The purpose of the raid was to capture prisoners. 6 Platoon performed the direct assault and ran into much stronger defenses than expected. Chinese encountered on the way up the hill fought it out and were killed, others appeared from under-ground as our people went past, also causing casualties. By the time our surviving troops reached the main defense trenches at the top of '75 they were sadly depleted and 'Prisoners' were the last thought in anyone's mind.
The platoon was ordered to withdraw and with the aid of 4 Platoon, who had joined the fray, they did. 6 was virtually finished as a unit, having paid the price with 3 dead, 1 WIA and captured, plus a further 22 WIA.
Back in their positions after the assault on hill 75, Ron Cashman (foreground, right) talks with mate Max Wilson whom he and Johnny Gill (who would be killed a few weeks later) had just helped rescue. Lying on a stretcher in a jeep, Wilson is about to be evacuated to hospital. In a letter from hospital, Wilson also thanked Cashman for cutting down the Chinese who was grenading them, at a critical moment. Just visible (background, upper) is Smiler Smailes, one of the men in the platoon's assault and fighting withdrawal.
During the assault Wilson had taken a burst of bullets in the chest from a burp gun. He was saved by his flak jacket, and got to his feet to carry on and wipe out a .30 cal machine gun nest before being plastered by a grenade. L/Cpl Wilson was awarded the Military Medal.
This action was the first time Australians wore flak-jackets (one still worn by Cashman). They were loaned by the Canadians, and saved a number of lives. First issued to US forces in early 1952, they were intended primarily to stop shrapnel but were also very effective against burp guns, which used pistol ammunition.