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At 1100 Fenton and Stevens radioed Newton that they were ready for the assault, and the battalion commander immediately showered the objective with 81-mm. mortar fire to smother North Korean machineguns. Beyond the edge of the rice paddy in Company A’s zone, a sharp step led to the gentle incline at the base of the ridge. After a few yards, the gradual slope gave way to a steep rise which shot up abruptly to the crest of the high hill.
Lieutenant Muetzel’s 2d Platoon held up at the step, using its protection against enemy fire while 1/5’s mortar barrage was falling. During the pause Technical Sergeant McMullen brought the 1st Platoon into position on Muetzel’s right and Lieutenant Fox aligned his 3d Platoon on the left. As soon as the supporting fire lifted, Muetzel jumped to his feet and shouted the command to assault. Every man in Company A’s skirmish line responded by scrambling up the hillside. The Marines made such a fearful racket that a whole company of alarmed North Koreans suddenly jumped up from concealed foxholes on the forward slope and fled toward the summit.
The panic-stricken Reds were easy targets for Company A’s riflemen and BAR men. Halting on the gentle incline, the Marines carefully took aim and killed most of the enemy soldiers. When the Communist survivors disappeared over the crest, Company A again surged upward and within minutes carried the summit.