Korean War (45)

HMCS Athabsakan

HMCS Athabsakan

 

1 July, the HMCS Athabaskan trapped a southbound enemy train on the North Korean east coast.  The locomotive escaped, but about 20 boxes were left behind.  The USS Wiltsie and TF-77 joined in the operation and  17 of the boxcars were demolished.

8 July, during a battle with enemy shore batteries 10 miles south of Songjin, the USS Irwin received a shrapnel explosion near her mainmast.  This ruptured all electrical and electronic cables on the mast, seriously wounded the DESRON (Destroyer Squadron) – 24 commander and 4  other personnel were hurt.  Admiral Felix Stump took over as commander of the Pacific Fleet, relieving Admiral Hadford.

Nevada complex w/ Berlin outpost

Nevada complex w/ Berlin outpost

9 July, the 7th Marines were engaged with 2 companies of the enemy who were supported by artillery and mortar fire.  This occurred at COP (Command Outposts) Berlin and East Berlin.  The enemy withdrew after fighting for over 2 hours.

Major John F. Bolt, USMC

Major John F. Bolt, USMC

11 July, Major John F. Bolt, USMC, became the first jet ace in Marine Corps History when he shot down his 5th and 6th MiG-15 while leading a 4-plane F-86 flight in an attack on $ MiGs east of Sinui-Ju.  Major Bolt, who was on temporary duty with the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing of the 5th Air Force, was on his 37th sabre jet mission.  He used 1,200 rounds of ammo and 5 minutes to destroy the 2 enemy fighters.  Major Bolt passed away In September 2004.

John Bolt's ribbons

John Bolt’s ribbons

The communist gunners at Wonsan fired 48 rounds of 76 to 105mm at the USS St. Paul.  A 105mm hit gun mount #32 and damaged both guns.

12 July, the battleship, USS New Jersey fired 168 rounds of 16″ shells during a heavy gun strike in the Kojo area.  The big guns destroyed a radar tower, a control bunker and two bridges.  A 13 man recon patrol of the 5th Marines clashed with a 7-man enemy ambush.  After a short fire fight, all US troops returned safely.  A 39-man combat patrol of the 7th Marines engaged an enemy squad in a mortar and artillery battle; no reported casualties.

USS New Jersey engaging

USS New Jersey engaging

South Korean President Rhee was “persuaded” into accepting the terms of the armistice in exchange for military aid and a post-war alliance with the US.  But, this came too late to prevent a final communist attack; especially aimed at the ROK Army.  This began on the 13th and caused approximately 25,000 casualties on both sides in one week.

187th RCT

187th RCT

13 July, the CCF attacked IX Corps and broke through the ROK lines near Chorwon Valley.  The 187th Rakkasans moved across the valley and were in roughly the same position they had been in during the fall of 1952.  General Westmoreland sent the 1st Battalion onto Hill 624 to cover the corps’ front on what was described as “a black, rain-sodden night.”  Gen. William Barringer ordered Westmoreland, on threat of dismissal, to withdraw one battalion from a hill that was considered to be a key to the defense. (I was unable to locate the illogical reason for this order.)  A makeshift battalion of cooks, drivers and clerks were sent in their place.  Enemy fire was reported as persistent with firefights, sniper fire and infiltrators on a regular basis.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Theodaore Burtness – Centerport, NY; US Army, WWII

Distinguished Flying Cross

Distinguished Flying Cross

William Bauers – Washington D.C.; US Airmy Air Corps, Colonel, WWII, Distinguished Flying Cross

Wm. Ronald Greer – Toronto, Canada; Royal Canadian Navy, WWII

Ralph Kiner – NYC; US Navy, WWII (Baseball Hall of Famer)

Lewis Leigh, Jr. – D.C.; US Army, WWII, Purple Heart

Victor Blyth Newman – Christchurch, NZ; MBChB NZ Army # 74600, WWII

Glen Myers – Franklin, PA; US Army Chaplain, 30 years

Robert F. Moog – Richmond, British Columbia; RC Navy, WWII, HMCS Uganda

John Trapuzzano – Born: Tunisia; Boston, MA; US Army, WWII, Asia-Pacific Theater, Medical Unit

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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 February 20, 2014, in Korean War, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 44 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the story, and highlighting the exploits of Major John Bolt
    Ian

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  2. I especially enjoyed reading about the first Marine jet ace. The MiG had a few advantages over the F-86 Sabre in air combat, right?

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  3. Sir, thank you for these reports, it is real history that I like to know about. Hope you have a great weekend.—Shalom

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    • Thank you, but I hope this site merely sparks your curiosity. There was always so much more going on that I have not reported due to limited time and space. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend as well, Old Poet.

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  4. You are doing such a fantastic service to the people and families who served in the Korean War. The records will always be available for their memory and that of future generations. Be proud of what you are doing.

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  5. I think the reason for that order could well be basic politics coupled with the need to safeguard one’s own future.
    What did ol’ Barringer do once out of uniform—might be worth checking into …

    The grunts of course are disposable chess-pieces. (I think many ambitious high-rankers looking to their future aren’t too fussed about a few missing arms and legs and lives and things in the lower orders.)

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  6. Poor cooks, drivers and clerks! Farewell salutes: Alexander (Lex) James Campbell, RNZN 10884, Ord Sea WWII, on February 18th, Mosgiel,NZ. John Grant Gordon (RAF, WWII) (RNZAF Corps) on February 17th, Christchurch, NZ.

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  7. You know, I always marvel at how Communist land batteries could hit moving US naval assets…and for that one in a million hit on the mainmast wounding key officers.

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  8. Any ideas on why Barringer made that order?

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  9. Curious if you know if the Thunderbird underground runway–in North Korea–to hide their take-offs–is close to Wonsan. As best I could figure it from research, it’s south and inland.

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  10. Skimmed through the UN report of crimes against humanity in North Korea yesterday. It underscores the brutality of those on the other side during this war to read how the regime treats its own people since the war and up to today.

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  11. 25,000 . . . less than what tsunamis have done, but this was purposeful. Difficult to contemplate those kind of large numbers and put them in perspective to one’s own life.

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  12. The battleship New Jersey , is another Iowa-class battleship . The Iowa is at San Pedro , CA , near Long beach Harbor . A European friend toured the Iowa with me yesterday and said afterward : ” Makes you want to be an American .”

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    • Glad to hear your European friend was impressed; I remember when the Iowa was retired because I have a page from History Channel mag about it last cruise on the way to anchorage. Thanks for the story, Dan.

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  13. You had posted it in another post…

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  14. This is the picture you should use for HMCS Athabaskan.

    The one you posted is the new Athabaskan.

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  15. The USS New Jersey is a great battleship to visit. She is on the waterfront in Camden New Jersey.

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  16. In the last paragraph, it sounds like the makeshift battalion was sent is as sacrificial lambs. Am I getting this correct? Did we really do this?

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  17. That first photo really caught my eye. My father served on many ships, a couple of which were destroyers. By the way, I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you that I think it is wonderful that you list the names in your Farewell Salutes

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    • Thank you very much, LB. Do you have a tribute post for your father? If you do, please direct me. If not, please put some of his information here. I am proud of the Salutes, hopefully one day a descendant will Google their names and realize someone read and remembered their relative.

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  18. Everett 🙂
    Interesting article. Were you a pilot like your father? Mine was a UDT on a Destroyer…Hmm. I forgot the name of his ship–he served in Korea.

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  19. Lest we forget that war…

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  1. Pingback: Korean War (45) | Kilroy Was Here | Scoop.it

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