The California Military Museum
Preserving California's Military Heritage
 
Distinguished Unit Citation for
Company I, 160th Infantry Regiment (Seventh California)
 
DISTINGUISHED UNIT CITATION
GENERAL ORDER 68
WAR DEPARTMENT
14 AUGUST 1945
 
 
 
18. Company I, 160th Infantry Regiment, is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy. On 15 February 1945, in the Zumbales Mountain Range, Luzon, P.I., Company I was given the mission to attack and secure a commanding hill approximately 1,000 yards to the front referred to as Objective Hill. The company advanced approximately 1,000 yards encountering heavy enemy small-arms fire and knee-mortar fire, then pushed forward until they reached a ridge paralleling their front, approximately 300 yards short of and below their objective. Here they were subjected to fire from their front, both flanks, and rear. The remaining distance was open country and the terrain necessitated a steep climb of over 400 feet, the last 50 feet being almost straight up with only one approach for men in single file. With the enemy in a commanding position, with excellent fields of
fire, and superior observation, the decision was made to make a night assault. At 0400 hours, 16 February 1945, the company, undercover of darkness succeeded in getting one platoon of men on the hill and inside the enemy's positions. At that time, the enemy detected their presence and, after a short, but fierce close-in fight, retreated off the hill to positions some 30 yards down the reverse slope in a bamboo draw. The balance of the company, in single file, scaled the cliff and joined the platoon already there. At dawn they were subjected to heavy enemy fire
from the front and flanks and broke up a counteraffack from the left front. Running short of ammunition, without water or rations, suffering considerable casualties, the aid men killed, and without plasma or morphine for the
wounded, the company held its position. Every attempt by carrying parties to resupply them all that day and the following night failed to get through to the company because of enemy action. The next day attempts to supply by air-drops were unsuccessful because of the hard rocky hilltop, the steep cliffs on three sides, and the nearness of the enemy on the fourth side. As a result, only one box was recovered and it consisted of machine gun ammunition and four canteens of water. Although completely exhausted and without food and water for over
thirty-six hours, the company maintained control of the hill until 0130 hours, 18 February 1945, when another company was able to relieve them. Upon relief the largest part of the litter bearers was made up of Company I's men, and to transport the wounded it was necessary to tie them to the litter and lower them by rope. The terrain
was so difficult that from eight to ten men were required per litter. In the accomplishment of the assigned mission, overcoming the extreme hardships, and suffering thirty-nine casualties out of ninety-six men, Company I, 160th Infantry Regiment, displayed courage, determination, and a unit spirit by teamwork, and the will to win despite all obstacles, and maintained their high morale and esprit-de-corps to the end of their mission.
 
 
NOTE: The Distinguished Unit Citation is now known as the Presidential Unit Citation


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