The Battle of Chosin

In November and December 1950, the First Marine Division was holding the area around the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea when the Communist Chinese forces came screaming across the China-North Korea border. Their intent was to destroy all the United Nations’ forces and take South Korea. Frank G. Gross was a private with Company I, 3d Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment at the Chosin Reservoir when the orders came down for a tactical withdrawal to the south. Having received frostbite injuries and wounds from a concussion grenade, he was evacuated with many others at Hagaru, North Korea. Later, he wrote musical ballads about his experiences, which were put to video format by Air Force Sergeant Michael Bruce, a Vietnam-era veteran. This video is just one of many that have been created not only as an educational tool, but to remind us of the “Price of Freedom.”

Gross wrote his emotionally gripping lyrics describing the Battle of Chosin Reservoir at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital, Dec. 29, 1950, as he was beginning treatment for war injuries and the frostbite that eventually cost him parts of his toes. This ballad is believed to be one of the first written about the Korean War.