and George was to patrol from a pass near Hill 755 to the head of the most northern of
the two west-to-east tributaries bracketing Tonpyong.19
While 3/7 was engaged, patrols from 1/7 east of the river ran into a two-hour
firefight. The patrol withdrew at 1200 to call artillery on the enemy location. A 1/7 FO
(forward observer) also had opportunity to call in artillery on an enemy battalion moving
off Hill 673. The results were reported as excellent.20
Casualties were not light that first day in the division, 3 KIA and 57 WIA (KMC and
USMC both together). Among the wounded, however, was the KMC regimental
commander, Colonel Kim Dae Shik (who would become Commandant of the KMC by
1958), and a U. S. Marine advisor assigned to the KMCs, 2dLt James McGoey. They
had hit a landmine on a trail running south from Hill 924. It was raining and the two were
returning from a visit to the front lines that afternoon. The commanding officer (CO) of
3/KMC, Colonel KIM Yun Gun, temporarily took command until he could be replaced by
Colonel KIM Dong Ha, the executive officer of the 1st KMC. Even with this incident, the
attack of the regiment was not delayed the following day, though it had to pull back to
Hill 793 to regroup. About two thirds of the KMC casualties were from land mines.
Enemy casualties were 129 counted KIA, 218 estimated KIA, and 233 estimated WIA
with 14 prisoners taken.21
These division casualty numbers seem distant and inhuman on the page, but they
were people. Garlen Selmyhr described the first time he saw a dead Marine.
The first time I saw a dead Marine it was when two casualties from another
company were brought down the ridge line and place near my CP. They were on
19 Ibid., 26.
20 st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," August 1951, 8.
21 Interview with Colonel KIM Yun Gun, 22 December 1958, page 2; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," August
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 27, 2014.