Marine Math

The Korean War, in which the Marine Corps fought and won some of its most brutal battles, was not without its gallows of humor.

During one such conflict a ROK (Republic of Korea) commander, whose unit was fighting along with the Marines, called legendary Marine General Chesty Puller to report a major Chinese attack in his sector. “How many Chinese are attacking you?” asked Puller. “Many, many Chinese!” replied the excited Korean officer.

General Puller asked for another count and got the same answer, “Many, many, many Chinese!” “G-d d–mit!” swore Puller, “Put my Marine liaison officer on the radio.” In a minute, an American voice came over the air: “Yes sir?” “Lieutenant,” growled Chesty, “exactly how many Chinese you got up there?” “General, we got a whole sh-t load of Chinese up here!”

“Thank God.” exclaimed Puller, “At least there’s someone up there who knows how to count.

Willy Carroll,
’63 – ’89

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6 thoughts on “Marine Math”

  1. When I first read of this incident, Puller was supposed to be talking to an US Army officer. After several attempt to get and answer Puller asked if there were any Marines present. The soldier said there was a Marine Pvt there. When Puller asked the Marine, he got the answer, “a whole shit load of them.” That’s when Puller replied, “thank God, somebody that can count.”

  2. My uncle told me very little about his Korea service, he was there with Gen. Puller. The only thing he told me about had to do with Marine Math. At Yalu River, he said, one late night or early morning, they heard bugles blowing and EVERY CHINESE COMMUNIST IN THE WORLD came across the river!

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