The marines looked to the sky, and as the parachutes dropped, morale began to build, knowing that they would be re-supplied and be able to fight their way out of this situation. That excitement dwindled when they popped the tops of the crates and saw that they were chock full of Tootsie Rolls. Shocked and a little taken aback, the troops who had been rationing even their C-rations to survive were ecstatic at having some sort of sustenance. The soldiers quickly reached their hands in, grabbed the frozen Tootsie Rolls, and began to thaw them out in any way they could. As each one popped the sugary treat into their mouth, they began to feel energetic and, after a few, even full. These tiny treats were nourishment for many of the soldiers for days. But that wasn’t the only place these frozen sweet treats assisted these marines. It didn’t take them long to realize that if they thawed it out, they could use the chocolate candy to plug bullet holes in many things, from fuel drums to fuel lines. This allowed them to save fuel and ride out the next two weeks bravely fighting against the Chinese forces in the reservoirs ravine.
The battle was hard, and there were tons of casualties, not only from the battle itself but also from the severe weather conditions that the marines were exposed to. As the soldiers marched through the reservoir, they ate the Tootsie Rolls and left the wrappers behind. Eventually, the marines breached the line and reached the sea. To this day, those marines that survived the Chosin reservoir battle have a sweet spot in their heart for Tootsie Rolls.
In fact, when reunions are held, the Tootsie Roll company supplies the sweet treats to remember these men’s bravery, ingenuity, and willpower to survive.