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Wantuck makes course for Inchon Assault

The Fighting Wantuck, APD 125, 09/12/50

Bert Kortegaard

The LCVPs slung from davits just forward of our 40mm guns would carry Item Company, 3rd Btn, 5th Marines into the assault on Wolmi-do. We and our two sister ships would be the sharp point of the UN when we opened the assault on the Invasion Beaches at Green Beach.

Seventy eight days later, only 20 of these 200 Marines would still be standing.

Wantuck at Inchon, Link to Wantuck KW History

09/15/50, about 7:00 a.m.

Off Green Beach, as Inchon burns beyond Wolmi Do

Note the empty davits. Our three LCVPs had loaded our elements of the 5th Marines and were taking them in to hit Wolmi.

Wolmi's dominant 351' peak is just discernable in photo center

9/50 Wolmi-do just before bombardments began

Formidable Wolmi-do was battered, but awaiting I Company, 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, who had just debarked down Wantuck's nets into our LCVPs.

Marines in Assault Craft LCVP

LCVPs from Diachenko and Bass carried in G and H Company, respectively, from 3/5 in the assault on Wolmi.

A crushing Naval and air barrage supported the Marine assaults.

Marines in Assault on Wolmi-do

Wantuck was Control Ship for Blue Beach, Bass for Red Beach and Diachenko was Central Control.

5th Marines finish mopping up Wolmi

The LSMR's crossed the bows of our assault LCVPs for a culminating rocket assault on Wolmi just before we landed our Marines.

Wantuck supported UDT-1, both at Wonsan during mine clearing operations and later.

41RMC in Songjim raid

Wantuck operated with 41 Royal Marine Commando in raids along the east coast.

41RMC at Wonsan raid

Korean War Prelude

Wantuck began 1950 ... Sinking a Sub(?) ... her first look at green tracers.

Korean Presidential Unit Citation

APD 125 Wantuck won the Korean Presidential Unit Citation for her part in the assault on Wolmi Do, which initiated the Infantry action in the Inchon Invasion

With the Begor, our four APD's constituted TD-111 which, as Navy Special Operations put it, "provided the operational catalyst for the multinational raiding force that repeatedly struck North Korea's railway system".

For participation at Inchon, Wonsan, Commando raids, mine clearing support and other actions, Wantuck won 5 battle stars during the Korean War

Korean Service

Map and summary of Pusan Perimeter battle, to time of Inchon invasion

To kill the Fighting Wantuck took
One Of Our Own Ships
She fought hard to the end

"None Like Us"

After my discharge I joined Philco Corporation as a Field Engineer for a few years before college, and they sent me back to Korea in 1952, where I was responsible for keeping our long-range air search radar working. All our Air Force ops in North Korea were monitored and controlled from that radar, and I can tell you there were a couple of very hairy times when I had to get the damned thing up after some sort of failure. Imagining what was going on in the cockpits, and how lonely and scared the guys must have been, I sweated bullets at those times but fortunately there were only two of them that were critical and I lucked out. There were brass from Kimpo and probably elsewhere, just standing around waiting while I was at it, those were the only times the Air Force techs actually jumped when I sent them off to get parts or megger signal cables. Fortunately, I did get it back on both times. One Air Force SSgt spent his entire tour of duty there apparently working on a PPI, which I fixed in about three hours once he rotated back to the States, mostly having to fix bad solder joints he inserted while playing around. Some of the thirty or so Air Force radar techs at 606 AC&W were very good, though. I thought highly of one guy who challenged me once to see which of us could fix a PPI fastest. I beat him hands down but was proud of him, and still am. That's the sort of thing I remember these days, the interactions from day to day, but there were some wild moments at times.

The things I most remember, though, and most like to remember, were the months on Wantuck just before Korea, when we ruled the Pacific and little Wantuck sailed around the Philippines and Guam and was Station Ship in Hong Kong.

So many of my Marine Corps and Aussie pals for sure went through hell during the Korean War while I was just a working tourist, but I do so clearly recall and love those pre-Korea days, chasing (in vain) the British girls in Repulse Bay liberties, settling for some of the most beautiful Chinese girls I've ever dreamed of instead, fighting off guys trying to roll us in Guam, having our choice of gorgeous ladies in the Philippines, fighting and bleeding all over each other's whites in the open-sided bars in Kowloon, wee-hour poker games below in the electronics shack, in fact all of life in the sultry, steaming, alien-smelling Pacific Isles when I was young and the juices raced, and there were "None Like Us".

I didn't realize it at the time, but it comes from my heart to say that kicking and scratching at life in little Wantuck, between chasing around with all those enchanting Far Eastern ladies, kings of the world in our Whites on $65 or so a month, are memories to take an old sailor smiling to his grave. Bert

Bert Kortegaard, ex Wantuck Crewman

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