Tag: 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/13
Political/Military Tags1950 Pusan Perimeter, 8/4-9/181950 Inchon Landing, 9/15-9/191950 Seoul Recapture, 9/22-9/251950 Battle of Pyongyang, 10/15-171950 Wonsan Landing, 10/251950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir, 11/27-12/131950 Hamheung Evacuation, 12/10-12/241951 January 4 Withdrawal, 12/31-1/71951 Battle of Bloody Ridge, 8/18-9/15/1951 Battle of Heartbreak Ridge, 9/13-10/15/1951 Battle of Jipyeongri, 2/13-151952 Battle of Old Baldy, 6/26-8/41952 Battle of White Horse, 10/6-151952 Battle of Triangle Hill, 10/14-11/251952 Battle of Hill Eerie, 3/21-6/211953 Battle of the Hook, 5/28-291953 Battle of Pork Chop Hill, 3/23-7/161953 Sieges of Outpost Harry, 6/10-181953 Armistice 7/271968 Pueblo Abduction1968 Blue House attack1969 EC-1211976 Poplar Tree Ax Incident1983 Langgoon blowup1996 Gangneung attack1999 Yeonpyeong naval battle2000 South-North Summit2002 2nd Yeonpyeong naval battle2008 Geumgang Mountain killing2006 1st nuclear test, 10/92009 2nd nuclear test, 5/252010 Cheonan sinking2010 Yeonpyeong Island bombing2013 3rd nuclear test, 2/122016 4th and 5th nuclear tests, 1/6 and 9/9
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Thoughts on Service, Memories, and the Korean War Legacy
Alfred Curtis offers his thoughts on service and memories of his brother who served in Korea. He shares that his brother was at Incheon and the Chosin Reservoir and that he died from wounds he sustained in battle. He comments on the legacy of the Korean War, sharing that what the country of South Korea has done for itself since the war is unbelievable.
Highway Through The Danger Zone
Allen Clark described the harrowing scene he experienced coming out of the narrow road while leaving the Chosin Reservoir making them easy targets for the enemy. Allen Clark was sitting in the back seat of a Jeep when the enemy fired a shot that punctured through the gas tank (quickly emptying it), and shooting a hole right through the tire. They jumped out of the jeep and ran behind a small hill that was just beyond some railroad tracks as a parapet while the Jeep driver hooked their vehicle to a truck and pulled it out of Kunwoori.
G.I. Gear at Chosin
Allen Clark explained different GI provisions that were a life saver. He describes his field jacket, and his overcoat manufactured by London Fog that is reinforced with additional material that you slept and lived in. The temperature dropped to 42 degrees below zero and the soldiers covered themselves with the scarf all the way up to his eyes to prevent them from freezing.
Star for the Chosin Few at Koto-ri
As an Assistant Artillery Liaison Officer of the 7th Marine Regiment, Allen Clark told the story of the Frozen Chosin, who survived the 42 degrees below zero temperatures for several days while attempting to secure a place in the mountains that gave them an advantage point that overlooked a bridge. He described the conditions at Koto-ri were so bad, the scarf he described was the only thing that kept him from further hypothermia damage. Anxious and ready to go as the weather began to improve, Colonel "Chester" Pulley on a clear night had pointed to the star that was in the sky and said, "We are going in the morning," and that rallying point for the Marines when they needed it the most.
The Most Difficult Events in the Korean War
Allen Clark had difficulty choosing which event was the most difficult, but he chose the events going into and out of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. General Smith told his fellow leaders that the Marines were now going to blow up their supplies and sneak out of the Chosin. Instead, he said that they would bring their wounded, dead, and supplies first and then head out as Marines, so everyone looked up to General Smith.
Evacuation of Civilians after the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
South Korean civilians wanted to escape so bad that they were willing to leave behind everything and jump aboard overcrowded ships to leave the war-stricken area. It was estimated that 99,000 civilians were crammed on two boats with the survivors from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir with aid from a Chaplin who convinced the boat skipper to bring all the civilians to safety.
US Marines Working with Korean Marines Throughout the Korean War
Allen Clark with Korean Marines were tough and they didn't put up with anyone who couldn't keep up. They were great Marines and were ready to fight whenever asked. There were translators to help with cooperation between US troops and the Korean Marines.
Andrew M. Eggman
Getting out of Chosin Reservoir
Andrew M. Eggman describes his experiences during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He explains how he went from being on machine-gun outpost, to taking down the tents, and moving stretchers as a part of convoy security. He recalls seeing pallets of supplies raining down over the men.
Tootsie Rolls on the Front Lines
Andrew M. Eggman talks about how code-words were devised by the American soldiers for confusing the Chinese enemy when having to call for supplies. He describes how the use of the term "tootsie roll" was misinterpreted as the actual candy, rather than as the code of a needed supply of weaponry. He explains how nice it is for veterans to receive tootsie rolls in remembrance of when they got them on the front during the Korean War.
Andrew V. “Buddy” Blair
Air Raid Support for the Chosin Reservoir
Andrew V. "Buddy" Blair describes working on airplanes heading out for raids on the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls not knowing what was occurring in the battle as Marines who were brought in were too traumatized to share much information. He adds that airplanes evacuated wounded soldiers from there to either Japan or to hospital ships off the coast of Korea.
Arthur C. Golden
We Should Not Have Gone Up There
Arthur Golden reflects on why soldiers were sent to Korea and General Douglas MacArthur’s decision to push further north. Now looking back, he reveals he disagrees with General MacArthur’s choice and rationale to push further north. He remembers the struggles they faced because of the cold and the surprise of suddenly being surrounded by one hundred twenty thousand enemy soldiers. After fighting their way out, he states they were lucky to make their way to Heungnam.
Never Could Get Used to the Cold
Arthur Golden notes that fighting in the cold weather was the hardest part of his time in Korea. He recalls one experience in which their sleeping bags were never delivered. He recalls how they continuously walked back and forth all night in order to stay warm. Throughout the night, he remembers hearing people moaning from the frostbite. He shares how his legs eventually gave out. He explains that he was lucky the enemy was not around because he just laid in the snow.
Legacy of the Korean War
Arthur Gentry believes that if it were not for the Marines, there would not have been victory at the Chosin Reservoir. Casualties were hight with 3600 U.S. soldiers killed in action, and another 6000 suffered from frostbite. Arthur Gentry believes that the Korean War, otherwise known as the "Forgotten War," was the last war the U.S. "won" and accomplished anything. He believes the victory lies within the Marines holding the line and the U.S. nurturing South Korea to flourish economically and democratically.
Here to Tell Their Stories
Barry McLean shares his thoughts on why some veterans struggle with talking about their experiences in Korea. He reminisces about a female nurse in Korea who flew every mission to pick up the wounded soldiers at the Chosin Reservoir. He highlights how all of the people he is reminiscing about are gone, but he is still here wearing out.
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Basil Kvale fought in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in weather that reached 40 degrees below zero. The men nicknamed the region the "Frozen Chosin" since the temperature was cold enough to freeze a soldiers' skin. He worked with a lieutenant to create locations to hit the enemy throughout his time in this battle.
Benjamin Arriola (brother of Fernando Arriola)
MIA in the Chosin Reservoir
Benjamin Arriola describes his brother Fernando Arriola's motivation to join the U.S. Army. He recounts his brother's landing in Inchon and journey to the Chosin Reservoir. He shares that his brother, Fernando, went MIA (Missing in Action) during the battle there and is still considered MIA at the time of this interview.
Bill G. Hartline
Doing My Duty
Bill Hartline speaks about time in Funchilin Pass and the area around Yudamni. He recalls just finishing his four-hour watch shift and crawling into his sleeping bag when "all hell broke loose". He details taking a couple of men with him to hold a bridge on the road while the Battle of Chosin Reservoir raged all around them. Remarkably, despite all the chaos of war around him, he never had to fire his machine gun.
Lucky You Got Lost
Bill Hartline recalls an old farmhouse at the bottom of Funchillan Pass packed full of men from his unit as well as those of a utility company all trying to seek warmth. Hartline speaks about how being tasked to go look for a missing soldier, prior to his unit departing for Hagaru-ri, saved his life.
We are taking Prisoners of War
Bill Lynn describes his company taking two prisoners of war. Once they had the North Koreans imprisoned, the Koreans told plans the Chinese had to ambush Americans. It was a cold, snowy day and the Chinese were all dressed in white to camouflage themselves. The Americans would have never known they were coming had it not been for the prisoners of war they captured.
The Plight of the Korean People
Bill Lynn describes the destitute conditions the Korean people lived in during the war. He has revisited Korea and compares what he saw during the war with what he witnessed when he returned. Now he describes South Korea as a paradise and is completely astonished with the way the South Koreans have developed their country.
Home for Christmas?
Bruce Ackerman feared being surrounded by the Chinese in the Chosin Reservoir and had to endure the cold Korean winters, frost bite, and a near explosion close to his bunker. He thought that the soldiers would be home for Christmas in 1950, but sadly, he was wrong. Bruce Ackerman remembered the evacuation of 100,000 refugees during the winter of 1950 and that included North Korean civilians who were left homeless due to the invasion of the Chinese to support North Korean troops.
The Latent Effects of Korean War: PTSD
Bruce Ackerman experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the Korean War. He found connections between the modern War on Terror and the soldiers who fought in the Korean War because they both are lacking resources to help with their transition back to civilian life. There are psychological and social effects of war on veterans due to their exposure to death, extreme weather, and constant surprise enemy attacks.
North Korean Infiltration
The North Koreans infiltrated the Marine Corps by scouting out artillery positions. Bruce Ackerman noted that the artillery was a very important tool used during the Korean War. There was more artillery fired in the Korean War than in WWII.
Bruce R. Woodward
Flights to Support UN Forces
Bruce Woodward describes his duties as an Assistant to the Squadron Commander during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He along with the commander received intelligence briefings from headquarters in Japan. This intelligence was used to provide close air support to the troops on the ground.
Bruce Woodward talks about the missions pilots flew out of Wonsan Air Base in support of the United Nations ground forces. He assisted the work of around 25 pilots and about the same number of aircraft.
Escaping Through Marine Corps Bombs
Carl Rackley reflects on his experiences at the 38th Parallel. He describes being trapped there for roughly ten nights. He also details the amount of Chinese soldiers there. He expresses his gratitude for the Marine Corp troops who bombed the area for him to escape.
Carl W. House
Surrounded at Jangjin: Last Line of Defense
Carl House arrived at Jangjin with his unit and was told no enemy forces were within a fifteen-mile radius. He recalls many soldiers began building fires, drinking coffee, and preparing sleeping bags. He shares that Chinese forces surrounded the U.S. soldiers in a horseshoe-shaped position around three in the morning, making it nearly impossible for them to escape. He remembers fighting for three days and running low on artillery after a failed airdrop landed in enemy territory. He recounts his captain ordering his unit to stand rear guard while fellow soldiers pulled out and recalls doing what he could to hold off the Chinese.
Carl House's Capture
Carl House and his Squad Leader, Raymond Howard, were the only 2 remaining soldiers holding the line as the Chinese were throwing concussion grenades at both men. As he was covering for Raymond Howard, a gunshot broke his arm and caused massive blood-loss. The only thing that he had to hold his arm together was a slang he used to keep his arm straight during the healing process. When he made the attempt to cross the valley himself, he fell unconscious from his injury and when he woke up, Chinese had surrounded the area. He made an attempt to play dead, but the thirty-degree-below-zero temperature gave away the heat from his breath, so they stuck a bayonet in his back and took him away.
Life in Camp 3 and 5 as a POW
Carl House marched to Camp 5 from February to May of 1952, but he was moved to Camp 3 where he was later released. Each room the prisoners occupied held ten people (tip to toe) which would be beneficial to them to keep warm. Since many of the US soldiers were well-fed and strong when they arrived, they were able to survive the rest of the winter while slowing losing weight. He said the one thing that mattered the most was food, but many soldiers hated the idea of eating rice that had once been on the floor. Most of the food contained glass, rocks, rat droppings, and many men died.
Charles E. Gebhardt
Before the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Charles Gebhardt describes the placement of his unit before the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He mentions that his unit, the 39th Infantry Regiment, relieved a Marine unit that held the northernmost ground of all US forces.
The Beginning of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Charles Gebhardt describes the scene at the beginning of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He talks about the KATUSA soldiers assigned to his unit and how he thought they had gotten spooked. In reality, the Chinese offensive had already begun.
"It was Very Scary"
Charles Gebhardt describes his encounter with Chinese soldiers on the first night of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He talks about shooting at enemy soldiers that were within arm's reach.
"You Should Not be Afraid of Some Chinese Laundrymen"
Charles Gebhardt recounts the words the General Edward Almond in a meeting of officers and intelligence personnel on the morning after the first fighting of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. Describing the meeting in which he attended, he mentions that several officers present were taken aback by the comment. The comment was "You should not be afraid of some Chinese laundrymen."
Retreat from Chosin
Charles Gebhardt describes his unit's retreat from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He talks about destroying equipment. He also describes loading up the wounded on the slow retreat to Hagalwoori.
Losses, Conditions, and Rescue
Charles Gebhardt talks about the lives that were lost in the retreat from the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He describes the difficult conditions on the trek. He also tells the story when he and his comrades borrowed Marine vehicles to rescue wounded soldiers.
Charles Earnest Berry
Experiences with Chinese Soldiers and Rethinking War
Charles Earnest Berry discusses fighting the Chinese and how quick and mobile they were since they carried less equipment than the American soldiers. He explains how the Chinese put human waste on their bayonets to increase the chances of wounds becoming infectious. He recounts finding an entire National Guard unit dead, hauling dead bodies from the front, and how all of this made him rethink war. He shares that he told his mom to send liquor not cookies when asked what he would like her to package and mail.
Capture and Escape
Charles Earnest Berry discusses the cold in Korea and being captured at the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir. He describes how he was able to escape and return back safely to American lines. He recalls the waves of Chinese soldiers and artillery bombardments.
The Role of Aircraft at the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir
Charles Earnest Berry recalls seeing American aircraft strafing the Chinese and North Koreans and pilots dipping their wings to American soldiers. He describes arriving at a bombed bridge and having to wait for the bridge to be airlifted in which rendered a loss of people and equipment during the wait. He describes the USS Missouri firing on the enemy and how he was evacuated from Korea after being wounded.
Encountering the Chinese
Charles Eggenberger describes going up a mountain in trucks through Hagalwoori to the Chosin Reservoir area. He recalls how his unit learned that the Chinese had crossed the border near the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls that the surrounding units of soldiers had taken off out of the area during the initial attack by the Chinese.
Charles L. Chipley
Chinese Attacks Against Civilians
Charles L. Chipley Jr. offers his account of providing evacuation aid to the Marines at Heungnam. He recounts that his ship provided gunfire support so that troops could be loaded onto the evacuation ships. He describes the movement of a speculated 100,000 Chinese troops killing civilian Koreans.
Segregation in the Armed Forces
Although the military was desegregated in 1948, Charles Rangel still experienced segregation during his military career. The only thing that was integrated, were two units. Even when he returned to the United States after the war, Charles Rangel had segregated barracks back on the military base.
Chong Rae Sok
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Chong Rae Sok talks about his participation in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes the conditions that his unit faced including cold weather, loss of communication, and little food. He talks about the fighting that took place, taking one hill at a time.
Clara K. Cleland
Nursing Wounded Soldiers After Various Campaigns
Clara Cleland describes her nursing duties as various battles were occurring, including taking care of patients from the Jangin (Chosin) Reservoir. She recalls how she and her unit set up various Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH) and remembers witnessing the U.S.S. Missouri firing its guns and heavy fire from other ships as well. She explains how her unit was then moved to assist another unit on a hospital ship and how, from there, they began treating non-emergent patients with illnesses.
The Unarmed Chinese Decoy
Clifford Allen shares his second-hand knowledge of the Korean War. He details a story he heard from another veteran involving the Chinese. He explains that the Chinese would send up unarmed Chinese decoys to make American forces waste their bullets.
Injuries at the Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir
Clifford Petrey describes landing at Inchon. He recounts injuries he received as a soldier both at Inchon Landing and Chosin Reservoir. He details his subsequent capture by the Chinese and camp movements while a POW.
Living Conditions as a POW
Clifford Petrey comments on the food rations provided by the Chinese. He recalls suffering through cold winters in North Korea as a prisoner of war even after being given Chinese uniforms by his captors. He describes the healing of his wounds he sustained at the Chosin Reservoir despite being a POW with little medical attention.
Darrell D. McArdle
Directing Traffic at the Pass
Darrell McArdle describes the position of MP’s at the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir and their role as traffic control at the Funchillin Pass. Because the reservoir was blown apart, he explains the challenges of escorting units and the engineering of makeshift timber bridges for the trucks to cross areas. He recalls coming under fire during one escort through the pass and heading back down the pass to ensure that a 30-caliber machine gun did not fall in the hands of the enemy.
Darrell McArdle remembers one night the stoves in their squad tent were red hot but their canteens near the stove were frozen solid. He notes how cold it was but fortunately he could sleep through anything. Some mornings, he recalls seeing mounds in the snow and checking to see if they were rocks or people. He shares that because of the United States Marines, they did have parkas and sleeping bags.
Korea: Taste of the Manchurian Wind
David Nevarez shares that he went to Korea for the first time in 1984 as part of the 3rd Service Support Group headquartered in Okinawa, Japan. He describes setting up camp in Korea. He remembers the temperature drop from 40 degrees to 40 below zero in the span of less than 30 minutes and recounts the cold winds that hit him in the camp. He expresses he then understood what the 1st Marine Division experienced at the Chosin Reservoir during the war and adds that the memory of that level of coldness stays with him to this day.
Donald D. Johnson
Almost Prisoner of War
Donald D. Johnson elaborates on his job responsibilities as the Lieutenant's Jeep driver. Three times a week he had to drive to the Division Headquarters to pick up new maps. New maps were made using aerial views of Korea to assist in artillery attacks. He describes the commute he had to take when driving through the roads of the Chosin Reservoir and how cold he found it. He recalls an incident where, by chance, he missed becoming a Prisoner of War.
Donald L. Mason
At the Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir
Donald Mason recalls his experience at the Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. He remembers having Thanksgiving dinner while there, and they stayed at the Reservoir through Christmas. He was responsible for guarding the ammunition. He remembers how bitterly cold it was.
Donald R. Bennett
Approaching Chosin Reservoir
Donald Bennett recounts moving to the base of the mountain at Chosin (Jangjin). He shares how the tanks were unable to make it up the roads which were too narrow until the engineers fixed the roads in spots. He recalls being awakened early on November 28th and being told the Chinese were attacking everywhere and that they needed to move out. He explains encountering other service members who had encountered Chinese. He finishes this segment by discussing his arrival at Kor'to-ri.
We Were in Big Trouble
Donald Bennett begins this portion of his account of the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir with his unit's departure to headquarters. Along the way, he remembers seeing burning trucks and witnessing American and Chinese units shooting at each other. He recalls their encounter with the Chinese who eventually knocked the track off of the first tank and then shortly thereafter surrounded the American trucks and tanks, including his. He details the night being very cold and dark. His tank was hit by something, which he later would discover was an anti-tank weapon that knocked off his 50-caliber machine gun. He shares the damage that was done to his tank and the destruction of another tank.
Last One Up the Mountain, Last One Down
Donald Bennett recounts living conditions while they were in the Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. He shares a detailed account of a close encounter between the Chinese and his tank. He recalls the challenge of driving the tanks back down the mountain after the snow had been packed down into the ice. He remembers that his tank was the last tank down. He shares how those that remained in his unit were taken by boat back to Busan and were reformed at an airstrip where they conducted foot patrols before fighting their way up the center of Korea across the 38th Parallel in support of the 1st Marine Regiment.
Doyle W. Dykes
Doyle W. Dykes reminisces on a time he wrote his family asking for a new pair of gloves to endure the extreme cold. Upon receiving them that day, he had to bury over two hundred and seventy Chinese soldiers who died after a napalm attack. He shares that his gloves were immediately ruined and that he buried them with the soldiers.
The Chosin Few at Yudamni
Ed Donahue recalls arriving in Yudamni on Thanksgiving, November 23, 1950. He remembers not minding that their holiday meal was ice cold as their sights were set on being home for Christmas. He recalls being assigned to forward observation and recounts the difficulties of digging in as the ground was frozen. He remembers singing "I'll Be Home for Christmas" while at his post until the Chinese attacked.
On the Frontlines at Yudamni
Ed Donahue recalls being woken up by the sound of bugles early in the morning on November 28, 1950. He describes how the Chinese soldiers were attempting to take over the area, and he remembers being told by his officers to just keep shooting. He shares how this lasted until dawn for multiple nights. He recalls how once the sun went down, the enemy fire started again. He remembers the troops kept coming and coming, at a ratio of at least ten Chinese to every one American. He remembers losing many of his comrades. He comments on how cold it was and adds that they were forced to urinate on their guns to keep the firing mechanisms from freezing.
Battle of the Chosin Reservior
Edward Hoth fought in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the winter of 1950. The weather was 42 below zero and it was so cold that guns became sluggish while oil froze on the guns.
Standing Up for a Good Cause with Help From Journalists
Edward Redmond lost some close friends while fighting in the Korean War. He was disappointed about the way the bodies of the fallen British soldiers were just quickly buried behind a building in Taegu. A reporter wrote down Edward Redmond's thoughts and published the information in a newspaper, but a top general didn't like information being leaked to the media, so he almost received a court martial.
Rowny's Book About the War
Edward Rowny shares he has written books and provides information about his experiences with the Teachers and Veteran's Youth Corps Convention in 2015. He comments on how his book, An American Soldier's Saga in the Korean War, received a lot of coverage and was translated into Korean. He encourages students to pay attention to what they learn in class to prevent events like the Korean War from happening again. He summarizes his book as it retells his experiences and accomplishments in the War.
Dropping the Bridge in Chosin Reservoir
Edward Rowny reveals that he is the Corps Engineer who designed and later famously dropped the bridge from the air into the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir. This was one of the most important parts of the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir Battle. He shares how the Chinese were firing at them while they were building it. He recounts how this project was successful in stopping the Chinese long enough to evacuate the troops, without which there would have been tremendous casualties.
Edwin R. Hanson
You're the Guy that Saved My Life
Edwin Hanson recalls his first encounter with Chinese at Kor-'o-ri. Edwin Hanson threw 4 grenades and 2 went off, so the following morning he went down and picked up the 2 that didn't go off and threw the remaining grenades at their front lines. Ralph Alfonso Gastelum vividly details the chaos breaking out one evening while he was eating as the Chinese moved near his tent. He remembers grenades going off and it proves to be decades later that he finds out the Hanson saved his life.
First Shots at the Chinese at Chosin Reservoir
Edwin Hansen describes an occasion when a Chinese soldier played dead near an American campfire. He recollects US troops were heating C-rations by the campfire when noticed about 15-20 yards away, the enemy had lifted up off the frozen ground and began firing upon the US servicemen. Hanson shot and killed the Chinese soldier attacking his regiment. He and Ralph Gastelum recall the immediate impact of killing the enemy and its long-term effects.
I Jumped In Front of a Torpedo Bomber to Mail My Postcard
Edwin Hanson reminisces about one occasion at Kor-'o-ri when a torpedo bomber (plane) came through to pick up wounded soldiers. He had a postcard that he wanted to deliver to his mother. He remembers the bomber sitting at the end of the runway, preparing to take off, and running down the middle of the runway blocking his takeoff and waving his letter. This postcard was among the many sent home to his mother, but he notes that most dealt almost exclusively with the weather.
Surrounded by the Enemy at Thanksgiving
Eugene Dixon gives a detailed explanation of encountering the Chinese soldiers just after Thanksgiving in 1950. He recalls being prohibited from crossing the 38th Parallel, and recounts his experiences during the landing at Wonsan. He describes having a hot Thanksgiving meal just before providing relief for other soldiers at the Chosin Reservoir, where the Chinese had cut the supply lines.
Chinese Treatment of Prisoners
In this clip, Eugene Johnson details his treatment by the Chinese Army after he became a Prisoner of War (POW).
A Week as an Infantryman
Felix Byrd describes a week where his outfit moved north, and he served with the infantry until they reached Hamhung, where they were evacuated. He recalls being shot at. He says they had to sleep without sleeping bags in 30-below temperatures.
Felix DelGiudice and his peers recall how important Tootsie Rolls were to them during the war. They explained how they were able to warm them up inside the soldiers' coat since they would often freeze in the weather. The Tootsie Rolls were not only a treat, but they were used for other purposes as well.
Freezing Cold Weather
Felix DelGiudice explains how cold it really got to be in Korea, with one night being 42 degrees below zero. This impacted their guns, the machinery, and even their bodily functions. While he says that its not something people like to talk about, it was the reality of their living conditions.
Battle at the Chosin Reservoir
Felix DelGiudice and his battalion describes how their battalion was ambushed and fourteen people were killed. He explains how the units were divided and argues that the General was in too much of a hurry. He remembers how much of a struggle the units had during that time.
Francis John Ezzo
Just Doing My Job
Francis Ezzo explains that he does not remember specific hills or battles because he was just doing his job. He describes being outnumbered at the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls that the Chinese were not well equipped as some did not have rifles or shoes.
The Chosin Reservoir
Frank Abasciano describes how it felt to be in the Chosin Reservoir alongside a WWII Battle of the Bulge veteran. He remembers being trapped there for several nights and that the WWII veteran said their situation in Korea was worse than his prior experience in WWII. He explains how they "didn't even have a chance to be afraid."
Escaping the Chosin Reservoir with Frostbite
Frank Abasciano shares he was a radioman and sorted communication between the companies. He describes how cold the Chosin Reservoir felt and his frostbite. He explains that they only had a pair of combat boots. He notes that he still suffers the effects of the frostbite.
The Reality of the Front Lines
Frank Torres describes defending a pass at the Chosin Reservoir. He describes situations he experienced on the frontlines. He shares the outcomes of his experience and provides insight into the reality of decisions that are made under those conditions.
Surrounded on "The Frozen Chosin"
Frank Zielinski trained as a machine gunner and landed at Incheon with General MacArthur. One of his friends drowned clambering over the side of the ship to go ashore. Another died in Incheon when North Koreans attacked their encampment as they slept. The soldiers lived in trenches on the front lines, sometimes without proper equipment. At times, his division was surrounded by North Koreans and Chinese.
Gerald Edward Ballow
Crossing the Yalu River
Gerald Ballow expresses his opinions about what he considers an “intelligence disaster” at the Yalu River. He believes that the officers knew that the Chinese were amassing across the river before they got there. He explains how the US was completely outnumbered by the Chinese and there were not any additional troops to send up there to help fight the Chinese.
Bayonet Checks "Across His Neck"
Gerald Land admitted he had never heard of Korea before he was sent and he described his Marine friend, Bill Carroll, of Fox Company, who Gerald Land thought had been wiped out at the "Frozen Chosin." Bill Carroll managed to survive after being shot by laying on the ground pretending to be dead during "bayonet checks". His friend recalled the bayonet sliding across his neck, but he survived and woke up on the hospital ship even though he wanted to go back with his Company. A soldiers' best advice was, "don't get captured!"
Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Harold Don shares memories from the front lines at the Chosin Reservoir. He recounts how the United States units were surrounded by the North Koreans and Chinese on all sides. He notes how cold the temperature dropped in the winter when the lake would freeze over. He comments on how the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir was one of the epic battles in United States Marine Corps history, evidenced by many Medal of Honor recipients.
Extremely Cold Conditions
Harold Don describes the challenges of digging foxholes in Korea's frozen ground during the winter. He details how one had to clear enough snow to make an indentation to rest in. He notes how, as he was assigned to heavy machine guns, his foxhole was located at the most vulnerable point. He explains how, in an effort to keep the machine guns' barrels from freezing, he had to utilize antifreeze.
My Most Difficult Days
Harry Burke is describing how eight men were killed and twelve were wounded is his company. After experiencing this, he was sent back to Incheon and went around from the west side of Korea to the east side to Wonsan. He describes their days in the war.
Harry C. Graham Jr.
Frostbitten and Wounded
Harry C. Graham talks about his experience during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes suffering frostbite and being shot through the shoulder while performing his duties as a Radio Operator. He was evacuated on a truck convoy, narrowly escaping the heavy fighting against the Chinese.
Escape from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Harry C. Graham talks about his escape from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes having to wait until dark to traverse a mountain by foot because of being stranded in trucks on the mountainside. He recounts how after hours of walking, he and seven fellow soldiers found themselves in a minefield before being rescued by United States Marines.
40 Degrees Below
Harry Heath describes the harsh cold that faced the soldiers in Korea. He shares the injuries that caused him to spend two months in a hospital. He describes the failure of equipment given to the soldiers. He explains things that were limited due to the harsh temperatures for soldiers and their hygiene.
Thoughts on PTSD
Harry Heath talks openly about the effects of PTSD that he and many other survivors of the Chosin Reservoir experienced. He shares how he didn't discuss the war for many years not even with his family or wife. He shares how he joined military organizations and began to find healing through communication about his time in Korea.
The Chosin Few
Harry Heath describes the organization he belongs to which includes American soldiers who found in the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. He shares the struggles that both he and his fellow Chosin Few members faced such as frostbite wounds and PTSD. He shares how he feels fighting in Korea made him a better person.
Unable to Deliver to the Chosin Few
Henry Martinez remembers what it was like delivering supplies during the war. He describes one particular event when he was going to deliver supplies and a Thanksgiving meal to the Chosin Few. However, he and the men had to turn around because not only were the mountains frozen, but the Chinese were quickly approaching.
The Chosin Reservoir Brotherhood
Herbert Werner states that conditions at the Chosin Reservoir were terrible due to confusion, miscommunication, and constant attacks by the enemy. He recalls U.S. soldiers were given insufficient clothing, and they avoided taking them off to relieve themselves. He shares that he never knew if or when their next warm meal would come. He speaks of the bond of brotherhood at Chosin and recounts never knew what was going to happen next.
Nothing Worse Than The Cold
Horace Sappington describes being cold as the most difficult thing during his service. He recounts low temperatures near the 38th Parallel and during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. As part of a task force, he shares that he was sent in to help bail out Marines before the Chinese took it all.
Concussion Grenades and the Aggressive Chinese Army
At the end of November 1950, Jack Allen was wounded by the Chinese who overran the US troops. The Chinese had so many troops that they easily came over the hills. A concussion grenade took the nerve out of Jack Allen's right arm, so he couldn't use it and his knee was shot too. He was laid on straw and a tarp until a helicopter basket took him back off the line and onto Japan to recover. There were hundreds of wounded that accompanied Jack Allen, but he knew that he wouldn't be left behind because that's a Marines' motto.
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir
Jack Allen worked hard to stay warm while fighting in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He was lucky that he didn't get frostbite on his feet or hands, but he knows Marines that lost their limbs after they turned black while in the trenches. After the Chinese came into the Chosin Reservoir, they fought to take the high ground and blew up bridges to slow the Marines' escape. Once they made it to Wonson, the Marines were able to escape to the boats along with the US Army, but Jack Allen was grateful that he didn't have to endure all of that pain for the whole 2 months of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.
Frozen Bodies and Paralyzed Limbs
Jack Allen was sent to an Army hospital in Japan and he stayed there for 7-10 days until he was shipped to a Naval hospital where Marines were supposed to be sent. When he walked in there, there were over 100 frozen bodies that lost arms, legs, and/or toes. Thankfully, a neurosurgeon performed surgery to help get feeling back in his arm while at the Naval base. Jack Allen was sent back to the US in February 1951.
On the Move to Chosin Reservoir
Jake O'Rourke describes his time spent in the hills fighting guerrilla forces and moving to and from various locations. He details the high casualties caused by frostbite among the Chinese soldiers, adding that it was both an ally and an enemy. He attributes much of the Marines' successes to experienced leadership as many higher ranking soldiers had served during WWII. He also recounts his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, sharing that the Chinese would play their bugles when they attacked and retreated, and he describes the use of napalm against the enemy.
James “Jim” Valentine
Death on the Ice at Chosin Reservoir
Jim Valentine discusses crossing the ice in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He explains how he was surrounded. He explains how they had to not attract attention due to Chinese soldiers. He discusses the harsh winters he experienced. He explains that he is still unsure as to how/why he survived.
James C. Delong
Captured by the Chinese at Hill 1221
James C. Delong describes his capture by the Chinese and the march to Chang-ni, a interrogation camp for Prisoners of War. He explains that he was driving a truck of wounded men away from the battlefield. When he stopped to check on the men in the bed of the truck the Chinese surrounded them and ordered them surrender or die. He describes breaking his rifle and throwing his bullets into the snow so that it could not be used by the enemy. After lining up the wounded that were able to walk, the Chinese shot the rest of the wounded men in the truck.
James E. Carter, Sr.
Battle of the Chosin Reservoir/Battle of Jangjin Lake
James Carter describes the attack at Koto-ri. He explains how his platoon was heading to meet up with the Easy Company. He describes being attacked by the Chinese and the subsequent retreat. He recalls the dangers and losses his platoon faced. He shares how he luckily survived some possibly fatal shots.
Time in Korea
James Houp speaks about his time in Pusan and Heungnam, up towards the Yalu River, and recalls meeting Chinese forces. He describes how his unit was pushed back to Heungnam where he worked to set up communication lines with the ships. He recalls how his unit stayed in a warehouse and remembers seeing the Army retreating away from the Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. He comments on the temperature being thirty-two degrees below zero at the time. He recalls his departure via a U.S. ship headed back to Pusan and then to other locations south of Seoul.
Cold at Chosin
James Jolly describes the extreme cold temperatures his platoon endured while at the Chosin Reservoir. Temperatures were usually twenty degrees Fahrenheit below zero and sometimes as low as forty degrees below zero. He recalls many soldiers suffered from frostbite while some froze to death. He also elaborates on their Christmas miracle known as "the star of Kotari" which gave them the will to persevere.
James Jolly recalls that while at the Chosin Reservoir, his platoon survived on Tootsie Roll candy. He explains that their C-rations were frozen and the only way they could thaw them was by holding them against their bodies, which was very unpleasant. He goes on to explain how the delivery of this candy was originally a mistake; they had ordered mortar shells which happened to be the code name for Tootsie Rolls, thus tons and tons of candy was delivered from Japan.
James L. Owen
Strategy in North Korea
James L. Owen details the strategy commanded by General MacArthur when they pushed past the 38th parallel. He remembers how the Chinese surrounded them for 30 days near the Yalu River, the border Korea shares with China. He recalls destruction along the way and recounts sailing around the peninsula to get to North Korea.
Flying U.S. Soldiers into Battle and Flying the Injured Out
James Shipton shares how their planes were used to fly United States soldiers into Japan. He recalls how once in Japan, soldiers boarded troop ships bound for Korea. He recounts that his flights transported forty-five soldiers at a time. He notes that in November of 1950 he began flying injured soldiers back to the U.S. He recalls the RCF nurses who took care of soldiers and Marines who were suffering from frostbite.
Janice Feagin Britton
Duties as a Wartime Flight Nurse
Janice Britton explains the role flight nurses played in the Korean War and how they needed to work together to meet the various patients' needs. She discusses the types of patients they treated aboard the flights and what a typical flight looked like. She recalls being almost surrounded by the Chinese at the Jangin (Chosin) Reservoir and the work they did to evacuate as many patients as possible.
Describing Her Job as a Flight Nurse
Janice Britton elaborates on what her duties as a flight nurse looked like. She recalls being featured in a newspaper article as the first nurse to fly over the 38th parallel. She shares the flight nurses would bring patients to station hospitals for further care. She reflects on the role she played and shares she did not regard her job as being dangerous, although they would fly as close as possible to evacuate patients. She offers a notable story about having to find food for her patients as they were waiting for an airplane.
Jean Paul White
Jean Paul White describes war activity with the Chinese. He explains the living conditions and injuries that resulted. He describes the movements of the Marine Corps leading up to the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes events that happen during and after the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He explains learning about General MacArthur asking them to retreat with orders from his Commanding General, General Smith.
Shot But Not Wounded
Jean Paul White describes an incident while he and his squad were taking a hill. He describes a Chinese soldier with an automatic rifle. He mentions a fellow officer, PFC Walter Talbot, who was hit. He explains that after dispatching the enemy soldier, he was surprised to find that PFC Talbot had been shot but not wounded. He explains how he was miraculously saved.
Taking a Hill
Jesse Englehart describes his part in taking a hill. He explains how he prepared for battle with his helmet. He described weapons used against him and others during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He also explains that he was lucky to survive and how they made sure they left nothing the enemy could use.
The Hazards of War
Jesse Englehart describes what he forgets and remembers from the war. He explains the weapons used. He explains incidents of death in what he calls the "hazards of war."
Joe H. Ager
Bob Hope Showed Up
Joe Ager elaborates on his experience during Bob Hope’s visit to entertain the troops in Korea. He explains that Bob Hope was there to entertain the First Marine division in Wonsan, but they never showed up. He reminisces about dancing and receiving a kiss on the forehead from an actress, Monica Lewis, during the show.
Confusion on Thanksgiving
Joe Ager provides details about his experience on Thanksgiving in 1950. During the meal, he remembers an announcement from General MacArthur coming over the loudspeaker stating that the war was over. He emphasizes that there was a great deal of confusion among the men. He recalls a few days later another message stating the troops will head to the Yalu River. As part of the 31st and 32nd regiment, he describes the cold journey to the area east of the Chosin Reservoir.
We Did Not Expect an Attack
Joe Ager shares details about the slow drive along the narrow roads to the east of the Chosin Reservoir. After reaching where the 5th Marines had been, he explains that they chose to stop and dig in. He notes the harsh living conditions they experienced. He describes the surprise of being attacked and surrounded by the Chinese.
Glad I Survived
Joe Ager offers an overview of the withdrawal. Under the orders of Lieutenant Colonel Don Faith, they began abandoning resources so that the Chinese would not know they were retreating. He reflects on Lieutenant Colonel Don Faith’s treatment of African American soldiers. During the withdrawal, he remembers encounters with the Chinese and the heavy loses they suffered. He shares that three hundred eighty-five out of the two thousand men reached Heungnam. He reflects on feelings of guilt for surviving but emphasizes not wasting time and energy on regret.
A Picture of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir
John Beasley describes his own experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. His descriptions include seeing the U.S. Army suffer heavy casualties, as well as hearing a testimony from a wounded soldier about the atrocities done to the wounded by the Chinese. He recalls serving under his highly decorated commander, Colonel "Chesty" Puller. He also describes suffering a shrapnel wound during the Seoul Recapture.
Attack in the Fox Hole
John Cole used his great hearing as one of his fighting tools. He shares when he was about to fall asleep in his fox hole, he could hear the enemy gathering across the rice field. He recalls the Chinese soon began their attack and notes that when one thought the enemy combatants were dead, they usually were not. He recalls finding out the hard way as the enemy crept into his fox hole through the rice field.
The Legacy of the Handmade South Korean Flag
John Cole recounts how a South Korean soldier wanted to trade his handmade South Korean Flag for his U.S. flag in order to protect himself so that people did not think he was Chinese. He shares how he agreed to trade the flag. He describes how he held that flag until he presented it to a Korean War Veterans Organization.
Battling for Hill 1520
John Cole fought for Hill 1520 during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He recounts how many men were lost defending that hill. He remembers three Chinese soldiers climbing into his fox hole and how he had to fight using hand-to-hand combat. He notes this was when he was shot through his right arm.
Their Bodies Froze (Graphic)
John Farritor describes the gruesome but necessary job of retrieving the casualties of war. He shares one particular account of retrieving the body of a fallen Marine who was found in a cave, frozen due to the extreme cold. He recalls how sometimes, the task seemed insurmountably difficult, but their goal was to get the job done and bring them home.
Brother's Experience in Korea
John Fischetti describes his brother's (Peter Fischetti) service experience in Korea. He recounts his brother being badly wounded after stepping on a mine. He details visiting his brother, recalling how his leg was amputated and his body filled with shrapnel metal. He shares how immensely proud of his brother's service he is.
John H. Jackson
Battle at the Chosin Reservoir
John H. Jackson shares he fought in the Battle at the Chosin Reservoir through Christmas Eve of 1950. He recalls how the weather was very cold, reaching down to fifty degrees below zero. He remembers how some of the soldiers were freezing to death as the Chinese continued to fight.
The Frozen at Chosin
John Levi shares his experience from the winter of 1950 when the United States Marines endured the harsh conditions at the Chosin Reservoir. The brutal winter still stands out clearly as one of the most memorable parts of his entire experience in the war. He recounts how the winter required an unexpected shift in his corpsman duties - from blood freezing to morphine freezing, the Marines had to alter their craft fast to survive.
While in the Combat Engineer Battalion
John McWaters shares that while near Heungnam, he provided jackhammers and an air compressor truck to some Marines who needed help breaking up large rocks. He reported to General Oliver Prince Smith and assisted him with running the equipment. He recalls the general looking up and thanking God for his help.
John O. Every
The Terrible Cold and Frostbite
John O. Every talks about being in combat near the Chosin Reservoir, and being evacuated due to extreme frostbite. He recalls seeing airplanes drop supplies, and recounts the tough losses of fighting. He explains being evacuated and taken to various hospitals for recovery.
From the Mediterranean to Korea
John O. Every describes the journey to Korea from his location of deployment in the Mediterranean. He explains having to go through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, en route to Korea, for the amphibious landing at Inchon in 1950. He discusses other battles as well as what he had to eat for Thanksgiving that year.
John T. “Sonny” Edwards
We Need to tell the Story
John T. "Sonny" Edwards shares his opinion on why the story of the Korean War has been absent in history. He discusses how having a proper historical perspective has been affected by the attitude from the United States Government toward the Korean War. He shares his vision for getting more information out to the public and imparting it to the younger generations.
John Y. Lee
John Y. Lee, an interpreter assigned to UN Headquarters unit, explains the organization of the unit during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes the difference between his headquarters unit and a normal infantry regiment. He recalls the way Headquarters was set up at Hagalwoori, defended by only two Marine companies.
Joseph Dunford, Sr.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Joseph Dunford shares how he participated in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir which is known in Korea as the Jangjin Battle. He explains that there were so many Chinese there that he couldn't even count. He explains how he had to sleep on the ground without a sleeping bag since they were told to burn everything except a few C-Rations and weapons. He shares how the lack of food, proper shelter, and other necessities made survival difficult.
Joseph Lewis Grappo
Battle at the Chosin Reservoir
Joseph Lewis Grappo describes heading towards the Chosin Reservoir. He shares how he was meant to advance to Yellow River but stopped. He shares how he didn't hit any resistance since they defeated that North Koreans and the men thought that the Chinese would not get involved. He describes the frozen ground and how it was so cold that the soldiers couldn't dig a fox hole, so they slept on the ground in their sleeping bags. He shares how the Chinese attacked them and there was nowhere to hide.
"It Was the Fourth of July"
Joseph Lewis Grappo describes that they were stuck at the top of the hill because of a roadblock created by the Chinese. He shares how this maneuver blocked the US soldiers in with their trucks, supplies, and ammunition. He shares how he along with other men charged the Chinese blockade but were outnumbered. He shares how he was shot an injured. He describes how once the trucks were filled with injured, Chinese continued to attack the soldiers from all sides. He explains how he was shot again but this time in his soldier. He describes shots by the Chinese that sounded like the 4th of July.
Joseph R. Owen
The Chinese: Morale Destoyer and Fear Creator
Joseph R. Owen describes his greatest moment of terror facing the Chinese at the Chosin Reservoir. He had to persevere and be a leader despite the fact that the Chinese were coming in droves attacking. He describes the causalities witnessed on the scene as well.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Kenneth Newton recounts the days leading up to the Battle of Chosin Reservoir which included seeing Manchuria and partaking in a Thanksgiving meal. He remembers waking up to explosions late one night and realized they were under attack by the Chinese. He explains that chaos ensued, everyone being assigned a weapon and sent to the front lines.
Home by Christmas
Kirk Wolford expresses the frustration he and others felt towards General MacArthur as the Chinese entered the war. He shares how MacArthur's promise of "Home by Christmas" was fading as they enjoyed a hot Thanksgiving meal on the front lines. He explains the actual strength of the Chinese and what they were told to expect were quite different, which led to some feeling MacArthur was holding out on them.
Grateful to Be Alive
Lawrence Elwell describes being wounded in a battle near Hagaru-ri after getting caught in crossfire with the Chinese. He notes that a Navy corpsman tended to his wounded right arm and stopped the bleeding. He shares he was then evacuated to Yokoska, Japan. He explains that his injury prevented him from returning to the front lines and adds he was not eager to go back into the firefight anyway. While hospitalized in Japan, he recalls being awarded, rather unceremoniously, the Purple Heart. He recounts how he was later sent to a U.S. Navy hospital in Pensacola, Florida, to finish his recovery.
Leo C. Jackey
Frozen to Death
Leo C. Jackey shares a moving memory. He remembers seeing lines of Korean civilians, including children, frozen to death with their hands up one morning while in the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir area. He speaks with pride of the small role he played in helping Korea pick itself up and rebuild itself into a leading economic power in the world.
Making Their Way Down the Mountain
Leo C. Jackey recounts the challenges his unit and others faced in making their way down the narrow roads from the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir region. He recalls one truck getting too close to the edge and going over the side of the mountain. He shares his unit was one of the last to leave Heungnam.
It shook us up
Leo Glover recalls what he most remembers from his tours in Korea. He describes one particular mission to fly into the Chosin Reservoir to retrieve men and fly them to safety. He explains that the plane's skin was very thin and the men feared grazing a piece of ice would be disastrous.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Manuel Carnero describes his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes arriving and experiencing temperatures 20-30 degrees below 0. He describes the weapons available and how the machine guns they carried utilized belted ammunition though the soldiers were given linked ammunition. He goes on to describe seeing what he thought looked like a German grenade from WWII and being unable to escape the explosion. When he awoke, his tongue half cut-off and mouth full of blood, he looked up the hill and thought he was dead and headed to Valhalla.
Injuries and Casualties
Manuel Carnero describes how the cold and frostbite affected soldiers. He explains that he had frostbite on his hands and feet while many other men froze to death. He says it was not unusual for men to fall asleep and not wake up; that the weather claimed more lives than the Chinese. He goes on to describe how the Navy Corpsmen serving with the Marines were picking up the casualties at the battle site when they found him and helped him to a truck.
Marvin Garaway elaborates on the enemy taking the headquarters of the United States 5th Marines at the Chosin Reservoir. Due to the extreme cold, they encountered problems with the weapons malfunctioning. Reflecting on his experience, he recalls another soldier providing him protection and a close encounter with the enemy. He describes the impact of an air drop, code name "Tootsie Roll," dropping a load of tootsie rolls and the tootsie rolls helping save their lives. Along with this information, he describes the impact of the cold weather and the lack of cold weather gear. He remembers how, after a short time, they are able to regain control of their headquarters.
Injured During Evacuation
Marvin shares his experience during the evacuation from the Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. After being hit by shrapnel, he recalls being placed on the last flight to Japan. He recollects that if he was not on that flight, he would have marched the seventy-eight mile evacuation route. He shares that while in Japan he was evaluated for the degree of his frostbite. He provides an overview of the assessment process for his cold weather injury.
Milton W. Walker
Surviving the Chosin Reservoir and Multiple Attacks
Milton Walker explains that he drove a truck and jeep loaded with supplies for the troops throughout his time in the Korean War. He describes being told that he couldn't collect drinking water from the reservoir because they were surrounded by the Chinese and couldn't travel freely. He goes on to explain that the Chinese had blown up bridges and roads, prolonging efforts to get down the mountain until the Seabees and US engineers helped build temporary bridges.
"All Hell Broke Loose"
Paul Summers and his division investigated a village overrun by guerrillas. When a firefight began, he ran toward a mound of dirt to throw a hand grenade into a group of North Korean soldiers. A bullet caught him in the shoulder, and he went down. A corpsman gave him a shot of morphine and some brandy while he awaited rescue.
Philip S. Kelly
64th Anniversary of the War
Philip S. Kelly reads letters he wrote for the 64th Anniversary of the Korean War. He describes the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir by reading details of his personal experience. He recalls hearing the bugles of the Chinese blaring and engaging in hand-to-hand combat as a combat infantryman.
The Battle of Chosin Reservoir and Roadblocks
Philip S. Kelly describes thinking he would be home by Christmas 1950, but instead, he encountered a surprise attack by the Chinese in what became the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir. He recalls that the United States Army pulled out and left the U.S. Marines exposed to the Chinese attack. He explains how he fought as an infantryman and the difficulty experienced by the soldiers in trying to clear out Chinese road blocks.
Phillip E. Hahn
The Battle at Hagaru-ri
Phillip Hahn shares his feelings of not having any regrets for standing the line with his fellow Marines. He describes feeling protected and secure with his brothers by his side, despite heavy losses all around. He tells of the moment he was pulled from the front lines due to his wounds he suffered from a mortar explosion.
Rafael Gomez Hernandez
Chosin Reservoir Experience
Rafael Gomez Hernandez describes his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He recalls the deep snow, cold temperatures, cold food, and having to fight the Chinese. He shares that he saw many refugees at the time and that his unit was the last to leave the Heungnam port during the Chosin Reservoir evacuation.
Ralph A Gastelum
Death Results in PTSD Chosin Reservoir
Ralph describes the number of bodies on the battlefield as far as the eye could see both the enemy and their fallen comrades frozen the way they had fell. The bulldozer that was shoveling North Korean soldiers bodies and covering them up.The moaning and the groaning at night just got to them both and the bitterness they have. Their wives didn't talk at the time but when they sleep they tell them what they say and their reactions to it. Both Ed and Ralph live with this daily they just learn to cope with it.
Ralph A. Milton
The Impact of Chosin Reservoir
Ralph Milton describes the impact the Battle of Chosin (Jangjin) Reservoir has had on his life. He details some of the struggles he faced there as well as the struggles that followed him home. He describes seeing those he pulled from the Reservoir later in life and the friendships that grew from the experience.
Ralph Milton recalls a time of frustration and anger when General MacArthur kept secret that they were actually fighting the Chinese. He describes the chaos and peril so many faced when they encountered this foe. He recounts the in-fighting between the Army and the Marines at the Chosin Reservoir.
Reginald V. Rawls
A Strong Love for Korean Civilians
Reginald Rawls believes that the Korean War should be recognized and remembered.
That's why many people call this war, the "Forgotten War." Any extra food, he gave to the Korean civilians because most were starving. During the war, Reginald Rawls had many interactions with Korean civilians, one man was even his driver.
Richard Carey – Part 2
Evacuation after the Chosin Reservoir
Richard Carey describes taking as many Korean evacuees on ships. He shares the sheer number of evacuees that followed them after the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He explains how the Korean police were interviewing the evacuees.
Chosin Reservoir Reflection
Richard Davis reflects on his experiences at the Chosin Reservoir. He recounts the bitterly cold conditions and being outnumbered by the Chinese. He describes the sleeping bag situation, digging foxholes, and the food available.
Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
Richard Davis describes the Thanksgiving meal offered at the Chosin Reservoir. He recalls airplanes dropping the food, it being cooked, collecting the food, and it being frozen by the time he could eat it. He recounts sitting on food to keep it warm. He mentions eating c-rations as well as vegetables from Korean civilian gardens which gave him and other soldiers worms due to being fertilized by human waste.
Richard P. Holgin
Burning Bridges at the Chosin Reservoir
Richard P. Holgin experienced subzero temperatures and fierce fighting at the Chosin Reservoir. After his company's missions, they would have to blow up bridges and roads so that no enemy could follow them. The weather was a major factor in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.
Persevering through Frostbite
Richard P. Holgin experienced terrible frostbite on his leg. Despite this condition, he continued to serve to the best of his ability, until a superior noticed his injury. Richard P. Holgin was then cared for in Busan and in Japan.
Robert “Bob” W. Ezell
First Experience in Combat
Bob Ezell describes his first experience in combat at Toktong Pass during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir on November 27, 1950
Bob Ezell describes how he survived being wounded by playing dead as the enemy stole his gloves.
Thoughts of Dying
Bob Ezell talks about how he felt after being wounded and how grateful he is to have survived. He also mentions the magnitude of death at Toktong Pass and a friend who was killed there.
Survival In the Aid Tent
Bob Ezell describes surviving while wounded in the aid tent as his unit was cut off and surrounded for 5 days near the Toktong Pass
Traveling to the Chosin Reservoir
Robert Battdorff moved through Seoul, Ko do Re Pass, and then went onto the Chosin Reservoir. Using a line of soldiers, 20 feet apart, he made his way to East Hill overlooking the Chosin Reservoir. Without any enemy resistance, Robert Battdorff sent out patrols to check the different possible enemy positions in November 1950.
The Chinese Take Robert Battdorff
Marine engineers were building an airstrip near the Chosin Reservoir when Robert Battdorff moved onto Toktong Pass to set up positions. That's where the Chinese took over the hill and he was taken prisoner while on watch. It was November 28, 1950 and he was on watch in a sleeping bag because the weather was 40 below zero.
A Near Death Experience with the Chinese
The Chinese put Robert Battdorff in a cow shed and then put him in their own foxholes because the sun was coming up, so they assumed the US would be bombing soon from the air. Two other men were captured with him, but no US soldiers came to resume them right away. On the first assault, there were 28 casualties during that attack. The guard that captured the 3 US soldiers had the men kneel near a frozen stream so that he could kill them, but another Chinese soldier stopped the killing.
Marching and Traveling all over the Chosin Reservoir as a POW
After a further search and surviving a shooting, Robert Battdorff had to hide in a foxhole because the Australians were shooting up multiple buildings where the Chinese were hiding. One guard walked the POWs all day to Yudam ni, near Hamgyong, North Korea. He was moved many places to hide throughout December 1950 while the Chinese were picking up additional British POWs.
Robert H. Pellou
Dug in on Outskirts of Hagaru-ri
Robert H. Pellou recalls serving with a heavy weapons unit in Korea. He shares they worked with heavy machine guns and water-cooled Brownings. He recalls how he operated the only weapon of its type in Hagaru-ri. He remembers being surrounded by the Chinese on Dec. 6th and then the heavy machine guns being called forward as others pushed back to Wonsan. He explains how while feeding an ammunition belt into the gun, he was hit by enemy fire, ending his combat career.
Robert H. Pellow
I Knew I'd Survive
Robert H. Pellow describes his weapons job during the war and describes loading an ammunition belt into a machine gun. He also describes being hit from three to four thousand yards away by enemy fire. He states that he never doubted he would survive.
Robert L. Atkins
A “Hot” Cold Place
Robert Atkins remembers that things were really “hot and heavy” from Thanksgiving to the first of December. He explains how they were ambushed often and how the Chinese crossed the Yalu River. Even though they were outnumbered, he shares that the Fox Company was able to fight the Chinese and it became a turning point.
Robert L. Wessa
First In, Last Out
Robert L. Wessa describes his time in Korea evacuating wounded soldiers from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. The battle wounded so many soldiers that during the time of the evacuation Robert Wessa never got the chance to leave the temporary airstrip.
One of the Greatest Things We Ever Did
Robert Whited recalls movement of his unit from Seoul to Inchon and later Wonsan. The 5th Marines did not immediately go up to the Chosin Reservoir, but instead ran patrols out of Heungnam where he remembers encountering their first Chinese. He describes how when they were establishing a roadblock they were hit by the Chinese and pushed back to Hagaru-ri and Koto-ri and ultimately to the seashore. During the retreat, they were protecting thousands of Korean refugees who were ultimately loaded on a cargo ship and taken to Busan.
Robert Whited recalls the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir was the worst memory of the war. He remembers having very little intelligence when they were hit by 100,000 Chinese. He shares how he and the other members of his unit dealt this tragic events such as having to fight their way out of the Chosin Reservoir resulting in the death of many men.
Sterling N. McKusick
Sterline N. McKusick's unit moved from Hamhueng and Wonson to Hagaru-ri on the south end of the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir. He shares he served as part of the advanced battalion headed into the region. He recalls the Chinese moving into the region right after Thanksgiving 1950 and notes that at that point, things became a matter of survival and getting out of there. He notes that part of the 1st Marine Division and the Army's 31st Regiment were trapped on the east side of the reservoir, and two more Marine regiments were trapped on the left side of the reservoir. He remembers how the U.S. forces were severely outnumbered--one hundred fifty thousand Chinese to fifteen thousand Marines. He recounts the attempts by the convoy to slowly creep back down the mountain.
Injured, Hospitalized, and Returned to Korea
Sterling N. McKusick remembers how during the trip down the mountain from the Jangjin (Chosin) Reservoir that it got dark quickly, and they were ordered to travel without lights. He recalls how about nine miles down the road, they encountered a Chinese roadblock in the area of a frozen creek bed. He explains his truck was sandwiched between other trucks ahead of and behind his when the Chinese started shooting. He describes how his truck was hit and how part of the engine destroyed. He shares he was wounded during this time and recalls spending a long cold night in a ditch before things subsided as the Chinese did not like to fight in daylight. He eventually spent six or seven weeks in a hospital in Yokosuka, Japan, before returning to his unit to finish out his time in Korea.
The Dead Stick in Your Mind
Sterling N. McKusick states that the dead always stick in his mind. He recounts one occasion near Wonsan in October 1950 when his unit discovered between three hundred to four hundred civilians slaughtered by the North Koreans. He believes he had it easier than many of the infantrymen who were constantly under fire while in Korea. He notes that after a short time, he simply got numb to the stuff. He provides an account of seeing North Korean tank units in Seoul who had died at the hands of napalm deployed by U.S. Marines and the Navy. He concludes that it never really goes away but that he came to see himself fortunate that it was not him.
Steven G. Olmstead
"High Diddle Diddle, Right up the Middle"
Steven Olmstead describes his unit's movement through "Hellfire Alley" on its way to Hagaru. He talks about being engaged by enemy Chinese soldiers and the esprit de corps among the marines in his company. He recalls the actions of Rocco Zullo, the first sergeant in his marine unit, during the movement to Hagaru. He describes Sergeant Zullo's heroic actions which were thought to have led to his death and shares surprising news about the first sergeant.
The Importance of Hagaru
Steven Olmstead describes the importance of three positions that were held during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, including the hill at Hagaru. He emphasizes that the 1st Marine Division would have been annihilated had control of the positions he describes not been maintained. He recounts the retreat of US forces.
"We Were a Team"
Steven Olmstead describes his state of mind on the battlefield. He talks about being too busy to think about food or home while engaged with the enemy. He comments on the winter living conditions and offers his reasoning as to why he and his comrades were able to survive in such a harsh environment. He recounts his unit's withdrawal from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, the significance of the "Star of Kotori", and the sufferings of the Chinese Army.
Chinese and Napalm in the Chosin Reservoir
Theodore Paul recalls his experience at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He describes it as disturbing and shares memories of seeing napalm dropped. He recounts fighting the Chinese from all directions.
Reflections on Service
Theodore Paul reflects on his service and participation in two of the most memorable battles during the Korean War--the Battle of Inchon Landing and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He admits that he was scared but did what every other soldier does. He applauds Korea's development since the war and commends the efforts of the Korean people to become a world superpower.
Thomas J Dailey
Chosin Reservoir Recollections
Thomas Dailey recalls his arrival in Korea and time spent at the Chosin Reservoir. He describes collecting injured and frozen soldiers and placing them on the back of armored tanks due to the lack of space inside the tanks. He remembers one occasion where he was forced to pull his pistol on a soldier who kept attempting to get inside the tank due to thinking it was warmer.
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Tony Espino comments on his experience as a United States Marine during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He recalls his company digging in at a canyon and not being able to utilize mortars or flares against the Chinese as a strategy to keep their positions hidden. He remembers a significant number of Chinese soldiers pouring through the canyon.
Victor D. Freudenberger
Not Just Fighting but Surviving
Victor Freudenberger talks about the role every Marine played during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir--working during the day and fighting at night. He describes how exhaustion set in after a couple of days and remembers a nap in which he awoke to find that captured mortars had been thrown into his tent by the Chinese. He remembers that the pins of the mortars had not been pulled out and laughs about simply returning to his nap.
Victor Freudenberger talks about his impressions of the Korean people while he was stationed at Chosin Reservoir. He recalls the suffering of civilians and families being displaced. He describes observing a Korean woman washing clothes in sub-zero temperature at six in the morning and marvels at the resilience and commitment of the Korean people. He comments on the war atrocities committed by the Chinese against civilians he saw along the way.
William “Bill” F. Beasley
Did Taking My Shoes Off Stop the Pain? Frostbite.
William "Bill" Beasley describes the suffering and cold at the Chosin Reservoir. He describes that it was so cold that if he stopped crystals would form on his feet. He recalls being told since he couldn't feel his feet to remove his boots and socks while on a listing post, which resulted in him getting severe frostbite.
Retreat from the Chosin Reservoir
William Dumas describes his temporary attached duty. He describes his experiences during the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir. He explains the work of the Seabees to rebuild a bridge that facilitated the withdrawal.
Wounded at the Chosin Reservoir
William Herold recounts his Thanksgiving meal experience before heading up into the mountains of the Chosin Reservoir. He describes being outnumbered by the Chinese 36 to 1 and a fire fight commencing. He remembers silence that followed except for one round sounding out, adding that it was the round which wounded his right leg. He recalls being transported via jeep out of the mountains and eventually to the hospital ship, Consolation.
Sacrifice: Serving Others Before Self
William Steele details the sacrifice made by the Navy Corpsman assigned to them. He recalls how the corpsman kept them patched up and always appeared with dry socks for their feet in hopes of avoiding frostbite. He remembers how checked them all in upon arrival at the hospital, putting himself last only to have his own foot come off with his boot.