State of Record=WI County of Record=Brown Race=1 Year of Birth= Branch=Infantry Military Occupation Specialty=(4812)
Heavy Weapons Infantryman Assigned Unit=7th Cav Regt (Inf)-1st Cav Div Place of Casualty=S Korea Date of Casualty (Year/Mo/Day)=1950/08/14 Casualty Description=Seriously
WIA by missile-Returned to Duty (FECOM)
happened before dawn on 25
June 1950. Less than 5 years after the terrible
devastations of World War II, a new war broke out from a distant land whose
name means "Morning Calm". The decision of the United
States to send immediate aid to
came two days after the fast moving North Korean broke through the ROK defenses
and sent tanks into the capital city of Seoul.
In addition to the Air Force, Navy and Marines, a 1,000 man battalion from the
24th Infantry, including many specialists and noncommissioned officers
transferred from the 1st Cavalry Division, arrived 30 June. More help was on
the way. "A" Company of the 71st Heavy Tank Battalion, previously
assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, arrived in Korea
early in July and was immediately attached to the 24th Infantry Division and
experienced their first combat at Taejon.
06 July, General MacArthur called Major General
Hobart Gay, Commanding General, 1st Cavalry Division
and informed him to plan for the 1st Cavalry Division to make an amphibious
landing at Inchon.
The 1st Cavalry Division had been weakened by the earlier transfer of
approximately 750 noncommissioned officers to the 24th and 25th Divisions to
strengthen their combat mission in Korea.
It had been stripped of practically every first grader except the first
sergeants of companies and batteries.
12 and 14 July, the division loaded on ships in the Yokohama
area. However, at that time, the steady enemy successes south of the Han
River had changed the objective of a landing in the
rear of the enemy at Inchon
to a landing on the East coast of Korea
at Pohangdong, a fishing village sixty miles
northeast of Pusan.
Its mission was to reinforce the faltering 24th Division. From Pohangdong the 1st Cavalry Division could move promptly to
area in support of the 24th. The date of the landing was set for 18 July.
command ship Mt.McKinley
and final elements sailed on 15 July, in Task Force "go". The landing
at Pohangdong was unopposed. Lead elements of the 8th
Cavalry Regiment were ashore by 1610 18 July, to successfully carry out the
first amphibious landing of the Korean War. The first troops of the 5th Cavalry
Regiment came in 20 minutes later. The North Koreans were 25 miles away when
elements of the 1st Cavalry Division came ashore. On 19 July, the 5th Cavalry
Regiment started toward Taejon.
The next day, the 8th Cavalry Regiment followed and closed in an assembly area
east of Yongdong by that evening unaware that the
strength of Typhoon Helene, which had swept the eastern coast of Korea,
had prevented the 7th Cavalry Regiment and 82nd Field Artillery Battalion from
landing until 22 July. By the end of 22 July, all regiments were deployed in
battle positions; in itself a remarkable logistical achievement in the face of
the typhoon that pounded the Korean coastline.
22 July, the 8th Cavalry Regiment relieved the 21st Infantry, 24th Division, in
its position at Yongdong and concurrently the 1st
Cavalry Division assumed responsibility for blocking the enemy along the main Taejon-Taego corridor. Their baptism of fire came on 23
July. They were hit by heavy artillery fire and mortar barrage, and North
Korean infantrymen swarmed toward their entrenched positions. The Pusan
Perimeter continued to hold. With added reinforcements, Pusan
became a staging ground and depot for United Nations supplies and soldiers from
all around the world. Solders of the United Nations forces became First Team
troopers, when they were attached to the 1st Cavalry Units and fought along
side of them. The defenders now outnumbered the attackers and they had the
equipment and firepower to go on the offensive.
05 August, "A' Company, 71st Heavy Tank Battalion was reorganized as
"A" Company, 71st Tank Battalion and reassigned to the 1st Cavalry
Division. By mid September, "A" Company had lost 20 of their original
issue of 22 light tanks (M 24s) because their 75mm guns could not penetrate the
armor on the Russian tanks. After they lost their tanks in combat, there were
enough survivors to form a machine-gun platoon and they spent the next 30 days
on the line fighting as infantry. On 16 October, the unit was deactivated and
relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division because of their decimated
07 August 1950,
the 70th Heavy Tank Battalion arrived at the Port
on the transport General Brewster and on 12 August, were
attached to the 1st Cavalry Division. Soon after their attachment, they joined
the division in the launching of a major offensive of probing and striking
attacks in multiple directions in the Taegu
area to effect a breakout of the Pusan Perimeter. In
carrying out the probes, the 5th Cavalry Regiment, with "A" Company
of the 70th Tank Battalion, captured several strategic points along the Naktong River, the 8th Cavalry Regiment, with "B"
Company of the 70th Tank Battalion, halted the advance of the North Koreans
west of Taegu and the 7th Cavalry Regiment, with
"C" Company of the 70th Tank Battalion, launched a counter attack.
Throughout its remaining campaigns in Korea,
the 70th Tank Battalion remained employed as the armored support to the 1st
29 August, the 1st Cavalry Division sector of coverage was shifted to the North
and Northwest mountainous areas. By 04 September, enemy pressure along the
sector of the 1st Cavalry Division increased tremendously. The 5th Cavalry
Regiment was driven from key terrain, however they
were able to recapture the lost ground with the aid of the 70th Tank Battalion
elements. On 13 September, plans were being laid for an all out offensive,
however the enemy exerted heavy resistance and were able to hold their ground
all along the Northern Sector.
turning point in this bloody battle came on 15 September 1950,
when MacArthur unleashed his plan, Operation Chromite, an amphibious landing at Inchon,
far behind the North Korean lines. In spite of the many negative operational
reasons given by critics of the plan, the Inchon
landing was an immediate success allowing the 1st Cavalry Division to break out
of the perimeter and start fighting north. The routes North
was heavily mined. Rather than have the engineering battalion methodically
screen and dig up the mines, 17 tanks of "A" Company, 70th Tank
Battalion were sacrificed to rapidly clear the mines along the routes. It was
during this massive offensive that the 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, "C"
Company and the "I" & "R" Platoon of the 70th Tank
Battalion made the historical mission of "Task Force Lynch", the
Pusan Perimeter Breakout through 106.4 miles of enemy held territory to link up
with the 7th Infantry Division at Osan.
27 September, north of Osan at a small bridge,
"L" Company, 7th Cavalry, met elements of "H" Company, 31st
Infantry, 7th Division. In this rapid advance to Osan, the 1st Cavalry Division cut off elements of the 105th
Armored Division in the Ansong and P'yongt'aek area and miscellaneous units in the Taejon area. On 28 September, elements of "C"
Company, 70th Tank Battalion, and "K" Company, 7th Cavalry, with the
strong assistance of fighter-bombers, destroyed at least seven of ten T34's in
the P'yongt'aek area, five by air strikes. Elements
of the 16th Reconnaissance Company barely escaped destruction by these enemy
tanks, and did suffer casualties.
Tank Battalion" From
28 September to 03 October, major efforts concentrated on mopping up operations
of the large sector assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. By 04 October, the
division had re-instated the Northern offensive movements. On 05 October, the
1st Cavalry Division advanced north of Seoul
for the purpose of securing the U.S.I Corps assembly area near the 38th Parallel. Led by
"I" Company, the 5th Cavalry Regiment crossed to the north side of
at Munsan-ni. On 07 October, the 16th Reconnaissance
Company entered Kaesong,
and that evening elements of the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, arrived
there. By evening of 08 October, the 7th and 8th Cavalry Regiments had secured
the I Corps assembly area in the vicinity of Kaesong.
Some of the troops were within small arms range of the 38th Parallel. On 09
October, the 1st Cavalry Division crossed the 38th Parallel.
10 October, the 89th Tank Battalion was attached to the 1st Cavalry Division to
strengthen the armor support for the Northern offensive. On 15 October, after
moderate resistance, the 7th Cavalry Regiment and "C" Company, 70th
Tank Battalion secured the city of Namchonjam.
On 17 October, they made a flanking movement to the right of the main highway
with the objective being Hwangju. On 19 October,
troopers of the 1st Cavalry Division crashed into Pyongyang,
capturing the capital city of North
Korea. This event marked the
third "First" for the division –
"First in Pyongyang".
On 20 October, the 89th Tank Battalion left the 1st
Cavalry Division, moving on North with the British contingent. In late October
1950, orders came from I Corps to saddle up the rest of the division and move
north. The Korean war seemed to be nearing a
conclusion. The North Korean forces were being squeezed into a shrinking
perimeter along the Yalu and the borders of Red China
and Manchuria. By now, more
than 135,000 Red troops had been captured and the North Korean Army was nearly
Crossing the YaluRiver"
14 October, the Korean War took a grim new turn when the first element of the
Chinese Communist Forces (CCF), the 334th Regiment, 119th Division, of
Fifteenth Chinese Field Army crossed the Yalu at Andong. By moving only at night, they were able to
penetrate the area and move undetected into North
Korea in great numbers. Only
scout units moved during daylight to determine routes for the next night's
march. They were ordered, under penalty of death, to freeze motionless if they
heard aircraft. Their only heavy weapons were mortars, but they came in
increasingly vast numbers.
and battle hardened in guerilla warfare, the CCF carried none of the baggage of
a modern army. Masters of concealment, they moved and fought best by night.
Wearing thick, padded, green or white uniforms, caps with a red star, carrying
a personal weapon, grenades, 80 rounds of ammunition, a few stick grenades,
spare foot rags, sewing kit and a week's rations of fish, rice and tea, On 25
October 1950, serious fighting began with the engagement of the ROK 6th
Division. The sudden intervention of Communist Chinese forces dashed hopes of a
quick end to the war.
spite of urgent reports that the Chinese were preparing to enter the battle in
force, MacArthur and other high Commanders remained convienced that these new troops were Chinese volunteers of
Korean descent, numbering no more than 30,000, who had joined North Koreans as
29 October, the 8th Cavalry Regiment and "B" Company, 70th Tank
Battalion had advanced North from Pyongyong to Sukchon, Sinanju and to the
vicinity of Usan, with the mission of relieving ROK
elements of the I Corps in the area. Later in the day of the 29th, the 8th
Cavalry received orders to attack all the way to the YaluRiver.
On 31 October, at about 1500 hours, the Chinese Communist Forces cut the main
road South. Meanwhile, the 5th Cavalry Regiment, along
with "A" Company, 70th Tank Battalion was ordered North
to cover the planned withdrawal of the 8th Cavalry Regiment. The 7th Cavalry
Regiment was called up from Chinnampo to assist in
the withdrawal. By 01 November, the 8th Cavalry Regiment had advanced to within
50 miles of the Red China border and the three battalions had moved up to
relieve portions of the ROK 1st Division.
"8th Cavalry Engagement 01/02 Nov." Left "Click" to expand battle situation. Later
in the morning of 01 November, patrols from the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 8th
Cavalry, clashed with soldiers clearly identified as Red Chinese. Contact with
the Chinese had begun increasing that afternoon, starting in the sector of the
1st Battalion, North of Unsan, then
spreading west into the sector covered by the 2nd Battalion. About , 02 November, Chinese
forces had cut the withdrawal route of the 1st and 2nd Battalion.
of Unsan, the 3rd Battalion had dug in just North of the NammyonRiver.
02 November, the Chinese had blocked the last remaining road for a possible
retreat overland. By dawn, the entire regiment was completely surrounded. Some
men of the 1st and 2nd Battalions were able to break through the Chinese
roadblocks. The bulk of the 3rd Battalion were trapped
by the Chinese. The bitter fighting which raged for the next five days stands
would see many heros and many memorable sacrifices,
but it also stand for the most painful chapter in the proud history of the 1st
Cavalry Division. On 06 November, the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment
ceased to exist as a unit. It died gallantly. More than 600 officers and men
were lost at Unsan, most of them from the 3rd
order to execute their battle plan, the Chinese and the nearly beaten North
Korean forces had a trio of powerful allies located half way around the world.
Three Britons, two working in the British Embassy in Washington,
and a third heading the American Department in London,
were Soviet agents. The three spies; H.A.R. "Kim" Philby,
Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, had access to
communications between MacArthur and the Pentagon
because Great Britain had sent its Commonwealth Brigade to be part of the U.N.
military forces in Korea. Copies of communications relative to military
planning of U.N. military organizations was sent directly to Moscow
and relayed to Peking.
massive confrontation with the Chinese seemed inevitable. But the Chinese did
the unexpected; they drew back into the frozen hills from which they had
suddenly materialized. On 24 November, General MacArthur
launched a counter attack of 100,000 UN troops. Taking a chance, General MacArthur believed it necessary to push the Chinese back
across the border. On 25 November, the 1st Cavalry Division moved up to the TaedongRiver,
positioning behind the front lines. On 26/27 November, the enemy shook off
heavy casualties and threw great waves of troops at two battle weary ROK
divisions. With reinforcements, the Chinese were stopped at Sinchang-ni
on 29 November. The counterattack gave the UN time to set up new defensive
lines and begin an orderly withdrawal from North
15 December, the 1st Cavalry Division moved Northeast of Seol
to the vicinity of Uijong-bu and assumed a defensive
position. By 28 December, the true extent of the enemy buildup had become
clear. There was at least 20 Red Chinese divisions
poised for a drive on Seoul.
Now there was almost a million and a half Chinese and
North Korean troops on the Korean peninsula. The United Nations Command had
less than 250,000 seasoned soldiers to repulse this juggernaut.
new year of 1951 began unexpectedly quiet. The First Team defenders readied
their weapons, shored up their defenses and waited in the bitter cold. This
time there was no surprise when the Chinese artillery began pounding the United
Nations lines in the first few minutes of 1951. The units forward of the 38th
Parallel were hit by the Chinese crossing the frozen ImjinRiver.
Ignoring heavy losses, the Chinese crawled through mine fields and barbed wire.
The United Nations Forces abandoned Seoul
and fell back to the Han River.
The Chinese drive lost its momentum when it crossed the Han and a lull fell
over the front.
UN Counter Attack, 1951" On
25 January 1951, the First Team, joined by the revitalized 3rd Battalion, 8th
Cavalry rebounding from its tragedy at Unsan, moved
back into action. The movement, designated as "Task Force Johnson"
began as a reconnaissance in force. Its mission was to assess the enemy
situation in the area, disrupt enemy attack preparations and destroy maximum
enemy personnel and material. Elements comprising "Task Force
Johnson" were the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Platoon Heavy Mortar Company and the
Medical Company, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 70th Tank Battalion with "B"
Company which had been partially restaffed by tankers
from the deactivated "A" Company of the 71st Tank Battalion,
"C" Battery, 9th Field Artillery and 1st Platoon, "C"
Company, 8th Engineer Battalion. In addition the force was assisted by organic
aircraft from the division and a flight of tactical air support aircraft.
the counter attack, the Eighth Army moved slowly and methodically, ridge by
ridge, phase line by phase line, wiping out each pocket of resistance before
moving farther North. The advance covered 2 miles a day, despite heavy blinding
snowstorms and subzero temperatures.
14 February, heavy fighting erupted around an objective known as Hill 578,
which was finally was taken by the 7th Cavalry after overcoming stiff Chinese
resistance. During this action General MacArthur paid
a welcome visit to the 1st Team. The First Cavalry slowly advanced though snow
and later, when it became warm, through torrential rains. The Red Army was
slowly; but firmly, being pushed back. On 14 March, the 3rd Battalion, 8th
Cavalry had crossed the HangchonRiver
and on the 15th, Seoul
was recaptured by elements of the 8th Army. New objectives were established to
keep the Chinese from rebuilding and resupplying
their forces and to advance to the "Kansas Line", which roughly
followed the 38th Parallel and the winding ImjinRiver.
22 April, 21 Chinese and 9 North Korean divisions slammed into Line Kansas.
Their main objective was to recapture Seoul.
At the beginning of the Communist attack, the balance of the 1st Cavalry
Division remained in reserve until the complete collapse of the ROK Division in
the IX Corps sector had left the Seol-Chunchon axis
open to the enemy. The 1st Cavalry Division joined in the defense line and the
bitter battle to keep the Reds out of the South Korean Capital. On 25 April,
elements of the 5th Cavalry Regiment, with "A" Company, 70th Tank
Battalion, closed in on the Kapyong area to relieve
the hard pressed 27th British Commonwealth Brigade. Stopped at Seoul,
on 15 May, the Chinese attempted a go around maneuver in the dark. The 8th Army
pushed them back to the Kansas Line and later the First Team moved deeper into North
Korea, reaching the base of
the "Iron Triangle", an enemy supply area encompassing three small
From 09 June to 27 November, the 1st Cavalry took on
various rolls in the summer-fall campaign of the United Nations. On 18 July, a
year after it had entered the war, the 1st Cavalry Division was assigned to a
reserve status. This type of duty did not last for long. On the nights of 21
and 23 September, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 7th Cavalry repulsed waves of Red
Chinese with hand to hand fighting. But harder work followed when Operation
"Commando", a mission to push the Chinese out of their winter defense
positions south of the YokkokRiver,
in on Old Baldy" On
03 October, the 1st Team moved out from Line Wyoming
and immediately into Chinese fire. For the next two days; hills were taken,
lost and retaken. On the third day, the Chinese lines began to break in front
of the 7th Cavalry. On 05 October, the 8th Cavalry recaptured Hill 418, a
flanking hill on which the northern end of Line Jamestown was anchored. On 10 -
11 October, the Chinese counterattacked; twice, unsuccessfully against the 7th
Cavalry. Two days later, the 8th Cavalry took the central pivot of the line,
Hill 272. The southern end of Line Jamestown, along with a hill called
"Old Baldy", eventually fell to the determined troopers. The troopers
did not know it, but Line Jamestown would be their last major combat of the
10 November 1951,
the 70th Tank Battalion status of attachment changed and they became
permanently assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. By December 1951, the
division, after 549 days of continuous fighting, began rotation back to Hokkaido,
The First Team had performed tough duties with honor, pride and valor with