Farewell to Arms
In anticipation of our Guadalcanal landing, we Navy Corpsmen were instructed to wear armbands with large red crosses on white backgrounds in compliance with the Geneva Convention. However, as the Marines made an earlier assault on the islands north of Guadalcanal, their Corpsmen were being specifically targeted by the Japanese. Orders were given by the Command to halt immediately the wearing of Red Cross Brassards and issue arms to all medical personnel. We were given .45 caliber semi-automatic pistols.
Later, as we waited to descend into our landing craft for the assault on the "Canal" one of the more inquisitive Corpsmen of our group meekly pulled out a large bulging handkerchief and slowly untied its ends, exposing a .45 caliber pistol "detail-stripped" into endless puzzling pieces!! His curiosity as to its inner workings just prior to the order to disembark, reverted him back to his original "UNARMED STATUS"!!
----- John Francis Richter HM1 USN (Ret.)
Biography of John Francis Richter, HM1, Corpsman, USN, Use Back Key to Return
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