Corpsmen: Letters from Korea

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

Chapter Seven
Able Medical
Company

The he letters of this chapter cover our experiences during the final phase of our Korean tour of duty. Rotated back to the rear for service in Able (“A”) Medical Hospital, we were both given work assignments in the medical records department. Because our job was that of taking care of health records, at the end of March we were sent to Japan on a liaison team to meet an incoming marine draft and manage their records. Then, in July, we were granted a rest and recuperation leave in Japan.

The Stars and Stripes newspaper kept us abreast of the war. As our duty at the hospital continued, the melting snows and mud of spring made roads impassable and streams too swift and deep for crossing. For a while, we were granted a lull in the fighting.

Then the helicopter action increased, bringing casualties to Able Hospital’s reception platform, as the Chinese accelerated their tempo on the First Marine Divisions front. Dick’s letters of March 26 and April 6, 1953, and his comments in the Reflections section, discuss the impact of these outpost battles on the Second Battalion he had served with. The Chinese threw two company-sized attacks against Fifth Marine Regiment outposts. They were beaten off, and the marines quickly counterattacked. Just before our trip to Japan, around the 22nd of March, the Chinese mounted a counterblow, sending two companies against the First Marine Regiment’s outposts Hedy

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