Korean War (35)

USS Oriskany

USS Oriskany

28 October 1952, the USS Oriskany (CV-34) joined Task Force-77 and launched its first attacks.  This marked the first combat use of the F9F-5 Panther jet.

Grumman F9F-5 Panther jet

Grumman F9F-5 Panther jet; this particular aircraft flew 2 Jan. – 3 March 1953 w/ the “Screaming Eagles”

1 November, according to US naval reports – the Navy pilots flew 11,004 sorties during October; approximately 50% were missions of ground support strikes.  That month also – the Helicopter Transport Squadron 161 set a new record by evacuating 365 casualties.

IL-28 Beagle courtesy of Global Aircraft.org

IL-28 Beagle
courtesy of Global Aircraft.org

The US tested the first Hydrogen bomb on Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific.  This weapon proved to be about 1,000 times more powerful than other conventional nuclear weapons.

6 November, the FEAF (Far East Air Force) accepted the fact that the enemy had 15 IL-28 twin engine jet bombers in Manchuria.  In the past, the main threat was the MiG-15s, but now the enemy had a weapon capable for level bombing any target in Korea.

23 November, President Syngman Rhee, Mrs. Rhee, General and Mrs. Van Fleet, Gen. Park SunYup (ROK Army Chief of Staff) and Gen. Lee Hung Keen (Commander of the 1st HOK Corps [helicopter corps] were guests aboard the USS Los Angeles.  They arrived and left by helicopter. (The reason for this meeting is unknown to gpcox)

Pres. Eisenhower on a Korean visit

Pres. Eisenhower on a Korean visit

29 November, President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower visited Korea to personally access the war.  During his campaign he had made it clear to the communists that America would not be satisfied with a tenuous stalemate.

F4U Corsair

F4U Corsair

During November, the enemy boldly used the highways.  This enabled the ADNs and F4Us of TF-77 to destroy 206 trucks and damage 274.  Most of the activity was at night, south from Hamhung to Wonsan and the east/west corridor from Wonsan to the front.

During December, the Eighth Army moved from the front lines to enable the 5th Air Force and Navy fighter bombers to target those areas for the enemy.

Gen. Edwin Pollack

Gen. Edwin Pollack

3 December, at the 1st Marine Division CP (Command Post), General Edwin Pollack gave a briefing of the current situation to: Eisenhower, Generals Bradley, Clark, Van Fleet and Kendall; also Mr. Charles Wilson (Secretary of Defense designate), Gen. Parsons (Ret.) Special Assistant to Eisenhower and Mr. James Haggerty, presidential press secretary.  This visit convinces Eisenhower that further offensive action is useless, it would only cause more casualties.  He tries to renew diplomatic efforts.

The UN General Assembly passes a resolution calling for the return of all willing prisoners put forth by the Indian representative.  The Soviets were the only negative vote.  POW repatriation is the main snag to peace talks.  Disturbances developed with the prisoners that had been moved from Koje-do to the newly built camps  as the UN prepared for prisoner exchanges.  The North Koreans and Chinese knew repatriates would have to prove that their capture was unavoidable and their resistance heroic, up to the highest communist standards.  The worst of these riots occurred on Pongam-do, where Pak still commanded the civilian prisoners  loyal to the communist movement.  85 resisters died rushing the wire in a breakout attempt; undercover doctors and nurses killed POW patients  they regarded as traitors.

American POWs who refused to come home - considered traitors

American POWs who refused to come home – considered traitors

11-13 December, battles for ROK outposts Little Nori, Hill Betty and Hill 105 along the Injin River began between 2 battalions of the CCF and the ROK 11th Regiment.  After 3 days of fighting, the enemy withdrew.

17 December, President Eisenhower met with General Douglas MacArthur.  The retired general described his views and plans (if still in charge), but Ike rejected them.

Outpost wars map - T-Bone Hill is just west of the black triangle

Outpost wars map – T-Bone Hill is just west of the black triangle

25 December, the Battle of T-Bone Hill began between the Chinese and the 38th Infantry Regiment/2nd Infantry Division at their outposts Eerie and Arsensal.  The intense battle cost the enemy 500 men; the 38th suffered 6 KIA and 41 WIA.

During December, the communists developed an ambush tactic against the F-86 pilots that patrolled the Yalu River.  They would catch them as they returned to base, low on fuel.  Since many pilots were forced to ditch their planes, the UN forces maintained an air rescue detachment on Cho-do Island.

As B-29 losses increased; the 5th Air Force joined the Navy and Marines to provide fighter escorts.  They also restricted the missions to cloudy, dark nights because the contrails betrayed the bombers’ locations.

Click on Images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Leo Ashby – Calif.; US Army Air Corps, WWII PTO, C Company/127th Engineers

Bruce Brown – Tacoma, WA; US Navy, WWII

A Farewell Salute

A Farewell Salute

Frank Collins, Jr. – San Diego, CA; US Navy, Rear Admiral, Korea

William Dasinger – Alexandria, VA; US Navy, WWII, Korea & Vietnam

Donal Gaste – Burnsville, MN; US Army, 187th RCT, Korea

Fred Howard – Ann Arbor, Michigan; US Air Force, WWII ETO, bombardier

Robert Pyle – Springfield, VA; US navy Captain (Ret.), Vietnam

James Vignola – Carthage, NC; US Army Air Corps, 11th A/B, WWII PTO

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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 January 2, 2014, in Korean War and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 66 Comments.

  1. A great post. I learned a lot of new things. Thanks!

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  2. G.P. I always enjoy and save (for future reference) your posts involving the air war and the excellent responses from your readers. The facts are shared clearly with no “rah rah rah” cheer leading, and that makes the information not only more credible but easier to read as well.

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    • Thank you noticing. I’m not trying to be an elaborate novelists – just report the facts as I discover them. I appreciate you attention to the posts AND the comments – the readers often have additional important data!

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  3. Are those Naval reports available to the public? I mean, do you know this by research, or because of your contacts. Only curious! Just, amazing stuff here. Either way, you pull it together so well. You tell it like a story.

    Deeply, deeply interesting. Thanks for the education.

    (the hydrogen bomb in that beautiful natural world space, is so sad)

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  4. Do we have any information on those who stayed their names, where are they now,etc.
    Did any stay as spies, I would serious doubt it but who knows. What did the Koreans do with these men after the war ended?

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  5. Korea was a first for USS Oriskany too. She was built for WWII, but wasn’t completed until a month after VJ Day. She then sat in reserve until 1950, only then she did she see any combat. But, she went on to serve for over two decades.

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  6. It seems many of us are intrigued by the incidents of US prisoners choosing to stay. I wonder if there was an official analysis made on the communist brainwashing techniques. I believe it is more commonly known as re-education. This story has got me wondering what became of those ex-POWs?

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  7. How awful for the communist POWs – to be afraid of repatriation because they would have to prove their capture was unavoidable…and then the Stockholm syndrome of the US POWs…Lots of psychological trauma for POWs on both sides. Interesting as always.

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  8. Another interesting post.

    Whenever I read about meetings that lack documentation I assume the main purpose was to to party and get drunk.

    At least that’s my hopeful assumption. The alternative is they callously planned for more troops to get in harm’s way.

    As for the prisoners . . .

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

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  9. Sorry, I tried to find the reason for the group aboard the Los Angeles in November 1952, but couldn’t. Neither the cruiser’s Wiki page, nor the Korean War pages had any info. If you want, I can dig deeper and see what I can find.
    The Skyraider was an interesting bird. Built for carrier use but too late for WW2, it could carry more than its’ own weight in ordnance. They served in their WW2 layout throughout Korea, and served in both multi-crew and single-pilot formats in Vietnam, usually as air cover over helo rescue units as they had great range and loiter time, known affectionately as “Sandies”.
    Well done on this. A long time period of stalemate could be very boring. Nice spread of detail and overview to keep the ball rolling!

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    • Thanks for the comments, John. I’m glad to hear I got someone else’s curiosity up like mine. Do you think a question to AllAbout.com or that other question site would help?

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      • Meh, I wasn’t going to bother with that kind of site. If I can’t find the info out on the Navy’s site or the Army’s site, I know of several other naval-oriented sites that would provide TROMs (Tabular Record Of Movement – where the ship went), and if that fails, I’m on a board that is liberally sprinkled with guys who know Navy stuff like I know the airplanes! 😉
        I will do my best to find something tomorrow, but I have a load of wood to box and get in my basement to keep us warm over the next few sub-zero days. I will DEFINITELY get you something by Sunday. Deal? (You can just owe my a favour. Heh-heh-heh! 😀 )

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  10. I, too, found it surprising that there were a group of POWs that refused to leave. Thanks for your great reporting on facts unknown to many of us.

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  11. I didn’t realise there was anything unknown to gpcox!

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    • Oh, come now Hilary – I’m smart enough to know just how stupid I am. Sometimes I admit when I don’t know the answer, but usually my curiosity gets the better of me and I look into the answer before replying to the reader.

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  12. That was my question too — the communist way of thinking has a great deal of appeal to the idealistic but empty headed. Perhaps better education (not the standard indoctrination) might be the answer, now and for the future especially?

    If only people could actually think—there’d be fewer wars. If all could think, there’d be no wars. But don’t hold your breath~!

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    • I can wish, but I know it will never be, Argus. Communism and socialism look good on paper, but they no more work in their true form any more than true democracy does. There has to be a common ground.

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  13. Great photos ! Also , I wonder how many of the Americans who chose to stay changed their minds later and were repatriated .

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    • That would be a very interesting story, Dan. Any ideas on how we would go about searching for one? If it had been me – I sure wouldn’t advertise myself as a traitor when I got back.

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    • Quite a few did change their minds and came back. There was a book titled “Twenty-one Stayed” that came out shortly after the war about the Americans that refused repatriation and stayed. And there were lots of news reports about those who changed their minds. Most of the 21 were poorly-educated kids who knew nothing about the world situation and were easily convinced that they would have a better life under the glories of communiism. More of a black mark against US education than a triumph of Communist brainwashing techniques.

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  14. IT would be richly ironic if the prisoners were wanting to stay because they had been successfully brainwashed – thus the communists would have created the problem themselves.
    The enemy certainly remained active during this period. It was becoming ever clearer that it was an impossible war for either side to win./

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  15. Appreciate your holiday message on my blog. Very best wishes for the New Year!

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  16. Essentially, those POWs who began to believe in the communism’s ideals were brainwashed.

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  17. Wasn’t MacArthur’s back up plan to nuke them? MacArthur had some wild ideas of alliances and such, I believe, but it was crazy? I also recall Ike was an officer REPORTING to MacArthur at one time? Certainly, Ike’s personality and professional calm (as documented by Operation Overlord’s success) ruled.

    And the note about contrails for the B-29s… OMG

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    • MacArthur wanted to threaten them with the bomb; Truman thought they might bomb towns just this side of Manchuria and Russia and MacArthur was Ike’s superior officer when they were both stationed in the Philippines before WWII. Ike campaigned that he would end the Korean War and that was what he was working for as he started up the peace talks again – and get our troops out of there. (of course, we still have troops there today)

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      • Thank you, gpcox, for the further info. I didn’t know their “professional” relationship had started so early; I just recalled Ike had reported to him at one time. I’m glad MacArthur didn’t leave him in Bataan.

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        • Wow, what would the alternate history have been if Ike had been left in Bataan? Something for the novelists to ponder (I don’t have enough imagination to be one).

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  18. I, too, am particularly intrigued by the POW’s. I understand the communist POW’s being concerned about repatriation, but was rather surprised by the American’s. The comment about torture and our later understanding of “Stockholm syndrome” may help explain why these POW’s accepted indoctrination, perhaps.

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  19. A very good post, as always.
    I hope the new year started well for you.
    All the best for 2014
    with lost of love from us in Norfolk, UK
    Dina

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    • Great to hear from you, Dina. I’m looking forward to your new collaboration with Klausbernd and the girls now that the hustle and bustle is over. (Still have packing up the decorations to do, tho)

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  20. Happy 2014 to you. Always a pleasure to come here and relive our history.

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  21. My mind is boggled over the statement of over 11,000 sorties in one month? Maybe I don’t understand, but that sounds like a LOT of movement to me. It seems I recall hearing about Americans who stayed behind in Nam, too. Who can say or understand how war will impact one’s mind.

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    • I understand. I even heard about a year ago – a Green Beret, lost in Nam was found. He had been wounded (speculation), which caused amnesia they believe, but now speaks No English, has a wife and children and refuses to come home. No one can say for sure what happened to him back then.

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    • Linda, a sortie is one flight by one aircraft. With a carrier holding roughly 80 aircraft, 1 flight a day by all its’ aircraft would be 2400. Now figure that you have to trade bomb weight for range, and vice versa – with the carrier sitting in close to shore, you could put less fuel on board the planes, allowing them to carry more bombs but having to return frequently to refuel and rearm. I’m not sure if they were counted in the total, but every carrier has a number of fighters overhead for protection – CAP, or Combat Air Patrol. To keep enough fighter overhead to protect the carrier, with the early jets being gas guzzlers, could require a half-dozen flights in one day for one plane. So the sortie number adds up quickly!
      For some really startling numbers, I could find sortie stats for air support on Iwo Jima, where the planes took off, never retracted their landing gear, flew for a total of 15-20 minutes round trip (yes, the front lines were right around the airfields), and came back for more. A number of F4U Corsairs flew dozens of missions per day!
      Hope that helps you, Linda. And sorry, GP – blog hijacking is kinda my MO! 😀

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  22. What happened to the American and UN POWs who refused to come home? I’m sure it was not a ‘happily ever after’ for them in the North. Were traitors shot or did that stop with WW2?

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  23. GP, there’s a lot of “meat” in this post. The USS Oriskany (CV-34) continued service into the Vietnam conflict. It now lies scuttled at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico as an artificial reef & diving destination. Sen. John McCain, as a Navy pilot, was among those that served on the “Big O.” I thought the IL 28 “Beagle,” Russian-made medium range bomber, had more than a passing resemblance to the German ME- 262 jet fighter. As a side note, I recalled studying about psychological torture of POW’s captured by the North Koreans & Chinese. Methods were employed that went far beyond “waterboarding.”

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    • Torture is certainly nothing new – just the reporting of it is. Thanks, as always for stopping in to comment and add some data, Adam.

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      • “Brainwashing” techniques were, what I was mainly talking about. Physical torture, as you stated, has been around since the beginning of the human race. The dark turn, taken here, were methods of breaking down the POW. …Sensory deprivation, starvation, physical torture–breaking down beliefs of the POW, for information, to reeducate to Marxist doctrine, (insert “Stockholm Syndrome” here).

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  24. Pierre Lagacé

    As always… such interesting information about the Korean War.

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  25. Oh boy, here comes a dumb question…can you help me to understand the part about the repatriation and why some of the POWs refused to come home? Undercover drs. and nurses killed the Americans? I am sorry, I obviously missed a detail along the way…
    Also, what is your opinion about the current status of Korean War vets and recognition of their service? I saw a great special on Fox News (Megyn Kelly-12/31/2013) dedicated to the WWII vets…do you think the Korean War Vets will be honored over the next few years now that we are past the 50-yr post-war era? I surely hope so…this war is significant…and the numbers of souls lost quite large. Thanks.

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    • The only question that is dumb is the one NOT asked, CJ. Some of Allied POWs began to believe in the communist propaganda and visa versa. The communist doctors and nurses were eliminating fellow prisoners they believed to be traitors because the prisoner wanted the Allied way of life. I hope all veterans receive their due honors, the lack of it in the past is inexcusable. [if I haven’t made things clear – please come back and say so – sometimes I give too condensed versions and they cause confusion]

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  26. Is there anything examination why US prisoners chose to stay?

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  1. Pingback: Korean War (35) | Kilroy Was Here | Scoop.it

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