The Korean War had now changed from retreat to pursue. Those in the Pusan Perimeter were now breaking out and coming north in pursuit of the retreating North Korean Army. The orders for the 7th Infantry Division, after the successful invasion at Inchon was to go south so we could board ships. Some said we were being sent back to the States. Wishful thinking. We were headed north to make a landing in North Korea. I am not sure Truman wanted that. MacArthur thought it was the right thing to do.
The landing site in North Korea was the Hamhung, Hungnam area. The South Korean Army was coming up the east side of Korea and was to meet up with the U. S Marines first and the keep going to meet up with the 7th Infantry Division at Hamhung. They were to keep going up to the Yalu river on the east side of Korea.
The orders for the lst Marine Division was to go to the Chosen Reservoir Area and head to the Yalu river. The 7th Infantry Division was to go up to the Yalu River East of Chosen. The 17th Infantry Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division was the lead unit and they made it to the Yalu river and celebrated by making a urine deposit in the river. Then things got hairy. This was the last of October in 1950.
There was a lot of talk about the Chinese entering the war but this seemed to be discounted. MacArthur was quoted as saying “The Chinese would not dare to intervene”. When all of the American and South Korean forces started going over the 38th Parallel it was with a lot of enthusiasm that the Korean Peninsula could be united under a Democratic Government.
Several things happened to change the results of the war. The “Coldest Winter” came to bog down the American Troops who were not well equipped for this kind of weather. The Communist Chinese did indeed enter the war with a vengeance. The air support was spotty because of bad weather conditions. On October 9, 1950 when I was supposed to be discharged from the Army, I was in North Korea near the North Korean Chosen Reservoir getting frostbite. I was headed back to Hamhung, Hungnam to be evacuated to South Korea. Christmas 1950 in the good old USA? How about South Korea?
Fast forward 68.5 years and we are still having difficulty with the North Korean Dictatorship.