Navy Corpsman
Serving with 3rd Bn, 7th Marines
“Bunker Hill”, Korea.
13 Aug 1952

John_E_KilmerWhile serving as a Combat Medic (Corpsman) with a Marine rifle company, his company was defending a tactically important piece of high ground well forward of the forward edge of the battle area.

Kilmer’s unit was under heavy assault by a massive wave of enemy troops.

Kilmer, like all medics, lost any sense of fear self-preservation at the sound of that first cry of “Corpsman”… Morphing from a mere medic to that super human creature all combat Soldiers affectionately refer to as “DOC.”

Doc went into action.

Kilmer repeatedly dodged intense enemy mortar, artillery, and sniper fire to administering aid to the wounded.  In spite of his own painful wounds Kilmer low crawled from wounded Marine to wounded Marine administering like saving medical aid under heavy enemy fire.

Doc Kilmer was targeted by enemy snipers, machine gunners and any other enemy soldier who saw the young corpsman out in the open. He inched his way to the side of a badly wounded Marine.  Undaunted by the hail of steel and lead, he administered first aid to his brother.

A new barrage of enemy artillery plowed the earth around Doc Kilmer and his patient. As the rounds walked in on him, Doc placed his own body on top of his patient shielding him from enemy fire.

Doc Kilmer was mortally wounded by shrapnel that would have surely killed his patient whom he was shielding with his own body – his brother lived.

Author’s note – If you want to know what this old soldier really feels  about Combat medics – go here: “Mirror Mirror on the Wall – Who’s that Baddest of them all?”


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