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

30 men: 2 squads and an MG squad; (the 3rd Platoon only 16 men and 5 machine
gunners-barely a single squad; 2nd Platoon 34 men and a MG section.)63
"The momentum of the enemy attack was only slightly diminished by the terrific
volume of artillery and mortar fire. . ." sent in by U. S. supporting arms. Between 0240
and 0450 over 1,600 rounds of friendly artillery were delivered on enemy positions. The
81mm mortars fired 606 rounds before 0700 from their 6 tubes. "The 81mm radio net
[was]... buzzing" with "constant" activity. "Send it Easy. Roger Easy. On the way,
Easy. Again Easy. Roger. Same again. Roger." The laborers and Marines assigned to
keep the mortars supplied with ammunition had to improvise. They used "any
conceivable type of carrier for mortar shells" from ammo bags, their own pockets,
packboards, knapsacks, to haversacks. Some Koreans even tied their bundles with
primer cord. When dawn revealed this, the cord was replaced with rope. That could
have been one explosive accident.64
Easy Company received heavy fire along its front lines from positions abandoned
by Easy-1. The NKPA had set up two MGs in a deserted bunker on a prominent knob
(See Map # 37), and poured plunging fire from this elevated point directly into Marine
positions. The enemy kept up the attack with heavy use of small arms and grenades
against Easy-1 and Easy-3. A squad from the 2nd Platoon was quickly dispatched to
reinforce them. Averill saw that the defense was at a critical moment. He moved about
the area, talking to the troops, letting himself be seen, and organizing the men.65
Again, Gerald P. Averill:
63 Ibid., 67-68; Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 197; 1st Mar Div "Historical Diary",
September 1951, 24.
64 "Historical Diary," Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, 68-69.
65 Ibid., 69.


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 October 6, 2015.