3D BATTALION OPERATIONS WITH THE 27TH INFANTRY
27 APRIL – 5 MAY 45
After nine days at the Puncan Rest Camp, the 3d Battalion moved to the Putlan River Valley on the 23 April, to block the Japs attempting to move down the river. A few Japs were killed, but the main problem was supply. Pack trains were used extensively.
On 27 April the 3d Battalion was attached to the 27th Infantry, and joined that regiment on Myoko Mountain, almost due east of Balete Pass. The 27th Infantry’s 3d Battalion was at this time attempting to drive southwest to form a junction with the 35th Infantry. Our 3d Battalion’s mission was to seize three hills from which 3/27’s right flank and supply trail were threatened. These hill were located atop a larger hill, known as the Crescent, which lay astride the precipitous ridge forming the backbone of Myoko Mountain.
On 29 April L Company affected the relief of 27th infantry elements under close range fire from enemy machine guns and riflemen on Hill A, the first objective, as well as determined attempts at infiltration. An idea of the type and ferocity of the fighting in this area may be gained by the fact that fifteen Japs were killed by L Company within the perimeter or within grenade range while the relief was taking place. Enemy troops were dug in on the reverse slope of the hill which we occupied.
When all elements of the 27th had been relieved, L Company continued to attack, seizing against heavy resistance a small dominating hill known as OP Hill, from which the final enemy stronghold on Mount Myoko could be observed.
On 30 April, L Company attacked the first objective, seizing about half the hill in the initial assault. After several hours of close-in fighting, the enemy was driven from the other half, and L Company occupied the crest. At about 2200 that night the Japs counterattacked with grenades and machine guns, The attack was repulsed, as was another which came at 0430 the following morning. On several occasions grenades landed in our foxholes, and the men were able to jump out of the holes or throw them back before they exploded. At daybreak, twenty five dead Japs were counted within three yards of our lines. Throughout the entire period, both this hill and OP Hill were under direct 47mm fire from positions on higher ground.
On 1 may, L Company made a combat reconnaissance of the next objective, and on the 2nd, I Company passed through L Company to attack the next hill. For two days they attacked with the Japs savagely defending the top of the hill. Twice the company reached the top only to be pushed back by grenade barrages and flanking machine gun fire. While they were in action, supporting tanks protected them from flanking fire, but one was knocked out on 3 May by a direct hit from a 75mm gun, and the other was forced to withdraw from its exposed position. Later I Company captured a Japanese field order issued during the attack, and found that our entire disposition was fully mapped, with the two tanks correctly placed, and even a detour on the bulldozer road which dipped down the slope away from the Japs accurately mapped.
On the 4th, I Company had again driven up the hill and had a toehold on the crest when they were relieved by elements of the 148th infantry. On 5 May, the 3d Battalion rejoined the 35th infantry, and K Company was attached to the 1st Battalion to make the final push northeast to meet the 27th coming down. The rest of the battalion outposted the jungle covered hills and ravines along Highway #5 above Kapintalan.