Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 78
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well zeroed-in with artillery and the FO let them have it. The shells screamed in like
freight-trains and burst bits of North Korean soldiers everywhere with earth-shaking
crashes. The soldiers hit by this concentration were so torn apart that the Marines
couldn't even tell where one man ended and another began to get an accurate count of
the enemy KIA. They had to estimate, and their conclusion was that at least twenty
more NKPA bodies had been added to the carnage around Item's left flank. In addition,
Item's Marines noted seven enemy KIA in its area they had downed with rifle fire. That
made at least twenty-seven enemy KIA in this one brief firefight with zero casualties on
the Marine side. The NKPA WIA numbers were unknown.51
Meanwhile, George 3/7 made ready for its attack. The Marines of 3/7 could not
see the eastern slope of 602 from its lines, but 1/7 could, so at 0800, 1/7 called in
artillery support on the east side of the objective. In addition, 1/7 sent Baker Company
to a position just east of the river from 602 to bag any enemy who might try and flee
when George Company assaulted.52
The enemy was not done with Item Company, however. At 0923 more NKPAs
were spotted heading for its left flank along the same body-strewn trails as before. The
artillery was firing on 602, so this time the organic weapons of Item had a turn: 60mm
mortars, light MGs, M-1 rifles, and BARs spat flame and steel into the foe before he
could even mass for his attack. This assault was dispersed.53
After 3/7 repulsed the enemy counterattack, (at 0900) George Company set out to
attack Hill 602 (Division Objective Two) with How Company supporting the movement of
George with its mortars and machine guns, supplemented by the Battalion Weapons
si Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 4.
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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/m1/93/?rotate=270: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .