Escaping the Trap: The US Army X Corps in Northeast Korea, 1950

Escaping the Trap: The US Army X Corps in Northeast Korea, 1950

Escaping the Trap: The US Army X Corps in Northeast Korea, 1950

Escaping the Trap: The US Army X Corps in Northeast Korea, 1950

Excerpt

The question has often been asked: Why was the X Corps not joined to Eighth Army after the successful Inchon landing and the capture of Seoul in September 1950 and the simultaneous breakout of Eighth Army from the Naktong perimeter? At about 8:30 on the morning of 27 September, a platoon of L Company, 7th Cavalry Regiment, of the 1st Cavalry Divi sion, Eighth Army, met elements of H Company, 31st Infantry, 7th Division, X Corps, north of Osan, for the linkup between Eighth Army and the X Corps. By the end of the month Eighth Army had arrived in the Seoul area. Elements of the X Corps never advanced beyond Uijongbu, 12 miles north of the city. On 7 October MacArthur made Eighth Army responsible for the Seoul-Inchon area, indicating a new mission for the X Corps.

Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker and his staff felt that X Corps should have been made a part of Eighth Army in a unified command after the two forces joined in the Seoul area. It is not known whether General Walker ever discussed this subject with General MacArthur, but he did not submit his views in writing. On 26 September Walker wrote a discreetly worded letter to MacArthur saying that he would like to be informed of X Corps's progress. The next day General MacArthur informed Walker that X Corps would remain in GHQ Reserve at Inchon-Seoul, ready to undertake a GHQ operation, "of which you will be apprised at an early date." On the twenty-sixth, Gen. Doyle Hickey, MacArthur's acting chief of staff, informed Gen. Edwin K. Wright, the G-3 operations officer, that MacArthur wanted plans for a X Corps landing at Wonsan. It is plain that MacArthur himself decided to have a split command, with Eighth Army and X Corps reporting to him separately.

MacArthur had also decided by 26 September that X Corps would be moved by sea from Inchon around the peninsula to Wonsan on the east coast. Admiral Joy and his staff thought the sealift of X Corps to Wonsan unnecessary. X Corps from its present position could move overland to Wonsan more quickly than it could be embarked, moved by sea, and un-

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