Gollie Leo GrantHospitalman
B CO, 1ST BN, 26TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Navy
04 May 1944 - 19 September 1966
Old Fort, North Carolina
Panel 10E Line 118
The database page for Gollie Leo Grant
Gollie was my high school sweetheart and it still hurts so much, after 33 years, to know that he is really gone. He was the first love in my life.
He had a hard life growing up but he was determined to make something of himself and for that reason, I would like to have him recognized. Even though we were so very young, I shall never forget him and what a beautiful person he was.
I would love to hear from Gollie's sister Mary. She was a sophomore and I was a freshman the year he graduated. She might remember me as the preacher's daughter.
If anyone else knew Gollie or anything at all about him, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll never forget you, Gollie, and how you took my heart.
I loved you so much.
May 30, 2001
Today I visited the memorial in my home town, in remembrance of you, Gollie Leo Grant. I shall never forget you and how deeply I loved you. I am so sorry I just never had the chance to "express" to you my love and just how deep it was. Rest in peace, my precious person, who will always be remembered and I'll see you on the other side of this life.
I love you and miss you,
Grant was in my Hospital Corps class Company 14-66 in San Diego. He was the Assistant Adjutant. I always remember him as a tall good looking young man. Until just two days ago I never knew he had received the Navy Cross. I'm not surprised - he was that kind of guy. I can remember some funny things that happened to him (us) in Corps school.
Why so many young men (boys) died and I lived I'll never know. I took care of so many that died - God I hate war! It is so difficult to write these few words without crying.
At least Grant will always be young.
From a classmate in Corps School Company 14-66,
There's a name, etched in black granite, as a memorial, meant to last forever. But to thousands it's just an unusual name. My memory of this man all started with a quarter, twenty-five cents!
I was your typical boy who wanted to spend as much time with his dad as possible, especially when Dad was gone for a week or nine months at a time! You see, my dad was a Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate aboard the USS FORT MARION, an LSD. Whenever the FORT MARION was in port for a length of time, the ship would have its own bowling league formed from the different rates (Navy speak for job discriptions). The boatswain's mates would bowl against the electricians against the enginemen against the ship's officers and so on.
One night I talked my dad into taking me with him to watch him bowl. The excitement lasted for ten minutes then boredom set in. What else was an eleven year old boy going to do when a bunch of beer-guzzling sailors bowl!! Beside watching dad bowl, there was a snack bar and an old pinball machine. Both took money which I didn't have.
One of my dad's shipmates under him and on his team was a young sailor named Gollie. Gollie took pity on me and pulled me aside. "Hey kid, come here" he yelled at me as I was shuffling from lane to lane looking as bored as I could. "Hey, do something for me, will ya? Here's a quarter, go down to the Ol' Man and bet him that he can't make a strike on the next ball!" The look on my face must of given me away. "The Captain, bet the Captain he can't get a strike on the next ball!"
Off sheepishly I went down to the lane that the ship's officers were bowling on. "Ah Sir" I mumbled. "I bet you a quarter you can't bowl a strike on your next ball." The Captain busted out laughing, "You must be Boat's kid! Sure I'll take your quarter!" Well, I had to sit there a few minutes waiting for his turn but patience paid off and I soon had another quarter in my hand! Off I ran to give Gollie back his winnings. "No kid, that's yours! Go play some pinball!"
The Who didn't write "Pinball Wizard" after me and soon I was broke again and looking bored. All that night my dad and Gollie, mostly Gollie (I should also say the Captain, he didn't roll strikes very often during our bets) kept me in quarters, pinball, hotdogs and soda that night!
That night was my first and last time with Gollie! My next memory of Gollie was the day my dad received the news that Gollie was killed in Vietnam! Dad was cussing and cursing the ship's doctor for talking Gollie into changing his rate from boatswain's mate to hospitalman.
I remember it like it was yesterday, Dad was in shorts and no shirt standing in the doorway leading to the back patio, screaming and cussing, waving the letter around like it was on fire! When Dad was like that it was best to shut up and listen, usually you get the info you want without being yelled at!
Gollie was a Corpsman assigned to a squad of Marines. What I remember is that when his squad was hit he ran to help a wounded Marine. While attending his wound, Gollie was hit the first time. Ignoring his own wound, Gollie did what he needed to do and then dragged his wounded Marine to safety. Again Gollie answered the call "Corpsman!!" and as he was ministering to a second Marine he was wounded a second time. He patched up this wounded man and dragged him to safety before going to his third wounded Marine. It was during his administering first aid and sheltering this wounded Marine that he was killed!
I was twelve years old when Gollie was killed in Vietnam and after I heard the news of his death I ran into my room and cried! So in honor of Gollie, I share this little story of a man full of life and a tender heart towards a little kid like me.
From the son of a shipmate,
A Note from The Virtual WallDuring the summer of 1966 the North Vietnamese Army's 324B Division had infiltrated south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with the clear intention of setting up a major presence in northern Quang Tri Province. The NVA 341st Division was positioned within and north of the DMZ and prepared to support the 324B Division and/or exploit opportunities arising from the 324B's operations.
CG 3rd MAF, the senior US commander in northern South Vietnam, initiated Operation HASTINGS, aimed at discouraging the 324B Division and forcing it back into the DMZ (at the time, US forces could not enter into the DMZ - it was an NVA sanctuary). Heavy fighting continued through July 1966, particularly around the "Rockpile" between Khe Sanh and Camp Carroll. HASTINGS ended, and a series of recon-in-force operations - termed Operation PRAIRIE - began on 03 August 1966.
Operation DECKHOUSE IV was conducted by the 7th Fleet's Special Landing Force Bravo (Battalion Landing Team 1/26) as an adjunct to Operation PRAIRIE. BLT 1/26's area was about 8 miles NE of Dong Ha, and began with an amphibious landing and a heliborne landing some six miles inland west of Highway 1. At about 1330 15 Sep 1966, a recon team made contact with an NVA company. That contact was the first in what became ten days of heavy fighting for BLT 1/26's Marines and sailors. Although DECKHOUSE IV officially ended on the 18th, BLT 1/26 stayed in support of PRAIRIE until the 25th. The operation claimed at least 200 NVA killed at a cost of 37 Marines and sailors killed in action and another 167 wounded. The dead were
"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
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his high school sweetheart,
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 29 Oct 1999
Last updated 11/23/2007