Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 162
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laborers, many sick and old, would serve with distinction in honor through intense hard
work, even under fire. Some did, however, commit dishonorable acts. For instance, on
the night of September 19, some laborers carrying mortar rounds were discovered to
have lightened their load by dropping one every now and then along the trail. But there
is no evidence in the sources included in this study that this was a standard action of
most KSC workers. "Without the help of these carriers . . . the supply of the line
companies would have been next to impossible."33
Division OpnO25-51 provided a plan for the 5th Marines to pass through 3/1 on
September 16 and continue the assault on Kanmubong Ridge. Marines of 3/1 were then
to relieve 1/1 as regimental reserve. The Marines of 1/1, after being relieved, would
pass through 2/1 and attack 749 once again. The 1st KMC, along with the Division
Reconnaissance Company, would replace the 5th Marines on the Hays Line (Yoke
Ridge). The 7th Marines was to maintain its role as corps reserve in Wontong-ni.34
Casualties were 15 KIA and 31 WIA American Marines, and no reported KMC
casualties. The enemy lost 33 counted KIA, 130 estimated KIA (163 total), and 403
estimated WIA. Marines took 29 POWs.35
Day Six: September 16
At 0001, 16th September, the NKPA hit 2/1 on Hill 749 with an ambitious and
determined counterattack under cover of night. (This was the 91st Regiment, 45th NKPA
Division, Ill Corps that had come into the area just a few days before.) The ensuing
33 Second Battalion, 5th Marines, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 25-26, 60; Lynn Montross, et al.,
The East-Central Front, 192.
341st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 19; 1st Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September
35 1st Mar Div, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 19.
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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/m1/177/?rotate=270: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .