In July 1968 I arrived at Hill 861s and was soon met by a couple of Marines who took a look at the new Corpsman who delighted in calling me a “squid”. I thought for a moment as I had never been addressed in that term. I then asked them if they knew what a “squid” was. They replied,no and I informed them that a squid was something floating in the ocean sh–ng on Marine life. They then called me Doc for the rest of my time there over looking Khe Sanh. My second item to address is very close to my heart. It concerned a Marine serving with me in 1/26 Company C. We were patrolling the Ah Shau valley one day when my radio operator, a black Marine from somewhere back East turned to me and began trying to take off my Caduses. I asked him what he was doing? He stated he was taking off my insignia , so the VC would shoot him instead of me as there was a $250 bounty on me by the VC. At the time I laughed and told him thanks for the thought but reminded him that the same bounty was on him as a radioman. Al I remember was his name we used as SCOTTY and I do not remember where he was from. The thought of what had transpired Did not hit me until much later. This Marine was willing to sacrifice his life for me. I cannot think of a greater gift. Loved my Marines….RIP DOC John GOTT, Kia 1/26 Marines 18 DEC 1968 Hai Van Pass VN.
Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Sgt Court Conkwright 0311

    Being a U.S. Marine we had nothing but total respect for our “Doc’s” they were all looked on as just one of us. They saved so many butts and have not been forgotten by any Marine. I was in P.I. in the 2nd BN L Company 2nd Marine Div. in 1962 until I got out from the regulars and reserves in 1967. Had one year active standby in 1968, but was released 8 days before TET. I have a very large group of Jarheads plus Navy, Army and Air Force on a list and send out stories and we all keep in touch with other………..we have men like you that are on the list also, you are not the 1st Doc to be with us……….if you are interested let me know………I also have one Marine that was at Khe Shan and came out of the battle with a Navy Cross and Purple Heart. Drop me a line at courtcurtis@usa.net. We also have other Marines that still talk about Hill 861 and 881. Would be glad to have you on our list……….Nothing ask for but our Brotherly love for each our……….as you know all of our Marines are Brothers…..very good story you posted…….CCC

  • Harry

    You made your point there G.Willard. I just made a general statement not even directed at the writer. No need for the attitude!We all have different viewpoints and opinions and fell free to disagree but ditch the attitude!! Harry

  • G Willard 0311, 8651, 8511, 0142

    You two need to move in together and start your own personal website. How about “Sgt. Grit Newsletter Critique: What’s Wrong With Every Story”. Every Newsletter it’s, “You want to handle this one Harry?, ” No, you go ahead Murray”; like the Sgt. Grit Newletter wasn’t complete without your final stamp of approval or condemnation. Why don’t you boys just say thanks Doc…AND MOVE ON!! Sounds like Doc was just trying to establish a connection with a Marine he admired with as much information as he could recall, hoping Scotty might pick it up and respond. Best of luck to you Doc, and thanks for your service! I hope you and Scotty connect.

  • Murray hermanson

    That’s for sure, but don’t let it bum you out, cause I have found most of it is made up and is what they want popular opinion to be.

  • Harry

    Thanx Murray. Like I have said in the past, everyone has a memory and a story. It,s the obvious made up stuff that bugs me. Harry

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