Pulled Pork Mugs
On the night of April 16, Company E, 31st Infantry (1st Lt. Thomas V. Harrold) manned Pork Chop Hill. Shortly before midnight, an artillery barrage foreshadowed a sudden infantry assault by a battalion of the Chinese 201st regiment; Pork Chop Hill was quickly overrun, although pockets of U.S. soldiers defended isolated bunkers. Elsewhere in the sector, other positions were attacked, pressuring the entire 7th Division. Company K (1st Lt. Joseph G. Clemons, Jr.) and Company L (1st Lt. Forrest J. Crittendon), 31st Infantry, in reserve behind the MLR, were ordered to counterattack and began their attack at 04:30 on April 17. By dawn they reached the main trenches on top of the hill but suffered almost 50% casualties, and half of Company L's troops had not been able to leave the trenches of an adjacent outpost, Hill 200. Lt. Clemons, in tactical command of the assault, requested reinforcement. 2nd Battalion 17th Infantry was already attached to the 31st Infantry and its Company G (1st Lt. Walter B. Russell who was Clemons's brother-in-law) was immediately sent forward, linking up with Company K at 08:30. All three companies were subjected to almost continuous shelling by CCF artillery as they cleared bunkers and dug in again. Through a series of miscommunications between command echelons, Division headquarters ordered Russell's company to withdraw at 15:00 after they too had suffered heavy losses, and did not realize the extent of casualties among the other two companies. By the time the situation was clarified the companies of the 31st Infantry were down to a combined 25 survivors. Maj. Gen. Trudeau, by then on scene, authorized Col. Kern to send in a fresh company to relieve all elements on Hill 255 and placed him in tactical command with both the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 17th Infantry attached and at his direction. 7th Division counterattacks: On both July 9 and July 10, the two sides attacked and counter-attacked. A large part of both Chinese divisions were committed to the battle, and ultimately five battalions of the 17th and 32nd Infantry Regiments were engaged, making nine counter-attacks over four days. On the morning of July 11, the commander of the U.S. I Corps decided to abandon Pork Chop Hill to the Chinese and the 7th Division withdrew under fire.
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