"With the grace of God and a few Marines, MacArthur is back in the Philippines."
Frank Pinciotti made the sign and put it on the beach to greet Macarthur. Would be nice to see him get recognition for it. Frank is in our Marine Corps League Det. In Tampa. 056 Angus R. Goss Det.
August of "60', 3rd battalion, Parris Island. One day this skinny kid from Mississippi called his rifle a gun. That night, at count off, just before we hit the racks, all of us standing at attention in our skivvies, Gunny Kearney (god bless him wherever he is), called the private to report to him with his piece (M1) and a pillow. "Sir! PRIVATE G--- reporting as ordered SIR! Private G from Mississippi then had to bow down on his knees in front of each one of us, hold his rifle on the pillow up over his head and recite " SIR! Out of two hundred and fifty thousand men in the Marine Corps, I am the only Sh!tbird with a GUN" 81 times in that high, reedy, southern accent. One of many fond memories of the Corps.
You Can't Come In Here
Dear Sgt. Grit, First of all this is my first time writing. I want to THANK YOU for your service and your fine business. I've told this story at least 100 times in the last 40 years and it always gets the same response. I was with Lima 3/7 on hill #55, my 2nd or 3rd week in country, young and dumb. One day in March or April "68", I was in a combat fog, exhausted, sleep deprived and realized I hadn't eaten in a long time. I remember standing by myself, turning in a circle looking for the mess tent. Since we were in the bush a lot, this was the second time on the hill for me. I saw a line of Marines so I got in line. As we shuffled along, I realized I was the only one in full combat gear but I didn't care, I was suddenly starving. At last we're inside, I can smell warm food, I'm salivating with anticipation.
Finally I'm standing there with my tray and I'm looking over the fare and I think I hear someone talking to me. Still in my "FOG" I look up and the line cook says, "YOU CAN'T COME IN HERE, THIS IS THE OFFICER'S MESS" I just stood there a moment and the Marine in front of me turns around, as almost everyone else in the tent does. He says to the cook, "he's with me"! And I went through the line and at the end, I just stood there not knowing where or if I should sit down or go outside. And this same Marine Officer is waving me over to his table. I couldn't believe my good fortune and they had vanilla ice cream on the menu too. As I remember, I thanked him then kept my mouth shut except to eat. I wonder if he tells the same story from HIS perspective? If he is reading this, THANK YOU again so much, you'll never know what you did for me.
David L. Miller L/Cpl. Ret'd
L 3/7 0311
Eagles Platoon #2062
In 1944, I had been assigned to the machine shop at Cherry Point. Sometime along the line we were told of an upcoming inspection from Gen. Cushman. We spent six days cleaning, painting, oiling machine tables and putting away that which we were working on. On the day of the inspection, Gen Cushman, who had been the head of Cushman Scooters - of which the Marine Corps had a zillion of, and the mechanics to keep the engines running - Stepped three steps inside the door of the shop, looked around and said "Any shop this clean can't be doing a h&ll of a lot of work", turned around and left.
I guess we passed. So much for that.
Edwin H. Tate Gysgt (Ret'd)
1st Anti-Tank Battalion
Sgt Grit -
Attached is a photo of the 1st Anti-Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division taken in December 1965 at Camp Pendleton before we deployed to Vietnam in January 1966. My name is H. Beck and I was in H & S Co at the time the picture was taken.
Howard E. Beck
As a personal story of interest, I knew a USMC Warrant officer who after WWII went hunting with a buddy in Alaska for polar bear. There location was five days out by sled dogs from any civilization. At their camp site, Don's friend went to make a head call over a small hill 100 yds away. As Don reported, he heard his buddy yelling for him. Don grabbed his rifle and as he came over the small hill he witnessed an 11' male polar bear (one foot shorter that the record 12' polar bear killed at the time) with one swing of it's arm decapitated his buddy. As the bear began chowing down on the fresh kill. The bear realized desert was now on the rise of the hill and began to charge. Don being a distinguished USMC pistol and rifle shooter took a good prone position with his rifle (unknown caliber but definitely suitable for bear hunting...not a M1) and began to continuously pump round after round into this bear until it finally dropped about 20' from his position. Don collected his buddies remains and skinned the bear (as proof of the incident and a very nice trophy, not to mention remarkable story) packed up and headed out for the five day trip with two dead carcass' on his sled. Arthur, you may recall this story from CWO4, Don Felty when we were at 7th Engineers, Camp Pendleton, C.1973. Moral: Some days you get the bear, and some days the bear gets YOU!
Tom "Moose" Ferran
Talk About A Monster
In CAC unit Alpha 2, near Phu Bai and Hue in 67, we only had one M-60 to use at the base compound and therefore, we could not take an M-60 on Day recons or Night ambushes. We requested another M-60 numerous times so we could take an M-60 Machine gun on the patrols since most patrols involved 3 Marines and 2 or 3 PF's. Finally, we got another Machine gun, just not exactly what we requested. We finally received a 30. cal machine gun with tripod, double hand grips, double butterfly type trigger and 5,000 rounds of armor piercing rounds. Lord, talk about a monster, it was big, heavy but very, very nasty to the VC. This big weapon was used to cover our front entrance gate and when the chit hit the fan, you could hear that weapon over all the others being fired. On many occasions, mostly during the night when the VC hit, and that big weapon fired, many firefights were set on at Phu Bai because the rounds being fired went for miles and the units at Phu Bai thought they were getting incoming from the VC. I have no ideal of the model type, but for sure it came from Korea or WW11, but it sure did the trick. The VC soon learned and quick, not to hit our compound from the front for that big Machine gun was something they did not want to face. Lesson learned, ask all you want but make d*mn sure you use what you get for it may save your rear. Anyway, whomever sent us that weapon, I wish to say thank you, for it allowed us to take the only M-60 on the patrols and increase our firepower when needed.
S/F Jim "TEX" Lyles- Tiger Alpha 2, CAC unit, Nam 67-68.
by "Captain Mike Einsidler
I believe the good then Captain was talking about Sgt Ted "Sas" Sasiadek. The Captain was relating that he was the Director of Sea School. I was a Drill Instructor at the time Capt Einsidler was appointed to the post under unusual circumstances. It was during the normal Friday recruit parade (graduation) that the saluting batteries were not firing correctly, the saluting batteries were maintained and fired by Sea School. The CG, MCRD and the civilian dignitary were being honored by a 10 gun salute. The correct firing sequence is every 5 seconds, we used to count... 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand.... etc, the sequence was very erratic and had been for many weeks. One shot would happen and 7 seconds later the next one, followed by a shot in 4 seconds, then 8, etc. On this particular Friday, the last shot took about 11 seconds to fire, I kept count and did not cut my salute, unfortunately the Commanding General did. We did a pass in review, dismissed the platoons and then a very curious thing happened, the Commanding General took off down the parade deck with his Aid, Captain Mike Einsidler. My understanding of the conversation was the General got to the saluting batteries, fired the Director on the spot and appointed Captain Einsidler as director with a warning that if the guns were not on the money he would be fired also. Needless to say for the next 2 to 3 weeks, naval techs and sea school were on the guns, ensuring that they were in tip top shape and sea school practiced and practiced. You can guarantee that each and every shot from then on was at exactly 5 seconds. Although Colonel Einsidler probably does not remember me, I knew him and he was a really good man. I was in Mike Company, 3rd RTBN under Lieutenant "Big Mike" Warren.
Stephen A. Mangiameli Sr.
MSgt USMC (ret)
I remember the blaring bugle as revile sounds. The scurry of making your racks, and making 3-min head calls. The endless PT and close order drill. The sounds of our boots on the grinder, and the cadence. The sounds of colors both morning and evening. Wash day every day. Standing endless inspections. Cleaning our rifles, and rubbing the stock with linseed oil, Spit shining our boots to a mirror finish. The classes on military history, First aid and many other subjects. Pulling mess duty at Camp Mathews, Laying in the dirt snapping in with our M-1 rifles. The crack of rifle fire on the range. The focus of qualifying, The long hike back to MCRD. The obstacle co1urse. The sound of taps as the day ends. The day of graduation at Mc Dougal Hall. The sounds of trumpets thrusting us to attention, The last dismissal, and passing into the ranks of the Marines. The pride of earning the title U.S.Marine. I can think of no better calling. I will remember the late summer and fall of 1957 and Plt 284.
I reported to Parris Island for boot camp, October of 1971. I was assigned to Plt. 196, Series 196 and we were issued the M14 for the duration of our stay on PI. After graduation we went on 10 days leave before reporting to Camp Geiger for ITR. My recruiter got me an extra 5 days leave due to bringing someone in enlist so I reported 5 days later than everyone else from my boot camp platoon. Right after we arrived on Geiger several of us were directed to march ourselves to the mess hall for the evening meal and as we entered the mess hall I started seeing all these familiar faces...seems when my platoon had shown up 5 days earlier they were immediately assigned to mess duty! So not only did I miss out on this round of mess duty, I also finished ITR about a month before all my boot camp brothers. We were issued the M16 for ITR training which lasted a month, then we reported to our assigned MOS school for training in that field. So in my case, I had the M14 from Oct. to Dec. of 71, then the M16 from Jan. of 72 on until my discharge in Oct. of 75.
I really enjoy reading all the stories from my fellow Marines and I appreciate this forum so we can all keep in touch. I'll never forget my time in the Marines and will tell anyone who will listen all about the best bunch of warriors in the world. God bless the Marines and all who serve this great country.
Junk On The Bunk
I am a New Corps Marine, if you will. Went to boot 99' got out in 04' then joined the Reserves for a bit and finished in 07'/. I am well aware of a CG, IG and a JOB. They are still done at boot camp and in the Fleet. I have a hard time believing that they(3 former Jarheads) don't know what the 3 things are. I was a Sgt in 03 when we had one and one was going to be done again in late 04, but I lucked out of that one.
I think the only thing that makes the "old Corps" and new "Corps" different are the uniforms cause my Uncle is a Full Bird (RET) and when we talk there is not much difference. He was at Pearl Harbor when attacked, that's how old Corps he is. Any way. Semper Fi Devil Dogs
I was on recruiting duty in 1954-56 in Long Beach, CA. We had junk-on-the-bunk once a year in the recruiting office. Yes, the full inspection. We laid our gear on the deck. Our commanding officer (LtCol Simmons) came by inspected, then took us out to lunch. Coming to recruiting duty from being a Senior DI at Parris island was quite a shock to find myself in a junk-on-the-bunk inspection. I wonder if this still goes on?
"One of the Chosin Few"
Memories of my first inspections. It was in 1957 I had been in Delta battery, 2d Bn 11thMarines for a little less than a year and was promoted to Pfc. Not having the money to get the stripes sewn on; especially on the heavy winter blouse and overcoat, I thought what the h&ll I was a salt now, so I glued the stripes on.
Came the IG and my section(comm) was all squared away as we stood at the foot of our bunks. The inspecting officer approached, asked some military questions then proceeded to inspect the bunks. With a sharp about face, I watched as the inspecting officer reached down and fingered the edge of a stripe on one of my shirts. He pulled and the stripe rose up. I was horrified. Like that commercial, "Want get away from it all?" I really wished I had been somewhere else.
Holding the stripe in his hand and looking at me then the Platoon commander, Comm. chief, First Sergeant, and gunny, he gave the stripe to the comm chief and began to go through all my uniforms. I could feel bayonets jamming into my back.
After the inspection, I was called into the 'Top's' office. Locking my heels and looking over his head at the bulkhead, I was told in no uncertain terms that I must not have wanted to be a Pfc. I stammered that I did. He picked up the box that held the liberty cards' pulled mine out and stuck it in his desk drawer.
"Dixon you have till the end of the week to have every stripe sewn on and you will report to the duty nco the completion of each piece. Now get the h&ll out of my office."
I completed the task and after that, I never stood a junk on the bunk with a salty attitude. I just prayed that the inspecting officer would not find anything wrong.
GySgt, USMC, Ret.
Sgt Grit, Thought I might kick in my 2 cents about JOB inspections. I was newly assigned c/m to C company 3 Plt 1/3 in Hawaii at K-Bay. A JOB was scheduled for my first full day with the Platoon (previous night was another story). with the help of "buudha Jack" , a corporal of the platoon I laid out my gear for a JOB inspection in the regulation fashion. I also had my Unit One ready for inspection (as a precaution). The inspection officer walked in, glanced at my JOB as he passed by. He walked up to me and said: "Doc, what the h&ll are you doing here?" I responded I was platoon corpsman. His next question was succinct: You have all your medical gear correct? My response was Yes Sir. He responded....then get out of my sight..corpsman DO NOT stand inspections unless a medical officer is doing it. I never stood another JOB inspection or weapons or personal inspection in my 2 year assignment with this unit. (I did voluntarily stand weapons inspection monthly with platoon SSgt and company armorer as I was always firing my assigned side arm at the range 2 or 3 times a month...and never let anyone clean my weapon but myself. (I am an absolute fanatic on weapons care and cleaning) DJ "Doc" Herdina , HM1 1968 to 1994
"Deuce Gear" was still called 782 gear when I was in 97-01 and I've heard more recently serving Marines call it Deuce Gear as well. However just about every bit of it has changed since I got out.
In the same time frame we still had Junk-On-The-Bunks. I remember standing one in bootcamp, one in '99 when I was with MWSS-373, and then one sometime in the next two years with H&HS Miramar. My units were fairly busy at the time with the move from MCAS El Toro to MCAS Miramar and then I was FAP'd to H&HS and spent lots of time undoing years of Navy neglect on our arresting gear. My first JOTB with 373 was a disaster as our "beloved" SSgt gave us bad advice and we looked like sh!tbirds in front of our unit's inspector. Even our harda$s Sgt rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath when he heard what we had been told. By the next JOB with H&HS I had gotten the hang of it and had figured out that "if it looks correct it is correct" and spent far less time organizing my room and my stuff than my friends did. I did however have a plastic tote full of my JOB stuff that I never wore. Even bought underwear and socks one size too small to make sure it stayed that way.
To Chaplain Sholtes - In fairness to my Motor T buddies I'm not known for my memory and I'm no longer in contact with any of them. Ten years ago and I heard most of these stories at parties...so I can't say I was clear headed when I heard them anyways. Sounds like MGySgt Marjanov was a h&ll of a Marine. Is there any official story on the action that prompted the Victoria Cross?
I remember well the junk-on-the-bunk inspections during my days as a young enlisted Marine. A sea story (probably) that I heard a couple of times about someone standing a junk-on-the-bunk goes something like this:
The inspecting officer approaches a Marine standing next to his rack with his clothing and equipment laid out for inspection. The inspecting officer asks the Marine, "Where's the stick?"
The Marine asks, somewhat perplexed, "Sir, what stick?" The inspecting officer replies, "The stick you stir this sh*t with!"
Also, regarding the transition from the M-14 to the M-16 at the recruit depots during the early 1970s, I was assigned to Marine Barracks, Ft. Meade, Maryland during the mid-'70s. The M-14 was still the T/O weapon for enlisted Marines at the barracks, private to sergeant, and the weapon they used for rifle range prequalification. Most of the junior Marines were assigned to the barracks after boot camp and whatever MOS training they completed, and they were completely unfamiliar with the rifle. We staff SNCOs and the officers in charge of prequalification details had to run everything from A to Z at the army's rifle range, including an honest-to-goodness snapping-in week with drills and getting the Marines use to shooting positions with the M-14. The weapon was quite a challenge for guys who had only fired an M-16.
Semper Fi/ Dave Marvin, Major, USMC (Retired)
A True Fighting Marine
Mac Foster USMC was part of a 3rd Recon Unit of 47 Marines sent to DaNang Vietnam April 1963
More Last M-14
I am sorry to say that Mr. Jeff Howards is incorrect in stating that his PLT (2116) which graduated in November of 1973 from MCRD San Diego was the final series to carry the M-14. I graduated from MCRD San Diego on 6 December 1973 with PLT 2090 and know for a fact that we were the last series to use the M-14 during boot camp. I remember well packing my rifle for storage and being told that we would be issued the new M-16 for any further infantry training. By the way, I liked the M-14 so much better that I just had to have one for myself.
Philip A Hardwick
Corporal of Marines
1978-1992 Indiana Army National Guard
MGYSGT Sir John Marjanov
The stories told to you by your Motor T buddies were not true. Sir John lived at MCB Pickle Meadows, Bridgeport, California . I know because when I was stationed there in Motor T, back in 1979-80 I made the remark " who's the old grease monkey" in the heavy equipment shop. I was quickly straightened out by the Colonel, who was also at Johns side when he passed years later just "WHO" the grease monkey was.. Below is an article from Sgt Grits June 2, 2006 newsletter:
7th Motors assigned to Motor T Mountain Warfare Training Center
R. M. Zobenica
Pick Up Laundry In Town
As a young PFC at NATTC Millington I remember a time in probably 1959 that there was a "situation" at the gate. Rear Admiral Fitz Hugh Lee was the CO of Naval Air Technical Training and had decided that all personnel would wear their ribbons off base. Since civilian clothes were not allowed on base (Navy crap) Enlisted had to wear class A's when leaving the base. There was a staff nco, I think a Master Sgt.with the MAD office that had the MOH. He went to the gate one evening to take or pick up laundry in town . He wasn't wearing his ribbons. the SP's wouldn't let him off the base so he told them he would be back and they da__ well better have a bosun's mate there to pipe him off base. He did, they, didn't and he made them call the OD and get him and a bosun's mate there and pipe him off. Instead of going out and coming right back he sat out in town half the night drinking making them wait to pipe him back on base. I think the rule was relaxed after that. Da__ Navy!
We also had an IG in march of '60 and a private with broken time who had earned the "Medal" in Korea. He made up his bunk, laid the Medal on his pillow and left. I think he went to the snack bar. That's all he had to do.
Jim Krantz CPL, '58-'62
Wasn't Lucky Enough
I wasn't lucky enough to have been in "the Old Corps" but was in the FMF from 1947-1952. Went to "PI" for my "Boot Camp" and then to "Swamp Lejeune" and pulled most of my time there, except for a "Med Patrol," prior to going to Korea, where I earned my "Purple Heart" and spend nearly a year in various hospitals in Japan and the good old U.S.A. Then to Yorktown, VA for a short tour and back to "Lejeune" and another "Med Patrol." I tried to return to Korea but "The Brass said I was not going back to combat, with my head wound".. so I took my discharge and into civilian life. As far as I'm concerned, "The Old Corps is the original China marines" & WW-II Marines!! Semper Fi, fred mac kintosh, 670250
With This Salty Old
If I remember correctly, it was in 1979, not too late one evening, I was a young corpsman on duty at MCRD San Diego. Around somewhere between 20:30 or 21:30 we were summoned, our ambulance pulled up to the CG bldg. adjacent to Sea School barracks.
Somewhere in that archway that led to the grinder, was a room off to the side. Inside a couple of NCO's were kneeling beside this little ol guy on the floor, who was sort of half leaning up on one elbow. Myself & the other doc went over to lend assistance. He said "I'm alright doc, I slipped & fell. I just need a help up & back onto my bed" After we checked him out & found him to be okay, we proceeded to take him to the dispensary. Well, he didn't see it that way & put up a fuss, & I wasn't about to get into a Pi$$in' contest with this salty old Marine. So we came to an agreement between the NCO's who found him that way to let us come back & check on him, you like standing watch to make sure he was okay. We did, & we checked on him again the next day & he was fine, up & around. So that was Sgt. Yaz.
Mark W. Stephenson/HM 8404/FMF & Aircrew 1977-1983
My First Poem
by Sgt Howard Frasier USMC R 1264373
Picture and story also included.
Open My Flak Jacket
I read your newsletter stories and relate to so many, but there was one I particularly related to that never even crossed my mind. It had to do with how our brotherhood of Marines knows who deserves a "Purple Heart" and who doesn't. The letter stated how wounded Marines would turn down a "Purple Heart" because they knew others more critically wounded or who were in more perilous locations.
My story happened in Dong Ha, Viet Nam, 1968. Myself and 3 newbees (new "In" country) were in our newly constructed hooch, compliments of the SeaBees. Like going from a thatched roof hut (that being a tent) to a nice screened in patio (hooch). Anyway I am sitting in my corner rack area when I hear mortars leaving the tubes from outside our perimeter. It took me approximately 7 / 8 months "In" country to be able to recognize this sound. I immediately jumped up and ran outside to grab my flak jacket off the sandbag wall and dive into the bunker between our hooch and the next.
Problem here is the mortars had not hit yet and I am now outside in the open trying to throw my flak jacket on. As the mortar hits in what would have been around Charlie company's street, all I see are these Fly size black specs coming at me. I get hit several times by this shrapnel but it had no penetrating effect because it landed for enough away to only be "hot" and just burned my skin where each piece hit.
By now I also realize I left the newbees sitting in the hooch, I shout at them to get into the bunker and we all get there before the next barrage. One of the newbees happens to notice blood trickling down my chest and ask if he should call the Corpsman. I open my flak jacket and see that blood has started trickling from the burns. The newbees, not accustomed to wounds, think the worst and pass on to next trench that I have been hit.
It was to late to stop the next chain of events. I watch as Doc Sherman goes from trench to trench making his way to mine. He gets to our trench and checks me out to find it not as bad as he was led to believe. It turned into the typical "pass it on" joke. My trench passed on that I was hit. The next trench, I was hit and bleeding badly. The next trench, I was hit and my...well you get the picture.
To bring this to a close, after the mortar attack was over, I accompanied Doc Sherman to his hooch where he applied antiseptic. At this point he asked, did I want him to put me down for the purple heart? My answer without hesitation or thought if deserving, was "No". He ask why, and my only answer was, as I had read in your Newsletter, there were more deserving Marines out there that were making the ultimate sacrifice that deserved the purple heart and more. This is the thought pattern of all Marines and it is a respected unwritten rule that is done over and over again. We are there doing what we were trained to do, there is no thought of reward, other than accomplishing the mission and moving on to the next.
One thought comes to mind every time I think of this event. Doc Sherman risk his life going from trench to trench until he made it to mine. He is the deserving one if anyone in this whole scenario. Doc, if your out there and reading this, Thanks.
USMC '67-'71 / SSGT
Viet Nam '67'68'69
Doc Roy's Question?
Like Doc Roy, I too am a FMF corpsman, albeit of an earlier vintage, and understand his quandary about loyalty to a particular branch of the Navy. There's no way to give a definitive answer to his nagging question, since as FMF docs, we could not have served our brother Marines as well as we tried to, without the fine training that we underwent while at Corps School and Field Med School. It's only right and proper that our pride in the Corps is stronger since that is a key element to being a Marine born at P.I. or Dago. I truly believe that I was more immersed in the Corps than in the Navy whether I was at NavHosp Newport or Schools Command. Life was the Corps, in every sense of the word!
I have the pleasure of working with Marines every day and there isn't a one of them who considers me any less a Marine than he is himself. Our sea stories are flavored with the same "seasoning", the most memorable days of our youth are similar. Doc, I believe that your heart is telling you the answer...listen to it and you WILL know. Go to a Memorial or Veterans Day celebration, see who stands at attention when the music of their branch is played in a medley of all of them. It isn't likely you'll find a Marine waving his hat or taking a bow like some clowns from the other services. People see our demeanor, the look we get in our eyes, they especially notice the "sweat" that trickles from them and they respect that. Marines stand out in any crowd! Yes Doc, you are a Marine, ask a Brother, they'll confirm that for you.
"Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war and my fingers to fight". Ps 144:1
I was a "weekend warrior" who joined the Navy Reserve while in high school. I went on active duty after graduation reporting to Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes. Then went to St. Albans Naval Hospital in Jamaica, NY where I had the privilege of working on the Surgical Intensive Care unit.
While working on the SIC unit I got to treat and know many outstand junior Marine Officers. We would talk for hours about the Corps, the history of the Corps and their experiences in Vietnam. Now I am by no way a John Wayne type but they were truly inspiring stories of duty and of the close relationship that forms between Marines. That got me thinking of how few of my fellow "squid" I really knew well. It was not many.
When I got my orders for Vietnam I was scared as h&ll, but knew that I would be serving with men who dedicated to God and Country and the Corps. I reported to FMF school in Camp Pendleton with a bit of excitement also. Training in those days (1967) really wasn't much more than slightly advanced first aid. My real training took place on the battle fields of Vietnam. And that is where I learned what real friendship and bonding meant. I knew that I was more proud of being called "Doc" by my Marines than at any time in my life. We were a small, tight knit group who knew more about each other than any other person in our lives would ever know. We were brothers. One minute we could be at each others throats over who got the fruit cup, the next we would be sharing our last rounds of ammo to keep each other alive.
When I returned to the States, there was never any doubt what uniform I wanted to be in. Those lovely Marine Greens. For the rest of my "Navy" career, I wore my Marine uniform. I would tell the old Chief's that my Navy seabag was lost in transit and I was too short to buy a new one. Lucky for me, most of them were FMF Doc's and they fully understood my pride.
Even now, I can't recall the name of more than five guys I served with while in the Navy. But every year my wife and I join our Marine family of Kilo 3/7 for the reunions. And I can truly say, that I and the other Doc's feel more at home with the Marines, than with any other group we served with while in the Nave. We are all proud to be member of the Marine Team.
Richard "Doc" Wagner, PA-C, retired, HM2
Vietnam Class of '67-'68
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
S/Sgt. Larry Brom asks in the most recent edition of the newsletter why the LCVP landing craft, also known as the Higgins boat, was called a "Peter boat". The answer is directly related to the phonetic alphabet in use during WWII and Korea. It began A (Able), B (Baker), (C) Charlie" and the letter "P" was designated "Peter". Therefore, the LCVP " Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel " became the Peter boat.
And for the same reason the LCM " Landing Craft, Mechanized " is still known as the "Mike" boat.
Fmr. Cpl. Bill Hart, o311/2531/8652
1388627, '53 " '56
L/Cpl. '62 " '66
From 1961-1963, I served with L/3/5, L/3/9 and C/1/5 at Camp Pendleton and WESPAC. Made landings at Pendleton, Japan, Okinawa, Korea and Philippines. We called LCVP's "Peter" boats and other more descriptive names. A larger, similar boat was used which was called the "Mike" boat.
Frank D Briceno
Sgt of Marines
This is for SSgt Larry Brom: "Peter" or later "Papa" boats; the correct identification for these craft is "Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel", hence the "P" is for that last part of the ID. These craft were designed by a fellow from New Orleans named, you guessed it: Higgins, so they are often called "Higgins Boats". In the earlier amphibious ships (then with the hull ID of APA or AKA) LCVPs and LCMs were carried aboard, with the LCVPs either nested in the LCMs or carried in Wellen Davits. These craft were lowered into the water and circled aft, port and starboard, and waited for the signal flags to call them aside the ship to load troops and cargo then line up and head for the beach. Just thought you would like to know. (I served as Combat Cargo Officer on APA 45 for 2 years.)
Major USMC Ret
Hey Terry Pinkerton GunnyPink,
Your letter on the paymaster brought back memories. That practice extended into the early 1970s. I remember lining up as you indicated and receiving real American dollars for my pay. We could also get a certain amount in silver (metal) dollars. I always got a bunch of "metal" dollars in hopes of landing one of real 100% silver. Great memory. Thanks.
Cpl. K. Derek Pritts
Weapons Training Battalion, Quantico ' 72-' 74
(featured on The History Channel - sniper rifles and ammo)
If You Screwed Up
I vividly recall pay call from 1973 -75. Just prior to graduating from boot camp, Parris Island, then Infantry Training School, Camp Pendleton, followed by Sea School Portsmouth, VA and then two years in the Marine Detachment, USS Holland, AS-32. We would be in our most squared away uniform of the day, standing in long line, alphabetically. If you screwed up the required procedure, you were sent to the back of the line to try it again.
Quite often I was part of the security detail going to the bank to pick up "payday" for the entire ship. What memories!
CWO-3, USMC Ret
A Little Embarrassing
Back in the 1960's when I was station at Camp Geiger with BMT. We occasionally had "Junk on the bunk" inspections They weren't that often, I always had a second set of everything with the exception of greens, tropicals, mayber some others that wasn't worn or use that often. Some people use to sew all the clothes to a blanket, that looked good until the inspecting office or NCO reached and pulled the blanket off the rack, it was a little embarassing to say the least. I personally did not have the ambition to sit and sew all them clothes to a spare blanket. Our outfit wasn't prone to stand too many inspections and that was a relief.
P.S. Need to here some "Cube Missle Crisis" and Cold War veteran stories. Dave Doughty, 60-64
3rd PLT, BMT Camp Geiger 61-64
"Saving Sgt Holmes"
Sgt Nat Holmes and myself served together at the Camp Pendleton Correctional Facility in 1970 and 1971. The cons referred to us as the 'goon squad.' We never laid a hand on any prisoner, however, we were instrumental in seeing that they got their haircut (against their wishes) and we were instrumental in seeing that their uniforms were clean and properly worn (against their wishes), and we also saw that there was no malingering during working parties (against their wishes.) On one particular Sunday, during visiting hours, there was a young and quite attractive lady paying a visit to her incarcerated boyfriend. The young lady was wearing a skimpy sun dress with a low cut blouse. She caught the attention of all the confinees and prison staff as well. It was a cold and damp day with the threat of rain. After the visit with her boyfriend, the young lady left the facility on foot. Sgt Holmes, being the gentleman that he was (and not by an act of Congress) offered the young lady a jacket to cover herself. He also offered her a ride in his new Camaro, which she accepted with delight. While all of this was taking place, many eyes from within the confines of the prison witnessed Sgt Holmes act of chivalry. Unfortunately, word got around to the young lady's boyfriend. UNREST began to brew within the prison. I feared for the safety of Sgt Holmes. I went directly to the boyfriend and explained to him that Sgt Holmes' actions were nothing but honorable. I also told him that Sgt Holmes many Good Conduct Medals were not awarded for shrewd behavior. The prisoner began to calm down and realized that he was acting irrational. He calmed the unrest amongst the other confinees and Sgt Holmes returned to his post without unwanted confrontations.
This is just one of many cases in which I saved Sgt Holmess.
Some of the facts may have been changed to protect the guilty.
GySgt John D. Foster
Thank You Sgt Chavaries
My wife and I just completed a 17,486 mile tour of this Great Country of ours. When we were in Washington DC. We saw the Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima Memorial performed by the U.S. Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps and the Silent Drill Team. I Have been wanting to see the Evening Parade at Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, "Oldest Post in the Corps" for 32 years. When I applied on-line for tickets, I was informed that there were none available for the rest of 2008. What a blow. I went ahead and sent an e-mail to the office and let them know that I was in Washington DC for a week and would probably never be there again. I let them know I was an "over the hill" SSgt, Vietnam era and had wanted to attend for 32 years. In two days I was informed by Sergeant Chavaries (sp) that I would have two tickets at the gate for the next Friday night Evening Parade. She also let us know that there was a tour of the Barracks and Grounds on Wednesday at Noon (just show up). The Evening Parade could not have been a finer performance.........My wife very honored being escorted in on the arm of a Major and our seating could not have been any better than right up front. The Sunset Parade, Evening Parade and Tour Of Marine Barracks were done in the finest Marine Corps tradition. Thank You Sgt Chavaries.
Roger L Palmer
There's Huks Out There!
Reading T. Folds' tale of guard duty in the Philippines had me laughing. It reminded me of a night in 1961, I was on a post in the jungle at Cubi Point Naval Magazine, Philippines. It was a three man post. Another marine sentry, fresh from the States, had stopped to "chew the fat". Suddenly he threw himself into the prone position, shouldering his M-1. Startled, thinking he had "flipped out", I asked him what he was doing. His reply was an excited whisper, "Huks man! There's Huks out there!" (meaning there were uninvited Phillippinos in the area!) I started to join him. Looking toward the jungle, I asked how many he had seen. He hadn't seen them, he had heard them. They were yelling at us, using profanity. Then I realized what he was referring to when I heard the cries! I d*mn near fell over laughing so hard. I told him it wasn't Phillippinos that he heard, it was one of the local lizards! The new man had never heard the "mating call" of a "F--- Y--" lizard before, something I leaned later also exists in Vietnam!
H.G. Rees- Separate Guard Company, Cubi Point N.A.S. R.P.I., 1960-1962
Didn't Speak A Word
In 1980 while a Sergeant serving as a 5813 Accident Investigator with the Military Police Bn. at Camp Pendleton I responded to what became a double fatality traffic accident. Two of our young Marines died needlessly on the Las Pulgas Road. A 6X and a Chevrolet pickup truck tangled and neither one won. The 6X traveling up and over the cab of the pickup and overturning with Marines in the troop carrier back end. I got there first as a first responder, called our dispatcher for ambulances and medivac choppers and went to the tan in color pickup. A Second Lt. from 1st Tank Bn. was trapped inside. No visible outside injuries, no cuts, no bleeding but I knew he was in trouble and so did he. He didn't speak a word, as we were always taught treat for shock, I did, I comforted him and held his hand and told him help was on the way, the Fire Department was on the way and would get him out and he would be o.k. I stayed with the Lieutenant until the Fire Rescue got to him and I had to leave as they were using cutting tools and jaws of life. They finally did get him out, and into an ambulance where he died from a ruptured aorta. I have PTSD from my time with the Military Police and Accident Investigation, I'm now 53 years old. That Lieutenants face comes back to me almost daily. If any Marine, Former Marine, Retired Marine, Corpsman knew that Marine I would like to know his name and where he was from I would like to tell his family that he died peacefully. I also think this will help me with my PTSD.
Thanks for listening
Thanks for any help
Script Was Changed
In the last letter someone mentioned pay call. Some of the recollections as serving as Paymaster come floating back. Served quite a few sessions after the CO found out I was a Business Major in College. Most guys hated the Duty since you were on the hook personally for any shortages in pay count. Made you very careful and a bit slow. Most interesting was when we changed script. We were with the 1st MAW in Iwakuni Japan. It was illegal for the Japanese to deal in script but everyone did it anyway especially the bars. You were supposed to convert script to Yen at the Base bank at the rate of 360 to the dollar[tourists got 400]No Greenbacks were to be in circulation. Military script was changed twice while I was there-57-59. Changes were to avoid counterfeiting and a black market in script. No one knew when the change day would be. An announcement was made first thing in the morning and the gate was closed. All personnel had to turn in old script for new script during that day. Any unconverted script became worthless at the end of the day. It was rumored that a lot of pillow cases of script came in over the back fence when the word leaked out of the conversion. Mostly from local girl friends and their bar associates. When men showed up with huge amounts of old script, the standard answer was they were lucky at Craps or Poker. We never hassled anybody over their word.
Ron Donahue Lt 56-59
Please Step Aside
As a Navy HospitalÃ‚ Corpsman used to taking care of Marines, I have a story of how the Marines took care of me when I became a patient.Ã‚ I was going home on convalescent leave in June, 1968 from the Philadelphia Naval Hospital.Ã‚ I was in the pay line with several Marines from my outfit, 1,1,1,A,1 (Vietnam) waiting my turn to be paid.Ã‚ My friends had just gotten paid and stepped off to the side to wait for me.Ã‚ As I identified myself, the Paymaster checked his records and said "Doc, I can't pay you.Ã‚ They have lost your pay records."Ã‚ When I tried to explain my predicament, he again said, "Doc, there is nothing I can do for you. Please step aside."Ã‚ I felt immediately devastated, thinking to myself "God, How am I going to get home so that my parents can see for themselves that tho I had been wounded that I had survived." when my friend PFC Ron Ulery from Toledo, Ohio said,"Doc, We wouldn't leave you out in the field and we won't leave you here. We'll go as far as we can on what we have then we'll make do."
We then left and went to the train station to catch a train to Pittsburgh to catch a Greyhound bus to Cleveland where my parents would meet us.Ã‚ I called my parents to inform them of my predicament and requested them to get money from my bank account to repay my friends.Ã‚ I don't know why we didn't try to take the bus from Philadelphia, We just wanted to leave by the fastest way we could. When we got to Pittsburgh, we ended up taking a taxi to the Bus Depot.Ã‚ My friend Ron, "Big O" told me to sit down and wait while they went to get the tickets.Ã‚ 5 Minutes later he was back, telling me that we were $10.00 short for us to get the tickets.Ã‚ He asked me if I had anything to sell so that we could get them.Ã‚ I only had a watch, aÃ‚ Seco Ã‚ (I still have it) and a tape player that I had been sending messages home to my family.Ã‚ (My father had told me that the messages were garbled and that he would need the tape player in order to hear them correctly.)Ã‚ I wanted to keep the watch and offered the tape player.Ã‚ It had cost me $30.00 in Oksoka.Ã‚ We sold it for $10.00 just to get home.
We got to Cleveland at 0200 hrs.Ã‚ We got off the bus and went inside the terminal to wait for my parents.Ã‚ I was dressed in Kakhees, not my Navy whites.Ã‚ We were inside about 1/2 hour.Ã‚ I had just looked at the clock on the wall and told my friend, Big O, "Something is wrong.Ã‚ Ã‚ My parents are always waiting for me at the door of the plane, train or bus."
Ã‚ Just about then, my father had come up to me from behind and tapped me on the shoulder calling me by name.Ã‚ Ã‚ I was sitting there and next thing I knew, I was standing with my left arm up in a defensive position and my right arm back with my right hand in a fist ready to strike.Ã‚ Only thing that stopped me was hearing my name.Ã‚ I then informed my father, "Dad, don't ever sneak up behind me again.Ã‚ Call out to me from a distance, etc.Ã‚ In the short time I have been gone (Incountry 21/2 months), I have changed.Ã‚ You either changed or you didn't survive."Ã‚ (My friend, Big O, still recalls this event years later as "The night ole Doc almost cold cocked his old man." My father then explained that he and Mom had been waiting out in the car when the bus had pulled in.Ã‚ They saw 3 Marines in khakis get off the bus but no Sailor.Ã‚ I then explained to him how when I got hit I was immediately air lifted to a field hospital, then to Okuska Naval Hospital.Ã‚ My uniforms never caught up with me.Ã‚ I was issued the khakis to travel home in.Ã‚ They didn't want me to come home in a hospital gown.
My father then gave Big O the money I owed him plus some (I don't know ho much it was.)Ã‚ When Big O tried to protest, my father told him, " What you did for my son, I can never repay you.Ã‚ Please take it with our thanks for helping him get home." I had some hard feelings over the years about how the Marine Corps Paymaster handled this.Ã‚ I thought that I had been abandoned but only to realized years later that my fellow comrades in arms, never forgot their Doc.Ã‚ As I thin about this incident, I still get teary eyed knowing that the Marines out in the field still looked out for their Doc.Ã‚ Again, thank you Big O and all of you Marines for protecting us Docs' and looking out for us. Ã‚
Charles D. Bunner aka Doc Bunner or more importantly to my 1st Platoon comrades from Alpha Company, 1st Mar DivÃ‚ "Doc Bunny"
Such Great Men
I & others served under Captain Rich O'Neil in Mike Company 3rd Battalion 9th Marines in Vietnam 1968. A time back in the World as we called it but not there only in preface, the Good Old USA. We were in a place to which we were called by Our Country to serve, many young but lead by such Great Men, Warriors as we were. I Pay Tribute tonight to a Man, Family Man and a Great Warrior to which I have in my thoughts tonight. There are many thoughts I have tonight thinking of my time in Vietnam 68/69. Captain Rich O'Neil led us into battle, not knowing the outcome but knowing it had to be done. He was a devoted Marine, Leader in his time. He lead Great Men but not for he, we carry his Legacy on this day. Rich died in October 16th, 2006 and many of his Brothers gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to "Pay Tribute" to this Great Man, Marine, Husband, Father and a Leader of Warriors as we were. You Rich O'Neil instilled amongst us to which you lead in your Leadership and in your passing a true understanding of "Brotherhood".
Ken "Buzzard" Miller
Mike 3/9 2nd Platoon
Light Went Off
While serving my time in the Republic of South Viet Nam as part of the 11th Eng. Bn., I came up with a novel way of cooling things off. Every once in a while we would get our beer ration out in the field while digging Mc Namar's line. Of course it was always as warm as the local swamp water. One day while sitting around dreaming of cold beer the light went off. The next time the ration came in, I took an empty 5 gallon water can, stuffed as many beers in it that I could. I then took a 5 lb fire extinguisher & unloaded it into the water can. It took a couple of extinguishers to do the job, but we had a sort of cold beer. I'm guessing the supply sergeant is still wondering what all of those extinguishers were used for.
Impact Young Lives
People, especially Marines can impact young lives. I am a Marine who joined in 1959 and my brother joined the Marine Corps three years later. Following active duty we both became Boy Scout Leaders (Scout Masters) in our community. Our Marine training made it easier to teach the young boys: teamwork, how to follow instruction, completing assigned tasks, personal appearance, hiking, camping and all the necessary skills to complete their scouting adventure. Years later, after these young men had returned home from college, trade school or military service, we both received surprising phone calls from several of the parents stating that their sons wanted to meet with us just to say "Thanks" for helping them to experience some rather important skills (hard work and attention to detail). After seeing how those boys had grown into fine young men; it was all I could do to keep from tearing up, while talking to them.
I was really happy that these two Marines could contribute to the community by instilling some positive traits and possibly help to build strong character in these young men. To all Marines--help build good character in our youth.
Ted USMC-Sazebo, Japan
Good Buddy Of Ours
In 2005 I joined the Marine Corps. I requested nothing more than infantry duty, 0311. Call me lucky, but somehow 3 and a half years later- I yet to see combat. I got recruited for Presidential Support Duty and a year later I got selected for Secretary of Defense duty. With such duties of course comes a security clearance. 2 years in and I thought I had my mind made up. I thought I had it all planned out. I said to myself, "im gonna get out and put that clearance to use and really make some money out in the regular world." I was sticking to my plan until i had that meeting with my career counselor. With the exception of the regular infantry bonus, the GYSGT offered me nothing more than what i was offered when i first came in . Jokingly she also said, "and the best part about it is that you get to be a Marine for 4 more years!." What was meant as a joke really hit me hard. Suddenly all my plans became nothing more than uncertain thoughts. Day by day i went back and forth in my own head saying, "im reenlisting- no im getting out- wait, but im reenlisting." I spoke to family and friends about it just trying to find the best advice ... Ironically my answer wouldn't come until a few weeks ago .. and it would come from a place i didn't bother to look. I was out with friends on a Thursday night just being dumb having a few drinks (The average Thursday night for most Marines). My phone rang and i noticed it was a good buddy that is now in the fleet, but had served in the same PSD platoon as i, a few years back. Surely i picked up the phone- seconds later he tells me another good buddy of ours had been hit by an IED, had his leg was amputated, and was now in Bethesda. I have never sobered up more quickly than that night. I hung the phone up, look up at my friend and said, "How can i not stay? How can i allow myself to leave when this is still going on?" He was unsure of what i was talking about because i never said anything about it. The next day however, i picked up my reenlistment packet and started collecting my signatures. Friends playfully give me hard time about it- for turning down a job with the FBI and Border Patrol. The day of my ceremony however, (This past Tuesday 080930) an Army soldier that i work with came up to me and said, "what you just did was very honorable and i respect you for it. Im not too sure i would've done the same thing. Thank you."
So its all said and done and i don't regret it. Im sure I'll have my "days" just like we all do, but for now im content. Im off to 3/1 "The Thundering Third" and am very excited to finally see the fleet.
In the bottom of my certificate of reenlistment it states, "It is this special kind of commitment that makes the Corps unique and respected throughout the world" ... never has another statement been more true.
CPL A. Cuevas
Wanted to share my pride with my fellow Marines.