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The North Korean Great Naktong Offensive

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)
If men make war in slavish observance of rules, they will fail.... Waris progressive, because all the instruments and elements of war are progressive.
ULYSSES damnyankee S. GRANT

The situation on Eighth Army's southern front was chaotic by middayof 1 September. The North Koreans at one place had crossed at the Kihangferry, captured Agok, engaged Kouma's tanks, and scattered A Company, 9thInfantry of the 2d Division, at its positions from Agok northward. (SeeMap VI.) Lieutenant Rodriguez succeeded in withdrawing most of A Companyto its old positions on the ridge line back of the river. From there atdaylight the men could see enemy soldiers on many of the ridges surroundingthem, most of them moving east. After several hours, Lieutenant Fern, 2dPlatoon leader, sent a patrol down the hill to Agok to obtain suppliesabandoned there during the night. The patrol encountered a small enemygroup in the village, killed three men and sustained two casualties, butreturned with much needed water, rations, and ammunition.

Later in the morning enemy barges crossed the Naktong below A Companybut they were out of range. Rodriguez sent a squad with a light machinegun to the southern tip of the ridge overlooking Agok to take these enemytroops under fire. About halfway down, the squad came upon a criticallywounded Negro soldier. Around him lay ten dead North Koreans. The woundedman was evacuated to the company command post but died that afternoon.When the squad reached the tip of the ridge they saw that an enemy forceoccupied houses at its base. They reported this to Lieutenant Fern, whocalled for artillery fire through the forward observer. This artilleryfire was delivered within a few minutes and was on target. The North Koreansbroke from the houses, running for the river. At this the light machinegun at the tip of the ridge took them under fire, as did another acrossthe Naktong to the south in the 25th Division sector. Proximity fuze artilleryfire decimated this group. Combined fire from all weapons inflicted anestimated 300 casualties.

In the afternoon, light aircraft dropped food and ammunition to thecompany; only part of it was recovered. The 1st Battalion ordered Rodriguez to withdraw the company that night.

Lieutenant Fern's 2d Platoon led the A Company withdrawal immediatelyafter dark, moving eastward along the ridge crest. At the eastern tip theplatoon started down. Near the bottom the leading men saw a column of about400 North Koreans marching on the road some 200 yards below them with anumber of machine guns mounted on wheels. Rodriguez ordered the companyto circle back up the ridge and away from the road. Fern was to bring upthe rear and carry with him the wounded, two of whom were litter cases.Transporting the wounded over the rough terrain in the darkness was a slowand difficult task and gradually Fern's platoon fell behind the others.By the time he reached the base of the ridge he had lost contact with therest of the company.

At this juncture a furious fire fight erupted ahead of Fern. Enemy machinegun fire from this fight struck among the 2d Platoon and pinned it down.For their safety, Fern decided to send the wounded back into the ravinethey had just descended, and put them in charge of Platoon Sgt. HerbertH. Freeman and ten men. Several stragglers from the advanced elements ofthe company joined Fern and reported that Rodriguez and the rest of thecompany had run into a sizable enemy force and had scattered in the ensuingfight. Lieutenant Rodriguez and most of the company were killed at closerange. In this desperate action, Pfc. Luther H. Story, a weapons squadleader, so distinguished himself by a series of brave deeds that he wasawarded the Medal of Honor. Badly wounded, Story refused to be a burdento those who might escape, and when last seen was still engaging enemyat close range. Of those with Rodriguez, approximately ten men escapedto friendly lines.

Fern decided shortly before dawn that he must try to escape before daylight.He sent word by a runner back to Freeman, who should have been about 500yards in the rear, to rejoin the platoon. The runner returned and saidhe could not find Freeman. There had been no firing to the rear, so Fernknew that Freeman had not encountered enemy troops. Two men searched asecond time for Freeman without success. Fern then decided that he wouldhave to try to lead those with him to safety.

A heavy ground fog, so thick that one could hardly see twenty-five yards,developed in the early morning of 2 September and this held until midmorning.Under this cloak of concealment Fern's group made its way by compass towardYongsan. From a hill at noon, after the fog had lifted, the men lookeddown on the battle of Yongsan which was then in progress. That afternoonFern brought the nineteen men with him into the lines of the 72d Tank Battalionnear Yongsan.

Upon reporting to Lt. Col. John E. Londahl, Fern asked for permissionto lead a patrol in search of Sergeant Freeman's group. Londahl deniedthis request because every available man was needed in the defense of Yongsan.As it turned out, Freeman brought his men to safety. Upon moving back fromFern's platoon during the night battle, he had taken his group all theway back up to the top of the ridge. They had stayed there in seclusionall day, watching many enemy groups moving about in all directions belowthem. Freeman assumed that most of A Company had been killed or captured. For five days and nightshe maintained his squad and the four wounded behind enemy lines, finallyguiding them all safely to friendly lines. [1]

The End of Task Force Manchu

It will be recalled that the North Koreans who crossed near the middleof the Naktong Bulge in front of B Company, 9th Infantry, surprised theadvanced support elements of Task Force Manchu at the base of Hill 209where the Yongsan road came down to the Naktong. Some elements of the twoHeavy Weapons Companies, D and H, had already started to climb the hillto emplace their weapons there when the North Korean surprise river crossingcaught most of the support elements and the Heavy Mortar Company at thebase of the hill. This crossing was about five miles north of the enemycrossing that had all but destroyed A Company near the division's southernboundary.

The perimeter position taken by the men of D and H Companies, 9th Infantry,who had started up the hill before the North Koreans struck, was on a southernknob (about 150 meters high) of Hill 209, half a mile south across a saddlefrom B Company's higher position. As the night wore on, a few more menreached the perimeter. In addition to the D and H Company men, there werea few from the Heavy Mortar Platoon and one or two from B Company. Altogether,there were approximately 60 to 70 men, including 5 officers, in the group-anactual count was never made. An inventory of the weapons and equipmentdisclosed that the group had 1 SCR-300 radio; 1 heavy machine guns, 1 operable;2 light machine guns; 1 BAR; about 20 M1 rifles; and about 40 carbinesor pistols. Lieutenant Schmitt assumed command of the group. [2]

During the night Lieutenant Schmitt established radio communicationwith the 1st Battalion, 9th infantry, and received promises of help onthe morrow. When daylight came Schmitt and his group saw that they weresurrounded by enemy. One force occupied the higher knob half a mile abovethem, formerly held by B Company. Below them, North Koreans continued crossingthe river and moving supplies forward to their combat units, some of themalready several miles eastward.

Enemy troops were not long in discovering the Task Force Manchu group.They first attacked it at 1400 that afternoon, and were repulsed. Thatnight an estimated company attacked three times, pressing the fight toclose quarters, but failed each time to penetrate the tight perimeter.Daylight of the second day disclosed many enemy dead on the steep slopesoutside the perimeter.

By that morning (2 September) the need for hand grenades was desperate. About 0900 MSgt. Travis E. Watkinsof H Company shot and killed two enemy soldiers 50 yards outside the northeastedge of the perimeter. He jumped from his hole to get the weapons and grenadesof the dead men; 20 yards from them three hidden enemy soldiers jumpedto their feet and opened fire on him. Watkins killed them and gatheredweapons, ammunition, and insignia from all five before returning to theperimeter. An hour later a group of six enemy soldiers gained a protectedspot 25 yards from a machine gun position of the perimeter and began throwinghand grenades into it. Although already wounded in the head, Watkins rosefrom his hole to engage them with rifle fire. An enemy machine gun immediatelytook him under fire and hit him in the left side, breaking his back. Watkinsin some manner managed to kill all six of the nearby enemy soldiers beforehe sank into his hole paralyzed from the waist down. Even in this condition,Watkins never lost his nerve, but shouted encouragement to his companions.He refused any of the scarce rations, saying that he did not deserve thembecause he could no longer fight. [3]

In the afternoon of 2 September Schmitt succeeded in radioing a requestto the 1st Battalion for an airdrop of supplies. A division liaison planeattempted the drop, but the perimeter was so small and the slopes so steepthat virtually all the supplies went into enemy hands. The men in the perimeterdid, however, recover from a drop made later at 1900 a case of carbineammunition, 2 boxes of machine gun ammunition, 11 hand grenades, 2 1/2cases of rations, part of a package of medical supplies, and 21 cans ofbeer. Pfc. Joseph R. Ouellette, H Company, left the perimeter to retrievean airdrop of water cans but found on reaching them that they were brokenand empty. Like Watkins, he distinguished himself by leaving the perimeterto gather weapons, ammunition, and grenades from the enemy dead. On onesuch occasion an enemy soldier suddenly attacked Ouellette, who killedthe North Korean in hand-to-hand combat. [4]

In helping to recover the airdropped supplies on the evening of 2 September,Lieutenant Schmitt was wounded but continued to exercise his command, encouragingthe diminishing group by his example. That same afternoon, the North Koreanssent an American prisoner up the hill to Schmitt with the message, "Youhave one hour to surrender or be blown to pieces." Failing in frontalinfantry attack to reduce the little defending force, the enemy now obviouslymeant to take it under observed and registered mortar fire. [5]

Forty-five minutes later enemy antitank fire came in on the knob andtwo machine guns from positions northward and higher on the slope of Hill209 swept the perimeter. Soon, enemy mortars emplaced on a neighboring high finger ridge eastward registeredon Schmitt's perimeter and continued firing until dark. The machine gunfire forced every man to stay in his hole. The lifting of the mortar fireafter dark was the signal for renewed enemy infantry attacks, all of whichwere repulsed. But the number of killed and wounded within the perimeterwas growing, and food, water, and ammunition were needed. There were nomedical supplies except those carried by one aid man.

The third day, Sunday, 3 September, was the worst of all. The weatherwas terrifically hot. There was no water, and only one can of C rationsper man. Ammunition was almost gone. Since the previous afternoon, enemymortar barrages had alternated with infantry assaults against the perimeter.Survivors later estimated there were about twenty separate infantry attacks-allrepulsed. Two enemy machine guns still swept the perimeter whenever anyoneshowed himself. Dead and dying were in almost every foxhole or lay justoutside. Mortar fragments destroyed the radio and this ended all communicationwith friendly units. Artillery fire and air strikes requested by Schmittnever came. Some enemy soldiers worked their way close to the perimeterand threw grenades into it. Six times Ouellette leaped from his foxholeto escape grenades thrown into it. Each time the enemy fired on him fromclose range. In this close action Ouellette was killed. Most of the foxholesof the perimeter received one or more direct mortar hits in the courseof the continuing mortar fire. One of these killed Lieutenant Schmitt on3 September. He had given his men heroic leadership and had inspired themby his example throughout three days and nights of the ordeal. The commandpassed now to 1st Lt. Raymond J. McDoniel of D Company, senior survivingofficer. [6]

In the evening, relief came in the form of rain. McDoniel spread outtwo blankets recovered with airdropped supplies the day before, and wrungfrom them enough water to fill a 5-gallon can. The men removed their clothingand wrung water from them to fill their canteens.

The fourth night passed. At daylight on the morning of 4 September onlytwo officers, McDoniel and Caldwell, and approximately half the men whohad assembled on the hill, were alive. Some men had broken under the strainand in a state of shock had run from their holes and were killed. As theday passed, with ammunition down to about one clip per man and only a fewgrenades left and no help in sight, McDoniel decided to abandon the positionthat night. He told Caldwell that when it got dark the survivors wouldsplit into small groups and try to get back to friendly lines. That eveningafter dark the North Koreans tried to get their men to assault the perimeteragain, but, despite shouted orders of "Manzai!" only a few grenadesfell inside the perimeter-apparently the enemy soldiers had had enoughand refused to charge forward.

At 2200, McDoniel and Caldwell and twenty-seven enlisted men slippedoff the hill in groups of four. One poignant scene etched itself on theminds of Sergeant Watkins' comrades. Watkins, still alive in his paralyzedcondition, refused efforts of evacuation, saying that he did not want to be a burden to those who had a chance to get away. He askedonly that his carbine be loaded and placed on his chest with the muzzleunder his chin. He smiled a last farewell to his buddies and wished themwell when they started off the hill. [7]

McDoniel and Caldwell started off the hill together, their plan beingto make their way to the river and follow it downstream. At the road theyencountered so much enemy activity that they had to wait about an hourfor the supply-carrying parties, tanks, and artillery to clear so thatthey could cross. Once across the road the two men found themselves inthe middle of a North Korean artillery battery. They escaped unobservedand hid in a field near the river at daybreak. That night the two men becameseparated when they ran into an enemy outpost. The next morning two enemysoldiers captured Caldwell, removed his boots and identification, smashedhim on the head with a rock, and threw him over a cliff into the NaktongRiver. Caldwell, not critically injured, feigned death and escaped thatnight. Four days later, on 10 September, he entered the lines of the 72dTank Battalion.

Of the twenty-nine men who came off the hill the night of 4 September,twenty-two escaped to friendly lines-many of them following the Naktongdownstream, hiding by day and traveling by night, until they reached thelines of the 25th Division. [8]

Members of Task Force Manchu who escaped from Hill 209 brought backconsiderable intelligence information of enemy activity in the vicinityof the Paekchin ferry crossing site. At the ferry site the enemy had putin an underwater ford. A short distance downstream, each night half anhour after dark they placed a metal floating bridge across the river andtook it up before dawn the next morning. Carrying parties of 50 civiliansguarded by four soldiers crossed the river continuously at night at, adogtrot, an estimated total of 800-1,000 carriers being used at this crossingsite..

The Battle of Yongsan

On the morning of 1 September the 1st and 2d Regiments ofthe N.K. 9th Division (the 3d Regiment had been left at Inch'on),in their first offensive of the war, stood only a few miles short of Yongsanafter a successful river crossing and penetration of the American line.At that point the chances of the division accomplishing its assigned missionmust have looked favorable to its commanding general, Pak Kyo Sam.

As the N.K. 9th Division approached Yongsan, its 1st Regimentwas on the north and its 2d Regiment on the south. The division's attachedsupport, consisting of one 76-mm. artillery battalion from the ICorps, an antiaircraft battalion of artillery, two tank battalionsof the 16th Armored Brigade, and a battalion of artillery from the4th Division, gave it unusual weapon support. Crossing the riverbehind it came the 4th Division, a greatly weakened organization,far understrength, short of weapons, and made up mostly of untrained replacements.A captured enemy document referred to this grouping of units that attackedfrom the Sinban-ni area into the Naktong Bulge as "the main force"of I Corps. Elements of the 9th Division reached the hillsjust west of Yongsan during the afternoon of 1 September. [10]

On the morning of 1 September, with only the shattered remnants of ECompany at hand, the 9th Infantry had virtually no troops to defend Yongsan.General Keiser in this emergency attached the 2d Engineer Combat Battalionto the regiment. The 72d Tank Battalion and the 2d Division ReconnaissanceCompany also were assigned positions close to Yongsan. Colonel Hill plannedto place the engineers on the chain of low hills that arched around Yongsanon the northwest.

Capt. Frank M. Reed, commanding officer of A Company, 2d Engineer CombatBattalion, led his company westward on the south side of the Yongsan-NaktongRiver road; Lt. Lee E. Beahler with D Company of the 2d Engineer Battalionwas on the north side of the road. Approximately two miles west of Yongsanan estimated 300 enemy troops engaged A Company in a fire fight. Two quad-50'sand one twin-40 gun carrier of the 82d AAA Battalion supported Reed's menin this action, which lasted several hours. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Beahlerprotested his position because of its long frontage and exposed flanks.With the approval of General Bradley, he moved his Engineer company tothe hill immediately south of and overlooking Yongsan. A platoon of infantrywent into position behind him. Captain Reed was now ordered to fall backwith his company to the southeast edge of Yongsan on the left flank ofBeahler's company. There, A Company went into position along the road;on its left was C Company of the Engineer battalion, and beyond C Companywas the 2d Division Reconnaissance Company. The hill occupied by Beahler'sD Company was in reality the western tip of a large mountain mass thatlay southeast of the town. The road to Miryang came south out of Yongsan,bent around the western tip of this mountain, and then ran eastward alongits southern base. In its position, D Company not only commanded the townbut also its exit, the road to Miryang. [11]

North Koreans had also approached Yongsan from the south. The 2d DivisionReconnaissance Company and tanks of the 72d Tank Battalion opposed themin a sharp fight. In this action, SFC Charles W. Turner of the Reconnaissance Company particularly distinguishedhimself. He mounted a tank, operated its exposed turret machine gun, anddirected tank fire which reportedly destroyed seven enemy machine guns.Turner and this tank were the objects of very heavy enemy fire which shotaway the tank's periscope and antennae and scored more than fifty hitson it. Turner, although wounded, remained on the tank until he was killed.That night North Korean soldiers crossed the low ground around Yongsanand entered the town from the south. [12]

About 0300, 2 September, D Company of the 2d Engineer Battalion alertedA Company that a long line of white-garbed figures was moving through Yongsantoward its roadblock. Challenged when they approached, the white figuresopened fire-they were enemy troops. Four enemy tanks and an estimated battalionof North Koreans were in Yongsan.

The North Koreans now attempted a breakthrough of the Engineer position.After daylight, they were unable to get reinforcements into the fight sinceD Company commanded the town and its approaches. In this fight, which rageduntil 1100, the engineers had neither artillery nor mortar support. D Companyremedied this by using its 9 new 3.5-inch and 9 old 2.36-inch rocket launchersagainst the enemy infantry. The fire of the 18 bazookas plus that from4 heavy and 4 light machine guns and the rifles, carbines, and grenadesof the company inflicted very heavy casualties on the North Koreans, whodesperately tried to clear the way for a push eastward to Miryang. Tanksof A and B Companies, 72d Tank Battalion, at the southern and eastern edgeof Yongsan shared equally with the engineers in the honors of this battle.Lieutenant Beahler was the only officer of D Company not killed or woundedin this melee, which cost the company twelve men killed and eighteen wounded.The edge of Yongsan and the slopes of the hill south of the town becamea shambles of enemy dead and destroyed equipment. [13]

While this battle raged during the morning at Yongsan, Colonel Hillreorganized about 800 men of the 9th Infantry who had arrived in that vicinityfrom the overrun river line positions. Among them were F and G Companies,which were not in the path of major enemy crossings and had succeeded inwithdrawing eastward. They had no crew-served weapons or heavy equipment.In midafternoon (2 September) tanks and the reorganized 2d Battalion, 9thInfantry, attacked through A Company, 2d Engineer Combat Battalion, intoYongsan, and regained possession of the town at 1500. Later, two bazookateams from A Company, 2d Engineer Combat Battalion, knocked out three T34tanks just west of Yongsan. American ground and air action destroyed otherenemy tanks during the day southwest of the town. By evening the NorthKoreans had been driven into the hills westward. In the evening, the 2d Battalion and A Company, 2d EngineerCombat Battalion, occupied the first chain of low hills half a mile beyondYongsan, the engineers west and the 2d Battalion northwest of the town.For the time being at least, the North Korean drive toward Miryang hadbeen halted. [14]

At 0935 that morning (2 September), while the North Koreans were attemptingto destroy the Engineer troops at the southern edge of Yongsan and clearthe road to Miryang, General Walker talked by telephone with Maj. Gen.Doyle O. Hickey, Deputy Chief of Staff, Far East Command, in Tokyo. Hedescribed the situation around the Perimeter and said the most seriousthreat was along the boundary between the U.S. 2d and 25th Divisions. Hedescribed the location of his reserve forces and his plans for using them.He said he had started the marines toward Yongsan but had not yet releasedthem for commitment there and he wanted to be sure that General MacArthurapproved his use of them, since he knew that this would interfere withother plans of the Far East Command. Walker said he did not think he couldrestore the 2d Division lines without using them. General Hickey repliedthat General MacArthur had the day before approved the use of the marinesif and when Walker considered it necessary. A few hours after this conversationGeneral Walker, at 1315, attached the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade tothe 2d Division and ordered a co-ordinated attack by all available elementsof the division and the marines, with the mission of destroying the enemyeast of the Naktong River in the 2d Division sector and of restoring theriver line. The marines were to be released from 2d Division control justas soon as this mission was accomplished. [15]

U.N. Troops Cross Rice Paddies

A conference was held that afternoon at the 2d Division command postattended by Colonel Collier, Deputy Chief of Staff, Eighth Army, GeneralCraig and Maj. Frank R. Stewart, Jr., of the Marine Corps, and GeneralKeiser and 2d Division staff officers. A decision was reached that themarines would attack west the next morning at 0800 (3 September) astridethe Yongsan-Naktong River road; the 9th Infantry, B Company of the 72dTank Battalion, and D Battery of the 82d AAA Battalion would attack northwestabove the marines and attempt to re-establish contact with the 23d Infantry;the 2d Engineer Combat Battalion, remnants of the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry,and elements of the 72d Tank Battalion would attack on the left flank,or south, of the marines to reestablish contact with the 25th Division.Eighth Army now ordered the 24th Division headquarters and the 19th Infantryto move to the Susan-ni area, eight air miles south of Miryang and fifteenmiles east of the confluence of the Nam and the Naktong Rivers. There itwas to prepare to enter the battle in either the 2d or 25th Division zone.Colonel Fisher, commanding officer of the 35th Infantry, 25th Division,each morning flew along the Naktong River east of the Namji-ri bridge to see if North Koreans had crossed from the 2d Divisionzone. [16]

At 1900 the evening of 2 September, Colonel Hill returned to his commandpost east of Yongsan where he conferred with Colonel Murray, commandingthe 5th Marines, and told him that his line of departure for the attackthe next morning was secure. The troops holding this line on the firsthills west of Yongsan were: G Company, 9th Infantry, north of the roadrunning west through Kogan-ni to the Naktong; A Company, 2d Engineer CombatBattalion, southward across the road; and, below the engineers, F Company,9th Infantry. Between 0300 and 0430, 3 September, the 5th Marines movedto forward assembly areas-the 2d Battalion north of Yongsan, the 1st Battalionsouth of it. The 3d Battalion established security positions southwestof Yongsan along the approaches into the regimental sector from that direction.[17]

During the night, A Company of the engineers had considerable fightingwith North Koreans and never reached its objective. At dawn 3 September,Reed led A Company in an attack to gain the high ground which was partof the designated Marine line of departure. The company fought its wayup the slope to within 100 yards of the top, which was held by the firmlyentrenched enemy. At this point Captain Reed caught an enemy-thrown grenade and was wounded byits fragments as he tried to throw it away from his men. The company withhelp from Marine tank fire eventually gained its objective, but this earlymorning battle for the line of departure delayed the planned attack. [18]

The Marine attack started at 0855 across the rice paddy land towardenemy-held high ground half a mile westward. The 1st Battalion, south ofthe east-west road, gained its objective when enemy soldiers broke underair attack and ran down the northern slope and crossed the road to Hill116 in the 2d Battalion zone. Air strikes, artillery concentrations, andmachine gun and rifle fire of the 1st Battalion now caught enemy reinforcementsin open rice paddies moving up from the second ridge and killed most ofthem. In the afternoon, the 1st Battalion advanced to Hill 91.

North of the road the 2d Battalion had a harder time, encountering heavyenemy fire when it reached the northern tip of Hill 116, two miles westof Yongsan. The North Koreans held the hill during the day, and at nightD Company of the 5th Marines was isolated there. In the fighting west ofYongsan Marine armor knocked out four T34 tanks, and North Korean crewmembers abandoned a fifth. That night the marines dug in on a line generallytwo miles west of Yongsan. The 2d Battalion had lost 18 killed and 77 woundedduring the day, most of them in D Company. Total Marine casualties for3 September were 34 killed and 157 wounded. Co-ordinating its attack withthat of the marines, the 9th Infantry advanced abreast of them on the north.[19]

Just before midnight, the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, received ordersto pass through the 2d Battalion and continue the attack in the morning.That night torrential rains made the troops miserable. The enemy was strangelyquiet. September 4 dawned clear.

The counterattack continued at 0800, 4 September, at first against littleopposition. North of the road the 2d Battalion quickly completed occupationof Hill 116, from which the North Koreans had withdrawn during the night.South of the road the 1st Battalion occupied what appeared to be a commandpost of the N.K. 9th Division. Tents were still up and equipmentlay scattered about. Two abandoned T34 tanks in excellent condition stoodthere. Tanks and ground troops advancing along the road found it litteredwith enemy dead and destroyed and abandoned equipment. By nightfall thecounterattack had gained another three miles. [20]

That night was quiet until just before dawn. The North Koreans thenlaunched an attack against the 9th Infantry on the right of the marines,the heaviest blow striking G Company. It had begun to rain again and theattack came in the midst of a downpour. In bringing his platoon from anoutpost position to the relief of the company, SFC Loren R. Kaufman encounteredan encircling enemy force on the ridge line. He bayoneted the lead enemy scout and engagedthose following with grenades and rifle fire. His sudden attack confusedand dispersed this group. Kaufman led his platoon on and succeeded in joininghard-pressed G Company. In the ensuing action Kaufman led assaults againstclose-up enemy positions and, in hand-to-hand fighting, he bayoneted fourmore enemy soldiers, destroyed a machine gun position, and killed the crewmembers of an enemy mortar. American artillery fire concentrated in frontof the 9th Infantry helped greatly in repelling the North Koreans in thisnight and day battle. [21]

That morning (5 September), after a 10-minute artillery preparation,the American troops moved out in their third day of counterattack. It wasa day of rain. As the attack progressed, the marines approached Obong-niRidge and the 9th Infantry neared Cloverleaf Hill-their old battlegroundof August. There, at midmorning, on the high ground ahead, they could seeenemy troops digging in. The marines approached the pass between the twohills and took positions in front of the enemy-held high ground.

At 1430 approximately 300 enemy infantry came from the village of Tugokand concealed positions, striking B Company on Hill 125 just north of theroad and east of Tugok. Two enemy T34 tanks surprised and knocked out thetwo leading Marine Pershing M26 tanks. Since the destroyed Pershing tanksblocked fields of fire, four others withdrew to better positions. Assaultteams of B Company and the 1st Battalion with 3.5-inch rocket launchersrushed into action, took the tanks under fire, and destroyed both of them,as well as an armored personnel carrier following behind. The enemy infantryattack was quite savage and inflicted twenty-five casualties on B Companybefore reinforcements from A Company and supporting Army artillery andthe Marine 81-mm. mortars helped repel it. [22]

September 5 was a day of heavy casualties everywhere on the Pusan Perimeter.Army units had 102 killed, 430 wounded, and 587 missing in action for atotal of 1,119 casualties. Marine units had 35 killed, 91 wounded, andnone missing in action, for a total of 126 battle casualties. Total Americanbattle casualties for the day were 1,245 men. Col. Charles C. Sloane, Jr.,who had commanded part of Task Force Bradley, resumed command of the 9thInfantry, relieving Colonel Hill. [23]

During the previous night, at 2000, 4 September, General Walker hadordered the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade released from operational controlof the 2d Division effective at midnight, 5 September. He had vainly protestedagainst releasing the brigade, believing he needed it and all the troopsthen in Korea if he were to stop the North Korean offensive against thePusan Perimeter. At 0015, 6 September, the marines began leaving their lines at Obong-ni Ridge and headed for Pusan. [24]

The American counteroffensive of 3-5 September west of Yongsan, accordingto prisoner statements, resulted in one of the bloodiest and most terrifyingdebacles of the war for a North Korean division. Even though remnants ofthe division, supported by the low strength 4th Division, stillheld Obong-ni Ridge, Cloverleaf Hill, and the intervening ground back tothe Naktong on 6 September, the division's offensive strength had beenspent at the end of the American counterattack. The 9th and 4thenemy divisions were not able to resume the offensive. [25]

Once again the fatal weakness of the North Korean Army had cost it victoryafter an impressive initial success-its communications and supply werenot capable of exploiting a breakthrough and of supporting a continuingattack in the face of massive air, armor, and artillery fire that couldbe concentrated against its troops at critical points.

The 23d Infantry in Front of Changnyong

North of the 9th Infantry and the battles that ebbed and flowed in thebig bulge of the Naktong and around Yongsan, the 23d Infantry Regimentafter daylight of 1 September found itself in a very precarious position.Its 1st Battalion had been driven from the river positions and isolatedthree miles westward. Approximately 400 North Koreans now overran the regimentalcommand post, compelling Colonel Freeman to withdraw it about 600 yards.There, approximately five miles northwest of Changnyong, the 23d InfantryHeadquarters and Headquarters Company, miscellaneous regimental units,and regimental staff officers checked the enemy in a 3-hour fight. Capt.Niles J. McIntyre of the Headquarters Company played a leading role. [26]

The infallible sign of approaching enemy troops could be seen in Changnyongitself during the afternoon of 2 September-at 1300 the native populationbegan leaving the town. A little later a security force of 300 local policeunder the command of Maj. Jack T. Young and Capt. Harry H. White withdrewinto the hills eastward when two groups of enemy soldiers approached fromthe northwest and southwest. North Koreans were in Changnyong that evening.[27]

With his communications broken southward to the 2d Division headquartersand the 9th Infantry, General Haynes during the day decided to send a tankpatrol down the Yongsan road in an effort to re-establish communication.Capt. Manes R. Dew, commanding officer of C Company, 72d Tank Battalion,led the tanks southward. They had to fight their way down the road throughenemy roadblocks. Of the three tanks that started, only Dew's tank gotthrough to Yongsan. There, Captain Dew delivered an overlay of Task Force Haynes' positions to General Bradley.[28]

Still farther northward in the zone of the 38th Infantry the North Koreanswere far from idle. After the enemy breakthrough during the night of 31August, General Keiser on 1 September had ordered the 2d Battalion, 38thInfantry, to move south and help the 23d Regiment establish a defensiveposition west of Changnyong. In attempting to do this, the battalion foundenemy troops already on the ridges along the road. They had in fact penetratedto Hill 284 overlooking the 38th Infantry command post. This hill and Hill209 dominated the rear areas of the regiment. At 0600, 3 September, anestimated 300 North Koreans launched an attack from Hill 284 against ColonelPeploe's 38th Regiment command post. Colonel Peploe organized all officersand enlisted men present, including members of the mortar and tank companiesand attached antiaircraft artillery units, to fight in the perimeter defense.Peploe requested a bombing strike which was denied him because the enemytarget and his defense perimeter were too close to each other. But theAir Force did deliver rocket and strafing strikes.

This fight continued until 5 September. On that day Capt. Ernest J.Schauer captured Hill 284 with two platoons of F Company after four efforts.He found approximately 150 enemy dead on the hill. From the crest he andhis men watched as many more North Koreans ran into a village below them.Directed artillery fire destroyed the village. Among the abandoned enemymateriel on the hill, Schauer's men found twenty-five American BAR's andsubmachine guns, a large American radio, thirty boxes of unopened Americanfragmentation and concussion grenades, and some American rations. [29]

Meanwhile, during these actions in its rear, the 1st Battalion, 23dInfantry, was cut off three miles westward from the nearest friendly units.On 1 September Colonel Hutchin had received instructions from the regimentto withdraw to the Changnyong area. At 1400 he sent a tank-infantry patrolto see if his withdrawal road was open. It reported that an estimated enemybattalion held the mountain pass just eastward of the battalion's defenseperimeter. Upon receiving this report Colonel Hutchin requested permissionby radio to remain in his present position and from there try to obstructthe movement of North Korean reinforcements and supplies. That eveningColonel Freeman approved this request, and thus began the 1st Battalion's3-day stand as an island in a sea of enemy. During this time C-47 planessupplied the battalion by airdrops. [30]

The 2d Division, however, did not leave Colonel Hutchin to his own devicesin his isolated perimeter position. Instead, on the morning of 1 September,it started the 3d Battalion, 38th Infantry, in an attack westward fromthe 23d Regiment command post near Mosan-ni to open the enemy-held roadto the 1st Battalion. On the second day of the fighting at the enemy-heldpass, the relief force, under Maj. Everett S. Stewart, the battalion executive officer and temporarily acting battalion commander,broke through the enemy roadblock with the help of air strikes and artilleryand tank fire. The advanced elements of the battalion joined Hutchin'sbattalion at 1700, 2 September. That evening, North Koreans strongly attackedthe 3d Battalion, 38th Infantry, on Hill 209 north of the road and oppositeHutchin's battalion, driving one company from its position. [31]

On 4 September, General Haynes changed the boundary between the 38thand 23d Infantry Regiments, giving the northern part of the 23d's sectorto the 38th Infantry, thus releasing Colonel Hutchin's 1st Battalion formovement southward to help the 2d Battalion defend the southern approachto Changnyong. The 1st Battalion, 23d Infantry, about 1,100 men strongwhen the enemy attack began, was now down to a strength of approximately600 men.

The 23d Infantry now made plans to concentrate all its troops on theposition held by its 2d Battalion on the Pugong-ni-Changnyong road. ColonelHutchin succeeded in moving the 1st Battalion there and took a place onthe left flank of the 2d Battalion. At the same time the regimental commandpost moved to the rear of this position. In this regimental perimeter,the 23d Infantry fought a series of hard battles. Simultaneously it hadto send combat patrols to its rear to clear infiltrating enemy from Changnyongand from its supply road.

The N.K. 2d Division made a desperate effort against the23d Infantry's perimeter in the predawn hours of 8 September, in an attemptto break through eastward. This attack, launched at 0230 and heavily supportedwith artillery, penetrated F Company. It was apparent that unless F Company'sposition could be restored the entire regimental front would collapse.When all its officers became casualties, 1st Lt. Ralph R. Robinson, adjutantof the 2d Battalion, assumed command of the company. With North Koreansrapidly infiltrating his company's position and gaining its rear, Robinsonin the darkness made his way through them 500 yards to A Company's position.There he obtained that company's reserve platoon and brought it back toF Company. He accomplished the dangerous and difficult task of maneuveringit into the gap in F Company's lines in darkness and heavy rain. [32]

The enemy attack tapered off with the coming of daylight, but that nightit resumed. The North Koreans struck repeatedly at the defense line. Thistime they continued the fighting into the daylight hours of 9 September.The Air Force then concentrated strong air support over the regimentalperimeter and gave invaluable aid to the ground troops. Casualties cameto the aid stations from the rifle companies in an almost steady streamduring the morning. All available men from Headquarters Company and specialunits were formed into squads and put into the fight at the most criticalpoints. At one time, the regimental reserve was down to six men. When theenemy attack finally ceased shortly after noon the 23d Regiment had an estimated combat efficiencyof only 38 percent. [33]

This furious night and day battle cost the enemy division most of itsremaining offensive strength. The medical officer of the 17th Regiment,2d Division, captured a few days later, said that the division evacuatedabout 300 men nightly to a hospital in Pugong-ni, and that in the firsttwo weeks of September the 2d Division lost 1,300 killed and 2,500wounded in the fighting west of Changnyong. [34]

Even though its offensive strength was largely spent by 9 September,the enemy division continued to harass rear areas around Changnyong withinfiltrating groups as large as companies. Patrols daily had to open themain supply road and clear the town.

A North Korean Puzzle

While the N.K. 2d Division was making its great effort near themiddle of the U.S. 2d Division line, a sister organization, the N.K. 10thDivision, on its left to the north failed to give the assistance thatwas expected of it in the co-ordinated corps attack. And therein lies oneof the greatest North Korean failures of the war to exploit an opportunity.The singular behavior of this enemy force puzzled American commanders atthe time, although they were thankful that it took the pattern it did.The N.K. 10th Division was the northernmost major organization ofthe N.K. I Corps. A large part of it occupied Hill 409 in a deepfold of the Naktong River just west of Hyongp'ung. Elements of this divisionstreamed off Hill 409 the night of 31 August-1 September and struck the1st Battalion, 38th Infantry, which formed the extreme right flank of theU.S. 2d Division. Holding the town of Hyongp'ung was C Company, which withdrewfrom it under enemy attack during the night of 2-3 September. Beginningwith 3 September, Hyongp'ung for two weeks was either in enemy hands ora no man's land. [35]

North and east of the Hill 409 and Hyongp'ung area lay a virtually roadless,high mountain area having no fixed U.N. defensive positions. This, too,was a no man's land in early September. Four miles north of Hyongp'ungwas the Yongp'o bridge across the Naktong and the 1st Cavalry Divisionboundary. The Yongp'o bridge site was defended by the 3d Battalion, 23dInfantry, attached to the 1st Cavalry Division for that purpose, until0410, 5 September, when the British 27th Infantry Brigade relieved it andwent into the line there. This, as previously noted, was the British brigade'sfirst commitment in the Korean War. [36]

During the first two weeks of September large numbers of the enemy 10th Division came off Hill 409 and roamed the mountain mass northeastof Hyongp'ung in the gap between the U.S. 2d Division and the British 27thBrigade. This caused Eighth Army concern for the safety of Taegu. Gradually,ROK police and British combat patrols forced the North Koreans back toHill 409. On 6 September, the day after they went into the line, the Britishhad a taste of what the Korean War was like. A combat patrol of the Argyllsunder Capt. Neil A. Buchanan encountered an enemy unit and had to makeits escape, leaving behind, on his own orders, Captain Buchanan badly woundedand, at his side, his wounded batman. Neither was seen again. The Britishcompany nearest Hill 409 was so isolated that airdrops of ice to it replacedcarrying water cans up the hill. [37]

Had the enemy 10th Division thrown its full weight into a driveeastward, south of Taegu, it might well have precipitated a major crisisfor Eighth Army. It could have moved either northeast toward Taegu or southeastto help the 2d Division, next in line below it, but it did neither.Its relative inactivity in the vicinity of Hill 409 when its companiondivisions were engaged m desperate combat above and below it is somethingof a mystery. Captured enemy material and statements of prisoners indicatethat its mission may have been to stay on Hill 409 until the N.K. IICorps had captured Taegu, but they indicated, also, that the divisioncommand was inept. The 10th Division caused General Walker muchconcern at this time. He and his staff found it puzzling to reconcile thedivision's favorable position with its inactivity. General Walker chargedColonel Landrum, now Deputy Chief of Staff, Eighth Army, to watch the situationclosely and inform him daily on it. At least twice daily Landrum insistedon a summary from the Army G-3 of activities in front of the N.K. 10thDivision. [38]

The 34th Infantry - The Rock of the Nam

Battle Trophy

On the 25th Division's right flank and north of the Haman breakthrough,the 35th Infantry Regiment at daylight, 1 September, still held all itspositions except the low ground between Komam-ni and the Nam River, whichthe two companies of ROK police had abandoned at midnight. (See MapV.) In a counterattack after daylight, K Company and tanks hadpartially regained control of this area, but not completely. Large numbersof North Koreans, by this time, however, were behind the battle positionsof the 35th Infantry as far as the Chirwon-ni and Chung-ni areas, six mileseast of Komam-ni and the front positions. The North Koreans continued tocross the Nam River after daylight on 1 September in the general area ofthe gap between the 1st and 2d Battalions. Aerial observers saw an estimatedfour companies crossing there and directed proximity (VT) fuze fire ofthe 64th Field Artillery Battalion on the crossing force, which destroyed an estimatedthree-fourths of it. Fighter planes then strafed the survivors. Aerialobservers saw another large group in the open at the river later in theday and directed artillery proximity fuze fire on it with an estimated200 enemy casualties. [39]

The enemy I Corps plan of attack below the Nam River,as indicated by the North Korean action, seemed to be for its 6th Divisionto push east along the main Chinju-Komam-ni-Masan highway through the1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, and at the same time for major elements ofits 7th Division to swing southeast behind the 2d Battalion, 35thInfantry, and cut the Chirwon road. This road crossed the Naktong Riverover the cantilever steel bridge at Namji-ri from the 2d Division zoneand ran south through Chirwon to join the main Masan highway eight mileseast of Komam-ni near the village of Chung-ni, four miles northwest ofMasan. These two avenues of approach-the Komam-ni-Masan highway and the Chirwon roadconverging at Chung-ni-formed the axes of the enemy attack plan.

Engineer troops counterattacking up the secondary road toward Chirwonduring 1 September made slow progress, and enemy troops stopped them altogetherin the early afternoon. The 35th Infantry was now surrounded by enemy forcesof the N.K. 6th and 7th Divisions, with an estimated threebattalions of them behind its lines. Speaking later of the situation, ColonelFisher, the regimental commander-a professional soldier, trained at WestPoint, and a regimental commander in World War II-said, "I never intendedto withdraw. There was no place to go. I planned to go into a regimentalperimeter and hold." [40] His regiment demonstrated its competencyto do this in the September battle along the Nam, winning a DistinguishedUnit Citation for its performance there.

On that first day of the enemy thrust, a critical situation existedin the 25th Division sector. Because of it, General Walker flew to GeneralKean's command post at Masan. In the ensuing discussion there, Kean askedWalker for authority to commit the remainder of the 27th Infantry Regiment(Walker had already released one battalion to Kean's control for use inthe 24th Infantry sector) against the large enemy groups behind the 35thInfantry. Walker refused. By midafternoon, however, Kean felt that thesituation was so critical that he ordered the 2d Battalion, commanded byColonel Murch, to attack behind the 35th Infantry. A large part of thedivision artillery was under direct infantry attack and he felt it mandatoryupon himself to commit the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry. He gave this orderon his own authority as the responsible commander on the ground, notwithstandingGeneral Walker's earlier refusal. At a later date when General Walker knewall the facts, he approved General Kean's action. [41]

During the predawn hours of 1 September, when the N.K. 7th Divisiontroops had swung left after crossing the Nam River to roll up thatflank, widen the gap, drive the American troops from their hill positionsoverlooking the Nam River, and secure a broad bridgehead for the division,the first American unit they encountered was G Company, 35th Infantry,at the north shoulder of the gap. While some enemy units peeled off toattack G Company, others continued on and engaged E Company, two milesdownstream from it, and still others attacked scattered units of F Companyall the way to its 1st Platoon, which guarded the Namji-ri bridge. There,at the extreme right flank of the 25th Division, this platoon drove offan enemy force after a sharp fight. By 2 September, E Company in a heavybattle had destroyed most of an enemy battalion.

Of all the 2d Battalion units, G Company received the hardest blows.Before dawn of 1 September enemy troops had G Company platoons on separatehills under heavy assault. Shortly after 0300 they overran the 3d Platoon,Heavy Mortar Company, and drove it from its position. These mortarmen climbedHill 179 and on its crest joined the 2d Platoon of G Company.

Meanwhile, the 3d Platoon of G Company, on a low hill along the Namfour miles from its juncture with the Naktong, was also under close-inattack. After daylight, Capt. LeRoy E. Majeske, G Company commanding officer,requested artillery concentrations and air strikes, but the latter wereslow in coming. At 1145, the enemy had almost reached the crest of thehill, and only the narrow space covered by the air identification panelseparated the two forces. A few minutes later Majeske was killed, and 2dLt. George Roach, commanding the 3d Platoon, again reported the desperatesituation and asked for an air strike. The Air Force delivered the strikeon the enemy-held side of the hill, and this checked the assaults. Butby this time many enemy troops had captured and occupied foxholes in theplatoon position and from them they threw grenades into other parts ofthe position. One of the grenades killed Lieutenant Roach early in theafternoon. SFC Junius Poovey, a squad leader, now assumed command. In thisclose fight, one of the heroes was Cpl. Hideo Hashimoto, a Japanese-American,who edged himself forward and threw grenades into the enemy holes, someof them only ten to fifteen feet away. By 1800, Sergeant Poovey had only12 effectives left in the platoon; 17 of the 29 men still living were wounded.With ammunition almost gone, Poovey requested and received authority towithdraw into the main G Company position. After dark, the 29 men, 3 ofthem carried on stretchers, escaped by timing their departure from thehill with the arrival of friendly tanks which engaged the enemy and divertedattention from the beleaguered men on top. The group reached the G Companyposition on Hill 179 half an hour before midnight. [42]

While G Company held its positions on Hill 179 on 2 September againstenemy attack, Colonel Murch's 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, started an attacknorthwest toward it at 1700 from the Chung-ni area. The battalion madeslow progress against formidable enemy forces. The night was extremelydark and the terrain along the Kuhe-ri ferry road was mountainous. Afterfighting all that night the battalion, the next day at 1500, reached aposition 1,000 yards south of the original defensive positions of G Company,35th Infantry. A co-ordinated attack by armor, artillery, air, and infantrygot under way and by 1800 the battalion had re-established the battle line.In this attack the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, killed 275 enemy and recovereda large part of the equipment G Company had lost earlier.

2d Battalion, 27th Infantry

Colonel Murch's battalion remained on the regained positions duringthe night of the 3d. The next morning Murch received orders to attack tothe rear and clear the alternate route on the western edge of the battalionzone. At 0800 G Company, 35th Infantry, relieved Murch on the regainedpositions and the latter started his attack back up the supply road. While thiswas in progress, word came that North Koreans had again driven G Companyfrom its newly re-established position. Murch turned around, attacked,and once more restored the G Company positions. By noon of 4 September,Murch again turned over these positions to G Company and resumed his attackto the rear along the road in the gap between the 1st and 2d Battalions,35th Infantry. Almost immediately he was in contact with enemy forces.Soon North Korean machine guns were firing on Murch's men from three directions.Torrential rains fell and observation became poor. By this time, Murch'sbattalion was running short of ammunition. Murch ordered the battalionto withdraw about 500 yards to favorable terrain so that he could try toeffect a resupply.

But this was not easy to do. He had cleared the supply route two dayspreviously in his attack to the G Company position but now it was closedagain. With several thousand North Korean soldiers behind the 35th Infantryfront, it was like pulling one's thumb from a pail of water-the space filledagain immediately. Murch requested air supply and the next morning, 5 September,eight transport planes accomplished the resupply and the 2d Battalion,27th Infantry, was ready to resume its attack to the rear. By evening thatday it had cleared the supply road and adjacent terrain of enemy soldiersfor a distance of 8,000 yards to the rear of G Company's front-line positions.There Murch received orders to halt and prepare to attack northeast to link up withColonel Check's 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry. [43]

After Murch had left the Chung-ni area on 2 September in his attacktoward G Company, enemy infiltrators attacked the 24th Infantry commandpost and several artillery positions. To meet this new situation, GeneralKean, again acting on his own authority as the responsible commander onthe ground, ordered the remaining battalion of the 27th Infantry (technicallystill the 3d Battalion, 28th Infantry), commanded by Lt. Col. George H.DeChow, to attack and destroy the enemy operating there. General Kean notifiedEighth Army of his action at 1250, 2 September. [44]

After an early morning struggle on 3 September against several hundredNorth Koreans in the vicinity of the artillery positions, DeChow's battalionlaunched its attack at 1500 over the high, rugged terrain west of the "Horseshoe,"as the deep curve in the Masan road was called, four miles east of Komam-ni.Its mission was to seize and secure the high ground dominating the Horseshoe,and then relieve the pressure on the 24th Infantry rear. Initially onlyone artillery piece was in position to support the attack. After the battalionadvanced some distance, an enemy force, estimated at the time to numbermore than 1,000 men, counterattacked it and inflicted heavy casualties,which included thirteen officers. The K Company commander, 1st Lt. ElwoodF. James, was killed while leading an assault. Additional tanks moved upto help secure the exposed right flank and rear, and air strikes helpedto contain the enemy force. The battalion finally succeeded in taking thehigh ground. [45]

The next morning, 4 September, instead of continuing the attack towardthe 24th Infantry command post, DeChow, on changed orders, attacked straightahead into the Komam-ni area where enemy troops were fighting in the artillerypositions. This attack got under way at 0900 in the face of severe enemysmall arms fire. In the afternoon, heavy rains slowed the attack, but afteran all-day battle, I and K Companies, with the help of numerous air strikes,captured the high ground dominating the Komam-ni crossroads. Numerous casualtiesin the battalion had led General Kean to attach C Company, 65th EngineerCombat Battalion, to it. The next day, 5 September, the 3d Battalion turnedits attack across rugged terrain toward Haman and drove through to thevicinity of the 24th Infantry command post. In its attack, the 3d Battalioncounted more than 300 enemy dead in the area it traversed. [46]

The series of events that caused General Kean to change the directionof DeChow's attack toward Komam-ni began at 0100, 3 September. The 1stBattalion, 35th Infantry, protruded farther westward at this time thanany other unit of the U.N. forces in Korea. Back of its positions on Sibidang-santhe main supply route and rear areas were in enemy hands, and only in daylightand under escort could vehicles travel the road. On Sibidang-san the battalionhad held its original positions after the heavy fighting of pre-dawn 1September, completely surrounded by barbed wire, booby traps, and flares,with all supporting weapons inside its tight perimeters. The battalionhad the advantage of calling by number for previously zeroed and numberedprotective fires covering all approaches, which were quickly delivered.An hour after midnight an unusually heavy enemy assault struck the battalion.The fight there continued until dawn 3 September, when the 1st Battalion,35th Infantry, counted 143 enemy dead in front of its positions, and onthat basis estimated that the total enemy casualties must have been about500 men. [47]

In this night battle the 64th Field Artillery Battalion gave invaluablesupport to the 1st Battalion and became directly involved itself in thefighting. About fifty North Koreans infiltrated before dawn to A Battery'sposition and delivered a banzai-type assault. Enemy soldiers employingsubmachine guns overran two artillery-machine gun perimeter positions,penetrating to the artillery pieces at 0300. There, Capt. Andrew C. Andersonand his men fought hand-to-hand with the North Koreans. Some of the gunsfell temporarily into enemy hands and one North Korean scrawled on a howitzertube, "Hurrah for our Company!" But the artillerymen threw theNorth Koreans out, aided greatly by the concentrations of fire from C Battery,90th Field Artillery Battalion, which were placed within fifty yards ofthe battery and sealed off enemy reinforcements. In defending its gunsin this night battle, A Battery lost seven men killed and twelve wounded-about25 percent of its strength. [48]

The day before, the 159th Field Artillery Battalion also had distinguisheditself in defending its guns in close fighting.

Fighting in support of the Nam River front in the northern part of the25th Division sector were five batteries of the 159th and 64th Field ArtilleryBattalions (105-mm. howitzers) and one battery of the 90th Field ArtilleryBattalion (155-mm. howitzers), for a total of thirty-six guns. One 155-mm.howitzer, called by Colonel Fisher "The Little Professor," firedfrom Komam-ni on the Notch back of Chungam-ni, through which funneled muchof the N.K. 6th Division's supplies. Another forward artillery piece keptthe Iryong-ni bridge over the Nam under fire. The 25th Division artilleryestimated it killed approximately 1,825 North Korean soldiers during thefirst three days of September. [49]

In this critical time, the Fifth Air Force added its tremendous firepower to that of the division artillery in support of the ground force.On 3 September, General Kean, speaking of the action during the past twodays, said, "The close air support rendered by Fifth Air Force againsaved this division as they have many times before." [50] This view was supported by GeneralWalker in an interview in November. Speaking then to a U.S. Air Force EvaluationGroup, General Walker said, "I will gladly lay my cards right on thetable and state that if it had not been for the air support that we receivedfrom the Fifth Air Force we would not have been able to stay in Korea."[51]

It is not possible here to follow in detail the confused ebb and flowof battle behind the 35th Infantry. Battalions, companies, and platoons,cut off and isolated, fought independently of higher control and help exceptfor airdrops which supplied many of them. Airdrops also supplied reliefforces trying to reach the front-line units. Tanks and armored cars ranthe gantlet to the isolated units with supplies of food and ammunitionand carried back critically wounded on the return trips.

In general, the 35th Infantry fought in its original battle line positions,while at first one battalion, and later two battalions, of the 27th Infantryfought toward it through the estimated 3,000 North Koreans operating inits rear areas.

In the confused fighting in the rear areas there were several casesof North Korean atrocities. One of the worst occurred when a group of companymess parties in jeeps pulling trailers with hot breakfast were followingtanks toward the front lines. About a mile and a half from G Company, 35thInfantry, the column came under enemy fire in a defile. The tanks wenton through, but most of the other vehicles under Capt. Robert E. Hammerquist,2d Battalion S-3, turned back. At least one of the mess parties, however,pressed on after the tanks. Some of this group were captured. One of itsmembers hid in a haystack and later escaped. He told of hearing the tortureand murder of one man. He heard agonized screams, recognized the man'svoice, and could hear him saying between sobs, "You might as wellkill me now." Later when the area was cleared of enemy this man'sbody was found castrated and the fingers cut off. [52] Many soldiers ofthe 25th Division later saw the bodies of Americans lying in a ditch inthe 35th Infantry area, their hands tied and their feet cut off. Stillothers saw dead Americans with their tongues cut out. Members of the N.K.7th Division apparently perpetrated these atrocities. [53]

During the September offensive enemy action in rear areas of the 25thDivision carried right to Masan. Guerrilla activity increased, with themost tragic single incident taking place during the night of 3-4 September.That night about fifteen guerrillas, including one woman, attacked a radiorelay station near Changwon, only four miles from Masan. They surpriseda group of seven Americans and two South Koreans inside a tent on a hilltop.The guerrillas tied up the Americans, took documents from files, gathered up all weapons,and then the woman shot every one of the prisoners with a tommy gun. Twowounded Americans lived to tell the story. [54]

Even in Masan, General Kean faced a dangerous situation. The town wasa nest of Communist sympathizers and agents. At the peak of the enemy offensive,Han Gum Jo, manager of the Masan branch of the Korean Press Association,confessed that he was chief of the South Korean Labor Party in Masan andthat he funneled information to the enemy through a Pusan headquarters.The chief of guards of the Masan prison was the head of a Communist celland seven of his guards were members. This and other counterintelligenceinformation came to light at a time when desperate fighting was in progressonly a few miles away. General Kean considered the situation so menacingthat he ordered Masan evacuated of all people except the police, publicofficials, railroad and utility workers, and necessary laborers and theirfamilies. Evacuation was to be completed in five days. On 10 and 11 Septemberalone the 25th Division evacuated more than 12,000 people by LST from Masan.[55]

Although the 25th Division generally was under much less enemy pressureafter 5 September, there were still severe local attacks. On 6 SeptemberColonel Check's 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, moved north from the Hamanarea to join Murch's 2d Battalion in the clean-up of enemy troops backof the 35th Infantry and below the Nam River. Caught between the 35th Infantryon its hill positions along the river and the attacking 27th Infantry units,large numbers of North Koreans were killed. Sixteen different groups reportedlywere dispersed with heavy casualties during the day. By morning of 7 Septemberthere was clear evidence that survivors of the N.K. 7th Divisionwere trying to escape across the Nam River. The 25th Division buriedmore than 2,000 North Korean dead, killed between 1 and 7 September behindits lines. This number did not include those killed in front of its positions.About 9 September Colonel Fisher traveled over these rear areas where fightinghad been intense. He was astonished at the number of North Korean deadthat littered the fields. Speaking of that occasion he has said, "Thearea of Trun in the Falaise Gap in Europe couldn't match it. Flies wereso thick in some areas it limited vision." [56]

Heavy rains caused the Nam and Naktong Rivers to rise more than twofeet on 8 and 9 September, thereby reducing the danger of new enemy crossings.At this juncture one of the ironies of the Korean War occurred. On the8th, American jet planes (F-82's) mistakenly bombed the Namji-ri bridgeover the Naktong and with one 500-pound bomb destroyed the 80-foot centerspan. Only the bridges north of the juncture of the Nam with the Naktongwere supposed to be subject to aerial attack at this time. Lieutenant Vickery's1st Platoon of F Company, 35th Infantry, had effectively defended the bridge-the linkbetween the U.S. 2d and 25th Divisions-throughout the enemy offensive.The platoon had become so closely identified with this bridge that in the25th Division it was called "Vickery's Bridge." Vickery had placedone squad on the north side of the bridge. From the south side it was supportedby the rest of the platoon, a tank, and one 105-mm. howitzer, fondly called"Peg O' My Heart."

Some of the local commanders thought that had the North Koreans bypassedthis bridge and crossed the Naktong farther east there would have beennothing between them and Pusan. However, North Korean attacks against Vickery'smen were a nightly occurrence. The approaches to the bridge on the northside were mined. At one time there were about 100 North Korean dead lyingin that area. One morning a pack of dogs were tearing the bodies when oneof the animals set off a mine. That scattered the pack and the dogs intheir wild flight set off more mines. Pieces of dog went flying throughthe air like rocks. [57]

Counterattack at Haman

In the middle of the 25th Division line, south of the 35th Infantry,the enemy breakthrough at Haman became a terrifying fact to the divisionheadquarters after daylight, 1 September. General Kean, commanding thedivision, telephoned Eighth Army headquarters and requested permissionto commit, at once, the entire 27th Infantry Regiment, just arrived atMasan the previous evening and still held in Eighth Army reserve. GeneralWalker denied this request, but did release one battalion of the regimentto General Kean's control. [58]

General Kean immediately dispatched Colonel Check's 1st Battalion, 27thInfantry-which had been alerted as early as 0200-from its assembly areanear Masan toward Haman, to be attached to the 24th Infantry upon arrivalat Colonel Champney's command post. The 1st Platoon of the 27th Regiment'sHeavy Mortar Company; a platoon of B Company, 89th Tank Battalion; andA Battery, 8th Field Artillery Battalion, reinforced Check's battalion.Check with his battalion arrived at Champney's 24th Infantry command posttwo miles east of Haman at 1000. [59]

The scene there was chaotic. Vehicles of all descriptions, loaded withsoldiers, were moving down the road to the rear. Many soldiers on footwere on the road. Colonel Champney tried repeatedly but in vain to getthese men to halt. The few enemy mortar shells falling occasionally inthe vicinity did no damage except to cause the troops of the 24th Infantryand intermingled South Koreans to scatter and increase their speed to therear. The road was so clogged with this frightened, demoralized human trafficthat Colonel Check had to delay his counterattack. In the six hours hewaited at this point, Check observed that none of the retreating troopsof the 1st and 2d Battalions, 24th Infantry, could be assembled as units. Sgt. Jack W. Riley of the 25th Military Police Companytried to help clear the road. Men ran off the mountain past him, some withshoes off, half of them without weapons, and only a few wearing helmets.He shouted for all officers and noncommissioned officers to stop. Nonestopped. One man who appeared to have some rank told him, "Get outof the way." Riley pulled back the bolt of his carbine and stoppedthe man at gun point, and then discovered that he was a first sergeant.Asked why they would not stay in and fight; several in the group that Rileysucceeded in halting simply laughed at him and answered, "We didn'tsee any MP's on the hill." At 1600, the 2d Battalion, 24th Infantry,assembling in the rear of the 27th Infantry, could muster only 150 to 200men. [60]

At 1445, General Kean's orders for an immediate counterattack to restorethe 24th Infantry positions arrived at Champney's command post. Check quicklycompleted his attack plan. For half an hour the Air Force bombed, napalmed,rocketed, and strafed Haman and adjacent enemy-held ridges. Fifteen minutesof concentrated artillery barrages followed. Haman was a sea of flames.Check's infantry moved out in attack westward at 1630, now further reinforcedby a platoon of tanks from A Company, 79th Tank Battalion. Eight tanks,mounting infantry, spearheaded the attack into Haman. North Koreans inforce held the ridge on the west side of the town, and their machine gunfire swept every approach-their "green tracers seemed as thick asthe rice in the paddies." Enemy fire destroyed one tank and the attackinginfantry suffered heavy casualties. But Check's battalion pressed the attackand by 1825 had seized the first long ridge 500 yards west of Haman; by2000 it had secured half of the old battle position on the higher ridgebeyond, its objective, one mile west of Haman. Two hundred yards shortof the crest on the remainder of the ridge, the infantry dug in for thenight. [61]

All day air strikes had harassed the enemy and prevented him from consolidatinghis gains and reorganizing for further co-ordinated attack. Some of theplanes came from the carriers Valley Forge and Philippine Sea,200 miles away and steaming toward the battlefield at twenty-seven knots.The crisis for the 25th Division was not lessened by Eighth Army's telephonemessage at 1045 that the 27th Infantry was to be alerted for a possiblemove north into the 2d Division sector.

West of Haman the North Koreans and Check's men faced each other duringthe night without further battle, but the North Koreans, strangely forthem, kept flares over their position. In the rear areas, enemy mortarfire on the 24th Regiment command post caused Colonel Champney to moveit still farther to the rear.

27th Infantry Command Post

In the morning, under cover of a heavy ground fog, the North Koreansstruck Check's battalion in a counterattack. This action began a hard fightwhich lasted all morning. Air strikes using napalm burned to death many North Koreans and helped the infantry in gainingthe ridge. At noon, the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, at last secured theformer positions of the 2d Battalion, 24th Infantry, and took over thesame foxholes that unit had abandoned two nights before. Its crew-servedweapons were still in place. During 2 September, the Air Force flew 135sorties in the 25th Division sector, reportedly destroying many enemy soldiers,several tanks and artillery pieces, and three villages containing ammunitiondumps. [62]

Early the next morning, 3 September, the North Koreans heavily attackedCheck's men in an effort to regain the ridge. Artillery, mortar, and tankfire barrages, and a perfectly timed air strike directed from the battalioncommand post, met this attack. Part of the battalion had to face aboutand fight toward its rear. After the attack had been repulsed hundredsof enemy dead lay about the battalion position. A prisoner estimated thatduring 2-3 September the four North Korean battalions fighting Check'sbattalion had lost 1,000 men. [63]

Colonel Check's battalion held the ridge until dark on 4 September,then the 1st Battalion and F Company of the 2d Battalion, 24th Infantry,which had reorganized in the rear, relieved it. The 1st Battalion, 27thInfantry, thereupon moved back into a secondary defensive position a mileand a half east of Haman. Colonel Champney moved his command post backinto Haman, placing it at the base of a hill 300 yards west of the centerof the town. [64]

That night there was a repetition of the earlier disgraceful episode.Before dawn, 5 September, an enemy force of two companies, only half-armed,moved against Haman. A part of this force approached the hill at the westernedge of Haman where H Company was posted as security for the 24th Regimentalcommand post situated at its base. The H Company men left their post withoutfiring a shot, abandoning two new machine guns. Men in the regimental commandpost had their first intimation that enemy troops were in the vicinitywhen the North Koreans opened fire on them with the captured machine guns.A small group of North Koreans infiltrated into Haman within 100 yardsof the command post, where members of the I&R Platoon drove them offin a grenade battle. In the course of this action, an enemy grenade blewup an ammunition truck. The exploding shells and resulting fires gave theimpression from a distance that a heavy fight was in progress.

About twenty enemy soldiers approached, undiscovered, close enough tothe 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, command post west of Haman to throw grenadesand fire burp guns into it. Perhaps 45 soldiers of the battalion commandgroup and 20 South Korean recruits were in position there at the time.The enemy was driven off at dawn, but Maj. Eugene J. Carson, battalionexecutive officer, then discovered that he had on position with him only30 men, 7 of them wounded. Looking back down the hill, Carson saw approximately40 men get up out of the rice paddies and go over to a tank at a roadblockposition. These men reported to the regiment that they had been drivenoff the hill. Three tanks near the command post helped clear the town ofNorth Koreans. [65]

At the time of this enemy infiltration, a white officer and from 35to 40 Negro soldiers left their position south of Haman at a roadblockand fled to the rear until they reached Colonel Check's 1st Battalion,27th Infantry, command post a mile and a half away. There, at 0500 thisofficer said 2,000 North Koreans had overrun his position and others nearHaman, including the 24th Regiment command post. Check reported this storyto General Kean, and then sent a platoon of tanks with a platoon of infantrytoward Haman to find out what had happened. Some of his officers, meanwhile,had stopped about 220 soldiers streaming to the rear. Colonel Check orderedthese men to follow his tank and infantry patrol back into Haman. Someof them did so only when threatened with a gun. The tank-led column enteredHam in unopposed, where they found the 24th Regiment command post intact and everything quiet. [66]

The next day, 6 September; a sniper severely wounded Colonel Champneywhile the latter was inspecting his front-line positions west of Haman.Champney was evacuated at once. Colonel Corley, commanding officer of the3d Battalion, succeeded to the command of the regiment. [67] Corley, knownas "Cash Pays the Rent" because that was a favorite saying ofhis, became a highly regarded commander of the "Deuce-Four" Regiment.He was destined to fight in four campaigns of the Korean War, winning aDistinguished Service Cross, three Silver Stars, and the Legion of Meritto add to the decorations he had already won as a much-decorated battalioncommander of World War II. This 36-year-old energetic West Point combatleader was soon well-known throughout the regiment.

Battle Mountain and Sobuk-san

Although the enemy 6th and 7th Divisions had massed theirtroops for the attempted breakthrough of the U.S. 25th Division positionsalong the Nam and Naktong Rivers as already related, the 6th Divisiondid not altogether ignore the mountain backbone stretching southwardtoward the coast. Enemy artillery and mortar fire fell on Battle MountainP'il-bong, and Sobuk-san during the period of the enemy offensive and therewere strong local attacks and patrol actions. The 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry,never succeeded in gaining possession of the highest peak of Sobuk-san,which would have given observation into the valley below and into the enemy'srear areas. The instability of the 24th Infantry at this time made it necessaryfor General Kean to order Colonel Throckmorton to send his only regimentalreserve, E Company, north into the 24th Infantry sector along the Hamanroad to protect the right flank of the 5th Regimental Combat Team. In thisposition, Capt. William Conger, E Company commander, collected stragglersfrom the 24th Infantry every night and the next morning sent them backto their units. Even the Navy entered the battle in this part of the line,for its destroyers standing off the south coast gave illumination at nightby directing their searchlights against low-hanging clouds on Sobuk-san.One destroyer was on station almost continuously, supporting the groundaction with the fire of six 5-inch guns. An artillery aerial observer directedthis naval gunfire through the fire direction center. [68]

On 7 September, a North Korean attack succeeded once again in drivingROK and American troops from Battle Mountain. The 25th Division orderedColonel DeChow to retake the peak. DeChow, who had just counterattackedthrough the rear areas of the 24th Infantry to the vicinity of Haman, preparedhis 3d Battalion, 27th Infantry, for the attempt. Companies K and B ofthe 24th Infantry were to follow him and secure the crest if he regainedit. For three days, 7, 8, and 9 September, the 3d Battalion counterattacked up Battle Mountain.On the 9th, Capt. William Mitchell led his I Company to the top and engagedin hand-to-hand combat with the North Koreans. L Company followed to thecrest but the dug-in enemy drove both companies off and back down the slope.An estimated two companies of enemy troops held the crest of Battle Mountainand two more companies protected their flanks. DeChow's 3d Battalion sufferedheavy casualties in these three days of fighting. On the afternoon of the9th the American counterattack force dropped back to the high ground whichit had recaptured on the 7th, 1,000 yards east of Battle Mountain. Artillery,mortars, and air strikes pounded the enemy position on Battle Mountain.During this impasse, word came from the 25th Division for the battalionto move to the vicinity of Masan. [69]

With the failure of the 3d Battalion, 27th Infantry, to hold the highknob on Battle Mountain after its attacks on 8-9 September, Colonel Corley,the 24th Infantry commander, on the evening of the 9th decided to giveup the attempt. He had K Company, 24th Infantry, and C Company, 65th EngineerCombat Battalion, dig in on the hill east of and lower than Battle Mountain,surrounded them with barbed wire and mine fields, and placed registeredartillery and mortar fires on all enemy approaches to the position. Heplanned to contain the enemy on Battle Mountain by artillery and mortarfire. The North Koreans on Battle Mountain attacked the lower Americandefensive position many times on subsequent nights, but all their attackswere driven off. Thus, finally, after a month of almost constant battlethe North Koreans gained and held possession of the crest of Battle Mountain.The defensive fires of the 24th Regiment and attached artillery, however,contained them there and they were unable to exploit the possession ofthis battle-torn peak. [70]

With Battle Mountain in their possession, the North Koreans set outto gain control of P'il-bong, a towering peak 250 feet higher than BattleMountain and an air mile to the southeast. In the predawn hours of 14 Septemberan enemy force of 400-500 men attacked I and L Companies, 24th Infantry,on P'ilbong. Several attacks were repulsed, but because of men leavingtheir positions L Company's strength dwindled from 100 to 40 men. Onlythe determined leadership of Maj. Melvin R. Blair, a replacement officerwho had just assumed command of the battalion, held these men in the fight.With the remnant of L Company, Blair withdrew toward I Company's positionon the crest of P'ilbong, only to find that this company under a relativelyminor attack had, unknown to him, left the hill. A wounded North Koreansniper, hidden along the trail, shot Blair in the leg. Blair refused tobe evacuated, but he could not hold P'il-bong with the handful of men remainingwith him and it was lost. [71]

Just as soon as the crisis passed for the 25th Division, General Walker ordered it on 7 September to release the 5th Regimental Combat Teamwithin twenty-four hours. The continuing crisis north of Taegu made itmandatory for Walker to build up his reserve there. That evening the 1stand 2d Battalions, 27th Infantry, moved from the Nam River battlefieldto relieve the 5th Regimental Combat Team on the Masan front. Colonel Michaelisassumed command of the regimental zone at 1500, 9 September. The 3d Battalion,27th Infantry, broke off its counterattacks on Battle Mountain that day,rejoined the regiment, and took its place in the southern end of the lineon 11 September. Meanwhile, the 5th Regimental Combat Team began movingto Samnangjin on the 10th, the last train with its units clearing Masanat 1600 the next day. Upon arrival at Samnangjin, it passed to Eighth Armyreserve. [72]

About the time the all-out North Korean assault on the Pusan Perimeterhad been turned back and the 27th Infantry was relieving the 5th RegimentalCombat Team in the line west of Masan, the "beer issue" cameto a head and evoked strong reactions from the men who were fighting theKorean battles. Free beer had been provided U.S. soldiers on much the samebasis as candy bars and cigarettes. It had been purchased with appropriatedmoney and issued at intervals as supplementary to the food ration. Varioustemperance, church, and social groups, and some individuals in the UnitedStates protested the issue of beer to the soldiers. The controversy evenreached the floor of Congress, with one Congressman who favored the freebeer ration saying, "Water in Korea is deadlier than bullets."The pressure was sufficient to cause the Army through the Far East Commandto order that 12 September would be the last day free beer could be issuedto the troops. A typical infantryman's comment was, "Those organizationsor whatever they are have nothing to do with us. We are doing the fightingover here and it gets pretty bad. One can of beer never hurt nobody."But henceforth, Eighth Army troops could obtain beer purchased only withnon-appropriated funds and issued through the post exchanges. [73]

The defensive battles on the Masan front during August and early Septemberbrought to a head a problem that had bothered General Kean ever since the25th Division entered the Korean War; in a larger sense, it was a problemthat had concerned Eighth Army as well. Two of the division's regiments,the 27th and the 35th, had performed well in Korea. Not so the 24th Infantry,the division's third regiment. Ever since its entrance into combat in theSangju area in July the Negro regiment had given a poor performance, althoughthere were some exceptions and many individual acts of heroism and capableperformance of duty. The unstable nature of the regiment was demonstratedin the fighting on Battle Mountain during August. Then, on the night of31 August-1 September two battalions evaporated in the face of the enemy,and a large part of them repeated this performance four nights later. GeneralKean placed his two stronger regiments usually in the more critical terrain of the divisionfront, but, nevertheless, the 24th Regiment constituted a weak link inthe division line that might break at any time and bring disaster to thedivision and possibly to the army. Eighth Army and the 25th Division assignedofficers of an unusually high caliber to the 24th Infantry to give it strongleadership, but this did not solve the problem.

Veteran of the 5th Regimental Combat Team

After the enemy breakthrough in the 24th Infantry sector on 1-5 September,General Kean decided he had to seek a solution. On 9 September he recommendedto General Walker the immediate removal of the 24th Infantry Regiment fromcombat, and that the troops of the regiment be transferred as replacementson a percentage basis to other U.S. Army units in Korea. In making theserecommendations General Kean said in part, "It is my considered opinionthat the 24th Infantry has demonstrated in combat that it is untrustworthyand incapable of carrying out missions expected of an infantry regiment."Nearly all officers serving in the regiment agreed with General Kean, andso did many of the Negro noncommissioned officers and enlisted men themselves.General Walker did not act on General Kean's recommendation since manyconsiderations seemed to make such action impossible at the time. [74]

Coinciding with this heavy fighting at the Pusan Perimeter in the southa new and disturbing element appeared far to the north. In Tokyo and Washington,American military leaders studied reports they received indicating thatChinese Communist troops were moving north through China and concentratingalong the Yalu River opposite Korea. An incident at this time added tothe build-up of threatening storm clouds to the north. On 4 September,a twin-engine bomber wearing a red star passed over a screening ship ofa U.N. naval task force operating in the Yellow Sea off the west coastof Korea, approximately at the 38th Parallel. The bomber continued on towardthe center of the naval formation and opened fire on a U.N. fighter planepatrol which reurned its fire and shot it down. A destroyer of the task force recoveredthe body of one of the bomber crew members-he was an officer of the ArmedForces of the Soviet Union. [75]

At mid-September the Eighth Army and the ROK Army were still engagedwith North Korean forces at nearly all points of the Pusan Perimeter. Aftertwo weeks of the heaviest fighting of the war they had just barely turnedback the great North Korean offensive on the main axes of the attack: inthe east around P'ohang-dong and the Kyongju corridor, in the center atthe approaches to Taegu, and in the south around Yongsan and the approachesto Masan. The battles of the Perimeter would go on, that was certain, forthe issue there had not been concluded.

But overriding all other factors, favorable and unfavorable, comfortingor disquieting, bearing on the Korean War at mid-September was the knowledge-nowbecome widespread among U.N. forces in Korea-that an amphibious landingbehind the enemy's lines was imminent. The date set for it was 15 September.


[1] Ltr, Fern to author, 1 Apr 56; Ltr, Cody to author, 18 Nov 55. Department of the Army General Order 70. 2 August 1951, awarded the Medal of Honor to Private Story. General Order 187, 5 December 1950, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to Sergeant Freeman. EUSAK.

[2] Ltr, Caldwell to author, 29 May 53: Interv, author with Hill, 30 Jun 53; Hill, MS review comments, 2 Jan 58; 9th Inf WD, Sep 50, Incl B, Col Charles C. Sloane, Jr., Hill 209 (1138-1386), with sketch map; Ibid., app., 1st Lt Raymond J. McDoniel, Notes (this document misspells "McDoniel" as "McDaniel,"); Sheen, From Encirclement to Safety. The officers on the hill were Lt Schmitt, CO H Co; Lt McDoniel, Plat Ldr D Co; Lt Paul E. Kremser. Plat Ldr H Co; Lt Caldwell. Plat Ldr D Co; and Lt Edmund J. Lilly III, Plat Ldr B Co.

[3] Sworn affidavit, SSgt Grover L. Bozarth and Sgt Ralph G. Lillard, H Co, 9th Inf, 13 Sep 50, Yongsan, recommending Watkins for Medal of Honor DA AG files.

[4] McDoniel, Notes cited n. 2, Sep 50; Ltr, Caldwell to author, 29 May 53. Department of the Army General Order 25, 25 April 1951, awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to Private Ouellette.

[5] EUSAK WD, 9 Sep 50, an. 1 to PIR 59; 9th Inf WD, 1 Sep 50, account of Lt McDoniel; Sloane, Hill 209, Sep 50. General Order 54, 6 February 1951, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously to Lieutenant Schmitt. EUSAK.

[6] Ltr, Caldwell to author, 29 May 53; McDoniel, Notes, Sep 50.

[7] Ltr, Caldwell to author, 29 May 53: McDoniel, Notes, Sep 50; Bozarth and Lillard Affidavit; Ltr, MSgt Robert S. Hall (1st Bn, 9th Inf, Aug-Sep 50-Hall maintained morning rpts) to author, 1 Jun 54. Department of the Army General Order 9, 16 February 1951, awarded the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Watkins posthumously.

[8] McDoniel, Notes, Sep 50; New York Times September 9, 1950. Three weeks later, when the N.K. 9th Division had been driven back across the Naktong, a party of 9th Infantry men climbed to the tragic perimeter on Hill 209g. They found most of the dead had been blown to pieces in the foxholes, and it was often difficult to tell whether two or three men had occupied a particular hole. There were approximately thirty American dead at the site, fifteen of whom could be identified. Sloane, Hill 209, Sep 50. [9] EUSAK WD, PIR 59, an. 1, 9 Sep 50.

[10] GHQ FEC, History of the North Korean Army, p. 68; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 100 (N.K. 9th Div), p. 49, and Issue 94 (N.K. 4th Div), pp. 49-50; ATIS Interrog Rpts, Issue 4, p. 118, Rpt 949, 1st Lt So Chung Kun (captured 3 Sep 50, Yongsan); EUSAK WD, 14 Sep 50, an. to PIR 64, and 9 Sep 50, POW Interrog Rpt of 1st Lt So Chung Kun, 9th Div, and Interrog Rpt of Cha Sook Wha, interpreter, 16th Regt, 4th Div.

[11] Ltrs, Capt Lee E. Beahler to author, 10 Jun and 1 Jul 53 (sketch map of D Co positions with ltr of 1 Jul); Ltr, Reed to author, 20 Jul 53; Interv, author with Hill, 30 Jun 53.

[12] Department of the Army General Order 10, 16 February 1951, awarded the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Turner posthumously.

[13] Ltrs, Beahler to author, 10 Jun and 1 Jul 53; Ltr, Reed to author, 20 Jul 53; Interv, author with Hill, 30 Jun 53; EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, Msg 1525, 2 Sep 50; Ibid., PIR 52, 2 Sep 50. General Order 59, 8 February 1951, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to Lieutenant Beahler for heroic leadership in this action. EUSAK.

[14] Ltrs, Beahler to author. 10 Jun and 1 Jul 53; Ltr, Reed to author, 20 Jul 53; Interv, author with Hill, 30 Jun 53; Cody, Operation Manchu; EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, 2 Sep 50; Ibid., Br for CG, 2 Sep 50; GHQ FEC Sitrep, 2 Sep 50.

[15] Transcription and summ of fonecon, Walker with Hickey, 0935 2 Sep 50, CofS files, FEC; EUSAK WD, G-3 Sec, Opn Ord 021315 Sep 50.

[16] EUSAK WD, G-3 Sec, and Br for CG, 2 Sep 50; 9th Inf WD, 3 Sep 50, Opn Ord 11 and accompanying overlay, 030300 Sep 50; 1st Prov Mar Brig SAR, 1 Aug-6 Sep 50, p. 15; 2d Div Arty WD, entry 12, 2335 2 Sep 50; Fisher, MS review comments, 7 Nov 57.

[17] Interv, author with Hill, 30 Jun 53; Ltr, Beahler to author, 10 Jun 53; 1st Prov Mar Brig SAR, 2 Aug-6 Sep 50, entry for 3 Sep, p. 15; 5th Mar SAR, 3 Sep 50; 2d Bn, 5th Mar, SAR, addendum 1, 3 Sep 50; Montross and Canzona, The Pusan Perimeter, pp. 217-20.

[18] Ltr, Reed to author, 20 Jul 53; Ltr, Beahler to author, 10 Jun 53 5th Mar SAR, 3 Sep 50.

[19] Entries for 3 Sep, Marine sources cited n. 20; 1st Bn, 5th Mar, SAR, 3 Sep 50; Montross and Canzona, The Pusan Perimeter, pp. 220-22; Geer, The New Breed, p. 94.

[20] 1st Prov Mar Brig SAR, 2 Aug-6 Sep 50, pp. 15-16; 1st Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 4 Sep 50; Geer, The New Breed, p. 96; Montross and Canzona, The Pusan Perimeter, pp. 227-29.

[21] Department of the Army General Order 61, 2 August 1951, awarded the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Kaufman.

[22] 9th Inf WD, 5 Sep 50; 1st Prov Mar Brig SAR, 5 Sep 50; 1st Bn, 5th Mar SAR, 5 Sep 50; Geer, The New Breed, pp. 97-98; Montross and Canzona, The Pusan Perimeter, pp. 234-37.

[23] GHQ FEC Sitrep, 5 Sep 50; 9th Inf WD, 5 Sep 50, GO 11.

[24] 2d Div Narr Summ, 1 Sep-31 Oct 50, p. 14; EUSAK WD, 4 Sep 50, Opn Ord at 042000. The removal of the Marine brigade from the Naktong front will be discussed further in the next chapter.

[25] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 100 (N.K. 9th Div), p. 52.

[26] Freeman, MS review comments, 30 Oct 57; Highlights of the Combat Activities of the 23d Infantry Regiment from 5 August to 30 September 1950, MS, prepared in the regiment, copy in OCMH.

[27] 2d Div Arty WD, 2 Sep 50; EUSAK WD, 7 Sep 50, an. to PIR 57.

[28] 2d Div Arty WD, 2 Sep 50; Interv, author with Hill, 30 Jun 53. [29] 38th Inf Comd Rpt, Narr Summ, Sep-Oct 50; EUSAK PIR 58, 8 Sep 50; 2d Div PIR 14, 7 Sep 50.

[30] 23d Inf WD, Narr Summ, Sep 50.

[31] Interv, author with Lt Col Everett S. Stewart, 19 May 53; 23d Inf WD, G-3 Jnl, entry 131, 1715 1 Sep 50. General Order 196, 14 December 1950, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to Colonel Hutchin. 2d Div.

[32] 2d Div Arty WD, 2 Sep 50; EUSAK WD, 7 Sep 50, an. to PIR 57.

[33] 23d Inf WD, Narr Summ, Sep 50; Interv, author with Meszar, 15 May 53; Highlights of Combat Activities of 23d Inf.

[34] EUSAK WD, 21 Sep 50, ADVATIS Interrog Rpts, Sr Lt Lee Kwan Hyon, Med Off, N.K. 17th Regt, 2d Div; ATIS Interrog Rpts, Issue 6, p. 81, Kim Il Chin and Issue 7, p. 3, Yu Tong Gi; 23d Inf Comd Rpt, Sep 50, Narr Summ, p. 10.

[35] 38 Inf Comd Rpt, Sep-Oct 50, Narr Summ; EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, 4-5 Sep 50. Records of the 38th Infantry for September 1950 were lost in the withdrawal from Kunu-ri, 30 November, and the command report compiled later from recollections of regimental personnel lacks precise information on time, place, and overlay data for this period.

[36] GHQ FEC Sitrep, 5 Sep 50; Ibid., G-3 Opn Rpt 70, 2 Sep 50.

[37] EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, 1330, 10 Sep 50: GHQ FEC Sitrep, 13 Sep 50; Lt Col C. I. Malcolm of Poltallock (London: Thomas Nelson Se Sons, Ltd., 1952), The Argylls in Korea, pp. 11-12; Coad, The Land Campaign in Korea.

[38] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 104 (N.K. 10th Div), p. 49; Interv, author with Stephens, 8 Oct 51; Interv, author with Brig Gen George B. Peploe, 12 Aug 51; Ltr and notes, Landrum to author, recd 28 Jun 54.

[39] 25th Div WD, 1 Sep 50; 64th FA Bn WD, 1 Sep 50.

[40] Interv, author with Fisher, 5 Jan 52; 35th Inf WD, 1 Sep 50.

[41] Ltr, Kean to author, 22 Apr 53; Barth MS, p. 27.

[42] 35th Inf WD, 1-2 Sep 50; 2d Bn 35th Inf WD, 1 Sep, and Narr story of action Sep 50; 25th Div WD, 1-2 Sep 50; New York Herald Tribune, September 3, 1950, Homer Bigart dispatch; New York Times, September 4, 1950, W. H. Lawrence dispatch.

In grenade fighting on slopes the practice of "cooking the grenade" developed. In order to avoid allowing enemy troops time to pick up and throw a grenade back, soldiers pulled the pin, released he handle in the grip for a brief period, and then threw the grenade.

[43] EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, 1125 and 1410, 3 Sep 50: 2d Bn, 27th Inf, WD, Unit Rpt, Sep 50; 27th Inf WD, Unit Rpt, Sep 50; Murch, MS review comments, 2 Jan 58.

[44] EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, 1250 2 Sep 50; 25th Div WD, 2 Sep 50; Ltr, Kean to author, 22 Apr 53. The 3d Bn, 29th Inf, became operational as the 3dBn, 27th Inf, by 25th Div GO 134, 10 Sep 50. The 1st Bn, 19th Inf became operational as the 3d Bn, 35th Inf, the same date. EUSAK GO 49, 2 Sep 50, authorized the transfer.

[45] DeChow, MS review comments, Jul 53; Interv, author with Flynn (3d Bn, 27th Inf, Sep 50), 5 Nov 53; Barth MS, pp. 28-29.

[46] DeChow, MS review comments, Jul 53; Barth MS, pp. 28-29.

[47] 35th Inf WD, 3 Sep 50; 1st Bn, 35th Inf, Unit Rpt, Sep 50; EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, 0445, 3 Sep 50.

[48] 64th FA Bn WD, 3 Sep 50: Barth MS, p. 29; 159th FA Bn WD, Sep 50; EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, 0445 3 Sep 50; File supporting DUC, 35th Inf Regt, DA, AG files.

[49] 25th Div WD, 4 Sep 50; Barth MS, pp. 22, 31.

[50] "Air War in Korea," Air University Quarterly Review, vol. IV, No. 3 (Spring, 1951), 61.

[51] Interv, USAF Evaluation Board with Lt Gen Walton Walker, 25 Nov 50. See also New York Times, September 3, 1950, for General Collins' statement quoting Walker.

[52] Interv, author with Maj Joe B. Lamb, CO 2d Bn, 35th Inf, 4 Sep 51 Intervs, author with 2d Lt Dillon Snell and 1st Lt Charles J. Hoyt, 2d Bn, 35th Inf, 4 Sep 51; Ltr, Hammerquist to author, 17 Apr 53; 35th Inf Unit Hist, 3 Sep 50.

[53] Interv, author with Lamb, 4 Sep 51; Interv, author with Sawyer (Recon Co, 25th Div, Sep 50), 27 Jun 51.

[54] EUSAK WD, G-3, Coordinating Protection Lines of Communications Rear Areas, 4 Sep 50 New York Herald Tribune, September 4, 1950; 25th Div WD, 4 Sep 50.

[55] 25th Div WD, 3, 7, 11 and 15 Sep 50.

[56] EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl 0720, 5 Sep 50; 27th Inf WD, 5 Sep 50; 2d Bn, 27th Inf, Unit Rpt, Sep 50; 25th Div WD, 6 Sep 50; Barth MS, p. 28; Fisher, MS review comments, Jan 58.

[57] 35th Inf WD, S-2 and S-3 Jnls, item 15, 9 Sep 50; 35th Inf Unit Hist, Sep 50; EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, 1015, 10 Sep 50; Fisher, MS review comments, 7 Nov 57, and Jan 58.

[58] Ltr, Kean to author, 2 Apr 53; Barth MS, p. 27.

[59] 27th Inf WD, 1 Sep 50; Interv, author with Check 6 Feb 53.

[60] 2d Bn, 24th Inf WD, 1 Sep 50; EUSAK IG Rpt, 24th Inf, Sep 50, testimony of Check, Riley, and Roberts.

[61] 1st Bn, 27th Inf WD, 1 Sep 50; A Co, 78th Hv Tk Bn WD, Sep 50; 24th Inf WD, 1 Sep 50; 25th Div WD, 1 Sep 50; EUSAK IG Rpt, Check testimony; Newsweek, September 11, 1950, pp. 18-20.

[62] 1st Bn, 27th Inf WD, 2 Sep 50; 24th Inf WD, 2 Sep 50; 25th Div WD, 2 Sep 50; EUSAK IG Rpt, testimony of Check and Capt Don K. Hickman, Ex Off, 1st Bn, 27th Inf; New York Herald Tribune, September 2, 1950, Bigart dispatch.

[63] 1st Bn, 27th Inf WD, Sep 50 Opn Rpt, 3 Sep 50; 27th Inf WD, 3 Sep 50, and Rpt of captured documents; Barth MS, p. 27.

[64] 27th Inf WD, 4 Sep 50; 24th Inf WD, 4 Sep 50; Interv, author with Champney, 22 Jul 51; Corley, MS review comments for author, 22 Jul 53.

[65] Interv, author with Champney, 22 Jul 51; EUSAK WD, 14 Sep 50, Interrog Rpt, Yun Che Gun; 24th Inf WD, 4-5 Sep 50; EUSAK IG Rpt, testimony of Champney, Roberts, and Carson.

[66] EUSAK IG Rpt, testimony of Check, Hickman, and Capt James D. Hunsaker, S-3, 1st Bn, 27th Inf.

[67] 24th Inf WD, 6 Sep 50; 25th Inf WD, 6 Sep 50; Interv, author with Champney, 22 Jul 51.

[68] 25th Div WD, 9 Sep 50; EUSAK WD, 5 Oct 50, Arty Sec, Arty Info Bul 8, 3 Oct 50; Throckmorton, Notes for author, 17 Apr 53.

[69] 25th Div WD, 8-9 Sep 50; 24th Inf WD, 9 Sep 50; EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, 1245, 9 Sep 50; DeChow, MS review comments, Jul 53.

[70] Interv, author with Corley, 6 Nov 51; 24th Inf WD, 9 Sep 50.

[71] Interv, author with Corley, 6 Nov 51; 3d Bn, 24th Inf WD, 14 Sep 50; EUSAK IG Rpt, testimony of Corley.

[72] EUSAK WD, G-3 Sec, 8-9 Sep 50; 27th Inf WD, 7-9 Sep 50; Ibid., Unit Rpt, Sep 50.

[73] See 25th Div WD, 11 Sep 50; New York Times, September 14, and October 16, 1950; New York Herald Tribune, September 13, 1950.

[74] Ltr, Kean to CG, Eighth Army, 9 Sep 50, in EUSAK IG Rpt. The 24th Regiment continued to serve in Eighth Army as an all-Negro unit for another year. Its troops were then transferred as replacements to other infantry units of the army, integrated usually in a proportion of about 12 percent.

[75] New York Times, September 5, 1950, gives the State Department note announcing this incident. The Times of 7 September gives a summary of the Russian version, and the claim for damages for the bomber and three Russian crewman, which U.S. Ambassador Alan G. Kirk refused to accept.

On 31 August, Ambassador Warren Austin told the U.N. Security Council that a U.S. F-51 fighter plane on 27 August may have strafed the An-tung Airfield in Manchuria, five miles from the Korean border, and thereby have unintentionally violated the territory of Communist China.

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