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50 years ago today - 22 Sep 1950
Early on the morning of the 22nd, the 1st Marine Division issued orders for
the capture of Seoul. Under this plan the 1st Marines would attack across
the Han River from Yongdongp'o while the 7th Marines would cross the Han
River via the same crossing point used by the 5th Marines and then deploy
north of 5th Marine positions, thus forming a line for a three regiment
assault on the Seoul. Meanwhile, units of the 5th Marines engaged in heavy
fighting at the western edge of the city, making little or no progress.
Shortly after midnight four North Korean T-34 tanks attacked 7th Division
Reconnaissance Company positions three miles south of Suwon. In this
encounter two T-34 tanks were destroyed. The remainder of the night was
fairly quiet and shortly after dawn Reconnaissance Company proceeded to
Suwon Airfield where it was joined at approximately 10 AM by Task Force
Hannum. Later that afternoon the 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry
Division, arrived at Suwon Airfield and relieved the two units. Meanwhile,
a number of small battles took place between the 1st Battalion, 32nd
Infantry and North Korean units seven miles northeast of Anyang-ni. In
these the 1st Battalion secured the hills south of the Han River railroad
and highway bridges.
In the Pusan Perimeter sector, the North Koreans counterattacked the 1st
Battalion, 23rd Infantry, positions on the Sinban-ni road. The day-long
battle ended in a stalemate. To the north, the 38th Infantry took
Ch'ogye. Meanwhile the 9th Infantry began crossing the Naktong, leaving
its 2nd Battalion on the east side of the river to mop, or contain, enemy
still on that side of the river..
In the 1st Cavalry Division sector, the division organized Task Force 777
consisting the 7th Cavalry Regiment, the 77th Field Artillery Battalion,
and the 70th Tank Battalion. Led by the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, Task
Force 777 jumped off from just west of Tabu-dong and advanced against
occasional organized resistance as it sped toward the river crossing at the
Sonsan Ferry. After the task force had turned on to the river road at the
village of Kumgok, it was ordered to proceed on to Kaktong-ni and cross
there. It arrived just before midnight and was fired on by an antitank
gun, which was destroyed. However, during this exchange a shell from one
of the tanks hit a North Korean ammunition truck, which exploded lighting
up the night. By the light of exploding shells the task force saw hundreds
of enemy in the water trying to cross the Naktong as well as a jungle of
abandoned tanks, trucks and artillery pieces. It immediately opened fire,
killing an estimated 200 North Korean troops in the water and capturing
another 200 plus.
In the mountains north and west of Taegu, the 1st ROK Division, augmented
by National Police units, continued their advance south and took the Walled
City on Ka-san (Hill 903,) then continued to clean out enemy pockets on
that mountain and from surrounding hills.
To the east, the ROK Capital Division took Kigye and advanced toward
Andong. On the east coast the 3rd ROK Division captured Hunghae, driving
the North Korean 5th Division northward toward Yongdok.
For all intents and purposes, the Battle of the Pusan Perimeter was over.
The 65th Infantry Regiment, from Puerto Rico, arrived at Pusan and began
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