This is a story about Army Cpl. Nile Marsh. a survivor from Task Force Faith who made it to the third blockade and down the frozen Chosin to the Marines. My references are to "East of Chosen" by Roy E. Appleman, Texas A&M University Press.
Dec 5. 1950 On High seas, K
NILE MADE IT TO THE 3RD ROADBLOCK. WHERE TASK FORCE FAITH CONVOY WAS DESTROYED. APPLEMAN, MAP. 11C) PAGE 15, EAST OF CHOSIN
"I WAS A PATIENT WHEN WE LEFT TO MAKE A RUN FOR LIFE WHICH WE KNEW WAS NOT TO FAR DOWN THE ROAD, AND WE HAD TO SHOOT ALL THE WAY TO THE LAST ROADBLOCK'
"I STARTED MY TRIP BACK IN 3/4 TON TRUCK, THAT LASTED ABOUT 5 MILES, NEXT A 4 MILE RIDE IN A JEEP, NEXT A 3 MILE DRIVE IN A 2 1/2 TON TRUCK...AT ONE TIME II BEGGED THE BOYS TO SHOOT ME AND ROLL ME INTO THE DITCH BUT THEY ONLY LAUGHED AND PACKED ME INTO ANOTHER TRUCK AS THE ONE I WAS IN GOT SHOT UP SO BAD THEY PUSHED IT OVER THE SIDE OF THE ROAD INTO A DEEP RAVINE THEN TO PUSH ON TO THE LAST ROAD BLOCK"
- Nile letter dated 12/5/1950. THE ACTUAL DISTANCE BETWEEN THE BREAKOUT AND THE 3RD BLOCKADE WAS ABOUT 2 1/2 MILES.
"We tried to fight a way out bringing around 300 wounded with us but failed. Only after taking one hill and two road blocks. the third road block was too much for as we were outmatched about 10 to 1 and we ran out of ammo. our men fell like files, dead and wounded. We left only when the Chinese closed in from 3 sides with automatic weapons."
- Nile letter dated 12/5
Nile was on USS Consolation when interviewed by Time Magazine for their Dec. 18, 1950 issue. Nile enlisted as a PFC at the Sioux City Army Air Base in Sioux City, Iowa, on Sept. 10, 1946. He was divorced with four dependents (aad.archives.gov).
My father was a glider instructor at the Sioux City AAB, and most likely knew Nile at that time. I now understand why Nile's gravestone lists his service as Air Force, rather than Army.
It is good to remember those that served on this Memorial Day 2022.
[My service in the Army was from 1967 -1968, and at Admin CO USARV PMO during Tet.]