News Icon

News: Remembering the battle at Chip’yong-ni

Story by Sgt. Sarah EnosSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

Remembering the battle at Chip’yong-ni Sgt. Sarah Enos

A silver punch bowl set made from the metal of 5,610 badges earned by the 23rd’s infantry men during the Korean War is displayed inside a conference room in the headquarters building of 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Feb. 13, 2013. The display was used for regimental toasts after the annual memorial ceremony held to commemorate the victory for the United Nations forces at the battle of Chip’yong-ni and remember their fallen soldiers. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Sarah E. Enos/Released)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - Sixty-two years ago during the Korean War, troops from the 23rd Regiment, alongside United Nations forces, fought hand-to-hand combat against the enemy to defend their strategic positions around the snow-covered village of Chip’yong-ni, resulting in victory.

Fifty-two U.S. soldiers were killed and 259 wounded. Forty-two men went missing and 51 troops had noncombat injuries, mostly frostbite.

In remembrance of that battle, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment “Tomahawks,” 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division soldiers and honored guests assembled near the battleground stones outside its headquarters building on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., in an annual memorial ceremony Feb. 13 to commemorate the victory in remembrance of their fallen soldiers.

Two of the soldiers who fought at the battle of Chip’yong-ni were present for the day’s ceremony.

Retired command sergeants major Charles D. Main and Jim Steinthal, along with current battalion command sergeants major from the regiment, placed a wreath at the Chip’yong-ni rock in memory of those who fought there.

Main brought the audience back to February 1951 as he told the story of an 18-year-old boy who found himself alone in a foxhole on a barren smoke covered hill.

“He looked down the finger (of a ridge) that he was supposed to protect and hundreds of Chinese soldiers were coming up that finger, most definitely not to wish him a happy Valentines Day,” Main said.

He followed his story with a poem by George L. Skypeck, changing the ending to fit the regiment.

“We have suffered pain and hope, but most of all we have lived in times others would say would be best forgotten,” Main read. “At least some day we will be able to say that we were proud of what we were, an American soldier and Tomahawk.”

Steinthal said that in addition to remembering Chip’yong-ni, he was also at the ceremony to honor the current soldiers of the 1-23 Infantry.

“A lot of these guys now have been with the regiment four or five years and are adding to the history of the 2nd Division,” Steinthal said. “This is something you never forget. It’s tough to lose people in combat who have become part of the family.”

Following the ceremony, inside the battalion headquarters building, regimental toasts were conducted and a conference room was dedicated to the Main family.

“Command Sgt. Maj. Main is our honorary regimental sergeant major who served with us during the Korean War,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Volk. “His grandfather served in A Company 1-23 Infantry World War I and his father, during World War II.”

Displayed on a table in the room was a silver “Korea” punch bowl with matching cups made from the metal of 5,610 combat infantry and medic’s badges earned and donated by 23rd Regiment soldiers during combat, two of which were donated by Main and his father.

Volk began the toasts by raising a silver cup in the air.

“To all Tomahawk soldiers, past and present,” Volk said.

Staff Sgt. Michael Rosenthal, human resources noncommissioned officer for the battalion, took the role of a Korean War soldier by wearing the uniform American soldiers wore then and spoke of the historical artifacts that lined the walls.

“It’s actually really interesting to learn about the 23rd Infantry Regiment,” Rosenthal said. “Because it doesn’t really connect until you actually become a part of it.”

The annual memorial ceremony and monument stones from the Chip’yong-ni battleground remain a constant reminder of the 23rd Regiment heritage and a legacy for soldiers to follow.


Connected Media
ImagesRemembering the...
U.S. Army Soldiers and honored guests assemble outside...
ImagesRemembering the...
U.S. Army Soldiers and honored guests assemble outside...
ImagesRemembering the...
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Rosenthal, human resources...
ImagesRemembering the...
(From left to right) U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Eric...
ImagesRemembering the...
Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Jim Steinthal (left) and...
ImagesRemembering the...
A silver punch bowl set made from the metal of 5,610...


Web Views
184
Downloads
1

Podcast Hits
0



Public Domain Mark
This work, Remembering the battle at Chip’yong-ni, by SGT Sarah Enos, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:02.13.2013

Date Posted:02.20.2013 19:12

Location:JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA, USGlobe

More Like This

  • Fifty-three years ago, during the winter of 1951, China entered the Korean War in support of the communist north. The Chinese People's Volunteer Army proved to be nearly unstoppable until members of the U.S. Army’s 23rd Infantry Regiment "Tomahawks" turned them back during a decisive battle fought Feb. 13-15 at the town of Chipyong-ni, South Korea.
  • In the early morning hours of Sept. 19, 2013, members of the 23rd Infantry Regiment "Tomahawks" - to include 1st Battalion from 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division; 2nd Battalion from 4-2 SBCT; and 4th Battalion from 2-2 SBCT - gathered at the Battle of Chipyong-ni Memorial Rock in front of 1-23's Battalion headquarters. They assembled to take part in a three-mile regiment run, which was followed up with information about the 23rd Infantry Regiment Tomahawk Association. It was the first time in recent memory that the entire 23rd Regiment was gathered together in one place, at the same time.
  • With the battlefield silent for 60 years, and the fighting positions nearly overgrown by the country’s economic growth, Korean, American and French military leaders paid homage to the service members who fought in a key victory during the Korean War – the Battle of Jipyeong-ri (Chipyong-ni).
  • More than 290 personnel attended the annual Chipyong-ni memorial ceremony to show their respect in remembrance of their fallen comrades May 30.
 Gone but not forgotten, the Chipyong-ni ceremony highlights a time when brave men from different nations congregate and remember a time where bravery, hard work and dedication proved that the Chinese were no match for them.

Options

  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard

HOLIDAY GREETINGS

SELECT A HOLIDAY:

VIDEO ON DEMAND

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr