Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 120
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bunker on the "first pinnacle of the objective" at 0950, chucking grenades through the
apertures and spraying the interior with bullets after the CRUMP, CRUMP, CRUMP and
spray of dust that announced the grenades' lethal detonations. This platoon then
organized to repulse enemy counterattacks and await reinforcement. Soon after, the
"right flank platoon passed through the position." "Since the North Koreans had taken
off, we grabbed the gun and raced up the barren open area to try and beat George
Company to the top of the hill. This is something that I had heard when I first arrived-
that machineguns in final assault of a hill tried to be the first to the top. They had been
on several hills before and we were trying to be the first on this hill. Several riflemen
beat us to the top before George Company made it up the hill. We were happy it was
part of our Howe Company."17
George Company had made it to the crest of Check Point 1, and How and Item
moved up to form a perimeter. Soon after, at 1115, these Marines had to fight off an
enemy counterattack against George's left. They then reported their objective,
Checkpoint 1, Hill 680, secured as of 1115. However, the enemy harassed the Marines
with heavy incoming the rest of the day until dusk causing many casualties. The 3/7 OP
alone received over seventy rounds of incoming just during the afternoon.18
On paper, that does not sound like many, but to a man hunkering for cover when
he hears the shriek of a shell and suffering through the consummate CRASH and
17 Third Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 8; Oral memoir of Jon
Charles Genrich. Captain Robert C. Hendrickson, CO of George Company 3/7 led his Marines in the
assault on 680, though suffering from wounds. His company attacked and overcame a battalion of
defenders on the steep slopes and summit. He maneuvered his platoons skillfully despite a deluge of
incoming from mortar and artillery, and "launched a vigorous and well-coordinated attack which
neutralized successive entrenchments." His company, as part of the battalion's assault, secured Hill 680.
He would be awarded the Navy Cross.
18 Seventh Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 6; Third Battalion, Seventh Marine
Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 8.
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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/m1/135/?rotate=270: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .