The Corpsman no one was sure about

Viet Nam 1970 with Golf Co. 2nd.Bn. 5th.Mar. Reg. , there was a Corpsman in 2nd. Platoon that everyone noticed because he didn’t seem to fit in. He wore glasses and seem too gentle, quite, and easy going and he always seem to have his bible at hand. We had been on Liberty Bridge for what seem like a long time and, I guess, Cpt. Darling realized that something didn’t seem right. He sent a squad from 2nd. platoon to check the river side along the north bank. The Corpsman in question was assign to go a long. They had been gone for just a few minutes, when we witness a large explosion. The squad that went out to help them learned that the rover had come a cross an ammo can setting in the middle of a clearing. Someone thought it would be a good plan of action to shot a round through it in order to demand that it was safe to move it or bring it back to base (must of been a “boot” or a f–ken new guy). So, when nothing happen, the rover approached the can and “picked it up”—a lesson learned a second too late. The 105 round took out the whole team. When the second squad got there they saw the Corpsman ( no one was sure about) moving from man to man and applying first aid. He would stop a few seconds and say a prayer for the Marine before working on him. The squad leader share with us that this Corpsman had a head wound down to his skull and a terrible wound in his groin. He would react to his injuries—the pain—as he moved from one to the other. However, he used the morphine he had on the injured Marines instead of helping himself . Once everyone was on a chopper heading to the hospital ship, the men started picking up the gear that had been left behind; they found the Corpsman’s bible laying on the ground and decided to try to send it home with him. Every grunt in my platoon felt that he earned the M.O.H. and said so. The C.O. informed us later that the Corpsman received the Navy Cross and that he would survive his injuries as well as many of the Marines that he worked on. I always guess that he didn’t need to show us how brave he was until it meant something—-and he did. I have shared this story before and told it in different ways but have always felt that some things are worth remembering and repeating. Thanks for letting me share this yet again. Semper Fi Corpsman (who ever you were)

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8 thoughts on “The Corpsman no one was sure about”

  1. Just wondering what month you are talking about, I was in 2nd squad 2nd Plt Golf company 2/5 . “PORKY” was my nick name.

    1. Hey John, I’m not sure what month it was because loss track of the days and months. I seem to remember that the situation at Kent State happened. Also, we got hit with a zapper attack one night and the north side kept up fire with a 106. Our C.P. took a couple direct hits from mortars and their line was breached. But the worst of it all, the chaplain, who was visiting us got hit and I think he was KIA—I might have misunderstood what 1st. platoon was telling us. Anyways, the 4th and 2nd. platoon was on the right of the river and 1st. and 3rd. platoon and the 81 mortars was on the left side ( heading to An Hoa). Do you remember any of this—because I recall being told about a guy they called Porky and wondering about how you ever got that nick name? If so, then you and I were together and I’m so glad to hear from you. Let me know! robertbliss1407@TWC.com

  2. While in Vietnam from 1967 until 1968 we grew in a strong appreciation for our Corpsmen. All of them were addressed as “Doc”. Once before an operation we received various code names for locations and specific names for leadership etc. and our Corpsmen were referred to as “Angels”. Angels was perfect for time and again they proved to be our Angels answering the call, Corpsman Up. At our yearly 2/3 Vietnam Era Marine reunions our Corpsmen attend and are a part of our Battalion always. I cannot thank a Corpsman enough for all they did in a time of war. .

  3. SEMPER Fortis (Always Courageous) the Navy’s corpsman motto. HM3 Robert Casey was the full measure of that motto. Never hesitant, always forward and always willing to give his all. Sadly he was KIA 16 May 68. Every marine of Golf 2/7 that served with him during his tenure had the upmost respect and admiration for him and all corpsman like him.

  4. HM3 Trevorah proud to have served my time as a doc. Never prouder live it every day still, and im 55 .Semper Fi. God Bless the USMC.

  5. All Marines who have been in a fire fight, know the pride, and gratitude we have of OUR Navy Corpsmen. I know that they saved MY life, and SO many others. They are our Brothers, and as I have said, ” Some of the best Marines I have known are U S Navy field Hospital Corpsmen ! ” From “Alpha” Co, 1/5, 1970/’71, Doc John Rayberg, of Lake City, Ps., and Doc Rene Bureau, of Chelmsford, Ma, are just 2 of the many great Corpsmen I have had the honor, and pleasure of serving with. Semper Fi, my Brothers, to you and MY Corpsmen from “Bravo” Co, 1/26, 1966, “Mike” Co, 3/5,1967-’68. God Bless America.

  6. A Corpsman is welcome to join us anywhere, anytime. He (or she) is one of us. Bad mistake to think otherwise. We defend our own. Semper fidelis.

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