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50 years ago today - 19 Sep 1950
In the early morning hours the 1st battalion, 5th Marines, continued its
sweep along the Han River and capturing the last high ground (Hills 118, 8
0, and 8 5) a mile west of Yongdongp'o. At the same time, the 2nd
battalion seized the high ground in its sector along the south bank of the
Han River. That night, and approximately 10 PM, a patrol swam the Han River
and a ferry crossing some eight miles west of Seoul. They found the
crossing suitable for LVP's. A five-man patrol
then continued up the slope of Hill 125 but turned back short of the
crest. Shortly before midnight nine Marine LVP's began entering the Han
River. Eight LVP's were in the water when North Korean mortar and
machine-gun fire began striking among the vehicles. The eight LVP's turned
back to the south bank of the Han River and the river crossing was
rescheduled for dawn.
Meanwhile, the 1st Marines resumed their attack when dawn broke.. The
North Koreans had mined the main highway between Sosa and Yongdongp'o,
forcing Marine engineers to remove the mines before armor could advance,
thus slowing the advance. Even so, the 1st Marines were able to advance to
Kalch'on Creek just west of Yongdongp'o.
Arriving early in the morning the 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry
Division, took up positions alongside the 1st Marines on the south side of
the Seoul highway. Meanwhile the 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry
Division, landed at Inchon.
Within the Pusan perimeter, the 38th Infantry Regiment moved its 3rd
Battalion across the Naktong while its 2nd Battalion continued its advance
to the Ch'ogye road. In the 1st Cavalry sector the 5th RCT continued its
fight for Hill 268. Following a napalm and rocket attack by F-51s, the
enemy broke and ran for the Naktong with 5th RCT troops in close
pursuit. By evening the 2nd Battalion, 5th RCT entered Waegwan itself
while as many of the enemy as could, abandoning their heavy weapons,
vehicles, and supplies, crossed to the west side of the river.
Following a series of delays while crossing the Kumho River near
Taegu, the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, began crossing the Naktong six
miles south of Waegwan at 6:30 AM. The first wave met no resistance in the
crossing but came under intense North Korean machine-gun fire from Hill 174
as it began moving inland. Supported by air strikes and artillery, the
battalion had cleared the hill and finger ridge both north and south by
noon. That afternoon, the 3rd Battalion crossed and began advancing north
toward Waegwan. The 2nd Battalion followed after dark and was across by
midnight. It began advancing south and southwest. Meanwhile, two miles
south of the 21st Infantry crossing point, the 1st Battalion, 19th
Infantry, crossed the Naktong and the entire regiment was across by
midnight, as was the 24th Reconnaissance Company which immediately moved up
the road toward Songju, probing for the enemy.
In the 1st Cavalry Division sector the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry and the
2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry fought for possession of Hills 253 and 300
against a stubborn, dug-in North Koreans and finally, after extremely heavy
loses, took both hills. However, they failed to take Hill 371, a mile to
the north. Meanwhile, the fall of Waegwan allowed the 1st Cavalry Division
to shift the 7th Cavalry's 1st and 3rd Battalions to Waegwan and begin an
attack up the Waegwan-Tabu-dong road.
In the Masan area, the enemy had abandoned its Battle Mountain positions
during the night and the 35th Infantry was able to advance toward
Chungam-ni while the 24th Infantry occupied Battle Mountain to protect the
flank. The 27th Infantry task force went into reserve.
The 10th Philippine Infantry Battalion Combat Team arrived at Pusan.
Ed Evanhoe, PO Box 916, Antlers, OK, 74523
Author: DARKMOON: Eighth Army Special Operations in the Korean War
Member: American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)
Life Member: Special Forces & Special Operations Associations
Web site: http://www.korean-war.com