PhM3c Daniel B. Thomas

Corpsman HQ-2-23

(also F-2-23)

Bronze Star

Our thanks to Harlan Glenn who provided the following information about Danny Thomas

"The Cinder Fellas"

Danny Thomas was a Corpsman with the 23rd Regiment 4th Marine Division. He joined the Fourth in the summer of 1944 while the Division was fighting on Saipan and Tinian. The four Corpsmen pictured below, were known as the "Cinder Fellas". While the rest of the division was busy fighting on Saipan and Tinian in the Marianas, these replacement corpsmen were detailed to climb Mt Haleakala to collect and bring down large cinder blocks, like those on which they are sitting, to be used in decorating their Battalion/Regimental camp. THis is a "beloved" practice of painting rocks - not onoly to line roads and paths leading to and from fixed encampents, administrative buildings, etc., but as a means of puinishment or filling time for the junior Marines. Because of their "special duty" these Docs were given this moniker.

Pictured at far right with clasped hands on knee is the late PhM3c Daniel B. Thomas

July 1944, Camp Maui, Hawaii, Navy Corpsman PhM3c Danny B. Thomas of HQ-2-23 4th Marine Division faces the camera with his Unit no. 3 bag in hand.

Harlan Glenn relates a anecdote that Doc Thomas related to him that demonstrated the love the battle hardened Marines had for their unit corpsmen. While he and other replacements were training with the Marines at Camp Maui, during one field exercise, a young "green" Marine made a comment that he soon regretted. THis Marine made it clear, that he was not about to let any "gay pill pushers" give him a "short arm inspection".  He then went on to say that only a homosexual would want to be a Corpsman, for they "fondled men's rear ends and private parts"

No sooner did the young Marine say this then he was smacked in the face with an M1 steel helmet thrown by a veteran Marine sergeant. As the young Marine looked up in a daze, with blood gushing from his busted mouth, the Sergeant said, "You better shut your damn mouth, cause one day you'll be crying to Corpsmen and you'll pray to God that one of them pill pushers will come to help you!"

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Copyright © 2007 Harlan Glenn