Green Side Squid

One week after finishing Field Medical Service School at CamPen, I was aboard APA 45 Henrico headed for RVN via Okinawa. I roomed with 3 other O-3s, one of who had red patches on the outside of the knees of his utilities. I mentioned at dinner that I would be open for sick call at 0800 the next morning. I arrived at the ships dental office and there was a line of troops down the passageway which really surprised me. My dental tech and I worked as quickly as we could to care for all the patients that day, most of whom had the same strange little squares on their utilities. At dinner that night, I casually asked the group if they knew what the little squares were for?? The Captain I had met who also had the little patches spoke up quickly and said “Hey Doc, didn’t they tell you that those are the guys with VD and you have to be REAL careful with them!!” My helpful and friendly dining companions all chimed in to confirm the need for special precautions when dealing with these contaminated Marines!! Of course I had to appear as un-squid like as possible, so I put on a grim face and said thanks. By this time the battalion surgeon was in on the scam and he advised me to show up at sick bay in morning for appropriate antibiotics. The next morning as I headed to sick bay, the XO met me in the passageway and said he’d heard on “my accidental expose”. It was kind of quiet when I went into to office considering the number of people in the room when Dr Tom said to drop my trou for the shots. As I got thing ready to drop, the Captain who also had the patches came in the room and yelled “Hey, Doc,turn around!” And there he was with the plywood insignia for SHORE PARTYand the room was filled with hysterical folks leaning on each other ……laughing the asses off!!! It’s just about impossible to do anything but realize that I’d been HAD by these screw balls. A great group of men with a fitting introduction to the Corps

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4 thoughts on “Green Side Squid”

  1. Doc, This cannot be a coincidence. I left San Diago in July 1966 on APA-45, the Henrico. I was one of a Company of 5th Shore Party Marines,aka redpatchers. We were on our way to Okinawa where I was later transferred to 3rd Shore Party in Vietnam. I had to go to dental to have a temporary filling removed from one of my front teeth due to an abscess from a root canal I had at Camp Delmar a couple weeks earlier. Our CO was Captain Hall. Our XO was Captain Billingsley who was a real practical joker. He loved to pull practical jokes on a lot of people. Especially his Jr. officers. If we happened to be on the same ship at the same time we may have crossed paths. Thanks for all you Docs did for us Marines….Bob

  2. When I was in Vietnam I was attached to Bravo Company, 3rd Shore Party Bn. Even though I was TAD to this unit I had to wear the red patch on my trousers and also my cover. I spent my entire 13 months with this unit and observed their true commitment to their unit mission. They had a Shore Party team go to every fire support base in Our A.O. When choppers came in, they braved all kinds of enemy fire making sure that the pilots of the helicopters had the proper directions, via hand & arm singles, to complete their mission. These guys were the bravest Marines that I had the privilege to serve my first tour in Vietnam with!

    1. John….I was with A Company, 3rd Shore Party Bn. I joined them in December 1966 at Thuan An on the coast east of Hue. Sometime in the spring of 1967 we went to Dong Ha and B Company took our place at Thuan An.….Bob (1381).

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