19500902 1000 22sn


On the morning of 2 September the Air Force delivered a 37-minute strike against Hills 518 and 346. The artillery then laid down its concentrations on the hills, and after that the planes came over again napalming and leaving the heights ablaze. Just after 1000, and immediately after the final napalm strike, the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, attacked up Hill 518.

The plan of regimental attack unfortunately brought a minimum of force against the objective. While the 1st Battalion made the attack, the 2nd Battalion was in a blocking position on its left (west) and the newly arrived 3d Battalion, in its first Korean operation, was to be behind the 2nd Battalion and in an open gap between that battalion and Hill 518. The 1st Battalion moved up through ROK forces and, from high ground, was committed along a narrow ridge line, attacking from the southeast in a column of companies.

This in turn resolved itself in a column of platoons, and finally in a column of squads. The final effect, therefore, was that of a regimental attack amounting to a one-squad attack against a strongly held position.

The attack was doomed to failure from the start. The heavy air strikes and the artillery preparations had failed to dislodge the North Koreans. From their positions they delivered mortar and machine gun fire on the climbing infantry, stopping the weak, advanced force short of the crest.