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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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 November 3, 2013, in Korean War, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 44 Comments.

  1. I enjoy these blogs and have been saving them to read later. My apologies for forgetting to “like” them so you know I’m looking at them. They make history more real.

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    • My ratings are not foremost on my mind. I am rewarded by knowing that you are reading the posts, and that I provide accurate information for you to have. Thank you for stopping in.

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  2. Great to learn the inspiring story of Father Emil J Kapaun. Such men are remarkable. I wonder if he is remembered in tales told by descendants of his North Korean captors.

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  3. GP–you are a modern day war hero because you keep the memory of those who fought and died alive for other generations. And I have to say, reading your comments and responses, I love how you handle your audience. You truly are a journalist, first class. Thank you for your efforts.

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  4. Senior moments or not (just read your last reply to a comment), I admire your devotion to your blog, and to sharing information with the rest of us. The story of Father Emil is inspiring and sad.

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    • Thank you for your compliments. I’ve always been a history and research buff – I’m just thrilled (and surprised) that so many other people want to read my results. I appreciate you reading.

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  5. GP, following the conversation on my blog: in the email that got lost I was asking whether you were going to do anything about General Dodd and the mess at the POW camps on Koje in the spring of 1952. That was the biggest Korea story of that period (Feb. to May, 1952) and it involved your favorites, the paratroopers, who did a good job when they were called in at the end of the crisis.

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    • I have the notes from a couple of sources about the 187th and one source for the original mess – anything you have would be a great addition.

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      • I have lots of material on Koje but none of it is the kind of personal, eyewitness reporting that I’ve given you earlier. The story was covered by the entire world press, and I was just one guy in the press corps going to the brieifings and press conferences and trying to explain it all. All the magazines and papers covered it and it has been told in all the books and I’m sure in the official histories that you use. I urge you not to rely on a single source. As long as you tell your readers what happened to General Dodd on May 7 1952, and why it happened, and how things were fixed afterwards, you will have an exciting post.

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  6. So many of your readers still wondering why they never learned much about the Korean War in school, that I’ve given it some thought and I think I have an answer, or at least a theory. Unlike WWII or Vietnam, the Korean war didn’t change things very much. It started with a divided country, communist north, theoretically democratic south, and it ended the same way, with the same leaders in charge. The other large wars had profound effects on the world. Educators are supposed to teach history that helps their students understand the world around them, to teach the causes of current situations. In other words, despite all the death and suffering and heroism, the Korean war holds very little relevance to the decades that followed. Except to the Koreans, and to the soldiers who fought there (and the reporters who covered it) it didn’t really matter. So from an educational standpoint, there was no lesson to learn from it. Except, of course, for the folly of war–but schools don’t teach that.

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    • I agree with you on all points except – Korea changed how a war was fought, by diplomats, politicians and compromise rather than winning. It also deflated the Soviet’s influence in the world – especially in Asia and Red China became even more dominate – despite being held out of the UN for so long. You would have thought some of those points would have been brought to light. I hope the readers take a look here – I’m interested in hearing what they have to say on the matter.

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      • GP, you’re being naive. Politicians, monarchs, presidents, businessmen, whatever have always been involved in the decisions involving wars. Korea changed nothing in that regard. And it did nothing to deflate Soviet Power. The Soviets were still powerful and a threat to us for nearly 40 more years. And as for China, it still took us 20 years after Korea to recognize China’s importance.

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        • I won’t argue about the politics involved because I am quoting my sources, not giving an opinion. I try to keep an open mind about things especially when the events occurred while I was a child.

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  7. Very interesting information about Father Kapuan and his story about staying behind to tend to the wounded, even though he could have been allowed to go free. A pretty awesome man who finally got the recognition he richly deserved. He’s also awesome because he’s Czech, like me! 🙂

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  8. i learn so much from your posts. thank you for them. they are always high quality and informative~

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  9. I never knew about Father Emil and went over to Wikipedia to learn more about him. I appreciate your blog for reminding us how important history and lessons from the past are.

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  10. Let’s not talk about those senior moments, GP. They seem to appear far too often in my world. I’m just getting to posting replies – but Tom and I both enjoyed the read immensely. He told me he’d like to go to the library this afternoon to pick up several books he has on hold as a result of your posts:) The heavens are indeed bright today. Guess that means he had enough gardening yesterday!

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  11. As I will always say, I do not believe the Korean War is elaborated on in high school text books. I am a professional tutor and info on this war is scant in public schools, to say the least. Too bad for those forgotten heroes not to be better remembered. I always learn something from your posts…..

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  12. amazing attention to detail, with excellent supporting photos and map, allowing the reader to really understand and appreciate what was going on. Thank you!

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    • I appreciate you saying so. I try to do as much research as I can on each post, but still depend on my readers for assistance. Every story welcome here, it’s all history and all worthy of being documented.

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  13. I took the time to read about Father Kapaun.
    That’s the least I could do.
    Thank you for taking the time to write about the Korean War.

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    • You know I enjoy it, Pierre. I’m just overwhelmed that you take the time to read, what with all you are always up to in research, interviews, etc. Thank you.

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  14. Again, a great read, I do look forward to your posts, they are informative, good details, good history stories, thank you for posting them.

    ted

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  15. Extraordinary the story of Father Emil J. Kapaun. There are several books out on this Soldier Padre. A recent one published in 2013 entitled “The miracle of Father Kapaun: Priest, Soldier and Korean War Hero”. There is also a website dedicated to the cause of sainthood for Father Kapaun: http://www.frkapaun.org/

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    • Thank you for adding that, Mike. I did know about the site, but somehow lost the address for it when I did the post. I’m having too many senior moments lately.

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  1. Pingback: Easter 1950′s Style | pacificparatrooper

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