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

the infantry since shells could not reach them all, every enemy that could be eliminated
with a shell was one less to dig out with rifles, grenades, demolitions, and American
blood. In addition, the shelling suppressed enemy fire during an advance and was a
severely effective weapon against enemy morale.)
For the Corps, the basic implement for the waging of successful combat proved
to be the rifle-armed leatherneck, and this was true whether it was in the sweltering
jungles of Haiti, Vietnam, and Nicaragua, the coral strewn beaches of the Pacific, or the
frigid snows, rugged mountains, and stinking rice paddies of Korea. To this end, every
Marine was taught first to be a rifleman, a "ground-pounder," and then schooled in
something else. Marines believed this focus on the basic implement of the infantry-man
was not only unique, but made them better warriors. Today, Marines are quick to point
out, that no other service in the world requires that its initiates qualify with a rifle at the
distance Marines must fire at, 550 meters.4
In the AF view, on the other hand, CAS was not a priority, interdiction was, and
air power, not infantry, was the primary arm for waging war.5
This is not to say that the first priority of the air power in an amphibious landing
was not to first achieve air superiority. In this, the Air Force and Marine Corps/Navy air
doctrine were in agreement. The first priority was always air superiority over the
objective. The Air Force provided this air superiority in Korea, however, from time to
time, Marine ground units were still attacked by a YAK or MIG fighter, though this was
the exception rather than the rule. The Marine Corps continuously reemphasized the
need in its orders and reports to maintain its aerial defense initiatives among its forces
4 Robert Heinl, Soldiers of the Sea, 306-307.
s Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 169.


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 July 25, 2014.