Gen. Edward Almond, commander of the American X Corps, landed in a helicopter to tell the surrounded troops that they would have to fight their way out.
"He dropped a box of medals and flew away," said Jacobson, who criticized Almond as a commander. "He could have flown five or six of the wounded out of there."
He said X Corps slugged its way south out of the Chosin Reservoir, loading the wounded on tanks and picking up Korean refugees along the way. It was so cold that truck tires popped like balloons.
Some units suffered 90 percent casualties.
Jacobson said the Americans fought their way to the east coast and were evacuated by sea. He boarded a ship with other evacuees on Christmas Eve of 1950. The putrid smell in the hull, caused by seasick men, prompted him to sleep on the deck.
Jacobson spends Memorial Day thinking about the friends that he lost at the Chosin Reservoir and other battles.
"The real heroes are the ones who didn't make it," he said. "I don't think the public should forget. We gave them what they got today."
Paul Summers, 81
Pfc. Paul Summers was a 20-year-old Marine when he was thrown into the chaotic initial months of the Korean War.
His unit was sent to Pusan, a port city in South Korea where retreating United Nations forces assembled to form a defensive perimeter after the communist invasion.
"They stuck us in there to fill the gap," Summers said. "The first dead I saw over there were four or five Marines. It was friendly fire."
After spending a short time in Pusan, Summers was redeployed to participate in the Battle of Inchon, an amphibious assault that occurred on Sept. 15, 1950. The operation involved landing United Nations troops behind the North Korean army to ease the pressure on Pusan.
Summers said his unit was among the first to land. They were assigned to attack Wolmi-do, a fortified island that the North Koreans used to defend the Inchon coastline.
Summers said the Marines took the island and gathered on high ground to watch the invasion from above.
"It was just like a movie," he said.
On Sept. 17, Summers was wounded during a firefight in a village.
"I saw a North Korean stand straight up in a field," Summers said. "He ducked down and I sprayed the area with my (Browning Automatic Rifle). I was going to throw a grenade and got hit in the shoulder."
Marines dragged Summers to a nearby street and gave him morphine and a small sip of brandy. He was put on a hospital ship and taken to Japan, where he was operated on a month later to remove the bullet.
While in the hospital, Summers ran into a friend who was in the same firefight in the village. He said the friend told him that 25 dead North Koreans were found in the field that he sprayed with his BAR.
Veterans of Korean War remember fighting cold, Chinese