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Let Slip the Dogs of War

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Let Slip the Dogs of War

A Memoir of the GHQ 1st Raider Company (8245th Army Unit) a.k.a. Special Operations Company, Korea, 1950–51

  • by John W. Connor
    • Merriam Press Military Monograph 96
    • Second Edition 2012
      • 214 6×9 inch pages
      • 31 photos
      • 7 documents
      • 2 maps
On July 15, 1950, only a few weeks after North Korea invaded South Korea with overwhelming force, General Douglas MacArthur authorized the creation of a Provisional Raider Company to blow up bridges and railway tunnels behind enemy lines.
Of 800 potential volunteers, 115 made the cut and endured weeks of grueling amphibious and demolitions training. On September 9, they and a small contingent of British Commandos left to conduct a raid at Kunsan, South Korea. On subsequent assignments, the Raiders went ashore at Inchon with the Marines, and with the X Corps at Wonsan. They conducted long-range intelligence-gathering patrols in which they also inserted and removed Korean agents. During the Chosin Reservoir campaign they were assigned to take and hold open the mountain passes for the withdrawal of the Marines and the 7th Division.
The Raiders were evacuated from North Korea on December 14, 1950, and assigned anti-guerrilla activities in South Korea. At Chang-to they were cut off and surrounded by two North Korean regiments.
On April 1, 1951, all Ranger and Special Operations units were disbanded because the Army high command believed they were not being utilized prop-erly.
This is the story of that unit as told by one of its members, John Connor. In about seven months of almost continual combat, they managed to accumulate four battle stars, a bronze arrowhead for a combat assault landing, Presidential Unit citations from both the U.S. Navy and the Republic of Korea, along with a special commendation from the commanding general of X Corps for imposing losses on the enemy far in excess of their own numbers.
  • Dedication
  • List of Illustrations
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Prologue
  • Childhood
  • Basic Training
  • Chapter 1: Occupation Duty
  • Chapter 2: Camp McGill
  • Chapter 3: Kusan
  • Chapter 4: Inchon and Kimpo
  • Chapter 5: North Korea
  • Chapter 6: Chosin Reservoir
  • Chapter 7: South Korea
  • Chapter 8: The Battle at Chang-to
  • Chapter 9: Business as Usual
  • Chapter 10: Deactivation
  • Epilogue
  • Afterword
  • Appendices Bibliography
    • Satellite photo of Korean Peninsula at night
    • Surrender leaflet and news article
    • Presidential Unit Citation
    • Personal message to General Collins from GHQ, 1950
    • Fragmentary order to Colonel Ely
    • Commendation to CO, Special Activities Group
    • Permanent orders to John Connor
  • Index

Product Reviews

(1 Rating, 1 Review) Average Rating:
(Son of Dr. Patrick Gannon, Major USAF (retired))
Mike Gannon (Colorado Springs, CO) 6/27/2010 12:22 PM
John Connor does a wonderful job conveying the story of the GHQ 1st Raider Company's experiences in Korea in 1950-51. The events are presented from the perspective of someone who was there, with all the humility and courage you would expect from these brave soldiers. Perhaps the most remarkable take-away from reading this book is to learn how those from such humble roots during the Depression era distinguished themselves in war and then returned home, going on to build successful careers. My father is one of the men Dr. Connor served with in the GHQ 1st Raider Company. Despite going on to become a career Air Force officer, earning a PhD, performing often-cited research and ultimately ending his working years as a college professor, I have come to realize in conversations with him that nothing he did in his life before or after the Korean War means as much to him as that time he proudly served with the GHQ 1st Raider Company. Kudos to Dr. Connor for documenting this Company's service for our country and the people of Korea. That service deserves to be remembered. - Mike Gannon