IX Corps (United States)

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For the IX Corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War, see IX Corps (Union Army).
IX Corps
US IX Corps SSI.png
Shoulder sleeve insignia of IX Corps
Active 1940–94
Country United States United States of America
Branch  United States Army
Motto Pride of the Pacific
Engagements World War II
Korean War
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Charles W. Ryder (1944–48)
Leland Hobbs (1949-50)
Frank W. Milburn (1950)
John B. Coulter (1950–51)
Bryant Moore (1951)
Oliver P. Smith (1951)
William M. Hoge(1951)
Willard G. Wyman (1951–52)
Joseph P. Cleland (1952)
Reuben E. Jenkins (1952–53)
Samuel T. Williams (1954)
Carter B. Magruder (1954–55)
James E. Moore (1955–58)
John R. Guthrie (1975–77)[1]
Insignia
Distinctive unit insignia 9RSCDUI.jpg
U.S. Corps (1939 - Present)
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VIII Corps (United States) X Corps (United States)

IX Corps was a corps of the United States Army. For most of its operational history, IX Corps was headquartered in or around Japan and subordinate to US Army commands in the Far East.

Created following World War I, the corps was not activated for use until just before World War II almost 20 years later. The corps spent most of World War II in charge of defenses on the West Coast of the United States, before moving to Hawaii and Leyte to plan and organize operations for US forces advancing across the Pacific. Following the end of the war, IX Corps participated in the occupation of mainland Japan.

The corps' only combat came in the Korean War. It is best known for its exploits as a senior command of the Eighth United States Army, commanding front line UN forces in numerous offensives and counteroffensives throughout the war. The corps served on the front lines for most of the conflict and took command of several combat divisions at a time. Following the end of the Korean War, IX Corps remained in Korea for several years until it was moved to Japan. The corps spent almost 40 years as an administrative command of the US Army forces there, overseeing administrative functions but no combat. It was finally deactivated and consolidated in 1994.

History[edit]

The IX Corps headquarters was first constituted on 29 July 1921 in the organized reserves, a new corps formation intended to compliment the existing corps commands in the active duty component of the force by providing command to reserve units.[2] It was assigned a shoulder sleeve insignia shortly thereafter.[3] Though the corps was not activated, it remained on the organizational rolls of the Army, to be called on when needed. On 1 October 1933, the corps was moved to the active duty roster, though it remained deactivated.[2]

World War II[edit]

The corps headquarters was finally activated on 24 October 1940 at Fort Lewis, Washington as part of a large buildup of the US Army in response to conflicts around the world.[2] It immediately began training of combat units in preparation for deployment.[4] One year later, IX Corps took command of the Camp Murray staging area in Washington, responsible for training Army National Guard forces in addition to its responsibilities training active duty and reserve units.[5]

Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941, IX Corps was assigned to defensive duties on the West Coast of the United States, specifically the central and northern regions of the coast.[4] The corps oversaw defenses on the West Coast for the majority of the war, but in 1944 it was moved to Fort McPherson, Georgia in preparation for deployment overseas.[5]

Planning[edit]

The corps trained at Fort McPherson in preparation for deployment to the Pacific Theater of Operations. On 25 September 1944, the corps closed headquarters at Fort McPherson and moved to Hawaii.[4] When it arrived in Hawaii, IX Corps was put under the command of the Tenth United States Army. Under the Tenth Army, IX Corps was assigned two missions. In 1944, it was primarily concerned with formulating plans for an invasion of the coastal regions of Japanese-held China. Later in 1944 and early 1945, it was placed in charge of preparing the rest of the Tenth Army for movement to Okinawa in preparation for an invasion of the island, which was launched in April 1945.[5]

When General of the Army Douglas MacArthur took overall command of Pacific Forces, IX Corps was moved to Leyte in the Philippine Islands and was assigned to the Sixth United States Army in July 1945.[5] In Leyte, the corps was tasked with the planning of Operation Downfall, the invasion of mainland Japan, specifically the island of Kyushu. It was also tasked with planning occupation once Japan surrendered.[4] IX Corps was assigned as one of four Corps under the command of the Sixth Army, with a strength of 14 divisions. With the 77th Infantry Division, the 81st Infantry Division and 98th Infantry Division, a force of 79,000 men, IX Corps would serve as the Sixth Army's reserve force during the initial invasion.[6] Before the assault could be launched, Japan surrendered in August 1945, following the use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.[7]

Occupation[edit]

Following the surrender, IX Corps was assigned command of occupation forces on the northern island of Hokkaidō. IX Corps transferred its headquarters in October 1945 to Sapporo for occupation duties.[5] The next few years were a period during which the terms of the surrender were supervised and enforced; Japanese military installations and material were seized, troops were disarmed and discharged, and weapons of warfare disposed of. The duties of the occupation force included conversion of industry, repatriation of foreign nationals, and supervision of the complex features of all phases of Japanese government, economics, education, and industry.[8]

As the occupation duties were accomplished, the occupation force continued to downsize as more troops returned home and their units were deactivated. By 1950, the Sixth Army had left Japan, and the occupation force was reduced to the Eighth United States Army commanding two corps and four under-strength divisions; the I Corps, commanding the 24th Infantry Division and 25th Infantry Division, and the IX Corps, commanding the 1st Cavalry Division and the 7th Infantry Division.[9] IX Corps had been moved to Sendai as the occupation forces shifted as a result of the downsizing.[10] As part of further downsizing, IX Corps was deactivated on 28 March 1950, and its command responsibilities were consolidated with other units.[2]

Korean War[edit]

Only a few months later, the Korean War began, and units from Japan began streaming into South Korea. The Eighth Army, taking charge of the conflict, requested the activation of three corps headquarters for its growing command of UN forces. IX Corps was activated on 10 August 1950 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.[2] Most of its personnel were transferred from the headquarters of the Fifth United States Army.[11]

Pusan Perimeter[edit]

A map of a perimeter on the southeastern tip of a land mass
defense of the Pusan Perimeter

IX Corps arrived at the Pusan Perimeter in Korea on 22 September 1950, and became operational the next day when it took command of the 2nd Infantry Division and 25th Infantry Division.[11][12] It took charge of the western flank of the perimeter, defending the Naktong River area against attacking North Korean units.[13]

Amphibious landings at Inchon by X Corps hit North Korean forces from behind, allowing I Corps and IX Corps to break out of Pusan, I Corps to the north and IX Corps to the south.[14] Four days later I Corps troops pushed northward against crumbling enemy opposition to establish contact with forces of the 7th Infantry Division driving southward from the beachhead. Major elements of the North Korean Army were destroyed and cut off in this aggressive penetration; the link-up was effected south of Suwon on 26 September.[15] The offensive was continued northwards, past Seoul, and across the 38th Parallel on 1 October. The momentum of the attack was maintained, and the race to the North Korean capitol, Pyongyang, ended on 19 October when elements of the South Korean 1st Infantry Division and US 1st Cavalry Division both entered the city. The advance continued, but against unexpectedly stiffening enemy resistance. On 25 October the first Chinese prisoners on the Eighth Army front were taken by I Corps troops. By the end of October the city of Chongju, forty miles from the Yalu River border of North Korea, had been captured.[16] IX Corps advanced in the center of the Army, with I Corps along the west coast and X Corps operating independently further east. Commanders hoped the offensive would end the war "by Christmas."[17]

Chinese intervention[edit]

On 27 November, China entered the war on the side of North Korea against the UN. Massed Chinese attacks were immediately launched against troops of the corps, with Chinese forces penetrating the corps' rear from its exposed east flank.[18] The 2nd Infantry Division, at the front of IX Corp's advance in Kunuri, was overwhelmed from all sides by Chinese forces of the 40th CPV Army Corps, and elements from the 38th CPV Army Corps on 29 November in the Battle of Kunuri.[19] By 1 December, the division was almost completely destroyed; it lost virtually all of its heavy equipment and vehicles, as well as suffering 4,940 men killed or missing.[20] The 25th Infantry Division, on its western flank, was also hit by overwhelming Chinese forces of the 39th CPV Army Corps, facing strong attacks and suffering heavy casualties and losses in equipment in the Battle of Ch'ongch'on River.[19] However, it was spared the same losses as the 2nd Infantry Division by escaping across the Ch'ongch'on River.[18] The Eighth Army suffered heavy casualties, ordering a complete withdraw to the Imjin River, south of the 38th parallel, having been devastated by the overwhelming Chinese force.[20] IX Corps retreated along the western coast to safety via Anju.[21]

Soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division prepare for a Chinese attack

In the wake of the retreat, the disorganized Eighth Army regrouped and re-formed. The 2nd and 25th Infantry Divisions had suffered so many losses that both divisions were designated combat ineffective, and were relegated to the Eighth Army's reserve to rebuild. IX Corps was then assigned the 1st Cavalry Division, 24th Infantry Division, 1st Marine Division and South Korean 6th Infantry Division, as well as the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team.[11] The corps' American forces were also reinforced at this point with battalions from Greece and the Philippines, as well as the 27th Commonwealth Brigade.[22]

On 1 January 1951, 500,000 Chinese troops attacked the Eighth Army's line at the Imjin River, forcing them back 50 miles and allowing the Chinese to capture Seoul.[20] The Chinese eventually advanced too far for their supply lines to adequately support them, and their attack stalled. The Eighth Army, battered by the Chinese assault, began to prepare spring offensives to retake lost ground and keep the retreating Chinese forces from being able to rest.[23][24]

1st Marine Division soldiers capture Chinese prisoners of war.

Following the establishment of defenses south of the capital city, General Matthew B. Ridgway ordered I, IX, and X Corps to conduct a general counteroffensive against the Chinese forces on 25 January, Operation Thunderbolt. The three corps advanced north with IX Corps at the center of the line, on both sides of the Han River.[25][26] The corps were to advance steadily northward, protected by heavy artillery and close air support, until they captured Seoul.[27] IX Corps was tasked with capturing Chipyong-ni, southeast of Seoul while providing support to the other two corps. However, it encountered stiff resistance from Chinese forces dug into the hilly country around Chipyong-ni and was still bogged down in combat by 2 February. Chinese forces had established machine gun nests in the hillside and mined roads to slow the corps' advance.[28] In response, X Corps launched Operation Roundup, hoping to take pressure off of IX Corps and to force the Chinese to abandon Seoul.[29]

Between February and March, the corps participated in Operation Killer, pushing Chinese forces north of the Han River.[30] This operation was quickly followed up with Operation Ripper, which retook Seoul in March.[31] After this, Operations Rugged and Dauntless in April saw Eighth Army forces advance north of the 38th parallel and reestablish themselves along the Kansas Line and Utah Line, respectively.[25] In March, the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team and the 1st Marine Division were reassigned, and the corps was given command of the 7th Infantry Division and the South Korean 2nd Infantry Division in their place.[11]

In late April, the Chinese launched a major counterattack.[32] 486,000 Chinese troops assaulted I Corps and IX Corps' sector of the lines. Most of the UN forces were able to hold their ground, but the Chinese broke through at Kapyong, where the South Korean 6th Division was destroyed by the 13th CPV Army Corps, which penetrated the line and threatened to encircle the American divisions to the west.[33] The 1st Marine Division and 27th British Commonwealth Brigade were able to drive the 13th Army Corps back while the 24th and 25th Divisions withdrew on 25 April.[34] The line was pushed back to Seoul but managed to hold.[34] A second offensive the next month was similarly unsuccessful, as Chinese and North Korean forces suffered heavy casualties but were unable to push back the Eighth Army forces.[35] The I and IX Corps had blunted the offensive at the No Name Line, just north of Seoul.[36][37]

Stalemate[edit]

In September, the UN Forces launched another counteroffensive with the 24th Infantry Division at the center of the line, west of the Hwachon Reservoir. Three of I Corps divisions advanced behind the 24th Infantry Division in Operation Commando.[38] Flanked by the South Korean 2nd and 6th Divisions, the 24th advanced past Kumwha, engaging the 20th and 27th CPV Armies.[38] These attacks were fierce, though enemy resistance was not as strong as it had been in previous offensives.[39] In November, the Chinese attempted to counter this attack, but were unsuccessful. It was at this point, after several successive counteroffensives that saw both sides fighting intensely over the same ground, that the two sides started serious peace negotiations.[40] In January 1952, IX Corps was again reorganized, now containing the 7th Infantry Division and the newly arrived 45th Infantry Division. Two months later, it was reorganized with the 2nd Infantry Division, the 40th Infantry Division, and the South Korean 2nd, 3rd, and Capital Divisions.[11]

In October 1952, Chinese forces conducted a large offensive against IX Corps' sector, against the hilly countryside around the Iron Triangle region of Chorwon, Kumhwa, and Pyongyang. The 38th CPV Field Army sent heavy assaults against the South Korean forces guarding Hill 395 in the Battle of White Horse.[41] At the same time, Chinese forces attacked Arrowhead Hill, which was held by the 2nd Infantry Division two miles away. Both hills changed hands several times, but after two weeks and almost 10,000 casualties, the Chinese were unsuccessful in capturing either objective and withdrew.[42]

A group of medics lift several wounded soldiers onto a tracked vehicle
Corpsmen assist wounded from the 31st Regiment during the Battle of Triangle Hill.

On 14 October 1952, IX Corps launched an offensive, Operation Showdown, intended to improve its defensive lines by capturing a complex of hills and force Chinese lines back. This complex included Pike's Peak, Jane Russell Hill, Sandy Hill, and Triangle Hill, northeast of Kumhwa. The 7th Infantry Division advanced, encountering resistance from the 15th Chinese Field Army.[43] In the ensuing Battle of Triangle Hill, the four hills were captured and recaptured by both sides several times in the heaviest fighting that year.[44] Eventually, the UN forces withdrew having been unsuccessful in capturing their objectives. UN forces suffered 9,000 killed and the Chinese suffered 19,000 killed or wounded during the fighting.[45] The result of the battle had only been a slight improvement in IX Corps' positions, as Chinese positions had been too well fortified for the UN forces to take and hold the ground.[46] For the remainder of the year, US and Chinese forces both conducted a series of smaller raids on each other's lines, avoiding major conflicts, as armistice negotiations continued unsuccessfully.[47] In November, the Chinese launched another offensive to retake ground lost during these operations, which was again repulsed by UN forces.[48]

In January 1953, IX Corps was reorganized for the last time and now consisted entirely of South Korean forces. It retained command of the South Korean 3rd Infantry Division and Capital Division, and gained command of the South Korean 9th Infantry Division.[11] The corps maintained a position around Chorwon, flanked to the west by I Corps and to the east by the South Korean II Corps.[49] Though the South Korean II Corps saw a major attack against its lines in July 1953, IX Corps and its divisions only fought in limited engagements, usually with company-sized formations attacking or defending fortified positions against the Chinese until the end of the war.[50] No major attacks against the corps were conducted through 1953, until the armistice was signed in July, ending the war.[51]

After Korea[edit]

Following the armistice, IX Corps remained on the front lines in Korea in case hostilities erupted again. On 1 January 1954, it was reassigned from the Eighth Army to the Far East United States Army Forces.[4] Camp Sendai was Headquarters XVI and then IX Corps during the 1950s. In November 1956, over three years after the signing of the armistice, IX Corps headquarters left the front lines, moving to Fort Buckner, Okinawa, and the divisions under its command were shifted to the command of other headquarters.[11] There, as a part of consolidation of US forces in the region, IX Corps merged with the US Army's Ryukyus command to form a joint command element on 1 January 1957. The command oversaw administrative duties of US forces in the Ryukyu Islands area.[4] On February 2, 1956, IX Corps moved from mainland Japan to Fort Buckner, Okinawa, where it merged with Headquarters Ryukyus Command, to form HQ RYCOM/IX Corps on January 1, 1957. (Globalsecurity.org) The Army had previously in the late 1940s formed Ryukyu Command from the previous Okinawa Base Command.

In 1961, part of the IX Corps was split into the 9th Regional Support Command, subordinate to the US Army Pacific command. Though the 9th Regional Support Command was an independent unit, it continued to operate closely with IX Corps.[5] It received a distinctive unit insignia in 1969.[3] In 1972, following further consolidation of US forces in the area, the US Army command on the Ryukyus was disbanded, and IX Corps merged with United States Army Japan to form a consolidated command of all US forces in the western Pacific region. There, its responsibilities included administrative oversight of US forces as well as conducting training and exercises with US and other units in the region.[4]

A major change in the Army's command and organizational structure in the Pacific occurred on May 15, 1972, in conjunction with the return of Okinawa to Japanese control after twenty-seven years of administration by the United States. Under the complex reorganization that accompanied reversion, Headquarters, IX U.S. Army Corps, was transferred from Okinawa and collocated with Headquarters, U.S. Army Japan, to form Headquarters, U.S. Army, Japan/IX Corps, at Camp Zama, Japan. On Okinawa, Headquarters, U.S. Army, Ryukyu Islands, and Headquarters, 2d Logistical Command, were inactivated and a U.S. Army Base Command, Okinawa, was established to command and support all Army units there and perform the theater logistic functions for United States and allied forces in the Pacific.

For the next 20 years, IX Corps remained in the region conducting training and oversight to US Army forces in the area, and as such it was never deployed to support any other US Army contingencies. IX Corps remained a command component of United States Army Japan until 1994, when it was deactivated. At this point, the lineage of the corps was assumed by the 9th Theater Army Area Command, which was activated in its place.[4]

Lieutenant General James E. Moore was:

  • Commanding General, IX Corps/Ryukyu Command/Deputy Governor, Ryukyu Islands, 1956–1957.
  • Commanding General, IX Corps/U.S. Army Ryukyu Islands/Deputy Governor, Ryukyu Islands, 1957.
  • Commanding General, IX Corps/U.S. Army Ryukyu Islands/U.S. High Commissioner, Ryukyu Islands, 1957–1958.

Lieutenant General Donald P. Booth was:

  • Commanding General, IX Corps/U.S. Army Ryukyu Islands/U.S. High Commissioner, Ryukyu Islands, 1958–1961.

Lt. Gen. Albert Watson, II was:

  • Commanding General, U.S. Army, Ryukyu Islands, Aug 1964-Oct 1966

Lt. Gen. Ferdinand T. Unger was:

  • Commanding General, U.S. Army, Ryukyu Islands, O c t . 1966 - still in post Apr 1967 during GAO study on computers[52]

U.S. Army Ryukyu Islands (USARYIS) was active at lest until from 22 April 1969 – 21 October 1970.

Honors[edit]

Ryukyu Command headquarters circa 1955

The IX Corps was awarded one campaign streamer for service in World War II, and nine campaign streamers and two unit decorations during its service in the Korean War for a total of ten streamers and two unit decorations in its operational history.[2]

Unit decorations[edit]

Ribbon Award Year Notes
White ribbon with vertical green and red stripes on its edges and a red and blue circle in the middle Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation 1950 for service in Korea
White ribbon with vertical green and red stripes on its edges and a red and blue circle in the middle Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation 1952–1953 for service in Korea


Campaign streamers[edit]

Conflict Streamer Year(s)
World War II Asiatic Pacific Theater (No inscription)
Korean War UN Offensive 1950
Korean War CCF Intervention 1950
Korean War First UN Counteroffensive 1950
Korean War CCF Spring Offensive 1951
Korean War UN Summer-Fall Offensive 1951
Korean War Second Korean Winter 1951–1952
Korean War Korea, Summer-Fall 1952 1952
Korean War Third Korean Winter 1952–1953
Korean War Korea, Summer 1953 1953


References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 278
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Lineage and Honors Information: IX Corps". United States Army Japan. Retrieved 26 November 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "The Institute of Heraldry: IX Corps". The Institute of Heraldry. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "IX Corps History". United States Army Reserve. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "GlobalSecurity.org: IX Corps". GlobalSecurity. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  6. ^ Marston 2006, p. 229
  7. ^ Marston 2006, p. 236
  8. ^ Marston 2006, p. 237
  9. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 84
  10. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 87
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Varhola 2000, p. 88
  12. ^ Appleman 1998, p. 545
  13. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 86
  14. ^ Alexander 2003, p. 221
  15. ^ Appleman 1998, p. 597
  16. ^ Appleman 1998, p. 682
  17. ^ Alexander 2003, p. 312
  18. ^ a b Alexander 2003, p. 313
  19. ^ a b Malkasian 2001, p. 31
  20. ^ a b c Varhola 2000, p. 14
  21. ^ Malkasian 2001, p. 34
  22. ^ Alexander 2003, p. 379
  23. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 15
  24. ^ Alexander 2003, p. 395
  25. ^ a b Varhola 2000, p. 16
  26. ^ Alexander 2003, p. 394
  27. ^ Malkasian 2001, p. 39
  28. ^ Alexander 2003, p. 400
  29. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 17
  30. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 18
  31. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 19
  32. ^ Malkasian 2001, p. 41
  33. ^ Catchpole 2001, p. 120
  34. ^ a b Malkasian 2001, p. 42
  35. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 20
  36. ^ Malkasian 2001, p. 44
  37. ^ Alexander 2003, p. 403
  38. ^ a b Malkasian 2001, p. 50
  39. ^ Alexander 2003, p. 447
  40. ^ Malkasian 2001, p. 53
  41. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 25
  42. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 26
  43. ^ Malkasian 2001, p. 82
  44. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 27
  45. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 28
  46. ^ Alexander 2003, p. 467
  47. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 29
  48. ^ Malkasian 2001, p. 52
  49. ^ Malkasian 2001, p. 86
  50. ^ Malkasian 2001, p. 87
  51. ^ Varhola 2000, p. 31
  52. ^ http://www.gao.gov/assets/190/188561.pdf

Sources[edit]