From 0530 to 0600 the four company commanders of the 4th Battalion
tried to put their men into position but were hampered by the
darkness, lack of knowledge of the terrain, and the lack of cohesion
of the 1st Battalion. In some cases the 4th Battalion actually
formed a line behind the 1st Battalion positions with no knowledge
of the Marines ahead of them. Luckily, the Japanese artillery was
strangely silent. Major Schaeffer came out of the firing line to
confer with Major Williams on the placement of the reinforcements,
asking, "Joe, what in the hell did you bring me?" Williams
responded, "I have my whole battalion here — or what's left of them.
Where is your unit? and what position do you want my battalion in?"
Schaeffer lost his composure for a moment and replied, "Joe, I don't
know! . . . I don't know where in hell my non coms are, I think they
are all dead!" Williams motioned a near by corpsman to check the
major and said, "Dammit now, you relax, I'll take over this
situation." Schaeffer pulled himself together and indicated the most
needy area was the gap between his two companies. Company S moved
out of reserve and forward to fill the breach.
Photograph courtesy from
61st Infantry Association