EXCERPT FROM “HEIRS OF HONOR” – ‘OUR LAST STAND’


 

“….We dragged our wounded.  There were six of us without wounds, and each one of us took a man instead of weapons.  We picked men we thought had a chance of surviving, and left four men behind.  They were so badly hurt, moving them would kill them.  Thanks to morphine, they never knew we’d abandoned them.  Of the twelve men who left the small hill, only four of us got through the gate alive.  We beat the attackers by less than twenty yards.  No sooner had we passed what was left of the camp gate, and the heavy machine guns roared reassuringly at the pursuing gooks.  A couple of guys helped us inside the camp.  They were quick to point out the irony; I’d been dragging a dead man.  I knew he was very much alive when we started.  I dropped him at the gate and retreated into the camp….”

“….I found a position in the firing line and awaited the assault.  It was not long in coming, and it came with unexpected ferocity.  It was our death knell.  A wall of explosions and men rammed into the gate, and it crumbled.  Both machine gun bunkers were silenced by rocket fire.  Every gunner was killed in the explosions.  Once the gate guns failed, the attacking troops were as stunned as we were.  They grew silent, shocked at their success.  We fell silent in disbelief.  In that momentary lull, we watched the enemy pour through the gaping hole in our defenses, and pause to savor their triumph.  They became a monster with a thousand faces.  We felt the leering malevolence, as they turned to face the forty American soldiers standing between them and victory.  Before they got their bearings, we opened fire with every weapon we had.  Since they were crowded into a small area, our fire was devastating.  In seconds, hundreds of them were on the ground, or reeling back out the gate from the concentrated volley.  It didn’t take them long to reform their ranks and charge back in, returning fire, driving us before them….”

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