Mar 27

Remembering Hospitalman Francis C. Hammond, USN

Sunday, March 27, 2011 12:01 AM

In commenting on the selfless service of U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsmen, General Alfred M. Gray, USMC (Ret), the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Korean War veteran, noted that he “saluted our Corpsmen for their courage, valor, and willingness to serve above and beyond the call of duty.”

General Gray’s moving tribute would be most fitting in recognition of the heroism displayed by Hospitalman Francis C. Hammond, USN (Deceased) on the night of 26-27 March 1953. A native of Alexandria, Virginia, the twenty-one year old Hospitalman was serving with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, when his platoon was subjected to a barrage of enemy mortar and artillery fire. Although wounded, Hospitalman Hammond continued to administer aid to his wounded Marines throughout an exhausting four-hour period. When his unit was finally ordered to withdraw, he remained in the fire-swept area and skillfully directed the evacuation of casualties, until he fell mortally wounded from enemy mortar fire. Hospitalman Hammond’s heroic efforts undoubtedly saved the lives of many of “his” Marines, and his sacrifice was honored nine months later by the presentation to his wife and infant son of a posthumous Medal of Honor.

On July 25, 1970, the USS Francis Hammond (DE/FF-1067) was commissioned in Long Beach, CA. After 22 years in service, Hammond was decommissioned in 1992 and dismantled nine years later.

Today, the Camp Margarita Medical Clinic at Camp Pendleton, California, and a school in his hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, bear the name of the young Hospitalman, who in the finest tradition of the Navy Hospital Corps, gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country and Marines.

 
 
 
  • Paul Connors

    While it is a great honor to have a ship named after a member of the military, it would have been nice to note in the article what valor award Hospitalman Hammond received for his heroism. Specifically, was he the recipient of the Navy Cross or Medal of Honor? This little bit of extra information adds immeasurably to the reader’s appreciation of the sacrifce of the individual and the later recognition by the Navy.

  • Ogden Johnson

    Paul, the last sentence in the first paragraph of the article reads “Hospitalman Hammond’s heroic efforts undoubtedly saved the lives of many of “his” Marines, and his sacrifice was honored nine months later by the presentation to his wife and infant son of a posthumous Medal of Honor.” That should answer your question.

  • Charlie Voos

    Paul,
    Please read the end of paragraph 2, you have your answer.

  • G. Wayne Odell

    The artical I read ststed Hospitalman Hammond did recieve the Medial of Honer. Our Corpsman are some of the bravest and best trained people in our service, in 1965 I had the honer of mustering some of these young men who had just finished their trainning at Charleston Naval Hospital I had been a Patient here and was assined to the Master at Arms duty. I learned first hand of their dedication and loality to their responsibiltys. some were assined to sea duty others were chosin for Marine corps duty knowing thay would be going to Vietnam. Thay all excepted their assinments with eggerness and a will to do the best job they were trained to do. And less not forget there was a Corpsman who helped rase the flag on Iwa Jima

  • William O. Ferrell

    I was a Hospital Corpman in the Korean war. I knew a number of corpmen who were either wounded or killed in the line of duty
    during the period of 1950 and 1953. I salute these corpmen every day of my life. Corpmen are dedicated. I never knew a single
    hospital corpman who was not. Again, my hand is over my heart,
    and I salute all of them.

  • Tom Pelton

    On my copy of the article, the Awarding of the Medal of Honor to wife and infant son is mentioned. I have the greatest respect for the work of Hospital Corpsmen.