Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 182
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Soon, the Marines of 3/1, recently relieved and filing out on the trails, witnessed
the disturbing image of seeing many of the men who had just relieved them exiting the
area in ambulances and on stretchers.7
Fox Company finally moved out at 1200, and because elements of the 1st Marines
were still engaged with enemy on Hill 749, the going was slow-contact was imminent
and there were many mines. Stiff resistance met the Marines in the usual form of
scathing enemy machine gun, artillery, and mortar fire (from positions on the
approaches to 812), which halted the attack by 1700. The Marines needed to regroup,
consolidate, and provide for the evacuation of their casualties.8
Gerald P. Averill was there that day:
"F" Company, with the mission of making the main effort against Hill 812,
had been expected to move out as soon as "D" Company was in position [prior to
1200]. Instead, it was nearly an hour late in leaving the assembly area, and
another hour before the assault platoons started up the winding trail into the
valley [deep and heavily forested, this valley was about 1,200 yards wide at this
point] between "D" Company [on a ridge between 749 and 673] and Hill 812. All
this backing and filling, all this aimless milling around had been duly noted by the
North Korean outposts, who quickly passed the information back to the units on
the enemy's main battle position. The little brown men of the North Korean
People's Army took up the slack-waiting for the lead elements of "F" Company
to appear in their fire lanes.
At 1700, "F" Company stepped into it right up to the neck. Two platoon
leaders were hit, and the toll of dead and wounded mounted as daylight
dwindled. Two hours later, one platoon had forced its way forward and upward
until it had gained the high ground 400 meters south and east of the enemy
strong point on Hill 812. There was no reason to turn back. It was better to stay
put, even though it was out of contact with the parent unit.9
Fox Company's attack and the rest of the initial seizure of Hill 812 has never been
thoroughly narrated. The above paragraph is about the extent of detail given it in any
7 "Historical Diary," of the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines, September 1951, 28.
"Historical Diary," of the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines, September 1951, 27; Lynn Montross, et al., The East-
Central Front, 194; 1 Mar Div "Historical Diary", September 1951, 19-20; Maj Gerald P. Averill, "Final
9 Gerald P. Averill, Mustang, 265.
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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/m1/197/?rotate=90: accessed March 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .