The next morning, the rest of Company C was able to retake the strategic position, and there they found their fallen comrade with knife in hand. He initially considered declaring conscientious objector status due to this Christian beliefs, but eventually relented and threw himself into the fight. After withdrawing from Bloody Ridge, the Korean People's Army (KPA) set up new positions just away on a 7miles long hill mass. Let me here you say that. Combined with a massive barrage of North Korean artillery, Pilila’au’s platoon began to pay a heavy price for their advanced position and were given permission to rejoin the main body. Characterized by ever-moving battle lines, the … Meanwhile, Pilia’au was giving the North Koreas everything he had. View All Photos (6) Heartbreak Ridge Quotes ... We will blaze a path into battle for others to follow. The back and forth engagement would focus on several key hills and strategic locations deemed necessary to control the battlefield. Grabbing his trench knife, Pilila’au decided to close with and destroy the enemy by hand if he had to. The United Nations responded to the attack. However, it would be a different ridge that would earn him this hallowed place in military history, and for the men of Company C, there is no one else they would want in the fight with them than the once conscientious objector. With Clint Eastwood, Marsha Mason, Everett McGill, Moses Gunn. As night began to fall, the Americans dug in for a long for what was sure to be a long night. By March of 1951, he was sent to Korea to serve with Company C, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He would become the first Hawaiian to receive the Medal of Honor, and in January of 2000, the United States Navy would christen the USNS Pililaau in his honor. Hard-nosed, hard-living Marine Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway (Clint Eastwood) clashes with his superiors and his ex-wife as he takes command of a spoiled recon platoon with a bad attitude. The Americans began to call in close artillery support to cover Pilia’au’s withdrawal, but the strikes came in so close to Pilia’au they were worried about inadvertently striking their own man. However, victory was rarely celebrated for long in the Korean War as the American soldiers knew the counter-attack was inevitable.

The armored thrusts turned the tide of the battle, but plenty of hard fighting remained for the infantry before French soldiers captured the last communist bastion on the ridge on October 13th. Throughout the afternoon, the North Koreans conducted a series of probing attacks to assess for weaknesses in the American lines. Moving to rocks, he hurled them as projectiles until there were none within reach. Battle for Heartbreak Ridge. The after effects of this costly battle would change the way the Americans fought the North Koreans, but for Pilila’au, he was destined for greatness on a hill simply indicated by its number, 931. By the morning of September 17th, 1951, the battle to take Hill 931 from the North Koreans was joined. Leaping from his semi-covered position, he charged the attacking North Koreans and began to do his worst upon them. Punching with one hand and swinging his knife with the other, he began to remind the North Koreans just what kind of fight they had on their hands. Shortly after war broke out in North Korea, he was drafted into the army. The Battle of Heartbreak Ridge (; French: Bataille de Crèvecœur), also known as the Battle of Wendengli, was a month-long battle in the Korean War which took place between 13 September and 15 October 1951. Often in war it is difficult to the measure the impact of one man, but when that man is making his last stand on Heartbreak Ridge the impact becomes clear. He fired his Browning Automatic Rifle until he ran out of bullets. Exhausted and out of ammunition, Pilila’au decided to take the fight to the enemy. For his actions that day, Herbert K. Pilila’au was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor and a hallowed place in Military History. Punching with one hand and swinging his knife with the other was how the members of his squad report last seeing him. It wouldn’t take long for him to see action as he was thrust into combat at the vicious fight known as the Battle of Bloody Ridge. Firing his BAR with deadly precision he held off the North Koreans until his ammunition was completely expended. For the platoon to pull back, one squad would have to remain in place to cover the retreating soldiers. The Battle of Heartbreak Ridge was one of several major engagements in an area known as "The Punchbowl", which served as … Growing up, he demonstrated a unique musical ability as he sang and played the ukulele for any who would listen.

He started picking up the rocks around him and began hurling them as projectiles. At approximately 10:00 pm, two battalions from the North Korean 13th Infantry Regiment attacked in full force.