Private First Class David L.
Johnson remembered a sailor named Hamilton firing a twin .50-caliber
machine gun up and down the beach, "like shooting ducks in a rain
barrel. The Japanese would run up and down the beach," remembered
Johnson "and each time there would be less men in the charges.
Finally they swam into the surf, and hid behind boulders." For the
remainder of the night, only small bands of Japanese were able to
scale the cliffs and engage the Marines.
Pickup went out to check his platoons, assuming the attack had been
repulsed. He then learned that some of the landing craft had made it
ashore in the North Point area and Japanese troops were moving
inland. At the same time, Beecher sent runners to all of his company
commanders alerting them to the landing. As planned, if the enemy
penetration was successful, Company A would withdraw and join
Company B in a line based on Battery Denver, holding the tail of the
island from the Japanese. Before the line could be formed, the
Japanese captured Denver at 2350 and were discovered digging in.
Colonel Sato had led his 1st Battalion soldiers to Denver
Hill almost unnoticed.