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

withdraw his platoon with the other two since he was but 150 yards from the crest and in
an ideal position to renew the attack in the morning. After a simulated withdrawal to
confuse the enemy, he set up his unit in a tight perimeter within the tree line with strict
fire, light, camouflage, and noise discipline so that the NKPAs did not even realize they
were still in the vicinity.27
After Fox Company had moved out the morning of 16 September, Easy Company
was put on alert to be ready to attack. No attack order came down. On the evening of
the 16th, the Battalion CO received word from the regimental CO that 2/5 was to resume
the attack the next day. Though "H Hour" had not yet been determined, it was
suspected that it would be at 0400, "since Division seemed to favor that hour." Sure
enough, a couple of hours later "H-hour" came down as 0400. The Battalion CP then
relayed this information to Fox Company, directing the attack to resume at 0400. The
message came out as "0900," however, because of a mistake in the Company's
decoder machine. The mistake would not be realized until 0420 when battalion HQ
realized Fox was not attacking. The evening of the 16th, Easy Company was ordered to
begin a move to the Fox CP at 0400, September 17.28
At 1630, September 16, the regimental Operation Order 42-51 came down,
confirming the earlier verbal orders for the next day's assault. It designated 0830 as H-
hour for Easy (the 0400 H-hour was from Division for the battalion, a job given to Fox,
not Easy Company). There was also an airstrike planned to hit Hill 812 and Objective
Two in the morning before the attack. The battalion S-3, Major Averill, estimated jump
off could be had at 0800 for Easy Company (earlier than the actual planned H-hour) and


27 Ibid.
28Ibid., 33, 38.

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 November 26, 2015.