The Gunny Says, “You Know, Lieutenant, If This Were Stateside, Half Your Men Would Be Over the Hill, But the Other Half Would Follow You to Hell.”

And I said, “Well, everybody’s gonna follow me to Hell.”

An early Happy 235th to my beloved United States Marine Corps!

A heartfelt moment of thanks to the Marines of the Frozen Chosin, those incredible, INDOMITABLE men, on the 60th anniversary of that unimaginable nightmare.

…The wind blowing off the frozen reservoir had a “wind chill” factor of -75°F. As a 14-year-old on the plains of Nebraska, I remember the big storm of the winter of 1934. The snow was deep and temperature was -21°F. I rode my horse Midget with a sack of cotton seed pellets to feed isolated cows lost in the snowstorm. Here the temperature was about the same but the wind chill was the killer.

For the next three days, they held the line against repeated assaults. The cost in lives was high on both sides. The Chinese had replacements, but we didn’t. We put up tents for the wounded but there weren’t enough tents; only the most seriously wounded were tented.

In this kind of cold, the best treatment was no treatment. By cutting their clothes open, the wounded would freeze to death. Most wounds froze over and sealed themselves. The blood bubbled up as it froze, looking like pink cotton candy. The corpsmen had to wear gloves to keep their hands from freezing.

While all this was going on, the U.S. Army had its running shoes on and were heading south. They had their backs to the enemy; we Marines were facing our enemy who were all around us.

When the word went out that we were surrounded, a correspondent asked Col. “Chesty” Puller his thoughts on the matter. He replied, “We got the bastards right where we want them and they’re not going to get away.” And damn few of them did!

Marines don’t EVER change much, do they?

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15 Responses to “The Gunny Says, “You Know, Lieutenant, If This Were Stateside, Half Your Men Would Be Over the Hill, But the Other Half Would Follow You to Hell.””

  1. Gary from Jersey says:

    Thanks for publicizing Soldiers Angels, THS. I donated. Everyone else should, too.

  2. tree hugging sister says:

    Aw, thanks, Gary! You’re right, they should. They’re a terrific organization and we’re ALWAYS proud to be part of the Marine team.

  3. mojo says:

    That platoon fighting a Nork company to a standstill?


  4. tree hugging sister says:

    Hahaha! Oh, there’s ALWAYS a Chesty, mojo!

  5. JeffS says:

    I donated as well, but to the Marines this time. Not the Army. Because Sis and Mr. B asked politely.

  6. Rob says:

    Dad was there.

    He didn’t think much of the Army’s performance … leaving their weapons and dead behind.

  7. tree hugging sister says:

    Oh, what a beautiful, poignant headstone, Rob. It had me and major dad very quiet when we read it ~ you have to be immensely proud of him. Makes me sniffley right now, writing this, dammit…

    Semper Fi, Sgt. Ferrara.

  8. tree hugging sister says:

    Thank you, LtCol, USA(R)Jeff! That was EXTREMELY handsome of you!

  9. tree hugging sister says:

    And do you know, Rob ~ my uncle Nat (whose Dad was an Army Gen, daughter is one now and who retired as a Col himself) said that was the one time he was ever ashamed of his uniform. When he was in Korea and the Army units were skedaddling as fast and furious as they could, climbing over each other to get the Hell out of dodge and not only were the Marines fighting the whole time, they were carrying out the abandoned Army wounded and dead, alongside their own.

    Shameful. I don’t think Nat ever got over it.

  10. Rob says:

    Dad mellowed a little on that later in life, ths. He’d say they were mostly poorly-trained reservists.

  11. Rob says:

    Just in case your ducts didn’t get enough of a workout:

  12. […] Hugging Sister has the Commandant and Sgt. Major’s birthday message and a thank you to the Marines of the Frozen […]

  13. tree hugging sister says:

    Oh, Rob. Your Mom tells a beautiful story, dang it.

    And that picture! He sure does look like he was FUN…and maybe more than a little trouble, with a smile like that.

  14. Wayne Job says:

    Being Australian I can understand the marines. Our troops in Korea were repeatably surrounded and fought watching chinese troops picking up the weapons of the fallen and climbing over the walls of dead bodies.
    So sad.

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