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  The Pusan Perimeter

The problems confronting the regiment deepened when the fighting shifted south from Sangju during August and September to the area west of Masan on the Pusan Perimeter. Casualties among officers reached critical levels, with some companies going through five commanders in less than a month, and the replacements were often inexperienced and untrained in infantry skills.

The situation was little better among the sergeants. As for the enlisted men, many replacements reported for duty unable even to load and fire their rifles without first receiving instruction. Already deteriorating, the self-confidence of the unit and the trust of its members in one another worsened. More failures occurred.

Despite the pattern, when the 24th pulled into the Pusan Perimeter, it managed to hold the line. In the fight for Battle Mountain, Company C was reduced to a shell and other portions of the regiment suffered heavily. Misfortune, nevertheless, continued to dog the regiment.

Focused on the mountains south of Haman rather than on the low hills just to the west of the town, the unit was unprepared on 1 September when the enemy attacked through the center of its position and the 2d Battalion collapsed.

Unreliable South Korean troops manning portions of the line were partially to blame. So were a weak regimental reserve and poorly fortified positions. A key ingredient in the collapse, however, was the large number of stragglers who left their positions without leave during the early portions of the fight. Remnants of Companies E and G held on. 

Much of Company F escaped to the north. The battalion command post conducted a brief but spirited defense. Even so, the 2d Battalion ceased to exist as a combat organization, and only the fortuitous presence of the 27th Infantry saved the day.



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