COL Freeman’s ability to assess the situation and devotion to his Soldiers set the conditions for the 23rd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) to be successful in the Battle of Chipyong-Ni. Though outnumbered, the RCT overcame obstacles to defeat the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF). The RCT wrestled with the same issues like most of the Army. They were understrength, and their equipment was non-mission capable (NMC). In order to bring them to full strength, the Army recruited Soldiers from various units, including reserves, but these Soldiers lacked infantry skills and were out of shape. COL Paul Freeman arrived to assume command days before the RCT was to depart Fort Lewis to the Korean Peninsula. Days before the RCT marched to Chipyong-Ni, they were involved in the battle at Twin Towers and received many casualties. COL Freeman’s ability to drive the operations process was vital to the RCT’s mission success.
The 23rd RCT received the mission to defend Chipyong-Ni in an attempt to bait the CCF to attack with a large force that could be defeated, but the RCT was at 70% strength following the battle at Twin Tunnels (some units were at 60%). The RCT received intelligence reports of multiple CCF Divisions marching towards Chipyong-Ni. COL Freeman requested the RCT be allowed to pull back 15 miles to prevent encirclement and was approved by MG Almond, but was overturned by LTG Ridgway. LTG Ridgway, the newly assigned Eighth Army Commander, did not allow retreat and always wanted to make contact with the enemy. He relieved his G-3 on the spot for giving him retreat contingency plans.
Chipyong-Ni was once an important hub but was now a desolate city located in a valley with six hills overlooking the city. COL Freeman knew his 4500 man RCT of would not be able to adequately secure the high ground surrounding the village. He ordered his units to collapse on the lower hills in order to hold a strong line of defense but knew the surrounding hills could be observation posts (OPs) for the CCF. COL Freeman and his French counterpart, LTC Monclar, would walk the perimeter to forecast issues and ensure weapon systems were positioned appropriately according to fields of fire and maximum effective range.
COL Freeman respected Staff’s input. In order to prevent disease, he instructed Soldiers to burn a building with dead CCF Soldiers, with the surgeon’s recommendation. COL Freeman, also, approved the Regimental Surgeon to stock up on Type O blood prior to the Battles of Twin Tunnels and Chipyong-Ni, which ultimately saved lives.