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Modern Marines meet Corps legends

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May 23, 2008

MCLB-Albany --  Some Marine heroes are guests of honor at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany this weekend.

The Georgia Chapter of the Chosin Few are holding their mini-reunion. More than 30 men who fought in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in Korea 58 years ago toured the maintenance center this morning.

Despite health problems, Nick Retza of Albany was not going to miss this reunion of his Marine Comrades.

"One hundred thousand Chinese couldn't kill me. I don't know why a little heart attack could do it,"  Retza said.

The Chosin Few and their wives were greeted as heroes by current Marines at the Albany Maintenance Center. "It's pretty amazing to meet these gentlemen," Corporal Chris Maynard said.

Retza was one of the Marines at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea in 1950 attacked by a Chinese force that outnumbered them almost ten to one.

"One-hundred-twenty-thousand Chinese hit us. And we had 15,000 Marines. The temperature was 30 below zero. We killed over 40,000 Chinese, as opposed to 718 Marines killed. We were a team then, and we are still a team," Retza said.

"When you have gone through what we have, really you are just about as close to brothers can get," said Bill Swinson of the Chosin Few.

And that is why these men still gather 58 years later. Today's Marines are taught about Chosin as part of their proud legacy, and admit they are in awe.

"Chosin Reservoir. When you are in boot camp, MCT, becoming a war fighter, a rifleman, you got to learn about the greatest," Corporal Maynard said.

"I guess in effect we are legend. History says that is one of the bloodiest battles American military men ever fought in. Those of us who survived it are here to tell the story," Swinson said.

The Chosin Few toured the MCLB Maintenance Center as part of their reunion, an important part of their life now. "It's just comradarie," Retza said, vowing to contiune, "until we die."

The youngest is 77-years-old. It's been 58 years since the frozen battle, and they are still treated as Marine legends.

This is the Georgia chapter of the Chosin Few meeting in Albany this weekend. The Marines say there are still about 3,000 men who fought in that battle still alive today.

  • Read more about the famous Chosin Battle-
Battle of Chosin Reservoir - Wikipedia

Chosin Reservoir.com

Battle of Chosin by Gina DiNicolo

KoreanWar.com: Battle of Chosin Reservoir



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