Korean War: Chronology of U.S. Pacific Fleet Operations, September–December 1952

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   Glossary of Terms, Abbreviations and Acronyms

September 1952

1 September

During the month of August enemy shore batteries scored hits on nine United Nations ships. This represents the communist shore batteries best achievement to date. The best previous months record was eight ships hit during February 1952.

A significant percentage of all Task Force 77 air power was directed against the bombline area. These strikes were pre-briefed from photography and/or other information in an effort to destroy enemy supplies and positions in the front-line area.

Friendly held island of Hwanto-do, in Wonsan Harbor, received 12 rounds of fire from guns on Ho-do Pando. Some of the fragments recovered today came from a 155 mm shell of U.S. manufacture.

USS Lewis (DD 535) was fired on by enemy shore batteries in the Wonsan area. Enemy fired 12 rounds of estimated. 105 mm shells before counterbattery fire silenced shore gun.

The navy air attacks on Musan and Hoeam-dong in North Korea today marked one of the few times that the Panther jets were used exclusively as an attack plane.

Enemy shore batteries in the Kangsong area straddled USS Agerholm (DD 826) with 15 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm fire. One hit caused minor material damage and slightly wounded one man. Counterbattery fire by Agerholm silenced battery.

Task Force 77 aircraft attacked the synthetic oil producing center at Aoji in the heaviest all-navy attack of the Korean war. Aoji is only four miles from the Manchurian border and eight miles from Russia.

2 September

Marine F3D-2 Skyknight operations were restricted to daylight test flights due to possible engine malfunction of this type.

3 September

A tropical storm hit Task Force 77 with peak force. Winds up to 60 knots were experienced with a sea state of six. All units of DESDIV 132 suffered minor damage, primarily loss of topside gear.

5 September

HMTS Tachin (PF) received fire from three enemy guns on Pipa-Got peninsula on mainland opposite Sok-to. No casualties or damage sustained. Counter-battery fire from friendly ships silenced enemy guns.

USS Lewis (DE 535) fired seven rounds of 5 inch ammunition at an enemy battery on Kalmagak, which was firing on friendly islands in the Wonsan area. The enemy battery was silenced.

One death and two injuries occurred on Hwangto-do, friendly island in Wonsan area, as a result of enemy fire from the reverse slopes of Kalmagak.

USS Blue (DD 744), while providing gunfire support for the sweepers in the Hungnam approaches, received 30 rounds of estimated 90 mm fire from enemy guns on the Sohojin Lighthouse peninsula. Blue countered with 36 rounds of which eight hit in the target area. Blue was straddled at ranges up to 16,000 yards but suffered no damage.

In the Hungnam approaches, USS Swallow (AMS 36) taken under fire with approximately 45 rounds of estimated 90 mm shells while she was conducting minesweeping operations. These enemy guns are the same ones that fired on USS Blue (DD 774). Two rounds were also fired at the USS Comstock (LSD 19), but the ships suffered no damage.

Sosa-ri, on the friendly island of Cho-do, was taken under fire by three enemy guns located on the mainland east of Cho-do. The guns, estimated 75/76 mm, fired 100-120 rounds which fell in or near the village, causing six Korean casualties. USS Cardigan Bay (PF); HMS Morecambe Bay (FF), USS LSMR 412 and USS Bradford (DD545) carried out counterbattery fire and silenced the guns. A TARCAP aircraft then attacked the guns with high explosive and napalm bombs.

6 September

COMCARDIV THREE reported a new technique of attack against enemy rails. A full deck launch of attack aircraft destroyed enemy rail lines in a specific two mile section of track. Then, a two plane TARCAP and surface gunfire prevented repairs by day and by night respectively. By use of these tactics a specific section of track was kept inoperative for five days until bad weather interrupted the experiment.

7 September

ROKN PC 702 was fired upon by enemy guns of unreported caliber in the Haeju area. No damage or casualties were suffered.

7 - 8 September

USS Evans (DD 754) received 69 rounds of unreported caliber fire at range 12,500 yards from an enemy shore battery in the vicinity of Tanchon. Several near misses caused slight fragment damage to ship, no personnel casualties.

Commander Fleet Air Wing TWO, embarked in USS Salisbury Sound (AV 13),
relieved Commander Fleet Air Wing ONE, embarked in USS Pine Island (AV 12), at Buckner Bay, Okinawa. This marked the first of a proposed series of a proposed series of rotations where a full Fleet Air Wing Staff is deployed to a forward area to relieve a similar Staff already in operation.

9 September

A PB4Y, on a routine patrol, was fired on by a landing craft, probable Chinese communist LCI, flying a red flag at position 31-49 North, 122-28 East. Ship fired 15 rounds of estimated 40 mm, but there was no damage to plane.

Three F4Us from VMA-323 attacked by four MIGs. No hits by either side after ten minute duel. F4Us retained bombs throughout. Two F4Us from VMA-312 were also attacked by four MIGs. During ensuing action Captain Jesse G. Folman shot down one MIG, the first by an American propeller driven aircraft. Capt Potman, in turn, was hit by another MIG and forced to ditch at sea.

11 September

USS Curlew (AMS 8), USS Osprey (AMS 28) and ROKN AMS 513 taken under fire
by estimated 75/76 mm batteries in the Napchin-ni area. The enemy fired approximately 15 rounds, but the sweeps withdrew with their sweep gear intact and no damage.

Six F9F-4s from VMF-115 crashed into a mountain during an instrument failure in South Korea. All pilots were instantly killed.

Enemy batteries on Umi-do fired 18 rounds of estimated 105 mm at the USS Lewis (DE 535). No damage or casualties were experienced.

13 September

Two carrier strikes from TF 77 attacked large supply and troop billeting areas in the Manchurian border town of Hoeryong. Although no significant local opposition was offered, many presumably Soviet bogies were reported orbiting 70 miles east of the target in Siberia during this attack.

U.S. Marine Squadron VNA-121 flew its 5,000th combat sortie since coming to the Korean Theatre in October, 1951. USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31) aircraft caught a 130 foot naval-type vessel near Wonsan and sank it with rockets and 20 mm strafing.

USS Devastator (AM 318) while on a daylight patrol for floating mines in the Songjin area was fired on by two shore batteries. The enemy guns, estimated 75/76 mm, fired 12 rounds. The sweeper suffered no damage or casualties.

USS Lewis (DE 535) and USS Evansville (PF 70) received 15 rounds of estimated 76 to 90 mm enemy shore battery fire without damage or casualties. Counter-batter fire silenced the guns.

15 September

U.S. Marines in Korea commissioned the Marine Composite Squadron ONE (VMC-1). Sole mission of the new squadron is ECM.

USS Walke (DD 723), patrolling independently in the vicinity of Chaho, Korean east coast, was taken under fire throughout the day by 75/76 mm and machine gun fire. A total of 400 to 500 rounds of ammunition were fired at Walke, but there were no hits.

USS Barton (DD 722), approximately 100 miles due East of Wonsan Harbor, struck a probable floating mine. The forward fireroom flooded and other material damage resulted. Five enlisted men were missing, and six injured. The flooding was brought under control and Barton proceeded under her own power to Sasebo.

Thirty rounds were fired at USS Walke (DD 723) from enemy shore batteries in the vicinity of Chaho. The guns, estimated 75/76 mm, fired at an initial range of 12,000 yards, but the firing was short and ineffective. Walke suffered no damage.

16 September

Enemy guns on Amgak shelled Hachwirado and wounded three friendly guerrillas. USS Bradford (DD 545) replied with 11 rounds, results unknown.

17 September

USS O'Brien (DD 725) was taken under fire by an estimated 75/76 mm gun at Chung-dong. The enemy gun fired three rounds at a range of 12,000 yards; the first round was short 50 yards, but was on in deflection. O'Brien suffered no damage.

Enemy guns on the western shore of the Haeju approaches fired nine rounds on friendly island of Mudo.

USS Bradford (DD 545) expended 32 rounds of 5 inch against a flight of eight MIG-15's in the vicinity of Cho-do. No hits were obtained on the MIG's. Bradford was not attacked.

Military targets in the cities of Tanchon and Pukchong on the northeastern coastline were attacked by Task Force 77 aircraft, with emphasis on supply and billeting areas, headquarters, and vehicle repair facilities.

18 September

An F-84 type aircraft pursued a friendly aircraft around in five 360 degree circles at an altitude of approximately 9,500 feet over the vicinity of the bombline. The attacking F-84 had USAF markings and the standard star insignia on wings and fuselage. No other markings were observed. Radio contact was attempted on four channels, but with negative results. This is the first known report of hostile F-84 types, although there have been a number of previous occasions when enemy flown F-80s were reported. FEAF believes F-84s have been lost in enemy territory in sufficient numbers to enable the communists to recover and make operational an aircraft of this type.

ROKN MTB 26 suffered an engine room explosion and sank while at Chinhae, Korea. Four ROKN personnel, who were cleaning gasoline strainers in the engine room, were injured.

USS Heron (AMS 18) was fired on by 15 rounds from an estimated 155 mm gun in the Wonsan area. No damage or casualties were suffered.

19 September

USS Cunningham (DD 752), in the Wonsan area, was taken under fire by three guns, estimated 105 to 155 mm, at an initial range of 3,500 yards. The first round was a direct hit. Enemy fired 100 to 150 rounds, scoring five hits and seven nearby airbursts. Eight personnel casualties, none fatal, were suffered. Surface radar, mount 51, and degaussing gear were rendered inoperative. Cunningham expended 75 rounds of 5 inch and 84 of 3 inch in counterbattery fire.

20 September

A PB4Y of VP-28 was attacked by two MIG at 31-35 N, 122-23 E. Five firing passes made but the PB4Y was not damaged and returned to NAF Naha. This is the first communist reaction to reconnaissance flights in the Shanghai area.

21 September

USS Jenkins (DDE 447) and USS Taylor (DDE 468) under fire from shore batteries in the vicinity of Hwangto-do Island. Ships received estimated 21 rounds of 90 mm and three rounds of 105 mm, fired with fair accuracy. No damage was experienced.

In the Chaho area, HMS Charity (DD) was engaged by two 75/76 mm guns, firing about 30 rounds from vicinity of Chaho. No damage or casualties were sustained.

Friendly held island of Hwangto-do, Wonsan Harbor, received about 15 rounds from a shore battery, estimated 75 to 90 mm. The USS Jenkins (DDE 447) suppressed the battery with 14 rounds of 5 inch and 25 of 3 inch.

21 - 29 September

With Underwater Demolition Team elements aboard, USS Weiss (AFD 135), assisted by two ROKN motor torpedo boats, attacked fishing facilities along the northeast coast of Korea. The attack force netted five sampans, five nets and traps, and 44 prisoners.

22 September

On the West Coast, enemy guns on the mainland, fired on Sosari. HMS Cardigan Bay (PF) and USS Bradford (DD 545) provided direct counterbattery fire.

Friendly island of Yodo, off Wonsan, received 41 rounds from several guns in the Wonsan area. All enemy guns were believed to be 90 mm or less.

CG lstMARAIRWING notified CG Air FMFPAC that 14 F9F-2 aircraft were grounded due to multiple cracks, 1/16 to 1/2 inch deep, in nose wheel spindle socket and bushing assembly casting.

A VP-28 PB4Y aircraft was fired on by Chinese communist LCI type vessel. The fire was estimated to be 20 mm and 40 mm and was meager and inaccurate.

23 September

USS Walker (DD 517) and USS Cunningham (DD 752) were fired upon by batteries at Songjin. Walker, in four minutes, was straddled at ranges of 7,000 to 9,000 yards, but suffered no hits or casualties. Both ships experienced strong radar interference while under fire.

USS Iowa (BB 61), with CINCFE, COMNAVFE, and COMSEVENTHFLT aboard, was taken under fire by shore artillery from Kalma Gak in Wonsan Harbor. Iowa quickly silenced the challenging guns with 16 inch shells.

24 September

ROK AMS 506 ran aground between Buoy E and Yodo Island, suffering a small hole in her starboard bow. She was refloated in nine hours and reported that she was able to carry out assigned mission.

Friendly guerrilla held islands of Wollae-do and Yukto received 80 rounds from two 75/76 mm and one 120 mm mortars at Songchon-ni. HMNZ Rotoiti (FF) fired 49 rounds of counterbattery fire. Hits were reported in the target area.

24 - 27 September

USS Essex (CVA 9) at Sasebo for repairs to port catapult.

25 September

USS Gardiners Bay (AVP 39) departed Boko Ko, Pescadores, disestablished the
seadrome, and proceeded Buckner Bay. Seaplane operations Boko Ko were suspended for the winter.

USS Taylor (DDE 468) received four rounds of unreported caliber shore battery fire, in the vicinity of Wonsan, without damage or casualties. Counter-battery fire by Taylor silenced enemy guns.

26 September

USS Kimberly (DD 521) reported her main deck longitudinal fractured during storm.

27 September

A sea defense zone for the purpose of preventing attacks on the coast; securing UN sea lines of communications and preventing the introduction of contraband or the entry of enemy agents into ROK territory was established by. the CINCUNC. The zone was bounded by the following points:

45-05 N 130-47 E 33-00 N 126-00 E
38-00 N 130-00 E 34-00 N 125-00 E
35-15 N 130-00 E 36-00 N 125-00 E
33-00 N 126-47 E 39-37 N 124-00 E

29 September

Enemy fired 47,000 rounds of artillery and mortar shells on this date, demonstrating his more than adequate capability to supply front line troops.

Enemy shore battery of two 75/76 mm guns in the vicinity of Ongjin fired an unreported number of rounds on friendly held Mudo island. No damage or casualties were experienced.

30 September

USS Thompson (DMS 38), near Chaho, received fire from shore batteries in Chaho. Three rounds of unreported caliber including one airburst, fell 800 yards short and astern. A total of 13 flashes were observed.September 1952

October 1952

1 October

During the month of September, U.S. Navy and Marine aircraft expanded 6,200 tons of bombs, 6,100 rockets, and 1,700,000 rounds of ammunition.

During September, Communications Center traffic at COMNAVFE headquarters reached an all time high when 292,164 messages in 20,549,345 groups were processed.

Naval Air, surface, and submarine units reported 115 ECM intercepts during the month of September. This is a result of increased education and emphasis in electronic countermeasures by the Navy, and the resulting proficiency is indicated by the fact that during the entire Korean War, prior to the stepped up ECM program in April, 1952, there were only eight reported enemy radar intercepts.

Naval aircraft commenced a trend, which continued throughout the year, away from strategic targets toward tactical targets. This is a reversal of the target policy that prevailed during July, August and September. During the ensuing months, power plants, industrial and mining areas received somewhat limited attention as the number of strikes against supply, bunker and troop areas increased significantly.

USS Naifeh (DE 352) received 16 rounds of 75/76 mm fire from a gun located in the vicinity of Songjin, at a range of 7,000 yards; no damage. Naifeh counter-fired with 81 rounds.

2 October

USS Marsh (DE 699) and HMCS Iroquois (DE 217) were taken under fire by 75/76 mm shore batteries in the vicinity of Songjin. Fifteen rounds were fired. Marsh escaped without damage. Iroquois received one direct hit and one air burst, damaging two frames, killing two men, and wounding eight, one so seriously he died later that night. Both ships opened the range, replying with counterbattery fire and silencing the shore batteries.

3 October

USS Marsh (DE 699), while interdicting near Songjin at 8,000 yards from shore, was fired upon by enemy batteries. firing continued out to 11,000 yards as she cleared the area. No hits nor casualties were sustained from the 14 rounds of 75/76 mm fired.

Two F4U aircraft from TF77 strafed Yangdo Island hitting ROKN MTB 25 and MTB 27. There were no personnel casualties, but MTB 27 received damage in her engine room. Temporary repairs were later effected by USS Marsh {DE 699).

USS Taylor (DD 551) was fired on by unknown enemy batteries in the Wonsan area. No damage resulted from three rounds.

4 October

For the first time of the Korean War, TF 77 pilots encountered fast enemy jets. Near Yongpo, seven Corsairs from the USS Kearsarge (CVA 33) were attacked by seven MIG-15's and in the ensuing encounter one Corsair was shot down.

In the vicinity of Chaho, ROKN MTB 25 was engaged by machine guns and was holed by 15 rounds. There were no personnel casualties. MTB 25 returned fire with 5 inch rockets and 40 mm fire.

TF 77 aircraft raked the 67th Chinese communist army at Hoeyang in a 263 plane attack, the largest Navy air effort since the devastating raid on the Aoji synthetic oil plant of 1 September 1952.

CINCPACFLT directed COMNAVFE to provide COMNAVMARIANAS intermittently with a DD type vessel for an occasional patrol of the Bonin-Volcano waters to protect the area from fishing poachers.

USS Heron (AMS 18), while conducting sweep operations in the Wonsan area, taken under fire by an estimated 105 mm gun from an unknown position. Three splashes were observed, but there was no damage.

ROKN AMS 515 grounded southeast of Wollaedo, but was refloated on the rising tide.

6 - 16 October

USS Sicily (CVE 118) under operational control of CTF 90 for the Kojo mock invasion. VMA-312 aircraft provided close air support, combat air patrol, and naval gunfire spot as directed.

7 October

Enemy fired 93,000 rounds of artillery and mortar shells on this date, an all time high for the communists in the Korean War.

Friendly island Hwangto-do received a single round of 75/76m fire from an unknown position.

During call fire missions, USS Iowa (BB 61), fired the 4,000th 16 inch round expended by Iowa in Korea.

TF 77 aircraft attacked three times by enemy MIG-15's in the Wonsan and Hungnam areas. One MIG made a firing pass on two ADs and, although the friendly aircraft returned the fire, no damage was inflicted by either side and the MIGs retired to the west. Four MIG-15s attacked a flight of F4Us and two MIG-15s attacked eight ADs near Hungnam. Again no damage was suffered by either friendly or enemy aircraft. A single MIG-15 attacked four F4Us just south of Hungnam, destroying one F4U.

8 October

The United Nations senior delegate to the armistice talks at Panmunjon declared an indefinite recess -- though not a termination -- of the senior delegates meetings. This action followed 16 months of incessant communist propaganda harangue, charges, and countercharges in the futile talks of peace.

Eleven B-29s of the FEAF Bomber Command and 89 TF 77 aircraft struck the Kowon rail center. B-29s carried VT fuzed 500 pound cluster bombs for effective flak suppression.

9 October

Fourteen North Korean PT boats reported in Unggi Bay, northernmost inlet on the east Korean coast.

While on routine patrol, USS Carmick (DMS 33) received 80 rounds from five enemy batteries located vicinity Songjin. No damage or casualties were experienced.

TF 77 aircraft flew 91 missions supporting l0th Corps Army troops using the newly developed ground coordinated strike technique against dug in enemy troops. Emphasis on the interdiction campaign was reduced. Bridge and rail destruction were continued whenever feasible.

10 October

In the continuing campaign to sabotage vulnerable North Korean rice production in the West Coast area by knocking out the complex irrigation system, aircraft from TE 95.11 scored direct hits with 1,000 pound bombs on sluice gates in the Yonan-Pyongchon area, allowing salt water to course into the rice paddies.

TG 95.3 established this date - mission of the group is to patrol the Military Sea Defense Zone off Southern Korea. On its first day in operation 500 Japanese fishing craft were warned to stay clear of the zone.

11 October

USS Kearsarge (CVA 33) helicopter overturned on deck when struck by sudden gust of wind. Rotor blades killed four and injured five flight deck personnel.

12 October

Minesweep boats, inboard of USS Toledo (CA 133), received from five to seven rounds of counterbattery fire, estimated 75/76 mm from vicinity T'ongch'on. Toledo fired 24 rounds of 8 inch in that area and flushed three tanks.

USS Toledo (CA 133) received four rounds of counterbattery fire, estimated 75/76 mm, from Un-Bong-San area. All rounds fell short.

12 - 16 October

The Kojo Amphibious Feint carried out during this period. More than 100 ships, with strong air support from five carriers, carried out the hoax to the extent of launching empty landing craft toward the beaches at Kojo on 15 October (D-Day). The purposes of the operation were to (1) provide invaluable training in planning and executing a major amphibious operation, and (2) lure enemy defense forces into the open in their haste to cover their exposed right flank, thus allowing a field day for planes of TF 77. While the valuable training was obtained, a final analysis showed that enemy forces were not drawn into the open.

13 October

An estimated 10 rounds of 75/76 mm enemy fire straddled the destroyer USS John R. Craig (DD 885) as she conducted a firing mission in the Kijin-ni area on Korea's East Coast. No damage or casualties occurred. Counterbattery fire by Craig silenced the enemy guns.

USS Toledo (CA 133) received eight rounds of estimated 75 mm and 122 mm, from the vicinity of Kojo. No damage or casualties were experienced.

USS Lewis (DE 535) taken under fire by estimated 105 mm shore batteries in the vicinity of Hungnam. Eighty-four rounds from probable radar controlled guns caused no personnel casualties or damage. Lewis countered with 214 rounds and observed one direct hit followed by smoke and fire. The batteries were silenced.

Two single-engine slow enemy aircraft made bombing runs on friendly island of Cho-do, Korean West Coast, dropping 15 bombs in pairs and widely dispersed. The main point of impact was within 200 yards of the radar installation. It was reported that there were no casualties or damage to the installation, but that AA defense proved inadequate.

Minesweeping boats, sweeping south of Kojo, received an estimated 40 rounds from 75/76 mm shore batteries. Many near misses were reported, but there were no casualties or damage. Larger AMS's made two attempts to sweep the same area, but were driven off by heavy, accurate shore battery fire despite excellent gunfire support. USS Osprey (AMS 28) received minor fragment damage from near misses on both sides. Four men, including the executive officer, were wounded, none critically.

USS Perkins (DDR 877) straddled by five rounds of 120 mm fire at a range of 5,000 yards in the Kojo area. Two near misses, 10 yards on the port beam, sprayed fragments causing superficial material damage, wounded 17 personnel and killed one.

14 October

COMSEVENTHFLT, recognizing the lack of qualified air controllers in destroyers, directed CTF 77 to put one suitable officer from each ship of Destroyer Squadron 20 under air controller training in a TF 77 carrier.

USS O'Brien (DD 725) taken under 30 rounds of heavy shore battery fire in the Kojo area, but received no hits, casualties, or damage.

14 October

CG Fifth Air Force welcomed strikes by Naval Aircraft on targets near bomb-line. Importance of proper coordination through JOC and clearance by tactical air direction centers was stressed.

15 October

USS Diachenko (APD 123) taken under fire by an unreported number of rounds of 75/76 mm fire from enemy shore batteries in the Kojo area. No damage or casualties resulted.

USS Perkins (DDR 877), USS O'Brien (DD 725), and USS Evans (DD 754) fired upon by enemy batteries in the vicinity of Kojo. No damage or casualties resulted.

16 October

USS Toledo (CA 133), in the vicinity of Wonsan, received four rounds of counterbattery fire, estimated 75 mm and 122 mm. All rounds fell about 1,000 yards short.

18 October

In the Shimonoseki Straits, USS Chourre (ARV 1) collided with and sank the Daishin Maru of Tokyo, a small Japanese vessel. No damage occurred to Chourre. Local port authorities completely exonerated Chourre, which stood by until Daishin personnel were rescued by Harbor pilot boat.

COMFAIRWING 14 reports that two Chinese communist LST naval vessels fired on a PB4Y-2 aircraft of FAIRWING 14 with estimated 37mm anti-aircraft fire. Minor damage to number four engine and leading edge of starboard wing was reported.

USS Craig (DD 885) received 16 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm fire from Kosong. A radar antenna was observed, indicating possible radar ranging. No damage or casualties were experienced by Craig.

USS Impeccable (AM 320) and USS Chief (AM 315) received fire from estimated 105 mm enemy shore batteries located in the vicinity of Sondok. A total of 18 splashes were observed. Sweep gear was cut, and recovered under cover of darkness. No personnel or material casualties were experienced.

USS Yarnall (DD 541) received approximately 38 rounds of 75/76 mm fire from the Songjin area. No damage or personnel casualties. No explosions as shells hit water indicated possible armor piercing. Control accuracy of fire excellent.

19 October

COMSEVENTHFLT shifted flag and administration from USS Iowa (BB61) to USS Missouri (BB 63).

Friendly junks fired on from the western Haeju approaches. HMS Morecambe Bay (PF) fired 24 rounds of counterbattery fire, silencing enemy guns.

USS Parks (DD 884) received approximately three rounds, estimated 76 mm or 105 mm, from enemy shore batteries in the vicinity of Yusong-ni with no damage or casualties sustained. Counterbattery silenced enemy guns.

20 October

TF 77 established ECM Hunter/Killer Teams consisting of two ECM equipped aircraft and an armed escort of four Skyraiders and four Corsairs. Early results showed one enemy radar facility and one antenna were definitely destroyed by these teams.

21 October

In Wonsan Harbor, ROKN AMS 501 and AMS 503 taken under fire by four to six guns, estimated to be 75/76 mm, from Hapchinni. USS Lewis (DE 535) returned fire and received 40 to 50 rounds in counterbattery. Lewis was hit on the starboard side in the forward fireroom, disabling No. l boiler. The shell did not explode, and was jettisoned. A second shell exploded on the fantail, resulting in superficial material damage. Casualties: seven dead, one slightly wounded. Lewis expended 162 rounds before returning to seaward, and reported able to carry out assignment with the engine plant cross-connected.

24 October

Enemy guns, on the mainland north of Kanghawado, fired about 60 rounds of unreported caliber fire at the ROKN PCS 201. She received no damage.

TF 77 aircraft executed a major strike against the important rail and supply center of Hyesanjin on the Manchurian border. Excellent results were reported against railroad and repair shops, supply buildings, government buildings, factories, and troop billeting areas.

COMSEVENTHFLT directed TF 77 to concentrate offensive effort on targets north of the main line of resistance. Full use of flak suppression, photography and coordination with JOC were directed, and pullouts were to be completed above 3,000 feet. Precautions to prevent attacking friendly forces emphasized.

25 October

COMAIRPAC notified COMNAVFE that aircraft procurement would require the deployment of air groups containing three jet and one AD squadron by 1 April 1953.

26 - 27 October

USS Chief (AM 315) and ROKN PC 705 collided off East Coast Korea with no casualties and negligible damage to ships.

27 October

A VP-28 PB4Y aircraft on routine photo mission in the East China Sea was possibly fired on by small gun boat at 280o-13' N, 121o-39' E. Observed numerous bright flashes, possible 50 caliber. No damage occurred to the plane.

USS Orleck (DD 886), at the bombline, detected an enemy boat attempting to make a covert landing behind friendly lines. Orleck closed the boat to navigational limits and then launched an armed boat in effort to capture the enemy personnel and equipment. The enemy turned back and escaped to communist territory. There were no casualties:

Naval and Marine aircraft flew 1,122 sorties today.

28 October

ROKN YMS 518 fired on by enemy shore batteries in the vicinity of Kojo. Only three splashes were observed and no damage was suffered. The firing batteries were immediately taken under fire and silenced by USS Orleck (DD886).

USS Dehaven (DD 727) observed heavy and simultaneous gun flashes from the vicinity of Songjin. No splashes or air bursts were sighted, but the radar indicated possible splashes approximately 5,000 yards ahead of the ship.

USS Mansfield (DD 728) received 40 rounds of 75/76 mm shore fire in the Wonsan vicinity. No damage or personnel casualties were experienced.

USS Oriskany (CVA 34) joined TF 77 and launched first offensive strikes. This marked the first combat employment of the F9F-5 Panther.

29 October

MAJ GEN E.A. Pollock, CG lstMARDIV extended the appreciation of the lstMARDIV personnel for "the superb demonstration of close air support during engagements of 26 to 28 October."

31 October

In the Haeju area, two 75/76 mm guns fired 35 rounds, some of which landed within 10 yards of the ROKN PCS 205, but the ship was not damaged. Other shells fell on friendly Losuapto Island. HMCS Nootka (DDE) silenced the guns.

November 1952

1 November

Minesweepers swept only 10 mines during October, in contrast to the 32 swept during September. Of significance is the fact that four of these 10 mines were of the magnetic type, bringing to a total of 18 the number detonated in Korean waters since the beginning of the Korean Conflict.

Navy fliers piled up 11,004 sorties during the month of October, the highest monthly total of the Korean War. Approximately 50% of these missions were ground support strikes.

Although minimum effort was placed on rail cutting, TF 77 aircraft continued to cut about four sections of track a day during the fall and winter months. These cuts, coupled with a continued hammering of communist main rail supply route bridges, did little to enhance the communist outlook for better rail service.

A new record was set during October by Helicopter Transport Squadron 161 (HMR 161), which evacuated 365 casualties during the month.

Fliers of the lstMARAIRWING flew 3,765 sorties during October -- the highest number for any month since the 4,004 sorties recorded in June, 1951. Close Air Support missions occupied 36% of the Marine pilots efforts during October.

During October, as a result of the Kojo Demonstration, Communications Center traffic at COMNAVFE headquarters surpassed even September's record high when 380,869 messages, with a group count of 26,586,724, were processed.

USS Vammen (DE 644) was taken under fire by an estimated 105 mm gun in the vicinity of Sinuong. One man was wounded by a shell fragment, but there was no material damage.

CG 1stMARAIRWING congratulated VMO-6 on completing its 20,000 combat flight since entering the Korean War.

2 November

Aircraft from the USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31) and the USS Oriskany (CVA 34) attacked targets in the city of Pyongyang in the first of three major strikes against that city during a five day period.

3 November

USS Condor (AMS 5) taken under fire by two shore batteries of two guns each in the Chodo area. Guns were estimated as from 75 mm to 105 mm and a total of 50 rounds were fired. There were no casualties or damage.

USS Uhlmann (DD 687), while conducting interdiction fire on an assigned target in the vicinity south of Chaho, taken under fire by enemy shore batteries. The enemy fired approximately 160 rounds of mortar and 75 to 122 mm ammunition, plus small arms and machine gun. Uhlmann countered with 158 five and three inch rounds. Uhlmann received six straddles and three direct hits, wounding 13 men and damaging the horizontal section of the torpedo handling crane beyond repair.

3 November

The lstMARDIV relieved of the responsibility of "the Hook" area, and a new limiting point between the Division and Commonwealth forces established.

A Marine F3D shot down a YAK-15 Jet.

6 November

FEAF accepted the presence of 15 IL-28 twin-engine light jet bombers in Manchuria, and notes that these aircraft considerably augment communist capabilities in this area. In the past, the principal threat to F-86 bases in Korea has been possible attacks by MIG-15s with dubious bombing capability operating at near range limits. Enemy now has weapon in Manchuria designed for level bombing, holding any target in Korea within easy combat radius.

CG lstMARAIRWING notified CNO that VMJ-1 flies approximately 20 percent of the land- based, day photo-reconnaissance missions, and accomplishes 40/45 percent of the daylight, land- based photo coverage in Korea. Assignment of two additional F2H-2Ps in lieu of the F4U-5P in the allowance was strongly recommended because the low speed, vulnerability, and inferior photo equipment renders F4U's unsuitable for reconnaissance in flak defended areas.

13 November

CG FEAF expressed concern over the capability of 5th AF controllers to control safely the large numbers of aircraft (Naval) in a small geographical area adjacent to friendly positions.

15 November

Communist expenditure of shells slowed to a comparative trickle - 9,000 a day in latter November.

PF 66 commissioned in the ROK Navy (formerly USS Sausalito).

16 November

USS Swenson (DD 729) and HMAS Anzac (DD) received an unreported number of rounds from four 75/76 mm enemy guns in the vicinity of Cho-ao. No damage or casualties were reported.

17 November

Two days operations from three carriers centered about maximum effort strikes on Chongjin, Kilchu and Hoeryong. Today a coordinated air-gun strike was conducted against Chongjin, with air strikes on Kilchu and Kyongsong. Five air strikes were launched against Chongjin throughout the day, each coordinated with the bombardment group (USS Missouri (BB 63) and USS Helena (CA 75)). A jet target combat air patrol was provided at all times when propeller driven aircraft were over the target. Naval gunfire spot was provided continuously, except when air strikes were in progress.

18 November

TF 77 pilots scored their first kills on the enemy MIG's and it was sweet revenge for the two carrier propeller aircraft that the MIG's had bagged earlier in the year. Thirty-five miles north of the Task Force, a four plane F9F-5 combat air patrol was attacked by seven MIG-15's. Two MIG's were destroyed and one damaged, while only one F9F-5 was damaged.

Air strikes were conducted against Hoeryong on the Yalu River and against coastal targets north of the Suu Line. The Hoeryong strike was timed to coincide with the timeover target of an Air Force special photo mission plane. As the photo plane time over target was about noon, this requirement limited the total effort to only one strike from each of two carriers, as there was insufficient time before or after for rearming and conduct of additional strikes. The third carrier provided continuous CAP over the force, as well as small strikes against secondary targets. Eighty-six offensive sorties were launched. A jet target combat air patrol was provided for the protection of the propeller driven strike elements.

19 November

USS Kite (AMS 22) and USS Heron (AMS 18) taken under fire from concealed enemy gun positions on Kalma Gak Peninsula and an estimated 47 rounds of 75/76 mm fire received, all falling within 400 yards. Kite's starboard float was hit and-destroyed; and fragments caused injuries to four enlisted men and one officer. All injuries were minor, and personnel were treated and returned to duty.

20 November

USS Kite (AMS 22) and USS Thompson (DMS 38) received fire from Wonsan shore batteries of estimated 120 mm caliber. Thompson was hit by one round of the many which straddled her. One minor personnel casualty and minor material damaged resulted.

Failure of port catapult of USS Essex (CVA 9) resulted in the loss of an F2H-2P and extensive damage to machinery. Ship returned to Yokosuka for repairs that took until 6 December.

21 November

USS Miller (DD 535) received seven rounds of estimated 105 mm fire from the vicinity of Sin-po. No damage or casualties were reported,

USS Kite (AMS 22) received 55 rounds of 75/76 mm fire from the Wonsan area.
No damage or personnel casualties were sustained.

USS Pelican (AMS 32) collided with USS Hanna (DE 449) in the Yongdo defense area, causing minor material damage to both ships.

RADM Francis X. McInerney relieved RADM Burton B. Biggs as Commander Service Squadron three at Sasebo, Japan.

22 November

A PB4Y, on a routine patrol flying at 300 feet altitude, was attacked by a MIG-15 at 3120' N- 12330' E. Although eight firing runs were made by the MIG-15 no damage was inflicted.

23 November

President Syngman Rhee of the Republic of Korea and Mrs. Rhee, accompanied by General and Mrs. James A. Van Fleet, Commander United Nations Forces, Korea; Lieutenant General Paik Sun Yup, Chief of Staff ROK Army; and Lieutenant General Lee Hung Keen, Commanding General 1st HOK Corps, were guests of COMCRDDIV five aboard USS Los Angeles (CA 135) arriving and departing via helicopter.

USS Wiseman (DE 667) struck a submerged rock causing damage to her sonar dome and nearby frames. Ship proceeded to Sasebo for repairs.

CTF directed commanding officers to insure proper briefing of pilots to insure against bombing; of own positions after CG NINTH Corps reported several aircraft dropped ordnance within front line positions. No damage done on this occasion.

24 November

USS Hanna (DE 449), in the Songjin area, received 50 rounds of estimated l05 mm shore fire resulting in one hit on the starboard side, damaging an evaporator and killing one man.

A PB4Y aircraft of Patrol Squadron 9, was fired upon from a small island, located at 3116' N and 12214' E, while investigating a radar contact during a rain squall. The aircraft received two hits estimated fifty caliber, but damage was minor with no personnel injuries. The photographs taken of the island indicate the possible presence of an enemy station.

A report received from a MATS aircraft states that the aircraft .was fired on by an unidentified "destroyer type" vessel at 22o 14 N 114o 20' E, just east of Hong Kong. The firing took place during clear weather with the aircraft at 4,500 feet on heading 095T.

25 November

USS Thompson (DMS 38) in the Wonsan area, heard and felt six to eight explosions, thought to be bombs, dropped near her. The closest was approximately 300 yards away. Her lookout reported aircraft, believed to be jets, heard overhead at that time. Thompson believed this was a deliberate attack by enemy aircraft. There were no radar indications of aircraft in the area as the radar was land locked.

26 November

Six single engine piston type unidentified aircraft dropped five bombs on the friendly island of Cho-do, Korean West Coast. No damage was reported.

ROKN PC 315 received unestimated caliber shore fire in the Hungnam vicinity. No damage or casualties were sustained.

Six Badoeng Strait F4Us from VMA 312 were attacked by MIG-15s over Chaeryong with no damage resulting. F4U fired eight HVAR rockets which seemed to confuse the MIG-15 pilots, who broke off the engagement.

30 November

USS Ashtabula (AO 51) suffered a gasoline explosion while at Sasebo, Japan, resulting in one man missing, three injured, and considerable material damage to the ship.

December 1952

1 December

November's bad flying weather, which curtailed flying on 12 days, reduced the Navy and Marine airmen to a total of only 7,660 sorties during the month. That this is a severe cut back is revealed by September's total of 9,438 and October's record of 11,004.

During November TF 77 aircraft devoted 50% of their daily effort to the pre-briefed front line ground strikes.

Although the naval interdiction program continued on its de-emphasized basis, the increasingly bold use of the highways by enemy trucks enable the ADN's and F4U's of TF 77 to bag 206 trucks destroyed and 274 damaged during November. Heaviest concentrations of truck traffic were still encountered at night south from Hamhung to Wonsan and the east - west corridor from Wonsan to the front. The efforts of TF 77 by no means stopped this southward movement of supplies, but they did make travel dangerous for communist forces.

Headquarters of COMNAVFE shifted to Yokosuka.

A Patrol Squadron 22 aircraft, while on a routine patrol in the East China Sea at 3009' N, 125o 11' E, was tracked by four unidentified aircraft. Only radar contact was made and there were no firing runs.

3 December

President-elect General Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Omen Bradley, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Mark W. Clark, Commander in Chief Far East, General James A. Van Fleet, Commanding General, EUSAK, Lieutenant General Paul W. Kendall, Commanding General I Corps, Mr. Charles E. Wilson, Secretary of Defense-designate, Major General Parsons, (retired), Special Assistant to the President-elect, and Mr. James J. Haggetty, Jr., presidential press secretary-designate, visited the Division CP and attended a briefing given by Major General E.A.Pollock, Commanding General, lstMARDIV.

6 December

Four enemy aircraft dropped two bombs on Sok-to island and 10 on Cho-do island with no damage or casualties reported; HMCS Crusader (DDE) fired 79 rounds at the aircraft with no hits observed.

In Wonsan Harbor, USS Merganser (AMS 26) was fired upon by guns at the mouth of the Namchongang. USS Seiverling (DE 441) replied with 101 rounds, and was herself taken under fire by guns on Kalmagak. She expended 56 rounds in counterbattery on that battery. No damage or casualties were experienced, by the chips.

6 December

USS Moore (DE 442) and HMCS Haida (DD) received 15 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm enemy fire in the vicinity of Songjin, with no damage or casualties sustained. Counterbattery fire silenced the enemy guns.

7 December

USS Merganser (AMS 26) received 30 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm shells from an enemy shore battery in the vicinity of Kalmagak. No damage or casualties were reported.

8 December

Highlighting TE 95.11's attacks on the rice supply of Northern Korea was an attack on Ongjin which destroyed 80% of 3,000 rice bag supply dump.

USS Essex (CVA 9) aircraft raided railroad facilities at Hunyung, the northernmost raid to date of the Korean War.

9 December

A maximum effort strike from TF 77 struck ammunition factory and rail facilities near Rashin. Twelve buildings were destroyed and five damaged as tremendous explosions were observed.

11 December

A Marine F3D night interceptor destroyed a PO-2 Russian built biplane, similar to the ones used for propaganda leaflet drops.

USS Shields (DD 596), USS Seiverling (DE 441) and minesweeps in Wonsan Harbor were fired upon by approximately 75 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm in four and five salvos. The small minesweepers were forced to slip their gear and use smoke-pots to help cover themselves. Shields expended 38 rounds and Seiverling 44 rounds in counterbattery fire. No damage or casualties were experienced by the ships.

While at anchor west of Yodo. USS Waxbill (AMS 39) was struck a glancing blow by USS Marshall (DD 676). Waxbill received topside damage to hull fittings but was operational.

12 December

USS Marshall (DD 676) in Wonsan area was fired upon by 20 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm shells from an enemy shore battery. No damage or casualties were experienced.

In Wonsan Harbor, USS Grasp (ARS 24) and USS Seiverling (DE 441) received an estimated 25 rounds of 155 mm fire from the vicinity of Wonsan airfield. Neither ship was hit.

RADM John C. Daniel assumed cornhand of COMSTSWESTPACAREA, succeeding RADM W.F. Paterson. RADM Daniel will continue his duties as Senior Naval Delegate to the Korean Armistice Conference if and when the talks are resumed.

13 December

In Wonsan Harbor, an estimated 40 rounds of 75/76 mm shells from vicinity of the mouth of the Namchongang fell around USS Waxbill {AMS 39) and USS Marshall (DD 676). The fire was accurate, the nearest round landing at a distance of 10 feet. Waxbill reported many fragments on deck, but no hits or casualties. Twelve rounds of counterbattery fire were returned.

14 December

In the vicinity of Chongjin, ROKN YMS 504 received approximately 50 rounds shore fire from four 120 mm guns. No damage or casualties were reported. USS Rochester (CA 124) delivered counterbattery fire.

15 December

In the Haeju approaches, the friendly guerrilla-held island of Mudo received 30 rounds of 75/76 mm fire, but suffered no casualties.

COMSEVENTHFLT commenced scheduling large combatant ships for upkeep in Hong Kong and Saigon when operations permitted.

16 December

A maximum effort strike from three carriers of TF 77 struck some hitherto untouched railroad facilities and factories in the Korean city of Yuson-dong.

COMSEVENTHFLT directed CVA of TF 77 to request Ship Repair Facility at Yokosuka to accomplish repairs to the maximum extent practicable in order to reduce overhaul periods in the U.S.

17 December

Photo interpretation revealed a marked increase in the number of anti-aircraft guns in the naval area of responsibility: 632 automatic weapons and 61 heavy guns were located.

18 December

Stocks of aviation gasoline at Sasebo exhausted on this date, illustrating the temporary lack of aviation gasoline during this month at some centers. The situation at Sasebo was alleviated on 27 December upon the arrival of a USNS tanker.

19 December

USS Waxbill (AMS 39) was taken under fire with three rounds of estimated 75/76 mm fire in the Wonsan vicinity. There were no personnel casualties or material damage to Waxbill.

21 December

One aircraft of a flight of seven from USS Essex (CVA 9) engaged in close air support probably responsible for one friendly killed and three wounded by an accidental bomb release over l0th Corps front lines.

22 December

TF 77 unleashed another three carrier maximum effort strike - this time the targets were the billeting areas, vehicle shelters and construction facilities at Kwangsuwon airfield.

23 December

USS Toledo (CA 133) received 20 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm counterbattery fire during a gun strike in the Wonsan area. No hits or damage was sustained by Toledo.

While providing gunfire support for the sweeps in Wonsan Harbor, USS Marshall (DD 676). USS McGowan (DD 678) and ROKN AMS received approximately 30 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm shells. During the firing, four to nine airbursts fell near McGowan, 60 to 70 airbursts near Marshall, and several rounds between the sweeps. No casualties or damage were reported.

ROKN MTB 23 and MTB 25 fired 32 rockets at a village at western Ongjin peninsula. The ships were taken under fire by machine guns and a mortar. There was no damage to the MTBs.

Sosari, on the friendly held island of Cho-do, received approximately 125 rounds of unreported caliber enemy fire. There were no material damage or personnel casualties.

The eastern side of Sok-to island received 200 rounds of unreported caliber enemy fire. There were no damage or personnel casualties.

COMCARDIV 5 announced that pilots of propeller aircraft would not fly more than one combat mission of 3 hours duration on any one day unless directed by the Task Force Commander.

ROKN AMS 503 and ROKN AMS 512 taken under fire by enemy batteries, receiving; an estimated 20 rounds of 105 mm fire during operations in Wonsan Harbor, no casualties were experienced.

25 December

In a tragic case of improper combat identification, an F-51 of the South African Air Force was shot down by a flight of AD's from VMA-121.

USS The Sullivans (DD 537) received 50 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm enemy shore fire in the vicinity of Songjin. No damage or casualties were experienced.

USS McGowan (DD 678) received 16 rounds of estimated 105/155 mm enemy shore fire in the Wonsan area. No damage or casualties sustained.

Friendly island of Mudo, Korean West Coast. received 136 rounds enemy fire of unknown caliber resulting in the wounding of two guerrillas.

Ten rounds of estimated 75/76 mm enemy shells fell on friendly island Hwangto-do, Wonsan Harbor. No damage or casualties occurred.

26 December

A PBM-5 aircraft of Patrol Squadron 47 splashed in the Sea of Japan at 3830' N 12915' E while on anti-submarine patrol, killing ten members of the crew of fourteen. The specific cause of the crash is undetermined.

27 December

Aircraft of TF 77 renewed the somnolent rail bridge interdiction program with all-out attacks on rail and highway bridges throughout the Navy area of responsibility in North Korea.

29 December

Friendly island of Sunwi-do received 240 rounds of enemy mortar and gun fire from Changyonsan Peninsula. No damage or casualties were reported.

CTF 77 announced that when only converted CVA were present in TF 77 they would operate four days and replenish on the fifth day. Presence of any non-converted CVA would necessitate replenishment after three operating days.

31 December

Friendly island of Muds received 17 rounds of unreported caliber enemy fire. No damage or casualties occurred.


Source: Korean War U.S. Pacific Fleet Operations. Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet Interim Evaluation Reports

Note: All dates and times are expressed in local Korean time, known as "K" time. That time zone falls between 142½° E and 157 ½° East Longitude.