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Emergency Conditions, Emergency Measures

President Truman's decision to send American ground troops against the North Koreans had come in time, but barely. Regardless of American air strikes against their cities, communication lines, and troop columns, and despite naval surface attack against their coastal installations and shipping, the invaders drove the ROK Army down the peninsula. As the vague line of battle receded southward in late June and early July it became clear that the Republic of Korea could not stand by itself.

Armed with Presidential authority, MacArthur sent ground troops into the fight as fast as he could move them. On 30 June, he ordered the 24th Division from Japan to Korea, retaining the unit, for the time being, under his personal control. On the recommendation of his chief of staff, General Almond, he ordered a small task force from the division flown into Korea ahead of the main body to engage the North Korean Army as quickly as possible, sacrificing security for speed. Because it would go by air, he restricted its size to two rifle companies, some antitank teams, and a battery of light artillery. This makeshift unit was to report to General Church at Suwon by 1 July; but, realizing that Suwon might fall at any time, General MacArthur authorized Church to divert the force to Pusan if necessary. [1]

[1] (1) Rad, CX 56978, CINCFE 10 CG Eighth Army, 30 Jun. 50. (2) Rad, C 26979, CINCFE to CG Eighth Army, 30 Jun. 50. (3) Review Comments, Lt. Gen. Edward M. Almond, 20 Feb. 69. (4) General MacArthur chose this division on the basis of location. The 24th Division was closer to Korea than other combat units in Japan and could be deployed more rapidly. From the standpoint of combat readiness, while there was little to choose from among the four divisions in Japan, the 24th Division had been reported on 30 May 1950 as having the lowest combat effectiveness of the major units. This report gave the following estimates of combat effectiveness for FEC divisions: 1st Cavalry-84 percent combat effective 7th Division-74 percent combat effective; 25th Division-72 percent combat effective; 24th Division-65 percent combat effective. See Memo, U.S. Army Major Units FEC, 3 Jul. 50, in G-3, DA files. (5) Interv, author with Brig Gen. Edwin K. Wright, ACofS G-3, FEC, UNC, Dec. 51.

General Church meanwhile struggled to keep the ROK Army in the fight. He had no real authority over the South Koreans, but his status as MacArthur's personal representative gave weight to his advice to the ROK Chief of Staff. In effect, Church took charge of the faltering South Korean Army. Many KMAG officers stayed with ROK combat units, patrolling, feeding information to General Church, and doing whatever they could to stiffen ROK resistance and morale. [2]

American advice could not stop North Korean tanks and artillery. The South Koreans continued to fall back. General Church's command group pulled out of Suwon in the early evening of 30 June to Taejon. Vowing to "run no farther," Church, together with Ambassador Muccio, awaited the small 24th Division task force.

Around midnight, General Almond notified the American Embassy at Taejon that bad flying weather had forced the diversion of the task force to Pusan, where it would land as soon as the weather improved; the first contingents of the main body of the 24th Division would land at Pusan by ship within twelve or fourteen hours. General Almond emphasized that these men were not to be used as "Headquarters Guards" but to fight the North Koreans. He was assured that the railroads from Pusan to Taejon were operating and that there should be no problem in moving these troops to the line of battle. Almond instructed Church to concentrate railroad rolling stock near Pusan to keep it out of enemy hands and to have it ready for the 24th Division. [3]

The small delaying force part of the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry landed at Pusan Airfield on 1 and 2 July, with Lt. Col. Charles B. Smith in command. The artillery battery originally called for had been replaced by two 4.2-inch mortar platoons. A platoon of 77-mm recoilless rifles and six 2.36-inch bazooka teams had also been added. Because of the poor flying weather many trucks and some soldiers could not be flown in until later. [4]

General MacArthur was concerned that the small force lacked artillery, and on 2 July he ordered General Walker to fly in howitzers from Japan if he had to. It was unnecessary to do so, for elements of the 52d Field Artillery Battalion were already on their way by LST, and they landed in Pusan that evening and moved at once to the battle area. [5]

The commanding general of the 24th Division, Maj. Gen. William F. Dean, flew to Pusan early in the morning of 2 July. After spending 24 hours becoming acquainted with conditions, he telephoned from Taejon to Tokyo and spoke with General Hickey, Deputy Chief of Staff, GHQ. Wanting his initial fight with the North Koreans to be fully coordinated and supported, he told Hickey, "This first show must be good.... We must get food and bullets and not go off half-cocked." A few hours later, MacArthur named Dean commanding general, USAFIK. Dean assumed control of KMAG and all other U.S. Army troops in Korea.

[2] Interv, author with Gen. Church, 16 Jul. 50, copy in OCMH.

[3] (1) Rad, A 041, ADCOM to CINCFE, 30 Jun. 50. (2) Rad, JSOB/G G-2 to Capt. Hutchinson, 1130, 1 Jul. 50. (3) Memo, CofS GHQ, FEC, no signature, 1 Jul. 50, sub: Telecon Between CofS GHQ and First Secy. of American Embassy, Taejon, 1120. (4) Rad, CX 57009, CINCFE to ADCOM, 1 Jul. 50. All in AG, FEC files.

[4] Memo, G-3 GHQ for CofS ROK, GHQ, 021810 Jul. 50, in AG, FEC files. [5] (1) Rad, CX 57073, CINCFE to CG FEAF and CG Eighth Army, 2 Jul. 50. (2) Memo, ACofS G-3, GHQ, for CofS ROK, GHQ, 021700 Jul. 50. Both in AG, FEC files.

Church's GHQ, ADCOM, served as his temporary staff. At the same time, MacArthur set up the Pusan Base Command, subordinate to USAFIK and under Brig. Gen. Crump Garvin. [6]

The other regiments of the 24th Division-the 34th and 19th Infantry, and the remainder of the 21st Infantry, plus supporting units-moved to Korea rapidly. By 5 July, most of the division was there. To provide more armor General MacArthur ordered Company A of the 1st Cavalry Division's medium tank battalion to bolster the division. [7]

Meanwhile, Colonel Smith's delaying force, after reporting to General Church at Taejon, was sent forward to engage the enemy on sight. Just above Osan, the task force dug hasty positions on the night of 4 July and awaited the approaching North Koreans. Shortly after 0800 on 5 July, the North Koreans appeared. They struck the task force with infantry and about thirty Russian-made T-34 tanks. The Americans stood until they expended their ammunition, then abandoned the field, suffering heavy losses in the process. Their weapons had proved to be almost useless against the enemy armor. Without reserves and with open flanks, the task force remnants withdrew to avoid being surrounded and destroyed.

The pattern of this first engagement was repeated during the following days. All combat elements of the 24th Division closed with the enemy along the main axis of his advance, but the North Korean firepower and greater strength overwhelmed these units at every stand. The men and officers of the 24th Division fought bravely, but their small numbers and inferior weapons left no choice but retreat or annihilation.

General Dean hoped that the 34th Infantry could delay the North Korean advance in the P'yongt'aek-Ch'onan-Kongju corridor. But between 5 and 8 July the regiment, thrown into a fight for which it was unprepared, was cut to pieces. Weak in numbers, completely out-gunned, unable to protect its flanks, and short of ammunition the 34th retreated in some disorder, suffering extremely heavy casualties.

The 21st Infantry held at Chonui and Choch'iwon for three days, slowed two enemy divisions, but, after losing heavily in men and equipment, had to give way on 12 July.

East of the main Seoul-Taegu rail and highway lines, the ROK Army tried to stem the North Korean drive through the mountainous central and eastern regions. In bloody hand-to-hand fighting that cost both sides dearly, the North Koreans continued to advance. No defensive line appeared to offer the prospect of a determined stand. [8]

[6] (1) Memo, 031140 Jul. 50, sub: Telecom Between ADCOM (Gen. Dean) and CofS (Gen. Hickey). (2) Rad, CX 57153, CINCFE, to CG 24th Div., 3 Jul. 50. Both in AG, FEC files.

[7] (1) Memo ACofS G-3, GHQ, for CofS ROK, GHQ, 2 Jul. 50. (2) Ibid., 3 Jul. 50. (3) Rad., CX 57090, CINCFE to CG Eighth Army, 2 Jul. 50. All in AG, FEC files.

[8] (1) Rad, ROB 104, CG USAFIK to CINCFE, 6 Jul. 50. (2) For a detailed account of these actions, see Appleman, South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu, pp. 59-108. (3) General MacArthur later testified that he had sent the initial task force in the hope of establishing a "loci [locus] of resistance," an "arrogant display of strength" that would fool the enemy into believing that much more American resources were at hand than in actuality. See MacArthur Hearings, p. 231.

MacArthur's Estimates

The under-strength American division so hastily deployed to Korea was unable to stop the North Korean drive, but this fact did not become evident for several days after the initial encounter at Osan. The situation in Korea could not be accurately evaluated even in Tokyo let alone in Washington, where Army officials could do little but wait impatiently for clarification through General MacArthur's estimates and descriptions. Until these estimates arrived, Washington could neither plan adequately nor gauge the scope of the job to be done. The Army's plans for supporting MacArthur had to be based on requirements established either directly or obliquely by his estimates. Washington authorities had no recourse, in these early days, but to accept his judgment of capabilities and requirements at face value. They knew the limits of the nation's immediate resources. General MacArthur told them what was happening in Korea and what he felt had to be done. In the search for a balance between what they had and what was needed, the nation's military leaders followed advice from the Far East commander which they could not accurately evaluate. [9]

MacArthur's early estimates fell short in appraising the ultimate necessary force, but not in their appreciation of the caliber of the enemy and the seriousness of the threat. The tenor of reports from Church, Dean, and others had already convinced General MacArthur that the situation was indeed serious. The degree of seriousness remained to be determined. He did not immediately arrive at a full appreciation of the strength of the North Korean attack. General MacArthur progressively revised upward his estimate of the strength he would need to defeat the North Koreans.

Late in June, he implied that two American divisions could restore order. [10] But by 7 July his views had changed materially. He told the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "It is now apparent that we are confronted in Korea with an aggressive and well-trained professional army equipped with tanks and perhaps other ground material quite equal to, and in some categories, superior to that available here." The enemy's leadership was "excellent." The North Koreans showed understanding of and skill in tactical and strategic principles-demonstrated by their break across the Han River. To halt and hurl back "this powerful aggression" would, in MacArthur's opinion, require from four to four and one-half full-strength American divisions supported by an airborne RCT and an armored group. To reach this strength level in Korea 30,000 men and officers would have to be sent him from the United States at once. "It is a minimum," he warned the Joint Chiefs, "without which success will be extremely doubtful." [11]

[9] Complementary to the failure of U.S. intelligence agencies to foresee the North Korean assault is the failure to have determined the true quality of the North Korean Army, especially the caliber of its training and the individual worth of the North Korean soldier. General Bradley testified later. "The first few days we did not know just how good these North Koreans were, and it was some time before we could get a good picture...." See MacArthur Hearings, p 893.

[10] Rad, C 56942, CINCFE to JCS, 30 Jun. 50.

[11] Rad, C 57379, CINCFE to DA, 7 Jul. 50.

Dean echoed this conviction. In a personal letter to MacArthur on 8 July, Dean set forth his views on the enemy strength and on his own most urgent needs. He asked for battle-ready combat teams immediately, troops with full combat loads and extra supplies, ready for coordinated action. [12]

North Korean armor had proven extremely effective. In their first engagements, his troops, Dean pointed out emphatically, could not stop enemy tanks. The 2.36-inch rocket launcher, an American antitank weapon of World War II, proved dangerously disappointing against the enemy's heavily armored Russian tanks. The launcher was ineffective against the front and side armor, and American infantrymen quickly lost all confidence in it. [13] Direct fire by artillery was of little help after the pitifully few 105-mm. antitank rounds available at the guns were exhausted. Regular high-explosive projectiles, which composed the bulk of artillery ammunition carried by his batteries, would not penetrate armor deeply enough. Dean stressed the need for getting antitank ammunition to his artillery at once. He described enemy tank tactics as excellent and unusually effective despite terrain which confined tanks mainly to roads. Asserting that "we cannot afford to be out-gunned and out-armored," the hard-pressed American general appealed for American medium tanks and for 90-mm. towed antitank guns. [14]

General Dean warned that the North Korean soldier was a dangerous foe. "I am convinced," he told General MacArthur, "that the North Korean Army, the North Korean soldier and his status of training and the quality of his equipment have been underestimated." [15]

Dean's first-hand account, coupled with graphic evidence of enemy successes on the situation maps in his own war room, brought General MacArthur to the conclusion that he had been much too conservative. On 9 July 1950 he doubled his estimate of the forces needed. "The situation in Korea is critical," he told the Joint Chiefs. "It has developed into a major operation." For the first time he expressed doubt that the Americans could stay in Korea.

   To build up... sufficiently to hold the southern tip of Korea is
   becoming increasingly problematical. I strongly urge that, in
   addition to those forces already requisitioned, an army of at least
   four divisions, with all component services, be dispatched to this
   area without delay, and by every means of transportation available.

[12] Ltr., Gen. Dean to Gen. MacArthur, 080800 Jul. 50, sub: Recommendations Relative to Employment of U. S. Army Troops in Korea, in AG, FEC files.

[13] This weapon, developed during World War II, was much publicized and widely regarded as a "wonder weapon." In reality, the 2.36-inch rocket launcher, or bazooka, did not deserve this reputation. There are relatively few recorded instances in which it was successfully used against German armor. See Hugh M. Cole, The Lorraine Campaign, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1950), ch. XIV, p. 604. Also, the launcher ammunition used by Dean's men was at least five years old and had deteriorated.

[14] (1) Ltr., Gen. Dean to Gen. MacArthur, 080800 Jul. 50. (2) Rad, ROB 110, CG USAFIK to CINCFE, 6 Jul. 50.

[15] Ltr., Gen. Dean to Gen. MacArthur, 080800 Jul. 50.

[16] Rad, CX 57841, CINCFE to JCS, 9 Jul. 50.

To lend validity to this sudden revision, General MacArthur re-emphasized his growing respect for the North Korean Army. He credited the North Korean Army and its employment as being as good "as any seen at any time in the last war." Enemy infantry was first class. There were unmistakable signs of Soviet leadership and technical guidance and of Chinese Communist participation. The attack could no longer be viewed as an indigenous North Korean military effort. "To date," he admitted, "our efforts against his armor and mechanized forces have been ineffective." This failure, galling as it was, was not the fault of the fighting men "Our own troops," he. pointed out, "are fulfilling expectations and are fighting with valor against overwhelming odds of more than ten to one." [17] This appeal to Washington for an additional army of four divisions climaxed a series of detailed requests for men and units and marked the upper limit of MacArthur's requests for Korea.

[17] Ibid.

On 5 July General MacArthur had ordered the 25th Infantry Division into combat, and by 9 July its first RCT had cleared Japan for Korea. All regiments of the 25th Division had arrived in or were en route to Korea by 14 July. They went into battle at once. The 15t Cavalry Division was by this time also preparing for an amphibious landing on the east coast of Korea. In order to bring these two divisions and the 24th Division to some semblance of effective fighting strength, MacArthur stripped the remaining FEC combat force, the 7th Division, of trained officers and men. While this cannibalization of the 7th fell far short of building up the other units to a satisfactory war strength, it left the 7th Division a skeleton, temporarily useless for combat. [18]

As the odds grew large that the greater part of Eighth Army would have to fight in Korea, it became apparent that General Walker would have to take personal command there. USAFIK was a provisional headquarters, hastily formed for a specific mission, and could not handle a large operation efficiently. When General Dean proposed on 7 July that his headquarters absorb GHQ ADCOM, General MacArthur had already decided that General Walker would take over. [19]

Five days later, on 12 July, MacArthur named Walker commander of the ground forces in Korea. The USAFIK headquarters was dissolved, and General Church's ADCOM group was ordered to Tokyo. [20]

The extension of Eighth Army's area of responsibility to include Korea introduced the unique situation of an army fighting on one land mass with responsibility for its own logistical support, including port operation and procurement of supply, while administering occupied territory on another land mass several hundred miles away and serving as its own zone of communications. For the sake of convenience, forces in Korea were referred to as Eighth U.S. Army in Korea (EUSAK) and those remaining in Japan were still referred to as Eighth Army or as Eighth Army Rear. General Walker retained command of both.

When Walker assumed command in Korea, he had approximately 18,000 troops spread along a defensive line running along the south bank of the Kum River to a point just above Taejon, there curving northeastward through {Ch'ongju} and across the Taebaek Range below {Ch'ungju} and Tanyang, finally bending southward to the east coast of P'yonghae-ri. [21] Although General MacArthur had hoped to save the 1st Cavalry Division for a later amphibious operation, he yielded to battlefield necessity and sent that unit to Korea in mid-July. The division loaded out of the Yokohama area between 11 and 17 July aboard LST's, other U.S. naval craft, and Japanese-operated cargo ships. The unit was prepared to make an amphibious landing on the east coast of Korea near P'ohang-dong, against enemy opposition if necessary. No enemy appeared, and in the early morning of 18 July the units started coming ashore. [22]

[18] (1) Rad, CX 57258, CINCFE to CG Eighth Army, 5 Jul. 50. (2) Memo, G-4 GHQ for CofS ROK, GHQ, 10 Jul. 50, sub: Movement of 25th Inf. Div. to Korea. (3) Memo, C-4 GHQ for CofS ROK, GHQ, 14 Jul. 50. (4) Rad, CX 57692, CINCFE to DA, 12 Jul. 50. All memos in AC, FEC files.

[19] (1) Ltr., CG USAFIK to CINCFE, 6 Jul. 50, sub: Org. of USAFIK. (2) Ltr., CINCFE to CC USAFIK, 1st {Ind}, 9 Jul. 50. (3) G-1 GHQ Log, Item 146, 9 Jul. 50.

[20] (1) CO 13, GHQ FEC, 12 Jul. 50. (2) Rad, CX 57765, CINCFE to CG Eighth Army, 13 Jul. 50.

[21] Appleman, South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu, p. 108.

[22] (1) Draft Plan, JSPOG GHQ, FEC, Operation BLUEHEARTS, 2 Jul. 50, in AG, FEC files. (2) War Diary, 1st Cav. Div., Jul. 50.

The Build-up

The years of military privation since World War II had left their mark on the ground forces of the United States. Not only were they equipped with outmoded, worn weapons and equipment, but their numbers were scant. Both Army and Marine troops had spread thin in their efforts to perform their interim missions. Aside from scattered elements in the Pacific, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Army's leaders had only the under-strength General Reserve in the United States from which to draw immediately for fighting men to throw into Korea. Additional ground strength could be developed through Selective Service and through the call-up of Reserve Component forces, but these methods would take time. Thus, when General MacArthur, reacting to North Korean victories, impatiently demanded his due, the nation's military leaders faced a dilemma of considerable complexity and prime importance. The very safety of the nation stood, at times, in the balance.

Demands for combat forces by General MacArthur in July and August 1950 fell into three broad categories: replacements, filler units and individual fillers, and reinforcing units. To meet his demands in any of these categories would affect the balance of United States military strength. Each tied in with problems far broader in scope than General MacArthur's problems in Korea. Within the limits imposed by national policy, as set by the President, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Department of the Army made every effort to meet the urgent requirements developing in the Far East.


The sources of replacements within the Far East quickly dried up. Men were taken from administrative and noncombatant duties and sent to the combat units. In the United States, every installation was combed for individuals who could be shipped quickly to Korea.

General MacArthur first asked for 5,000 combat and 425 service replacements. On 1 July, he asked that these troops be added to the normal number shipped to his command each month, stipulating that they be qualified and experienced, for they were "going directly into the combat zone in Korea for an indefinite period...." [23] This number could be sent without difficulty, and most would reach Japan within the month, the remainder early in August.

The Department of the Army gave MacArthur special dispensations that would improve the replacement status in the Far East while not enfeebling military strength elsewhere. He could retain enlisted men in his command even though their foreign service tours had been completed. He could keep Reserve officers after their category commitments had expired, if they agreed. He could call to active duty limited numbers of Reserve personnel already in the Far East. [24]

[23] (1) Rad, CX 57013, CINCFE to DA, 1 Jul. 50. (2) General MacArthur's 2-division estimate was the basis for these figures. This estimate called for deployment of 25,266 combat troops and 9,246 service troops in the combat zone. The formula applied to this battlefield strength to determine replacement needs was taken from FM 101-10, 10 August 1949, and provided a surprisingly accurate figure. United States battle losses in July were 1.3 percent of total strength, whereas the formula forecast had set expected losses at 1.35 percent. See Rad, CX 58760, CINCFE to DA, 26 Jul. 50.

[24] (1) Rad, C 57692, CINCFE to DA, 12 Jul. 50. (2) Memo, G-1 GHQ for CofS GHQ, 5 Aug. 50, sub: Casualties and Replacements. (3) G-1 GHQ Log, Item 41, 5 Aug. 50. (4) Rad, C 58232, CINCFE to DA, 19 Jul. 50.

Airlift of replacements from the United States to Japan began on a modest scale on 18 July. A lift of 80 men a day was gradually expanded to 240 combat soldiers daily. Although sufficient air transport was not immediately available, the Department of the Army and the Joint Chiefs of Staff did everything possible to increase the aerial flow in late July and early August. Replacements were flown to Japan in organized packets of 39 men and 1 officer. Approximately 7,350 replacements reached Japan in July 1950. [25]

Army officials in Washington asked General MacArthur to recheck his figures on 23 July. Perhaps the actual casualties were fewer than the number forecast. Maj. Gen. William A. Beiderlinden, the FEC G-1, informed Washington that the actual number of men and officers lost in Korea closely approximated his earlier educated guess. The only discrepancy was an excessive missing-in-action rate, which reflected the ability of the North Koreans to envelop the under-strength American units almost at will. Beiderlinden promised to read just FEC requirements downward whenever this action became possible. [26]

The Department of the Army on 19 July had discarded peacetime strengths and authorized full combat Table of Organization and Equipment (TO & E) strength for all divisions operating in the Far East Command. This increase in authorized men and officers, technically called filler replacements, when added to the number of combat-loss replacements which MacArthur said he needed by 1 September 1950, brought the total replacement requirements of the command to 82,000 men. [27]

[25] (1) Telecon, TT 3536, CINCFE and DA, 2100, 17 Jul. 50. (2) Memo, G-1 GHQ for CofS GHQ, 17 Jul. 50, sub: Air Priority, Replacements Versus B-29 Engines. (3) G-1 GHQ Log, Item 40, 18 Jul. 50. (4) Rad, FAIRPAC 456, FAIRPAC to CINCFE, 26 Jul. 50. (5) G-1 GHQ Log, Item 1, 26 Jul. 50. (6) Rad, W 86607, DA to CINCFE, 20 Jul. 50. (7) Rad, W 86677, DA to CINCFE, 22 Jul. 50. (8) Rad, CX 58760, CINCFE to DA, 27 Jul. 50.

[26] (1) Rad. W 87678, DA to CINCFE, 23 Jul. 50. (2) G-1 GHQ Log, Item 62, 23 Jul. 50. (3) Memo, G-1 GHQ for CofS, 24 Jul. 50, sub: Casualty Analysis. (4) G-1 GHQ Log, Item 37, 24 Jul. 50.

[27] (1) Rad, W 86450, DA to CINCFE, 19 Jul. 50. (2) Memo, G-1 GHQ for CofS GHQ, 25 Jul. 50, sub: Replacement Sit in Japan. (3) G-1 GHQ Log, Item 67, 25 Jul. 50. (4) General MacArthur had ordered on 11 July the establishment of an Army replacement system by Eighth Army to support both Japan and Korea. A center to receive, process, and allot the anticipated increased numbers of men and officers slated for the Far East opened near Tokyo at Camp Drake on 24 July 1950. (5) Rad, CX 57662, CINCFE to CG Eighth Army, 11 Jul. 50. (6) Cleaver, Personnel Problems, p. 82. (7) Memo, Col. Grubbs for Gen. Beiderlinden, 8 Aug. 50, sub: Assignment of Replacements, G-1 GHQ Log, Item 36, 8 Aug. 50.

Department of Army officials showed General MacArthur the bottom of the replacement barrel on 30 July. All the men and officers eligible for overseas assignment were being shipped to the Far East Command, except for slightly more than a thousand to other joint commands. Despite Presidential approval for the recall of 25,,000 enlisted Reservists, a severe shortage of replacements still existed. Individual replacements from the Enlisted Reserve Corps would not be available in quantity for at least two months. All of these men would have to go to General Reserve units. The extensive levies placed upon the General Reserve to furnish FEC replacements had cut the operating capabilities of the emergency force to a dangerous level. For the immediate future, at least, the Army had done about as much as it could do. It could promise only the most austere replacement support to General MacArthur. [28]

Bringing Divisions to Strength

Another significant effort involved the build-up of MacArthur's divisions from under-strength, unbalanced peacetime divisions to fully manned, properly constituted fighting divisions. With only two battalions in each regiment, American forces in Korea could not employ normal tactical maneuvers based on the full firepower and the flexibility of a triangular organization. Nor could they guarantee flank protection. As General Dean said:

   The two battalion regimental organization with which we are operating
   does not lend itself to effective combat. The same is true, though
   possibly to a lesser degree of our two battery artillery battalions.
   Recommend that infantry battalions be sent us to bring all regiments
   of the 24th Division up to regular triangular organization. [29] 

Painfully familiar with the structural weaknesses of his combat divisions General MacArthur appealed to the Department of the Army on 8 July saying, "In order to provide balanced means for tactical maneuver, fire power, and sustaining operations, it is urgently required that infantry divisions operating in this theater be immediately expanded to full war strength in personnel and equipment." The gravity of his concern prompted a second appeal two days later. "I am sure that the Joints Chiefs of Staff realize," he said, "that the division now in action in Korea, and the other two divisions soon to be committed are at neither war strength nor at full authorized peace strength." General MacArthur asked that completely manned and equipped battalion units be sent from the United States wherever possible. [30] He needed 4 medium tank battalions, 12 tank companies, 11 infantry battalions, and 11 field artillery batteries (105-mm. howitzers). [31] If these units could not be sent fully trained and battle-ready as he desired, he wanted trained cadres, followed by filler replacements. Asking that organized units, even if under-strength, be sent first, he said he would find filler personnel in his own command.

The Far East Command could provide no trained cadres for new units. Only 60 percent of the first three grades authorized for existing FEC units were available. If noncommissioned officers were taken from divisions already fighting, these divisions would be dangerously weakened. General MacArthur urged all possible speed in sending him units, cadres, and fillers. [32]

[28] Rad, W 87478, DA to CINCFE, 30 Jul. 50.

[29] Ltr., Gen. Dean to Gen MacArthur, 080800 Jul. 50.

[30] (1) Rad, CX 5746S, CINCFE to DA, 8 Jul. 50. (2) Rad, C 57561, CINCFE to DA, 10 Jul. 50.

[31] The four FEC divisions had a total of 12 infantry regiments and 12 light field artillery battalions. The Negro 24th Infantry had 3 battalions and the Negro 159th Field Artillery Battalion had 3 105-mm. howitzer batteries and did not require augmentation.

[32] Rad, CX 57573, CINCFE to DA, 10 Jul. 50.

The acute shortage of infantry, artillery, and service support units in the General Reserve in the United States turned these relatively modest demands into a problem of major proportions. In marshaling organized combat units to fill out the divisions in Korea and Japan, the Department of the Army stripped battalions, companies, and batteries from the General Reserve. It pulled trained noncoms from other units and formed provisional cadres for General MacArthur's command. These drastic procedures not only vitiated the combat readiness of the remaining units, but greatly reduced the mobilization base for a later build-up of the Army General Reserve.

The dangers of denuding the General Reserve in the United States came under consideration only as a secondary factor of the larger planning effort: how and where the General Reserve should be tapped to bring FEC units to war strength. The Department of the Army took in stride the decision to accept the great risk of military weakness in the continental United States as it accepted at face value General MacArthur's statement of his needs. [33]

Infantry Strength

The main considerations in selecting infantry battalions for Korea were early arrival and combat effectiveness. Army authorities could have sent eleven cadres for new infantry battalions, but new battalions, even with full cadres and basic-trainee fillers, needed six months to become combat ready. Only in the case of the 7th Division, still in Japan, were three battalion cadres substituted for ready-to-fight units. The General Reserve held only eighteen battalions of infantry at this time. From this small reservoir the Department of the Army finally selected for the Far East Command 2 full battalions and 3 battalion cadres from the 3d Infantry Division; 1 full battalion from the 14th RCT; and 3 battalions from the 5th RCT on Hawaii. The remaining 2 battalions were taken from the 29th RCT on Okinawa. This unit was already part of the Far East Command and its disposition did not affect the General Reserve.

The Department of the Army spared the 82d Airborne Division and the infantry units of the 2d Armored Division. The former unit was not touched because General Collins felt he must keep a completely manned and effective unit for last-resort operations. The armored infantry battalions of the 2d Armored Division were not particularly suited to the type of action taking place in Korea and were passed over for that reason.

The removal of battalions from the General Reserve would reduce the training and mobilization base in the United States by one-sixth. The 3d Division, the 2d Armored Division, because of losses other than in infantry units, and the 14th RCT would be fit only to serve as nuclei around which to build new units. Since it would require from twelve to fourteen months to rebuild these combat units, the Army's ability to carry out emergency missions would be nullified for at least one year. [34]

[33 (1) Memo, CofS USA for Gen. Bolte, 17 Jul. 50, sub: Additional Units to Meet Immediate Requirements of the FEC. (2) MFR, 17 Jul. 50, attached to (1). (3) Memo, Study, same sub, 17 Jul. 50. All in G-3, DA file 320.2 Pac, Case 17.

[34] Study, Additional Units to Meet Immediate Requirements of FEC, Annex B.

Division Artillery Units

The same general criteria were used in choosing division field artillery batteries from the General Reserve for shipment to the Far East. Although taking only battery cadres would have placed less strain on Regular Army units, complete batteries were withdrawn. The 3d Infantry and 2d Armored Divisions each furnished three 105-mm. howitzer batteries. Three batteries were originally scheduled from the 14th RCT and two from the 6th Armored Field Artillery Battalion. With the decision to commit the three batteries of the 5th RCT from Hawaii, the levy on the 14th RCT was reduced to two and that on the artillery battalion was canceled. These eleven artillery batteries were scheduled to reach Korea at about 60 percent strength and at an estimated combat effectiveness of 40 percent. [35] The field artillery mobilization base was cut about 30 percent by these transfers to Korea, and the ability of the Army to support other operations with artillery was cut in half for a full year.

Battalion-sized units could be ready to leave their home stations two weeks after receiving warning orders. But there was no hurry about alerting infantry and artillery units, because all water shipping from the west coast was tied up until about 15 August. The Chief of Transportation, U.S. Army, reporting that 30,000 men and 208,000 measurement tons of equipment were going to the Far East under the most urgent priorities, recommended not shipping the augmentation units until mid-August. General MacArthur was notified that the new infantry and artillery units would reach him before the end of that month. [36]

When the Chief of Staff, GHQ, and the Chief of Staff, Eighth Army, reached agreement in a telephone conversation on 12 July that two battalions of the 29th Infantry on Okinawa should be sent to Korea as soon as possible, General MacArthur ordered the Commanding General, Ryukyus Command, General Beightler, to build these battalions to war strength and send them to Japan without delay. [37] General Walker asked that the two battalions be sent directly to the battle area, bypassing Japan. He said he would give them any training they needed. This request was granted, and on 21 July the two battalions sailed from Okinawa for Pusan, arriving four days later. [38]

[35] (1) Ibid., Annex C. (2) Rad, WAR 86246, DA to CINCFE, 19 Jul. 50. (3) Rad, CX 58506, CINCFE to CG EUSAK, 23 Jul. 50. (4) Rad, WAR 87500, DA to CINCFE, 30 Jul. 50.

[36] (1) Study, Additional Units to Meet Immediate Requirements of FEC. (2) Rad, CX 58506, CINCFE to CC EUSAK, 23 Jul. 50 (passing on data from DA).

[37] CINCFE ordered these battalions sent at full war strength even though his existing troop basis did not allow this.

[38] (1) Memo, CofS GHQ for ACofS G-3 12 Jul. 50. (2) Rad, CX 57798, CINCFE to CG RYCOM, 13 Jul. 50. (3) Rad, E 33465, CG Eighth Army to CINCFE, 14 Jul. 50. (4) Rad, CX 57894, CINCFE to CG EUSAK, 15 Jul. 50. (5) Rad, CX 57799, CINCFE to DA, 13 Jul. 50. (6) Rad, WAR 85875, JCS to CINCFE, 13 Jul. 50.

[39] Memo, Gen. Bolte for Gen. Ridgway, 1 Jul. 50, sub: Anticipated Requirements of CINCFE.

General Bolte, the G-3, Department of the Army, had suggested to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration, General Ridgway, on 1 July that the 5th RCT stationed in Hawaii, be sent to Korea. [39] Ten days later, when General Collins paused in Hawaii on his way to visit the Far East Command, he looked into the matter. In a teleconference with Ridgway in Washington, Collins asked him to query key staff officers on whether it would be better to send the 5th RCT as a unit or break it down into battalions and battalion cadres to bring other FEC regiments up to war strength. His own feeling was that the 5th RCT should be employed as a regiment; not cannibalized. Ridgway and other staff officers agreed, recommending that the regiment be sent to Korea at its existing strength with all possible speed. On 13 July the Joint Chiefs of Staff authorized the commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific, to send the regiment to Pusan at once. The regiment sailed for Korea on 25 July with 178 officers and 3,319 men, entered Korea on 31 July, and went into combat immediately. [40]

By late July, the build-up of FEC divisions to war strength was well under way. Of the 11 infantry battalions required, 8 had been sent or would reach General MacArthur's command within thirty days. The shortage in division artillery of 11 light batteries was also being rectified. Three batteries arrived with the 5th RCT. Three were en route from the 2d Division, 2 from the 14th RCT, and 3 from the 2d Armored Division. [41]

Reinforcement by Major Units

While he had been asking for replacements and filler units, General MacArthur had also been calling for major trained combat units from the United States. Never in this early period did the Department of the Army openly question the validity of any of MacArthur's demands. The continuing success of the North Korean Army was proving vividly that the Far East Command needed fighting units. But as the calls for help mounted they threatened to shrink the General Reserve unduly and had to be considered in terms of national strategy and acted on at a level above the Department of the Army.

The first request by General MacArthur for a major unit from the United States came when he sought a Marine RCT with attached air support elements. Made on 2 July, the request was approved on the next day by the Joint Chiefs, and General MacArthur was told that the Marine unit would be sent to him as soon as possible. [42]

A few days later came his first call for specific major Army units from the General Reserve. He asked, on 5 July, that the 2d Infantry Division, then training at Fort Lewis, Washington, be sent to Korea as soon as possible. He also asked by name for smaller units which, if sent, would further reduce the capabilities of the General Reserve. On 2 July General MacArthur had pointed out that he must have more armored units since his four heavy tank battalions were skeletons with only one company apiece. Two were already in Korea and the remaining two were going. He asked for trained and organized tank companies from the United States to bring these battalions to full strength. He asked also for three additional medium tank battalions.

[40] (1) Telecon, TT 3512, Collins (Hawaii) and Ridgway (Washington), 11 Jul. 50. (2) Rad, WAR 85696, DA to CINCFE (for Collins), 12 Jul. 50. (3) Rad, WAR 85854, DA to CINCFE, 13 Jul. 50. (4) Rad, WAR 85874, DA to COMGENUSARPAC, 13 Jul. 50. (5) Rad, RJ 64645, CG USARPAC to CINCFE, 25 Jul. 50.

[41] (1) Rad, CX 8506, CINCFE to CG EUSAK, 23 Jul. 50. (2) Rad, WAR 86246, DA to CINCFE, 19 Jul. 50. (3) Rad, WAR 87500, DA to CINCFE, 30 Jul. 50.

[42] (1) Rad, C 57061, CINCFE to DA, 2 Jul. 50. (2) Rad, JCS 84876, JCS to CINCFE, 3 Jul. 50. For details of movement of Marine and airborne units, see below, Chapter IX.

At the same time he made a bid for an RCT from the 82d Airborne Division and another for an Engineer Special Brigade. The weakness of his antiaircraft artillery defenses impelled him also to seek quick shipment of four additional battalions of antiaircraft artillery. He backed up this request by pointing out that Sasebo, the principal Japanese port of embarkation for Korea, was completely undefended by antiaircraft artillery. [43]

These requests did not surprise Department of the Army officials, but they did pose a serious problem and involve major decisions. General Bolte advised General Collins to take units from the General Reserve and to send them to Korea as reinforcing units. The Chief of Staff accepted this view. General Collins, however, reluctant to tamper with the combat effectiveness of the 82d Airborne Division, recommended that an RCT of the 11th Airborne Division, which was less combat ready, be substituted. He had at first felt that sending four battalions of antiaircraft artillery would be beyond the Army's capability. He told the other members of the Joint Chiefs on 3 July that, as their executive agent for the Far East Command, he had taken action to send two battalions to General MacArthur. This was the maximum deployment of antiaircraft artillery he then believed could be made from the General Reserve without reducing the Army's ability to meet its emergency commitments. He reconsidered this problem in the next few days, decided on 8 July to accept the risks, and released two additional battalions to General MacArthur at once. [44]

While waiting for its recommendations to be considered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Department of the Army suggested to General MacArthur certain priorities for shipping units if their deployment was approved. "It is emphasized," General MacArthur was told, "that final decision by higher authority to furnish major reinforcements requested by you has not yet been taken." The Department of the Army then outlined a proposed shipment schedule for these units. General MacArthur reacted immediately and, citing his most recent appraisal of the deteriorating combat situation, underscored the "impelling urgency" of getting a favorable decision at once. He reversed the proposed order of water shipment and asked that the armored units come first, to be followed by the 2d Division, the antiaircraft artillery battalions, and the Engineer Special Brigade. He asked also that the airborne RCT be flown to Japan at once, together with its supporting airlift. [45]

The Joint Chiefs of Staff decided that the Army should send General Reserve units to General MacArthur. But the issue was so important in terms of worldwide commitments that the JCS on 7 July asked the Secretary of Defense to gain the approval of the President. Mr.

[43] (1) Rad, O 57218, CINCFE to DA, 5 Jul. 50. (2) Rad, C 57093, {CINFE} to DA, 2 Jul. 50. (3) Rads CX 57152, CINCFE to DA, 3 Jul. 50.

[44] (1) Memo, Gen. Bolte for DCofS for Admin (Gen. Ridgway), 7 Jul. 50. (2) Memo, Gen. Collins for JCS, 3 Jul. 50, sub: FEC Requirements for Opns in Korea, in G-3, DA file 320.2 Pac, sec. I-A, Book 1, Case 6. (3) Memo, Gen. Ridgway for ACofS G-3, 8 Jul. 50. Although the Army Chief of Staff kept the JCS informed of his decisions on the antiaircraft artillery battalions, he did not require their approval to send the units.

[45] (1) Rad, WAR 85209, DA to CINCFE, 7 Jul. 50. (2) Rad, C 57379, CINCFE to DA, 8 Jul. 50.

Truman gave it, and the approved units were immediately ordered to prepare for shipment. [40] By 9 July, the 2d Division, the 2d Engineer Special Brigade, an RCT from the 11th Airborne Division, the 378th Ordnance Heavy Maintenance Company, the 15th and 50th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalions (AW), the 68th and 78th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalions (90-mm.), and the 6th, 70th, and 73d Tank Battalions had been approved for shipment to General MacArthur. [47]

The 2d Division

The deployment of the 2d Division from Fort Lewis, Washington, to the battlefront in Korea began on 8 July when the unit was alerted for shipment. [48] Nine days later, the first elements of the division sailed for Korea. One of its regiments attacked the enemy in the field a single month after the first alert.

The speed with which this division reached Korea as an effective fighting force is remarkable when the scale of the shipment and its many complications are considered. When it began preparing for shipment in early July, the 2d Division was far from combat-ready. General Mark W. Clark, then chief of Army Field Forces, had predicted after inspecting the division in June that it would not be ready to fight for at least four months. The division was approximately 5,000 men short of war strength. Used during the preceding year as an overseas replacement pool, it had undergone a personnel turnover of 138 percent in that period. [49] General MacArthur's first move on being told that the division was coming to his theater had been to ask that it be brought to full war strength before sailing. [50]

[46] (1) Memo, JCS for Secy. Defense, sgd Gen. Bradley, 7 Jul. 50, in G-3, DA file 320.2 Pac, sec. I-A, Case 6. (2) Rad, W 85359, DA to CINCFE, 10 Jul. 50. (3) Note by Secys. to Holders of JCS 2147, 11 Jul. 50.

[47] (1) Memo, G-3 for Gen. Ridgway, 8 Jul. 50, sub: Action on Gen. MacArthur's Request. (2) Memo. Gen. Thomas S. Timberman for Chief, Org and Training Div., G-3, DA, 9 Jul. 50. (3) Ibid., 8 Jul. 50. All in G-3, DA files.

[48] Rad, WAR 85272, DA to CG Sixth Army, 8 Jul. 50.

[49] 2d Div., Comd Rpt, vol. 1, 8 Jul.-31 Aug. 50, prepared by Hist Sec, C-3, HQ, 2d Inf. Div., pp. 9-22, copy in AGO Departmental Records, 302.

[50] Rad, CX 57573, CINCFE to DA, 10 Jul. 50.

[51] (1) 2d Div., Comd Rpt, 8 Jul.-31 Aug. 50, pp. 1314. (2) Rad, AMGA 0720, CG Sixth Army to DA (citing CINCFE radio message), 6 Jul. 50, G-1 GHQ Log, Item 6, 15 Jul. 50.

In order to comply, the Department of the Army transferred hundreds of men from other units at Fort Lewis to the 2d Division. But putting approximately 1,500 replacements awaiting shipment to the Far East from Fort Lawton into the division evoked an objection from General MacArthur. He remonstrated that all replacements scheduled for his command must come to him directly and not to be used as fillers for the 2d Division. He considered it "imperative that the meager strength authorized units in combat be maintained." [51] The Army had taken this action in order to get the 2d Division to Korea at full war strength as quickly as possible. The 1,340 replacements already assimilated by the 2d Division could not be retrieved. Further diversions were stopped because of General MacArthur's objection, even though Army officials felt that their method would have put the greatest number of men in the Far East Command in the least period of time. [52]

Army officials were anxious not only to meet the requirements set up by the Far East Command but also to do so in the manner designated by General MacArthur. On 19 July, they told him to decide whether he wanted combat replacements or a war-strength combat division. The second increment of the Rd Division, scheduled to sail the next day, would leave at only half strength because men from other stations in the United States could not reach Fort Lewis by sailing time.

The division commander opposed sailing at only half strength, especially when 3,500 men were at west coast ports of debarkation awaiting shipment to the FEC as replacements. Since airlift was very limited, these replacements could not reach the FEC for at least three weeks. Washington asked General MacArthur for an immediate decision as to whether 1,500 of these replacements could be placed with the second increment of the 2d Division when it sailed the next day. [53]

General MacArthur's preoccupation with replacements led him to compromise by agreeing that the maximum number of men from the ports of debarkation could be sent on the same ships as the 2d Division, but not assigned to the division. "Anything," his reply stated, "that will speed up movement of replacements to this theater is desired." Fifteen hundred replacements sailed with the 2d Division on 20 July. General MacArthur had intended to place these men in the 7th Division, but changed his mind. On 28 July he directed that they be assigned to the 2d Division upon reaching Korea. [54]

In the early stages of the division's preparations, General MacArthur had asked that it be shipped to Korea combat-loaded. Each increment would thus land in Korea with its weapons ready to go, with organic vehicles and supporting artillery on the same or accompanying ships, and with each shipload able to operate independently in combat for a reasonable period of time.

While Washington recognized some advantages in combat-loading, there were compelling reasons why it was not practical. The ships being used were not designed for combat-loading. Furthermore, combat-loading would have delayed the division's arrival in Korea by at least two weeks because it was slower than ordinary unit-loading. The procedure also took nearly twice as much shipping space. Since convoys were not being used, unit-loaded shipments would depart as soon as they were loaded. Troops would travel on the same ship as their own equipment insofar as possible. The rest of their equipment and supplies would arrive on cargo shipping loaded for selective discharge to match the unit. [55]

[52] Telecon, DA and CINCFE, 16 Jul. 50, G-2 GHQ Log, Item 1, 16 Jul. 50.

[53] Rad, W 86378, DA to CINCFE, 19 Jul. 50.

[54] (1) Rad, C 58193, CINCFE to DA, 19 Jul. 50, G-1 GHQ Log, Item 25, 19 Jul. 50. (2) Rad, W 86606, DA to CINCFE, 21 Jul. 50. (3) Memo, G-3 GHQ for G-1 GHQ, 28 Jul. 50, sub: Replacements 2d Inf. Div. and 7th Inf. Div., G-1 GHQ Log, Item 54, 28 Jul. 50.

[55] (1) Rad, CX 57546, CINCFE to DA, 10 Jul. 50. (2) Rad W 85426, DA to CINCFE, 11 Jul. 50.

When the assistant division commander of the 2d Division arrived in Tokyo late in July with the advance party, he reported that almost 1,800 enlisted men had been released from the division at Fort Lewis because they were due to be discharged within three months. This information nettled MacArthur and he asked that these men be retrieved and sent to him as replacements. He would see that they rejoined the 2d Division after its arrival. [56] General MacArthur's concern was allayed when he was told that the Department of the Army had already decreed that men having thirty days' service remaining were eligible for shipment to the Far East Command. Port officials had already rounded up most of the men originally released and had shipped them on 20 July. The rest would be shipped out as soon as statutory authority was granted to keep all enlisted men in the service for an additional year. [57]

As fast as ships were loaded they left for Korea. The first regiment of the division unloaded in Korea on 31 July, while another regiment was still being loaded on troop transports in the United States. By 19 August the entire division had reached the Korean peninsula and was on its way into action as a unit. [68]

Supporting Artillery

Lacking non-divisional artillery, MacArthur asked the Joint Chiefs on 19 July to send him light, medium, and heavy artillery battalions. He asked for six 155-mm. howitzer Battalions, self-propelled, as the first shipment. He also asked for an artillery group headquarters and a field artillery observation battalion. He pointed out that his division commanders in Korea would be forced, by the extensive frontages, broken terrain, and the limited road nets, to employ their divisions by separate RCT's. With a projected American force in Korea, based upon JCS-approved deployments as of that date, of 4 Army divisions and 1 Marine RCT, there would be 13 American regiments available in Korea. At least ten of these regiments could normally be expected to be in the front lines at any given time. Since only four battalions of 155-mm. howitzers would be present with division artillery units, six more battalions would be required if each of the ten regiments was to have a medium artillery battalion when it was used as an RCT. Two 8-inch howitzer battalions and the 155-mm. guns would be required for general support along the whole front. Light battalions could either reinforce division artillery units, or, if desirable, be committed in support of South Korean units. General MacArthur noted that the profitable extent to which American artillery should be used in support of South Korean forces was under study by his staff. He received no immediate reply and asked gain, only four days later, for early arrival of the artillery urgently needed in Korea. [59]

[56] Rad, C 58583, CINCFE to DA, 25 Jul. 50.

[57] Rad, W 87191, DA to CINCFE, 27 Jul. 50.

[58] 2d Div., Comd Rpt, 8 Jul.-31 Aug. 50, pp. 23, 27-28.

[59] (1) Rad, CX 57746, CINCFE to DA, 13 Jul. 50. (2) Rad, CX 58055, CINCFE to DA, 17 Jul. 50. (3) Rad, CX 57796, CINCFE to DA, 13 Jul. 50. General MacArthur asked for the 155-mm. gun battalions after a conversation with General Collins on 13 July in Tokyo.

The General Reserve, weak in all its components, was particularly deficient in non-divisional field artillery. Only eleven battalions were in the United States and all were below war strength. Only four 105-mm. howitzer battalions, five 155-mm: howitzer battalions, one 155-mm. gun battalion, and one 8-inch howitzer battalion could be expected to be partially effective. But Washington Army officials ordered three of the 155-mm. howitzer battalions, the 8-inch howitzer battalion, an observation battalion, and the 5th Field Artillery Group headquarters to Korea. [60]

General MacArthur protested vigorously upon being told that only five artillery battalions of the fifteen he had requested could be furnished him. He pointed out that fifteen battalions were an essential minimum based on ten infantry regiments fighting on the line at any given time. He had now decided that there should be twelve U.S. regiments in action at all times. "Beyond doubt," he predicted, "the destruction of the North Korean forces will require the employment of a force equivalent at least to six United States infantry divisions in addition to ROK ground forces." Fighting in World War II had proven conclusively, according to him, that a field army could sustain a successful offensive against a determined enemy, particularly over difficult terrain, only if it had non-divisional artillery in the ratio of at least one for one as compared to division artillery. While General MacArthur did not spell out these latest requirements, he implied that twenty-four battalions of non-divisional artillery would be needed. He recommended that, since the necessary battalions were not available, they be activated and "an intensive training program of appropriate scale be set in motion at once." [61]

Service Troops

Without an adequate support base behind the battle line in Korea and in the larger service area in Japan, the fighting units could not sustain their desperate defense, much less attack. Although the greatest emphasis was placed on infantry, artillery, armored, and other combat-type units and soldiers during July, the demand for service units and troops increased steadily. Technical service units to supply front-line soldiers, to repair damaged weapons and equipment, to keep communications in operation, and to perform the hundreds of vital support operations required by a modern army, had been at a premium in the FEC when the war broke out. Japanese specialists and workmen performed in large part the peacetime version of service support for the Far East Command. The few available service units had been depleted when specialists and other trained men had been handed rifles and sent to fight as infantry.

[60] (1) Memo, Gen. Bolte for Gen. Collins, 9 Jul. 50, sub: Strength and Training Status, FA Units, in G-3, DA files. Blue Book, vol. II, Status of Units and Equipment. (2) Rad, WAR 86427, DA to Continental Army Comdrs, Info to CINCFE, 18 Jul. 50. (3) Rad, WAR 86558. DA to CINCFE, 20 Jul. 50.

[61] Rad, CX 58750, CINCFE to DA, 26 Jul. 50.

Some types of combat and non-combat support were needed more immediately than other types. In view, for instance, of the hundreds of tons of ammunition of all types on its way to the Far East Command for the Korean fighting, ordnance specialists qualified to handle ammunition were needed at once. General MacArthur asked on 11 July that several hundred officers and men qualified for this function be flown to his area with all possible haste. The next day he sent a detailed requisition for Army technical service units, showing, in order of priority within each service, the support units needed immediately and those needed later to carry on the essential service support operations in Japan by replacing units scheduled for Korea. Support units coming from the United States did not appear on this requisition of 12 July, but showed up two weeks later on a second requisition. [62]

The stated requirements of the Far East Command for technical service units were viewed in Washington as reasonable and just, but were beyond the capabilities of the Department of the Army to supply. General MacArthur had requested over 200 company-sized units from Chemical, Engineer, Medical, Transportation, and other technical services. This requisition, if filled, would involve shipment of 43,472 men and officers. The Department of the Army had only about 150 company-sized service units in the United States.

Between the extremes of sending only cadres from such units and sending every technical service unit from the United States to the Far East, the Department of the Army charted a middle course. Cadres would have little immediate value in Japan and Korea. But the General Reserve could not be stripped without disastrous effect upon the mobilization base. [63] In order to preserve a minimum mobilization base and still take the edge off the Far East commander's most urgent requirements, Washington officials withdrew cadres for retention in the United States and sent about eighty service support units of company size to the Far East. Although these units were only at about 65 percent strength, their specialized composition and the technical know-how of their men and officers enabled them to function profitably, even at reduced strength. [64]

As the scale of the Korean action became clearer, General MacArthur on 25 July sent a supplemental list of technical service units which would be needed. This list brought the total number of technical service units requested in July to 501, totaling 60,000 men and officers. Officials of the Far East Command knew that they would not receive the bulk of these units for a long time, but they felt that Washington should know their requirements for planning purposes. [65]

The need for combat soldiers remained paramount. Of the service troops sent to Japan as replacements in July, for example, 60 percent were assigned to front-line fighting troops upon arrival in Korea. [66]

[62] (1) Rad, CX 57563, CINCFE to DA, 11 Jul. 50. (2) Rad, CX 57693, CINCFE to DA, 12 Jul. 50.

[63] For example, General MacArthur requested a corps signal battalion. There was only one such unit in the United States. It would have required nine months to reconstitute such a unit after selected personnel were available.

[64] Study, Additional Units to Meet Immediate Requirements of FEC, Annex D.

[65] Memo, Col. Daniel H. Hundley for Gen. Beiderlinden, 25 Jul. 50, sub: Additional Technical Service Units, C-3 GHQ Log, Item 43, 25 Jul. 50.

[66] Memo, G-1 GHQ for CofS GHQ, 5 Aug. 50, sub: Casualties and Replacements, G-1 GHQ Log, Item 41, 5 Aug. 50.

The filler units and reinforcing units which the Department of the Army had managed to scrape together for General MacArthur in the first month of the campaign represented the maximum force which the United States was able to furnish. These units might not be enough, but no more were going to be sent until the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other planners had a chance to take a better look at the way things were going. Department of the Army officials told the Far East commander on 21 July that they were in no position even to consider his request for another army of four divisions for the present. Before any decision could be made on that request, American defense officials would have to determine just how far they were going in rebuilding the General Reserve. Then they would have to see if sending additional forces to Korea was as important to national security as having them available for deployment elsewhere in the world. [67]

[67] Rad, CM-OUT 86558, DA to CINCFE, 21 Jul. 50.

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