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

The 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines (2/7) again stayed on the Kansas Line, except for Fox
Company.39
On September 24, 1951, Sergeant Naun Juarez wrote to a corpsman that had
been in his platoon about the Battle at Yoke Ridge:
I just thought of writing and report to you how the Co. is doing. Did we step
into shit? I thought I would never get out alive. We jumped off on the attack on
the 31st of Aug. Item Co took its objective by 5 pm. How Co was to pass by Item
Co and take ours, but it was too late to do it so we just tied in with Item Co. All
night long we had incoming mail. Mortars and artillery. We had some casualties,
not too many. But next day on Sept 1st all Hell tore loose at us. About 2 Bns
[battalions] against 2 beat up Cos [companies].
Item Co had really been clobbered the day before.
At about 0900 Sept 1st the 2nd Platoon was ordered to send 2 fire teams to
the 1st Platoon which was badly shot up after stopping the gooks counterattacks
time after time. At about 1000 I was ordered to take my entire squad and
reinforce the 1st Platoon again. So we went in and joined the party.
Things were really popping. A lot of excitement just like the 4th of July. At
1300 I was told to pull 3 men out of anywhere and plug up the gap on the left
flank. I took Brodeur, Lawrence, and myself. I couldn't afford to take anyone else
and leave a wide gap so I went myself. We were there about five minutes and
mortars and artillery came in. Brodeur got hit in the leg and Lawrence got it in the
gut. I got pieces on my back and on my left butt. Of the guys that you know that
got hit were O'Brien, Noriega, Brodeur, Darchuck, and myself. We had two killed
in action. Berryman and Kline ....
.. I got it the 1st of Sept .... All this took place up North east Central
front, the famous "Punchbowl." The darn mountains get bigger every time. You
are lucky you got out of here. The gooks are making use of their mortars and
artillery....40
A Marine machine gunner of 3/7, PFC James F. Yates, took a piece of shrapnel in
the chest from an enemy grenade. This would have been fatal, but Yates found to his
awe that the piece had lodged in the New Testament he carried in his breast pocket.
This boded much religious significance to him, as the piece marked Luke 18:33:
"Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life
39 Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 3.
40 Letter of Sergeant Naun Juarez to "Ollie," September 24, 1951, printed in Charles Hughes, Accordion
War, 278-279.

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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 28, 2014.