The May Massacre, May 16-20 1951 Korea

Hill 1051 Choan ni, no name line, battle below the Soyang, Hongchon

This site is dedicated to gathering information that pertains to the May Massacre in Korea, May 16th-20, 1951, in the area of No Name Line, Chaun Ni, hill 1051, also called the Battle below the Soyang and the area of Hongchon. In reality this battle resulted in a massacre for both sides. Initially the Chinese would boast of wiping out four US and UN battalions before their spring offensive of 1951 was haulted. In doing so they had paid a henious price in life, taking relentlous casualties from the air and from UN artillary as well as machine-gun fire. Those who were there and survived to see the aftermath witnessed one of the bloodiest scenes of death in the modern era of warfare. This website is not concerned with the politics of the time nor the stratigic descisions that led The US and the UN forces to engage in this battle rather it is concerned with preserving the human experience of having been there and also what it was like to re-integrate back into society upon returning home. It is my goal to collect as many first hand accounts and narratives as possible and create a living history in book form.This was an epic moment in the Cold War and also a lost cord in military history. There is very little written material on this battle. I'm asking anyone who was there with the 2nd Div. to share their accounts so they can all be recorded under one cover. I am especially interested in those from the 23rd Regimental Combat team which was overrun on May 18th. 1951 Any information can be forwarded to my email, Thanks

Outnumbered like seldom before
Seldom before in military history has a force the size the US 2nd Division effectively withstood such a siege inflicting over 10,000 casualties a day on the attacking Chinese Communist forces for six days straight in a very small area. This was one of the highest concentrations of enemy casualties recorded during the Korean war with many incidences of the enemy using embankments of their own dead as cover. Much of the US 2nd Div. was surrounded, the 23rd Regimental combat team had to fight their way out, reorganize, and go right back on the offensive.


1. Preserve the first hand accounts of the battle.

2. Provide those interested with first hand accounts of the battle.

3. List all research material available.

4. Gather as many accounts and include them in future printings.

5. Shed light on the historical importance of this battle. The fate of the Eighth Army lay at stake if the Second Division should have gave way, defeat would have raised Cold war tensions to a nuclear proportion.

6. Provide an awareness of the 2nd Divisions Presidential Citation for May 16-20, 1951.

7. To Remember

If you or anyone you know was on no name line during the time frame of May 16-20, 1951 please contact me at,

Points of interest

1. Overwelming odds, from 15-1 to 80-1 in places, the Chinese and North Koreans attacked with 120,000 regular troops and 60,000 in reserve with the intentions of overwhelming and annihilating the Second Division.

2. Staggering enemy casualties, the most generally accepted figure is 65,000 during the entire offensive lasting no more than six days. 35,000 of those casualties laid concentrated in front of 2nd Divisions lines. 

3. Heavy losses were incurred on elements of the US Second Division especially the 23rd and 38th infantry.

4.An artillery barrage surpassing any in WWI or WWII, an estimated two thousand howitzer rounds in eight minutes focused on a break in the lines near hill 1051.

5. The two battalions of the 23 RCT that were cut off and surrounded, extreme fighting at close range took place at that point.

6. The number of  UN casualties varies widely in historical accounts due to the fact that many of the missing were in fact dead.

7. Some of the official records can be hard to obtain because they have been destroyed by fire.

8. The second phase of the Chinese Communist offensive of 1951 began to focus on a small village called  Chaun Ni where 2200 of the 23rd RCT were located, there was a small aid station there and Headquarters. As the attack intensified they became cut off, running out of supplies and ammunition they sustained heavy casualties there and in an attempt to escape down a road controlled mainly by the Chinese, The Chinese while attacking in masses would lose thousands each day in an effort to overwelm UN positions, hence the name May Massacre.


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