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Korean War: Chronology of U.S. Pacific Fleet Operations, May–July 1953

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

1953 MAY | JUNE | JULY |
Glossary of Terms, Abbreviations and Acronyms

May 1953

1 May

During a mag-acoustic exploratory sweep off of Hungnam, USS Dextrous (AM 341) and USS Ruddy (AM 380) fired upon by 25 rounds of 76 from a three gun emplacement. The minesweepers suffered no damage from the enemy fire, but during evasive maneuvers Ruddy lost her magnetic tail.

2 May

Enemy shore guns on Hodo Pando scored one direct hit and one near miss each on USS Maddox (DD 731) and USSOwen (DD 536). Both ships suffered minor material damage to the hull and superstructure, but no personnel casualties. The Reds fired over 200 estimated 105 mm at the destroyers during their attack.

3 May

The HMS St. Brides Bay and the ROKN PCS 201 supported guerrillas infiltrating the mainland in the Haeju area.

Commanding General Far East Air Force listed 30 major North Korea air-fields to be maintained unserviceable in order to limit the communist air arm in North Korea to an absolute minimum and to prevent augmentation of their air arm preceding the date of a possible armistice. COMNAVFE was requested to maintain six of these airfields unserviceable.

In Wonsan Harbor, Yo-do Island, So-do Island, and USS Gurke (DD 783) received fire from enemy shore batteries of unknown caliber. No damage occurred.

4 May

In the vicinity of the Hamhung approaches, enemy shore batteries, estimated to be 76 mm, fired 18 rounds at USSMaddox (DD 731). No damage or casualties were experienced by Maddox.

Wonsan Islands received 93 rounds of enemy artillery fire today, but no damage or casualties were experienced.

5 May

Wonsan Islands underwent their daily dosage of communist artillery shells, today, absorbing 31 rounds with no casualties.

During a heavy gun strike in the Wonsan Harbor area, USS Bremerton (CA 130) was fired upon by 18 rounds of 76 to 105 mm shells. One near miss caused two minor personnel casualties and superficial top side damage.

6 May

While attacking rail facilities in the vicinity of Songjin, HMS Cockade (DD) was target for 29 rounds of enemy artillery shells. All shells fell 30 to 100 yards from the ship.

In the vicinity of the Haeju approaches enemy mainland batteries fired 20 rounds of estimated 76 mm at friendly held Mu-do Island and ROKN PG 315 but caused no casualties.

7 May

After 20 months of front line fighting the First Marine Division was relieved of its sector and deployed to rear areas for a well merited respite and further training.

In the Songjin area enemy shore batteries fired 45 rounds of 105 mm at HMS Cockade (DD) but caused no damage.

8 May

Enemy shore guns in the Wonsan area scored one hit on USS Samuel N. Moore (DD 747) with a 90 mm shell, but did no significant damage. The shell struck the starboard side above the waterline. The same gun fired two rounds at USSBrush (DD 745) but could not hit the Brush. Over 60 rounds had been fired at Samuel N. Moore in attaining one hit.

In the Haeju area enemy guns on the mainland fired 130 rounds of 75/76 mm at HMCS Hawae (DDE) and 15 rounds at the ROKN YMS 514. No damage or personnel casualties were experienced.

The HMS St. Brides Bay (DE) supported a partisan raid on the west coast of Haeju-man. The raid failed to reach its objective and the raiders withdrew.

10 May

ROKN AMS 503 received 25 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm fire from the Kojo Peninsula. No damage occurred.

USS Maddox (DD 731), while harassing the enemy in the vicinity of Yang-do, received two rounds of 40mm fire, but was not hit.

11 May

U.S. destroyers surprised and damaged four enemy railroad trains near Tanchon as the "package destruction" program continues unabated.

12 May

In the vicinity of Soho-ri, USS Philip (DDE 498) fired upon by four rounds of estimated 105 mm. No damage or casualties were experienced.

12 - 15 May

Wonsan islands received one round of enemy artillery fire 12 May; 36 rounds on 13 May; 58 rounds on 14 May; and 109 rounds on 15 May. Prime target is aircraft on Briscoe Field, Yo-do Island. When ships silence guns firing on islands a second battery fires on the ship.

13 May

The USS Boxer (CVA 21) launched her first combat sorties of her fourth Korean tour of duty.

14 May

At the bombline, ROKN AMS 503 fired upon by 25 rounds of estimated 75/76 mm from an enemy shore battery, but was not hit.

15 May

ROKN AMS 506 sustained slight structural damage and five minor personnel casualties when enemy guns in the Haeju are scored a 76 mm hit.

Due to the limited gasoline supply on the unconverted USS Boxer (CVA 21) with three jet squadrons aboard, Task Force 77 was forced to schedule refueling operations every third day.

Enemy shore batteries in the Wonsan area scored a 76 mm shell hit on the forward 5 inch mount of USS Brush (DD 745). The hit caused minor damage to the mount rendering it temporarily inoperative. There were four serious, five minor personnel casualties.

16 May

Morning heckler aircraft of Task Force 77 caught and damaged an 18 car railroad train along Korea's East Coast.

Tae-do Island, in Wonsan Harbor, received nine rounds of mortar fire, but friendly installations escaped damage.

17 May

USS Brush (DD 745) and USS James E. Kyes (DD 787) supported a successful raid north of Kojo. The ROK raiders destroyed two automatic weapons, 14 sampans, and started 50 fires.

USS Maddox (DD 731) bagged a train in the Songjin area, hitting the engine, with 5 inch shells, causing two secondary explosions. Fires from the burning engine provided illumination for completely destroying the train.

Escort Carrier USS Bairoko (CVE 115) provided close air support for an amphibious raid on the Korean West Coast, 45 miles northwest of Seoul. The raid proved that UN forces could successfully land and withdraw an amphibious unit from the strongly held Lonan Peninsula Fohan estuary.

19 May

USS James E. Kyes (DD 787) and USS Eversole (DD 789) teamed together to stop and destroy a locomotive and six car train at Chaho. The ships expended 418 rounds including 128 starshells in accomplishing the destruction of the train. Intelligence reports later confirmed the kill.

Enemy guns rained 25 rounds of artillery shells on Wonsan Islands but friendly installations escaped damage.

20 May

Sangchwirado Island, on the Korean West Coast, was target for 25 rounds of enemy artillery fire but escaped unscathed. Nearby Hachwirado island received 12 rounds but suffered no casualties.

A friendly small boat mission from Yang-do Island met a tragic end when, falling to answer the challenge of USSBradford (DD 545), the boat was sunk by the destroyer. Of the 24 friendly guerrillas aboard, five survivors were recovered.

23 May

Task Force 77 launched its first familiarization flights in MPQ radar controlled bombing.

24 May

During a heavy gun strike in Wonsan Harbor, USS Bremerton (CA 130) received 10 rounds of well directed enemy artillery fire. Although all shells landed close aboard, Bremerton escaped unscathed.

25 May

Five communist artillery shells fell on Yo-do Island, but inflicted no damage.

With USS Boxer (CVA 21) port side of USS Mispillion (AO 106) and USS Picking (DD 685) to starboard side of Mispillion, a collision occurred between Boxer and Mispillion, contact being made by the two vessel's stern sections. Picking was warned of right rudder by Mispillion and sheered away from the starboard side. All rigging was darted on both sides ofMispillion but with very little damage. Mispillion was ready to resume operations in approximately 30 minutes. Only minor hull damage was suffered by either vessel.

26 May

Enemy guns near Wonsan Harbor fired 50 rounds at USS Duncan (DDR 874). The Duncan's only casualty was a broken radio antenna resulting from enemy shrapnel.

Hwangto-do Island, in Wonsan Harbor, received three rounds of enemy artillery fire, but suffered no casualties. Fifteen other rounds fell between a ROKN freighter and Yo-do Island.

27 May

Communist artillerymen on the Wonsan perimeter wasted 12 rounds of estimated 105 mm shells in a vain attempt to hit USS New Jersey (BB 62). Sixteen inch shells from the big warship soon silenced the enemy battery.

In an effort to silence the ever increasing enemy coastal battery activity, USS New Jersey (BB 62) joined Task Force 77 aircraft in a heavy air/gun strike on Wonsan coastal defenses.

HMS Newcastle (CL) drew 30 rounds of 76 and 105 mm enemy fire near the approaches to Chinnampo. The British Cruiser had been firing at enemy gun positions when the counterbattery fire occurred. Although several enemy salvos straddled the big ship, no hits were recorded.

Shortly after midnight six enemy aircraft (possibly PO-2s) bombed a UN airfield and the POL pipeline between Inchon and Yongdungpo. One man was injured, two F-80s and one F-86 received minor damage, and the pipeline punctured.

28 May

Friendly islands in Wonsan Harbor were pounded by 131 rounds of enemy artillery fire today, but the enemy shells landed harmlessly.

HMS Haida (DDE) sank a possible new M-08 mine off Korea's East Coast. On the West Coast USS Waxbill (AMS 39) located a possible R type 1A mine.

29 May

While at anchor in the lee of Yang-do Island, USS Swift (AM 122) and USS Redstart (AMS 378) were fired upon by an estimated 25 rounds of 76 mm shells. One direct hit on Swift's acoustic boom resulted in minor damage and one minor personnel casualty.

West of Chinnampo, HMS Newcastle (CL) and HMS St. Brides Bay (PF) were harassed by 30 rounds of enemy estimated 105 mm shells. Six shells fell about 20 yards from Newcastle, but no damage or casualties were experienced by the ships.

31 May

Forty enemy artillery shells fell on Yo-do and Hwangto-do Islands in Wonsan Harbor, but friendly installations were not hit.

June 1953

1 June

Red artillerymen in the Wonsan perimeter fired 786 rounds on friendly held islands in Wonsan Harbor during the month of May.

With an armistice apparently imminent in Korea the campaign to maintain certain major North Korean airfields in unserviceable condition became one of the features of naval air effort. All airfields so assigned to COMNAVFE were attacked repeatedly, cratered, and maintained under close observation to insure their continued unserviceability. In connection with this effort, CINCFE waived the previously existing requirement which had directed 48 hours notice when targets near the Manchurian border were scheduled for attack.

2 June

During a heavy gun strike in Wonsan Harbor, enemy counterbattery fire was received by the USS St. Paul (CA 73) and USS Manchester (CL 83). The Red gunners fired about 38 rounds of estimated 105 mm at the cruisers, but the shells all fell harmlessly into the water.

Permission was granted to conduct a training program for Thailand naval officers on board AM type minesweepers. Officers to be trained are to be ordered to Thailand frigates from where they can be ordered to minesweepers by CTF 95 on a TAD basis.

Shore batteries near Chaho opened fire on USS Wiltsie (DDYl6) and USS James E. Kyes (DD 787) expending approximately 30 rounds of 155 mm. The ships easily evaded the fire and silenced the enemy guns with 5 inch counterbattery fire.

3 June

HMS Morecambe Bay was target for 10 rounds of enemy artillery fire near approaches of Shinnampo, but the ship escaped damage.

Wonsan guns made another attempt to discourage UN surface vessels from entering Wonsan Harbor today firing 15 rounds of 105 mm at USS Lofberg (DD 759) and USS Bole (DD 755). As usual the guns were unable to score a hit.

Friendly held islands, Tae-do and Hwangto-do, in Wonsan Harbor, received 129 rounds of enemy fire, 82 to 122 mm, but installations were not damaged.

USS Wiltsie (DD 716) caught a North Korean train near Tanchon and scored three hits on the locomotive. Aircraft from USS Boxer (CVA21) then finished the train destruction by bombing.

Red gunners on the Wonsan perimeter fired 40 rounds of estimated 76 mm at USS Bole (DD 755), but as usual could not hit their target. Bole silenced the guns with counterbattery fire.

Friendly held Cho-do Island was attacked during the evening by three Soviet-built PO-2 aircraft. Eight light fragmentation bombs were dropped causing no damage or casualties.

4 June

Wolsan guns scored two direct hits on USS LSMR 409 causing moderate damage to the messing compartment and the radio room, and resulting in five personnel casualties. The enemy fired 30 rounds of 76 mm before being silenced by over 200 rockets fired by the LSMR in retaliation.

6 June

Despite a heavy fog hampering operations in Wonsan Harbor, USS PC 706 destroyed five enemy fishing boats on the beach at the northern end of Hodo Pando.

7 - 19 June

During this period the major effort of naval air was directed against communist front line and supporting positions to counter an apparent effort by communist forces to gain ground along the frontiers prior to a possible armistice. In furtherance of this effort three and four carrier operations were maintained. Flight operations were carried out on an around the clock basis and were not suspended for fueling operations. Replenishment ships were retained with the task force and effected what may have been the largest scale night replenishment operation ever attempted by any Navy. As a further deterrent to the communist forces in the front lines USS New Jersey (BB 62) was employed against the front line positions at the eastern front.

7 June

Typhoon "Judy", which crossed the southern Japanese island of Kyushu on this date influenced Task Force 77 operating weather for three days, causing a suspension of flight operations for half a day on the 5th, all of the 6th, and three-fourths of the 7th of June.

8 June

In the Wonsan area, three enemy shore guns fired 60 rounds of 76 mm at friendly destroyers, USS Lofberg (DD 759) and USS Bole (DD 755). No damage was experienced.

For the 2nd straight night hostile aircraft were detected in the vicinity of Chodo.

9 June

USS Boxer (CVA 21) celebrated her 59,000th landing.

In order to obtain greater fuel supply and to increase catapult bomb loads three COMNAVFE recommended that one squadron of F4U-4 in USS Lake Champlain (CVA 39) be exchanged with one squadron of F9F-5 in the unconverted USSBoxer (CVA 21). CINCPACFLT concurred in this proposal and the change was effected this date. Boxer had been the first carrier deployed with three F9F-5 squadrons aboard.

USS Bole (DD 755) had a busy day in Wonsan Harbor firing on active gun positions. Although the enemy guns were primarily concerned with the friendly islands they registered their discomfiture by pumping 13 rounds of artillery shells at Bole. The destroyer was not hit and continued to harass enemy gun positions.

The communists launched a major offensive ground campaign against the II ROK and X U.S. Corps fronts. Flinging four to eight divisions into the offensive the communists were able to gain some terrain of no tactical importance and minus rail or road facilities. By the 15th of June the enemy had suffered 16,300 killed or wounded and lost 81 prisoners. The enemy's patent disregard for human life in attaining such limited objectives at such a high cost, objectives without any military worth, offered only propaganda support for the false claim that the communists were ready to sign an armistice while "winning" the war. Despite poor weather, the navy's effort to help their comrades on the ground was a herculean one. Tremendous all out offensive air strikes were launched from USS Princeton (CVA 37), USS Philippine Sea (CVA 47), USS Boxer (CVA 21), and USS Lake Champlain (CVA 39) in support of UN ground forces. These strikes were launched with ceilings consistently lower than 1,500 feet and frequently with ceilings of 300 foot around the task force. Nightly replenishment of the task force continued throughout the period in order to sustain the increased tempo of communist slaughter from the air. The evening replenishment of Task Force 77 carried out during this period was accomplished using only minimum red lights on cargo decks and fueling rigs and with the replenishment ship masthead lights lit.

10 June

Sixty-eight F9F's from VMF 115 and VMF 311 spread napalm on a 333 building troop billeting area in the Chaeryong vicinity. Reconnaissance photos taken five days later estimated the havoc at 230 buildings destroyed and 40 damaged.

During the evening five single engine aircraft dropped eight bombs on Psengyong-do, but no damage to military installations resulted.

11 June

Red gunners employed in the defense of Wonsan fired an estimated 45 rounds of 105 mm at the USS Wiltsie (DD 716) and scored one hit on the starboard side of the main deck. The ship suffered numerous shrapnel holes and one 4 inch hole in the deck, but remained completely operational. There were no personnel casualties. An estimated eight guns participated in the attack on Wiltsie.

Thirteen rounds of artillery shells fell on UN held islands in Wonsan Harbor during the day, but friendly installations escaped damage.

In preparation for a possible armistice, 19,425 persons and their belongings were lifted from West Coast Islands north of the 38th parallel to southern islands. Before leaving, the inhabitants razed their villages and slaughtered their cattle.

11 - 20 June

A total of 138,400 artillery and 703,637 combined total of artillery and mortar fire fell on friendly troop positions during this 10 day period, surpassing the previous record total for any 10 day period, as well as any 30 day period.

12 June

During a heavy gun strike in Hungnam Harbor, USS Manchester (CL 83) and USS Carpenter (DDE 825) received 16 rounds of estimated 76 mm counterbattery fire. None of the enemy rounds caused damage.

13 June

Pilots of USS Lake Champlain (CVA 39) began their tour in the Far East by cratering airfield runways at Hoemun, Hoeryong, Chongjin and Wonsan.

Two aircraft were burned beyond repair on USS Lake Champlain (CVA 39) after 20 mm rounds were accidentally fired into them.

13 - 19 June

These seven days surpassed all previous records for sustained four carrier operations in the Korean War.

14 June

In an effort to slow the big communist offensive, Task Force 77 aircraft struck at the Hasepori marshalling yard, a supply bottleneck for the Reds.

Carriers of Task Force 77 launched no less than 508 sorties today in support of friendly troops undergoing the communist ground offensive.

Wonsan guns fired 62 rounds at USS Lofberg (DD 759) and USS Bole (DD 755); and nine rounds of artillery shells on the islands. No damage was experienced.

USS Bremerton (CA 130) received four rounds of 90 mm counterbattery fire while blasting the enemy shore gun positions on the Wonsan perimeter. The enemy fire was ineffective.

Enemy gun battery Pungsam district shelled USS LST-529 off Cho-do Island, straddling the landing craft four times but scoring no hits. USS LST-529 returned fire with aft 40mm guns until opening range. The tank landing ship suffered no damage and successfully evacuated refugees from Cho-do Island later that afternoon.

15 June

Wonsan guns made a concerted effort to bag a ship today firing over 110 rounds of estimated 105 mm at USS Lofberg(DD 759), USS Bole (DD 755) and USS Current (ARS 22). Despite their extended efforts the Red gunners were unsuccessful.

Task Force 77 attack sorties totaled 403 this date, establishing a high mark for this force in the Korea action, and when combined with marine aviators, the naval air total sorties was 910 for the day.

16 June

One enemy PO-2 aircraft was shot down by an AD over front lines.

Two unidentified enemy planes dropped five bombs on POL dump at Inchon causing considerable damage. Fire ignited 97,950 93-gallon drums and 48,000 5-gallon drums of petroleum products.

All civilians were evacuated from the villages on Yo-do and Yang-do Islands plus all supplies and equipment that were considered excess to immediate needs. This was a preliminary step in evacuating the islands if and when an armistice is signed.

16-18 June

Wonsan's increasingly menacing shore battery installations pumped shells into UN held islands for three consecutive days, expending 89 rounds of artillery fire, but causing no casualties.

16 June

USS Princeton (CVA 37) launched 184 sorties against enemy front line positions today. This sets a new record for offensive sorties flown from a carrier during the Korean War.

17 June

USS Comstock (LSD 19) reported 80 cases of diarrheal disease aboard and a special team from Fleet Epidemic Disease Control Unit One was sent to render assistance to the stricken ship. This team later reported that fresh provisions taken aboard at oriental cities were contaminated with bacteria, which was the probable cause of the disease.

Enemy guns on Hodo Pando fired heavy barrages today at U.S. destroyers in Wonsan Harbor. USS Irwin {DD 794) and USS Rowan (DD 782) received at least 75 rounds of 76 mm while USS Henderson {DD 785) received 75 rounds of 76 to 105 mm shells. The nearest shell splashed 10 yards from Henderson.

18 June

President Syngman Rhee released over 27,000 anti-repatriation North Korean POWs from the camps in an apparent effort to break up armistice talks. Only about 9,000 North Korean POWs remained in UN prison camps.

Wonsan guns scored hits on two U.S. destroyers. USS Irwin (DD 794) received 90 rounds of fire from Kalma-gak and one hit caused a three foot hole in the main deck and five personnel casualties. USS Rowan (DD 782) received 45 rounds of 76 to 105 mm fire and suffered five hits causing moderate structure damage and 10 personnel casualties, three serious. The enemy guns also expended 36 rounds at USS St. Paul (CA 73), but could not hit the large ship.

A ROKA higher intelligence division boat encountered an enemy patrol craft in Wonsan Harbor today. The enemy patrol boat, which was the first encountered at Wonsan in over a year, engaged the HID boat for 10 minutes then retired shoreward under the cover of 105 mm fire from the beach. The enemy boat was 30 feet in length, gas engine powered with a speed of 20 knots and equipped with radio, heavy machine guns, bazooka, rocket-launchers and various small arms.

19 June

Off the China coast near Kwangta Island, a VP 46 aircraft received about 250 rounds of 50 caliber AA fire. The plane was not damaged.

On the Yang-do patrol, USS Rowan (DD 782) inspired enemy gunners to expend 125 rounds of estimated 76 mm from 12 shore guns. Despite the heavy bombardment Rowan escaped unscathed.

In Wonsan Harbor, USS Bremerton (CA 130) was target for four rounds of 90 mm shore fire, but was not hit.

20 June

Nine enemy propeller aircraft bombed Seoul and managed to shake President Rhee's residence, killing two persons and injuring eight others.

USS Current (ARS 22) collided with USS LST 855 while closing to transfer cargo at Sasebo. The LST received a 3 by 4 foot hole 10 feet above the waterline, but was able to continue operations following temporary repairs.

22 June

A P2V aircraft on routine patrol received 40 mm fire in the Amoy vicinity off the China coast. The aircraft was not damaged.

23 June

Chinese communist troops from the Haeju area invaded Yongmae-do island held by a small friendly garrison force. HMAS Culgoa evacuated the friendly forces. Two days later the enemy withdrew from the island and the friendly garrison returned.

24 June

Enemy shore guns in the Wonsan area fired nine rounds of 155 mm on the friendly island of Hwangto-do and four more rounds at USS Irwin (DD 794). No damage or casualties were experienced.

24 - 30 June

Enemy artillerymen opposite marine positions on the Kimpo Peninsula adopted a new technique, firing 106 propaganda disseminating shells during this seven day period.

25 June

Task Force 77 deployed four F4U-5N aircraft to operational control of the Fifth Air Force for an indefinite period. This action was a consequence of repeated night attacks on Seoul by slow aircraft believed to be of the PO-2 type. Fifth Air Force has no propeller driven night fighters.

The Korean War entered its 4th year.

USS Gurke (DD 783), operating in the Tanchon area, was under heavy 90 mm enemy shore fire and received two direct hits and several minor shrapnel hits. Damage included a hole 4 by 3 feet in the radio room after bulkhead and many shrapnel holes in the superstructure. Three minor personnel casualties occurred.

26 - 28 June

Enemy shore batteries on the Wonsan perimeter fired on their favorite targets -- the UN held islands -- on three consecutive days. The Reds expended 55 rounds of artillery fire to no avail as friendly installations escaped damage.

27 June

Due to heavy rains and floods on Kyushu Island, all landline communications between NAVCOMMAC Yokosuka and COMFLEACTS Sasebo failed. Standby radio circuits were activated to handle traffic as it was estimated that reliable landline communications would not be available for several weeks.

HMNZS Kaniere, operating near the approaches to Chinnampo, was target for 55 rounds of artillery fire. All enemy shells splashed harmlessly in the water.

28 June

A VP-1 aircraft on a special photo mission was fired on from Chiu Tung island (28-33 N, 121-56 E) and Chinghsu Island (28-30 N-121-52 E). Anti-aircraft fire was estimated to be 20 mm. No damage resulted to the aircraft.

29 June

An estimated 37 mm enemy heavy machine gun took pot shots at USS Irwin (DD 794) during the night from a gun position on the Wonsan perimeter, but could not hit the ship.

Twenty-nine rounds of artillery fire fell on the Wonsan Islands during the day. There were no friendly casualties.

30 June

Communist gunners on the Wonsan perimeter lobbed 30 more artillery shells on the UN held islands, but all rounds landed harmlessly.

Eight additional LSSLs were turned over to the Government of Japan in accordance with the provisions of the Charter Party Agreement.

While pounding communist gun positions on the Wonsan perimeter, USS Manchester (CL 83) drew 40 rounds of 107 to 151 mm enemy shore fire. Fragments from a near miss put a two inch hole in the after stack and through the door of a powder room, but there were no personnel casualties.

Princeton night pilot, on TAD to Kimpo Airfield, proved that the F4U-5N's could effectively defend Seoul against slow propeller plane night attacks by shooting down two YAK-18's.

Marine Aircraft Group 12 flew a record breaking 217 combat sorties and dropped an all-time high of 340 tons of bombs and napalm on the enemy.

A PBM sank at Iwakuni seadrone while taxiing to test engines. No one was injured or lost.

Illustrating the rate of ground support rendered by TF 77 aircraft during the month of June is the high percentage (63%) of ground support sorties.

June message traffic at NAVCOMMFAC, Yokosuka Message Center established a new high for 1953 when it jumped up to 338,655 messages with a group count of 38,982,334.

U.S. Navy and Marine pilots racked up 9,238 sorties during the month of June. In addition to this British Navy pilots flew 864 sorties.

July 1953

1 July

HMCS Athabaskan (DDE) trapped a southbound train on North Korea's East Coast. The locomotive escaped but approximately 20 boxcars were left behind. USS Wiltsie (DD 716) and TF 77 aircraft then came to their aid and the resultant team demolished 17 of the boxcars.

5 July

USS Boxer (CVA 21) celebrated her 60,000th landing.

USNS LST 578 ran aground in the vicinity of Cheju-do, flooding her lower compartments and sustaining major damage.

SS Cornhusker Mariner ran aground in rough seas off the entrance of Pusan and suffered major damage.

7 July

Islands in Wonsan Harbor received seven rounds of enemy artillery shells during the day. No damage was inflicted.

USS Symbol (AM 123) and USS Wiltsie (DD 716) drew fire from approximately six guns, estimated 120 mm, in the vicinity of Yang-do island. About 20 rounds fell about Symbol and four rounds splashed near Wiltsie, but no damage experienced.

Red gunners on Hodo Pando concentrated the fire of at least five guns today on the surface vessels in Wonsan Harbor. Over 300 rounds of 76 to 122 mm were fired at USS Lofberg (DD 759), USS Thomason (DD 760) and USS Hamner (DD 718). Thomason suffered holes and dents topside due to air burst straddles, but there were no personnel casualties. The US destroyers returned 880 rounds of counterbattery fire before the action ceased.

8 July

During an exchange of fire with enemy shore batteries 10 miles south of Songjin, USS Irwin (DD 794) received a shrapnel explosion in the vicinity of her mainmast rupturing all electrical and electronic cables on the mast, and seriously wounding the DesRon 24 squadron commander. Four other personnel suffered minor wounds. Enemy fired 80 rounds of estimated 76mm in scoring the one hit.

Shore batteries near Chaho scored an air burst hit on USS Wiltsie (DD 716) causing five personnel casualties, but no damage to the ship.

Two enemy artillery shells were lobbed onto the Wonsan Islands today, but no damage, occurred.

ADM Felix B. Stump relieved ADM A. W. Hadford as CINCPACFLT.

11 July

Major John F. Bolt, USMC became the first jet ace in Marine Corps history when he shot down his 5th and 6th MIG-15 while leading a four plane F-86 flight in an attack on four MIG's east of Sinui-Ju. Major Bolt, who was on temporary duty with the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing of the 5th Air Force, was on his 37th "sabrejet" mission and used only 1,200 rounds of ammunition and five minutes to destroy the two enemy jet fighters.

Communist gunners in Wonsan fired 48 rounds of 76 to 105 mm at USS St. Paul (CA 75) and scored an estimated 105 mm hit on 3/50 gun mount no. 32, damaging both guns. There were no personnel casualties.

Wonsan Islands received 159 rounds of enemy artillery fire during the day. There were no casualties.

HMCS Huron (DE) grounded on the western tip of Yang-do Island causing moderate damage to her hull plating.

12 July

Red gunners on the Wonsan perimeter pumped seven shells onto Tae-do Island, but did not damage friendly installations.

USS New Jersey (BB 62) fired 168 rounds of 16 inch projectiles during a heavy gun strike in the Kojo area. The big guns destroyed a radar tower, a control bunker, and two bridges.

15 July

HMAS Tobruk (D37) surprised and sank a large motor sampan in the vicinity of Songjin.

Demonstrating their utter disregard for life, communist ground forces suffered an estimated 27,973 casualties during mass frontal attacks today.

16 July

Wonsan Islands received seven rounds of artillery fire. There was no damage to friendly installations.

16 - 20 July

Task Force 77, for the third time in the Korean War, had four CVA's in the operating area.

17 July

Red gunners on the Wonsan perimeter pumped 13 rounds of artillery fire onto friendly islands in Wonsan Harbor, but could score no damage.

Cho-do Island, off Korea's West Coast, drew four rounds of enemy artillery shells, but suffered no damage.

19 July

A CTU 96.2.1 patrol aircraft in the vicinity of the Shantung Peninsula at 6,000 ft. was approached by one aircraft from the direction of Mo Yeh Tae and two others from seaward. The aircraft, which appeared to be propeller types, remained with the patrol plane for several minutes, then all headed west.

20 July

As a result of the heaviest rains in 19 years in the Wakayana Prefecture in Honshu, Japan, the Arita River overflowed causing a flood described officially as the worst in Japan's history.

Red gunners fired 60 rounds of anti-tank shells at the Wonsan Islands today, but could cause no damage.

21 July

Approximately 150 NKA troops attacked the friendly held island of Ohwa-do. Utilizing eight large junks for transportation the enemy swarmed ashore and succeeded in killing seven officers and wounding 20 men. HMNS Hawae arrived about four hours after the landing and enjoyed a fine "turkey shoot" causing many enemy dead and wounded before evacuating surviving friendlies.

23 July

USS St. Paul (CA 73) drew 12 rounds of 155 mm shells from enemy gun complexes on the Wonsan perimeter. The enemy shells splashed 10 to 50 yards from the ship and did not damage the cruiser.

24 - 27 July

Heavy action erupted across the lst Marine Division front from the 24th of July till the morning of the 27th.

24 July

The number of offensive sorties launched this date (536) established a record for Task Force 77 operations in the Korean War.

25 July

Today 538 offensive and 62 defensive sorties were launched by Task Force 77 surpassing even yesterday's record total.

26 July

Hwangto-do Island drew anti-tank and machine gun fire from the enemy mainland, but experienced no damage.

As Task Force 77 replenished, a small number of bogies made non firing runs on spotting aircraft from the Force. The spotting aircraft made seven visual sightings, all unidentified. Later in the day from two to four possible jet bogies orbited at 20,000 feet 60 miles north of the Task Force, but departed before CAP could make contact.

About 100 bogies were reported by USS Lake Champlain (CVA 39) during the night northwest and southwest of Task Force 77. The bogies, in five different groups, were never contacted by VFN aircraft and did not close the Task Force.

While firing on enemy sampans in Hungnam Harbor, USS Swift (AM 122) drew enemy artillery fire from several guns, estimated 75 to 155 mm. Swift escaped damage and silenced the challenging guns with three salvos of 3 inch fire.

27 July

On the final day of the Korean War, Task Force 77 expended its major effort on transportation facilities with airfields a secondary priority. The TF aircraft destroyed or badly damaged 23 railroad cars, 11 railroad bridges, one railroad tunnel, 69 buildings, 100 yards of trench, and nine highway bridges. Forty rail cuts were made and three highway cuts. In addition to all this five airfields were cratered and 41 leaflet drops made.

Armistice signed at 1000 at Panmunjom. All hostilities ceased at 2200.

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 10:28:46 EDT 2015