HM3 EDWARD C. BENFOLD
attached 1st Marine Division
5 September 1952
On the night of Sept 5th, 1952 the Marine Rifle Company HM3 Benfold was attached to came under fierce attack by heavy artillery and mortar barrages, followed by a determined infantry assault.
HC3 Benfold moved from position to position, treating the wounded and giving words of encouragement to his men.
When the unit was attacked from both front and rear HM3 Benfold moved forward to a ridgeline from where he observed 2 wounded marines in a large crater.
*** Writer’s note ***
Before you read the next few lines; consider that the events took place faster than you can read my narration of them. A Korean war era Chinese hand grenade had a 4-second fuse. It took a ½ a second to travel from the enemy position to Benfold’s aid station – Count to 4 in your head and that is just about how long it took for the following events to unfold from start to finish.
As Benfold approached the 2 Marines, to triage their condition and administer aid, enemy soldiers threw 2 grenades into the crater while a group of enemy soldiers made a frontal assault.
Benfold was faced with a dilemma, two hand grenades, even if he could jump on both of them and save his comrades, the enemy would surely kill the two wounded Marines.
He could draw his 45 and engage the infantry but then the 2 had grenades would kill him and his 2 patients.
There was no good option…
but as I have said before (with great respect and affection), no matter if you call him a PJ, a Rescue Officer, Corpsman, Rescue Swimmer or just “Doc”…
Your average Combat Medic just aint right… They have no concept of fear and even the scrawniest medic turns into superman at the first cry of “DOC” or “Corpsman” and can haul a 250lb man across 500 meters of open battlefield under heavy enemy fire with ease.
HM3 Benfold grabbed a hand grenade in each hand and charged the oncoming enemy soldiers. He met them head-on, sticking his hands out in front of the two lead attackers just in time for both grenades to detonate killing all three and sending the rest into disarray.
Those enemy soldiers learned something anyone who has ever seen a medic in action knows…
“You are better off trying to rob a “She Grizzly” of her whelps than get in the way of a Medic trying to save one of his men.”
(for a more in-depth explanation of my feelings about anyone who earned the name “Doc” – https://gideondasche.com/2018/07/10/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-whos-the-baddest-of-them-all-2/ )