EDWARD PAUL OGDEN
from Dallas, TX
Born Jan 10, 1945
Died Jan 23, 1969
B/2/47/ 9th Infantry Division (Medic)
in LONG AN, SOUTH VIETNAM
Hostile, died of wounds
Panel 34W Line 66
Ed Ogden was killed on 1/23/69. 1st and third platoons were ordered to do a mutually supporting night ambush in an area to the left of Thunder Road as you faced Tan An. This was the other side of the treeline that ran parallel to the road, between VC Village and Binh Phuoc. Third platoon made contact as we were moving into position, our M-60 fired in support from a distance. The rest of the night was uneventful.
At first light we were to move back towards Thunder Road and take up blocking positions on a woodline where there were large bunkers. This woodline formed a T with the one that paralleled Thunder Road, but on the side away from the road. As we moved towards our position I could see a large bush growing in the center of a paddy dike, and this bothered me. In the training we got upon entering Vietnam, we were told to stay away from strange or unusual objects, and as we approached it, I looked in all directions and noticed it was the only one of its type for as far as the eye could see in any direction. The closer we came the more apprehensive I became, and when our pointman was about 10 feet from it, I shouted to him to get off the dike and away from the bush. He jumped sideways into ankle deep mud which made him angry, but he walked through the mud and the rest of the platoon followed, passing on the right side of the bush.
We got to our place and were settling down when I looked back and saw Third Platoon approaching the turn to the dike we had just crossed. From the angle I was at, it appeared they had passed that dike and would come down another, so I started to get settled in. About a minute later, there was an explosion, and I could see Third Platoon was at that damn bush. I knew Ed Ogden was the Third platoon medic, and he was good. The explosion was not very loud, so I figured he'd take care of things and sat down. Less than a minute later, I heard the LT's radio crackle and he yelled "Doc, saddle up and get over there." I wasn't going too fast to get my gear when he shouted louder and angrier "Doc, GET YOUR F--KING A-- OVER THERE NOW!!!!" Change of voice told me things were bad, so I threw my M-16 to one of the guys to lighten my load and took off running.
I could walk all day with that load, but after 50 yards I was winded and my legs gave out. Fell once more, but got there to see a guy working on a fellow lying face up and another standing up holding his arm, I think. I assumed that the guy with his back to me was Ed Ogden, and looked over his shoulder to get a peek at his victim. The guy's face was muddy and gray with blast residue, and I noticed that his eyebrows were gone. "Doc" was putting a bandage on a stomach wound, but I never saw the actual hole. Since "Doc" seemed to have his man under control, I went to the other guy, saw he wasn't too bad, told someone to tie a bandage on the wound, and went back to help "Doc". I pulled out an IV and told "Doc" I was starting one, got no reply, but was too busy to notice. I barely got the IV in place when the Dustoff arrived, guys loaded the two wounded so fast, I had to radio the chopper to remove the tourniquet from his arm. As I started to gather up my gear, I noticed Ogden's stuff was all over, so I started to pick it up and asked where he was. The SGT I was talking to gave me a look that could kill and snarled, "YOU JUST PUT HIM ON THAT CHOPPER!!!" My feet froze to the ground, I swiveled at the knee and watched the chopper till it was out of sight. I picked up both sets of gear and told the LT I would take care of Ogden's medical stuff.
The next day we received a radio call that Ogden had died 19 hours after being wounded. When I reached Binh Phuoc, I went to the Aid Station to see what happened. Apparently I was expected, they sat me down and explained that he had been hit in the liver, the surgeon took one look, closed him back up, and put him on max dose painkillers to await his death. In 1969, there was nothing medically that could be done to help him except kill the pain.
Harold "Doc" Peterson, 1999
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