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

from the bushes and wounded him with a burp gun and rifle fire in the side, but he cut
them down with his BAR.45
Either of his wounds was ambulatory, but Vittori refused to stop. He had been
wounded once before from shrapnel in June near Yangu. He had been given
opportunity then to take a job in his unit that would keep him out of harm's way, but he
wanted to be with his buddies. His platoon leader, 2nd Lt Harry Randall of Wisconsin,
had wanted to make him a squad leader, but he had refused, instead wishing to remain
simply a BAR man. He did not want to tell his buddies what to do.46
One of the MGs ran out of ammo. Vittori moved against the NKPA, firing his BAR
from the hip to cut down the enemy in their dirty cotton uniforms. He moved to the
downed MG and held from there while it was resupplied. He saved the machine gun
crew by cutting down four or five NKPA within arms reach of the position. One had a
burp gun and was right on top of the Marines, but Vittori "came from nowhere to cut him
down," said Corporal Johnny Gifford of Eden, Texas. Another Marine MG jammed, its
barrel glowing red hot. Vittori moved and took over defending that position as well with
his BAR. He leapt from position to position spraying bullets from his 201b. BAR. In this
way he posted himself at three different foxholes, each five yards apart, and defended
them all.47
"Mortally wounded by enemy machine gun and rifle bullets while persisting in his
magnificent defense of the sector where approximately 200 enemy dead were found the
following morning, Corporal Vittori, by his fortitude, stouthearted courage and great
45 Undated Public Information Document by Sgt. Frank L. Creasy, Marine Combat Correspondent,
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."
46 Ibid.
47 Ibid.

167

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 18, 2014.