65TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
"Time Line: Outpost Kelly, Jackson Heights, and the Courts-Martial"
September – October 1952
Co.F, 2d Bn, 65th Infantry relieves Co.B, 1st Bn, 15th Infantry on KELLY HILL (the key hill of
the OPLR of the left battalion sector).
10 0015 hours. 65th Infantry assumes responsibility for the left
regimental sector of the 3d Inf Div.
17-18 Left battalion sector held by the 3d Reconnaissance Company on the
Co.G in the center, and Co.F on the right. Co. C occupied KELLY, TESSIE,
Co.outposted BETTY with a squad.
17 2030 hours. Co C repulses a small enemy probe from direction of BREADLOAF.
2215 hours. KELLY repulses a reinforced company-size attack from the direction of Hill 164
in a 25 minute firefight.
2230 hours. KELLY repulses a two-company attack after a fifty minute firefight. The attack
is largely stopped by the calling down of VT fire on the position. Commonwealth and
Corps artillery assist in the breakup of the attack.
18 0245 hours. CCF strike Co. B with two reinforced companies from the southwest and
northeast.The attack is supported by mortar and artillery fire (135 rounds). Friendly defensive
fires consist of 4426 artillery rounds and 257 55-mm artillery rounds.
2142 hours. Communications with OP KELLY lost.
2240 hours. OP KELLY in the possession of the enemy.
19 0630 hours. 15 friendly POWs sighted being marched to the CCF rear from OP KELLY.
Very few of the Company C. regain the MLR [
Main Lineof Resistance].
20 Full scale attempt made to recapture OP KELLY.
Cos. A and C lead the initial attack,
followed by elements of
Co.E and B. Attack continues in piecemeal fashion from to
1530 hours at which time all units close the MLR. “Two battalions had been employed
against a force estimate at one reinforced rife company on KELLY and failed completely to
take the objective.”
During the period 191800I September to 2118000I September, 3d Infantry Division fires
13,045 rounds. Incoming artillery and mortar fire totaled 2,754 rounds.
24 Final attack to recover OP KELLY launched by 3d Battalion, 65th Infantry. Cos. L
and K were to attack abreast; Co. I (battalion reserve) to remain in position on Hill 105. Artillery
preparation of 30 minute duration from 0520 to 0550. Attack supported by tanks from the 64th
Tank Battalion (M) and by fire from position on the MLR.
0550 hours. Cos. L and K cross the line of departure, the trail between KELLY and the finger of
TESSIE, attacking from the east.
Co.L reports elements of the company on the hill. Co.K halted and dispersed
short of the objective by mortar fire. Repeated attempts by Co. L to take the summit of KELLY fail.
0830 hours. Contact with Co. K lost.
0915 hours. Company I has been under artillery fire. 58th FA forward observer reports that
is disorganized to the point that only one officer and one or one-and-a-half platoons left.
1045 hours. Shattered elements of Co. K return to the MLR.
Co.L in a trench one-third the way
up the hill. Co I disorganized.
1130 hours. All friendly elements disengage.
1210 hours. All friendly elements return to the MLR. Artillery liaison officer present on the ground
estimates that there is only about two platoons left organized in the battalion.
“This action of the 24 [sic] on KELLY deserves close examination. The intention had been to
swat a fly with a sledgehammer.” Accordingly, a whole fresh battalion, supported by tanks
and nearly 25,000 rounds of artillery attacked an estimated reinforced company of enemy. Only
about a platoon of company “L” ever reached KELLY, and this platoon reached only the
southwest knob. The disintegration of companies “K” and “I” was not gradual or orderly.
Colonel T. F. Counihan, observing the debacle from the regimental OP east of the IMJIN, witnessed
men in full flight from the vicinity of TESSIE, without helmets, weapons, or even shirts. The
commanding General, General Dulaney, picked up a group of 30-50 men straggling back in similar
state of undress all along the “new road”, a tank trail recently built around the NE of the left
battalion MLR. Colonel Counihan, in watching the “I” company disintegration, actually saw
only two mortar rounds land in the vicinity although he estimates that the total must have
been considerably more than that. The shattered battalion received only 521 incoming
mortar and artillery rounds and sustained only 141 casualties.” [Command Report,
3d Inf Div, Oct 52,Entry 429, RG 407,
Box 2997, NARA]
29-30 3d Infantry Division moves from defensive positions Line
to IX Corps reserve JAMESTOWN
area vicinity YONGPYONG.
1 Oct 3d Infantry Division (-) passes from the Operational Control (OPCON) of I US Corps to IX US
Corps and moves to IX Corps reserve area vic. YONG P’ YONG. 3d Division Artillery and 64th Tank
Battalion (Medium) remain OPCON to I
Corps and in direct support of the 1st ROK Infantry Division. US
5 Oct All elements of the Division embark on an intensive 60 hour training week, 21 day training cycle
stressing offensive combat.
New Regimental commander replaced Colonel Cordero, who returns to
Puerto Rico. “There
was much to indicate that Colonel Cordero was not a disciplinarian. The new regimental
commander took steps to restore that disciplinary control so necessary to an effective
organization.” [3d Inf Div Command Report, Oct 52,Entry 429, RG 407,
13 Oct 64th Tank Battalion (M) reverts to the control of 3d Inf Div.
14-21 Oct IX
Corps employs the 64th Tank Battalion (M) in support of the 9th US
ROK Infantry Division which is being hard pressed by the CCF.
21 Oct 3d Div Artillery released from OPCON of I US Corps and passes to
OPCON of IX
Corps Artillery. US
23-25 Oct Relief of 9th ROK Infantry Division by 3d Infantry Division. Relief completed at 0330 hours
25 October. Commander 3d Infantry Division assumes responsibility for new sector, which
. Jackson Heights
65th Infantry assigned to right regimental area. 3rd Bn assigned to the left battalion area;
2d Bn assigned to the right battalion area; 1st Bn kept as regimental reserve. 65th assumes
responsibility for the sector at 240600I October.
Co.G, 65th Infantry relieves elements of the 9th ROK Division on (CT 477435), JACKSON HEIGHTS
1800 meters forward of the MLR.
27 Oct 1925hours. Company Commander, Co. G, 2d Bn, 65th Infantry, reports 250 CCF
attacking his position on
. Reports of enemy shelling during the evening. JACKSON HEIGHTS
2145 hours. Total casualties, 10 WIA in Co. G
2200 hours. Platoon nearest Hill 391 cut off and virtually destroyed.
2230 hours. Two companies of CCF attack the remaining platoons of Co. G.
2330 hours. Co G withdraws through Co. F.
28 Oct Counterattack by Cos. A and F.
“The counterattack by companies “F” and “A” in the morning of
28 Oct 52was slightly
confused in the minds of the company commanders concerned. JACKSON HEIGHTS, the objective,
consists of a knife-edge ridge approximately perpendicular to the direction of the enemy. Beyond
this ridge along a finger running approximately north-south is a knob, objective B. The attack was
made in column of companies, “F” company leading, “A” company following. The understanding
of the company commander, company “F”, was that company “A” was to pass through and seize
the knob after “F” had taken
. Company Commander of company “A” believed JACKSON HEIGHTS
that his was only a support company. (The battalion commander 2d Bn, 65th Inf was later relieved
for his inability to control or influence this whole action.” .” [3d Inf Div Command Report, Oct 52,
Entry 429, RG 407,
0645 hours. After a ten-minute artillery preparation,
Co.F crosses the LD.
0835 hours. Although receiving some artillery and mortar fire,
Co.F seizes . JACKSON HEIGHTS
Co.A starts up the heights.
1010 hours. Co A arrives on the crest of
. Cos. F and A partially immobilized JACKSON HEIGHTS
by enemy fire. Each Commander thinks his stay on
is only temporary. JACKSON HEIGHTS
Early Afternoon. A mortar round kills the
Co.A Commander, his FO and one platoon leader.
Co.A left with only one badly wounded officer.
1500 hours. Co F Commander notices a large number of Co. A personnel leaving
. JACKSON HEIGHTS
1700 hours. All
Cos. A and F personnel have left with the exception of JACKSON HEIGHTS
our officers of
Co.F. These officers depart for the MLR.
Incoming artillery rounds for the period: 485 artillery rounds, 418 mortar rounds.
“It should be noted that the conduct of continental officers during this operation was excellent.
Despite the hazards of moving, these officers of “F” company made every effort to stop the men
departing. The fact that there were multiple routes of retreat, plus the fact that they could not
communicate with the men, defeated them. In “A” company, all continental officers were
casualties, three of them killed. “F” company had one officer killed. The remaining officers (4)
were the last men to leave
. The Division Commander andthe Assistant JACKSON HEIGHTS
Division Commander during the period feel that the continental officers of the 65th Infantry
Regiment are high-type leaders, with exceptional records.” [3d Inf Div Command Report, Oct 52,
Entry 429, RG 407,
29 Oct 0515hours. Co C minus the Company Commander cross the LD to occupy . JACKSON HEIGHTS
0720 hours. Co C occupies JACKSON HEIGHTS without contact, despite delay caused by
fog and flare ships. Company Commander estimates that 30 of the original 130 men departing
the assembly area find excuses to fall out of formation before reaching the objective. One
bunker and numerous fighting positions found on the objective. Some carnage present from
the previous days fighting.
“Almost immediately the acting company commander found that his lead platoon was minus one squad.
When the platoon leader went to the base of the hill to bring up the squad he discovered considerable
numbers of troops leaving. No efforts of the officers could stop them. Communication with the platoons
was out, the company commander believes, because of cut wires. By 0955 only 4 officers and 16 men
were left on
. No friendly casualties as the result of enemy action. Incoming rounds JACKSON HEIGHTS
281800 to 291800 Oct: 46 artillery, 36 mortar.” [3d Inf Div Command Report, Oct 52,Entry 429, RG 407,
30 Oct 65th Infantry opens Command Post vicinity CT426117 and makes
preparation to conduct an extensive training program.
2 Nov Three CCF platoons attack
from three different JACKSON HEIGHTS
directions simultaneously in an attempt to overrun the friendly outpost. Enemy withdraws after
a fifty-five minute firefight.
One officer and one hundred-twenty two enlisted men released from confinement and placed in
arrest in 65th Infantry Regiment area.
3 Nov 39enlisted men from Company L, 65th Infantry Regiment on a Contact Patrol refuse to
continue mission against the enemy. All are placed in arrest in the 65th Infantry Regiment.
4-5 Nov “During hours of darkness 4-5 Nov, the Commanding General, 3d Infantry Division,
relieved the remaining battalion of the 65th Infantry Regiment, at the request of the
Commanding Officer, 15th Infantry Regiment. The 65th Infantry is now relieved for training,
all but one battalion relieved from any reserve status, a procedure almost never followed.” .”
[3d Inf Div Command Report, Oct 52,Entry 429, RG 407,
6 Nov 0125hours. CCF company-size formation attacks , defended by a platoon JACKSON HEIGHTS
of F Company, 15th Infantry. Firefight ends at 0210.
0230 hours. CCF attacks again in battalion strength. Friendly units withdraw to Hill 270,
another friendly OP several hundred meters to the south, after an intense firefight lasting one
hour and twenty minutes.
0745 hours. Platoon from F Company departs Hill 270 for
HEIGHTS and occupies same at 1145 without any contact.
Division fires over 1,000 rounds in support of the 15th Infantry Regiment in defense of
, the largest number of rounds fired for the reporting period. It is estimated that from HEIGHTS
200 to 300 casualties were inflicted on the enemy in this action.
Document taken from a dead CCF in the vicinity of
identifies the 132nd JACKSON HEIGHTS
Regiment, 44th Division of the 15th CCF Army (which is opposing 3d Inf Div).
6-11 Nov Period of give and take in the
area. Possession of the hill in doubt. JACKSON HEIGHTS
11 Nov Enemy takes control of the topmost part of Jackson Heights.
using “inching forward” tactics and remains in this advantageous position for the remainder of the
November Friendly forces continue to maintain an outpost position on the southwest finger of
(CT 474433) Jackson Heights 13 Nov 0450hours. 3rd Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment taken
from Operational Control of the 15th Infantry Regiment and passed to Division control to be
used as Division reserve striking force (replacing the 3d Battalion, 15 Infantry). 1st Tank
Platoon remains attached to 3rd Battalion.
65th Infantry Regiment (-) remains in Corps Reserve and conducts training.
27 Nov With concurrence of the 3d Inf Div Commanding General, charges against 87 member
of the 65th Infantry are forwarded for GCM for trial. Service members are from the following units:
· 20 from Company C, 1st Battalion
· 29 from Company F, 2nd Battalion
· 35 from Company L, 3rd Battalion
· 1 from Company M, 65th Infantry
. 2 from Medical Company, 65th Infantry
28 Nov 3d Battalion, 65th Infantry relieves 1st Battlion, 15th Infantry of its defensive sector on the MLR.
65th Infantry (-), with Command Post located at CT 426117, conducts a training program throughout
the period under Division supervision.
[“Recapitulation of General Court Martial Activities” shows 90 personnelfrom the 7th Infantry Regiment
tried by General Court Martial for the period 1 – 31 December 1952. The trails of another four of the 65th Infantry by
Summary Court Martial have been delayed due to tactical movements in the Regiment. See “Recapitulation of General
Court Martial Activities” and “Monthly Court Martial Activities for 1 – 31 December 1952,” SJA, 3rd Inf Div, Dec 52,
Box 3004 (Army-AG Command Reports, 1949-54, Third Inf Div, Supp Docs, Part II, vols 5-7), Entry 429, RG 407, NARA,
[Researcher’s Note: In all 104 soldiers of the regiment were charged for offenses committed at JACKSON HEIGHTS on 28 and 29 October and 3 November. Ninety-six, including one officer, were court-martialed in 15 common trials. Of these, four had been acquitted. Finally, eight had the charges against them thrown out.Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens, who had earlier approved the sentences handed out to the men of the regiment, moved quickly to overturn them. By 14 July 1953 h had granted clemency to 53 of the regiment?s soldiers. By 1954 all the sentences had been remitted. The last pardoned was Lieutenant Juan E. Guzman, the first to have been court-martialed. A number of unsuccessful appeals by the men of the 65th indicate that, without Steven?s personnel intervention, they probably would have served out their full sentences. The majority returned to serve the Army in Panama and Puerto Rico, the stigma of the court-martials following them for the rest of their lives. Many never told their friends or families, who remain unaware to this day. Most are reluctant to revisit that part of their past.
Colonel Gilberto Villahermosa is a U.S. Army Officer currently serving at Regional Headquarters Allied Forces North, Brunssum, The Netherlands. He is the author of “Glory and Honor” The 65th Infantry Regiment ‘Borinqueneers’ in Korea, 1950-1953.” His articles on the regiment in Korea and Hispanics in the Army have been published in Army magazine and his entries on Hispanics, African-Americans, and Women in the U.S. military have been published in Scribner’s latest ten volume Dictionary of American History.
Command Report, 3d Inf Div, Nov 52,p. 2, Box 2999 (Army-AG Command Reports, 1949-54, Third Infantry Division Narrative, Part I, November 1952),Entry 429, Record Group (RG) 407, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington D.C.
Supp Docs, 3d Inf Div, Nov 52, Box 3001, Entry 429, RG 407, NARA.
Cmd Rpt, 3d Inf Div, Dec 52, Box 3002,Entry 429, RG 407, NARA.
Supp Docs, 3d Inf Div, Dec 52, Box 3004, Entry 429, RG 407, NARA.
Command Rpt, 65th Inf Regt, Nov 51, Box 3050 , Entry 429, RG 407, NARA