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

The advance was slow and hard fought with How Company in the lead. Enemy fire was
intense and darkness imminent, so 3/1 consolidated for the night at 1900 having only
gained 50 yards and lost 7 KIA and 24 WIA in How Company alone.93 (See Map # 38)
Total casualties for the 20th for the whole division were 12 KIA and 68 WIA.94
On 21 September, 3/1 moved again to take Hill 854. Prisoners reported that over
500 enemy with orders to defend to the death held the 2,000 meters of ridgeline, mostly
in reverse slope positions well stocked with ample ammunition. Artillery had a very
tough time bringing fire on this reverse slope. "Air support was requested to be on
station at 0700 but did not arrive." Once again, the Marines found themselves
advancing up a steep slope strewn with mines through a rain of steel from artillery and
mortars and fiery green tracers from machine guns. This attack was delayed until
almost 1300 in a wait for CAS because the enemy defense was stalwart. However, JOC
called 1st Mar Div and reported that there would be no more air that day, though one
strike was eventually executed. The enemy's mutually supporting positions on Hill 854
were reported as being better constructed than any yet encountered. The Marines
finally broke the NKPA back at 1650 when two key bunkers were demolished. The hill
was reported secured at 1745. The losses this day were 2 KIA and 31 WIA.95
93 Third Battalion, 1st Marines, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 7; 1st Marine Regiment, "Historical
Diary," September 1951,4, 20; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 3. See chapter on Close
Air Support.
94 st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 31.
95 1st Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 5, 20-21; Third Battalion, 1st Marines,
"Historical Diary," September 1951, 7; 1st Mar Div "Historical Diary", September 1951, 24. See chapter on
Close Air Support.

249

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 October 24, 2014.