Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War Page: 80
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duties, but there were 2 KIAs, and 6 WIAs required stretcher evacuation. Even then, the
enemy troops were still seen near the left flank. How Company got the order then to
send a platoon to reinforce Item.56
Meanwhile, George Company was in position to observe 602. There were many
enemy milling about on the hill, probably preparing to launch another attack on Marine
lines, so the advance held up long enough for How Company to deluge the objective
with more supporting fire called in from the 11th Marines. Every NKPA killed before the
assault by artillery, CAS, or mortars was one less to deal with in close combat and one
less to fire on the advancing infantry; 105mm artillery, 4.2 inch mortars, and an airstrike
consisting of napalm and rockets pounded into Hill 602. A little later, a second air strike
smote the hills across the river to the north of 602.57
Soon after, at 1323, George Company noticed an enemy company approaching its
left flank through a draw. These Marines doused the Koreans with 81mm mortar fire,
then turned 155mm artillery from off of 602 to hose this new threat. The troops in the
draw withdrew to the northwest. George Company was ready to assault at 1350 from
the treeline 100 yards away from 602's crest. Captain Robert C. Hendrickson, the CO,
ordered nine rounds of 4.2 mortar fire from each tube in support. "As the last of these 36
rounds were in the air and with the enemy seeking cover, two platoons assaulted in a
charge that carried over the top of Hill 602 and completely surprised the enemy." The
company had concealed itself in the trees before the attack and the NKPAs on 602 did
56 Ibid., 4-5.
57 Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, "Historical Diary," September 1951, 5.
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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/m1/95/?rotate=90: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .