September 17 and 0200 on the 18th, they had made four round trips to the front with
food, water, ammo, and supplies. Each trip took four hours, much of it up extremely
steep hills, while burdened with between sixty and eighty pounds per man. That same
night, a stretcher party carrying Easy Company wounded got hit by enemy artillery.
More than one wounded Marine found himself the victim of a second or third hit before
they were brought to cover.14
Earlier that day, 2/5 had asked for resupply via helicopter. This was turned down in
the morning, but at 1400 in the afternoon, the Btn CP received word the request would
be granted. The first flight of four Sikorsky PRS-1 Cargo Helicopters brought in 4,792
pounds of supplies. Each carried three or four casualties with it on its return trip (these
choppers could carry more than ordinary choppers).15
That night, too, Fox Company picked up two NKPA deserters who sought
American lines and surrendered. They reported that their unit had received over 600
men in reinforcement the previous night. Another POW, this one taken in the fighting,
claimed his company had had 140 men ten days ago, but now was reduced to only
eighty. Other NKPA straggled into Marine lines here and there throughout the night,
voluntarily surrendering. Some said their unit was to be relieved that night and so they
had escaped before taken back behind the lines and far from the Americans-it was
much harder to escape then. (Many NKPA troops were former ROKs who had been
forced to join the enemy, so this does not necessarily indicate a widespread change of
heart on the part of Communists to capitalists, furthermore, the enemy soldiers were
14 Ibid., 50-51.
15 Ibid., 51.
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 30, 2014.