August 10, 1950 0115
Two hours later the unit marched southward on the new MSR to make the night attack on Paedun-ni. Passing through 1/5’s lines at 0115, 10 August, the weary Marines pressed on toward their target against no resistance.
The point of the column included three M–26’s of First Lieutenant William D. Pomeroy’s tank platoon.
September 5, 1950
During the advance of the Communist armor, it was determined that the first 2 of the 3 vehicles were T–34 tanks and the last a tracked armored personnel carrier. Fenton immediately deployed his assault squad on the slopes below his left flank to meet the threat on the MSR. Lieutenant Pomeroy, unaware of the enemy tanks around the bend, advanced his M–26’s so that the machineguns on Obong-ni Ridge could be taken under massed fire. Thus, as the first Marine tank reached the bend, its 90-mm. gun was pointing to the left front, a quarter turn away from the enemy armor.
The lead T–34 fired on the Marine vehicle as soon as it came into view. Before the turret of the M–26 could be turned to take aim, several more 85-mm. projectiles struck; and the Brigade lost its first tank to enemy action. The second M–26 in column tried to squeeze by the first to render assistance, and it too was knocked out by 85-mm. fire in the restricted passageway.
The crews of both Marine tanks managed to get out of their vehicles through the escape hatches. Some of the wounded were aided by the engineer mine-clearance team accompanying the tank column.
Since the road bend was now blocked, the remainder of Pomeroy’s tanks could do nothing but park in the road cut. It was Marine infantrymen who stepped in at this point and blunted the NKPA victory on the MSR. Company B’s assault squad plastered the lead T–34 with 3.5" rocket fire and stopped it cold. Shortly afterwards, the 1st Battalion’s assault platoon reached the fight scene and went into action with its 3.5’s. In short order the infantrymen had completed the destruction of the first tank, knocked out the second, and destroyed the enemy personnel carrier. The historic road bend, as seen through the rain and mist, had become a graveyard of armor. A total of 8 steel monsters were sprawled there in death: 5 T–34’s and 1 armored carrier of the NKPA, and 2 Pershing tanks of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade.
On Hill 125 the fight reached a climax as Marines exchanged grenades and small-arms fire with the North Koreans slithering up the slopes in the driving rain. Company B had used all of its 60-mm. mortar shells and was running low on grenades and small arms ammunition.