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Delaying Action: P'yongt'aek to Choch'iwon

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)
No speech of admonition can be so fine that it will at once make thosewho hear it good men if they are not good already; it would surely notmake archers good if they had not had previous practice in shooting; neithercould it make lancers good, nor horsemen, it cannot even make men ableto endure bodily labour, unless they have been trained to it before.
Attributed to Cyrus the Great, in XENOPHON, Cyropaedia

Elements of the 34th Infantry began arriving at Pusan by ship late inthe afternoon of 2 July. The next afternoon two LST's arrived with equipment.All that night loading went on at the railroad station. Just after daylightof 4 July the 1st Battalion started north by rail; by evening the lastof the regiment was following. Col. Jay B. Lovless commanded the regiment,which had a strength of 1,981 men. [1]

When Colonel Lovless saw General Dean at Taejon early on 5 July theGeneral told him that Lt. Col. Harold B. Ayres (an experienced battalioncombat officer of the Italian campaign in World War II), whom Lovless hadnever seen and who had just flown to Korea from Japan, had been placedin command of his 1st Battalion at P'yongt'aek. Colonel Ayres had arrivedat P'yongt'aek that morning about 0500 with the 1st Battalion. Dean toldLovless that he would like the 3d Battalion to go to Ansong, if possible,and that the 34th Regimental command post should be at Songhwan-ni. Asrequested by General Dean, the 3d Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. DavidH. Smith, went to Ansong, twelve miles east of P'yongt'aek to cover thehighway there. Colonel Lovless set up his regimental headquarters thatday, 5 July, at Songhwan-ni, six miles south of P'yongt'aek, on the mainhighway and rail line. (Map 3)

General Dean placed great importance on holding the P'yongt'aek-Ansongline. On the west, an estuary of the Yellow Sea came up almost to P'yongt'aekand offered the best barrier south of Seoul to an enemy that might tryto pass around the west (or left) flank of a force defending the main highwayand rail line.

Map, Delaying action

Once south of P'yongt'aek, the Korean peninsula broadens out westwardforty-five miles and a road net spreads south and west there permittingthe outflanking of the Seoul-Taegu highway positions. East of Ansong, mountainscome down close to that town, affording some protection there to a right(east) flank anchored on it. P'yongt'aek and Ansong were key points onthe two principal highways running south between the Yellow Sea and thewest central mountains. If enemy troops succeeded in penetrating southof P'yongt'aek, delaying and blocking action against them would becomeinfinitely more difficult in the western part of Korea. [2] General Deanwas expecting too much, however, to anticipate that one battalion in thepoor state of training that characterized the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry,and without artillery, tank, or antitank weapon support, could hold theP'yongt'aek position more than momentarily against the vastly superiorenemy force that was known to be advancing on it.

The Retreat From P'yongt'aek

When General Barth reached P'yongt'aek from the Osan position the morningof 5 July he found there, as he had expected, Colonel Ayres and the 1stBattalion, 34th Infantry. He told Ayres of the situation at Osan and saidthat probably enemy tanks would break through there and come on down theroad. He asked Ayres to send some bazooka teams on ahead to intercept theexpected tanks.

Lt. Charles E. Payne with some infantrymen started north. Approachingthe village of Sojong they discovered tank tracks in the muddy road wherean enemy tank had turned around. Payne stopped the trucks and dismountedhis men. A South Korean soldier on horseback, wearing foliage camouflageon his helmet, rode up to them and yelled, "Tanks, tanks, go back!"Payne eventually located the enemy tank on the railroad track about a mileahead at the edge of Sojong-ni, five miles south of Osan. In an exchangeof fire about 1600 between his bazooka teams and the tank at long range,enemy machine gun fire killed Pvt. Kenneth Shadrick. The bazooka teamswithdrew, bringing Shadrick's body with them. The group returned to P'yongt'aekand reported the futile effort to Barth and Ayres. [3]

That evening after dark General Dean and his aide, 1st Lt. Arthur M.Clarke, drove to P'yongt'aek. There was still no word from Smith and hismen, but the presence of enemy tanks south of Osan raised all sorts ofconjectures in Dean's mind. After midnight, he started back to Taejon fullof forebodings about Task Force Smith. [4]

Four survivors of the Osan fight arrived at Ayres' command post at P'yongt'aekshortly after General Dean had left it and told an exaggerated story ofthe destruction of Task Force Smith. A few minutes later, Colonel Perryarrived from Ansong and made his report of

what had happened to Task Force Smith. Barth and Ayres then decidedto keep the 1st Battalion in its blocking position but to destroy the highwaybridge just north of the town now that enemy tanks must be expected momentarily.Members of the 1st Battalion blew the bridge at 0300, 6 July. General Barthinstructed Colonel Ayres to hold as long as he could but to withdraw ifhis battalion was in danger of being outflanked and cut off. He was "notto end up like Brad Smith."

General Barth left the 1st Battalion command post at P'yongt'aek about0130, 6 July, and started south. He arrived at Colonel Lovless' regimentalcommand post at Songhwan-ni about an hour later. Already Colonel Smithwith the remnant (about eighty-six men) of his task force had passed throughthere from Ansong on the way to Ch'onan, leaving four badly wounded menwith Lovless. Colonel Lovless had not received any instructions from GeneralDean about General Barth, yet now he learned from the latter that he wasgiving orders to the regiment, and also independently to its battalions.General Barth told Lovless about the position of his 1st Battalion at P'yongt'aek.According to Colonel Lovless, Barth then told him to consolidate the regimentin the vicinity of Ch'onan. Barth directed that the 3d Battalion, lessL Company (the regimental reserve) which was near P'yongt'aek, should movefrom Ansong to Ch'onan. Colonel Lovless thereupon directed L Company toact as a rear guard and delay on successive positions when the 1st Battalionshould withdraw from P'yongt'aek. As events later proved, the company didnot carry out that order but closed directly on Ch'onan when the withdrawalbegan. Barth left the 34th Infantry command post for Ch'onan before daylight.[5]

The men of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, in their positions at theriver line two miles north of P'yongt'aek had an uncomfortable time ofit as dawn broke on 6 July in fog and rain. With water in their foxholes,the men huddled in small groups beside them as they broke open C rationcans for an early breakfast. Colonel Ayres came down the road and stoppedwhere a group of them manned a roadblock, and then he climbed the hillwest of the highway to the A Company command post.

On the hill, Platoon Sgt. Roy F. Collins was eating his C ration breakfastwhen the sound of running motors caused him suddenly to look up. He sawin the fog the outline of tanks on the far side of the blown bridge. Fromthe company command post, Colonel Ayres and Capt. Leroy Osburn, A Companycommander, saw the tanks about the same time. Beyond the first tanks, afaint outline of soldiers marching in a column of twos on the left sideof the road and a line of more tanks and trucks on the right side, cameinto view. Some of those watching speculated that it might be part of the21st Infantry Task Force Smith coming back from Osan. But others immediatelysaid that Task Force Smith had no tanks. It required only a minute or twofor everyone to realize that the force moving up to the blown bridge was North Korean. It was, in fact, elements of the North Korean 4th Division.[6]

The lead tank stopped at the edge of the blown bridge and its crew membersgot out to examine the damage. Other tanks pulled up behind it, bumperto bumper, until Sergeant Collins counted thirteen of their blurred shapes.The North Korean infantry came up and, without halting, moved around thetanks to the stream, passing the blown bridge on both sides. Colonel Ayresby this time had ordered the 4.2-inch mortars to fire on the bridge area.Their shells destroyed at least one enemy truck. The enemy tanks openedfire with their tank guns on A Company's position. American return firewas scattered and ineffective.

After watching the first few minutes of action and seeing the enemyinfantry begin fanning out on either flank, Colonel Ayres told CaptainOsburn to withdraw A Company, leaving one platoon behind briefly as a screeningforce. Ayres then started back to his command post, and upon reaching ittelephoned withdrawal orders to B Company on the other (east) side of thehighway.

The 4.2-inch mortar fire which had started off well soon lapsed whenan early round of enemy tank fire stunned the mortar observer and no oneelse took over direction of fire. Within half an hour after the enemy columnhad loomed up out of the fog and rain at the blown bridge, North Koreaninfantrymen had crossed the stream and worked sufficiently close to theAmerican positions for the men in A Company to see them load their rifles.

When he returned to his command post, Colonel Ayres talked with Maj.John J. Dunn, S-3 of the 34th Infantry, who had arrived there during hisabsence. About 0300 that morning, Dunn had awakened at the regimental commandpost to find everyone in a state of great excitement. News had just arrivedthat the enemy had overrun Task Force Smith. The regiment had no communicationwith its 1st Battalion at P'yongt'aek. The distances between Ansong, P'yongt'aek,and Songhwan-ni were so great the command radios could not net. Land lineswere laid from Songhwan-ni to P'yongt'aek but it was impossible to keepthem intact. Retreating South Korean soldiers and civilian refugees repeatedlycut out sections of the telephone wire to improvise harness to carry packsand possessions. The only communication was liaison officers or messengers.Accordingly, orders and reports often were late and outdated by eventswhen received. Dunn asked Colonel Lovless for, and got, permission to goforward and determine the situation. Before he started, Dunn asked forany instructions to be delivered to Colonel Ayres. Lovless spread a mapon a table and repeated General Barth's instructions to hold as long aspossible without endangering the battalion and then to withdraw to a positionnear Ch'onan, which he pointed out on the map. Dunn set out in a jeep,traveling northward through the dark night along a road jammed with retreatingROK soldiers and refugees. In his conversation with Ayres at the 1st Battalion command post, Major Dunn delivered the instructionspassed on to him. The decision as to when to withdraw the 1st Battalionwas Ayres'; the decision as to where it would go to take up its next defensiveposition apparently was General Barth's as relayed by Lovless. [7]

Colonel Ayres started withdrawing his battalion soon after his conversationwith Major Dunn. By midmorning it was on the road back to Ch'onan. Thatafternoon it began arriving there. Last to arrive in the early eveningwas A Company. Most of the units were disorganized. Discarded equipmentand clothing littered the P'yongt'aek-Ch'onan road.

Night Battle at Ch'onan

When General Barth arrived at Ch'onan that morning he found there twotroop trams carrying A and D Companies and a part of Headquarters Company,1st Battalion, 21st Infantry. They were the parts of the battalion notairlifted to Korea on 1 July with Task Force Smith. Barth put them in adefensive position two miles south of Ch'onan. When General Barth returnedto Ch'onan in the early afternoon the advance elements of the 1st Battalion,34th Infantry, were already there. He ordered the 1st Battalion to joinelements of the 21st Infantry in the defensive position he had just establishedtwo miles south of the town. Lovless had already telephoned from Ch'onanto Dean at Taejon giving him the P'yongt'aek news. [8] Familiar aspectsof war were present all day in Ch'onan. Trains going south through thetown were loaded with ROK soldiers or civilians. Everyone was trying toescape southward.

Dean that evening started for Ch'onan. There he presided over an uncomfortablemeeting in Colonel Lovless' command post. Dean was angry. He asked whohad authorized the withdrawal from P'yongt'aek. Colonel Ayres finally brokethe silence, saying he would accept the responsibility. Dean consideredordering the regiment back north at once, but the danger of a night ambuscadecaused him to decide against it. Instead, he ordered a company to go norththe next morning after daylight. General Barth remained at Ch'onan overnightand then started for Taejon. He remained in command of the 24th Divisionartillery until 14 July when he assumed command of his regular unit, the25th Division artillery. [9]

As ordered, the 3d Battalion, 24th Infantry, had arrived at Ch'onanfrom Ansong the afternoon of 6 July and during that night. Colonel Lovlessgave its L Company the mission of advancing north of Ch'onan to meet theNorth Koreans the morning of the 7th. With the regimental Intelligenceand Reconnaissance Platoon in the lead, the little force started out at0810. Only some South Korean police were in the silent town. The civilianpopulation had fled. At this point Lovless received a message from General Dean. It read, "Timefiled 1025, date 7 July 50. To CO 34th Inf. Move one Bn fwd with minimumtransportation. Gain contact and be prepared to fight delaying action backto recent position. PD air reports no enemy armor south of river. CG 24D." [10] Pursuant to these instructions, the 3d Battalion moved upbehind L Company.

Col. Robert R. Martin had now arrived at Ch'onan from Taejon. He waswearing low-cut shoes, overseas cap, and had neither helmet, weapons, norequipment. General Dean and Colonel Martin had been good friends sincethey served together in the 44th Division in Europe in World War II. Deanhad the highest opinion of Martin as a regimental commander and knew himto be a determined, brave soldier. As soon as he was ordered to Korea,General Dean requested the Far East Command to assign Martin to him. Arrivingby air from Japan, Colonel Martin had been at Taejon approximately oneday when on the morning of 7 July Dean sent him northward to the combatarea.

As the 3d Battalion moved north out of Ch'onan it passed multitudesof South Koreans going south on foot and on horseback. Lovless and otherscould see numerous armed troops moving south on the hills to the west.Lovless asked the interpreter to determine if they were North or SouthKoreans. The latter said they were South Koreans. Some distance beyondthe town, men in the point saw enemy soldiers on high ground where theroad dipped out of sight. The time was approximately 1300. These enemytroops withdrew several times as the point advanced cautiously. Finally,about four or five miles north of Ch'onan enemy small arms fire and somemortar shells came in on the I & R Platoon. The advance halted. Itwas past mid-afternoon. An artillery officer reported to Lovless and Martin(the latter accompanied Lovless during the day) that he had one gun. Lovlesshad him emplace it in a gap in the hills about three miles north of Ch'onan;from there he could place direct fire in front of L Company.

A liaison plane now came over and dropped a message for Lovless whichread, "To CO 34th Infantry, 1600 7 July. Proceed with greatest caution.Large number of troops on your east and west flanks. Near Ansong lots oftanks (40-50) and trucks. Myang-Myon large concentration of troops. Songhwan-nilarge concentration of troops trying to flank your unit. [Sgd] Dean."[11]

Lovless and Martin now drove to the command post of the 1st Battalion,34th Infantry, to acquaint Colonel Ayres with this intelligence and thesituation north of Ch'onan. When they arrived there they found Brig. Gen.Pearson Menoher, Assistant Division Commander, 34th Division, and GeneralChurch. General Menoher gave Colonel Lovless an order signed by GeneralDean relieving him of command of the 34th Infantry and directing that heturn over command to Colonel Martin. Martin likewise received an order to assume command. The change of commandtook place at 1800. Lovless had been in command of the regiment only amonth or two before the Korean War started. He had replaced an officerwho had failed to bring the regiment to a desired state of training. Itappears that Lovless inherited a chaotic situation in the regiment; thestate of training was unsatisfactory and some of the officers wholly unfittedfor troop command. Before the regiment's initial commitment in Korea, Lovlesshad not had time to change its condition appreciably.

While the change of command scene was taking place at the 1st Battalioncommand post, Major Dunn had gone forward from the regimental command postto find the 3d Battalion moving into a good defensive position north ofCh'onan with excellent fields of fire. While he talked with Colonel Smith,the battalion commander, the I&R Platoon leader drove up in a jeep.There were bullet holes in his canteen and clothing. He reported that anestimated forty enemy soldiers had ambushed his platoon in a small villagea mile ahead. The platoon had withdrawn, he said, but three of his menwere still in the village.

Dunn started forward with the leading rifle company, intending to attackinto the village to rescue the men. As he was making preparations for thisaction, Maj. Boone Seegars, the battalion S-3, came from the directionof the village with several soldiers and reported that he had found themissing men. Dunn then canceled the planned attack and directed the companyto take up a blocking position. As the company started back to do thisa small group of North Koreans fired on it from the west. The company returnedthe fire at long range. Dunn kept the company moving and got it into theposition he had selected, but he had trouble preventing it from engagingin wild and indiscriminate firing. Friendly mortar fire from the rear soonfell near his position and Dunn went back to find Colonel Smith and stopit. Upon arriving at the 3d Battalion defensive position he found the battalionevacuating it and falling back south along the road. He could find neitherthe battalion commander nor the executive officer. [12]

Dunn went to the command post and explained to the group that the 3dBattalion was abandoning its position. One of the colonels (apparentlyColonel Martin) asked Dunn if the regiment would take orders from him.Dunn replied, "Yes." The colonel then ordered, "Put themback in that position."

Dunn headed the retreating 3d Battalion back north. Then with MajorSeegars, two company commanders, and a few men in a second jeep, Dunn wenton ahead. Half a mile short of the position that Dunn wanted the battalionto reoccupy, the two jeeps were fired on from close range. Majors Dunnand Seegars were badly wounded; others were also hit. Dunn crawled to someroadside bushes where he worked to stop blood flowing from an artery ina head wound. An enlisted man pulled Seegars to the roadside. Dunn estimatesthere were about thirty or forty enemy advance scouts in the group thatambushed his party. An unharmed officer ran to the rear, saying he wasgoing for help.

Traffic Jam

From his position on a little knoll, Dunn could see the leading riflecompany behind him deploy when the firing began, drop to the ground, andreturn the enemy fire. The men were close enough that he could recognizethem as they moved into line. But they did not advance, and their officersapparently made no attempt to have them rescue the wounded men. After afew minutes, Dunn heard an officer shout, "Fall back! Fall back!"and he saw the men leave the skirmish line and move to the rear. This exhibitionof a superior force abandoning wounded men without making an effort torescue them was, to Dunn, "nauseating." Dunn, who was capturedand held thirty-eight months a prisoner in North Korea, said the main enemybody did not arrive for two hours. Major Seegars apparently died that night.[13]

The battalion, in withdrawing to Ch'onan, abandoned some of its mortars.By the time the battalion reached the town its units were mixed up andin considerable disorder. South of the town, Colonel Smith received anorder to return to Ch'onan and defend it. Colonel Martin led a HeadquartersCompany patrol north of Ch'onan and recovered jeeps and other abandoned3d Battalion equipment.

By 1700, 7 July, the 3d Battalion was in a defensive position alongthe railroad tracks west of Ch'onan and along the northern edge of the town. Some of the troops organized the concreteplatform of the railroad station as a strongpoint. Others mined a secondaryroad running from the northwest into the town to prevent a surprise tankattack from that direction.

In the early part of the evening some enemy pressure developed fromthe west. At 2000 a battery of the 63d Field Artillery Battalion, newlyarrived in Korea, emplaced south of Ch'onan to support the 34th Infantry.Soon thereafter it fired its first fire mission, employing high explosiveand white phosphorus shells, against a column of tanks and infantry approachingthe town from the east, and reportedly destroyed two tanks. This enemyforce appears to have made the first infiltration into Ch'onan shortlybefore midnight. [14]

After midnight, reports to the regimental command post stated that approximatelyeighty men and Colonel Martin, who had gone into the town, were cut offby enemy soldiers. Lt. Col. Robert L. Wadlington, the regimental executiveofficer, reported this to General Dean at Taejon, and, at the same time,said the regimental ammunition supply was low and asked for instructions.Dean instructed Wadlington to fight a delaying action and to get word toMartin in Ch'onan to bring his force out under cover of darkness. Deanlearned with great relief from a message sent him at 0220 8 July that ColonelMartin had returned from the town and that the supply road into Ch'onanwas open. [15]

Sometime before daylight Colonel Martin went back into Ch'onan. Aboutdaylight a 2 1/2-ton truck came from the town to get ammunition. Returning,the driver saw an enemy tank approaching on the dirt road running intoCh'onan from the northwest. Others were following it. They came right throughthe mine field laid the day before. Enemy soldiers either had removed themines under cover of darkness or the mines had been improperly armed; noneexploded. The driver of the truck turned the vehicle around short of theroad intersection and escaped. [16]

This group of five or six tanks entered Ch'onan and opened fire on therailroad station, the church, several buildings suspected of harboringAmerican soldiers, and all vehicles in sight. In the street fighting thatfollowed, members of the 3d Battalion reportedly destroyed two tanks withbazookas and grenades. Pvt. Leotis E. Heater threw five grenades onto onetank and set it burning. Enemy infantry penetrated into the city about0600 and cut off two rifle companies.

Artillery support

In this street fighting, Colonel Martin met his death about 0800. Martinhad obtained a 2.36-inch rocket launcher when the tanks entered Ch'onanand posted himself in a hut on the east side of the main street. He actedas gunner and Sgt. Jerry C. Christenson of the regimental S-3 Section servedas his loader. Sergeant Christenson told Major Dunn a month later whenboth were prisoners at the North Korean prison camp at P'yongyang thatan enemy tank came up and pointed its gun at their building. Colonel Martinaimed the rocket launcher but the tank fired its cannon first, or at thesame time that Martin fired the rocket launcher. Its 85-mm. shell cut Martinin two. Concussion from the explosion caused one of Christenson's eyesto pop from its socket but he succeeded in getting it back in place. On11 July, the Far East Command awarded Martin posthumously the first DistinguishedService Cross of the Korean War. [17]

After Martin's death, the enemy tanks and increasing numbers of infiltratingenemy soldiers quickly caused confusion in the thinning ranks of the 3dBattalion. It soon became a question whether any appreciable number ofthe men would escape from the town. Artillery laid down a continuous whitephosphorus screen and under its cloak some of the 3d Battalion escapedfrom Ch'onan between 0800 and 1000. The battalion commander, Colonel Smith, was completelyexhausted physically and was evacuated a day or two later. Colonel Wadlingtonplaced Maj. Newton W. Lantron, the senior officer left in the battalion,in charge of the men at the collecting point. At 1000 the artillery beganto displace southward. The 1st Battalion still held its blocking positionsouth of the town.

Back at Taejon, Dean had spent a sleepless night as the messages camein from the 34th Regiment. In the morning, General Walker flew in fromJapan and told Dean that the 24th Division would soon have help-that theEighth Army was coming to Korea. Walker and Dean drove north to the lasthill south of Ch'onan. They arrived in time to watch the remnants of the3d Battalion escape from the town. There they learned the news of Martin'sdeath.

Dean ordered Wadlington to assume command of the regiment and to withdrawit toward the Kum River. Just south of Ch'onan the highway splits: themain road follows the rail line southeast to Choch'iwon; the other forkruns almost due south to the Kum River at Kongju. Dean ordered the 21stInfantry to fight a delaying action down the Choch'iwon road; the 34thInfantry was to follow the Kongju road. The two roads converged on Taejon.Both had to be defended. [18]

In the afternoon, a count at the collecting point showed that 175 menhad escaped from Ch'onan-all that were left of the 3d Battalion. The 34thRegimental Headquarters also had lost many officers trapped in the town.Survivors were in very poor condition physically and mentally. The NorthKorean radio at P'yongyang claimed sixty prisoners at Ch'onan. The 3d Battalionlost nearly all its mortars and machine guns and many individual weapons.When the 34th Infantry began its retreat south toward the Kum in the lateafternoon, enemy troops also moving south were visible on the ridge linesparalleling its course. [19]

The enemy units that fought the battle of Ch'onan were the 16th and18th Regiments of the N.K. 4th Division, supported by tankelements of the 105th Armored Division. The third regiment, calledup from Suwon, did not arrive until after the town had fallen. Elementsof the 3d Division arrived at Ch'onan near the end of the battleand deployed east of the town. [20]

The 21st Infantry Moves Up

The 21st Infantry Regiment of the 24th Division had now crossed fromJapan to Korea. Colonel Stephens, commanding officer of the regiment, arrivedat Taejon with a trainload of his troops before noon on 7 July. Stephens,a bluff, rugged soldier, reported to General Dean for instructions. Withinthe hour Dean sent him northward to take up a delaying position at Choch'iwon,support the 34th Infantry, and keep open the main supply road to that regiment.[21]

Walker and Dean

At Choch'iwon all was confusion. There were no train schedules or trainmanifests. Supplies for the 24th Division and for the ROK I Corps troopseastward at Ch'ongju arrived all mixed together. The South Korean locomotiveengineers were hard to manage. At the least alarm they were apt to boltsouth with trains still unloaded, carrying away the supplies and ammunitionthey had just brought up to the front. American officers had to place guardsaboard each locomotive. [22]

Colonel Stephens placed his 3d Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. CarlC. Jensen, in position along the highway six miles north of Choch'iwon.A little more than a mile farther north, after they withdrew from theirCh'onan positions, he placed A and D Companies of the 1st Battalion inan advanced blocking position on a ridge just east of the town of Chonui.Chonui is approximately twelve miles south of Ch'onan and three miles belowthe point where the Kongju road forks off from the main highway. (Map 4)

Late in the day on 8 July, General Dean issued an operational orderconfirming and supplementing previous verbal and radio instructions. Itindicated that the 24th Division would withdraw to a main battle positionalong the south bank of the Kum River, ten miles south of Choch'iwon, fightingdelaying actions at successive defensive positions along the way. The orderstated, "Hold Kum River line at all costs. Maximum repeat maximumdelay will be effected." The 34th Infantry was to delay the enemyalong the Kongju road to the river; the 21st Infantry was to block in frontof Choch'iwon. Dean ordered one battery of 155-mm. howitzers of the 11thField Artillery Battalion to Choch'iwon for direct support of the 21stInfantry. Also in support of the regiment were A Company, 78th Heavy TankBattalion (M24 light tanks), less one platoon of four tanks, replacingthe 24th Reconnaissance Company tanks, and B Company of the 3d EngineerCombat Battalion. The 3d itself was to prepare roadblocks north of Kongjualong the withdrawal route of the 34th Infantry and to prepare all bridgesover the Kum River for demolition. [24]

Messages from General Dean to Colonel Stephens emphasized that the 21stInfantry must hold at Choch'iwon, that the regiment must cover the leftflank of the ROK forces eastward in the vicinity of Ch'ongju until thelatter could fall back, and that he could expect no help for four days.General Dean's intent was clear. The 34th and 21st Infantry Regiments wereto delay the enemy's approach to the Kum River as much as possible, andthen from positions on the south side of the river make a final stand.The fate of Taejon would be decided at the Kum River line.

The Fight at Chonui

On the morning of 9 July, the 3d Battalion, 1st Infantry, completedmoving into the positions north of Choch'iwon, and Colonel Jensen beganregistering his 81-mm. and 4.2-inch mortars. Engineers blew bridges infront of Chonui. [25] By noon the 21st Regimental Headquarters receiveda report that enemy tanks were moving south from Ch'onan.

In mid-afternoon, Capt. Charles R. Alkire, in command at the forwardblocking position at Chonui, saw eleven tanks and an estimated 200-300enemy infantry move into view to his front. He called for an air strikewhich came in a few minutes later. Artillery also took the tanks underobserved fire. Five of the eleven tanks reportedly were burning at 1650.Enemy infantry in Chonui came under 4.2-inch mortar and artillery fire.Observers could see them running from house to house. The men on the lowridge east of Chonui saw columns of black smoke rise beyond the hills tothe northwest and assumed that the planes and artillery fire had hit targetsthere. Aerial observers later reported that twelve vehicles, includingtanks, were burning just north of Chonui. At dusk another air report statedthat of about 200 vehicles on the road from P'yongt'aek to Chonui approximately100 were destroyed or burning. The third and fourth tactical air controlparties to operate in the Korean War (Air Force personnel) directed the strikes at Chonui.[26]

Map:  Delaying action

While this heavy bombardment of the enemy column was still in progress,

Colonel Stephens arrived at the forward position about dusk and announcedhe was going to stay overnight. [27] In their front, burning Chonui relieved the blackness of the night. Enemy patrols probedtheir position. Unless all signs failed there would be action on the morrow.

About 500 men of A and D Companies and fillers for B and C Companieswho had arrived at Pusan too late to join Task Force Smith for the Osanaction comprised the composite battalion of the 21st Infantry at the Chonuiposition. They occupied a three-quarter mile front on a low ridge 500 yardseast of Chonui and on a higher hill 800 yards south of the town. Rice paddyland lay between this high ground and Chonui. The railroad and highwaypassed between the ridge and the hill. Still another hill westward dominatedthe left flank but there were too few troops to occupy it. [28]

From the low ridge east of Chonui one normally could see the road fora mile beyond the town, but not on the morning of 10 July. The day dawnedwith a ground fog billowing up from the rice paddies. With it came theNorth Koreans. At 0555 the American soldiers could hear enemy voices ontheir left. Fifteen minutes later those on the ridge at the center of theposition heard an enemy whistle at the left; then firing began in thatdirection. Soon, some of the men near Colonel Stephens began shooting blindlyinto the fog. He promptly stopped them. At 0700, enemy mortar fire beganfalling on the ridge.

Lt. Ray Bixler with a platoon of A Company held the hill on the left.The rate of small arms fire increased and those in the center could hearshouting from Bixler's platoon. It was apparent that the main enemy attackcentered there, coming from the higher hill beyond it. A concentrationof friendly registered mortar fire covered the little valley between thetwo hills and in the early part of the morning prevented the enemy fromclosing effectively with Bixler's platoon. But an enemy force passed tothe rear around the right flank of the battalion and now attacked the heavymortar positions. At the same time, enemy tanks came through Chonui onthe highway and passed through the infantry position. The men on the ridgecould hear the tanks but could not see them because of fog. [29]

At 0800 the fog lifted. Chonui was still burning. Four tanks came intoview from the north and entered the village. Stephens radioed for an airstrike. Then the men heard tank fire to their rear. The enemy tanks thathad passed through the lines earlier were joining their flanking infantryforce in an attack on the American heavy mortar position. Stephens hadalready lost wire communication with the mortarmen; now he lost radio communicationwith them. The mortars fell silent, and it seemed certain that the enemyhad overrun and destroyed them. Although artillery still gave support,loss of the valuable close-in support of the 4.2-inch mortars proved costly.[30]

North Korean infantry came from Chonui at 0900 and began climbing theridge in a frontal attack against the center of the position. The artillery forward observers adjusted artilleryfire on them and turned them back. Men watching anxiously on the ridgesaw many enemy fall to the ground as they ran. The T34's in Chonui nowmoved out of the town and began spraying the American-held ridge with machinegun fire.

Shortly after 1100, intense small arms fire erupted again at LieutenantBixler's position on the left. The absence of the former heavy mortar fireprotecting screen enabled the enemy to close with him. The fog had liftedand men in the center could see these enemy soldiers on the left. Bixlerradioed to Stephens at 1125 that he needed more men, that he had many casualties,and asked permission to withdraw. Stephens replied that he was to stay-"Reliefis on the way." Five minutes later it came in the form o an air strike.Two American jet planes streaked in, rocketed the tanks without any visiblehits, and then strafed the enemy infantry on the left. The strafing helpedBixler; as long as the planes were present the enemy kept under cover.Soon, their ammunition expended, the planes departed. Then the enemy infantryresumed the attack.

While the air strike was in progress, survivors from the overrun recoillessrifle and mortar positions in the rear climbed the ridge and joined theinfantry in the center of the position. At 1132, according to Bigart'swatch, friendly artillery fire began falling on the ridge. Apparently theartillerymen thought that enemy troops had overrun the forward infantryposition and they were firing on them. Enemy fire and tanks had destroyedwire communication from the battle position to the rear, and the artilleryforward observer's radio had ceased working. There was no communication.Stephens ran to his radio jeep, 100 yards to the rear of the foxholes,and from there was able to send a message to the regiment to stop the artilleryfire; but it kept falling nevertheless. [31]

As the men on the ridge crouched in their foxholes under the showerof dirt and rocks thrown into the air by the exploding artillery shells,Stephens at 11 35 received another report from Bixler that enemy soldierssurrounded him and that most of his men were casualties. That was his lastreport. The enemy overran Bixler's position and most of the men there diedin their foxholes.

Even before the friendly artillery fire began falling, some of the menon the north (right) end of the ridge had run off. About the time of Bixler'slast radio message, someone yelled, "Everybody on the right flankis taking off!" Stephens, looking in that direction, saw groups runningto the rear. He yelled out, "Get those high priced soldiers back intoposition! That's what they are paid for." A young Nisei from Hawaii,Cpl. Richard Okada, tried to halt the panic on the right but was able toget only a few men together. With them he formed a small perimeter.

At 1205 Colonel Stephens decided that those still on the ridge wouldhave to fall back if they were to escape with their lives. On a signalfrom him, the small group leaped from their foxholes and ran across openground to an orchard and rice paddies beyond. There they learned, as thousandsof other American soldiers were to learn, that crossing flooded rice paddies in a hurryon the narrow, slippery dikes was like walking a tightrope. While theywere crossing the paddies, two American jet planes strafed them, thinkingthem enemy soldiers. There were no casualties from the strafing but someof the men slipped knee-deep into mud and acquired a "lifelong aversionto rice." Stephens and his small group escaped to American lines.[32]

In this action at Chonui, A Company had 27 wounded and 30 missing fora total of 57 casualties out of 181 men; D Company's loss was much less,3 killed and 8 wounded. The Heavy Mortar Company suffered 14 casualties.Of the total troops engaged the loss was about 20 percent. [33]

Upon reaching friendly positions, Stephens ordered Colonel Jensen tocounterattack with the 3d Battalion and regain the Chonui positions. Jensenpressed the counterattack and regained the ridge in front of the town,but was unable to retake Bixler's hill south of the railroad. His men rescuedabout ten men of A and D Companies who had not tried to withdraw underthe shell fire.

Jensen's counterattack in the afternoon uncovered the first known NorthKorean mass atrocity perpetrated on captured American soldiers. The bodiesof six Americans, jeep drivers and mortar-men of the Heavy Mortar Company,were found with hands tied in back and shot through the back of the head.Infiltrating enemy soldiers had captured them in the morning when theywere on their way to the mortar position with a resupply of ammunition.An American officer farther back witnessed the capture. One of the jeepdrivers managed to escape when the others surrendered. [34]

American tanks on the morning of 10 July near Chonui engaged in theirfirst fight of the Korean War. They performed poorly. In the afternoon,tanks participated in the 3d Battalion counterattack and did better. Oneof them got in a first shot on an enemy tank and disabled it. Two Americanlight tanks were lost during the day. [35]

Elements of the N.K. 4th Division had pressed on south afterthe capture of Ch'onan and they had fought the battle of Chonui. Leadingelements of the N.K. 3d Division, following the 4th by oneday, apparently came up to Chonui late on the 10th. They found the townsuch a mass of rubble that the reserve regiment bypassed it. [36]

On the afternoon of 10 July American air power had one of its great moments in the Korean War. Late in theafternoon, a flight of jet F-80 planes dropped down through the overcastat P'yongt'aek, twenty-five air miles north of Chonui, and found a largeconvoy of tanks and vehicles stopped bumper to bumper on the north sideof a destroyed bridge. Upon receiving a report of this discovery, the FifthAir Force rushed every available plane to the scene-B-26's, F-80's, andF-82's-in a massive air strike. Observers of the strike reported that itdestroyed 38 tanks, 7 half-track vehicles, 117 trucks, and a large numberof enemy soldiers. This report undoubtedly exaggerated unintentionallythe amount of enemy equipment actually destroyed. But this strike, andthat of the previous afternoon near Chonui, probably resulted in the greatestdestruction of enemy armor of any single action in the war. [37]

Perhaps a word should be said about the close air support that aidedthe ground troops in their hard-pressed first weeks in Korea. This supportwas carried out by United States Air Force, Navy, Marine, and Australianfighter planes and some U.S. fighter-bombers. Beginning early in the war,it built up as quickly as resources would permit. On 3 July the Far EastAir Forces established a Joint Operations Center at Itazuke Air Base, onKyushu in Japan, for control of the fighter planes operating over the Koreanbattlefield. This center moved to Taejon in Korea on 5 July, and on 14July to Taegu, where it established itself near Eighth Army headquarters.By 19 July, heavy communications equipment arrived and a complete tacticalair control center was established in Korea, except for radar and direction-findingfacilities. Advance Headquarters, Fifth Air Force, opened at Taegu on 20July.

The forward element in the control system of the close air support wasthe tactical air control party, consisting of a forward air controller(usually an officer and an experienced pilot), a radio operator, and aradio repair man who also served as jeep driver. Six of these parties operatedwith the 24th Division in Korea in the early days of the war. As soon asothers could be formed, one joined each ROK corps and division, and anAir Liaison Officer joined each ROK corps to act as adviser on air capabilitiesfor close support.

The Fifth Air Force began using T-6 trainer aircraft to locate targetson and behind enemy lines. The controllers in these planes, using the callsign "Mosquito," remained over enemy positions and directed fighterplanes to the targets. Because of the call sign the T-6's soon became knownin Army and Air Force parlance as Mosquitoes. The Mosquito normally carriedan Air Force pilot and a ground force observer. The plane was equippedwith a Very High Frequency radio for contact with tactical air controlparties and fighter aircraft in the air. It also had an SCR-300 radio forcontact with front-line ground troops. The ground force observer and thepilot in the Mosquito, the control party, and the forward infantry elementsco-ordinated their information to bring fighter aircraft to targets wherethey delivered their strikes, and also to direct ground fire on enemy targets in front ofthe infantry. [38]

In the early part of the war the F-51 (Mustang), a propeller-drivenfighter, predominated in the Air Force's close support effort. This planehad shown to good advantage in World War II in low-level close supportmissions. It had greater range than the jet F-80 and could use the rough,short fields in Korea. Most important of all, it was available. For closesupport of Marine troops when they were committed later, a tried and testedplane, the Marine F4U Corsair, was used. The F-51 was capable of carrying6 5-inch rockets and 2 110-gallon napalm tanks, and it mounted 6 .50-calibermachine guns. The F-80 could carry 2 110-gallon napalm tanks, and mounted6 .50-caliber machine guns with about the same ammunition load as the F-51.It could also carry 2 5-inch rockets if the target distance was short.Both the F-51 and the F-80 could carry 2,000 pounds of bombs if the missionrequired it. The F4U could carry 8 5-inch rockets, 2 110-gallon napalmtanks, and it mounted 4 20-mm. cannon with 800 rounds of ammunition. Ifdesired it could carry a 5,200-pound bomb load. The F-51 had a 400-mileoperating radius, which could be increased to 760 miles by using externalgas tanks. The F-80's normal radius was 125 miles, but it could be increasedto 550 miles with external tanks. The F4U had a shorter operating range.With external tanks it reached about 335 miles. [39]


Just before midnight of 10 July Colonel Jensen began to withdraw the3d Battalion from the recaptured ridge east of Chonui, bringing along mostof the equipment lost earlier in the day. When the battalion arrived atits former position it received a surprise: enemy soldiers occupied someof its foxholes. Only after an hour's battle did K Company clear the NorthKoreans from its old position. [40]

In a message to Colonel Stephens at 2045 General Dean suggested withdrawingthe 3d Battalion from this position. But he left the decision to Stephens,saying, "If you consider it necessary, withdraw to your next delayingposition prior to dawn. I am reminding you of the importance of the townof Choch'iwon. If it is lost, it means that the SKA [South Korean Army]will have lost its MSR [Main Supply Route]." An hour later, in talkingto a regimental staff officer, Dean authorized falling back four milesto the next delaying position two miles north of Choch'iwon, but ordered,"Hold in your new position and fight like hell. I expect you to holdit all day tomorrow." [41]

Mining a bridge

Meanwhile, Task Force Smith, re-equipping at Taejon, had received 205 replacements and on 10 July itreceived orders to rejoin the 21st Regiment at Choch'iwon. Smith arrivedthere with B and C Companies before dawn of 11 July. A and D Companieshad re-equipped at Choch'iwon and they joined with B and C Companies toreunite the 1st Battalion. Colonel Smith now had his battalion togetherin Korea for the first time. At 0730, 11 July, the 1st Battalion was inposition along the highway two miles north of Choch'iwon. [42] Four milesnorth of it Colonel Jensen's 3d Battalion was already engaged with theNorth Koreans in the next battle.

At 0630 that morning, men in the 3d Battalion position heard tanks totheir front on the other side of a mine field, but could not see them becauseof fog. Within a few minutes four enemy tanks crossed the mine field andloomed up in the battalion area. Simultaneously, enemy mortar fire fellon the battalion command post, blowing up the communications center, theammunition supply point, and causing heavy casualties among headquarterstroops. Approximately 1,000 enemy infantry enveloped both flanks of theposition. Some forward observers had fine targets but their radios did not function. Incertain platoons there apparently was no wire communication. Consequentlythese forward observers were unable to call in and direct mortar and artilleryfire on the North Koreans.

This attack on the 3d Battalion, 21st Infantry, was one of the mostperfectly co-ordinated assaults ever launched by North Koreans againstAmerican troops. The North Koreans who had been driven from the 3d Battalion'sposition shortly after midnight, together no doubt with other infiltrators,apparently had provided detailed and accurate information of the 3d Battalion'sdefenses and the location of its command post. The attack disorganizedthe battalion and destroyed its communications before it had a chance tofight back. Enemy roadblocks behind the battalion prevented evacuationof the wounded or re-supplying the battalion with ammunition. For severalhours units of the battalion fought as best they could. Many desperateencounters took place. In one of these, when an enemy machine gun placeda band of fire on K Company's command post, Pvt. Paul R. Spear, armed withonly a pistol, charged the machine gun emplacement alone, entered it withhis pistol empty and, using it as a club, routed the enemy gunners. Enemyfire seriously wounded him. [43]

The North Koreans overran the 3d Battalion. Before noon, survivors insmall groups made their way back toward Choch'iwon. Enemy fire killed ColonelJensen, the battalion commander, and Lt. Leon J. Jacques, Jr., his S-2,when they tried to cross a stream in the rear of their observation post.The battalion S-1 and S-3, Lieutenants Cashe and Lester, and Capt. O'DeanT. Cox, commanding officer of L Company, were reported missing in action.The 3d Battalion, 21st Infantry, lost altogether nearly 60 percent of itsstrength in this action. Of those who escaped, 90 percent had neither weapons,ammunition, nor canteens, and, in many instances, the men had neither helmetsnor shoes. One officer of L Company who came out with some men said thatafter he and others had removed an enemy machine gun blocking their escaperoute many uninjured men by the side of the road simply refused to tryto go on. One noncom said, "Lieutenant, you will have to go on. I'mtoo beat up. They'll just have to take me." A remnant of 8 officersand 142 men able for duty was organized into a provisional company of threerifle platoons and a heavy weapons company. But by 15 July a total of 322out of 667 men had returned to the battalion. Four tanks of A Company,78th Heavy Tank Battalion, were lost to enemy action north of Choch'iwonon 10 and 11 July. [44] The 21st Infantry on 10 and 11 July north of Choch'iwonlost materiel and weapons sufficient to equip two rifle battalions and individualand organic clothing for 975 men.

At Chonui the 3d Division had passed the 4th on the mainhighway. It struck the blow against the 3d Battalion, 21st Infantry. The4th Division turned back from Chonui and took the right fork towardKongju, following the retreating 34th Infantry. [45]

Toward evening of the 11th, after he had full information of the fateof the 3d Battalion, 21st Infantry, General Dean ordered A Company, 3dEngineer Combat Battalion, to prepare every possible obstacle for the defenseof the Choch'iwon area and to cover, if necessary, the withdrawal of theregiment. Dean also started the 18th Infantry Regiment and the 13th FieldArtillery Battalion from Taegu and P'ohang-dong for Taejon during the day.[46]

That night the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, rested uneasily in itspositions two miles north of Choch'iwon. It had to expect that the NorthKoreans would strike within hours. At dawn an enemy patrol approached CCompany's position, and members of the battalion saw hostile movement onboth flanks. At 0930 an estimated enemy battalion, supported by artilleryfire, attacked Smith's left flank. Very quickly a general attack developedby an estimated 2,000 enemy soldiers. Colonel Stephens decided that theunder-strength 1st Battalion, with its large percentage of replacementand untried troops, would have to withdraw. At noon, 12 July, he sent thefollowing message to General Dean: "Am surrounded. 1st Bn left givingway. Situation bad on right. Having nothing left to establish intermediatedelaying position am forced to withdraw to river line. I have issued instructionsto withdraw." [47]

Colonel Smith disengaged the 1st Battalion by moving one company ata time Regimental trucks loaded the troops near Choch'iwon. While the infantrywere displacing southward, enemy artillery began shelling the regimentalcommand post in Choch'iwon. The retreat was orderly and there was no closepursuit. By 1530 the 1st Battalion occupied new defensive positions onthe south bank of the Kum River where the highway crossed it at Taep'yong-ni.The 21st Infantry Regiment completed its withdrawal across the Kum at 1600,but stragglers were still crossing the river five hours later. A thin lineof approximately 325 men held the new blocking position at the river-64men from the 3d Battalion, the rest from the 1st Battalion. [48]

In the series of battles between Chonui and Choch'iwon the under-strengthtwo-battalion 21st Infantry Regiment had delayed two of the best NorthKorean divisions for three days. It was the most impressive performanceyet of American troops in Korea, but the regiment paid heavily for it inloss of personnel and equipment.

The 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, meanwhile, had covered the retreaton the Kongju road and fought a series of minor delaying actions againstthe leading elements of the N.K. 4th Division which had takenup the pursuit there. Four light M24 tanks of the 78th Tank Battalion joinedthe battalion, and D Company of the 3d Engineer Combat Battalion prepareddemolitions along the road. In the afternoon of 11 July, enemy action destroyedthree of the four tanks, two of them by artillery fire and the third byinfantry close attack when the tank tried to rescue personnel from a litterjeep ambushed by enemy infiltrators. Remnants of the 3d Battalion had ledthe retreat. Reorganized as a composite company and re-equipped at Taejon,it returned to Kongju on the 11th. The next day the 63d Field ArtilleryBattalion and the 34th Infantry crossed the Kum. The last of the infantryand Colonel Ayres, the 1st Battalion commander, crossed at dusk. GeneralDean's instructions were to "leave a small outpost across the river.Blow the main bridge only when enemy starts to cross." To implementthis order Colonel Wadlington had L Company hold the bridge and outpostthe north bank for 600 yards. [49]


[1] 24th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, Msg 10, 030930 Jul 50; 34th Inf WD, Summ, 28 Jun-22 Jul 50; Col Jay B. Lovless, MS review comments, 7 Aug 58.

[2] 34th Div WD, 5 Jul 50; 34th Inf WD, Summ, 28 Jun-22 Jul 50; Dean and Worden, General Dean's Story, pp. 19-21.

[3] 34th Inf WD, 5 Jul 50; Barth MS, pp. 2-3; Higgins, War in Korea, pp. 58-65; New York Times, July 6, 1950, p. 3; Time Magazine, July 17, 1950, p. 12. Miss Higgins erroneously publicized Shadrick as being the first American infantryman killed in the Korean War.

[4] Dean and Worden, General Dean's Story, pp. 21-23; Barth MS. p. 3.

[5] Interv, author with Col Harold B. Ayres, 13 Jul 54; Barth, MS review comments, 24 Feb 57; Bart, MS, pp. 2-3 (a part of this MS was publishedin Combat Forces Journal, March, 1952, as "The First Days in Korea"); Lovless, MS review comments, 7 Aug 58.

[6] Interv, author with Ayres, 13 Jul 54; Capt Russell A. Gugeler, Combat Actions in Korea: Infantry, Artillery, Armor (Washington: Combat Forces Press, 1954), "Withdrawal Action," pp. 5-8. Gugeler's book, notable for its detail of incident and action, is based largely on interviews with soldiers engaged in the actions described. ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 94 (N.K. 4th Div), p. 45.

[7] Ltr, Dunn to author, 17 Jun 54; Intervs, author with Ayres, 13 Jul 54 and 16 Sep 55; Lovless, MS review comments, 7 Aug 58; Gugeler, Combat Actions in Korea, pp. 10-12; New York Herald Tribune, July 12, 1950; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 94 (N.K. 4th Div), p. 45,

[8] Barth MS, pp. 3-4; Lovless, MS review comments, 7 Aug 58.

[9] Barth MS, p. 4; Interv, author with Ayres, 13 Jul 54; Ltr, Dunn to author, 17 Jun 54; Dean and Worden, General Dean's Story, p. 23.

[10] Lovless, MS review comments, 7 Aug 58, quoting order, original in his possession.

[11] Lovless, MS review comments, 7 Aug 58. This order is in Lovless' possession. It and the message dated at 1025 were the only two orders Lovless received from Dean during the action at Ch'onan before his relief. 24th Div WD, G-2 Jnl, entry 55, 071045 Jul 50; Ibid., WD, 7 Jul 50; New York Times, July 7, 1950.

[12] Ltr, Dunn to author, 17 Jun 54; Interv, 1st Lt Fred Mitchell with SFC Charles W. Menninger, 31 Jul 50 (Menninger was Opns Sgt, 3d Bn, 34th Inf), copy in OCMH.

[13] Ltr, Dunn to author, 17 Jun 54.

[14] Interv, Mitchell with Menninger, 31 Jul 50; 34th Inf WD, 7 Jul 50; Interv, Mitchell with SFC Leonard J. Smith (Ch Comp, Fire Direction Center, Hq Btry, 63d FA Bn), 29 Jul 50; 24th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, entry 175, 091125 Jul 50; New York Herald Tribune, July 9, 1950, Bigart dispatch from Ch'onan.

[15] 24th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, entries 93, 080220, and 97, 080200 Jul 50.

[16] Interv, author with Col Stephens, 8 Oct 51; Interv, Mitchell with Smith, 29 Jul 50; Interv, Mitchell with Lt Col Robert H. Dawson (CO 63d FA Bn), 27 Jul 50; Interv, Mitchell with Menninger, 31 Jul 50.

[17] Ltr. Dunn to author. 17 Jun 54; Ltr and Comments. Col Wadlington to author, 1 Apr 53; Interv, author with Col Green (G-3 of ADCOM staff in Korea and temporarily on Dean's staff), 28 Sep 51: 34th Inf WD, 8 Jul 5o; 24th Div WD, 8 Jul 50; FEC GO 12, 11 Jul 50. According to Dunn, Sergeant Christenson died in a North Korean prison camp in December 1950.

[18] Dean and Worden, General Dean's Story, pp. 25-26: Comments,Wadlington to author, 1 Apr 53.

[19] Comments, Wadlington to author, 1 Apr 53; Ltr, Wadlington toauthor, 25 Jun 53; 34th Inf WD, 8 Jul 50; Interv, author with Ayres, 5 Apr 55; New York Herald Tribune, July 9, 1950, Bigart dispatch; New York Times, July 9, 1950.

[20] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 94 (N.K. 4th Div), p. 45; Ibid., Issue 96 (N.K. 3d Div), p. 31.

[21] 21st Inf WD. 6-7 Jul 50; Ibid., Summ, 29 Jun-22 Jul 50; 24th Div WD 24th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, msgs 73, 74, 86, 7 Jul 50.

[22] 24th Div WD, 7 Jul 50.

[23] 21st Inf WD, 7-8 Jul 50; Ltr, with sketch map showing positions of A and D Companies at Chonui, Brig Gen Richard W. Stephens to author, 24 Mar 52.

[24] 24th Div Opn Order 3, 082145 Jul 50; 78th Tk Bn WD, 8 Jul 50; 24th Div WD, 8 Jul 50.

[25] 24th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, entry 169, 090935 Jul 50.

[26] 21st Inf WD, 9 Jul 50; 24th Div WD, G-2 Jnl, entries 315, 091900and 317, 091950 Jul 50; Ibid., G-3 Jnl, entries 211, 091820, and 217, 091945 Jul 50; Ltr, Stephens to author, 17 Apr 52; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 4 (Enemy Forces), p. 39. Captured North Koreans said later this aerial and artillery action destroyed twenty of their tanks north of Chonui. New York Herald Tribune, July 12, 1950, Bigart dispatch; USAF Hist Study 71, p. 25.

[27] New York Herald Tribune, July 12, 1950, article by H. Bigart, "From a Foxhole in Korea." This account is a delayed dispatch written by Bigart on 10 July. He occupied a foxhole with Stephens, Alkire, and 1st Lt. Earl Babb, commanding officer of A Company, on the ridge east of Chonui. Bigart kept a log of events as they occurred, describing what he saw and heard from his foxhole and consulting his watch for each recording.

[28] Ltr, Stephens to author, 24 Mar 52.

[29] Ltrs, Stephens to author, 24 Mar, 17 Apr 52. [30] Bigart, "From a Foxhole in Korea," op. cit.; 24th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, entry 239, 101000 Jul 50.

[31] Bigart. "From a Foxhole in Korea," op. cit.; 24th Div WD, G-3, Jnl, entry 255, 101530 Jul 50; Ltr, Stephens to author, 17 Apr 52.

[32] Bigart, "From a Foxhole in Korea," op. cit.; ,4th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, entry 255 gives Stephens' message to Dean immediately after his return to American lines.

[33] Dr. J. O'Sullivan, the Rand Corp., Casualties of United States Eighth Army in Korea, Battle of Chochiwon, 10-11 July 1950.

[34] 24th Div WD, G-2 Jnl, entry 420, 101445 and entry 424, 101505 Jul 50; Ltr, Stephens to author, 17 Apr 52; Bernard, MS review comments, 24 Feb 57; New York Herald Tribune, July 11, 12, 1950, Bigart dispatches. [35] 21st Inf WD, 10 Jul 50; Interv, author with Stephens, 8 Oct 51; Ltr, Stephens to author, 17 Apr 52; TAS, Employment of Armor in Korea-the First Year (Ft. Knox, 1952), p. 49. Signal Corps Photo 50-3965, taken 10 July 1950, shows a tank named "Rebels Roost," captioned as the first American tank to see action in Korea.

[36] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 94 (N.K. 4th Div), p. 46; Ibid., Issue 96 (N.K. 3d Div), p. 31; ORO-R-I (FEC), The Employment of Armor in Korea, vol. I, p. 138.

[37] USAF Hist Study 71, p. 40

[38] Air War in Korea," Air University Quarterly Review, IV, No. 3 (Spring, 1951), 56: Hq X Corps, Analysis of the Air-Ground Operations System. 28 Jun-8 Sep 50, Staff Study, 25 Dec 50; Maj Louis H. Aten, Debriefing Rpt 75, Arty School, Ft. Sill, Okla, 5 Mar 52.

[39] X Corps Study, p. 14; Operations Research Office, Close Air Support Operations in Korea, ORO-R-3 (FEC), pp. 13-14.

[40] 21st Inf WD, 11 Jul 50.

[41] 24th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, entries 275 at 102045, 277 at 102040, and 278 at 102130 Jul 50.

[42] 21st Inf WD, 9 and , 1 Jul 50.

[43] 21st Inf WD, 11 Jul 50; 24th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, entry 292, 110650 Jul 50; Bernard (1st Plat Ldr L Co at time), MS review comments, 24 Feb 57. General Order 55, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to Private Spear. EUSAK WD, 7 Sep 50. [44] Ltr, Stephens to author, 24 Mar 5R; Bernard, MS review comments, 24 Feb 57; 21st Inf WD, 11 Jul 50; Ibid., 12 Jul 50, Incl III, ActivitiesRpt, 3d Bn; 24th Div WD, 11 Jul 50. When it regained this ground on 29 September 1950, the 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, found many American dead. See Hist, 5th Cav Regt, 1st Cav Div, Msg 49, 291825 Sep 50.

[45] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 94 (N.K. 4th Div), p. 46; Ibid., Issue 96 (N.K. 3d Div), p. 31.

[46] 24th Div WD, 11 Jul 50.

[47] 21st Inf WD, 12 Jul 50; 24th Div WD, G-3 Jnl, entry 353, 121200 Jul 50; Interv, author with Col Charles B. Smith, 7 Oct 51; Interv, author with Stephens, 8 Oct 51.

[48] 21st Inf WD, 12 Jul 50; 24th Div WD, G-2 Jnl, entry 703, 11-13 Jul 50; Ibid., G-3 Jnl, entries 361, 121545, and 372, 122120 Jul 50.

[49] Comments, Wadlington to author, 1 Apr 55; 24th Div WD, 9-12 Jul 50, and G-3, Jnl, entries 158, 032300, 292, 110650, and 356, 121818 Jul 50; G-2 Jnl, entries 555, 111520, and 572, 111630 Jul 50: 34th Inf WD, 12 Jul 50, and Summ, 28 Jun-22 Jul 50; Interv, Mitchell with Sgt Justin B. Fleming, I Co, 34th Inf, 1 Aug 50; Interv, Mitchell with 2d Lt James B. Bryant, B Co, 34th Inf, 30 Jul 50; ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 9 (N.K. 4th Div), p. 46. The 34th Infantry War Diary for this period, made up at a later date, is poor and unreliable. It rarely agrees with the 24th Division War Diary on the time for the same event.

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