August and September, or he might have repeated that remark about the ordeal the
Marine division then endured.18
The Marines finally made their way to the Kansas Line by 20 June. Here they built
bunkers to hold the phase line, conducted patrols, and settled down into defensive
operations, and that was where matters stood when the Truce Talks broke out on 7 July
in Kaesong, Korea (the first talk, however was not until 10 July).19 (See Maps # 14 and
The Marines spent the rest of June and half of July on the line. Thomas and
Almond again challenged the AF (Air Force) system of CAS (Close Air Support), and
more plans for an amphibious landing were made by Van Fleet only to again meet veto
from higher up.20
Thomas later said of the amphibious operation:
However, the spring offensive was generally a frontal attack, justified
undoubtedly by reason of the fact that they were able to break through. A frontal
attack is all right if you can make a breakthrough and then exploit it, but by the
end of the summer the chance that - Van Fleet simply did not have the power to
make a breakthrough, much less make a breakthrough and then exploit it. There
was one operation that he took up with me, that had a wonderful prospect. In
talking with him, we worked out plans that the First Marine Division, which was at
the time in reserve, would move down the east coast of Korea, and there carry
out a shore to shore operation and land behind the North Koreans up at the city
of Kojo, which was about 30 miles behind the front lines. Now, the front lines
abutted the sea on both sides of the peninsula . . . But this plan to land behind
the North Koreans offered splendid prospects. We worked it up, had completely
staffed it. I went over with my staff to Seoul, the Eighth Army headquarters, and
Admiral Tom Hill, the amphibious commander in the Far East came over with his
staff, and we worked out the details. Everything was to be laid on about the 1st of
September. We had a limiting date of the 10th of October, because on the 10th of
October it freezes out there and it would not be wise to attempt a shore-to-shore
18 Allan R. Millett, Drive North, 25; U. S. Pacific Fleet, "Third Interim Evaluation Report," chapter 15; 1st
Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 2.
19 Allan R. Millett, Drive North, 30-40.
20 Gerald C. Thomas Oral Memoir, as well as interview with C. W. Harrison, no date, page 3.
Montandon, Joshua W. Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3938/. Accessed July 29, 2014.