Magazine article Army

The Korean War at 50

Magazine article Army

The Korean War at 50

Article excerpt

October 1952

Chinese prisoners of war (POWs), desiring repatriation to the People's Republic of China, revolt in their Cheju-do POW camp. U.N. guards put down the uprising, resulting in 51 prisoners killed. The U.S. Japan Logistical Command is deactivated. Its personnel, missions and functions are absorbed by the reorganized U.S. Army Forces, Far East, which becomes the Army's major command in the Far East Command.

5 Gen. James Van Fleet, the Eighth Army commander, requests that Gen. Mark Clark, commander of U.S. forces and supreme commander of U.N. forces in Korea, permit small offensive actions, arguing that, "Our present course of defensive action in the face of enemy initiative is resulting in the highest casualties since the heavy fighting of October and November 1951."

6 The Chinese Peoples Volunteer Army (CPVA) attacks the Republic of Korea (ROK) 9th Infantry Division on White Horse Hill, five miles northwest of Ch'or-won. The attack is repulsed as are two subsequent attacks. In preparation for the attack the CPVA opens the floodgates of the Pongnae-Ho Reservoir to flood the area between the ROK 9th Division and the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division (ID). The tactic has little effect. In addition, the CPVA launches a battalion-sized attack against the French Battalion on Hill 281, south of White Horse Hill, as a distraction.

8 After its final POW exchange offer is rejected, the United Nations Command adjourns the armistice talks "indefinitely." Partisan teams of South Koreans, code named Donkey 13 and Donkey 15, capture the small Korean islands of Tan-do and T'an-do, off the west coast, against little opposition.

12 After days of sporadic fighting the CPVA overruns Hill 391, seven miles northeast of White Horse Mountain. A reinforced company from the 7th ID tries unsuccessfully to retake the hill the next day.

14 Operation Showdown begins. Elements of the 31st, 32nd and 17th regiments, 7th ID, try to push the CPVA from the Hill 598 complex, known as the Iron Triangle. After 12 days of fighting the division is in control of most of its objectives.

15 The Battle for White Horse Hill ends with the ROK 9th Division still in possession of the hill's crest. The CPVA had made 28 attacks on the hill over 10 days without success.

16 Elements of the ROK 9th Division retake Hill 391 and hold it for four days before being forced off by the CPVA. The 2nd Logistical Command is transferred to the Korean Communications Zone and inactivated.

23 The ROK 51st Regiment drives the CPVA from Hill 391, repulses a counterattack and withdraws. …

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