Douglas B-26 'Invaders' of the Fifth Air Force's 452 Light Bomb Wing used the Y in the tracks as an aiming point, and the accuracy of their calculations is attested by these two fiery blossoms of napalm, both directly astride a line filled with enemy railroad cars. The location of this dramatic photo is a marshalling yard on the main rail line leading south from Wonsan, important East coast port city. Photo taken ca.04/23/1951.
‘Two gunners of the Royal New Zealand Artillery's 16th Field Regt. peer out of the windows of their dug-in hut. They are: Gunner Phil Hansen of Petone, left; and Lance Bombardier Hori Chesnutt of Taihape’.
Photograph taken in Korea, 21 December 1951, by Ian Mackley.
New Zealand’s 1056-man 'Kayforce' arrived at Pusan, South Korea, on New Year’s Eve 1950. It was part of the United Nations’ ‘police action’ to repel North Korea’s invasion of its southern neighbour. The New Zealanders joined the 27th British Commonwealth Infantry Brigade and saw action for the first time in late January 1951. Thereafter they took part in the operations that led the UN forces back to and over the 38th Parallel, recapturing Seoul in the process.
In April 1951 the Chinese, who had intervened to save North Korea from defeat, launched their Fifth Phase Offensive. The 27th British Commonwealth Brigade fought a successful defensive battle against a Chinese division at Kap’yong. Filling a gap in the UN line caused by the collapse of a South Korean division, the Royal New Zealand Artillery’s 16 Field Regiment played a vital supporting role for 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and the Canadian 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry, from 23 to 25 April.
During this action Kayforce suffered its first fatal battle casualty with the death of Second Lieutenant Dennis Fielden. The experienced Fielden had served for seven years with the Royal Artillery and Royal Air Force (RAF) before joining Kayforce. He was posthumously Mentioned in Dispatches for his conduct at Kap’yong. The death of the ‘popular and unassuming officer [was] much regretted by officers and men alike.’ The regiment was awarded a South Korean Presidential Citation, conferred at a parade in February 1952.
The Chinese offensive in this sector had been effectively checked, though Kap’yong later had to be abandoned as the UN forces fell back in good order to positions just north of Seoul.
In all, about 4700 men served with Kayforce and a further 1300 in Royal New Zealand Navy frigates during the seven years of New Zealand’s involvement in Korea. Forty-five men lost their lives in this period, 33 of them during the war (of whom two were RNZN personnel).
Powder smoke and dust billow as a M-20 75mm. recoilless rifle team of a U.S. Infantry Division, fire their weapon at Chinese Communist positions on a hill in Korea.
(possibly the 29th Infantry at The Battle at the Notch, August 1950)
M20 75mm Recoilless Rifle
The RCLR was a breech-loaded, singleshot, man-portable, crew-served weapon. It could be used in both antitank and antipersonnel roles. It could be fired from the ground, using the bipod or the monopod, or from the shoulder. The most stable firing position was the prone position.
Used properly in combat, the 75's proved themselves time after time. They were accurate, hard-hitting weapons. The Infantryman considered the 75 as one of the best supporting weapons for both attack and defense in the Korean War. It could take on a T34 tank at 400 yards, it could destroy pillboxes or cave positions, and it could provide enfilading artillery support.
Fifth battle of "Old Baldy" – March 23–26, 1953
U.S. soldiers observe Chinese positions near “Old Baldy,” a strategic height west of Ch’ǒrwǒn, South Korea, March 1953.
"If not for the heroic resistance of the Colombian troops at Old Baldy, the Chinese forces could have broken the 7th Division's Main Line of Resistance, entering deep into allied territory with very serious consequences, since the road could lead troops and armored enemy vehicles directly to Seoul.
At this point the command of the Division orders the hill a no man's land, and the most fearsome bombardment begins on Old Baldy. The Colombian Battalion had been unable to regain her men behind lines, stranded, wounded or dead. All were at the mercy of the U.S. Air Force, relentless in its action.
The Colombian casualties resulted in 95 KIA, 97 WIA and 30 MIA, over 20% of the Battalion. The 7th Division considered 750 KIA the losses for enemy troops on Baldy."
(Ref: United States Army Center of Military History, Korea 1951–1953, US Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1996, p. 278)
Private Henry Horneman of Tamworth, NSW, a member of C Company, the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), keeps an eye on the front line from a snow covered position at the Jamestown Line Area, Korea, 1 January 1953. Note his Browning Light Machine Gun at the ready.
In early December 1952, 1RAR took over defences on Hill 355. The position had been poorly maintained and it took 1RAR ten days and 50 casualties to secure the area and regain control of the approaches. The battalion also supported the Royal Fusiliers in Operation Beat Up (25–26 November) by launching a diversionary attack on Hill 227.
The last action 1RAR engaged in during the war was Operation Fauna (11–12 December). The purpose of the operation was to capture a prisoner and destroy enemy defences. It did not achieve its main objective, but did succeed in destroying the enemy position code-named Flora. Nearly a third of the force became casualties, with 22 wounded and three missing. Operation Fauna shows the risks associated with prisoner-capturing operations, as they were rarely successful and often resulted in heavy casualties.
On 21 March 1953, 1RAR was relieved by 2RAR at Camp Casey, near Tongduchon, and returned to Australia later that month. The battalion returned to Korea in April of 1954, and was involved in training and border patrols. In March 1956, 1RAR ceased its operations in Korea and returned to Australia.
Private J. Oates 'B' Company 1st Battalion Argyll and Highland Sutherlands, 27th Brigade getting ready to fire his Bren Gun at a sniper, with a blazing house in the background. (possibly at Chongju, 30 October 1950)
"The 1st Battalion led the advance on the 28th (Oct.) with its leading platoon mounted on tanks. The main opposition came from tanks, and this imposed long delays on the column, although the air gave all support that could be desired, frequently spotting and destroying tanks in the path of the Battalion. These delays made it impossible to reach Chongju in daylight, and the Battalion halted for the night about a mile away, and it was fortunate it did so as there turned out to be a strongly held and well-sited position defending the town. The following day 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) encountered stubborn resistance, which took the greater part of the day to overcome, but by the evening all was set for the entry to Chongju, which was to take place the following morning, 30th October".
American forces land in Inchon harbor one day after the Battle of Inchon began. 16 September 1950.
Four LSTs unload men and equipment while "high and dry" at low tide on Inchon's "Red Beach," 16 September, the day after the initial landings there. LST-715 is on the right end of this group, which also includes LST-611, LST-845, and one other. Another LST is beached on the tidal mud flats at the extreme right. Note bombardment damage to the building in center foreground, many trucks at work, Wolmi-Do Island in the left background and the causeway connecting the island to Inchon. The ship in the far distance, just beyond the right end of Wolmi-Do, is the Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729).
The amphibious landings of 15 September 1950 at Inchon were General MacArthur's masterstroke. As Eight Army struggled to maintain fighting room in the southeast of Korea, he had his thoughts fixed upon a possible landing in the enemies rear to reverse the war. The biggest logistical challenge was to have all units, their equipment and supplies, as well as transports, landing ships and craft, and other ships, ready in time for D-day.
The landing itself was conducted fairly close to the plan, not meeting more resistance than anticipated. The Advance Attack Group, supported by naval gunfire and close air support, assaulted and capture the tactical important Wolmi- Do Island in an operation that lasted an hour and a half in the morning of 15 September. In the early afternoon the remainder of the assault shipping arrived on station and the order "Land the Landing Force" was given as the tide had started to come in. Due to the amount of supplies and equipment the Landing Force desired to embark, most of the ships in the assault echelon carried in excess of the amount which was considered to be normal. Approximately 13,000 troops and their assault equipment were unloaded the first day.
Improvement of unloading facilities was initiated as rapidly as possible and general unloading was ordered on 16 September. This was the same day as the second echelon of ships arrived with the 7th Infantry Division. During the period D-1 to D-6 unloading continued as rapidly as tidal conditions and unloading facilities would permit. Nearly 50,000 personnel, more than 5,000 vehicles, and 22,000 short tons of cargo was brought ashore in this period.
The confederate flag waves from top of the pup tent of SFC (Sergeant first class) Eugene L. Bursi, of Memphis, Tenn., an artilleryman with the 136th Field Artillery Battalion U.S. Eighth Army, in Korea on April 27, 1951.
"A Marine assault squad member uses a flame thrower to clean out an enemy pillbox on Korea's central front on May 7, 1951.
Smoke from white phosphorus mortar shells shrouds the assault area to mark the targets and mask the attack."
Capt. Philip K. Whitehouse USMCR, in his McDonnell F2H-2P Banshee, Photo Recon Aircraft at Pohang, Sth Korea, August 1953
"My dad trained in Corsairs at the end of WWII, and was delighted with the ending of the Pacific war because he was certain that he would have been in on the invasion of the Japanese home islands.
After the war he got his degree in civil engineering at Northwestern while he remained in the reserves.
With two children and one on the way he was called back to Korea. He was not at all happy about this, having seen his sister, with a child and one on the way, lose her husband in 1944. He was quite upset that the same could well happen to his wife.
Based in Pohang, he flew reconnaissance over North Korea. He spoke of harrowing flights when he rode up the coast at low altitude shooting sideways into the land and seeing men scrambling to call ahead to their anti-aircraft guns.
Another time he was chased for quite a ways by Chinese MIGs, with nothing to defend himself but cameras. The Air Force boys in their F-86s came to his aid and chased them off. Decades later he spoke of this time and gave thanks to those men while standing in front of an F-86 at the Wright Patterson museum in Dayton.
But even with this, he was always grateful not to be pounding the ground with the other Marines!"