Auburn Dale McComb

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class
United States Navy
03 May 1935 - 14 May 1967
Gainesville, FL
Panel 19E Line 120


Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

Purple Heart (3 awards), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Auburn Dale McComb

20 Feb 2001

Dale McComb was my Father. I was four years old when he died. We lived in Pensacola and he was stationed at Saufley Field.

I am interested in his unit and any people who may have known him, particularly in Vietnam. I believe that he was on his third tour when he was killed.

An Enlisted Men's Quarters at Saufley field was named for my Dad: "McComb Quarters".

As a kid I used to bike to the base and swim, bowl, and hang out. I loved it there. There was a large photo of my Dad in the common room of McComb Quarters.

The people there would let my sister and me visit. When the base closed my sister got the plaque and the photo, she still lives in Pensacola.

I frequently go to the Wall. I take my dogs, and make a 3-day of it on the mall. I attend the memorial ceremonies.

A memorial from his sons and daughters,
Alan McComb
Debbie Means,
Tracey McComb,
Kim Biggs, and

Tony McComb
7559 Woods Rd, Pensacola Florida 32506

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The following is taken from the

Incident Date 670514 UH-34D 148613

KIA: McComb, Auburn Dale HM2 (USN) Corpsman

I was co-pilot on med-evac duty 13May67. Capt Wayne Hyatt was Aircraft Commander. Went out about mid-night for Emergency medevac (1). Attempted to locate zone, but friendlies would not mark zone for fear it would give away their position. Made numerous attempts to land, but was always told �you are not at our position.� Returned to MMAF twice to refuel; after second refueling the emergency med-evac count was up to 18. At this point it should have been apparent that "Charlie" damn sure knew where we were, and if he didn't it would become crystal clear where it was when we put a 16 foot tall UH-34 in the middle of the zone.

On our third refueling trip back to MMAF we were informed that the day med-evac crew was in place and we could quit. Capt Hyatt volunteered that we had a pretty good idea where the zone was and with day light and a VMO-2 gun bird we could probably get them. He asked who wanted to go back with him. Corpsman McComb volunteered to go; the crew chief and gunner decided to be replaced.

On this attempt we were escorted by the VMO-2 gunship and the two H-34 day med-evac helo's. Upon arrival in the area the friendlies reported they were east of the burning hut. (There were 3 burning huts). We made our approach and just as our tail wheel was touching down (still no smoke popped) we became the marksmanship award to target shooting.

The plan was for the corpsman to throw out the 18 stretchers, thinking that while we had to wait for our Marines to be put on them, other patients could be loaded on the stretchers, allowing the next two birds reduced exposure time in the hot zone.

Capt Hyatt was hit in the left shoulder, but bullet bouncer stopped the round while cutting his left shoulder strap. I was hit in right chest. (Yes, a sucking chest wound IS God's way of letting you know you are in combat). Corpsman McComb was hit in the left shoulder and it exited out his right hip. He was bending down throwing out the stretchers when he was hit. It was his third Purple Heart.

McComb was married and had two daughters. A Corpsman I talked to at the Las Vegas Reunion knew him very well. He asked me to sign his memorial service program. Capt Larry Delmore, Col, USMC(Ret) was HAC on the day med-evac and said over radio that after we landed at G-4 Med he would fly the bird over to MMAF and his co-pilot could fly his bird back.

After a quick walk around Larry decided that the helo should be towed back to Marble. Metal shop personnel later told me that we had taken enough hits from the machine gun that they counted 110 holes, some incoming some out going. Just like a Timex watch "takes a licking but keeps on ticking" - the H-34.

Capt Wayne Hyatt was killed on his second tour, 18 Feb 1971, flying a CH-53.

Submitted by Bill Woidyla, Major USMC (ret), Co-pilot on mission.

While this mission was flown by HMM-361, Petty Officer McComb actually was assigned to Marine Air Group 16. He usually flew with HMM-263, but that squadron was embarked on an LPH of the amphibious ready group at the time.

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.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009