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

tiny scrap of raincoat was as effective as none at all and everybody got equally wet. The
Marines insisted that the air ground team should remain a whole as the National
Security Act of 1947 and subsequent amendments implied in the phrase "together with
supporting air units," and the Marines who had brought their raincoat be allowed to use
it in one piece. One individual who is dry is better than a whole host that is equally wet.
Why should the effectiveness of one unit be hamstrung so that it is as equally ineffective
as those around it, said the Marines. (Perhaps Marines also thought that their own CAS
was at least their due since they had been moved inland away from the customary
support of NGF.)
Furthermore, Ridgway's contention that all divisions be entirely equal in amount
of CAS did not take into account the factor of terrain. Thomas's requests specifically
concerned a period of time when the 1MarDiv was in the most rugged, inhospitable
portion of the entire line. There were few roads, and the ability of artillery to hit targets in
such terrain was severely curtailed. Many targets could only be hit by air strikes. (All the
conditions for using an air strike were met according to Marine doctrine.)54 To say that
the 1MarDiv division in the east near the Punchbowl, Porkchop Hill, and Heartbreak
Ridge should not get more CAS than a division serving in the Seoul corridor where the
terrain was relatively level and rolling was ridiculous. Furthermore, one Air Wing in the
54 United States Navy and Marine Corps, NAVMC-4159, 32: "Whenever possible, however, employment
of close air support should be limited to situations where one or more of the following conditions exist: (a)
Artillery and naval gunfire support are not available. This includes periods when artillery units are
displacing and fire support ships are maneuvering. (b) The target is beyond the effective range of artillery
and naval gunfire. (c) Terrain masks the fires of artillery and naval gunfire. (d) The construction of the
target is such that artillery and naval gunfire are unable to accomplish its destruction. (e) Effective attack
of the target requires enfilade fires which cannot be delivered by either artillery or naval gunfire. (f) Large
areas require neutralization for a period of time. (g) The target is of a general and indeterminate nature,
such as large wooded areas which are suspected of concealing enemy troops or installations. (h) The
target is constructed of inflammable material. (i)The target consists of inflammable vegetation which is
obstructing observation or impeding the advance. (j) The target is moving rapidly away from friendly front
lines. (k) The target is moving towards front lines but at sufficient distance to permit the request,
assignment, and direction of support aircraft."

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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 December 26, 2014.