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

napalm and fired 20mm's and machine guns at the enemy positions. Some of our
guys thought they were being hit when the empty 20mm casings fell on them.
We had yellow and red banners lying out on the barren area so they would
know where we were located. They flew so low they almost touched the tops of
the trees and we could see their heads like the size of a softball in the cockpit.
The jet fighters were not useful at low levels because hills, 3,000 feet high were
only six to eight hundred yards apart . . . When the jets were used, they would
drop their payload from a couple thousand feet up and were not very accurate at
hitting targets.25
Easy leapfrogged ahead with Dog Company providing cover and began receiving
enemy SA fire from both flanks at 0900. It then encountered mines at 0950. Dog
Company, too, took enemy fire and grenades from then until the end of the day. Another
airstrike, this one with "excellent results" hit the objective at 1045. A platoon from Dog
was dispatched to stop enemy fire that had been striking Easy and Dog Companies
from a draw. Fox moved separately at 1315 to "nose between Check Point 2 and Check
Point Three."26
Ralph Steele was with Fox Company that day:
... looked to me arbitrarily we depart from this path and we started up almost a
vertical hillside. Again, it's timber. And it was one of the toughest days of my time
in the service scaling that. . . almost vertical hill. You're grabbing at trees and
whatnot and . . . of course there's saliva and you're getting exhausted and
everybody's out of breath so nobody ahead of you says a word, but all of a
sudden ... I looked up and I'm looking at a Gook right in the face.... it was so
horrifying I couldn't understand what I was seeing because everything on his
head was in the wrong place. Well it turned out he had been shot just a few
minutes before and slid down upside down and his arms are stretched out ...
I'm [looking] at his face upside down. I remember he had a little mustache. His
eyes were open. I remember him being jaundice. Really yellow looking eyes. I
about crapped out when I saw that. But I didn't holler to the guys down the line,
hey, there's a body here because ... I didn't have any breath to spare.... I
knew it was getting close to combat now because a few more paces and there
was a Gook propped up against a tree with his jackets open and probably
somebody from G2 . . . had been designated to go through the uniforms to find
out if there was any information. But he had been shot in the chest and he was
25 Oral memoir of Jon Charles Genrich.
26 Seventh Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 6; Second battalion, Seventh Marine
Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, Report of Enemy Action, and Daily Narrative of Activities.


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 October 7, 2015.