"Doc" John Colucco

FMF Corpsman with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1966

I joined the service right out of high school at 17 years old. I became a corpsman striker while stationed in Pensacola Fl. in 1964 at a communications school for Navy and Marines. I went to Corpsman A school at age 18, had a brief stay at St. Albans Naval Hospital which was about half hour from my Bronx neighborhood.

I made many Marine friends in Pensacola, so I requested FMF training. Everyone thought I was nuts because I was so close to home at St. Albans. Off to Camp Lejuene, where I met Fred Gardner.

 I was sent to Viet Nam in 1966 at age 19, assigned to 1/5. I was wounded, flown out to the Repose, and then medivaced back to St. Albans (this time as a patient). Ironically, four years in the Navy, and the only ship I ever went on was the Repose as a patient. 

When I think about it, I grew up watching Ben Casey and John Wayne. I guess it was only natural when I became an FMF Corpsman. I guess that's it, I had a job and I tried to do it the best I could, just like all the guys I trained with, and I hope my Mother was proud of me.~Doc John Colucco

Doc John Colucco

After an early morning hike through the woods and swamps of Camp LeJeune in Oct. 1966.

Docs having some fun, Doc Colucco holding the crab (right)

 "We went down to the beach to augment our Marine Corps chow; not that the Marines ever gave us anything bad to eat; except for Ham & Mothers. More crabs; the eating kind. Colucco told me the guy on the far left is Doc Alvarez. Can't remember names of the others."~Doc Fred Gardner


"John just escaped from the mail bag. He was homesick, so we tried to mail him home to his mother. Didn't work, so we kept him."~Doc Fred Gardner

Doc John Colucco and wife Teddi enjoying the good life in Florida

A New Year of Years
Poem by Doc Colucco

(FMF Corpsman title emblem by Redeye)
(Pictures courtesy of Doc Fred Gardner and Doc John Colucco)

(1st Bn. 5th Marines emblem courtesy  of
USMC Vietnam Veteran Snipers Sgt. Greg Kraljev, Bravo 1/5)


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