Tuesday, December 19, 2006

December 19, 1950 Hungnam beachhead narrowed to 2 miles. Airport abandoned.

Syracuse Herald Journal -- Front page.
Reds to Invade S. Korea Again
Beachhead Narrowed to 2 Miles

Airport is Abandoned

By Earnest Hoberecht Tokyo (UP)

U.S. Third Division troops in the Hungnam beachhead backed into a two by five-mile escape pocket along the water front yesterday as the revitalized North Korean army announced it would invade South Korea again with the help of the Chinese Reds.

In their fighting withdrawal, the Third Division doughboys abandoned Yonpo airport four miles soutwest of Hungam, leaving only "burglar alarm" outposts ringing the city to warn of new Red attacks.

Fighting with their backs to the sea long the vital waterfront escape docks, the rear guards beat off a succession of screaming "banzai" attacks in which the revived North Korean army joined the Chinese Communists for the first time.

A vast allied armada in Hungnam harbor helped beat back the Red attacks with a flashing curtain of fire. The armada included three deadly rocket launcher ships very close in to shore as well as the battleship Missouri, six aircraft carriers, two cruisers and many destroyers and minesweepers.[snip]
In the Hungnam beachead, the main force of United Nations troops withdrew from Yonpo airport last Sunday but left the field guarded by "burglar alarm outposts."

Yonpo airport is four miles southwest of Hungnam. It carried a heavy lad of cargo, evacuation and fighter planes up to last Thursday, when it was abandoned for air use as the fighting drew closer.

In the west, the U.S. Eighth army front was quiet, but there was speculation that the North Korean army may take up the drive across the 38th Parallel in place of the Chinese Reds.

Reports from the Hungnam beachhead, the last United Nations toehold in Northeast Korea, indicated the U. s. Third Division now was alone in the back-to-the-wall battle against the combined Shineses and North Korean reds.

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