CHANGJIN JOURNAL   CHANGJIN JOURNAL 11.01.01



C-119 air drop of supplies at the Inlet east of Chosin. A large portion of this drop fell into the sector held by the Chinese. Some of the drop was tank ammunition that was needed at Hudong-ni by the Tank Company; while 40mm ammo was needed here and dropped at Hudong-ni. -Courtesy Ivan Long, Hq RC.T 31. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Changjin Journal is designed to disseminate and solicit information on the Chosin campaign. Comments and brief essays are invited. Subject matter will be limited to history of the Chosin campaign, as well as past or present interpretation of that history. See End Notes for distribution and other notices. Colonel George A. Rasula, USA-Ret., Chosin Historian

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CHANGJIN JOURNAL 11.01.01 (Part I)

The Changjin Journal is designed to disseminate and solicit information on the Chosin campaign. Comments and brief essays are invited. Subject matter will be limited to history of the Chosin campaign, as well as past or present interpretation of that history. See End Notes for distribution and other notices. Colonel George A. Rasula, USA-Ret, Chosin Historian Byron Sims, Contributing Editor

IN THIS ISSUE We have been working for some time on our review/critique of newly published biography of General O. P. Smith: The Gentle Warrior: General Oliver Prince Smith, USMC, by Clifton La Bree, Kent State University Press, 2001. This has been an interesting task because our critique relates to interpretations of the Chosin campaign by the author and his references to the writings of General Smith and others. It should not to be read as personal criticism of the late general. As students of the Chosin story will understand, critical topics relate to command of army units attached to the 1st Marine Division. Readers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these past issues of the Changjin Journal: CJ04.05.00, CJ04.28.00, CJ05.06.00 and CJ01.22.01.

THE GENTLE WARRIOR This book is rather limited in the personal background and details about Oliver Prince Smith who began his life on a Texas ranch in 1893, lost a father at age six after which he was taken to the coast of California where he later entered the university at Berkeley. His claim to fame would eventually be Inchon/Seoul and Chosin campaigns of the Korean War.

General Smith was a gentleman scholar who, as a young man with four years of French in school, enjoyed two years at France's war college – the Ecole de Guerre. This without doubt set him up as a thinker and planner who went on to important assignments in World War II: regimental commander in the New Britain campaign; assistant division commander of the 1st Marine Division on Peleliu, and deputy chief of staff, Headquarters Tenth Army, on Okinawa. This culminated in his Korean War assignment as commanding general of the 1st Marine Division from Camp Pendleton to April 1951.

The calm person that he turned out to be was probably due to losing a father at age six and being brought up by a resourceful mother in a home where hard work was the cornerstone to success. Some readers regret there is nothing about his youth, nor details of his time in school at Berkeley.

Although Smith's military education received a kick-start in army ROTC, the foundation was probably laid at Fort Benning's Infantry School where he associated with many future greats such as George C. Marshall, Omar Bradley, "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell, Bedell Smith, et al. It was at the Infantry School during his ten-month course in 1931 where the future leaders of the next world war were visualizing the battlefield, providing excellent background for Smith's two-year tour at the French Ecole de Guerre during 1934-36. With Hitler emerging with his plan of world conquest, Smith's training as an officer was off to a good start.

The author briefly sketches Smith's experience in World War II, then to the Korean War in more detail, followed by post-Korea in which he provides his explanation of Smith's handling of the Presidential Unit Citation (PUC).

INTERSERVICE RIVALRY The World War II chapters reveal origins of interservice rivalry that reached a peak during the Korean War and continued to thereafter. Most Chosin veterans familiar with "Smith vs. Almond" may not know of "Smith vs. Smith" that occurred on Saipan where marine general Holland Smith relieved army general Ralph Smith who was commander of the 27th Infantry Division and happened to be a classmate of O.P. Smith at the Ecole de Guerre. As stated by the author, this "led to a rift between the army and the marines, one that lingers to this day." Although there were no direct command contacts between MacArthur and Smith, we did learn "when asked what the marines had against General MacArthur," Smith said "I told him frankly that our unfavorable opinion of him was compounded by several things, some important and some minor; that we appreciated his ability but did not like him."

THE LINK Although the reorganization of the services in 1947 may have been the start point of the problem, our study links it with "Smith vs. Smith" on Saipan, "Smith vs. MacArthur" and "Smith vs. Almond," all having been mentioned by historians of the Korean War. One may ask if this linkage caused this gentle warrior to handle the army units attached to him during Chosin as he did, and was it interservice rivalry that caused him to dishonor the units of RCT 31 by not including them in his list to receive the PUC? Or was the reason purely "Smith vs. Almond"? This book may provide indicators, but it does not answer the question.

POST-KOREA The author uses two chapters to cover Chosin, North to the Chosin and Disaster at the Chosin. Later in post-Korea, he addresses Smith's handling of the PUC problem. As a general comment, we find the handling of Chosin and the PUC not only confusing, but often inaccurate in the selection and use of resources.

END NOTES Part II of this Changjin Journal covering the Chosin campaign and PUC problem is being published separately on the web pages of the New York Military Affairs Symposium http://nymas.org/

END CJ 11.01.01 (Part I) 

CHANGJIN JOURNAL 11.01.01 (Part II)

THIS ISSUE is Part II of the review The Gentle Warrior: General Oliver Prince Smith, USMC, by Clifton La Bree, Kent State University Press, 2001, presented as a critique of those portions of the book related to the Chosin campaign and award of the Presidential Unit Citation. To avoid reading quotations out of context, it is suggested that these comments be used as a companion to reading the book. Another excellent source is Roy Appleman's Escaping the Trap, published by Texas A&M University Press. See Part I for related issues of the Changjin Journal.

Chapter 9: NORTH TO THE CHOSIN

p.145 The author uses many extracts from Smith's aide-memoire both out of context and out of sequence with what happened, which causes confusion. "Almond ordered Smith, during a visit to his divisional CP on 14 November, to attack to the west in support of Eighth army, and he allowed Barr's 7th Division to continue toward the Yalu, where he could not support Eighth Army." Almond did not order Smith to attack west during his visit on 14 November. The author is citing Toland 273 wherein FEC on 15 November ordered Almond to "reorient his attack." After this planners at 10th Corps went to work developing a plan to enable the 1MarDiv to turn west. In his zone of operations, Barr "could not support Eighth Army" because the terrain prohibited westward movement of the 7th Division. To relieve the 5th Marines east of the reservoir, the boundary between 1MarDiv and 7th Division was moved west to give the zone east of the reservoir to RCT 31.

pp. 145-50 The author provides Smith's complete letter of 15 November to the commandant of the corps, describing it as a "remarkable letter [showing] that Smith and his staff took the Chinese threat seriously and were actually making preparations on that assumption." Barr, an old China hand, was equally concerned with the Chinese threat to his west, causing him to block the sector vacated by RCT 31.

p.151 "Almond ordered Smith to move RCT 5 to the east side of the Chosin reservoir en route to the border on 23 November" after which he "directed Litzenberg to occupy for the time being a suitable blocking position west of Hagaru-ri and not over the mountain [Toktong] pass. I hoped there might be some change in the orders on the conservative side. This change did not materialize and I had to direct Litzenberg to go on to Yudam-ni." One may ask why the 7th Marines was sent to Yudam-ni when the best defensive position was the Toktong Pass?


p.152 "A patrol of 3/5 Marines was sent north to determine enemy strength and the condition of the Chosin Dam, between the Fusen reservoir and the Chosin reservoir." We continue to find errors in interpretation of the aide-memoire references. In this case the actual mission of the patrol was to "determine presence of the enemy in the area and of observing [enemy] activity at the dam." A platoon-size patrol with two noisy tanks could hardly perform recon of the enemy; it was limited to road recon at best. As for observing "activity at the dam," Smith reports the battalion commander made a helicopter recon and "reported no indication of enemy activity in the area."

"Almond ordered the 7th Division to provide whatever units it had available to relieve RCT 5 on the eastern side of the reservoir. This would...transfer the mission of protecting the right or east flank of this attack to another force...." Whatever units it had available is hardly a description of a mission assigned to 7th Division. Relief does not automatically "transfer a mission of protecting the right or east flank of this attack to another force–a new regimental task force from the 7th Division." A relief order would have to include such a mission statement: it didn't. The author is misreading a source [n.16 cites Appleman EC, p.5] that does not exist.

p.153 "The 7th Marines had been in continuous and heavy combat since landing at Wonsan, so Smith ordered it to hold while the 5th led the advance." The 7th Marines heavy combat had been at Sudong-ni about 6 November, after which it observed occasional enemy patrols until the major CCF attack the night of 27 November.

p.153 "The Eleventh Marines [artillery units] had been parceled out to the infantry regiments." Due to the dispersion of major units, the direct support battalions of the 11th Marines were attached to the regiments, making them regimental combat teams in the same manner as in army regiments.

"Aircraft were reporting alarming numbers of enemy soldier to the southwest, west and northwest of Hagaru-ri. Civilians were reporting similar sightings. The fighting on most of the front was sporadic, but almost constant contact was maintained with Chinese forces."

The author creates a sense of urgency which did not exist at the time. Contact with Chinese was limited to individuals and small patrols, not "alarming numbers" or "forces." The Chinese had intelligence patrols working all along the Chosin MSR watching the marines, reporting their findings which provided the basis for attack plans.

p.154 Task Force Drysdale. "Captain Peckham was ordered by Puller to lead the convoy to Hagaru-ri." Lt. Colonel Drysdale was in command and the lead unit out of Koto-ri was the 41 Commando. Smith at Hagaru-ri did not have direct contact with Drysdale; orders went through Puller at Koto-ri who had the responsibility for coordinating the operation.

p.155-56 "The situation of the 1MarDiv and its attached units on the evening of 29 November was as follows...north of Hagaru-ri, on the east side of the reservoir, over 2,500 army troops from the RCT 31 had faced an overwhelming Chinese attack, and their fate was still unknown...." There was far more information available about the situation east of the reservoir than indicated by the author. The forward air controller with Faith's 1/32 Infantry was in daily contact with supporting aircraft. On the evening of 29 November Faith's battalion had already joined the perimeter of 3/31 Infantry where Faith had assumed command of RCT 31units at the Inlet. Tank Company /31 had on 29 November made a second unsuccessful attempt to break through from Hudong-ni. All of these facts were known at Hagaru-ri. It was the evening of 29 November when all army units in the Chosin area were attached (not operational control) to Smith's 1MarDiv, a time when Smith knew he now had a fourth RCT under his command.

Chapter 10: DISASTER AT THE CHOSIN

p.158 "The day before the meeting in Tokyo, Almond visited the 31st RCT's forward headquarters, where he gave orders to continue the advance...Then he ordered Colonel Faith to continue the attack northward. Almond refused to understand the reality of what was happening to his command; his orders bordered on tactical incompetence. His disregard for his men sealed the fate of Col. Allan D. MacLean's 31st RCT, on the eastern side of the Chosin Resevoir." [cites Stanton 231 and Blair 521] These are powerful accusations that have questionable support. Stanton's reference is found on p. 232: "It is apparent that Almond did not understand the reality of the Changjin disaster..." which in turn cites Appleman EC p.170: "Almond's unrealistic belief that he could continue his attack is hard to explain" and "He had badly misjudged the situation." These citations are in relation to the conference with Gen. MacArthur when far more information was available about the enemy. Authors tend to search for a dark side of Almond, yet none have explained why Almond continued as a corps commander under Gen. Ridgeway in 1951. By the time of the Tokyo conference, situation reports finally convinced MacArthur that further attack was out of the question. Almond's tendency to adhere strictly to MacArthur's orders was a problem. Authors seem to seek fault with Almond's statements, mostly based on hearsay rather than on what he had ordered. He did not order Faith to attack. What he said was "we are going to continue the attack, don't let the laundrymen stop you ...", with "we" taken as an order to attack. It wasn't. The reader must keep in mind that details of the Silver Star incident were based on interviews with few soldiers who reported what they thought they heard at the time; not from Faith or MacLean who were dead. Bear in mind also that MacLean had no intention of attacking until the arrival of his third infantry battalion (2/31). At the time of the incident, MacLean was in command, not Faith. We have found interesting differences in coverage of Almond's visit to Faith on 28 November, a topic we may address in future journals.

"RCT 31 was hit hard the night of 27-28 November. The Chinese had been reinforced by one or two armored vehicles, which overran the artillery positions in the Sinhung-ni area and to the north, inflicting heavy casualties on the army units." There were no enemy armored vehicles of any kind attacking or overrunning the artillery at the Sinhung-ni perimeter area (3/31 Inf. and 57FA Bn).

p.162 "(Colonel MacLean was killed on 28 November, and the unit has been called 'Task Force Faith' every since.)" MacLean was wounded and carried off by the Chinese the morning of 29 November during the 1/32 withdrawal. Faith became RCT commander at the Inlet when he learned that both Reilly and Embree had been seriously wounded.

p.162 "On 30 November, BGen Hodes...established an advance CP a few miles north of Hagaru-ri..." Hodes was present at the RCT 31 CP at Hudong-ni the night of 27-28 November, took part in the Tank Company attack on Hill 1221 on 28 November, and returned to Hagaru-ri in a tank on the afternoon of 28 November, never to return to Hudong-ni. No historian or critic of Chosin has yet addressed Smith's reported guidance to Faith to "do nothing that would jeopardize the safety of the wounded' (A-M 896-97), a message that did not arrive until the attack was well under way. To place hundreds of wounded men on trucks and transport them through enemy resistance can be seen to violate the order of not jeopardizing their safety. Smith and others apparently had no idea what the situation was at the Inlet, nor did they do anything to find out. Responsibility for communications is from the top down, not from Faith to Smith.

p.164 "In the meantime, a new task force was being organized around [LTC] Anderson, senior army officer in the Hagaru-ri perimeter. (It should be noted that some veterans of RCT 31 dispute whether the following action actually took place, but it is mentioned in three very reliable sources.)" Within this critique we mention three reliable living sources who were present at the time on the perimeter road east of the reservoir.

"The force was the equivalent of a rifle company, reinforced by tanks and air support. Anderson planned to jump off between 0930 and 1100 on 2 December and reach out to assist Task Force Faith into Hagaru-ri. The force was reduced at the last minute to only two platoons of tanks, but it jumped off as planned...[and] ordered not to become so heavily engaged that it might be cut off." The force as described was planned in the command tent of Anderson who at the time was also involved in planning the organization of army units for the breakout. Capt. Rasula (assistant S-3) and Lt. Escue (S-3 liaison officer) were present on 1 December, then sent to the north perimeter (H/11 Artillery positions) to assist in the passage by RCT 31 troops coming from the north. "After reaching a point about 4,000 yards north of Hagaru-ri, the task force came under heavy attack from the flanks and rear and the tail of the column was momentarily cut off. After picking up some 10 ...wounded in the vicinity of the road block, Task Force Anderson was ordered to return to Hagaru-ri. The column turned around and successfully reached the perimeter of Hagaru-ri." [Author cites Bowser and Smith.] Although this force was planned, it was neither organized nor did it engage in the action described. Remember that Faith's command did not exist after daylight on 2 December. All that remained were individuals and small groups attempting to make their way south over the ice of the reservoir or overland. These facts were known at Hagaru-ri. The only activity on the east road on 2 December was the rescue of wounded by Escue (mentioned by the author two paragraphs later in discussion about Beall's efforts), witnessed by Rasula and others. There were no wounded at the roadblock and those found north of the block were picked up by Escue. There was no enemy action nor enemy sighted in the immediate vicinity of the roadblock. Col. Robert E. Drake, USA (Ret.) who commanded Tank/31, states emphatically that Task Force Anderson did not take place; noting that some historians may be confused with the action on 3 December by 41 Commando and a platoon of tanks from 31st Tank Company that went a short distance toward Toktong Pass, engaged in a minor action and had to turn around because it was too late in the day [p.172]. Rasula and Escue were both in the vicinity of the roadblock during 1-3 December and witness to the fact that Task Force Anderson did not take place. This is an example of how past historians and writers differ in use of research, some relying on written sources while others going further through interviews with Chosin veterans. Both Appleman and Blair were conducting research before the Chosin Few was formed, an organization which brought forth many more survivors of the Chosin campaign. This is one example of incorrect journal entries. To write that "three reliable [written] sources" are more reliable than the sworn statements of three eyewitnesses does not serve history and insults the integrity of the three officers making the statements. Other errors in this part of the book deal with misinterpretation of past writings, such as "in the first few days of December, 250 tons were dropped to the remaining survivors by the...Cargo Command." No drops were made on or after 1 December.

p.165 "During the forty-five years since Smith wrote his Korean narrative, more information has become available regarding the performance and fate of the RCT 31...The loss of all records and most of the officers and noncoms had contributed to a lack of appreciation for the contribution that the unit made...certain facts should be pointed out, because they directly relate to O.P. Smith's performance as commanding general...." "When Smith assembled what he called his 'aide-memoire,' he was not aware of the significant role played by the army units east of Chosin. As a matter of a fact, he was probably influenced by Colonel Beall...who had been responsible for the rescue of hundreds of survivors from RCT 31. Ironically, in 1953 Colonel Beall submitted a scathing report against the army in the Chosin campaign, which calls to question his powers of observation and his integrity..."It is now clear that RCT 31's actions spared the 1st Marine Division the heavy casualties that the Chinese would have inflicted if the army units had not delayed their attack. It is possible that RCT 31 saved the division from destruction." Further research by the author would have revealed that the army units east of Chosin did play a significant role. He would have found the 1951 investigation by the Inspector General of X Corps which reported RCT 31 had been attacked by two CCF divisions; a letter from Ridgeway to the Secretary of the Army reporting RCT 31 "withstood repeated attacks by more than two CCF divisions of more than 20,000 before being overwhelmed by a numerically superior enemy."; and a 1964 statement by historian David Rees, Korea: The Limited War, p.164, "These terrible losses had to be placed against the saving of Hagaru itself, and with it the Marine Division."

p.167 "Could Smith have done more to assist the survivors? At the time, his command was in danger of being overrun; his staff was not functioning at its normal capacity...; his assistant division commander was away on emergency leave; and he had just become responsible for the extraction of the army units east of Chosin, even though he had never had any input about their mission, which had got them into their desperate situation in the first place." The author asks an important question –"could Smith have done more"–and then follows with what appears to be a series of excuses rather than an answer. No staff functions in a "normal capacity" in combat. In this case no staff member at Hagaru-ri had been killed or wounded. The perimeters of Koto-ri and Chinhung-ni required very little attention from the division staff. Smith allowed Craig to leave. Had he been wounded or killed, Smith would have appointed an acting ADC and sent a message to the commandant urgently requesting a replacement. He didn't fill the vacant position with a senior colonel. Stating that he "never had any input about their [RCT 31] mission" causes one to question the performance of a commander. When one becomes responsible for a newly attached unit he must establish communications with the commander of that unit either personally or through his staff, primarily is G-3. This is a normal function in combat, not a reason why a commander could not "have done more." The mission of RCT 31 was as well known to Smith as it was to Barr and Almond.

Readers of The Gentle Warrior should remember that Smith's aide-memoire was not written at the time of the Chosin campaign, but later. He appears to have used only one source about RCT 31 east of the reservoir, a report by the forward air controller with 1/32, further influenced by Beall's report about helping survivors, both submitted after the Chosin campaign. Neither Smith nor historians of the Marine Corps interviewed army survivors of RCT 31 to help form an accurate basis for the official history of the Chosin campaign.

p.169 "On 28 November Smith had no knowledge of Tenth Corps's plans for the situation." Response to this statement can be found in Blair, p.462, describing Almond's visit with Smith and concludes "After he [Almond] had departed, Smith issued orders officially canceling the Marine Corps offensive."

"The evening of 28-29 November brought division-sized attacks against the defenders of Hagaru-ri and Koto-ri." There were no "division-sized" attacks against any of the formations at Chosin, certainly not at Hagaru-ri or Koto-ri. The Chinese weren't capable of controlling attacks of such magnitude. Bugles, flares and other signal devices were the only means they had of controlling a few hundred soldiers. Once an attack was under way, they couldn't change their plans.

"The attacks against Hagaru-ri and Koto-ri continued, with heavy losses to the enemy, mainly from marine air support." There were no major attacks on Koto-ri during the entire campaign. Attacks against Hagaru-ri were defended mainly by perimeter units supported by mortars and artillery. Air support was not a factor in defending against the night attacks.

"To the slender infantry garrison of Hagaru-ri were added a tank company (army) of about 100 men and some 300 seasoned infantrymen," referring to "(A-M, 868)." The tanks from Task Force Drysdale were marine. The army tank company was at Hudong-ni.

"Generals Hodes, Barr, and Almond all descended on the CP to discuss the Task Force Faith situation with Smith." The discussion was about the 1MarDiv situation at a time when RCT 31 was holding back two CCF divisions that threatened the security of Hagaru-ri. Smith's RCT 5 and RCT 7 were being threatened at Yudam-ni.

Chapter 12: POST KOREA THE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION (PUC)

p.212 "On 3 March 1952, Smith wrote a long letter to Lemuel C. Shepherd, the new commandant of the Marine Corps, recommending that the 1MarDiv and its attached units be awarded the PUC for their actions at the Chosin reservoir." The source of the PUC did not originate with Smith's letter to the commandant; it originated with his successor, Maj. Gen. Thomas, who recommended two of his battalions for the Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC).

p.213 "Smith was not briefed by Almond or any other staff officer in regard to the 31st RCT, except perhaps when Generals Almond, Barr, and Hodes were at Hagaru-ri after responsibility for the RCT had been passed to the 1MarDiv." Smith would have asked his staff, specifically his G-3, to brief him on an attached organization, especially a regimental combat team. To say Smith didn't know the obvious is contrary to describing him as an intelligent and considerate person, a gentle warrior.

"We know now that the 31st RCT actions probably insured that the 5th and 7th Marines successfully reach Hagaru-ri. However, Smith did not have that information available to him; trying to be as fair as his standard would allow, he substituted the disputed 'Provisional Battalion...’ for the 31st RCT. By Smith's standard, objectively and unemotionally applied, he was correct in limiting the citation to the provisional battalion, because it was this unit that he saw make a direct contribution to the breakout." That Smith "saw [them] make a direct contribution" applies no more to the provisional battalion than to the RCT units east of the reservoir; in either case he did not personally observe the performance of any army unit. To say Smith "did not have that information available" at the time of the battle is saying he did not do his job of keeping himself informed of the status of units under his command. Considerations and decisions involved in writing his eleventh endorsement were based on his knowledge at the time he signed the document, not what he knew during the battle.

"Some veterans of the 31st RCT claim that additional information about the performance of the 31st RCT was provided to Secretary of the Army...on 31 May 1951 by General Ridgeway; 'the 31st RCT withstood repeated attacks of more than two CCF divisions of over 20,000 before being overwhelmed by a numerically superior enemy.' It is unlikely Smith was aware of this somewhat privileged information."

On 16 June 1951 the Defense Department made public the reply of General Ridgeway to charges [of cowardess and incompetence] made against the army in Korea by Chaplain Otto W. Sporrer. On 16 June 1951 this statement appeared in ARMY TIMES: "The Army said the facts showed that the 31st RCT had about 2800 men and beat off repeated thrusts by more than 20,000 Reds between Nov. 28 and Dec 1 before being overwhelmed by sheer force of numbers." The ARMY TIMES story included: "The Navy has no comment on Gen. Ridgeway's letter which referred to remarks in an anonymous article in the West Coast magazine 'Fortnight.' The statements were later attributed to Sporrer. Gen. Ridgeway said 'sufficient evidence has been obtained to conclude that the allegations in general are without basis in fact." Under the circumstances, it is difficult to believe that Smith knew nothing of this report at the time.

p.214 "If some official in the army chain of command was aware of the performance of the 31st RCT, why did not that person take a stand in support of the traumatized survivors of RCT 31 when the PUC endorsements were being circulated?" It is obvious the author has little knowledge of the chain of correspondence that led to the final PUC approval. Within that chain are endorsements of commanders from the 7th Division, X Corps and 8th Army, as well as the weight of Gen. Mark Clark, CINC FECOM, and Vice Adm. R.P. Briscoe, CONNAVFE, recommending the RCT 31 units that fought east of Chosin and others. This is followed by the 11th Endorsement in which Smith deleted the army units that fought east of Chosin. The reason the board accepted Smith's list and not that of the chain of command, including the Army Chief of Military History, has never been made known. The question "why did not that person take a stand" opens another door. The circulation of military correspondence is limited to military staff addressing the subject and not the public, and those who read the documents up the chain of command to Washington saw favorable recommendations. There was no reason to "take a stand." The change came from behind the scenes in the Marine Corps-Navy staff. There was no public knowledge of the results until the document was signed and orders published.

"Those individuals who were deprived of its recognition are justified in feeling forgotten and bitter, but their anger should not be focused on General Smith. He as a fair and compassionate leader who went out of his way to avoid controversy, and when he dealt with other services he was respectful, fair, and truthful. That is a matter of record." The PUC problem has as its background the conflict between Smith and Almond. Smith was an educated officer who apparently spent a lot of time thinking and writing his diary and later his aide-memoire. Did he wash his hands with the Sporrer incident by leaving the problem with the Navy? In Smith's "Log" of 4 April 1951 we read "Colonel Martin, the assistant IG of GHQ [FEC] was here to take testimony regarding the allegations contained in the Sporrer letter. I talked to Martin a good bit off the record. I pointed out to him that I could not see why I should be used to help prosecute Sporrer; that what he had done was a matter between him and the Navy Department." Was Smith's handling of Sporrer incident similar to his handling of the PUC for RCT 31?

END NOTES It's difficult to understand how a division commander could ignore an attached infantry regiment, and then after the regiment is destroyed by the enemy while part of his command, not ask "what happened and why?" Maybe he did, but like a witness to an accident, didn't wish to be involved. Why didn't he personally meet and talk with the surviving senior army officers to find out what happened to MacLean? The search for truth continues. Send comments to: grasula@nymas.org

END CJ 11.01.01 (Part II) 

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