* Outpost Eerie was about ten miles west of the rubble piles of Chorwon. It
was a mile north of the United Nations' main line of resistance and a mile and a
half south of the enemy's outpost line of resistance. 
In the zone of the 45th Infantry Division during March 1952, Outpost Eerie
became the responsibility of Company K, 179th Infantry. Besides defending 1,400
yards of the main line, Company K kept two rifle squads, usually reinforced with
a light machine gun and a light mortar, at the Eerie position. The squads had
the mission of furnishing security for the main line of resistance and
maintaining a base from which patrols could operate. Capt. Max Clark commanded
Company K. He rotated among his rifle platoons the responsibility for manning
the outpost, letting each occupy the position for a five-day period.
On the afternoon of 21 March 1952 twenty-six men of the 3d Platoon set out to
take over Outpost Eerie for the next five days. These men made up two rifle
squads, a light-machine-gun squad and a 60-mm mortar squad. Sleet, mixed with
heavy, slanting rain, began falling as the men started down toward the valley
that separated the main line of resistance and the outpost line of resistance.
Once across the valley floor, which was laid out in the usual pattern of rice
paddies, the single-file column started up the southern tip of a two-mile-long
ridge. Outpost Eerie consisted of defensive installations encircling the point
peak of this ridge tip, which rose about 120 feet above the rice paddies. A
rocky hill dug up by shell bursts, it had a few scrub trees and bushes and
patches of thin grass.
Fifty yards below the peak of the hill were three separate barbed-wire
obstacles: first a coiled entanglement, then two double-apron fences all of
which circled the hilltop. Passing through the wire entanglements by a gate
entrance built across the trail, the riflemen continued to the top of the hill.
It was a bald hilltop, dug up from the construction of bunkers and trenches. The
yellow soil uncovered during the digging was prominent in contrast to the
There were nine bunkers around the top. Constructed to accommodate two or
three men each, they were made with a double layer of sandbags and logs on the
sides and a triple layer of logs and sandbags on top. All were but a few yards
below the peak of the hill, and were for shelter only. The firing positions were
in a trench that encircled the hilltop adjacent to the bunkers. The egg-shaped
area circumscribed by the communication trench was about 40 by 20 yards, with
the longer axis extending from southeast to northwest. The trench ran through
two of the nine bunkers and just in front of, or below, the others.
At the very southern tip of a T-shaped, two-mile-long ridge, Outpost Eerie
was on ground that was lower than several other high points along the same
ridgeline. The crossbar of the T, upon which the enemy had established his
outpost line of resistance, was higher than the shank, and dominated the entire
Lt. Omer Manley commanded the 3d Platoon, which effected the relief. The men
who were relieved after five days on the outpost started back toward their front
Most of the men in Manley's group had been on Outpost Eerie before, and each
already knew to which bunker he was assigned. The most important bunkers in the
Outpost Eerie defenses were three that guarded the north end of the hill. To
each of these Lieutenant Manley had assigned a three-man team armed with a light
machine gun and two automatic rifles. Two of these bunkers were built so that
they straddled the communication, or firing, trench. The command post bunker was
immediately behind the three key positions. In three of the five bunkers on the
southern end of the oval there were two-man teams, three men in another, and the
five man 60-mm mortar squad in the southernmost bunker.
A sound-powered telephone system connected the nine bunkers. Communication
with company and battalion headquarters was by SCR-300 radio and the regular
telephone; both were in the command post bunker. There were four separate
telephone wires between the MLR and the outpost, thus reducing the possibility
of communications failure due to cut lines.
Using Eerie as a base, the 3d Battalion maintained nightly patrols on each
side of the shank of the T, covering the most likely routes by which the enemy
could approach the outpost. The battalion had scheduled two such patrols on the
night of 21-22 March.
One of these, identified as Raider Patrol, was made up of volunteers who were
operating with other battalions while their own 1st Battalion was in reserve.
Raider, with the mission of capturing a prisoner, left Outpost Eerie at 1900 to
establish an ambush point on the east side of the long ridge, six hundred yards
north of Eerie. Raider had orders to remain at its ambush site until 0130 on the
morning of 22 March, and then return to Eerie at 0200.
A second patrol of nine men from Company K's 2d Platoon, and known as King
Company Patrol, left Eerie at the same time to establish its ambush point in the
vicinity of Hill 191 a spur ridge on the west side of the shank of the T. Hill
191 was about six hundred yards northwest of and slightly higher than Outpost
Eerie. King was scheduled to man its position until 0215 the following morning
and then return directly to Company K without passing through the outpost
Both patrols were to maintain communications by means of a sound-powered
telephone tied into the outpost system.
Soon after arriving in its position, Lieutenant Manley's force test fired all
its weapons. At about 1900, Korean Service Corps personnel brought rations,
water, and fuel for the small stoves in the bunkers. At dusk the men took their
guard positions one man from each bunker remaining in the trench while the
others waited or slept in the bunker.
Darkness came early on the night of 21 March. It stopped raining at about
2000, soon after the two patrols had established their ambush points, but the
night remained dark, misty, and cold. Since enemy patrols had probed Outpost
Eerie on the two previous nights, Lieutenant Manley considered some enemy
The infantrymen sat quietly, waiting until almost 2300 before anything
unusual happened. Then King, which had set up its ambush on the western tip of
the Hill 191 ridge finger, sighted and reported six enemy soldiers setting up a
machine gun. The friendly patrol wanted to return to the outpost but could not
because of the size and location of the enemy group.
At about the same time Raider, on the east side of the long ridge, sighted
what appeared to be a platoon-sized enemy force moving south. As this column
came within 150 yards of the friendly ambush point, men of Raider opened fire.
The enemy group chose to ignore them, and without returning the fire continued
on toward Lantern City the name given to a small burned-out village in which the
Chinese frequently used lanterns to identify themselves and to light their way
among the ruins. The patrol leader called the outpost by sound-powered
telephone, informed Manley of the enemy contact, and said he was withdrawing his
Lieutenant Manley immediately called the commander of Company K (Captain
Clark). "The Raiders have made contact with a large group
of Chinks on their front, left, and right, but did not stop them," he
reported. "The patrol has broken contact and is withdrawing to the MLR. We're
cocked and primed and ready for anything."
The Raider leader, however, did not inform Manley of the route by which he
planned to return to the MLR. Ten or fifteen minutes later, when men in Eerie's
front bunkers heard movement outside the wire below them, they passed the
information on to the outpost commander.
Lieutenant Manley telephoned Captain Clark of new developments and remarked,
"I'd sure like to know where the hell they [the Raiders] are!"
Manley was uncertain whether the sounds at the wire were made by the friendly
patrol, or by Chinese.
The attack came at 2330. Two trip flares went off beyond the lowest
barbed-wire entanglement. Seconds later, two red flares appeared. Men at the
outpost interpreted the latter as a Chinese signal to notify their outpost line
that they had made contact, although on that night a single red-star cluster was
a United Nations sign for the return of friendly elements to the line. SFC
Calvin P. Jones (platoon sergeant of the 3d Platoon) and the other men at the
northern end of the outpost opened fire with automatic weapons and small
Lieutenant Manley, still in doubt about the identity of the men outside the
wire, rushed over from the command post bunker, yelling not to fire.
"It's the Raider Patrol returning!" he shouted.
"Like hell it is!" answered Sergeant Jones. "They're not talking English.
It's the Chinese! Come on, let's get it on!"
It was then that two enemy machine guns opened fire and began sweeping the
outpost position. The two weapons, emplaced about eighty yards apart on the
highest ground seven hundred yards northwest of Eerie, were just a few yards
above Manley's position and hence able to place grazing fire across the Eerie
position. Cpl. Nick J. Masiello, manning the machine gun, alternated his bursts
between these weapons and the Chinese who were attempting to breach the wire
below him. The enemy gunners replied by concentrating fire on Masiello's gun.
Meanwhile, the Chinese opened fire with at least one more machine gun and
several 50-mm grenade dischargers emplaced on the ridge to the north.
From his observation post atop Hill 418 on the MLR, Captain Clark watched the
machine-gun duel. He could see tracers from Masiello's weapon apparently
ricochet from the shields that protected the Chinese guns, and it appeared to
him that tracers from both guns were hitting each other. When the fight broke
out, he immediately signaled for prearranged supporting machine-gun and mortar
concentrations. A caliber .50 machine gun, from a position on the forward slope
of Hill 418 a few yards
in front of Clark's observation post, fired directly over the heads of the
defenders and forced one of the enemy machine guns to displace.
The mortar fire was not accurate until Lieutenant Manley made corrections by
telephone to Captain Clark.
"They're giving us a hell of a battle out here, but we're OK so far,"
Manley reported "Bring the mortars in closer.... That's too close! Move 'em
out a little.... Now leave them right where they are."
With the first adjustment some rounds fell inside the wire, but were not
close enough to the communication trench to harm the defenders.
Lieutenant Manley then headed out of the bunker to consult with Sergeant
Jones, but as he started for the entrance, several machine-gun bullets ripped
through the shelter half covering it. They were high and hit no one in the
command post bunker, but Lieutenant Manley ducked down and crawled out into the
Fifteen minutes after the fire fight began, a burst from one of the enemy
heavy machine guns hit Corporal Masiello. PFC Theodore Garvin (Masiello's
ammunition bearer) picked up the sound-powered telephone at the position and
Though he was manning the telephone at the command post bunker, Cpl. Herman
Godwin heard the loud cry without it. Corporal Godwin was a rifleman who doubled
as platoon aid man since he preferred to carry arms rather than to carry or wear
any of the insignia or cards by which some medical aid men are identified as
protected persons. He hurried down the communication trench to the machine-gun
position, where he did what he could to stop the flow of blood and administered
PFC William F. Kunz (assistant machine gunner), markedly affected by the
sight of Corporal Masiello's wounds, continuously lamented, "Poor Nick, poor
As the machine gunner died, Corporal Godwin tried to comfort his assistant,
saying, "He's not feeling anything."
Kunz went to the bunker; Godwin remained at the machine-gun position to help
Garvin get the weapon in action again. The two men rapidly straightened a
twisted belt, and Garvin, as gunner, resumed firing. Corporal Godwin assisted
him, and at the same time kept the soundpowered telephone near him in case
anyone should call for aid. When only one belt of ammunition remained, Garvin
told Godwin to take over the gun while he went for more. After calling for Kunz
to come back and help him, Corporal Godwin took over the machine gun.
As far as anyone in the perimeter could determine, the Chinese were trying to
break through the barbed wire at only two places, the attacks coming from the
north and the northeast. For another three quarters of an hour the defenders
held off both attacks without further casualties. Lieutenant Manley called the
company's command post and asked the artillery forward observer to fire
artillery concentration No. 304, which was plotted
on the Hill 191 ridge finger. Harassing artillery fire had been falling on
this area throughout the evening a few shells at intervals of about twenty
A little later, about half an hour after midnight, when Captain Clark
telephoned to the outpost to ask how things were going, PFC Leroy Winans
(platoon runner) replied, "Everything's OK, sir; they're not through the wire
Meanwhile, both enemy assault groups steadily pressed their attempts to blow
gaps in the circle of protective wire. At least one of the groups was using
Mortar and artillery illuminating flares contributed greatly to the defense,
but whenever the illumination failed, the flash of the defenders' weapons
betrayed-their positions to the enemy. When the supply of mortar illumination
shells was exhausted, a 155-mm battery fired an illuminating mission. Most of
these shells, however, burst too close to the ground to furnish effective light.
Despite all efforts to adjust the height of burst, it was not corrected in time
Effective illuminating fire ceased before 0100, 22 March. About this time PFC
Robert L. Fiscus, an automatic rifleman in the bunker to the immediate right of
the light machine gun, was wounded. Corporal Godwin, who had been assisting at
the machine gun, crawled to his right through the communication trench and found
Fiscus lying in the trench outside of the bunker. Carrying the wounded man
inside, Godwin dressed the wound.
When Sergeant Jones learned that Fiscus was wounded, he sent Pvt. Elbert
Goldston, Jr., to take the wounded man's place as automatic-rifle man. At the
same time, he called over Pvt. Alphonso Gibbs, who had been Fiscus's assistant,
to replace Goldston as assistant to Cpl. Carl F. Brittian, the automatic
rifleman at Sergeant Jones's position the righthand one of the three key bunkers
at the north end of the perimeter. Sergeant Jones made this shift because he
considered Goldston to be the more experienced automatic-rifle man, and
therefore of more value in the area closest to the threatened enemy
Pvt. Hugh Menzies, Jr. (A rifleman acting as Goldston's assistant) was the
next man wounded. As Godwin came out of the bunker after dressing Fiscus's
wound, he saw Menzies get hit by grenade fragments. Godwin pulled him into the
bunker with Fiscus and administered first aid.
Officers at regimental headquarters were trying to obtain the use of a
"firefly" a plane equipped to drop illuminating flares. None was immediately
available. The only aircraft in the area at that time was a B-26, which later
dropped its bombs on enemy positions at the north end of the ridgeline.
By 0100 the enemy had breached the wire in two places. Lieutenant Manley
encouraged his men, calling out to them, "Get up and fight or we'll be wiped
out! This isn't any movie!"
Goldston was the next man wounded. As the Chinese soldiers came through the
breaks in the wire and up the hill toward the outpost, he was hit in both legs
by burp-gun fire, and in the arm and head by shell fragments. Of the g men
occupying the three bunkers facing the enemy attack, 4 were now out of action, 2
Corporal Godwin dragged Goldston through the bunker where Fiscus and Menzies
lay, into the trench on the other side. After Godwin administered first aid,
Sergeant Jones and Private Gibbs carried Goldston over to their bunker the one
on the right (east) which was empty. Corporal Brittian, the BAR man who had
started out the night in Jones's bunker, had previously gone over to load BAR
magazines for Goldston while he was firing at the Chinese making the attack on
the left. When Goldston became a casualty, Brittian took over the BAR and fired
it until the ammunition was gone.
Several minutes had elapsed since the enemy broke through the barbed wire and
started crawling up toward the outpost defenses. Godwin now discovered that
there were no grenades left in the center bunker. He grabbed his rifle and began
firing into the advancing Chinese from a position in the communication trench.
The enemy troops were very near the top. Godwin fired until his ammunition was
gone, threw his rifle at the nearest Chinese and saw the butt hit him in the
face, knocking him back down the hill. He then ducked into the bunker to look
after the two wounded men and as he did so, noticed Corporal Brittian throwing
BAR magazines at the approaching Chinese. Brittian was killed very soon
At this point, ten or fifteen minutes after 0100, Kunz and Garvin remained
fighting in the easternmost of the three bunkers under the heaviest enemy fire.
Corporal Godwin was the only able-bodied man in the center bunker. Jones, Gibbs
and Goldston, in the next bunker to the right, heard the firing suddenly stop at
the center bunker when Godwin ran out of ammunition, and decided that surely
they were the only ones at that end of the perimeter still living. Then they
spotted enemy soldiers on top of Godwin's bunker. The three men Jones and Gibbs
helping the wounded Goldston climbed out of the trench and rolled down the
eastern slope of the hill about halfway to the wire. Taking advantage of what
cover was available, they lay quiet, and remained there without further trouble
during the rest of the action.
Corporal Godwin, in the center bunker with Fiscus and Menzies, also had the
feeling that he must be the only able-bodied man left. Stepping out of the
bunker for a look, he spotted a Chinese soldier coming along the trench toward
him. He stepped back against the bunker, waited until the Chinese was within
point-blank range, and shot him in the head with a caliber .45 pistol. Knowing
the report would attract attention, Godwin jumped back against the side of the
trench. An enemy soldier standing on
the edge of the trench fired a burst from his burp gun, but then moved on
without determining whether he had hit Godwin. With nothing but a dent in the
lip of his helmet, Godwin went back into the bunker. Moments later an enemy
soldier threw a concussion grenade through the entrance opposite the one by
which Godwin had just entered, this being one of the bunkers straddling the
communication trench. The explosion knocked Godwin unconscious and bent the
metal cover of a small Bible which he carried in his left breast pocket.
While this action was taking place at the north end of the oval-shaped
perimeter, other Chinese had moved around to the western side of the position.
Sgt. Kenneth F. Ehlers (squad leader in a bunker in the leftrear sector of the
perimeter) warned the platoon command post by telephone that the enemy was
coming around to the west side and requested mortar fire from the outpost's one
60-mm mortar. However, there was only one round left, and it was decided to save
Ehlers then went to the bunker south of the one where Kunz and Garvin were
still operating the machine gun. There Ehlers, Lieutenant Manley (who had also
come over to that position), Cpl. Robert Hill and Cpl. Joel Ybarra, fought the
Chinese with their automatic rifles, M1 rifles, and grenades. As the Chinese
worked up close, both Ehlers and Hill were killed. At a critical moment
Lieutenant Manley ran out of ammunition for his carbine, or it jammed. He threw
it at the Chinese and then started throwing grenades at them. After only a few
moments, however, all action at that bunker ended; the platoon leader and
Corporal Ybarra disappeared.
From the firing position of the next bunker to the south, Pvt. Elmer Nock and
Pvt. Edward Morrison moved to the rear through the communication trench when the
enemy began coming into the trench toward their position. Cpl. Albert W. Hoog,
covering their movement from his position in the next bunker southward, shot two
Chinese who were following them.
Shortly after the Chinese broke through the wire, Private Winans (the platoon
runner), who by this time was the only man left at the command post bunker,
called Captain Clark.
"They're coming through the wire, and it looks like a thousand! " Winans
said. "It looks like we're going to have to surrender!"
"No; don't surrender!" the company commander replied. "Go get Lieutenant
This happened at about the same time the Chinese were overrunning the bunker
on the opposite side of the hill where Lieutenant Manley had been.
Right after this an enemy shell probably one from a 57-mm recoilless rifle
made a direct hit on the command post bunker. It killed Winans and cut all
telephone lines to Company K. There was no more communication.
In the rearmost automatic-rifle position, manned by Cpl. Robert Shoham (BAR
man), PFC David Juarez, and PFC Francis Douglas, there was not much action until
the enemy had broken through the wire and was in and upon the outpost position
itself. Before that time these men had fired at a few enemy troops who were on
the outside of the wire near their position but had received no return fire
apparently because the Chinese below them carried grenades but not rifles. When
the enemy soldiers came over the top of the outpost toward the rear positions,
Shoham opened fire with his automatic rifle, Douglas with his rifle, and Juarez
busied himself loading magazines for the BAR. An enemy mortar shell made a
direct hit on Juarez, but it was dud. He was quick to throw the shell out of the
trench. Except for a bruise and a numbed leg, he was unhurt.
With the enemy on top of Eerie, there was a lull in his supporting fire. The
time was about 0120. Corporal Godwin, lying in the bunker where he had been
knocked out by the concussion grenade, was beginning to regain consciousness.
Hazily, he saw an enemy soldier reach into the bunker for two BARs which were
standing in the corner. The barrel of the one he first touched was too hot to
handle. After a few harsh Chinese words, he took the cool weapon away with him.
When Godwin fully regained consciousness, he discovered his hunting knife was
missing. By this time, Menzies was dead.
Back at the company's observation post, Captain Clark told his artillery
liaison officer (Lt. Anthony Cotroneo) to shift his artillery fire from two
concentrations being fired at the time and to place it squarely on Outpost Eerie
itself. In a few minutes, 105-mm proximity-fuze shells began bursting over the
position. There followed the sound of a horn blown three times, and within a few
minutes enemy activity stopped. The artillery shells fell, and the enemy's
recall signal sounded before the Chinese troops had covered the entire outpost
area. They had reached but had not searched the 60-mm mortar position on the
right and the bunker defended by Nock and Morrison on the left. Without further
search of the area, the Chinese withdrew, assembling near the break in the wire
they had made at the northwest part of the perimeter. They left two of their
dead in the position.
At 0130 the regimental commander (Col. Frederick A. Daugherty) ordered
Captain Clark to move the rest of Company K up to the relief of the outpost.
Thirty-five minutes later, after a platoon from Company A took over its position
on the main line of resistance, Company K moved out.
On the way to the outpost, members of Company K found three seriously wounded
men from the outpost near the creek that flowed past the base of the outpost.
The men were evacuated. Farther on, the relief men met Raider Patrol, all
members of which were safe. The patrol had been caught in the open when the
fighting commenced and had been unable to take an effective part in the action.
Captain Clark instructed the
leader to keep his patrol in its present location until further notice. Later,
he patrol tapped in on a telephone line to the main line of resistance and asked
to be cleared for return to the main line. Receiving it, the patrol returned and
reached the front lines at 0500.
The Company K patrol returned to the main line by going southwest from the
Hill 191 ridge finger. At about 0245 it arrived in front of the
unit holding the main line of resistance on the left of Company K's previous
position; it fired one red flare the recognition signal. The friendly unit
honored the signal, and the patrol entered the front lines at 0330. When the
fight had begun at 2330, the patrol had withdrawn to the southwest, beyond the
impact area of the falling mortar and artillery hells.
Company K reached Eerie at 0400, about two hours after leaving he main line.
One platoon (the 2d) went around to the east side of the position, then climbed
up to the peak. The 1st Platoon, followed by the headquarters group, took the
direct route, using the gate through the wire at the southeastern edge. Once on
top, the men searched the area for casualties, and evacuated them as they were
located. After an hour's search, Captain Clark had accounted for all men except
Lieutenant Manley and Corporal Ybarra, both of whom had disappeared from the
Of the 26 men who had defended Outpost Eerie, 8 were dead, 4 wounded, and 2
were missing in action. With one exception, all men killed had suffered head and
chest wounds the parts of their bodies exposed above the firing positions in the
communication trench. To the regimental commander this was significant proof of
the effectiveness of the wellplaced enemy machine guns. Nine of the twelve
unharmed men had either manned the rear positions of the outpost, or had moved
to them during the course of the action. It was Captain Clark's opinion that the
artillery fire which fell on the outpost after the Chinese had entered it had
prevented further casualties. He felt that the air-bursts forced the Chinese to
withdraw before they were able to cover the entire outpost area in a thorough
The Division's artillery fired 2,614 rounds during the enemy attack. Of this
number, 2,464 rounds were equipped with proximity fuzes for airburst effect; the
remaining 150 rounds were 155-mm illuminating shells. Together, the regimental
Mortar Company and the 3d Battalion's heavyweapons company (M) fired 914 mortar
shells, of which all were highexplosive except 10 that were white phosphorus and
one a 4.2-inch illuminating the only illuminating shell the company had ever had
Company K searched the outpost area after daylight, going as far north along
the ridgeline as possible in the face of enemy fire. The men found only 2 enemy
dead within the barbed wire surrounding the outpost, but found 29 other bodies to
the north and northwest along the enemy's
route of withdrawal. Artillery fire had been placed along the probable
withdrawal routes, and it is possible this fire caused additional casualties and
also influenced the Chinese to abandon bodies which they had been attempting to
Captain Clark's men also found a wounded Chinese. He had been hit in both
legs by his own supporting machine guns, he believed. This man later explained
that he had been a member of the enemy force that had attacked along the west
side of the long ridge a force that apparently consisted of two platoons. On the
night of 21 March, the prisoner's squad had eaten the evening meal just before
dark, as usual. He and the other men of his squad had then gone to sleep. Some
time between 1900 and 2000, the squad leader awakened them and told them to
prepare for a patrol. After "running" for an hour or longer along the west slope
of the ridge, these enemy soldiers reached the foot of the first hill north of
the Eerie peak. After standing in the dark for a short while, each squad present
reported its strength. There were 3 rifle squads, 2 machine-gun squads, and 1
grenade-discharger squad, having a combined total of about 60 men, according to
The Chinese patrol leader then delivered a pep talk, telling his men their
mission was to capture some U.S. soldiers, and that they should go out and fight
gallantly. When the talk was finished, the enemy soldiers moved out to emplace
their supporting weapons and prepare to attack The three rifle squads, moving in
a column with one and a half yards between men, followed their leader over the
Hill 191 ridge toward the outpost position. A similar enemy force was moving
along the opposite side : of the ridge. Thirty minutes later the fight
Lieutenant Manley's platoon lost some of its weapons during the fight. As the
Chinese withdrew they apparently took with them a few M1 rifles and automatic
rifles they had picked up as they searched the position. However, they left more
American weapons than they took. A later check of these weapons proved nothing
except that they did not belong to Company K.
After completing its search of the area, Captain Clark's entire company
returned to the main line of resistance. And for several months, Outpost Eerie
was not again permanently manned.
FM 7-10, *Rifle Company, Infantry Regiment*, October 1949, says: "The mission
of the combat outpost is to delay, disorganize, and deceive the enemy. It aids
in securing the battle position, gains timely information of the enemy, and
inflicts maximum casualties on the enemy without engaging in close combat."
Note the words *without engaging in close combat*. The situation in Korea in
1952 was not clearly envisioned in 1949, when this manual was published. The
Korean battle ground in March 1952 was but a strip across the peninsula between
the main defensive positions of the United Nations forces and those of the
Communists. While both forces had offensive capabilities, they remained in a
state of static defense. Under these conditions the mission of combat outposts
had to change. In order to gain timely information or to delay and disorganize
an enemy attack, outposts had to be maintained. In order to have an outpost
system, terrain suitable for outposting had to be denied the enemy. Had each
outpost withdrawn without engaging in close combat, the enemy soon would have
had all the advantages of a security system and the UN forces would have had
Too often when war breaks out situations develop that have not been foreseen
by writers of military textbooks. Minor discrepancies quickly become apparent.
And on all sides the cry is heard, "Throw away the book!" As the war progresses
and commanders accumulate experience there soon is a reverse swing to the book
and the best units are those that follow the rules modified to fit the
The 3d Platoon of Company K, 179th Infantry, was a good unit. It knew what it
was to do, and it did the job well. With the advantage of hindsight we can see
that it might have done better had it demanded a clearer message from Raider
Patrol. If a message can be misunderstood, it will be. When Raider Patrol
reported it was withdrawing to the main line of resistance, the message did not
indicate whether or not the patrol would return through Outpost Eerie. This
apparently small oversight permitted the enemy patrols to approach Outpost Eerie
1. The narrative of this action is based upon a thorough study, prepared in
Korea by Major B. C. Mossman and Lt. Edgar Denton, of the defense of Outpost