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

While the attack proceeded on Yoke Ridge, the 5th Marines was to continue
patrolling the Kansas Line. The 1st Marines was still in X Corps reserve. Other elements
of the division, such as the Division Reconnaissance Company, mopped up bypassed
enemy to the rear of the forward-most area. The four available battalions (total) of the
1st KMC and 7th Marines would have to go it alone for now.2
The 1st KMC was anticipated to have the toughest job on 31 August, and even
though they were Koreans and not Caucasian Americans, the Marine Division did not
treat them any differently in its favoring them with "priority of air support" that day.3
The 1st KMC added a good deal of firepower to 1st Mar Div. The U. S. Pacific Fleet
"Third Interim Evaluation Report," commented:
This unit had been attached to the Division since 18 March 1951, and has played
an important part in most of the Division's operations. The 1st KMC Regiment had
been organized and trained under U. S. Marine supervision and had the same
basic organization as a Marine infantry regiment. It lacked only some of the more
heavy and complex supporting weapons and equipment typical of a Marine
Regimental Combat Team. During most of the period Marine artillery provided
direct and general support to the 1st KMC Regiment. Attached U. S. Marine
TACP provided close air support for the Koreans.... The 1st KMC Regiment
provided the command of 1st Marine Division with a fourth infantry regiment of
good quality and had an important effect upon the Division's ability to deploy,
maneuver, and attain its assigned objectives.... It thereby permitted better
infantry deployment in the mountainous terrain where infantry strength was
always of utmost value. It also permitted the Division to rotate and relieve Marine
regiments on the line more frequently and to sustain its offensive momentum.
The Division was able to maintain a regiment in reserve, and flank and rear area
security were better insured.4
Also on the subject of the KMCs, General Thomas once assessed their value in
glowing terms: "Oh, they were a fine fighting outfit. Oh yes. . . .They had good
2 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, chapter IX; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," August 1951, 1,
7. The 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines was on the Kansas Line at the time and the 2nd Battalion of the KMC
was, too.
3 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 178; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," August 1951, 1, 7.
4 U. S. Pacific Fleet, "Third Interim Evaluation Report," 15-37.

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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 July 10, 2014.