shall preserve it." Yates already had one Purple Heart from action in May, but this
experience made him unafraid in combat. "I suppose everyone is scared in combat, but
I don't think I'll be afraid any more of being killed."41
A Marine with How 3/7, Jon Charles Genrich, recalled one hilltop action at Yoke
Ridge that day:
We... were told to disperse down along the hillside. Some of the
company.., moved on up the path ... We spread out and the new men looked
at each other as if to ask, "What is going on ahead of us?" We sat there on the
hillside for about a half hour and then heard small arms fire and what sounded
like mortars up ahead.
... The Sergeant said, "Move out on the run up the hill. They have
overrun our troops." We moved up fast, ready to fire, and when we arrived we
saw only two North Koreans left on the left flank. It seemed everyone fired at
once and they went down. We saw more bodies lying around. The Marines were
scattered out in shallow holes and seemed to be holding their own. The machine
gun had been overrun and the gunner and assistant gunner were dead. 42
Genrich related what the Marines of his squad did to prepare when they gained a
hilltop on Yoke Ridge:
The first thing we did was set up a perimeter for the next wave of the North
Koreans. Big Mac asked me how my arm was and I said that it was pretty good.
He threw me a sack of hand grenades. We later heard that Big Mac had beat
down the first wave by throwing several grenades and rushing the Koreans firing
until he had killed five or six . . . The hole behind the gun [Genrich was an ammo
carrier for a machine gun] wasn't deep enough with the two dead Marines still in
the hole. Big Mac told Richard to help throw their bodies up along the gun for
protection so they would have more room to get behind the gun . . . Big Mac
said, "They're dead men and nothing is going to hurt them anymore."43
The enemy was not long in seeing the Marines' preparations had not been in vain.
41 Undated Public Information Document with no author named, National Archives: RG 127, Records of
the U. S. Marine Corps, "Division of Information, Publicity Articles Relating to the First Marine Division in
Korea, Final Copies, Oct. 1950-Feb. 1952."
42 Oral memoir of Jon Charles Genrich at KoreanWarEducator.org.
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 January 21, 2017.