Veterans

June 26, 2012

Korean War veterans remember Battle of Chipyong-ni

Tags:
by Walter T. Ham
Chipyon-ni, South Korea

Veterans attend at a memorial ceremony for the Battle of Chipyong-ni, South Korea, June 26, 2012, at the site of the pivotal battle.

Chipyong-ni was a little known mountain village until a battle there changed the momentum of the Korean War and made an indelible mark in military history.

A day after the 62nd anniversary of the start of the Korean War, American, South Korean and French officials and Korean War veterans gathered in Chipyong-ni June 26, to mark one of the pivotal battles of the brutal three-year conflict.

During a ceremony hosted by the Republic of Korea, or ROK, Army’s 20th Mechanized Infantry Division, officials and veterans laid wreaths and flowers at a memorial in the modern day city of Jipyeong-ni, formerly spelled Chipyong-ni during the Korean War.

In late 1950, the large-scale Communist Chinese intervention in the Korean War dramatically changed the complexity of the conflict and increased the number of enemy troops that United Nations forces faced.

Occupying a critical junction about 40 miles southwest of then-Communist occupied Seoul in February 1951, Chipyong-ni was a crossroads village less than mile long and a few blocks wide.

The 2nd Infantry Division’s 23rd Infantry Regimental Combat Team, augmented by a French infantry battalion, held the village and took on an entire Communist Chinese Army element during three days of heated battle Feb 13-15, 1950.

Enveloped by enemy forces and fighting around the clock in near freezing temperatures, around 5,000 American and French troops repelled and defeated 25,000 Communist Chinese forces and effectively shattered what historians called the myth of the “magical millions of Chinese in Korea.”

Commanded by Col. Paul L. Freeman Jr., the 23rd Infantry Regiment had previously clashed with Chinese forces at the nearby Twin Towers and at Kunu-ri during the previous winter retreat from North Korea.

Eighth Army Historian Ron Miller said the battle changed the momentum of the war because it was the first time Communist Chinese troops had been stopped in ground combat and forced to retreat.

“This success invigorated Eighth Army with a heightened sense of morale and a renewed fighting spirit,” said Miller. “The successful defense of an isolated regimental combat team without grievous losses against a numerically superior force symbolized a turning point.”

According to Miller, by early April 1951, United Nations forces had ejected the Communist Chinese from Seoul and pushed them north of the 38th parallel to the approximate area of the Military Demarcation Line that continues to divide Korean Peninsula today.

During the ceremony, ROK Army Maj. Gen. Na Sang-woong, commander of the 20th Mechanized Infantry Division, paid tribute to the “noble sacrifice of the UN Soldiers who fought bravely in the mountains, valleys and fields of the Republic of Korea defending freedom and democracy.”

The ROK Army 20th ID commander said the veterans of the Battle of Chipyongi-ni “sowed the seeds of democracy and prosperity” in South Korea.

Brig. Gen. Robin B. Akin, U.S. Forces Korea and Combined Forces Command assistant chief of staff for logistics, also thanked the veterans for their service and sacrifices.

“The Korean War reminds us that freedom is never free,” said Akins. “It also reminds the world that people of free nations will stand together to defend it.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photograph

Two Vietnam War Soldiers, one from Civil War to receive Medal of Honor

U.S. Army graphic Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins and former Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat will receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Vietnam. The White House announced Aug. 26 that Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. A...
 
 

Reunions

Sept. 7-9 603rd AC&W Radar Sqdn (Germany, 1960-1966) Kansas City, Mo. For more information, contact Roger Kirby at 417) 358-3654 or email rakmak@sbcglobal.net. Sept. 9-14 58th Ftr Assn (58th & 474th, WWII-2014) Norfolk, Va. For more information, contact Jean Kupferer at (812) 945-7649 or email jkupferer@twc.com. Sept. 10-15 Army Air Corps Pilot Classes of WWII...
 
 

VA outlines actions taken to improve access to care, implement IG recommendations from

The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General Aug. 26 released the final report of its review of systemic issues with patient scheduling and access issues at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. VA concurred with the recommendations in the final report and, in many cases, has already implemented action plans and made improvements...
 

 

HUD, VA, USICH announce 33 percent drop in veteran homelessness since 2010

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Aug. 26released a new national estimate of veteran homelessness in the United States. Data collected during the annual Point-in-Time Count conducted in January 2014 shows there were 49,933 homeless veterans in America, a decline of 33...
 
 

VA announces new grants to help end veterans homelessness

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald announced Aug. 11 the award of approximately $300 million in grants that will help approximately 115,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. The grants will be distributed to 301 community agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Under the...
 
 

VA funds SoCal agencies in battle to end homelessness

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald announced Aug. 11 the award of $23.1 million in homeless prevention grants to counties in Southern California. The grants will serve approximately 4,400 homeless and at-risk Veteran families as part of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. This award will serve Veteran families associated with 17 different...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>