braved intense enemy fire to reach the fallen Marine, and lifted him on his back to
cover. Corporal Dukes would receive the Navy Cross.4
Another Marine was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for action that
day. PFC Edward Gomez was an Ammunition Bearer for Easy Company, 2/1. He
continuously exposed himself in the assault of 749 in order to keep his MG well supplied
with ammo. Three enemy soldiers leapt from a bunker right in front of his gun crew,
turning machine gun fire toward Gomez and the other Marines. Gomez dropped to one
knee and tossed a grenade in their midst, then ripped a burst into them from his
carbine. He was heard to holler, "If Third Section can't take this mole hill, nobody can!"
The Marines made it to the top of the hill and began to dig in among enemy bunkers
some of which proved to be still occupied, or reoccupied via underground tunnels. His
section came under intense fire from these positions.5
"As his squad deployed to meet an imminent counterattack, he voluntarily moved
down an abandoned trench to search for a new location for the gun and, when a hostile
grenade landed between himself and the weapon, shouted a warning to those around
him as he grasped the activated charge in his hand. Determined to save his comrades,
he unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and, diving into the ditch with the deadly
missile, absorbed the shattering violence of the explosion in his own body." One Marine
remarked about Gomez, "Well, the cops in Omaha will be glad to hear that Lefty Gomez
4 Navy Cross Award Citation for Matthew D. Dukes.
s Public Information Document by Corporal Louis Jobst, Marine Combat Correspondent, dated 2
November 1951, National Archives: RG 127, Records of the U. S. Marine Corps, "Division of Information,
Publicity Articles Relating to the First Marine Division in Korea, Final Copies, Oct. 1950-Feb. 1952."
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 28, 2016.