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Rocking and Rolling, my transit to Kaneohe

In the summer of 1961, I was one of about 600 Marines on the USS George Clymer sailing from San Diego to points west. My group was being dropped off in Hawaii after 9 days and the rest (poor suckers) were destined to be on the ship for many more days on the way to Okinawa. Continue reading “Rocking and Rolling, my transit to Kaneohe”

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Uniform regulations at Camp Pendleton, memories by John Clark

I was a California kid fresh out of 9 months of Aviation Electrician School in Jacksonville and sent to Pendleton for transport via The USS George Clymer to H&MS-13 at Kaneohe, Hawaii. I was granted delay en route leave and stayed in with my parents in southern California for a week or so. The day I was due to report I waited until the last minute and caught the last shuttle from San Clemente to the base. Continue reading “Uniform regulations at Camp Pendleton, memories by John Clark”

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Before they were Plane Captains at Camp Pendleton

It would be a nine day voyage on the USS George Clymer from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, but first we had to spend a month or so at Area 13, Camp Pendleton, a staging Battalion for over 600 Marines waiting to be shipped out to Pacific duty stations. It was April, 1961, and Area 13 was hilly, hot, and dry. In order to keep all these young Marines busy the Officers and NCOs had us run up and down those brown hills several times a day, whenever we weren’t field daying the barracks.

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Fighting The War At Home

I was once an infantry Marine, and this is my war story.

Spring of 2006, I am holding my rifle straight out with both hands in a half-squatting position yelling, “A hand grenade’s kill radius is five meters, Lance Corporal!” My team leader is three inches from my sweaty face when he shouts, “And what is the fragmentation radius?” My knees begin to shake as I shoot back, “15 meters, Lance Corporal!” Continue reading “Fighting The War At Home”

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When Shadows Danced Under A Fading Red Star

When I open my eyes, I wonder if I’m dreaming. This entire operation has seemed unreal from the start.

It is pitch black and silent. I loosen the top of my sleeping bag, and my fingers reach out to feel the icy metallic floor. I move my body and bump into full ammo boxes. I remember now, I fell asleep in a Humvee. Continue reading “When Shadows Danced Under A Fading Red Star”

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Firewatch At NATTC Memphis

The Marine barracks at NATTC Memphis were two story wooden buildings from the WWII era when I went to aviation mechanics school there in 1960. This made it necessary to have a firewatch on duty after lights out for obvious reasons. This duty always fell to the new Privates right out of boot camp, like me. Continue reading “Firewatch At NATTC Memphis”

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Real Rifles At Parris Island

At Parris Island in August of 1960, we still had the “REAL” rifles (M1 Garands) with stacking swivels. The stacking swivel actually had two very important uses. Number one was to enable the weapon to be stored in the upright position when hooked to two other rifles in a “teepee”. Continue reading “Real Rifles At Parris Island”

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Toughest Time In My Life

The toughest time in my life was after getting out of the Corps as an E-5 with a disability. An ongoing battle fighting to get the right help from the VA. I loved the time I was in the Corps and brotherhood is like no other. Between the contaminated LST’s and the tainted water at Camp Lejeune Continue reading “Toughest Time In My Life”

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Requesting Permission At P.I.

Parris Island, Platoon 374, the private needs to make a head call, but first he has to request permission to speak to the Drill Instructor for the privilege.


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