In the 1950s, thousands of Chinese soldiers stormed into North Korea, intent on conquering the nation. In a single day, they would have conquered all they set out to. But a single man stopped them. His name was Kim Song-Nam. At the age of 22, he single-handedly led a group of North Korean soldiers against the invading Chinese army.
The graphic novel series Yellow Brave, created by Korean publisher Jiwon Kim, tells the story of a fictional Korean War veteran named Kim Gyu-tae. GIs in the Korean War all had nicknames, sometimes even multiple ones, so Kim Gyu-tae was known as Yellow Brave by his comrades. In the comics, it’s revealed that he single-handedly stopped a Chinese army from taking over a mountaintop, a feat that few soldiers saw as possible.
In the beginning of the Korean War, an American platoon was pinned down on a mountainside by Chinese forces. Their commander, Lieutenant Harry Lee, had been hit by shrapnel and was unable to fight. He called out to the men around him, “Get down. Don’t let them get us.” His men obeyed and placed themselves between the Chinese attackers and the platoon’s medic. Then Lee called out, “Medic! Can you lend a hand?” The medic answered, “I’ll try.” Then Lee: “No, no. You have to do it. You have to help me.” The medic replied: “I can’t sir. You have to let me do my job.”
The narrative of Cpl. Mitchell Red Cloud, a Marine-turned-soldier, is featured in the latest episode of the Association of the United States Army’s graphic series “Medal of Honor.”
Red Cloud was a member of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, commonly known as Carlson’s Raiders, and saw action on Guadalcanal and Okinawa, earning a Purple Heart as a result of a “round to the shoulder” during the last war in the Pacific, according to the graphic novel.
The war veteran and Wisconsin native, on the other hand, gave his final full measure of dedication in Korea.
Several months after the United States entered the Korean War, Red Cloud reenlisted as an infantryman with E Company, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, and was stationed near the north bank of the Chongchon River in North Korea.
The 27th British Commonwealth Brigade and the 19th Infantry Regiment of the 24th Division were said to be continually patrolling the bank. On November 5, “the Chinese began probing the UN soldiers’ defensive line, eluding patrols and moving freely through the breach,” writes Dana Benner, separated by a five-mile gap.
Despite being warned of the Chinese propensity of penetrating the lines at night, many in E Company disobeyed the advice – with the exception of Red Cloud.
Red Cloud, armed with a Browning Automatic Rifle, was holding a listening post on the night of the 5th when 1,000 infantrymen of the Chinese 355th Regiment penetrated inside UN lines, according to the graphic novel.
Under the light of a nearly full moon, Red Cloud was able to detect the approaching enemy troops from his vantage point. Red Cloud unleashed a barrage of shots as the Chinese charged within 100 feet of him, emptying magazine after magazine into the advancing Chinese troops at point-blank range.
His commendation stated, “His accurate and powerful fire checked this assault and allowed time for the unit to consolidate its resistance.” “With total courage, he held his firing position until seriously wounded by enemy fire,” according to Red Cloud, who had two gunshot wounds to the chest.
Despite his injuries and the fact that he was vastly outmanned, Red Cloud remained at his post. Red Cloud “pulled himself to his feet and wrapped his arm around a tree and continued his lethal fire until he was severely wounded,” refusing medical help.
Red Cloud’s ferocious counter-offensive against the Chinese put an end to their initial assault and gave enough cover for his fellow soldiers to retreat. According to his citation, his “heroic effort prevented the enemy from overrunning his company’s position, allowing time for reorganization and the evacuation of the injured.”
The soldiers of E Company returned the next day, after the battle had died down, to search for Red Cloud. The men discovered him dead, shot eight times, with the carcasses of Chinese soldiers lying around his station. The adversary had not progressed any further.
Red Cloud was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in April 1951 for his heroic valor. Red Cloud’s mother accepted the medal on her son’s behalf, which was presented by General Omar Bradley.
The USNS Red Cloud, the fourth of seven Strategic Sealift Ships built since 1993, was launched in 1999, further honoring Red Cloud.
Kenneth Kershaw, a member of E Company, 19th Infantry, who was stationed near the Chongchon River that morning, was there for the launch.
“I would not be here today if Mitchell Red Cloud hadn’t sounded the alarm,” Kershaw simply asserted.
On the morning of July 27, 1951, a 24-man platoon of the 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment, 8th Infantry Division, known as the “Iron Triangle” because they had been cut off from the rest of the 8th Infantry Division, was defending the southern slope of the Yalu River. Before dawn, a Chinese force of about 1,000 troops attacked the platoon’s perimeter, and Kim Il Sung, a North Korean lieutenant, led a small force of eight men in an attack against the Chinese.. Read more about what does ausa stand for and let us know what you think.
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