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

the trap. The battle on Hill 673 turned into an exchange of grenades as 1/7 inched up
the hill against heavy resistance, making the crest after 1400 that afternoon.3
Charlie Company stepped out at 0635 toward Hill 673 and had already found
enemy resistance by 0640. Able and Baker were prepared to assist Charlie, but
received an estimated 360 rounds of mortar and artillery incoming. The plan was for a
"frontal assault and double envelopment using all three companies," (a dangerous
maneuver because there is a strong potential in it for fratricide). By 0930, Charlie had
only advanced about 200 yards. In coordination with Able and Baker Companies, the
elements of 1/7 finally reached the top of 673 by 1415.
The battle was ugly and deadly. Also with Baker Company, 1/7, was Jack L.
As I was going up the front of 673 on September 12, I passed a Marine with a
mortar round embedded in his chest with just the fins sticking out. I think he
might have still been alive. It hadn't exploded. A little further on, I passed a red-
headed Marine whose face I knew (I didn't know his name), lying on his back,
with his head downhill. He had a .51-caliber hole in his forehead and the back of
his head was gone . . . At about 1030, a flame thrower operator was going up
the same way I was now going. His target was a bunker that was directly in our
path. This Marine stopped within 25 feet of the bunker, then torched it, frying the
occupants inside. I didn't think he would make it-but he did. I watched him all
the way.4
The Marines also received supporting fire from tanks. Cannon described
their actions:
Tanks from either "Charlie" or "Dog" company were firing from
approximately 1,200 yards to our right rear into bunkers where heavy machine
guns were located. Those tankers were damned good. They were putting high
explosive rounds [90mm] into a 20-inch aperture to knock out those Maxims
(machine guns).
As the men in the assault platoon were nearing the top of 673, the 90mm.
tank rifle rounds were clearing their heads by about 40 feet. The skipper was
3 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 184; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 15.
4 Jack L. Cannon, "Attack on Hills 673 and 749," 24.


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. Accessed January 20, 2017.