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Documentary depicts critical but deadly military victory

RANCHO SANTA FE — “It’s a story about coming home when no one knew you were gone,” Bob Baker said to an audience of about 300 people who filled a meeting hall at Village Community Presbyterian Church on Oct. 7 to view “Hold at All Costs,” his 80-minute documentary about “forgotten warriors in a forgotten battle of a forgotten war.”
“I wanted to tell a story that hasn’t been told,” Baker said when asked what motivated him to produce the film. “It’s a story that must be told.”
“Hold at All Costs” focuses on The Battle of Outpost Harry, a conflict to defend a strategic hilltop location during the Korean War.
The story is told by those who survived.
“To this day the men who fought in this battle carry the scars,” Baker said. “You will see the pain and suffering they have carried for 57 years.”
Baker, better known as owner of one of the largest car dealerships in San Diego, was among the soldiers who fought at Outpost Harry. “I was lucky to come home unscathed,” he said.
Outpost Harry was located in an area of the Korean Peninsula known as the Iron Triangle.
It was considered a strategic military hot spot sought after by the Chinese because it commanded an excellent view of enemy positions.
In June 1953, U.S. soldiers were given “hold at all costs” orders with no withdrawal.
“That meant you were either carried off in a stretcher or died there,” Baker said.
A web site for outpost survivors boasts the motto, “We held! And indeed we did.”
Baker traveled across the United States no less than four times, to China three times and to Greece and England to collect material for the film.
It includes interviews with American, South Korean, Greek and Chinese veterans.
Baker said once he was in the editing room, it was difficult deciding what not to include because he has so much material.
The film, presented Oct. 7 by the Armed Forces Interest Group and Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, was directed by Rancho Santa Fe resident Glenn Palmedo-Smith.
It is set for nationwide release Nov. 11 on Veterans Day.