85-year-old chinese american veteran honored as war hero

Last week in Sacramento, 85-year-old retired Marine Maj. Kurt Chew-Een Lee, the first Chinese American to lead Marines in battle, will be honored by hundreds of Northern California war veterans and members of the Chinese Benevolent Society of Sacramento at two banquets: Sacramentan to be honored twice as Korean War hero.

Considered one of the unsung heroes of the Korean War, Lee is credited with leading 500 Marines more than twelve miles through a blizzard and over mountains on a treacherous mission that saved 8,000 Marines who outnumbered and surrounded by 60,000 Chinese troops:
As the first Chinese American commander to lead Marines in battle, Lee broke down racial and ethnic barriers in the military and back home. The Bee's Sept. 24, 1951, edition reported, "One of the strange phenomena of the 1st Marine Division's fighting in Korea was the oft repeated spectacle of a Chinese leading marine infantrymen into combat against his brethren."

Freeman Lee, a Chinese American veteran and commander of the VFW's Chung Mei Post 8358, credits Maj. Lee with changing Marine lore and American history.

"He was able to gain the respect of his men through his bravery and patriotism and thus able to overcome discrimination and racism in the battlefield and also the military," Lee said.
I previously posted something about Major. Lee last year when the Smithsonian Channel premiered a documentary about his heroics, Uncommon Courage: Breakout at Chosin, which looks like it's airing again this week. By the way, from what I've read, Maj. Lee still sounds like a badass. (Thanks, Hannah.)

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