Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 122
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ridge. A few feet of height or tall trees could cause rounds to explode in tree tops
above our troops. The second charge never came, so maybe the artillery had
zeroed in on their troops who were further down the hill organizing for the second
charge, which was normal.
The rest of the night was quiet. We received some food. The first C-rations
were all fruit cocktail and I had two cans and felt stuffed. I have always liked fruit
cocktail ever since that day....21
The remainder of the night was quiet for the Marines on 680, except for incoming
shells. However, even sporadic shellfire in the dark of night is enough to make the night
sleepless and hectic. "We heard that we were no longer surrounded and hoped to have
more ammo and food delivered the next day. We were told Item Company had moved
up the hill to move through our positions. I never saw Item Company so they must not
have made it up to where we were located. The Lieutenant who had gone down the hill
the night before returned sometime during the night, but I was not aware of it until later
the next day."22
One Marine of Item Company distinguished himself that day. 2nd Lt. George H.
Ramer, Platoon Leader of 3rd Platoon, "fearlessly led his men up the steep slopes and,
although he and the majority of his unit were wounded during the ascent, boldly
continued to spearhead the assault." The slope became even steeper near the summit
and going was slow. The enemy, now within grenade range, began to lob a hail of these
missiles into the already thick fray. Nevertheless, Ramer charged on and destroyed one
bunker with grenade and carbine fire. He and his remaining eight men captured the
objective, Hill 680. "Unable to hold the position against an immediate, overwhelming
hostile counterattack, he ordered his group to withdraw and single-handedly fought the
enemy to furnish cover for his men and for the evacuation of three fatally wounded
22 Third Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 8-9; Oral memoir of Jon
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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/m1/137/: accessed February 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .