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DaNang Ammo Dump, April 27, 1969

On April 27, 1969, I was the OIC of a small communications detachment assigned to 1st MAW in DaNang. One day, while working in the office, there was a huge BOOM and the fluorescent lights in our small working spaces came tumbling down. One hit the Gunny in the left shoulder, more of a surprise than an actual injury. Then, there were a series of smaller, but just as dangerous, explosions. We stepped outside the spaces, actually a small hut surrounded by a sandbag revetment, to see what was going on. We could see a lot of smoke in the direction of 11:00 o’clock. Then, all of a sudden, we could see this shock wave heading towards our area. Finally, after an hour of this, I had no choice but to shut down our comm link with III MAF across the DaNang river. In the meantime, in accordance with our standing procedures, all the rest of the detachment reported in for duty. “All present and accounted for, Sir.” It must have been about 10:00 the next morning when the all-clear was sounded.

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Captain Marvel

While in boot camp (San Diego) in 1958 a recruit in our series smuggled some blanks back from Camp Mathews. He was standing guard duty one night when a drunk DI returned to the area. The recruit challenged him in the proper procedure:

“Who goes there” in which the highly inebriated DI responded; “Captain Marvel”. The recruit responded: “Captain Marvel FLY OVER to be recognized”. The DI took another couple paces only to be halted with the command: “I said, Captain Marvel, FLY OVER to be recognized”. Still no response except the DI took another couple paces and was halted with the strong command: “For the 3rd. and last time, I said Captain Marvel, fly over to be recognized”.

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MARINE OF THE WEEK // He was a combat photographer

Cpl. William T. Perkins, Jr.
Company “C”, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division
Republic of Vietnam
October 12, 1967
Award: Medal of Honor

During Operation MEDINA, a major reconnaissance in force, southwest of Quang Tri, Company C made heavy combat contact with a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army Force estimated at from two to three companies. The focal point of the intense fighting was a helicopter landing zone which was also serving as the Command Post of Company C. In the course of a strong hostile attack,an enemy grenade landed in the immediate area occupied by Corporal Perkins and three other Marines. Realizing the inherent danger, he shouted the warning, “Incoming Grenade” to his fellow Marines, and in a valiant act of heroism, hurled himself upon the grenade absorbing the impact of the explosion with his own body thereby saving the lives of his comrades at the cost of his own. Through his exceptional courage and inspiring valor in the face of certain death, Corporal Perkins reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

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MARINES ADD FOURTH PHASE TO RECRUIT TRAINING

Recruits arriving at Marine Corps Recruit Depots in late November will be the first to go through an additional period of training, which will be known as fourth phase, designed to better prepare them for success as Marines.

The Marine Corps has reorganized a portion of the current 13-week recruit training to afford drill instructors additional time to mentor and lead new Marines.  Among the slight modifications, recruits will tackle the Crucible, the demanding 54-hour challenge, a week earlier and then spend the final two weeks of training as ‘Marines’. The Crucible remains the culminating event for recruits as they earn the title ‘Marine.’“Making Marines is one of the most important things that we do,” said Gen. Robert Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps. “Earning the title is, and will remain, difficult.  Our standards and requirements have not changed but as recruit training evolves we want to ensure we are preparing Marines for success in their follow-on training and service to our great country.”

Fourth phase will utilize the six F’s of Marine Leader Development framework: Fidelity, Fighter, Fitness, Family, Finances and Future.  Marines will be in small groups covering subjects that are critical to success and growth in all aspects of their personal and professional lives.

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A Marine Veteran’s Tribute

A MARINE VETERAN’S TRIBUTE

I have clear memories of the many fine individuals I worked with during my four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. When I, and others of my seniority-level, finished our (peacetime) military tour and were discharged from the Corps in 1965-66, we scattered to the four winds and embarked on other pursuits. However, we did leave behind others who remained in the Marines by reason of either (1) their still having time remaining on their obligated tour of duty, or (2) their having consciously chosen to make a career of the Marine Corps.

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COURAGE AMIDST TRAGEDY: MARINES REACT, SAVE LIVES

Sgt. Michael Vura and Cpl. Austin Cox, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron (HMLAT) 303 helicopter mechanics, assisted in victim evacuation and casualty care following the mass casualty attack in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 1. 

“Myself and Sgt. Vura headed to the concession area of the festival, which is toward the back of the concert area,” said Cox. “We heard the initial shots and didn’t know if it was the speakers making noise or actual gunfire…then the shots went off again, and we knew there was a threat.”

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