Merton D. Leeper (DOC) HM3


Served with 2/1 Golf from Jan of 66 to Jan of 67.


I am medically retired from injuries suffered during Operation Hastings, close to the DMZ.

Those who served along side of me will remember me because I carried no side arm, only a carbine with a selector switch, 1000 rounds in bandoliers and all the grenades I could handle -- plus my medical bag. 


I am so proud of my service with the Marines and 2/1 that I have a special USMC license plate which is only issued to those who could prove service via DD-214 with the U.S. Marines. 




Name:        Merton D. Leeper (Doc)


Rank:         HM3


Unit:          G Company, 2/1 (But filled in as needed with E & F).  There was a time when two 

                Corpsman together went down in a chopper and perished.  I think they were from

                F Company.  I filled for a few days here and there until a new corpsman came in to

                the unit.


Date:        January 1966 - August 1967.  In Nam from Jan. 66 to Jan. 67. Med evac. to 

               Oakland Naval Hospital Jan. 67 until my medical retirement in Aug. 67.


Vietnam Photo with Description:  Will forward these as soon as they are found and will send a

                                             current photo.


Stories to Share: 

I have many that I wish to share that relate to Operations New York and Hastings;


our unit being dropped into an unfriendly area to protect a downed chopper and another time to protect a tank that threw a track.  In each case, we were surrounded and attacked;


then the ambush out of Phu Bi when the moon was full and my squad kept real quiet because on a close horizon we saw a huge number of Viet Cong or North Vietnamese Regulars crossing a hill top one by one in the moon light - it was really eerie;


or the time in operation Hastings when we walked into the jungle to find a complete enemy camp - I remember the woven sleeping benches just made out of the jungle vegetation;


Operation Hastings - after returning from an ambush early because of contact - the radio operator and myself had a hole atop a ridge where our company was set up.  We kept whispering that we heard something below - which was about 30 feet down.  So, from time to time when something was heard we would throw a grenade down.  About 4 a.m. clear whispers came from below, I thought, so I pitched a grenade.  We had a lot of incoming this night. At light, a squad found two dead Vietnamese regulars below our hole.  I was part of the patrol that morning, it just made the hair on the back of my neck come to attention to know that our senses were right! 


I was one of two corpsman (that I know of) that carried an M-1 carbine with a selector switch and lots of ammo and grenades.  The 45 side arm went away fast because on one of my first patrols I was shot at and figured I did not want to be a target because of the 45 sidearm.


My military experience was nearly all spent with the Fleet Marine Force and 2/1 except for training and a six month assignment to the Naval Hospital at Key West Florida (prior to my FMF assignment).  The term 'Once a Marine, always a Marine' has such a deep meaning because of the level of the experience and association with the Corps.  Even my license plates are USMC made by the State of Colorado and only procured because my DD-214 confirmed my status with 2/1. 


Only recently have I been able to answer questions about Nam.  This is probably because of the ongoing activity in Afghanistan and Iraq where death and destruction are so common place and it is shown on TV each day.  These marines know the physical and mental routines required to function on a daily basis and will never forget the victories or the death of marine brothers or those that one has killed.


Semper Fi,


Merton 'Doc' Leeper

G Company, 2/1