Korean Service
Purple Heart
     Infantry Weapons     
     THE WHOLE SITE     
     Combat Photos     

The First Battle of the Naktong Bulge

The Foundation of Freedom is the Courage of Ordinary People

History  Bert '53  On Line

Combat Photos

(Back to Appleman: South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu)
The influence of growing fire-power on tactical defense is evident....The defensive is able more than before to carry out its original mission,which is to break the strength of the attacker, to parry his blows, toweaken him, to bleed him, so as to reverse the relation of forces and leadfinally to the offensive, which is the only decisive form of warfare.

The dog days of August were at hand. The men in Eighth Army who survivedthat period spoke afterward of it as "the days along the Naktong."The Eighth Army no longer could withdraw when enemy pressure became oppressive.It had to stand and fight and hold, or be driven out of Korea.

General Walker's defense plan centered on holding the road and raillines running in a large oval east of the Naktong, from Pusan north throughMiryang to Taegu, and hence east through Yongch'on to Kyongju, where theyturned back south to Pusan. Any further withdrawal and loss of these linesof communication would render difficult any later U.N. attempt at a counteroffensive.

The North Koreans, in preparing to attack the Pusan Perimeter and itscommunication system, had available four lines of advance toward Pusan:(1) through or past Masan south of the confluence of the Nam and NaktongRivers, (2) through the Naktong Bulge to the rail and road lines at Miryang,(3) through Taegu, and (4) through Kyongju and down the east coast corridor.They tried them all simultaneously in August, apparently believing thatif they did not succeed at one place they would at another.

Along the Perimeter, the most important terrain feature for both theUnited Nations and the North Koreans-helping the former and hindering thelatter-was the Naktong River, the second largest river in Korea. It formeda huge moat in front of almost three-fourths of the Perimeter. Its numerousgreat folds and bends resembled a huge snake contracting its length beforecoiling. Along its lower course, the river is generally from one-quarterto half a mile wide and more than six feet deep. Great sand beaches appearat many places when the river is not swollen by rain. Hills come down closeto the water's edge on either bank, and rice paddy valleys of varying sizesfinger their way among the hills.

In Korea, the term hill came to mean to the soldiers anythingfrom a knoll to a towering mountain. A few of the hills bordering the lower Naktongbelow Taegu on the east side rise to 1,200 feet elevation; three or fourmiles back from the river they climb to 2,500 feet. On the west, or enemy,side of the Naktong, the hills bordering the river are higher than on theeast, reaching 2,000 feet in many instances. North of Taegu, along theupper reaches of the river, from Waegwan in a semicircle east to Andong,the hills rise still higher, many of them to elevations of 2,000 and 3,000feet.

The line of the Naktong as organized by the American forces was a seriesof strongpoints on the highest hills, affording views of both the riverand the natural avenues of travel from it. During the day, these pointswere hardly more than observation posts. At night they became listeningposts and tight little defense perimeters. Some of the posts were mannedonly in the daytime. Others were held by no more than half a squad of men.No one expected these soldiers to fight in position; they were a form ofintelligence screen, their duty being to observe and report. Jeep patrolsduring the daytime ran along the river road. Quite obviously, the riverline was thinly held. Reserve troops some miles back from the river wereready to counterattack against any enemy crossing.

Artillery and mortars were in positions back of the river. They werelaid to fire on known ferry and other probable crossing sites. The roleof the artillery and the mortars was to be a vital one in the Perimeterfighting; their fire could be massed, within limits, against any majorenemy effort. The infantry and the artillery together were disposed soas to hold the commanding ground and control the meager road net. The roadsnecessarily were all-important.

No one doubted that the North Koreans intended to force a crossing ofthe Naktong without delay. Time was against them. Every passing week broughtcloser the prospect of more American reinforcements-troops, tanks, artillery,and planes. North Korean Premier Kim Il Sung had set 15 August as the datefor final victory and the liberation of all Korea. This date marked thefifth anniversary of freedom from Japanese rule. [1]

The Naktong Bulge

Seven air miles north of the point where the Naktong turns east andthe Nam enters it, the Naktong curves westward opposite Yongsan in a widesemicircular loop. The bulge of land formed by this river loop measuresfour miles east-west and five miles north-south. This particular loop ofthe river and the land it enclosed on three sides became known to the Americantroops as the Naktong Bulge during the heavy fighting there in August andSeptember. (See Map IV.)

Northward from the confluence of the Nam with the Naktong, the 24thDivision held the line of the lower Naktong for a distance of sixteen airmiles, or a river front of about thirty-four miles. The 34th Infantry wason the lower, southern part; the 21st Infantry was on the upper part togetherwith the ROK 17th Regiment. The 19th Infantry, just arrived from Masan,was re-equipping in the rear. In general terms, the 34th Infantry held the area west ofYongsan in the Naktong Bulge, while north of it the 21st Infantry heldthe area west of Changnyong.

The 3d Battalion, 34th Infantry, held the river line in its regimentalfront, while the 1st Battalion was in a reserve assembly area about fourmiles back from the river near Yongsan. (Map 9) The 3d Battalionfront was about nine miles, or 15,000 yards long. [2] One may contrastthis battalion frontage of 15,000 yards with one of 10,000 yards for adivision at full strength, which U.S. Army doctrine considered normal.

The three rifle companies of the 3d Battalion-I, L, and K, in that orderfrom north to south-were on high hills overlooking the Naktong River. Anunoccupied gap of more than two miles lay between I and L Companies, andanother of more than three miles lay between L and K Companies. Becauseof the river's course around the bulge, the three company positions resembledthe points of a broad triangle; I and K were the two extremities at theeastern base and L the apex at the bulge of high ground extending westwardin the big fold of the river. Along this stretch of river there were atleast six ferry crossing sites. [3]

For almost the entire regimental front, hills 500 to 600 feet high rosefrom the narrow river valley, in some instances abruptly from the water'sedge. In this nine miles of front two valleys formed entrances from theriver into the hill masses stretching eastward. The northern entrance wasat the Ohang village ferry crossing This crossing lay in the gap betweenI and L Companies at the northern edge of the bulge. The other naturalentrance into the regimental zone lay four air miles south at the underside of the bulge.

The 4.2-inch mortars supporting the 3d Battalion were about a mile anda quarter back of the river in the draw that penetrated the hills fromthe Ohang ferry site. The 3d Battalion command post was half a mile farther,southeast in this same draw, at the village of Soesil. Commanding the battalionwas Lt. Col. Gines Perez, just arrived from the United States. At Yongsan,six miles east of the river, Colonel Beauchamp had his regimental commandpost.

General Church ordered all civilians in the 24th Division zone to evacuatefrom an area five miles deep east of the river. He warned them that ifthey failed to do so, his troops might shoot them on sight as possibleenemy agents. He said he could take no more chances with civilians; "Ifwe are going to hold here, we cannot have any enemy behind us." [4]

The N.K. 4th Division Attacks into the Naktong Bulge

The first enemy crossings of the Naktong River, west of the Andong mountainbarrier, other than reconnaissance patrols, came on 5 August at three differentplaces. Two were north of Waegwan in the ROK Army sector. The third wasthirty miles south of Waegwan opposite Yongsan in the 24th Division sector, in the big bulge of theNaktong. This third crossing of the river was made by the N.K. 4thDivision and was the one to have consequences which first threatenedthe Perimeter.

Map 9

Maj. Gen. Lee Kwon Mu commanded the N.K. 4th Division.Already he had received the highest honors, the "Hero of the KoreanDemocratic People's Republic" and the "Order of the NationalFlag, 1st Class," for achievements with his division. Forty yearsold, Lee had been born in Manchuria, had served in the Chinese Communist8th Route Army, and, according to some reports, he had beena lieutenant in the Soviet Army in World War II. After attending a schoolin the Soviet Union in 1948 he returned to Korea where he became Chiefof Staff of the N.K. Army. Eventually he was relieved of this post. Shortlybefore the invasion he was recalled by Premier Kim Il Sung's personal orderand given command of the 4th Division. The division itselfin August 1950 held the honorary name of "The 4th Seoul Division,""Seoul" indicating recognition of the division's part in thecapture of that city. [5]

By 4 August, the N.K. 4th Division had concentrated itsthree regiments in the vicinity of Hyopch'on and was studying the Americandispositions and defenses opposite it on the east side of the Naktong.An officer from the division headquarters, captured later, estimated thedivision had a total strength of about 7,000 men at this time with about1,500 men in each of the infantry regiments.

The division, with little or no preparation for it, intended to makean immediate crossing of the river in co-ordination with other crossingsnorthward. [6]

On the American side, General Church considered the northern part ofthe 24th Division zone the more difficult to defend and reinforce becauseof its poor road net. He believed for this reason that the North Koreanswere more likely to cross the river in that part of the division zone ratherthan in the southern part. Therefore, when the N.K. 4th Divisioncrossed in the southern part, opposite the 34th Infantry, the crossingwas not where he had anticipated it would be, and it also came sooner thanhe had expected. [7]

Red and yellow flares burst over the Naktong at midnight 5 August, as800 North Koreans of the 3d Battalion, 16th Regiment,began the crossing. Most of the men stripped off their clothing, rollingit and their weapons into bundles to be carried on their heads, and steppedinto the shoulder-deep water. Others made rafts to float their clothesand equipment across. This crossing was at the Ohang ferry site, threeand a half miles south of Pugong-ni and due west of Yongsan. There is someevidence that the 1st Battalion of the regiment also crossedat this time. None of the units in this initial crossing brought alongmortars or heavy weapons. After reaching the east side, the enemy soldiersdressed, and in a column of platoons, marched southeast up the draw leading into the American lines. Theirobjective was Yongsan. [8]

Simultaneously with this crossing, another enemy force tried to crossthe river some miles farther north in the zone of the 21st Regiment, 24thDivision. This force, after running into a mine field and being shelledby artillery, was machine-gunned by infantry and driven back across theriver in confusion. [9]

The enemy force that crossed at Ohang penetrated the gap between I andL Companies of the 34th Infantry, and followed the draw leading southeastto a little valley through which the Yongsan-Naktong River road passed.The battalion command post and the mortar position were approximately twomiles from the enemy crossing site and directly in the line of enemy advance.[10]

At 0200, 6 August, the 34th Infantry reported to the 24th Division thatan enemy force had penetrated between I and L Companies. The North Koreansmoved along the draw without making any effort to attack the companieson the hills overlooking the river. They overran the 4.2-inch mortar position,but in so doing fully alerted the battalion command post near by. Awarenow of the enemy penetration, most of the troops there escaped to the rear.Colonel Perez, commander of the 3d Battalion, made his way back three milesalong the Yongsan road to the 1st Battalion command post and there gaveColonel Ayres his first news of the enemy crossing. [11]

Colonel Beauchamp, the 34th regimental commander, at 0520 reported toGeneral Church: "Enemy are across river in force in center of my sector.It's pretty dark and situation is obscure. I am committing my reserve [1stBn] at daylight to clear up the situation. Get me a liaison plane in theair at dawn." [12] Beauchamp ordered Ayres to counterattack with the1st Battalion and restore the regimental position. At dawn there was noindication that the rifle companies of the 3d Battalion on the hills alongthe river, except L Company, had yet come under attack. Some elements ofL Company had been forced out of position and withdrew about a mile fromthe river. The enemy apparently was content to leave the river line troopsalone except where they lay across his axis of advance. He was concentratingon penetrating behind the river positions.

After the escape of the 3d Battalion headquarters troops, the positionsof B Battery, 13th Field Artillery, eastward at the northwestern base ofObong-ni Ridge lay completely exposed to the enemy. At 0830 this batteryreported small arms fire in its vicinity. The 24th Division now estimated that 800enemy were east of the river in its zone. [13]

Upon receiving the order to counterattack straight down the Yongsan-NaktongRiver road, Colonel Ayres directed his executive officer to mount C Companyin trucks and send it down the road until he, Ayres, stopped it. BehindC Company, A, B, and the Weapons Companies under the executive officerwere to follow on foot. Just the day before, 187 replacements had joinedthe battalion.

Ayres, his S-3, and the Assistant S-3 set off in a jeep down the roadtoward the river, ahead of the troops, to form an estimate of the situation.They reached the vacated 3d Battalion command post without sighting enemytroops. While looking around the command post and making plans for deploymentof the 1st Battalion when it came up, Ayres and those with him receivedfire from the hills above them. The trucks carrying-C Company now beganto arrive. While the men detrucked, enemy fire hit two of them. [14]

Ayres hurried to Capt. Clyde M. Akridge, who had been in command ofC Company only a few days, and directed him to attack and seize the highground above the former 3d Battalion command post. Akridge organized hiscompany and started forward as enemy fire gradually increased. In leadingthe attack, Captain Akridge was wounded three times and was finally evacuated.

Ayres took shelter at a culvert a short distance to the rear. From therehe, the weapons platoon leader, and mortarmen placed 60-mm. mortar fireon the enemy-held hill until their ammunition was expended. While standingup to direct this fire, the mortar sergeant was practically cut in halfby machine gun fire. Other men, lying prone, were hit. Ayres saw that hewould have to get back to A and B Companies if he were to influence theactions of the battalion. With several members of the battalion staff hedashed across the rice paddy. Enemy fire hit two of the party but all reachedthe slopes of Obong-ni Ridge. They worked their way around the now abandonedartillery position to the rear. [15]

Before Ayres and his party escaped, B Battery, 13th Field ArtilleryBattalion, had come under enemy fire. At 1030 the battery commander assembledabout 50 men and withdrew along a narrow road with one howitzer, four 21/2-ton trucks, and three smaller vehicles. They abandoned four howitzersand nine vehicles. The battery lost 2 men killed, 6 wounded, and 6 missing.[16]

Meanwhile, in its attack, C Company had no chance of success; enemytroops were on higher ground in superior numbers. The North Koreans letloose a heavy volume of small arms and automatic fire against the company,and soon the dry creek bed in which the men were moving was strewn withdead and dying. After Colonel Ayres had dashed from the culvert acrossthe rice paddy, Lieutenant Payne and Lt. McDonald Martin, the latter wounded,ran from the same culvert to a grist mill a short distance away, and south of the road. There,others joined them in the next few minutes. In the fight outside, morethan half the company became casualties. According to the recollectionof the battalion commander, there were about thirty-five survivors in thecompany. [17]

While C Company met the advancing North Koreans, A and B Companies hadstarted forward on foot from the battalion area before rations could beissued to them. When he arrived at the 1st Battalion command post at Kang-ni,Colonel Beauchamp learned that C Company had lost heavily to enemy actionup ahead and had been dispersed. He went forward at once and joined A andB Companies, the latter cautiously leading the advance. The B Company pointmet an enemy squad and killed ten of the enemy soldiers as they tried torun back. Two antiaircraft vehicles, each mounting four .50-caliber machineguns, were in the forefront of the attack that now got under way with ACompany on the left of the road and B Company on the right. Colonel Ayresrejoined the battalion at this time. Even though enemy resistance at firstwas light, the intense summer heat slowed the pace. Soon B Company on theright encountered strong enemy forces on Cloverleaf Hill. They halted itsadvance and knocked out one of the quad-50's on the road. On the left,A Company under Capt. A. F. Alfonso continued its advance with only a fewcasualties, passing the overrun artillery positions and reaching the areawhere C Company had been overwhelmed by the enemy. [18]

The light tank in the lead fired on the grist mill, supposing it tobe enemy held, and scored a direct hit. This fire killed one, mortallywounded two, and wounded less severely several other C Company men inside.Then the tank and A Company men came charging up to the mill where severalsurvivors of C Company had been fighting off North Koreans since earlymorning. North Korean soldiers several times had rushed to within grenaderange of the building but had not succeeded in entering it. Inside, themen had stacked their dead against the walls to protect the living fromsmall arms fire. Thus, after a day-long ordeal, the survivors were rescuedby the A Company attack.

Captain Alfonso and his men set about loading dead and wounded intoabandoned but still operable 2 1/2-ton trucks. This done, he put a driverand two riflemen from his company on each truck, and, with the tank leading,he sent the vehicles back through enemy fire toward friendly lines. LieutenantPayne, knocked unconscious when the tank shell exploded against the gristmill, regained consciousness for a few seconds when he was thrown intoa truck and heard a man say, "Payne is dead as a mackerel." Alittle later he again regained consciousness when the truck ran into aditch under enemy small arms fire. This time he was able to crawl and walk the remaining distance to safety.[19]

Following the road, Alfonso continued his attack toward the river againstlight resistance. Just after sunset, about 2000, A Company reached theriver and joined part of L Company which was still in its position overlookingthe Naktong. The combined group was only about ninety men strong. Theysought temporary safety in a well dug perimeter position. Fortunately theysucceeded in establishing radio contact with the 1st Battalion throughan L Company artillery forward observer's radio by relay through B Company.[20]

While A Company pushed on to the river, B Company dug in on part ofCloverleaf Hill. Quiet gradually settled over the area. The day's actionmade it clear that the North Koreans had penetrated eastward north of theYongsan-Naktong River road to Cloverleaf Hill, but had not yet crossedsouth of the road to Obong-ni Ridge. Cloverleaf and Obong-ni together formeda high backbone across the Yongsan road about three miles east of the NaktongRiver and nearly halfway to Yongsan.

While the 1st Battalion counterattack was in progress, I Company abandonedits hill position northward overlooking the river on the regimental rightflank. The Heavy Weapons Company, a mortar platoon, and A Company, 29thAntiaircraft Automatic Weapons Battalion, joined I Company in withdrawingnortheast into the zone of the 21st Infantry. These units were not underattack. Adjacent units of the 21st Infantry saw this movement and reportedit to General Church. He immediately ordered Colonel Beauchamp to stopthis unauthorized withdrawal and to relieve the company commanders involved.Beauchamp sent his executive officer, Colonel Wadlington, to the sceneat once. Wadlington found the men moving east, turned them around, andmarched them back toward their former position. At noon General Churchsent the 24th Division Reconnaissance Company to block the Naktong River-Changnyongroad adjacent to I Company's former position. The Reconnaissance and ICompanies then attacked an enemy force that had by now occupied a hillnear Pugong-ni, but they were repulsed with considerable loss. [21]

By midmorning, General Church had become convinced that the bulk ofthe enemy east of the river were in the bulge area. He thereupon committedthe 19th Infantry in an attack west along the northern flank of the 34thInfantry. In this attack, the 19th Infantry trapped approximately 300 enemytroops in a village east of Ohang Hill, a mile from the river, and killedmost of them. [22]

The day's action had not been without creditable performances by theAmerican troops. The counterattack of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry,had driven back the enemy's advanced units and regained part of CloverleafHill.

This, together with the fact that K, L, and A Companies held hill positionsabove the Naktong without any sign of panic, prevented the enemy from seizingat the outset the road net through Yongsan. Also, it gave time for the19th Infantry, and later the 9th Infantry, to move up for counterattack.

Artillery fire and aircraft had kept the crossing sites covered, andafter daylight prevented enemy reinforcements from reaching the east sideof the river. When darkness fell, the artillery continued interdictionfire on these crossing sites. The 24th Division had seventeen 105-mm. andtwelve 155-mm. howitzers available to deliver supporting fires coveringthirty-two miles of front. [23]

Just as the battle of the Naktong Bulge got under way, regrouping ofROK troops made it necessary for Eighth Army to order the ROK 17th Regimentreleased from the 24th Division. This regiment had been holding the rightflank of the division line. To take its place temporarily in the emergency,General Church hastily formed Task Force Hyzer (3d Engineer Combat Battalion,less A Company; 78th Heavy Tank Battalion, less tanks; and the 24th DivisionReconnaissance Company). Eighth Army allowed Church to keep the ROK 17thRegiment in line the night of 6-7 August, and before dawn it repulsed severalenemy crossing attempts in its sector. On the morning of 7 August TaskForce Hyzer relieved it, and the ROK 17th Regiment moved to Taegu to rejointhe ROK Army. This weakening of the line had been partly offset the previousafternoon by the arrival of the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry, 2d InfantryDivision, at Changnyong for attachment to the 24th Division. [24]

On the evening of the 6th, as the enemy held firmly to his bridgehead,General Church ordered the 34th and 19th Infantry Regiments to continuethe counterattack the next morning. [25]

The Enemy Gains Cloverleaf-Obong-ni

During the night of 6-7 August, the enemy succeeded in moving an unknownnumber of reinforcements across to the east side of the river in the bulgearea. Then, on the third night, 7-8 August, an estimated two more battalionscrossed the river in four different places. Enemy units that tried to crossnorth of the bulge were driven back by the 21st Infantry; they then shiftedsouthward to cross. [26]

The continuation of the American counterattack in the bulge, on themorning of 7 August, by the 19th Infantry and B Company of the 34th Infantrywas a feeble effort. Extreme heat and lack of food and water were contributingfactors in the failure to advance. The situation was not helped when friendlyaircraft mistakenly strafed the 19th Infantry positions. In its zone, BCompany, 34th Infantry, fell back after rescuing a few men of the HeavyMortar Company who had been missing since the previous morning. On theirpart, the North Koreans pressed forward and occupied the greater part ofCloverleaf Hill and Obong-ni Ridge. In doing this, they established themselves on dominating and critical terrain astride themain east-west road in the bulge area. [27]

From the crests of Cloverleaf and Obong-ni the North Koreans could seethe American main supply road stretching back to Yongsan five miles awayand, for a distance, beyond that town toward Miryang. Cloverleaf (Hill165), as its name indicates, is shaped like a four-leaf clover with itsstem pointing north. Cloverleaf is somewhat higher than Obong-ni Ridgeacross the pass to the south of it. Obong-ni Ridge is a mile and a halflong, curving slightly to the southeast with a series of knobs rising from300 to 500 feet above the rice paddies at its base. The road, where itpasses between Cloverleaf and Obong-ni, follows a winding, narrow passageof low ground. The village of Tugok (Morisil) lies at the southern baseof Cloverleaf just north of the road. [28] Obong village lies at the easternbase of Obong-ni Ridge half a mile south of the road. These two relatedterrain features, Cloverleaf Hill and Obong-ni Ridge, were the key positionsin the fighting of the Naktong Bulge. The battle was to rage around themfor the next ten days.

On the morning of 7 August, while the North Koreans were seizing CloverleafHill and Obong-ni Ridge, Col. John G. Hill received a summons to come tothe 2d Division headquarters. There he learned from the division commanderthat General Walker had ordered the 9th Regiment (-) to report to GeneralChurch. Hill started his troops to the bulge area at 0130, and reportedto General Church about 0830, 8 August. Church told Hill he wanted himto attack at once and drive the North Koreans from the bulge salient. [29]After some discussion it was agreed that the 9th Infantry would attackat 1600.

The 9th Infantry, at full strength in troops and equipment and its menrested, contrasted strongly with the regiments of the 24th Division onthe line. On 8 August, the strength of the 24th Division regiments wasapproximately as follows: 34th Infantry, 1,100; 19th Infantry, 1,700; 21stInfantry, 1,800. [30] The combat effectiveness of the 24th Division thenwas estimated to be about 40 percent because of shortage of equipment andunderstrength units. Fatigue and lowered morale of the men undoubtedlyreduced the percentage even more.

Hill's 9th Infantry relieved B Company, 34th Infantry, on part of CloverleafHill and members of the Heavy Mortar Company who were fighting as riflemenacross the road near Obong-ni Ridge. Colonel Hill placed the 1st Battalionof the 9th Infantry on the left of the Yongsan road, the 2d Battalion onthe right side. His command post was at Kang-ni, a mile and a half eastwardtoward Yongsan. Two batteries of the 15th Field Artillery Battalion (105-mm.howitzers) supported his attack, with twelve 155-mm. howitzers and additional105-mm. howitzers of the 24th Division on call. Hill's immediate objectiveswere Cloverleaf Hill and Obong-ni Ridge. [31]

Colonel Hill's 9th Infantry attacked straight west late in the afternoonof 8 August against Cloverleaf and Obong-ni. On the right, the 2d Battalionsucceeded in capturing part of Cloverleaf by dark, but not control of itor that side of the pass. On the left, the 1st Battalion likewise succeededin gaining part of Obong-ni Ridge. But that night the North Koreans regainedthe ridge. This situation changed little the next day. [32]

The enemy by now had begun to show increased interest in the hill positionsalong the Naktong still held by American troops. At dawn on 7 August, CaptainAlfonso of A Company, 34th Infantry, discovered that the enemy had occupiedthe ridge on his right which overlooked his position. By radio he directedartillery fire on the hill. When he started a patrol out to determine theresult, enemy fire drove it back. An airdrop of supplies that afternoonwas only partially successful. The company recovered little more than halfthe drop and lost some men to enemy fire in the process. The night passedquietly.

The next morning, 8 August, Alfonso's men could see North Koreans crossingthe Naktong below them in six boats, each holding about ten to twelve men.They radioed for an air strike, and later, at a range of 1,000 yards, engagedthe enemy force with their .50-caliber machine gun, causing the North Koreansto disperse along the river bank. There the air strike came in on them,with undetermined results.

That afternoon, the North Koreans began registering mortar and artilleryfire on A Company's position, but ceased firing as soon as their registrationwas accomplished. Alfonso and his men noticed an enemy column far off,moving toward them. From this and the mortar and artillery registrations,they concluded that the enemy would deliver a co-ordinated attack againstthem that night. Alfonso requested permission to withdraw at 2300, andthis was approved by both the battalion and regimental commanders.

At 2230, Alfonso removed his wounded to the base of the hill; the othersfollowed. As the company started to withdraw along the road, heavy enemyfire fell on their vacated position. The North Koreans soon learned thatthe Americans were not there and redirected fire along the road. The companywas supposed to withdraw to friendly lines south of the road at the southernend of Obong-ni Ridge. But, in a series of mistakes, one platoon kept tothe road or close to it and ran into an enemy position at the northernend of Obong-ni. There it lost heavily. The rest of the company and theL Company men with it finally reached the 1st Battalion lines east of Obong-niwell after daylight, 9 August. [33]

Farther south near the river that morning, K Company received enemyattacks, one enemy group overrunning the company's forward observationpost. Even though the enemy was behind it, the company received ordersto hold. The next day, 10 August, reorganized L Company took positions behind its right flank. [34]

On 10 August, at the critical battleground within the bulge, the NorthKoreans on Cloverleaf Hill launched an attack which met head-on one bythe 9th Infantry. Officer losses had been severe in the 2d Battalion on8 and 9 August. On the 10th, F was the only rifle company in the battalionwith more than one officer. In this fighting the North Koreans regainedall the ground they had lost earlier at Cloverleaf. But north of Cloverleaf,the 2d Battalion, 8th Infantry, succeeded in capturing several hills alongthe Naktong, the most important being Ohang Hill. The enemy repulsed allits efforts to advance south from Ohang. The fighting on 10 August in thevicinity of Ohang Hill reduced the 2d Battalion, 79th Infantry, to about100 effective men in the rifle companies. [35]

That evening General Church placed Colonel Hill in command of all troopsin the Naktong Bulge. The troops comprised the 9th Regimental Combat Team(less the 3d Battalion), 2d Division; and the 34th and 19th Infantry Regiments,and the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, 24th Division, together with supportingartillery and other attached units. [36] This command was now designatedTask Force Hill.

General Church ordered Colonel Hill to attack the next morning and restorethe Naktong River line. Hill and the other commanders involved worked outthe attack plan during the night. It called for the 9th and 19th Regimentsto drive southwest through the heart of the bulge. The 1st Battalion, 21stInfantry, was to move during the night from the northern part of the divisionzone to a point near the southern end of Obong-ni Ridge, and from thereattack southwest on the left of the 9th Regimental Combat Team. Meanwhile,the 34th Infantry would protect the left flank of the combat team at Obong-ni.[37]

As it chanced, enemy reinforcements reached the east side of the riverduring the night and vastly increased the difficulty of this attack. ColonelHill had received reports as early as 8 August that the North Koreans wereworking at night on an underwater bridge across the Naktong at the Kihang,or Paekchin, ferry site in the middle of the bulge. The enemy 4thDivision completed this underwater bridge during the night of 710August, and before daylight had moved trucks, heavy mortars, and approximatelytwelve artillery pieces to the east side of the Naktong. Some of the equipmentcrossed on rafts. Additional infantry units of the enemy division alsocrossed the river during the night. A few tanks may have crossed at thistime. [38] By the morning of 11 August, therefore, five days after theinitial crossing, the North Koreans had heavy weapons and equipment across into their bridgehead.

The North Koreans built many underwater bridges across the Naktong duringAugust, 1950. They consisted of sandbags, logs, and rocks to a point aboutone foot below the surface of the water. In effect, they constituted shallowfords. In muddy water they were hard to detect from the air. Underwaterbridges similar to them had been built, and used extensively, by the Russiansin World War II, often as a surprise factor in battles on the Eastern Front.They played an important part, for instance, in the crucial battle of Stalingrad.

The attack on 11 August; intended to push the enemy into the river,failed completely. The N.K. 4th Division fought the 9th and19th Regiments to a standstill at their lines of departure and in theirpositions. Furthermore, the enemy drove the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry,from its assembly area before it could start its part of the attack. Duringthe morning a new feature appeared in the bulge battle-North Korean useof artillery in three groups of 6, 4, and 4 pieces, all emplaced near Kogong-ni,about a mile behind the enemy positions on Cloverleaf and Obong-ni. Inthe afternoon General Church found it necessary to change the order forTask Force Hill from attack to one of dig in and hold. The greater partof the N.K. 4th Division had now crossed into the bulge area.That night the division completed its crossing of the river. [39]

Yongsan Under Attack

During 10-11 August, when the North Korean build-up on Obong-ni andCloverleaf was increasingly apparent, enemy groups also began to appearin the extreme southern part of the 24th sector. [40] By 11 August therewas unmistakable indication that enemy forces in some strength had movedaround the main battle positions at Cloverleaf and Obong-ni and were behindTask Force Hill.

On that day enemy artillery fire brought Yongsan under fire for thefirst time. East of the town, enemy sniper fire harassed traffic on theroad to Miryang. South of Yongsan, an enemy force drove back a patrol ofthe 24th Reconnaissance Company. And during the morning, North Koreanssurprised and killed a squad of K Company, 34th Infantry, guarding thebridge over the Naktong at Namji-ri. Enemy control of this bridge cut theYongsan-Masan road and broke the only direct vehicular communication linkbetween the 24th and 25th Divisions. The situation was confused south ofYongsan on 11 August, at the very moment Task Force Hill's attack was beingthrown back a few miles westward. In this emergency, General Church dispatchedthe 14th Engineer Combat Battalion to Yongsan, and General Walker orderedthe 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, in army reserve at Masan behind Task ForceKean, to attack north across the Naktong River over the Namji-ri bridgeinto the southern part of the 24th Division zone. [41]

That night, 11-12 August, North Koreans built up their roadblock eastof Yongsan to greater strength and extended it to a point three miles eastof the town. A staff officer awakened Colonel Hill before daylight to informhim that the enemy had ambushed several ambulances and trucks two mileseast of Yongsan. Although hard-pressed at Cloverleaf, Hill immediatelyordered F Company, 9th Infantry, out of the line there and dispatched ittogether with a platoon of mortars to attack the roadblock. The 15th FieldArtillery Battalion helped by turning some of its guns to fire on it.

Simultaneously, 24th Division headquarters assembled from eight differentunits about 135 men, including clerks, bakers, military police, and ReconnaissanceCompany troops, under the command of Capt. George B. Hafemen, commandingofficer of Headquarters Company. This force hurriedly moved west from Miryangand took up a position at the pass near Simgong-ni on the Yongsan-Miryangroad. Its mission was to block further eastward penetration of the enemy.Two tanks accompanied Hafemen's force. Hafemen and his men held this positionall afternoon against North Korean attack. Three times armored cars camethrough to them with food, water, and ammunition. [42]

The next day at noon, 13 August, General Church sent a plane to bringColonel Hill for a conference with General Walker at the 24th Divisioncommand post. Walker asked Hill, "Can you raise the roadblock?"Hill replied, "Yes, I have just flown over it, and I can clear itby night." Walker seemed satisfied with this assurance. [43]

In the meantime, and pursuant to General Walker's order on the 11th,Colonel Murch's 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, had been engaged in helpingto clear the enemy from the area south of Yongsan. On the 11th Murch'sbattalion departed from its assembly area near Masan and rolled north towardthe Naktong River. A steady stream of Korean refugees clogged the road.As the battalion pushed its way through this traffic a refugee cart overturned,exposing about fifteen rifles and several bags of ammunition. Approximatelytwelve North Korean soldiers disguised as refugees accompanying it fledacross an open field. Infantrymen near the scene killed eight of them.Continuing on, Murch's battalion engaged and dispersed an estimated 200enemy troops near Iryong-ni, a few miles south of the Naktong River bridge.The battalion crossed the river and by midnight had established a bridgeheadon the north side against enemy small arms fire. [44]

The next day Eighth Army attached the 27th Infantry to the 24th Divisionwith the mission of attacking north to Yongsan. Army estimates creditedtwo enemy battalions with being east of the Yongsan-Masan road. In thefight northward during 12 August, Murch's 2d Battalion encountered entrenched enemy who fought with mortars, machineguns, and small arms. An air strike co-ordinated with the ground attackhelped it drive the enemy from his positions. In this attack, the 2d Battalionkilled about 100 enemy, wounded an unknown number, and captured twelvemachine guns and a number of "Buffalo" guns (14.5-caliber antitankrifles). [45]

The attack continued northward the next day with the 3d Battalion, 27thInfantry, assisting the 2d Battalion. By midafternoon of 13 August bothbattalions reached their objective, the high ground north and east of Yongsan.Colonels Hill and Beauchamp met Colonel Murch in Yongsan as the latter's2d Battalion effected juncture with Task Force Hill. In this advance, the27th Infantry troops overran four pieces of enemy artillery; two of themwere captured U.S. 105-mm. howitzers. [46]

Still another American reinforcement had been converging on the enemyat Yongsan-the 1st Battalion, 23d Infantry, of the 2d Division. This battalionhad just arrived at Miryang where it received orders to attack west. Inthis, its first action, it had nine cases of heat exhaustion but only onebattle casualty. [47] Some of its troops met an advanced unit of the 27thInfantry a mile east of Yongsan.

Thus, by evening of 13 August, General Walker's prompt action in committingthe 27th Infantry, together with the 24th Division's employment of headquartersand engineer troops, had eliminated the dangerous enemy penetration southand east of Yongsan.

On the 14th, a reinforced company of the 35th Infantry, 25th Division,took up a defensive position south of the Naktong River at Namji-ri bridge,relieving units of the 27th Infantry there. Responsibility for protectingthe bridge passed from the 24th to the 25th Division. [48]

Enemy action in the southern part of the 24th Division sector from 10to 13 August convinced Colonel Hill that K and L Companies were doing nogood in their isolated hill positions near the Naktong. Accordingly, heissued orders-received by the 3d Battalion, 34th Infantry, at 0200, 14August-for these companies to abandon their positions and assemble in therear of the 1st Battalion as regimental reserve. They carried out thismovement without incident.

Battle at Cloverleaf-Obong-ni

During the enemy infiltration around Yongsan, fighting continued atCloverleaf, Obong-ni, and northward. There, the 9th Regimental Combat Team,the 19th Infantry, and elements of the 34th Infantry succeeded in denyinggains to the enemy division, and so tied down its main force that the N.K.4th Division could not exploit its penetrations southward.

Task Force Hill still had its mission of driving the enemy out of thebulge and back across the Naktong. With the North Korean penetration southand

[Caption] POINT OF A COMBAT COLUMN moving toward its position nearYongsan.

east of Yongsan eliminated on 13 August, Colonel Hill planned an attackthe next day with his entire force against the Cloverleaf-Obong-ni positions.One hundred aircraft were to deliver a strike on these positions. Artillerywas to follow the strike with a concentrated barrage. The attacking groundformations were essentially the same, and held the same relative positions,as during their abortive attack three days earlier. The enemy divisionapparently had its 5th Regiment on the north in front ofthe 19th Infantry, the 16th Regiment on Cloverleaf and Obong-ni,part of the 18th Regiment back of the 16th, and theremainder of it scattered throughout the bulge area, but mostly in thesouth and east. [50]

Point of a Combat Column

Task Force Hill was far from strong for this attack. The two battalionsof the 9th Infantry were down to approximately two-thirds strength, the19th Infantry was very low in combat-effective troops, and the three riflecompanies of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, had a combined strengthof less than that of one full strength rifle company. [51]

Monday, 14 August, dawned over the bulge area with a heavy overcastof clouds. Rain had been falling since 0300. This prevented the plannedair strike. The 24th Division artillery, down to an estimated 40 percentcombat effectiveness at this time, had massed most of its guns in the lowground just west of Yongsan under the command of Lt. Col. Charles W. Stratton,Commanding Officer, 13th Field Artillery Battalion. These guns delivereda 10-minute preparation. Then the infantry moved out. The two battalionsof the 9th Regimental Combat Team, the 1st on the right and the 2d on theleft, started up the slopes of Cloverleaf, while B Company, 34th Infantry,began a holding attack against Obong-ni south of the road. Although italmost reached the top of Obong-ni early in the morning, B Company wasdriven back by 0800.

The main battle took place northward across the road on Cloverleaf.There the American and North Korean troops locked in a close battle ofattack and counterattack. The 1st Battalion lost sixty men killed or woundedin one hour of fighting. Both battalions of the 4th Regimental Combat Teamgained parts of the high ground but could not control the hill mass. Northward,the 19th Infantry made no gain. [52]

That night on Cloverleaf was one of continuing combat. The North Koreansattacked and infiltrated into the 8th Infantry's dug-in defensive positions.The case of MSgt. Warren H. Jordan of E Company reflects the severity ofthe fighting on Cloverleaf. From 10 to 17 August, he was forced on fivedifferent occasions to take command of the company because all companyofficers had been killed or wounded, or had suffered heat exhaustion. [53]

The enemy attack on the night of the 14th was not confined to Cloverleaf.South of Obong-ni enemy troops virtually surrounded the 1st Battalion,21st Infantry, and inflicted numerous casualties on it. At 0300 ColonelHill ordered Smith to withdraw. The battalion fought its way out of encirclementbefore dawn and took up a new defensive position. It held this new positionat the south end of the main battle line with the help of a counterattackby the 3d Battalion, 34th Infantry, which had been strengthened that morningby the return of K and L Companies from their river hill positions. [54]

Very few of its members had any hope of dislodging the enemy when TaskForce Hill continued the attack on the morning of 15 August. Clouds andrain still hampered air support. On the south end of Obong-ni, A and BCompanies, 34th Infantry, fought a savage encounter with North Koreanson the ridge line. The 2d Platoon of A Company, led by SFC Roy E. Collins,assaulted across a shallow saddle to an enemy-held knob. Enemy troops werejust over the crest of it on the reverse slope. A grenade fight immediatelydeveloped. Men exchanged rifle fire at ten paces. One enemy soldier divedover the ridge line and tackled Collins around the waist. To his amazement,Collins learned that the enemy soldier wanted to surrender. This was theonly way he could do it. Within fifty minutes after launching the attack,the platoon lost 25 men killed or wounded of the 35 who had dashed acrossthe saddle. Ten men withdrew while PFC Edward O. Cleaborn, a Negro, stubbornlystayed behind to get in one more shot. He lost his life trying to get thatshot. With them the 10 able-bodied survivors took 9 wounded men, 3 of whomdied before they reached an aid station. [55]

Elsewhere, the North Koreans fought Task Force Hill to a standstill.Colonel Hill had used all the resources at his command and had just barelyheld the enemy on his front. Having no reserve he was powerless to maneuver.

General Church came up to Colonel Hill's command post during 15 Augustand the two of them talked over the situation. Although they felt thatthe N.K. 4th Division was growing weaker from attrition andmight have exhausted its offensive power in the costly stalemate fightingat Obong-ni and Cloverleaf, they did not see how they, on their part, couldcontinue the attack. They agreed to discontinue the attack and defend inplace. [56]

General Walker had by now become most impatient at the lack of progressin driving the enemy from the bulge. Church told Walker on the 13th thatthe entire N.K. 4th Division was across and in the 24th Divisionsector. General Walker discounted this with the curt rejoinder, "Thatis not my information." Church insisted nevertheless that such wasthe case. Intelligence later confirmed General Church's estimate. When the attack of 15 August failed, GeneralWalker knew he must commit more strength into the bulge if he was to driveout the enemy. Impatient and angry, he came to Church's command post duringthe morning and said, "I am going to give you the Marine brigade.I want this situation cleaned up, and quick." [57]

Walker returned to Taegu about noon and called a conference of someof his key staff officers to determine what forces were available to reinforcethe 24th Division. The Marine brigade was en route from the Masan areato Miryang where it was to bivouac in army reserve. About 1300 Walker decideddefinitely that he would use the marines in the Naktong Bulge and directedColonel Collier to fly to Miryang immediately and discuss the situationwith General Craig, the Marine brigade commander, who was expected to arrivethere momentarily. Collier told Craig of General Walker's instructionsas the two sat talking in a jeep. General Craig immediately ordered thebrigade headquarters to break bivouac and head for Yongsan. [58]

General Walker's decision on the 15th is only one of many that couldbe mentioned to illustrate the command problems he had to face during thetwo and a half months of the continuing battles of the Pusan Perimeter.Serious trouble had developed at many places at this time. A quick glancearound the Perimeter for the period 11-15 August will show that EighthArmy reserves were needed almost everywhere. Task Force Kean suffered itssevere setback at Bloody Gulch on 12 August. At the same time Task ForceHill had failed at Obong-ni Ridge and Cloverleaf in the Naktong Bulge andstrong elements of the N.K. 4th Division were behind it nearYongsan. In action yet to be described, the North Koreans had crossed theNaktong and were approaching Taegu north of the bulge. Eastward, the ROKforces were being driven back at a steady pace and the Perimeter was shrinkingvisibly in that quarter. The N.K. 5th Division had enteredP'ohang-dong on the east coast and was in position to drive down the Kyongjucorridor to Pusan.

Beginning in the second week of August 1950, and continuing for thenext six weeks, the two forces locked in combat at nearly all points ofthe Perimeter. Because it is necessary to separate the far-flung conflictinto parts in order to describe it, an element of distortion is thus introducedinto the Pusan Perimeter story. As the reader follows each single actionfor this period he must constantly keep in mind, if he is to view the sceneat all as the contemporary commanders did, that equally intense and costlystruggles were in progress elsewhere.

Because of this multiplicity of battles taking place simultaneouslyat different parts of the Perimeter, it is difficult to describe satisfactorilythe command problems daily confronting General Walker. He had to know,or guess correctly, where the next crisis would appear. Or, if surprisedby an enemy action, he immediately had to find the means to meet it andact quickly. A commander has to think of all the actions in progress, orimminent, and make tactical decisions. balancing the needs of one part of his defense lines against those of others. A commander'sviewpoint, hour by hour, is determined by changing factors of a complexsituation. During the Pusan Perimeter battles in the summer of 1950 inKorea General Walker faced a trying time. As historical perspective isgained with the passing of time, Walker's chief claim to a high place inUnited States military history may well rest on the tactics of his masterfuldefensive operations on the Pusan Perimeter.

General Walker always considered the Yongsan-Miryang area just abovethe confluence of the Nam River with the Naktong as a very dangerous axisof enemy attack. In mid-August he considered the crisis in the NaktongBulge to be the most serious and important of the several that faced hisforces. Accordingly, he then committed there his strongest reserve. EighthArmy attached the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade to the 24th Division on15 August, and ordered an attack as early as possible on 17 August to destroythe enemy in the bulge east of the Naktong. [59]

On 16 August, as the tired men of Task Force Hill waited in their foxholesfor help, the North Koreans attacked the 9th Infantry on Cloverleaf. Theattacks were intense and at close quarters. North Koreans occupied someof the American foxholes after killing their occupants. On the right, the2d Battalion, 9th Infantry, lost ground. There was severe fighting alsoon Ohang Hill where elements of the 19th and 34th Regiments narrowly escapedbeing trapped. Captain Barszcz, commanding G Company, 34th Infantry, distinguishedhimself by bravery and leadership in this action. [60]

In the midst of the battle of the bulge a new enemy crossing of theNaktong occurred in the 1st Cavalry Division sector, just above the 24thDivision boundary. This enemy force, estimated at two battalions, establisheditself on Hill 409, a mountain near Hyongp'ung. Because the area concernedwas more accessible by roads from the 24th Division sector than from the1st Cavalry Division sector, General Walker on the evening of 13 Augustshifted the 24th Division boundary northward to include this enemy penetration.

Just after midnight, 15-16 August, Eighth Army by telephone orderedthe 24th Division to take positive action against the enemy force on Hill409 at the division's northern extremity near Hyongp'ung. This force hadnow increased to an estimated regiment. Prisoners said it was the 29thRegiment of the N.K. 10th Division, a division notpreviously committed in action. Before daylight, the 1st Battalion, 23dInfantry, arrived near Hill 409 to reinforce the 2 1st Infantry. The regimenthad arrived from the United States on 5 August and had gone to an assemblyarea near Taegu with the certainty that it would soon be committed at somepoint around the Perimeter. The enemy troops on Hill 409 posed a particulardanger. At any moment they might begin a drive southeast into the alreadydesperately hard-pressed American forces fighting in the Naktong Bulge. [61]

But this enemy force, fortunately and most comfortingly, made no effortto leave Hill 409 where it had established itself during a most criticalmoment of the bulge battle. Its inactivity within the American defenseperimeter demonstrated either a lack of co-ordination by the North Koreancommand or an inelastic adherence to plans.

Marines Attack Obong-ni

Although the situation did not look good for the American forces inthe bulge on 15 August, the harsh prospect nevertheless gave a distortedview unless one knew something of the picture on the "other side ofthe hill." Actually, the N.K. 4th Division was in desperatestraits. Its food was in low supply. Ammunition resupply was difficult.One regiment, the 18th, reportedly received its last ammunitionresupply on 14 August. Desertion among replacements, according to prisoners,reached about 40 percent. Half the replacements did not have weapons, andthey were used for labor services in digging foxholes, carrying ammunition,and foraging for food. The slightly wounded received but little medicalattention, and were immediately put back into the front line. A large partof the severely wounded died from lack of medical care. Only the formerChinese Communist Forces fanatical squad and platoon leaders maintainedhigh morale. [62]

In discussing plans for the attack with Marine brigade and regimentalcommanders-Craig and Murray-Church and Hill learned that they did not wantto launch an attack until the carrier-based Marine Corsairs could participate.The Badoeng Strait and the Sicily would not be inposition to launch their planes until 17 August. Plans were made, therefore,to attack on that day. [63]

General Church was to command the co-ordinated attack of Army and Marinetroops. The attack plan placed the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade on theleft in front of Obong-ni Ridge. (Map 10) On the extremeleft, the 1st Battalion (-), 21st Infantry, was to protect the marines'left flank. The 8th Infantry stayed in front of Cloverleaf where it hadbeen fighting for a week. The road between Cloverleaf and Obong-ni wasthe boundary between it and the marines. The 34th Infantry was north ofthe 8th Infantry. Beyond it the 19th Infantry formed the extreme rightflank of the attack formations. The plan called for the 9th Infantry, afterit took Cloverleaf, to be pinched out by the units on either side of it.They were to drive on to the Naktong. The 19th Infantry was to attack tothe river and seize Ohang Hill, which the North Koreans had regained. Theattack was to begin at 0800, 17 August. Fifty-four 105-mm. howitzers andone battalion of 155-mm. howitzers were in place to support the attack. [64]

Map 10

The 5th Marines had moved from the Masan front to Miryang, and thenon 16 August it received orders to attack Obong-ni the next morning. The2d Battalion was to lead the assault, followed by the 1st and 3d Battalionsin that order. The 2d Battalion reached its assembly area in front of Obong-niRidge after midnight. [65]

General Church had planned to coordinate a 9th RCT attack against Cloverleafwith the Marine attack against Obong-ni Ridge. Colonel Murray, however,requested that he be allowed to attack and secure Obong-ni first before the 9th RCT began its attack. Murray considered Obong-ni Ridge as hisline of departure for the main attack and thought he could capture it withrelative ease. Church, on the other hand, considered Obong-ni and Cloverleafto be interlocking parts of the enemy position and thought they shouldbe attacked simultaneously. However, he granted Murray's request. BetweenObong-ni and the Naktong River three miles away rose two successively higherhill masses. Both Murray and Church expected the enemy to make his maineffort on the second ridge, the one behind Obong-ni. Information gainedlater indicated that Colonel Chang Ky Dok's 18th Regiment,reinforced by a battalion of the 16th Regiment, defendedObong-ni Ridge. Other elements of the 16th Regiment apparentlydefended Cloverleaf. [66]

Lt. Col. Harold S. Roise's 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, moved to its lineof departure on the east side of a narrow valley in front of Obong-ni about1,000 yards from the ridge crest. There it waited for the preliminariesto begin. The men studied intently the almost bare ridge opposite them,with its series of six knobs-Hills 102, 109, 117, 143, 147, and 153-risingprogressively in height southward from 300 to 450 feet above the valleyfloor. Deep erosional gullies ran down from the saddles between the knobsleaving ribs of ground projecting from the ridge spine. About midway ofthe ridge a big landslide had exposed a large gash of red ground.

A 10-minute artillery preparation, falling on areas back of Obong-ni,began at 0735. Intentionally, there was no artillery preparation on Obong-niitself. Instead, eighteen Corsairs delivered an air strike on the ridge.The strike was impressive. To observers, Obong-ni seemed to be blowingup-"was floating," as General Church described it. [67]

Two companies, E on the left and D on the right, moved out from theline of departure at 0800, using the red gash on Obong-ni as the boundarybetween their zones of advance. Four platoons, numbering about 120 men,constituted the assault formation that crossed the valley and started upthe slope. From the ridge itself they encountered no enemy fire, but fromTugok village across the road to their right (north) came heavy small armsand machine gun fire Some fire also came from their left flank near Obongvillage. Mortar fire fell on the assault group when it reached the slopeof Obong-ni.

At one point only did any of the marines reach the crest. This was justto the right of the red gash where a rain-formed gully led upwards. Nearthe crest the gully was so shallow it provided scarcely enough cover toprotect one man lying down. Using this gully as cover for part of his platoon,2d Lt. Michael J. Shinka reached the top with twenty of his original thirtymen. As they scrambled into empty North Korean foxholes, grazing enemymachine gun fire from the right swept over them and North Koreans in asecond row of foxholes a few yards down the reverse slope jumped up andattacked them with grenades. Five marines were casualties in this attack; Shinka ordered the rest offthe ridge. They complied quickly, pulling their wounded back on ponchos.[68]

Corsairs now returned and worked over the Obong-ni Ridge line and reverseslope with a hail of explosives. A shortage of fuel tanks prevented useof napalm. After the strike ended, the marines started upward again fromhalfway down the slope where they had waited. Tanks moved out into thelow ground east of the ridge and supported the second attack by directfire into Tugok village and against the ridge line. At first there waslittle enemy fire. Within a few minutes after the air strike had ended,however, the North Koreans moved into their forward foxholes at the crest.From these points they placed automatic fire on the climbing marines androlled grenades down on them. Again, only Shinka's platoon reached thetop. This time, starting with fifteen men, he had nine when he got there.The small group could not stay on the crest, and they fell back down theslope. Shinka crawled to the crest to see if he could find any marine woundedon top; enemy fire hit him twice, one bullet shattering his chin, anotherentering his right arm. He rolled down the hill. Enemy fire, inflictingheavy casualties, pinned the other units to the ground on the side of theridge.

The heavy enemy fire from Tugok and part of Cloverleaf Hill on the right(north) was an important factor in turning back the Marine attack on Obong-ni.At 1500 the 2d Battalion held positions about halfway up the slope. Inseven hours it had lost 23 killed and 119 wounded-a casualty rate of almost60 percent of the 240 riflemen who had taken part in the attack. [69]

Because of the heavy losses in the 2d Battalion, General Craig had alreadydecided he would have to pass the 1st Battalion through it if the attackwas to continue. At 1245 Colonel Murray relayed the order to Colonel Newtonto move his 1st Battalion in position to resume the attack on Obong-ni.The latter completed the relief of the 2d Battalion on the slopes by 1600.[70]

24th Division Attack Gains Cloverleaf

It was apparent during the morning that the Marine planes had failedto destroy the enemy soldiers in their deep foxholes on the reverse slopeof Obong-ni. It was also clear that the heavy enemy fire from gun positionsin Tugok village and on the high spurs of Cloverleaf had worked havoc amongthe marines trying to climb the exposed slope of Obong-ni. In the planfor resuming the attack there was one important change. Colonel Murray,now convinced that it would be necessary for the 9th Infantry on his rightto attack Cloverleaf simultaneously with his attack against Obong-ni, wentto General Church and told him of his changed view. Church said the 9thInfantry would attack after an artillery preparation. Murray informed Church and Hillshortly after 1500 that the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, would be readyto launch its attack at 1600. [71]

Shortly before 1600, the 24th Division began to deliver scheduled preparatoryfires on Cloverleaf, raking it from top to bottom. Part of the fire wastime-on-target air bursts. The flying shell fragments of the air burstsspread a shroud of death over the crest and reverse slope. Then, at 1600,the 9th Infantry and the marines began their co-ordinated attack. The 2dBattalion, 9th Infantry, took Cloverleaf without difficulty. The artillerybarrage had done its work; enemy soldiers surviving it fled down the hill.From Cloverleaf, the 9th Infantry now supported with its fire the attackof the marines against Obong-ni. [72]

At Obong-ni, the North Koreans again stopped the frontal attack of themarines. But this time, with enemy fire from Tugok and Cloverleaf almosteliminated, the right-hand platoon of B Company near the boundary withthe 8th RCT was able to move to the right around the northern spur of Obong-niand reach its crest here above the road. The marines captured this knob,Hill 102, about 1700. Then the next two knobs southward, Hills 109 and107, fell to a flanking attack from the direction of Hill 102, supportedby fire from that hill. Enemy fire from the next knob southward, Hill 143,however, soon forced the A Company platoon from the crest of Hill 117 backto its eastern slope.

Just before dark the North Koreans made their first use of tanks inthis battle of the Naktong Bulge. While digging in for the night, men onHill 102 noticed three T34 tanks coming from the west. A fourth tank, notin view at first, followed. They came steadily along the road toward thepass between Obong-ni and Cloverleaf. By radio, B Company notified itsbattalion command post in the valley that tanks were approaching.

Three American Pershings (M26's) clanked forward to positions at a curvein the road in front of the Marine 1st Battalion command post. The 75-mm.recoilless rifles already commanded the road where it emerged from thepass. Two 3.5-inch rocket launcher teams hurried into position at the northside of the road. Three Air Force P-51's sighted the enemy tanks and madeseveral strafing runs over them but without visible effect. Marines onHill 102 watched with fascination as the T34's rumbled into the pass.

Down below, a dust cloud rising over a shoulder of ground warned thewaiting bazooka teams that the T34's were about to come around the bendin the road. Seeing the steel hulk of the leading tank slowly come intoview, one of the bazooka teams fired the first shot at a range of 100 yards,hitting the tank in its treads. The tank came on with all guns firing.A second rocket struck it just as a shell from a 75-mm. recoilless rifletore a hole in its hull. The tank stopped but continued firing its guns.In another moment, the foremost American Pershing scored a direct hit onthis T34, setting it on fire. At least one enemy crew member abandonedthe tank. Small arms fire killed him. The second enemy tank now came intoview. The bazooka teams knocked it out. Two Pershing tanks destroyed thethird T34 the moment it swung into sight. Air action destroyed the fourthtank before it reached the pass and dispersed enemy infantry accompanyingit. In this action, Pershing tanks for the first time came face to facewith the T34. [73]

When darkness fell, the marines dug in on a perimeter defense wherethey were. From Hill 102, B Company extended its line over Hill log tothe saddle between it and Hill 117; there it met the defense line of ACompany which bent back down the east slope of 117 to the base of the ridge.During the day the marines had 205 casualties-23 killed, 2 dead of wounds,180 wounded. [74]

While this severe day-long battle had been in progress at Obong-ni,the 34th and 19th Infantry Regiments on the 24th Division right startedtheir attacks late in the afternoon after repeated delays. Heavy air attacksand artillery barrages had already hit on Ohang Hill during the afternoon.This attack moved forward, but with heavy casualties in some units, notablyin L Company, 34th Infantry, which came under enemy fire from the rearat one point. Ohang Hill, overlooking the Naktong River at the northernend of the bulge, fell to the 19th Infantry by dusk. That night the 24thDivision intercepted an enemy radio message stating that North Korean troopsin the bulge area were short of ammunition and requesting permission forthem to withdraw across the Naktong. [75]

Obong-ni Falls

That evening, 17 August, American mortars and artillery registered oncorridors of enemy approach to Obong-ni and Cloverleaf and on probablecenters of enemy troop concentrations. Some artillery pieces fired on theriver crossing sites to prevent enemy reinforcements arriving in the battlearea. On Obong-ni that night, the marines, sure of an enemy counterattack,set trip flares in front of their positions. One quarter of the men stoodguard while the remainder rested. On the left of the line, A Company hadlost its 60-mm. mortars in the evening when four white phosphorus mortarshells struck in the mortar position, destroying the weapons and causingeighteen casualties.

At 0230, 18 August, a green flare signaled the expected enemy attack.Coming from Hill 117, the North Koreans struck A Company and isolated oneplatoon. Their attack formation then drove on and penetrated into B Company.The glare from bursting 81-mm. mortar illuminating shells revealed theNorth Korean method of attack. An enemy squad would rise from the ground,hurl grenades, and rush forward a short distance firing to front and flankwith automatic weapons, and then drop to the ground. Successive enemy groupswould repeat the process. The attack forced A Company from its positions and back into the saddle south of Hill log.In its sector, however, B Company drove the enemy from its perimeter inforty-five minutes of hard fighting. Before daylight the North Korean attackceased.

The total North Korean losses in this night battle was not known, although183 enemy dead were counted later around the A and B Company perimeters.

The Marine losses were heavy. Digging in that evening with 190 men and5 officers, B Company the next morning at daylight had 110 effectives;A Company, starting the night with 185 men, had only 90 men at daylightwho could take their place in the line. [76]

After daylight, the Marine 1st Battalion reorganized, and A Companyprepared to attack south against Hill 117, to which the enemy attack forcehad withdrawn. The company crossed the saddle easily, but machine gun firestopped it on the slope. The company commander called for an air strike.After carefully checking the designated target, a Corsair dropped a 500-poundbomb which scored a direct hit on the enemy emplacement. When bomb fragments,rocks, and dirt had settled, the 3d Platoon leaped to its feet and dashedup the slope. At the enemy emplacement they found the machine gun destroyedand its crew members dead. In five minutes A Company was on top of Hill117. [77]

The attack now continued on across the saddle toward Hill 143. Air strikesand artillery fire greatly helped to win that point. The process was thenrepeated with Hills 147 and 153. At nightfall only one small pocket ofenemy resistance remained on Obong-ni, and it was eliminated the next morning.The formidable ridge had been captured by an attack beginning on the rightflank and moving progressively south and upward along its series of knobsand saddles.

The Enemy Bridgehead Destroyed

While the 1st Battalion was driving to the southern tip of Obong-nion 18 August, the Marine 3d Battalion started an attack from the northernend of the ridge toward Hill 206, the next ridge line westward. The 9thInfantry supported this attack by fire from Cloverleaf. The 3d Battalionwas on its objective within an hour. It met virtually no opposition. [78]

The reason for this easy advance was apparent. At the same time thatthe 3d Battalion was climbing Hill 206, aerial observers, forward artilleryobservers, and front-line infantry units all reported seeing enemy groupsattempting to withdraw westward to the Naktong. They reported this movementabout noon. Forward observers adjusted air bursts (VT) and quick fuze artilleryfire on these groups. Part of the artillery firing on the river crossingsites employed delayed fuzes for greater effectiveness against underwaterswimmers. Fighter planes ranged over the roads and trails leading downthe western slopes to the river and caught many enemy groups in the open. [79]

After the capture of Hill 206, Colonel Murray ordered the 3d Battalionto continue the attack toward Hill 311, the last ridge line in front ofthe Naktong. This attack slanted northwest. At the same time, the 34thand 19th Infantry Regiments on the right flank of the 24th Division drovesouth and southwest into the bulge. Only in a few places was resistancemoderate and as the afternoon wore on even this diminished. Troops of the18th Infantry on Ohang Hill could see groups of 10 to 15 North Koreansin the river, totaling perhaps 75 to 100 at one time, trying to cross tothe west side. Fighter planes strafed these groups all afternoon. Beforedark the Marine 3d Battalion captured most of Hill 311, the 34th Infantrycaptured Hill 240, and the 18th Infantry captured Hill 223-the high hillsfronting the river. [80]

Marines on Hill 311

It was clear by evening, 18 August, that the enemy 4th Divisionwas decisively defeated and its survivors were fleeing westward acrossthe Naktong. The next morning, 19 August, marines and 34th Infantry troopsmet at the Naktong. Prisoners captured that morning said most of the NorthKorean survivors had crossed the river during the night. By afternoon,patrols to the river found no enemy troops. The battle of the Naktong Bulgewas over. [81]

The N.K. 4th Division lost nearly all its heavy equipmentand weapons in the first battle of the Naktong Bulge. The Marine ordnancesection, which gathered up most of the destroyed or abandoned enemy heavierweapons, recovered 34 enemy artillery pieces, 18 of them lined up alongthe Yongsan-Naktong River road for supporting fires along the main axisof enemy attack. The largest enemy artillery piece was 122-mm. in size.The North Korean casualties in this battle were heavy. The 24th Divisionburied more than 1,200 enemy dead. According to prisoners captured at theend of the battle, each of the three rifle regiments of the N.K. 4thDivision had no more than approximately 300 to 400 men left afterthey recrossed to the west side of the river. These prisoners said thatabout one-half their wounded died for lack of medical care. The entire4th Division reportedly numbered about 3,500 men on 19 August at the end of the bulge battle. [82]

After the Obong-ni battle ended, a count of enemy weapons destroyedor abandoned there reportedly included 18 heavy machine guns of Russianor American manufacture, 25 light machine guns, 63 submachine guns of Russianor American manufacture, 8 antitank rifles, 1 3.5-inch rocket launcher,and quantities of ammunition and grenades. Included in the captured enemyequipment was a U.S. Army radio, SCR300, in good operating condition, setto the frequency of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. This indicated thatthe enemy had been intercepting conversations between A and B Companiesthe night of 17-18 August and probably had known precisely their locationsand dispositions. [83]

The destruction, for all practical purposes, of the N.K. 4thDivision in the battle of the Naktong Bulge was the greatest setbacksuffered thus far by the North Korean Army. The 4th Divisionnever recovered from this battle until after the Chinese entered the warand it was reconstituted. Ironically, on 19 August, the day its defeatbecame final, the division received from the North Korean headquartersthe order naming it a "Guard Division" for outstanding accomplishmentsin battle (Taejon). [84]

On the afternoon of 19 August, the bulge battle over, Eighth Army orderedthe 1st Provisional Marine Brigade released from 24th Division control.The brigade, reverting to Eighth Army reserve, assembled in the south nearChangwon, east of Masan, where it remained until 1 September. [85]


[1] 1st Cav Div WD, Aug 50, G-2 Transl 0034, 191100 Aug 50.

[2] Ltr, Ayres to author, 5 June 53; Overlay of 3d Bn, 34th Inf positions, 6 Aug 50, prepared by Col Beauchamp for author.

[3] Beauchamp overlay, 6 Aug 50; Interv, author with Beauchamp, 1 Aug 52; Interv, author with Col Gines Perez, 6 Aug 51.

[4] New York Herald Tribune, August 6, 1950, dispatch from Korea, 5 August.

[5] GHQ FEC, History of the N.K. Army, pp. 41, 58, 75; 24th Div WD, 6 Aug 50; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 94 (N.K. 4th Div), pp. 43, 49.

[6] ATIS Interrog Rpt 612, Issue 1, p. 25, Lt Jun Jai Ro; EUSAK WD, 8 Oct 50, G-2 Sec, PW Interrog, ADVATIS 1074, Jr Lt Chon Cho Hong.

[7] Interv, author with Church, 25 Sep 52; Interv, author with Stephens, 8 Oct 51; Interv, author with Maj Sammy E. Radow, CO 1st Bn, 23d Inf, 16 Aug 51.

[8] Interv, author with Beauchamp, 1 Aug 52; Interv, author with Perez, 6 Aug 51; 13th FA Bn WD, 6 Aug 50; 24th Div WD, 6 Aug 50; EUSAK WD, 7 Aug 50, ATIS Interrog Rpt 452, ADVATIS 307, EUSAK 342, Lee Myong Hyon; ATIS Interrog Rpt 453, Kim T'ae Mo; ATIS Interrog Rpt 453, Col Pak Kum Choi. Colonel Pak gave the strength of the N.K. 26th Regt as follows: 1st Bn-500, 2d Bn-500, 3d Bn-800, Arty Bn-300, all other units-200; total regimental strength, 2,300.

[9] 24th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, entry 601, 061035 Aug 50; 3d Engr (C) Bn, Unit Hist, S-2 Sec, Summ, 6 Aug 50.

[10] Ltr, Ayres to author, 3 Jun 53 and overlay showing 3d and 1st Bn, 34th Inf, positions, 5 Aug 50; AMS 1:50,000 scale map of Korea, L751, 1950, Namji-ri sheet (6820-II).

[11] Ltr, Ayres to author, 5 Jun 53; Interv, author with Ayres, 18 Nov 54; 24th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, 6 Aug 50; 34th Inf WD, 6 Aug 50.

[12] 24th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, entry 571, 060520 Aug 50.

[13] Interv, author with Beauchamp, 1 Aug 52; Interv, author with Ayres, 18 Nov 54; 13th FA Bn WD, 6 Aug 50; 24th Div WD, 6 Aug 50.

[14] Ltr, Ayres to author, 5 Jan 53; Interv, author with Beauchamp, 18 Nov 54; Ltr, Beauchamp to author, 20 May 53, and attached comments.

[15] Ltr, Ayres to author, 5 Jan 53.

[16] 13th FA Bn WD, 6 Aug 50.

[17] 24th Div WD, 6 Aug 50; Interv, author with Cpl Stewart E. Sizemore (D Co, 34th Inf, 6 Aug 50), 30 Jun 51; Ltr, Maj Charles E. Payne to Ayres, 13 Dec 54, copy in OCMH; Interv, author with Ayres, 18 Nov 54.

[18] Ltr, Alfonso to Ayres, 27 Nov 54, copy in OCMH; Interv, author with Ayres, 6 Nov 54; Inter, author with Beauchamp, 18 Nov 54; Ltr, Ayres to author, 5 Jan 53; Ltr and comments, Beauchamp to author, 20 May 53. The 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, had only 20 officers and 471 enlisted men when it began the counterattack on 6 August. See 34th Inf WD, 7 Aug 50.

[19] Ltr, Payne to Ayres, 13 Dec 54; Ltr, Alfonso to Ayres, 27 Nov 54; Intervs, author with Beauchamp, 8 Nov 54, and Ayres, 16 Nov 54.

[20] Ltr, Alfonso to Ayres, 27 Nov 54: Intervs, author with Beauchamp, 18 Nov 54, and Ayres, 16 Nov 54.

[21] Interv, author with Church, 25 Sep 52; Interv, author with Beauchamp, 18 Nov 54; 24th Div WD, 6 Aug 50, and G-3 Jnl. entries 593-96, 061120-061150 Aug 50; 34th Inf WD, 7 Aug 50. [22] Interv, author with Church, 25 Sep 52 24th Div WD, 6 Aug 50 and G-3 Jnl, entry 591, 061110 Aug 50.

[23] 24th Div Arty WD. 23 Jul-25 Aug 50.

[24] 24th Div WD, 6-7 Aug 50.

[25] Ibid., Opn Instr 18, 061900 Aug 50.

[26] 9th Inf WD, 8 Aug 50; 34th Inf WD, 8 Aug 50, 24th Div WD, 8 Aug 50; ATIS Interrog Rpt 602, 19 Aug 50, Issue 1, pp. 4-5, Lee Ki Sun, 2d Bn, 18th Regt, N.K. 4th Div.

[27] 19th Inf WD, 7 Aug 50; 34th Inf WD, 7 Aug 50.

[28] Tugok is represented on the 1:50,000 scale map of Korea as Morisil. To the troops at the time, however, this village was known as Tugok and that name is used in the text.

[29] Interv, author with Hill, 1 Oct 52; Brig Gen John J. Hill, MS review comments, 2 Jan 58. The designation (-) has been used to indicate a combat organization that is lacking one or more of its organic units.

[30] 24th Div WD, 8 Aug 50.

[31] Interv, author with Hill, 1 Oct 52; Interv, author with Beauchamp, 18 Nov 54: Ltr and comments, Beauchamp to author, 20 May 53; 9th RCT Opn Ord 4, 081315 Aug 50: Ibid., Unit Rpt 1, 8 Aug 50.

[32] Interv, author with Hill, 1 Oct 52; 24th Div WD, 8-9 Aug 50.

[33] Ltr, Alfonso to Ayres, 27 Nov 54: Interv, author with Ayres, 16 Nov 54; 34th Inf WD, 9 Aug 50.

[34] 34th Inf WD, 9-11 Aug 50.

[35] 24th Div WD, 9-11 Aug 50: EUSAK WD, 22 Aug 50, ATIS Interrog Rpt 703, Kim Chi Ho; Hill, MS review comments, 2 Jan 58; Interv, author with Montesclaros, 1 Oct 52. In the 2d Battalion, 19th Infantry, F Company effectives numbered about 25; G Company, about 40; and E Company about 30.

[36] 24th Div WD, 10 Aug 50; EUSAK WD, Briefing for CG, 10 Aug 50; Ltr, Church to author, 7 Jul 53; Ltr, Hill to author, 15 Apr 53.

[37] 24th Div WD, 10-11 Aug 50; Intervs, author with Hill, 1 Oct 52, and Beauchamp, 18 Nov 54.

[38] 24th Div WD, 11 Aug 50; 9th RCT Unit Rpt 4, 10-11 Aug 50; ATIS Interrog Rpts, Issue Nr 1, p. 90, Nr 644, 21 Aug 50, Kim Dok Sam; Ibid., Issue Nr 2, p. 8. Rpt Nr 703; EUSAK WD, 28 Sep 50, ADVATIS Interrog Rpt of Maj Choe Chu Yong, Opns Officer, N.K. Arty Regt, 4th Div; Ltr, Hill to author, 15 Apr 53.

[39] 9th RCT Unit Rpt 4, 10-11 Aug 50; 24th Div WD, 11 Aug 50: EUSAK WD, 28 Sep 50, Interrog Rpt of Maj Choe Chu Yong; EUSAK WD, 18 Aug 50, G-2 Sec, ATIS Interrog Rpt 644. Kim Dok Sam, a ROK officer, monitored enemy radio conversations about N.K. artillery positions.

[40] 24th Div WD, 10-11 Aug 50; 27th Inf WD, 10 Aug 50; Ltr, Hill to author, 15 Apr 53; Ltr, Beauchamp to author, 20 May 53.

[41] 19th Inf WD, 11 Aug 50; 24th Div WD, 11 Aug 50; EUSAK WD, Aug 50 Summ, 10 Aug; Interv, author with Hill, 1 Oct 52; Ltr, Murch to author, 7 Apr 54.

[42] Interv, author with Hill, 1 Oct 52; 24th Div WD, 11-12 Aug 50; New York Herald Tribune, August 14, 1950, Bigart dispatch. General Order 111, 30 August 1950, awarded the Silver Star to 1st Lt. William F. Coghill for gallantry in this action, 24th Div WD.

[43] Interv, author with Hill, 1 Oct 52; Ltr, Church to author, 7 Jul 53.

[44] Ltr, Murch to author, 7 Apr 54; Interv, author with Murch, 18 Mar 54; 27th Inf WD, 11 Aug 50.

[45] Ltr, Murch to author, 7 Apr 54; 24th Div WD, 12 Aug 50; 27th Inf WD, 12 Aug 50; 2d Bn, 27th Inf WD, Aug 50 Summ of Activities.

[46] 27th Inf WD, 13 Aug 60; GHQ FEC G-3 Opn Rpt 51, 14 Aug 50; 24th Div WD, 13 Aug 50.

[47] 23d Inf WD, Aug 50 Narr Summ.

[48] 27th Inf WD, 14 Aug 50.

[49] 34th Inf WD, 14 Aug 50; Interv, author with Hill, 1 Oct 52; Ltr, Hill to author, 15 Apr 53.

[50] 9th RCT Opn Ord 5, 131300 Aug 50; 24th Div WD, 13 Aug 50; 19th Inf WD, 13 Aug 50; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 94 (N.K. 4th Div), pp. 48-49.

[51] 9th RCT Unit Rpt 9, 14 Aug 50, gives the strength of its 1st Battalion as 599 enlisted men and that of the 2d Battalion as 609 enlisted men, against an authorized strength of 883 enlisted men each. Ayres, Notes for author, 24 Jan 55.

[52] 9th RCT Unit Rpt 7, 13-14 Aug 50; Overlay to accompany FO 5, 9th RCT, 131230 Aug 50; 24th Div WD, 13-14 Aug 50; Interv, author with Hill,1 Oct 52.

[53] Capt Perry Davis, The 2d Infantry Division in Korea, July-September 1950, MS, copy in OCMH (Davis was Public Info Off, 2d Div); Interv, author with Hill, 1 Oct 52.

[54] Interv, author with Hill, 1 Oct 52; Hill, MS review comments, 2 Jan 58; 24th Div WD, 14-15 Aug 50.

[55] Gugeler, Combat Actions in Korea, ch. 2, "Attack Along a Ridgeline," pp. 20-29; 24th Div WD, 15 Aug 50; Abstract of A Co, 34th Inf Morning Rpts, 14-15 Aug 50. In his account, Gugeler describes all the action as taking place on 15 August. Some of the preliminary incidents took place on the 14th, according to the morning reports of the company.

[56] Intervs, author with Church, 25 Sep 52, and Hill. 1 Oct 52.

[57] Interv, author with Church, 25 Sep 52.

[58] Collier, MS review comments, 10 Mar 58.

[59] EUSAK Opn Dir, 15 Aug 50: 24th Div WD, 16 Aug 50. The 24th Division headquarters received the formal order the morning of 16 August.

[60] 24th Div WD, 16 Aug 50; 9th RCT Unit Rpt 9, 15-16 Aug 50.

[61] 24th Div WD, 12-16 Aug 50; 21st Inf WD, 12-16 Aug 50; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 104 (N.K. 10th Div), p. 47; Capt William M. Glasgow, Jr., Platoon Leader in Korea, MS in OCMH (Glasgow was Ldr, 2d Plat, B Co, 23d Inf, ad Div); Interv, author with Stephens, 8 Oct 51; EUSAK WD, 5 Aug 50, G-3 Sec, Briefing for CG; 23d Inf WD, Aug 50 Summ.

[62] EUSAK WD, 30 Aug 50, ATIS Interrog Rpt 880, Paek Yong Hwan; ATIS Interrog Rpts, Issue 3, p. 180; 9th RCT Unit Rpt 7, 13-14 Aug 50.

[63] Interv, author with Church, 25 Sep 52; Interv, author with Hill, 1 Oct 52.

[64] 24th Div Opn Directive 1, 16 Aug 50; Ibid., Opn Instr 25, 16 Aug 50; Ibid., WD, 16 Aug 50; Ibid., Div Arty WD, 23 Jul-25 Aug 50; Wood, "Artillery Support for the Brigade in Korea," Marine Corps Gazette (June, 1951), p. 19; Interv, author with Hill, 1 Oct 52; Ltr and comments, Beauchamp to author, 20 May 53.

[65] 5th Mar SAR, 2 Aug-6 Sep 50, 16 Aug: 1st Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 7 Jul-6 Sep 50, 17 Aug: 24th Div WD, 17 Aug 50.

[66] Interv, author with Church, 25 Sep 52; Interv, author with Canzona and Montross, Jun 54. See also Montross and Canzona, The Pusan Perimeter, pp. 176-77. (The text and map, page 180, incorrectly identify Cloverleaf Hill.)

[67] Interv, author with Church, 25 Sep 52; 2d Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 7 Jul-31 Aug 50, pp. 8-9.

[68] 5th Mar SAR, 2 Aug-6 Sep 50, Incl 4, sketch of 2d Bn attack, and 17 Aug 50; Andrew C. Geer, The New Breed: the Story of the U.S. Marines in Korea (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1952). Geer interviewed survivors of the assault group.

[69] 2d Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 7 Jul-31 Aug 50, p. 9: Geer, The New Breed; Montross and Canzona, The Pusan Perimeter, p. 183; Newsweek, August 28, 1950; New York Times, August 18, 1950.

[70] 5th Mar SAR, 17 Aug 50; 1st Bn, 5th Mar SAR, Aug 50.

[71] Intervs, author with Church, 25 Sep 52, and Hill, 1 Oct 52.

[72] Ibid.; 9th RCT Unit Rpt 10, 16-17 Aug 50. The author was unable to find the 9th Regimental Combat Team War Diary for August 1950.

[73] 1st Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 17 Jul 50; Geer, The New Breed, p. 71. [74] 1st Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 17 Aug 50: 5th Mar SAR, 2 Aug-6 Sep 50. sketch 5. N.K. counterattack, night of 17-18 August; Geer, The New Breed.

[75] 24th Div WD, 17 Aug 50; 34th Inf WD, Summ, 22 Jul-26 Aug 50; 13th FA Bn WD, 17 Aug 50: 19th Inf Unit Rpt 38, 17 Aug 50; Interv, author with Montesclaros, 1 Oct 52; Ltr and comments, Beauchamp to author, 20 May 53.

[76] 1st Bn, 5th Mar SAR 17-18 Aug 50: Wood, "Artillery Support for the Brigade in Korea," op. cit., p. 37; Geer, The New Breed, p. 76. There is some discrepancy in the Marine casualty figures.

[77] 1st Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 18 Aug 50; Geer, The New Breed, p. 77-79; Montross and Canzona, The Pusan Perimeter, p. 200. [78] 3d Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 18 Aug 50.

[79] Wood, "Artillery Support for the Brigade in Korea," op cit.; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpt., Issue 94 (N.K. 4th Div). p. 49.

[80] 3d Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 18 Aug 50; 24th Div WD, 18 Aug 50; Interv, author with Montesclaros, 1 Oct 52.

[81] 3d Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 19 Aug 50; 24th Div WD, 19 Aug 50; 1st Prov Mar Brig SAR, 19 Aug 50, p. 13.

[82] Wood, "Artillery Support for the Brigade in Korea," op. cit.; GHQ FEC Sitrep, 20 Aug 50; 24th Div WD, 19 Aug 50; 24th Div Arty WD, 22 Jul-25 Aug 50; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpt, Issue 94 (N.K. 4th Div), p. 49; EUSAK WD, 21 Aug 50, ATIS Interrog Rpt 705, Mun Il Pun; Ibid., 8 Oct 50, G-2 Sec, ADVATIS 1074, Jr Lt Chon Cho Hong, N.K. 4th Div Hq, said the 18th Regt had 900 men left; Ibid., 28 Sep 50, ADVATIS, Maj Choe Chu Yong, Opn Off, Arty Regt, 4th Div, said the division artillery crossed the Naktong with 12 guns and lost them all; ATIS Interrog Rpts, Issue 2, Rpt 703, p. 8, Kim Chi Ho; Interv, author with Church, 25 Sep 52.

[83] 2d Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 19 Aug 50, p. 9 (this source says there were 36 enemy machine guns on Obong-ni); 1st Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 18 Aug 50.

[84] GHQ FEC, History of the N.K. Army, p. 75: ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 94 (N.K. 4th Div), p. 49.

[85] 24th Div WD, 19 Aug 50; 1st Prov Mar Brig SAR, 19 Aug 50; Ibid., 22 Aug-1 Sep 50, p. 14.

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

        KOREAN WAR TIME LINE         
     Tanks and Fighting Vehicles     
               Enemy Weapons              

     Korean War, 1950-1953        
  Map and Battles of the MLR   
                 SEARCH SITE                  

The Foundations of Freedom are the Courage of Ordinary People and Quality of our Arms

-  A   VETERAN's  Blog  -
Today's Issues and History's Lessons

  Danish Muslim Cartoons  

  Guest Book