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Re: Inchon Invasion
It may be fair to suggest that Lt Eugene Clark waxes a little heavy in his
self- told story The Secrets of Inchon, but your critique of my email is
also a little off target. I made the mistake of characterizing Clark's
Korean helpers as "naval officers" while only one was - Lt Youn Joung - who
was the bi-lingual interpreter. The other man, Ke In-Ju, was apparently a
counter-intelligence colonel. There is obviously a difference, but not of
much consequence under the circumstance.
As to the matter of mines at Inchon. Clark stated the most important work in
the first phase of his operation was to ensure the invasion fleet was not
stopped in its tracks by mines. He recognized that a single ship sunk in the
channel would be disastrous. Indeed, the first sighting of a mine and its
destruction was executed by the Korean PC-703 that worked closely with Clark
in his recon efforts. This matter was reported to Tokyo by radio. There was
some conjecture as to how mines had been laid in the harbor. It was known
the mines were of Soviet origin, but it was assumed they were laid by
Koreans and probably from sampans or rafts haphazardly.
According to Vice Admiral Struble, the mine menace was in the general
vicinity of Palmi-do, and the mines had apparently been placed there after
two British cruisers and two destroyers had engaged in bombardment
activities from that location about a month before the invasion. In the late
morning of 13 September, the CO of the Mansfield reported what appeared to
be a string of mines. A few minutes later this was confirmed by the De
Haven's captain and shortly after the mines were taken under fire. The first
mine was detonated that morning by the Gurke, just before noon.
The decision to come into the harbor early that day while the tide was out
was fortuitous because it left many mines visible to the eye. The destroyer
Henderson was assigned the cleanup job. Except for a few mines that became
submerged as the tide came back in, most were destroyed by gunfire.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ed Evanhoe" <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 2:41 PM
Subject: Re: Inchon Invasion
> At 11:43 AM 9/9/2003 -0500, you wrote:
> >The daring of Navy Lieutenant, Eugene Clark, is a story in itself. He,
> >along with two South Korean naval officers, infiltrated the mouth of
> >Inchon Harbor several weeks before the invasion and secured vital
> >information about mining that gave US minesweepers the coordinates they
> >needed to clear the landing approaches. <<
> The two Koreans who went on this operation with Lt. Eugene Clark were
> interpreters loaned to him by 8th Army G-2, not ROKN naval
> officers. Suggest you read Clark's account of what happened: THE SECRETS
> OF INCHON by Commander Eugene Franklin Clark, Putman, 2002. I found it a
> bit "colorful" since some of the inter-island movements he described are
> impossible within the described time frame when using a sail junk because
> of the tidal flow. I know because I operated from those same islands later
> and also discussed this op with many of the islanders, including many of
> those mentioned in Clark's book, about this operation while there.
> Also suggest you read the US Navy Battle Reports, Vol, V, Chapter 16, pgs
> 176-191, THE CLARK EXPEDITION plus, if you can get a copy, the log for the
> HMS Charity for that time period.
> And the only "mines" Clark found were a sting of buoys, this according to
> his own account.
> And as for Geh In Ju, mentioned by Young Kim, several things wrong with
> time line/biography. When the war in Korea began KLO was in the process
> being disbanded. All detachments in Korea had been deactivated and their
> people transferred to HID. On 25 June 1950 all that remained of KLO was a
> basement office, at FECOM G-2 in Tokyo with one (1) captain, two (2)
> sergeants and a civilian clerk. There was a mad rush to reconstitute KLO
> with the advent of war but by early August 1950, when Clark submitted his
> plan for the Inch'on Approach Island operation, it was barely operational
> in Korea and, at that time, depended primarily on Intel furnished by ROKA
> G-2 and HID. It's few Korean personnel were within the Pusan Perimeter,
> not in the islands off Inch'on. The Tokchok-Kundo islands had a National
> Police Combat Battalion (actually more of reinforced company than a
> battalion) on them and a small HID detachment. The National Police were
> scattered on the islands the North Koreans didn't have the manpower to
> and hold. Bottom line to this is KLO was a FECOM G-2 operation, under U.S.
> command and control, not under any ROKA, ROKN or HID command. Palmido was
> taken by a mixed bag of National Police and local militia with Clark in
> command. I have never seen anything to suggest that HID/Geh had more than
> background role in this operation.