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Medevac PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 21 November 2011 09:46

When the Marines from Mike Company 3/7 went out on operations looking for the enemy, sometimes the Marines would walk; sometimes the Marines would be taken to an area nearby the enemy by chopper in order to engage the enemy in combat.  When the Marines were out on an operation, the term to describe being out on an operation was “out in the bush”.  Helicopters would bring in a supply of water and sea rations while out in the bush as well.  Sometimes, when choppers would come in, it was for another purpose.  A Marine or several Marines or more were killed or wounded.  The Marines were then medevac’d.  The advantage of choppers was the ability to bring water, food, and combat supplies to the Marines out in the bush; there also was a disadvantage.  The choppers would give the position of the Marines away to the enemy. 

In Vietnam not only did Marines get medevac’d; sometimes civilians that were the unintended casualties of combat would be medevac’d as well.  For instance, one time Huffman recalls a Vietnamese woman receiving shrapnel wounds from a booby trap grenade that was intended for the Marines while she was crossing a river being medevac’d by a Marine chopper.  Medevacing the civilian Vietnamese woman was a compassionate thing to do.  However, the Marines position was compromised making the Marines more vulnerable to enemy fire to save civilians like the Vietnamese woman receiving shrapnel wounds from the booby trap intended for the Marines.  

Huffman’s last experience with Marines being medevac’d was when he and Barnette were medevac’d by chopper 9/29/68.  Huffman believed Barnette was dead; Barnette didn’t know another Marine was injured.  They both were in the chopper together medevac’d after sharing a booby trap in Dodge City.  They were both blinded immediately by the booby trap.  Barnette recovered vision in one eye after 4 months.  After Huffman moved from DE/PA to WV 8 miles from Barnette; Barnette became a client after Huffman joined the Deerwalk Veterans group.  Huffman and Barnette discovered they were medevac partners; they’re both alive and now live 8 miles from each other. 

In Vietnam the Marines always remembered the words, “corpsman up”.   The words “corpsman up” meant there was a casualty, usually a Marine sometimes a civilian.  The words were followed by the sound of a chopper and then the medevac. Marines didn’t always know what happened nor did they know the Marines who were the casualties unless the reason for the medevac occurred nearby a Marines position.   A landing zone (LZ) would be created for the chopper so the medevac could occur.  If the chopper drew small arms fire the landing zone would become a hot LZ.  Hot LZ’s would require choppers to get out fast sometimes at the expense of Marines getting off the choppers.  The chopper may be 15-20’ in the air while a Marine is jumping out of a chopper with his helmet, flak jacket, weapon and other gear on his back.  The Marine would be another tragedy and then would be medevac’d when the LZ wasn’t as hot.