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The End of Task Force Manchu


It will be recalled [9/1 0200] that the North Koreans who crossed near the middle of the Naktong Bulge in front of B Company, 9th Infantry, surprised the advanced support elements of Task Force Manchu at the base of Hill 209 where the Yŏngsan road came down to the Naktong. Some elements of the two Heavy Weapons Companies, D and H, had already started to climb the hill to emplace their weapons there when the North Korean surprise river crossing caught most of the support elements and the Heavy Mortar Company at the base of the hill. This crossing was about five miles north of the enemy crossing that had all but destroyed A Company near the division's southern boundary.

The perimeter position taken by the men of D and H Companies, 9th Infantry, who had started up the hill before the North Koreans struck, was on a southern knob (about 150 meters high) of Hill 209, half a mile south across a saddle from B Company's higher position. As the night wore on, a few more men reached the perimeter. In addition to the D and H Company men, there were a few from the Heavy Mortar Platoon and one or two from B Company. Altogether, there were approximately 60 to 70 men, including 5 officers, in the group-an actual count was never made. An inventory of the weapons and equipment disclosed that the group had 1 SCR-300 radio; 1 heavy machine guns, 1 operable; 2 light machine guns; 1 BAR; about 20 M1 rifles; and about 40 carbines or pistols. Lieutenant Schmitt assumed command of the group. [24-2]

During the night Lieutenant Schmitt established radio communication with the 1st Battalion, 9th infantry, and received promises of help on the morrow.