First battalion had just
succeeded in overnight fighting which rescued
another company which had been surrounded in the
initial CCF ambush.
The legendary Col. Chesty Puller,
commander of the 1st Marines, made a comment
something like this: "We've been
searching for the enemy. The problem is now
solved. We're surrounded."
1stMarDiv fought its way out of a seemingly
hopeless entrapment. Surrounded by about 100,000
Chinese infantry, and under nearly constant
assault, the Division carried its wounded and
most of its dead over the 35 mile one-lane road
by a very simple technique. It captured the next
hill ahead, defended the one it was passing, and
fought off attacks from the ones behind. These
Marines, at the western flank of the division,
had to fight them off all the way.
"Retreat, Hell. We're
attacking in a different direction."