Hungnam evacuation

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U.S. Navy and U.S. Army explosives teams destroy facilities and abandoned United Nations supplies in Hŭngnam on 24 December 1950, the last day of the amphibious evacuation of U.N. forces from Hŭngnam during the Korean War. The U.S. Navy high-speed transport USS Begor (APD-127) stands by in the foreground.
Geoje HuengNam Retreat Memorial Tower

The Hungnam evacuation (Hangul흥남 철수 작전; Hanja興南撤收作戰), code-named Christmas Cargo, also known as the Miracle of Christmas, was the evacuation of UN forces and North Korean civilians from the port of Hungnam, North Korea, between 15 and 24 December 1950.


The port at Hungnam was the site of a major evacuation of United Nations military, South Korean military, and North Korean civilians during the Korean War in late December 1950. Approximately 100,000 troops and material and 100,000 civilians were loaded onto merchant ships and military transports totaling 193 shiploads over the weeks leading up to Christmas 1950. They were transported to safety in Busan and other destinations in South Korea. The evacuation included 14,000 refugees who were transported on one ship, the SS Meredith Victory—the largest evacuation from land by a single ship. This was made possible by a declaration of national emergency by President Truman issued on 16 December 1950 with Presidential Proclamation No. 2914, 3 C.F.R. 99 (1953). This operation was the culmination of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in which the embattled UN troops retreated to Hungnam after being overwhelmed by a Chinese counter offensive. Colonel Edward H. Forney, who served as Deputy Chief of Staff, X Corps was tasked by Major general Edward M. Almond with the organization of the evacuation.

Among the civilians evacuated and brought to the South were the future parents of incumbent South Korean President Moon Jae-in.[1][2]

All troops, materials, and civilians were transferred safely during the Hungnam evacuation. Five babies were born on the ships and were nicknamed Kimchi 1–5 by the U.S. sailors.[3][4]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Choe Sang-Hun (May 9, 2017), South Korea Elects Moon Jae-in, Who Backs Talks With North, as President, New York Times, archived from the original on 2017-05-13
  2. ^ Seong, Yeon-cheol (2018-04-06). "President Moon responds to US sailor who participated in Hungnam Evacuation".
  3. ^ Park, Bo-gyoon (2017-01-20). "Moon Jae-in and 'Kimchi 5'". Korea JoongAng Daily.
  4. ^ Forney, Ned (27 December 2017). "The Kimchi Babies".
  5. ^ Shackleton, Liz (2005-11-03). "Chang boards Korean war epic Christmas Cargo". Screen International.

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