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

fighting. In September, 1951, CAS was rarely coordinated effectively with movement of
troops, was unreliable, late, and inaccurate; and time and again attacks were delayed to
await planes that never showed up. In the end, FSC was an essential element in Marine
doctrine for effective CAS that was conspicuously absent in September, 1951, due
primarily to the unwieldy nature of the JOC system and the unreliability of even pre-
planned air strikes in arriving on time to further the attack. This gives some credence to
General Thomas's claim that inadequate CAS cost USMC lives.
Fire Support Coordination was not always utilized by the FSCC or the SAC,
however. "When we were frequently away from units higher than the company that
could influence the action, the supporting arms are controlled, requested and evaluated
by the company itself. That is why it is important for company commanders, potential
company commanders, and platoon leaders, to learn all the capabilities and limitations
about supporting arms because when the chips are down they are the ones that will ask
for it."12
12 Marine Corps Historical Section Interview with Captain Robert Barrow, October 8, 1951, Marine Corps
Korean War document collection CD# 14, part one of interview, page 4.

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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 20, 2014.