Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fox Company, 2nd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division



My dad, at the time 1st Lieutenant Robert C. McCarthy was the XO of Fox Company while they held Fox Hill for five bitterly cold 30 below November days in the Toktong Pass during the Korean War. Last fall the USMarine Corp Museum in Quantico, VA opened for the first time with four special exhibit rooms dedicated to greatest battles of the Marines through out the centuries...these were Tripoli, Bellieau Woods, Iwo Jima and one of them was my fathers company's battle in Korea...known through out the Marine Corp legends as Fox Hill. Heady company for a Marine to be included in....This Picture shows the wall when entering F Company exhibit USMC Museum, Quantico, VA. My dad, Lt. Robert C. McCarthy is quoted on the museum wall.

This is what dad wrote on the back of this picture. He also wrote THE Chapter on the battle that is in Marine Corp history books and was originally published in the Leatherneck Magazine as well as still studied at Quantico to this day at OCS(Officers Candidate School) training. "Fox Company, 2nd Battalion 7th Marines had 254 Marines and with the aid of the -30 degree temperatures we destroyed a Chinese regiment of 3000+ soldiers. We held Fox Hill from 27 Nov 50 to 2 Dec 1950 as the forward regiments of Marines retreated . My third Platoon held the top of the Hill. I had 54 Marines at sundown 27 Nov 50 and 22 of the Marines on the morning of 28 Nov 50. I was wounded early morning 29 Nov 1950.( He was shot through the thigh by a bullet that wounded the CO sufficiently that my dad became the commander of Fox Company even though he was wounded.) 86 ( of the original 254 Marines) walked off Fox Hill(to begin the other thing that the Frozen Choisin Marines are famous for . The longest coldest military retreat in US history. Many including my wounded father walking out of thru the frozen mountain passes leaving none of their wounded and NONE of their dead behind, another Marine tradition.) A picture over the door of the exhibit room...

evidently according to dad it looked NOTHING Like Fox Hill...and of course the museum did not consult any of the still surviving members of Fox Company.

If you would like to read more about the Marines and thier battle at Choisin Reservoir you might like to read Break Out by Martin Russ available on Amazon, a well researched book about 60000 Chinese soldiers attempt to wipe out the 12000 Marines by completely surrounding the three Marines regiments which were strung out along 80 miles of narrow mountain road.

"One of the most stirring tales of American military history."

"An outstanding history....captures the viciousness of combat....and the Marines incredible triumph with stark realism and unvarnished candor." - Library Journal


From Publishers Weekly
In the annals of American heroic stands against long odds, Chosin Reservoir stands with the Alamo and BataanAwith the bonus of a happy ending. Russ (The Last Parallel) has written the definitive account of the 1st Marine Division's epic breakout from the Chosin Reservoir in the winter of 1950. Outnumbered, unsupported and isolated in the depths of winter, 12,000 Marines, surrounded by 60,000 Chinese soldiers, cut their way out of encirclement and fought a path to the sea, bringing out most of their wounded and many of their dead with them. Small wonder, then, that Chosin Reservoir is celebrated as a victory by the Corps. Russ weaves the Marines' stories into a compelling tapestry of understated heroism, showing how the 1st Marine Division owed much to officers and senior NCOs with combat experience in WWII and the force of character to lead teenage riflemen from the front. Cohesion, as well as courage and tactical skill, brought the Marines out of Chosin. Time and again, those whom Russ interviewed stress the overriding importance of not letting down other Marines, no matter the cost. Russ relies heavily and appropriately on the accounts of Marines who fought at Chosin. The result is that there is a lot of detail, a lot of close-up recollections of localized battle, but Russ does an admirable job, when necessary, of panning back to give readers a picture of the whole campaign.

7 comments:

Linda T said...

Maggie, is your dad still living? Please thank him for his service. That battle is one that recruits are taught about. I will look for that book. It sounds interesting. My son is a Marine and getting ready for his 3rd deployment to the sand. SemperFi!!

Sarah Ann Smith said...

Wow Maggie..... that is incredible.... I couldn't read that out loud to Paul without my voice breaking. Several times. As Paul said, that's why the Marines are special.... Unbelievable, and how awful to have had to live through that......

phthaloblu said...

This is incredible. My brother was a marine, retired from the service after 25 years. For all intents and purposes he still considers himself a marine. :-) What a great story.

Anonymous said...

Maggie, my grandfather's name is Lloyd O'Leary and he was a part of the 7th marine regiment 2nd battalion 1st marine divison. I am so glad you posted this because I really don't know much about my grandfather's war history. I was just wondering if your dad knew my grandfather or knew of my grandfather. Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated. My email address is skitlefun22@aol.com and my name is Nicole. Thanks so much.

Abbi Sanford Ellenwood said...

My grandfather was in Fox Company and is still alive. We have never heard him talk about the battle, understandably, as it was horrific. Maybe your father remembers Kern Sanford? abbi.ellenwood@yahoo.com

Danene Harris said...

My name is Danene Harris and my son, Capt Clint Harris, is currently serving as the Company Commander of Fox Co. Clint received command of Fox Co last May and was humbled and awed by the thought that he was to lead one of the most venerated companies in all of the Marine Corps. On the eve of his deployment to Afghanistan in Sept, he gave me a well-worn copy of 'The Last Stand of Fox Company' by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, explaining that it would give me an insight into the Marine ethos of brotherhood and tradition. I would like to present Clint and his 1st Sargeant with a hardback copy of the book signed by survivng members of the Last Stand,as a welcome home present in April. Can anyone help me with a contact name, address or phone number for a member of the Company? I know there have been reunions among the Marines so there must be a master list somewhere. Thanks for any help you can offer. contact me at teharris@mchsi.com

SCquiltaddict said...

Daneen I am sure my dad would be glad to sign a book for your son. I tried to email you and it bounced back. Double checking your address but in the meantime please email me at mcmhunt@ me. com .....and anyone else that wants to inquire about foxhill...Dad finally loves to talk about it. He wrote the accounts of the battle for the Marines...published in the Leatherneck in the 50s and also the tactical study that OCS uses at Quantico to this day...how to defend the hill I think...