Corpsmen: Letters from Korea

By Richard G. Chappell; Gerald E. Chappell | Go to book overview

Chapter Two
Hospital Corps Training School

To off we flew from one coast to the other to learn how to be hospitalmen. We waved as we flew over the Ohio farm fields. This second set of letters covers our five-month period of study at Hospital Corps School. Dick and I were “gung ho” to lead our classes in grades, because we knew the top graduates would get first choice for hospital placement. We also knew that a good academic record might lead to additional schooling. So we hit the books and put our excellent short-term memories to work, learning endless facts (nursing through anatomy) that later were about as useful as a hill of beans. We weren’t sure we were cut out to be male nurses, but we liked the fact that naval personnel of the United States of America were going to take a crack at further educating us. We did prove that we could apply ourselves and succeed academically.

During the early months (June and July) we were at Bainbridge, the East Coast papers reported that it was a relatively quiet period in Korea, because of the truce talks and unusually heavy rain. However, at the end of July the Eighth Army, which included the First Marine Division, had to fight north of the thirty-eighth parallel around a circular valley known as the Punchbowl. The North Koreans had commanded the hills that rose sharply to heights of

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