Peter Robert Bossman

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class
HMM-265, MAG-16, 1ST MAW
United States Navy
03 December 1944 - 25 September 1966
West Seneca, New York
Panel 11E Line 012

Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Peter R Bossman

The database page for Peter Robert Bossman

27 Jan 2003


by his comrades-in-arms from the
USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Association

George T. Curtis
MGySgt USMC (Ret)

24 Mar 2004

Pete took my place that dark night in 1966. We were in a card game and the call for a Corpsman came and Pete said

"Let me go, Jim, you have a lot of money on the line and I'm broke. See you in an hour or so. Good luck!!!!!!!! Oh, by the way you owe me one."

I have thought about you every minute of every day since that fateful night. God bless you, Pete, and your family, for you are truly my hero.

"Doc" Page

From a fellow Corpsman whose life was spared because of you,
Jim Page
P. O. Box 353, Aurora, Oregon 97002

26 Feb 2007

Pete, it's been over forty years since we have seen each other, but not a day goes by without me thinking of you. I remember the day we met and were assigned to the F.M.F. and eventually HMM-265. I think about the good times we had state side and even in country, believe it or not.

I know if you were here today we would still be great friends and spending some time together. It's taken me a long time to write, please forgive me. God bless you. The world is a better place because of you.

Your friend, squadron mate, and fellow corpsman,
S. David Sutmire
HMM-265, MAG-16, 1ST MAW

9018 South Lake Rd.
Espyville, Penna. 16424

Virtual Wall Notes

On 25 September 1966 a UH-34D (BuNo 148776) belonging to HMM-161 launched on a night medevac mission in support of a Marine unit engaged in heavy combat along Highway 9. The weather was good with a very bright full moon. Four Marine aircrewmen from HMM-161 and a Navy Corpsman assigned to HMM-265 were aboard the aircraft:
  • Capt Phillip Allen Ducat, pilot (BNR)
  • 1stLt Dean Wesley Reiter, copilot (BNR)
  • Cpl Vernon Howard Parker, Jr, crew chief
  • HM3 Peter Robert Bossman, corpsman (HMM-265) (BNR)
  • LCpl Arthur William Green, gunner
According to the Task Force Omega (TFO) report, the mission comprised four aircraft - two UH-34D medevacs and two gunship escorts. The POW Network and Pop-A-Smoke reports do not mention a second medevac aircraft. This point is important because the TFO and Pop-A-Smoke reports both concur that a medevac aircraft did land and pick up one or more wounded ... TFO says that it was the second UH-34D, while Pop-A-Smoke says that Captain Ducat made the pick-up.

In any event, although Ducat as flight lead had requested an artillery-free flight corridor from the Camp Carroll artillery coordination center, Ducat's UH-34 was hit in flight by an artillery shell, broke up, and crashed in flames. The incident was witnessed by crewmen in the escorting gunships from a distance of about 75 yards.

Ground troops were able to reach the aircraft wreckage and were able to recover two badly burned bodies but no other remains - the aircraft had burned furiously and it was supposed that the bodies of the other three crewmen (and any wounded aboard) had been consumed beyond recovery. The two bodies recovered were identified as Corporal Vernon Parker and Lance Corporal Arthur Green.

The Virtual Wall staff has examined the records for personnel lost on 25 Sep 1966 whose bodies were not recovered and identified a fourth Marine, Lance Corporal Paul Douglas Tice, who might have been involved. His death is attributed to artillery fire.

Although assault, medevac, and gunship helos regularly flew in areas being subjected to friendly artillery fire, this incident is the only documented case of a Marine helicopter being struck in flight by friendly fire.

Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

"You guys are the Marine's doctors -
There's none better in the business than a Navy Corpsman ..."
-- Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller --

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

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a fellow veteran,
George T. Curtis
MGySgt USMC (Ret)
E-Mail address not available

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NY State Index . Panel 11E
HMM-265 Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 Jan 2003
Last updated 08/01/2007