with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Mike Company
Bachelder at Hill 65 BAS doing some minor suturing as Lee watches
I came into country (Vietnam) in July 1969, and was assigned to the
BAS in An Hoa until my daughter was born in September. As soon as I
had word of her birth, the Chief sent me to Liberty Bridge to join up
with Mike Company. The Senior Corpsman, 'Doc' Tony, placed me with 'Doc'
Buzzelli to learn the ropes.
I spent time with
each platoon before becoming the Senior Corpsman of the company. Lt.
Clair and Gunny Washington were in charge of the company at the time,
and most of the time I was with the company. I welcomed 'Doc's Toner,
Kempel, Evans, Wiken, and a few whom I can not remember their names
to the company.
I stayed with the
company until March of 1970 at which time I requested Hill 65 for my
rear area time. There I met Doctor Mahoney, 'Doc' Rick, Pee, Fish, Crews,
Toner and Lee and Lynn.
left country in July 1970, 365 days to the day, and flew back to the
world. It is funny how we became comrades under fire, relied on each
other, took care of each other and loved each other more than our own
brothers back home, and yet 3-4 months after returning back to the world
I had forgotten all but a few names.
few of the Marines I remember are Lt. Clair, Gunny Washington, PFC Norman,
Bell and 'Chief' (not his real name). But I do remember the faces of
my Marines and fellow corpsmen, and will until I die, and will continue
to be proud of serving with the greatest bunch of guys in the world.
anyone out there remembers me, please feel free to write. I hope to
write a book about corpsmen in Vietnam in the near future, and would
love some input from corpsmen and Marines."~Jim "Doc"
Left Picture: Mike Company corpsmen at the BAS in An Hoa (l to r) Mike
Kempel, Les Wiken, Jim Bachelder (front center), Mike Evans, Doug
Tollefson, and unknown.
Picture: Mike Company corpsmen with Doctor Mahoney (without shirt) at
Hill 65 BAS (l to r) unknown, Doug Tollefson and Mike Evans.
HM3 Jim Bachelder and unknown Marine at the end of a road sweep from
Hill 65 to Hill 52
on the left is Doc Bachelder and Mike Kempel on Hill 52. Mike is still
with M Co. and Jim is with Hill 65 BAS (rear area).
on the right is Mike Kempel (far right) with some Mike Co. Marines on
Washington and HM3 Bachelder on Hill 65 getting ready to go to DaNang
Another reason Corpsmen and Marines to get along so well together
is that we are the only two Corps in the Military;
The Marine Corps and The Hospital Corps..."
Corpsman graphic by Redeye)