Naval History and Heritage Command

Hampton Roads Naval Museum

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  • Vietnam Conflict 1962-1975
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<p>Logistics page 86 corpsman</p>
Caption: U.S. Navy corpsman Ervin Bostick bandages the leg of a wounded Marine during a sweep and destroy mission near An Hoa in 1966. (National Archives and Records Administration)

 

Corpsman Up!

Hospital corpsmen served with Navy personnel in hospitals, on ships, on bases, and attached to Marine units. They provided routine medical care for cases of tropical ulcers known as “jungle rot” and heat exhaustion. Armed with a medical kit (and often a weapon) while on patrol with rifle companies, the “Docs” treated combat wounds caused by small arms, explosives, and booby traps. Acting quickly under fire, they worked to stop bleeding, keep airways open, dress wounds, and prevent shock. Aided by helicopter evacuations, corpsmen saved countless lives during the war.