Pvt Ambrose Harrison Garber, III today is a very much alive
paratrooper in Battery B of the 320th Airborne Field Artillery
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
Medics looked at his still form and the tag marked DOA --- Dead On
Arrival. Two litter bearers started to carry him to the
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
"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]]