U.S. Army 1st Lt. William Funchess watched from the other bank as Chinese soldiers approached the river, undressed, and swam across naked, holding weapons and clothes over their heads. Once they hit his side of the river, they shook the freezing water off their skin, dressed, and ran into the forest – one after the other after the other. Thousands of them.
It was November 4, 1950. When Funchess radioed the brass back at headquarters to tell them what he had seen, they told him he was mistaken. There were no Chinese soldiers in North Korea.
“The final instructions from battalion headquarters was – if Chinese soldiers are in Korea, they’re protecting hydroelectric plants. Under no conditions will you fire on a Chinese national,” said Funchess. “Before the day ended, I had been struck by machine gun fire, and I was a POW of the Chinese army.”
He remained a prisoner for nearly three years – 34 months to be exact – enduring unimaginable torment at their hands. They tried to break his body, reprogram his mind and crush his spirit.