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  Colonel Bowen (the187th RCT C.O.) and his staff left the Advance Party in Tokyo to report to the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers, for a briefing on the immediate commitment of the 187th in mid September 1950.  The remainder of the Advance Party continued to Ashyia and then to Camp Hakata, Kyushu, Japan where they set up the RCT Headquarters in the old 12th Filed Artillery Battalion area.  Sand tables were set up, a War Room and Operations Room established, and quartering arranged for the incoming troops.  Camp Wood was chosen as the troop area, but being sixty miles distant from Hakata, Col Bowen requested that the arrival port be changed to Moki so that the RCT could be marshaled directly at Ashyia Air Force Base.  Thus the 187th became capable for an immediate combat attack by air-landing or by parachute, anywhere in Korea.  
  On 19th of September, the headquarters displaced to Ashyia Airfield and, on the 20th the first troops of the Rakkasan Team, set foot on Japanese soil at Moji Port.  The “overseas” tour of the 187th in the United States had just been just short of eighteen months.  
    At 1400 hours on the 24th of Sept. the 3rd battalion and Support Company were in action against the North Koreans at Kimpo Airfield.    
  The 3rd Battalion airlift was followed by the 1st and 2nd Battalion airlifts.  By the 26th of Sept., all elements of the 187th were in Korea except for a small rear detail at Ashyia and a Detachment at Camp Kashii including the Parachute Maintenance Company and the Personnel Section of Service Company.  
  Sgt. J.H. Alexander, a rifleman assigned to A-187th Co. describes the arrival of the 1st Battalion in the Korean Conflict.  
  “This move was really a hurry up operation.  We first heard that we were going to make a combat jump.  It looked like the real thing when we were issued parachutes.  The 1st  Battalion was fully loaded for combat when we went abroad our C-118’s; including monorail bundles rigged for a Para-drop.  Flying into some anti-aircraft fire on approaching the coast of Korea, we turned out to sea and our serial came in from another direction.  About mid-morning we landed at Kimpo.  US Marines had partially cleared a strip of North Korean soldiers and guerrillas but we still landed under small arms fire from the edges of the field.  All the buildings were smashed and burning.  Destroyed aircraft littered the runways.  
  When the plane came to a halt, the last man in the left stick opened the door and was promptly killed by a sniper bullet between the eyes.  Horridly unloading the plane we stacked the monorail and other equipment to one side to permit immediate take off of the aircraft.  The air traffic was continuous.  As one hardstand was cleared and the aircraft became airborne, another would touch down and taxi to the side to be off-loaded.  After A-187th Co. loaded its baggage and equipment on trucks, they assembled on the airfield, and made a five-mile road march south of Kimpo to Suwon.  
  “I carried 10 bandoleers of M-1 ammunition, five grenades, two boxes of M-6 Ammo and my field gear,” Alexander continued.  “Some march.”  During our overnight bivouac at Suwon we came under sniper fire.  Our platoon leader named three of us volunteers, to get out of the sack, Sgt. Pulver, Cpl Munture and myself, and told us to dig out the NK straggler.  And remember, this is war.  Sneaking along the road, we started in the general direction of the rifle fire.  “Our” sniper appeared to be located along the side of the road in a dug-out of some kind.  About 350 yards from the company area we located out man in a cu-bank next to a cornfield.  Cpl Munture, with a BAR, went to the left to give me covering fire as I crawled along the bank to approach a corn-stalk cover hole.  Leaning against the bank next to the hole I shouted over to Munture to throw in a couple of rounds.  Sure enough, out jumped a Red clutching a Russian rifle with fixed bayonet.  He was dead before he hit the ground.”  
  The 187th RCT was assigned the mission of clearing the Cumpo Peninsula which lies south of the Han River and is formed by the northwesterly course of the Han into the Yellow Sea.  Estimated strength of the opposing was 3,000 men of the 31st, 32nd and 33rd Battalions of the 107th Security Regiment of the North Korean forces.  Other decimated forces, remnants and stragglers from units broken up the UN advance were believed to be in the area.  
  At 1230 hours on the 27th of Sept., L-187th Co. was ambushed by a force estimated at 400 men.  The enemy allowed the truck column to advance halfway through a small village before opening fire on them.  The firefight continued for hours with the paratroopers inflicting heavy losses on the North Koreas forces.  Withdrawing in orderly fashion, L-187th Co. carried out their dead and wounded without losing a single piece of equipment.  SFC Fred Bailey, Sgt Kenneth E. Steavenson, Sgt Edward L. Dann and PFC Clark M. Bradford were among the first battle dead suffered by the 187th RCT.  
  Specialist Third Class Edward Gasperini, a machine gunner in L-187th Co. remembers the action this way:  “By the fifth or sixth day in Korea most of the men in my platoon had become pretty well adjusted to combat – or at least as ready for it as we were ever likely to be.  We all felt better when, after digging and moving and being shot at, L-187th Co. received its first solid mission.  The young “Lions” of L-187th Co. were to stop a reinforced company of North Koreans guerrillas who were racing north just ahead of the 1st ROK Marine Regiment.  Armor, in the lead of the pursuing force, had stopped at a blown bridge, so it was up to us foot soldier to make the play.   
  We started off up the road in company column, 1st platoon in the lead and my platoon, the 3rd in the rear.  Somehow the lead section, under the Company Exec., passed through a body of North Koreans hidden to the right of the road without seeing them.  As the Main body came up the Reds begin firing down the length of the column.  From a hidden position about five hundred yards away mortar fire began dropping on the company.  Rallying, the 1st & 2nd platoons carried a screaming attack across a rice field toward the center of the Communist position on a hill.  While machine guns helped lay a base of fire the paratroopers swarmed over the hill and drove the NK’s down the other side.  Our losses were comparatively light for the four hour action.”  
  On the 29th of Sept. the 1st Battalion attacked northwest, driving to the extremity of the peninsula on the 30th.  Ten casualties were sustained in the operation, including the loss of Pvt Gordon O. Fengstadt, a four-year veteran of the 187th.  Three hundred of an estimated 3,000-man force escaped in small boats to a coastal island to the west.  The next morning the 1st and 2nd Battalions, accompanied by a Battalion of Republic of Korea Marines, under the command of Major Kim, attacked toward the west of Tongjin and completed the mopping up operations.”  
  Typical of these rat-hunting expeditions was the experience of Sgt. Alexander with A-187th Co.    
  “Moving west on the road toward Tongjin, we spread out on both sides of the road keeping a watchful eye on the ditches for ‘sleepers,’ moderate small arms, automatic and mortar fire.  The 2nd Platoon of A-187th Co covered my platoon (the 1st Platoon) as we spread out in platoon-on-line across a series of rice paddies over which a company size enemy force was retreating toward the hills.  Most of the Reds fled before our marching fire but a few stayed to the bitter end.  Two jumped up directly in front of our advance and three of us walking together fired simultaneously to get both of the runner men.  Just as suddenly a machine gun opened up from a house on our left flank and we hit the dirt.  We were still the three musketeers, Pulver, Munture and myself.  Crawling to a fence surrounding the mud hut I three a grenade.  Out stumbled a North Korean soldier who was quickly followed by a second man carrying a rifle.  Inside the hut we found a drum-fed Russian machine gun, which we promptly smashed.  The prisoners were herded to the rear.  We continued our sweep up the hills, radioed for Naval gunfire and watched the hill erupt in beautiful geysers of rock, dirt and smoke.  After we climbed to the top of the hill we found no living enemy soldiers.”  
  Rounding up the last of the enemy and killing those who resisted, the Rakkasans cleared the area to the Han River.  Leaving the ROK Marines in the vicinity of Tongjin to maintain control.  The 187th RCT, on the 2nd of Oct., closed in at Kimpo to bivouac in the deserted dependent housing area.  Here the paratroopers began servicing equipment in preparation for succeeding operations.  In the offering was the first combat jump of the Korean War at Sukchon-Sunchon on October 20-21, 1950.  
  Courtesy of “The Lt. Vincent J. McDonald Chapter” a quarterly published Newsletter.  
  Editing provided by Leo Kocher  C-187th ARCT