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

Marine losses were: 5 KIA, 58 WIA, and 5 KMCs were WIA. Enemy losses were:
100 counted KIA, 50 estimated KIA, 43 estimated KIA, and 15 POWs.59
Day Ten: September 20
The Rock
The night of September 19-20 was far from one of quiet repose and relaxation. At
0315, the NKPA tried to seize Hill 812. The attack came after an intense barrage of
enemy supporting arms, particularly hitting heavy on Easy-1. "This fire was at first
thought to be a regular bombardment, but as the shells continued falling at a constant
rate, the Marines assumed that a counterattack was imminent. One observer described
the half hour bombardment as 'the most intense' he had yet experienced in this short
operation." It included both 120mm mortars and 76mm artillery, but it was also
supplemented with 75mm recoilless rifle fire from less than 700 yards off, a more than
effective range for this weapon. The Marines began laying on their own 81mm mortars
ahead of their lines. At 0230, the barrage "lifted and moved eastward." Then at least a
company of NKPA boiled across the ridge on the slope north of the Rock hurling
grenades and spraying bullets from their burp guns. The soldiers were right on the heels
of the walking mortar barrage; they had circled the Rock and poured into the attack
before Marine 4.2 inch mortars had any chance of going to work. (See Map # 36) (This
larger mortar could only be used safely a fair distance from friendly lines since the shells
produced such a wallop, but the enemy quickly closed to within that distance.)60 (See
Photo #6)
59 1st Mar Div "Historical Diary", September 1951, 23.
60 "Historical Diary," Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, 67-68.

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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 12, 2014.