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

The average trooper, enlisted or commissioned, wants to see rank roaming
around when things turn hot. That is what rank gets paid for . . . Someone has to
be there to talk it up, to do the coaching, to be responsible for the team. If you
stand with troopers in a firefight, they will put on one hell of a show. If you crawl
into your foxhole and pull it on top of you, why shouldn't they do the same? There
was far too much rank in the foxholes that night.66
Corporal Nolen (no first name supplied) was an FO for the 3rd Section of the 81mm
mortar platoon and was up with Easy Company to direct the fires. He was calling in
"previously registered defensive mortar fires, when he saw that greater accuracy and
closer fires would . . ." be beneficial. He crawled out on the ridge outside the lines with
his radio operator, Corporal Martin, where all the hell was falling and mines were
everywhere, and began to shout coordinates and fire corrections to Martin, who relayed
the information over the radio.67
The Marines counterattacked again at half an hour before standard reveille time
(0500). Easy Company provided a holding force, hitting the enemy in the front, while the
"orphan" 2nd platoon from Fox Company circled and struck the enemy from the flank in a
crushing attack by grenades and machine guns with complete surprise. The NKPA fled,
and 60 enemy dead were counted in its wake.68
Averill's account was less sympathetic to the actions of Weiss to evacuate Lt.
Matas:
About 0200 the next morning the sky fell in. Like a cloudburst, 120mm
mortar shells came down around us, saturating the whole defensive complex.
The hills trembled, shuddered, the roar of the explosions unbroken, deafening,
the deadly whir-rr-rrr of the cast iron shell fragments like the whine of giant bees.
... The land line was hit. We sent a message by radio to inform the battalion of
our situation, although there should have been little doubt in their minds.
66 Gerald P. Averill, Mustang, 273.
67 "Historical Diary," Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, 69-70.
68 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 197-98; 1st Mar Div "Historical Diary", September 1951,
24.

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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 May 5, 2015.