“Despite serious wounds sustained as he pushed forward. First Lieutenant Lee charged directly into the face of the enemy fire and, by his dauntless fighting spirit and resourcefulness, served to inspire other members of his platoon to heroic efforts in pressing a determined counterattack and driving the hostile forces from the sector.”
Lee was still recovering the following month when news of another problem broke out. This time, he led a 500-man thrust to rescue 8,000 American troops trapped by Chinese forces.
With heavier relief loads, his pack of men braved freezing hills and limited visibility from the blizzard. Without instructions to carry out the mission, the lieutenant, nonetheless, pressed forward with only a compass to guide his way.
Lee and his men were suddenly pinned down by enemy fire, but they shot back stronger. While his right arm was still in a cast, he was able to take down two soldiers.
Eventually, they reached the trapped forces and established communication for assault reinforcements.
For his final wounds in Korea, Lee was awarded the Silver Star. The citation read:
“First Lieutenant Lee’s platoon was pinned down by intense hostile fire while attacking south on the main service road from Koto-Ri. Observing that the heavy fire was inflicting numerous casualties, he exposed himself to the deadly fire to move among his troops, shouting words of encouragement and directing a withdrawal to covered positions. Assured that the last of his wounded was under cover, he was seeking shelter for himself when he was struck down and severely wounded by a burst of enemy machine-gun fire.”
With an undeniable display of valor, Lee, the first Chinese-American Marine, has truly become a legend in history.
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