Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Chosin (CG-65)


Chinese Communist and North Korean soldiers smashed through United Nations troops in the rugged mountains northwest of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War, 25 November-10 December 1950. The UN troops, including the U.S. 1st Marine Division and the Army’s 7th Infantry Division, escaped from the enemy during an epic retreat through the onset of winter. For additional information see:;; and

The first U.S. Navy ship named Chosin.

For the Ship’s Command Operations Reports see (

(CG-65: displacement 9,600; length 567'; beam 55'; draft 33'; speed 30+ knots; complement 363; armament 2 5-inch, 2 Mk 41 Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) for BGM-109 Tomahawks, RIM-66 SM-2MR Standards, and RUM-139 VL-ASROC Antisubmarine Rockets, 8 RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile canister launchers, 2 Mk 15 Close In Weapon Systems (CIWS), 4 .50 caliber machine guns, and 6 Mk 32 torpedo tubes, aircraft 2 Sikorsky SH-60B Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Mk III Seahawks; class Ticonderoga)

Chosin (CG-65) was laid down on 22 July 1988 at Pascagoula, Miss., by Ingalls Shipbuilding Division, Litton Industries; launched on 1 September 1989; sponsored by Mrs. Willa K. Davis, wife of Gen. Raymond G. Davis, USMC (Ret.), who received the Medal of Honor for his command (as a Lt. Col.) of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines in a four-day battle that saved a trapped Marine rifle company from annihilation and opened a mountain pass for two regiments to escape during the retreat from Chosin; and commissioned on 12 January 1991, Capt. Martin J. Mayer in command.

Chosin (CG-65) 1991-crest


The interaction of red and light blue on the shield symbolizes the fighting between the Communist soldiers and the UN troops during the Korean War. Red also stands for courage and bloodshed; the gold devotes excellence and high ideals. The swords, raised at the ready, represent the Marine Corps and Army. The rays symbolize the flame of combat and the frigid weather during the battles around the Chosin Reservoir, from which the ship derives her name.


The demi-dragon, breathing fire, represents the Chinese Communist threat to the UN troops. The demi-trident symbolizes naval power; gold represents excellence and courage in battle.


The complete arms emblazoned upon a white field enclosed by a blue oblong border bearing the inscription “USS CHOSIN” around the top and “CG 65” around the base, all in gold and all within a continuous gold rope edging the border.

The ship’s motto Invictus translates from the Latin as invincible or unconquered.

While Chosin deployed to the Fifth Fleet she took part (August-September 2003) in maritime interception operations (MIOs) as part of Sea Cutlass, a unique operation involving eight ships from five nations, Sea, Air, Land (SEALs) teams, and long-range maritime patrol planes. The coalition developed MIOs to detect and intercept terrorists using merchant ships to escape from their havens and training camps in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Sea Cutlass widens the net we use to capture terrorists, like al-Qaeda and the Taliban, should they attempt to escape by sea,” Commodore Richard Leaman, RN, who coordinated the operation from the Fifth Fleet’s headquarters, explained. “This operation demonstrated that if we receive intelligence indicating that terrorists may be planning to escape from a certain area using merchant vessels, the coalition has the ability to quickly surge a variety of elements, including ships, special forces, and reconnaissance aircraft, in order to detain and arrest these individuals.”

German Rear Adm. Manfred Nielson broke his flag in command of the task force that carried out Sea Cutlass in German frigate Brandenburg (F.215), which also included: Chosin; French antisubmarine frigate Dupleix (D.641); French light surveillance frigate Nivôse (F.732); Italian frigate Grecale (F.571); Spanish frigate Santa Maria (F.81); German supply and medical support ship Frankfurt Am Main (A.1412); and U.S. Military Sealift Command-manned combat store ship Concord (T-AFS-5), that operated as an afloat forward staging base for SEALs. American, British, German, and New Zealand reconnaissance aircraft supported these ships.

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake occurred near the Indo-Pakistani border on 8 October 2005, killing more than 73,000 people and rendering nearly three million homeless. Rear Adm. Michael A. LeFever, Commander Tarawa (LHA-1) Expeditionary Strike Group, coordinated the operations of the Disaster Assistance Center at Islamabad, Pakistan. Rear Adm. John W. Miller, Deputy Commander, Naval Forces Central Command, relieved him in command of the group on 7 January 2006, enabling LeFever to continue the relief efforts. While Chosin, Capt. Douglas J. Venlet in command, visited Fujairah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) during a deployment (25 July 2005-9 January 2006) to support the Global War on Terrorism, sailors from the ship and aid workers of the UAE’s Red Crescent Society loaded relief supplies including food, water, clothes, shoes, blankets, mattresses, and heaters, for victims of the tragedy on board dock landing ship Pearl Harbor (LSD-52), which then delivered the supplies to Pakistan. In addition, two Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Dragons of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15, two MH-60S Seahawks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 26, a Lockheed EP-3E Aries II detachment from Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 2, a McDonnell Douglas C-9B Skytrain II from Fleet Logistic Air Squadron (VR) 56, a Lockheed C-130T Hercules of VR-64, and USA, USAF, and allied aircraft flew more than 4,000 missions, delivered over 11,000 tons of supplies, and transported more than 18,000 people through 13 February 2006.

Chosin then (November 2005) carried out maritime security operations (MSOs) with five other coalition ships of Task Force (TF) 150 in the Northern Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The allies developed MSOs to prevent terrorists from using the sea to attack mariners or to smuggle terrorists, weapons, or narcotics by sea. “The illegal smuggling means that funds are being created,” Lt. Cmdr. Darren Rushworth, RAN, who operated with the task force, explained. “Where does that money go, that is the link. There is also a link in terms of people smuggling, and we can find out where they are going and what they are doing.”

French Vice Adm. Jacques Mazars broke his flag in command of the task force in amphibious assault ship Tarawa (LHA-1), which also included: Chosin, amphibious transport dock Cleveland (LPD-7), guided missile destroyer Oscar Austin (DDG-79), French stealth frigate La Fayette (F.710), Pakistani frigate Badr (F.181), and French replenishment oiler Var (A.608). SH-60B Seahawks flying from Tarawa, a Scan Eagle long-endurance fully autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle operating from Cleveland, and long range maritime patrol planes flying from ashore, helped the ships expand their search for terrorists. The ships queried merchant ships and fishing boats, conducting visit, board, search and seizure operations when warranted.

“The response to the query can generate suspicion,” Rushworth elaborated. “But mainly we want to spread the word that we’re out here for their safety and their security, that we’re looking for terrorists.” The boarders assisted vessels in distress, and distributed bottles of water and other essentials to merchant mariners and fishermen. “They’ve actually been excited to see us,” Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Michael Greene, who served as one of Cleveland’s boarding teams, recalled. “One of the boats we boarded had a transmission problem. We gave them some lube oil, food, and water, and our engineers gave them advice on their problem. All the guys on the team are eager to be doing something hands-on with the effort. Any way we can help, makes a difference.”

A boat crew from Chosin manning a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) approaches three Yemeni fishermen, after a lookout spots the men clinging to be piece of wood, in the Gulf of Aden, 17 November 2009. Twelve pirates hijacked the fishermen’s boat, and, chillingly, threatened to kill the men unless they jumped overboard. Chosin operates as the flagship of Combined Joint Task Force 151, a coalition counter-piracy task force, during this rescue. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Scott Taylor, U.S. Navy Photograph 091117-N-XXXX0-219, Navy NewsStand)
Sailors help the first of the three castaways on board Chosin. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Scott Taylor, U.S. Navy Photograph 091117-N-9500T-579, Navy NewsStand)
Chosin turns sharply while training in Hawaiian waters, 26 March 2012. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker, U.S. Navy Photograph 120326-N-RI884-150, Commander Naval Surface Force, Pacific Fleet)
The ship completes her exercise and returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hi., 26 March 2012. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker, U.S. Navy Photograph 120326-N-RI884-082, Commander Naval Surface Force, Pacific Fleet)

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans


Published: Tue Jun 30 12:36:47 EDT 2015