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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)
So ends the bloody business of the day.
HOMER, Odyssey

In the Unsan and Onjong area at the end of October, great smoke cloudshung in the skies. What did these smoke clouds portend? Everyone in thearea noticed them. Capt. Jack Bolt, commanding officer of C Battery, 99thField Artillery Battalion, counted ten different forest fires burning inthe mountains when his unit moved up on the 30th to support the 3d Battalion,8th Cavalry Regiment, south of Unsan. The next day Colonel Johnson witnessedmuch the same thing during his visit to the 8th Cavalry regimental commandpost. And General Allen, the 1st Cavalry Division assistant commander,likewise saw them on 1 November when he drove to Unsan. These great smokeclouds north and northeast of Unsan came from forest fires set by the enemy.They obscured U.N. aerial observation and masked enemy troop movements.

The evidence on 1 November particularly indicated that some large enemymovement was in progress. That morning a Korean civilian reported that2,000 Chinese soldiers were in a valley nine miles southwest of Unsan andthat their mission was to move eastward and cut the road below the town.A member of a Home Guard unit reported there were 3,000 Chinese on Obong-san,six miles southwest of Unsan. Colonel Edson, in talking to Colonel Johnson,apparently referred to this force. At noon, air and artillery had dispersedan enemy column eight miles southeast of Unsan, killing approximately 100horses and an unknown number of men. This column was approaching the ROK11th Regiment positions which were then near the ROK II Corps boundary.In the afternoon aerial observers reported sighting large columns of enemytroops in motion northeast and southwest of Unsan. An air strike hit oneof these columns, containing twenty-one vehicles loaded with troops, ninemiles northeast of Unsan. [1]

At his command post at Yongsan-dong in the afternoon, General Gay andBrig. Gen. Charles D. Palmer, the division artillery commander, were listeningto the chatter on the artillery radio set. Suddenly the voice of an observerin an L-5 plane directing fire of the 82d Field Artillery Battalion (155-mm. howitzers) came in: "This is the strangestsight I have ever seen. There are two large columns of enemy infantry movingsoutheast over the trails in the vicinity of Myongdang-dong and Yonghung-dong.Our shells are landing right in their columns and they keep coming."The two places mentioned were about seven and five air miles respectivelysouthwest and west of Unsan. General Palmer broke in on the radio to orderthe 99th Field Artillery Battalion to join in the fire on these enemy columns.General Gay, who had become uneasy about the dispersion of the 1st CavalryDivision, telephoned I Corps headquarters to request that the 7th CavalryRegiment, which I Corps was holding south of the Ch'ongch'on, be orderedto join him at Yongsan-dong and that he be allowed to withdraw the 8thCavalry Regiment a distance of several miles from Unsan. He also protestedthe use of the 3d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, at the corps boundary on theeast. His requests were denied. [2]

CCF 39th Corps

CCF 39th Corps waits to attack 8th Cav

While the record indicates general reluctance on the part of the Americancommand to accept the accumulating evidence of Chinese intervention, atleast one responsible staff officer seems to have agreed with the ROK interpretationof events at an early date. Col. Percy W. Thompson, G-2 of I Corps, briefedtroops of the advanced party of the 1st Cavalry Division at I Corps headquarterswhen the division was committed in the Unsan area. He pointed out thatthey might be fighting Chinese forces. Their reaction was one of disbeliefand indifference. This same attitude was apparent in the staff of the 8thCavalry Regiment and some of the division officers when Colonel Hennig,who had been with the ROK 1st Division throughout the Unsan fighting, triedto tell them that they were up against Chinese forces. General Gay maintainedthat his first information on Chinese intervention came on 1 November whenhe visited General Paik at the latter's ROK 1st Division headquarters atYongbyon. This is hard to reconcile with the fact that in the last twodays of October officers and men of the 8th Cavalry Regiment at Unsan hearda great deal about the Chinese from the ROK 1st Division troops and theattached KMAG officers. Apparently most of the officers and men of the8th Cavalry Regiment received this information with skepticism or disbelief.[3]

In the early afternoon of 1 November General Walker telephoned to GeneralMilburn and told him the ROK II Corps had ceased to be an organized fightingorganization, and that his right flank was unprotected. Walker told Milburnto take measures to protect his flank and to assume command of any ROKunits that came into the U.S. I Corps area. General Milburn set out immediatelyfor Kunu-ri to see the ROK corps commander, after giving orders to hischief of staff, Brig. Gen. Rinaldo Van Brunt, to organize a blocking forceto take a position on the Kunu-ri-Anju road southwest of Kunu-ri. Thisblocking force was composed principally of Engineer and Ordnance troops.Its mission was to protect the I Corps right flank and the pontoon bridgesover the Ch'ongch'on River.

When Milburn arrived at the ROK II Corps headquarters he found it inthe act of moving to Sunch'on. The ROK corps commander told him that hehad lost contact with and did not know the location of most of his subordinateunits, that they were disorganized, and that so far as he knew he had onlythree battalions of the ROK 7th Division in the vicinity of Kunu-ri capableof fighting. Milburn told the ROK commander that he must hold Kunu-ri,and that a blocking force of U.S. troops west of the town would supporthim. [4]

Meanwhile, other disquieting events were taking place south of Unsanand behind the 8th Cavalry Regiment. When the platoon-sized combat patrolfrom the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, in the early afternoon of 1 Novembermoved north from Yongsan-dong it found its way blocked at a point fourair miles, or six to seven road miles, below the position of the 3d Battalion,8th Cavalry Regiment. (Map 23) As radio reports told himof the enemy's strength, the battalion commander rapidly reinforced theplatoon with the full strength of A and B Companies. The enemy force helda position on the ridge extending across the road just south of the TurtleHead Bend of the Kuryong River.

Upon Colonel Johnson's return to the 5th Cavalry command post in theevening, the 1st Battalion commander requested him to release the thirdrifle company. Johnson approved the request, and C Company moved north.In the meantime, shortly after dark, the Chinese at the roadblock attackedthe two companies in front of them and drove B Company from its positionwith the loss of four 81-mm mortars and other equipment. Colonel Johnsonthen directed the withdrawal of A Company to the defensive position C Companyestablished near midnight. There, A and B Companies assembled for reorganization.Johnson alerted the 2d Battalion at 2300, and two hours later ordered itnorth to support the 1st Battalion. [5]

By noon of 1 November, therefore, the Chinese had cut and blocked themain road six air miles south of Unsan with sufficient strength to turnback two rifle companies which had been strongly supported by air strikesduring daylight hours. The CCF had set the stage for an attack that nightagainst the 8th Cavalry Regiment and the ROK 15th Regiment. When dusk fellthat evening enemy soldiers were on three sides of the 8th Cavalry-thenorth, west, and south. Only the ground to the east, held by the ROK 15thRegiment, was not in Chinese possession.

North of the Town

Map 23

The Chinese attack north of Unsan had gained strength in the afternoonof 1 November against the ROK 15th Regiment on the east, and graduallyit extended west into the zone of the 8th Cavalry Regiment. The first probingattacks there, accompanied by mortar barrages, came at 1700 against theright flank unit, the 1st Battalion. There was also something new in theenemy fire support-rockets fired from trucks. These rocket vehicles were to the northeast, across the Samt'an River. Supportingartillery soon located and forced the rocket vehicles to move, but notbefore their rockets had struck an ammunition truck at the battalion commandpost. Major Millikin's men recovered one of the rocket shells and foundthat it was of the Russian Katushka 82-mm. type fired from four multipletubes, truck-mounted.

At dusk Millikin's 1st Battalion con trolled the river approaches fromthe north except for portions in the ROK 15th Regiment zone on the eastside Millikin's position was weak on the left, however, where troop strengthdid not permit him to extend far enough to reach the main ridge leadinginto Unsan. He had physical contact with the 2d Battalion in that directiononly by patrols. Neither battalion held this ridge except for outposts.[6]

East of the river the ROK's were under heavy attack. In this actionthe ROK's captured two 57-mm. recoilless rifles and two automatic rifleswith Chinese markings. At 1900 the 10th AAA Group, supporting the ROK's,issued a march order and in a tense atmosphere began packing its equipment.An hour and a half later the group closed its fire direction center, andat 2100 its motor convoy moved south under black out conditions. The 78thAAA Battalion's 90-mm. guns, which were tractor drawn and could be movedquickly, remained behind and continued to fire in support of the ROK'sfor an hour or two longer; then they too withdrew on corps orders. Afterabout 2300 the ROK 15th Regiment disintegrated rapidly, and shortly aftermidnight ceased to exist as a combat force. Very few of these ROK troopsescaped; they were either killed or captured. [7]

A lull in the fighting at Millikin's position ended at 1930 when theChinese struck his battalion all along its line. They drove the right flankback 400 yards. The left flank then withdrew half that distance. Millikinrushed fifty men from the Engineer platoon and the Heavy Mortar Companyto the right flank, and with this reinforcement he held there. Heavy actioncontinued. About 2100 the Chinese found the weak link on the ridge lineand began moving through it down the ridge behind the 2d Battalion.

At 2200 the tanks holding the bridge northeast of Unsan in the rightrear of Millikin's 1st Battalion reported large groups of men across theSamt'an River, moving south. The 4.2-inch mortars supporting the ROK 15thRegiment in that area had now quit firing. Radio reports from the ROK'smade it clear that they were being defeated and pushed back. In order toascertain what the situation was there, Millikin sent his assistant S-3across the river in a jeep to locate the mortarmen. That officer, aftercrossing the river, was fired on but escaped and reported back to Millikin.The moon was now coming up. Night visibility was good.

Since it was apparent that enemy groups were passing him on the east,Millikin ordered the battalion trains and all noncombat vehicles to movesouth through Unsan to the road fork and be prepared to move from there southeast across the Kuryong River fordin the ROK 1st Division zone to Ipsok. About the same time, Lt. Col. WilliamWalton, commanding officer of the 2d Battalion, ordered his motor officerto take all vehicles in the motor pool across the river by this same route.These vehicles from the two battalions arrived safely at Ipsok.

With much sounding of bugles and whistles the Chinese extended theirstrong attacks westward to the 2d Battalion, and in a short time penetratedits right and encircled its left. At the same time the fight with the 1stBattalion went on. Near the battalion boundary, A Company reported thatit was engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy in two directions,had pulled back its left flank, and was withdrawing to the next ridge.On Millikin's right the tanks holding the ground along the river were beingpressed back. By 2300 both the 1st and 2d Battalions had been forced backand their positions penetrated. The 1st Battalion had expended its basicload of ammunition and most of the reserve ammunition the regiment hadsent forward. Millikin reported by radio to the regimental commander theincreasingly desperate situation of the two front-line battalions and thefact that he was almost out of ammunition. [8]

While this night battle was increasing in intensity, an important conferencewas in progress at I Corps headquarters. During the afternoon, GeneralMilburn and his staff had become more and more disturbed at reports ofwhat was happening to the ROK II Corps eastward and of the increasing tempoof the action near Unsan. At noon on 1 November I Corps had ordered the24th Division to halt its advanced units, then only a few miles from theNorth Korean border. Some hours later, about 1800 in the afternoon, GeneralMilburn sent out a call for a meeting at corps headquarters that nightto be attended by the commanding generals and certain staff members ofthe 24th Division, the 1st Cavalry Division, and the ROK 1st Division.Before General Gay left his command post for the I Corps meeting at Anjuhe ordered Col. Ernest V. Holmes, his chief of staff, to send a warningorder to the 8th Cavalry Regiment to be prepared to withdraw from Unsan.

The meeting at I Corps headquarters got under way about 2000. In thismeeting General Milburn directed the corps to go from the attack to thedefensive immediately. This was the first time I Corps had gone on thedefensive since its breakout from the Pusan Perimeter. Milburn returnedthe 8th Cavalry Regiment to division control, and ordered that it and theROK 15th Regiment withdraw at once from Unsan to positions above the Yongsan-dong-Yongbyon-Unhungeast-west road. This would amount to a general withdrawal of approximatelytwelve air miles. Generals Gay and Paik were to co-ordinate the withdrawalsof their advanced regiments, the ROK 15th Regiment to be the last to withdraw.General Gay telephoned Colonel Holmes from Anju, instructing him to issuethe withdrawal order to the 8th Cavalry Regiment. Then he and General Paikand their parties started back to their headquarters. A little after midnight they reachedthe 1st Cavalry Division command post. There they learned the bad newsfrom the Unsan front. [9]

Colonel Palmer received the withdrawal order from the 1st Cavalry Divisionabout 2300. Fifteen minutes before midnight he issued a warning order alertingall battalions and the regimental trains for a withdrawal south. At midnighthe issued the withdrawal order. The withdrawal route indicated was theonly one possible-east from the road fork south of Unsan, across the fordof the Kuryong River, and then by the main supply route of the ROK 1stDivision to Ipsok and Yongbyon. Major Millikin telephoned Colonel Waltonthat he would try to hold Unsan until the 2d Battalion cleared the roadjunction south of it. Then he would withdraw. The 3d Battalion, south ofUnsan, was to bring up the regimental rear. [10]

In the 2d Battalion, Colonel Walton had lost communication by this timewith all his companies except H Company. He gave that company the withdrawalorder with instructions to relay it to the rifle companies since it stillhad communication with them. The 2d Battalion headquarters group, underineffective enemy small arms fire, began withdrawing eastward to the soundof heavy firing in Unsan.

In Major Millikin's 1st Battalion area just north of Unsan, A Companyhad been forced from its left flank position and Chinese were infiltratingsouth along the ridge line into Unsan behind the battalion. At the sametime, the Chinese were pressing hard against B Company on the right andthe tanks of B Company, 70th Tank Battalion, along the river where theyguarded the battalion's right flank. Millikin soon received word that thetanks had been forced back to the road junction at the northeast edge ofthe town. The tankers reported they would try to hold there until the 1stBattalion could withdraw past that point. Millikin issued orders for Aand B Companies each to leave one platoon behind as rear guard, and forthem and D Company to withdraw through C Company to the tank-held roadjunction. When Millikin himself arrived at the road juncture he found theretwo tanks and the D Company mortar vehicles. Other tanks had already passedon into Unsan. A din of small arms fire from Unsan indicated that the enemyheld the town.

A few minutes later, about half an hour after midnight, elements ofA and B Companies arrived at the road fork at the northeast edge of Unsan.Enemy troops in the town began firing at them and caused some casualties.Millikin then sent these A and B Company men around to the east of Unsanwith instructions to wait for him at the road fork and bridge south ofthe town. Millikin and most of his staff remained at the northeast edge of Unsan.They hoped to direct the rest of the battalion on the escape route, andto send the mortar carriers with wounded, escorted by the two remainingtanks, through Unsan to the road fork southward.

Four tanks of the 1st Platoon of B Company, 70th Tank Battalion, alreadyhad fought their way through the town and arrived at the road fork southof it. It was the noise of this conflict in Unsan that Millikin and hismen heard from the northeast edge of the town. Fifteen minutes later Millikinordered the last two tanks and the mortar vehicles with the wounded totry to get through Unsan. A burning truck at the first turn going westinto the town halted the column. In trying to get around the truck thefirst tank slid into a shell crater and got stuck. Chinese soldiers killedthe tank commander as he struggled to free the tank. Other Chinese placeda satchel charge on the tracks of the second tank and disabled it. Of theten tank crewmen, two were killed and five wounded. Apparently none ofthe wounded on the mortar carriers escaped. [11]

A little later, about 0100, a miscellaneous assortment of men, includingelements of C Company, South Koreans attached to the 1st Battalion, ROKstragglers from the 15th Regiment, and Chinese soldiers, arrived at theroad junction northeast of town at about the same time. Millikin stillwaited there. In the confusion that now spread out of control the men triedto escape in groups. Millikin and a small group went westward north ofUnsan and then circled to the southwest. At 0200, they encountered partsof H Company from the 2d Battalion also trying to reach the road fork southof Unsan.

Roadblock South of the Town

When Colonel Palmer ordered the regimental withdrawal he placed ColonelEdson, the regimental executive officer, in charge of co-ordinating itand sent him to the road junction a mile and a half south of Unsan. anda mile north of the regimental command post. That road junction was thecritical point to be reached and passed by the scattered elements of thecommand. Accompanied by Capt. Rene J. Guirard, the regimental S-2, andtwo squads of the I&R Platoon, Edson arrived at the road junction justbefore midnight. Capt. Filmore W. McAbee, S-3 of the 3d Battalion, tookone platoon of I Company and the company commander to the road fork aboutmidnight, and after conferring there with Edson, he personally placed theplatoon in position to protect the junction from the north.

The regimental trains passed through, as did the trains of the 1st and2d Battalions; numerous groups of the 1st Battalion and some from the 2dBattalion also came through. The four 1st Platoon tanks arrived there about0030. Edson placed them in defensive positions at the road junction. Theyremained there until two tanks of the 2d Platoon arrived. Then Edson orderedthe first group of tanks to go southeast to the ford over the Kuryong River,and to protect it for the last part of the withdrawal. The two tanks thathad just come through Unsan remained at the road junction.

It was now about 0130, 2 November. [12]

As yet there had been no enemy action south of Unsan in the 3d Battalionarea. Artillery elements supporting that battalion began withdrawing norththrough the road junction at this time. Headquarters and Service Batteryand B Battery of the 99th Field Artillery Battalion passed eastward throughthe road junction. Next came C Battery. Captain Bolt, the battery commander,reached the road fork about 0220 at the head of his column of twenty vehicles,which included six prime movers towing six 105-mm. howitzers. He stoppedbriefly to talk with Colonel Edson who told him everything was all rightand to go on.

The withdrawal route ran generally east from the road fork for a milebefore it turned southeast to the ford across the Kuryong River and henceto Ipsok, four miles south of the river. Immediately east of the road forkthe road ran on an embankment built above rice paddies with ditches oneither side. North of the road, a considerable expanse of paddy groundextended to the Samt'an River at a point just before it turned east ina sharp bend to flow into the Kuryong a mile away. On the south side thepaddy ground gave way to high ground which culminated in Hills 165 and119. They crowded close on the road beginning at a point about 200 yardseast of the road fork.

Captain Bolt turned east on this road and had proceeded about 200 yardswhen, upon glancing back, he saw that the second vehicle was not behindhim. He told his driver to stop the jeep; they waited. The second vehiclehad continued on past the turn at the road fork, had had to back up, andin doing so had jammed the column and caused the delay.

As he waited, Captain Bolt happened to glance to his left across thepaddy ground, and in the moonlight he saw a line of men coming toward theroad. He thought they were retreating 8th Cavalry infantrymen and remarkedabout them to his driver. When the oncoming soldiers were about fifty toseventy-five yards away the entire group opened fire on the road. Boltshouted to his driver to get going, and upon rounding a curve where thehill came down to the road they lost sight of the rest of the battery atthe road fork. Just around the curve from 15 to 20 enemy soldiers stoodin the road. They opened fire on the jeep as it raced toward them. Boltreturned it with his submachine gun. The enemy group scattered to the sidesof the road. The jeep raced on and passed 2 other small enemy groups, thelast one numbering no more than 3 or 4 soldiers. Bolt soon caught up withthe end of the regimental column, which he found consisted of B Batteryand the four tanks of the 1st Platoon, B Company, 70th Tank Battalion.He tried to get one of the tanks to go back and fire down the road, butthe tank commander said he was out of ammunition. [13]

The enemy force at the road apparently had followed the 1st Battalionfrom north of Unsan, coming down along the west bank of the Samt'an River,although it is possible that they had crossed the river from the ROK 15thRegiment zone on the east.

As Bolt's jeep disappeared around the turn of the road the enemy soldiersreached the road embankment and opened fire on the next vehicle when itapproached. This caused the driver to lose control and the 2 1/2-ton truckupset over the side of the embankment, dragging the 105-mm. howitzer itwas towing crosswise on the road and blocking it. One of the two tanksat the road fork went forward to try to break the roadblock, but the upsettruck and howitzer blocked the way and the tank came under attack. Crewmenabandoned the tank after disabling its weapons. There is some evidencethat a Chinese satchel charge had already broken the tank treads. Bolt'sjeep was the last vehicle to pass eastward from the road fork below Unsan.Thus, at 0230 the Chinese had effectively cut the only remaining escaperoad from Unsan. [14]

At the road fork confusion swept over bewildered and frightened men.No one, it seems, was able to gather together enough men to fight the enemyroadblock force. Colonel Edson apparently made such an effort but it failed,and in the end he and his group escaped by circling around and throughthe roadblock force eastward and then south into the hills. Captain Guirardhad several personal encounters with Chinese in this escape. Most of theartillerymen caught in the roadblock disappeared into the hill mass southof the road. A few officers, including one from I Company, and some ofthe noncommissioned officers, tried to assemble the men who had abandonedtheir vehicles and equipment on the road. But the few men they were ableto bring together disappeared as soon as they turned their backs on themto look for others. A few Chinese soldiers came down among the vehiclesand threw grenades, but most of them stayed at their roadblock position.Soon enemy machine gun and mortar fire began falling on the road junctionarea from the adjacent high ground. [15]

After watching Colonel Edson and his party disappear to the east, ColonelWalton, who meanwhile had arrived from west of Unsan, returned to his own2d Battalion group at the road junction and led them southward across thehills. He came in through ROK lines at Ipsok after daylight with 103 men.When Major Millikin and his 1st Battalion group met elements of H Companywest of the town, Millikin placed his wounded in their vehicles, and thecombined party came on to the road fork. They found it a shambles of wreckedand abandoned vehicles and equipment.

Behind Millikin and the H Company group, the rest of the 2d Battalionnever succeeded in reaching the road fork south of Unsan. Half a mile westof it, at the edge of the town, an enemy force cut the east-west road.There the Chinese stopped A Battery, 99th Field Artillery Battalion, and the 3d Platoon,B Company, 70th Tank Battalion. Soon abandoned vehicles clogged the roadat this point. The congestion was so bad that even the tanks could notget through and their crew members abandoned them after destroying theirweapons. A few of these men filtered through to the road fork, but mostof them went south over the hills. The infantry elements of the 2d Battalionfor the most part scattered into the hills. Many of them reached ROK linesnear Ipsok. Others came in to the position of the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry,the next morning. The sound of the 9th Field Artillery Battalion at Ipsokfiring in support of the ROK 1st Division served as a guide for most ofthe men caught in the Unsan roadblock, and they moved in that direction.

When Major Millikin and his group arrived at the road fork they foundMaj. Robert J. Ormond, commanding officer of the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry,there with a platoon of infantry. This was the I Company platoon McAbeeearlier had posted north of the road fork blocking the road from Unsan.Millikin queried Ormond to find out what the latest orders were, as hehad been out of communication with everyone since directing the 1st Battalionwithdrawal. Ormond replied that he had no recent information, that hislast orders were to try and hold the road fork until the 1st and 2d Battalionshad gone through, and that he believed large portions of them had alreadypassed eastward. Ormond then turned back south to his own battalion tostart its withdrawal. The whole general area of the road fork was now underenemy small arms fire, some of it coming from the south which at firsthad been free of enemy soldiers.

Millikin found scattered elements of the 1st Battalion near the roadfork and he collected about forty men, including Capt. Robert B. Straightof B Company who was wounded. Straight had stayed behind with one platoonnorth of Unsan when the rest of his company had withdrawn. There was oneoperable tank still at the road fork. Using its radio, Millikin tried tocommunicate with elements of the regiment, but was able to reach only onetank which was then engaged in running a roadblock near the ford over theKuryong. The 1st Battalion commander then ordered the tank to start towardthe enemy roadblock. He was following it with his men when enemy fire scatteredthem. The small groups infiltrated the Chinese lines and headed south.Millikin and the men with him crossed the Kuryong just before daylightand reached Ipsok about 0800. There he found his battalion trains and about200 men of the 1st Battalion, most of them from those parts of A and BCompanies that he had sent southeast around Unsan at the beginning of thewithdrawal.

About noon on 2 November practically all men of the 1st Battalion whowere to escape had reached the Ipsok area, and a count showed that thebattalion had lost about fifteen officers and 250 enlisted men to all typesof casualties. About half the battalion's mortars and heavy weapons hadbeen lost to the enemy. Most of the regimental headquarters; the regimentaltrains; four tanks of B company, 70th Tank Battalion; and five artillerypieces crossed the Kuryong River ford safely and assembled in the vicinityof Yongbyon. From there they rejoined the 1st Cavalry Division at Yongsan-dong. [16]

Ordeal Near Camel's Head Bend

During the evening and first part of the night of 1 November the troopsof the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry, south of Unsan and their supporting artilleryand tanks had enjoyed undisturbed quiet. Some of them in the late afternoonhad noticed airplanes strafing a few miles to the south and were awarethat an enemy force in that vicinity was on their main supply road. MajorOrmond just before midnight had passed on to his company commanders wordof the impending withdrawal. Lt. Col. Robert Holmes, commanding officerof the 99th Field Artillery Battalion, gave instructions for the two batteriesof artillery (B and C) to withdraw. Battalion headquarters and B Batterydeparted at 0115, and cleared the road fork south of Unsan. Last of theartillery to march was Captain Bolt with C Battery at 0200, and, as alreadynoted, he encountered the first of the enemy roadblock force. A platoonof twenty-five men from K Company accompanied C Battery. [17]

The 3d Battalion had taken a position just north of the Nammyon River,where it flowed into the nose of the Camel's Head Bend of the Kuryong threeair miles southwest of Unsan. Its mission was to guard the regimental rear.Major Ormond had established his command post in a flat plowed field witha tight perimeter formed by headquarters and M Company command groups.Two squads of M Company held the bridge immediately in the rear (south)of the battalion headquarters, and the 4th Platoon of B Company, 70th TankBattalion, was disposed in position there on either side of the road northof the river. The tree line extending west along the Nammyon was held byL Company with one platoon on a high hill on the south side; I and K Companiesin that order were on a ridge line running from northeast to southwestoverlooking the stream northwest of the battalion command post. The communicationsswitchboard and the S-2 and S-3 sections of the battalion headquartersfound just off the road a ready-made dugout for their us in a 20-by-20-foothole with a log and straw roof over it which the North Koreans had dugat some earlier date to hide vehicles from aircraft. [18]

Upon receiving the regimental order to withdraw, with the 3d Battalionassigned the mission of guarding the regimental rear, Major Ormond issuedinstructions for K and I Companies to withdraw from their positions tothe battalion command post. Company L was to cover their withdrawal. Noneof the rifle companies was engaged with the enemy, and no difficulty was expected. Major Ormond then drove northwardto the regimental command post and subsequently to the road fork southof Unsan where Major Millikin saw him.

Ormond started back south just a few minutes before enemy troops cutthe road below the fork. As it was, he returned to his command post withouttrouble. There he told certain members of his staff that the 3d Battalioncould not withdraw northward through the road fork below Unsan as plannedbecause that road was now held by enemy forces. Using a map Ormond showedMaj. Veale F. Moriarty, the battalion executive officer, the cross-countryroute he intended the battalion to follow and sent the motor officer offto find a ford by which the vehicles could cross the river. He then gaveinstructions to SSgt. Elmer L. Miller, in charge of a section of tanksnear the command post, to cover the battalion withdrawal. Miller passedthis word on to the 4th Platoon tank commander, and then went to examinethe ford selected for the vehicular crossing. All the vehicles in the battalionarea, except the tanks, were lined up on the road bumper to bumper readyto begin the withdrawal.

At this time, close to 0300, a company-sized column of men (one sourcesaid platoon-sized) from the south approached the bridge over the NammyonRiver below the battalion command post. The two squads of M Company chargedwith security of the bridge let the column pass over the bridge thinkingthey were ROK's. When this column was even with the command post one ofits leaders sounded a bugle. This was the signal for a deadly surpriseassault on the battalion command post from all sides. At the same time,other enemy forces engaged L Company along the stream bank to the southwest,and still others crossed the stream directly south of the command postand attacked the tanks there. Sergeant Miller crawled back to his tankin time to help fight enemy troops off the decks with a pistol. The tankson both sides of the road backed up to the road except one which was firstdamaged by a satchel charge and then, in a few minutes, blew up. At theroad the tanks held off other enemy troops trying to cross the stream fromthe south. [19]

In the command post itself the greatest confusion reigned after theonset of the Chinese attack. Hand-to-hand encounters took place all overthe battalion headquarters area as the Chinese soldiers who had marchedacross the bridge fanned out, firing on anyone they saw and throwing grenades,and satchel charges into the vehicles, setting many of them on fire. Partof the men around the command post were still in their foxholes or shelters,some of them apparently asleep awaiting the order to start the withdrawal.One man later said, "I woke up when the shooting started." Anothersaid, "Someone woke me and asked if I could hear a bunch of horseson the gallop . . . then bugles started playing taps, but far away. Someoneblew a whistle, and our area was shot to hell in a matter of minutes."Still another man was awakened by an exploding hand grenade. Lt. W. C.Hill said, "I thought I was dreaming when I heard a bugle sounding taps and the beat of horses' hooves in the distance. Then,as though they came out of a burst of smoke, shadowy figures started shootingand bayoneting everybody they could find." [20]

When the shooting started, Major Ormond and Captain McAbee left thecommand dugout to determine the extent of what they thought was a NorthKorean attack. Major Moriarty, battalion executive officer, who was inthe dugout at the time never saw Ormond again.

Once outside the dugout, Captain McAbee started for the roadblock atthe bridge and Major Ormond veered off to the right to go to L Companyby the river. As McAbee approached the bridge small arms fire knocked offhis helmet and a few seconds later another bullet shattered his left shoulderblade. He turned back toward the command post and ran into a small groupof enemy soldiers. He dodged around a jeep, with the enemy in pursuit.As they came around the jeep he shot them. In the field along the roadhe saw about thirty more enemy troops attempting to set a tank on fire.McAbee emptied his carbine into this group, and then, growing weak fromloss of blood, he turned again toward the dugout. A few steps farther andthree enemy soldiers stepped from the roadside ditch and prodded him withbayonets. Not trying to disarm him, they jabbered to each other, seeminglyconfused. McAbee pointed down the road, and after a little argument amongthemselves they walked away. Once more on his way to the dugout McAbeefell into the hands of a small group of Chinese, and repeated his earlierexperience. After this second group walked off up the road, McAbee finallyreached the command post.

Meanwhile, a few minutes after Ormond and McAbee had left the dugoutCapt. Clarence R. Anderson, the battalion surgeon, and Father Emil J. Kapaun,the chaplain, brought in a wounded man. The small arms fire continued unabatedand Major Moriarty stepped outside to investigate. Visibility was good,and in the bright moonlight he saw Captain McAbee stagger toward him. Justbeyond McAbee, Moriarty saw three or four uniformed figures wearing furheadgear. He grabbed McAbee and thrust him into the dugout. Close at handsomeone called for help. Responding to the call, Moriarty clambered overthe dugout ramp leading from the road and found the battalion S-4 rollingon the ground grappling with an enemy soldier. Moriarty shot this soldierwith his pistol and another who was crouching nearby. For the next fifteenor twenty minutes he was one of the many in the command post area waginga "cowboy and Indian" fight with the Chinese, firing at closerange, and throwing grenades. [21]

Seeing a center of resistance developing around Miller's tank, Moriartyran to it and found about twenty other men crouching around it. When enemymortar fire began falling near the tank, Moriarty took these men and withthem crossed the stream to the south. They destroyed a small group of enemytroops at the stream bank. The south side appearing free of the enemy atthat point, they proceeded southeast. During the night this party was joined byothers from different units of the regiment. When they reached friendlyROK lines near Ipsok after daylight there were almost a hundred men inthe group.

After perhaps half an hour of hand-to-hand fighting in the battalioncommand post area the Chinese were driven out. In the meantime, most ofL Company had withdrawn from the stream's edge back to the command post.Making its way toward the command post, pursuant to the earlier withdrawalorder, K Company ran into an enemy ambush and lost its command group andone platoon. The remainder reached the battalion area closely followedby the Chinese. There on the valley floor the disorganized men of the 3dBattalion formed a core of resistance around Sergeant Miller's three tanksand held the enemy off until daylight.

Another island of resistance had formed at the ramp to the command postdugout. Three men who manned the machine gun there in succession were killedby Chinese grenades. When daylight came only five of the twenty or moremen who had assembled there were left. After a final exchange of grenadeswith these men, the Chinese in the nearby ditches withdrew. The group atthe ramp then joined the others in the small perimeter around the threetanks.

Enemy mortar fire kept everyone under cover until an hour after daylight.Then a Mosquito plane and fighter-bomber aircraft came over and began aday-long series of strikes against the Chinese. This kept the enemy undercover during the rest of the day and gave the men at the command post achance to take stock of their situation and to gather in the wounded. Theyfound Major Ormond, the battalion commander, very badly wounded and therest of the battalion staff wounded or missing. There were approximately6 officers and 200 men of the battalion still able to function. Within500 yards of the 200-yard-wide perimeter there were more than 170 wounded.As they were brought inside the small perimeter the wounded were counted;the dead apparently were not.

The beleaguered men also used the daylight respite gained from the aircover to dig an elaborate series of trenches and retrieve rations and ammunitionfrom the vehicles that had escaped destruction. An L-5 plane flew overand dropped a mail bag of morphine and bandages. A helicopter also appearedand hovered momentarily a few feet above the 3d Battalion panels, intendingto land and evacuate the more seriously wounded, but enemy fire hit itand it departed without landing. The battalion group was able to communicatewith the pilot of a Mosquito plane overhead who said a relief column wason its way to them. [22]

The relief column the pilot of the Mosquito plane referred to was the5th Cavalry force that, after having been repulsed during the previousafternoon and night, resumed its effort at daylight to break through tothe 3d Battalion of the 8th Cavalry. Just before 0400, 2 November, the 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, arrived at the defensive positionthe 1st Battalion had held during the latter part of the night. On GeneralGay's order, the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, now also became availableto Colonel Johnson. Gay directed that it strike off across country in aneffort to flank the enemy position on the left while the 5th Cavalry attackedfrontally. For the frontal attack, Colonel Johnson placed the 1st Battalion,5th Cavalry, on the left of the road and the 2d Battalion on the right.His plan called for these two battalions to capture the enemy-held ridgein their front on a sufficient frontage to allow the 3d Battalion-whichhad been released that morning to his control and was then moving to joinhim, spearheaded by a tank company-to move through to the relief of the3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry. The 3d Battalion would be up and ready for thiseffort by afternoon.

Colonel Johnson had a special interest in rescuing the 3d Battalion,8th Cavalry. He had brought it to Korea from Fort Devens, Mass., whereonly two months earlier it had been part of the 7th Regiment of the 3dDivision. It became the 3d Battalion of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, and hehad commanded it through the Pusan Perimeter breakout battles. By rightof this earlier association it was "his own battalion."

The two lead attack companies of the 5th Cavalry failed to reach andseize their objectives on 2 November. The 1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalryreally contributed nothing to the effort as it merely moved off into roughcountry and never entered the fight. The attack had almost no support fromartillery, since only two 155-mm. howitzers could reach the enemy positionsand higher headquarters would not authorize moving up the lighter artillery.The repeated strikes by strong air cover against the enemy ridge positionsprobably did little damage because the dense smoke haze hanging over thearea obscured the objective. The 2d Battalion in the afternoon made thelast effort after an air strike had strafed the enemy-held ridge. But againthe smoke haze was so heavy that the pilots could not see any targets andit is doubtful whether their strikes caused much damage. The dug-in Chinesedid not budge. A prisoner said that five Chinese companies of the 8thRoute Army were holding the ridge.

In this night and day battle with the Chinese at the Turtle Head Bendof the Kuryong River the two battalions of the 5th Cavalry suffered about350 casualties, 200 of them in Lt. Col. John Clifford's 2d Battalion whichcarried the brunt of the fighting on 2 November. The 5th Cavalry Regimentalways thereafter referred to this ridge where it first encountered theCCF as "Bugle Hill." The name was well chosen for during thenight and on into the day the Chinese had used bugles, horns, and whistlesas signaling devices. No doubt they also hoped that these sounds wouldterrorize their enemy during the eerie hours of night battle.

With the battle still in progress against this Chinese force, GeneralMilburn, the corps commander, after conferring with General Gay, at 1500verbally instructed the latter to withdraw the 1st Cavalry Division. Thetwo had agreed that with the forces available they could not break theroadblock. Approximately two hours later Gay received confirmation of theorder from corps. General Gay at dusk made what he has described as the most difficult decision he was ever called on to make-toorder the 5th Cavalry Regiment to withdraw and leave the 3d Battalion,8th Cavalry, to its fate. [23] Thus, at dark on 2 November the 3d Battalion,8th Cavalry, had no further hope of rescue.

At the 3d Battalion perimeter Chaplain Kapaun and Captain Anderson hadrisked their lives constantly during the day in attending the wounded.Many men not previously injured had been hit by sniper and machine gunfire in carrying wounded into the perimeter. Although wounded several times,and seriously, Major Ormond had refused treatment until all other woundedhad been cared for. At dusk Chaplain Kapaun left the perimeter and wentto join the fifty to sixty wounded who had been placed in the old dugoutbattalion command post. This dugout, initially at the southeast cornerof the original perimeter, was now approximately 150 yards outside thenew one. The three tanks moved inside the infantry position.

Just before dusk a division liaison plane flew over the 3d Battalionperimeter and dropped a message ordering it to withdraw under cover ofdarkness. Over his tank radio Miller received from a liaison pilot a similarmessage stating that the men were on their own and to use their own judgmentin getting out. But, after talking over the situation, the tankers andthe infantry in the little perimeter decided to stay and try to hold outduring the night. [24]

As dusk settled over the beleaguered group and the last of the protectingair cover departed, the Chinese bombarded the little island of men with120-mm. mortars which had been brought into position during the day. Thetankers, thinking the mortar barrage was directed at them, moved the tanksoutside the perimeter to divert it away from the infantry. The barragefollowed them, but part of it soon shifted back to the infantry insidethe perimeter. All the tanks were hit two or three times, and one of themstarted to burn. A crewman was killed in putting out the fire. His ammunitionalmost gone and his gasoline low, Miller decided that his tanks would notlast out the night if they stayed where they were. He called the infantryover their SCR-300 radio and told them his conclusion that in the circumstancesthe tanks would be of no help to them. They agreed. Miller led the tanksoff to the southwest. Three miles from the perimeter Miller and the othercrew members had to abandon the tanks in the valley of the Kuryong. Aftersome desperate encounters, Miller and a few of his men reached friendlylines. [25] At the 3d Battalion perimeter the Chinese followed their mortarbarrage with an infantry attack. To meet this, the men inside the perimeterfired bazooka rounds into the vehicles to start fires and light up thearea. Attacking across the open field in successive waves and silhouettedagainst the burning vehicles, the Chinese made easy targets and were shotdown in great numbers. Six times during the night the Chinese attacked in a strength of approximately 400 men, but each time they werebeaten back from the perimeter. During the night about fifty men from thetd Battalion who had been in the hills all day broke through to join thosein the besieged 3d Battalion perimeter.

In this heavy action, the Chinese early in the evening, by mortar fireand grenades, knocked out the two machine gun positions at the old commandpost dugout. Then they overran it. Inside the dugout were between 50 and60 badly wounded men. The Chinese took 15 of the wounded who were ableto walk with some help, including Captain McAbee and Chaplain Kapaun, andremoved them to the Nammyon River outside the range of fire. The others,unable to walk, were left inside the dugout. In getting out of the fieldof fire with their captors, the 15 men had to crawl over the dead. MajorMcAbee has stated that at the edge of the perimeter where he passed theenemy dead they were piled three high and he estimated there must havebeen 1,000 enemy dead altogether. [26] But this number seems excessive.

On the morning of 3 November a 3-man patrol went to the former battalioncommand post dugout and discovered that during the night the Chinese hadtaken out some of the wounded. That day there was no air support. Remainingrations were given to the wounded. Enemy fire kept everyone under cover.The night was a repetition of the preceding one, with the Chinese workingcloser all the time. After each enemy attack had been driven back men wouldcrawl out and retrieve weapons and ammunition from the enemy dead. Theirown ammunition was almost gone.

Daylight of 4 November disclosed that there were about 200 men leftable to fight. There were about 250 wounded. A discussion of the situationbrought the decision that those still physically able to make the attemptshould try to escape. Captain Anderson, the battalion surgeon, volunteeredto stay with the wounded. 1st Lt. Walter L. Mayo, Jr., and 1st Lt. PhilipH. Peterson, accompanied by two enlisted men, left the perimeter to scouta way out. They crawled up the irrigation ditches to the old command postand talked with some of the American wounded the Chinese had left there.They found the ramp covered with dead Chinese and Americans. They thencrawled up the roadside ditches to the small village farther north andfound only some wounded Chinese in it. In reaching the village, LieutenantMayo has estimated that he crawled over the bodies of 100 Chinese. Fromthere the four men scouted the ford across the river. That done, the twoofficers sent the two enlisted men back to the 3d Battalion perimeter withinstructions to lead the group out, while they continued to scout the rivercrossing area. It was about 1430.

After the two enlisted men returned to the perimeter and reported onthe escape route, Capt. George F. McDonnell of the 2d Battalion group andCapt. William F. McLain of E Company, together with 1st Lt. Paul F. Bromserof L Company and the able-bodied men, withdrew to the east side of theperimeter just as the Chinese let loose a terrific barrage of white phosphorusshells. These bursting shells completely covered the perimeter area andobscured it with smoke. There was no doubt that the Chinese were trying to screen anattack. Within five minutes the 200 men cleared the perimeter on the eastside where an open field had prevented the enemy from taking positions.They left the wounded with Captain Anderson who was to surrender them.As they left the wounded behind, one who was present said none of the lattershed tears but, instead, simply said to come back with reinforcements andget them out. The wounded knew there was no alternative for those who stillmight escape.

The escaping group traveled all that night east and northeast and thensouth and southwest through a rain storm. In the morning from a mountainsidethey watched a few battalions of Chinese horse cavalry and infantry passby on a road below them. Later in the day the battalion group went souththrough more hills and crossed the valley near Ipsok. The next day, withinsight of bursting American artillery shells, Chinese forces surroundedthem and the battalion group, on the decision of the officers, broke upinto small parties in the hope that some of them would escape. At approximately1600 on the afternoon of 6 November the action of the 3d Battalion, 8thCavalry, as an organized force came to an end. Most of these men were eitherkilled or captured that day, apparently in the vicinity of Yongbyon. [27]

The heroic 3d Battalion commander, Major Ormond, was among the woundedcaptured by the Chinese in the perimeter beside the Kuryong. He subsequentlydied of his wounds and, according to some reports of surviving prisoners,was buried beside the road about five miles north of Unsan. Of his immediatestaff, the battalion S-2 and S-4 also lost their lives in the Unsan action.About ten officers and somewhat less than 200 enlisted men of the 3d Battalionescaped to rejoin the regiment. There were a few others who escaped later,some from captivity, and were given the status of recovered allied personnel.[25]

It is difficult to arrive at precise figures in totaling the lossesat Unsan. In the night battle the troop loss in the ROK 5th Regiment wasadmittedly very heavy. The regiment's loss in weapons and equipment wasvirtually total, and included four liaison planes of the 9th Field ArtilleryBattalion and the 6th Tank Battalion which U.S. fighter planes subsequentlydemolished on the ground.

At first, more than 1,000 men of the 8th Cavalry Regiment were missingin action, but as the days passed, some of these returned to friendly linesalong the Ch'ongch'on. Two weeks after the Unsan action tank patrols werestill bringing in men wounded at Unsan and fortunate enough to have beensheltered and cared for by friendly Koreans. On 22 November the Chinesethemselves, in a propaganda move, turned free 27 men who had been prisonersfor two weeks or longer, 19 of them captured from the 8th Cavalry Regimentat Unsan. After all the stragglers and those who had walked south through the hills had reported in, the losses were foundto total about 600 men. Enemy sources later indicated the Chinese capturedbetween 200 and 300 men at Unsan. The principal officer casualties includeda battalion commander and most of his staff, 5 company commanders, 2 medicalofficers, and 1 chaplain. In addition to the infantry losses, about one-fourthof the men of B Company, 70th Tank Battalion, were casualties. The HeavyMortar Company also suffered heavily. The regiment's loss in weapons andequipment was very heavy indeed. It included 12 105-mm howitzers and 9tanks and 1 tank recovery vehicle. On 3 November the 8th Cavalry Regimentreported it had 45 percent of its authorized strength. The division G-4considered the regiment inoperable until troops and equipment losses couldbe replaced. [29]

The Eighth Army announced on 5 November that "as a result of anambush" the 1st Cavalry Division would receive all the new replacementsuntil further notice. In the next twelve days, Eighth Army assigned 22officers and 616 enlisted men as replacements to the 1st Cavalry Division.Nearly all of them went to the 8th Cavalry Regiment. [30]

To cover the withdrawal to the south side of the Ch'ongch'on of the1st Cavalry Division and the ROK 1st Division, I Corps organized a specialforce known as Task Force Allen. The 2d and 3d Battalions, 7th CavalryRegiment, and the 19th Engineer Combat Group were the principal organizationsin the task force. Brig. Gen. Frank A. Allen, Jr., Assistant Division Commander,1st Cavalry Division, commanded it. In addition to covering the withdrawal,it also had the mission of protecting the I Corps east flank in the Kunu-riarea. [31]

The Chinese force that brought disaster to the 8th Cavalry Regimentat Unsan was the 116th Division of the 39th Army.Elements of the 347th Regiment imposed the roadblock eastof the road fork south of Unsan that thereafter halted all vehicular traffic.The 115th Division also fought in the Unsan action. It appears,therefore, that from first to last-from 25 October to 2 November-two Chinesedivisions, or elements of them, engaged the ROK 1st Division and the U.S.8th and 5th Cavalry Regiments in the Unsan area. [32]


[1] I Corps WD, Intel Summs, 142-43, and POR 150, 1 Nov 50.

[2] Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54.

[3] Ltrs, Gay to author, 19 Feb, 15 Mar, and 24 June 54; Interv, author with Hennig, 23 Mar 54; Ltr, Thompson to author, 9 Apr 54.

[4] MS review comments, Milburn, Nov 57.

[5] Interv, author with Johnson, 28 Apr 54; Johnson, MS review comments, Aug 54; I Corps WD, 1 Nov 50 Intel Summ 142; 5th Cav WD, 1 Nov 50; I Corps POR 153, 2 Nov 50.

[6] Ltr, Millikin to author, 6 May 54.

[7] Intervs, author with Hennig, 23-24 Mar 54; 10th AAA Group WD, 1-2Nov 50.

[8] Ltr, Millikin to author, 6 May 54: Ltr, Walton to author, 27 Aug 54; 8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 1 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn Jnl, 10 Nov 50 (a report from CO B Co, 70th Tk Bn, for period 1-9 Nov 50).

[9] Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54; Interv, author with Holmes, 26 Feb 54; Interv, author with Col Robert T. Hazlett (KMAG adviser to ROK 1st Div and present with Paik at I Corps conference), 25 Feb 54; Ltr, Thompson to author, 9 Apr 54; I Corps WD, 1 Nov 50. The verbal orders given at the conference were confirmed by I Corps in Operation Directive 19, published at 2200, 1 November.

[10] Ltrs, Millikin and Walton to author, 6 May and 27 Aug 54; Ltr, Col Hallett D. Edson, 16 Apr 54, and attached Exhibit A, Maj. William S. Coleman (S-3, 8th Cav Regt), Operations of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1-2 November 1950, in the Vicinity of Unsan (15 Nov 50); I Corps WD, Intel Summ 146; 1st Cav Div POR 182, 011700-021700 Nov 50; 8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 1 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn Jnl, 10 Nov 50 (1-9 Nov 50, 70th Tk Bn Rpt).

[11] 70th Tk Bn, S-3 Jnl, Msgs at 0015 and 0030 2 Nov 50.

[12] Coleman, Opns of 8th Cav, 1-2 Nov; Ltr, Edson to author, 16 Apr 54; Interv, author with Guirard, 21 Aug 54; Ltr, Maj Filmore W. McAbee to author, 8 Feb 57; 70th Tk Bn WD, 10 Nov and Jnl Msg at 0030 2 Nov 50; 8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 2 Nov 50.

[13] Details of Bolt's encounter with the CCF east of the road fork are based on Interv, Capt Edward C. Williamson with Bolt, 11 Jul 51, as reported in Williamson, Ambush of Battery C, 99th Field Artillery Battalion, 29 Oct-2 Nov 50, MS, copy in OCMH.

[14] 70th Tk Bn, S-3 Jnl, Msg at 0230 2 Nov 50.

[15] Williamson, Ambush of Battery C; Interv, author with Guirard, 21 Aug 54; Ltr, Edson to author, 16 Apr 54.

[16] Ltr, Millikin to author, 6 May 54; I Corps POR 153, 2 Nov 50; EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, 0840 2 Nov 50; 8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 2 Nov 50. [17] Williamson, Ambush of Battery C; 99th FA Bn WD, 1 Nov 50.

[18] Ltr, Lt Col Veale F. Moriarty (Ex Off, 3d Bn, 8th Cav, Nov 50) to author, and attached sketch map, 11 Jun 54; Ltrs, McAbee (S-3 3d Bn, 8th Cav, Nov 50) to author, 20 Aug 54 and 8 Feb 57; Ltr, SSgt Elmer L. Miller to Capt Carlos L. Fraser, CO B Co, 70th Tk Bn, 6 Nov 50, from 4th Field Hospital (Miller was a tank commander at the 3d Bn command post); Ltr, Capt Walter L. Mayo Jr. (Arty Liaison Off, C Btry, 99th FA Bn, with L Co) to author, 15 Jan 58, together with notes prepared by him for Unit Historian, 8th Cav Regt, in 1954. These sources form the principal basis for the following account of the 3d Battalion except as otherwise noted.

[19]The 70th Tk Bn S-3 Jnl, Msg at 0300 2 Nov, reporting Miller's radio message on the destruction of this tank is the most reliable evidence on the time of the CCF attack against the 3d Battalion.

[20] New York Herald Tribune, November 3, 1950, dispatches written at Ipsok, 2 November, by a correspondent who escaped from the Unsan area.

[21] Ltr, Moriarty to author, 11 Jun 54: Ltrs, McAbee to author, 20 Aug 54 and 8 Feb 57.

[22] Ltrs, McAbee to author, 20 Aug 54 and 8 Feb 57; I Corps WD, 2 Nov 50, Surg Sec Daily Rpt; 8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 2 Nov 50; EUSAK WD, G-3 Jnl, Msg at 0840 2 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn WD, 10 Nov 50 (Rpt, B Co, 70th Tk Bn, 1-9 Nov 50), Ltr, Miller to Fraser, 6 Nov 50. Two helicopters did evacuate twenty-two critically wounded from Ipsok.

[23] Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54; Interv, author with Johnson, 28 Apr 54; 5th Cav WD, 2-4 Nov 50; Milburn, MS review comments, Nov 57.

[24] Ltr, McAbee to author, 20 Aug 54; Ltr, Miller to Fraser, 6 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn WD, Msg at 1620 2 Nov 50.

[25] Ltr, Miller to Fraser, 6 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn WD, Msg (from S-2, 5th Cav, to G-2, 1st Cav Div) 081140 Nov 50, and Msg at 1050 3 Nov 50 EUSAK PIR 113, 2 Nov 50.

[26] Ltr, McAbee to author, 8 Feb 57.

[27] The account of the 3b Battalion after the tanks left the perimeter is based on McAbee's and Mayo's letters to author. McAbee and Anderson lived to return to the United States in the prisoner exchange after the Korean armistice. Chaplain Kapaun died in 1951 while a prisoner of war.

[28] Ltr, Moriarty to author, 11 Jun 54; Ltr, McAbee to author, 8 Feb 57: Interv, author with Johnson, 28 Apr 54; Interv, Guirard, 21 Aug 54. The figures are from Moriarty, who remained as executive officer of the battalion.

[29] 1st Cav Div WD, 5, 6, and 17 Nov 50; 7th Cav Hist Rpt, 22 Nov 50; 8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 3 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn WD, Jnl, 10 Nov 50; EUSAK WD, G-3 Daily Hist Rpt, 6 Nov 50; Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54. The equipment loss figures are based on the following sources: EUSAK POR 339, 1 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn WD, Summ, 2 Nov, and Jnl, Msg 4, 101000 Nov 50; 1st Cav Div WD, G-4 Jnl, 12 Oct 50, Div Arty and 70th Tk Bn battle losses, 27 Oct-4 Nov 50; 1st Cav Div POR 190, 10 Nov 50, an. A; 1st Cav Div WD, 5 Nov 50; EUSAK WD, 7 Nov 50, Ltr, CG EUSAK to CINCFE, sub: ROKA and U.S. Equipment Losses, 1-3 Nov 50; I Corps WD, POR 153, 2 Nov 50. These sources also gave losses in small arms, automatic weapons, and vehicles. In a study of combat experience at Unsan prepared and distributed by Headquarters, XIX Army Group, CCF, the Chinese command, after recounting the large amount of equipment captured, apologized for what it considered relatively few prisoners. The study stated, "As a result of lack of experience in mopping-up operations in mountainous areas, only 200 odd were captured." See ATIS Enemy Documents, Issue 47, pp.139ff, mimeographed booklet in Chinese, A Collection of Combat Experiences.

[30] EUSAK WD. G-1 Daily Hist Rpt, 5 and 17 Nov 50.

[31] Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54; Interv, Johnson, 28 Apr 54; 7th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 1-4 Nov 50; I Corps WD, 2 Nov 50.

[32] ATIS Enemy Documents, Issue 47, pp. 139ff; I Corps, Armor Combat Bul 27, 15 Jun 51, quoting from captured Chinese notebook, Experiences in the Unsan Operation.

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