survivors from the fray and tried to gather the will and scrape up the energy to do it all
over again if the enemy should counterattack (he usually did). "Ammo up!" the call went
out. Bullets were more important than water. Marines lowest in rank gritted their teeth
and staggered off for the supply point. The others shook all too light canteens for a
precious few drops to drink and cut their intense thirst. But in the Korean War, the
Marine Corps enforced "water discipline," meaning it was strictly rationed and scarce,
men could not drink their fill. This may seem ironic since the Marine Corps in later times
would demand that each man drink almost constantly to "hydrate."
The Marines were now on top, but Hill 749 was far from secure. The wooded
slopes contained many more enemy fortifications. And with 2/1 on the summit, the
companies of 2/7 on the reverse slope were less than 400 yards away. Nevertheless, it
was not until 2025 that the mission to relieve these companies could be effected. The
Marines of 2/1 would have to again dispute every inch of intervening ground with the
determined enemy in "fierce bayonet and hand to hand combat." Even then, an
estimated 80 enemy remained hidden in bunkers about the hill. The 2nd Battalion 1st
Marines would need to reorganize and ready itself to fight on. Soon it was apparent that
the remaining elements of 2/7 were not where they were reporting themselves to be.
Confusion among its leaders in the fog of war had led to the mistake. Marines of 2/1
finally found the rest of 2/7 to the left and rear of its lines when they had expected them
at their front.63 (See Map # 23)
Dog Company passed through Easy 2/1 soon after the former had made the crest
of 749, and pushed the attack, still trying to make contact with the missing elements of
63 st Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 13; Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central
Front, 191; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 16.
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 May 6, 2015.