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September 9, 2011

Oroville Mercury Register
December 28,1950
A Seaman’s View Of Beachhead Fight

From his observation point aboard a Navy “reefer” laying offshore. Lt. (jg) James M. Kehlor described the evacuation of United Nations forces from Hungnam in a letter received this week by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Kehlor of Woodleaf Star Route. Kehlor, who has been on active duty with the Navy since Thanksgiving, 1949, said the temperature was about 16 degrees and that on Dec. 18, in the midst of the evacuation, the wind dropped below 30 miles-per-hour for the first time in days. “This is the last American group in North Korea and is the same as Dunkirk,” Kehlor wrote of the evacuation. “We are trying to save all our men and as much equipment as possible. The warships are shelling the enemy day and night. The planes are working all day long and are blasting anything that the Chinese use. The pilots say that the ground in the fields approaching Hungnam is covered with dead Chinese. We are in the final stages of evacuation and on the last days the Navy will destroy the entire city with its air fields, factories and residential areas. The American perimeter is about eight miles and the last ridges are covered with tanks to keep the enemy from firing down on the port where the evacuation is now going on. They shipped out about 26,000 men yesterday and about that many have been leaving each day. There is a steady stream of merchant ships in and out of here carrying men and equipment. We are now provisioning the hospital ship, which needless to say, is working day and night. They have been flying men out from the airfield in a steady stream, one plane every couple of minutes, until today and the field is now a mass of burning buildings. The Navy is to destroy it tomorrow by shellfire. The demolition crews are working now and we can here practically a continuous roar of guns, bombs and T-N-T. We went alongside a cruiser yesterday and they kept right on firing. Our ship was jarred from stem to stern with each salvo. We will pull out on the next to last day and go back to Japan.” Kehlor was aboard the USS Merapi, a refrigerator supply ship. He was first commissioned as a maritime service officer shortly before Pearl Harbor and received his Naval Reserve Commission at the same time. During World War II he served with the Merchant Marine.

Oroville Mercury Register
December 14,1950
Korea Casualties 1436 For Week

Washington- (UP)- The Defense Department announced today that 44,878 American casualties, including 5870 dead, were officially reported in the Korean fighting through last Friday. This casualty summary, 16th issued for the Korean War, showed 1436 casualties for the week. This was approximately the same as the total for each of the three preceding weeks. Casualties actually are higher because of the time lag required to notify the next of kin. Indications are that the list includes only a few of the casualties suffered since the Chinese communists launched their all-out attack in Korea. The Army bore the brunt of the causalities with a total of 28,713. The Army casualties included 4874 dead; 18947 wounded; 4179 missing; 104 prisoners of the communist; and 609 once missing but now found. The Marines had 4517 causalities, 844 dead; 3651 wounded and 22 missing in action. Navy casualties of 366 included 52 dead; 256 wounded; 55 included 52 dead 256 wounded; 56 missing and two once missing and now returned. Air Force casualties totaled 282, comprising 100 dead; 16 wounded; 144 missing; three known to be prisoners and 19 once missing and now found.(Stu; these casualties are after just 6 months of war.

Stu’s Notes: Unlike WWII, Korea and Vietnam were basically on the ground wars, with most of the casualties taken by the Army and Marines. In WWII the losses were heavy in all our services as the fighting was world wide and there is a lot of Ocean and air out there with the enemy everywhere we went, land, sea and air. I think Gen MacArthur thought President Truman would let him go into China, maybe with the Atomic Bomb, so he stretched his lines way too thin for a ground war and we were fighting on the run, all the way down the Korean peninsula. We then regrouped and fought our way back with a new general to the 38
th parallel, where we still stand to this day, staring at each other. Oroville Exchange Club will present a 9-11 Ceremony at Centennial Park from 2-4pm on Sunday, September 11, 2011.If you need any more information contact Gregg @ Posieco.com or you can call him at 201-747-8216. POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony on the steps of the Veterans Memorial Hall on Montgomery Street at 7PM, next Friday, September 16th. Please come and show your support for all those still missing and those who were Prisoners of War that died and those that survived. We always have a few in the crowd. Also the Veterans Memorial Park Motorcycle Rally and Poker Run sponsored by the Feather Falls Casino. Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. Contact James Townsend at (530)589-5748 or pjtownsend@att.net.