So ends the bloody business of the day.|
In the Unsan and Onjong area at the end of October, great smoke clouds
hung in the skies. What did these smoke clouds portend? Everyone in the
area noticed them. Capt. Jack Bolt, commanding officer of C Battery, 99th
Field Artillery Battalion, counted ten different forest fires burning in
the mountains when his unit moved up on the 30th to support the 3d Battalion,
8th Cavalry Regiment, south of Unsan. The next day Colonel Johnson witnessed
much the same thing during his visit to the 8th Cavalry regimental command
post. And General Allen, the 1st Cavalry Division assistant commander,
likewise saw them on 1 November when he drove to Unsan. These great smoke
clouds north and northeast of Unsan came from forest fires set by the enemy.
They obscured U.N. aerial observation and masked enemy troop movements.
The evidence on 1 November particularly indicated that some large enemy
movement was in progress. That morning a Korean civilian reported that
2,000 Chinese soldiers were in a valley nine miles southwest of Unsan and
that their mission was to move eastward and cut the road below the town.
A member of a Home Guard unit reported there were 3,000 Chinese on Obong-san,
six miles southwest of Unsan. Colonel Edson, in talking to Colonel Johnson,
apparently referred to this force. At noon, air and artillery had dispersed
an enemy column eight miles southeast of Unsan, killing approximately 100
horses and an unknown number of men. This column was approaching the ROK
11th Regiment positions which were then near the ROK II Corps boundary.
In the afternoon aerial observers reported sighting large columns of enemy
troops in motion northeast and southwest of Unsan. An air strike hit one
of these columns, containing twenty-one vehicles loaded with troops, nine
miles northeast of Unsan. 
At his command post at Yongsan-dong in the afternoon, General Gay and
Brig. Gen. Charles D. Palmer, the division artillery commander, were listening
to the chatter on the artillery radio set. Suddenly the voice of an observer
in an L-5 plane directing fire of the 82d Field Artillery Battalion (155-mm. howitzers) came in: "This is the strangest
sight I have ever seen. There are two large columns of enemy infantry moving
southeast over the trails in the vicinity of Myongdang-dong and Yonghung-dong.
Our shells are landing right in their columns and they keep coming."
The two places mentioned were about seven and five air miles respectively
southwest and west of Unsan. General Palmer broke in on the radio to order
the 99th Field Artillery Battalion to join in the fire on these enemy columns.
General Gay, who had become uneasy about the dispersion of the 1st Cavalry
Division, telephoned I Corps headquarters to request that the 7th Cavalry
Regiment, which I Corps was holding south of the Ch'ongch'on, be ordered
to join him at Yongsan-dong and that he be allowed to withdraw the 8th
Cavalry Regiment a distance of several miles from Unsan. He also protested
the use of the 3d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, at the corps boundary on the
east. His requests were denied. 
CCF 39th Corps waits to attack 8th Cav
While the record indicates general reluctance on the part of the American
command to accept the accumulating evidence of Chinese intervention, at
least one responsible staff officer seems to have agreed with the ROK interpretation
of events at an early date. Col. Percy W. Thompson, G-2 of I Corps, briefed
troops of the advanced party of the 1st Cavalry Division at I Corps headquarters
when the division was committed in the Unsan area. He pointed out that
they might be fighting Chinese forces. Their reaction was one of disbelief
and indifference. This same attitude was apparent in the staff of the 8th
Cavalry Regiment and some of the division officers when Colonel Hennig,
who had been with the ROK 1st Division throughout the Unsan fighting, tried
to tell them that they were up against Chinese forces. General Gay maintained
that his first information on Chinese intervention came on 1 November when
he visited General Paik at the latter's ROK 1st Division headquarters at
Yongbyon. This is hard to reconcile with the fact that in the last two
days of October officers and men of the 8th Cavalry Regiment at Unsan heard
a great deal about the Chinese from the ROK 1st Division troops and the
attached KMAG officers. Apparently most of the officers and men of the
8th Cavalry Regiment received this information with skepticism or disbelief.
In the early afternoon of 1 November General Walker telephoned to General
Milburn and told him the ROK II Corps had ceased to be an organized fighting
organization, and that his right flank was unprotected. Walker told Milburn
to take measures to protect his flank and to assume command of any ROK
units that came into the U.S. I Corps area. General Milburn set out immediately
for Kunu-ri to see the ROK corps commander, after giving orders to his
chief of staff, Brig. Gen. Rinaldo Van Brunt, to organize a blocking force
to take a position on the Kunu-ri-Anju road southwest of Kunu-ri. This
blocking force was composed principally of Engineer and Ordnance troops.
Its mission was to protect the I Corps right flank and the pontoon bridges
over the Ch'ongch'on River.
When Milburn arrived at the ROK II Corps headquarters he found it in
the act of moving to Sunch'on. The ROK corps commander told him that he
had lost contact with and did not know the location of most of his subordinate
units, that they were disorganized, and that so far as he knew he had only
three battalions of the ROK 7th Division in the vicinity of Kunu-ri capable
of fighting. Milburn told the ROK commander that he must hold Kunu-ri,
and that a blocking force of U.S. troops west of the town would support
Meanwhile, other disquieting events were taking place south of Unsan
and behind the 8th Cavalry Regiment. When the platoon-sized combat patrol
from the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, in the early afternoon of 1 November
moved north from Yongsan-dong it found its way blocked at a point four
air miles, or six to seven road miles, below the position of the 3d Battalion,
8th Cavalry Regiment. (Map 23) As radio reports told him
of the enemy's strength, the battalion commander rapidly reinforced the
platoon with the full strength of A and B Companies. The enemy force held
a position on the ridge extending across the road just south of the Turtle
Head Bend of the Kuryong River.
Upon Colonel Johnson's return to the 5th Cavalry command post in the
evening, the 1st Battalion commander requested him to release the third
rifle company. Johnson approved the request, and C Company moved north.
In the meantime, shortly after dark, the Chinese at the roadblock attacked
the two companies in front of them and drove B Company from its position
with the loss of four 81-mm mortars and other equipment. Colonel Johnson
then directed the withdrawal of A Company to the defensive position C Company
established near midnight. There, A and B Companies assembled for reorganization.
Johnson alerted the 2d Battalion at 2300, and two hours later ordered it
north to support the 1st Battalion. 
By noon of 1 November, therefore, the Chinese had cut and blocked the
main road six air miles south of Unsan with sufficient strength to turn
back two rifle companies which had been strongly supported by air strikes
during daylight hours. The CCF had set the stage for an attack that night
against the 8th Cavalry Regiment and the ROK 15th Regiment. When dusk fell
that evening enemy soldiers were on three sides of the 8th Cavalry-the
north, west, and south. Only the ground to the east, held by the ROK 15th
Regiment, was not in Chinese possession.
North of the Town
The Chinese attack north of Unsan had gained strength in the afternoon
of 1 November against the ROK 15th Regiment on the east, and gradually
it extended west into the zone of the 8th Cavalry Regiment. The first probing
attacks there, accompanied by mortar barrages, came at 1700 against the
right flank unit, the 1st Battalion. There was also something new in the
enemy fire support-rockets fired from trucks. These rocket vehicles were to the northeast, across the Samt'an River. Supporting
artillery soon located and forced the rocket vehicles to move, but not
before their rockets had struck an ammunition truck at the battalion command
post. Major Millikin's men recovered one of the rocket shells and found
that it was of the Russian Katushka 82-mm. type fired from four multiple
At dusk Millikin's 1st Battalion con trolled the river approaches from
the north except for portions in the ROK 15th Regiment zone on the east
side Millikin's position was weak on the left, however, where troop strength
did not permit him to extend far enough to reach the main ridge leading
into Unsan. He had physical contact with the 2d Battalion in that direction
only by patrols. Neither battalion held this ridge except for outposts.
East of the river the ROK's were under heavy attack. In this action
the ROK's captured two 57-mm. recoilless rifles and two automatic rifles
with Chinese markings. At 1900 the 10th AAA Group, supporting the ROK's,
issued a march order and in a tense atmosphere began packing its equipment.
An hour and a half later the group closed its fire direction center, and
at 2100 its motor convoy moved south under black out conditions. The 78th
AAA Battalion's 90-mm. guns, which were tractor drawn and could be moved
quickly, remained behind and continued to fire in support of the ROK's
for an hour or two longer; then they too withdrew on corps orders. After
about 2300 the ROK 15th Regiment disintegrated rapidly, and shortly after
midnight ceased to exist as a combat force. Very few of these ROK troops
escaped; they were either killed or captured. 
A lull in the fighting at Millikin's position ended at 1930 when the
Chinese struck his battalion all along its line. They drove the right flank
back 400 yards. The left flank then withdrew half that distance. Millikin
rushed fifty men from the Engineer platoon and the Heavy Mortar Company
to the right flank, and with this reinforcement he held there. Heavy action
continued. About 2100 the Chinese found the weak link on the ridge line
and began moving through it down the ridge behind the 2d Battalion.
At 2200 the tanks holding the bridge northeast of Unsan in the right
rear of Millikin's 1st Battalion reported large groups of men across the
Samt'an River, moving south. The 4.2-inch mortars supporting the ROK 15th
Regiment in that area had now quit firing. Radio reports from the ROK's
made it clear that they were being defeated and pushed back. In order to
ascertain what the situation was there, Millikin sent his assistant S-3
across the river in a jeep to locate the mortarmen. That officer, after
crossing the river, was fired on but escaped and reported back to Millikin.
The moon was now coming up. Night visibility was good.
Since it was apparent that enemy groups were passing him on the east,
Millikin ordered the battalion trains and all noncombat vehicles to move
south through Unsan to the road fork and be prepared to move from there southeast across the Kuryong River ford
in the ROK 1st Division zone to Ipsok. About the same time, Lt. Col. William
Walton, commanding officer of the 2d Battalion, ordered his motor officer
to take all vehicles in the motor pool across the river by this same route.
These vehicles from the two battalions arrived safely at Ipsok.
With much sounding of bugles and whistles the Chinese extended their
strong attacks westward to the 2d Battalion, and in a short time penetrated
its right and encircled its left. At the same time the fight with the 1st
Battalion went on. Near the battalion boundary, A Company reported that
it was engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy in two directions,
had pulled back its left flank, and was withdrawing to the next ridge.
On Millikin's right the tanks holding the ground along the river were being
pressed back. By 2300 both the 1st and 2d Battalions had been forced back
and their positions penetrated. The 1st Battalion had expended its basic
load of ammunition and most of the reserve ammunition the regiment had
sent forward. Millikin reported by radio to the regimental commander the
increasingly desperate situation of the two front-line battalions and the
fact that he was almost out of ammunition. 
While this night battle was increasing in intensity, an important conference
was in progress at I Corps headquarters. During the afternoon, General
Milburn and his staff had become more and more disturbed at reports of
what was happening to the ROK II Corps eastward and of the increasing tempo
of the action near Unsan. At noon on 1 November I Corps had ordered the
24th Division to halt its advanced units, then only a few miles from the
North Korean border. Some hours later, about 1800 in the afternoon, General
Milburn sent out a call for a meeting at corps headquarters that night
to be attended by the commanding generals and certain staff members of
the 24th Division, the 1st Cavalry Division, and the ROK 1st Division.
Before General Gay left his command post for the I Corps meeting at Anju
he ordered Col. Ernest V. Holmes, his chief of staff, to send a warning
order to the 8th Cavalry Regiment to be prepared to withdraw from Unsan.
The meeting at I Corps headquarters got under way about 2000. In this
meeting General Milburn directed the corps to go from the attack to the
defensive immediately. This was the first time I Corps had gone on the
defensive since its breakout from the Pusan Perimeter. Milburn returned
the 8th Cavalry Regiment to division control, and ordered that it and the
ROK 15th Regiment withdraw at once from Unsan to positions above the Yongsan-dong-Yongbyon-Unhung
east-west road. This would amount to a general withdrawal of approximately
twelve air miles. Generals Gay and Paik were to co-ordinate the withdrawals
of their advanced regiments, the ROK 15th Regiment to be the last to withdraw.
General Gay telephoned Colonel Holmes from Anju, instructing him to issue
the withdrawal order to the 8th Cavalry Regiment. Then he and General Paik
and their parties started back to their headquarters. A little after midnight they reached
the 1st Cavalry Division command post. There they learned the bad news
from the Unsan front. 
Colonel Palmer received the withdrawal order from the 1st Cavalry Division
about 2300. Fifteen minutes before midnight he issued a warning order alerting
all battalions and the regimental trains for a withdrawal south. At midnight
he issued the withdrawal order. The withdrawal route indicated was the
only one possible-east from the road fork south of Unsan, across the ford
of the Kuryong River, and then by the main supply route of the ROK 1st
Division to Ipsok and Yongbyon. Major Millikin telephoned Colonel Walton
that he would try to hold Unsan until the 2d Battalion cleared the road
junction south of it. Then he would withdraw. The 3d Battalion, south of
Unsan, was to bring up the regimental rear. 
In the 2d Battalion, Colonel Walton had lost communication by this time
with all his companies except H Company. He gave that company the withdrawal
order with instructions to relay it to the rifle companies since it still
had communication with them. The 2d Battalion headquarters group, under
ineffective enemy small arms fire, began withdrawing eastward to the sound
of heavy firing in Unsan.
In Major Millikin's 1st Battalion area just north of Unsan, A Company
had been forced from its left flank position and Chinese were infiltrating
south along the ridge line into Unsan behind the battalion. At the same
time, the Chinese were pressing hard against B Company on the right and
the tanks of B Company, 70th Tank Battalion, along the river where they
guarded the battalion's right flank. Millikin soon received word that the
tanks had been forced back to the road junction at the northeast edge of
the town. The tankers reported they would try to hold there until the 1st
Battalion could withdraw past that point. Millikin issued orders for A
and B Companies each to leave one platoon behind as rear guard, and for
them and D Company to withdraw through C Company to the tank-held road
junction. When Millikin himself arrived at the road juncture he found there
two tanks and the D Company mortar vehicles. Other tanks had already passed
on into Unsan. A din of small arms fire from Unsan indicated that the enemy
held the town.
A few minutes later, about half an hour after midnight, elements of
A and B Companies arrived at the road fork at the northeast edge of Unsan.
Enemy troops in the town began firing at them and caused some casualties.
Millikin then sent these A and B Company men around to the east of Unsan
with instructions to wait for him at the road fork and bridge south of
the town. Millikin and most of his staff remained at the northeast edge of Unsan.
They hoped to direct the rest of the battalion on the escape route, and
to send the mortar carriers with wounded, escorted by the two remaining
tanks, through Unsan to the road fork southward.
Four tanks of the 1st Platoon of B Company, 70th Tank Battalion, already
had fought their way through the town and arrived at the road fork south
of it. It was the noise of this conflict in Unsan that Millikin and his
men heard from the northeast edge of the town. Fifteen minutes later Millikin
ordered the last two tanks and the mortar vehicles with the wounded to
try to get through Unsan. A burning truck at the first turn going west
into the town halted the column. In trying to get around the truck the
first tank slid into a shell crater and got stuck. Chinese soldiers killed
the tank commander as he struggled to free the tank. Other Chinese placed
a satchel charge on the tracks of the second tank and disabled it. Of the
ten tank crewmen, two were killed and five wounded. Apparently none of
the wounded on the mortar carriers escaped. 
A little later, about 0100, a miscellaneous assortment of men, including
elements of C Company, South Koreans attached to the 1st Battalion, ROK
stragglers from the 15th Regiment, and Chinese soldiers, arrived at the
road junction northeast of town at about the same time. Millikin still
waited there. In the confusion that now spread out of control the men tried
to escape in groups. Millikin and a small group went westward north of
Unsan and then circled to the southwest. At 0200, they encountered parts
of H Company from the 2d Battalion also trying to reach the road fork south
Roadblock South of the Town
When Colonel Palmer ordered the regimental withdrawal he placed Colonel
Edson, the regimental executive officer, in charge of co-ordinating it
and sent him to the road junction a mile and a half south of Unsan. and
a mile north of the regimental command post. That road junction was the
critical point to be reached and passed by the scattered elements of the
command. Accompanied by Capt. Rene J. Guirard, the regimental S-2, and
two squads of the I&R Platoon, Edson arrived at the road junction just
before midnight. Capt. Filmore W. McAbee, S-3 of the 3d Battalion, took
one platoon of I Company and the company commander to the road fork about
midnight, and after conferring there with Edson, he personally placed the
platoon in position to protect the junction from the north.
The regimental trains passed through, as did the trains of the 1st and
2d Battalions; numerous groups of the 1st Battalion and some from the 2d
Battalion also came through. The four 1st Platoon tanks arrived there about
0030. Edson placed them in defensive positions at the road junction. They
remained there until two tanks of the 2d Platoon arrived. Then Edson ordered
the first group of tanks to go southeast to the ford over the Kuryong River,
and to protect it for the last part of the withdrawal. The two tanks that
had just come through Unsan remained at the road junction.
It was now about 0130, 2 November. 
As yet there had been no enemy action south of Unsan in the 3d Battalion
area. Artillery elements supporting that battalion began withdrawing north
through the road junction at this time. Headquarters and Service Battery
and B Battery of the 99th Field Artillery Battalion passed eastward through
the road junction. Next came C Battery. Captain Bolt, the battery commander,
reached the road fork about 0220 at the head of his column of twenty vehicles,
which included six prime movers towing six 105-mm. howitzers. He stopped
briefly to talk with Colonel Edson who told him everything was all right
and to go on.
The withdrawal route ran generally east from the road fork for a mile
before it turned southeast to the ford across the Kuryong River and hence
to Ipsok, four miles south of the river. Immediately east of the road fork
the road ran on an embankment built above rice paddies with ditches on
either side. North of the road, a considerable expanse of paddy ground
extended to the Samt'an River at a point just before it turned east in
a sharp bend to flow into the Kuryong a mile away. On the south side the
paddy ground gave way to high ground which culminated in Hills 165 and
119. They crowded close on the road beginning at a point about 200 yards
east of the road fork.
Captain Bolt turned east on this road and had proceeded about 200 yards
when, upon glancing back, he saw that the second vehicle was not behind
him. He told his driver to stop the jeep; they waited. The second vehicle
had continued on past the turn at the road fork, had had to back up, and
in doing so had jammed the column and caused the delay.
As he waited, Captain Bolt happened to glance to his left across the
paddy ground, and in the moonlight he saw a line of men coming toward the
road. He thought they were retreating 8th Cavalry infantrymen and remarked
about them to his driver. When the oncoming soldiers were about fifty to
seventy-five yards away the entire group opened fire on the road. Bolt
shouted to his driver to get going, and upon rounding a curve where the
hill came down to the road they lost sight of the rest of the battery at
the road fork. Just around the curve from 15 to 20 enemy soldiers stood
in the road. They opened fire on the jeep as it raced toward them. Bolt
returned it with his submachine gun. The enemy group scattered to the sides
of the road. The jeep raced on and passed 2 other small enemy groups, the
last one numbering no more than 3 or 4 soldiers. Bolt soon caught up with
the end of the regimental column, which he found consisted of B Battery
and the four tanks of the 1st Platoon, B Company, 70th Tank Battalion.
He tried to get one of the tanks to go back and fire down the road, but
the tank commander said he was out of ammunition. 
The enemy force at the road apparently had followed the 1st Battalion
from north of Unsan, coming down along the west bank of the Samt'an River,
although it is possible that they had crossed the river from the ROK 15th
Regiment zone on the east.
As Bolt's jeep disappeared around the turn of the road the enemy soldiers
reached the road embankment and opened fire on the next vehicle when it
approached. This caused the driver to lose control and the 2 1/2-ton truck
upset over the side of the embankment, dragging the 105-mm. howitzer it
was towing crosswise on the road and blocking it. One of the two tanks
at the road fork went forward to try to break the roadblock, but the upset
truck and howitzer blocked the way and the tank came under attack. Crewmen
abandoned the tank after disabling its weapons. There is some evidence
that a Chinese satchel charge had already broken the tank treads. Bolt's
jeep was the last vehicle to pass eastward from the road fork below Unsan.
Thus, at 0230 the Chinese had effectively cut the only remaining escape
road from Unsan. 
At the road fork confusion swept over bewildered and frightened men.
No one, it seems, was able to gather together enough men to fight the enemy
roadblock force. Colonel Edson apparently made such an effort but it failed,
and in the end he and his group escaped by circling around and through
the roadblock force eastward and then south into the hills. Captain Guirard
had several personal encounters with Chinese in this escape. Most of the
artillerymen caught in the roadblock disappeared into the hill mass south
of the road. A few officers, including one from I Company, and some of
the noncommissioned officers, tried to assemble the men who had abandoned
their vehicles and equipment on the road. But the few men they were able
to bring together disappeared as soon as they turned their backs on them
to look for others. A few Chinese soldiers came down among the vehicles
and threw grenades, but most of them stayed at their roadblock position.
Soon enemy machine gun and mortar fire began falling on the road junction
area from the adjacent high ground. 
After watching Colonel Edson and his party disappear to the east, Colonel
Walton, who meanwhile had arrived from west of Unsan, returned to his own
2d Battalion group at the road junction and led them southward across the
hills. He came in through ROK lines at Ipsok after daylight with 103 men.
When Major Millikin and his 1st Battalion group met elements of H Company
west of the town, Millikin placed his wounded in their vehicles, and the
combined party came on to the road fork. They found it a shambles of wrecked
and abandoned vehicles and equipment.
Behind Millikin and the H Company group, the rest of the 2d Battalion
never succeeded in reaching the road fork south of Unsan. Half a mile west
of it, at the edge of the town, an enemy force cut the east-west road.
There the Chinese stopped A Battery, 99th Field Artillery Battalion, and the 3d Platoon,
B Company, 70th Tank Battalion. Soon abandoned vehicles clogged the road
at this point. The congestion was so bad that even the tanks could not
get through and their crew members abandoned them after destroying their
weapons. A few of these men filtered through to the road fork, but most
of them went south over the hills. The infantry elements of the 2d Battalion
for the most part scattered into the hills. Many of them reached ROK lines
near Ipsok. Others came in to the position of the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry,
the next morning. The sound of the 9th Field Artillery Battalion at Ipsok
firing in support of the ROK 1st Division served as a guide for most of
the men caught in the Unsan roadblock, and they moved in that direction.
When Major Millikin and his group arrived at the road fork they found
Maj. Robert J. Ormond, commanding officer of the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry,
there with a platoon of infantry. This was the I Company platoon McAbee
earlier had posted north of the road fork blocking the road from Unsan.
Millikin queried Ormond to find out what the latest orders were, as he
had been out of communication with everyone since directing the 1st Battalion
withdrawal. Ormond replied that he had no recent information, that his
last orders were to try and hold the road fork until the 1st and 2d Battalions
had gone through, and that he believed large portions of them had already
passed eastward. Ormond then turned back south to his own battalion to
start its withdrawal. The whole general area of the road fork was now under
enemy small arms fire, some of it coming from the south which at first
had been free of enemy soldiers.
Millikin found scattered elements of the 1st Battalion near the road
fork and he collected about forty men, including Capt. Robert B. Straight
of B Company who was wounded. Straight had stayed behind with one platoon
north of Unsan when the rest of his company had withdrawn. There was one
operable tank still at the road fork. Using its radio, Millikin tried to
communicate with elements of the regiment, but was able to reach only one
tank which was then engaged in running a roadblock near the ford over the
Kuryong. The 1st Battalion commander then ordered the tank to start toward
the enemy roadblock. He was following it with his men when enemy fire scattered
them. The small groups infiltrated the Chinese lines and headed south.
Millikin and the men with him crossed the Kuryong just before daylight
and reached Ipsok about 0800. There he found his battalion trains and about
200 men of the 1st Battalion, most of them from those parts of A and B
Companies that he had sent southeast around Unsan at the beginning of the
About noon on 2 November practically all men of the 1st Battalion who
were to escape had reached the Ipsok area, and a count showed that the
battalion had lost about fifteen officers and 250 enlisted men to all types
of casualties. About half the battalion's mortars and heavy weapons had
been lost to the enemy. Most of the regimental headquarters; the regimental
trains; four tanks of B company, 70th Tank Battalion; and five artillery
pieces crossed the Kuryong River ford safely and assembled in the vicinity
of Yongbyon. From there they rejoined the 1st Cavalry Division at Yongsan-dong. 
Ordeal Near Camel's Head Bend
During the evening and first part of the night of 1 November the troops
of the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry, south of Unsan and their supporting artillery
and tanks had enjoyed undisturbed quiet. Some of them in the late afternoon
had noticed airplanes strafing a few miles to the south and were aware
that an enemy force in that vicinity was on their main supply road. Major
Ormond just before midnight had passed on to his company commanders word
of the impending withdrawal. Lt. Col. Robert Holmes, commanding officer
of the 99th Field Artillery Battalion, gave instructions for the two batteries
of artillery (B and C) to withdraw. Battalion headquarters and B Battery
departed at 0115, and cleared the road fork south of Unsan. Last of the
artillery to march was Captain Bolt with C Battery at 0200, and, as already
noted, he encountered the first of the enemy roadblock force. A platoon
of twenty-five men from K Company accompanied C Battery. 
The 3d Battalion had taken a position just north of the Nammyon River,
where it flowed into the nose of the Camel's Head Bend of the Kuryong three
air miles southwest of Unsan. Its mission was to guard the regimental rear.
Major Ormond had established his command post in a flat plowed field with
a tight perimeter formed by headquarters and M Company command groups.
Two squads of M Company held the bridge immediately in the rear (south)
of the battalion headquarters, and the 4th Platoon of B Company, 70th Tank
Battalion, was disposed in position there on either side of the road north
of the river. The tree line extending west along the Nammyon was held by
L Company with one platoon on a high hill on the south side; I and K Companies
in that order were on a ridge line running from northeast to southwest
overlooking the stream northwest of the battalion command post. The communications
switchboard and the S-2 and S-3 sections of the battalion headquarters
found just off the road a ready-made dugout for their us in a 20-by-20-foot
hole with a log and straw roof over it which the North Koreans had dug
at some earlier date to hide vehicles from aircraft. 
Upon receiving the regimental order to withdraw, with the 3d Battalion
assigned the mission of guarding the regimental rear, Major Ormond issued
instructions for K and I Companies to withdraw from their positions to
the battalion command post. Company L was to cover their withdrawal. None
of the rifle companies was engaged with the enemy, and no difficulty was expected. Major Ormond then drove northward
to the regimental command post and subsequently to the road fork south
of Unsan where Major Millikin saw him.
Ormond started back south just a few minutes before enemy troops cut
the road below the fork. As it was, he returned to his command post without
trouble. There he told certain members of his staff that the 3d Battalion
could not withdraw northward through the road fork below Unsan as planned
because that road was now held by enemy forces. Using a map Ormond showed
Maj. Veale F. Moriarty, the battalion executive officer, the cross-country
route he intended the battalion to follow and sent the motor officer off
to find a ford by which the vehicles could cross the river. He then gave
instructions to SSgt. Elmer L. Miller, in charge of a section of tanks
near the command post, to cover the battalion withdrawal. Miller passed
this word on to the 4th Platoon tank commander, and then went to examine
the ford selected for the vehicular crossing. All the vehicles in the battalion
area, except the tanks, were lined up on the road bumper to bumper ready
to begin the withdrawal.
At this time, close to 0300, a company-sized column of men (one source
said platoon-sized) from the south approached the bridge over the Nammyon
River below the battalion command post. The two squads of M Company charged
with security of the bridge let the column pass over the bridge thinking
they were ROK's. When this column was even with the command post one of
its leaders sounded a bugle. This was the signal for a deadly surprise
assault on the battalion command post from all sides. At the same time,
other enemy forces engaged L Company along the stream bank to the southwest,
and still others crossed the stream directly south of the command post
and attacked the tanks there. Sergeant Miller crawled back to his tank
in time to help fight enemy troops off the decks with a pistol. The tanks
on both sides of the road backed up to the road except one which was first
damaged by a satchel charge and then, in a few minutes, blew up. At the
road the tanks held off other enemy troops trying to cross the stream from
the south. 
In the command post itself the greatest confusion reigned after the
onset of the Chinese attack. Hand-to-hand encounters took place all over
the battalion headquarters area as the Chinese soldiers who had marched
across the bridge fanned out, firing on anyone they saw and throwing grenades,
and satchel charges into the vehicles, setting many of them on fire. Part
of the men around the command post were still in their foxholes or shelters,
some of them apparently asleep awaiting the order to start the withdrawal.
One man later said, "I woke up when the shooting started." Another
said, "Someone woke me and asked if I could hear a bunch of horses
on the gallop . . . then bugles started playing taps, but far away. Someone
blew a whistle, and our area was shot to hell in a matter of minutes."
Still another man was awakened by an exploding hand grenade. Lt. W. C.
Hill said, "I thought I was dreaming when I heard a bugle sounding taps and the beat of horses' hooves in the distance. Then,
as though they came out of a burst of smoke, shadowy figures started shooting
and bayoneting everybody they could find." 
When the shooting started, Major Ormond and Captain McAbee left the
command dugout to determine the extent of what they thought was a North
Korean attack. Major Moriarty, battalion executive officer, who was in
the dugout at the time never saw Ormond again.
Once outside the dugout, Captain McAbee started for the roadblock at
the bridge and Major Ormond veered off to the right to go to L Company
by the river. As McAbee approached the bridge small arms fire knocked off
his helmet and a few seconds later another bullet shattered his left shoulder
blade. He turned back toward the command post and ran into a small group
of enemy soldiers. He dodged around a jeep, with the enemy in pursuit.
As they came around the jeep he shot them. In the field along the road
he saw about thirty more enemy troops attempting to set a tank on fire.
McAbee emptied his carbine into this group, and then, growing weak from
loss of blood, he turned again toward the dugout. A few steps farther and
three enemy soldiers stepped from the roadside ditch and prodded him with
bayonets. Not trying to disarm him, they jabbered to each other, seemingly
confused. McAbee pointed down the road, and after a little argument among
themselves they walked away. Once more on his way to the dugout McAbee
fell into the hands of a small group of Chinese, and repeated his earlier
experience. After this second group walked off up the road, McAbee finally
reached the command post.
Meanwhile, a few minutes after Ormond and McAbee had left the dugout
Capt. Clarence R. Anderson, the battalion surgeon, and Father Emil J. Kapaun,
the chaplain, brought in a wounded man. The small arms fire continued unabated
and Major Moriarty stepped outside to investigate. Visibility was good,
and in the bright moonlight he saw Captain McAbee stagger toward him. Just
beyond McAbee, Moriarty saw three or four uniformed figures wearing fur
headgear. He grabbed McAbee and thrust him into the dugout. Close at hand
someone called for help. Responding to the call, Moriarty clambered over
the dugout ramp leading from the road and found the battalion S-4 rolling
on the ground grappling with an enemy soldier. Moriarty shot this soldier
with his pistol and another who was crouching nearby. For the next fifteen
or twenty minutes he was one of the many in the command post area waging
a "cowboy and Indian" fight with the Chinese, firing at close
range, and throwing grenades. 
Seeing a center of resistance developing around Miller's tank, Moriarty
ran to it and found about twenty other men crouching around it. When enemy
mortar fire began falling near the tank, Moriarty took these men and with
them crossed the stream to the south. They destroyed a small group of enemy
troops at the stream bank. The south side appearing free of the enemy at
that point, they proceeded southeast. During the night this party was joined by
others from different units of the regiment. When they reached friendly
ROK lines near Ipsok after daylight there were almost a hundred men in
After perhaps half an hour of hand-to-hand fighting in the battalion
command post area the Chinese were driven out. In the meantime, most of
L Company had withdrawn from the stream's edge back to the command post.
Making its way toward the command post, pursuant to the earlier withdrawal
order, K Company ran into an enemy ambush and lost its command group and
one platoon. The remainder reached the battalion area closely followed
by the Chinese. There on the valley floor the disorganized men of the 3d
Battalion formed a core of resistance around Sergeant Miller's three tanks
and held the enemy off until daylight.
Another island of resistance had formed at the ramp to the command post
dugout. Three men who manned the machine gun there in succession were killed
by Chinese grenades. When daylight came only five of the twenty or more
men who had assembled there were left. After a final exchange of grenades
with these men, the Chinese in the nearby ditches withdrew. The group at
the ramp then joined the others in the small perimeter around the three
Enemy mortar fire kept everyone under cover until an hour after daylight.
Then a Mosquito plane and fighter-bomber aircraft came over and began a
day-long series of strikes against the Chinese. This kept the enemy under
cover during the rest of the day and gave the men at the command post a
chance to take stock of their situation and to gather in the wounded. They
found Major Ormond, the battalion commander, very badly wounded and the
rest of the battalion staff wounded or missing. There were approximately
6 officers and 200 men of the battalion still able to function. Within
500 yards of the 200-yard-wide perimeter there were more than 170 wounded.
As they were brought inside the small perimeter the wounded were counted;
the dead apparently were not.
The beleaguered men also used the daylight respite gained from the air
cover to dig an elaborate series of trenches and retrieve rations and ammunition
from the vehicles that had escaped destruction. An L-5 plane flew over
and dropped a mail bag of morphine and bandages. A helicopter also appeared
and hovered momentarily a few feet above the 3d Battalion panels, intending
to land and evacuate the more seriously wounded, but enemy fire hit it
and it departed without landing. The battalion group was able to communicate
with the pilot of a Mosquito plane overhead who said a relief column was
on its way to them. 
The relief column the pilot of the Mosquito plane referred to was the
5th Cavalry force that, after having been repulsed during the previous
afternoon and night, resumed its effort at daylight to break through to
the 3d Battalion of the 8th Cavalry. Just before 0400, 2 November, the 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, arrived at the defensive position
the 1st Battalion had held during the latter part of the night. On General
Gay's order, the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, now also became available
to Colonel Johnson. Gay directed that it strike off across country in an
effort to flank the enemy position on the left while the 5th Cavalry attacked
frontally. For the frontal attack, Colonel Johnson placed the 1st Battalion,
5th Cavalry, on the left of the road and the 2d Battalion on the right.
His plan called for these two battalions to capture the enemy-held ridge
in their front on a sufficient frontage to allow the 3d Battalion-which
had been released that morning to his control and was then moving to join
him, spearheaded by a tank company-to move through to the relief of the
3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry. The 3d Battalion would be up and ready for this
effort by afternoon.
Colonel Johnson had a special interest in rescuing the 3d Battalion,
8th Cavalry. He had brought it to Korea from Fort Devens, Mass., where
only two months earlier it had been part of the 7th Regiment of the 3d
Division. It became the 3d Battalion of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, and he
had commanded it through the Pusan Perimeter breakout battles. By right
of this earlier association it was "his own battalion."
The two lead attack companies of the 5th Cavalry failed to reach and
seize their objectives on 2 November. The 1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalry
really contributed nothing to the effort as it merely moved off into rough
country and never entered the fight. The attack had almost no support from
artillery, since only two 155-mm. howitzers could reach the enemy positions
and higher headquarters would not authorize moving up the lighter artillery.
The repeated strikes by strong air cover against the enemy ridge positions
probably did little damage because the dense smoke haze hanging over the
area obscured the objective. The 2d Battalion in the afternoon made the
last effort after an air strike had strafed the enemy-held ridge. But again
the smoke haze was so heavy that the pilots could not see any targets and
it is doubtful whether their strikes caused much damage. The dug-in Chinese
did not budge. A prisoner said that five Chinese companies of the 8th
Route Army were holding the ridge.
In this night and day battle with the Chinese at the Turtle Head Bend
of the Kuryong River the two battalions of the 5th Cavalry suffered about
350 casualties, 200 of them in Lt. Col. John Clifford's 2d Battalion which
carried the brunt of the fighting on 2 November. The 5th Cavalry Regiment
always thereafter referred to this ridge where it first encountered the
CCF as "Bugle Hill." The name was well chosen for during the
night and on into the day the Chinese had used bugles, horns, and whistles
as signaling devices. No doubt they also hoped that these sounds would
terrorize their enemy during the eerie hours of night battle.
With the battle still in progress against this Chinese force, General
Milburn, the corps commander, after conferring with General Gay, at 1500
verbally instructed the latter to withdraw the 1st Cavalry Division. The
two had agreed that with the forces available they could not break the
roadblock. Approximately two hours later Gay received confirmation of the
order from corps. General Gay at dusk made what he has described as the
most difficult decision he was ever called on to make-to
order the 5th Cavalry Regiment to withdraw and leave the 3d Battalion,
8th Cavalry, to its fate.  Thus, at dark on 2 November the 3d Battalion,
8th Cavalry, had no further hope of rescue.
At the 3d Battalion perimeter Chaplain Kapaun and Captain Anderson had
risked their lives constantly during the day in attending the wounded.
Many men not previously injured had been hit by sniper and machine gun
fire in carrying wounded into the perimeter. Although wounded several times,
and seriously, Major Ormond had refused treatment until all other wounded
had been cared for. At dusk Chaplain Kapaun left the perimeter and went
to join the fifty to sixty wounded who had been placed in the old dugout
battalion command post. This dugout, initially at the southeast corner
of the original perimeter, was now approximately 150 yards outside the
new one. The three tanks moved inside the infantry position.
Just before dusk a division liaison plane flew over the 3d Battalion
perimeter and dropped a message ordering it to withdraw under cover of
darkness. Over his tank radio Miller received from a liaison pilot a similar
message stating that the men were on their own and to use their own judgment
in getting out. But, after talking over the situation, the tankers and
the infantry in the little perimeter decided to stay and try to hold out
during the night. 
As dusk settled over the beleaguered group and the last of the protecting
air cover departed, the Chinese bombarded the little island of men with
120-mm. mortars which had been brought into position during the day. The
tankers, thinking the mortar barrage was directed at them, moved the tanks
outside the perimeter to divert it away from the infantry. The barrage
followed them, but part of it soon shifted back to the infantry inside
the perimeter. All the tanks were hit two or three times, and one of them
started to burn. A crewman was killed in putting out the fire. His ammunition
almost gone and his gasoline low, Miller decided that his tanks would not
last out the night if they stayed where they were. He called the infantry
over their SCR-300 radio and told them his conclusion that in the circumstances
the tanks would be of no help to them. They agreed. Miller led the tanks
off to the southwest. Three miles from the perimeter Miller and the other
crew members had to abandon the tanks in the valley of the Kuryong. After
some desperate encounters, Miller and a few of his men reached friendly
lines.  At the 3d Battalion perimeter the Chinese followed their mortar
barrage with an infantry attack. To meet this, the men inside the perimeter
fired bazooka rounds into the vehicles to start fires and light up the
area. Attacking across the open field in successive waves and silhouetted
against the burning vehicles, the Chinese made easy targets and were shot
down in great numbers. Six times during the night the Chinese attacked in a strength of approximately 400 men, but each time they were
beaten back from the perimeter. During the night about fifty men from the
td Battalion who had been in the hills all day broke through to join those
in the besieged 3d Battalion perimeter.
In this heavy action, the Chinese early in the evening, by mortar fire
and grenades, knocked out the two machine gun positions at the old command
post dugout. Then they overran it. Inside the dugout were between 50 and
60 badly wounded men. The Chinese took 15 of the wounded who were able
to walk with some help, including Captain McAbee and Chaplain Kapaun, and
removed them to the Nammyon River outside the range of fire. The others,
unable to walk, were left inside the dugout. In getting out of the field
of fire with their captors, the 15 men had to crawl over the dead. Major
McAbee has stated that at the edge of the perimeter where he passed the
enemy dead they were piled three high and he estimated there must have
been 1,000 enemy dead altogether.  But this number seems excessive.
On the morning of 3 November a 3-man patrol went to the former battalion
command post dugout and discovered that during the night the Chinese had
taken out some of the wounded. That day there was no air support. Remaining
rations were given to the wounded. Enemy fire kept everyone under cover.
The night was a repetition of the preceding one, with the Chinese working
closer all the time. After each enemy attack had been driven back men would
crawl out and retrieve weapons and ammunition from the enemy dead. Their
own ammunition was almost gone.
Daylight of 4 November disclosed that there were about 200 men left
able to fight. There were about 250 wounded. A discussion of the situation
brought the decision that those still physically able to make the attempt
should try to escape. Captain Anderson, the battalion surgeon, volunteered
to stay with the wounded. 1st Lt. Walter L. Mayo, Jr., and 1st Lt. Philip
H. Peterson, accompanied by two enlisted men, left the perimeter to scout
a way out. They crawled up the irrigation ditches to the old command post
and talked with some of the American wounded the Chinese had left there.
They found the ramp covered with dead Chinese and Americans. They then
crawled up the roadside ditches to the small village farther north and
found only some wounded Chinese in it. In reaching the village, Lieutenant
Mayo has estimated that he crawled over the bodies of 100 Chinese. From
there the four men scouted the ford across the river. That done, the two
officers sent the two enlisted men back to the 3d Battalion perimeter with
instructions to lead the group out, while they continued to scout the river
crossing area. It was about 1430.
After the two enlisted men returned to the perimeter and reported on
the escape route, Capt. George F. McDonnell of the 2d Battalion group and
Capt. William F. McLain of E Company, together with 1st Lt. Paul F. Bromser
of L Company and the able-bodied men, withdrew to the east side of the
perimeter just as the Chinese let loose a terrific barrage of white phosphorus
shells. These bursting shells completely covered the perimeter area and
obscured it with smoke. There was no doubt that the Chinese were trying to screen an
attack. Within five minutes the 200 men cleared the perimeter on the east
side where an open field had prevented the enemy from taking positions.
They left the wounded with Captain Anderson who was to surrender them.
As they left the wounded behind, one who was present said none of the latter
shed tears but, instead, simply said to come back with reinforcements and
get them out. The wounded knew there was no alternative for those who still
The escaping group traveled all that night east and northeast and then
south and southwest through a rain storm. In the morning from a mountainside
they watched a few battalions of Chinese horse cavalry and infantry pass
by on a road below them. Later in the day the battalion group went south
through more hills and crossed the valley near Ipsok. The next day, within
sight of bursting American artillery shells, Chinese forces surrounded
them and the battalion group, on the decision of the officers, broke up
into small parties in the hope that some of them would escape. At approximately
1600 on the afternoon of 6 November the action of the 3d Battalion, 8th
Cavalry, as an organized force came to an end. Most of these men were either
killed or captured that day, apparently in the vicinity of Yongbyon. 
The heroic 3d Battalion commander, Major Ormond, was among the wounded
captured by the Chinese in the perimeter beside the Kuryong. He subsequently
died of his wounds and, according to some reports of surviving prisoners,
was buried beside the road about five miles north of Unsan. Of his immediate
staff, the battalion S-2 and S-4 also lost their lives in the Unsan action.
About ten officers and somewhat less than 200 enlisted men of the 3d Battalion
escaped to rejoin the regiment. There were a few others who escaped later,
some from captivity, and were given the status of recovered allied personnel.
It is difficult to arrive at precise figures in totaling the losses
at Unsan. In the night battle the troop loss in the ROK 5th Regiment was
admittedly very heavy. The regiment's loss in weapons and equipment was
virtually total, and included four liaison planes of the 9th Field Artillery
Battalion and the 6th Tank Battalion which U.S. fighter planes subsequently
demolished on the ground.
At first, more than 1,000 men of the 8th Cavalry Regiment were missing
in action, but as the days passed, some of these returned to friendly lines
along the Ch'ongch'on. Two weeks after the Unsan action tank patrols were
still bringing in men wounded at Unsan and fortunate enough to have been
sheltered and cared for by friendly Koreans. On 22 November the Chinese
themselves, in a propaganda move, turned free 27 men who had been prisoners
for two weeks or longer, 19 of them captured from the 8th Cavalry Regiment
at Unsan. After all the stragglers and those who had walked south through the hills had reported in, the losses were found
to total about 600 men. Enemy sources later indicated the Chinese captured
between 200 and 300 men at Unsan. The principal officer casualties included
a battalion commander and most of his staff, 5 company commanders, 2 medical
officers, and 1 chaplain. In addition to the infantry losses, about one-fourth
of the men of B Company, 70th Tank Battalion, were casualties. The Heavy
Mortar Company also suffered heavily. The regiment's loss in weapons and
equipment was very heavy indeed. It included 12 105-mm howitzers and 9
tanks and 1 tank recovery vehicle. On 3 November the 8th Cavalry Regiment
reported it had 45 percent of its authorized strength. The division G-4
considered the regiment inoperable until troops and equipment losses could
be replaced. 
The Eighth Army announced on 5 November that "as a result of an
ambush" the 1st Cavalry Division would receive all the new replacements
until further notice. In the next twelve days, Eighth Army assigned 22
officers and 616 enlisted men as replacements to the 1st Cavalry Division.
Nearly all of them went to the 8th Cavalry Regiment. 
To cover the withdrawal to the south side of the Ch'ongch'on of the
1st Cavalry Division and the ROK 1st Division, I Corps organized a special
force known as Task Force Allen. The 2d and 3d Battalions, 7th Cavalry
Regiment, and the 19th Engineer Combat Group were the principal organizations
in the task force. Brig. Gen. Frank A. Allen, Jr., Assistant Division Commander,
1st Cavalry Division, commanded it. In addition to covering the withdrawal,
it also had the mission of protecting the I Corps east flank in the Kunu-ri
The Chinese force that brought disaster to the 8th Cavalry Regiment
at Unsan was the 116th Division of the 39th Army.
Elements of the 347th Regiment imposed the roadblock east
of the road fork south of Unsan that thereafter halted all vehicular traffic.
The 115th Division also fought in the Unsan action. It appears,
therefore, that from first to last-from 25 October to 2 November-two Chinese
divisions, or elements of them, engaged the ROK 1st Division and the U.S.
8th and 5th Cavalry Regiments in the Unsan area. 
 I Corps WD, Intel Summs, 142-43, and POR 150, 1 Nov 50.
 Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54.
 Ltrs, Gay to author, 19 Feb, 15 Mar, and 24 June 54; Interv, author
with Hennig, 23 Mar 54; Ltr, Thompson to author, 9 Apr 54.
 MS review comments, Milburn, Nov 57.
 Interv, author with Johnson, 28 Apr 54; Johnson, MS review comments,
Aug 54; I Corps WD, 1 Nov 50 Intel Summ 142; 5th Cav WD, 1 Nov 50; I
Corps POR 153, 2 Nov 50.
 Ltr, Millikin to author, 6 May 54.
 Intervs, author with Hennig, 23-24 Mar 54; 10th AAA Group WD, 1-2
 Ltr, Millikin to author, 6 May 54: Ltr, Walton to author, 27 Aug 54;
8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 1 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn Jnl, 10 Nov 50 (a report
from CO B Co, 70th Tk Bn, for period 1-9 Nov 50).
 Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54; Interv, author with Holmes, 26 Feb
54; Interv, author with Col Robert T. Hazlett (KMAG adviser to ROK 1st
Div and present with Paik at I Corps conference), 25 Feb 54; Ltr,
Thompson to author, 9 Apr 54; I Corps WD, 1 Nov 50. The verbal orders
given at the conference were confirmed by I Corps in Operation Directive
19, published at 2200, 1 November.
 Ltrs, Millikin and Walton to author, 6 May and 27 Aug 54; Ltr, Col
Hallett D. Edson, 16 Apr 54, and attached Exhibit A, Maj. William S.
Coleman (S-3, 8th Cav Regt), Operations of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1-2
November 1950, in the Vicinity of Unsan (15 Nov 50); I Corps WD, Intel
Summ 146; 1st Cav Div POR 182, 011700-021700 Nov 50; 8th Cav Unit Hist
Rpt, 1 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn Jnl, 10 Nov 50 (1-9 Nov 50, 70th Tk Bn Rpt).
 70th Tk Bn, S-3 Jnl, Msgs at 0015 and 0030 2 Nov 50.
 Coleman, Opns of 8th Cav, 1-2 Nov; Ltr, Edson to author, 16 Apr 54;
Interv, author with Guirard, 21 Aug 54; Ltr, Maj Filmore W. McAbee to
author, 8 Feb 57; 70th Tk Bn WD, 10 Nov and Jnl Msg at 0030 2 Nov 50;
8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 2 Nov 50.
 Details of Bolt's encounter with the CCF east of the road fork are
based on Interv, Capt Edward C. Williamson with Bolt, 11 Jul 51, as
reported in Williamson, Ambush of Battery C, 99th Field Artillery
Battalion, 29 Oct-2 Nov 50, MS, copy in OCMH.
 70th Tk Bn, S-3 Jnl, Msg at 0230 2 Nov 50.
 Williamson, Ambush of Battery C; Interv, author with Guirard, 21
Aug 54; Ltr, Edson to author, 16 Apr 54.
 Ltr, Millikin to author, 6 May 54; I Corps POR 153, 2 Nov 50; EUSAK
WD, G-3 Jnl, 0840 2 Nov 50; 8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 2 Nov 50.
 Williamson, Ambush of Battery C; 99th FA Bn WD, 1 Nov 50.
 Ltr, Lt Col Veale F. Moriarty (Ex Off, 3d Bn, 8th Cav, Nov 50) to
author, and attached sketch map, 11 Jun 54; Ltrs, McAbee (S-3 3d Bn, 8th
Cav, Nov 50) to author, 20 Aug 54 and 8 Feb 57; Ltr, SSgt Elmer L.
Miller to Capt Carlos L. Fraser, CO B Co, 70th Tk Bn, 6 Nov 50, from 4th
Field Hospital (Miller was a tank commander at the 3d Bn command post);
Ltr, Capt Walter L. Mayo Jr. (Arty Liaison Off, C Btry, 99th FA Bn, with
L Co) to author, 15 Jan 58, together with notes prepared by him for Unit
Historian, 8th Cav Regt, in 1954. These sources form the principal basis
for the following account of the 3d Battalion except as otherwise
The 70th Tk Bn S-3 Jnl, Msg at 0300 2 Nov, reporting Miller's radio
message on the destruction of this tank is the most reliable evidence on
the time of the CCF attack against the 3d Battalion.
 New York Herald Tribune, November 3, 1950, dispatches written at
Ipsok, 2 November, by a correspondent who escaped from the Unsan area.
 Ltr, Moriarty to author, 11 Jun 54: Ltrs, McAbee to author, 20 Aug
54 and 8 Feb 57.
 Ltrs, McAbee to author, 20 Aug 54 and 8 Feb 57; I Corps WD, 2 Nov
50, Surg Sec Daily Rpt; 8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 2 Nov 50; EUSAK WD, G-3
Jnl, Msg at 0840 2 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn WD, 10 Nov 50 (Rpt, B Co, 70th Tk
Bn, 1-9 Nov 50), Ltr, Miller to Fraser, 6 Nov 50. Two helicopters did
evacuate twenty-two critically wounded from Ipsok.
 Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54; Interv, author with Johnson, 28 Apr
54; 5th Cav WD, 2-4 Nov 50; Milburn, MS review comments, Nov 57.
 Ltr, McAbee to author, 20 Aug 54; Ltr, Miller to Fraser, 6 Nov 50;
70th Tk Bn WD, Msg at 1620 2 Nov 50.
 Ltr, Miller to Fraser, 6 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn WD, Msg (from S-2, 5th
Cav, to G-2, 1st Cav Div) 081140 Nov 50, and Msg at 1050 3 Nov 50 EUSAK
PIR 113, 2 Nov 50.
 Ltr, McAbee to author, 8 Feb 57.
 The account of the 3b Battalion after the tanks left the perimeter
is based on McAbee's and Mayo's letters to author. McAbee and Anderson
lived to return to the United States in the prisoner exchange after the
Korean armistice. Chaplain Kapaun died in 1951 while a prisoner of war.
 Ltr, Moriarty to author, 11 Jun 54; Ltr, McAbee to author, 8 Feb
57: Interv, author with Johnson, 28 Apr 54; Interv, Guirard, 21 Aug 54.
The figures are from Moriarty, who remained as executive officer of the
 1st Cav Div WD, 5, 6, and 17 Nov 50; 7th Cav Hist Rpt, 22 Nov 50;
8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 3 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn WD, Jnl, 10 Nov 50; EUSAK
WD, G-3 Daily Hist Rpt, 6 Nov 50; Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54.
The equipment loss figures are based on the following sources:
EUSAK POR 339, 1 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn WD, Summ, 2 Nov, and Jnl, Msg 4,
101000 Nov 50; 1st Cav Div WD, G-4 Jnl, 12 Oct 50, Div Arty and 70th Tk
Bn battle losses, 27 Oct-4 Nov 50; 1st Cav Div POR 190, 10 Nov 50, an.
A; 1st Cav Div WD, 5 Nov 50; EUSAK WD, 7 Nov 50, Ltr, CG EUSAK to
CINCFE, sub: ROKA and U.S. Equipment Losses, 1-3 Nov 50; I Corps WD, POR
153, 2 Nov 50. These sources also gave losses in small arms, automatic
weapons, and vehicles.
In a study of combat experience at Unsan prepared and distributed
by Headquarters, XIX Army Group, CCF, the Chinese command, after
recounting the large amount of equipment captured, apologized for what
it considered relatively few prisoners. The study stated, "As a result
of lack of experience in mopping-up operations in mountainous areas,
only 200 odd were captured." See ATIS Enemy Documents, Issue 47, pp.
139ff, mimeographed booklet in Chinese, A Collection of Combat
 EUSAK WD. G-1 Daily Hist Rpt, 5 and 17 Nov 50.
 Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54; Interv, Johnson, 28 Apr 54; 7th Cav
Unit Hist Rpt, 1-4 Nov 50; I Corps WD, 2 Nov 50.
 ATIS Enemy Documents, Issue 47, pp. 139ff; I Corps, Armor Combat
Bul 27, 15 Jun 51, quoting from captured Chinese notebook, Experiences
in the Unsan Operation.
Causes of the Korean Tragedy ... Failure of Leadership, Intelligence and Preparation