Chosin Reservoir - Ray Vallowe Research

Chapter 10 - Circumstantial Evidence

Author's Background | Prologue | Chapt 1 - Budget War | Chapt 2 - Inchon | Chapt 3 - Capture Seoul
Chapt 4 - Inchon to Pusan | Chapt 5 - Fateful Journey into N Korea | Chapt 6 - Inter-service Rivalry-1
Chapt 7 - Inter-service Rivalry-2 | Chapt 8 - Press Corps | Chapt 9 - Secret/Classified Mission
Chapt 10 - Circumstantial Evidence | Chapt 11 - Mission Change | Chapt 12 - The Tank Withdrawal
MIA/KIA East of Chosin | Postscript | Important Maps | Declassified Documents| Reader Comments


"[T]he circumstances that led to the tragedy are not documented in records or command reports. There are no records on deposit in the National Archives for the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry, the 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry, or the 57th Field Artillery Battalion, for the Chosin Reservoir action in November, 1950. I found none when I worked in the records there in 1974-75."

[Appleman, East of Chosin, p. 391; bibliographical note] (Those records were not declassified until 1979.)

Documented Evidence

14 April 1953 Eleventh Endorsement on Maj Gen O.P. Smith's letter, ser 9532 of 3 March 1952, Presidential Unit Citation

These earlier dates established an earlier (firm) timeline for General Smith USMC placing the Army units east of the reservoir, while at the same time consistently denying their value as being there. Smith opposed the Army recommendation on its endorsement for some Army forces to be included within the Navy PUC award. Smith remained strictly against Task Force Faith's inclusion with his Marine Division receiving the PUC award. His stated reason was, "Only those units were included which made a direct contribution to the successful breakout of the 1st Marine Division from the Chosin Reservoir Area."

Note Smith's implication that Task Force Faith's commitment was not included because they failed to make a "direct contribution." But here is where Smith failed in his logic and attempted to change past history rather than write it as it should have been written. Consider this: Over those Army units named in this same paragraph, "Part of these units had been destined for Task Force Faith but had been unable to reach that force. The remainder were detachments of units sent forward by X Corps in anticipation of the setting up of an advance Corps CP at Hagaru-ri. These detachments were likewise stranded. The principal units in this group were the Tank Company, 31st Infantry, and Company D, 10th Engineer." [1]

Fact: The Tank Company, 31st Infantry, was never "stranded" at Hagaru-ri. Instead, it was merely used there as a connecting link to Task Force Faith. They had been four miles northeast at Hudong-ni and located behind Task Force Faith. They withdrew back to Hagaru-ri on orders under the operational control of General Smith immediately after 292027 November. That move sealed the fate of Task Force Faith, and sacrificed them entirely to the enemy forces. That timeline changed Smith's zone of operations from the prior 7th Division area of responsibility between 25 November and 29 November, once again back to General Smith's command--thus, his sole legal authority to designate who would receive the naval PUC award.

We have documentation as early as 14 April 1953 in reference to 3 March 1952 concerning our task force at Chosin and concerning a renewed interservice rivalry involving the Navy also--on going over this one issue for the next 49 years. The real evidence was in the Pentagon Army pipeline, but it was never used to educate the public as to the PUC being denied to the Army force. This fact indicated a total lack of real interest to even recognize those Army forces east of the reservoir, they being ignored completely. (The PUC was not finally awarded to them until 1999.) However, the real end result of the fact that the Navy yielded on their PUC was a direct surrender of their own ethical principles in failing to review this case in the first place. It also retracted and fully established the fact that General Smith was dead wrong in his denial of this Navy PUC to the Army forces. [A personal note here: I could care less about that award--only the end result just stated.]

The so-called endorsement by Smith tied up some loose ends in regard to the number of men he placed in the three areas of Yudam-ni, Hagaru-ri, and Koro-ri. We read various reports on the number of Marines involved at Chosin, ranging from a full division of 25,000 to 15,000. Here General Smith clarified his force numbers facing the enemy:

"Direct participation of Marine, Army, and other units was as follows: (figures given for each phase are the maximum before the effect of casualties was reflected.) a. Breakout of the 5th and 7th Regimental Combat Teams from Yudam-ni to Hagaru-ri: Marines and Navy Medical - 8,290 (approx) Army - None b. Defense of Hagaru-ri pending the arrival of the 5th & 7th Regimental Combat Teams at Hagaru-ri: Marines and Navy Medical - 3,540 (approx) Army (including integrated South Koreans) - 325 (approx) Royal Marine Commandos - 180 (approx)"

As stated, the total number given for each phase is, "the maximum before the effect of casualties was reflected." Therefore, if we extract that number at Yudam-ni as 8,290 (approximately) and place the [approx] number of the Army forces east of the reservoir as Smith's quote of 2,800 from his interview of 1969, we can establish some idea of ratios to CCF enemy. West of Chosin, the 89th CCF Division had split one half of this division to move south below Koto-ri to engage the 1/7 Infantry of the 3rd Infantry Division at Sach'ang-ni (the Gap). On the Marine west side were the 59th, 79th, and one-half of the 89th CCF Divisions. Army east side - 80th, & 81st (and "possibly 94th," since never verified, is not used here.)  CCF Division = 7,500 X 8 Divisions = 60,000 men.  Marine force at Yudam-ni versus Army force at Sinhu-ni: 2.5 CCF Divisions at Yudam-ni versus 2 CCF Divisions at Sinhu-ni = 7,500 X 2.5 = 18,750 men versus 7,500 X 2 = 15,000 men.  18,750/8,290 = 2 to 1 (rounded to nearest #) 15,000/2,800 = 5 to 1

Here identifies that "massive force" spotted early morning of the 27th at Yudam-ni. The 59th remained around Toktong Pass engaging Fox Company, and the full 79th at Yudam-ni, with one-half of the 89th Division engaging the bulk of the 5th, 7th, and 11th Marine Regiments around Yudam-ni.

In historian Roe's accounting, he provides some valuable data on the 79th and 89th CCF division. The 79th was the only division to remain in the fighting throughout daylight hours, which exposed them to the fire and napalm from the 1st Marine Air Wing (MAW). His outline on the 89th Division split between Yudam-ni and Sac'hang-ni. After engaging the 5th and 7th Marines at Yudam-ni and driving H/3/7 off Hill 1403 on 280300 November, the forces on Hill 1403 received permission to withdraw. This withdrawal left a breach in the Marine perimeter, which the 89th then dominated and was well capable "of driving a wedge between the heart of the two Marine regiments." The 89th stalled and made "no further move to exploit the gains, and posed no further threat to the forces at Yudam-ni during the remainder of the action there." [2]

My point here is that the Marines totally lucked out. The 89th withdrew from the attack early morning of 28 November, leaving only the 79th in the battle at Yudam-ni where the bulk of the Marine forces--the 5th, 11th, and 7th Marines--were located. (The 59th was some seven miles east in the distance, engaging one company of F/2/7 Marines around Toktong Pass.) This was supplemented in Smith's interview. "When I gave Litzenberg the order to try to clear the road, I had Murray come back to Yudam-ni--to come back the 2,000 yards to relieve the 7th Marines on the hills they were defending in the vicinity of Yudam-ni. Then they defended there. As a matter of fact, after the first night they didn't have such a terrible time. The first night was the worst, they really were attacked in force that first night." Still, that Marine force remained at Yudam-ni, contrary to Smith orders, until 1 December. They took three additional days to clear into Hagaru-ri.

Note to above: If only that one 80th CCF Division had attacked the Army, its ratio would have still been equal to the Marine ratio of 2 to 1 against the enemy. No matter which figure is used, it doesn't take a math professor to equate which force "made a direct contribution and commitment." It gives the benefit of the difference in larger numbers to the Marines and Navy Corpsmen. Nevertheless, the point to be highlighted was that our Army medical team (remaining attached to the 31st Tank Company) was assisting the Navy Medical personnel--and assisting Marine wounded at Hagaru-ri who never reached the forward Army forces at Sinhu-ni. This latter was highlighted as well in the use and the sole priority of using Marine helicopters to evacuate the Marine wounded from Yudam-ni, on a 25 to 1 ratio to those Army wounded on the east side of the reservoir (100 men evacuated at Yudam-ni to four men evacuated at Sinhu-ni). [3]


With the aid of these documents, how does one insert events that could change history as written? The answer is, you can't and you don't, because OPN O 25 as written and dated 27 November 1950 by Colonel Allan D. MacLean changes every past historian's accounting to date of the 7th Infantry Division's involvement and order of battle at Chosin. It therefore poses a direct challenge over every past author and historian's speculation as to what was changed at that meeting between General Almond's X Corps (Colonel Chiles) G-3 and Five Star General Douglas MacArthur. Prior speculation by those authors was promulgated without knowledge of those vital missing pieces of the puzzle.  It also changes their redundant version concerning that one 'minor change' cited by all historians as designated to be the only mission change involving the 1st Marine Division. Past authors previously quoted only "moving the boundary line" below Eighth Army zone. Pure reality indicates far more than any mere minor change and also indicates the total Marine confusion at Yudam-ni on the so-called opening hour of their attack.

Past history records that only one Marine battalion led off westward from Yudam-ni on 270800 November. A two-regiment "joint command" was newly formed there, and neither the senior officer nor the junior officer was to be directly responsible for final command decisions. Rather, there was one united chain of command. This confusion was not to the same extent on the Army east side, as Lt. Colonel Faith's 1/32nd Battalion held his forward position between 27 November and only withdrew two miles south into MacLean's perimeter under cover of darkness early 29 November under official orders of Colonel MacLean. The Marine offensive was called off after an advance of only some 2,000 yards, as if it had never started.

Per General Smith, "Murray made, as I said, about 2,000 yards and I halted the attack, because it was manifest that we were up against a massive force out there." However, General Matthew B. Ridgway directly contradicted Smith's statement. Per Ridgway, "It was then that Murray and Litzenberg decided on their own, without consulting Smith, to call off the attack and go on the defensive, disregarding Almond's orders, as they figured the show was hopeless." [4] Question: Did they disregard Almond's orders? (Dispute is over whether or not they have any orders from Almond. My research evidence points to the fact that they did not.) Or, did they disregard Smith's orders?

Throughout both popular and unpopular wars in American history, hundreds of thousands of individual man hours have been energetically spent by numerous veteran organizations in efforts to remember and honor those men and women killed in combat and those listed as missing in action. Regretfully, all that effort has not been entirely productive in either the Korean or Vietnam Wars. Over five decades, the men missing in action in Korea have been neglected in our own annals of military history. Those men have sadly been phased into our past American history, deserted and neglected for the sole cause of "closure." Now marked, "Died of wounds while missing in action," they are forever missing in action.

Regretfully, many family members never learned where in Korea their loved ones fought and lost their lives. Indeed, this new era of the computer and Internet has an abundance of sad requests begging for information on the 7th Infantry Division soldiers that died at Chosin. All of this while the 1st Marine Division commander boasted of the return of all their dead from all areas around Chosin within that 90-day window granted though the Korean truce agreement to return all human remains. General Smith himself stated that the North Koreans by themselves did that task for the American Marines. [5]

But Smith's own claim raises a red flag here. His claim cannot be substantiated, as there are Marine Corps MIAs whose remains have never been recovered. The main mix up was not through North Korean forces retrieving the Marine Corps dead, but the fault lies over the identification of a few of those 138 bodies Smith simply "slipped in" with the wounded and transferred to the Army, Smith having no direct knowledge on where his dead would end up. The purpose was to evacuate the wounded. Per Smith:

"The doctor came to me and he was fit to be tied because he knew how many seriously wounded he had that should be evacuated, and he knew how many had gone out by air, and it just didn't make sense. Somebody was getting out of there who wasn't seriously hurt. It was our fault probably, because the Air Force had sent up what they called an Evacuation Officer, and the doctor assumed that the Evacuation Officer would see that the proper people got aboard the planes, but that was not his function at all; he was just thinking in terms of planes, not on what was flown on the planes. After that I couldn't have gotten aboard a plane without a ticket. Nobody after that got on any plane without a ticket that showed that he was due to get out."

Here one should follow General Smith's vacillation in his own logical shift of evacuation of the wounded: "But at Hagaru-ri, when we caught up on the wounded, we just slipped the bodies in and it was very simple - they were frozen stiff, there was no putrefaction or anything like that. The corps wanted us to quit, and Gregon Williams handled the phone on that. (Laughs) So he just stalled them. We sent them all out. We didn't pay any attention."

Here is where Smith's negligence in handling of his own men took place. He signed a "ticket" for each of the 138 dead Marine(s), and transferred the blame on the Army forces to bury his own dead.. Per Smith, "Where we shouldn't have had unidentified was in this well organized cemetery at Hungnam. We had two or three unidentified there because the 138 bodies we sent in there were buried by the Army, you see, and they were kind of careless in identifying these people." There is a point of interest with regard to "the 138 bodies we sent in there." Smith had no direct knowledge as to where those bodies were sent.

When relocating to Chosin, our own 7th Division forces passed the cemetery at Hungnam. Some 844 of the men in these forces would never have the respect or honor in being identified as even dying at Chosin. Nor would any one of them be enclosed in a white mattress cover with identity facts encased in a burial bottle placed under their left arm, respectfully buried in this same cemetery at Hungnam. In all reality, however, it did not matter one iota at the time, because this very United Nations cemetery was soon abandoned completely, as all UN forces pulled out of North Korea on Christmas Eve of 1950. Smith was merely transposing a burial site within enemy territory. The major difference was that his men were retrieved and our division's dead was not. They remained fully unidentified and had no official credential where they fell in battle.

RED FLAG: The Marines Corps had no direct responsibility to care for their own wounded in action. That task was handled by the Navy corpsmen, thus freeing the entire Marine Corps from taking pride and credit for the burying of their own dead. In contrast, the Army had special units to take care of both of these tasks within each division--another major difference between the two services. The Army provided its own medical detachments to care for its own wounded within a division. It also had Graves Registration units to bury their own dead. [6]

RED FLAG: Smith blamed the Army for his own failure to bury his own dead at Hagaru-ri. Yet MG Smith used the Army 31st Medical Team, withdrawn from the forward trapped unit of Task Force Faith, to care for his own Marine wounded working side by side with those Navy corpsmen at Hagaru. The Red Flag is flapping in the breeze here over his comment on flying out 138 of his dead, having no idea as to where they were flown. The men being evacuated were originally intended for some MASH unit. Now he transferred them exclusively to an Army GRO unit for burial.

This adds to the shameful and dishonorable part of the neglect--the real neglect and Marine failure to record any Army battles or action which cost those lives, and the location those men were missing from. In reality, those Army men were completely withdrawn from military history and records, those Army soldiers having documentation only as numbers on a X Corps chart. They had no real credentials to establish proof that they were ever at the Chosin Reservoir. Instead, they were a secret for some 30-50 years, being a blot on American military history as to those men giving their lives in the defense of American foreign policy.

One of the sad realities of military history is the interservice rivalry between different branches of the services--that need for space in history. The Marines hunger for that space, and try to justify their own delaying mission assigned to be carried out. The importance of that mission, one they never had in the first place. Certainly anyone with any military hindsight can challenge the importance of any past mission as to the need and speed set to seize an assigned objective, as in Korea, that Army excessive use of ‘task forces" during the first six months.

The responsibility to seize any military objective flows downhill to the men manning the front lines. These men are not directly responsible as to what units that mission will be assigned or its importance in the overall scheme of the big picture. "The man in the front line is blessed with a sense of immediacy. He knows only of the danger directly in front of him." Their responsibility is only to seize that objective, no matter what the reason picked and assigned by higher command.

One such mission was assigned to Colonel Allan D. MacLean, commander of the 3/31st Battalion and 57th Field Artillery Battalion, and 1/32nd Battalion for the Chosin Reservoir action in November, 1950. These three battalions--mixed with 38% ROKs, were from the 7th Division. Colonel MacLean's mission, as history records, leaves a highly controversial issue of his being assigned east of Chosin Reservoir. The result is that his three battalions were removed (by design) from military history. His orders were completely removed and hidden from history, too. [7] MacLean's force became merely a phantom force lost to history.  Why that would be remains a huge mystery.

Much of our American history is made of "heroes" and many exaggerations about them. I recall a movie skit in the early 1940s by the Three Stooge's Larry, Curly, and Moe. Their lines said, "There we were, three against a thousand, and we fought three against a thousand. We reloaded our rifles over and over again and continued the fight, three against a thousand. And when after many, many days that battle finally ended, we all had to agree, they were the toughest three men we had ever fought in our lives." Satire? Yes, as it was meant to be--the inference being on the three men. One was led to believe they were the ones telling the story, relating the events of that battle. The reality was entirely different. The battle may have been rough on the thousand, but in the end they won, they being the "heroes" of that battle.

Such an inference may also be made concerning the hyped history at the Chosin Reservoir. The publicity issuing from that event intentionally leads one in the direction that the number of Marine forces facing the Chinese forces there was far less than the military reality of the actual number of American Army/Marine mixed forces in combat there. Also, the number of enemy (120,000 minus 60,000) was far greater than reality. This fact is supported by the complete removal of some 4,000 Army soldiers between Koto-ri and Sinhu-ni. [8] Those 7th Division soldiers and their mission were marked "secret" and then removed from public view because they were only mentioned in classified documents. This highlights, supports, reinforces the mythical claim that the 1st Marine Division was the one and only force that history should record being at the Chosin Reservoir. It allowed them to enlarge their achievements as being all inclusive of the Army commitment and the sole division in the withdrawal from the Chosin Reservoir. The Marine Corps has basked in the sunlight of that achievement over the decades since 1950, while the neglected Army forces have been frozen out. The Army forces who were at the Chosin Reservoir were delegated to remain in the shade and shadow of another force, MacLean's efforts all now inclusive within Marine division accounts.  That is unjust, but that is reality.

The neglected 7th Division Army force was not entirely removed--only separated from their acts of valor and honorable commitment to their own achievements. The Army numbers were there in a X Corps report between 27 November-10 December 1950. However, much to the contrary, this Army force has been maligned and degraded while there within the midst of a Marine force that controlled all news releases from Chosin. This neglected army group had received no major medals or recognition of any kind other than Missing in Action footstones in cemeteries throughout America. The Army effort to include this Army force within the Presidential Unit Citation [PUC] awarded in 1952 exclusively to the 1st Marine Division was energetically and continuously denied for 49 years. That denial was vigorously defended by General Oliver P. Smith and the 1st Marine Division itself.

Here I should sincerely thank General Smith in his efforts to keep the Army under the spotlight for 49 years. For had it not been for negative press about us, we would have had absolutely no press coverage at all. The events of reality will not greatly change these facts, as the outcome of the Army tragedy will remain the same no matter what multiplier we use to place an increased number of men at Chosin, the risk being to diminish the effort made by all forces there. But those events as recorded were misstated, misunderstood, and misplaced. My intention is to place those events of Colonel MacLean's 31st RCT forces where they belong. I, however, am not so presumptuous as to believe it will change anything to any large degree. It will, however, place forces where they belong. That, hopefully, may provide a small comfort and sense of closure to those having friends or relatives connected to those 844 American men killed in action east of the reservoir between 27 November and 2 December and connected to Task Force MacLean and its survivors through the same force renamed Task Force Faith.

Most early reports list Lieutenant Colonel Don C. Faith, Jr. of the 1/32nd Infantry Regiment as being there, instead of Colonel MacLean's complete force in the Chosin area of operations on the 25th of November. This means that the Marines were mixed with Faith's force and his one battalion on that date through the early morning hours of the 27th. Indeed, it was reported that his Army force was "attached" to the Marines on that earlier date. Colonel MacLean's end forces did not arrive until the afternoon of the 27th. This indicates that neither he nor any of his 31st Infantry forces were interacting with the Marine command. The inference is that the action on the west (Marine) side far, far exceeded the action on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir. However, it is not factual by any means that those enemy forces that were not there on the west side "may have been" around the Marine area, although the Marine force had three times the number of battalions on the Army east side. One is intentionally led to believe the scenario of "three against a thousand" was being played out on the Marine side more so than the east (Army) side of the reservoir. Let me explore that scenario in depth throughout this accounting.

The fact of Lt. Colonel Don C. Faith, Jr. being with that Marine force locked Faith into Marine history. And, as Marine history records nothing about Colonel MacLean's force as such, it cannot deny that Lt. Colonel Faith was there. [9] While Marine history does record concern of Almond over three Army battalions east of Chosin, only one battalion was originally commanded by Faith. That may be a minor point to some, but it reduces the extra burden assumed by Lt. Colonel Faith in taking command of those three battalions after the death of MacLean. His duty to the three battalions required a higher ranking officer--a full bird colonel. That fact alone is neglected in his citation for his upgrade to Medal of Honor. That award superseded the prior award of the Silver Star (first Oak Leaf cluster) G.O. No.32, Headquarters X Corps, dated 23 February 1951, for gallantry in action on 27 November 1950. Faith's personal actions far, far exceeded those of any other battalion commander within the Chosin area of operations--bar none--be they Army or Marine.

One should keep in mind that this is not about any decision made by any lower ranking front line American fighter in the trenches. Each man in X Corps, whether a soldier or Marine, had the additional burden of an arrogant and egoistic commander directly in charge over them--one an Army General Almond, the other a Marine General Smith. Both were of equal rank, but one was not equal in aggressive conduct toward the assigned mission, which fueled the fire between both of them. As this drama increased in tempo, so too these two commanders individual egos soared to new heights. Yet, a general in charge over men and their lives can have a complex persona. Any man in any of life's endeavors is far more aggressive if he smells victory in the wind. Yet, he may also miss a vital warning sign, such as in North Korea, to a vital change of direction in that wind. Again, unlike the American Civil War; generals no longer led men directly into battles. They merely sent them there. [10] Regretfully, in the first six months of Korea, too few of those men ever came out of those battles.

Of course, all of this would be totally irrelevant and have absolutely no value whatsoever without the Intelligence Summary of MacLean's Operation Order 25 which stated, "The 7th Inf. seize Mup'yong-ni." Granted, no 7th Infantry Division forces were in place to seize Mup'yong-ni (Red Flag). But neither did the 1st Marine Division have forces leading there as intended, by either General Almond or General Smith. But damage control is now fully activated and at work here. The Army men were removed from the active pages of history. The innuendos and accusations overwhelmed and overpowered the events of "the circumstances that led to the tragedy," falsely tainting the effective commitment of the Army force. The majority are buried around the shores of the reservoir and in the archives. Those men and officers were robbed of their very existence at the Chosin Reservoir. They have no personal records or credentials to challenge the facts that came forth about the action at the reservoir.

If you will recall, I stated earlier that most veterans organizations have a code of not speaking ill of any other veteran, and that is usually followed with the increased exception of exposing wannabees who have fake and forged credentials. That is not the ethical practice here. As follows in item number two below, Roy Appleman had earlier covered the Army force in his book, East of Chosin. His book and the years of research and work he did to write it are a valuable accumulation of personnel accounts from some of the men who were there and who took part in that battle. Appleman devoted much effort in telling the story of our "Phantom Force." Other historians fell into the quagmire of equating the battles on each side of that reservoir. Unfortunately, gross injustice has been done in other past authors' and historians' accountings.

As I also stated, had it not been for most of the negative reports about us, there would be no reports at all to keep our involvement a secret. But, those very remarks now come back to haunt history. Those past authors rushed to publish--unwittingly in many cases--their version degrading all Army fighting forces at Chosin. When closely scrutinized, those reports which were overzealous in unwittingly hiding their own deficiencies, can disclose vital facts about the other side.

Damage Control

Damage control was required and played out against the Army force at Chosin, and they were used as scapegoats. I have long been amazed and confused over why so few of our Army officers that knew better would never speak up to correct the record. In my own mind, I have tried to perceive why we were totally abandoned. My own (Libra) logic therefore leads to the conclusion that the least line of resistance was at work here. An easier road was taken rather than the harder, factual one. I think that a part of the answer lies in the position of the military structure itself. The Army needs transportation from others to get from one point to the other. It must depend on the other two departments, the Navy and the Air Force.

Realistically, the Navy does not need their Marine Corps ground forces. That corps places a tremendous burden on them to justify any Navy ground corps' continuous existence. In my opinion, the Army is the public press' ideal whipping boy of all the services. The Army as a department and the constitutional defender of land operations can and will suffer losses due to events like North Korea and Vietnam. Those unsuccessful missions are observed and absorbed within American history. The Army, by necessity, will survive any great campaign loss or any other mission. The Army was the dominate ground force committed to Korea by President Truman. He was uneasy and opposed to committing the Marine Corps to that battle arena, and he so stated his objections.

One of the huge delays in my finishing this research was in being torn between that code which disapproves of degrading any other division and their battle exploits and my desire for the truth to be known. I felt I had no business on the west side of Chosin because I was not there for any comparison of events, although I believed those events were blown out of proportion in comparing one battle to the other. In my research of written events, I found something interesting. I found that for every Army event, there was a Marine event that equalized and duplicated it. What was stated as a snafu on the Army side of the reservoir had a duplicate or greater clone copy of the same snafu on the Marine side at Yudam-ni. Some of this reasoning and analysis will begin to unfold below. There is no great sin in pointing out mistakes in one division battle. In fact, it can be beneficial in many respects to help avoid duplicating it in later battles. The sin is to compare and degrade the other division's duplication without any benefit of constructive criticism. Merely pointing out the differences, without the comparison results, is what is the issue here.


The 7th Marines in place at Yudam-ni previously had the assigned mission to "advance through their zone to seize Mupyong-ni." All historians support them in that controversial claim. The Marines reluctantly moved into place before the November 24th offensive date. However, they did not lead off on that date, because there remained a dispute as to their use. After moving their own 7th Marine Regiment into a "blocking position" at Yudam-ni, the Marine G-3 failed to acknowledge or order this particular regiment operational orders to move out towards Mupyong-ni on 240800 November. Rather, they insisted that the 5th Marine Regiment leap-frog (jump over) this regiment and be realigned to lead off towards Mupyong-ni. [11]

That set into motion a reaction by the Army G-3 staff to have an Army force lead off westward from Yudam-ni. RED FLAG: Thus, the CCF resistance claimed was not against one Marine regiment at 0800, but only one battalion. "Murray made...about 2,000 yards, and I halted the attack, because it was manifest that we were up against a massive force out there" (a 2 to 1 ratio). Still, overall MG Smith was totally opposed to any movement of his forces unless they were consolidated. But he failed to follow his own logic. He did not have his full 5th Marine Regiment at Yudam-ni. [12] "I had Murray come back to Yudam-ni--to come back the 2,000 yards...." His attack was halted at Yudam-ni; the end result being that it was as if it had never started.

The circumstantial evidence here revolves around several facts:

1) Why would General Smith order only one battalion forward? Why not continue his pattern of delay and wait for the other 2/3rds of 5th Marine Regiment to be fully in place for that offensive, rather than just leaving the east side of the reservoir, requiring a 24-mile relocation through his 7th Marine Regiment? As recorded in Ebb & Flow, the plan of attack had to be changed. Surely that change required extra time. After all, MacLean postponed his offensive by 24 hours, awaiting the remainder of his RCT, missing that of his 2nd Battalion, and "B" Battery of the 31st Field Artillery (155mm howitzers). That reason should apply here as well. Smith's own statement was that, "you could only attack with one regiment at a time," and his letter to Commandant Cates mentioned "losing their effectiveness when disbursed." Here he had disbursed only one battalion of his fresher force.

2) In Roy Appleman's book East Of Chosin, he concentrated on the Army forces east of Chosin. He did a tremendous job of recognizing their effort and sacrifice and the commitment of the Army forces on that side of the reservoir, and I thank him for that. He did, however, make one statement of criticism over Faith's one battalion that he deleted from his later book, Escaping the Trap. In his later book, he included a condensed version of his first book, adding details of the action of the Marines in the Chosin Reservoir Campaign. His early analysis and personal criticism was over Lt. Col. Faith's request or his enthusiasm to start his mission by moving his battalion forward two miles into that vacated 5th Marine advance position. That now has credence to #1 above. "Faith in making this proposal, did not follow the Marines' caution in assembling regimental strength before moving forward into the unknown.... probably the first important mistake and command failure affecting the fate of the 31st RCT at Chosin." [13] History records Faith's men yielded little or no ground for two nights (5 to 1 ratio), only withdrawing to the rear perimeter of the 31st Infantry, on MacLean's order. Therefore, that exact mistake, "Marines' caution in assembling regimental strength before moving forward into the unknown" seems to have greater impact on that 2/5 Marine Battalion at Yudam-ni within those four to six early daylight hours. The Marine damage control was a military spin revolving around a "massive force"

3) Concerning the CCF forces "blocking" this one battalion of Marines from moving forward more than 2,000 yards, was this just pure luck? The facts established by the Marines were that the forces facing them were all elite. They were the cream of the crop. But if that be so, how did the CCF goof so badly with this one major error in violation of their own orders? For over two weeks they had eluded our air reconnaissance flights. They did that by freezing in place to avoid detection, moving only at night and only attacking under cover of darkness, thus allowing their enemy to advance as far as possible through their lines into an inverted "V." After dark, they closed the end by roadblocks, trapping their prey inside that inverted "V". Yet, here on this date at this place, at this early morning hour, the CCF exposed themselves to block one battalion from advancing as far as they could before night fall. This would indeed qualify as a Catch 22, an irrational military move on their part. They exposed their position, with many hours of daylight yet to highlight their positions, to the 1st MAW overhead. Was this a fabricated event or was this simply a major, major snafu on the CCF part? If the later, this one Marine battalion purely and plainly lucked out with that advance warning. That would be a failure by the enemy and highly beneficial to the 2/5 Battalion.

4) The indication in number three above concerns the 89th CCF Division's late arrival. They were the last division coming eastward from Mupyong-ni. As history maps record, this one division had split its force to swing downward below Koto-ri. There, they engaged the 3rd Infantry Division elements below the 1st Marine Regiment located south of Koto-ri and Chinhung-ni.. But this highlights the event of why the 3rd Infantry Division was located in front of the gap between Eighth Army and X Corps and the Marine Division. It was the result of a dispute that the 1st Marine Division block westward at this gap to aid Eighth Army. Smith's interview highlights this event: "By that time the 3rd Infantry Division had landed, and I said, 'Why can't they take over that job?' And eventually they did."

Here is a definitive example for the westward campaign yet to come from Yudam-ni within two weeks. General Smith had already stated his earlier opposition to any move from his main effort which was still to go up the east side of the reservoir to the Yalu. passing through Changjin either way. Yet, strange as it may seem, he was the only one who insisted that the 5th Marines lead his "one main effort, which is going up this road by the Chosin Reservoir to the Yalu"--that this effort be changed and his "one main effort" now be switched to place this force in front of the 7th Marines at Yudam-ni.

In earlier chapters, I stated Almond's comments on five of seven objections by General Smith. Here are numbers six and seven:

#6. "He objected to the advance against the enemy in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir area in the effort of X Corps to comply with orders from General MacArthur."

#7. "He had many other objections on numerous occasions, which an interview with the undersigned could establish."

Right, wrong, or indifferent, Smith himself verified that Almond had on numerous occasions compromised over his objections. General Smith apparently was led to believe that he was the one main man in equal control of any assigned mission.

The two examples cited above about the transferring of the Fusen Reservoir zone to the 7th Division, expanding its responsibility, plus the additional zone assignment to the 3rd Infantry Division, exceeded Almond's numbered objections by a like amount. But the real point is that the disputes of excessive objections are not headed off by some disciplinary action of others higher than Almond's command. The pressure that was eventually applied to Smith was far too late to prevent the utter confusion of the moment by relocation of the 7th Division. Two examples of this are (1) the transfer of the Fusen Reservoir to the 7th Division. Here, Almond used his last trump card. (2) He then narrowed the Marine zone, but used Faith's battalion once again to narrow the Marine zone at Chosin.

The lack of planning and short time allotted therefore defeated MacLean's forces and was a beneficial aid to the enemy already in place east of Chosin. As enemy documents point out, they were of the opinion that they were attacking the 5th Marine force at Sinhu-ni. The rapid deployment of additional forces had not reached their CCF higher commander Marshal Peng until a few days later, Peng recovering from a bombing raid of his own HQ's. The latter is a major point. Ironically, however, a large force of enemy firepower was reported to be just westward of the Hagaru-ri perimeter at noon on the 27th. But there was no notification of the ongoing attack of that CCF "massive force" against the 2/5 Battalion from Yudam-ni just 14 miles away, as the other two Marine battalions passed Hagaru and the Army forces were halted at the eastern road junction. This seems a strange inconsistency, as the Marine sorties flying over to Yudam-ni from Yonpo field near the coast line had to be passed through the Marine Air Controller stationed at Hagaru. He was busy as a beaver directing air attacks where needed. Yet neither Smith nor his G-3 had any knowledge of this at the time. What we need here is a timeline for that order to halt the advance. In Martin Russ' book Breakout, he stated: "Murray Okay hold up for now... It was 2:30 in the afternoon. 2/5 had advanced about a mile." [14] In his book Chosin, Hammel also verified and supported this time line.

While there was no restriction on any enemy timetable, it is accepted that Marshal Peng (MacArthur's equivalent on the Chinese side) was also late in his start date, it being 24 November (first night of the full moon) as well. That he was late in starting his full-scale attack by two days in the Eighth Army area, 26 November, is borne out by other authors as well. The lack of enemy clashes in the Marine zone on this very same night seems to fade with time as new authors and historians overlooked those events they deemed of no importance. But those authors dealing with one personal individual and his accounting of battles are more accurate in bringing events forward. The reason for this is the fact that those men who participated in those battles--many of them wounded--vividly remember them because they carry the scars from them for life. As with the Army forces forgotten at Chosin, these men have restated their own involvement in neglected clashes with the enemy.

At Chosin, we are again intentionally led to believe (as in the Three Stooges skit) that after the battle below Koto-ri, in early November, the enemy had completely disappeared from the entire area. We thought that the next clash would be on 270800 November with the 5th Marines at Yudam-ni. Individual facts and related battles dispute this.

Let me fill in a little background here to support this. In the book Breakout, its author (a Marine) cites the Marine Public Relations Officer in reference to Lieutenant Colonel Faith receiving a Medal of Honor, which he implied should have been given to a Marine officer who was more deserving of it. Author Russ said that Lt. Colonel Faith was "just doing his duty and not very well at that." (This will be covered later in depth since it is not the issue here.) Russ' comment was the spark to move me to explore the citations on the Medal of Honor awards given during the Korean War to filter out what was the reason for Faith's award.

I found yet another confusing paradox in my research. There was a Medal of Honor awarded to one 7th Marine Regiment officer who was reported MIA after action on 26 November. The award raised a RED FLAG to me. There was no widely-known action reported anywhere prior to 0800 27 November. What happened on this night while two-thirds of the 5th Marine Regiment remained east of the reservoir, especially in light of no one reporting any prior night attack? The information is only recorded in books written by Hammel (Chosin) and Russ (Breakout) covering Marine individuals involved in that action. These two authors concentrated on the Marine action at Chosin. No one truly covering the action would ignore this MOH award to those Marines. Since the citation sets forth the reason for the award, it is best to let it speak for itself as well.

Citation - First Lieutenant Frank N. Mitchell - United States Marine Corps

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Leader of a Rifle Platoon of Company A, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 26 November 1950. Leading his platoon in point position during a patrol by his company through a thickly wooded and snow-covered area in the vicinity of Hasan-ni, First Lieutenant Mitchell acted immediately when the enemy suddenly opened fire at point-blank range, pinning down his forward elements and inflicting numerous casualties in his ranks. Boldly dashing to the front under blistering fire from automatic weapons and small arms, he seized an automatic rifle from one of the wounded men and effectively trained it against the attackers and. when his ammunition was expended, picked up and hurled grenades with deadly accuracy. at the same time directing and encouraging his men in driving the outnumbering enemy from his position. Maneuvering to set up a defense when the enemy furiously counterattacked to the front and left flank, First Lieutenant Mitchell, despite his wounds sustained early in the action, reorganized his platoon under devastating fire and spearheaded a fierce hand-to-hand struggle to repulse the onslaught. Asking for volunteers to assist in searching for and evacuating the wounded, he personally led a party of litter bearers through the hostile lines in growing darkness and, although suffering intense pain from multiple wounds, stormed ahead and waged a single-handed battle against the enemy, successfully covering the withdrawal of his men before he was fatally struck down by a burst of small-arms fire. Stouthearted and indomitable in the face of tremendous odds, First Lieutenant Mitchell by his fortitude, great personal valor and extraordinary heroism, saved the lives of several Marines and inflicted heavy casualties among the aggressors. His unyielding courage throughout reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Harry S. Truman, President of the United States

Facts inclusive of above battle: Marine casualties, enemy sighted, enemy engaged, Marines unable to capture or destroy them, therefore this enemy remains a viable threat. Q) Who was notified in division? This engagement of forces at Hasan-ni precedes the daylight attack by some 12-14 hours at Yudam-ni. Being probed by 1/A/7 Marines, this one company had invaded a staging area of the 59th CCF Division. [15] This seems as a major battle and was aborted only due to A/7 Marine withdrawal? Highlights the credibly of this action, since no reaction reported in destroying the enemy or in retrieving Lt. Mitchell's body.

As stated, I was alerted to this date to seek out this event that took place on the evening hours of 26 November. Why would this event be overlooked? This to me is an important issue to a timeline and what the Marine G-2 & G-3 knew or should have known of this enemy engagement some twelve hours prior to the next morning advance from Yudam-ni. [16] Also, Company A/7 Marines was going to use daylight hours to search and retrieve First Lieutenant Mitchell's body. In other words, it was an ongoing mission, set by the Marine Corps code. Related are such innuendos about Colonel MacLean's MIA status on the east side on the 29th--that MacLean had mistaken the CCF for his expected arrival of his 2nd Battalion. Here that damage control shifts blame as to who knew what, when, and where. Also, the question of communications between units is brought to light. Both are reciprocal questions for the 1st Marine Division to answer over reporting this 26 November battle.

Now reconsider this earlier scenario. Colonel MacLean moved his forces into the Chosin arena during these same hours of darkness. He had no knowledge of this attack at Hasan-ni. With the events listed above on 26 November and the enemy initiating attacks, as in Eighth Army area, the entire CCF cover was blown. There was no reason for any further delay in attacking any moving force in truck convoys, as they would expose their forces to challenge Task Force Drysdale. The issue of a daylight attack therefore has become a mute one. Had the enemy coordinated their east side attack from East Hill as on the west side of the reservoir at 270800 Hours, MacLean's moving units (and Murray's remaining two battalions) would have just been arriving at that junction leading east from Hagaru. The 57th Field Artillery Battalion was delayed there due to that bottleneck road traffic created by the transfer of the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 5th Marines moving from Sinhu-ni to Yudam-ni, a distance of only some 24 miles. Unexplained is why these two Marine battalions were delayed one extra day by General Smith in an area officially turned over to the 7th Division. They started their move on the 26th. Why wasn't it competed by the morning of the 27th? Marshal Peng missed a huge military opportunity of creating mass confusion during those early daylight hours.

The reality of moving at night was, although dangerous, was not a viable option for MacLean to get there without delay from a distance of over 140 road miles. Therefore, neither could that be a valid excuse for the Marines to remain in place overnight. Not only did that delay the Marine rear support for their own regiment, it denied MacLean's men the extra time to settle in his own perimeter. That would have given him additional daylight hours to pull up the tank command on the east side. Our Medical Collecting Company was to move at midnight to reach the three Army perimeters. They were cut off north of Hudong-ni by enemy road blocks (note enemy attacking under cover of darkness) on this side some sixteen hours after hitting the 2/5 Battalion of the 5th Marines leading off from Yudam-ni, with no notification of the attack concerning either Hasan-ni or Yudam-ni reaching MacLean at that late hour. Why? Given the facts that the 7th Marines had been hit twice within 12 hours from each of these CCF positions, it was obvious that that pocket of enemy (59th CCF Division) had not been destroyed. They were still there. The Marine company-size mission had been to determine the enemy existence and strength (in Army jargon, a reconnaissance in force). The two-thirds remaining force of the 5th Marines could have been pulled into Hagaru-ri for analysis of the changing G-2 situation at Yudam-ni. The reported Marine air to ground support in increased activity was a reality, but should have made those planes fully visible in attacking strikes over Toktong Pass and Yudam-ni. Their circle and diving patterns should have been clearly seen by ground forces around Hagaru. That alone indicated and signaled a major air to ground offensive.

The Marine reports of enemy in their area came from captured Chinese prisoners who stated that they would attack "after two regiments advanced through Yudam-ni." This poses another question. How would they know that? Given the confusion of Colonel MacLean's own mission, complete changes of OPN 0 25 forces indicated that the move to exchange MacLean's own units was never formally finalized by X Corps. Neither was adding that second regiment of Marines to the west side (unless the enemy was referring to the 11th Marine Regiment). This scenario relied only on speculative enemy evidence, whereas the attack on the 26th was one of reality. And some doubt about that night attack exists as well.

In Escaping the Trap, Appleman stated that on 26 November, "At dusk...patrols had encountered enemy groups,... The largest group sighted, about 50 men, was dispersed by an air strike. Other elements of the 7th Marine Regiment ...received small-arms fire in the afternoon. This enemy opposition was silenced by an air strike." [17] In contrast, Eric Hammel stated, "The action was hot, and getting hotter....Gene Hovatter realized that his one hundred-seventy-man company could not possibly hold through the night against an enemy force whose size he could not begin to determine." [18]

A 170-man company patrol is an exceptionally large one, unless it is a reconnaissance in force mission. This recon information surely was supplied to the Marine G-2. At the first indication of CCF attack, this also should have supplied information for an earlier aborting of the next morning's mission. Contributing to all this confusion was the report about General Almond being in the Yudam-ni area until as late as 271630 hours, some four hours after the halt of the advance. Ironically, there is no record as to his reaction to this change. That would seem strange given his aggressive nature and his "laundrymen" remark to Faith that next day. [19] However, perhaps it is not so strange when one factors in Colonel MacLean's OPN O 25. General Almond had anticipated this delay, more so planned on it, and had that 7th Division Army contingency plan for back up.

Reason would dictate that some kind of cause had to be behind some or all of the animosity between Generals Smith and Almond. I list Smith first in this review because he was the one with all the objections. As recorded, Almond continuously changed objectives for Smith's division to comply to his many objections. I have already covered those. However, some study of the 1st Marine Division relationship to MacArthur. may stand out as a possible cause for any animosity towards him. In World War II, Admiral Chester Nimitz and General Douglas MacArthur had separate commands in the Pacific region. Nimitz controlled the Guadalcanal and the Makin, Tarawa, and Saipan islands, as well as the Iwo Jima campaigns. MacArthur had nothing to do with those Navy campaigns. The JCS had established two commands in the Pacific--in the southwestern region, inclusive of Australia, New Guinea, and most of the Netherlands East Indies, as well as the Philippines. The commander was General MacArthur. His forces were a mixture of American and Australian forces. Most of Admiral Nimitz' forces were American. His command included all other Pacific regions divided and delegated into lesser commands of his own choice of his admirals and planning staff. My point: The Marines were not assigned to MacArthur's command. until after the Guadalcanal Campaign, the .1st Marine Division then serving under MacArthur. This division had been assigned to his command in the Pacific, having been reassigned from Admiral Nimitz's command at Guadalcanal .They were possibly substituted for the 25th Infantry Division's relocation to Nimitiz' command, covered below.

In all fairness to the 1st Marine Division, their experience and exposure to MacArthur's command carried over into Korea. That might not have been so had any other Marine division been assigned to Korea. As I have reviewed, each division is alert to its own history. Whether or not that carried forward into the next battle, the previous animosity in that history was there. Again, whether that carried over into the next battle zone cannot be determined with any real accuracy as to being an underlying cause to oppose new orders from that same command headquarters. That can only be proven over time. The dispute between Smith versus Smith in World War II is only the tip of the iceberg concerning interservice rivalry between the Marines and MacArthur. But we will never know the end result at Chosin had Almond been given that third star as Holland Smith had been promoted to a Lieutenant General between Makin and Saipan.

Just as Chosin is the most famous publicized battle in Korea for the 1st Marine Division, its most famous battle in the Pacific was Guadalcanal in World War II. But just as Chosin was not a complete "sole" Marine operation, neither was Guadalcanal. "Not many even of my generation know that about mid-November 1942, the US Infantry was doing most of the fighting on Guadalcanal, and from mid-December was doing it all. The doughty 1st Marine Division, dead beat, ill and tired, decimated by wounds, tropical disease, but evolved into soldiers at last, had been relieved and evacuated." [20]

During World War II, the 25th Infantry Division, which was later in Korea and originally slated to join MacArthur's command, was reassigned to Guadalcanal and Nimitz's command. The 1st Marine Division had suffered as many as--if not more casualties--at Guadalcanal than later at Chosin. The understanding with MacArthur was that when the 25th Division relieved the 1st Marine Division, which was to be in mid-December, the Marines were to be transferred to Australia. "As it developed, the exhausted, battered, malaria-ridden Marine division needed a year before it was ready for combat again." [21] Instead, as the 1st Marine Division was relocated into MacArthur's theater of operations, "Beginning with the 5th Marine Regiment on December 9 (1942), they were gradually relieved on Guadalcanal by Army units .... and assigned then to an abandoned camp forty-five miles from Brisbane." An Army surgeon had assured their commander, General Alexander A. Vandergrift, that the site was free of malaria. "This fact was vital because the incident of malaria in the division then was 75 per cent, with the time for rehabilitation estimated at three to six months." On December 21, their commander "discovered it to be smack in the center of an anopheline mosquito area--the same malaria bearing breed we encountered on Guadalcanal. The director of the Queensland Health Service, whom the GHQ officers had not consulted, backed the Marine surgeon's findings. Within days hundreds of men were re-infected, and the number of new cases of malaria mounted rapidly."

Vandergrift appealed to MacArthur to authorize their movement out of that area to one free of malaria--a site they had already reconnoitered in cooler Melbourne region. On January 1, MacArthur approved that transfer, "but he added that no transportation facilities--truck or rail--are available." Vandergrift radioed Admiral Halsey for help and he responded to transport the Marines by sea from Brisbane to Melbourne. Still, 7500 men were hospital cases. [22]

"Nevertheless, one thing is certain about the Marine experience in Australia during the winter of 1942-43. They were not likely to forget soon the camp near Brisbane. It was fortunate that the division had nearly a year not only to recuperate, but also to lose some of the bitterness before MacArthur ordered them into combat in his theater." While most historians overlook the past history of this event, it is likely that some of the division reservists that may have experienced that problem were later assigned to the frozen reaches of North Korea, locked inland into a frozen campaign during the Christmas season. No one in America cared the least about it. But that feeling was not exclusive to their division alone. The Army forces shared the same dislike for the mission. However, those missions were not to be aborted. That was the bottom line, unless and until we were challenged by large enemy numbers. History records those numbers.

While General Oliver P. Smith was not pleased with the overall United Nations and MacArthur's Command Organizational Chart over his attached status, the 1st Marine Division was officially assigned to the Far East commander. They remained outside of the official planning stage of operations at X Corps and also at GHQ in Tokyo. Those first six months were to be a total Army operation as far as planning went. This production was directed totally by MacArthur from his headquarters in Tokyo. He received advice and counsel from the JSPOG- Joint Strategic Plans and Operations Group. As always, however, MacArthur was the final judge. This apparently changed at Chosin, when events suggested most strongly that the Army forces were attached not only to the 1st Marine Division, but that at this time the Marine division was returned to the Navy control. This reasoning is borne out by the dominate role the Navy played in the PUC Award. There was no official X Corps approval or input, but the Navy had its own dominate stance on denial of the inclusion of the Army forces east of Chosin to grant that PUC Award. [23] The Navy insisted that the Navy criteria had to totally and exclusively be met, even though the Army had included and requested these men be added in a ninth endorsement. Above all else, this was in the area controlled by the Army X Corps command. The Navy superseded Almond's X Corps command authority in this regard.

It has been stated: that the Marines win battles, while it takes an Army to win the wars. The latter is all inclusive of the battles themselves. The end result is the important factor, not the smaller battles within it. That is why the Army itself never elevates one battle over the other. Sadly, that is borne out by removal and lack of support over its own Army participation at Chosin. It is the underlying reason why this neglect could happen. However, that one battle is the all important factor to the Marine Corps to justify their existence. The 1st Marine Division shoulder patch contains a white number "one" at its center, with the name of their one important battle, "Guadalcanal" As just reviewed, the Army wrapped up the final stage at Guadalcanal. Chosin was their one chance to shine if they could do it alone. But past history--though hidden and delayed--eventually denied the 1st Marine Division that sole victory as well. Fabricated, biased, and scripted past history will always come back to haunt those that invented it.


[1] Oliver P. Smith from Major General Oliver P. Smith, USMC to Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals. Subject: Presidential Unit Citation, case of 1st Marine Division (Reinforced), recommendation for award of. Copy to: CMC (see Changjin Journal 04.15.00).

[2] Patrick Roe (USMC), The Dragon Strikes, page 301.

[3] Marine Corps History, Changjin Reservoir, Volume III, 1953, Appendix H.

[4] Benis Frank interview, 1969,

[5] Benis Frank interview, 1969.

[6] Graves Registration established cemeteries and handled the remains.

[7] Recall my earlier footnote that those documents did not get from North Korea into the National Archives by themselves.

[8] American and ROK mixture.

[9] Marine history, via a footnote on page 243 of Volume III. The Chosin Reservoir Campaign. RED FLAG - Based on research by K. Jack Baur, PhD. Footnote 20 reads as follows: "The sources for the operations of Task Force Faith, unless otherwise noted, are: Statement by Capt. Edward P. Stamford, n.d, 2-15; Statement of Dr. Lee Tong Kak, n.d. Capt. Stamford USMC was directly attached to TF Faith's command and had no direct relationship to Colonel MacLean, 31st RCT.

[10] General Dean, the exception to the rule.

[11] The end result of that delay 270800 November was that only one battalion of the 5th Marines was in place at Yudam-ni.

[12] Smith interview, 1969. Question: Where was the other two-thirds of Murray's regiment?

[13] East of Chosin, p. 31. See also "Escaping the Trap," p. 80.

[14] Martin Russ, Breakout, page 93.

[15] See Patrick Roe, The Dragon Strikes, map page 259.

[16] Standing orders in 7th Division, any enemy contact information to be routed without delay to G-2 sources.

[17] "Escaping the Trap," pages 38-39.

[18] Chosin, pages 18-20.

[19] Clay Blair, The Forgotten War, page 462 (28 November). "We're still the Yalu. Don't let a bunch of Chinese laundrymen stop you."

[20] As stated in World War II by James Jones, page 75.

[21] Clayton James, page 222, The Years of MacArthur, 1941-45.

[22] Ibid, page 259. The battle for Guadalcanal started with the 1st Marine Division landing on August 7, 1942. The Japanese sent reinforcements and the canal did not officially fall until February 9, 1943. Between 6-9 February, Japanese abandoned the island as destroyers evacuated 13,000 survivors. Note: Lest we overlook the fact that the Army forces replacing the Marines on Guadalcanal also faced the same malaria threat there as the Marines did at Brisbane.

[23] "That all forces must meet" (since Task Force Faith was totally destroyed, only those survivors forming a provisional force could be included.


Author's Background | Prologue | Chapt 1 - Budget War | Chapt 2 - Inchon | Chapt 3 - Capture Seoul
Chapt 4 - Inchon to Pusan | Chapt 5 - Fateful Journey into N Korea | Chapt 6 - Inter-service Rivalry-1
Chapt 7 - Inter-service Rivalry-2 | Chapt 8 - Press Corps | Chapt 9 - Secret/Classified Mission
Chapt 10 - Circumstantial Evidence | Chapt 11 - Mission Change | Chapt 12 - The Tank Withdrawal
MIA/KIA East of Chosin | Postscript | Important Maps | Declassified Documents| Reader Comments

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