Battle of Chosin in Korean war

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Niner Alpha
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Battle of Chosin in Korean war

Postby Niner Alpha » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:51 pm

I recorded for later viewing The Battle of Chosin on American Experience produced by PBS. You can see it online if you give money to PBS or have another video on demand source that shows it. I watched it the other night. It documents how the 1/31st and 2/31st were part of Taskforce Faith that were sent in 1950 to the East side of the Chosin Reservoir to act as a right flank protection for a large Division size force of Marines on the other side of the lake. They were way out on a limb to be that far North to start with but then the Communist Chinese entered the Korean war and both forces were attacked by masses of Chinese troops many times their own numbers. The Army troops were particularly outnumbered, more so than the much more numerous and better supplied Marines, but fought heroically with no reinforcements and little air resupply. The story goes on to show that they were written off... much like Bataan while the Marines on the other side of the big lake were linked up and supported. Unlike Bataan, the 31st and 32nd troops fought their way south in awful weather conditions over narrow mountain roads against constant attack while hauling truck loads of wounded stacked in tiers in the truck beds. And... in the end... with only 10 percent of the members still standing and not wounded they joined up with a larger force and accordingly not a repeat of Custer's last stand.

Now the really sad part about this story is that the Marines got a unit citation and the Army didn't. The reason at the time was that the Marines...or at least a significant high ranking officer, or officers...said the Army cut and ran and didn't deserve any honors. But... later ....much later.. the history was revised.

A little while ago, while looking for something totally unrelated, I found an old 31st Regiment news letter form January 2000. It related how in 1999... 49 years later, the Army Taskforce was award what they had been denied back when it would have mattered. The TV show tells of this turn of events and how the Lt. Commander, Faith was his name, had his body recovered 50 years later and his remains buried at Arlington.

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