The Battle of Chosin Reservoir

chosin reservoir

The Chosin Reservoir is a man-made lake located in the northeast of the Korean peninsula. From the end of November to mid-December 1950, it was the site of one of the most brutal battles between UN and Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) during the Korean War. For approximately seventeen days, roughly 30,000 U.N. soldiers and marines faced an enemy force estimated at around 120,000 over rugged terrain in lethally cold weather.

General Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief, Far East, superseded his orders and advanced his forces north toward the Yalu River to push North Korean forces into China. In late November 1950, the U.S. Eighth Army advanced in northwest Korea and the X Corps advanced along the east side of the Korean peninsula to sever enemy supply lines near the Chosin Reservoir. The U.S. 1st Marine Division, commanded by Major General Oliver P. Smith, advanced up the west side of the Chosin Reservoir while elements of the U.S. 7th Infantry Division, led by Regimental Combat Team 31 (RCT-31), advanced along the east side. The 3rd Infantry Division guarded the Marines’ flanks and a major supply base and airfield was constructed south of the reservoir at Hagaru-ri.

On November 25, the CCF engaged the U.S. Eighth Army forces, catching them by surprise and forcing them to retreat, but X Corps continued to advance, believing that the Chinese forces north of them were weak. On November 27, the 5th and 7th Marine Regiments attacked from Yudam-ni along the west side of the reservoir. Two CCF divisions stopped the Marines’ advance while a third division cut the road south between Yudam-ni and Hagaru-ri. On the east side of the reservoir, RCT-31 advanced north and was surrounded by a far superior Chinese force. By November 28, UN forces at Hagaru-ri and on both sides of the reservoir were isolated. On November 30, X Corps began to retreat from the Chosin reservoir.

The hastily organized Task Force Drysdale was ordered to attack north from Koto-ri to open the road south from Hagaru-ri, where a withdrawal could be organized. After a bitter fight, the airfield was opened on December 1, allowing UN forces to bring in reinforcements and evacuate the casualties. Air support provided by the 1st Marine Air Wing and the U.S. Navy’s Task Force 77 covered the withdrawal of UN forces to Hagaru-ri. After a short rest, the 7th Marine Regiment lead a breakout from Hagu-ri and fought south through Hell Fire Valley, Koto-ri, the Funchilin Pass, and Sudong – where Task Force Dog of the 3rd Infantry Division repelled the pursuing Chinese forces. UN forces reached the port of Hungnam on December 11 where they were evacuated farther south to bolster the 8th Army, then in full retreat toward the 38th Parallel.

Over a thousand U.S. marines and soldiers were killed during the Chosin Reservoir Campaign and thousands more were wounded in battle or incapacitated by cold weather. Many men were buried where they fell, and due to the cold weather and the retreat of UN Forces from the area, hundreds of fallen marines and soldiers were unable to be immediately recovered. During Operation Glory in 1953 and 1954, the North Korean government returned the remains of thousands of war dead from UN cemeteries in northeastern North Korea, including over 500 isolated burials from the Chosin battlefield. The Central Identification Unit at Kokura, Japan, was able to identify all but 126 of the remains, which were buried as unknowns in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. From 1990 to 1994, the North Korean government returned 47 additional containers of remains which they attributed to the Chosin campaign. DoD teams from Central Identification Lab-Hawaii (CILHI) and later the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) conducted investigative and recovery operations in the Chosin Reservoir’s eastern sector from 2001 to 2005. From these recovery efforts and the continued forensic analysis of unknown remains, DPAA and its predecessor organizations have identified over 130 of the unaccounted-for service members lost in the Chosin Reservoir Campaign.

Content sourced from: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

Missouri Korean War POW/MIA List

Missouri - Korean War POW/MIA List

These reports include the U.S. personnel from the state of Missouri who have been accounted for and unaccounted for (including POW returnees and POW escapees) and all personnel whose remains have been recovered and identified since the end of the war.

This information has been sourced from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Korean War POW/MIA List – Missouri (Accounted for)

Accounted-For: This report includes the U.S. personnel who have been accounted for (including POW returnees and POW escapees) and all personnel whose remains have been recovered and identified since the end of the war.

Korean War POW/MIA List Missouri (Unaccounted For)

Unaccounted-For: This report includes the U.S. personnel who are still unaccounted for.

Veteran’s Day Observance at National WWI Museum and Harry S. Truman Museum

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

Concurrent Resolution of Congress, June 4, 1926,
recognizing the official end of World War I .

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.

Excerpt from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

This weekend the National World War I Museum and Memorial and the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum have events observing the national holiday.

As the commemoration of World War I Centennial continues, there is no place more fitting to recognize and honor those who have served their country on Veterans Day Weekend than at the National World War I Museum and Memorial. During the weekend (Friday, Nov. 10 – Sunday, Nov. 12), veterans and active duty military personnel receive free admission, while the general public receives half-price admission.

On Veterans Day, activities include a public ceremony at 10 a.m. featuring dignitaries, a keynote address from Major General Maria R. Gervais, Deputy Commanding General, Combined Arms Center, and inspirational performances from The American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City Wind Ensemble and the Regency Place Special Chorus. The Museum is offering a host of activities throughout the weekend, including the ability to “find your WWI connection” through research stations, the chance to climb aboard/inspect a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter, child-friendly programs and more.

The weekend also marks the debut of the Hope 22: Dark to Light photo exhibition showcasing stories of local veterans through a series of photographs designed to raise awareness about a Veterans Affairs report that, on average, 22 veterans are killed by suicide each day. For the complete schedule of events, visit

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum features the 6th Annual Honorable Ike Skelton Veterans Day Salute on Sunday, November 12 from noon to 5 p.m. A wreath-laying ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m.

The museum salutes America’s veterans, with free museum admission, patriotic activities and a public program featuring Brig. Gen. Patrick X. Mordente, USAF (Ret.), a 29-year veteran of the Air Force and current Director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The event will also include a musical performance, a 21-gun salute and a presidential wreath-laying ceremony on the gravesite of President Truman. Find the full event schedule for the program at

RSVP Join us as we honor America’s heroes, rain or shine. Activities throughout the day are free, but RSVPs are requested if you plan to attend the wreath-laying ceremony and public program featuring General Mordente.

Content for this post provided by the National World War I Museum and Memorial [Website] and the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum [Website]

Charles Richard Long, Medal of Honor Recipient

Sergeant Charles Richard “Buddy” Long was a true American hero in every sense. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he served his country valiantly both in World War II and the Korean War.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for bravely facing down a numerically overwhelming force and voluntarily remaining at his forward position to direct mortar fire until he was overrun and killed.

His actions helped his company to withdraw, reorganize, counterattack, and regain the position. As a result, he saved countless American lives while exacting heavy enemy casualties.

Growing up and leaving a legacy in Kansas City

Sergeant Long was from Independence, where his namesake the Charles R. Long Army Reserve Center is now located, and where the Truman Memorial Building now holds a display about him.

He delivered newspapers for the Kansas City Star as a teenager, and graduated from Northwest High School in 1941. He then worked at the Fairmount Inter-City News as an apprentice printer before following his brother’s footsteps and joining the Army.

Heroic military service

Long served in Europe and saw action at the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. So strong were his feelings for his fallen brothers that upon returning home, he expressed an interest in participating in the escort service to bring back war dead. Unfortunately, he was unable to do so because he had high blood pressure.

He stayed in the Army reserve and recalled to active duty in 1950 when tensions in Korea reached led to the outbreak of war. On Feb 12, 1951, while serving as a sergeant with Company M of the 38th Infantry Regiment, he was acting as a forward observer for the company’s mortar platoon when an enemy force, which outnumbered them greatly, attacked their position.

The order was given to withdraw, but Sergeant Long voluntarily stayed behind to direct mortar fire at the enemy as they advanced. Unflinchingly, and in the face of certain death, he coolly emptied his carbine and threw hand grenades while using his radio to order volley after volley of mortar fire in and around his position.

U.S. Army Camp Long in Wonju, South Korea is named for him, and Sergeant Long’s Actions will also always be remembered through the Missouri Korean War Veterans Memorial.

Archive Note: Interview May 25, 2015

Dave Deatherage

For our members that are not aware our beloved Dave Deatherage passed away on July 22, 2020. Dave always gave his heart and soul to our organization without hesitation and did so with a passion that inspired everyone around him. Dave was involved with the design of our Missouri Korean War Veterans Memorial patches, lapel pins, and our challenge coin. Not only was he involved in the design of our memorabilia, but Dave was also a premier salesman for our paver stones as well.

Dave never missed any of our MKWVM meetings and you could always count on him to have his jar with money that he had made from sales with him. He was a true inspiration to all that knew him and set a wonderful example for all to strive to emulate, a true gentleman and patriot. His kindness and humor will be truly missed, may God bless him and keep him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this very difficult time.

#mokoreanwarmemorial #neverforget

Video Source: David Siry/

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