Five days later, on September 3, he flew armed reconnaissance over the primary transportation and storage facilities south of the village of Majon-ni, west of Wonsan. An initial report to the commanding officer of Essex said that while attacking a target, Armstrong's F9F Panther was hit by anti-aircraft fire. The report indicated he was trying to regain control and collided with a pole, which sliced off 2 feet (1 m) of the Panther's right wing. Further perversions of the story by different authors added that he was only 20 feet (6 m) from the ground and that 3 feet (1 m) of his wing was sheared off.
The Battle of Bloody Ridge was a ground combat battle that took place during the Korean War from 18 August to 5 September 1951. By the summer of 1951, the Korean War had reached a stalemate as peace negotiations began at Kaesong. The opposing armies faced each other across a line which ran from east to west, through the middle of the Korean peninsula, located in hills a few miles north of the 38th Parallel in the central Korean mountain range. United Nation and the North Korean Korean People's Army (KPA) and Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) forces jockeyed for position along this line, clashing in several relatively small but intense and bloody battles. Bloody Ridge began as an attempt by UN forces to seize a ridge of hills which they believed were being used as observation posts to call in artillery fire on a UN supply road.
In 1951, he completed his last neoclassical work, the opera The Rake's Progress to a libretto by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman based on the etchings of William Hogarth. It premiered in Venice that year and was produced around Europe the following year before being staged in the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1953.
The Battle of Heartbreak Ridge , also known as the Battle of Wendengli , was a month-long battle in the Korean War which took place between 13 September and 15 October 1951. After withdrawing from Bloody Ridge, the Korean People's Army (KPA) set up new positions just 1,500 yards (1,400 m) away on a 7-mile (11 km) long hill mass. If anything, the defenses were even more formidable here than on Bloody Ridge. The Battle of Heartbreak Ridge was one of several major engagements in the hills of North Korea a few miles north of the 38th Parallel (the pre-war boundary between North and South Korea), near Chorwon. For the Chinese, this battle is often confused with the Battle of Triangle Hill, which occurred a year later.