Subject: FRENCH NAVY IN KOREAN WATERS 1950
Léon C. Rochotte wrote on February 6, 2007
City and State: ST MICHEL SUR MEURTHE
Unit: FMS LA GRANDIÈRE F731
Service or Relationship: United Nations
Comments: My snail-mail and email addresses have changed.
On the web check now my own website (fr-en):
http://assoc.orange.fr/france-coree/eurokorvet/eurokorvet.htm and links.
I Remember Korea
Thanks to Hal and Ted Barker
Keywords: Invasions of Inchon and Wonsan, 4th Frigate Squadron (F4) Commonwealth, HMS Mounts Bay F627, USS Mansfield DD728, CA Louis Tailhades FN, VAE Claude Gagliardi FN, CF Urbain Cabanié FN, Captain J.H. Unwin RN, Donald Giles RN, Karl Kristiansen USN
Subject: FRENCH NAVY IN KOREAN WATERS
Léon C. Rochotte wrote on November 22, 1999
City and State: ST. MICHEL SUR MEURTHE
Unit: FMS LA GRANDIÈRE F731
Service or Relationship: United Nations Veteran - Korea
Comments: I served in that time aboard the FMS LA GRANDIÈRE (F731), a frigate, Commander: Captain Urbain E. CABANIÉ FN. We were in the Korean waters since July 29th and have been immediatly assigned to escort duties between SASEBO (Japan) and PUSAN. Twelve successive convoys transporting troops and various cargoes took place without any incident up to 3rd September, except for some submarine threats and for some sea damages cause by the dreadful weather, but which was repaired quickly and efficiently at the Sasebo docks.
Then we joined the group of escort ships to which LA GRANDIÈRE belonged, made up of frigates and corvettes from various countries, and placed under the command of Captain Unwin of the Royal Navy, commander of the frigate HMS MOUNTS BAY (F637) arrived in korean waters on the 10th August and the month consisting of convoy duties with LA GRANDIÈRE and other frigates and also close inshore support bombardments assisted by HMCS ATHABASCAN, CYUGA and HMAS BATAAN.
On 8 September 1950 LA GRANDIÈRE (F731), as CTU 90.04.3 joined Attack Force 90.42 with three minesweepers: USS PARTRIDGE (AMS 31), USS OSPREY (AMS28) and USS MOCKING BIRD (AMS 27).
Also, under our protection in our convoy were other ships of the "Pontoon Movement Unit" : tugboats YTB406 and YN101, plus three fleet ocean tugs USS ARIKARA (ATF98), LIPAN and USS CREE (ATF84), with their floating stage elements.
On the 11th of September HMS MOUNTS BAY (F627) sailed from Pusan to rendezvous with the main invasion force off the west coast of Kyushu Island to take up escort duties along with HMS WHITESAND BAY (F633), MORECAMBE BAY (F624), HMNZS TUTIRA (F517) and PUKAKI (F424), plus the USS BAYONNE, NEWPORT and EVANSVILLE and joined at sea FMS LA GRANDIÈRE (F731) and her Pontoon Movement Unit.
Please check this story at URL:
thanks to my friend Karl Kristiansen USS MANSFIELD DD728.
Keywords: HMS MOUNTS BAY, Inchon and Wonsan Invasions, Minewarfare Korea
Subject: USS MANSFIELD DD728
Léon C. Rochotte wrote on January 14, 1999
City and State: SAINT MICHEL SUR MEURTHE VOSGES
Unit: UNITED NATIONS (NAVAL FORCES)
Service or Relationship:
USS MANSFIELD DD728 - Korean Era *
With UNITED NATIONS NAVAL FORCES: INCHON Invasion September 15th 1950
and French and English Contributions : FMS LA GRANDIÈRE, HMS MOUNTSBAY and others *
13 September 1950 : D Day -2 . The tempo of the air and sea bombardments increased in their intensity. TG 90.6 is en route to Inchon early in the morning. USS ROCHESTER (CA124) joined the formation. The US destroyers formed column led by USS MANSFIELD (DD728) and proceeded up Flying Fish channel toward Inchon. The channel is mined. USS MANSFIELD sighted 12 mines abeam to port 1,000 yards and fired on mines with small arms. MANSFIELD is with USS DE HAVEN and SWENSON proceeding in the Salee River and entered the harbor... *
14 September 1950: D Day -1 . Element of TG 90.6 formed column in the morning and proceeded again up Flying Fish channel to Inchon area. USS MANSFIELD DD728 is column leader of the Destroyers unit. About noon, Cruiser Element commenced bombardment of Inchon area. Air strikes are in progress on Wolmi-Do and Inchon area. MANSFIELD and the Destroyers are on station assigned for pre-arranged fire in the close vicinity North East of Inchon. As in the precedent action, destroyers were proceeding down Flying Fish channel in the afternoon and rejoined TG 90.6 main force to form A/S screen... *
D DAY - 15 September 1950 : At midnight on the 14th, under a dark night with a new moon, FMS LA GRANDIÈRE F731 and her pontoon movement unit arrived off the Clifford islands. We progressed along the Flying Fish Channel which led to Inchon. All lights were switch off. The channel was narrow and subject to strong streams, the minesweepers went first and threaded their way between the groups of islands. A lot of warships took part in this precarious conditions. There was no accident... En route in the Salee River we were passed by element TE 90.67 USS MANSFIELD, DEHAVEN, SWENSON, HENDERSON, GURKE. USS SOUTHERLAND (DDR743) joined the column to replace USS COLLETT.
At 05.20 with all hands at action stations the combined assault force entered the Inchon narrows and the final pre-landing bombardment commenced. Proceeding along the Salee River before dawn, pontoon units convoy of FMS LA GRANDIÈRE came within view of Wolmi-Do where the Marines were just preparing to land. Covering fire was given by all ships, first from the destroyers then the cruisers and the battleships as USS MISSOURI BB63 in the open sea firing salvos with all her nine 19" (406mm) guns ... Assault aircraft took off from the carriers. With our convoy we sailed ahead the bow of LSM'S(R) sending volleys of rockets to the shores of Inchon... What a firework... The hell ... *
TO BE CONTINUED, Soon in "Inchon Invasion-Léon Rochotte's page"
Thanks to Karl Kristiansen "USS MANSFIELD DD728"