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

Platoon Sergeant William Gaul of Item Company 3/1 had led his platoon well that
day. His platoon had been on point through the "torturous drive by his company against
a fanatically defended, enemy-held key position on commanding ground." Gaul lost no
men in getting to the base of the objective, though his men inflicted heavy losses on the
enemy, and he exposed himself time and again to enemy fire while spearheading an
assault up almost 800 yards of steep slope. His example encouraged his men, and he
ever exhorted them to push on.76
After dark, while it was still evening, and before the Marines of 3/1 had secured
defensive positions (they were still advancing on the hill), the assaulting units were
pinned by a swarm of flashing green tracers from enemy machine gun fire, "emanating
from a strategically located and seemingly impregnable bunker." Platoon Sergeant Gaul
was again an example of courage. He charged the bunker and lobbed grenades
through the ports, killing two NKPA and wounding six others. His men were then able to
continue the advance.77
Later, another platoon needed supporting fire and Gaul immediately set up a LMG
(Light Machine Gun) and fired effectively enough for that platoon to advance.
"Consistently maintaining superb control to assure maximum fire power and, at the
same time, provide the best possible cover and concealment for each individual, he
pressed on in his unfaltering determination to overrun and destroy the aggressors and,
after the objective had been seized, hastily positioned his men in a defensive perimeter
and continued to direct their efforts in driving off each succeeding counterattack
76 Navy Cross Award Citation for William Marshall Gaul.
77 Ibid.


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 September 24, 2016.