Online Library of Selected Images:
-- EVENTS - The Korean War, 1950-1953

Logistics & Support Activities, 1950-1953
Overview and Selected Views



Logistics and support activities were vital to the success of U.S. and United Nations Korean War operations. Without extensive and efficient trans-oceanic shipping, the tens of thousands of service people and the hundreds of thousands of tons of "beans, bullets and black oil" needed every month to prosecute the war would never have reached a war zone that was some five thousand miles from the U.S. west coast and about twice that far from eastern seaboard ports. Without underway replenishment of warships off the Korean coast, the effectiveness of Naval forces there would have been substantially reduced. Without well-equipped and effectively-staffed Japanese bases close to the combat theater, sea and air operations against the Communist aggressors would have been gravely hindered, and, during the crisis periods of summer 1950 and winter 1950-51, probably impossible. Without ports and other facilities in South Korea, the insertion and sustenance of the large ground forces needed to defend that country simply could not have been done, and local naval operations would have been hamstrung.

Like much else about the Korean War, its logistics and support effort depended extensively on the legacy of World War II. Transport ships, long-range aircraft and much of the other equipment used in supporting the war had been made during that great conflict and had been wisely retained against the possibility that it might be needed again. The senior officer and enlisted servicemen and civilian sailors and airmen who resurrected the logistics and support system in response to the Korean crisis, and kept it running thereafter, had largely learned their crafts in the struggle against Japan and Germany.

As the Korean conflict wore on, month after month through 1950, 1951, 1952 and into 1953, the early rush to meet the supply, training and repair demands of a dynamic combat situation became essentially routine. However, these efforts were never small. In some months, the volumes of personnel, cargo and fuel sent to the Korean area equalled or exceeded those of some months of the vast Pacific War of 1941-45. To a great extent this was a result of the constant nature of Korean War naval operations, contrasted with the more spasmodic operations of World War II, and the greatly increased fuel and ordnance demands of modern aircraft.

This page presents a special pictorial selection on Korean War logistics and support activities, chosen from the more comprehensive coverage presented in the following pages, and those linked from them:

  • Trans-Pacific Logistics
  • Underway Replenishment
  • Logistics & Support Activities in Japan
  • Logistics & Support Activities in Korea
  • A precis of our Korean War images, and links to more comprehensive pictorial coverage of that conflict:

  • The Korean War, June 1950 - July 1953 - Introductory Overview and Special Image Selection

  • Click the photograph to prompt a larger view

    Photo #: 80-G-441050

    USS General J. C. Breckinridge (AP-176)


    Is greeted by Japanese Geisha as she arrives at Yokohama Army Port with Servicemen's dependents on board, 29 March 1952.
    Photographed by AF2 Myles E. Vallejo.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 105KB; 740 x 605 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: NH 96995

    USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116)


    Loading Marine Corps F4U-4B "Corsair" fighters at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California, for transportation to Korea, July 1950.
    Badoeng Strait carried planes and aircrew of Marine Air Group 33 as part of the trans-Pacific movement of the First Provisional Marine Brigade, the initial Marine Corps deployment of the Korean War. She left San Diego in mid-July and arrived at Kobe, Japan on 31 July, flying her planes off the following day.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 99KB; 605 x 765 pixels

     
    Photo #: 80-G-434458-A

    Staff Sergeant Phillip Korei, USMC


    Rejoins his wife and son, Phillip, Jr., after months of separation, at Treasure Island, California, 26 September 1951.
    He returned to the U.S. on the USS General William Mitchell (AP-114), under the Korean War rotation plan.
    Note miniaturized Marine uniform worn by Phillip, Jr.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 100KB; 740 x 620 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: 80-G-435050

    USS Ashtabula (AO-51)


    Refuels USS Boxer (CV-21) and a destroyer in heavy seas, during operations off the Korean coast.
    Photo is dated 10 April 1951.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 92KB; 740 x 615 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: NH 96784

    USS Missouri (BB-63)


    Crewmen load 16-inch projectiles aboard Missouri in preparation for further Korean War bombardment operations. Photographed at a base in Japan, circa February 1951.
    Photo is dated 14 February 1951, a day when Missouri was at Inchon, Korea.
    Note shell carts, used to move the projectiles on the battleship's upper deck.

    U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 79KB; 740 x 615 pixels

     
    Photo #: 80-G-426270

    USS Valley Forge (CV-45)

    and
    USS Leyte (CV-32)

    Moored at Sasebo, Japan, circa October-November 1950.
    USS Hector (AR-7) is moored beyond the two carriers, with other U.S. and British warships in the distance.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 94KB; 740 x 615 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: NH 97090

    "Teamwork, Courage, and Skill"


    "Men of Destroyer Division 91 crowd the foc'sle and superstructure of their ships in Sasebo, Japan, to receive their Navy Unit Commendations. During the presentation on the Mansfield, a crane crew in the background continues its task of installing new gun barrels on the De Haven. Streaks of red lead on the Collett and the Swenson in the foreground show the work that has occupied all the crews while in port. By coincidence the famed 'Sitting Duck' destroyers are berthed in their numerical order: USS De Haven (DD-727), Mansfield (DD-728), Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729), and Collett (DD-730)."
    Photograph and caption released by Commander Naval Forces, Far East, under date of 18 December 1951.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 168KB; 740 x 625 pixels

     
    Photo #: 80-G-441385

    Pusan, South Korea


    Korean longshoremen unloading grain from a merchant ship at Pusan port.
    Photo is dated 2 April 1952.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

    Online Image: 141KB; 740 x 610 pixels

    Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

     
    Photo #: NH 97184

    USS Manchester (CL-83)


    Replenishing ammunition while alongside USS Mount Katmai (AE-16) in Wonsan harbor, North Korea, within sight of enemy gun batteries, circa early 1951.
    Note projectiles on deck on both ships, powder tanks stacked on Mount Katmai, and wooden planks laid on Mount Katmai's decks. It appears that projectiles are being brought on board Manchester, while empty powder tanks are being carried off of her.
    Projectiles are being hoisted into Manchester's turret number two (in lower left).
    Photo was received by the Naval Photographic Center on 3 May 1951.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 156KB; 740 x 620 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 85669

    USS Consolation (AH-15)


    Off the Korean Coast, circa 21 December 1951, during the first air evacuation of casualties directly from the battlefield to a hospital ship. A U.S. Air Force Sikorski H-5 helicopter is landing on board.

    Courtesy of Mrs. Joel T. Boone, 1977.

    U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 109KB; 740 x 600 pixels

     



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