OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea - - Seventy years ago, Soldiers fixed bayonets and charged up Hill 180 through vicious opposing gun fire.
Eighth Army Deputy Commanding General- Operations Brig. Gen. Trevor J. Bredenkamp honored the valiant charge of the Battle of Hill 180 as the guest speaker at the 70th anniversary ceremony Feb. 5.
Many senior South Korean and American military officials attend the ceremony that was sponsored by the 3rd Battlefield Coordination Detachment-Korea. Members of the OTHER entities also took part in the ceremony.
“I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to say a few words today, this is the second time I had the privilege to attend this commemoration,” said Bredenkamp. “The last time I attended was 23 years ago and Colonel Retired Lewis Millet, the commander of Easy Company 27th Infantry “Wolfhounds”, who led the bayonet charge earning him the Congressional Medal of Honor was the guest speaker.”
On Feb. 7, 1951, during the Operation Thunderbolt, the Soldiers of the 27th Infantry Regiment’s Company E were led by then-Capt. Lewis Millet and were near Osan when they came under intense machine gun fire from Communist Chinese forces on Hill 180.
While under enemy fire, Millet had recalled an enemy document he previously read during World War II claiming American troops were unwilling to engage in close quarter combat. Under Millet’s command, the Soldiers of Company E proved the document wrong.
“We’re going up the hill. Fix bayonets! Charge! Everyone goes with me!” shouted Millet as he led the assault up the machine gun fire-swept hill.
Millet earned the Medal of Honor and Company E earned the nickname “Cold Easy Steel” from that battle. Also known as “Bayonet Hill”, Hill 180 currently runs through Osan Air Base, home of the U.S. Air Force’s 7th Air Force, 51st Fighter Wing and the U.S. Army’s 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
“For those who sacrificed at the battle of Bayonet hill and during the Korean War, there work is complete,” said Bredenkamp. “We seek to day to honor their legacy, to ensure peace through our combined strength and the combined strength across all of our military components is truly awe inspiring.”