Hampered by a lack of communication and equipment, and a shortage of heavy weapons to match the KPA's firepower, the outnumbered, ill-equipped and untrained American forces were pushed back from the riverbank after several days before fighting an intense urban battle to defend the city. After a fierce three-day struggle, the Americans withdrew. Although they could not hold the city, the 24th Infantry Division achieved a strategic victory by delaying the North Koreans, providing time for other American divisions to establish a defensive perimeter around Pusan further south. The delay imposed at Taejon probably prevented an American rout during the subsequent Battle of Pusan Perimeter. During the action, the KPA captured Major General William F. Dean, the commander of the 24th Infantry Division, and highest ranking American prisoner during the Korean War.

The first chaplain to serve in Korea deployed there with the initial American ground force to enter the conflict: Task Force Smith, an under strength battalion of the 24th Infantry Division's 21st Infantry Regiment. The battalion's chaplain, Carl R. Hudson, had been looking forward to a routine tour of garrison duty in Japan upon his assignment to the unit a few weeks beforehand. Chaplain Hudson and the rest of the task force's 540 soldiers had little time to do anything after settling into a defense position just north of the town of Osan during the early morning hours of July 5, 1950. A large force of North Korean tanks and infantry attacked just a few hours later. By early afternoon the task force was completely overrun, its survivors scattered. Chaplain Hudson, along with the battalion's surgeon and a large group of walking wounded, spent most of the following night and day making their way southward to the safety of the nearest American unit. Other chaplains of the 24th Infantry Division had experiences similar to that of Hudson during that difficult month of July 1950, narrowly escaping as one American position after another fell before the North Korean advance. All survived, with the exception of Chaplain Herman G. Felhoelter of the 19th Infantry Regiment. With his battalion falling back as the American position along the Kum River collapsed, Felhoelter volunteered to remain behind with a group of critically wounded men. A North Korean patrol came upon the group and executed the prostrate soldiers and their praying chaplain. Felhoelter was the first of twelve chaplains to die in action or as a prisoner during the Korean War. The second also perished in July 1950, when Chaplain Byron D. Lee of the 35th Infantry Regiment (25th Infantry Division) was mortally wounded during an attack from an enemy aircraft. (Citation - https://www.army.mil/article/100572/under_fire_army_ chaplains_in_korea_1950)

 

His brother, Henry G. Felhoelter, born 11 October 1916, served in the U.S. Army from 3 July 1941 to 27 November 1945. He died 13 March 1990.

Father Herman Felhoelter

ALLIS, GILBERT IRVING, Staff Sergeant, # 31085160, USAAF

 

Gilbert I. Allis was born on 26 July 1920 in Whately, Franklin Co., Massachusetts, to Edward Elliott Allis (1893-1970) and Marion F. (Osgood) Allis (1895-1960). Siblings included Edward Elliott Allis (1919-1991), Frances Osgood (Allis) Meunier (1919-2013), Willard Oliver Allis (1926-1967), and Adelia (Allis) Bardwell (1938-    ). He graduated from Deerfield High School. He married Laura Mae Tower (1918-1992) in Shelburne, Mass., on 3 May 1942. They had two children.