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This Month in the Korean War: April 1950-1953


Donster
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Lee-MoH.jpgU.S. Defense Bonds Poster

 

April 1-21, 1951: Operations RUGGED and DAUNTLESS take Eighth Army line slightly north of the 38th parallel, where it prepares to defend against the expected enemy offensive.


April 1-21, 1951: The 1st Marine Division advances north to the Hwachon Reservoir.  On the following day, Chinese Communist Forces launch an all-out "Spring Offensive."  The Marines halt the Chinese breakthrough of IX Corps, and by 27 April, the situation is stabilized.

 

Mamie-Van-Doren1.jpgMamie Van Doren

 

April 11, 1951: President Truman relieves General MacArthur for insubordination and replaces him with General Ridgway.  LTG James A. Van Fleet, the Commanding General of Second Army, is assigned as the new commander of Eighth Army.


April 12, 1951: War's first major aerial duel.  More than 40 MiG-15s attack a B-29 formation, shooting down two bombers.  Eleven of the MiGs are destroyed, seven by B-29 gunners.

 

Mamie-Van-Doren2.jpgMamie Van Doren

 

April 22-29, 1951: Chinese Communist Forces first spring offensive.  Largest single battle of the Korean War.  CCF launch their Spring Offensive with 250,000 men in 27 divisions.  Five U.S. Army divisions (2nd, 3rd, 7th, 24th and 25th) and the 1st Marine Division participate.


April 22-25, 1951: Battle of Imjin River (Gloster Hill).  The 29th Infantry Brigade (UK) slows Chinese advances until further U.N. forces are able to blunt the Chinese offensive.  A particularly notable stand is made by the 1st Battalion of the Glouscestershire Regiment on Hill 235 which becomes known as "Gloster Hill."  The actions serve to protect the U.N. and prevent a Chinese advance on Seoul.

 

Mamie-Van-Doren3.jpgMamie Van Doren

 

April 22-25, 1951: Battle of Kapyong.  The 27th British Commonwealth Brigade composed largely of Australian and Canadian forces slows Chinese advances until further U.N. forces can successfully blunt the Chinese offensive.  The actions serves to protect the U.N. and prevents a Chinese advance on Seoul.


April 30, 1951: CCF offensive is stopped north of Seoul.

 

Mamie-Van-Doren4.jpgMamie Van Doren

 

April 12, 1953: The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW) flies the first night close air support missions using intersecting searchlight beams to mark enemy targets.  The results of this "searchlight-night fighter" team on ground targets are described as "excellent" by ground and air observers.


April 16-18, 1953: Battle of Pork Chop Hill.  The 17th and 31st Infantry Regiments (7th Infantry Division) hit hard and suffer heavy casualties.


April 20-26, 1953: Operation Little Switch exchanges sick and wounded POWs, including 149 Americans.

 

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