Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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David Douglas Duncan


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Wounded Marine reclining in hospital bed.

[Lance Corporal Doyle Bell, 19, radioman for Captain Reginald G. Ponsford III, recovering aboard the USS Tripoli, Cua Viet, September 1967. During the rough crossing from the Tripoli to the shore, Bell had fallen over the side of the landing craft headed for Red Beach. Weighted down by by his own gear, rifle and ammunition, he would have drowned were it not for Captain Ponsford who tore off his own gear and went in after him. Upon regaining consciousness, Bell's first request of the doctor:] "Sir, may I ask a question . . . did they find my radio?." War Without Heroes, p. 56.