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8th Army


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NAME:

8th Army / Eighth Army / Eighth United States Army

 

NICKNAME:

None.

 

BATTLE HONORS:

 

World War II

Leyte

Luzon

New Guinea

Southern Philippines

 

Korean War

UN Defensice

UN Offensive

CCF Intervention

First UN counteroffensive

UN Summer-Fall Offensive

Second Winter

Summer-Fall 1952

Third Winter

Summer 1953

 

ACTIVATED:

June 10, 1944

 

DEACTIVATED:

N/A

 

 

HISTORY:

The Eighth US Army—often abbreviated EUSA—(the acronym EUSA was deemed unauthorized by LTG Charles Campbell in 2002) is the commanding formation of all US Army troops in South Korea.

 

 

World War II

 

It was first activated on 10 June 1944 in the United States, being commanded by Lieutenant General Robert Eichelberger. The Eighth Army took part in many of the great amphibious assaults in the Pacific during World War II, eventually participating in no less than sixty. The first mission of the Army, in September 1944, was to take over from the Sixth Army in New Guinea, New Britain, the Admiralties and Morotai, in order to free up Sixth Army for operations in the Philippines.

 

December saw Eighth Army again following in the wake of Sixth Army, when it took over control of operations on Leyte on December 26. In January, the Eighth Army entered combat on Luzon, landing the XI Corps on 29 January near San Antonio and the 11th Airborne Division on the other side of Manila Bay two days later. Combining with I Corps and XIV Corps of Sixth Army, the forces of Eighth Army then enveloped Manila in a great pincer movement. Eighth Army's final operation of the Pacific War was the clearance of the southern Philippines, including the major island of Mindanao. It was occupied with these operations for the rest of the war.

 

 

Post-World War II Occupation

 

Eighth Army was to have participated in Operation Downfall, the invasion of Japan. It would have taken part in Operation Coronet, the second phase of the invasion, which would have seen the occupation of the Tokyo Plain on Honshū. However, instead of invading Japan, Eighth Army found itself in charge of occupying Japan peacefully. Occupation forces landed on 30 August 1945, and Eighth Army assumed responsibility for the occupation of the whole of Japan at the beginning of 1946. Four quiet years then followed. During this time Eighth Army gradually deteriorated from a combat ready fighting force into a soft, minimally trained constabulary. Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker took command in 1948 and tried to re-invigorate the army's training but was largely unsuccessful. This was to have disastrous consequences.

 

 

Korean War

 

United States 2nd Infantry Division GIs during the Korean WarThe peace of occupied Japan was shattered in June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea, starting the Korean War. American naval and air forces quickly became involved in combat operations, and it was soon clear that American ground forces would have to be committed. The occupation forces in Japan were thus shipped off to South Korea as fast as possible to stem the North Korean advance. The lack of training and equipment told when many of the initial American units were destroyed after being little more than speed bumps for the North Koreans. However, the stage was eventually reached where enough units of Eighth Army had arrived in Korea to make a firm front. The North Koreans threw themselves against that front, the Pusan Perimeter and failed to break it. In the meantime, Eighth Army had reorganised, since it had too many divisions under its command for it to exercise effective control directly. I Corps and US IX Corps had been reactivated in the United States and then shipped over to Korea to control the subordinate divisions of Eighth Army.

 

The stalemate was broken by the Inchon landings of X Corps. The North Korean forces, when confronted with this enormous threat to their supplies, combined with a breakout operation at Pusan, broke and fled. South Korea was liberated, and North Korea was almost entirely occupied.

 

However, once American units neared the Yalu River, the frontier between North Korea and China, the Chinese intervened, and drastically changed the character of the war. The Eighth Army was decisively defeated at the Battle of the Chongchon River and forced to retreat all the way back to South Korea. General Walker was killed in a jeep accident and replaced by Lieutenant General Matthew Ridgway. The huge manpower reserves of China meant that they steadily drove the American forces south. Although not pushed back to anything like the Pusan perimeter, US forces again lost Seoul, the South Korean capital. The Eighth Army's morale and esprit de corps hit rock bottom. It was widely regarded as a broken, defeated rabble.

 

General Ridgway forcefully restored Eighth Army to combat effectiveness over several months. Under his leadership, it slowed and finally halted the Chinese advance at the battles of Chipyong-ni and Wonju. It then counter-attacked the Chinese, liberating Seoul and driving communist forces back above the 38th parallel into North Korea, where the front stabilized.

 

When Ridgway replaced Douglas MacArthur as overall U.N. commander, Lieutenant General James Van Fleet took command of Eighth Army. After the war of movement during the first stages, the fighting settled down to a war of attrition. Ceasefire negotiations were begun at the village of Panmunjom in the summer of 1951 and dragged on for two years. When the ceasefire was finally agreed, Eighth Army had succeeded in its mission of liberating South Korea, but the realities of limited war in a world of nuclear weapons had become obvious. North Korea still survived as a state and the pattern of the next 53 years had been set.

 

 

Post Korean War to Present

 

In the aftermath of the Korean War, Eighth Army remained in Korea, but the forces under its control were steadily reduced as the demands of first Europe and then Vietnam increased. By the 1960s, only I Corps, controlling the 7th and 2nd Infantry Divisions, remained under Eighth Army. In 1971 further reductions occurred. 7th Division was withdrawn, along with I Corps, leaving only 2nd Division to watch the frontier.

 

The occasional armed clash aside, relations between the two Koreas remained as stable as could be expected. The US forces in South Korea were by the end of the Cold War regarded as a tripwire force, not so much deployed for their military, but their political value. An attack on South Korea by North Korea would mean an attack on the US as well. However, in 2003, plans were announced to move almost all of Eighth Army back from the border. It would mean that the US forces would be more able to operate in a militarily correct fashion, but it would reduce their political value greatly. This provoked a heated debate in South Korea, where the future of Eighth Army is a contentious topic.

 

The Headquarters of the 8th Army is currently Yongsan Garrison but it is scheduled to move south to Camp Humphreys around 2007. But the move is disputed amoung the United States Army because of the lack of preparation completed to date.

 

It is unclear how long US forces will remain in South Korea, but it is likely that for as long as they do, Eighth Army will as well.

 

 

Command Group

Commanding General: Lieutenant General David P. Valcourt

Command Sergeant Major: Command Sergeant Major Barry C. Wheeler

 

Units of Eighth Army

U.S. Eighth Army Band

U.S. Eighth Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy

U.S. 19th Sustainment Command

U.S. 2nd Infantry Division

U.S. 1st Signal Brigade

U.S. 501st Military Intelligence Brigade

U.S. 8th Military Police Brigade

U.S. 18th Medical Command

U.S. 175th Finance Command

Combat Support Coordination Team 1

Combat Support Coordination Team 3

U.S. 19th Military Police Battalion (Criminal Investigation Division)

UNC Security Battalion-Joint Security Area

U.S. Special Operations Theater Support Element

Logistic Support Element Far East

Joint U.S. Military Affairs Group-Korea

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District

U.S. 129th Medical Detachment

U.S. 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade

 

 

Divisional history from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Eighth_Army

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/8army.htm

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Here's my german made 8th army patch.

 

2011080999920.jpg

 

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In my patch collection I mainly focus on World War Two to early post-WW2 Divisional Shoulder Sleeve Insignia | Always buying 94th Infantry Division WW2 items, books, photos, patches and post-WW2 veteran's reunion items. | Selling and/or trading my german militaria collection | All pictures are taken by me and objects shown are part of my collection, unless stated otherwise | It's okay to use the pictures for non-commercial purposes (eg. study, reference, etc.) | 94th Infantry Division Historical Society Lifetime Member | 29th Infantry Division Historical Society Member | ASMIC Member | Join ASMIC today via: https://www.asmic.org/join.aspx Make sure to like 94th Infantry Division Books on Facebook

 

All the best!

Bocage

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