A Memory of Hastings....a letter from Hans Haupt
I just took a peek at the Newsweek article posted on India's
page, and the picture there, if it is indeed of India Company on Hastings, brings this
incident to mind.
When India was hit in the ambush I was monitoring their radio traffic on my radios. Doctor Gatenby, one of the battalion surgeons, was nearby. We could hear much of what was going on including a lot of the gunfire.
Doc concluded right there that blood would likely be needed to aid the wounded if there was only some way to get it to them so he requested that a random supply be sent in from the ships along with a standard, USMC wooden locker box. The blood was packed tightly along with other medical supplies and anything else he could find to provide padding and protection. Eventually, that locker box was helo-dropped through the jungle triple canopy in sheer hopes that it would survive and India would find it. Both it and they did.
At the time we were packing that box Doc expressed some concern stating that he hadn't time to yet fully train the Corpsmen how and when to transfuse blood but that he had faith in their intelligence and skills to figure out what to do when faced with an emergency. We found out later that his faith was well placed.
I often wonder if the Corpsmen ever got the full credit they deserved.