Battle of Haman
The Battle of Haman was one engagement in the larger Battle of Pusan Perimeter between United Nations and North Korean forces early in the Korean War from August 31 to September 19, 1950, in the vicinity of Haman County in South Korea. The engagement ended in a victory for the United Nations after large numbers of United States and Republic of Korea troops repelled a strong North Korean attack on the town of Haman. Operating in defense of Masan during the Battle of Masan, the US Army's 24th Infantry Regiment was stretched along a long line on a ridge to the west of the town, at Haman; when the North Korean People's Army 6th Division attacked the town, the US troops fought to repel their advance in a weeklong battle in which the 24th Infantry performed poorly, other US reinforcements were brought in to assist in fighting off the attack. The battle remained bitterly deadlocked long enough for another UN force to counterattack at Inchon, forcing the North Korean Army to retreat from Masan. Following the June 25, 1950, outbreak of the Korean War after the invasion of the Republic of Korea by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United Nations voted to commit troops to the conflict in support of South Korea.
The United States, as a member of the UN, committed ground forces to the Korean peninsula with the goals of repelling the North Korean invasion and preventing South Korea from collapsing. By 1950, US forces in the Far East had been decreasing since the end of World War II, five years earlier, at the time the closest forces were the US 24th Infantry Division, headquartered in Japan; the division was understrength, most of its equipment was antiquated due to reductions in military spending. Regardless, the 24th was ordered to South Korea. However, it faced numerous disadvantages; the forces were poorly equipped. Headquarters Company, supporting platoon elements were much smaller than regulation stated, making them less effective. Most of the soldiers of the division had no combat experience and used to the luxuries of life in occupied Japan. Only one third of the officers in the Task Force had combat experience from World War II, only one in six enlisted soldiers had combat experience. Many of them volunteered to join the task force.
The soldiers were each equipped with two days of C-rations. The 24th Infantry Division was the first US unit sent into Korea with the mission to take the initial "shock" of North Korean advances, delaying much larger North Korean units for several weeks to buy time to allow reinforcements to arrive, such as the 1st Cavalry and the 7th and 25th Infantry Divisions. Advance elements of the 24th Infantry were badly defeated in the Battle of Osan on July 5, the first encounter between American and North Korean forces. For the first month after the defeat of Task Force Smith, the 24th Infantry was defeated and forced south by superior North Korean numbers and equipment; the regiments of the 24th Infantry were systematically pushed south in engagements around Chochiwon and Pyongtaek. They made a final stand in the Battle of Taejon, where they were completely destroyed, but their resistance kept the North Koreans from advancing until July 20. By that time, the number of Eighth Army front-line combat troops was equal to number of North Korean forces attacking the region, with new UN units arriving every day.
With Taejon captured, North Korean forces began surrounding the Pusan Perimeter from all sides in an attempt to envelop it. The 4th and 6th North Korean Infantry Divisions advanced south in a wide flanking maneuver; the two divisions attempted to penetrate the UN's left flank, but became dispersed in the process. They advanced on UN positions with armor and superior numbers pushing back US and South Korean forces. American forces were defeated before halting the North Korean advance in a series of engagements in the southern section of the country. Forces of the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, newly arrived in the country, were wiped out at Hadong in a coordinated ambush by North Korean forces on July 27, opening a pass into the Pusan Perimeter. Soon after, North Korean forces took Chinju to the west, pushing back the US 19th Infantry Regiment and leaving routes to the perimeter open for more North Korean attacks. US formations were subsequently able to defeat and push back the North Koreans on the flank in the Battle of the Notch on August 2.
Suffering mounting losses, the KPA force in the west withdrew for several days to reequip and receive reinforcements. This granted both sides a reprieve to prepare for the attack on the Pusan Perimeter. Eighth Army commander Lieutenant General Walton Walker ordered the US 25th Infantry Division, under Major General William B. Kean, to take up defensive positions on the Pusan Perimeter southern flank west of Masan. By August 15, the 25th Infantry Division had moved into these positions. Rough terrain west of Masan limited the choice of the positions; the mountain group west of Masan was the first defensible ground east of the Chinju pass. The 2,000-foot mountain ridges of Sobuk-san dominated the area and protected the road from Komam-ni to Haman to Chindong-ni, the only means of north–south communication west of Masan. To the north, from the Masan–Chinju highway to the Nam River, there were several defensible positions; the best one was the high ground near Chungam-ni, which controlled the important road junction connecting the Masan road with the one over the Nam River to Uiryong.
It was essential for the 25th Infantry Division's right flank connect with the left flank of the 24th Inf
Battle of Taejon
The Battle of Taejon was an early battle of the Korean War, between American and North Korean forces. Forces of the United States Army attempted to defend the headquarters of the 24th Infantry Division; the 24th Infantry Division was overwhelmed by numerically superior forces of the Korean People's Army at the major city and transportation hub of Taejon. The 24th Infantry Division's regiments were exhausted from the previous two weeks of delaying actions to stem the advance of the KPA; the entire 24th Division gathered to make a final stand around Taejon, holding a line along the Kum River to the east of the city. Hampered by a lack of communication and equipment, a shortage of heavy weapons to match the KPA's firepower, the outnumbered, ill-equipped and untrained American forces were pushed back from the riverbank after several days before fighting an intense urban battle to defend the city. After a fierce three-day struggle, the Americans withdrew. Although they could not hold the city, the 24th Infantry Division achieved a strategic victory by delaying the North Koreans, providing time for other American divisions to establish a defensive perimeter around Pusan further south.
The delay imposed at Taejon prevented an American rout during the subsequent Battle of Pusan Perimeter. During the action, the KPA captured Major General William F. Dean, the commander of the 24th Infantry Division, highest ranking American prisoner during the Korean War. Following the invasion of the Republic of Korea by its northern neighbor, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United Nations committed forces on behalf of South Korea; the United States subsequently sent ground forces to the Korean peninsula to contain the North Korean invasion and to prevent the collapse of the South Korean state. American forces in the Far East had decreased since the end of World War II, five years earlier; when forces were committed, the 24th Infantry Division of the Eighth United States Army, headquartered in Japan, was the closest US division. The division was under-strength, most of its equipment dated from 1945 and earlier due to defense cutbacks enacted in the first Truman administration.
The division was ordered into South Korea. The 24th Infantry Division was the first US unit sent into Korea to absorb the initial North Korean advances, disrupt the more numerous North Korean units; the 24th Division delayed the North Korean advance to allow the 7th Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, 1st Cavalry Division, other Eighth Army supporting units to establish a defensive line around Pusan. Preceding the Battle of Taejon, some of the Bodo League massacres took place around Taejon, where between 3,000 and 7,000 South Korean leftist political prisoners were shot and dumped into mass graves by South Korean troops recorded by a US Army photographer. Task Force Smith, an advance element of the 24th Infantry Division was badly defeated in the Battle of Osan on 5 July, during the first encounter between American and North Korean forces. Task Force Smith retreated from Osan to Pyongtaek, where US forces were again defeated in the Battle of Pyongtaek; the 24th Infantry Division was forced south by the North Korean force's superior numbers and equipment in engagements at Chochiwon, Chonan and Yechon.
American soldiers were untrained and unprepared at the outbreak of the war, this lack of training showed in engagements with North Korean units which were much more disciplined. Most of the Americans were out of shape, untrained and had no combat experience. On 12 July, the division's commander, Major General William F. Dean, ordered the division's three regiments, the 19th Infantry Regiment, 21st Infantry Regiment, the 34th Infantry Regiment, to cross the Kum River, destroying all bridges behind them, to establish defensive positions around Taejon. Taejon was a major South Korean city 100 miles south of Seoul and 130 miles northwest of Pusan, was the site of the 24th Infantry Division's headquarters. Dean formed a line with the 34th Infantry and 19th Infantry facing east, held the battered 21st Infantry in reserve to the southeast; the Kum River wrapped north and west around the city, providing a defensive line 10 to 15 miles from the outskirts of Taejon, surrounded to the south by the Sobaek Mountains.
With major railroad junctions and numerous roads leading into the countryside in all directions, Taejon was a major transportation hub between Seoul and Taegu, giving it great strategic value for both the American and North Korean forces. The division was attempting to make a last stand at Taejon, the last place it could conduct a delaying action before the North Korean forces would converge on the unfinished Pusan Perimeter; the 24th Infantry Division's three infantry regiments, which had a wartime strength of 3,000 each, were below strength on their deployment, heavy losses in the preceding two weeks had reduced their numbers further. The 21st Infantry had 1,100 men left; the 34th Infantry had only 2,020 men and the 19th had 2,276 men. Another 2,007 men stood in the 24th Infantry Division artillery formations; these counts placed the division's total strength at 11,400. This was reduced from the 15,965 men and 4,773 vehicles that had arrived in Korea at the beginning of the month; each of the regiments had only two battalions of infantry as opposed to the normal three.
Large numbers of men had to be pulled from the lines from combat fatigue. Morale was low for the soldiers, who were exhausted from days without sleep. Casualties among the division's commissioned officers were high, forcing younger officers
Battle of Chongju (1950)
The Battle of Chongju took place during the United Nations offensive towards the Yalu River, which followed the North Korean invasion of South Korea at the start of the Korean War. The battle was fought between Australian forces from 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and the 17th Tank Brigade of the Korean People's Army for control of Chongju, North Korea and the surrounding area. After detecting a strong North Korean armoured force equipped with T-34 tanks and SU-76 self-propelled guns on a thickly wooded ridgeline astride the line of advance, the Australians launched a series of company attacks with American M4 Sherman tanks and aircraft in support. Despite heavy resistance the North Koreans were forced to withdraw and the Australians captured their objectives after three hours of fighting; that evening the North Koreans were reinforced, attacking the Australian southern flank manned by D Company 3 RAR, penetrating their perimeter. After two hours of fighting the assault was repulsed, the North Koreans subsequently launched a furious assault against A Company 3 RAR on the northern position, which failed amid heavy losses.
The following day the Australians advanced to the high ground overlooking Chongju and capturing a number of North Koreans in skirmishes. That afternoon the town itself was cleared by the remaining elements of the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade without opposition. North Korean casualties during the fighting were heavy, while Australian losses included their commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Green, wounded in the stomach by artillery fire after the battle and died two days later; the Korean War began early in the morning of 25 June 1950, following the surprise invasion of the Republic of Korea by its northern neighbour, the communist Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Numerically superior and better-equipped, the Korean People's Army crossed the 38th Parallel and advanced south overcoming the South Koreans. In response, the United Nations decided to intervene on behalf of South Korea, inviting member states to send forces to restore the situation; as a consequence, American ground forces were hastily deployed in an attempt to prevent the South Koreans from collapsing, however they too were under strength and poorly equipped, by early August had been forced back by the North Koreans to an enclave around Pusan, known as the Pusan Perimeter.
Key US allies—Britain and Australia—also committed forces, although these were limited to naval contingents and were viewed as token efforts in the US. Under diplomatic pressure the British agreed to deploy an infantry brigade in July, would dispatch a second brigade as the crisis worsened; the Canadians agreed to provide an infantry brigade, although the first battalion would not arrive until December 1950. A total of 21 UN member states contributed forces. Australia was one of the first nations to commit units to the fighting, playing a small but sometimes significant part in the United Nations Command, led by General Douglas MacArthur. Forces deployed in Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force formed the basis of the Australian response, with P-51 Mustang fighter-bombers from No. 77 Squadron RAAF flying their first missions on 2 July, while the frigate HMAS Shoalhaven and the destroyer HMAS Bataan were committed to naval operations. During this time the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, preparing to return to Australia prior to the outbreak of the war, remained in Japan, however on 26 July the Australian government announced that it would commit the understrength and poorly equipped infantry battalion to the fighting, following a period of preparation.
Training and re-equipment began while hundreds of reinforcements were hastily recruited in Australia as part of K Force. The battalion's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Floyd Walsh, was subsequently replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Green. An officer with extensive operational experience fighting the Japanese in New Guinea during the Second World War, Green took over from Walsh due to the latter's perceived inexperience. On 23 September 1950, 3 RAR embarked for Korea. There it joined the British 27th Infantry Brigade, a garrison formation hurriedly committed from Hong Kong by the British government as the situation deteriorated around the Pusan Perimeter in late August to bolster the US Eighth Army under Lieutenant General Walton Walker. Commanded by Brigadier Basil Coad, the brigade was renamed the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade and consisted of the 1st Battalion and Sutherland Highland Regiment, the 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment and 3 RAR. Under strength, the two British battalions had each mustered just 600 men of all ranks, while the brigade was short on transport and heavy equipment, had no integral artillery support, for which it would rely on the Americans until the 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery arrived in January 1951.
As such, with a strength of nearly 1,000 men, the addition of 3 RAR gave the brigade increased tactical weight as well as expediently allowing the Australians to work within a familiar organisational environment, rather than being attached to a US formation. Under the command of the brigade were a number of US Army units, including 155 mm howitzers from the US 90th Field Artillery Battalion, M4 Sherman tanks from US 89th Tank Battalion and a company from the US 72nd Combat Engineer Battalion. By the time 3 RAR arrived in the theatre, the North Koreans had been broken and were in rapid retreat, wi
Battle of Chonan
The Battle of Chonan was the third engagement between United States and North Korean forces during the Korean War. It occurred on the night of July 1950 in the village of Chonan in western South Korea; the fight ended in a North Korean victory after intense fighting around the town, which took place throughout the night and into the morning. The United States Army's 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division was assigned to delay elements of the North Korean People's Army's 4th Infantry Division as it advanced south following its victories at the Battle of Osan and the Battle of Pyongtaek the days before; the regiment emplaced north and south of Chonan attempting to delay the North Koreans in an area where the terrain formed a bottleneck between mountains and the Yellow Sea. The 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry set up a defensive perimeter north of the city, by nightfall was engaged in combat with superior numbers of North Korean troops and tanks. American forces, unable to repulse North Korean armor, soon found themselves in an intense urban fight as columns of North Korean troops, spearheaded by T-34 tanks, entered the town from two directions, cutting off U.
S. forces. The fight resulted in the near destruction of the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry as well as the death of the 34th Infantry Regiment's new commander, Colonel Robert R. Martin. On the night of June 25, 1950, 10 divisions of the North Korean People's Army launched a full-scale invasion on the nation's neighbor to the south, the Republic of Korea; the force of 89,000 men moved in six columns, catching the Republic of Korea Army by surprise, resulting in a disastrous rout for the South Koreans, who were disorganized, ill-equipped, unprepared for war. Numerically superior, North Korean forces destroyed isolated resistance from the 38,000 South Korean soldiers on the front, advancing south. Most of South Korea's forces retreated in the face of the invasion, by June 28, the North Koreans had captured Seoul, South Korea's capital, forcing the government and its shattered forces to withdraw south; the United Nations Security Council voted to send assistance to the collapsing country. United States President Harry S. Truman subsequently ordered ground troops into the nation.
However, U. S. forces in the Far East had been decreasing since the end of World War II five years earlier. At the time, the closest forces were the 24th Infantry Division of the Eighth United States Army, performing occupation duty in Kyushu, Japan under the command of William F. Dean. However, the division was under strength, was only two-thirds the size of its regular wartime size. Most of the 24th Infantry Division's equipment was antiquated due to reductions in military spending following World War II. In spite of these deficiencies, the 24th Infantry Division was ordered into South Korea, with a mission to take the initial "shock" of North Korean advances while the rest of the Eighth Army could arrive in Korea and establish a perimeter. From the 24th Infantry Division, one battalion was assigned to be airlifted into Korea via C-54 Skymaster transport aircraft and move to block advancing North Korean forces while the remainder of the division was transported to South Korea on ships; the 21st Infantry Regiment was determined to be the most combat-ready of the 24th Infantry Division's three regiments, the 21st Infantry's 1st Battalion was selected because its commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles B.
Smith, was the most experienced, having commanded a battalion at the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II. On July 5, Task Force Smith engaged North Korean forces at the Battle of Osan, delaying over 5,000 North Korean infantry for seven hours before being routed and forced back. During that time, the 34th Infantry Regiment set up a line between the villages of Pyongtaek and Ansong, 10 miles south of Osan, to fight the next delaying action against the advancing North Korean forces. 34th Infantry Regiment was unprepared for a fight. The 1st Battalion, left alone against the North Koreans, resisted their advance in the brief and disastrous Battle of Pyongtaek; the 34th Infantry was unable to stop North Korean armor, because equipment had not arrived that could penetrate the thick armor of the T-34 tank. After a 30-minute fight, the battalion mounted a disorganized retreat, with many soldiers abandoning equipment and running away without resisting the North Korean forces; the U. S. forces at Pyongtaek and Ansong were unable to delay the North Korean force or inflict significant casualties on the enemy.
Having pushed back U. S. forces at both Osan and Pyongtaek, the North Korean 4th Infantry Division, supported by elements of the North Korean 105th Armored Division, continued their advance down the Osan–Chonan road, up to 12,000 men strong under division commander Lee Kwon Mu in two infantry regiments supported by dozens of tanks. They were well trained, well equipped, had high morale following previous victories, giving them advantages over the poorly trained and inexperienced Americans. Following the retreat from Pyongtaek, the scattered 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry retreated to Chonan, where the rest of the 34th Infantry Regiment was located. At the town were elements of the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry that had not made up Task Force Smith at the Battle of Osan. Brigadier General George B. Barth, 24th Infantry Division's artillery commander, ordered the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry to hold positions 2 miles south of town before Barth left for Taejon; the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry was sent to join it.
At the same time, L Company of the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry was ordered to probe north of the city and meet the advancing elements of the North Ko
Air Battle of South Korea
The Air Battle of South Korea was an air campaign early in the Korean War occurring from June 25 to July 20, 1950, over South Korea between the air forces of North Korea and the United Nations, including the countries of South Korea, the United States and the United Kingdom. The month-long fight for air supremacy over the country saw several small engagements over airfields in Seoul and Taejon and ended in victory for the UN air force, able to destroy the small North Korean People's Air Force. Main Article: Initial Phase of Korean WarOn the morning of June 25, 1950, ten divisions of the North Korean People's Army launched a full-scale invasion of the nation's neighbor to the south, the Republic of Korea; the force of 89,000 men moved in six columns, catching the Republic of Korea Army by surprise, resulting in a rout. The smaller South Korean army suffered from widespread lack of organization and equipment, was unprepared for war; the numerically superior North Korean forces destroyed isolated resistance from the 38,000 South Korean soldiers on the front before it began moving south.
To prevent South Korea's collapse the United Nations Security Council voted to send military forces. The United States' Seventh Fleet dispatched Task Force 77, led by the fleet carrier USS Valley Forge. By June 27, the naval and air forces moving to Korea had authorization to attack North Korean targets with the goal of helping repel the North Korean invasion of the country. With the US forces accepting the North Korean attack as an act of war, it became imperative to evacuate civilians and American diplomats from Korea, as the forces of the north and south were battling across the peninsula. On June 27 the South Koreans were losing the First Battle of Seoul. Most of South Korea's forces retreated in the face of the invasion; the North Koreans would capture the city the next day forcing the South Korean government and its shattered army to retreat further south. In the meantime, US naval and air forces were evacuating US diplomats, military dependents, civilians by ship and air transport, hoping to get American civilians out of the country "by any means."
Civilians were being gathered at Suwon Airfield and Kimpo Airfield near Seoul, before moving to Inchon and out of the country. These airlifts and convoys were being escorted by aircraft from the United States, operating its aircraft from bases in Japan; the United States Air Force had 1,172 aircraft in the Pacific region at the time of the outbreak of the Korean War, including hundreds of F-80 Shooting Stars as well as numerous F-82 Twin Mustangs, B-26 Invaders, B-29 Superfortresses, among others. Hundreds of aircraft were available to be mustered against the North Korean invasion, many of them the newest jet engine-powered fighter aircraft; the aircraft could fulfill a variety of missions and were well equipped, well armed and out of reach of North Korean attack, with many bases safely in Japan. Additionally, the Fleet Air Arm of the United Kingdom, the Royal Australian Air Force of Australia provided assistance as 800 Naval Air Squadron, 802 Naval Air Squadron, No. 77 Squadron RAAF were dispatched to provide additional support for ground operations.
The combined airpower had about 33,975 personnel. The North Korean People's Air Force consisted of only 132 aircraft and 2,000 personnel, of whom only 80 were pilots and most poorly trained; the two Koreas had small air forces of their own, with the North Koreans' 132 aircraft organized into the KPAF 1st Air Division. At the early phase in the war, these aircraft were used boldly to the North Koreans' advantage. Aware of their air superiority over the Republic of Korea Air Force and not expecting UN intervention, they anticipated light resistance in the air. In all, the KPAF had 2,000 personnel. At the June 25 outbreak of the war, the US aircraft in Japan began moving to the closest bases to the Korean Peninsula, Itazuke Air Base and Ashiya Air Base. MacArthur ordered. North Korean aircraft first met US aircraft in combat during the Battle of Suwon Airfield, in which seven of the 13 North Korean aircraft were destroyed; the North Korean Lavochkin La-7 and Ilyushin Il-10 aircraft were outmatched by the superior North American F-82 Twin Mustang and F-80C Shooting Star aircraft, which had better-trained pilots.
The planes of the 8th Fighter Wing, which were attempting to defend Suwon to allow evacuation of UN civilians encountered repeated harassing attacks from North Korean aircraft operating out of Heijo Airfield in Pyongyang. Heijo was the KPAF's main base, but in the first few days in the war the US aircraft only had authorization to defend themselves if attacked, they could not conduct offensive operations into North Korea. During the day on June 29, the KPAF returned to attack Suwon, six sorties of North Korean aircraft strafed the airfield during the morning, but each time were driven off by American F-80s, in the course of these attacks Lieutenant William T. Norris and Lieutenant Roy W. Marsh each shot down a North Korean aircraft; the North Koreans were able to destroy a single C-54 Skymaster parked at the airfield. The sorties culminated in a battle above Suwon in the midst of a conference of US military leaders in the town. Leaders including Lieutenant General George E. Stratemeyer and General of the Army Douglas MacArthur witnessed the final sortie of the day, in which four North Korean aircraft attacked four P-51 Mustang aircraft over the town.
The four P-51s succeeded in shooting down all four of the North Korean aircraft, with Lieutenant Orrin R. Fox scoring two kills and Lieutenants Richard J. Burns, Ha