Joel Arnold Balcom

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class
United States Navy
26 July 1947 - 03 November 1969
Independence, MO
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Joel Balcom, October 1969

FMF Corpsman

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Joel Arnold Balcom

On November 3, 1969 Corpsman HM3 Joel Arnold Balcom gallantly gave his life in the service of our country while participating in a Medical Evacuation mission near Hill 10 in Quang Nam Province, Republic Of Vietnam. Joel was a Corpsman attached to and in support of First Tank Battalion, First Marine Division at the time of his death.

Here is an account of the incident that took the life of Corpsman HM3 Joel A. Balcom as well as some personal reflections as related by David H. Gard, at the time Joel's close friend and fellow Corpsman:

"Joel had less than two weeks left in country and was not required to take the Jeep ambulance out to recover wounded. When the call came for medical assistance, he jumped in the Jeep and went out the road from 1st Tanks toward Hill 10. After approximately an eight minute transit time, he arrived and loaded up three Marines (not from 1st Tanks) and headed toward the 1st Tanks BAS. His ambulance hit a land mine; he was the only one killed. The road had not been swept for mines as it was not yet Sun-Up.

Joel was selfless and a hard worker. He worked hard and played hard.

Although he was of the Mormon faith, he did, occasionally, drink beer and whiskey, though he wasn't given to getting tipsy. Our first job together was as part of a sailing crew in Boot Camp. I had sailed (as I do now) since I was seven years old and lead our Boot Camp boat team to the banner for sailing.

Joel had a profound effect on all that met him."

Joel Balcom

The full memorial to HM3 Joel Balcom is on the
USMC Tankers site.

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which lists 2,026 Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

A memorial from one who remembers,
Tim Matye 
20Dec2000 . 01Dec2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)