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

they were to guide. (An FAC on the ground with the unit receiving support knew where
friendly lines were because he was a part of them.)
An Army report on CAS described the Mosquito control system in such a way as
to "leave no doubt of the superiority of ground-controlled air attacks over the Mosquito
system." However, one Marine expert on CAS in 1951 pointed out that the Mosquito
system was complementary to the FAC system because Mosquitoes could sometimes
communicate with aircraft for the FAC, when the FAC's radio malfunctioned and could
not contact the CAS aircraft but could contact the Mosquito. In other words, the
Mosquito acted as an emergency relay in such instances, and the radios failed often
enough to make such a safety net necessary. And while the Mosquito was not exactly
organic to Marine doctrine as working independent from any FAC, Marine doctrine did
allow for airborne controllers as TACs (tactical air controllers). These could sometimes
see targets out of sight of the FAC. Thus it can be seen that the Marine system was
"augment[ed]" by the Mosquito system rather than the latter being obviated by the
former. In fact, if a mosquito pilot flew one area enough, or had enough experience,
they improved in their technique and could be effective in situations where the target
could be seen from the air. However, both North Korean and CCF doctrine stressed
camouflage to such a degree that it was hard indeed to see a target from the air that
was not already spotted by someone on the ground. (The JOC system as practiced in
Korea was not instated in Vietnam or Iraq. Some commanders thought this a mistake,
while others, a big relief.)24
24 1MarDiv, "Report of CAS," Letter of CG (commanding general) 1MarDiv, MajGen Gerald C. Thomas, to
CG Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, Lt. Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd, dated 25 August 1951, page 4; Interview
with Major William T. Porter, USMC, 12 October 1951; Headquarters, Eighth U. S. Army Korea, "Enemy
Tactics." The Army as a whole did not view the Mosquito system as inferior.


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.