George F. McIntyre, U.S. Navy
United States Navy - HM 3 (Hospital Man)
Medals and Awards: The Bronze Star, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign, Cross of Gallantry, Presidential Unit Citation, Civil Action 1st Class, Good Conduct, Combat Action Ribbon.
Duty Stations: Little Creek, Va., Dispensary, Fleet Marine Force, Camp Lejeune, South Vietnam, Quantico, Va.
Married: June 20, 1970, to Barbara (Lawrence) at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Parish in Dunkirk.
Children: Catherine Stewart and Christina Bartoo
Grandchildren: Dustin Gragg, Alison Stewart, Wyatt Bartoo
George F. McIntyre was born on Oct. 28, 1947, in Patterson, N.J., the son of Edward and Evelyn (Converse) McIntyre.
His father worked as a textile worker and later became a security guard. The McIntyre family lost Glenn, George's only brother, when he was responding as a fireman to a house fire and was involved in an accident that claimed his life. George McIntyre recalled life in New Jersey was rough as a child. He witnessed violence as a daily part of life. When he was 19 years old, he decided it was time to leave New Jersey and joining the military would be a way out.
After basic Navy boot camp, he was off to Little Creek, Va. Here his duties and training came in the Navy's Seal base dispensary. His next assignment as a corpsman was off to the fleet marine force located at Monford Point, a U.S. Marine base at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Here he participated in six weeks of U.S. Marine Corp basic training. This training was to get him ready to be assigned and to support U.S. combat Marine units that were in Vietnam and would be participating in Marine combat operations.
This training also prepared him for search and destroy patrols and to participate in military convoys running men and supplies to different areas of Vietnam. His next duty station took him to another area of Camp Lejeune that was the home of Lima Company 3rd Battalion 6th Marine regiment. McIntyre was a corpsman and his duties were to aid any Marines who, while in training, were injured or had medical issues.
After his assignment with the 3rd battalion, 6th Marines orders now came stamped on the top with 2 inch letters "Westpac" Vietnam. McIntyre was headed for Vietnam but his first stop was U.S. Marine corp base Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. Camp Hansen was a camp in Okinawa where all U.S. Marines and Navy corpsman stopped for a three-day orientation to South Vietnam.
At Camp Hansen he was given orders to the 9th Marine regiment, the "walking dead." (The 9th Marine regiment in Vietnam picked up the name the "walking dead" and still to this day are called the "walking dead").
At Camp Hansen, Marines and corpsmen were given all shots needed, and briefed on local Vietnamese customs, such as not calling the Vietnamese people certain slang words, never touching a Vietnamese child on the top of their head, and other religious customs. Also a day was spent on the various snakes, spiders and wild animals that most Americans saw if stationed in the jungle and DMZ areas.
Camp Hansen was a place where you could see an 18-year-old boy making out a request to have most of his money sent home to a wife or mother. It was also a place where one could see a platoon of 80 Marines all between 18 and 19 years old making out their last will. This occurred the last few hours before boarding that C130 plane that will flew them into harm's way.
In Vietnam, McIntyre was reassigned to 2nd battalion, 7th Marine regiment, which had the assignment of working the Da Nang area. Their duties were to walk, search and destroy patrols and to mainly do security at night to protect the Da Nang base.
When in base, corpsmen would assist in the battalion and stations that took care of the day-to-day wounds and medical problems that occurred. When Marines were wounded, the corpsmen in the field would administer any aid they could to keep the wounded Marine stable until the Medivac chopper could pick him up. If the corpsmen felt the battalion aid station could take care of the wound, the Medivac chopper would take the wounded to the aid station which was only a few minutes flight from the battlefield to the surgery table. If the wound was deemed more serious, the corpsman would recommend the Marine be sent out to one of the two hospital ships - the USS Sanctuary or the USS Repose. Such cases included spinal cord wounds, loss of sight, internal bleeding. The corpsman would automatically send these wounded to the hospital ship.
The 2nd battalion, 7th Marine regiment had seen its share of firefights and patrols which kept its corpsman busy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There were no days off while on a patrol or operation. Corpsmen as all Marines kept a short-timers calendar. This was a calendar of something the Marine or corpsman liked that was sectioned off in 100 sections each section having a number from 100 down to zero. Each day one section would be filled in. Reaching zero and having the calendar completely filled, the Marine or corpsman was heading home. This was something that kept one going.
Finally, McIntyre's short-timers calendar was completely filled in and he was heading home. When orders came in, he was on a U.S. government chartered 727 taking him back to the U.S.
Coming home brought him a five-hour layover in Honolulu. A 30-day leave was well-deserved and then he was headed to Quantico, Va. While at Quantico he met a girl from the Dunkirk-Fredonia area named Barbara Lawrence. This girl he met while she was also on duty would on June 20, 1970, became his wife.
With his enlistment up, the couple arrived at their new home on Ocelot Street in Dunkirk. McIntyre then landed a job at the County Home and worked there for 2 1/2 years. The McIntyres then moved to Brocton. When the Purina Company was hiring, he landed a job as a packing operator and worked for 35 years before retiring. He now enjoys fishing, and time with his grandchildren.
Staying active in our community, he is a past president of the Vietnam Veterans of America, a life member of the VFW, an active member of Post 1280 American Legion, Cassadaga; and Golf Company, Vietnam Veterans.
The Vietnam War. What can one say about it? What can one say about it to someone who was never there?
When two Vietnam veterans are together and talk about the war there are not many sentences that get finished. One starts to talk about that country and the other knows what he will say before it's finished.
The first thing he said to me was, "John I really didn't do much when I was there. I just did what I was supposed to do. I just did my job."
It's what we all did. When we came home, we went on with our lives, trying very hard not to talk to anyone about all we had said, saw or done. We didn't talk about the killings, even though one million enemy Viet Cong or NVA were killed. Today the graves in Vietnam prove the numbers to be right. The 58,000-plus Americans whose names on the Vietnam Memorial also confirm the small country was a killing field for 10 years. Yet today we still go to war.
McIntyre, the corpsman, who walked with combat Marines and just did his job, did his job so well that this man who really didn't do much had in his military record the following page:
Commanding officer, golf company; 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines; FPO San Francisco, Calif. 9662; to George McIntyre B127825 HN
The award: the Bronze Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against enemy forces on Feb. 23, 1969 West - Southwest of Da Nang Republic of Vietnam.
On Feb. 23, 1969, HN McIntyre was assigned as platoon corpsman for the 2nd platoon Company, Golf 2nd battalion, 7th Marines on the above date the platoon made heavy contact with the enemy and was taking numerous casualties from enemy mortars, automatic small arms fire and grenades. In complete disregard for his own safety and exposing himself to enemy automatic fire, he pulled a seriously wounded Marine to a safe area and on several occasions exposed himself to enemy fire while giving medical aid to wounded Marines. His valor and professional competence were an inspiration to all who observed him. McIntyre's performance was in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
The above was witnessed while in action by Henry Perry, staff sergeant, 1490605 USMC and Joseph Paschal, 2405416 USMC.
George McIntyre, the man who just did his job. A job that when he went to work involved walking with a group of Marines whose only orders were to search and destroy its enemy, either the Viet Cong or the NVA soldier. A job that required each one to carry a rifle or pistol along with ammo, grenades, rocket launchers. A job that included a dog team, sniper team and a forward observer team. It was also a job that in some cases saw a chaplain involved. A job that just repeated itself day after day until someone decided you can stop and go home.
Thank you McIntyre for serving. Thank you for saving the lives of many Marines. Thank you for going above and beyond. George McIntyre, welcome home. Welcome home our Hero of the Week.