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In War, resolution, in defeat, defiance, in victory, magnanimity, in peace, goodwill.
-- Winston Churchill
First served in Korea right after the end of World War II, from 1946 to 1948 with the following units. 1. 754 Tank BN, 7th Div. 2. Co "G" 2nd BN, 32nd Inf Regt, 7th Division. Started my tour of duty at Sui Saik, about 13 miles south of Seoul. Then moved up to Munsan next to the Imjim River, then up to Kaesong (now in hands of North Korea), and Onjin (a small pennsula of South Korea).
It was necessary to drive through Pyongyang, North Korea (escorted by Russian Soldiers) to get to and from Onjin to Kaesong. That is an event that I shall never forget as long as I live. The Russians were not the lest bit friendly to us, and made it as difficult for us as possible while traversing through North Korea. If you had a flat tire, you could not stop until you reached, and crossed the border of Onjin. I was a Jeep driver at that time.
The second time I was in Korea was from September 15, 1950 to July, 1951. Units served with: 1. Weapons Co. Heavy Water Cooled Machine Guns, 2. H&S Co, (S-2) Section, and then "attached" to Dog Co., 2nd BN, 1st Regt., 1st Marine Div FMF. Started out with the invasion of Inchon, on up into Seoul. From there, back to Inchon and boarded the USNS NOBLE, and transported to Wonson.
After the "up & down" cruise off the port of Wonson known as "Operation Yo Yo," while they cleared the Harbor of mines, we finally landed at Wonson. From there, a skirmish with the North Koreans in the Hills. From there, we loaded up aboard an old Korean train. We crossed over a rickety old railroad trestle over a deep canyon, at night moving about 3 miles per hour. I was scared to death the North Koreans would try to blow up the bridge while we were creeping across it. Arrived at the beach of Kojo, where we spent the night on the beach while the mortars & artillery bombarded the hills. The next day, found Americans who had been bayoneted in their sleeping bags, some with their hands tied behind their back with wire, and shot in the head.
From there, on up to Hamhung, and then on up to Koto-ri for the Chosin Reservoir Operation. Sub zero freezing weather, and 120,000 Chinese entered the war and surrounded us, with the mission of killing every American down to the lowest ranking man. The 1st Marines, 5th Marines, 11th Marines and 7th Marines along with elements of the U. S. Army were faced with two enemies. They were, "Sub zero freezing weather," and an overwhelming number of Chinese soldiers. With the helping hand of God, many were able to get out alive. Others were not so fortunate. Some units had it worse than others, but it was no picnic for any particular unit. Fox Company, 2nd BN, 7th Marines made military history by holding their position, with the chances of survival, overwhelmingly not in their favor. But they stubbornly fought, and held their ground. Had it not been for them, perhaps many of us may not be alive today. When we made the breakout from the Chosin Reservoir area, we traveled to the port of Hungnam, where ships were waiting off shore to transport us to the Port of Pusan, South Korea. I was aboard the "General Collins."
During the Chosin Reservoir Operation, there were 17 Medals of Honor, and 70 Navy Crosses earned. The most medals of that high degree ever earned in any single battle. Today, there are many veterans of that operation that are suffering from frostbite, and cold weather related injuries. Out of a total of approximately 20,000 Americans, there are only approximately 5,000 veterans of that battle who are still alive today.
May our grandchildren never have to fight the battle of the Chosin Reservoir again. Not now, not ever. God Bless the survivors of the Chosin Reservoir. Chosin Few.
Note: by Clyde H. Queen, Sr
This Day in History
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The Chinese Ming dynasty occupies Taiwan.
Austrian troops invade Piedmont.
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The German Army in Italy surrenders unconditionally to the Allies.
U.S. and South Vietnamese forces launch a limited "incursion" into Cambodia. The campaign included 13 major ground operations to clear North Vietnamese sanctuaries 20 miles inside the Cambodian border.
Operation Frequent Wind, the largest helicopter evacuation on record, begins removing the last Americans from Saigon.