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

largely through the efforts of sincere, patriotic laborers that the supply problem became
The positions for the night of 16-17 September for the rest of 2/5 (besides Fox
Company, for which the positions have already been noted) were as follows: Dog
Company was in a "tight perimeter" on the slopes of the ridge between 751 and 812,
and between How and Item Companies of 3/5; Easy Company was in the vicinity of the
Battalion CP near the Hays Line.35
The Marines of 3/5 passed through 3/1 west of 2/5 at 0830 that morning. It, too,
attacked north against heavy resistance. It made it to the vicinity of a ridgeline before
nightfall, where it dug in (night fell just before 2000 in Korea at this time of year).36
That afternoon, 2/5's 81mm mortar platoon moved close enough to support the
last part of the attack late in the evening.37
Thus 16 September ended for the 5th Marines. Fox 2/5 pulled back and set up a
defensive perimeter. It then began evacuation of wounded. Contact was made with 3/5
on the left and maintained all night. That night brought no enemy counterattacks for a
bright moon was up and the terrain was almost as bright as day.38
Gerald P. Averill described digging in that night:
As it had been on countless other nights of combat, the terrain was bathed by the
incandescence of a full moon, the hills and ridge lines so well illuminated that
every movement could be detected. Before nightfall Ramsdell and I had dug a
chevron-type foxhole across the spine of the ridge. In it were the field phone and
the radio. The colonel's hole had been dug nearby.39
34/bid., 37, 62.
35/bid., 37-38.
36 1 Mar Div "Historical Diary", September 1951, 20; "Tactical Study of Mandae-ri Area," July 1951,
Enclosure 1.
37 Maj Gerald P. Averill, "Final Objective," 14.
38 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 195; 1 Mar Div "Historical Diary", September 1951, 19-
39 Gerald P. Averill, Mustang, 266.


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 December 10, 2016.