Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War

The attack of the Korean Marines was apparently launched at the same time as
that of the enemy, for 2/KMC in the advance ran head-on into a large number of NKPA
who were also attacking. The situation was in doubt for almost four hours, but the
enemy attack was repulsed and the KMCs dug in and regrouped on Hill 1026 (Division
Objective 3). In the last push for possession of 1026, a rifleman of the 2nd platoon of
2/KMC's 5th company managed to infiltrate forward to silence a MG bunker with a
grenade. At the same time, the leader of the 1st Platoon, Lt Son Jin Ch'on, who had led
the assault and suffered from shrapnel wounds in over fifty places, bolstered the will of
his men. He stood up, ignoring enemy fire, and raised a bloody right hand. "1st platoon
assault!" he cried, and the Korean Marines made a successful final rush on the summit
of the hill.69
The NKPAs were not content to leave the fight yet. Another two hour fire-fight
commenced when an enemy reinforced company attacked the KMCs shortly after noon.
But in the end, the Korean Marine Regiment held its territory, even moving to take Hill
1055, 700 meters to the north of 1026. After that, 2/KMC moved west to occupy Hill 930
because it "had been added to Objective Three during the day."70
Casualties for September 3 were: 9 KIA and 22 WIA for the 7th Marines, and 13
KIA, 55 WIA for the KMCs. Enemy losses that day were estimated to total 294 KIA, 280
WIA, and 10 POWs.71
Thus ended Phase one of the battle with Yoke Ridge in Marine hands by 1800 that
night. The Marine attack had helped relieve enemy pressure on the 2nd Infantry Division
69 Korean Institute of Military History, Korean War, Vol. 3, 153; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September
1951, 8.
70 st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 8; Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 180;
Korean Institute of Military History, Korean War, Vol. 3, 154.
71 st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 8.

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Montandon, Joshua W. Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3938/. Accessed April 24, 2014.