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Korean War: Chronology of U.S. Pacific Fleet Operations, January–June 1951

Click on month and year for a chronological listing of events of the war.

1951 JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUNE  
Glossary of Terms, Abbreviations and Acronyms

January 1951

5 January

Commander Amphibious Group 3 (CTG 90.1) in USS Eldorado (AGC 11) completed the partial re-deployment of UN troops from Inchon to Taechon.

7 January

Thailand frigate, Prasae grounded in vicinity Lat. 38o 00 N. Long. 128o 47 E.

Re-deployment of troops by sea through Inchon completed this date.

10 January

lst Marine Division commenced to move to Pohang-Dong, assigned to protect Andong, Uisong, Yongch'on and Pohang-Dong Main Supply Route.

12 January

Landing operations by forces redeployed from Inchon completed this date.

14 January

Thailand frigate, Prasae, destroyed by naval gunfire of ships of East Coast Blockading and Patrol Task Group (TG 95.2).

16 January

Marine Fighter Squadron 323 debarked from the USS Badoeng Strait (CVE 116) and was launched for Itami.

Marine Fighter Squadron 214 debarked from USS Sicily (CVE 118}. and was launched for Itami.

17 January

USS Bataan (CVL 29) with DESDIV 72 relieved HMS Theseus and screening destroyers as Carrier Task Element (TE 95.11).

18 January

Undetermined number of enemy troops contacted east of Andong by elements of let Marine 

19 January

USS Leyte (CV 32) detached from Fast Carrier Task Force (TF 77}. Departed Far East for CONUS 26 January.

Escort Task Group (TG 95.5) was activated thus adding seven US patrol frigates to United Nations Blockading and Escort Force (TF 95).

Element of Underwater Demolition Team (UDT 1) from USS Horace A. Bass (APD 124) attacked by enemy patrol on beach approx. Lat. 35-53 N west coast during survey operations -- 2 killed, 5 wounded.

20 January

Amphibious Task Force (TF 90) commenced water lift of POW and refugees from South Korea to Joje Do and Oheju Do islands respectively.

23 January

Anti Submarine Warfare Hunter Killer Task Group (TO 96.7) formed by COMNAVFE.

24 January

CINCPACFLT, COMNAVFE and COMSEVENTHFLT arrived and boarded USS Mt McKinley (AGC 7) at Pusan.

COMPHIBPAC (RADM I. N. Kiland) relieved Commander Amphibious Group I (RADM J. H. Doyle) of the operational command of Amphibious Forces, Far East (TF 90).

Marine Fighter Squadrons VMF 214, 312, and 323 commenced operations from Bofu Air Base, Japan.

25 January

CINCPACFLT, COMNAVFE and COMSEVENTHFLT in USS Missouri (BB 63) arrived at Sasebo,

26 January

USS St. Paul (CA 7) fired upon by shore batteries at Inchon.

29 January

TF 77 program of interdiction of bridges on East Coast of Korea commenced.

30 January

Diversionary landing deception operation at Kosong and Kansong east coast of Korea under direction of Commander United Nations Blockading and Escort Force (CTF 95) in USS Dixie (AD 14) commenced with bombardment and pre-landing deception operations including mine- sweeping.

31 January

Amphibious Task Force (TF 90) vessels including -- USS Montague (AKA 98), USS Seminole (AKA 105) and LST's simulated landing activities in Kosong and Kansong area to mislead enemy into re-deployment of his forces ashore.

February 1951

2 February 1951

USS Partridge (AMS 31) mined and sank 021206 Item -- approximate position 38 l0' N. 128 38' 00" E.

8 February

Marine Fighter Squadrons, VMF 214, 312 and 323 moved from Bofu, Japan to Pusan, Korea.

8-10 February

Pre-landing operation carried out at Inchon by USS Missouri (BB 63) and amphibious ships under coordinated control of Commander West Coast Blockading and Patrol Task Group (TG 95.1) as "planned deception." Enemy retreated from Inchon.

13 February

General Douglas MacArthur made statement to press that UN forces would not arbitrarily cross 38 parallel in Korea.

14 February

Far Eastern Air Force informed COMNAVFE that interdiction of the northeast coastal area was difficult for the 9th Air Force because of distance from bases. The Navy was requested
accordingly to take the northeast coastal route until 25 February.

15 February

USS Wiseman (DE 667) at Masan, Korea, commenced training program for ROK Naval Academy midshipmen and Service School personnel from Chinhae Naval Base.

Many ships lost boats and rafts in storm in Tokyo and Yokosuka area. Ships grounded in Tokyo Bay.

16 February

COMNAVFE directed Seventh Fleet to conduct the interdiction of Korean northeast coastal routes as requested by FEAF.

Rotational 10 day visit schedule established to provide APA or AKA in Hong Kong at all times in event evacuation of U. S. citizens becomes necessary.

17 February

Bombardment of Wonsan commenced by Task Element of United Nations Blockade and Escort Task Group (TG 95.2).

19 February

VADM William Andrewes, RN relieved RADM Allen E. Smith, USN, as Commander United Nations Blockading and Escort Force (CTF 95). Task Group 95.9 was formed with RADM A. E. Smith at CTG 95.9.

19 February

USS Ozbourn (DD 846) taken under fire by shore batteries in Wonsan area.

1st Marine Division transferred from operational control of Eighth Army to operational control of IX Corps.

21 February

Operation Killer, a land movement designed to attrition as many Chinese communist forces as possible commenced, 5th Marines in van.

24 February

Sindo-Ri Island in Wonsan Harbor approaches captured in amphibious landing by ROK Marines, supported by 2 DD and 2 PF. No opposition encountered.

March 1951

24 February - 5 March

Major General O. P. Smith, USMC assumed command of IX Corps on death of Major General Bryant E. Moore; USA. Brigadier General Lewis B. Puller, USMC, temporarily commands lst Marine Division.

25 February

COMNAVFE directed Seventh Fleet to continue the railroad interdiction which had been initially scheduled only through 25 February.

2 March

1st Marine Division captured Hoengsong.

3 March

Gunfire Support Element (TE 95.21) at Wonsan fired on by shore batteries but no hits scored.

Commander Transport Squadron 1 with 3 APA and 2 AKA made amphibious demonstration off Cho Do island near Chinnampo at request of 8th Army.

5 March

Marine Fighter Squadron 212 debarked at Pusan from USS Bataan CVL 29.

COMNAVFE promulgated his OpOrder 3-51 in which it was stated that intelligence reports indicated a buildup of Chinese communist forces and many junks in ports opposite Formosa. This buildup portended a possible amphibious attempt on Formosa, utilizing junks as the primary method of transportation.

5-28 March

Out of 72 mines sighted in this period 36 were sunk.

6 March

Marine Fighter Squadron 312 went aboard USS Bataan (CVL 29).

8 March

Siege bombardment of Songjin commenced by USS Manchester (CL 83) , USS Evans (DD 754), USS Sperry (DD 697) and HMNS Evertsen (DD).

11 March

Marine Night Fighter Squadron 42 left the Far East for CONUS to be equipped with new type of jet all-weather aircraft.

13 March

General Matthew Ridgway, CG of Eighth Army, stated to a press representative: "It would be a tremendous victory if the war ended with our forces at the 38o parallel. However, there are no such plans now that I know of."

14-19 March

During five consecutive days of firing in a shore bombardment operation off Kyojo Wan, Songjin, Chaho and Wonsan, USS Missouri (BB 63) was credited with destroying 8 railroad
bridges and 7 highway bridges, thus contributing materially to the Fast Carrier Task Forces (TF 77) campaign against Korean east coast transportation system of the enemy.

15 March

Bombardment of a troop assembly area near Wonsan by Task Element of TG 95.2 with casualties inflicted from 6,000 to 7,000, while at nearby Singi on the same date the USS Lind (DD 703) inflicted 2,000 casualties.

16 March

East Coast Blockading and Patrol Task Group (TG 94.2) fired on by enemy shore batteries at Wonsan.

19 March

Commander, Fast Carrier Task Force (CTF 77) advised the carriers under his command that the initial rail interdiction of the area of carrier responsibility had been completed and that trains were now operating on only a few short sections of track.

22 March

Marine Air Control Group 2, and Marine Ground Control Interceptor Squadron 3 arrived in Far East to be attached to let Marine Air Wing.

All naval functions at Inchon assumed by Fleet Activities Group and Military Sea Transport Service and Naval Control Shipping Office.

24 March

General Douglas MacArthur cabled to United Press he stood ready at any time to confer in the field with the commander-in-chief of enemy forces in an earnest effort to find any military means to end the War in Korea.

Rail traffic alone the northeast coast of Korea brought to a virtual halt through the systematic destruction of key bridges and track breaking.

25 March

VADM H. M. Martin, USN, COMFIRSTFLT broke his flag on USS Philippine Sea. (CV 47).

27 March

USS Boxer (CV 21) relieved USS Valley Forge (CV 45).

Collision occurred in dense fog between Glendale (PF 36) and Carmick (DMS 33). Former was serving as Harbor Entrance Control Vessel on station vicinity Songjin.

28 March

VADM H. M. Martin relieved VADM A. D. Struble as COMSEVENTHFLT and reported to ClNCPACFLT for duty.

Commander Amphibious Group and 2nd Engineer Special Brigade commenced operations for the reopening of the port of Inchon as a resupply port.

29 March

A twin-jet bomber was observed over North Central Korea. FEAF evaluated it as a possible new Soviet bomber, the first sighting of this type of aircraft in the Far East.

April 1951

3 April

Effective 030000Z Logistic Support Force (TF 92) composed of Service Squadron THREE and Service Division THIRTY-ONE together with United Nations Blockading and Escort Force (TF 95) were placed under Commander SEVENTH Fleet for operational control. Commander SEVENTH Fleet was directed to assume responsibility for those tasks assigned in COMNAVFE OpOrder 20-50 to Logistic Support Force (TF 92) and United Nations Blockading and Escort Task Force (TF 95).

RADM A. E. Smith reassumed command of United Nations Blockading and Escort Force (TF 95) vice VADM Andrewes, RN.

7 April

Special Task Force (TF 74), USS St. Paul (CA 73), USS Lind (DD 703), USS Massey (DD 778), USS Fort Marion (LSD 22), and USS Begor (APD 127) Carried out demolition raid at Sorye Dong near Songjin. Landing party 4lst Independent Royal Marine Commando (250 men) secured beachhead without enemy opposition. 100 ft. of railroad track destroyed.

8-15 April

No TF 77 interdiction flights; TF 77 employed on Formosa Strait operations.

8 April

Commander United Nations Blockading and Escort Task Force (CTF 94) stated that cooperation between Air Force night heckler planes and besieging ships operating in Wonsan area had improved night interdiction and was rapidly bringing to a complete stop all enemy traffic in Wonsan and environs.

11 April

Fast Carrier Task Force (TF 77} commenced air operations in Straits of Formosa consisting of aerial parade just outside three mile limit of mainland China and photo missions of selected mainland targets. Air parade lasted until 14 April.

13 April

Commander Fleet Air, Japan was designated CTG 96.4 and Commander Fleet Air Wing SIX as CTG 96.2, thus relieving Commander Fleet Air, Japan of the operational control of Fleet Air Wing SIX.

15 April

In change three to COMNAVFE OpOrd 20-40; Marine Force Far East (TF 91} was changed to Marine Air Force Far East (TF 91). Also in change 3 to COMNAVFE OpOrd 20-50 the Escort Carrier Group (TG 96.8) was dissolved.

16 April

Task Force 94, Naval Forces Marianas, reverted to operational control of CINCPAC.

21 April

Marine Air Group 12 (Forward Echelon) commenced operating from Seoul City Airport.

22 - 23 April

Communist Chinese Forces attacked in force, routing 6th ROK Division; attack stemmed by blunting action of lst Marine Regiment.

23 - 27 April

1st Marine Division slowed, halted and finally smashed communist Chinese attempts to turn left flank of II Corps; Marines established a defense line south of Chunchon.

25 April

JOG (Joint Operations Center) Korea orally requested the Navy to assist in interdiction of western rail routes.

26 April

USS Toledo (CA 133) returned to Inchon to stand by in event of a break through of Reds in Seoul area.

Major General G. C. Thomas, USMC, relieved Major General O. P. Smith, USMC, as commanding general of 1st Marine Division.

29-30 April

Targets in Kojo-Tongchon area, Korea East Coast bombarded by USS Helena (CA 75), USS Manchester (CL 83), USSBausell (DD 845), USS Rogers (DDR 876), USS Agerholm (DD 826) and USS Anderson (DD 786), as part of an amphibious demonstration by USS Okonogan (APA 22), USS Telfair (APA 210), and USS Winston (AKA 94). Purpose was to divert elements of Chinese communist forces exerting pressure on 8th Army.

30 April

1st Marine Division transferred from operational control of IX Corps to operational control of X Corps.

May 1951

1 May

USS Helena (CL 74) at Wonsan was bracketed with 104 rounds by enemy shore fire from a mobile battery.

Approximate position of battle: line in Korea on this date extended from a point about six miles north of Yangyang on the East Coast to a point slightly north of Yongdongpo on the West Coast.

lst Marine Division defending north of Hong Ch'on under X Corps.

1 - 25 May

USS Toledo (CA 133) at Inchon for gunfire support of I Corps of Eighth Army.

3 May

12 Corsairs (F4U's) and 8 Skyraiders (AD's) from USS Princeton (CV 37) made inland torpedo attack on Hwachon Dam. Destruction of one dam gate and damage to two others prevented tactical use of the reservoir water held by the enemy.

5 May

ROKN JML 306 hit mine and sank.

Operational Command Authority section created on COMNAVFE staff.

6 May

RADM G. R. Henderson relieved RADM R. A. Ofstie as COMCARDIV 5 and COM TF 77.

6 - 7 May

Special pre-D-day bombardment demonstration and gunfire support mission for ROK troops, Kosong and Kansong areas. USS Helena (CL 75), Orleck (DD 886), Fiske (DD 842), Buck (DD 761) and HMS Cockade (DD) participated. Extensive damage to enemy troops, shelters, gun positions and transportation facilities. KMAG shore fire patrol party reported that naval gunfire support saved ROK Army units in area from complete annihilation.

7 May

One man seriously hurt on USS Hoquiam (PF 5) by enemy shore battery fire at Songjin.

10 May

Units of Amphibious Task Force (TF 90) completed lift of Air Force equipment and personnel from Naha, Okinawa to Inchon, Korea.

11 May

USS Orleck (DD 886) on East Coast combat line fired on enemy .troops using SFCP, causing an estimated 300 enemy casualties. Later firings reported by American SFCP to have destroyed 140 enemy troops and saved ROK Army from complete annihilation.

In response to an Air Force request of 29 April, carrier planes of the Fast Carrier Task Force (T F-77) attacked four West Coast area rail bridges dropping spans in three.

13 May

Commander Transport Squadron 1 (COMTRANSRON 1) in USS Bayfield (APA 33) departed Yokosuka for CONUS with 2nd rotational increment of NavBeachGroup 1 embarked. COMTRANSDIV 13 assumed duties as COMTRANS Group (CTG 90.2), flagship USS Calvert (APA 32).

16 May

COMNAVFE advised C0MSEVENTHFL that commitment of substantial carrier air effort as contemplated in the West Coast interdiction effort was of interest to higher authority and should go through appropriate service channels.

Battle of SOYANG-GANG began in X Corps sector, This was start, of second Chinese communist spring offensive.

17 May

RADM R. A. Ofstie USN, relieved RADM A. K. Morehouse, USN as
Chief of Staff COMNAVFE.

18 May

Eighth Amy requested maximum close air support in repelling May communist offensive.

Fast Carrier Task Force (TF 77) suffered its heaviest casualties to date in the Korean War, Six aircraft (5 F4U, 1AD) lost, to enemy action during the combat operations. Three pilots were killed, one missing, two recovered.

USS Duncan (DDR 874), Brinkley Bass (DD 887), and Leonard F. Mason (DD 852) expended 1,100 rounds 5 inch ammunition at Wonsan on interdiction and counterbattery fire. Received heavy fire from shore batteries on Kalma Gak. Ships were not damaged.

20 May

Heavy shore batteries at Wonsan took USS Brinkley Bass (DD 887) under fire and scored one hit on the ship, killing one man and wounding nine others. USS Brinkley Bass maneuvered out of range without serious material damage, delivering counterbattery fire.

All available units of TF 90 commenced extensive amphibious training; exercises scheduled 20-28 May under CTF 90 OpOrder 6-51, Landing exercises were conducted at Chigasaki Beach Sagami Wan, on 26-27 May. The British 41st Independent Commandos participated in the exercises, landing during the darkness on the morning of the 26th.

Initial firing in Korean War by USS New Jersey. (BB 62) at Kansong. Later moved to Kosang and then to Wonsan. On 21 May received one hit on No. 1 turret from shore battery with slight material damage; one killed, three wounded from near miss.

20-21 May

Landing raid and demonstration by British Commandos on Korean West Coast opposite Cho-do (Island). Air spot provided by USS Bataan (CVL 29). Surface units, including USS Toledo (CA 133), provided gunfire support.

22 May

1st MarDiv joined offensive along Hongch'on-Omyang-Yanggu axis.

23 May

Two LSMR fired a tota1 of 4,903 rockets at enemy concentrations in vicinity of Wonsan in a 35 minute period. This was part of the coordinated operation "FIREBALL" with CL and DD. LSMR employed for first time in Wonsan siege bombardment.

24 May

Enemy shore batteries at Wonsan had been active for seven successive days. Wonsan station ship detected several small craft southeast of Rei-To Island. Night radar firing by USS Manchester (CL 83) and the USS Brinkley Bass (DD 887) broke enemy formation. Four sampans recovered by Manchester with 11 enemy dead, one wounded. Craft noted to be reinforced to carry four M-26 mines each.

26 May

Tactical ground situation in West Korea greatly improved; alert for amphibious redeployment from Inchon canceled.

28 May

Marine Fighter Squadron 214 (VMF 214) commenced staging aircraft from Hoengsong on combat flights.

29 May

Brig. Gen. Thomas J.. Cushman, USMC, relieved Major General Field Harris, USMC as Commanding General, lst Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW). Brig. Gen, W. O. Brice, USMC, assumed duty as Deputy Commander, lst MAW.

USS Stickell (DD 888) and USS Burlington (PF 51) landed raiding party vicinity Songjin. Destroyed three steel-decked junks with hand grenades, killed two guards. No friendly casualties.

31 May

New COMCRUDIV 5 - RADM A. A. Burke, USN, in USS Los Angeles (CA 135) arrived off East Coast of Korea and assumed command of Bombline Element (TE 9.28).

June 1951

1 June

Commander Fleet Air Wing ONE assumed command TF 72 (Formosa Patrol Force).

By this date Shimonoseki Straits, Japan, had been cleared for heavy cruisers and a passage was made by USSManchester (CL 83).

Navy representative in Joint Operations Center (JOC) advised TF 77 that the Commanding General Eighth Army had requested a program of highway interdiction south of parallel 39o. This was called "Operation Strangle".

First Marine Aircraft Wing (lst MAW) inaugurated policy of basing one squadron at Hoengeong, immediately in the rear of 1st MARDIV to provide ground alert aircraft.

2-3 June

Begor (APD 127) and Underwater Demolition Team (UDT 3) landed ROK guerrillas at night on Song-do (Island) near Kojo, east coast of Korea.

2-5 June

CINCPACFLT, COMNAVFE and COMSEVENTNFLT embarked in USS New Jersey (BB 62) at Sasebo for tour of observation and conferences with friendly troops in Pusan and Wonsan areas and Naval Forces Far East.

3 June

End of Battle of SOYANG-GANG. 1st Marine Division continued attack in newly assigned zone east of Hwachon Reservior.

4 June

Marine Fighter Squadron (VMF 312) departed USS Bataan (CVL 29) for Itami Air Force Base, Japan.

1st Marine Division continued offensive east of Hwachon Reservoir.

5 June

Three enemy MIG-l5 jets observed by two F-80s at 39-52 N, 12-50 E. With the exception of the December 1950 attack by MIG-15 on a Naval helicopter in approximately the same area, this incident is believed to represent the most southerly confirmed penetration buy enemy jet fighters.

7 June

Raiding party put ashore at Songjin from USS Rupertus (DD 851) received small arms fire and returned to ship after capturing three North Korean prisoners. No casualties.

Commander Amphibious Group Three (COMPHIBGRU 3) RADM L. A. Thackery, USN, in USS Mt. McKinley (AGC 7) departed Yokosuka, Japan for San Diego. Far East requirements for AGC and Amphibious Force flag officers reduced from two to one.

9 June

USS Helena (CA 75) fired her 10,000th major calibre round in the Korean War.

First test of air drop and pick-up station on Yo Do (Island); intended to facilitate exchange of information and photographs between Wonsan Area and TF 77.

10 June

Two PB4Y-2 aircraft commenced operations as flare-dropping planes for night attack operations of VMF(N) 513.

Marines Fighter Squadron (VMF 312) commenced operations from Pusan. Fighter Squadron (VMF 323) embarked aboard the USS Sicily (CVE 118).

12 June

USS Walke (DD 723) struck floating mine at 38-52 N, 129-25 E, suffering 26 enlisted men killed and 35 received minor wounds.

14 June

USS Thompson (DMS 38) hit 14 times by enemy shore batteries off Songjin. Personnel casualties; three dead, three seriously wounded, and one minor casualty. USS Thompson sustained moderate topside and electrical damage.

16 June

100th consecutive day of siege at Songjin.

17-30 June

Advance elements of 1st MARDIV assumed the defense; developing positions and carrying out strong combat patrols.

18 June

CINCFE called attention to COMNAVFE and CG FEAF to the volume of truck traffic in west and central sectors and increased rail traffic on the east coast. He asked for earliest interdiction.

USS Evans (DD 754), while interdicting at Wonsan, suffered near misses by shore batteries. Four minor injuries to personnel and superficial damage.

20 June

1st Marine Division secured objectives east of Hwachon Reservoir.

RADM G. C. Dyer relieved RADM A. E. Smith as Commander United Nations Blockading and Escort Force (CTF 95) and broke his flag in the USS Prairie (AD 15).

Engagement of F-51 and F-86 with enemy fighter and ground attack types, west coast of Korea. First reported incident of enemy usage of fighter and ground attack aircraft for combined combat operations. Also, first incident of MIG aiding enemy conventional aircraft under attack by friendly fighters.

USS Brinkley Bass (DD 887) controlled first SCAB (ship control of aircraft bombing) run of a B-26 aircraft in Wonsan area. Promising results from this coordinated attack

21 June

lst Marine Division began the defense of Hwachon Reservoir area. Organized defensive positions and maintained contact with the enemy by vigorous patrolling.

23 June

Units of Amphibious Task Force (TF 90) under Commander Transport Division 12 (CTG 90.2) in USS Calvert (APA 32} commenced amphibious training of Regimental Combat Team of the 40th Division of the XVI Corps, embarking troops at Shiogama Japan for landing at Chigasaki Beach. This exercise was completed 27 June as scheduled. 

Jacob Malik, USSR representative to the United Nations gave US radio broadcast in which he said he believed the Korean crisis could be settled and suggested a cease-fire and withdrawal from the 38o parallel.

27 June

CINCPACFLT approved recommendations to reduce WESTPAC Amphibious Force to one AGC, seven APA and two AKA.

Friendly guerrilla raid at Chong Ye-Ri on Korean West Coast supported by Naval surface units. Several enemy killed and captured. Two enemy ammo dumps destroyed.

Regimental Combat Team, RCT 223, 40th Infantry Division completed amphibious training with landing exercises on Chigasaki Beach, Japan.

Chief of Naval Operations, COMNAVFE and COMSEVENTHFLT aboard USS New Jersey
(BB 62) for inspection tour of operating area.

28 June

USS Tucker (DDE 875) received counter-battery fire while conducting bombardment of Wonsan Harbor. One hit, superficial damage to ship, one man injured.

Chief of Naval Operations and COMNAVFE returned to Tokyo from Korea.

30 June

CINCFE (General Matthew Ridgway)} broadcast to the Commander in Chief of communist forces in Korea a proposal for a meeting between US and communist representatives to discuss a "cease-fire" in Korea and suggested a meeting at Wonsan aboard the Danish. hospital ship Jutlandia.

Naval bombardment and siege of Wonsan entered its 134th consecutive day

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.

Published: Wed Apr 08 07:56:01 EDT 2015