Photo via U.S. Army Center for Military History

On the night of June 30, 1950, Lt. Col. Charles B. Smith was asleep in his quarters at Camp Woods near Kumamoto, Japan, when he received a phone call. “The lid has blown off. Get on your clothes and report to the CP,” his commanding officer told him. This began the deployment of Task Force Smith, the first American combat troops to arrive and fight in the Korean War.

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