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THE CHOSIN NOTES PAGE


I will list any notes on Chosin I receive here. If you are a veteran of the 31st and want to send me anything - now's your chance. If you want the posting listed as anonymous. Just state in the E-Mail.

The following are exclusively the writings of the men of the 31st RCT. Stating details of the battle or their own opinion about the battle at the chosin reservoir.

ADDED 11/1/2001
-Since the ARMY RECORDS of the fight at Chosin were stamped "Secret " for 40 yrs, there was much confusion about awards. Back then Washington and politicians didn't want info out on our lack of winter gear, support, bad corps, HQ plans, and most of all, our losses (heads would roll).ER

-Only from RECORDS OBTAINED FROM THE CHINESE did we find that our 2 short handed 1/2 ROK infantry battlions (+ part of an artillery bn & part of an AAA company) outfought the 80 & 81 CCF divisions that were reinforced by other CCF units brought over from the Fusen Reservoir area, for 5 nights and 4 days. After Chosin these CCF divisions were not able to go into combat because we had chewed them up. ER

-I am what's left of 3PLT/K/31ST. Robertson and Francious are the only Chosin men living who saw me in combat. My buddy was Forest Polling. Others in the Platoon I remember are Johnson, Rodriguez, Seaborn, Chavez, King, Margan, Cox, Conforti, Kelly.

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-31st I Co
-MEDINA was a medic that was wounded at the big road block but was still treating the wounded (he got a silver star).FS
-LEWIS SHANNON was in a group of 5 or 6 who led me and a large group of wounded from the road block where Col Faith was killed to Hagaru-ri. FS

-Spent most of my time with MAJOR STORMS. Major Storms and I left Chosin in the withdrawal together, and we got separated after a couple miles. Didn't know he was dead until I read the book. DM

-I didn't know that LTC FAITH had moved his unit into ours until after I read East of Chosin. DM

-I saw LTC REILLY lst while he was propped up against one of the buildings after he was wounded, and I was stringing a telephone wire from the switchboard to the Command Post, and he looked up at me and kept his eyes on me while I was doing it. He looked so helpless and that was upsetting to me, I wondered who was running the show. DM

-LTC REILLY was wounded in the legs with MG fire, shrapnel from grenades thrown in the window (3 BN CP), put out of action when a concussion grenade exploded against his forehead. 28 Nov refused to leave his men while they were engaged with ChiCom. Gen Barr had to fly in with an observation plane and order him to let the men put him on. Now deceased, he was one very brave man and we were lucky to have him as BN CO. ER

-31ST I CO TONY MEDINO was killed in a fox hole with me, GORDON LEE, the mail clerk and DOMINICK CATALDO were also in the same hole. GORDON LEE was wounded and made it home, I never saw TONY MEDINO or DOMINICK CATALDO again. ROBERT STAFFORD and TONY MEDINO, left behind or possibly on a truck that did not make it out.MM 31st

-CAPTAIN MARR, I COMPANY commanding officer, my self and TOM J. MORRIS (POW), who was firing a machine gun from the hip. We three were the last men coming out of the chosin reservoir from the 31st RCT. MM 31st

-I remember a statement that Walter Winchell made in 1951. I think was the same chaplain that made the statement about the 7th DIV, he was court marshalled for FALSE STATEMENTS HE MADE AGAINST THE 31st RCT. MM 31st

-When I got bck to the Marine base, a tank commander told us you are lucky we did not open fire on you people. (I had been wounded 2 times and had frozen feet.) I told the Sgt that the war was where we were and why they did not help us get out. The MARINES DID NOT KNOW we were in front of them. MM 31st

-One thing that no one ever points out - if the 7thID men at Chosin had not stayed and held as long as they did the Marines may not have gotten out of that area. More men from the 7TH ID WERE LOST BECAUSE THEY HELD rather than withdrawing to Hagaru sooner as they should of done. Further note that they should have taken to the ice on the reservoir and many more may have gotten out easier. After the withdrawing convoy broke up most of the men that came out went out via the ice. But what may have been is rather late. JN, 57th FA

-No one mentions the fact that there was a FULL MOON. The moon was so bright you could only move when the moon went behind the clouds, or else the Chinese would fire at you. You had to be perfectly still. If you moved, chances are you got hit or killed. WS 31st, I Co

-...Add the snow ending and a FULL MOON to light the area for your final withdrawal, that advantage not so much in your favor but the enemy that controls the night and a final and fatal road block against you. Your lack of adequate ammunition to defend yourself, not alone to aid the column of hundreds of wounded placed in trucks. RV copyright 2000, 57th FA

-In South Korea we had been told about the NORTH KOREANS INFILTRATING OUR LINES wearing American uniforms obtained from captured or killed American soldiers. Just having these ROK's in our area and our uniforms mase us jittery. In the Task Force MacLean Faith area at Chosin it was highly confused situation. In the consolidated perimeter we were forced to defend, all the battalions were mixed together. RV copyright 2000, 57th FA

-One of the safeguards we observed in Korea-as in all wars-was the assigned daily USE OF PASSWORDS, those picked at random and designed to make it difficult for the Koreans or Chinese to pronounce. Examples would be Helter-reply-Skelter; Abraham-reply-Lincoln; Cairo-reply-Egypt, etc. So problems other army divisions had would be multiplied one-third for our division, plus that reality, that we could be more easily infiltrated by North Koreans dressed in acquired army uniforms, by no means a reassuring situation. RV copyright 2000, 57th FA

-INCHON-Here the 7th Division was doing what the Marine command would not do later at Chosin, split two regiments by miles, one heading north, the other heading south, the regiment unable to secure its own flanks. AlmOnd was indeed spreading us thin. RV copyright 2000, 57th FA

-Then I was able to tell them of the very brave men I was priviliged to serve with in Korea; of the CCF EXECUTING THE WOUNDED when NOT ONE pleaded for mercy or showed the CCF and fear. ER, 31st K Co

-But some (ROK's) were valuable without question, as one with our small group after the break-up of the Task Force Faith at Hudong-ni, on the early morning hours of December 2, 1950, many men would die this night. The Korean taking shelter in a hut with some of us survivors went out for assistance and brought back an elderly North Korean couple, they brought us some food and broth-dog soup-the woman making a sling for my injured arm, and provided information of the Chinese in the area, with some of that information the South Korean could point the way around the enemy strongholds onto the ice of the Chosin Reservoir. RV copyright 2000, 57th FA

-Of the 'ICE MARINES' who went up to 11 miles into enemy areas on and around the reservoir ice rescueing 350 severly wounded and bringing them back. ER, 31st K Co

-Of LT COL OLIN BEALE AND PFC RALPH MILTON picking me off the ice (under enemy fire but not a flinch) and giving me a jeep ride to a hospital plane. ER, 31st K Co

-The only problem was reloading with COLD numb hands. Changjin Journal 10/29/00 HB

-CONDITION OF 3BN 31ST TROOPS. (Before Chosin) They had just covered a 140 mile, 2 day, non- stop march through high mountains on PM of 27SEP. The last 11 miles Hagaru-ri to the "Inlet" troops froze in the open back of marine 6X trucks, then climbed the ridge to dig in at dusk. That night the exhausted men at the inlet were 'greeted' by the CCF.-ER, 31st K Co

-HOW CHINESE ATTACKED, American positions, came running in mass, spread only a few yards apart, yelling and screaming, "GI surrender," making noise with bugles and whistles, and continued to come, running over their own dead and wounded until they were killed. -LS, 31st I Co

-I Company was caught in an ambush when it was moving in pursuit of the enemy at such speed that it could not put out flank guards. -LS, 31st I Co

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Introduction to Data-Numbers of 31RCT-March Order-Divisions and Regiments-Chosin Notes-32nd Reg before and after-Events To Inchon-Events 9/23 to 9/3/1950-