19500903 0855 0111usmcops0


At 0855, the 1st Battalion jumped off from below Chukchon-ni. The attack having been launched too far to the south, Companies A and B had to veer northwest as they advanced toward the enemy-held ridge 1,000 yards away. Fentonís unit was on the right, gradually closing on the MSR as it moved forward.

To the south, Stevens deployed his 1st, 2d, and 3d Platoons from right to left in that order, the latter being slightly withheld to protect the open left flank. As the men of 1/5 waded into the knee-deep muck of the rice paddy, they came under long-range small-arms fire from their objective. Newton countered immediately by plastering the ridge with artillery and mortar fire. The advance continued and only a few casualties were taken by the time the companies reached a drainage ditch midway across the rice paddy. Here the long skirmish line paused to check its direction and place the wounded on dikes where they would be seen by corpsmen.

During the advance from the drainage ditch to the base of the ridge, 1/5ís commander frequently called on air, artillery and mortars to blast enemy automatic weapons on the crest and forward slopes of the objective. Company A had the added support of an Army tank destroyer which gave overhead fire from the hill south of Chukchon-ni. On one occasion Marine 75ís joined with the Army weapon to silence Communist guns in a small village at the base of the ridge.

Throughout the rice-paddy crossing, the Marines were constantly meeting Army stragglers, some of whom had been isolated in enemy territory for as long as three days. Most of the soldiers were wounded, and all were weaponless and near exhaustion.