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Striking Back: Combat in Korea, March-April 1951

By William T. Bowers | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
GRENADE HILL
3d Battalion, 32d Infantry Regiment,
14–16 March 1951

After reaching Line Albany (see map on page 19) on 13 March, the advance of Operation Ripper continued almost without pause to the north. In the 7th Infantry Division sector on the right flank of X Corps, the terrain to the north was mountainous with few roads. Securing the roads and passes was critical to keeping the advancing forces supplied. The 3d Battalion, 32d Infantry, drew the mission of capturing the key terrain along one of the routes. Capt. Pierce W. Briscoe, an Army combat historian who interviewed members of the unit about the subsequent action, describes the situation.

In the 3d Battalion sector, Hills 1286, 1577, and 1073 dominated the terrain and controlled the approaches to the pass. This pass on the MSR was vital to the continuing supply of units advancing northward. The 3d Battalion was to secure the pass and the surrounding area in order to keep open the lateral road from the Amidong sector to the east coast. This would permit supplies to be brought by LST to an east coast port, and from there to the west, and would therefore eliminate the necessity of using the long overland route from Pusan.

On 14 March 1951, the 7th Reconnaissance Company, together with Company I, 32d Infantry Regiment, was given the mission of reconnoitering and securing the pass. Company I was to take the high ground to the left of the road [Hill 1008].

At approximately 0400, 15 March, the 7th Reconnaissance Company moved out from Soksa-ri with two M4 tanks in the lead.

-21-

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