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

One Marine described an interesting aspect of the NKPA forces opposing the 1st
Mar Div:
We were getting our position in good condition to defend it against whatever
troops came at us. One of the men spotted North Korean women on another hill.
They set up knee mortars, fired at us, then moved to cover. The Japanese in the
Second World War had developed and used knee mortars. I was surprised to
hear that women were fighting on the front lines. We had heard of women
carrying supplies for the North Korean Army, but not of their being involved in
combat ... .35
At the same time, another flight of four planes came in for a strike at the ridgeline
between How and Hill 602, an enemy route of approach. This was followed by a second
four-plane strike at 1730 at enemy troops in the open and against some bunkers on
602. Yet another strike followed, again on 602, at 1840.36
The positions of 3/7 for the night were much the same as the night before. The
Battalion OP was just southwest of Hill 516 along with the forward ammo dump. Fox 2/7
was put under 3/7's operational control at 1100 that morning. Its position that night was
on Talsal Lyang, a village south of the LD, for two platoons. The other platoon was on
Objective A.37
NKPA troops had attacked from Hill 602 with as many as 500 men. Artillery fire
and the airstrikes ended the enemy's immediate enthusiasm for counterattack at dusk,
but little sleep could be had because of enemy mortar and artillery harassment.38
That night, the orders went out for the following day. The Marines of 3/7 were to
attack and seize 602 with George Company, the least-hit company, in the assault. H-
hour was set for 0700. The Marines of 1/7 were again to patrol and support 3/7 with fire.
35 Oral Memoir of Jon Charles Genrich.
36 Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 3.
37 Ibid.; Seventh Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 1.
38 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 178-179; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951,
5-6.

72

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 November 23, 2014.