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

Charles Hughes was a corpsman with How Company, 3/7. He was with the
Marines waiting for DUKWs to take them across the river:
On the 27th of August we got orders to move out and relieve ROK Army
units on the Kansas Line. We folded up our tents and readied our equipment for
the move, then sat around in a driving rain from the typhoon, waiting for the
trucks to take us on and carry us to and across the shallow Soyang-gang River.
But the trucks failed to arrive so we ended up eating our noon meal sitting on the
crates and equipment we had readied for the move. We were compensated for
our wait by plentiful hot food that the galley crews needed to get rid of before the
move. But after the feast we continued to sit in the pouring rain waiting for the
trucks until it was time for the evening meal. This time we were back to the old
reliable C Rations. Still we waited, and it was not until 9 o'clock that evening that
the trucks finally showed up, and it was 10:45 before we got moving. The 3rd
Battalion was the last unit to move out, and in the meantime the downpour from
the typhoon had grown even more intense....
... We didn't reach the assembly area until 4 am. It was another two
hours before we reached the battalion assembly area where we were told to stay
on the trucks, and it was 7:45 before the convoy moved once again. The trucks
were having a difficult time on the muddy rutted road, and finally had to off load
us and attempt to back up and turn around and get out of there. Battalion officers
were running up and down the long convoy trying to break the log jam and get
the trucks moving. At about 2 pm the rest of us began to slog toward the Soyang-
gang to prepare for the crossing. The torrential rains by this time had turned this
small mountain stream into a rapidly flowing swollen river. . . once more we
waited. But we didn't wait long, for soon the word came that the Ducks [DUKWs]
had been delayed. So the battalion started to ford the river ...
Two hours later How Company still had not made it across, and their
attempt had taken a toll. The swift stream had carried Marines downstream and
many of them reached the opposite bank far from the point where they entered
the river .. . [Some drowned.]
The battalion spent the next three days drying out radios and equipment
and recovering from that battle with nature, and after that we were back in the
fig ht.47
Jon Charles Genrich described C Rations:
The C-rations were small cans of ham and lima beans, spaghetti, beans and
weenies, sausage or hamburger patties packed in lard, and corned beef hash.
We normally didn't have a chance to pick, but had to take what was available in
the box. A lot [of] the men wouldn't eat corned beef hash or lima beans .... The
46 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 175-76; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," August 1951, 6.
47 Charles Hughes, Accordion War: Korea 1951, Life and Death in a Marine Rifle Company, (Trafford
Publishing: Victoria, BC, 2006): 275-76.

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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 19, 2014.