Photos US and South Korean Forces

Korean War. c October 1950. Three members of a machine gun platoon of 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), quickly set up their Vickers machine gun on a hill. Photo by Phillip Oliver Hobson. [AWM HOBJ1679]
North Korean prisoner of Marines who rolled the enemy back during the Naktong River fighting. He wear a "Prisoner of War" tag and was treated in accordance with United Nations' rules of international warfare. September 4, 1950.

Personnel and equipment needed to save a man'life are assembled at HQs of the 8225th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, Korea. October 14, 1951. Cpl. Charles Abrahamson. (Army)
US Marines help a wounded buddy on the Naktong River front in South Korea, probably during the First or Second Battle of Naktong Bulge, in August-September 1950.

The First Battle of Naktong Bulge was an engagement between United Nations Command (UN) and North Korean forces early in the Korean War from August 5–19, 1950 in the vicinity of Yongsan (Yeongsan, Changnyeong county) and the Naktong River in South Korea. It was a part of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, and was one of several large engagements fought simultaneously. The battle ended in a victory for the UN after large numbers of US reinforcements destroyed an attacking North Korean division.

On August 5, the Korean People's Army (KPA), 4th Infantry Division crossed the Naktong River in the vicinity of Yongsan, attempting to cut UN supply lines to the north as well as gaining a bridgehead into the Pusan Perimeter. Opposing it was the 24th Infantry Division of the Eighth United States Army. Over the next two weeks, US and KPA forces fought a bloody series of engagements inflicting heavy casualties on one another in a confusing series of attacks and counterattacks, but neither side was able to gain the upper hand. In the end, the US forces, aided by reinforcements, air support and heavy weapons, destroyed the KPA force which was hampered by lack of supply and high desertion rates.
The battle was a turning point in the war for the KPA, which had seen previous victories owing to superior numbers and equipment. UN forces now had a numerical superiority and more equipment, including tanks and weapons capable of defeating the KPA T-34 tanks.
After the First Battle of Naktong Bulge, the US 2nd Infantry Division was moved to defend the Naktong River line. The division, which was untried in combat, was struck with a strong attack by several KPA divisions which crossed the river and struck all along the division's line. The force of the attack split the 2nd Infantry Division in half, and the KPA were able to penetrate to Yongsan, promoting a fight there.
The urgency of the threat to Pusan Perimeter prompted the US Marine Corps 1st Provisional Marine Brigade to be brought in to reinforce the US Army troops. In two weeks of heavy fighting, the US forces were able to force the KPA out of the Naktong Bulge region. The KPA were outflanked by the Inchon landings on 15 September and on 16 September the UN forces began their breakout from the Pusan Perimeter which drove the KPA from the area.
Max Desfor (November 8, 1913 – February 19, 2018) was an American photographer who received the Pulitzer Prize for his Korean War photograph, 'Flight of Refugees Across Wrecked Bridge in Korea', depicting Pyongyang residents and refugees crawling over a destroyed bridge across the Taedong River to escape the advancing Chinese Communist troops.

Photographer: Max Desfor
Image courtesy of AP/
Colour by Benjamin Thomas

Christmas comes to Yeung Pyung-Do. Sailors from HMAS CONDAMINE bring Christmas cheer and gifts for the orphans, December 1952.
Ships of the British Commonwealth Fleet adopted an orphanage on the island of Yeung Pyung Do off the enemy-held North Korean coast. Men from the fleet regularly go ashore with food, toys and sweets for the children.
In an Australian Station Intelligence Summary from February 1953, the following report was given:
"Officers and men of the ships patrolling the West Coast of Korea islands have "adopted" the orphanage on the island of Yeung Pyung Do, and chocolates, sweets, biscuits, toys and warm clothing are showered on the children.
H.M.A.S. CONDAMINE made a Christmas visit to the islands and presented the children with a monster "stocking". The sailors robbed their kitbags to give the children winter woollies and the "scran bag" was raided. Tinned fruit,
meat and cheese were purchased with money from the Welfare Fund. Scores of packets of biscuits, pounds of sweets and chocolates and toys were piled into a landing craft which deputised for the traditional reindeer sleigh.
If it was a red-bearded sailor (and not a white-haired Santa Claus) who gave 12 years old Tung Yeung Suk her doll, she did not care a bit, because little Tung and her 92 fellow-orphans know that it means fun and games, food and sweets when the "foreign" sailors come ashore ... the only real happiness she has known since her home and her parents vanished in [the Battle of] Ongjin in 1950.
Little Tung's story is a tragic one. Twice she has been hurt by war. Recently when she was playing on the beach of her island she picked up a new toy. Her excited cries brought her companions. They had great fun until the pin came out of the hand grenade ...
Tung was badly hurt. An S.0.S. was sent to CONDAMINE and the M.0. carried out an emergency operation in the small dressing station on the island. Tung's life was saved. Today she holds her arms out to the "doctor man" and smiles. She knows that she can walk and play again because of his skilful surgery.
Now CONDAMINE is considering a "toy per tot per trip" scheme. This will entail a small contribution from the ship's company to buy a toy for every child when the ship visits the island."
Image courtesy of the Imperial War Museum London
(Colourised by Benjamin Thomas)

Private David Addiscott, 1st Battalion, The King's Liverpool Regiment, observes enemy positions through binoculars from a forward observation post during the Korean winter.

(Photo source - IWM BF 10893)
(Colourised by Royston Leonard)

'Staff Sergeant Reckless' - Decorated warhorse who held official rank in the United States military.

"A mare of Mongolian horse breeding. Out of a race horse dam, she was purchased in October 1952 for $250 from a Korean stableboy at the Seoul racetrack who needed money to buy an artificial leg for his sister. Reckless was bought by members of the United States Marine Corps and trained to be a pack horse for the Recoilless Rifle Platoon, Anti-Tank Company, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.[1] She quickly became part of the unit and was allowed to roam freely through camp, entering the Marines' tents, where she would sleep on cold nights, and was known for her willingness to eat nearly anything, including scrambled eggs, beer, Coca-Cola and, once, about $30 worth of poker chips.
She served in numerous combat actions during the Korean War, carrying supplies and ammunition, and was also used to evacuate wounded. Learning each supply route after only a couple of trips, she often traveled to deliver supplies to the troops on her own, without benefit of a handler. The highlight of her nine-month military career came in late March 1953 during the Battle for Outpost Vegas when, in a single day, she made 51 solo trips to resupply multiple front line units. She was wounded in combat twice, given the battlefield rank of corporal in 1953, and then a battlefield promotion to sergeant in 1954, several months after the war ended. She also became the first horse in the Marine Corps known to have participated in an amphibious landing, and following the war was awarded two Purple Hearts, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, was included in her unit's Presidential Unit Citations from two countries, as well as other military honors.
Her wartime service record was featured in The Saturday Evening Post, and LIFE magazine recognized her as one of America's 100 all-time heroes. She was retired and brought to the United States after the war, where she made appearances on television and participated in the United States Marine Corps birthday ball. She was officially promoted to staff sergeant in 1959 by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. She gave birth to four foals in America and died in May 1968. A plaque and photo were dedicated in her honor at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton stables and a statue of her was dedicated on July 26, 2013 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. On May 12, 2018, a bronze statue of Sergeant Reckless was placed and dedicated in the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington Kentucky." - wikipedia

(Color by Jecinci)

Private John Rudd of the 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment sitting at the roadside in a Korean village with his dog, which has been trained for guard duties. 1950=51
(Photo source - © IWM (BF 491)
(Colourised today by Royston Leonard)

3.5 Bazooka Man, 18 September 1950
“Marine riflemen in background stand by while their 3.5 bazooka man puts a round into a Communist position down the hill. This action took place in mopping-up operations in Korea.”
From the Photograph Collection (COLL/3948), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections
(Colourised today by Royston Leonard)

US crewmen stand on their M4A3E8 Sherman tank stranded trying to ford the Pukhan River, April 7th, 1951. A recovery vehicle pulled it out of the water and the tank and crew were soon back in service

(Colourised by Royston Leonard)

American soldiers/marines take protection behind a stone wall on the Korean front near the Choyang River in North Korea in June of 1951.
(Color by Jecinci)

Māori gun crew in Korea, 1953
A Māori gun crew from 162nd Battery of the 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery, smile for the camera in Korea in 1953. From left are gunners P. Te Kani, W. Martin, J. J. Hudson and B. Manga, and Lance Bombardier J. T. Popata.
In contrast to the world wars there were no formal Māori units in Korea. Officially Māori and Pākehā served together. Despite this, Māori often informally organised themselves into gun crews or other small units. For some Pākehā serving in mixed units it was their first experience of extended contact with Māori. Although the Māori migration to the cities had begun by the early 1950s, the majority of Māori still lived in rural areas, such as the East Coast and Northland.
Photo source -
(Color today by Jecinci)

A machine-gun crew assigned to the 24th Infantry Regiment, one of the original Buffalo Soldier units, man a machine gun in Songimbong, South Korea, in February, 1951.
U.S. Army Center of Military History photo
(Colourised by Royston Leonard)

Fighting with the 2nd Infantry Division north of the Chongchon River, Sgt. 1st Class Major Cleveland, weapons squad leader, points out a North Korean position to his integrated machine-gun crew Nov. 20, 1950.
(Photo Credit: James Cox)
(Colourised by Royston Leonard)

"This British Centurion tank resembles an elephant drinking water as it rests at a crazy angle, its gun barrel sticking into a waterhole on a Korean roadside north of Seoul on June 22, 1951.
Working to salvage usable parts are Lance Corporal Douglas Bone, left, of Basingstoke, Hampshire, and Trooper Ronald Rodda, Sunderland, County Durham."
(AP Photo/E.N. Johnson)
(Colourised today by Royston Leonard)

4.2 mortar crew of the 5th Rct, 25th Inf. Division, returns enemy fire in the Masan area. Korea - Summer 1950
Clockwise: Cpl Orville Waldeman (St Clair Shores, MI) Pfc Carl Cannon (Kinsman, OH) Pfc Reginal Palmer (Roxbury, MA) and Lt James B. Moore Jr (Miami, FL) kneeling: Pfc Oakley Vanalstyn (Buffalo, NY)
The 5th Regimental Combat Team deployed to Korea on 25 July 1950 and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division but as a "regimental combat team (RCT)" instead of as a regular regiment. The following month — Aug 1950 — was reassigned, still as an RCT, to the 1st Cavalry Division and the next month (September 1950) to the 24th Infantry Division where it replaced the division’s 34th Infantry Regiment.
(Colourised by Royston Leonard)

A U.S. Marine (right) orders captured North Koreans to keep their hands up on September 20, 1950. In the background is one of the tanks which came ashore in the assault at Inchon.

(Colourised by Royston Leonard)


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