November 30, This day during the Korean War

November 30, 1950 – Actions at Kunu-ri – Kunu-ri is a crossroad village on the northern bank of the Kaechon River, one of Ch’ongch’on River’s southern tributaries. As the Chinese counteroffensive grew in strength against the Eighth Army’s center, Kunu-ri had become a major bottleneck for the US IX Corps’ retreat. In an effort to stabilize the front on November 28, Walker ordered the US 2nd Infantry Division to retreat from Kujang-dong and to set up a new defensive line at Kunu-ri. The importance of Kunu-ri was also noted by the Chinese, and on November 27, Peng instructed the PVA 38th Corps to cut the US IX Corps retreat route. The PVA 114th Division of the 38th Corps would capture Kunu-ri by marching westward on the road from Tokchon, while the PVA 112th Division would follow on a parallel route through the hills north of the road. With the US 2nd Infantry Division still at engaged at Kujang-dong, Coulter ordered the Turkish Brigade in the IX Corps reserve block the Chinese advance. On the night of November 27, the Turks took up defensive position at Wawon at the east of Kunu-ri. They were soon met with the PVA 342nd Regiment from the 114th Division. The ensuing battle between the Chinese regiment and the brigade’s advance battalion continued for much of the November 28, resulting 400 Turkish casualties. As dusk came on November 28, the Turkish Brigade tried to retreat 5 km (3.1 mi) west to Sinim-ri to set up stronger defensive positions, but the PVA 342nd Regiment caught up with the brigade and attacked its rear, completely surrounding the brigade. With communications cut between the brigade and the Turkish headquarters, the PVA 340th and the 342nd Regiment from the 114th Division then fragmented the brigade during the night battle. The trapped Turks broke out of the Chinese encirclement on the morning of November 29 and the brigade was attached to the US 2nd Infantry Division. Although the Turkish Brigade was crippled by the Chinese, its delaying action allowed the US 2nd Infantry Division to secure Kunu-ri on the night of November 28. With the US 23rd Infantry Regiment setting up defensive positions at the north of Kunu-ri on the morning of November 29, the US 38th Infantry Regiment tried to occupy the hills at the northeast of Kunu-ri. But the American soon found the PVA 112th Division had already occupied the hills. The 38th Infantry Regiment was then forced to occupy a lower position at 1 mi (1.6 km) away from the Chinese. At the same time, the remnants of the Turkish Brigade joined up with the US 38th Infantry Regiment, covering the regiment’s right flank at the northern bank of the Kaechon River. On the afternoon of November 28, MacArthur started to recognize that a crisis was growing in Korea. With the start of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir on November 27, MacArthur gathered his field commanders, including Walker, for a conference in Tokyo. During the conference, MacArthur learned about the situation on the Eighth Army’s right flank and judged that the Eighth Army was in great danger. He instructed Walker to withdraw from the battle before the Chinese could surround the Eighth Army. After the conference at November 29, Walker ordered all Eighth Army units to retreat to a new line around Sunchon, 30 mi (48 km) south of Kunu-ri. Following Walker’s orders, most of the Eighth Army’s major units promptly broke contact with the Chinese and withdrew, but the US 2nd Infantry Division was forced to stay at Kunu-ri in order to hold off the Chinese forces on the Eighth Army’s right flank. By the time the 2nd Infantry Division tried to withdraw on the night of November 29, the two Chinese divisions attacked the US 38th Infantry Regiment. The PVA 112th Division first struck the 38th Infantry Regiment on the left flank, but the American defenses held firm, forcing the Chinese to go on the defensive. Meanwhile, the PVA 114th Division attacked the Turkish Brigade and the right flank of the 38th Infantry Regiment. The Chinese outflanked the Turks by attacking along the southern bank of the Kaechon River, then crossed the river at the UN rear areas. Upon noticing this development, Brigadier General Tahsin Yazıcı of the Turkish Brigade ordered a withdraw, leaving the right flank of the 38th Infantry Regiment completely uncovered. By the dusk of November 29, Chinese had cut the road between the 38th Infantry Regiment and Kunu-ri, and the Americans had to retreat by infiltrating the Chinese lines. At 4 a.m. on November 30, the 38th Infantry 

Regiment crossed the Kaechon River under the cover of the 23rd Infantry Regiment and Kunu-ri was under Chinese control 


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