U.S. Marine Operations in Korea, 1950-1953: Volume V - Operations in West Korea USMC Major James M. Yingling Author
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Mention the Korean War and almost immediately it evokes the memory of Marines at Pusan, Inchon, Chasin Reservoir, or the Punchbowl. Americans everywhere remember the Marine Corps' combat readiness, courage, and military skills that were largely responsible for the success of these early operations in 1950-1951. Not as dramatic or well-known are the important accomplishments of the Marines during the latter part of the Korean War. In March 1952 the 1st Marine Division redeployed from the East­ Central front to West Korea. This new sector, nearly 35 miles in length, anchored the far western end of I Corps and was one of the most critical of the entire Eighth Army line. Here the Marines blocked the enemy's goal of penetrating to Seoul; the South Korean capital. Northwest of the Marine Main Line of Resistance, less than five miles distant, lay Panmunjom, site of the sporadic truce negotiations. Defense of their strategic area exposed the Marines to continuous and deadly Communist probes and limited objective attacks. These bitter and costly contests for key outposts bore such names as Bunker Hill, the Hook, the Nevadas (Carson-Reno-Vegas), and Boulder City. For the ground Marines, supported by 1st Marine Aircraft Wing squadrons, the fighting continued until the last day of the war, 27 July 1953. The Korean War marked the first real test of Free World solidarity in the face of Communist force. In repulsing this attempted Communist aggression, the United Nations, led by the United States, served notice that it would not hesitate to aid those nations whose freedom and independence were under attack. As events have subsequently proven, holding the line against Communist encroachment is a battle whose end is not yet in sight. Enemy aggression may explode brazenly upon the world scene, with an overt act of invasion, as it did in Korea in June 1950, or it may take the form of a murderous guerrilla war as it has more recently, for over a decade, in Vietnam. Whatever guise the enemy of the United States chooses or wherever he draws his battleline, he will find the Marines with their age­ old answer. Today, as in the Korean era, Marine Corps readiness and professionalism are prepared to apply the cutting edge against any threat to American security. This is the concluding volume of a five-part series dealing with operations of United States Marines in Korea between 2 August 1950 and 27 July 1953. Volume V provides a definitive account of operations of the 1st Marine Division and the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing during 1952-1953, the final phase of the Korean War. At this time the division operated under Eighth U.S. Army in Korea {EUSAK) control in the far western sector of I Corps, while Marine aviators and squadrons functioned as a component of the Fifth Air Force (FAF). The period covered by this history begins in March 1952, when the Marine division moved west to occupy positions defending the approaches to Seoul, the South Korean capital, As it had for most of the war the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, operating under FAF, flew close support missions not only for the Marines but for as many as 19 other Allied frontline divisions. Included in the narrative is a detailed account of Marine POWs, a discussion of the new defense mission of Marine units in the immediate postwar period, and an evaluation of Marine Corps contributions to the Korean War. Marines, both ground and aviation, comprised an integral part of the United Nations Command in Korea. Since this is primarily a Marine Corps history, actions of the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force are presented only in sufficient detail to place Marine operations in their proper perspective. The original text and artwork have been used in this publication; occasionally there may be instances of imperfections with these old texts (i.e., blurred or missing pages, poor image quality).


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