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

from their blind side. NKPA fled their holes and ran northwest to hole up in reverse-
slope bunkers and again kill Marines. The Marine attack succeeded with this flank
attack achieving complete surprise. Fox-2's (Fox Company, Second Platoon) had
achieved the summit after only thirty-six minutes (for Fox Company's 2nd Platoon -- it
was many hours for the others) of close quarters combat with grenades, rifles, and
machine guns. The fighting was close and fierce, going to bayonets, clubbed rifles,
rocks, fists, and anything else at hand. "The platoon quickly.., overcame enemy
resistance and occupied the position without excessive losses." In this platoon's sector
at least, the enemy seemed to have run out of grenades.85
One last bunker remained in Fox-2's area. It was "sizeable" and in the saddle
between two knobs atop the hill. In it a Maxim-heavy shot scathing fire down the length
of the ridgeline. It took a 3.5 inch bazooka four rounds to neutralize the position. (The
rocket-team fired from 250 yards off and shook up the enemy within enough that other
Marines could demolish it.) The most effective weapon, again, the 5th Marines
discovered, for taking out enemy MGs was counter-fire from its own light MGs. "It was
observed that [at least] three machine guns on the hill had been pierced and probably
destroyed by .30 caliber bullets." Flamethrowers might have worked better, but could
not be used that day because of "high head winds."86
The slopes were strewn with dead enemy, but not all were really dead. "One
seemingly dead North Korean Soldier lay crumpled beside a bunker, his rifle broken, his
pockets turned inside out, for a long period of time." (Men from the S-2 section usually
came and searched the bodies right away to glean any documents for intelligence


85 Ibid.
86 Ibid., 46-47, 50.

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 March 3, 2015.