"27 November 1950: The Frozen Chosin; The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir Begins" by Scott Lyons

The Battle of Chosin Reservoir took place in the harsh and freezing winter of 1950, when the People’s Volunteer Army (PVA) of China entered the war to counter the presence of United Nations Command (UNC) troops in North Korea. The Chinese force, numbering around 120,000, launched a surprise attack on the US X Corps, an element of the larger UNC contingent, that was stationed near the Chosin Reservoir. The battle had become one of the toughest and most infamous battles for the U.S. Marine Corps since World War II. Fought over brutal mountain terrain and extreme cold weather in North Korea, tempertures had reached -36 degrees Fahrenheit causing frostbite casualties. Controversy had come to shroud the fight at Chosin Reservoir, as most marines saw the drive to the Reservoir as a fatal error. Either a 'fighting retreat' or 'attack in another direciton', the First Marine Division fought gallantly, fighting through seven Chinese divisions and elements of three others. "General Song's Ninth…

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The Day Soviet Aircraft Attacked American Pilots

On that April ‘Black Thursday’ over 70 years ago, the air war over Korea changed as the Allies scrambled to counter the superior MiG-15 jet fighter.https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-day-soviet-aircraft-attacked-american-pilots There's really alot more to this story, but an interesting primer for those who like military aviation. We always heard the Sabre was superior to the MIG. It looks like that depends on who was flying the MIG.  

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Korean War Timeline

September 1945 - One of the penalties imposed on Japan at the end of World War II was the loss of Korea. A precursor of the causes of this mid-century Korean War was the decision to divide (rather than unify) Korea along the 38th parallel. Soviet Union controlled the north as a result of entering the war against Japan during the last days of World War II and the United States the southern half of the peninsula. 1 October 1949 – Mao Ze Dung and his communists People's Republic of China was established after Chiang Kai-shek evacuated from the mainland to the island of Taiwan. 13 January 1950 - Jacob Malik, the Soviet representative to the United Nations, storms out of a meeting of the UN Security Council after the Security Council votes down to replace Chaing Kai Chek’s Nationalists Chinese representatives with Representatives of Mao Ze Dung’s Peoples Republic of China. This event begins a Soviet Boycott of the United Nations Security Council. 25 June 1950 - United Nations Security…

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15 September 1950: The 1st Marine Division lands at Inchon, Korea

Above: Somewhere in North Korea, 1951. Marines from 1st Battalion, 7th Marines (1/7). Carls, Laurie, Hook, Trenholme, Wittsack, Ulmer, and Welsh. From the Ronald H. Welsh Collection (COLL/5677) at the Archives Branch, Marine Corps History Division, OFFICIAL USMC PHOTOGRAPH. (Click image to enlarge) Left: Inchon, South Korea, 15 September 1950. U.S. Marines landing an Inchon, South Korea. "Marines scaling ladders to storm ashore at Inchon in the amphibious invasion." From the Photograph Collection (COLL/3948), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections. OFFICIAL USMC PHOTO (Click photo to enlarge). The Korean War had become a proxy war and first 'Cold War' conflict for the United States and her former World War II allies. Historian David Halberstam writes that "The Korean War momentarily turned the Cold War hot." North Korea was supported by China and the Soviet Union, while South Korea was supported by the United Nations and the United States. Like all wars, civilian populations in…

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31 August 1959: Sergeant Reckless, 5th Marines, promoted to Staff Sergeant

The life-size bronze statue is called The Uphill Battle, and Staff Sergeant Reckless, the mare it depicts, was a United States Marine. The 10-foot-tall, 1,200-pound equine monument sits at the end of a corridor of trees in the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park of the Marine Corps Heritage Center in Triangle, Virginia. Left: Sergeant Reckless beside a 75mm recoilless rifle in Korea. Photograph in the Public Domain. (Click image to expand) "Sergeant Reckless" was a decorated war horse who served with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1952 to 1960. Her main duty was that of pack horse, tasked with carrying ammunition (primarily 24-pound shells for her Recoiless Rifle platoon, Anti-Tank Company, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division), supplies, and at times evacuating wounded during the Korean War. The mare was purchased by the Marine Corps in Seoul, South Korea. She quickly became a beloved member of her platoon, sleeping with her fellow marines during extreme cold, eating everything from…

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"25 June 1950: North Korea invades the South" by Scott Lyons

On 25 June 1950, seven divisions of highly trained and well-equipped North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel, the boundary between North and South Korea, initiating a full-scale invasion of South Korea. The North Korean People's Army (NKPA), numbering over 90,000 soldiers and bolstered by Soviet-supplied artillery and tanks, aimed to swiftly overrun the South Korean defenses and unite the Korean Peninsula under communist rule. The ill-prepared and outnumbered South Korean Army, known as the Republic of Korea Armed Forces (ROKAF), was caught off guard by the sudden attack. Despite valiant efforts to repel the invaders, the South Korean defenders were pushed back, with the North Koreans capturing the capital city of Seoul within just three days of the invasion. In response to the North Korean aggression, the United Nations Security Council unanimously condemned the attack and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities. Suspecting potential involvement and encouragement from…

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Primary source photographs courtesy of Archives Branch, Marine Corps History Division

Operations and Battles

  • 1950: First Battle of Seoul
  • 1950: Battle of Osan
  • 1950: Battle of Inchon
  • 1950: Battle of Pakchon
  • 1950: Battle of Chosin Reservoir
  • 1950: Second Battle of Seoul
  • 1950-51: Third Battle of Seoul
  • 1951: Operation Ripper
  • 1951: Operation Commando
  • 1951: Operation Courageous
  • 1951: Operation Tomahawk
  • 1951: Battle of the Imjin River
  • 1951: Battle of Bloody Ridge
  • 1951: Battle of Heartbreak Ridge
  • 1951: Battle of Kapyong
  • 1952-53: Battle of Old Baldy
  • 1952: Battle of Hill Eerie
  • 1952-53: Battle of the Hook
  • 1952: Battle of White Horse
  • 1953: Outpost Harry