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INCHON, Republic of Korea - Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet, and Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, joined the Republic of Korea Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Choi Yoon-Hee in commemorating the 63rd anniversary of the Inchon amphibious landing, Sept 15, with a wreath laying ceremony, naval demonstration, and parade throughout the city of Inchon, South Korea.
U.S. and Republic of Korea navy leaders were joined by Lt. Gen. Bernard Champoux, commanding general of the U.S. Eighth Army, and Maj. Gen. Christopher Owens, commander U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Korea, along with other senior leaders from the Republic of Korea during the commemorative events.
Leaders from both the U.S. and Republic of Korea took time to recognize the contributions of Korean War veterans and highlighted the importance of the Inchon landing battle as a key turning point during the Korean War.
"Sixty-three years ago, at this very location, a United Nations force of 261 ships and 75,000 troops, thanks to the unwavering determination and outstanding strategy of General Douglas MacArthur, achieved a miraculous victory," said Adm. Choi Yoon-Hee, chief of naval operations for the Republic of Korea Navy. "This great victory was made possible through the sacrifice of United Nations troops, along with Republic of Korea Navy and Marines."
Colonel (retired) Warren Wiedhahn, a U.S. Korean War veteran and officer assigned to the amphibious landing force 63 years ago, recalled the significance of the Inchon landing during a memoir speech on behalf of Korean War veterans.
"History tells us the Inchon landing was one of the most daring, yet successful amphibious assaults in the history of warfare," said Wiedhahn. "As we saw the absolute ruins of Inchon and Seoul in September of 1950, it would have been impossible for us to imagine the modern, vibrant cities we see in Korea more than 60 years later."
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea is the regional commander for the U.S. Navy in the Republic of Korea and provides expertise on naval matters to area military commanders, including the Commander, United Nations Command, the Combined Forces Command, and Commander, U.S. Forces Korea.