Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 106
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companies were in a thick engagement against NKPA emplacements staring down at
them across a steep, hard-to-climb slope that would give even a climber unharassed by
bullets and shells pause.44
Charles Hughes's account continued:
Roy Westerman, a young Marine from Arkansas following Lt. Carline up
Sanguine was hit in the waist and stumbled to the ground. When he checked to
see where he was hit he found the bullet had struck an ammo clip on his belt and
in his hurried search he could find no wound; so he picked up his M-1 and
continued to move up the hill. Almost immediately he was hit in the head and
everything went black . . . The Marines who saw him on the ground lying still
with such a terrible head wound believed him to be dead. A corpsman did get to
him and put a battle dressing over the wound and pulled his cap down over his
head to staunch the flow of blood, but even he could not have given Roy much
hope for survival. [However, Roy did survive. Later he found out the first hit had
wounded him after all.]45
Shortly after 1400, both companies fell back to the LD to let supporting arms give
the hill another good working-over with artillery, heavy mortars (the 4.2 inch "chemical"
mortar), and when available, airstrikes. Two more strikes from planes did arrive and
blistered the slope with storms of napalm, strafing with .50 caliber machine guns (the
F4-U Corsair, the most commonly utilized plane for CAS by the 1st Mar Div, carried six
.50 caliber machine guns), and shattering blasts from rockets. At 1504, the two
companies again sprung over the LD into the attack. This time, "a few men reached the
top, but the casualties were so heavy that both companies were denied a hold on the
objective." They pulled back to reorganize 100 yards from the top. George Company
minus one platoon left on 602, pushed forward to support its brother units at 1651,
44 Third Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 7.
45 Charles Hughes, Accordion War, 289-90.
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Montandon, Joshua W. Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War, thesis, August 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3938/m1/121/?rotate=270: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .