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This Month in the Korean War: October 1950 - 1952


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1951-Chevrolet%20Truck-Ad.jpgChevy Truck Ad - 1951

October 7, 1950: American units cross the 38th Parallel.

October 20, 1950: Pyongyang captured by ROK 1st Division and U.S. 1st Cavalry Division.

October 20, 1950: War's first airborne operation.  Seventy-one C-119s and 40 C-47s of the Far East Air Force's (FEAF) Combat Cargo Command drop 2,860 paratoopers of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team (RCT) at Sukch'on and Sunch'on north of Pyongyang.  One trooper killed and 36 injured in one jump.  Paratroopers in association with ground forces driving north, kill or capture about 6,000 North Koreans during this operation, however the operation is considered a failure in that it did not rescue any POWs or capture any high-value DPRK officials as intended.

October 25, 1950: Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) launch their first phase offensive.

October 26, 1950: The 1st Marine Division makes an unopposed landing at Wonsan, on Korea's east coast to begin operations in Northeast Korea, and establish security for the port of Wonsan.  When joined by other units, the Marines will move northward toward the Manchurian border.

JayneMansfield1.jpgJane Mansfield

October 3-19, 1951: Operation COMMANDO, large offensive taken by the U.S. I Corps, the 1st British Commonwealth Division and the 1st ROK Division, seized the Jamestown Line, inflicting heavy casualties on Chinese forces.  The action was the last major action in the "war of maneuver" before the war became largely static.

October 29, 1951: Aircraft from carrier USS Essex, exploiting intelligence information, attack an enemy headquarters compound near Kapsan, North Korea, killing hundreds of enemy commanders and staff officers.

JayneMansfield3.jpgJane Mansfield

October 6-15, 1952: The Battle for White Horse Hill.  ROK 9th Division holds outpost with aid of massive American fire support against repeated attacks from nine Chinese regiments.  Important as a sign of the ROK Army's improvement.

October 9, 1952 - July 27, 1953: In "Cherokee" Strikes, so named because of the Native American ancestry of Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph J. Clark, Navy and Marine aircraft conduct a bombing campaign against battlefront enemy supply facilities.  They attack supply ammo and fuel depots within miles of the 38th parallel and communist frontline positions.  The strikes continue until the end of the war.

October 14-25, 1952: Operation SHOWDOWN/Battle of Hill 598 (Sniper Ridge).  7th Infantry Division battles the Chinese near Kumhwa, the right leg of the Iron Triangle. The operation is a failure and the UNC never allowed Eighth Army to undertake a similar sized offensive for the remainder of the war.

JayneMansfield4.jpgJane Mansfield

October 26-28, 1952: The 7th Marines encounter stiff enemy opposition during the Battle for the "Hook", a critical salient in the Main Line of Resistance (MLR).

October 27-28, 1952: Jackson Heights.  The 65th Infantry Regiment already much maligned after their failure to hold Outpost Kelly, is ordered to take and hold Jackson Heights (named after CPT George Jackson of George Company).  The Regiment encounters stiff resistance and takes heavy casualties including most of the officers in Able Company.  The failure results in the largest mass court martial of the Korean War.  Ninety-two Puerto Rican Soldiers are court martialed including 1LT Juan Guzman for refusals during combat.  In March of 1953, the unit is integrated and ceases to be a Puerto Rican unit.  The issue with the 65th Infantry Regiment have largely since been found to be due to racial attitudes, senior leadership failures, shortages of NCOs, a self-inflicted language barrier and poor training.  This combination helped to destroy the morale of a unit that had served bravely during the first two years of the war.

Fairchild-C119.jpgFairchild C119 "Flying Boxcar"

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