THE HANT’AN RIVER
24th Infantry Regiment, 10–12 April 1951
In the west, Operation Rugged saw the I Corps drive forward to the Hant’an River while the IX and X Corps pushed north to the Hwach’on Reservoir area in the east. After reaching Phase Line Kansas, the I Corps’ 25th Infantry Division prepared to continue the advance when Operation Dauntless was launched. The 25th Division would open the new offensive with an assault crossing of the Hant’an River followed by a thrust toward the Iron Triangle area. Army combat historian Capt. Edward C. Williamson conducted a study of the ensuing operations of one of the division’s regiments, the 24th Infantry. He summarizes the situation facing the unit and the attack plan.
Twelve miles south of Ch’orwon and twenty-five miles northeast of Uijongbu, the Hant’an River, a small tributary to the Imjin, flows in a generally east to west direction in the sector in which the 24th Infantry Regiment was to make its crossing. Here Hill 642, an almost vertical rocky mountain on the north bank of the Hant’an, dominated the terrain. An ungraded dirt trail ran north from across the Hant’an, where the Chinese had constructed a mud-branch cart bridge, and skirted the east side of Hill 642.
On 7 April 1951, the 24th Infantry Regiment of the 25th Infantry Division held positions south of the Hant’an River where the regiment had relieved the 35th Infantry Regiment. The Division Operation Order No. 30, issued at 1530 hours on 7 April, called for Operation Dauntless, in which the 24th Infantry Regiment would