Navy warship to help reenact Korean War’s pivotal amphibious assault on Incheon
Stars and Stripes September 6, 2023
OSAN, South Korea — A U.S. amphibious assault ship will join South Korean navy vessels next week for a historical reenactment of the Incheon landing during the 1950-53 Korean War.
The USS America will help mark the operation’s 73rd anniversary during a Sept. 15 ceremony in the coastal city of Incheon, a South Korean navy headquarters officer said by phone Wednesday.
The Sasebo, Japan-based ship was commissioned in 2014 and carries a crew of roughly 1,200 sailors, 1,900 Marines and an air arm of tiltrotor MV-22B Ospreys and F-35B Lightning IIs. The ship is powered by a hybrid electric-propulsion system.
Around 20 South Korean navy ships, 10 aircraft and 3,300 service members will participate in the reenactment, according to a Ministry of National Defense news release Tuesday.
The event will also commemorate the 70th anniversary of the armistice agreement that ended Korean War hostilities and “reexamines the historical meaning and value” of the operation,” the release said.
The navy official said the Canadian frigate HMCS Vancouver will also participate in the reenactment. No joint naval drills, apart from the reenactment, were scheduled as of Wednesday, he said.
South Korean officials regularly speak to the media on a customary condition of anonymity.
U.S. Forces Korea spokesman David Kim declined to comment on the reenactment in an email Wednesday, saying the command does not “publicly discuss the movement of a specific asset due to operational security concerns.”
On Sept. 13, 1950, allied warships encircling Incheon harbor fired on North Korean fortifications on the beachhead to prepare for Operation Chromite, the U.S.-led amphibious assault on Incheon by U.N. Command forces. The “daring” attack on Incheon was designed to catch the North Koreans off guard, strike a psychological blow and recapture Seoul, according to Naval History and Heritage Command.
Allied troops led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur successfully retook Incheon and marched east to Seoul, 18 miles inland. By Sept. 28, 1950, they had liberated the capital city, cut the North Koreans’ supply routes and separated them from their forces to the south.
Around 600 U.N. Command troops were killed and 2,750 were wounded in the operation. About 14,000 North Korean troops were killed and 7,000 were taken prisoner.
Stars and Stripes reporter Yoo Kyong Chang contributed to this report.