In September 1949, the personnel of the Republic of Korea Navy, donated funds to obtain
their service's first significant warship. The former PC-823(USN) was purchased and renamed
Pak Tu San (PC-701). Provided with weapons by the U.S. Government, she arrived in at Chinhae
Naval Base, South Korea shortly before the June 1950 outbreak of the Korean War.
    When the North Koreans began pouring south on the morning of June 25, 1950, Pak Tu San
and the other vessels of the ROK Navy were ordered to do what they could. Acting as flagship
for a small flotilla of the more serviceable Korean craft, mostly lightly-armed minesweepers,
Pak Tu San steamed up the east coast from Pusan looking for the enemy.
    On the night of 25 June 1950, on the South Korean eastern coast, the South Korean PC-701
patrolled against infiltrators from the north. About twenty miles from the key port of Pusan its
crew sighted an unidentified ship. The PC-701 challenged by flashing lights and, receiving no
response, turned its searchlight on the intruder.
    The light revealed a freighter with an estimated six hundred to one thousand soldiers
crowded on her decks. Heavy machine guns were mounted aft on the freighter with which the
crew quickly opened fire. The gunfire struck the PC-701's bridge killing the helmsman and
seriously wounding the officer of the deck. The PC-701 returned fire and in the running gun duel
the freighter was sunk between Pusan and Tsushima Island.
    Except for the fortuitous position of the PC-701 and the fighting qualities of the craft's crew,
the North Korean soldiers might have successfully landed at the vital port of Pusan. The poor
state of combat readiness at the port could easily have led to its loss. In such an event, not even
the small Allied toehold on the peninsula would have remained to support the U.S.
counteroffensive in Korea.
    It was one of the most important fights in the opening hours of the Korean War, for by sinking
the freighter, Pak Tu San had almost certainly insured the safety of Pusan, which would become
the principal base for ROK, American, and United Nations forces in the war.
This single naval action may well have prevented the fall of South Korea.

    In 1988 a memorial to her memory was erected at Pusan, which notes that her little action on
the night of June 25, 1950, was one of the most important in Korean naval history.
PC - 701
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Commissioned USS PC-823, 24 July 1944
She was renamed as ROKS Baekdusan (PC 701)
Pak Tu San (PC-701)
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Pak Tu San continued in service throughout the Korean War, conducting operations
along both coasts, and remained an active element of the ROK Navy
Decommissioned 21 August 1960 and scrapped