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Title: U.S. Marine Operations in Korea 1950-1953 Volume III (of 5) - The Chosin Reservoir Campaign
Author: Canzona, Nicholas, Montross, Lynn
Language: English
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1950-1953 VOLUME III (OF 5) ***






  _The Chosin Reservoir Campaign_





  Based on Research by


  Historical Branch, G-3
  Headquarters U. S. Marine Corps
  Washington, D. C., 1957

  Preceding Volumes of
  _U. S. Marine Operations in Korea_
  Volume I, “The Pusan Perimeter”
  Volume II, “The Inchon-Seoul Operation”

  Library of Congress Catalogue Number: 57-60727

  For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government
    Printing Office
  Washington 25, D. C. Price $2.75
  Official Price of this Publication $2.75


The breakout of the 1st Marine Division from the Chosin Reservoir area
will long be remembered as one of the inspiring epics of our history.
It is also worthy of consideration as a campaign in the best tradition
of American military annals.

The ability of the Marines to fight their way through twelve Chinese
divisions over a 78-mile mountain road in sub-zero weather cannot be
explained by courage and endurance alone. It also owed to the high
degree of professional forethought and skill as well as the “uncommon
valor” expected of all Marines.

A great deal of initiative was required of unit commanders, and tactics
had to be improvised at times on the spur of the moment to meet
unusual circumstances. But in the main, the victory was gained by firm
discipline and adherence to time-tested military principles. Allowing
for differences in arms, indeed, the Marines of 1950 used much the same
fundamental tactics as those employed on mountain roads by Xenophon
and his immortal Ten Thousand when they cut their way through Asiatic
hordes to the Black Sea in the year 401 B.C.

When the danger was greatest, the 1st Marine Division might have
accepted an opportunity for air evacuation of troops after the
destruction of weapons and supplies to keep them from falling into the
enemy’s hands. But there was never a moment’s hesitation. The decision
of the commander and the determination of all hands to come out
fighting with all essential equipment were in keeping with the highest
traditions of the United States Marine Corps.

[Illustration: (signature)]

                                             R. MCC. PATE
                                     _General, U. S. Marine Corps,_
                                   _Commandant of the Marine Corps._


This is the third in a series of five volumes dealing with the
operations of the United States Marine Corps in Korea during the period
2 August 1950 to 27 July 1953. Volume III presents in detail the
operations of the 1st Marine Division and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing as a
part of X Corps, USA, in the Chosin Reservoir campaign.

The time covered in this book extends from the administrative landing
at Wonsan on 26 October 1950 to the Hungnam evacuation which ended
on Christmas Eve. The record would not be complete, however, without
reference to preceding high-level strategic decisions in Washington and
Tokyo which placed the Marines in northeast Korea and governed their

Credit is due the U. S. Army and Navy for support on land and sea, and
the U. S. Navy and Air Force for support in the air. But since this is
primarily a Marine Corps history, the activities of other services are
described here only in sufficient detail to show Marine operations in
their proper perspective.

The ideal of the authors has been to relate the epic of the Chosin
Reservoir breakout from the viewpoint of the man in the foxhole as well
as the senior officer at the command post. Grateful acknowledgment is
made to the 142 Marine officers and men who gave so generously of their
time by contributing 338 narratives, letters, and interviews. In many
instances this material was so detailed that some could not be used,
because of space limitations. But all will go into the permanent Marine
archives for the benefit of future historians.

Thanks are also extended to the Army, Navy, and Air Force, as well as
Marine officers, who offered valuable comments and criticisms after
reading the preliminary drafts of chapters. Without this assistance no
accurate and detailed account could have been written.

The maps contained in this volume, as in the previous ones, have been
prepared by the Reproduction Section, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico,
Virginia. The advice of officers of the Current History Branch of the
Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, has
also been of aid in the preparation of these pages.

[Illustration: (signature)]

                                        E. W. SNEDEKER
                              _Major General, U. S. Marine Corps,_
                                _Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3._



     I  Problems of Victory                                            1

          Decision to Cross the 38th Parallel--Surrender
          Message to NKPA Forces--MacArthur’s Strategy of
          Celerity--Logistical Problems of Advance--Naval
          Missions Prescribed--X Corps Relieved at Seoul--Joint
          Planning for Wonsan Landing

    II  The Wonsan Landing                                            21

          ROK Army Captures Wonsan--Marine Loading and
          Embarkation--Two Weeks of Mine Sweeping--Operation
          Yo-Yo--Marine Air First at Objective--MacArthur Orders
          Advance to Border--Landing of 1st Marine Division

   III  First Blood at Kojo                                           43

          1/1 Sent to Kojo--Marine Positions in Kojo Area--The
          All-Night Fight of Baker Company--2/1 Ordered to
          Kojo--Security Provided for Wonsan Area--Marines
          Relieved at Kojo

    IV  Majon-ni and Ambush Alley                                     61

          Marines Units Tied in for Defense--Political Aspects of
          Mission--Roads Patrolled by Rifle Companies--Air Drop
          of Supplies Requested--First Attack on Perimeter--KMC
          Battalion Sent to Majon-ni--Movement of 1st Marines to

     V  Red China to the Rescue                                       79

          Chinese in X Corps Zone--Introducing the New
          Enemy--Communist Victory in Civil War--Organization of
          the CCF--The Chinese Peasant as a Soldier--CCF Arms and
          Equipment--Red China’s “Hate America” Campaign--CCF
          Strategy and Tactics

    VI  The Battle of Sudong                                          95

          The MSR from Hungnam to Yudam-ni--ROKs Relieved
          by 7th Marines--CCF Counterattack at Sudong--Two
          Marine Battalions Cut Off--End of NKPA Tank
          Regiment--The Fight for How Hill--Disappearance of CCF
          Remnants--Koto-ri Occupied by 7th Marines

   VII  Advance to the Chosin Reservoir                              125

          Attacks on Wonsan-Hungnam MSR--Appraisals of the New
          Enemy--The Turning Point of 15 November--Changes
          in X Corps Mission--Marine Preparations for
          Trouble--Supplies Trucked to Hagaru--Confidence of UN
          Command--Marine Concentration on MSR

  VIII  Crisis at Yudam-ni                                           151

          Marine Attack on 27 November--Marine Disposition Before
          CCF Attack--The Battle of Northwest Ridge--Chinese
          Seize Hill 1403--Fighting at 3/5’s CP--The Battle of
          North Ridge

    IX  Fox Hill                                                     177

          Encirclement of Company C of RCT-7--Fox Company
          at Toktong Pass--Marine Counterattacks on North
          Ridge--Second Night’s Attacks on Fox Hill--Not Enough
          Tents for Casualties--The Turning Point of 30 November

     X  Hagaru’s Night of Fire                                       197

          Four-Mile Perimeter Required--Attempts to Clear
          MSR--Intelligence as to CCF Capabilities--Positions of
          Marine Units--CCF Attacks from the Southwest--East Hill
          Lost to Enemy--The Volcano of Supporting Fires--Marine
          Attacks on East Hill

    XI  Task Force Drysdale                                          221

          CCF Attacks on 2/1 at Koto-ri--Convoy Reinforced by
          Marine Tanks--The Fight in Hell Fire Valley--Attack
          of George Company on East Hill--High Level Command
          Conference--CCF Attacks of 1 December at Hagaru--Rescue
          of U. S. Army Wounded--First Landings on Hagaru Airstrip

   XII  Breakout From Yudam-ni                                       249

          Joint Planning for Breakout--The Fight for Hills 1419
          and 1542--March of 1/7 Over the Mountains--Attack
          of 3/5 on 1–2 December--The Ridgerunners of Toktong
          Pass--CCF Attacks on Hills 1276 and 1542--Advance of
          Darkhorse on 2–3 December--Entry into Hagaru Perimeter

  XIII  Regroupment at Hagaru                                        277

          4,312 Casualties Evacuated by Air--537 Replacements
          Flown to Hagaru--Air Drops of Ammunition--Planning
          for Breakout to Koto-ri--3/1 Relieved by RCT-5 at
          Hagaru--East Hill Retaken from Chinese--Attack of RCT-7
          to the South--Advance of the Division Trains

   XIV  Onward From Koto-ri                                          305

          Assembly of Division at Koto-ri--Activation of Task
          Force Dog--Air Drop of Bridge Sections--Division
          Planning for Attack--Battle of 1/1 in the
          Snowstorm--Advance of RCT-7 and RCT-5--Marine
          Operations of 9 and 10 December--Completion of Division

    XV  The Hungnam Redeployment                                     333

          Marines Billeted in Hungnam Area--Embarkation of 1st
          Marine Division--The Last Ten Days at Hungnam--Marines
          Arrive at New Assembly Area--Contributions of Marine
          Aviation--Losses Sustained by the Enemy--Results of the
          Reservoir Campaign


  A  Glossary of Technical Terms and Abbreviations                   361

  B  Task Organization, 1st Marine Division                          365

  C  Naval Task Organization                                         373

  D  Effective Strength of 1st Marine Division                       379

  E  1st Marine Division Casualties                                  381

  F  Command and Staff List, 8 October-15 December 1950,
      1st Marine Division and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing               383

  G  Enemy Order of Battle                                           397

  H  Air Evacuation Statistics                                       399

  I  Unit Citations                                                  401

  Bibliography                                                       405

  Index                                                              413



Sixteen-page sections of photographs follow pages 148 and 276.

_Maps and Sketches_

   1  Eighth Army Advances and Restraining Lines                       4

   2  Area of Operations, 1st Marine Division,
        October-December 1950                                    12, 122

   3  Wonsan and Harbor                                               16

   4  Kojo Area                                                       47

   5  Majon-ni and Road to Wonsan                                     62

   6  Majon-ni Perimeter                                              64

   7  The Main Supply Route of the 1st Marine Division                97

   8  Battle of Sudong, 1st Phase                                    101

   9  Chinhung-ni Tank Fight, 4 November                             111

  10  Action of 4–5 November and Funchilin Pass                      115

  11  1st Marine Division Zone and Objectives                        130

  12  Yudam-ni                                                       153

  13  Marine Attacks, 27 November                                    155

  14  Battle of Northwest Ridge                                      162

  15  Action at 3/5’s CP                                             169

  16  The Battle of North Ridge                                      173

  17  Hagaru Defensive Perimeter                                     199

  18  East Hill Attacks, 29 November                                 212

  19  Koto-ri Perimeter, 28 November-7 December                      223

  20  Attempts to Reinforce Hagaru, 28 November-1 December           227

  21  Task Force Drysdale Ambush, 28 November                        230

  22  East Hill Attacks, 30 November                                 237

  23  Breaking off Action, 30 November                               252

  24  Breakout from Yudam-ni, 1 December                             256

  25  Breakout from Yudam-ni, 2–4 December                           269

  26  Seizure of East Hill and Chinese Counterattack 6–7 December    289

  27  Last Night at Hagaru, 6–7 December                             292

  28  Breakout from Hagaru to Koto-ri, 6–7 December                  295

  29  Funchilin Pass and Advances of 8–10 December                   310

  30  Hungnam Docks and Beaches                                      344


Problems Of Victory

_Decision to Cross the 38th Parallel--Surrender Message to_ NKPA
_Forces--MacArthur’s Strategy of Celerity--Logistical Problems of
Advance--Naval Missions Prescribed--X Corps Relieved at Seoul--Joint
Planning for Wonsan Landing_

It is a lesson of history that questions of how to use a victory can
be as difficult as problems of how to win one. This truism was brought
home forcibly to the attention of the United Nations (UN) heads,
both political and military, during the last week of September 1950.
Already, with the fighting still in progress, it had become evident
that the UN armies were crushing the forces of Communism in Korea, as
represented by the remnants of the North Korean People’s Army (NKPA).

Only a month before, such a result would have seemed a faint and
unrealistic hope. Late in August the hard-pressed Eighth U. S. Army
in Korea (EUSAK) was defending that southeast corner of the peninsula
known as the Pusan Perimeter.

“Nothing fails like success,” runs a cynical French proverb, and the
truth of this adage was demonstrated militarily when the dangerously
over-extended NKPA forces paid the penalty of their tenuous supply
line on 15 September 1950. That was the date of the X Corps amphibious
assault at Inchon, with the 1st Marine Division as landing force
spearheading the advance on Seoul.

X Corps was the strategic anvil of a combined operation as the Eighth
Army jumped off next day to hammer its way out of the Pusan Perimeter
and pound northward toward Seoul. When elements of the two UN forces
met just south of the Republic of Korea (ROK) capital on 26 September,
the routed NKPA remnants were left only the hope of escaping northward
across the 38th parallel.[1]

      [1] The story of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade and
          Marine Aircraft Group 33 in the Pusan Perimeter has been
          told in Volume I of this series, and Volume II deals with
          the 1st Marine Division and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in
          the Inchon-Seoul operation.

The bold strategic plan leading up to this victory--one of the most
decisive ever won by U. S. land, sea and air forces--was largely
the concept of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, USA, who was
Commander in Chief of the United Nations Command (CinCUNC) as well as
U. S. Commander in Chief in the Far East (CinCFE). It was singularly
appropriate, therefore, that he should have returned the political
control of the battle-scarred ROK capital to President Syngman Rhee on
29 September. Marine officers who witnessed the ceremony have never
forgotten the moving spectacle of the American general and the fiery
Korean patriot, both past their 70th birthdays, as they stood together
under the shell-shattered skylight of the Government Palace.[2]

      [2] Col C. W. Harrison, interview (interv) 22 Nov 55. Unless
          otherwise noted, all interviews have been by the authors.

_Decision to Cross the 38th Parallel_

“Where do we go from here?” would hardly have been an oversimplified
summary of the questions confronting UN leaders when it became apparent
that the NKPA forces were defeated. In order to appraise the situation,
it is necessary to take a glance at preceding events.

As early as 19 July, the dynamic ROK leader had made it plain that he
did not propose to accept the pre-invasion _status quo_. He served
notice that his forces would unify Korea by driving to the Manchurian
border. Since the Communists had violated the 38th Parallel, the aged
Rhee declared, this imaginary demarcation between North and South no
longer existed. He pointed out that the sole purpose of the line in the
first place had been to divide Soviet and American occupation zones
after World War II, in order to facilitate the Japanese surrender and
pave the way for a democratic Korean government.

In May 1948, such a government had come about in South Korea by popular
elections, sponsored and supervised by the UN. These elections had been
scheduled for all Korea but were prohibited by the Russians in their
zone. The Communists not only ignored the National Assembly in Seoul,
but also arranged their own version of a governing body in Pyongyang
two months later. The so-called North Korean People’s Republic thus
became another of the Communist puppet states set up by the USSR.

That the United Nations did not recognize the North Korean state in
no way altered its very real status as a politico-military fact. For
obvious reasons, then, all UN decisions relating to the Communist state
had to take into account the possibility of reactions by Soviet Russia
and Red China, which shared Korea’s northern boundary.

At the outbreak of the conflict on 25 June 1950, the UN Security
Council had, by a vote of 9-0, called for an immediate end to the
fighting and the withdrawal of all NKPA forces to the 38th Parallel.[3]
This appeal having gone unheeded, the Council on 27 June recommended
“... that the Members of the United Nations furnish such assistance to
the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack
and to restore international peace and security in the area.”[4] It
was the latter authorization, supplemented by another resolution on 7
July, that led to military commitments by the United States and to the
appointment of General MacArthur as over-all UN Commander.

      [3] US Dept of State, _Guide to the UN in Korea_ (Washington,
          1951). Yugoslavia abstained from the vote, and the USSR,
          then boycotting the Council, was absent.

      [4] _Ibid._

These early UN actions constituted adequate guidance in Korea until
the Inchon landing and EUSAK’s counteroffensive turned the tide. With
the NKPA in full retreat, however, and UN Forces rapidly approaching
the 38th Parallel, the situation demanded re-evaluation, including
supplemental instructions to the military commander. The question arose
as to whether the North Koreans should be allowed sanctuary beyond the
parallel, possibly enabling them to reorganize for new aggression. It
will be recalled that Syngman Rhee had already expressed his thoughts
forcibly in this connection on 19 July; and the ROK Army translated
thoughts into action on 1 October by crossing the border.

The UN, in its 7 July resolution, having authorized the United States
to form a unified military force and appoint a supreme commander in
Korea, it fell upon the Administration of President Harry S. Truman
to translate this dictum into workaday reality. Aiding the Chief
Executive and his Cabinet in this delicate task with its far-reaching
implications were the Joint U. S. Chiefs of Staff (JCS). The Army
member, General J. Lawton Collins, also functioned as Executive Agent
of JCS for the United Nations Command in Korea, thus keeping intact
the usual chain of command from the Army Chief of Staff to General
MacArthur, who now served both the U. S. and UN.[5]

      [5] Maj J. F. Schnabel, USA, Comments on preliminary
          manuscript (Comments).




Late in August, two of the Joint Chiefs, General Collins and Admiral
Forrest P. Sherman, USN, had flown to Japan to discuss the forthcoming
Inchon landing with General MacArthur. In the course of the talks, it
was agreed that CinCUNC’s objective should be the _destruction_ of the
North Korean forces, and that ground operations should be extended
beyond the 38th Parallel to achieve this goal. The agreement took the
form of a recommendation, placed before Secretary of Defense Louis
Johnson on 7 September.[6]

      [6] JCS memo to Secretary of Defense (SecDef), 7 Sep 50.
          Unless otherwise stated, copies of all messages cited are
          on file in Historical Branch, HQMC.

A week later, JCS informed MacArthur that President Truman had approved
certain “conclusions” relating to the Korean conflict, but that these
were not yet to be construed as final decisions. Among other things,
the Chief Executive accepted the reasoning that UN Forces had a legal
basis for engaging the NKPA north of the Parallel. MacArthur would plan
operations accordingly, JCS directed, but would carry them out only
after being granted explicit permission.[7]

      [7] JCS message (msg) WAR 91680, 15 Sep 50; Harry S. Truman,
          _Memoirs_, 2 vols (Garden City, 1955–1956), II, 359.

The historic authorization, based on recommendations of the National
Security Council to President Truman, reached General Headquarters
(GHQ), Tokyo, in a message dispatched by JCS on 27 September:

  Your military objective is the destruction of the North Korean
  Armed Forces. In attaining this objective you are authorized to
  conduct military operations, including amphibious and airborne
  landings or ground operations north of the 38th Parallel in Korea,
  provided that at the time of such operations there has been no
  entry into North Korea by major Soviet or Chinese Communist Forces,
  no announcement of intended entry, nor a threat to counter our
  operations militarily in North Korea....

The lengthy message abounded in paragraphs of caution, reflecting the
desire of both the UN and the United States to avoid a general war. Not
discounting the possibility of intervention by Russia or Red China,
JCS carefully outlined MacArthur’s courses of action for several
theoretical situations. Moreover, he was informed that certain broad
restrictions applied regardless of developments:

  ... under no circumstances, however, will your forces cross the
  Manchurian or USSR borders of Korea and, as a matter of policy, no
  non-Korean Ground Forces will be used in the northeast provinces
  bordering the Soviet Union or in the area along the Manchurian
  border. Furthermore, support of your operations north or south of
  the 38th parallel will not include Air or Naval action against
  Manchuria or against USSR territory....[8]

      [8] JCS msg 92801, 27 Sep 50; Truman, _Memoirs_, II, 360;
          MajGen Courtney Whitney, _MacArthur, His Rendezvous
          with History_ (New York, 1956), 397. Commenting on the
          JCS authorization Gen MacArthur stated, “My directive
          from the JCS on 27 September establishing my military
          objective as ‘... the destruction of the North Korean
          Armed Forces’ and in the accomplishment thereof
          authorizing me to ‘... conduct military operations,
          including amphibious and airborne landings or ground
          operations north of the 38th parallel in Korea ...’
          made it mandatory rather than discretionary ... that
          the UN Forces operate north of that line against enemy
          remnants situated in the north. Moreover, all plans
          governing operations north of that Parallel were designed
          to implement the resolution passed by the UN General
          assembly on 7 October 1950, and were specifically
          approved by the JCS. Indeed, the military objectives
          assigned by the JCS, and the military-political
          objectives established by said resolution of the UN could
          have been accomplished in no other way.” Gen D. MacArthur
          letter (ltr) to MajGen E. W. Snedeker, 24 Feb 56.

Thus MacArthur had the green light, although the signal was shaded by
various qualifications. On 29 September, the new Secretary of Defense,
George C. Marshall, told him in a message, “... We want you to feel
unhampered tactically and strategically to proceed north of 38th

      [9] JCS msg 92985, 29 Sep 50. For a differing interpretation
          see Whitney, _MacArthur_, 398.

_Surrender Message to NKPA Forces_

Meanwhile, a step was taken by the U. S. Government on 27 September in
the hope that hostilities might end without much further loss or risk
for either side. By dispatch, JCS authorized MacArthur to announce, at
his discretion, a suggested surrender message to the NKPA.[10] Framed
by the U. S. State Department, the message was broadcast on 1 October
and went as follows:

     [10] JCS msg 92762, 27 Sep 50.

  To: The Commander-in-chief, North Korean Forces. The early and
  total defeat and complete destruction of your Armed Forces and war
  making potential is now inevitable. In order that the decision of
  the United Nations may be carried out with a minimum of further
  loss of life and destruction of property, I, as the United Nations
  Commander-in-Chief, call upon you and the forces under your
  command, in whatever part of Korea situated, forthwith to lay down
  your arms and cease hostilities under such military supervision
  as I may direct and I call upon you at once to liberate all
  United Nations prisoners of war and civilian internees under your
  control and to make adequate provision for their protection, care,
  maintenance, and immediate transportation to such places as I

  North Korean forces, including prisoners of war in the hands of
  the United Nations Command, will continue to be given the care
  indicated by civilized custom and practice and permitted to return
  to their homes as soon as practicable.

  I shall anticipate your early decision upon this opportunity to
  avoid the further useless shedding of blood and destruction of

     [11] CinCUNC msg to CinC North Korean Forces, 1 Oct 59, in
          EUSAK _War Diary_ (_WD_), 1 Oct 50, Sec II; JCS msg
          92762, 27 Sep 50.

The surrender broadcast evoked no direct reply from Kim Il Sung,
Premier of North Korea and Commander in Chief of the NKPA. Instead, the
reaction of the Communist bloc came ominously from another quarter. Two
days after MacArthur’s proclamation, Red China’s Foreign Minister Chou
En-Lai informed K. M. Panikkar, the Indian Ambassador in Peiping, that
China would intervene in the event UN forces crossed the 38th Parallel.
He added, however, that such action would not be forthcoming if only
ROK troops entered North Korea.[12]

     [12] US Ambassador, England msg to Secretary of State, 3 Oct
          50; Truman, _Memoirs_, II, 361–362. The information was
          forwarded to Tokyo but MacArthur later claimed that he
          had never been informed of it. _Military Situation in
          the Far East. Hearing before the Committee on Armed
          Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations United
          States Senate Eighty-second Congress, First Session, To
          Conduct an Inquiry into the Military Situation in the Far
          East and the facts surrounding the relief of General of
          the Army Douglas MacArthur from his assignments in that
          area_ (Washington, 1951, 5 vols.), (hereafter _MacArthur
          Hearings_), 109.

It will be recalled that the JCS authorization of 27 September
permitted operations north of the Parallel “... provided that at the
time of such operations there has been no entry into North Korea by
major Soviet or Chinese Communist Forces, _no announcement of intended
entry, nor a threat to counter our operations militarily in North
Korea_....”[13] In view of the last two provisos, MacArthur’s plans
for crossing the border could conceivably have been cancelled after
Chou’s announcement. But optimism over the course of the war ran high
among the United Nations at this time, and CinCUNC shortly received
supplemental authority from both the UN and JCS--the one establishing
legal grounds for an incursion into North Korea, the other reaffirming
military concurrence at the summit. In a resolution adopted on 7
October, the United Nations directed that

     [13] JCS msg 92801, 27 Sep 50; Truman, _Memoirs_, II, 360;
          Whitney, _MacArthur_, 397. Italics supplied.

  All appropriate steps be taken to ensure conditions of stability
  throughout Korea and all constituent acts be taken ... for the
  establishment of a unified, independent and democratic Government
  in the Sovereign State of Korea....[14]

     [14] Resolution of 7 Oct 50 in _Guide to the UN in Korea_, 20.

Since the enemy had ignored his surrender ultimatum, MacArthur could
attend to the UN objectives only by occupying North Korea militarily
and imposing his will. JCS, therefore, on 9 October amplified its early
instructions to the Commander in Chief as follows:

  Hereafter, in the event of open or covert employment anywhere in
  Korea of major Chinese Communist units, without prior announcement,
  you should continue the action as long as, in your judgment, action
  by forces now under your control offers a reasonable chance of
  success. In any case you will obtain authorization from Washington
  prior to taking any military actions against objectives in Chinese

     [15] JCS msg 93709, 9 Oct 50; Truman, _Memoirs_, II, 362;
          Whitney, _MacArthur_, 404.

_MacArthur’s Strategy of Celerity_

Anticipating his authority for crossing the 38th Parallel, CinCUNC
on 26 September had directed his Joint Special Plans and Operations
Group (JSPOG) to develop a plan for operations north of the border.
He stipulated that Eighth Army should make the main effort in either
the west or the east, and that however this was resolved, there should
be an amphibious envelopment on the opposite coast--at Chinnampo,
Wonsan, or elsewhere.[16] Despite recommendations of key staff members,
MacArthur did not place X Corps under EUSAK command for the forthcoming
campaign but retained General Almond’s unit as a separate tactical
entity under GHQ.[17]

     [16] C/S FECOM memo to JSPOG, 26 Sep 50. Copy at Office of The
          Chief of Military History (OCMH).

     [17] Maj J. F. Schnabel, _The Korean Conflict: Policy,
          Planning, Direction_. MS at OCMH. See also: Capt M.
          Blumenson, “MacArthur’s Divided Command,” _Army_, vii,
          no. 4 (Nov 56), 38–44, 65.

JSPOG, headed by Brigadier General Edwin K. Wright, MacArthur’s G-3,
rapidly fitted an earlier staff study into the framework of CinCUNC’s
directive. And the following day, 27 September, a proposed Operation
Plan (OpnPlan) 9-50 was laid before the commander in chief.[18] This
detailed scheme of action evolved from two basic assumptions: (1) that
the bulk of the NKPA had already been destroyed; and (2) that neither
the USSR nor Red China would intervene, covertly or openly.

     [18] Schnabel, _The Korean Conflict_.

Eighth Army, according to plan, would attack across the 38th
Parallel, directing its main effort in the west, along the axis
Kaesong-Sariwon-Pyongyang (see Map 1). JSPOG designated the latter
city--capital of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea--as final
objective of the first phase. Further, it recommended that EUSAK’s
drive begin in mid-October, to be followed within a week by a X Corps
amphibious landing at Wonsan on the east coast. After establishing a
beachhead, Almond’s force would attack 125 road miles westward through
the Pyongyang-Wonsan corridor and link up with General Walker’s army,
thereby trapping North Korean elements falling back from the south.[19]

     [19] _Ibid._, and CinCFE _OpnPlan_ 9-50. Copy at OCMH.

JSPOG suggested that both commands should then advance north to the
line Chongju-Kunuri-Yongwon-Hamhung-Hungnam, ranging roughly from 50 to
100 miles below the Manchurian border. Only ROK elements would proceed
beyond the restraining line, in keeping with the spirit and letter of
the 27 September dispatch from JCS.[20]

     [20] _Ibid._

Major General Doyle O. Hickey, acting as CinCUNC’s chief of staff
during General Almond’s tour in the field, approved the JSPOG draft
of 28 September. It thereby became OpnPlan 9-50 officially. MacArthur
forwarded a summary to JCS the same day, closing his message with this

  There is no indication at present of entry into North Korea by
  major Soviet or Chinese Communist Forces.[21]

     [21] CinCFE msg C 64805, 28 Sep 50; Truman, _Memoirs_, II,
          361; Whitney, _MacArthur_, 397–398.

Within three days, he received word from the Joint Chiefs that they
approved his plan.[22] On 2 October it became the official operation
order for the attack.[23]

     [22] JCS disp 92975, 29 Sep 50; Truman, _Memoirs_, II, 361;
          Whitney, _MacArthur_, 398. All dates in the narrative and
          in footnotes are given as of the place of origin of the
          action. Thus, 29 September in Washington was actually the
          30th in Tokyo.

     [23] UNC _Operation Order_ (_OpnO_) 2, 2 Oct 50.

_Logistical Problems of Advance_

On 29 September, the day before he received the JCS endorsement of his
plan, General MacArthur arrived in Seoul to officiate at the ceremony
restoring control of South Korea to the legal ROK government. During
the visit, he met with the principals named in the Task Organization of
OpnPlan 9-50:

  Eighth U. S. Army               LtGen Walton H. Walker, USA
  Naval Forces Far East           VAdm C. Turner Joy, USN
  Far East Air Forces (FEAF)      LtGen George E. Stratemeyer, USAF
  X Corps                         MajGen Edward M. Almond, USA

Missing from the top-level conference, Major General Walter L. Weible,
USA, of the Japan Logistical Command, probably was already aware of
things to come.[24]

     [24] LtGen E. A. Almond, USA, (Ret.) ltr to Col J. Meade, USA,
          14 Jun 55.

MacArthur outlined his concept of operations in North Korea to those
present. He set 20 October as D-Day for the Wonsan amphibious assault
by the 1st Marine Division, which, with all X Corps Troops, would
embark for the operation from Inchon. The 7th Infantry Division, also a
part of X Corps, would motor 200 miles to Pusan and there load out for
an administrative landing behind the Marines.[25]

     [25] _Ibid._

Initial overland routing of the 7th Division was made necessary by
problems arising out of Inchon’s limited port facilities. General
MacArthur gave EUSAK the logistic responsibility for all UN Forces in
Korea, including X Corps. To carry out this charge, General Walker
could rely on only two harbors, Pusan and Inchon. There were no other
ports in South Korea capable of supporting large-scale military
operations. Meeting the tight Wonsan schedule would require that X
Corps have immediate priority over the whole of Inchon’s capacity, even
with the 7th Division being shunted off on Pusan. And it still remained
for Walker to mount and sustain Eighth Army’s general offensive
_before_ the Wonsan landing!

In the light of logistical considerations, then, Wonsan had more than
mere tactical significance as the objective of X Corps. Its seizure
would open up the principal east-coast port of Korea, together with
vital new road and rail junctions. But while MacArthur had decided on
an amphibious assault by a separate tactical unit as the proper stroke,
there existed a school of dissenters among his closest advisers.
Generals Hickey and Wright had recommended that X Corps be incorporated
into EUSAK at the close of the Inchon-Seoul Operation. Major General
George L. Eberle, MacArthur’s G-4, held that supplying X Corps in
North Korea would be simpler if that unit were a part of Eighth Army.
And General Almond himself, while hardly a dissenter, had expected
his corps to be placed under General Walker’s command after the Seoul

     [26] _Ibid._; Schnabel, _The Korean Conflict_; Blumenson,
          “MacArthur’s Divided Command.” Gen MacArthur stated: “If
          such a dissension existed it was never brought to my
          attention. To the contrary, the decision to retain as a
          function of GHQ command and coordination between Eighth
          Array and X Corps until such time as a juncture between
          the two forces had been effected was, so far as I know,
          based upon the unanimous thinking of the senior members
          of my staff....” MacArthur ltr, 24 Feb 56. Gen Wright has
          stated: “Neither General Hickey, General Eberle, nor I
          objected to the plan, but we did feel that X Corps should
          have been made part of the Eighth Army immediately after
          the close of the Inchon-Seoul operation.” MajGen E. K.
          Wright, USA, ltr to MajGen E. W. Snedeker, 16 Feb 56.

_Naval Missions Prescribed_

Logistical problems were magnified by the tight embarkation schedule
laid out for the amphibious force. In submitting its proposed plan for
North Korean operations to General MacArthur on 27 September, JSPOG had
listed the following “bare minimum time requirements:”

  For assembling assault shipping      6 days
  For planning                         4 days
  For loading                          6 days
  For sailing to Wonsan                4 days

Thus it was estimated that the 1st Marine Division could assault Wonsan
10 days after receiving the order to load out of Inchon, provided
that shipping had already been assembled and planning accomplished

     [27] JSPOG memo to C/S, FECOM: “Plans for future operations,”
          27 Sep 50. Copy at OCMH.

Following CinCUNC’s meeting in the capitol building on the 29th,
General Almond called a conference of division commanders and staff
members at his X Corps Headquarters in Ascom City, near Inchon.
MacArthur’s strategy was outlined to the assembled officers, so that
planning could commence on the division level. Almond set 15 October
as D-Day for the Wonsan landing. He based this target date on the
assumption that Eighth Army would pass through and relieve X Corps on 3
October, the date on which the necessary shipping was to begin arriving
at Inchon.[28]

     [28] 1stMarDiv _Special Action Report for the
          Wonsan-Hamhung-Chosin Reservoir Operation, 8 Oct-15 Dec
          50_ (hereafter 1stMarDiv _SAR_), 10.

On 29 September, the 1st Marine Division was still committed tactically
above Seoul, two regiments blocking and one attacking. If the first
vessels began arriving at Inchon on 3 October, the assault shipping
would not be completely assembled until the 8th, according to the JSPOG
estimate. Four days would be required to get to the objective, leaving
two days, instead of the planned six, for outloading the landing
force. Neither Major General Oliver P. Smith, Commanding General (CG)
1stMarDiv, nor his staff regarded this as a realistic schedule.[29]

     [29] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, 10 and MajGen Oliver P. Smith, _Notes
          on the Operations of the 1st Marine Division during the
          First Nine Months of the Korean War, 1950–51_ (MS),
          (hereafter Smith, _Notes_), 370–371.


1st Marine Division

October-December 1950


The Marine officers came away from the conference without knowledge
of the types and numbers of ships that would be made available to the
division. And since they had no maps of the objective area and no
intelligence data whatever, it was manifestly impossible to lay firm
plans along either administrative or tactical lines.[30]

     [30] _Ibid._

Vice Admiral Joy, Commander Naval Forces Far East (ComNavFE), issued
his instructions on 1 October in connection with the forthcoming
operations. To Vice Admiral Arthur D. Struble’s Joint Task Force
7 (JTF-7), which had carried out the Inchon attack, he gave these

   1. To maintain a naval blockade of Korea’s East coast south of

   2. To furnish naval gunfire and air support to Eighth Army as

   3. To conduct pre-D-Day naval operations for the Wonsan landing as

   4. To load and transport X Corps to Wonsan, providing cover and
      support en route.

   5. To seize by amphibious assault, occupy, and defend a beachhead
      in the Wonsan area on D-Day.

   6. To provide naval gunfire, air, and initial logistical support
      to X Corps at Wonsan until relieved.[31]

     [31] ComNavFE _OpnPlan 113-50_. Copy at OCMH.

Admiral Joy’s directive also warned: “The strong probability exists
that the ports and possible landing beaches under control of the North
Koreans have been recently mined. The sighting of new mines floating in
the area indicates that mines are being seeded along the coast.”[32]

     [32] _Ibid._, B, 11.

_X Corps Relieved at Seoul_

The related events, decisions, and plans of September 1950 had unfolded
with startling rapidity. Before the scattered UN forces could
shift from one phase of operations to another, a transitional gap
developed during the early days of October. Orders might flow forth in
abundance, but not until MacArthur’s land, sea and air forces wound up
one campaign could they begin another. Thus, from the standpoint of
Marine operations, the first week of October is more a story of the
Inchon-Seoul action than of preparations for the Wonsan landing.

On 2 October, when Eighth Army commenced the relief of X Corps, General
Almond ordered the 7th Infantry Division to begin displacing to Pusan
by motor and rail.[33] There was as yet no such respite for the 1st
Marine Division, which on the same day lost 16 killed in action (KIA)
and 81 wounded (WIA). Practically all of the casualties were taken
by the 7th Regiment, then approaching Uijongbu on the heels of the

     [33] X Corps _OpnO 3_, 2 Oct 50.

     [34] MajGen Oliver P. Smith: _Chronicle of the Operations of
          the 1st Marine Division During the First Nine Months
          of the Korean War, 1950–1951_ (MS), (hereafter, Smith,
          _Chronicle_), 54.

Despite the limited planning data in the hands of the 1st Marine
Division, General Smith’s staff put a cautious foot forward on 3
October.[35] Word of the pending Wonsan operation went out by message
to all subordinate units, with a tentative task organization indicating
the formation of three Regimental Combat Teams (RCTs).

     [35] Gen Wright stated, “There was definitely _not_ a complete
          lack of planning data. I doubt if any operation ever
          had more planning data available. It may not have been
          in General Smith’s hands on 3 October, but it was
          available.” Wright ltr, 16 Feb 56.

The 1st and 7th Marines were earmarked to launch the amphibious
attack. Each would plan on the basis of employing two battalions in
the assault. These battalions were to embark on LSTs and hit the beach
in LVTs. All tactical units were to combat-load out of Inchon. And
although still uninformed as to available shipping, the Marine planners
named likely embarkation groups and listed tentative arrangements for
loading tanks and amphibious vehicles.[36]

     [36] CG 1stMarDiv msg to Subordinate Units: “Planning
          Information,” 3 Oct 50.

The following day saw the publication of X Corps OpnO 4, specifying
subordinate unit missions. The 7th Infantry Division, together with the
92d and 96th Field Artillery (FA) Battalions, was instructed to mount
out of Pusan and to land at Wonsan on order (see Map 2). These tasks
were assigned to the 1st Marine Division:

   1. Report immediately to the Attack Force Commander (Commander,
      Amphibious Group One) of the Seventh Fleet as the landing force
      for the Wonsan attack.

   2. Seize and secure X Corps base of operations at Wonsan,
      protect the Wonsan Airfield, and continue such operations
      ashore as assigned.

   3. Furnish logistic support for all forces ashore until relieved
      by Corps Shore Party.[37]

     [37] Special Report 1stMarDiv, in CinCPacFlt _Interim
          Evaluation Rpt #1_, annex DD, 11; 1stMarDiv _Historical
          Diary_ (_HD_), Oct 50; X Corps _OpnO 4_, 4 Oct 50.

As Almond’s order went out for distribution on 4 October, EUSAK’s 1st
Cavalry Division, bound for Kaesong, passed through the 5th Marines
northwest of Seoul. Simultaneously, the II ROK Corps began assembling
along the road to Uijongbu, captured by the 7th Marines the previous

     [38] Smith, _Chronicle_, 54.

After 20 days in the line, the weary battalions of the 5th Marines
retired on 5 October across the Han River to an assembly area at
Inchon. They were followed on the 6th by the 1st Regiment, and
on the next day by the 7th Marines. The withdrawal of the latter
unit completed the relief of X Corps, and General Almond’s command
officially reverted to GHQ Reserve.[39]

     [39] _Ibid._, 55.

October 7th also marked the displacement of the 1st Marine Division
command post (CP) to Inchon, where planning and reality had finally
merged to the extent that preparations for Wonsan could begin in
earnest. Two days earlier, Vice Admiral Struble had re-created JTF-7
out of his Seventh Fleet; and by publication of his OpnO 16-50 on
the same date, 5 October, he set in motion the operational elements
involved in the projected amphibious envelopment. His new task
organization, almost identical to that which had carried out the Inchon
Operation with historic dispatch, was as follows:

  TF 95 (Advance Force)                 RAdm Allen E. Smith
  TG 95.2 (Covering & Support)          RAdm Charles C. Hartman
  TG 95.6 (Minesweeping)                Capt Richard T. Spofford
  TF 90 (Attack Force)                  RAdm James H. Doyle
  TF 79 (Logistical Support Force)      Capt Bernard L. Austin
  TF 77 (Fast Carrier Force)            RAdm Edward C. Ewen
  TG 96.8 (Escort Carrier Group)        RAdm Richard W. Ruble
  TG 96.2 (Patrol & Reconnaissance)     RAdm George R. Henderson
  TG 70.1 (Flagship Group)              Capt Irving T. Duke

Struble, who had directed the Inchon assault from the bridge of the
USS _Rochester_, would now fly his flag in the recently arrived USS
_Missouri_, the sole American battleship in commission at this early
stage of the Korean war.[40]

     [40] ComSeventhFlt _OpnO 16-50_, 5 Oct 50.

[Illustration: WONSAN AND HARBOR


_Joint Planning for Wonsan Landing_

The Seventh Fleet directive of 5 October dispatched both the Fast
Carrier and the Patrol and Reconnaissance Forces of JTF-7 on the usual
search and attack missions preliminary to an amphibious assault. Task
Force 77, consisting of the carriers _Boxer_, _Leyte_, _Philippine Sea_
and _Valley Forge_, escorted by a light cruiser and 24 destroyers,
was under orders to direct 50 per cent of the preparatory air effort
against the local defenses of Wonsan. Simultaneously, the Advance
Force, with its cruisers, destroyers and mine sweeping units, would
close in to shell the target and wrest control of the offshore waters
from the enemy.[41]

     [41] _Ibid._

Topographic and hydrographic studies made available to the Attack and
Landing Forces showed Wonsan to be a far more accessible target than
Inchon (see Map 3). Nestling in the southwestern corner of Yonghung
Bay, 80 miles above the 38th Parallel, the seaport offers one of the
best natural harbors in Korea. A vast anchorage lies sheltered in the
lee of Kalma Peninsula which, finger-like, juts northward from a bend
in the coastline. Tides range from seven to 14 inches, fog is rare, and
currents are weak. Docks can accommodate vessels drawing from 12 to 25
feet, and depths in the bay run from 10 fathoms in the outer anchorage
to 15 feet just offshore.[42]

     [42] The description of Wonsan is based upon: GHQ, FECOM,
          Military Intelligence Section, General Staff, Theater
          Intelligence Division, Geographic Branch, _Terrain Study
          No. 6, Northern Korea_, sec v, 13–16; 1stMarDiv _OpnO
          15-50_, annex B, sec 2, 1, 3, 10 Oct 50; and 1stMarDiv
          _SAR_, annex B (hereafter G-2 _SAR_), sec 2, 1.

Beaches around Wonsan are of moderate gradient, and the floor at
water’s edge consists of hard-packed sand. Though slightly wet landings
might be expected, amphibious craft could easily negotiate any of the
several desirable approaches. The coastal plain, ranging from 100
yards to two miles in depth, provides an acceptable lodgment area, but
the seaward wall of the Taebaek mountain range renders inland egress
difficult from the military standpoint.

In 1940, the population of Wonsan included 69,115 Koreans and 10,205
Japanese, the latter subsequently being repatriated to their homeland
after World War II. Under the Japanese program of industrialization,
the city had become Korea’s petroleum refining center. The construction
of port facilities, railways, and roads kept pace with the appearance
of cracking plants, supporting industries, and huge storage areas.

Two airfields served the locale in 1950. One of these, situated on the
coast about five miles north of the seaport, was of minor importance.
The other, known as Wonsan Airfield, on Kalma Peninsula across the
harbor, ranked high as a military prize. Spacious and accessible, it
was an excellent base from which to project air coverage over all of
Korea and the Sea of Japan. The Japanese first developed the field as
an air adjunct to the naval base at Wonsan; but after World War II,
a North Korean aviation unit moved in and used it until July 1950.
Thereafter, with the skies dominated by the UN air arm, Wonsan Airfield
temporarily lost all military significance. Its vacant runways,
barracks, and dispersal areas were given only passing attention in the
UN strategic bombing pattern, although the nearby industrial complex
was demolished.

In addition to being situated on an excellent harbor, Wonsan is the
eastern terminus of the Seoul-Wonsan corridor, the best of the few
natural routes across the mountainous nation. This 115-mile road and
rail passageway, once considered as a possible overland approach for
X Corps, separates the northern and southern divisions of the Taebaek
range, which rises precipitously from Korea’s east coast to heights of
5000 feet. Railroads and highways, primitive by western standards, also
trace the seaward base of the Taebaek Mountains to connect Wonsan with
Hamhung in the north and Pusan far to the south. Still another road and
railway leads to Pyongyang, 100 miles across the narrow neck of the
peninsula in the western piedmont.

The climate along Korea’s northeast coast is comparable to that of the
lower Great Lakes region in the United States. Mean summer temperatures
range between 80 and 88 degrees, although highs of 103 degrees have
been recorded. Winter readings drop as low as -7 degrees, but the
season is usually temperate with winds of low velocity. Despite light
snowfalls and moderate icing, the period from October through March is
best suited to military operations, for the heavy rains of spring and
summer create difficulties on the gravel-topped roads.

Although members of Admiral Doyle’s Amphibious Group One (PhibGruOne)
staff met with planners of the 1st Marine Division at Inchon early
in October, it soon became apparent that the projected D-Day of 15
October could not be realized. Maps and intelligence data necessary
for planning did not reach the Attack Force-Landing Force team until 6
October. The relief of X Corps by EUSAK was completed, not on 3 October
as General Almond had anticipated, but on the 7th. Moreover, the first
transport vessels to reach Inchon ran behind schedule, and they had not
been pre-loaded with a ten-day level of Class I, II, and V supplies,
as was promised. Planning and outloading consequently started late and
from scratch, with the result that D-Day “... was moved progressively
back to a tentative date of 20 October.”[43]

     [43] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, 10. The classes of supply are as
          follows: I, rations; II, supplies and equipment, such
          as normal clothing, weapons, vehicles, radios etc, for
          which specific allowances have been established; III,
          petroleum products, gasoline, oil and lubricants (POL);
          IV, special supplies and equipment, such as fortification
          and construction materials, cold weather clothing, etc,
          for which specific allowances have not been established;
          V, ammunition, pyrotechnics, explosives, etc.


The Wonsan Landing

_ROK Army Captures Wonsan--Marine Loading and Embarkation--Two
Weeks of Mine Sweeping--Operation Yo-Yo--Marine Air First at
Objective--MacArthur Orders Advance to Border--Landing of 1st Marine

On 6 OCTOBER 1950, after the arrival of the initial assault shipping
at Inchon, General Smith ordered the 1st Marine Division to commence
embarkation on the 8th. Similar instructions were issued by X Corps
the following day.[44] Thus, the first troops and equipment were to be
loaded even before the G-2 Section of the Landing Force could begin
evaluating the enemy situation at the objective, since it was not until
8 October that the intelligence planners received X Corps’ OpnO 4,
published four days earlier. Summing up the outlook at the time, G-2
later reported:

     [44] 1stMarDiv Embarkation Order (_EmbO_) 2-50, 6 Oct 50;
          Smith, _Notes_, 394.

  Inasmuch as subordinate units of the Division were scheduled to
  embark aboard ship some time prior to 15 October 1950, it was
  immediately obvious that preliminary intelligence planning, with
  its attendant problems of collection, processing, and distribution
  of information, and the procurement and distribution of graphic
  aids, would be both limited and sketchy.... Fortunately ...
  the section [G-2] had been previously alerted on the projected
  operation, and while elements of the Division were yet engaged with
  the enemy at Uijongbu, had requested reproductions of some 100
  copies of pertinent extracts of the JANIS (75) of Korea. Thus it
  was ... that subordinate units would not be wholly unprepared for
  the coming operation.[45]

     [45] G-2 _SAR_, 2. JANIS is the abbreviation for Joint
          Army-Navy Intelligence Studies.

General Smith’s OpnO 16-50, published on 10 October, climaxed the
accelerated planning at Inchon. Worked out jointly by the staffs
of PhibGruOne and the 1st Marine Division, this directive covered
the Wonsan attack in detail and pinpointed subordinate unit

Kalma Peninsula was chosen as the point of assault, with two beaches,
YELLOW and BLUE, marked off on the eastern shore. Ten high-ground
objectives described the semicircular arc of the beachhead, which
focused on Wonsan and fanned out as far as five miles inland. The 1st
and 7th Marines were to hit YELLOW and BLUE Beaches, respectively and
drive inland to their assigned objectives. The 5th, upon being ordered
ashore, would assemble west of Wonsan, prepared for further operations.
Two battalions of the 11th Marines were to land on call in direct
support of the assault units, and the remainder of the artillery would
initially function in general support.

Other subordinate units drew the usual assignments. The Reconnaissance
Company, after landing on order, was to screen the Division’s left
flank by occupying specified objectives. Attached to the 1st and 7th
Regiments respectively, the 5th and 3d Korean Marine Corps (KMC)
Battalions would also go ashore on call.[46]

     [46] 1stMarDiv _OpnO 16-50_, 10 Oct 50.

_ROK Army Captures Wonsan_

At 0815, 10 October, coincidentally with the publication of 1stMarDiv
OpnO 16-50, troops of I ROK Corps, advancing rapidly up the east coast
of Korea, entered Wonsan. By evening of the next day, the ROK 3d and
Capital Divisions were mopping up minor resistance in the city and
guarding the airfield on Kalma Peninsula.[47]

     [47] EUSAK _War Diary Summary_ (_WD Sum_), _Oct 50_, 14–16.

Overland seizure of the 1st Marine Division’s amphibious objective did
not come as a surprise either at GHQ in Tokyo or at General Smith’s CP
aboard the _Mount McKinley_ in Inchon Harbor. General MacArthur had, in
fact, prepared for this eventuality by considering an alternate assault
landing at Hungnam, another major seaport, about 50 air miles north
of Wonsan. On 8 October, therefore, the JSPOG completed a modified
version of CinCFE OpnPlan 9-50. Eighth Army’s mission--the capture of
Pyongyang--remained unchanged in this draft, but X Corps would now
land “... in the vicinity of Hungnam in order to cut the lines of
communications north of Wonsan and envelop the North Korean forces in
that area.”

Although the choice of a new objective seemed logical on the basis of
the ROK Army’s accomplishment, certain logistical obstacles at once
loomed in the path of the alternate plan. Not unaware of the most
imposing of these, JSPOG commented:

  The harbor at Wonsan cannot accommodate at docks the large vessels
  lifting the 7th Division. Since most of the amphibious type boats
  are carried on ships lifting the 1st Marine Division, the plans for
  off-loading the 7th Division will have to be revised.[48]

     [48] CinCFE _OpnPlan 9-50_ (_Alternate_), 8 Oct 50.

But the plans for off-loading the 7th Division could not be revised. If
the Army unit was to land within a reasonable length of time, it would
have to go in on the heels of the 1st Marine Division, using the same
landing craft. If the ship-to-shore movement took place at Hungnam,
the 7th Division would be ill-disposed for beginning its overland
drive to Pyongyang as planned; for it would have to backtrack by land
almost all the way to Wonsan. On the other hand, if the Army division
landed at Wonsan while the Marines assaulted Hungnam, the Navy would
be handicapped not only by the lack of landing craft but also by the
problem of sweeping mines from both harbors simultaneously.

From the standpoint of Admiral Joy in Japan and Admiral Doyle in Korea,
there was insufficient time for planning a new tactical deployment
of X Corps at this late date. And the time-space handicap would be
compounded by serious shortages of mine sweepers and intelligence
information. Joy was unsuccessful on 8 October in his first attempt to
dissuade MacArthur from the new idea. On the 9th, unofficial word of
the pending change reached General Smith at Inchon, just as his staff
wound up work on the draft for the Wonsan assault. ComNavFE persisted
in his arguments with the commander in chief, however, with the final
result that on 10 October the original plan for landing the whole X
Corps at Wonsan was ordered into effect.[49] Coming events were to
uphold the Navy viewpoint; for while the Wonsan landing itself was
delayed several days by enemy mines, it was 15 November before the
first ships safely entered the harbor at Hungnam.[50]

     [49] C/S Notes in X Corps _WD_ 10–25 Oct 50; ComPhibGruOne,
          “Report of ... Operations ... 25 Jun 50 to 1 Jan 51,”
          11; Smith, _Chronicle_, 57–59; and Capt Walter Karig,
          _et al_, _Battle Report_: _The War In Korea_ (New York,
          1952), 301–302. According to Gen Wright, MacArthur’s G-3,
          “Admiral Joy may have ‘discussed’ this often with the
          Commander-in-Chief, but no one ever ‘argued’ with him.”
          Wright ltr 16 Feb 56.

     [50] ComNavFE msg to CinCFE, 0010 12 Nov 50.

_Marine Loading and Embarkation_

On 11 October, the day after he opened his CP on the _Mount McKinley_,
General Smith learned that the Hungnam plan had been dropped. The 1st
Marine Division continued loading out in accordance with X Corps OpnO
4, even though its objective had already been captured.[51]

     [51] Smith, _Chronicle_, 59.

During the period 4–10 October, Admiral Doyle had assembled at Inchon
an assortment of Navy amphibious vessels, ships of the Military Sea
Transport Service (MSTS), and Japanese-manned LSTs (SCAJAP).[52] With
the arrival of Transport Squadron One on 8 October, the total shipping
assigned to the landing force consisted of one AGC, eight APAs,
two APs, 10 AKAs, five LSDs, 36 LSTs, three LSUs, one LSM, and six
commercial cargo vessels (“Victory” and C-2 types).[53]

     [52] ComPhibGruOne “Operations Report,” 10. SCAJAP is the
          abbreviation for Shipping Control Authority, Japan. Under
          this designation were American ships lent to Japan after
          World War II, of which many were recalled during the
          Korean War to serve as cargo vessels.

     [53] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex D (hereafter G-4 _SAR_), 2.

Loading a reinforced division, several thousand Corps troops and
thousands of tons of supplies and equipment proved to be an aggravating
job under the circumstances. Pressure on the attack and landing forces
for an early D-Day only magnified the shortcomings of Inchon as a port.
Limited facilities and unusual tide conditions held dock activity to
a series of feverish bursts. Moreover, many ships not part of the
amphibious force had to be accommodated since they were delivering
vital materiel. The assigned shipping itself was inadequate, according
to the Division G-4 and “considerable quantities” of vehicles had to be
left behind. Much of the trucking that could be taken was temporarily
diverted to help transport the 7th Infantry Division to Pusan; and
although unavailable for port operations when needed, it returned at
the last minute to disrupt outloading of the Shore Party’s heavy beach
equipment.[54] Out of conditions and developments such as these grew
the necessity for postponing D-Day from 15 October, the date initially
set by General Almond, to the 20th.

     [54] _Ibid._, 3.

For purposes of expediting embarkation and economizing on shipping
space, X Corps directed the 1st Marine Division to out-load with less
than the usual amount of supplies carried by a landing force.[55]
Resupply shipping would be so scheduled as to deliver adequate stocks
of Class I, II, III, and IV consumables “... prior to the time they
would be needed,” even though when “they would be needed” was anybody’s
guess at this stage of the war.[56]

     [55] These totals were authorized: C-Rations for five days;
          individual assault rations for one day; POL for five
          days; Class II and IV supplies for 15 days; and five
          units of fire (U/F). _Ibid._; 1stMarDiv _Administrative
          Order_ (_AdmO_) 13-50, 8 Oct 50. A unit of fire is a
          convenient yardstick in describing large quantities of
          ammunition. It is based on a specific number of rounds
          per weapon.

     [56] G-4 _SAR_, 1.

In anticipation of a rapid advance to the west (which did not
materialize), Division G-4 not only assigned 16 pre-loaded trucks
and trailers to each RCT, but also earmarked three truck companies
and 16 more trailers as a mobile logistical reserve. These supply
trains would stay on the heels of the attacking regiments in order to
maintain ammunition dumps as far forward as possible in a fast-moving

     [57] _Ibid._, 3.

On 8 October, ComNavFE directed Admiral Doyle and General Smith to
effect his OpnPlan 113-50.[58] Coincidentally, the first contingents of
the 5th Marines boarded the _Bayfield_ (1/5), _George Clymer_ (2/5),
and _Bexar_ (3/5). Three days later, on the 11th, Lieutenant Colonel
Raymond L. Murray, commander of the reserve regiment, opened his CP in
the _Bayfield_, and his unit completed embarkation.[59]

     [58] ComNavFE msg to ComPhibGruOne, CG 1stMarDiv and others,
          0200 8 Oct 50.

     [59] 5thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1035 11 Oct 50; 1stMarDiv
          _SAR_, annex QQ, appendix A (hereafter 1/5 _SAR_), 4,
          appendix B (hereafter 2/5 _SAR_), 6, and appendix C
          (hereafter 3/5 _SAR_), 4.

Although reserve and administrative elements of the 1st and 7th Marines
loaded earlier, the four assault battalions of these regiments could
not begin embarkation until 13 October, owing to the fact that the LSTs
had been used for shuttle service around Inchon Harbor. General Smith
opened his CP in the _Mount McKinley_ at 1200 on the 11th.[60] The
last of the landing ships were loaded by high tide on the morning of
the 15th, and later that day all of them sailed for the objective. By
evening of the 16th, most of the transports were on the way, but the
_Mount McKinley_ and _Bayfield_ did not depart until the next day.[61]

     [60] CG 1stMarDiv msg to All Units, 0752 11 Oct 50; Smith,
          _Notes_, 373.

     [61] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex RR (hereafter 7thMar _SAR_), 9;
          Smith, _Notes_, 399, 409; 1stMar _HD Oct 50_, 3.

Broken down into seven embarkation groups, the landing force and X
Corps troops leaving Inchon comprised a grand total of 1902 officers
and 28,287 men. Of this number, 1461 officers and 23,938 men were on
the rolls of the 1st Marine Division, the breakdown being as follows:

  Marine officers                        1119
  Marine enlisted                      20,597
  Navy officers                           153
  Navy enlisted                          1002
  U. S. Army & KMC officers attached      189
  U. S. Army & KMC enlisted attached     2339[62]

     [62] 1stMarDiv _Embarkation Summary_, 16 Oct 50; and “Special
          Report 1stMarDiv,” 12.

Even in the last stages of loading and during the actual departure,
new orders had continued to flow out of higher headquarters. It
will be recalled that General Smith issued his OpnO 16-50 for the
Wonsan assault on 10 October. An alternate plan, to be executed on
signal, went out to subordinate units the same day, providing for an
administrative landing by the Division on RED Beach, north of Wonsan,
instead of Kalma Peninsula.[63]

     [63] 1stMarDiv _OpnO 17-50_, 10 Oct 50.

As a result of discussions during a X Corps staff conference on 13
October, a party headed by General Almond flew to Wonsan the next
day.[64] The purpose of his visit was to reconnoiter the objective
and to explain his latest operational directive to the I ROK Corps
commander, who would come under his control.[65] This new order,
published on the 14th, called for an administrative landing by X
Corps and a rapid advance westward along the Wonsan--Pyongyang axis
to a juncture with EUSAK. Assigned to the 1st Marine Division was an
objective northeast of Pyongyang, the Red capital.[66]

     [64] “... Division [1stMarDiv] Advance Parties were flown
          to Wonsan in accordance with a definite plan which
          materialized just before we set sail from Inchon. As a
          matter of fact the personnel for these parties and even
          some of the jeeps were already loaded out and had to be
          removed from the shipping prior to our sailing.” Col A.
          L. Bowser, Comments, n. d.

     [65] CG’s Diary Extracts in X Corps _WD_, 10–25 Oct 50; Smith,
          _Chronicle_, 59.

     [66] X Corps _Operation Instruction_ (_OI_) _11_, 14 Oct 50;
          Smith, _Notes_, 385.

It was this tactical scheme, then, that prevailed as the Marines
departed Inchon from 15 to 17 October and the 7th Infantry Division
prepared to embark from Pusan. General Smith, of course, placed into
effect his alternate order for a landing on RED Beach.[67] While there
may be a note of humor in the fact that on 15 October ComPhibGruOne
issued his OpnO 16-50 for the “assault landing” at Wonsan, it must be
remembered that the ship-to-shore movement would remain essentially
the same from the Navy’s standpoint, regardless of the swift march of
events ashore.

     [67] According to General Smith, “The reason for issuing
          1stMarDiv OpnO 17-50 was to provide for an administrative
          landing in sheltered waters just north of Wonsan where
          there would be easy access to the existing road net. The
          ship-to-shore movement provided for in 1stMarDiv OpnO
          16-50 was retained intact. This plan [OpnO 17-50] had
          to be dropped when it was found that Wonsan Harbor was
          completely blocked by mines, and that it would be much
          quicker to clear the approaches to the Kalma Peninsula
          where we eventually landed ... 1stMarDiv dispatch [1450
          24 Oct] cancelled both 1stMarDiv OpnOs 16 and 17 and
          provided for an administrative landing on the Kalma
          Peninsula as directed by CTF 90.” Gen O. P. Smith ltr to
          authors, 3 Feb 56. Hereafter, unless otherwise stated,
          letters may be assumed to be to the authors.

_Two Weeks of Mine Sweeping_

Mine sweeping for the Wonsan landing commenced on 8 October, when Task
Group 95.6, commanded by Captain Spofford, began assembling for the
mission of clearing a path ahead of the 250-ship armada bringing the
1st Marine Division and other units of X Corps. It had been known for a
month that the waters of the east coast were dangerous for navigation.
The first mine was discovered off Chinnampo on the west coast on 7
September, and four days later Admiral Joy ordered the United Nations
Blocking and Escort Force to stay on the safe side of the 100-fathom
line along the east coast. But it was not until 26 and 28 September
that more definite information was acquired the hard way when the U. S.
destroyer _Brush_ and the ROK mine sweeper _YMS 905_ were damaged by
east coast mines.[68]

     [68] CinCPacFlt _Interim Evaluation Report No. 1_, VI, 1090.

On the 28th ComNavFE issued his OpnO 17-50 covering operations of mine
sweepers in Korean waters. The herculean task awaiting the 12 available
American vessels of this type may be judged by the fact that more than
a hundred had been employed off Okinawa in World War II.

Although the exact date remained unknown, it was a safe assumption
that North Korean mining activities, beginning in late July or early
August, were speeded by the Inchon landing, which aroused the enemy
to the peril of further amphibious operations. Russian instructors
had trained Korean Reds at Wonsan and Chinnampo in the employment of
Soviet-manufactured mines. Sampans, junks, and wooden coastal barges
were used to sow a field of about 2000 in the harbor and approaches to

     [69] _Ibid._, VI, 1088–1089; Smith, _Notes_, 404; Karig,
          _Korea_, 301. See also ADVATIS Rpt 1225 in EUSAK _WD_, 24
          Oct 50.

Captain Spofford’s TG 95.6 commenced its sweep off Wonsan on 10 October
after a sortie from Sasebo. Unfortunately, the three large fleet
sweepers, _Pledge_, _Pirate_, and _Incredible_, were not well adapted
to the shallow sweeping necessary at Wonsan. More dependence could
be placed in the seven small wooden-hulled U. S. motor mine sweepers
_Redhead_, _Mocking Bird_, _Osprey_, _Chatterer_, _Merganser_, _Kite_,
and _Partridge_, which were rugged even though low-powered. Spofford’s
two big high-speed sweepers, _Doyle_ and _Endicott_, had their
limitations for this type of operation; and the nine Japanese and
three ROK sweepers lacked some of the essential gear.[70]

     [70] CinCPacFlt _Interim Evaluation Report No. 1_, VI, 1004;
          Dept Army, Joint Daily Situation Report (D/A Daily
          SitRpt) 105; Karig, _Korea_, 311–314.

The U. S. destroyers _Collett_, _Swenson_, _Maddox_, and _Thomas_ were
in the Wonsan area as well as the cruiser _Rochester_. On the 9th the
_Rochester’s_ helicopter sighted 61 mines in a reconnaissance, and the
next day the observer found them too numerous to count. In spite of
these grim indications, rapid progress the first day led to predictions
of a brief operation. By late afternoon a 3000-yard channel had been
cleared from the 100-fathom curve to the 30-fathom line. But hopes
were dashed at this point by the discovery of five additional lines of

     [71] Minesweep Rpt #1 in X Corps _WD_ 10–25 Oct 50; ComNavFE
          Intelligence Summary (IntSum) 76; ComNavFE Operations
          Summary (OpSum) 201; D/A Daily SitRpt 105; Karig,
          _Korea_, 315.

On 12 and 13 October the naval guns of TG 95.2 bombarded Tanchon and
Songjin on the northeast coast. While the USS _Missouri_ treated the
marshaling yards of Tanchon to 163 16″ rounds, the cruisers _Helena_,
_Worcester_, and _Ceylon_ fired at bridges, shore batteries, and
tunnels in the Chongjin area.[72]

     [72] ComUNBlockandCortFor, “Evaluation Information,” in
          CinCPacFlt, _Interim Evaluation Report No. 1_, 13–15;
          ComSeventhFlt, “Chronological Narrative,” in _Ibid._, 7.

Spofford tried to save time on the morning of the 12th by
counter-mining as 39 planes from the carriers _Leyte Gulf_ and
_Philippine Sea_ dropped 50 tons of bombs. It was found, however,
that even the explosion of a 1000-pound bomb would not set off nearby
mines by concussion.[73] According to Admiral Struble, “The results
of this operation simply bore out our experience in World War II, but
were tried out on the long chance that they might be effective in the
current situation.”[74]

     [73] CTG 95.6 msg to CTF95, CTF77 11 Oct 50 in G-3 Journal,
          X Corps _WD_ 10–25 Oct 50; ComNavFE OpSum 215; ComNavFE
          IntSum 82; Karig, _Korea_, 315.

     [74] VAdm A. D. Struble Comments, 14 Mar 56.

The 12th was a black day for the sweeping squadron. For the steel
sweepers _Pledge_ and _Pirate_ both were blown up by mines that
afternoon and sank with a total of 13 killed and 87 wounded. Rescue of
the survivors was handicapped by fire from enemy shore batteries.[75]

     [75] ComPatRon 47, “Special Historical Report,” in
          CinCPacFlt _Interim Evaluation Report No. 1_, H4;
          ComUNBlockandCortFor, “Evaluation Information,” 5, 15;
          Karig, _Korea_, 318–322.

While the blast of a half-ton bomb had not been powerful enough,
Spofford reasoned that depth charges might start a chain reaction in
which mines would detonate mines. But a precision drop by naval planes
met with no success, and there was nothing left but a return to the
slow, weary, and dangerous work of methodical sweeping.[76]

     [76] ComNavFE OpSum 219; ComNavFE IntSum 82.

The flying boats, Mariners and Sunderlands, were called upon to assist
by conducting systematic aerial searches for moored and drifting
mines, which they destroyed by .50 caliber machine-gun fire. Soon an
effective new technique was developed as the seaplanes carried overlays
of Hydrographic Office charts to be marked with the locations of all
mines sighted. These charts were dropped to the sweepers and were of
considerable assistance in pinpointing literally hundreds of mines.[77]

     [77] ComFltAirWing 6, “Evaluation information,” in CinCPacFlt
          _Interim Evaluation Report No. 1_, D8.

On the 18th one of the Japanese sweepers, the _JMS-14_, hit a mine
and went down. In spite of this loss, the end seemed in sight. No
attempt was being made to clear all the mines; but with a lane swept
into the harbor, it remained only to check the immediate area of the
landing beaches. So hopeful did the outlook appear that it was more
disillusioning when the ROK _YMS 516_ disintegrated on 19 October
after a terrific explosion in the supposedly cleared lane. Thus was TG
95.6 rudely introduced to the fact that the sweepers had to deal with
magnetic mines in addition to the other types. The mechanism could
be set to allow as many as 12 ships to pass over the mine before it
exploded. This meant, of course, that the sweepers must make at least
13 passes over any given area before it could be considered safe.[78]

     [78] Smith, _Notes_, 404–407; Karig, _Korea_, 324–326.

The _Mount McKinley_ having arrived off Wonsan that same day, Admiral
Doyle and General Almond, with six members of the X Corps staff, went
by boat to the battleship _Missouri_ for a conference with Admiral
Struble. CJTF-7 asserted that he would not authorize the administrative
landing until the magnetic mines were cleared from the shipping lane--a
task which he estimated would take three more days. This announcement
led to General Almond’s decision to fly ashore in the _Missouri’s_
helicopter on the 20th and establish his CP in Wonsan.[79] So rapidly
had the situation changed, it was hard to remember that this date had
once been set as D-Day when the Marine landing force would fight for a

     [79] CG’s Diary Extracts in X Corps _WD_, 10–25 Oct 50; Smith,
          _Notes_, 404–405; ComPhibGruOne “Operations Report,”
          11–12; LtCol H. W. Edwards, “A Naval Lesson of the Korean
          Conflict,” _U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings_, lxxx,
          no. 12 (Dec 54), 1337–1340; Karig, _Korea_, 324–326;
          1stMarDiv G-1 Journal 20 Oct 50.

_Operation Yo-Yo_

Shortly after 1700 on the afternoon of 19 October, a rumor swept
through the 250 ships of the Tractor and Transport Groups. “War’s
over!” shouted the excited Marines. “They’re taking us back to Pusan
for embarkation to the States.”

Rumor seemed to have the support of fact on this occasion, for compass
readings left no doubt that the armada had indeed executed a maritime
“about face” to head southward. What the men on the transports did
not know was that the reversal of direction had been ordered for
purely military reasons as a result of the conference that day on the

It was puzzling enough to the troops the following morning when the
ships resumed their original course. But this was nothing as compared
to their bewilderment late that afternoon as the Tractor and Transport
Groups turned southward again.

Every twelve hours, in accordance with the directive of CJTF-7,
the fleet was to reverse course, steaming back and forth off the
eastern coast of Korea until the last of the magnetic mines could be
cleared from the lane in preparation for an administrative landing at

     [80] ComPhibGruOne, “Operations Report,” 12; Smith, _Notes_,
          404; Struble Comments, 16 Mar 56.

Marines have always been ready with a derisive phrase, and “Operation
Yo-Yo” was coined to express their disgust with this interlude of
concentrated monotony. Never did time die a harder death, and never
did the grumblers have so much to grouse about. Letters to wives and
sweethearts took on more bulk daily, and paper-backed murder mysteries
were worn to tatters by bored readers.

On the 22d, at CJTF-7’s regular daily meeting, Admirals Struble and
Doyle conferred in the destroyer _Rowan_ with Admiral Smith and Captain
Spofford. It was agreed that the sweeping could not be completed
until the 24th or 25th, which meant that Operation Yo-Yo might last a

     [81] ComPhibGruOne, “Operations Report,” 12; Struble Comments,
          16 Mar 56.

The situation had its serious aspects on LSTs and transports which
were not prepared for a voyage around Korea taking nearly as long as
a crossing of the Pacific. Food supplies ran low as gastro-enteritis
and dysentery swept through the crowded transports in spite of strict
medical precautions. The MSTS transport _Marine Phoenix_ alone had
a sick list of 750 during the epidemic. A case of smallpox was
discovered on the _Bayfield_, and all crewmen as well as passengers
were vaccinated that same day.[82]

     [82] _Ibid._, 11; 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex VV, (hereafter
          7thMTBn _SAR_), 2; ComPhibGruOne msg to BuMed, 0034 27
          Oct 50.

On the 23d, as the _Mount McKinley_ proceeded into the inner harbor
at Wonsan, there could be no doubt that the final mine sweeping would
be completed by the 25th. Operation Yo-Yo came to an end, therefore,
when Admiral Doyle directed the amphibious fleet to arrive on the 25th,
prepared for an administrative landing. The order of entry called for
the Transport Group to take the lead, followed by the vessels of the
Tractor Group.[83]

     [83] CTF 90 msg to CTG 90.2, 1119 24 Oct 50 in G-3 Journal, X
          Corps _WD_ 10–25 Oct 50.

On the morning of the 25th, Admirals Struble and Doyle held a final
conference with General Almond and Captain Spofford. By this time they
had decided to land the Marines over YELLOW and BLUE Beaches on Kalma
Peninsula, as originally conceived in 1stMarDiv OpnO 16-50. The inner
harbor of Wonsan would remain closed until completely clear of mines,
and then it would be developed as a supply base.[84]

     [84] ComPhibGruOne, “Operations Report,” 12–13; Smith,
          _Notes_, 407; CG 1stMarDiv msg to subordinate units, 1450
          24 Oct 50; Smith ltr, 3 Feb 56.

_Marine Air First at Objective_

The sense of frustration which oppressed the Marine ground forces
during Operation Yo-Yo would have been increased if they had realized
that the air maintenance crews had beaten them to Wonsan by a margin
of twelve days. Even more humiliating to the landing force troops,
Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell were flown to the objective area. On the
evening of the 24th they put on a USO show spiced with quips at the
expense of the disgruntled Leathernecks in the transports.

Planning for Marine air operations in northeast Korea had been modified
from day to day to keep pace with the rapidly changing strategic
situation. On 11 October, when ROK forces secured Wonsan, preparations
for air support of an assault landing were abandoned. Two days later
Major General Field Harris, CG 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and Tactical
Air Command X Corps (TAC X Corps), flew to Wonsan. After inspecting
the airfield he decided to begin operations without delay.[85]

     [85] Unless otherwise stated this section is based on: 1stMAW
          _HD_, _Oct 50_; 1stMAW _SAR_, annex K (hereafter MAG-12
          _SAR_), 1, appendix G (hereafter VMF-312 _SAR_), 3, 5–6;
          and Smith, _Notes_, 433–441.

These developments, of course, were accompanied by amendments to the
original plan which had assigned Marine Fighter Squadrons (VMFs)-214
and -323 the air support role in the naval task force, with Marine
Aircraft Group (MAG)-12 to be landed as soon as the field at Wonsan was

In response to changing conditions, VMF-312 aircraft flew from Kimpo
to Wonsan on the 14th, and R5Ds lifted 210 personnel of the advance
echelons of Headquarters Squadron (Hedron)-12, Service Squadron
(SMS)-12, and Marine All-Weather Fighter Squadron (VMF(N))-513. Two
LSTs sailed from Kobe with equipment of MAG-12, and Combat Cargo
Command aircraft of Far East Air Force began flying in aviation
gasoline. Bombs and rockets were flown to Wonsan by the planes of

     [86] E. H. Giusti and K. W. Condit, “Marine Air at the Chosin
          Reservoir,” _Marine Corps Gazette_, xxxvii, no. 7 (Jul
          52), 19–20; 1stMAW _SAR_, annex K, appendix H (hereafter
          VMF(N)-513 _SAR_), sec 6, 2.

On the 16th, VMFs-214 and -323 departed Sasebo for station off Wonsan
in the CVE’s _Sicily_ and _Badoeng Strait_. From the following day
until the 27th these two fighter squadrons were to provide air cover
for the mine sweeping operations off Wonsan and the ensuing 1st Marine
Division administrative landing.[87]

     [87] 1stMAW _SAR_, annex J, appendix Q (hereafter VMF-214
          _SAR_), 2.

TAC X Corps OpnO 2-50, issued on 15 October, had contemplated the
opening of the port at Wonsan and arrival of the surface echelon within
three days. Until then the two squadrons at Wonsan airfield were to be
dependent on airlift for all supplies.

The unforeseen ten-day delay in clearing a lane through the mine field
made it difficult to maintain flight operations. Fuel was pumped by
hand from 55-gallon drums which had been rolled along the ground about
a mile from the dump to the flight line. Muscle also had to substitute
for machinery in ordnance sections which had only one jeep and eight
bomb trailers for moving ammunition.[88]

     [88] Giusti and Condit, “Marine Air at the Chosin Reservoir,”
          20; 1stMAW _HD_, _Oct 50_; TAC X Corps _OpnO 2-50_, 15
          Oct 50, in _Ibid._

Despite such difficulties, air operations from the new field were
speeded up when General Almond landed to establish the X Corps CP
at Wonsan on the 20th, after taking control of I ROK Corps. Armed
reconnaissance sorties were flown regularly and attacks made on
retreating bodies of NKPA troops. On the 24th a VMF-312 flight
surprised a column of about 800 Korean Reds near Kojo, 39 miles
southeast of Wonsan, and scattered it with heavy losses.

There were administrative as well as operational problems to be solved.
If an assault landing had been carried out at Wonsan, the provision
for air support would have been planned in a manner similar to that of
Inchon. But the change to an administrative landing caused the 1st MAW
to be placed under the control of the Far East Air Forces. This was in
accordance with a CinCFE directive to the effect that when both FEAF
and Naval air were assigned missions in Korea, coordination control
would be exercised by CG FEAF. He had in turn delegated that control
north of the 38th parallel, including close-support operations of
carrier-borne planes, to CG Fifth Air Force.

An effort was made at first by MAG-12 officers to comply with Fifth AF
procedures, which required the schedule for any given day’s strikes to
be submitted to that headquarters by 1800 the previous day. Obviously,
the distance separating X Corps in Wonsan from Fifth Air Force
Headquarters in Seoul made it virtually impossible to get clearance in
time. This issue was speedily settled by a conference in which Major
General Earle E. Partridge, USAF, CG Fifth Air Force, gave General
Harris oral permission to plan and execute supporting missions for X
Corps in northeast Korea while awaiting clearance from the Fifth AF.

His decision was made on the basis of a liberal interpretation of the
authority of CG 1st MAW to take action “in emergencies.” In practice,
the arrangement worked out smoothly during this preliminary period, and
on 12 November CG Fifth Air Force confirmed his oral agreement with a
written directive.

Direction of air operations in support of X Corps was exercised by
MAG-12 for the 1st MAW from 15 October to 9 November. Night operations
did not begin until late in October for lack of runway lights at
Wonsan, so that VMF(N)-513 flew daytime missions along with VMF-312.
The two carrier-based squadrons conducted flights in a similar manner.
Aircraft reported at designated times to specified Tactical Air Control
Parties (TACPs) for operations directed by a daily Fifth AF order, some
of them in response to previously submitted requests of ground units
for air support.

Major Vincent J. Gottschalk’s Marine Observation Squadron (VMO)-6
was under the operational control of the 1st Marine Division, though
it was under the administrative direction of MAG-12. Two helicopter
pilots, Captain Wallace D. Blatt and First Lieutenant Chester C. Ward,
flew from Kimpo to Wonsan on 23 October. The rest of the squadron had
proceeded by LST. A flight echelon of helicopters, commanded by Captain
Victor A. Armstrong, VMO-6 executive officer, remained temporarily at
Kimpo at the request of the Fifth Air Force to evacuate casualties of
the 187th Airborne RCT in the Sukchon area.[89]

     [89] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex WW (hereafter VMO-6 _SAR_), 2.

_MacArthur Orders Advance to Border_

From all that has gone before, it might be expected that UN strategy
and tactics, after frequent modification, had finally been decided upon
by mid-October 1950. This was not the case, and a brief recapitulation
of events in western and central Korea is now necessary in order to set
the scene for the sweeping changes that followed.

General Walker’s Eighth Army, as mentioned earlier, had deployed along
the 38th Parallel after relieving X Corps above Seoul on 7 October. Two
days later, armored elements of the 1st Cavalry Division crossed the
boundary to spearhead the U. S. I Corps drive on Sariwon and Pyongyang.
The former city was secured on 17 October with the help of the 27th
Commonwealth Brigade, while the 24th Infantry Division moved up the
west coast on the left of the Kaesong-Sariwon-Pyongyang axis.[90] The
1st Cavalry Division continued the attack toward Pyongyang on the
18th, entering the Red capital with the 1st ROK Division the next day.
Pyongyang was secured on 21 October, and elements of the 1st Cavalry
Division also occupied the undefended port city of Chinnampo, 35 miles
to the southwest.[91]

     [90] EUSAK _WD Sum, Oct 50_, 13–23.

     [91] _Ibid._, 25–30.

A vertical envelopment on 20 October had come as a dramatic supplement
to the attack on Pyongyang. The 187th Airborne RCT parachuted
successfully into the Sukchon-Sunchon area, about 30 miles north of
the city, thereby cutting the two principal NKPA escape routes to
Manchuria. After watching the drop from his plane, General MacArthur
stopped off at Pyongyang and declared that the surprise stroke had
closed the trap on the enemy. At his Tokyo headquarters the next day,
he predicted that the war would end shortly.[92]

     [92] Schnabel, _The Korean Conflict_.

In mountainous central Korea on the right flank of I US Corps, the 6th
ROK Division had been leading the rapid advance of South Korean forces
under EUSAK. With Hwachon captured on 8 October, the division went on
to take the vital hubs of Chorwon on the 10th and Kumwha on the 11th.
It made contact with ROK Capitol Division elements from Wonsan the
following day. During the next 24 hours, the 6th Division advanced 20
miles, and the 7th and 8th ROK Divisions fanned out to exploit the
deepening penetration. On 14 October the 6th closed on Yangdok, about
midway between Wonsan and Pyongyang.[93]

     [93] EUSAK _WD Sum, Oct 50_, 11–20.

Thereafter the ROK forces in the center of the peninsula began veering
northwest, so that by 22 October, the day after Pyongyang fell to I
Corps, the vanguard 6th Division was bearing down on Kunu-ri,[94] about
45 air miles to the north of the capital.

     [94] _Ibid._, 20–32.

From the foregoing, it is obvious that a trans-peninsular drive by
X Corps was no longer necessary after mid-October. In fact, both in
Washington and in Tokyo the attitude prevailed that the Korean war
was nearing an end. President Truman had deemed a meeting of minds
appropriate at this time, and he flew to Wake Island for a conference
with General MacArthur on 15 October.[95]

     [95] The following summary of the Wake Island meeting is
          primarily based on: Gen O. N. Bradley, Comp., _Substance
          of Statements Made at Wake Island Conference on October
          15, 1950_ (Washington, 1951); and Truman, _Memoirs_,
          II, 364–367. These accounts are strongly objected to in
          MacArthur ltr, 24 Feb 36. For a differing account of
          the meeting see: C. A. Willoughby and J. Chamberlain,
          _MacArthur 1941–1951_ (New York, 1954), 382–383; Whitney,
          _MacArthur_, 384–395, 416; and Gen D. MacArthur, “Gen.
          MacArthur Makes His Reply,” _Life_, xl, no. 7 (13 Feb
          56), 107–108. Participants in the conference besides
          Truman and MacArthur were: Secretary of the Army Frank
          Pace; Ambassador Philip Jessup; Ambassador to Korea
          John Muccio; General Bradley; Assistant Secretary of
          State Dean Rusk; Admiral Arthur W. Radford, CinCPacFlt;
          Averell Harriman; and BrigGen Courtney Whitney of FECOM

Various aspects of American policy in the Far East were discussed at
the meeting, but the Korean situation ranked high on the agenda. When
asked by President Truman about the chances of Russian or Chinese
interference in the war, General MacArthur replied, “Very little.” His
conclusion agreed with that held by many in high government circles,
although officials in both Washington and Tokyo realized that the
possibility of Communist intervention could not be dismissed entirely.

MacArthur stated that about 300,000 Chinese troops were stationed in
Manchuria, of whom from 100,000 to 125,000 had been deployed along
the Yalu River boundary with Korea. He estimated that only 50,000 to
60,000 of these troops could get across the river. If they attempted to
move on Pyongyang, he said, they would be “slaughtered,” owing to the
proximity of UN air bases.

The commander in chief added that Russia had no troops immediately
available for a thrust into the peninsula. It would take six weeks for
a Soviet division to assemble at the border, and by that time winter
would have set in. And while Russia had a fairly good air force in
Siberia and Manchuria, tactical support of Chinese ground troops would
be difficult to control. “I believe Russian air would bomb the Chinese
as often as they would bomb us,” MacArthur remarked.[96]

     [96] By way of comparison, MacArthur paid tribute to the
          Marine Corps’ highly technical system of tactical air
          employment: “Ground support is a very difficult thing to
          do. Our marines do it perfectly. They have been trained
          for it. Our own Air and Ground Forces are not as good as
          the marines but they are effective.”

Part of the conference dealt with the rehabilitation of Korea and
the eventual departure of UN troops after the fighting had ceased.
MacArthur expressed his belief that organized resistance would end by
Thanksgiving (23 November). He hoped to withdraw EUSAK to Japan by
Christmas, leaving X Corps, reconstituted with the 2d and 3d U. S.
Infantry Divisions and other UN detachments, as a security force until
peace and order were fully restored. All present seemed to agree that
elections should be held early to achieve stability in the re-united
country, and that the ROK Army must be made tough enough to deter the
Chinese Communists from any aggressive moves.

The conference ended on a note of general optimism. President Truman
pinned a Distinguished Service Medal on the commander in chief (his
fifth), and the latter boarded his plane and departed shortly after the

Once back in Tokyo, MacArthur issued on 17 October a new order that
would become effective if Pyongyang fell before X Corps landed at
Wonsan (as was the case four days later). This draft established
parallel zones of action for EUSAK and X Corps in North Korea, with
the Taebaek Range as the dividing line. The restraining line for UN
Forces was advanced as much as 60 miles to a lateral drawn through
Chongsanjangsi-Koingdong-Pyongwon-Toksil-li-Pungsan-Songjin (see Map
1). ROK Forces, of course, would still drive all the way to the borders
of Manchuria and the USSR.[97]

     [97] CG’s Diary Extracts in X Corps _WD_, 10–25 Oct 50;
          Schnabel, _Korean Conflict_.

On 24 October, just as the 1st Marine Division was preparing to land
at Wonsan, General MacArthur did away with the restraining line
altogether. The original restriction on the advance of UN elements,
he told his subordinate commanders, was based on the possibility of
enemy capitulation. Since there appeared to be no prospect of a formal
surrender, he now authorized Generals Walker and Almond to use whatever
of their ground forces were necessary to secure all of North Korea. And
he enjoined them “... to drive forward with all speed and with full
utilization of all their force.”[98]

     [98] CinCUNC msg CX 67291, 24 Oct 50; X Corps _WD Sum_, _Nov
          50_, 5.

The commander in chief received a message from JCS the next day,
telling him that they considered his new order “not in consonance”
with their 27 September authorization, which had stipulated a policy
of using only ROK ground forces in the provinces bordering Russia and
Manchuria. The matter had caused some concern in Washington, the Joint
Chiefs said, and they wanted to know MacArthur’s reasons for making the

     [99] JCS msg 94933, 24 Oct 50; Truman, _Memoirs_, II, 372.

In reply they were informed that the commander in chief’s decision was
a “matter of military necessity,” since the ROK Army lacked both the
strength and the seasoned commanders required for securing North Korea.
MacArthur added that the 27 September authorization had “... merely
enunciated the [restraining line] provision as a matter of policy,”
and had admitted the possibility of JCS instructions being modified in
accordance with developments. He stated further that he possessed the
authority to so modify from Secretary of Defense Marshall himself, who
had told him “... to feel unhampered tactically and strategically....”
Assuring the Joint Chiefs that he understood the reasons for their
apprehension, he warned that “... tactical hazards might even result
from other action than that which I have directed.”[100]

    [100] CinCFE msg 67397, 25 Oct 50; Truman, _Memoirs_, II, 372.

And there the matter rested.

_Landing of 1st Marine Division_

It was at a X Corps staff meeting on 18 October that General Almond
disclosed MacArthur’s plan for parallel zones of action and the
new Chongsanjansi-Songjin restraining line in North Korea. Upon
establishing his CP at Wonsan two days later, he accordingly assumed
command of all UN and ROK forces north of the 39° 10′ parallel and
east of the Taebaek Range.[101]

    [101] CG’s Diary Extracts in X Corps _WD_, 10–25 Oct 50.

By this time the ROK Capitol Division was occupying Hamhung, Hungnam,
and nearby Yonpo Airfield, all of which had been captured on 17
October during the swift drive northward.[102] The ROK 3d Division had
one regiment at Wonsan, another at Kojo, and the third en route to

    [102] EUSAK _WD_, 23 Oct 50.

    [103] X Corps _WD_, 10–25 Oct 50.

On the 21st, General Almond requested CJTF-7 to land one battalion
of Marines at Kojo immediately, for the purpose of relieving the ROK
regiment defending that locale. He contended that Navy LSTs could beach
there safely, since SCAJAP ships had already done so. Learning of the
proposed landing, Admiral Doyle argued against it and Admiral Struble
forbade it on the ground that the military requirement did not justify
the risk incident to negotiating unswept waters. Thus the landing was
called off, although the Marines had not heard the last of Kojo.[104]

    [104] “Summary of Activities, 21 Oct,” in _Ibid._;
          ComPhibGruOne “Operations Report,” 13; Smith, _Notes_,
          404–407; Struble Comments, 14 Mar 56.

On 22 October, General Smith issued a new plan based on the proposed X
Corps deployment as far north as the Chongsanjangsi-Songjin line. The
1st Marine Division would now occupy the southern part of the extended
corps zone, with each regiment responsible for the security of its
assigned sector.[105] But again planning went for naught when, two
days later, General Almond received MacArthur’s order to disregard the
restraining line and use whatever forces necessary to drive rapidly
to the Manchurian and Soviet borders. On 25 October, therefore, X
Corps directed the 1st Marine Division to concentrate one RCT in the
Hamhung area and to relieve elements of the I ROK Corps at the Chosin
and Fusen Reservoirs. South Korean troops had already begun their
advance on these vital power centers, some 50 to 60 air miles north of

    [105] 1stMarDiv _OpnPlan_ 4-50, 22 Oct 50. “G-3 (Col Bowser)
          and G-4 (Col McAlister) landed by boat at Wonsan through
          a very narrow swept channel on the 23rd or 24th of
          October. Advance Parties of the Division were contacted
          at this time and a reconnaissance of the entire Wonsan
          area was made to select and mark administrative assembly
          areas for units of the Division. Included in this
          reconnaissance was the St. Benedict Abbey, which was
          selected as the assembly area for the 7th Marines in view
          of its projected employment to the north shortly after
          landing.” Bowser Comments.

    [106] X Corps _WD_, 10–25 Oct 50; X Corps G-3 Journal, in
          _ibid._; Smith, _Notes_, 285.

It was also on the 25th that the 1st Marine Division finally began its
administrative landing at Wonsan--as anticlimactic a landing as Marines
have ever made. Five LSTs loaded with Engineer, Shore Party, and Combat
Service Group elements beached on Kalma Peninsula in the evening. Since
the approaches had not been declared clear until late afternoon, the
main ship-to-shore movement was delayed until the next day. Thus, 26
October actually became D-Day--or “Doyle Day,” as it was referred to by
an impatient General Almond.[107]

    [107] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex PP (hereafter 1stMar _SAR_), 4;
          and Smith, _Notes_, 407–409. The orders covering the
          actual debarkation of troops were contained in CTF 90
          msgs to CTG 90.2, 0240 and 0910 23 Oct 50; CTG 90.2 msg
          to CTE 90.22, 1328 25 Oct 50; and CG 1stMarDiv msg to
          subordinate units, 1450 24 Oct 50. The order to land was
          given in CTF 90 msg to CTG 90.2, 0707 25 Oct 50.

At first light on the 26th, landing craft clustered around the
transport vessels in the swept channel as troops spilled down
debarkation nets. The first of 39 scheduled waves were shortly on
the way, with amphibious craft of every description churning the
water.[108] LSUs began disgorging armor of the 1st Tank Battalion at
0730, and the big machines, fitted with deep-water fording adapters,
thrashed through the surf and onto the loose sand.[109] Simultaneously,
swarms of vehicles of the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion crawled
ashore shuttling troops and cargo.[110]

    [108] “At the time of the administrative landing we thought
          that we might as well use the planned ship-to-shore
          movement for scheduled waves in order to avoid making
          a new ship-to-shore plan. In this way we were able to
          execute by referring to our original plan [OpnO 16-50]
          for the assault landing without issuing an entire new
          order.” Bowser Comments.

    [109] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex OO (hereafter 1stTkBn _SAR_), 2–8.

    [110] 1stAmphTracBn _HD Oct 50_, 2–3.

At 0900, LSTs landed the 1st and 3d Battalions of the 1st Marines on
YELLOW Beach, while Colonel Lewis B. Puller’s regimental headquarters
splashed ashore out of landing craft dispatched from the _Noble_. The
reserve battalion, 2/1, remained on board ship until the 28th. By 1700,
the 3d Battalion was in position for the night and the 1st was well on
the way to Kojo for a special mission. In the midst of the landing,
Colonel Puller received a message from General Smith congratulating him
on his being selected for promotion to brigadier general.[111]

    [111] 1stMar _SAR_, 4; CG 1stMarDiv msg to CO 1stMar, 1355 26
          Oct 50.

Troops of the 7th Marines marched ashore on BLUE Beach without
incident, and the assembled battalions moved to assigned areas north
of Wonsan. At 1300, Colonel Homer L. Litzenberg opened his regimental
CP at St. Benedict’s Abbey, which had been gutted by the retreating

    [112] 7thMar _SAR_, 12; CO 7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1628
          26 Oct 50. For a detailed account of the tragedy of St.
          Benedict’s, see Capt Clifford M. Drury (ChC), USNR, _The
          History of the Chaplains Corps_, _U. S. Navy_, (MS) V.

Advance parties of the 5th Marines began landing over both beaches at
0800. Priority was given to unloading the reserve unit’s cargo, and the
majority of troops remained on board transports for the night. Most
of the regiment debarked the next day and assembled about three miles
northwest of Wonsan, where Lieutenant Colonel Murray established his CP
at 1800.[113]

    [113] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex QQ, (hereafter 5thMar _SAR_), 8.

Only the 2d Battalion and several reconnaissance parties of the 11th
Marines landed on the 26th. The remainder of the artillery regiment
went ashore the next day and bivouacked at the coastal town of
Munpyong-ni, five miles above Wonsan. Colonel James H. Brower, the
regimental commander, detached 2/11 to the 1st Marines at 1715 on 27
October, but the other battalions “... remained in a mobile state
awaiting further orders.”[114]

    [114] 11thMar _UnitReport_ (_URpt_), 21–28 Oct 50.

The Wonsan landing, though tactically insignificant at the moment,
was a major logistical undertaking to such units as the 1st Engineer
Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel John H. Partridge), the 1st Shore Party
Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel Henry P. Crowe), and the 1st Combat
Service Group (Colonel John H. Cook, Jr.).

Representatives from these and other support and service units had
flown to the objective area several days before the Division’s arrival.
After completing an inspection of Wonsan, the Shore Party detachment
employed 500 North Korean POWs and 210 civilians to improve landing
sites and beach exits. This work continued 24 hours a day for nine
days, until the vanguard LSTs grated ashore on Kalma Peninsula in the
evening of 25 October.[115] At this point, Shore Party Group C (Major
George A. Smith) assumed responsibility for YELLOW Beach in the north,
and Group B (Major Henry Brzezinski) took over BLUE Beach.

    [115] The concluding narrative of this chapter is derived from
          1stMarDiv _SAR_, annexes MM (hereafter 1stSPBn SAR), 5–8,
          and UU (hereafter 1st CSG _SAR_) 6 and 1stSPBn, _HD for
          Advance Party_, 1–2.

With the arrival of the first waves of LSTs, LSUs, LVTs, and landing
craft in the morning, there began a routine of unremitting toil that
would abate only after all of X Corps had landed weeks later. Because
of the shallow offshore gradient, many amphibious craft could not
reach the beach with their heavy cargoes, and the Shore Party troops
had to construct ramps which projected 30 feet into the water. These
improvised piers were made of rice bags filled with sand, with the
result that their maintenance required considerable effort in men and
heavy equipment. A pontoon causeway constructed on 27 October lessened
the difficulties connected with getting troops ashore, but other
problems persisted.

One of these had to do with a sandbar that stretched across the boat
lanes about 50 yards from the coast. Heavier craft frequently grounded
here, and while some could be towed ashore by tractor dozers (TD-18s)
and LVTs, others had to be unloaded in the water by cranes operating
off the ramps and from barges.

Once men and supplies finally reached dry land, there was the
difficulty of transporting them inland over the loose sand and around
the sprawling dunes of the peninsular beaches. Trucks and trailers
often bogged down to such depths that they had to be uprooted and towed
by LVTs or dozers. This tied up the overworked tracked vehicles when
they were badly needed elsewhere.

The Combat Service Group established its Class I, III, and V dumps
according to plan on 26 October, but Class II and IV supplies arrived
on the beach “... in a completely mixed condition,” owing to the haste
of the outloading at Inchon. From D-Day onward, from 1500 to 2000
Korean civilians were hired daily to help segregate and issue supplies.

Upon the completion of mine sweeping in the inner harbor, the intact
port facilities of Wonsan became operative on 2 November. During
the next nine days, the Combat Service Group dispatched by rail to
Hamhung 3900 tons of ammunition alone. On 9 November, the group was
attached to X Corps for operational control, thereafter assuming
specific responsibility for such varied tasks as: operation of all port
facilities; unloading all X Corps elements; transporting all equipment
and supplies to inland dumps and supply points; casualty evacuation;
maintenance of an airhead at Wonsan Airfield; providing local security;
traffic control in the port and its environs; and providing field
maintenance for all units in the Wonsan area.

The magnitude of the logistical operation can be imagined from a survey
of statistics mentioned in Shore Party reports. By 31 October, when
the 1st Marine Division’s landing was completed, a total of 24 cargo
vessels, 36 LSTs, and one LSM had been unloaded. Bulk cargo in the
order of 18,402 tons had moved across the beaches along with 30,189
personnel and 4731 vehicles. During the same period, 2534 troops were
outloaded with 70 vehicles and 4323 POWs. And in November, as the
MAG-12 elements and the rest of X Corps poured ashore, the total of
ships handled soared to 76 cargo and 52 LSTs, adding 30,928 personnel,
51,270 tons of supplies, and 7113 vehicles to the short-lived build-up
in Northeast Korea.


First Blood At Kojo

_1/1 Sent to Kojo--Marine Positions in Kojo Area--The All-Night Fight
of Baker Company--2/1 Ordered to Kojo--Security Provided for Wonsan
Area--Marines Relieved at Kojo_

It was perhaps inevitable after the NKPA collapse that an
end-of-the-war atmosphere should prevail. This attitude was found in
the CP as well as the foxhole. General MacArthur, while witnessing the
Eighth Army paratroop landings north of the captured enemy capital, was
quoted by the newspapers as saying:

  The war is very definitely coming to an end shortly. With
  the closing of that trap there should be an end to organized

    [116] _Newsweek_, xxxiv, no. 18 (30 Oct 50), 30.

As another straw in the wind, General Smith had received a dispatch
from ComNavFE on 21 October which stated that on the conclusion of
hostilities it was his intention to recommend to CinCFE that the 1st
Marine Division be returned to the United States, less an RCT to be
stationed in Japan.[117]

    [117] Smith, _Notes_, 403; Col A. L. Bowser, Comments, n.
          d. See also FMFPac Staff Study: “The Establishment of
          a Balanced Fleet Marine Force Air-Ground Force in the
          Western Pacific,” 19 Oct 50.

On the 24th the Marine commander learned that X Corps had received
a document, for planning purposes only, providing that the Corps
commander would become commander of the occupation forces. These were
to consist of a single American division, probably the 3d Infantry
Division, while the remainder of the Eighth Army returned to Japan.[118]

    [118] Smith, _Notes_, 403.

Such indications seemed less reassuring after an incident which
occurred at Wonsan on the evening of D-day. Two Marines, gathering
firewood on the beach, had been blown to pieces by a booby trap. They
were the only casualties from enemy action in the Wonsan landing.[119]

    [119] CG 1stMarDiv msg to subordinate units, 2001 27 Oct 50.
          Firewood being scarce in Korea, it was sometimes booby

As early as 24 October the Marine division CP aboard the _Mount
McKinley_ had been advised of an ancillary mission. Immediately
following the landing one battalion was to be sent 39 miles south of
Wonsan to the small seaport of Kojo. There it was to protect a supply
dump of the ROK I Corps.[120]

    [120] Smith, _Notes_, 385; 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex C (hereafter
          G-3 _SAR_), 5. The assignment went to 1/1. See Col J.
          Hawkins ltr to CMC, n. d., and LtCol R. E. Lorigan ltr to
          CMC, 8 Feb 56 for a discussion of the lack of planning
          and intelligence resulting from this order being received
          while underway.

X Corps issued OI 13 on the 25th but General Smith did not receive
his copy until two days later. Corps orders now assigned the Marine
division a zone of action more than 300 road miles from north to south
and 50 road miles in width. The missions prescribed for the Marines
were those of an occupation rather than a fighting force:

   (1) To land on beaches in the vicinity of Wonsan.

   (2) To relieve all elements of I ROK Corps in Kojo and zone.

   (3) To protect the Wonsan-Kojo-Majon-ni area, employing not less
        than one RCT, and patrolling all roads to the west in zone.

   (4) To advance rapidly in zone to the Korean northern border.

   (5) To be prepared to land one Battalion Landing Team (BLT) in
        the Chongjin area rapidly on order.

   (6) To assist the 101st Engineer Group (C) (ROK) in the repair of
        the Yonghung-Hamhung railroad, employing not less than one
        engineer company.[121]

    [121] Smith, _Notes_, 393–394; G-3 _SAR_, 5–6.

The 1st Marine Division in turn assigned these tasks to the following
units in OpnO 18-50, issued at 0800 on the 28th but communicated orally
to most of the designated commanding officers during the preceding 48

   (1) RCT-1 to relieve elements of I ROK Corps in
        Wonsan-Kojo-Majon-ni zone, establish necessary road blocks
        to prevent movement into the area, patrol roads, and destroy
        enemy in zone. RCT-1 to maintain one reinforced battalion at
        Kojo until further orders.

   (2) RCT-7 to relieve elements of I ROK Corps along the
        Hamhung-Chosin Reservoir road, advance rapidly to the
        northern tip of the reservoir and Changjin, prepared for
        further advance to the northern border of Korea, and to
        destroy enemy in zone.

   (3) RCT-5 to move to an assigned zone behind RCT-7, relieve
        elements of I ROK Corps in the vicinity of Fusen Reservoir,
        establish necessary road blocks to prevent movement into the
        area, patrol the roads and destroy the enemy.

   (4) BLT1/5 to be activated on order. Upon activation to report to
        the designated commander for operational control and landing
        in the vicinity of Chongjin.

   (5) The 11th Marines, reinforced and less detachments, from an
        assembly area in the vicinity of Hamhung, to be prepared for
        operating in the zone of any RCT.[122]

    [122] 1stMarDiv _OpnO 18-50_, 28 Oct 50; CG 1stMarDiv msg to
          COs, 1stMar, 5thMar, 7thMar, 2146 28 Oct 50.

Two of the objectives mentioned in these orders, Chongjin and the
northern border of Korea, were more than 300 road miles north of
Wonsan. With the exception of the main coastal route, most of the roads
in the 1st Marine Division zone were mere mountain trails, unfit for
tanks or heavy vehicles.

OpnO 18-50 was modified the next day to provide for attaching the 1st
Battalion, KMC Regiment, to the 5th Marines, and the 5th KMC Battalion
to the 1st Marines. The security of the Munchon and Yonghung areas
(13 and 32 miles north of Wonsan respectively) was assigned for the
time being to the 5th Marines, reinforced by Company A of the 1st Tank

On the 27th General Smith moved from the _Mount McKinley_ at 1000 to
the new Division CP, a mile north of Wonsan. An old Russian barracks,
it was too small and badly in need of repairs. The building occupied by
the 1st Marine Air Wing was in even worse shape, but carpenters were
soon busy at boarding up windows and doors blown out by bombs.[123]

    [123] Smith, _Chronicle_, 66; MajGen E. W. Snedeker Comments,
          22 Mar 56; LtGen E. A. Craig, “Notes concerning Wonsan
          Administrative Landing and events immediately following,
          October 26, 1950 to November 5, 1950,” 4 Sep 56.

_1/1 Sent to Kojo_

A holiday spirit prevailed among the men of the 1st Battalion, 1st
Marines, as they entrained on the morning of 26 October 1950 at a
railhead near the Wonsan airfield. Physical activity was a treat after
the monotony and confinement of Operation Yo-Yo, and 1/1 had been
selected for the Kojo mission. Immediately after the landing on YELLOW
Beach at 0900 that morning, preparations were made for departure by
rail of the rifle companies at noon. Supplies and reinforcing units
were scheduled to follow on the 27th on a second train and a convoy
consisting of 1/1 and Motor Transport Battalion vehicles; Battery F,
2d Battalion, 11th Marines; 1st Platoon, Company C, 1st Engineer
Battalion; and a detachment of Company D, 1st Medical Battalion.[124]

    [124] This section is derived from: 1/1 msg to 1stMarDiv,
          1750 27 Oct 50; 1stMar _SAR_, 4; 1stMar _URpt_ (_S-3_)
          7; 1stMar _HD_, Oct 50, 4; X Corps _Periodic Operations
          Report_ (_POR_) 30; LtCol D. W. Bridges interv, 4 Nov 55;
          Capt G. S. Belli Comments, n. d.

At 1330 a wheezing Korean engine manned by a Korean crew pulled out of
Wonsan with the rifle companies riding in gondola cars. It was a bright
blue day, with a hint of frost in the air; and not a sign of enemy
resistance appeared along the 39-mile route, though several tunnels
might have been utilized for a guerrilla attack.

Upon their arrival late that afternoon, Kojo proved to be the most
attractive town the men had seen in Korea--an almost undamaged small
seaport flanked by the white beaches and sparkling blue waters of the

There remained for the Marines the task of relieving ROK units and
protecting an area consisting of a coastal plain about 5000 yards in
diameter which stretched from the bay to a semicircle of hills ranging
from 150 to 600 feet in height (see Map 4). The ROK officers assured
the battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jack Hawkins, that his men
would find their duty at Kojo a tame assignment. They admitted that
small bands of escaping NKPA soldiers had sometimes raided the villages
for rice, but added that ROK patrols had scoured the hills without
meeting any organized resistance.

The night passed uneventfully for the battalion in a perimeter
northwest of Kojo while the ROKs occupied outposts along the southern
fringe of the coast plain. In the morning the Marines found the rice
paddies glazed with the first ice of the autumn. After completing
the relief of the 2d Battalion of the 22d ROK Regiment at 1200, they
watched with amusement that afternoon as the Koreans crowded into the
gondola cars with their women, children, dogs, and chickens for the
ride back to Wonsan. When it seemed that the train could not hold
another human being, a ROK officer barked out an order and everyone
squeezed farther back with audible sighs and grunts. At last, as a
grand climax, the officer shouted a final command and the entire
trainload of Koreans sat down simultaneously, like collapsing dominoes.

It was an ironical circumstance that the ROKs on the overcrowded train
took with them the remnants of the supply dump that 1/1 was assigned to
guard. However important this dump may have been in its heyday, it had
apparently been consumed by the ROKs to the point where only a few
drums of fuel oil remained along with other odds and ends.

[Illustration: KOJO AREA

Unit locations are those of 1700

27 Oct 50


That afternoon the train and truck convoys arrived without incident,
bringing supplies and all reinforcing units except the artillery. And
though the Marines at Kojo did not neglect security precautions, they
had seen nothing during their first 24 hours to hint that an organized
enemy was about to launch a surprise attack.

_Marine Positions in Kojo Area_

Lieutenant Colonel Hawkins faced a problem in selecting positions for
his battalion.

  Mindful of my mission--to protect the supply dump until removed--I
  had to dispose the battalion in a way designated to accomplish this
  end [he commented]. The supply dump was located at the railroad
  station in the flat ground south of Kojo--a point difficult to
  defend, since it was on low ground and could be approached by the
  enemy from any direction. I considered the most likely direction
  of enemy approach to be from the south along the coastal road
  or through the valley leading toward Kojo from the southwest.
  Therefore, I decided to place Company B in outpost positions to
  cover these approaches.... The remainder of the battalion would be
  deployed on the hill massif west of Kojo, prepared to defend the
  area or counterattack if necessary to prevent loss of the supplies
  at the railroad station. I did not consider this disposition
  ideal by any means from the standpoint of defensive strength, but
  it appeared to be the best possible disposition in the complex
  terrain to protect the supply dump.... Also, I did not have reason
  to expect an organized attack by large enemy forces. In the event
  such a contingency should occur, it was planned that Company B, the
  outpost, would withdraw to the main battle position.[125]

    [125] Hawkins ltr, n. d. It should be remembered that Hawkins
          made his dispositions before learning that the ROKs had
          taken the supply dump with them.

Captain Wesley B. Noren’s Baker Company positions were about two miles
south and southwest of Kojo across an expanse of rice paddies. From
east to west the company held three isolated points of high ground:

1st Platoon (First Lieutenant George S. Belli), reinforced by one
section of light machine guns and one 3.2″ rocket launcher squad, on
the east slope of Hill 109;

3d Platoon (Master Sergeant Matthew D. Monk) and Company Headquarters,
reinforced by one section of heavy machine guns, one section of light
machine guns, a 75mm recoilless rifle, one squad of 3.5″ rocket
launchers and a flame thrower, on high ground to the west and south of
the 1st Platoon;

2d Platoon (First Lieutenant George G. Chambers), reinforced by one
section of 81mm mortars, one section of light machine guns, a 75mm
recoilless rifle and one squad of 3.2″ rocket launchers, on Hill 185.

The remainder of 1/1 occupied positions west of Kojo. Captain Robert
P. Wray’s Charlie Company held a continuous line of foxholes in the
hills that rose from the rice paddies a mile and a half north of Baker
Company’s positions. From west to east were First Lieutenant Francis
B. Conlon’s 2d Platoon, First Lieutenant William A. Craven’s 1st and
Second Lieutenant Henry A. Commiskey’s 3d. About 250 yards to the east
were two platoons of Captain Robert H. Barrow’s Able Company. On the
slopes north of Barrow stood Colonel Hawkins’ CP and the tubes of First
Lieutenant Edward E. Kaufer’s 4.2″ Mortar Platoon. Captain Barrow’s
third platoon occupied the topographical crest of Hill 117.[126]

    [126] Maj W. C. Noren, Report of 27–28 Oct 50, revised and
          annotated in ltr to authors, 22 Nov 55; (hereafter Noren
          rpt); Bridges interv, 4 Nov 55; Barrow interv, 27 Oct 55;
          Maj R. P. Wray ltr to CMC, 24 Jan 56.

While the Marines organized their positions during the afternoon of
27 October, a column of refugees “almost as long as the eye could
see” appeared in the valley southwest of Kojo headed for the seaport.
Colonel Hawkins estimated that there were 2000 to 3000 people in the
column. Since he did not have the time to examine all the refugees
before darkness, Hawkins had them herded into the peninsula northeast
of Kojo for the night.[127]

    [127] Hawkins ltr, n. d.

After a quiet afternoon on the 27th, the first hint of enemy opposition
came at 1600 when a wire team was fired upon in the vicinity of Hill
185. Two hours later a truck and a jeep borrowed from the S-3, Major
David W. Bridges, received fire from the high ground west of Hill
109. Both were abandoned after the truck broke down, and a Baker
Company patrol had a brief fire fight at 1900 when it recovered the

    [128] 1stMar _HD, Oct 50_, encl 2, 1; Noren rpt; Bridges interv
          4 Nov 55.

These first indications of Red Korean activity in the Kojo area were
attributed to the forays of guerrilla bands. Not until after the
battle did the Marines learn from POW interrogations that the enemy
consisted of an estimated 1000 to 1200 men of the 10th Regiment, 5th
NKPA Division. This regiment, commanded by Colonel Cho Il Kwon, former
director of the Communist Party at Wonsan, was believed to have its CP
in the large village of Tongchon, about two miles south of the Baker
Company outposts. Other units of the NKPA division, which was credited
with a total strength of 7000 to 8000 men, occupied areas farther to
the south.[129]

    [129] 1/1 telephone call (tel) to G-3 1stMarDiv, 1415 28 Oct
          50; G-2 X Corps Rpt in G-3 Journal, X Corps _WD_, 29 Oct
          50; X Corps _Periodic Intelligence Report_ (_PIR_) 33.

After the Red Korean collapse, the 2d, 5th, and 10th NKPA Divisions
had maintained their organization, though much depleted in strength by
casualties. Withdrawing to the Wonsan area, they kept to the secondary
roads and raided the villages for food. It is a tribute to Communist
discipline that the outfits had not lost their cohesion at a time when
their cause seemed to be collapsing. But the 5th NKPA Division was
one of the units made up almost entirely of Koreans who had served in
the Chinese Civil War, and its officers were fanatically dedicated to
Communist principles.[130]

    [130] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, 26; X Corps _PIR_ 41, annex 3; 1stMarDiv
          _PIR_ 20, encl 2.

Only well trained and led troops could have launched the attacks which
hit both ends of the Baker Company’s chain of outposts simultaneously
about 2200, after the first few hours of darkness had passed in
comparative quiet punctuated by occasional shots. Normal security
measures were taken on a cold night with a 50 per cent watch--one
rifleman remaining on the alert in the two-man foxholes while the other
burrowed for warmth into a partially closed sleeping bag. The 81mm and
60mm mortars were registered on the hills just beyond the 2d and 3d

    [131] 1stMar _SAR_, 4; Noren rpt; Bridges interv, 4 Nov 55.

These two units came under attack shortly before First Lieutenant
Carlon’s position at the extreme west of Charlie Company’s line was
assailed. In each instance the enemy infiltrated within grenade
throwing distance before his presence was detected. Past contacts with
American soldiers had given the Red Koreans some knowledge of the
language, and for purposes of deception the NKPA assault troops shouted
phrases in broken English:

“Come this way!... Don’t shoot! We’re friends.”[132]

    [132] 1stMar tel to G-2 1stMarDiv, 2130 31 Oct 50; Wray ltr, 24
          Jan 56.

_The All-Night Fight of Baker Company_

The surprise was devastating, particularly in the Baker Company zone.
On the eastern slope of Hill 109 the 1st Platoon had no inkling until
men yelled warnings from the foxholes just as the enemy grenades
exploded and Red Koreans in estimated strength of two platoons overran
the position. Seven Marines were killed before they could get out of
their sleeping bags, and others lost contact in the darkness.

The 3d Platoon and Company CP were attacked from three points to the
south and southeast. Marine 60mm mortars fired within 50 yards of the
front line while the 81s laid down a barrage directly forward of the
position. After a brief and bitter struggle, Communists believed to
number three platoons were repulsed.

In the Charlie Company zone, Lieutenant Carlon’s position was hardest
hit. The North Koreans closed within ten feet before they were noticed.
During the confused fighting which followed, the enemy won a brief
foothold. An estimated 20 Marines were cut off but got back safely the
next morning.

After recovering from the initial surprise the Charlie Company outposts
repulsed all further attacks. Wray’s men lost 6 killed and 16 wounded
during the night’s encounters but could count 92 Korean bodies the next

At 2215 the 3d Platoon of Baker Company had a second attack at the same
points as the first one. The Red Koreans appeared to Captain Noren to
be exceptionally well disciplined and controlled in spite of heavy
casualties inflicted on them by combination of mortar, machine-gun and
small-arms fire, and grenades.[133]

    [133] This section, except when otherwise noted, is based upon
          the 1stMar _SAR_ 4–5, appendix II, 2; Noren rpt; Bridges
          interv 4 Nov 55; Barrow interv 27 Oct 55; 1stMar, _HD Oct
          50_, encl. 2; 1; Wray ltr, 24 Jan 56; Hawkins ltr, n. d.;
          Statement of Lt James M. McGhee, 15 Feb 51.

The plight of Belli’s platoon was first made known when 2/B on Hill
185 received a message to the effect that 1/B had withdrawn from Hill
109 with 30 men missing. The retirement was made possible by the brave
stand of Sergeant Clayton Roberts, who covered the movement with a
light machine gun until he was surrounded and killed.

The 3d Platoon beat off another attack meanwhile as the enemy closed in
from the left rear as well as the front. With machine-gun fire coming
from both directions, Noren informed the battalion CP at 2350 that his
position was untenable and asked permission to withdraw. His request
being granted, he directed Lieutenant Chambers to pull back from Hill
185, covering the withdrawal of 3/B with 81mm fire.

The intersection of the dike and railway track was designated as the
meeting place for the three Baker Company platoons. Noren covered
the rear of the 3/B withdrawal while his executive officer, First
Lieutenant Chester B. Farmer, took charge of the point. Opposite Hill
109 they encountered Staff Sergeant Robert Fisher and five men whom
Belli had directed to remain at the dike and pick up stragglers while
the rest of 1/B continued to pull back.

Fisher reported that the attack on Hill 109 had been conducted with
skill and discipline. Whistles and red and green flares were used for
signaling by Communists who cut off a listening post and overran a
squad on the right flank. The assault force numbered 160, according to
POW testimony.

The methodical, position-by-position withdrawal of the three Baker
Company platoons was conducted so skilfully that remarkably few
casualties resulted. Noren lost all contact for a short time when
enemy fire severed the antenna on his last operative SCR-300. At about
0215 Chambers’ platoon was last to reach the meeting place, having
beaten off several attacks during its withdrawal from Hill 185. With
another large-scale enemy assault threatening, Noren organized a 360°
defense on both sides of the railway track just south of the village
of Chonchon-ni. One Marine was killed and six wounded by enemy fire
received from the west as well as east.

Fox Battery of the 11th Marines had arrived in the Kojo area about
midnight and set up its guns on the beach northeast of the town at
about 0200.[134] Baker Company had no radio in operation, however,
until parts of two damaged SCR-300’s were combined into one to restore
communication. Contact was made with the 4.2″ mortars, which registered
about 0300, directed by Captain Noren, and broke up the NKPA attack.
The 81mm mortars made it hot for the enemy in Chonchon-ni, and at 0330
the Communists apparently disengaged to withdraw east of the railway
track and northward toward Kojo. Marine artillery had registered by
0400, but all was quiet in the area the rest of the night.

    [134] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex SS, appendix 2 (hereafter 2/11
          _SAR_), 14.

Although a few NKPA mortar shells were received, enemy equipment
appeared to be limited for the most part to automatic weapons, small
arms, and grenades. There were indications that Korean civilians had
been used in several instances as human shields for an attacking

    [135] Capt R. M. Taylor tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 1545 28 Oct 50.

The NKPA withdrawal to Kojo led to the Marine speculation that the
Communists meant to make enforced recruits of some of the hapless
residents allotted a refuge in the peninsula north of the town. As
it proved, they were not harmed by the NKPA troops. The last enemy
effort, just before dawn, was an attack in platoon strength on Second
Lieutenant John J. Swords’ Able Company platoon by Reds who had
infiltrated through Kojo. A brief fight ensued on Hill 117 as the
Marines beat off the assault at the cost of one man killed and two

Baker Company elements had meanwhile resumed their withdrawal along
the railway track north of Chonchon. All was quiet at first light when
Noren began the task of evacuating his wounded in ponchos through rice
paddies which were knee-deep in mud and water under a thin skin of ice.
Marines came out from the Able Company positions to lend a hand.

The evacuation had nearly been completed when about 200 enemy troops
suddenly moved out from Kojo in a westerly direction across the rice
paddies. Whether they meant to interfere with the evacuation or merely
to escape was never made clear. For the Marines of Able and Baker
Companies as well as the gunners of Fox Battery opened up in broad
daylight and found lucrative targets. An estimated 75 Communists were
killed and wounded before the rest scurried out of range into the hills
west of the coastal plain.

Some contact was maintained with the enemy until 1000 by elements of
Charlie Company, then the action was gradually broken off as the planes
of VMF(N)-513 came in low with close support.[136] Although the strikes
by air were largely uncontrolled because of poor radio communications
between the Forward Air Controller (FAC) and the planes, they were very
helpful to the Marines on the ground.[137]

    [136] VMF(N)-513 _SAR_, sec 6, 6; VMF(N)-513 _WD Oct 50_; 1/1
          msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 0050 29 Oct 50; Maj W. B. Noren
          Comments n. d.

    [137] Capt R. B. Robinson interv by Capt J. I. Kiernan, Jr., 6
          Feb 51; Hawkins ltr, n. d.

_2/1 Ordered to Kojo_

The radio message bringing the first news of the Kojo fight was sent
by 1/1 at 0418 on the 28th. Owing to transmission difficulty, it was
picked up by the 7th Marines, relayed to the 1st Marines at 0700, and
telephoned to the 1st Marine Division.[138] It stated briefly that
the battalion had been under attack since 1700 by an estimated 1000
enemy and had suffered a large number of casualties. Helicopters were
requested for air evacuation and an LSTH for water evacuation of the
wounded. Air support was required, the message continued, adding that
the destroyer in direct support of the battalion had not yet arrived on

    [138] S-3 1stMar tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 0700 28 Oct 50; CO
          7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1825 29 Oct 50.

At 0830 an officer from 1/1 reported in to 1st Marines CP with a
further account. He reported a platoon of B Company cut off and
estimated 150 casualties.[139]

    [139] 1stMar tel to G-2 1stMarDiv, 1840 28 Oct 50.

A third report from 1/1 reached the CP of the 1st Marine Division as an
intercepted radio message at 1238 on the 28th while General Almond was
conferring with General Smith. Sent from Kojo at 1000, the message said:

  Received determined attack from South North and West from sunset
  to sunrise by large enemy force. Estimated from 1000 to 1200.
  One company still heavily engaged. Civilian reports indicate
  possibility 3000 enemy this immediate area. Have suffered 9 KIA,
  39 WIA, 34 MIA [Missing in Action] probably dead. Two positions
  overrun during night. If this position is to be held a regiment
  is required. Enemy now to South North and West of us but believe
  road to North is still open. Harbor is in our hands and ROK LST has
  been here. Shall we hold here or withdraw to North? ROK supply dump
  ... removed. Request immediate instructions. Send all available
  helicopters for wounded. Suggest send instructions by both radio
  and helicopters.[140]

    [140] 1/1 msg to 1stMar, 1000 28 Oct 55. As Col Hawkins points
          out, the request for instructions refers to his only
          orders being to defend the ROK supply dump which no
          longer existed. Hawkins ltr, n. d.

The Corps and Division commanders agreed immediately that Kojo should
be held, since a large-scale NKPA attack appeared to be in the making.
Another factor in this decision was the ROK supply dump. Nobody at the
Division CP seemed to know as yet that it had been removed, but General
Smith directed his G-3 to issue the necessary orders to send Colonel
Puller, CO of the 1st Marines, and a battalion of reinforcements to
Kojo. Within five minutes Colonel Alpha L. Bowser, 1stMarDiv G-3,
telephoned Corps to request that a train be assembled on the Wonsan
siding immediately for a battalion lift.[141]

    [141] CG’s Diary Extracts in X Corps _WD_, 28 Oct 50; Craig
          “Notes ... Oct 26-Nov 5, 1950”; G-3 1stMarDiv tel to G-3
          X Corps, 1215 28 Oct 50; 1stMar _HD, Oct 50_, 4; LtCol R.
          E. Lorigan ltr to CMC 7 Dec 55.

Brigadier General Edward A. Craig, ADC of the 1st Marine Division,
was on his way to a conference at the 1st Marines CP when he met
General Almond and Colonel Puller, and the three compared notes from
their jeeps. Craig informed them that action toward the providing of
transportation had already been initiated by Division. A request had
later been made for a second destroyer to provide gunfire support (the
first having already arrived) and an LSTH for casualty evacuation.
Another LST had been requested for the purpose of sending tanks to
Kojo, since the road and bridges would not bear the weight of armor.

The possibility of a major engagement taking place at Kojo seemed to
be confirmed by two later reports 1/1 sent at 1415 and 1840. The first
relayed prisoner of war statements to the effect that an estimated 7000
men of the NKPA 5th Division were located at Tongchon.[142] The second,
a radio message, read:

    [142] 1/1 tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 1415 28 Oct 50; Hawkins ltr, n.

  Reinforcement train has not arrived as of 1800. NK prisoners
  revealed large enemy force plans attack over position tonight.
  Recommend LVTs with LSTs stand by at daylight in case of emergency
  evacuation necessary. In view of large numbers of troops facing us
  as previously reported and face enemy on all sides except seaward,
  consider situation critical. Request higher authority visit.[143]

    [143] 1/1 msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1840 28 Oct 50.

By that time Colonel Puller and the troops were on the way. Making up
a train and loading it with a reinforced battalion and extra supplies
in three and a half hours had been something of an administrative feat,
particularly when the battalion was just coming off landing craft.
Yet Lieutenant Colonel Allan Sutter’s 2/1 and the Regimental Command
Group pulled out for Kojo at 1630 and a second train followed two hours

    [144] Craig, “Notes ... Oct 26-Nov 5, 1950”; Col A. Sutter
          Comments n. d.

Upon arrival at 2230, CO 1stMar learned that there had been no major
enemy contact since 1000. Lieutenant Colonel Hawkins had contracted his
unit that afternoon to his main position along the high ground forming
a semicircle around Hill 117. The 2d Battalion and supporting arms
having tied in with the 1st for the night, Colonel Puller concluded
that no further cause for alarm existed. And since the battery
positions at Kojo were limited, he radioed General Smith that more
artillery would not be needed.[145]

    [145] Barrow interv, 28 Oct 55.

Seventeen Marines previously listed as MIA by 1/1 had returned unhurt
to their units on the 28th after being cut off during the confusion
of the night’s fighting. Marine air had all but obliterated Tongchon
that afternoon while the U. S. destroyers _Hank_ and _English_ were
bombarding Kojo.

The request for water as well as air evacuation of serious casualties
had resulted in immediate action. Within an hour after receiving the
message, CTF-90 had the transport _Wantuck_ on the way with a surgical
team, and VMO-6 sent five helicopters which flew 17 wounded men to a
hospital ship at Wonsan on the 29th.[146]

    [146] CTF-90 msg to USS _Wantuck_, 0839 28 Oct 50; VMO-6 _SAR_,

Ten tanks of Company C, 1st Tank Battalion, were loaded in LST 883 at
Wonsan on the 28th, but the ship was delayed by running aground. Upon
arrival at Kojo the next day, it again became necessary for the LST to
be pulled off the bar by a tug. By this time the military situation was
so well in hand that the tanks were taken back to Wonsan without being

    [147] 1stTkBn _SAR_, 9, 11; CG 1stMarDiv msg to CO 1stMar, 1650
          29 Oct 50.

_Security Provided for Wonsan Area_

Responsibility for the security of the Wonsan area having been assigned
to the 1st Marines, something of an administrative problem was created
on the 28th by the order sending 2/1 to reinforce 1/1 at Kojo. For the
3d Battalion of the regiment had departed that same day to relieve
a ROK unit at Majon-ni, 28 miles west of Wonsan. Since this left
no troops to patrol roads in the Wonsan area and maintain blocking
positions at Anbyon, the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, and 5th KMC
Battalion were attached to the 1st Marines for those missions.

Also available to the 1st Marines for such security duties as guarding
the Wonsan airfield and harbor area were the 1st Shore Party Battalion,
1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion, and Company B of the 1st Armored
Amphibian Tractor Battalion.[148]

    [148] 1stSPBn _SAR_, 5–6; 1stMar _SAR_, 6; 1stMarDiv _SAR_,
          annex TT (hereafter 1stAmphTracBn _SAR_) 4–5, appendix 2,

By the morning of the 29th, moreover, it had already become apparent
that one or both of the battalions in the Kojo area could soon be
spared. When General Craig arrived by helicopter, he found the
situation well in hand.[149]

    [149] Craig ltr, 4 Sep 55; Smith, _Notes_, 450.

About 60 percent of the seaport had been destroyed by air strikes
and the guns of the destroyers when a patrol consisting of Dog and
Fox Companies combed the ruins on the morning of the 29th without
finding any evidences of enemy occupation. Meanwhile an Easy Company
patrol ranged to the west of the coastal plain with equally negative

    [150] 2/1 _SAR_, 3; 1stMar _URpt_ (_S-3_) 8; CO 1stMar msg to
          CG 1stMarDiv, 1816 29 Oct 50; 1stMar Fwd _ISUM_, 1900 29
          Oct 50.

Captain George B. Farish of VMO-6 was making a reconnaissance flight
when he discerned the word HELP spelled out in rice straw near a
straw-stack a mile northeast of Tongchon. A Marine crawled out from
concealment, and the pilot landed his helicopter to pick up PFC William
H. Meister, who had been hiding since losing touch with his unit during
the enemy night attack on Hill 109. This was the first of four such
rescues completed by Farish that day.[151]

    [151] VMO-6 _HD Oct 50_; VMO-6 _SAR_, 3.

On the afternoon of the 29th, Captain Noren led a patrol along the
railway track south of Kojo and retraced the route of his fighting
withdrawal in the darkness. In the vicinity of Hill 109, where
Lieutenant Belli’s platoon had been surprised, he found 12 Marine
bodies. None had been despoiled by the enemy of arms or equipment.

Pushing farther south, Noren encountered sniper fire from the ruins of
Tongchon, destroyed by Marine air, and called for more strikes. The
Corsairs flushed out a group of 20 enemy troops, 16 of whom were cut
down by the machine guns of the Baker Company patrol.[152]

    [152] Smith, _Notes_, 451; Noren Comments.

By the 29th, when General Almond made a trip of inspection to Kojo, it
was possible to revise the original Marine casualty list as the MIA
casualties were reduced. The final count was 23 KIA, 47 WIA and four

    [153] Smith, _Notes_, 451; CG’s Diary Extracts in X Corps _WD_,
          29 Oct 40.

Twenty-four wounded Marines were evacuated to Wonsan that day by APD.
LST 883, when it returned to Wonsan with the tanks, took the bodies of
19 Marines and 17 prisoners.

Enemy losses, in addition to 83 POW, were estimated at 250 KIA and
an unknown number of WIA on the basis of more than 165 bodies found
by Marine patrols. Curiously enough, the Communists had shown little
interest in the equipment which fell into their hands, and two Marine
75mm recoilless rifles, rendered inoperative, were recovered with
their carts and ammunition in the vicinity of Chonchon-ni. Almost all
abandoned equipment was found in usable condition.[154]

    [154] Smith, _Notes_, 451–452; 1stMar _SAR_, appendix 5, 2;
          Noren Comments.

_Marines Relieved at Kojo_

Each of the Marine rifle companies set up outposts in front of its
zone. Morning and afternoon patrolling, with air on station, went on
during the last two days of October with negative results. Harassing
and interdiction fires were also continued until 1/1 departed.

LST 973 arrived off Kojo at 1430, 31 October, and disembarked the 5th
Battalion of the KMC Regiment. Lieutenant Colonel Hawkins’ battalion,
accompanied by Colonel Puller, left Kojo at 0700 the next morning
on the return trip of the LST. The ship docked at Wonsan at 1230 on
2 November. That afternoon 1/1 relieved elements of the 1st Tank
Battalion at the road block near Katsuma, four miles southeast of

Lieutenant General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., CG FMFPac, who was acting
in an informal capacity as amphibious adviser to General MacArthur,
inspected 2/1 at Kojo by helicopter on 31 October. Having arrived at
Wonsan that day with Colonel Victor H. Krulak, his G-3, he conferred
at X Corps Headquarters with Admiral Struble and Generals Almond and

    [155] G-3 1stMarDiv tel to ExecO 1stMar, 1450 30 Oct 50; CO
          1stMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1521 31 Oct 50; CG 1stMarDiv
          msg to CO 1stMarFwd, 2355 31 Oct 50; 1stMarAdv msg to CG
          1stMarDiv, 1900 1 Nov 50; Smith, _Notes_, 453–454; 1stMar
          _SAR_, 6–7; Hawkins ltr, n. d.; Sutter Comments.

Among the other subjects of discussion was the news that Chinese
Communist Forces (CCF) prisoners had been taken in the area north of
Hamhung by ROK units which were soon to be relieved by the 7th Marines.
Several clashes with organized Chinese forces during the last days of
October had also been reported by elements of the 1st Cavalry Division
of the Eighth Army in western Korea.

The 7th Marines had been given the mission of spearheading the Marine
advance to the northern border of Korea as directed in Corps orders.
After parkas and other cold weather clothing had been issued from the
beach dumps at Wonsan, the regiment completed the movement to Hamhung
by motor convoy from 29 to 31 October. By this time the Corps drive to
the Yalu was shifting into second gear, with the I ROK Corps far in
advance along the coastal highway. Two U. S. Army units were soon to
be involved. The 7th Infantry Division, which landed at Iwon from 29
October to 8 November, had Corps orders to push on toward the border;
and it was planned that the 3d Infantry Division, due to land its
first units on the 8th at Wonsan, would relieve 1st Marines units south
of Hamhung.[156]

    [156] 1stMarDiv _OpnO_ 18-50, 28 Oct 50; ComPhibGruOne,
          “Operations Report”, 13–14; 1stMarDiv _SAR_, 12; X Corps
          _WDs_, 29 Oct-8 Nov 50.

Corps orders of 2 November called for 2/1 to return to Wonsan
immediately. The southern boundary of X Corps was to be moved 70 miles
farther south, effective on the departure of the battalion from Kojo.
In order to cover the new zone, the KMC regiment had already been
detached from the 1st Marine Division and given responsibility for the
Corps zone south of the 39th Parallel. The relief of the 2d Battalion
of the 5th Marines was completed by KMC elements that same day at
Anbyon, eight miles southeast of Wonsan, thus freeing that unit for a
motor lift northward to rejoin its regiment.[157]

    [157] 1stMarDiv _POR_ 98; CG X Corps msg X11890; X Corps 01 14,
          29 Oct 50; X Corps _OI_ 16, 31 Oct 50; CG 1stMarDiv ltr
          to CO 1stMar, 31 Oct 50; CG 1stMarDiv msg to 1stMar, 1803
          2 Nov 50.

Lieutenant Colonel Sutter’s 2/1 and the artillery battery departed Kojo
the following day. A small train and a truck convoy sent from Wonsan
were used chiefly for the transport of supplies, and most of the troops
traveled by shanks’ mare. The column was on the way when the report
came that the rail line had been blown up at Anbyon by guerrillas.
The battalion halted there and set up a perimeter for the night which
included both the train and truck convoys. At 0730 in the morning the
convoys moved out again for Wonsan. Delayed slightly by another rail
break, Sutter completed the movement at noon.[158]

    [158] 1stMar _URpt_ (_S-3_) 8; CO 1stMar msg to 2/1, 1825 2 Nov
          50; S-3 1stMar tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 1800 3 Nov 50; 2/1
          msg to 1stMar, 1820 3 Nov 50; 2/11 _SAR_, 14–15; Sutter

The track-blowing incident gave evidence that the Marines must deal
with a third type of enemy. In addition to the NKPA remnants, and the
forces of Red China, it now appeared that account must be taken of
thousands of uprooted Koreans prowling in small bands for food and
loot--the flotsam of a cruel civil war. Called guerrillas by courtesy,
they were actually outlaws and banditti, loyal to no cause. And by
virtue of their very furtiveness, they were capable of doing a great
deal of mischief to organized forces.


Majon-ni and Ambush Alley

_Marine Units Tied in for Defense--Political Aspects of Mission--Roads
Patrolled by Rifle Companies--Air Drop of Supplies Requested--First
Attack on Perimeter--KMC Battalion Sent to Majon-ni--Movement of 1st
Marines to Chigyong_

From a distance the Y-shaped mountain valley, encircled by peaks and
crossed by two swift, clear streams, might have been taken for a scene
in the Alps. This impression was borne out by the village of Majon-ni,
which nestled close to the earth, as seen from afar, with the tranquil
and untroubled air of a Swiss hamlet.

On closer inspection, however, such first impressions could only prove
to be illusory. The most prominent building in the Korean village was
a new schoolhouse with the onion-shaped dome of Russian architecture.
An incongruous and pretentious structure for such a small peasant
community, it had been erected not so much for the instruction of
children as the indoctrination of adults in Communist principles.

Majon-ni, in short, had been for five years a hotbed of forced culture
in the doctrines of the Communist puppet state set up in northern Korea
after World War II by the occupation forces of Soviet Russia. And it
was here that the 3d Battalion of the 1st Marines arrived on 28 October
1950. Relief of elements of the 26th ROK Regiment at 1600 enabled those
troops to return to Wonsan in the vehicles which had brought 3/1.[159]

    [159] CO 3/1 msg to CO 1stMar, 1900 28 Oct 50; 1stMar _URpt_
          (_S-3_) 7, 2.

The Marines had been assigned the mission of “setting up a defensive
position at Majon-ni, destroying enemy forces, and denying them the use
of this road net.” In addition, the unit was “to patrol roads to the
north, south, and west, and keep the road open between Majon-ni and

    [160] CG 1stMarDiv msg to CO 1stMar, 1730 27 Oct 50. See also
          CG 1stMarDiv msg to CO 1stMar, 1515 27 Oct 50; 1stMar
          _OpnO 9-50_, 27 Oct 50; 1stMarDiv _AdmO 14-50_, 27 Oct 50.

This last directive was soon modified by oral instructions
relieving the battalion from the responsibility of keeping open the
Wonsan-Majon-ni road. The reason for the change was apparent when the
troops of 3/1 covered the 28-mile route by motor lift in two echelons
on the afternoon of the 28th. After leaving the seaport and alluvial
plain, the shelf-like road twists precariously through a 3000-foot
pass. This stretch abounds in hairpin turns and deep gorges which
are ideal for setting a tactical trap, and the route was soon to be
known to the troops as Ambush Alley. Although traversable by tanks, it
offered too much danger from roadblocks and landslides to permit the
dispatch of the iron elephants.[161]

    [161] Col T. L. Ridge, _Notes on Operations in North Korea_,
          9 Sep 55 (hereafter Ridge, _Notes_) and comments on
          preliminary draft, 28 Feb 56; Andrew Geer, _The New
          Breed_ (New York, 1952), 203.


  A  Ambush of 2 Nov 50
  B  Ambush of 3 Nov 50
  C  Ambush of 7 Nov 50
  D  Ambush of 12 Nov 50
  E  Ambush of H Co., 2 Nov 50


The strategic importance of the Majon-ni area derived from its position
at the headwaters of the river Imjin and the junction of roads leading
east to Wonsan, south to Seoul, and west to Pyongyang. They were being
traveled extensively at this time by NKPA troops escaping northward in
civilian clothes after the collapse of the Red Korean military effort.

It was natural that the 1st Marine Division, with a zone of more than
15,000 square miles to control, should be ordered to occupy such an
important road junction and potential assembly area as Majon-ni.[162]
Thus the Marines of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas L. Ridge’s reinforced
battalion were sent as a blocking and screening force.

    [162] Smith, _Notes_, 393–394; G-3 _SAR_, 5–6.

_Marine Units Tied In for Defense_

In addition to H&S, Weapons, and the three rifle companies, the task
organization consisted on 28 October of Battery D of the 2d Battalion,
11th Marines, the 3d Platoon of Company C, 1st Engineer Battalion, and
detachments from ANGLICO, 1st Signal Battalion; Company D, 1st Medical
Battalion; and H&S Company, 1st Marines.[163]

    [163] Except where otherwise indicated, this section is based
          on: Ridge, _Notes_; and Comments, 28 Feb 50; LtCol E. H.
          Simmons ltr, 14 Jan 56; 1stLt Charles R. Stiles, “The
          Dead End of Ambush Alley,” _Marine Corps Gazette_, xxxvi,
          no. 11 (Nov 51), 38–45.

The battalion commander and his S-3, Major Joseph D. Trompeter, decided
after a survey of the terrain that the commanding ground was too far
from the village and too rugged for company outposts. The logical
solution seemed to be a battalion perimeter combined with daytime
company OPs and vigorous patrolling of the three main roads. In order
to tie in all units of a perimeter 3770 yards in circumference, it was
necessary to create provisional platoons of such H&S, artillery and
engineer troops as could be spared from their regular duties. Even so,
the defense was spread thin in places.

The schoolhouse was the obvious place for the battalion CP.
Communication within the perimeter was by telephone, with wires laid
from the CP to artillery and mortar positions as well as company and
platoon CPs. Radio communication was established with the regiment and
the division but due to the terrain remained irregular at best.

First Lieutenant Leroy M. Duffy and his engineers were assigned the
task of constructing on OY strip on the east side of the perimeter
which was completed on 2 November. A parallel cliff made it necessary
to land planes at a dangerous angle, but no better site could be had
in this steep-sided valley.


All roadblocks manned by Weapons Co. Perimeter between A and B manned
by H&S Co, 3/1 and Btry D, 2/11, 28 Oct-4 Nov 50, by Able Co., 1/1, 5–7
Nov; and by H&S Co., 3/1, and Btry D, 2/11, 8–9 Nov. Perimeter between
C and D manned by 3d Bn, KMC Regt, 10–14 Nov 50.


Topography also limited Captain Andrew J. Strohmenger’s cannoneers,
who were almost literally “firing out of a barrel.” Close-in support
was out of the question in the bowl-like valley ringed with peaks, but
the six howitzers were emplaced so that they could be swung to fire on
any avenue of approach, especially toward the three roads leading into

    [164] 3/1 _SAR 7 Oct-25 Nov 50_, 14; Capt A. J. Strohmenger,
          ltr to Col T. L. Ridge, 16 Sep 55; 3/1 msg to 1stMar, n.
          t. 2 Nov 50.

No difficulty was found in deciding on a water point, for tests
established the purity of the water from both branches of the Imjin
flowing through the perimeter. Lieutenant Duffy explained that he added
chlorine only because the Marines were accustomed to the flavor.

_Political Aspects of Mission_

The Marine mission had its political as well as military side. Major
Edwin H. Simmons, CO of Weapons Company, was given the responsibility
for defending the three road blocks of the perimeter with Weapons
Company personnel. At each of them he stationed a heavy machine gun
section and a 3.5″ rocket launcher section. These barriers were also
ports of entry where all Korean transients were searched for weapons.
When a group of 20 to 30 accumulated, they were escorted under guard to
the prison stockade, just across the road from the battalion CP.[165]

    [165] This section is based upon LtCol E. H. Simmons interv, 4
          Nov 55 and ltr, 14 Jan 56.

There they were “processed” by the Civil Affairs Section, consisting of
12 Marine enlisted men under the command of First Lieutenant Donald M.
Holmes and Master Sergeant Marian M. Stocks, known facetiously as the
mayor and sheriff respectively of Majon-ni. Their decisions were based
largely on the findings of the 181st Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC)
team and the battalion S-2, Second Lieutenant Frederick W. Hopkins.
The CIC specialists proved to be indispensable by contributing daily
intelligence based on civilian as well as POW interrogations.

As might be supposed, the question of whether a transient was an
escaping NKPA soldier or a harmless peasant might have perplexed
Solomon himself. But the Marines came up with a simple off-the-cuff
solution. Time did not permit a lengthy screening, and each Korean
was given a brief examination with the aid of interpreters. If his
head was still close-cropped in the NKPA manner, if his neck showed
a tanned V-line recently left by a uniform, if his feet bore the
tell-tale callouses left by military footgear--if he could not pass
these three tests, the transient was sent to the prison stockade as a
fugitive Red Korean soldier. Now that Chinese Communist troops had been
encountered both on the X Corps and Eighth Army fronts, it was all the
more important that battlewise NKPA elements should be prevented from
joining their new allies if Red China intervened.

Some of the prisoners were admittedly NKPA veterans, weary of the war
and ready to give up voluntarily. Manifestations of this spirit caused
Lieutenant Colonel Ridge to send a radio request for an air drop of
surrender leaflets.

The first full day’s operations, on 29 October, resulted in 24
prisoners being taken. But this was a trickle as compared to the
torrent which would follow until an average daily rate of 82 was
maintained during the 17 days of the operations.

_Roads Patrolled by Rifle Companies_

Each of the rifle companies was given the mission of sending out daily
motorized or foot patrols while manning, as required, company OPs. The
three roads were assigned as follows:

  George Company (Captain Carl L. Sitter), the road to Wonsan;
  How Company (Captain Clarence E. Corley, Jr.) the road to Seoul;
  Item Company (First Lieutenant Joseph R. Fisher), the road to

    [166] 3/1 _SAR 7 Oct-25 Nov 50_, 4.

All patrols reported negative results throughout the first four days.
Nevertheless, a system of artillery and 81mm mortar harassing and
interdiction fires on suspected Red Korean assembly areas was put into
effect. Major Simmons was designated the Supporting Arms Coordinator
(SAC), and OYs were used for artillery spotting and to call air strikes
when planes were on station.[167]

    [167] _Ibid._, 5; Ridge Comments, 28 Feb 56.

The battalion commander emphasized to his officers the necessity for
maintaining as good relations with the inhabitants as security would
permit. Strict troop discipline was to be maintained at all times,
and the villagers were allowed their own mayor and council along with
such laws or customs as did not conflict with the Marine mission.[168]
A policy of justice and fairness had its reward when the inhabitants
warned the CIC team of an impending attack by organized NKPA troops.

    [168] LtCol T. L. Ridge, interv with HistDiv, HQMC, 22 Aug 51.

POW interrogations and reports by civilians identified the enemy
unit as the 15th NKPA Division, including the 45th, 48th, and 50th
regiments, commanded by Major General Pak Sun Chol. Following the NKPA
collapse, the division had been able to maintain its organization
while infiltrating northward from the Pusan Perimeter and raiding the
villages for food. The mission was reported to be the occupation and
control of the upper Imjin valley as a base for guerrilla operations,
with the Majon-ni road junction being designated one of the main

    [169] 3/1 _SAR 7 Oct-25 Nov 50_, 8; 1st MarDiv _PIRs 21_ and

Enemy numbers were said to reach a total of 11,000. But that figure,
like most Oriental estimates of numbers, had to be taken with the
traditional grain of salt.

At any rate, the Marines had no further doubt on the morning of
2 November that they were opposed by a resolute enemy skilled at
guerrilla tactics. Second Lieutenant Harvey A. Goss’ platoon of How
Company, reinforced with 81mm mortars, light machine guns, an artillery
forward observer (FO) team and a FAC, was ambushed in a deep gorge
five miles south of Majon-ni while conducting a motorized patrol. The
Marines, raked by rifle and automatic small-arms fire from an unseen
enemy hidden along the heights on both sides, got off only the message,
“We’ve been hit, send help, send help” before the radio was hit.[170]

    [170] The account of the How Company ambush is derived from:
          3/1 _SAR 7 Oct-25 Nov 50_, 5; VMF-312 _SAR_, 8–9; 3/1
          memo: “Summary of Friendly Situation as of 1600,” 2 Nov
          50; 1stMar _URpt (S-3) 8_, 3; 2/11 _SAR_, 16; Simmons
          interv, 4 Nov 55; and ltr, 14 Jan 56; Capt R. A. Doyle
          Comments, n. d.; Maj C. E. Corley Comments, n. d.

Effective deployment in the narrow road was prevented by stalled
vehicles. Casualties were mounting when Second Lieutenant Kenneth A.
Bott and PFC Donald O. Hoffstetter ran the gauntlet of fire in a jeep.
They reached Majon-ni unhurt although one tire of the jeep had been

The 3/1 CP was delayed in summoning air because of the difficulties
in radio transmission.[171] This break in communications alarmed
Major Simmons, acting as SAC. He persuaded the pilot of an OY to fly
him over the scene of the ambush. From his point of vantage Simmons
had a good view of the deployment of Captain Corley’s remaining two
rifle platoons, riding artillery trucks and reinforced with heavy
machine guns and 81mm mortars, which had been sent out from Majon-ni
to extricate the patrol. The 81mm mortars were set up just off the
road and began pounding the North Korean cliffside positions. PFC Jack
Golden, a one-man task force, climbed with a 94-pound heavy machine
gun to a height where he could fire down on the Communists. Marine
Corsairs came on station, somewhat tardily because of the poor radio
communication, and the remnants of the enemy disappeared into the hills.

    [171] As a result of this experience a radio which could
          contact planes was later requested. 3/1 msg to CG
          1stMarDiv, n. t. 2 Nov 50.

Lieutenant Robert J. Fleischaker, (MC) USN, the battalion medical
officer, and his assistants cared for the less critical Marine
casualties. One man died during the night but most of the others were
evacuated during the next day in three helicopter flights--much to
the astonishment of the natives. Fleischaker and his assistants also
treated Korean civilians on occasion, and the saving of a village boy’s
life by an emergency appendectomy did much to gain the good will of the

    [172] LtCol V. J. Gottschalk interv, 21 Nov 55; R. A. Doyle
          Comments; Cdr R. J. Fleischaker Comments, n. d.

_Air Drop of Supplies Requested_

Radio communication between Majon-ni and Wonsan was so uncertain,
because of the intervening hill mass, that it was possible to
get through for only a few hours at night. The surest means of
communication was a written message carried by helicopter or OY pilots,
who had to insure delivery to regiment after landing at the Wonsan

    [173] Col T. L. Ridge, ltr, 28 Nov 55; R. A. Doyle Comments.

The supply problem had already begun to pinch before the first week
ended. A convoy came through from Wonsan without molestation on 29
October, but it was the last for a week. On 1 November, just to play
safe, Lieutenant Colonel Ridge requested a practice air drop which went
off satisfactorily. His judgment was upheld on the morning of the How
Company ambush when a 3/1 supply convoy was attacked seven miles west
of Wonsan (see Map 5) and forced to turn back.

First Lieutenant James D. Beeler commanded the George Company rifle
platoon escorting the column of supply vehicles which was under the
charge of Second Lieutenant James L. Crutchfield of H&S Company. The
third truck in line, loaded with diesel fuel and C-3 composition,[174]
burst into flames after running into a hail of enemy rifle and
automatic weapons bullets. Meanwhile the first two trucks continued
until they came to a roadblock created by blowing a crater. Turning
around under intense fire, they got back to the point of original
ambush just as the other vehicles were trying to reverse direction; and
in the confusion two trucks went off the narrow road, making a total of
three lost.

    [174] C-3 composition is a powerful, putty-like explosive used
          chiefly by military engineers for demolitions work.

A flight of three VMF-312 Corsairs led by Lieutenant Colonel J. Frank
Cole dispersed an enemy force estimated at 200 to 300 men. The convoy
was extricated and brought back to Wonsan after the 1st Marines sent
out a task force consisting of four tanks, a tank dozer and six trucks
filled with infantry. Personnel losses in the ambush were nine men
killed and 15 wounded.[175]

    [175] S-2 1stMar to G-2 1stMarDiv, 1200 2 Nov 50; 1stMar tel to
          G-3 1stMarDiv, 1115 2 Nov 50; VMF-312 _SAR_, 8–9; 1stTkBn
          _SAR_, 11; 1stMar _URpt_ (_S-3_) _8_, 2–3; 1stLt J. L.
          Crutchfield ltr to CMC, 23 Jan 56.

Ridge now had to call for an air drop in earnest. Gasoline, rations,
grenades and artillery, mortar and machine gun ammunition to a total of
more than 21 tons were packaged at the Wonsan airfield on 2 November
by Captain Hersel D. C. Blasingame’s 1st Air Delivery Platoon. Four
hours after the receipt of the message, the Air Force C-47s released
152 parachutes over the Majon-ni perimeter. This was one of the 141
replenishment missions of the Air Delivery Platoon in November,
amounting to 864 man-hours of flying time and 377 tons of supplies

    [176] 1stAirDelPlat, _HD_, _Nov 50_; 1stMar _URpt_ (_S-3_) _8_,

Less than the usual amount of breakage resulted, but Colonel Puller
considered it so necessary to push a truck convoy through to
Majon-ni that he assigned a rifle company as guards. This mission
fell to Captain Barrow’s Able Company, reinforced by one platoon of
Captain Lester G. Harmon’s Company C engineers, Technical Sergeant
Shelly Wiggins’ section of 81mm mortars, and Second Lieutenant
Harold L. Coffman’s section of 75mm recoilless rifles. Thirty-four
supply vehicles were in the column which left Wonsan at 1430 on 4

    [177] The rest of this section is based upon these sources: Maj
          R. H. Barrow interv, 7 Oct 55; ExecO 1stMar tel to G-3,
          1stMarDiv 3 Nov 50; CO 1stMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 2010 5
          Nov 50; 1stMar _URpt_ (_S-3_) _8_, 3–4.

The late hour of departure was a handicap; and though an OY flew
reconnaissance, the convoy had no FAC. A TACP jeep well back in the
column could communicate with the OY, which relayed the message to the
two VMF-312 Corsairs on station.

Barrow reasoned that because so many of the enemy roadblocks required
engineer equipment, it would be advisable for Harmon’s vehicles to
lead, followed by First Lieutenant William A. McClelland’s infantry
platoon. This scheme promised well when four undefended crater
roadblocks were encountered and speedily filled in by the engineers.
The fifth, however, was the scene of an ambush by Red Koreans occupying
the steep heights on both sides of the narrow, winding road.

The engineers soon had a hot fire fight on their hands. Taking cover
behind the vehicles, they gave a good account of themselves. But the
stalled trucks delayed the infantry platoon coming to their aid;
and lack of a FAC resulted in less effective close air support than
the Corsairs usually rendered. Thus, with the early November dusk
approaching, Captain Barrow decided on a return to Wonsan.

By a near-miracle the trucks turned about safely on the narrow shelf
that passed for a road. As the enemy long-range fire increased, Barrow
ordered lights out when the column commenced its eight-mile return
trip. In the darkness a truck loaded with 20 Marines missed a hairpin
turn and plunged over the edge. Fortunately, the accident happened at
one of the few spots where the vehicle could land on a wooded shoulder
instead of hurtling through space to the rocky valley floor several
hundred feet below. It was found that nothing worse than broken bones
and concussion had resulted after a human chain brought the injured men
back up to the road.

Lights were turned on and the convoy got back without further trouble.
Barrow reported to his regimental commander at Togwon that his losses
amounted to eight men wounded and 16 injured in addition to five
vehicles destroyed.

Colonel Puller assured him that his failure had been due to an
unavoidably late start and lack of a FAC rather than faulty judgment.

The following morning, after departing Wonsan at 0830, the air
controller was not needed. Barrow had put into effect a new tactical
plan based on the premise that the guerrillas of Ambush Alley would be
waiting as usual for the sound of approaching trucks. He prepared a
surprise, therefore, by directing his infantry platoons to take turns
at leading the column on foot, keeping a thousand yards or more in
advance of the vehicles.

The scheme worked to perfection as Second Lieutenant Donald R. Jones’
platoon rounded a bend near the scene of yesterday’s ambush and
surprised about 70 guerrillas as they were eating. The ambushers had
in effect been ambushed. The Marines opened up with everything they
had, and only a few of the Reds escaped with their lives. There was
no further trouble after the convoy got under way again, arriving
at Majon-ni early in the afternoon of 5 November without a single
casualty. Losses of 51 killed and three prisoners were inflicted on the

_First Attack on Perimeter_

The supplies were no less welcome than the Marines who brought
them, for the CIC team had warned of an attack on Majon-ni at 0100
the following night. Colonel Puller placed Able Company under the
operational control of 3/1 for the defense, and the commanding officer
assigned the three rifle platoons and their reinforcing elements a
sector between How and George Companies on the perimeter.

This addition to his strength made it possible for Lieutenant
Colonel Ridge to send out his executive officer, Major Reginald R.
Myers, in command of a motorized patrol large enough to cope with a
reported enemy build-up of 2000 to 3000 men about six miles northwest
of Majon-ni on the Pyongyang road. Intelligence received by Corps
indicated that this force was assembling in an old mining area, and a
3/1 reconnaissance in force was ordered.

The Marine task force, consisting of George and Item Companies, plus
elements of Weapons Company, was supported by artillery from Majon-ni.
Nothing more formidable was encountered than a few guerrillas firing at
long-range, but Myers brought back 81 willing prisoners.[178]

    [178] 3/1 _SAR 7 Oct-25 Nov 50_, 5; 1stMar _URpt_ (_S-3_) _9_;
          Ridge ltr, 28 Nov 55; Narrative of Capt H. L. Coffman, n.

That night at 0130, trip flares and exploding booby traps were the
prelude to the first NKPA probing attacks on the perimeter. The enemy
was half an hour late, but otherwise the assault developed pretty much
as the CIC team had predicted, even to the identification of elements
of the 45th Regiment of the 15th NKPA Division. The assailants showed
no disposition to close, and the assault turned into a desultory fire
fight. At 0500, with a fog reducing visibility almost to zero, the
enemy could be heard but not seen in his assault on the battalion
OP. This position was located on the How Company front and manned by
wiremen and artillery and mortar FO teams. When their ammunition ran
out, these Marines were forced to withdraw; but Captain Thomas E.
McCarthy, Second Lieutenants Charles Mattox and Charles R. Stiles with
an assortment of H&S Company personnel recaptured the position the
moment that the fog lifted. The enemy withdrew into the hills after the
Corsairs came on station, and the action ended at 0730 with two wounded
Marines representing the casualty list of 3/1 in the engagement.[179]

    [179] S-3 1stMar tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 0945 7 Nov 50. 1stMar
          _SAR_, 10, 3/1 _SAR 7 Oct-25 Nov 50_, 5–6; 2/11 _SAR_,
          17; Capt C. R. Stiles ltr to HistBr, G-3, HQMC, 25 Jan
          56; Corley Comments.

Able Company returned to Wonsan that morning with 619 of the prisoners
who had been accumulating at Majon-ni until the stockade was almost
overflowing with Korean humanity. Captain Barrow packed the captives
into open trucks covered with tarpaulins. This precaution was taken
in order not to advertise the nature of the cargo while passing
through Ambush Alley, since it might be embarrassing if the guerrillas
attempted to liberate prisoners who outnumbered their keepers three to

Simultaneously with the return of Able Company, Colonel Puller ordered
his 2d Battalion (-) to proceed via the Majon-ni road to Munchon-ni.
Lieutenant Colonel Sutter’s mission was similar to that of Lieutenant
Colonel Ridge at Majon-ni: to block enemy movement along the trails
leading north and to screen civilians. The hamlet of Munchon-ni
squatted near the top of the highest pass along Ambush Alley. Trucks
could be supplied for only one reinforced rifle company--Easy--which
departed Wonsan at 0830.

Four miles short of the objective, the motorized column entered a
horseshoe bend large enough to contain all the vehicles. On the left
of the road was a sheer drop, and on the right rose cliffs 200 feet in
height. The last truck had just entered the bend when the first was
stopped by a landslide roadblock. As the column ground to a halt the
enemy opened up with rifles and automatic weapons from well camouflaged
positions in the high ground at the far end of the horseshoe.[180]

    [180] The account of the Easy Company ambush is derived from:
          1stMar _URpt_ (_S-3_) 9; 2/1 _SAR_, 6–7; Col A. Sutter
          Comments 2 Feb 56; TSgt H. T. Jones ltr, n. d.

The Marines scrambled out of the trucks and returned the fire. But it
was necessary to attack in order to dislodge the enemy, and during
the advance Easy Company took a total of 46 casualties--8 KIA and
38 WIA--in addition to six wounded truck drivers. Five of the seven
officers were wounded, including the company commander, Captain Charles
D. Frederick.

It was estimated that the roadblock had been defended by about 200 Red
Koreans, who left 61 counted dead behind them and probably removed at
least as many wounded. Fifty cases of 120mm mortar ammunition were
destroyed by the Marines and 300 cases of small arms cartridges.

At 1615 Sutter and the remainder of the 2/1 force arrived on the scene
from Wonsan just as Able Company and its prisoners appeared from the
opposite direction. Helicopters having already evacuated the Easy
Company’s critical casualties, Able Company brought the lightly wounded
and prisoners to Wonsan without further enemy interference. Sutters’
force proceeded to Munchon-ni as originally planned.

_KMC Battalion Sent to Majon-ni_

At Majon-ni an OP manned by two squads of Lieutenant Ronald A. Mason’s
2d Platoon of How Company was threatened with encirclement on the 8th
when a Red Korean force gradually built up to an estimated 250 men
worked around to the rear. The other two platoons of the company,
reinforced with heavy machine guns and an Item Company platoon, were
sent out from the perimeter. Artillery and mortars helped to scatter
the enemy in confusion with estimated 40 per cent losses. Marine
casualties were one man killed and ten wounded.[181]

    [181] 3/1 _SAR 7 Oct-25 Nov 50_, 6. 1stMar ISUM, 1200 9 Nov 50;
          2/11 _SAR_, 17; Capt R. A. Mason Comments, 25 Jan 56. See
          also Corley Comments.

On 10 November, reflecting the concern of CO 1st Marines over enemy
activity in the Majon-ni area, the 3d KMC Battalion arrived as
reinforcements together with a convoy of supplies. CO 3/1 assigned the
unit to the sector in the perimeter recently vacated by Able Company of

    [182] 2/1 _SAR_, 7. Ridge, _Notes_.

The celebration of the 175th birthday of the U. S. Marine Corps was not
neglected at Majon-ni. Somehow the cooks managed to bake a prodigious
cake, with thinly spread jam serving as frosting, and all hands were
rotated a few at a time to their company CPs to receive a slice.[183]

    [183] Geer, _The New Breed_, 215.

That afternoon an OY of VMO-6 spotted an estimated 300 enemy
troops about four miles west of Majon-ni. Under direction of the
aerial observers, Captain Strohmenger’s howitzers broke up this

    [184] VMO-6 _SAR_, 8; X Corps, _Guerrilla Activities X Corps
          Zone, Nov 50_, 1; 1stMarDiv _PIR 18_; 2/11 _SAR_, 17.

The CIC team warned that another attack on the perimeter by the 45th
NKPA Regiment would take place on the night of 11–12 November. As
a prelude, General Pak made an effort to terrorize inhabitants who
had kept the team informed of his plans and movements. Some of the
villagers took his threats seriously enough to prepare for a hurried
leavetaking, but the Civil Affairs section reassured them and put a
curfew into effect.[185]

    [185] Col T. L. Ridge interv, 22 Nov 55.

After such a menacing build-up, the second attack on the perimeter
fizzled out like a damp firecracker. A few probing jabs, beginning at
0130, were followed by a weak main assault on the KMC front which was
easily repulsed. The enemy tried again to overrun the OP but gave up
the attempt after stumbling into a field of “Bouncing Betty” mines.
At 0600 the last action of the Majon-ni operation came to an end as
the Communists withdrew. Friendly losses were two men killed and six

    [186] 3/1 _SAR_ 7 _Oct-25 Nov 50_, 6. 1stMarDiv _URpt_ (_S-3_)
          9. 1stMar _SAR_, 11; 2/11 _SAR_, 17. The “Bouncing Betty”
          type of antipersonnel mine was equipped with a spring
          which sent it several feet into the air to explode with
          maximum destructive effect.

This was the final appearance of the 15th NKPA Division, which
apparently abandoned Majon-ni as an objective and transferred its
guerrilla operations southward along the Imjin valley. The relief of
the Marines and KMCs on position began the next afternoon as elements
of the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry, U. S. 3d Infantry Division,
arrived to take over the perimeter.

The Army column, including 34 Marine supply vehicles, had moved out
from Wonsan at 1030 the day before. Although 2/1 (less Dog Company)
had maintained its blocking positions at Munchon-ni, the convoy was
stopped a few miles beyond the Marine outposts by a wrecked bridge and
three large craters. Guerrillas poured in small-arms fire from the high
ground which resulted in two soldiers being killed and four wounded.
Two Marine trucks and a jeep were destroyed.

Extensive repairs to the road being needed, Lieutenant Colonel Robert
M. Blanchard, the commanding officer of 1/15, formed a defensive
perimeter for the night. The column reached Majon-ni without further
incident at 1530 on the 13th.[187]

    [187] Air Off 1stMarDiv tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 1445 12 Nov 50;
          S-3 1stMar tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 1845 12 Nov 50; LnO
          1stMar tel to 1stMarDiv, 1530 14 Nov 50; G-3 1stMarDiv
          tel to S-3 1stMar, 1600 14 Nov 50; 1stMarDiv _POR 146_;
          3/1 _SAR 7 Oct-25 Nov 50_, 3–4, 6–7; 2/1 _SAR_, 9; 1stMar
          _SAR_, 11–12; Capt Max W. Dolcater, USA, _3d Infantry
          Division in Korea_ (Tokyo, 1953), 73; Ridge Comments, 28
          Feb 56.

Following relief by the Army unit, the Marine battalion departed
at 1015 on the 14th by truck for the Wonsan area. A total of 1395
prisoners had been taken during the 17 days of Majon-ni--a large
proportion of them voluntary--and more than 4000 Korean transients
screened. Enemy battle casualties were estimated at 525 killed and an
unknown number wounded.[188]

    [188] 3/1 _SAR 7 Oct-25 Nov 50_. General Ruffner, Chief of
          Staff of X Corps, later commented: “Personally, I always
          had a feeling that the Marines did a masterful job at
          Majon-ni. To begin with, it was a very tough assignment
          and in the second place I always felt that it broke up
          what remained of organized units in the North Korean Army
          that would otherwise have given us a tremendous amount of
          trouble in our backyard at Wonsan. A lot of determined
          enemy action on our perimeter at Wonsan would have been
          most disconcerting, troublesome, and unquestionably
          slowed down our subsequent movement to the north.” MajGen
          C. L. Ruffner ltr to MajGen E. W. Snedeker, 13 Jan 56.

Losses of the Marine battalion numbered 65--16 KIA, 4 DOW and 45 WIA.
Non-battle casualties were remarkably low, owing to strict enforcement
of sanitary and health regulations.[189]

    [189] 3/1 _SAR_ 7 _Oct-25 Nov 50_, 7.

The vulnerability of a tenuous MSR must also be taken into account, and
casualties of nine killed and 81 wounded or injured were incurred by
Marines escorting supply convoys through Ambush Alley.

_Movement of 1st Marines to Chigyong_

From the 1st Marines in the Wonsan area to the 7th Marines leading the
northward advance, a distance of more than 130 road miles separated the
elements of the 1st Marine Division. But the arrival of more U. S. Army
units made possible a first step toward concentration.

On 29 October the 17th RCT of the 7th Infantry Division had begun
landing at Iwon (see Map 2), about 60 air miles northeast of Hungnam.
Other units and reinforcing elements followed until all had completed
unloading by 8 November--a total of 28,995 troops, 5924 vehicles, and
30,016 short tons of cargo.[190]

    [190] ComPhibGruOne, “Operations Report,” 13–14; X Corps _WD_,
          29 Oct 50; X Corps _POR 35_.

Transports had been sent by CTF-90 on 31 October to Moji, Japan, for
the first units of the 3d Infantry Division. The 65th RCT landed at
Wonsan on 5 November, but it was not until the 18th that the last
elements arrived.[191] All four of the major units of X Corps--the two
Army divisions as well as the 1st Marine Division and I ROK Corps--were
then in the zone of operations, even though dispersed over a wide area.

    [191] ComPhibGruOne, “Operations Report,” 14–15; X Corps _WD_,
          5 Nov 50; X Corps _POR 40_.

The commanding generals of both Army units were “old China hands.”
Major General Robert H. Soule, CG 3d Infantry Division, had been U. S.
military attaché in Nationalist China during the last months of the
civil war. During this same period Major General David G. Barr, CG 7th
Infantry Division, was senior officer of the United States Military
Advisory Group in China.[192]

    [192] Division of Publication, Office of Public Affairs,
          Department of State, _United States Relations with
          China: With Spacial Reference to the Period 1944–1949_
          (hereafter _U. S. Relations with China_), (Washington,
          1949), 318, 331.

On 31 October, by order of ComNavFE, JTF-7 had been dissolved and the
TG 95.2 Support and Covering Group passed to the operational control
of CTF-90, Admiral Doyle. As the center of gravity of X Corps gradually
shifted to the north, General Almond moved his advanced CP from Wonsan
to Hamhung on 2 November and the remainder of his headquarters on the
10th. He was joined four days later by Admiral Doyle and his staff as
the _Mount McKinley_ anchored off Hungnam.[193]

    [193] ComPhibGruOne, “Operations Report,” 14–15; ComNavFE msg
          to NavFE, 0204 30 Oct 50; X Corps _POR 150_; LtGen E. A.
          Craig ltr, 20 Feb 56.

The 1st Marine Division CP had displaced from Wonsan to Hungnam on 4
November as the 5th and 7th Marines carried out assignments in the
north. This movement included 2/5, which had been under the operational
control of the 1st Marines for patrolling missions in the Wonsan area.
Not until a week later was General Smith able to plan the northward
advance of Colonel Puller’s regiment. On the 12th, X Corps OpnO 6
directed the 3d Infantry Division to relieve elements of the 1st
Marines. The mission of the Army division was to protect the left flank
of X Corps and prepare for an advance to the west.[194]

    [194] X Corps _OpnO 6_, 12 Nov 50.

For a time it had appeared that 1/1, which had the responsibility for
security in the Wonsan area after its return from Kojo, might be sent
to Chongjin, 220 air miles northeast of Wonsan, in accordance with
X Corps OI-13 of 25 October. This battalion was designated for the
mission in 1stMarDiv OpnO 10-50, issued on 5 November, but four days
later X Corps cancelled this requirement.[195]

    [195] 1stMar _OpnO 19-50_, 5 Nov 50; X Corps msg X 14010 9
          Nov 50; Smith, _Notes_, 459–460. 1/5 had been initially
          assigned as the standby BLT but was replaced by 1/1 on
          its return from Kojo.

Before departing the Wonsan area, Puller’s headquarters had another
false alarm. Small craft sighted by air on 8 November, and two
mysterious explosions, led to the report that 500 to 1000 enemy boats
were attempting an amphibious landing ten miles north of Wonsan.
An armored patrol of Company C, 1st Tank Battalion, was sent to
investigate but reported no contact.[196]

    [196] 1stMar tels to G-3 1stMarDiv 1030 and 1910, 9 Nov 50;
          1stMar _URpt_ (_S-3_) 9; 1stTkBn _SAR_, 14. Ruffner ltr
          13 Jan 56.

X Corps directed that upon the relief of the Marines by the 3d Infantry
Division, the 3d and 5th KMC Battalions, which had been under the
operational control of RCT-1, would then be attached to the Army

    [197] X Corps _OpnO 6_, 12 Nov 50; Smith, _Notes_, 492–493;
          Dolcater, _3d Infantry Division in Korea_, 73; CG
          1stMarDiv msg to subordinate units, 2305 11 Nov 50.

After lack of transport imposed a delay of two days, 1/1 initiated
the northward movement of RCT-1 by rail and closed Chigyong, eight
miles southwest of Hamhung, by 1820, 14 November. A motor convoy

    [198] 1stMarDiv _POR_ 145; Smith, _Notes_, 494; 1/1 msg to
          CG 1stMarDiv, 1845 15 Nov 50; Dolcater, _3d Infantry
          Division in Korea_, 73.

Relief of 2/1(-), which had been holding screening and blocking
positions on Ambush Alley, was completed on the 15th by the 3d
Battalion of the 15th Infantry. Other Army elements relieved Dog
Company in the rear area near Wonsan. On the 16th 2/1 moved by rail
to Chigyong, followed by 3/1 and the last elements of RCT-1 the next

    [199] 2/1 _SAR_, 9–10; S-3 1stMar tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 2245 15
          Nov 50; 3/1 _SAR_ 7 _Oct-25 Nov 50_; 1stMar _SAR_, 12;
          1stMarDiv _POR 154_; Dolcater, _3d Infantry Division in
          Korea_, 73; Sutter Comments, 2 Feb 56.

Thus the 1st Marine Division achieved a relative and temporary degree
of concentration. The farthest distance between components had been
reduced from 130 to less than 60 miles by the middle of November, but a
new dispersion of units was already in progress.


Red China to the Rescue

_Chinese in X Corps Zone--Introducing the New Enemy--Communist
Victory in Civil War--Organization of the CCF--The Chinese Peasant
as a Soldier--CCF Arms and Equipment--Red China’s “Hate America”
Campaign--CCF Strategy and Tactics_

Up to this time the 1st Marine Division had virtually been waging two
separate wars. In the southern zone, as was related in the last two
chapters, blocking and screening operations were conducted by RCT-1
against NKPA remnants. RCT-7, with RCT-5 in reserve, had meanwhile been
confronted in the north by some of the first Chinese Communist troops
to enter the Korean conflict.

In order to trace the movements of these two Marine regiments, it will
be necessary to go back over chronological ground previously covered.
Division OpnO 18-50, issued on 28 October to implement X Corps OI-13
and supplementary telephone orders received from Corps, assigned RCT-7
the mission of proceeding from Wonsan to Hamhung, prepared for an
advance to the Manchurian border 135 miles to the north. RCT-5 was
assigned a zone behind RCT-7 (see end-paper maps).

Plans for the northward advance brought up the vital problem of
providing security for the 78-mile main supply route (MSR) and the
parallel railway stretching along the coast from Wonsan to Hamhung.
Division orders of the 28th assigned RCT-5 (less 2/5), temporarily
under the operational control of RCT-1, the responsibility for the
security of the Munchon and Yonghung areas, 16 and 57 miles north of
Wonsan respectively. Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, attached to RCT-5,
had orders to establish blocking positions on three main roads joining
the MSR from the west.[200]

    [200] 1stMarDiv _OpnO 18-50_, 28 Oct 50; Smith, _Notes_,

RCT-7, after being partially issued cold weather clothing at Wonsan,
moved by road and rail to the Hamhung area during the last three
days of October. The 1st Motor Transport Battalion and Division
Reconnaissance Company were attached along with other reinforcing
units, since this regiment had been designated to lead the advance of
the 1st Marine Division to the Manchurian border.[201]

    [201] 7thMar _SAR_, 12; CO 7thMar tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, n.t.,
          28 Oct 50; 7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 0850 1 Nov 50;
          1stMarDiv _OpnO 18-50_, 28 Oct 50. See the detailed
          account of the move in Col R. G. Davis Comments, 7
          May 56. RCT-7 did not receive all of its cold weather
          clothing until after it reached Koto-ri. MajGen H.
          L. Litzenberg Comments, 18 Jul 56; LtCol M. E. Roach
          Comments, 17 May 56; LtCol W. D. Sawyer Comments, 7 Sep

RCT-5 completed a motor march meanwhile from its assembly area near
Wonsan to assigned positions along the Wonsan-Hamhung MSR. General
Almond’s OI-15 (30 October) had directed the dispatch of two Marine
RCTs to the Hamhung area, which meant that Lieutenant Colonel Murray’s
regiment was to follow RCT-7. On the 31st General Smith ordered him
to advance a battalion to Chigyong, eight miles southwest of Hamhung.
Murray selected his 1st Battalion and directed that one of its
companies be detached to relieve an RCT-7 company guarding the Advance
Supply Point at Yonpo Airfield, five miles southwest of Hungnam.[202]

    [202] CG 1stMarDiv msg to CO 5thMar, 2118 31 Oct 50; CO 5thMar
          msg to CO 1/5, 1013 1 Nov 50; Smith, _Notes_, 463–464;
          5thMar _SAR_, 8–9; 5thMar _URpt 2_; 1/5 _SAR_, 5; 3/5
          _SAR_, 5; Col A. L. Bowser Comments, 23 Apr 56.

Two additional Marine units were assigned to assembly areas along
the MSR. The 1st Tank Battalion (less Company C, attached to the 1st
Marines) moved up to Munchon and regained its Company A. Since the
landing of the 11th Marines (less the battalions attached to RCTs) the
artillery regiment (-) had occupied positions at Munpyong-ni, five
miles northwest of Wonsan.[203]

    [203] 1stMarDiv msg to 1stTkBn, 1750 31 Oct 50; 1stTkBn _SAR_,
          11. The move was made 1 Nov. 11thMar _URpt 2–28 Oct 50_.

When four days passed without enemy contacts along the MSR, General
Almond decided to expedite the movement of RCT-5 to the Hamhung
area. In a conference with General Smith on 2 November, he outlined
a plan for using patrols instead of blocking positions. Under this
system RCT-1, with elements of the 1st Tank Battalion, would be made
responsible for MSR security as far north as Munchon. The 54-mile
stretch between Munchon and Chigyong would be assigned to the Special
Operations Company, USA, and Korean agents, both under Corps control.
As soon as these arrangements could be put into effect, RCT-5 would
be free to advance to Hamhung. That same day, 2 November, the 2d
Battalion was released from operational control of RCT-1 and moved to

    [204] CG’s Diary in X Corps _WD_, 2 Nov 50. Smith, _Notes_,
          463–464. The Special Operations Company was a
          commando-type U. S. Army organization, generally employed
          in such operations as raids and reconnaissance. The
          strength, weapons, and organization depended on the

Ironically, the 2d was also the date of the first guerrilla raid on the
MSR. A patrol from the 1st Tank Battalion was sent by Division to the
aid of the Special Operations Company, which had reported an attack
west of Munchon resulting in a wound casualty and loss of equipment.
The Marines drove the guerrillas back into the hills.[205]

    [205] 11thMar tel to G-2 1stMarDiv, 1300 2 Nov 50; 1stMarDiv
          _PIR_ 9.

_Chinese in X Corps Zone_

Red Korean guerrilla activities were overshadowed by confirmation of
reports that organized CCF units had appeared in the X Corps zone
as well as on the Eighth Army front. After crossing the Yalu, they
had secretly infiltrated through the mountains, marching by night
and hiding by day from air observation. Their numbers and intentions
remained a mystery at this date, but late in October the 8th U. S.
Cavalry Regiment and the 6th ROK Division were surprised by Chinese in
northwest Korea and badly mauled.[206]

    [206] EUSAK _WDs_ 29 Oct-1 Nov 50.

First-hand evidence of CCF penetrations in northeast Korea was obtained
by three Marine officers of RCT-7. Shortly after arrival in the Hamhung
area, the regimental commander sent out reconnoitering parties in
preparation for the northward advance of 1 November. The 1/7 patrol on
31 October consisted of a fire team in three jeeps led by Captain Myron
E. Wilcox and First Lieutenants William G. Graeber and John B. Wilson.
As a result of their visit to the CP of the 26th ROK Regiment of the
3d ROK Division, which RCT-7 was scheduled to relieve near Sudong (see
Map 7) on 2 November, the Marine officers reported to their regimental
headquarters that they had seen one Chinese prisoner.[207]

    [207] Maj J. B. Wilson and Capt W. G. Graeber interv, 20 Oct 55.

As a matter of fact, the ROK regiment took 16 Chinese prisoners in all.
They were identified as belonging to two regiments of the 124th CCF
Division, one of the three divisions of the 42d CCF Army. This force
had crossed the Yalu about 16 October, according to POW testimony, and
moved southward without being observed into the Chosin Reservoir area
during the following ten days.[208]

    [208] Smith, _Notes_, 534; 1stMarDiv _PIR_ 4; 1stMarDiv _SAR_,
          30. These prisoners were later interrogated by Gen Almond
          himself and formed the basis of the first official report
          of Chinese intervention. Almond Comments, 21 Jun 56;
          FECOM msg C67881, 31 Oct 50.

Not only was Colonel Litzenberg aware that he would be facing Chinese
adversaries in this area; he also suspected that they had infiltrated
toward his left rear. He sent a patrol consisting of 20 men and five
jeeps of Recon Company as far as Chigyong on the 31st without making
any enemy contacts. The following morning CO RCT-7 ordered Recon
Company in 21 jeeps to conduct a reconnaissance to the Huksu-ri area,
approximately 45 miles northwest of Hamhung. After bypassing a blown
bridge, First Lieutenant Ralph B. Crossman’s force dug in for the night
4500 yards short of its objective. Shots were exchanged several times
that night and early the following morning with North Korean guerrillas
in company strength, but the patrol returned with a negative report as
far as Chinese forces were concerned.[209]

    [209] Maj R. B. Crossman, Capt C. R. Puckett, and Capt D. W.
          Sharon interv, 20 Oct 55; HqBn, 1stMarDiv (hereafter
          HqBn) _URpt 8_ (_Supplementary_), 2. Maj Webb D. Sawyer,
          CO 2/7 and Maj James F. Lawrence also made helicopter
          reconnaissances of the same ground looking for possible
          flanking routes to Koto-ri. Sawyer Comments, 7 Sep 56.

News was received on 1 November of the heavy losses taken by the 1st
Cavalry Division at the hands of the Chinese in northwest Korea. There
was no change, however, in Corps orders calling for the advance of
Litzenberg’s regiment to the border. Koto-ri, 23 road miles north of
Majon-dong, was the first objective. The right flank of the Eighth Army
was about 60 air miles southwest of Majon-dong, so that RCT-7 must
advance without protection for its left flank except for Division Recon
Company, which was to be relieved as soon as possible by RCT-1.

“Under these circumstances,” commented General Smith at a later date,
“there was no alternative except to continue forward in the hope that
the Eighth Army situation would right itself and that we would succeed
in our efforts to close up the entire 1st Marine Division behind

    [210] Smith, _Notes_, 523–524. See also: Smith, _Chronicle_, 70.

_Introducing the New Enemy_

Here it is hardly a digression to pause for a brief survey of the
organization, tactics and aims of the new enemy who was about to
prolong the Korean conflict by intervening on behalf of the beaten
NKPA. The powerful, ever-ready military instrument which the Chinese
Reds knew as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had been forged and
tempered in the fires of civil strife. It came into being in the late
summer of 1927 during the abortive Nanchang rebellion. Following their
defeat, the Communists found a refuge in Kiangsi Province of south
China and gained strength as disaffected Kuomintang units came over to
their side.[211]

    [211] Richard L. Walker, _China under Communism_ (New Haven,
          1954), 111–112; Order of Battle Branch, Office of the
          AC/S G-2, HQ Eighth United States Army (Fwd), _CCF Army
          Histories_ (hereafter _CCF Army Histories_), 1.

The infant PLA managed with difficulty to survive the first four
“bandit suppression campaigns” waged by Chiang Kai-shek. When he
launched his fifth in 1933, the Chinese Reds planned the celebrated
“Long March” which has become one of their most cherished traditions.
Breaking out of Chiang’s encirclement in October, 1934, they took a
circuitous, 6000-mile route to avoid Nationalist armies. Of the 90,000
who started, only 20,000 were left a year later when the PLA reached
Yenan in Shensi Province.[212]

    [212] _U. S. Relations with China_, 43–44, 207, 323.

This destination in northwest China gave the Communists a refuge with
Mongolia and Soviet Russia at their backs. There Mao Tse-tung and his
colleagues alternately fought and negotiated with the Government.
Finally, in 1941, the Communists and Nationalists agreed to cease
fighting one another in order to make common cause against the Japanese

The Communists took advantage of their membership in the People’s
Political Council--a Nationalist-sponsored organization which
theoretically united all factions in China against the Japanese--to
continue their “boring-from-within” tactics. Chiang’s estimate of his
troublesome allies was summed up in a quotation attributed to him in

  You think it is important that I have kept the Japanese from
  expanding.... I tell you it is more important that I have kept the
  Communists from spreading. The Japanese are a disease of the skin;
  the Communists are a disease of the heart.[213]

    [213] Quoted in George Moorad, _Lost Peace in China_ (New York,
          1949), 33.

_Communist Victory in Civil War_

In late 1945, with the Japanese no longer a menace, the grapple for
mastery began anew. Chiang Kai-shek held the material and moral
advantage as a result of the arms and other assistance supplied by the
United States.

The Nationalists controlled all the important centers of population
and industry and the major lines of communication. The Communists,
with their backs to the wall, eagerly accepted the United States
proposal for a cease fire in January 1946. General George C. Marshall,
as personal representative of President Truman, flew out to Nanking
in December, 1945, and tried for 12 months to arrange a workable
compromise between two irreconcilable ideologies. Meanwhile, the Reds
retrained and reequipped their forces with the vast supply of weapons
which had fallen into their hands as a result of the collapse of the
Japanese Army in Manchuria in August, 1945. By the spring of 1947, they
were ready again for war. They denounced the truce and recommenced
military operations. From that time the balance of power swung steadily
in their favor.[214]

    [214] _U. S. Relations with China_, 352–363.

Although the PLA had seized the initiative, the Government still
had an army of about 2,700,000 men facing 1,150,000 Reds, according
to estimates of American military advisers in China. But Chiang
was committed to a positional warfare; his forces were dangerously
over-extended, and for reasons of prestige and political considerations
he hesitated to withdraw from areas of dubious military value. Mao’s
hard and realistic strategy took full advantage of these lapses. As a
result the Communists won the upper hand in Manchuria and Shantung and
by the end of the year had massed large forces in central China.

Early in 1948, the year of decision, the PLA recaptured Yenan along
with thousands of Government troops. But the most crushing Communist
victory of all came with the surrender of Tsinan, the capital of
Shantung, and its garrison of 85,000 to 100,000 Nationalists.

In his summary of Nationalist reverses, Major General David G. Barr,
senior officer of the United States Military Advisory Group in China,
reported to the Department of the Army on 16 November 1948:

  No battle has been lost since my arrival due to lack of ammunition
  and equipment. Their [the Chinese Nationalists’] military debacles
  in my opinion can all be attributed to the world’s worst
  leadership and many other morale destroying factors that lead to a
  complete loss of will to fight.[215]

    [215] _U. S. Relations with China_, 358.

By the early spring of 1949 the military collapse of the Nationalists
had gone so far that the enemy controlled the major centers of
population and the railroads from Manchuria south to the Yangtze
Valley. Nanking, Hangkow, and Shanghai were soon to fall into the hands
of Communists whose military strength increased every day as they
captured Nationalist arms and were joined by Nationalist deserters.
Perhaps the best summary of the Chinese Civil War was put in a few
words by Dean Acheson, the U. S. Secretary of State:

  The Nationalist armies did not have to be defeated; they

    [216] _Ibid._, xiv-xv.

In addition to the aid extended during World War II, Washington had
authorized grants and credits to Nationalist China amounting to two
billion dollars since V-J Day. Nor was American assistance confined
to arms and monetary grants. From 1945–1947 the occupation of certain
key cities in North China, e. g., Tientsin, Peiping, Tsingtao[217]
etc., by sizeable U. S. Marine forces held those bases secure for the
Nationalist government and permitted the release of appreciable numbers
of Chiang’s soldiers for offensive operations, who would otherwise have
been tied up in garrison type duty.[218]

    [217] Marines remained in Tsingtao until early 1949.

    [218] The first blows between the Marine and the Chinese
          Communists took place not in Korea, but along the
          Peiping-Tientsin highway as early as October, 1945.

The Marines, upon their withdrawal, were directed to turn over vast
stores of weapons and munitions to the Chinese Nationalists. In
addition, the Nationalists were “sold” large quantities of military and
civilian war surplus property, with a total procurement cost of more
than a billion dollars, for a bargain price of 232 million.[219]

    [219] _U. S. Relations with China_, xiv-xv.

_Organization of the CCF_

Although the victorious army continued to be called the People’s
Liberation Army by the Chinese Reds themselves, it was known as the
Chinese Communist Forces by commentators of Western nations. At the
head of the new police state were the 72 regular and alternate members
of the Central Committee, or Politburo. Formed at the Seventh Party
Congress in 1945, this body consisted for the most part of Mao’s close
associates--leaders identified with the revolutionary movement from the

From top to bottom of the Chinese state, the usual Communist dualism
of high political and military rank prevailed. The highest governing
body, the People’s Revolutionary Military Council, consisted of leaders
holding both positions. After they determined policies, the execution
was left to the General Headquarters of the army.[220]

    [220] Unless otherwise noted, this section is based on
          the following sources: GHQ, FECOM, _Order of Battle
          Information, Chinese Third Field Army_ (1 Mar 51) and
          _Chinese Fourth Field Army_ (7 Nov 50); 164-MISDI,
          ADVATIS, and ADVATIS FWD rpts in EUSAK _WDs_, _passim_;
          X Corps _PIRs_; 1stMarDiv _PIRs_; 1stMarDiv _SAR_, 30;
          G-2 _SAR_, 16–18; Far East Command, Allied Translator
          and Interpreter Service (ATIS), _Enemy Documents, Korean
          Operations_, _passim_; Fleet Marine Force Pacific
          (FMFPac), _Chinese Communist Forces Tactics in Korea_,
          5–11; Maj R. C. W. Thomas, “The Chinese Communist Forces
          in Korea,” _The Army Quarterly_, Oct 52 (digested
          in _Military Review_, xxxii, no. 11 (Feb 53), 87);
          LtCol Robert F. Rigg, _Red China’s Fighting Hordes_
          (Harrisburg, 1951); Walker: _China Under Communism_.

This organization comprised a general staff section, a rear Services
section and a general political bureau. Largest CCF administrative unit
was the field army, which reported directly to Headquarters. Composed
of two or more army groups, the field army had a small headquarters of
its own.

The army group, as the largest unit encountered by UN forces, was
comparable to an army in the American military system. CCF army groups
in Korea consisted of two to four armies with an average total strength
of 60,000–120,000 troops. Equivalent to an American corps was the
CCF army, an organization including three infantry divisions and an
artillery regiment. Thus the average strength of a CCF army was about
30,000 men.

The CCF infantry division, with a paper strength of 10,000 men,
averaged from 7,000 to 8,500 men in Korea, according to various
estimates. Triangular in organization, it included three infantry
regiments and an artillery battalion.

Divisional units consisted of reconnaissance and engineer companies of
about 100 men, a 150-man transport company, a 100-man guard company,
and a 60-man communications company. Transport companies had only draft
animals and carts, since little motor transport was organic to a CCF
division at that time.

The CCF infantry regiment, averaging about 2,200 men in the field,
broke down into the following units: three infantry battalions; an
artillery battery of four to six guns; a mortar and bazooka company; a
guard company; a transportation company; a medical unit with attached
stretcher personnel (often composed of impressed civilians) and a
combined reconnaissance and signal company.

The CCF infantry battalion, with an authorized strength of 852 men
and an actual strength of perhaps 700, consisted of a mortar and
machine gun or heavy weapons company, a signal squad, a medical squad
and a small battalion headquarters in addition to the three rifle
companies of about 170 men each. Each of the latter was composed of a
headquarters platoon, a 60mm mortar platoon and three rifle platoons.

The CCF artillery battalion, organic to every division, must be
considered theoretical rather than actual as far as Korean operations
of 1950 are concerned. As a rule, only a few horse-drawn or pack
howitzers were brought into action by an infantry division depending
chiefly on mortars.

_The Chinese Peasant as a Soldier_

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the CCF, from the viewpoint
of a Western observer, was the lack of any official provision for the
honorable discharge of a soldier. Once he became a cog in the CCF
military machine, a man remained in the ranks until he was killed,
captured, became a deserter, or was incapacitated for active service by
reason of wounds, disease or old age.

Theoretically depending on a “volunteer” system, the recruiting
officers of the CCF knew how to apply political or economic pressure
so that a man found it prudent to become a soldier. After putting on
a uniform, he was vigorously indoctrinated in political as well as
military subjects.

Both self-criticism and criticism of comrades were encouraged at
platoon meetings held for that purpose. Every recruit was subjected
to a course of psychological mass coercion known to the Chinese as
_hsi-nao_ and to the non-Communist world as “brain-washing.” Spying on
comrades and reporting political or military deviations was a soldier’s

    [221] Walker, _China under Communism_, 51–76.

Inured to hardships from birth, the peasant in the ranks did not find
that the military service demanded many unwonted privations. He was
used to cold and hunger, and he could make long daily marches on a diet
which the American soldier would have regarded as both insufficient
and monotonous. It would appear, however, that some of the Western
legends about Oriental stoicism and contempt for death were a little
far-fetched. At any rate, the CCF had to deal with the problem of
straggling from the battlefield; and U. S. Marines in Korea could
attest that on occasion the Chinese soldier showed evidences of fear
and low morale. Nor was he as much of a fanatic as might have been
expected, considering the extent of his political indoctrination.

Although the CCF departed in most respects from the Chinese military
past, the policy of organizing units along ethnic lines was retained.
Men from the same village were formed into a company; companies
from the same area into battalions; and battalions from the same
province into regiments or divisions. Replacements were drawn from the
localities where the unit was originally recruited.[222]

    [222] FMFPac, _CCF Tactics_, 9.

On the other hand, the Chinese Reds broke with both Nationalist and
Communist tradition in their policy of avoiding a permanent rank
system. Officers (in Korea denoted by red piping on their sleeves) were
divided into company, field, and general groups. The company commander
and political officer held about equal authority in an infantry unit,
and the only NCOs mentioned in CCF field reports are sergeants and
squad leaders.[223]

    [223] ADVATIS FWD Rpt 0213 in EUSAK _WD_, 14 Nov 50; G-3 _SAR_,

_CCF Arms and Equipment_

The CCF depended on a wide assortment of weapons, so that it was
not uncommon to find several different kinds of rifles of varying
calibers in the same regiment. Japanese arms acquired after the
surrender of 1945; Russian arms furnished by the Soviets; and American,
German, Czech, British, and Canadian arms taken from the Chinese
Nationalists--these were some of the diverse sources. And it is a
tribute to the adaptability of the Chinese Reds that they managed to
utilize such military hand-me-downs without disastrous confusion.

Paper work was at a minimum in a force which kept few records and
numbered a great many illiterates. As for logistics, each soldier
was given a four-day food supply in the winter of 1950–1951 when he
crossed the Yalu--usually rice, millet or soy beans carried in his
pack. Afterwards, food was to be procured locally by extortion or
confiscation, though the Communists were fond of using such euphemisms
as “purchase” or “donation” to denote those processes.[224]

    [224] There is some evidence of an attempt to supply troops
          from division stocks. See ADVATIS 1245 in EUSAK _WD_, 4
          Dec 50, and 164-MISDI-1176 in _Ibid._, 1 Nov 50. Normal
          CCF doctrine, however, held that a division should be
          committed to combat for about six days and then withdrawn
          to replenish its supplies and replace casualties. This
          procedure, naturally, definitely limited the extent of an
          attack by the CCF and prevented the maintenance of the
          momentum for an extended offensive. MajGen D. G. Barr
          testimony in _MacArthur Hearing_, 2650; Bowser Comments,
          23 Apr 56.

The CCF soldiers who fought in Korea during the winter of 1950–1951
wore a two-piece, reversible mustard-yellow and white uniform of
quilted cotton and a heavy cotton cap with fur-lined ear flaps. Issued
to the troops just before crossing the Yalu, the quilted cotton blouse
and trousers were worn over the standard summer uniform and any other
layers of clothing the soldier may have acquired.

The first CCF units in action had canvas shoes with crepe rubber soles.
Later arrivals were issued a half-leather shoe or even a full leather
boot. Chinese footwear was of poor quality and few of the troops wore
gloves in cold weather. The consequence was a high rate of frostbitten
hands and feet.[225]

    [225] X Corps msg X 11792; G-2 _SAR_, 21–22; SSgt Robert W.
          Tallent, “New Enemy,” _Leatherneck Magazine_, xxxiv, No.
          2 (Feb 51), 12–15; 3/1 _SAR 26 Nov-15 Dec 50_, 11.

The CCF soldier usually carried a shawl-like blanket in addition to the
small pack containing his food as well as personal belongings. These
were few and simple, for it could never be said that the Chinese Reds
pampered their soldiers.

_China’s “Hate America” Campaign_

It was essentially an Asiatic guerrilla army which came to the rescue
of beaten Red Korea in the autumn of 1950. CCF strategic aims had been
summed up years before by Mao Tse-tung himself:

  We are against guerilla-ism of the Red Army, yet we must admit its
  guerrilla character. We are opposed to protracted campaigns and
  a strategy of quick decision while we believe in a strategy of
  protracted war and campaigns of quick decision. As we are opposed
  to fixed operational fronts and positional warfare, we believe in
  unfixed operational fronts and a war of maneuvers. We are against
  simply routing the enemy, and believe in a war of annihilation.
  We are against two-fistism in strategic directions and believe
  in one-fistism. We are against the institution of a big rear and
  believe in a small rear. We are against absolute centralized
  command and believe in a relatively centralized command.[226]

    [226] Mao Tse-tung: _Strategic Problems of Chinese
          Revolutionary Wars_, Ed by LtCol F. B. Nihart (Quantico,
          1951), 17–18. Adapted from an English translation
          published in the _China Digest_, of Hong Kong.

Mao was held in such reverence as a veteran Chinese Communist leader
that long passages of his writings were committed to memory. His
strategic ideas, therefore, deserve more than passing consideration.
In the first place, his concept of war itself differed from that of
Western nations.

“There are only two kinds of war in history, revolutionary and
counter-revolutionary,” he wrote. “We support the former and oppose the
latter. Only a revolutionary war is holy.”[227]

    [227] _Ibid._, 4.

From the Western viewpoint, Mao’s followers had fought four different
wars in close succession--against the Chinese Nationalists from
1927 to 1936; against the Japanese from 1937 to 1945; against the
Nationalists in a second war from 1946 to 1949; and against the
United Nations, beginning in 1950. But Mao and his colleagues saw
this period as one prolonged war in which revolutionists were pitted
against counter-revolutionary adversaries. The fact that the conflict
had lasted for a generation did not disturb Communist leaders who
envisioned a continual state of war “to save mankind and China from

“The greatest and most ruthless counter-revolutionary war is pressing
on us,” continued Mao. “If we do not hoist the banner of revolutionary
war, a greater part of the human race will face extinction.”[228]

    [228] _Ibid._

Early in December, 1949, following Red China’s victory over the
Nationalists, Mao arrived in Moscow for a series of talks with Stalin
which lasted until 4 March 1950. The decisions reached in these
conferences are not known, but it was probably no coincidence that
the Communist puppet state in North Korea violated the world’s peace
a few months later. It is perhaps also significant that the head
of the Soviet Military Mission in Tokyo, Lieutenant General Kuzma
Derevyanko, was absent from Tokyo during the same period and reported
in Moscow.[229]

    [229] LtGen E. M. Almond Comments, 22 Jun 56.

It was the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese calendar, and a “Resist
America, Aid Korea” movement was launched in Red China when the United
States came to the aid of the Republic of Korea. Every dictatorship
must have some object of mass hatred, and Mao found the United States
ideal for the purpose. A “Hate America” campaign was inaugurated after
the CCF intervention, with the following serving as an example of
anti-American propaganda:

  This [the United States] is the paradise of gangsters, swindlers,
  rascals, special agents, fascist germs, speculators, debauchers,
  and all the dregs of mankind. This is the world’s manufactory
  and source of such crimes as reaction, darkness, cruelty,
  decadence, corruption, debauchery, oppression of man by man, and
  cannibalism. This is the exhibition ground of all the crimes which
  can possibly be committed by mankind. This is a living hell,
  ten times, one hundred times, one thousand times worse than can
  possibly be depicted by the most sanguinary of writers. Here the
  criminal phenomena that issue forth defy the imagination of human
  brains. Conscientious persons can only wonder how the spiritual
  civilization of mankind can be depraved to such an extent.[230]

    [230] Excerpt from a series of three articles, “Look, This
          is the American Way of Life,” used as a primer in the
          “Hate America” campaign. Quoted in Walker, _China Under
          Communism_, 13.

Communist doctrine held that the people must be incited by such
propaganda to a constant high pitch of emotional intensity for the
sacrifices demanded by total war. The prevalence of illiteracy made
it necessary to depend largely on street-corner loud speakers blaring
forth radio harangues. Realistic broadcasts of the torture and
execution of political deviates were also heard at times, and such
spectacles were exhibited for the edification of the public.[231]

    [231] _Ibid._

_CCF Strategy and Tactics_

CCF strategy was so rudimentary at first that its basic tenets could be
summed up in a 16-word principle adopted by the Central Committee:

  Enemy advancing, we retreat; enemy entrenched, we harass; enemy
  exhausted, we attack; enemy retreating, we pursue.[232]

    [232] Mao, _Strategic Problems_, 31.

But as time went on, other principles were added. Mao favored a planned
defensive-offensive as the only valid strategy against superior enemy
numbers. He made it plain, however, that any withdrawal was to be
merely temporary as the preliminary to advancing and striking at the
first advantageous opportunity. And he reiterated that annihilation of
the enemy must always be the final goal of strategy.[233]

    [233] _Ibid._

It was in the field of tactics that the essentially guerrilla character
of the CCF was most fully revealed. Since Communist dialectics
insisted that there was a correct (Marxist) and an incorrect (“petty
bourgeois” or “opportunist” or “reactionary”) way of doing everything,
CCF tactics were reduced to principles whenever possible.

A generation of warfare against material odds had established a pattern
of attack which proved effective against armies possessing an advantage
in arms and equipment. One Marine officer has aptly defined a Chinese
attack as “assembly on the objective.”[234] The coolie in the CCF ranks
had no superior in the world at making long approach marches by night
and hiding by day, with as many as fifty men sharing a hut or cave and
subsisting on a few handfuls of rice apiece. Night attacks were so much
the rule that any exception came as a surprise. The advancing columns
took such natural routes as draws or stream beds, deploying as soon as
they met resistance. Combat groups then peeled off from the tactical
columns, one at a time, and closed with rifles, submachine guns, and

    [234] Bowser Comments, 23 Apr 56.

Once engaged and under fire, the attackers hit the ground. Rising at
any lull, they came on until engaged again; but when fully committed,
they did not relinquish the attack even when riddled with casualties.
Other Chinese came forward to take their places, and the build-up
continued until a penetration was made, usually on the front of one
or two platoons. After consolidating the ground, the combat troops
then crept or wriggled forward against the open flank of the next
platoon position. Each step of the assault was executed with practiced
stealth and boldness, and the results of several such penetrations on a
battalion front could be devastating.[235]

    [235] The above description was derived from S. L. A. Marshall,
          “CCF in the Attack” (EUSAK Staff Memorandum ORO-S-26), 5
          Jan 51.

The pattern of attack was varied somewhat to suit different occasions.
As an example of an action in which the CCF used mortars, the following
is quoted from a Marine field report:

  Five to nine men [CCF] patrols were sent out forward of the main
  body in an attempt to locate or establish [our] front lines and
  flanks. After these patrols had withdrawn or been beaten off, white
  phosphorus mortar shells were dropped about the area in an attempt
  to inflict casualties. By closely watching the area for movement
  in removing these casualties, they attempted to establish the
  location of our front lines. After establishing what they believed
  were the front lines, white phosphorous shells were dropped in the
  lines and used as markers. While this was taking place, the assault
  troops crawled forward to distances as close as possible to the
  front lines ... [and] attacked at a given signal. The signal in
  this particular instance was three blasts of a police whistle.
  The attacking troops then rose and in a perfect skirmish formation
  rushed the front line.[236]

    [236] 3/1 _SAR 26 Nov-15 Dec 50, 9_. The remainder of the
          section, unless otherwise noted, is based on: _Ibid._;
          G-2 _SAR_, 13–45; 1stMar _SAR_, 28–29; 5thMar _SAR_,
          38–44; EUSAK _Combat Information Bulletin No. 4_; FMFPac,
          _CCF Tactics_, 1–5.

It might be added that this attack resulted in a CCF penetration on a
platoon front. Friendly lines were restored only by dawn counterattacks.

The ambush was a favorite resort of Chinese commanders. Whatever the
form of attack, the object was usually fractionalization of an opposing
force, so that the segments could be beaten in detail by a local
superiority in numbers.

CCF attacking forces ranged as a rule from a platoon to a company in
size, being continually built up as casualties thinned the ranks.
Reports by newspaper correspondents of “hordes” and “human sea”
assaults were so unrealistic as to inspire a derisive Marine comment:

“How many hordes are there in a Chinese platoon?”

After giving CCF tactics due credit for their merits, some serious
weaknesses were also apparent. The primitive logistical system put such
restrictions on ammunition supplies, particularly artillery and mortar
shells, that a Chinese battalion sometimes had to be pulled back to
wait for replenishments if the first night’s attack failed. At best the
infantry received little help from supporting arms.[237]

    [237] These weaknesses, however, were confined to the early
          months of CCF participation in the Korean conflict.
          Following the peace talks in the summer of 1951--an
          interlude with the enemy exploited for military
          purposes--the Chinese gradually built up to an equality
          with UN forces in mortars and artillery.

POW interrogations revealed that in many instances each soldier was
issued 80 rounds of small arms ammunition upon crossing the Yalu.
This was his total supply. The artillery and mortars were so limited
that they must reserve their fire for the front line while passing
up lucrative targets in the rear areas. Some attempts were made to
bring reserve stocks up to forward supply dumps about 30 miles behind
the front, but not much could be accomplished with animal and human

A primitive communications system also accounted for CCF shortcomings.
The radio net extended only down to the regimental level, and
telephones only to battalions or occasionally companies. Below the
battalion, communication depended on runners or such signaling devices
as bugles, whistles, flares, and flashlights.[238]

    [238] 164-MISDI-1232, 1260, 1266, 1274, and 1275 in EUSAK _WD_,
          19, 26, and 28 Nov and 1 Dec 50; ADVATIS FWD #1. Rpt 0271
          in EUSAK _WD_ 4 Dec 50; X Corps _PIR 81_, Annex 2; G-2
          _SAR_, 17–18.

The consequence was a tactical rigidity which at times was fatal.
Apparently CCF commanding officers had little or no option below the
battalion level. A battalion once committed to the attack often kept on
as long as its ammunition lasted, even if events indicated that it was
beating out its brains against the strongest part of the opposing line.
The result in many such instances was tactical suicide.

After these defects are taken into full account, however, the Chinese
soldier and the Korean terrain made a formidable combination.
Ironically, Americans fighting the first war of the new Atomic Age
were encountering conditions reminiscent of the border warfare waged
by their pioneer forefathers against the Indians. These aborigines,
too, were outweighed in terms of weapons and equipment. But from time
immemorial the night has always been the ally of the primitive fighter,
and surprise his best weapon. Thus the Americans in Korea, like their
ancestors on the Western plains, could never be sure when the darkness
would erupt into flame as stealthy foes seemed to spring from the very


The Battle of Sudong

_The MSR from Hungnam to Yudam-ni--ROKs Relieved by 7th Marines--CCF
Counterattack at Sudong--Two Marine Battalions Cut Off--End of
NKPA Tank Regiment--The Fight for How Hill--Disappearance of CCF
Remnants--Koto-ri Occupied by 7th Marines_

The coastal plain of the Songchon estuary is one of the most spacious
flatlands in all North Korea. Its 100 square miles divide into two
irrigation districts, which regulate cultivation in a virtual sea of
rice paddies. The Songchon River, swollen by tributaries in its descent
from the northern hinterland, nourishes this agricultural complex
before flowing into the Sea of Japan.

Flanking the mouth of the waterway are the port city of Hungnam to the
north and the town of Yonpo, with its modern airfield, to the south.
Eight miles upstream lies Hamhung, an important transportation center
with a population of approximately 85,000 Koreans and Japanese in 1940.

Hamhung straddles the main railroad connecting Wonsan and Sonjin
as it follows the coastal route to the border of Soviet Russia. A
narrow-gauge line (2′ 6″) stems from Hungnam and passes through Hamhung
before penetrating into the mountainous heart of North Korea. Parallel
to this railroad is the only highway that could be utilized by the
transport of the 1st Marine Division for its advance to the north.

_The MSR from Hungnam to Yudam-ni_

Soon the eyes of the world would be fixed on maps of the narrow,
winding 78-mile stretch of dirt and gravel road leading from the
supply port of Hungnam to the forlorn village of Yudam-ni at the
western tip of the Chosin Reservoir. Distances in road miles between
points along the route are as follows:

  Hungnam to Hamhung           8
  Hamhung to Oro-ri            8
  Oro-ri to Majon-dong        14
  Majon-dong to Sudong         7
  Sudong to Chinhung-ni        6
  Chinhung-ni to Koto-ri      10
  Koto-ri to Hagaru           11
  Hagaru to Yudam-ni          14

The first half of the distance--the 43 miles from Hungnam to
Chinhung-ni--is traversed by a two-lane road passing through
comparatively level terrain. Rolling country is encountered north of
Majon-dong, but it is at Chinhung-ni that the road makes its abrupt
climb into a tumbled region of mile-high peaks. There are few straight
or level stretches all the rest of the 35 miles to Yudam-ni, but the
route from Chinhung-ni to Koto-ri is the most difficult.

Funchilin Pass, comprising eight of these ten miles, represents an
ascent of 2500 feet for a straining jeep or truck. The road is merely
a twisting, one-way shelf, with a cliff on one side and a chasm on the

About two miles south of Koto-ri the trail reaches a rugged plateau
region. There it rejoins the railway along the Changjin River, though
the narrow-gauge line was operative only from Hamhung to Chinhung-ni.

Hagaru, at the southern tip of the Chosin Reservoir, with highways
branching off on both sides of that body of water, was an important
communications center before the war. And even though many buildings
had been flattened by bombing, the town was still impressive as
compared to such wretched mountain hamlets as Koto-ri and Chinhung-ri.

The road from Hagaru to Yudam-ni climbs from the tableland at the foot
of the Chosin Reservoir and winds its way up to 4000-foot Toktong Pass.
Descending through gloomy gorges, it finally reaches a broad valley
leading to Yudam-ni, where roads branch off to the north, west, and
south from a western arm of the Reservoir.

This was the 78-mile main supply route that would soon be claiming
its page in history. In only a few weeks it would be known to thousands
of Marines as _the_ MSR, as if there never had been another.


November-December 1950


Officers and NCOs of the 7th Marines, which was fated to be the first
United States unit to defeat the Chinese Communists in battle, were
given a verbal preview of the MSR and the part it might play in their
future. This was as the result of a flight of inspection made by
Major Henry J. Woessner on 30 October, following a briefing at the X
Corps CP in Wonsan. The S-3 of the 7th Marines was fortunate enough
to arrive just in time to hear the briefing given General Barr by
General Almond. Pointing to the map, the X Corps commander indicated
that the 7th Infantry Division would push northward to Hyesanjin on
the Yalu. Meanwhile the Marines were to head for the border by way of
Chinhung-ni, Koto-ri and Hagaru while the 3d Infantry Division took
over responsibility for the rear area.

“When we have cleared all this out,” concluded General Almond, pointing
again to the map, “the ROKs will take over, and we will pull our
divisions out of Korea.”[239]

    [239] Descriptions of the briefing session and reconnaissance
          flight are based on LtCol H. J. Woessner Comments, 13 Nov

At the X Corps CP, Woessner met a U. S. Army liaison officer just
returned from the 26th ROK Regiment with a report of that unit’s
encounter with Chinese Communists. The ROKs had been north of Sudong
when they collided with the new enemy and were pushed back, after
taking 16 prisoners.

Colonel Edward H. Forney, ranking Marine officer on the X Corps staff,
arranged for Major Woessner to make a reconnaissance flight over the
Hamhung-Hagaru route in an Air Force T-6. The S-3 saw no sign of
enemy troop movements all the way to the northern end of the Chosin
Reservoir, but he did not fail to note the formidable character of the
terrain through which the new MSR passed.

When he returned that evening with his report, Colonel Litzenberg
called a meeting of officers and NCOs at the regimental CP. In an
informal talk, he told them that they might soon be taking part in the
opening engagement of World War III.

“We can expect to meet Chinese Communist troops,” he concluded, “and it
is important that we win the first battle. The results of that action
will reverberate around the world, and we want to make sure that the
outcome has an adverse effect in Moscow as well as Peiping.”[240]

    [240] Litzenberg Comments, 19 Jul 56; Woessner Comments, 13 Nov
          56; Maj M. E. Roach Comments, 17 May 56. The quotation is
          from Litzenberg.

_ROKs Relieved by 7th Marines_

On 1 November the 7th Marines trucked out of Hamhung to an assembly
area midway between Oro-ri and Majon-dong. Moving into position behind
the 26th ROK Regiment without incident, Colonel Litzenberg ordered a
reconnaissance which took Lieutenant Colonel Raymond G. Davis’ 1st
Battalion about four miles northward to the South Korean positions
above Majon-dong. Late that afternoon the regiment secured for the
night in a tight perimeter.[241]

    [241] 7thMar _SAR_, 5, 7.

Attached to the regiment were the 3d Battalion, 11th Marines (Major
Francis F. Parry); Division Reconnaissance Company (First Lieutenant
Ralph B. Crossman); Company D, 1st Engineer Battalion (Captain Byron
C. Turner); 1st Motor Transport Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel Olin L.
Beall); Company E, 1st Medical Battalion (Lieutenant Commander Charles
K. Holloway); and detachments from the 1st Signal Battalion, 1st
Service Battalion, and Division Military Police Company.[242]

    [242] _Ibid._, 3. Col R. G. Davis Comments, n. d.

Intelligence based on the questioning of the 16 prisoners taken by the
ROKs had revealed that they had been attacked by elements of the 370th
Regiment of the 124th CCF Division. Along with the 125th and 126th, the
other two divisions of the 42d CCF Army, the 124th had crossed the Yalu
during the period 14–20 October. After marching southeast via Kanggye
and Changjin, the unit deployed for the defense of the Chosin Reservoir
power complex while the 126th pushed eastward to the Fusen Reservoir
and the 125th protected the right flank of the 42d CCF Army.[243]

    [243] 1stMarDiv _PIR_ 6. Wilson-Graeber interv, 20 Oct 55.

X Corps G-2 officers concluded that these CCF forces were “probably
flank security” for the enemy’s 4th Army Group across the peninsula in
the EUSAK zone.[244] The G-2 section of the 1st Marine Division arrived
at this interpretation:

    [244] X Corps _WD Sum_, _Nov 50_, 24.

  The capture by the 26th ROK Regt. of 16 POWs identified as being
  members of the 124th CCF Division ... would seem to indicate
  that the CCF has decided to intervene in the Korean War. It
  would indicate, also, that this reinforcement is being effected
  by unit rather than by piecemeal replacement from volunteer
  cadres. However, until more definite information is obtained it
  must be presumed that the CCF has not yet decided on full scale

    [245] 1stMarDiv _PIR_ 6.

Division intelligence officers concluded their analysis with the
comment, “The advantage to be gained by all-out intervention, at a
time when the NK forces are on the verge of complete collapse, is not
readily apparent.”[246]

    [246] _Ibid._

There was little activity in the valley on 31 October and 1 November.
The ROKs, upon learning that they would be relieved shortly by the
7th Marines, withdrew from advance positions near Sudong to a valley
junction about four miles south of that town. Here, at 0600 on 2
November, they were hit by an enemy “counterattack” which, since it was
of about two-platoon strength and of only 30 minutes duration, amounted
really to a CCF combat patrol action.[247]

    [247] 1stMarDiv _PIRS 7 & 8_; Wilson-Graeber interv, 20 Oct 55.

Shortly after this clash, Lieutenant Colonel Raymond G. Davis’ 1st
Battalion, 7th Marines, moved out of the regimental assembly area and
marched toward the ROK lines at Majon-dong in route column. Major Webb
D. Sawyer’s 2d Battalion followed at an interval of 500 yards, while
overhead the Corsairs of VMF-312 orbited on station for reconnaissance
and close air support missions.[248]

    [248] The account of 2 Nov, unless otherwise noted, is derived
          from: 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex SS, appendix 3 (hereafter
          3/11 _SAR_), 3; G-3 _SAR_, 16; 7thMar _SAR_, 12; VMF-312
          _SAR_, 8–9; VMF(N)-513 _SAR_, sec 6, 10; Col H. L.
          Litzenberg interv by HistDiv HQMC, 27–30 Apr and 10 Jul
          51; LtCol F. F. Parry interv by HistDiv HQMC, 4 Apr 51;
          Caps D. C. Holland, J. G. Theros, and H. G. Connell
          interv by HistBr G-3 HQMC, n. d.; W. J. Davis interv, 18
          Oct 55; 1stLt W. F. Goggin interv by HistDiv HQMC, n.
          d.; 7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1157 2 Nov 50; MajGen
          H. L. Litzenberg Comments, 19 Jul 56; Col A. L. Bowser
          Comments, n. d.; LtCol M. A. Hull Comments, n. d.;
          Woessner Comments, 13 Nov 56; Capt W. J. Davis Comments,
          15 Apr 56; Bey Comments, 24 Apr 51.

The passage of lines proceeded smoothly and quietly, save for the drone
of aircraft as they probed the reaches of the valley. It was over by
1030. Thereafter, progress to the front was slow and watchful. Led
by Company A, under Captain David W. Banks, the 1st Battalion took
ineffectual long-range CCF fire with only a few casualties. Batteries G
and H of 3/11 displaced forward during the morning, and at noon Battery
I opened up with the first of 26 missions fired by the artillery
battalion that day.

Though second in the tactical column, 2/7 was responsible for high
ground on both sides of the MSR, dominated on the left by Hill 698.
Company D ascended the eastern slopes early in the afternoon to relieve
a ROK unit that apparently had been unable to hold the crest. When the
South Koreans saw the Marines approaching, they promptly abandoned
their position about midway up the slope and headed for the rear.



Dog Company continued up the exposed hillside. Scattered enemy shots
from the top of the ridge gradually merged into a pattern of light
resistance as the Marines climbed higher. Captain Milton A. Hull
ordered his troops to halt, deployed his machine guns for return
fire, and radioed for an air strike. Within a few minutes a flight of
Corsairs swept down and worked over the ridgeline.

Hull’s only assault route traversed a barren area about 50 yards from
the crest. His two assault platoons, fully exposed to the enemy’s
observation, inched upward by fire and movement, taking casualties,
and finally reached the top. Their foothold on the ridgeline did not
discourage the Red Chinese, who continued to pour fire from skillfully
camouflaged positions. To prevent continued attrition among his now
exhausted troops (by this time they had climbed some 1600 vertical
feet from ground level over an average gradient of 25 per cent),
Hull recalled the two platoons to the eastern slopes and radioed for
supporting fire.

This fire was not forthcoming. Company D held a line near the summit
until about 2200 when Easy Company passed through to occupy a small
plateau about 150 yards below the crest for the night.

Meanwhile, down in the valley, Litzenberg’s “walking perimeter”
completed a 1300-yard advance by 1630. Owing to the nature of the
terrain, with the attendant 360-degree vulnerability, the regimental
commander stipulated that the 7th Marines’ column extend not less than
4000 (the minimum distance which would allow for close-in artillery
support) nor more than 6000 yards in length. This allowed sufficient
depth for over-all protection, with no loss of mutual support among the
three infantry battalions.

Enemy resistance had flared up now and then in the course of the
day, but Marine supporting arms so ruled the valley that no serious
challenge by the Chinese developed. VMF-312 flew 12 close support
missions in the Sudong area, and VMF(N)-513 assisted with several
more. The whole precipitous skyline on either side of the regiment was
blasted with 500-pound bombs, 20mm shells, and high-velocity rockets.

By way of reply to the heavy shelling and bombing, Chinese mortars and
at least one small artillery piece began to fire sporadically as the
day wore on. A 120mm mortar round struck 1/7’s CP at 1700 and wounded
three men.

_CCF Counterattack at Sudong_

Although the unit commanders of the 7th Marines anticipated more
fighting with the new enemy, they probably did not suspect what the
night held in store when the regiment dug in at dusk on 2 November.
They did not know that the 371st Regiment, 124th CCF Division, was
massed to the north and west, nor that the 370th Regiment occupied high
ground east of the MSR in strength--both units within easy striking
distance of Litzenberg’s perimeter. The 372d Regiment, in reserve,
stood poised in its hidden encampment several miles to the rear.[249]

    [249] This section, unless otherwise noted, is derived from:
          G-3 _SAR_, 18–19; 7thMar _SAR_, 13, n. p.; 3/7 SAR, n.
          p.; 3/11 _SAR_, 3; 1stMarDiv _PIRs 9_ & _10_; Litzenberg
          interv 27–30 Apr and 10 Jul 51; Parry interv, 4 Apr 51;
          Holland-Theros-Connell interv, n. d.; Wilson-Graeber
          interv, 20 Oct 55; Earney-Harris-Mooney interv, 20 Oct
          55; Geer, _The New Breed_, 228–235; Capt William J.
          Davis, “Nightmare Alley,” _Leatherneck Magazine_, MS.;
          Narrative of SSgt R. E. McDurmin, 23 Jul 56; Col R. G.
          Davis Comments, n. d.; W. J. Davis Comments, 15 Apr 56;
          Maj W. E. Shea Comments, 30 Apr 56; LtCol W. D. Sawyer
          Comments, n. d.

Leading elements of the 7th Marines deployed defensively less than
a mile south of Sudong (see Map 8). To the right of the MSR, Able
Company’s 3d, 2d, and 1st Platoons, in that order, formed a line which
extended across Hill 532 and part way up a spur of massive Hill 727,
then bent rearward sharply to refuse the east flank. Emplaced along
the road in anti-mechanized defense was the company’s 3.5-inch rocket
squad. The 60mm mortar section and company CP set up in the low ground
behind the spur, but Captain Banks himself decided to spend the night
in an OP with his rifle platoons.

Lieutenant Colonel Davis of 1/7 deployed Charlie Company (-) across the
MSR from Able, on the northeast slopes of Hill 698.[250] To the rear,
headquarters and one platoon of Company B dug in on an arm of the same
hill, while the other two platoons went into position on the lower
reaches of Hill 727 behind Company A. One platoon of Charlie Company,
Davis’ CP and the battalion 81mm mortars were located in low ground
behind Able Company and the elements of Baker on the right of the road.

    [250] Due to 2/7’s difficulties on Hill 698 Charlie Company
          was unable to move position until dusk. As Col Davis
          has pointed out, this was fortuitous because it allowed
          Charlie to move into position unseen by the Chinese and
          was a major factor in trapping the Chinese in the valley
          the next morning. R. G. Davis Comments, 3.

South of 1/7 lay Major Sawyer’s 2d Battalion with Company D at the foot
of Hill 698, E on its crest and slopes, and F spread along the steep
incline of 727. Sawyer’s CP and elements of the 7th Marines’ Antitank
and 4.2-inch Mortar Companies were situated in a shallow meadow along
the road beneath the Fox Company positions. Several hundred yards
to the rear, south of a sharp bend in the road, Major Maurice E.
Roach’s 3d Battalion deployed in what was in effect a second perimeter
protecting the regimental train, 3/11, and Litzenberg’s CP on the
valley floor. Tieing in at the MSR, Companies H and I occupied ridges
on the left and right of the road respectively, while G (-) arched
through the low ground as the southernmost element of the regiment.
Colonel Litzenberg was concerned about the valley which joined the
Sudong Valley below Oro-ri lest it contain Chinese. He had Major Roach
make a helicopter reconnaissance during the afternoon. Roach sighted

    [251] LtCol M. E. Roach Comments, 7 May 56.

Except for the occasional thump of an incoming mortar round, night
settled on the valley and the Marine perimeter with deceptive quiet.
Deceptive, since at Sudong two CCF battalions were poised to smash at
the 7th Marines with a well-coordinated double envelopment.

At 2300, Davis’ 1st Battalion reported itself under attack from the
right flank, the enemy apparently descending the higher slopes of
Hill 727. This announcement was somewhat premature, as the Marines of
Company A were merely experiencing the infiltration and probing that
precede almost every Communist assault. At 2400, 2/7 reported two enemy
battalions on the left flank.[252] During the first hour of 3 November,
sobering messages were received from Litzenberg’s northernmost units.
What had begun at 2300 as a staccato of small-arms fire swelled in
volume by imperceptible degrees until Hills 698 and 727 were engulfed
in a ceaseless din. And by 0100 the 1st and 2d Battalions of the 7th
Marines bent under the weight of a full-scale attack on both flanks.

    [252] 7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 0721 3 Nov 50. Since neither
          D nor F Companies was involved at this time, the
          information must have come from E. Capt Bey, however,
          doubts if either of the probing attacks received by E
          Company was made by more than 20 men. Capt R. T. Bey
          Comments, 24 Apr 56.

Avoiding the obvious approach through the corridor leading south from
Sudong, the commander of the 371st CCF Regiment had dispatched a
battalion along each of the ridgelines bordering the valley. Bursting
flares and bugle calls signaled when the two assault units came
abreast of the Marine positions on the lower reaches of Hills 727 and
698. Then, treading swiftly and silently in their rubber sneakers,
the Chinese infantrymen swept down obliquely and struck Able and Fox
Companies on the east and Baker on the west. Charlie on the slopes
of Hill 698 was undisturbed. Where the Chinese met resistance, they
slugged it out at close range with grenades and submachine guns.
Where they found gaps, they poured through and raced to the low
ground. To the Marines, the specific CCF objectives were not readily
apparent in those hectic hours before dawn, for the enemy seemed to be

    [253] X Corps _PIR 44_, annex 2; 1stMarDiv _PIR 10_; 7thMar msg
          to CG 1stMarDiv, 1530 3 Nov 50; Shea Comments, 30 Apr 51.

Shortly after the battle was joined high on the hillsides, Marines at
Able Company’s CP heard the clanking sounds of a tracked vehicle on
the MSR to the north. When the machine passed the rocket section at
the roadblock without incident, they dropped their guards momentarily,
believing it to be a friendly bulldozer. The big vehicle rumbled into
the CP and stopped, one headlight glaring at exposed mortar crews and
headquarters personnel.

“Tank!” shouted Staff Sergeant Donald T. Jones, section chief of Able
Company’s 60mm mortars.

It was a Russian T-34, one of the five remaining to the 344th North
Korean Tank Regiment, supporting the 124th CCF Division. The troops at
the roadblock had been caught napping.

A burst of machine-gun fire from the tank sent the lightly armed
Marines scurrying for cover. The armored vehicle quickly withdrew
to the road and drove farther south, into 1/7s’ CP. After a short,
inquisitive pause, it rumbled toward the 1st Battalion’s 81mm mortar
positions. The Russian 85mm rifle flashed four times in the darkness,
but the shells screamed harmlessly over the mortars and detonated in
the high ground beyond.

Rocket launchers of Charlie Company and the recoilless rifles of
7th Marines Antitank Company opened up from positions around 1/7’s
headquarters. At least one 75mm round struck home, and the belt of
sandbags around the T-34’s turret began to burn. The tank swung back
onto the MSR and headed north. Approaching Able Company’s roadblock,
through which it had entered the Marine position, it took a hit from
the 3.5-inch rocket section. In reply, one 85mm shell at pistol range
all but wiped out the Marine antitank crew. The enemy vehicle, trailing
flame and sparks, clanked around a bend in the road and disappeared.

Not long after this astounding foray, the fighting on Hills 698 and 727
spread down to the MSR. The 1st and 2d Platoons of Company A, pressed
now from three directions and suffering heavy casualties, retracted to
the 3d Platoon positions at the tip of the spur. Some of the men were
cut off and forced back on the Baker Company elements east of the MSR.
Ultimately, one of the two Company B platoons in this area was driven
down to the low ground, and the other forced to fall back. Later they
counterattacked and recovered their foxholes.

West of the MSR, the remainder of Company B fought off assaults on its
left flank and rear by Chinese who had skirted around Charlie Company’s
advance positions.[254] Lieutenant Colonel Davis sent the battalion
reserve, Lieutenant Graeber’s 2d Platoon of Baker, to reinforce the
hard pressed left platoon. Attempting to lead his men across the MSR,
Graeber found the route effectively blocked by the enemy in the river

    [254] _Ibid._

Descending now from both sides of the road, enemy infantrymen swarmed
over the valley floor. They overran most of the 7th Marines 4.2-inch
Mortar Company and captured one of its tubes. They seriously threatened
the 1st and 2d Battalion CPs and the AT Company in the same general
idea. High on the slopes in 2/7’s zone, Companies E and F were beset
by small bands of infiltrators. And though these two companies held
their ground, the Reds found their flanks, slipped behind them, and
entrenched at the key road bend separating 2/7 from 3/7 to the south.
The principal Marine unit at the sharp curve in the MSR was Battery I,
whose position in the low ground became increasingly precarious as the
night wore on.

_Two Marine Battalions Cut Off_

Dawn of 3 November revealed a confused and alarming situation in
the valley south of Sudong. Enemy troops shared the low ground with
Marine elements between the 1st and 2d Battalion CPs, and they had
blown out a section of the MSR in this locale.[255] The 2d Battalion’s
commander later remarked, “When daylight came, we found that we were
in a dickens of a mess. The rifle companies were well up in the hills,
and the Chinese were occupying the terrain between the CP and the

    [255] The demolition had little more than dramatic effect,
          however, since the Songchon river bed was negotiable to
          vehicles of all types.

    [256] Sawyer Comments.

Between 2/7 and 3/7, a company of Reds had dug in on a finger of
high ground overlooking the road bend and Battery I from the east.
Scattered Chinese forces roamed Hills 698 and 727 almost at will.
On the latter height, elements of the 371st CCF Regiment had been
reinforced by a battalion of the 370th, so that pressure against the
right flank of 1/7 and 2/7 continued long after daybreak.[257]

    [257] _Ibid._; X Corps _PIR 44_, annex 2; 7thMar msg to CG
          1stMarDiv, 0721 3 Nov 50; 7thMar tel to G-3 1stMarDiv,
          1315 3 Nov 50; and Geer, _The New Breed_, 235–236.

With his lead battalions thrown back on the defensive, Colonel
Litzenberg relied on overwhelming superiority in supporting arms to
tip the scales on 3 November and regain the initiative. While the
regimental 4.2-inch mortars fired, howitzers of Batteries G and H
thundered almost ceaselessly the whole night long from positions within
3/7’s perimeter. Battery I, after being extricated from the enemy
dominated road bend at 1100 with the help of a platoon of G Company,
added its metal to the bombardment. In the course of the day, the
18 field pieces of the battalion fired a total of 1431 rounds in 49

    [258] 3/11 _SAR_, 3; Maj W. R. Earney Comments, n. d.

VMF-312 provided constant air cover after first light. Its planes not
only scourged enemy assault troops left exposed on the ridges, but
also searched out and attacked CCF artillery positions and vehicles.
This squadron alone flew 18 close support missions on 3 November, the
alternating flights being led by Major Daniel H. Davis, Captain Harry
G. C. Henneberger, Captain George E. McClane, and First Lieutenant
Shelby M. Forrest.[259] VMF(N)-513 dispatched a flight of night
fighters to Sudong at 0910 under Major Robert L. Cochran. After raking
enemy troops with 1500 rounds from their 20mm cannon, Cochran and his
three pilots unloaded three general purpose and fragmentation bombs
along with 15 high-velocity rockets.[260]

    [259] VMF-312 _SAR_, 12.

    [260] VMF(N)-513 _SAR_, 11. The others on this flight were Capt
          Edwin Pendry, 1stLt Warren J. Beyes, and 1stLt William E.

As much supporting fire fell within the 7th Regiment’s perimeter as
outside. Since the crack of dawn it had been the principal mission
of the advance Marine elements to eject scores of Chinese troops,
individuals and small bands, who were scattered along the hillsides
and valley floor within the zones of the 1st and 2d Battalions. While
accomplishing this task, the Marines established a tactical principle
for coming weeks: that to nullify Chinese night tactics, regardless of
large-scale penetrations and infiltration, defending units had only to
maintain position until daybreak. With observation restored, Marine
firepower invariably would melt down the Chinese mass to impotency.

This was the case on 3 November, although the melting down process was
a savage, all-day affair. With the help of air, artillery, and mortars,
the 1st Battalion cleared the low ground by midmorning and restored its
right flank later in the day. The Chinese in the valley were crushed,
the main group being annihilated by the heavy machine guns of Weapons
Company as they attempted to march northward along the railroad in
column at daylight. Counted enemy dead in 1/7’s zone alone amounted to

    [261] Litzenberg interv, 27–30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 27; 7thMar
          _SAR_, 13; R. G. Davis Comments, 7–9; Vorhies Comments.

The main effort in the 2d Battalion’s zone was aimed at the CCF
concentration on the spur of Hill 727 overlooking the bend in the
MSR. Owing to this barrier, Litzenberg had to call for an airdrop of
supplies to sustain his leading elements on 3 November.[262] Major
Sawyer ordered Company D, on the base of Hill 698 to the south of the
roadblock, to move up the valley, cross the river, and clean out the
spur at Hill 727. Finding the low ground blocked by heavy fire, Captain
Hull circled to the left along the incline of Hill 698, intending to
come abreast of the Chinese strong point before striking at it across
the MSR.[263]

    [262] 7thMar _SAR_, 13; Litzenberg interv, 27–30 Apr and 10 Jul

    [263] Goggin interv; Hull Comments.

Meanwhile, Captain Walter D. Phillips’ Easy Company, perched on the
side of Hill 698, struggled to secure the peak of that hill mass. A
rush by First Lieutenant John Yancey’s 2d Platoon at about 0800 secured
a small plateau about 50 yards below the crest against the opposition
of one Chinese soldier. First Lieutenant Robert T. Bey’s 3d Platoon
then passed through and frontally assaulted the peak only to be thrown
back by what Bey calls “the most concentrated grenade barrage this
writer has had the dubious distinction to witness.” Following an air
strike at about 1400 Easy Company secured the crest with its 40 Chinese

    [264] Bey Comments, 24 Apr 56.

With all of the rifle companies involved in fire fights or security
missions, Litzenberg resorted to supporting arms and headquarters
troops to knock out the roadblock. From his regimental CP he dispatched
First Lieutenant Earl R. Delong, Executive Officer of the AT Company,
with a reserve 75mm recoilless rifle and a makeshift crew. Delong moved
into position opposite the strong point at a range of 500 yards, while
air and artillery hammered the enemy positions.[265]

    [265] 7thMar msg to CG 1st MarDiv, 2125 3 Nov 50; and Capt E.
          R. Delong interv, 18 Oct 50.

Simultaneously, the Division Reconnaissance Company ascended the high
ground east of the MSR in the vicinity of Litzenberg’s headquarters,
then advanced northward along the ridge to envelop the roadblock. This
unit, just returned from an active, overnight patrol to Huksu-ri, moved
into a hillside position and took the rear of the Chinese under fire
across an intervening gulley.[266]

    [266] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, EE (hereafter HqBn _SAR_), 10; HqBn
          _URpt 8_, 2–3; Crossman-Puckett-Sharon interv, 20 Oct 55.

Delong’s 75 had begun firing high explosive and white phosphorus into
the enemy’s front; and Company D, after cleaning up the scattered
resistance on the slopes of Hill 698, closed on the roadblock under
cover of two air strikes and prepared to assault. The Chinese,
obviously shaken by the pounding of supporting arms, had commenced a
withdrawal into the hills east of the roadbend when Hull’s men began
their assault. From Recon Company’s positions, Lieutenant Crossman
called for air and artillery to catch the retreating Reds in the
open. But the request was turned down because Dog Company troops were
already filtering through the objective area. By 1810 the roadblock was
eliminated, although Dog Company had to withstand two counterattacks
before its hold on the spur was secure. The Chinese had left behind 28
dead, strewn among the boulders and recesses of a natural redoubt.[267]

    [267] _Ibid._, Goggin interv; Delong interv, 18 Oct 50; and
          7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 2125 3 Nov 50; Hull Comments.

The main enemy encroachments having been smashed, the 7th Marines’
MSR was again clear for traffic, save for long-range harassment by an
occasional CCF rifleman hidden in the hills. At dusk, trucks streamed
northward from the regimental CP to deliver supplies to the 1st and
2d Battalions and to evacuate about 100 battle casualties from those
units. The wounded were rushed to the Division Hospital and the 121st
Army Evacuation Hospital in Hungnam.[268]

    [268] 7thMar _SAR_, appendix 4, 4; ADC 1stMarDiv tel to G-3
          1stMarDiv, 1320 3 Nov 50; and Delong interv, 18 Oct 50.
          Casualty figures could only be estimated in after action
          reports, since all 7th Marines’ records were destroyed
          before the withdrawal from Yudam-ni in early December
          1950. Throughout the remainder of this volume, only those
          casualty figures for the Division as a whole can be
          reported with consistent accuracy.

_End of NKPA Tank Regiment_

The coming of darkness on 3 November marked the finish of the first
phase. Litzenberg’s perimeter remained essentially the same as on the
previous day, the only changes being Company D’s occupation of the
high ground east of the road bend, Recon Company’s assumption of local
security at the regimental CP, and 3/11’s tighter concentration within
the zone of 3/7. What few light contacts occurred during the night were
decided quickly by Marine artillery and mortars.[269]

    [269] 7thMar _SAR_, 14; 3/11 _SAR_, 3; Goggin interv; HqBn
          _URpt 8_, 2–3; 7th Mar msgs to CG 1stMarDiv, 0804 and
          1508 4 Nov 50.

Later intelligence evaluations proved that these contacts could have
involved only CCF patrols or stragglers, for it was in this same period
that the 370th and 371st CCF Regiments withdrew some three miles from
Sudong to a defense line established by elements of the 372d Regiment
north of Chinhung-ni. The two assault units had paid a high price for
failure during the 2–4 November fighting. The 371st Regiment lost the
equivalent of five companies out of its 1st and 3d Battalions, with the
total dead estimated at 793. And the 3d Battalion, 370th Regiment, was
reduced by the destruction of two companies.[270]

    [270] X Corps _PIR 44_, annex 2; 1stMarDiv _PIRs 11_ and _12_,
          encl 1; 7thMar _SAR_, n. p.

It was a wobbly 124th CCF Division, then, that dug in with heavy
machine guns and mortars on two massive hills, 987 and 891, flanking
the MSR about two miles north of Chinhung-ni. The depleted 344th NKPA
Tank Regiment could not avail itself of such defensible terrain,
for until Marine engineers widened the tortuous cliff road through
Funchilin Pass it would not accommodate armor.[271]

    [271] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex NN (hereafter 1stEngrBn _SAR_), 8;
          and 7thMar _SAR_, n. p.

Apparently the Chinese Communists had left their North Korean comrades
of the 344th to fend for themselves. The NKPA unit had already dwindled
considerably from its original organization of three armored and
three infantry companies. On 2 November it comprised only five T-34s
and their crews. One of these machines, after being damaged during
the single-handed raid on the 7th Marines’ perimeter that night, was
abandoned the next day. The NKPA crews put the remaining four vehicles
into camouflaged positions next to the MSR at Chinhung-ni, where they
waited resignedly at a tactical dead-end.[272]

    [272] G-2 _SAR_, 34; and 7thMar _SAR_, n. p.

Colonel Litzenberg was aware of the probability of further resistance
along the road, since on 3 November Marine air had reported
approximately 300 enemy trucks--in groups of 15 or 20--on the move
south of the Chosin Reservoir.[273] At dawn of 4 November, after
a night of relative calm around the old perimeter, he ordered his
subordinates to conduct vigorous patrolling preparatory to continuing
the advance.[274]

    [273] 1stMarDiv _PIR 10_.

    [274] CO 7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1508 4 Nov 50.


4 November


Troops of 1/7 moved forward in the early light and scouted the valley
as far north as the edge of Sudong. They met no opposition and returned
to the perimeter. Litzenberg then formed the 7th Marines in column,
with the Reconnaissance Company in the lead, followed by 1/7 and 3/7 in
that order. He left the 2d Battalion in position on Hills 698 and 727
to protect the regimental flanks.[275]

    [275] The advance to Chinhung-ni and the engagement with
          enemy tanks is derived from: 7thMar _SAR_, 13;
          Crossman-Puckett-Sharon interv, 20 Oct 55; Geer, _The New
          Breed_, 236–237; and P. G. Martin ltr to HistBr G-3 HQMC,
          21 Oct 55; CO 7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 0045, 5 Nov 50;
          R. G. Davis Comments, 13–15; Maj R. B. Crossman Comments,
          n. d.; Shea Comments, 30 Apr 56.

Recon Company moved out in jeeps at 0800, First Lieutenant Ernest C.
Hargett’s 1st Platoon in the point. Entering Sudong a short time later,
the vanguard rounded a bend in the middle of town and surprised a group
of CCF soldiers. In a 30-minute fight, Hargett’s men killed three and
captured about 20. The 2d and 3d Platoons of the Reconnaissance Company
meanwhile inspected the high ground above Sudong without opposition.

Lieutenant Crossman reorganized his company in column on the road and
set out for Chinhung-ni with Second Lieutenant Donald W. Sharon’s 2d
Platoon in the lead. About the same time, 1000, the 1st Battalion moved
out of the 7th Marines’ perimeter south of Sudong and traced Crossman’s
route through the low ground.

At Chinhung-ni the highway runs along the east side of the river while
the railroad traces the west side. The narrow-gauge track enters
the village over a bridge spanning a branch stream. Just beyond is
Samgo station, which served as a railhead for the cable-car system of
Funchilin Pass. As the Reconnaissance Company approached Chinhung-ni on
4 November, a small group of Chinese soldiers milled around the train
cars and buildings of Samgo Station. They probably had some tactical
connection with the four T-34 tanks camouflaged opposite them across
the river and road; but the two forces seemed oblivious not only of
each other but also of the Marines bearing down on them.

Lieutenant Sharon’s platoon advanced rapidly from Sudong at 1400,
followed closely by the rest of the Reconnaissance Company and
a section of 75mm recoilless rifles. About 2000 yards south of
Chinhung-ni they halted on sighting fresh tank tracks but quickly
moved out again on orders of Lieutenant Colonel Davis. At the highway
entrance to Chinhung-ni, Sharon’s troops unknowingly passed the first
T-34, hidden on the right of the road. Coming abreast of the second
Communist tank, which also remained undetected for the moment, the
Marines spotted the Chinese soldiers across the river at Samgo Station
and opened fire.

The CCF infantrymen scattered under the hail of small-arms fire and
many of them were cut down. This was fortunate for Company C of 1/7,
which was marching along the railroad tracks and just then nearing
the bridge south of the station, where it could have been taken under
enfilade fire by the enemy soldiers and tanks.

It was during the exchange with the Chinese that Sharon and his men
spotted the second North Korean tank under a pile of brush on the right
of the road. The platoon leader, accompanied by Staff Sergeant Richard
B. Twohey and Corporal Joseph E. McDermott, climbed upon the dormant
vehicle. Suddenly the periscope began to revolve. McDermott smashed the
glass and Twohey dropped in a grenade. With Sharon they jumped to the
ground just as the grenade exploded inside the machine.

The tank engine roared and the vehicle lurched toward the three
Marines. Twohey jumped on it again and dropped another grenade down
the periscope. After the dull thump of the second explosion, the T-34
stopped dead and began smoking.

By this time Staff Sergeant William L. Vick’s 75mm recoilless gun
section and 3.5-inch rocket crews of Company C had moved up. Together
they gave the _coup de grace_ to the damaged T-34. Simultaneously,
Sharon’s men saw a thatched hut farther down the road disintegrate
as tank number three emerged, its 85mm rifle swinging menacingly
toward the valley crowded with Marines and vehicles. First Lieutenant
Raymond J. Elledge fired his 75s from their carts, and Company C’s
rocket launchers opened up. The T-34 took hits but rumbled on. Seconds
earlier, First Lieutenant Dan C. Holland, Forward Air Controller
for 1/7, had radioed overhead Corsairs for assistance. One of the
gull-winged planes plummetted out of formation and unleashed a pair of
five-inch rockets. They were direct hits. The T-34 blew up and died on
the road.[276]

    [276] Available records do not indicate whether tank number
          three should be credited to VMF-312 or to VMF(N)-513,
          both of which had close-support flights in the area.

Sharon and his men moved forward cautiously. While passing the blazing
hulk, they spotted enemy tank Number Four, camouflaged against a
hillside just ahead. At almost the same moment, Marines passing
Chinhung-ni stumbled upon docile tank Number One in the midst of their
formation. Recoilless rifles and rocket launchers blasted the machine,
and its crew climbed out and surrendered. Sharon then led the antitank
crews through the river bed toward the fourth T-34. The Communist
tankmen, entrenched on the slope behind their empty vehicle, gave up
without a fight. The tank itself was knocked out by 3.5-inch rockets
and 75mm shells; and the 344th NKPA Tank Regiment ceased to exist.

_The Fight for How Hill_

After the destruction of enemy armor, Colonel Litzenberg began
deploying the 7th Marines in perimeter around the valley junction at
Chinhung-ni. The advance had netted about 6000 yards by midafternoon,
and the remaining daylight was needed to bring all elements forward and
consolidate the newly won ground.[277]

    [277] 7thMar _SAR_, 13; and 1stMarDiv _POR 116_.

Aware that the Chinese were at the top of Funchilin Pass but not that
he was directly under their guns, the regimental commander at 1600
ordered Reconnaissance Company to patrol some 2000 yards into Funchilin
Pass and outpost the southern tip of Hill 891. The high ground selected
for the outpost coincided with the eastern half of the Chinese forward
line, and it would later be remembered as “How Hill” in honor of
Company H of 3/7.[278]

    [278] 7thMar _SAR_, n. p.; and Crossman-Puckett-Sharon interv,
          20 Oct 55; Dowsett Comments, 29 May 56.

As 1/7 dug in on the heights flanking Chinhung-ni, Recon Company, with
Second Lieutenant Charles R. Puckett’s 3d Platoon leading, advanced
in motorized column about a mile into the pass. At this point, Hill
987 looms up on the west and the highway veers sharply to the east for
approximately 1000 yards. After a hairpin turn, the road climbs on a
parallel line almost to its starting point, then resumes its northerly
course, clinging to the rocky wall of Hill 891 which rises abruptly
from the chasm that separates it from Hill 987.

Puckett’s platoon had approached the road bend warily, for a sizeable
enemy group had been spotted earlier near the base of Hill 987 across
the gorge. At 1630 the first two jeeps of the column eased around the
curve and immediately came under fire from Hill 987 to the left, 891 to
the front, and from a CCF patrol to the right, on the road itself.[279]

    [279] HqBn _URpt 8_, 3; and Crossman-Puckett-Sharon interv, 20
          Oct 55.

For 45 minutes Puckett and his men were pinned to the road and
hillside, and only darkness and a strike by Marine air finally
enabled the whole column to withdraw to the 7th Marines’ lines. The
clash cost Recon two killed and five wounded, and heavy machine-gun
fire had destroyed the two lead jeeps.[280]

    [280] _Ibid._



During the relatively quiet night of 4–5 November, Colonel Litzenberg
issued his order for the next day’s advance. The 1st Battalion was
to hold the flanks at Chinhung-ni while 3/7, followed at a distance
of 500–1000 yards by 2/7, passed through and attacked into Funchilin
Pass. Major Parry’s 3/11 and the 4.2 Mortar Company were to support
the infantry by high-angle fire from positions south of Sudong.[281]
Resistance could be expected, for even as the 7th Marines peacefully
sat out the hours of darkness, the night fighters of VMF(N)-513 were
bombing and strafing enemy convoys around the southern tip of the
Chosin Reservoir.[282]

    [281] 7thMar _SAR_, 13; 3/11 _SAR_, 3.

    [282] VMF(N)-513 _SAR_, 12.

At 0700 Lieutenant Hargett’s 1st Platoon of Recon Company departed
Chinhung-ni along the MSR to patrol on the right flank. Reaching the
hairpin curve, the platoon was pinned down by enemy fire at exactly the
same place where Puckett’s unit had come to grief. VMF-312 and 3/11
promptly went into action, and Hargett ultimately withdrew his patrol
under the shield of their supporting fire. Marine casualties were four

    [283] HqBn _SAR_, 12; HqBn _URpt 9_, 2; Crossman-Puckett-Sharon
          interv, 20 Oct 55; and Geer, _The New Breed_, 237–238;
          Litzenberg Comments, 19 Jul 56. This was the last
          employment of Recon by the 7th Marines. On 7 November it
          was detached and ordered back to Majon-dong to patrol the
          road to Huksu-ri and the division’s left flank.

Major Roach’s 3d Battalion moved out for the attack at 0800, passing
through the high-ground positions of 1/7 on either side of Chinhung-ni.
Company I advanced toward Hill 987 and G toward 891 (see Map 10).
Both units were hit hard by small-arms and machine-gun fire as they
came abreast of the road bend; and for the remainder of the day, the
“advance was negligible.”[284]

    [284] The fight for Hills 891 and 987 is derived from 7thMar
          _SAR_, 13–14; 3/7 _SAR_, n. p.; 3/11 _SAR_, 3; VMF-312
          _SAR_, 9; VMF(N)-513 _SAR_, 13; 1stMarDiv _OpnO 19-50_,
          5 Nov 50; Earney-Harris-Mooney interv, 20 Oct 55; W.
          J. Davis interv, 18 Oct 55; 1stMarDiv _PIRs 12 & 13_;
          Aide-de-Camp, CG 1stMarDiv tel to G-2 1stMarDiv, 1130
          5 Nov 50; 7thMar msgs to CG 1stMarDiv, 1035, 1200,
          1330, 1900, 2130, and 2215 5 Nov 50, and 1145, 1245,
          1410, 1425, 2055, and 2245 6 Nov 50; 7thMar _ISUM 14_;
          1stMarDiv _POR 122_; and Geer, _The New Breed_, 237-240;
          Capt H. H. Harris Comments, n. d.; Earney Comments, 2–8;
          Capt M. P. Newton, “The Attack on ‘How’ Hill,” (MS);
          Roach Comments, 7 May 56.

From 1000 onward, the second phase of the battle roared to a climax
as a duel between supporting arms. In 26 missions during 5 November,
the batteries of 3/11 threw 943 shells into the enemy positions. The
Chinese answered with counterbattery fire from their 122mm mortars,
but toward the end of the day these weapons were silenced by Marine
howitzer barrages. A forward observer with Company G reported an enemy
ammunition dump destroyed. This information was later verified by a
POW who mentioned the following additional losses in CCF mortars: 10
crewmen killed and 17 wounded, one mortar destroyed, two mortars put
out of action, and the dispersal of “most of the remaining personnel.”

VMF-312 flew 37 sorties in 90 hours of close support combat on the
5th. Between Chinhung-ni and the Chosin Reservoir, 21 enemy trucks
were destroyed. Pilots reported that “the surrounding ridges were
filled with enemy troops” and that their strikes against these Chinese
were “extremely effective.” Led by Major Cochran and Captain Otis W.
S. Corman, flights from VMF(N)-513 blasted troops, buildings, supply
vehicles, and gun emplacements scattered from Koto-ri at the top of
Funchilin Pass to Hagaru at the reservoir. General Smith, during a
helicopter visit to Litzenberg’s CP, remarked that a “considerable
number of planes ... really worked the place over.”[285]

    [285] Smith, _Chronicle_, 73.

On the ground, the fight ended at dusk with the Chinese retaining their
firm grip on these well camouflaged positions studding Hills 891 and
987 despite heavy losses.[286] Marine casualties were light, for it
was the tortuous terrain in conjunction with enemy bullets, not enemy
fire alone, that obstructed the attackers. Since General Smith earlier
in the day had named Koto-ri as the 7th Marines’ immediate objective,
Colonel Litzenberg ordered the 3d Battalion to resume the advance at
0800 the next morning.

    [286] One Chinese took all the pounding from supporting arms
          that he could, then climbed out of his bunker and walked
          into G Company’s lines to surrender. On interrogation
          he pinpointed his regiment: one battalion on Hill 987,
          one on Hill 891, and the reserve battalion in the saddle
          between 987 and 1304. Roach Comments, 7 May 56.

The night of 5–6 November witnessed only minor contacts around the
regimental perimeter. Some 200 Korean laborers accounted for most of
the activity during darkness as they carried supplies to forward Marine
positions and evacuated casualties to the rear.

Major Roach’s plan for 6 November called for How Company, supported by
the fire of George, to envelop the southeast slope of Hill 891 while
Item continued its attack on Hill 987. At about 0800 First Lieutenant
Howard H. Harris led How Company out of its reserve position. It took
him until nearly 1500 to traverse the rugged landscape and get into
position. Meanwhile, Item Company under First Lieutenant William E.
Johnson had beaten off one counterattack and edged about 300 yards
closer to Hill 987, with its most effective opposition coming from
bunkers on a spur overlooking the MSR.

Captain Thomas E. Cooney had been wounded twice the previous day while
leading Company G against the trenches and foxholes on the southern tip
of Hill 891. Except for a feint by one platoon along the MSR into the
hairpin turn, his company spent the day in a long-range fight with the
Chinese defenders.

Lieutenant Harris led his men over the high ground behind G into
positions to the east. Cooney’s experience showed that the only
possible approach to Hill 891 was to flank it from the southeast.
Although the fresh company arrived sometime after 1400, its attack
was held up until about 1600 to await air. Following a strike by two
Corsairs, the howitzers of 3/11 and the regimental 4.2 mortars began
pounding the Chinese positions.

How Company jumped off at about 1615. Two assault platoons, led by
Second Lieutenants Robert D. Reem and Minard P. Newton, descended into
the intervening gulley at the tip of the hairpin curve. During a quick
reorganization in the low ground, machine guns were posted to cover
the ascent. Then the platoons started up towards the enemy-held summit
through companion draws, Harris accompanying Newton’s outfit on the

The powdery soil of the steep slope made climbing difficult and
exhausting. About a hundred yards up, Newton’s platoon began receiving
light fire, followed a few yards farther by a hail of grenades and
machine gun slugs. The Marines inched forward and were stopped by
the Chinese fire. On the right, meanwhile, Reed climbed against
no opposition, so it appeared that the envelopment was working.
Unexpectedly, the two draws converged near the top of the hill, with
the result that the platoons met.

Lieutenant Harris revised his plans by directing Newton, with his left
squad supporting by BAR fire, to lead Reem to the top of the hill. Once
there, Newton was to swing right and Reem left to envelop the Chinese
positions. Newton worked a squad up onto a nose extending out from
the summit. The Chinese replied with a renewed barrage of grenades
and counterattacked Newton’s left. Sergeant Charlie Foster, seeing
apparent victory turning into defeat, lunged forward to break up the
attack. He reached the top and died but the men behind him repulsed the

During the close fighting on the left, Lieutenant Reem had gathered
his squad leaders for instructions preparatory to the final assault on
the right. An enemy grenade fell into the midst of the group, and Reem
was killed as he smothered the explosion with his body. Staff Sergeant
Anthony J. Ricardi took over the platoon.

At about 1800 Harris radioed Roach that his troops were exhausted.
Although it was already dusk, he was bringing up his reserve platoon,
he said, for the Chinese still held the crest in strength. Company
H had taken only eight casualties, but ammunition was low and the
approaching darkness prevented the dispatching of more fresh troops.
The battalion commander relayed the report to Colonel Litzenberg, who
immediately ordered the company to disengage and withdraw. The fighting
descent under cover of a 4.2 mortar and artillery bombardment brought
Company H back within the lines of 3/7 by 2000 with its six wounded and
the body of Lieutenant Reem.

_Disappearance of CCF Remnants_

Darkness on the night of 6 November descended like a cloak over the
124th CCF Division. In the morning the Chinese had vanished. The 3d
Battalion, 7th Marines, encountered no opposition whatever as it
occupied the southern tips of Hills 891 and 987.[287]

    [287] 7thMar _SAR_ 14.

The mysterious disappearance of this unit, following the equally
strange withdrawal of the Chinese Reds who made the first CCF contacts
in the EUSAK zone, aroused no end of speculation. Officers of the
7th Marines believed that enemy losses had been heavy enough for a
disabling effect. This opinion was confirmed the following year when
a Marine Corps Board visited Korea for a special analytical study
of Marine operations of 1950, based on all Army and Marine records
available at that time as well as interviews and interrogations. The
Board concluded that “the 124th CCF Division was estimated to have been
rendered militarily noneffective.”[288]

    [288] _Marine Corps Board Study_ (hereafter _MCB Study_),
          II-C-16. _CCF Army Histories_, 31, states that the 124th
          was in action in west central Korea by the middle of

Following the enemy’s disappearance on the night of 6–7 November, the
7th Marines occupied the southern reaches of Hills 891 and 987 while
reconnoitering to the top of 891. The rest of the day and all the next
was devoted to consolidating positions along the MSR and sending out
patrols in a vain search for the vanished 124th CCF Division.[289]

    [289] 7thMar _SAR_, 14; 3/7 _SAR_, n. p.; Roach Comments, 7 May

On 8 November, General Almond visited the 7th Marines. Upon hearing
of the valor of Captain Cooney at “How Hill,” he awarded that officer
the Silver Star medal on the spot. There being neither pendant nor
citation available, the Corps Commander pinned a slip of paper to
Cooney’s jacket in the brief ceremony. Scrawled on the fragment was the
inscription, “Silver Star Medal for Gallantry in Action--Almond.”[290]

    [290] Earney-Harris-Mooney interv, 20 Oct 55; CG’s Diary in X
          Corps _WD_, 8 Nov 50; Roach Comments, 7 May 56.

While the 7th Marines advanced astride the MSR, a volunteer patrol of
fifteen men, led by First Lieutenant William F. Goggin of 2/7, traced
a lonely, circuitous route in the mountains to the west. Having left
Chinhung-ni at 1200 on 8 November, the scouting party covered some 25
miles through perpendicular wilds during the following 26 hours. This
journey brought it to the Chosin Reservoir plateau at a point just
southwest of Koto-ri.

Lieutenant Goggin, his slight wound the only scar of the patrol’s
single clash with Chinese, radioed Colonel Litzenberg that Koto-ri was
clear of enemy. He then led his party southward, and in the evening of
the 9th, returned through the lines of 3/7.[291]

    [291] 7thMar _SAR_, 13–14; Geer, _The New Breed_, 243–247;
          Goggin interv.

The Marines had been told that big game animals were hunted before
the war in the mountains of northeast Korea. But not until the
otherwise calm night of 9–10 November did a four-legged enemy invade
the positions of RCT-7. Near the cable-car trestle, midway through
Funchilin Pass, an unfriendly bear, no doubt a Russian bear, paid a
nocturnal visit to the 1st Platoon of George Company. An unnamed Marine
PFC, awakened in his sleeping bag, swore afterwards that the animal was
wearing a hammer and sickle emblem. However this may be, the intruder
was routed by his startled yell and disappeared into the night.[292]

    [292] Earney-Harris-Mooney interv, 20 Oct 55.

_Koto-ri Occupied by 7th Marines_

At 0830 on 10 November--the Marine Corps Birthday--the 1st Battalion
passed through the 3d and emerged from Funchilin Pass onto the open
plateau. Koto-ri (designated as Objective One) was occupied without
opposition an hour and a half later. Litzenberg halted his column and
drew up a perimeter around the mountain village.

Upon reaching the Koto-ri plateau the 7th Marines was first to meet a
new enemy who would take a heavier toll in casualties than the Chinese.
This was General Winter, who has won many a historic campaign. When
the first cold blasts struck, “our men were not conditioned for it,”
commented Litzenberg. “The doctors reported numerous cases where the
men came down to the sickbay suffering from what appeared to be shock.
Some of them would come in crying; some of them were extremely nervous;
and the doctors said it was simply the sudden shock of the terrific
cold when they were not ready for it.”[293]

    [293] Litzenberg interv, 27–30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 45.

The Marines recovered quickly after “thawing out,” and platoon warming
tents, heated by camp stoves burning fuel oil, were set up at Koto-ri.
Buckets of steaming water were provided for the warming of “C” rations.

Hot weather, however uncomfortable it may be, is fighting weather
as compared to sub-zero cold which seems to numb the spirit as well
as flesh. Cold weather clothing is a handicap to movement and the
use of firearms; and some weapons, particularly the carbine, are not
dependable at low temperatures. It was probably as well for morale
that the Marines at Koto-ri could not foresee that this was only the
beginning of a prolonged operation in sub-zero weather without a
parallel in the nation’s history.[294]

    [294] Marshall, _CCF in the Attack_. See also FECOM, _Terrain
          Study No. 6_, XIX-8; R. G. Davis Comments; Dowsett
          Comments, 29 May 56; Cdr J. C. Craven, USN, Comments, n.

Until 13 November, when the 7th Marines advanced toward Hagaru, patrols
from Koto-ri repeatedly sighted bands of Chinese in the distance.
Except for a fight on 11 November in which C Company claimed to have
inflicted 40 casualties on the enemy and lost four killed and four
wounded, there was little action. With a little pressure on the
ground or from the air, the enemy vanished, and thus the uneasy calm

    [295] 7th Mar _SAR_, 15–16; CO 7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1400
          10 Nov 50; Litzenberg Comments, 19 Jul 56.


1st Marine Division

October-December 1950


While the 7th Regiment had been fighting, marching, and climbing toward
the Chosin Reservoir in early November, the 5th Marines peacefully
combed the approaches to the Fusen Reservoir to the east. After
detaching 1/5 to Division control on 4 November and stationing 3/5
near Oro-ri, Lieutenant Colonel Murray sent the 2d Battalion into the
Sinhung Valley to relieve the 18th ROK Regiment. The relief took place
at 1145 on the 4th, and Lieutenant Colonel Harold S. Roise deployed 2/5
around a valley junction five miles north and 15 miles east of the then
embattled 7th Marines.[296]

    [296] 2/5 _SAR_, 10; CG 1stMarDiv msgs to CO 5thMar, 1605 and
          2202 3 Nov 50; CG X Corps msg X 11939, 3 Nov 50; CO
          5thMar msg to 2/5, 1/11, A/Engr, ATCo, 4.2″ MCo, 2100 3
          Nov 50; 2/5 _HD_, _Nov 50_, 2.

Roise’s mission was twofold: to block the Sinhung corridor while
determining the strength and disposition of the enemy, if any; and to
check certain northerly routes shown on maps as possibly leading to
either the Fusen or Chosin Reservoirs, or both. Reconnaissance patrols
in squad strength and combat patrols of reinforced platoons and company
size fanned out in a broad arc during 5–9 November. They determined
that no usable route led to either reservoir from the south, but that
the highway continuing northeast from the town of Sinhung, leading
to the 7th Infantry Division’s zone and the Manchurian border, would
carry military traffic. From 7 November, Roise’s troops made daily
contact with Army patrols coming down the highway, but no units tried
to penetrate the apparent screen of enemy defenses close to the Fusen

    [297] 2/5 _SAR_, 10.

Major Merlin R. Olson, 1/5’s Executive Officer, led Companies A and B
on 7 November in a reconnaissance in force to Huksu-ri, that annoying
road junction west of Oro-ri. On the 8th Olson’s force had a running
fight with North Koreans before being recalled while still short of his
objective. Olson’s recall resulted from reports of 2000 North Koreans
moving towards the MSR.[298]

    [298] CO 1/5 tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 1820 8 Nov 50; “Special
          Reconnaissance of the 1st Bn 5thMar, 7–9 Nov 50,” 10 Nov

On 8 November, Company D (Reinf) made an overnight trek deep into a
branch valley northwest of Sinhung, reaching a point about 10 miles due
east of Koto-ri. One CCF soldier was captured while asleep in a house.
He said he belonged to the 126th Division and that Red China would
commit a total of 24 divisions against the UN forces in Korea.[299]

    [299] 2/5 _SAR_, 10, 32.

On 9 November, Colonel Murray received orders to concentrate his
regiment along the MSR leading to the Chosin Reservoir. During the
next two days he deployed the 1st and 3d Battalions at Majon-dong and
Chinhung-ni respectively. The ambush of a Charlie Company patrol on the
10th delayed the departure of 1/5 from the Chigyong area. The patrol
had to be rescued by a battalion attack the next day before the force
could move to Majon-dong.[300] On the 13th while operating out of
Majon-dong a 1/5 patrol ran into 50–150 enemy who inflicted 7 KIA and 3
WIA before withdrawing.[301]

    [300] 1/5 msg to 5thMar, 1956 10 Nov 50; 1/5 _HD_, _Nov 50_, 5;
          5thMar _URpt 4_.

    [301] 5thMar _URpt 4_; 1/5 _HD_, _Nov 50_, 6.

The 2d Battalion moved out of the Sinhung Valley on 13 and 14 November
to relieve the 7th Marines of the responsibility for defending Koto-ri
and thus free Colonel Litzenberg’s regiment for the advance to Hagaru
and the north. Lieutenant Colonel Roise’s battalion had completed its
mission without firing more than a few shots and with a total prisoner
bag of 12 North Koreans and one Chinese.[302]

    [302] 5thMar _SAR_, 12; 5thMar _URpt 4_.

Although the new enemy had seemingly evaporated from the path of the
1st Marine Division, there was good reason to believe that he was not
forsaking his aggressive designs in North Korea. For in addition to
the ominous but questionable predictions of Chinese POWs, eyewitness
accounts of pilots of VMF(N)-542 provided G-2 officers with information
of the gravest portent in early November. The Marine airmen made
nightly strikes from the 1st to the 9th against Sinuiju at the mouth
of the Yalu, and they repeatedly reported a steady stream of trucks
moving into northwest Korea from Antung, Manchuria. Time after time
they blasted Sinuiju with bombs, rockets, and 20mm shells, and though
parts of the city were continuously aflame, it still seethed with
activity. They described southward bound traffic as “heavy,” “very
heavy,” and even “tremendous,” and at least one convoy was reported to
be “gigantic.”[303]

    [303] 1stMAW _SAR_, annex K, appendix I (hereafter VMF(N)-542
          _SAR_), 1–8.


Advance To The Chosin Reservoir

_Attacks on Wonsan-Hungnam MSR--Appraisals of the New Enemy--The
Turning Point of 15 November--Changes in X Corps Mission--Marine
Preparations for Trouble--Supplies Trucked to Hagaru--Confidence of UN
Command--Marine Concentration on MSR_

On 4 November, while RCT-7 was at the height of its fight with the
Chinese, the Division CP displaced from Wonsan to Hungnam. General
Craig, the ADC, who inspected the area on the 2d, recommended the
abandoned Engineering College on the western outskirts as the best
location. During his visit he was shown a knoll outside the city where
the bodies of some 200 Korean civilians were laid out in a perfect row.
All had been victims of the retreating NKPA forces.[304]

    [304] LtGen E. A. Craig, ltr, 20 Feb 56.

A location in Hamhung would have been preferred, but available sites
were already taken by X Corps. General Smith flew to Hungnam by
helicopter and opened the new CP at 1100 on the morning of the 4th.
That evening a train carrying 160 officers and men of Headquarters
Battalion and the Division staff arrived at 2130 from Wonsan. En route
it had been fired on by guerrillas but no casualties resulted.[305]

    [305] HqBn _SAR_, 10–11; Smith, _Notes_, 513–514; CG 1stMarDiv
          msg to Subordinate Units, 2200 3 Nov 50; MajGen E. W.
          Snedeker Comments, 4 May 56.

A perimeter defense, consisting of two outposts and eight machine-gun
positions, was set up to command all likely approaches to the new CP.
Defensive wiring and trip flares were installed, with the gun positions
and outposts being connected by telephone.

During these proceedings everyone was blissfully unaware of the
existence of 250 tons of NKPA high explosive, stored only 600 yards
from the CP in three connecting caves. Undiscovered for a week, this
enemy cache was believed capable of demolishing the command post. A
16-man security detachment was placed on guard until the explosive
could be removed and detonated.[306]

    [306] HqBn _SAR_, 10–11; Smith, _Notes_, 513–514. Some
          explosive, too unstable to be moved, was left in the
          caves. Gen O. P. Smith ltr, 15 Apr 56.

_Attacks on Wonsan-Hungnam MSR_

Protection of the Wonsan-Hungnam MSR took on added importance as
the 1st Marine Division speeded up its move to the north. This
responsibility, it may be recalled, was shared by Division and Corps
on 3 November in accordance with a decision by General Almond. The 1st
Marines and elements of the 1st Tank Battalion maintained security
from Wonsan 15 miles northward to Munchon, while the 1st Battalion of
the 5th Marines was responsible from Hamhung southward to Chigyong.
This left the 54-mile stretch between Chigyong and Munchon without any
protection except the patrols of the Korean CIC agents and the Special
Operations Company, USA, both under Corps control.

On 4 November this company reported that large numbers of North Koreans
were moving into the area to the west. That same afternoon Corps
notified Division that a group of mounted guerrillas had fired on
railway police in the yards at Kowon, 15 miles north of Munchon.[307]

    [307] Smith, _Notes_, 472–473; G-3 _SAR_, 21. The previous day
          an A/Tks patrol had killed an estimated 150 NKs in a
          short fire-fight west of Munchon. 1stTkBn, _SAR_, 12.

On 6 November, immediately after landing at Wonsan, the 65th RCT of
the 3d Infantry Division (less one battalion, placed temporarily under
1st Marine Division control for the Majon-ni operation) was ordered by
Corps to relieve elements of the 96th Field Artillery Battalion, USA,
which had been recently sent to Yonghung. The Army RCT was assigned a
mission of protecting the Yonghung-Kowon area and patrolling to the
west (see map on Page 122).[308]

    [308] CG X Corps msg X12075, 5 Nov 50; Dolcater, _3d Infantry
          Division in Korea_, 69; Smith, _Notes_, 473.

The Wonsan-Hamhung rail line took on special importance after the
announcement that water transportation would be delayed until
enemy mines were cleared from the harbor at Hungnam. This made it
necessary for the 1st Marine Division to send daily supply trains from
Wonsan.[309] The first two completed the run without incident, but
after departing Wonsan at dusk on the 6th the third train was halted
at Kowon by the destruction of rails ahead. North Korean guerrillas
attacked the train, guarded by a lieutenant and 38 men from Company C
of the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion.[310]

    [309] ComNavFE msg to CinCFE, 0010 12 Nov 50.

    [310] The account of the guerrilla attack at Kowon is derived
          from: 1stAmphTracBn _SAR_, 5–6; 1stAmphTracBn _HD_, _Nov
          50_, 3; Statement of Pvt Richard J. Foster, n. d.

The detachment was taken by surprise in the darkness by foes firing
from both sides of the track. When the Marines attempted to reverse the
train, the enemy wounded the engineer and put a hole in the boiler with
grenades. In the darkness the guard became separated into two groups,
the smaller of which was surrounded in a car. The guerrillas fired
through the wooden sides, forcing the Marines to the floor, and threw
grenades through the windows until all ten men were killed or wounded,
only two of them surviving.

The remaining 29 men of the guard made a stand on an embankment about
200 yards from the track. Six Marines were wounded in the ensuing fire
fight. The train guard broke off the action and withdrew to the area of
the Army artillery battalion.

An empty train from Hamhung, guarded by a platoon from Company A of
the Amtracs, was halted at 1700 on the afternoon of 6 November by
railway officials at Yonghung. Reports of guerrilla activity in the
area had proved to be only too well founded when elements of the 96th
Field Artillery Battalion were attacked early that morning. Their
perimeter south of the town was breached with losses to the Army unit
of equipment and ammunition.

The 2d Battalion of the 65th RCT, which arrived at Yonghung late that
afternoon, had its baptism of fire within a few hours. Guerrillas
in estimated strength of 500 to 800 attacked at 0300 on the 7th,
inflicting casualties of six killed and 14 wounded. Troops of the 96th
Field Artillery Battalion also came under attack, as did elements of
the 4th Signal Battalion, USA. Company D of the 1st Tank Battalion
sent a Marine tank and “Weasel” (M-29) to evacuate the wounded with
the assistance of the Amtrac platoon guarding the empty train at

    [311] G-3 _SAR_, 24; 1stTkBn _SAR_, 13.

At 1400 that afternoon the empty train resumed its run to Wonsan.
Only two miles had been covered when the locomotive and six cars were
derailed by a split rail and wrecked just south of Yonghung. Personnel
losses amounted to one man killed and 14 injured.[312]

    [312] The description of this fight at Yonghung is based upon:
          1stAmphTracBn _SAR_, 5–6; 1stAmphTracBn HD, _Nov 50_, 3;
          Dolcater _3d Infantry Division in Korea_, 69; G-3 _SAR_,
          24; X Corps _POR 42_; and _1stMarURpt (S-3) 9_; D/Tks tel
          to G-3 1stMarDiv, 0955 8 Nov 50.

At almost exactly this same hour the fourth supply train was stopped
south of Kowon by a blown section of track. The guard proceeded on
foot to investigate and encountered the depressing spectacle of the
third supply train, abandoned by the enemy after being plundered.
One ammunition car was still burning and in another riddled car the
bodies of the trapped Marines were found. So extensive was the damage
to tracks and switches that rail service could not be resumed until 9

    [313] CO I Co [sic] 1stAmphTracBn tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 2215 7
          Nov 50; Smith, _Notes_, 475–478.

The Corps commander summoned General Smith to Wonsan that morning for
a conference on measures for the security of the rail line. It was
decided that only daytime runs would be made thereafter, with the train
guard increased from 38 to 50 men. The 65th RCT, the 26th ROK Regiment
and a battery of the 96th Field Artillery Battalion were placed under
the temporary control of the 1st Marine Division with a mission of
guarding bridges and other key points.[314]

    [314] Smith, _Notes_, 475–478; CG’s Diary Extracts in X Corps
          _WD_ 7 Nov 50.

General Smith worked out a plan for the ROK regiment to drive the
guerrillas southward from the Chigyong area toward the 65th RCT at
Yonghung. As it proved, elements of both units were given Corps
commitments which prevented this maneuver from being put into effect.
They remained only a few days under nominal Division control, being
used for a variety of security missions along the Wonsan-Hamhung

    [315] Smith, _Notes_, 475–478; CG X Corps msg X12270, 9 Nov 50.

By 9 November, when the Division supply trains resumed their runs,
95 loaded cars had accumulated at Wonsan. The 1st Combat Service
Group continued to route supplies northward from the railhead at the
Wonsan airfield. Corps orders required troops to ride in open gondola

    [316] 1st CSG _SAR_, 8.

_Appraisals of the New Enemy_

It is understandable that an atmosphere of uncertainty should have
enveloped military decisions of this period. With the Joint Chiefs
of Staff and the UN command groping their way through a fog of war,
division commanders in Korea could not be expected to see very far

Disconcerting as it had been to have the Chinese appear in the first
place, it was even more disturbing to have them break off contact and
vanish so inexplicably. Nevertheless, General MacArthur and his staff
had a fairly accurate idea of CCF numbers at this time. On 2 November
the UN command estimated that 16,500 Chinese Communist soldiers had
crossed the Yalu and 450,000 CCF regulars were in Manchuria. Three
days later, Major General Charles A. Willoughby’s intelligence summary
warned that the Chinese had the potential to start a large-scale

    [317] GHQ/UNC msgs 2977 and 2979, 3 and 5 Nov 50, as cited in
          Schnabel, _Korean Conflict_.

General MacArthur, reporting to the United Nations for the first half
of November, stated that 12 CCF divisions had been identified in Korea,
indicating a total of perhaps 100,000 troops. Nine of these units had
appeared on the Eighth Army front and three in the X Corps zone north
of Hamhung.

“At the same time,” the report continued, “United Nations aerial
reconnaissance disclosed heavy troop movements near the border, in
Manchuria, and into Korea.”[318]

    [318] Ninth Report of the United Nations Command Operations
          in Korea, for the Period 1 to 15 November 1950 in Dept
          State, _United Nations Action in Korea_ (Washington,
          1951), 9.

Quite as important as the new enemy’s numbers was the question of
his intentions. Did the CCF divisions consist merely of so-called
volunteers making a demonstration to encourage the beaten _NKPA_
remnants? Or were the Chinese contemplating an all-out military

President Truman asked JCS on 4 November to obtain from General
MacArthur an estimate of the situation.[319] The general’s reply stated
that it was “impossible to authoritatively appraise the actualities of
Chinese Communist intervention in North Korea.” He recommended “...
that a final appraisement should await a more complete accumulation of
military facts.”[320]

    [319] C/S USA msg 95790, 3 Nov 50; Truman _Memoirs_ II, 373.

    [320] Truman, _Memoirs_, II, 373; CinCFE msg C68285, 4 Nov 50.

During the next three days the issue of bombing bridges across the Yalu
posed a question that has remained a controversial subject ever since.
General MacArthur was granted permission, after being at first refused,
but cautioned “that extreme care be taken to avoid violation [of]
Manchurian territory and airspace.”[321]

    [321] CinCFE msg C68396, 6 Nov 50; JCS msg 95949, 6 Nov 50;
          JCS msg 95878, 5 Nov 50; Truman, _Memoirs_, II, 375–376;
          Whitney, _MacArthur_, 405–411.


November 1950


In two messages of 7 November, the UN commander confirmed his original
appraisal to the effect that the Chinese were not making a full-scale
intervention. But he conceded that reinforcements might enable the new
enemy to stop the UN advance or even throw it into reverse. He planned
a resumption of the initiative, he said, in order to take “accurate
measure ... of enemy strength.” And he repeated that the restriction of
his bombing operations provided “a complete sanctuary for hostile air
immediately upon their crossing of the Manchuria-North Korean border.”
This factor, he warned, could “assume decisive proportions....”[322]

    [322] CinCFE msgs C68456 and CX68436, 7 Nov 50; Truman,
          _Memoirs_, II, 377.

On this same date, with the wary phase of UN strategy at its height,
General Almond flew to Hungnam to confer with General Smith. The X
Corps commander still wore another hat as General MacArthur’s chief of
staff; and though he could not function actively in this position, he
kept in close touch with strategic aims at Tokyo. Thus the cautious
spirit of the UN commander’s messages of 7 November was reflected in
Almond’s changed viewpoint. Where he had previously urged haste in the
X Corps drive to the border, he was now disposed to put on the brakes
and carry out that mission with less scattering of forces.

The prospect of a winter campaign was discussed, and the Marine general
recommended that only enough territory be held for the security of
Hamhung, Hungnam and Wonsan. Almond believed that Hagaru should also
be included, but he agreed that a greater degree of concentration was

    [323] Smith, _Notes_, 552–553.

As day after day passed without further CCF contacts of importance,
however, operations again took on the character of an occupation rather
than a drive which might end in a collision with a powerful new enemy.

X Corps OpnO 6, issued at 2400 on 11 November, called for an advance
to the border by I ROK Corps on the right, the 7th Infantry Division
in the center and the 1st Marine Division on the left. The 3d Infantry
Division, with the 26th ROK Regiment attached, was to have the
responsibility for the Wonsan-Yonghung area after relieving elements
of the 1st Marine Division; the Marines were directed to take blocking
positions at Huksu-ri and Yudam-ni. In the Corps rear, the 1st KMC
Regiment (-) had a zone to the south and west of Kojo.

The Marine zone on the Yalu, about 40 miles in width, was approached
and bounded by two roads branching off from the Changjin area. One of
them ended at Huchanggangu and the other at Singalpajin. From that
point the zone of the 7th Infantry Division extended east to Hyesanjin
(where the border turns north at a right angle) and thence again
eastward to the Hapsu area. I ROK Corps was to operate from the line
Hapsu-Chuchonhujang and drive northward along the coast with Chongjin
as an objective.[324]

    [324] X Corps _OpnO 6_, 11 Nov 50.

Such a dispersion of forces, depending for supplies on poor secondary
roads through wild mountain regions, could hardly have been
contemplated if large-scale CCF opposition were expected. As a further
indication of renewed confidence, General MacArthur asked informally
and indirectly that X Corps do everything possible to assist the Eighth
Army in its drive to the Yalu. This request was conveyed in a personal
letter of 11 November from General Wright, G-3 of FECOM, to the Corps

    [325] _X Corps Special Report on Chosin Reservoir, 27 Nov to 10
          Dec 50, 9_; X Corps _WDSum, Nov 50_, 5.

_The Turning Point of 15 November_

The date of General Almond’s reply, the 15th, is worthy of recognition
as a turning point. For it was also the occasion of messages from the
UN commander-in-chief and the commanding general of the 1st Marine
Division which had an effect on strategy. Indeed, the entire course
of the Chosin Reservoir campaign was channeled into new directions as
a result of the concepts advanced in these three communications of 15
November 1950.

Obviously the gap of 80 miles separating the Eighth Army from X Corps
would have to be reduced before much help could be given by the latter.
General Almond replied to General Wright in a letter proposing that X
Corps attack to the west of the Chosin Reservoir while also continuing
to advance northward in zone to complete its original mission.

That same day, while the letter was en route to Tokyo, General
MacArthur came to a far-reaching decision. In a radio message he
directed the X Corps commander to develop, as an alternative to
OpnO 6, a plan for reorienting his attack to the west on reaching
Changjin in order to cut the Chinese MSR, as represented by the
Manpojin-Kanggye-Huichon road and rail line.

This was the first indicated change in mission, according to the X
Corps command report, since CinCFE’s directive late in October calling
for a drive to the border. The amendment “was made necessary,” the
report continued, “by the enemy build-up in front of the Eighth Army
and the fact that the enemy action had halted the first attempt ...
to advance Eighth Army to the border. An estimate of the Eighth
Army situation ... fixed the relative combat power as 100,000 UN to
100,000 enemy with UN forces having air superiority and superior
artillery support.... The enemy was given an offensive capacity which
he could implement with an estimated reserve of 140,000 CCF troops
north of the Yalu River. In view of the enemy’s offensive capacity,
Eighth Army adopted a conservative plan to make a general advance
with the main effort in the center generally parallel to the enemy
MSR (Huichon-Kanggye). This course of action was designed to meet any
course of action which might be adopted by the enemy. To assist the
Eighth Army advance, X Corps was to initiate a main attack to the West
from the Chosin Reservoir area, cutting the enemy MSR at Mupyong-ni,
and advance in a northwesterly direction to the Yalu River line at

    [326] X Corps _WD Sum, Nov 50_, 4–5.

By a coincidence it was also on Wednesday, 15 November, that General
Smith wrote a letter which foreshadowed future military events.
Addressed to General Clifton B. Cates, Commandant of the Marine Corps,
this communication made it plain that the 1st Marine Division commander
and his staff did not share in the renewed optimism as to the course
of the UN war effort. Not only did the Marines accept the possibility
of imminent and formidable CCF intervention, but they were making
preparations to meet it.

  So far our MSR north of Hamhung has not been molested, but there is
  evidence that this situation will not continue....

  Someone in high authority will have to make up his mind as to
  what is our goal. My mission is still to advance to the border.
  The Eighth Army, 80 miles to the southwest, will not attack until
  the 20th. Manifestly, we should not push on without regard to the
  Eighth Army. We would simply get further out on a limb. If the
  Eighth Army push does not go, then the decision will have to be
  made as to what to do next. I believe a winter campaign in the
  mountains of North Korea is too much to ask of the American soldier
  or marine, and I doubt the feasibility of supplying troops in this
  area during the winter or providing for the evacuation of sick and

The letter mentioned such preparations as the work done by Marine
engineers to strengthen the Hamhung-Hagaru road for tanks and heavy
vehicles. Plans had been approved, added General Smith, for an airstrip
at Hagaru capable of landing cargo planes for resupply and casualty

He emphasized that he did not mean to be pessimistic. “Our people are
doing a creditable job,” he said; “their spirit is fine, and they will
continue to do a fine job.” But in conclusion he reiterated his doubts
about his “wide open left flank” and his concern over “the prospect of
stringing out a Marine division along a single mountain road for 120
air miles from Hamhung to the border.”[327]

    [327] MajGen O. P. Smith ltr to Gen C. B. Cates, 15 Nov 50. Gen
          Almond comments: “I am very mindful of the skepticism of
          General Smith in all of the supply plans that X Corps
          conceived and I sympathize with his viewpoint very
          thoroughly. However, in my mind there was always the
          assistance to be gained by air supply either drop or
          landing them and the counterpart of that, the evacuation
          to be expected by plane from the air field that we were
          to build.” Almond ltr, 22 Jun 56.

General Smith had no more than finished dictating his letter when two
Navy officers called at the CP--Rear Admiral Albert K. Morehouse,
chief of staff to Admiral Joy, and Captain Norman W. Sears, chief of
staff to Admiral Doyle. Both were old acquaintances of the Marine
general, who had led the assault landing force on Peleliu in 1944 while
Sears commanded an LST group. Smith felt that he could speak frankly,
therefore, and expressed his concern over the aspects of the strategic
situation he had discussed in the letter.[328]

    [328] Smith, _Chronicle_, 31.

CinCFE had requested in his message of the 1st that the plan for
reorienting the X Corps attack be submitted to him as an alternative to
OpnO 6. General Almond put his staff to work on the 16th, and that same
day Draft No. 1, of OpnO Plan 8 was completed. This was a concept of an
attack on Kanggye by means of a drive westward from Changjin.[329]

    [329] This section is based on: X Corps _Special Report, Chosin
          Reservoir_, 9; and X Corps _WDSum, Nov 50_, 5–6, 51–52.

_Changes in X Corps Mission_

Almond disapproved the first draft on the grounds that the MSR of the
Corps element making the effort would be too far extended. He requested
the preparation of a new plan based on the concept of an advance
farther south on the Hagaru-Mupyong-ni axis and west of the zone of the
1st Marine Division. The X Corps commander also directed:

  (1) That the Hamhung-Hagaru road be developed as a Corps MSR with
  intensive effort on the part of Corps troops, including Corps

  (2) That an RCT of the 7th Division be assigned the mission of
  seizing Changjin in order to protect the right flank of the 1st
  Marine Division.

The Corps commander considered that Changjin and Mupyong-ni were too
widely separated as objectives to be assigned to a single division,
not to mention the difficult terrain. His staff worked for four days
on Draft No. 2 of OpnO Plan 8 before submitting it to him. He accepted
it with several modifications and directed that the third draft be
taken to Tokyo by Lieutenant Colonel John H. Chiles, the Corps G-3, for
presentation to GHQ.

_Marine Preparations for Trouble_

General Smith, for his part, lost no time in putting into effect his
preparations for trouble in the shape of a formidable CCF attack. The
completion of mine clearance at Hungnam had opened that port on 15
November, thus easing the transportation situation. That same day the
7th Marines occupied Hagaru, being greeted by a temperature of four
degrees below zero which threatened an early and bleak winter.

Only four days previously, X Corps OpnO No. 6 had directed the 1st
Marine Division to take up blocking positions to the west, at Huksu-ri
and Yudam-ni, while continuing the northward advance to the Yalu. This
meant a further dispersion at a time when Smith hoped to reduce the 163
road miles separating his infantry battalions.

In order to carry out the Corps directives, Division OpnO 21-50 of 13
November assigned the following tasks:

   RCT-1--to seize Huksu-ri;

   RCT-7--to seize Hagaru, and, on order, to seize Yudam-ni;

   RCT-5--to protect the MSR from positions at Majon-dong,
          Chinhung-ni and Koto-ri, while preparing to pass through
          RCT-7 in the Hagaru area and advance to Changjin
          (approximately 40 miles northward);

   Division Reconnaissance Company--to screen the Division right
          flank by operating in the Soyang-ni-Sinhung valley to the
          east Division boundary.[330]

    [330] 1stMarDiv _OpnO 21-50_, 13 Nov 50. The orders for the
          seizure of Hagaru and the 5th Mar’s movement of a
          battalion to Koto-ri had been issued in CG 1stMarDiv
          FragO, 2130 12 Nov 50. Hagaru was occupied without a
          fight at 1300 on the 14th. CO 7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv,
          1437 14 Nov 50.

In connection with the mission of RCT-7, the words “on order” deserve
special notice. For the commanding officer was directed by Smith’s
oral instructions to take up blocking positions at Toktong Pass, about
halfway between Hagaru and Yudam-ni, until additional units of the
Division could be moved up to the Hagaru area. In other words, the
Division commander believed that the possibilities of large-scale
CCF intervention were such as to justify caution in the drive to

    [331] Smith, _Notes_, 592–594.

Not only would the concentration of the Marine units ease General
Smith’s concern over the tactical situation; it would also greatly
simplify the administrative load. Colonel Bowser has commented,
“Division was faced with the problem of handling a division scattered
from Wonsan and Majon-ni in the south to the heavy engagement of the
7th Mar in the north. Add to this the problem of guerrilla bandits
between Wonsan and Hungnam/Hamhung as well as a completely unknown
situation to the West, and you have a task of considerable magnitude
for any division staff.”[332]

    [332] Bowser Comments.

RCT-1 was delayed several days by lack of railway facilities in its
move 70 miles northward to Chigyong after being relieved in the Wonsan
area by the 3d Infantry Division.[333] But most of the other Marine
units had been pulled up--a battalion or even a company at a time--as
far as the Hungnam area. Along the new MSR north of Hamhung, the column
of advance on 15 November consisted of these units:

    [333] 1stMar _SAR_, 13.


   Koto-ri--2d Battalion, RCT-5;

   Chinhung-ni--3d Battalion, RCT-5; Battery K, 4th Battalion,
      11th Marines; Detachment 1st Ordnance Battalion; Detachment
      1st Service Battalion; 1st and 2nd Platoons, Company A, 1st
      Engineer Battalion; Company B (less 3d Platoon), 1st Engineer

   Majon-dong--1st Battalion RCT-5; Company D, 1st Tank Battalion.

The Division command and staff took a dim view of the possibility of
completing “the race to the Yalu” before winter. It was already too
late, if sub-zero temperatures were any indication; and preparations
must now be made for tactical and logistical support of a midwinter
campaign in the mountains. Among the most essential provisions were the
selection of a forward base, the construction of airstrips along the
MSR, and the strengthening of the road to make it fit for tanks and
heavy vehicles.

Hagaru, at the foot of the Chosin Reservoir, had been recommended by
General Craig as the best location for a forward base when he visited
here on the 15th. The commanding generals of the Division and Wing
arrived for a tour of inspection the next day. General Harris made
the trip at the express request of General Almond, who believed that
a strip long enough to land R4Ds was necessary to insure resupply
and casualty evacuation in a midwinter emergency. One of the few
comparatively flat pieces of real estate in northeast Korea was found
just south of the town. The black loam promised to make a hard surface
in freezing weather, so that the prevailing arctic temperatures offered
at least one consolation.[334]

    [334] Smith, _Notes_, 614; LtGen F. Harris ltr, 24 Aug 56.

An OY strip had been completed on 13 November at Koto-ri, but heavier
engineer equipment was needed at Hagaru. Before it could be brought
forward, the road from Chinhung-ni to Koto-ri required strengthening
and widening. This task had already been assigned to Lieutenant Colonel
Partridge, commanding the 1st Engineer Battalion. After a survey by
jeep, he decided to begin operations at the highest point of the
one-way dirt road.

“By working down,” he explained, “we could first of all provide for
what we considered to be a dangerous accumulation of snow, and the
problem of land slides.... The work on the road involved a good bit
of drainage in order to insure that the melting snows from day to day
during the sunlight hours would not filter across and destroy the road
bed. It involved demolitions and drilling and a good deal of dozer and
grader work.”[335]

    [335] LtCol J. H. Partridge interv by HistDiv, HQMC, 25 Jun 51,

Enough progress had been made by 18 November so that armor could be
sent forward to support RCT-7. Only the day before, the 1st Tank
Battalion had begun functioning with its Headquarters and Service
Companies at Soyang-ni, eight miles northwest of Hamhung. The road
between Chinhung-ni and Koto-ri was still impassable for M-26
(Pershing) tanks until the engineers could widen some of the turns. But
Lieutenant Colonel Harry T. Milne, the battalion commander, organized
a provisional tank platoon consisting of two M4A3 (Sherman) tanks from
Headquarters Company and four dozer tanks from Company D at Majon-dong.
They proceeded without incident on the 18th to Hagaru, operating as a
gun platoon.[336]

    [336] 1stTkBn _SAR_, 18. 1stEngrBn had been ordered to prepare
          the MSR for tank use on 6 Nov. CG 1stMarDiv msg to CO
          1stEngrBn, 1530 6 Nov 50.

Opening the mountain road to heavy traffic made it possible on the
18th to begin work on the Hagaru airstrip. Five large dozers with pans
of eight cubic yards capacity arrived at the site the next day, and
Company D of the 1st Engineer Battalion tackled the job of hacking out
a runway from ground frozen as hard as granite. Plans called for a cut
of 90,000 cubic yards and a fill of 60,000 for a 3200-foot runway. The
rub was that engineering field manuals prescribed a runway of 3600 feet
for R4Ds or C-47s at sea level, plus an additional 1000 feet for each
1000 feet of altitude. And since Hagaru was about 4000 feet above sea
level, it could only be hoped that pilots were right in estimating that
a strip of 3000 to 4500 feet might do in a pinch.[337]

    [337] CG 1stMarDiv msg to CG X Corps, 1229 18 Nov 50; Partridge
          interv, 25 Jun 51, 39–40.

The 19th also dated the establishment of the Supply Regulating Station
at Hagaru for the purpose of building up stockpiles. Prior to this
time, the 1st Service and 1st Ordnance Battalions had been in charge
of division dumps at Hamhung. Supplies arrived by rail after being
unloaded from the ships at Wonsan by the 1st Shore Party Battalion and
the 1st Combat Service Group.

The completion of mine clearance made it possible to order the latter
organization to Hungnam by sea to operate in-transit depots for X
Corps. Practically all Division supplies were soon being received by
sea at this port, where the 1st Combat Service Group separated the
incoming cargo into proper classifications and forwarded it to the
dumps at Hamhung. Port operation was the responsibility of the 2d
Engineer Special Brigade, USA. After the project got into full swing,
from 2000 to 2500 Korean laborers were employed at Hungnam and as many
as 6000 tons of cargo unloaded in 24 hours.[338]

    [338] Kenneth W. Condit, “Marine Supply in Korea,” _Marine
          Corps Gazette_, xxxvii, no. 1 (Jan 53), 53–54.

A limited amount of rolling stock was available for the narrow-gauge
railway from Hungnam to Chinhung-ni. But it was up to the Marines
to put the line back into operation, for the X Corps Railway
Transportation Section already had its hands full with the
Wonsan-Hamhung route. The 1st Service Battalion was authorized to make
the attempt, and enough Korean crews were rounded up to operate the
trains. Chinhung-ni thus became the railhead for supplies tracked the
rest of the way to Hagaru.[339]

    [339] _Ibid._

Preparations were also made for large-scale casualty evacuation to the
Division hospital at Hungnam. H&S, A and B Companies of the 1st Medical
Battalion remained there to set up the Division hospital while D, C
and E Companies were attached to RCTs 1, 5 and 7 respectively. As the
Division center of gravity shifted northward, medical officers foresaw
the need of a hospital-type facility at Hagaru in addition to the
clearing stations contemplated at Koto-ri and Chinhung-ni. Plans were
approved, therefore, for Companies C and E to pool their resources at
Hagaru and establish a medical supply dump. Additional surgical teams
were to be flown to Hagaru in an emergency by Companies A and B from
the hospital at Hungnam.

Meanwhile the hospital ship _Consolation_, commanded by Captain John
W. McElroy, USNR, prepared to move from Wonsan to Hungnam. There the
Division hospital had been enlarged to 400 beds, and an additional 100
to 150 were planned for the new annex at Hamhung. In order to speed up
casualty evacuation, several heated railway cars were equipped for that
purpose on the 35-mile narrow-gauge line from Chinhung-ni.[340]

    [340] CG 1stMarDiv msg to Subordinate Units, 2345 20 Nov 50;
          1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex HH (hereafter 1stMedBn _SAR_), 4–7.

_Supplies Trucked to Hagaru_

Provisions for the advance of RCT-5 east of the Chosin Reservoir were
included in Division OpnO 22-50, issued at 0800 on 17 November. As a
preliminary, RCT-7 was given a two-fold mission: (1) to protect the
Division left flank between Hagaru and Yudam-ni with a minimum of a
battalion; and (2) to relieve elements of RCT-5 and protect the MSR in
zone from positions in the vicinity of Hagaru, Koto-ri and Chinhung-ni.

RCT-5 was assigned these missions: (1) to pass a minimum of a battalion
through RCT-7 at Hagaru; (2) to move up the east side of the Chosin
Reservoir and seize Sinhung-ni, about 7 miles northeast of Hagaru; and
(3), on order, to seize the road junction at Kyolmul-ni, some 20 miles
north of Hagaru.

Division Reconnaissance Company was to screen the left flank of the MSR
in the vicinity of Majon-dong, and the 11th Marines to maintain its 4th
Battalion in that area prepared for employment in the north on order.

OpnO 22-50 directed the Supply Regulating Detachment (1) to establish
a truckhead at Hagaru after taking over and consolidating the dumps of
RCT-7; (2) to control traffic between Koto-ri and Chinhung-ni; and (3)
to support RCTs 5 and 7, with priority to RCT-5. The following supply
levels were fixed:

   Classes I and III, five days;

   Class V, 1 Unit of fire;

   Classes II and IV, as required for all troops operating to the
      north and west of Koto-ri.[341]

    [341] 1stMarDiv _OpnO 22-50_, 17 Nov 50.

Although the advance westward to Huksu-ri remained the mission of
RCT-1, the shortage of rail and motor transport slowed the movement
from Wonsan to Chigyong. The last elements had not arrived on the
18th when Corps asked and received the consent of Division to the
employment of the 26th ROK Regiment for the attack on Huksu-ri, with
the understanding that the objective would be turned over to RCT-1 at
a later date. On the morning of the 19th the ROK unit left Chigyong to
execute its mission.[342]

    [342] 1stMar _SAR_, 12; G-3 X Corps tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 1220
          18 Nov 50; 26thROK msg to 3dInfDiv, 1030 19 Nov 50.

Two days later RCT-1 was relieved of this responsibility when Corps
verbally notified Division that Huksu-ri had been placed within the
modified boundary of the 3d Infantry Division. This was confirmed
the next day by X Corps OI 17, which also directed the Division to
establish blocking positions at Yudam-ni.[343]

    [343] Smith, _Notes_, 638–639; X Corps _OI 17_, 22 Nov 50. See
          also G-3 X Corps tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 1850 20 Nov 50, in
          G-3 Journal, X Corps _WD_, 20 Nov 50.

Up to this time General Smith had not been able to make much progress
toward Yudam-ni without dispersing his units to an extent which he
regarded as imprudent. But with the availability of RCT-1 to occupy
positions on the MSR behind the other two infantry regiments, he could
now push ahead.

As an added factor, the 1st Marine Division had just acquired a new
unit. Early in November Admiral Joy had inquired if General Smith could
use the 41st Independent Commando, Royal Marines. This British unit
of 14 officers and 221 enlisted men, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel
Douglas B. Drysdale, and attached to ComNavFE in Japan, had requested
service with the U. S. Marines. Smith replied that he would be glad to
have these fine troops. Highly trained in reconnaissance, they could
operate with the Division Reconnaissance Company in protecting the
flank of the Marine advance. The British Marines arrived at Hungnam on
the 20th and reported to the 1st Marine Division.[344]

    [344] Smith, _Notes_, 638–639; 1stMarDiv _POR 164_.

Division OpnO 23-50, issued at 0800 on the 23d, directed the Commandos
to locate and destroy enemy forces on the left flank, ranging as far as
13 miles west of Koto-ri. It was hoped that the British unit and the
Division Reconnaissance Company might flush out CCF troops beyond the
reach of routine infantry patrols. Other tasks assigned to elements of
the Division were as follows:

   RCT-7--to seize Yudam-ni and maintain one battalion in that

   RCT-5--to seize Kyolmul-li (20 miles north of Hagaru) and be
          prepared to seize Toksil-li (10 miles northwest of
          Kyolmul-li) and Tuan-di (15 miles northeast of Kyolmul-li)
          on order;

   RCT-1--to relieve elements of RCT-7 in the vicinity of Hagaru and
          Koto-ri and protect the Division MSR from positions in the
          vicinity of Hagaru, Koto-ri and Chinhung-ni;

   1st Tank Battalion (less detachments)--to protect the MSR from
          positions in the vicinity of Majon-dong and Soyang-ni;

   1st Engineer Battalion--to support Division operations with
          priority to the maintenance of the MSR and construction of
          the airfield at Hagaru.

OpnO 23-50 also provided that the Supply Regulating Station Detachment
continue operation of the truckhead at Hagaru and stock supplies at
the following levels: Classes I and III, 8 days; Classes II and IV, as
required; and Class V, one and one-third U/F for all troops operating
to the north and west of Chinhung-ni.[345]

    [345] 1stMarDiv _OpnO 23-50_, 23 Nov 50.

The trucking facilities of the Division had been strained to the
limit ever since the Wonsan landing. Shortly afterwards the bulk of
the 7th Motor transport Battalion was taken under the operational
control of X Corps, and it became necessary to attach the 1st Motor
Transport Battalion to RCT-7. On 19 November, however, the 1st MT (less
detachments) had passed to the control of the 1st Supply Regulating
Detachment at Hagaru. There the truckers not only built up the
stockpile of supplies but rendered the best support that units of the
division had known so far along the MSR.[346]

    [346] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex II (hereafter 1st MTBn _SAR_), 4,
          7; 7th MTBn _SAR_, 2–3.

_Confidence of UN Command_

General MacArthur did not appear to be shaken by EUSAK G-2 reports
during the third week of November which called attention to a
formidable CCF build-up on both sides of the Yalu. On the contrary,
a UN order of the 20th, giving directions for the conduct of troops
at the border, indicated that an occupation rather than a fight was

  Elements of minimum size only will be advanced to the immediate
  vicinity of the geographical boundary of Korea. No troops or
  vehicles will go beyond the boundary between Korea and Manchuria,
  or between Korea and the USSR, nor will fire be exchanged with, or
  air strikes be requested on forces north of the northern boundary
  of Korea. Rigid control of troop movements in vicinity of northern
  boundary will be exercised. _Damage, destruction or disruption of
  service of power plants will be avoided._ No personnel, military
  or civilian, will be permitted to enter or leave Korea via the
  Manchurian or USSR border. Commanders will insure that the sanctity
  of the international border is meticulously preserved.[347]

    [347] CG X Corps msg X12811, 20 Nov 50. Italics added.

The italicized sentence emphasizes an assumption which had made
converts in high State Department as well as Defense circles in
Washington. The Chinese, according to this conjecture, were concerned
chiefly with defending their Manchurian frontier and guarding the power
complexes along the Yalu. As evidence, it was pointed out that early in
November the Sinuiju radio described the CCF troops crossing the river
as a “volunteer corps” for the protection of the hydro-electric plants
along the Yalu serving Mukden, Dairen and Port Arthur. Proceeding from
this premise, it was a logical conclusion that if no provocation were
given these forces, a large-scale fight might be avoided.[348]

    [348] See Memo Chairman JCS to SecDef: “Chinese Communists
          Intervention in Korea,” 9 Nov 50; and Truman, _Memoirs_,
          II, 372.

General MacArthur, after receiving a qualified permission to bomb the
Yalu bridges, had enjoined UN airmen not to violate territory or air
space on the other side of the river. This meant that the bomber crews
must take much greater risks, since their restricted axes of approach
and flight paths were known to enemy antiaircraft gunners in advance.
Moreover, CCF jet fighters could attack and retire to the sanctuary of
Manchuria when hard-pressed.[349]

    [349] JCS msg 95949, 6 Nov 50; CinCFE msg CX 68411, 7 Nov 50;
          Schnabel, _Korean Conflict_. See also Karig, _Korea_,

Despite these handicaps, Air Force and Navy bombers knocked out four of
the twelve international bridges and damaged most of the others. These
efforts doubtless imposed delays, but troops and supplies continued
to cross throughout November.[350] After arrival in North Korea, they
seemed to vanish into that void of mystery which had swallowed up
Chinese Communist troops ever since they broke off contact.

    [350] Schnabel _Korean Conflict_. Bombing of the bridges ceased
          6 December with the freezing of the Yalu. OCMH, _Report
          from the Secretory of Defense ... on Operations in
          Korea_, (Draft No. 1), Pt. V, 3–4.

Students of history may have recalled at this time that one of the most
significant engagements of modern history was known as the Battle of
the Yalu. From a tactical viewpoint, to be sure, the clash of 30 April
1904 was not a great affair. The Japanese army, after disembarking at
Chemulpo (Inchon) and marching up the Korean peninsula, numbered five
times the Russian force which opposed the crossing of the Yalu at Uiji,
just east of Sinuiju. A Japanese victory was doubtless to be expected,
yet a new page of history had opened. For the first time in modern
chronicles, an Asiatic army had successfully challenged a European army
with the weapons and tactics of the Machine Age.

Now, nearly half a century later, history was repeating itself as
another Asiatic army crossed the Yalu with unknown capabilities and
intentions. If the Chinese Communists were merely sending a force to
guard the hydro-electric complexes and frontier, hopes of peace by
Christmas might be realized. But if the invaders were secretly massing
for an all-out counter-offensive, a great new war might soon be flaming
up from the ashes of the old.

Little fault can be found with current G-2 estimates of CCF numbers,
which hold up surprisingly well even when viewed with the wisdom of
hindsight. Quite as much depended on interpretations of CCF intentions
by the UN command, and there can be no doubt that an end-of-the-war
atmosphere prevailed on the eve of the Eighth Army offensive of 24

Thanksgiving Day, which fell on the 23d, was celebrated both in Korea
and the United States in a spirit of rejoicing over a victorious
peace which seemed almost within grasp. It was a tribute to American
bounty as well as organizational genius that the troops in Korea were
served a dinner which would have done credit to a first-rate Stateside
restaurant. The menu, as proposed by X Corps to component units,
included shrimp cocktail, stuffed olives, roast young tom turkey with
cranberry sauce, candied sweet potatoes, fruit salad, fruit cake, mince
pie and coffee.[351]

    [351] X Corps ltr to Subordinate Commands, 16 Nov 50.

As an item of good news for this Thanksgiving, it was learned the
day before that the 17th Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division had
reached the Yalu at Hyesanjin. Not a single Chinese soldier had
been encountered by troops who had troubles enough with sub-zero
temperatures and mountain roads.[352]

    [352] This was the only American unit ever to push as far north
          as the border. On the Eighth Army front a regiment of the
          6th ROK Division reached the Yalu on 26 October, only to
          be cut off and badly mauled a few days later in the first
          CCF attacks. EUSAK, _WDSum, Oct 50_, 38, 44.

Since the first week of November, in fact, there had been no clashes of
any importance with the invaders from Red China. On the 24th, as usual,
the front was quiet everywhere except for minor patrol contacts. Yet
this was the D-day of the great Eighth Army offensive, and the stirring
communique of the commander-in-chief was read to all troops in Korea.
It was a message in the bold spirit of Inchon, and no one could doubt
the confidence of the UN command after hearing these words:

  The United Nations massive compression envelopment in North Korea
  against the new Red Armies operating there is now approaching its
  decisive effort. The isolating component of the pincer, our air
  forces of all types, have for the past three weeks, in a sustained
  attack of model coordination and effectiveness, successfully
  interdicted enemy lines of support from the north so that further
  reinforcement therefrom has been sharply curtailed and essential
  supplies markedly limited. The eastern sector of the pincer, with
  noteworthy and effective naval support, has now reached commanding
  enveloping position, cutting in two the northern reaches of the
  enemy’s geographical potential. This morning the western sector
  of the pincer moves forward in general assault in an effort to
  complete the compression and close the vise. If successful, this
  should for all practical purposes end the war, restore peace and
  unity to Korea, enable the prompt withdrawal of United Nations
  military forces, and permit the complete assumption by the Korean
  people and nation of full sovereignty and international equality.
  It is that for which we fight.[353]

                                        /s/ DOUGLAS MACARTHUR,
                                              _General of the Army_,
                                                 _United States Army_,

    [353] CinCUNC Communique 12, 24 Nov 50.

Eighth Army troops found it something of an anticlimax, after this
message, to jump off without meeting any large-scale opposition.
General MacArthur, who flew to the front for the occasion, watched from
his plane as the UN columns moved out unmolested, as if conducting a
motor march.

“The Army offensive began, as scheduled, at 1000 hours on 24 November,”
said the EUSAK report. “Since for some time there had been little
contact with enemy forces the advance of EUSAK elements was in the
nature of a meeting engagement, with little or no resistance in the
initial stage. Across the Eighth Army front as a whole, advances were
made from 4000 to 16,000 yards.”[354]

    [354] EUSAK _WD_, 24 Nov 50.

_Marine Concentration on MSR_

On this same day Lieutenant Colonel Chiles presented X Corps OpnPlan 8,
Draft 3, at Tokyo. It was approved at UNC Headquarters with only one
modification--the shifting of the proposed boundary between X Corps and
Eighth Army farther to the south in the zone of the 1st Marine Division.

This plan was the basis of X Corps OpnO 7. Issued on the 25th, it
provided for a reorientation of the X Corps attack to provide more
assistance for Eighth Army. H-hour was to be 0800 on the 27th, and the
principal units of X Corps were assigned these tasks:

  1st Marine Division--to seize Mupyong-ni and advance to the Yalu;

  7th Infantry Division--(1) to attack from east side of Chosin
  Reservoir and advance to Yalu in zone; (2) to secure Pungsan area,
  coordinating with 1 ROK Corps;

  1 ROK Corps--to advance from Hapsu and Chongjin areas, destroying
  enemy in zone to north boundary of Korea;

  3rd Infantry Division--(1) to gain and maintain contact with the
  right flank of Eighth Army in zone; (2) to protect the left flank
  of X Corps; (3) to support the 1st Marine Division on X Corps
  order; (4) to protect harbor and airfield at Wonsan; (5) to destroy
  enemy guerrillas in zone.[355]

    [355] X Corps _OpnO 7_, 25 Nov. 50.

A Corps warning order, issued on the evening of the 24th, was
supplemented by a briefing session at Corps Headquarters at 1000 the
next morning. General Smith learned that his division was to be the
northern arm of the pincers in the “massive compression envelopment”
while the 7th Infantry Division took over the previous Marine mission
of advancing east of the Chosin Reservoir to the Yalu.[356]

    [356] CG X Corps msg X 13069, 24 Nov 50; CG’s Diary in X Corps
          _WD_, 25 Nov 50; Smith, _Notes_, 727.

The new Marine boundary cut across Korea to the north of Eighth Army.
From Yudam-ni the Marine route of advance led to Mupyong-ni 55 miles to
the west. This objective was about halfway between Huichon in the south
and Kanggye in the north (see map, Page 130). From the latter, which
was believed to be the assembly area of the NKPA remnants, a good road
led about 40 miles north to Manpojin on the Yalu.

In accordance with Corps OpnO 7, the rear boundary of the 1st Marine
Division had been moved north to a line just south of Hagaru. The 3d
Infantry Division had the responsibility for the area south of Hagaru,
but this unit had so many other commitments that it could assign few
troops to the task. General Smith was granted permission, therefore,
to retain garrisons at Koto-ri and Chinhung-ni. This left the 3d
Infantry Division responsible for the protection of the MSR from Sudong
southward to Hamhung.[357]

    [357] Smith, _Notes_, 727–729.

Corps OpnO 7, in short, provided for a wide envelopment to be
spearheaded by the 1st Marine Division on 27 November. The other arm
of the pincers, of course, was to be the Eighth Army; but on the
evening of the 25th came the disturbing news that its right wing, the
II ROK Corps, had been hurled back by a surprise CCF counterstroke.
This reverse took place in the vicinity of Tokchon, about 70 air miles
southwest of Yudam-ni.[358]

    [358] _Ibid._, 728; EUSAK _WD_, 26 Nov 50.

EUSAK intelligence reports, as it proved, were not far off the mark in
estimating enemy strength on the Eighth Army front at 149,741 troops
at this time.[359] During the past few days, however, estimates of
probable enemy courses of action had been so reassuring as to justify
the confidence of CinCFE’s communique on D-day. Even the setback of the
25th was not regarded as alarming.

    [359] It is interesting to note that this is an increase of
          95,741 over EUSAK’s estimate of the day before. EUSAK
          _PIR 136_, encl. 2, 3, in EUSAK _WD_, 25 Nov 50.

“With the possible exception of the relatively vague situation on the
east flank,” said the next day’s G-2 report, “the enemy reaction to the
EUSAK attack has been one of active defense with local counterattacks
in strength.” The enemy’s probable course of action was believed to be
“an active defense in depth along present lines employing strong local
counterattacks in conjunction with continued guerrilla activities with
bypassed units; limited air activity; and further reinforcement by CCF
or USSR forces.”[360]

    [360] EUSAK _PIR 137_, 4, and encl 4, 3, in EUSAK _WD_, 26 Nov

On the X Corps front the reorientation of the attack to the west gave
General Smith a long-sought opportunity to collect his dispersed units
and achieve a relative degree of concentration. The release of RCT-1
from its Huksu-ri mission made it possible to bring that infantry
regiment up behind the other two. This move in turn enabled RCT-5 to
advance east of the Chosin Reservoir and RCT-7 to push on to Yudam-ni.

Progress might have been more rapid for all units if adequate
transportation had been available for RCT-1 in the Chigyong area. Only
by using vehicles of the 11th Marines was it possible to move 1/1 to
Chinhung-ni, where it relieved the 3d Battalion of the 5th Marines
on 23 November. During the next two days the 2d Battalion and RCT-1
Headquarters relieved 2/5 at Koto-ri. After the return of the vehicles,
3/1 (less Company G, left behind for lack of trucks) was lifted to
Hagaru on the 26th to relieve the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines.[361]

    [361] 1stMar _SAR_, 13, and appendix 6, 4; 1stMar _HD, Nov 50_,
          2; 1stMarDiv msg to COs 11th & 1stMars, 1350, 22 Nov 50.

All three battalions of RCT-5 were operating east of the Chosin
Reservoir by 24 November. Until supply levels were built up at
Hagaru, however, General Smith kept a careful check on the advance
in this quarter. The farthest penetration took place on the 25th
when a platoon-size patrol of 3/5, reinforced by two tanks, drove
nearly to the northern end of the Reservoir. Scattered enemy groups
were flushed out and an abandoned 75mm gun destroyed after a pursuit
resulting in five Chinese killed and one captured. This was one
of the few encounters in an area combed by patrols from all three
battalions, and no signs of large-scale enemy activity were reported
by Lieutenant Colonel Robert D. Taplett, CO of 3/5, after a helicopter

    [362] 5thMar _SAR_ 15–18. Smith, _Notes_, 626.

Meanwhile RCT-7 began its move to Yudam-ni. This objective had first
been mentioned as early as 11 November in X Corps OpnO 6. But until
RCT-1 could be brought up to the MSR, the Division Commander limited
the advance to the vicinity of Toktong Pass. There an estimated 150 to
200 enemy resisted with machine-gun fire but were scattered with the
aid of air strikes and artillery support.

On the 23d, in accordance with Division OpnO 23-50, the 1st Battalion
led the advance of RCT-7. During the next two days Lieutenant Colonel
Davis’s reinforced battalion methodically cleared booby-trapped but
undefended road blocks and scattered small groups of enemy along
the route. The men of 1/7 belatedly celebrated Thanksgiving on the
24th with a full, hot turkey dinner--their last full meal for 17
days--and seized battered Yudam-ni the next day against negligible
resistance.[363] The 3d Battalion, regimental headquarters, and 3/11
(-) followed.

    [363] 7thMar _SAR_, 19–20; MajGen H. L. Litzenberg Comments, 19
          Jul 56; Col R. G. Davis Comments, n. d.

Marine operations east of the Chosin Reservoir came to an end at
1200 on the 25th with the relief of RCT-5 by the 1st Battalion, 32d
Infantry, 7th Infantry Division. Corps orders called for this unit
to remain under operational control of the 1st Marine Division until
the assumption of command in the area by the CO, 31st Infantry. All
elements of RCT-5 were to be relieved by the following noon for the
mission of advancing to Yudam-ni and then passing through RCT-7 to lead
the attack toward Mupyong-ni.[364]

    [364] 5thMar _SAR_, 18; CG 1stMarDiv msg to CO 5thMar, 2101, 25
          Nov 50.

This was in accordance with Division OpnO 24-50, issued at 0800 on the
26th to implement the provisions of Corps OpnO 7. The jump-off was to
be at 0800 on 27 November, with the first objective the road junction
at Yongnim-dong (27 road miles west of Yudam-ni), in preparation for
further advance on order to the high ground about one mile south of
Kogae-gol and 35 miles west of Yudam-ni. Other provisions of OpnO 24-50
were as follows:

   RCT-7--to seize and secure Yudam-ni without delay, and when
          passed through by RCT-5, to protect the Division MSR from
          Sinhung-ni (7 miles west of Hagaru) to Yudam-ni;

   RCT-5--to pass through RCT-7 west of Yudam-ni by 0800, 27
          November, advance to the west and seize first objective,
          prepared for further advance;

   RCT-1--in Division reserve, to occupy positions in the vicinity of
          Chinhung-ni, Koto-ri and Hagaru for the protection of the

   11th Marines--less detachments, to provide general support from
          positions in the vicinity of Yudam-ni;

   41st Commando--reinforced, to move to Yudam-ni prepared for
          operations to the southwest to protect Division left flank;

   Reconnaissance Company--to move to Yudam-ni and reconnoiter to the
          north in co-ordination with operations of RCT-7.[365]

    [365] 1stMarDiv _OpnO 24-50_, 26 Nov 50.


                                                  USN Photo 421351

  _Operation Yo-Yo--Back and forth, changing course at
  twelve-hour intervals, the ships bearing the Marines and their
  gear mark time during mine clearance operations at Wonsan._


                                                  USA Photo SC 351586

  _Wonsan Arrivals--Above, Bob Hope entertaining Marine airmen
  who were first to reach the seaport; and, below, Marine
  infantry disembarking from cargo nets of_ Marine Phoenix _into
  the LCVPs_.


                                                  USN Photo 421451


  USN Photo 421319                                USN Photo 421362

  _Administrative Landing--Above, an LCM and a troop-laden
  amtrac in Wonsan harbor; and, below, LSTs drawn up abreast to
  land the thousands of tons of supplies required by a division._


                                                  USN Photo 421388


                                                  USA Photo SC 351722

  _Wonsan Scenes--Above, a camouflaged hangar on Wonsan
  airfield; below, Marine infantry in railway station awaiting
  transportation shortly after their debarkation._


                                                  USMC Photo A 4552


                                                  USMC Photo A 4323

  _First Action in Northeast Korea--Two views of Marine infantry
  mopping up guerrillas after surprise counterattack in Kojo
  area by NKPA troops escaping to join Chinese Reds._


                                                  USMC Photo A 4327


  USN Photo 423189                 Photo courtesy LtGen E. A. Craig

  _On the Planning Level--Above, RAdm J. H. Doyle, CTF-90, and
  BrigGen E. A. Craig, ADC of 1st Marine Division; below, V/Adm
  A. D. Struble, Cdr JTF-7, and MajGen E. M. Almond, CG X Corps,
  in the USS_ Missouri.


                                                  USN Photo 422376


                                                  USA Photo SC 391740

  _Command Conference--Above, left to right, MajGen W. J.
  Wallace, USMC; LtGen L. C. Shepherd, Jr., USMC; MajGen O.
  P. Smith, USMC; MajGen E. A. Almond, USA; and MajGen Field
  Harris, USMC; below, 1st Marine Division CP at Hungnam._


  Photo courtesy LtGen E. A. Craig


                                                  USMC Photo A 4534

  _First Chinese Resistance--Above, infantry of 7th Marines
  setting up mortar during initial encounter with Chinese in
  northeast Korea; and, below, enemy tank killed by Marine fire._


  Photo courtesy Maj R. B. Crossman


                                                  USMC Photo A 4550

  _Advance of RCT-7--Above, artillery emplacement of Battery
  G, 11th Marines, on 3 November 1950; and, below, supplies
  transported over railroad from Wonsan to Hamhung._


                                                  USA Photo SC 352741


                                                  USA Photo SC 365268

  _As Seen from the Air--Above, “Frozen Chosin” and the rugged
  terrain of the Reservoir area; and, below, an aerial view of
  the MSR winding its precarious way through Funchilin Pass--“a
  cliff on one side and a chasm on the other.”_


  Photo courtesy LtGen E. A. Craig


                                                  USMC Photo A 5389

  _As Seen by the Infantry--Here are two views of the sort
  of terrain encountered by the infantry of the 1st Marine
  Division; sometimes it was as difficult to complete an
  approach march as to dislodge the enemy after arrival._


                                                  USMC Photo A 5432


  USMC Photo A 4841      USMC Photo A 4912

  _Air Supply and Evacuation--Above, an air drop of supplies
  and helicopter evacuation of casualties at Yudam-ni; below,
  parachute-rigged cases of ammunition in an Air Force C-47._


                                                  USA Photo SC 353608


                                                  USMC Photo A 4860

  _Preparations for Yudam-ni Breakout--Above, Marines selecting
  gear for breakout from Yudam-ni to Hagaru; and, below, the
  first stages of the three-day fighting advance._


                                                  USMC Photo A 4843


                                                  USMC Photo A 4500

  _Chinese Communist POWs--Above, these CCF prisoners don’t seem
  unhappy about their captivity; below, a Chinese officer being
  interrogated with the aid of an interpreter._


                                                  USMC Photo A 5206


                                                  USMC Photo A 5675

  _Marines on the March--These two pictures give some idea of
  the exhaustion of Marines, many of them walking wounded, as
  they huddle by the roadside during halts of the Yudam-ni


                                                  USMC Photo A 5676


                                                  USMC Photo A 5356

  _Covered by Artillery--Above, a 105mm howitzer fires to the
  rear as the infantry fights its way forward from Yudam-ni;
  below, a quarter of a mile per hour was considered good


                                                  USMC Photo A 4863

General Smith, flying by helicopter from Hungnam to Yudam-ni on the
morning of the 26th, could survey the MSR below him and reflect with
satisfaction that it was now easier to count the Marine outfits south
of Chinhung-ni than those to the north. These included the 1st Tank
Battalion with the exception of the provisional platoon at Hagaru and
the 2d Platoon of Company D at Chinhung-ni. Transportation had not yet
been provided for the 41st Commando, but the new unit was scheduled
to move up in convoy on the 28th with Headquarters Battalion when the
Division CP displaced from Hungnam to Hagaru. By that time only service
units and a few platoons of tanks and engineers would be left in the
rear area.

At Hagaru the C-47 airstrip was taking shape as the dozers hacked away
at the frozen earth night and day, working under flood lights in the
darkness. Companies C and E of the 1st Medical Battalion had set up
clearing stations and built up dumps of medical supplies. Troop units
at Hagaru and Yudam-ni had two days’ supplies of rations and fuel, but
only a unit of fire was stockpiled at Hagaru in addition to the half
unit carried by the troops.

Marine motor columns were winding along the narrow, twisting mountain
road from Hagaru to Yudam-ni in preparation for the attack in the
morning. Upon arrival at Lieutenant Colonel Davis’s 1/7 CP, General
Smith learned to his discomfort that the hovering ability of a
rotary-wing aircraft is curtailed at high altitudes. The helicopter
dropped like a stone the last ten feet, but fortunately no injury
resulted to passenger, pilot or machine.[366]

    [366] Smith, _Chronicle_, 89.

On the 26th intelligence arrived at Hamhung from the 7th Marines,
reporting capture of three soldiers from the 60th CCF Division. They
asserted that the 58th, 59th, and 60th Divisions of the 20th CCF Army
had reached the Yudam-ni area on the 20th. According to these enlisted
men, Chinese strategy envisioned a move south and southeast from
Yudam-ni to cut the MSR after two Marine regiments passed.[367]

    [367] CO 7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1935, 26 Nov 50.

X Corps had received similar reports of Chinese movement southeast from
Yudam-ni as well as air reports of enemy activity north and northeast
of the Chosin Reservoir. Six Chinese divisions had now been identified
in northeast Korea but both Corps and Division intelligence estimates
of probable enemy action continued to be optimistic. Although Chinese
attacks on the division’s MSR or along the Huichon-Huksu-ri-Hamhung
axis were not ruled out, G-2 officers seemed to consider a continued
westward withdrawal more likely.[368]

    [368] X Corps, _Special Report, Chosin Reservoir_, 32;
          1stMarDiv _PIR 33_.

Division planning went ahead on the assumption of commander and staff
that the enemy would be met in strength in the mountainous country west
of Yudam-ni. This was the basis for the decision to pass the relatively
fresh 5th Marines through the 7th for the attack westward.[369]

    [369] Smith ltr, 15 Apr 56. See also Smith, _Chronicle_, 79,
          82, 87.

It was a cold, clear Sunday afternoon when General Smith returned to
Hungnam. From his helicopter he could see for several miles on either
side, and no signs of enemy activity were discerned in the snow-clad
hills. After his arrival at the Division CP, however, the Marine
general was informed that the situation had gone from bad to worse
in west Korea. The II ROK Corps on the right flank had disintegrated
on the 26th under a second day’s heavy blows, thus exposing the 2d
Infantry Division and Turkish Brigade to flank attack. In short, the
Eighth Army offensive had been brought to a standstill before the
Marines could jump off in the morning as the other arm of the United
Nations envelopment.


Crisis at Yudam-ni

_Marine Attack on 27 November--Marine Disposition Before CCF
Attack--The Battle of Northwest Ridge--Chinese Seize Hill
1403--Fighting at 3/5’s CP--The Battle of North Ridge_

The 2d battalion, vanguard of the 5th Marines, completed its move
from the east coast of the Chosin Reservoir to Yudam-ni during the
afternoon and evening of 26 November. After deploying his command south
of the village, Lieutenant Colonel Roise and his S-3, Major Theodore
F. Spiker, made a reconnaissance in preparation for the next day’s

    [370] 2/5 _HD, Nov 50_, 8–9.

Yudam-ni lies in the center of a broad valley surrounded by five great
ridges, named in relation to their direction from the village: North,
Northwest, Southwest, South, and Southeast. Beginning at the rim of
the valley, each of these ridges extends several thousand yards and
includes many peaks, spurs, and draws, certain of which took on special
significance as the crisis at Yudam-ni unfolded.

A finger of the Chosin Reservoir reaches toward Yudam-ni in the
valley between North and Southeast Ridges. The other four corridors
radiating from the valley are highway routes. Lieutenant Colonel Roise
surveyed the westerly road, which leaves Yudam-ni between Northwest and
Southwest Ridges. His assigned objective encompassed distant spurs of
these heights, bordering the road about a mile and a half west of the

    [371] 5thMar _OpnO 39-50_, 26 Nov 50.

The 7th Marines (-) was disposed in perimeter around Yudam-ni on
terminal hills of four of the five ridges: D and E Companies (attached
to 1/7) on North Ridge, 3/7 on Southwest, and 1/7 on South and
Southeast.[372] Since the high ground occupied by 3/7 overlooked the
route of attack and Roise’s objective, Colonel Litzenberg[373] later
in the day specified a new destination for 2/5, a pass ten miles west
of Yudam-ni. It was a big order, but Litzenberg’s troops would support
the 5th Marines’ outfit by making limited advances along the skylines
of Northwest and Southwest Ridges. With this protection on his flanks
initially, Roise could concentrate more strength for the drive through
the low ground.[374]

    [372] The transport priority given the move of the 5th Marines
          prevented H&S and Weapons (-) Companies from moving to
          Yudam-ni. Fox Company moved to Toktong Pass on the 27th
          while How Battery of 3/11 remained at Hagaru to support
          Fox Company. The two rifle companies of 2/7 at Yudam-ni
          were assigned to 1/7 for operational control. MajGen H.
          L. Litzenberg Comments, 19 and 20 Jul 56; LtCol W. D.
          Sawyer Comments, 7 Sept 56.

    [373] Col Roise states that he was attached to the 7th Marines
          in the absence of the Commanding Officer, 5th Marines.
          The record does not indicate a formal attachment. Col
          Litzenberg appears to have acted in his capacity as
          senior officer present. See Col R. L. Murray Comments, n.
          d.; Col H. S. Roise Comments, n. d.; LtCol H. J. Woessner
          Comments, 13 Nov 56.

    [374] 7thMar _SAR_, 20; 2/5 _SAR_, 14; 2/5 _HD, Nov 50_, 8–9;
          Litzenberg Comments, 19 and 20 Jul 56; Sawyer Comments, 7
          Sep 56. Roise Comments.

Nightfall of 26 November was accompanied by an abrupt temperature drop
to zero degrees Fahrenheit. The north wind screamed across the frozen
reservoir and lashed the Marines on the valley floor and hillsides
around Yudam-ni. At 2200, a group of half-frozen company commanders
gathered within the flapping walls of Roise’s blackout tent to receive
their orders. The attack was to start at 0800 the next morning,
with 2/5 passing through the 7th Marines in a column of companies.
Recoilless rifles and 4.2-inch mortars of the 5th Marines would support
the advance, along with First Lieutenant Wayne E. Richards’ 2d Platoon
of Able Company Engineers. Two Corsairs of VMF-312 and a spotter
plane from VMO-6 were to provide aerial reconnaissance and close air

    [375] 2/5 _SAR_, 14.

In other wind-blown tents, 7th Regiment officers learned of their
missions as assigned by Colonel Litzenberg. The 3d Battalion would
move farther along the crest of Southwest Ridge on 27 November and
also seize the terminal peak, Hill 1403, of Northwest Ridge across
the MSR, in order to support 2/5’s attack more effectively. Dog and
Easy Companies were to patrol North Ridge and the west coast of the
Reservoir, while 1/7 scouted both South and Southeast Ridges and
their adjoining corridors. Particular attention would be paid to the
valley running southward between these hill masses, for therein lay the
vital road to Hagaru.[376]

    [376] 7thMar FragO, 1850 26 Nov 50; 7thMar _SAR_, 20–21.

[Illustration: YUDAM-NI


_Marine Attack on 27 November_

The Yudam-ni perimeter was quiet throughout the long, frigid night
of 26–27 November. At dawn the basin and hillsides came alive with
parka-clad figures stamping and clapping life back into leaden limbs.
Gradually they began to cluster around small fires to thaw out the
morning rations and their weapons.

Companies G and H of 3/7 jumped off in the attack at 0815, the former
to extend the foothold on Southwest Ridge, the latter to seize Hill
1403, terminal height of Northwest Ridge. Led by Captain Leroy M.
Cooke, How Company advanced unopposed and secured its objective by
midmorning.[377] Captain Cooney’s Company G moved rapidly 1200 yards
along the crest of Southwest Ridge and occupied a commanding peak,
Hill 1426, at 0845 without meeting opposition. But when Cooney resumed
the advance, his troops almost immediately came under fire from enemy
positions on another peak 500 yards away.[378]

    [377] Cooke had taken over the company on 12 November, and
          Lieutenant H. H. Harris reverted to ExecO.

    [378] Unless otherwise stated this section is derived from:
          7thMar _SAR_, 20–21; RCT 7 _URpt 5_; 3/7 _SAR_, n. p.;
          2/5 _SAR_, 15–18; 2/5 _HD, Nov 50_, 9; 1stMarDiv _SAR_,
          annex SS, appendix A (hereafter 1/11 _SAR_), 8–9; VMF-312
          _SAR_, 15; CO 7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1945 27 Nov 50;
          LtCol M. A. Hull Comments, n. d.

During 3/7’s operations on the high ground the 2d Battalion, 5th
Marines, had marched out of Yudam-ni and launched the main attack along
the road. Company F, under Captain Uel D. Peters, led 2/5 as it passed
beneath the steep walls of Southwest and Northwest Ridges. The first
objective was a long spur of the latter height, 500 yards across a draw
from the 7th Marines on Hill 1403. Approaching the mouth of the draw
on the right of the road, Fox Company was hit by long-range small-arms
fire from enemy emplacements on the objective. About the same time,
0935, a message from the VMO-6 spotter plane told of CCF positions all
across the front. Captain Peters held up momentarily to appraise the
situation, and engineers moving behind his outfit began to clear the
first of nine unmanned enemy roadblocks that obstructed the MSR.

[Illustration: MARINE ATTACKS - 27 NOV


According to plan, Company F ascended part way up the slopes of Hill
1403 and then advanced across the front of the 7th Marines to the head
of the long draw that set off the Communist-held spur. Simultaneously,
4.2-inch and 81mm mortar crews positioned their weapons along the road
to support this envelopment. The flatlands south of Yudam-ni trembled
as the 105mm howitzers of Lieutenant Colonel Harvey A. Feehan’s
1st Battalion, 11th Marines, opened up at 1015 with a 15-minute

    [379] Feehan, on 15 Nov 50, had relieved LtCol Ransom M. Wood
          who had commanded 1/11 since its arrival in Korea with
          the 1st ProvMarBrig on 2 Aug 50.

While Company F moved overland to strike at the left (north) flank of
the CCF position, Captain Samuel S. Smith’s Dog Company edged forward
along the MSR to the mouth of the draw. Like the earlier unit, it was
met by a hail of bullets. The regimental 4.2-inch mortars opened fire
on the crest of the spur, and recoilless rifles slammed 75mm shells
into bunkers just now sighted on the forward slopes. At 1115, after
ground supporting arms had partially neutralized the CCF positions,
Corsairs of VMF-312 blasted the objective with rockets and bombs.

In the wake of the air strike, First Lieutenant Gerald J. McLaughlin
led Fox Company’s 1st Platoon against the enemy’s north flank, the rest
of the company supporting the assault by fire from Hill 1403. Most of
the Chinese defenders fled to the west, and McLaughlin’s troops cleared
the northern half of the spur by 1300, capturing three Red soldiers.
The 2d Platoon, commanded by Second Lieutenant Donald J. Krabbe, then
passed through to secure the southern half, overlooking the road.
Although the attackers encountered only negligible local resistance,
they were slowed by heavy machine-gun fire sweeping in from a peak 1000
yards farther west.

During Company F’s action on the high ground, Dog Company filed around
the road bend at the south end of the spur and moved toward a valley
junction a few hundred yards away. This fork is dominated by Sakkat
Mountain to the west; and the Chinese, in order to block the Marine
advance, had dug tiers of entrenchments on the eastern slopes of the
massive height. Frontal fire from these positions converged on Company
D’s column. Faced by such formidable resistance and terrain Lieutenant
Colonel Roise discontinued the attack. At 1430 he ordered Fox Company
to set up on Northwest Ridge for the night, and Dog to deploy
defensively across the MSR on a spur of Southwest Ridge.

On the crest of the latter, the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, had found
progress increasingly costly during the afternoon of 27 November. The
peak beyond Hill 1426 was occupied by Company G at 1500,[380] bringing
that unit on line with Dog Company of 2/5 in the low ground to the
north. Like the 5th Marines’ outfit, Company G was now confronted with
the broad crescent of CCF fortifications buttressed by the defensive
complex on Sakkat Mountain. Machine-gun barrages drove the 7th Marines’
unit off the hilltop, and Company I of 3/7 rushed forward from the high
ground overlooking Yudam-ni to add its firepower in support. Baker
Company of 1/7, on patrol in the valley between Southwest and South
Ridges, ascended into the bullet-swept zone at 1230 to help out. When
it became heavily engaged, elements of Company C were ordered forward
from the Yudam-ni vicinity as reinforcement. Thus parts of three
battalions, 2/5, 3/7, and 1/7, felt the storm of steel and lead on
Southwest Ridge throughout the afternoon.

    [380] While returning to the rear to bring up reinforcements,
          George Company’s commander, Capt Cooney, was mortally
          wounded. LtCol M. E. Roach Comments, 24 Jul 56.

While fighting raged in an arc from south to west on the 27th, another
danger area was discovered to the north and northeast, completing a
vast semicircle of known CCF concentrations in proximity to Yudam-ni.
A patrol from Company D of 2/7, moving over North Ridge along the
west coast of the reservoir, ran into heavy machine-gun and mortar
fire about 4000 yards from the village. Marine air struck at the
entrenchments of an estimated enemy company, and at 1645 the patrol
withdrew with several casualties to Company D’s lines on the southern
tip of North Ridge.

At dusk on the 27th a general calm settled over Yudam-ni, broken only
occasionally by scattered exchanges of small-arms fire. The main Marine
attack had netted about 1500 yards, placing 2/5 on the objective
originally assigned by the regimental commander, Lieutenant Colonel
Murray. That the Chinese did not allow this battalion to advance three
more miles, to its new objective and into hopeless entrapment, seems
inconsistent in view of the CCF plans for the night of 27–28 November.
The auxiliary attack by 3/7 won 1200 more yards of the crest of
Southwest Ridge, and the occupation of Hill 1403 by How Company of that
battalion represented a gain of about 2000.

In a few hours, the Marines would give thanks that their successes on
27 November had been modest ones.

_Marine Dispositions Before CCF Attack_

The units of Yudam-ni will be listed counter-clockwise, beginning with
those on North Ridge, according to the positions they occupied around
the perimeter on the night of 27–28 November. North Ridge, bounded on
the east by the reservoir and on the west by the valley separating
Northwest Ridge, lay closest to the village and was therefore of
immediate tactical importance. Facing this hill mass from Yudam-ni,
one sees four distinct terminal heights: Hill 1167 on the right, Hills
1240 and 1282 in the center, and the giant spur of Hill 1384 on the
left. Companies D and E of the 7th Marines, occupied Hills 1240 and
1282 respectively. Since the combined front of these two units was a
mile wide, they concentrated on their assigned hilltops and relied on
periodic patrols to span the gaping, 500-yard saddle between. Although
both flanks of each company dangled “in the air,” they were backed by
two-thirds of the 5th Marine Regiment in the valley of Yudam-ni.[381]

    [381] This section is derived from: 5thMar _SAR_, 19–20; 7thMar
          _SAR_, 21; 1/5 _SAR_, 11–12; 2/5 _SAR_, 15–18; 3/5 _SAR_,

The 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, had arrived from the east coast of the
Chosin Reservoir at noon on the 27th, while the attacks to the west
were in full progress. Lieutenant Colonel Taplett placed his unit in an
assembly area at the base of North Ridge, beneath the large, unoccupied
spur leading to Hill 1384. The 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, did not
complete its move to Yudam-ni from the east side of the reservoir
until after dark. Lieutenant Colonel John W. Stevens, II, secured for
the night in the valley below Hills 1282 and 1240; and with Taplett’s
nearby command, 1/5 thus comprised a formidable reserve behind the thin
high-ground defenses of Companies D and E of 2/7.

To the left of North Ridge, going round the clock, Company H of
3/7 dug in on the crest of Hill 1403, terminal height of Northwest
Ridge. Farther to the left, in the broad draw through which Company
F had earlier enveloped the CCF-held spur, Company E of 2/5 took up
strong blocking positions. The latter unit was not tied in with the
7th Marines’ troops on Hill 1403, there being a steep and rugged gap
of about 200 yards on the intervening hillside. Easy Company’s line
extended up the left side of the draw and connected with Fox’s on the
northern tip of the newly won spur. Company F manned the remainder
of that finger of high ground, its left flank overlooking the road
separating Southwest Ridge.

As mentioned before, Company D, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, occupied
a finger of Southwest Ridge jutting out toward the road and directly
opposite Fox Company’s spur. To the left, but beyond physical contact,
Companies G and I of the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, defended the
topographical crest of Southwest Ridge. As an example of altitudes
and distances involved around the perimeter, the latter company,
perched atop Hill 1426 (meters), sat 1200 feet above the valley floor
at Yudam-ni[382] and at a lineal distance of a mile and a half from
the village. To its left rear, 2000 yards away on the same hill mass,
Company A of 1/7 defended a terminal peak, Hill 1294, overlooking the
broad valley separating South Ridge. A platoon of Company C, 1/7, was
deployed on the valley floor to block that avenue into Marine artillery

    [382] Yudam-ni itself is 3500 feet above sea level.

South Ridge, capped by a conical peak jutting 1600 feet skyward, points
at Yudam-ni and the reservoir like a great arrowhead. Company B of 1/7,
after returning from the active patrol mentioned earlier, entrenched on
the tip, Hill 1276, to cover the deep gorge between South and Southeast
Ridges. In this narrow ribbon of low ground, the MSR from Yudam-ni
travels southward four miles before turning abruptly east into Toktong
Pass. Company C of 1/7, less one platoon, occupied a spur of Southeast
Ridge near the sharp turn--three miles from the Valley of Yudam-ni and
five from the village itself.

Even farther out on a tactical limb was Fox Company of 2/7, which
had departed Hagaru at noon on 27 November[383] to take up hilltop
positions in the center of Toktong Pass. Its mission, like that of
Company C, was to guard the vulnerable MSR between Hagaru and Yudam-ni.
But it was seven miles from the friendly perimeter at Hagaru on the
one side and over two mountainous miles from Company C on the other.
Fox Company, numerically and geographically, appeared to be fair game
for some CCF regiment on the prowl--although appearances are sometimes

    [383] Cpl D. R. Thornton interv by Capt A. Z. Freeman, 7 Mar 51.

This, then, was the disposition of the 5th and 7th Marines in the
evening of 27 November: a total of ten understrength rifle companies
of both regiments on the high ground around Yudam-ni; two battalions
of the 5th in the valley near the village; and two rifle companies,
Charlie and Fox, of the 7th in isolated positions along the 14-mile
route to Hagaru.

The regimental command posts of Colonel Litzenberg and Lieutenant
Colonel Murray were located at Yudam-ni along with the usual
headquarters elements, except for the Antitank Company of the 7th
Marines, at Hagaru. Also at Hagaru were Lieutenant Colonel Randolph S.
D. Lockwood’s headquarters of 2/7,[384] and Weapons Company (-) of that
battalion. For this reason, Companies D and E, on Hills 1240 and 1282
at Yudam-ni, came under temporary control of 1/7.

    [384] LtCol Lockwood had relieved Maj Sawyer as CO 2/7 on 5 Nov.

Despite the lack of tanks,[385] the Yudam-ni perimeter encompassed
an impressive array of Marine supporting arms. The 1st and 4th
Battalions, together with Batteries G and I of the 3d, represented
almost three-fourths of the fire power of the 11th Regiment. The 48
howitzers--thirty 105mm and eighteen 155mm--were emplaced in the
expansive flats generally south of the village, in the direction of
South and Southeast Ridges. In position to the north were the 75mm
recoilless rifles of the 5th Marines and the 4.2-inch mortar companies
of both infantry regiments.

    [385] Four M-4 tanks of the Provisional Tank Platoon had
          attempted to come through from Hagaru but gave up the
          attempt when all slid off the road. Later on the 27th one
          M-26 succeeded in completing the trip, but the Chinese
          cut the road before the others could follow. 1stTkBn,
          _SAR_, 21.

The Yudam-ni lines bristled with enough firepower to give any commander
confidence, but the supply situation was not reassuring. Although
Captain Robert A. Morehead and a detachment from the 1st Service
Battalion arrived during the 27th to begin establishment of a division
dump, the supply level was low. The dumps of the 5th and 7th Marines
contained about 3 days’ rations, 3 days’ POL, and 2 U/F of small arms
ammunition in addition to amounts in the hands of the troops. Very
little artillery ammunition was available beyond that held by the
firing batteries. During the 27th Colonel Litzenberg sent his S-4,
Major Maurice E. Roach, to Hagaru to arrange for the dispatching of
about five truckloads each of rations, POL, and ammunition. They
arrived late on the evening of the same day--the last supplies to
get through from Hagaru. That same evening Lieutenant Colonel Beall,
commanding officer of the 1st Motor Transport Battalion, led all the
organic vehicles (except 40-50) of the 5th and 7th Marines back to
Hagaru with the intent of returning them the following day loaded. The
Chinese, who had already invested the road, for some reason permitted
the trucks to pass. Beall reached Hagaru without incident. The trucks
were never able to return.[386]

    [386] 7thMar _SAR_, 42–43; 5thMar _SAR_, 45-50; 1stMarDiv
          _SAR_, annex FF (1stServBn); 1stMTBn _SAR_, 9; Roach
          Comments, 24 Jul 56.

_The Battle of Northwest Ridge_

At 1830, two hours after the looming mass of Sakkat Mountain had
blotted out the sun on 27 November, Yudam-ni was pitch black. The
temperature dropped to 20 degrees below zero.[387]

    [387] Unless otherwise noted, this section is derived from
          7thMar _SAR_, 21, n. p.; RCT 7 _URpt 5_; 2/5 _SAR_,
          17–18; 2/5 _HD Nov 50_, 9; CO 7thMar msgs to CG
          1stMarDiv, 2253 27 Nov 50, 1000 and 1250 28 Nov 50; Capt
          Samuel Jaskilka, “Easy Alley,” _Marine Corps Gazette_,
          xxxv, no. 5 (May 51), 15–18; Maj S. Jaskilka Comments, n.

On Northwest Ridge the infantrymen of 3/7 and 2/5 slowly grew numb from
the penetrating cold. Trigger fingers, though heavily gloved, ached
against the brittle steel of weapons, and parka hoods became encrusted
with frozen moisture. In the cumbersome shoe-pacs, perspiration-soaked
feet gradually became transformed into lumps of biting pain.

When men are immobilized for hours in such temperatures, no amount of
clothing will keep them warm. Yet, even more disturbing to the Marines
on the Yudam-ni perimeter was the effect of the weather on carbines and
BARs. These weapons froze to such a degree that they became unreliable
or, in some cases, completely unserviceable. The M-1 rifle and Browning
machine guns showed stubborn streaks but retained their effectiveness,
provided they had been cared for properly.

While the Marines sat in their holes and cursed the frigid night, the
quiet hills around them came alive with thousands of Red Chinese on the
march. Unseen and unheard, the endless columns of quilted green wound
through valleys and over mountain trails leading toward the southern
tips of North and Northwest Ridges. These were the assault battalions
of the 79th and 89th CCF Divisions. With seven other divisions they
comprised Red China’s 9th Army Group led by Sung Shin-lun, one of the
best field commanders in the CCF. Lin Pao, commanding the 3d Field
Army, had dispatched Sung’s army group to northeast Korea specifically
to destroy the 1st Marine Division. The knockout blow, aimed at
the northwest arc of the Yudam-ni perimeter, amounted to a massive
frontal assault. Another CCF division, the 59th, had completed a wide
envelopment to the south, driving in toward South Ridge and Toktong
Pass to cut the MSR between Hagaru and Yudam-ni.[388]

    [388] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, 31–32; G-2 _SAR_, 15, 30–31; _CCF Army
          Histories_, 13, 21.



This was the main effort of the CCF in northeast Korea: three divisions
against two regiments of Marines. And in addition to the advantage
of mass, the Reds held the trump cards of mobility and surprise.
They enjoyed superior mobility because they were unencumbered by
heavy weapons and hence could use primitive routes of approach in the
darkness. They had the advantage of surprise because their practice
of marching by night and hiding by day had concealed their approach
to a large degree from UN air observation. To offset these odds, the
outnumbered Marines would have to rely on superior firepower, command
of the air, and another weapon called _esprit_.

By 2100, Northwest Ridge was crawling with Chinese only a few hundred
yards from the positions of Companies E and F, 5th Marines, and
Company H, 7th Marines. The enemy troops, padding silently in their
rubber sneakers, had as yet given no hint of their presence. To divert
attention, the Red commander sent a patrol against 2/5’s roadblock on
the MSR between Northwest and Southwest Ridges. Troops of Company D,
5th Marines, exchanged grenades with the Chinese and killed two of
them. The remainder they quickly dispersed with mortar fire.

Simultaneously with the thrust at the roadblock, small enemy teams
probed Fox Company’s line on the spur of Northwest Ridge, vanishing
into the night after each light contact. These disturbances in the
center of 2/5’s zone enabled CCF infiltrators and grenadiers on the
northern tip of the spur to crawl undetected within a few yards of the
limiting point between Company F and Company E on the right. Bugle
calls cut through the darkness, and the grenadiers began heaving their
missiles while the submachine gunners opened up. The din of this first
attempt to unnerve the defenders lasted several minutes. Then came a
sustained mortar bombardment of Marine front lines. While the shells
rained down, the Chinese opened fire with crew-served automatic weapons
emplaced all across Northwest Ridge.

At 2125 the mortar eruptions began to walk toward the Marine rear.
Whistles screeched, enemy machine guns fell silent, and the first
Chinese assault waves hurled themselves against the juncture of
Companies E and F. The enemy attacked on an extremely narrow front in
order to maintain control. His troops advanced in column within grenade
range, then deployed abruptly into skirmish lines that flailed the
Marine positions ceaselessly and without regard to losses.

The machine guns and rifles of Companies E and F piled the attackers
in grotesque heaps up and down the front, but the pressure of human
tonnage was unremitting. Ultimately, the Reds broke through on the
northern tip of the spur, where the two units were joined. They
poured troops into the gap, and as they attempted to roll back the
newly exposed flanks, they overran part of Fox Company’s right wing
platoon. Captain Samuel Jaskilka, commanding Easy Company in the draw,
dispatched a light machine-gun section and a squad from his 3d Platoon
(deployed in the rear) to reinforce his 1st Platoon at the edge of the
breakthrough. The latter unit, under Second Lieutenant Jade L. Nolan,
held firm and bent back its left to prevent encroachment on the rear.
Staff Sergeant Russell J. Borgomainero, of the 1st Platoon, deployed
the reinforcements to contain the penetration, while 2/5’s 81mm mortars
laid barrages on the salient.

At 2215, as the attack against Companies E and F was reaching its
height, Lieutenant Colonel Roise ordered H&S Company of 2/5 to deploy
for the immediate defense of his command post. The Chinese, blocked in
their attempts to get behind Easy Company, continued to stab at the
rear of Fox. If their envelopment succeeded, they could swarm over the
headquarters and supporting arms positions of the 2d Battalion.

Roise’s precaution proved unnecessary. As fast as the Red commander
sent troops into the salient, they were cut down by mortar,
machine-gun, and rifle fire. The few who did worm their way into
Marine supporting positions died in individual combat. At 2230, on the
right of Company E’s front, the 2d Platoon turned its machine guns on
a native hut 200 yards up the draw and set it ablaze. The brilliant
illumination exposed all CCF troops in the narrow corridor and on the
adjoining slopes; and the Marines commenced a turkey shoot that ended
at 2400 with the virtual annihilation of the main enemy force.

The Chinese maintained their grip on the northern tip of the
spur, however, and fought off patrols from Easy Company trying to
re-establish contact with Fox. Since the gap remained, leaving the
enemy in position to fire on the Marine rear, Roise shifted the
reserve platoon of Company D to Fox Company’s side of the salient.
This redeployment, in conjunction with Company E’s earlier action on
the other side, converted the penetration area into a gantlet for the
Chinese. Already weakened by casualties numbering in the hundreds, the
Red commander apparently wrote off the salient as a net loss, for he
never used it again.

_Chinese Seize Hill 1403_

At 2135, just as the first assault waves were pounding 2/5’s front, the
vanguard of another enemy force began to feel out the lines of Company
H, 3/7, on Hill 1403 to the north. Captain Cooke’s three platoons were
deployed in an arc from the road to the peak of the hill to protect
the line of communication to the valley of Yudam-ni. Out of physical
contact with all friendly elements, How Company was assailable from
every direction, as the Chinese quickly discovered.[389]

    [389] Unless otherwise stated the sources for this section
          are: 7thMar _SAR_; RCT 7 _URpt_ 6; 3/7 _SAR_, n. p.; 2/5
          _HD_, _Nov 50_, 9–10; 2/5 _SAR_, 18–19; CO 7thMar msgs to
          CG 1stMarDiv, 0810 and 1000 28 Nov 50; Jaskilka, “Easy
          Alley,” 18–19; Capt M. P. Newton Comments, n. d.

Following a half hour of lightning probes, the enemy launched a strong
attack against First Lieutenant Elmer A. Krieg’s platoon on the right
front. Communications with Cooke’s CP went out almost immediately, and
in the space of a few minutes the Marine right flank collapsed under
the weight of CCF numbers. Krieg shifted his remaining men to the left
and joined Second Lieutenant Paul E. Denny’s platoon.

At the company CP on the reverse slope, Captain Cooke and his forward
observers radioed for all available supporting arms. The prompt
barrages by artillery and mortars in the valley stopped the Communists
on the right half of the summit and enabled Cooke to reorganize his
forward platoons. As the supporting fires lifted, he personally led
an assault to restore the right flank. But the CCF machine guns and
grenades smashed the counterattack, and Cooke was cut down at the head
of his men.

Second Lieutenant James M. Mitchell, executive officer, temporarily
took command of Company H. When word of Cooke’s death reached 3/7’s CP,
Lieutenant Colonel William F. Harris[390] dispatched Lieutenant Harris
(no relation), recently returned to duty after illness, to take over
the beleaguered unit.

    [390] LtCol Harris, son of MajGen Field Harris, had relieved
          Maj Roach on 11 Nov.

The younger Harris, who had been out of action since shortly after the
“How Hill” battle in early November, safely ascended the enemy-infested
slopes of Hill 1403 in the darkness. About midnight he reached How
Company’s positions and found all of Cooke’s officers wounded but one,
Lieutenant Newton. The platoons of Krieg and Denny were badly depleted,
but Harris moved Newton’s platoon from the left flank to the right.
Newton’s men regained enough ground in a counterattack to cement the
company’s position.

After these first attacks against 2/5 and H/7 over the two-mile breadth
of Northwest Ridge, the Chinese remained generally inactive for a
period of about two hours. They had paid heavily for minor gains--so
heavily that fresh battalions were called from reserve to stamp out the
Marine resistance on the tip of the ridge. And at 0300, several hundred
CCF riflemen, grenadiers, and submachine gunners commenced the second
general assault, striking at 2/5 and Company H simultaneously.

In the low ground at the center of the two-mile front, Jaskilka’s Easy
Company threw a curtain of machine-gun fire across the draw in the path
of 300 Chinese advancing frontally. The first enemy ranks marched into
the fire lanes and were mowed down like rows of grain. The CCF soldiers
in subsequent formations apparently viewed the grisly, corpse-strewn
corridor with misgivings, for they stopped several hundred yards up the
narrow valley and took cover. Thereafter, the main fighting in Company
E’s zone involved long-range exchanges of machine-gun and mortar fire,
although clashes at close quarters occasionally flared up on the flanks.

Approximately 200 Communist troops had concentrated meanwhile against
Fox Company on the spur to the left, where the ground afforded more
cover and space for maneuver. Stumbling over a carpet of their own
dead, the Reds thrust repeatedly at the center of the Marine line. They
inflicted many casualties on the defenders and ultimately overran two
machine-gun positions. But this was the sum total of their success; and
fighting on the north half of the spur, at the edge of the gap between
Companies E and F, continued sporadically for the rest of the night
with neither side gaining any appreciable advantage.

On the right of the 2d Battalion, the second CCF onslaught had struck
the front and both flanks of Company H on Hill 1403. Human cannon
fodder of Red China was hurled against the Marine positions for a full
hour, but Lieutenant Harris’ command held. H Company’s roadblock,
commanded by Sergeant Vick, decisively beat off a Chinese attack in the
valley; and at 0400 Lieutenant Colonel Harris ordered the hard pressed
company to pull back toward the rear of Easy Company, 2/5. Two hours
later How Company completed its fighting withdrawal.

The loss of Hill 1403 posed a grave threat to the whole defensive
network around the village. Not only were the Chinese now ideally
situated to strike at the rear of 2/5 and sever it from the two
regiments, but in sufficient strength they could attack the rear and
flanks of the Marine units on North and Southwest Ridges. Moreover, at
dawn, they would be looking down the throats of some 2000 Marines on
the valley floor.

_Fighting at 3/5’s CP_

The partially successful assault on Northwest Ridge involved two
regiments, the 266th and 267th, of the 89th CCF Division. Operating
abreast of this force, the 79th Division had meanwhile advanced over
the rugged spine of North Ridge toward the two isolated companies of
the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, occupying terminal Hills 1282 and 1240
of that huge land mass. Elements of the 79th Division’s three regiments
were in the fore, and each regiment was apparently disposed in a column
of battalions. Facing south toward the Marine positions on North Ridge,
the CCF order of battle, with probable objectives assigned, was as

   237th Regt    235th Regt    236th Regt

   Hill 1384     Hill 1240      Hill 1167

  (Unoccupied)     (D/7)      (Unoccupied)

For reasons unknown, the commander of the 235th Regiment did not
include Hill 1282 in his plan for seizing the high ground above
Yudam-ni. He ordered his 1st Battalion to take only Hill 1240, and the
commanding officer of that unit in turn assigned the mission to his
1st and Special Duty Companies. After these two outfits had seized
the objective, the 2d and 3d Companies would pass through and, in
conjunction with other CCF forces in the locale, “... annihilate the
enemy at Yudam-ni.”[391]

    [391] ATIS, _Enemy Documents: Korean Operations_, Issue 84,
          38. Except where otherwise noted, this section is based
          on: _Ibid._, 26–43; LtCol R. D. Taplett interv, 3 May
          56; 1stLt R. T. Bey ltr to Maj A. C. Geer, 26 Jun 52;
          RCT 7 _URpt 5_; CO 7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1000 28
          Nov 50; 7thMar _SAR_, 21; CO 5thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv,
          0730 28 Nov 50; 3/5 _SAR_, 13–14; Hull Comments; Capt J.
          H. Cahill ltr, 3 Jul 56. The ATIS translation contains a
          number of detailed and apparently accurate critiques of
          small unit actions. An earlier translation is to be found
          in ATIS, _Enemy Documents: Korean Operations_, Issue 66,

Approaching the terminal high ground in darkness, the 1st Battalion,
235th Regiment, veered off its course and mistakenly ascended a spur
toward Hill 1282. The 3d Battalion, 236th Regiment, keeping contact
as it advanced on the left, participated in the error and wound up
at the foot of Hill 1240. Thus confronted with this precipitous mass
instead of low, gently sloping Hill 1167, the 3d Battalion floundered
for several hours and did not take part in the first attack against
the Marine perimeter. It did, however, send out the usual screen of

At 2200, submachine gunners and grenadiers of the 1st and Special Duty
Companies, 1/235, commenced the preliminaries against Company E, 7th
Marines on Hill 1282, believing they were engaging a Marine platoon on
Hill 1240. The harassing force was driven off after failing to disrupt
the Marine defenses. Almost two hours later, at 2345, Company D of 2/7
reported enemy infiltration on Hill 1240 a thousand yards to the east.
Both Marine companies cancelled the patrols scheduled for the long
saddle connecting their positions and went on a 100% alert.

Captain Phillips, commanding Easy Company, had arranged two platoons in
perimeter around the summit of Hill 1282, and the third he had deployed
to the right rear, on a spur that dipped toward Yudam-ni. At midnight,
after a period of silence across the company front, the initial CCF
assault wave slammed into the northeastern arc of the perimeter,
manned by First Lieutenant Yancey’s platoon. Marine firepower blunted
this frontal attack, and the Reds tried to slip around the east side
of the hilltop. They ran head-on into First Lieutenant Bey’s platoon
entrenched on the spur and were thrown back.

Resorting to grinding tactics, the Chinese repeatedly assaulted Company
E’s position from midnight to 0200. Whistles and bugles blared over the
reaches of North Ridge, and the charging squads of infantry met death
stoically, to the tune of weird Oriental chants. When one formation
was cut to pieces by machine-gun fire and grenades, another rose out
of the night to take its place. By 0200, as the first attack began to
taper off, the northeastern slopes of Hill 1282 lay buried under a mat
of human wreckage. An hour later, the 1st and Special Duty Companies
of the 1st Battalion, 235th CCF Regiment, had ceased to exist, having
lost nearly every man of their combined total of over 200. Company E’s
casualties had been heavy, but the Marines still held Hill 1282.

[Illustration: ACTION AT 3/5’S CP


On Hill 1240, a thousand yards to the east, infiltrators of the 3d
Battalion, 236th CCF Regiment, probed Dog Company’s perimeter while
Easy was under attack. By 0030, some of the harassing parties had
side-slipped through the saddle separating Hill 1282 and opened fire on
the 5th and 7th Regimental headquarters in Yudam-ni.

The sniping from the slopes of North Ridge did not surprise the Marines
in the valley, for they had long been preparing for a possible threat
from that direction. Early in the evening, Lieutenant Colonel Taplett
had re-deployed 3/5 from an assembly area just north of the village to
a broad tactical perimeter in the same locale. Companies H and I, the
latter on the right, he positioned facing Northwest Ridge--specifically
Hill 1403. Two platoons of Company G held blocking positions near the
base of Southwest Ridge, and the third manned an outpost on the slopes
of that high ground. At the bottom of North Ridge, in the draw between
Hill 1282 and the spur of 1384, Taplett established his CP with H&S and
Weapons Companies providing local security.

When 3/5’s commander learned that the spur of Hill 1384 was unoccupied,
he dispatched a platoon of Company I to an outpost position 500 yards
up the slope. About 300 yards behind the Item Company unit, on a
portion of the spur directly above the battalion CP, a platoon of South
Korean police deployed with two heavy machine guns.

At 2045, fifteen minutes before any other unit on the Yudam-ni reported
a contact, the outpost platoon of Item Company began receiving fire
from above. This harassment, probably involving advance elements of
the 237th CCF Regiment, continued sporadically for several hours,
throughout the period of the first Communist attacks against other

In the valley at 2120, a few men of How Company, 7th Marines, entered
3/5’s positions barefooted and partially clothed. Taplett, personally
noting the time of their arrival, questioned them in the battalion aid
station, and they told how their 60mm mortar position on Hill 1403 had
been seized by the Chinese.[392]

    [392] MajGen H. L. Litzenberg Comments, 20 Jul 56.

The battalion commander returned to his CP, and after listening to the
far-off din of the initial Communist attacks, placed his perimeter on
a 100% alert at 0115. Half an hour later, the Item Company platoon
on the spur of Hill 1384 reported an increase in enemy fire coming
from above. A message from H/7 next warned that CCF troops were moving
around Hill 1403 to cut the MSR. Company I observed activity in that
quarter shortly afterwards, and at 0218 opened fire on an enemy
platoon, which promptly retracted.

A few minutes later, a company--possibly two companies--of Chinese
swept down the spur of Hill 1384, overran the Item Company platoon
outpost, and continued on towards the police platoon. The South
Koreans, after inflicting heavy casualties on the Reds with their two
machine guns, vacated the high ground. Enemy troops then spread out
along the crest and poured plunging fire into H&S and Weapons Companies
defending the draw.

Weapons Company, on the far side of the depression, held its ground,
but H&S, directly under the gun, shortly fell back across the MSR.
Taplett’s CP was left in a no man’s land, with enemy bullets raining
down out of the night and Marine fire whistling back from across the
draw and road. Upon learning of the withdrawal, the battalion commander
elected to remain in the tent in order to keep telephone contact with
his rifle companies, which were as yet uninvolved. He did not consider
the situation too serious, and it seemed as though the police platoon’s
machine guns had taken the sting out of the enemy assault.

Except for a few individuals, the Chinese did not descend from the
spur. Nor did they direct much fire at Taplett’s blackout tent, which
they probably took to be unoccupied. Inside, the battalion commander
studied his maps, received reports and issued instructions over the
field phone while his S-3, Major Thomas A. Durham, sat nearby with
pistol drawn. Major John J. Canney, the executive officer, left the
CP to retrieve H&S Company and was killed as he approached the MSR.
Private First Class Louis W. Swinson, radio operator, whose instrument
had proved unreliable in the severe cold, took position outside
the tent and covered the approaches with his rifle. This unique
situation--a battalion commander under fire in an exposed position
while his rifle companies lay peacefully entrenched several hundred
yards away--lasted for over an hour.

_The Battle of North Ridge_

At approximately 0300, when Taplett, Durham, and Swinson began their
lonely vigil, the 79th CCF Division launched another assault on North
Ridge (see Map 16).[393] As a result of the enemy’s first attack,
and in anticipation of the second, Colonel Murray earlier had moved
elements of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, into position behind 3/5.

    [393] Unless otherwise noted, this section is derived from:
          1/5 _SAR_, 12–13; 1/5 _HD, Nov 50_; 7thMar _SAR_, 21;
          7thMar _URpt 5_; CO 7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1000 28
          Nov 50; Murray Comments; Hull Comments; Cdr J. H. Craven
          Comments, 24 Aug 56; Maj W. E. Kerrigan ltr, 7 Sep 56;
          Bey ltr, 26 Jun 52; Capt E. E. Collins Comments, 19 Jun
          56; 1stLt R. E. Snyder Comments, 15 Sep 56.

Second Lieutenant Nicholas M. Trapnell’s 1st Platoon of Company A
left the battalion assembly area in the valley at 0100 and started up
the steep incline of Hill 1282. Climbing the icy slopes by day was
difficult enough, but darkness and a minus-20-degree temperature made
it a gruelling and perilous ordeal. Trapnell’s outfit did not reach the
crest until after 0300, when the CCF assault was at the height of its
fury and Company E was facing imminent annihilation. The Able Company
unit moved into position with Lieutenant Bey’s platoon on the spur
jutting back from the peak. As yet, the full force of the Chinese drive
had not spread to this area.

The Red commander of the 1st Battalion, 235th Regiment, used his 3d
Company for the second attack against the cap of Hill 1282. With the
few survivors of the 1st and Special Duty Companies attached, the fresh
unit probably numbered about 125 troops. In squads of eight to ten,
the Chinese struck again and again at the perimeter on the summit, and
the two depleted platoons of Easy Company dwindled to a mere handful
of tired, desperate Marines. First Lieutenant Robert E. Snyder’s 3d
Platoon of A/5, having been sent up from the valley shortly after
Trapnell’s outfit, arrived as reinforcements. Snyder did not have
contact with Bey and Trapnell, whose platoons were still intact, so he
integrated his men with the remnants of the two platoons on the peak.

Both sides suffered crippling losses during the close fighting on Hill
1282. The Reds finally drove a wedge between the Marine defenders on
the summit and the platoons of Bey and Trapnell on the spur. According
to Bey:

  It soon became obvious that a penetration had been made to our
  left. The positions atop the hill and the Command Post area were
  brightly illuminated by flares and other explosions. By this
  time [approximately 0400] nothing but Chinese could be heard on
  the telephone in the command post and my Platoon Sergeant, Staff
  Sergeant Daniel M. Murphy, requested permission to take what men we
  could spare in an attempt to close the gap between the left flank
  of the platoon and the rest of the company. I told him to go ahead
  and do what he could.[394]

    [394] Bey ltr, 26 Jun 52.



Meanwhile, the center and rear of Easy Company’s perimeter was reduced
to the chaos of a last stand. Yancey, already wounded, was hit again
as he tried to reorganize the few Marine survivors on the peak. First
Lieutenant Leonard M. Clements, the other platoon leader, fell wounded
as did First Lieutenant William J. Schreier of the mortar section and
Lieutenant Snyder. Captain Phillips, hurling grenades in the midst of
the melee, was killed. His executive officer, First Lieutenant Raymond
O. Ball, took command of Company E, shouting out encouragement as he
lay immobilized by two wounds. He was hit several more times before he
lapsed into unconsciousness and died after reaching the aid station.
Lieutenant Snyder took command.

By 0500, CCF infantrymen of the 3d Company, 1/235, occupied the summit
of Hill 1282, still believing it to be Hill 1240. The remnants of
the platoons of Yancey, Clements, and Snyder had been driven to the
reverse slope in the west, while the units of Trapnell and Bey clung to
the crest of the southeastern spur, overlooking Yudam-ni. Up to this
point, Chinese casualties on Hill 1282 probably numbered about 250,
with Marine losses approximating 150. Easy Company had been reduced to
the effective strength of a rifle platoon (split in two), and the pair
of A/5 platoons paid with upwards of 40 killed and wounded during the
brief time on the battle line; only six effectives remained of Snyder’s

The danger from enemy-held Hill 1282 was compounded by the success of
the 3d Battalion, 236th Regiment on Hill 1240 to the east. At about
0105 the Chinese who had previously been content only to make probing
attacks on Captain Hull’s Dog Company shifted to a full-scale assault.
Sergeant Othmar J. Reller’s platoon, holding the northwest portion of
the company perimeter, beat off three attacks before being overrun at
about 0230. First Lieutenant Richard C. Webber, the machine gun platoon
leader, attempted to plug the gap with the available reinforcements but
was prevented by a fire fight outside the Company CP. First Lieutenant
Edward M. Seeburger’s platoon holding the perimeter on the right (east)
was under too heavy an attack to extend to the left and tie in with
Webber. The Chinese overran Hull’s CP at about 0300, and he ordered
Seeburger and First Lieutenant Anthony J. Sota, commanding the rear
platoon, to reorganize at the foot of Hill 1240.

Captain Hull, wounded, his command cut to the size of a few squads,
rallied his troops on the hillside and led a counterattack against
the crest. The surprised Chinese recoiled and the Marines won a small
foothold. Then the enemy smashed back from the front, right flank, and
right rear. Hull was wounded again but continued in action as his hasty
perimeter diminished to the proportions of a squad position. With the
approach of dawn, he had only 16 men left who could fight. The enemy
was on the higher ground to his front, on both flanks, and on the
slopes in his rear.


Fox Hill

_Encirclement of Company C of RCT-7--Fox Company at Toktong
Pass--Marine Counterattacks on North Ridge--Deadlock on Hill 1240--The
Fight for Northwest Ridge--Second Night’s Attacks on Fox Hill--Not
Enough Tents for Casualties--The Turning Point of 30 November_

Of the Marine artillery units at Yudam-ni, those most directly
imperiled by CCF gains on North Ridge were Major Parry’s 3d Battalion
and Battery K of the 4th. The latter, under First Lieutenant Robert C.
Messman, lay beneath the southeastern spur of Hill 1282, having gone
into position at 2100 on 27 November. Rearward of King Battery, 3/11
was positioned below the steep slopes of Hill 1240 where its 105s had
fired in direct support of the 7th Marines on 26 and 27 November (see
Map 12).[395]

    [395] 3/11 _SAR_, 6; 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex SS, appendix 4,
          (hereafter 4/11 _SAR_), 5.

The 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, which had arrived at Yudam-ni
early on the 27th to support the 5th Regiment, was emplaced in the
valley between the tips of South and Southwest Ridges. Major William
McReynolds, commanding the 4th Battalion, reached the perimeter with
his outfit later. He had two batteries in action by 1900 and all three
by 2300 on the low ground separating South and Southeast Ridges.
Battery K, firing under the direction of 1/11 pending the arrival of
the parent unit, then reverted to McReynolds’ control, although it did
not displace rearward to 4/11’s positions until the next day.

The TD-14 bulldozers of the 11th Marines had proved to be no match
for the eight-inch frostline around the Reservoir, with the result
that all batteries and security positions sat fully exposed on
the concrete-like flatlands. Incoming mortar fire harassed the
artillerymen throughout the day of 27 November, and after dark CCF
flat trajectory weapons stepped up the tempo of bombardment. Marine
casualties in the valley were light, however, for the enemy gunners
seemed unable to group their erratic pot shots into effective

    [396] 1/11 _SAR_, 8; 4/11 _SAR_, 5; LtCol W. McReynolds interv,
          26 Nov 56.

It was the imminent threat of Communist infantry attack from North
Ridge that weighed down on the artillerymen of the 11th Regiment
during the predawn hours of 28 November. Since the beginning of the
CCF onslaught, they had been firing their howitzers almost ceaselessly
in a 180-degree arc, and ammunition stocks were fast dwindling to a
critical level. Their gun flashes providing brilliant targets for enemy
infiltrators, they could reasonably expect a full-scale assault in the
event of the dislodgment of Easy and Dog Companies from Hills 1282 and
1240. The effect of countermoves by Colonels Litzenberg and Murray
would not be known until after dawn, and meanwhile the Marine gunners
kept on firing their howitzers while the black outline of North Ridge
loomed ever more menacing.

_Encirclement of Company C of RCT-7_

While the 79th and 89th CCF Divisions pounded the northwest arc of
the Yudam-ni perimeter during the night of 27–28 November, the 59th
completed its wide end-sweep to the southeast and moved against the
14-mile stretch of road to Hagaru. At the moment the Communist effort
in that quarter could be considered a secondary attack, but if ever a
target fulfilled all the qualifications of a prime objective, it was
this critical link in the MSR--the very lifeline to most of the 1st
Marine Division’s infantry and artillery strength.

During the 27th Captain Wilcox’s Baker Company of the 7th Marines
patrolled along South Ridge. As darkness fell, it was heavily engaged
and incumbered with a number of litter casualties. With the permission
of the regimental commander, Lieutenant Colonel Davis led Captain John
F. Morris’s Charlie Company (-) down the MSR to positions across the
road from Hill 1419. Aided by Charlie Company, Baker was then able to
withdraw and return to Yudam-ni with Davis while Morris and his reduced
company took up positions on Hill 1419.[397]

    [397] Col R. G. Davis Comments, 30 Nov 56.

He deployed his two rifle platoons and 60mm mortar section in a
crescent on the lower slopes of the eastern spur, facing the distant
crest. At 0230, five hours after Yudam-ni came under attack, a CCF
force descended from the high ground and struck the right flank.[398]

    [398] The following section, unless otherwise noted, is derived
          from: Geer, _The New Breed_, 288–290; Lynn Montross,
          “Ridgerunners of Toktong Pass,” _Marine Corps Gazette_,
          xxxvii, no. 5 (May 53), 16–23; 7thMar ISUM 67; and 7thMar
          msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1000 28 Nov 50.

After overrunning part of First Lieutenant Jack A. Chabek’s platoon
and inflicting heavy casualties, the Reds lashed out at the left flank
of the crescent-shaped defense. Here Staff Sergeant Earle J. Payne’s
platoon, less one squad in an outpost on higher ground, bent under the
weight of the attack and was soon in danger of being driven out of
position. Captain Morris reinforced the platoons on each flank with
men from his headquarters and the mortar section. The reshuffling was
accomplished in the nick of time and just barely tipped the scales in
favor of the defenders. A seesaw battle raged until after dawn on the
28th when, with the help of artillery fire from Yudam-ni, the Marines
drove the Chinese back into the hills.

Although the critical pressure eased at daybreak, Company C remained
pinned down by enemy fire coming from every direction, including the
crest of Hill 1419 directly above. The Chinese were in absolute control
of the MSR to the south, toward Toktong Pass, and to the north, in
the direction of Yudam-ni. Morris had taken about 40 casualties--a
dangerously high proportion, since he had only two of his three rifle
platoons. His radio had been knocked out by enemy bullets, and the 60mm
mortar section was left with but a few rounds of ammunition. For want
of communication, he could get no help from the Marine Corsairs on
station overhead.

The outpost squad from Payne’s platoon could not be contacted in
its position on the higher slopes of Hill 1419. Corporal Curtis J.
Kiesling, who volunteered to search for the lost unit, was killed by
CCF machine-gun fire as he attempted to scale the rugged incline. Other
men of Company C repeatedly exposed themselves in order to drag wounded
comrades to the relative safety of a draw leading down to the MSR.

Surrounded and outnumbered, Morris had no alternative but to await
help from Yudam-ni. He contracted his perimeter on the hillside east
of the road, and from this tiny tactical island, for the rest of the
morning, his men watched Communist troops jockey for position around a
360-degree circle.

_Fox Company at Toktong Pass_

Where Morris had taken a reduced infantry company into its lonely
assignment on the MSR, Captain William E. Barber went into position at
Toktong Pass on the 27th with a heavily reinforced outfit.[399] His
Fox Company of 2/7, augmented by heavy machine gun and 81mm mortar
sections of Weapons Company, numbered 240 officers and men. At the
midway point of the pass, Barber chose an isolated hill just north of
the MSR for his company perimeter. He placed the 3d Platoon (First
Lieutenant Robert C. McCarthy) on the summit, facing generally north,
with the 1st (First Lieutenant John M. Dunne) on the right and the 2d
(First Lieutenant Elmer G. Peterson) on the left. The 3d Platoon formed
a hilltop perimeter with two squads forward and the third in reserve
to the rear. Tied in on each flank, the 1st and 2d Platoons stretched
down the respective hillsides and bent back toward the MSR. These two
were connected on the reverse slope by company headquarters and the
rocket squad. Just below, at the base of the hill next to the road,
were Barber’s CP together with the 81mm and 60mm mortar sections. All
machine guns, including the heavies from Weapons Company, were emplaced
with the rifle platoons.

    [399] The following section, unless otherwise noted, is
          derived from Capt R. C. McCarthy, “Fox Hill,” _Marine
          Corps Gazette_, xxxvii, no. 3 (Mar 53), 16–23; Montross,
          “Ridgerunners of Toktong Pass,” 16–23; 7thMar _SAR_,
          20–21; 7thMar _URpt_ 5; 7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv,
          1000 28 Nov 50; Cpl D. R. Thornton interv by Capt A.
          Z. Freeman, 3 Jul 51; 1stLt C. C. Dana and SSgt R. R.
          Danford interv by Capt Freeman, 4 Jul 51.

During the first half of the night of 27–28 November, Toktong Pass
rumbled with the reverberations of truck convoys--the final serials
of 1/5 and 4/11 outbound for Yudam-ni and Lieutenant Colonel Beall’s
empty trucks inbound for Hagaru. It was after 2000 before the last
trucks climbed to the summit, then nosed downhill, whining and roaring
through the night as they made the twisting descent. Chinese Communists
had already launched their first attacks against Southwest Ridge at
Yudam-ni, but Fox Company’s perimeter remained quiet, even during the
first hour of 28 November.

It was actually too quiet at 0115 when Lieutenant McCarthy inspected
the 3d Platoon positions atop Fox Hill, now glittering in the light
of a full moon. Finding his men numbed by the severe cold, he called
together his squad leaders and admonished them to be more alert. A
short time later, during his next inspection, McCarthy heard the proper
challenges ring out at every point.

There was no lack of watchfulness at 0230. For it was then that Chinese
in estimated company strength lunged out of the night and assaulted the
north, west, and south arcs of Company F’s perimeter. On the summit,
the two forward squads of McCarthy’s platoon were overwhelmed almost
immediately, losing 15 killed and nine wounded out of a total of 35
men. Three others would later be listed as missing. The eight uninjured
fell back to the reserve squad’s position on the military crest to the
rear, and the enemy took over the topographical peak.

Fighting with small arms and grenades also raged on the hillside to the
left, where the Chinese attempted to drive a wedge between the 2d and
3d Platoons. Repeated assaults were hurled back with grievous losses to
the Reds, and they apparently threw in fresh units in their bid for a
critical penetration. That they failed was due largely to the valor of
three Marines who made a determined stand at the vital junction: PFC
Robert F. Benson and Private Hector A. Cafferatta of the 2d Platoon,
and PFC Gerald J. Smith, a fire team leader of the 3d. These men,
assisted by the members of Smith’s team, are credited with annihilating
two enemy platoons.

While the enemy had undoubtedly planned the attack on the two rifle
platoons with typical precision, it seems that he literally stumbled
into the rear of Fox Company’s position. Corporal Donald R. Thornton,
member of a rocket launcher crew, reported that a group of Chinese
walking along the MSR suddenly found themselves at the edge of Barber’s
CP and the mortar positions. The Communist soldiers recovered from the
surprise and closed in aggressively, forcing the company commander and
the mortar crews to ascend the hill to a protective line of trees. An
embankment where the MSR cut through the base of the hill prevented
pursuit by the Chinese. When they tried to climb over it they were cut
down by small-arms fire; when they hid behind it they were riddled by
grenades that the Marines rolled downhill; when they finally gave up
and tried to flee, they were shot as they ran into the open.

On the right (east) side of the perimeter, the 1st Platoon was engaged
only on the flanks, near the summit where it tied in with the 3d and
down the slope where it joined the headquarters troops and mortar crews
defending the rear.

Fighting around the 270° arc of the perimeter continued until after
daybreak. Despite losses of 20 dead and 54 wounded, Fox Company was in
complete control of the situation. Lieutenant McCarthy described the
breaking-off action as follows:

  By 0630, 28 November, the Chinese had received so many casualties
  that the attack could no longer be considered organized. Few
  Chinese remained alive near the company perimeter. Individual
  Chinese continued to crawl up and throw grenades. A Marine would
  make a one-man assault on these individuals, shooting or bayoneting
  them. The attack could be considered over, although three Marines
  ... were hit by rifle fire at 0730. We received small arms fire
  intermittently during the day, but no attack.

McCarthy estimated that enemy dead in front of the 2d and 3d Platoons
numbered 350, while yet another 100 littered the 1st Platoon’s zone and
the area at the base of the hill along the MSR.[400]

    [400] These figures would indicate the complete destruction of
          a CCF Battalion.

_Marine Counterattacks on North Ridge_

As Companies C and F of the 7th Marines were fighting on the MSR in the
hours just before dawn of 28 November, the first of a series of Marine
counterattacks commenced at Yudam-ni. It was essential to the very
survival of the 5th and 7th Regiments that the Chinese be driven back,
or at least checked, on the high ground surrounding the village.

Lieutenant Colonel Taplett, operating his CP in the no man’s land at
the base of North Ridge, ordered Company G of 3/5 to counterattack the
spur of Hill 1384 at about 0300.[401] The platoon of George Company
outposting Southwest Ridge was left in position, but the other two
platoons, under Second Lieutenants John J. Cahill and Dana B. Cashion,
moved out abreast shortly after 0300. Driving northward aggressively,
they crossed the MSR, “liberated” Taplett’s CP, and cleared the draw
in which Weapons Company of 3/5 was still entrenched. Troops of H&S
Company followed the attackers and reoccupied their old positions in
the gulley.

    [401] The description of 3/5’s counterattack is derived from:
          5thMar _SAR_, 21–22; 3/5 _SAR_, 14; Taplett interv, 3 May
          56; Capt D. B. Cashion ltr, 16 Jul 56 and statement, n. d.

Cahill and Cashion, displaying remarkable cohesion on unfamiliar ground
in the darkness, led the way up Hill 1384. Their men advanced swiftly
behind a shield of marching fire and routed the few[402] Chinese on
the spur. The position earlier vacated by the police platoon was
recaptured, and the Marines saw numerous enemy dead in front of the
South Korean machine gun emplacements. About 500 yards beyond the
battalion CP the two platoons halted until daylight. The seven men
who had formed the Item Company outpost on Hill 1384 arrived shortly
afterwards and were integrated into Cashion’s platoon.

    [402] Cashion ltr, 16 Jul 56, estimates the opposition came
          from 25–30 Chinese.

He continued the attack soon after daybreak, with Cahill’s platoon
giving fire support. Cashion and his men plunged into enemy territory
along the ridge line leading northward to the topographical crest of
Hill 1384, about 1000 yards distant. They had reached the final slopes
when Taplett received the radio message, almost incredible to him,
that the two platoons were nearing the peak of Hill 1384. He directed
them to discontinue the attack and withdraw to the top of the spur.
There they were to establish a defense line overlooking Yudam-ni until
receiving further orders. The spirited drive led by the two young
officers had taken considerable pressure off the Marine units in the
valley west of the village. One immediate effect was that approximately
80 officers and men of How Company, 7th Marines, were able to retire
into 3/5’s perimeter from the slopes of Hill 1403 on Northwest Ridge.

To the east of 3/5, a second successful counterattack by the 5th
Marines brought stability to yet another critical point. Company C of
1/5 had deployed shortly after midnight to back up 3/5, in the event
of a breakthrough in the valley. Owing to the adverse developments on
Hills 1282 and 1240, however, it was later placed under operational
control of the 7th Marines. One platoon left for Hill 1240 in the
middle of the night to reinforce D/7, and the remainder of the company,
led by Captain Jack R. Jones, ascended 1282 to assist E/7 and the two
platoons of A/5 earlier committed.[403]

    [403] The account of Company C’s counterattack is derived from
          5thMar _SAR_, 21; 1/5 _SAR_, 12–13; 7thMar _SAR_, 21; 7th
          Mar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1000 28 Nov 50; 1/5 _HD, Nov
          50_, 8; Maj L. R. Smith interv, 31 May 56; Bey ltr, 26
          Jun 52; ATIS _Enemy Documents: Korean Operations_ Issue
          66, 130–134, and Issue 84, 38–43; LtCol J. W. Stevens,
          II, Comments, 27 Jun 56; Capt E. E. Collins Comments, 19
          Jun 56; SSgt R. C. Alvarez ltr, 18 Oct 55.

Charlie Company moved up a draw with Jones and his executive officer,
First Lieutenant Loren R. Smith, in the van of the column, followed by
the 1st and 2d Platoons and the 60mm mortar section. Light machine-gun
sections were attached to the rifle platoons. The climb took almost two
hours in the predawn darkness, the company frequently halting while
Jones questioned wounded men descending from the top. Numb from cold,
shock, and loss of blood, they could give no intelligible picture of a
situation described as grim and confused.

At approximately 0430, the head of the column came under heavy fire
from above as it reached a point just below the military crest, about
100 yards from the summit of 1282. Here, Jones found Staff Sergeant
Murphy from E/7’s 3d Platoon which, along with Trapnell’s, was out of
sight on the spur to the right. Also out of sight but far to the left
were Snyder’s platoon of A/5 and a handful of men of Easy Company.
While CCF grenades and small-arms fire rained down, Murphy explained
that E/7’s main position had been overrun and that he was attempting to
form a holding line in the center with some 20 survivors of the summit

Jones quickly deployed his two platoons for the attack, the 2d under
Second Lieutenant Byron L. Magness on the right, the 1st under Second
Lieutenant Max A. Merrit on the left. Murphy’s small contingent joined
the formation. Second Lieutenant Robert H. Corbet set up his 60mm
mortar section to support the advance, then took a place in the assault
line. Down in the valley the 81mm mortars of 1/5 opened up with a
preparatory barrage. Artillery could not fire because of the short
distance between friendly and enemy lines, and the first flight of
Corsairs was not yet on station.

The frontal attack against the 3d Company, 1st Battalion, 235th CCF
Regiment began shortly after daybreak. Jones personally led the Marine
skirmishers against more than 50 enemy soldiers armed with machine
guns and grenades. His troops moved upward through a hail of fire and
overran the Communists after a savage clash that included hand-to-hand
fighting. The Marines then deployed with the just-arrived 2d Platoon
of Able Company bridging the gap between Jones and Trapnell in time to
thwart the advance of enemy reinforcements.

According to enemy reports, only six or seven men survived the 3d
Company’s defeat. One of them happened to be the company political
officer, who conveniently had retired from the battle line during the
crucial stage of the struggle. At 1/235’s CP, a few hundred yards
to the rear, he was given a platoon of the 2d Company “in order to
evacuate the wounded and to safeguard the occupied position on Hill
1282....” The fresh unit ascended the northern slopes of the height
while Jones’ company was battling its way up from the south. By the
time the Red soldiers of the 2d Company neared the summit, they were
confronted from above by the muzzles of Marine rifles and machine guns.
The whole story unfolds in CCF records as follows:

  As soon as the 1st Platoon [2d Company] advanced to the 3d
  Company’s position its assistant company commander came up with
  the platoon. At that time, the enemy [C/5] counterattacked very
  violently. Accordingly, the assistant company commander ordered
  the 1st Platoon to strike the enemy immediately and determinedly.
  Before the 1st Platoon’s troops had been deployed, Lee Feng Hsi,
  the Platoon Leader, shouted: “Charge!” So both the 1st and 2d
  Squads pressed forward in swarms side by side. When they were
  within a little more than ten meters of the top of the hill they
  suffered casualties from enemy hand grenades and short-range fire.
  Consequently, they were absolutely unable to advance any farther.
  At that time, the assistant company commander and the majority of
  the platoon and squad leaders were either killed or wounded.

  While the 1st and 2d Squads were encountering the enemy’s
  counterattack, the 3d Squad also deployed and joined them in an
  effort to drive the enemy to the back of the hill. As a result,
  more than half of the 3d Squad were either killed or wounded. When
  the second assistant platoon leader attempted to reorganize, his
  troops suffered again from enemy flanking fire and hand grenades.
  Thus, after having fought for no more than ten minutes, the entire
  platoon lost its attacking strength and was forced to retreat
  somewhat to be able to defend firmly the place it held.

Meanwhile, according to Chinese accounts, Tsung Hui Tzu, commander of
the 2d Company, had arrived at the CP of 1/235 with his 2d Platoon at
0620. Noting that his 1st Platoon was in trouble, he said to the leader
of the 2d, “There are some enemy soldiers on the hill [1282] in front
of us; attack forward determinedly.”

The 2d Platoon jumped off immediately with two squads abreast and one
trailing. Within 30 meters of the crest, the Reds attempted to rush
Charlie Company’s position behind a barrage of hand grenades. The
assault failed. On the right the assistant platoon leader fell at the
head of the 4th squad, which was reduced to three survivors. Tsung, the
company commander, rushed forward and led the 6th squad on the left.
He was wounded and the squad cut to pieces. Incredibly, the platoon
leader ordered the three remaining men of the 4th squad to assault the
summit again. They tried and only one of them came back. The 5th squad,
advancing out of reserve, had no sooner begun to deploy than it lost
all of its NCOs. “As it mixed with the 4th and 6th squads to attack,
they suffered casualties again from enemy flanking fire and hand
grenades from the top of the hill. Therefore, the entire platoon lost
its combat strength, with only seven men being left alive.”

Not only was the commanding officer of 1/235 down to his last company,
but that company was down to its last platoon. Forever hovering in the
rear, the 2d Company’s political officer, Liu Sheng Hsi, ordered the
platoon to “continue the attack.” The assault began with two squads
forward, led by the platoon leader and his assistant. They charged
uphill into the teeth of Charlie Company’s position. Like all the
others, they were ground into the mat of corpses on the blood-soaked
snow. To complete the suicide of the 1st Battalion, 235th Regiment, the
reserve squad of this last platoon was committed. A few minutes later,
“... there were only six men left.”

The 2d Company paid for its failure with 94 of the original 116
officers and men. This loss, added to those of the 1st, 3d, and
Special Duty Companies, would place 1/235’s casualties on Hill 1282 at
approximately 400, including practically all the company commanders,
platoon leaders, and NCOs. It can be assumed that nearly all of the
wounded succumbed, since evacuation was well nigh impossible with
Marines in control of the summit for the next 24 hours.

Marine losses were not light. Able and Charlie Companies of 1/5
together suffered 15 KIA and 67 WIA. Easy Company of 2/7, according
to best estimates, made its stand at a cost of about 120 killed and

_Deadlock on Hill 1240_

At daybreak of 20 November, several of Easy Company’s casualties still
lay in their foxholes on the forward slopes of Hill 1282. To recover
them was an undertaking of great risk, even after the defeat of 1/235;
for CCF survivors continued to fire at the summit from positions on the
lower slopes. Captain Jones directed the evacuation and repeatedly ran
forward of his lines to rescue half-frozen Marines who were immobilized
by wounds.[404]

    [404] L. R. Smith interv, 31 May 56; Geer, _The New Breed_, 285.

Headquarters personnel of 1/5 spent the whole morning removing
casualties from 1282 and carrying them to the battalion and regimental
aid stations, which soon were filled to overflowing. In the meantime,
Able Company joined Charlie on the crest and assimilated the depleted
platoons of Trapnell and Snyder. A new defensive line was drawn across
the vital peak with C/5 in the center, A/5 on the right, and E/7,
now under the command of Lieutenant Bey, on the left. By midmorning,
despite the continued exchange of fire with CCF troops on the slopes,
there was no doubt that the Marines would hold the hill.[405]

    [405] 5thMar _SAR_, 12–13; Collins Comments, 19 Jun 56.

This was not the case 1000 yards to the right, where daybreak had
found the shattered remnants of D/7 clinging to a toehold on Hill 1240
and beset from every direction by troops of the 3d Battalion, 236th CCF
Regiment.[406] The 3d Platoon of C/5, which had been dispatched from
the valley at 0400 to help, was delayed by darkness and terrain. Second
Lieutenant Harold L. Dawe’s small relief force became hotly engaged
on the lower slopes, far short of Dog Company’s position, but made a
fighting ascent after dawn.

    [406] The account of the action of Hill 1240 is derived from:
          5thMar _SAR_, 12; 1/5 _SAR_, 12–13; 7thMar msg to CG
          1stMarDiv, 1000 28 Nov 50; Geer, _The New Breed_, 288;
          Capt H. L. Dawe, Jr., Comments, n. d.

Initially Dawe missed contact with the beleagured outfit, but
afterwards the two forces cleared the Chinese from 1240. From his
position on the northeastern spur of the hill he could see the enemy
massing on the reverse slopes of 1240 and 1282. Communications were out
and he could not call for fire. At about 1100 the Reds counterattacked
with an estimated two or more battalions and forced Dawe to withdraw
about 150 yards. There his depleted platoon and the 16 remaining men of
Dog Company held under heavy mortar fire until relieved by B/5 at 1700.
The price of a stalemate on Hill 1240 was to Dawe about half of his
platoon, and to Hull practically his whole company.

_The Fight for Northwest Ridge_

To the left of North Ridge, dawn of 28 November revealed a tactical
paradox on the looming massif of Northwest Ridge. Both Marines and
Red Chinese occupied the terminal high ground, and it was difficult
to determine which had emerged victorious from the all-night battle.
How Company, 7th Marines, had withdrawn from Hill 1403, and from this
commanding peak soldiers of the 89th CCF Division could observe and
enfilade the whole of Yudam-ni valley. In addition to the 80 officers
and men of How Company who had pulled back to the lines of 3/5 during
the early morning, another group found its way to the rear of Easy
Company, 2/5, as mentioned earlier.[407]

    [407] 3/5 _SAR_, 14, and 2/5 _SAR_, 18; 7thMar msg to CG
          1stMarDiv, 0840 28 Nov 50.

The appearance of the latter contingent at 0430 was a cause of
consternation to Lieutenant Colonel Roise. His rifle companies had
thrown back repeated CCF attacks along the draw and spur on the left
of the 7th Marines’ outfit, but the loss of 1403 now offset his
victory and gravely imperiled his line of communications to the rest
of the 5th Marines at Yudam-ni, a mile to the rear. Nevertheless, 2/5
continued to hold. At 0600 Company E counterattacked and drove the
Chinese from the northern tip of the spur which they had occupied
during the night. Fox Company, its right flank now restored and in
contact with Easy, lashed out at 0800 and recaptured the two machine
guns overrun by the enemy four hours earlier. Fifteen CCF soldiers who
had found their way into the rear of Company F some time in the night
were destroyed. Easy Company, after its successful counterattack on the
spur, drove off a large Communist force attempting to move against its
right flank.[408]

    [408] _Ibid._; Jaskilka, “Easy Alley.”

Incredibly, 2/5’s losses for the night-long fight were 7 KIA, 25 WIA,
and 60 weather casualties. Chinese dead piled across the front of Easy
and Fox Companies numbered 500, according to a rough count.[409] There
was no estimate made by How Company, 7th Marines, of enemy losses on
Hill 1403.

    [409] 2/5 _HD, Nov 50_, 9–10.

At 0145 on the 28th, Roise had received Murray’s order to continue the
attack to the west after daybreak, so that 3/5 could move forward,
deploy, and add its weight to the X Corps offensive. Events during the
night altered Murray’s plans, of course, and at 0545 the regimental
commander alerted Roise to the probability of withdrawing 2/5 to
Southwest Ridge later in the morning. The battalion commander, not
realizing the extent of the crisis at Yudam-ni, thought a mistake had
been made when he checked the map coordinates mentioned in the message.
Despite the fact that his whole front was engaged at the time, he was
prepared to continue the westward drive, and he questioned regimental
headquarters about the “error” which would take his battalion rearward.
Needless to say, the correctness of the map coordinates was quickly

    [410] 5thMar _SAR_, 21; 2/5 _SAR_, 19; Col J. L. Stewart interv
          13 Jun 56.

Lieutenant Colonel Murray visited Colonel Litzenberg at dawn on the
28th, while elements of the 5th Marines were counterattacking the
Chinese forces on North and Northwest Ridges. They agreed that the
enemy had appeared in sufficient strength to warrant a switch to
the defensive by both regiments, and Murray cancelled the scheduled
westward attack by his 2d and 3d Battalions. At 1100 he ordered 2/5
to pull back to Southwest Ridge, tying in on the left with 3/7 on the
same hill mass, and on the right with 3/5, whose line extended from
the valley northwest of Yudam-ni to the crest of North Ridge.[411]

    [411] _Ibid._; Col R. L. Murray Comments, n. d.

Orders officially halting the northwestward advance and directing the
5th Marines to coordinate positions with the 7th Marines were sent
by General Smith at 1650.[412] Twenty-three minutes earlier he had
ordered the 7th Marines to attack to the south and reopen the MSR to

    [412] CG 1stMarDiv msg to CO 5thMar, 1650 28 Nov 50.

    [413] CG 1stMarDiv msg to CO 7thMar, 1627 28 Nov 50.

To coordinate better the defense of the new perimeter, Murray moved his
CP from the northwestern edge of Yudam-ni to the center of the village,
where the 7th Marines’ headquarters was located. He spent most of his
time thereafter with Litzenberg, while Lieutenant Colonel Joseph L.
Stewart, his executive officer, ran the 5th Regiment command post.[414]
Through constant contact and a policy of close cooperation in all
matters, the two regimental commanders and their staffs came up with
joint plans for the defense of Yudam-ni and the ultimate breakout to

    [414] _Ibid._; 5th Mar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1050 28 Nov 50.

The first of these plans had to do with the realignment of forces at
Yudam-ni and the rescue of Charlie and Fox Companies, 7th Marines.
Early in the afternoon of 28 November, 2/5 began withdrawing from
Northwest Ridge a company at a time, with Company E providing covering
fire as rear guard. The battalion’s displacement to Southwest Ridge was
completed by 2000 against CCF resistance consisting only of harassing

    [415] 2/5 _SAR_, 19.

Directly across the valley of Yudam-ni, Company I of 3/5 relieved the
elements of 1/5 on Hill 1282 of North Ridge in late afternoon. George
and How Companies of 3/5 deployed in the low ground to protect the
corridor approaches to Yudam-ni from the northwest. Lieutenant Colonel
Stevens, keeping the bulk of 1/5 in reserve, dispatched Company B at
1400 to relieve the battered handful of Marines on Hill 1240.

While this reshuffling took place on the 28th, Colonel Litzenberg
listened anxiously to the grim reports from his 1st Battalion, which
had set out in the morning to retrieve both Charlie and Fox Companies
from their encircled positions on the MSR leading to Hagaru.[416]
Able Company led off for the relief force at 1015, entering the gorge
between South and Southeast Ridges. Five hours of fighting, marching,
and climbing took it to a point about three miles from the Yudam-ni
perimeter and one mile short of Company C’s position. Here, while
moving through the high ground east of the MSR, the vanguard met heavy
resistance and was stopped cold.

    [416] The account of C/5’s rescue, is derived from: 7thMar
          _SAR_, 21; 7thMar msgs to CG 1stMarDiv 1150, 1200, 1450,
          1550, 1915, 2040 28 Nov 50, and 0144 29 Nov 50; 7thMar
          msg to 2/7 0515 28 Nov 50; Geer, _The New Breed_, 290–291.

Lieutenant Colonel Davis, who was following with the remainder of
the 1st Battalion, committed Company B to a flanking movement west
of the road. Air and 81mm mortars supported the auxiliary attack and
routed the Chinese. Both companies advanced to high-ground positions
abreast of Charlie Company’s perimeter, then bent toward the MSR to
provide a protective crescent between the beleaguered outfit and the
enemy-infested ground to the south.

By now it was dark. Fox Company, according to plan, was supposed
to have fought its way from Toktong Pass. Owing to the burden of
casualties and the ring of Chinese around its distant hilltop, it was
not able to do so. Litzenberg, concerned lest 1/7 be similarly trapped
in the gorge, recalled Davis to Yudam-ni. The relief force returned at
2110 with Charlie Company and its 46 wounded.

_Second Night’s Attacks on Fox Hill_

Fox Company, with 54 wounded on its hands, spent an active day at
the top of Toktong Pass.[417] After the Chinese attacks subsided
in the morning, Barber’s men collected ammunition and weapons from
Marine casualties and Communist dead. Included among enemy arms were
several of the familiar U. S. Thompson submachine guns and Model 1903
Springfield rifles.

    [417] This account of Company F’s activities on 28 Nov is
          derived from: 7thMar _SAR_, 18–24; McCarthy, “Fox Hill,”
          16–23; Thornton interv, 3 Jul 51; Dana-Danford interv 4
          Jul 51; Geer, _The New Breed_, 300–302; Statement of Cpl
          C. R. North, n. d.

At 1030 a flight of Australian F-51s (Mustangs) blasted CCF positions
around Toktong Pass, particularly a rocky promontory several hundred
yards to the north on Hill 1653, which the enemy already had
transformed into a redoubt. Within the Marine perimeter, the wounded
were placed in two tents on a sheltered hillside where Navy corpsmen
attended them constantly. According to Lieutenant McCarthy’s account,
the medics, “by candlelight ... changed the bandages, slipped men in
and out of sleeping bags, warmed C-rations for the men, and melted the
morphine syrettes in their mouths before the injections. Because the
plasma was frozen the corpsmen had to watch men die for the lack of it.”

During late morning and the afternoon, Barber sent out patrols to
screen the areas immediately beyond his lines. The scouting parties
met only sniper fire, but other evidence of enemy activity indicated
that Fox Hill was completely surrounded. An appeal for resupply by air
was answered later in the day when Marine R5Ds dropped medical kits
and ammunition at the base of the hill. At a cost of two wounded, the
precious supplies were recovered before sundown.

Fox Company’s perimeter for the night of 28–29 November was the same as
before, except that the ranks were noticeably thinner. Nevertheless, a
feeling of confidence pervaded the men on the hilltop; they believed
implicitly that they could hold. They believed it despite the fact that
strong relief columns from both Yudam-ni and Hagaru had been unable to
break through to them.

All was quiet on Fox Hill until 0215, when CCF mortar rounds killed one
Marine and wounded two others in the 3d Platoon, now reduced to some 20
able-bodied men. About 40 Chinese made a penetration in this area after
a series of probing attacks all along the line. One Marine crew turned
its light machine gun about and brought it to bear on the bunched-up
attackers with deadly effect. A gap in the lines on both flanks caused
the platoon to pull back about 20 yards. At sunrise, however, Staff
Sergeant John D. Audas led a counterattack which regained the lost
ground at a cost of only two wounded.

The second night’s fighting cost Fox Company a total of five killed and
29 wounded. Both Captain Barber and Lieutenant McCarthy suffered leg
wounds, but continued in action after receiving first aid. The company
commander directed that the open ground on Fox Hill be marked with
colored parachutes from the previous day’s air drops. This provision
resulted in accurate drops and easy recoveries when Marine transport
planes arrived at 1030 on the 29th with ammunition and supplies.
Shortly afterwards First Lieutenant Floyd J. Englehardt of VMO-6 landed
with batteries for the SCR-300 and 619 radios. Although his helicopter
was damaged by hits from long-distance Chinese fire, he managed to take
off safely.

Air drops that afternoon by C-119s of the Combat Cargo Command missed
the marked zone at times, and much of the mortar ammunition landed
about 500 yards to the west of the perimeter. Lieutenant Peterson,
already twice wounded, led Marines who recovered some of the rounds
but were pinned down by CCF fire and got back, one at a time, with
difficulty. At dusk, under cover of fire from How Battery, another
detail recovered the ammunition without enemy interference.

_Not Enough Tents for Casualties_

The night of 28–29 November passed with only minor activity in the
Yudam-ni area for the infantry of RCT-5; but the regimental surgeon,
Lieutenant Commander Chester M. Lessenden (MC) USN, had his hands full.
During the fighting of the previous night the joint aid station had
been west of Yudam-ni. Tents sheltering the wounded were riddled by
enemy small-arms fire from the North Ridge battle, and on the morning
of the 28th the aid station displaced to a safer location southwest
of Yudam-ni. The seriously wounded filled the few tents initially
available, and the others were protected from freezing by being placed
outdoors, side by side, and covered by tarpaulins while lying on straw.
Primitive as this hospitalization was, DOW cases were no more than
might have been expected under better conditions.[418]

    [418] 5thMar _SAR_, 48; Stewart interv, 13 Jun 56; 4/11 _SAR_,
          5; McReynolds interv, 26 Nov 56.

The crowding in the aid stations was much relieved on 30 November by
the erection of sufficient tentage by 4/11 to provide shelter for
approximately 500 casualties.

“Everything was frozen,” said Lessenden later in an interview with
Keyes Beech, a press correspondent. “Plasma froze and the bottles
broke. We couldn’t use plasma because it wouldn’t go into solution and
the tubes would clog up with particles. We couldn’t change dressings
because we had to work with gloves on to keep our hands from freezing.

“We couldn’t cut a man’s clothes off to get at a wound because he
would freeze to death. Actually a man was often better off if we left
him alone. Did you ever try to stuff a wounded man into a sleeping

    [419] Keyes Beech: _Tokyo and Points East_ (New York, 1954),

The joint defense plan for the night of 28–29 November provided for
RCT-5 to take the responsibility for the west and north sectors, while
RCT-7 was to defend to the east, south and southwest. Enemy mortar
fire was received during the night in both regimental zones, but
there were few infantry contacts. This lack of activity could only be
interpreted as a temporary lull while the enemy regrouped for further

As for the next attempt to relieve Fox Company and open the MSR to
Hagaru, the joint planners at Yudam-ni decided on the night of the
28th that all troops of the two regiments now in line were needed for
defense. There were actually no men to spare for a relief column, and
yet Division had ordered the effort to be made. The solution seemed
to be a composite battalion consisting of perimeter reserve units.
In order to replace these troops, personnel were to be assigned from
headquarters units and artillery batteries. This was the genesis of the
Composite Battalion, consisting of elements from Able Company of 1/5,
Baker Company of 1/7 and George Company of 3/7, reinforced by a 75mm
recoilless section and two 81mm mortar sections from RCT-7 battalions.
These troops were directed to assemble at the 1/7 CP on the morning
of the 29th, with Major Warren Morris, executive officer of 3/7, in

    [420] This account of the Composite Battalion is derived from
          the following sources: Narrative of Maj W. R. Earney, n.
          d., 5–8; 3/7 _SAR_, n. p.

At 0800 the striking force moved out southward with the dual mission of
relieving Captain Barber and opening up the MSR all the way to Hagaru.
After an advance of 300 yards, heavy machine-gun fire hit the column
from both sides of the road. Groups of Chinese could be plainly seen on
the ridges, affording remunerative targets for the 81mm mortars and 75
recoilless guns. Forward air controllers soon had the Corsairs overhead
to lead the way. At a point about 4500 yards south of Yudam-ni,
however, Marine planes dropped two messages warning that the enemy was
entrenched in formidable force along the high ground on both sides of
the MSR.

Similar messages were delivered by the aircraft to the regimental CP at
Yudam-ni. They caused Colonel Litzenberg to modify the orders of the
Composite Battalion and direct that it relieve Fox Company and return
to Yudam-ni before dark.

By this time Morris’ troops had become engaged with large numbers of
Chinese who were being constantly reinforced by groups moving into the
area along draws masked from friendly ground observation. Litzenberg
was informed on a basis of air observation that Morris was in danger of
being surrounded, and at 1315 he sent an urgent message directing the
force to return to Yudam-ni. Contact was broken off immediately with
the aid of air and artillery cover and the Composite Battalion withdrew
without further incident.

_The Turning Point of 30 November_

The Yudam-ni area had a relatively quiet night on 29–30 November. But
even though there was little fighting, the continued sub-zero cold
imposed a strain on the men when at least a fifty per cent alert must
be maintained at all times. This was the third virtually sleepless
night for troops who had not had a warm meal since the Thanksgiving

“Seldom has the human frame been so savagely punished and continued to
function,” wrote Keyes Beech. “Many men discovered reserves of strength
they never knew they possessed. Some survived and fought on will power

    [421] Beech, _Tokyo and Points East_, 197.

Certainly there was no lack of will power on Fox Hill as Captain Barber
called his platoon leaders together at about 1700 on 29 November and
told them not to expect any immediate relief. Chinese attacks, he
warned, might be heavier than ever this third night, but they would be
beaten off as usual.

The area was quiet until about 0200 on the 30th, when an Oriental
voice called out of the darkness in English, “Fox Company, you are
surrounded. I am a lieutenant from the 11th Marines. The Chinese will
give you warm clothes and good treatment. Surrender now!”[422] The
Marines replied with 81mm illumination shells which revealed targets
for the machine guns as the Chinese advanced across the valley from the

    [422] This description of the third night on Fox Hill is
          derived from McCarthy, “Fox Hill,” 21.

Thanks to the afternoon’s air drops, Fox Hill had enough mortar
ammunition and hand grenades for the first time, and good use was made
of both. An estimated three CCF companies were cut to pieces at a cost
of a single Marine wounded.

At sunrise, as the Corsairs roared over, all tension vanished on Fox
Hill. For it was generally agreed that if the Chinese couldn’t take the
position in three nights, they would never make the grade.

The troops in the Yudam-ni area also felt that the enemy had shot
his bolt without achieving anything more than a few local gains at a
terrible cost in killed and wounded. It was recognized that some hard
fighting lay ahead, but the morning of the 30th was a moral turning
point both in the foxhole and the CP.

It was evident even on the platoon level at Yudam-ni that big events
were in the wind. Marine enlisted men are traditionally shrewd at
sizing up a tactical situation, and they sensed that a change was
at hand. For three days and nights they had been on the defensive,
fighting for their lives, and now the word was passed from one man to
another that the Marines were about to snatch the initiative.

The regimental commanders and staff officers had a worry lifted from
their minds when a helicopter brought the news that Hagaru had passed
a quiet night after repulsing large enemy forces in a dusk-to-dawn
battle the night before. It would have added enormously to the task
of the Yudam-ni troops, of course, if the Chinese had seized that
forward base with its air strip and stockpiles of supplies. Thus it was
heartening to learn that a single reinforced Marine infantry battalion
and an assortment of service troops had beaten off the attacks of large
elements of a Chinese division at Hagaru. The following two chapters
will be devoted to an account of that critical battle and its aftermath
before returning to Yudam-ni.


Hagaru’s Night of Fire

_Four-Mile Perimeter Required--Attempts to Clear MSR--Intelligence
as to CCF Capabilities--Positions of Marine Units--CCF Attacks from
the Southwest--East Hill Lost to Enemy--The Volcano of Supporting
Fires--Marine Attacks on East Hill_

The importance of Hagaru in the Marine scheme of things was starkly
obvious after the Chinese cut the MSR. Hagaru, with its supply dumps,
hospital facilities and partly finished C-47 airstrip, was the one
base offering the 1st Marine Division a reasonable hope of uniting its
separated elements. Hagaru had to be held at all costs, yet only a
reinforced infantry battalion (less one rifle company and a third of
its Weapons Company) and two batteries of artillery were available for
the main burden of the defense.

Owing to transportation shortages, the 3d Battalion of the 1st Marines
did not arrive at Hagaru until after dusk on 26 November. Even so, it
had been necessary to leave George Company and a platoon of Weapons
Company behind at Chigyong for lack of vehicles.[423]

    [423] This section is derived from: 1stMar _HD, Nov 50_, 2; 3/1
          _SAR, 26 Nov-15 Dec 50_, 2–3; Col T. L. Ridge ltr, 22 Sep
          55, and Comments, 7 Jun 56; LtCol E. H. Simmons Comments,
          n. d.

The parka-clad Marines, climbing down stiffly from the trucks, had
their first sight of a panorama which reminded one officer of old
photographs of a gold-rush mining camp in the Klondike. Tents, huts,
and supply dumps were scattered in a seemingly haphazard fashion about
a frozen plain crossed by a frozen river and bordered on three sides by
low hills rising to steep heights on the eastern outskirts. Although
many of the buildings had survived the bombings, the battered town
at the foot of the ice-locked Chosin Reservoir was not a spectacle
calculated to raise the spirits of newcomers.

It was too late to relieve 2/7(-) that evening. Lieutenant Colonels
Ridge and Lockwood agreed that Fox Company, 7th Marines, and Weapons
Company (-) of 2/7 would occupy positions jointly with 3/1. The hours
of darkness passed quietly and relief was completed the next day. Fox
Company then moved to its new positions near Toktong Pass.

_Four-Mile Perimeter Required_

On the morning of 27 November, of course, an all-out enemy attack was
still in the realm of speculation. But it was evident to Lieutenant
Colonel Ridge, CO of 3/1, that one to two infantry regiments and
supporting arms would be required for an adequate defense of Hagaru.
With only a battalion (-) at his disposal, he realized that he must
make the best possible use of the ground. For the purposes of a
survey, he sent his S-3, Major Trompeter, on a walking reconnaissance
with Major Simmons, CO of Weapons Company and 3/1 Supporting Arms

After a circuit of the natural amphitheater, the two officers agreed
that even to hold the reverse slopes would require a perimeter of more
than four miles in circumference (see Map 17). The personnel resources
of 3/1 would thus be stretched to an average of one man for nearly
seven yards of front. This meant that the commanding officer must take
his choice between being weak everywhere or strong in a few sectors to
the neglect of others. In either event, some areas along the perimeter
would probably have to be defended by supporting fires alone.[424]

    [424] Ridge, _Notes_; LtCol E. H. Simmons interv, 1 Dec 55.

“Under the circumstances,” commented General Smith, “and considering
the mission assigned to the 1st Marine Division, an infantry component
of one battalion was all that could be spared for the defense of
Hagaru. This battalion was very adequately supported by air, and had
sufficient artillery and tanks for its purposes.”[425]

    [425] Gen O. P. Smith ltr, 17 May 56.

The terrain gave the enemy two major covered avenues of approach for
troop movements. One was the hill mass east of Hagaru, the other a draw
leading into the southwest side of the town, where the new airstrip
was being constructed. Nor could the possibility of a surprise attack
from some other quarter be dismissed entirely, since CCF observers
would be able to watch Marine preparations from the surrounding hills
in daylight hours.


28–29 November 1950


Lieutenant Colonel Ridge decided that final troop dispositions must
depend not only on terrain but equally on intelligence as to enemy
capabilities. Until he had more information, the units of 3/1 were to
remain in the areas formerly occupied by 2/7.

_Attempts to Clear MSR_

The Battalion CP had been set up in a pyramidal tent at the angle of
the road to Yudam-ni. Most of the day on the 27th was given over to
improving positions. At the southwest end of the perimeter, First
Lieutenant Fisher’s Item Company took over from Captain Barber’s Fox
Company, the only rifle company of 2/7 remaining at Hagaru.

On the strength of preliminary S-2 reports, Ridge instructed the
commanders of his two rifle companies to improve their sectors, which
included the entire south and southwest curve of the perimeter. All the
Division Headquarters troops except one motor convoy had reached Hagaru
by the 27th, and it was due to leave Hungnam the next morning. The new
Division CP was located in the northeast quarter of town, near the long
concrete bridge over the frozen Changjin River. Rows of heated tents
surrounded a Japanese type frame house repaired for the occupancy of
General Smith, who was expected by helicopter in the morning. Already
functioning at the CP were elements of the General Staff Sections and
Headquarters Company.[426]

    [426] Smith, _Notes_, 689–690.

The busiest Marines at Hagaru on the 27th were the men of the 1st
Engineer Battalion. While a Company B platoon built tent decks for the
Division CP, detachments of Company A were at work on the maintenance
of the MSR in the area, and Company D had the job of hacking out
the new airstrip. Apparently the latter project had its “sidewalk
contractors” even in sub-zero weather, for this comment found its way
into the company report:

  Dozer work [was] pleasing to the eye of those who wanted activity
  but contributed little to the overall earth-moving problem of
  90,000 cubic yards of cut and 60,000 cubic yards of fill.[427]

    [427] D/Engr _SAR_.

Motor graders and scrapers with a 5.8 cubic yard capacity had been
moved up from Hamhung. So difficult did it prove to get a bite of the
frozen earth that steel teeth were welded to the blades. When the pan
was filled, however, the earth froze to the cutting edges until it
could be removed only by means of a jack hammer.

The strip was about one-fourth completed on the 27th, according to
minimum estimates of the length required. Work went on that night
as usual under the flood lights.[428] Not until the small hours of
the morning did the first reports reach Hagaru of the CCF attacks on
Yudam-ni and Fox Hill.

    [428] 1stEngrBn _SAR_, 11; and Partridge interv, 25 Jun 51.

Some remnants of 2/7 were still at Hagaru, for lack of transportation,
when Lieutenant Colonel Lockwood, commanding officer of the battalion,
received a dispatch from Colonel Litzenberg directing him to proceed to
Toktong Pass and assist Fox Company. At 0530 he requested the “loan”
of a rifle company of 3/1 to reinforce elements of Weapons Company
(-), 2/7. Lieutenant Colonel Ridge could spare only a platoon from How
Company, and at 0830 the attempt was cancelled. An hour later Weapons
Company and three tanks from the 2d Platoon of Company D, 1st Tank
Battalion, made another effort. They pushed half-way to the objective,
only to be turned back by heavy Chinese small-arms and mortar fire
from the high ground on both sides of the road. Supporting fires from
3/1 helped the column to break off contact and return to Hagaru at

    [429] 3/1 _SAR 26 Nov-15 Dec 50_, 4; 1stTkBn _SAR_, 21; 3/1 msg
          to CO 1stMar, 1845 28 Nov 50.

No better success attended a reinforced platoon of How Company, 3/1,
accompanied by three Company D tanks, when it set out on the road to
Koto-ri. On the outskirts of Hagaru, within sight of Captain Corley’s
CP, the men were forced to climb down from their vehicles and engage in
a hot fire fight. They estimated the enemy force at about 50, but an OY
pilot dropped a message warning that some 300 Chinese were moving up
on the flanks of the patrol. The Marines managed to disengage at 1530,
with the aid of mortar and artillery fires from Hagaru, and returned to
the perimeter with losses of one killed and five wounded.[430]

    [430] _Ibid._; Narrative of Maj C. E. Corley, n. d.

A similar patrol from Item Company, 3/1, struck off to the southwest of
the perimeter in the direction of Hungmun-ni. Late in the morning of
the 28th, this reinforced platoon encountered an estimated 150 enemy
and called for artillery and mortar fires. After dispersing this CCF
group, the patrol routed a second enemy detachment an hour later after
a brief fire fight.[431]

    [431] 3/1 _SAR 26 Nov-15 Dec 50_, 4; and 1stLt R. C. Needbon
          [sic] interv by Capt K. A. Shutts, 28 May 51.

Any lingering doubts as to the extent of the Chinese attack on the MSR
were dispelled by reports from the OY and HO3S-1 pilots of VMO-6. They
disclosed that defended enemy road blocks had cut off Yudam-ni, Fox
Hill, Hagaru, and Koto-ri from any physical contact with one another.
The advance units of the 1st Marine Division had been sliced into
four isolated segments as CCF columns penetrated as far south as the
Chinhung-ni area.[432]

    [432] VMO-6 tel to G-2 1stMarDiv, 1015 28 Nov 50; CO 1stMar msg
          to CG 1stMarDiv, 1100 28 Nov 50; CG 1stMarDiv msg to CO
          1stMar, 1103 28 Nov 50.

_Intelligence as to CCF Capabilities_

There was no question at all in the minds of Lieutenant Colonel Ridge
and his officers as to whether the Chinese would attack at Hagaru. As
early as the morning of the 27th, the problem had simply been one of
when, where, and in what strength. It was up to the S-2 Section to
provide the answers, and upon their correctness would depend the fate
of Hagaru, perhaps even of the 1st Marine Division.

Second Lieutenant Richard E. Carey, the S-2, was a newcomer to the
battalion staff, recently transferred from a George Company infantry
platoon. His group consisted of an assistant intelligence chief,
Staff Sergeant Saverio P. Gallo, an interpreter, and four scout
observers.[433] There were also two CIC agents assigned to 3/1 by
Division G-2.

    [433] This section is based on Ridge, _Notes_, and Comments,
          7 Jun 56; Narrative of Capt R. E. Carey, 3 Feb 56. The
          need for NCOs in rifle platoons was so pressing that the
          former intelligence chief, TSgt James E. Sweeney, had
          been transferred from the S-2 Section just before the
          move to Hagaru.

At Hagaru, as at Majon-ni, the Marines had won respect at the outset by
allowing the Korean residents all privileges of self-government which
could be reconciled with military security. The police department and
town officials had been permitted to continue functioning. They in turn
briefed the population as to restricted areas and security regulations,
particularly curfew. Korean civilians entering Hagaru through Marine
road blocks were searched before being taken to the police station
where they were questioned by an interrogation team from the S-2

Hagaru’s resemblance to a gold-rush mining camp was heightened on the
27th by a tremendous influx both of troops and Koreans from outlying
districts. A large truck convoy from Headquarters Battalion arrived
to set up the new Division CP, and detachments from various Marine or
Army service units entered in a seemingly endless stream. The Korean
refugees had much the same story to tell; most of them came from areas
to the north and west of Hagaru, and they had been evicted from their
homes by large numbers of CCF troops.

Carey instructed his CIC agents to converse with incoming Koreans and
learn everything possible about the enemy situation. Again, as at
Majon-ni, people who had been thoroughly indoctrinated with Communism
were found “highly co-operative.” As untrained observers, however,
their estimates of CCF numbers and equipment could not be taken too
literally. Since their statements agreed that the enemy was in close
proximity, Carey decided to take the risk of sending his two CIC agents
on the dangerous mission of establishing direct contact. They were
enjoined to make a circuit of the perimeter, mingling whenever possible
with the Chinese and determining the areas of heaviest concentration.

The results went beyond Carey’s fondest expectations. Not only did
his agents return safely from their long hike over the hills, but
they brought back vital information. Well led and equipped Chinese
Communist units had been encountered to the south and west of Hagaru.
And since Marine air also reported unusual activity in this area, it
was a reasonable assumption that the enemy was concentrated there
approximately in division strength.

This answered the questions as to “how many” and “where.” There
remained the problem as to “when” the attack might be expected, and
again on the 28th Carey sent out his CIC agents to make direct contact.
“I expected little or no information,” he recollected, “but apparently
these men had a way with them. Upon reporting back, they told me that
they had talked freely with enemy troops, including several officers
who boasted that they would occupy Hagaru on the night of 28 November.”

Major enemy units were reported to be five miles from the perimeter.
Dusk was at approximately 1800, with complete darkness setting in
shortly afterwards. Adding the estimate of three and a half hours for
Chinese movements to the line of departure, the S-2 Section calculated
that the enemy could attack as early as 2130 on the night of the 28th
from the south and west in division strength.[434]

    [434] The possibility of an attack from the East Hill area was
          considered, since Chinese forces were known to be east of
          the hill. Col Ridge states, “I assume[d] that the build
          up of such forces would not allow their capability of a
          strong attack.” Ridge Comments, 7 Jun 56.

_Positions of Marine Units_

These intelligence estimates were accepted by Lieutenant Colonel
Ridge as the basis for his planning and troop dispositions. As
the main bastion of defense, the tied-in sectors of How and Item
Companies were extended to include the south and southwest sides
of the perimeter--nearly one-third of the entire circumference--in
a continuous line 2300 yards in length, or more than a mile and a
quarter. Each platoon front thus averaged about 380 yards, which meant
that supporting arms must make up for lack of numbers.[435]

    [435] This section, unless otherwise noted, is based upon the
          following sources: 3/1 _SAR 26 Nov-15 Dec 50_; Ridge,
          _Notes_; Maj A. J. Strohmenger ltr to Col T. L. Ridge, 17
          Aug 55; Corley narrative; Narrative of Maj J. R. Fisher,
          n. d.; Simmons Comments.

East Hill, considered the second most likely point of enemy attack, was
to be assigned to George Company on arrival. Captain Sitter’s outfit
had orders to depart the Chigyong area on the morning of the 28th, so
that it could be expected at Hagaru before dark.

The southeast quarter of the perimeter, between East Hill and the
left flank of How Company, was to be held by the following units: (1)
Weapons Company (less detachments reinforcing the rifle companies and
its 81mm mortars emplaced near the battalion CP) manning a road block
on the route to Koto-ri and defending the south nose of East Hill; (2)
Dog Company, 1st Engineer Battalion (less men at work on the airstrip),
occupying the ground south of the concrete bridge; and (3) Dog Battery,
2d Battalion, 11th Marines, which had the mission of covering 75 per
cent of the perimeter with observed indirect fire and 25 per cent with
direct fire.

These dispositions left a gap between Weapons Company and the engineer
and artillery units on the west bank of the Changjin River. But this
stretch of frozen marshland was so well covered by fire that an enemy
attack here would have been welcomed.

The first reports of the CCF onslaughts at Yudam-ni and Fox Hill, as
interpreted by Lieutenant Colonel Ridge, “clearly indicated that no
time was to be lost at buttoning up the Hagaru perimeter.” He called
on Colonel Bowser, the Division G-3, on the morning of the 28th and
recommended that an overall defense commander be designated with
operational control over all local units. Ridge also requested that
George Company and the 41st Commando be expedited in their movement to

Before a decision could be reached, General Smith arrived by
helicopter and opened the Division CP at 1100. A Marine rear echelon
had remained at Hungnam to cope with supply requirements. Colonel
Francis A. McAlister, the G-4, left in command, accomplished during the
forthcoming campaign what General Smith termed “a magnificent job” in
rendering logistical support.[436]

    [436] Smith, _Notes_, 695–696; CG 1stMarDiv msg to All Units,
          1015 28 Nov 50.

The CP at Hagaru had been open only half an hour when General Almond
arrived in a VMO-6 helicopter to confer with the Division commander.
Departing at 1255, he visited the 31st Infantry troops who had been
hard hit the night before by CCF attacks east of the Chosin Reservoir.
On his return to Hamhung, the Corps commander was informed that CinCFE
had directed him to fly immediately to Tokyo for a conference. There
he learned that the Eighth Army was in full retreat, with some units
taking heavy losses both in personnel and equipment. Generals Almond,
Walker, Hickey, Willoughby, Whitney, and Wright took turns at briefing
the commander in chief during a meeting which lasted from midnight to

    [437] CG Diary, in X Corps _WD_, 28 Nov 50; X Corps _WDSum_,
          Nov 50, 16.

At Hagaru it was becoming more apparent hourly to Ridge that his
prospects of employing Captain Sitter’s company on East Hill were
growing dim. As he learned later, the unit had left Chigyong that
morning in the trucks of Company B, 7th Motor Transport Battalion,
commanded by Captain Clovis M. Jones. Sitter was met at Koto-ri by
Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. Rickert, executive officer of RCT-1, and
directed to report to the regimental S-3, Major Robert E. Lorigan.
Efforts to open up the road to Hagaru had failed, he was told, and
it would be necessary for George Company to remain overnight at

    [438] Narrative of Major C. L. Sitter, n. d.

The probability of such an outcome had already been accepted by Ridge
on the basis of the resistance met on the road to Koto-ri by his How
Company patrol. With this development added to his worries, he received
a telephone call at 1500 from Colonel Bowser, informing him that he had
been named defense commander at Hagaru by General Smith.[439]

    [439] This was made official by CG 1stMarDiv msg to Subordinate
          Units, 1625 28 Nov 50.

Just ten minutes later a single CCF shell, assumed to be of 76mm
caliber, exploded in the Battalion CP area and fatally wounded Captain
Paul E. Storaasli, the S-4. The perimeter was so cluttered with tents
and dumps that artillery fire at random could hardly have been wasted;
but the enemy gun remained silent the rest of the day, doubtless to
avert Marine counter-battery reprisals.

Only three hours of daylight remained when the newly designated defense
commander summoned unit commanders to an initial conference. It was
not made clear just what troops had been placed under his operational
control. “A primary reason,” commented Ridge, “was that no one knew
what units were there, this being compounded by the numerous small
elements such as detachments, advance parties, etc., of which many were
Corps and ROK units. Hence, the Battalion S-1 and his assistants were
a combination of town criers and census takers. We did, however, get
most of the commanders of major units (if such they could be called)
to the initial conference, but the process of locating and identifying
smaller units was thereafter a continuous process which we really never
accurately completed.”[440]

    [440] Ridge, _Notes_, 27–28.

The larger outfits could be summoned to the conference by telephone but
it was necessary to send out runners in other instances. With George
Company not available, the question of defending East Hill loomed
large. Ridge decided against all proposals that one of the two rifle
companies be used for that purpose. On the strength of the S-2 report,
he preferred to concentrate as much strength as possible against an
attack from the southwest. This meant taking his chances on East Hill
with such service troops as he could scrape up, and it was plain that a
strong CCF effort in this quarter would have to be met in large part by
fire power from supporting arms.

The two main detachments selected for East Hill (excluding the south
nose) were from Dog Company of the 10th Engineer (C) Battalion, USA,
and elements of X corps Headquarters. Since the mission called for
control of mortar and artillery fires as well as tactical leadership,
two officers of Weapons Company, 3/1, were assigned--Captain John C.
Shelnutt to the Army engineer company, and First Lieutenant John L.
Burke, Jr., to the Headquarters troops. Each was to be accompanied by a
Marine radio (SCR 300) operator.

Smaller detachments were later sent to East Hill from two other service
units--the 1st Service Battalion, 1st Marine Division, and the 4th
Signal Battalion of X Corps.

The Antitank Company of the 7th Marines defended the area to the north
of East Hill. Next came How Battery, 3d Battalion, 11th Marines, which
had the primary mission of supporting Fox Company, 2/7, on the hill
near Toktong Pass. But by moving gun trails the cannoneers could with
some difficulty fire on the 270° arc of the perimeter stretching from
the right flank of Item Company around to the north nose of East Hill.

Between the sectors held by How Battery, 3/11, and Item Company, 3/1,
were troops of five Marine units: Regulating Detachment, 1st Service
Battalion; 1st Motor Transport Battalion; Marine Tactical Air Control
Squadron 2 (MTACS-2); Division Headquarters Battalion; and H&S Company
3/1. The only other unit in this quarter was Weapons Company (-), 2/7,
which held the road block on the route to Yudam-ni.

At the conference it was decided that since Lieutenant Colonel Charles
L. Banks’ Regulating Detachment had taken the lead in organizing the
Supply Area on the north side of Hagaru, the arc of the perimeter east
of the river and west of East Hill was to be made into a secondary
defense zone. Banks thus became in effect a sub-sector commander.
The only infantry troops in the Supply Area being detachments of 2/7
units, it was also agreed that tactical decisions concerning the zone
should be discussed with the two ranking battalion officers--Lieutenant
Colonel Lockwood, the commander, and Major Sawyer, the executive.[441]

    [441] “CO 2/7 and his headquarters were not given a specific
          mission because it was assumed that his uncanceled order
          from CO 7th Marines would require his further efforts in
          the relief of Fox Company.” Ridge Comments, 7 June 56.

These matters having been settled, the conference broke up shortly
after 1700 and the various commanders hastened back to their outfits to
make last-minute preparations for the night’s attack. A strange hush
had fallen over the perimeter, broken only by the occasional crackle of
small-arms fire, and the damp air felt like snow.

_CCF Attack from the Southwest_

How and Item Companies were ready. All platoon positions were well dug
in, though the earth was frozen to a depth of six to ten inches.

The men of Item Company used their heads as well as hands after
Lieutenant Fisher managed to obtain a thousand sandbags and several
bags of C3. This explosive was utilized in ration cans to make
improvised shape charges which blasted a hole through the frozen crust
of snow and earth. Then it became a simple matter to enlarge the hole
and place the loose dirt in sandbags to form a parapet.[442] This
ingenious system resulted in de luxe foxholes and mortar emplacements
attaining to the dignity of field fortifications.

    [442] This section, unless otherwise noted, is based on: 3/1
          tel to CO 1stMar, 2100 29 Nov 50; Ridge, _Notes_; Simmons
          interv, 1 Dec 55 and Comments; Fisher narrative; Corley
          narrative; Narrative of Capt R. L. Barrett, Jr., 9 Aug
          55; Capt J. H. Miller ltr to authors, 10 Oct 55; and Sgt
          K. E. Davis ltr to authors, 20 Oct 55.

Both company fronts bristled with concertinas, trip flares, booby
traps, and five-gallon cans of gasoline rigged with thermite bombs for
illumination. Three probable routes of enemy attack channeled the low
hills to the southwest--a main draw leading to the junction between the
two company sectors, and a lesser draw providing an approach to each.
The ground in front of the junction had been mined, and two tanks from
the Provisional Platoon were stationed in this quarter. Detachments
from Weapons Company also reinforced both rifle companies. Thus the six
platoons faced the enemy in the following order:

            ITEM COMPANY                          HOW COMPANY
              Lt Fisher                           Capt Corley
  Lt Degerne   Lt Hall   Lt Needham   Lt Barrett   Lt Endsley   Lt Mason
     1st         3d          2d          1st           3d          2d

Beginning at 1700, hot food was served to all hands in rotation. A
fifty per cent alert went into effect after dark as the men were sent
back on regular schedule for coffee and a smoke in warming tents
located as close to the front as possible. The first snowflakes
fluttered down about 1950, muffling the clank of the dozers at work as
usual under the floodlights on the airstrip behind the How Company’s
sector. Just before 2130, the expected time of CCF attack, both company
commanders ordered a hundred per cent alert, but the enemy did not
show up on schedule. It was just over an hour later when three red
flares and three blasts on a police whistle signaled the beginning of
the attack. Soon trip flares and exploding booby traps revealed the
approach of probing patrols composed of five to ten men.

A few minutes later, white phosphorus mortar shells scorched the Marine
front line with accurate aim. The main CCF attack followed shortly
afterwards, with both company sectors being hit by assault waves
closing in to grenade-throwing distance.

The enemy in turn was staggered by the full power of Marine supporting
arms. Snowflakes reduced an already low visibility, but fields of fire
had been carefully charted and artillery and mortar concentrations
skillfully registered in. Still, the Communists kept on coming in spite
of frightful losses. Second Lieutenant Wayne L. Hall, commanding the 3d
Platoon in the center of Item Company, was jumped by three Chinese whom
he killed with a .45 caliber automatic pistol after his carbine jammed.
The third foe pitched forward into Hall’s foxhole.

On the left flank, tied in with How Company, First Lieutenant Robert
C. Needham’s 2d Platoon sustained most of the attack on Item Company.
The fire of Second Lieutenant James J. Boley’s 60mm mortars and Second
Lieutenant John H. Miller’s light machine guns was concentrated in
this area. It seemed impossible that enemy burp guns could miss such a
target as Lieutenant Fisher, six feet two inches in height and weighing
235 pounds. But he continued to pass up and down the line, pausing at
each foxhole for a few words of encouragement. By midnight the enemy
pressure on Needham’s and Hall’s lines had slackened, and on the right
flank Second Lieutenant Mayhlon L. Degernes’ 1st Platoon received only
light attacks.

This was also the case on the left flank of How Company, where Second
Lieutenant Ronald A. Mason’s 2d Platoon saw little action as compared
to the other two. A front of some 800 yards in the center of the
2300-yard Marine line, including two platoon positions and parts of two
others, bore the brunt of the CCF assault on How and Item Companies.

Captain Corley had just visited his center platoon when the first
attacks hit How Company. Second Lieutenant Wendell C. Endsley was
killed while the company commander was on his way to Second Lieutenant
Roscoe L. Barrett’s 1st Platoon, on the right, which soon had its left
flank heavily engaged.

Never was CCF skill at night attacks displayed more effectively.
Barrett concluded that the Chinese actually rolled down the slope into
the How Company lines, so that they seemed to emerge from the very
earth. The 3d Platoon, already thinned by accurate CCF white phosphorus
mortar fire, was now further reduced in strength by grenades and burp
gun bursts. About this time the company wire net went out and Corley
could keep in touch with his platoons only by runners. The battalion
telephone line also being cut, he reported his situation by radio to
the Battalion CP.

Two wiremen were killed while trying to repair the line. The Chinese
continued to come on in waves, each preceded by concentrations of
light and heavy mortar fire on the right and center of the How Company
position. About 0030 the enemy broke through in the 3d Platoon area
and penetrated as far back as the Company CP. A scene of pandemonium
ensued, the sound of Chinese trumpets and whistles adding to the
confusion as it became difficult to tell friend from foe. “Tracers were
so thick,” recalled Sergeant Keith E. Davis, “that they lighted up the
darkness like a Christmas tree.”[443]

    [443] K. E. Davis ltr, 20 Oct 55.

Corley and five enlisted men operated as a supporting fire team while
First Lieutenant Harrison F. Betts rounded up as many men as he could
find and tried to plug the gap in the 3d Platoon line. This outnumbered
group was swept aside as the next wave of CCF attack carried to the
rear of How Company and threatened the engineers at work under the

A few Chinese actually broke through and fired at the Marines operating
the dozers. Second Lieutenant Robert L. McFarland, the equipment
officer, led a group of Dog Company engineers who counterattacked and
cleared the airstrip at the cost of a few casualties. Then the men
resumed work under the floodlights.[444]

    [444] Partridge interv, 25 Jun 51, 45. Ridge Comments, 7 Jun
          56, questions whether the floodlights were on during the
          whole attack.

The Battalion reserve, if such it could be called, consisted of any
service troops who could be hastily gathered to meet the emergency.
Shortly before midnight Ridge sent a platoon-strength group of X Corps
signalmen and engineers under First Lieutenant Grady P. Mitchell to
the aid of How Company. Mitchell was killed upon arrival and First
Lieutenant Horace L. Johnson, Jr., deployed the reinforcements in a
shallow ditch as a company reserve.

About midnight the fight had reached such a pitch of intensity that
no spot in the perimeter was safe. The Company C medical clearing
station, only a few hundred yards to the rear of Item Company, was
repeatedly hit by machine gun bullets whipping through the wooden walls
as surgeons operated on the wounded. The Division CP also took hits,
and a bullet which penetrated General Smith’s quarters produced unusual
sound effects when it ricocheted off pots and pans in the galley.[445]

    [445] Smith, _Chronicle_, 93.

The Chinese seemed to be everywhere in the How Company zone. Shortly
after midnight they surrounded the CP, portable galley and provision
tent. “It is my personal opinion,” commented Captain Corley, “that if
the enemy had decided to effect a major breakthrough at this time,
he would have experienced practically no difficulty. However, he
seemed content to wander in and around the 3d Platoon, galley and hut

    [446] Corley narrative.

The Chinese, in short, demonstrated that they knew better how to
create a penetration than to exploit one. Once inside the How Company
lines, they disintegrated into looting groups or purposeless tactical
fragments. Clothing appealed most to the plunderers, and a wounded
Marine in the 3d Platoon area saved his life by pretending to be dead
while Communists stripped him of his parka.

About 0030 the Battalion CP advised Corley by radio that more
reinforcements were on the way. Lieutenant Johnson met the contingent,
comprising about 50 service troops, and guided them into the company
area, where they were deployed as an added reserve to defend the

Item Company was still having it hot and heavy but continued to beat
off all CCF assaults. Elements of Weapons Company, manning the south
road block, came under attack at 0115. Apparently a small enemy column
had lost direction and blundered into a field of fire covered by heavy
machine guns. The hurricane of Marine fire caught the Communists before
they deployed and the result was virtual annihilation.

_East Hill Lost to Enemy_

Half an hour later, with the situation improving in the How Company
zone, the Battalion CP had its first alarming reports of reverses
on East Hill. The terrain itself had offered difficulties to men
scrambling up the steep, icy slopes with heavy burdens of ammunition.
These detachments of service troops, moreover, included a large
proportion of newly recruited ROKs who had little training and
understood no English.

[Illustration: EAST HILL ATTACKS

29 November


The largest of the East Hill units, Company D of the 10th Engineer
Combat Battalion, commanded by Captain Philip A. Kulbes, USA, was
composed of 77 American enlisted men and 90 ROKs. Combat equipment
(in addition to individual weapons) consisted of four .50 caliber
machine guns, five light .30 caliber machine guns, and six 3.5 rocket

    [447] References to Co D, 10th Engr Bn, USA, are based on Lt
          Norman R. Rosen, “Combat Comes Suddenly,” in Capt John
          G. Westover, Ed., _Combat Support in Korea_ (Washington,
          1955), 206–208.

The Army engineers had arrived at Hagaru at 1200 on the 28th, shortly
before the enemy cut the MSR. After being assigned to the East Hill
sector during the afternoon, the company used the few remaining hours
of daylight to move vehicles and gear back to an equipment park in the
perimeter. It was 2030 before the four platoons got into position on
East Hill after an exhausting climb in the darkness with heavy loads of
ammunition. Some use was made of existing holes, but most of the men
were not dug in when the Chinese attacked.

On the left the collapse of a ROK platoon attached to X Corps
Headquarters led rapidly to confusion everywhere on East Hill. Captain
Shelnutt, the Marine officer assigned to the Army engineers, found
that he could not close the gap by extending the line to the left. Nor
did the men, particularly the ROKs, have the training to side-slip
to the left under fire and beat off flank attacks. The consequence
was a general withdrawal on East Hill, attended in some instances by
demoralization. Shelnutt was killed as the four engineer platoons fell
back some 250 yards in “a tight knot,” according to Lieutenant Norman
R. Rosen, USA, commander of the 3d Platoon.

This was the situation as reported by the Marine radio operator, PFC
Bruno Podolak, who voluntarily remained as an observer at his post, now
behind enemy lines. At 0230 a telephone call to Colonel Bowser from the
3/1 CP was recorded in the message blank as follows:

“How Company still catching hell and are about ready to launch
counterattack to restore line. About an hour ago, enemy appeared on
East Hill. A group of enemy sneaked up to a bunch of Banks’ men and
hand-grenaded hell out of them and took position. Sending executive
officer over to see if we can get some fire on that area. Should be
able to restore the line but liable to be costly. Reserve practically
nil. Do have a backstop behind the break in How lines on this side of
airstrip, composed of engineers and other odds and ends.”[448]

    [448] 1stMar tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 0230 29 Nov 50.

At 0400 there was little to prevent the enemy from making a complete
breakthrough on East Hill and attacking the Division CP and the supply
dumps. A friendly foothold had been retained on reverse slopes of the
southern nose, but the northern part was held only by artillery fires.
Along the road at the bottom of East Hill a thin line of service troops
with several tanks and machine guns formed a weak barrier.

All indications point to the fact that the Chinese themselves were not
in sufficient strength to follow up their success. Their attack on East
Hill was apparently a secondary and diversionary effort in support of
the main assault on the sectors held by How and Item Companies. At any
rate, the enemy contented himself with holding the high ground he had

Some of the defenders of East Hill had fought with bravery which is the
more admirable because of their lack of combat training. Battle is a
business for specialists, and Lieutenant Rosen relates that the Army
engineers “had a great deal of difficulty with our weapons because they
were cold and fired sluggishly. We had gone into action so unexpectedly
that it had not occurred to us to clean the oil off our weapons.” As
an example of the difficulties imposed by the language barrier, the
officers were given to understand by the ROKs that they had no more
ammunition. “Weeks later,” commented Rosen, “we found that most of
them had not fired their ammunition this night, but continued to carry

    [449] Rosen, “Combat Comes Suddenly,” 209.

In view of such circumstances, the service troops put up a creditable
if losing fight in the darkness on East Hill. The 77 Americans of the
Army engineer company suffered losses of 10 KIA, 25 WIA, and nine MIA;
and of the 90 ROKs, about 50 were killed, wounded, or missing, chiefly
the latter.[450]

    [450] _Ibid._, 209–210; CG 1stMarDiv msg to CG X Corps, 1445 29
          Nov 50.

_The Volcano of Supporting Fires_

As usual, the men in the thick of the fight saw only what happened in
their immediate area. The scene as a whole was witnessed by a young
Marine officer of Company A, 1st Engineer Battalion, on duty at a
sawmill two miles north of Hagaru. From the high ground he could look
south down into the perimeter, and the awesome spectacle of a night
battle made him think of a volcano in eruption. Gun flashes stabbing
the darkness were fused into a great ring of living flame, and the
thousands of explosions blended into one steady, low-pitched roar.[451]

    [451] Narrative of Capt N. A. Canzona, 28 Mar 56.

Seldom in Marine history have supporting arms played as vital a part as
during this night at Hagaru. It is possible that a disaster was averted
on East Hill when the Marines of Captain Benjamin S. Read’s How Battery
shifted trails and plugged the hole in the line with howitzer fires
alone. Lieutenant Colonel Banks and Major Walter T. Warren, commanding
the antitank company of the 7th Marines, acted as observers. Reporting
by telephone to the gun pits, they directed the sweating gunners so
accurately that an enemy attack would have come up against a curtain of

    [452] Capt Benjamin S. Read (as told to Hugh Morrow): “Our Guns
          Never Got Cold,” _Saturday Evening Post_, ccxxiii (7 Apr
          51), 145.

Captain Strohmenger’s Dog Battery had been attached to 3/1 so long
that a high degree of co-ordination existed. His 105s fired about
1200 rounds that night, and POW interrogations disclosed that enemy
concentrations in rear areas were repeatedly broken up.

When CCF guns replied, shortly before midnight, there was danger of
a fuel or ammunition dump being hit and starting a chain reaction of
detonations in the crowded perimeter. Strohmenger ordered five of his
howitzers to cease fire while he moved the sixth out about 150 yards to
act as a decoy. Its flashes drew fire from the enemy, as he had hoped,
revealing the positions of the Chinese artillery. Dog Battery officers
set up two aiming circles and calculated the range and deflection. Then
the command was given for all six Marine howitzers to open up. The
enemy guns were silenced for the night. A later survey established that
two CCF 76mm guns had been destroyed and two others removed.[453]

    [453] Strohmenger ltr, 17 Aug 55.

The 60mm mortars of the two rifle companies fired a total of more than
3200 rounds; and on both fronts the heavy machine guns of Weapons
Company added tremendously to the fire power. Illuminating shells
being scarce, two Korean houses on the Item Company’s front were set
ablaze by orders of Lieutenant Fisher. The flames seemed to attract CCF
soldiers like moths, and the machine guns of the two tanks stationed
here reaped a deadly harvest. Curiously enough, the Chinese apparently
did not realize what excellent targets they made when silhouetted
against the burning buildings.

By 0400 it was evident that the enemy’s main effort had failed. No
further attacks of any consequence were sustained by the two rifle
companies. It remained only to dispose of the unwelcome CCF visitors
sealed off in the How Company zone, and at 0420 Captain Corley rounded
up men for a counterattack.

“It will be just as dark for them as for us,” he told his NCOs.

Second Lieutenant Edward W. Snelling was directed to fire all his
remaining 60mm mortar ammunition in support. Corley and Betts led the
service troops sent as reinforcements while Johnson advanced on the
left. A bitter fight of extermination ensued, and by 0630 the MLR had
been restored. How Company, which sustained the heaviest losses of any
Marine unit that night, had a total of 16 men killed and 39 wounded,
not including attached units.[454]

    [454] Corley and Barrett narratives.

After it was all over, the stillness had a strange impact on ears
attuned the whole night long to the thump of mortars and clatter of
machine guns. The harsh gray light of dawn revealed the unforgettable
spectacle of hundreds of Chinese dead heaped up in front of the two
Marine rifle companies.[455] Shrouds of new white snow covered many of
them, and crimson trails showed where the wounded had made their way to
the rear.

    [455] POW reports stated that the Chinese assault force in this
          sector had been one regiment. CIC tel to G-2 1stMarDiv,
          1715 29 Nov 50.

_Marine Attacks on East Hill_

But even though the enemy’s main attack had failed, his secondary
effort on East Hill represented a grave threat to perimeter security.
At 0530 Ridge decided to counterattack, and Major Reginald R. Myers
volunteered to lead an assault column composed of all reserves who
could be scraped together for the attempt.

It was broad daylight before the Battalion executive officer moved out
with an assortment of Marine, Army, and ROK service troops, some of
them stragglers from the night’s withdrawals from East Hill (see Map
18). Their total strength compared to that of an infantry company.
About 55 separate units were represented at Hagaru, many by splinter
groups, so that most of Myers’ men were strangers to one another as
well as to their officers and NCOs.

The largest Marine group was the platoon led by First Lieutenant Robert
E. Jochums, assistant operations officer of the 1st Engineer Battalion.
Clerks, typists, and truck drivers were included along with Company D
engineers. Armed with carbines or M-1s and two grenades apiece, the men
carried all the small arms ammunition they could manage. Few had had
recent combat experience and the platoon commander knew only one of
them personally--a company clerk whom he made his runner.

It was typical of the informality attending this operation that a
Marine NCO with a small group attached themselves to Jochums, giving
him a total of about 45. They had an exhausting, 45-minute climb up the
hill to the line of departure, where Myers directed them to attack on
the left of his main force.

The early morning fog enshrouded East Hill and Myers’ attack had to
wait until it cleared. The jump-off line lay along a steep slope with
little or no cover. From the outset the advancing troops were exposed
to scattered small-arms fire as well as grenades which needed only
to be rolled downhill. New snow covering the old icy crust made for
treacherous footing, so that the heavily laden men took painful falls.

Myers’ little task force can scarcely be considered a tactical
organization. His close air support was excellent; but both artillery
and mortar support were lacking. Jochums did not notice any weapons
save small arms and grenades.

“Our plane assaults were very effective, especially the napalm
attacks,” he commented on the basis of a personal log kept at the time.
“During these strikes, either live or dry runs, the enemy troops in the
line of fire would often rise and run from their positions to those in
the rear.”[456]

    [456] Capt R. E. Jochums ltr, 16 Dec 55; Myers Comments.

Marine air came on station at 0930 as VMF-312 planes peeled off to hit
the enemy with napalm and bombs. The squadron flew 31 sorties that
day at Hagaru, nearly all in the East Hill area. Enemy small-arms
fire crippled one aircraft; but the pilot, First Lieutenant Harry W.
Colmery, escaped serious injuries by making a successful crash landing
within the perimeter.[457]

    [457] VMF-312 _SAR_, 15–16.

All accounts agree that the ground forces met more serious opposition
from the terrain at times than from the enemy. So cut up into ridges
and ravines was this great hill mass that the troops seldom knew
whether they were advancing in defilade or exposing themselves to
the fire of hidden adversaries. Thus the attack became a lethal game
of hide-and-seek in which a step to the right or left might make the
difference between life and death. On the other hand, when the Corsairs
provided shooting gallery targets by flushing out opponents, only a
few men could get into effective firing position along the narrow,
restricted ridges before the Communists scuttled safely to new cover.

It took most of the energies of the attackers to keep on toiling
upward, gasping for breath, clutching at bushes for support, and
sweating at every pore in spite of the cold. At noon, after snail-like
progress, the force was still far short of the main ridge recognized as
the dividing line between friendly forces and the enemy. By this time
more than half of Myers’ composite company had melted away as a result
of casualties and exhaustion. Jochums saw no more than 15 wounded men
in the attacking force during the day. He noted about the same number
of dead Chinese. As for enemy strength, he estimated that the total may
have amounted to a company or slightly more.

It was his conviction that “three well organized platoons could have
pressed the assault without serious consequences and seized the
immediate highest objective. What was behind that I am unable to
say, but I feel that taking this high ground would have solved the

    [458] Myers Comments state: “High ground was taken. But [we]
          could not control movement of the enemy on the reverse
          side. As a result [we] could not stay on top.”

Most of the friendly casualties were caused by the grenades and grazing
machine-gun fire of concealed opponents who had the law of gravity
fighting on their side. Jochums was painfully wounded in the foot but
continued with his platoon. “The age-old problem of leadership in such
an operation,” he concluded, “may be compared to moving a piece of
string--pulling it forward will get you farther than pushing.”

Enemy small-arms fire increased in volume when Myers’ remnants,
estimated at 75 men, reached the military crest of the decisive ridge.
There the groups in the center and on the right were halted by the
Chinese holding the topographical crest and reverse slope. On the left
Jochums’ men managed to push on to an outlying spur before being
stopped by CCF fire from a ridge to the northeast. Jochums’ position
was still short of the commanding high ground, yet it was destined to
be the point of farthest penetration on East Hill.

Myers ordered his men to take what cover they could find and draw up
a defensive line “short of the topographical crest” while awaiting
a supporting attack.[459] This was to be carried out by elements of
Captain George W. King’s Able Company of the 1st Engineer Battalion,
which had been stationed at a sawmill two miles north of Hagaru to
repair a blown bridge. These troops reached the perimeter without
incident at noon and proceeded immediately to the assault.

    [459] Myers Comments.

First Lieutenant Nicholas A. Canzona’s 1st Platoon led the column.
Orders were to ascend the southwestern slope of East Hill, pass
through Myers’ force and clear the ridge line. But after completing
an exhausting climb to the military crest, the engineer officer was
directed to retrace his steps to the foot. There Captain King informed
him that a new attack had been ordered on the opposite flank, from a
starting point about 1000 yards to the northeast.

Moving to the indicated route of approach, Canzona began his second
ascent with two squads in line, pushing up a spur and a draw which
became almost perpendicular as it neared the topographical crest. Only
his skeleton platoon of about 20 men was involved. There were neither
radios nor supporting arms, and a light machine gun was the sole weapon
in addition to small arms and grenades.

Upon reaching the military crest, the engineers were pinned down by CCF
machine-gun fire along a trail a few feet wide, with nearly vertical
sides. Only Canzona, Staff Sergeant Stanley B. McPhersen and PFC Eugene
B. Schlegel had room for “deployment,” and they found the platoon’s one
machine gun inoperative after it was laboriously passed up from the
rear. Schlegel was wounded and rolled downhill like a log, unconscious
from loss of blood.

Another machine gun, sent up from the foot, enabled the platoon to hold
its own even though it could not advance. Canzona put in a request by
runner for mortar support, but only two 81mm rounds were delivered
after a long delay. It was late afternoon when he walked downhill
to consult King, who had just been ordered to withdraw Company A to
a reverse slope position. Canzona returned to his men and pulled
them back about half-way down the slope while McPherson covered the
retirement with machine-gun fire. The winter sun was sinking when
the weary engineers set up a night defense, and at that moment the
howitzers of How Battery cut loose with point-detonation and proximity
bursts which hit the Chinese positions with deadly accuracy.

Canzona estimated the enemy strength in his zone at no more than a
platoon, which might have been dislodged with the aid of artillery or
even mortar fire.[460]

    [460] Canzona narrative, 28 Mar 56. Col Brower points out that
          the Chinese positions were defiladed from artillery fire.
          Col J. H. Brower Comments, n. d.

About 500 yards south of the engineers, Major Myers held a defensive
position with his remaining force of about two platoons. The Battalion
CP had reason to believe that the outposts on East Hill would be
relieved shortly by George Company, with the 41st Commando in perimeter
reserve. Both had departed Koto-ri that morning in a strong convoy
which also included an Army infantry company, four platoons of Marine
tanks, and the last serial of Division Headquarters Battalion.

It was still touch and go at Hagaru at dusk on the 29th, but the
defenders could take satisfaction in having weathered the enemy’s
first onslaught. General Smith, courteous and imperturbable as always,
visited the Battalion CP to commend Ridge and his officers for the
night’s work. Two rifle companies had inflicted a bloody repulse on
several times their own numbers, and the counterattacking forces on
East Hill had at least hung on by their eyelashes.

In the final issue, a bob-tailed rifle battalion, two artillery
batteries and an assortment of service troops had stood off a CCF
division identified as the 58th and composed of the 172d, 173d, and
174th Infantry Regiments reinforced with organic mortars and some
horse-drawn artillery. Chinese prisoners reported that the 172d, taking
the principal part in the attacks on How and Item Companies, had
suffered 90 per cent casualties. Elements of the 173d were believed
to have figured to a lesser extent, with the 174th being kept in

    [461] 3/1 _SAR 26 Nov-15 Dec 50_, 9–10; Ridge, _Notes_; Carey

This was the situation in the early darkness of 29 November, when the
disturbing news reached Hagaru that George Company and the Commandos
were being heavily attacked on the road from Koto-ri and had requested
permission to turn back.


Task Force Drysdale

_CCF Attacks on 2/1 at Koto-ri--Convoy Reinforced by Marine Tanks--The
Fight in Hell Fire Valley--Attack of George Company on East Hill--High
Level Command Conference--CCF Attacks of 1 December at Hagaru--Rescue
of U. S. Army Wounded--First Landings on Hagaru Airstrip_

Before the Chinese struck at Yudam-ni, they had penetrated 35 miles
farther south along the MSR. At Chinhung-ni, on the night of 26
November, the Marines of the 1st Battalion, RCT-1, exchanged shots in
the darkness with several elusive enemy groups making “light probing

Lieutenant Colonel Donald M. Schmuck, the new battalion commander,
had set up a defensive perimeter upon arrival with his three rifle
companies reinforced by 4.2-inch mortar and 75mm recoilless rifle
platoons.[462] The identity of the enemy on the night of the 26th was
not suspected, and patrols the next day made no contacts. At 1900 on
the 27th, however, another light attack on the perimeter was repulsed.
During the next two days, patrol actions definitely established that
Chinese in estimated battalion strength were in a mountain valley to
the west, hiding in houses by day and probing by night apparently in
preparation for a determined attack.

    [462] This section is based upon the following sources: 1stMar
          _SAR_, 13–14; 1stMar _URpt_ (_S-3_) _13_, 1–2; VMF-312
          _SAR_, 16; LtCol D. M. Schmuck interv, 2 Apr 56; Maj W.
          L. Bates, Jr., interv by HistDiv HQMC, 16 Mar 53; Col D.
          M. Schmuck Comments, n. d.

Schmuck decided to strike first. On the 29th, a Baker Company
reconnaissance patrol searched out the enemy positions, and the next
day the battalion commander led an attacking force composed of Captain
Barrow’s Able Company and part of Captain Noren’s Baker Company,
reinforced by 81mm and 4.2-inch mortars under the direction of Major
William L. Bates, Jr., commanding the Weapons Company.

While First Lieutenant Howard A. Blancheri’s Fox Battery of 2/11 laid
down supporting fires, the infantry “ran the Chinese right out of the
country,” according to Major Bates’ account. “We burned all the houses
they had been living in and brought the civilians back with us. We had
no more difficulty with the Chinese from that valley.”

The Communists were found to be warmly clothed in new padded cotton
uniforms and armed with American weapons presumably captured from the
Nationalists. An estimated 56 were killed by the ground forces before
the Corsairs of VMF-312 took up a relentless pursuit which lasted until
the enemy remnants scattered into hiding. Some of the Chinese were
mounted on shaggy Mongolian ponies.[463]

    [463] Schmuck Comments.

_CCF Attacks on 2/1 at Koto-ri_

During this same period, Lieutenant Colonel Sutter’s 2d Battalion of
RCT-1 had several hard-fought encounters with the new enemy. After
arriving at Koto-ri on the 24th, he set up a perimeter defense facing
west, north, and east which included a 4.2-inch Mortar Platoon as well
as Easy Battery of 2/11, commanded by Captain John C. McClelland, Jr.
Some commanding ground was left unoccupied, but Sutter believed that
a tight perimeter offered advantages over widely separated blocking
positions. In addition to 2/1, the regimental CP and H&S Company,
the AT Company (-), the 4.2 Mortar Company (-), Company D of the 1st
Medical Battalion and the 2d Battalion of the 11th Marines (less
Batteries D and F) were at Koto-ri.

The perimeter, second in importance only to Hagaru as a base, was to be
jammed during the next few days with hundreds of Marine and Army troops
held up by CCF roadblocks to the north. On 27 November, the enemy made
his presence known. A motorized patrol of platoon strength from Captain
Jack A. Smith’s Easy Company, supported by a section of tanks, engaged
in a fire fight with about 25 Chinese in the hills west of Koto-ri. Two
wounded CCF soldiers were left behind by the dispersed enemy. At this
point the patrol proceeded on foot until it was stopped by the fire of
an estimated 200 Communists dug in along ridge lines. At 1600 the
Marines returned to the perimeter with two men wounded.

[Illustration: KOTO-RI PERIMETER

28 November – 7 December


Enemy losses were reported as eight killed and 15 wounded in addition
to the two prisoners. Upon being questioned, these Chinese asserted
that they belonged to a Chinese division assembling to the west of
Koto-ri with a headquarters in a mine shaft.[464]

    [464] 1stMar _SAR_, 14, and appendix 10, 6; CO 1stMar msg to CG
          1stMarDiv, 1815 and 1930 27 Nov 50.

There could be no doubt the next day that the enemy had swarmed into
the area in fairly large numbers. A Marine outpost on a hill northeast
of the perimeter received heavy small-arms fire at 0845 and was
reinforced by a platoon from Easy Company. Finally these troops had to
be withdrawn and an air strike called on the hill to evict the enemy.

At 1058 General Smith ordered Colonel Puller to push a force up the MSR
to make contact with the tank patrol being sent south from Hagaru and
to clear the MSR.[465] Groups of Chinese, sighted during the day to
the north, west and east, were taken under artillery fire by Captain
McClelland’s battery. Reconnaissance planes landing at the Koto-ri OY
strip reported CCF roadblocks on the way to Hagaru; and at 1330 Captain
Gildo S. Codispoti, the S-3, dispatched Captain Welby W. Cronk’s Dog
Company in vehicles with orders to open up the route. Following in Dog
Company’s wake came the last serial of Division Headquarters troops, on
its way to Hagaru.[466]

    [465] CG 1stMarDiv msg to CO 1stMar, 1058 28 Nov 50.

    [466] The remainder of this section is based upon: 2/1 _SAR_,
          12–13; HqBn _URpt 12_. LtCol J. C McClelland, Jr., ltr,
          21 Feb 56; Col A. Sutter Comments, n. d.

Less than a mile north of the perimeter, the convoy ran into a storm
of rifle and automatic weapons fire from Chinese entrenched along the
high ground on both sides of the road. The Marines of Dog Company piled
out of their vehicles and deployed for a hot fire fight, supported from
Koto-ri by 81mm mortars of Captain William A. Kerr’s Weapons Company.
Two platoons swung around to clear the enemy from the ridge. The other
platoon and the Headquarters troops advanced along the road.

At 1615 a platoon from Captain Goodwin C. Groff’s Fox Company was
ordered out to assist in evacuating casualties. But as the afternoon
wore on, it grew apparent that the Chinese were in greater strength
than had been anticipated, and all troops were directed to return to
Koto-ri at 1735. They did so under cover of strikes by the Corsairs of

Marine losses numbered four KIA or DOW and 34 WIA. Enemy casualties
were estimated at 154 killed and 83 wounded in addition to three
prisoners taken from a unit identified as the 179th Regiment of the
60th CCF Division. Captured Chinese weapons included 130 rifles, 25
machine guns, and two cases of grenades.

That evening George Company of 3/1, 41st Commando, Royal Marines, and
Baker Company of the 31st Infantry, 7th Infantry Division, arrived at
Koto-ri on their way to Hagaru (see Map 20). Colonel Puller and his
S-3, Major Lorigan, organized the newcomers into a task force under the
command of Lieutenant Colonel Drysdale, CO of the British unit, with
orders to fight its way to Hagaru the following day.

Luckily the enemy did not elect to attack the overcrowded perimeter on
the night of the 28th. Every warming tent was packed to capacity, and a
CCF mortar round could hardly have landed anywhere without doing a good
deal of damage.

After a quiet night the Chinese began the new day by digging
emplacements in the hills to the west under harassing fire from F
Company. The howitzers of Easy Battery and the mortars of 2/1 provided
supporting fires for Task Force Drysdale when it moved out at 0945
followed by a convoy of Division Headquarters troops. A platoon of Easy
Company, 2/1, went along with corpsmen and ambulances to assist in
evacuating any early wounded back to Koto-ri. Stubborn CCF resistance
resulted in casualties from the outset, and it was 1600 before the Easy
Company escort platoon got back to the perimeter.

The Chinese, keeping the perimeter under observation all day, evidently
concluded that the northern rim, defended by Easy Company, offered the
best opportunity for a penetration. Marine air strikes were called
on the Chinese swarming over the near-by high ground during the last
minutes of daylight, but enemy mortar rounds hit Easy Company at 1745.
They were followed by bugle calls and whistle signals as the CCF
infantry attacked from the high ground to the northeast.

The assault force was estimated at company strength, with the remainder
of a battalion in reserve. Unfortunately for the Chinese, they had
made their intentions clear all day with unusual activity in the
surrounding hills, and Easy Company was not surprised. Major Clarence
J. Mabry, the 2/1 executive officer, could be heard above the machine
guns as he shouted encouragement to Marines who poured it into the
advancing Communists. They came on with such persistence that 17
managed to penetrate within the lines, apparently to attack the warming
tents.[467] All were killed. In addition, about 150 CCF bodies lay in
front of the sector when the enemy withdrew at 1855, after suffering a
complete repulse.

    [467] LtCol R. E. Lorigan Comments, 16 May 56.

It was conjectured that the Chinese had interpreted the return of the
Easy Company platoon late that afternoon as an indication that a gap
in the line needed to be hastily plugged. But the supposed weak spot
did not materialize, and at 1935 the enemy signed off for the night
after pumping four final mortar rounds in the vicinity of the Battalion
CP without doing any harm. Losses of 2/1 for the day were six KIA and
18 WIA, total CCF casualties being estimated at 175 killed and 200
wounded. Ten heavy machine guns, seven LMGs, 12 Thompson submachine
guns, 76 rifles, four pistols, and 500 grenades were captured.

That was all at Koto-ri, where Recon Company arrived during the day
to add its weight to the defense. But during intervals of silence the
sound of heavy and continuous firing to the north gave proof that Task
Force Drysdale was in trouble.

_Convoy Reinforced by Marine Tanks_

Lieutenant Colonel Drysdale’s plan of attack had called for his British
Marines to lead out at 0930 and seize the first hill mass to the east
of the road. Captain Sitter’s George Company of 3/1 was to follow
and pass through to attack Hill 1236, with Baker Company of the 31st
Infantry in reserve. LtCol Sutter, assisted by his staff, had the
responsibility for planning and coordinating preparatory artillery and
mortar fires from Koto-ri and attaching an air liaison officer to the
task force.[468]

    [468] Unless otherwise specified, this section is based on: CO
          41st Commando ltr to CG 1stMarDiv, 30 Nov 50; 1stTkBn
          _SAR_, 23–27; Smith, _Notes_, 859–868; Maj C. L. Sitter
          ltr to Col T. L. Ridge, 4 Oct 55; TSgt G. D. Pendas
          ltr to HistBr G-3, 18 Dec 55; Narrative of Capt M. J.
          Capraro, 2 Feb 56; Narrative of Capt J. D. Buck, 27 Jan
          56; LtCol D. B. Drysdale, RM, “41 Commando,” _Marine
          Corps Gazette_, xxxvii no. 8 (Aug 51), 28–32; 1stMar
          tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 1705 29 Nov 50; and Lt Alfred J.
          Catania, “Truck Platoon in Korea,” in Westover, _Combat
          Support in Korea_, 53–57; LtCol D. B. Drysdale, RM,
          Comments, n. d.

The first hill was taken without meeting serious resistance, but Sitter
came up against well entrenched CCF troops when he attacked Hill 1236,
about a mile and a half north of Koto-ri. It was nip and tuck until
Master Sergeant Rocco A. Zullo fired his 3.5 rocket launcher at a
range of 200 yards. Several rounds brought the Chinese out of their
holes and the Marines took possession of the hill.


28 November-1 December


The Commandos and George Company moved up about a mile astride of the
road toward the third objective, Hill 1182. There the enemy resisted
strenuously with well-placed mortar as well as machine-gun fire from
strong positions on the high ground. The impetus of the attack had been
stopped when Sitter received orders from the task force commander to
break off action, withdraw to the road, and await new instructions.

Drysdale had received a message from RCT-1 at 1130 advising him that
the armor of Company D (less 2d platoon), 1st Tank Battalion, would be
available to him at 1300. He decided to wait, therefore, and re-form
the column before continuing the advance.

The two platoons of Company D tanks, reinforced by the tank platoon
of the AT Company, RCT-5, reached Koto-ri at noon after moving out
that morning from Majon-dong. Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, departed
Tongjong-ni, just south of Majon-dong, but did not arrive at Koto-ri
until 1500. The 2d Platoon being attached to Sutter’s battalion, the
remainder of the company was directed to bring up the rear of the Task
Force Drysdale, which by that time had renewed its attack. Thus the
convoy was made up of the following components, including the elements
which joined in the late afternoon of 29 November:

              Unit             |Estimated|Estimated|Estimated
                               |Strength |Vehicles |  Tanks
  41 Ind. Commando, RM         |     235 |         |
  Co. G, 3/1                   |     205 |         |
  Co. B, 31st Infantry, USA    |     190 |      22 |
  Det. Div. Hq. Bn.            |      62 |      17 |
  Det. 1st Sig. Bn.            |       8 |       4 |
  Det. 7th MT Bn.[469]         |      12 |      22 |
  Det. Serv. Co., 1st Tank Bn. |      18 |      31 |
  Co. B(-), 1st Tank Bn.       |      86 |      23 |      12
  Co. D(-), 1st Tank Bn.       |      77 |      22 |      12
  Tank Plat., AT Co., RCT-5    |      29 |         |       5
               Total           |     922 |     141 |      29

    [469] Trailers are included among the vehicles. George Company,
          3/1 lacked organic transport and was mounted in the
          vehicles of 7thMTBn. For similar reasons ServCo, 1stTkBn,
          supplied the transportation for the 41st Commando and
          377th Transportation Truck Company, USA, for B/31stInf.

At 1350 the head of the column had resumed the advance, with the order
of march as shown below:

  D/TKs & AT/5  --  G/1  --  41 Cmdo  --  B/31  --  HqBn  --  B/TKs
     17 tks       22 veh     31 veh      22 veh    66 veh    12 tks

Shortly after moving out, Sitter’s men were hit by heavy small-arms
fire from houses on the right of the road. The company commander went
forward and requested the tanks to open up with their 90mm guns, and
the Chinese flushed out of the houses were destroyed by machine-gun

Progress was slow because of the necessity of further halts while the
tanks blasted out pockets of CCF resistance. Enemy mortar as well as
small-arms fire was encountered, and a round scored a direct hit on
one of the trucks carrying personnel of 3d Platoon of George Company,
wounding every man in the vehicle.

Further delays resulted while the tanks made their way over roadblocks
or around craters. For the three infantry companies, the advance
consisted of brief periods of movement alternated with interludes in
which the troops scrambled out of the trucks to engage in fire fights.
Finally, about 1615, the column ground to a complete halt about four
miles north of Koto-ri. At that time the tanks of Company B were just
leaving the 2/1 perimeter to join the convoy.

_The Fight in Hell Fire Valley_

Drysdale and Sitter were informed by the tank officers that they
thought the armor could get through, but that further movement for the
trucks was inadvisable in view of road conditions and increasing enemy
resistance. The task force commander requested a decision from Division
Headquarters as to whether he should resume an advance which threatened
to prove costly. It was a difficult choice for General Smith to make,
but in view of the urgent necessity for reinforcements at Hagaru he
directed Drysdale to continue.[470]

    [470] Unless otherwise noted, the sources for this section are
          the same as the preceding, plus: Statement of Capt M. C.
          Capraro, 12 Feb 51; MSgt E. F. Grayson, Sgt E. J. Keeton,
          and Cpl E. McCardell interv by Capt K. A. Shutts, 17 Feb
          51; Capt M. C. Capraro interv by Capt Shutts, 11 Feb 51;
          CWO D. R. Yancey interv by Capt Shutts, 11 Feb 51; Sgt C.
          W. Dickerson, Cpl C. W. Williams, Sgt M. L. Estess, SSgt
          J. B. Nash, and TSgt C L. Harrison intervs by HistDiv
          HQMC, 25–31 Jul 51; Col H. S. Walseth interv by Capt
          Shutts, 26 Jan 51; LtCol J. N. McLaughlin Comments, 5 Nov
          56. Nash, Harrison, Dickerson, Estess, and Williams were
          among the men captured with McLaughlin. They escaped from
          Chinese imprisonment several months later.

The tanks had to refuel, so that more time was lost. CCF fire was
only moderate during this delay, thanks to the air strikes of VMF-321
planes directed by Captain Norman Vining. When the column stopped,
the vehicles had pulled off into a dry stream bed. Upon resuming the
advance, unit integrity was lost and infantry elements mingled with
headquarters troops.


29 November


Not far south of the halfway point to Hagaru, increased enemy fire
caused an abrupt halt in a long valley. The high ground rose sharply
on the right of the road, while on the left a frozen creek wound
through a plain several hundred yards wide, bordered by the Changjin
River and wooded hills. This was Hell Fire Valley--a name applied by
Drysdale--and it was to be the scene of an all-night fight by half the
men of the convoy (see Map 21).

Such a possibility was far from their thoughts when they piled out of
the trucks once more, as they had done repeatedly all day, to return
the enemy’s fire. It did not even seem significant when an enemy
mortar shell set one of the trucks in flames at the far end of the
valley, thus creating a roadblock and splitting the column. The enemy
took advantage of the opportunity to pour in small-arms and mortar
fire which pinned down the troops taking cover behind vehicles or in
the roadside ditches and prevented removal of the damaged truck.
During this interlude the head of the column, consisting of Dog/Tanks,
George Company, nearly three-fourths of the 41st Commando and a few
Army infantrymen, continued the advance, with Drysdale in command, in
obedience to orders to proceed to Hagaru at all costs. Left behind in
Hell Fire Valley were 61 Commandos, most of Company B, 31st Infantry,
and practically all the Division Headquarters and Service troops.

Lieutenant Colonel Arthur A. Chidester, assistant Division G-4 and
senior officer caught south of the roadblock, ordered the barred
vehicles to turn around and attempt a return to Koto-ri. Before his
orders could be carried out, a Chinese attack severed the convoy about
200 yards to the north of him. Other enemy attacks cut the road south
of the stalled convoy, both Chidester and Major James K. Eagan being
wounded and captured.

Shallow ditches on either side of the road and the unused narrow-gauge
railway were utilized by the isolated troops as protection from the
fire of the Chinese occupying the high ground rising abruptly at the
right. The valley was about a mile long, covered with a frozen crust
of snow; and far from affording much cover, it offered the enemy a
convenient approach to the rear by way of the wide plain and frozen

The Chinese fire was not heavy at first. But when darkness put an end
to Marine air strikes, the enemy became increasingly bolder. Even so,
there was no attempt for several hours to close within grenade-throwing
distance. During this interlude the defenders had time to recover from
their confusion and take defensive positions.

As nearly as the scene can be reconstructed from confused and
contradictory accounts, one large and three small perimeters were
strung out over a distance of perhaps 1200 yards from north to south.
Toward the north, near the outskirts of the village of Pusong-ni,
was the largest perimeter. It contained the troops caught north
of the second fracture of the column and was led by Major John N.
McLaughlin.[471] His hodge-podge of 130 to 140 men included Captain
Charles Peckham and part of his B Company, 31st Infantry; Warrant
Officer Lloyd V. Dirst and a group of Marine MPs; some Commandos,
Associated Press photographer Frank Noel, and assorted Marine service
and headquarters troops.

    [471] Maj McLaughlin was one of the TTU instructors who had
          transferred to the X Corps Staff. He was an Assistant G-3
          and Corps liaison officer with 1stMarDiv.

The three smaller perimeters appear to have resulted from the
splintering of a larger group originally containing nearly all the men
caught south of the second cut in the convoy. Major Henry J. Seeley,
Division motor transport officer, attempted to form a perimeter with
these men but was frustrated by Chinese attacks which forced the men
to fall back in small groups. About 300 yards south of McLaughlin’s
perimeter the remnants of two Army platoons crouched in a drainage
ditch. Apparently several Marines, including CWO Dee R. Yancey, were
with them. Some 30 yards farther down the ditch were Captain Michael
J. Capraro, the Division PIO, First Lieutenant John A. Buck, General
Craig’s aide, and about 15 headquarters troops. A few other Marines
clustered around Major Seeley, perhaps a hundred yards south of
Capraro’s group.[472]

    [472] Distances are approximate, since it is understandable
          that estimates made by participants in the darkness
          varied a great deal.

There was some hope at first that the tanks of Baker Company, 1st Tank
Battalion, would come to the rescue. But the Marine armor ran into
heavy opposition near Hills 1236 and 1182 along the road cleared only a
few hours before by Task Force Drysdale.

When attacking a convoy, the Chinese usually strove to split the
motorized column into segments suitable for tactical mastication. That
is what happened to Baker Company. The tanks and trucks nearest to
Koto-ri got back without much trouble at 2110 after the enemy cut the
column into three groups. The middle group, comprising most of the
service trucks, was hit hardest. Lieutenant Colonel Harvey S. Walseth,
the Division G-1, was wounded as this group finally fought back to
Koto-ri at 0230 after heavy losses in trucks. This left the tank
platoon which had proceeded farthest; and it formed a tight perimeter
for the night about half a mile south of Seeley’s position, boxed in by
friendly artillery fires from Koto-ri. At dawn the tanks returned to
Koto-ri without further enemy interference.

No knowledge of these events reached the beleaguered troops in Hell
Fire Valley. They continued to hope that the tanks might arrive to the
aid of men who had no weapons larger than a single 75mm recoilless in
addition to rifles, carbines, and grenades. There were also a few 60mm
mortars but no ammunition for them.

Fortunately, no determined Chinese attacks were received up to
midnight. Looting the trucks proved more alluring than fighting to the
Asiatics, and their officers contented themselves with keeping the
perimeters pinned down and enveloped on three sides.

Not until the early hours of 30 November did the Communists resort to
probing attacks by small groups armed with grenades. The headquarters
and service troops gave a good account of themselves in the fire fight.
Signalmen, clerks, cooks, truck drivers, military policemen--the
Marines of Hell Fire Valley included a good many veterans of World War
II, and they proved as steady as the tough combat-trained Commandos.
Once again the value of the Marine Corps insistence on good basic
training showed itself.

Major McLaughlin sent reconnaissance parties south in an unsuccessful
attempt to link up with the other perimeters. He decided, therefore, to
remain in his positions and fight off the Chinese until air could come
on station at dawn. The wounded were placed in the deepest of the three
ditches and Army medics gave first aid.

As the night wore on, McLaughlin’s situation became increasingly grave.
By 0200 his men were out of grenades. An Army crew performed valiantly
with the 75mm recoilless, firing at enemy mortar flashes until all the
soldiers were killed or wounded and the gun put out of action. Twice
McLaughlin’s men drove the Chinese from their mortars only to have them

Some of the Commandos managed to slip out of the perimeter in an effort
to reach Koto-ri and summon assistance. But an attempt by Noel and two
men to run the gantlet in a jeep between 0200 and 0300 ended in their
capture before they proceeded a hundred yards.

At about 0430 the Chinese sent their prisoners to the perimeter with
a surrender demand. McLaughlin, accompanied by a Commando, went out
to parley through an interpreter in the hope of stalling until help
arrived, or at least until some of the men escaped.

“Initially I demanded a CCF surrender!” he recalls. “But it made little

The Marine officer stalled until the Chinese threatened to overrun the
perimeter with an all-out attack. They gave him ten minutes to discuss
the capitulation with his officers. McLaughlin went from one to another
of the approximately 40 able bodied men he had left. Some had no rifle
ammunition at all and none had more than eight rounds. For the sake of
his wounded, he consented to surrender on condition that the serious
cases be evacuated. The Chinese agreed and the fight in Hell Fire
Valley ended.

McLaughlin succeeded in killing enough time so that more men were given
the opportunity to slip away while the enemy relaxed his vigilance
during the prolonged negotiations. Largest of these groups was composed
of the survivors of the three small perimeters. Capraro and Buck,
both of whom were slightly wounded, managed to unite with the Army
infantrymen just north of them and nine Commandos, who joined them at
about 0200. An hour and a half later they linked up with the Marines
under Seeley, who led the combined group in a withdrawal to the high
ground across the river. Outdistancing their CCF pursuers, after
shooting down several, they made it safely to Koto-ri.

Other groups, including three more Commandos and 71 Army infantrymen,
also contrived to straggle back to the 2/1 perimeter.

Although the Chinese did not keep their word as to evacuation of the
wounded, they did not interfere with the removal of the more critical
cases to a Korean house. When the enemy retired to the hills for
the day, an opportunity was found to evacuate these casualties to

    [473] LtCol Chidester and Maj Eagan were still missing at the
          end of the conflict, when the exchanges of prisoners took
          place. From the information that LtCol McLaughlin has
          been able to secure, it appears that both officers died
          of wounds prior to reaching a prison camp. McLaughlin
          Comments, 5 Nov 56.

An accurate breakdown of the Task Force Drysdale casualties will
probably never be made, but the following estimate is not far from the

                         | KIA       |   Total    |
                         | and       |   Battle   |  Vehicles
  Unit                   | MIA   WIA | Casualties |   Lost[A]
  41st Commando          |  18    43 |         61 |
  Co. G, 3/1             |   8    40 |         48 |
  Co. B, 1/31            | 100    19 |        119 |       22
  Div. Hq. Bn.           |  25    25 |         50 |       18
  1st Sig. Bn.           |   4     2 |          6 |
  7th MT Bn.             |   2     3 |          5 |        4
  Serv. Co., 1st Tank Bn |   5     6 |         11 |       30
  Co. B(-), 1st Tank Bn  |   0    12 |         12 |
  Co. D(-), 1st Tank Bn  |   0     8 |          8 |        1
  Plat, AT Co., RCT-5    |   0     1 |          1 |
              Total      | 162   159 |        321 |       75

      [A] Smith, _Notes_, 867–868.

“The casualties of Task Force Drysdale were heavy,” commented General
Smith, “but by its partial success the Task Force made a significant
contribution to the holding of Hagaru which was vital to the Division.
To the slender infantry garrison of Hagaru were added a tank company of
about 100 men and some 300 seasoned infantrymen. The approximately 300
troops which returned to Koto-ri participated thereafter in the defense
of that perimeter.”[474]

    [474] _Ibid._ A postscript to the Hell Fire Valley fight was
          written the following spring in front-page headlines
          announcing the escape from a CCF prison camp of 17
          enlisted Marines and a soldier. Among them were five
          NCOs who contributed firsthand accounts for these pages.
          Of the 44 Marines listed as MIA, a total of 25 either
          escaped or survived their prison camp experiences and
          were liberated in Operation Big Switch.

The head of the Task Force Drysdale column, with the Company D tanks
leading George Company and the Commandos, was not aware at dusk on the
29th that the convoy had been cut behind them. There had been previous
gaps during the stops and starts caused by enemy fire, and it was
supposed at first that the thin-skinned vehicles would catch up with
the vanguard.

Progress was fairly good, despite intermittent fire from the high
ground on the right of the road, until the tanks reached a point about
2200 yards from Hagaru. There the column was stopped by concentrated
CCF mortar and small-arms fire. One of the tanks was so damaged by a
satchel charge that it had to be abandoned, and several vehicles were
set afire. After Drysdale was wounded the command passed to Sitter,
who formed his force into a perimeter until the repulse of the Chinese
permitted the march to be resumed.[475]

    [475] This section, except where otherwise specified, has been
          derived from the following sources: 3/1 _SAR 26 Nov-15
          Dec 50_, 4–5, 8–9; 1stTkBn _SAR_, 24–25; Ridge, _Notes_;
          Sitter ltr, 4 Oct 55; Simmons interv, 22 Mar 56; Jochums
          ltr, 16 Dec 55; Canzona narrative, 27 Mar 56; Carey
          narrative, 3 Feb 56.

Several pyramidal tents just outside the Hagaru perimeter were assumed
to be occupied by friendly troops until enemy in the vicinity destroyed
two George Company trucks and caused several casualties. Later it was
learned that the tents had been originally occupied by troops of the
10th Engineer Battalion and abandoned when the Chinese attacked on the

At 1915, Captain Sitter reported to Lieutenant Colonel Ridge, who
directed that George Company and the 41st Commando spend the night in
perimeter reserve. After their all-day fight, the men of the column
could scarcely believe their eyes when they saw the Marine engineers at
work on the airstrip under the floodlights.

Contrary to expectations, the hours of darkness on 29–30 November
passed in comparative quiet at Hagaru except for CCF harassing fires.
It was not a coincidence that the enemy kept his distance. Attacks on
the East Hill and Item and How Company positions of 3/1 actually had
been planned and partly executed by troops of the 58th CCF Division,
according to POW testimony. They were broken up by Marine air attacks
and supporting fires which hit the assembly areas.

The effectiveness of these fires owed a good deal to the intelligence
brought back to Lieutenant Carey, the Battalion S-2, by CIC agents who
circulated among Chinese troops on 27 and 28 November. The Battalion
S-2 had a work table at the CP beside Major Simmons, the SAC, who
directed six sorties of the night hecklers of VMF(N)-542. He guided
the planes through the darkness to their targets with a fiery arrow
as converging machine-gun tracer bullets crossed over suspected CCF
assembly areas.

The 81mm mortars of Weapons Company, 3/1, fired about 1100 rounds
during the night, and the corresponding unit of 2/7 made a noteworthy
contribution. The following day, according to Carey, Chinese prisoners
reported that “most of the units employed around Hagaru were very badly

    [476] This account of Marine supporting fires on the night of
          29–30 November is based on: Carey narrative, 3 Feb 56;
          LtCol E. H. Simmons interv, 22 Mar 56; 3/1 _SAR 26 Nov-15
          Dec 50_, 4–5.

A few white phosphorus mortar rounds fell in the lines of How and Item
Companies, and a CCF green flare caused an alert for an attack which
never materialized. In the early morning hours of the 30th an enemy
concentration appeared to be taking place on the Item Company front,
but intensive 60mm mortar fire put an end to the threat.

_Attack of George Company on East Hill_

At 0800, the battalion commander ordered George Company to retake East
Hill while the Commandos remained in reserve. Sitter’s plan called for
his 1st and 2d platoons, commanded by Second Lieutenants Frederick W.
Hopkins and John W. Jaeger respectively, to pass through Myers’ group,
then make a sharp left turn and attack on either side of the ridge.
First Lieutenant Carl E. Dennis’ 3d Platoon and two platoons of Able
Company engineers were to follow in reserve.

Slow progress caused the George Company commander to modify the plan
by giving his 3d platoon and the two engineer platoons the mission of
enveloping the CCF right flank (see Map 22). Lieutenant Dennis led
the attack, with First Lieutenant Ernest P. Skelt’s and Lieutenant
Canzona’s engineer platoons following.

[Illustration: EAST HILL ATTACKS

30 November


Neither of the George Company attacks was successful. The trampling of
hundreds of feet over the snow had made the footing more treacherous
than ever; and once again the combination of difficult terrain and
long-range Chinese fire accounted for failure to retake East Hill.
Sitter’s request to set up defense positions on the ground previously
occupied by Myers was granted. Meanwhile Dennis’ platoon and the
engineers were directed to withdraw to the foot of the hill, so that
the Corsairs could work the CCF positions over with rockets and bombs.

_High Level Command Conference_

Although the Marines at Hagaru had little to do with the higher levels
of strategy, it was evident that the continued retreat of the Eighth
Army in west Korea must ultimately affect the destinies of X Corps.
Of more immediate concern was the deteriorating situation of the
three battalions (two infantry and one artillery) of the 7th Infantry
Division east of the Chosin Reservoir. Brigadier General Henry I.
Hodes, assistant division commander, informed General Smith at noon on
the 29th that the Army troops had suffered approximately 400 casualties
while falling back toward Hagaru and were unable to fight their way out
to safety. At 2027 that night, all troops in the Chosin Reservoir area,
including the three Army battalions, were placed under the operational
control of the Marine commander by X Corps. The 1st Marine Division
was directed to “redeploy one RCT without delay from Yudam-ni area to
Hagaru area, gain contact with elements of the 7th Inf Div E of Chosin
Reservoir; co-ordinate all forces in and N of Hagaru in a perimeter
defense based on Hagaru; open and secure Hagaru-Koto-ri MSR.”[477]

    [477] X Corps _OI 19_, 29 Nov 50.

On the afternoon of the 30th a command conference was held at Hagaru in
the Division CP. Generals Almond, Smith, Barr, and Hodes were informed
at the briefing session that a disaster threatened the three Army

    [478] Smith, _Chronicle_, 95; X Corps _WD Sum, Nov 50_, 16–17;
          CG’s Diary Extracts in X Corps _WD_, 30 Nov 50.

Almond was also much concerned about the attacks on the Marine MSR. He
had been given a firsthand account that morning by the senior Marine
officer on the X Corps staff, Colonel Edward H. Forney, who had just
returned from Koto-ri.[479]

    [479] Col E. H. Forney, _Transcript of Special Report, Deputy
          Chief of Staff, X Corps, 19 August, 21 December 1950_, 3.

At the Hagaru conference the X Corps commander announced that he had
abandoned any idea of consolidating positions in the Chosin Reservoir
area. Stressing the necessity for speed in falling back toward Hamhung,
he promised Smith resupply by air after authorizing him to burn or
destroy all equipment which would delay his withdrawal to the seacoast.

The Marine general replied that his movements must be governed by his
ability to evacuate his wounded. He would have to fight his way out, he
added, and could not afford to discard equipment; it was his intention,
therefore, to bring out the bulk of it.[480]

    [480] Smith, _Chronicle_, 95. These decisions were confirmed by
          CG X Corps msg X 13522, 1 Dec 50.

Almond directed Smith and Barr to draw up a plan and time schedule
for extricating the Army battalions east of the Reservoir. Those
two generals agreed, however, that not much could be done until the
Yudam-ni Marines arrived at Hagaru, and the conference ended on an
inconclusive note. That same afternoon X Corps OpnO 8-50 was received.
It defined the Corps mission as “maintaining contact with the enemy to
the maximum capability consistent with cohesive action, oriented to the
Hamhung-Hungnam base of operation.”[481]

    [481] X Corps _OpnO 8_, 30 Nov 50. See also X Corps _WD Sum,
          Nov 50_, 16–17; and CG’s Diary Extracts in X Corps _WD_
          30 Nov 50.

The decision to concentrate X Corps forces in that area meant the
evacuation of Wonsan. General Harris lost no time in directing MAG-12
to move from Wonsan Airfield to Yonpo. Hedron-12 and the three combat
squadrons began shifting personnel and equipment at once. Transfer of
the aircraft was completed on 1 December. In many instances the planes
took off on combat missions from Wonsan and landed at Yonpo, so that
the ground forces were not deprived of air support.[482]

    [482] MAG-12 _HD Nov 50_, 8; 1stMAW _HD Dec 50_; CO MAG-12 msg
          to Movement Report Office (MRO) Tokyo, 0805 2 Dec 50 in
          _ibid._ VMF-312 _HD, Dec 50_.

High level naval commanders were already preparing for an evacuation
of northeast Korea if matters came to the worst. Admiral Joy foresaw
as early as the 28th that if the retreat of the battered Eighth Army
continued, X Corps would have to choose between falling back and
being outflanked. In view of the time needed to collect the enormous
quantities of shipping required, he warned Admiral Doyle on that date
that a large-scale redeployment operation might be necessary. Doyle in
turn directed his staff to commence planning for redeployment either by
an administrative outloading or by a fighting withdrawal.[483]

    [483] ComPhibGruOne, _Action Report for Hungnam Redeployment,
          December 1950_, 1.

_CCF Attacks of 1 December at Hagaru_

During the early hours of darkness on 30 November, it appeared that
Hagaru might have a second quiet night. Three bugle calls were heard
by Item Company at 2015, and the enemy sent up a green flare an hour
later. But no unusual CCF activity was reported until 2330, when small
patrols began probing for weak spots in the Item Company lines.

The enemy could scarcely have chosen a less rewarding area for such
research. As usual, Lieutenant Fisher had built up an elaborate system
of concertinas, trip flares, and booby traps; and his sandbagged
foxholes and weapon emplacements afforded his men maximum protection.
At midnight, when the enemy came on in strength, each successive
assault wave shattered against the terrific fire power which a Marine
rifle company, aided by artillery, tanks, 81mm mortars, and heavy
machine guns, could concentrate.

Several times the enemy’s momentum carried him to the Item Company
foxholes but no Communists lived to exploit their advantage. On one
of these occasions Sergeant Charles V. Davidson, having expended his
ammunition, proved that cold steel still has its uses by bayoneting the
last of his attackers.[484]

    [484] Miller ltr, 10 Oct 55.

Again, as on the night of the 28th, the enemy had chosen to launch his
major attack against Marine strength, though his daytime observation
must have disclosed the preparations for a hot reception in the Item
Company sector. An estimated 500 to 750 Chinese were killed on this
front at a cost to Fisher’s men of two KIA and 10 WIA.[485]

    [485] 3/1 _SAR_ 26 Nov-15 Dec 50, 5; Ridge, _Notes_.

The Chinese also repeated themselves by carrying out another attack on
East Hill which ended in a second costly stalemate. The western slope
up to the military crest was held by the following units from right
to left: First Lieutenant Ermine L. Meeker’s 1st Platoon of Baker
Company engineers; the 2d, 1st, and 3d Platoons of George Company; and
Lieutenant Skelt’s 3d Platoon of Able Company Engineers. To the left of
Skelt, near the foot of the hill, were Lieutenant Canzona’s 1st Platoon
of Able engineers; two tanks of the AT Company, 2/7; and elements of
Lieutenant Colonel Banks’ 1st Service Battalion.[486]

    [486] Sources for the balance of this section are as follows:
          Smith, _Chronicle_, 97–100; 3/1 _SAR 26 Nov-15 Dec 50_,
          5–6; Ridge, _Notes_; Sitter ltr, 4 Oct 55; Canzona
          narrative, 8 Mar 56; Pendas ltr, 18 Dec 55; Carey ltr, 14
          Feb 56; Capt E. L. Meeker interv, 10 Apr 56.

The action began shortly before midnight with one of those comedy
situations which develop on the grimmest occasions. The sign or
password was “Abraham” and the countersign “Lincoln,” but two Company A
engineers on a listening post did not pause for the customary exchange.
Having been jumped by what their startled eyes took to be a Chinese
regiment, they sprinted downhill yelling, “Abraham Lincoln! Abraham
Lincoln!” as they slid into Skelt’s lines with the enemy close behind.

His engineers had no leisure for a laugh. Within a few seconds they
were mixing it in a wild melee with Communists who seemed literally to
drop on them from above. Meanwhile, George Company was hard hit by well
aimed mortar fire which threatened to wipe out Lieutenant Hopkins’ 1st
Platoon. The ensuing double-headed CCF attack bent back the left flank
of George Company, with both the 1st and 3d Platoons giving ground.

On the left Skelt’s platoon was pushed down to the foot of the hill by
superior enemy numbers after exactly half of his 28 men were killed or
wounded. Here the fight continued with Banks’ service troops lending a
hand until the Chinese were exterminated.

This penetration was a hollow triumph for the enemy. No friendly forces
being left in the center, the How Battery howitzers walked shells up
and down the western slope. Mortars and machine guns chimed in, and
Lieutenant Canzona’s platoon was in position to direct the fire of the
two tanks of AT Company 2/7.

The scene became bright as day after an enemy artillery shell set 50
drums of gasoline ablaze in a Supply Area dump. Like an enormous torch,
the flames illuminated the battle so vividly that General Smith looked
on from the doorway of his CP, some 1200 yards away. Several bullets
pierced the roof and walls during the night.

Again, as in the fight of 28–29 November, Marine fire power blocked the
gap on the central and northwest slopes of East Hill. Marine and Army
service troops took a part in the fighting which is the more creditable
considering that they were ordered out in the middle of the night,
placed in a provisional unit with strange troops, and marched off into
the darkness to attack or defend at some critical point.

Lieutenant Meeker’s engineer platoon, on the right of George Company,
had a long-drawn fire fight but got off with losses of one man killed
and three wounded. At 0100 the CCF pressure on Sitter’s troops was
so heavy that Lieutenant Carey, former commander of the 1st Platoon,
was taken from his S-2 duties to lead a group of reinforcements which
he described as “all available hands from the CP or any other units
in Hagaru who could spare personnel.” Carrying as much ammunition as
possible, he arrived at the George Company CP to find Sitter still
commanding in spite of his wound. Scarcely a full squad was left of
Carey’s old outfit when he helped to restore the lines.

It was necessary for Ridge to send a further reinforcement consisting
of British Marines of the 41st Commando before George Company’s left
flank was secured. A counterattack at daybreak regained lost ground,
and the situation was well under control when air came on station at

Thus ended another night of confusion and frustration for both sides
on East Hill. While the Chinese attack had been better organized and
in larger force than the effort of the 29th, it was too little and too
late for decisive results in spite of heavy losses. On the other hand,
George Company and its reinforcing elements had suffered an estimated
60 men killed and wounded.

Although the Marines of Hagaru could not have suspected it on the
morning of 1 December, the enemy had, for the time being, shot his
bolt. His first two large-scale attacks, as POW interrogations were
to confirm, had used up not only the personnel of a division but most
of the limited supplies of ammunition available. Thus it is probable
that the following estimates of CCF casualties, as published in the 3/1
report, for the period of 28 November to 5 December, were nearer to
accuracy than most such summaries:

   (1) 58th CCF Division: Estimated casualties of 3300 for the 172d
       Regiment; 1750 each for the 173d and 174th Regiments.

   (2) 59th CCF Division: Estimated 1750 casualties for the 176th
       Regiment. No other units identified.

The known Chinese dead in the two night battles amounted to at least
1500; and if it may be assumed that three or four times that number
were wounded, the total casualties would have crippled an enemy
infantry division of 7500 to 10,000 men, plus an additional regiment.
Considering the primitive state of CCF supply and medical service,
moreover, it is likely that hundreds died of wounds and privations
behind their own lines.

The losses of 3/1 at Hagaru were given as 33 KIA, 10 DOW, 2 MIA, and
270 WIA--a total of 315 battle casualties, nearly all of which were
incurred from 28 November to 1 December.[487] There are no over-all
casualty figures for Marine or Army service troops, but it is probable
that their total losses exceeded those of 3/1.

    [487] Ridge, _Notes_; Smith, _Notes_, 854.

_Rescue of U. S. Army Wounded_

Casualties estimated as high as 75 per cent were suffered by the three
U. S. Army battalions east of the Reservoir. At 2200 on the night
of 1 December, the first survivors, most of them walking wounded,
reached the Marine lines north of Hagaru with tales of frightful losses
suffered in the five days of continual fighting since the first CCF
attack on the night of 27–28 November.

Following this action Colonel Allan D. MacLean, commanding the 31st
Infantry, had set up a perimeter near Sinhung-ni with the 3d Battalion
of his regiment and the 1st Battalion of the 57th Field Artillery.
Along the shore farther to the north, Lieutenant Colonel Don C. Faith,
USA, held a separate perimeter with the 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry
(see Map 20).[488]

    [488] The sources for the operations of Task Force Faith,
          unless otherwise noted, are: Statement of Capt Edward P.
          Stamford, n. d., 2–15; Statement of Dr. Lee Tong Kak,
          n. d.; Capt Martin Blumenson, USA, “Chosin Reservoir,”
          in Capt Russell A. Gugeler, _Combat Actions in Korea_,
          63–86; X Corps _WD Sum, Nov 50_, 33–34. Chinese accounts
          of these actions may be found in ATIS _Enemy Documents:
          Korean Campaign_, Issue 84, 7–15 and 20–25. LtCol Faith
          had distinguished himself in World War II as aide to
          MajGen Matthew B. Ridgway, then commanding the 82d
          Airborne Div.

Both positions were hard hit by the Chinese on the night of 27–28
November and isolated from each other. During the next 24 hours they
beat off CCF attacks with the support of Marine and FEAF planes, and
Faith fought his way through to a junction with the Sinhung-ni force.

When the senior officer was killed, Faith took command of all three
battalions. Immobilized by nearly 500 casualties, he remained in the
Sinhung-ni perimeter, where he was supplied by air. On the 29th General
Hodes sent a relief force in company strength from 31st Infantry units
in the area just north of Hagaru. These troops, supported by several
Army tanks, were hurled back by superior CCF numbers with the loss of
two tanks and heavy personnel casualties.

On 1 December, fearing that he would be overwhelmed in his Sinhung-ni
perimeter, Faith attempted to break through to Hagaru. After destroying
the howitzers and all but the most essential equipment, the convoy with
its hundreds of wounded moved out under the constant cover of Marine
close air support, controlled by Captain Edward P. Stamford, USMC.[489]

    [489] VMF(N)-542 _SAR_, sec C, 1–2; VMF(N)-542 _HD_, Dec 50,
          1–2; 1stMAW _SAR_, annex J, (hereafter MAG-33 _SAR_), sec
          B, 5, 8–9. See also descriptions of air support in 1stLt
          H. S. Wilson interv by Capt J. I. Kiernan, Jr., 29 Jan
          51; 1stLt K. E. Kiester interv by Capt Kiernan, 25 Jan
          51; Capt C. P. Blankenship interv by Capt Kiernan, 26 Jan
          51; and 1stLt W. R. Lipscomb interv by Capt Kiernan, 18
          Feb 51.

Progress was slow and exhausting, with frequent stops for fire fights.
There were many instances of individual bravery in the face of
adversity, but losses of officers and NCOs gradually deprived the units
of leadership. As an added handicap, a large proportion of the troops
were ROKs who understood no English.

The task force came near to a breakout. At dusk it was only four and a
half miles from Hagaru when Faith fell mortally wounded and the units
shattered into leaderless groups.[490] Soon the column had ceased to
exist as a military force. A tragic disintegration set in as wounded
and frostbitten men made their way over the ice of the Reservoir in
wretched little bands drawn together by a common misery rather than

    [490] The courageous Army officer was awarded posthumously a
          Congressional Medal of Honor.

By a miracle the first stragglers to reach Hagaru got through the mine
fields and trip flares without harm. Before dawn a total of about 670
survivors of Task Force Faith had been taken into the warming tents of

Lieutenant Colonel Beall, commanding officer of the 1st Motor Transport
Battalion, made a personal search in the morning for other survivors.
Finding more than his jeep could carry, he organized a task force of
trucks, jeeps, and sleds. The only CCF opposition to the Marines came
in the form of long-distance sniping which grew so troublesome late in
the afternoon that the truckers set up a machine gun section on the
ice for protection. Far from hindering the escape of the Army wounded,
the Chinese actually assisted in some instances, thus adding to the
difficulty of understanding the Oriental mentality.[491]

    [491] The account of the rescue of survivors from Task Force
          Faith is based upon: 1stMar Div _SAR_, annex Q (hereafter
          DivSurgeon _SAR_), n. p. and appendix II, 10; Statement
          of LtCol O. L. Beall, n. d.; 1stMarDiv _POR 197_; Smith,
          _Notes_, 902–906; and Smith, _Chronicle_, 98, 100.

Of the 319 soldiers rescued by Beall on 2 December, nearly all were
wounded or frostbitten. Some were found wandering about in aimless
circles on the ice, in a state of shock.

A company-size task force of Army troops from Hagaru, supported by
tanks, moved out that day to bring in any organized units of the three
shattered battalions which might have been left behind. Known as Task
Force Anderson after Lieutenant Colonel Berry K. Anderson, senior Army
officer at Hagaru, the column met heavy CCF opposition and was recalled
when it became evident that only stragglers remained.[492]

    [492] 1stMarDiv G-3 Journal 1–2 Dec 50, entry 18; G-3 1stMarDiv
          tel to S-3 11–12 Mar, 1150 2 Dec 50.

Beall and his men kept up their rescue work until the last of an
estimated 1050 survivors of the original 2500 troops had been saved.
A Marine reconnaissance patrol counted more than 300 dead in the
abandoned trucks of the Task Force Faith convoy, and there were
apparently hundreds of MIA. The 385 able-bodied soldiers who reached
Hagaru were organized into a provisional battalion and provided with
Marine equipment.[493]

    [493] _Ibid._ Estimates of the number of soldiers evacuated by
          air from Hagaru as casualties run as high as 1500, but
          no accurate records were kept. Any such total, moreover,
          would have to include men from the Army units stationed
          at Hagaru as well as survivors of the Task Force Faith

_First Landings on Hagaru Airstrip_

Casualty evacuation had become such a problem by 1 December that
Captain Eugene R. Hering, (MC) USN, the Division surgeon, called at
General Smith’s CP that morning. He reported that some 600 casualties
at Hagaru were putting a severe strain on the limited facilities of C
and E Companies of the 1st Medical Battalion. It was further estimated
that 500 casualties would be brought in by the Yudam-ni units and 400
from the three Army battalions east of the Reservoir.[494]

    [494] DivSurgeon _SAR_, n. p.; Smith, _Notes_, 990–994, and
          _Chronicle_, 1 Dec 50; Capt E. R. Hering, “Address Before
          U. S. Association of Military Surgeons,” 9 Oct 51; and
          “Address Before American Medical Association Convention,”
          14 Jun 51.

Although both figures were to prove far too low, they seemed alarmingly
high at a time when only the most critical casualties could be
evacuated by helicopter or OY. Flying in extreme cold and landing
at high altitudes where the aircraft has less than normal lift, the
pilots of Major Gottschalk’s VMO-6 saved scores of lives. From 27
November to 1 December, when the transports took over, 152 casualties
were evacuated by the OYs and helicopters--109 from Yudam-ni, 36 from
Hagaru, and seven from Koto-ri.[495]

    [495] VMO-6 _SAR_, 14–15; Smith, _Notes_, 844.

Altogether, 220 evacuation flights and 11 rescue missions were
completed during the entire Reservoir campaign by a squadron which on
1 November included 25 officers, 95 enlisted men, eight OY-2 and two
L5G observation planes and nine HO3S-1 Sikorsky helicopters. First
Lieutenant Robert A. Longstaff was killed by enemy small-arms fire near
Toktong Pass while on an evacuation flight, and both Captain Farish and
Lieutenant Englehardt had their helicopters so badly riddled by CCF
bullets that the machines were laid up for repairs.[496]

    [496] _Ibid._ See also Lynn Montross, _Cavalry of the Sky_ (New
          York, 1954), 134–136.

Two surgical teams from Hungnam had been flown to Hagaru by helicopter,
but the evacuation problem remained so urgent on 1 December that the
command of the 1st Marine Division authorized a trial landing on the
new airstrip. Only 40 per cent completed at this time, the runway was
2900 feet long and 50 feet wide, with a 2 per cent grade to the north.

It was a tense moment, at 1430 that afternoon, when the knots of
parka-clad Marine spectators watched the wheels of the first FEAF
C-47 hit the frozen, snow-covered strip. The big two-motored aircraft
bounced and lurched its way over the rough surface, but the landing
was a success. An even more nerve-racking test ensued half an hour
later when the pilot took off with 24 casualties. It seemed for a
breath-snatching instant that the run wouldn’t be long enough for the
machine to become airborne, but at last the tail lifted and the wings
got enough “bite” to clear the hills to the south.

Three more planes landed that afternoon, taking off with about 60 more
casualties. The last arrival, heavily loaded with ammunition, collapsed
its landing gear on the bumpy strip and had to be destroyed and

    [497] DivSurgeon _SAR_, n. p.; Smith, _Notes_, 990–991, and
          _Chronicle_, 98–99.

At the other end of the evacuation chain, clearing stations had been
established by X Corps at Yonpo Airfield to receive and distribute
casualties. A 30-day evacuation policy was maintained, and the
casualties to remain in the area went to the 1st Marine Division
Hospital in Hungnam, the Army 121st Evacuation Hospital in Hamhung, and
the USS _Consolation_ in Hungnam harbor. Casualties requiring more than
30 days of hospitalization were flown from Yonpo to Japan, though a
few critical cases were evacuated directly from Hagaru to Japan.[498]

    [498] _Ibid._

It was planned for incoming transports at Hagaru to fly both supplies
and troop replacements. Meanwhile, on 1 December, the 1st Marine
Division had its first C-119 air drop from Japan. Known as “Baldwins,”
these drops consisted of a prearranged quantity of small arms
ammunition, weapons, water, rations, and medical supplies, though the
amounts could be modified as desired.[499]

    [499] Smith, _Notes_, 1001–1004. Col J. H. Brower Comments, n.

Air drops, however, did not have the capability of supplying an RCT in
combat, let alone a division. At this time the Combat Cargo Command,
FEAF, estimated its delivery capabilities at only 70 tons per day;
and even though in practice this total was stepped up to 100, it fell
five short of the requirements of an RCT. Fortunately, the foresight
of the Division commander and staff had enabled the Supply Regulating
Detachment to build up a level of six days’ rations and two units of
fire at Hagaru.[500] This backlog, plus such quantities as could be
delivered by Baldwin drops, promised to see the Division through the

    [500] Smith, _Notes_, 1001–1004.

Infantrymen are seldom given to self-effacement, but at nightfall on 1
December only an ungrateful gravel-cruncher could have failed to pay a
silent tribute to the other services as well as to the supporting arms
of the Marine Corps. Navy medics, FEAF airmen, Army service units--they
had all helped to make it possible for the Marines to plan a breakout.
Yet it is likely that the 1st Engineer Battalion came first in the
affections of wounded men being loaded in the C-47s for evacuation.

In just twelve days and nights the engineers of Company D had hacked
this airstrip out of the frozen earth. Marine infantrymen could never
forget the two critical nights of battle when they looked back over
their shoulders from combat areas at the heartening spectacle of the
dozers puffing and huffing under the floodlights. In a pinch Lieutenant
Colonel Partridge’s specialists had doubled as riflemen, too, and
several platoons were riddled with casualties. Thanks in large part to
the engineers, the Hagaru base was no longer isolated on 1 December.
And though the enemy did not yet realize it, he had lost the initiative
on this eventful Friday. The Marines at Yudam-ni were coming out, and
they were coming out fighting with their casualties and equipment.


Breakout From Yudam-ni

_Joint Planning for Breakout--The Fight for Hills 1419 and 1542--March
of 1/7 Over the Mountains--Attack of 3/5 on 1–2 December--The
Ridgerunners of Toktong Pass--CCF Attacks on Hills 1276 and
1542--Advance of Darkhorse on 2–3 December--Entry into Hagaru Perimeter_

The first steps toward regaining the initiative were taken by the
Marine command as early as 29 November. Upon being informed that the
composite battalion had failed to open up the MSR south of Yudam-ni,
General Smith concluded that it was a task for a regiment. At 1545 that
afternoon he issued the following orders to RCTs 5 and 7:

  RCT-5 assume responsibility protection Yudam-ni area adjusting
  present dispositions accordingly. RCT-7 conduct operations clear
  MSR to Hagaru without delay employing entire regiment.[501]

    [501] CG 1stMarDiv msg to COs 5th and 7thMars, 1750 29 Nov 50.

That same evening the Division CP received X Corps OI 19, providing
that an RCT be redeployed from the Yudam-ni area to Hagaru.[502] No
further directives from Division were necessary to implement this
instruction, since it had been anticipated in General Smith’s orders.

    [502] XCorps _OI 19_, 29 Nov 50.

Upon receipt, the two Yudam-ni regimental commanders began joint
planning for measures to be taken. The unusual command situation at
Yudam-ni, in the absence of the assistant division commander, was
explained by Colonel Litzenberg:

  The 5th and 7th Marines were each acting under separate orders
  from the Division. The Division would issue orders to one regiment
  with information to the other, so that Division retained the
  control; and, of course, the 4th Battalion, 11th Marines, in
  general support of both regiments, was not actually under the
  control of either of us. Lieutenant Colonel Murray ... operated
  in very close coordination with me, sometimes at his own command
  post and sometimes at mine. We called in [Major] McReynolds,
  the commander of 4/11, discussed the situation with him, and
  thereafter Lieutenant Colonel Murray and I issued orders jointly as
  necessary.... This command arrangement functioned very well. There
  was never any particular disagreement.[503]

    [503] Litzenberg interv, 27–30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 57. Maj
          McReynolds had already placed his battalion under Col
          Litzenberg as senior officer present. LtCol W. McReynolds
          Comments, 15 Aug 56.

For purposes of planning the supporting fires for the breakout, an
artillery groupment was formed and Lieutenant Colonel Feehan given the
responsibility of coordination. It was further agreed that no air drops
of 155mm ammunition would be requested because of the greater number of
105mm rounds which could be received with fewer difficulties.[504]

    [504] LtCol H. A. Feehan Comments, 1 Aug 56. McReynolds
          Comments, 15 Aug 56.

The problems of the two RCTs, commented General Smith, could not be
separated. “The only feasible thing for them to do was pool their
resources.... The assignment of command to the senior regimental
commander was considered but rejected in favor of cooperation.”[505]

    [505] Smith, _Notes_, 918–919.

At 0600 on the 30th, the two RCTs issued their Joint OpnO 1-50, which
called for the regroupment of the Yudam-ni forces in a new position
south of the village and astride the MSR as a first step toward a
breakout.[506] Thus in effect the two RCTs and supporting troops would
be exchanging an east-and-west perimeter for one pointing from north
to south along the road to Hagaru. Not only was the terrain south of
the village more defensible, but a smaller perimeter would serve the

    [506] The remainder of this section, unless otherwise noted,
          is derived from: RCT 5 and RCT 7 _Joint OpnO 1-50_, 30
          Nov 50; X Corps _OpnO 8_, 30 Nov 50; 7thMar _SAR_, 22–23;
          3/7 _SAR_, n. p.; 2/5 _SAR_, 20–21; Litzenberg interv,
          27–30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 55; Gen O. P. Smith Comments, 13
          Nov 56; Col J. L. Winecoff Comments, n. d.; LtCol R. D.
          Taplett Comments, 9 Aug 56.

Lieutenant Colonel Winecoff, Assistant G-3 of the Division, flew to
Yudam-ni on the 30th to observe and report on the situation. He was
given a copy of Joint OpnO 1-50 for delivery to General Smith on his
return to Hagaru.[507]

    [507] A copy had been sent out earlier with the pilot of an
          evacuation helicopter but it did not reach the Division
          CP until 1 December. Winecoff Comments.

That same afternoon, during a conference with General Almond at
Hagaru, the Marine commander received X Corps OpnO 8, directing him
to operate against the enemy in zone, withdrawing elements north and
northwest of Hagaru to that area while securing the Sudong-Hagaru MSR.
And at 1920 that evening, Division issued the following dispatch orders
to RCTs 5 and 7:

  Expedite execution of Joint OpnO 1-50 and combined movement RCT-5
  and RCT-7 to Hagaru prepared for further withdrawal south. Destroy
  any supplies and equipment which must be abandoned during this

    [508] CG 1stMarDiv msg to COs 5th and 7thMars, 1920 30 Nov 50.
          See also Smith, _Notes_, 923–924.

As a prerequisite, a good deal of reorganization had to be effected
at Yudam-ni. In order to provide a force to hold the shoulders of the
high ground through which RCT-7 would advance, it was decided to put
together another composite battalion.

The new unit consisted of George Company, 3/7, Able Company, 1/5,
and the remnants of Dog and Easy Companies, 2/7, combined into a
provisional company under Captain Robert J. Polson; a section of
81s each from 2/7 and 3/7’s Weapons Companies; and a communications
detachment from 3/7. Major Maurice E. Roach, regimental S-4 placed in
command, realized that such a jury-rigged outfit might be subject to
morale problems. Noting that one of the men had made a neckerchief
out of a torn green parachute, he seized upon the idea as a means
of appealing to unit pride. Soon all the men were sporting green
neckerchiefs, and Roach gave the new unit added distinction by
christening it the Damnation Battalion after adopting “Damnation” as
the code word.[509]

    [509] This account of the organization of the “Damnation”
          Battalion is based upon: Narrative of Maj W. R. Earney,
          n. d., 9–10; MajGen H. L. Litzenberg ltr, 7 Aug 56; LtCol
          M. E. Roach Comments, 27 Nov 56. “I trust,” commented Gen
          Litzenberg dryly, “that the green neckerchiefs were all
          made of _torn_ parachutes!”

Beginning in the early morning hours of the 30th, regroupment was the
chief activity at Yudam-ni. Enemy opposition during the night took the
form of scattered small-arms fire varied with minor probing attacks.
This comparative lull lasted until 0710, when Item Company of 3/5
beat off an enemy assault on Hill 1282 (North Ridge) with the support
of Marine air strikes and 81mm mortar fire. In the same area George
Company had a brisk fire fight from 1315 to dusk.

The plan of the regroupment envisioned a gradual withdrawal from the
north and west of Yudam-ni by RCT-5 for the purpose of relieving units
of RCT-7 and enabling them to extend the perimeter southward from the
village (see Map 23). It fell to 2/5 to execute the most difficult
maneuver of the day. Roise’s battalion held a line stretching from Hill
1426 on Southwest Ridge along the high ground to 3/5’s positions on
Hill 1282. After disengaging with the help of Marine air and artillery,
2/5 gave up Hill 1426 and pulled back nearly a mile, relieving elements
of 3/7 on the left. Roise’s new line included Hill 1294 on Southwest
Ridge, overlooking the MSR, and extended northeast to Hill 1282 as
before. Meanwhile 1/5 continued to hold a defensive line from Hill 1240
eastward to Hill 1167.


30 Nov 50


These movements freed 3/7 to re-deploy to new positions astride the
MSR about 4000 yards south of Yudam-ni. In this same general area, 1/7
continued to block the valley to the southwest while holding Hill 1276,
of South Ridge, about 2500 yards south of the village.

“The question of whether we should make these movements during daylight
or at night was a difficult one,” said Colonel Litzenberg. “We finally
decided to make the movements in daylight when we could have advantage
of observation for air cover and artillery. The movement, piecemeal by
battalion, was successfully executed.”[510]

    [510] Litzenberg interv, 27–30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 55.

The enemy took surprisingly little advantage of the readjustment.
Movements were completed in an orderly and methodical manner as the
units drew rations and ammunition for the breakout. Preparations were
made for the destruction of all equipment which could not be carried
out, and air drops of ammunition and other supplies were received.

As a solution for the problem of casualty evacuation, General Smith had
suggested the construction of an OY strip. A start was made at 0900 on
the 30th by the TD-18 dozers of Major McReynolds’ artillery battalion,
but the area came under enemy fire the next day and the nearly
completed strip could be used only twice.[511]

    [511] _Ibid._, McReynolds Comments, 15 Aug 56.

_Joint Planning for Breakout_

The plan, as finally agreed upon, called for a combination of the two
solutions. Since it was essential to relieve hard-pressed Fox Company
and secure vital Toktong Pass prior to the arrival of the main column,
one force would advance across country. And since it would have been
physically impossible to carry the wounded over the mountains, the main
body would fight its way along the road to Toktong Pass.[512]

    [512] This section is derived from: RCT-5 and RCT-7 _Joint OpnO
          2-50_, 1 Dec 50; 5thMar _SAR_, 26–27; 3/5 _SAR_, 15;
          7thMar _SAR_, 23; Smith, _Notes_, 923–927; Litzenberg
          interv, 27–30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 58–59; Col J. L. Stewart
          Comments, n. d.; LtCol R. V. Fridrich interv, 21 Apr
          56; Narrative of LtCol R. G. Davis, 11 Jan 53; Taplett
          Comments, 9 Aug 56; Roach Comments, 27 Nov 56; McReynolds
          Comments, 15 Aug 56.

The over-all plan for the Yudam-ni breakout, after being flown to
Hagaru by helicopter for General Smith’s approval, was incorporated
into Joint OpnO 2-50. This directive, later modified by fragmentary
orders, was issued in the morning of 1 December 1950.

It meant dispensing with the vehicles and heavy equipment of the
cross-country force. Only the barest military necessities could be
taken by men loaded down with ammunition while struggling through

The unit selected for the attempt was the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines,
commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Davis. The plan of maneuver called for
him to strike off across the mountain tops under cover of darkness on
the night of 1 December. As the other units moved out astride the MSR
from Yudam-ni to Hagaru, 3/5 was to be the advance guard.

Lieutenant Colonel Taplett’s battalion had the mission of passing
through 3/7 to seize the commanding ground on both sides of the road
and lead the way for the rest of the Yudam-ni troops. Thus the attacks
of 1/7 and 3/5 would converge in the general area of Fox Hill and
Toktong Pass.

The point of the advance was to be the only Marine tank to reach
Yudam-ni while the MSR was still open. It was left stranded after the
recall of the crew to Hagaru; but Staff Sergeant Russell A. Munsell
and another crewman were flown up from Hagaru by helicopter at Colonel
Litzenberg’s request. They were to man Tank D-23 when it moved out with
the point. Plans also called for a battery of 3/11 to advance near the
head of the column, so that it could go into position near Sinhung-ni
and provide covering fires for the rearguard while other artillery
units displaced.

The 4th Battalion of the 11th Marines had orders to fire most of its
155mm ammunition before departure. All the men who could be spared from
this unit were formed into nine provisional infantry platoons. Two were
assigned to reinforce the 7th Marines and three to the 5th Marines;
four were retained under Major McReynold’s command to protect the
flanks of the vehicle train. It was further prescribed that the guns of
4/11 were to bring up the rear of the convoy, so that the road would
not be blocked in the event of any of its vehicles becoming immobilized.

Only drivers and seriously wounded men were permitted to ride the
trucks in the middle of the column along with critical equipment and
supplies. Since all additional space in the vehicles would doubtless be
needed for casualties incurred in the breakout as well as Fox Company
casualties, it was decided not to bring out the dead from Yudam-ni. A
field burial was conducted by chaplains for 85 officers and men.[513]

    [513] After the cease-fire of July 1953, the remains were
          returned to the United States, in accordance with the
          terms of the Korean Armistice.

All available Marine aircraft were to be on station. Moreover, carrier
planes of TF 77 had been released from other missions by the Fifth
AF to reinforce the aircraft of the 1st MAW in direct support of the
Yudam-ni troops.

_The Fight for Hills 1419 and 1542_

The transition from planning to execution began on the morning of 1
December. Only the 1st and 3d Battalions of RCT-5 were left to the
north of Yudam-ni, and pulling them out was to prove equivalent to
letting loose of the tiger’s tail.

The 3d Battalion began its withdrawal at 0800, followed 90 minutes
later by the 1st. The initial phases of the maneuver were carried out
without great difficulty. The first major problem came when 3/5’s last
unit, George Company, pulled down from Hill 1282 (see Map 24). There
the Marines had been in such close contact with the enemy that grenades
were the main weapon of both sides. The problem of preventing the
Chinese from swarming over the top of the ridge at the critical moment
and pursuing the Marines down the slope was solved by First Lieutenant
Daniel Greene, the FAC, with a dummy run by close supporting aircraft.
While the first pass of the Corsairs kept the Communists down, Captain
Chester R. Hermanson commenced his withdrawal. As soon as his men
moved out at a safe distance he signalled to the FAC, who called for
live runs of Marine air in coordination with the fires directed by the
artillery liaison officer, First Lieutenant Henry G. Ammer. First
Lieutenant Arthur E. House’s 81mm mortar platoon also rendered skillful
support during the withdrawal.[514]

    [514] The description of the withdrawal of 1/5 and 3/5 is based
          on: 5thMar _SAR_, 26; 1/5 _SAR_, 15–16; 3/5 _SAR_, 15;
          LtCol R. D. Taplett and Maj R. E. Whipple, “Darkhorse
          Sets the Pace,” _Marine Corps Gazette_, xxxvii, no.
          6 (Jun 53), 22–23; Alvarez ltr, 18 Oct 55; Taplett
          Comments, 9 Aug 56; LtCol J. W. Stevens, II, Comments, 25
          Jul 56.


1500 to 2400 1 Dec 1950


The ancient ruse was so successful that George Company disengaged
without a single casualty. Ammunition left behind by the rifle platoons
was detonated just as the rockets, bombs, and napalm of the Corsairs
hit the Chinese, followed by artillery and mortar shells. Hill 1282
seemed to erupt in one tremendous explosion. While Captain Hermanson’s
men crossed the bridge south of the burning town, an engineer
demolitions crew waited to destroy the span.

The rear guard unit for the withdrawal of the two battalions was First
Lieutenant John R. Hancock’s Baker Company of 1/5. He felt that his
best chance would be to “sneak off” Hill 1240. Accordingly he requested
that no supporting fires be furnished Baker Company, except at his
request. Making very effective use of his light machine guns to cover
his withdrawal with a spray of fire, Hancock disengaged without a

The next stage of the regroupment was carried out in preparation for
the attacks of 3/5 and 1/7. In order to clear the way on both sides of
the MSR, 3/7 (minus How Company) moved out at 0900 on 1 December to
attack Hill 1542 while How Company went up against Hill 1419.

Joint OpnO 1-50 was modified meanwhile by verbal instructions directing
2/5, instead of 3/5, to relieve 1/7 on Hill 1276, thus freeing Colonel
Davis’ battalion for its assigned mission. The 1st Battalion of RCT-5
took positions stretching from Hill 1100 on the west side of the MSR
to the low ground southeast of the arm of the Reservoir. This meant
that after 3/7 (-) seized Hill 1542, three Marine infantry battalions
would occupy a defensive line about three and a half miles in length,
stretching diagonally northeast from that position to the arm of the
Reservoir, with Hill 1276 as its central bastion.[515]

    [515] 5thMar _SAR_, 26–27; 7thMar _SAR_, 23; 3/7 _SAR_, n. p.;
          1/5 _SAR_, 15–16; 2/5 _SAR_, 21–22; 3/5 _SAR_, 15. CO
          7thMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1935 1 Dec 50.

Shortly before dusk Lieutenant Colonel Taplett’s 3/5 arrived in
position to pass through Lieutenant Colonel Harris’ 3/7. The two
battalion commanders agreed that 3/5 would execute the movement even
though 3/7 had not yet secured its objectives, and 3/5 attacked
astride the MSR at 1500.[516]

    [516] Taplett Comments, 9 Aug 56.

Harris’ battalion had been having it hot and heavy all day on Hills
1419 and 1542 after jumping off at 0900. These objectives were too far
apart for a mutually supported attack and the Chinese defended the
difficult terrain with tenacity.

Item Company, reinforced by artillerymen and headquarters troops, made
slow progress west of the road against the Chinese dug in on Hill 1542.
At 1700 George Company moved into position on the left. Both companies
attempted an assault but the 3/7 report states, “Each attack by ‘I’
Co and ‘G’ Co never reached full momentum before it was broken up.”
One platoon of Item Company reached the military crest before being
repulsed. When night fell, the Marines were still on the eastern slopes
of 1542.[517]

    [517] 3/7 _SAR_, n. p.

On Hill 1419, about 1000 yards east of the road, How Company of 3/7 met
stiff opposition from Chinese dug in along four finger ridges as well
as the main spur leading to the topographical crest. It became evident
that How Company alone could not seize the hill and about noon Able
Company of Davis’ battalion joined the attack, on How’s left.

The heavy undergrowth gave concealment to the enemy, though it also
offered footholds to the Marines scrambling up the steep and icy
slopes. Air strikes were laid down just ahead of them, blasting the
Chinese with bombs, rockets, and 20mm fire. Artillery support, however,
was limited by the relative blindness of the forward observer in the
brush, but mortars succeeded in knocking out several enemy positions.
How Company’s attack had come to a standstill because of casualties
which included Lieutenant Harris. First Lieutenant Eugenous M.
Hovatter’s Able Company regained the momentum, thanks to the efforts of
First Lieutenant Leslie C. Williams’ 1st Platoon. Aided by How and by
Baker, which was committed late in the afternoon, Able Company secured
Hill 1419 about 1930. Thus the jump-off point for the 1/7 advance
across the mountain tops had been seized.

After setting up hasty defenses, Davis directed that all dead and
wounded be evacuated to 3/5’s aid station on the road. How Company
was attached to his battalion by order of Colonel Litzenberg, since
all units had been thinned by casualties. Then the battalion tail was
pulled up the mountain and the last physical tie broken with other
Marine units in the Yudam-ni area.[518]

    [518] 3/7 _SAR_, n. p.; R. G. Davis narrative, 11 Jan 53;
          Fridrich interv, 21 Apr 56; CO 7thMar msg to CG
          1stMarDiv, 1935 1 Dec 50; LtCol R. G. Davis interv by
          Capts K. W. Shutts and A. Z. Freeman, 6 Apr 51; Maj E. M.
          Hovatter Comments, 19 Jul 56.

The Marines had seized the initiative, never again to relinquish it
during the Chosin Reservoir campaign.

_March of 1/7 Over the Mountains_

Planning at the battalion level was done by Davis, his executive
officer, Major Raymond V. Fridrich, and his S-3, Major Thomas B. Tighe.
It was decided to take only two of the 81mm mortars and six heavy
machine guns. They were to be manned with double crews, so that enough
ammunition could be carried to keep them in action.

Pack-set radios (AN/GRC-9) were to provide positive communications
in case the portable sets (SCR-300) would not reach to the Yudam-ni
perimeter. The artillery liaison officer was to carry a pack set
(SCR-610) to insure artillery communication.[519]

    [519] This section, except when otherwise noted, is based on
          Davis narrative; Litzenberg interv, 27–30 Apr and 10 Jul
          51; Fridrich interv, 21 Apr 56; R. G. Davis interv, 6 Apr
          51; and Capt W. J. Davis interv, 4 Jun 56.

All personnel not sick or wounded were to participate, leaving behind
enough walking wounded or frostbite cases to drive the vehicles and
move the gear left behind with the regimental train. Extra litters were
to be taken, each serving initially to carry additional mortar and
machine gun ammunition; and all men were to carry sleeping bags not
only for the protection of the wounded but also to save their own lives
if the column should be cut off in the mountains for several days.
Every man was to start the march with an extra bandolier of small arms
ammunition, and personnel of the reserve company and headquarters group
were to carry an extra round of 81mm mortar ammunition up the first
mountain for replenishment of supplies depleted at that point.

After driving the enemy from the topographical crest of Hill 1419, the
four companies were not permitted a breathing spell. Davis feared the
effects of the extreme (16 degrees below zero) cold on troops drenched
with sweat from clawing their way up the mountain. He pressed the
reorganization with all possible speed, therefore, after no enemy
contacts were reported by patrols ranging to the southeast. And at 2100
on the night of 1 December the column set out in this order:

  Baker Company        First Lieutenant Kurcaba
  1/7 Command Group    Lieutenant Colonel Davis
  Able Company         First Lieutenant Hovatter
  Charlie Company      Captain Morris
  Headquarters Group   Major Fridrich
  How Company          Second Lieutenant Newton

The night was dark but a few stars showed over the horizon in the
general direction to be taken. They served as a guide, with a prominent
rock mass being designated the first objective.

The snow-covered peaks all looked alike in the darkness, and the guide
stars were lost to sight when the column descended into valleys.
Repeated compass orientations of the map examined by flashlight under a
poncho never checked out. The artillery was called upon to place white
phosphorus on designated hills, but the splash of these rounds could
seldom be located.

The point was slowed by the necessity of breaking trail in snow that
had drifted knee-deep in places. After a path had been beaten, the
icy footing became treacherous for the heavily burdened Marines. Some
painful falls were taken on the downhill slopes by men who had to climb
the finger ridges on hands and knees.

Apparently the enemy had been caught by complete surprise, for the
Marines had the desolate area to themselves. A more immediate danger
was loss of direction, and the head of the column veered off to the
southwest while crossing the second valley. A drift in this direction
would eventually take the battalion toward the enemy-held road to
Hagaru (see Map 25), which had been scheduled by the Marine artillery
for harassing and interdiction fires.

Radio failures kept Kurcaba, at the point, from receiving messages
sent in warning. An attempt was made to communicate by word of mouth,
but the shouts from behind often did not penetrate to ears protected
from the cold by parka hoods. At last the loss of direction became so
alarming that Davis himself hurried forward with his radio operator
and runner. In the darkness he lost touch with them and floundered on
alone, panting and stumbling.

It took such effort to overtake the point that he did not make it until
the men were scrambling up the next steep ridge. There the westward
drift was corrected just in time, for the battalion was running into
its first CCF opposition.

The column had been heading up Hill 1520, the eastern and western
slopes of which were held by the enemy. An increasing volume of
small-arms fire was received as Davis gave his company commanders
orders to reorganize units in preparation for attack. Exhausted though
the men were, they summoned a burst of energy and advanced in two
assault columns supported by 81mm mortars and heavy machine guns. Now
the exertion of carrying extra ammunition paid dividends as Baker and
Charlie Companies closed in on a CCF position held in estimated platoon
strength. Some of the Chinese were surprised while asleep or numbed
with the cold, and the Marines destroyed the enemy force at a cost of
only a few men wounded.

The attack cleared the enemy from the eastern slope of Hill 1520, but
distant small-arms fire was received from ridges across the valley to
the east. Davis called a halt for reorganization, since the troops
had obviously reached the limit of their endurance. Suddenly they
began collapsing in the snow--“like dominoes,” as the commanding
officer later described the alarming spectacle. And there the men lay,
oblivious to the cold, heedless of the Chinese bullets ricocheting off
the rocks.

A strange scene ensued in the dim starlight as company officers and
NCOs shook and cuffed the prostrate Marines into wakefulness. The
officers could sympathize even while demanding renewed efforts, for the
sub-zero cold seemed to numb the mind as well as body.

Davis had even requested his company commanders to check every order
he gave, just to make sure his own weary brain was functioning
accurately. At 0300 he decided to allow the men a rest--the first in
20 hours of continuous fighting or marching under a double burden. As
a preliminary, the battalion commander insisted that the perimeter be
buttoned up and small patrols organized within companies to insure a
25 per cent alert. Then the pack radio was set up to establish the
night’s first contact with the regimental CP, and the men took turns at
sleeping as an eerie silence fell over the wasteland of ice and stone.

_Attack of 3/5 on 1–2 December_

Returning to the Yudam-ni area, it may be recalled that Lieutenant
Colonel Taplett’s 3/5 had passed through 3/7 at 1500 on 1 December
with a mission of attacking astride the MSR to lead the way for the
main column. Tank D-23, a How Company platoon and a platoon of Able
Company engineers set the pace, followed by the rest of How Company
and the other two rifle companies. After an advance of 1400 yards the
battalion column was stopped by heavy CCF fire from both sides. How and
Item Companies fanned out west and east of the road and a longdrawn
firefight ensued before the Marines cleared the enemy from their flanks
at 1930.[520]

    [520] Descriptions of 3/5 operations in this section are based
          on the 3/5 _SAR_, 15; Taplett and Whipple, “Darkhorse
          Sets the Pace,” II, 46-50; Taplett Comments, 9 Aug 56.

Artillery support for the breakout was provided by 1/11 and 3/11 (minus
Battery H). The plan called for 1/11 to take the main responsibility
for furnishing supporting fires at the outset while 3/11 displaced as
soon as possible to the vicinity of Sinhung-ni, whence the last lap of
the march to Hagaru could be effectively covered. The 1st Battalion
would then join the vehicle column and move with it to Hagaru.[521]

    [521] 11thMar _SAR_, 7; _MCB Study_, II-C-72.

Taplett gave 3/5 a brief rest after securing his first objectives--the
high ground on both sides of the road just opposite the northern spurs
of Hill 1520. Then he ordered a renewal of the attack shortly before
midnight. How Company on the right met only moderate opposition, but
was held up by the inability of Item Company to make headway against
Chinese dug in along the western slope of Hill 1520. Neither 1/7 nor
3/5 had any idea at the moment that they were simultaneously engaged on
opposite sides of the same great land mass, though separated by enemy
groups as well as terrain of fantastic difficulties. So rugged was this
mile-high mountain that the two Marine outfits might as well have been
in different worlds as far as mutual support was concerned.

Item Company stirred up such a hornet’s nest on the western slope that
Captain Harold O. Schrier was granted permission by the battalion
commander to return to his jump-off position, so that he could better
defend the MSR. There he was attacked by Chinese who alternated
infantry attacks with mortar bombardments. Radio communication failed
and runners sent from the battalion CP to Item Company lost their way.
Thus the company was isolated during an all-night defensive fight.
Second Lieutenant Willard S. Peterson took over the command after
Schrier received a second wound.

Taplett had ordered his reserve company, George, and his attached
engineers into defensive positions to the rear of Item Company. The
engineers on the right flank were also hit by the Chinese and had
several wounded, including the platoon commander, First Lieutenant
Wayne E. Richards, before repulsing the attack.

Counted CCF dead in the Item Company area totaled 342 at daybreak on
the 2d, but the Marines had paid a heavy price in casualties. Less
than 20 able-bodied men were left when George Company passed through
to renew the attack on Hill 1520. For that matter, both George and
How Companies were reduced to two-platoon strength. Taplett requested
reinforcement by an additional company, and was assigned the so-called
Dog-Easy composite company made up of the remnants of 2/7. This outfit
moved directly down the road between George and How Companies.[522]

    [522] “Item Company upon relief was temporarily non-effective.
          In fact it ceased to exist except on paper. Some of the
          survivors were assigned to G/5 and the wounded who were
          able to walk were assigned to a provisional rifle unit
          organized from H&S Co and under the command of Lt George
          Bowman.” Taplett Comments, 9 Aug 56.

It took George Company until 1200 to secure the western slope of Hill
1520. The composite company ran into difficulties meanwhile at a point
on the MSR where the Chinese had blown a bridge over a deep stream bed
and set up a roadblock defended by machine guns. While George Company
attacked down a long spur above the enemy, Dog-Easy Company maneuvered
in defilade to outflank him. Lieutenant Greene, the FAC, directed
the F4Us on target and the ground forces were treated to a daring
exhibition of close support by Corsairs which barely cleared the ridge
after pulling out of their runs. The roadblock was speedily wiped out,
but the vehicle column had to wait until the engineers could construct
a bypass. Then the advance of 3/5 was resumed, with George and How
Companies attacking on opposite sides of the MSR, and the composite
company astride the road, following the tank and engineer platoons.

_The Ridgerunners of Toktong Pass_

All the rest of their lives the survivors of the two spearhead Marine
battalions would take pride in nicknames earned during the breakout
from Yudam-ni. For Taplett’s outfit it was “Darkhorse,” after the radio
call sign of the battalion, while Davis’ men felt that they had a right
to be known as the “Ridgerunners of Toktong Pass.”

At daybreak on 2 December, 1/7 corrected its westward drift of the
previous night and attacked toward Hill 1653, a mountain only about a
mile and a half north of Fox Hill. Davis’ men got the better of several
firefights at long range with CF groups on ridges to the east, but the
terrain gave them more effective opposition than the enemy.[523]

    [523] This section is based on R. G. Davis narrative, 11 Jan
          53; Litzenberg interv, 27–30 Apr and 10 Jul 51; Fridrich
          interv, 21 Apr 56; R. G. Davis interv, 6 Apr 51; and W.
          G. Davis interv, 4 June 56; Col R. G. Davis Comments, 20
          Aug 56; Hovatter Comments, 19 Jul 5.

The radios of 1/7 could not contact Marine planes when they came on
station, and relays through tactical channels proved ineffective.
Moreover, all efforts to reach Fox Company by radio had failed. This
situation worried the battalion commander, who realized that he was
approaching within range of friendly 81mm mortar fire from Fox Hill.

The ancient moral weapon of surprise stood Davis and his men in good
stead, however, as the column encountered little opposition on the
western slope of Hill 1653. How Company, bringing up the rear with the
wounded men, came under an attack which threatened for a moment to
endanger the casualties. But after the litters were carried forward,
Newton managed to keep the Chinese at a respectful distance without aid
from the other companies.

Charlie Company was given the mission of seizing a spur covering the
advance of Able and Baker companies east from Hill 1520 to Hill 1653.
The command group had just passed Morris on this position when the
radio operator shouted to Davis:

“Fox Six on the radio, sir.”

Captain Barber’s offer to send out a patrol to guide 1/7 to his
position was declined, but Fox Company did control the strike by planes
of VMF-312 which covered the attack of Kurcaba’s company on the final
objective--a ridge about 400 yards north of Fox Hill. Aided by the
air attack and supporting 81mm mortar fires, Baker Company seized the
position and Able Company the northern portion of Hill 1653. It was
1125 on the morning of 2 December 1950 when the first men of Baker
Company reached Fox Company’s lines.

Able Company held its position on Hill 1653 until the rest of the
battalion was on Fox Hill. After grounding their packs, men from the
forward companies went back to help carry the 22 wounded men into
the perimeter. While supervising this task, the regimental surgeon,
Lieutenant Peter A. Arioli, (MC) USN, was instantly killed by a Chinese
sniper’s bullet. There were no other death casualties, though two men
had to be placed in improvised strait jackets after cracking mentally
and physically under the strain. Both died before evacuation was

The first objective had been reached, but there was to be no rest until
Toktong Pass was secured. Baker Company paused on Fox Hill only long
enough for Kurcaba’s men to eat a hasty meal of air-dropped rations.
Then they moved out to seize the high ground commanding the vital
terrain feature at a point where the road describes a loop from north
to south. Able Company followed shortly afterwards and the two outfits
set up a single perimeter for the night while the rest of the battalion
manned perimeters on the high ground east of Fox Hill. Barber’s men
remained in their positions.

Five days and nights of battle had left Fox Company with 118
casualties--26 KIA, 3 MIA, and 89 WIA. Six of the seven officers were
wounded, and practically all the unwounded men suffered from frostbite
and digestive ills.

_CCF Attacks on Hills 1276 and 1542_

While the two spearhead battalions advanced, the Marine elements in
the rear could not complain of being neglected by the enemy. All three
infantry battalions were kept busy with CCF attacks which persisted
from midnight until long after daybreak (see Map 24).

Lieutenant Colonel Roise’s 2/5, which had been designated as rearguard,
was hit on Hill 1276 in the early morning hours of 2 December. Under
cover of rifle and machine-gun fire, the Chinese advanced on the Fox
Company positions with their “inverted wedge” assault formation.
Testimony as to its effectiveness is found in the 2/5 report:

  The [Chinese] ... used fire and movement to excellent advantage.
  They would direct a frontal attack against our positions while
  other elements of their attacking force moved in closer to “F”
  Company flanks in an attempt at a double envelopment. Then in turn
  the forces on both flanks would attack while the forces directly to
  our front would move closer to our position. In this, the enemy, by
  diverting our attention in the above manner, were able to maneuver
  their forces to within hand grenade range of our positions.

One Fox platoon, assailed from three sides, was forced to withdraw
at 0110 and consolidate with the rest of the company. At 0200 the
FAC requested an air strike from two night fighters on station. The
aircraft were directed on the target by 60mm mortar white phosphorus
bursts and conducted effective strafing and rocket runs within 200
yards of the Marine front line. In all, five aircraft of VMF(N)-542
were employed with excellent results during the night.

At 0230 Roise directed Fox Company to retake the left-flank hill from
which the platoon had been driven. Two attempts were made before
daybreak with the support of 4.2-inch mortar fire, but enemy machine
guns stopped the assault. At 0730 an air strike was requested. After
strafing and rocket runs, Fox Company fought its way to the crest, only
to find the position untenable because of machine-gun fire from the
reverse slope. At 1000 the Corsairs blasted the enemy for 25 minutes
with napalm and 500-pound bombs, and CCF troops were observed vacating
the objective area. It was nearly time for the battalion to displace
as the rearguard, however, and the enemy was left in possession of a
scarred and scorched piece of real estate.

Both Dog and Easy Companies received probing attacks which the Chinese
did not attempt to push home. At daybreak some of them broke and ran
along the Dog Company front, throwing away their weapons as they
scattered in disorder. Marine fire pursued the retreating Communists
and cut down many of them. Captain Arthur D. Challacombe’s provisional
company of artillerymen on Dog Company’s right counted over 50 dead in
front of its positions.[524]

    [524] 2/5 _SAR_, 22; Stewart Comments; McReynolds Comments, 15
          Aug 56.

On the eastern flank 1/5 came under attack about 2100 by 75–100 Chinese
who crossed the arm of the reservoir on ice. Mortar and artillery fire
drove them back at 0100 with heavy losses, but attempts at infiltration
continued throughout the night. In the morning 51 CCF dead were counted
in front of one Charlie Company machine gun, and total enemy KIA were
estimated at 200.[525]

    [525] 1/5 _SAR_, 16; Alvarez ltr, 18 Oct 55.

At the other end of the Marine line, a CCF attack hit 3/7 (-) on Hill
1542. The assault force, according to the enemy report, consisted of
Sung-Wei-shan’s 9th Company, 3d Battalion, 235th Regiment, the 5th
Company of 2/235, and apparently two other companies of 3/235. All were
units of the 79th CCF Division, and their mission was “to annihilate
the defending enemy before daylight.”[526]

    [526] The description of the fight on Hill 1542 is derived
          from: ATIS _Enemy Documents: Korean Campaign_, Issue 66,
          88–93; 3/7 _SAR_, n. p.; Litzenberg ltr, 7 Aug 56; Maj W.
          R. Earney ltr to Gen Litzenberg, 16 Jul 56.

George and Item Companies of 3/7, following their repulse from the
upper reaches of Hill 1542, had formed a defensive perimeter on the
eastern slope. As reinforcements the depleted units were assigned a
composite outfit known as Jig Company and consisting of about 100
cannoneers, headquarters troops, and any other elements which could
be hastily put together. First Lieutenant Alfred I. Thomas, of Item
Company, was placed in command of men who were for the most part
strangers to him as well as to one another.

Sung led the 9th Company’s attacking column. Although the Chinese
account states that his men were advancing from the northwest toward
the topographical crest of Hill 1542, they actually held the summit.
Their attack was downhill, though some climbing of spurs and finger
ridges may have been necessary. After reconnoitering to a point
within 25 yards of the Marines, the Chinese jumped off at 0430 with
the support of fires from battalion weapons. Relying on the “inverted
wedge,” the attackers bored in alternately right and left while seeking
an opportunity for a knockout blow. The 2d Platoon on the Chinese
left took a severe mauling, losing its commander and almost half of
its men. The other two platoons had heavy casualties but succeeded in
routing the jury-rigged Jig Company. Since it was a composite outfit
not yet 24 hours old, there is no record of either its operations or
losses. Apparently, however, a majority of the men straggled back to
their original units. Lieutenant Thomas, who had commanded ably under
difficult circumstances, rejoined First Lieutenant William E. Johnson’s
Item Company with such men as he had left. The Marines gave ground
slowly under Chinese pressure until daybreak, when they held positions
abreast of George Company, which had not been heavily engaged.

The two companies were reduced to a total of fewer than 200 men. After
being reinforced by H&S Company personnel, they formed a defensive line
in an arc stretching from the MSR about 1100 yards and taking in the
eastern slopes of Hill 1542.[527]

    [527] General Litzenberg points out that “it was necessary for
          3/7 to maintain protection for the main column until it
          passed by Hill 1542. They [3/7] held high enough to keep
          Chinese small arms fire at a sufficient distance from the
          Road.” Litzenberg Comments, 7 Aug 56.

Apparently the Communists, like military forces everywhere, did not
err on the light side when estimating the casualties of opponents. The
Marine losses for the night were listed in the CCF report as “killed,
altogether 100 enemy troops.” This figure, indicating total casualties
of several hundred, is manifestly too high. Owing to the loss of 7th
Marines records, the statistics for Item Company are not available, but
it does not appear that more than 30 to 40 men were killed or wounded.

_Advance of Darkhorse on 2–3 December_

Several CCF daylight attacks in platoon strength were received between
Hills 1542 and 1276 during the morning hours of 2 December. All Marine
units in this area were in process of disengaging, so that the emphasis
was placed on breaking off action rather than attempting to defend
ground soon to be evacuated.

The vehicle train in the rear made slow progress during the afternoon
of 2 December. Infantry strength was not sufficient to occupy all
the commanding terrain during the passage of the motor column, and
CCF groups infiltrated back into areas vacated by Marine riflemen.
Effective air support reduced most of these efforts to harassing
attacks, but Marine vehicle drivers were singled out for special
attention, making it necessary to find replacements among near-by

To 1/5 fell the mission of furnishing close-in flank protection on the
left. Marine air and artillery supported infantry attacks clearing
the flanks and the column jolted on with frequent halts. The night
passed without incident except for a CCF attack on 3/11. George Battery
gunners had to employ direct fire to repulse the Communists, and a
105mm howitzer was lost as well as several vehicles.

Darkhorse, leading the way, was meanwhile fighting for nearly every
foot of the road during the advance of 2 December. George Company
on the left went up against Hill 1520 while Dog-Easy moved astride
the MSR. By noon George had secured its objective. Dog-Easy advanced
against moderate resistance to a point about 300 yards beyond Hill
1520 where a demolished bridge had spanned a rock ravine as the road
turns from south to east. Here Chinese automatic weapons fire halted
the column until a strike by 12 Corsairs cleared the enemy from the
ravine. On the right Captain Harold B. Williamson’s How Company was to
have joined in the attack, moving through the high ground south of the
bend in the road. A Chinese strongpoint delayed its advance and How was
pinned down by heavy enemy fire while attempting to cross a stream bed
halfway to its objective. The last air strike of the day freed Captain
Williamson’s unit, which secured its objective after dark. During
the last minutes of daylight, the engineer platoon, now commanded by
Technical Sergeant Edwin L. Knox, constructed a bypass around the
blasted bridge. About 1900 the first vehicles followed the tank across.


2–4 Dec 50


Taplett’s battalion continued its slow progress with George and How
Companies clearing the high ground on opposite sides of the road while
Dog-Easy moved astride the MSR. At about 0200 on the 3d the advance
came to a halt 1000 yards short of Fox Hill. Dog-Easy, which had
suffered heavy casualties, particularly among its key NCOs, had reached
the limit of exhaustion, and 3/5 secured for the rest of the night. Not
until daylight did How Company discover that it had halted 300 yards
short of its final objective, the hill mass southwest of Fox Hill.

At dawn on 3 December the ground was covered with six inches of new
snow, hiding the scars of war and giving a deceptively peaceful
appearance to the Korean hills as the Marine column got under way again
with Sergeant Knox’s engineers at the point, just behind Sergeant
Munsell’s lone tank. Alternately serving as engineers and riflemen,
this platoon came through with 17 able-bodied men left out of the 48
who started.

Dog-Easy Company having been rendered ineffective by its casualties,
Taplett moved George Company down from the left flank to advance
astride the road. First Lieutenant Charles D. Mize took over the
reorganized outfit, assisted by Second Lieutenant August L. Camaratta.
The two riddled Dog-Easy platoons were combined with George Company
under the command of Second Lieutenant John J. Cahill and Technical
Sergeant Don Faber.

Cahill had the distinction of leading the platoon which fought the
first action of Marine ground forces in the Korean conflict. But it
hardly seemed possible on this sub-zero December morning that the
encounter had taken place barely four months before, or that the
temperature that August day had been 102° in the non-existent shade.
Korea was a land of extremes.

Darkhorse was not far from a junction with the Ridgerunners. The
night of 2–3 December had passed quietly in Toktong Pass, where the
five companies occupied separate perimeters. The Marines on Fox Hill
lighted warming fires in the hope of tempting the enemy to reveal his
positions. The Chinese obliged by firing from two near-by ridges. One
CCF group was dug in along a southern spur of the hill held by Able
and Baker Companies, and the other occupied a ridge extending eastward
beyond Toktong Pass in the direction of Hagaru.

Simultaneous attacks in opposite directions were launched by 1/7. Davis
led Morris’ and Newton’s companies against the CCF force barring the
way to Hagaru. Tighe moved out with Kurcaba’s and Hovatter’s companies
meanwhile against a larger CCF force on high ground south of the big
bend in the road. This stroke took the Chinese by surprise. As they
fell back in disorder, the Communists did not realize that they were
blundering into the path of the oncoming Marines of Williamson’s How/5,
attacking south of the MSR. Colonel Litzenberg, who had been informed
by radio, turned to Lieutenant Colonel Murray and said, “Ray, notify
your Third Battalion commander that the Chinese are running southwest
into his arms!”[528]

    [528] Litzenberg interv, 27–30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 61. Other
          sources for this section are as follows: LtCol Taplett
          interv, 8 Jun 56 and Comments, 9 and 14 Aug 56; TSgt
          E. L. Knox interv, 30 May 56; _MCB Study_, II-C-78–80;
          Taplett and Whipple, “Darkhorse Leads the Way,” II,
          49-50; Smith, _Notes_, 932–946; R. G. Davis narrative, 11
          Jan 53; 5thMar _SAR_, 29; Geer, _The New Breed_, 338–341.

Taplett was unaware that Tighe’s attack was forcing about a battalion
of Chinese into his lap. He had spotted the Chinese in strength on the
high ground south of the road when day broke. Attempts to lay artillery
on the Chinese having failed because of the range from Hagaru, the 3/5
commander called for an air strike. The overcast lifted just as the
Corsairs came on station. They hit the demoralized Communists with
napalm and rockets while the 81mm mortars and heavy machine guns of
the two converging Marine forces opened up with everything they had.
Probably the greatest slaughter of the Yudam-ni breakout ended at 1030
with the CCF battalion “completely eliminated,” as the 3/5 report
phrased it, and How Company in possession of the CCF positions.

At 1300 on 3 December, after Davis had cleared the enemy from the ridge
northeast of Toktong Pass, the basic maneuver of the breakout was
completed by the junction of 3/5 and 1/7. Several more fights awaited
Taplett’s men on the way to Hagaru, but at Toktong Pass they had
fulfilled their mission. That the victory had not been gained without
paying a price in casualties is indicated by the following daily
returns of effective strength in the three rifle companies:

       Unit      | 1 Dec. | 2 Dec. | 3 Dec. | 4 Dec.
  George Company |    114 |     96 |     84 |     80
  How Company    |    180 |    167 |    131 |     73
  Item Company   |    143 |     41 |     41 |     41
          Total  |    437 |    304 |    256 |    194

This is a total of 243 battle and non-battle casualties as compared to
the 144 suffered by the same units during the CCF attacks of 27 to 30

_Entry into Hagaru Perimeter_

When the truck column with its wounded men reached Toktong Pass, it
halted to receive the casualties of 1/7, 3/5, and Fox Company of 2/7.
Lieutenant Commander John H. Craven, chaplain of the 7th Marines,
helped to assist the litter cases into vehicles. Since there was not
room for all, the walking wounded had to make room for helpless men.
They complied with a courage which will never be forgotten by those
who saw them struggling painfully toward Hagaru alongside the truck

    [529] Stewart Comments.

When the tank leading the 3/5 column reached Toktong Pass it halted
only long enough for Colonels Taplett and Davis to confer. D-23 then
moved out and the four companies of 1/7 came down from their hillside
positions and fell in behind.

Stevens’ 1/5, having leap-frogged 3/5, followed next on the way to
blocking positions farther east on the MSR. Taplett remained in Toktong
Pass until after midnight, acting as radio relay between Colonels
Litzenberg and Murray, by now in Hagaru, and 2/5 in the rear. At about
midnight the 3/5 commander sent G and H Companies into the vehicle
column to furnish security for the artillery, and an hour later the
remainder of the battalion joined the column. Roise’s 2/5, which had
passed through 3/7 came next, followed by Harris’ rear guard.

Interspersed among the infantry were elements of artillery and service
troops with their vehicles, and the column became more scrambled after
each halt.[530] Two observation planes of VMO-6 circled overhead to
give warning of enemy concentrations. Marine planes were on station
continuously during daylight hours, strafing and rocketing to the front
and along both flanks. A total of 145 sorties, most of them in close
air support of troops advancing along the Hagaru-Yudam-ni MSR, were
flown on 3 December by the following units:[531]

    [530] Sources for this section, unless otherwise noted, are
          the same as those for the last and: 3/1 tels to G-3
          1stMarDiv, 0430 and 1715 4 Dec 50; G-3 1stMarDiv tel to
          11thMar, 0730 4 Dec 50; 7thMar tels to G-3 1stMarDiv,
          0830 and 0925 4 Dec 50: G-3 1stMarDiv tels to 3/1, 0950
          and 1330 4 Dec 50; Stevens Comments, 25 Jul 56.

    [531] MAG-33 _SAR_ sec B 6–7; VMF-214 _SAR_, 5; 1stMAW _HD_,
          Dec 50.

  Squadron     Sorties
  VMF-214         36
  VMF-323         28
  VMF-212         27
  VMF-312         34
  VMF(N)-513       7
  VMF(N)-542      13

At the other end of the route the Royal Marine Commandos, reinforced by
a platoon of tanks, were sent out from Hagaru at 1630 on 3 December, to
drive the Chinese from the road leading into that perimeter.

Thanks to excellent air support, 1/7 met no opposition save harassing
attacks. One of Davis’s flanking patrols reported the flushing out of a
few Chinese so exhausted by cold and hardships that they had abandoned
their weapons and holed up together for warmth. If these Marines had
been in a mood for such reflections, they might have recalled that
the American press of late had been bemoaning the supposed decline of
the nation’s young manhood. UN reverses in the summer of 1950 had led
editorial writers to conclude that our troops had neither the legs
for long marches nor the backs for the bearing of military burdens.
Mechanization had gone so far, they lamented, that we had become
the servants rather than the masters of our own wheeled and tracked

The Marines of Davis’ battalion might have taken a grim satisfaction,
therefore, in encountering Chinese peasants, inured all their lives to
privations, whose will to fight had been broken by the hardships of
the past week. These Marines had not known a full night’s sleep during
that week. They had subsisted on a diet of crackers varied with canned
rations thawed by body heat. They had been under continuous nervous
pressure as well as physical strain, and yet they were able to summon
one last burst of pride when the point neared the Hagaru perimeter at
1900 on 3 December 1950. Several hundred yards from the entrance a halt
was called while the men closed up into a compact column.[532] Then
they came in marching, their shoulders thrown back and their shoepacs
beating a firm tread on the frozen road.

    [532] Since the four rifle companies had been left on key
          points, controlling the last two and a half miles into
          Hagaru, the column consisted mostly of H&S and Weapons
          Company personnel. Davis Comments, 20 Aug 56.

The Marines at the head of the column were followed by the walking
wounded and the vehicles loaded with more serious cases, some of whom
had been strapped to the hoods. All casualties were given medical care
and the remaining troops taken into warming tents for hot coffee. Many
of them appeared dazed and uncomprehending at first. Others wandered
about aimlessly with blank faces. But there were few who had suffered
any psychological disturbances that could not be cleared up with a good
night’s sleep and some hot food.

Troops of 4/11 and 3/5 were due to arrive next at Hagaru while 1/5
and 2/5 echeloned companies forward along the MSR to provide flank
protection. Not all the Chinese had lost aggressiveness, but the
column had little difficulty until 0200 on 4 December. Then it came to
an abrupt halt when prime movers of eight 155mm howitzers ran out of
diesel fuel. As far back as Sinhung-ni 150 gallons had been requested
but none had been delivered.[533] While the troops ahead, including G
and H of 3/5, continued on towards Hagaru, unaware of the break, a bad
situation developed around the stalled guns.

    [533] Lieutenant Meeker, dispatched from Hagaru with fuel, was
          unable to get through to the stalled artillery because
          of Chinese fire. Some of his men, however, did pass
          the Chinese block and served as part of CWO Carlson’s
          improvised gun crew. Capt E. L. Meeker interv, 19 Jul 56.

Following the halting of the convoy Major Angus J. Cronin, in charge of
4/11’s vehicle column, and his handful of truck drivers and cannoneers
drove off a platoon of Chinese. These Marines were soon joined by
Lieutenant Colonel Feehan’s 1/11 and Able Company of 1/5. By the time
Lieutenant Colonel Taplett arrived, the 155s had been moved off the
road by Captain O. R. Lodge of 4/11, who continued in spite of a wound
until more severely wounded in the head.

Roise and Stevens arrived shortly afterwards and the three battalion
commanders drew up a hasty plan. While 3/5 built up a base of fire a
platoon of Easy Company, 2/5, would move through the ridge north of
the road to knock out the Chinese strong point. Up to this time there
had been few and minor instances of panic during the breakout from
Yudam-ni. But some confusion resulted when the enemy took advantage of
the delay to blow a small bridge ahead and increase his rate of fire.
Thus a new roadblock awaited after the howitzers were removed, and two
truck drivers were killed while the engineers repaired the break. Other
drivers bypassed the bridge and made a dash for safety by crossing the
little stream on the ice.

A comparatively few men, giving way to panic, were endangering the
entire column. Behind one of the fleeing trucks an angry warrant
officer pounded in pursuit, shouting some of the most sulphurous
profanity that Lieutenant Colonel Taplett had ever heard.[534] This
was CWO Allen Carlson of Baker Battery, 1/11. He disappeared around a
bend in the road, only to return a moment later with a chastened driver
towing a 105mm howitzer. Carlson hastily recruited a crew and set up
the piece beside the road for point-blank fire at the enemy position
while Taplett directed the fire of a 75mm recoilless rifle.

    [534] Taplett interv, 8 Jun 56.

A Charlie Battery howitzer and a 1/5 heavy machine gun added their
contribution as a platoon of Easy Company, 2/5, attacked under cover of
air strikes. The Chinese position was overrun at 0830 at an estimated
cost to the enemy of 150 dead. Two other attacks were launched by
infantry units of Roise’s battalion on the high ground to the left
before the MSR was cleared.

When the 155mm howitzers were pushed off the road, it had been assumed
that they would be retrieved. Only 1000 yards farther down the MSR
was a cache of air-dropped diesel fuel, but efforts to bring back
replenishments were frustrated by enemy fire. Attempts at recovery by
the British Marines failed later that day, and orders were given for
the destruction by air of the eight stalled howitzers plus a ninth
which had previously been abandoned after skidding off the road. This
was the largest loss of weapons in the Yudam-ni breakout.

At 1400 on 4 December the last elements of the rearguard, 3/7, entered
the perimeter and the four-day operation passed into history. Some
1500 casualties were brought to Hagaru, a third of them being in the
non-battle category, chiefly frostbite cases. It had taken the head of
the column about 59 hours to cover the 14 miles, and the rear units 79

“Under the circumstances of its execution,” commented General Smith,
“the breakout was remarkably well conducted. Since centralized control
of the widespread elements was a difficult task, particularly with a
joint command, unit commanders were required to exercise a high degree
of initiative.... The spirit and discipline of the men under the most
adverse conditions of weather and terrain was another highly important
factor contributing to the success of the operation and also reflecting
the quality of the leadership being exercised.”[535]

    [535] Smith, _Notes_, 948.


                                                  USMC Photo A 5679

  _This Was Hagaru--Two views of the Marine forward base
  at the foot of the Chosin Reservoir, with East Hill in
  the background; here the troops reorganized for the final


                                                  USMC Photo A 4971


                                                  USMC Photo A 5434

  _Patrol Actions--Task forces, ranging in size from a squad
  to a battalion, sometimes supported by tanks as well as air
  and artillery, were employed for specific missions during the


                                                  USMC Photo A 5445


                                                  USMC Photo A 5438

  _Before and After Taking--Two views, only a few seconds apart,
  of the effective close air support given Marine infantry; the
  plane is hidden by the dense cloud of black smoke._


                                                  USMC Photo A 5440


                                                  USMC Photo A 5685

  _The Hagaru Airstrip--Above, walking wounded awaiting
  evacuation in an Air Force C-47 which flew in artillery
  ammunition; below, casualties leave their rifles behind but
  will take out much-needed parachutes shown in the foreground._


                                                  USMC Photo A 5683


                                                  USMC Photo A 5398

  _Helicopter and Ambulance Evacuation--Above, the helicopters
  of VMO-6 flew out casualties from areas which otherwise could
  not have been reached; below, ambulances had their moments,
  too, as this bullet-riddled specimen shows._


                                                  USMC Photo A 5461


                                                  USMC Photo A 5409

  _Breakout from Hagaru--Above, crippled vehicles are simply
  pushed off the road; below, at every halt the weary
  gravel-crunchers sink exhausted into the snow._


                                                  USMC Photo A 5428


  Photos courtesy LtGen E. A. Craig and Capt R. W. Crook

  _Victims of Communist Aggression--Three views of the Korean
  refugees, ranging from infants to patriarchs, who followed the
  Marine column all the way to Hungnam._


                                                  USA Photo SC 355017


                                                  USMC Photo A 130426

  _Magnificent Air Support--Above, crewmen check rockets of a
  Corsair fighter-bomber; and, below, one of the old Grumman
  TBMs resurrected for casualty evacuation from Koto-ri._


                                                  USMC Photo A 130442


                                                  USMC Photo A 5361

  _Fighting in the Heavyweight Division--Above, Marine tanks
  awaiting withdrawal from Koto-ri; below, Army self-propelled
  155mm howitzers firing from the Chinhung-ni area._


                                                  USA Photo SC 354246


                                                  USMC Photo A 5372

  _Through the Swirling Flakes--The march southward from Koto-ri
  begins in a snowstorm as a Marine infantry battalion attacks
  northward from Chinhung-ni to open up the MSR._


                                                  USMC Photo A 5370


                                                  USMC Photo A 5382

  _The Endless Column of March--Two more views of the column,
  the first elements of which reached Chinhung-ni before the
  last troops departed Koto-ri, ten miles to the rear._


                                                  USMC Photo A 5356


  USMC Photo A 5466                               USMC Photo A 5444

  _Clearing the Flanks--Tanks and infantry work together to
  clear the flanks of enemy combat groups which watched for
  every opportunity to attack from the high ground._


                                                  USMC Photo A 5369


                                                  USMC Photo A 5376

  _A job for the Engineers--Above, this gap had to be spanned
  if the vehicles were to be brought out from Koto-ri; below,
  infantry crossing over air-dropped Treadway bridge._


                                                  USMC Photo A 5408


  USN Photo 424506                                USN Photo 424527

  _The Hungnam Redeployment--Above, two views of Marines who
  were first X Corps troops to embark; below, a glimpse of the
  thousands of tons of equipment to be loaded._


                                                  USA Photo SC 355022


                                                  USN Photo 423914

  _Waterfront Panoramas--Above, these two LSTs were among the
  last to be loaded; below, the final demolitions scene, with
  the USS_ Begor _(APD 127) shown in the foreground_.


                                                  USN Photo 424297


                                                  USN Photo 424567

  _The Honored Dead--On the day of his departure from Hungnam
  the commanding general of the 1st Marine Division visits the
  cemetery for a last silent tribute to the dead._


Regroupment at Hagaru

_4312 Casualties Evacuated by Air--537 Replacements Flown to
Hagaru--Air Drops of Ammunition--Planning for Breakout to Koto-ri--3/1
Relieved by RCT-5 at Hagaru--East Hill Retaken from Chinese--Attack of
RCT-7 to the South--Advance of the Division Trains_

The marines at Hagaru would have been astonished to learn how much
anxiety over their “encirclement” was being currently felt in the
United States. It had been a rude shock for Americans who believed
that the troops in Korea would be “home by Christmas” to realize that
the unexpected Chinese intervention had created virtually a new war.
This war, moreover, was apparently going against the UN forces. On
Thanksgiving Day the victory over Communist aggression had seemed
almost complete, yet only a week later the headlines announced major
reverses. The Eighth Army was in full retreat, and an entire Marine
division was said to be “trapped.”

So disturbing were the reports from Korea, newspaper readers and
radio listeners could scarcely have imagined the mood of confidence
prevailing at Hagaru after the arrival of the troops from Yudam-ni.
Even prior to that event, few Marines had any doubts as to the ability
of the Division to fight its way out to the seacoast.

The Hagaru perimeter presented a scene of bustling activity during the
first days of December. Trucks and jeeps bounced along the bumpy roads
in such numbers as to create a traffic problem. Twin-engined planes
roared in and out of the snow-covered airstrip at frequent intervals
throughout the daylight hours. Overhead the “Flying Boxcars” spilled a
rainbow profusion of red, blue, yellow, green and orange parachutes to
drift earthward with heavy loads of rations, gasoline and ammunition.

The busy panorama even had its humorous aspects. Parka-clad Marines
displaying a five-day growth of beard went about with their cheeks
bulging from an accumulation of Tootsie Rolls--a caramel confection
much esteemed by Stateside youngsters for its long-lasting qualities.
The Post Exchange Section had originally brought merchandise into
Hagaru on the assumption that it would be established as a base. No
space in vehicles was available for its removal and the commanding
general directed that the entire remaining stock, $13,547.80 worth,
chiefly candies and cookies, should be issued gratuitously to the
troops.[536] Tootsie Rolls proved to be a prime favorite with men who
would have scorned them in civilian life. Not only were they more
tasty than half-frozen “C” rations, but they resulted in no intestinal
disorders. Moreover, they were useful as temporary repairs for leaking

    [536] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex T (Post Exchange), n. p. Smith,
          _Notes_, 1017–1018.

There was nothing during the daytime to indicate the presence of
CCF troops near Hagaru. Even in hours of darkness the enemy was
quiet throughout the first five nights of December. Apparently the
Chinese were powerless to renew the attack until reinforcements and
replenishments of supplies and ammunition reached the area.

_4312 Casualties Evacuated by Air_

Evacuation of the wounded was the chief problem on 2 December, when
it became evident that previous estimates of losses at Yudam-ni and
among the Army troops east of the Reservoir were far too low. A total
of 914 casualties were flown out by the C-47s and R4Ds that day and
more than 700 on the 3d. Captain Hering and his assistants had assumed
that the Air Force evacuation officer was screening the casualties
until he informed them that this was not his responsibility. The
Division surgeon then set a Spartan standard. He passed personally on
all controversial cases and approved for evacuation only those in as
bad shape as Lieutenant Commander Lessenden, the 5th Marines surgeon
who had refused to be flown out and continued on duty after both feet
were painfully frozen. Apparently it was not too severe a test for
men who could stand the pain, since Lessenden suffered no permanent

    [537] Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, U. S. Navy, Public
          Information Release, 21 Apr 51; LCdr J. H. Craven, (ChC)
          USN, interv by HistDiv, HQMC, 22 Oct 52; Hering, “Address
          Before U. S. Association of Military Surgeons, 9 Oct 52.”

Captain Hering had to use his medical authority in several instances to
overcome the objections of Yudam-ni casualties who declined evacuation,
though in obvious need of hospitalization.[538]

    [538] _Ibid._ Study of the frostbite casualties of the Chosin
          Reservoir campaign led to the adoption of the thermal
          boot as an effective preventive measure during the
          operations of the following two winters of the Korean

The liaison airstrip at Koto-ri had been of little use, since it was
outside the perimeter and exposed to enemy fire. But the completion of
a new strip on the 2d made it possible to evacuate about 47 casualties
that day from the 2/1 perimeter.[539]

    [539] 2/1 _SAR_, 16; LtCol W. S. Bartley ltr, 7 Feb 56; X
          Corps, _Special Report, Chosin Reservoir_, 93; Smith,
          _Notes_, 844; VMO-6 _SAR_, 13–18.

More than 1400 casualties remained at Hagaru on the morning of 5
December. They were all flown out before nightfall, making a total
of 4312 men (3150 Marines, 1137 Army personnel and 25 Royal Marines)
evacuated from Hagaru by air in the first five days of December,
according to Marine figures.[540] X Corps estimated a total of 4207 for
the same period.[541]

    [540] Smith, _Notes_, 998–999.

    [541] X Corps _Special Report, Chosin Reservoir_, 93.

R4Ds of the 1st MAW, flying under Wing operational control, were
represented in the flights to and from Hagaru as well as the C-47s
of the Combat Cargo Command, FEAF.[542] The large-scale casualty
evacuation was completed without losing a man, even though the aircraft
landing on the rough strip careened precariously as they bounced along
the frozen runway. Only two planes could be accommodated simultaneously
at first, but Marine engineers widened the 2900-foot strip until six
planes could be parked at a time.

    [542] Maj Paul A. Noel, Jr. interv, 4 Dec 56.

A four-engine Navy R5D made a successful landing with stretchers flown
in from Japan. After taking off with a load of wounded, the pilot
barely cleared the surrounding hills, and it was decided to risk no
further evacuations with such large aircraft. Two crash landings marred
operations on the field. An incoming Marine R4D, heavily loaded with
artillery ammunition, wiped out its landing gear on the rough surface
and was abandoned after its load had been put to good use by the
gunners. A second accident involved an Air Force C-47 which lost power
on the take off and came down just outside the Marine lines without
injury to its load of casualties. Troops from the perimeter were
rushed out immediately to rescue its occupants but the plane had to be

    [543] _Ibid._, Smith, _Notes_, 998–999.

Not until long later were final official casualty reports rendered for
the period of the Yudam-ni regroupment and breakout. Regimental figures
are not available, and the totals included the losses suffered by the
troops at Hagaru during the night of 30 November-1 December. Following
are the figures for the 1st Marine Division as a whole throughout this
five-day period:

           |     |     |     |     | Total  |
           | KIA | DOW | MIA | WIA | Battle | Non-Battle[B]
  30 Nov   |  27 |   6 |   6 | 183 |   222  |     102
  1 Dec    |  27 |  14 |   6 | 111 |   158  |     134
  2 Dec    |  55 |   2 |  33 | 231 |   321  |     180
  3 Dec    |  16 |   1 |   6 | 194 |   217  |     196
  4 Dec    |  10 |   6 |   4 | 202 |   222  |     582
    Totals | 135 |  29 |  55 | 921 |  1140  |    1194

      [B] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex E (Division Adjutant), appendix
          II, 3.

_537 Replacements Flown to Hagaru_

At 1359, on 3 December, X Corps issued OI 22, directing the 1st
Marine Division to withdraw all elements to Hamhung area via the
Hagaru-Hamhung axis as rapidly as evacuation of wounded and other
preparations would permit.[544] General Almond flew to Hagaru that same
day for a conference with General Smith. Nothing further was said about
destruction of equipment. At that very time, in fact, various critical
items were being salvaged and flown out from Hagaru when space on
planes was available.

    [544] X Corps _OI 22_, 2 Dec 50.

Surplus weapons had accumulated as a result of casualties and the
Marine general wished to avoid the destruction of any material that
could be removed by air without interfering with casualty evacuation.
It was particularly necessary to salvage and fly out the parachutes and
packages used for air drops, since a critical shortage of these had
been reported from Japan. Before leaving Hagaru, the Division also
planned to evacuate large quantities of stoves, tents, typewriters,
rifles, machine guns and damaged 4.2″ mortars.[545]

    [545] This section, except where otherwise noted, is derived
          from the following sources: G-1 _SAR_, 6–7 and G-4 _SAR_
          6–7, appendix 3–5; X Corps _Special Report, Chosin
          Reservoir_; Smith, _Notes_, 1011–1015, and _Chronicle_,
          103–105; Forney, _Special Report_, 3–5; Maj M. J. Sexton
          interv by HistDiv, HQMC, 6 May 51.

Space in empty planes landing at Hagaru was utilized not only for
bringing in equipment and medical supplies, but also replacements.
Since the Wonsan landing some hundreds of Marines, most of them wounded
in the Inchon-Seoul operation, had returned from hospitals in Japan.
These men, upon reporting at Hungnam, were temporarily assigned to
the Headquarters Battalion, since the Division had no provision in
its T/O for a replacement organization. Ordinarily they would have
been returned to their units, but enemy action made this procedure
impossible until the completion of the airstrip.

During the first five days of December, therefore, 537 replacements
were flown to Hagaru, fit for duty and equipped with cold-weather
clothing. Those destined for the 1st Marines were assigned to the 3d
Battalion for perimeter defense, and personnel for the 5th and 7th
Marines joined those units after their arrival at Hagaru.

Major General William H. Tunner, USAF, the chief of the Combat Cargo
Command, expressed astonishment during his visit of 5 December on
learning about these replacements. He had come to offer his C-47s for
troop evacuation after the casualties were flown out, but General Smith
explained that all able-bodied men would be needed for the breakout.

_Air Drops of Ammunition_

Visitors and press correspondents arrived daily at Hagaru in the empty
C-47s and R4Ds. Among them was Miss Marguerite Higgins, reporter for
the New York _Herald-Tribune_. General Smith ruled that for her own
protection, considering the possibility of enemy attack, she must leave
the perimeter before nightfall.

French and British publications were represented as well as most of
the larger American dailies and wire services. At one of the press
conferences the question arose as to the proper name of the Marine
operation. A British correspondent had intended to refer to it as a
“retreat” or “retirement,” but General Smith held that there could be
no retreat when there was no rear. Since the Division was surrounded,
he maintained, the word “retreat” was not a correct term for the coming
breakout to the coast.[546]

    [546] Smith, _Notes_, 977–978; _Chronicle_, 103–106.

General Smith and Lieutenant Colonel Murray were interviewed for
television by Charles de Soria, who also “shot” Marines on infantry
duty and casualties awaiting evacuation. These pictures and recordings
were later shown in the United States under the title _Gethsemane_.

The correspondents were astonished to find the Hagaru perimeter so
lacking in enemy activity. This quiet was shattered at 2010 on 5
December when two B-26s bombed and strafed the area. Marine night
fighters were absent on a search mission, but one was recalled to offer
protection against further efforts of the sort. A possible explanation
was advanced by First Lieutenant Harry S. Wilson, of VMF(N)-542, who
reported that he had received orders by radio to attack Hagaru. It was
his conviction that Chinese use of captured radio equipment accounted
for the B-26 attack.[547]

    [547] 1stMarDiv _G-3 Journal_, 5–6 Dec 50, entry 7; Maj H. E.
          Hood, memo: Close Air Support, 11 Feb 51; Wilson interv,
          29 Jan 51.

The interlude of CCF inactivity gave the 1st Marine Division an
opportunity to build up a stock of air-dropped ammunition and supplies.
Poor communications had prevented the obtaining of advance information
as to the requirements of the Yudam-ni troops, and their needs had to
be estimated by the assistant G-4.

It was planned that units moving out from Hagaru would take only enough
supplies for the advance to Koto-ri. Materiel would be air-dropped
there to support the next stage of the breakout.

The C-119s of the Combat Cargo Command were called upon to fly in the
largest part of the total of the 372.7 tons requested for air delivery
at Hagaru. C-47s and R4Ds were available for some items, particularly
of a fragile nature; and specially packaged small drops to meet
specific needs could be made by planes of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

Officers and men of the Headquarters Battalion at Hagaru were ordered
to assist the 1st Regulating Detachment in the operation of the Hagaru
airhead. Army service troops were also assigned to the task, and
dumps were set up adjacent to the drop zone for the direct issuing of
supplies. The major items requested were artillery, mortar and small
arms ammunition, hand grenades, gasoline and diesel oil, rations, and
communication wire.[548]

    [548] HqBn _URpt 13_; G-4 _SAR_, appendix II, 2–3; LtCol F.
          Simpson Comments, 24 Sep 56.

There is no record of the amounts actually received. Pilots sometimes
missed the drop zone so far that the containers were “captured” by the
enemy or landed in areas where recovery was not feasible because of
enemy fire. In other instances, the supplies fell near the positions of
front-line units which issued them on the spot without any formalities
of bookkeeping.

Breakage rates were high, due to the frozen ground. About 70 per cent
of the POL products and 70 to 80 per cent of the rations were recovered
in usable condition. Of the artillery ammunition delivered to the drop
zone, 40 per cent was badly damaged and only 25 per cent ever reached
the gun positions. About 45 per cent of the small arms ammunition
was recovered and usable. A hundred per cent of the requested mortar
ammunition and 90 per cent of the 81mm rounds were put into the air
over the drop zone, though the damage rate was nearly as high as that
of the artillery shells.[549]

    [549] G-4 _SAR_, appendix II, 3–5.

In spite of the seemingly low percentages of receipts as compared
to requests, it was considered that the Hagaru air drops had been
successful on the whole. “Without the extra ammunition,” commented
General Smith, “many more of the friendly troops would have been
killed.... There can be no doubt that the supplies received by this
method proved to be the margin necessary to sustain adequately the
operations of the division during this period.”[550]

    [550] Smith, _Notes_, 1010.

_Planning for Breakout to Koto-ri_

The need of the Yudam-ni troops for recuperation was so urgent that 6
December was set as the D-day of the attack from Hagaru to Koto-ri. On
the recommendation of his staff, General Smith decided that the need
of the troops for rest and regroupment outweighed the advantages of a
speedy advance, even though the enemy would be allowed more time to get
his forces into position along the MSR.

Another factor influencing this decision was the thinning of the
command group and staff sections of the Division. It will be recalled
that General Craig, the Assistant Division Commander, had recently been
returned on emergency leave to the United States. Colonel Walseth (G-1)
was wounded on 30 November, while Lieutenant Colonel Chidester, had
been MIA since that date. Colonel McAlister (G-4) had been directed to
remain at Hungnam to co-ordinate logistic functions.

A serious handicap to planning was the shortage of staff personnel.
This was due in part to the casualties suffered by the last convoy of
Headquarters troops to move up from Hungnam. Moreover, the office force
had been depleted by calls for reinforcements to defend the perimeter.

By dint of working round the clock, however, planning for the breakout
to Koto-ri was completed on schedule. OpnO 25-50, issued at 0800 on 5
December, provided for an advance of the 1st Marine Division at first
light the following morning on the Koto-ri-Chinhung-ni-Majon-dong
axis to close the Hamhung area. The principal subordinate units were
assigned these tasks:

   (a) RCT-5 (3/1 attached) to relieve all elements on perimeter
        defense in the Hagaru area by 1200, 5 December; to cover
        the movement of RCT-7 out of Hagaru to the south; to follow
        RCT-7 to the south on the Hagaru-ri-Koto-ri-Chinhung-ni axis;
        to protect the Division rear from Hagaru to Koto-ri; and to
        follow RCT-7 from Koto-ri to the Hamhung area as Division

   (b) RCT-7 to advance south at first light on 6 December on the
        Hagaru-Koto-ri-Chinhung-ni axis to close the Hamhung area.

   (c) RCT-1 (-) to continue to hold Koto-ri and Chanhung-ni,
        protecting the approach and passage of the remainder of the
        Division through Koto-ri; and to protect the Division rear
        from Koto-ri to the Hamhung area.[551]

    [551] 1stMarDiv _OpnO 25-50_, 5 Dec 50. Other sources for the
          remainder of this section are: 1stMarDiv _AdmO 20-50_, 4
          Dec 50; 1stMarDiv Destruction Plan, Hagaru Area, 4 Dec
          50; Smith, _Chronicle_, 104–106.

All personnel except drivers, relief drivers, radio operators,
casualties and men specially designated by RCT commanders, were to
march on foot alongside motor serials to provide close-in security.
It was directed that vehicles breaking down should be pushed to the
side of the road and destroyed if not operative by the time the column
passed. During halts a perimeter defense of motor serials was to be

Nine control points were designated by map references to be used for
reporting progress of the advance or directing air drops. Demolitions
to clear obstacles from the front and to create them to the rear were
planned by the Division Engineer Officer.

Division AdminO 20-50, which accompanied OpnO 25-50, prescribed that
the troops were to take enough “C” rations for two days, equally
distributed between individual and organic transportation. Selected
items of “B” rations were to be loaded on organic vehicles, and the
following provision was made for ammunition:

  On individual, up to 1 U/F per individual weapon; on vehicle,
  minimum 1 U/F, then proportionate share per RCT until dumps
  depleted or transportation capacity exceeded.

Helicopter evacuation was indicated for emergency cases. Other
casualties were to be placed in sleeping bags and evacuated in vehicles
of the column.

Two Division trains were set up by AdminO 20-50. Lieutenant Colonel
Banks commanded Train No. 1, under RCT-7; and No. 2, under RCT-5, was
in charge of Lieutenant Colonel Milne. Each motor serial in the trains
was to have a commander who maintained radio communication with the
train commander.

Truck transportation not being available for all supplies and equipment
at Hagaru, a Division destruction plan was issued on 4 December, making
unit commanders responsible for disposing of all excess supplies and
equipment within their own areas. “Commanding officer 1st Regulating
Detachment is responsible for destruction all classes supplies and
equipment remaining in dumps,” the order continued. “Unit commanders
and CO 1st Regulating Detachment report types and amounts of supplies
and equipment to this headquarters (G-4) prior to destruction.
Permission to use fuel and ammunition for destruction purposes must be
obtained from this headquarters (G-4).”

_3/1 Relieved by RCT-5 at Hagaru_

General Smith held conferences on 4 and 5 December of senior unit
commanders. During the afternoon of the 4th General Almond arrived by
plane and was briefed on the plan for the breakout. In a brief ceremony
at the Division CP he presented the Distinguished Service Cross to
General Smith, Colonel Litzenberg and Lieutenant Colonels Murray and

The night of 5–6 December was the fifth in a row to pass without enemy
activity at Hagaru. But if Division G-2 summaries were to be credited,
it was the calm before the storm. For the Chinese were believed to
be assembling troops and supplies both at Hagaru and along the MSR
to Koto-ri. Up to this time seven CCF divisions, the 58th, 59th,
60th, 76th, 79th, 80th and 89th, had been identified through POW
interrogations. But there were evidences that the 77th and 78th were
also within striking distance.[552]

    [552] Smith, _Notes_, 1025, 1051; CG’s Diary in X Corps
          _Command Report Annex (CR)_, 4 Dec 50.

At 1200 on 5 December the 5th Marines relieved 3/1 of the
responsibility for the defense of the Hagaru area. Division elements
other than infantry were withdrawn from the front line, leaving
Lieutenant Colonel Murray’s three battalions, with 3/1 attached,
disposed around the perimeter as follows:

   1/5--From the Yudam-ni road around the north of Hagaru and astride
        the Changjin Valley to a point at the base of the ridge about
        1,000 yards east of the bridge over the Changjin River.

   2/5--In position on western slopes of East Hill.

   3/5--From the south nose of East Hill west across the river to
        link up with 3/1 south of the airstrip.

   3/1--South and southwest of airstrip in sector formerly held by
        How and Item Companies of 3/1.[553]

    [553] CG 1stMarDiv msg to Subordinate Units, Hagaru, 2000 4 Dec
          50; 5th Mar _SAR_, 30–31.

Not only were the CCF positions on East Hill a threat to Hagaru; they
also dominated the road leading south to Koto-ri. Thus the plan for the
breakout called for simultaneous attacks to be launched at first light
on the 6th--RCT-5 to regain the enemy-held portion of East Hill, and
RCT-7 to lead the advance of the Division motor column toward Koto-ri.

A plan for air support, prepared by the command and staff of the 1st
MAW, was brought to Hagaru by Brigadier General Thomas J. Cushman,
Assistant Wing Commander, on 5 December. Aircraft were to be on station
at 0700 to furnish close support for the attack on East Hill. Along
the MSR to Koto-ri an umbrella of 24 close support aircraft was to
cover the head, rear and flanks of the breakout column while search
and attack planes scoured the ridges flanking the road and approaches
leading into it. Support was also to be furnished after dark by the
night hecklers. All strikes within three miles of either side of the
MSR were to be controlled by the ground forces while the planes were
free to hit any targets beyond.

The concentration of aircraft covering the advance south from Hagaru
was one of the greatest of the whole war. Marine planes at Yonpo would,
of course, continue approximately 100 daily sorties to which VMF-323
would add 30 more from the _Badoeng Strait_. The Navy’s fast carriers,
_Leyte_, _Valley Forge_, _Philippine Sea_, and _Princeton_ were to
abandon temporarily their deep support or interdiction operations
and contribute about 100 or more attack sorties daily. The Fifth Air
Force was to add more power with additional U. S. and Australian
fighter-bombers as well as medium and heavy bomber interdiction
beyond the bomb line. To augment the carrier support for the X Corps
consolidation and possible redeployment by sea, VMF-212 had departed
Yonpo on 4 December and was re-equipping in Itami for return to
battle aboard the newly arrived USS _Bataan_. The _Sicily_ was also
heading for the area to take back aboard the Corsairs of VMF-214 on 7

    [554] 1stMAW _OpnO 2-50_, 5 Dec 50; 1stMAW, “Summary of Air
          Support for 6 Dec,” 5 Dec 50; 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex
          CC (Air Officer), 6–7; CinCPacFlt, _Interim Evaluation
          Report No. 1_, III, 225–226; MajGen H. L. Litzenberg
          Comments, 5 Oct 56; Maj H. D. Kuokka interv, 13 Dec 56.
          1stMAW _HD, Dec 50_. The VMF-214 pilots casually made
          their transition from shore to carrier base between

Continuous artillery support, both for RCT-5 and RCT-7, was planned
by the 11th Marines. Two batteries of the 3d Battalion and one of the
4th were to move out at the head of the RCT-7 train, the two from 3/11
to occupy initial positions halfway to Koto-ri to support the attack
southward to that objective, and the 4/11 battery to take position in
Koto-ri and provide general support northward in combination with the
battery of 2/11 attached to that perimeter. The remaining batteries of
the 3d and 4th Battalions would provide initial support from Hagaru
southward until ordered to move out.

The three batteries of 1/11, with D/11 attached, were to support the
operations of RCT-5 in a similar manner. Two batteries would move out
at the head of the regimental train to positions halfway to Koto-ri,
the remaining two would fire to the south in support of withdrawing
units and then displace when the first two were in position.[555]

    [555] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex SS (hereafter 11Mar _SAR_), 8. As
          a consequence of the loss of nine 155mm howitzers during
          the last night of the Yudam-ni-Hagaru breakout, 4/11 was
          reorganized into two firing batteries of four howitzers

Throughout the night of 5–6 December, the darkness was stabbed by
flashes as the artillery at Hagaru fired concentrations to saturate
the area along the Hagaru-Koto-ri axis. In order to prevent cratering
of the road the 155’s fired VT rounds. A secondary purpose of this
bombardment was to expend profitably the surplus of ammunition which
could not be brought out.[556]

    [556] _Ibid._, 1stMarDiv _POR_ 209, 6 Dec 50; LtCol W.
          McReynolds Comments, 16 Aug 56.

At daybreak on the 6th the Division Headquarters broke camp. General
Smith had decided to fly the command group to Koto-ri in advance of
the troops, so that planning could begin immediately for the breakout
from Koto-ri southward. General Barr visited during the morning and
was informed that the 7th Infantry Division casualties who had reached
Hagaru had been flown out. The remaining 490 able-bodied men (including
385 survivors of Task Force Faith) had been provided with Marine
equipment and organized into a provisional battalion under the command
of Lieutenant Colonel Anderson, USA. This battalion was attached to the
7th Marines and sometimes referred to as 31/7.

Throughout the morning General Smith kept in close touch with the
progress of RCT-7 toward Koto-ri. At 1400 a reassuring message was
received from Colonel Litzenberg, and the commanding general took off
from Hagaru by helicopter. Ten minutes later he and his aide, Captain
Martin J. Sexton, landed at Koto-ri. The other members of the command
group, following by OY and helicopter, set up in a large tent at
Koto-ri and started planning for the next stage.[557]

    [557] Smith, _Notes_, 1058–1060; HqBn, _HD, Dec 50_, 5.

_East Hill Retaken from Chinese_

Meanwhile, at Hagaru, Lieutenant Colonel Murray had designated his
2d Battalion for the assault on East Hill. At 0700 on 6 December, as
the 4.2″ mortars began their planned preparation, the 7th Marines had
already initiated the breakout to Koto-ri. When Marine planes arrived
on station at 0725, a shortage of napalm tanks limited the air attack
to bombing, rocket and strafing runs. These had little apparent effect
on the objective. Further air strikes were directed by the FAC, First
Lieutenant Manning T. Jeter, Jr., who was severely wounded while
standing on the crest to direct the Corsairs to the target. Captain
David G. Johnson, the air liaison officer, took his place. A total of
76 planes participated in the day’s air attacks.

At 0900 Captain Smith’s Dog Company moved out to the assault (see Map
26) with First Lieutenant George A. Sorenson’s 3d Platoon in the lead,
followed by the 2d and 1st Platoons in that order.[558] Attacking to
the northward, Sorensen was pinned down by fire from Objective A before
he had covered 50 yards. This was the enemy’s main forward position
on East Hill, which he had held against Marine attacks ever since
seizing it in the early morning hours of 29 November. First Lieutenant
John R. Hinds replaced Sorensen, after that officer was wounded. While
he engaged the enemy frontally, First Lieutenant George C. McNaughton’s
2d Platoon poured in flanking fires and First Lieutenant Richard M.
Johnson’s 1st Platoon executed a flanking movement.

    [558] This section, except when otherwise noted, is based upon
          the following sources: 5thMar _SAR_, 31–32; 1/5 _SAR_,
          17–18; 2/5 _SAR_, 27–29; Smith, _Notes_, 1031–1033; Geer,
          _The New Breed_, 353–357; Capt S. Smith, 1stLt J. R.
          Hines (sic) and 1stLt J. H. Honeycutt interv by Capt K.
          A. Shutts, 4 Feb 51; Alvarez ltr, 18 Oct 55. Col R. L.
          Murray, Comments, n. d.


6–7 December


Chinese resistance suddenly collapsed about 1100. Thus it seemed almost
an anticlimax that East Hill, after holding out against the Marines
more than a week, should have been retaken at a cost of one man killed
and three wounded. About 30 CCF dead were found.

As events were to prove, however, this was but the first round in a
hard-fought 22-hour battle for the hill mass. The next phase began
at 1130, when Roise ordered Captain Peters’ Fox Company to relieve
Smith so that Dog Company could resume the attack against Objective
B, a ridge about 500 yards to the southeast. The lower slopes of this
position were now being cleared by 2/7.

After a 10-minute artillery preparation, the three platoons of Dog
Company jumped off at 1250. The Chinese put up a stubborn resistance
and it took until 1430 to seize the new objective. Marine casualties
were moderate, however, and Captain Smith set up three platoon
positions along the ridge running to the south whence he could control
the road leading out of Hagaru.

Late in the day the enemy appeared to be massing for a counterattack in
the saddle between the two objectives. Johnson called an air strike and
all Dog and Fox Company troops within range opened up with everything
they had as McNaughton led a patrol against the Chinese in the saddle.
Caught between the infantry fires and the rocket and strafing runs of
the Corsairs, the CCF survivors surrendered en masse to McNaughton and
his platoon. About 220 prisoners were taken to set a record for the 1st
Marine Division in the Reservoir campaign.[559]

    [559] 2/5 _SAR_, 28–29.

At the request of Captain Smith, the saddle between the two Marine
companies was occupied by reinforcements consisting of an officer and
11 men from the regimental AT Company and an officer and 32 men from
the 4th Signal Battalion, USA. Shortly after dark the enemy launched
a vigorous counterattack. Tanks and 81mm mortars fired in support of
Marines who made good use of 2.36″ white phosphorus rockets at close

Although the Chinese endured frightful casualties, they returned again
and again to the attack until midnight. It was evident that they
considered this a fight to a finish for East Hill, and at 0205 they
renewed the assault against all three companies of the 2d Battalion as
well as Charlie Company of the 1st Battalion.

The struggle during the next three hours was considered the most
spectacular if not the most fiercely contested battle of the entire
Reservoir campaign even by veterans of the Yudam-ni actions. Never
before had they seen the Chinese come on in such numbers or return
to the attack with such persistence. The darkness was crisscrossed
with a fiery pattern of tracer bullets at one moment, and next the
uncanny radiance of an illumination shell would reveal Chinese columns
shuffling in at a trot, only to go down in heaps as they deployed.
Marine tanks, artillery, mortars, rockets and machine guns reaped
a deadly harvest, and still the enemy kept on coming with a dogged
fatalism which commanded the respect of the Marines. Looking like
round little gnomes in their padded cotton uniforms, groups of Chinese
contrived at times to approach within grenade-throwing distance before
being cut down.

The fight was not entirely one-sided. The Marines took a pounding from
CCF mortars and machine guns, and by 0300 Dog Company was hard-pressed
in its three extended positions pointed like a pistol at the heart of
the enemy’s assembly areas. Both McNaughton and the executive officer,
First Lieutenant James H. Honeycutt, were wounded but remained in

This was the second time in three months that Dog Company had
spearheaded a Marine attack on a desperately defended hill complex.
Northwest of Seoul in September, only 26 able-bodied men had survived
to break the back of North Korean resistance. The company commander,
First Lieutenant H. J. Smith, had died a hero’s death at the moment
of victory, and First Lieutenant Karle F. Seydel was the unit’s only
unwounded officer.

Now another Smith commanded Dog Company, and Seydel was killed as enemy
pressure from front and flank threatened to overwhelm the three riddled
platoons. Casualties of 13 KIA and 50 WIA were taken in the battle
for East Hill as Dog Company and the provisional platoons fell back
fighting to the former Objective A and tied in with Fox Company.


6–7 DECEMBER 1950


Along the low ground at the northern end of East Hill the Chinese
were beaten off with ruinous losses by Jaskilka’s Easy Company of 2/5,
Jones’ Charlie Company of 1/5 and three Army tanks (see Map 27). Enemy
troops had to cross a comparatively level expanse which provided a
lucrative field of fire for Marine supporting arms. Heaps of CCF dead,
many of them charred by white phosphorus bursts, were piled up in front
of the Marine positions.

Next, the Chinese hit Captain James B. Heater’s Able Company of 1/5,
still farther to the left, and overran several squad positions. One
platoon was forced to withdraw to the rise on which the Division CP had
previously been located. The lines were restored at 0546 with the help
of Lieutenant Hancock and his Baker Company, which had been in reserve.
Altogether the 1st Battalion had suffered casualties of ten killed
and 43 wounded, while the counted CCF slain numbered 260 in front of
Charlie Company and 200 in the area of Able Company. George Company
of 3/1 also beat off a Chinese attack on the south of the perimeter.
With the coming of daylight these Marines found that they had one of
the Chinese withdrawal routes under their guns. Mortar and rifle fire
annihilated one group of about 60 enemy and another group of 15 Reds

    [560] Capt G. E. Shepherd, “Attack to the South,” (MS), 10–13.

The new day revealed a scene of slaughter which surpassed anything
the Marines had seen since the fight for the approaches of Seoul in
September. Estimates of CCF dead in front of the 2d Battalion positions
on and around East Hill ran as high as 800, and certain it is that the
enemy had suffered a major defeat.

When Marine air came on station, the Chinese as usual scattered for
cover. About 0200 Murray ordered 3/5, which had not been in contact
with the enemy during the night, to displace to the south at the head
of Division Train No. 2, followed by 1/5 and Ridge’s battalion of the
1st Marines. This meant that Roise’s men with a platoon of tanks and
the engineers in charge of demolitions would be the last troops out of

_Attack of RCT-7 to the South_

During the 22-hour battle on East Hill the 7th Marines had been
attacking toward Koto-ri (see Map 28). On the eve of the breakout the
gaps in the infantry ranks were partially filled with 300 artillerymen
from the 11th Marines, bringing Litzenberg’s strength up to about 2200
men. 7th Mar OpnO 14-50 called for the advance to be initiated at first
light on 6 December as follows:

  1st Battalion--to move out at 0430 to clear the ground to the right
  of the river;

  2d Battalion--supported by tanks, to attack as advanced guard along
  the MSR;

  Provisional Battalion (31/7)--to clear the ground to the left of
  the MSR;[561]

    [561] Since the ground to the left of the MSR was too cut up to
          permit advance through the high ground, the Provisional
          Battalion was to operate from the valley and clear enemy
          from noses found to be occupied. Litzenberg Comments, 5
          Oct 56.

3d Battalion--to bring up the rear of the regimental train, with George
Company disposed along both flanks as security for the vehicles.[562]

    [562] Sources for this section, except where otherwise
          noted, are: 7thMar _SAR_, 24; 3/7 _SAR_, n. p.; Smith,
          _Notes_, 1029–1031, 1033–1047; RCT-7 _URpt 6_; 1stLt
          J. B. Chandler, “Thank God I’m a Marine,” _Leatherneck
          Magazine_, xxiv, no. 6 (Jun 51), 25–26; MajGen H. L.
          Litzenberg, Recollections of the Action from Hagaru to
          Koto-ri, 6–7 December 1950, 2 Oct 56, and Comments, 5 Oct
          56; Col R. G. Davis Comments, 28 Sep 56; Sawyer Comments,
          7 Sep 56; LtCol H. T. Milne Comments, 24 Sep 56; LtCol M.
          E. Roach Comments, 27 Nov 56.

Daybreak revealed a peculiar silvery fog covering the Hagaru area.[563]
The 1st Battalion, with Charlie Company in assault, had as its first
objective the high ground southeast of Tonae-ri. No resistance was
encountered, though 24 Chinese were surprised asleep in their positions
near the objective and 17 of them killed.

    [563] Litzenberg Recollections, 2 Oct 56.

The 2d Platoon of Dog Company, 1st Tank Battalion, was attached to
2/7 when the advance guard jumped off at 0630 from the road block
south of Hagaru. Almost immediately the column ran into trouble. Upon
clearing the road block the lead dozer-tank took three hits from a
3.5 bazooka. Within twenty minutes the column came under heavy fire
from CCF positions on the high ground on the left. Fox Company, in the
lead, was allowed to pass before the enemy opened up on the Battalion
Command Group, Dog-Easy Company and Weapons Company. The fog prevented
air support initially. When it lifted, First Lieutenant John G.
Theros, FAC of 2/7, brought in Marine aircraft and 81mm fire on the
CCF position.[564] It took a coordinated attack by the two infantry
companies and the tanks, however, before the resistance could be put
down and the advance resumed at 1200. Two and a half hours later the
upper reaches of this hill were cleared by D/5.

    [564] 1stLt J. G. Theros, interv by Capt S. W. Higginbotham, 16
          Feb 51; Litzenberg Recollections, 2 Oct 56.

After 2/7 and air smothered the initial Chinese resistance, Fox Company
and the platoon of Dog/Tanks advanced down the road. About 4000 yards
south of Hagaru they met the next resistance. Although the Chinese
positions were in plain sight of 1/7, neither 2/7 nor air could spot
them. Colonel Litzenberg and Lieutenant Colonel Lockwood attempted to
co-ordinate mortar fires from 2/7 with observation from 1/7, but were
unsuccessful because of poor radio communications. Following an erratic
artillery barrage and some good shooting by the tanks, Fox Company
cleared the enemy position about 1500, aided by a Dog-Easy flanking
attack and the Provisional Battalion. In order to assist 2/7, Baker
Company of 1/7 came down from the ridge west of the river to act as
right flank guard.


6–7 December 1950

  A--1/7’s Initial Objective
  B--CCF Position Overlooking the MSR
  C--2/7 Held Up by CCF Machine Guns
  D--Blown Bridge
  E--3/7 B Regtl Train Held Up
  F--Commandos Rescued
  G--3/11’s Fire Fight
  H--Division Train 1 Held Up
  J--Hell Fire Valley


Meanwhile 1/7 continued to push ahead methodically to the right of the
MSR as the three rifle companies leapfrogged one another. Enemy contact
was continual but no serious opposition developed during the daytime
hours. On the left flank the Provisional Battalion had several fire
fights, while the advance was uneventful for the 3d Battalion following
in the rear of the regimental train.

About 5000 yards had been covered by dusk. Enemy resistance stiffened
after dark, as had been anticipated. The planners had realized that
the movement could have been made in daylight hours with fewer losses
in personnel and equipment. But intelligence of the expected arrival
of CCF reinforcements influenced the decision to continue the march
throughout the night even at the cost of increased opposition. By noon
long lines of Chinese could be seen along the sky Line to the east of
the road moving towards the MSR. Air attacked these reinforcements but
could not stop their movement, as later events proved.

About 8000 yards south of Hagaru, in Hell Fire Valley, a Chinese
machine gun on the left stopped the 2d Battalion at 2200. The column
was held up until midnight before Army tank fire knocked out the enemy
gun. After covering 1200 more yards a blown bridge caused another halt
while Dog Company engineers made repairs. Movement was resumed at 0200
when a second blown bridge resulted in a delay of an hour and a half
before it could be bypassed.

Dawn brought a significant innovation in air support. Circling above
the 11-mile column inching toward Koto-ri was an airborne Tactical Air
Direction Center (TADC) installed in an R5D of VMR-152 and operated
by Major Harlen E. Hood and his communicators from MTACS-2. Major
Christian C. Lee, Commanding Officer of MTACS-2, had made arrangements
when he realized that with his radios packed in trucks and jeeps he
could not control close air support effectively. Only the addition of
one radio to those standard in the aircraft was necessary to provide
basic communications, but when being readied for the predawn takeoff
the mission faced failure because an engine wouldn’t start. Minus a
refueler truck, the crew chief, Technical Sergeant H. C. Stuart, had
worked all night to pour 2400 gallons of gas into the craft by hand.
Now, in the bitter cold of dawn, he set about to overhaul the starting
motor. Two hours later Major John N. Swartley was piloting the plane
over the MSR.[565]

    [565] 1stMAW _SAR_, Annex I (VMR-152), 11–12, and annex K,
          appendix J, (hereafter MTACS-2_SAR_), 25; Air Officer’s
          Rpt, in X Corps _CR_, 6 Dec 50; LtCol J. N. Swartley ltr
          to authors, 15 Oct 56.

No trouble was encountered by 2/7 along the last few miles of the
route and the battalion was first to arrive at Koto-ri. Meanwhile, the
3d Battalion had been assigned the additional mission of replacing
the Provisional Battalion as protection for the left flank as well as
rear of the 7th Marines train. A brief fire fight developed at about
2100 as the Chinese closed to hand-grenade range. Lieutenant Colonel
Harris deployed George and Item Companies around the vehicles and drove
the enemy back to a respectful distance. Between 0200 and 0430, Item
Company of 3/7 and a platoon of tanks were sent back up the road to
clear out a troublesome Chinese position near Hell Fire Valley.

About 0200, during a halt for bridge repairs, the 7th Marines train
was hit by enemy fire. The regimental command group suffered most.
Captain Donald R. France and First Lieutenant Clarence E. McGuinness
were killed and Lieutenant Colonel Frederick W. Dowsett was wounded.
While Lieutenant (jg) Robert G. Medemeyer, (MC), USN, gave first aid,
Chaplain (Lieutenant (jg)) Cornelius J. Griffin entered an ambulance to
console a dying Marine. CCF machine gun bullets shattered his jaw and
killed Sergeant Matthew Caruso at his side. Lieutenant Colonel Harris
and Major Roach supervised the deployment of How Company troops to beat
off the attack.

About 0530 Lieutenant Colonel Harris disappeared. A search was made for
him to no avail and he was listed as a MIA. It was later determined
that he had been killed.

The 1st Battalion of RCT-7, after a relatively uneventful march over
the high ground west of the river, moved down the slope to join the
regimental column. Major Warren Morris assumed command of the 3d
Battalion, which reached Koto-ri about 0700. At about 1100, after a
brief rest, the men were ordered together with Lockwood’s troops to
move back up along the MSR to the north and set up blocking between
Koto-ri and Hill 1182 to keep the road open for other units of the
Division.[566] While carrying out this mission, the 2d Battalion helped
to bring in 22 British Marines who had been stranded ever since the
Task Force Drysdale fight on the night of 29–30 November. Their plight
was not known until 4 December, when an OY pilot saw the letters
H-E-L-P stamped out in the snow and air-dropped food and medical

    [566] 1stMarDiv msg to 7thMar, 1030 7 Dec 50; CO RCT 7 FragO,
          0930 7 Dec 50.

_Advance of the Division Trains_

By 1700 on 7 December all elements of RCT-7 were in the perimeter at
Koto-ri. Division Train No. 1 was due next, and the planners had hoped
that the rifle battalions would clear the way for the vehicles. As it
proved, however, the Chinese closed in behind RCT-7 and attacked the
flanks of the convoy, with the result that the service troops actually
saw more action than the infantrymen.

One of the causes may be traced to the fact that Division Train No. 1
had to wait at Hagaru until 1600 on the 6th before RCT-7 made enough
progress toward Koto-ri to warrant putting the convoy on the road.
About 2000 yards south of Hagaru elements of the 3d Battalion, 11th
Marines, were hit in the early darkness by CCF mortar and small-arms
fire. The gunners of George and How Batteries deployed as infantrymen
and repulsed the enemy at the cost of a few casualties.

Upon resuming the march, a second fire fight took place after 1500 more
yards had been covered. Several vehicles, set afire by Chinese mortar
shells, blocked the road and brought the convoy to a halt. At daybreak
the enemy swarmed to the attack in formidable numbers. It was nip and
tuck as all pieces of How Battery and three howitzers of George Battery
were emplaced between the trucks of the 1st MT Battalion.

There was no opportunity to dig in the trails of guns employing time
fire with fuses cut for ranges of 40 to 500 yards. But the Chinese were
stopped cold by two hours of continuous fire after approaching within
40 yards. All but about 50 of an estimated 500 to 800 enemy were killed
or wounded before the remainder fled, according to the estimate of the

    [567] Unless otherwise noted the description of the movement
          of the division trains is based on: HqBn, _HD, Dec 50_,
          6–9; HqBn, _URpt 13_; Maj F. Simpson interv by Capt K. A.
          Shutts, 11 Apr 51.

The convoy of the Division Headquarters Company also had to fight
its way. Small arms ammunition had been distributed throughout the
column, and light machine guns were mounted on top of truck loads.
All able-bodied men with the exception of drivers and radio operators
walked in single file on either side of the vehicles carrying the

Progress was slow, with many halts caused by CCF fire. At 0130 several
trucks were set aflame by enemy mortar shells and 2.36 rockets.
Headquarters troops deployed in roadside ditches while two machine guns
manned by bandsmen kept the Chinese at a distance. At 0200 the clouds
cleared enough to permit strikes by night hecklers of VMF (N)-513. They
stopped the Chinese until just before daylight, when a company-size
group penetrated within 30 yards of the convoy. During this fight First
Lieutenant Charles H. Sullivan, who measured six feet four and weighed
240 pounds, emptied his carbine at advancing Chinese. Then he hurled it
like a javelin to drive the bayonet into the chest of an opponent at 15

Under the coaching of the MTACS commander, Major Lee, two more
night fighters--Major Albert L. Clark and First Lieutenant Truman
Clark--pinned the Chinese down with strafing runs as close as 30 yards
from the Marine ground troops. At dawn Major Percy F. Avant, Jr.,
and his four-plane division from VMF-312 dumped about four tons of
explosives and napalm on Chinese who broke and ran for cover. The fire
fight had cost Headquarters Battalion 6 KIA and 14 WIA.[568]

    [568] This description of the headquarters convoy fight is
          based on: _Ibid._; Cpl G. L. Coon, “Versatility,”
          _Leatherneck Magazine_, xxiv, no. 3 (Mar 51), 18–19;
          Simpson Comments, 24 Sept 56; MTACS-2 _SAR_, 19; Maj
          C. C. Lee interv by Capt S. W. Higginbotham, 7 Feb 51,
          Comments, 14 Aug 56, and ltr 1 Nov 56.

The MP Company, just forward of Headquarters Company, had the problem
of guarding about 160 Chinese prisoners. Captives unable to walk had
been left behind at Hagaru, where Lieutenant Colonel Murray directed
that the wounded be given shelter and provided with food and fuel by
the departing Marines. The prisoners escorted by the MPs were lying
in the middle of the road during the attack when the enemy seemed to
concentrate his fire on them while shouting in Chinese. A scene of
pandemonium ensued as some of the able-bodied prisoners attempted to
make a break. Now the Marines as well as the enemy fired into them and
137 were killed in the wild melee.

When the convoy got under way again, two Communists were captured
and 15 killed after being flushed out of houses in the village of
Pusong-ni. At daybreak a halt was called in Hell Fire Valley for the
purpose of identifying bodies of MPs and Headquarters troops, killed
in the Task Force Drysdale battle, which were to be picked up later.
Attempts to start the looted and abandoned vehicles met with no success
and the convoy continued the movement to Koto-ri without incident,
arriving about 1000 on the 7th.

At this hour the last Marine troops had not yet left Hagaru, so that
the column as a whole extended the entire 11 miles of the route.
Division Train No. 2 had formed up during the afternoon of the 6th,
but was unable to start until after dark. At midnight the train had
moved only a short distance out of Hagaru. Lieutenant Colonel Milne
requested infantry support and 3/5 was given the mission of advancing
at the head of the column, along with the 5th Marines regimental train,
to eliminate enemy resistance.[569] Taplett had only two companies, one
of which proceeded astride the road while the other echeloned to the
left rear. The late start proved to be a blessing, since Division Train
No. 2 completed most of its movement by daylight under an umbrella of
Marine air and met only light and scattered resistance. The head of the
column reached Koto-ri at 1700, and at 2300 all of the major Division
units were in the perimeter except 2/5, the rear guard.[570]

    [569] Col J. L. Stewart Comments, n. d.

    [570] The description of the operations of the 5th Marines and
          3/1 are based on: 3/5 _SAR_, 17; 3/1, _SAR_, 26 Nov-15
          Dec 50, 7; 5th Mar _SAR_, 32–34; 1/5 _SAR_, 18–19; 2/5
          _SAR_, 29–30, 37.

Both 1/5 and 3/1 had formed up in Hagaru on the morning of the 7th and
moved out as rapidly as traffic would permit, which was slow indeed.
They were accompanied by the 41st Commando, which had earned the esteem
of all U. S. Marines by valor in combat. British imperturbability was
at its best when Lieutenant Colonel Drysdale held an inspection shortly
before departing Hagaru. Disdainful of the scattered shots which were
still being heard, the officers moved up and down the rigid lines, and
men whose gear was not in the best possible shape were reprimanded.

By 1000 nobody was left in the battered town except Roise’s battalion,
First Lieutenant Vaughan R. Stuart’s tank platoon and elements of Able
Company, 1st Engineer Battalion, commanded by Captain William R. Gould.
This unit and CWO Willie S. Harrison’s Explosive Ordnance Section of
Headquarters Company engineers were attached to the 5th Marines for the
mission of the demolitions at Hagaru.[571]

    [571] Descriptions of the operations of the engineers at Hagaru
          are based on these sources: 1st Engr Bn _SAR_, 13;
          Partridge interv, 25 Jun 51, 50; Narrative of Capt N. A.
          Canzona, 13 Jul 56.

Gould had formed five demolitions teams, each composed of an officer
and four to six men. On the evening of 6 December they began
preparations for burning stockpiles of surplus clothing and equipment
along with the buildings of the Hagaru train yard. There was also the
duty of placing charges in the dumps of mortar and artillery ammunition
which could not be transported to Hagaru.

One of the main problems was the disposal of a small mountain of frozen
surplus rations. A team of engineers spent hours on the 6th at the task
of smashing cans and crates of food with a bulldozer and saturating the
dump with fuel oil.

The Able Company engineers came under the operational control of
the 2d Battalion after the other units of the 5th Marines departed.
Demolitions were to await the order of Lieutenant Colonel Roise on the
morning of the 7th. Hagaru was full of combustibles, however, and fires
of mysterious origin sent up dense clouds of smoke before the engineers
touched off the oil-soaked food supplies and the buildings of the train

As the Marines of 2/5 pulled back toward the southern tip of East Hill,
smoke blotted out the surrounding area so that enemy movements could
not be detected. Worse yet, premature explosions sent up fountains
of debris just as the engineers were setting up their fuses for a
20-minute delay. Detonations shook the earth on all sides. Rockets
sliced through the air, shells shattered into vicious fragments,
and large chunks of real estate rained down everywhere. Roise was
understandably furious, since his troops were endangered during
their withdrawal. By a miracle they came off East Hill without any
casualties, and the engineers were the last Marines left in Hagaru.
Soon the entire base seemed to be erupting like a volcano. Visibility
was reduced to zero when the engineers pulled out, after setting a last
tremendous charge to blow the bridge.

So compelling was the lure of loot that small groups of Chinese came
down from the high ground toward the man-made hell of flame and
explosions. Between clouds of smoke they could be seen picking over the
debris, and the Marine tanks cranked off a few rounds at targets of

It is not likely that any of Roise’s weary troops paused for a last
sentimental look over their shoulders at the dying Korean town.
Hagaru was not exactly a pleasure resort, and yet hundreds of Marines
and soldiers owed their lives to the fact that this forward base
had enabled the Division to evacuate all casualties and fly in
replacements while regrouping for the breakout to the seacoast.

If it had not been for the forethought of the Division and Wing
commanders, with the concurrence of General Almond, there would have
been no R4D airstrip, no stockpiles of ammunition, rations and medical
supplies. And though the Marines might conceivably have fought their
way out of the CCF encirclement without a Hagaru, it would have been
at the cost of abandoning much equipment and suffering much higher

Only a few weeks before, this Korean town had been merely an unknown
dot on the map. But on 7 December 1950 the name was familiar to
newspaper readers and radio listeners all over the United States as
they anxiously awaited tidings of the breakout. Already it had become a
name to be remembered in U. S. Marine annals along with such historical
landmarks as Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Peleliu and Iwo Jima.

Prospects of a warm meal and a night’s sleep meant more than history
to Roise’s troops when the column moved out at last shortly after
noon, with the engineers bringing up the rear to blow bridges
along the route. A pitiful horde of Korean refugees followed the
troops--thousands of men, women and children with such personal
belongings as they could carry. Efforts on the part of the engineers to
warn the refugees of impending demolitions were futile. Although these
North Koreans had enjoyed for five years the “blessings” of Communist
government, the prospect of being left behind to the tender mercies
of the Chinese Communists was so terrifying that they took appalling
risks. Knowing that a bridge was about to blow up at any instant, they
swarmed across in a blind panic of flight. Never did war seem more
harsh or its victims more pathetic.[572]

    [572] Sexton interv, 16 May 51.

The rear guard had less air and artillery support than any of the
preceding troops, yet CCF opposition was confined to scattered
small-arms fire all the way to Hell Fire Valley. There the enemy lobbed
over a few mortar shells during a long halt at dusk, but the rest of
the advance was uneventful. Gould’s engineers took chances repeatedly
of being cut off when they fell behind to burn abandoned vehicles or
blow bridges. On several occasions a small group found itself entirely
isolated as the infantry and even the refugees pushed on ahead. Luckily
the engineers made it without any casualties, and by midnight the last
troops of the 1st Marine Division had entered the perimeter at Koto-ri.

Thus the first stage of the Division breakout came to a close. In
proportion to total numbers, the service troops of Division Train
No. 1 had taken the heaviest losses--six killed and 12 wounded for
the Division Headquarters Company; one killed and 16 wounded for the
Military Police Company; four killed and 28 wounded for the 1st Motor
Transport Battalion; one killed and 27 wounded for the 1st Ordnance
Battalion; and three killed and 34 wounded for the 3d Battalion of the
11th Marines. Battle casualties for the entire 1st Marine Division,
including those of the East Hill battle, were as follows:

    Dates  | KIA | DOW | MIA | WIA | Totals
  6 Dec    |  32 |   4 |   7 | 218 |  261
  7 Dec    |  51 |  16 |   0 | 288 |  355
    Totals |  83 |  20 |   7 | 506 |  616[573]

    [573] Div Adjutant _SAR_, Appendix II, 3.

About 38 hours were required for the movement of some 10,000 troops
and more than 1,000 vehicles. The new arrivals filled the perimeter at
Koto-ri to the bursting point, but there was to be no pause at this
point. Division OpnO 26-50, issued at 1815 on the 7th, before the last
troops had arrived, provided for the advance to be resumed from Koto-ri
at first light the following morning.


Onward from Koto-ri

_Assembly of Division at Koto-ri--Activation of Task Force Dog--Air
Drop of Bridge Sections--Division Planning for Attack--Battle of 1/1 in
the Snowstorm--Advance of RCT-7 and RCT-5--Marine Operations of 9 and
10 December--Completion of Division Breakout_

The progress of the 1st Marine Division breakout depended in no small
degree on the reliable communications provided by the division radio
relay linking up Hagaru, Koto-ri, Chinhung-ni, and Hungnam. At 1440 on
6 December the vehicles of the Hagaru relay terminal joined Division
Train No. 1, whereupon the station at Koto-ri became in turn the

    [574] Smith, _Notes_, 1056.

This station was located on the highest point of ground just south of
the Koto-ri perimeter. And though it was outside the defense area, the
Chinese did not bother it until the Marines were breaking camp. Then
the opposition consisted only of harassing small-arms fires instead of
the attack which might have been expected.[575]

    [575] Col A. Sutter interv, 8 Aug 56; Bartley ltr, 7 Feb 56.

In fact, the enemy did not launch another large-scale assault on
Koto-ri after his costly repulse on the night of 28–29 November.
Although the perimeter was surrounded throughout the first six days of
December, incipient CCF attacks were broken up in the enemy’s assembly
areas. Excellent observation as well as casualty evacuation was
provided by the OYs taking off from the Koto-ri airstrip. They were the
eyes of an impressive array of Marine fire power--tanks, 4.2-inch, and
81mm mortars as well as aircraft and Captain McClelland’s Easy Battery
of 2/11.

“The artillery 105’s and the mortars did a grand job,” commented Major
Bartley. “They were always available, shifted their fires quickly
and accurately, and serviced their pieces amazingly well in the cold

    [576] Bartley ltr, 7 Feb 56. This section is also based on
          1stMar _SAR_, 18–24, and the 2/1 _SAR_, 15–18.

As a further asset, the Koto-ri perimeter was defended by adequate
numbers in comparison to Hagaru during the first critical week of
CCF attacks. On 30 November, when Baker Company of the 1st Tank
Battalion returned to Koto-ri after the Task Force Drysdale battle,
three platoons of tanks were added to the Dog Company platoon already
attached to 2/1. The next day Colonel Puller’s RCT-1 (-) was further
strengthened by the arrival of the 2d Battalion of the 31st Infantry,
7th Infantry Division, the last unit to reach Koto-ri from the south.
These Army troops had been ordered to Hagaru, but owing to the changing
situation they were directed by X Corps on 1 December to remain at
Koto-ri. Under the operational control of Colonel Puller, 2/31 took
over a sector at the southern end of the perimeter.

Sporadic CCF small-arms fire was received on each of the first six days
of December, and enemy troop movements were observed at all points of
the compass. On several occasions a few mortar shells were lobbed into
the perimeter. Not a single Marine casualty was suffered during the
period,[577] though CCF losses were estimated at 646 killed and 322

    [577] Not so fortunate was 2/31, which lost 5 KIA and 10 WIA
          expanding the perimeter to the south on 3 Dec. CO 1stMar
          msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1850 3 Dec 50.

Daily air drops were required to keep the perimeter supplied with
ammunition, rations, and other essentials. Captain Norman Vining, the
Battalion FAC, who had once been a carrier landing signal officer,
guided planes to satisfactory drop zones with makeshift paddles. One
day a case of .30 caliber cartridges broke free from its chute and
hurtled through the top of Lieutenant Colonel Sutter’s tent during a
conference. Narrowly missing several officers, it hit the straw at
their feet and bounced high into the air before landing on a crate used
as a table.

_Assembly of Division at Koto-ri_

Koto-ri being second only to Hagaru as an advance base, Colonel Puller
at times had responsibilities which are usually shouldered by an ADC.
On 29 November he had been the organizer of Task Force Drysdale, and on
6 December it became his task to make ready for the reception of the
10,000 troops from Hagaru.

Although the Koto-ri perimeter was already overcrowded, Puller directed
that hot food and warming tents be provided for all Hagaru troops upon
arrival. More than 14,000 men would then be organized for the next
stage of the breakout. Strength estimates were as follows:[578]

    [578] Smith, _Notes_, 1069–1071.

  Marine garrison at Koto-ri                         2,640
  U. S. Army units at Koto-ri                        1,535
  Royal Marine Commandos at Koto-ri                     25
  Marines arriving from Hagaru                       9,046
  U. S. Army troops arriving from Hagaru               818
  Royal Marine Commandos arriving from Hagaru          125
  ROK police attached to RCT-5                          40

Puller dealt with the problem of casualty evacuation at Koto-ri by
ordering that the OY strip be lengthened so that larger aircraft could
land. The engineers of Charlie Company started the job on 6 December,
and progress speeded up as the Dog Company engineers arrived next day
from Hagaru with their heavy equipment.

The strip had been widened by 40 feet and extended by 300 on 7 December
when the first TBM landed. These planes had been borrowed from the Navy
and 1stMAW administrative flight lines and assigned to VMO-6. They
could fly out several litter patients and as many as nine ambulatory
cases. Captain Alfred F. McCaleb, Jr., of VMO-6 and First Lieutenant
Truman Clark of VMF(N)-513, evacuated a total of 103 casualties. The
carrier landing training of the Marines stood them in good stead as
Captain Malcolm G. Moncrief, Jr., a qualified landing signal officer
of VMF-312, directed the TBMs to their landings at Koto-ri with

    [579] “Carrier Deck,” _Leatherneck Magazine_, xxxiv, no. 3 (Mar
          51), 19–20; 1stMar _SAR_, 23; 2/1 _SAR_, 17–18; 1stEngrBn
          _SAR_, 13; 1stMedBn _SAR_, 12; and VMO-6 _SAR_, 17–18;
          1stMAW _SAR_, 7; BrigGen E. C. Dyer Comments, n. d.

The clearing station established at Koto-ri by Company D of the 1st
Medical Battalion (Lieutenant Commander Gustave T. Anderson (MC), USN
had a normal bed capacity of only 60 but somehow continued to handle
a total of 832 cases, including non-battle casualties. The Company D
medics were assisted during their last few days at Koto-ri by Captain
Hering, the Division surgeon, and Commander Howard A. Johnson (MC),
USN, the CO of the 1st Medical Battalion. Captain Richard S. Silvis
(MC), USN, surgeon of the 2d Marine Division, on temporary duty in
Korea as an observer, also took an active part.[580]

    [580] 1stMedBn _SAR_, 3–7.

Surgical assistance was welcomed by the Company D medics, since
operations at Koto-ri were performed under the most difficult
conditions. Only tents being available for patients, the hundreds
of casualties brought from Hagaru added to the necessity for speedy
evacuation. About 200 cases were flown out on the 7th by TBMs and
liaison aircraft. By the following morning the engineers had lengthened
the OY strip to 1750 feet, but a heavy snowfall put an end to nearly
all air activity. In spite of the risks involved, one Air Force C-47
did get through to Koto-ri, where it could be heard but not seen while
circling blindly about the perimeter. By a miracle the plane landed
safely and took off with 19 casualties. The following day saw air
evacuation of casualties in full swing, with about 225 being flown out
to clear the hospital tents of all serious cases.[581]

    [581] _Ibid._ See also Smith, _Notes_, 995–998, 1110–1112.

_Activation of Task Force Dog_

A large tent in the middle of the perimeter served both as office
and sleeping quarters for General Smith and his staff. Planning was
immediately resumed after they arrived at Koto-ri on the afternoon of 6
December. Before leaving Hagaru it had been recognized that the enemy
might be saving his main effort for the mountainous ten-mile stretch
from Koto-ri to Chinhung-ni. In such terrain a mere CCF platoon could
do a great deal of mischief, and the planners agreed that it would be
necessary for 1/1 to attack northward from Chinhung-ni and clear the
road. This meant that the battalion must be relieved by an Army unit,
and a request was made verbally to General Almond.[582]

    [582] Smith, _Notes_, 1063–1064.

X Corps had received orders on 1 December for the 3d Infantry Division
to assemble in the Wonsan area prepared for further operations,
possibly to join the Eighth Army in west Korea. Although General Almond
initiated execution of the order immediately, he sent the highest
ranking Marine officer on his staff, Colonel Forney, and the Corps
G-2, Lieutenant Colonel William W. Quinn, to Tokyo to explain the
implications of the withdrawal of this Army division from northeast
Korea. Following a conference with General Hickey, GHQ Chief of Staff,
the Division was released back to X Corps on the 3d, and General Almond
ordered it to return to the Hamhung area to protect this vital port
area and to assist the breakout of the 1st Marine Division by relieving
1/1 at Chinhung-ni.[583]

    [583] X Corps _Special Report, Chosin Reservoir_, 17–18;
          Forney, _Special Report_, 3.

At 2115 on 6 December the 1st Marine Division requested by dispatch
that the relief be completed the next day in order to free 1/1 for
the attack to the north. The relief column, designated Task Force Dog
and commanded by Brigadier General Armistead D. Mead, ADC of the 3d
Infantry Division, consisted of the 3d Battalion, 7th Infantry, the
92d Armored Field Artillery Battalion, plus detachments of engineers,
signalmen, and antiaircraft troops. Brushing aside some Chinese
roadblocks, it arrived at Chinhung-ni on the afternoon of the 7th and
relieved 1/1 immediately.[584]

    [584] Smith, _Notes_, 1063–1064; X Corps _Special Report,
          Chosin Reservoir_, 20–24; X Corps _OI 26_, 5 Dec 50;
          and Dolcater, _3d Infantry Division in Korea_, 90; CG
          1stMarDiv msg to CG X Corps, 2115 6 Dec 50; CG X Corps
          msg X 13811, 7 Dec 50; Col D. M. Schmuck Comments, n. d.

_Air Drop of Bridge Sections_

Another problem which the 1st Marine Division planners had faced at
Hagaru called for an engineering solution. As early as 4 December the
commanding general was notified that a critical bridge three and a
half miles south of Koto-ri (see Map 29) had been blown by the enemy
for the third time. At this point water from the Chosin Reservoir was
discharged from a tunnel into four penstocks, or large steel pipes,
which descended sharply down the mountainside to the turbines of the
power plant in the valley below. Where the pipes crossed the road, they
were covered on the uphill side by a concrete gatehouse, without a
floor. On the downhill side was the one-way bridge over the penstocks
which the enemy had thrice destroyed. Between the cliff and the sheer
drop down the mountainside there was no possibility of a bypass. Thus
the gap of 16 feet (24 feet, counting the abutments) must be spanned if
the Division was to bring out its vehicles, tanks and guns.[585]

    [585] Except when otherwise specified, this section is based
          on the following sources: Partridge interv, 25 Jun 51,
          48–63; Litzenberg interv, 27–30 Apr and 15 Jul 51, 72–73;
          Smith, _Notes_, 1057–1059, 1075, 1095–1109; 1stEngBn
          _SAR_, 3–14; Geer, _The New Breed_, 361–362, 369; LtCol
          J. H. Partridge Comments, n. d.

Following the destruction of the original concrete bridge, the enemy
had blown a temporary wooden structure and an M-2 steel treadway span
installed by Army engineers. No prefabricated bridging was available at
Hagaru, and time did not permit the construction of a timber trestle
bridge. The possibility of Bailey bridge sections was considered but
rejected for technical reasons. Finally, after a detailed study of
the break from the air on 6 December, Lieutenant Colonel Partridge
estimated that four sections of an M-2 steel treadway bridge would be
required. Prospects did not appear bright when a bridge section was
badly damaged on the 6th after being test-dropped at Yonpo by an Air
Force C-119. Nevertheless, it was decided to go ahead the next day with
the drop at Koto-ri.[586]

    [586] Smith, _Notes_, 1057–1059, 1075, 1095–1097; Partridge
          interv, 25 Jun 51, 48–53; 1stEngBn _SAR_, 13–14.


8–10 December



There were four U. S. Army treadway bridge (Brockway) trucks at
Koto-ri, two of which were operative. After conferring with First
Lieutenant George A. Babe of the 1st Engineer Battalion and Colonel
Hugh D. McGaw of the 185th Engineer (C) Battalion, USA, Partridge
decided to request a drop of eight sections in order to have a 100%
margin of safety in case of damage.

After analyzing the causes of the unsuccessful test drop, Captain
Blasingame of the Air Delivery Platoon had larger parachutes flown to
Yonpo from Japan, accompanied by Captain Cecil W. Hospelhorn, USA, and
a special crew of Army parachute riggers. Blasingame and a hundred-man
work detail from the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion worked all night
at Yonpo to make ready for the drop next day by eight C-119s of the Air

At 0930 on 7 December three of the 2500-pound bridge sections were
dropped inside the Koto-ri perimeter and recovered by the Brockway
trucks. The remaining five sections were delivered by noon, one of them
falling into the hands of the Chinese and one being damaged.

Plywood center sections were also dropped so that the bridge could
accommodate any type of Marine wheel or tracked vehicle. Thus the tanks
could cross on the metal spans only, while the trucks could manage with
one wheel on the metal span and the other on the plywood center.[587]

    [587] Partridge interv 25 Jun 51, 48–53; Capt C. W. Hospelhorn,
          “Aerial Supply in Korea,” _Combat Forces Journal_, I, no.
          10 (May 51), 29–30.

All the necessary equipment having been assembled at Koto-ri by the
late afternoon of the 7th, the next problem was to transport it three
and a half miles to the bridge site. Colonel Bowser, the Division
G-3, directed the engineers to coordinate their movements with the
progress made by RCT-7 the following morning. Lieutenant Colonel
Partridge attended a briefing conducted by Colonel Litzenberg on the
eve of the assault, and it was agreed that the trucks with the bridge
section would accompany the regimental train. First Lieutenant Ewald
D. Vom Orde’s First Platoon of Company D engineers was designated as
the escort. First Lieutenant Charles C. Ward’s engineers led the 7th
Marines trains. Both platoons were assigned the task of installing the
bridge sections.

_Division Planning for Attack_

On the assumption that the gap over the penstocks would be successfully
spanned, the 1st Marine Division issued OpnO 26-50 at 1850 on 7
December. Although the last operation order had specified the Hamhung
area as the objective, it was found necessary at Koto-ri to give more
explicit instructions for the advance to the southward.

The plan was simple. Recognizing the sharp cleft of Funchilin Pass as
the most difficult defile of the entire breakout, General Smith ordered
the seizure of the heights overlooking the pass from the north end of
Hill 1081, dominating the road through the pass. In its details the
plan shaped up as follows:

  (1) RCT-7 (reinforced with the Provisional Army battalion)
  to attack south from Koto-ri at 0800 on 8 December and seize
  Objectives A and B--the first being the southern extension of Hill
  1328, about 2500 yards southwest of Koto-ri, and the other the
  second nose due south of Koto-ri.

  (2) RCT-5 to attack and seize Objective D (Hill 1457, two and a
  half miles south of Koto-ri) while RCT-7 continued its attack and
  seized Objective C (a nose dominating the MSR two and three-fourths
  miles south of Koto-ri).

  (3) At 0800, as RCT-7 jumped off at Koto-ri, the 1st Battalion of
  RCT-1 was to attack from Chinhung-ni and seize Objective E (Hill
  1081, three miles to the north).

  (4) RCT-1 (less the 1st Battalion but reinforced by 2/31) was to
  protect Koto-ri until the Division and regimental trains cleared,
  whereupon it was to relieve RCTs 5 and 7 on Objectives A, B, C and

  (5) Upon relief by RCT-1, RCTs 5 and 7 were to proceed south along
  the MSR to the Hamhung area.

  (6) RCT-1 was to follow RCT-5 and protect the Division rear.[588]

    [588] 1stMarDiv _OpnO_ 26-50, 7 Dec 50. The task organization
          remained as it was during the move from Hagaru to
          Koto-ri. For the regimental orders, see 1stMar _OpnO_
          16-50, 7 Dec 50; 5thMar _OpnO_ 44-50, 7 Dec 50; and
          7thMar _Frag O_, 7 Dec 50. Other sources for this section
          are: 11thMar _SAR_, 9; and Smith, _Notes_, 1062.

Artillery plans provided for one battery of 2/11 and one of 3/11 to
answer the calls of RCT-7 for supporting fires. The other batteries
of 3/11 were to move south with the motor column while two batteries
of 1/11 supported RCT-5. The remaining battery of 3/11 was attached
to 2/11 with a mission of moving south to Chinhung-ni and taking a
position from which to support the withdrawal of RCT-1 as rearguard.
Easy Battery of 2/11, left behind at Koto-ri, was laid to fire to the
north and west, while Fox Battery of 2/11 and the 92d Armored Field
Artillery Battalion at Chinhung-ni supported the attack of 1/1 on Hill

The plan of the 1stMAW for air support was essentially the same as the
one which proved so effective during the advance from Hagaru to Koto-ri.

An object lesson of that movement had been the personnel and equipment
losses suffered by the Division trains as a consequence of a late
start. The planners were determined not to repeat this mistake. As a
further precautionary measure, General Smith directed that the tanks
form the last elements of the motor column.[589] Thus in the event of a
breakdown on the twisting, single-lane road, it would not be necessary
to abandon all the vehicles behind a crippled tank.

    [589] CG 1stMarDiv msg to COs 1st, 5th, 7th Mars, 1stTkBn, 1100
          8 Dec 50.

As for the enemy situation, G-2 summaries indicated that early in
December the CCF 26th Corps, consisting of the 76th, 77th and 78th
Divisions, reinforced by the 94th Division of the 32d Corps, had moved
down from the north and taken positions on the east side of the MSR
between Hagaru and Koto-ri. There they relieved the 60th Division,
which moved into the area south of Koto-ri. The 76th and 77th Divisions
occupied positions along the MSR in the Koto-ri area, while the 78th
and 94th Divisions were apparently held in reserve. Elements of the
89th Division, operating from the mountainous area southwest of
Koto-ri, conducted harassing operations against the MSR in the vicinity
of Chinhung-ni as well as Koto-ri.

The 60th CCF Division held prepared positions on the high ground
south of Koto-ri commanding Funchilin Pass and the MSR leading to
Chinhung-ni. That these positions included Hill 1081, the dominating
terrain feature, was revealed by prisoners taken in the vicinity by
patrols of the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, prior to 8 December.

_Battle of 1/1 in the Snowstorm_

Division plans had not called for the swirling snowstorm which reduced
visibility to 50 feet and precluded air support at first light on 8
December. In spite of weather conditions, the assault battalions of
RCT-7 moved out from Koto-ri on schedule after 1/1 attacked northward
from Chinhung-ni.

The planners had realized that the success of the movement to
Chinhung-ni would depend to a large extent on the seizure of Objective
E--Hill 1081. On 2 December Lieutenant Colonel Schmuck had led a
reconnaissance patrol into Funchilin Pass as far north as this
position. Sighting large numbers of Chinese on both sides of the road,
he called for artillery fires with good effect. This reconnaissance did
much to establish Hill 1081 as the key terrain feature.

Although 1/1 had patrolled aggressively, the battalion had engaged in
no large-scale actions so far in the Reservoir campaign. The men were
fresh, well-rested and spoiling for a fight when they moved out at 0200
on 8 December from an assembly area south of Chinhung-ni after being
relieved by Task Force Dog.

Schmuck’s battle plan provided for the three companies to advance in
column along the MSR in the predawn darkness. Since orders were to
attack at 0800, a start at 0200 was considered necessary in order to
make the six-mile approach march.

Captain Wray’s Charlie Company, in the lead, was to take Objective 1,
the southwestern nose of Hill 1081, and hold it while the other two
companies passed through to carry out their missions. Captain Barrow’s
Able Company was to attack east of the MSR and fight its way to the
summit of Hill 1081; and Captain Noren’s Baker Company to advance to
the left flank, along the slopes between Barrow and the MSR.[590]

    [590] This section, except when otherwise noted, is derived
          from the following sources: _Ibid._; 1stMar _SAR_, 19–20,
          24–26; 1stMar _URpt (S-3) 13_; Bates interv, 16 Mar
          53, 108–112, Geer, _The New Breed_, 364–368; Col D. M.
          Schmuck, LtCol D. W. Bridges, LtCol W. L. Bates interv,
          8 Aug 56; special mention should also be made of the
          two-part article, “Last Barrier,” by S. L. A. Marshall in
          the _Marine Corps Gazette_, xxvii, no. 1 (Jan 53), 20–23,
          and no. 2 (Feb 53), 40–46; LtCol D. W. Bridges interv, 14
          Dec 56.

The combination of snow and darkness reduced visibility almost to zero
as 1/1 set out along the slippery MSR five hours before daybreak. All
heavy equipment had been sent to the rear from Chinhung-ni, and the
only vehicles were two ambulances and a radio jeep.

In the snow-muffled silence of the night the men took on protective
coloring as feathery flakes clung to their parkas. Objective 1 was
seized shortly after dawn, following a difficult approach march against
negligible resistance. The battalion commander prepared for the next
phase by bringing up 81mm mortars and an attached platoon of 4.2s and
emplacing those weapons in Wray’s position. He also directed that the
five attached Army self-propelled quad-.50 caliber and twin 40mm guns
of B Company 50th AAA (AW) Bn be moved to a little rise off to the
left of the road in the vicinity of the village of Pehujang. From this
position they covered the MSR as far as the bridge over the penstocks.

At 1000 the main attack was set in motion. Baker Company advanced along
the wooded western slope of Hill 1081 as Barrow attacked up the hogback
ridge leading to the summit. The snowstorm fought on the side of the
Marines by hiding their movements from the Chinese occupying the high
ground east of the MSR around the great horseshoe bend where the road
passed under the cable car line.

Noren’s men saw hundreds of enemy footprints but met only scattered
opposition until they came to the first CCF roadblock on their left
flank. There they were stopped by two machine guns, but a Marine patrol
worked around on the uphill side and routed the Communists with a
machine gun and 60mm mortar attack.

In the absence of air and artillery support, the 4.2s and 81mm mortars
emplaced in the Charlie Company position were called upon whenever
visibility permitted. Surprise was Noren’s best resource, however, when
Baker Company came up against the CCF bunker complex on the western
slope of Hill 1081. The enemy had so little warning that the Marines
found a kettle of rice cooking in the largest bunker, an elaborate
log and sandbag structure which had evidently been a CCF command
post. The entire complex was taken after a brief but savage fight in
which all defenders were killed or routed. Schmuck set up his CP in a
captured bunker, where he and his officers soon discovered that several
regiments of Chinese lice had not yet surrendered.

Only enough daylight was left for the sending out of patrols, whereupon
Noren secured for the night. His losses amounted to three killed and
six wounded.

Barrow’s men had no physical contact with Baker Company while clawing
their way upward along an icy ridge line too narrow for deployment.
A sudden break in the snow afforded the Able Company commander a
glimpse of a CCF stronghold on a knob between him and his objective,
the topographical crest of Hill 1081. The drifting flakes cut off the
view before he could direct mortar fire, but Barrow decided to attack
without this support and rely upon surprise. Advancing in column along
the steep and narrow approach, he sent Lieutenant Jones with two squads
of the 2d Platoon to execute a wide enveloping movement on the left.
Lieutenant McClelland’s 1st Platoon had a similar mission on the right.
Barrow himself led Staff Sergeant William Roach’s 3d Platoon in a front

It took more than an hour for the two flanking forces to get into
position. Not until they had worked well around the Chinese bunker
complex did Barrow give the signal for attack. Perhaps because silence
had been enforced during the stealthy advance, the assault troops
yelled like Indians as they closed in on the foe. Out of the snowstorm
Barrow’s men “erupted with maximum violence,” and the enemy was too
stunned to put up much of a fight. The only effective resistance
came from a single CCF machine gun which caused most of the Marine
casualties before Corporal Joseph Leeds and his fire team knocked it
out, killing nine Communists in the process.

More than 60 enemy bodies were counted after the Marines cleaned out
the bunkers and shot down fleeing Chinese. Barrow’s losses were 10 men
killed and 11 wounded.

By this time it was apparent that the Chinese had held an integrated
system of bunkers and strong points extending to the summit of Hill
1081. The battalion had been strictly on its own all day, all contact
with the infantry of Task Force Dog having ended with the relief. When
communications permitted, however, 1/1 could count on the excellent
direct support of the 92d Armored Field Artillery Battalion, USA,
commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Leon F. Lavoie. The Army cannoneers had
set up near Fox Battery of 2/11, using the fire control data of this
Marine artillery unit.

The night was clear, promising air and artillery support in the
morning, as Able Company consolidated in the captured CCF positions.
Although the battalion aid station was only 700 yards away, the terrain
was so difficult that litter bearers took several hours to struggle
down with the Marine wounded. About midnight the Chinese interrupted
with an attack in estimated platoon strength, but Barrow’s men drove
them off with CCF losses of 18 killed.

The rest of the night passed quietly, and Baker Company had no
disturbance on the high ground overlooking the MSR.

_Advance of RCT-7 and RCT-5_

While these events were taking place, the attack to the south from
Koto-ri also fell short of the day’s objectives. Colonel Litzenberg’s
plan called for two of his four battalions (the fourth being the
Provisional Battalion of Army troops) to clear the high ground on
either side of the road so that a third battalion could advance astride
the MSR, followed by the reserve battalion and regimental train.

Major Morris, commanding 3/7, had been assigned the task of attacking
on the right at 0800 and seizing Objective A, the southernmost of
the cluster of hills known collectively as Hill 1328. He made such
slow progress against CCF and small-arms fire that at 1100 Colonel
Litzenberg suggested the commitments of 3/7’s reserve company. “All
three companies,” replied Morris, “are up there--fifty men from George,
fifty men from How, thirty men from Item. That’s it!”[591]

    [591] Litzenberg interv, 27–30 Apr and 10 Jul 51, 68–69.

Early in the afternoon of 8 December, Litzenberg committed his reserve,
2/7, to assist 3/7. Lockwood’s battalion was on the road south of 3/7
and attacked west in an attempt to get in the rear of the enemy holding
up 3/7. Easy and Fox Companies attacked abreast and by 1800 the two
battalions had joined on the northeastern slopes of the objective. In
view of the approaching darkness, however, the attack was postponed
until morning, and the troops consolidated for the night short of the
objective, which was seized the following morning.

Litzenberg’s plan for the seizure of the heights overlooking the
northern entrance to Funchilin Pass provided for the Army Provisional
Battalion to take Objective B. The soldiers jumped off at 0800, on the
left of the MSR, supported by two tanks of the 5th Marines AT Company.
By 0900 the battalion had secured its objective without meeting any
resistance. Litzenberg then ordered a further advance of 800 yards to
the northwestern tip of Hill 1457. At 1330 the Army troops secured
their second objective, still without resistance and tied in with 1/5
for the night.[592]

    [592] FSCC tel to G-3, X Corps, 1245 8 Dec 50 in G-3 Journal; X
          Corps _CR_, 8 Dec 50; RCT-7 _URpt 6_; 7thMar _SAR_, 25;
          3/7 _SAR_, n. p.; MajGen H. L. Litzenberg Comments, 17
          Nov 56; LtCol W. Morris Comments, 15 Oct 56.

Lieutenant Colonel Davis having become regimental executive officer
after Dowsett was wounded, Major Sawyer took over command of 1/7. His
plan called for the battalion to advance about 2000 yards down the road
and wait for 3/7 to come up on his right flank. Then the two battalions
would move along together.

The 1st Battalion jumped off at 0800 and reached its phase line without
opposition. First Lieutenant Bobbie B. Bradley’s platoon advanced down
the road to gain contact with the Chinese while the remainder of the
battalion halted. When 2/7 began its attack in support of 3/7, Sawyer’s
battalion moved out. Bradley’s patrol having run into opposition
from the northern reaches of Hill 1304, Companies A and C moved west
of the MSR in a double envelopment of the enemy position. Company B
continued the advance towards Objective C, meeting a heavy cross fire
from Chinese to their front and on Hill 1304. Lieutenant Kurcaba was
killed and Lieutenants Chew Een Lee and Joseph R. Owen wounded. First
Lieutenant William W. Taylor took command and managed to clear the
enemy from his front just before dusk.

Able and Charlie Companies faced less resistance in overrunning the
foxholes and two bunkers on Hill 1304. With dusk falling, Sawyer did
not attempt a further advance. Able and Charlie Companies dug in on
Hill 1304 while Baker set up a perimeter slightly short of Objective C.
The first serials of the truck convoy had moved closely on the heels
of 1/7 and had to be backed up to a level area near Objective A. There
they formed a perimeter reinforced with H&S and Weapons Companies of

    [593] 7thMar _SAR_, 25; RCT-7 _URpt 6_; CO 1/7 msg to CO
          7thMar, 1341 8 Dec 50; Geer, _The New Breed_, 362–363.
          LtCol W. D. Sawyer Comments, 26 Oct 56.

Division OpnO 26-50 had directed Lieutenant Colonel Murray’s RCT-5 to
await orders before attacking Objective D. It was nearly noon on the
8th before the 1st Battalion, in assault, was directed to move out from

Lieutenant Colonel Stevens followed the MSR for a mile, then sent
two companies out to the left to occupy the objective, Hill 1457.
Baker Company seized the intervening high ground and set up to cover
the attack of Charlie Company up the slopes of the ridge leading to
the objective. Charlie Company fell in with a patrol from the Army
Provisional Battalion attached to the RCT-7, and the two combined
forces to drive the enemy off the high ground about 1550. A weak
Chinese counterattack was easily repulsed, and at 1700 as darkness fell
Baker and Charlie Companies tied in with the Army troops while Able
Company formed its own perimeter overlooking the MSR. In reserve, the
41st Commando moved into the high ground behind 1/5 to guard against

    [594] 1/5 _SAR_, 19; S-3 5thMar tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, 1800 8
          Dec 50; Maj Stewart tel to CO 5thMar, 1940 8 Dec 50;
          5thMar _SAR_, 34; Smith, _Notes_, 1072.

The day’s story would not be complete without reference to the
Treadway bridge train, which moved out about 1400 on the 8th in the
trace of 1/7. Instructions were to install the sections at the first
opportunity, but the site had not been secured as darkness approached.
A few Chinese mortar rounds falling in the vicinity of the vulnerable
Brockway trucks influenced a decision to return them closer to

    [595] G-3 1stMarDiv tel to CO 1stEngBn, 1325 8 Dec 50; G-3
          1stMarDiv tel to G-3 X Corps, 1450 8 Dec 50, in G-3
          Journal, X Corps _CR_, 8 Dec 50; D/Engrs _SAR_, 10.

Summing up the attacks of 8 December, weather and terrain had done more
than the enemy to prevent all assault units of the 1st Marine Division
from securing their assigned objectives. Casualties had not been heavy,
however, and for the most part the troops were in a position for a
renewal of their efforts in the morning.

As for the Koto-ri perimeter, the 8th had passed with only scattered
small-arms fire being received by the 2d and 3d Battalions of the 1st
Marines, in Division reserve. All day the Dog Company roadblock, on
the route to Hagaru, was like a dam holding back the human torrent of
Korean refugees. From this throng rose a low-pitched wail of misery
as homeless men, women, and children huddled without shelter in the
snowstorm of the 8th. It was a distressing spectacle to the Marines in
the perimeter, yet the refugees could not be admitted because of the
probability that Chinese soldiers had infiltrated among them, watching
for an opportunity to use hidden weapons. There was little the Marines
could offer by way of succor except medical care in some instances.
Two women gave birth during the bitterly cold night of the 8th with
the assistance of Navy medics. In the morning the crowd of refugees,
swollen by new arrivals, waited with the patience of the humble to
follow the Marine rear guard to the seacoast.[596]

    [596] 2/1 _SAR_, 18–19.

White is the color of mourning in Korea, and snowflakes drifted down
gently over the common grave in which 117 Marines, soldiers, and Royal
Marine Commandos were buried on the 8th at Koto-ri. Lack of time had
prevented the digging of individual graves in the frozen soil.[597]
Although the necessity of conducting a mass burial was regretted, all
available space in planes and vehicles was needed for the evacuation of

    [597] Smith, _Notes_, 1112–1113; Smith, _Chronicle_, 110.
          According to the terms of the Armistice of 27 July 1953,
          the remains were delivered to the Americans after the

_Marine Operations of 9 and 10 December_

New snow sparkled in the sunlight as the day of 9 December dawned
bright, clear, and cold. A brief reconnaissance convinced Captain Noren
that in the early darkness of the previous evening he had stopped
one ridge short of his objective--the northwest slopes of Hill 1081,
covering the approach to the cable underpass. Baker Company of 1/1
moved forward without CCF interference to the position.

Captain Barrow had his men test-fire their weapons before mounting
the final assault on the dominating knob of the hill. This proved to
be a wise precaution, since many of the mechanisms had frozen. After
thawing them out, Able Company attacked in column with the 1st Platoon
in the lead. Although the assault troops had the benefit of excellent
air, artillery, and mortar support, they came under intense small-arms
fire from Communists occupying camouflaged log and sandbag bunkers.
McClelland’s men were hard hit but his left flank squad worked its way
forward in brief rushes to positions within 200 yards of Objective E,
the topographical crest of Hill 1081. At this point Staff Sergeant
Ernest J. Umbaugh organized a squad grenade attack which wiped out the
first CCF bunker.

A stretch of about 175 yards, swept bare in places by the icy wind, now
lay between the Marines and the final knob. Barrow perceived that this
deadly CCF field of fire could be skirted by troops working their way
around a shelf jutting from the military crest. Under cover of fire
from his 60mm mortars and a strike by four Corsairs, he brought up his
2d and 3d platoons. While McClelland profited by the cover of scrub
trees to come up behind the objective, Jones built up a base of fire to
cover the direct assault of Roach’s platoon as it stormed up the crest.
McClelland had to contend with the enemy’s last-ditch stand in two log
bunkers which the 1st platoon knocked out by tossing grenades through
the embrasures. The Communists resisted to the last gasp, but at 1500
the Marines were in undisputed possession of Hill 1081.

Sergeant Umbaugh paid with his life at the moment of victory, and
Barrow had only 111 able-bodied men left of the 223 he had led out
from Chinghung-ni. But the Marines had won the decisive battle of the
advance from Koto-ri; they held the key height dominating Funchilin
Pass, though 530 counted enemy dead testified to the desperation of the
CCF defense.

Able Company had the most spectacular part, but the victory owed to
the united efforts of all three rifle companies and supporting arms.
While Barrow held the crest of the hill, Noren pushed farther along
the cable car track, meeting stubborn resistance from scattered enemy

    [598] 1stMar _SAR_, 24–26; Bates interv, 16Mar53, 108–112;
          Schmuck-Bridges-Bates interv, 8 Aug 56; Marshall, “Last
          Barrier, II,” 40–46; Schmuck Comments.

The collapse of CCF resistance on Hill 1081 had a beneficial effect
on the Marine advance from Koto-ri. RCT-7 continued its attack on the
morning of the 9th with effective air and artillery support. Lieutenant
Hovatter’s Able Company of 1/7 seized the remainder of Hill 1304 while
Lieutenant Taylor’s Baker Company moved south to Objective C. The Army
Provisional Battalion occupied the high ground between Objectives C and

These movements were carried out against ineffectual enemy resistance
or none at all. Whenever a few Communists dared to raise their heads
along the MSR, the airborne TADC in the R5D had the communications
equipment to control aircraft on station and to direct their employment
in response to ground force units.

The 1st Battalion of RCT-5 maintained its positions on Objective D
(Hill 1457) all day. At Koto-ri the other two battalions and regimental
headquarters made preparations to move out the following day.

As a preliminary to the withdrawal of RCT-1 (-) from Koto-ri, the 3d
Battalion was relieved in its positions along the perimeter by the 41st
Commando. Lieutenant Colonel Ridge’s men then moved out to relieve
3/7 on Objective A and occupy Objective B. The 2d Battalion of RCT-7
(less a company with the regimental train) outposted the MSR between
Objectives A and C at about 1630.[599]

    [599] 7thMar _SAR_, 26; RCT-7 _URpt 6_; 3/7 _SAR_, n. p.;
          1stMar _SAR_, 25; 3/1 _SAR_, 8; 5thMar _SAR_, 35; 1/5
          _SAR_, 19; Smith, _Notes_, 1077; Sawyer Comments, 25 Oct

Captain Morris’ Charlie Company and a platoon of Baker Company,
1/7, moved down the MSR and secured the bridge site after a short
fight. While Charlie Company outposted the area, the Baker platoon
crossed behind the broken bridge and suddenly found about 50 Chinese
in foxholes. “They were so badly frozen,” reported Sawyer, “that
the men simply lifted them from the holes and sat them on the road
where Marines from Charlie Company took them over.”[600] Late in the
afternoon a patrol from 1/7 attempted to make contact with 1/1 by
moving down the MSR. Chinese fire forced the men off the road and
they scrambled across the defile below the overpass and into 1/1’s

    [600] Sawyer Comments, 25 Oct 56.

    [601] _Ibid._, Schmuck Comments.

Lieutenant Colonel Partridge arrived with Weapons Company, 1/7, and the
bridge sections followed in the Brockway truck. Even the enemy lent a
hand when Communist prisoners were put to work as laborers. After the
abutments were constructed, a Brockway truck laid the treadways and
plywood panels in position so that both trucks and tanks could cross.

At about 1530, three hours after the start, the bridge was in place.
Partridge drove his jeep to the top of the pass to inform Lieutenant
Colonel Banks, Commanding Division Train No. 1, that he could begin the

Sawyer’s troops had not been idle that afternoon and a total of about
60 CCF prisoners were taken during attacks to drive the enemy back
from the bridge site. At about 1700 Partridge returned, and an hour
later the first elements of the Division trains began to cross. Only
a few vehicles had reached the other side when a disastrous accident
threatened to undo everything that had been accomplished. A tractor
towing an earth-moving pan broke through the plywood center panel,
rendering it useless. And with the treadways spaced as they were, the
way was closed to wheeled vehicles.

A first ray of hope glimmered when an expert tractor driver, Technical
Sergeant Wilfred H. Prosser, managed to back the machine off the
wrecked bridge. Then Partridge did some mental calculations and came up
with the answer that a total width of 136 inches would result if the
treadways were placed as far apart as possible. This would allow a very
slight margin at both extremes--two inches to spare for the M-26s on
the treadways; and barely half an inch for the jeeps using the 45-inch
interval between the metal lips on the inboard edges of the treadways.

Thanks to skillful handling of the bulldozers the treadways were soon
respaced. And in the early darkness Partridge’s solution paid off
when the first jeep crossed, its tires scraping both edges. Thus the
convoy got under way again as an engineer detachment guided vehicles
across with flashlights while Sawyer’s troops kept the enemy at a

    [602] Partridge interv, 25 Jun 51, 56–65.

Advance reports of the bridge drop had brought press representatives
flocking to Koto-ri in casualty evacuation planes. David Duncan, of
_Life_, a former Marine, took realistic photographs of the troops which
attracted nation-wide attention. Keyes Beech sent out daily reports
while making notes for a book about his adventures in Korea. Miss
Marguerite Higgins, who refused to be outdone by male colleagues, was
twice requested to leave Koto-ri before nightfall by Marine officers
who respected her pluck as a reporter but felt that the perimeter was
no place for a woman in the event of an enemy attack.

Hundreds of words were written about the bridge drop. Some of these
accounts were so dramatized as to give Stateside newspaper readers
the impression that the span had been parachuted to earth in one
piece, settling down neatly over the abutments. Headlines reported the
progress of the 1st Marine Division every day, and front-page maps made
every American household familiar with the names of such obscure Korean
mountain hamlets at Koto-ri and Chinhung-ni.

General Shepherd and Colonel Frederick P. Henderson flew up to the
perimeter on the 9th for a conference with General Smith. Before their
departure they were informed that all remaining casualties at Koto-ri
would be evacuated that day.[603]

    [603] Smith, _Notes_, 1114; _Chronicle_, 111–112.

All night long on 9–10 December an endless stream of troops and
vehicles poured across the span that was doubtless the world’s most
famous bridge for the moment. “The sensation throughout that night,”
recalled Lieutenant Colonel Partridge in retrospect, “was extremely
eerie. There seemed to be a glow over everything. There was no
illumination and yet you seemed to see quite well; there was artillery
fire, and the sound of many artillery pieces being discharged; there
was the crunching of the many feet and many vehicles on the crisp snow.
There were many North Korean refugees on one side of the column and
Marines walking on the other side. Every once in a while, there would
be a baby wailing. There were cattle on the road. Everything added to
the general sensation of relief, or expected relief, and was about as
eerie as anything I’ve ever experienced in my life.”[604]

    [604] Partridge interv, 25 Jun 51, 66.

Advancing jerkily by stops and starts, the column met no serious
opposition from Chinese who appeared to be numbed by cold and defeat.
Prisoners taken that night brought the total up to more than a hundred
during the movement from Koto-ri to Chinhung-ni. Some of them were
suffering from gangrene, the result of neglected frozen limbs, and
others showed the effects of prolonged malnutrition. These captives
testified that CCF losses from both battle and non-battle casualties
had been crippling.

At 0245 on the morning of the 10th the leading elements of the 1st
Battalion, RCT-7, began to arrive at Chinhung-ni. A traffic regulating
post had been set up at that point the day before by Colonel Edward
W. Snedeker, Division Deputy Chief of Staff, for the purpose of
controlling the movement of Marine units to the south.[605]

    [605] Smith, Notes, 1077; Narrative of Col E. W. Snedeker [Apr

The remaining elements of RCT-7 were strung out from Objective C
to the cableway crossing of the MSR. Traffic moved without a hitch
until 0400, when two trucks bogged down in a U-shaped bypass across a
partially frozen stream about 2000 yards beyond the treadway bridge.
Major Frederick Simpson, commanding the 1st Divisional Train, had the
vehicles pushed off to one side while the engineers built up the road.
After a delay of three hours the column got under way again, with the
first vehicles reaching Chinhung-ni at 0830. Ultimately both Division
trains got through without a fight, thanks to avoiding the delays
which had caused so much trouble during the advance from Hagaru to

    [606] HqBn _HD Dec 50_, 9; 1stMTBn _SAR_, 13; Simpson interv,
          11 Apr 51; LtCol F. Simpson Comments, 22 Oct 56.

Following the trains, the 7th Marines moved through the Pass.
Lieutenant Colonel Lockwood’s 2/7 (less Company E, guarding the
regimental train) led the way for the regimental command group, the
Provisional Army Battalion, 3/7 and the 3d Battalion of the 11th

    [607] 7thMar _SAR_, 26; 3/11 _SAR_, 9.

During the early morning hours of the 10th George Company of 3/1
beat off an attack on Objective A by an enemy force estimated at 350
men. This was the only noteworthy instance of CCF activity otherwise
limited to scattered shots, and it was believed that the Communists
were side-slipping southward, parallel with the MSR. Confirmation of
that assumption came at 1200, when Able Company of 1/1 sighted Chinese
marching in platoon and company columns through the valley only about
1000 yards east of Hill 1081. Almost simultaneously other dense CCF
columns crossed the field of fire of the attached Army self-propelled
AAA guns while pouring around an adjacent slope. Lieutenant Colonel
Schmuck called immediately for air strikes and artillery fires. Able
Company hit the enemy with 4.2″ and 81mm mortar rounds, and the Army
teams cut loose with .50 cal. and 40mm bursts. The slaughter continued
for an hour as the Chinese kept on moving southward with that fatalism
which never failed to astonish the Marines.

Baker Company of 1/1 launched an assault with close air support at
1300 on a CCF strong point adjacent to the railroad and north of
the battalion’s positions overlooking the MSR. Noren’s men found
3.5″ rocket launchers their most effective weapon when clearing the
Communists from heavily timbered and sandbagged bunkers. Excellent
close air support was received, though two Marine KIA casualties
resulted from an error by Navy planes.[608]

    [608] 1stMarDiv _PIR 47_. Bates interv, 16Mar53;
          Schmuck-Bridges-Bates interv, 8 Aug 56; Schmuck Comments.

All day the seemingly endless column of vehicles and troops wound
southward along the twisting mountain road. At 1030 General Smith
and key members of his staff displaced from Koto-ri and proceeded by
C-47 and helicopter to the rear CP of the Division at Hungnam. By
1800 both Division trains, all elements of RCT-7 and the 1st, 3d, and
4th Battalions of the 11th Marines had closed Chinhung-ni. There the
infantrymen entrucked for Hungnam.[609]

    [609] 7thMar _SAR_, 26; 11thMar _SAR_, 9–10; Smith _Chronicle_,
          112; 1stMTBn _SAR_, 14; Gen O. P. Smith ltr, 21 Oct 56.

The 5th Marines column followed the 7th, with 3/5 leading the way
and 2/5 close behind. Just south of Objective A a brief fire fight
was necessary to silence a CCF machine gun, whereupon the movement
continued without further incident until the two battalions reached
Chinhung-ni at dusk. The 1st Battalion was not relieved by 2/1 until
1800 and did not close Chinhung-ni until the early morning hours of the

    [610] 5thMar _SAR_, 34–36; 1/5 _SAR_, 20; 2/5 _SAR_, 31; 3/5
          _SAR_, 17–18; LtCol J. W. Stevens, II, Comments, 19 Oct

The withdrawal of RCT-1 (-) and attached units from Koto-ri commenced
on the afternoon of the 10th. The 3d Battalion, it will be recalled,
had relieved RCT-7 units the day before on Objectives A, B and C, and
the 1st Battalion occupied Objective E. The regimental plan called for
1/1 to hold the Hill 1081 area and protect the MSR until the other
units of the regiment passed through, whereupon Schmuck’s battalion was
to pull out with the tanks at the end of the column as the rear guard.

The movement from the Koto-ri perimeter commenced at 1500 when H&S
Company of RCT-1 departed. The 2d Battalion (-) of the 11th Marines
fell in behind, followed in order by a detachment of the 185th (C)
Engineers, USA, the 2d Battalion of the 31st Infantry, USA, the 2d
Battalion of RCT-1, the Division Reconnaissance Company and Lieutenant
Colonel Milne’s tank column, consisting of Companies B and D of the 1st
Tank Battalion, the Tank Company of the 31st Infantry, USA, and the
Tank Platoon of the 5th Marines AT Company.[611]

    [611] 1stMar _SAR_, 26; 2/1 _SAR_, 19; 1stMar _(S-3) URpt
          13_, 16–17. The Marine Provisional Tank Platoon had
          reached Koto-ri with only two M4A3 tanks, one of which
          had to be cannibalized. Then the platoon was disbanded
          and integrated with its remaining M4A3 into B and D
          Companies. All the other tanks in the column were M-26s.

As the last elements left Koto-ri the 92d FA Battalion at Chinhung-ni
began laying heavy concentrations on the evacuated base. Only scattered
shots were received by the tail of the column from Chinese troops
mingling with the Korean refugees. Several small enemy groups on the
flanks of the column were taken under fire and dispersed.[612] But with
3/1 guarding Objectives A, B and C, no serious opposition developed
during the first stage of the withdrawal.

    [612] CO 1stMar msg to CG 1stMarDiv, 1700 10 Dec 50; Col C. A.
          Youngdale Comments, 19 Nov 56.

_Completion of Division Breakout_

At dusk on 10 December all indications made it appear that the movement
of the 1st Marine Division southward would be completed according to
plan with only minor losses of personnel and equipment. Following the
seizure of Hill 1081, casualties had been comparatively light and enemy
resistance ineffectual. Then, between midnight and 0100 on 11 December,
two reverses occurred in areas the Marines supposed to be safe.

The MSR south of Chinhung-ni was under the protection of troops of the
3d Infantry Division--Task Force Dog at Chinhung-ni, and two battalions
of the 65th Infantry in the vicinity of Sudong and Majon-dong. It was
manifestly impossible, of course, for the Army troops to guard every
yard of the road, for the rugged terrain offered many potential ambush
sites.[613] Guerrilla activity had been reported near Sudong, but the
division trains and the 5th and 7th Marines had passed through without

    [613] MajGen E. W. Snedeker Comments, n. d., and MajGen A. D.
          Mead, USA, ltr to Gen Snedeker, 6 Dec 56.

On the afternoon of the 10th, Korean civilians warned of an impending
attack by Chinese soldiers who had infiltrated into this village. As
previously indicated, Colonel Snedeker had arrived at Chinhung-ni
the previous afternoon. At his suggestion Task Force Dog sent out an
infantry patrol which returned with a report of no enemy activity.

At dusk an attack on the traffic turnaround outside Sudong caused
Snedeker to halt all traffic at Chinhung-ni until the MSR was cleared.
After a fire fight in the darkness, elements of the 65th Infantry
reported at dusk that the enemy roadblock had been cleared, and the
Marine column resumed its movement southward.[614]

    [614] This is probably the same action referred to in 3dInfDiv
          _CR, Dec 50_, as occurring at 0130 11 Dec. The account of
          the Sudong ambush is based on: 1stMar _SAR_, 26; 1stMar
          _URpt (S-3) 13_, 18; Narrative of Col W. C. Winston,
          USA, 14 Jan 55; Cpl M. L. Wasson ltr to Col Winston, 16
          May 51; Cpl D. E. Klepsig interv by H. L. Page, Jr., 6
          Mar 52; Capt N. A. Canzona and J. C. Hubbell, “The 12
          Incredible Days of Col John Page,” _Readers Digest_,
          lxix, no. 4 (Apr 56), 84–86. The Page and Winston
          material is in the possession of Capt Canzona.

During the next few hours Colonel Snedeker’s worst problem was lack
of transport. The Division had requested that the maximum number of
trucks, ambulances and narrow-gauge freight cars be collected at
Majon-dong, the new railhead. Only about 150 trucks were actually made
available, however, 110 of them being from Division service units in
the Hungnam area.

In spite of this shortage, the flow of traffic was being maintained
when an explosion of CCF activity brought every thing to a stop at
Sudong shortly after midnight. Mountain defiles had usually been the
scene of enemy ambushes, but this time the Chinese swarmed out from
behind houses in the village with grenades and burp guns. Several truck
drivers of the RCT-1 regimental train were killed by the first shots
and their vehicles set on fire. In the flickering light a confused
fight ensued as trucks to the rear stopped. The Marines of the RCT-1
train resisted as best they could, but leadership was lacking until
Lieutenant Colonel John U. D. Page, USA, and Marine PFC Marvin L.
Wasson teamed up as a two-man task force which routed a group of
about 20 Chinese at the head of the vehicle column. The valiant Army
artillery officer paid with his life, and Wasson received two wounds
from a grenade explosion. Pausing only for first aid, he got back
into the fight as another Army officer, Lieutenant Colonel Waldon
C. Winston, commanding the 52d Transportation Truck Battalion, USA,
directed a counterattack by Marine and Army service troops. Harry
Smith, a United Press correspondent, also had a part in the action.

Wasson called for a machine gun to cover him while he fired three white
phosphorus rounds from a 75mm recoilless at a house serving the enemy
as a stronghold. It burst into flames and the survivors who ran out
were cut down by machine-gun fire. The Marine PFC, a jeep driver who
was dubbed “The Spirit of ’76” by Winston, then volunteered to help
push trucks of exploding ammunition off the road.

Winston gradually brought order out of chaos, but it was daybreak
before the MSR was cleared so that the column could start moving again.
The RCT-1 regimental train had suffered casualties of eight killed and
21 wounded, while equipment losses consisted of nine trucks and an
armored personnel carrier.

Lack of infantry protection was a factor in another reverse which
occurred at the tail of the Division column. General Smith’s final
orders for withdrawal provided that the tanks were to come out behind
the 1st Marines’ train with the infantry of that regiment bringing up
the rear.[615] Thus a breakdown in the armored column would not block
the road for wheeled vehicles, yet the tanks would have protection
against close-in attack.

    [615] CG 1stMarDiv ltr to COs 1st, 5th, and 7thMars, 1530 9 Dec

The 1st Marines prepared detailed plans for the leapfrogging of
battalions during the final withdrawal phase. In effect these called
for 2/1 to relieve 1/5 on Objective D and remain there until relieved
in turn by 2/31. The Army battalion would hold until 3/1 passed
through, then follow Ridge’s battalion down the MSR. After 2/1, 3/1 and
2/31 had passed through Lieutenant Colonel Schmuck’s positions around
Hill 1081, 1/1 would follow as rear guard.[616]

    [616] 1stMar _OpnO 16-50_, 7 Dec 50. This order issued before
          the decision to send the tanks down the MSR in one group
          makes no mention of protecting the armor.

The first departure from plan occurred when Lieutenant Colonel Sutter
discovered, after starting up Hill 1457, that Objective D was so far
from the road and so steep that most of the night would be required
merely for the battalion to make the climb. No enemy having been
sighted, he asked permission to return to the road and continue along
the MSR. This request was granted by Colonel Puller and 2/1 resumed
the march, followed by 2/11(-), 2/31 and H&S Company of RCT-1 in that
order. Lieutenant Colonel Ridge’s 3/1, which remained on Objectives A,
B and C until 2100, fell in at the end of the regimental column.[617]

    [617] 1stMar _URpt (S-3) 13_, 18; Sutter interv, 8 Aug 56.

About midnight, after waiting for 3/1 to move down the pass, the
tank column began its descent with only Recon Company as protection.
Lieutenant Hargett’s platoon of 28 men guarded the last ten tanks and
the other two platoons screened the middle and head of the column.[618]
Behind the last machine, approaching as close as they dared, were the
thousands of refugees. CCF soldiers had mingled with them, watching
for an opportunity to strike, and Hargett had the task of keeping the
Koreans at a respectful distance.

    [618] Neither Capt Bruce F. Williams, commanding Baker Company,
          nor his platoon leaders realized that Hargett’s men were
          screening the rear of the tank column. Maj B. F. Williams
          Comments, 26 Dec 56.

Progress was slow as the 40 tanks inched around the icy curves with
lights on and dismounted crewmen acting as guides. Shortly before
0100 the ninth machine from the rear had a brake freeze which brought
the tail of the column to a halt for 45 minutes. The rest of the
tanks clanked on ahead, leaving the last nine stranded along the MSR
southwest of Hill 1457 and about 2000 yards from the treadway bridge.
The enemy took advantage of the delay when five CCF soldiers emerged
in file from among the refugees as a voice in English called that they
wished to surrender.[619]

    [619] This description of the ambush at the rear of the tank
          column is based upon: Capt E. C. Hargett, interv by
          HistBr, G-3, 14 Dec 53; Maj W. Gall, 1stLt R. B. Grossman
          [sic], 1stLt F. R. Kraince, 1stLt E. C. Hargett, 2dLt
          C. E. Patrick, and 2dLt D. W. Sharon, interv by Capt K.
          A. Shutts, 11 Feb 51; _MCB Study_, II-C-111–113; Smith,
          _Notes_, 1087; HqBn _URpt 14_; Williams Comments, 26 Dec
          56; Maj E. C. Hargett Comments, 17 Oct 56.

Hargett went to meet them cautiously, covered by Corporal George A. J.
Amyotte’s BAR. Suddenly the leading Chinese stepped aside to reveal
the other four producing hidden burp guns and grenades. Hargett pulled
the trigger of his carbine but it failed him in the sub-zero cold. The
former all-Marine football star then hurled himself at the enemy group,
swinging his carbine. He crushed a Chinese skull like an eggshell, but
a grenade explosion wounded him as the ambush developed into an attack
from the high ground on the flank as well as the rear.

Before the remaining four Chinese could do Hargett any further harm,
Amyotte shot them down, one by one. The fight turned into a wild melee
in which friend could hardly be distinguished from foe.

Hargett’s platoon slowly fell back until the last tank was lost to
the enemy along with its crew. The men in the next to last tank had
buttoned up and could not be aroused to their danger by banging on the
hull with rifle butts. While making the effort Hargett was stunned by
an enemy explosive charge which blew PFC Robert D. DeMott over the
sheer drop at the side of the road, leaving him unconscious on a
ledge. The other men of his platoon believed that he had been killed
and continued their withdrawal, only to find the next seven tanks
abandoned with their hatches open.

Amyotte, wearing body armor, was covering the retirement, firing from
prone, when a CCF grenade exploded after landing squarely on his back.
The Chinese must have suspected black magic when he went on cooly
picking off opponents as if nothing had happened.[620]

    [620] Developed by the scientists of the Naval Field Medical
          Research Laboratory at Camp Lejeune, the ordinary utility
          jackets contained thin plates of fiberglas which would
          stop most shell or grenade fragments. Five hundred
          jackets had been air-shipped to the 1st Marine Division
          for field tests, but other supplies had a higher priority
          during the Chosin Reservoir campaign and only the 50
          garments sent to Recon Company were worn in combat. Lynn
          Montross, “Development of Our Body Armor,” _Marine Corps
          Gazette_, xxxix, no. 6 (Jun 55), 10–16. The full story of
          the development of body armor, one of the most important
          tactical innovations of the Korean conflict, will be told
          in the next two volumes of this series.

It was a precarious situation for Hargett and his remaining 24 men. But
they fought their way out without further casualties, and meanwhile
tank crewmen had succeeded in freeing the brake of the lead tank
and driving two tanks down the road. One of them was brought out by
Corporal C. P. Lett, who had never driven before. “I’m going to get
this tank out of here even if I get killed doing it!” he told Hargett.
By sheer determination, coupled with luck, he maneuvered around the
obstacles ahead and down the icy road to safety.

Captain Gould and his demolitions crew of engineers had been waiting
for hours to blow the treadway bridge after the last elements of the
Division crossed. With the passage of the two tanks and Hargett’s
platoon, it was believed that all Marines who could be extricated were
safely over the span. On this assumption, which later proved to be
erroneous, CWO Willie Harrison set off the demolition charges.

The losses of the Recon platoon were three men MIA (two of them later
changed to KIA) and 12 wounded. Crews of the two rear tanks were
missing and presumed dead.[621] Hargett’s losses would have been more
severe except for the fact that some of his men were wearing Marine
body armor made of light-weight plastics.

    [621] CO 1stTkBn tel to G-3 1stMarDiv, n.t., 11 Dec 50, gives
          tank personnel losses as 4 MIA.

To another man of Hargett’s platoon went the distinction of being the
last Marine out at the finish of the Chosin Reservoir breakout. When
durable PFC DeMott recovered consciousness, after being blown over the
brink by the CCF pack charge explosion, he found himself precariously
perched on a ledge overhanging the chasm. Slightly wounded, he
managed to climb back on the road, where he encountered only Korean
refugees. Upon hearing a tremendous detonation he realized that the
bridge had been blown. He remembered, however, that pedestrians could
cross through the gatehouse above the penstocks, and he came down the
mountain with the refugees to Chinhung-ni. There he was given a welcome
befitting one who has cheated death of a sure thing.

The remaining tanks made it safely to Chinhung-ni without benefit of
infantry protection other than what was afforded by Recon Company.[622]
Lieutenant Colonel Schmuck did not receive a copy of 1stMar OpnO 16-50,
he explained, his only information being a Frag O designating 1/1 as
rear guard and “a hasty, 30-second conference” with Colonel Puller
when the 1st Marine command group passed through. “I was informed,” he
added, “that the tanks were in the rear of the 1st Marines, that 2d Bn,
31st Infantry was bringing up the rear, and that as soon as that unit
passed, I would employ my battalion as rear guard.... No mention at all
was made of the Reconnaissance Company. In order to check off the units
that passed endlessly through my lines, I established a check point at
the incline railway overpass and kept a close record of movement.”

    [622] 1stTkBn _SAR_, 36; Snedeker narrative, Apr 51; Statement
          of N. A. Canzona, n. d.; Williams Comments, 26 Dec 56.

A great deal of intermingling of units was observed by the 1/1
commander. At 0300, after sighting the lights of the tanks, he
gave orders for Able Company to commence the withdrawal, in order
“to consolidate my battalion for the rear guard action prior to
daybreak.... When the first tanks reached my position, I was first
startled to find no 2/31 accompanying them and then flabbergasted to
discover that the Recon Company was somewhere out there ‘screening’ the
movement. This canceled my carefully laid covering plan.”[623]

    [623] Schmuck Comments.

No further trouble resulted for the tanks and Recon Company. Ahead
of them the infantry units continued the movement southward from
Chinhung-ni chiefly by marching because of the shortage of trucks.
Lieutenant Colonel Sutter’s men proved that footslogging is not a
lost art by covering the 22 miles from Koto-ri to Majon-dong in a
20-hour hike with packs, heavy parkas, individual weapons and sleeping

    [624] LtCol Sutter interv, 8 Aug 56.

Battle casualties of the division for the final stage, the attack from
Koto-ri southward, were as follows:

       Date   |   KIA   |   DOW   |   MIA   |   WIA   | Totals[625]
   8 Dec      |      29 |       8 |       4 |     127 |       168
   9 Dec      |       6 |       7 |       1 |      46 |        60
  10 Dec      |       7 |       5 |       8 |      45 |        65
  11 Dec      |       9 |       4 |       3 |      38 |        54
      Totals  |      51 |      24 |      16 |     256 |       347

    [625] DivAdjutant _SAR_, appendix II, 3.

At 1300 on 11 December the last elements of the Division cleared
Chinhung-ni. Majon-dong had been left behind at 1730 without audible
regrets; and by 2100 all units, with the exception of the tanks, had
reached assigned assembly areas in the Hamhung-Hungnam area. The
armored column arrived at the LST staging area of Hungnam half an hour
before midnight, thus bringing to an end the breakout of the 1st Marine

    [626] Smith, _Notes_, 1091.


The Hungnam Redeployment

_Marines Billeted in Hungnam Area--Embarkation of 1st Marine
Division--The Last Ten Days at Hungnam--Marines Arrive at New Assembly
Area--Contributions of Marine Aviation--Losses Sustained by the
Enemy--Results of the Reservoir Campaign_

“Wave and look happy!” These were the first words to greet some of the
weary, unshaven Marines upon arrival in the Hamhung-Hungnam area. They
grinned obligingly in response to the press photographers snapping
pictures of the motor column from the roadside. They were happy indeed
to be back in a world of hot meals and hot baths. They were happy to be

Marines and attached Army troops found it astonishing as well as
flattering to learn that such expressions as “epic” and “saga” and
“miracle of deliverance” were being applied to the breakout in American
newspapers. The press correspondents in turn were astonished to learn
that never for a moment had the men doubted that they would slug their
way out to the seacoast.

“The running fight of the Marines and two battalions of the Army’s 7th
Infantry Division from Hagaru to Hamhung--40 miles by air but 60 miles
over the icy, twisting mountainous road--was a battle unparalleled in
U. S. military history,” commented _Time_. “It had some aspects of
Bataan, some of Anzio, some of Dunkirk, some of Valley Forge, some of
the ‘Retreat of the 10,000’ (401–400 B. C.) as described in Xenophon’s

Not until the Marines had fought their way as far as Chinhung-ni, the
weekly newsmagazine continued, did there appear to be much hope that
they would come out as an organized force. Then “for the first time it
looked as if most of the 20,000 [Marines] would get through.”[627]

    [627] _Time, the Weekly Newsmagazine_, lvi, no. 25 (18 Dec 50),
          (Pacific Edition), 18–19.

By reading contemporary press accounts it is possible to recapture
the mood of the American public upon realization of the disaster
which had overtaken the Eighth Army. “It was defeat--the worst defeat
the United States ever suffered,” reported _Time_ in the issue of 11
December 1950. “The Nation received the fearful news from Korea with a
strange-seeming calmness--the kind of confused, fearful, half-believing
matter-of-factness with which many a man has reacted upon learning that
he has cancer or tuberculosis. The news of Pearl Harbor, nine years ago
to the month, had pealed out like a fire bell. But the numbing facts
of the defeat in Korea seeped into the national consciousness slowly
out of a jumble of headlines, bulletins, and communiques; days passed
before its enormity finally became plain.”[628]

    [628] _Time_, lvi, no. 24 (11 Dec 50), (Pacific Edition), 9.

_Newsweek_ called it “America’s worst military licking since Pearl
Harbor. Perhaps it might become the worst military disaster in American
history. Barring a military or diplomatic miracle, the approximately
two-thirds of the U. S. Army that had been thrown into Korea might have
to be evacuated in a new Dunkerque to save them from being lost in a
new Bataan.”[629]

    [629] _Newsweek_, xxxvi, no. 24 (11 Dec 50) 11. “Such
          quotations,” comments General MacArthur, referring to
          the excerpts from _Time_ and _Newsweek_, “certainly
          do not reflect the mood of the American public at the
          time, but rather the emotional reaction of irresponsible
          writers.... Neither [of the two news magazines] had the
          slightest access to the basic information and factors
          which involved the decisions and operations of our
          government and its higher military commanders.... The
          unreliability of these nonprofessional estimates of the
          situation is indeed eloquently demonstrated by comparing
          them with the actual military reports by the commands
          involved.” Gen D. MacArthur ltr to MajGen E. W. Snedeker,
          17 Oct 56.

The situation in west Korea was depressing enough. But at least the
Eighth Army had a line of retreat left open. It was with apprehension
that the American public stared at front-page maps showing the
“entrapment” of the 1st Marine Division and attached U. S. Army units
and British Marines by Chinese forces. Press releases from Korea did
not encourage much expectation that the encircled troops could save
themselves from destruction by any means other than surrender. In
either event the result would be a military catastrophe without a
parallel in the Nation’s history.

The first gleam of hope was inspired by the news that the Marines
had seized the initiative at Yudam-ni and cut a path through Chinese
blocking the route to Hagaru. Then came the thrilling reports of the
air drops of supplies at Hagaru and the mass evacuation of casualties
by air. Much of the humiliation felt by newspaper readers was wiped
clean by pride as General Smith’s troops fought through to Koto-ri and
Chinhung-ni in sub-zero cold. The air drop of the bridge sections was
a dramatic climax to the realization that what had been a hope was now
a fact--the Chosin Reservoir troops had saved themselves and inflicted
a major defeat on the Chinese Communists in the doing. Testimony of
POWs had left no doubt that the mission of the three CCF corps was the
annihilation of the surrounded United States forces, but the result had
been enemy losses which did not fall far short of annihilation of the
CCF units themselves.

It was in a spirit of prayerful thanksgiving, therefore, that Americans
read about the column of grimy, parka-clad men which came out of the
mountains of northeast Korea on 11 December 1950. They had come out
fighting and they had brought their wounded and most of their equipment
out with them.

_Marines Billeted in Hungnam Area_

As late as 9 December it had been General Smith’s understanding
that the 1st Marine Division would occupy a defensive sector south
and southwest of Hungnam. Then Colonel McAllister at Hungnam was
notified by X Corps that plans for the defense of the Hungnam area
had been changed, so that the Marines were to embark immediately for
redeployment by water to South Korea. General Smith was informed on the
10th, and so promptly was the new plan put into effect that the first
Marine units were already loading out before the last elements of the
Division arrived at Hungnam.[630]

    [630] The Division Embarkation Section began revision of
          its standby embarkation order on 10 December and the
          following day was able to issue Embarkation Order 3-50.
          EmbO memo to HistO, subj: Historical Diary, 19 Dec 50.

No changes were necessary in the plans for the reception of Marine
units in the Hungnam area worked out by Colonel Snedeker and Colonel
McAllister on orders of General Smith. On 8 December, Snedeker had
issued detailed instructions which designated defensive sectors for
RCT-1 at Chigyong and for RCT-5 and RCT-7 in the vicinity of Yonpo
Airfield. The 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion was charged with making
such preparations to receive the returning troops as putting up tents,
installing stoves, erecting heads and equipping galleys.[631]

    [631] Smith, _Notes_, 1065–1066, 1119; 1stMarDiv memo: “Plan
          for receiving 1stMarDiv Units, Hamhung-Hungnam area,”
          0800 8 Dec 50.

The Navy, as usual, was ready. On 15 November, it may be recalled,
General Smith had candidly expressed his misgivings about the strategic
outlook to Admiral Morehouse and Captain Sears. Morehouse was chief of
staff to Admiral Joy, ComNavFE, and Sears served in a like capacity
under Admiral Doyle, CTF-90. This frank discussion had not fallen
upon deaf ears; and on the 28th, only a few hours after the first CCF
attacks at Yudam-ni, ComNavFE alerted CTF-90 as to the possible need
for a redeployment operation by sea. The following day Joy advised that
events in the Chosin Reservoir area made it desirable for ships of
TF-90 to be on six hours’ notice either in Korean waters or at Sasebo,

    [632] Except when otherwise noted, the remainder of this
          section is based on the following sources: ComPhibGruOne,
          _Action Report, Hungnam_, 1–2, 4–6; Forney _Special
          Report_, 5–7; X Corps, _OpnO_ 9, 5 Dec 50; X Corps,
          _Special Report on Hungnam Evacuation_, 2–3; X Corps _OI
          27_, 9 Dec 50; Gen L. C. Shepherd, Jr., ltr to MajGen E.
          W. Snedeker, 25 Oct 56.

CTF-90 commenced planning immediately for either an administrative or
emergency outloading. His OpnO 19-50, issued on the 28th for planning
purposes, provided for half of the amphibious force to conduct
redeployment operations on the east coast under Doyle as ComPhibGruOne,
while the other half had a similar mission on the west coast under
Admiral Thackrey, ComPhibGruThree.

At this time ComPhibGruThree and most of the amphibious units were
in Japanese ports for upkeep and replenishment. All were directed by
Admiral Joy on the 29th to proceed to Sasebo.

ComPhibGruOne had just completed the opening of Hungnam as a major
resupply port and was preparing to withdraw to Japan with the remaining
amphibious force. On 30 November, however, the deteriorating situation
of ground forces in Korea made it necessary for all units of TF-90 to
be in Korean waters. The emergency appeared to be more critical on
the west coast, and two-thirds of the smaller amphibious ships were
allotted to the Inchon area while the transports were divided equally
between Inchon and Hungnam.

The first week of December was devoted to planning and preparing for a
redeployment of X Corps by sea which appeared more likely every day.
Mine sweeping operations were resumed at Hungnam to enlarge the swept
anchorage area and provide swept channels for gunfire support ships.

X Corps OpnO 9-50, issued on 5 December, provided for the defense of
the Hungnam area by setting up a perimeter with a final defense line
about seven miles in radius. Pie-shaped sectors of fairly equal area,
converging on the harbor, were assigned to the following major units
from east to west--1st ROK Corps (less one division at Songjin), 7th
Infantry Division, 3d Infantry Division (with the 1st KMC Regiment(-)),
and the 1st Marine Division. The Marine sector included Yonpo Airfield.

On 8 December a conference held on board the _Mount McKinley_ by
ComNavFE and CTF-90 was attended by Vice Admiral Struble, Com7thFlt,
Rear Admiral John M. Higgins, ComCruDivFive, and Lieutenant General
Shepherd, CG FMFPac.

General Shepherd was present as “Representative of Commander Naval
Forces, Far East, on matters relating to the Marine Corps and for
consultation and advice in connection with the contemplated amphibious
operation now being planned.”[633]

    [633] ComNavFE endorsement on CG FMFPac ser 8432, 6 Dec 50.
          “Although it was not necessary for me to exercise my
          command functions,” commented General Shepherd, “I had
          been orally directed to do so by both Admirals Radford
          and Joy if I considered it expedient. As I recall,
          I was directed to take charge of the naval phase of
          the evacuation of Hungnam as Representative of the
          Commander, Naval Forces, Far East. In compliance with
          these instructions I exercised close overall supervision
          of this phase of the operation and made suggestions to
          both Admiral Doyle and General Almond relative to the
          embarkation and evacuation of the Marine Forces from
          Hungnam.” Shepherd ltr, 25 Oct 56.

General Almond was directed on the 9th to redeploy to South Korea and
to report to the commanding general of the Eighth Army after assembling
in the Ulsan-Pusan-Masan area. He was to release the 1st ROK Corps as
soon as possible to the ROK Army in the Samchok area. An assembly area
in the vicinity of Masan, widely separated from the other units of X
Corps, was specified for the 1st Marine Division.

CTF-90 was assigned the following missions:

  (1) Provide water lift for and conduct redeployment operations of
  UN forces in Korea as directed;

  (2) Control all air and naval gunfire support in designated
  embarkation areas;

  (3) Protect shipping en route to debarkation ports;

  (4) Be responsible for naval blockade and gunfire support of
  friendly units East Coast of Korea, including Pusan;

  (5) Be prepared to conduct small-scale redeployment operations,
  including ROK forces and UN prisoners of war;

  (6) Coordinate withdrawal operations with CG X Corps and other
  commands as appropriate;

  (7) Support and cover redeployment operations in the Hungnam or
  other designated Korean embarkation area.

No such large-scale sea lift of combined Army, Navy, Air Force, and
Marine elements, not to mention the ROK units, had been attempted since
Okinawa. The time was so short, moreover, that action could not wait on
detailed planning and organization. In any event the job had to be done.

An enormous fleet of shipping must be assembled from every available
source in the Far East. More than 100,000 troops must be embarked,
and it was estimated at first that 25,000 Korean refugees must be
evacuated, though this figure had to be nearly quadrupled. Mountains
of supplies and thousands of vehicles must be outloaded from a
comparatively small port. While these activities were in progress, the
perimeter must be protected with naval gunfire and aircraft against
an enemy credited by X Corps G-2 estimates with the capabilities of
launching an attack of six to eight depleted divisions against the
Hamhung-Hungnam area.

It was aptly dubbed “an amphibious landing in reverse,” since the
plan called for the methodical shrinking of the perimeter, under
cover of air strikes and naval gunfire, until the last platoon of the
ground forces had embarked. Then would come the grand finale of the

_Embarkation of 1st Marine Division_

The Wonsan evacuation was instructive as a rehearsal for the Hungnam
redeployment. From 2 to 10 December, Lieutenant Colonel Crowe’s 1st
Shore Party Battalion had charge of the outloading while sharing the
defense of the harbor with a battalion from the 3d Infantry Division
and two KMC battalions. Another Marine outfit, Company A of the 1st
Amphibian Truck Battalion, speeded up the operation by making hundreds
of round trips between docks and ships with DUKWs.[634]

    [634] The sources of this section, unless otherwise stated, are
          as follows: Forney, _Special Report, 8–18_; _MCB Study_,
          II-C-114–115; ComPhibGruOne _Action Report, Hungnam_,
          5–10, 25; 1stMAW _HD, Dec 50_, 1–2; Smith, _Notes_,
          120–1123; Maj R. W. Shutts, _Report on Amphibious
          Withdrawal of the U. S. X Corps from Hungnam, Korea_,
          1–9; MGCIS-1 _HD, Dec 50_; X Corps _OpnO 10_, 11 Dec 50;
          1stMarDiv _EmbO 3-50_, 11 Dec 50; Shepherd ltr, 25 Oct
          56; LtGen W. H. Tunner, USAF, ltr to MajGen Snedeker, 8
          Dec 56.

Air cover and naval gunfire from supporting ships of TE-90.21 was so
effective that Wonsan had no enemy interference worth mentioning.
Covering missions continued to be fired until the last friendly troops
withdrew, and operations were completed without the necessity of
destroying UN supplies and equipment. Altogether, 3834 troops, 7009
Korean civilians, 1146 vehicles, and 10,013 bulk tons of cargo had
been outloaded when the operation was completed on 10 December. One
detachment of Shore Party troops sailed for Pusan with the DUKWs in
preparation for unloading the 1st Marine Division upon its arrival at
that port.

The Hungnam evacuation plan, as outlined in X Corps OpnO 10-50, issued
on 11 December, provided for the immediate embarkation of the 1st
Marine Division and the 3d ROK Division. A smaller perimeter than
the original concept was to be defended meanwhile by the 7th and 3d
Infantry Divisions, with the latter having the final responsibility.
Major units were to withdraw gradually by side-slipping until only
reinforced platoons remained as covering forces holding strong points.
Plans called for naval gunfire and air support to be stepped up as the
perimeter contracted.

CTF-90 assumed control of all naval functions on 10 December after
approving loading plans made at a conference of Navy officers
and representatives of X Corps. Colonel Forney, Deputy Chief of
Staff, X Corps, was appointed Corps evacuation control officer with
responsibility for the operation of the Hungnam port and was assigned
a small staff. Major Richard W. Shutts, of General Shepherd’s party,
was placed in charge of the Operations Section. Two more former TTUPac
Marines on the X Corps staff were assigned sections--Major Charles
P. Weiland, the Loading Section; and Major Jack R. Munday, the Navy
Liaison Section. Lieutenant Colonel Harry E. Moisell, USA, headed the
Movement Section, and Captain William C. Cool, USA, the Rations Section.

Lieutenant Colonel Charles E. Warren served as Colonel Forney’s
executive officer until he was incapacitated by pneumonia and relieved
by Lieutenant Colonel Crowe.

The 2d Engineer Special Brigade, USA, was responsible for operation
of the dock facilities, traffic control in the dock areas, and for
furnishing Japanese stevedores, winch operators, cargo handling
equipment, and dunnage. A reinforced company from the 1st Shore Party
Battalion worked the LST and small craft beaches while controlling the
lighterage for ships loading in the stream.

It was decided on 11 December that 1st Marine Division staging to
assembly areas should commence immediately. Loading had to be expedited
so that ships could be used for a second and even third turn-around.
Embarkation Order 3-50, issued by the Division on the 11th, assigned
vehicle and cargo assembly areas to units, and an embarkation control
office was set up in the dock area.

As compensation for the cramped confines of the Hungnam harbor, the
tidal range was less than a foot as compared to the maximum of 31
feet at Inchon. And though the docks had space for only seven ships,
Major Weiland planned to double-berth four additional ships and load
them from the outboard side. In addition, 11 LSTs could be handled
simultaneously--seven at GREEN Beach One, and the others at GREEN Beach

Marine units awaiting shipping remained on a standby basis, ready to
begin loading at once upon assignment of space by the embarkation
officer. The Division rear CP at Hungnam had become the only CP with
General Smith’s arrival; and on the 11th General Craig, the ADC,
returned from emergency leave.

General MacArthur flew to Yonpo Airfield on the 11th for a brief
conference with General Almond and approved the X Corps plan. A date of
27 December was set for Corps units to pass under the control of the
Eighth Army in South Korea.

The outloading of the 1st Marine Division was making good progress on
the 12th when General Smith visited the docks on a tour of inspection.
That evening he and General Shepherd attended a dinner at the Corps CP
in honor of General Almond’s 58th birthday. The Army was represented
by Major Generals Barr, Soule, and Clark L. Ruffner, X Corps Chief of

By the following day the 5th and 7th Marines were ready to sail.
Embarkation officers loaded their ships by sight, planning as they went
along. Not knowing in advance what type of ship might be assigned,
they found that carefully calculated stowage diagrams were out of the
question. Under these circumstances, amphibious training and experience
were invaluable.

Space in the tent city established by X Corps to the rear of the LST
beaches had been made available to Marine units awaiting embarkation.
Most of them, however, moved directly from their bivouac areas to the

While the Marines were outloading, the two Army divisions defending
the perimeter had only minor patrol actions. Their artillery supplied
most of the interdiction fires at the outset, with naval gunfire giving
the deep support. Vigorous air support by Navy, Air Force, and Marine
planes also did much to discourage any hostile intentions the enemy may
have had.

MGCIS-1, the ground control intercept squadron at Yonpo, stopped
directing the high altitude fighters on 11 December and passed over to
the USS _Mount McKinley_ the task of keeping the perimeter clear of
any enemy planes. Over-all control of air still remained ashore with

At 1500 on the 13th General Smith went aboard the USS _Bayfield_ and
opened the Division CP. As his last duty on shore, he attended memorial
services held by the Division at the Hungnam Cemetery. While the
commanding general paid his tribute to the honored dead, Chinese POWs
were making preparations for the interment of the last bodies brought
down from Chinhung-ni.

The Marine loading was completed on the 14th. At a conference that
day with CTF-90 on board the _Mount McKinley_, General Smith inquired
as to the possibility of having the ships carrying the Marines unload
at Masan instead of Pusan, thus saving a 40-mile movement by truck.
Admiral Doyle pointed out that this procedure was not feasible
because of the lack of lighterage facilities at Masan. The additional
turn-around time, moreover, would have delayed the evacuation of
remaining Corps units.

The 14th was also the day when Marine air strikes from Yonpo ended
with the departure of the last of the Wing’s land-based fighters for
Japan. Shortly after midnight the Air Defense Section of MTACS-2
passed control of all air in the Hungnam area to the Navy’s Tactical
Air Control Squadron One of TF-90 aboard the USS _Mount McKinley_. The
Marine squadron then set up a standby TACC aboard an LST until the
final withdrawal on 24 December.

At 1030 on 15 December, as the _Bayfield_ sailed, the curtain went
down on one of the most memorable campaigns in the 175-year history of
the Marine Corps. A total of 22,215 Marines had embarked in shipping
consisting of an APA, an AKA, 3 APs, 13 LSTs, 3 LSDs, and 7 commercial
cargo ships.

The Yonpo airlift continued, however, until 17 December when the
field was closed and a temporary airstrip nearer the harbor was
made available to twin-engine R4D’s for the final phase of the air
evacuation. The only Marine units left in Hungnam were a reinforced
Shore Party company, an ANGLICO group and one and a half companies (88
LVTs) of the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion. They passed under the
operational control of X Corps to assist in the outloading of Army
units. Also, Colonel Boeker C. Batterton, commanding MAG-12, had moved
to Hungnam for the final evacuation of his air group from Yonpo and to
arrange for loading its heavy equipment and remaining personnel aboard
SS _Towanda Victory_. Then on 18 December he flew his command post to

    [635] LtGen T. J. Cushman Comments, n. d.; MAG-12 _WD, Dec 50_.

_The Last Ten Days at Hungnam_

With ten days remaining for the embarkation of the two Army divisions,
the problem of Korean refugees threatened to disrupt the schedule. But
CTF-90 contrived somehow to find the shipping, and the homeless Koreans
were willing to put up with any hardships to escape from Communist
domination. It became standard practice to embark at least 5000 on
an LST, not counting children in arms, and no less than 12,000 human
sardines found standing room on one commercial cargo ship.[636]

    [636] Unless otherwise stated, the sources for this section are
          the same as for the last.

The most fragile link in the complex chain of operations was
represented by the two 390-ton diesel electric tugs. No others were
available, nor were spare parts to be had, yet both tugs had clocked
more than 5000 running hours since the last overhaul. Thus it seemed
almost a miracle that neither broke down for more than three hours in
all, and repairs were made with materials at hand.

On the 18th, when the last ROKs sailed for Samchok, the 7th Infantry
Division was in the midst of its outloading. By 20 December all troops
of this unit had embarked, according to schedule. Responsibility for
the defense of Hungnam then passed to Admiral Doyle as General Almond
and his staff joined CTF-90 on board the flagship _Mount McKinley_.
General Soule’s 3d Division now manned the shore defenses alone.[637]

    [637] VAdm J. H. Doyle ltr, 5 Oct 56.

When the perimeter contracted to the immediate vicinity of Hungnam,
following the evacuation of Hamhung and Yonpo Airfield, two cruisers,
seven destroyers, and three rocket-firing craft covered the entire
front from their assigned positions in mine-swept lanes. A total of
nearly 34,000 shells and 12,800 rockets was fired by these support
ships, with the battleship _Missouri_ contributing 162 16-inch rounds
at the finish of the bombardment. About 800 more 8-inch shells and
12,800 more 5-inch shells were expended at Hungnam than during the
naval gunfire preparation for the Inchon landing.

Seven embarkation sites were employed (see Map 30). From left to right
they were designated as PINK Beach, BLUE Beach, GREEN One and Two
Beaches, and YELLOW One, Two, and Three Beaches. The 7th RCT, holding
the left sector, was to embark from PINK Beach. BLUE and GREEN One
Beaches were assigned to the 65th RCT in the center, while the 15th RCT
had GREEN Two and the three YELLOW Beaches.

H-hour had been set at 1100 on the 24th, and seven LSTs were beached at
0800 to receive 3d Infantry Division troops. Soon the three regiments
were reduced to as many battalions which acted as covering forces while
the other troops fell back to assigned beaches. All withdrawals were
conducted methodically along specified routes by units using marking
panels. Then the battalions themselves pulled out, leaving only seven
reinforced platoons manning strong points. The Hungnam redeployment
came to an end when these platoons boarded an LST after a search for
stragglers. Air and naval gunfire support had made it an uneventful
finish except for the accidental explosion of an ammunition dump on
PINK Beach, resulting in two men killed and 21 wounded.

All beaches were clear by 1436 on Sunday afternoon, the 24th, with Able
and Baker Companies of the Amtrac Battalion sticking it out to the end.
Marines of these units provided fires to cover the flanks of the last
withdrawals and manned 37 LVTs evacuating Army troops from PINK Beach.
With the exception of three LVTs lost in the ammunition dump explosion
on that beach, all LVTs and LVT(A)s were safely reembarked on LSDs at
the finish of the operation.[638]

    [638] 1stAmphTracBn _HD, Dec 50_, 5.

Remarkably few supplies had to be left behind for lack of shipping
space. Among them were 400 tons of frozen dynamite and 500
thousand-pound bombs. They added to the tumult of an awe-inspiring
demolitions scene. The entire Hungnam waterfront seemed to be blown
sky-high in one volcanic eruption of flame, smoke, and rubble which
left a huge black mushroom cloud hovering over the ruins.

The chill, misty dawn of Christmas Day found the _Mount McKinley_ about
to sail for Ulsan with CTF-90 and Generals Almond and Shepherd after
an eminently successful operation. It had been pretty much the Navy’s
show, in the absence of enemy interference, and the final statistics
were staggering--105,000 military personnel, 91,000 Korean refugees,
17,500 vehicles, and 350,000 measurement tons of cargo loaded out in
193 shiploads by 109 ships.



“With naval, air and surface units effectively isolating the beachhead,
we were able to take our time and get everything out,” commented
Admiral Joy on 26 December. “Admiral Doyle has turned in another
brilliant performance. We never, never contemplated a Dunkirk--not even

    [639] CinCFE Special Communique, 26 Dec 50, with attached
          report from Gen Almond and a Navy announcement in _New
          York Times_, 27 Dec 50.

_Marines Arrive at New Assembly Area_

While the remaining X Corps units completed outloading at Hungnam, the
Marines were landing at Pusan and proceeding by motor march to their
new assembly area in the vicinity of Masan. General Craig, the ADC, had
gone ahead with the advance party from Hungnam and made arrangements
for the reception of the Division.[640]

    [640] Smith, _Notes_, 1126. A detailed account of the arrival
          of the 1st Marine Division at Pusan and Masan will be
          found in the first chapter of Volume IV of this series.

News from the front in West Korea was not encouraging as the Eighth
Army planned further withdrawals, for G-2 reports indicated that the
advancing Chinese were about to launch a great new offensive shortly.
Despite the persistent rumors that all Korea might be evacuated by UN
forces, General MacArthur insisted in his special communique of 26
December that operations “were skilfully conducted without loss of
cohesion and with all units remaining intact....

  In its broad implications I consider that these operations,
  initiated on 24 November and carried through to this [Hungnam]
  redeployment, have served a very significant purpose--possibly in
  general result the most significant and fortunate of any conducted
  during the course of the Korean campaign.

  The might of a major military nation was suddenly and without
  warning thrown against this relatively small United Nations Command
  but without attaining a decision.

  Due to intervening circumstances beyond our power to control or
  even detect, we did not achieve the United Nations objective.

  But at a casualty cost less than that experienced in a comparable
  period of defensive fighting on the Pusan perimeter, we exposed
  before too late secret political and military decisions of
  enormous scope and threw off balance enemy preparations aimed at
  surreptitiously massing the power capable of destroying our forces
  with one mighty extended blow.”[641]

    [641] CinCFE Special Communique, 26 Dec 50.

Questions as to the proper evaluation of the Eighth Army withdrawal
turned into a controversy during coming months with political as well
as military implications. Press representatives, military critics
and soldiers of other nations, while crediting MacArthur with a
great victory at Inchon, were for the most part of the opinion that
the Eighth Army withdrawal of November and December was a costly

    [642] General MacArthur’s comments are as follows: “This,
          again, is a non-professional estimate belied by the
          facts and the viewpoints of all senior commanders
          present.... It was the purpose of Red China to overwhelm
          and annihilate, through a ‘sneak’ attack, the Eighth
          Army and X Corps by the heavy assault of overwhelming
          forces of a new power, not heretofore committed to war,
          against which it knew or rightly surmised there would be
          no retaliation. This plan was foiled by our anticipatory
          advance which uncovered the enemy’s plot before he had
          assembled all of his forces, and by our prompt strategic
          withdrawal before he could inflict a crippling blow of a
          ‘Pearl Harbor’ nature.... This was undoubtedly one of the
          most successful strategic retreats in history, comparable
          with and markedly similar to Wellington’s great Peninsula
          withdrawal. Had the initiative action not been taken
          and an inert position of adequate defense assumed, I
          have no slightest doubt that the Eighth Army and the X
          Corps both would have been annihilated. As it was, both
          were preserved with practically undiminished potential
          for further action. I have always regarded this action,
          considering the apparently unsurmountable difficulties
          and overwhelming odds, as the most successful and
          satisfying I have ever commanded.” MacArthur ltr, 17 Oct

Marine officers in Korea had no first-hand knowledge of EUSAK
operations. It was obvious, however, that an Eighth Army retirement
south of the 38th Parallel had made it desirable if not actually
necessary for X Corps to withdraw from northeast Korea, even though
General Almond held that a Hamhung-Hungnam perimeter could be defended
throughout the winter.

_Contributions of Marine Aviation_

The close coordination of aviation with the ground forces in the Chosin
campaign was due in large measure to the assignment of additional
pilots to the 1st Marine Division as forward air controllers. They had
been plucked from 1st Marine Aircraft Wing squadrons barely in time to
join their battalions before embarking at Inchon. Increasing the number
of FACs to two per battalion did much to bring air support down to the
company level when needed.[643]

    [643] Air Officer _SAR_, 4.

Air units frequently had to rely upon charts with place names, grid
coordinates, and scales different from those in the hands of the ground
troops. Here the Marine system of the man on the ground talking the
pilot onto the target by reference to visual land marks paid off.

Cloudy, stormy weather was common. Three night fighter pilots were
lost because of icing, disorientation, and insufficient radio aids
to navigation. Two VMF-212 land-based pilots saved themselves from
destruction only by landing on the _Badoeng Strait_ with their last
drops of gas.

With the approach of winter and cold weather, aircraft on the landing
strips had to be run up every two hours at night to keep the oil warm
enough for early morning takeoffs. Ordnance efficiency dropped. Planes
skidded on icy runways. Once, after a six inch snow, 80 men and ten
trucks worked all night to clear and sand a 150-foot strip down the
runway at Yonpo.[644]

    [644] The material in this section is derived from: MAG-12
          _SAR_, annex C, 10; VMF-214 _SAR_, annex F, 23; 1stMAW
          _SAR_, annex J, appendix S (VMF-323), 4, 9, 11; 1stMAW
          _SAR_, 5–7; Maj H. D. Kuokka Comments, n. d.

As early as mid-November it once took hours of scraping and chipping
on the _Badoeng Strait_ to clear three inches of glazed ice and snow
off the decks, catapults, arresting wires, and barriers. Planes which
stood the night on the flight deck had to be taken below to the hangar
deck to thaw out. On another occasion VMF-214 had to cancel all flight
operations because 68-knot winds, heavy seas, and freezing temperatures
covered the _Sicily’s_ flight deck and aircraft with a persistent coat
of ice.

One pilot of VMF-323 had to return shortly after takeoff because water
vapor froze in his oil breather tube in flight. With the back pressure
throwing oil all over his windshield and billowing black vapor and
smoke out of his cowl, he landed only to have the front of his Corsair
burst into flames when the escaped oil dripped on the hot exhaust
stacks. Quick work by the deck crews extinguished the fire.

A hazard as great as being shot down was a crash landing or bail-out
at sea, where the water was cold enough to kill a man in 20 minutes.
Survival clothing and equipment was so bulky that pilots could barely
get into their cockpits.

Maintenance and servicing problems ashore, complicated by dirt, dust,
and the scarcity of parts, kept mechanics working to the point of
exhaustion. Insufficient trucks forced the ground crews to refuel and
arm planes by hand, often from rusting fuel drums. Two destructive
crashes, one fatal, were attributed to accumulated water in gasoline.

Aboard ship until mid-November, VMF-214 was able to keep 91 per cent
of its planes operative. When suddenly deployed ashore to Wonsan, its
aircraft availability dropped to 82 per cent and at Yonpo to 67 per
cent. Once back at sea again in December, it jumped up to 90 per cent.

Basic difference in close air support doctrine between the Navy and
Marines and Air Force were resolved by close and friendly liaison
between the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and the Fifth Air Force commands;
by a Marine aviator attached to the Joint Eighth Army-Fifth Air Force
Operations Center at Seoul; and by indoctrination of non-Marine
units of the X Corps in the Marine-Navy style of close air support.
Difficulties in inter-service communications slowed Fifth Air Force
operations orders to carrier squadrons, both Navy and Marine. Messages
were routed via FEAF and ComNavFe in Tokyo and arrived hours late.
Ashore, even MAG-12 during the first two weeks at Wonsan received
its Fifth Air Force mission orders six to 36 hours late. A direct
radio teletype between 1st MAW and 5thAF headquarters alleviated the
situation. And when the CG 1st MAW received full control of the air
over the X Corps area on 1 December, these problems were eased.

Actual control of air support for the scattered ground units
demonstrated close cooperation between the Navy and Marine Corps. This
was evident from the time the Navy’s Tactical Air Control Squadron One
on the USS _Mount McKinley_ passed control to the Air Defense Section
of MTACS-2 at Hamhung to the time that control returned to the ship in
the Hungnam evacuation.

When the Marines had control, the ship stood by as an emergency TACC
and acted as a radar reporting station for MTACS-2. When control
was passed back afloat, the Air Defense Section of MTACS-2 stood
by as a standby TACC aboard an LST until the last man was pulled
off the beach. Furthermore, three officers from MGCIS-1 went aboard
_Mount McKinley_ to help out as Air Defense controllers. They were
experienced. All through the Wonsan-Chosin campaign, the MGCIS had
directed the defensive fighter patrols, circling Wonsan and Yonpo, to
check all unidentified aircraft before the latter got close enough to
do any damage, MGCIS-1 also steered lost planes to base in bad weather,
occasionally vectored them into the GCA radar-controlled landing
pattern, and even assisted MTACCS-2 in directing air support planes to

    [645] MGCIS-1 _HD Dec 50_, 2; MTACS-2 _HD Dec 50_, 7.

Tactical air support in the X Corps zone was directed to the ground
units by the Air Support Section of MTACS-2. From 26 October to 11
December, 3703 sorties in 1053 missions were controlled by the TACPs
of Marine, Army, and ROK units. Close air support missions accounted
for 599 of the total (468 for 1st Marine Division, 8 for 3d Infantry
Division, 56 for 7th Infantry Division, and 67 for ROKs). The remaining
454 missions were search and attack.[646]

    [646] The remainder of this section, unless otherwise noted, is
          based upon Smith, _Notes_, 1149–1161, 1222.

When FAC communications failed from valley to valley, aircraft became
radio relays and controllers. This was highlighted by the airborne
TADC, orbiting over the road from Hagaru.

Approximately half of the Marine air missions were in support of
non-Marine ground units. The ROK and the U. S. Army units were not as
well supplied with experienced FACs as the 1st Marine Division. In
these areas four Air Force “Mosquitos” (AT-6 “Texan” training planes)
were assigned to X Corps to assist in the control of air support.[647]

    [647] 1stMAW _HDs, Oct-Dec 50_.

When shore-based Marine air support was about to cease with the closing
of Yonpo air field, VMF-214 and VMF-212 quickly moved their operations
aboard carrier; and during the final phases of the Hungnam evacuation,
almost half of the Marine tactical air strength was operating from
carrier bases. VMF-214 flew back aboard _Sicily_ on 7 December without
missing a mission and VMF-212, which had moved to Itami on 4 December
to draw and test a new complement of carrier Corsairs, was aboard the
USS _Bataan_ eight days later. When the month ended, still another
squadron, VMF-312, was polishing up its carrier landing technique for
seaborne duty.[648]

    [648] VMF-312 _HD, Dec 50_, 2.

The outcome of the Hagaru withdrawal owed much to air-dropped supplies
and to casualty evacuations by General Tunner’s Combat Cargo Command
(CCC). Assisting Combat Cargo in Marine support were the Wing’s R4D
twin engine transports and TBM World War II type torpedo bombers,
both of which were flown largely by the field-desk pilots on the Wing
and Group staffs. Most of the Marines’ share of the heavy airlifting,
however, was done by the four engine R5D transports of Colonel Dean C.
Roberts’ VMR-152. Early in October this squadron had been temporarily
shifted from the trans-Pacific airlift of the Navy’s Fleet Logistics
Air Wing to support the Marines in the Wonsan campaign. In Korea its
operations were controlled by the Combat Cargo Command, which committed
an average of five Marine R5D’s a day into the CCC airlift. In such
missions these transports supported all UN units from Pyongyang to
Yonpo and points north. Marine transports not committed by the CCC
for general UN support in Korea were available for Wing use. From 1
November until Christmas, VMR-152 safely carried five million pounds of
supplies to the front and evacuated more than 4000 casualties.[649]

    [649] ComNavFE msg to CinCPacFlt, 0858 1 Oct 50; CinCPacFlt msg
          to ComNavFE, 2245 2 Oct 50; CG 1stMAW msg to CO VMR-152,
          0620 12 Oct 50; VMF-152 _SAR_, 6; Col R. R. Yeaman
          Comments, 19 Sep 56 and 6 Nov 56. By 25 December when
          VMR-152 returned to Navy control it had flown 729,790
          miles in Korean lifts and carried 8,068,800 pounds of
          cargo, 234,000 pounds of mail and 11,314 passengers,
          including 4276 casualties.

The Chosin Reservoir campaign opened two new chapters in Marine
aviation history. The first was the use of the airborne TADC to control
the air support of the division column between Hagaru and Chinhung-ni.
The second was the appearance of VMF-311, the first Marine jet squadron
to fly in combat. Beginning on 10 December the newly arrived squadron
flew interdiction missions for four days from Yonpo. Then it moved to
Pusan to operate for the remainder of the month with 5th Air Force jets
streaking up the long peninsula to cover the withdrawal of the Eighth

    [650] 1stMAW _SAR_, annex K, appendix F (VMF-311), 2; VMF-311
          _HD, Dec 50_.

Appreciation for the assistance given by Marine aviation to Marine
ground forces was expressed in a letter of 20 December from General
Smith to General Harris, the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Air
Wing. The Division Commander said:

  Without your support our task would have been infinitely more
  difficult and more costly. During the long reaches of the night and
  in the snow storms many a Marine prayed for the coming of day or
  clearing weather when he knew he would again hear the welcome roar
  of your planes as they dealt out destruction to the enemy. Even the
  presence of a night heckler was reassuring.

  Never in its history has Marine Aviation given more convincing
  proof of its indispensable value to the ground Marines. A bond of
  understanding has been established that will never be broken.[651]

    [651] MajGen O. P. Smith ltr to MajGen F. Harris, 20 Dec 50.

The story of air support in the Chosin Reservoir campaign would not
be complete without a summary of the results of VMO-6. Marines took a
proprietary interest in Major Gottschalk’s squadron, which had put
into effect the helicopter techniques worked out at Quantico by the
experimental squadron, HMX-1. Some of these techniques were having
their first test in combat, for the development of rotary-wing aircraft
in 1950 was at a pioneer stage comparable to that of fixed-wing
aircraft in the first year of World War I. On 28 October, VMO-6 had a
strength of 25 officers, 95 enlisted men, ten light fixed-wing aircraft
(eight OY-2s, two L5Gs) and nine HO3S-1 helicopters. From that date
until 15 December the squadron made 1544 flights for a total of 1624.8
hours. The principal missions were as follows:

  Reconnaissance--OYs, 393; helicopters, 64; Transportation--OYs,
  130; helicopters, 421; Evacuation--OYs, 29; helicopters, 191;
  Liaison--OYs, 35; helicopters, 90; Artillery spot--OYs, 39;
  helicopters, 0; Utility--OYs, 26; helicopters, 60; Rescue--OYs, 0;
  helicopters, 11.[652]

    [652] VMO-6 _SAR_, 20; LtCol V. J. Gottschalk, _Transcript of
          Informal Remarks at HQMC_, 17 May 51.

But statistics can give no idea of the most significant achievement
of VMO-6 in the Reservoir campaign. For during the most critical
period the only physical contact between units separated by enemy
action was provided by the OYs and helicopters. The importance of this
contribution can hardly be overestimated.

_Losses Sustained by the Enemy_

Marine losses in northeast Korea, as reported to the Secretary of
the Navy, included a total of 4418 battle casualties from 26 October
to 15 December 1950--604 KIA, 114 DOW, 192 MIA, and 3508 WIA. The
7313 non-battle casualties consisted largely of minor frostbite and
indigestion cases who were soon restored to active duty.[653] Eight
Marine pilots were KIA or died of wounds, four were MIA, and three
were wounded. General Smith estimated that a third of the non-battle
casualties were returned to duty during the operation.[654]

    [653] Smith, _Notes_, 1146–1149. See Appendix E for a
          day-by-day accounting of Marine casualties.

    [654] Smith ltr, 21 Oct 56.

Enemy losses for the same period were estimated at a total of
37,500--15,000 killed and 7500 wounded by Marine ground forces, plus
10,000 killed and 5000 wounded by Marine air. Not much reliance can
be placed in such figures as a rule, but fortunately we have enemy
testimony as to heavy losses sustained by the Chinese Communists. This
evidence goes far toward explaining why they did not interfere with the
Hungnam redeployment.

Contrary to expectations, Chinese military critiques have been candid
in admitting failures and unsparing in self-criticism. Among captured
documents are summaries of the operations of the three CCF armies
encountered by the Marines in the Chosin Reservoir area. These major
units, representing at least 11 and probably 12 divisions, were as

  20th CCF Army--58th, 59th, and 60th Divisions, with the 89th
  Division of the 30th Army attached;

  26th CCF Army--76th, 77th, and 78th Division, with probably the
  94th Division of 32d Army attached;

  27th CCF Army--79th, 80th, and 81st Divisions, with the 70th
  Division of 24th Army attached.[655]

    [655] A CCF army consisted of three or four divisions and
          therefore might be considered generally the equivalent of
          a U. S. corps. This account of CCF units and movements is
          derived from the _MCB Study_, II-C-116–125, which in turn
          is based on an analysis of CCF prisoner interrogations
          and captured enemy documents. The Board, consisting
          of senior officers, was given the mission in 1951 of
          preparing “an evaluation of the influence of Marine Corps
          forces on the course of the Korean War, 4 Aug 50–15 Dec

All three armies were major units of the 9th Army Group of the 3d
CCF Field Army. In mid-October the leading elements of the 4th CCF
Field Army had crossed the Yalu to oppose the U. S. Eighth Army. The
operations of X Corps in northeast Korea being considered a threat to
the left flank, the 42d Army was detached with a mission of providing
flank protection, pending relief by units of the 3d CCF Field Army.
Three divisions, the 124th, 125th, and 126th were represented. While
the last hovered on the left flank of the 4th Field Army, the 124th was
hard hit near Sudong during the first week of November by RCT-7 of the
1st Marine Division.

In order to cover the withdrawal of the remnants, the 125th Division
moved south of Hagaru from the Fusen Reservoir area. Both CCF divisions
then fell back to Yudam-ni, where they were relieved by units of the
20th Army, 3d Field Army. This ended the operations of the 4th Field
Army in northeast Korea.

Shortly after the appearance of the 20th Army in the Yudam-ni area, the
27th Army moved into positions north of the Chosin Reservoir. Thus the
enemy had available eight divisions for the attacks of 27–28 November
on the Marines in the Yudam-ni area and the three 7th Infantry Division
battalions east of the Chosin Reservoir. If it may be assumed that
these CCF divisions averaged 7500 men each, or three-fourths of full
strength, the enemy had a total of 60,000 men in assault or reserve.

The Chinese, as we know, failed to accomplish their basic mission,
which prisoners agreed was the destruction of the 1st Marine Division.
In every instance the efforts of the first night were the most
formidable, with enemy effectiveness declining sharply after a second
or third attack. The explanation seems to be that the 12 divisions
were sent into northeast Korea with supplies which would have been
sufficient only if the first attempts had succeeded. The following
comment by the 26th Army supports this conclusion:

  A shortage of transportation and escort personnel makes it
  impossible to accomplish the mission of supplying the troops.
  As a result, our soldiers frequently starve. From now on, the
  organization of our rear service units should be improved.[656]

    [656] Translations of CCF documents referred to in this section
          are found in HQ 500th Military Intelligence Group,
          Document 204141, “Compilation of Battle Experiences
          Reported by Various Armies in their Operation Against
          U. S. Forces in Korea.” Among the units covered are the
          20th, 26th, and 27th Armies.

The troops were hungry. They ate cold food, and some had only a few
potatoes in two days. They were unable to maintain the physical
strength for combat; the wounded personnel could not be evacuated....
The fire power of our entire army was basically inadequate. When we
used our guns there were no shells and sometimes the shells were duds.

The enemy’s tactical rigidity and tendency to repeat costly errors are
charged by the 20th Army to inferior communications:

  Our signal communication was not up to standard. For example, it
  took more than two days to receive instructions from higher level
  units. Rapid changes of the enemy’s situation and the slow motion
  of our signal communication caused us to lose our opportunities
  in combat and made the instructions of the high level units

  We succeeded in the separation and encirclement of the enemy, but
  we failed to annihilate the enemy one by one. The units failed
  to carry out the orders of the higher echelon. For example, the
  failure to annihilate the enemy at Yut’an-ni [Yudam-ni] made it
  impossible to annihilate the enemy at Hakalwu-ri [Hagaru]. The
  higher level units’ refusal of the lower level units’ suggestion of
  rapidly starting the combat and exterminating the enemy one by one
  gave the enemy a chance to break out from the encirclement.

One of the most striking instances of the tactical inflexibility
which stultified Chinese efforts was found at Hagaru. With only a
depleted Marine Infantry battalion and service troops available to
defend a perimeter four miles in circumference, the enemy needed mere
daylight observation to ascertain and avoid the most strongly defended
positions. Yet these were just the positions chosen for the attack,
not only on the first night but also the second occasion 48 hours later.

“The [CCF] tactics were mechanical,” commented the 27th Army.
“We underestimated the enemy so we distributed the strength, and
consequently the higher echelons were overdispersed while the lower
echelon units were overconcentrated. During one movement, the distance
between the three leading divisions was very long, while the formations
of the battalions, companies, and units of lower levels were too close,
and the troops were unable to deploy. Furthermore, reconnaissance was
not conducted strictly; we walked into the enemy fire net and suffered
heavy casualties.”

Summing up the reasons why the Marines at Yudam-ni were not
“exterminated promptly,” the 27th Army concludes that it was “because
our troops encountered unfavorable conditions during the missions
and the troops suffered too many casualties.” This would seem to be
another way of saying that the Chinese failed to destroy the 1st Marine
Division because they themselves were nearly destroyed in the attempt.
At any rate, evidence from the enemy documents points overwhelmingly to
crippling losses both from Marine fire power and non-battle casualties
chargeable to lack of equipment and supplies.

The 20th Army had a hundred deaths from tetanus caused by improper care
of wounds. Hundreds of other soldiers were incapacitated by typhus or
ailments of malnutrition and indigestion.

More than 90 per cent of the 26th Army suffered from frostbite. The
27th Army complained of 10,000 non-combat casualties alone out of a
strength of four divisions:

  The troops did not have enough food, they did not have enough
  houses to live in, they could not stand the bitter cold, which was
  the reason for the excessive non-combat reduction in personnel
  (more than 10 thousand persons), the weapons were not used
  effectively. When the fighters bivouacked in snow-covered ground
  during combat, their feet, socks, and hands were frozen together in
  one ice ball; they could not unscrew the caps on the hand grenades;
  the fuses would not ignite; the hands were not supple; the mortar
  tubes shrank on account of the cold; 70 per cent of the shells
  failed to detonate; skin from the hands was stuck on the shells and
  the mortar tubes.

Testimony as to the effects of Marine fire power is also given by the
26th Army:

  The coordination between the enemy infantry, tanks, artillery, and
  airplanes is surprisingly close. Besides using heavy weapons for
  the depth, the enemy carries with him automatic light firearms
  which, coordinated with rockets, launchers, and recoilless guns are
  disposed at the front line. The characteristic of their employment
  is to stay quietly under cover and open fire suddenly when we come
  to between 70 and 100 meters from them, making it difficult for our
  troops to deploy and thus inflicting casualties upon us.

The 20th and 27th Armies appear to have been bled white by the losses
of the first week. Early in December, units of the 26th Army appeared
on the east side of the MSR between Hagaru and Koto-ri, and this unit
furnished most of the opposition from 6 to 11 December.

Seven divisions in all were identified by the 1st Marine Division; and
since the taking of prisoners was not a matter of top priority with
men fighting for existence, it is likely that other CCF units were
encountered. The CCF 9th Army Group, according to a prisoner questioned
on 7 December, included a total of 12 divisions. This POW gave the
following statement:

  Missions of the four (4) armies in 9th Group are to annihilate the
  1st Division which is considered to be the best division in the
  U. S. After annihilating the 1st Marine Division they are to move
  south and take Hamhung.[657]

    [657] 1stMarDiv PIR 47, encl. 1. The four armies referred to by
          the POW were the 20th, 26th, 27th, and 30th. Actually the
          30th Army did not exist, as one of its divisions had been
          attached to each of the other three armies.

As to the reason why the Chinese took no advantage of the Hungnam
redeployment, there seems little doubt that the 9th Army Group was too
riddled by battle and non-battle casualties to make the effort. This is
not a matter of opinion. Following the Hungnam redeployment, as the U.
S. Eighth Army braced itself to meet a new CCF offensive, UN and FECOM
G-2 officers were naturally concerned as to whether the remaining 9th
Army Group troops in northeast Korea would be available to strengthen
the CCF 4th Field Army. It was estimated that only two weeks would
be required to move these troops to West Korea, where they had the
capability of reinforcing the CCF attack against the Eighth Army.

Efforts to locate the 9th Army Group were unavailing for nearly three
months. Then a prisoner from the 77th Division of the 26th Army was
captured by U. S. Eighth Army troops on 18 March 1951. During the
following week POW interrogations established that three divisions of
the 26th Army were in contact with Eighth Army units northeast of Seoul.

“The only conclusion to be drawn,” comments the _Marine Corps Board
Study_, “based on information collected by 1stMarDiv and X Corps,
and that by UN and FEC, is that all corps of 9th Army Group had been
rendered militarily ineffective in the Chosin Reservoir operation and
required a considerable period of time for replacement, re-equipment,
and reorganization.”[658]

    [658] _MCB Study_, II-C-125.

Thus it appears that the Marines not only saved themselves in the
Chosin Reservoir fights; they also saved U. S. Eighth Army from being
assailed by reinforcements from northeast Korea in the CCF offensive
which exploded on the last night of 1950.

_Results of the Reservoir Campaign_

There could be no doubt, after taking into account the CCF mission,
that the 9th Army Group, 3d Field Army, had sustained a reverse in
northeast Korea which amounted to a disaster. On the other hand, it
might have been asked whether a retrograde movement such as the Marine
breakout, even though aggressively and successfully executed, could be
termed a victory.

This question involves issues too complex for a clearcut positive
answer, but it would be hard to improve upon the analysis of results in
the _Marine Corps Board Study_:

  Although the operations of this phase constitute a withdrawal,
  despite the fact that CG 1stMarDiv characterized them as “an attack
  in a new direction,” the withdrawal was executed in the face of
  overwhelming odds and conducted in such a manner that, contrary to
  the usual withdrawal, some very important tactical results were
  achieved. These may be summarized as follows:

  1. Extricated 1stMarDiv from a trap sprung by overwhelming enemy
  ground forces by skilful employment of integrated ground and air
  action which enabled the Division to come through with all operable
  equipment, with wounded properly evacuated and with tactical

  2. Outfought and outlasted at least seven CCF divisions under
  conditions of terrain and weather chosen by the enemy and reputedly
  to his liking. Although frostbite took a heavy toll of the Division
  it hit CCF units far harder, perhaps decisively.

  3. In the process of accomplishing “2” above, rendered militarily
  non-effective a large part of 9th CCF Army Group. Those units not
  contacted by 1stMarDiv were fixed in the Chosin Reservoir area for
  possible employment against the Division and consequently suffered
  from the ravages of sub-zero cold and heavy air attacks.

  4. As a direct result of “3” above, enabled X Corps to evacuate
  Hungnam without enemy interference and, consequently, as a combat
  effective unit with all personnel and serviceable equipment.
  Pressure on X Corps by 9th CCF Army Group during the seaward
  evacuation of the Corps, a most difficult operation, would
  undoubtedly have altered the result.[659]

    [659] Quotations in this section, except when otherwise noted,
          are from the _MCB Study_, II-C-125–127.

Improvisations in tactics were now and then made necessary by unusual
conditions of terrain, weather or enemy action. But on the whole the
Marines saved themselves in the Reservoir campaign by the application
of sound military tactics. In the doing they demonstrated repeatedly
that the rear makes as good a front as any other for the militarily
skilled and stout-hearted, and that a unit is not beaten merely because
it is surrounded by a more numerous enemy.

Inevitably the Marine campaign has been compared to that classic of all
military breakouts--the march of the immortal Ten Thousand which is
the subject of Xenophon’s _Anabasis_. Stranded in the hostile Persian
Empire in the year 401 B. C., these Greek mercenaries cut their way to
safety through Asiatic hordes. The following description of the tactics
used by Xenophon and his lieutenant Cherisophus to overcome road blocks
in mountain country will have a familiar ring to Marine veterans of the

  The enemy, by keeping up a continuous battle and occupying in
  advance every narrow place, obstructed passage after passage.
  Accordingly, whenever the van was obstructed, Xenophon, from
  behind, made a dash up the hills and broke the barricade, and freed
  the vanguard by endeavoring to get above the obstructing enemy.
  Whenever the rear was the point attacked, Cherisophus, in the same
  way, made a detour, and by endeavoring to mount higher than the
  barricaders, freed the passage for the rear rank; and in this way,
  turn and turn about, they rescued each other, and paid unflinching
  attention to their mutual needs.[660]

    [660] Xenophon, _The Anabasis of Cyrus_, Henry C. Dakyns,
          trans., in F. R. B. Godolphin, _The Greek Historians_, (2
          vols., New York, 1942), II, 297–298.

Spears and arrows have been superseded by bazookas and machine
guns, but the basic infantry tactics of the Reservoir breakout were
essentially those which served Xenophon and the Ten Thousand more
than 33 centuries ago. Organization, combat, training, spirit, and
discipline enabled the Marines, like the Hellenes before them, to
overcome numerical odds and fight their way over Asiatic mountain roads
to the sea.

The over-all strategic effects of the Reservoir campaign, as summarized
by the Marine Corps Board Study, were as follows:

  1. Played a prominent part ... in enabling X Corps, a considerable
  segment of the total UN forces in Korea, to be withdrawn from
  Hungnam as a combat effective force available for employment
  with the Eighth Army in South Korea at a time when that Army was
  retreating and was in critical need of a reinforcement.

  2. Were largely responsible for preventing reinforcement of CCF
  forces on Eighth Army front by 12 divisions during a period when
  such reinforcement might have meant to Eighth Army the difference
  between maintaining a foothold in Korea or forced evacuation
  therefrom, by being instrumental in rendering 9th CCF Army
  Group, a force of three corps of four divisions each, militarily
  noneffective for a minimum period of three months.

That the breakout of the 1st Marine Division had affected American
political and military policy at the highest levels was the assertion
of an editorial in _Time_. Referring to what it termed the “Great
Debate,” in December 1950, as to whether American forces should be
withdrawn from Korea, the news-magazine commented:

  When the Marines fought their way down to Hungnam through the
  “unconquerable Chinese hordes,” and embarked for Pusan with their
  equipment, their wounded, and their prisoners, the war in Asia
  took on a different look. The news stories, pictures and newsreels
  of the Hungnam action contributed more to forming U. S. policy
  than all the words in the “Great Debate.” The nation--and the
  revitalized Eighth Army--now knows that U. S. fighting men will
  stay in Korea until a better place and a better opportunity is
  found to punish Communist aggression.[661]

    [661] _Time_, lvii, no. 9 (26 Feb 51).

General Douglas MacArthur as CINCUNC, in his 11th report of operations
of UN forces in Korea, submitted the following to the United Nations
Organization regarding the Chosin Reservoir operation:

  In this epic action, the Marine Division and attached elements
  of the 7th Infantry Division marched and fought over 60 miles in
  bitter cold along a narrow, tortuous, ice-covered road against
  opposition of from six to eight Chinese Communist Force divisions
  which suffered staggering losses. Success was due in no small part
  to the unprecedented extent and effectiveness of air support. The
  basic element, however, was the high quality of soldierly courage
  displayed by the personnel of the ground units who maintained their
  integrity in the face of continuous attacks by numerically superior
  forces, consistently held their positions until their wounded
  had been evacuated, and doggedly refused to abandon supplies and
  equipment to the enemy.

  United Nations Air Forces threw the bulk of their effort into close
  support of ground forces cutting their way through overwhelming
  numbers of Chinese Communists. The toll of the enemy taken by
  the United Nations aircraft contributed in large measure to the
  successful move of our forces from the Chosin Reservoir to the
  Hamhung area despite the tremendous odds against them. Air support
  provided by the United States Marine Air Force and Naval Aircraft
  in this beleaguered area, described as magnificent by the ground
  force commanders, represented one of the greatest concentrations of
  tactical air operations in history.[662]

    [662] Gen Douglas MacArthur, CinCUNC _11th Report of the
          Operations in Korea of United Nations Forces_, 31 Jan
          51. See Appendix H for transcript of Presidential Unit
          Citation awarded to the 1stMarDiv and the Distinguished
          Unit Citation awarded to the 1stMAW.

Rear Admiral James H. Doyle attributed the successful evacuation at
Hungnam in large measure to the Marine breakout. Writing to General
Smith several months later, he asserted that he had “filled in what has
been a neglected page in the story of the Hungnam redeployment. It is
simply this: that the destruction of enemy forces wrought by the First
Marine Division on the march down the hill was a major factor in the
successful withdrawal; and that the destruction was so complete the
enemy was unable to exert serious pressure at any time on the shrinking
perimeter. To my mind, as I told you at Hungnam, the performance of
the First Marine Division on that march constitutes one of the most
glorious chapters in Marine Corps history.”[663]

    [663] RAdm T. H. Doyle ltr to MajGen O. P. Smith, 2 Mar 51.

Letters of commendation were received by the 1st Marine Division from
General Cates, CMC, General Shepherd, Admiral Joy, General Collins,
Chief of Staff, USA, General Almond, and many other high-ranking
military leaders. But for depth of feeling, for sincerity and emotion,
there was no message which appealed more to the officers and men of
the Division than the concluding paragraph of this tribute from the
commanding general who had guided their destinies with unswerving
courage and who had come out with them, Major General Oliver P. Smith:

  The performance of officers and men in this operation was
  magnificent. Rarely have all hands in a division participated so
  intimately in the combat phases of an operation. Every Marine
  can be justly proud of his participation. In Korea, Tokyo and
  Washington there is full appreciation of the remarkable feat of the
  division. With the knowledge of the determination, professional
  competence, heroism, devotion to duty, and self-sacrifice displayed
  by officers and men of this division, my feeling is one of humble
  pride. No division commander has ever been privileged to command a
  finer body of men.[664]

    [664] 1stMarDiv memo 238-50, 19 Dec 50.


Glossary of Technical Terms and Abbreviations

  ADC--Assistant Division Commander.
  AdmO--Administrative Order.
  AF--Air Force.
  AGC--Amphibious Force Flagship.
  AH--Hospital Ship.
  AirDelPlat--Air Delivery Platoon.
  AirO--Air Officer.
  AirSptSec--Air Support Section.
  AKA--Assault Cargo Ship.
  AKL--Cargo, Ship, Light.
  AmphTracBn--Amphibian Tractor Battalion.
  AmphTrkBn--Amphibian Truck Battalion.
  AMS--Auxiliary Motor Minesweeper.
  ANGLICO--Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Company.
  APA--Assault Transport.
  APD--High Speed Transport.
  ARG--Internal Combustion Engine Repair Ship.
  ARL--Landing Craft Repair Ship.
  ArmdAmphBn--Armored Amphibian Battalion.
  ARS--Salvage Vessel.
  ATF--Ocean Tug, Fleet.
  AutoMaintCo--Automotive Maintenance Company.
  AutoSupCo--Automotive Supply Company.
  BLT--Battalion Landing Team.
  BuMed--Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
  C-47--Douglas Transport (same as R4D).
  CA--Heavy Cruiser.
  CCF--Chinese Communist Forces.
  CG--Commanding General.
  CIC--Counter Intelligence Corps, USA.
  CinCFE--Commander in Chief, Far East.
  CinCPacFlt--Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet.
  CinCUNC--Commander in Chief, United Nations Command.
  CL--Light Cruiser.
  CO--Commanding Officer.
  ComFltAirWing--Commander Fleet Air Wing.
  ComNavFE--Commander Naval Forces Far East.
  ComPacFlt--Commander Pacific Fleet.
  ComPhibGruOne--Commander Amphibious Group One.
  ComSeventhFlt--Commander Seventh Fleet.
  ComUNBlockandCortFor--Commander United Nations Blockade and Escort Force.
  CP--Command Post.
  CR--Command Report.
  C/S--Chief of Staff.
  CSG--Combat Service Group.
  CSUSA--Chief of Staff, U. S. Army.
  CTF--Commander Task Force.
  CTG--Commander Task Group.
  CVE--Escort Aircraft Carrier.
  CVL--Light Aircraft Carrier.
  DDR--Radar Picket Destroyer.
  DE--Destroyer Escort.
  DMS--High Speed Minesweeper.
  DOW--Died of Wounds.
  EmbO--Embarkation Order.
  EmbO--Embarkation Officer.
  EngrBn--Engineer Battalion.
  EUSAK--Eighth U. S. Army in Korea.
  FABn--Field Artillery Battalion (USA).
  FAC--Forward Air Controller.
  FEAF--Far East Air Force.
  FECOM--Far East Command.
  F4U--Chance-Vought “Corsair” Fighter-Bomber.
  FMFPac--Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.
  FO--Forward Observer.
  FragOrder--Fragmentary Order.
  Fum&BathPlat--Fumigation and Bath Platoon.
  GHQ--General Headquarters.
  H&SCo--Headquarters and Service Company.
  HD--Historical Diary.
  Hedron--Headquarters Squadron.
  HMS--Her Majesty’s Ship.
  HMAS--Her Majesty’s Australian Ship.
  HMCS--Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship.
  HMNZS--Her Majesty’s New Zealand Ship.
  HO3S--Sikorsky Helicopter.
  HQBn--Headquarters Battalion.
  HQMC--Headquarters U. S. Marine Corps.
  InfDiv--Infantry Division (USA).
  ISUM--Intelligence Summary.
  JANIS--Joint Army-Navy Intelligence Studies.
  JCS--Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  JMS--Japanese Minesweeper.
  JSPOG--Joint Strategic Planning and Operations Group.
  JTF--Joint Task Force.
  KIA--Killed in Action.
  KMC--Korean Marine Corps.
  LSD--Landing Ship, Dock.
  LSM--Landing Ship, Medium.
  LSMR--Landing Ship, Medium-Rocket.
  LST--Landing Ship, Tank.
  LSTH--Landing Ship, Tank--Casualty Evacuation.
  LSU--Landing Ship, Utility.
  LVT--Landing Vehicle, Tracked.
  MAG--Marine Aircraft Group.
  MAW--Marine Aircraft Wing.
  MedBn--Medical Battalion.
  MedAmbCo--Medical Ambulance Company, USA.
  MIA--Missing in Action.
  MISD--Military Intelligence Service Detachment (USA).
  MP--Military Police.
  MRO--Movement Report Office.
  MSR--Main Supply Route.
  MSTS--Military Sea Transport Service.
  MTACS--Marine Tactical Air Control Squadron.
  MTBn--Motor Transport Battalion.
  NavBchGru--Naval Beach Group.
  NavFE--Naval Forces Far East.
  NCO--Noncommissioned Officer.
  NK--North Korea(n).
  NKPA--North Korean Peoples Army.
  N.d.--Date not given.
  N.t.--Time not given.
  O--Officer; Order.
  OCMH--Office of the Chief of Military History (USA).
  OI--Operation Instruction.
  OpnO--Operation Order.
  OpnPlan--Operation Plan.
  OrdBn--Ordnance Battalion.
  OY--Consolidated-Vultee Light Observation Plane.
  PCEC--Escort Amphibious Control Vessel.
  PhibGru--Amphibious Group.
  PIR--Periodic Intelligence Report.
  PLA--People’s Liberation Army.
  POL--Petroleum, Oil, Lubricants.
  POR--Periodic Operation Report.
  POW--Prisoner of War.
  QMPetDistCo--Quartermaster Petroleum Distribution Company (USA).
  QMSubsistSupCo--Quartermaster Subsistence Supply Company (USA).
  R4D--Douglas Transport (Navy and Marine designation of C-47).
  RCT--Regimental Combat Team.
  RktBn--Rocket Battalion.
  RM--Royal Marines.
  ROK--Republic of Korea.
  R & O File--Records and Orders File.
  ROKA--Republic of Korea Army.
  ROKN--Republic of Korea Navy.
  SAC--Supporting Arms Coordinator.
  SAR--Special Action Report.
  SCAJAP--Shipping Control Authority, Japan.
  SecDef--Secretary of Defense.
  ServBn--Service Battalion.
  SigBn--Signal Battalion.
  SigRepCo--Signal Repair Company.
  SitRpt--Situation Report.
  SP--Shore Party.
  SMS--Marine Supply Squadron.
  TAC--Tactical Air Coordinator; Tactical Air Commander.
  TACP--Tactical Air Control Party.
  Tacron--Tactical Air Control Squadron.
  TADC--Tactical Air Direction Center.
  T-AP--Transport Operated by MSTS.
  TBM--General Motors “Avenger” Torpedo Bomber.
  TE--Task Element.
  T/E--Table of Equipment.
  Tel--Telephone Message.
  TF--Task Force.
  TG--Task Group.
  TkBn--Tank Battalion.
  T/O--Table of Organization.
  TU--Task Unit.
  UDT--Underwater Demolitions Team.
  U/F--Unit of Fire.
  UN--United Nations.
  UNC--United Nations Command.
  URpt--Unit Report.
  USA--United States Army.
  USAF--United States Air Force.
  USMC--United States Marine Corps.
  USN--United States Navy.
  VMF--Marine Fighter Squadron.
  VMF(N)--All-Weather, Fighter Squadron.
  VMO--Marine Observation Squadron.
  VMR--Marine Transport Squadron.
  WD--War Diary.
  WD Sum--War Diary Summary.
  WIA--Wounded in Action.
  YMS--Motor Minesweeper.


Task Organization 1st Marine Division

In order to present a true picture of the Task Organization of the
1st Marine Division during its operations in northeast Korea the
organization will be presented for the following periods:

  1. Wonsan Landing (OpnO 16-50)
  2. Advance to the Reservoir (OpnO 19-50)
  3. Movement south from Hagaru (OpnO 25-50)
  4. Hungnam Evacuation (OpnO 27-50)


  _1st Marine Division, (Reinf), FMF_       MajGen O. P. SMITH

  HqBn, 1stMarDiv, less dets                LtCol M. T. STARR
    163rd MISD, USA
  441st CIC Det, USA
  1st SigBn, less dets                      Maj R. L. SCHREIER
    Carrier Plat, FMF
    Det, 4th SigBn, USA
    2d SigRepUnit, USA
    Det, 205th SigRepCo, USA
  1st ServBn, less dets                     LtCol C. L. BANKS
  1stMTBn                                   LtCol O. L. BEALL
  1st OrdBn                                 Maj L. O. WILLIAMS
  1st SPBn, less dets                       LtCol H. P. CROWE
    SPCommSec, 1stSigBn
    Det, 1st CSG
    Det, NavBchGru 1
  1st MedBn, less dets                      Cdr H. B. JOHNSON, USN
    2d Plat, 560thMedAmbCo, USA
  7thMTBn                                   Maj J. F. STEPKA
  1st CSG, less dets                        Col. J. S. COOK
    1st Fum&BathPlat, FMF
    1st AirDelPlat, FMF
    Plat, 20th QMSubsistSupCo, USA
    Plat, 506th QMPetDisCo, USA
    NavBchGru 1, less dets

  _Regimental Combat Team 1_                Col L. B. PULLER

    1st Marines
    Det, 5th KMC Bn
    Co C, 1st EngrBn
    Co C, 1st MTBn
    Co D, 1st MedBn
    Plat, 1stArmd AmphBn
    Det, 1stSigBn
    FO & LnO Secs, 2/11
    LnDet, 1stTkBn
    SP Gru B
    Det, MP Co
    Det, 1st CSG
    Det, NavBchGru 1

  _Regimental Combat Team 5_                LtCol R. L. MURRAY

    5th Marines
    Co A, 1st EngrBn
    Co D, 1st MTBn
    Co C, 1st MedBn
    Det, 1stSigBn
    FO & LnO Secs, 1/11
    SP Gru A
    Det, MP Co
    Det, 1st CSG
    Det, NavBchGru 1

  _Regimental Combat Team 7_                Col H. L. LITZENBERG

    7th Marines
    Det, 3d KMC Bn
    Co D, 1st EngrBn
    Co B, 1st MTBn
    Co D, 1st MedBn
    Plat, 1st ArmdAmphBn
    Det, 1st SigBn
    FO & LnO Secs, 3/11
    LnDet, 1st TkBn
    SP Gru C
    Det, MP Co
    Det, 1st CSG
    Det, NavBchGru 1

  _11th Marines, Reinf_                     Col J. H. BROWER

    Btry C, 1st 4.5″ RktBn
    1st AmphTrkCo, FMF

  _1st Tank Battalion_, less dets           LtCol H. T. MILNE
  _1st Engineer Battalion_, less dets       LtCol J. H. PARTRIDGE
  _3d KMC Battalion_, less dets             Maj KIM YUN GUN
  _5th KMC Battalion_, less dets            Col KIM TAI SHIK
  _1st AmphTracBn, FMF_                     LtCol E. F. WANN
  _Reconnaissance Company, 1stMarDiv_       1stLt R. B. CROSSMAN
  _VMO-6_                                   Maj V. J. GOTTSCHALK


  _1st Marine Division, Reinf, FMF_         MajGen O. P. SMITH

    HqBn, less dets
      163d MISD
      441st CIC Det
    1stSigBn, Reinf, less dets
    1stServBn, Reinf, less dets
      Co A. 7th MTBn (less 1 plat)
    Det, 1st MTBn
    1st OrdBn
    1stMedBn, less dets
    1st AmphTracBn
      Co B, 1st ArmdAmphBn (less 1st Plat)
    7th MT Bn, less dets
    1st CSG, Reinf
      1st AmphTrkCo
      1st AirDelPlat
      1st Fum&Bath Plat

    _Regimental Combat Team 1_              Col L. B. PULLER

      1st Marines
      Co D, 1st MedBn
      Co C, 1st TkBn
      Co C, Reinf, 1st EngrBn
      Det, 1stSigBn
      Det, 1stServBn
      Det, MP Co

    _Regimental Combat Team 7_              Col H. L. LITZENBERG

      7th Marines
      Recon Co, 1stMarDiv
      1st MTBn, less dets
      Co D, Reinf, 1st EngrBn
      Co E, 1st MedBn
      Det, 1stSigBn
      Det, MP Co
      Det, 1stServBn

    _Regimental Combat Team 5_              LtCol R. L. MURRAY

      5th Marines
      Co A, Reinf, 1stEngrBn
      Co C, 1stMedBn
      Co, 1stMTBn
      Det, 1stSigBn
      Det, MP Co
      Det, 1stServBn

    _11th Marines, Reinf_, less dets        Col J. H. BROWER

      Btry C, 1st 4.5″ RktBn

    _1st Tank Battalion, Reinf_, less dets  LtCol H. T. MILNE
      Tk Plat, 5thMar
      Tk Plat, 7thMar

    _1st Engineer Battalion_, less dets     LtCol J. H. PARTRIDGE
    _VMO-6_                                 Maj V. J. GOTTSCHALK


  (Except where noted the organization remained the same for the
  movement south from Koto-ri.).

  _1st Marine Division, Reinf, FMF_         MajGen O. P. SMITH

    HqBn, Reinf, less dets
      163d MISD
      181st CIC
    1stSigBn, Reinf, less dets
    1st ServBn, Reinf, less dets
      Co A, 7thMTBn, less dets
      AutoSup Co, 1stMTBn
      AutoMaint Co, 1stMTBn
    1stOrdBn, less dets
    1stMedBn, Reinf, less dets
      1st Fum&Bath Plat
      2d Plat, 506thMedAmbCo, USA
  (under opn control X Corps)
    1stAmphTracBn, Reinf, less dets
  1st CSG, Reinf
    7thMTBn, less dets
    Co A, 1stAmphTracBn
    1st AirDel Plat
  1stSPBn                                   (under opn control 3dInfDiv)
  1stTkBn, less dets

  _Regimental Combat Team 5_                LtCol R. L. MURRAY

    5th Marines, less Tk Plat
      Btry D, 2/11                          (released to RCT 1 on
                                              passage through Koto-ri)
    11th Marines, Reinf, less dets
      4/11, less Btry L
      Det, 96th FABn, USA 3/1               (released to RCT 1 on
                                              passage through Koto-ri)
    Det, 1stSigBn
    Tk Co, 31st Inf, USA
    Prov Plat, 1stTkBn
    Co A, 1stEngrBn                         (released to RCT 1 on
                                              passage through Koto-ri)
    Det, 1stEngrBn
    41 Commando, RM
    Division Train 2                        LtCol H. T. MILNE
      Traffic Plat, MP Co
      Det, 513th TrkCo, USA
      Det, 1stMTBn
      Co D, 10thEngr(C)Bn, USA
      Det, 1stMedBn
      Det, 1stServBn
      Det, 1stSigBn
      Det, 515th Trk Co, USA

  _Regimental Combat Team 7_                Col H. L. LITZENBERG

    7th Marines, less Tk Plat 3/11
    Btry L, 4/11                            (released to RCT 1 on
                                              arrival Koto-ri)
    ProvBn, 31st Inf, USA
    Det, 1stSigBn
    Co D, 1stTkBn
    Co D, Reinf, 1stEngrBn
    Division Train 1                        LtCol C. L. BANKS
      Det, HqBn, 1stMarDiv
      Det, Hq X Corps
    Det, 1stServBn
      Det, 1stOrdBn
      Det, 7thMTBn
      Det, X Corps Ord Co, USA
    MP Co, 1stMarDiv, less dets
    1stMTBn, less dets
    Det, 1stSigBn
    AirSptSec, MTACS-2
    Det, 1stMedBn

  _Regimental Combat Team 1_                Col L. B. PULLER

    1st Marines, less 3/1 and Tk Plat
    2/31, Reinf, USA
    2/11, less Btry D                       (Btry D attached on passage
      Btry L, 4/11                          (Btry L attached on arrival
      Cos A & B, 7thMTBn
    Co C, Reinf, 1stMTBn
    Det, 1stSigBn
    Det, 1stServBn
    Det, HqBn, 1stMarDiv
    Det, 1stOrdBn
    Cos B & D, 1stMedBn
    Recon Co, 1stMarDiv
    Det, 1stEngr Bn
    Det, 7th Mar
    Det, 41 Commando, RM                    (released to 41 Commando on
                                              passage Koto-ri by RCT 5)
    Co B, Reinf, 1stTkBn
    Misc elms, USA


  _Forward Echelon_                         BrigGen E. A. CRAIG

  _Main Body, 1st Marine Division_,         MajGen O. P. SMITH

    _Reinf, FMF_, less dets

    _Regimental Combat Team 7_              Col H. L. LITZENBERG

      7th Marines, less Tk Plat
      Co D, 1stEngrBn
      1st CSG, less dets
      Det, HqBn
      Co A, 7th MTBn
      Det, 1stSigBn
      1stMedBn, Reinf
        1st Fum&Bath Plat

    _Regimental Combat Team 5_              LtCol R. L. MURRAY

      5th Marines
      41 Commando, RM
      Co A, 1stEngrBn
      Det, 1stSigBn

    _Regimental Combat Team 1_              Col L. B. PULLER

      1st Marines
      Co C, 1stEngrBn
      Tk Plat, 5th Mar
      Tk Plat, 7th Mar
      Det, 1stSigBn

    _HqBn, Reinf_, less dets                LtCol M. T. STARR

      1stSigBn, less dets
      163d MISD, USA
      181st CIC Det, USA

    _11th Marines, Reinf_, less dets        LtCol C. A. YOUNGDALE

      Btry C, 1st 4.5″ RktBn
      1st EngrBn, less dets
      7thMTBn, less dets
      ANGLICO, 1stSigBn

    _1stSPBn_, less dets                    LtCol H. P. CROWE

    _1st AmphTracBn, Reinf, FMF_            LtCol E. F. WANN

      Co A, Reinf, 1stAmphTrkBn, FMF
      Co B, 1stArmdAmphBn, FMF


Naval Task Organization

1. _Wonsan Landing_

  JTF 7                                          VAdm A. D. Struble
    TF 90 Attack Force                           RAdm J. H. Doyle
      TG 91.2 Landing Force (1st                 MajGen O. P. Smith
      TE 90.00 Flagship Element
        _Mount McKinley_                 1 AGC
      TE 90.01 Tactical Air Control              Cdr T. H. Moore
        TU 90.01.1 TacRon 1
        TU 90.01.2 TacRon 3
      TE 90.02 Naval Beach Group                 Capt W. T. Singer
        TU 90.02.1 Headquarters Unit
        TU 90.02.2 Beachmaster Unit              LCdr M. C. Sibisky
        TU 90.02.3 Boat Unit One                 LCdr H. E. Hock
        TU 90.02.4 Amphibious                    LCdr M. T. Jacobs, Jr.
          Construction Bn.
        TU 90.02.5 Underwater                    LCdr W. R. McKinney
          Demolitions Team Unit
      TG 90.1 Administrative Group               RAdm L. A. Thackery
        TE 90.10 Flagship Element                Capt J. B. Stefonek
          _Eldorado_                     1 AGC
        TU 90.1.1 Medical Unit
          _Consolation_                   1 AH
          _LST 898_[665]
          _LST 975_[665]                 2 LST
        TU 90.1.2 Repair and Salvage             Capt P. W. Mothersill
          _Arikara_                      3 ATF
          _Conserver_                    1 ARS
          _Askari_                       1 ARL
          _Gunston Hall_
          _Fort Marion_
          _Colonial_                     5 LSD
          Plus other units as assigned
        TU 90.1.3 Service Unit                   LCdr J. D. Johnston
          15 LSU
      TG 90.2 Transport Group                    Capt V. R. Roane
        TE 90.21 Transport Division              Capt S. G. Kelly
          _Okanogan_                     4 APA
          _Archenar_                     5 AKA
          _Marine Phoenix_              1 T-AP
        TE 90.22 Transport Division              Capt A. E. Jarrell
          _George Clymer_
          _Bexar_                        4 APA
          _Montague_                     5 AKA
          _Aiken Victory_               1 T-AP
          _Robin Goodfellow_
              1 Commercial freighter
      TG 90.3 Tractor Group                      Capt R. C. Peden
          _Gunston Hall_[666]
          _Fort Marion_[666]
          _Colonial_[666]                5 LSD
          _LST 1123_
          _LST 715_
          _LST 742_
          _LST 799_
          _LST 802_
          _LST 845_
          _LST 883_
          _LST 898_
          _LST 914_
          _LST 973_
          _LST 975_
          _LST 1048_                    12 LST
          23 SCAJAP LSTs                23 LST
      TG 90.4 Control Group                      LCdr C. Allmon
          _PCEC 896_                    1 PCEC
        TU 90.4.1 Control Unit                   Lt S. C. Pinksen
          _Wantuck_                      1 APD
        TU 90.4.2 Control Unit                   Lt A. C. Ansorge
          _Horace A. Bass_               1 APD
      TG 95.6 Minesweeping and                   Capt R. T. Spofford
        Protection Group
          _Collett_                       1 DD
          _Diachenko_                    1 APD
          _Endicott_                     2 DMS
          _Incredible_                    2 AM
          _Chatterer_                    7 AMS
          HMS _Mounts Bay_
          HMNZS _Pukaki_
          HMNZS _Putira_
          _LaGrandiere_ (French)
                                          4 PF
          8 Japanese mine sweepers
          4 Japanese mine destruction
            and buoying vessels
          1 ROKN                         1 AKL
          Plus other units assigned
      TG 90.6 Reconnaissance Group               Cdr S. C. Small
          _Horace A. Bass_
          _Wantuck_                      2 APD
          UDT 1
          UDT 3                          2 UDT
      TG 96.8 Escort Carrier Group               RAdm R. W. Ruble
          _Badoeng Strait_
          _Sicily_                       2 CVE
          _George K. Mackenzie_
          _Ernest G. Small_
          _Rowan_                         6 DD
      TG 95.2 Gunfire Support Group              RAdm G. R. Hartman
          _Toledo_                        3 CA
          HMS _Ceylon_                    1 CL
          HMS _Cockade_
          HMCS _Alhabaskan_
          HMAS _Warramunga_
          3 DD of DesRon 9                6 DD
          LSMR 401[667]
          LSMR 403[667]
          LSMR 404[667]

2. _Hungnam Evacuation_

  TF 90 Amphibious Force, Naval Forces Far East  RAdm J. H. Doyle
    TE 90.00 Flagship Element
        _Mount McKinley_
    TE 90.01 Tactical Air Control Element        Cdr R. W. Arndt
      TacRon ONE
    TE 90.02 Repair and Salvage Unit             Cdr L. C. Conwell
        _Kermit Roosevelt_                 ARG
        _Askari_                           ARL
        _Conserver_                      2 ARS
        _Tawakoni_                         ATF
    TE 90.03 Control Element                     LCdr C. Allmon
        _Begor_                          2 APD
        PCEC 882                          PCEC
    TG 90.2 Transport Group                      Capt S. G. Kelly
      TE 90.21 Transport Element                 Capt A. E. Jarrell
        _Noble_                          3 APA
        _Montague_                       3 AKA
        _Diachenko_                      2 APD
        PCEC 882                          PCEC
        _Fort Marion_[668]
        _Catamount_[668]                 3 LSD
        LST 742
        LST 715
        LST 845
        LST 802
        LST 883
        LST 799
        LST 898
        LST 914
        LST 975
        LST 973
        LST 1048                        11 LST

    TG 90.8 Gunfire Support Group                RAdm R. H. Hillenkoetter
        _St. Paul_
        _Rochester_                       2 CA
        _Charles S. Sperry_
        _Forrest Royal_                   4 DD
        LSMR 401
        LSMR 403
        LSMR 404                        3 LSMR

  Plus DD as assigned from TG 95.2
    TG 95.2 Blockade, Escort and                 RAdm J. M. Higgins
          Minesweeping Group
        _Rochester_                         CA
        _Wallace L. Lind_
        _Borie_                           4 DD
        _Glendale_                        6 PF

    TG 95.6 Minesweeping Group                   Capt R. T. Spofford
        _Doyle_                          2 DMS
        _Incredible_                        AM
        _Heron_                          2 AMS

  TG 96.8 Escort Carrier Group                   RAdm R. W. Ruble
      _Badoeng Strait_
      _Sicily_                           2 CVE
      _Bataan_                             CVL
      _John A. Bole_
      _Ernest G. Small_
      _Brinkley Bass_
      _Arnold J. Isbell_                  7 DD
      _Hanson_                             DDR

  Vessels attached TF 90 for
    operational control.

      _Missouri_                            BB
      _Duncan_               DDR (from 10 Dec)
      _Foss_                   DE (from 9 Dec)
                               AH (from 2 Dec)

    [665] Reported to CTG 95.2 upon arrival at objective area.

    [666] Carrying 3 LSU.

    [667] Reported to CTF 90 when released by CTG 95.2.

    [668] 3 LSU embarked


Effective Strength of 1st Marine Division[669]

            |Organic |Attached|Attached|        |
     Date   |  USMC  | U. S.  | Royal  |Attached|
            |and USN | Army   |Marines |  KMC   | Total
   8 Oct 50 | 23,533 |     78 |      0 |  2,159 | 25,770
  26 Oct 50 | 23,608 |     83 |      0 |  1,588 | 25,279
  27 Nov 50 | 25,166 |     73 |    234 |      0 | 25,473
   5 Dec 50 | 21,551 |  2,535 |    157 |      0 | 24,243
   8 Dec 50 | 21,039 |  2,448 |    157 |      0 | 23,644
  15 Dec 50 | 19,362 |     14 |    144 |      0 | 19,520

      [669] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex A (G-1), 4.


1st Marine Division Casualties[670]

          |     |     |     |       | Non-battle
    Date  | KIA | DOW | MIA |  WIA  | casualties
   8Oct50 |     |     |     |       |         21
   9Oct50 |     |     |     |       |         12
  10Oct50 |     |     |     |       |         11
  11Oct50 |     |     |     |       |         35
  12Oct50 |     |     |     |       |         23
  13Oct50 |     |     |     |       |          5
  14Oct50 |     |     |     |       |          5
  15Oct50 |     |     |     |       |          4
  16Oct50 |     |     |     |       |          3
  17Oct50 |     |     |     |       |          5
  18Oct50 |     |     |     |       |          2
  19Oct50 |     |     |     |       |          1
  20Oct50 |     |     |     |       |          4
  21Oct50 |     |     |     |       |          1
  22Oct50 |     |     |     |       |          2
  23Oct50 |     |     |     |       |          1
  24Oct50 |     |     |     |       |          5
  25Oct50 |     |     |     |       |         12
  26Oct50 |     |     |     |       |         43
  27Oct50 |  22 |     |   4 |    44 |         54
  28Oct50 |   1 |     |     |     3 |         68
  29Oct50 |     |     |     |       |        115
  30Oct50 |   1 |     |     |     5 |         52
  31Oct50 |     |     |     |       |         36
   1Nov50 |     |     |     |       |         29
   2Nov50 |  22 |   2 |     |    67 |         64
   3Nov50 |  22 |   3 |   1 |   162 |         93
   4Nov50 |  17 |   4 |     |    84 |        126
   5Nov50 |   1 |   1 |     |    23 |         94
   6Nov50 |   5 |   1 |     |    38 |         87
   7Nov50 |  15 |     |     |    60 |         51
   8Nov50 |   1 |   2 |     |    17 |         50
   9Nov50 |   2 |   7 |     |       |         50
  10Nov50 |   3 |     |     |    20 |         57
  11Nov50 |   8 |     |     |    16 |         48
  12Nov50 |   2 |     |     |     4 |         40
  13Nov50 |   7 |     |     |     9 |         63
  14Nov50 |     |     |     |       |         66
  15Nov50 |     |     |     |     1 |        172
  16Nov50 |   1 |     |     |     2 |        136
  17Nov50 |     |     |     |     2 |         77
  18Nov50 |     |     |     |       |         79
  19Nov50 |     |     |     |     1 |         58
  20Nov50 |     |     |     |       |         46
  21Nov50 |   4 |     |     |     5 |         63
  22Nov50 |     |     |     |       |         65
  23Nov50 |   1 |     |     |     3 |         58
  24Nov50 |   3 |     |     |     8 |         51
  25Nov50 |     |     |     |     8 |         55
  26Nov50 |   2 |     |   1 |     5 |         68
  27Nov50 |  37 |   1 |  17 |   186 |         96
  28Nov50 |  95 |   3 |  43 |   539 |        259
  29Nov50 |  60 |  14 |  42 |   396 |        105
  30Nov50 |  27 |   6 |   6 |   183 |        102
   1Dec50 |  27 |  14 |   6 |   111 |        134
   2Dec50 |  55 |   2 |  33 |   231 |        180
   3Dec50 |  16 |   1 |   6 |   194 |        196
   4Dec50 |  10 |   6 |   4 |   202 |        582
   5Dec50 |   2 |   7 |   2 |    81 |        469
   6Dec50 |  32 |   4 |   7 |   212 |        262
   7Dec50 |  51 |  16 |     |   281 |        304
   8Dec50 |  29 |   8 |   4 |   127 |        170
   9Dec50 |   6 |   7 |   1 |    46 |        224
  10Dec50 |   7 |   5 |   8 |    45 |        266
  11Dec50 |   9 |   4 |   3 |    38 |        308
  12Dec50 |     |   2 |   4 |     3 |        123
  13Dec50 |     |     |     |     1 |         52
  14Dec50 |     |     |     |       |        103
  15Dec50 |     |   1 |     |       |         34
  16Dec50 |     |     |     |       |         90
  17Dec50 |     |     |     |     1 |        105
  18Dec50 |     |     |     |       |        282
  19Dec50 |     |     |     |       |        202
  20Dec50 |     |     |     |       |        151
  21Dec50 |     |     |     |     1 |        111
  22Dec50 |     |     |     |       |         68
  23Dec50 |     |     |     |     3 |         79
  24Dec50 |   1 |     |     |    10 |         42
    Total | 604 | 114 | 192 | 3,485 |      7,338

      [670] 1stMarDiv _SAR_, annex E, appendix 2 (Casualty
            Reporting Section, 12Jan51); Smith, _Notes_, 1147–1149.


Command and Staff List

8 October-15 December 1950


  Commanding General                 MajGen Oliver P. Smith
  Assistant Division Commander       BrigGen Edward A. Craig
  Chief of Staff                     Col Gregon A. Williams
  Deputy Chief of Staff              Col Edward W. Snedeker
  G-1                                Col Harvey S. Walseth (to 28 Nov)
                                     LtCol Bryghte D. Godbold
  G-2                                Col Bankson T. Holcomb, Jr.
  G-3                                Col Alpha L. Bowser, Jr.
  G-4                                Col Francis A. McAlister

_Special Staff_

  Adjutant                           Maj Philip J. Costello
  Air Officer                        Maj James N. Cupp
  Artillery Officer                  Col James H. Brower (to 30 Nov)
                                     Col Carl A. Youngdale
  Amphibian Tractor Officer          LtCol Erwin F. Wann, Jr.
  Armored Amphibian Officer          LtCol Francis H. Cooper
  Chaplain                           Cdr Robert H. Schwyhart (ChC), USN
  Chemical Warfare and
    Radiological Defense Officer     Maj John H. Blue
  Dental Officer                     Capt Mack Meradith (DC), USN
  Embarkation Officer                Maj Jules M. Rouse
  Engineer Officer                   LtCol John H. Partridge
  Exchange Officer                   Capt Wilbur C. Conley
  Food Director                      Maj Norman R. Nickerson
  Inspector                          Col John A. White
  Historical Officer                 2dLt John M. Patrick
  Legal Officer                      LtCol Albert H. Schierman
  Motor Transport Officer            Maj Henry W. Seeley
  Naval Gunfire Officer              LtCol Loren S. Fraser
  Ordnance Officer                   Capt Donald L. Shenaut
  Provost Marshal                    Capt John H. Griffin
  Public Information Officer         Capt Michael Capraro (to 6 Nov)
                                     Maj Carl E. Stahley
  Shore Party Officer                LtCol Henry P. Crowe
  Signal Officer                     LtCol Albert Creal
  Special Services Officer           Capt Raymond H. Spuhler (to 29 Nov)
                                     LtCol John M. Bathum
  Supply Officer                     Col Gordon S. Hendricks
  Surgeon                            Capt Eugene R. Hering (MC), USN
  Tank Officer                       LtCol Harry T. Milne

_Attached Units_

  Commanding Officer, 163d Military
    Intelligence Specialist
    Detachment, USA                  Capt Fujio F. Asano, USA
  Commanding Officer, 181st Counter
    Intelligence Corps Detachment,
    USA                              Maj Millard E. Dougherty, USA
  Commanding Officer, 41st
    Independent Commando,
    Royal Marines                    LtCol Douglas B. Drysdale, RM

_Headquarters Battalion_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Marvin T. Starr
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Company             Maj Frederick Simpson
  Commanding Officer,
    Military Police Company          Capt John H. Griffin
  Commanding Officer,
    Reconnaissance Company           1stLt Ralph B. Crossman (to 23 Nov)
                                     Maj Walter Gall

_1st Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 Col Lewis B. Puller
  Executive Officer                  LtCol Robert W. Rickert
  S-1                                Capt William G. Reeves
  S-2                                Capt Stone W. Quillian
  S-3                                Maj Robert E. Lorigan
  S-4                                Maj Thomas T. Grady
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Company             Capt Frank P. Tatum
  Commanding Officer, 4.2-inch
    Mortar Company                   Capt Frank J. Faureck
  Commanding Officer, Antitank
    Company                          Capt George E. Petro

_1st Battalion, 1st Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Jack Hawkins (to 7 Nov)
                                     LtCol Donald M. Schmuck
  Executive Officer                  Maj Maurice H. Clarke
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              Capt William B. Hopkins
  Commanding Officer, A Company      Capt Robert H. Barrow
  Commanding Officer, B Company      Capt Wesley Noren
  Commanding Officer, C Company      Capt Robert P. Wray
  Commanding Officer, Weapons
    Company                          Maj William T. Bates, Jr.

_2d Battalion, 1st Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Allan Sutter
  Executive Officer                  Maj Clarence J. Mabry
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              Capt Raymond Dewees, Jr.
  Commanding Officer, D Company      Capt Welby W. Cronk
  Commanding Officer, E Company      Capt Charles D. Frederick (to 6 Nov)
                                     1stLt Harold B. Wilson (6–17 Nov)
                                     Capt Jack A. Smith
  Commanding Officer, F Company      Capt Goodwin C. Groff
  Commanding Officer, Weapons        Maj Whitman S. Bartley (to 16 Nov)
    Company                          Capt William A. Kerr

_3d Battalion, 1st Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Thomas L. Ridge
  Executive Officer                  Maj Reginald R. Myers
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              Capt Thomas E. McCarthy
  Commanding Officer, G Company      Capt George C. Westover (to 30 Oct)
                                     Capt Carl L. Sitter
  Commanding Officer, H Company      Capt Clarence E. Corley
  Commanding Officer, I Company      1stLt Joseph R. Fisher
  Commanding Officer, Weapons
    Company                          Maj Edwin H. Simmons

_5th Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Raymond L. Murray
  Executive Officer                  LtCol Joseph L. Stewart
  S-1                                1stLt Alton C. Weed
  S-2                                Maj William C. Easterline
  S-3                                Maj Theodore J. Spiker
  S-4                                Maj Harold Wallace
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              Capt Harold G. Schrier (to 9 Oct)
                                     Capt Jack E. Hawthorn
  Commanding Officer, 4.2-inch
    Mortar Company                   1stLt Robert M. Lucy
  Commanding Officer, Antitank
    Company                          1stLt Almarion S. Bailey

_1st Battalion, 5th Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol George R. Newton (to 17 Nov)
                                     LtCol John W. Stevens, II
  Executive Officer                  Maj Merlin R. Olson
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              Capt Walter E. G. Godenius
  Commanding Officer, A Company      Capt John R. Stevens (to 17 Nov)
                                     Capt James B. Heater
  Commanding Officer, B Company      Capt Francis I. Fenton (to 13 Oct)
                                     1stLt John R. Hancock
  Commanding Officer, C Company      1stLt Poul F. Pedersen (to 6 Nov)
                                     Capt Jack R. Jones
  Commanding Officer, Weapons
    Company                          Maj John W. Russell

_2d Battalion, 5th Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Harold S. Roise
  Executive Officer                  LtCol John W. Stevens, II (to 12Nov)
                                     Maj Glen E. Martin (13–21Nov)
                                     Maj John L. Hopkins
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              1stLt David W. Walsh (to 8 Oct)
                                     Capt Franklin B. Mayer
  Commanding Officer, D Company      Capt Samuel S. Smith
  Commanding Officer, E Company      Capt Samuel Jaskilka (to 12 Dec)
                                     Capt Lawrence W. Henke, Jr.
  Commanding Officer, F Company      Capt Uel D. Peters (to 6 Dec)
                                     1stLt Charles “H” Dalton
  Commanding Officer, Weapons
    Company                          Maj James W. Bateman (to 10 Oct)
                                     Maj Glen E. Martin (11 Oct-12 Nov)
                                     Maj James W. Bateman (13–21 Nov)
                                     Maj Glen E. Martin

_3d Battalion, 5th Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Robert D. Taplett
  Executive Officer                  Maj John J. Canney (to 28 Nov)
                                     Maj Harold W. Swain
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              Capt Roland A. Marbaugh (to 4 Dec)
                                     Capt Raymond H. Spuhler
  Commanding Officer, G Company      1stLt Charles D. Mize (to 17 Nov)
                                     Capt Chester R. Hermanson (18 Nov-2
                                     1stLt Charles D. Mize
  Commanding Officer, H Company      1stLt Donald E. Watterson (to 8 Nov)
                                     Capt Harold B. Williamson
  Commanding Officer, I Company      Capt Harold G. Schrier
  Commanding Officer, Weapons
    Company                          Maj Murray Ehrlich (to 18 Nov)
                                     Maj Harold W. Swain (19–28 Nov)
                                     1stLt Hubert J. Shovlin

_7th Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 Col Homer L. Litzenberg, Jr.
  Executive Officer                  LtCol Frederick R. Dowsett (to 7 Dec)
                                     LtCol Raymond G. Davis
  S-1                                Capt John R. Grove
  S-2                                Capt Donald R. France (to 6 Dec)
  S-3                                Maj Henry J. Woessner, II
  S-4                                Maj David L. Mell (to 22 Nov)
                                     Maj Maurice E. Roach
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              Capt Nicholas L. Shields (to 3 Dec)
                                     Maj Walter T. Warren (4–7 Dec)[671]
                                     Maj Rodney V. Reigard[672]
  Commanding Officer, 4.2-inch
    Mortar Company                   Maj Stanley D. Low (to 2 Nov)
                                     1stLt Gordon Vincent (3–18 Nov)
                                     Maj Rodney V. Reigard
  Commanding Officer, Antitank
    Company                          1stLt Earl R. DeLong (to 20 Oct)
                                     Maj Walter T. Warren (21 Oct-8 Dec)
                                     1stLt Earl R. DeLong

_1st Battalion, 7th Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Raymond G. Davis (to 7 Dec)
                                     Maj Webb D. Sawyer
  Executive Officer                  Maj Raymond V. Fridrich
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              Capt Elmer L. Starr (to 22 Nov)
                                     1stLt Wilbert R. Gaul
  Commanding Officer, A Company      Capt David W. Banks (to 20 Nov)
                                     1stLt Eugenous M. Hovatter
  Commanding Officer, B Company      Capt Myron E. Wilcox, Jr. (to 27 Nov)
                                     1stLt Joseph R. Kurcaba (27 Nov-8-Dec)
                                     1stLt William W. Taylor
  Commanding Officer, C Company      Capt William E. Shea (to 16 Nov)
                                     Capt John F. Morris
  Commanding Officer, Weapons
  Company                            Maj William E. Vorhies

_2d Battalion, 7th Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 Maj Webb D. Sawyer (to 9 Nov)
                                     LtCol Randolph S. D. Lockwood
  Executive Officer                  Maj Roland E. Carey (to 9 Nov)
                                     Maj Webb D. Sawyer (10 Nov-8 Dec)
                                     Maj James F. Lawrence, Jr.
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              Capt Walter R. Anderson
  Commanding Officer, D Company      Capt Milton A. Hull (to 28 Nov)
                                     1stLt James D. Hammond, Jr.
  Commanding Officer, E Company      Capt Walter D. Phillips, Jr.
                                       (to 28 Nov)
                                     1stLt Raymond O. Ball (28 Nov)
                                     1stLt Robert T. Bey
  Commanding Officer, F Company      Capt Elmer J. Zorn (to 6 Nov)
                                     Capt William E. Barber (7 Nov-3 Dec)
                                     1stLt John M. Dunne (3–6 Dec)
                                     1stLt Welton R. Abell
  Commanding Officer, Weapons
    Company                          Capt Harry L. Givens, Jr. (to 12 Nov)
                                     Maj Joseph L. Abel (13–19 Nov)
                                     Capt Harry L. Givens, Jr.

_3d Battalion, 7th Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 Maj Maurice E. Roach (to 10 Nov)
                                     LtCol William F. Harris (11 Nov-6 Dec)
                                     Maj Warren Morris
  Executive Officer                  Maj Warren Morris (to 6 Dec)
                                     Maj Jefferson D. Smith, Jr.
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              Capt Eric R. Haars (to 29 Nov)
  Commanding Officer, G Company      Capt Thomas E. Cooney (to 27 Nov)
                                     Capt Eric R. Haars (29 Nov-3 Dec)
                                     1stLt George R. Earnest
  Commanding Officer, H Company      1stLt Howard H. Harris (to 11 Nov)
                                     Capt Leroy M. Cooke (12–27 Nov)
                                     1stLt Howard H. Harris (27 Nov-1 Dec)
                                     1stLt Harold J. Fitzgeorge (1–5 Dec)
                                     2dLt Minard P. Newton
  Commanding Officer, I Company      Capt Richard H. Sengewald (to 14 Oct)
                                     1stLt William E. Johnson
                                       (15 Oct-3 Dec)
                                     1stLt Alfred I. Thomas
  Commanding Officer, Weapons
    Company                          Maj Jefferson D. Smith (to 5 Dec)
                                     1stLt Austin S. Parker (6–10 Dec)
                                     1stLt Robert E. Hill

_11th Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 Col James H. Brower (to 30 Nov)
                                     LtCol Carl A. Youngdale
  Executive Officer                  LtCol Carl A. Youngdale (to 30 Nov)
  S-1                                Maj Floyd M. McCorkle
  S-2                                Capt William T. Phillips
  S-3                                LtCol James O. Appleyard
  S-4                                Maj Donald V. Anderson
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Battery             Capt Albert H. Wunderly (to 7 Nov)
                                     Capt Clarence E. Hixson (15–25 Nov)
                                     1stLt William C. Patton
  Commanding Officer,
    Service Battery                  Maj Donald V. Anderson (to 16 Nov)
                                     1stLt Joseph M. Brent
  Commanding Officer,
    Battery C, 1st 4.5-inch
    Rocket Battalion                 1stLt Eugene A. Bushe

_1st Battalion, 11th Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Ransom M. Wood (to 15 Nov)
                                     LtCol Harvey A. Feehan
  Executive Officer                  Maj Francis R. Schlesinger
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Battery             Capt James W. Brayshay (to 25 Nov)
  Commanding Officer, Service
    Battery                          1stLt Kenneth H. Quelch
  Commanding Officer, A Battery      Capt James D. Jordan
  Commanding Officer, B Battery      Capt Arnold C. Hoffstetter (to 8 Oct)
                                     Capt Gilbert N. Powell
  Commanding Officer, C Battery      Capt William J. Nichols, Jr.

_2d Battalion, 11th Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Merritt Adelman
  Executive Officer                  Maj Donald E. Noll (to 25 Oct)
                                     Maj Neal G. Newell
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Battery             Capt George J. Batson
  Commanding Officer, Service
    Battery                          Capt Herbert R. Merrick, Jr.
  Commanding Officer, D Battery      Capt Andrew J. Strohmenger (to 8 Dec)
                                     Capt Richard E. Roach
  Commanding Officer, E Battery      Capt John C. McClelland, Jr.
  Commanding Officer, F Battery      Capt George J. Kovich, Jr. (to 19 Nov)
                                     1stLt Howard A. Blancheri

_3d Battalion, 11th Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 Maj Francis F. Parry
  Executive Officer                  Maj Norman A. Miller, Jr.
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Battery             1stLt Michael B. Weir (to 11 Nov)
                                     1stLt Eugene H. Brown (12–18 Nov)
                                     1stLt John J. Brackett
  Commanding Officer, Service
    Battery                          Capt Robert A. Thompson (to 17 Oct)
                                     Capt Ernest W. Payne (18 Oct-30 Nov)
                                     Capt Samuel A. Hannah
  Commanding Officer, G Battery      Capt Samuel A. Hannah (to 30 Nov)
                                     Capt Ernest W. Payne
  Commanding Officer, H Battery      Capt Benjamin S. Read (to 8 Dec)
                                     1stLt Wilber N. Herndon
  Commanding Officer, I Battery      Capt John M. McLaurin, Jr. (to 30 Nov)
                                     Capt Robert T. Patterson

_4th Battalion, 11th Marines_

  Commanding Officer                 Maj William McReynolds
  Executive Officer                  Maj Thomas M. Coggins (to 8 Nov)
                                     Maj Maurice J. Coffey
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Battery             Capt Charles S. Cummings (to 25 Oct)
                                     Capt Paul L. Hirt
  Commanding Officer, Service
    Battery                          Capt Armand G. Daddazio
  Commanding Officer, K Battery      1stLt Robert C. Messman (to 27 Nov)
                                     1stLt Robert C. Parrott
                                       (28 Nov-11 Dec)
                                     Capt Arthur D. Challacombe
  Commanding Officer, L Battery      Capt Lawrence R. Cloern
  Commanding Officer, M Battery      Capt Vernon W. Shapiro

_1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Erwin F. Wann, Jr.
  Executive Officer                  Maj Arthur J. Barrett
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Company             Capt Frank E. Granucci
  Commanding Officer, A Company      Maj James P. Treadwell
  Commanding Officer, B Company      Capt Russell Hamlet
  Commanding Officer, C Company      Maj Arthur J. Noonan

_1st Armored Amphibian Battalion_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Francis H. Cooper
  Executive Officer                  Maj Richard G. Warga
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarter Company              Capt Roger B. Thompson
  Commanding Officer,
    Service Company                  Capt Rex Z. Michael, Jr.
  Commanding Officer, A Company      Capt Bernard G. Thobe
  Commanding Officer, B Company      Capt Lewis E. Bolts

_1st Combat Service Group_

  Commanding Officer                 Col John H. Cook, Jr.
  Executive Officer                  LtCol Edward A. Clark
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Company             Capt Francis L. Miller
  Commanding Officer,
    Maintenance Company              Maj Edward H. Voorhees
  Commanding Officer,
    Supply Company                   Maj Robert W. Hengesback
  Commanding Officer, Support
    Company                          Maj Donald B. Cooley, Jr.
  Commanding Officer, Truck Company  Capt John A. Pearson (to 11 Nov)
                                     2dLt Alan G. Copp (11–30 Nov)
                                     Capt Jack W. Temple
  Commanding Officer, 1st
    Fumigation and Bath Company      1stLt James L. Dumas
  Commanding Officer, 1st Air
    Delivery Platoon                 Capt Hersel D. C. Blasingame

_1st Engineer Battalion_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol John H. Partridge
  Executive Officer                  Maj Richard M. Elliott
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Company             Capt James H. McRoberts (to 20 Nov)
                                     Maj Hewitt A. Snow
                                     Capt Edward B. Newton
  Commanding Officer,
    Service Company                  Maj James W. McIllwain (to 22 Nov)
                                     Capt Philip A. Terrell, Jr.
  Commanding Officer, A Company      Capt George W. King (to 2 Dec)
                                     Capt William R. Gould
  Commanding Officer, B Company      Capt Orville L. Bibb
  Commanding Officer, C Company      Capt Lester G. Harmon (to 12 Nov)
                                     1stLt Ronald L. Glendinning
  Commanding Officer, D Company      Capt Byron C. Turner

_1st Medical Battalion_

  Commanding Officer                 Cdr Howard A. Johnson, USN
  Executive Officer                  Cdr William S. Francis, USN
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              Cdr William S. Francis, USN
  Commanding Officer, A Company      Cdr Byron E. Bassham, USN
  Commanding Officer, B Company      LCdr James A. Kaufman, USN
  Commanding Officer, C Company      Cdr Harold A. Streit, USN
  Commanding Officer, D Company      LCdr Gustave J. Anderson, USN
  Commanding Officer, E Company      LCdr John H. Cheffey, USN (to 15 Oct)
                                     Lt (jg) Ernest N. Grover, USN
                                       (15–30 Oct)
                                     LCdr Charles K. Holloway, USN

_1st Motor Transport Battalion_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Olin L. Beall
  Executive Officer                  Maj John R. Barreiro, Jr.
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              Capt George B. Loveday
  Commanding Officer, A Company      Capt Arthur W. Ecklund
  Commanding Officer, B Company      Capt James C. Camp, Jr.
  Commanding Officer, C Company      Capt Garfield M. Randall (to 30 Nov)
                                     1stLt Norman E. Stow
  Commanding Officer, D Company      Capt Bernard J. Whitelock (9 Dec)
                                     1stLt Philip R. Hade
  Commanding Officer, Automotive
    Maintenance Company              Maj Edward L. Roberts
  Commanding Officer, Automotive
    Supply Company                   1stLt Mildridge E. Mangum
  Commanding Officer, Amphibian
    Truck Company, FMF[673]          Capt John Bookhout

_1st Ordnance Battalion_

  Commanding Officer                 Maj Lloyd O. Williams
  Executive Officer                  Maj Samuel A. Johnstone, Jr.
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Company             Capt Theodore Tunis (to 13 Nov)
                                     Capt Gordon H. Moore
  Commanding Officer,
    Ordnance Supply Company          Capt Russel S. LaPointe (to 5 Dec)
                                     1stLt Victor F. Brown
  Commanding Officer,
    Ammunition Company               Capt Harvey W. Gagner (to 30 Nov)
                                     1stLt Charles H. Miller
  Commanding Officer, Ordnance
    Maintenance Company              Capt George L. Williams

_1st Service Battalion_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Charles L. Banks
  Executive Officer                  Maj John R. Stone
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Company             Capt Morse “L” Holladay
  Commanding Officer,
    Service Company                  Capt Robert A. Morehead
  Commanding Officer,
    Support Company                  Capt Richard W. Sinclair (to 27 Oct)
                                     Capt Thomas M. Sagar

_1st Shore Party Battalion_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Henry P. Crowe
  Executive Officer                  LtCol Horace H. Figuers
  Commanding Officer, Headquarters
    and Service Company              Capt William T. Miller
  Commanding Officer, A Company      Maj William L. Batchelor (to 22 Nov)
                                     Capt Nathaniel H. Carver
  Commanding Officer, B Company      Maj Henry Brzezinski
  Commanding Officer C Company       Maj George A. Smith (to 24 Nov)
                                     Maj Murray F. Rose

_1st Signal Battalion_

  Commanding Officer                 Maj Robert L. Schreier
  Executive Officer                  Maj Elwyn M. Stimson
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Company             Capt Howard K. Alberts (to 14 Nov)
                                     Capt Earl F. Stanley
  Commanding Officer,
    Signal Company                   Maj Richard A. Glaeser
  Commanding Officer, ANGLICO        Maj Fulton L. Oglesby (to 16 Nov)
                                     Maj Frederick M. Steinhauser

_1st Tank Battalion_

  Commanding Officer                 LtCol Harry T. Milne
  Executive Officer                  Maj Douglas E. Haberlie (to 1 Dec)
                                     Maj Philip C. Morrell
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Company             Capt Bruce W. Clarke (to 18 Nov)
                                     1stLt Frederick L. Adams
  Commanding Officer,
    Service Company                  Capt Philip C. Morell (to 1 Dec)
                                     Maj Douglas E. Haberlie
  Commanding Officer, A Company      Capt Gearl M. English (to 1 Dec)
                                     1stLt Robert J. Craig
  Commanding Officer, B Company      Capt Bruce F. Williams
  Commanding Officer, C Company      Capt Richard M. Taylor
  Commanding Officer, D Company      Capt Lester T. Chase (to 18 Nov)
                                     Capt Bruce W. Clarke (19 Nov-10 Dec)
                                     1stLt Paul E. Sanders

_7th Motor Transport Battalion_

  Commanding Officer                 Maj Joseph F. Stepka (to 7 Nov)
                                     LtCol Carl J. Cagle
  Executive Officer                  Maj Vernon A. Tuson
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Company             1stLt Reed T. King
  Commanding Officer, A Company      Capt Ira N. Hayes
  Commanding Officer, B Company      Capt Clovis M. Jones
  Commanding Officer, C Company      Capt Fred B. Rogers
  Commanding Officer, D Company      Capt Joseph L. Bunker

_Marine Observation Squadron 6_

  (Under operational control of
    1stMarDiv and administrative
    control of 1stMAW)
  Commanding Officer                 Maj Vincent J. Gottschalk
  Executive Officer                  Capt Victor A. Armstrong (to 13 Nov)
                                     Capt Andrew L. McVickers


  Commanding General                 MajGen Field Harris
  Assistant Commanding General       BrigGen Thomas J. Cushman
  Chief of Staff                     Col Kenneth H. Weir (8 Oct-1 Nov)
                                     Col Caleb T. Bailey (2 Nov-15 Dec)
  Deputy Chief of Staff for
    Operations[674]                  Col Edward C. Dyer
  G-1                                Col Raymond E. Hopper
  G-2                                LtCol Winsor V. Crockett, Jr.
  G-3                                LtCol Howard A. York (to 9 Nov)
                                     LtCol Paul J. Fontana
                                       (10 Nov-28 Nov)[675]
                                     LtCol Howard A. York
                                       (29 Nov-15 Dec)
  G-4                                Col Thomas J. Noon
  Commanding Officer,
    Rear Echelon, Itami              Col Roger T. Carleson
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Squadron, One       Capt Earl “B” Sumerlin, Jr.

_Marine Aircraft Group 12_

  Commanding Officer                 Col Boeker C. Batterton
  Deputy Group Commander             LtCol Paul J. Fontana
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Squadron 12         Maj John E. Hays
  Commanding Officer,
    Service Squadron 12              Maj Claude H. Welch (to 4 Nov)
                                     Maj Charles E. J. McLean

_Marine Aircraft Group 33_

  Commanding Officer                 Col Frank C. Dailey
  Deputy Group Commander             LtCol Radford C. West
  Commanding Officer,
    Headquarters Squadron 33         Capt Walter “L” Hilton
  Commanding Officer,
    Marine Service Squadron 33       LtCol James C. Lindsay


  Commanding Officer,
    Marine Fighter Squadron 212      LtCol Richard W. Wyczawski
  Commanding Officer,
    Marine Fighter Squadron 214      Maj Robert P. Keller (to 2 0Nov)
                                     Maj William M. Lundin
  Commanding Officer,
    Marine Fighter Squadron 312      LtCol “J” Frank Cole
  Commanding Officer,
    Marine Fighter Squadron 311      LtCol Neil R. McIntyre (from 8 Nov)
  Commanding Officer,
    Marine Fighter Squadron 323      Maj Arnold A. Lund
  Commanding Officer,
    Marine All-Weather Squadron 513  Maj J. Hunter Reinburg (to 4 Nov)
                                     LtCol David C. Wolfe
  Commanding Officer,
    Marine All-Weather Fighter
    Squadron 542                     LtCol Max J. Volcansek, Jr.
  Commanding Officer,
    Marine Transport Squadron 152    Col Deane C. Roberts
  Commanding Officer,
    Marine Ground Control
    Intercept Squadron 1             Maj Harold E. Allen
  Commanding Officer,
    Marine Tactical Air Control
    Squadron 2                       Maj Christian C. Lee

    [671] Additional duty.

    [672] Additional duty.

    [673] Redesignated Company A, 1st Amphibian Truck Battalion,
          15 Nov.

    [674] Also Deputy C/S, Air Support, X Corps.

    [675] Additional duty.


Enemy Order of Battle

1. North Korean

During operations around Wonsan the 1st Marine Division encountered
fragments and stragglers from many NKPA divisions. The organized
elements were chiefly from the 2d, 5th, and 15th Divisions.

2. Chinese

  42d Army
    124th Division      In action against 7th Marines south of
      370th Regiment    Sudong 2 Nov. Badly cut up in actions
      371st Regiment    of 3–6 Nov.
      372nd Regiment
    125th Division      Not in contact. Probably to west of
      373rd Regiment    124th Division.
      374th Regiment
      375th Regiment
    126th Division      Screened Chinese retreat to Hagaru.
      376th Regiment    Never heavily engaged.
      377th Regiment
      378th Regiment
  20th Army
    58th Division       First in action at Hagaru 28 Nov.
      172nd Regiment    Badly cut up in attacks on Hagaru.
      173rd Regiment
      174th Regiment
    59th Division       In contact with 7th Marines southwest
      175th Regiment    of Yudam-ni 23 Nov. Later defended
      176th Regiment    Toktong Pass.
      177th Regiment
    60th Division       In contact with 7th Marines southeast
      178th Regiment    of Yudam-ni 25 Nov. Later moved to
      179th Regiment    Funchilin Pass area.
      180th Regiment
    89th Division       First contacted by 7th Marines west
      266th Regiment    of Hagaru 22 Nov. About 2 Dec
      267th Regiment    moved south to Majon-dong area.
      268th Regiment
  27th Army
    79th Division       Attacked Yudam-ni 27 Nov.
      235th Regiment
      236th Regiment
      237th Regiment
    80th Division       Attacked 7th Infantry Division units
      238th Regiment    east of Reservoir 27 Nov.
      239th Regiment
      240th Regiment
    81st Division       No report of contact until 13 Dec.
      241st Regiment    May have been in Yudam-ni area.
      242nd Regiment
      243rd Regiment
    90th Division       No contact reported. May have been
      268th Regiment    in reserve near Hagaru.
      269th Regiment
      270th Regiment
  26th Army
    76th Division       First contacts east of Hagaru 5 Dec.
      226th Regiment    Suffered heavy losses around Koto-ri.
      227th Regiment
      228th Regiment
    77th Division       First contacts at Hagaru 5 Dec.
      229th Regiment
      230th Regiment
      231st Regiment
    78th Division       Not reported in contact. May not
      232nd Regiment    have reached area in time for combat.
      233rd Regiment
      234th Regiment
    88th Division       Not reported in contact. May not
      263rd Regiment    have reached area in time for combat.
      264th Regiment
      265th Regiment


Air Evacuation Statistics[676]

          |      HAGARU      |     KOTO-RI      | YUDAM-NI  |
    Date  | OY | C-47 | HO4S | OY | C-47 | HO4S | OY | HO4S |Total
  27Nov50 | 19 |     0|    0 |   0|    0 |    0 |  0 |    2 |   21
  28Nov50 | 24 |     0|   18 |   0|    0 |    0 |  0 |   32 |   74
  29Nov50 | 31 |     0|   16 |   0|    0 |    0 |  0 |   22 |   69
  30Nov50 | 62 |     0|    0 |   0|    0 |    0 |  0 |   49 |  111
   1Dec50 | 52 |   157|    2 |   0|    0 |    7 |  1 |    3 |  222
   2Dec50 |  0 |   960|    0 |  47|    0 |    0 |  0 |    0 |1,007
   3Dec50 |  0 |   464|    0 |  53|    0 |    0 |  2 |    4 |  523
   4Dec50 |  0 | 1,046|    0 |  89|    0 |    0 |  0 |    0 |1,135
   5Dec50 |  0 | 1,580|    0 |  48|    0 |    2 |  0 |    0 |1,630
   6Dec50 |  0 |   137|    0 |   0|    0 |    3 |  0 |    0 |  140
   7Dec50 |  0 |     0|    0 | 226|    0 |    6 |  0 |    0 |  232
   8Dec50 |  0 |     0|    0 |   0|   19 |    0 |  0 |    0 |   19
   9Dec50 |  0 |     0|    0 |  21|  277 |    2 |  0 |    0 |  300
  10Dec50 |  0 |     0|    0 |   0|    8 |    4 |  0 |    0 |   12
  Totals  |188 | 4,344|   36 | 484|  304 |   24 |  3 |  112 |5,493

      [676] X Corps, _Special Report, Chosin Reservoir_, 93; Smith,
            _Notes_, 844; and VMO-6 _SAR_, 13–18. TBM evacuation
            included under OY for Koto-ri, 2 to 7 December 1950.


Unit Citations



The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the


for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

  “For extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty
  in action against enemy aggressor forces in the Chosin Reservoir
  and Koto-ri area of Korea from 27 November to 11 December 1950.
  When the full fury of the enemy counterattack struck both the
  Eighth Army and the Tenth Corps on 27 and 28 November 1950, the
  First Marine Division, Reinforced, operating as the left flank
  division of the Tenth Corps, launched a daring assault westward
  from Yudam-ni in an effort to cut the road and rail communications
  of hostile forces attacking the Eighth Army and, at the same
  time, continued its mission of protecting a vital main supply
  route consisting of a tortuous mountain road running southward to
  Chinhung-ni, approximately 35 miles distant. Ordered to withdraw to
  Hamhung in company with attached army and other friendly units in
  the face of tremendous pressure in the Chosin Reservoir area, the
  Division began an epic battle against the bulk of the enemy Third
  Route Army and, while small intermediate garrisons at Hagaru-ri
  and Koto-ri held firmly against repeated and determined attacks by
  hostile forces, gallantly fought its way successively to Hagaru-ri,
  Koto-ri, Chinhung-ni and Hamburg over twisting, mountainous and
  icy roads in sub-zero temperatures. Battling desperately night
  and day in the face of almost insurmountable odds throughout a
  period of two weeks of intense and sustained combat, the First
  Marine Division, Reinforced, emerged from its ordeal as a fighting
  unit with its wounded, with its guns and equipment and with its
  prisoners, decisively defeating seven enemy divisions, together
  with elements of three others, and inflicting major losses which
  seriously impaired the military effectiveness of the hostile forces
  for a considerable period of time. The valiant fighting spirit,
  relentless perseverance and heroic fortitude of the officers and
  men of the First Marine Division, Reinforced, in battle against
  a vastly outnumbering enemy, were in keeping with the highest
  traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

  The following reinforcing units of the First Marine Division
  participated in operations against enemy aggressor forces in Korea
  from 27 November to 11 December 1950:

  (less Detachment Headquarters Battalion; Detachment First Signal
  Battalion; Detachment First Service Battalion; Detachment
  Headquarters and Companies A and C, First Tank Battalion;
  Automotive Supply Company, First Motor Transport Battalion;
  Automotive Maintenance Company, First Motor Transport Battalion;
  Detachment First Ordnance Battalion; Detachment Headquarters and
  Company A, First Medical Battalion; First Shore Party Battalion;
  4.5″ Rocket Battery and Service Battery, Fourth Battalion, Eleventh

  ATTACHED MARINE CORPS UNITS: Companies A and B, Seventh Motor
  Transport Battalion; Detachment Radio Relay Platoon.

  ATTACHED ARMY UNITS: Provisional Battalion (Detachments, 31st and
  32nd Regimental Combat Teams); Company D, 10th Engineer Combat
  Battalion; Tank Company, 31st Infantry Regiment; Headquarters
  Company, 31st Infantry Regiment; Company B, 1st Battalion, 31st
  Infantry Regiment; 2nd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment (less
  Company E); 185th Engineer Combat Battalion (less Company A).

                                        For the President,

                                        R. B. ANDERSON
                                        _Secretary of the Navy_

  GENERAL ORDERS                                DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

  No. 72                           Washington 25, D. C., 9 August 1951


1. The 1st Marine Air Wing, Fleet Marine Force, is cited for
outstanding performance of duty and extraordinary heroism in action
against an armed enemy in the areas of Chosin Reservoir, Hagaru-ri, and
Koto-ri, Korea, during the period 22 November to 14 December 1950. The
historic role of close-support air missions flown by personnel on land
and carrier based aircraft during the operations of the X Corps, United
States Army, contributed immeasurably to the successful withdrawal of
the X Corps when hordes of Chinese Communist and North Korean troops
had encircled their positions endangering the entire operation. In
their magnificent employment of close-support doctrine and in their
exceedingly effective interdiction missions and night combat air
patrols, the 1st Marine Air Wing flew 2,572 day and night sorties
during this period, inflicting 10,313 enemy casualties and destroying
723 buildings, 144 vehicles, 17 tanks, 9 bridges, 4 locomotives, 3
command posts, 30 boxcars, 47 gun positions, and 19 supply, ammunition,
and fuel dumps. These missions were flown over hazardous mountain
terrain under extremely adverse weather conditions and in the face
of intense enemy antiaircraft and small-arms fire. The normally
ground-based Tactical Air Direction Center was ingeniously improvised
into an airborne center in a C-54 aircraft without appreciable loss
of efficiency in operations and the responsibility for controlling
aircraft was assumed and accomplished in a remarkable manner through
day and night operations by controlling personnel. Airborne tactical
air coordinators also were established to supplement the airborne
center to direct specific strikes in areas not under surveillance of
ground control parties to the end that every available sortie was
utilized to maximum effectiveness. In the evacuation of friendly
casualties by cargo airplanes, the use of helicopters for rescue of air
personnel shot down by the enemy and the evacuation of wounded, and
the high state of aircraft availability maintained by ground personnel
working under hazardous and extremely adverse conditions because of
intense cold, personnel of the entire 1st Marine Air Wing displayed
fortitude, courage, and marked esprit de corps. Although suffering a
considerable loss of personnel and equipment during this trying period,
the morale and effectiveness of the 1st Marine Air Wing were sustained
at a constantly high level. The repeated acts of valor and gallantry by
the officers and men of the 1st Marine Air Wing, Fleet Marine Force,
and their enviable combat record reflect great credit on the members
thereof and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military

By order of the Secretary of the Army:

                                      J. LAWTON COLLINS
                                      Chief of Staff, United States Army



  Forney, Edward H. Col, USMC. Transcript of Special Report, Deputy
    Chief of Staff, X Corps, 19 August-31 December 1950. Interviews
    (Korea) File, Records and Research Section, Historical Branch,
    G-3, Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC Historical).

  Shutts, Richard W. Maj, USMC. Report on Amphibious Withdrawal of
    the U. S. X Corps from Hungnam, Korea. Copy in Interviews (Korea)
    File, HQMC Historical.

  Smith, Oliver P. MajGen, USMC. Chronicle of the Operations of the
    1st Marine Division During the First Nine Months of the Korean
    War, 1950–1951. MS. Manuscript File, HQMC Historical.

  ----. Notes on the Operations of the 1st Marine Division During the
    First Nine Months of the Korean War, 1950–1951. MS. Manuscript
    File, HQMC Historical.

  Department of the Army. Joint Daily Situation Reports,
    October-December 1950. Reports and Orders (1950-    ) (R&O) File,
    HQMC Historical.

  U. S. Marine Corps. Interviews with participants in the Korean War,
    1950–54. Interviews (Korea) File, HQMC Historical.

  ----. Letters, memoranda, narratives, and statements received by
    Historical Branch, G-3, concerning Korean operations. Monograph
    and Comments File, HQMC Historical.

  U. S. Marine Corps Board. _Marine Corps Board Study: An Evaluation
    of the Influence of Marine Corps Forces on the Course of the
    Korean War (4 Aug 50–15 Dec 50)._ 2 vols. Copy in R&O File, HQMC

  Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet. Interim Evaluation Report
    Number 1, 25 June to 15 November 1950. 20 January 1951. 17 vols.,
    processed. R&O File, HQMC Historical.

  Far East Command. Allied Translator and Interpreter Service. Enemy
    Documents: Korean Operations. Intelligence File, HQMC Historical
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  ----. Military Intelligence Section, General Staff, Theater
    Intelligence Division, Geographic Branch. Terrain Study Number 6,
    North Korea. 9 October 1950. Intelligence File, HQMC Historical.

  ----. Operations Branch, Theater Intelligence Division, Military
    Intelligence Section. Order of Battle Information Chinese
    Communist Third Field Army. Intelligence File, HQMC Historical.

  Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Chinese Communist Forces Tactics in
    Korea. 22 March 1951. R&O File, HQMC Historical.

  ----. Staff Study: The Establishment of a Balanced Fleet Marine
    Force Air-Ground Force in the Western Pacific. 19 October 1950.
    R&O File, HQMC Historical.

  Eighth U. S. Army in Korea. Combat Information Bulletin Number 4.
    20 November 1950. R&O File, HQMC Historical.

  ----. War Diaries, Command Reports, and supporting documents,
    October-December 1950. Departmental Records Branch, The Adjutant
    General’s Office, Alexandria, Va. (DRB, TAGO).

  ----. Order of Battle Branch, Office of the Assistant Chief of
    Staff, G-2. CCF Army Histories. 1 December 1954. Copy at OCMH.

  X Corps. Guerrilla Activities X Corps Zone, October-December 1950.
    DRB, TAGO.

  ----. Special Report on Chosin Reservoir, 27 November to 10
    December 1950. R&O File, HQMC Historical.

  ----. Special Report on Hungnam Evacuation, December 1950. DRB,

  ----. War Diaries, Command Reports, and supporting documents,
    October-December 1950. DRB, TAGO.

  ----. G-2 Section. Periodic Intelligence Reports, October-December
    1950. R&O File, HQMC Historical.

  Commanding General, 1st Marine Air Wing. Historical Diaries,
    October-December 1950. Command Diary (Korea), Type B Report File
    (Diary File), HQMC Historical.

  ----. Special Action Report for the period 10 October 1950 to 15
    December 1950. 7 May 1951.

    A     G-1
    B     G-2
    C     G-3
    D     G-4
    E     Medical
    F     Special Services
    G     Legal
    H     Communications
    I     VMR-152
    J     Marine Air Group 33
      A   S-1
      B   S-2
      C   S-3
      D   S-4
      E   Communications
      F   Logistics
      G   Medical
      H   Public Information
      I   Buildings and Ground
      J   Ordnance
      K   Transportation
      L   Chaplain
      M   Electronics
      N   Photographic Unit
      O   Engineering
      P   Aerology
      Q   VMF-214
      R   VMF-212
      S   VMF-323
    K     Marine Air Group 12
      A   Personnel
      B   Intelligence
      C Operations
      D Logistics
      E Supply
      F VMF-311
      G VMF-312
      H VMF(N)-513
      I VMF(N)-542
      J MTACS-2
      K MGCIS-1
      L Engineering
      M Ordnance
      N Electronics
      O Transportation
      P Special Services
      Q Mess
      R Utilities
      S Communications
      T Medical
      U Base Security
      V Commanding Officer’s Comments

  “SAR” File (Korea), HQMC Historical.

  1st Marine Division, FMF. Historical Diaries, October-December
    1950. Diary File, HQMC Historical.

  ----. Periodic Intelligence Reports, October-December 1950.
    Correspondence File, 1stMarDiv (Korea), HQMC Historical.

  ----. Periodic Operations Reports, October-December 1950.
    Correspondence File, 1stMarDiv (Korea), HQMC Historical.

  ----. Reports, messages, journals, correspondence, orders, and
    miscellaneous matter, October-December 1950. Correspondence File,
    1stMarDiv (Korea), HQMC Historical.

  ----. Special Action Report for the Wonsan-Hamhung-Choshin (sic)
    Reservoir Operation, 8 October-15 December 1950. 21 May 1951. 3

    A    G-1
    B    G-2
    C    G-3
    D    G-4
    E    Adjutant
    F    Anti-tank
    G    Chaplain
    H    Chemical Warfare and Radiological Defense
    I    Dental
    J   Embarkation
    K   Engineer
    L   Headquarters Commandant
    M   Food Director
    N   Historical
    O   Inspector
    P   Legal
    Q   Medical
    R   Motor Transport
    S   Ordnance
    T   Post Exchange
    U   Public Information
    V   Signal
    W   Special Services
    X   Supply
    Y   Disbursing
    Z   Civil Affairs
    AA  Division Administration Center
    BB  Fire Support Coordination Center
    CC  Air and Air Observers
    DD  Naval Gunfire
    EE  Headquarters Battalion
    FF  1st Service Battalion
    GG  1st Signal Battalion
    HH  1st Medical Battalion
    II  1st Motor Transport Battalion
    JJ  1st Amphibian Truck Company
    LL  1st Ordnance Battalion
    MM  1st Shore Party Battalion
    NN  1st Engineer Battalion
    OO  1st Tank Battalion
    PP  1st Marines
    QQ  5th Marines
    RR  7th Marines
    SS  11th Marines
    TT  1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion
    UU  1st Combat Service Group
    VV  7th Motor Transport Battalion
    WW  VMO-6
    XX  Cold Weather Operations

  “SAR” File (Korea), HQMC Historical.

  Commander Amphibious Group One (CTF 90). Action Report Hungnam
    Operation; Period 9 December 1950 through 25 December 1950. 21
    January 1951. R&O File, HQMC Historical.

  1st Marines. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary File,
    HQMC Historical.

  ----. Unit Reports, October-December 1950. Correspondence File,
    1stMarDiv (Korea), HQMC Historical.

  5th Marines. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary File,
    HQMC Historical.

  ----. Unit Reports, October-December 1950. Correspondence File,
    1stMarDiv (Korea), HQMC Historical.

  7th Marines. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary File,
    HQMC Historical.

  ----. Unit Reports, October-December 1950. Correspondence File,
    1stMarDiv (Korea), HQMC Historical.

  11th Marines. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary
    File, HQMC Historical.

  ----. Unit Reports, October-December 1950. Correspondence File,
    1stMarDiv (Korea), HQMC Historical.

  Marine Air Group 12. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950.
    Diary File, HQMC Historical.

  Marine Air Group 33. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950.
    Diary File, HQMC Historical.

  1st Amphibious Tractor Battalion. Historical Diaries,
    October-December 1950. Diary File, HQMC Historical.

  1st Shore Party Battalion. Historical Diary for Advance Party, R&O
    File, HQMC Historical.

  Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division. Unit Reports,
    October-December 1950. Correspondence File, 1stMarDiv (Korea),
    HQMC Historical.

  2d Battalion, 1st Marines. Special Action Report for Period 8
    October to 15 December 1950. “SAR” File (Korea), HQMC Historical.

  3d Battalion, 1st Marines. Special Action Report for Period 7
    October to 25 November 1950. “SAR” File (Korea), HQMC Historical.

  ----. Special Action Report for Period 26 November to 15 December
    1950. “SAR” File (Korea), HQMC Historical.

  1st Battalion, 5th Marines. Historical Diaries, October-December
    1950. Diary File, HQMC Historical.

  2d Battalion, 5th Marines. Historical Diaries, October-December
    1950. Diary File, HQMC Historical.

  3d Battalion, 7th Marines. Special Action Report for Period 8
    October to 16 December 1950. “SAR” File (Korea), HQMC Historical.

  VMF-212. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary File,
    HQMC Historical.

  VMF-214. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary File,
    HQMC Historical.

  VMF-312. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary File,
    HQMC Historical.

  VMF-323. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary File,
    HQMC Historical.

  VMF(N)-513. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary
    File, HQMC Historical.

  VMF(N)-542. Historical Diaries, October-December 1950. Diary
    File, HQMC Historical.

  1st Air Delivery Platoon, FMF. Historical Diaries, October-December
    1950. Diary File, HQMC Historical.


  Beech, Keyes, _Tokyo and Points East._ New York: Doubleday, 1954.

  Blumenson, Martin, Capt, USA. “MacArthur’s Divided Command,”
    _Army_, 7, no. 4: 38–44, 65 (November 1956).

  Bradley, Omar N., Gen, USA, Compiler. _Substance of Statements
    Made at Wake Island Conference on October 15, 1950._ Washington:
    Government Printing Office, 1951.

  Canzona, Nicholas A. Capt, USMC, and John C. Hubbell. “The 12
    Incredible Days of Col John Page,” _Readers Digest_, 69, no. 4:
    84–89 (April 1956).

  “Carrier Deck,” _Leatherneck Magazine_, 34, no. 3: 19–20 (March

  Chandler, James B. 1stLt, USMC. “Thank God I’m a Marine,”
    _Leatherneck Magazine_, 34, no. 6: 25–26 (June 1951).

  Condit, Kenneth W. “Marine Supply in Korea,” _Marine Corps
    Gazette_, 37, no. 1: 48–55 (January 1953).

  Coon, Gene L., Cpl, USMC. “Versatility,” _Leatherneck Magazine_,
    34, no. 3: 18–19 (March 1951).

  Davis, William J., Capt, USMC. “Nightmare Alley,” _Leatherneck
    Magazine_ MS.

  Dolcater, Max W., Capt, USA. _3d Infantry Division in Korea._
    Tokyo, 1953.

  Drury, Clifford M., Capt, USN. _The History of the Chaplain Corps,
    U. S. Navy_, v 5. MS in Chaplains Section, Bureau of Personnel,
    U. S. Navy.

  Drysdale, Douglas B., LtCol, RM. “41 Commando,” _Marine Corps
    Gazette_, 37, no. 8: 28–32 (August 1951).

  Edwards, Harry W., LtCol, USMC. “A Naval Lesson of the Korean
    Conflict,” _U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings_, 80, no. 12:
    1337–1340 (December 1954).

  Geer, Andrew. _The New Breed: The Story of the U. S. Marines in
    Korea._ New York: Harper and Brothers, 1952.

  Giusti, Ernest H., and Kenneth W. Condit. “Marine Air at the Chosin
    Reservoir,” _Marine Corps Gazette_, 36, no. 7: 18–27 (July 1952).

  Gugeler, Russell A., Capt, USA, Editor. _Combat Actions in Korea._
    Washington: Combat Forces Press, 1954.

  Hering, Eugene R., Capt, USN. “Address Before American Medical
    Association Convention.” Copy in possession of Lynn Montross.

  ----. “Address Before U. S. Association of Military Surgeons.” Copy
    in possession of Lynn Montross.

  Hospelhorn, Cecil W., Capt, USA. “Aerial Supply in Korea,” _Combat
    Forces Journal_, 1, no. 10: 29–30 (May 1951).

  Jaskilka, Samuel, Capt, USMC. “Easy Alley,” _Marine Corps Gazette_,
    35, no. 5: 15–19 (May 1951).

  Karig, Walter, Capt, USN, Cdr Malcolm Cagle, USN, and LtCdr Frank
    A. Manson, USN. _Battle Report_: Vol VI, _The War in Korea_.
    New York: Rinehart, 1952.

  MacArthur, Douglas, Gen, USA. _Eleventh Report of the Operations
    in Korea of United Nations Forces._ 31 January 1951. Washington:
    Government Printing Office, 1951.

  ----. “Gen. MacArthur Makes His Reply,” _Life_, 40, no. 7: 94–96,
    101–102, 104, 107–108 (13 February 1956).

  Mao Tze-tung. _Strategic Problems of Chinese Revolutionary War._
    Edited by LtCol F. B. Nihart, USMC. Quantico: Marine Corps
    Schools, 1951.

  Marshall, S. L. A. CCF in the Attack. 5 January 1951. [EUSAK Staff
    Memorandum ORO-S26]. Copy in R&O File, HQMC Historical.

  ----. “Last Barrier,” _Marine Corps Gazette_, 37, no. 1: 20–23, no.
    2: 40–46 (January-February 1953).

  McCarthy, Robert C., Capt, USMC. “Fox Hill,” _Marine Corps
    Gazette_, 37, no. 3: 16–23 (March 1953).

  Montross, Lynn. _Cavalry of the Sky: The Story of U. S. Marine
    Combat Helicopters._ New York: Harper and Brothers, 1954.

  ----. “Development of Body Armor,” _Marine Corps Gazette_, 39, no.
    6: 10–16 (June 1955).

  ----. “Ridge Runners of Toktong Pass,” _Marine Corps Gazette_, 37,
    no. 5: 16–23 (May 1953).

  Moorad, George. _Lost Peace in China._ New York: E. P. Dutton &
    Co., 1949.

  Office of the Chief of Military History. Report from the Secretary
    of Defense to the President of the United States on Operations in
    Korea. Draft no. 1. Copy in R&O File, HQMC Historical.

  Read, Benjamin S., Capt, USMC, as told to Hugh Morrow. “Our Guns
    Never Got Cold,” _Saturday Evening Post_, 223, no. 40: 32–3
    (April 1951).

  Rigg, Robert B., LtCol, USA. _Red China’s Fighting Hordes._
    Harrisburg: Military Service Publishing Co., 1951.

  Schnabel, James F., Maj, USA. The Korean Conflict: Policy,
    Planning, Direction. MS at OCMH.

  Stiles, Charles R., 1stLt, USMC. “Dead End of Ambush Alley,”
    _Marine Corps Gazette_, 36, no. 11: 38–45 (November 1951).

  Tallent, Robert W., SSgt, USMC. “New Enemy,” _Leatherneck
    Magazine_, 34, no. 2: 12–15 (February 1951).

  Taplett, Robert D., LtCol, USMC, and Maj Russell E. Whipple, USMC.
    “Darkhorse Sets the Pace,” _Marine Corps Gazette_, 37, no. 6;
    14–23, no. 7: 44–51 (June-July 1953).

  Thomas, R. C. W., Maj, British Army. “The Chinese Communist Forces
    in Korea.” _The Army Quarterly_, October 1952, digested in
    _Military Review_, 32, no. 11: 87–91 (February 1953).

  Truman, Harry S. _Memoirs_, 2 vols. Garden City: Doubleday,

  U. S. Department of State. _Guide to the U. N. in Korea._
    Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1951. State
    Department Publications 4229, Far East Series 47.

  ----. _United Nations Actions in Korea._ Washington: U. S. Government
    Printing Office, 1951. State Department Publications 4051.

  ----. Division of Publication, Office of Public Affairs. _United
    States Relations with China: With Special Reference to the Period
    1944–1949._ Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1949.
    State Department Publications 3573, Far East Series 30.

  Walker, Richard L. _China Under Communism: The First Five Years._
    New Haven: Yale University Press, 1955.

  Westover, John G., Capt, USA, Editor. _Combat Support in Korea._
    Washington: Combat Forces Press, 1955.

  Whitney, Courtney, MajGen, USA. _MacArthur, His Rendezvous with
    History._ New York: Knopf, 1956.

  Willoughby, Charles A., and John Chamberlain. _MacArthur
    1941–1951._ New York: McGraw Hill, [1954].

  Xenophon. _The Anabasis of Cyrus._ Translated by Henry C. Dakyns.
    In Francis R. B. Godolphin, Editor. _The Greek Historians._ 2
    vols. New York: Random House, [1942].


  Aid station, 192, 258, 316

    Air Force and Navy Bombers, 143
    AT-6 (Mosquito), 98, 349
    B-26, 282
    C-47, 69, 138, 246, 247, 278, 279, 281, 282, 308, 323
    C-119, 191, 247, 282, 311
    Carrier planes, 254
    F4U (Corsair), 57, 67, 68, 70, 100, 102, 113, 118, 152, 156, 179,
          193, 194, 218, 222, 224, 238, 255, 257, 263, 266, 268, 271,
          287, 288, 290, 320, 347, 349
    F-51 (Mustang), 190
    HO3S-1 _See_ Helicopters.
    L5G, 246, 351
    Marine aircraft, 254, 264, 272
    Mariners, 29
    Navy planes, 325
    Night fighters, 282
    Observation planes (OY-2s), 66–69, 73, 152, 201, 202, 245, 246, 272,
          288, 298, 305, 308, 351
    R4D, 137, 138, 278, 279, 281, 282, 341, 349
    R5D, 32, 191, 279, 296, 321, 349
    Spotter plane, 154
    Sunderlands, 29
    TBM, 307, 349, 368
    Transport planes, Marine, 191

  Air drop, 68, 69, 191, 194, 243, 247, 250, 275, 277, 280, 282, 283,
          306, 311, 322, 334, 349

  Air Force, 311
    Far East Air Forces (FEAF), 10, 35, 247
      Combat Cargo Command, 32, 191, 247, 279, 281, 282, 349
    Fifth Air Force, 34, 254, 287, 348, 350
      Commanding general, 33
      Headquarters, 33
      RAAF Australian F-51s (Mustangs), 190

  Air strikes, 56, 57, 109, 118, 147, 156, 224, 225, 230, 231, 238, 251,
          258, 264, 265, 268, 271, 273, 288, 290, 320, 324, 326. _See
          also_ Air Support.

  Air strip
    C-47, 149
    OY strip (Yudam-ni), 253
    OY strip (Hagaru), 137
    OY strip (Majon-ni), 63

  Air support, 54–56, 108, 109, 190, 194, 243, 253, 268, 286, 296, 302,
          313, 320, 321, 339, 340, 343, 349, 350. _See also_
          Air Strikes.
    Breakout, 286, 287
    Close, 70, 100, 102, 117, 152, 217, 254, 255, 263, 272, 286, 296,
          299, 325, 348, 358
    Evacuation, 278, 279, 281, 285, 308, 341
    Observation, 163
    Procedures, 33
    Reconnaissance, 152, 163

  Air operations, 349
    Cargo, 349
    Control, 348, 349
      Air Defense Controllers, 348
    Cover, 338
    Innovations, 350
    Problems, 347

  Almond, Lt Gen Edward M., USA, 8–10, 10_n_, 11, 14, 15, 18, 24, 26,
          29, 31, 32, 37–39, 54, 55, 57, 58, 76, 80, 82_n_, 90_n_, 98,
          120, 126, 131, 132, 134, 134_n_, 137, 205, 238, 239, 250, 280,
          285, 302, 308, 337, 340, 342, 343, 346, 339

  Alvarez, SSgt. R. C, 183_n_, 257_n_, 266_n_, 288_n_

  Ambushes, 70, 72

  Ambush Alley, 62, 70, 72, 75, 77

  Ammer, 1st Lt Henry G., 255

  Ammunition, 194, 257, 259, 277, 282, 283, 285, 287, 302
    Artillery, 160, 250, 254, 279
    Bomb, 266
    Mortar, 179, 201, 291, 324
    Small arms, 144, 160

  Amyotte, Cpl George A. J., 329, 330

  Anbyon, 56, 59

  Anderson, LtCol Berry K., USA, 245, 288

  Anderson, LCdr Gustave T., (MC) USN, 307

  Antung, Manchuria, 124

  Anzio, 333

  Arioli, Lt Peter E., (MC) USN, 264

  Armor, body, 330

  Armstrong, Capt Victor A., 34

  Army, 247, 307

  Army Units, U. S.
    Eighth U. S. Army in Korea (EUSAK), 1, 3, 8, 10, 11, 14, 18, 26,
          34–36, 43, 58, 63, 81, 82, 99, 118, 129, 132, 133, 142, 145,
          146, 205, 238, 239, 277, 334, 337, 340, 345, 346, 350,
          352, 355, 358
      121st Army Evacuation Hospital, 189, 246
      181st Counter Intelligence Corps team (CIC), 65
      Fourth Signal Battalion, 127, 207, 290
      Provisional Battalion, 245, 294, 296, 297, 312, 317, 318, 321, 324
      Special Operations Company, 81, 126
    IX Corps, 34, 35
    X Corps, 1, 8–11, 14, 14_n_, 15, 18, 21–27, 33, 34, 36–38, 40–44,
          59, 65, 75, 76, 81, 98, 125, 129, 131–134, 141, 143, 145, 147,
          149, 188, 238, 240, 246, 280, 306, 308, 335–338, 340, 342,
          352, 355, 357, 358
      Command Post. _See_ Headquarters, X Corps, below.
      Headquarters, 11, 29, 76, 98, 206, 340
      Railway Transportation Section, 138
      Tactical Air Command, (TAC X Corps), 31
    1st Cavalry Division, 15, 34, 58, 82
    2d Infantry Division, 36, 150
    3d Infantry Division, 36, 43, 58, 59, 75, 76, 98, 126, 131, 136,
          140, 145, 146, 308, 309, 326, 337–339, 342, 343
    7th Infantry Division, 10, 14, 23, 24, 26, 58, 98, 123, 131, 135,
          145, 146, 238, 288, 309, 333, 337, 339, 342, 352, 358
    24th Infantry Division, 34
    2d Engineer Special Brigade, 138, 139
    187th Airborne RCT 34
    7th Regimental Combat Team, 343
    15th Regimental Combat Team, 343
      1st Battalion, 74, 77
    17th Regimental Combat Team, 75, 144
    31st Infantry Regiment, 148, 205, 243, 288
      Company B, 225, 226, 228, 229, 231, 232, 234
      2d Battalion, 306, 312, 326, 328, 331
      Tank Company, 326
    32d Infantry Regiment, 243
      1st Battalion, 140
    65th Regimental Combat Team, 75, 126–128, 326, 327
    2d Battalion, 127
    10th Engineer Battalion, 235
    Company D, 206, 213
    185th Engineer Battalion, 311, 325
    50th Antiaircraft Artillery (Automatic-weapons) Battalion, 315
    57th Field Artillery Battalion, 243
    92d Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 14, 309, 313, 316, 326
    96th Field Artillery Battalion, 14, 126–128

  Artillery, 73
    Army, 340
    Chinese Communist Forces, 206, 220
    Marine, 108–110, 117, 118, 165, 178, 201, 202, 240, 266,
          272, 287, 291
    Support, 100, 147, 156, 179, 194, 208, 217, 220, 253, 255, 257, 258,
          260, 287, 290, 296, 302, 320, 321, 325

  Ascom City, 11

  Audas, SSgt John D., 191

  Austin, Capt Bernard L., 15

  Avant, Maj Percy F., Jr., 299

  Babe, 1stLt George A., 311

  _Badoeng Strait_ (CVE), USS, 32, 286, 347

  Ball, 1stLt Raymond O., 174

  Banks, LtCol Charles L., 207, 214, 215, 241, 285, 322

  Banks, Capt David W., 100, 103

  Barber, Capt William E., 180, 190, 191, 193, 194, 200, 264, 265

  Barr, MajGen David G., USA, 75, 84, 84_n_, 98, 238, 239, 288, 340

  Barrett, Capt R. L., Jr., 208_n_, 209, 216_n_

  Barrow, Capt Robert H., 49, 51_n_, 55_n_, 69, 70, 72, 221,
          314–316, 320

  Bartley, LtCol Whitman S., 279_n_, 305_n_, 306

  _Bataan_ (CVL), USS, 287, 333, 334, 349

  Bates, Maj W. L., Jr., 221_n_, 222, 314_n_, 321, 355

  Batterton, Col Boeker C., 342

  _Bayfield_ (APA), USS, 25, 31, 341

      BLUE, 343
      GREEN, 340, 343
      PINK, 343
      YELLOW, 342
      BLUE, 22, 31, 39, 40
      RED, 26
      YELLOW, 22, 31, 39, 40, 45

  Beall, LtCol Olin L., 99, 160, 180, 244, 245, 285

  Bear, 120

  Beech, Keyes, 192, 194, 323

  Beeler, 1stLt James D., 68

  Belleau Wood, 302

  Belli, 1stLt George S., 46_n_, 48, 51, 52, 57

  Benson, Pfc Robert F., 181

  Betts, 1stLt Harrison F., 210, 216

  Bey, 1stLt R. T., 100_n_, 104_n_, 108, 108_n_, 167, 168, 172, 183_n_, 186

  Beyes, 1stLt Warren J., 107_n_

  Blanchard, LtCol Robert M., USA, 74

  Blancheri, 1stLt Howard A., 222

  Blankenship, Capt C. P., 244_n_

  Blasingame, Capt Hersel D. C., 69, 311

  Blatt, Capt Wallace D., 34

  Blocking and Escort Force, United Nations, 27

  Blumenson, Capt Martin, USA, 8_n_, 11_n_, 243_n_

  Booby trap, 43, 71

  Boley, 2dLt James J., 209

  Borgomainero, SSgt Russell J., 164

  Bott, 2dLt Kenneth A., 67

  Bowman, Lt George, 263_n_

  Bowser, Col Alpha L., 26_n_, 38_n_, 39_n_, 43_n_, 54, 60, 89_n_,
          92_n_, 100_n_, 136, 205, 206, 213, 311

  _Boxer_ (CV), USS, 17, 25

  Bradley, 1stLt Bobbie B., 318

  Bradley, Gen O. N., USA, 35_n_

    Logistics, 247
    Plans, 238, 239, 250, 251

  Bridge, 274, 286, 296, 297, 302
    M-2 Steel Treadway, 311, 319, 329–331

  Bridges, Maj David W., 46_n_, 49, 49_n_, 50_n_, 51_n_, 314_n_,
          321_n_, 325_n_

  Brower, Col. James H., 40, 220, 247_n_

  _Brush_ (DD), USS, 27

  Brzezinski, Maj Henry, 40

  Buck, 1stLt John A., 226_n_, 232, 234

  Bunkers, Chinese Communist Forces, 315, 316, 320, 325

  Burke, 1stLt John L., Jr., 207

  Cafferatta, Pvt Hector A., 181

  Cahill, 2dLt John H., 167, 182, 270

  Camaratta, 2dLt August L., 270

  Camp Lejeune, 330_n_

  Canney, Maj John J., 171

  Canzona, 1stLt N. A., 215_n_, 219, 235, 238, 241, 300_n_, 327, 331_n_

  Capraro, Capt M. J., 226_n_, 229_n_, 232, 234

  Carey, 2dLt Richard E., 202, 203, 220_n_, 235_n_, 241_n_, 326

  Carlon, 1stLt Francis B., 49–51

  Carlson, CWO Allen, 275

  Caruso, Sgt Matthew, 297

  Cashion, 2dLt Dana B., 182, 182_n_

    Army, U. S., 74, 81, 127, 214, 243–245, 306_n_, 343
    Chinese Communist Forces, 108–110, 112, 117, 121, 147, 164, 166,
          168, 174, 181–183, 186, 188, 190, 194, 222, 224, 226, 241,
          242, 263, 266, 290, 293, 294, 299, 306, 315, 316, 320, 324,
          351, 354, 355
    Enemy losses, 118
    Evacuation, 55, 57, 138, 139, 245, 246, 253, 305, 307, 319, 334, 349
      Control Officer, 339
    Marine, 51, 52, 54, 57, 70, 72, 73, 74, 75, 100, 102, 109, 116–118,
          121, 124, 127, 157, 166, 168, 174, 178, 179, 181, 182, 186,
          188, 190–192, 194, 201, 210, 216, 219, 224, 225, 234, 240–243,
          245, 247, 258, 264, 265, 272, 275, 278–281, 284, 290, 291,
          293, 298, 299, 302, 303, 306–308, 315, 316, 319, 323, 325,
          328, 330–332, 351, 385
      Casualty list, 57
    North Korean (NKPA), 51, 53, 70, 72, 73
    Personnel losses, 69
    Republic of Korea Army, 214

  Catania, Lt Alfred J., 226_n_

  Cates, Gen Clifton B., 133, 134_n_, 359

  _Ceylon_ (CL), HMS, 28

  Chabek, 1stLt Jack A., 179

  Challacombe, Capt Arthur D., 266

  Chamberlain, J., 35_n_

  Chambers 1stLt George C, 49, 52

  Chandler, 1stLt J. B., 294_n_

  Changjin, 44, 96, 99, 132, 134, 135, 200, 204, 230, 286

  _Chatterer_ (AMS), USS, 27

  Cherisophus, 357

  Chiang Kai-shek, 83, 84

  Chidester, LtCol Arthur A., 231, 234, 283

  Chigyong, 77, 80–82, 124, 126, 128, 136, 140, 147, 197, 204, 205, 335

  Chiles, LtCol John H., USA, 135, 145

  China, 3, 5, 7
    Central Committee, 85
    Civil War, 83–85
    “Hate America” campaign, 91
    Intervention, 35, 131
    Kiangsi Province (South China), 83
    North China, Occupation by Marines, 85
    People’s Revolutionary Military Council, 86
    “Resist America, Aid Korea” movement, 90
    Seventh Party Congress, 85

  Chinese Communist Forces, 5, 81, 85, 98, 99, 129, 203
    Assault, 168
    Bugle calls, 104
    Bunkers. _See_ Bunkers.
    Command Post, 315
    Counterstroke, 146
    Entrenchment, 156, 157
    Equipment, 88
    Fortifications, 157
    Intervention, 128, 129, 142, 143
    Jet fighters, 142
    Logistics, 88, 93, 353
    “Long March”, 83
    Organization, 85, 86, 88
    People’s Liberation Army (PLA), 83–85
    Plans, 353
    Rank, 88
    Recruiting, 87
    Reinforcements, 296
    Roadblock, 109
    Strategic concepts, 90
    Strategy, 91
    Strong point, 325
    Tactics, 89, 91–94, 354
    Training, 87
    Troops, 79, 98
    Uniforms, 89
      3d Field Army, 161, 352, 356
      4th Field Army, 99, 352, 355
      9th Army Group, 161, 352, 354–356, 358
      20th Army, 149, 352–355
      24th Army, 352
      26th Army, 313, 352–355
      27th Army, 352, 354, 355
      30th Army, 352
      32d Army, 313, 352
      42d Army, 82, 99, 352
      58th Division, 149, 220, 242, 285, 326, 352
      59th Division, 149, 161, 242, 285, 352
      60th Division, 149, 225, 285, 313, 352
      70th Division, 352
      76th Division, 352
      77th Division, 286, 313, 352, 355
      78th Division, 286, 313, 352
      79th Division, 161, 167, 171, 178, 266, 285, 352
      80th Division, 285, 352
      81st Division, 352
      89th Division, 161, 167, 178, 187, 285, 313, 352
      94th Division, 313, 352
      124th Division, 82, 99, 105, 110, 118, 120, 352
      125th Division, 99, 332
      126th Division, 99, 123, 167, 332
      172d Regiment, 220, 242
      173d Regiment, 220, 242
      174th Regiment, 220, 242
      176th Regiment, 242
      179th Regiment, 225
      235th Regiment, 167, 168, 172, 174, 184, 185, 186, 266
      236th Regiment, 167, 168, 170, 174, 187
      237th Regiment, 167, 170
      267th Regiment, 167
      370th Regiment, 99, 103, 107, 110
      371st Regiment, 103, 104, 107, 110
      372d Regiment, 103, 110
    Chinese Nationalists, 84, 85

  Chinhung-ni, 96, 98, 110, 112–114, 116, 117, 120, 124, 133–141,
          146–149, 202, 221, 284, 303, 307–309, 312–314, 323–327, 331,
          333, 333, 341, 330
    Tank Battle, 113

  Chinnampo, 8, 27, 34

  Chonchon-ni, 52, 33, 37

  Chongjin, 28, 44, 45, 76, 132, 145

  Chongju, 9

  Chongsanjangsi, 36–38

  Chou En-Lai, 7

  Chorwon, 35

  Chosin, 38
    Campaign, 346, 348, 336
      Plans, 38
      Results, 356–339
    Reservoir, 82, 96, 98, 99, 110, 116, 117, 120, 123, 124, 132, 133,
          137, 139, 145–149, 151, 198, 205, 238, 239, 266, 309, 350, 352
    Withdrawal from. _See_ Breakout.

  Cho Il Kwon, Col (NKPA), 50

  Chuchonhujang, 132

  CIC, 66, 70, 71, 73, 202, 203

  Civil affairs, 65, 66, 73

  Clark, Maj Albert L, 299

  Clark, 1stLt Truman, 299, 307

  Clearing stations, 139, 210, 211, 246, 307

  Clements, 1stLt Leonard M., 174

  Clothing, cold weather, 58, 80, 281

  Cochran, Maj Robert L., 107, 117

  Codispoti, Capt Gildo S., 224

  Coffman, 2dLt Harold L., 69, 71_n_

  Cole, LtCol J. Frank, 68

  _Collett_ (DD), USS, 28

  Collins, Capt E. E., 172_n_, 183_n_, 186_n_

  Collins, Gen J. Lawton, USA, 5, 359

  Colmery, 1stLt Harry W., 217

  Command Post. _See_ Unit concerned.

  Commander in Chief Far East (CinCFE). _See_ General of the Army
          Douglas MacArthur, USA.

  Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CinCPacFlt). _See_ Adm Arthur W.
          Radford, USN.

  Commander Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF-7). _See_ VAdm A. D. Struble, USN.

  Commiskey, 2dLt Henry A., 49

  Communications, 210, 349
    Wire, 282

  Composite battalion, 251

  Condit, Kenneth W., 32_n_, 138_n_

  Conference, 33

  Connell, Capt H. G., 100_n_, 103

  _Consolation_ (AH), USS, 139, 246

  Convoy, 43, 48, 70, 74, 73, 231, 235, 272, 274, 286
    Enemy, 116
    Motor, 38, 59, 62, 77, 149, 180, 200, 318
    Supply, 68

  Cook, Col John H., Jr., 40

  Cooke, Capt Leroy M., 154, 165

  Cool, Capt William C, 339

  Coon, Cpl G. L., 294_n_

  Cooney, Capt Thomas E., 118, 120, 154, 157_n_

  Corbet, 2dLt R. H., 184

  Corley, Capt Clarence E., Jr., 66, 67, 71_n_, 73_n_, 201, 204_n_,
          208_n_, 208–211, 216

  Corman, Capt Otis W. S., 117

  Correspondents, press, 281, 282, 322

  Craig, BrigGen Edward A., 45_n_, 54_n_, 55, 55_n_, 56, 56_n_, 76_n_,
          125, 125_n_, 137, 285, 340, 345

  Craven, LCdr John H., USN, 121_n_, 172_n_, 272, 278

  Craven, 1stLt William A., 49

  Cronin, Maj Angus J., 274

  Cronk, Capt Welby W., 224

  Crossman, 1stLt Ralph B., 82, 99, 109, 112_n_, 114_n_, 116_n_, 329

  Crowe, LtCol Henry P., 40, 338, 339

  Crutchfield, 2dLt James L., 68

  Counter Intelligence Corps. _See_ CIC.

  Cushman, BrigGen Thomas J., 286, 342

  D-Day (Wonsan Landing), 11

  Dairen, 142

  Dakyns, Henry C., 357_n_

  Damnation Battalion, 251

  Dana, 1stLt C. C., 180_n_, 190_n_

  Danford, SSgt R. R., 180_n_, 190_n_

  Davidson, Sgt Charles V., 240

  Davis, Maj Daniel H., 107

  Davis, Sgt K. E., 208_n_, 210

  Davis, LtCol Raymond G., 80_n_, 99, 99_n_, 100, 103, 103_n_, 104, 106,
          108_n_, 112, 112_n_, 121_n_, 148, 149, 178, 190, 254_n_, 257,
          258, 259_n_, 260, 261, 263, 264, 270–273, 294, 317

  Davis, Capt W. J., 100, 100_n_, 103_n_, 116_n_, 259_n_, 264

  Dawe, 2dLt Harold L., 187

  Degernes, 2dLt Mayhlon, L., 208, 209

  Delong, 1stLt Earl R., 108, 109

  Demolitions, 302
    Teams, 301
    C3 explosive, 208

  DeMott, Pfc Robert D., 329, 330

  Dennis, 1stLt Carl E., 236

  Denny, 2dLt Paul E., 165

  Derevyanko, LtGen Kuzma, (USSR), 90

  Dickerson, Sgt C W., 229_n_

  Dirst, WO Lloyd V., 231

  Dolcater, Capt Max W., USA, 74_n_, 76_n_, 77_n_, 126_n_, 127_n_, 309_n_

  Dowsett, LtCol Frederick W., 114_n_, 121_n_, 297, 317

  Doyle, RAdm James H., USN, 15, 23–25, 29–31, 38, 76, 134, 240, 336,
          337, 341, 342_n_, 345, 359
    Amphibious Group, 18

  Doyle, Capt R. A., 67_n_, 68_n_

  _Doyle_ (DMS), USS, 27

  Drury, Clifford M., 40_n_

  Drysdale, LtCol Douglas B., RM., 140, 225, 226, 228–231, 235, 300

  Duffy, 1stLt Leroy M., 63, 64

  Duke, Capt Irving T., 15

  Dumps, 138
    Ammunition, 215, 343
      Enemy, 117
    RCT-7, 140
    Supply, 41, 46, 48, 160, 195, 197, 214, 282, 285
      Area, 241
      Medical, 139, 149
      ROK, 44, 54

  Duncan, David, 322

  Dunkerque, 334

  Dunkirk, 333, 345

  Dunne, 1stLt John M., 180

  Durham, Maj Thomas A., 171

  Dyer, BrigGen E. C., 387_n_

  Dysentery, 30

  Eagan, Maj James K., 231, 234_n_

  Earney, Maj W. R., 103_n_, 107_n_, 116_n_, 120_n_, 193_n_, 251, 266_n_

  Eberle, MajGen George L., USA, 10, 11_n_

  Edwards, LtCol H. W., 29_n_

  Elledge, 1stLt Raymond J., 113

  _Endicott_ (DMS), USS, 27

  Endsley, 2dLt Wendell C., 208, 209

  Enemy, 74

  Engineers, 263, 279, 293, 302, 324
    Army, 311
    Demolitions crew, 257

  _English_ (DD), USS, 56

  Englehardt, 1stLt Floyd J., 191, 246

  Estess, Sgt M. L., 229_n_

  Ewen, RAdm Edward C., USN, 15

  Faber, TSgt Don, 270

  Faith, LtCol Don C., USA, 243, 244

  Far East Command. _See_ General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.
    General Headquarters, 5, 8, 22
    Joint Special Plans and Operations Group (JSPOG), 8, 9, 11, 13, 22, 23

  Farish, Capt George B., 57, 246

  Farmer, 1stLt Chester B., 52

  Feehan, LtCol Harvey A., 156, 250, 274

  Fisher, 1stLt Joseph R., 66, 200, 204_n_, 208, 209, 216, 240

  Fisher, Sgt Robert, 52

  Fleischaker, Lt Robert J., (MC) USN, 67

  Floodlights, 210, 247

  Forney, Col Edward H., 98, 239, 281, 308, 336, 338, 339

  Forrest, 1stLt Shelby M., 107

  Forward Air Controller (FAC), 53, 67, 70, 113, 193, 255, 263, 265,
          288, 294, 306, 346, 349

  Forward Observer (FO) team, 67

  Foster, Sgt Charles, 118

  Foster, Pvt Richard J., 127_n_

  France, Capt Donald R., 297

  Frederick, Capt Charles D., 72

  Freeman, Capt A. Z., 159_n_, 180_n_

  Fridrich, LtCol R. V., 254_n_, 259_n_, 260, 264_n_

  Frostbite, 351, 354

  Fuel, 275, 285
    Diesel oil, 282
    Gasoline, 277, 282

  Funchilin Pass, 96, 110, 112, 114, 116, 117, 120, 121, 312–314, 317, 320

  Fusen Reservoir, 38, 99, 123

  Gall, Maj W., 329

  Gallo, SSgt Saverio P., 202

  Gastro-enteritis, 30

  GCA, 348

  Geer, LtCol Andrew, 62_n_, 73_n_, 103_n_, 107_n_, 112_n_, 116_n_,
          120_n_, 179_n_, 186_n_, 187_n_, 189_n_, 190_n_, 271_n_,
          288_n_, 314_n_, 318_n_

  _George Clymer_ (APA), USS, 25

  Giusti, Ernest H., 32_n_

  Godolphin, F. R. B., 357_n_

  Goggin, 1stLt W. F., 100_n_, 108_n_, 109_n_, 110_n_, 120, 120_n_

  Golden, Pfc Jack, 67

  Goss, 2dLt Harvey A., 67

  Gottschalk, Maj Vincent J., 34, 68_n_, 245, 350

  Gould, Capt William R., 300–302, 330

  Graeber, 1stLt William C., 81, 99_n_, 100_n_, 103_n_, 106

  Grayson, MSgt E. F., 229_n_

  Greene, 1stLt Daniel, 255, 263

  Griffen, Lt (jg) Cornelius J., (ChC) USN, 297

  Groff, Capt Goodwin C., 224

  Ground Control Approach. _See_ GCA.

  Guadalcanal, 302

  Guerrillas, 59, 67, 70–72, 74, 81, 82, 125–128, 145, 326
    First Raid on MSR, 81

  Gugeler, Capt Russel A., USA, 243_n_

  Hagaru, 96, 98, 117, 121, 124, 131, 134–141, 146–149, 151, 159–161,
          178, 180, 189, 191, 193, 195, 197, 198, 200–205, 206_n_,
          207–211, 213–220, 222, 225, 229–231, 235, 238–247, 249, 250,
          254, 260, 262, 270, 271, 273, 274, 277, 278, 280–283, 285–291,
          293, 294, 298, 305–309, 311, 313, 319, 324, 326, 333, 334,
          349, 350, 353, 355
    Airstrip, 134, 137, 138, 195, 197, 200, 210, 219, 235, 246,
          247, 281, 302
    Breakout, 287, 288, 294, 296–302
      Air cover, 286, 287
      Demolitions, 301
      Plans, 283–286, 294
    Destruction of excess material, 285
    Intelligence, 202–204, 206, 285
    Medical, 278, 279
    Military government, 202, 203

  Hall, 2dLt Wayne L., 208, 209

  Hamhung, 7, 18, 38, 41, 45, 58, 59, 76, 77, 79–82, 95, 96, 98, 99,
          125–128, 131, 133–138, 146, 150, 201, 205, 239, 246, 280, 304,
          312, 332, 333, 338, 342, 346, 348, 355

  Han River, 15

  Hancock, 1stLt John R., 257, 293

  Hangkow, 85

  _Hank_ (DD), USS, 56

  Hapsu, 132, 145

  Hargett, 1stLt Ernest C., 112, 116, 328, 329_n_, 330

  Harmon, Capt Lester G., 69

  Harriman, Averell, 35_n_

  Harris, MajGen Field, 31, 33, 137, 165_n_, 239, 350

  Harris, 1stLt H. H., 103_n_, 116, 116_n_, 117, 118, 120_n_,
          165, 166, 258

  Harris, LtCol William F., 165, 257, 272, 297

  Harrison, TSgt C. L., 229_n_

  Harrison, Col C. W., 2_n_, 81_n_

  Harrison, CWO Willie S., 300, 330

  Hartman, RAdm Charles C., USN, 15

  Hawkins, LtCol Jack, 44_n_, 46, 48, 48_n_, 49, 51_n_, 53_n_, 54_n_,
          55, 55_n_, 58, 58_n_

  Heater, Capt James B., 293

  _Helena_ (CA), USS, 28

  Helicopters, 54, 56–58, 68, 72, 104, 117, 125, 147–150, 191, 195, 205,
          245, 254, 285, 288, 325, 351
    HO3S-1, 202, 246, 351
    HMX-1, 351

  Hell Fire Valley, 230, 296, 297, 299, 302. _See also_ Task
          Force, Drysdale.

  Henderson, Col Frederick P., 323

  Henderson, RAdm George R., USN, 15

  Henneberger, Capt Harry G. C., 107

  Hering, Capt Eugene R., (MC) USN, 245, 278, 279, 307

  Hermanson, Capt Chester R., 255, 257

  Hickey, MajGen Doyle O., USA, 9, 10, 11_n_, 205, 309

  Highway, 95

  Higginbotham, Capt S. W., 294_n_, 299_n_

  Higgins, RAdm John M., USN, 337

  Higgins, Marguerite, 281, 323

  Hill D, 312. _See also_ Hill 1457.

  Hill, East, 204–207, 213–220, 240–242, 286, 288, 290, 291, 293,
          301, 303, 326

  Hill, Fox, 180–182, 190, 191, 194, 201, 202, 204, 254, 264, 270

  Hill, How, 114, 120. _See also_ Hill 891.

  Hill 109----49, 51, 52, 57

  Hill 117----49, 53, 55

  Hill 185----49, 51, 52

  Hill 532----103

  Hill 698----100, 102, 103, 103_n_, 104, 105, 107–109, 112

  Hill 727----103–105, 107, 108, 112

  Hill 891----110, 114, 116, 117, 117_n_, 118–120

  Hill 987----110, 114, 116, 117, 117_n_, 118, 120

  Hill 1081----312–316, 320, 321, 324–326, 328

  Hill 1100----257

  Hill 1167----158, 168, 253

  Hill 1182----228, 232

  Hill 1236----226, 232

  Hill 1240----158, 160, 167, 168, 170, 174, 177, 178, 183, 187,
          189, 253, 257

  Hill 1276----159, 253, 257, 265, 268

  Hill 1282----158, 160, 167, 168, 170, 172, 174, 177, 178, 183–187,
          251, 253, 255, 257. _See also_ Ridge, North.

  Hill 1294----159, 253

  Hill 1304----117_n_, 318, 321

  Hill 1328----312, 317, 318, 327

  Hill 1384----158, 167, 170, 171, 182

  Hill 1403----152, 154, 156–158, 165, 166, 170, 183, 187, 188

  Hill 1419----178, 179, 257–259

  Hill 1426----154, 157, 159, 253

  Hill 1457----312, 317, 318, 321, 328, 329

  Hill 1520----261–264, 268

  Hill 1542----257, 258, 266–268

  Hill 1653----190, 263, 264

  Hinds, 1stLt John R., 290

  Hodes, BrigGen Henry I., USA, 238, 243

  Hoffstetter, Pfc Donald O., 67

  Holland, 1stLt Dan C., 100_n_, 103, 113

  Holloway, LCdr Charles K., USN, 99

  Holmes, 1stLt Donald M., 65

  Honeycutt, 1stLt J. H., 288_n_, 291

  Hood, Maj H. E., 282_n_, 296

  Hope, Bob, 31

  Hopkins, 2dLt Frederick W., 65, 236, 241

  Hospelhorn, Capt Cecil W., USA, 311

  Hospital, 139, 197, 281

  House, 1stLt Arthur E., 257

  Hovatter, 1stLt Eugenous M., 220, 258, 259_n_, 260, 264, 321

  Hubbell, J. C., 327_n_

  Huchanggangu, 132

  Huichon, 132, 133, 146, 149

  Huksu-ri, 109, 116_n_, 123, 131, 135, 140, 147, 149

  Hull, Capt Milton A., 100_n_, 102, 102_n_, 108, 108_n_, 109, 154_n_,
          167_n_, 172_n_, 174, 187

  Hungmun-ni, 201

  Hungnam, 9, 22, 23, 58, 75, 76, 95, 96, 109, 125, 126, 131, 136, 138,
          139, 141, 148, 150, 200, 205, 246, 281, 305, 325, 327, 332,
          333, 335, 336, 338, 345, 346, 348, 357
    Cemetery, 341
    Evacuation, 338–343, 349
      Plans, 335–337
      Warnings, 239
    Mine clearance, 135
    Redeployment, 338, 355, 359
    Withdrawal to. _See_ Breakout.

  Hwachon, 35

  Hyesanjin, 98, 132, 144

  Imjin, 62, 64, 66, 74

  Inchon, 10, 11, 13–15, 17, 18, 21–27, 33, 143, 336, 340, 346
    Amphibious assault, 1
    Landing, 3, 5, 343
    Inchon-Seoul Operation, 10, 11_n_, 14, 281

  _Incredible_ (AM) USS, 27

  Indigestion, 351

  Itami, 287, 342

  Iwo Jima, 302

  Iwon, 58, 75

  Jaeger, 2dLt John W., 236

  Japan, 36, 43, 247, 279, 281, 311
    Logistical command, 10

  Jaskilka, Capt Samuel, 161_n_, 164, 165_n_, 166, 188_n_, 293

  Jennings, 1stLt William E., 107_n_

  Jessup, Ambassador Philip, 35_n_

  Jeter, 1stLt Manning T., Jr., 288

  Jochums, 1stLt Robert E., 217, 218, 235_n_

  Johnson, Capt David G., 288

  Johnson, 1stLt Horace L., Jr., 210, 211, 216

  Johnson, Cdr Howard A., (MC) USN, 308

  Johnson, Secretary of Defense Louis, 5

  Johnson, 1stLt Richard M., 290

  Johnson, 1stLt William E., 118, 267

  Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), 5–9, 37, 128, 129

  Joint Eighth Army-Fifth Air Force Operations Center (JOC), 348

  Joint Special Plans and Operations Group (JSPOG). _See_ Far
          East Command.

  Jones, Capt Clovis M., 205

  Jones, 2dLt Donald R., 70, 316, 320

  Jones, SSgt Donald T., 105

  Jones, TSgt H. T., 72

  Jones, Capt Jack R., 183, 184, 186, 293

  Joy, VAdm C. Turner, USN, 10, 13, 23, 25, 27, 43, 134, 140, 239, 336,
          337, 345, 348, 359

  Kaesong, 9, 15, 34

  Kalma Peninsula, 17, 18, 22, 26, 39, 40

  Kanggye, 97, 132–134, 146

  Karig, Walter, 23_n_, 27_n_, 28_n_, 29_n_, 142_n_

  Katsuma, 58

  Kaufer, 1stLt Edward E., 49

  Keeton, Sgt E. J., 229_n_

  Kerr, Capt William A., 224

  Kerrigan, Maj W. E., 172_n_

  Kiernan, Capt J. I., Jr., 53_n_, 244_n_

  Kiesling, Cpl Curtis J., 179

  Kiester, 1stLt K. E., 244_n_

  Kim Il Sung, 7

  Kimpo, 32, 34

  King, Capt George W., 219

  Kite (AMS), USS, 27

  Klepsig, Cpl D. E., 327_n_

  Knox, TSgt Edwin L., 268, 270, 271

  Kobe, 32

  Kogae-gol, 148

  Koingdong, 36

  Kojo, 33, 38, 39, 44–46, 48–59, 76, 131
    Marine positions, 48
    Railroad station, 48

  Korea, 359
    North, 8, 37
      Entry into, 7
        Orders, 5, 6, 89
        Plans, 7–10
        Political considerations, 2–5
      North Korean People’s Republic, 3
        People’s Political Council, 83
        People’s Army (NKPA), 1–3, 5–7, 34, 43, 46, 50, 53, 54, 59, 63,
          65, 66, 71, 79, 83, 100, 110, 125, 129, 146
          Prisoners of War, 40, 65, 71, 72, 74, 124
            2d Division, 50
            5th Division, 50, 55
            10th Division, 50
            15th Division, 66, 74
            10th Regiment, 49, 50
            45th Regiment, 66, 71, 73
            48th Regiment, 66
            50th Regiment, 66
            344th Tank Regiment, 105, 110, 114
      Republic of Korea, 2, 3, 90
        Army (ROKA), 3, 9, 22, 36, 37, 100, 213, 214, 342
            I Corps, 22, 26, 38, 44, 58, 75, 131, 145, 337
            II Corps, 15, 146, 150
            Capital Division, 22, 35, 38
            1st Division, 34
            3d Division, 22, 38, 339
            6th Division, 35, 81, 144_n_
            7th Division, 35
            8th Division, 35
            18th Regiment, 123
            22d Regiment, 2d Battalion, 46
            26th Regiment, 61, 81, 98, 99, 128, 131, 140
            101st Engineer Group (C), 44
        Navy. _See_ ships.
        Marine Corps (KMC), 73
          1st Regiment, 58, 59, 131, 337, 338
            1st Battalion, 45
            3d Battalion, 22, 73, 76
            5th Battalion, 22, 45, 56, 58, 76
        Police, 307

  Koto-ri, 80_n_, 82, 96, 98, 117, 120, 121, 123, 124, 135–137, 139–141,
          146–148, 201, 204, 205, 220, 222, 224–226, 228, 229, 231, 232,
          234, 235, 239, 245, 282–284, 286–288, 295–298, 300, 302, 303,
          305–309, 311, 312, 319, 323, 335, 355
    Airstrip (OY), 224, 279, 305, 307, 308
    Air support, 307
    Breakout air support plans, 313
    Breakout, 314–331
      Bridge, 309, 311, 312, 319, 322, 323
      Intelligence, 313
      Mass burial, 319
      Plans, 308, 309, 312–314, 325, 326
    Medical, 307, 308

  Kowon, 126, 128

  Krabbe, 2dLt Donald J., 156

  Kraince, 1stLt F. R., 329_n_

  Krieg, 1stLt Elmer A., 165

  Krulak, Col Victor H., 58

  Kulbes, Capt Philip A., 213

  Kumwha, 35

  Kunuri, 9, 35

  Kuokka, Maj H. D., 287_n_, 347_n_

  Kuomintang, 83

  Kurcaba, 1stLt Joseph R., 260, 264, 265, 270, 318

  Kyolmul-ni, 139, 141

  Landing Signal Officer, Carrier, 306, 307

  Lavoie, LtCol Leon F., USA, 316

  Lawrence, Maj James F., 82

  Lee, Lt Chew Een, 318

  Lee, Maj Christian C., 296, 299

  Lee, Feng Hsi, 185

  Lee, Doctor Tong Kak, 243_n_

  Leeds, Cpl Joseph, 316

  Lessenden, LCdr Chester M. (MC) USN, 192, 278

  Lett, Cpl C. P., 330

  _Leyte Gulf_ (CV), USS, 17, 28, 286

  Lice, 315

  Lin Pao, 161

  Lipscomb, 1stLt W. R., 244_n_

  Litters, 259

  Litzenberg, Col Homer L., 39, 80_n_, 82, 98, 99, 100_n_, 102, 103,
          103_n_, 104, 107, 108_n_, 109, 110, 114, 116, 116_n_, 117,
          118, 120, 121, 121_n_, 148_n_, 152, 160, 170_n_, 178, 188,
          189, 193, 201, 249, 250_n_, 251_n_, 253, 254_n_, 258, 259_n_,
          264_n_, 266_n_, 267_n_, 271, 272, 285, 287_n_, 288, 293,
          294_n_, 296, 312, 317
    Command Post, 117

  Liu Sheng Hsi, 185

  Lockwood, LtCol Randolph, 160, 198, 201, 207, 296, 297, 317, 324

  Lodge, Capt O. R., 274

  Longstaff, 1stLt Robert A., 246

  Lorigan, Maj Robert E., 44_n_, 54_n_, 205, 225, 226_n_

  Mabry, Maj Clarence J., 225

  MacArthur, General of the Army Douglas, USA, 2, 3, 5, 6, 6_n_, 7–11,
          11_n_, 14, 22, 23, 34–36, 36_n_, 37, 38, 43, 129, 131, 132,
          133, 144, 146, 205, 334, 340, 345, 346, 358
    Communique of 24 November, 144

  MacLean, Col Allan D., USA, 243

  _Maddox_ (DD), USS, 28

  _Marine Phoenix_ (T-AP), USNS, 30

  Magness, 2dLt B. L., 184

  Main Supply Route (MSR), 95, 96, 98, 100, 103–106, 108–110, 114, 116,
          118, 120, 123, 124, 133, 140, 141, 146–149, 154, 156, 159,
          161, 163, 171, 178–182, 189, 193, 197, 202, 213, 221, 224,
          239, 249, 250, 253, 254, 257, 261–263, 267, 268, 272, 274,
          275, 283, 294, 296, 297, 312–315, 317, 318, 321, 324–329
    Near Sudong, 3 November, 106
    Wonsan to Hamhung, 79

  Majon-dong, 82, 96, 99, 100, 116_n_, 124, 135–137, 139, 141, 228, 284,
          326, 327, 331

  Majon-ni, 44, 56, 61–74, 126, 202, 203
    Logistics, 68

  Manchuria, 6, 9, 34, 36, 37, 79, 80, 84, 85, 129, 142

  Manpojin, 132, 133, 146

  Mao Tse-tung, 70, 83, 84, 86, 89, 90, 90_n_, 91_n_
    Strategic Aims, 89
    Moscow, December of 1949, 90

  Marine Corps, U. S.
    Air, 157, 293
    Birthday, 73, 121
      Fleet Marine Force
        Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO), 63, 341
        1st Air Delivery Platoon, 69, 311
        1st Combat Service Group, 39–41, 128, 138
        7th Motor Transport Battalion, 141, 228, 234
          Company B, 205
      1st Marine Air Wing, 33, 45, 254, 279, 282, 286, 313, 341,
          346, 348–350
        Commanding General, 33
        Marine Ground Control Intercept Squadron-1 (MGCIS-1), 341, 348
        Marine Tactical Air Control Squadron-2 (MTACS-2), 207, 296, 341
          Air Defense Section, 341, 348
          Air Support Section, 349
      Marine Aircraft Group 12, 32–34, 42, 239, 342, 348
        Headquarters Squadron 12, 32, 239
        Service Squadron 12, 32
      VMF-212, 273, 287, 347, 349
      VMF-214, 32, 273, 287, 347–349
      VMF-311, 350
      VMF-312, 32, 33, 68, 69, 100, 102, 107, 113_n_, 116, 117, 152,
          156, 217, 222, 224, 264, 273, 299, 307, 349
      VMF-321, 230
      VMF-323, 32, 273, 286, 347
      VMF(N)-513, 32, 33, 53, 102, 107, 113_n_, 116, 117, 273, 307
      VMF(N)-542, 124, 266, 273, 282, 326
      VMR-152, 296, 350
      VMO-6, 34, 56, 73, 152, 154, 191, 202, 205, 245, 272, 307, 350, 351
      1st Provisional Marine Brigade, 2_n_
      1st Marine Division, 1, 10, 11, 14, 18, 21–27, 32, 34, 37–39, 41,
          43–45, 54, 59, 63, 75, 77, 79, 80, 95, 99, 124, 126, 128,
          131–134, 140, 145, 146, 148, 161, 178, 197, 198, 202, 222,
          238, 246, 280, 281, 282, 302, 303, 305, 309, 312, 319, 323,
          326, 332, 334, 335, 337, 339, 340, 346, 353–356, 358, 359
        Command Post, 15, 25, 45, 54, 76, 125, 149, 150, 200, 203, 205,
            211, 214, 222, 229, 238, 241, 245, 285, 287, 293, 325, 341
          Rear Command Post, 340
        1st Marine Command Group, 331
        Headquarters Battalion, 125, 149, 203, 207, 220, 224, 225, 228,
          229, 231, 234, 281, 282, 299
        Military Police Company, 99, 299, 303
        Reconnaissance Company, 22, 80, 82, 99, 109, 110, 112, 114, 135,
          139–141, 148, 226, 326, 328, 331
        Headquarters Company, 299, 303
        Composite Battalion, 193, 194, 251
      1st Marines, 14, 15, 22, 40, 44, 45, 54–56, 59, 68, 75, 76, 79,
          80, 82, 126, 135, 136, 139–141, 147, 148, 228, 281, 284, 306,
          312, 321, 325, 328, 335. _See also_ Col Lewis B. Puller
        Headquarters, 147
        Commanding Officer, 73
        H&S Company, 63, 71, 325, 328
        Anti-tank Company, 222
        4.2 Mortar Company, 222
        1st Battalion, 39, 45, 46, 49, 53–56, 58, 76, 147, 221, 308,
          309, 312–316, 320, 321, 325, 328, 331
          Command Post, 211
          Company A, 49, 53, 69, 71–73, 221, 314–316, 320, 324, 331
          Company B, 48–54, 57, 221, 314–316, 320, 325
          Company C, 49–51, 53, 314, 315
          Weapons Company, 222
        2d Battalion, 39, 55, 56, 58, 59, 71, 72, 77, 147, 222, 225,
          229, 279, 306, 319, 325, 326, 328
          Command Post, 226
          Company D, 57, 77, 224, 319
          Company E, 57, 72, 72_n_, 222, 224, 225
          Company F, 57, 224, 225
          Weapons Company, 224
        3d Battalion, 39, 56, 61–63, 71, 77, 147, 197, 198, 200, 201,
          215, 242, 243, 284, 286, 300, 321, 325, 326, 328
          Commanding Officer, 73
          Command Post, 67, 200, 204, 206, 210, 211, 213, 220, 242
          H&S Company, 63, 68, 207
          Company G, 66, 68, 71, 147, 204–206, 220, 225, 226, 228, 229,
          231, 234, 235, 241, 242, 293, 324, 326
          Company H, 66–68, 71, 73, 201, 204, 208, 209–211, 213, 214,
          216, 220, 326
          Company I, 66, 71, 73, 201, 204, 207–209, 211, 214, 216,
          220, 240, 326
          Weapons Company, 63, 65, 71, 197, 198, 204, 206, 208,
          211, 215, 326
      Fifth Marines, 15, 22, 25, 40, 44, 45, 76, 79, 80, 123, 135,
          139–141, 147, 148, 150, 152, 158–160, 177, 182, 185, 188, 189,
          192, 249, 251, 254, 278, 281, 284–287, 300, 312, 318, 325,
          326, 335, 340. _See also_ LtCol Raymond L. Murray.
        Command Post, 40
        Headquarters, 170
        Anti-tank Company, 228, 229, 234, 290, 317, 326
        1st Battalion, 45, 80, 123, 124, 126, 136, 158, 172, 180, 184,
          186, 189, 253, 255, 257, 266, 268, 272, 274, 275, 286, 293,
          300, 317, 318, 321, 325, 328
          Company A, 112, 123, 174, 184–186, 193, 251, 274, 293, 318
          Company B, 123, 187, 189, 257, 293, 318
          Company C, 124, 183, 185–187, 266, 291, 293
        2d Battalion, 56, 59, 76, 79, 81, 123, 124, 136, 147, 151, 152,
          154, 157, 161, 163–166, 188, 189, 251, 257, 265, 272, 274,
          286, 288, 291, 293, 300, 301, 325
          H&S Company, 164
          Company D, 123, 156, 157, 159, 163, 164, 266, 288,
          290, 291, 294
          Company E, 158, 163, 164, 166, 186–189, 266, 274, 275, 293
          Company F, 156, 163, 164, 166, 188, 265, 290, 291
        3d Battalion, 123, 124, 136, 147, 158, 170, 172, 185, 187, 188,
          253–255, 257, 258, 261–263, 268, 270–272, 274, 286,
          293, 300, 325
          Command Post, 170, 171, 182, 262
          H&S Company, 170, 171, 182
          Company G, 170, 182, 189, 251, 255, 257, 262, 263, 268,
          271, 272, 274
          Company H, 170, 189, 261–263, 268, 271, 272, 274
          Company I, 170, 171, 183, 189, 251, 262, 271
          Weapons Company, 170, 182
      Seventh Marines, 14, 15, 22, 25, 44, 54, 58, 59, 76, 79–81,
          98–100, 102–104, 107, 109, 109_n_, 110, 112, 114, 116, 118,
          120, 121, 123–125, 135–137, 139–141, 147–149, 151, 152, 154,
          156, 159, 160, 177, 182, 183, 187, 189, 192, 249, 251, 253,
          254, 257–265, 270, 272, 273, 281, 284–288, 293, 294, 296–298,
          312, 314, 317–319, 321, 324–326, 335, 340, 352. _See also_ Col
          Homer L. Litzenberg.
        Headquarters, 148, 170, 189
        Command Post, 39, 40, 98, 103, 104, 108–110, 261
        4.2-inch Mortar Company, 103, 116, 186
        Anti-tank Company, 103, 105, 106, 108, 160, 207, 215, 241
        1st Battalion, 81, 99, 100, 102–105, 107, 109, 112–114, 116,
          121, 147, 152, 157, 189, 190
          H&S Company, 273, 318
          Command Post, 103, 105, 106, 149, 193
          Company A, 100, 103–105, 159, 189, 190, 258, 260, 264, 270,
          296, 318, 321
          Company B, 103, 104, 106, 157, 159, 178, 190, 193, 258, 260,
          261, 264, 265, 270, 318, 321
          Company C, 103–106, 113, 121, 157, 159, 178, 179, 182, 189,
          190, 260, 261, 264, 294, 318, 321
          Weapons Company, 108, 273, 318, 322
        2d Battalion, 100, 103, 103_n_, 104, 106–109, 112, 116, 120,
          147, 160, 167, 198, 200, 201, 207, 263, 290, 294, 296–298,
          317, 318, 321, 324
          Command Post (Sudong, 3 November), 106
          Command Group, 294
          Company D, 100, 102, 103, 108, 109, 151, 152, 157, 158, 160,
          167, 168, 170, 174, 178, 183, 187, 251, 263, 268, 270, 294, 296
          Company E, 102, 103, 106, 108, 151, 132, 158, 160, 168, 170,
          172, 174, 178, 183, 184, 186, 251, 263, 268, 270, 294,
          296, 317, 324
          Company F, 103, 104, 106, 154, 158, 159, 180–182, 189–191,
          193, 198, 200, 201, 207, 253, 254, 264, 272, 294, 317
          Weapons Company, 160, 180, 198, 201, 207, 251, 294, 326
        3d Battalion, 106, 112, 116–118, 120, 121, 148, 152, 154, 157,
          161, 184–188, 251, 253, 254, 257, 261, 266, 275, 294, 296,
          297, 317, 318, 321, 324
          Command Post, 165
          H&S Company, 171, 267
          Company G, 116–118, 120, 154, 157, 159, 193, 251, 258, 266,
          267, 294, 297, 317
          Company H, 104, 114, 117, 118, 154, 157, 158, 163, 165, 166,
          170, 171, 185, 187, 188, 257, 258, 260, 264, 297, 317
          Company I, 104, 116, 117, 157, 159, 258, 266, 267, 297, 317
          Weapons Company, 71, 251
          Company J, 267
      Eleventh Marines, 22, 40, 45, 80, 139, 147, 148, 177, 178, 287, 293
        1st Battalion, 156, 160, 177, 262, 274, 287, 313, 325
          Battery B, 275
          Battery C, 275
        2d Battalion, 40, 222, 287, 313, 325, 328
          Battery D, 63, 204, 215, 287
          Battery E, 222, 225, 305, 313
          Battery F, 45, 46, 52, 53, 222, 313, 316
        3d Battalion, 99, 100, 104, 107, 110, 116–118, 148, 177, 254,
          262, 268, 287, 298, 303, 313, 324, 325
          Battery G, 100, 107, 160, 197, 202, 268, 298
          Battery H, 107, 192, 207, 215, 220, 241, 262, 298
          Battery I, 100, 106, 160
        4th Battalion, 137, 160, 177, 180, 192, 249, 254, 274, 287, 325
          Provisional infantry platoons, 254
          Battery K, 136, 177
      1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion, 39, 56, 311, 335, 341
        Company A, 127, 338, 343
        Company B, 343
        Company C, 127
      1st Armored Amphibian Tractor Battalion, 56, 390
        Company B, 56
      1st Engineer Battalion, 39, 40, 137, 141, 200, 217, 247, 311
        Headquarters Company, 300
        Company A, 136, 152, 200, 215, 219, 236, 241, 262, 300, 301
        Company B, 136, 200, 240
        Company C, 46, 63, 69, 307
        Company D, 99, 138, 204, 210, 212, 217, 247, 294, 296, 307
      1st Medical Battalion, 308
        H&S Company, 139
        Division Hospital, 109, 139
        Clearing stations, 149
        Company A, 139
        Company B, 139
        Company C, 139, 149, 210
        Company D, 46, 63, 139
        Company E, 99, 139, 149, 245
      1st Motor Transport Battalion, 45, 80, 99, 141, 160, 207,
          244, 298, 303
      1st Ordnance Battalion, 136, 138
      1st Service Battalion, 99, 136, 138, 160, 207, 241
        1st Regulating Detachment, 247, 282
      1st Shore Party Battalion, 24, 39, 40, 56, 138, 338, 339
        Shore Party Group C, 40
      1st Signal Battalion, 99, 228, 234
      1st Tank Battalion, 39, 58, 80, 81, 126, 137, 141, 149
        H&S Company, 137, 228, 234
        Company A, 45, 79, 80
        Company B, 228, 229, 232–234, 306, 326
        Company C, 56, 76
        Company D, 127, 136, 137, 149, 201, 228, 229, 231, 234,
          235, 306, 326

  Marshall, George C., 6
    General, USA, 84, 121_n_
    Secretary of Defense, 37

  Marshall, S. L. A., 92_n_, 314_n_, 321_n_

  Martin, P. G., 112_n_

  Masan, 337, 341, 345

  Mason, Lt Ronald A., 73, 73_n_, 208, 209

  Mattox, 2dLt Charles, 71

  Maxwell, Marilyn, 31

  McAlister, Col. Francis A., 38_n_, 205, 284, 335

  McCaleb, Alfred F., Jr., 307

  McCardell, Cpl E., 229_n_

  McCarthy, 1stLt Robert C., 180, 182, 190, 191, 194_n_

  McCarthy, Capt Thomas E., 71

  McClane, Capt George E., 107

  McClelland, Capt John C., Jr., 222, 224, 305

  McClelland, 1stLt William A., 69, 316, 320

  McDermott, Cpl Joseph E., 113

  McDurmin, SSgt R. E., 103_n_

  McElroy, Capt John W., USNR, 139

  McFarland, 2dLt Robert L., 210

  McGaw, Col Hugh D., 311

  McGhee, Lt James M., 51_n_

  McGuiness, 1stLt Clarence E., 297

  McLaughlin, 1stLt Gerald J., 156

  McLaughlin, LtCol J. N., 229_n_, 231–234

  McNaughtton, 1stLt George C., 290, 291

  McPhersen, SSgt Stanley B., 219

  McReynolds, Maj William, 177, 192_n_, 250, 253, 254_n_, 287_n_

  Mead, BrigGen Armistead D., USA, 309, 326_n_

  Medical, 67

  Medics, Navy, 247
    Surgical teams, 139, 246

  Medical supplies, 302
    Plasma, 192

  Meeker, 1stLt Ermine L., 240, 242, 274

  Meister, Pfc William H., 57

  Memorial services, 341

  _Merganser_ (AMS), USS, 27

  Merrit, 2dLt Max A., 184

  Messman, 1stLt Robert C., 177

  Military Sea Transport Service, 24

  Miller, Capt J. H., 208, 209, 240_n_

  Milne, LtCol Harry T., 137, 285, 294_n_, 300, 326

  Mines, naval, 13, 27

  _Missouri_ (BB), USS, 15, 28–30, 343

  Mitchell, 1stLt Grady P., 210

  Mitchell, 2dLt James M., 165

  Mize, 1stLt Charles D., 270

  _Mocking Bird_ (AMS), USS, 27

  Moji, Japan, 75

  Moisell, LtCol Harry E., 339

  Moncrief, Capt Malcolm G., Jr., 307

  Mongolia, 83

  Monk, MSgt Matthew D., 48

  Montross, Lynn, 179_n_, 180_n_, 246_n_, 330_n_

  Mooney, 2dLt A. R., 103_n_, 116_n_, 120_n_

  Moorad, George, 83_n_

  Morehead, Capt Robert A., 160

  Morehouse, RAdm Albert K., 134, 336

  Morris, Capt. John F., 178–180, 260, 264, 270, 297, 321

  Morris, Maj Warren, 193, 317

  Moscow, 90, 98

  Mortar support, 320

  Motor march (Wonsan to Hamhung), 80

  _Mount McKinley_ (AGC), USS, 22, 23, 25, 29, 31, 44, 45, 76, 337,
          341–343, 348

  Muccio, Ambassador to Korea John, 35_n_

  Mukden, 142

  Munchon, 45, 72, 74, 79–81, 126

  Munday, Maj. Jack R., 339

  Munsell, SSgt Russell A., 254

  Mupyong-ni, 40, 80, 133–135, 145, 146, 148

  Murphy, SSgt Daniel M., 172, 184

  Murray, LtCol Raymond L., 25, 40, 80, 123, 124, 152_n_, 157, 160, 172,
          178, 188, 212, 259, 271, 282, 285, 286, 288, 293, 299, 318

  Myers, Maj Reginald R., 71, 216–218, 220, 236

  Nanchang rebellion, 83

  Nanking, 84, 85

  Napalm, 266, 271, 288

  Nash, SSgt J. B., 229_n_

  National Security Council, 5

  Naval Field Medical Research Laboratory, 330_n_

  Naval gunfire, 338, 339, 343

  Naval gunfire support, 54, 55, 343

  Navy, U. S.
      Naval Forces Far East, 10
        Commander, (ComNavFE). _See_ VAdm C. Turner Joy.
        Fleet Logistics Air Wing, 350
        Seventh Fleet, 17
          Transport Squadron One, 24
          Tactical Air Control Squadron One, 341, 348
        Joint Task Force 7, 13, 30, 50, 75. _See also_ VAdm A. D. Struble.
        Task Force 77, 15, 17, 254
        Task Force 79, 15
        Task Force 90, 15, 336
          Commander (CTF 90), 336, 337, 339, 341, 342. _See also_ RAdm
          J. H. Doyle.
        Task Force 95, 15
        Task Group 70.1, 15
        Task Group 95.2 Support and Covering Group, 15, 28, 75
        Task Group 95.6, 15, 27, 29
        Task Group 96.2, 15
        Task Group 96.8, 15
        Tractor Group, 30, 31
        Transport Group, 30, 31
        Amphibious Group One (PhibGru 1), 21, 336
          Commander (PhiGru 1), 26, 336
        Amphibious Group Three (PhiGru 3), 336
        Task Element 90.21, 338

  Needham, 1stLt R. C., 202, 208, 209

  _Newsweek_, 334

  Newton, 2dLt Minard P., 116, 118, 165, 165_n_, 260, 264, 270

  _New York Times_, 345_n_

  Nichols, Capt Warren, 347

  Nihart, LtCol F. B., 90_n_

  _Noble_ (APA), USS, 39

  Noel, Frank, 231, 233

  Nolan, 2dLt Jack L., 164

  Noren, Capt Wesley B., 48, 49_n_, 50_n_, 51, 51_n_, 52, 53, 53_n_, 57,
          57_n_, 221, 279_n_, 314, 315, 320, 321, 325

  North, Cpl C. R., 190_n_

  Objective A, 312, 321, 324–326, 328. _See also_ Hill 1328.

  Objective B, 312, 317, 321, 325, 326, 328

  Objective C, 312, 318, 321, 324–326, 328

  Objective D, 312, 321, 328. _See also_ Hill 1457.

  Objective E, 312, 325. _See also_ Hill 1081.

  Observation Posts, 63, 66, 71, 73, 74, 103

  Office of The Chief of Military History (OCMH), 8_n_

  Okinawa, 27, 338

  Olson, Major M. R., 123

  Operation _Yo-Yo_, 30, 31, 45

  Oro-ri, 96, 99, 104, 123

  _Osprey_ (AM) USS, 27

  Owen, Lt Joseph, 318

  Pace, Secretary of the Army Frank, 35_n_

  Page, LtCol John U. D., USA, 327

  Page, H. L., Jr., 327_n_

  Pak, Sun Chol, MajGen (NKPA), 66, 73

  Panikkar, K. M., 7

  Parachute, 251, 277, 280

  Parry, Maj Francis F., 99, 100_n_, 103_n_, 116, 177

  Partridge, Gen Earle E., USAF, 33, 201, 210_n_, 247, 300_n_, 309_n_,
          311, 312, 322, 323

  Partridge, LtCol John H., 40, 137

  _Partridge_ (AMS), USS, 27

  Patrick, 2dLt C. E., 329_n_

  Patrols, 66

  Payne, SSgt Earle J., 179

  Pearl Harbor, 334

  Peckham, Capt Charles, 231

  Peiping, 85, 98

  Peiping-Tientsin (highway), 85_n_

  Peleliu, 134, 302

  Pendas, TSgt G. D., 226_n_, 241_n_

  Pendry, Capt Edwin, 107_n_

  Penstock Bridge, 315. _See also_ Treadway Bridge.

  Persian Empire, 357

  Peters, Capt Uel D., 154, 290

  Peterson, 1stLt Elmer G., 180, 191, 192

  Peterson, 2dLt Willard S., 262

  Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants (POL), 160, 283

  _Philippine Sea_ (CV), USS, 17, 28, 286

  Phillips, Capt W. D., 108, 168, 174

  _Pirate_ (AM), USS, 27, 28

  Plans and Orders
    United Nations Command (UNC)
      Operation Order 2, 9_n_
    Commander in Chief, Far East (CinCFE)
      Operation Plan 9-50, 8, 9, 10, 22
      Operation Plan 9-50 (Alternate), 23
    Commander, Seventh Fleet
      Operation Order 16-50, 15
    Commander, Naval Forces, Far East
      Operation Order 17-50, 27
      Operation Plan 113-50, 13_n_, 25
    Commander, Amphibious Group I
      Operation Order 16-50, 26
    Commander, Task Force 90
      Operation Order 19-50, 336
    X Corps
      Operation Order 2-50, 32
      Operation Order 3, 14_n_
      Operation Order 4, 14, 15_n_, 21, 24
      Operation Order 6, 76, 131, 132, 135, 147
      Operation Order 7, 145, 146, 148
      Operation Order 8-50, 239, 251
      Operation Order 9-50, 336
      Operation Order 10, 338_n_, 339
      Operation Plan 8, 134, 135, 145
      Operation Instruction (OI) 11, 26_n_
      Operation Instruction 13, 76, 79
      Operation Instruction 15, 80
      Operation Instruction 17, 140
      Operation Instruction 19, 249
      Operation Instruction 22, 280
    1st Marine Division
      Administrative Order (AdmO) 13-50, 24_n_
      Administrative Order 20-50, 284
      Embarkation Order (EmbO) 2-50, 21_n_
      Embarkation Order 3-50, 335, 338_n_, 340
      Operation Plan 4-50, 38
      Operation Order 15-50, 17_n_
      Operation Order 16-50, 21, 22, 22_n_, 26_n_, 31, 331
      Operation Order 17-50, 26_n_
      Operation Order 18-50, 44, 45, 79
      Operation Order 19-50, 76
      Operation Order 21-50, 135
      Operation Order 22-50, 139, 140
      Operation Order 23-50, 141, 147
      Operation Order 24-50, 148
      Operation Order 25-50, 284
      Operation Order 26-50, 303, 312, 318
    5th Marines
      Operation Order 39-50, 151_n_
    7th Marines
      Operation Order 14-50, 294
    5th and 7th Marines
      Joint Operation Order 1-50, 250, 257
      Joint Operation Order 2-50, 254

  _Pledge_ (AM), USS, 27, 28

  Podolak, Pfc Bruno, 213

  Pohujang, 315

  Polson, Capt Robert J., 251

  Port Arthur, 142

  Post War planning, 43

  Post Exchange Section, 278

  Press correspondent. _See_ Correspondents.

  Press photographers, 333

  _Princeton_ (CV), USS, 286

  Prisoners, Chinese Communist Forces (CCF), 58, 81, 98, 99, 156, 290,
          293, 299, 322, 323, 341

  Prisoners of War (POW), 42, 49, 57, 65
    Interrogations, 66

  Propaganda (Chinese), 91

  Prosser, TSgt Wilfred H., 322

  Provisional platoons, 63

  Puckett, 2dLt C. R., 82_n_, 109, 112_n_, 114, 116

  Puller, Col Lewis B., 39, 54, 55, 58, 69–72, 76, 224, 225, 306,
          307, 328, 331

  Pungsan, 36, 145

  Pusan, 337, 339, 341, 345, 350

  Pusan Perimeter, 1, 10, 14, 24, 30, 66, 346

  Pusong-ni, 231, 299

  Pyongyang, 3, 9, 18, 22, 23, 34, 36, 63, 66, 71, 350

  Pyongwon, 36

  Quantico, 351

  Quinn, LtCol William W., USA, 308

  Radford, Adm Arthur W., USN, 35_n_, 337

  Radio, 67, 264, 282, 305
    Communication, 68
    Marine, 179, 191
    AN/GRC-9, 259
    SCR 300, 52, 207, 259
    SCR 610, 259

  Railroad, 95

  Rations, 160, 277, 282, 284, 302
    “C” rations, 121

  Read, Capt Benjamin S., 215

  _Redhead_ (AMS), USS, 27

  Reem, 2dLt Robert D., 118, 119

  Refugees, 49, 302, 319, 323, 326, 338, 342, 345

  Reller, Sgt Othmar J., 174

  Replacements, 281, 293, 294
    USMC, 302

  Rhee, President Syngman, 2, 3

  Ricardi, SSgt Anthony J., 118

  Richards, 1stLt Wayne E., 152, 263

  Rickert, LtCol Robert W., 205

  Ridge, North, 151, 152, 157, 158, 161, 167, 168, 170, 172, 178, 182,
          187–189, 192

  Ridge, Northwest, 151, 152, 154, 156, 158, 161, 163, 166, 167, 170,
          183, 187–189

  Ridge, South, 151, 152, 159–161, 177, 178, 190, 253

  Ridge, Southeast, 151, 152, 159, 160, 177, 190

  Ridge, Southwest, 151, 152, 154, 156–159, 163, 167, 170, 177, 180,
          182, 188, 189, 253

  Ridge, LtCol Thomas L., 62_n_, 63, 63_n_, 65, 66_n_, 68, 71, 71_n_,
          72, 73_n_, 74_n_, 197, 198, 200–202, 204–207, 210, 216, 220,
          226_n_, 235_n_, 240_n_, 243_n_, 295, 321, 328

  Ridgway, MajGen Matthew B., USA, 243

  Rigg, LtCol Robert F., 86_n_

  Roach, Maj Maurice E., 80_n_, 98, 104, 116–118, 120, 157, 160, 165,
          251, 254_n_, 294_n_, 297

  Roach, SSgt William, 316, 320

  Road, Hamhung-Chosin Reservoir, 44

  Roadblocks, 69, 72, 74, 105, 166, 319
    CCF, 222, 224, 263, 274, 309, 315
    USMC, 294

  Roberts, Sgt Clayton, 51

  Roberts, Col Dean C., 350

  Robinson, Capt R. B., 53_n_

  _Rochester_ (CA), USS, 15, 28

  Roise, LtCol Harold S., 66_n_, 123, 124, 151, 152, 156, 164, 187, 188,
          253, 265, 266, 272, 274, 275, 290, 293, 300–302

  Rosen, Lt Norman R., USA, 213, 214

  _Rowan_ (DD) USS, 30

  Ruble, RAdm Richard W., USN, 15

  Ruffner, MajGen Clark L., USA, 74_n_, 76, 340

  Rusk, Assistant Secretary of State Dean, 35_n_

  St. Benedict Abbey, 39, 40

  Sakkat Mountain, 156, 157, 161

  Samchok, 337, 342

  Samgo Station, 112, 113

  Sandbags, 208

  Sariwon, 9, 34

  Sasebo, Japan, 27, 32, 336

  Sawyer Maj W. D., 80, 82, 100, 103, 106, 108, 152, 160, 207, 294_n_,
          317, 318_n_, 321_n_, 322_n_
    Command Post, 103

  Schlegel, Pfc Eugene B., 219

  Schnabel, Maj James F., USA, 5_n_, 8_n_, 11_n_, 35_n_, 36_n_, 129_n_,
          142_n_, 143_n_

  Schrier, Capt Harold O., 262

  Schreier, 1stLt William J., 174

  Schmuck, LtCol Donald M., 221, 309_n_, 314, 315, 321_n_, 322_n_, 324,
          325, 328, 331

  Sears, Capt Norman W., 134, 336

  Seeburger, 1stLt Edward M., 174

  Seeley, Maj Henry J., 232, 234

  Seoul, 1, 3, 9, 11, 63, 66, 291, 293, 355

  Sexton, Maj M. J., 281_n_, 288, 302_n_

  Seydel, 1stLt Karle F., 291

  Shanghai, 85

  Shantung, 84

  Sharon, 2dLt D. W., 82_n_, 109, 112–114, 116, 329_n_

  Shea, Maj W. E., 103_n_

  Shelnutt, Cape John C., 213

  Shepherd, Capt G. E., 293

  Shepherd, LtGen Lemuel C., Jr., 58, 323, 336, 337_n_, 338_n_, 340, 359

  Sherman, Adm Forrest P., USN, 5

    AGC, 24
    AKA, 24, 341
    AP, 24, 341
    APA, 24, 341
    APD, 57
    Cargo, 42, 341, 342
    Cruiser, 342
    Destroyer, 342
    Hospital, 56
    JMS-14 (Japanese Mine Sweepers), 29
    LSD, 24, 341, 343
    LSM, 24, 42
    LSMR, 342
    LST, 14, 24, 25, 30, 32, 34, 38, 40, 42, 55, 339–343, 348
    LST 883, 56, 57
    LST 973, 58
    LST (ROK), 54
    LST (SCAJAP), 24
    LSTH, 54, 55
    LSU, 24, 40
    LVT, 14, 40, 41, 55, 343
    LVT (A), 343
    Transports, 30
    Tugs, 342
    YMS 516 (ROK Minesweeper), 29
    YMS 905 (ROK Mine Sweeper), 27
    _See also_ Ship by name

  Shore Party, 40, 41, 339, 341

  Shutts, Capt K. A., 202_n_, 229_n_, 259_n_, 288_n_, 298_n_, 329_n_

  Shutts, Maj R. W., 338_n_, 339

  Siberia, 36

  _Sicily_ (CVE), USS, 32, 287, 347, 349

  Silvis, Capt Richard S. (MC), USN, 308

  Simmons, Maj Edwin H., 63_n_, 65, 65_n_, 66, 67, 67_n_, 197, 198, 204,
          208, 235, 326

  Simpson, LtCol F., 282, 298, 299, 324

  Singalpajin, 132

  Sinhung-ni, 123, 135, 139, 148, 243, 254, 262, 274

  Sinhung-ni force, 243

  Sinhung Valley, 123, 124

  Sinuiju, 124, 142, 143

  Sitter, Capt Carl L., 66, 204, 205, 226, 228, 229, 235, 236, 241, 242

  Skelt, 1stLt Earnest P., 238, 241

  Sleeping bags, 259

  Sleds, 244

  Smith, RAdm Allen E., USN, 15, 30

  Smith, Maj George A., 40

  Smith, Pfc Gerald J., 181

  Smith, Harry, 327

  Smith, 1stLt H. J., 291

  Smith, Capt Jack A., 222

  Smith, 1stLt L. R., 183_n_, 186

  Smith, Capt Samuel S., 156, 288, 290, 291

  Smith, MajGen Oliver P., 13–15, 21, 23–27, 29–32, 38, 39, 43–45,
          54–58, 63, 76, 77, 80–82, 117, 125, 126, 128, 131, 133–136,
          140, 145–148, 150, 189, 198, 200, 205, 206, 211, 220, 224,
          229, 234_n_, 235, 238, 239, 241_n_, 243_n_, 244_n_, 245,
          247_n_, 249, 250_n_, 253, 254, 271_n_, 275, 279_n_, 280_n_,
          281–283, 285, 287, 288_n_, 294_n_, 305_n_, 307_n_, 308_n_,
          309_n_, 311_n_, 312, 313, 318, 319_n_, 321_n_, 323, 324_n_,
          325, 328, 329_n_, 332_n_, 335, 336, 338_n_, 340, 341, 345_n_,
          349–351, 359

  Sneakers, rubber, 104

  Snedeker, Col E. W., 45_n_, 74, 125, 324, 327, 334, 335, 336_n_, 338_n_

  Snelling, 2dLt Edward W., 216

  Sniping, CCF, 244

  Sniper fire, 57

  Snow, 270

  Snyder, 1stLt Robert E., 172, 172_n_, 174, 184, 186

  Songchon, 95

  Songchon river, 106_n_

  Songjin, 28, 36–38, 95, 337

  Sorensen, 1stLt George A., 288

  deSoria, Charles, 282

  Sota, 1stLt Anthony J., 174

  Soule, MajGen Robert H., USA, 75, 342

  Soyang-ni, 135, 137, 141

  Spiker, Maj Theodore F., 151

  Spofford, Capt Richard T., USN, 15, 27, 30, 31

  Stalin, 90

  Stamford, Capt Edward P., 243, 244

  Stevens, LtCol John W., II, 158, 183_n_, 189, 257_n_, 272_n_,
          274, 318, 325_n_

  Stewart, Col J. L., 254_n_, 266_n_, 272_n_, 300_n_

  Stiles, 2dLt Charles R., 63_n_, 71, 71_n_

  Stocks, MSgt Marian M., 65

  Storaasli, Capt Paul E., 206

  Stoves, 281

    Of Celerity, 8, 9
    Massive compression envelopment, 144

  Stratemeyer, LtGen George E., USAF, 10

  Stretchers, 279

  Strohmenger, Capt Andrew J., 64, 73, 204_n_, 215

  Struble, VAdm Arthur D., USN, 15, 28–31, 38, 58, 337

  Stuart, TSgt H. C., 297

  Stuart, 1stLt Vaughan R., 300

  Sudong, 81, 96, 98, 100, 103–110, 112, 116, 146, 251, 326, 327

  Sudong ambush, 327, 328

  Sukchon, 34

  Sullivan, 1stLt Charles H., 299

  Sunchon, 34

  Sung Shin-lun, 161

  Sung Wei-shan, 266, 267

  Supplies, 24, 42, 117, 138, 282
    In-transit depots, 138
    Supply levels, 140
    Advance Supply Point at Yonpo Airfield, 80
    Supply Regulating Station Detachment, 138, 140, 141
    Supply trains, 126
    _See also_ Dumps

  Supporting Arms Coordinator (SAC), 66, 67, 198

  Supporting fire, 102

  Surrender Message, 6, 8

  Sutter, LtCol Allan, 55, 58, 59, 72, 77, 222, 224, 226, 228, 305_n_,
          306, 328, 331

  Swartley, LtCol J. N., 297

  Sweeney, TSgt James E., 202_n_

  _Swenson_ (DD), USS, 28

  Swinson, Pfc Louis W., 171

  Swords, 2dLt John J., 53

  Tactical Air Control Center (TACC), 341, 348

  Tactical Air Control Parties (TACPs), 33, 69, 349

  Tactical Air Direction Center (TADC), 296, 349
    Airborne TADC, 321, 350

  Tactics, Marine, 107, 354

  Taebeck, Mountain Range, 17, 18, 36, 38

  Tallent, SSgt Robert W., 89_n_

  Tanchon, 28

    Army, 244, 245, 293, 296
    USMC, 55, 62, 68, 127, 134, 147, 160, 220, 222, 224, 229, 230, 232,
          235, 240, 254, 261, 263, 268, 270, 272, 290, 291, 293, 294,
          296, 300, 301, 305, 311, 313, 317, 326, 329–331
    M4A3 (Sherman), 137, 326
    M-26 (Pershing), 137, 160_n_, 322, 326
    T-34 (NKPA), 105, 110, 112, 113
    Tank-dozer, 68, 137, 138, 294
    Provisional tank platoon, 137, 160_n_, 208, 291

  Taplett, LtCol R. D., 147, 158, 167, 170, 171, 182, 183, 250, 254_n_,
          257_n_, 258_n_, 261–263, 268, 271_n_, 272, 274, 275, 300

  Task Force Anderson, 245

  Task Force Dog, 309, 314, 316, 326, 327

  Task Force Drysdale, 225, 226, 228–235, 298, 300, 306, 307

  Task Force Faith, 244, 245, 288

  Taylor, Capt R. M., 53_n_

  Taylor, 1stLt William W., 318, 321

  Tents, 281
    Warming, 121

  Thackrey, Adm Lyman A., USN, 336

  Thanksgiving Day, 143, 148

  Theros, Capt John G., 100_n_, 103_n_, 294

  Thirty-eighth Parallel, 2, 3, 5–9, 54, 59, 346

  _Thomas_ (DD), USS, 28

  Thomas, 1stLt Alfred I., 267

  Thomas, Maj R. C. W., 86_n_

  Thornton, Cpl D. R., 159_n_, 180_n_, 181, 190_n_

  Tientsin, 85

  Tighe, Major Thomas B., 259, 270, 271

  _Time_, 333, 334, 358_n_

  Togwon, 70

  Tokchon, 146

  Toksil-li, 56, 141

  Toktong Pass, 96, 101, 136, 147, 159, 179, 180, 190, 198, 201, 246,
          253, 254, 265, 270–272

  Tokyo, 35, 205, 308, 348, 359

  Tonae-ri, 294

  Tongchon, 50, 55–57

  Tongjong-ni, 228

  Tootsie Rolls, 278

  _Towanda Victory_, SS, 342

  Tractor Groups, 30

  Tractor Dozers, 41, 149, 177, 210, 247, 253, 301

  Trailers, 25

    Rail and Motor Transport, 140
      Railway, 138
      Railway cars, 139, 327
    Train, 45, 46, 54, 55, 59
      Kowon, 127
      Divisional, 313
        No. 1, 285, 303, 305, 322, 324–326
        No. 2, 293, 300
        RCT-1, 327, 328
        5th Marines, 300
        7th Marines, 184, 294, 297, 312, 317, 321, 324
      Supply, 128
    Trucking Facilities, 141

  Trapnell, 2dLt Nicholas M., 172, 184, 186

  Treadway Bridge, 309, 315

  Trip Flares, 71, 208, 240

  Trompeter, Maj Joseph D., 63, 198

  Troop Training Unit Pacific, 339

  Tsung Hui Tzu, 185

  Truman, President Harry S., 3, 5_n_, 6_n_ 7_n_, 8_n_, 9_n_, 35, 84,
          129_n_, 142_n_

  Tsinan, 84

  Tsingtao, 85

  Tuan-di, 141

  Tunner, MajGen William H., USAF, 281, 338, 349

  Turkish Brigade, 150

  Turner, Capt Bryon C., 99

  Twohey, SSgt. Richard B., 113

  Typewriters, 281

  Uiji, 143

  Uijongbu, 14, 15

  Ulsan, 337, 343

  Umbaugh, SSgt Ernest J., 320

  Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 3, 5, 6
    Intervention in the Korean War, 35–37, 83
    Military Mission in Tokyo, 90

  United Nations (UN), 1, 2
    Forces, 5, 7, 8, 13
    Headquarters, 145
    Security Council, 3
      EUSAK. _See_ Army Units.
      Independent Commando, Royal Marines, (41st Commandos), 140, 148,
          149, 205, 220, 225, 226, 228–231, 233–236, 242, 273, 275, 300,
          307, 318–321
      Twenty-seventh Commonwealth Brigade, 34

  United States, 90
    Defense Department, U. S,, 142
    Military Advisory Group in China, 75, 84
    State Department, U. S. 3_n_, 6, 142

  USO, 31

  _Valley Forge_ (CV), USS, 17, 233, 286

  Vehicles, 42, 197, 268, 284, 325
    Ambulances, USMC, 314, 327
    Amtrac, 127
    DUKWS, 338, 339
    Jeeps, 114, 137, 233, 244, 277, 296, 314, 322
    Supply, 69
    Tractors, USMC, 322
    Trucks, 25, 68–70, 72, 74, 109, 160, 197, 228–230, 232, 235, 244,
          277, 285, 296, 299, 311, 327, 328, 331, 347
      Brockway, 311, 312, 319, 322
      Enemy, 110, 117, 124
      Column, 231, 235, 272, 274, 286
    “Weasel” (M-29), 127

  Vick, SSgt William L., 113, 166

  Vining, Capt Norman, 230, 306

  Vom Orde, 1stLt Ewald D., 312

  Vorhies, Maj W. E., 108_n_

  Wake Island, 35
    Conference, 35, 36

  Walker, Richard L., 83_n_

  Walker, LtGen Walton H., USA, 9–11, 34, 37, 83, 86, 91_n_, 205

  Walseth Col H. S., 229_n_, 232, 283

  _Wantuck_ (APD), USS, 56

  Ward, 1stLt Charles C., 312

  Ward, Lt Chester C., 34

  Warren, LtCol Charles E., 339

  Warren, Maj Walter T., 215

  Washington, D. C., 35, 37, 142, 359

  Wasson, Pfc Marvin L., 327, 327_n_

      Artillery, 102, 107, 215
        75mm, 147
        76mm, 215
      Automatic, 268
      3.5 Bazooka, 294
      Burp guns, 210
      Flares, 104
      Grenades, 105, 118, 184, 185, 210, 217, 218, 225, 226
      Machine guns, 105, 110, 118, 147, 157, 163, 179, 184, 193, 197,
          218, 219, 225, 226, 228, 266, 291, 296, 315, 316, 325
      Mines, land (Bouncing Betty), 74
      Mortars, 102, 110, 117, 157, 163, 178, 191–193, 201, 209, 210,
          220, 225, 228, 229, 235, 291, 319
      Pistol, 226
      Rifles, 190, 225, 226
      2.36 Rockets, 299
      Small-arms, 201, 229, 235
    North Korean People’s Army
      Grenades, 127
      High Explosives, 125
      Mortars, 52, 298, 299, 302
    South Korea
      Machine guns, 170, 171
    United States
      Army self propelled AAA guns, 324
      Bombs, 102
      Grenades, 165
        Marine, 113, 168, 181, 194, 217, 219, 232, 233, 255, 282
        105mm, 156, 160, 215, 268, 275
        155mm, 160, 274, 275, 287
      Machine guns
        Army, 213
        Heavy, 67, 180, 183, 191, 194, 211, 215, 225, 240, 259, 261, 271
        USMC, 163–166, 168, 209, 219, 225, 229, 244, 266, 281,
          291, 315, 327
          Light, 219, 257, 299
        Booby traps, 43, 71, 208, 240
        Clearance, 138
      Mortars, 73, 108, 110, 184, 202, 225, 266
        4.2 inch, 52, 107, 118, 152, 156, 160, 221, 222, 266, 281, 288,
          305, 315, 324
        60mm, 50, 51, 103, 105, 120, 178–180, 183, 209, 215, 216, 232,
          265, 315, 320, 326
        81mm, 50–52, 67, 103, 105, 156, 164, 165, 180, 184, 190, 193,
          194, 204, 222, 224, 240, 251, 257, 259, 261, 264, 271, 290,
          294, 305, 315, 326
        Support, 217, 219
      Pistol, 209
      Rifles, 163, 164, 232, 281
        BAR, 118, 161, 329
        Carbine, 161, 209, 217, 232
        M-1, 161, 217
        75mm Recoilless, 57, 69, 105, 108, 109, 112, 113, 152, 156, 160,
          193, 221, 232, 233, 275, 327
      Rockets, 102, 271, 291
        2.36, 290
        5 inch, 113
        3.5 launcher, 65, 103, 105, 113, 114, 185, 213, 226, 325
      Small arms, 219

  Weather, 121, 135, 136, 152, 161, 172, 194, 259, 297, 314, 315,
          319, 320, 347

  Webber, 1stLt Richard C., 174

  Wedeneyer, Lt(jg) Robert G., (MC) USN, 297

  Weible, Walter L., 10

  Weiland, Maj Charles P., 339, 340

  Westover, Capt John G., 213, 226_n_

  Whipple, Maj R. E., 257_n_, 262, 271

  Whitney, MajGen Courtney, USA, 6_n_, 7_n_, 8_n_, 9_n_, 35_n_, 129_n_, 205

  Wiggins, TSgt Shelly, 69

  Wilcox, Capt Myron E., 81, 178

  Williams, Capt Bruce F., 329_n_, 331

  Williams, Cpl C. W., 229_n_

  Williams, 1stLt Leslie C., 258

  Williamson, Capt Harold B., 268, 276

  Willoughby, MajGen C. A., USA, 35_n_, 129, 205

  Wilson, 1stLt H. S., 244, 282

  Wilson, 1stLt John B., 81, 99, 100, 103_n_

  Winecoff, Col J. L., 250_n_

  Winston, LtCol Waldon C., USA, 327, 327_n_, 328

  Wire, concertina, USMC, 240

  Woessner, Maj Henry J., 98, 100_n_, 152_n_

  Wonsan, 8–11, 14, 17, 18, 22, 34–37, 43–46, 50, 54, 56, 58, 59, 61,
          63, 66, 68–72, 74–76, 79, 80, 95, 98, 125–128, 131, 136, 138,
          145, 239, 308, 338, 348, 350
    Airfield, 15, 18, 41, 56, 68, 69, 128, 239
    Capture of, 22
    Evacuation, 239, 338
    Majon-ni Road, 62
      Air, 31–33
      Embarkation, 21
      Intelligence, 17, 18, 21
      Landing, 14, 31, 37–41, 44, 281
      Logistics, 10, 11, 18, 19, 24, 25, 41, 42
      Mine sweeping, 27–29
      Movement to the Objective, 30, 31
      Orders, 14, 15, 17
      Outloading, 24–26
      Plans, 11–15, 22–24
    Personnel, Landed at, 42
    Population, 17
    Shore Party Groups, 40

  Wood, LtCol Ransom M., 156

  _Worcester_ (CL), USS, 28

  World War I, 351

  World War II, 2

  Wray, Capt Robert P., 49–51, 314, 315

  Wright, BrigGen Edwin K., USA, 8, 10, 11_n_, 14_n_, 23_n_, 132, 205

  Xenophon, 333, 357

  Yalu River, 36, 81, 82, 98, 99, 131, 133, 142–146, 352
    Advance to, 132, 146, 147, 150
      Logistics, 138, 140, 141
      Medical, 138, 139
      Orders, 145, 148
      Plans, 131–136, 139–141
    Battle of the, 143
    Bridges across the, 129, 142, 143
    Hydro-electric plants along the, 142, 143

  Yancey, CWO Dee R., 229, 232

  Yancy, 1st Lt John, 108, 168, 174

  Yangdok, 35

  Yangtze Valley, 85

  Yeaman, Col R. R., 350

  Yenan, 83, 84

  Yonghung, 45, 79, 126–128, 131
    Bay, 17

  Yonghung-Hamhung Railroad, 44

  Yongnim-dong, 148

  Yonpo, 95, 239, 286, 311, 341, 347, 348, 350
    Airfield, 38, 246, 335, 337, 340, 342, 349

  Yongwon, 9

  Youngdale, Col C. A., 326_n_

  Yudam-ni, 96, 102, 109_n_, 131, 135, 136, 139–141, 146–152, 154,
          156–161, 163–168, 170–172, 174, 177–180, 182–195, 200–202,
          204, 207, 221, 238, 239, 245, 247, 249, 250, 251, 253–255,
          277–280, 282, 283, 286, 291, 334, 336, 352–354
    Artillery, 177, 250
    Breakout, 220, 254, 255, 257–275
    Casualties, 280
    Command, 249, 250
    Medical, 192

  Yugoslavia, 3_n_

  Zullo, MSgt Rocco A., 226


Semper Fi Mac



Transcriber’s Notes

Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a
predominant preference was found in the original book; otherwise they
were not changed.

Some abbreviations, such as “SAR”, usually, but not always, are
italicized in the original book and in this eBook.

Simple typographical errors were corrected; unbalanced quotation
marks were remedied when the change was obvious, and otherwise left

Illustrations in this eBook have been positioned between paragraphs
and outside quotations. In versions of this eBook that support
hyperlinks, the page references in the List of Illustrations lead to
the corresponding illustrations.

Some dates, particularly the years, in the original book may be
typographical errors, e.g., “29 Oct 40” instead of “29 Oct 50”. They
are unchanged here.

In the Table of Contents, Transcriber added a link to the Index.

The index was not checked for proper alphabetization or correct page
references. Spelling discrepancies between Index entries and the
referenced text were resolved in favor of the referenced text.

Page 55: “and face enemy” was printed as “and fact enemy”.

Page 221: The chapter sub-heading originally was printed below the
chapter summary. Here, it is shown above that summary, so as to be
consistent with the sequence in other chapters.

Page 395: “(to 2 0Nov)” was misprinted that way.

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