Korean War: Chronology of U.S. Pacific Fleet Operations, January - April 1953

Click on month and year for a chronological listing of events of the war. The NHC Search page provides full text searching for these files.

1950 | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC |
1951 | JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC |
1952 | JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC |
1953 | JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUNE | JULY |
   Glossary of Terms, Abbreviations and Acronyms

January 1953

1 January

Navy casualties figures, including the First Marine Air Wing, showed 132 men killed in action during 1952, an increase of 16 fatalities over the previous year.

In December, as in January and June of 1952, not a single UN ship received a direct hit from enemy shells.

During the month of December, West Coast enemy shore guns fired 752 rounds
against TF 95 ships and friendly island installations. This is an increase of almost 500% over the 156 rounds expended by the West Coast guns in November.

The mine incidence during December was the lowest of the year - only six mines sighted.

During the month of December, 42% of TF 77's daily offensive effort was devoted to Close Air Support sorties.

Navy fliers racked up 10,149 sorties during December, the second highest for 1952.

During 1952, the COMNAVFE Theater Shipping Surveillance Intelligence Center
reported 11,370 ships of 59,176,387 gross tons engaged in shipping activities. A communist - non-communist breakdown for the three major areas shows that only 2% of the total known shipping in the China Sea was communist, while 35% of the Yellow Sea tonnage and 62% of the Japan Sea tonnage was communist.

Friendly held island of Rwangto-do received 90 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm enemy fire. USS McGowan (DD 678) and USS Marshall (DD 676) provided counter-battery fire. No casualties to ship or island personnel.

Use of task elements was discontinued and task units substituted. TE 95.11, the west coast CVE/CVL element, became TU 95.1.1.

2 January

Enemy guns in Wonsan fired seven rounds of estimated 75/76 mm shells on Hungto-do island. No casualties were experienced.

4 January

Enemy fired 13 rounds on Hwangto-do Island. USS McGowan (DD678) provided counterbattery fire. No friendly casualties were sustained.

4 - 14 January

TF 77 aircraft operated only two days between four January and 10 January, due to low cloudiness and snow showers over operating and target areas. Between 10 and 14 January, high winds, snow, ice, and low temperatures (min 9) restricted all flying and caused heavy icing on all ships. This was the most' severe case of weather interference in the Korean War.

10 January

USS Merganser (AMS 26) and USS Firecrest (AMS 10) received 40 rounds of 105 mm enemy fire from guns in the vicinity of Ponggang-ni. There were no damage or casualties.

12 January

Friendly held islands Wollaedo and Yukto received enemy shore fire. No damage or casualties were experienced.

15 January

Friendly held island of Mudo received enemy shore fire. No damage or casualties were reported.

Six PF and four LSSL were formally turned over to the Japanese government. Thess ships were the first increment under Public Law 467, 82nd Congress, pending, for loan to Japan of 18 PF and 50 LSSL. The ships will be operated by the coastal Security Force. Assistance in readying the ships and crews was provided by the MSA Advisory Group and FLETRAGRUWTPACUWATE Japan. On 5 January the UWATE commenced training a group of eight officers and one petty officer to develop a Japanese underway training group.

15 January

HMS Sparrow (PF) received enemy shore fire from the vicinity of Huryomdong. One hit starboard quarter, causing splinter damage, but no personnel casualties.

During minesweeping operations in the Haeju area, USS Pelican (AMS 32) received 10 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm enemy shore fire. No damage or casualties resulted.

17 January

Two F9F from TF 77 possibly responsible for attacking a friendly tactical air control party, resulting in one killed, three wounded, and two vehicles damaged.

18 January

A Navy Neptune patrol plane of VP-22 making a routine patrol flight, crashed in the southern Formosa Straits after being hit by anti-aircraft gunfire in the vicinity of 22-57 N and 116-36 E, a communist-held island east of Swatow. A U.S. Coast Guard PBM Mariner picked up 11 of the 13 Neptune crewmen, but crashed on take-off, burned and sank. Salvage and rescue operations by the U.S. and Royal Navy surface units and U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and RAF aircraft, were hampered by gunfire from shore. One P2V was reported fired on and trailed by an unidentified aircraft during darkness, and one PBM and one P2V were each hit by small caliber fire from the beach. Ten crewman were reported rescued from the two crashed planes.

USS Colahan (DD 650) received three rounds of estimated 75/76 mm fire from Yujin Dan Point. No damage or casualties occurred.

ROKN YMS 514 received nine rounds of estimated 75/76 mm enemy fire from a shore battery in the vicinity of the Haeju approaches. No damage or casualties resulted.

A prop aircraft dropped two bombs on front line troops resulting in three friendlies killed and eight wounded. Bombs identified as 250 pound GP, but aircraft not identified.

Friendly held island of Cho-do received seven rounds of estimated 75/76 mm enemy fire from mainland. There were no personnel casualties or material damage.

USS Waxwing (AM 389) and USS Merganser (AMS 26) received nine rounds or 75/76 mm fire from the mainland near OngJin. No damage or casualties were experienced.

27 January

CTU 95.2.2 tracked a small radar contact for one hour and a half at speeds up to 25 knots in the vicinity of Kalma Wan, northeast coast of Korea. Tracking characteristics strongly resembled the behaviour of a PT boat. This is possible confirmation of intelligence reports that North Korean Navy may be rebuilding in the form of a PT force.

28 January

USS Kidd (DD 661), operating off Kojo, received 18 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm enemy shore fire. No damage or casualties resulted.

COMAIRPAC stated that rotation of squadron personnel as a unit fully trained is the only practical solution to maintain readiness of Marine combat squadrons.

30 January

Friendly held island of Mudo, in the Haeju approaches, received 120 rounds of estimated 75/76mm enemy fire from batteries on the mainland. No damage or casualties resulted.

February 1953

1 February

The addition of one Chinese communist division brought the UN-opposing force in Korea at an all time high of 841,000.

2 February

Two F4U from USS Kearsarge (CVA 33) jettisoned six bombs due to an emergency, which were probably responsible for three friendly troops killed and five wounded.

Enemy shore batteries in the Hungnam area fired estimated four rounds of 75 mm caliber at USS Halsey Powell (DD 686). No damage or casualties were experienced.

The President of the Unites States issued an order directing Task Force 72 to cease the blockade of Formosa. This was a strategic measure and, tactically, had virtually no effect on the operations of the Formosa Patrol.

3 February

An unidentified aircraft dropped two bombs, estimated 500 pounds apiece, and believed to be delay fused, on Yo-do island in Wonsan Harbor.

Task Unit 95.1.1 carried out with USS Badoeng Strait (CVE 116) an intensified attack schedule in order to ascertain the capability of the ship to mount such an offensive. A total of 66 sorties were launched during the test day and even more could have been sent aloft if the occasion had demanded.

4 February

The air-to-air contact and attack of six MIG-15s on four Corsairs of VDA 312 near Sokto gave further evidence today of the high caliber of enemy radar north of the Taedong-Gang estuary. The marine pilots, however, managed to get the best of the exchange damaging one MIG without getting hit themselves.

CTU 95.1.2 reported that ice in the Haeju area extended south to Yonpyongdo at low tide.

Commander Task Force 77 directed that all ships present in Task Force 77 go to general quarters daily until further notice for one hour after sunset and for one hour before sunrise.

Enemy shore guns in the Wonsan area fired an unreported number of rounds on friendly islands in the vicinity. Counterbattery fire by USS Halley (DD 556) effectively silenced the guns. No casualties to friendlies.

5 February

Friendly held island Hwangto-do, in Wonsan Harbor, received seven rounds of estimated 105 mm gun fire from a cave position on the mainland. No damage or casualties were reported.

6 February

In an armed whaleboat raid on Hwa-do Island, USS Halsey Powell (DD 686) personnel taken under fire by four 75/76 mm guns, small arms and machine gun fire, resulting in the wounding of two crewmen.

Off the coast of Chinnampo, four Sea Fury aircraft attacked by two MIG-15s. Only one firing pass was made and no damage was inflicted.

COMNAVFE issued a directive for the protection of friendly troops providing that (1) Navy aircraft between the main line of resistance and the bombline will be under positive control of agencies established for that purpose, and (2) Navy aircraft proceeding to attack targets between the bombline and a line through Haeju-Tongchon ("Mac" line) will obtain positive identification from the appropriate TADC that they are definitely north of the bombline.

Enemy shore batteries on the island of Hwa-do fired estimated 30 rounds of 75/76 mm caliber at USS Halsey Powell (DD686). No damage or casualties.

8 February

An enemy shore gun in the Kojo area fired 10 rounds of 75/76 mrn fire at a ROKN motor sampan but could not hit the small ship. Counter-battery fire by USS Swenson (DD 729) silenced gun.

ROKN MTB 23 and MTB 25 attacked enemy positions on the mainland NE of Paengnyong-do with 5 inch rockets. Machine gun fire was returned by the enemy but MTBs were not hit.

9 February

In Wonsan Harbor, friendly islands were under enemy bombardment. Yo-do received eight rounds of estimated 75/76 mm shore battery fire; Sin-do received 14 rounds of unknown caliber fire; and Hwangto-do received 19 rounds of mixed 81 mm mortar-l05 mm for a total of 41 rounds on all three islands. No damage or casualties were reported.

HMNZS Hawae (FF) reported sonar contact with a possible submarine at 37-30 N, 125-05 E. The contact was reported to have a maximum speed of 20 knots and was held for 18 minutes. Hawae attacked with squid (similar to a hedgehog), but observed no results.

9 - 10 February

A maximum effort strike against supply concentrations and transport targets from Wonsan through Songjin to Chongjin and Hoeryong was launched on these two days by aircraft from the USS Philippine Sea (CVA 47), USS Oriskany (CVA 34) and USS Kearsarge (CVA 33).

10 February

HMS Crane (PF), HMNZS Hawae (PF), and HMS Opossum (PF) spent the night and part of the day investigating a possible submarine contact in the vicinity of 37-32 N, 125-O8 E. Contact was finally evaluated as non-sub.

In Wonsan Harbor, friendly islands were taken under fire by shore batteries. Tae-do received eight rounds of 105 mm and Yo-do four rounds of 105 mm. No damage or casualties were experienced.

11 February

COMCARDIV 3 reported 80% of the trucks destroyed and damaged by Task Force 77 in recent weeks were picked off by night pilots.

The islands in Wonsan Harbor were fired on for the 3rd consecutive day. Yo-do received eight rounds of estimated 75/76 mm fire; Hwangto-do received 18 rounds of 105 mm fire; and Taedo received one round of 105 mm. No damage or casualties were reported.

12 February

RADM Clarence E. Olsen relieved RADM John E. Ginerich as Commander Task Force 95.

A total of 28 rounds of enemy shore battery fire was received by islands in Wonsan Harbor. Hwangto-do received eight rounds of 81 mm mortar and one round of 75/76 mm; Sin-do received three rounds of unreported caliber; No-do received four rounds of 10 mm; and Tae-do received eight rounds of 10 mm and four rounds of 8l mm mortar fire.

13 February

In Wonsan Harbor, friendly island Hwangto-do received four rounds of 105 mm enemy shore battery fire. No damage or casualties resulted.

14 February

Friendly held island of Cho-do, off Korean West Coast, received two rounds of unreported caliber fire from an enemy gun emplacement on the mainland. No damage resulted.

During the afternoon and evening, the islands in Wonsan were under fire for the sixth consecutive day. A total of 124 rounds were received - 40 on Hwangto-do and 84 on Yo-do. Two were killed and nine, including one USMC officer, wounded on Yo-do. Material damage resulting from the shelling was: On Yo-do - one direct hit on the KMC command post, one DUKW destroyed and two others suffered hull damage, two squad tents destroyed, the aid station damaged-and telephone wires down; On Hwangto-do - two bunkers caved in. USS DeHaven (DD 727) and USS Moore (DE 442) provided counterbattery fire and were themselves fired upon, the nearest shells landing 400 yards from each. The firing was reported as unusually determined and precise with the enemy not taking his usual precautions with regard to disclosing his positions. The fact that a battery would cease fire when subjected to counterbattery fire, with other positions immediately taking up the fire, indicated some sort of central control for the first time.

15 February

The invention of a phenomenally successful image motion compensation device for the K-38 camera by a member of VC 61 aboard USS Philippine Sea {CVA 47) permitted for the first time 1/5000 photography with the K-38 at the maximum speed capability of the F9F-5P photo reconaissance jet.

Bombardment of the islands of Wonsan continued for the 7th consecutive day when Yo-do received 14 rounds of 105 mm. USS DeHaven (DD 727) provided counterbattery fire, but reported no damage.

16 February

While returning from an ASW patrol, a P2V-5 from Patron 29 received strike damage when a malfunctioning hydraulic system caused it to crash while landing at NAS Atsugi.

The second anniversary of the siege of Wonsan observed today. After two years, what had once been the most important East Coast Korean port, key transportation hub and industrial city of 108,000 was now reduced to shambles where 6,000 civilians and 30,000 troops were reportedly pinned down in the area because of the ever-present threat of amphibious attack. Despite its ruined conditions Wonsan still remained a large supply and transport center and hence the unrelenting siege by naval fliers and surface guns goes on.

17 February

Five F4U aircraft encountered six MIG-15s in the air west of Pyongyang. The MIGs made four firing runs and the F4Us made three firing runs. No damage was incurred by either group.

In Wonsan Harbor, friendly island Yo-do received three rounds of 155 mm fire. Approximately one-half hour previously, the above gun position was the target of an airstrike, and also had received three direct hits by eight-inch fire from the USS Toledo (CA 133) on the previous day.

18 February

USS Wiseman (DE 667) captured a large sampan 25 miles south of Chongjin. Wiseman removed five civilian prisoners and destroyed the sampan.

18 - 19 February

Marine Air Group 33, operating under the First Marine Air Wing and Fifth Air Force, conducted photo, flak suppression and attack missions in support of Air Force major strikes during the month. On these dates the MAG 33 commander served as airborne controller for a 208-plane attack force against Pyongyong.

19 February

USS Prichett (DD 561) and USS Gushing (DD 796) collided while operating in Task Force 77. There were no personnel casualties. Both ships required dry docking in Sasebo for repairs.

20 February

As evidence of the increasing enemy AA menace was the increase of 28 automatic weapons noted along the central sector of the bombline and the increased enemy proficiency, especially when firing at propeller aircraft at low altitudes. Also noted has been the better effectiveness of enemy camouflage of AA positions in recent weeks.

21 February

Reminiscent of the maximum effort interdiction pattern was an all out three-carrier rail and bridge interdiction strike launched by Task Force 77 aircraft.

22 February

Friendly islands in Wonsan Harbor area were shelled by enemy shore guns for about 30 minutes. USS Moore (DE 442) and USS Chauncey (DD 667) took the shore batteries under fire and were themselves taken under fire by several rounds that landed close but were harmless. Four friendly troops on Yo-do Island were wounded.

23 February

Operation HAYLIFT II began. This operation was designed to support by helicopter two lst Marine Division Regiments that are on the line with all daily requirements of classes I through V; plus evacuations, mail, and priority passengers. The planning for the operation called for 260,000 pounds to be lifted by 10 helicopters, in 90 flight hours, at the rate of 1000 pounds per load.

24 February

A PB-1W airborne CIC commenced operating five hours per day with TF 77.

Operation HAYLIFT II ended. Final analysis showed a daily average of 12.4 helicopters operating for 9.7 hours per day, lifting 322,461.2 pounds per day in 326.6 trips were required to support the two Regiments.

Hwangto-do Island, in Wonsan Harbor, received one round of 105 mm and one round of 76 mm enemy shore fire. No damage or casualties reported.

A ships boat from HNMS Johan Maurits Von Nassau (DD), while enroute to a meeting with a junk from the friendly held island of Sosuap-to to pick up a sick man, was fired on from the friendly island Taesuap-to. A telegraphist was killed and a ROKN Liaison Officer seriously wounded.

28 February

Aircraft from Task Force 77 bombed and strafed Pusan #2 power plant.

Enemy shore batteries on the Korean East Coast fired 322 rounds during the month of February. This was 89 more than that received during any month in 1952. The large increase was attributed to the intensified activity of the shore batteries in the Wonsan area. A total of 310 rounds, as compared to 197 in January, were received during February from enemy shore batteries in Wonsan.

An examination of the fire power of the enemy shore battery system discloses that during February 90% of the ammunition expended was directed toward the UN island bulwarks and only 10 % against surface vessels.

Naval and marine fliers racked up 8,680 sorties during February in the face of adverse weather conditions. The aviation death toll fell to three while plane losses stood at 18, nine of which were downed by enemy action.

Enemy opposition to surface forces was extremely light during February and only negligible damage resulted to one vessel. Minesweepers swept 12 mines during the month, an average figure despite inclement weather.

During February Task Force 77 continued to give a major emphasis to strikes against the bombline. From the 1st to 11 February, 19.1% of the total offensive sorties were devoted to the bombline operations, including 10.7% to CAS and 8.4% to ground support missions. The period from 11-28 February saw a rise in ground support-CAS effort, with 25% of attack sorties going to ground support strikes and 9.3% to close air support.

During all February naval air operations, the pilots posted 15,000 firing runs on target while consuming 6,559 tons of bombs, 1,998 rockets and 1,400,000 rounds of ammunition. Plane losses per thousand sorties dropped to 2.07 from January's figure of 2.37.

As many as 24 F9F-5's were sent aloft from each carrier during February daily operations in Task Force 77. Each jet carried a 2,000 pound bomb load when launched by the H-8 catapult, proving the jet to be worthy companions of the props in delivering quantities of ordnance.

March 1953

1 March

USS Valley Forge (CVA 45) propeller and jet aircraft raided the Chosen #1 power plant, heavily damaging the hotly defended plant.

Enemy guns in the Wonsan area pumped five more rounds of 76 mm onto Yo-do Island, but could cause no damage.

3 March

The Navy's first major leaflet drop of the Korean War took place as leaflets were dropped all the way from the bombline up the east coast to the Yalu River.

4 March

ROKN LSSL 110, in attempting to go alongside the USS Laws (DD 558) which was anchored off Nan-do Island, collided with the Laws causing slight damage to starboard side of Laws.

5 March

(Ed. Note: Joseph Stalin, head of the Soviet Government in Moscow, dies of heart failure this day. His death has a significant impact on Korean armistice negotiations).

Yo-do Island, in Wonsan Harbor, received eight rounds of unreported caliber enemy fire. No damage occurred. USS Chauncey (DD667) silenced the gun positions with 5 inch shells.

During a heavy gun strike in Wonsan Harbor, USS Missouri (BB 63) was challenged by five rounds of estimated 105 mm shore battery fire. Missouri was not hit and quickly silenced the battery.

Aircraft from USS Valley Forge (CVA 45) attacked the Chosen #1 hydroelectric station cutting the penstocks and destroying sections of the main power plant.

COMCRUDIV one assumed duties as Commander Task Group 95.2.

6 March

Tragedy struck the decks of the USS Oriskany (CVA 34) today when a Corsair landed aboard with a hung 250 pound GP bomb. The bomb fell from the aircraft and exploded on number three elevator platform killing two and wounding 13 others.

In the Hungnam area, USS Laws (DD 558) was taken under fire by three estimated 75/76 mm guns. She received 14 rounds, the nearest splashing about 50 yards from the ship.

New type MIG jet aircraft sighted over Korea. New type has wings swept back further than MIG- 15, one flow-fence on each wing parallel to the fuselage approximately 18 to 24 inches from the wingroot, and appeared to be painted dull silver.

7 March

USS Black (DD 666) collided with and sank a 75 foot South Korean intelligence boat in vicinity of Nan-do. There were nine survivors and six men lost. Black sustained no significant damage.

Formosa Patrol Force, Pacific Fleet (FORMPATPAC) was established by authority CNO dispatch 272152Z of Feb 1953 with RADM T. B. Williamson as the commander. Mission and task for COMFORMPATPAC are the same as assigned CTF 72 by COMSEVENTHFLT OpOrder 2-52 (Rev).

8 March

Marine jets conduct night radar bombing missions.

9 March

The islands in Wonsan Harbor received a total of 39 rounds of coordinated fire from enemy shore batteries: Hwangto-do received 12 rounds; of 90 mm and 14 rounds of 155 mm; Tae-do received five rounds of 82 mm mortar; and Yo-do received eight rounds of 155 mm. None of the above rounds resulted in any friendly casualties.

Three enemy guns, estimated 75/76 mm, in the vicinity of Anbyon, fired 50 rounds at ROKN AMS 506 and ROKN AMS 510. AMS 506 received one hit under the stern damaging her screw and AMS 510 was hit above waterline. There were no personnel casualties.

10 March

Friendly islands in Wonsan Harbor received 18 rounds of enemy artillery fire: Hwangto-do received one round of 90 mm, five rounds of l55 mm, one round of 120 mm mortar, and four rounds of 105 mm; Yo-do received five rounds of 155 mm and two rounds unobserved due to heavy snow. No casualties were experienced.

USS Missouri (BB 63) received 15 rounds of counterbattery fire during a heavy gun strike in the Wonsan area. Enemy guns ranged in size from 75/76 mm to 155 mm, but the nearest shell landed 500 yards from Missouri.

USS Merganser (AMS 26) fired upon by enemy shore batteries in the Wonsan area. Nearest round landed 200 yards astern.

11 March

Friendly hold islands Hwangto-do and Yo-do in Wonsan area fired on by an unreported number of rounds of enemy 82 mm mortar. No casualties.

13 March

Task Force 77 brought sorrow to the communist transportation authorities today by directing a three carrier all out attack against rail and bridge interdiction targets. Pilots from USS Valley Forge (CVA 45), USS Oriskany (CVA 34), and USS Princeton (CVA 37) participated.

Enemy shore batteries in the Wonsan area fired estimated 79 rounds of mortar and 85 rounds of 120 mm at friendly guerrilla held island Hwangto-do. No damage or casualties were experienced.

14 March

USS Oriskany (CVA 34) aircraft flew 104 sorties against a big mining complex northwest of Songjin.

15 March

Vehicle sightings indicate a significant decrease in activity from January and February levels. The possibility exists that muddy and slippery road conditions, created by spring thaws, already are hampering the communists.

Pilots of VMA 312 took advantage of perfect flying weather to destroy eight rail cars, two possible radar towers, a power transformer and numerous other assorted targets before returning to USS Bataan (CVL 29).

16 March

Hwanto-do Island again bombarded by enemy Wonsan guns. Ten rounds of mixed 120 mm and 82 mm mortar fire were received, but caused no casualties.

In the Songjin area, the USS James E. Kyes (DD 787) observed one air burst 300 yards on her port side.

During minesweeping operations in the Songjin area, the USS Gull (AMS 16) was taken under fire by several enemy shore guns, estimated 75/76 mm and 105 mm. Of the 60 enemy rounds fired, Gull suffered one hit, causing minor damage and two personnel casualties.

17 March

Enemy shore batteries in the Songjin area fired 30 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm shells at the USS Taussig (DD 746) and USS James E. Kyes (DD 787). One hit on Taussig caused minor material damage and wounded one crewman.

18 March

The USNS LST 623 suffered major damage when she ran aground on the breakwater rocks at Sokch'o-ri, Korea, while attempting an exit from the harbor.

19 March

Task Force 77 launched a three carrier maximum effort strike against the communist city of Chongjin. During the day 169 sorties wore flown, completely ravaging the industrial section of the city.

Enemy Wonsan Harbor guns again turned on Yo-do Island, firing 24 rounds of l55 mm. Friendly installations, however, escaped injury.

Enemy shore batteries in the Wonsan area fired one round of 105 mm at friendly guerrilla held island Hwangto-do. No damage or casualties wore experienced.

19 March

USS Los Angeles (CA 135), while participating in a heavy gun strike in Wonsan Harbor, was fired upon by enemy shore guns. Two air bursts, estimated 90 mm, and one surface round of unknown caliber landed near the cruiser, but no damage or casualties were experienced.

22 March

During a heavy gun strike in Wonsan Harbor, USS Missouri (BB 63) fired upon by two rounds of air burst 90 mm and two rounds of 105 mm. No damage or casualties were experienced.

Enemy shore batteries in the Wonsan area fired 10 rounds of 105 mm caliber at friendly guerrilla held island Hwangto-do. No damage or casualties were experienced.

Enemy shore batteries in the Wonsan area fired 18 rounds of 105 mm caliber at USS Prichett (DD 561) and USS Waxbill (AMS 39). No damage or casualties were experienced.

Enemy shore batteries in the Wonsan area fired estimated 33 rounds of 109 mm caliber at friendly held island Yo-do. No damage or casualties were experienced.

Friendly aircraft sighted a probable TU-4, the Soviet version of the B-29, parked at Ta-ku-shan airfield, just across the Yalu River. The appearance of this aircraft on an airfield where it was certain to be observed by UN pilots is probably motivated by a desire to produce a psychological reaction on the UN, and at the same time serving as a morale booster for units on the border.

23 March

Jet aircraft from USS Oriskany (CVA 34) staged a "lights out" program by attacking a water power site below the Fusen Reservoir, resulting in four cuts in the penstocks and damage to two buildings housing generators.

In the Songjin area, USS Owen (DD 536) fired upon by two rounds of estimated 75/76 mm from enemy shore guns. No damage or casualties were experienced.

Friendly island of Yo-do in Wonsan Harbor received 15 rounds of unknown caliber enemy fire. No damage or casualties occurred.

25 March

USS Prichett (DD 561) fired on by enemy shore guns in the Wonsan area. Enemy fired 14 rounds of estimated 105 mm. No damage or casualties were experienced.

26 March

USS James E. Kyes (DD 787) fired upon in the Songjin area. Enemy shore battery fired 50 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm but could not hit Kyes.

Friendly Yo-do Island in Wonsan Harbor received 36 rounds of unreported caliber enemy fire. No damage or casualties were experienced.

Enemy shore batteries in Wonsan fired 10 rounds of 105 mm at USS Seton (DD 790). No damage or casualties experienced.

In Wonsan Harbor, USS Eversole (DD 789), ROKN AMS 502 and AMS 515 taken under fire by an unreported number of rounds from enemy shore batteries. No damage or casualties were experienced.

27 March

In the Wonsan area, enemy shore batteries fired 60 rounds of mixed 40-105 mm at USS Los Angeles (CA 135). One hit caused minor damage, but no personnel casualties.

Three volunteer Corsair pilots from USS Oriskany (CVA 34) dived on the hotly defended Hamhung Highway Bridge in the bright moonlight and knocked out the center span before enemy flak gunners could even fire a shot.

27 - 28 March

Task Force 77 launched two days of saturating attacks on a 1½ square-mile supply area 10 miles north of the eastern end of the main line of resistance, in which 216 sorties from USS Princeton (CVA 37), USS Philippine Sea (CVA 47), and USS Oriskany (CVA34) were flown.

27 March

Enemy shore batteries fired 16 rounds on friendly islands in Wonsan Harbor. No damage or casualties reported.

28 March

In Wonsan Harbor enemy shore guns fired two tracer airbursts at USS Prichett (DD561). Closest burst was 200 yards away.

Marine Air Group 12 flew their all time record of 129 sorties today, dropping 207.64 tons of bombs in close support of the First Marine Division.

The friendly island of Hwangto-do, in Wonsan Harbor, received 24 rounds of estimated 105 mm enemy fire, but reported no casualties.

In the Hungnam area, enemy shore batteries fired 10 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm on USS James E. Kyes (DD 787) and USS Waxbill (AMS 39). No damage or casualties were experienced.

29 March

Enemy shore guns in the Wonsan area fired five rounds of 105 mm at Sin-do island and four rounds at Yo-do Island. There were no friendly casualties.

30 March

Friendly islands in Wonsan Harbor were again taken under fire by enemy guns on the mainland. Yo-do received six rounds of 155 mm and Hwangto-do received four rounds of 105 mm. No casualties were reported.

USS Prichett (DD 561) and USS Shelton (DD 790) operating in Wonsan Harbor, were under shore fire from an estimated 105 mm enemy gun. 15 enemy rounds were fired but no damage or casualties occurred.

P2V on a routine patrol in the Formosa Straits reported that five unidentified single engine propeller type planes trailed the friendly at position 25-53 N, 120-32 E. The bogies trailed the P2V for a period of two hours.

Friendly island of Yo-do in Wonsan Harbor received four rounds of unknown caliber fire. No damage or casualties were experienced.

31 March

The first of eight air/surface gun strikes on the tremendous Wonsan Harbor coastal defense complex took place today by aircraft and ships of T2 77. This attack, as did the later ones, produced no tangible results.

Five enemy guns in the Wonsan area, estimated from 105 to 155 mm, fired about 20 rounds at USS Prichett (DD 561). Nearest splashes were 150 yards short. Prichett silenced guns with counterbattery fire.

Despite 19 restricted flying days during March, marine pilots flew 917 close air support sorties during the month.

Red gunners on the Wonsan perimeter fired a record high 524 rounds on Wonsan islands during the month of March. In the face of this, friendly forces on the islands suffered two KIA and one WIA.

Not a single B-29 was lost to enemy interceptors during the month of March. This success is attributed to the refinement of tactics being employed by the men of VMF (N) 513 who fly night escort for the Air Force bombers. Since the commencement of marine night escort for the B-29s, in late 1952, the "Flying Nightmares" have shot down one YAK-15 and three MIG-15s.

During the month of March Navy and Marine pilots flew a total of 9,062 sorties, posting more than 14,100 firing runs on target while expending 6,671 tons of bombs, 2,041 rockets and 1,100,000 rounds of ammo.

April 1953

1 April

The courage of helicopter rescue crews was again demonstrated today when a daring rescue was made of a downed pilot from the USS Valley Forge (CVA 45) just as an enemy small boat was about to capture him.

Sending her small boat crew inshore to conduct an audio and visual search for trains in the Chaho area, the USS James E. Kyes (DD7B7) sighted a northbound train and vectored an Air Force plane to the scene. The aircraft damaged several boxcars of the train.

2 April

Enemy shore batteries on the mainland fired four rounds of 75/76 mm at the friendly guerrilla held island of Cho-do. No damage or casualties were experienced.

USS Prichett (DD561) received two rounds of estimated 105 mm from guns on Hapchin-hi. Both shots fell short about 400 yards.

Yo-do island received three rounds of 155 mm from Hapchin-ni guns, but escaped damage or casualties.

Operating in the Wonsan area, USS Los Angeles (CA 135) sustained one hit causing minor structural damage to mainmast and 13 minor personnel casualties. Fourteen other men had shrapnel hits deflected by armored vests.

3 April

USS Prichett (DD561) was target for approximately 40 rounds of 40 mm tracer fire during the early morning hours. All rounds fell short.

Commander Blockade and Escort Forces reported that during the past week the enemy used his truck headlights extensively despite a bright moon and clear weather. He was even less inclined than usual to extinguish the lights when taken under fire.

4 April

Friendly island of Cho-do received 220 rounds of 75/76 mm fire from enemy guns on the mainland. One man was killed and 10 wounded.

Enemy shore batteries in the Wonsan area fired 19 rounds of unknown caliber at the friendly held island of Yo-do. No damage or casualties were experienced.

Friendly held island of Yongwl-do near the Haeju approaches, invaded by approximately 90 NKA troops. The enemy troops were supported by gunfire from the southern Ongjin Peninsula, but aircraft from Task Unit. 95.1.1 came to the aid of the besieged friendlies and after 10 hours the invaders withdrew to the mainland.

5 April

Naval vessels in Wonsan Harbor again under fire, but no damage or casualties were sustained. USS Maddox (DD 731) received six rounds of 75/76 mm and one round of 155 mm, while ROKN AMS 515 avoided approximately 50 rounds of 105 mm.

Four enemy guns on the mainland, east of friendly held Cho-do Island, opened up on the island city of Sosa-ri with about 300 rounds of 76 mm shells. There were one Korean killed and 10 wounded in the city.

James E. Kyes (DD 787), operating in the vicinity of Mayang-do island, was fired on by three rounds of 75/76 mm. No damage or casualties were experienced.

6 April

Despite a heavy barrage by enemy shore guns in the Wonsan area, UN islands and surface vessels remained unscratched. Targets for the enemy guns were USS Redhead (AMS 14) (25 rounds of 76 mm); USS Maddox (DD 731) (one round of 155 mm); Yo-do Island (57 rounds of 155 mm); and Tae-do Island (5 rounds of 82 mm mortar).

7 April

In Wonsan Harbor, the enemy shore guns were very active, but not successful. USS Los Angeles (CA 135) and USS McDord (DD 534) avoided two rounds of unknown caliber fire; Yo-do Island received 57 rounds of 122 to 155 mm fire; and Tae-do Island received eight rounds of 82 mm mortar fire. No friendly casualties were experienced.

A VP-47 aircraft on routine patrol was fired on at 33-32 N, 121-57 E by Chung 104, a Chinese communist LST. The vessel fired several rounds estimated to be from 3 inch guns. Splashes, believed to be from automatic weapons, were observed in the water. There was no damage to the aircraft or personnel.

8 April

Friendly held Sok-to Island bombarded by 60 rounds of unestimated caliber fire from the mainland. No damage or casualties were experienced.

Naval ships operating in the Wonsan Sector had 64 rounds of assorted caliber fire directed against them, but there were no hits.

10 April

On the Korean East Coast, Wonsan guns pumped 14 more artillery shells into Yo-do Island, while on the west coast Cho-do Island received 15 rounds. Both islands escaped casualties.

In the Cho-do area, LSSL 107 evaded 20 rounds of unknown caliber enemy shore fire. No casualties occurred.

11 April

In Wonsan Harbor, USS Eversole (DD 789) was target for 50 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm from the mainland. No damage or casualties were experienced.

12 April

Naval units in the Wonsan Sector received 14 rounds of unreported caliber enemy fire from the mainland. No damage or casualties were sustained.

In the vicinity of the bombline on the Korean East Coast, USS McCord (DD 534) fired on by one round of 75/76 mm enemy shore fire. No damaged occurred.

13 April

Enemy batteries on the mainland fired nine rounds of artillery at the UN held West Coast Island of Cho-do. No damage occurred.

The beleaguered city of Chongjin was again visited by the aircraft of TF 77, who pounded the city with 119 completed combat sorties. Many buildings and transportation targets were devastated, including a communications center located in a harmless looking bank building.

Enemy shore batteries on the mainland fired 27 rounds of unknown caliber on friendly held islands in Wonsan Harbor. No damage or casualties were experienced.

During a bombardment mission in Wonsan Harbor, enemy shore batteries fired one round of unknown caliber at USS Los Angeles (CA 135). The enemy shell splashed harmlessly.

14 April

The UN held island of Tae-do in Wonsan Harbor received five rounds of artillery and three rounds of mortar fire from enemy guns. No casualties were experienced.

A friendly P2V on a routine patrol was the target for 60 aggressive, but non firing passes by several unidentified aircraft at Lat 39-05 N, Long. 136-33 E. Attacks took place during extremely dark night and enemy tactics indicated possible use of CIC type plane.

15 April

USS Mispillion (AO 105) engaged in rescue operations when Chinese Nationalist steamer Menten burned and sank while enroute Kaohsuing to Sencho. Of 52 reported on board the Menten, 14 survivors and 27 bodies were recovered.

Friendly held Cho-do island bombed by an unknown number of unidentified enemy aircraft. Enemy aircraft were apparently too low for effective interceptors. On Cho-do friendly. casualties resulting from the bombing were two killed, 22 wounded.

HMCS Crusader (DDE} had a field day on railroad trains today when she stopped three trains in the vicinity of Tanchon and inflicted considerable damage to each train.

16 April

Friendly minesweepers in Wonsan Harbor under fire today as enemy batteries fired 50 rounds in a vain effort to hit the small vessels.

In Wonsan Harbor an estimated 10 guns, ranging in size from 75 to 155 mm, fired 156 rounds on USS Maddox (DD 731) during a 40 minute period. One 76 mm shell hit the main deck portside above number 2 fireroom, rupturing deck with a 16 inch tear and perforating the adjacent area. There were three casualties resulting from this hit. Counterbattery fire failed to silence the enemy guns.

A marine raiding party, consisting of US and South Korean Marines landed on the east coast of Korea at latitude 40 38' north. Landing in rubber boats and supported by USS Owen (DD 536) the marines set off a demolition charge on the rail line and returned to their ship. No opposition encountered.

16 - 17 April

Enemy planes dropped several thousand propaganda leaflets on the " Inchon and Seoul areas proclaiming the so called communist "peace" desires.

17 April

In Wonsan Harbor, USS Shelton (DD 790) taken under fire by three rounds of 155 mm enemy shells, the closest splash occurring 500 yards away.

Friendly islands of Tae-do, Yo-do, and Hwangto-do received 35 rounds of mixed caliber enemy shore fire from Wonsan area guns. No casualties occurred.

18 April

Friendly islands in Wonsan Harbor received 92 rounds of mixed caliber fire. No casualties were experienced.

While firing on an enemy railroad again near Chado, USS James E. Kyes (DD 787) taken under fire by 25 rounds of estimated 105 mm enemy shore battery shells. Counterbattery fire by the Kyes failed to silence the enemy guns and she was forced to open the range to seaward. While the Kyes was not hit, three cars of the besieged enemy train were taken to the sanctuary of a nearby tunnel during the duel.

Helicopters of HMR 161, assisted by the lst Air Delivery Platoon, FMF, transported rocket launchers and ammunition to a firing site in the Waya-Dong area. The launchers were set up and one resounding salvo fired using three launchers. The entire firing site was cleared within 3 minutes after the first rocket was fired.

In Wonsan Harbor, enemy shore guns fired 25 rounds of 105 mm at USS Eversole (DD789), but she escaped damage.

19 April

Enemy guns in Wonsan caught USS James E. Kyes (DD 787) with a 155 mm shell hit. Enemy fired 60 rounds of 155 mm. The hit caused a three foot hole in the main deck, one serious and three minor personnel casualties.

In Wonsan Harbor, USS Shelton (DD 790) received 25 rounds of estimated l05 mm enemy shore fire. No damage or casualties were experienced.

Friendly islands of Tee-do and Hwangto-do in Wonsan Harbor received 66 rounds of from 57 mm to 155 mm enemy shore fire. No casualties were suffered.

In Wonsan Harbor, enemy guns fired three rounds of 76 mm shells at USS Curlew (AMS 8), the nearest shell falling 1,000 yards from .the minesweeper.

While making a mooring buoy in Sasebo Harbor, USS Talladega (APA 208) fouled the buoy with her propeller. Propeller damage resulted consisting of one blade tip being bent aft about six inches.

Enemy shore guns in the Wonsan area opened up on USS New Jersey (BB 62), and USS Renshaw (DDE 499). Enemy fired 26 rounds of from 75 mm to 105 mm shells at New Jersey; and 15 rounds of estimated 90 mm shells at Renshaw. None of the above rounds caused any friendly casualties.

20 April

Operation "Little Switch", the repatriation of seriously sick and wounded POWs, commenced. This operation, the result of the untiring effort of the United Nation negotiators, continued for the remainder of the month and resulted in the repatriation of 5,485 communist personnel and 684 UN POWs, of which 149 American.

In Wonsan Harbor, friendly islands of Hwangto-do, Tee-do, and Yo-do received their daily dosage of enemy shells. During the day 47 rounds of 90 mm and 105 mm fell on the islands, but there was no damage.

21 April

TF 77 conducted "BOY-SAN DAY" where pilots selected and attacked preferred enemy targets.

Hwangto-do, Yo-do, and Tee-do Islands, in Wonsan Harbor, received 115 rounds of 75 mm to 155 mm mortar and artillery shells from enemy shore batteries. The islands also received 300 rounds of machine gun fire from the mainland. No casualties or significant damage occurred.

USS Henderson (DD 785), while on patrol in the Wonsan area, was target for 12 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm. No damage or casualties were experienced.

22 April

Friendly islands in Wonsan Harbor were bombarded again by the persistent Wonsan guns. Hwangto-do and Tae-do islands received 33 rounds of 82 mm to 155 mm shells, but there were no casualties.

In Wonsan Harbor, USS Manchester (CL 83) taken under fire by enemy shore batteries that fired 19 rounds. The nearest shell splashed 100 yards from the ship.

USS Manchester (CL 83) suffered slight superficial damage from shrapnel as a result of shore battery fire in Wonsan Harbor. There were no personnel casualties.

23 April

Between 1430 and 1600 the island of Tee-do was under intense enemy fire from gun positions on Kalma Pando. Five United Nations enlisted personnel (one USMC and four KMC) were injured, one critically. When informed of the firing and the necessity to evacuate the injured personnel, COMDESDIV 282 designated USS Henderson (DD 785) to lay down heavy suppression fire while USS Owen (DD536), with medical officer aboard, approached the island and took aboard the casualties. While engaged in this evolution Henderson and Owen were taken under fire by the enemy batteries, with most firing concentrated on Henderson. Several enemy salvos were fired at Owen and the small boat transporting the casualties. Owen withdrew from the harbor so that immediate surgery could be initiated. Twelve TF 77 aircraft arrived in response to a call for air support and strafed Kalma Pando. All firing ceased at 1730. The four HMC personnel, with minor wounds, were transferred to the island of Yo-do and the seriously injured U.S. Marine was transferred to Manchester upon completion of surgery. The destroyers escaped injury.

Four Royal Navy Sea Furies were attacked by four unidentified aircraft with swept back wings about 10 miles east of Amgak. Superficial damage was inflicted on the Sea Furies.

During the day islands in Wonsan Harbor received the following fire: Sin-do, 13 rounds of 76 mm; Tae-do, 18 rounds of 90 mm; Hwangto-do, 11 rounds of 105 mm; Yo-do, one round of 105 mm; Sado, 16 rounds of 105 mm. No casualties resulted from this fire.

23 April

Wonsan guns fired 100 rounds of 76 mm to 105 mm fire at USS James C. Owens (DD 776) and USS Henderson (DD 785), but were unable to score a hit.

USS Epperson (DDE 719) sighted and sank five floating Mk 26 mines in the vicinity of 39 39' north latitude 120 08' east longitude.

24 April

Friendly islands in Wonsan area were under their usual daily bombardment. Sin-do received 13 rounds of 76 mm; Tae-do received 17 rounds or 90 mm; Hwangto-do received 11 rounds of 105 mm; Yo-do received one round of 107 mm, and So-do received 16 rounds of 107 mm. No casualties resulted from their firings.

25 April

In the Wonsan area, USS James C. Owens (DD 776) was taken under fire by an unknown number of rounds of 105 mm enemy shore fire. No damage or casualties occurred.

From 0940 to 0953, USS Saint Paul (CA 73) fired on by enemy shore batteries on southern perimeter of Wonsan Harbor. Seven splashes (believed to be from 76 mm guns) were observed from 10 to 700 yards from the ship. At 1235 enemy shore batteries resumed firing on USS Saint Paul (CA 73). Sixteen splashes from 200 yards to 1700 yards from the ship were observed and believed to be from 76 mm to 105 mm guns on southern perimeter.

The island of Hwankto-do was target for nine rounds of 120 mm and eight rounds of 90 mm today, but did not suffer casualties or damage.

26 April

Off Wonsan Harbor, the UN held islands and the USS Owen (DD536) were taken under fire by enemy shore. batteries. Tae-do received 11 rounds of 82 mm, Sin-do received 10 rounds of 105 mm; Hwangto-do received 11 rounds of 107 mm; Yo-do received 16 rounds of 76 mm; and the USS Owen (DD536) was subjected to three rounds of 105 mm. No damage or personnel casualties were experienced.

27 April

Communist shore batteries in the Wonsan area fired 215 shells at UN held islands and U.S. destroyers. Large guns, estimated 155 mm, on Hodo Pando, fired 128 rounds at USS Gurke (DD783), USS Owen (DD 536) and USS Maddox (DD 731); the 155 mm guns also fired 70
rounds at Hwangto-do Island. Smaller guns of approximate 90 mm caliber fired 11 rounds at Hwangto-do and six rounds at Tae-do Island. No damage or casualties were experienced by friendly units.

28 April

USS Owen (DD 536) and Hwangto-do Island were the major targets for Wonsan guns today, but neither suffered a casualty. Owen taken under fire by 30 rounds of 105-155 mm and Hwangto-do received 80 rounds of 82-155 mm fire. An additional 36 rounds of artillery shells fired at Tae-do and Yo-do islands, but again there were no casualties.

29 April

A HU-1 Unit 19 Helicopter while on a mine reconnaissance flight over Wonsan Harbor was target for 14 rounds of apparent VT fuzed enemy projectiles. The helicopter escaped damage.

Wonsan shore guns fired 55 rounds at the UN held islands and the ships operating in the harbor. Tae-do received 12 rounds of 82 mm; Hwangto-do received seven rounds of 90 mm; Yo-do received 30 rounds of 107 mm; and USS Gurke (DD 783) avoided six rounds of 105 mm fire. No casualties were experienced.

30 April

COMDESDIV 282 considered the newly activated enemy shore batteries on Hodo Pando constitute a serious menace to ships in Wonsan Harbor. They are practically invisible from the harbor and can be sighted only by their flashes when firing. Five inch counterbattery fire has no effect on the enemy batteries. Until these batteries are effectively silenced by air and heavy gun strikes, he recommended that destroyers keep clear of the area covered by these batteries during daylight.

One frigate and nine LSSLs were turned over to the government of Japan, making a total of 10 frigates and 25 LSSLs that have been delivered in accordance with the provisions of the Charter Party Agreement.

Wonsan guns fired 43 rounds of 82 to 120 mm shells at the friendly islands and three rounds of 76 mm at USS Owen (DD 536). No significant damage or casualties occurred.

USS Gull (AMS 16), operating out of Cho-do, fouled her gear on friendly held fishing nets and $3,000 damage to nets was claimed.

Mine warfare activities, after a several month lull, increased sharply during April when 37 mines were encountered, the highest reported number since August 1952.

Enemy shore batteries fired 2,091 rounds against ships of TF 95 during the month of April, an all- time high as far as available records are concerned.

The number of enemy radar intercepts by U.S. units has been climbing steadily from October 1952. During the month of April 900 intercepts, an all-time high, were recorded.

For the second straight month; communist gunners fired a record number of shells at the friendly held islands in Wonsan Harbor. During April, the islands received 1,050 rounds of artillery fire and suffered nine WIA.

During the month of April, Navy and Marine pilots flew a total of 9,458 sorties, posting 15,600 firing runs on target while expending 7,052 tons of bombs, 2,874 rockets and 1,500,000 rounds of ammunition.


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.