The namesake of the USS Chosin is the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the winter of 1950. CG 65 is the first U.S. Navy warship named in commemoration of the First Marine Division’s breakout from a Chinese Communist encirclement at the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War in the bitter winter of 1950. Historians term the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir as the most savage battle of modern warfare. It is compared to Tarawa, the bloodiest battle of World War II.
The battle of Chosin was fought in the mountains of North Korea, near Manchuria. It pitted about 15,000 allied ground troops, mostly elements of the U.S. First Marine Division, a regimental combat team of the U.S. Army’s Seventh infantry Division, and elements of the British Royal Marines against 120,000 Chinese Communists in 10 Divisions who had been ordered to annihilate them “to the last man.” Following the landing at Inchon and the seizure of Seoul, Korea, in September 1950, the First Marine Division reembarked on amphibious ships and transferred to the east coast of Korea. Landing at Wonson, the Fifth and Seventh Marines were sent to Hamhung to prepare for the advance on the Yalu. The First Marines initially remained near Wonson.
In November 1950, eight of those Chinese Communist Divisions struck the First Marine Division. Major General Oliver P. Smith ordered the Marines to reverse direction and overcome the Communist roadblocks. The attack in the new direction — the breakout — continued for 13 days until Marines linked with Army troops in the Hungnam perimeter. By December, the Division had closed to Hungnam after a deliberate and calculated withdrawal, one that cost the enemy an estimated 25,000 dead as opposed to 730 Marines killed. Skillful troop leadership and stubborn determination enabled the Marines to avert disaster that at first seemed inevitable.
Current USS Chosin
USS Chosin (CG 65), the fourteenth Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, was commissioned on 8 January 1986.
On August 10, 1992 CHOSIN set sail on her maiden deployment. In the 1994 deployment Chosin was responsible the air defense of the Constellation Battle Group. In the 1997 deployment Chosin participated in exercised that forwarded the US Navy’s Ballistic Missile Defense and Command and Control capabilities. In the 1999 deployment Chosin, as the air defense commander of the Constellation Battle Group, supported the enforcement of oil sanctions against Iraq and rescued eight stranded Iraqi fishermen. In 2001 the Chosin upgraded their AEGIS Combat System and added undersea warfare capabilities. In the 2003 deployment the Chosin, as part of the Nimitz Battle Group, supported the Global War on Terrorism. In the 2005 deployment the Chosin participated in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), off the coast of Hawaii. In the 2008 Deployment Chosin participated in operations in the Western Pacific and Middle East as part of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group. In November 2009 Chosin rescued three stranded Yemeni fishermen in the Gulf of Aden. In 2012 Chosin participate in a multi-national exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012.
During her tenure, the USS Chosin has participated in Operation Southern Watch, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Chosin’s awards include: the Battle Efficiency Award for Excellence, National Defense Service Medal, the Southeast Asia Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.