Godwin, Joseph Samuel, PO3 Fallen
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Petty Officer Third Class
Last Primary Designator/NEC
HM-0000-Hospital Corpsman
Last Rating/NEC Group
Hospital Corpsman
Last Duty Station
1965-1966, USMC Air Commands/MAG-16
Service Years
- 1966
HM-Hospital Corpsman

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Apr 07, 1966
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Quang Nam
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
06E 092

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Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2014, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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 Duty Stations
USMC Air Commands/MAG-16
  1965-1966, USMC Air Commands/MAG-16
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
3[-4] April - As OPERATION ORANGE went into its third day, HMM-263 carried 464 U.S. troops, 47,000 pounds of cargo, 12 U.S. WIA's and 7 KIA's. Small arms fire was received from ZC 133564 and ZC 161537. One of the aircraft received a hit and the corpsman HM3 J. S. GODWIN, USN, was seriously wounded during an attempt to evacuate a U.S. Med Evac from ZC 160534.

HMM-263 - On 6 April 1966, HM3 J. S. GODWIN died of wounds received in action on 4 April 1966.

First of all, a little about Joe Godwin. He was a freckled face red headed guy. He was about the nicest, calmest guy you would ever want to meet. We went to Navy boot camp together, Hospital Corps School at Balboa Hospital, Marine Corps Field Medical School and then to Viet Nam together. If my memory serves me right, he lived somewhere around Ventura, CA.

Before we shipped out to Viet Nam he and a guy named Gary Beck came to my house and spent time with my family.

We were assigned to MAG-16, 1st Marine Air Wing. We were sent to different squadrons all at the same base in Da Nang. I forgot my squadron number but Joe was assigned to HMM-263. I know its crazy (but a lot was then) but we all flew Medevacs with VMO-2. That's who Joe was flying with when he was shot.

Joe was relieving me for a break. I heard them call "MED-EVAC" as I was leaving the flight line. I watched them take off and 'waved' to them as they passed overhead. I later heard that there was only one incoming shot that anybody knew off. We use to sit on our 'flack' jackets, but Joe stood up as they approached the 'LZ' and a round came thru the deck of the chopper and entered Joe's rectum. He was taken to the Battalion Aide station for emergency care and was to be evacuated to the Philippines ... he died in flight.

Submitted by Butch Cole, Corpsman, Corpsman, close friend
Vietnam Wall Panel coords 06E 092

"I'm the One Called "Doc…"

I shall not walk in your footsteps,
but I will walk by your side.
I shall not walk in your image,
I've earned my own title of pride.
We've answered the call together,
on sea and foreign land.
When the cry for help was given,
I've been there right at hand.
Whether I am on the ocean
or in the jungle wearing greens,
Giving aid to my fellow man,
be it Sailors or Marines.
So the next time you see a corpsman
and you thing of calling him "squid",
Think of the job he's doing
as those before him did.
And if you ever have to go out there
and you life is on the block,
Look at the one right next to you…
I'm the one called "Doc".

Harry D. Penny, Jr. HMC(AC)USN
Copyright 1975

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