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A $60k Patrol Boat and a Single Deck Gun Changed the Course of Korean War (nationalinterest.org)
77 points by vinnyglennon 9 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 14 comments

That’s amazing fortune!

The officers and enlisted men and their families scrounged up enough money to get the govt to pony up the rest to purchase a decrepit ship in need of repair.

It was repaired in New York with one mounted gun. They bought one hundred rounds on the way back in Hawaii. Two months after beginning maritime ops in Busan Harbor it sighted a DPRK ship with approx 1000 enemy soldiers who tried to fire on and swim to the patrol boat. The patrol boat fired back and sunk the ship staving off an invasion force which, once the war would start two months hence, would have denied UN forces the toehold they eventually leveraged to a stalemate on the peninsula and save SK from falling into communist hands.

I was the most surprised by the crowdfunding aspect. South Korea and its citizens were destitute yet managed to raise over $200,000 adjusted for inflation.

The Wikipedia page features photos of the ship: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_PC-823

"at that stage a training ship of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Fifteen naval officers spent two months in the U.S. to fix her. The ship was in such poor condition that the only thing working was the engine"

Wouldn't you want to be instilling your cadets with the importance of a well maintained ship?

The Academy seems to have been headed by a rear admiral, so I would have expected a military type approach to these things.

Have you ever been in the Military?

Making do with what you have is the number 1 skill you need to learn. Those cadets would have gained 10x more experience from getting that ship back up to operational readiness than they would have from working on a brand new ship in perfect condition.

I don't follow. Are you saying each class of cadets repaired then destroyed all the parts of the ship?

But no I've never been in the military.

I would have thought preventative maintenance would be a big thing, particularly for the big expensive thing that you're relying on to keep you alive.

The cadets took a mothballed ship in poor repair and commissioned it back into service. Sounds like a pretty good exercise.

Korea bought it from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, then had to spend time repairing it because it was in such a bad state of repair. I don't know what state it was in when the Marine Academy received it, but when it left only the engine worked.

I suspect the parent poster is asking why the US Navy didn't keep it in better order at the academy, and not why the South Koreans didn't get a better ship.

If you're reading this in Chrome on mobile and many of the words are cut off on the right, try the Desktop Site option on the Chrome menu.

The article says the ship was purchased via "crowdfunding" in 1948. How retroactive is that word?!

Or maybe it just led to a battalion getting slaughtered at sea rather than in the port. Direct attacks on harbors had a pretty sorry record in WW II.

War is stupid.

Indeed: Some poor NK peasants trying to save their lives by climbing onto that boat, getting gunned down...

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