Fall of 2007, James Crow’s Story provided by his Oroville nephew,
Eric L. Zancanella,
Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Transportation Corps, U. S. Army Reserves
James Crow’s story continued From Hamhung-Hungnam, the 1st
Marine Division advanced towards the Yalu River, the North Korean-Chinese
border, through the towns of Koto-ri and Haga-ri. The U.N. Commander,
General Douglas McArthur, was also making plans to attack military
targets in China that were supporting North Korea.
Late in November, by Thanksgiving Day, the entire 1st
Marine Division was shifting ever northward, including the USMC
and ROKMC units freed from security duties around Wonsan. The Marines
and X Corps advanced as far as the Chosin Reservoir area, the site
of an important hydroelectric plant in North Korea.
The 1st Marine Division was north of Yudam-ni at the
far north end of the Chosin Reservoir, 125 miles south of the Chinese
border, when Chinese Communist forces, fearing a MacArthur incursion
into China, attacked Eighth Army and X Corps main elements in late
November 1950. The Chinese surprise attacks succeeded in forcing
the Eighth Army to withdraw 275 miles over six weeks. The Tenth
Corps and 1st Marine Division withdrew 78 miles in almost
3 weeks then were evacuated further south by U.S. Naval vessels.
Crow’s ROKMC outfit, held in reserve, was scheduled to relieve a
forward Marine element at the Chosin Reservoir, but the Chinese
Army circled in behind X Corps forces, making any relief effort
impossible. Outnumbered and surrounded by Chinese and North Koreans
by 26 November, elements of the 1st Marine Division fought
a masterful 17 day withdrawal of 78 miles from Chosin through the
enemy, in subzero temperatures, back to Hungnam by 12 December 1950.
The enemy outnumbered U.N. forces 4 to 1, but the retreating units
outfought them, and inflicted heavy casualties on the Chinese. During
the retreat, over 4000 U.N. wounded were flown out, and 500 replacements
flown in. The U.S. Navy evacuated the Marines, the remaining elements
of X Corps, and thousands of refugees from the port of Hungnam to
Pusan in mid December.
The ROK Marines participated as part of a covering force in the
withdrawal, and occupied part of the perimeter defense against the
pursuing Chinese and North Korean troops. During 07-15 December,
the ROK Marines were also evacuated as part of the withdrawal, and
spent the next 4 to 5 weeks training and reorganizing.
January through March of 1951 the 1st Division participated
in operations against North Korean guerrillas, then April through
September in United Nation offensive and defensive operations in
the mountains of eastern Korea with X Corps against North Korean
and Chinese troops. The ROK Marines rejoined the 1st
Division 24 January 1951 and participated in these campaigns. It
was about the end of these September offenses that James returned
to the United States. (to be continued)
Oroville Mercury Register
June 21, 1952
‘Joe’ Taff Chosen for Admittance To Naval Academy at Annapolis
Clarence O. Taff, better known to his former Oroville High School
classmates as Joe, is going to follow in the footsteps of his father,
Rear Admiral C. O. Taff, and attended the United States Naval Preparatory
School at Bainbridge, Maryland, after having been selected for the
school while serving at the U S. Naval Air Station at Oakland, will
be sworn in as a member of the Annapolis class of 1956 on June 30.
His father was graduated with the class of 1926. Taff, whose parents
live at Route 5, Box 2291-C. Oroville, attended Oroville High School
Where he was a football letterman. He was graduated in 1950. Admiral
Taff graduated from the Naval Academy in 1926 and served 23 years
in the Navy, retiring voluntarily in 1949 prior to moving to Oroville.
Taff passed the examination for entrance to the Academy in late
March of this year. On May 16, he was graduated from the Bainbridge
school as a member of a class of 340 students. Outstanding Navy
enlisted men are sent to the school at Bainbridge.
Stu’s Notes: Does anyone know what became of ‘Joe’ Taff. I remember
well the Korean War Movie, “Retreat, Hell? We’re just attacking
in another direction” and that is what those brave men did. They
fought their way out. As a 12 year old boy I was in awe of what
they did and I still am. So many young men fought and died in Korea,
many from Oroville and Butte County. The Forgotten War, The Forgotten
THE WHITE HOUSE IS EMPTY, YEA! (Not Pennsylvania Ave D.C., Veterans
Memorial Park on Montgomery Street.)