So ends the bloody business of the day.

HOMER, Odyssey

In the Unsan and Onjong area at the end of October, great smoke clouds hung in the skies. What did these smoke clouds portend? Everyone in the area noticed them. Capt. Jack Bolt, commanding officer of C Battery, 99th Field Artillery Battalion, counted ten different forest fires burning in the mountains when his unit moved up on the 30th to support the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, south of Unsan. The next day Colonel Johnson witnessed much the same thing during his visit to the 8th Cavalry regimental command post. And General Allen, the 1st Cavalry Division assistant commander, likewise saw them on 1 November when he drove to Unsan. These great smoke clouds north and northeast of Unsan came from forest fires set by the enemy. They obscured U.N. aerial observation and masked enemy troop movements.

The evidence on 1 November particularly indicated that some large enemy movement was in progress. That morning a Korean civilian reported that 2,000 Chinese soldiers were in a valley nine miles southwest of Unsan and that their mission was to move eastward and cut the road below the town. A member of a Home Guard unit reported there were 3,000 Chinese on Obong-san, six miles southwest of Unsan. Colonel Edson, in talking to Colonel Johnson, apparently referred to this force. At noon, air and artillery had dispersed an enemy column eight miles southeast of Unsan, killing approximately 100 horses and an unknown number of men. This column was approaching the ROK 11th Regiment positions which were then near the ROK II Corps boundary. In the afternoon aerial observers reported sighting large columns of enemy troops in motion northeast and southwest of Unsan. An air strike hit one of these columns, containing twenty-one vehicles loaded with troops, nine miles northeast of Unsan. [1]

At his command post at Yongsan-dong in the afternoon, General Gay and Brig. Gen. Charles D. Palmer, the division artillery commander, were listening to the chatter on the artillery radio set. Suddenly the voice of an observer in an L-5 plane directing fire of the 82d Field

[1] I Corps WD, Intel Summs, 142-43, and POR 150, 1 Nov 50. 


Artillery Battalion (155-mm. howitzers) came in: "This is the strangest sight I have ever seen. There are two large columns of enemy infantry moving southeast over the trails in the vicinity of Myongdang-dong and Yonghung-dong. Our shells are landing right in their columns and they keep coming." The two places mentioned were about seven and five air miles respectively southwest and west of Unsan. General Palmer broke in on the radio to order the 99th Field Artillery Battalion to join in the fire on these enemy columns. General Gay, who had become uneasy about the dispersion of the 1st Cavalry Division, telephoned I Corps headquarters to request that the 7th Cavalry Regiment, which I Corps was holding south of the Ch'ongch'on, be ordered to join him at Yongsan-dong and that he be allowed to withdraw the 8th Cavalry Regiment a distance of several miles from Unsan. He also protested the use of the 3d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, at the corps boundary on the east. His requests were denied. [2]

While the record indicates general reluctance on the part of the American command to accept the accumulating evidence of Chinese intervention, at least one responsible staff officer seems to have agreed with the ROK interpretation of events at an early date. Col. Percy W. Thompson, G-2 of I Corps, briefed troops of the advanced party of the 1st Cavalry Division at I Corps headquarters when the division was committed in the Unsan area. He pointed out that they might be fighting Chinese forces. Their reaction was one of disbelief and indifference. This same attitude was apparent in the staff of the 8th Cavalry Regiment and some of the division officers when Colonel Hennig, who had been with the ROK 1st Division throughout the Unsan fighting, tried to tell them that they were up against Chinese forces. General Gay maintained that his first information on Chinese intervention came on 1 November when he visited General Paik at the latter's ROK 1st Division headquarters at Yongbyon. This is hard to reconcile with the fact that in the last two days of October officers and men of the 8th Cavalry Regiment at Unsan heard a great deal about the Chinese from the ROK 1st Division troops and the attached KMAG officers. Apparently most of the officers and men of the 8th Cavalry Regiment received this information with skepticism or disbelief. [3]

In the early afternoon of 1 November General Walker telephoned to General Milburn and told him the ROK II Corps had ceased to be an organized fighting organization, and that his right flank was unprotected. Walker told Milburn to take measures to protect his flank and to assume command of any ROK units that came into the U.S. I Corps area. General Milburn set out immediately for Kunu-ri to see the ROK corps commander, after giving orders to his chief of staff, Brig. Gen. Rinaldo Van Brunt, to organize a blocking force to take a position on the Kunu-ri-Anju road southwest of Kunu-ri. This blocking force was composed principally of Engineer and Ordnance troops. Its mission was to protect the I Corps right flank and the pontoon bridges over the Ch'ongch'on River.

[2] Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54. 

[3] Ltrs, Gay to author, 19 Feb, 15 Mar, and 24 June 54; Interv, author 
with Hennig, 23 Mar 54; Ltr, Thompson to author, 9 Apr 54. 

UNSAN Page 691

When Milburn arrived at the ROK II Corps headquarters he found it in the act of moving to Sunch'on. The ROK corps commander told him that he had lost contact with and did not know the location of most of his subordinate units, that they were disorganized, and that so far as he knew he had only three battalions of the ROK 7th Division in the vicinity of Kunu-ri capable of fighting. Milburn told the ROK commander that he must hold Kunu-ri, and that a blocking force of U.S. troops west of the town would support him. [4]

Meanwhile, other disquieting events were taking place south of Unsan and behind the 8th Cavalry Regiment. When the platoon-sized combat patrol from the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, in the early afternoon of 1 November moved north from Yongsan-dong it found its way blocked at a point four air miles, or six to seven road miles, below the position of the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment. (Map 23) As radio reports told him of the enemy's strength, the battalion commander rapidly reinforced the platoon with the full strength of A and B Companies. The enemy force held a position on the ridge extending across the road just south of the Turtle Head Bend of the Kuryong River.

Upon Colonel Johnson's return to the 5th Cavalry command post in the evening, the 1st Battalion commander requested him to release the third rifle company. Johnson approved the request, and C Company moved north. In the meantime, shortly after dark, the Chinese at the roadblock attacked the two companies in front of them and drove B Company from its position with the loss of four 81-mm mortars and other equipment. Colonel Johnson then directed the withdrawal of A Company to the defensive position C Company established near midnight. There, A and B Companies assembled for reorganization. Johnson alerted the 2d Battalion at 2300, and two hours later ordered it north to support the 1st Battalion. [5]

By noon of 1 November, therefore, the Chinese had cut and blocked the main road six air miles south of Unsan with sufficient strength to turn back two rifle companies which had been strongly supported by air strikes during daylight hours. The CCF had set the stage for an attack that night against the 8th Cavalry Regiment and the ROK 15th Regiment. When dusk fell that evening enemy soldiers were on three sides of the 8th Cavalry-the north, west, and south. Only the ground to the east, held by the ROK 15th Regiment, was not in Chinese possession.

North of the Town

The Chinese attack north of Unsan had gained strength in the afternoon of 1 November against the ROK 15th Regiment on the east, and gradually it extended west into the zone of the 8th Cavalry Regiment. The first probing attacks there, accompanied by mortar barrages, came at 1700 against the right flank unit, the 1st Battalion. There was also something new in the enemy fire support-rockets fired from trucks. These

[4] MS review comments, Milburn, Nov 57. 

[5] Interv, author with Johnson, 28 Apr 54; Johnson, MS review comments, 
Aug 54; I Corps WD, 1 Nov 50 Intel Summ 142; 5th Cav WD, 1 Nov 50; I 
Corps POR 153, 2 Nov 50. 


(Map 23: THE UNSAN ENGAGEMENT, 8th CAVALRY REGIMENT Night, 1-2 November 1950)

UNSAN Page 693

rocket vehicles were to the northeast, across the Samt'an River. Supporting artillery soon located and forced the rocket vehicles to move, but not before their rockets had struck an ammunition truck at the battalion command post. Major Millikin's men recovered one of the rocket shells and found that it was of the Russian Katushka 82-mm. type fired from four multiple tubes, truck-mounted.

At dusk Millikin's 1st Battalion con trolled the river approaches from the north except for portions in the ROK 15th Regiment zone on the east side Millikin's position was weak on the left, however, where troop strength did not permit him to extend far enough to reach the main ridge leading into Unsan. He had physical contact with the 2d Battalion in that direction only by patrols. Neither battalion held this ridge except for outposts. [6]

East of the river the ROK's were under heavy attack. In this action the ROK's captured two 57-mm. recoilless rifles and two automatic rifles with Chinese markings. At 1900 the 10th AAA Group, supporting the ROK's, issued a march order and in a tense atmosphere began packing its equipment. An hour and a half later the group closed its fire direction center, and at 2100 its motor convoy moved south under black out conditions. The 78th AAA Battalion's 90-mm. guns, which were tractor drawn and could be moved quickly, remained behind and continued to fire in support of the ROK's for an hour or two longer; then they too withdrew on corps orders. After about 2300 the ROK 15th Regiment disintegrated rapidly, and shortly after midnight ceased to exist as a combat force. Very few of these ROK troops escaped; they were either killed or captured. [7]

A lull in the fighting at Millikin's position ended at 1930 when the Chinese struck his battalion all along its line. They drove the right flank back 400 yards. The left flank then withdrew half that distance. Millikin rushed fifty men from the Engineer platoon and the Heavy Mortar Company to the right flank, and with this reinforcement he held there. Heavy action continued. About 2100 the Chinese found the weak link on the ridge line and began moving through it down the ridge behind the 2d Battalion.

At 2200 the tanks holding the bridge northeast of Unsan in the right rear of Millikin's 1st Battalion reported large groups of men across the Samt'an River, moving south. The 4.2-inch mortars supporting the ROK 15th Regiment in that area had now quit firing. Radio reports from the ROK's made it clear that they were being defeated and pushed back. In order to ascertain what the situation was there, Millikin sent his assistant S-3 across the river in a jeep to locate the mortarmen. That officer, after crossing the river, was fired on but escaped and reported back to Millikin. The moon was now coming up. Night visibility was good.

Since it was apparent that enemy groups were passing him on the east, Millikin ordered the battalion trains and all noncombat vehicles to move south through Unsan to the road fork and be

[6] Ltr, Millikin to author, 6 May 54. 

[7] Intervs, author with Hennig, 23-24 Mar 54; 10th AAA Group WD, 1-2
Nov 50.


prepared to move from there southeast across the Kuryong River ford in the ROK 1st Division zone to Ipsok. About the same time, Lt. Col. William Walton, commanding officer of the 2d Battalion, ordered his motor officer to take all vehicles in the motor pool across the river by this same route. These vehicles from the two battalions arrived safely at Ipsok.

With much sounding of bugles and whistles the Chinese extended their strong attacks westward to the 2d Battalion, and in a short time penetrated its right and encircled its left. At the same time the fight with the 1st Battalion went on. Near the battalion boundary, A Company reported that it was engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy in two directions, had pulled back its left flank, and was withdrawing to the next ridge. On Millikin's right the tanks holding the ground along the river were being pressed back. By 2300 both the 1st and 2d Battalions had been forced back and their positions penetrated. The 1st Battalion had expended its basic load of ammunition and most of the reserve ammunition the regiment had sent forward. Millikin reported by radio to the regimental commander the increasingly desperate situation of the two front-line battalions and the fact that he was almost out of ammunition. [8]

While this night battle was increasing in intensity, an important conference was in progress at I Corps headquarters. During the afternoon, General Milburn and his staff had become more and more disturbed at reports of what was happening to the ROK II Corps eastward and of the increasing tempo of the action near Unsan. At noon on 1 November I Corps had ordered the 24th Division to halt its advanced units, then only a few miles from the North Korean border. Some hours later, about 1800 in the afternoon, General Milburn sent out a call for a meeting at corps headquarters that night to be attended by the commanding generals and certain staff members of the 24th Division, the 1st Cavalry Division, and the ROK 1st Division. Before General Gay left his command post for the I Corps meeting at Anju he ordered Col. Ernest V. Holmes, his chief of staff, to send a warning order to the 8th Cavalry Regiment to be prepared to withdraw from Unsan.

The meeting at I Corps headquarters got under way about 2000. In this meeting General Milburn directed the corps to go from the attack to the defensive immediately. This was the first time I Corps had gone on the defensive since its breakout from the Pusan Perimeter. Milburn returned the 8th Cavalry Regiment to division control, and ordered that it and the ROK 15th Regiment withdraw at once from Unsan to positions above the Yongsan-dong-Yongbyon-Unhung east-west road. This would amount to a general withdrawal of approximately twelve air miles. Generals Gay and Paik were to co-ordinate the withdrawals of their advanced regiments, the ROK 15th Regiment to be the last to withdraw. General Gay telephoned Colonel Holmes from Anju, instructing him to issue the withdrawal order to the 8th Cavalry Regiment. Then he and General Paik and their parties

[8] Ltr, Millikin to author, 6 May 54: Ltr, Walton to author, 27 Aug 54; 
8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 1 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn Jnl, 10 Nov 50 (a report 
from CO B Co, 70th Tk Bn, for period 1-9 Nov 50).

UNSAN Page 695

started back to their headquarters. A little after midnight they reached the 1st Cavalry Division command post. There they learned the bad news from the Unsan front. [9]

Colonel Palmer received the withdrawal order from the 1st Cavalry Division about 2300. Fifteen minutes before midnight he issued a warning order alerting all battalions and the regimental trains for a withdrawal south. At midnight he issued the withdrawal order. The withdrawal route indicated was the only one possible-east from the road fork south of Unsan, across the ford of the Kuryong River, and then by the main supply route of the ROK 1st Division to Ipsok and Yongbyon. Major Millikin telephoned Colonel Walton that he would try to hold Unsan until the 2d Battalion cleared the road junction south of it. Then he would withdraw. The 3d Battalion, south of Unsan, was to bring up the regimental rear. [10]

In the 2d Battalion, Colonel Walton had lost communication by this time with all his companies except H Company. He gave that company the withdrawal order with instructions to relay it to the rifle companies since it still had communication with them. The 2d Battalion headquarters group, under ineffective enemy small arms fire, began withdrawing eastward to the sound of heavy firing in Unsan.

In Major Millikin's 1st Battalion area just north of Unsan, A Company had been forced from its left flank position and Chinese were infiltrating south along the ridge line into Unsan behind the battalion. At the same time, the Chinese were pressing hard against B Company on the right and the tanks of B Company, 70th Tank Battalion, along the river where they guarded the battalion's right flank. Millikin soon received word that the tanks had been forced back to the road junction at the northeast edge of the town. The tankers reported they would try to hold there until the 1st Battalion could withdraw past that point. Millikin issued orders for A and B Companies each to leave one platoon behind as rear guard, and for them and D Company to withdraw through C Company to the tank-held road junction. When Millikin himself arrived at the road juncture he found there two tanks and the D Company mortar vehicles. Other tanks had already passed on into Unsan. A din of small arms fire from Unsan indicated that the enemy held the town.

A few minutes later, about half an hour after midnight, elements of A and B Companies arrived at the road fork at the northeast edge of Unsan. Enemy troops in the town began firing at them and caused some casualties. Millikin then sent these A and B Company men around to the east of Unsan with instructions to wait for him at the road fork and bridge south of the town. Mil-

[9] Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54; Interv, author with Holmes, 26 Feb 
54; Interv, author with Col Robert T. Hazlett (KMAG adviser to ROK 1st 
Div and present with Paik at I Corps conference), 25 Feb 54; Ltr, 
Thompson to author, 9 Apr 54; I Corps WD, 1 Nov 50. The verbal orders 
given at the conference were confirmed by I Corps in Operation Directive 
19, published at 2200, 1 November. 

[10] Ltrs, Millikin and Walton to author, 6 May and 27 Aug 54; Ltr, Col 
Hallett D. Edson, 16 Apr 54, and attached Exhibit A, Maj. William S. 
Coleman (S-3, 8th Cav Regt), Operations of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1-2 
November 1950, in the Vicinity of Unsan (15 Nov 50); I Corps WD, Intel 
Summ 146; 1st Cav Div POR 182, 011700-021700 Nov 50; 8th Cav Unit Hist 
Rpt, 1 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn Jnl, 10 Nov 50 (1-9 Nov 50, 70th Tk Bn Rpt). 


likin and most of his staff remained at the northeast edge of Unsan. They hoped to direct the rest of the battalion on the escape route, and to send the mortar carriers with wounded, escorted by the two remaining tanks, through Unsan to the road fork southward.

Four tanks of the 1st Platoon of B Company, 70th Tank Battalion, already had fought their way through the town and arrived at the road fork south of it. It was the noise of this conflict in Unsan that Millikin and his men heard from the northeast edge of the town. Fifteen minutes later Millikin ordered the last two tanks and the mortar vehicles with the wounded to try to get through Unsan. A burning truck at the first turn going west into the town halted the column. In trying to get around the truck the first tank slid into a shell crater and got stuck. Chinese soldiers killed the tank commander as he struggled to free the tank. Other Chinese placed a satchel charge on the tracks of the second tank and disabled it. Of the ten tank crewmen, two were killed and five wounded. Apparently none of the wounded on the mortar carriers escaped. [11]

A little later, about 0100, a miscellaneous assortment of men, including elements of C Company, South Koreans attached to the 1st Battalion, ROK stragglers from the 15th Regiment, and Chinese soldiers, arrived at the road junction northeast of town at about the same time. Millikin still waited there. In the confusion that now spread out of control the men tried to escape in groups. Millikin and a small group went westward north of Unsan and then circled to the southwest. At 0200, they encountered parts of H Company from the 2d Battalion also trying to reach the road fork south of Unsan.

Roadblock South of Town

When Colonel Palmer ordered the regimental withdrawal he placed Colonel Edson, the regimental executive officer, in charge of co-ordinating it and sent him to the road junction a mile and a half south of Unsan. and a mile north of the regimental command post. That road junction was the critical point to be reached and passed by the scattered elements of the command. Accompanied by Capt. Rene J. Guirard, the regimental S-2, and two squads of the I&R Platoon, Edson arrived at the road junction just before midnight. Capt. Filmore W. McAbee, S-3 of the 3d Battalion, took one platoon of I Company and the company commander to the road fork about midnight, and after conferring there with Edson, he personally placed the platoon in position to protect the junction from the north.

The regimental trains passed through, as did the trains of the 1st and 2d Battalions; numerous groups of the 1st Battalion and some from the 2d Battalion also came through. The four 1st Platoon tanks arrived there about 0030. Edson placed them in defensive positions at the road junction. They remained there until two tanks of the 2d Platoon arrived. Then Edson ordered the first group of tanks to go southeast to the ford over the Kuryong River, and to protect it for the last part of the withdrawal. The two tanks that had just come through Unsan remained at the road junction.

[11] 70th Tk Bn, S-3 Jnl, Msgs at 0015 and 0030 2 Nov 50. 

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It was now about 0130, 2 November. [12]

As yet there had been no enemy action south of Unsan in the 3d Battalion area. Artillery elements supporting that battalion began withdrawing north through the road junction at this time. Headquarters and Service Battery and B Battery of the 99th Field Artillery Battalion passed eastward through the road junction. Next came C Battery. Captain Bolt, the battery commander, reached the road fork about 0220 at the head of his column of twenty vehicles, which included six prime movers towing six 105-mm. howitzers. He stopped briefly to talk with Colonel Edson who told him everything was all right and to go on.

The withdrawal route ran generally east from the road fork for a mile before it turned southeast to the ford across the Kuryong River and hence to Ipsok, four miles south of the river. Immediately east of the road fork the road ran on an embankment built above rice paddies with ditches on either side. North of the road, a considerable expanse of paddy ground extended to the Samt'an River at a point just before it turned east in a sharp bend to flow into the Kuryong a mile away. On the south side the paddy ground gave way to high ground which culminated in Hills 165 and 119. They crowded close on the road beginning at a point about 200 yards east of the road fork.

Captain Bolt turned east on this road and had proceeded about 200 yards when, upon glancing back, he saw that the second vehicle was not behind him. He told his driver to stop the jeep; they waited. The second vehicle had continued on past the turn at the road fork, had had to back up, and in doing so had jammed the column and caused the delay.

As he waited, Captain Bolt happened to glance to his left across the paddy ground, and in the moonlight he saw a line of men coming toward the road. He thought they were retreating 8th Cavalry infantrymen and remarked about them to his driver. When the oncoming soldiers were about fifty to seventy-five yards away the entire group opened fire on the road. Bolt shouted to his driver to get going, and upon rounding a curve where the hill came down to the road they lost sight of the rest of the battery at the road fork. Just around the curve from 15 to 20 enemy soldiers stood in the road. They opened fire on the jeep as it raced toward them. Bolt returned it with his submachine gun. The enemy group scattered to the sides of the road. The jeep raced on and passed 2 other small enemy groups, the last one numbering no more than 3 or 4 soldiers. Bolt soon caught up with the end of the regimental column, which he found consisted of B Battery and the four tanks of the 1st Platoon, B Company, 70th Tank Battalion. He tried to get one of the tanks to go back and fire down the road, but the tank commander said he was out of ammunition. [13]

[12] Coleman, Opns of 8th Cav, 1-2 Nov; Ltr, Edson to author, 16 Apr 54; 
Interv, author with Guirard, 21 Aug 54; Ltr, Maj Filmore W. McAbee to 
author, 8 Feb 57; 70th Tk Bn WD, 10 Nov and Jnl Msg at 0030 2 Nov 50; 
8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 2 Nov 50. 

[13] Details of Bolt's encounter with the CCF east of the road fork are 
based on Interv, Capt Edward C. Williamson with Bolt, 11 Jul 51, as 
reported in Williamson, Ambush of Battery C, 99th Field Artillery 
Battalion, 29 Oct-2 Nov 50, MS, copy in OCMH.


The enemy force at the road apparently had followed the 1st Battalion from north of Unsan, coming down along the west bank of the Samt'an River, although it is possible that they had crossed the river from the ROK 15th Regiment zone on the east.

As Bolt's jeep disappeared around the turn of the road the enemy soldiers reached the road embankment and opened fire on the next vehicle when it approached. This caused the driver to lose control and the 2 1/2-ton truck upset over the side of the embankment, dragging the 105-mm. howitzer it was towing crosswise on the road and blocking it. One of the two tanks at the road fork went forward to try to break the roadblock, but the upset truck and howitzer blocked the way and the tank came under attack. Crewmen abandoned the tank after disabling its weapons. There is some evidence that a Chinese satchel charge had already broken the tank treads. Bolt's jeep was the last vehicle to pass eastward from the road fork below Unsan. Thus, at 0230 the Chinese had effectively cut the only remaining escape road from Unsan. [14]

At the road fork confusion swept over bewildered and frightened men. No one, it seems, was able to gather together enough men to fight the enemy roadblock force. Colonel Edson apparently made such an effort but it failed, and in the end he and his group escaped by circling around and through the roadblock force eastward and then south into the hills. Captain Guirard had several personal encounters with Chinese in this escape. Most of the artillerymen caught in the roadblock disappeared into the hill mass south of the road. A few officers, including one from I Company, and some of the noncommissioned officers, tried to assemble the men who had abandoned their vehicles and equipment on the road. But the few men they were able to bring together disappeared as soon as they turned their backs on them to look for others. A few Chinese soldiers came down among the vehicles and threw grenades, but most of them stayed at their roadblock position. Soon enemy machine gun and mortar fire began falling on the road junction area from the adjacent high ground. [15]

After watching Colonel Edson and his party disappear to the east, Colonel Walton, who meanwhile had arrived from west of Unsan, returned to his own 2d Battalion group at the road junction and led them southward across the hills. He came in through ROK lines at Ipsok after daylight with 103 men. When Major Millikin and his 1st Battalion group met elements of H Company west of the town, Millikin placed his wounded in their vehicles, and the combined party came on to the road fork. They found it a shambles of wrecked and abandoned vehicles and equipment.

Behind Millikin and the H Company group, the rest of the 2d Battalion never succeeded in reaching the road fork south of Unsan. Half a mile west of it, at the edge of the town, an enemy force cut the east-west road. There the Chi-

[14] 70th Tk Bn, S-3 Jnl, Msg at 0230 2 Nov 50. 

[15] Williamson, Ambush of Battery C; Interv, author with Guirard, 21 
Aug 54; Ltr, Edson to author, 16 Apr 54. 

UNSAN Page 699

nese stopped A Battery, 99th Field Artillery Battalion, and the 3d Platoon, B Company, 70th Tank Battalion. Soon abandoned vehicles clogged the road at this point. The congestion was so bad that even the tanks could not get through and their crew members abandoned them after destroying their weapons. A few of these men filtered through to the road fork, but most of them went south over the hills. The infantry elements of the 2d Battalion for the most part scattered into the hills. Many of them reached ROK lines near Ipsok. Others came in to the position of the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry, the next morning. The sound of the 9th Field Artillery Battalion at Ipsok firing in support of the ROK 1st Division served as a guide for most of the men caught in the Unsan roadblock, and they moved in that direction.

When Major Millikin and his group arrived at the road fork they found Maj. Robert J. Ormond, commanding officer of the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry, there with a platoon of infantry. This was the I Company platoon McAbee earlier had posted north of the road fork blocking the road from Unsan. Millikin queried Ormond to find out what the latest orders were, as he had been out of communication with everyone since directing the 1st Battalion withdrawal. Ormond replied that he had no recent information, that his last orders were to try and hold the road fork until the 1st and 2d Battalions had gone through, and that he believed large portions of them had already passed eastward. Ormond then turned back south to his own battalion to start its withdrawal. The whole general area of the road fork was now under enemy small arms fire, some of it coming from the south which at first had been free of enemy soldiers.

Millikin found scattered elements of the 1st Battalion near the road fork and he collected about forty men, including Capt. Robert B. Straight of B Company who was wounded. Straight had stayed behind with one platoon north of Unsan when the rest of his company had withdrawn. There was one operable tank still at the road fork. Using its radio, Millikin tried to communicate with elements of the regiment, but was able to reach only one tank which was then engaged in running a roadblock near the ford over the Kuryong. The 1st Battalion commander then ordered the tank to start toward the enemy roadblock. He was following it with his men when enemy fire scattered them. The small groups infiltrated the Chinese lines and headed south. Millikin and the men with him crossed the Kuryong just before daylight and reached Ipsok about 0800. There he found his battalion trains and about 200 men of the 1st Battalion, most of them from those parts of A and B Companies that he had sent southeast around Unsan at the beginning of the withdrawal.

About noon on 2 November practically all men of the 1st Battalion who were to escape had reached the Ipsok area, and a count showed that the battalion had lost about fifteen officers and 250 enlisted men to all types of casualties. About half the battalion's mortars and heavy weapons had been lost to the enemy. Most of the regimental headquarters; the regimental trains; four tanks of B company, 70th Tank Battalion; and five artillery pieces crossed the Kuryong River ford safely and assembled in the vicinity of Yongbyon. From there they


rejoined the 1st Cavalry Division at Yongsan-dong. [16]

Ordeal Near Camel's Head Bend

During the evening and first part of the night of 1 November the troops of the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry, south of Unsan and their supporting artillery and tanks had enjoyed undisturbed quiet. Some of them in the late afternoon had noticed airplanes strafing a few miles to the south and were aware that an enemy force in that vicinity was on their main supply road. Major Ormond just before midnight had passed on to his company commanders word of the impending withdrawal. Lt. Col. Robert Holmes, commanding officer of the 99th Field Artillery Battalion, gave instructions for the two batteries of artillery (B and C) to withdraw. Battalion headquarters and B Battery departed at 0115, and cleared the road fork south of Unsan. Last of the artillery to march was Captain Bolt with C Battery at 0200, and, as already noted, he encountered the first of the enemy roadblock force. A platoon of twenty-five men from K Company accompanied C Battery. [17]

The 3d Battalion had taken a position just north of the Nammyon River, where it flowed into the nose of the Camel's Head Bend of the Kuryong three air miles southwest of Unsan. Its mission was to guard the regimental rear. Major Ormond had established his command post in a flat plowed field with a tight perimeter formed by headquarters and M Company command groups. Two squads of M Company held the bridge immediately in the rear (south) of the battalion headquarters, and the 4th Platoon of B Company, 70th Tank Battalion, was disposed in position there on either side of the road north of the river. The tree line extending west along the Nammyon was held by L Company with one platoon on a high hill on the south side; I and K Companies in that order were on a ridge line running from northeast to southwest overlooking the stream northwest of the battalion command post. The communications switchboard and the S-2 and S-3 sections of the battalion headquarters found just off the road a ready-made dugout for their us in a 20-by-20-foot hole with a log and straw roof over it which the North Koreans had dug at some earlier date to hide vehicles from aircraft. [18]

Upon receiving the regimental order to withdraw, with the 3d Battalion assigned the mission of guarding the regimental rear, Major Ormond issued instructions for K and I Companies to withdraw from their positions to the battalion command post. Company L was to cover their withdrawal. None of the rifle companies was engaged with the

[16] Ltr, Millikin to author, 6 May 54; I Corps POR 153, 2 Nov 50; EUSAK 
WD, G-3 Jnl, 0840 2 Nov 50; 8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 2 Nov 50.
[17] Williamson, Ambush of Battery C; 99th FA Bn WD, 1 Nov 50. 

[18] Ltr, Lt Col Veale F. Moriarty (Ex Off, 3d Bn, 8th Cav, Nov 50) to 
author, and attached sketch map, 11 Jun 54; Ltrs, McAbee (S-3 3d Bn, 8th 
Cav, Nov 50) to author, 20 Aug 54 and 8 Feb 57; Ltr, SSgt Elmer L. 
Miller to Capt Carlos L. Fraser, CO B Co, 70th Tk Bn, 6 Nov 50, from 4th 
Field Hospital (Miller was a tank commander at the 3d Bn command post); 
Ltr, Capt Walter L. Mayo Jr. (Arty Liaison Off, C Btry, 99th FA Bn, with 
L Co) to author, 15 Jan 58, together with notes prepared by him for Unit 
Historian, 8th Cav Regt, in 1954. These sources form the principal basis 
for the following account of the 3d Battalion except as otherwise 

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enemy, and no difficulty was expected. Major Ormond then drove northward to the regimental command post and subsequently to the road fork south of Unsan where Major Millikin saw him.

Ormond started back south just a few minutes before enemy troops cut the road below the fork. As it was, he returned to his command post without trouble. There he told certain members of his staff that the 3d Battalion could not withdraw northward through the road fork below Unsan as planned because that road was now held by enemy forces. Using a map Ormond showed Maj. Veale F. Moriarty, the battalion executive officer, the cross-country route he intended the battalion to follow and sent the motor officer off to find a ford by which the vehicles could cross the river. He then gave instructions to SSgt. Elmer L. Miller, in charge of a section of tanks near the command post, to cover the battalion withdrawal. Miller passed this word on to the 4th Platoon tank commander, and then went to examine the ford selected for the vehicular crossing. All the vehicles in the battalion area, except the tanks, were lined up on the road bumper to bumper ready to begin the withdrawal.

At this time, close to 0300, a company-sized column of men (one source said platoon-sized) from the south approached the bridge over the Nammyon River below the battalion command post. The two squads of M Company charged with security of the bridge let the column pass over the bridge thinking they were ROK's. When this column was even with the command post one of its leaders sounded a bugle. This was the signal for a deadly surprise assault on the battalion command post from all sides. At the same time, other enemy forces engaged L Company along the stream bank to the southwest, and still others crossed the stream directly south of the command post and attacked the tanks there. Sergeant Miller crawled back to his tank in time to help fight enemy troops off the decks with a pistol. The tanks on both sides of the road backed up to the road except one which was first damaged by a satchel charge and then, in a few minutes, blew up. At the road the tanks held off other enemy troops trying to cross the stream from the south. [19]

In the command post itself the greatest confusion reigned after the onset of the Chinese attack. Hand-to-hand encounters took place all over the battalion headquarters area as the Chinese soldiers who had marched across the bridge fanned out, firing on anyone they saw and throwing grenades, and satchel charges into the vehicles, setting many of them on fire. Part of the men around the command post were still in their foxholes or shelters, some of them apparently asleep awaiting the order to start the withdrawal. One man later said, "I woke up when the shooting started." Another said, "Someone woke me and asked if I could hear a bunch of horses on the gallop . . . then bugles started playing taps, but far away. Someone blew a whistle, and our area was shot to hell in a matter of minutes." Still another man was awakened by an exploding hand grenade. Lt. W. C. Hill said, "I thought I was dreaming when I heard a bugle

[19]The 70th Tk Bn S-3 Jnl, Msg at 0300 2 Nov, reporting Miller's radio 
message on the destruction of this tank is the most reliable evidence on 
the time of the CCF attack against the 3d Battalion.


sounding taps and the beat of horses' hooves in the distance. Then, as though they came out of a burst of smoke, shadowy figures started shooting and bayoneting everybody they could find." [20]

When the shooting started, Major Ormond and Captain McAbee left the command dugout to determine the extent of what they thought was a North Korean attack. Major Moriarty, battalion executive officer, who was in the dugout at the time never saw Ormond again.

Once outside the dugout, Captain McAbee started for the roadblock at the bridge and Major Ormond veered off to the right to go to L Company by the river. As McAbee approached the bridge small arms fire knocked off his helmet and a few seconds later another bullet shattered his left shoulder blade. He turned back toward the command post and ran into a small group of enemy soldiers. He dodged around a jeep, with the enemy in pursuit. As they came around the jeep he shot them. In the field along the road he saw about thirty more enemy troops attempting to set a tank on fire. McAbee emptied his carbine into this group, and then, growing weak from loss of blood, he turned again toward the dugout. A few steps farther and three enemy soldiers stepped from the roadside ditch and prodded him with bayonets. Not trying to disarm him, they jabbered to each other, seemingly confused. McAbee pointed down the road, and after a little argument among themselves they walked away. Once more on his way to the dugout McAbee fell into the hands of a small group of Chinese, and repeated his earlier experience. After this second group walked off up the road, McAbee finally reached the command post.

Meanwhile, a few minutes after Ormond and McAbee had left the dugout Capt. Clarence R. Anderson, the battalion surgeon, and Father Emil J. Kapaun, the chaplain, brought in a wounded man. The small arms fire continued unabated and Major Moriarty stepped outside to investigate. Visibility was good, and in the bright moonlight he saw Captain McAbee stagger toward him. Just beyond McAbee, Moriarty saw three or four uniformed figures wearing fur headgear. He grabbed McAbee and thrust him into the dugout. Close at hand someone called for help. Responding to the call, Moriarty clambered over the dugout ramp leading from the road and found the battalion S-4 rolling on the ground grappling with an enemy soldier. Moriarty shot this soldier with his pistol and another who was crouching nearby. For the next fifteen or twenty minutes he was one of the many in the command post area waging a "cowboy and Indian" fight with the Chinese, firing at close range, and throwing grenades. [21]

Seeing a center of resistance developing around Miller's tank, Moriarty ran to it and found about twenty other men crouching around it. When enemy mortar fire began falling near the tank, Moriarty took these men and with them crossed the stream to the south. They destroyed a small group of enemy troops at the stream bank. The south side appearing free of the enemy at that point,

[20] New York Herald Tribune, November 3, 1950, dispatches written at 
Ipsok, 2 November, by a correspondent who escaped from the Unsan area. 

[21] Ltr, Moriarty to author, 11 Jun 54: Ltrs, McAbee to author, 20 Aug 
54 and 8 Feb 57.

UNSAN Page 703

they proceeded southeast. During the night this party was joined by others from different units of the regiment. When they reached friendly ROK lines near Ipsok after daylight there were almost a hundred men in the group.

After perhaps half an hour of hand-to-hand fighting in the battalion command post area the Chinese were driven out. In the meantime, most of L Company had withdrawn from the stream's edge back to the command post. Making its way toward the command post, pursuant to the earlier withdrawal order, K Company ran into an enemy ambush and lost its command group and one platoon. The remainder reached the battalion area closely followed by the Chinese. There on the valley floor the disorganized men of the 3d Battalion formed a core of resistance around Sergeant Miller's three tanks and held the enemy off until daylight.

Another island of resistance had formed at the ramp to the command post dugout. Three men who manned the machine gun there in succession were killed by Chinese grenades. When daylight came only five of the twenty or more men who had assembled there were left. After a final exchange of grenades with these men, the Chinese in the nearby ditches withdrew. The group at the ramp then joined the others in the small perimeter around the three tanks.

Enemy mortar fire kept everyone under cover until an hour after daylight. Then a Mosquito plane and fighter-bomber aircraft came over and began a day-long series of strikes against the Chinese. This kept the enemy under cover during the rest of the day and gave the men at the command post a chance to take stock of their situation and to gather in the wounded. They found Major Ormond, the battalion commander, very badly wounded and the rest of the battalion staff wounded or missing. There were approximately 6 officers and 200 men of the battalion still able to function. Within 500 yards of the 200-yard-wide perimeter there were more than 170 wounded. As they were brought inside the small perimeter the wounded were counted; the dead apparently were not.

The beleaguered men also used the daylight respite gained from the air cover to dig an elaborate series of trenches and retrieve rations and ammunition from the vehicles that had escaped destruction. An L-5 plane flew over and dropped a mail bag of morphine and bandages. A helicopter also appeared and hovered momentarily a few feet above the 3d Battalion panels, intending to land and evacuate the more seriously wounded, but enemy fire hit it and it departed without landing. The battalion group was able to communicate with the pilot of a Mosquito plane overhead who said a relief column was on its way to them. [22]

The relief column the pilot of the Mosquito plane referred to was the 5th Cavalry force that, after having been repulsed during the previous afternoon and night, resumed its effort at daylight to break through to the 3d Battalion of the 8th Cavalry. Just before 0400, 2 No-

[22] Ltrs, McAbee to author, 20 Aug 54 and 8 Feb 57; I Corps WD, 2 Nov 
50, Surg Sec Daily Rpt; 8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 2 Nov 50; EUSAK WD, G-3 
Jnl, Msg at 0840 2 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn WD, 10 Nov 50 (Rpt, B Co, 70th Tk 
Bn, 1-9 Nov 50), Ltr, Miller to Fraser, 6 Nov 50. Two helicopters did 
evacuate twenty-two critically wounded from Ipsok. 


vember, the 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, arrived at the defensive position the 1st Battalion had held during the latter part of the night. On General Gay's order, the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, now also became available to Colonel Johnson. Gay directed that it strike off across country in an effort to flank the enemy position on the left while the 5th Cavalry attacked frontally. For the frontal attack, Colonel Johnson placed the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, on the left of the road and the 2d Battalion on the right. His plan called for these two battalions to capture the enemy-held ridge in their front on a sufficient frontage to allow the 3d Battalion-which had been released that morning to his control and was then moving to join him, spearheaded by a tank company-to move through to the relief of the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry. The 3d Battalion would be up and ready for this effort by afternoon.

Colonel Johnson had a special interest in rescuing the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry. He had brought it to Korea from Fort Devens, Mass., where only two months earlier it had been part of the 7th Regiment of the 3d Division. It became the 3d Battalion of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, and he had commanded it through the Pusan Perimeter breakout battles. By right of this earlier association it was "his own battalion."

The two lead attack companies of the 5th Cavalry failed to reach and seize their objectives on 2 November. The 1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalry really contributed nothing to the effort as it merely moved off into rough country and never entered the fight. The attack had almost no support from artillery, since only two 155-mm. howitzers could reach the enemy positions and higher headquarters would not authorize moving up the lighter artillery. The repeated strikes by strong air cover against the enemy ridge positions probably did little damage because the dense smoke haze hanging over the area obscured the objective. The 2d Battalion in the afternoon made the last effort after an air strike had strafed the enemy-held ridge. But again the smoke haze was so heavy that the pilots could not see any targets and it is doubtful whether their strikes caused much damage. The dug-in Chinese did not budge. A prisoner said that five Chinese companies of the 8th Route Army were holding the ridge.

In this night and day battle with the Chinese at the Turtle Head Bend of the Kuryong River the two battalions of the 5th Cavalry suffered about 350 casualties, 200 of them in Lt. Col. John Clifford's 2d Battalion which carried the brunt of the fighting on 2 November. The 5th Cavalry Regiment always thereafter referred to this ridge where it first encountered the CCF as "Bugle Hill." The name was well chosen for during the night and on into the day the Chinese had used bugles, horns, and whistles as signaling devices. No doubt they also hoped that these sounds would terrorize their enemy during the eerie hours of night battle.

With the battle still in progress against this Chinese force, General Milburn, the corps commander, after conferring with General Gay, at 1500 verbally instructed the latter to withdraw the 1st Cavalry Division. The two had agreed that with the forces available they could not break the roadblock. Approximately two hours later Gay received confirmation of the order from corps. General Gay at dusk made what he has de-

UNSAN Page 705

scribed as the most difficult decision he was ever called on to make-to order the 5th Cavalry Regiment to withdraw and leave the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry, to its fate. [23] Thus, at dark on 2 November the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry, had no further hope of rescue.

At the 3d Battalion perimeter Chaplain Kapaun and Captain Anderson had risked their lives constantly during the day in attending the wounded. Many men not previously injured had been hit by sniper and machine gun fire in carrying wounded into the perimeter. Although wounded several times, and seriously, Major Ormond had refused treatment until all other wounded had been cared for. At dusk Chaplain Kapaun left the perimeter and went to join the fifty to sixty wounded who had been placed in the old dugout battalion command post. This dugout, initially at the southeast corner of the original perimeter, was now approximately 150 yards outside the new one. The three tanks moved inside the infantry position.

Just before dusk a division liaison plane flew over the 3d Battalion perimeter and dropped a message ordering it to withdraw under cover of darkness. Over his tank radio Miller received from a liaison pilot a similar message stating that the men were on their own and to use their own judgment in getting out. But, after talking over the situation, the tankers and the infantry in the little perimeter decided to stay and try to hold out during the night. [24]

As dusk settled over the beleaguered group and the last of the protecting air cover departed, the Chinese bombarded the little island of men with 120-mm. mortars which had been brought into position during the day. The tankers, thinking the mortar barrage was directed at them, moved the tanks outside the perimeter to divert it away from the infantry. The barrage followed them, but part of it soon shifted back to the infantry inside the perimeter. All the tanks were hit two or three times, and one of them started to burn. A crewman was killed in putting out the fire. His ammunition almost gone and his gasoline low, Miller decided that his tanks would not last out the night if they stayed where they were. He called the infantry over their SCR-300 radio and told them his conclusion that in the circumstances the tanks would be of no help to them. They agreed. Miller led the tanks off to the southwest. Three miles from the perimeter Miller and the other crew members had to abandon the tanks in the valley of the Kuryong. After some desperate encounters, Miller and a few of his men reached friendly lines. [25] At the 3d Battalion perimeter the Chinese followed their mortar barrage with an infantry attack. To meet this, the men inside the perimeter fired bazooka rounds into the vehicles to start fires and light up the area. Attacking across the open field in successive waves and silhouetted against the burning vehicles, the Chinese made easy targets and were shot down in great numbers. Six times during the night the Chinese at-

[23] Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54; Interv, author with Johnson, 28 Apr 
54; 5th Cav WD, 2-4 Nov 50; Milburn, MS review comments, Nov 57. 

[24] Ltr, McAbee to author, 20 Aug 54; Ltr, Miller to Fraser, 6 Nov 50; 
70th Tk Bn WD, Msg at 1620 2 Nov 50. 

[25] Ltr, Miller to Fraser, 6 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn WD, Msg (from S-2, 5th 
Cav, to G-2, 1st Cav Div) 081140 Nov 50, and Msg at 1050 3 Nov 50 EUSAK 
PIR 113, 2 Nov 50. 


tacked in a strength of approximately 400 men, but each time they were beaten back from the perimeter. During the night about fifty men from the td Battalion who had been in the hills all day broke through to join those in the besieged 3d Battalion perimeter.

In this heavy action, the Chinese early in the evening, by mortar fire and grenades, knocked out the two machine gun positions at the old command post dugout. Then they overran it. Inside the dugout were between 50 and 60 badly wounded men. The Chinese took 15 of the wounded who were able to walk with some help, including Captain McAbee and Chaplain Kapaun, and removed them to the Nammyon River outside the range of fire. The others, unable to walk, were left inside the dugout. In getting out of the field of fire with their captors, the 15 men had to crawl over the dead. Major McAbee has stated that at the edge of the perimeter where he passed the enemy dead they were piled three high and he estimated there must have been 1,000 enemy dead altogether. [26] But this number seems excessive.

On the morning of 3 November a 3-man patrol went to the former battalion command post dugout and discovered that during the night the Chinese had taken out some of the wounded. That day there was no air support. Remaining rations were given to the wounded. Enemy fire kept everyone under cover. The night was a repetition of the preceding one, with the Chinese working closer all the time. After each enemy attack had been driven back men would crawl out and retrieve weapons and ammunition from the enemy dead. Their own ammunition was almost gone.

Daylight of 4 November disclosed that there were about 200 men left able to fight. There were about 250 wounded. A discussion of the situation brought the decision that those still physically able to make the attempt should try to escape. Captain Anderson, the battalion surgeon, volunteered to stay with the wounded. 1st Lt. Walter L. Mayo, Jr., and 1st Lt. Philip H. Peterson, accompanied by two enlisted men, left the perimeter to scout a way out. They crawled up the irrigation ditches to the old command post and talked with some of the American wounded the Chinese had left there. They found the ramp covered with dead Chinese and Americans. They then crawled up the roadside ditches to the small village farther north and found only some wounded Chinese in it. In reaching the village, Lieutenant Mayo has estimated that he crawled over the bodies of 100 Chinese. From there the four men scouted the ford across the river. That done, the two officers sent the two enlisted men back to the 3d Battalion perimeter with instructions to lead the group out, while they continued to scout the river crossing area. It was about 1430.

After the two enlisted men returned to the perimeter and reported on the escape route, Capt. George F. McDonnell of the 2d Battalion group and Capt. William F. McLain of E Company, together with 1st Lt. Paul F. Bromser of L Company and the able-bodied men, withdrew to the east side of the perimeter just as the Chinese let loose a terrific barrage of white phosphorus shells. These bursting shells completely covered the perimeter area and obscured it with

[26] Ltr, McAbee to author, 8 Feb 57. 

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smoke. There was no doubt that the Chinese were trying to screen an attack. Within five minutes the 200 men cleared the perimeter on the east side where an open field had prevented the enemy from taking positions. They left the wounded with Captain Anderson who was to surrender them. As they left the wounded behind, one who was present said none of the latter shed tears but, instead, simply said to come back with reinforcements and get them out. The wounded knew there was no alternative for those who still might escape.

The escaping group traveled all that night east and northeast and then south and southwest through a rain storm. In the morning from a mountainside they watched a few battalions of Chinese horse cavalry and infantry pass by on a road below them. Later in the day the battalion group went south through more hills and crossed the valley near Ipsok. The next day, within sight of bursting American artillery shells, Chinese forces surrounded them and the battalion group, on the decision of the officers, broke up into small parties in the hope that some of them would escape. At approximately 1600 on the afternoon of 6 November the action of the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry, as an organized force came to an end. Most of these men were either killed or captured that day, apparently in the vicinity of Yongbyon. [27]

The heroic 3d Battalion commander, Major Ormond, was among the wounded captured by the Chinese in the perimeter beside the Kuryong. He subsequently died of his wounds and, according to some reports of surviving prisoners, was buried beside the road about five miles north of Unsan. Of his immediate staff, the battalion S-2 and S-4 also lost their lives in the Unsan action. About ten officers and somewhat less than 200 enlisted men of the 3d Battalion escaped to rejoin the regiment. There were a few others who escaped later, some from captivity, and were given the status of recovered allied personnel. [25]

It is difficult to arrive at precise figures in totaling the losses at Unsan. In the night battle the troop loss in the ROK 5th Regiment was admittedly very heavy. The regiment's loss in weapons and equipment was virtually total, and included four liaison planes of the 9th Field Artillery Battalion and the 6th Tank Battalion which U.S. fighter planes subsequently demolished on the ground.

At first, more than 1,000 men of the 8th Cavalry Regiment were missing in action, but as the days passed, some of these returned to friendly lines along the Ch'ongch'on. Two weeks after the Unsan action tank patrols were still bringing in men wounded at Unsan and fortunate enough to have been sheltered and cared for by friendly Koreans. On 22 November the Chinese themselves, in a propaganda move, turned free 27 men who had been prisoners for two weeks or longer, 19 of them captured from the 8th Cavalry Regiment at Unsan. After all the stragglers and those who had

[27] The account of the 3b Battalion after the tanks left the perimeter 
is based on McAbee's and Mayo's letters to author. McAbee and Anderson 
lived to return to the United States in the prisoner exchange after the 
Korean armistice. Chaplain Kapaun died in 1951 while a prisoner of war. 

[28] Ltr, Moriarty to author, 11 Jun 54; Ltr, McAbee to author, 8 Feb 
57: Interv, author with Johnson, 28 Apr 54; Interv, Guirard, 21 Aug 54. 
The figures are from Moriarty, who remained as executive officer of the 


walked south through the hills had reported in, the losses were found to total about 600 men. Enemy sources later indicated the Chinese captured between 200 and 300 men at Unsan. The principal officer casualties included a battalion commander and most of his staff, 5 company commanders, 2 medical officers, and 1 chaplain. In addition to the infantry losses, about one-fourth of the men of B Company, 70th Tank Battalion, were casualties. The Heavy Mortar Company also suffered heavily. The regiment's loss in weapons and equipment was very heavy indeed. It included 12 105-mm howitzers and 9 tanks and 1 tank recovery vehicle. On 3 November the 8th Cavalry Regiment reported it had 45 percent of its authorized strength. The division G-4 considered the regiment inoperable until troops and equipment losses could be replaced. [29]

The Eighth Army announced on 5 November that "as a result of an ambush" the 1st Cavalry Division would receive all the new replacements until further notice. In the next twelve days, Eighth Army assigned 22 officers and 616 enlisted men as replacements to the 1st Cavalry Division. Nearly all of them went to the 8th Cavalry Regiment. [30]

To cover the withdrawal to the south side of the Ch'ongch'on of the 1st Cavalry Division and the ROK 1st Division, I Corps organized a special force known as Task Force Allen. The 2d and 3d Battalions, 7th Cavalry Regiment, and the 19th Engineer Combat Group were the principal organizations in the task force. Brig. Gen. Frank A. Allen, Jr., Assistant Division Commander, 1st Cavalry Division, commanded it. In addition to covering the withdrawal, it also had the mission of protecting the I Corps east flank in the Kunu-ri area. [31]

The Chinese force that brought disaster to the 8th Cavalry Regiment at Unsan was the 116th Division of the 39th Army. Elements of the 347th Regiment imposed the roadblock east of the road fork south of Unsan that thereafter halted all vehicular traffic. The 115th Division also fought in the Unsan action. It appears, therefore, that from first to last-from 25 October to 2 November-two Chinese divisions, or elements of them, engaged the ROK 1st Division and the U.S. 8th and 5th Cavalry Regiments in the Unsan area. [32]

[29] 1st Cav Div WD, 5, 6, and 17 Nov 50; 7th Cav Hist Rpt, 22 Nov 50; 
8th Cav Unit Hist Rpt, 3 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn WD, Jnl, 10 Nov 50; EUSAK 
WD, G-3 Daily Hist Rpt, 6 Nov 50; Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54. 
     The equipment loss figures are based on the following sources: 
EUSAK POR 339, 1 Nov 50; 70th Tk Bn WD, Summ, 2 Nov, and Jnl, Msg 4, 
101000 Nov 50; 1st Cav Div WD, G-4 Jnl, 12 Oct 50, Div Arty and 70th Tk 
Bn battle losses, 27 Oct-4 Nov 50; 1st Cav Div POR 190, 10 Nov 50, an. 
A; 1st Cav Div WD, 5 Nov 50; EUSAK WD, 7 Nov 50, Ltr, CG EUSAK to 
CINCFE, sub: ROKA and U.S. Equipment Losses, 1-3 Nov 50; I Corps WD, POR 
153, 2 Nov 50. These sources also gave losses in small arms, automatic 
weapons, and vehicles. 
     In a study of combat experience at Unsan prepared and distributed 
by Headquarters, XIX Army Group, CCF, the Chinese command, after 
recounting the large amount of equipment captured, apologized for what 
it considered relatively few prisoners. The study stated, "As a result 
of lack of experience in mopping-up operations in mountainous areas, 
only 200 odd were captured." See ATIS Enemy Documents, Issue 47, pp.
139ff, mimeographed booklet in Chinese, A Collection of Combat 

[30] EUSAK WD. G-1 Daily Hist Rpt, 5 and 17 Nov 50. 

[31] Ltr, Gay to author, 19 Feb 54; Interv, Johnson, 28 Apr 54; 7th Cav 
Unit Hist Rpt, 1-4 Nov 50; I Corps WD, 2 Nov 50. 

[32] ATIS Enemy Documents, Issue 47, pp. 139ff; I Corps, Armor Combat 
Bul 27, 15 Jun 51, quoting from captured Chinese notebook, Experiences 
in the Unsan Operation.