By Mark Pearson
Earlier in the year 1950, US troops along with ROK troops had been attacked by the North Korean army supplied with Russian and Chinese weapons including T34 tanks and artillery. After being forced to retreat down to a place in southern Korea known as Pusan, they made their stand. At this point General MacArthur landed Marines behind the enemy at Inchon. This brilliant move forced the enemy to retreat north up the Korean peninsula back into North Korea. MacArthur sent UN troops made up of several member nations but predominately American and ROK forces after them driving them all the way up to the Chinese border. Half way through the month of November Chinese leader, Mao Zadong sent his army’s south across the Yalu river that separates Korea from China under the command of General Dehuai Ping.
Tens of thousands of Chinese troops infiltrated into Korea by night and hid in the rugged mountains during the daylight hours. They waited until the UN forces approached the Yalu river and then attacked virtually surrounding our forces. This along with the rugged terrain and winter setting in with temperatures plummeting down to as much as 30 degrees below zero caused some of the worse fighting conditions our forces have ever faced. But face it they did. In places like the Chosen Reservoir the US 24th division and the 5th and 7th Marines fought their way south not by retreating but by, “attacking in the other direction” according to Marine General Lewis (Chesty) Puller. Throughout the month of December, 1950 and into January, 1951 our troops fought their way out and back into South Korea with less losses then we suffered in the Battle of the Bulge during WWII.
Yes we can still hunker down in our heated homes, put our feet up in front of a fire in the fireplace, (those fortunate to own one) sip our favorite beverage and play or watch videos. The real Spring seems to have finally arrived but just in case it hasn’t, just remember those who endured thirty below zero, out in the wind, in drifting snow while someone is shooting at you.
If there are any vets or relatives of vets that read this article, please note you are not forgotten. I salute you and all those who faught for valor and gave great sacrifices in defense of democracy and upholding the fine traditions of our military. You are not forgotten.
Mark E. Pearson was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo. In 1970 he moved to Michigan where he met and married the girl of his dreams, Mary Lou Davis, together they have two sons. He attended Briercrest Bible Institute in Saskatchewan, Canada, and later received his associates degree in business from St. Clair Community College. He was a bookkeeper and worked in retail sales for 30 years and has spent the last fifteen years as a Jeweler at Coughlin’s Jewelers in St Clair, MI. He is a voracious reader of history and as a result of being an avid reader he began to write short stories and articles for editorial columns and magazines on current events and comparing and relating past events to current happenings.
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