men to sweep on, overrun and finally secure the objective." He would receive a
posthumous Medal of Honor.6
The double envelopment had proven successful-the companies had made much
progress. At 1800, 1/7 had dug in atop 673 for the night. These Marines counted at
least 30 enemy KIA on the slopes of the wooded hill. In addition, 1/7 estimated another
185 enemy to be KIA plus a large number wounded. The unit also captured three POWs
who were from the 2nd Regiment, 1st NKPA Division, Ill Corps. The First Battalion, 7th
Marines alone had sustained 35 WIA and 16 KIA this day.7
Cpl Charles Rust was part of Baker Company 1/7. Rust was a Fire Team Leader,
and as such, led his fire team against bunkers on 673, knocking out the first of four with
grenades. He was hit in the arm but refused evacuation and continued to assault enemy
bunkers. He took up a BAR and used a tree stump to support its weight because of his
injured arm. His fire was deemed accurate and effective in covering the advance. He
neutralized an NKPA machine gun nest and then joined the final assault on the hill. His
squad leader fell to fatal wounds, and Rust took over as squad leader. He charged
through machine gun fire and a heavy concentration of enemy grenades in an attack
that lifted enough enemy pressure that his unit secured its objective. Mortally wounded
in the attempt, Rust fell at last. Charles Vernon Rust was awarded a posthumous Navy
PFC Troy Hamm described the first night on Hill 673:
6 Medal of Honor Award Citation for Frederick W. Mausert, III. All the Medal of Honor citations listed in
this study can be found at: http://www.homeofheroes.com (website last consulted April 2007), and in
Joseph Saluzzi, Red Blood... Purple Hearts.
7 First Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, Chronological narrative
for 12th September.
8 Navy Cross Award Citation for Charles Vernon Rust.
Montandon, Joshua W. Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3938/. Accessed December 22, 2014.