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

ratio of one air wing to one division engaged in combat for the purpose of CAS was
more than adequate.)53
Ridgway and the AF commanders who influenced him in this opinion were, in the
Marine view, missing a key fact: even if every division in Korea was provided the
equivalent of one Marine Air Wing in CAS support, only the 1 MarDiv would use it to its
potential. All of the other divisions except for the 7thlD (for a time) did not even have the
requisite number of TACPs to call that many air strikes, much less the training to do so,
and simply directing them via Mosquito aircraft, as was standard in the other divisions,
would be, if not a waste of CAS sorties, a certainly less effective application of that
combat power.
(If the 1st MAW had been used solely for CAS, even for all Eighth Army, the
Marines would have had fewer objections than to its being used primarily for the AF's
interdiction campaign - so the whole of Eighth Army was being denied its CAS, not just
the 1st Mar Div. Furthermore, the deliberate and strong attempts by the AF before the
Korean War to absorb Naval aviation and especially all land-based air capabilities such
as the Marine Corps's air components were still keenly felt by Marines at the time. They
had reason to suspect that the AF cared less about the actual contribution the 1st MAW
could make to interdiction than they did about keeping the Marines "in line" and possibly
setting precedents for greater control over Naval and Marine aviation.)
In the Marine view, the Marine raincoat of CAS, adequate at protecting an
individual, particularly the individual who had brought it to Korea, was now taken from it,
divided into tiny scraps and spread among a whole multitude of persons where but a
53 Robert F. Futrell, USAF in Korea, 795-796; 1MarDiv, "Report of CAS," Letter to CG 1MarDiv, Maj. Gen.
Gerald C. Thomas, from CINCUNC General Matthew B. Ridgway, 15 Oct. 1951, pages 1-2.

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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 September 20, 2014.