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

assaults of determined enemy undoubtedly saved a major breakthrough from menacing
the front at this point."85
The dawn soon lighted the sky and enemy grenadiers had infiltrated to right under
the Marine fighting positions, trying to take the right flank of the two companies. Marines
tossed grenades just outside their holes down onto the enemy on the slope. After this
attack was beaten back, enemy poured down the ridge from the Rock. Averill, however,
had made ready a standby platoon for just such an occasion. "They stood to the rear of
the main bunker in a line of skirmishers-bayonets fixed, weapons and grenades
ready-just down from the bunker, out of sight . . . Psyched-up, confidence bolstered
by the fact that the Marines had given ground, the enemy swooped over the bunkers, to
be met at point-blank range by a fusillade of grenades, small arms, and automatic-
weapons fire-fire so heavy that it stopped the North Koreans, turned them, and sent
them flying back along the ridge line and into the western bunkers." Just then a supply
train of ammo arrived "'seeming like a prayer answered,' said the Fox Company
Commander."86
One bunker was still in enemy hands. A 3.5 inch rocket team had moved to
engage it at 0420, 250 yards off, but the darkness was too much and the team had to
wait until dawn to effectively be able to aim. As dawn crept closer, so too did the end of
this bunker, and as soon as there was light, with MGs firing streams into the
embrasures to suppress the combatants inside while the rocket team worked. The back-
85 Ibid.
86 Gerald P. Averill, Mustang, 274-75; Second Battalion, 5th Marines, "Historical Diary," September 1951,
72-73.

245

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 21, 2014.