The passing of a Korean war veteran

HMS Concord
HMS Concord (image: Wikipedia)

From a recent obituary in the Telegraph:

Vice-admiral Sir Charles Mills, who has died (on July 27) aged 91, was a talented staff officer whose one chance of independent command came in the destroyer Concord during the Korean War.

In the course of six patrols over 95,000 miles with Dutch and New Zealand ships of the United Nations force, he first enforced a coastal blockade. He then steamed at full speed overnight to launch a dawn attack far behind the North Korean front line. After impressing his young officers by leaving them to navigate the dangerous passages while he stayed in his cabin to be fresh for the morning, he directed firing on ammunition dumps and trains passing between tunnels and over bridges.

Entering the Yalu Gulf in October 1951, Mills bombarded Kojo and, on Trafalgar Day, Wonsan. North Korean artillery was active and accurate, and Concord was straddled by shells exploding either side of her. But Mills manoeuvred expertly, and the next shells landed in the wake at the stern.

The following March he bombarded North Korean marines as they advanced at low tide in the Haeju Gulf to capture off-lying islands and, using the precision fire of his 4.5-inch guns, drove off the enemy. However while bombarding Sonjin on the west coast, Concord was hit on Y turret, killing two men and injuring four.

Mills was awarded the DSC by the Crown and the US Legion of Merit.

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