LAST ENEMY SHIP TO LEAVE FIRE-BLACKENED
WONSAN HARBOR ON THE NORTH KOREAN COAST


After a cruise to the Caribbean in March, 1953, the ship headed for Korea where she joined the U.S. Naval Forces supporting the United Nations ground forces. In addition to operating with a fast carrier task force off the eastern coast of Korea, the USS Potter conducted shore bombardments of Wonsan Harbor and was the last ship to leave there after the armistice had been declared, remaining in action up to the last minute.


Enemy Shell Misses Smith

Ens. James H. Smith was one of the four members of a fire control party from the USS Stephen Potter put ashore near Kosong, Korea, to assist Marine Corps personnel directing the Potter's five‑inch gun batteries, shortly before the armistice was signed.

Aided by excellent visibility, the destroyer Potter struck her heaviest blows since arriving in Korean waters. Seven enemy bunkers were destroyed and four damaged, and over 200 yards of trenches were cut.

Firing at extreme range, the Potter reached far inland to cut an important supply road in four places and destroyed a large supply building.

As the men returned by jeep from the front line area, an enemy shell exploded directly in front of them, fragments piercing the jeep's dashboard and riddling the radiator. All of the men were unhurt.

Taken from "USS Stephen Potter - The Story of DD538" compiled and edited by Lt. Wilson F. (Bill) Minor USNR (Ret).