Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Remembers The "White Tigers" - 8240th Army Unit - Jan. 11th, 2006
Posted on 01/10/2006 9:05:28 PM PST by SAMWolf
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.
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`White Tigers' prowled North Korea: during the Korean War, U.S. Army advisers helped North Korean guerrillas strike the Communists behind enemy lines. Until the 1990s, these missions remained largely unknown. Their members' sacrifices deserve to be widely publicized - Korean War
Perhaps the least-known aspect of the Korean War were the top-secret guerrilla operations conducted in North Korea. For more than 40 years, these missions involving North Korean guerrillas and American advisers deep inside enemy territory remained highly classified.
By the time the war ended in 1953, more than 22,000 guerrillas were fighting the Chinese and North Korean armed forces in a variety of covert actions. They were so secret that few military personnel in Korea knew about them. Even after the war, the missions remained unknown until 1990 when unit records were finally declassified.
Anti-Communist North Korean refugees were formed under the banner of the United Nations Partisan Infantry Forces. They called themselves "donkeys" and were organized into battalions. One of the better known--the 4th Guerrilla Battalion--was nicknamed the "White Tigers." During their existence (January 1951-July 1953), an average of 200 Americans directed the forces from island strongholds. Some of the advisers actually went on raids.
Unconventional warfare operations began Jan. 8, 1951, with a South Korean navy ship patrolling near the Yalu River. The ship discovered more than 10,000 North Korean guerrillas fighting the North Korean People's Army in Hwanghae Province.
Guerrillas were taking over some of the North Korean islands near the river, but they only had about one weapon per 10 men (Japanese and Russian rifles, and U.S. carbines.) They eagerly requested more weapons, ammunition, food and American advisers to lead and train them.
The U.S. 8th Army immediately recognized that a guerrilla force could wreak havoc on North Korean supply and communication lines. So Col. John McGee was given this responsibility and on Feb. 15, 1951, he slipped into North Korea and met with the guerrilla leaders.
Training an Operative
McGee was a veteran of guerrilla operations in the Philippines and knew how to organize this newfound force. He quickly issued weapons and rice to the leaders. McGee later recalled, "They were a colorful group of fighters ranging in age from youths to elderly men, and were pleased with the supplies. They left rapidly for North Korea in small boats."
A supply base was established on Paengnyong-Do Island, 125 miles behind enemy lines on North Korea's west coast. It had a lengthy beach of hard-packed sand that could accommodate large aircraft up to the size of a C-47. Planes shot up over North Korea could make emergency landings there.
These island bases were used to train guerrillas in intelligence-gathering, demolitions and basic infantry tactics. "Mobile units" went back to the mainland of North Korea, with "base units" conducting amphibious operations.
These special operations were hidden under the umbrella of the 8086th Army Unit. On Dec. 10, 1951, it was absorbed by the 8240th Army Unit. The Far East Command then assumed operational control over the 8240th.
UNITED NATIONS PARTISON FORCES, KOREA
8240th ARMY UNIT
Korean War Partisan Operations
10 December 1951 - 23 September 1953
Another theater-level agency also was set up to coordinate behind-the-lines activities in Korea. It was known as the Combined Command, Reconnaissance Activities, Korea (CCRAK), better known as the 8242nd Army Unit. Lt. Col. Jay Vanderpool, an OSS/CIA vet, took command of the Guerrilla Division, 8240th A.U. in July 1951. These units conducted five separate activities:
* Leopard Base--The control headquarters for 11 guerrilla units operating from the Yalu River south to the Ongin Peninsula. The west coast of North Korea had more than 400 islands used as springboards into the North. A guerrilla force of 10,000 men controlled about 70% of those islands.
* Wolfpack--The control headquarters for 10 units of some 10,000 guerrillas operating from Leopard Base south to Inchon. * Kirkland--Controlled two east coast islands near the mainland of North Korea with about 300 guerrillas.
* Baker Section--An airborne operation that trained North Korean guerrillas to jump behind lines into North Korea to collect intelligence and conduct operations. Since there were not enough C-47s available for even one practice jump, the first drop was a combat jump; more than 1,000 paratroopers were dropped into North Korea.
* Tactical Liaison Office--This was a cover name for the North Korean "line crossers." There were approximately 25 guerrillas assigned to each U.S. infantry division. They were trained by special forces, and on a given night seven to nine guerrillas put on North Korean uniforms, complete with weapons and ID cards, and secretly went into North Korea.
Before a Boat Operation
They gathered intelligence and slipped back through the lines. They told North Korean soldiers they were long-range patrols. Giving the enemy cigarettes, lighters and jewelry supplied by special forces lessened suspicions, too. This operation was very successful, running two years without being compromised.
One U.S. study of partisans concluded: "In battle, they exerted every effort to bring out their wounded ... Capture by the enemy is a fate to be avoided at all costs. Three instances were cited of officers committing suicide rather than being taken ..."
Heroism was never in short supply. A "donkey" commander reported of adviser Master Sgt. Roy E. Meeks and his rescue of fellow squad members: "He was completely surrounded by the enemy. [Yet] he threw hand grenades and fought until he could get out of there."
"After thorough and careful review of your request we have determined that the CIB CAN NOT be awarded to all members of the 8240th Army Unit. Historical records on the mission and operations of the 8240th revealed that the unit performed a variety of intelligence and special operations functions. The unit was responsible for raising, training, equipping and leading Korean guerrilla forces, including five partisan infantry regiments and one partisan airborne infantry regiment. Further, the information shows the functions of the unit are more comparable to our current Special Forces than to traditional infantry units.
Since there is information that members of the unit participated in active ground combat against enemy ground forces this office WILL CONSIDER, on a case-by-case basis, requests for the award of the CIB from individual members of the 8240th Army Unit.
Individual requests may be submitted to the:
U.S. Army Military Awards Branch
Department of the Army
U.S. Total Army Personnel Command
Alexandria, VA, 22332-0471
Signed: LTC Deborah W. Ivory, Ch. MIl. Awards Br.
"they raided and destroyed a North Korean division headquarters;"
THAT had to make those guys popular with the enemy.
Falling in! How are you, Snippy?
Doing well Colonel, and you?
This is a post and run. Time for some much needed sleep!
|January 11, 2006
Don't Bother Me
As a young man, C. S. Lewis abandoned his childhood faith in God and declared his belief in no religion, saying they were all myths created by man. Years later, after acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God and his Savior, Lewis wrote of that time in his book Surprised By Joy. He said:
"No word in my vocabulary expressed deeper hatred than the word interference. But Christianity placed at the center what then seemed to me a transcendental Interferer. There was no region even in the innermost depth of one's soul which one could surround with a barbed wire fence and guard with a notice 'No Admittance.' And that was what I wanted; some area, however small, of which I could say to all other beings, 'This is my business and mine only.'"
Every person has the right to say to God, "Leave me alone. Don't bother me." But it is the Lord's right to pursue us with His persistent mercy. To the self-satisfied church at Laodicea, the risen Christ said: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20).
By His grace, the Lord keeps knocking, ready to fill our lives with His love. David McCasland
God's love is persistent but never pushy.
Bump for a later read . . . xoxoxo
We had a story in the paper this morning about a Korean War soldiers remains being identified.
((HUGS))Good morning, snippy and everyone at the Freeper Foxhole.
Good Wednesday morning to everyone.
Great story about the White Tigers. I never heard that story before. I love it when I learn something new.
Thanks, SAMWolf. I've been missing these things.
Good morning Sam, Snippy and everyone.
Today's Bonus Feature.
That's my girl, working and eating at the same time.
Hi miss Feather.
Bittygirl had a blast using a wrench!