At about 6:00 P.M. the men who were caring for the wounded Meloy north of the roadblock decided to run the gauntlet. They put Meloy in a surviving light tank and set off, leading about fifteen other vehicles, including a rig towing one of Perry's 105 howitzers. The tank and trucks ran the block without major damage or casualties.
However, south of the block the tank carrying Meloy broke down. The tank crew tried to flag down a truck to pick up Meloy, but disgracefully, all fifteen vehicles in the convoy sped around the tank, leaving the wounded regimental commander to fend for himself. Lucky for Meloy, Mike Barszcz, who was then breaking off his attack, came upon Meloy and provided help and protection.
Soon thereafter Tom McGrail's S3, Kenneth J. Woods, came up and put Meloy in a truck and escorted him to safety. Meloy (who won a DSC for his actions that day) eventually wound up in the same hospital with his exec, Chandler. When he recovered from his wounds, Meloy was rotated to the States to continue an exemplary professional career, which earned him four stars.[5-38]
The shattered Chicks ran, straggled, or marched to the rear by various routes. Dean directed the bulk of them to the division CP area, which had displaced easterly about thirty miles, from Taejŏn to Yŏngdong. There Tom McGrail was able to collect and reorganize his 2/19, and it became the 24th Division reserve.
Fortunately the NKPA, busy regrouping and making plans and celebrating another big victory - and bringing tanks across the Kum River did not press the attack on Taejŏn for another two days.
Dean was to boast in his memoir that the celebrated Chicks "did a lot of killing and made the enemy pay full price for the ground won," but the historical data do not support him. The NKPA suffered hardly at all; the Chicks were thoroughly mauled. Of some 900 men on the river line when the NKPA attacked on July 16, only half that number could be found the next day.
Winstead's 1/19 alone suffered a shocking 43 percent casualties: 388 of 785 men. Seventeen of its senior officers were dead. Miller Perry's 52nd FAB lost [5-left] eight of its nine howitzers, all its ammo, and most of its vehicles.[5-39]