What is necessary to be performed in the heat of action should constantly
be practiced in the leisure of peace. |
VEGETIUS, Military Institutions of the Romans
The enemy drive on Pusan from the west along the Chinju-Masan corridor
compelled General Walker to concentrate there all the reinforcements then
arriving in Korea. These included the 5th Regimental Combat Team and the
list Provisional Marine Brigade-six battalions of infantry with supporting
tanks and artillery. Eighth Army being stronger there than at any other
part of the Pusan Perimeter, General Walker decided on a counterattack
in this southernmost corridor of the Korean battlefront. It was to be the
first American counterattack of the war.
The plan for a counterattack grew out of a number of factors-studies
by the Planning Section, G-3, Eighth Army; the arrival of reinforcements;
and intelligence that the North Koreans were massing north of Taegu. Although
army intelligence in the first days of August seemed to veer toward the
opinion that the enemy was shifting troops from the central to the southern
front, perhaps as much as two divisions, it soon changed to the belief
that the enemy was massing in the area above Taegu. 
The Army G-3 Planning Section at this time proposed two offensive actions
in the near future. First, Eighth Army would mount an attack in the Masan-Chinju
area between 5-10 August. Secondly, about the middle of the month, the
army would strike in a general offensive through the same corridor, drive
on west as far as Yosu, and there wheel north along the Sunch'on-Chonju-Nonsan
axis toward the Kum River-the route of the N.K. 6th Division
in reverse. This general offensive plan was based on the expected arrival
of the ad Infantry Division and three tank battalions by 15 August. The
planning study for the first attack stated that the counterattack force
"should experience no difficulty in securing Chinju." 
General Walker and the Eighth Army General Staff studied the proposals
and, in a conference on the subject, decided the Army could not support
logistically a general offensive and that there would be insufficient troops
to carry it out. The conference, however, approved the proposal for a counterattack
by Eighth Army reserve toward Chinju. One of the principal purposes of
the counterattack was to relieve enemy pressure against the perimeter in
the Taegu area by forcing the diversion of some North Korean units southwards.
The attack decided upon, General Walker at once requested the Fifth
Air Force to use its main strength from the evening of 5 August through
6 August in an effort to isolate the battlefield and to destroy the enemy
behind the front lines between Masan and the Nam River. He particularly
enjoined the commanding general of the Fifth Air Force to prevent the movement
of hostile forces from the north and northwest across the Nam into the
chosen battle sector. 
On 6 August Eighth Army issued the operational directive for the attack,
naming Task Force Kean as the attack force and giving the hour of attack
as 0630 the next day.  The task force was named for its commander, Maj.
Gen. William B. Kean, Commanding General of the 25th Division.
Altogether, General Kean had about 20,000 men under his command at the
beginning of the attack.  Task Force Kean was composed of the 25th Infantry
Division (less the 27th Infantry Regiment and the 8th Field Artillery Battalion,
which were in Eighth Army reserve after their relief at the front on 7
August), with the 5th Regimental Combat Team and the 1st Provisional Marine
Brigade attached. It included two medium tank battalions, the 89th (M4A3)
and the fist Marine (M26 Pershings). The 25th Division now had three infantry
battalions in each of its regiments, although all were understrength. 
The terrain and communications of this chosen field for counterattack
were to some extent known to the American commanders. American units had
advanced or retreated over its major roads as far as Hadong in the preceding
two weeks. Certain topographic features clearly defined and limited the
corridor, making it a segment of Korea where a planned operation could
be executed without involving any other part of the Perimeter.
The Chinju-Masan corridor is limited on the south by the Korean Strait,
on the north by the Nam River from Chinju to its confluence with the Naktong,
fifteen miles northwest of Masan. Masan, at the head of Masan Bay, is at
the eastern end of the corridor; Chinju, at the western end of the corridor,
is 27 air miles from Masan. The shortest road distance between the two places is more than 40 miles. The corridor
averages about 20 miles in width. (Map 8)
The topography of the corridor consists mostly of low hills interspersed
with paddy ground along the streams. South of the Nam, the streams run
generally in a north-south direction; all are small and fordable in dry
weather. In two places mountain barriers cross the corridor. One is just
east of Chinju; the main passage through it is the Chinju pass. The second
and more dominant barrier is Sobuk-san, about eight miles west of Masan.
The main east-west highway through the corridor was the two-lane all-weather
road from Masan through Komam-ni, Chungam-ni, and Much'on-ni to Chinju.
The Keizan South Railroad parallels this main road most of the way through
the corridor. It is single track, standard gauge, and has numerous tunnels,
cuts, and trestles.
An important spur road slanting southeast from Much'on-ni connects it
with the coastal road three miles west of Chindong-ni and ten miles from
Masan. The coastal, and third, road hugs the irregular southern shore line
from Masan to Chinju by way of Chindong-ni, Kosong, and Sach'on.
The early summer of 1950 in Korea was one of drought, and as such was
unusual. Normally there are heavy monsoon rains in July and August with
an average of twenty inches of rain; but in 1950 there was only about one-fourth
this amount. The cloudless skies over the southern tip of the peninsula
brought scorching heat which often reached 105° and sometimes 120°.
This and the 60-degree slopes of the hills caused more casualties from
heat exhaustion among newly arrived marine and army units in the first
week of the counterattack than enemy bullets.
The army plan for the attack required Task Force Kean to attack west
along three roads, seize the Chinju pass (Line Z in the plan), and secure
the line of the Nam River. Three regiments would make the attack: the 35th
Infantry along the northernmost and main inland road, the 5th Regimental
Combat Team along the secondary inland road to the Much'on-ni road juncture,
and the 5th Marines along the southern coastal road. This placed the marines
on the left flank, the 5th Regimental Combat Team in the middle, and the
35th Infantry on the right flank. The 5th Regimental Combat Team was to
lead the attack in the south, seize the road junction five miles west of
Chindong-ni, and continue along the right-hand fork. The marines would
then follow the 5th Regimental Combat Team to the road junction, take the
left-hand fork, and attack along the coastal road. This plan called for
the 5th Regimental Combat Team to make a juncture with the 35th Infantry
at Much'on-ni, whence they would drive on together to the Chinju pass,
while the marines swung southward along the coast through Kosong and Sach'on
to Chinju. The 5th Regimental Combat Team and the 5th Marines, on the night
of 6-7 August, were to relieve the 27th Infantry in its front-line defensive
positions west of Chindong-ni. The 27th Infantry would then revert to army
reserve in an assembly area at Masan. 
While Task Force Kean attacked west, the 24th Infantry Regiment was
to clean out the enemy from the rear area, giving particular attention
to the rough, mountainous ground of Sobuk-san between the 35th and 5th
Regiments. It also was to secure the lateral north-south road running from
Komam-ni through Haman to Chindong-ni. Task Force Min, a regiment-sized
ROK force, was attached to the 24th Infantry to assist in this mission.
On the eve of the attack, Eighth Army intelligence estimated that the
N.K. 6th Division, standing in front of Task Force Kean,
numbered approximately 7,500 effectives. Actually, the 6th Division
numbered about 6,000 men at this time. But the 83d Motorized
Regiment of the 105th Armored Division had
joined the 6th Division west of Masan, unknown to Eighth
Army, and its strength brought the enemy force to about 7,500 men, the
Eighth Army estimate. Army intelligence estimated that the 6th Division would be supported by approximately 36 pieces of artillery and 25 tanks.
Who Attacks Whom?
On the right flank of Task Force Kean, the 2d Battalion of the 35th
Infantry led the attack west on 7 August. Only the day before, an enemy
attack had driven one company of this battalion from its position, but
a counterattack had regained the lost ground. Now, as it crossed the line
of departure at the Notch three miles west of Chungam-ni, the battalion
encountered about 500 enemy troops supported by several self-propelled
guns. The two forces joined battle at once, a contest that lasted five
hours before the 2d Battalion, with the help of an air strike, secured
the pass and the high ground northward.
After this fight, the 35th Infantry advanced rapidly westward and by
evening stood near the Much'on-ni road fork, the regiment's initial objective.
In this advance, the 35th Infantry inflicted about 350 casualties on the
enemy, destroyed 2 tanks, 1 76-mm. self-propelled gun, 5 antitank guns,
and captured 4 truckloads of weapons and ammunition, several brief cases
of documents, and 3 prisoners. Near Pansong, Colonel Fisher's men overran
what they thought had been the N.K. 6th Division command
post, because they found there several big Russian-built radios and other
headquarters equipment. For the 35th Regiment, the attack had gone according
to plan. 
The next day, 8 August, the regiment advanced to the high ground just
short of the Much'on-ni road fork. There Fisher received orders from General
Kean to dig in and wait until the 5th Regimental Combat Team could come
up on his left and join him at Much'on-ni. While waiting, Fisher's men
beat off a few enemy attacks and sent out strong combat patrols that probed
enemy positions as far as the Nam River. 
Behind and on the left of the 35th Infantry, in the mountain mass that
separated it from the other attack columns, the fight was not going well.
From this rough ground surrounding Sobuk-san, the 24th Infantry was supposed
to clear out enemy forces of unknown size, but believed to be small. Affairs
there had taken an ominous turn on 6 August, the day preceding Task Force
Kean's attack, when North Koreans ambushed L Company of the 24th Infantry
west of Haman and scattered I Company, killing twelve men. One officer
stated that he was knocked to the ground three times by his own stampeding
soldiers. The next morning he and the 3d Battalion commander located the
battalion four miles to the rear in Haman. Not all the men panicked. Pfc.
William Thompson of the Heavy Weapons Company set up his machine gun and
fired at the enemy until he was killed by grenades. 
Sobuk-san remained in enemy hands.
American units assigned to sweep the area were unable to advance far
enough even to learn the strength of the enemy in this mountain fastness
behind Task Force Kean. Col. Arthur S. Champney succeeded Col. Horton V.
White in command of the 24th Regiment in the Sobuk-san area on 6 August.
Before beginning the account of Task Force Kean's attack in the southern
sector near Chindong-ni it is necessary to describe the position taken
there a few days earlier by the 2d Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team.
Lt. Col. John L. Throckmorton, a West Point graduate of the Class of 1935,
commanded this battalion. It was his first battalion command in combat.
Eighth Army had moved the battalion from the docks of Pusan to Chindong-ni
on 2 August to bolster the 27th Infantry. Throckmorton placed his troops
on the spur of high ground that came down from Sobuk-san a mile and a half
west of Chindong-ni, and behind the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, which
was at Kogan-ni. The highest point Throckmorton's troops occupied was Yaban-san
(Hill 342), about a mile north of the coastal road. A platoon of G Company
occupied this point, Fox Hill, as the battalion called it. Fox Hill was
merely a high point on a long finger ridge that curved down toward Chindong-ni
from the Sobuk-san peak. Beyond Fox Hill this finger ridge climbed ever
higher to the northwest, culminating three miles away in Sobuk-san (Hill
738), 2,400 feet high.
The next morning, 3 August, North Koreans attacked and drove the platoon
off Fox Hill. That night F Company of the 5th Infantry counterattacked
and recaptured the hill, which it held until relieved there by marine troops
on 8 August. Nevertheless, Throckmorton's battalion was in trouble right
up to the moment of the Eighth Army counterattack. There was every indication
that enemy forces held the higher Sobuk-san area. 
On the evening of 6 August the 27th Infantry Regiment and the 2d Battalion,
5th Regimental Combat Team, held the front lines west of Chindong-ni. The
27th Regiment was near the road; the 2d Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat
Team, on higher ground to the north. During the evening the rest of the
5th Regimental Combat Team relieved 27th Infantry front-line troops, and
the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, relieved the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry,
in its reserve position. The next morning the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines,
was to relieve the 2d Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, on the high
ground north of the road. When thus relieved, the 5th Regimental Combat
Team was to begin its attack west.
During the night of 6-7 August, North Koreans dislodged a platoon of
Throckmorton's troops from a saddle below Fox Hill and moved to a point
east and south of the spur. From this vantage point the following morning
they could look down on the command posts of the 5th Marines and the 5th
Regimental Combat Team, on the artillery emplacements, and on the main
supply road at Chindong-ni.
That morning, 7 August, a heavy fog in the coastal area around Chindong-ni
prevented an air strike scheduled to precede the Task Force Kean infantry attack. The artillery fired a twenty-minute
preparation. At 0720 the infantry then moved out in the much-heralded army
counterattack. The 1st Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, led off down
the road from its line of departure just west of Chindong-ni and arrived
at the road junction without difficulty. There, instead of continuing on
west as it was supposed to do, it turned left, and by noon was on a hill
mass three miles south of the road fork and on the road allotted to the
marine line of advance. How it made this blunder at the road fork is hard
to understand. As a result of this mistake the hill dominating the road
junction on the northwest remained unoccupied. The 1st Battalion was supposed
to have occupied it and from there to cover the advance of the remainder
of the 5th Regimental Combat Team and the 5th Marines. 
After the 1st Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, had started westward,
the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, commanded by Lt. Col. Harold S. Roise, moved
out at 1100 to relieve Throckmorton's battalion on the spur running up
to Fox Hill. It ran head-on into the North Koreans who had come around
to the front of the spur during the night. It was hard to tell who was
attacking whom. The day was furnace hot with the temperature standing at
112°. In the struggle up the slope the Marine battalion had approximately
thirty heat prostration cases, six times its number of casualties caused
by enemy fire. In the end its attack failed. 
The fight west of Chindong-ni on the morning of 7 August was in fact
a general melee. Even troops of the 27th Infantry, supposed to be in reserve
status, were involved. The general confusion was deepened when the treads
of friendly tanks cut up telephone line strung along the roadside, causing
communication difficulties. Finally at 1120, when marine troops completed
relief of the 27th Infantry in its positions, Brig. Gen. Edward A. Craig,
commanding the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, assumed command, on General
Kean's orders, of all troops on the Chindong-ni front. He held that command
until the afternoon of 9 August. 
While these untoward events were taking place below it, F Company of
the 5th Regimental Combat Team on the crest of Fox Hill was cut off. At
1600 an airdrop finally succeeded on the third try in getting water and
small arms and 60-mm. mortar ammunition to it. The enemy got the first
drop. The second was a mile short of the drop zone.
Failing the first day to accomplish its mission, the 2d Battalion, 5th
Marines, resumed its attack on Fox Hill the next morning at daybreak after
an air strike on the enemy positions. This time, after hard fighting, it
succeeded. In capturing and holding the crest, D Company of the Marine
battalion lost 8 men killed, including 3 officers, and 28 wounded. The
enemy losses on Hill 342 are unknown, but estimates range from 150 to 400. 
The events of 7 August all across the Masan front showed that Task Force
Kean's attack had collided head-on with one being delivered simultaneously
by the N.K. 6th Division.
All of Task Force Kean's trouble was not confined to the area west of
Chindong-ni; there was plenty of it eastward. For a time it seemed as if
the latter might be the more dangerous. There the North Koreans threatened
to cut the supply road from Masan. There is no doubt that Task Force Kean
had an unpleasant surprise on the morning of 7 August when it discovered
that the enemy had moved around Chindong-ni during the night and occupied
Hill 255 just east of the town, dominating the road in its rear to Masan.
Troops of the 2d Battalion, 24th Infantry, and of the 3d Battalion,
5th Marines, tried unsuccessfully during the day to break this roadblock.
In the severe fighting there, artillery and air strikes, tanks and mortars
pounded the heights trying to dislodge the enemy. Batteries B and C of
the 159th Field Artillery Battalion fired 1,600 rounds during 7-8 August
against this roadblock. Colonel Ordway, at the marines' request, also directed
the fire of part of the 555th Artillery Battalion against this height.
But the enemy soldiers stubbornly held their vantage point. Finally, after
three days of fighting, the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, and elements of
two battalions of the 24th Infantry joined on Hill 255 east of Chindong-ni,
shortly after noon on 9 August, and reduced the roadblock. There were 120
counted enemy dead, with total enemy casualties estimated at 600. On the
final day of this action, the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, which carried
the brunt of the attack, had 70 casualties, half of them caused by heat
exhaustion. During its two-day part in the fight for this hill, H Company
of the marines suffered 16 killed and 36 wounded. 
When Throckmorton's 2d Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, came off
Fox Hill on 8 August after the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, had relieved
it there, it received the mission of attacking west immediately, to seize
the hill northwest of the road junction that the 1st Battalion was supposed
to have taken the day before. At this time, Throckmorton had only two companies
effective after his week of combat on Fox Hill. Nevertheless, he moved
against the hill but was unable to take it. His attack was weakened when
supporting artillery failed to adjust on the target.
In the late afternoon, General Kean came up to the 2d Battalion position
and, with Colonel Ordway present, said to Colonel Throckmorton, "I
want that hill tonight." Throckmorton decided on a night attack with
his two effective companies, G and E. He put three tanks and his 4.2-inch
and 81-mm. mortars in position for supporting fire. That night his men
gained the hill, although near the point of exhaustion. 
For three days the N.K. 6th Division had pinned down Task
Force Kean, after the latter had jumped off at Chindong-ni. Finally, on
9 August, the way was clear for it to start the maneuver along the middle
and southern prongs of the planned attack toward Chinju.
The 5th Marines on the Coastal Road
On the afternoon of 9 August, the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, took over
from the 1st Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, the hill position on
the coastal road which the latter had held for three days. The army battalion
then moved back to the road fork and turned down the right-hand road. At
last it was on the right path, prepared to attack west with the remainder
of its regiment. 
The 5th Marines that afternoon moved rapidly down the coastal road,
leapfrogging its battalions in the advance. Corsairs of the 1st Marine
Air Wing, flying from the USS Sicily and USS Badoeng
Strait in the waters off the coast, patrolled the road and adjoining hills ahead of the troops.
This close air support delivered strikes within a matter of minutes after
a target appeared. 
General Kean pushed his unit commanders hard to make up for lost time,
now that the attack had at last started. The pace was fast, the sun bright
and hot. Casualties from heat exhaustion on 10 August again far exceeded
those from enemy action. The rapid advance that day after the frustrations
of the three preceding ones caused some Tokyo spokesman to speak of the
"enemy's retreat" as being "in the nature of a rout,"
and correspondents wrote of the action as a "pursuit." And so
it seemed for a time. 
Just before noon on the 11th, after a fight on the hills bordering the
road, the leading Marine battalion (3d) neared the town of Kosong. Its
supporting artillery from the 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, adjusting fire
on a crossroads west of the town, chanced to drop shells near camouflaged
enemy vehicles. Thinking its position had been discovered, the enemy force
quickly entrucked and started down the road toward Sach'on and Chinju.
This force proved to be a major part of the 83d Motorized
Regiment of the 105th Armored Division, which
had arrived in the Chinju area to support the N.K. 6th Division.
Just as the long column of approximately 200 vehicles, trucks, jeeps,
and motorcycles loaded with troops, ammunition, and supplies got on the
road, a flight of four Corsairs from the Badoeng Strait came
over on a routine reconnaissance mission ahead of the marines. They swung
low over the enemy column, strafing the length of it. Vehicles crashed
into each other, others ran into the ditches, some tried to get to the
hills off the road. Troops spilled out seeking cover and concealment. The
planes turned for another run. The North Koreans fought back with small
arms and automatic weapons and hit two of the planes, forcing one down
and causing the other to crash. This air attack left about forty enemy
vehicles wrecked and burning. Another flight of Marine Corsairs and Air
Force F-51's arrived and continued the work of destruction. When the ground
troops reached the scene later in the afternoon, they found 31 trucks,
24 jeeps, 45 motorcycles, and much ammunition and equipment destroyed or
abandoned. The marine advance stopped that night four miles west of Kosong.
The next morning, 12 August, the 1st Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col.
George R. Newton, passed through the 3d Battalion and led the Marine brigade
in what it expected to be the final lap to Sach'on, about 8 miles below
Chinju. Advancing 11 miles unopposed, it came within 4 miles of the town
by noon. An hour later, three and a half miles east of Sach'on, the Marine column entered an enemy ambush at the village
of Changchon or, as the troops called it, Changallon. Fortunately for the
marines, a part of the 2d Battalion, 15th Regiment,
and elements of the 83d Motorized Regiment that lay in wait
in the hills cupping the valley disclosed the ambush prematurely. A heavy
fight got under way and continued through the afternoon and into the evening.
Marine Corsairs struck repeatedly. In the late afternoon, the 1st Battalion
gained control of Hills 301 and 250 on the right, and Hill 202 on the left,
of the road.
On Hill 202, before daylight the next morning, a North Korean force
overran the 3d Platoon of B Company. One group apparently had fallen asleep
and all except one were killed. Heavy casualties were inflicted also on
another nearby platoon of B Company. Shortly after daylight the marines
on Hill 202 received orders to withdraw and turn back toward Masan. During
the night, B Company lost 12 men killed, 16 wounded, and 9 missing, the
last presumed dead. 
Just before noon of the 12th, General Kean had ordered General Craig
to send one battalion of marines back to help clear out enemy troops that
had cut the middle road behind the 5th Regimental Combat Team and had its
artillery under attack. An hour after noon the 3d Battalion was on its
way back. That evening Craig was called to Masan for a conference with
Kean. There he received the order to withdraw all elements of the brigade
immediately to the vicinity of Chingdong-ni. Events taking place at other
points of the Pusan Perimeter caused the sudden withdrawal of the Marine
brigade from Task Force Kean's attack. 
Bloody Gulch - Artillery Graveyard
Simultaneously with the swing of the Marine brigade around the southern
coastal loop toward Chinju, the 5th Regimental Combat Team plunged ahead
in the center toward Much'on-ni, its planned junction point with the 35th
Infantry. On 10 August, as the combat team moved toward Pongam-ni, aerial
observation failed to sight enemy troop concentrations or installations
ahead of it. Naval aircraft, however, did attack the enemy north of Pongam-ni
and bombed and strafed Tundok still farther north in the Sobuk-san mining
The 1st Battalion, under the command of Lt. Col. John P. Jones, attacked
down the right (north) side of the road and the 2d Battalion, under Colonel
Throckmorton, down the left (south) side. The 1st Battalion on its side
encountered the enemy on the hills near Pongam-ni, but was able to enter
the town and establish its command post there.
The village of Pongam was a nondescript collection of perhaps twenty
mud-walled and thatch-roofed huts clustered around a road junction. It
and Taejong-ni were small villages only a few hundred yards apart on the
east side of the pass. The main east-west road was hardly more than a country
lane by American standards. About 400 yards northeast of Pongam-ni rose
a steep, barren hill, the west end of a long ridge that paralleled the
main east-west road on the north side at a distance of about 800 yards.
The enemy occupied this ridge. Northward from Pongam-ni extended a 500-yard-wide
valley. A narrow dirt trail came down it to Pongam-ni from the Sobuk-san
mining area of Tundok to the north. The stream flowing southward through
this valley joined another flowing east at the western edge of Pongam-ni.
There a modern concrete bridge, in sharp contrast to the other structures,
spanned the south-flowing stream. West of the villages, two parallel ridges
came together about 1,000 yards away, like the two sides of an inverted
V. The southern ridge rose sharply from the western edge of the village.
The main road ran westward along its base and climbed out of the valley
at a pass where this ridge joined the other slanting in from the north.
Immediately west of Pongam-ni the two ridges were separated by a 300-yard-wide
valley. The northern ridge was the higher.
On 10 August the 2d Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team, held the
southern of these two ridges at Pongam-ni and B and C Companies of the
1st Battalion held the eastern part of the northern one. The enemy held
the remainder of this ridge and contested control of the pass.
During the day the regimental support artillery came up and went into
positions in the stream bed and low ground at Pongam-ni and Taejong-ni.
A Battery of the 555th Field Artillery Battalion emplaced under the concrete
bridge at Pongam-ni, and B Battery went into position along the stream
bank at the edge of the village. Headquarters Battery established itself
in the village. The 90th Field Artillery Battalion, less one battery, had
emplaced on the west side of the south-flowing stream. All the artillery
pieces were on the north side of the east-west road. The 5th Regimental
Combat Team headquarters and C Battery of the 555th Field Artillery Battalion
were eastward in a rear position. 
That night, 10-11 August, North Koreans attacked the 1st Battalion and
the artillery positions at Pongam-ni. The action continued after daylight.
During this fight, Lt. Col. John H. Daly, the 555th Field Artillery Battalion
commander, lost communication with his A Battery. With the help of some
infantry, he and Colonel Jones, the 1st Battalion commander, tried to reach
the battery. Both Daly and Jones were wounded, the latter seriously. Daly
then assumed temporary command of the infantry battalion. As the day progressed the enemy attacks at Pongam-ni dwindled and finally ceased.
When the 3d Battalion had continued on westward the previous afternoon
the 5th Regimental Combat Team headquarters and C Battery, 555th Field
Artillery Battalion, east of Pongam-ni, had been left without protecting
infantry close at hand. North Koreans attacked them during the night at
the same time Pongam-ni came under attack. The Regimental Headquarters
and C Battery personnel defended themselves successfully. On the morning
of the 11th, close-in air strikes helped turn the enemy back into the hills.
Colonel Throckmorton's 2d Battalion headquarters had also come under attack.
He called E Company from its Pongam-ni position to help beat off the enemy.
Colonel Ordway's plan for passing the regiment westward through Pongam-ni
was for the 2d Battalion to withdraw from the south ridge and start the
movement, after the 1st Battalion had secured the north ridge and the pass.
The regimental trains were to follow and next the artillery. The 1st Battalion
was then to disengage and bring up the rear.
After Colonel Jones was evacuated, Colonel Ordway sent Lt. Col. T. B.
Roelofs, regimental S-2 and formerly the battalion commander, to take command
of the 1st Battalion. Roelofs arrived at Pongam-ni about 1400, 11 August,
and assumed command of the 1st Battalion. Ordway had given him orders to
clear the ridge north of the road west of Pongam-ni, secure the pass, protect
the combat team as it moved west through the pass, and then follow it.
Roelofs met Daly at Pongam-ni, consulted with him and the staff of the
1st Battalion, made a personal reconnaissance of the area, and then issued
his attack order to clear the ridge and secure the pass.
Colonel Roelofs selected B Company to make the main effort. He brought
it down from the north ridge to the valley floor, where it rested briefly
and was resupplied with ammunition. Just before dusk, it moved to the head
of the gulch and attacked the hill on the right commanding the north side
of the pass. At the same time, C Company attacked west along the north
ridge to effect a junction with B Company. The artillery and all available
weapons of the 2d Battalion supported the attack; the artillery fire was
accurate and effective. Before dusk B Company had gained and occupied the
commanding ground north of the pass. 
One platoon of A Company, reinforced with a section of tanks, remained
in its position north of Pongam-ni on the Tundok road, to protect from
that direction the road junction village and the artillery positions. The
remainder of A Company relieved the 2d Battalion on the south ridge, when
it withdrew from there at 2100 to lead the movement westward.
His battalion's attack apparently a success, Colonel Roelofs established
his command post about 300 yards west of Pongam-ni in a dry stream bed
south of the road, crawled under the trailer attached to his jeep, and went to
As a result of the considerable enemy action during the night of 10-11
August and during the day of the 11th, Colonel Ordway decided that he could
not safely move the regimental trains and the artillery through the pass
during daylight, and accordingly he had made plans to do it that night
under cover of darkness. That afternoon, however, Ordway was called to
the radio to speak to General Kean. The 25th Division commander wanted
him to move forward rapidly and said that a battalion of the 24th Infantry
would come up and protect his right (north) flank. Ordway had a lengthy
conversation with the division and task force commander before the latter
approved the delay until after dark for the regimental movement. General
Kean apparently did not believe any considerable force of enemy troops
was in the vicinity of Pongam-ni, despite Ordway's representations to the
General Kean, on his part, was under pressure at this time because during
the day Eighth Army had sent a radio message to him, later confirmed by
an operational directive, to occupy and defend the Chinju pass line; to
move Task Force Min, a regimental sized ROK unit, to Taegu for release
to the ROK Army; and to be ready to release the 1st Provisional Marine
Brigade and the 5th Regimental Combat Team on army order. This clearly
foreshadowed that Task Force Kean probably would not be able to hold its
gains, as one or more of its major units apparently were urgently needed
About 2100 hours, as Throckmorton's 2d Battalion, C Battery of the 555th,
and the trains were forming on the road, the regimental S-3 handed Colonel
Ordway a typed radio order from the commanding general of the 25th Division.
It ordered him to move the 2d Battalion and one battery of artillery through
the pass at once, but to hold the rest of the troops in place until daylight.
Ordway felt that to execute the order would have catastrophic effects.
He tried to reach the division headquarters to protest it, but could not
establish communication. On reflection, Ordway decided that some aspect
of the "big picture" known only to the army and division commanders
must have prompted the order. With this thought governing his actions he
issued instructions implementing the division order. 
In the meantime the 2d Battalion had moved through the pass, and once
over its rim was out of communication with the regiment. Ordway tried and
failed several times to reach it by radio during the night. In effect,
though Throckmorton thought he was the advance guard of a regimental advance,
he was on his own. Ordway and the rest of the regiment could not help him
if he ran into trouble nor could he be called back to help them. In the
movement of the 2d Battalion and C and Headquarters Batteries, Colonel
Daly was wounded a second time and was evacuated. Colonel Throckmorton's
2d Battalion cleared the pass before midnight. On the west side it came under light attack
but was able to continue on for five miles to Taejong-ni, where it went
into an assembly area for the rest of the night.
While these events were taking place at Pongam-ni during daylight and
the evening of the 11th, the main supply road back toward Chindong-ni was
under sniper fire and various other forms of attack. Three tanks and an
assault gun escorted supply convoys to the forward positions. 
By midnight of 11 August, the 555th (Triple Nickel) Field Artillery
Battalion (105-mm. howitzers), less C Battery, and Headquarters and A Batteries,
90th Field Artillery Battalion (155-mm. howitzers)-emplaced at Pongam-ni
and Taejong-ni-had near them only the 1st Battalion north of the road.
The regimental headquarters and the guns of the 159th Field Artillery Battalion
were emplaced a little more than a mile behind them (east) along the road.
Sometime after 0100, 12 August, Colonel Roelofs was awakened by his
executive officer, Capt. Claude Baker. Baker informed him that the battalion
had lost contact with C Company on the ridge northward and sounds of combat
could be heard coming from that area. When further efforts to reach the
company by telephone and radio failed, Roelofs sent runners and a wire
crew out to try to re-establish contact. He then informed Colonel Ordway
of this new development, and urged speedy movement of the trains and artillery
westward through the pass. But Ordway reluctantly held firm to division
orders not to move until after daylight.
Roelofs, taking two of his staff officers with him, set out in his jeep
eastward toward Pongam-ni. He noted that the regimental trains had assembled
on the road and apparently were only awaiting orders before moving. At
the bridge in Pongam-ni he saw several officers of the 555th Field Artillery
Battalion, who also seemed to be waiting orders to start the movement.
Roelofs turned north at Pongam-ni on the dirt trail running toward the
Sobuk-san mining area. He drove up that road until he came to the A Company
infantry platoon and the section of tanks. They were in position. They
told Roelofs they had heard sounds of small arms fire and exploding grenades
in the C Company area on the ridge to their left (west), but nothing else.
Upon returning to his command post Roelofs learned that contact still
had not been re-established with C Company. The runners sent out had returned
and said they could not find the company. The wire crew was missing. Members
of the battalion staff during Roelofs' absence had again heard sounds of
combat in the company area. They also had seen flares there. This was interpreted
to mean that enemy troops held it and were signaling to other enemy units.
From his position in the valley at regimental headquarters, Colonel Ordway
could see that elements of the 1st Battalion, probably C Company, were being driven from the ridge. Roelofs again urged Colonel Ordway to start
the trains out of the gulch.
Still unable to contact the division, Ordway now decided to move the
trains and artillery out westward while it was still dark, despite division
orders to wait for daylight. He felt that with the enemy obviously gaining
control of the high ground above Pongam-ni, movement after daylight would
be impossible or attended by heavy loss. The battalion of the 24th Infantry
promised by the division had not arrived. About 0400 Ordway gave the order
for the trains to move out. They were to be followed by the artillery,
and then the 1st Battalion would bring up the rear. In the meantime, the
battalion was to hold open the pass and protect the regimental column.
Despite Ordway's use of messengers and staff officers, and his own efforts
the trains seemed unable to move and a bad traffic jam developed. Movement
of the trains through the pass should have been accomplished in twenty
minutes, but it required hours. During the hour or more before daylight,
no vehicle in Ordway's range of vision moved more than ten or twenty feet
at a time. One of the factors creating this situation was caused when the
Medical Company tried to move into the column from its position near the
1st Battalion command post. An ambulance hung up in a ditch and stopped
everything on the road behind it until it could be pulled out.
With the first blush of dawn, enemy fire from the ridge overlooking
the road began to fall on the column. At first it was light and high. Colonel
Ordway got into his jeep and drove westward trying to hurry the column
along. But he accomplished little. After the ambulance got free, however,
the movement was somewhat faster and more orderly. Colonel Ordway himself
cleared the pass shortly after daybreak. He noticed that the 1st Battalion
was holding the pass and the hill just to the north of it. West of the
pass, Ordway searched for a place to get the trains off the road temporarily
so that the artillery could move out, but he found none suitable. He continued
on until he reached Throckmorton's 2d Battalion bivouac area. The head
of the regimental trains had already arrived there. He ordered them to
continue on west in order to clear the road behind for the remainder of
the column. Soon one of his staff officers found a schoolyard where the
vehicles could assemble off the road, and they pulled in there.
About this time an artillery officer arrived from Pongam-ni and told
Ordway that the artillery back at the gulch had been cut to pieces. Ordway
returned to the 2d Battalion bivouac and then traveled on eastward toward
Pongam-ni. On the way he met the 1st Battalion marching west on the road.
The troops appeared close to exhaustion. Colonel Roelofs told Ordway that
so far as he could tell the artillerymen had escaped into the hills. Ordway
ordered the 1st Battalion into an assembly area and then directed the 2d
Battalion to return to Pongam-ni, to cover the rear of the regiment and
any troops remaining there.
That morning at dawn, after Colonel Ordway had cleared the pass, Colonel
Roelofs watched the column as it tried to clear the gulch area. To his great surprise he discovered moving
with it the section of tanks and the A Company infantry platoon that he
had left guarding the road entering Pongam-ni from the north. He asked
the platoon leader why he had withdrawn. The latter answered that he had
been ordered to do so. By the next day this officer had been evacuated,
and Colonel Roelofs was never able to learn if such an order had been issued
to him and, if so, by whom. Roelofs ordered the tanks and the infantry
platoon to pull out of the column on to a flat spot near his command post.
He intended to send them back to their original position just as soon as
the road cleared sufficiently to enable them to travel. When he reported
this to Colonel Ordway, he was instructed not to try it, as their movement
to the rear might cause such a traffic jam that the artillery could not
About this time, soon after daybreak, enemy infantry had closed in so
as virtually to surround the artillery. The North Korean 13th Regiment
of the 6th Division, the enemy force at Pongam-ni, now struck
furiously from three sides at the 555th and 90th Field Artillery Battalions'
positions.  The attack came suddenly and with devastating power. Roelofs
was standing in the road facing east toward Pongam-ni, trying to keep the
traffic moving, when in the valley below him he saw streaks of fire that
left a trail behind. Then came tremendous crashes. A truck blew up on the
bridge in a mushroom of flame. The truck column behind it stopped. Men
in the vehicles jumped out and ran to the ditches. Roelofs could now see
enemy tanks and self-propelled guns on the dirt trail in the valley north
of Pongam-ni, firing into the village and the artillery positions. To the
artillerymen, this armed force looked like two tanks and several antitank
The withdrawal of the section of tanks and the A Company infantry platoon
from its roadblock position had permitted this enemy armor force to approach
undetected and unopposed, almost to point-blank range, and with completely
disastrous effects. The Triple Nickel emplacements were in the open and
exposed to this fire; those of the 90th were partially protected by terrain
features. The 105-mm. howitzers of the 555th Field Artillery Battalion
ineffectually engaged the enemy armor. The 90th could not depress its 155-mm.
howitzers low enough to engage the tanks and the self-propelled guns. Some
of the Triple Nickel guns received direct hits. Many of the artillerymen
of this battalion sought cover in buildings and under the bridge at Taejong-ni.
Some of the buildings caught fire.
Simultaneously with the appearance of the enemy armor, North Korean
small arms and automatic fire from the ridge north of the road increased
greatly in volume. This fire caused several casualties among the 4.2-inch
mortar crew members and forced the mortar platoon to cease firing and seek
cover. The heavy machine gun platoon, fortunately, was well dug in and
continued to pour heavy fire into the enemy-held ridge. An enemy machine
gun opened up from the rear south of the road, but before the gunner got
the range a truck driver killed him. Other sporadic efforts of a few infiltrating enemy troops in that quarter were suppressed before causing damage.
A lieutenant colonel of artillery came up the road with three or four
men. He told Roelofs that things were in a terrible condition at the bridge
and in the village. He said the guns were out of action and the trucks
had been shot up and that the men were getting out as best they could.
As the road traffic thinned out, enemy fire on the road subsided. Roelofs
ordered the 4.2-inch mortar platoon to move on through the pass. The heavy
machine gun platoon followed it. The wounded were taken along; the dead
were left behind. There was no room for them on the few remaining trucks
that would run.
As the last men of the 1st Battalion were moving westward toward the
top of the pass, three medium tanks rolled up the road from Pongam-ni.
Roelofs had not known they were there. He stopped one and ordered it to
stand by. The tankers told him that everyone they saw at the bridge and
along the stream was dead. To make a last check, Roelofs with several men
started down anyway. On the way they met Chaplain Francis A. Kapica in
his jeep with several wounded men. Kapica told Roelofs he had brought with
him all the wounded he could find. Roelofs turned back, boarded the waiting
tank, and started west. At the pass which his 1st Battalion men still held,
he found 23 men from C Company, all that remained of 180. These survivors
said they had been overrun. Roelofs organized the battalion withdrawal
westward from the pass. In the advance he put A Company, then the C Company
survivors. Still in contact with enemy, B Company came off the hills north
of the pass in platoons. The company made the withdrawal successfully with
the three tanks covering it from the pass. The tanks brought up the rear
guard. The time was about 1000.
The situation in the village and at the bridge was not quite what it
appeared to be to Roelofs and some of the officers and men who escaped
from there and reported to him. Soon after the enemy armor came down the
trail from the north and shot up the artillery positions, enemy infantry
closed on the Triple Nickel emplacements and fired on the men with small
arms and automatic weapons. Three of the 105-mm. howitzers managed to continue
firing for several hours after daybreak, perhaps until 0900. Then the enemy
overran the 555th positions. 
The 90th Field Artillery Battalion suffered almost as great a calamity.
Early in the pre-dawn attack the North Koreans scored direct hits on two
155-mm. howitzers and several ammunition trucks of A Battery. Only by fighting
resolutely as infantrymen, manning the machine guns on the perimeter and
occupying foxholes as riflemen, were the battalion troops able to repel
the North Korean attack. Pfc. William L. Baumgartner of Headquarters Battery
contributed greatly in repelling one persistent enemy force. He fired a
truck-mounted machine gun while companions dropped all around him. Finally,
a direct hit on his gun knocked him unconscious and off the truck. After he revived,
Baumgartner resumed the fight with a rifle. 
At daybreak, Corsairs flew in to strafe and rocket the enemy. They had
no radio communication with the ground troops but, by watching tracer bullets
from the ground action, the pilots located the enemy. Despite this close
air support, the artillery position was untenable by 0900. Survivors of
the 90th loaded the wounded on the few serviceable trucks. Then, with the
uninjured giving covering fire and Air Force F-51 fighter planes strafing
the enemy, the battalion withdrew on foot.  Survivors credited the
vicious close-in attacks of the fighter planes with making the withdrawal
possible. But most of all, the men owed their safety to their own willingness
to fight heroically as infantrymen when the enemy closed with them.
Meanwhile, enemy fire destroyed or burned nearly every vehicle east
of the Pongam-ni bridge.
A mile eastward, another enemy force struck at B Battery, 159th Field
Artillery Battalion. In this action enemy fire ignited several trucks loaded
with ammunition and gasoline. At great personal risk, several drivers drove
other ammunition and gasoline trucks away from the burning vehicles. The
attack here, however, was not as intense as that at Pongam-ni and it subsided
about 0800. 
After the artillery positions had been overrun, two tanks of the 25th
Division Reconnaissance Company arrived from the east and tried to drive
out the North Koreans and clear the road. MSgt. Robert A. Tedford stood
exposed in the turret of one tank, giving instructions to the driver and
gunner, while he himself operated the .50-caliber machine gun. This tank
attack failed. Enemy fire killed Tedford, but he snuffed out the lives
of some North Koreans before he lost his own. 
Meanwhile, at his assembly area five miles westward, Colonel Throckmorton
had received Colonel Ordway's order to return with the 2d Battalion to
the pass area west of Pongam-ni. When he arrived there the fight in the
gulch and valley eastward had died down. A few stragglers came into his
lines, but none after noon. Believing that enemy forces were moving through
the hills toward the regimental command post at Taejong-ni, Throckmorton
requested authority to return there. The regimental executive officer granted
this authority at 1500. 
During the morning, General Barth, commander of the 25th Division artillery,
tried to reach the scene of the enemy attack. But the enemy had cut the
road and forced him to turn back. North Koreans also ambushed a platoon
of the 72d Engineer Combat Battalion trying to help open the road. Barth
telephoned General Kean at Masan and reported to him the extent of the
disaster. Kean at once ordered the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, to proceed
to the scene, and he also ordered the 3d Battalion, 24th Infantry, to attack through
the hills to Pongam-ni. 
The Marine battalion arrived at Kogan-ni, three miles short of Pongam-ni,
at 1600 and, with the assistance of air strikes and an artillery barrage,
by dark had secured the high ground north of the road and east of Pongam-ni.
The next morning the battalion attacked west with the mission of rescuing
survivors of the 555th Field Artillery Battalion reported to be under the
bridge at the village. Colonel Murray in a helicopter tried to deliver
a message to these survivors, if any (there is no certainty there were
any there), but was driven back by enemy machine gun fire. The marines
reached the hill overlooking Pongam-ni and saw numerous groups of enemy
troops below. Before they could attempt to attack into Pongam-ni itself
the battalion received orders to rejoin the brigade at Masan. 
The 3d Battalion, 24th Infantry, likewise did not reach the overrun
artillery positions. Lt. Col. John T. Corley, the much-decorated United
States Army battalion commander of World War II, had assumed command of
the battalion just three days before, on 9 August. Although Eighth Army
sent some of the very best unit commanders in the United States Army to
the 24th Regiment to give it superior leadership, the regiment remained
unreliable and performed poorly. On 12 August, Corley's two assault companies
in the first three hours of action against an estimated two enemy companies,
and while receiving only a few rounds of mortar fire, dwindled from a strength
of more than 100 men per company to about half that number. There were
only 10 casualties during the day, 3 of them officers. By noon of the next
day, 13 August, the strength of one company was down to 20 men and of the
other to 35. This loss of strength was not due to casualties. Corley's
battalion attack stopped two and a half miles from the captured artillery
At Bloody Gulch, the name given by the troops to the scene of the successful
enemy attack, the 555th Field Artillery on 12 August lost all eight of
its 105-mm. howitzers in the two firing batteries there. The 90th Field
Artillery Battalion lost all six 155-mm. howitzers of its A Battery. The
loss of Triple Nickel artillerymen has never been accurately computed.
The day after the enemy attack only 20 percent of the battalion troops
were present for duty. The battalion estimated at the time that from 75
to 100 artillerymen were killed at the gun positions and 80 wounded, with
many of the latter unable to get away. Five weeks later, when the 25th
Division regained Taejong-ni, it found in a house the bodies of 55 men
of the 555th Field Artillery. 
The 90th Field Artillery Battalion lost 10 men killed, 60 wounded, and about 30 missing at Bloody Gulch-more than half the men of Headquarters
and A Batteries present. Five weeks later when this area again came under
American control, the bodies of 20 men of the battalion were found; all
of them had been shot through the head. 
Four days after the artillery disaster, General Barth had the 555th
and 90th Field Artillery Battalions reconstituted and re-equipped with
weapons. Eighth Army diverted 12 105-mm. howitzers intended for the ROK
Army to the 25th Division artillery and 6 155-mm. howitzers intended for
a third firing battery of the 90th Field Artillery Battalion were used
to re-equip A Battery. Lt. Col. Clarence E. Stuart arrived in Korea from
the United States on 13 August and assumed command of the 555th Field Artillery
West of Bloody Gulch, the 2d Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team,
repulsed a North Korean attack at Taejong-ni on the morning of 13 August.
That afternoon, the battalion entrucked and moved on to the Much'on-ni
road fork. There it turned east toward Masan.
The 3d Battalion of the 5th Regimental Combat Team, rolling westward
from Pongam-ni on the morning of 1l August, had joined the 35th Infantry
where the latter waited at the Much'on-ni crossroads. From there the two
forces moved on to the Chinju pass. They now looked down on Chinju. But
only their patrols went farther. On the afternoon of 13 August and that
night, the 5th Regimental Combat Team traveled back eastward. It was depleted
and worn. Military police from the 25th Division were supposed to guide
its units to assigned assembly areas. But there was a change in plans,
and in the end confusion prevailed as most of the units were led in the
darkness of 13-14 August to a dry stream bed just east of Chindong-ni.
The troops were badly mixed there and until daylight no one knew where
anyone else was. 
The next morning the 2d Battalion of the 5th Regimental Combat Team
moved around west to Kogan-ni, where it relieved the 3d Battalion, 5th
Marines. Colonel Throckmorton succeeded Colonel Ordway in command of the
regiment on 15 August.
Task Force Dean Ended
On 14 August, after a week of fighting, Task Force Kean was back approximately
in the positions from which it had started its attack. The 35th Regiment
held the northern part of the 25th Division line west of Masan, the 24th
Regiment the center, and the 5th Regimental Combat Team the southern part.
The Marine brigade was on its way to another part of the Eighth Army line.
In the week of constant fighting in the Chinju corridor, from 7 to 13 August,
the units of Task Force Kean learned that the front was the four points of the compass, and that it was necessary
to climb, climb, climb. The saffron-colored hills were beautiful to gaze
upon at dusk, but they were brutal to the legs climbing them, and out of
them at night came the enemy.
While Task Force Kean drove westward toward Chinju, enemy mines and
small arms fire daily cut the supply roads behind it in the vicinity of
Chindong-ni. For ten successive days, tanks and armored cars had to open
a road so that food supplies might reach a battalion of the 24th Infantry
in the Sobuk-san area. The old abandoned coal mines of the Tundok region
on Sobuk-san were alive with enemy troops. The 24th Infantry and ROK troops
had been unable to clear this mountainous region. 
At 1550, 16 August, in a radio message to General Kean, Eighth Army
dissolved Task Force Kean.  The task force had not accomplished what
Eighth Army had believed to be easily possible-the winning and holding
of the Chinju pass line. Throughout Task Force Kean's attack, well organized
enemy forces controlled the Sobuk-san area and from there struck at its
rear and cut its lines of communications. The North Korean High Command
did not move a single squad from the northern to the southern front during
the action. The N.K. 6th Division took heavy losses in some
of the fighting, but so did Task Force Kean. Eighth Army again had underestimated
the N.K. 6th Division.
Even though Task Force Kean's attack did not accomplish what Eighth
Army had hoped for and expected, it nevertheless did provide certain beneficial
results. It chanced to meet head-on the N.K. 6th Division
attack against the Masan position, and first stopped it, then hurled it
back. Secondly, it gave the 25th Division a much needed psychological experience
of going on the offensive and nearly reaching an assigned objective. From
this time on, with the exception of the 24th Infantry, the division troops
fought well and displayed a battle worthiness that paid off handsomely
and sometimes spectacularly in the oncoming Perimeter battles. By disorganizing
the offensive operations of the N.K. 6th Division at the
middle of August, Task Force Kean also gained the time needed to organize
and wire in the defenses that were to hold the enemy out of Masan during
the critical period ahead.
The N.K. 6th Division now took up defensive positions
opposite the 25th Division in the mountains west of Masan. It placed its
13th Regiment on the left near the Nam River, the 15th
in the center, and the 14th on the right next to the coast. Remnants
of the 83d Motorized Regiment continued to support
the division. The first replacements for the 6th Division-2,000
of them-arrived at Chinju reportedly on 12 August. Many of these were South
Koreans from Andong, forced into service. They were issued hand grenades
and told to pick up arms on the battlefield. Prisoners reported that the
6th Division was down to a strength of between 3,000-4,000
men. Apparently it still had about twelve T34 tanks which needed fuel.
The men had little food. All supplies were carried to the front by A-frame porters, there placed in dumps, and camouflaged
with leaves and grass. 
During the fighting between Task Force Kean and the N.K. 6th
Division on the Masan front, violent and alarming battles had erupted
elsewhere. Sister divisions of the N.K. 6th in the north along the
Naktong were matching it in hard blows against Eighth Army's defense line.
The battles of the Pusan Perimeter had started.
 EUSAK WD, PIR 21, 2 Aug 50 and 23, 4 Aug 50.
 2 EUSAK WD, 4 Aug 50, Stf Study, G-3 Sec to the G-3.
 Ibid., Check Slip, 4 Aug 50, and Informal Check Slip, 5 Aug 50;
Interv, author with Lt Col Paul F. Smith, 1 Oct 52.
 EUSAK WD, 5 Aug 50, Ltr, G-3 Air EUSAK to CG Fifth AF.
 Ibid., 6 Aug 50, G-3 Opn Directive and ans.
 25th Div WD, Summ, Aug 50, p. 7; Ibid., 6-7 and 9 Aug 50. Total
supported strength of the 25th Division is given as 23,080 troops,
including 11,026 attached. This included the 27th Infantry Regiment,
which became army reserve on 7 August. On 9 August this number had
increased to 24,179, of which 12,197 were attached.
 1st Prov Mar Brig, SAR, 2 Aug-6 Sep 50, pp. 1-19; 1st Bn, 5th Mar,
SAR, Aug 50, p. 1.
 25th Div WD, 6 Aug 50; 25th Div Opn Ord 8, 6 Aug 50.
 Ibid.; Barth MS, p. 13.
 EUSAK WD, 6 Aug 50, an. to Opn PIR.
 25th Div WD, 6-7 Aug 50; 35th Inf WD, 7 Aug 50; Interv, author with
Fisher, 5 Jan 52.
 24th Div WD, 8-11 Aug 50; 35th Inf WD, 8-11 Aug 50; Barth MS, p.
14; Fisher, MS review comments, 7 Nov 57.
 24th Inf WD, 6 Aug 50; EUSAK IG Rpt on 24th Inf, testimony of 1st
Lt Christopher M. Gooch, S-3, 3d Bn, 24th Inf, 26 Aug 50. Department of
the Army General Order 63, 2 August 1951, awarded the Medal of Honor
posthumously to Pfc. William Thompson, M Company, 24th Infantry.
 Interv, author with Col John L. Throckmorton, 20 Aug 52;
Throckmorton, MS review comments, 30 Mar 55.
 Ibid.; 5th Mar SAR, 6-7 Aug 50; Barth MS; New York Times, August 8,
1950, W. H. Lawrence dispatch from southern front; New York Herald
Tribune, August 9, 1950, Homer Bigart dispatch from Korea, 7 August.
 2d Bn, 5th Mar, SAR, 7 Jul-31 Aug 50, p. 6.
 25th Div WD, 7 Aug 50; New York Herald Tribune, August 8, 1950,
and August 9, 1950, Bigart dispatches; 1st Prov Mar Brig SAR, 2 Jul-6
Sep 50, p. 9; 27th Inf WD, Aug 50.
 2d Bn, 5th Mar, SAR, 7 Jul-31 Aug 50, p. 6; Montross and Canzona,
The Pusan Perimeter, pp. 16-17.
In a Marine infantry regiment, the 1st Battalion consisted of
Headquarters and Service, A, B, C, and Weapons Companies; the 2d
Battalion consisted of Headquarters and Service, D, E, F, and Weapons
Companies; and the 3d Battalion consisted of Headquarters and Service,
G, H, I, and Weapons Companies.
 159th FA Bn WD, 7-9 Aug 50; 3d Bn, 5th Mar, SAR, Aug 50 (Rpt of 1st
Pl, G Co); 5th Mar SAR, 8-9 Aug 50; 1st Prov Mar Brig SAR, 8-9 Aug 50,
pp. 10-11; Montross and Canzona, The Pusan Perimeter, pp. 121-22; New
York Herald Tribune, August 9, 1950, Bigart dispatch; Col Godwin Ordway,
MS review comments, 21 Nov 57.
 Interv, author with Throckmorton, 20 Aug 52.
 25th Div WD, 9 Aug 50.
 1st Prov Mar Brig SAR, 10 Aug 50; 5th Mar SAR, 10 Aug 50; Ernest H.
Giusti, "Marine Air Over the Pusan Perimeter," Marine Corps Gazette
(May, 1952), pp. 20-21; New York Herald Tribune, August 10, 1950.
 25th Div WD, 10 Aug 50; New York Times, August 10, 1950.
 1st Prov Mar Brig SAR, Aug 50, p. 11; 5th Mar SAR, 11 Aug 50; 3d
Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 11 Aug, p. 4; Giusti, op. cit.; Lt Col Ransom M. Wood,
"Artillery Support for the Brigade in Korea," Marine Corps Gazette
(June, 1951), p. 18; GHQ UNC G-3 Opn Rpt 49, 12 Aug 50; 25th Div WD, 11
Aug 50. Enemy troop casualties in this action were estimated at about
 1st Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 12 Aug 50; 1st Prov Mar Brig SAR, 12 Aug 50,
p. 12; 5th Mar SAR, 12 Aug 50; Maj. Francis I. Fenton, Jr., "Changallon
Valley," Marine Corps Gazette (November, 1951), pp. 4953; ATIS Supp,
Enemy Docs, Issue 2, pp. 97-98, gives the North Korean order for the
attack on Hill 202. The 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, gives its casualties
for 12-13 August as 15 killed, 33 wounded, and 8 missing. Montross and
Canzona, The Pusan Perimeter, page 155 give the Marine loss on Hill 202
in the night battle as 12 killed, 18 wounded, and 8 missing.
 Montross and Canzona, The Pusan Perimeter, page 148, quoting from
General Craig's field notebook for 12 August 1950.
 Ltr with comments, Col Ordway to author, 18 Feb 55; Ltrs, Col John
H. Daly to author, 3 Dec 54 and 11 Feb 55; Comments on Bloody Gulch, by
Lt Col T. B. Roelofs, 15 Feb 55, copy furnished author by Col Ordway, 18
Feb 55. Despite an extensive search in the Departmental Records Section
of the AC and elsewhere the author could not find the war diaries,
journals, periodic reports, and other records of the 5th Regimental
Combat Team and the 555th Field Artillery Battalion for August 1950.
 Ltr, Ordway to author, 18 Feb 55; Throckmorton, Notes for Ordway,
30 Mar 55 (forwarded by Ordway to author): Roelofs, Comments on Bloody
Gulch, 15 Feb 55.
 Roelofs, Comments on Bloody Gulch, 15 Feb 55; Ltr and comments,
Ordway to author, 18 Feb 55, and MS review comments, 21 Nov 57.
[30 Intervs, author with Ordway, 3 and 21 Jan 55; Ltr and comments,
Ordway to author, 18 Feb 55; Ordway, MS review comments, 21 Nov 57,
Roelofs, Comments on Bloody Gulch, 15 Feb 55; Ltr, Daly to author, 8 Dec
54. Roelofs and Daly confirm Ordway's account of his plan to move the
regiment through the pass at night, and the division's order that all
units except the 2d Battalion and C Battery, 555th Field Artillery
Battalion, were to remain in position until daylight.
 25th Div WD, 11 Aug 50; 88th Med Tk Bn WD, 7-31 Aug 50; EUSAK WD,
G-3 Sec, 11 Aug 50; Ibid., POR 90, 11 Aug 50; Ltr, Lt Gen William B.
Kean to author, 17 Jul 53.
 25th Div WD, 12 Aug 50; 90th FA Bn WD, 11-12 Aug 50; 159th FA Bn
WD, 11-12 Aug 50, and sketch 4.
 Roelofs, Comments on Bloody Gulch, 15 Feb 55.
 Intervs, author with Ordway, 3 and 21 Jan 55; Ltr, Ordway to
author, 18 Feb 55; Ordway, MS review comments, 20 Nov 57.
 ATIS Supp, Enemy Docs, Issue 2, pp. 97-98, gives the enemy order
for the attack at Bloody Gulch.
 25th Div WD, 12 Aug 50; 90th FA Bn WD, 12 Aug 50; 159th FA Bn WD,
12 Aug 50; Barth MS, p. 17; Interv, Gugeler with Capt Perry H. Graves,
CO, B Btry, 555th FA Bn, 9 Aug 51; Interv, author with 1st Lt Lyle D.
Robb, CO, Hq Co, 5th Inf, 9 Aug 51; 1st Lt Wyatt Y. Logan, 555th FA Bn,
Debriefing Rpt 64, 22 Jan 5:, FA School, Ft. Sill.
 90th FA Bn WD, 11-21 Aug 50; Barth MS, p. 18. Department of the
Army General Order 36, 4 June 1951, awarded the Distinguished Unit
Citation to the 90th Field Artillery Battalion.
 90th FA Bn WD, 12 Aug 50; Barth MS; New York Herald Tribune, August
12, 1950, Bigart dispatch.
 159th FA Bn WD, 11-12 Aug 50.
 General Order 232, 23 April 1951, awarded the Distinguished Service
Cross posthumously to Sergeant Tedford. EUSAK WD.
 Interv, author with Throckmorton, 20 Aug 52.
 Barth MS, p. 19: 3d Bn, 24th Inf WD, 12 Aug 50; 25th Div WD, 12 Aug
 3d Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 12-13 Aug 50; 1st Prov Mar Brig SAR, 12-13 Aug
50; Montross and Canzona, The Pusan Perimeter, pp. 150-52.
 Interv, author with Corley, 6 Nov 51; Barth MS, p. 19; EUSAK IG
Rpt, 24th Inf Regt, testimony of Corley, 26 Aug 50.
 25th Div WD, 13 Aug 50; 90th FA Bn WD, 12 Aug 50; 27th Inf Narr
Hist Rpt, Sep 50; Barth MS, p. 17; New York Herald Tribune, August 14,
1950, Bigart dispatch.
 25th Div WD, 24 Sep 50; Barth MS, p. 17. In addition to its guns,
the 90th lost 26 vehicles and 2 M5 tractors. The 555th lost practically
all its vehicles. Many 1st Battalion and regimental headquarters
vehicles were also destroyed or abandoned. The North Korean communiqué
for 12 August, monitored in a rebroadcast from Moscow, claimed, in
considerable exaggeration, 9 150-mm. guns, 12 105-mm. guns, 13 tanks,
and 157 vehicles captured or destroyed. See New York Times, August 16,
1950: Barth MS, p. 21; Interv, author with Stuart, 9 Aug 51.
 Interv, author with Throckmorton, 20 Aug 52; Ordway, MS review
comments, 20 Nov 57.
 Interv, author with Arnold, 22 Jul 51: Interv, author with Fisher,
2 Jan 52; Fisher, MS review comments, 7 Nov 57; Barth MS, p. 15.
 25th Div WD, 16 Aug 50; GHQ UNC G-3 Opn Rpt 53, 16 Aug 50.
 ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 100 (N.K. 6th Div), pp. 38-39;
27th Inf WD, Aug 50, PW Rpt 10; EUSAK WD, 12 Aug 50, Interrog Rpt 519;
25th Div WD, Aug 50, PW Interrog.
Causes of the Korean Tragedy ... Failure of Leadership, Intelligence and Preparation