seeming out of place in this region of rounded, green ridges and wooded knobs . . . [It]
is approximately seventy-five feet across, lightly fringed with vegetation, and from its
northern side an overgrown rocky slope leads down to the valley of the Soyang-Gang. It
appears weird and forbidding, particularly after dark, and effectively obscures from sight
a considerable area to the west." The Marines had outposts on the top of the hill where
the Rock stood and to its east. Just to the west, however, was NKPA "Injun country," or
"goonie land." The Marines had to dig in on the northern slope of the ridge between the
Rock and Hill 812, the southern slope was untenable due to enemy observation and
Just east of The Rock were usable North Korean positions, including a bunker. A
platoon from "E" Company out posted the ridge from these positions and
furnished a fire team for The Rock. The remainder of "E" Company existed during
the daylight hours on the east slope of the north-south ridge line. At night they
moved into fighting holes on the western slope. "F" Company linked up with "E"
Company at the northern tip of the 812 complex and defended to the north along
the ridge line running east toward Hills 673 and 749.47
Marines were in short supply of fortification material, too, such as sand bags,
barbed wire, and mines. It was a sticky problem facing 2/5 of how to get its companies
much needed supplies. Helicopters again provided the solution. Though request for
helicopter resupply was only sent at 1100 that morning, the Marines by evening had
received 12,180 pounds of supplies from sixteen flights within a single hour in Operation
Windmill II. The helicopter proved to be a significant boon to the 1st Mar Div in the
mountainous terrain far from the sea.48
46 "Historical Diary," Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, 49; Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front,
197; 1st Mar Div "Historical Diary", September 1951, 23. This formation would also be known as "Luke the
47 Gerald P. Averill, Mustang, 269.
48 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 197; 1st Mar Div "Historical Diary", September 1951, 23.
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 December 22, 2013.