With Defensa and Remetanea in Allied hands, the next mountain objective was Monte
    Sammucro on the north side of the Mignano gap. From the Sammucro peak (1205m), a ridgeline
    descends due west and ends at a hillock known as Hill 720 (during WWII, mountains and hills
    were named after their elevation in meters). From December 7 - 17, units from the 36th Division
    bitterly fought and won control of Sammucro's eastern slope and summit, but they were not able
    to extend their hold down to Hill 720. It was left up to First Regiment of FSSF under the
    command of Col. A.C. Marshall to clear this feature.

    At sunset on December 22, First Regiment (with two companies from Second Regiment attached
    as litter bearers and supply carriers) began the climb up the eastern side of Sammucro. They
    crossed over the peak and arrived at the 1000m mark of the western ridgeline at noon on
    December 23. The initial plan was to attack down the slope to Hill 720 that night, but FSSF
    commanding officer Col. Robert T. Frederick discovered the coordination between the adjacent
    Allied units was not in place, and late in the afternoon he had to delay the assault until Christmas
    Eve. In freezing rain, First Regiment dug-in on the scree-covered southern slope amid sporadic
    artillery and mortar barrages. The assault was to begin at midnight with an Allied artillery
    barrage on Hill 720, but at 22:30 once again Frederick had to delay the attack time in order to
    synchronize with other units. A new time was set for 02:00, but the Germans were not waiting.
    They covered First Regiment's sector with an intense mortar and artillery barrage that killed
    eight men and wounded dozens of others.

    At 02:00, Fifth and Sixth Company of First Regiment moved forward to lead the attack,
    but within minutes their forward command post was struck by a shell that disabled its
    commanding officers and destroyed its radio equipment. With the loss of these officers, Col.
    Marshall came forward to personally take command, restore the communication lines, and
    reorganize the assault. Despite these temporary setbacks, the First Regiment companies moved
    through heavy German fire, overcame the enemy emplacements and were in control of Hill 720
    by 07:00. First Battalion moved in, consolidated their positions and created a defense line on the
    hill while the Second Battalion companies moved further west along the ridgeline clearing the
    north and south slopes as they went. After an unsuccessful German counterattack, First Regiment
    then spent Christmas day huddled in their Hill 720 foxholes, enduring the inevitable enemy
    artillery barrages. Their dinner consisted of double rations that had been carried to the hill by
    members of the Service Battalion. On December 26, First Regiment was relieved, and they left
    the mountain carrying their dead with them. The Monte Sammucro campaign was won at the
    cost of 24 Forcemen killed and over a hundred wounded.