As a Korean veteran that did not come under fire I judge myself fortunate. I was on the Admiral's Staff of Amphibious Group Two. The Inchon Landing was made by Amphibious Group Four and my Admiral was very jealous
of not having received
the nod to plan and execute that landing.
My particular rate was Draftsman, and my task was to make a landing on a hostile beach, reconnoiter
the area for targets, make a drawing of the targets and help incorporate them into the invasion plan. A submarine would deposit a team of six into a rubber raft and we would paddle to the hostile beach in the dark. Upon hitting the beach, the raft was to be carried to the tree line and hidden in the trees. Then, by twos, we would move around in the dark looking for roads, fences, buildings, ammunition
dumps, pillboxes, trenches etc. A sketch was to be made of the findings. Before daylight, we had to leave the beach and paddle out to the waiting sub.
Before that mission was begun, photo reconnaissance
planes took stereo
photos of the area that was to be invaded. I was trained in reading stereo
photos. By studying the photos we were able to make some determinations about what was in the area. However, the photos do not reveal everything, nor can they determine dummy targets. Accuracy requires someone to eyeball the scene.
I trained on a beach in North Carolina with other draftsmen. We were taken to the scene by a LCVP
(simulating a sub drop), a rubber raft was dropped over the side, we got in and paddled to the beach. A rubber raft is very heavy and it is difficult to pick up in the surf and carry it to the tree line. Mostly, it was dragged across the beach and then we had to erase the drag marks so no one would know we were there. When the wind would blow it got into our eyes because for the most part we would crawl in the sand wherever we went. As soon as we were separated into twos it was not possible to distinguish friend from foe. There were some people near the beach that were there simulating the enemy. One time, after rounding a dune, I came across three people and I thought I had been captured. But they were part of the drop team, one had lost his partner. If I had had a gun I might have fired on them, or they on me. This is what they mean by killed by friendly fire.
As I said before, I consider myself fortunate not having to land on a hostile beach.