strongpoint... [on the crest] with minimum cost to themselves." The crest of 812 itself,
however, was not yet secured.78
Fox's 2nd Platoon was making the most progress of the assaulting elements. Easy
Company's platoons faced "murderous fire from the many positions dotting the ridge
and particularly from enemy positions on the crest of the rise just beyond the summit of
812." Easy Company's 2nd Platoon found itself under heavy mortar fire at 1330. The
3rd Platoon faced a bunker on the forward slope that was both stubborn and deadly. It
continued to maintain accurate streams of fire that scythed through the platoon's ranks.
"Each time the men moved toward the hilltop, the machine gun in the bunker, a heavy,
M1910 Maxim-type Soviet weapon, chattered and forced them to hug the earth again."
This bunker was a tough one. It finally took two direct hits from 75mm recoilless rifles
(fired from the positions near Dog Company 1,250 meters away before these were
forced out of position) to neutralize it, and even then only the firing ports on the east
side had been caved in, other ports were still active. "It was believed by Easy Company
officers that this single fortified position was responsible for a majority of these
casualties, so strategically located was the bunker." Such is an example of the tenacity
of the NKPA positions.79
Hospitalman Hunter (no first name supplied) was a corpsman with the platoon.
Despite painful wounds to the body and legs he refused to be evacuated so that the
stretcher would be available to a more-severely wounded man. He shakily rose to his
feet and attempted to make it to the aid station on his own steam, but collapsed from
79 "Historical Diary," Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, 45. Perhaps if on-call, accurate CAS had been
available to the unit, these casualties would not have been as heavy because the Marines could have
covered most if not all of the gap between themselves and the key defenses before the enemies that
were not destroyed by the strike again raised their heads to fire. (See chapter on Close Air Support).
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 March 10, 2014.