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

estimated to have originally been a large one. However, it blundered into one of its own
minefields and took casualties. Marines could here moaning besides the explosions.
Only four actually made it through the mines, and the Marine fire, to reach the lines and
try to infiltrate. The Easy-1 outpost was reoccupied at dawn by the Marines.26
The enemy again probed the Fox and Easy positions on 812 at 0845. One POW
captured this date reported that the NKPA had been busy through the night mining the
ridge to 980 and the approaches from 812 to 1052, also adding boob traps to "reap a
'harvest'" should the Marines attack beyond the Rock.27
The enemy caused other problems for the Marines than direct offensive or
defensive action. The battalion TACP radio net was jammed that morning by music and
"repetitious, nonsensical calls that included the repetition of words like 'U. S. A.' over
and over for five or ten minutes." The Marines had to use very high frequency that day
to avoid this. However, 2/5 did not attempt to call any CAS that day, so the enemy
efforts were of little avail beyond annoyance.28
Fox-1 received a new commander. Captain Sawina turned over command to Lt.
De Nobriga (no first name supplied) that morning. The visibility, too was low throughout
the day, but nevertheless, the enemy observers on 1052 and 980 were quick to fire on
any Marine foolish enough to venture atop the skyline on Hill 812 or over to the forward
slope. Sixteen casualties were had from enemy incoming in a single two hour period
that morning. Fox had 1 KIA and 4 WIA, and there were 4 WIA from Easy while these
Marines were trying to dig emplacements. "These incoming rounds were noted to have
struck the ridge without fail at approximately the hour of reveille, then during normal
26 Maj Gerald P. Averill, "Final Objective," 15; "Historical Diary," Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, 54.
27 "Historical Diary," Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, 54.
28 Ibid., 54-55.


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 December 6, 2016.