Military officials mark legendary bayonet charge
February 8, 2013
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (Feb. 8, 2013) -- Military officials honored the heroic deeds of the Soldiers who fixed bayonets and charged up hill through enemy machine gun fire here, 62 years ago.
Together with South Korean and U.S. military officials, Eighth Army Deputy Commander for Support Maj. Gen. Chris Gentry attended the 62nd anniversary ceremony for the Battle of Hill 180, Feb. 7 at the site where the storied Korean War bayonet charge took place.
Led by Capt. Lewis Millett, the 27th Infantry Regiment's Company E, was on point near the Korean city of Osan during Operation Thunderbolt, Feb. 7, 1951. The company came under heavy machine gun fire from Communist Chinese forces on Hill 180.
A seasoned combat veteran who received a battlefield commission during World War II, Millett decided the only way to dislodge enemy forces was with bayonets.
Braving the intense enemy machine gun fire, Millett yelled, "Fix bayonets. Everyone goes with me!"
With Millett leading the charge, the Soldiers of Company E ran up the steep mountain slope and evicted the enemy forces from their strategic perch.
Because of their legendary feat on Hill 180, the 27th Infantry Regiment's Company E, earned the nickname "Cold Steel Easy" and Millett earned the Medal of Honor.
Although injured during the battle, Millett went on to serve with distinction in the Vietnam War and retire from the U.S. Army as a colonel.
Today Hill 180 is also called "Bayonet Hill," and Millett Road runs up it through Osan Air Base, home to the U.S. Air Force's 7th Air Force and 51st Fighter Wing.