September 23, 2009

Marines at Chosin fought way out

The article authored by Doctor Yung H. Hwang in the Voices section of the News Leader (Sept . 17, 2009) is one of the most incredible distortion of facts concerning the Korean War I have ever read. No doubt his intentions were noble. However, the only truth that I saw in his article was when he stated; "I am not a historian." I recommend that the good doctor talk to some of the folks who were there or, better yet, go to the library and read a history of the Korean War.

In late November, 1950 some 400,000 Chinese Peoples Volunteers, came boiling out of the mountains where they had been hiding for weeks and attacked United States forces in North Korea. Army units to the East and West of the 1st Marine Division were quickly routed leaving only the 1st Marines, who were at the Chosin Reservoir, to carry on the battle. Totally surrounded, outnumbered 10 to one with no hope of relief, the Marines turned and attacked to the south, toward Hungnam, where the United States Navy had assembled a fleet of every kind of ship imaginable to take Marine and Army Units plus thousands of refugees to safer ground in the south of Korea.

The 1st Marines fought through the Chinese, the snow, the ice and temperatures in -30 to -40 degree range, inch by bloody inch; they suffered terribly. They fought their way to Hungnam bringing their equipment, their dead and their wounded. The Chinese, being mere mortals had given way, or died. This is one of the most magnificent feats of arms in the history of warfare. They were not "rescued" by the 3rd ID, doctor.