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The Taegu Front

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)
Make a round of the troops immediately after a battle, or even the nextday after, before the reports have been drawn up, and ask any of the soldiersand senior and junior officers how the affair went: you will be told whatall these men experienced and saw, and you will form a majestic, complex,infinitely varied, depressing, and indistinct impression; and from no one-leastof all from the commander in chief-will you learn what the whole affairwas like.
LEO TOLSTOY, Some Words About War and Peace

General Walker's primary objective in August was to retain a footholdin Korea. From this he intended to launch an attack later when his forceswere of sufficient strength. Walker kept saying to his key staff officersand to his principal commanders substantially the following: "Youkeep your mind on the fact that we will win this thing by attacking. Neverlet an opportunity to attack pass. I want the capability and opportunityto pass to the offensive. Until that time comes I want all commanders toattack-to raid-to capture prisoners and thus keep the enemy off balance.If that is done, more and more opportunities to hurt the enemy will ariseand our troops will be better prepared to pass to a general offensive whenthings are ripe. [1]

General Walker wanted the foothold in Korea to include the rail routefrom Pusan north through Miryang to Taegu, eastward to Kyongju, and backto Pusan. (See Map IV.) This would make possible thelogistical support necessary for a breakout offensive later. To retainthis circumferential communication net, General Walker had to combine afine sense of timing with a judicious use of the small reserves he wasable to assemble at any given time. [2] He had to know just when to movehis limited reserves and where. They had to be at the right place and nottoo late. A study of the defensive fighting of the Pusan Perimeter by EighthArmy and the ROK Army will reveal that Walker proved himself a master init.

The difficulty of forming a small reserve was one of the principal problemsthat confronted the Eighth Army staff during August and September 1950. It was a daily concern to the EighthArmy commander. Colonel Landrum, Eighth Army's chief of staff during August,considered it one of his most important daily tasks to find any unit thatcould be "tagged" as an army reserve. This search included bothEighth Army and ROK troops. It was considered a certainty that any troopsso designated would be committed somewhere on the Perimeter within twenty-fourto forty-eight hours. One of General Walker's daily greetings to his chiefof staff was, "Landrum, how many reserves have you dug up for me today?"[3]

General Walker left most of the headquarters work to his staff. He spentthe greater part of each day on visits to his combat units. It fell toColonel Landrum to keep him fully informed of what had happened aroundthe Perimeter front during his absence from headquarters. Landrum did thisevery day when Walker returned to Taegu. In addition to keeping in closetouch with the army G-2, G-3, and G-3, Air, Colonel Landrum made it a practiceto telephone each major combat unit sometime between 2200 and midnighteach night and talk with the unit commander or the chief off staff aboutthe situation on that part of the front. This provided fresh informationand reflected the state of mind of the various commanders at that moment.On the basis of these nightly telephone calls, General Walker often plannedhis trips the next day. He went where he felt a serious situation was ormight be developing. [4]

The central, or Taegu, front was to present its full measure of problemsinvolving the use of limited reserves hastily assembled from another partof the perimeter. It was a sector where the Eighth Army commander neededto make a reasonably correct appraisal of the situation day by day. Forhere several corridors of approach southward converged on the valley ofthe Naktong, and the enemy forces advancing down these corridors were assemblingin relatively great strength in close supporting distance of each other.The enemy frontal pressure against Taegu developed concurrently with thaton both flanks already described.

The North Koreans Cross the Naktong for the Attack on Taegu

The enemy forces assembled in an arc around Taegu, from south to north,were the N.K. 10th, 3d, 15th, 13th, and 1stDivisions, and elements of the 105th Armored Division.They reached from Tuksong-dong on the south northward around Waegwan toKunwi. [5] This concentration north and west of Taegu indicated that theNorth Koreans expected to use the natural corridor of the Naktong valleyfrom Sangju to Taegu as a principal axis of attack in the next phase oftheir drive south. [6] (Map 13)

Map 13

Across the Naktong opposite the five North Korean divisions, in earlyAugust, were, from south to north, the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division and theROK 1st and 6th Divisions of the ROK II Corps. The boundary between the 1stCavalry Division and the ROK 1st Division lay about two miles north ofWaegwan and ten air miles northwest of Taegu. The 70th Divisionand part of the 3d Division were opposite the 1st CavalryDivision. Opposite the ROK 1st and 6th Divisions were part of the 3d,and the 15th, 13th, and 1st Divisions, togetherwith supporting units of the 105th Armored Division.

Like the 24th Infantry Division just south of it, the 1st Cavalry Divisionhad a long front. From south to north, the 7th, 8th, and 5th Cavalry Regimentswere on line in that order. The two battalions of the 8th Cavalry Regimentwest of Taegu each had a front of about 10,000 yards. The 5th Cavalry Regimentat Waegwan had a front of 14,000 yards. [7] In order to provide artilleryfire support for such great frontages, the artillery firing batteries wereplaced about 7,000 yards behind the front lines and about 6,000 to 7,000yards apart. Each battery laid its guns on two different deflections. Byshifting trails it was possible to mass the battery fire. In some instances,two batteries could mass their fire, but an entire artillery battalioncould not do so because of the great flank distance within a regimentalsector. The artillery tried to achieve volume of fire by rapidity of firing.In one instance, ten 105-mm. howitzers fired 120 rounds in seventy seconds,an average of one round every six seconds for each gun. [8]

In the north, the N.K. 1st Division between 6 and 8 Augustcrossed the Naktong River between Hamch'ang and Sangju in the zone of theROK 6th Division. On 6 August, American planes observed ten barges engagedin ferrying troops across the river. The enemy division, although reinforcedby 2,500 green replacement troops-partly at Hamch'ang and partly aftercrossing the river-was still only at half-strength. Many of the replacementsdid not have weapons and were used in rear areas in miscellaneous duties.This division, upon attacking toward Kunwi, met stubborn resistance fromthe ROK 6th Division and did not reach that town, twenty-five air milesdue north of Taegu, until about 17 August. In battle there with the ROK6th Division, it suffered further losses before it was able to advancesouth to the Tabu-dong area and the approaches to Taegu. [9]

South of the N.K. 1st Division, the 13th Divisionhad started crossing the Naktong during the night of 4-5 August. On the5th the main part of its 21st Regiment crossed at Naktong-ni,forty air miles northwest of Taegu on the Sangju road. After the crossingwas discovered, some of the enemy soldiers came under aerial strafing attackswhile they were still in the water and ROK artillery and mortar fire wasdirected at the crossing site. On the south bank the regiment came undercontinuing aerial and artillery fire, but with unknown casualties. Thatnight the 19th Regiment crossed the river in the path ofthe 21st the men holding their weapons over their heads and wadingin neck-deep water. They left behind their heavy weapons and vehicles. Thenthe following night, 6-7 August, the third regiment of the division, the23d, together with two battalions of artillery, crossed below Naktong-nion rafts. These crossings of the N.K. 13th Division werein the zone of the ROK 1st Division, but were several miles from that division'sprepared positions. [10]

ROK troops attacked the 13th Division immediately afterit crossed, forcing it into the mountains. There, the N.K. 13thDivision, its elements uniting on the east side, launched a concertednight attack, broke the ROK defenses, and began an advance that carriedit twenty miles southeast of Naktong-ni on the main road to Taegu. A weekafter crossing the Naktong, the 13th Division and the 1stDivision were converging on the Tabu-dong area, about fifteen milesdue north of Taegu. There lay the critical terrain for the northern defenseof the city. [11]

The N.K. 15th Division, next of the enemy divisions inline southward, received approximately 1,500 replacements at Kumch'on on5 August, which brought its strength to about 6,500 men. The next day its45th Regiment marched northeast toward the Naktong. The regimentpassed through Sonsan on 7 August and crossed the river southeast of thattown. United Nations planes strafed part of it in the crossing. Once acrossthe river, the regiment headed into the mountains, encountering no oppositionat first. The other two regiments, the 48th and 50th, departedKumch'on later and began crossing the Naktong between Indong and Waegwanbefore dawn of 8 August. The men waded the river in four feet of waterat two ferry sites, four and six miles north of Waegwan. Tanks and vehiclescrossed on an underwater bridge at the upper ferry site. The major initialcrossing occurred at the upper ferry site six miles from Waegwan wherean estimated two battalions and at least two tanks had crossed by 0810.The North Koreans supported this crossing by direct tank fire from thewest side of the river. The Air Force estimated seven tanks were in firingposition there. These tanks evidently succeeded in crossing the river duringthe day. The N.K. 15th Division seized Hills 201 and 346on the east side of the river at the crossing site, before advancing eastwardinto the mountains toward Tabu-dong, seven air miles distant. [12]

Considering these enemy crossings the most serious threat yet to appearagainst Taegu, Eighth Army made plans to support the ROK Army with Americantroops in the event of an enemy penetration. The Air Force, in the meantime,discovered the underwater bridge six miles north of Waegwan and dropped1,000-pound bombs on it with undetermined results. [13]

The ROK 1st Division the next day reported it had regained the high ground at the crossing sites. Theenemy force, however, had not been destroyed or driven back across theriver. It had simply moved on eastward deeper into the mountains. Between12 and 16 August the three regiments of the N.K. 15th Division unitedon the east side of the Naktong in the vicinity of Yuhak-san, a towering2,800-foot peak, five miles east of the crossing site and three miles northwestof Tabu-dong. The N.K. 13th Division was already locked incombat on Yuhak-san with the ROK 1st Division. [14]

Opposite, and south of, Waegwan, two enemy divisions stood ready tocross the Naktong in a co-ordinated attack with the divisions to the north.The first of these, the N.K. 3d Division, was concentratedin the vicinity of Songju, four miles southwest of Waegwan. Ten miles belowthe 3d, the N.K. 10th Division was concentrated inthe Koryong area. Both these divisions were opposite the 1st Cavalry Division.

The 7th Regiment of the 3d Division startedcrossing the Naktong about 0300 9 August at a ferry site near the villageof Noch'on, two miles south of the Waegwan bridge. The river at this pointhad a firm sandy bottom and a depth of five feet. The troops waded acrossholding their weapons above the water. Discovering the crossing, elementsof the 5th Cavalry Regiment directed automatic weapons fire against theenemy force and called in pre-registered artillery fire on the crossingsite. Although the enemy regiment suffered some casualties, the bulk ofit reached the east bank safely and moved inland into the hills. [15] Oneof the soldiers wrote in his diary of the crossing:

Gradually advanced toward the river. Enemy shelling is fierce. Arrivedat the shores of the river. The terrible enemy has sent up flares. TheNaktong River is flowing quietly and evenly. Entered the river. After advancing200 meters, shooting began with the firing of an enemy flare. The noiseis ringing in my ears. Have already crossed the river. Occupied a hill.A new day is already breaking. [16]

Half an hour after the 7th Regiment had crossed, the 8thand 9th Regiments started crossing the river south of it.By this time, the 5th Cavalry Regiment and all its supporting mortars andartillery were fully alerted. Flares and star shells brightly illuminatedthese two North Korean regiments in midstream. American fire from all supportingweapons, with the artillery playing the dominant role, decimated the enemytroops and turned them back to the west side. Only a small number reachedthe east side. There, either they were captured or they hid until the nextnight when they recrossed the river. [17]

Triangulation Hill

At daylight, 9 August, General Gay at 1st Cavalry Division headquartersin Taegu learned of the enemy crossing in his division sector south ofWaegwan. As first reports were vague, he decided to withhold action untilhe learned more about the situation. A report informed him that 1st Lt.Harry A. Buckley, Acting S-2, 5th Cavalry Regiment, had personal knowledgeof the enemy crossing. General Gay sent for the lieutenant and, while awaitinghis arrival, placed the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, in reserveon one-hour alert.

Upon reporting to General Gay at the division headquarters, LieutenantBuckley stated:

Just prior to daylight this morning, I, with a small group of men fromthe I&R Platoon, was on reconnaissance. Approximately 45 minutes priorto daylight, I observed enemy forces moving up the ridge line just northwestof Hill 268. The enemy were moving at a dog trot in groups of four. Everyfourth man carried an automatic weapon, either a light machine gun or aburp gun. I watched them until they had all disappeared into the brushon Hill 268. In my opinion, and I counted them carefully, the enemy wasin strength of a reinforced battalion, approximately 750 men. General,I am not a very excitable person and I know what I saw, when I saw it,where I was when I saw it, and where the enemy was going. [18]

A few minutes later, General Walker arrived at the division headquarters.He asked General Gay what his plans were. The latter replied that at leastan enemy battalion had crossed the Naktong and was on Hill 268, that anotherenemy regiment was at that moment trying to cross the river under heavyfire from the 5th Cavalry Regiment, and that as soon as he was sure ofhis ground he was going to attack the enemy on Hill 268 and drive themback across the river. Walker commented, "Fine, be sure you are rightbefore you move because this enemy battalion might be a feint and the realattack could well be coming farther to the left. [19] Events were laterto prove this possibility correct.

At 0930, 9 August, General Gay ordered Lt. Col. Peter D. Clainos, commandingthe 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, to eliminate the enemy penetration.The battalion moved at once from its bivouac area just outside of Taegu,accompanied by five tanks of A Company, 71st Heavy Tank Battalion. Thismotorized force proceeded to the foot of Hill 268, also known as TriangulationHill, three miles southeast of Waegwan and ten air miles northwest of Taegu.The 61st Field Artillery Battalion meanwhile heavily shelled the hill.The hill was doubly important because of its proximity to lines of communication.The main Korean north-south highway from time immemorial, and the maindouble-track Pusan-Seoul-Harbin, Manchuria, railroad skirted its base.[20]

Triangulation Hill

At noon the artillery fired a preparation on Hill 268, and the 1st Battalionthen attacked it under orders to continue on southwest to Hill 154. Hill268 was covered with thick brush about four feet high and some trees eightto ten feet high. The day was very hot. Many 1st Battalion soldiers collapsedfrom heat exhaustion during the attack, which was not well co-ordinatedwith artillery fire. The enemy repulsed the attack. [21]

The next morning, 10 August, air strikes and artillery preparationsblasted Hill 268. According to prisoners, these fires caused extremelyheavy losses and created chaos in the enemy regiment.

During the morning, the assistant division commander, the chief of staff,the G-2, and several military police were ambushed and nearly all woundedon the Waegwan road at Hill 268. That afternoon, General Gay and his aidestopped near Hill 268 to talk with the 1st Battalion executive officerand a small group of men. An enemy mortar shell made a direct hit on thegroup, killing or wounding everyone there except Gay and his aide. Gayordered five tanks to proceed along the Waegwan road until they could firefrom the northwest into the reverse slope of the enemy-held hill. Thistank fire caught the enemy soldiers there as they were seeking refuge fromthe artillery fire. Trapped between the two fires they started to vacatetheir positions. An infantry attack then reached the top of the hill withouttrouble and the battle was over by 1600. American artillery and mortarfire now shifted westward and cut off the enemy retreat. One time-on-targetmission of white phosphorus fired by the 61st Field Artillery Battalionat this time caught a large number of enemy soldiers in a village whereAmerican ground troops later found 200 enemy dead. That evening the 1stBattalion, 7th Cavalry, reverted to division reserve, and elements of the5th Cavalry finished mopping up on Hill 268 and vicinity. [22]

When Hill 268 was examined carefully on 13 August, the enemy dead, equipment,and documents found there indicated that the 7th Regimentof the N.K. 3d Division had been largely destroyed. The 1stBattalion, 7th Cavalry, counted between 300 and 400 enemy dead in the battlearea. The battalion itself suffered 14 men killed, and 48 wounded in the2-day battle. [23]

Prisoners taken in the final action which cleared Hill 268 agreed substantiallythat about 1,000 men of the 7th Regiment had crossed theNaktong to Hill 268, and that about 700 of them became casualties. Theprisoners also agreed that artillery and mortars had inflicted most ofthe crippling casualties on the regiment. After crossing to the east sideof the Naktong, the enemy regiment had received no food or ammunition supply.An estimated 300 survivors recrossed the river to the west side the nightof 10-11 August. [24]

The N.K. 3d Division's attempted crossing of the Naktongsouth of Waegwan had ended in catastrophe. When the survivors of the 7thRegiment rejoined the division on or about 12 August, the once mighty3d Division was reduced to a disorganized unit of some 2,500men. The North Korean Army placed the division in reserve to be rebuiltby replacements. [25] This division, which had been the first to enterSeoul at the beginning of the war, fought the battle of Choch'iwon, crossedthe Kum River before Taejon and defeated the 18th Infantry there, joinedsubsequently with the 4th Division in the capture of Taejon,and drove the 1st Cavalry Division from Yongdong, was now temporarily outof the fight for Taegu.

The Enemy 10th Division's Crossing at Yongpo

The North Korean plan for the attack against Taegu from the west andsouthwest had called for the N.K. 10th Division to make aco-ordinated attack with the N.K. 3d Division. The 10thDivision so far had not been in combat. It had started from Sukch'on forthe front by rail about 25 July. At Ch'onan it left the trains and continuedsouthward on foot, passing through Taejon and arriving at the Naktong oppositeWaegwan on or about 8 August. There it received its combat orders two dayslater. Its mission was to cross the Naktong River in the vicinity of Tuksong-dong,penetrate east, and cut the Taegu-Pusan main supply road. The divisionassembled in the Koryong area the next day, 11 August. There it was astridethe main highway running northeast to Taegu over a partially destroyedNaktong bridge. [26]

Eighth Army purposely had not completely destroyed this bridge; it waspassable for foot soldiers but not for vehicles. In its partially destroyed condition it provided somethingof a trap if used by an enemy crossing force, because the bridge and itsapproaches channeled any enemy movement over it and were completely coveredby pre-registered mortar and artillery fire. To this was to be added thefire of infantry weapons located in good defensive positions on the hillsnear the river.

Two regiments of the N.K. 10th Division, the 29thon the south and the 25th on the north, were to make the assaultcrossing with the 27th Regiment in reserve. The commanderof the 25th Regiment issued an order on the eve of the crossing,stating that the objective was to "destroy the enemy in Taegu Cityin coordination with the 3d Infantry Division." [27]

The 2d Battalion, 29th Regiment, was the firstunit of the division to cross the river. Its troops waded unopposed tothe east side, during the night of 11-12 August, at three ferry sites 3to 5 miles due west of Hyongp'ung. This battalion climbed Hill 265, a northernspur of Hill 409, 2 miles southwest of Hyongp'ung, and set up machine gunpositions. The other two battalions then crossed and occupied Hill 409.About twenty to thirty men of the 1st Battalion reportedlydrowned in the 5-foot-deep swift current in this crossing. It will be recalledthat this enemy force in the Hill 409 area ambushed an I&R patrol fromthe 21st Infantry Regiment of the 24th Division, on the morning of 12 August,when it moved north along the river road trying to establish contact withthe 7th Cavalry Regiment during the battle of the Naktong Bulge. [28]

On the north flank, the 25th Regiment started crossingthe Naktong about 0300, 12 August, in the vicinity of the partially blownhighway bridge at Tuksong-dong, on the Koryong-Taegu road. The 2d Battalion,7th Cavalry Regiment, covered this crossing site fourteen miles southwestof Taegu. By daylight, an enemy force of 300 to 400 men had penetratedto Wich'on-dong. There, H Company, 7th Cavalry Regiment, engaged it inclose combat. In a grenade and automatic weapons attack, the North Koreansoverran the advance positions of the company, the mortar observation post,and the heavy machine gun positions. The initial enemy objective seemedto be to gain possession of the high ground east of Yongp'o in order toprovide protection for the main crossing that was to follow. By 0900, however,the 2d Battalion, with the powerful help of the 77th Field Artillery Battalionand of air strikes, drove the enemy troops back through Yongp'o towardthe bridge and dispersed them. [23]

It could not be assumed that this failure would end the efforts of theN.K. 10th Division west of Taegu. In the three days from10 to 12 August the Naktong River had dropped three feet and was only shoulder-deepat many places. The opportunity for large-scale enemy crossings was athand. [30]

A more determined enemy crossing of the Naktong in the vicinity of theblown bridge between Tuksong-dong and Yongp'o began about dawn, 14 August.Men in the outposts of the 2d Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, at 0520heard voices in the pea patches and rice paddies to their front. By 0620,an estimated 500 enemy soldiers had penetrated as far as Yongp'o. Fifteenminutes later, close combat was in progress in the 2d Battalion positionsnear Wich'on-dong, a mile east of the crossing site. [31]

When word of the enemy crossing reached the 1st Cavalry Division commandpost before daylight, General Gay alerted his division reserve, ColonelClainos' 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, to move on an hour's notice. MoreNorth Koreans crossed the river in the hours after daylight, and at 0800General Gay ordered Colonel Clainos' battalion, already loaded into trucks,to move to the Yongp'o area to support the 2d Battalion.

Enemy artillery and tank fire from the west side of the river was supportingthe crossing. At midmorning, large additional enemy forces just west ofthe river at Tuksong-dong and Panjang apparently were about ready to attempta crossing in support of the units already heavily engaged on the eastside. Some enemy troops were crossing in barges near the bridge. Air strikesbombed the North Koreans on the west side and artillery then took themunder heavy fire. The 77th Field Artillery Battalion fired approximately1,860 rounds into the enemy concentration. In delivering this heavy, rapidfire it damaged its gun tubes. [32]

In this attack the deepest North Korean penetration reached Samuni-dong,about a mile and a half beyond the blown bridge. There the combined fireof all infantry weapons, mortars, and artillery drove the enemy back towardthe river. By noon, large groups of North Koreans were trying to recrossthe river to the west side. Forward observers adjusted artillery and mortarfire on the retreating enemy, causing heavy casualties.

By dusk, the 7th cavalry had eliminated the enemy bridgehead at Yongp'o.In this battle, as in the one fought two days before, the 2d Battaliondistinguished itself. This was the same battalion that only three weeksearlier had performed in a highly unsatisfactory manner east of Yongdong.

In this river-crossing battle, the only major one to take place alongthe Naktong actually at a crossing site, the 25th and 27thRegiments of the N.K. 70th Division suffered cripplinglosses. The 7th Cavalry Regiment estimated that of 1,700 enemy who hadsucceeded in crossing the river, 1,500 were killed. Two days after thebattle, H Company reported it had buried 267 enemy dead behind its lines,while those in the rice paddies to its front were not counted. In frontof its position, G Company counted 150 enemy dead. In contrast, G Companylost only 2 men killed and 3 wounded during the battle. One of its members,Pfc. Robert D. Robertson, a machine gunner, twice had bullets pierce hishelmet in the half-inch space above his scalp and tear through several letters and photographs he carriedthere, but leave him unhurt. [33]

Among the enemy dead were found the bodies of two colonels. Found, also,were many enemy documents. One of these documents, dated 13 August, saidin part:

Kim Il Sung has directed that the war be carried out so that its finalvictory can be realized by 15 August, fifth anniversary of the liberationof Korea....

Our victory lies before our eyes. Young soldiers! You are fortunatein that you are able to participate in the battle for our final victory.Young soldiers, the capture of Taegu lies in the crossing of the NaktongRiver ... The eyes of 30,000,000 people are fixed on the Naktong Rivercrossing operation ...

Pledge of all fighting men: We pledge with our life no matter what hardshipsand sacrifice lies before us, to bear it and put forth our full effortto conclude the crossing of the Naktong River. Young Men! Let us protectour glorious pride by completely annihilating the enemy!! [34]

These words may have stirred the young soldiers of the N.K. 10thDivision but their promise was not fulfilled. Instead, the Naktongvalley and surrounding hills were to hold countless North Korean graves.In its first combat mission, the crossing of the Naktong on 12-14 August,the 10th Division, according to prisoners, suffered 2,500casualties, some units losing as much as 50 percent of their troops. [35]

Hill 303 at Waegwan

Almost simultaneously with the major enemy crossing effort in the southernpart of the 1st Cavalry Division sector at Tuksong-dong and Yongp'o, anotherwas taking place northward above Waegwan near the boundary between thedivision and the ROK 1st Division. The northernmost unit of the 1st CavalryDivision was G Company of the 5th Cavalry Regiment. It held Hill 303, theright-flank anchor of the U.S. Eighth Army.

Hill 303 is an elongated oval more than two miles long on a northeast-southwestaxis with an extreme elevation of about 1,000 feet. It is the first hillmass north of Waegwan. Its southern slope comes down to the edge of thetown; its crest, a little more than a mile to the northeast, towers nearly950 feet above the river. It gives observation of Waegwan, the road netrunning out of the town, the railroad and highway bridges across the riverat that point, and of long stretches of the river valley to the north andto the south. Its western slope terminates at the east bank of the Naktong.From Waegwan a road ran north and south along the east bank of the Naktong,another northeast through the mountains toward Tabu-dong, and still anothersoutheast toward Taegu. Hill 303 was a critical terrain feature in controlof the main Pusan-Seoul railroad and highway crossing of the Naktong, aswell as of Waegwan itself.

Waegwan Bridge

For several days intelligence sources had reported heavy enemy concentrationsacross the Naktong opposite the ROK 1st Division. In the first hours of14 August, an enemy regiment crossed the Naktong six miles north of Waegwan into the ROK 1st Division sector, over the second underwater bridgethere. Shortly after midnight, ROK forces on the high ground just northof the U.S.-ROK Army boundary were under attack. After daylight an airstrike partially destroyed the underwater bridge. The North Korean attackspread south and by noon enemy small arms fire fell on G Company, 5th CavalryRegiment, on Hill 303. This crossing differed from earlier ones near thesame place in that the enemy force instead of moving east into the mountainsturned south and headed for Waegwan. [36]

Before dawn, 15 August, G Company men on Hill 303 could make out aboutfifty enemy troops accompanied by two tanks moving boldly south along theriver road at the base of the hill. They also saw another column movingto their rear and soon heard it engage F Company with small arms fire.In order to escape the enemy encirclement, F Company withdrew southward.By 0830, North Koreans had completely surrounded G Company and a supportingplatoon of H Company mortarmen on Hill 303. A relief column, composed ofB Company, 5th Cavalry, and a platoon of tanks tried to reach G Company,but enemy fire drove it back. [37]

Again on 16 August, B Company and the tanks tried unsuccessfully todrive the enemy, now estimated to be a battalion of about 700 men, fromHill 303. The 61st Field Artillery Battalion and three howitzers of B Battery,82d Field Artillery Battalion, fired on the enemy-held hill during theday. Waegwan was a no man's land. For the most part, the town was deserted.Col. Marcel B. Crombez, the regimental commander, relieved the 2d Battalioncommander because he had lost control of his units and did not know wherethey were. A new commander prepared to resume the attack. During the night,G Company succeeded in escaping from Hill 303. [38]

Before dawn of the 17th, troops from both the 1st and 2d Battalionsof the 5th Cavalry Regiment, supported by A Company, 70th Tank Battalion,attacked Hill 303, but heavy enemy mortar fire stopped them at the edgeof Waegwan. During the morning, heavy artillery preparations pounded theenemy positions on Hill 303, the 61st Field Artillery Battalion alone firing1,159 rounds. The 5th Cavalry at 1130 asked the division for assistanceand learned that the Air Force would deliver a strike on the hill at 1400.[39]

The air strike came in as scheduled, the planes dropping napalm andbombs, firing rockets, and strafing. The strike was on target and, togetherwith an artillery preparation, was dramatically successful. After the strike,the infantry at 1530 attacked up the hill unopposed and secured it by 1630.The combined strength of E and F Companies on top of the hill was aboutsixty men. The artillery preparations and the air strike killed and woundedan estimated 500 enemy troops on Hill 303. Approximately 200 enemy bodieslittered the hill. Survivors had fled in complete rout after the air strike.[40]

Tragedy on Hill 303

In regaining Hill 303 on 17 August the 5th Cavalry Regiment came upona pitiful scene-the bodies of twenty-six mortarmen of H Company, handstied in back, sprayed with burp gun bullets. First knowledge of the tragedycame in the afternoon when scouts brought in a man from Hill 303, Pvt.Roy Manring of the Heavy Mortar Platoon, who had been wounded in both legsand one arm by burp gun slugs. Manring had crawled down the hill untilhe saw scouts of the attacking force. After he told his story, some menof the I&R Platoon of the 5th Cavalry Regiment under Lt. Paul Kellywent forward, following Manring's directions, to the scene of the tragedy.One of those present has described what they saw:

The boys lay packed tightly, shoulder to shoulder, lying on their sides,curled like babies sleeping in the sun. Their feet, bloodied and bare,from walking on the rocks, stuck out stiffly ... All had hands tied behindtheir backs, some with cord, others with regular issue army communication wire. Only a few of the hands were clenched. [41]

The rest of the I&R Platoon circled the hill and captured two NorthKorean soldiers. They proved to be members of the group that had capturedand held the mortarmen prisoners. From them and a third captured later,as well as five survivors among the mortarmen, have come the followingdetails of what happened to the ill-fated group on Hill 303. [42]

Before dawn on Tuesday morning, 15 August, the mortar platoon becameaware of enemy activity near Hill 303. The platoon leader telephoned theCommanding Officer, G Company, 5th Cavalry, who informed him that a platoonof some sixty ROK's would come to reinforce the mortar platoon. About breakfasttime the men heard tank motors and saw two enemy tanks followed by 200or more enemy soldiers on the road below them. A little later a group ofKoreans appeared on the slope. A patrol going to meet the climbing Koreanscalled out and received in reply a blast of automatic weapons fire. Themortar platoon leader, in spite of this, believed they were friendly. Thewatching Americans were not convinced that they were enemy soldiers untilthe red stars became visible on their caps. They were then close upon theAmericans. The North Koreans came right up to the foxholes without eitherside firing a shot. Some pushed burp guns into the sides of the mortarmenwith one hand and held out the other as though to shake hands. One of theenemy soldiers remarked later that "the American soldiers looked dazed."[43]

The 4th Company, 2d Battalion, 206thMechanized Infantry Regiment of the 105thArmored Division, apparently were the captors, although somemembers of Headquarters Company of the 45-mm. ArtilleryBattalion, 105th Armored Division, were present.The North Koreans marched the prisoners down the hill after taking, theirweapons and valuables. In an orchard they tied the prisoners' hands behindtheir backs, took some of their clothing, and removed their shoes. Theytold the Americans they would send them to the Seoul prisoner of war campif they behaved well.

Apparently the original captors did not retain possession of the prisonersthroughout the next two days. There is some evidence that a company ofthe N.K. 3d Division guarded them after capture. It appearsthat the enemy force that crossed the Naktong above Waegwan on the 14thand turned south to Hill 303 and Waegwan was part of the 3d Division and supportingelements of the 105th Armored Division. In any event,the first night the North Koreans gave their prisoners water, fruit, andcigarettes. They intended to move them across the Naktong that night, butAmerican fire prevented it. During the night two of the Americans loosenedthe shoe laces binding their wrists. This caused a commotion. At leastone of the survivors thought that a North Korean officer shot one of hismen who threatened to shoot the men who had tried to free their hands.

The next day, 16 August, the prisoners were moved around a great dealwith their guards. One of the mortarmen, Cpl. Roy L. Day, Jr., spoke Japaneseand could converse with some of the North Koreans. That afternoon he overhearda North Korean lieutenant say that they would kill the prisoners if Americansoldiers came too close. That night guards took away five of the Americans;the others did not know what became of them.

On the morning of 17 August, the guards exchanged fire with U.S. soldiers.Toward noon the North Korean unit holding the Americans placed them ina gulley with a few guards. Then came the intense American artillery preparationsand the air strike on the hill. At this time a North Korean officer saidthat American soldiers were closing in on them, that they could not continueto hold the prisoners, and that they must be shot. The officer gave theorder and, according to one of those who participated, the entire companyof fifty men fired into the kneeling Americans as they rested in the gulley.Some of the survivors said, however, that a group of 14 to so enemy soldiersran up when 2 of their guards yelled a signal and fired into them withburp guns. Before all the enemy soldiers left the area, some of them cameback to the ravine and shot again those who were groaning. Cpl. James M.Rudd escaped death from the blazing burp guns when the man at his sidefell dead on top of him. Rudd, hit three times in the legs and arms, burrowedunder the bodies of his fallen comrades for more protection. Four othersescaped in a similar way. Two of them in making their way down the hilllater were fired upon, but fortunately not hit, by 5th Cavalry soldiersattacking up the hill, before they could establish their identity. [44]

That night additional atrocities occurred near Hill 303. Near Waegwan,enemy antitank fire hit and knocked out two tanks of the 70th Tank Battalion.The next day, 18 August, American troops found the bodies of six membersof the tank crews showing indications that they had been captured and executed.[45]

Maj. Gen. Paik Sun Yup

These incidents on Hill 303 and vicinity caused General MacArthur on20 August to broadcast an announcement to the North Korean Army and addressa leaflet to the Commander-in-Chief Armed Forces of North Korea, denouncingthe atrocities. The Air Force dropped the leaflets over North Korea inlarge numbers. General MacArthur closed his message by saying:

Inertia on your part and on the part of your senior field commandersin the discharge of this grave and universally recognized command responsibilitymay only be construed as a condonation and encouragement of such outrage,for which if not promptly corrected I shall hold you and your commanderscriminally accountable under the rules and precedents of war." [46]

There is no evidence that the North Korean High Command sanctioned theshooting of prisoners during this phase of the war. What took place onHill 303 and elsewhere in the first months of the war appears to have beenperpetrated by uncontrolled small units, by vindictive individuals, orbecause of unfavorable and increasingly desperate situations confrontingthe captors. On 28 July 1950, General Lee Yong Ho, commanding the N.K.3d Division, transmitted an order pertaining to the treatmentof prisoners of war, signed by Kim Chaek, Commander-in-Chief, and KangKon, Commanding General Staff, Advanced General Headquartersof the North Korean Army, which stated:

1. The unnecessary killing of enemy personnel when they could be takenas PsW shall be strictly prohibited as of now. Those who surrender willbe taken as PsW, and all efforts will be made to destroy the enemy in thoughtand politically.

2. Treatment of PsW shall be according to the regulations issued bythe Supreme Hq, as attached herein, pertaining to the regulation and orderof PW camps.

3. This directive will be explained to and understood by all militarypersonnel immediately, and staff members of the Cultural Section will beresponsible for seeing that this is carried out. [47]

Another document captured in September shows that the North Korean Armywas aware of the conduct of some of its soldiers and was somewhat concernedabout it. An order issued by the Cultural Section of the N.K. 2dDivision, 16 August 1950, said in part, "Some of us are stillslaughtering enemy troops that come to surrender. Therefore, the responsibilityof teaching the soldiers to take prisoners of war and to treat them kindlyrests on the Political Section of each unit." [48]

Carpet Bombing Opposite Waegwan

In the stretch of mountain country northeast of Waegwan and Hill 303,the ROK 1st Division daily absorbed North Korean attacks during the middle of August. Enemy pressure againstthis ROK division never ceased for long. Under the strong leadership ofMaj. Gen. Paik Sun Yup, this division fought a valiant and bloody defenseof the mountain approaches to Taegu. American artillery fire from the 1stCavalry Division sector supported the division in part of its sector. TheROK 13th Regiment still held some positions along the river, while the11th and 12th Regiments engaged the enemy in the high mountain masses ofSuam-san and Yuhak-san, west and northwest of Tabu-dong and 4 to 6 mileseast of the Naktong River. The North Koreans kept in repair their underwaterbridge across the Naktong 6 miles north of Waegwan in front of Hills 201and 346. Even direct hits on this bridge by 155-mm. howitzers did not seemto damage it seriously. [49]

The enemy penetration at the middle of August in the ROK 13th Regimentsector and along the boundary in the 5th Cavalry sector at Waegwan andHill 303, together with increasingly heavy pressure against the main forceof the ROK 1st Division in the Tabu-dong area, began to jeopardize thesafety of Taegu. On 16 August, 750 Korean police were stationed on theoutskirts of the city as an added precaution. Refugees had swollen Taegu'snormal population of 300,000 to 700,000. A crisis seemed to be developingamong the people on 18 August when early in the morning seven rounds ofenemy artillery shells landed in Taegu. The shells, falling near the railroadstation, damaged the roundhouse, destroyed one yard engine, killed oneKorean civilian, and wounded eight others. The Korean Provincial Governmentduring the day ordered the evacuation of Taegu, and President Syngman Rheemoved his capital to Pusan. [50]

This action by the South Korean authorities created a most dangeroussituation. Swarms of panicked Koreans began to pour out on the roads leadingfrom the city, threatening to stop all military traffic. At the same time,the evacuation of the city by the native population tended to underminethe morale of the troops defending it. Strong action by the Co-ordinatorfor Protection of Lines of Communication, Eighth Army, halted the evacuation.Twice more the enemy gun shelled Taegu, the third and last time on Sundaynight, 20 August. At this time, six battalions of Korean police moved toimportant rail and highway tunnels within the Pusan Perimeter to reinforcetheir security. [51]

Just as the enemy attack on Waegwan and Hill 303 began, mounting concernfor the safety of Taegu-and reports of continued enemy concentrations acrossthe river opposite the ROK 1st and the U.S. 1st Cavalry Divisions in theWaegwan area-led to an extraordinary bombing mission. On 14 August, General MacArthur summoned to his Tokyo officeGeneral Stratemeyer, commanding general of the Far East Air Forces, andtold him he wanted a carpet bombing of the North Korean concentrationsthreatening the Pusan Perimeter. [52] General Stratemeyer talked with Maj.Gen. Emmett (Rosie) O'Donnell, Jr., commanding general of the Far EastBomber Command, who said a relatively good job of bombing could be doneon a 3-by-5 mile area. General MacArthur's headquarters selected a 27-square-milerectangular area 3 1/2 miles east to west by 71/2 miles north to southon the west side of the Naktong River opposite the ROK 1st Division. Thesoutheast corner of this rectangle was just north of Waegwan. Intelligenceestimates placed the greatest concentrations of enemy troops in this area,some estimates being as high as four enemy divisions and several armoredregiments, totaling approximately 40,000 men. [53]

General Gay, commanding the 1st Cavalry Division, repeatedly requestedthat the bombing include the area northeast of Waegwan, between the NaktongRiver and the Waegwan-Tabu-dong road. This request was denied because offear that bombing there might cause casualties among the 1st Cavalry andROK 1st Division troops, even though General Gay pointed out that terrainfeatures sharply defined the area he recommended. General Gay also offeredto have 1st Cavalry Division L-19 planes lead the bombers to this target.[54]

FEAF ordered a five-group mission of B-29's from Japan and Okinawa for16 August. Since there was no indication of enemy groupings in the targetarea, the bomber command divided it into twelve equal squares with an aimingpoint in the center of each square. One squadron of B-29's was to attackeach square.

At 1158, 16 August, the first of the 98 B-29's of the 19th, 22d, 92d,98th, and 307th Bomber Groups arrived over the target area; the last clearedit at 1224. The bombers from 10,000 feet dropped approximately 960 tonsof 500- and 1,000-pound general purpose bombs. The bomber crews reportedonly that the bombs were on target. General O'Donnell was in the air overthe target area for more than two hours, but he saw no sign of enemy activitybelow. [55]

General Walker reported to General MacArthur the next day that the damagedone to the enemy by the "carpet bombing of 16 August could not beevaluated." Because of smoke and dust, observation, he said, was difficultfrom the air and the impact area was too far to the west to be observedby U.S. and ROK ground troops. Ground patrols sent out to investigate thebombed area never reached it. One 1st Cavalry Division patrol did not evenget across the river, and enemy fire stopped another just after it crossed.The U.N. Command could not show by specific, concrete evidence that this massive bombing attack had killed a single North Koreansoldier. [56] Information obtained later from prisoners made clear thatthe enemy divisions the Far East Command thought to be still west of theNaktong had, in fact, already crossed to the east side and were not inthe bombed area. The only benefit that seemingly resulted from the bombingwas a sharp decrease in the amount of enemy artillery fire that, for aperiod after the bombing, fell in the 1st Cavalry and ROK 1st Divisionsectors.

Generals Walker, Partridge, and O'Donnell reportedly opposed futuremassive carpet bombing attacks against enemy tactical troops unless therewas precise information on an enemy concentration and the situation shouldbe extremely critical. The personal intercession of General Stratemeyerwith General MacArthur caused the cancellation of a second pattern bombingof an area east of the Naktong scheduled for 19 August. [57]

Bowling Alley - the Sangju-Taegu Corridor

The 27th Infantry Regiment of the 25th Division had just completed itsmission of clearing the North Koreans from the southern part of the NaktongBulge area in the 24th Division sector when the enemy pressure north ofTaegu caused new alarm in Eighth Army headquarters. Acting on the threatfrom this quarter, Eighth Army on 14 August relieved the regiment fromattachment to the 24th Division and the next day ordered it northward toKyongsan in army reserve. Upon arrival at Kyongsan on 16 August, ColonelMichaelis received orders to reconnoiter routes east, north, northwest,and west of Kyongsan and be prepared on army orders to counter any enemythrusts from these directions. During the day, two enemy tanks came throughthe ROK 1st Division lines twelve miles north of Taegu at Tabu-dong, butROK 3.5-inch bazooka teams knocked out both of them. [58]

At noon the next day, 17 August, Eighth Army ordered the 27th Infantryto move its headquarters and a reinforced battalion "without delay"to a point across the Kumho River three miles north of Taegu on the Tabu-dong-Sangjuroad "to secure Taegu from enemy penetration" from that direction.ROK sources reported that a North Korean regiment, led by six tanks, hadentered the little village of Kumhwa, two miles north of Tabu-dong.

The 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry; a platoon of the Heavy Mortar Company;and the 8th Field Artillery Battalion, less B Battery, moved north of Taeguat noon. Later in the day this force moved two miles farther north to Ch'ilgokwhere the ROK 1st Division command post was located. By dark, the entire27th Regiment was north of Taegu on the Tabu-dong road, reinforced by CCompany, 73d Tank Battalion. Alarm spread in Taegu where artillery fireto the north could be heard. Eighth Army ordered the 37th Field Artillery Battalion, less A Battery, to move fromthe Kyongju-P'ohang-dong area, where a heavy battle had been in progressfor days, for attachment to the 27th Infantry Regiment in order to reinforcethe fires of the 8th Field Artillery Battalion above Taegu. It arrivedthere the next day. [59] To the south at this same time the critical battleat Obong-ni Ridge and Cloverleaf Hill was still undecided.

In its part of the Perimeter battle, the N.K. 13th Divisionhad broken through into the Tabu-dong corridor and had started drivingon Taegu. This division had battled the ROK 11th and 12th Regiments inthe high Yuhak-san area for a week before it broke through to the corridoron 17 August. A regimental commander of the division said later it suffered1,500 casualties in achieving that victory. On 18 August the 13thDivision was concentrated mostly west of the road just north ofTabu-dong. [60]

To the west of the 13th, the N.K. 15th Divisionalso was now deployed on Yuhak-san. It, too, had begun battling the ROK1st Division, but thus far only in minor engagements. At this criticalpoint, the North Korean High Command ordered the 15th Divisionto move from its position northwest of Tabu-dong eastward to the Yongch'onfront, where the N.K. 8th Division had failed to advancetoward the Taegu lateral corridor. The 15th left the Yuhak-san areaon or about 20 August. Meanwhile, the N.K. 1st Division onthe left, or east, of the 13th advanced to the Kunwi area, twenty-fivemiles north of Taegu. The North Korean command now ordered it to proceedto the Tabu-dong area and come up abreast of the 13th Divisionfor the attack on Taegu down the Tabu-dong corridor.

At this juncture, the North Koreans received their only large tank reinforcementsduring the Pusan Perimeter fighting. On or about 15 August, the 105thArmored Division received 21 new T34 tanks and 200 troopreplacements, which it distributed to the divisions attacking Taegu. Thetank regiment with the N.K. 13th Division reportedly had14 tanks. [61]

This was the enemy situation, with the 13th Division astridethe Sangju-Taegu road just above Tabu-dong and only thirteen miles fromTaegu, when Eighth Army on 18 August ordered the 27th Infantry Regimentto attack north along the road. At the same time, two regiments of theROK 1st Division were to attack along high ground on either side of theroad. The plan called for a limited objective attack to restore the ROK1st Division lines in the vicinity of Sokchok, a village four miles north of Tabu-dong. The line of departurewas just north of Tabu-dong. Pershing M26 tanks of C Company, 73d TankBattalion, and two batteries of the 37th Field Artillery Battalion wereto support the 27th Infantry. [62]

As the trucks rolled northward from Tabu-dong and approached the lineof departure, the men inside could see the North Koreans and ROK's fightingon the high hills overlooking the road. The infantry dismounted and deployed,Colonel Check's 1st Battalion on the left of the road and Colonel Murch's2d Battalion on the right of it. With tanks leading on the road, the twobattalions crossed the line of departure at 1300. The tanks opened fireagainst the mountain escarpments, and the rumble of their cannonade echoedthrough the narrow valley. The infantry on either side of the road sweptthe lower hills, the tanks on the road pacing their advance to the infantry's.An enemy outpost line in the valley withdrew and there was almost no oppositionduring the first hour. This enemy outpost line proved to be about two anda half miles in front of the main positions. The 27th Infantry had reacheda point about two miles north of Tabu-dong when Colonel Michaelis receiveda message stating that neither of the ROK regiments on the high groundflanking the valley road had been able to advance. He was ordered to haltand form a perimeter defense with both battalions astride the road. [63]

The two battalions of the 27th Infantry went into a perimeter defensejust north of the little mud-thatched village of Soi-ri. The 1st Battalion,on the left of the road, took a position with C Company on high groundsomewhat in advance of any other infantry unit, and with A Company on aridge behind it. On their right, B Company, somewhat in advance of A Company,carried the line across the stream and the narrow valley to the road. Therethe 2d Battalion took up the defense line with E Company on the road andeast of it and F Company on its right, while G Company held a ridge behindF Company. Thus, the two battalions presented a four-company front, withone company holding a refused flank position on either side. A platoonof tanks took positions on the front line, two tanks on the road and twoin the stream bed; four more tanks were back of the line in reserve. Theartillery went into firing positions back of the infantry. Six bazookateams took up positions in front of the infantry positions along the roadand in the stream bed. [64] The ROK 1st Division held the high ground oneither side of the 27th Infantry positions.

In front of the 27th Infantry position, the poplar-lined Taegu-Sangjuroad ran northward on a level course in the narrow mountain valley. A streamon the west closely paralleled it. The road was nearly straight on a north-southaxis through the 27th Infantry position and for some distance northward.Then it veered slightly westward. This stretch of the road later became known as the "Bowling Alley."

The Bowling Alley

A little more than a mile in front of the 27th Infantry position theroad forked at a small cluster of houses called Ch'onp'yong-dong; the left-handprong was the main Sangju road, the right-hand one the road to Kunwi. Atthe road fort, the Sangju road bends northwestward in a long curve. Thevillage of Sinjumak lay on this curve a short distance north of the fork.Hills protected it against direct fire from the 27th Infantry position.It was there, apparently, that the enemy tanks remained hidden during thedaytime.

Rising abruptly from the valley on the west side was the Yuhak-san mountainmass which swept up to a height of 2,700 feet. On the east, a similar mountainmass rose to a height of 2,400 feet, culminating two and a half miles southwardin towering Ka-san, more than 2,900 feet high at its walled summit. Thishigh ground looks down southward into the Taegu bowl and gives observationof the surrounding country.

The Kunwi and Sangju roads from the northeast and northwest enteredat Ch'onp'yong-dong the natural and easy corridor between Yuhak-san andKa-san leading into the Taegu basin. The battles of the Bowling Alley tookplace just south of this road junction.

The first of seven successive enemy night attacks struck against the27th Infantry defense perimeter shortly after dark that night, 18 August.Enemy mortars and artillery fired a heavy preparation for the attack. Twoenemy tanks and a self-propelled gun moved out of the village of Sinjumaktwo miles in front of the 27th Infantry lines. Infantry followed them,some in trucks and others on foot. The lead tank moved slowly and withoutfiring, apparently observing, while the second one and the self-propelledgun fired repeatedly into F Company's position. The tank machine gun fireseemed indiscriminate, as if the enemy did not know the exact locationof the American positions. As the tanks drew near, a 3.5-inch bazooka teamfrom F Company destroyed the second one in line. Bazooka teams also hitthe lead tank twice but the rockets failed to explode. The crew, however, abandoned the tank. Fire from the 8th FieldArtillery Battalion knocked out the self-propelled gun, destroyed two trucks,and killed or wounded an estimated hundred. Lt. Lewis Millett, an artilleryforward observer, and later a Medal of Honor winner after he transferredto the infantry, directed this artillery fire on the enemy with a T34 tankwithin fifty yards of his foxhole. Three more enemy tanks had come downthe road, but now they switched on their running lights, turned around,and went back north. Half an hour after midnight the entire action wasover and all was quiet. Enemy troops made a second effort, much weakerthan the first, about two hours later but artillery and mortar fire dispersedthem. [65]

Certain characteristics were common to all the night battles in theBowling Alley. The North Koreans used a system of flares to signal variousactions and to co-ordinate them. It became quickly apparent to the defendingAmericans that green flares were used to signal an attack on a given area.So the 27th Infantry obtained its own green flares and then, after theenemy attack had begun, fired them over its main defensive positions. Thisconfused the attacking North Koreans and often drew them to the pointsof greatest strength where they suffered heavy casualties. The use of minesin front of the defensive positions in the narrow valley became a nightlyfeature of the battles. The mines would stop the tanks and the infantrywould try to remove them. At such times flares illuminated the scene andpre-registered artillery and mortar fire came down on the immobilized enemywith fatal results.

Tank Action in the Bowling Alley

On the morning of 19 August, the ROK 11th and 13th Regiments launchedcounterattacks along the ridges with some gains. General Walker orderedanother reserve unit, a battalion of the ROK 10th Regiment, to the Taegufront to close a gap that had developed between the ROK 1st and 6th Divisions. In the afternoon he ordered still anotherunit, the U.S. 23d Infantry, to move up and establish a defense perimeteraround the 8th and 37th Field Artillery Battalions eight miles north ofTaegu. The 3d Battalion took up a defensive position around the artillerywhile the 2d Battalion occupied a defensive position astride the road behindthe 27th Infantry. The next day the two battalions exchanged places. [66]

Sunday, 20 August, was a day of relative quiet on the Taegu front. Evenso, United States aircraft attacked North Korean positions there repeatedlyduring the day. The planes began their strafing runs so close in frontof the American infantry that their machine gun fire dotted the identificationpanels, and expended .50-caliber cartridges fell into friendly foxholes.General Walker visited the Taegu front during the day, and later made thestatement that enemy fire had decreased and that Taegu "certainlyis saved." [66]

By contrast, that night was not quiet. At 1700, a barrage of enemy 120-mm.mortar shells fell in the Heavy Weapons Company area. A bright moon silhouettedenemy tanks against the dark flanking mountains as they rumbled down thenarrow, green valley, leading another attack. Artillery and mortar firefell among them and the advancing enemy infantry. Waiting Americans heldtheir small arms and machine gun fire until the North Koreans were within150-200 yards' range. The combined fire of all weapons repulsed this attack.

The next morning, 21 August, a patrol of two platoons of infantry and three tanks went up the road toward the enemy positions. White flagshad appeared in front of the American line, and rumors received from nativesalleged that many North Koreans wanted to surrender. The patrol's missionwas to investigate this situation and to form an estimate of enemy losses.The patrol advanced about a mile, engaging small enemy groups and receivingsome artillery fire. On its way it completed the destruction with thermitegrenades of five enemy tanks disabled in the night action. The patrol alsofound 1 37-mm. antitank gun, 2 self-propelled guns, and 1 120-mm. mortaramong the destroyed enemy equipment, and saw numerous enemy dead. At thepoint of farthest advance, the patrol found and destroyed an abandonedenemy tank in a village schoolhouse courtyard. [68]

That evening at dusk the 27th Infantry placed an antitank mine field,antipersonnel mines, and trip flares across the road and stream bed 150yards in front of the infantry line. A second belt of mines, laid on topof the ground, was placed about 100 yards in front of the buried mine field.

Later that evening, 21 August, the North Koreans shelled the generalarea of the 27th Infantry positions until just before midnight. Then theN.K. 13th Division launched a major attack against the ROKunits on the high ground and the Americans in the valley. Nine tanks andseveral SP guns supported the enemy troops in the valley. Because it wason higher ground and more advanced than any other American unit, C Companyon the left of the road usually was the first to detect an approachingattack. That evening the C Company commander telephoned that he could heartanks out front. When the artillery fired an illuminating shell he wasable to count nineteen vehicles in the attacking column on the road. Thetanks and self-propelled guns, firing rapidly, approached the Americanpositions. Most of their shells landed in the rear areas. Enemy infantrymoved forward on both sides of the road. Simultaneously, other units attackedthe ROK's on the high ridges flanking the valley.

American artillery and mortar fire bombarded the enemy, trying to separatethe tanks from the infantry. Machine gun fire opened on the N.K. infantryonly after they had entered the mine field and were at close range. ThePershing tanks in the front line held their fire until the enemy tankscame very close. One of the American tanks knocked out the lead enemy tankat a range of 125 yards. A 3.5-inch bazooka team from F Company knockedout a SP gun, the third vehicle in column. The trapped second tank wasdisabled by bazooka fire and abandoned by its crew. Artillery and 90-mm.tank fire destroyed seven more enemy tanks, three more SP guns, and severaltrucks and personnel carriers. This night battle lasted about five hours.The fire from both sides was intense. On the American side, a partial tabulationshows that in support of the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, B Battery, 8thField Artillery Battalion (105-mm. howitzers), fired 1,661 rounds, the4.2-inch mortar platoon fired 902 rounds, the 81-mm. mortar platoon fired1,200 rounds, and F Company itself fired 385 60-mm. mortar rounds. The enemy column was destroyed. Patrols afterdaylight counted enemy dead in front of the perimeter position, and onthat basis, they estimated the North Koreans had suffered 1,300 casualtiesin the night battle. Eleven prisoners captured by the patrol said the actionhad decimated their units and that only about one-fourth of their numberremained. [69]

The men of F Company, 27th Infantry apparently coined the name BowlingAlley during the night battle of 21-22 August. The enemy T34 tanks firedarmor-piercing shells straight up the road toward the American positions,hoping to knock out the American tanks. The balls of fire hurtling throughthe night and the reverberations of the gun reports appeared to the menwitnessing and listening to the wild scene like bowling balls streakingdown an alley toward targets at the other end. [70]

During the night battle, enemy forces infiltrated along the high ridgeline around the east flank of the 27th Infantry and appeared the next dayabout noon 6 miles in the rear of that regiment and only 9 miles from Taegu.This enemy force was the 1st Regiment of the N.K. 1stDivision which had just arrived from the Kunwi area to join in thebattle for Taegu. It brought the main supply road of the 27th Infantryunder small arms fire along a 5-mile stretch, beginning at a point 9 milesabove Taegu and extending northward. [71]

About this time, Colonel Michaelis sent an urgent message to EighthArmy saying that the ROK troops on his left had given way and that "thosepeople are not fighting." Prisoners told him, he said, that about1,000 North Koreans were on his west flank. He asked for an air strike.[72]

It must not go unnoticed that all the time the 27th Infantry and supportingunits were fighting along the road, the ROK 1st Division was fighting inthe mountains on either side. Had these ROK troops been driven from thishigh ground, the perimeter position of the 27th Infantry Regiment wouldhave been untenable. Several times the ROK troops came off the mountainsin daytime looking for food in the valley and a bath in the stream. Butthen, supported by the American artillery, they always climbed back upthe heights and reoccupied the high ground. The ROK 1st Division must receivea generous share of the credit for holding the front north of Taegu atthis time.

General Paik bitterly resented Colonel Michaelis' charge that his menwere not fighting. He said he would like to hold the valley position withall the tank and artillery support given the 27th Regiment while that regimentwent up on the hills and fought the night battles with small arms. The Eighth Army G-3 staff investigated Colonel Michaelis'charge that the ROK troops had left their positions. KMAG officers visitedall the ROK 1st Division units. The Assistant G-3 went to the ROK frontpersonally to inquire into the situation. All reports agreed that the ROKunits were where General Paik said they were. [73]

The afternoon of 22 August, Lt. Col. James W. Edwards' 2d Battalion,23d Infantry, guarding the support artillery behind the 27th Infantry,came under attack by the N.K. 1st Division troops that hadpassed around the forward positions. The regimental commander, Col. PaulL. Freeman, Jr., reported to Eighth Army at 1640 that the enemy had shelledthe rear battery of the 37th Field Artillery Battalion, that enemy riflemenwere between the 27th and 23d Regiments on the road, and that other enemygroups had passed around the east side of his forward battalion. An intensebarrage began falling on the headquarters area of the 8th Field ArtilleryBattalion at 1605, and 25 minutes later two direct hits on the fire directioncenter utterly destroyed it, killing four officers and two noncommissionedofficers. The individual batteries quickly took over control of the battalionfires and continued to support the infantry, while battalion headquartersdisplaced under fire. [74]

Air Force, Navy, and Australian planes delivered strikes on the enemy-heldridge east of the road and on the valley beyond. These strikes includedone by B-26's employing 44,000 pounds of bombs. That night, General Walkerreleased control of the 23d Infantry, less the 1st Battalion, to the 1stCavalry Division with orders for it to clear the enemy from the road andthe commanding ground overlooking the main supply road. [75]

A bit of drama of a kind unusual in the Korean War occurred north ofTabu-dong on the 22d. About 1000, Lt. Col. Chong Pong Uk, commanding theartillery regiment supporting the N.K. 13th Division, walkedup alone to a ROK 1st Division position three miles north of Tabu-dong.In one hand he carried a white flag; over his shoulder hung a leather mapcase. The commanding general of the 13th Division had reprimandedhim, he said, for his failure to shell Tabu-dong. Believing that terrainobstacles made it impossible for his artillery fire to reach Tabu-dongand smarting under the reprimand, Chong had deserted.

Colonel Chong, the highest ranking prisoner thus far in the war, gaveprecise information on the location of his artillery. According to him,there were still seven operable 122-mm. howitzers and thirteen 76-mm. gunsemplaced and camouflaged in an orchard four and a half miles north of Tabu-dong,in a little valley on the north side of Yuhak-san. Upon receiving thisinformation, Eighth Army immediately prepared to destroy the enemy weapons.Fighter-bombers attacked the orchard site with napalm, and U.S. artillery took the location under fire. [76]

During the night of 22-23 August, the enemy made his usual attack againstthe 27th Infantry, but not in great force, and was easily repulsed. Justbefore noon on the 23d, however, a violent action occurred some distancebehind the front line when about 100 enemy soldiers, undetected, succeededin reaching the positions of K Company, 27th Infantry and of the 1st Platoon,C Company, 65th Engineer Combat Battalion. They overran part of these positionsbefore being driven off with fifty killed. [77]

Meanwhile, as ordered by General Walker, the 2d Battalion, 23 Infantry,after repelling several enemy night attacks, counterattacked at dawn, 23August, and seized the high ground overlooking the road at the artillerypositions. At the same time the 3d Battalion started an all-day attackthat swept a 3-mile stretch of high ground east of the road. This actionlargely cleared the enemy from the area behind and on the flanks of the27th Infantry. At 1335 in the afternoon, Colonel Michaelis reported fromthe Bowling Alley to Eighth Army that the N.K. 13th Divisionhad blown the road to his front, had mined it, and was withdrawing. [78]

The next day, 24 August, the 23d Infantry continued clearing the rearareas and by night it estimated that there were not more than 200 of theenemy behind the forward positions. The Bowling Alley front was quiet onthe 24th except for an unfortunate accident. An Eighth Army tank recoveryteam came up to retrieve a T34 tank that had stopped just in front of theforward American mine field. As the retriever began to pull the T34 forward,an American mine unseen and pushed along in some loose dirt underneaththe tank, exploded, badly damaging the tank and wounding twelve men standingnearby. [79]

Shortly after midnight of 24 August the North Koreans launched whathad by now become their regular nightly attack down the Bowling Alley.This attack was in an estimated two-company strength supported by a fewtanks. The 27th Infantry broke up this fruitless attempt and two more enemytanks were destroyed by the supporting artillery fire. This was the lastnight the 27th Infantry Regiment spent in the Bowling Alley. The confirmedenemy loss from 18 to 25 August included 13 T34 tanks, 5 self-propelledguns, and 23 vehicles. [80]

With the enemy turned back north of Taegu, General Walker on 24 Augustissued orders for the 27th Infantry to leave the Bowling Alley and returnto the 25th Division in the Masan area. The ROK 1st Division was to assumeresponsibility for the Bowling Alley, but the U.S. 23d Regiment was toremain north of Taegu in its support. ROK relief of the 27th Infantry beganat 1800, 25 August, and continued throughout the night until completed at 0345, 26 August. On 30 August the regiment receivedorders to move from near Taegu to Masan, and it started at 0800 the nextmorning, personnel going by train, vehicles by road. The Wolfhound Regimentcompleted the move by 2030 that night, 31 August. [81] And a very fortunatemove it proved to be, for it arrived in the nick of time, as a later chapterwill show.

As if to signalize the successful defense of the northern approach toTaegu in this week of fighting, a 20-year-old master sergeant of the ROK1st Division executed a dangerous and colorful exploit. MSgt. Pea SungSub led a 9-man patrol 6,000 yards behind the North Korean lines to theN.K. 13th Division command post. There his patrol killedseveral enemy soldiers and captured three prisoners whom they brought backwith no loss to themselves. General Paik gave the daring sergeant 50,000won ($25.00) for his exploit. [82]

Colonel Murch's 2d Battalion and Colonel Check's 1st Battalion, 27thInfantry, had gained something of a reputation for themselves in the BowlingAlley north of Taegu. The defense in depth behind their front line by the2d and 3d Battalions, 23d Infantry, had frustrated all enemy efforts togain control of the gateway to Taegu. The supporting tanks and the artilleryhad performed magnificently. During the daytime, Air Force attacks hadinflicted destruction and disorganization on the enemy. And on the mountainridges walling in the Bowling Alley, the ROK 1st Division had done itsfull share in fighting off the enemy thrust.

Survivors of the 1st Regiment, N.K. 1st Division,joined the rest of that division in the mountains east of the Taegu-Sangjuroad near the walled summit of Ka-san. Prisoners reported that the 1stRegiment was down to about 400 men and had lost all its 120-mm.mortars, 76-mm. howitzers, and antitank guns as a result of its actionon the east flank of the N.K. 13th Division at the BowlingAlley. [83]


[1] Landrum, Comments for author, recd 29 Nov 53.

[2] Ltr, Maj Gen John A. Dabney to author, 18 Dec 59 (Dabney was Eighth Army G-3 during the summer and fall of 1950); Landrum, Comments on author's ltr to him of 1 Sep 59; Interv, author with Stebbins, 4 Dec 53.

[3] Landrum, Comments on author's ltr of 1 Sep 53, and Notes for author, recd 28 Jun 54.

[4] Landrum, Notes for author, recd 28 Jun 54.

[5] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 96 (N.K. 3d Div), pp. 33-34; Ibid., Issue 105 (N.K. 13th Div), pp. 63-64: Ibid., Issue 3 (N.K. 1st Div), pp. 33-34; Ibid., Issue 104 (N.K. 10th Div), pp. 44-45: Ibid., Issue 3 (N.K. 15th Div), pp. 42-43.

[6] EUSAK WD, Summ, 5 Aug 50.

[7] 8th Cav Regt WD, 4 Aug 50; 5th Cav Regt WD, 3 Aug 50.

[8] 61St FA Bn WD, Opn Narr Summ, Aug 50.

[9] EUSAK PIR Rpt 25, 6 Aug 50; EUSAK WD, 10 Aug 50, ATIS Interrog Rpt 478, Won Sun Nam; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 3 (N.K. 1st Div), pp. 33-34: GHQ FEC Sitrep, 9 Aug 50.

[10] 1st Cav Div WD, 5 Aug 50; GHQ FEC Sitrep, 6 Aug 50; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 105 (N.K. 13th Div), pp. 61-62.

[12] ATIS Interrog Rpts, Issue 2, Rpt 777, p. 177, 1st Lt Han Pyong Chol, 45th Regt, 15th Div; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 105 (N.K. 13th Div), p. 63.

[13] EUSAK WD and G-3 Jnl, 8 Aug 50; EUSAK PIR 27, 8 Aug 50; EUSAK Summ, 1-31 Aug 50; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 3 (N.K. 15th Div), pp. 42-43; ATIS Interrog Rpts, Issue 2, Rpt 777, p. 177, Lt Han.

[14] EUSAK WD, 8 Aug 50, G-3 Jnl and Informal Checkslip, Daily Rpt from Plans Sec, G-3 Jnl; New York Herald Tribune, August 12, ,950.

[14] EUSAK POR 85, 10 Aug 50; GHQ FEC Sitrep, 9 Aug 50; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 3 (N.K. 15th Div), p. 43; ATIS Interrog Rpts, Issue 2, p. 177, Lt Han. Geographical locations given in this portion of the text have been determined by correlating place names on the AMS Map, Korea, scale 1:50,000, with map co-ordinate readings in U.S. Army records and place names given in prisoner of war interrogations.

[15] EUSAK WD, 9 Aug 50; EUSAK, Aug 50 Summ; 1st Cav Div WD, G-2 Monthly Narr Rpt, Aug 50; 61st FA Bn WD, 9 Aug 50; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 96 (N.K. 3d Div), p. 33.

[16] ATIS Supp Enemy Docs, Issue 2, pp. 66-67, diary from 21 Jul to 10 Aug 50 of Choe Song Hwan, entry for 9 Aug (diary captured 12 Aug).

[17] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 96 (N.K. 3d Div), pp. 33-34; EUSAK WD, 12 Aug 50, ATIS Interrog Rpt 494, Kang Don Su.

[18] Gay, Ltr and comments, 24 Aug 53

[19] Ibid.

[20] 1st Cav Div WD, Summ, Aug 50: EUSAK WD, 9 Aug 50; 7th Cav Regt WD, 9-10 Aug 50; Engagement of 1st Bn; 61st FA Bn WD, 9 Aug 50; Interv, 1st Lt Fred L. Mitchell with Clainos, 16 Aug 50. copy in OCMH files.

[21] Gay, Ltr and comments, 24 Aug 53; Interv, Mitchell with Lt Edward G. Deacy, 3d Plat, B Co, 7th Cav, Aug 50; Interv, Mossman with Lt Eugene E. Fells, CO B Co, 7th Cav, 24 Aug 50.

[22] Gay, Ltr and comments, 24 Aug 53; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 6 (N.K. 3d Div), p. 34: 1st Cav Div WD, 10 Aug 50.

[23] 61st FA Bn WD, 10 Aug 50; 1st Cav Div WD, 10 Aug 50; 5th Cav Regt; WD, 13 Aug 50.

[24] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 96 (N.K. 3d Div), p. 34; EUSAK WD, 12 Aug 50, ATIS Interrog Rpt 505, Lee Sung Won: 1st Cav Div WD, G-2 Rpt, Aug 50, Interrog Rpt 0052, Sgt Kim Yon Hu, and Rpt 0050, Yung Tei Kwan.

[25] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 96 (N.K. 3d Div), p. 34.

[26] Ibid., Issue 104 (N.K. 10th Div), pp. 44-45.

[27] Ibid., p. 46, reproduces this captured order.

[28] 21st Inf Regt WD, 12 Aug 50; Ibid., Unit Rpt 42, an. 1; 1st Cav Div WD, G-2 Narr, Aug 50; EUSAK WD, 14 Aug 50, ATIS Interrog Rpt 551, Lee Yong Il, 1st Cav Div WD, C-2 Interrog Rpt 00388, Aug 50, Lee Yong Il; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 104 (N K. 10th Div), pp. 47-48.

[29] 7th Cav Regt WD, 12 Aug 50; 1st Cav Div WD, 12 Aug 50.

[30] 5th Cav Regt WD, 12 Aug 50.

[31] 7th Cav Regt WD, 14 Aug 50.

[32] Ibid.; Gay, Ltr and comments, 24 Aug 53; Interv, author with Hams, 30 Apr 54.

[33] 7th Cav Regt WD, 14, 16 Aug 50; 1st Cav Div WD, 14 Aug 50.

[34] 1st Cav Div WD, G-2 Rpt. Aug 50, Batch 68, Transl 0034, 19 Aug 50 Gay, Ltr and comments, 24 Aug 53.

[35] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 104 (N.K. 10th Div), p. 48.

[36] 2n Bn, 5th Cav Regt WD, 14 Aug 50; 5th Cav Regt WD, 14 Aug 50; EUSAK WD, Aug 50 Summ; Ibid., G-2 PIR 33, 14 Aug 50.

[37] 5th Cav Regt WD, 15 Aug 50 1st Cav Div WD, 15 Aug 50.

[38] 2d Bn, 5th Cav Regt WD, 16-17 Aug 50; Interv, author with Brig Gen Marcel B. Crombez, 28 Jun 55

[39] 2d Bn, 5th Cav Regt WD, 17 Aug 50; 61st FA Bn WD, 17 Aug 50.

[40] 5th Cav Regt WD, 17 Aug 50; 1st Cav Div WD, 17 Aug 50; 2d Bn, 5th Cav Regt WD. 19 Aug 50. The North Korean communiqué for 17 August, monitored in London, claimed the complete "liberation" of Waegwan on that date. See New York Times, August 18, 1950.

[41] Charles and Eugene Jones, The Face of War, pp. 45-49. At least one of the Jones brothers accompanied the I&R Platoon on this mission. See also 5th Cav Regt WD, 17 Aug 50; 1st Cav Div WD, 17 Aug 50.

[42] JAG, Korean War Crimes, Case Nr 16, 17 Jul 53.

[43] Ibid., Statement of Chong Myong Tok, PW 216. The other North Korean captured with Chong on 17 August was Kim Kwon Taek, PW 217. Heo Chang Keun was the third prisoner who had personal knowledge of this incident.

It is not clear how many men were captured in the mortar platoon. The 5th Cav Regt WD, 17 Aug 50, said 41; one of the survivors said there were 43; one of the captured North Koreans said about 40; and another said about 45. For contemporary press reports of interviews with survivors see New York Herald Tribune, August 18, 1950, quoting Cpl. James M. Rudd; New York Times, August 18, 1950, account by Harold Faber based on interview with Roy Manring; Life Magazine, September 4, 1950, p. 36, based on interview with Cpl. Roy L. Day, Jr.; and Newsweek, August 38, 1950, p. 25, for personal accounts.

[44] JAG, Korean War Crimes, Case Nr 16, 17 Jul 53, citing 1st Cav Div ltr, 23 Aug 50; War Diaries of 5th Cav Regt and 1st Cav Div. They and published accounts by survivors are the principal sources for the above account. Also see 2d Log Comd Activities Rpt, JA Sec, Sep 50.

[45] EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, 0945, 18 Aug 50.

[46] Ibid., 22 Aug 50, has full text of MacArthur's message; see also New York Times, August 21, 1950.

[47] ATIS Enemy Docs, Issue 4, p. 2 (captured by U.S. 8th Cav Regt, 6 Sep 50).

[48] Ibid., Issue 9, p. 102 (captured 12 Sep 50 near Changnyong, apparently by U.S. 2d Div).

[49] 1st Cav Div WD, 21-24 Aug 50; 1st Cav Div Arty WD, 22 Aug 50; GHQ FEC G-3 Opn Rpt 60, 23 Aug 50

[50] EUSAK WD, G-3 Sec, 16 Aug 50; Ibid., entry 3, 18 Aug, Med Stf Sec Rpt; Ibid., G-3 Sec Rpt, entry 2; Ibid., Aug 50 Summ, p. 52; New York Times, August 18, 1950; New York Herald Tribune, August 18, 1950.

[51] EUSAK WD, Aug 50 Summ, p. 52: 1st Cav Div Arty WD, 21 Aug 50; New York Herald Tribune, August 18, 1950 New York Times, August 16 and 21, 1950. Seoul City Sue began to make propaganda broadcasts at this time. Members of the 588th Military Police Company first heard her about 10 August.

[52] Col Ethelred L. Sykes' diary. Sykes was on General Stratemeyer's staff in Tokyo in the summer of 1950.

[53] Air War in Korea, II," Air University Quarterly Review, IV, No. 3(Spring, 1951), 60: EUSAK WD, Aug 50 Summ. [53] Gay, Ltr and comments, 24 Aug 53.

[54] "Air War in Korea," op. cit.; EUSAK WD, 17 Aug 50, G-3 Sec, 171115 Aug 50: GHQ FEC G-3 Opn Rpt 53, 16 Aug 50; New York Times, August 16, 1950, R. J. H. Johnston dispatch.

[56] EUSAK WD, 17 Aug 50, G-3 Sec, Msg 171115; 1st Cav Div WD, 16 Aug 50; 5th Cav Regt WD, 16 Aug 50; New York Times, August 17, 1950; New York Herald Tribune, August 17, 1950.

[57] Sykes diary; "Air War in Korea," op. cit.

[58] 7th Inf WD, 15-16 Aug 50; GHQ FEC Sitrep. 14 Aug 50; EUSAK WD, Opn Directive, 16 Aug 50; Ibid., G-3, Sec, 16 Aug 50; Ibid., Aug 50 Summ, p. 47.

[59] 1st Bn, 27th Inf WD, 17 Aug 50, 27th Inf WD, 17 Aug 50; EUSAK WD, G-3 Sec, Msg 171210 Aug 50; Ibid., G-3 Sec, 17 Aug 50; 37th FA Bn WD, 17-18 Aug 50; New York Times, August 18, 1950, Parrott dispatch from Eighth Army Hq.

[60] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 105 (N.K. 13th Div), p. 64; ATIS Interrog Rpts, Issue 2, Rpt 771, p. 160, Lt Col Chong Pong Uk, CO, Arty Regt, N.K. 13th Div (Col Chong surrendered on 2 Aug 50). Other interrog rpts on Col Chong are to be found in Issue 3, Rpt 733, p. 78 and Rpt 831, p. 66, and EUSAK WD, 24 Aug 50, G-2 Sec, Interrog Rpt 771; EUSAK WD, 5 Sep 50, ATIS Interrog Rpt 895, Maj Kim Song Jun, S-3, 19th Regt, N. K. 13th Div. and later CO of the regt; ATIS Interrog Rpts, Issue 3, Rpt 895, Maj Kim.

[61] ATIS Interrog Rpts, Issue 9 (N.K. Forces), Rpt 1468, pp. 158-74, Sr Col Lee Hak Ku, CofS N.K. 13th Div, formerly G-3 N.K. II Corps; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 3 (N.K. 15th Div), p. 43, Issue 3 (N.K. 1st Div), p. 34, and Issue 4 (105th Armored Div), p. 39, interrog of Col Chong; ATIS Interrog Rpts, Issue 2, Rpt 777, p. 177, Lt Han.

[62] EUSAK WD, Br for CG, 18 Aug 50; Ibid., G-3 Stf Sec Rpt, 18 Aug 50, entry 2; 27th Inf WD, 18 Aug 50; GHQ FEC Sitrep, 18 Aug 50.

[63] 1st Bn, 27th Inf WD, 18 Aug 50; Ltr, Check to author, 29 Sep 53.

[64] 2d Bn, 27th Inf WD, Aug 50, sketch map of Soi-ri position, 18-25 Aug; Ltr, Check to author, 29 Sep 53, and attached sketch map of 27th Inf position; Interv, author with Check, 6 Feb 53.

[65] 2d Bn, 27th Inf WD, Aug 50 Summ of Activities, 18 Aug; 1st Bn, 27th Inf WD, 18 Aug 50; 27th Inf WD, 18-19 Aug 50; New York Herald Tribune August 21, 1950, Bigart dispatch, 20 August; Check MS review comments, 6 Dec 57.

[66] 27th Inf WD, 19 Aug 50; 23d Inf WD, Aug 50 Narr Summ, p. 7; EUSAK WD, G-3 Sec, 19 Aug 50; ROK Army Hq, MS review comments, Jul 58.

[67] 1st Bn, 27th Inf WD, 20 Aug 50; EUSAK G-3 Jnl, 200955 Aug 50; New York Herald Tribune, August 2, 1950.

[68] 27th Inf WD, 21 Aug 50; 1st Bn, 27th Inf WD, 21 Aug 50; Ltr, Check to author, 29 Sep 53; New York Herald Tribune, August 22, 1950, Bigart dispatch, 21 August.

[69] 2d Bn, 27th Inf WD, Activities Rpt, 21 Aug. and Summ of Activities, 21-22 Aug 50; Ltr, Check to author, 29 Sep 53; Interv, author with Check, 6 Feb 53; ATIS Interrog Rpts,, Issue 3, Rpt 895, Maj Kim Song Jun, CO 19th Regt, 13th Div, 21 Aug 50; EUSAK WD, 5 Sep 50, ATIS Interrog Rpt 895. The North Korean division commander blamed the 19th Regiment for incompetence and failure to correlate its action with the rest of the division in this battle.

[70] 2d Bn, 27th Inf WD, Summ of Activities, 22 Aug 50.

[71] EUSAK WD, G-3 Sec, 22 Aug 50; 23d Inf WD, Aug 50 Summ, 22 Aug; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 3 (N.K. 1st Div), p. 34.

[72] EUSAK WD, G-3 Sec, Msg at 1320, 22 Aug 50.

[73] Interv, author with Brig Gen William C. Bullock, 2 Dec 53 (Bullock was Asst G-3, Eighth Army, at the time; Gay, Comments, 24 Aug 53; Ltr, Check to author, 29 Sep 53.

[74] Ltr, Check to author, 29 Sep 53; 22 Aug 50; 8th FA Bn WD, 1-31 Aug 50; 23d Inf WD, Aug 50 Narr Summ, p. 7.

[75] EUSAK WD, G-3 Sec, 22 Aug 50; 27th Inf WD, 22 Aug 50; 23d Inf WD, Aug 50 Narr Summ.

[76] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 106 (N.K. Arty), p. 55: ATIS Interrog Rpts, Issue 2, Rpt 771, Col Chong; New York Times, August 24, 1950, dispatch from Taegu, 22 August.

[77] EUSAK WD, G-3 Sec, 23 Aug 50; 3d Bn, 27th Inf WD, 23 Aug 50; 65th Engr C Bn WD, 23 Aug 50.

[78] 23d Inf WD, Aug 50 Narr Summ; EUSAK WD, G-3 Sec, 23 Aug 50; Ibid., Aug 50 Summ, p. 67.

[79] 2d Bn, 27th Inf WD, Summ of Activities, 24 Aug 50; Ltr, Check to author, 29 Sep 53.

[80] 27th Inf WD, 24-25 Aug 50; 1st Bn, 27th Inf WD, 25 Aug 50; New York Herald Tribune, August 26, 1950.

[81] EUSAK WD, G-3 Sec, 24-25 Aug 50; 27th Inf WD, 25-26 and 30 Aug 50. The S-3, 2d Battalion, was killed by enemy fire just as the regiment started to leave the line in the Bowling Alley. A ROK battalion commander in the relieving force was also killed about this time. 2d Bn, 27th Inf WD. 25 Aug 50; Ltr, Check to author, 29 Sep 53.

[82] New York Times, August 27, 1950.

[83] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 3 (N.K. 1st Div), pp. 34-35; EUSAK WD, 28 Aug 50, ATIS Interrog Rpt 819, Chu Chae Song; Ibid., 31 Aug 50, ATIS Interrog Rpt 856, Yom In Bok.

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