Oroville Mercury Register
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
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
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 38th
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