attempts to push 3/7 off its objective by company-sized enemy assaults to convince the
NKPA to cease contesting Hill 602 that afternoon and night.61
All through the fighting, ammo bearers struggled to keep the front lines supplied.
The North Koreans, however, had the Marine supply routes registered for accurate
mortar fire. PFC Troy Hamm of the 7th Marines AT Company (one platoon of 75mm
Recoilless Rifles was attached to 3/7 for the assault) remembered:
One Day after many trips [to bring ammo up to the lines], I was very weary. The
North Koreans began to hit our path to the supply point with mortars. I was
knocked down by the concussion. When I picked myself up, I discovered a hole
in my hand. I wrapped the wound and continued down the hill to pick up more
ammo. The enemy fired on us the whole way. At the resupply point I smelled
exploded powder [cordite?] and an odor that was new to me. An incoming round
had made a direct hit on one of the guys, and pieces of him were scattered over
Fox 2/7, at 1600, moved up behind Item and How 3/7 to bolster the line.
While 3/7 went through the preceding events, 2/KMC had battled towards Hill
1026. It was still 800 yards away when night fell. That night the enemy probed the
Marine lines at the front. Even the 5th Marines back on the Kansas Line saw some
activity that night.63
The S-3 (Operations Officer) of 2/5, Major Gerald P. Averill, and the Battalion
Commander, Lt Col Houston Stiff, observed the 7th Marines in the attack. Their
conclusions would help 2/5 in its own attack later in the month. In addition, "the heavy
casualties taken recently by the 1st KMC Regiment from anti-personnel mines served as
a warning to personnel of this battalion." Averill's opinion of the 7th Marines in the attack
was that, though courage was not lacking, the unit had "lost considerable initiative
61 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 179; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 6-7;
Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 5.
62 Oral account of PFC Troy Hamm, in Knox, Uncertain Victory, 295.
63 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 179; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 6-7.
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 February 13, 2016.