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508ers Heading For Texas
unidentified personnel pose next to C-46 aircraft used in the Longhorn exercise
Trooper Alive After Tagged 'Dead'
By Lt Robert Feeney, PIO, 508th Airborne RCT


   Pvt Ambrose Harrison Garber, III today is a very much alive paratrooper in Battery B of the 320th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion.
   But in April 8th --- when he parachuted down on Texas --- he was mistakenly tagged as "dead on arrival" by medics of the 24th Evacuation Hospital in the closing phase of Operation Long Horn.
   It was an honest mistake because for some eight hours after his parachute slammed him to the ground, private Garber was unconscious.  During his black-out period, here's what happened.
                 Hit ground Hard
   He hit the ground hard and went out like a light.  A whirring yellow H-19 Army helicopter swooped down, picked up his limp body and flew him some 50 milers to the 50th Evacuation Hospital.
Medics looked at his still form and the tag marked DOA --- Dead On Arrival. Two litter bearers
started to carry him to the morgue.
Suddenly, Private Garber sat up.  "Where am I" he asked. "Boy, my back hurts."
   The horrified litter bearers dropped their burden,  He was trundled off to a bed. Finally he "came to" to find several nurses and doctors crowded around his bed.

   "They made what they thought were witty remarks," recalls Pvt Garber.  One doctor quipped, 'he doesn't look very dead to me.,  The nurses called me their 'prize patient' and 'pride and joy.'
   "All I remember," says Garber "is that I jumped as the No. seven man in the left stick of one of the last planes over Drop Zone Blue.  I didn't even get sick during the 90-minute ride through buffeting winds.  The last thing I recall is that I was oscillating a lot under my parachute and the ground was coming up fast ..."
   Then there is the trooper who was reported "likely to die: by the 24th medics.  All he had was a broken neck.  He is Sgt William C. Mayes, 22-year-old, twice wounded Korea veteran from Birmingham, Ala..
   "A little thing like a broken neck isn't going to conk me out," quips Sgt Mayes, ."As soon as i get rid of this white horse collar (cast), I'll be ready for my 46th ump.,
   Sergeant Mayes probably suffered his injury because he rammed into another fellow 597th medic, who had landed safely and was treating another trooper with a dislocated shoulder.

[Columbus Ledger, Columbus, GA, Thu, May 01, 1952, Page: 10]]

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