so the air strikes were planned for 0600. Since requested two hours early, perhaps the
usually late planes would actually be overhead before 0800 to make the strike in time
for the attack.29
That night was far from peaceful for 2/5. Artillery and mortar shells fell all night
long. The bombardments would come in intervals, several rounds hitting in quick
succession and then a time of quiet. This was hell on a man's nerves. Most of these
shells originated from Hills 980, 1052, or behind the MLR in the enemy's rear, but when
they struck so close to Marines, the men hunkering in their foxholes started to believe
they were friendly rounds falling short. (Part of this impression was from the fact that
some friendly 4.2 inch mortar fire had fallen near Marine locations, but the FSCC was
told and had had the fire stopped.)30
The 3rd Section of the 6th MG Squad was with Fox Company 2/5 on part of the
ridge east of Hill 812. That night a saturating artillery and mortar bombardment hit.
Corporal Burton (no first name supplied), the section's gunner, was hit by shrapnel in
his gut and left foot. The wounds were severe and the pain was intense. Warm, sticky
blood soaked his trousers and hands. Nevertheless, he risked his life to hurl four boxes
of MG ammunition that had caught fire down the hill, and then gave first aid to the fallen,
refusing care for himself. He waited until the other wounded had been evacuated before
beginning the trek to the company aid station himself, but he fainted from blood loss.
His example, however, inspired the men of his unit through the rest of the night, which
was cool, with clouds drifting over a full moon.31
31Ibid., 34, 37.
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 May 30, 2015.