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U.S. Planes Bomb
British Units By Mistake
'¿*. . m. \ *, " ' TOKYO, Sunday.
The 5th Aîr Forcé'Command has ordered an immediate investigation into the bombing and strafing of British troops by U.S, planes yesterday.
The first official acknowledgement of the tragic mistake" was ' the ' announcement in the Eighth Army communique that the British troops advance towards Songju from the South East was halted when they were "inadvertently hit by
united Nations aircraft."
American petrol bombs and attacking Communists yesterday killed or wound* ed more than 150 men of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on a hill, five miles west of the Naktong River.
The American planes had been called to give the Highlanders close support and, in the con- fusion after the mistaken raid, the Communists swept over the
American pianos hit the Brit- ish with naplarrt (jellied petrol) incendiary bombs ' and raked them with machintí-gün fire
'Stretcher bearers evacuating wounded in the raid were them- selves hit by Communist artil- lery '
American Associated Press
photographer, Gene Harnck, who witnessed the unfortunate bomb ins- said that the Britisli soldiers were ansrry and some of them rursed him because he was a Yankee
The United States Ambassador in London fMr Julius Holmes) last nie*ht sent a message to the Prime Minister CMr. Attlee) ex pressine; deep sympathy at the casualties suffered by British forces as a result of American bombing mistake
Air Vice-Marshall C A Bou- chier, senior British liaison offi- cer attacked to United Nations headquarters, left by plane to- day for Korea to investigate the attack.,
His visit to British troops had been scheduled before the acci- dent, but a British source said he would attempt to gather all possible information on the in-
The air attacks caused about:
Heavy fighting after the bombing and shelling of the wounded as they were being taken back across the river took toll of scores more
A British doctor said that 20 per cent of the wounded were in a serious condition Others
had minor shrapnel wounds or
The last of thevmany British wounded were brought back across the Naktong River by moonlight early to-day, but some of the dead Were still on the disastrous hill 282, two milos south-east of Songju
"There have been well over 1,000 casualties this morning mostly Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders" A grave faced British officer told A A P -Reuter correspondent Lionel Hudson, at a school house turned into hos- pital
British Private William Watt 22 of North Berwick Scotland, told Hudson: "We started at
dawn and' got up a"hill after shooting a few Koreans We were shelled for h couple of hoiirs. Then the Koreans start- ed coming back, but wc held them and they started to go hork They then fired red and vellrw flares A few minute1? latet fighter bombers started Hying around. They were Ame
rican planes Three staraffed us on the crest of^the hill He were so surprised^íbuW-hUve knocked
us down with a feather We were m a hole Some of the
blokes waved at the planes, but
then we baled out and went down the hill They started bombing us then with those fire- bombs It was pretty grim This stuff like jellied fire started burning everything Blokes who got it started moaning and we carried them back "
In the following confusion Communist troops took the op- portunity to launch a counter attack Wounded helped wound- ed down the hill stopping the fire as they stumbled on Those hit badly were carried back on ground sheets and stretchers
Despite everything it was an orderly withdrawal, a dozen eye witnesses told Hudson '
Private Watt went back for
his Bren gun and started shoot- ing madly to cover the wound- ed With him was a major who helped man a mortar until he was shot through the stomach and killed These were two of the men who stood firm to stave off the Communists until the wounded were evacuated Then a delaying force took up posi- tions half a mile back
The stream of wounded start- ed across a river Which Iras been under Continuous shellRre
for days British ambulances raced across a 200-yard stretch of open sand in a tiver bed to collect wounded from stretcher bearers i
Whenever an ambulance ap- proached the shelling1 became more intence Captain Edward Osborne of Kentucky, said ''The shells were landing thick and fast but the stretcher-bear- ers didnt waver They kept com-