Friday, February 8, 2013

WWII USN Corpsman PhM3c 3rd Marine Division

I picked this Corpsman Jumper up a few months ago but hesitated a bit to blog it as I wanted to do some more research on it. This Jumper has two names in it, the first belonging to a Corpsman who was in the 21st Marines, 3rd Marine Division who participated in the Battle of Guam and Battle of Iwo Jima. Iwo Jima was particularly not a great experience for this Corpsman who survived a rather vicious shelling which was visibly shaken and was taken off the line. He was sent back to the states where he recovered from his experience on Iwo Jima. Sometime while in the States two of his uniforms was given to another Pharmacists mate who crossed out his name and stamped his name in the jumpers and wore them through the rest of the war. This is where things get complicated. First off I tend to ignore the numbers behind the name on WWII jumpers as they tend not to match the sailor's service number. Talking to some USN collectors we come to the conclusion it is their platoon number in training, as usually written in ink on the tag on the navy blues jumpers. The Whites the sailors stenciled those numbers in. Second, although the second name is to a WWII sailor, he is not listed on the Navy rosters on Ancestry. He was forced to stay stateside due to his color blindness and bad eyesight. This is a first for me of a WWII sailor who isn't on the rosters, due to him not being assigned to a ship or overseas base. I do believe this does belong to the Iwo vet as there isn't any other sailor who was a PhM with his last name and intials(and to double check the other sailors don't have service numbers that match the four digits behind the name.) The Patches were never removed, as both sailors were PhM3c at the same time. A complicated history!

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