if one must insist on making any kind of comparison, to compare one case at its best to
one that was not.26
Marines in the Korean War (and today) did not have their own medical personnel
as did the Army and the Navy. The Navy supplied its medical services. A Navy medical
battalion was often found in a Marine division and two "Corpsmen" (the equivalent of a
medic in the Army) were attached to each platoon in a company. The Corpsmen tended
wounded on the front lines and tried to stabilize them with first-aid for transport to the
rear. The next stop was a forward aid station and then the Battalion Aid station. From
there, Navy or Army field hospitals "performed necessary surgery.... The more
seriously wounded were transported to Japan and, when recovered sufficiently, sent
home to the states or back to Korea."27
Marine air was the other half of the Marine fighting team. The purpose of the
organization of the air segment of the Marine Corps is closely tied conceptually to what
Marines called the "air-ground team concept." Together, the Marine air and ground
segments were intended to work together according to it. Thomas, Heinl, and Ageton
described it thusly in the Marine Officer's Guide:
The role of Marine Corps aviation in the air-ground team is to support
Fleet Marine operations by close and general tactical air support, and air
defense. Secondary to this main job, Marine aviation may be called on to provide
replacement or augmentation squadrons for duty with the fleet air arm.
The noteworthy characteristic of Marine aviation is that it forms an
inseparable part of the combined arms team with which the Corps backs up its
infantry.... The kind of close air support that Marines are accustomed to
demands complete integration between air and ground. Pilot and platoon leader
26 S.L.A. Marshall, Pork Chop Hill (New York: Berkley Publishing, 1956. Reprint. 1986): 2, 5, 37; Spencer
C. Tucker, Encyclopedia of the Korean War: A Political, Social, and Military History. 3 vols. (Santa
Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2000): entry for "Korean Augmentation to the United States Army."
27 Burton Anderson, We Claim the Title, 187; Henry Berry, Hey, Mac, Where Ya Been?: Living Memories
of the U. S. Marines in the Korean War (New York: St. Martin's, 1988): 108; Thomas, Heinl, and Ageton,
Marine Officer's Guide, 55-56; Martin Russ, The Last Parallel: A Marine's War Journal (New York:
Rinehart, 1957): 120.
Montandon, Joshua W. Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3938/. Accessed September 2, 2014.