It’s Not Misspelled!: MMA’s Chosin Few Gate Is Dedicated to the Forgotten War
At the southern entrance of the Marine Military Academy (MMA) campus in Harlingen, Texas, is a gate named “Chosin Few Memorial Gate.” If you noticed Chosin was spelled with an i instead of an e and you thought it was a typo, then you don’t know about the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War.
The Frozen Chosin and the Chosin Reservoir Battle
According to MMA Superintendent Col R. Glenn Hill, the Korean War (1950-1953) is often known as the “Forgotten War.” MMA, a college-preparatory boarding school founded and run by Marines, decided it would never forget the Korean War and those brave men who fought at the “Frozen Chosin” and became known as the Chosin Few. On May 8, 1999, MMA proudly dedicated the Chosin Few Memorial Gate.
The Battle of Chosin Reservoir (Nov. 27 – Dec. 13, 1950) is one that highlights the spirit, tenacity and endurance of American service men. Surprised and encircled by 67,000 men of the invading Chinese 9th Army, the Marines and other troops were able to fight a 17-day battle in frigid sub-zero conditions to break through the Chinese trap. The Chinese suffered heavy losses as the Americans and Allied troops fought their way to safety down a 74-mile road overlooked by Chinese positions in the surrounding hills and mountains. As a testament to the ferocity of the fight, 14 Marines, two soldiers and a Navy pilot received the Medal of Honor.
The Chosin Few Memorial Gate
“It is important to recognize those Marines who served and fought in that battle. The way to do that was through establishing that gate,” Col Hill said. “This gate represents what can be accomplished through determination, leadership, and teamwork. This was a group of men who were surrounded and outnumbered by the Chinese and were also battling brutal, freezing weather, but they still came out victorious.”
On the gate is a plaque that summarizes this remarkable but often forgotten battle as well as the legacy of the Chosin Few:
“During the winter of 1950-51, a determined force made up primarily of U.S. MARINES, along with SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN, and our ALLIES, fought their way from the area of the Chosin Reservoir to the Sea of Japan.
This Memorial Gate is dedicated to the gallant men who fought, suffered and died in that freezing hell. It is dedicated to the memory of all who perished in it by those who survived that terrible ordeal.”
More than ever, MMA visitors and parents continue to ask Col Hill and other school staff why the name on the gate is misspelled. The answer he gives is always the same: It isn’t.
Jannesa Campbell and Andi Atkinson are staff writers for the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas.
Marine Military Academy is an all boys private college preparatory boarding school. For more information about MMA visit our website: http://www.mma-tx.org