Aerial observers saw another large group in the open at the river later in the day and directed artillery proximity fuse fire on it with an estimated 200 enemy casualties. [24-39]
[24-Caption] BATTLE TROPHY. Men of the 35th Infantry display a North Korean flag captured in the Sibidang-san area on 5 September.
The enemy I Corps plan of attack below the Nam River, as indicated by the North Korean action, seemed to be for its 6th Division to push east along the main Chinju-Kŏmam-ni-Masan highway through the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, and at the same time for major elements of its 7th Division to swing southeast behind the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry, and cut the Ch'irwŏn road. This road crossed the Naktong River over the cantilever steel bridge at Namji-ri from the 2nd Division zone and ran south through Ch'irwŏn to join the main Masan highway eight miles east of Kŏmam-ni near the village of Chung-ni, four miles northwest of Masan. These two avenues of approach-the Kŏmam-ni - Masan highway and the Ch'irwŏn road converging at Chung-ni-formed the axes of the enemy attack plan.
Engineer troops counterattacking up the secondary road toward Ch'irwŏn during 1 September made slow progress, and enemy troops stopped them altogether in the early afternoon. The 35th Infantry was now surrounded by enemy forces of the N.K. 6th and 7th Divisions, with an estimated three battalions of them behind its lines. Speaking later of the situation, Colonel Fisher, the regimental commander-a professional soldier, trained at West Point, and a regimental commander in World War II-said,
"I never intended to withdraw. There was no place to go. I planned to go into a regimental perimeter and hold." [24-40]
His regiment demonstrated its competency to do this in the September battle along the Nam, winning a Distinguished Unit Citation for its performance there.