Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 203
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out until 1100. When the fire was raised, Easy Company would push ahead up the
ridgeline, while Fox Company's 2nd Platoon flanked the objective.64
The base of fire cut loose with its MGs at 1100 on NKPA MG bunkers, and Roth's
platoon surged forward with three squads in the assault. As soon as these Marines
stepped from the tree-line, the enemy noted the platoon's position and cut down four of
the Marines with bursts of MG fire. At the same time, Hinson's platoon, only 150 yards
from the summit, too, advanced. Hinson could not see any bunkers on his finger ridge,
he had to keep in defilade on the south or reverse slope so as not to be hit by MG fire
from the crest of 812. The movement forward of Easy was slow; intense enemy fire from
rifle-pits as well as bunkers on 812's east face swept the ground in a steel rain. All of
the enemy positions were well camouflaged and very difficult to spot. Soon, Hinson's
men moved into the beaten zone of Fox's 3rd Platoon (under Lt Markham-no first name
supplied), and that Platoon's portion of the base of fire ceased and readied to also
attack. This platoon had a difficult mission. It was to assault frontally up the finger ridge
right into the teeth of the enemy bunker's fire. Thirty minutes prior to this, the Heavy MG
Platoon, set up in battery on the ridge with Dog Company, had sprayed a steady
dispersion of bullets over the head of the attacking Marines, keeping its beaten zone
about 100 yards ahead of the advance.65
This use of the heavy MGs in battery, however, proved to be a mistake. Averill
described the result:
Everyone wanted to get into the game. The six Browning heavy machine
guns were set up in battery instead of by section. Slightly down from the machine
guns was a section of 75mm recoilless rifles from the regimental antitank
64 "Historical Diary," Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, 41; Lynn Montross, et al., The East-Central Front,
195; 1 Mar Div "Historical Diary", September 1951, 21.
65 "Historical Diary," Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, 42.
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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/m1/218/?rotate=270: accessed February 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .