The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Second Battle of Seoul
The Second Battle of Seoul was a battle that resulted in United Nations forces recapturing Seoul from the North Koreans in late September 1950. Before the battle, North Korea had just one understrength division in the city, with the majority of its forces south of the capital. MacArthur oversaw the 1st Marine Regiment as it fought through North Korean positions on the road to Seoul. Control of Operation Chromite was given to Major General Edward Almond, the X Corps commander. General Almond was in an enormous hurry to capture Seoul by September 25 three months after the North Korean assault across the 38th parallel; the advance on Seoul was bloody after the landings at Inchon. The reason was the appearance in the Seoul area of two first-class fighting units of the Korean People's Army, the 78th Independent Infantry Regiment and 25th Infantry Brigade, about 7,000 troops in all; the KPA launched a T-34 attack, trapped and destroyed, a Yak bombing run in Incheon harbor, which did little damage. The KPA attempted to stall the UN offensive to allow time to reinforce Seoul and withdraw troops from the south.
Though warned that the process of taking Seoul would allow remaining KPA forces in the south to escape, MacArthur felt that he was bound to honor promises given to the South Korean government to retake the capital as soon as possible. On the second day, vessels carrying the U. S. Army's 7th Infantry Division arrived in Incheon Harbor. General Almond was eager to get the division into position to block a possible enemy movement from the south of Seoul. On the morning of September 18, the division's 2nd Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment landed at Incheon and the remainder of the regiment went ashore in the day; the next morning, the 2nd Battalion moved up to relieve a U. S. Marine battalion occupying positions on the right flank south of Seoul. Meanwhile, the 7th Division's 31st Infantry Regiment came ashore at Incheon. Responsibility for the zone south of Seoul highway passed to the 7th Division at 18:00 on September 19; the 7th Infantry Division engaged in heavy fighting with KPA forces on the outskirts of Seoul.
The Marines entered Seoul shortly after 7:00am on September 25 to find it fortified. Buildings were defended by machine guns and snipers, on Ma Po Boulevard, the main road through the city, the KPA had established a series of 8-foot-high barricades of burlap bags filled with either sand or rice. Located about 200-300 yards apart, each major intersection of the city featured such a barricade, the approaches to which were laced with mines, which were defended by a 45mm anti-tank gun and machine guns; each had to be eliminated one at a time, it took the Marines, on average, 45–60 minutes to clear each position. Casualties mounted. Edwin H. Simmons, a Major in 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, likened the experience of his company's advance up the boulevard to "attacking up Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capital in Washington, D. C." He described the street as "once a busy, pleasant avenue lined with sycamores, groceries and tea shops." Anxious to pronounce the conquest of Seoul on MacArthur's insistence by the third-month anniversary of the war, Almond declared the city liberated on September 25, although Marines were still engaged in house-to-house combat.
Effective resistance would cease by September 27. After the battle, South Korean police executed citizens and their families who were suspected as communist sympathizers in what is known as the Goyang Geumjeong Cave and Namyangju massacres. Eugene A. Obregon, US Marine posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for shielding a fellow Marine during the battle First Battle of Seoul Third Battle of Seoul Operation Ripper Halberstam, David; the Coldest WInter – America and the Korean War. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 978-1-4013-0052-4. Hoyt, Edwin P. On To The Yalu, ISBN 0-8128-2977-8
Battle of Pusan Perimeter
The Battle of Pusan Perimeter was a large-scale battle between United Nations and North Korean forces lasting from August 4 to September 18, 1950. It was one of the first major engagements of the Korean War. An army of 140,000 UN troops, having been pushed to the brink of defeat, were rallied to make a final stand against the invading North Korean army, 98,000 men strong. UN forces, having been defeated by the advancing North Koreans, were forced back to the "Pusan Perimeter", a 140-mile defensive line around an area on the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula that included the port of Pusan; the UN troops, consisting of forces from the Republic of Korea, United States and United Kingdom mounted a last stand around the perimeter, fighting off repeated North Korean attacks for six weeks as they were engaged around the cities of Taegu, P'ohang, the Naktong River. The massive North Korean assaults were unsuccessful in forcing the United Nations troops back further from the perimeter, despite two major pushes in August and September.
North Korean troops, hampered by supply shortages and massive losses, continually staged attacks on UN forces in an attempt to penetrate the perimeter and collapse the line. However, the UN used the port to amass an overwhelming advantage in troops and logistics, its navy and air forces remained unchallenged by the North Koreans during the fight. After six weeks, the North Korean force collapsed and retreated in defeat after the UN force launched a counterattack at Inchon on September 15; the battle would be the furthest the North Korean troops would advance in the war, as subsequent fighting ground the war into a stalemate. Following the outbreak of the Korean War, the United Nations decided to commit troops in support of the Republic of Korea, invaded by the neighboring Democratic People's Republic of Korea; the United States subsequently sent ground forces to the Korean peninsula with the goal of fighting back the North Korean invasion and to prevent South Korea from collapsing. However, 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 24th Infantry Division of the Eighth United States Army, headquartered in Japan.
The division was understrength, most of its equipment was antiquated due to reductions in military spending. Regardless, the 24th Infantry Division was ordered into South Korea; the Korean People's Army, 89,000 men strong, had advanced into South Korea in six columns, catching the Republic of Korea Army by surprise and routing it. The smaller ROKA suffered from widespread lack of organization and equipment, was unprepared for war. Numerically superior, KPA forces destroyed isolated resistance from the 38,000 ROKA soldiers on the front before moving south. Most of South Korea's forces retreated in the face of the advance. By June 28, the KPA had captured South Korea's capital of Seoul, forcing the government and its shattered forces to retreat further south. Though it was pushed back, South Korean forces increased their resistance further south, hoping to delay KPA units as much as possible. North and South Korean units sparred for control of several cities, inflicting heavy casualties on one another.
The ROKA defended Yongdok fiercely before being forced back, managed to repel North Korean forces in the Battle of Andong. Outnumbered and under-equipped US forces—committed in piecemeal fashion as as they could be deployed—were defeated and pushed south; the 24th Division, the first US division committed, took heavy losses in the Battle of Taejon in mid-July, which they were driven from after heavy fighting. Elements of the 3rd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, newly arrived in the country, were wiped out at Hadong in a coordinated ambush by KPA forces on July 27, leaving open a pass to the Pusan area. Soon after, Chinju to the west was taken, pushing back the 19th Infantry Regiment and leaving open routes to Pusan. US units were subsequently able to defeat and push back the KPA on the flank in the Battle of the Notch on August 2. Suffering mounting losses, the KPA force on the west flank withdrew for several days to re-equip and receive reinforcements; this granted both sides several days of reprieve to prepare for the attack on the Pusan Perimeter.
The KPA forces were organized into a mechanized combined arms force of ten divisions numbering some 90,000 well-trained and well-equipped troops in July, with hundreds of T-34 tanks. However, defensive actions by US and South Korean forces had delayed the North Koreans in their invasion of South Korea, costing them 58,000 of their troops and a large number of tanks. In order to recoup these losses, the North Koreans had to rely on less-experienced replacements and conscripts, many of whom had been taken from the conquered regions of South Korea. During the course of the battle, the North Koreans raised a total of 13 infantry divisions and one armored division to the fight at Pusan Perimeter; the UN forces were organized under the command of the United States Army. The Eighth United States Army served as the headquarters component for the UN forces, was headquartered at Taegu. Under it were three weak US divisions; these forces occupied the western segment of the perimeter, along the Naktong River.
The ROKA, a force of 58,000, was organized into five divisions.
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
Battle of Kyongju
The Battle of Kyongju was an engagement between United Nations and North Korean forces early in the Korean War from August 31 to September 15, 1950, in the vicinity of Kyongju in South Korea. It was a part of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, was one of several large engagements fought simultaneously; the battle 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. Holding a line north of P'ohang-dong, An'gang-ni, Kyongju, the so-called "Kyongju corridor," the Republic of Korea Army I Corps was unexpectedly hit with an attack by the North Korean People's Army's II Corps, part of the wider Great Naktong Offensive; the South Korean troops demoralized and struggling to maintain a strong defensive line, were pushed back from their positions. US Army units were called in to assist the South Koreans repel the attack. Fighting was heavy and the two sides fought to capture and recapture P'ohang-dong and An'gang-ni, with the North Koreans seeking to break through the Kyongju corridor as a way to attack the UN base at Pusan.
However, with large amounts of UN air and naval support, the US and South Korean ground forces were able to rout and force back the North Korean troops after two weeks of fighting. From the outbreak of the Korean War and the invasion of South Korea by the North, the North Korean People's Army had enjoyed superiority in both manpower and equipment over both the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and the United Nations forces dispatched to South Korea to prevent it from collapsing; the North Korean strategy was to aggressively pursue UN and South Korean forces on all avenues of approach south and to engage them aggressively, attacking from the front and initiating a double envelopment of both flanks of the unit, which allowed the North Koreans to surround and cut off the opposing force, which would be forced to retreat in disarray leaving behind much of its equipment. From their initial June 25 offensive to fights in July and early August, the North Koreans used this strategy to defeat any UN force and push it south.
However, when the UN forces, under the Eighth United States Army, established the Pusan Perimeter in August, the UN troops held a continuous line along the peninsula which North Korean troops could not flank, their advantages in numbers decreased daily as the superior UN logistical system brought in more troops and supplies to the UN army. When the North Koreans approached the Pusan Perimeter on August 5, they attempted the same frontal assault technique on the four main avenues of approach into the perimeter. Throughout August, the NK 6th Division, the NK 7th Division engaged the US 25th Infantry Division at the Battle of Masan repelling a UN counteroffensive before countering with battles at Komam-ni and Battle Mountain; these attacks stalled as UN forces, well equipped and with plenty of reserves repelled North Korean attacks. North of Masan, the NK 4th Division and the US 24th Infantry Division sparred in the Naktong Bulge area. In the First Battle of Naktong Bulge, the North Korean division was unable to hold its bridgehead across the river as large numbers of US reserve forces were brought in to repel it, on August 19, the NK 4th Division was forced back across the river with 50 percent casualties.
In the Taegu region, five North Korean divisions were repulsed by three UN divisions in several attempts to attack the city during the Battle of Taegu. Heavy fighting took place at the Battle of the Bowling Alley where the NK 13th Division was completely destroyed in the attack. On the east coast, three more North Korean divisions were repulsed by the South Koreans at P'ohang-dong during the Battle of P'ohang-dong. All along the front, the North Korean troops were reeling from these defeats, the first time in the war their strategies were not working. In planning its new offensive, the North Korean command decided any attempt to flank the UN force was impossible thanks to the support of the UN navy. Instead, they opted to use frontal attack to breach the perimeter and collapse it as the only hope of achieving success in the battle. Fed by intelligence from the Soviet Union the North Koreans were aware the UN forces were building up along the Pusan Perimeter and that it must conduct an offensive soon or it could not win the battle.
A secondary objective was to destroy the UN and South Korean units in that city. As part of this mission, the North Korean units would first cut the supply lines to Taegu. On August 20, the North Korean commands distributed operations orders to their subordinate units; the North Koreans called for a simultaneous five-prong attack against the UN lines. These attacks would overwhelm the UN defenders and allow the North Koreans to break through the lines in at least one place to force the UN forces back. Five battle groupings were ordered; the easternmost of these was for the NK 12th and NK 5th Divisions break through the ROK Capital Division and ROK 3rd Division to P'ohang-dong and Kyongju. The North Korean attack struck first on the UN's right flank on Korea's east coast. Although the NK II Corps general attack in the north and east was planned for September 2, the NK 12th Division, now with a strength of 5,000 men, started to move forward from the mountains earlier than planned, from where it had reorganized after its defeat in the Kigye and P'ohang-dong area.
The division was low in food supply and ammunition, its men suffered from low morale. On August 26, American and South Korean officers in the P'ohang-dong and Kigye area were optimistic.
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
Battle of Kujin
The Battle of Kujin known as the Battle of the Broken Bridge, 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 elements of the 17th Tank Brigade of the Korean People's Army over a key bridge across the Taeryong River near Kujin, North Korea. On 25 October the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade had resumed their advance towards Pakchon after crossing the Chongchon River, with 3 RAR as the lead battalion. Arriving at Kujin, the Australians discovered that the centre span of the 300-metre concrete bridge had been demolished by North Korean engineers, blocking their passage across the river. A platoon-sized reconnaissance patrol crossed the river using debris from the destroyed span. Airstrikes and artillery fire were subsequently called-in at 17:15 by the Australians as they prepared to conduct an assault.
At 19:00 that evening, following the clearance of nearby Pakchon by D Company 3 RAR, the Australians sent two companies across the river to establish a bridgehead and prevent the North Koreans from consolidating their position on the western bank. A and B Companies subsequently established defensive positions on either side of the road. Shortly afterwards North Korean forces were detected forming up for an assault on the right flank against B Company, these preparations were broken up with mortars; the North Koreans engaged the forward Australian companies with mortar fire, ineffective. However, by 22:30 North Korean activity increased with heavy small arms fire causing a number of casualties among the Australians which perilously had to be evacuated under fire by boat across the fast flowing tidal river. Further artillery support was called-in by the Australians at 23:00 in response to renewed concentrations by the North Koreans in preparation for an assault. Meanwhile, the Australians sent another platoon across the river to reinforce the companies on the western bank.
At 04:00 on 26 October the North Koreans counterattacked A and B Companies, supported by a two T-34 tanks. In the ensuing fighting a convoy of North Korean vehicles, including a tank, two jeeps, a motorcycle and about 60 infantry moved down the road towards A Company with the intention of re-occupying the ridges overlooking the river crossing; the Australians ambushed the convoy at close range with small arms fire and mortars, forcing the North Koreans to flee after abandoning their vehicles with only the tank shooting its way out. Another North Korean T-34 tank and supporting infantry pressed to within 10 metres of the B Company headquarters, before stopping and taking up a position between the ridges unaware of the location of the Australians. By dawn the Australians were still in possession of the bridgehead. At 07:00, a further airstrike was called-in on the North Koreans holding the ridges to the west of the 3 RAR positions. With the way reported clear, C and D Companies crossed the river from the eastern bank that morning.
The battle continued during the morning. 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. 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. 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 r