On November 27, 1950, Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) engaged in a sudden, large-scale offensive against U.S. and U.N. forces positioned around the Chosin Reservoir in north-east North Korea. Two regiments from the 1st Marine Division were stationed in Yudam-ni, a town on the western side of the reservoir. The ferocity of the attacks forced the Marines to withdraw south to Hagaru-ri, which was on the southern tip of the reservoir; however, some CCF troops had moved to the only road connecting Yudam-ni to Hagaru-ri and established roadblocks. On December 1, the Marines attacked CCF strongholds on Hills 1276, 1419 (also known as Turkey Hill), 1542, and 1520, the high ground the CCF was using to control the escape route. They also sent a column overland to relieve the surrounded Fox Company, 2/7 on Hill 1653 (later known as Fox Hill) at the Toktong Pass. The enemy put up heavy resistance, and the Marines engaged in a lengthy overnight fight for control of the hills. It was not until the afternoon on December 2, after suffering significant casualties, that the Marines gained control of the hills, allowing the withdraw to proceed.
Private First Class Donald Francis Dowling, who joined the U.S. Marine Corps from Ohio, was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. Company F took part in the battle for Hill 1276, and PFC Dowling was captured during his unit’s fighting on December 2, 1950. He was taken to Valley Camp 1, north of Chosin, where he died of dysenteryon December 17. His remains have not been recovered or identified among those returned to U.S. custody after the war. Today, Private First Class Dowling is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
We honor you, Donald Dowling.
(#Repost @Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency)