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The Capture of Seoul

Edward C. Benford Hospital Corpsman Third Class

"The Battle for Seoul"

Wounded Marine being evacuated under fire

Seoul, 9/50, 1st Marines
Wounded Marine Evacuated under sniper fire

The mission assigned the 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, was to advance along the axis of Ma Po Boulevard to seize Duksoo Palace, taking the railroad station en route. "To give you an analogy: this was rather like crossing the Anacostia River and moving up Pennsylvania Avenue to capture the Captitol, taking Union Station along the way. And we had to do this in one day." General Almond wanted the city secured by 26 September.

Ma Po Boulevard was a wide avenue, a solidly built up street, mostly two and three story structures of stucco or masonry construction, and occasional more impressive buildings. The street itself was interrupted by repeated echelons of barricades. These barricades were mostly large rice straw bags filled with earth. You didn't blow up these barricades or push them aside, they were much too heavy and inert. Those that were defended had long-barreled Soviet anti-tank guns, heavy water-cooled Maxim machine guns, and very long anti-tank rifles. There were also plenty of small arms fire and sniping from all sides.

The house-to-house fighting was chiefly a matter of grenades, M-1 rifles, and BAR automatic fire, with the occasional support of M-26 Pershing tanks.

Causes of the Korean Tragedy ... Failure of Leadership, Intelligence and Preparation

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