The day Doc Hockenbury died and came back to life.

Posted on June 18, 2020


Recently I was talking with Jay “Doc Hock” Hockenbury. Doc, of course, was a medic assigned to the 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry. Medics were sent to where they were needed. In October 1965, Doc Hock, was attached to Alpha Troop. He had already seen several battles and had worked his magic saving many lives on the battle field.

On a day in October 1965, once again Doc Hock (Jay Hockenbury) found himself in the midst of another battle. This on was a little more intense than some. The VC/NVA was throwing everything at Alpha Troop they could. Small arms fire was intense. Mortar fie was really starting to pick up.

All of a sudden, Doc Hock was knocked out by a very close exploding mortar. When Doc woke up he was toed tagged and laying on a poncho. Someone had decided that Doc Hock was dead, tagged him so and placed him with the rest of the Killed In Action. Need less to say, Doc quickly took off the toe tag and moved away from the area. Now Doc had to tell several Troopers that he really was alive.

Since Doc Hock was bleeding from the ears, Doc Williams, the Squadron Surgeon had him sent back to be checked out. In the rear, they told him he was okay and sent him back.

This may sound like a made up story. However, Thanks to Charlie Black, the famous reporter from Columbus, Ga. ,who was covering the 1st of the 9th, we know it is true. Charlie was writing an article about the 1/9th Blues preparing to set up an “Ambush” outside of the Ia Drang on November 3 when he saw Doc Hock for the first time since then. This is all annotated in his “Charles Black Report” titled” Ia Drang Fight Readied” reporting on the preparation for that Ambush.