Jump to content

Lost US Colors: Korea


MPage

Recommended Posts

I'm sure the 8th Cavalry's colors were indeed captured; there's a US cavalry regimental flag in a Chinese war museum along with two other flags that were known to be lost (555th FAB guidon and 31st Infantry colors). It's got to be the 8th's unless the 5th or the 7th somehow lost theirs, which I don't think they did.

donation2010.gif




Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure the 8th Cavalry's colors were indeed captured; there's a US cavalry regimental flag in a Chinese war museum along with two other flags that were known to be lost (555th FAB guidon and 31st Infantry colors). It's got to be the 8th's unless the 5th or the 7th somehow lost theirs, which I don't think they did.

Here's the one photo of the 31st Infantry's colors.

 

post-34986-0-14886700-1456687066.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
1SG_1st_Cav

Here is some information from the Center of Military History. Chew on this information!

 

USAMHI Flags Org

RefBranch

dv 1981

 

NOTE: U.S. COLORS CAPTURED IN RECENT WARS

 

 

The recurring tale of a US unit losing its colors to the enemy in the Korean War is apocryphal, at best report. No official or unofficial source here reveals that such a loss occurred. Furthermore, Dr. Robert Wright of CMH, who had investigated this matter previously, stated categorically that it did not happen.

 

According to Dr. Wright, the source of the tale may have been the overrunning of a US battalion headquarters in early Nov 1950, when the 1st Cav Div first encountered massive Chinese forces near Unsan. The division received intensive Chinese attacks, some of which penetrated the lines sufficiently to force a withdrawal. Elements of the division's 8th Cav Regt became cut off, resulting in the capture of numerous personnel and much equipment. Worse hit was the regiment's 3d Battalion, with its command post overrun. Rumors of losing its colors have haunted the 8th Cav ever since. See:

 

Appleman, Roy E. South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu. In the United States Army in the Korean War series. Wash, DC: OCMH, pp. 691 92, 701 & 707 08. DS919U5v2.

 

"Colors Still Stand." Cavalair (14 Apr 1971): p. 10. Per.

1st Air Cav Div's publication in Vietnam; the article disputes allegations that the 8th Cav Regt lost its colors in Korea. See also issue of 6 May 1970, p. 8.

 

U.S. Army. 1st Cav Div. The First Team: The First Cavalry Division in Korea. Atlanta: Love, 1952. ca 300 p. #05 1Cav 1952.

Unnumbered pages; see section on Unsan defense in mid book.

 

No regimental standard was reported lost in the Unsan action. At the time, the unit's colors remained either in division rear or in storage in Japan, where the division had performed occupation duty since 1945. On the other hand, company guidons iincluding those of battalion headquarters companies, may have been with the regiment's forward elements and, conceivably, could have been captured by the Chinese. If so, I found no mention of it, although the Cavalair article, cited above, does not specifically deny the possibility. Resolution of the question might be found in retired official records of the 1st Cav Div in custody of the National Archives.

 

Incidentally, during World War II a cavalry regiment's standard was lost to the enemy under peculiar circumstances. The 3d Cav Regt had been broken up in Nov 1943, to be reorganized and redesignated as part of the 3d Cav Group and other units. The old regiment's standard was apparently not retired, but kept at the headquarters of the new cavalry group. In France, Sep 1944, the old standard was in a command vehicle that inadvertantly motored into enemy held territory. Although the staff members escaped, the vehicles and its contents were captured. See:

 

Colors Captured p.2

 

Nasawald, L. VanLoan. "Cold War Drama: Odyssey of the Colors." Amer Hist Illus 1 (Jan 1967): pp. 34 41. Per.

Tells also how the standarrd was smuggled out of East Germany in 1953.

 

Stubbs, Mary Lee, and Connor, Stanley R. Armor Cavalry. Part I. Wash, DC: OCMH, 1969.

pp. 119 20. Ref.

Organizational lineage data only.

donation2010.gifdonation2011.gifdonation2012.gif

donation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

 

Forum Member #1691 since September 2007

Served in the US Army from 1960-80

First Sergeant (Retired)

Vietnam 1967 with 7-15th FA ~ [8"/175mm Gun] First Field Forces

Vietnam 1968 with 1-30th FA ~ [155mm] 1st Cavalry Division [AIRMOBILE]

President & Historian 30th FA Regiment Association ( WWW.HardChargers.Com )

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the 30th Field Artillery Regiment in 2018

Link to post
Share on other sites

The recurring tale of a US unit losing its colors to the enemy in the Korean War is apocryphal, at best report. No official or unofficial source here reveals that such a loss occurred.

 

 

The 31st Infantry association states that their colors were lost at Chosin. There is photo evidence of the flag being in a Chinese military museum, and it is in fact a PQMD flag of the right type.

 

The USAMHI article is incorrect.

 

donation2010.gif




Link to post
Share on other sites

All,

 

Let's keep the discussion focused on exchanging information rather than assailing each other's opinions.

 

This is turning up some good detail information to help sort out an old myth. Please keep the exchange on a professional level.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The 31st Infantry association states that their colors were lost at Chosin. There is photo evidence of the flag being in a Chinese military museum, and it is in fact a PQMD flag of the right type.

 

The USAMHI article is incorrect.

 

 

From what I can tell, the 31st Infantry, was assigned to the 7th Infantry Division, and not the 1st Cavalry Division.

 

"For one U.S. Army unit, the intervention of Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) resulted in absolute disaster. The 31st Regimental Combat Team, better known as Task Force MacLean (later known as Task Force Faith), comprised of elements of the 7th Infantry Division, was virtually annihilated east of the Chosin Reservoir. The experiences of the American soldiers who fought and died in the frigid cold of the Chosin area proved to be some of the most harrowing and tragic in the history of the U.S. Army."

 

https://armyhistory.org/nightmare-at-the-chosin-reservoir/

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


Link to post
Share on other sites

A detailed account of the loss of the 31st Infantry unit colors can be found on pg. 15 and 16 of the following document:

http://www.31stinfantry.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Chapter-11.pdf

 

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

From what I can tell, the 31st Infantry, was assigned to the 7th Infantry Division, and not the 1st Cavalry Division.

 

My point was that the USMHI article was making the case that no US unit lost its colors in the Korean War. Since that's not true, they may very well be wrong about other units e.g., the 1st Cav. The USMHI article is dated 1988; new things have emerged since then, with the advent of the internet, such as the revelation about the 31st colors.

 

 

donation2010.gif




Link to post
Share on other sites

The quoted article did start off with:

 

"The recurring tale of a US unit losing its colors to the enemy in the Korean War is apocryphal, at best report. No official or unofficial source here reveals that such a loss occurred. Furthermore, Dr. Robert Wright of CMH, who had investigated this matter previously, stated categorically that it did not happen."

 

That does imply this research applied to all units and just those of the 1st Cavalry.

 

As to why Dr. Wright was unaware or could not find information on how the 31st Infantry lost their regimental flag, that is unexplained. Per the internet, he is a respected scholar and has published important works on the American revolution. However, many of us can attest to how incomplete military records can be.

 

As far as new information on the internet, the recent postings that I am finding reinforce that the 1st Cavalry did not lose their regimental flags as they did not have them during the Korean War.

 

"The story stems from a battle in November 1950 at Unsan, in modern-day North Korea, when the 1st Cavalry Division fought Chinese troops for the first time, according to the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pa.

 

“Elements of the division's 8th Cavalry Regt became cut off, resulting in the capture of numerous personnel and much equipment,” according to the center’s website. “Worse hit was the regiment's 3d Battalion, with its command post overrun. Rumors of losing its colors have haunted the 8th ever since.”

 

But the battalion was not carrying 1st Cavalry division or regimental colors when it was overrun, said Steven C. Draper, director of the division museum at Fort Hood, Texas, which has a brochure and exhibit on this subject.

 

While the 1st Cavalry Division did not lose its colors, the Chinese captured another unit’s colors, which are on display in a military museum in Beijing, experts said. (That would be the 31st Infantry, as we have discussed.)

 

The 1st Cavalry Division remained in Japan and South Korea after the war until June 1965, when its colors were transferred to Fort Benning, Ga., and the unit was dispatched to Vietnam, said Richard L. Baker, of the U.S. Army Military History Institute in Carlisle."

 

Printed in Stars and Stripes in 2011

 

http://www.stripes.com/blogs/the-rumor-doctor/the-rumor-doctor-1.104348/did-the-1st-cavalry-division-lose-its-colors-1.132899

 

Unless someone can effectively research the internet, or heaven forbid an actual printed book, and come up with something more substantial, any further speculation that a 1st CAV unit lost it's regimental colors during the Korean War should come to an end.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


Link to post
Share on other sites

The quoted article did start off with:

 

"The recurring tale of a US unit losing its colors to the enemy in the Korean War is apocryphal, at best report. No official or unofficial source here reveals that such a loss occurred. Furthermore, Dr. Robert Wright of CMH, who had investigated this matter previously, stated categorically that it did not happen."

 

That does imply this research applied to all units and just those of the 1st Cavalry.

 

As to why Dr. Wright was unaware or could not find information on how the 31st Infantry lost their regimental flag, that is unexplained. Per the internet, he is a respected scholar and has published important works on the American revolution. However, many of us can attest to how incomplete military records can be.

 

As far as new information on the internet, the recent postings that I am finding reinforce that the 1st Cavalry did not lose their regimental flags as they did not have them during the Korean War.

 

"The story stems from a battle in November 1950 at Unsan, in modern-day North Korea, when the 1st Cavalry Division fought Chinese troops for the first time, according to the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pa.

 

“Elements of the division's 8th Cavalry Regt became cut off, resulting in the capture of numerous personnel and much equipment,” according to the center’s website. “Worse hit was the regiment's 3d Battalion, with its command post overrun. Rumors of losing its colors have haunted the 8th ever since.”

 

But the battalion was not carrying 1st Cavalry division or regimental colors when it was overrun, said Steven C. Draper, director of the division museum at Fort Hood, Texas, which has a brochure and exhibit on this subject.

 

While the 1st Cavalry Division did not lose its colors, the Chinese captured another unit’s colors, which are on display in a military museum in Beijing, experts said. (That would be the 31st Infantry, as we have discussed.)

 

The 1st Cavalry Division remained in Japan and South Korea after the war until June 1965, when its colors were transferred to Fort Benning, Ga., and the unit was dispatched to Vietnam, said Richard L. Baker, of the U.S. Army Military History Institute in Carlisle."

 

Printed in Stars and Stripes in 2011

 

http://www.stripes.com/blogs/the-rumor-doctor/the-rumor-doctor-1.104348/did-the-1st-cavalry-division-lose-its-colors-1.132899

 

Unless someone can effectively research the internet, or heaven forbid an actual printed book, and come up with something more substantial, any further speculation that a 1st CAV unit lost it's regimental colors during the Korean War should come to an end.

 

The only source I know of is a PBS program that visited the DPRK museum. I actually hope it's NOT true.

 

Speaking of the DPRK museum, there's also this infantry regimental flag:

 

http://oldflagswanted.tripod.com/dpt.htm

 

Don't know what the deal is with that one.

 

 

donation2010.gif




Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. Here is another photo from the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, with either the same or a similar flag halfway up along the back wall.

 

http://www.pbase.com/image/116368212

 

However, I would not put it past the North Koreans to have made a copy of such a flag.

 

Without a closer photo, it's unlikely we will identify this one.

North Korea Museum flag.jpg

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


Link to post
Share on other sites

While we are on this unfortunate topic, here are a couple more captured flags to contemplate, apparently in the same museum.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/midendian/11679540493/in/photostream/

 

North Korea Museum flag 3.jpg

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting back to the mysterious blue flag in the North Korean display, the crest upon the eagle and the white object above it have a striking resemblance to the 31st Infantry Unit Crest.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/31st_Infantry_Regiment_%28United_States%29

 

 

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


Link to post
Share on other sites
Captainofthe7th

As far as I can tell, those are the 31st Infantry colors. I've always known the real colors to be in China, so I wonder if the N. Koreans did make a copy? It would have been the Chinese who captured them at Chosin, anyway.

 

A very poignant display...pretty haunting, really.

 

Rob

Exhausting & Dirty Work



Interested in buying identified or re-searchable Korean War uniforms, groupings, medals and more.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's the 31st Infantry colors, yes - the enlarged photo shows the sealion on the blue shield.

 

As to the 555th FAB guidon, someone pointed out that it's not PQMD issue (HQ above cannons, wrong font) however I posited hat since the 555th was stood up in Korea in 1949 as a new unit, it's likely theater made. That display is actually in the USS Pueblo; I guess the Norks thought the guidon was a navy swallowtail. There are some red/yellow pennants below it.

donation2010.gif




Link to post
Share on other sites

Where did they get the rather current (1961 or so to present) Marine Sgt E-5 coat from? Since it has the early 60s introduced chevrons with Crossed Garands, it would not of been in any captured baggage of the 1st Mar Div during the Korean War (Chosin) right. Did Pueblo have a small Marine detachment aboard?

 

I wonder who's Khaki coat it is hanging there, it's got Commander Shoulder Boards, Bucher's then? Bucher was a Commander.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Where did they get the rather current (1961 or so to present) Marine Sgt E-5 coat from? Since it has the early 60s introduced chevrons with Crossed Garands, it would not of been in any captured baggage of the 1st Mar Div during the Korean War (Chosin) right. Did Pueblo have a small Marine detachment aboard?

 

I wonder who's Khaki coat it is hanging there, it's got Commander Shoulder Boards, Bucher's then? Bucher was a Commander.

 

Apparently there was a Marine sergeant on board (received NC by the way).

donation2010.gif




Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is an earlier thread about the 2nd Engineer Bn. burning it's flag to avoid capture.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.