Leo Siegenthaler's
Account at Hungnam, North Korea - Page 2

Thousands of civilians were now jamming the docks and beaches begging for transportation that never came. Others rowed out into the bay in sampans to escape the fire and explosions. We watched the figures clad in mostly black and white rags running around in the city and on the beach; not going anywhere in particular but trying to escape somewhere.

Another explosion went off that nearly knocked the sightseers on our ship down. The different colors of flame and smoke were quite awesome and burning material dropped all over the fleeing Koreans and started fires in a wide area.

While the Reds were held back by Naval gunfire and bombs, our last troops could be seen coming out of the hills and proceeding to the last boats which were loading others. Soon the transports were commencing to leave the area and the cruisers and destroyers began shelling the area. A terrific explosion all along the waterfront went off and when the smoke cleared, the harbor area was in a shambles and burning. These charges were set by demolition crews and consequently the enemy will have a job on his hands before the docks can be used again. The rocket boats moved in apparently to flatten the whole city, but they decided not to evidently. A destroyer came in by us and began shelling oil storage areas. She kept hitting the same place and soon we wondered why she was using ammunition on what appeared to be nothing of value to us. Soon we knew, because an oil explosion threw barrels of fuel all over hell. It was like lighting a string of firecrackers and throwing them in the air. The shelling of the destroyer caused two more like explosions and where I once looked at the first United Nations flag flying, there was nothing but fire.

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