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

aid to the fallen and then helped drag or otherwise evacuate them to the relative safety
of cover.17
Another American on the fire-swept hill found courage within himself. Corporal
Lonn (no first name supplied) was a squad leader with the 60mm mortar squad attached
to the platoon. He deliberately exposed himself to enemy observation to draw their fire
and locate the enemy emplacements by their muzzle flashes or dust. He personally
directed fire on at least three enemy positions and was instrumental in the destruction of
one enemy MG position on the flank.18
In this engagement, radio contact was lost with the parent company. Then, when a
garbled message came in, the Fox Company Commander sent a runner to the platoon.
The runner returned with word that the platoon was in confusion from the loss of most of
its leaders as casualties. Lt Holmes (no first name or specification of rank as 1st or 2nd Lt
supplied) volunteered to take over and reorganize the 3rd Platoon. In addition a
helicopter for "med-evac" was requested through the battalion TACP (Tactical Air
Control Party).19
The morale of Fox Company was further damaged by an incident of friendly fire at
dusk involving Dog 2/5 on a ridge to the left of Fox 2/5. This company sighted men
approaching it, and unsure if these were friendlies or not, called headquarters to ask
that the assault companies mark their positions with WP, so Dog Company could
thereby avoid firing on fellow Marines. The "Willie Pete" went up from Fox Company, but
attack aircraft in the vicinity saw it and assumed it was to mark an enemy position.
These planes hit Fox Company 2/5 with napalm and strafing fire, but miraculously not

187

17 Ibid., 31.
18 Ibid.
19 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 August 28, 2014.