Skip to comments.The Chosin few
Posted on 11/25/2004 3:33:20 PM PST by SunkenCiv
There was talk among the men they might get a real Thanksgiving... [O]n Nov. 27, 1950, 120,000 Chinese surprised the 1st Marine Division with a nighttime attack, coming across in human waves. The combat would last all night, into the next day and for days after that... They are often called the "Frozen Chosin," about 20,000 Marines and Army troops who came under fire in the most brutal conditions of the Korean War. One military historian called the combat at the Chosin Reservoir "the most violent small-unit fighting in the history of American warfare." It was made all but unendurable by a cold front that pushed down out of Manchuria, dropping temperatures as low as 40 below. The wind chill factor was 75 below... Seeking a quick end to the war, Supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur drove into North Korea toward the Yalu River and the border of China. On the night of Nov. 27, flares lit up the sky as tens of thousands of white-clad Chinese soldiers streamed toward Marine and Army positions around the reservoir. Bugle calls announced their attacks night after night, sending chills down the spines of the already frozen soldiers. Finally, on Dec. 1, the Marines got their orders: Withdraw. The Marines then had to claw their way down the only road from the reservoir to the Sea of Japan, 78 miles away. Thousands of Chinese blocked their way as they inched their way down, frozen bodies lashed to Jeeps and trucks. The 1st Marine Division suffered 718 dead, 192 missing and more than 3,500 wounded before it reached the sea. Overall, there were 6,000 casualties. Thousands more had frostbite.
(Excerpt) Read more at mlive.com ...
FR Lexicon:Posting Guidelines:Excerpt, or Link only?:Ultimate Sidebar Management:Headlines
PDF to HTML translation:Translation page:Wayback Machine:My Links:FreeMail Me
Gods, Graves, Glyphs topic:and group:Books, Magazines, Movies, Music
"The Korean War finally ended in July 1953. Left in its wake were four million military and civilian casualties, including 33,600 American, 16,000 UN allied, 415,000 South Korean, and 520,000 North Korean dead. There were also an estimated 900,000 Chinese casualties."
"These casualty figures were found on Skulman.nu website at www.skalman.nu... KIA in battlefields: 115,000"
"Chinese People's Volunteer Forces (CPVF) Dead 152,000"
"Despite these losses the Air Force did an excellent job. The Air Force alone destroyed 937 communist aircraft in dogfights, destroyed 1,327 tanks on the ground, 82,920 vehicles, 963 locomotives, 10,407 railway cars, 1,153 bridges, 118,231 buildings, 65 tunnels, 8,663 gun positions, 8,839 bunkers, 16 oil storage tanks, and 593 barges and boats. The aircrews are also credited with killing 184,000 enemy troops. Never before has air superiority been reached on such a huge basis."
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem." -- President Ronald Reagan
I have two friends, one who was there, one whose father was there. It would be unimaginable otherwise.
My dad was there in a C-47, flying ammunition and blood plasma to the Marines -- and flying out with the worst of the wounded.
A web buddy was a serviceman, and his own father served in Korea (don't recall what branch of the service for either of them). During the retreat of his dad's unit, they encountered a wire barrier that had been laid down to impede the Chinese advance. His dad tossed himself into it, and the rest of his unit clambered up and over, then they pulled him free, bleeding all over. I think he'd also been wounded earlier in the day, and figured he wasn't going to make the whole trip anyway. He did.
My Dad was one of the USMC Frozen Few in Baker's Bandits; he received a VHS tape from the VA hospital about 10 years ago.
The upshot was that if you were at the Chosin reservoir, you were eligible for disability due to frostbite. All you had to do was bring the video to the VA hospital.
He had 100% disablity which wiped out his retirement. Many of the Korean vets were already dead (and thus ineligible!)
My Dad died a few years ago.
Korean vets were traeted badly.
Korean War was a horrible period. My parents grew up during the war. A very bloody period.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.