“The Chosin Few”, 1st Marine Division, Battle of Chosin Reservoir 1950

While I was reorganizing part of my (mini) gear room I came across some USMC cold weather gear and was reminded that I had planed a series of “Chosin” posts for years… since it’s crazy cold outside I thought it’s the perfect moment for the “frozen Chosin”

Nothing fancy, just cobbled together some gear for indoor pics

Hopefully I will manage to take some photos outside, I’m also planing a kit guide and detailed post about the iconic USMC Parka.

A few reference pics from the retreat (or as Major General O.P. Smith put it: “Retreat Hell! We’re just attacking in another direction”). Encircled by several Chinese Divisions, and facing total annihilation, the Marines managed to break out and perform a successful fighting withdrawal in a ferocious 17 day battle.

Marine Corps/Navy close air support played a big role in the successful breakout/retreat.

Airstrikes often hitting targets just ahead of the advancing Marine columns

The bridge at Funchilin Pass was destroyed by the Chinese to stop the retreat, but portable bridge parts were air dropped by C-119 Flying Boxcars

More Chosin stuff to come… 🙂

~ by m1pencil on March 6, 2018.

13 Responses to ““The Chosin Few”, 1st Marine Division, Battle of Chosin Reservoir 1950”

  1. Damn man it’s amazing!!!

  2. Hi, what type of sleeping bag you use?

  3. May I ask what kind of cold weather pants did they use?

  4. Did the marines wear M1947 Parkas? I have recently seen some debate about this.

    • IMHO this would have been the exception and far from the norm. The USMC Parka while looking rather similar to the Army Parka has some distinctive features. Easiest to recognize on period photos should be the length, the USMC Parka being quite a bit longer than the Army version. I will make a detailed post about the USMC Parka in the future.

  5. Would you mind checking your parka for date and size markings, and posting a pit to pit measurement? I’ve been doing a bit of an informal survey of ones that have sold in the past, and I’m trying to figure out if the sizing is really as inconsistent as it seems.

    • Hi, pretty difficult to read the size tags (think it’s medium), pit to pit of the shell is about 57~58cm. I’m planing a detailed post about the parka in the near future, maybe this will be helpful too

  6. Thanks, that’s quite odd. The markings in the sleeve of mine have basically worn away, but the inside of the shell is tagged as a small and it measures out to 60-61 cm. The only thing that really makes sense to me at this point is that getting them made might have been more important that marking them properly. Add to that the fact that they seem to have used the old style numbered sizing until sometime in the 1950-1951 contract and the entire thing gets really messy. A detailed post would be great, since there is practically no information available about these at the moment except that they existed.

    • Yes so true, almost no info on these, guess not only the war has been forgotten but the gear as well. Even items as iconic for the USMC as the parka. This one came from a seller in South Korea some years ago, I have a second one but it is not at my place so it might take a while before I can take measurements, never realized that these have inconsistent sizing before.

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