The Americans Push North

F4U Corsairs

Once Seoul was liberated the decision was taken to head North. American troops headed North, the South Koreans capturedPyongyang, and US troops headed for the Chinese border.

On October 25 1951, the first group of South Korean troops moving north towards the Yalu ran into a force of Chinese soldiers. Within a few minutes, the more numerous Chinese force had decimated the Korean force. In the next few days, more and more South Korean units ran into Chinese units, each with similar results. Initially, the American headquarters dismissed the reports, but it soon became clear that the Chinese were in the war in a major way. At noon of November 1, a battalion of the 24th Infantry Division reached Chonggodong, 18 miles south of the Yalu. The battalion was commanded by Lt. Col. Charles Smith, the commander of Task Force Smith, at the outset of the war. This was the northernmost advance of US troops during the war. On November 1, the Chinese struck the USA 1 Cavalry Division and the ROK II Corps. In the course of two days, the Chinese decimated the Korean forces and forced the American forces to pull back after inflicting very heavy casualties on the Americans. The Chinese paused after this attack; they seemed to be sending a message that they were here in force and could not be stopped. The American command did not hear the message, and instead thought that the Chinese had tried but could do no more. Thus, they planned to resume the offensive towards the Yalu.