behind me was same as mine, well there's three Gooks we don't have to worry
Elements of these two companies were on the objective at 1710, but experiencing
heavy enemy fire in an area rife with mines. Easy Company believed it had secured
Checkpoint 6 at 1740. The companies were arranged around the lower nose of 749.
Dog and Easy dug in for the night at these locations at 2000. Fox was still moving with
Easy supporting the movement with its fire. Fox at this time was on the southwestern
nub of 749's main plateau. It dug in soon after.30
Steele described Fox's perimeter that night:
So then we formed up, made a perimeter that night . . . We made this real tight
perimeter and we were out from the rest of the line. We were by ourselves. We
had . . . very good company commander and the Gooks attacked us that night
about four times. Well, it was. . . pitch black. . . and we could hear the Gooks
down in this ravine, hear them chattering . . . whoever their leader was was
giving them a kind of pep talk apparently because you hear them cheer, and then
he would blow a whistle and I could hear them crashing through that second row
of timber. We started firing down into the ravine and the -what saved us then
was our mortars were zeroed in on that thing and they called in mortar rounds,
and that would break up each one of these attacks. But I remember at the time I
was in a hole with . . . an squad leader sergeant, and I remember thinking how
bad I didn't want to be there. That if I had it on my own, I would get up and run as
fast as I could run and run all the way back to Elkhart, Indiana, but the other thing
plays at the same time. That really wasn't an option . . . I could not let these guys
down. That was the main thing.31
During the assault, PFC Donald A. Daigneault was with Dog Company 2/7 as a
BAR man. His squad was to cover Dog Company's assault on Hill 673, but the squad
found an "intricate net of anti-personnel mines and booby traps," and several of the
Marines went down. Daigneault noticed that NKPA troops were about to descend the
30 Transcript of Interview with Ralph B. Steele, Library of Congress; Seventh Marine Regiment, "Historical
Diary," September 1951, 6; Second battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September
1951, Report of Enemy Action; Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary,"
September 1951, Daily Narrative of Activities.
31 Transcript of Interview with Ralph B. Steele, Library of Congress.
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 July 30, 2014.