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Korea, The Location Of A New War
On 25 June, 1950, it happened before dawn in a distant country whose name means "The Land of Morning Calm". It was on a Sunday morning that began with a gentle rain. Then in a long and intensive barrage of artillery and mortar fire, 90,000 Russian -armed North Korean (NK) troops in seven assault infantry divisions smashed headlong into totally unprepared units of the army of the Republic of Korea (ROK). The North Korean Peoples Army (Inmun Gun) were led by over 150 T34/85 tanks, and closely supported by seventeen hundred 122mm howitzers and SU76 self-propelled 76mm guns. Over 200 Russian-supplied YAK ground-attack aircraft gave them total domination of the skies. Less than 5 years after the terrible devastations of World War II, a new war had broken out.

The ROKs had eight divisions, but only four deployed along the 38th parallel, and they only partially. Much worse, they had no air force, only 2.36 inch rocket launchers, no recoilless rifles, no heavy mortars, no medium artillery and no armor. The T34s, arguably the best tanks developed in WWII, advanced in a line-ahead formation. After scores of ROKs died under their treads, trying desperately to stop them with satchel charges and grenades, the tanks began moving through the survivors as though they were not there. At the same time, their infantry formations attacked in an inverted Y formation, sweeping around ROK opposition with the arms, encircling them, and finally crushing them.

The decision of the United States to send immediate aid to South Korea came two days after the fast moving North Korean Army broke through the Republic of Korea (ROK) defenses and sent tanks into the capital city of Seoul. In addition to the US Air Force, Navy and Marines, a 1,000 man battalion from the 24th Infantry Division, 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 its first combat at Taejon.

On 06 July, General MacArthur called Major General Hobart Gay, Commanding General, 1st Cavalry Division and informed him to make plans for the 1st Cavalry Division to make an amphibious landing at Inchon. In a questionable state of readiness, 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 capabilities in Korea.

In the early stages of establishing a defensive position of air cover, the Navy and Marine aircraft operated off carriers stationed in the Sea of Japan. However the Air Force operated at considerable disadvantage at this time, There were only two dirt airstrips in South Korea suitable for operational use by F-51 and C-47 type aircraft, K-2 at Taegu and K-3 P'ohang Airdrome (also referred to as the Pohang-dong or Yonil Air Base) at Yonil (N 35.99 E129.34), on the east coast of South Korea.

As part of an advanced party of the four US Army divisions committed to Korea, the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment was the first unit of the 1st Cavalry Division to be deployed. On 09 July, the 1st Battalion arrived on the east coast of South Korea with the mission to provide a security force for the Air Force at the Yonil Airfield, the main airport just six miles below Pohang-dong, and fire support for the ROK 23rd Regiment. As soon as it was known that the airfield was secure, the liaison and artillery observation aircraft (L4s and L5s), along with critical supporting maintenance personnel of the Air Section were self deployed from Ota, Japan and, after one refueling stop, relocated to Yonil Airfield, South Korea. Following the flight, all aircraft were given a sound maintenance check and they were prepared for a protracted period of combat operations of artillery observation, courier and mail transport and supply support.

Between 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. The date of the landing was rescheduled to 18 July. The new mission of the Division was to reinforce the faltering 24th Division. From Pohangdong the 1st Cavalry Division could move promptly to the Taejon area to provide direct support to the 24th Division.

The organization of the 1st Cavalry Division deployment followed standard amphibious practice. The landing force, commanded by Major General Hobart Gay, consisted of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 5th Cavalry, 2nd Battalion of the 7th Cavalry, 1st and 2nd Battalions, 8th Cavalry Regiments, an artillery group of four battalions, a combat engineer battalion, special troop units, along with quartermaster support, administrative units and equipment. These were to be moved to the Pohangdong area by a naval transport group designated as "Task Force 90". The amphibious transport group consisted of the command flagship USS Mount McKinley, the transport USS Cavalier; three cargo ships - USS Oglethorp, USS Titania, USS Union, the landing ship tank USS LST-611; fifteen LSTs assigned from the Japanese Shipping Control Administration; two fleet tugs - the USS Cree and USS Lipan; one salvage ship - the USS Conserver; six landing utility ships (LSU); six minesweepers - the USS Pledge, USS Chatterer, USS Kile, USS Redhead, USS Mockingbird, USS Osprey, and USS Partridge; a high speed transport ship - the USS Diachenko; a gunfire support group of USS Juneau, USS Coller, USS Higbee, USS James B. Kayes, and the Australian Navy Destroyer HMAS Bataan; an underwater demolition team of UDT-3 and units assigned for reconnaissance, control purposes at the objective, administration of the beaches, and the like. Deep air support was the responsibility of the Air Force, which by this time had a fighter squadron on the Pohangdong air strip. Close air support at the objective would be provided by the Seventh Fleet, which was coming up from Okinawa for the occasion.

AGC-7 USS Mount McKinley
On 14 July, as the minesweepers started sweeping the waters of Yongil Man Bay - the designated landing site, the tractor group of LSTs, towing the LSUs and with two fleet tugs as escort, sailed from Tokyo Bay. On 15 July, "Task Force 90" command ship USS Mt. McKinley, under the command of Rear Admiral J. R. Doyle and final elements of the transport convoy followed a route south along the coast of Japan, then north by the Bungo Strait. Turning westward through the Inland Sea, the force steamed past Shimonoseki and into the Korean Strait. On the way, their progress was monitored by Russian submarines. Occasionally one of the accompanying destroyers would intercept their path, driving them away for a while. Early in the morning of 18 July, tractor and transport groups joined, and the ships moved into the Yongil Man Bay. Fighting had been reported only a few miles north of Pohangdong, but the ROK 3rd Division still held the road, and at 0559 hours Admiral Doyle signaled the Task Force to "Land the Landing Force in accordance with the plan for an unopposed operation."

Pohangdong Amphibious Landing
1st Cavaley Division Operations

The first video clip (L) of the 1st Cavalry Division, is a film of the amphibious beachhead landing at Pohangdong, Korea. An animated map of South Korea depicts locations of US landings on the east coast and highlights Pohangdong. As the ships of the transport group lay at anchor in Yongil Man Landing Ships, Tank (LSTs) and Landing Crafts head for the beach of Pohangdong. Troop landing began at 0715 hours followed by vehicle and general cargo unloading that commenced at 0930 hours.

Nine of the LSTs disgorged their cargo along the jetty wall and on the beaches of the Yongil Man Bay, along with the smaller landing craft. Seven were ordered out to Kuryongpo around the point to unload vehicles. Troopers disembark from landing craft. Support equipment, including bulldozers and trucks are unloaded to supply support to the Troopers, who are advancing rapidly inland.

The second film clip (R), produced by the Signal Corps, brings the highlights of the land operations of the 1st Cavalry Division in the Korean War. Although the Army on horseback, that once known as the United States Cavalry, is no more, but "cavalry" is a proud word in military terminology and no one can display that pride more than the men of the 1st Cavalry Division. They are still designated as "troopers", like their tough forbearers who, a century ago, rode against the Indian tribes of the west. Today, these soldiers of the Division (referenced as "the First Team") keep alive the legendary tradition of cavalry bravery by fighting, when they are called upon to fight, with courage and an indomitable will to win - as depicted in this film.

Lead elements of the 8th Cavalry Regiment landed soon after daylight in the early morning of 18 July, successfully carrying out the first amphibious landing of the Korean War. The 13th Signal Company quickly followed behind the last wave of the 8th Cavalry. The first troops of the 5th Cavalry Regiment came ashore at approximately 1630 hours. Only a small combat air patrol from the carrier Valley Forge was retained overhead to protect the ships and landing forces. All major ships had been emptied by midnight, while the LSTs had discharged all personnel, all vehicles, and more than half their bulk cargo. More than 10,000 troops and 2,000 vehicles, and almost 3,000 tons of cargo had been put ashore.

In the last scenes of the film, Major General Hobart R Gay, Commanding General, 1st Cavalry Division held a conference at the commanding post of the 8th Cavalry Regiment which includes Ellis Warner Williamson, Assistant Commanding General of the 25th Infantry Division and Colonel Ray D. Plummer, Commanding Officer of 8th Cavalry Regiment. Troopers, moving out on the operation are greeted by welcome signs that were erected by South Koreans.

The North Koreans (NK) were 25 miles away when elements of the 1st Cavalry Division came ashore. At noon on 19 July, General Gay assumed command ashore and the 5th Cavalry started toward Taejon. In the afternoon, with unloading completed, ships of the Attack Force shifted to heavy weather anchorages as Helene, the first typhoon of the season, was reported heading for the Korea Strait. The next day, the 8th Cavalry followed and closed in on an assembly area east of Yongdong by evening, unaware that the strength of Typhoon Helene, which had swept the eastern coast of Korea, would prevent the 2nd Battalion, 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 heavy typhoon that had pounded the Korean coastline.

On 22 July, the 1st Cavalry Division assumed responsibility for blocking the enemy along the main Taejon-Taegu corridor. Concurrently the 8th Cavalry relieved the 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Division, in its position at Yongdong. The 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry was deployed north of Taegu, now the temporary capital of South Korea and astride the direct line of enemy advance. The 2nd Battalion was deployed to cover the road from Maju to the southwest. The next morning the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, in front of Yongdong, reported that it had destroyed three enemy T34 tanks with 3.5-inch rocket launchers in the first use of the weapon. The enemy began to close on the 1st Cavalry Division for the battle at Yongdong. In the meantime the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry was hit by heavy artillery fire and a mortar barrage, and North Korean infantrymen swarmed toward their entrenched positions.

The 7th and 9th Regiments. NK 3rd Division began their attack on the Yongdong positions. They made their first penetration southwest of Yongdong, establishing a roadblock a mile and a half behind the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry. At the same time other enemy units heavily engaged the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry northwest of Yongdong in a frontal attack.

On 23 July four different attempts by three light tanks failed to dislodge the enemy behind the 2nd Battalion. As a reinforcement, the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, and the 16th Reconnaissance Company moved toward the cut off battalion. By noon, enemy troops were attacking the 61st and 99th Field Artillery Battalions which were supporting the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, indicating that the infiltration had been extensive.

On the other approach road, northwest of Yongdong, heavy automatic fire from quad-50's, 37-mm. fire from "A" Battery of the 92nd Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, and artillery fire from the 77th Field Artillery Battalion helped the 1st Battalion to repel enemy attacks.

The large numbers of Korean refugees crowding the Yongdong area undoubtedly helped the enemy infiltrate the 1st Cavalry Division positions. For example, on 24 July, a man dressed in white carrying a heavy pack and accompanied by a woman appearing to be pregnant, came under suspicion. The couple was searched and the woman's assumed pregnancy proved to be a small radio hidden under her clothes. She had used this radio for reporting American positions.

By the morning of 25 July enemy forces had infiltrated the positions of the 1st Cavalry Division so thoroughly that they were forced to withdraw. The 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry executed an orderly and efficient withdrawal, covered by the fire of the Heavy Mortar Company and the two batteries of the 77th Field Artillery Battalion. The mortar men finally lost their mortars and fought as infantry in the withdrawal.

Meanwhile, the situation worsened on the road southwest of Yongdong. The artillery support was so concentrated that shells falling close to the positions of the 1st Battalion wounded four men. Together with an attack by the battalion, the enemy roadblock briefly opened and the bulk of the battalion escaped to Yongdong with the exception of "F" Company, 8th Cavalry; the 16th Reconnaissance Company; and the 1st Platoon, "A" Company, 71st Tank Battalion, at the rear of the column that were cut off. Only four of eleven light tanks broke through the enemy positions. Crews abandoned the other seven tanks and walked over the hills as part of a group of 219 men, most of them from "F" Company.

As the space between the battalions became increasingly threatened, the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry moved into the gap to absorb some of the pressure. Closer to Yongdong, the 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry moved to assist the cutoff units of the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry on its right. en route, "F" Company ran into trouble. encountering an overwhelming concentration of North Korean Infantry soldiers. Only twenty-six men from the relief units managed to escape and return to friendly territory. Altogether, the 5th Cavalry Regiment suffered 275 casualties that day.

The 7th Cavalry, initially held in the 8th Army defenses at Pohangdong, was released to the 1st Cavalry Division on 25 July, and began moving up to join the 5th Cavalry Regiment. During the next few days a defensive line was formed at Hwanggan with the 7th Cavalry moving east and the 5th Cavalry replacing the 25th Infantry Regiment.

The Korean War was chaotic and difficult for the artillery. Classical front lines disappeared. To make up for their own lack of artillery, the North Koreans made battery positions their prime targets. Batteries had to fight off invaders in close combat and still fire their guns in support of the combat operations. During the first few weeks, the division artillerymen were fighting with small arms alongside their thundering artillery pieces. Artillery units often found themselves surrounded and artillerymen were called upon to fight side-by-side with the infantry. One cannoneer suggested that the crossed cannons of the artillery be changed to one cannon and one rifle.

On 29 July, in order to preclude being flanked by the enemy forces moving south toward Chirye, the 1st Cavalry Division took up new defensive positions at Kumchon, an important road center 30 miles northwest of Taegu. The 5th Cavalry blocked the Kumsong-Chirye road. The 8th Cavalry went to a position astride the Sangju road north of Kumchon. The 7th Cavalry remained at its Hwanggan position until adjacent units had been withdrawn, and then it fell back to a new position on the Yongdong road about six miles northwest of Kumchon.

Following the establishment of the defensive positions, the 16th Reconnaissance Company, the lead reconnaissance unit of the 1st Cavalry Division, conducted a patrol toward and beyond Chirye. They encountered strong enemy fire. With their return route blocked by the North Koreans, the troopers moved ahead until their vehicles were knocked out, then moved on foot to friendly lines. Out of the original roster of 57 men, 44 made it safely back by crossing 35 miles of difficult mountain terrain.

On 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 twenty of its original issue of twenty-two M-24 light tanks because their 75mm guns could not penetrate the armor on the Russian built T-24 tanks. After they lost their tanks in combat, there were enough survivors to form a machine-gun platoon and they spent the next thirty 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 its heavy losses.

When the Korean War started the 70th Heavy Tank Battalion was training at the Armored School at Ft. Knox, KY. All units were placed on alert and personnel were restricted to the post. To bring the Battalion to full strength, additional equipment and personnel were brought in from Ft. Campbell, KY and the first leg of deployment for overseas was made, overland, by train to California. On 23 July the 70th sailed from San Francisco on the transport USS General Brewster. Arriving at the scheduled port of Yokohama, Japan the transport did not dock and was directed to proceed to the Japanese port of Sasebo, where a British Destroyer escort was waiting to accompany it to Pusan, South Korea.

On 07 August 1950, the 70th Tank Battalion, composed of two companies, "A" and "C" equipped with M4A3E8s, and one company, "B" equipped with M26s, arrived at the port of Pusan. On 12 August, given the role of providing logistical support and command liaison to the 1st Cavalry Division, "A" Company was attached to the 5th Cavalry Regiment, "B" Company was attached to the 8th Cavalry Regiment and "C" Company was attached to the 7th Cavalry Regiment.

Soon after the attachment of the 70th Tank Battalion, they joined the Division in the launching of a major offensive of probing and striking attacks in multiple directions in the Taegu area to break out of the Pusan Perimeter. In carrying out the probes, the 5th Cavalry Regiment, with "A" Company, captured several strategic points along the Naktong River. The 8th Cavalry Regiment, with "B" Company, halted the advance of the North Koreans west of Taegu. The 7th Cavalry Regiment, with "C" Company, launched a counterattack. Throughout its remaining campaigns in Korea, the 70th Tank Battalion remained employed as the armored support to the 1st Cavalry Division.

Crossing The Naktong River
The 1st Cavalry Division was assigned to defend a 35 mile sector along the Naktong River, extending from three miles north of Waegwan, south to the area defended by the 24th Infantry Division. The rugged, mountainous terrain of Korea and the lack of developed transportation and communications systems, created significant challenges to the 8th Engineer Battalion. Most of the initial engineer work involved demolition of bridges and important facilities in an attempt to delay the North Korean advance to the south. In the Pusan Perimeter, the invasion point of the 1st Cavalry Division, the 8th Engineer Battalion not only worked on standard defensive and construction projects, but also manned the front lines when the enemy threatened to penetrate the perimeter.

By 01 August, the Pusan Perimeter enclosed a roughly rectangular area approximately 100 miles in length (north to south) and approximately 50 miles wide (east to west). In the western region, the main line of resistance followed the Naktong River for some 80 miles, then cut sharply east in the southern region at the confluence of the Naktong and Nam Rivers. The northern region was steadily pushed south by the North Korean Peoples Army (NKPA) steady advances. The sea bordered the perimeter on the east and south.

Position cursor on selected function, "Click" and "Hold".
Pusan Perimeter - 01 August
On 09 August, the enemy hurled five full divisions and parts of a sixth at the Naktong defenders near Taegu. The 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry bore the brunt of this attack. The North Koreans gained some high ground - but not for long. the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry moved against them, hitting their flanks with a coordinated artillery strike by the 61st Field Artillery. At noon, the 7th Cavalry attacked with orders to continue to Hill 154, closer to the river. Hill 268 was covered with thick brush and it was difficult to maneuver. The attack was repulsed, but the next day, an air strike softened the objective and the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry pushed the remaining enemy back across the river. In seizing Hill 268, known as "Triangulation Hill", the troopers accounted for 400 enemy dead. The First Team pulled back from some of its positions and tightened its defenses.

On 12 August, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry was attacked by units from the 10th NK Division with the objective to gain the high ground east of Youngpo. With good artillery support from the 77th Field Artillery Battalion, the enemy was pushed back across the river. On 14 August, a second powerful punch was delivered to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, but timely assistance from the 1st Battalion, ordered out of reserve, 8th Engineers, 16th Reconnaissance, and artillery caused the termination of the attack which had penetrated to Samuni-dong, about 12 miles from Taegu. Out of 1,700 enemy attackers, some 1,500 died.

Simultaneously, on 14 August, a second enemy attack was launched at the boundary between the 1st ROK Division and the 1st Cavalry Division at Waegwan. "G" Company, 5th Cavalry situated on Hill 303, the right flank anchor of the US Eighth Army Command, began receiving small arms fire from the ROK side of the boundary. On 15 August, "F" Company withdrew, creating a situation in which "G" Company and a supporting platoon of "H" Company motarmen were surrounded. "B" Company and a platoon of tanks tried to break through to "G" Company, but were driven back.

On 16 August, another unsuccessful rescue attempt was made. Finally, during the night, "G" Company was able to elude the enemy and get off Hill 303. On 17 August, the 5th Cavalry, with support by "A" Company, 70th Tank Battalion, massed another attack on Hill 303. At 1400 hours, under the cover of a napalm and bombing attack, they were able to retake the hill. In retaking the hill, the regiment came upon a painful scene; the bodies, with hands tied in back, of "H" Company troopers who had been sprayed with machinegun fire.

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, the gallant Greek Battalion (GEF) was attached to the 7th Cavalry Regiment and fought alongside them. The rapid buildup was an encouraging factor to an army that might possibly face another "Dunkirk". The defenders now outnumbered the attackers and they had the equipment and firepower to go on the offensive.

USS General John Pope (AP-110)
Meanwhile, back in the states, priority was given to a rapid build up of military manpower necessary to counter the North Korean threat. A mobilization of all available active duty and reserve Army personnel initiated a marshalling of forces at Ft. Lawton, Washington, Ft. Ord and Camp Stoneman, California for rapid embarkment to Korea. On 11 August, the soldiers of the units that were destined to be redesignated the 3rd battalions of the 5th, 7th, and 8th Cavalry Regiments, 1st Cavalry Division, boarded the USS General John Pope (AP-110) at Oakland, California, and sailed out into the bay and under the Golden Gate Bridge for movement to Korea. Following a fourteen day routine of automatic weapons training, map reading, and calisthenics, they arrived in Pusan and disembarked on 25 August. The availability of these units allowed the fill out of the TO&E of the 1st Cavalry Division, which in 1949, was authorized a 3rd battalion for each of its regiments.

On 26 August, the Eight Army cut orders assigning the three new Regimental Combat Teams (RCT) to the 1st Cavalry Division. The 3rd Battalion, 14th Infantry RCT, 10th Mountain Division, from Camp Carson, Colorado was redesignated as the 3rd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, the 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry RCT, 3rd Division, from Ft. Benning, Georgia was redesignated as the 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment and the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry RCT, 3rd Infantry Division, from Ft. Devens, Massachusetts was redesignated as the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment. The next day the battalions moved out by rail to join their respective regiments in battle. By the end of August, the four US divisions in Korea had finally been built up to their authorized level of three battalions per regiment.

On 29 August, the 1st Cavalry Division sector of coverage was shifted to the north and northwest mountainous areas. They took up defensive positions north of Taegu along a line eight miles long. The 5th Cavalry was positioned on the west, the 7th Cavalry was positioned in the center and the 8th Cavalry was positioned on the east. Critical terrain consisted of Hills 346, 490, and 518 in the center and Hills 188, 302, and 303 east of Waegwan and a corridor known as "The Bowling Alley" running north and south. The terrain of the corridor was flat, with irrigation ditches and rice paddies. On either side were rugged mountains. To reduce the attack options of the North Koreans around Waegwan, the dominating terrain linking Waegwan and Tabu-dong, just twelve miles north of Taegu, Hill 518 and Hill 346 would have to be reduced.

On 02 September, following artillery bombardments and air strikes, in a coordinated effort, the 7th Cavalry attacked Hill 518 and the 8th Cavalry advanced on the right flank and attacked Hill 490. Massive artillery support, four fifths of the division firepower, was used to support the advancing troopers. Elements of the 8th Cavalry had advanced northeast of Hill 490. That night an enemy regiment captured adjacent hills and began to exert pressure on an area known as the "Walled City". This was a series of high mountain ranges and huge granite boulders positioned to prevent landslides. On the highest mountain was an ancient Buddhist Shrine, the key to the defense of Taegu, which overlooked the straight corridor leading to the city - just twelve miles away.

By 04 September, Division headquarters, at Taegu, was alive with activity. Brigadier General Frank A. Allen, the Assistant Division Commander was busy organizing "Task Force Allen", including two provisional infantry battalions composed of bandsmen, technical, and miscellaneous troops. The 8th Combat Engineer Battalion was pressed into service as infantry. "D" Company was given the mission to secure the "Walled City of Kasan". The engineers fought their way to their destination and held it.

UN Forces Break Out Of The Perimeter
It was in this battle of repelling counterattacks on 04 September, that Private First Class Melvin L. Brown, "D" Company, 8th Engineer Combat Battalion, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. While his platoon was securing Hill 755 (the Walled City), the enemy, using heavy automatic weapons and small arms, counterattacked. Taking a position on a fifty foot-high wall, Private First Class Brown delivered heavy rifle fire on the enemy. His ammunition was soon expended and although wounded, he remained at his post and threw his few grenades into the attackers causing many casualties. When his supply of grenades was exhausted his comrades from nearby foxholes tossed others to him and he left his position, braving a hail of fire, to retrieve and throw them at the enemy. The attackers continued to assault his position and Private First Class Brown, weaponless, drew his entrenching tool from his pack and calmly waited until they each peered over the wall, delivering each a crushing blow to the head. Knocking ten or twelve enemy from the wall, his daring action so inspired his platoon that they repelled the attack and held their position. For his valiant action, Private First Class Brown received the Medal of Honor.

By 05 September, it became evident that enemy pressure along the sector of the 1st Cavalry Division had increased tremendously. General Gay issued a general withdrawal of the 1st Cavalry Division in order to shorten lines and occupy better defensive positions. The withdrawal movement began on the right with the 8th Cavalry, then the 7th Cavalry in the Hill 518 area and finally the 5th Cavalry in the Waegwan area. The key to the withdrawal was Hill 464, behind the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, that dominated the Waegwan - Tabu-dong road. The mud created by the heavy rains which fell 05 to 06 September, slowed all wheeled and tracked vehicles.

On 06 September, at 0300 hours, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry disengaged from the enemy on Hill 464 and fought its way to the east. The 5th Cavalry, occupying positions on Hill 303, came under heavy fire and was driven from key terrain, however, they were able to recapture the lost ground with the aid of the 70th Tank Battalion elements. During the next few days, the situation was very tenuous. The enemy had gained major footholds east of Naktong and south to within about 8 miles of Taegu in the vicinity of Hills 314 and 570.

On 10 September, during an advance on a strategic enemy held hill near Kasan, Corporal Gordon M. Craig, 16th Reconnaissance Company and his company were subjected to intense, hostile grenade, mortar, and small-arms fire. Corporal Craig and four comrades moved forward to eliminate an enemy machine gun nest that was hampering the advance of the company. At that instance an enemy machine gunner hurled a hand grenade at the advancing men. Without hesitating or attempting to seek cover for himself, Corporal Craig threw himself on the grenade and smothered its burst with his body. His intrepid and selfless act, in which he unhesitantly gave his life for his comrades, inspired them to attack with such ferocity that they annihilated the enemy machine gun crew, enabling the company to continue its attack. For his valiant action, Corporal Gordon M. Craig received the Medal of Honor.

On 12 September, the 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry was assigned to retake Hill 314. Many accounts of heroism and professionalism occurred in this successful engagement. Subsequently, the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry attacked and after a hard fought battle, regained Hill 570. The North Korean drive ground to a halt on 13 September, seven miles short of Taegu. The momentum began to turn and plans were laid for an all-out offensive.

"Click" Here To Expand Battle Situation.
Inchon Invasion Sea Approach Route
CHROMITE - Landing At Inchon

This second set of video clips (R) is a series of scenes of the amphibious beachhead landing at Inchon, Korea - far behind the North Korean lines. at Inchon,- designated as Operation CHROMITE by MacArthur, The landing on 15 September 1950 became the turning point in this bloody battle. An animated map of South Korea depicts locations of UN Operations on the east coast at Pusan and highlights the location of the Inchon landing, near Seoul, Korea.

An animated map shows Seoul, Pusan, Inchon and Yellow sea. A ship approaching the landing zone and troops landing at Inchon as General MacArthur looks on. Details includes the infantry advance through the burning ruins of Seoul, searching and taking North Korean prisoners.

In spite of the many objections 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 were heavily mined. Rather than have the engineer 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.

On 22 September at 0800 hours, during the massive offensive, "Task Force Lynch" moved out. Led by the 36d Battalion, 7th Cavalry and supported by "B" Company, 8th Engineers, "C" Company (M-4 tanks) and the Intelligence and Reconnaissance (I&R) Platoon of the 70th Tank Battalion, 77th Field Artillery(-), 3rd Platoon, Heavy Mortar Company and a tactical air support liaison team, executed the historic mission of "Task Force Lynch" and broke out of the Pusan Perimeter through 106.4 miles of enemy held territory to link up with the 7th Infantry Division at Osan.

On 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 North Korean 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 T-34's in the Pyongtaek area, five by air strikes. Elements of the 16th Reconnaissance Company barely escaped destruction by these enemy tanks, and did suffer casualties.

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 resumed the offence to the north. On 05 October, the 1st Cavalry Division advanced north of Seoul for the purpose of securing the US I Corps assembly area near the 38th Parallel. Led by "I" Company, the 5th Cavalry crossed to the north side of the Imjin River at Munsan-ni. On 07 October, the 16th Reconnaissance Company entered Kaesong, and that evening elements of the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry arrived there. By the evening of 08 October, the 7th and 8th Cavalry 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.

38th Parallel Marker - 1950
38th Parallel Marker - 1956

On 09 October, the 1st Cavalry Division crossed the 38th Parallel. Moving through the area, a small group of the 8th Engineer Battalion erected a wooden sign, marking the site. Subsequent battles in the vicinity of the 38th Parallel in the spring of 1951 erased all signs of the marker. A permanent monument, commemorating the breakthrough, was constructed in 1956 on the original site. In 1999, it was moved to a government reserve because the original site was on private land. The decision to restore and relocate the memorial was made after a veteran of the Division visited it recently and reported that the monument was falling into disrepair. Since then it has been restored and moved to a more accessible site beside two South Korean monuments to the 38th Parallel crossing, alongside State Highway 3, a few miles north of the town of Tongducheon, South Korea.

On 09 October, Private First Class Robert H. Young, a trooper of "E" Company, 8th Cavalry was in deep in enemy territory. His company, spearheading a battalion drive, suddenly came under a devastating barrage of enemy mortar and automatic weapons crossfire that inflicted heavy casualties among his comrades and wounded him in the face and shoulder. Refusing to be evacuated, Private First Class Young remained in position and continued to fire at the enemy until wounded a second time. As he awaited first aid near the company command post the enemy attempted an enveloping movement. Disregarding medical treatment, he took an exposed position and firing with deadly accuracy killed five of the enemy. During this action he was again hit by hostile fire that knocked him to the ground and destroyed his helmet. Later when supporting tanks moved forward, Private First Class Young, his wounds still unattended, directed tank fire which destroyed three enemy gun positions and enabled the company to advance. Wounded again by an enemy mortar burst, and while aiding several of his injured comrades, he demanded that all others be evacuated first. Throughout the course of this action the leadership and combative instinct displayed by Private First Class Young exerted a profound influence on the conduct of the company. His aggressive example affected the whole course of the action and was responsible for its success. For his valiant action, Private First Class Robert H. Young received the Medal of Honor.

On 10 October, the 89th Tank Battalion was attached to the 1st Cavalry Division to strengthen the armor support for the northern offensive. Joining with the Division, the 89th supported the drive north toward the southwestern edge of Pyongyang. On the 20th, they were relieved for assignment to the 24th Infantry Division.

On 12 October, 1st Lieutenant Samuel Coursen, a member of "C" Company, 5th Cavalry, was engaged in an all out offensive of Hill 174. While "C" Company was under heavy enemy small-arms fire, the platoon of Lieutenant Coursen received enemy fire from close range. The platoon returned the fire and continued to advance. During this phase one of his men moved into a well camouflaged emplacement, which was thought to be unoccupied, and was wounded by the enemy who were hidden within the emplacement. Seeing the soldier in difficulty Lieutenant Coursen rushed to the aid the man and, without regard for his personal safety, engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat in an effort to protect his wounded comrade until he himself was killed. When his body was recovered after the battle seven enemy dead were found in the emplacement. As the result of 1st Lieutenant Coursen's violent struggle several of the heads of the enemy had been crushed with his rifle. His aggressive and intrepid actions saved the life of the wounded man, eliminated the main position of the enemy roadblock, and greatly inspired the men in his command. For his valiant action, 1st Lieutenant Samuel Coursen received the Medal of Honor.

On 13 October the 1st Cavalry Division began to close in on one of the main arsenals of the NVA, the Kumchon Pocket, an enemy strongpoint heavily defended with tanks, self propelled guns, and anti aircraft guns. With the 7th Cavalry blocking the Hanpo-ri bridge on the road north of Kumchon, the decisive action now rested with the 5th and 8th Cavalry, which were trying to compress the pocket from the south and the east. Moving west from the Sibyon-ni road, the 5th Cavalry encountered an almost continuous mine field in its approach to Kumchon, and it also had to fight and disperse an enemy force of over 300 NK soldiers. Overcoming these difficulties, the 5th Cavalry pressed ahead and by the evening, it was approaching Kumchon.

Strong opposition confronted the 8th Cavalry moving north on the main highway where the enemy apparently had concentrated most of his available forces and weapons. There, on the morning of the 13th, an artillery preparation employing proximity fuse air bursts blanketed the North Korean positions. While the enemy force south of Kumchon fought desperately and successfully to prevent the 8th Cavalry from closing in on the town from the south, a large enemy column of trucks with an estimated 1,000 soldiers moved northward out of Kumchon toward Namchonjom. At the Hanpo-ri bridge they ran directly into the 7th Cavalry roadblock. In the ensuing action, the 7th Cavalry, aided by air strikes, killed over 500 and captured 201 of this force.

At midnight of the 13th, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, resumed its attack on Kumchon from the east. After dispersing an enemy force near the edge of town, the battalion then entered and seized the northern part of it. The 3rd Battalion, 5th Cavalry following, seized the southern sector of Kumchon. Advancing northwest, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry joined elements of the 7th Cavalry above Hanpo-ri at noon on the 14th. An enemy force, of some 2,400 men, which had been stopped by the 7th Cavalry roadblock at Hanpo-ri, escaped into the hills as the 2nd Battalion approached from the south. Meanwhile, attacking south from Kumchon, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Cavalry neared a special task force of the 8th Cavalry Regiment which had attacked north during the morning and already had lost two tanks to enemy action. The two columns, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, and the special 8th Cavalry task force met just after noon about four miles south of Kumchon.

By the close of 14 October, the day Kumchon fell to the 1st Cavalry Division, the enemy positions between the 38th Parallel and the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, and enemy front lines as such had ceased to exist. The NK forces were in a state of utter confusion.

Political and military leaders in the US really did not believe that China would send troops to Korea. Taking advantage of this skepticism, the Chinese military commanders stepped up preparations to secretly deploy some 300,000 soldiers through Manchuria and across the Yalu River bordering North Korea. Guides from the Democratic Republic aided their entry into the country, and the Korean masses helped hide the Chinese soldiers from the watchful eyes of the US. Even authors have had to admit that the ferrying of the Chinese People's Volunteers into Korea was one of the greatest strategic deceptions in military history.

CCF Crossing The Yalu Rive
On 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 the 15th 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.

Trained 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. They wore thick, padded, green or white uniforms, caps with a red star, and carried a personal weapon, grenades, 80 rounds of ammunition, a few stick grenades, spare foot rags, a sewing kit, and a week's rations of fish, rice and tea.

On 15 October, after moderate resistance from enemy positions, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry 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 to Pyongyang. As the 7th advanced toward Pyongyang, they were stopped by strong enemy resistance near the town of Hukkyo-ri. General Gay ordered a flanking movement, but when he realized that the troopers were fatigued from constant movement, he ordered the 5th Cavalry to bypass the roadblocks and go forward to Pyongyang.

On 19 October at 1100 hours, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry reached the southwestern edge of Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea, at the same time that the ROK 1st Division came in from the east. This event marked the third "First" for the Division -

"First in Pyongyang".

On 25 October 1950, serious fighting began with the engagement of the ROK 6th Division. The sudden intervention of Communist Chinese Forces (CCF) dashed hopes of a quick end to the war. In spite of urgent reports that the Chinese were preparing to enter the battle in force, MacArthur and other high commanders remained convinced that these new troops were Chinese volunteers of Korean descent, numbering no more than 30,000, who had joined North Koreans as replacements.

CCF Launches A Surprise Attack
On 28 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 destroyed.

By 29 October, the 8th Cavalry Regiment along with its supporting units consisting of "HHB", 1st Cavalry Division Artillery, 99th FA Battalion, "C" Battery, 999th Armored FA Battalion, "A" Co, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, Medical Detachment, 8th Engineer Combat Battalion,"C" Company, 8th Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Chemical Mortar Battalion, elements of the 95th Chemical Service Co, 13th Signal Company, 15th Infantry, 17th Infantry, 29th Infantry, 17th Ordnance Maintenance Company, 519th Military Police Battalion, 114th Graves Registration Company, and "B" Company, 70th Tank Battalion had advanced north from Pyongyang to Sukchon, Sinanju and to the vicinity of Unsan, with the mission of relieving ROK elements of the I Corps in the area. Later that day, the 8th Cavalry received orders to extend the attack all the way to the Yalu River.

On the morning of 30 October, the 5th Cavalry Regiment, under the command of Lt. Col. Harold K. Johnson, arrived at Yongsan-dong. The mission of the 5th Cavalry was to protect the rear of the 8th Cavalry, which had continued on north to Unsan where it was to relieve part of the ROK 1st Division. The 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, under the command of Maj. John Millikin, Jr., arrived at Unsan that afternoon. In conferring with the United States Army Advisory Group, Korea (KMAG) officers attached to the ROK 12th Regiment, Millikin and his company commanders learned that the ROK line, about 8,000 yards north of Unsan, was under attack and being pushed back.

On 31 October, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 8th Cavalry, relieved the ROK 12th Regiment. But on the right an enemy attack during the night had driven back the ROK 2nd Battalion more than a mile. Its commander wanted his troops to regain the lost ground before they were relieved. Millikin's 1st Battalion, however, moved into a defensive position behind the ROK 2nd Battalion line north of Unsan. That afternoon, General Milburn, US I Corps commander, visited the 8th Cavalry regimental command post and was advised that everything was all right.

70th Tank Battalion
By 01 November, the three battalions of the 8th Cavalry and its supporting units consisting of the 99th Field Artillery, "A" Company, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, "B" Company, 70th Tank Battalion, Medical Detachment and "C" Company, 8th Engineer Combat Battalion, elements of the 95th Chemical Services Company, 17th Ordnance Maintenance Company, 114th Graves Registration Company, 519 Military Police Company and the 13th Signal Company had advanced to within 50 miles of the Chinese border to relieve portions of the ROK 1st Division.

The arrival of the 8th Cavalry Regiment at Unsan had set in motion a redeployment of the ROK 1st Division. Upon being relieved west of Unsan, the ROK 11th Regiment had shifted southeast to establish contact with the ROK 8th Division on the Corps boundary. The ROK 12th Regiment moved to a rest and reserve assembly area at Ipsok south of the Kuryong River, six air miles from Unsan. Still engaged in the battle at Unsan, the ROK 15th Regiment was desperately trying to hold its position across the Samt'an River east of the 8th Cavalry Regiment. In short, the 8th Cavalry was to the north, west and south of Unsan; the ROK 1st Division to the northeast, east, and southeast of it.

Left "Click" to expand battle situation.
The 8th Cavalry Unsan Engagement
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. By 1200 hours 01 November, the Chinese had cut and blocked the main road six air miles south of Unsan with sufficient strength to turn back two rifle companies which had been strongly supported by air strikes during daylight hours. The CCF had set the stage for an attack that night against the 8th Cavalry Regiment and the ROK 15th Regiment. In the afternoon of 01 November, the CCF attack north of Unsan had gained strength against the ROK 15th Regiment on the east, and gradually it extended west into the zone of the 8th Cavalry Regiment. At 1700 hours, the first probing attacks, accompanied by mortar barrages, came against their right flank units, "A" and "B" Companies, 1st Battalion. There was also something new in the enemy fire, support-rockets fired from trucks.

When dusk fell that evening enemy soldiers were on three sides of the 8th Cavalry - the north, west, and south. Only the ground to the east, held by the ROK 15th Regiment, was not in Chinese possession. At 2330 hours, the CCF launched an all out attack on the positions of the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry. As the battle grew, the attack of the CCF, well planned and executed in strength, broke through the ROK 15th Regiment. Following the issue of warning alerts of an impending withdrawal and armed with the most recent intelligence data, Colonel Holmes, Chief of Staff, 1st Cavalry Division, issued a final order for the 8th Cavalry Regiment to withdraw at 2400 hours. Soon afterwards, at about 0100 hours 02 November, the CCF cut the withdrawal route of the 1st and 2nd Battalions.

The 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry had expended its basic ammunition as well as the reserve which had been sent down from the Regiment. "A" Company had engaged in "hand-to-hand" combat on both flanks. The 1st Battalion Commanding Officer, Major Millikin requested additional issues of ammunition. Receiving the division withdrawal order at midnight, with the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 8th Cavalry in heavy contact, the Regimental Commander, Colonel Palmer ordered a withdrawal to the south. The plan was for the 3rd Battalion to cover the withdrawal. Meanwhile, the 5th Cavalry, along with "A" Company, 70th Tank Battalion was ordered north to cover the planned withdrawal of the 8th Cavalry. In addition, the 7th Cavalry was called from Chinnampo to assist in the withdrawal.

The entire rear areas were swarming with the CCF. With heavy close-in fighting, the convoys of the 8th Cavalry Regimental Command Post (RCP) along with the 1st and 2nd Battalions managed withdraw under fire and to break through the CCF lines. Mostly, the men withdrew in scattered groups or as individuals. Many of the groups were lost as well as critical equipment needed to support the withdrawal.

By 0200 hours, 02 November, the Chinese had blocked the last remaining road for a possible retreat overland. South of Unsan, the 3rd Battalion, commanded by Major Ormond, had dug in just north of the Nammyon River. By dawn, the entire 3rd Battalion was completely surrounded. The bulk of the 3rd Battalion was trapped by the Chinese. They formed into two islands of resistance. All day long fighter aircraft and bombers pounded the enemy positions. The battalion took heavy losses in its officers and enlisted men. The Commanding Officer, Major Ormond, was badly wounded and the staff were all wounded or missing in action.

The troopers used the daylight respite gained from the air cover to dig an elaborate series of trenches and retrieve rations and ammunition from the vehicles that had escaped destruction. A L-5 plane flew over and dropped a mail bag of morphine and bandages. At dusk, a helicopter also appeared and hovered momentarily a few feet above the 3rd Battalion, intending to land and evacuate the more seriously wounded, but enemy fire hit it and it departed without landing. The battalion group was able to communicate with the pilot of a Mosquito plane overhead who said a relief column was on its way

The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 5th Cavalry attempted a break through from the south, but the CCF on "Eagle Hill" could not be dislodged from their defensive positions. The 5th Cavalry, after receiving more than 350 casualties, pulled back.

Just after dark, a plane dropped a message to the 3rd Battalion with orders that they are to begin an orderly withdrawal. The withdrawal route indicated was the only one possible, east from the road fork south of Unsan, across the Kuryong River, and then by the main supply route of the ROK 1st Division to Ipsok and Yongbyon. Major Millikin, 1st Battalion Commanding Officer, telephoned Colonel William Walton, 2nd Battalion Commanding Officer, that he would try to hold Unsan until the 2nd Battalion cleared the road junction south of it. Then he would withdraw. The 3rd Battalion, south of Unsan, was to bring up the regimental rear.

Fr. Kapauna Receives Medal of Honor
Fr. Kapauna Receives Medal of Honor

At dusk on 02 November, the Troops who were able to fight were ordered to attempt to break through the surrounding enemy. Among thse troops, Father Kapauna, a chaplin with Headquarters Company, 8th Cavalry Regiment and also a World War II veteran, sacrificed his own safety while the regiment was attacked by hostile forces as he moved among the wounded to provide medical aid and comfort.

After examining all the options, the remaining men of the 3rd Battalion decided to stand and fight even though they faced a full division of the CCF. The night brought a heavy bombardment of 120mm mortar fire and a mass attack by the CCF. Over a thousand enemy died outside the perimeter. With their own ammunition nearly spent, during the lull that followed, the men searched the battlefield around the perimeter to retrieve weapons and ammunition from the enemy dead.

On the morning of 03 November a three man patrol went to the former battalion command post dugout and discovered that during the night the Chinese had taken out some of the wounded. That day there was no air support. Remaining rations were given to the wounded. Enemy fire kept everyone under cover. The night of 03 November was a repetition of the preceding one, another barrage followed by a mass attack, with the Chinese working closer all the time. With their own ammunition almost gone, after each enemy attack had been driven back, the men would crawl out and retrieve weapons and ammunition from the enemy dead.

The morning of 04 November disclosed that there were about 200 men left able to fight. Casualties had risen to about 250 men. A discussion of the situation brought the decision that those still physically able to make the attempt should try to escape. The remaining forces of the battalion broke up into small groups and withdrew in an attempt to escape under the cover of darkness. Some were successful and many were not. Most of those men were either killed or captured that day, apparently in the vicinity of Yongbyon.

Father Kapaun however, remained behind to administer medical treatment and render religious rites wherever needed. Upon capture, Kapaun and other POWs were forced to walk more than 85 miles to the city of Pyoktong, North Korea. While forcibly walking this march through snow and ice, Kapaun assisted the wounded and encouraged other Soldiers to do the same.

On 05 November, the Eighth Army announced that "as a result of an ambush" the 1st Cavalry Division would receive all the new replacements until further notice. In the next twelve days, The Eighth Army assigned 22 officers and 616 enlisted men as replacements to the 1st Cavalry Division. Nearly all of them went to the 8th Cavalry Regiment.

This event would be the most painful chapter in the proud history of the 1st Cavalry Division. At approximately 1600 hours on the afternoon of 06 November, the action of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, as an organized force came to an end. It died gallantly. At first, more than 1,000 men of the 8th Cavalry Regiment were missing in action, but as the days passed, some of them returned to friendly lines along the Ch'ongch'on. Eventually the estimate was revised to a count of more than 600 officers and men that were lost at Unsan, most of them from the 3rd Battalion.

The heroic 3rd Battalion commander, Major Ormond, was among the wounded captured by the CCF in the perimeter beside the Kuryong. He subsequently died of his wounds and, according to some reports of surviving prisoners, was buried beside the road about five miles north of Unsan. Of his immediate staff, the battalion S-2 and S-4 also lost their lives in the Unsan action. About ten officers and somewhat less than 200 enlisted men of the 3rd Battalion escaped to rejoin the regiment. There were a few others who escaped later, some from captivity, and were given the status of recovered allied personnel.

Two weeks after the Unsan action, tank patrols were still bringing in men wounded at Unsan and fortunate enough to have been sheltered and cared for by friendly Koreans. On 22 November, the Chinese themselves, in a propaganda move, turned free 27 men who had been prisoners for two weeks or longer, 19 of them captured from the 8th Cavalry Regiment at Unsan.

While he was held captive, Father Kapaun attended around to more than 200 men that were also captive to say prayers and give support. He also secretly moved able-bodied men out to the countryside at night, while avoiding guards, to get food and firewood to help keep the prisoners alive. At this point the other POWs had dubbed him the "good thief." Kapaun was a Prisoner of War from 02 November, 1950 until he died from a blood clot 23 May, 1951. For his actions, he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross 18 August, 1951.

On 11 April 2013, the award of the Distinguished Servive Cross was upgraded to the Medal of Honor by President Barrack Obama. At the ceremony, Major General Anthony Ierardi, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division indicated "Father Emil Kapaun is an American hero who embodies the Medal of Honor's ideals as our nation's highest award for military service. "He distinguished himself with valor before his capture and continued to care for his fellow Soldiers at a great risk to himself while interned in a Prisoner of War Camp. Although Father Kapaun did not survive to be liberated along with hundreds of the prisoners he ministered to and assisted, his faith, honor and selfless devotion to duty reflects the finest tradition of the US Army, the 1st Cavalry Division and the Army Chaplain Corps."

The citation for the Medal of Honor reads as follows:

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy at Unsan, Korea, from November 1-2, 1950. On 01 November, as Chinese Communist Forces viciously attacked friendly elements, Chaplain Kapaun calmly walked through withering enemy fire in order to provide comfort and medical aid to his comrades and rescue friendly wounded from no-man's land. Though the Americans successfully repelled the assault, they found themselves surrounded by the enemy. Facing annihilation, the able-bodied men were ordered to evacuate. However, Chaplain Kapaun, fully aware of his certain capture, elected to stay behind with the wounded. After the enemy succeeded in breaking through the defense in the early morning hours of 02 November, Chaplain Kapaun continually made rounds, as hand-to-hand combat ensued. As Chinese Communist Forces approached the American position, Chaplain Kapaun noticed an injured Chinese officer amongst the wounded and convinced him to negotiate the safe surrender of the American Forces. Shortly after his capture, Chaplain Kapaun, with complete disregard for his personal safety and unwavering resolve, bravely pushed aside an enemy soldier preparing to execute Sergeant First Class Herbert A. Miller. Not only did Chaplain Kapaun's gallantry save the life of Sergeant Miller, but also his unparalleled courage and leadership inspired all those present, including those who might have otherwise fled in panic, to remain and fight the enemy until captured. Chaplain Kapaun's extraordinary heroism and selflessness, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, the 1st Cavalry Division, and the United States Army."

For its actions, the 3rd Battalion was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, comparable to the Medal of Honor given individuals for Valor above and beyond the Call of Duty, along with the Republic of Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Chryssoun Aristion Andrias {Gold Bravery Medal of Greece}

In 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, DC 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 UN military forces in Korea. Copies of communications relative to military planning of UN military organizations were sent directly to Moscow and relayed to Peking.

A 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 counterattack of 100,000 UN troops. Taking a chance, General MacArthur believed it was necessary to push the Chinese back across the border. On 25 November, the 1st Cavalry Division moved up to the Taedong River, positioning itself 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. The ROK II Corps folded quickly, leaving the First Team astride the Chinese penetration. The 5th Cavalry was ordered to move south from Kunu-ri and join the division defenses at Sinchang-ni. On 28 November, The lead element - the I&R platoon, was ambushed and lost all but three of its troopers. Two battalions of the 5th Cavalry attacked the roadblock and cleared a passage for the remainder of the Regiment.

On 29 November, the 7th Cavalry fell back to Sinchang-ni, where at about midnight, the Chinese launched a strong attack. Although they were repulsed in a counter attack, they were able to infiltrate with a small unit that attacked the battalion command post before being dispersed. The counterattack gave the UN time to set up new defensive lines and begin an orderly withdrawal from North Korea.

On 15 December, the 1st Cavalry Division moved northeast of Seoul to the vicinity of Uijong-bu and assumed a defensive position. By 28 December, the true extent of the enemy buildup had become clear. At least 20 Red Chinese divisions were poised for a drive on Seoul. Now there were almost a million and a half Chinese and North Korean troops on the Korean peninsula. The UN Command had less than 250,000 seasoned soldiers to repulse this juggernaut.

When the new year of 1951 began, 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 UN lines in the first few minutes of 1951. The units forward of the 38th Parallel were hit by the Chinese crossing the frozen Imjin River. Ignoring heavy losses, the Chinese crawled through mine fields and barbed wire. The UN 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.

During this pause, one of the most remarkable turnarounds in military history began to take shape. Lieutenant General Matthew B. Ridgway had been put in command of UN Ground Forces, replacing General Walton Walker who had died 23 December when his jeep collided with a South Korean truck. General Ridgway, arriving amid the chaos, immediately went to work restoring order and confidence among the officers and men of the Eighth army. He ordered a change in tactics. The UN Forces would now fight a "war of maneuver", with more emphasis on inflicting enemy casualties and capitalizing on their inability to carry enough supplies to sustain drives longer than a week.

On 22 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 Headquarters Command Group, 3rd Battalion, 1st Platoon, "C" Company, 3rd Platoon, Heavy Mortar Company of the 8th Cavalry, Medical Company of the 8th Engineer Battalion, "C" Battery of the 99th Field Artillery, "A", and "B" Companies and the Reconnaissance Platoon of the 70th Tank Battalion. "B" Company, 70th Tank Battalion had been partially restaffed by tankers from the deactivated "A" Company of the 71st Tank Battalion. In addition the force was assisted by organic aircraft from the Division and a flight of tactical air support aircraft.

In the IX Corps sector, along route 17 towards Kyong-ni, the 1st Cavalry Division attacked with the 8th Cavalry on the left and the 7th Cavalry, with the Greek Battalion on the right. Just past the first control Line "A", the Greek Battalion on Hill 381 was counterattacked by a large enemy force. The battle began before dawn and raged on for the rest of the day. By afternoon, the Chinese had enough and retreated leaving 800 dead and a proud battalion of United Nations Command (UNC) soldiers.

In the western sector, the 8th Cavalry had met with resistance and forward progress was slowed. The 5th Cavalry was ordered to go around the 8th and seize Hill 312. It was taken in a desperate hand to hand combat between the troopers of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry and the strongly dug in Chinese. For a time, the outcome hung in the balance, then the third platoon, "A" Company came charging up the hill with fixed bayonets. The enemy positions were overwhelmed and, although small hand to hand engagements continued for a while, the hill belonged to the 5th Cavalry.

On 30 January, during the hard fight for Hill 312. 1st Lieutenant Robert M. McGovern led his platoon of "A" Company up the reverse slope and as his unit got near the enemy on the crest of the hill, they came under heavy machine gun and rifle fire from the crest of the hill, approximately seventy-five yards distant. Despite a wound sustained in this initial burst of withering fire, 1st Lieutenant McGovern, assured the men of his ability to continue on and urged them forward. Forging up the rocky incline, he fearlessly led the platoon to within several yards of its objective when the ruthless foe threw and rolled a vicious barrage of hand grenades on the group and halted the advance. Enemy fire increased in volume and intensity and 1st Lieutenant McGovern, realizing that casualties were rapidly increasing and the morale of his men was badly shaken, hurled back several grenades before they exploded. Then, disregarding his painful wounds and weakened condition, he charged a machine gun emplacement which was raking his position with flanking fire. When he was within ten yards of the position a burst of fire ripped the carbine from his hands, but, undaunted, he continued his lone-man assault and, firing his pistol and throwing grenades, killed seven hostile soldiers before falling mortally wounded in front of the gun he had silenced. The incredible display of valor by 1st Lieutenant McGovern imbued his men with indomitable resolution to avenge his death. Fixing bayonets and throwing grenades, they charged with such ferocity that hostile positions were overrun and the enemy routed from the hill. For his valiant action, 1st Lieutenant Robert M. McGovern received the Medal of Honor.

The UN Counterattack, 1951
In the counterattack, 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 sub-zero temperatures.

By 12 February, the 5th Cavalry reached Line "E" and was relieved by the 28th British Brigade and sent to Yoju. The 7th Cavalry was not as fortunate. On 14 February, heavy fighting erupted around an objective known as Hill 578, which was finally taken by the 7th Cavalry after overcoming stiff Chinese resistance. During this action General MacArthur paid a welcome visit to the First Team. Not far away, at the town of Chipyong-ni, the 23rd Regimental Combat Team and a French Army Battalion were surrounded by five Chinese divisions. In desperate fighting, the two units killed thousands of Chinese but were unable to break out.

Hearing of their situation. the 5th Cavalry formed a rescue force, called "Task Force Crombez" to counterattack along a road running from Yoju to Chipyong-ni via Koksu-ri, a distance of 15 miles. The troopers had painted tiger stripes on their armored tanks to give them a psychological advantage. The sight of the tiger-striped M-4A3 and M-46 tanks sent many of the Chinese running from their entrenched positions. As the fleeing Chinese raced through open ground, they were cut down by heavy fire from the tanks and escorting troopers of "L" Company, who had taken heavy casualties in their mission of tank protection enroute to Chipyong-ni. On 15 February, Task Force Crombez broke through the perimeter of Chipyong-ni ending the standoff. The victory at Chipyong-ni marked the first time in the Korean War that the Chinese had been dealt a major defeat.

The 1st Cavalry Division slowly advanced though snow and later, when it became warm, through torrential rains. The Chinese Army was slowly but firmly, being pushed back. On 14 March, the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry had crossed the Hangchon River. The Division, along with the 1st Marine Division conducted a double envelopment to capture the town of Hongchon. On the 15th, Seoul was recaptured by elements of the Eighth Army. New objectives were established to keep the Chinese from rebuilding and resupplying their forces and to advance to Line "Kansas", which roughly followed the 38th Parallel and the winding Imjin River.

By 09 April, the 1st Cavalry Division was approaching the Line "Kansas" with the Hwachon Reservoir on its eastern flank. There was some apprehension that the enemy would open the gates and flood the Pukhan River destroying all bridges that crossed the river and bring havoc to X Corps. The dam was on the northwest side of the reservoir in a rather inaccessible location from a southern approach. The 7th Cavalry was ordered to capture the dam which would eliminate the possibility of enemy destruction. The approaches to the dam severely restricted vehicular movement and the artillery could not be brought into range to support an attack. In an alternate approach, the 4th Ranger Company, attached to the 7th Cavalry, was to cross the reservoir by boat and attack from the east as the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry attacked from the southwest. The Americans made three separate assaults on the defenders, but none was successful in evicting them. Before another attempt could be organized, the troopers were pulled out for another fight. On 17 April, ROK marines crossed the reservoir and found that the Chinese had abandoned the dam and left it undefended.

On 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 Seoul-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, with "A" Company, 70th Tank Battalion, closed in on the Kapyong area to relieve the hard pressed 27th British Commonwealth Brigade. On 28 April, the Division occupied Line Golden, north of Soul astride the main highways from Uijong-bu and Munsan-ni. With adequate reserves, fortified positions, and a narrower front that allowed concentration of artillery fire, I Corps was in the strongest position that it occupied since the beginning of the offensive.

Position cursor on selected function, "Click" and "Hold".
North Korean "Iron Triangle"
Stopped at Seoul on 15 May, the Chinese shifted three armies to the east and assisted by rain and fog, attempted a go around maneuver in the dark and attacked the center UNC forces. The 8th Army pushed them back to Line "Kansas". Later the First Team moved deeper into North Korea to distract the enemy from its central offensive, reaching the towns of Yonchon and Chorwon, at the base of the Chinese central supply base of the "Iron Triangle".

After a week of hard fighting, the line was stabilized and X Corps assumed the offensive which gave the 1st Cavalry Division the opportunity to resume its movement north towards Sochon-ni just north of the 38th parallel. On 24 May, the Division crossed the Line "Topeka" and two days later reached Sochon-ni which was located on Line "Kansas". Patrol bases established north of Line "Kansas" marked the third time that the First Team crossed the 38th parallel.

June was a period in which each regiment established battalion sized patrol bases which was a new tactic designed especially for the terrain and battle conditions of Korea. Such bases had a supporting element and, by utilizing perimeter defenses, they could not be easily overrun. The bases were situated on prominent terrain features and utilized this height advantage to inflict a terrible toll on the enemy who employed "human wave" tactics. Improving on the defenses of Line "Kansas", a new Line "Wyoming" was established approximately 35 miles north of Line "Kansas".

By 01 August, following a "reserve" status of 10 days, all regiments were on Line "Wyoming" and resumed their patrolling from bases established along the outpost line of resistance. In mid August, the 5th and 7th Cavalry sustained determined enemy attacks on their bases. The 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, in one of the largest offensives of this period, led an attack on Hill 272 and after the third attempt, seized the objective.

The patrols continued into the early days of September when the base of "K" Company, 5th Cavalry was attacked by two Chinese regiments. "K" Company, at the time, was composed of a majority of replacements, many of whom had never participated in all out combat. By morning, the company had used up four basic loads of ammunition and the situation became critical. A jeep, loaded with ammunition, receiving enemy fire all the way, drove over the heavily mined, four miles of road, from the Minimum Line of Resistance (MLR) to the perimeter of "K" Company.

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 Yokkok River, was launched. The objective, the existing Chinese main line of resistance, was designated Line "Jamestown".

To carry out the I Corps broad advance against the entrenched 42nd, 47th, 64th and 65th Chinese Armies, five divisions were used in the execution of Operation COMMANDO. On the western flank, the ROK 1st Division was to leave Line "Wyoming", cross the Imjin River and move to Kaesong. On the eastern flank the British Commonwealth Brigade was would take the high ground between Samich'on and Kyeho-dong. Still farther east, the 1st Cavalry Division, was to move northeast on an 8 mile front between Kyeho-dong and Kamgol. On the right flank, the 3rd Division was to advance and capture Hills 281, 324, and 373 northwest of Choron to join the 25th Division to take the terrain northeast of Choron where the Hantan and Namdae Rivers came together.

On 03 October, the day that Operation COMMANDO was to begin, the main line of enemy resistance was directly in front of the 1st Cavalry Division. Elements of the 139th and 141st Divisions of the CCF 47th Army facing the 1st Cavalry Division had constructed defenses similar to those encountered on Heartbreak Ridge - strong bunkers supporting each other with automatic weapons fire with heavy concentration of artillery and mortars interdicting the approach routes to the hills and ridges. Barbed wire aprons and mines guarded the trenches and bunkers which were well stocked with ammunition.

Task Force MAC, consisting of the 70th Tank Battalion and the 16th Reconnaissance Company, on the left flank of the 1st Cavalry Division had the mission of advancing along the east bank of the Imjin toward Kyeho-dong and move west with the British Commonwealth Brigade, protecting the left flank of the 5th Cavalry Regiment. The 5th and 7th Cavalry were to attack abreast across the division front. The 8th Cavalry was to remain in reserve. All of the artillery units of the division were to participate in the attack. The 61st and 82nd Field Artillery supported the 5th Cavalry and the 77th and 99th Field Artillery supported the 7th Cavalry. Additional artillery units, the 936th, "A" Battery of the 17th and "A" and "B" Batteries of the 204th, were assigned from I Corps and positioned along the main line of resistance, 4 to 6 miles from Line "Jamestown".

An hour before the attack was launched, a heavy barrage of artillery fire began to soften the enemy positions. Then at 0600 hours, the five divisions moved out. The reaction of the enemy in front of the 1st Cavalry Division was immediate and violent. Task Force MAC, on the left, encountered heavy mine field concentrations coupled with strong artillery and mortar fire. The 5th Cavalry assaulted the four immediate objectives, Hills 222, 272, 287 and 346. The Chinese refused to give any ground, directing artillery fire at the three battalions of the 5th as they pushed up the hills. Six attempts by the 3rd Battalion won a foothold on Hill 272, but enemy pressure forced a withdrawal later in the day. The 3rd Battalion could only get a lasting success against Hill 222. After a frontal attack, the Chinese abandoned the hill and fell back to the north.

The situation of the 7th Cavalry was similar. Attacking with the Greek, 2nd and 3rd Battalions abreast, they stormed Hills 313 and 418 along the ridge. Both, the Greek and 2nd Battalion fought their way to the ridge line, but suffering heavy casualties, neither could hold the ground. Despite heavy fighting on 4 October, there was little forward progress. Elements of the 8th Cavalry reinforced the 7th Cavalry on the right and assaulted the ridges west of Hill 418, but the enemy clung tenaciously to its positions. During the day, elements of the CCF 140th Division moved up to reinforce the CCF 139th Division which had been hit hard by the constant battering of the 1st Cavalry Division. The 1st Cavalry Division, now had to contend with the bulk of the elite CCF 47th Army.

The first crack in the Chinese defense came on 05 October, when the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry discovered that, during the night, the enemy had withdrawn the majority of their forces from Hill 418 which was the anchor for Line "Jamestown". By afternoon, the 1st Battalion had cleared the ridge 1,400 yards to the northeast. The 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry then moved up the ridge southwest of Hill 418 and occupied Hill 313 without opposition.

On the following day, 06 October, the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry launched an attack on Hill 334, and after two attempts, seized the objective. Heavy enemy resistance, during the day and later at night, was beaten down. At Hill 287, over 4,000 yards southwest of Hill 334, the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, fought its way to the crest and held on to part of the hill at nightfall. The enemy prisoners taken indicated that the many of the enemy units were decimated in the opening days of the battle and was falling back to prepared defense lines to the northwest.

On 07 October, the 7th Cavalry completed the seizure of Hill 287 and sent the 3rd Battalion forward two miles southwest to take Hill 347. Attacking from the south, the 3rd Battalion began to clear the hill at the end of the day. The fall of Hill 347 meant that the 1st Cavalry Division now dominated the high ground comprising Line "Jamestown" and the northeastern half of the divisional sector.

The breach of the northeast had little immediate effect on the Chinese defense of the terrain directly across from the 5th Cavalry. After eight days of intense pressure against Hills 230, 272 and 346, the Chinese still refused to give any ground, but the punishment they had absorbed and the drain of manpower and ammunition stocks were beginning to show. On the night of 14 October, the Chinese abandoned Hill 272 allowing the 8th Cavalry take possession without contact. The control of Hill 272 opened the eastern approach to the key hill of the remaining defense line - Hill 346.

Digging In On Old Baldy
On 15 October, a new Operational plan. called POLECHARGE, was put in effect. The 5th Cavalry was reinforced with the Belgian Battalion from the US 3rd Division and given the mission of taking Hill 346, and then push on to Line "Jamestown" with the support of the 8th Cavalry. On 16 October at 0300 hours, the planned assault got underway, but the heavy fire power of the enemy stopped the advance of the 5th Cavalry. The 8th Cavalry began their drive northeast of Hill 346 and made progress. However, they could not flank the objective. For the next two days the 5th and 8th Cavalry sustained the pressure on Hill 346 without success.

By now, the rugged terrain of the hill, showing the effects of heavy artillery barrages that had stripped all vegetation and trees, was designated as "Old Baldy". On 18 October, the 1st Battalion 5th Cavalry and took Hill 346 against stiff resistance. Later in the day, the 3rd Battalion met similar resistance on Hill 230, but the 2nd Battalion managed to seize Hill 340, just left of Hill 346. The 8th Cavalry pushed well beyond Hill 287 and took over control of the area north of Hill 346. That night the Chinese gave up and retreated. By 19 October the 1st Cavalry Division had seized the last of its objectives on Line "Jamestown" as the enemy retreated north of Yokkok-chon to his next line of defense. With these final gains, the mission of Operation COMMANDO was complete.

The cost to the enemy had been high. Estimates of enemy losses during the 3 to 19 October period placed the total well over 21,000, including 300 prisoners. Nearly 16,000 casualties had been inflicted upon the enemy by the 1st Cavalry Division alone, as it reduced the crack CCF 47th Army to half strength. Later data, gained from intelligence reports, pointed out that Chinese Commanders may have had a lack of interest in the fate of front line regiments which had been ordered to resist to the end rather than ordering up reserves in a heavy counterattack to attempt the retaking of lost territory .

On 23 October, Operation STONEWALL was launched. Its objective was to strengthen Line "Jamestown" by building a wall of defenses which would prevent possible enemy counterattacks. The battle for establishing the outposts on the rugged high ground just south of the Yokkok River proved to be extremely hard. The enemy was unwilling to give up the high ground which would give the 1st Cavalry Division a better command position. The 5th Cavalry Regiment experienced the greatest difficulty in securing their assigned areas. On the first day, only "K" Company was able to secure its objective. The next day "A" and "C" Companies moved forward to successfully secure their bases, but following a night counterattack, they had to fall back to the main line. Resistance was similar elsewhere, initial efforts were often without success. Heavy bombardment increased the intensity of the repeated assaults and objectives were taken. but not without losses.

On 28 October, in action against the enemy near Chong-dong, 1st Lieutenant Lloyd L. Burke, "G" Company, 5th Cavalry observed that intense enemy fire had pinned down leading elements of his company committed to secure commanding ground. 1st Lieutenant Burke left the command post to rally and urge the men to follow him toward three bunkers impeding the advance. Dashing to an exposed vantage point he threw several grenades at the bunkers, then, returning for an Ml rifle and adapter, he made a lone assault, wiping out the position and killing the crew. Closing on the center bunker he lobbed grenades through the opening and, with his pistol, killed three of its occupants that were attempting to surround him. Ordering his men forward he charged the third emplacement, catching several grenades in midair and hurling them back at the enemy. Inspired by his display of valor, his men stormed forward, overran the hostile position, but were again pinned down by increased fire. Securing a light machine gun and three boxes of ammunition, 1st Lieutenant Burke dashed through the impact area to an open knoll, set up his gun and poured a crippling fire into the ranks of the enemy, killing approximately seventy-five. Although wounded, he ordered more ammunition, reloading and destroying two mortar emplacements and a machine gun position with his accurate fire. Cradling the weapon in his arms he then led his men forward, killing some twenty-five more of the retreating enemy and securing the objective. 1st Lieutenant Burke's heroic action and daring exploits inspired his small force of thirty-five troops. For his valiant action, 1st Lieutenant Lloyd L. Burke received the Medal of Honor.

By the end of October, Line "Jamestown" and its Outpost of Line Resistance (OPLR) was seemingly secure in friendly hands. On 01 November, the 5th Cavalry went into Division reserve and remained there for several days while the 7th and 8th Cavalry continued organization of the lines. Interrogation of prisoners revealed the CCF planned to send reserve battalions forward to overwhelm UN patrol bases and then withdraw. Such strong forays began to occur in the left column of the 1st Cavalry Division sector. In response to these actions, the 5th Cavalry returned to positions between the 7th and 8th Cavalry Regiments.

On 10 November 1951, the 70th Tank Battalion status of attachment changed and it was permanently assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. On 19 November, the 3rd Infantry Division assumed responsibility for the sector. Beginning a gradual phase out of the 1st Cavalry Division from the front lines, the 5th Cavalry moved off the line and the 7th and 8th Cavalry, along with the 61st and 77th Field Artillery were placed under operational control of the 3rd Infantry Division. On 21 November, the 7th Cavalry moved into a reserve status, far from the front.

The "Three Sisters" Outpost
Meanwhile, the 8th Cavalry was rotating platoons through its patrol bases in order to give them a rest. The majority of its forces were situated north of the 38th parallel, near Sokkogae, North Korea, southwest of Chorwon. One particular platoon outpost located on Hill 255, called "Three Sisters" which was later to be known as "PorkChop Hill", located about 1900 yards west of "F" Company, was under the command of Lieutenant James Stone. At about midday of 21 November, the platoon began receiving artillery and mortar fire. At 2205 hours, the enemy unleashed a tremendous preparatory barrage. At 2215 hours, the position was attacked by a battalion size, Chinese force. Hostile artillery blasted the defensive position and hundreds of screaming, grenade throwing Chinese swarmed up the slopes, blowing holes in the barbed wire with bangalore torpedoes.

In the engagement at "Three Sisters", one of the last major battles of the war, the platoon of 1st Lieutenant James L. Stone, "F" Company, 8th Cavalry, came under heavy attack by overwhelming Chinese forces, 1st Lieutenant Stone stood erect and exposed to the terrific enemy fire calmly directed his men in the defense. He further exposed himself by moving to a defensive flame-thrower that had failed to function and repaired the weapon. Throughout a second attack, 1st Lieutenant Stone, though painfully wounded, personally carried the only remaining light machine gun from place to place in the position in order to bring fire upon the Chinese advancing from two directions. Throughout the battle, he continued to encourage and direct his depleted platoon in its hopeless defense. Although again wounded, he continued the fight with his carbine, still exposing himself as an example to his men. When this final overwhelming assault swept over the platoon position, his voice could still be heard faintly urging his men to carry on, until he lost consciousness. Only because of his driving spirit and heroic action was the platoon emboldened to make its brave but hopeless last ditch stand. For his valiant action, 1st Lieutenant James L. Stone received the Medal of Honor.

Elements of the 1st Cavalry Division that had not been placed under the control of the 3rd Infantry Division, moved south to the old reserve area east of Uijong-bu. There, the units carried out an initial program of care and cleaning of equipment. After time out for a second Thanksgiving, intensive training was reinstituted. By December 1951, the Division, after 549 days of continuous fighting, began planning for rotation back to Hokkaido, Japan. The First Team had performed tough duties with honor, pride, and valor with distinction.

The service of the 1st Cavalry Division in the Korean War was not without a price. As a grim reminder of their remarkable legacy, the 1st Cavalry Division experienced causalities of 12,053 Wounded, 3,175 Killed In Action, 670 Prisoners of War of who 180 Died In Captivity, and 545 Missing In Action of who 448 were eventually declared dead.

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Copyright © 1996, Cavalry Outpost Publications ® and Trooper Wm. H. Boudreau, "F" Troop, 8th Cavalry Regiment (1946 - 1947). All rights to this body of work are reserved and are not in the public domain, or as noted in the bibliography. Reproduction, or transfer by electronic means, of the History of the 1st Cavalry Division, the subordinate units or any internal element, is not permitted without prior authorization. Readers are encouraged to link to any of the pages of this Web site, provided that proper acknowledgment attributing to the source of the data is made. The information or content of the material contained herein is subject to change without notice.

Revised 02 Jun '13 SpellChecked