Korean War (46)

HMAS Tobruk, Korean War

HMAS Tobruk, Korean War

 

15 July 1953, demonstrating their total disregard for life, communist ground forces suffered an estimated 27,973 casualties during their mass frontal attacks.  The HMAS Tobruk surprised and sank a large motor sampan in the vicinity of Songjin.

16 July, a 13-man combat patrol of the 5th Marines encountered and enemy squad; the enemy withdrew.  At 2400 hours, a 15-man recon patrol clashed with 30-40 of the enemy in an ambush supported by mortar and artillery fire.  Reinforcements arrived during the 45 minute battle, but when the enemy withdrew, 7 Marines were missing and believed captured.  The following day, the 5th Marines sent out a platoon         in the early morning to recover their 7 men – mission accomplished.

Chinese communist forces, Korean War

Chinese communist forces, Korean War

In the 7th Marines sector, a 30 man combat patrol engaged with 40-50 of the enemy in a short battle.  After which, the enemy withdrew, but one man was missing.  This search came up empty.  The next day, the 1st Korean Marine Corps RCT reported 4 separate engagements with the enemy.  In the 7th Marines, a 30-man combat patrol engaged 15 of the enemy.  

19 July, in the vicinity of the outposts Ingrid and Dagmar, the 7th Marines were attacked by enemy small arms, automatic weapons, mortar and artillery for one hour and 45 minutes.  Simultaneously, outposts Berlin and East Berlin were attacked by similar weaponry.  An intense fire fight resulted in heavy casualties and communications were lost.  The enemy continued to reinforce during the from their reserves on Hill 139. (This battle and more are in the following post as seen by the Royal Australian Regiment.)

Outpost Wars

Outpost Wars

20 July, at 0200 hours, the 2 outposts were reported as under enemy control.  Plans were initiated for a counterattack to begin at 0730, but the the Commanding General of I US Corps directed that this plan NOT be put into effect.  The division continued to reorganize and defend the MLR.

The CCF attacked with heavy artillery and took a ROK hill near the 187th RCT area of X-Ray Hill.  Chinese patrols were infiltrating and cuttine the barbed wire to enter the trenches.  Skirmishes continued for the next week.

Crew of the HMNZS Hawae, Korean War

Crew of the HMNZS Hawae, Korean War

21 July, about 150 North Korean soldiers attacked Ohwa-do island.  Utilizing 8 large junks, they swarmed ashore and succeeded in killing 7 officers and wounding 20 men.  The HMNZS Hawae arrived 4 hours later and enjoyed [what they called] a “fine turkey shoot” causing many enemy dead and wounded before evacuating the survivors.

24 July, heavy action erupted across the 1st Marine Division front lines and lasted 3 days.  In the 5th Marine sector, COP Esther was attacked by an enemy company at 2115 hours.  There was heavy fighting during which both sides reinforced.  Esther was secured the next day.

At 2040 hours, the MLR units of the 7th Marines on Hills 119 & 111 were attacked by 2 enemy battalions.  There was hand-to-hand combat at the trench-lines and was supported by mortar, artillery and tank fire.  At 2115 hours, the enemy began to withdraw, but some remained in the forward slope trenches.  The enemy was cleared out the following day.

CCF in action, Korean War

CCF in action, Korean War

26 July, action at the Berlin complex continued as an enemy company attacked Hill 119 again. It would see combat again at 2130 hours that night for about a ½ hour.  7th Marine artillery and mortar fire halted their advance.  Another enemy company stormed Hill 111 and engaged in hand-to-hand combat until the enemy withdrew and action ceased.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Charles Botsford, Jr. – Washington DC; USMC, Corporal, Korea

An artist's view of war

An artist’s view of war

Alexander (Lex) Campbell – Mosgiel, NZ; RNZ Navy # 10884, WWII, the Ord Sea

George Combs – Emmitsburg, MD; US Army Air Corps, WWII

John G. Gordon – Christchurch, NZ; RAF, WWII & RNZ Air Force Corps

David A. Laing – Vancouver, Canada; Royal Canadian Army, WWII

Larry Newman – Berrycille, AR; US Army, Colonel (Ret.), Korea & Vietnam

Brendon Richards – Venice, FL; USMC, WWII

C. Ronald Smith – Redmond, WA; US Navy, WWII, engineer in ship defense against magnetic mines

Mario Spagnuolo – Seaford, NY; US Army, WWII, 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 February 23, 2014, in Korean War and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. It never ceases to amaze me in your posts, when you mention the amount of Communist enemy casualties in the various conflicts, its phenomenal and reminds me of reading about the wave after wafe assaults by the Japanese in the second world war.
    Regards
    Ian

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  2. A frontal assault with this number of casualties. Sound just like Gallipoli and the Western Front in WW1 all over again.

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  3. So while all this brutal fighting was going on the big shots were putting together a peace agreement as if this wasn’t still happening? Maybe that’s why they tried to call it a lull…

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  4. I have started to wonder if war kills off those ready to fight for their beliefs (that gene) and we’re left with… what’s left… Maybe it’s the mood I’m in today.

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  5. I read figures like ” 27,973 casualties during their mass frontal attacks” and I can’t even comprehend them, GP. It seems like such tragic waste of life. –Curt

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  6. Incredible! Such hardship and perservance!

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  7. Not exactly what I’d call a rest period!
    Pity there wasn’t more detail about that recovery of their own – the skeleton of a stirring tale!

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    • I’m truly disappointed in some of the historians that wrote their best selling books and only took the history a year and a half. I have done my best to dig deeper for the remainder of the war. And I was as shocked as you – “lull period” – indeed!

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  8. Thanks for including the follow-by-email link. Following in the Reader alone means these posts often get buried. Yours is one blog I don’t want to miss.

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    • Whoa, Dan – I couldn’t ask for more praise than that! Thank you very much – it’s for people like you that I continue all this. (and I just feel that I have to)

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  9. I am coming to conclude that the documenting of history such as you write is the most worthy genre of blogging there is! Well done.

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    • I appreciate those kind words, Mike. This all started because I wanted to preserve what was left from my father’s WWII scrapbook; if not for the encouragement and enthusiasm of my friends and readers – this would not have continued to this length.

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    • I wrote my comment about blogs before I read yours.
      We think alike.

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  10. Were the 7 missing Marines indeed prisoners? When they were brought back, was it after a fight, or were the men simply lost and rediscovered?

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  11. Not easy picturing what I call this “lighter side” of the war…

    21 July, about 150 North Korean soldiers attacked Ohwa-do island. Utilizing 8 large junks, they swarmed ashore and succeeded in killing 7 officers and wounding 20 men. The HMNZS Hawae arrived 4 hours later and enjoyed [what they called] a “fine turkey shoot” causing many enemy dead and wounded before evacuating the survivors.

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    • I read 3 Korean War books before I finally said – hold on there – the war lasted over 3 years! The books would just slide into nothingness after a year and a half – so I started getting more books and searching on line. It really has been rough trying to keep things in line in my own mind during this “lull period.”

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      • You get the feeling how these soldiers must have felt during this “lull period”.

        History is not written in history books but etched in the minds of veterans who seldom tell about what really happened.

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    • One of the RNZN’s forgotten actions off Korea! I wrote the 60th anniversary history of the service back in 2000 and wasn’t able to devote more than a little space to this war. Maybe I can get back to them and offer a 75th history! 🙂

      Small correction, though, she was HMNZS Hawea, a Loch class frigate which served with the RNZN from 1948 until 1965. Her name was commemorated in a second vessel that served 1975-91, and currently there is a third HMNZS Hawea, a ‘Protector’ class patrol vessel commissioned in 2007.

      Lake Hawea is a wonderfully scenic place in the deep south of the South Island – well worth naming a ship after! It’s a name in Te Reo Maori, pronounced with an initial long ‘a’ and all syllables equal: ‘Haa-we-ah’.

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