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K Company, 21st Infantry attacking Hill 99, 9/2/50

PFC Winifre Cauthen, Jr., Ozark Alabama, won a posthumous Silver Star in this bloody action, continuously exposing himself to the heavy enemy fire to save the lives of twelve of his comrades. We were holding our own in the defense of the Pusan Perimeter, but the basis was valor, and the cost was blood.

K Company assaults Hill 99

Company K assaulting Hill 99 north of P'ohang-dong

Aerial observation on 1 September disclosed that North Koreans were moving southward in the mountains above Kigye and P'ohang-dong. The next day another major enemy attack was forming north and northwest of Kigye. In the afternoon, KMAG advisers with the Capital Division estimated that 2,500 enemy soldiers had penetrated a gap between the ROK 17th and 18th Regiments.

At the same time, enemy pressure built up steadily north of P'ohang-dong, where the N.K. 5th Division fed replacements on to Hill 99 in front of the ROK 23d Regiment. This hill became almost as notorious as had Hill 181 near Yongdok earlier because of the almost continuous and bloody fighting there for its control. Although aided by U.S. air attacks and artillery and naval gunfire, the ROK 3d Division was not able to capture this hill, and suffered many casualties in the effort. On 2 September Colonel Stephens' 21st Infantry attacked northwest from P'ohang-dong in an effort to help the ROK's recapture Hill 99. A platoon of tanks followed the valley road between P'ohang-dong and Hunghae. Stephens assigned K Company Hill 99 as its objective. The 21st Infantry made very slow progress in this attack, and in some quarters none at all. Casualties were heavy. By 1525 that afternoon K Company could account for only thirty-five men. The company was unable to take Hill 99 from the well dug-in North Koreans who threw showers of hand grenades to repel all efforts to reach the top. Two tanks of the 6th Tank Battalion were lost in this attack, one in an enemy mine field and another because of a thrown track.

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