Marine Intelligence Report

Prisoner taken

Prisoner taken

 

As I’ve mentioned in many previous posts, the United Nations tried to limit Korean activity to South Korean forces and guerrillas with the support of the Far East Naval vessels.  This should in no manner suggest that the UN ground forces remained idle.  Conflicts, especially along the Main Line of Resistance, occurred all throughout this period.  This post, in condensed form, will exhibit what some of the men were experiencing June 1952 as taken from the records of the 5th Marines/1st Marine Division Intelligence report for Operation Plan 8-52:

1st Marine Division

1st Marine Division

“From the 63rd CCF Army – 2 divisions on the front with one division in reserve.  This is supported by the 1st CCF Armored Division in the Taedoksan area to the Sami River for the enemy 187th Division and the area north of Panmunjon for the 189th Division.  Both of these groups were in contact with the UN forces.

flight-line, observation planes, 1952

flight-line, observation planes, 1952

“According to intel sources, these are 3 battalions of Organic Artillery directly opposite our lines as well as 6 artillery battalions and one battery of 76mm mountain guns.  Their arms closely available to the enemy included 76mm howitzers; 37mm AA guns; 60mm, 82mm, 120mm mortars; hand guns and recoiless rifles.

“The CCF were in the front in well-dug trenches extending well into the rear positions with constantly improving communications.  The armored vehicles were spread across the front.  Anti-tank trenches and minefields were across the roads entering their positions. The enemy has recently been creeping forward and occupying high ground.  Enemy patrols have gone out (all activity at night) to capture prisoners and supplies.

face of the enemy?

face of the enemy?

“The combat efficiency is excellent. (The text of the Marine record states in caps:) DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THIS ENEMY.  HE IS A HIGHLY SKILLED AND DANGEROUS ADVERSARY.  His supplies are distributed, no stockpiles and the reserve units – 2 regiments 2 miles away and one division is 10 miles away.  The enemy was quite capable of attacking complete with fighters and light bomber aircraft, airborne operations with 3,000 men and employing chemical and/or biological weapons.

terrain of North Korea

terrain of North Korea

“The analysis of this information is that the enemy to our front is capable of attack at any time.  The 1st CCF Armored Division is capable of immediate deployment anywhere along the front.  Hills 137, 147 and 126 and the Imjin River are logical objectives.  Terrain in area is suitable for the enemy.

“The enemy air force is expanding its activity to include hit and run attacks on troop movement, CPs, bridges, supply areas and front lines.  Paratroop drops are capable.  POW interrogations indicate the enemy is very interested in chemical and biological warfare and the flat terrain areas are favorable for the employment of gas.”

1st Marine Div., early September 1952

1st Marine Div., early September 1952

The report continues on, stressing advisement that Marines are looking at a huge force of CCF with reinforcements directly behind them.  Patrols from the enemy are a constant threat, especially at night, but all of this must not distract them from their mission.  Since parts have been censored from the de-classified documents, I can not relate exactly what that mission was outside of defending the MLR.

Click on images to view actual size.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Purple Heart

Purple Heart

Kenneth Brisbane – Canby, OR; US Army, WWII

Lou Brissie – N.Augusta, SC; US Army, WWII, ETO, Purple Heart

John Dameron – Fredericksburg, VA; US Army WWII

Edward Galante – Brockton, MA & W.Palm Beach, FL; USMC, WWII, PTO, Sgt., Marine Squadron VMSB-343 Gregory’s Gorillas, Midway

Frederick Hawkes – Toowoomba, Australia; Royal Australian Army (213361), SSgt, WWII

Dean Miller – Van Meter, Iowa & Fairfax, VA; US Air Force, 1st Lt., Korea

John Satterfield – Columbus, GA & AZ; US Army, WWII, Sgt.M, 24 years retired

Paul Squirlock – PA & AZ; US Army, WWII, ETO, Purple Heart

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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 December 13, 2013, in Korean War and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 53 Comments.

  1. Again great info. Learning so much about the Korean War from your site.

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  2. Gives rise to many questions, but an interesting reading, all wars or conflicts have propaganda that makes the good guys to appear better for the general media.
    Ian

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  3. One factor about the CCF that never seemed to make into intel reports in those days, is that the mid-level and senior officers & enlisted, were all veterans of extensive combat against the Japanese in WWII. We had a good number of senior combat Vets too. But, China’s men had been fighting the Japanese for several years before WWII even started in between major clashes with Nationalist Chinese troops. Then, as we demobilized after WWII, these same men went directly into full civil war with the Nationalists. All that combined combat experience was a big factor in their combat prowess in Korea. It wasn’t just their large numbers.

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  4. My education on this war continues thanks to your posts. Was there any use of biological or chemical weapons in Korea by either side that you have discovered?

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    • There were a lot of allegations on both sides, but to my knowledge there has not been anything proven. I was wondering who would be the first to ask that question, good for you.

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  5. Interesting about the chemical and biological warfare concerns. And I have a few more to add to your farewell list: Thomas Rangiora Tipa, D Company, 14th Reinforcement, 28th Maori Battalion; died Timaru, NZ. Ralph Robert Crosby Joseph Stafford, RNZAF and TAF, WW2: Fiji, Guadalcanal; RNZN (1945-46) Petty Officer HMNZS Achilles: J Force (Japan), died Christchurch NZ and Elmer Victor Carlson, Royal Canadian Navy (HMCS Restigouche), died Christchurch, NZ

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  6. Your tribute site is fascinating. My father (WWII) and two brothers (Viet Nam) all served in the U.S. Army, fought and were awarded the Purple Heart. I now have my father’s Purple Heart. Thanks for honoring our veterans.

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  7. I read somewhere, light years ago that there were few escapes from Korean prison camps. That psychological warfare was tuned in them. Anything on that subject?

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    • Not to my knowledge. What I kept coming across was the idea of the communists wanted all those people grouped together to be under control of their spies. Sort of a destroy-from-within scheme, so why would they escape?

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  8. Say, that’s not your run-of-the-mill Sherman in the second photo, but one of the double-barrel M4A1 Sherman tanks that were pulled out of post WW2 storage to form a Flame Platoon that would accompany the 1st Marine Division to Inchon. The tanks, designated POA-CWS-H5, were equipped with a 105mm howitzer and a flamethrower. http://tinyurl.com/jw6pez2

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  9. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Wow, interesting stuff indeed. Very engaging. Cheers – thank you.

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  10. I am continually amazed by the volumes of documents you are able to uncover and share with us. As you very well know our generation knew very little about this forgotten war, Thank you for all your efforts to bring it into the light.

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  11. I enjoy your posts very much. My Dad fought in Europe, so your posts help me have a sense in what he went through during the war. Your pictures are also wonderful.

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    • Thank you very much. I find that the photos help me to describe what I’m talking about. When you have the time, tell us more about your father. We’ll be getting back into WWII as soon as I close up Korea.

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  12. Very informative – and outside the usual combat stories.

    “…with constantly improving communications….” – I found this very telling and probably one of the key developments that is mostly overlooked by authors of fiction.

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  13. Do we know if biological warfare ever took place?

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  14. ” Paratroop drops are capable “. I haven’t heard of paratroop drops during the Korean war by either side . I suspect the UN staged a few , but I wonder if the enemy did . I think that’s your neighborhood , so maybe you know .

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  15. Not a very encouraging scenario for the UN forces. It must have needed constant, and very nervous, vigilance.

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    • I agree, you are staring down thousands of the enemy, waiting day-in-day-out for the ax to fall and you can’t do anything about it – you sure can’t sleep at night!

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  16. This intel report was quite summarize, I see… at least IMHO. But the overlying clouds of chemical warfare looms. And your photos were again quite interesting. The first one where an apparent enemy is laying prone with his face looking down the barrel of the soldier’s M1 – the US soldier’s finger isn’t on the trigger. 🙂 I also found the close-up of the Asian soldier with his winter cap on a little “fishy”… He has his cold weather gear on but is holding the theoretically freezing-cold metal barrel of his Russian PPSh-41 7.62 mm sub-machine gun with his bare hand. 🙂

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  17. Call me naive but I think our government too often underestimates the enemy these days. It seems that this administration is eliminating the leaders who actually know how to fight and win. If you’ve got to fight, you should fight to win.

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  18. The reference to biological and chemical warfare is highly interesting and points out to how low military minds can go when confronted by a conflict in a stalemate.

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