They say that when Gomez got it, I picked up a carbine and tried to take
the hill by myself. I don't remember that and I don't have any medals to prove
that. Two-and-a-half months later, I came to in a hospital in Japan.9
One Marine PFC in the 1st Marines, Floyd Baxter, remembered Hill 749:
We had our version of Bloody Ridge, a place where men reached down in
themselves and did the impossible-they survived. When the objective [Hill749]
was finally taken, we began to dig in our eighty-one [mortar]. A guy by the name
of Jack and I were filling sandbags. Enemy mortars began to fall around us. Jack
found a shallow foxhole. A round landed about ten yards away. The blast didn't
hurt him, but he was so wedged in the hole, I nearly had to pry him out of it.
I believe Hill 749 will be remembered by men who were there as the battle
that was won with bayonets and rifle butts-and on a couple of occasions, with
That evening, the Marines of 2/1 called in air strikes and one arrived and
performed well. However, "another one was needed if the 2dBn was to advance." The
second strike never showed up so 2/1 consolidated and dug in for the night at 1830.
Casualties for 2/1 this day were 17 KIA and 109 WIA.11 (See Map # 27)
Unrelenting combat had brought 2/1 about 300 meters further forward by nightfall,
securing yet more portions of the 749 Hill Mass and this relieved pressure on 3/1, still
fighting to capture 751 after dusk. The latter battalion clawed its way to the summit
(though the entirety of the hill was not yet completely secure).12
The day's attack for 3/1 proceeded as follows. An air strike had been called for
3/1's jump off that day and it was effective. Enemy resistance was lessened, showing
that CAS did indeed destroy enemy bunkers when it was present and of good quality.
Item Company remained on Objective 1 while George surged forward to secure
9 Oral memoir of Oscar "Challo" Franco at: http://parentseyes.arizona.edulecompanylocf.html. Website
last consulted April 2007.
10 Oral account of PFC Floyd Baxter, in Knox, Uncertain Victory, 306.
111st Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 15.
12 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 191; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 17-
18; 1st Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 3, 15.
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 20, 2013.