19500904 2200 24sn
Sept 4 2200
At 2200, McDoniel and Caldwell and twenty-seven enlisted men slipped off the hill in groups of four. One poignant scene etched itself on the minds of Sergeant Watkins' comrades. Watkins, still alive in his paralyzed condition, refused efforts of evacuation, saying that he did
not want to be a burden to those who had a chance to get away. He asked only that his carbine be loaded and placed on his chest with the muzzle under his chin. He smiled a last farewell to his buddies and wished them well when they started off the hill. [24-7]
Lt McDoniel and Lt Caldwell started off the hill together, their plan being to make their way to the river and follow it downstream. At the road they encountered so much enemy activity that they had to wait about an hour for the supply-carrying parties, tanks, and artillery to clear so that they could cross. Once across the road the two men found themselves in the middle of a North Korean artillery battery. They escaped unobserved and hid in a field near the river at daybreak. That night the two men became separated when they ran into an enemy outpost.