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

to be seized was atop a "T' shaped ridge, and there were no routes of approach
available that were not within mutually supporting fields of fire from the enemy. Many
enemy defenses were on reverse slopes (making them very difficult to eliminate with
artillery, tanks, and mortars). The primary attack was to be made by 2/5 on the right. To
the left of 2/5, 3/5 would advance at the same time and support the attack on 812, but
were to be ready to attack Hill 980 when ordered. While all this was going on, 1/5 was to
remain in regimental reserve. It moved to an assembly area on Hill 702, Yoke Ridge.5
Fox 2/5 was the leading company. Easy Company was battalion reserve, and Dog
company set up to support the attack by fire from the former positions of How Company
3/1, which they had relieved near Hill 751. Fox moved out between Hills 673 and 680
along the low ground formed by a tributary of the Soyang River. The relief of units from
the 1st Marines rendered a delay, however, and the attack was not really moving before
mid afternoon (this delay would prove costly). Weapons Company set up with Dog
Company, its heavy machine guns organized for battery fire over the heads of the
attacking troops along with support from the 75mm recoilless rifles. In the vicinity of Dog
Company, several mines cause multiple casualties among members of the 5th Marines.
Trails in the area were jammed to capacity with the 1st Marine troops being relieved and
the 5th Marine troops relieving them-it was too unsafe to leave the trails because of the
heavy amount of mines in the area. The necessary lack of dispersion and interval
caused a fear of enemy mortar and artillery fire, so elements of the 5th Marines set up in
positions to provide cover over the trails to prevent observed enemy interdictory fire.6
s Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 194; 1 Mar Div "Historical Diary", September 1951, 19-20.
6"Historical Diary," of the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines, September 1951, 2, 26, 27; Major Gerald P. Averill,
"Final Objective," Marine Corps Gazette 40 (August 1956): 13.


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. Accessed February 9, 2016.