first published on November 28, 2015 by Josh
An excerpt from the AHC documentary Chosin, has veterans talking about their experiences in the Korean war.
There is absolutely no way that you cannot have absolute respect for the men who fought in the Chosin Reservoir of Korea. Marines and Soldiers alike fought side by side, outnumbered on all fronts, to conduct the largest fighting retreat in the history of warfare. Listen to the stories these men have to tell, there are no words that can describe their experiences, except for the words coming directly from the source.
I have read a lot of books about the men who fought in the Korean War. From Inchon to Chosin, not a single book that I’ve read has ever been less than outstanding. My all time favorite book about these men is “The Last Stand of Fox Company.”
In this true story about Marines in Korea, we follow the men of Fox Company 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines as they defend Fox Hill. In this mission to hold the Toktong Pass, in order to allow the fifth and seventh Marines to reconnect with 1st Mar Div, 220 US Marines fought against 1,400 Chinese regulars for five days, and six nights.
Only 82 men from Fox Company were able to walk away from the mission after they succeeded in defending the hill. Here is a Medal of Honor citation for the commander of Fox Company 2/7.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM E. BARBER
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea from November 28, to December 2, 1950. Assigned to defend a three-mile mountain pass along the division’s main supply line and commanding the only route of approach in the march from Yudam-Ni to Hagaru-ri, Captain Barber took position with his battle weary troops and, before nightfall, had dug in and set up a defense along the frozen snow-covered hillside. When a force of estimated regimental strength savagely attacked during the night, inflicting heavy casualties and finally surrounding his position following a bitterly fought seven-hour conflict, Captain Barber, after repulsing the enemy, gave assurance that he could hold if supplied by air drops and requested permission to stand fast when orders were received by radio to fight his way back to a relieving force after two reinforcing units had been driven back under fierce resistance in their attempts to reach the isolated troops. Aware that leaving the position would sever contact with the 8,000 Marines trapped at Yudam-ni and jeopardize their chances of joining the 3,000 more awaiting their arrival in Hagaru-ri for the continued drive to the sea, he chose to risk loss of his command rather than sacrifice more men if the enemy seized control and forced a renewed battle to regain the position, or abandon his many wounded who were unable to walk. Although severely wounded in the leg the early morning of the 29th, Captain Barber continued to maintain personal control, often moving up and down the lines on a stretcher to direct the defense and consistently encouraging and inspiring his men to supreme efforts despite the staggering opposition. Waging desperate battle throughout five days and six nights of repeated onslaughts launched by the fanatical aggressors, he and his heroic command accounted for approximately 1,000 enemy dead in this epic stand in bitter sub-zero weather, and when the company was relieved, only 82 of his original 220 men were able to walk away from the position so valiantly defended against insuperable odds. His profound faith and courage, great personal valor and unwavering fortitude were decisive factors in the successful withdrawal of the division from the deathtrap in the Chosin Reservoir sector and reflect the highest credit upon Captain Barber, his intrepid officers and men and the United States Naval Service.