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This Month in the Korean War: May 1950-1953


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May 1, 1951: In one of the most unique operations of the wary, Navy Task Force 77 carrier aircraft attack and breach the Hwachon Dam with torpedoes.  The resulting flooding of the Han and Pukhan River valleys works to the benefit of the U.S. and UN troops fighting in the area.


May 9, 1951: 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW) participates in a Fifth Air Force (FAF) 300-plane strike on Sinuiju, near the Yalu River.  It is the biggest raid of the conflict.


May 14, 1951: General Ridgway formally requests authority to abolish racial segregation in Far East Command.


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May 15-20, 1951: Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) Second Spring Offensive.  Four U.S. divisions (U.S. Army's 2nd, 3rd, and 25th Infantry Divisions, and the 1st Marine Division) participate.


May 20 - June 10, 1951: Eighth Army counterattacks and pushes the enemy north of the 38th parallel.


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May 20 - September 20, 1951: Operation STRANGLE.  Massive all-out air interdiction campaign  is carried out by FEAF, TF 77, and the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) against Communist trains, trucks, supply centers and ammunition dumps in an unsuccessful attempt to deny logistic support to enemy frontline troops.


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May 1, 1952: General Matthew Ridgway is appointed Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), replacing General Dwight Eisenhower, who would go on to become the 34th President of the United States.

May 7, 1952: Koje-do prison uprising begins.

May 12, 1952: General Mark Clark assumes command of U.N. forces in Korea.


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May 13, 1953: Raid on Toksan Dam.  A dramatic strike by 58th Fighter-Bomber Wing F-84s destroys a major irrigation system.  Five miles of valuable rice crops are scoured and miles of highways and railroad tracks are destroyed.  Further attacks on irrigation dams follow over the next two weeks.


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May 28-30, 1953: While truce details are worked out by negotiators, Chinese Communist Forces launch regimental-strength attacks against the U.S. I Corps sector, with resulting heavy fighting in the Nevada Cities and Hook outposts.  Marine Corps tanks and artillery are utilized in support of the defending units of the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division.


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