo, USS Sheldon and Endicott used their 40mm guns to halt the operation.  The island commander reported heavy losses of the enemy and the assault ended.

21 February, BGeneral Lee Il, of the North Korean Army/24th Mechanized Artillery Division, surrendered to the US Marines on Tae-do Island.  He arrived in a stolen sampan with a brief case filled with top-secret North Korean papers that showed dispositions, organization and defense plants.  He stated that the North Koreans had made plans to make night raids on the Wonsan Islands with approximately 100-200-man parties when visibility is poor.

22 February, a Naval Liaison Officer of the 1st Marine Division reported that a NKPA POW disclosed that ship gunfire forced the 45th North Korean Regiment to evacuate; proving that the UN naval operations were effective.  For the next two weeks, the Fast Carrier Task Force (TF-77) operated a campaign for small boat destruction to help reduce the possible amphibious landings planned by the NKPA.  By 5 March, 303 would be destroyed and 547 damaged.

An invasion of Mu-do was halted by the HMCS Cayuga on 25 February.  A conference was held on the USS Wisconsin at Pusan.  Admirals Briscoe, Martin (US Navy), Admiral Scott-Moncrieff (Australian Navy), a representative from the ROK Navy were present.  Syngman Rhee was in Pusan at the time to visit the 7th Fleet.

27 February represented a new high of MiG sightings in northwest Korea, with 404 planes being spotted.

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Father Emil Kapaun

Father Emil Kapaun

Personal Note –  Unfortunately I missed this noteworthy story of Father Emil Kapaun during 1951.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Kapaun

I hope some of you will take the time to read at least his Korean War service.  Thank you.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Scott Carpenter – Boulder, CO; US Navy, pilot, Korean War & NASA astronaut

Charles Preble, Jr. – Annadale, VA; US Army WWII (91st Inf. Div.), 82nd A/B, Colonel, Office of Army Chief of Staff (Pentagon) retired, Bronze Star

William Smith, Jr. – McLean, VA; US Army Corps of Engineers (Ret.), Colonel

Emil Kapaun helping a wounded soldier

Emil Kapaun helping a wounded soldier

Dutton Stoy – Clarksburg, WV & DC; US Air Force (Ret.) Lt. Colonel, Vietnam

Frank DeMarco – Mesa, AZ; US Army, Vietnam, 2 Purple Hearts

Richard Harris, Sr. – Sun City, AZ; USMC, Korea

Click on images to enlarge.

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