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Osan remembers Battle of Bayonet Hill
A member of the Air Force Junior ROTC stands next to a memorial wreath during the Hill 180 remembrance ceremony Feb. 21. The ceremony also included a rifle salute by the United Nations Command Honor Guard, an A-10/F-16 flyover and the playing of “Taps.” (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Lakisha Croley)
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Osan remembers Battle of Bayonet Hill

Posted 2/21/2008   Updated 2/21/2008 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Candy Knight
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


2/21/2008 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Osan held its annual Remembrance Ceremony for the Hill 180 "Battle of Bayonet Hill" Feb. 21.

The ceremony, sponsored by the 3rd Battlefield Coordination Detachment, paid tribute to the gallant actions of the soldiers from the 27th Infantry Regiment "Wolfhounds" during a bayonet charge up Hill 180.

"We are here today to remember and honor the heroic actions of Captain Millett and the soldiers of 27th Infantry Division, said Col. Jon Norman, 51st Fighter Wing commander. "Because of their heroic actions, America and the Republic of Korea enjoy freedom today."

On Feb. 7, 1951, then-Army Capt. Lewis Millett commanded Easy Company, part of the 27th Regiment, through a frozen rice paddy near Osan when they came under attack from a ridge by Chinese soldiers.

With his first platoon pinned down by enemy fire, Captain Millet ordered his second platoon to "Fix bayonets -- move left of the first."

After facing heavy enemy fire, Captain Millett knew he had to get his men to higher ground. He found the first platoon sergeant and yelled, "We're going up the hill. Fix bayonets. Charge! Everyone goes with me!"

Captain Millett continued to fight and kill enemy soldiers until he reached the top of Hill 180. When it was all over, Millett stood atop the saw-toothed ridge and pumped his bloody rifle up and down, signaling to those below that he had conquered Bayonet Hill.

Nine soldiers lost their lives charging the hill that day and forty-seven enemy dead were counted on the forward slope of the hill; thirty as a result of bayonet wounds.

On the reverse slope lay another fifty enemy, dead of either bayonet or gunshot wounds and witnesses estimated another hundred Chinese soldiers escaped.

"Without the noble sacrifices of U.S. servicemembers, there will be no Republic of Korea or freedom," said ROK Army Gen. Paik, Sun Yup (retired), the ceremony's keynote speaker. "The ROK-U.S. alliance continues to prosper because of the commitment and sacrifices of servicemembers. Long live the ROK, U.S. and military branches."

The ceremony included the placing of memorial wreaths, a rifle salute by the United Nations Command Honor Guard, an A-10/F-16 flyover, followed by the playing of "Taps."



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