Here is a story for you, it's about a Major who should have got a half a dozen CMH's. It was him who got most of us out, even tho he didn't make it himself.
Major Storms I had never met, only saw him a few times before the withdrawal started. When we started to leave the Chosin Reservoir what was left of I Co. was ordered to fight rear guard. I saw the Major for a few short periods during this time. The withdrawal got started off with good air cover (Thank God for the Flyboys) even tho some of the men got burned by some of our own napalm.
We were under constant small arms fire from the start. We lost a lot of men for the first three or four miles. Didn't see the Major during all of this, too busy! We arrived at a point where there was a good size bridge destroyed and on the other side about a thousand yards away was a small village. THis area is where the withdrawal ran into trouble. The entire valley and roadway was covered with withering machine gun fire. There was a large steep hill on the southside of the road, over the hill, looks like the only way out. This is where I next saw the Major, I heard him say lets take the hill and go around back and get others who were pinned down between a couple of huts. We finally said to heck with it, couldn't stay where we were headed for the road and hill. Don't know how many started, all I know is myself and Pvt M made it across the road, under fire all the way. This hill is covered with ice and snow. Temperature about twenty or thirty below.
Pvt M and I made it almost to the top, this is where we met the Major coming back down. He was sliding along on his rear end and not doing a good job at that.
He must have had about ten or twleve bullet holes through his field jacket in his right arm and chest area. Could not see any blood anywhere due to extreme cold. We asked him if we could help him in anyway, he said no. His answer separates men from wan-ta-be's. He said I I have fought a good fight, you kids go over the hill and knock out the roadblock, I'll go back down and get the rest of them. The last time I saw Major Storms he was sliding down the hillside on his rear end going after the rest of the men.
Major Storms knew he was dying. I knew he was dying, but not one whimper came from his lips. DAM WHAT A MAN. A few minutes later Pvt M got killed. If there was ever a man who deserved the Medal of Honor, it was him. Without him leading the way up the hill, I doubt if any of us would have made it out.
Sgt Bill Rowland, 31st Regiment, I Company
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