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

something fierce indeed for that man to be allowed off duty in time of imminent or
ongoing combat.22
The division intelligence section reported that the enemy was trying desperately to
keep at least a division of men as a striking force in the area. This meant they would
probably counterattack in force soon (the previous attacks were of a smaller scale). This
"intel" proved correct. The following night, 15-16 September, would be a harrowing
23
one.23
Day Five: September 15
Before dawn, Item Company 3/1 had to fight off an enemy counterattack of 100-
150 enemy. These NKPA were repulsed at 0105. Item used their supporting arms to
good effect. It called in "extremely heavy artillery fire," to bracket its position with 1,259
rounds fired during "a single one hour period for the company." George, too, repulsed a
light probing attack with artillery fire. Then at 0650, George Company spotted fifty
enemy in the open on the ridge running between Hills 751 and 1052. The excited FO
quickly brought in mortar and artillery fire for a satisfying reported 30 enemy casualties
resulting. The light of dawn illumined a field of carnage around Item Company's
positions. Of the pieces still identifiable as a single man, Item counted 18 KIA and
estimated that 50 enemy WIA had been removed. Item itself had taken only a single
WIA that night, though two more followed from sniper-fire in a daylight patrol.24
Item Company's patrol encountered blistering enemy fire "immediately northwest
of the company perimeter." Meanwhile, George company used a "precision artillery
22 st Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 16.
23 st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 18.
24 Third Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 4-5.

157

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 September 22, 2014.