The Engineer company [D Company, 8th Engineer Combat Battalion] started its attack up the mountain about noon, 4 September, following a trail up a southern spur. The 1st Platoon was in the lead, single file, followed by the 2nd and 3d Platoons. Colonel Palmer considered the mission so important that he and his G-2, Capt. Rene J. Guiraud, accompanied the engineers. Platoon Sgt. James N. Vandygriff, 2nd Platoon, D Company, in a brief conversation with Colonel Holley as he went ahead of the latter on his way up the trail, said he thought it was a suicide mission.