area in September, one group of Marine tankers was hit with a pair of shells, one
landing smack in the middle of the fire. The NKPA also had abundant ammunition with
which to assault not only pre-determined targets, but also targets of opportunity.29
The NKPAs had another favored tactic. They zeroed in their own positions with
mortars and artillery from other positions. (Often, these pieces were hauled by pack
animals.) More than one group of Marines, elated with the joy of victory in crushing the
defenses of a formerly NKPA hill, suddenly found themselves under heavy, accurate fire
from enemy supporting arms. The enemy also had watering holes zeroed in with
artillery. Many KMCs (abbreviation meaning Marines from the regiment of the Korean
Marine Corps attached to the 1st Mar Div) were hit while trying to fill their canteens.30
The NKPA artillery fire usually came in twos and threes at the same range. This
knowledge helped PFC George R. Pealer of Nevada get a wounded Marine to safety.
The wounded Marine had been blinded and lost a foot in a landmine blast and needed
immediate medical attention. Pealer took the windshield off his jeep, strapped the
wounded man's stretcher to the hood, and prepared to run the gauntlet of NKPA fire
along the road to the rear. At the Soyang River, an enemy shell hit 100 yards to their
front. Pealer hit the gas and passed that point as two more shells struck behind them.
The trip was successful, and the wounded Marine was given aid at a field hospital. The
NKPA also would infiltrate through UN lines and lay ambushes along roads. "The
29 U. S. Pacific Fleet, "Third Interim Evaluation Report," 15-24; Interview with Colonel KIM Yun Gun, 22
December 1958, page 5; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," August 1951, 6; U. S. Pacific Fleet, "Third Interim
Evaluation Report," chapter 15; Matthew B. Ridgway, Korean War, 186; U. S. Pacific Fleet, "Third Interim
Evaluation Report," 15-19; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 1; Oscar Gilbert, Marine Corps
Tank Battles in Korea, (Havertown, PA: Casemate, 2003), 194; Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central
Front, chapter IX; U. S. Pacific Fleet, "Third Interim Evaluation Report," chapter 15; 1st Mar Div, "Historical
Diary," September 1951, 1.
30 Second Battalion, 1st Marines, "Historical Diary," 10; Burton Anderson, We Claim the Title, 233;
Interview with Colonel KIM Yun Gun, 22 December, 1958, page 2-3.
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 January 25, 2015.