Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 107
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attacking up the southwest slope of 680. Its other platoon would join the fray as soon as
2/7 could send a force to relieve it.46
It was during the actions of 3/7, September 11, that PFC Joseph L. Giovannucci
distinguished himself. Giovannucci was an Assistant Machine Gunner in How 3/7. He
was wounded in the right hand in his company's assault on Hill 680, but he refused
evacuation and "continued to aid in delivering devastating fire against the enemy in the
face of intense hostile mortar, automatic-weapons and small arms fire." Giovannucci
stayed for over four hours, ever refusing evacuation, and was wounded again by enemy
grenade fragments in both legs and feet. "Despite severe pain and loss of blood, he
continued to assist in firing his gun until ordered to be evacuated and, by his aggressive
fighting spirit and fortitude, served to inspire all who observed him. His outstanding
courage, daring initiative and steadfast devotion to duty were contributing factors in the
success of his company. . . ." Giovannucci was the first of eleven Marines who would
receive the Navy Cross during this battle, the nation's second highest award for bravery
Item company took one small counterattack at 1720, which crumbled and fled
under the blistering fire of the Marine weapons. Twenty minutes later, How and Item set
up defensive positions in perimeter on the southeast corner of 680. George reached the
river and began crossing at 1835, but it was too close to dark to start an attack.
Therefore, this company dug in on the low ground just north of the river between Yoke
46 Third Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 7-8.
47 Navy Cross Award Citation of Joseph L. Giovannucci. All the citations of Marines who earned the Navy
cross can be found, among other places, in: C. Douglas Sterner, ed., Marine Corps Valor: U. S. Marine
Corps Recipients of the Navy Cross, Korean War, (Pueblo, CO: HomeOfHeroes.com, 2006); Joseph A.
Saluzzi, Red Blood... Purple Hearts: The Marines in the Korean War (New York: Eagle Productions,
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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/m1/122/?rotate=90: accessed February 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .