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

however, after the bitter assault ahead played out before their eyes, they were much
less ardent in their thirst for battle and were glad to not have had the assault.54
The Marines on this key finger-ridge had recently finished consolidating when a
heavy thunderstorm of artillery and mortar-fire shredded the hillside all around them
followed by a searching spray of thousands of MG rounds fanning all over their
positions. Corporal Callahan (no first name supplied), a squad leader, had one of his
Marines fall wounded. He cradled the man in his arms and made his way through " a
hail of grazing fire delivered by crossfiring enemy machine guns" to cover where the
wounded Marine could get first aid. He then moved from foxhole to foxhole among his
squad, designating targets for his Marines. "His coolness under fire was indicative of
that represented by Marines this day."55
This finger-ridge was about 150 yards from the base of the larger finger ridge to
the north. Two Marine light MGs were set up on either side of the finger. The original
plan was to attack simultaneously from two directions, one prong heading up the east
finger ridge, the other up the south finger. This was changed before jump-off to be a
three prong attack, one platoon per prong. Easy would pass through Fox with two of its
platoons and the third platoon would be the 2nd Platoon of Fox. This Platoon (it will be
remembered) was at a point only 100 meters from the objective, concealed from the
enemy by thick foliage. Colonel Stiff, CO of 2/5 made the estimate that 812 was
defended by one NKPA company. Fox was to support Easy's assault with fire.56
At dawn, the battalion also sent forward an "Observation Post/Command Post" or
OP-CP, composed of the S-3 and a miniature HQ. It set up at the approximate position

200

54 Ibid., 39.
55 Ibid., 40.
56 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 December 18, 2014.