Korean War (32)

1st Platoon, 25th Inf. Div., Heavy Mortar Company, August '52

1st Platoon, 25th Inf. Div., Heavy Mortar Company, August ’52

1 August 1952, the Japan National Security Law became effective and the Coastal Security Force was established, independent of the Maritime Safety Agency.  This was an important legal step in turning over American patrol vessels to Japanese operators.

4 August, the 187th RCT prepared to move to Chipo-ri and be put back on the front lines.  Once again, just as in WWII, they removed all patches, etc. that designated them as a paratroop unit.  Secretly, they would travel as the “Blackjack” RCT to an area known as the Iron Triangle.

MLR 1952

MLR 1952

The ROK Naval MTB-27 received fire from machine-guns on land in the Tanchon area.  The USS Porter (DD-800) returned that fire causing approximately 75 enemy casualties.

6 August, a F9F Panther jet exploded on the USS Boxer causing gasoline and ammunition to ignite; 8 enlisted and 1 naval officer died.  Helicopters and destryers of TF-77 rescued 63 from the sea, 12 other planes were destroyed.  The USS Pierce (DD-753) received 7 hits from about 100 rounds of 105mm fired from shore in the Tanchon area.  This caused 10 casualties, damaged the torpedo director, a 5″ mount and put holes in both stacks.

Sea Fury aircraft

Sea Fury aircraft

9-10 August, 4 Sea Fury aircraft from the HMS Ocean were attacked by 8 MiG-15s north of Chinnampo; one MiG destroyed.

Enemy guns in the Wonsan area fired about 250 rounds at the USS Barton & Jarvis from 9 guns ranging from 75mm to 155mm.  Barton suffered one man killed and 2 wounded; 2 guns destroyed.

187th RCT

187th RCT

14 August, the 187th was dug into their defensive positions in the Hanton-Chon-Namdar River Valley.  Hundreds of Chinese were spotted through the fog surrounding a patrol.  Captain John Fye III was operating the Fire Direction Center (FDC) and had given the order, “Fire the Battalion in Effect.”  They landed right on the enemy, but now they couldn’t see the CCF or their own men through the smoke.  Faintly, word came from a radio in battle for them to continue firing the FDC.  More CCF were spotted and more firing ensued; the enemy appeared either dead or disorientated.  A new message said they were receiving machine-gun fire from a hill.  No sooner than the gun was silenced, the battle appeared to be over.

Sgt. Smykowski at a FDC

Sgt. Smykowski at a FDC

A team went in to meet up with the lost patrol and more CCF attacked.  In 102º weather, the fighting carried on.  The team radioed back as to where the mortar support should  begin firing.   As if by some miracle, a P-51 with a South African insignia showed up and began bombing the enemy, who immediately retreated to their caves.  The entire patrol received Purple Hearts, Sgt Payne got a Silver Star and Cpl Hammond Jr. – a Medal of Honor.  (It was discovered later that the P-51 was scheduled to bomb Kunhwa Valley,  missed the signal flare, but saved the men here.)

USS Sarsi

USS Sarsi

28 August, while on patrol in the Hungnam area, the USS Sarsi (ATF-111) struck a mine and sank within 21 minutes.  Of the 97 men on board, 92 were recovered.  The Sarsi‘s publications were reported to be weighed and sunk, but it was not known if the bag was sealed.  Operations plans were in a locked safe; 8 bags of mail were lost.  A ship remained in the area to prevent the enemy from salvaging the material.

F6F Drone

F6F Drone

During operations, until 2 Setember, the Guided Missle Unit (GMU) 90 on the USS Boxer launched 6 F6F drones against land targets.  Results were one hit, 4 misses and one operational abort.

29 August, was the the largest raid in the war to date.  TF-77 carriers coordinated with the US Air Force, Marines, British and Australian air forces launched a strike of well over 1,000 aircraft against Pyongyang.  They destroyed warehouses, gun positions, rail cars, trucks and damaged a rubber factory and oil tanks.

30 August, salvage operations began on the USS Sarsi, discovered upright, below 10′ of water.  The USS Boyd fired on the enemy’s 20 guns and tanks on shore as they fired on the boats conducting the operation.  Due to this action, the decision was made to demolish the Sarsi rather than attempt salvage.

During August 1952, the enemy shore batteries scored hits on 9 United Nation vessels; this was their best achievement to date.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Bronze Star

Bronze Star

John Ansley – Portland, OR; US Army, Colonel, WWII ETO, 2 Bronze Stars

James Ball – Summerville, SC; US Army, Lt. Colonel (Ret.)

Richard Darnell – Toronto, Canada; RCAF, WWII

Francis Gruver – Akron, OH & Fort Lauderdale, FL; US Army, WWII, Purple Heart

Donal Jacobson – Washington DC; US Army, MSgt (Ret.), WWII, Korea & Vietnam

George Munro – Toronta, Canada; RCAF, WWII

Edward Skube – Front Royal, VA; US Navy, Captain (Retired in ’77)

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WWII – 

001 (741x800)

 

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 December 19, 2013, in Korean War and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.

  1. Your blogs is so informative! For some reason I feel like you know more about the Korean War than the Korean military man myself. Haha, cheers!

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    • I doubt that, Daniel. I’ve just simply put in order the information left from the military and historians. Thanks for the compliment and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

      Like

  2. GP – The team radioed back as to where the mortar support should begin firing. As if by some miracle, a P-51 with a South African insignia showed up and began bombing the enemy, who immediately retreated to their caves.
    What a great, though probably little known, story. Again, you’re research amazes me.

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  3. Great reading my friend, enjoyed reading the Brissie story as well,cant figure out the scenario of a South African p-51 being in involved in the Korean conflict, excuse my lack of history in this regards.
    Regards
    Ian

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  4. And once again 😀 Merry Christmas gpcox to you and all those who surround you with love and peace; have a terrific New Year!

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  5. And I thought drones were something new! Read and learn! 🙂 Not being into sports so much, I didn’t know who Lou Brissie was. What an inspiration.

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  6. Hi GPCox,
    I’ve nominated you for the Awesome Blog Content Award. Check the nomination post here
    http://notesonaspanishvalley.com/
    Enjoy!
    Sandra

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  7. Brissie obviously had a dream and drive and quite a lot of resiliency! Wow!

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  8. hilarycustancegreen

    Drones in the 1950s? I loved the clip about Brissie. Sadly, there’s another generation now who need his example.

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  9. Hi again. Just saw that another blogger friend of mine posted on her dad’s involvement during the Korean War and thought I’d share the post with you. http://wordpress.com/read/post/id/40531473/1882/

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  10. I was wondering if a salvage operation was planned for the Sarsi…too bad they had to destroy it…curious as to whether the op plans and letters had remained intact before it had been destroyed.

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  11. I was intrigued by the use of F6F drones in your article. I did a quick search and found this information: “In late 1952, Guided Missile Unit 90 used F6F-5K drones, each carrying a 2000 lb bomb, to attack bridges in Korea; flying from USS Boxer, radio controlled from an escorting AD Skyraider.”
    This is quite amazing use of technology for that period.

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  12. Every time I read, I learn, thank you.

    ted

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  13. I thought the clipping on Brissie was a wonderful side note to your post, gpcox.

    Now just what were the F6F drones? Radio guided one-way trips loaded down with explosives? And PINK? 🙂

    I had to look up Cpl. Hammond, Jr. Cpl. Lester Hammond, Jr. He gave his life to accurately bring in artillery fire on his position. He was 21 years old.

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  14. Loved the newspaper clipping you included. Wow, Lou Brissie was one strong, determined guy.

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  15. I enjoyed the piece about Lou Brissie I had forgotten about him.
    Lillian

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    • You and me both, Lillian; or I would have included him in my guest post on sports to Judy’s Greatest Generation Lessons – he was still alive when I wrote the article.

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  16. Sgt. Smykowski looks so young. But, they all were.

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  17. I enjoyed the Brissie newspaper clipping.

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  18. I am struck in your first paragraph by how fast enemies become allies and vice versa. Handing over American patrol vessels to Japanese operators less than a decade after WW2.

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  19. Love the baseball story, and of course the airplane pictures.

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  20. This seems to have been rather a good period for the enemy. Spot of luck that South African P-51 missing the flare, though, and deciding to mix in there instead!

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