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

from light. Heavy losses ripped through the ranks from mines, mortar fire, and machine
gun fire from mutually supporting, fortified enemy positions.25
For 3/KMC, the attack was made with one company circling to take 924 in the east
flank while the rest of the battalion "drove straight up the ridgeline from the south."
Unlike August 31, it was not raining and the supporting arms assigned the KMCs were
able to be brought to bear more effectively. The enemy was dug in deep on the hill, and
every ounce of firepower, from supporting arms to the infantry, was needed to blast
them out of their positions. In addition, the KMCs put together a special raiding unit with
flame-thrower operators (the first use of this weapon by the KMC Regiment, though the
NKPA had had them in 1950). The flame-throwers poured liquid fire into bunkers and
helped silence enemy MGs in critical locations. This allowed for a much more
successful advance in the afternoon.26
One 3/7 Marine observed the KMC attack:
The Korean Marine Corps, or KMC as they were known, moved through
our position and up the dogleg ridge to the left. They were moving up the ridge to
higher ground to attack a hill in the distance. We could see the hill about a mile
away and it looked almost straight up and solid rock. The artillery shells and
many air attacks with napalm had left the face of the hill barren. We realized that
they had a very difficult battle ahead of them without cover or concealment ...
The KMCs continued to attack the big rock-faced hill a couple of times per
day and they finally took the hill. They had many casualties and moved the dead
and wounded down through our area. They would stop and show us their
wounds and where bullets had hit their rifles. They were a fierce-fighting, proud
group that wanted to live up to the U. S. Marines. They had shown us they were
every bit as good as our outfit.27
Another Marine with the 7th Marines remembered one cultural difference between
the two groups of Marines, U. S. and Korean:
25 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 178; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 5.
26 Interview with Colonel KIM Yun Gun, 22 December 1958, page 3; Korean Institute of Military History,
Korean War, Vol. 3, 152.
27 Oral memoir of Jon Charles Genrich at KoreanWarEducator.org.

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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 April 17, 2014.