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

The hill was now UN territory and would remain so until Communists wrested it
from the ROK 12th Division in June 1953. Averill would receive the Silver Star.91 (See
Map # 39)
Dog Company then passed through the Fox CP on its way to relieve the worn
remnants of Fox and Easy. "At least one platoon of Dog Company reached the Fox CP,
where it was held up, before Fox-2's counterattack had finished mopping up. The rest of
Dog Company followed closely; the company's movement on sudden orders and in
darkness was most expeditious."92
One last hill remained to be taken far to the east to complete the Marine mission of
establishing the new Minnesota Line (the Hays Line with terrain gained along
Kanmubong Ridge added). Hill 854 was held by the 8th ROK Division, but the enemy
was still entrenched along it and resisting. The enemy was elements of the 45th
Regiment, 15th NKPA Division. The 1st Marines was ordered to take the hill by force if
not already secured by the 8th ROK Division. (See Phot # 7) The ROKS were reportedly
on the crest, but over 2000 yards of the hill were still enemy. The Marines moved to a
position near the hill and began the attack late in the day (1730) after CAS failed to
materialize. It bogged down almost immediately because the objective was very
strongly held by about 500 enemy in bunkers. Guides from the 8th ROK Division were
on hand to get the Marines through the mines and to the positions the Marines were to
occupy, but the guides seemed incompetent to the Marines. They "bugged out" when
enemy incoming was received and were not seen again. The Marines of 3/1 took some
casualties (1 KIA and 1 WIA) from mines, many of them laid by ROKs, on the slopes.
91 Paul M. Edwards, The Hill Wars of the Korean Conflict (Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company,
2006): 111.
92 Second Battalion, 5th Marines, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 74.


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 January 21, 2017.