Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 118
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The soldier's little red ID book showed he was an NCO and had been in the North
Korean Army fifteen years. He had been wounded six times in his career.11
Mines caused many casualties, they were everywhere in the area, but not all were
the buried, contact-type in activation. Many were triggered by trip wire. Jack L. Cannon
While walking away from that bunker, I felt a tug on my boondocker shoe and I
froze in mid-stride. There, caught in the sole, was an almost invisible green trip
wire, which led to the largest (it seemed at the time) antipersonnel mine I had
ever seen. When I stopped, I had already pulled the pin halfway out. I got the
wire off my boondocker and the tension off that trip wire. Then I marked it so
someone else wouldn't screw up and hit it. It took me quite a while to settle down
after that little episode. I thought, "Damn, we take this hill and then I get killed."12
And even after a hill was completely secured, the enemy would still send
in incoming. Taking cover could prove to be a most unpleasant experience. "The
stench from North Korean corpses was everywhere. We had to use some of the
bunkers still filled with corpses in order to avoid getting killed by their mortars and
artillery, as they began to shell the hill they had just gotten knocked off."13
September 12th also brought success to 3/7 against Hill 680. How and Item
Companies attacked up the same southeast part of the hill, while George Company
converged up the other side from the southwest. The latter company had to demolish at
least seven bunkers still occupied by enemy troops.14
Thinned ranks were evident throughout 3/7. Genrich remembered:
The word was out that we were surrounded and they would be dropping
ammo from planes, but no food or water. One of the guys found a water spring
down the hillside and they went down in the dark to fill canteens. We were told
that only about 35 men were left on the hill. Why be concerned? I still felt we
14 Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front, 184; 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 15.
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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/m1/133/?rotate=270: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .