Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 174
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Then comes the charge. Up the slope comes a wave of enemy. Gunners
sit behind their sights. In a foxhole one Marine aims his rifle and another pulls the
pin out of a grenade. Flares fly up, a bugle sounds and you can see the shrieking
The hill is covered with the enemy like ants. Machine guns, BARs and
grenades join in the chorus of resistance.
What follows are individual dramas, all different.
To one it is the wisp of machine gun fire across the front of his hole. To
another it is the crash of enemy mortars.
To some it is the buddy who roams behind your foxhole, standing up in the
semi-darkness shouting encouragement and firing his Browning into the enemy
tide surging toward you.
To others it is kneeling in a pile of cartridges and firing flares.
But on Hill 749 it is a team of Marines that throw back the enemy. Not
once or twice, but five times. It is a team so schooled in discipline and accuracy
that it can repel all attackers.
Individual dreams blend into an impersonal picture: the defense of the hill.
In the blazing moment it was stand or die. You were trained to stand and stand
you did. This story is so big that it can only be remembered.
With the first gray light of dawn, you can survey the night's results. It is
easy to sweep the slope and valley with your eyes and see that this hill was
taken and held for good purpose.
Strewn down the grade and across the valley are the enemy dead who will
never fight against you, your company, or your country again.
And on the other side of the hill is another ridge.58
The result of the repulse by the 1st Marines of the five successive waves of enemy
resulted in the decimation of the 91st Regiment NKPA. The enemy attack was well
coordinated across the entire division front. No less than 150 NKPA assaulted 3/1 (west
of 2/1) near Hill 751, simultaneous to the attacks against 2/1. This attack was beaten
back, and the enemy could only muster lesser forces throughout the morning in three
more attacks on 3/1.59
George and Item, again, faced the brunt of the onslaught for 3/1. Most of the
storm, however, was against Item Company. One Hundred-fifty enemy attacked down
the ridgeline running northwest from item's positions to Hill 1052, and were only broken
s8 Corporal Louis Jobst, Public Information Document, National Archives, dated 2 November 1951.
59 1st Marine Regiment, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 16; Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central
Front, 193; 1 Mar Div "Historical Diary", September 1951, 19-20.
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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/m1/189/?rotate=90: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .