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

assault. They "jumped off" at 0930, and met heavy resistance. While Fox attacked, Easy
2/1 moved to the spur of 749 leading south east to secure the right flank.2
"Heavy frontal and flanking" small arms and automatic fire scythed into Marine
ranks from the head and leg of the "T" shaped ridge line. The direction of the attack was
to the northwest where the ridgeline ran towards Hill 812. "This attack moved North
along the ridge line leading from Hill 749 in the face of a most stubborn enemy and well-
emplaced bunkers mutually supporting, and, together with the cross-fire of the enemy
thus emplaced and extremely difficult terrain the forward movement of the attacking
elements was stopped at 1530." The attack ground to a halt. The enemy called in
mortar and artillery fire on his own positions every time the Marines got close. After the
attack bogged down, 2/1 called in every scrap of artillery and air it could allocate to
deluge the objective before continuing the assault.3
Corporal Matthew Dukes of Fox Company, 2/1, moved with the point platoon as a
Fire Team Leader to root out a sniper that had fired on his men. He charged forward
alone in pursuit of the sniper. A bullet hit him in the face, ruining his left eye, but
nevertheless, he maintained his assault, crawling across forty yards of open terrain. He
then single-handedly destroyed the sniper with shots from his M-1 rifle. He was bleeding
profusely by this time but refused to seek aid. He continued with his unit in the assault
and helped seize the hill and dig in. Only then did Dukes start back towards an aid
station. Enroute, he spotted another wounded Marine in an exposed area. Dukes
2 st Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 15; Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central
Front, 191; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 17-18; Second Battalion, 1st Marine
Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 7.
3 Second Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 7; 1st Marine Regiment,
"Historical Diary," September 1951, 3, 15.

150

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 December 25, 2014.