5 R3 29 June 1953
TO: Commanding General
3d Infantry Division
ATTENTION: AC of S.03
Outpost Harry (CT508422) is situated some 400 meters northeast of the friendly MLR which runs diagonally northwest from CT518408 to CT498420. The outpost elevation is approximately 420 meters. It is located on a small hill, which is 350 meters south, and part of a larger hill mass occupied by the enemy, referred to as Star Hill (elevation 440 meters), CT507426. The outpost commands a good view of the enemy terrain and his avenues of approach to the MLR position. Since the elevation of the outpost is greater than that of any friendly-held terrain within as area of 1500 meters, the position affords early warning of enemy approach to the main battle line (Enclosure 1&2).
The terrain with 500 meters is generally classified as non-trafficable to tracked vehicles and trafficable with difficulty to foot troops. The rugged nature of the terrain, with its numerous smaller ridges, offers some cover and concealment to advancing enemy troops. Intermittent streams on either side of the outpost flow south and connect at a point 100 meters southeast of the outpost flow south and connect at a point 1000 meters southeast of the outpost along the friendly MLR. The terrain in the immediate vicinity of these streams is trafficable to tracked vehicles during this period of the year ( Enclosure #3).
The road approach to the outpost from the MLR runs north along an intermittent stream to the rear of the outpost, where the supply point is located. From here, movements to the position must be accomplished dismounted.
The position itself contains a communication trench which runs from the supply point forward some 400 meters to the forward observer bunker on the northern most slope. Here this trench joins another trench which makes a complete circle around the forward portion of the outpost; this portion is usually referred to as the Loop. Approximately 75 meters to the rear of the loop, along a finger of the ridge running to the right side of the outpost, an additional trench extends for approximately 100 meters. This finger is mutually supporting with the Loop position and helps to protect the probable avenues of enemy approach into the position. The left side of the outpost is steep enough to afford a natural barrier to the attacking enemy forces (Enclosure 4&5).
Weather conditions during the period 10-18 June were clear skies with scattered low clouds and temperatures ranging from a minimum of 65 degrees to maximum of 75 degrees.
c. Light data:
The light data for the period of 10-18 June was as follows:
Day Sunrise Sunset Moonrise Moonset Phase
10 June 0507 1950 0328 1842 Quarter
11 June 0507 1950 0415 1946 New
12 June 0506 1951 0511 2043 New
14 June 0506 1951 0612 2130 New
15 June 0519 1951 0908 2159 New
16 June 0520 1951 1006 2222 New
17 June 0521 1950 1103 2244 New
2. Preliminaries to the attack:
a. A comparative Study of Air Force photo mission 31 8-p “flown 27 May, 3241-B and 5812, both flown 2 June and mission 3260-p flown on __ June all indicated much enemy activity along the division front.
This activity included construction of new positions, SP revetments, artillery positions, supply bunkers, personnel bunkers, a new bridge and road improvements along the enemy MSR. An enemy offensive was obvious.
b. During the same period prior to the attack of 10-11 June, increased personnel sightings were reported during the daylight hours. During periods of darkness an increasing number of vehicle lights were reported, generally in the rear areas moving south and southwest toward the enemy’s main battle positions.
c. Prior to the attack CCF Artillery Battalions positioned to fire into the 3rd Infantry Division sector increased from an estimated 13 ˝ battalions with 108 pieces to an estimated 15 Battalions with 126 pieces; of these 126 pieces capable of firing in the division sector, 117 were either in position or were displaced forward so as to be in position to fire into the sector of the 15th Infantry Regiment. In addition, shell fragments picked up in the 15th Infantry sector disclosed the enemy to be employing the 102 mm rocket for the first time in this area.
Also evident during this period was increased enemy counter-battery fire on friendly artillery positions. Prior to this time, the enemy had concentrated on harassing and interdiction fire on the main MSR’s and friendly positions on the OPIR and MR. Incoming artillery and mortar rounds reported in the division sector increased from an average of 27 per day to 670 per day, during the 4 to 5 days prior to the initial attack on the outpost.
d. Enemy disposition:
Units in contact in front of the 15th Infantry Regiment, as reported in 3d division PIR #160, dated 9 June 1953, were estimated as two unidentified battalions of the 222d Regiment, 74th Division, in the left sector, and two unidentified battalions of the 221st Regiment, 74th Division, in the right portion of the 15th Regimental sector. The 221st Regiment, 74th Division, was located in the sector immediately opposite Outpost Harry. Opposite the 3rd Division center and right regiment were two unidentified battalions of the 70th Division, two battalions of the 208th Regiment, 70th Division. Reserves capable of intervention in the Outpost Harry section were the two reserve battalions of regiments in contact with the 15th Infantry in the left sector, as well as, three battalions of the 220th Regiment, unallocated, which were the 74th Division reserve, (Enclosure 6).
a. The friendly situation in the sector of the 15th Infantry Regiment prior to the initial attack is shown on overlay, Enclosure #7.
b. In addition it should be pointed out that the 15th Infantry Regiment was at approximately 105% strength, morale was high, and the regiment was in excellent overall condition.
c. Two to three days prior to the attack it became apparent that an attack was imminent. Incoming artillery and mortar fire along the MLR increased to three to four times normal; counterfire plots increased and there were numerous sighting of CCF in large numbers.
d. The members of the 15th Infantry Regiment were alerted by the Regimental Commander, himself, and could not have been more ready for battle.
e. Outpost Harry was classified as a major outpost because of its strategic importance. The 15th Infantry was charged with defending Harry at all costs. Outpost Tom was also classified as a major outpost, while Outpost Dick was classified as a minor outpost.
4. Sequence of events:
a. Night: 10-11 June.
(1) 1850 – first CCF sightings reported. Each sighting engaged by mortar and artillery.
(2) 2130 – An ambush patrol west of Outpost Dick in the sector of the GEF Battalion reported Chinese numbering approximately 250 coming off Jackson Heights. Mortar and artillery began falling on the 15th Infantry MLR as well as Outposts Dick and Harry. After a short but intense firefight in the vicinity of Outpost Dick, including 2,000 rounds of enemy artillery and mortar fire, the enemy withdrew.
(3) 2245 – While attention was still focused on Outpost Dick, word came that the CCF were in the trenches on Outpost Harry… bitter hand to hand fighting followed and the Chinese were killed or driven from the trenches. The Chinese reinforced their attack four more times during the early morning hours and as late as 110430 June were in the trench on the northern side of the outpost. In addition to a composite local reserve committed by the 3d Battalion commander, E and C Companies, 15th Infantry Regiment were committed to reinforce. One platoon of tanks from Heavy Tank Company, 15th Infantry Regiment and one platoon of infantry were committed to the valley east of Outpost Harry as a diversionary force. This tank infantry team proved of great value in channelizing the enemy attack.
(4) C530 – A daylight CCF attack in battalion strength was repulsed by elements on the outpost.
(5) 0630 – Evacuation of wounded and dead began. This continued through the daylight hours. The Regimental Commander, 15th Infantry Regiment, reorganized, placing B Company, 15th Infantry Regiment on the outpost.
b. Night of 11-12 June:
Overlay, Enclosure #8 shows the reorganization that the Regimental Commander effected to prepare for a continuation of the attack by the CCF.
(1) 0005 – Intense mortar and artillery fire started along the MLR and on Outpost Harry.
(2) 0015 – The Chinese moving through their own and friendly artillery gained the trenches on the rear of the outpost; hand to hand fighting followed.
(3) 0032 – The CCF gained the trench on the northern slope of the outpost while friendly forces held the southern trench. Bitter fighting ensued and the CCF made numerous attempts to reinforce through the protective artillery ring. B Company, 5th Regiment Combat Team was used to reinforce. One platoon of tanks from Heavy Tank Company, 15th Infantry and one rifle platoon were dispatched to the valley east of Outpost Harry as a diversionary force, and again this team was highly successful in channelizing the enemy attack.
(4) 0545 – The enemy withdrew and all action ceased. Evacuation of the wounded and dead was begun and the Regimental Commander took immediate steps to reorganize for renewed attacks, placing A company, 5th Regimental Combat Team on the outpost.
c. Night of 12-13 June:
Overlay, enclosure #9 shows the organizational that the Regimental Commander effected to prepare for a continuation of the attack by the CCF.
(1) 2200 – Enemy artillery and mortar fire preceded a CCF attack on the Outpost, which was broken up by friendly defensive fires. CCF were in the trench for a short time but were forced to withdraw. Fighting ceased at 2247.
(2) 0208 – The CCF attacked from the north, northeast, and northwest of the outpost. Bitter hand-to-hand fighting ensued as enemy gained the trench on the northern side of the outpost. L Company 15th Infantry Regiment reinforced and by 0450 the enemy was driven from the trenches and forced to withdraw. A platoon of tanks from the 64th Tank Battalion plus one platoon of infantry were dispatched to the valley east of Outpost Harry and operated successfully as a diversionary force.
(3) 0450 – The enemy was driven from the trench and forced to withdraw. All action ceased with the exception of the friendly counter battery and counter mortar fire. Evacuation of the wounded and dead was begun and the Regimental Commander took immediate steps to reorganize for renewed attacks, placing C Company, 5th Regimental Combat Team on the outpost.
d. Night of 13-14 June:
Overlay, Enclosure #10, shows the reorganization that the Regimental Commander effected to prepare for a continuation of the attack by the CCF.
(1) 0255 – Enemy artillery and mortar fire preceded a CCF screening action against the outpost from the east and west for the purpose of protecting recovery of their dead. This screening force was broken up by friendly defensive fires. Action became sporadic, with light enemy artillery and mortar fire falling on the outpost and the MLR.
(2) 0440 – The enemy withdrew and all action ceased. The Regimental Commander took immediate steps to reorganize for renewed attacks, placing G Company, 15th Infantry Regiment on the outpost.
e. Night of 14-15 June:
Overlay, Enclosure #11 shows the reorganization that the Regimental Commandeer effected to prepare for a continuation of the attack by the CCF.
(1) 0125 – The Chinese, moving through friendly artillery and defensive fires, gained the trenches to the rear of the outpost, hand to hand fighting followed.
(2) 0222 – Friendly forces held the outpost with the enemy reinforcing in the bitter hand-to-hand action. F Company, 15th Infantry Regiment was committed to reinforce. One platoon of tanks from Heavy Tank Company and one platoon of infantry were again dispatched to the valley east of Outpost Harry as a diversionary force.
(3) 0345 – The enemy withdrew and all action ceased. Evacuation of the wounded and dead was begun and the Regimental Commander took immediate steps to reorganize for renewed attacks, placing A Company, 15th Infantry Regiment on the outpost.
f. Night of 15-16 June:
This was a quiet night on the outpost and on the following morning the Regimental Commandeer placed the GFF Battalion in the Outpost Harry sector in order that his US Battalions, all of which had suffered casualties, could refit and reorganize.
g. Night of 16-17 June:
There was no significant action this night, permitting much needed engineer work on the outpost to be accomplished by P Company, GEF Battalion and elements of B Company, 10th Engineer (Combat) Battalion.
h. Night of 17-18 June:
Overlay, Enclosure #12 shows the disposition of forces in the Regimental sector prior to the continuation of the attack by the CCF.
(1) 0052 – The Chinese, moving through their own and friendly artillery and mortar fire, attacked Outpost Harry from the northeast and northwest. The enemy was repelled and was forced to withdraw, but stayed in the area.
(2) 0240 – The enemy attacked from the north under intense artillery and mortar fire. The CCF gained the trenches of the outpost on the northern slope at 0313. Bitter hand-to-hand fighting ensued with the enemy making numerous attempts to reinforce through the protective artillery ring. N Company, GEF Battalion was committed to reinforce. One platoon of tanks from Heavy Tank Company, 15th Infantry Regiment and one platoon of infantry were dispatched to the valley east of Outpost Harry as a diversionary force.
(3) 0020 – The enemy was forced out of the trenches on the outpost and all action ceased with the enemy withdrawing. Evacuation of the wounded and dead was begun and the Regimental Commander took immediate steps to reorganize for renewed attacks.
5. Enemy forces employed against Outpost Harry:
10-11 A reinforced CCF regiment.
11-12 A CCF regiment.
12-13 A reinforced CCF regiment.
13-14 An estimated 100 CCF.
14-15 An estimated 120 CCF.
17-18 A CCF Regiment.
6. a. Friendly casualties for the period 101800T June – 181800T June are as follows:
KIA WIA MIA
15th Infantry Regiment 68 343 35
KATUSA 8 51 7
GEF RN 15 36 1
Attached & Supporting Units
5th RCT 13 67 1
10th Fingr RN 5 83 0
39th EA 5 13 0
TOTALS 102 533 44
b. Enemy Casualties:
KIA (counted): 223
KIA (estimated): 1450
WIA (estimated): 3800
7. Ammunition expended:
a. Ammunition expended by the 15th Infantry Regiment and the GEF Battalion during the period 101800T – 181800T June is as follows:
60mm mortar, HE 13,731
60 mm mortar, ILLUM 2,349
60 mm mortar, WP 335
81 mm HE (L t) 35,998
81 mm ILLUM 3,575
81 mm WP 167
4.2” mortar, HE 12,150
4.2” mortar, WP 1,371
90mm gun 3,012
75 mm RR 325
57 mm RR 2,564
Hand Grenades, fragmentation 6,201
Machine Gun, Caliber .50 230,553
Machine Gun, Caliber .30 692,187
b. Ammunition expended by artillery units (Corps units included) during the same period:
101800-181800 (4.2” mortar) 11,000
8. Enemy supporting fires:
During the period of the Outpost Harry action, enemy artillery and mortar fire was intensive. The following figures reveal the estimated daily enemy expenditure in the 15th Infantry Regiment sector:
a. Heavy shelling during phases of the action on Outpost Harry emphasized again the need for reliable radio communication and the normal over dependency of tactical units on wire communication.
b. Extensive wire facilities had been prepared for normal use between units on and to the rear of the MLR. In addition to field wire circuits from infantry, artillery and weapons sections to forward observers and the company CP on Harry, a spiral-four cable had been placed and buried 12-18 inches in the access trenches from the outpost to the MLR. Many direct hits, including friendly final protective fires, disrupted all field wire circuits and severed the cable in at least eight different places. At no time during heavy fires could landlines be kept in and working.
c. Direct hits on the communications bunker on Harry destroyed normal radio communications equipment initially and limited radio contact to that maintained by forward observers to their parent units. Reinforcing companies were supplied with equipment received from the Division Signal Supply section and reestablished radio contact, which was thereafter maintained by replacing damaged and destroyed sets with new ones brought in from the rear.
d. Rapid replacement of companies emphasized the inherent advantage of the AM/PRC-10 which could quickly be shifted to a new command net frequency to maintain contact. Frequency shifting also minimized the danger of enemy radio interference by compromise of frequencies and call signs.
a. During the period 10-18 June 1953, the 215th Infantry Regiment was confronted with administrative problems that were new and unusual. The administrative personnel presently assigned to this regiment were familiar with normal casualty reporting, and the usual administrative after effects of such reporting, speed being the keynote. Over this period, the regiment suffered 68 officers and EM KIA; 343 officers and EM KIA; 35 officers EM KIA; in addition to this, the regiment also had 16 GEF KIA; 36 GEF WIA; I GEF MIA; 8 KATUSA personnel KIA; 51 KATUSA personnel WIA: and 7 KATUSA personnel MIA.
b. The regiment’s greatest concern was not only the speed and accuracy of reporting such details involving the definite types of casualties, but also the swift evacuation and identification of casualties. The Adjutant General of the 3rd Infantry Division had a prepared plan for casualty reporting for units on the line when heavily engaged as in an action of this type. This plan enabled the 15th Infantry Regiment to call for a casualty reporting team to come to the scene immediately and station members at the aid-stations in the vicinity of the action. This team stayed throughout the action, working long hours without regard for food or sleep, and, in conjunction with the administrative personnel of this headquarters, was able to use the normal reporting methods. By being on the spot at the various aid stations the team was also able to keep the engaged units informed as to who had been evacuated as casualties.
c. Due to the fact that every line company of this regiment plus 3 line companies of the operationally attached 1st Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team were utilized in the defense of Outpost Harry, evacuation and casualty reporting was a major problem.
d. With the large number of units involved and the necessity for rapid evacuation of seriously wounded, the casualty reporting team in addition to gathering casualty information on the spot, covered every medical evacuation station as well as the helicopter evacuation service, which accounted for over 10% of the wounded the first day. By staying abreast of the medical evacuation information and comparing these figures by name with casualty reports of engaged units maximum possible accuracy in reporting was achieved. In addition, clerical personnel were stationed at the Graves Registration Section throughout this action to further assist in casualty reporting.
e. In summation, by covering all of the possible medical evacuation channels and the Graves Registration Section it was possible to crosscheck unit casualty records with the regimental master information file, and thereby establish accurate casualty figures by name. This procedure expedited the preparation of letters of sympathy and greatly facilitated the processing of recommendations for awards and decorations.
Ammunition presented the major supply problem during the period of this action, a total of 600 tons being hauled. At no time was there a critical shortage of any type. However, the action did reveal a necessity for more ammunition of the following types being on hand, on position: P1mm Mortar (illuminating shell; cal 30 M-1; cal 30 Machine Gun and cal 50 Machine Gun. Having these items on position would result in a far less of a burden on transportation due to long hauls to distant ASP’s.
In addition to ammunition, the major items of supply provided during the period were a shown below. Theses items were provided during the period on an emergency basis to replace combat losses, and in many cases were delivered at RSO by the Tech services concerned:
Handsets Machine Guns Cal-30
Telephones Machine Guns Cal-50
Reel Equip CF-11 Mounts MG Cal-30
Tool Equip. TE-33 Mount MG Cal-50
Switchboard Mortar 81mm
Flashlights Mortar 60mm
Wire DR-4 Tube 81mm
Wire WD-1, Doughnuts Tube 60mm
Batteries Rifle Auto. BAR
Binoculars W/case Rifle Cal-30
Launcher Rocket Pistol Cal-45
Water Cans Magazine Carbine
BAR Belts Magazine BAR
Carrier Grenade Barrel 50 Cal MG
Can Corrugated Barrel MG Cal-30
Stock Pots Sights for 60 Mortar
Besides ammunition and TO&E items the other major items of supply were logs, wire, and fortification materials which were required daily to facilitate rebuilding of damaged bunkers during the lulls in the action. Here again no serious shortage developed, and subordinate unit requests were filled.
Closely related to the supply problem was the problem of transportation. Due to combat losses it was necessary for Ordinance to replace damaged trucks on the spot in order to keep supplies rolling. Ordinance also supplied maintenance teams to facilitate operations. Perhaps the greatest deficiency which appeared was the shortage of assistant drivers for vehicles. This lack resulted in regular drivers working around the clock for days in succession, catching sleep at irregular intervals.
Service was adequate during the entire period; the work of the Graves Registration Section was particularly outstanding. Members of the Grave Registration Section moved to the outpost to personally supervise and expedite the evacuation of the dead, and insure the proper handling of personal effects.
a. The CCF enemy is capable of massing artillery at a given point on the front just as effectively as our own artillery and his employment of smoke to cover withdrawals is most effective,
b. The CCF enemy moved through his own artillery.
c. Early warning is a prerequisite for the successful defense of an outpost.
d. Timely reinforcement can be the deciding factor in the loss or retention of an outpost.
e. Wire communication must be considered ineffective when the CCF enemy makes a supported attack.
f. Radio equipment is vital but not effective enough with present equipment
g. The CCF enemy employs feints in the same manner as we do as indicated by his move against Outpost Dick in the first night’s action.
h. The CCF soldier and his junior officers are tough, well disciplined fighters. They possess great stealth at night, and are capable of approaching to within a few yards of our positions undetected. In hand to hand fighting the American and Greek soldier are infinitely superior. The Chinese soldier appears to be shocked when he faces an Allied soldier at close range. His reaction is slow enough to permit him to be shot or bayoneted.
i. The importance of battlefield illumination cannot be over emphasized. The searchlight, although valuable, is not alone adequate for illumination.
j. The senior commanders of the CCF Army give every indication of stupidity and lack of professional knowledge in regard to the timing, coordination, and general pattern of their attacks.
k. The evacuation of wounded from an outpost at night while under intense attack is nearly an impossibility except in the case of walking wounded.
l. In terrain of the type found in Korea, the infantry needs full track vehicles, preferably covered, with four or five men capacity for evacuation of the wounded.
m. Concurrent with the need for speedy rebuilding of defensive position is the necessity for immediate evacuation of the dead, in order to simplify the rebuilding operation and to obviate the lowering of morale.
n. The combination infantry-tank team, as employed in the various actions, proved highly successful in denying important avenues of approach to the enemy, and in permitting CCF supporting weapons to be taken under fire more readily than could be accomplished from positions along the MLR.
13. Results of Operation
a. All positions, including Outpost Harry, were held by the 15th Infantry Regiment at the completion of the action.
b. Over 5,000 casualties were inflicted on the 74th CCF Division, which destroyed the combat effectiveness of that unit.
c. Casualties suffered by the 15th Infantry Regiment and attached units were approximately 10% of those suffered by the enemy. At the end of action the 15th Infantry Regiment remained in line with the morale of the men and their pride in the regiment reaching an all time high.
P. F. Akers JR
1. 1/25,000 scale map
OP Harry and surrounding terrain