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

I saw my first wounded which happened to be South Korean Marines and
another thing I thought about is . .. our expression of pain has got a lot to do with
culture... because I don't think we hurt any less and they hurt any more, but the
Koreans seem to really let you know he was hurt. He screamed and shrieked and
when wounded Marines came off the line, very [cool]. . . and we weren't trying to
be tough guys. It was just that our culture doesn't apparently do that ....
[Beyond cultural differences, it would take some investigation, but maybe the
Korean Marines did not receive morphine or did not have it available like the U.
S. troops did.]28
By early evening, elements of 3/KMC were within 200 yards of their goal, but the
objective was not attained until 2100 that night (an enemy counterattack would
recapture the hill before dawn). The 5th Marine regiment was ordered to give 2/KMC
opportunity to assist its fellow KMC battalions; 3/5 relieved 2/KMC on the Kansas Line
the evening of September 1 so this additional battalion could help the KMC Regiment
make better progress in its attacks the next day. An air drop of twenty AF cargo planes
resupplied the KMCs with rations and ammunition during the daylight hours.29
It was a hard day for 3/7 as well. The Official History, as well as the 1st Mar Div
Historical Diary for September, 1951 both state the Marines resumed the previous day's
assault against Hill 702, defended by the enemy in battalion strength. That is not the
case for 3/7. It began with patrolling. Item sent out a squad-sized patrol at 0800. It
immediately encountered intense enemy fire and was held up near Item's left flank
before it had even really begun. This patrol took fire for thirty minutes, then a enemy
attack thirty men strong hit Item's right front. Almost immediately thereafter an NKPA
platoon hit the center of the company's lines. The Marines opened up a storm of .30
caliber fire searing across its firing lanes, triangles of death formed between each man's
aiming stake. The enemy attack broke and faded away after only ten minutes of
28 Transcript of Interview with Ralph B. Steele, Library of Congress.
29 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 178, 181; 1 Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September
1951, 5-6.

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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.