TOKYO -- United Nations troops liberated Seoul from Communist rule today.
Gen. Douglas McArthur announced in United Nations communique number nine that the South Korean capital was "again in friendly hands."
The communique said the UN forces, including troops of U.S. 7th Infantry and 1st divisions and the 17th regiment of the South Korean army, had completed envelopment and seizure of the city.
The city's capture was achieved in just one day more than three months after the North Koreans launched their surprise attack on Korean Republic. Three days after the invasion started the capital of Seoul fell.
Then the Reds rushed forward in attacks which now are matched or surpassed by the speed of the United Nations offensive.
Everywhere in South Korea the Reds are on the run, and for the Allies "victory is in sight," according to Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker, commanding general of the Eighth army.
11 Day Victory
The liberation of the capital city miles south of the 38th parallel boundary with North Korea was achieved just 11 days after the U.S. Marines landed at Inchon in one of most daring amphibious operations in history.
The U.S. 7th division which fought side-by-side with the Marines to drive the Communists from Seoul landed at Inchon only eight days ago.
The spectacular victory at Seoul was being matched in the southwest by other Allied troops who were ripping the Communist armies around the rim of the Pusan beachhead.
One smashing advance has carried the U.S. 1st Cavalry 70 miles in 10 days to within 38 miles of a junction with troops of the U.S. i7th Division who have pushed down to Osan south of Seoul.
Then on General Almond's orders the Marines attacked through the smoke-choked streets, past the buildings along the main boulevard leading north from the railroad station.
"They attacked at 2 a.m. Tuesday," Poats reported.
"At 2:10 a.m. they ran into 10 Communist tanks and a hall of infantry fire.
"High velocity tank guns cracked and projectiles ricocheted through the streets and whined overhead. The First Marine regiment's 3.5-inch bazookas and supporting medium tanks moved into close quarters with the enemy.
"In the smoky haze the 1st Marines claimed seven North Korean tanks destroyed, three probably knocked out, in a one-hour duel. The bazookas were credited with most of the victory."
Seoul fell only after a bitter fight, which left many Americans lying dead or wounded on the battlefields.
For four days the Marines had waged a bloody house-to-house, doorway-to-doorway fight with the Reds through the zig-zag network of alley-wide streets in the ancient sections of Seoul.
It was not until the 7th Division had sent some of its troops on a wide end run around Seoul and across the Han River into the southeastern part of the city that the Allies finally achieved victory.
U.S. Style 'Banzai'
It was not until the Marines had waged an American-style "banzai" attack that broke the western Seoul defenses that the teeming city was returned to rightful hands.
South Korean forces, too, had plunged into the battle for Seoul, swinging around its eastern out-skirts to cut off Communist escape routes.
There was nothing in MacArthur's announcement to indicate the fate of the 18,000 Communists who were believed defending the city.