John Henry Garner

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class
United States Navy
14 May 1947 - 29 May 1967
Charleston Heights, SC
Panel 21E Line 012

Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
John H. Garner

The database page for John Henry Garner

04 May 2000

A South Carolina Veteran
Remembers A Fallen Brother

John Henry Garner was born in Charleston Heights, SC, on May 14, 1947. John Henry joined the Navy and went to school as a Hospital Corpsman. After school he was assigned to H&S Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division.

As a Hospital Corpsman, John Garner had a standard to meet. The Marines he served with expected him to be singularly fearless, able to ignore battles in progress to be in constant attendance of those who were wounded. A short delay because of fear could mean death to an injured man. The men needed to know they could count on their Corpsman.

John H Garner As a black enlisted man, John Garner had another hurdle to make as well. These were times when racism was a tense matter, and an adjustment period between races always occurred until things settled from black/white/red/yellow to "shades of green".

Hospitalman Third Class John Garner had just turned 20 when he was returning with his unit from a U.S. Marine search and destroy mission onboard a River Patrol Boat. The PBR came under enemy fire and overturned. Garner apparently drowned in the incident and searches did not recover his body. He was listed in a casualty status of Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered (KIA/BNR).

The next chapter of John Henry's story is just now unfolding ... Camp Pendelton, California, the home of the 1st Marine Division, John Henry's Division, has broken ground on a brand new Regimental Aid Station that is due to be dedicated in December 2003. The Station will be named in honor of John Henry.

My full memorial to HM3 John Henry Garner
is published at

A memorial from his buddy,

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, lost five men on 29 May 1967.

Two were with Charlie Company:

Strictly speaking, Petty Officer Garner was assigned to H&S Company, but on this day he was in the field as a Corpsman with a patrol from Charlie Company. While returning to base by boat, the patrol came under heavy small arms fire from the shore. The boat Garner was in overturned and he disappeared, apparently drowned; his body was not recovered. Corporal Brogdon died of gunshot wounds; he is buried in the Florence National Cemetery, Florence, SC.

Three men of H&S Company also were killed in action:

These men are remembered by their fellow Marines on the
1st Battalion, 1st Marines,
and the
Charlie Company, 1/1 Marines
web sites.

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 buddy,
Frederick Mullis 
04 May 2000

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SC State Index . Panel 21E

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 11/20/2003