Hill 790 was a dominating hill during the Battle of Saipan and was strongly defended by Japanese forces in the early phase of the battle during which Captain Durfee was killed. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal.
"By 0700 the field was quiet except for the small arms
fire of a few Nip snipers and the answers of the Marines
who mopped them up. ... The last Jap tank was spotted
as it climbed the winding road to Hill 790. Its turret
could be seen among a small group of buildings on top
of the hill. The Naval Gunfire officer quickly adjusted
and fired twenty salvos on this target. The tank sent
up an oily smoke and burned the rest of the day."
The hill was occupied without opposition by the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, on 19 June.
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