This first-hand account of a crucial, but little-known, covert mission of the Korean War offers a revealing and remarkable story of wartime courage-from the very man who led the mission.
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May 06, 2003
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Excerpt from The Secrets of Inchon by Eugene Franklin Clark
ON AUGUST 26, 1950, I was summoned to the office of Captain Edward Pearce, USN, in the Dai Ichi Insurance Building in downtown Tokyo, overlooking Emperor Hirohito's imperial palace. For the past year, I had been serving under Captain Pearce on General Douglas MacArthur's staff.
"Gene," Eddie Pearce said in his gruff deadpan way, "I believe we've cooked up a little rumble you're going to like."
The twinkle in Pearce's gray eyes intrigued me. So did the eager expectation on the face of the other man in Pearce's office, Major General Holmes E. Dager. He had been one of General George S. Patton's tank commanders during World War II. Between them, these two guys had seen a lot of bullets and shells fly in that global struggle. Now a new war had exploded in Korea. I sensed they were about to invite me to sample some excitement in this fracas.
I said nothing, while Eddie Pearce shifted in his chair and leaned toward me. "We're going to make an amphibious landing at Inchon on 15 September, and General MacArthur says it's essential we obtain more timely and accurate information on everything in and around the place--at once."
"How would you like to try to get us that information?" General Dager asked.
On June 24, 1950, Communist North Korea had invaded South Korea with fourteen well-trained divisions. They quickly captured the capital, Seoul, and smashed the lightly armed Republic of Korea army with a lavish use of artillery and tanks. President Harry S. Truman had ordered General MacArthur to send American soldiers to resist this act of naked aggression.