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

shrapnel. He began to lose blood in dangerous amounts but helped carry stretcher-
borne Marines to the rear and returned with ammunition. He refused evacuation. Too
many needed help for him to leave.
Another enemy assault crashed against 2/1's lines, and Tony got word that NKPA
troops had infiltrated the Marine lines. Tony armed himself with a fallen Marine's rifle
and fended off enemy soldiers who tried to attack the wounded under his care. When
morning came, Tony was found, dead of his wounds, but he had given his life in the aid
of the wounded, exemplifying the highest naval traditions of the Navy Corpsmen.57
One Marine combat correspondent, Corporal Louis Jobst, in a never before
published account, described the general experience of combat in the dark that chill
September morning:
It's suddenly night. You're so tired that every muscle cries out for rest. You
aren't even thinking any longer. You left a lot behind when you started up this
slope behind our "walking" mortar barrage.
It seems only a moment ago that you were crouching behind a little rise
near the crest of the hill, trying to catch your breath and wait for "the word."
Four times the company assaulted this hill. Did it really take only four
assaults to capture it? Hill 749 is secured. No use looking back.
Down the line the word is passed: "Dig in against a possible
counterattack." Entrenching tools cut into the hillside. You wonder: "What would
the gooks want this place for? Haven't they had enough yet?" But you dig your
hole fast and deep.
The outfit is five hours by trail from the supply point. The lieutenant asks:
"What do you want-water, ammo or chow?" Everyone agrees: "Ammo up!"
Now the darkness deepens. Small talk ebbs and stops. Shells click into
their chambers and in the ominous quiet you can hear the safety locks click off.
No one says the enemy is creeping closer. No need to. Everyone knows
that they are.
It is one a.m. when flares light up the horizon. A systematic attack is on.
First come the feelers. They inch up the slope through the shadows. Now, they
are here. Spasmodic rifle shots rip into your lines. They seem to say: "Commit
yourselves, Marines. We're here and in larger numbers than you."
But no flashing Marine rifle gives away his position.

173

57 Ibid.

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 29, 2014.