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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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 9, 2013, in Korean War and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. Again, I was astonished at the amount of naval assets that were subjected to hostile fire. In my (feeble) mind, I had believed the Korean War to be primarily land-based battles in addition to dogfights. Thanks!

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    • Yes, once the so-called “lull” started, the UN wanted a stalemate mostly protected by South Korean troops and guerrillas and the naval forces. Ground action was still taking place, but it is difficult to locate the specifics.

      Like

  2. For some reason, this fact just stood out in terms of the costs of war
    “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”

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  3. I shared your blog on Facebook. I thought that I could help others interested in understanding what our hero soldiers went through. As I wrote on the comment you wrote on my blog, you are a very informed and good writer. The quality of your writing is good enough to be done up in a book format.

    I know my Dad would appreciate you keeping the stories alive; if alive he would help him feel that his loss of his leg during the Second World War was not going to be forgotten. Nothing could give him his leg back, but the thought that his sacrifice was going to be forgotten would disturb him greatly. It is not that he was a braggart, but the burden of the sacrifice of a leg by one as athletic as him would have made him hope that the sacrifice was at least appreciated.

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    • I thank you for you kind remarks and telling us about your father. Should you think of any stories he might have told you, feel free to come back and add them as well.
      Many of our fellow bloggers are working hard to make certain NONE of the veterans are forgotten – including today’s young men and women.

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  4. Dear gpcox,

    With great respect, I have nominated you and your blog PACIFICPARATROOPER for three well-deserved awards, on this special occasion of Veterans Day.

    These are unconditional awards, and I do hope that you would accept these. Please visit the link below for more details;
    http://dshenai.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/nominating-fellow-blogger-veteran-for-three-well-deserved-awards-on-veterans-day1/

    Happy Veterans Day!

    -Deo

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  5. I also had to look up paravane! Also didn’t realise that self government was only returned to Japan in 1952.

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  6. As always sir, a good read, thank you for posting it.

    ted

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  7. I second the wish for a good Veterans’ Day . You really put a lot of work into this blog and it is very much appreciated . The superb blog truly honors vets by presenting their efforts in an informative , straightforward , and responsible manner . Bravo !

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    • Thank you, Dan. All I can say is – that I try. Unfortunately, our heroes have given me far too much material to work with. (( I try to never curse, but those poor bastards went thru Hell, the least I can do is write about them and hopefully they’ll be remembered!))

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  8. What heroes they were/ are. Thank you for your always outstanding posts. What a contribution you are making to all of us with your blog!

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  9. There seems to have been some take mixed with the give during these months.

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    • Most sources continue to say it was it was a “lull”. I think because the UN was trying to leave the ground fighting to South Koreans forces, guerrillas and the navies while they continued talks, but so much else was going on. That’s why I keep looking and asking for stories from the vets.(and/or relatives)

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  10. I’d never heard of a paravane till today. Thanks for the detail you put into your blog. It truly is a place to learn about military history, from people to weapons used.

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  11. I too, was curious about the paravane. I’d heard of them before, but had never seen a photo of one. The naval info was interesting, too.

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  12. I had to check out what a paravane was…cool defense weapon!

    Love the picture of the men from 1st Commnwealth Division!

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    • Thanks – you gave me two things to be happy about; one- I made you curious enough to look up the paravanes and two – a picture you enjoy. Have a great weekend!

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  13. Great history that truly makes us proud of what we are today. We are always proud of our Veterans. Thanks a million for sharing these crucial details.

    Have a great Veterans Day!

    -Deo

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