HM1(SS) Chu Lai 66-67
Corps School at Great Lakes in 1965. After graduation, was sent to New
London Naval Hospital. A natural for me being a "bubblehead"
with intentions of returning to the boats. Got orders to Field
Medicine School 9/8/66 (my wife's birthday).~Fred Gardner HM1(SS)
Chu Lai 66-67
Fred Gardner was a good friend of Larry Yoder, FMF Corpsman with the
3rd Battalion, 5th Marines who was killed during Operation Union
II May '67. Doc Gardner's tribute to Larry is posted on Doc
Larry Yoder's Memorial page.
My wife, Pat, and I the day I left for Camp LeJeune for Field Medicine
School. My wife and I grew up together, literally. She's an RN, medicine
and helping people is a trait we share even though I have been out of
the medical field for a long time.
Right: The day I returned from Viet Nam.
Brandt, my DI at FMF School at Camp LeJeune. A lot of Corpsmen made
it back because of him. Doc Colucco reminded me the other day of his
saying; "Don't Panic, Perform." I forgot
the words, but not the lesson. He can be proud; most of us made it back;
all of us did our jobs better because of his leadership. I hope he is
enjoying the good life somewhere; he certainly earned it. Semper
Fi , Sarge.
me on the right, and unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the
Doc I am with. We were all taking pictures to send home to our wives
or girlfriends and I didn't do a good job of writing down the names
of the guys. I hope he made it back and maybe somebody out there remembers
photo taken while at FMF school. Larry Yoder (KIA May 2, '67) is one
of the guys in the background, but I can't remember which one. Larry
was the guy who helped me find my first apartment so my new bride could
join me in Connecticut. We went through field med school in Camp Lejeune,
and became Marines together. We landed in Danang as part of the same
group of replacements. That was the last time I saw him.
told Doc Colucco we would mail him home to The Bronx. He told us "No
thank you," he was staying. Bad choice, Doc.
Doc Colucco with the fishing group. That's Doc John Alvarez on the left.
Can't remember the other guys.
Right: Doc Colucco with a crab he caught down by the beach at Camp LeJeune.
Doc Ron Palmeri is the other guy in the Navy dungarees on the left.
Can't remember the other Doc.
John Colucco, WIA with 1/5 Marines near Tam Ky. Got shot in the butt
on his birthday while patching some of his Marines. John and I found
each other via the internet boards, and now have a early morning conversation
every day. This photo was taken after coming in off our last training
march. Sgt Brandt worked us hard that day.
Taken while on patrol with a Swift Boat going up the river to Binh Son,
south of Chu Lai. Later in the day on the way back down the river, we
gave them a good dousing; pissed them off, but war is hell. Center:
Passed these guys on the way to Binh Son on a Swift Boat patrol
Checked them for weapons then let them go. Right: Taken from a Swift
Boat while on patrol south of Chu Lai.
couple of local villager photos taken while on a MED Cap around the
ville of An Tan near Chu Lai.
of an Ontos, just because I always thought they were neat, and they
offered great covering fire. Ontos means "The Thing" in Greek.
It carries six 106 mm recoilless rifles, used where it's too cramped
for a tank.
L/Cpl. Warren Lupe in An Tan, near Chu Lai. Lupe was a Cajun from
Louisiana, and a great guy. He thought we talked funny. Right:
Doc Joe Hollinquest watching a convoy go north to Tam Ky. Notice he
is unarmed; not smart Doc.
Captured VC being interrogated.
Right: We told this guy if he ran we would shoot him. He paid attention
because he didn't move a muscle.
These VC were captured near Tam Ky in May of 1967.
Right: All packaged up and ready to go to Danang. Don't know if they
photo from my submarine days. It is a dolphin riding the bow wave of
the USS Skipjack SSN 585 when we were entering the port of Charleston,
Theodore Roosevelt SSBN 600 leaving Holy Loch, Scotland on Polaris patrol
in 1969. The numbers are painted out to confuse any bad guys who may
be tracking ship movements. We probably didn't fool anybody, but
we sure tried. We were normally gone for 65-70 days on these patrols.
is the last submarine I served aboard. It is the one I went to
after returning from Viet Nam. By coincidence, I located two former
shipmates from those days and spoke with one of them on the phone.
After 30 years, we picked right up where we left off.
Submarine title by Redeye)