The Breakout Of The 1st Marines From The Chosin Reservoir: An American Epic Of Courage – Part 24

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11Part 12Part 13Part 14Part 15Part 16Part 17Part 18Part 19Part 20Part 21Part 22Part 23Part 24Part 25Part 26Part 27Part 28Part 29Part 30

Fighting with the 2nd Inf. Div. north of the Chongchon River, Sfc. Major Cleveland, weapons squad leader, points out Communist-led North Korean position to his machine gun crew. November 20,1950. (Pfc. James Cox. Source: US National Archives and Records Administration)

At a critical point, a storm with heavy clouds moved in over the battlefield and the planes had to stop attacking for fear of hitting their own troops. Army lines began to bend inward. The Chinese were about to break through. The forward air control officer turned to the commanding general and asked what was going to happen. The general calmly replied, “in about twenty minutes we will all be dead.”

As if heard by Divine Providence, a hole appeared in the clouds and the US ground attack aircraft stacked up over the battlefield now descended and destroyed the massive number of Chinese troops now in the open.

A marine air-observer team guides a marine Corsair in for a strike on an enemy-held hill. The “black Corsairs” were highly praised by army and marines alike for their precision strikes on targets and their extremely close support of forward units. (US Marine Corps photo.)

[Source: The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War by David Halberstam. Images courtesy of the US National Archives and the Bevin Alexander.]

Published by

Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website:

Leave a Reply