There is still one absolute weapon ... the only weapon capable of operating
with complete effectiveness-of dominating every inch of terrain where human
beings live and fight, and of doing it under all conditions of light and
darkness, heat and cold, desert and forest, mountain and plain. That weapon
is man himself.|
GENERAL MATTHEW B. RIDGWAY
The impending loss of Chinju had caused Eighth Army to send its reserve
regiment posthaste to the southwest. This was Colonel Michaelis' 27th Infantry,
25th Division, which had been in army reserve only one day at Waegwan after
falling back through the 1st Cavalry Division above Kumch'on. During the
night of 30-31 July, Eighth Army ordered Michaelis to report to General
Church at Changnyong, where the 24th Division command post had moved from
Hyopch'on. Colonel Michaelis left immediately with Capt. Earl W. Buchanan,
his S-3, and instructed his executive officer, Maj. Arthur Farthing, to
follow with the regiment. 
Michaelis arrived at the 24th Division command post at Changnyong during
the morning of 31 July and reported to Brig. Gen. Pearson Menoher, assistant
division commander. General Church was absent. General Menoher decided
that Michaelis should continue on, and arranged for him to meet General
Church that night at Chung-ni, a little railroad and crossroads village
four miles northeast of Masan. The regiment itself passed through Changnyong
in the early afternoon and continued on toward Chinju. 
The Two Roads to Masan
That afternoon and evening as the 27th Infantry Regiment traveled south,
the 19th Infantry sought a defense position between Chinju and Masan where
it could reassemble its forces and block the enemy's advance eastward from
Chinju. Colonel Rhea's 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry, with supporting artillery,
was in the naturally strong position at the Chinju pass.
Four miles east of the Chinju pass was the little village of Much'on.
There the road to Masan forked. The northern route arched in a semicircle
through Chungam-ni and Komam-ni to enter Masan from the north. The southern
route curved in a similar semicircle through Kogan-ni and Chindong-ni to
enter Masan from the south. A high mountain mass, Sobuk-san, lay enclosed
in this oval area circumscribed by the two roads. (Map IV)
The evening of 31 July Colonel Moore established the 19th Infantry's
command post one mile east of Much'on-ni on the northern road. About 2000,
a military police courier arrived at his command post with a message from
General Church summoning Moore to a meeting with him and Michaelis at Chung-ni.
 Colonel Moore and his driver, guided by the courier, set out immediately
and arrived at the appointed place before midnight. Church and Michaelis
were already in the little railroad station.
Colonel Moore gave a detailed account of the events of the day and the
location of the 19th Infantry and attached troops. There is considerable
confusion as to just what orders General Church issued to Colonel Moore
and Colonel Michaelis at this meeting. Since they were verbal there has
been no way to check them in the records. It would appear that Moore was
to hold the 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry, in its blocking position west
of the Much'on-ni road fork and Colonel Michaelis was to put the 27th Infantry
in a reinforcing defensive position at the pass three miles west of Chungam-ni
on the northern road to Masan. 
After the meeting, Moore returned to his command post while Michaelis
waited for his regiment, which arrived about 0300 (1 August), tired and
wet. Michaelis instructed it to continue on and dig in on the high ground
beyond Chungam-ni, fifteen miles westward.
Colonel Michaelis with a few staff officers left Chung-ni while it was
still dark and drove to the Notch, a pass southwest of Chungam-ni, arriving
there shortly after daybreak. Colonel Michaelis, Captain Buchanan, Colonel
Check, and Lt. Col. Gordon E. Murch were studying the ground there and
planning to occupy the position, when Capt. Elliott C. Cutler, Acting S-3,
19th Infantry, arrived. He was reconnoitering the ground for defensive
positions and had selected four possible sites between the Much'on-ni crossroads
and the Notch. He told Michaelis the Notch was the best site and, when
he left to return to his command post, he understood that Michaelis still
expected to put the 27th Infantry into the Notch position. 
The conversation with Cutler apparently convinced Michaelis that the
18th Infantry was on the verge of another withdrawal which would uncover
the Much'on-ni road fork. After Cutler departed, Michaelis remarked to
his battalion commanders, Check and Murch, "The 19th Infantry has
been overrun and won't be able to do much. They are beaten. I think I will
go back and cover the other road. I can't do much here."  Michaelis
went back a mile or so to the 13th Field Artillery Battalion command post
which had just been established west of Chungam-ni. There he telephoned
Colonel Moore at the 19th Infantry command post.
In the conversation that followed, according to Michaelis, Moore told
him the 19th Infantry could not hold the crossroads and would fall back
to the Notch. Michaelis said it seemed to him imperative in that event
that some force block the southern road into Masan, otherwise the North
Koreans could move through Masan on Pusan and flank the entire Eighth Army.
Michaelis proposed that the 19th Infantry endeavor to hold the northern
road at the Chungam-ni Notch and that he take the 27th Infantry back through
Masan to the vicinity of Chindong-ni to block the southern road to Masan.
 Michaelis states that Moore concurred. Michaelis then tried, but failed,
to establish communication with both the 24th Division and Eighth Army
to obtain approval of this plan.
His mind made up, however, Michaelis at once gave orders to turn the
27th Regiment around and head for Chindong-ni. It was about noon. 
In Masan, Michaelis found the newly arrived advance command post of
the 25th Division, and from it he tried to telephone General Church at
the 24th Division. Unable to get the division, he then tried to reach Eighth
Army. Succeeding, he talked with Colonel Landrum, Chief of Staff, Eighth Army,
and explained the situation. Landrum approved Michaelis' move to the southern
road in the vicinity of Chindong-ni, and instructed him to continue efforts
to communicate with General Church. Later in the day, when General Walker
returned to the army command post, Landrum informed him of his conversation
with Michaelis. Meanwhile during the day, the Eighth Army G-3 Section succeeded
in getting a message to General Church informing him of Colonel Michaelis'
move and the new troop dispositions west of Masan. 
During the afternoon, the 27th Regiment arrived at Chindong-ni. Michaelis
halted the troops there while he went forward a few miles with his battalion
commanders, Check and Murch, to an observation post where they conferred
with General Church, who had just arrived. In the discussion there, General
Church ordered Colonel Michaelis to put one battalion on the hills at the
low pass where they were standing. Church decided that a reconnaissance
in force should proceed westward the next morning to locate the enemy.
Both the 27th Infantry and the 19th Infantry were to make this reconnaissance
and the two forces were to meet at the Much'on-ni road fork. Michaelis
telephoned Colonel Moore and relayed General Church's order for a reconnaissance
in force with all available tanks toward Chinju at 0600 the next morning,
2 August. Moore did not favor making this attack; Michaelis did. 
Pursuant to General Church's instructions, Colonel Michaelis placed
Murch's 2d Battalion on the high ground at Kogan-ni, where the conversation
with General Church had taken place, about seven miles west of Chindong-ni,
with E Company in an advanced position astride the road three miles farther
west just beyond Pongam-ni. To Colonel Check was given the task of making
the reconnaissance attack the next morning with the 1st Battalion. Check
placed the battalion in an assembly area back of the 2d Battalion for the
night. Colonel Michaelis established his command post in a schoolhouse
under a high bluff in Chindong-ni. 
On the northern road, as Captain Cutler discovered when he returned
to the 19th Infantry command post from his reconnaissance, Colonel Moore
had ordered the 1st Battalion to move to the Notch in one jump instead
of taking several successive delaying positions as Cutler had expected.
Moore thought the one move would give the battalion more time to dig in
against an expected enemy attack. 
The 1st Battalion left its positions at the Chinju pass and arrived
at a designated assembly area two miles southwest of the Notch about 1400.
Colonel Rhea remained behind at the pass with an M20 armored car to protect the rear of the battalion. An hour after the
battalion had moved off eastward, an American jeep carrying two North Korean
scouts came up the hill from the west and stopped just short of the crest.
Using small arms fire, Colonel Rhea's party killed the two enemy soldiers
and recovered the jeep. Rhea's rear guard party then followed the battalion
toward the Notch. Below the Notch Rhea received orders to make a reconnaissance
of the high ground there. It took him about two hours to do this. Not until
about 1700, after he had returned from this reconnaissance, did he receive
orders to place his battalion in the position. It was evening before the
1st Battalion started to occupy the Notch position. 
The regimental plan called for the 1st Battalion to hold the Notch and
the high ground to the right (northwest), and the ROK troops, commanded
by Colonel Min, the high ground to the left (southeast) of the Notch. 
Colonel McGrail's battalion, which had withdrawn from Chinju by a route
north of the Nam River, crossed to the south side near Uiryong and arrived
at the Notch ahead of the 1st Battalion. When the 1st Battalion arrived,
the 2d withdrew to the northern base of the pass in regimental reserve.
Late in the afternoon, the 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry, also arrived at
As the 19th and 27th Infantry Regiments made their preparations during
the evening of 1 August for their reconnaissance the next morning, most
welcome reinforcements arrived. They were the first medium tanks in Korea,
if one excepts the three ill-fated Pershings at Chinju. About mid-July,
Eighth Army activated the 8072d Medium Tank Battalion, which was to receive
fifty-four old World War II medium tanks rebuilt in Japan. Detachment A
(A Company) of the tank battalion, under the command of Capt. James H.
Harvey, arrived at Pusan on 31 July. Railroad flatcars brought them to
Masan the morning of 1 August. From there, Lt. Donald E. Barnard took the
first platoon to the 19th Infantry position near Chungam-ni, and 1st Lt.
Herman D. Norrell took the second platoon to the 27th Infantry at Chindong-ni.
Both platoons entered action the next day. 
The Battle at the Notch
Colonel Moore selected Colonel Wilson's 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry,
to make the reconnaissance westward from the Notch and issued his orders
for it at 2000, 1 August. A platoon of five M4 medium tanks and four M8
armored cars and a platoon of engineers were to accompany the battalion.
 Moore had available at this time a total of about 2,335 men in the
19th Infantry and attached 29th Infantry units, excluding the ROK soldiers
under Colonel Min. 
The tanks were to lead the column. They assembled in front of the 19th
Infantry regimental command post in Chungam-ni at 0530 the next morning,
2 August, and the rest of the column organized behind them. Groups of five
infantrymen from C Company mounted each of the tanks and armored cars.
Next came the motorized battalion in twenty-two trucks and a number of
jeeps. The tanks led off from Chungam-ni at 0615 with the first good light.
Half an hour later the head of the column passed through the 1st Battalion,
19th Infantry, defensive position at the Notch, its line of departure.
Excitement spread among the men at the Notch when enemy fire suddenly
struck and stopped the armored column just below their position. Colonel
Wilson at the time was well back in that part of the column still on the
northeast incline leading up to the Notch. Hearing heavy firing forward,
he jumped from his jeep and hurried up the hill. Colonel Rhea ran up as
Wilson reached the crest, shouting, "You better be careful-that ground
down by the pond is enemy territory. My men were fighting with them when
your tanks came by."  Colonel Wilson's motorized column in passing
through the Notch had met head-on an enemy attack just starting against
the 19th Infantry.
The tanks met enemy soldiers crawling up the ditch at the side of the
road, 100 yards below the crest of the pass. The tanks moved slowly ahead,
firing their machine guns. Some of the enemy soldiers ran into the woods
along both sides of the road. The lead tank, with its hatch open, had reached
a point about 400-500 yards down the incline when an enemy mortar shell
struck it, killing the crew. Fire from an enemy antitank gun hit a truck
farther back in the column and set it on fire. Three enemy heavy machine
guns along the road 200 yards below the crest started firing on the column
as it ground to a halt. This machine gun fire almost annihilated the 1st
Platoon, C Company, as the men scrambled from the trucks. Twelve or fourteen
vehicles had crossed over the pass and were on the southern slope when
the enemy opened fire. 
When the American soldiers jumped off their vehicles and ran to the
roadside ditches for protection, they found the enemy already there. Several
desperate struggles took place. Some North Koreans in the ditches continued
to advance slowly uphill, pushing captured Americans, their hands tied,
in front of them. This melee along the road resulted in about thirty American
Colonel Wilson witnessed this disastrous spectacle from a point just
southwest of the Notch. Seeing that the column was effectively stopped,
he placed B Company, 29th Infantry (62 men), in position with the 1st Battalion,
19th Infantry. Colonel Wilson displayed great energy and exposed himself
constantly in reorganizing scattered and intermingled units west of the
As soon as the enemy machine gun positions were located, recoilless
rifles took them under fire and either destroyed them or caused the enemy
gunners to abandon them. But enemy fire in turn killed three of four crew
members of the recoilless rifle on the west side of the Notch. The fourth
member, Sgt. Evert E. "Moose" Hoffman, stayed with the gun and
fired at every available target throughout the day. He won a battlefield
commission. Another courageous noncommissioned officer, MSgt. William Marchbanks,
D Company, 29th Infantry, placed his two mortars in position at the edge
of the Notch and took under fire every burst of enemy fire he could locate.
When the fight started, Colonel Moore came to the command post of the
1st Battalion on the west side of the Notch and stayed there most of the
day, directing the defense.
The battle soon spread from the road and flared up along the high ground
on either side of the Notch. The night before, B Company, 19th Infantry,
had started to climb the peak on the west side of the Notch but, tired
from the efforts of the past few days and the hard climb, it stopped short
of the crest. On the morning of 2 August, enemy troops came upon the men
in their sleep. In a swift attack the North Koreans bayoneted the company
commander and several others and drove the rest off the hill. The confusion
west of the Notch was heightened about noon when three American fighter
planes mistakenly strafed and rocketed this company. 
On that (west) side of the Notch, men of the 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry,
and of the 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry, became badly intermingled. The
enemy force that had driven B Company, 19th Infantry, from the high ground
placed cross fire from flank and rear on other units. In an effort to halt
this destructive fire, C Company, 29th Infantry, gradually worked its way
to a saddle short of the high ground. From there it attacked and drove
the enemy force from the heights. In the attack, twelve men of C Company
were killed; half of the casualties, in Colonel Wilson's opinion, were
caused by American fire from neighboring positions.
During the preceding night, plans for covering the left (east) flank
of the Notch position had also miscarried. Colonel Min's troops were supposed
to occupy that ground and tie in with the 19th Infantry near the Notch.
Morning found them too far eastward, separated by a mile and a half from
the 19th Infantry. Snipers infiltrated behind some American soldiers on
that side and killed five of them by shots through the back of the head.
In the afternoon, enemy mortar fire on the east side also killed and wounded
From his position west of the Notch, Colonel Moore saw men moving up
the valley eastward, following the railroad toward Chungam-ni. Thinking
they were enemy troops he directed Captain Cutler, his S-3, to send part
of the 2d Battalion to block them. This force, however, turned out to be
Colonel Min's ROK troops withdrawing because friend and foe alike had them under fire.
East of the Notch, gaps in the line produced much confusion. The 3d
Battalion, 29th Infantry, had been committed next to Colonel Min's force,
and B Company, 29th Infantry, also went there during the day to help hold
the high ground. Enemy troops tried to advance from the railroad tunnel
in front of B Company, but a platoon of F Company, 19th Infantry, counterattacked
and drove them back. 
The fighting along the road west of the Notch died down during the afternoon.
The enemy apparently had moved off to the flanks in his favorite maneuver.
At midafternoon a squad from A Company, 19th Infantry, went down the road
past the knocked-out vehicles and killed a few enemy soldiers still near
them. The men then set up a roadblock 100 yards beyond the tanks. Other
groups took out American wounded and recovered most of the vehicles. The
rest of A Company swept the adjoining ridge forward of the pass for several
hundred yards. By evening, the enemy had withdrawn from close contact with
the 19th Infantry.
American casualties in the Notch battle numbered about ninety. North
Korean losses are unknown. Nor is it known how large an enemy force was
engaged there. Estimates ranged among officers present from two companies
to a regiment. From information gained later concerning the location of
the 6th Division, it appears that the enemy was at least
in battalion strength at the Notch on 2 August, and he may have had the
greater part of a regiment.
The day's events disclosed that from Chinju elements of the enemy 6th
Division had followed closely behind the withdrawing 19th Infantry,
sending the bulk of its advance units up the northern road toward Masan.
Colonel Check's Reconnaissance in Force Toward Chinju
That same morning, 2 August, Colonel Check at 0400 led the 1st Battalion,
27th Infantry, with A Battery of the 8th Field Artillery Battalion attached,
westward from Chindong-ni on the southern leg of the two-pronged reconnaissance.
At the head of the column a platoon of infantry rode four medium tanks
(Shermans). Colonel Check's immediate objective was the road juncture at
Check's column was unopposed at first. After traveling several miles,
the tanks and the lead platoon forming the point caught an enemy platoon
still in their blankets along the road. When the startled North Koreans
jumped up and started to run, tank machine guns and riflemen killed all
but two, and these they captured.  Soon, enemy opposition began to
develop, but it was mostly from snipers and scattered patrols.
At the Much'on-ni road fork about midafternoon, Check's column met and
surprised a number of enemy soldiers. The surprise was evident, as a column
of enemy supply trucks had just descended from the Chinju pass. Drivers
were able to turn some of the vehicles around and escape, but the North Koreans abandoned about ten vehicles, ranging
from jeeps to 2 1/2-ton trucks. These were loaded with uniforms, food,
ammunition, medicine, and other supplies. Pilots of F-51 planes overhead
reported later that the appearance of Check's column caused many other
vehicles to turn around at the top of the pass and head toward Chinju.
They made good targets for the planes. 
Enemy resistance now increased. Just beyond the road fork Check dismounted
his motorized battalion and sent the trucks back. He did not want to run
the risk of having them captured, and he believed his men could fight their
way out on foot if necessary. Only the mortar platoon and the artillery
battery retained their vehicles. Having no communication with the regiment,
Colonel Check sent runners back to Colonel Michaelis, but none reached
their destination. Enemy forces had closed in behind Check and cut the
Check's battalion, now afoot, advanced westward with the tanks in the
lead. In the low hills at the foot of the Chinju pass, a long hard fight
with the enemy began. The North Koreans held the pass in force. Sniper
fire from the right (north) caused the infantry on the tanks to dismount
and take cover behind them. Suddenly, Lieutenant Norell, tank platoon leader
in the third tank, saw enemy fire hit the tank ahead of him. He could see
that it was coming from three antitank guns about five yards off the road
to the right. His own tank then received three hits almost immediately
and started to burn. In leaving his tank, Lieutenant Norrell received machine
gun and shrapnel wounds.  This quick burst of enemy antitank fire killed
the gunner in the second tank and wounded seven other enlisted tank crew
members. Very quickly, however, the artillery battery took the antitank
guns under fire and silenced them. The infantry then captured the pieces.
There were many enemy dead in this vicinity, and others feigning death.
Check walked over to the guns and noted that they were 76-mm. 
Colonel Check called for volunteers to form crews for the two partly
disabled but still operable tanks. Men who had operated bulldozers volunteered
to drive the tanks. They received quick instruction from the drivers of
the two undamaged tanks. Check used riflemen as improvised tank machine
gunners. The advance continued, but in the next hour gained only a few
hundred yards. About 1700 or 1730, a liaison plane reappeared and dropped
a message. It was from Colonel Michaelis and read, "Return. Road cut
behind you all the way. Lead with tanks if possible. Will give you artillery
support when within range." 
That morning about 1700, Colonel Michaelis at Chindong-ni received word
from Colonel Moore that enemy troops had stopped his part of the reconnaissance just beyond its line of departure. Moore reported that he would
have all he could do to hold his defensive positions. Late in the morning
and in the early afternoon, Michaelis received reports that the enemy had
cut the road between Check and the rest of the regiment, and that E Company
in its advance blocking position was heavily engaged. It was apparent,
therefore, that strong enemy forces had moved toward Masan. He thereupon,
sometime after 1600, dispatched to Colonel Check the message by liaison
plane to return with the 1st Battalion. 
Upon receiving Colonel Michaelis' message, Colonel Check immediately
set about disengaging the battalion and started back. The two damaged tanks
gave trouble and had to be towed by the other tanks to start them. Check
put them in the lead. The two undamaged tanks brought up the rear, behind
the mortar and artillery vehicles. The infantry, moving along the sides
of the ridges parallel to the road, engaged in a fire fight as the withdrawal
started. Just before dark, and still west of the Much'on-ni road fork,
Check decided he would have to mount his infantry on tanks and vehicles
and make a run for it. Thirty to thirty-five men crowded onto the decks
of each of the four tanks. The mortar and artillery trucks likewise were
loaded to capacity, but every man found a place to ride.
The tank-led column went back the way it had come, almost constantly
engaged with the enemy along the road. Several times the lead tanks stopped
and infantry riding the decks jumped off to rush enemy machine gun positions.
Until dark, the withdrawing battalion had air cover and, when it came within
range, the 8th Field Artillery Battalion and a battery of 155-mm. howitzers
fired shells on either side of the road, shortening the ranges as Check's
battalion neared Chindong-ni. Exhausted, the 1st Battalion reached Chindong-ni
at midnight. It had suffered about thirty casualties during the day. Colonel
Check's leadership on this occasion won for him the Distinguished Service
During the day, an estimated enemy battalion had come in behind Check's
column and attacked E Company, which held the line of departure at Pongam-ni.
A relief force sent from the 2d Battalion helped E Company fight its way
back to the battalion's main defensive lines at Kogan-ni, three miles eastward.
Still another enemy force ambushed a platoon from A Company, 65th Engineer
Combat Battalion, south of Chindong-ni on the Kosong-Sach'on road, with
resulting heavy personnel losses and destruction of much equipment. Obviously,
North Koreans were moving east from Chinju toward Masan on all roads. 
The Affair at Chindong-ni
The town of Chindong-ni, where Colonel Michaelis had his command post,
lies astride the south coastal road at a point where mountain spurs from the north come down to meet the sea. High finger ridges end at the northern
edge of the town, one on either side of the dirt road from Chindong-ni
via Haman and Komam-ni to the Nam River. The ridge on the east side of
this north-south road terminates in a high, steep bluff at the northeast
edge of Chindong-ni. The 27th Infantry regimental command post was in a
schoolhouse under the brow of this bluff. In the school courtyard a battery
of 155-mm. howitzers (A Battery, 11th Field Artillery Battalion) had emplaced.
Close by was the 8th Field Artillery Battalion. Colonel Check's tired 1st
Battalion and the attached four medium tanks had bivouacked there at midnight.
It was a stroke of the greatest good fortune for Colonel Michaelis and
the 27th Infantry regimental headquarters that Colonel Check and his 1st
Battalion had returned to Chindong-ni during the night. The next morning,
3 August, just after the regimental staff had finished breakfast in the
schoolhouse command post, a sudden fusillade of small arms fire hit the
building and came through the open windows.  This first enemy fire
came from the top of the bluff above the schoolhouse. It heralded an enemy
attack which came as a complete surprise.
When the attack hit Chindong-ni, some of the security guards apparently
were asleep. A few outpost troops mistook some of the enemy for South Koreans
from other nearby outpost positions.  Several Americans came running
shoeless down the hill to the courtyard. Colonel Michaelis and his staff
officers pulled men from under jeeps and trucks and forced them into position.
One soldier went berserk and started raking his own companions with machine
gun fire.  An officer, by a well-placed shot, wounded him and stopped
his murderous fire. Michaelis and Check with other officers and noncommissioned
officers gradually brought order out of the chaos.
Capt. Logan E. Weston, A Company commander, led an attack against the
enemy positions on the hill overlooking the command post. He assaulted
two enemy machine guns on the crest and eliminated their crews by accurate
M1 rifle fire. Enemy fire wounded Weston in the thigh during this action,
but after receiving first aid treatment he returned to the fight and subsequently
was wounded twice more. Despite three wounds he refused to be evacuated.
Ten days earlier he had likewise distinguished himself in leadership and
in combat near Poun. 
Soon the 1st Battalion had possession of the high ground near the command
post. Its mortars and recoilless rifles now joined in the fight. Before
long the 105-mm. howitzers were firing white phosphorus shells on concentrations
of enemy troops reported from the newly won infantry positions. 
At the time they launched their attack, the North Koreans undoubtedly
knew that artillery was at Chindong-ni, because small groups had brought
it under small arms fire during the afternoon of August. But infantry were
not there then, and apparently the enemy did not expect to find any there
the next morning. If the North Koreans surprised he 27th's command post
with their attack, they in turn were surprised by the presence of Colonel
Check's battalion. Once engaged in the fight, and the initial attack failing,
the local North Korean commander sent at least a second battalion to Chindong-ni
to reinforce the one already there and tried to salvage the situation.
Lt. Col. Augustus T. Terry, Jr., commanding officer of the 8th Field
Artillery Battalion, discovered the reinforcing battalion approaching in
trucks about one thousand yards away on the Haman road from the north.
The trucks stopped and the enemy battalion began dismounting.  Colonel
Terry's artillery adjusted time fire on it. After the artillery shells
began falling on them, the enemy soldiers dispersed rapidly into the hills
and the threatened enemy counterattack did not materialize.
By 1300 the North Koreans had withdrawn from the immediate vicinity
of Chindong-ni. American patrols counted 400 enemy dead, a large number
of them in the area where the 8th Field Artillery Battalion had taken the
detrucking enemy soldiers under fire. The defenders of Chindong-ni estimated
they had killed and wounded 600 enemy soldiers. American casualties at
Chindong-ni on 3 August were 13 killed and nearly 40 wounded in the 1st
Battalion, with a total of 60 casualties for all units. 
Interrogation of prisoners later disclosed that two battalions of the
14th Regiment, N.K. 6th Division, made the
attack on Chindong-ni. One battalion, with the mission of establishing
a roadblock at the town, made the initial early morning attack. The other
two battalions of the same regiment detoured farther to the east, with
the mission of establishing roadblocks closer to Masan. One of them turned
back to Chindong-ni and was dispersed by artillery fire as it was detrucking.
The enemy base of operations was on Sobuk-san, north of Chindong-ni. During
this engagement, the enemy used commercial telephone lines. Signal officers,
tapping them through the 27th Infantry regimental switchboard, monitored
the enemy conversations. That night (3 August), an operations officer and
a translator heard the commanding general of the N.K. 6th Division
reprimand the commander of the 14th Regiment for losing so
many men. 
While the prime objective of the 14th Regiment had been
to cut the Masan road, another regiment, the 15th, apparently had
the mission of capturing Masan or the high ground around it. 
When the attack on Chindong-ni failed, the 15th Regiment
withheld the attack on Masan but did infiltrate the high ground southwest
of the town.
The enemy 6th Division, which had driven so rapidly eastward
from Hadong, where it first encountered American troops on 27 July, had
by now, in the course of a week, suffered heavy casualties which reduced
it to about half strength.  After the battles of the Chungam-ni Notch
and Chindong-ni, both sides regrouped and made ready for a new test of
strength on the approaches to Masan.
The movement around the left flank of Eighth Army in late July had been
the most brilliantly conceived and executed of the North Korean tactical
operations south of the Han River. It had held within it the possibilities
of victory-of driving U.N. forces from the peninsula. It had compelled
Eighth Army to reinforce its units in the southwest at the expense of the
central front, and to redeploy the U.N. forces along a shorter line behind
the Naktong River, in what came to be called the Pusan Perimeter.
In early August, General Walker received what he regarded as conclusive
intelligence that the enemy plan had been to supply the North Korean enveloping
force in southwestern Korea by water from the port of Kunsan and other
ports southward to and including Yosu. Walker said that had the enemy force
driven straight and hard for Pusan instead of occupying all the ports in
southwestern Korea, he would not have had time to interpose the strength
to stop it. 
Never afterward were conditions as critical for the Eighth Army as in
the closing days of July and the first days of August 1950. Never again
did the North Koreans come as close to victory as when their victorious
6th and 4th Divisions passed eastward through Chinju
and Koch'ang. Costly, bloody battles still remained, but from a U.N. strategic
point of view, the most critical phase had passed. Heavy U.N. reinforcements
were then arriving, or on the point of arriving, in Korea.
 EUSAK WD, G-3 Stf Sec Rpt, 31 Jul 50; Ltr, Brig Gen John H.
Michaelis to author, 24 Jan 53.
 Interv, author with Church, 25 Sep 52; Ltr, Michaelis to author, 24
Jan 53; 24th Div WD, 31 Jul 50.
 Inserts, author with Moore, 20 Aug 52, and Church, 25 Sep 52;
Ltr, Michaelis to author, 24 Jan 53.
 Ltr, Michaelis to author, 24 Jan 53. In discussing this matter with
the author, General Church and Colonel Moore had somewhat different
recollections from those of Michaelis regarding the orders General Church
gave. They recalled the orders as being that the 19th Infantry was to
defend the northern road at the pass west of Chungam-ni, and that
Michaelis' 27th Infantry was to move through Masan to a defensive position
on the southern road near Chindong-ni. The author has concluded that the
sequence of events and troop movements that followed the meeting support
 Ltr, Cutler to author, 9 Mar 53. Michaelis says that at the Notch
about 0730 he received a message from an officer courier indicating the
19th Infantry would not hold its blocking position in front of him.
Comments with Ltr, Michaelis to author, 29 Sep 53.
 Interv, author with Check, 6 Feb 53.
 Ltr, Michaelis to author, 24 Jan 53, and Comments with ltr, 29 Sep
53; Interv, author with Maj Jack J. Kron, 1 Aug 51. Kron was formerly
Executive Officer, 13th Field Artillery Battalion, and heard Michaelis'
end of the conversation at his command post. He confirms the Michaelis
version. Colonel Moore has no recollection of this conversation.
 Michaelis says he talked with Moore about 0800, but that hour seems
too early. It must have been shortly before noon. Colonel Check, Colonel
Murch, and Maj. Frank V. Roquemore (regimental headquarters staff) agree
that Michaelis gave the order to turn around about noon. Interv, author
with Check, 6 Feb 53; Interv, author with Roquemore, 6 Feb 53; Ltr and
review comments, Murch to author, 2 Jan 58.
 Ltr, Landrum to author, 21 Mar 53; Ltrs, Michaelis to author, 24 Jan
and 29 Sep 53; Interv, author with Roquemore, 6 Feb 53. Roquemore was
responsible for preparing the 27th Infantry War Diary.
 Intervs, author with Church, 25 Sep 52, Check, 6 Feb 53, and Moore,
20 Aug 52; Ltrs, Michaelis to author, 24 Jan and 29 Sep 53; Ltr, Murch
to author, 7 Apr 54.
 2d Bn, 27th Inf, Opn Rpt, 1 Aug 50; 27th Inf WD, Activities Rpt,
Aug 50; 24th Div WD, 1 Aug 50; Brig. Gen. John H. Michaelis with Bill
Davidson, "This We Learned in Korea," Collier's, August 18, 1950. p. 39.
 Ltr, Cutler to author, 9 Mar 53.
 Ltr, Rhea to author, 9 Apr 53.
 Ltr, Cutler to author, 9 Mar 53.
 EUSAK WD, G-1 Sec, Unit Hist Rpt, 13 Jul 50, p. 5; 8072d Med Tk Bn
WD, 1-7 Aug 50 (in 25th Div WD); GHQ UNC, G-3 Opn Rpts 37, 31 Jul 50,
and 38, 1 Aug 50.
 Ltr, Wilson to author, 25 Mar 53; Interv, author with Moore, 20 Aug
 On 1 August the 19th Infantry strength was 1,273; the 1st Bn, 28th
Inf, was 745; and the 3d Bn, 28th Inf, was 317. See 24th Div WD, 31 Jul
50; 19th Inf WD, 31 Jul 50; 19th Inf Unit Rpt 23, 1 Aug 50.
 Ltr, Wilson to author, 25 Mar 53; Ltr, Rhea to author, 9 Apr 53;
Ltr, Cutler to author, 3 Jul 53. Colonel Rhea states he did not know of
the projected reconnaissance attack through his position by the 1st
Battalion, 28th Infantry, until tanks passed through the Notch. A
written order had been distributed for this attack, but by some
inadvertence, Colonel Rhea did not know of it.
 Ltrs to author, Wilson, 25 Mar 53, Rhea, 9 Apr 53, and Cutler, 3
Jul 53; Ltr, Rhea to author, 29 Apr 53; Holliday, Notes for author, 31
Mar 53; 24h Div GO 114, 31 Aug 50.
 Ltr, Rhea to author, 29 Apr 53; Interv, author with Moore, 20 Aug
52; Notes, Moore for author, Jul 53; 24th Div GO 114, 31 Aug 50.
 Ltrs, Rhea to author, 9 and 29 Apr 53; Ltr, Wilson to author, 25
Mar 53; Ltrs, Cutler to author, 9 Mar and 3 Jul 53.
 Interv, author with Moore, 17 Feb 53; Ltr, Cutler to author, 9 Mar
53; Ltr, Wilson to author, 25 Mar 53; Holliday, Notes for author, 31 Mar
 Interv, author with Check, 6 Feb 53; 27th Inf WD, 2 Aug 50; 1st Bn,
27th Inf, Opn Rpt, Aug 50.
 Interv, author with Check, 6 Feb 53; Ltr, Col Gilbert J. Check to
Lt Col Carl D. McFerren, 26 Jun 53, in OCMH files.
 8072d Med Tk Bn WD, 2 Aug 50.
 Ibid.; Interv, author with Check, 6 Feb 53. The statement by
Norrell in the report that this enemy fire came from three captured U.S.
105-mm. howitzers is incorrect.
 Interv, author with Check, 6 Feb 53; 8072d Med Tk Bn WD, 1-7 Aug
50; 27th Inf WD, 2 Aug 50; 1st Bn, 27th Inf, Opn Rpt, Aug 50; 24th Div
WD, 2 Aug 50. The records erroneously have this final action taking
place at Much'on-ni.
 Ltr, Michaelis to author, 24 Jan and 29 Sep 53.
 Interv, author with Check, 6 Feb 53; Ltrs, Michaelis to author, 24
Jan and 29 Sep 53; 27th Inf WD. 2 Aug 50; 1st Bn, 27th Inf, Opn Rpt, Aug
50; EUSAK WD. GO 68, 15 Sep 50.
 27th Inf WD, Hist Rpt, Aug 50; 2d Bn, 27th Inf, Summ of Activities,
Aug 50; Ltr with comments, Murch to author, 7 Apr 54.
 27th Inf Activities Rpt, S-3 Sec, Aug 50; Higgins, War in Korea,
pp. 123-30; Harold Martin, "The Colonel Saved the Day," The Saturday
Evening Post, September 9, 1950, pp. 32-33; Michaelis with Davidson,
"This We Learned in Korea," op. cit. Both Higgins and Martin were
present. Their accounts of the Chindong-ni action are somewhat colored.
 Higgins, War In Korea, p. 124; Martin "The Colonel Saved the Day,"
op. cit., p. 190.
 Interv, author with Check, 6 Feb 53.
 General Order 68, 15 September 1950, awarded the Distinguished
Service Cross to Weston. EUSAK WD. See also Higgins, War in Korea.
 1st Bn, 27th Inf, Opn Rpt, 23 Jul-3 Aug 50.
 8th FA Bn WD, Aug 50, entry for 3 Aug and Summ.
 Ibid., 1st Bn, 27th Inf, Opn Rpt, 23 Jul-3 Aug 50; 27th Inf S-3
Activities Rpt, Aug 50.
 27th Inf S-3 Activities Rpt, Aug 50; 1st Bn, 27th Inf, Opn Rpt, 4-
30 Aug 50; 25th Div WD, 2-3 Aug 50; Michaelis with Davidson, "This We
Learned in Korea," op. cit.
 8th FA Bn WD, Aug 50.
 ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 100 (N.K. 6th Div), pp. 37-38.
 Memo, Maj Gen Doyle O. Hickey (Dep CofS, FEC) to CofS, FEC, 7 Aug
50, sub: Report of Visit to Korea.
Causes of the Korean Tragedy ... Failure of Leadership, Intelligence and Preparation