PIPELINE I JAPAN AS A FLEXIBLE LOGISTICAL BASE
The U.S. forces in Japan in 1950 were no longer an occupational force in the real meaning of the expression, though no peace treaty had been signed with Japan. Instead this force of more than 100,000 persons of the Navy, the Army, and the Air Force, was the biggest military complex the USA had outside its own borders against what they saw as a communistic threat. What was it that made this Far Eastern force capable of turning around and fight so well a totally different war compared to what they had planned for?Far East Command before the attack
Commander in Chief Far East Command, General Douglas MacArthur, who personally had received the formal Japanese surrender on board USS Missouri 2 September 1945, declared the military purposes of the occupation of Japan for accomplished by March 1947. A resurgence of Japanese military power was not longer likely. But that did not take the U.S. military away from Japan. In the view of the USA, communist expansion in general, and in eastern Asia in special, made it more necessary to keep large U.S. military forces in the western Pacific. Unlike Europe, the United States were almost alone in defending this part of the globe, and no Japanese military forces had been reerected.
In his exercise of command in the Far East, MacArthur wore at least three hats. As Supreme Commander Allied Powers, he was the agent of the thirteen nations represented in the Far East Commission. This Commission with its seat in Washington DC, directed the occupation of Japan. As commander in chief, FEC, he had control over all U.S. military forces army, navy, and air force in his command. And, as commanding general, U.S. Army, Far East, he had direct command of all army forces in FEC.
Far East Command was a unified combatant command. This had been described in the National Security Act of 1942 as a military command which had broad, continuing missions under a single commander and which was composed of forces from two or more military departments. The military departments assigned forces to the combatant commands. FEC had forces from all three military departments - Navy, Army, and Air Force. The responsibility for their support and administration would be assigned by the Secretary of Defense to a military department. For Far East Command, it was the Department of the Army that had this responsibility. The operational chain of command was from the President to the Secretary of Defense to Commander in Chief FEC.
The most important commands under Far East Command, by early 1950, included U.S. Naval Forces, Far East, the Eight Army, Far East Air Forces, and the area commands; Ryukyus, Marianas-Bonins, and the Philippines. The primary mission of the FEC was the defense of its area of operations, a geographical region including Japan, the Ryukyus, the Marianas, and American bases in the Philippines.
The kind of war the Far East Command had planes for and probably was prepared for was a grand scale war with Soviet Union and other communist states. This was laid down in the United States operational plan Changeable and the similar plan made for FEC called Gunpowder. In FEC plan the anticipated development in case of war was an attack on Japan itself from the Soviet Union and its allies. To meat this threat, FEC had more than 500 modern fighter aircraft, large Anti Air Artillery units, and four army divisions grouped to stop an aerial and land invasion of Japan.
Did the Far East Command with its world famous boss, General Douglas MacArthur, feel any responsibility or did they have any commitments to the defense of the Republic of Korea? FEC established in 1946 a plan for a possible reinforcement of Korea called "Baker 61". It had several editions in 1946 and 1947, and went trough several revisions in 1948. As of March 1948 the plan included almost 13,000 soldiers and 2,000 vehicles to be moved from Japan to Korea. There was also a "Baker 62" and a "Baker 63" for the same years as "Baker 61", but these plans were for a possible evacuation from Korea.
As the United States came to an agreement with the Soviet Union and withdraw their troops from Korea, the cold war became even tuffer. FEC got more concerned with Japan but had not forgotten Korean. CINCFE sent a signal to the Department of the Army regarding Korea five months before the outbreak of the Korean War. The military considerations in the signal are very clear:
Existing security forces of ROK are adequate and appropriate to accomplish requirements of concept discussed in Part I. An Air Force is not rpt not essential to maintenance of internal order and border patrols nor is it essential to offering "token resistance to invasion from the North." A serious Soviet Effort to seize South Korea could not be stopped in any event; and although an Air Force would increase capability of ROK to resist invasion by North Korean forces, it would at the same time unquestionably increase possibility of either an all-out "local" war or aggravated embroilment at the border, now limited to relatively minor clashes. Major military factor from the FEC viewpoint is JCS decision stated in ref d that any offensive operations U.S. might conduct on Asiatic continent would most probably by-pass Korean Peninsula."
Far East Command feared an invasion of South Korea, but primarily from the Soviet Union, a much bigger enemy than North Korea.
Also in the minutes of a committee called the Joint Committee, there are no doubts what the FEC had at its attention. This committee was FEC highest-ranking committee for joint purposes and had Chief of Staff Major General E. M. Almond as its chairman. Usually the Joint Committee met once a month and the four last meetings before the war was held 7 March, 11 April, 9 May and 6 June, with the next meeting planned for, but never to take place, at 11 July 1950. The minutes from these four meetings do not mention the word Korea, and there are no sign of any planning or training for other activities than conducting the work as occupational force of Japan. The main discussions had to do with topics like dependent housing, initiation of major construction work at Okinawa, movement of Anti Air Artillery units to the areas to be defended by them, evaluation of a specific exercise, frigates as radar picket ships, status of amphibious training, withdrawal of Army Forces from the Marinas, and a report of Communist activities. There were also more trivial matters like data gathering concerning allegations on such matters as "morale, health and welfare, venereal disease, inadequate housing, etc., etc.", change from winter to summer uniforms, Armed Forces Day, 4 July parade on the Plaza in Tokyo, Anti Air Artillery units to comply with the uniform regulations, and have all recreational facilities available to the colored troops.
General Headquarters Far East Command was organized as most general headquarters with a Commander in Chief, a Chief of Staff, a Transportation Section, and the four G's; G-1 Personnel, G-2 Intelligence, G-3 Operations, and the one of particular interest to this study, G-4 Quartermaster. G-4 was before the North Korean attack organized with five divisions; Administration, Plans and Operations, Supply, Construction and Real Estate, and Petroleum. The only change made due to the developments in the first part of the Korean War, was the establishment of a Korean Economic Aid division. This was done 1 October 1950 as the responsibility for general staff supervision of the non-military supply program for Korea was assigned to G-4.
During the months prior to Korean hostilities, G-4 was concerned with developing basic logistic data necessary for complete planning in FEC. A review of existing plans was in process to determine their logistical feasibility. G-4's command report for the first ten months of 1950 was very straight forward saying: "At the time [25 June 1950] there were no plans or studies of any sort covering possible operations in Korea in light of the lack of theater mission therefore."
Japan Logistical Command was authorized to keep on hand 30-days operating level and 30-days reserve, a total of 60 days of stocks. The San Francisco Port Oversea Supply Division, as the main supplier of FEC, and the Japan Logistical Command had agreed to an order and shipping time of 120 days. This time allowed for preparation of a requisition, mailing time to the Oversea Supply Division, edit and extract by the Oversea Supply Division, dispatch to a source of supply for processing and shipment, transportation to the port, assembling and loading at the port, sailing and unloading time. This meant that Japan Logistical Command at any moment could have a 180 days of stocks or on order of any item.
What was the actual logistical situation in FEC in the months just before the North Korean attack? A "list of topics concerning Ordnance Service in FEC that may be of possible interest to the JCS", is sent in a letter from G-4 FEC, dated 23 January 1950. The first item put forward in the letter, is the Ordnance Automotive Program. This program has participated in rebuilding considerable quantities of engines and automotive assemblies. From 1 January 1949 an appreciable number of completely rebuilt vehicles were accomplished. In the letter, "It is anticipated that line production of vehicles at Oppama during 1950 will meet Far East Command Ordnance vehicle requirements. However, complete replacement of vehicles will require a three year program."
FEC also wrote to the JCS that in the interest of economy, maintenance support mission for the FEC in Japan for armament and automotive equipment has been assigned to Eight Army as "a Centralized Ordnance Depot" maintenance. "Eight Army depot armament rebuild facility (Tokyo Ordnance Center - 22nd Ordnance Service Battalion) have been rehabilitated and placed into full scale operations capable of supporting the Far East Command, including the equipping of EA infantry divisions reorganized under the new "N" series T/O&E's. Much of this equipment was obtained from the roll-up and through reclamation."
This "roll-up" had been going on since the end of the Second World War and must have had its impact on the Korean War. In the Pacific in special, a lot supplies were scattered over the Pacific islands in late 1945 as the troops were sent home. FEC reported to JCS that roll-up of ordnance excesses from Korea, Philippines, and Okinawa had been completed. The major portion of excess supplies on Guam and Saipan had been shipped out, with the bulk of these supplies sent to Eight Army in Japan, and some to the Zone of Interior.
One thing was to finish the roll-up, quite an other to maintain what the forces in FEC had, in functional order. In order to conserve maintenance and repair resources, all maintenance and repair operations had to be concentrated on insuring reliable and efficient operation of equipment destined for operational use. Repair and maintenance efforts would not be expended for "window dressing". Maintenance was in the U.S. forces divided into three different levels or areas. Organizational Maintenance was the responsibility of, and performed by, a using organization on its own equipment. This consisted normally of inspecting, cleaning, servicing, preserving, lubricating, and adjusting as required. It could also include minor parts replacement when it did not require highly technical skills. Field Maintenance was authorized and performed by designated maintenance activities in direct support of using organizations. This would normally be limited to maintenance consisting of replacements of unserviceable parts, subassemblies or assemblies. Depot Maintenance was the repair of materiel that required a major overhaul or complete rebuild of parts, subassemblies, assemblies, and/or the end item. Such maintenance meant the use of more extensive shop equipment and personnel of higher technical skill.
So as the North Korean attack came closer to its D-day, the logistical resources were enormous in a Command prepared for the big war.A NAME="fast">
The difference between peace and war is normally enormous. Physical and mental prepared for an attack, and what kind of attack? To change from peace to a war, is very difficult. And it is even worse to change from peace to a war if you are not prepared for. It is of course no help that the attacker tries to hit as fast and efficient as possible, like an attacker always will try to do. In the beginning of the Korean War it was not the defender who could chose when, where and how the war should be conducted. President Truman decided to speed up shipments of military equipment to Republic of Korea under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program at a meeting in Washington DC in the evening of 25 June. He also decided to move The Seventh Fleet, then in Philippine Waters, towards the Asia mainland. In a teleconference with Pentagon the same night Washington time, mid afternoon Monday 26 June in Tokyo, MacArthur received authority to send a survey party to Korea and to send whatever ammunition and equipment might be necessary to enable Republic of Korea forces to hold the Seoul-Kimpo-Inchon area. He should also provide the air and naval cover to ensure the safe arrival of that equipment and to permit the evacuation of American civilians. After another meeting on Korea in Washington DC in the evening of 26 June MacArthur and his staff were informed by the JCS via a teleconference. All restrictions preventing FEAF from supporting and assisting in the defense of Republic of Korea territory were lifted for operations below the 38th parallel. Also naval forces might be used without restriction against aggressor forces in coastal waters and sea approaches to Republic of Korea. With the second resolution in the Security Council 27 June 1950 the USA had an international and legal right to use their military force in the Republic of Korea in a manner they wanted.
One of the first operations was the evacuation of nearly 2000 U.S. nationals from the Republic of Korea 29 June. Half of them were evacuated with the use of Far East Air Force C-54's, and nearly 900 went aboard a Norwegian ship at Inchon. They were evacuated to Japan where they were given the necessary assistance. Itazuke Air Base, as the air base nearest to Korea, was not big enough for all transport and patrol aircraft needed for the evacuation. Ashiya Air Base near Itazuke was therefore taken into use, first for six B-26 to fly reconnaissance and cover missions, and later for C-54's. F-82's, that had enough range for patrol work, were moved from Yokata and Naha air bases to Itazuke.
In a matter of hours after they had completed the evacuation program of dependents and nationals from Korea, transport aircraft started to haul badly needed personnel and supplies from Japan to Korea. Personnel from the Eight Army Air Transportability School were called to supervise the loading of aircraft based in Japan and the aircraft that came in from other parts of FEC. The first fourteen-day period brought an average daily lift of 185,000 lbs. of cargo into Korea.
29 June 1950 Truman authorized MacArthur to use certain army forces to furnish essential logistic services and hold a port and an air base in the Pusan-Chinhae area. Restrictions against air attacks on targets in North Korea were at the same time lifted. 30 June marked the day for Truman's authorization for the use of Army units in ground combat. The hope that it would be enough to support Republic of Korea with material was dead. Soldiers from all four of the U.S. military services were needed.
There are several indications that MacArthur ordered his troops to get ready to move to Korea before Truman gave the authorization for the use of Army units in ground combat 30 June. The "Good News" article 1 Aug about Transportation Superiority quoting the Transportation Officer of GHQ FEC stating that two - 2 days after the North Korea attack (27 June), " . the Transportation Service were suddenly given the immediate and stupendous task of moving thousands of troops and hundreds of thousands of tons of supplies and equipment into Korea; and " (MacArthur leadership! Philippines!)
Far East Command had the possibility of using Eight Army's teleconference facilities for communication with Washington DC, as well as it had its own communication system with all subordinate commanders of Army, Air Force, and Navy in the Far East. The connection to Korea was via the State Department operated Seoul terminal on a radio-teletype circuit and a manual radio circuit. When the war started, a manual radio circuit mounted in a truck was safely moved from Seoul to Suwon to provide a limited communications facility. Amateur radio operators in Korea and Japan were most cooperative and handled much official traffic during the first few weeks. Signal personnel and radio equipment were dispatched 29 June from Tokyo to Suwon by air to establish another radio circuit. During the rapid evacuation of Suwon, some of the signal equipment had to be destroyed to prevent capture by the enemy. Other signal equipment were lost 30 June in a crash of a transport aircraft (a C-54) near Pusan. Additional equipment was moved by air, water, and rail to Taejon to provide increased facilities from Korea to Japan. This was later moved to Taegu to support the new command, Eight U.S. Army in Korea (EUSAK). A large portion of existing communications facilities within South Korea and between Japan and Korea had to be rehabilitated and modified for military use.
When the bright Sunday morning of June 25th brought news of Communist aggression in Korea, many started looking for a map. The planners needed maps showing towns, transportation routes and rivers. For the first forces to arrive in Korea, there were no good maps. This lack made it virtually impossible to travel prudently, communicate, or fire artillery effectively at the elusive enemy. The maps that were available had neither contours nor grid systems and were printed in the Korean language and calligraphy. At best, the maps were crude sketches. FEAF assigned with the bombardment of enemy troops and supply lines, needed good maps. The solution was the Engineer Base Topographic Battalion in FEC that together with FEC Printing Plant leaped to the task of producing maps. Between 28 June and 15 July they produced 9,5 million press impressions from 370 different maps. In the same time, more than ten million leaflets were also produced and air dropped in an effort to try to encourage the morale of the South Korean Army and civilians. As the "Good News" report of 29 July 1950 said: "We've never pinned a medal on a map, but try to fight a war without one."
Tachikawa and Ashiya Air Force Bases were the primary bases for the airlift from Japan to Korea. Eight Army were the absolute biggest user of the airlift. In an order for the Korean airlift 17 July from General Headquarters Far East Command, Eight Army were given 70% of the capacity, while Far East Air Forces were given 20%, and GHQ kept the last 10% for them selves. If one command had requirements exceeding the allocation, readjustment would be made by G-4 in coordination with the commands concerned. GHQ and Eight Army were also ordered to maintain a liaison officer at Ashiya. The liaison officer from Eight Army was also to be responsible for the Eight Army emergency supplies at Ashiya.
The attack had necessitated G-4 with the immediate preparation of a logistic directive to support the operation. He was concerned with assignment of responsibilities for provision of support and to include restrictions on depletion of Eight Army stocks. Because of the pressure of time and in order to assure maximum flexibility of operations and minimum interference with exercise of command responsibilities over supply, it was decided as a matter of policy to keep directives to a minimum both in length and number. Alteration of existing working supply policies and procedures would only happen when it became strictly necessary to enable provision of necessary support.
To G-4 it was of the utmost importance to be able to plan future requirements. To do this, the data in a publication called "FM 101-10" were used. Some of the data in FM 101-10 were used to compute requirements for tonnage to be moved by rail in Korea and to subsequently the number of locomotives and rolling stock needed. Generally, G-4 felt that these determinations of requirements continued to be adequate, and that at least concerning railroad equipment, the factors in FM 101-10 were sound when properly applied.
As earlier mentioned, G-4 GHQ FEC put emphasis in his logistics directive to assure maximum flexibility of operations and minimum interference with exercise of command responsibility over supply. Maximum discretion was said to be left to the major commands. Somehow this directive could not have reached those who was suppose to use it. Several messages concerning logistics from subordinate commands to GHQ strongly indicates this. One of them was sent from Commanding General Marbo Guam asking for permission to ship one available oil fired bakery oven from Guam to Okinawa, where it was badly needed. On 29 July 1950 CINCFE granted authority to Commanding General Marbo Guam to ship the bakery oven. The names of two Brigadier Generals, one of them Adjutant General and the other Quartermaster, are to be found on the signal with the approval. In this message as well as other answers from GHQ concerning details, no one said a word about not sending such signals and nothing about they could take the decisions themselves. And this was what they called war?
The opening of the foreword of the Assistant Chief of Staff G-4 command report 1 January 50 trough 31 October 1950 speaks for itself as a conclusion to what the Korean War meant to the logistics of GHQ FEC:
"The onset of the Korean conflict, 25 June 1950, had little effect on the overall mission and functions of the section. The transition of the G-4 Section from a staff section engaged in normal peacetime duties to that of a staff section supervising and planing active operations was accomplished with the minimum of effort resulting in the maximum of efficiency."
Almost one third of the U.S. Army's fighting forces were stationed in the Pacific Theater. Of these, more than 90 percent were stationed in Japan as part of Eight Army. To be able to fight the North Korean Peoples Army, they had to be transferred to the Korean peninsula.
The 7th, 24th, and 25th Infantry divisions, and the 1st Cavalry Division (actually infantry) were in Japan, with the 29th Regimental Combat Team in Hawaii. All of the divisions were filled with relatively new replacements and were in a poor state of readiness for the war that came in Korea. For economic reasons, and with only one exemption, the 24th Regiment, all of the regiments had only two of their three infantry battalions, and the artillery battalions also were short one of their firing batteries.
Charles M. Bussey served as a company commander of the 77th Engineer Combat Company in Japan from May 1950 and well into the Korean War. In his biographic book, Firefight at Yecon, Courage & Racism in the Korean War, he is mainly concerned with defending black soldier's achievements in the war, and obtaining justice for them. He gives a very colorful picture of the general occupation duty of soldiers in Japan. "Occupation meant occupying the best of Japanese commercial, residential, and recreational facilities, holding a glass in one hand and a Japanese girlfriend, or moosimae, in the other, and seeing how much food and drink one could indulge in and how much hell one could raise. . The only fighting that U.S. soldiers engaged in was negotiation a price for a single night's favor, for professional services on a month-by-month basis, or for Noritake china and Mikimoto pearls. Eight Army and the Supreme Headquarters gloried under the clouds cast by two atomic blasts. A future war was impossible; an immediate war, unthinkable. Training was conducted accordingly. It was slipshod and routine - not a serious or focused professional activity. . A large number of lower-ranking enlisted men were products of the 1948 draft. They loved their fat, tomcatting life and reenlisted in overwhelming numbers. . The Army of Occupation was in bad shape. The general physical condition of the troops was poor, morale was low, and the general level of intelligence was reduced."
Also the Army had a lot of goods in storage. As an example they had 38,599 wool serge trousers in excess. CINCFE on behalf of Eight Army requested DA Washington DC 6 April 1950 for authority to transfer the trousers to a program called Incentive Goods Program for Japan. An other message 18 May 1950 to and from the same agencies requested the sale of 30,000 newly renovated cotton mattresses, which were in access at a quartermaster storage in Japan. The normal time for handling this kind of requests in a military bureaucracy should indicate that both trousers and mattresses still were in Eight Army storage 25 June 1950, for use to appropriate military purpose.
The 24th Infantry Division was the first division to be sent to Korea, starting on 1 July. Along with the severely beaten Republic of Korea Army, the division fought a series of delaying actions to slow the North Korea advance. The 25th Infantry Division and the 1st Cavalry Division started landing in Pusan on 10 July. The 29th Regimental Combat Team from Hawaii arrived in Korea a few days later.
"Our job is to get things moved -- to the right place and at the right time! And when I say "things", I mean anything .from soup to 100-ton locomotives." These were the words of the Transportation Officer General Headquarters Far East Command in a interview in the middle of July 1950. Until three weeks before he made his statement, his and others job were pretty much routine and consisted primarily of moving personnel and cargoes in support of the occupation forces in Japan and normal support of U.S. Forces in Guam, the Philippines and Okinawa.
The 2nd Transportation Medium Port in Yokohama, operated by Eight Army, was just after the North Korea attack placed on a 24 hour per day operation. In less than a month it had more than doubled the amount of cargo shipped out. In, addition, several other military ports were organized at strategic locations in Japan to facilitate the urgent outloading of men and materials for Korea. Scores of troop trains and freight trains carrying military cargoes funneled into these ports from all sections of Japan. The 8010th Transportation Military Railway Service in Yokohama handled the complicated job of regulating these trains.
By the end of August approximately 500 persons were moved daily from Sasebo to Pusan on the established ferry service. Assistant Adjutant General at CINCFE meant that length of the trip necessitated meals to be provided. He therefore requested arrangements to be made as soon as possible to provide two hot meals daily on outbound trip and meals as necessary on inbound trip. Subsistence would be provided by Army at Sasebo and turned over to Navy account.
One of the units to be moved to Korea was the 77th Engineer Combat Company. They got their orders at 2330 10 July. At 03.00 11 July the company was organized for departure and boarded a train at Gifu on Honshu which took them to the port of Sasebo. Before departure, the company's missing (T/O&E) items included a bulldozer and a dump truck. These items are not mentioned later in Bussey's book, so they probably received them before leaving Japan. The voyage from Sasebo to Pusan onboard the Isikawa Maru started in the evening of 11 July after they had received 108 ex-prisoners form the Eight Army stockade. All of the soldiers were drug offenders released to go to Korea. The only map Bussey had with him as Company Commander was one that had appeared one week before on the back of Stars and Stripes, the official newspaper for the U.S. armed forces. The Isikawa Maru docked at 0700 hours the next morning in a very summer hot Pusan Harbor. Bussey was quite disgusted when the captain told him that the dockworkers (longshoremen and stevedores) were on strike, and would not off-load the ship. Three of the Non Commissioned Officers (NCO) in the company had been in port battalions during the Big War. These took the lead in the off-loading. Meanwhile personnel from the unit experienced with trains, went up town and got hold of a train and brought it down to the Jetty. At 1500 hours, less than 48 hours after the order to move to Korean where received, the unit with all equipment were aboard the train, checked, blocked, and ready to roll on to a station called Kumchon and the awaiting action. About 0800 hours in the morning of 13 July, they pulled into Kumchon. One of the company officers went searching for and found the ration breakdown point, engineer supply depot, and ordnance small arms supply point. The company could finally establish its camp.
The Army troop strength in Japan was down to 51,800 by the end of July 1950, further reduced to 30,000 one month later, with only 20,000 in the end of September 1950. They were according to GHQ FEC: "Service support and administrative units to provide support of occupation and support of forces in Korea."
One of the biggest challenges for Eight Army logisticians were to provide soldiers from all three services with Service Support both in Japan and Korea, as well as the rest of FEC. This was not a new task commencing with the Korean War, but had been the established order for some time. The service support included subsistence, mainly food, to Far East Air Forces and Naval Forces, Far East. During July 1950 the Air Force received 642,140 rations worth $ 968,215, while the Navy received only 7,080 rations.
Before the middle of August, FEC had sent over to Korea more than 8,000 radio sets ranging from "walkie talkie" to fixed station equipment, as well as more than 50,000 miles of wire of wire of various sizes and composition. A large portion of this must have been for the Korean Army.
Bussey's 77th Engineer Combat Company was not lacking much when it came to specialized tools, equipment, and weapons. He is describing his officers as wonderful and first class, both those he had in his company in Japan, and those he received later as replacements in Korea.
It is very likely Eight Army would have been pleased to have had more tanks available in their fight against the North Koreans. FEC received an offer 8 July 1950 of 19 tanks from the Philippine Armed Forces. MSTS of Western Pacific was requested to provide necessary shipping. The arrival of the tanks in Korea was estimated to take 30 days.
In a memorandum 11 July for General Wright at General Headquarters Far East Command, one of his subordinate officers, pointed to likely need for replacements of M24 light tanks as they now had entered action in Korea with the three companies sent there. These three companies were sent to Korea with 17 M24 each, and additional four tanks as replacements were sent with the companies. Available replacements were three tanks awaiting water lift, and four more at Tokyo Ordnance Center. Other replacements had either to come from reconditioning of M4a3s at Tokyo Ordnance Center, or from Zone of Interior on the recently sent 8th Army requisitions for 60 light tanks. On the typed signal, someone has written, "10 Tanks destroyed 2 damaged". The four M24's at Tokyo Ordnance Center were not sent to Korea immediately. A signal from 8th Army 20 July requested the tanks released for shipment to Korea to meet urgent combat needs.
In a memorandum 8 August from Major General Almond to Lt General Ridgeway, Almond gave his comments to the anticipated combat loss rate of tanks in Korea. He said he understood the loss rate of tanks had been relatively high when the quantity lost is compared to the small quantities used in combat. However, in the future it is contemplated that the rapid increase in number of tank units deployed and greater tank recovery capabilities of EUSAK troops will lower the percentage loss rate. Almond also stated that the North Korea had only limited combat aircraft at their disposal and were not believed to have the anti-tank firepower of German Divisions of World War II. He therefore recommended the factor of 15 % per month for combat and maintenance losses of tanks used as a basis for supplying Far East Command. This memorandum shows a relaxed attitude towards the replacements of tanks. At this time in the war there seem to be enough tanks and spare parts.
A signal by command of MacArthur 9 August 50 to CG EA, and CG EA in Korea, has a very interesting statement:
1. A study of the availability of tanks for equipping units in Korea indicates sufficient shipments have been or are being made to satisfy current needs there.
The forces in Korea had enough tanks. Tokyo Ordnance Center was rebuilding tanks, probably from tanks sent to Japan in the years between World War II and the Korean War.
Towards the end of September, Japan Logistical Command had found out the requirements for M46 medium tanks. According to a message sent to San Francisco Port 24 September, the requirements for September, October, November, December is 103 per month, plus 30 day emergency stock level of 103 in Japan.
Upon the commitment of ground forces to action in Korea, the Eight Army Quartermaster quickly assembled stocks, set up assembly lines and went into quantity production on the PX Kit "50-in-1". It got its name on the reason that it included comfort articles for fifty men for one day. The kit contained articles like cigarettes, safety matches, candy bars, chewing gum, tooth brushes, razors and blades, shaving cream, soap, writing paper, envelopes, pencils and towels. It was distributed to the men at the front along with their rations. Based on the life these soldiers had lived in Japan, the PX Kit must have been a minimum of morale saver to the men fighting for their lives.
How much attention can you allow yourself to put into Hammond organs in the middle of a war? One example of how well off they were in Japan during the Korean War, were the repair of Hammond organs by Eight Army Signal Repair Shop. Eight Army reported 10 May 1950 on the request of CINCFE that they had 15 organs for repair awaiting parts required from Zone of Interior. On a new request 13 September 1950, the answer were 22 September that they now had 12 Hammond organs in Signal Repair Shop awaiting connecting cables and tone cabinets required from Zone of Interior.
Even in September, transportation were not functioning as well as it could have done. A cargo of supplementary charges for 105-mm Field Artillery, requisitioned for delivery 9 September as urgently needed, were still at Fairfield Air Force Base close to San Francisco 23 September. The priority designator on the shipment indicated immediate movement. This shows problems with keeping track of what were where.
Far East Air Forces primary and only principal mission as of 1950 was to maintain an active air defense of the FEC theatre of operations. Among its subordinate missions, FEAF was charged to maintain "an appropriate mobile air striking force" and to "provide air support of operations as arranged with appropriate Army and Navy commanders." Since 1949, when the Soviet Union had detonated its first atomic bomb, the general believe in FEAF was that the Cold War could at any moment break into the flames of World War III. Such a war would begin with air attacks against Far East air bases. Pearl Harbor was not easily forgotten.
Far East Air Materiel Command furnished logistical support for all USAF units in the Far East. The command post and principal installation was twenty miles west of downtown Tokyo, at the factories and airfield were the Tachikawa Aircraft Company had once built Oscar fighters, but which was now the Tachikawa Air Depot.
The deployment of FEAF's subordinate air forces reflected its primary defensive mission. It had 9 main bases in daily use, spread out over its theatre of operations. The closest to Korea was Itazuke on Kyushu. Three air bases were situated on the Kanto Plains around Tokyo; Yokota, Johnson and Tachikawa. In addition there was Misawa also on Honshu, Naha and Kadena on Okinawa, Andersen on Guam and Clark on the Philippines.
Its aircraft consisted of F-80C Shooting Star jet interceptors, F-82 Twin-Mustang all-weather fighters, B-29 Superfortresses conventional medium bombers, RB-29 photo planes (one squadron on Okinawa belonging to the U.S. Strategic Air Command), RB-17 photo planes at Clark, two squadrons of C-54 transport aircraft at Tachikawa outside Tokyo, and one squadron of C-54's at Clark on the Philippines, and search and rescue units at several air bases with SB-29 and SB-17. There were also two squadrons who flew weather reconnaissance missions.
Far East Air Forces had 16,250 soldiers in Japan by the end of July 1950. This number increased to approximately 25,000 by the end of August, and to approximately 30,000 by the end of September.
For the performance of its defensive mission, FEAF was provided with several aircraft control and warning groups, whose personnel manned the large fixed-radar and aircraft-control facilities, which were deployed throughout Japan.
The British Commonwealth air component in Japan was a squadron from the Royal Australian Air Force. They flew F-51 Mustangs out of Iwakuni Air Base on Honshu, and maintained liaison with FEAF.
Find out what Futrell has written about Air Force logistics? No problems, is that the reason for not mentioning logistics in other sources?
The MSTS Western Pacific collected sufficient ocean-going vessels in FEC waters. These were placed under the disposal of the Commander-in Chief, Far East, for the immediate movement of anything and everything desired. The Naval Forces Far East provided escort service for MSTS convoys, and had the operational control of all vessels while they were in Korean Waters.
In Japan itself, the U.S. Navy had two bases called "Fleet Activities". The biggest was in Yokosuka south of Tokyo, and the other at Sasebo on Kyushu only 130 nautical miles/240 kilometers from Pusan in Korea. Most of the 2000 Navy personnel in Japan at the end of August 1950 served at the two bases. By the end of August there were 2,500 Navy personnel, and by 30 September 3,500 in Japan.
It was not Commander Naval Forces, Far East, but Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor who was responsible for the logistic support of forces afloat also in NAVFE area.
Sasebo became the most important forward area base available to the Navy for replenishment of ammunition. But unlike the Army, the Navy did not have adequate storage space in this area. Bombs, shells, powder and components had partly to be stored in crowded open fields, thereby exposing them to the elements and prohibiting proper segregation to insure safety. U.S. Army Ammunition Depot in the Sasebo area consisted of 21 blockhouses and 13 caves with a capacity of at least 18.000 tons of explosives. In a signal 20 September 1950 from Commander NAVFE to Commander-in-Chief, Far East, he requested that 6 caves and 10 blockhouses with stowage of 8,500 tons of ammunition be made available to the Navy on indefinite loan basis. Of the capacity, it was noted that the Army only used approximately ten percent. It took more than three weeks before Commander Fleet Activities, Japan-Korea, was informed that he could store his ammunition in the Army facility. The only remaining problem was that the Navy used an entirely different system of marking its ammunition. The Navy was therefore asked to furnish technical advisors and labor to assist in the proper identification, storage and care of its munitions.
NAVFE and FEAF were cooperating much better than the Navy with the Army in the Sasebo Area. Navy and Marine aviation units attached to bases belonging to the FEAF were permitted to obtain ammunition in the same manner as for USAF units. Requisitions and shipping documents indicated that issues were made to Navy and Marine units, but the stocks were not segregated.
18 May 1950 GHQ FEC wrote to Commanding General, FEAF, and Commander, NAVFE, concerning a desire to obtain authority to requisition a reserve of ammunition. The ammunition was to be in support of the Theater Emergency Plan and should be enough for Air Force and Navy units at full strength for 120 days. The answer from the Navy, five days after the North Korean attack, was that Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet considered the ammunition stock at Yokosuka and the war allowance carried by units of Naval Forces, Far East and the Seventh Fleet to be more than the requirements. In addition there was a considerable stock of ammunition at Naval Magazine, Guam for support of NAVFE forces. The delivery system was also said to be good enough with one ammunition ship in full commission, as well as other shipping suited to transport ammunition.
One of the reasons that Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet considered the ammunition stock in the FEC to be sufficient was ammunition removed from 29 frigates returned to United States custody from the Soviet Union. The frigates had been borrowed to the Soviet Union during World War II. 1400 tons of 3", 40-mm and 20-mm ammunition was stored at a Army ammunition dump at Ikego, four miles from Yokosuka, pending disposition of the 29 frigates.
The medical treatment could not be overestimated as a morale building feature for the soldiers engaged in the Korean War. To know you would get proper help if you were wounded, was very important in this war as in other wars. The Inspector General, Medical, Navy Department, sent a staff medical officer to Japan for most of September 1950 to inspect the navy medical facilities in the Far East. His conclusion was:
"In general, the Navy Medical Department has successfully met the heavy professional demands which have arisen as a result of the Korean incident. Although all units have been understaffed and medical spaces overcrowded, it is considered that the professional care rendered to patients is of high order. Medical personnel are alert and industrious, and are performing their duties in a commendable manner."
The officer also believed cooperation with the Army and the Air Force to be excellent. At Sasebo the Army Medical facility, comprising a 300 bed Dispensary, provided care for Navy and Marine Corps personnel when these where over and above the capabilities of the Naval Dispensary. In Yokosuka, a 50-bed dispensary had been made into a 800-bed hospital, though it at the time of the inspection had more than 1,300 patients. The majority of these had recent serious or critical battle casualties. With minor exceptions, the general and the field medical supply systems, had met requirements. One of his recommendations was that a study be conducted of rigging a platform on the fantail of hospital ships for delivery of patients by helicopter. There where two hospital ships in the Far East at the time of the inspection, with a third to arrive in the middle of October.You will go nowhere without fuel!
Petroleum, oil and lubricants were an absolute necessity also in the Korean War. Trucks and tanks, aircraft and ships needed fuel to move and oil and lubricants to function well. This importance of petroleum to military operations in Korea was best emphasized by the fact that sixty percent of all U.S. military tonnage moved to Korea the first months of the war, was petroleum.
15 October 1948 the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed establishment of an Area Petroleum Office as a Staff agency of each overseas commander responsible for supply of petroleum products and for overall management of the petroleum programs of the three services within each overseas command. In FEC the office functioned as a part of the Petroleum Division under G-4, GHQ. It was no disadvantage in the war to come, that the personnel in charge of the office in FEC all were specialists from all three services in the petroleum field with experience from both commercial oil companies and World War II.
The Petroleum Office in FEC was not only responsible for military supplies, but also for civilian supplies. This meant they had full control over both civil and military oil resources. To help the office in civilian related questions, representatives for the civilian oil companies were part of a petroleum advisory group. Oil products were still rationed in the civil sector of Japan in 1950 due to that the supply, for some reason, was smaller than the civil demand.
The products needed in military as well as civil machines had to be imported to Japan, either as crude oil or as refined products. In an effort to refine imported crude oil in Japan, a program for rehabilitation of refineries was inaugurated in January 1950. The program could not have been started at a better moment. By the outbreak of the Korean War, six rehabilitated refineries refined 25,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Two more refineries started operations in August 1950, raising the refining level to 33,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
As long as Japan had no oil wells, it was natural to have a large storage capacity in case of a break down in imports. It might have been fear for a brake down in supplies that lay behind that the military sector in Japan had more than they where allowed to have of petroleum products. A Base Petroleum Report from 30 march 1950 stated that certain petroleum products were in excess of the operating and prescribed reserve levels. And in a letter from FEC to Eight Army 23 June 50 the teem was disposition of excess petroleum products. But that was not all. Stocks of aviation gasoline 100/130 on hand 25 June 1950 in the FEC was 700 million barrels, representing 45 days operating stocks. In addition there were 75 days reserve stocks, or approximately 140 million barrels above the quantity specified in CINCFE Plan 1-50 as reserve in the event of an emergency.
In a letter 26 July 1950 GHQ FEC adjusted the level of petroleum supply to be maintained in terminal storage during the emergency. The maximum level should be no more than 120 days of supply, while the minimum level should be no less than 90 days of supply. It was recognized that the storage facilities available for certain products in Korea, the Ryukyus and the Philippines were not sufficient to satisfy the indicated requirements. These deficiencies would then be provided for in Japan within the limits of storage facilities available. The same letter emphasized the need each Sub-Area Petroleum Office continuous reviewed individual requirements and reported the changes to Area Petroleum Office.
Though FEC had more than they were allowed to have of some oil products just before the Korean War, the resupply of some of the consummated oil products during the first part of the war, were not very good. For aviation gasoline 100/130 a cargo of 130 million barrels were scheduled for delivery in September 1950. FEC Area Petroleum Office and the Armed Services Petroleum Purchasing Agency in Washington DC had several contacts throughout July and August discussing rapidly increasing consumption and the urgency of accelerating the delivery of the first cargo of aviation gasoline 100/130. At a teleconference 17 August Washington informed Japan that all terminal stocks of grade 100/130 in the zone of interior had been depleted, that suppliers for only two of the five cargoes had been found and that the first cargo would be delivered on 3 September. This was of course not very good news, but it became worse.
By the 4 September, with no aviation gasoline delivered, the G4 in FEC sent out a warning signal:
The grade 100/130 aviation gasoline situation in the Far East Command is critical due to the failure of the Armed Services Petroleum Purchasing Agency to deliver product that has been slated for since 6 June.
At his time, three of five airbases in Japan, and the terminals, had less than 10 days of stocks. The two last bases had 17 and 18 days of stocks. The signal ends:
If the cargoes now expected to arrive on the eight and ninth of September actually arrive on those dates, air operations will not be curtailed. If the cargoes are delayed more than two additional days, all terminal stocks and most base stocks will be depleted.
However, before operations had to be curtailed because of a dangerously low level of aviation gasoline 100/130 in September, as well as for aviation gasoline 115/145 in October 1950, the pipeline covering the products was replenished through the arrival of products on order from Zone of Interior.
Even with a stock of well over 500,000 55-gallon drums in FEC inventory before the outset of the Korean War, it became apparent that the existing stocks of drums were not sufficient to satisfy the demands for drummed products with which to execute the emergency war mission. In July 1950, an extensive publicity campaign was effected to conserve and reclaim all containers being held by private individuals without authority. Further the Japan Logistical Command placed orders on Japanese industry to produce over 350,000 55-gallon drums for immediate delivery. But this either was not enough. A study held in September 1950 disclosed that an additional 456,000 drums would be required of requirements for drummed products trough November 1951 were to be satisfied. (It might be interesting to stop at the number "456,000". In military logistics it normally would have been natural to say that an estimate in a study was not so accurate as this, saying the required number of drums would be 455,000 or 450,000. Or to be militarily certain to have enough, to say the number was 500,000, which is a very nice and round number. But here it is precisely 456,000 drums!)
An other problem, which must have been a problem of earlier wars, had to do with large and heavy drums and containers of packed products. Prior to the start of the conflict in Korea, most of the packaged lubricating oils were imported into FEC in 55-gallon drums, and greases were packed in 400 pound containers. The difficulty of handling these products, as packed, during a war emergency or even in peacetime, was apparent. In addition, it was not very economic to issue these large quantities to units going into war. FEC Area Petroleum Office ordered repacking of some of the packed products through contracts negotiated with Japanese firms. In addition packed products were requested from the U.S. in smaller containers.
Quality was not always certain thing when it came to petroleum products, and even less so in a field environment. Experience indicated that fuels and lubricants could immediately be suspected in cases of mechanical failure, particularly as related to aircraft. The United States Government petroleum testing laboratories located in Japan, Okinawa, Philippines and Korea, were contributing factors in maintenance of quality on petroleum products for all services in FEC. They assisted and supervised the blends of fuel for alternate use when the recommended fuel was in local short supply. When delay to shipment of aviation gasoline from the Zone of Interior prejudiced the stock position in Japan, a laboratory recommended procedures whereby approximately two days of aviation gasoline was made available by reclamation of sub-standard aviation gasoline.
There were no petroleum troops in FEC before the outbreak of the Korean War. As hostilities erupted the lack of this type of troops was readily apparent. A petroleum platoon of one officer and 53 enlisted men was hurriedly formed to operate the Pusan Petroleum Terminal. Qualified civilian personnel borrowed from local commercial oil companies accompanied them.
An important part of FEC success in the first part of the Korean War was Japan itself. Not only bases with docks and other repair facilities for naval forces, and several airbases to support a big airforce, but also Japan as a industrial power with storage capacity for all the resources they had to import. U.S. bombing during the Second World War had destroyed a lot, but not devastated the country.
In the overseas theaters maximum use should be made of indigenous labor, materials, equipment and facilities. This was not very difficult to achieve in Japan. Cheap. Plenty. Car Industry. Bases from World War II. "Local procurement in Japan is authorized to the maximum extent practicable."
Japan had by 1950 reassumed its position as the leading industrial power in the Far East. Its steel production was 330,000 tons in December 1949, and reaching an annual rate of more than 5 million tons for 1950. Japanese industry turned out 29.000 motor vehicles in 1949. Railway mileage of Japan was over two and half times as great as that of all China combined. (Is that an interesting fact?) Enough freight cars were available to move some 10 million tons of goods a month. In addition, the Japanese had 75,000 motor trucks on hand and a fairly good highway system.
As soon as it was decided to use Pusan and the railroad in Korea as a primary mean of transportation, G-4 FEC calculated the need for locomotives and rolling stock. The great majority could be met by equipment on hand in Korea. Necessary procurement of new equipment was in general placed in Japan as was the rebuild program for locomotives and rolling stock. In his command report G-4 has this description:
Japanese industry delivered equipment with remarkable rapidity. The delivery of 50 flat cars of sufficient strength to carry the M-46 and Centurion tanks was started within twenty days after the order had been placed and was completed in time to meet the arrival of the tanks in Korea."
An other example of the capabilities of the Japanese industries was the delivery of 1,320 Red Cross Geneva Convention Flags and 103,000 wool blankets to Republic of Korea Army during August. It was the Economic Cooperation Administration who procured this from Japanese sources.
As late as 8 November 1950, minesweepers were still a critical item in FEC. U.S. sweepers simply did not exist in the area in adequate numbers, nor were any more expected from the USA in the near future. To help this situation, 20 Japanese minesweepers (probably from World War II) had been authorized for use in Korean waters on a full time basis. They were operated by purged ex-naval Japanese officers who had the necessary experience to perform a most valuable service. In the letter of 8 November, Commander Naval Forces, Far East, took up a discussion whether to release these purged officers or not. His recommendation was:
The release of these purged Ex-naval officers at the present time would completely paralyze the present Japanese minesweeping effort in Korea. It is therefore considered essential that all of the purged Ex-naval officers, who are still employed, be retained in the minesweeping program.
Formosa was very much in the focus of Far East Command and MacArthur. In an outgoing message to Department of the Army 29 May 1950 CINCFE warned that "The acquisition of Formosa by a Communist power drastically increases the USSR threat to the United States military position in the Western Pacific and requires a reevaluation of both FEC and JCS emergency plans." FEC wanted heavy reinforcements to Okinawa and Clark Air Force Base (on the Philippines) if Formosa was effectively utilized by a hostile power. These reinforcements included six additional fighter wings and ten additional AAA battalions, and even more forces to neutralize the island; described as an "unsinkable aircraft carrier and submarine tender."
Part of the background for sending such a signal could have been an application from a civil transportation company on Formosa. The application was discussed in the Joint Committee in FEC in its meeting 11 April 1950. The company wanted to move its 20 C-46 to Japan based upon information available to them that an air attack would take place on Formosa by 15 April.
General MacArthur, accompanied by appropriate staff members from FEC, visited Formosa 31 July 1 August 1950 and held two conferences with President Ching Kai-Shek and his senior commanders and staff. The visitors were fully briefed of the situation. One of the major conclusions, as written in a message to Department of the Army after the return to Japan, was that all Chinese officials appeared willing and anxious to cooperate in any manner desired by CINCFE. An other conclusion was that there was a real potential in the Armed Forces on Formosa, but they required definite and substantial improvement in equipment, organization, communications, training and in developing sound methods of direct command responsibility.
MacArthur had also seen the need for direct liaison between FEC and the Chinese Nationalist Government. Consequently a liaison team was sent to Formosa 3 August, just two days after MacArthur's return. The liaison team consisted of 17 officers with a Major General in the lead. At the same time the G-4 section at GHQ was given several tasks of primary importance, among them to determine the military supply and service requirements for Chinese Forces, and provide staff supervision of activities of the technical services to include Engineer, Ordnance, Transportation and Quartermaster.
Certain of the materials and equipment needed by the nationalists, were available in Japan or from indigenous Formosan sources. The directive was that Japanese materials and supplies should be utilized to the maximum through direct negotiations, and financed by the Government on Formosa.
A initial request based upon shortages of most critical items came from Formosa as a radio message 8 August 1950. Among the requested ordnance were seven million rounds of rifle and machine gun ammunition, 20,000 rockets for 2.36 inch rocket launcher, 750,000 rounds for mortars, and 40,000 rounds for 75-mm tank guns. This represented those quantities of ammunition required for a 30 day stock for weapons in the hands of the Chinese Nationalist Forces. FEC meant they could not deliver the ammunition. Subsequently they sent a message to Department of the Army saying: "In furtherance of decisions already made, as outlined in ourmsg CX 59840, 11 Aug 50, CINCFE strongly urges that foregoing items of ammunition be shipped to Keelung, Formosa, without delay, shipping information to be furnished here earliest." It could not have been possible to be much tuffer in a message to your superiors in 1950, and especially not the Department of the Army. This direct tone can indicate a fear of an attack upon Formosa in the near future.
The U.S. Navy sold a reasonable large quantity of ammunition to the Chinese Navy (Formosa) in the middle of August 1950. The ammunition was delivered from 63rd Ordnance Depot at Ikego near Yokosuka and consisted of more than 20,000 rounds of 3"/50 guns, 26,000 rounds of 40-mm guns, and more than 620,000 rounds for 20-mm guns.
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