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

Fox's CP had been the night before as a "'classic' observation post, from which an
excellent view could be had of all that transpired on the ridge of Objective Dog."57
After Fox Company had the base of fire set up, Easy Company leapfrogged
forward through it at 0850 with Fox's 2nd Platoon attached.58
The Marines of Easy Company requested air support, but no planes showed up in
time (this despite 2/5 having priority of air support and all aircraft on station were to
report every hour for possible strikes). It was not, in this case, because the planes were
late, but because of a communications failure that did not allow the 2nd Battalion FAC to
communicate with them to control a strike. Therefore the planes were sent to 3/5's FAC
instead. "As the troops awaited the air-strike, the Battalion S-3 relayed Lieutenant
Colonel Stiff's orders to attack at once following the actual aerial attack, to take
advantage of the expected state of shock the enemy will have suffered thereby," even if
Easy's 2nd Platoon was not quite at the LD (Line of Departure). But since the planes did
not show, this platoon was on the LD in plenty of time.59
Finally, at 0755 fighter planes strafed and rocketed positions in front of 2/5 and
beyond 812. "However, this strike was disappointing, as the area of impact was too far
beyond the area of our immediate attack to be very helpful." Later at 0920 and 1045 the
battalion again tried to direct airstrikes but could not make contact with the TACP radio
and so could not call priority missions. With no adequate air-strike the assault would
have to be made with only artillery and mortar support. Fox in particular kept the
objective under a continuous hail from its 60 mm mortars. Also in support, Dog
57 Ibid.
s8 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 195; 1 Mar Div "Historical Diary", September 1951, 21;
Maj Gerald P. Averill, "Final Objective," 14.
59 "Historical Diary," Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, 40.

201

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 July 12, 2014.