RAN at Chinnampo

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RAN at Chinnampo

5 DEC 1950: The Korean War and the evacuation of Chinnampo, Korea. HMA Ships Bataan and Warramunga took part in evacuating Chinnampo, which involved operating in the very shallow waters of the Taedong River estuary at night. On 1 December 1950 Bataan departed Sasebo for the Yalu River approaches on the west coast and she joined HMAS Warramunga and HMC Ships Cayuga, Athabaskan and Sioux, and USS Forest B Royal on 3 December.

At this time the Chinese Communist forces had halted the United Nations offensive in North Korea and since it appeared probable that attempts would be made to land reinforcements on the north west coast, an enforcement of the blockade as far north as possible was imperative. In these circumstances Bataan began operations twelve miles from the Yalu entrance in a temperature of 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

The cold winter months often saw ice form on the upper decks of ships operating in Korean waters
The following day, 4 December, the patrol group was ordered to assemble off Choda Island in preparation for the evacuation of Chinnampo.

Late that night the six destroyers began the hazardous passage through the narrow swept channel. Two ran aground en route, the remaining four including Bataan reached the port early on 5 December to find ‘everything quiet with numbers of ships loading under the full brilliancy of arc light.’

The evacuation was completed by the evening of 5 December and at 1720 Bataan, Cayuga and USS Forest Royal began demolition bombardment before proceeding to Inchon.

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