Diary in a radical understatement. Many of the soldiers who survived fled to the bunkers
on the reverse slope of 812. Such progress was not to be long lived.52
The 1st Platoon of Fox, now under Captain Sawina, started up a small finger ridge
in front of its night positions to set up a base of fire to support the assault. This finger
ridge was not as well defended as the main finger. It gave the platoon the advantage of
some defilade to set up MGs to fire on the enemy bunkers. Fox's CO thought this to be
the fatal chink in the enemy's defense. At 0745 the 1st Platoon and part of the 3rd began
this limited objective attack to regain the ground lost when these withdrew the previous
evening. Thereafter, they were to consolidate for the night while the 2nd Platoon and
Easy Company pressed the attack. (The 3rd Platoon had had many casualties and part
of it was left at the Fox CP for local security. The elements of this platoon with Sawina
would set up with his 1st Platoon to cover the assault up the northwest finger ridge.)53
The point Sawina's men were aiming for was the afore-mentioned finger ridge. At
0830, the platoons reached this "finger" despite some casualties and stiffening
resistance (much of the progress was made because of concealment offered by the
trees). When the fireteam on 1st Platoon's "point" (all volunteers) learned they were to
consolidate now and await nightfall while Easy Company got to make the day's main
attack, they were crestfallen. This gung-ho foursome of "devil dogs" (as Marines were
called by the Germans in WWI) each had a Thompson submachine-gun and fancied
himself eager for action and wanted to be the first Marines on the crest of 812. Later on,
52 "Historical Diary," Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, 39.
53 Ibid., 41.
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 February 9, 2016.