On 3 September, General Kean, speaking of the action during the past two days, said, "The close air support rendered by Fifth Air Force again saved this division as they have many times before." [24-50] This view was supported by General Walker in an interview in November. Speaking then to a U.S. Air Force Evaluation Group, General Walker said, "I will gladly lay my cards right on the table and state that if it had not been for the air support that we received from the Fifth Air Force we would not have been able to stay in Korea." [24-51]
It is not possible here to follow in detail the confused ebb and flow of battle behind the 35th Infantry. Battalions, companies, and platoons, cut off and isolated, fought independently of higher control and help except for airdrops which supplied many of them. Airdrops also supplied relief forces trying to reach the front-line units. Tanks and armored cars ran the gantlet to the isolated units with supplies of food and ammunition and carried back critically wounded on the return trips.
In general, the 35th Infantry fought in its original battle line positions, while at first one battalion, and later two battalions, of the 27th Infantry fought toward it through the estimated 3,000 North Koreans operating in its rear areas.
In the confused fighting in the rear areas there were several cases of North Korean atrocities. One of the worst occurred when a group of company mess parties in jeeps pulling trailers with hot breakfast were following tanks toward the front lines. About a mile and a half from G Company, 35th Infantry, the column came under enemy fire in a defile. The tanks went on through, but most of the other vehicles under Capt. Robert E. Hammerquist, 2nd Battalion S-3, turned back. At least one of the mess parties, however, pressed on after the tanks. Some of this group were captured. One of its members hid in a haystack and later escaped. He told of hearing the torture and murder of one man. He heard agonized screams, recognized the man's voice, and could hear him saying between sobs, "You might as well kill me now." Later when the area was cleared of enemy this man's body was found castrated and the fingers cut off. [24-52]
Many soldiers of the 25th Division later saw the bodies of Americans lying in a ditch in the 35th Infantry area, their hands tied and their feet cut off. Still others saw dead Americans with their tongues cut out. Members of the N.K. 7th Division apparently perpetrated these atrocities. [24-53]
During the September offensive enemy action in rear areas of the 25th Division carried right to Masan.