photo was sent in by Fred Gardner, Larry Yoder's friend and fellow Corpsman.
Larry is in the 4th row, third from the left. Next to him on the right,
is Gale "Stormy" Felver, also
KIA in Vietnam (7/66). Fred Gardner is in the front row, all the way
to the right.
Corpsman, Doc Lou "Luigi" Beck who recently "reunited"
with Doc Gardner via the internet after 35 years is also in the picture,
4th row, two to the right of Stormy Felver. Thank you so much for sharing
this precious picture, Fred.
and I met in Hospital Corps School at Great Lakes in 1965. We were both
from the fleet, me from submarines; he from surface ships. Despite this
difference, we hit it off and became friends.
graduation, we both got sent to New London Naval Hospital. A natural
for me being a "bubblehead" with intentions of returning to
the boats. A different type of duty for Larry. We both got orders to
Field Medicine School on the same day, 9/8/66, (my wife's birthday).
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.
great guy; a good shipmate; a dedicated Marine and an excellent Corpsman
who really cared for his "Grunts." I'll never forget him.
Gardner HM1(SS) Chu Lai 66-67
Fi, Doc Larry
didn't know Doc Larry very well (you choose not to). I know we were
in a long column in a narrow river bed. I was in the middle of the column
and we knew that the NVA were probably waiting for us so everybody
was very nervous as we had been in some very heavy firefights that day.
noon, I heard a lot of automatic fire coming from the front of the column,
it had the distinct sound of automatic Ak47s, a sound one never forgets.
After the firing had stopped, next thing I know people are carrying
this black Marine face down by his web belt and he had a hole in his
neck, of course he was KIA.
few minutes later a poncho is filtering down the column, and face up
was Doc Yoder. His face was ashen yellow, and I had trouble recognizing
him, but I asked, "Is that Doc Yoder?" to which a reply
came back affirmative.
story was that this black Marine was hit by a sniper, and Doc Yoder
went to his aid and was hit by the same sniper. A black Marine and a
white Corpsman that tried to save him, how ironic in those days of civil
wish I would of got to spend more time with Doc Yoder, but I will never
forget him, and his death face--it seemed so peaceful. Marines think
of their FMF Corpsmen as Gods, Larry was truly one.
Fi, ~Roger Kromko