Last survivor of St. Paul's 'Lucky 7' in Korean War reflects on experience, time spent with fellow Monroe High School graduates

Updated: July 30, 2019 10:15 PM

Historians have called the Chosin Reservoir battle during the Korean War the most savage of modern warfare. 

Temperatures were minus 35 and allied forces were vastly outnumbered. 


A group of seven Monroe High School graduates from St. Paul fought there together. And despite thousands of casualties, all seven survived. They became known as the Lucky 7.

At 89-years-old, Lynn Davis has experienced a lot of life, with memories still as vivid as they were nearly 70 years ago on the battlefield.

"We had a fire fight one night in Korea where Baker company was up ahead of us and Fox Company was right behind them, and the Chinese hit us," recalls Davis.

Davis and six other friends joined the Marines, and a year after their high school graduation, were fighting in one of the harshest battles of modern war at the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.

"It was cold, cold, cold," said Davis. "Can you imagine sleeping outside in minus 35 to minus 40 degree weather on the ground? Sometimes it snowed, sometimes there was a blizzard going, it was cold."

Many, like Davis, suffered frostbite. Weapons and food froze as well.

"I carried fruit under my armpit, under my parka. It's the only thing, everything else was frozen," he said.

Davis reflected on his time spent with his fellow soldiers. 

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"I'm sure it did bring us closer together, we did a lot of things together. I enjoyed them, I really enjoyed them," he said with a smile.

Davis is now the only remaining survivor of the Lucky 7. 

"I miss them," he said, with tears filling his eyes.

Davis becomes overcome with emotion reflecting on the forgotten war, and the comrades that he will never forget.

"We had a lot of fun playing ball, playing with our kids, it was very nice. I i miss them all," he said.

The Korean War Memorial in St. Paul is a cherished place for many veterans and their families who will never forget. Davis' very close friend and fellow Lucky 7 solider will be buried Wednesday at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Lynn Davis will be there to say goodbye.

The Lucky 7 were a part of a larger contingent from Minnesota that served in the Korean War. More than 94,000 Minnesotans answered the call of duty during the three years of the 'forgotten war.'

Of that total, 725 Minnesotans died in the war.

66 years after the war's end, nearly 140 Minnesotans who fought on the Korean peninsula remain missing in action or unaccounted for.

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Jessica Miles

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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