Eung Chae Koh
Typhoon rains drenched the Marines of the Republic of Korea as they fought endless waves of communists on the slopes of Dosol Mountain. As the ROK commanders yelled for their troops to advance, a young Marine private answered the call.
“The battle was furious and violent,” said Eung Chae Koh, a member of the “6-25” War veterans association in Osan City. “And the enemy’s attack was unrelenting.”
Koh was an infantryman assigned to 5th Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment ROK Marine Corps. He would fight in the ROK Marine’s first victory of the Korean War that fateful day on Dosol Mountain, but he would not be able to celebrate with his fellow Marines.
A fragmentary grenade exploded beside Koh sending shrapnel flying into his face, forearm and belly. He was treated by U.S. Marines before being transported to a ROK Navy facility for additional care.
But Koh would return to fight, participating in two more prominent battles before another injury from a mortar round would end his service during the war.
This Marine couldn’t walk away from serving his nation that easily though.
After five and a half years of military service, Koh took a job as a communications configuration supervisor for 1st Signal Brigade, Eighth Army in Seoul. He retired from 1st Signal Brigade in 1992 with 27 years of time spent serving the ROK/U.S. alliance.
From the rugged mountains of Dosol to the bustling offices of a U.S. Army signal brigade, Koh said that he has only one regret.
“We should have continued the fight,” he said. “There were so many lives lost in the “6-25” War,” he said.
“We wanted more than just peace, we wanted reunification,” said Koh. “And that was worth fighting for.”
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