where we're going, and I don't know when, but I'm sure it will be soon. One thing I do
know, there will be a lot of Purple Hearts given out... ." There would be many Purple
Day One: September 11
The next attack orders came early on 9 September in the form of Division OpnO
23-51. The 7th Marines were to commence a night attack at 0300 September 11 to take
Hills 673 and 749, defended, it was thought, by approximately one NKPA regiment
(1,500) men. These hills were designated Objectives Able and Baker. The 7th Marines
was to also be sure and maintain contact with the 8th ROK Division to the east (which
would seize Hill 854). The 7th Marines broke this order down into its own checkpoints to
be seized consisting of Checkpoints 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. (See Map # 20) Checkpoint I was
Hill 680; 2, Hill 673; 3, the southern part of Hill 749; 4, the big finger extending
southwest from 749; and 6, the northern portion of 749's summit. The regiment was to
then defend these positions until the 1st Marines had passed through.20
After Division Objectives Able and Baker had been secured, the 1st Marines, fresh
from X Corps reserve and returned to parent control, were to pass through and relieve
the 7th Marines, and then seize a third objective on order, Division Objective Charlie, the
ridgeline northwest of and including Hill 1052. The 7th Marines would then move into
reserve at Wontong-ni, "not to be committed except on X Corps authority." Objective
Dog, a fourth objective, was Hill 812. It would be the goal of the 5th Marines, but that
19 Oral account of PFC Lyle Conanway, Fox Company, 2/1, in: Knox, Uncertain Victory, 295-96.
20 Seventh Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, Operation Order 14-51; 1st Mar Div,
"Historical Diary," September 1951, 2, 13.
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 November 26, 2014.