Korean War Articles
Mission Command: Chosin Reservoir
Executive Leader Failures
Korean War Part I
Korean War Part II
Chosin Reservoir
Korea: A Study in Unpreparedness
Role of the Forward Observer and Artillery

Anthony Sobieski Articles
Korean War Part I
Korean War Part II
Role of the Forward Observer and Artillery

Anthony Sobieski Books

FIRE MISSION! The Story of the 213th Field Artillery Battalion in Korea

Fire for Effect!: Artillery Forward Observers in Korea

A Hill Called White Horse: A Korean War story

1127 Days of Death – a Korean War Chronology – Part II, 1951
By Anthony J. Sobieski

This is part II of a four-part chronology of those killed during the Korean War. When reading this article please keep in mind, as in Part I, that these numbers are only U.S. deaths during the war. UN and ROK deaths are not included as part of this series.

There are two things that stand out for the year of 1951 in Korea. The vast majority of pilots and aircrew who were killed were ‘Remains Not Recovered’, be it due to being shot down behind enemy lines, over water, receiving a direct hit or not coming out of a dive and crashing and burning. The second is that by the end of 1951 as combat operations slowed down to a minimal crawl, Died of Other Causes, or ‘DOC’, became a significant factor in the tally of deaths, sometimes even accounting for more deaths in a day than combat operations. Vehicle roll-overs, accidents of various types, and hemorrhagic fever accounted for a large portion of these DOC deaths. As 1950 closed out and the New Year began, any hope of ‘being home by Christmas’ quickly dissipated for those serving in Korea. The build-up of troops, breakout from Pusan and the dashing Inchon landings were all a distant memory. The struggle at the Chosin Reservoir and evacuating from the Hungnam Harbor was fresh on the survivors’ minds. Just reaching the beginning of the New Year, the magical date of January 1st, even though it was just another day on a calendar, was looked at symbolically by many.

It was time to take stock of what the United States had become involved with, not just from a political, but also from a human and equipment standpoint. If combat continued into 1951 with anything like it was in 1950, was the U.S. prepared to continue yet another buildup of military forces? With the Chinese entrance into the war combined with the harsh reality that possibly this was not going to be a conflict with a quick resolution, the inevitable buildup which started the previous year did in fact continue. Active duty units, supported with some guard and reserve units and individuals, held the line as of December 31st 1950. That first year did see the beginning of mass mobilization of National Guard units and the Reserves, with some units already serving in Korea during 1950. But, many of these units and personnel began to arrive in Korea in earnest during the beginning of that pinnacle year of 1951.

There were 12,644 total deaths in Korea during 1951. The year also turned out to be the pivotal year for the war. There was uncertainty as to which way this conflict was going to go, from a political, material, and human standpoint. No one was looking forward to the possible continuation of 1950’s death and destruction. What would 1951 bring? In hindsight, the total death toll of 1951 was less than half of 1950 (if you expanded 1950’s numbers into twelve months of combat), but it was high none the less. In comparison to the Vietnam War, 1951 Korea still outpaced the second (11,780 dead) and third worse years (11,363 dead) of that conflict. This was the pinnacle year when both sides, especially the UN, had to take a good hard look at how it was prosecuting the war effort. The idea of one big ‘blow’ to bring the other side to the truce table slowly faded away, and was replaced by a ‘negligible’ mindset of how much ground can we take and hold that will give us leverage to come to a (somewhat) peaceful resolution for the conflict, while ‘saving face’ at the same time.

To fulfill this unspoken, but none-the-less present ‘negligible’ mindset, 1951 was the year of ‘operations’ in Korea. There were a number of ‘battle of’ interspersed throughout, but specific operations targeting specific objectives became the norm throughout the year. Only four months of the year did not have an ‘operation’ conducted in them. The four months that did not have operations did however have overlapping battles. At no point throughout 1951 did planning of operations take a break. Peace talks did not even officially start till mid-way through the year, with each side stopping and starting the process, looking for the right time for material and manpower leverage, almost like two boxers each looking for an opening to best their opponent. Starting from late January, there were Operations THUNDERBOLT, ROUNDUP, KILLER, RIPPER, COURAGEOUS, TOMAHAWK, RUGGED, DAUNTLESS, STRANGLE, DETONATE, PILEDRIVER, SUMMIT, COMMANDO, NOMAD, and finally ending with Operation POLAR in late October. Each with a specific intent, whether it was to drive the enemy from a certain area, town, hill mass, or ridgeline, or to sure-up the Main Line of Resistance (MLR) which slowly solidified and took shape throughout the year.

Even though 1951 was the year of the ‘operation’, it still had its worth of ‘battles’ too. February started off with the battle of the Twin Tunnels, and in quick succession there were the Battles of Hill 440, Hoengsong and Chipyong-ni. April saw the Battles of the Imjin River and Kapyong, which were the beginnings of the Chinese Spring Offensive. May, June and July saw the Battles of Soyang River, the Punchbowl and Taeusan (Hill 1179). The protracted battles of Bloody Ridge, Heartbreak Ridge and Old Baldy from August thru October finished off the years’ clashes worthy of the term ‘Battle of…’ Many of the operations and battles of 1951 circled around the establishment, or re-establishment of a number of defensive ‘lines’ that were identified as ‘phase-line’ points at various intervals across the peninsula. The Kansas, Utah, No-Name, Wyoming, Jamestown, and Missouri lines were the primary objectives with the Kansas Line being the most fought over, needing two additional periods of fighting during the year to re-establish and hold it.

A note about the air war in Korea. 1951 was the first full year since 1944 that the combined arms of the United States Air Force (formerly the Army Air Corps), Navy and Marine Corps were in action. The total number of aircraft losses in 1950 was 181 for six months of combat. The total losses for 1951 amounted to 448. That is a 19% increase in losses (assuming the 1950 number is multiplied by two to account for only a half year of combat). There are a number of monthly totals that stand out as well for the year. Some months prove to be very hard on certain types of aircraft and/or missions. February 1951 registered eight B-26 Invaders lost. April shows twenty F4U Corsairs destroyed. And there were six B-29 Superfortresses lost during the month of October. These three examples and the corresponding pilots and aircrew of these aircraft that were killed show that the ground war was not the only violent place to be in 1951 Korea.

Sadly but expectedly, no changes with regards to the Medal of Honor (MOH) occurred in 1951. The year saw another 56 MOH’s awarded; 38 posthumously. The first and last MOH awarded in 1951 occurred on January 2nd and November 24th, respectively. Both were earned by soldiers, one a sergeant, one a private first class. The only other thing that they would have in common is they both sacrificed their lives in the process of earning the medal. U.S. Army soldiers were the overwhelming recipients with 44, followed by the USMC with 9, U.S. Navy with 2, and the USAF with 1.

The ebb and flow of combat played an odd set of circumstances that became prevalent in 1951 that should be noted. When combat actions were even just a slight bit active, the numbers of those men who were DOC would go down. When combat actions became very light or even nonexistent for a day or two, DOC numbers rose, and sometimes accounted for all deaths on a particular day. The breath of DOCs is surprising in 1951, and the U.S. military man in Korea died in a number of ways. Drowning and vehicle accidents (roll-overs and struck-byes) were by far the most common, but there also were being struck by trains, falling off bridges, struck by lightning, walking into aircraft propellers, and electrocutions to name a few. And the human body, whatever country it may be in, is susceptible to a number of regular and weird ailments. In Korea death was caused by heart attacks, Weil’s Disease (leptospirosis), acute encephalitis, pneumonia, coronary occlusion, coronary thrombosis, diabetes mellitus, poliomyelitis, and a host of other “itis’s”.

Another peculiar thing should be noted about combat and death in 1951 Korea. The breadth of units where death occurred is much larger than from 1950. This is due to a two-fold reason. There simply were more units participating in the ‘fight’ during 1951, and the disbursal of action across the entire front. Almost gone (but not entirely) were the large short singular actions that involved a single division or regiment where wholesale casualties were concentrated. As an example the 34th Infantry Regiment suffered 376 KIA/MIA in one day, July 20th, 1950. This day, along with another succession of days in the follow-on months would effectively put the regiment completely out of action for the remainder of the war. The 29th Infantry Regiment, another unit from the early days of 1950, basically ceased to exist after September 1950 due to the decimation of its ranks.

With regards to the term ‘stalemate’ in the context of the whole war, is 1951 truly the first year of ‘stalemate’? When you look at the numbers of killed between the first six months and last six months of the year, saying that July 1951 was the beginning of the ‘stalemate’ phase seems to be a little preemptive. With 7373 dead in the first six months of the year, and 5271 dead in the second six months, there is a difference of 2102 deaths. However, if you remove the death totals of the four-day Battle of Hoengsong in February (over 1300 KIA), then the comparative numbers from the first six to the last six months of the year are only roughly 800 apart. Hardly something to be included in a determined 'stalemate' phase. December 1951 with its low number of deaths could be the only month of the year that can possibly be included as part of a specific starting point of a new phase for the war, and should therefore be looked at as the true beginning of the stalemate portion of the Korean conflict. Another interesting thing can be associated with the beginning of stalemate. As the MLR solidified, hills slowly lost their numerical designations, and areas began to take on names of their own. By mid-year, there were places like ‘The Punchbowl’ and ‘Death Valley’, and this would slowly grow throughout the year to include places like ‘Bloody Ridge’ and ‘Heartbreak Ridge’, sadly appropriated named. ‘Old Baldy’ (Hill 266), Papa-san Mountain (Hill 1062), Little Gibraltar (Hill 355) and a host of other names would slowly come into being. And the ‘Iron Triangle’ would be semi-common by the end of the year.

Lastly, 1951 is the last year where those who were/are recorded as MIA would be ‘en-masse’, or a common occurrence. 1952 and 1953 still had men declared MIA, but these were much less in number and primarily made up of three distinct types of servicemen due to the front lines becoming solidified in the last two years of the war. Pilots and aircrew of downed aircraft behind enemy lines, those lost (mostly U.S. Navy personnel) in the waters off of the coasts, and the average foot soldier who was out on a patrol.

January 1951 - 749

With ‘only’ 749 deaths in January 1951, U.S. military commanders quietly sighed with relief after the last two months of carnage from 1950. The dawn of a new year brought with it hope that the death and destruction of the previous year was over. However, the CCF intervention which started the previous November continued. January 1st saw 78 men die in Korea. 60 of these deaths were from the 19th Infantry Regiment as they defended Seoul while the U.S. 8th Army evacuated the city. This continued through the first week of the New Year, with a number of different units adding to the January death toll. The 17th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 27th, 35th and 38th Infantry Regiments, with supporting units, lost another 176 men killed between January 2-7 in small solidifying actions along the front after Seoul and then Inchon Harbor again fell to the enemy. The Navy, Marines, and Air Force aircrew numbers of dead wasted no time in starting to accumulate for the New Year, losing two B-26s, an F9F-2B, F-84E, and an F-51D, with a total of 10 men killed within the first week of January. All were either while engaging ground targets, or as with most B-26 losses at this time, night interdiction missions. Ground actions became light in the ensuing week, but on January 14th the 32nd Infantry Regiment lost 43 men KIA fighting around the Tanyang area. On January 16th one of the first sad travesties of the year happened when 9 men from the 76th Engineer Construction Battalion were ambushed and killed near the town of Chinan as they were loading a dump truck near a river bed.

During the third week, and going into the fourth week of January again ground combat actions were ‘light’, although ‘light’ being a relative term to the 186 men who were killed during that time. 8 of that number were aircrew, lost along with two F-51Ds, two F4U-4s, two F-80Cs, an F84 and a P2V-4. With temperatures hovering between 30-35 degrees Fahrenheit this did have an effect on offensive ground and air combat action. That was about to change however nearing the end of the month. Operation THUNDERBOLT started on January 25th, it was the first US counterattack of 1951, designed to be a show of force and to dislodge the CCF from the south of the Han River. THUNDERBOLT resulted in the majority of ground combat deaths for the month, with 257 men KIA, mostly from the 8th Cavalry Regiment (30 in two days), 23rd Infantry Regiment (29 in three days), 65 Infantry Regiment (24 in three days), and lastly the 15th Infantry Regiment which lost 28 men KIA on the last day of the month fighting on Hill 425 outside of Kumyangjangni while attempting to seize the high ground south of the river. In support of THUNDERBOLT, the Air Force lost another three F-80s and an F-82, while the Navy lost an F4U-4 and AD-4, all along with 7 pilots KIA. Of note, the first B-29 loss of the year happened on the last day of the month, with 3 aircrew killed when their SB-29 crashed on takeoff near Johnson Air Force Base, Japan.

February 1951 - 2166

With 2166 deaths occurring in February 1951, there was a depressing realization that a quick return to the monthly death totals of the previous year had happened. Multiple operations, battles, and small unit actions all overlapping each other for the first two weeks, culminating with massive combat actions near the end of the second week would give February the dubious distinction of being the largest monthly death toll of 1951 and on par with 1950 levels. The first day of February saw the Battle of the Twin Tunnels, occurring in the Chipyong-ni area where great destruction was wrought on Chinese forces at the expense of 21 men from the 23rd Infantry Regiment killed. The next day, the U.S. Navy lost 8 men KIA after the minesweeper USS Partridge struck a mine and sunk while clearing mines in Wonsan Harbor. February 4th was the first day of 1951 with over 100 men KIA. Of that number, the 19th Infantry Regiment lost 68 men killed doing its part of Operation THUNDERBOLT to clear the bridgehead south of the Puckhan River, while the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team had 15 men killed around Nagol, and 12 men from the 7th Cavalry Regiment fought their last battle on Hill 402 near Ochon-ni.

The 19th Infantry Regiment lost another 14 men KIA on February 6th near Sangho-ri during a bayonet charge (not the famous ‘last bayonet charge’ by the 27th Infantry Regiment up Hill 180 which occurred the next day). Also on this day the 27th Infantry Regiment suffered 14 men killed near Anyang-ni, while another 23 men from the 21st Infantry Regiment were killed in fighting on Hill 296 near the town of Hyonbang-ni. All of these KIA were part of the ongoing Operation THUNDERBOLT. The air war continued, but accidents sometimes took as many lives as combat operations. As an example on February 7th an F-80 and F4U-4 were lost, one an engine failure and the other a catapult launch failure, killing both pilots.

February 8-11 was the calm before the storm with a number of units taking a small but steady volume of casualties as Operation ROUNDUP, which started on February 5th and the overlapping Operation THUNDERBOLT, continued. As an example on the 11th, 22 men from the 9th Infantry Regiment were KIA while attacking and securing Hill 444 in the area of Soju. These ongoing, relatively small losses by different units at the time was about to change however with the initiation of the Battle of Hoengsong. Starting on February 12th and lasting two days, the CCF, reeling from losses in the first half of the month, launched a major counter-attack in the area north of Wonju. The Hoengsong Valley was enveloped quickly in this attack, swallowing up entire American units from the 2nd Infantry Division in the process. February 12-13 were two hard days to be in Korea in 1951, as the 12th being the most deadly day of the year with 565 men killed, and then the 13th as the second most deadly day with another 430 killed. Five units in particular bore the brunt of these deaths due to the envelopment. The 38th Infantry Regiment was decimated, with 469 men listed as KIA. Next came the 15th Field Artillery Battalion which was overrun and lost 208 artillerymen killed, then the 3rd Battalion of the 9th Infantry Regiment (mostly from ‘K’ Company) who lost 104 men. ‘A’ Battery of the 503rd Field Artillery Battalion suffered 56 men killed, and finally the 82nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion with 36 men dead.

Another 381 men had to die before things calmed down to ‘light’ combat operations by the middle of the month. With all of the centralized fighting going on, this phase of action became known as the Battle of Chipyong-ni which would last through February 15th. This battle was broken into three succinct areas; Chipyong-ni itself, the small hamlet of Chaum-ni, and Wonju. In concert with the Hoengsong fighting, the ongoing CCF attack continued to press on the 2nd Infantry Division, and then fell upon various units of the 1st Cavalry and 7th Infantry Divisions. Still reeling from the Hoengsong fight, the 9th Infantry Regiment, along with the 2nd Armored Reconnaissance Company was now in positions around Chaum-ni. The two units would lose a combined 135 men KIA, with ‘L’ Company of the 9th losing 95 men alone. The 23rd Infantry Regiment and attached units bore the brunt directly around Chipyong-ni proper with 76 men killed, while the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team and associated units had 51 men killed in fighting at Wonju. And finally as part of the overall fight, the 8th Cavalry Regiment lost 22 men near Kyongan-ni. The Chipyong-ni fight, and the larger CCF attack, was finally blunted on February 15th with Task Force Crombez, a 5th Cavalry Regiment push to open a supply route to the besieged units around Chipyong-ni. 36 men from the regiment were KIA in this task force effort.

A note about those listed as KIA from February 12-15 due to the Hoengsong and Chipyong-ni actions. Many of these men were actually captured during the envelopment by the CCF, and would end up dying in captivity at a later date. As noted previously in Part I of this series, the way the U.S. Military tracked and reported its loss numbers necessitated that the date of capture or wounded would be used as the initial date of loss. A vast number of men who are listed as KIA between the 12th thru the 15th actually died later while in captivity, as records show mostly between April and June 1951 at the infamous ‘Bean Camp’ (an old Japanese forced labor camp from WWII), or while force-marched to it or from it to other camps.

There was a welcome respite during the third week of February, with both sides licking their wounds and reconstituting with the only significant action being the 17th Infantry Regiment losing 16 men KIA on February 19th while fighting around Kumma-ri. Operation KILLER would close out the month, a renewed effort to drive the CCF north of the Han River, starting on February 20th. KILLER would claim 100 men to its name-sake during February, the largest single daily loss being from the 5th Cavalry Regiment who suffered 19 men KIA on February 22nd. This operation would end up being two weeks long and extend into March. As the battles and operations raged on the ground, the air war continued also. There were 13 aircraft losses resulting in 27 men dying in the last two weeks of the month. The majority of these aircraft and aircrew losses were due to antiaircraft fire while on bombing or strafing runs. The B-26 squadrons were hit particularly hard, losing six of these aircraft and their respective crews while flying night interdiction missions. 1 death during this time is worthy of note, on February 24th Major General Bryant Moore, the IX Corps Commander, died after the helicopter he was on plummeted into the Han River north of Yoju, Korea. He survived the crash, by suffered a massive heart attack immediately after, and died. General or private, the death toll continued to climb in Korea.

March 1951 - 991

991 men died in Korea during the month of March 1951. Combat deaths from Operation KILLER continued on from February into March unabated and another 141 men would be KIA in the first five days of the month due to KILLER. The majority of these were from the 9th and 23rd Infantry Regiments of the 2nd Infantry Division and the 1st and 7th Marine Regiments of the 1st Marine Division. March 2nd would prove to be the deadliest day of Operation KILLER, with 57 KIA, of that 15 men from the 1st Marine Regiment, mostly from ‘H’ Company, killed in fighting around Hoengsong, and 18 men from the 9th Infantry Regiment also killed in the same area, specifically around Hill 726 near the hamlet of Chigu-ri and the Pangnimmi Road. Of note, March would also see the return to an active involvement of the U.S. Marine Corps in offensive operations. Taking part in the latter half of Operation KILLER, and then right on into Operation RIPPER, USMC deaths began to rise in the same proportion as U.S. Army combat deaths, this being the first time since the Chosin Reservoir action some four months prior.

Operation RIPPER started on March 6th. It was the predominant operation throughout the month that added to units’ death tolls. RIPPER was a relatively large and ambitious operation that was designed with the ultimate goal to drive the CCF back to the 38th Parallel through another series of phase-lines. Lines Albany, Buffalo, and finally Idaho were set as the main objectives of RIPPER, and in the process, the retaking of Seoul (which was retaken on March 14th), Hongch’on, and Ch’unch’on. With six U.S. divisions participating in this new operation, there were numerous fights that ensued through the month. RIPPER accounted for the vast majority of combat deaths from March 6th through the third week up to the point that Operation COURAGEOUS began. The deadliest day of RIPPER occurred early on during the operation. March 8th would turn out to be the deadliest day of the month, with 91 men KIA. Of that number, KILLER claimed 60 men, and then another 61 dead the next day. The 9th and 23rd Infantry Regiments of the 2nd Infantry Division lost 27 and 30 men respectively in those two days, and the 24th Infantry Regiment suffered another 27 men killed.

Air Force and Navy losses also continued to slowly climb throughout the month, from all ranks. 28 aircraft (10 Navy and 18 Air Force) along with 32 pilots and aircrew were killed in the first three weeks of March, mostly from direct anti-aircraft hits. In these aviation units, everyone took their turn in doing the hard work, case in point on March 8th, the Navy Fighting Squadron VF-191 commander was killed from a direct flak hit while leading a group of F9F-2B’s against enemy installations at Tanch'on. The U.S. Navy didn’t just lose pilots to the death rolls in March, as on March 11th another tragedy occurred when 10 men from the heavy cruiser USS Saint Paul drowned when their whaleboat capsized in the Inchon Harbor.

As March moved on into its third week, there were another two separate operations that took place, each being a half part of the other, and actually extensions of the larger preceding Operation RIPPER. The first part, Operation COURAGEOUS, started on March 22nd. The second part, the corresponding Operation TOMAHAWK initiated on the 23rd. COURAGEOUS was the ground portion and TOMAHAWK was the air drop portion of a plan to trap a large number of CCF and NKPA troops between the Han and Imjin Rivers north of Seoul. COURAGEOUS/TOMAHAWK was developed to achieve three phase-lines in creating this envelopment, Line Cairo, Line Aspen, and then finally Line Benton which ran roughly along the 38th Parallel, and in the western sector actually intersecting Line Idaho from the preceding RIPPER. Operation COURAGEOUS kicked off on March 22nd with 11 men KIA from the 27th Infantry Regiment while advancing on the SeoulCh’unch’on Road. COURAGEOUS would prove to be the lesser of the two operations when it came to human life as the KIA toll for the operation after nine days of fighting was 81 men spread across a dozen units. March 24th was the deadliest day of COURAGEOUS with 39 KIA, 7 of which from the 5th Regimental Combat Team as part of Task Force Growden, the lead element of COURAGEOUS assigned to make contact with the airborne elements of TOMAHAWK.

The second and last combat jump of the war took place on March 23rd with Operation TOMAHAWK. Of note as combat airdrops go, the actual airdrop of TOMAHAWK was a resounding success. Of the 4049 men directly involved with the jump (Army and Air Force), 5 men from the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team were killed in fighting around the town of Munsan-ni, while 2 pilots were killed when their C-119 caught fire and crashed as they were returning from the airdrop. One other 187th member was DOC, killed in a vehicle roll-over before the unit loaded up for take-off. What could be considered the true beginning of Operation TOMAHAWK was two days after the initial drop, March 25th. Hill 228 and the surrounding area near Parun-ni would take its toll on the 187th as they lost 79 men KIA in five days of fighting. The last few days of March saw relatively light skirmishes all along the front. The air war continued though, and on March 29th while on a bombing mission, a B-29 crashed at sea off of Okinawa, having lost two engines and while attempting to ditch, the pilot jettisoned its Tarzon bomb (Tarzon was a 12,000 pound radio guided bomb) which prematurely detonated, killing all 12 crewmen.

April 1951 - 1224

April 1951 would see a marked increase in air operations throughout the month. With this increase came the inevitable deaths of young airmen. Bomber crews greatly added to this number, as one aircraft being shot down had a crew of sometimes 3, 4 or 10 men on board. There were 1224 deaths during this, the fourth month of 1951 in Korea. The first few days were relatively quiet with singular deaths occurring in multiple units across the front. This would not be the first nor the last time this can be noted. April 4th is the first day to show an uptick in combat deaths. The 5th Regimental Combat Team lost 23 men killed while fighting around the hamlets of Tumon-Dong, Kumji-ri and Painmal, while the 27th Infantry Regiment lost 13 KIA during the 25th Infantry Division’s Yongpyong River crossing. These actions would be in the beginning of Operation RUGGED, which officially started on the next day to secure phase Line Kansas. April 4- 5 would also be days where death took its toll from almost every walk of military life. The 4th proved to be another day when leadership has its price, as the Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 312 commander was hit by AAA, bailed out near Hwangju North Korea, but died of wounds. And on April 5th the 1st Cavalry Division HQ Company chaplain, along with a battalion surgeon, 2 medics and 2 soldiers were killed by a single booby-trapped land mine.

As the month progressed, aircrew losses continued to mount. 31 men, along with their assorted aircraft, would be destroyed in the first ten days. April 12th was a hard day for B-29 aircrewmen serving in Korea, especially those of the 93rd Bombardment Squadron. Known as Black Thursday, a formation of three B-29 squadrons were attacked by Mig-15s, which shot down two B-29s and forcing a crash landing of a third, with the loss of 23 men. 1 of those killed was the commander of the 93rd Bombardment Squadron, a chance occurrence when he decided to be a ride-along observer on the mission. Meanwhile, Operation RUGGED continued into the second week of April until it slowly petered out. Losses from RUGGED would prove, again, to be small numbers of men from a number of different units across the front. RUGGED would last through April 13th, and in that timeframe there were four regiments that suffered the most. The 23rd Infantry Regiment would lose 24 men KIA, 26 men were dead in the 21st Infantry Regiment, 20 from the 7th Cavalry Regiment, and finally 40 men of the 17th Infantry Regiment gave their lives fighting for small villages with names like Taehung-ni, Tanjang-ni, Oron-ni, Chiaegol, Umyang-ni, Morumegi, and a host of other not-so significant places on the push to secure Line Kansas.

Almost immediately after Operation RUGGED came to a close, Operation DAUNTLESS started on April 11th to secure phase Line Utah, and lasted roughly another two weeks. This operation was an extension, and came right on the heels of Operation RUGGED to push the front line north and solidify it. The offensive tactics of the U.S. forces involved, along with the defensive efforts of the CCF, continued with DAUNTLESS as they did with RUGGED. Because of this, the small KIA counts spread through numerous units continued for the American regiments and attached units. As U.S. units moved north, there was scattered engagements which brought small groupings of combat deaths. A few examples of the small daily KIA that affected units would be on April 16th when the 27th Infantry Regiment lost 8 men attacking Hill 486, which was north of Yongbyong, and the 24th Infantry Regiment lost 9 men, also in the area of Yongbyong. The 19th Infantry Regiment would endure the worst during this time, as on April 12th they had 11 men killed outside of Uijongbu, and then another 23 men killed while on the attack near Kalmal-Myon.

April was proving to be a tough month for close-in air support by those flying F4U Corsairs. Bombing runs, strafing runs, and reconnaissance, was tough duty for those of U.S. Navy and USMC flying units in April, with 20 pilots and their corresponding machines being shot down. This was the highest monthly total for any type aircraft serving in Korea for the whole of 1951. April would also prove to be the biggest monthly attrition rate for the entire year, with 56 aircraft of varying types being shot down or crashing. Many of these aircrew, as was common for this period of the war, are still listed as MIA or KIA-Remains not Recovered.

The remainder of April was dominated by the CCF First Spring Offensive, considered by some to be the largest battle of the war. American participation involved a total of six U.S. divisions. Beginning on April 22nd, the two major battles of this offensive were the Battle of the Imjin River and Battle of Kapyong. While both of these battles included a large participation (and loss of life) by United Nations (UN) forces other than U.S. units, there still was a volume of loss of life by the U.S. participants. A number of regiments across the front and concentrated near the points of initial thrust sustained relatively heavy KIA casualty rates during the week that encompassed the attack. In the first few days the 5th Regimental Combat Team lost 81 men killed in fighting around Ukkolgye and Undam-Jang, which were part of ‘Death Valley’, aptly named due to the powerful attack. Fighting alongside the 5th Regimental Combat Team in Death Valley, the 555th Field Artillery Battalion lost 17 men KIA. The 19th Infantry Regiment was also hit hard, with 72 men KIA, mostly around Chipo-ri during the first week of the initial attack. 33 men from the 3rd Battalion of the 19th were killed on April 23rd alone. The 19th’s sister regiment, the 21st Infantry Regiment, lost 46 men that week, also fighting around Chipo-ri and then Mugok. A number of the U.S. regiments lost men in daily bunches, sometimes, 4 or 5 a day, other times by the dozens. Some men who were KIA are still today considered ‘Died While Missing – Remains Not Recovered’. And a good portion of those men who were actually captured alive, but subsequently died in captivity during the ensuing months are considered ‘Died While Captured, Remains Not Recovered’. All of this reflects the confusion that reigned during the initial days of the CCF onslaught.

From April 23-25, units of the 3rd Infantry Division were hit hard. The 7th Infantry Regiment lost 64 men along the Uijongbu-Tongduchon Main Supply Route, 52 men of which were killed on April 25th alone. And the 65th Infantry Regiment lost 32 men KIA defending positions along the Imjin River. In the 25th Infantry Division sector, the 35th Infantry Regiment lost 42 men in three days of hard fighting along the Yongpyong River, while the 24th Infantry Regiment lost 32 men killed in establishing Line Golden, which was north of Seoul, to help stem the Chinese wave. The 7th Infantry Division’s 32nd Infantry Regiment took the brunt of that division’s losses, with 45 men KIA while fighting in the Chongson-ni area, again along the Yongpyong River. In the Marine sector, the 1st Marine Regiment fought and 43 men died on Hill 902, which was a part of Horseshoe Ridge, while the 5th and 7th Regiments lost a combined 41 men killed fighting around the Hwachon-Chunchon area. The 5th Cavalry Regiment lost 31 men killed while doing their part in staving off the CCF attack, 19 of which died on April 29th, which would be the last large singular group of men to be KIA in April due to the Spring Offensive. The month would come to an inauspicious close with 9 of the 21 men killed on April 30th coming from flying units. Three F-51’s, one F4U, and one C-47 on a leaflet dropping mission, all crashing in North Korea, all 9 bodies never recovered.

May 1951 - 1296

There was an almost audible pause heard and felt across Korea during the first two weeks of May as both sides took stock on April’s operations and offensives. But, as what always seems to occur when combat becomes light, men still have the unfortunate ability to find ways to die. And with that ‘light’ combat operations, 1296 men would die throughout the month. The 1st day of May would be an odd day simply because of the 9 men who died in Korea that day, only 1 was due to combat. One of the DOC’s was the 27th Fighter Escort Wing commander, killed along with his copilot when his T-33 crashed on an administrative flight after takeoff from Itazuki Air Force Base in Japan. In fact, of 141 men who died in the first sixteen days of the month, an astounding 43 were DOC. Drowning, accidental weapons discharges, electrocution, accidental hand grenade explosions, truck accidents, and even murder, as on May 8th a member of the 2nd Base Post Office was fatally struck on the head by ‘persons unknown’ at Pusan.

Air operations slackened during the beginning of May, with U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force losses being singular per day, however with sometimes 2 pilots being shot down in a 24-hour period. The only deviation from this was on May 7th, of the 17 men killed on this day, 13 were USAF and USN aircrewmen. With combat actions being relatively light, some regiments were off of the front lines in the beginning of the month as they convalesced. A good example of this would be the 9th Infantry Regiment, who’s first KIA in over a month and a half occurred on May 9th as it recovered from March’s Operations KILLER and RIPPER. Of the 10 men who were killed on May 10th, 5 were seamen who died from a fire on the small escort carrier USS Bairoko.

This light combat phase would soon come to an end though. May 17th saw the beginning of the Battle of Soyang River, where units of the 2nd Infantry Division were defending the No-Name Line. This battle tied right in with the CCF Second Spring Offensive which would bring about the most combat deaths for the month. Commonly referred to as the ‘May Massacre’, the 38th Infantry Regiment started off losing 27 men killed on the first day of the Soyang River engagement. May 18th would turn out to be the deadliest day of May 1951, with 321 men KIA, followed the next day with another 114 KIA. A full one-third of all deaths in the month of May occurred on these two days. The 2nd Infantry Division continued to bear the brunt of this, with its 38th Infantry Regiment absorbing another 201 men dead as they battled the enemy on and around the Bunker Hill 1051 area, and the 23rd Infantry Regiment losing 125 men dead as they fought and died around Chaun-ni. The 1st Ranger Company, fighting alongside the 23rd Infantry Regiment, also lost 26 men around Chaun-ni.

After May 19th, there appeared to be a return of the daily ‘grind’ of combat and death seen in previous months in Korea, with every day left in the month bringing death totals higher and higher by an average of 55 men a day killed for the last twelve days of the month. Almost all of these deaths can be attributed to Operation DETONATE, a new major 8th Army offensive to retake and reestablish Line Kansas after being pushed back by the CCF Second Spring Offensive. These last days of May during this ‘grind’ period were punctuated by some days where blocks of men would be killed from individual units. Multiple tasks forces were created and used to re-establish multiple smaller ‘lines’ on the way to solidify Line Kansas. Task Forces Yoke, Hazel, Gerhardt, along with Task Forces Able, Baker and Charlie where combined with revolving units and divisions to hit the benchmarks of Line Topeka, Line Waco, and Line Georgia, respectively. On May 20th, the 15th Infantry Regiment’s 3rd Battalion lost 14 men. On May 25th, still reeling from the large losses of only a week before at the start of the Battle of Soyang River, the 38th Infantry Regiment lost another 19 men, still fighting around the Bunker Hill area. 27 men from the 17th Infantry Regiment would die in two days of hard fighting around small hamlets in the Hwachon, Wonchonni, Kason-ni, and Chango-ni areas on May 28-29th. And the 7th Marine Regiment would lose 27 men KIA in two days, May 29th and 31st, respectively, as they made the drive to Yanggu on the Soyang River. During the last week while fighting to regain Line Kansas, the 187th Regimental Combat Team would lose the steadiest stream of men killed during this phase of the operation. In nine days of fighting around the town and area of Inje, the 187th would lose an even 100 men killed. Unfortunately their losses around Inje would continue on into June.

With the Soyang River battle and the Second CCF Spring Offense, and then Operation DETONATE kicking off, the daily grind also applied to those fighting in the air. While air losses were less than the previous month, there was a steady one or two a-day pilots being shot down or crashing that kept aircrew KIA numbers slowly increasing. And, with these losses, the enemy was indiscriminate with who they shot at and killed. Operation STRANGLE, a massive air interdiction campaign, would start on May 20th. But two days before that, on May 18th, five F4Us and one AD4 Skyraider were shot down, all by anti-aircraft fire while conducting close-in support. The AD-4 pilot that was killed was the commander of Carrier Group 19 (CVG-19), taking his turn in the flying rotation. U.S. Air Force F-80 pilots would end up being the most shot-down group for the month, with fifteen planes being downed and all 15 pilots dying. This was followed closely by 12 Navy and Marine pilots in their F4U Corsairs. Air-to-air combat was still not a prevalent thing as of yet in Korea, and most, if not all of these deaths were due to anti-aircraft fire. May also had a few deaths that, not for any other reason, simply stood out. On May 21st, the USS New Jersey sustained its only combat death of the war when the #1 turret received a hit from an enemy shore battery, killing 1 sailor. And on May 24th a colonel who was serving as the Deputy Commanding General of X Corps died of a heart attack after planning an upcoming attack as part of Operation DETONATE. As the fights and battles moved on in a steady slow advance to reestablish the phase lines, one thing becomes apparent through the review of records, which is the ability to recover those KIA. During this time there were a relatively rare few who were KIA and ‘Body Not Recovered’, the majority of which being pilots who were shot down behind enemy lines.

June 1951 – 947

947 men died in Korea during the month of June 1951. Operation STRANGLE slowly came to an end, and then Operation PILEDRIVER began. While STRANGLE was an operation to retake Line Kansas, Operation PILEDRIVER was designed to solidify the gains of STRANGLE, secure Line Kansas, and then establish a new defensive line, Line Wyoming. Operation PILEDRIVER would be the main cause of death for U.S. forces in June, with the majority of combat deaths occurring in the first two weeks. These deaths, as they usually do, occurred in bunches. 23 men from the 9th Infantry Regiment were KIA on June 2nd while attacking Hills 579 and 451 around Um-Yang-ni. The 65th Infantry Regiment suffered 51 men KIA in four hard days of fighting from June 3-6 in the Chorwon Valley. However, the 7th Infantry Division took the brunt of those killed during PILEDRIVER, with the 31st Infantry Regiment suffering 79 KIA and her sister regiment the 32nd Infantry Regiment losing 47 men KIA during the two weeks of the operation.

June was also a poignant month for air operations. June 3rd saw yet another tragedy during the war when two C-119 Boxcars flew into the path of friendly artillery rounds which had just been fired. Both planes crashed northeast of Inje, killing all 11 men on board the planes. This would not be the last aerial tragedy of the month though. The second aerial tragedy occurred on June 15th, when 12 men from VP-40 Patrol Squadron died when their PBM Catalina patrol bomber crashed into a mountain shortly after takeoff from Iwakuni Naval Air Station, Japan. June was also the first month that an F-86 Sabre and pilot was lost in the Korean War. On June 5th, a pilot from the 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, having just taken off from Suwon Airfield K-13, suddenly jettisoned the aircraft's external fuel tanks and crashed five miles from the runway. The air war in Korea, up until this point, had been mostly various aircraft supporting ground operations with subsequent pilots being killed by anti-aircraft fire. But that was changing. The first F-86 to be shot down during the war occurred on June 18th when a flight of F-86s from the 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron were attacked by a flight of Mig-15s over what was to become ‘Mig-Alley’. 1 F-86 pilot did not return from this mission.

After many stops and starts, objections and guarded agreements, June 10th was the first day of official peace talks, however the Battle for the Punchbowl was in full swing by then. The struggle for the Punchbowl began in the beginning of June as the NKPA attacked the 1st Marine Division area of operations in the Haean-Myon Valley. Some historical references have the Battle for the Punchbowl occurring much later, in the August and September timeframes, but the KIA records for the USMC show a much different timeline. The ongoing Punchbowl engagement would unofficially start on June 2nd, and became a long drawn-out daily slog of fighting that caused 171 KIA in nineteen days of combat for the 1st Marine Division. This phase of the Punchbowl fighting would finally peter-out, going out in one last burst of combat on June 19th when the 7th Marine Regiment’s 3rd Battalion and 1st Engineer Battalion would lose 21 men killed.

June was somewhat of an eclectic month for the year, with men dying in groups or 'clumps', not just on land, but also on the sea. June 12th would see the U.S. Navy experience its single largest loss of life for the year (and second of the war) when the destroyer USS Walke hit a mine sixty miles off the coast of Korea while with Task Force 77. A floating mine was the suspect, killing 26 men of the Walke's crew. On land, men would start to die under a relatively new locale name to be used in Korea. 13 men of ‘B’ Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment were KIA fighting on Hill 717 near Sobang-san in the 'Iron Triangle' on June 23-24. And always, as with previous months, when aggressive combat actions became light, men still ‘Died of Other Causes’. From June 16th through the end of the month, out of the 227 men who died in Korea, 50 men, or over 22% of deaths, were due to ‘other causes’, river drownings and vehicle accidents being the primary causes. The remainder of June appeared to be another noticeable pause in which everyone hoped would continue with relatively few combat deaths. That did not mean that ‘dustups’ didn't occur. During the last week, in three days of fighting from June 26-28 the 19th Infantry Regiment lost 29 men killed around Huddang-ni and Sindong-ni. But this would be the last offensive action of any sort for June. On the last day of the month, 3 men would die in Korean front. 1 by combat, 1 by ‘other causes’, and 1 by fratricide. Just another day on the Korean peninsula.

July 1951 - 439

Can July 1951 be considered the true beginning of the so-called ‘stalemate’ portion of the year and eventually the war? Despite a few hiccups (September and October of 1951), many were glad to see this so-called stalemate portion of the war begin. The term ‘stalemate’ can be misleading though, as combat still took place and men still died. July would eventually be the second least KIA/DOC per month of the year with only 439 men dying in Korea, ‘only’ being a subjective term. With offensive operations put on hold and the lines solidifying, much of the front line deaths were due to minor skirmishes and patrol actions, which would claim small groups of men leaving sometimes 8 to 10 dead from each action. The one area where death actually took an upswing was the air war. While ground combat actions lessoned, air operations for the Air Force, Navy and Marines increased, giving July the second most aircraft and aircrew losses for the year, April being the first. With the majority of these men still listed as ‘Remains Not Recovered’ to this day, 55 men died in 51 different aircraft losses, with thirteen F4U Corsairs leading the lists again as the number one type aircraft to be shot down during the month. These air operations were poignant from the start, as on July 1st the commander of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing was shot down and killed in his F-51 by a direct hit of anti-aircraft fire. Along with aircrew loss numbers, July is interesting to look at where death occurred. 275 men were from front line infantry units with the overwhelming majority of deaths. 24 artillerymen died from the many various artillery battalions supporting those infantry units. And 83 men were from a plethora of different support units in Korea at the time, such as the 8th Food Service Squadron, 136th Maintenance Supply Group, the frigate USS Everett, HU-2 Helicopter Utility Detachment, 1st Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 1st Signal Battalion, 526th Engineer Bridge Panel Company, and the 8055th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH). No unit serving in Korea it seemed, was safe from accident, disease, or combat.

One bright spot of note during July due to almost no aggressive combat operations was that some front line units were given a well-deserved reprieve from death. The 65th and 31st Infantry Regiments each lost only 1 man dead during the entire month. And the 15th and 17th Infantry Regiments are right behind them with only 2 men lost in each regiment for the month, with the 32nd Infantry Regiment close behind with only 3 men killed. However, this was not the normal course of things, for even in the other units getting somewhat of a reprieve, patrolling and skirmishes continued, and men were still daily dying in a low, 1 to 2 to 3 per day pace. Four-day increments seemed to be the constant with most units. During the first four days of July, the 7th Infantry Regiment would lose 23 men fighting on and around Hill 717, again in the Iron Triangle area of Sobang-san. This would be the last death casualties that the regiment would suffer for the remainder of the month however. July 3rd is tied with July 27th for the most deaths on a particular day with 27 men dead, 10 coming from the 7th Infantry Regiment on that day alone. The 21st Infantry Regiment lost 22 men from July 12-15 around Chochiwon and Chunchon. The 8th Cavalry Regiment lost 13 men killed from July 11-14. The 27th Infantry Regiment lost 9 men from July 18-21, and the 35th Infantry Regiment would lose 8 men killed from July 21-24. Those who ‘Died Other Causes’ during this period still happened in surprising ways. As an example on July 15th, a 41 year-old medic and World War II veteran, serving with the 17th Infantry Regiment, passed away in his sleep from acute myocardial insufficiency, more commonly known as heart failure.

The last week of July was not a quiet one for those in the air and on the ground. On July 27th a VP-772 Patrol Squadron PB4Y Privateer patrol bomber crashed five miles after takeoff from Atsugi, Japan. All 9 crewmen were killed. Tragic stories like this would continue for those in the air arms. On July 30th a Marine Corsair pilot was hit by anti-aircraft fire. His plane careened into his wingman’s Corsair, bringing both planes down near Pyongyang, North Korea. Both pilots survived the crashes, however in their ensuing evasion of the enemy, one pilot killed four would be captors. He was summarily executed on the spot once captured. His wingman was taken prisoner and died as a POW later. And finally there was the Battle of Taeusan, more specifically Hill 1179, which was the largest single action that would take place during the month, involving units of the 38th Infantry Regiment. The regiment was tasked with capturing a hill on the western edge of the Punchbowl to solidify the lines. This ‘dust up’ of combat occurred from July 26-31. The 38th Infantry Regiment would lose 44 men killed in securing the hill.

August 1951 - 605

The month started out inauspiciously on August 1st as 4 men died, 1 in combat, the 3 others from a drowning, a truck roll-over, and jaundice. With a total of 605 men killed in August, small clashes and unexpected happenings occurred during the first three weeks which would bring about more limited groupings of deaths to some units. These read like snapshots in time; From August 7-10 the 7th Cavalry Regiment lost 19 men killed while fighting along the Wyoming Line northwest of Yongchon. August 13th there were 5 deaths in Korea, none of which from combat. All were vehicular related, 1 by a truck roll-over, 1 being struck by a tractor, and 3 men in a truck being hit by the wheel undercarriage of a C-54 as it landed. On August 14th, 4 of the 8 men KIA this day were F-51D pilots, 1 of which was the commander of the 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. When 2 of his pilots did not return from their combat runs, he flew a search and rescue mission, and in the process died when he crashed into a hillside. 'F' Company 2nd Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment lost 10 men killed on August 19th when they were attacked by a CCF force during mopup operations between Chorwon and Pyongyang. On the same day, 'L' Company 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment lost 11 men killed while conducting a patrol from their positions along the Wyoming Line. And in three days of skirmishes from August 19-21, the 27th Infantry Regiment would lose 13 men killed. Another one of those sad tragedies occurred on August 22nd, as 10 members of the 58th Field Artillery Battalion were on their way to some well-earned R&R when their truck ran off a cliff near Uijongbu, killing all 10 men.

In the last week of August, the 2nd and 7th Infantry Divisions would experience the largest percentage of deaths for the month. The regiments of both divisions would see the most action across the front, especially the 2nd Infantry Division’s 9th and 38th Infantry Regiments as they became involved with the Bloody Ridge battle. The American involvement in the Battle of Bloody Ridge started in earnest on August 26th and would last roughly twelve days going into September. The 2nd Infantry Division was tasked to assault and capture this valuable high ground, a ridgeline comprising three hill masses, Hills 983, 940 and 773, respectively. The combined CCF and NKPA force defending the ridge was deeply entrenched and this battle would be a foreshadowing of the type of warfare that Korea would eventually revolve into. The 2nd Infantry Division bore the brunt of this assault up the slopes, as the 9th Infantry Regiment lost 111 men KIA and the 38th Infantry Regiment lost 87 KIA during the last six days of the month. The Battle of Bloody Ridge would continue into September and would substantially add to that month’s death totals.

Also starting on August 26th and continuing into September units of the 7th Infantry Division conducted a series of limited scale attacks to establish patrol bases in front of Line Wyoming. These attacks were also designed to break up a Chinese build-up along the Pukhan River. Some of these limited actions took place in the Chorwon area of Hills 266 (eventually called ‘Old Baldy’ of 1952 and ‘53 fame) and 461 near Chugu-dong. The 32nd Infantry Regiment suffered 34 KIA in the last six days of the month, the majority coming from its 1st Battalion. And the 17th Infantry Regiment would lose another 31 KIA during the same period, the majority would be with their 2nd Battalion. Also during this last week, with August 27th as the unofficial starting point of what could be referred to as the beginning of a ‘long, slow, slog of war’, a time period which began an extended period of a slow steady grind of combat deaths. From the last week of August through the first week of November there was a daily tally of anywhere from 20 to 80 deaths every single day. August 27th was an auspicious beginning to this steady grind with the 9th, 32nd and 38th Infantry Regiments losing 126 KIA out of the total 133 deaths for that day. Along with this ‘slow, slog of war’ and marked increase in combat deaths, the last week of August encompassed half of all deaths that occurred during the month, sadly a sign for things to come for those in Korea during the summer and fall. To close out August, on August 29th the first soldier from the newly arrived 14th Infantry Regiment would die in Korea, as a private stepped on a land mine while his unit was practicing tactical problems around Chipo-ri.

September 1951 - 1529

There were 1529 deaths that occurred during September 1951 in Korea. With the spike in combat deaths, doubling the previous month’s deaths (and almost quadruple of July’s), limited size actions grew in size and nature due to a continuous ‘rolling’ of combat over the seemingly neverending Korean hills, and late summer weather preferred by those planning such things. The vast majority of these limited-size attacks were to ‘straighten’ out the lines, deny the enemy the high ground, and acquire better ground to hold and defend. With this large increase of combat deaths, September was viewed by some as unfortunately signaling a potential return to the open warfare of the beginning of the year.

The struggle for Bloody Ridge would continue into the first week of September. The 2nd Infantry Division’s 9th and 38th Infantry Regiments continued to lose blood on the ridge, hence the name. The 9th Infantry Regiment would lose an additional 55 men KIA in this struggle, and the 38th Infantry Regiment would lose another 112 men killed, 27 of which on September 12th alone, before the enemy withdrew to new positions and the Bloody Ridge engagement would be considered over. The 7th Infantry Division’s limited attacks that also started in late August spilled into September as well. In straightening out their lines around the area of Chupa-ri, the 17th and 31st Infantry Regiments would lose 61 men killed in the first two days of the month as they repulsed a severe counter-attack on Hill 851. Then, on September 5-6, it was the 1st Cavalry Division’s turn to fight off an attack, with members of the 5th Cavalry Regiment losing 20 men around Yonchon and Chupa-ri, and another 12 men killed, all from Company 'C' of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, as they fought a delaying action between Hills 321 and 339 in the Chorwon Valley.

While the main effort of the Punchbowl occurred back in June, there were a number of flare-ups, and September proved to be one of them, as the Marines would return to their old haunts during the month. With the assignment to establish new phase line positions just north of the Punchbowl, the first being Line Hayes, then moving forward to their final positions, called Line Minnesota, their assault on the Punchbowl was renewed. Considered an important staging area for the CCF and NKPA, it was decided that the Marines would attack and take the Punchbowl and these staging areas away from the enemy. With the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division doing its part along Bloody and then Heartbreak Ridges, now was the time for the 1st Marine Division to make its mark.

The 7th Marine Regiment would be the only Marine regiment to continue being engaged in the Punchbowl from the end of August going into September, losing 17 men killed in places like Yoke Ridge and Songnap-yong. This would climax on September 11-12 with the 7th assaulting and taking Kanmubong Ridge, incurring the loss of 55 Marines dead for their efforts. After the struggle for this last ridge, the 7th Marine Regiment was out of the fight, but the 1st and 5th Marine Regiments would pick up where the 7th left off. Starting on September 13th and through the end of the month, both of these regiments continued the assault to secure the entire Punchbowl. The 1st Marine Regiment would end up losing 62 men killed while fighting for locales named Kajonni, Kudong, and Hwang-gi, and numerous hill masses such as Hills 673, 680, and 749, all which were part of the Kanmubong complex. And the 5th Marine Regiment’s main effort against Luke’s Castle (Hill 812) and surrounding areas would take 59 of their men’s lives. From private to colonel, the fight for the Punchbowl was indiscriminate indeed, as on September 27th an enemy shell burst killed the 1st Marine Division’s G-1, the highest ranking Marine to die in Korea. The 1st Marine Division would continue to lose men through the remainder of 1951 holding its positions in this area.

On September 13th the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge would begin in earnest. The 2nd Infantry Division’s 9th and 23rd Infantry Regiments were given the task of assaulting a long, roughly seven-mile ridge mass consisting of a number of minor peaks, but with Hills 894, 931, and 851 being the hills of most importance. This ridgeline was where the NKPA withdrew to after being pushed off of Bloody Ridge, and was to the immediate west of the Punchbowl and just north of the Bloody Ridge complex. This battle would consume a large number of men and would end up being one of the main actions during the second half of 1951. The 9th Infantry Regiment, after bearing the brunt of the Bloody Ridge engagement (along with the 38th Infantry Regiment), was thrown back into the attack and suffered another 101 men killed on Heartbreak Ridge during the last two weeks of the month. However, now it was the 23rd Infantry Regiment’s turn to ‘bear the brunt’ of the fighting and death, suffering 237 men killed in those same last two weeks on the ridge. While the regiments of the 2nd Infantry Division fought and died on this forsaken ridge during this time, other units would continue to be engaged elsewhere. During the last ten days of September, the 7th Cavalry Regiment continued defending its positions in the Chorwon Valley, and the regiment’s death toll would increase by another 47 men as they fought and died around small towns and hamlets like Kolgok, Sonbyok, and Sokkogae.

Aircrew losses for September would account for another 34 aircraft of various types, matching the number lost the previous month. However, of these aircraft there were multiple manned bombers such as the B-26 and the B-29, driving losses up substantially, doubling Augusts' losses. Two B-29s were lost during the month with the loss of 28 men. The first B-29 crashed into a mountain near Taem-dong while on a combat mission, and the second ditched in the Sea of Japan due to engine trouble while on a leaflet dropping mission. Nine B-26’s and 27 of their crew were lost, this aircraft type leading the way for the entire month, with losses occurring in a combination of night interdiction, bombing, and reconnaissance missions. September was a rough month for those pilots performing fighter/bomber duties. No less than thirteen aircraft, from U.S. Navy F4U Corsairs and A-4 Skyraiders to USAF F-80 Shooting Stars, would be brought down by enemy antiaircraft fire, still the mainstay of pilot death so far in Korea. However, two F-86s, an F-80, and an F-51, along with their pilots, all would come under the guns of the recently introduced MIG-15.

There were three aircraft related tragedies during the month that stand out, one in the middle of the month and two at the end. On September 16th the USN suffered a tragedy when a F2H Banshee with a damaged tail attempted to land on the USS Essex. With no tail hook extended, the aircraft crashed into a number of parked planes on the deck and exploded, killing the pilot and 7 crewmen. And, on September 27th a C-46D, on a flight from K-9 Air Field in Korea to Tachikawa Air Base, crashed into Mount Tanazawa, Japan, killing 18 servicemen. Two days later in bad weather a C-47A crashed into a hill northeast of Taegu-Maedong, killing all 7 onboard.

October 1951 - 1775

On October 2nd 1951 the last 4 men from the USS Magpie, which hit a mine and sunk a year before on October 1st 1950, were finally declared to be KIA, one year and one day later. October 3rd with 152 dead, and October 4th with 138 dead, would be the last days of 1951 that daily death tolls exceeded 100. This coincided with the start of the last major UN operations of the year. The slow continual grind, or ‘slog’ continues in this month, as the majority of deaths per day would average 30-60 a day, and at times much higher.

There were 1775 deaths on the Korean peninsula and surrounding waters in October 1951, continuing the marked increase of combat actions, mostly to solidify positions to be ready for the onset of the brutal Korean winter. Two major operations dominated this month, both with secondary follow-on operations, fulfilling the roll of getting ready for the approaching cold weather. The first of these, Operation COMMANDO, started on October 3rd to capture, establish, and solidify Line Jamestown. Launched on the heels of Operation MINDEN, which was a solely British and Canadian forces operation to extend their portions of Line Wyoming, Operation COMMANDO was designed to push the NKPA further away from the UN supply lines north of Seoul. The 15th Infantry Regiment’s 2nd Battalion took the brunt of deaths at the start of the operation, losing 36 of the regiment’s 53 men killed in the first two days of COMMANDO. During this timeframe, a number of units suffered a volume of losses that had not been seen since the year’s CCF Spring Offensives.

The participation of each of the divisions was evident during COMMANDO. The 3rd Infantry Division would fulfill its role in the beginning phase, as they were able to secure the areas they were assigned to in a relatively quick fashion. But, the 1st Cavalry Division objectives (along with their participation in other immediate follow-on operations) would necessitate a long-drawn out fight that would force KIA rates to the point the division would eventually be pulled off the line the following month. As part of COMMANDO, the division’s regiments took more casualties than they cared to. The 5th Cavalry Regiment would lose 137 men killed while fighting around the Mago-ri and Chorwon areas. The 7th Cavalry Regiment would lose 191 men dead, starting with fighting around Hills 418 and 313 in the Chobokkal area. And, the 8th Cavalry Regiment would add another 90 men to the death toll. Small attached units would pay their price too, such as the 16th Armored Reconnaissance Company which lost 11 men killed fighting around Huksok-Dong on the operation’s opening day. Operation COMMANDO certainly hit the 1st Cavalry Division very hard, but they were not done yet. As a follow-up, Operation POLECHARGE was a 5th Cavalry Regiment offensive running from October 15-19, coming off of and as a secondary operation of the larger COMMANDO. POLECHARGE was designed to secure a portion of Line Jamestown and a succession of hills that provided the high ground to the northeast of the phase line. Attacking and securing this high ground, the 5th Cavalry Regiment, supported by elements of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, paid heavily, losing 79 men killed in the four days of POLECHARGE, starting with Hill 346, and then in succession Hills 230, 418, 313, 334, 287, 347, and 272. The fighting around Hill 272 was quoted as some of the deadliest of the year.

Operation TOUCHDOWN, an armored thrust up the Mundung-ni and Satae-ri valleys, coming right after and was on the tail end of the Heartbreak Ridge battle, started on October 5th. A 2nd Infantry Division operation, the goal of TOUCHDOWN was for the 9th and 23rd Infantry Regiments to secure a successive row of hills extending out northeastward and northwestward from the Heartbreak Ridgeline. The 38th Infantry Regiment, originally held in reserve during TOUCHDOWN, would eventually be committed to the battle. All three of the 2nd Infantry Division’s regiments shared equally in the ensuing combat deaths, and Operation TOUCHDOWN would be the division’s last action for the remainder of the year. Ironically, some of the heaviest fighting, and largest death toll of TOUCHDOWN occurred with the 38th Infantry Regiment, the unit that was originally held in reserve. Losing 75 men from October 7-10 as they attacked the Kim-Il-Sung Ridgeline and hills 800 and 905, the 38th Infantry Regiment would eventually suffer a total of 106 men killed during the operation. The 23rd and 9th Infantry Regiments would end up losing 74 and 62 men dead, respectively, by the time the operation concluded on October 16th.

The second major operation with follow-on supporting actions was a duel operation called Operation NOMAD-POLAR. The last major UN action of the year, it was designed to take back the city of Kumsong by the 24th Infantry Division and to secure Line Missouri. A culmination of what was sometimes referred to as the ‘Big Fall Push’, Line NOMAD was the first objective, with Line POLAR being the second after Line NOMAD was secured. Jumping off on October 13th, the 24th Infantry Division and attached units would fight hard for the next nine days to secure their objectives. The road to Line NOMAD started with the 19th Infantry Regiment having to go through Hill 770, called ‘the Pearl’ in the Kumhwa sector, and the CCF who were digging in for the fall there. Driving deep into the CCF lines, the 19th Infantry Regiment would eventually lose 130 men KIA, while the 21st Infantry Regiment, fighting along the left side of its sister regiment lost 78 men killed. Meanwhile, the 5th Regimental Combat Team, jumping off from their positions on Line Wyoming and doing its part on the central and eastern front sections they were assigned to for NOMAD-POLAR, would lose 73 men dead in these same ten days of combat. These men died in 5, 10 and sometimes 15-man groupings as they fought around little hamlets and areas with names like Sangyang-ni, Hudong-ni, Chinyon-ni, Pandangdong-ni, Sam-Hyon, Tusok-Tong, Wonnam-Myon, Muto, Chuktae-ri, Inam-ni, Kokiae-ri, Yongon-ni, and Takpau.

Along the waters surrounding the Korean Peninsula, other than the 4 men from the USS Magpie being declared KIA at the beginning of October and 4 pilots being shot down during the month, naval operations continued unabated. Losses were light, but still noteworthy just the same. On October 2nd, 1 sailor fell overboard while preparing F4Us for launch on the USS Bon Homme Richard, and on October 7th, 9 men were killed when their destroyer USS Ernest G. Small struck a mine with her bow, while she was shelling the Hungnam Harbor. Lastly, 1 sailor was killed by shore battery fire while the USS Samuel N. Moore was also in Hungnam Harbor on October 17th.

Overall aircrew losses for the month stand at 45 different aircraft with 98 Air Force, Navy and Marine airmen killed. The month of October would be the largest loss of life for the B-29 Super Fortress and its aircrews for the entire year. Six B-29’s and 52 of their airmen would be killed this month, most during the third week of October which started with what eventually was called ‘Black Tuesday’. On this particular Tuesday, October 23rd, three B-29’s were lost to Mig-15’s over Namsi Airfield in North Korea with the loss of 29 aircrew. As for single engine type planes, USAF F-80 and USN/USMC F4U pilots would tie for the most of any type aircraft to be shot down and pilots killed with 8 each respectively. Of note, like so many previous months, the vast majority of these airmen were brought down by various forms of anti-aircraft fire, and almost all of these men are still today considered KIA-Remains Not Recovered. As the same with ground combat and deaths, some pilot deaths stand out as well. On October 25th a Marine F4U Corsair pilot from Marine Fighter Squadron 312 was on his last mission before rotating home. He was strafing railway bridges near Yonghung when his right wing was hit by AAA and exploded. A decorated WWII veteran, he never made it home from Korea.

Even though Operation POLECHARGE was officially over by October 19th, the operation gave one final desperate gasp of life during the last week of the month. The 5th Cavalry Regiment, still working on giving its positions along Line Jamestown strengthening, would complete this by losing an additional 78 men KIA in little villages and hamlets such as Mago-ri, Chong-Dong, and Mango-ri (all of these were in the Chorwon area), and would culminate with fighting around Hill 200, just across the Yokkok-chon River and Line Jamestown. The 7th Cavalry Regiment would lose another 28 men dead in support of this last, final push.

With a few minor exceptions that occurred in November, the daily death rates slowly dwindled during the tail end of October from the hectic 50 to 90+ men killed per day. October 22nd would mark the first day since Oct 3rd that there were under 30 deaths a day. By the end of the month, the ‘slog’ finally, mercifully peters out, with combat deaths winding down as both sides start to settle in for a long cold winter in the foothills of Korea. Even with this drastic slow-down of operations though, death still occurred on a daily basis. 23 men were killed on the last day of October, making this day no different than the rest of the month. What does stand out from this day are two separate events that would lead to ‘group burials’ of men. A B-29 flying out of Kadena Airbase would crash after its #3 engine caught fire and the wing exploded. All 10 of the crew were killed, 8 of which were buried in a co-mingled grave. And lastly, 7 men, 5 from the 70th Tank Battalion and 2 from 8th Engineer Combat Battalion, are buried in a co-mingled grave after they are killed in a short, quick, burst of combat.

November 1951 - 626

With winter settling in on the Korean peninsula, combat actions and the subsequent deaths from that drastically declined. Peace talks continued in earnest, adding to the slowed-down pace of combat between the UN and the CCF/NKPA. With this slowing of combat deaths, those that did occur were from mostly isolated incidents, patrols, and short, sharp clashes, sometimes not even intentional. 626 men died in Korea during November, ranking it on the lower end of the ‘death’ scale for the year, as the Korean winter started to settle in. The 7th, 24th, and 1st Cavalry Divisions sustained the vast majority of these deaths as they were still reeling from October’s brutal fighting. The type of short clashes that U.S. troops would be involved with were evident from the beginning of the month, as on November 2nd, 11 men from the 8th Cavalry Regiment’s 2nd Battalion were killed while fighting around Unsan. 1 private, a recent replacement, had only been on the front lines for a few hours and was killed by a mortar round. Other tragedies were also there in November, just like all of the other months, as on November 4th an F9F Panther from the VF-837 Fighter Squadron jumped the barriers and crashed while landing, killing the pilot and 2 crewmen on the USS Antietam.

During the first week of November, the 1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, still recovering from its losses the previous month, gives a very good example of what was to come in the ensuing months and years. Assigned to a section of the front astride Line Jamestown in the Chorwon area, the 1st Battalion manned positions to include Hills 266 (Old Baldy) 200, and Hill 199 near the Imjin River. Assigning its companies to each of these posts, the 1st Battalion, while attempting to settle into an ‘active defense’ mode, had to deal with company and sometimes battalion sized probing attacks. These attacks on small localized points would cause numbers of loss of life to be concentrated, not just by regiment, but battalion and sometimes company or lower. Between November 5-7, the 1st Battalion’s ‘A’ Company would lose 21 men killed, ‘B’ Company 25 men killed, ‘C’ Company 24 men killed, ‘D’ Company 7 men dead, and 12 other men killed from other various sections of the battalion. 89 men from one battalion killed in total, in three days, just to defend a few hill masses along a line on a map in the winter of 1951. Korea certainly was an odd place to be for the American serviceman. Sometimes combat deaths were caused by 3rd party aggressors, nor was it limited to just Korea and off its coast. On November 6th, a P2V-3 Neptune, from Patrol Squadron 6 (VP-6) at Naval Air Station Atsugi, was flying an intelligence gathering mission over the Sea of Japan. The 10 Navy aircrew became KIA when they were shot down by Soviet fighters near Vladivostok, USSR.

More small fights and hilltop clashes would continue to erupt throughout the month. One of these on November 8-10 in the small hill outposts of the Kumsong area would kill 18 men, 16 of which from the 1st Battalion of the 19th Infantry Regiment, fighting around Kumhwa. Another clash, this time on November 20-22, would see 30 men KIA, almost all from ‘F’ Company 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, as they defended their outpost on Hill 255 (later infamously referred to as Pork Chop Hill). Not only was this the last combat action of the 8th Cavalry Regiment for the year, but also for the entire 1st Cavalry Division as it was pulled off the line en-masse soon afterward. Of note, 33 men would die in Korea on Thursday, November 22nd. It was the second Thanksgiving of US troops being in the country.

November saw the 2nd lowest aircraft losses of the year with twenty four aircraft of thirteen different types along with 43 pilots and crewmembers killed. This month was second only to February 1951 (twenty three aircraft) for the year. The Air Force led the way in November, with four F-80 and four F-84 aircraft and their pilots being shot down. One of these was the commander of the 136th Fighter Bomber Wing, who’s damaged F-84 Thunderjet crashed on the way to K-9 Airbase after bombing runs on North Korean positions. Back on January 9th of this year, a B-29 was shot down while on a leaflet dropping mission over Chongju. The entire crew bailed out and survived, however, 1 crewman was captured, and eventually would die in a POW camp on November 9th. And another unit commander is killed on November 18th, as the commander of Marine Attack Squadron 121 (VMA-121) dies when his AD-2 Skyraider engine catches fire after taking off from K-6 Airfield and then crashes.

As the month grew closer to an end, there were two last gasps of combat that the enemy would attempt on the front. The 3rd Infantry Division’s 7th Infantry Regiment would enter into a struggle for control of Hill 355 (Little Gibraltar) and the Kowang-San area, losing 67 men killed, mostly from the 2nd Battalion, in four days of hard fighting from November 22-25. In a supporting role, the 15th Infantry Regiment’s 2nd Battalion would add another 27 men dead to the total. And lastly, from November 21st through the end of the month, the 17th Infantry Regiment would lose 58 men killed as they defended their positions along Line Minnesota in the Punchbowl area. This action along Line Minnesota would continue into the first week of December. Another example of ‘groupings’ of men killed would be provided by ‘I’ Company, 3rd Battalion of the regiment. While on a night ambush patrol, ‘I’ Company lost 12 men, all still listed to this day as MIA. This fighting by the 17th Infantry Regiment would prove to be the last of the month across the entire MLR. But the killing continued. The USS Hyman was hit by an enemy shore battery off of Wonsan on November 29th, with 3 men killed. All 3 men were blown overboard and not recovered. The last day of November was an eclectic day for death in Korea. Of the 9 men who were killed, 4 men were DOC, 2 died from an aircraft crash, and 3 men were killed in combat.

December 1951 - 297

December is an interesting month to look at from the view of deaths to US servicemen serving in Korea at the close of 1951. Ground combat was almost non-existent except for small patrolling actions across the front. 297 men still died though, making December the lowest monthly total for the year. But within those 297 men, there are some striking numbers and percentages to give an interesting understanding of what it was like to be in Korea during the war’s second winter. The first percentage to look at would be those men who ‘Died Other Causes’ (DOC) that happen not just in a war zone but anywhere that military personnel serve. Granted, being in a combat zone caused some deaths that traditionally would not occur elsewhere. There were a total of 71 DOC’s in December, 24% of all deaths in-theatre. 1 out of every 4 men who died in Korea during the month died while not involved in combat. Of these DOC’s, there were 20 men who are generically recorded simply as ‘DOC’, 18 died in various vehicle accidents (mostly truck rollovers), 10 died in aircraft crashes (9 in one crash), 6 of hemorrhagic fever, 2 each by heart attack and electrocution, and then individually by drowning, polio, a brain edema, a tent fire, an accidental self-inflicted gunshot, an accidental stepping on a land mine, an artillery barrel recoil blow to the head, a jump from a tank, and getting hit in the head by a falling rock.

The next percentage to look at are those Missing In Action (MIA). 55 men are still listed today as MIA from December, roughly 16% of the total men killed during the month. Remarkable for a static front, but over half of these MIAs were aircrewmen who were either shot down behind enemy lines or crashed into the sea. Regarding USAF, USN, and USMC pilots and aircrew, there were 46 men that died in thirty four different aircraft in December. Aircraft and aircrew losses were the one thing that stayed constant during this month. Even though ground combat was almost non-existent, the air war remained active due to the interdiction requirements to prevent the enemy its supply chain. Air Force F-80, F-84 and F-51 pilots along with Navy F4U Corsair pilots would alone account for 24 men killed. Almost all of these were from anti-aircraft fire as they were attacking or bombing enemy positions and supply routes. On December 18th all 4 deaths were air crewmen of various sorts, 2 pilots who were KIA (1 shot down behind enemy lines and 1 who had to ditch his aircraft into the sea) and 2 aircraft maintainers who were DOC (both vehicle accidents).

December would start off with a DOC, as on December 1st, a lieutenant from the newly activated 180th Infantry Regiment died at sea enroute to Korea. The regiment suffered its first casualty in the Korean conflict and they hadn’t even landed yet. It would be another ten days (December 11th) until the 180th would experience its first KIA. December 4th would end up being the highest daily death total for the month with 21 men killed. 9 of these men happened to be an entire aircrew of a B-29 that crashed after takeoff from Kadena Airbase, Okinawa. During the first two weeks of the month, small patrols and raiding parties were the only offensive actions taken by those on the MLR. These small patrolling actions sometimes developed into short sharp clashes that left men dead, usually from a singular unit. Some raiding parties were designed specifically to capture prisoners. Case in point, the 2nd Battalion of the 65th Infantry Regiment would lose 6 men killed on December 11th, and another 6 men killed on the 23rd, while conducting some of these patrols along Line Jamestown near the small village of Toyon-ni and Hill 168. The 17th Infantry Regiment lost 25 men KIA and the 5th Regimental Combat Team lost 13 men KIA during these two weeks as they continued small patrols along their sector of Line Missouri. And the 7th Marine Regiment lost 10 men during this time as they manned positions along Line Hays which ran through the Punchbowl before they were pulled off the line and put into reserve. The last two weeks of December were a tense time, as combat actions were very light, and no one wanted to die in a far off land during what should be the most peaceful time of the year. For those that died during this time, there would not be any peace and comfort with their families. It would take over an entire year for this type of day to occur, but on December 27th there were no deaths of any kind in Korea. This would only be the second time since Task Force Smith hit the ground in the first week of July 1950, and the first time in all of 1951. On December 30th, 2 men from 179th Infantry Regiment would be the first from that regiment to die in the war. The last day of 1951 would see 9 men die in Korea. One of these men was a young captain leading a patrol on New Year’s Eve when he was killed by a mortar round near Hill 1062 (Papa-san Mountain). Earning the Silver Star with his life, he and his soldiers deaths’ would close out the second year of combat in the Land of the Morning Calm.

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Author Notes: This article concentrates on the United States involvement in the Korean War and does not include the number of United Nations (UN) and Republic of Korea (ROK) forces killed. There are many ways to review, interpret, and present statistical data such as this, and there have already been a number of books written with tallies of KIA for either battles, dates of battles or units that fought those battles. This article takes a different approach. The main source for the numbers quoted in this article is the Korean War Project which maintains a digital file of all deaths that occurred associated with Korea by date, unit, and location. This digital file is the most comprehensive source available, compiled from numerous sources, namely the TAGOKOR, DIOR, PMKOR, NARA, and respective service documentation.

• TAGOKOR File - The Army Adjutant General's Office Korean War Casualty File
• DIOR File - The Directorate for Information Operations and Reports File
• PMKOR - The Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) Personnel Missing Korea File
• NARA RG 330 - National Archives and Records administration Records Group 330, Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
• Service records of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy
• Various Command Reports and Unit Daily Journals
• Korean War Project
• Internet sources such as Wikipedia and various search engines to verify proper spellings and locations of towns, cities and geographical areas of importance, aircraft and ship identifications, and the cross-referencing of units and dates throughout the year.

Numerous disparities have been found in documentation from different sources, and this is to be expected. There is no definitive Korean War death list. This article is based on the reported and recorded deaths per day per unit.

Other Reference:

• Korean War Educator
• U.S. Army Center of Military History (CMH)
• Veterans of Foreign Wars publication: ‘Battles of the Korean War 1950-1953’
• CMH Pub 19-9 ‘The Korean War: Restoring the Balance 25 Jan-8 Jul 1951’
• Korean War Order of Battle: United States, United Nations, and Communist Ground, Naval, and Air Forces 1950-1953
   By Gordon L. Rottman
• United States Army Center of Military History: Korea 1951-1953
   By John Miller Jr., Major Owen Curroll, and Margeret Tackley
• Korean Battle Chronology: Unit-by-Unit United States Casualty Figures and Medal of Honor Citations
   By Richard E. Ecker
• Honor and Fidelity: The 65th Infantry in Korea 1950-1953
   By Gilberto N. Villahermosa
• The Korean War - Years of Stalemate, July 1951-July 1953 United States Army Center of Military History
   By Andrew J. Birtle
• DRIVE NORTH - U.S. Marines At The Punchbowl
   By Colonel Allan R. Millett
• Combat Operations of the Korean War: Ground, Air, Sea, Special and Covert
   By Paul M. Edwards
• HILLS OF SACRIFICE – The 5th RCT in Korea
   By Michael Slater
• TRUCE TENT AND FIGHTING FRONT – United States Army in the Korean War
   By Walter G. Hermes
• Operation Nomad-Polar
   By Merry Helm, Writers Guild of America, February 1, 2007

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© 2023 Anthony J. Sobieski

Published online: 07/20/2019.

Written by Anthony J. Sobieski. If you have questions or comments on this article, please contact Anthony J. Sobieski at:

About the author:
Anthony Sobieski is a Department of Defense employee and retired U.S. Air Force reservist. He is a recognized Korean War historian and author, having published three books on the subject; FIRE MISSION! (2003), FIRE FOR EFFECT! (2005), and A Hill Called White Horse (2009).

* Views expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent those of
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