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

ridge. Immediately, one man was downed from a long range shot by an enemy sniper.
The rest of the fire received, however, was sporadic and inaccurate, so the first shot
had been "lucky." The platoon kept advancing, keeping to the cover of the trees
wherever possible.15
The 3rd Platoon, under 2ndLt Charles Conyngham (who had commanded his
platoon less than two months and had, in an improbable coincidence, succeeded his
brother, John Conygnham in command), moved along the ridge adjacent to the trail
taken by the 2nd Platoon, trying to keep in defilade behind the small finger ridge, and by
1730 had made it to within 500 yards of the objective. It was here these Marines
suddenly received intense small arms and MG fire from the front. This hot firefight
stopped the 3rd Platoon's advance. A withering crossfire swept the ridge, riddling
Marines with heavy slugs before they could get to cover, and plunging the platoon into
confusion. Just then the mortar rounds began to drop, spraying daisy-cutter fragments
of white-hot steel across the Marine positions, some finding flesh and spattering the
Korean hill with American blood.16
The wounded fell where they were hit, many in dangerously exposed positions
with bullets and shell fragments kicking up dirt all around. Among those hit were the
platoon leader, platoon sergeant, and one squad leader. It was then that Hospitalman
Clines (no first name recorded), a Navy corpsman with the 3rd Platoon rushed from
cover to aid the casualties. He seemed to ignore the ground-churning, heavy caliber MG
slugs that erupted showers of debris, rock, and dirt all around him as he rendered first-

186

15 Ibid.
16Ibid., 30-31.

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 October 21, 2014.