New Layer 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. Training in Montana 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.