Reading your newsletter about S/Sgt Dudley being at Camp Carroll when the Army's 2/94, 175mm self propelled came in. I remember that night very well. I was assigned to 3rdBn12Mar at the time. When that first shell was fired, I do believe that every mother's son of 3/12 and 3/3 were in their holes before the echo started. 2/94 had set up behind us and fired over us. The ground shook so bad I don't doubt some were shaken out of their cots.
It was an experience.
Paul S. Martell
On My Way To Vietnam
Sgt Grit Vietnam Video Photo Montage (You Tube)
Taken Our Survey Yet?
Of those listed below...
Who was America's greatest president?
Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
John F. Kennedy
DaNang Ammo Dump
"DaNang ammo dump explosion on April 27, 1969."
I read the above on the Sgt Grit page a while back, and vowed that some day I would drag that old footlocker out of the attic and send the attached pics.
We had just come down from Phu Bai a few weeks before and were somewhere nearby waiting for orders to return to the World. I recall being in a large metal building with fluorescent light fixtures, waiting for processing. I had turned in all my gear. All I had was the clothes on my back and a manila folder stuffed in my Jungle utes front pocket, (my service record and orders)
The big booms began, I don't remember anyone issuing any orders, but I elected to adapt to the situation and return to where my unit hooches were located, I knew where to go as the crow flies, but was otherwise unfamiliar with the terrain.
I ordered myself to return to a safe area, across some rice paddies cordoned off with concertina wire and little signs that said "MIN" What the h&ll is a "MIN"? I wondered, ... just then I noticed a young Vietnamese boy 8-10 years old yelling "li dai, li dai, li dai, (spelling?) he guided myself and several other Marines through that minefield and to a paved road, and then I ran the rest of the way back to our unit area while snapping shots over my shoulder with a 35 mm Yaschica camera, reloading film along the way.
When I finally got back to my unit, all sweaty, dusty from the fallout of the expended ordinance, NO COVER!, shirt unbuttoned, I was greeted by a grizzled, cigar chomping Master Gunnery Sergeant Sydlowski who informed me that I was out of uniform. He was joined by a brand new shiny LT., who wanted to know why I was out of uniform ... Master Gunnery Sergeant Sydlowski dismissed the shiny-new-just-in-country - that - day LT and said HE would handle this matter The Master Gunnery Sergeant then went into his hooch and produced 2 ice cold beers. and a couple of cigars.
Corporal of Marines
Reading that story brought back memories of my artillery unit. Each time we got a new man (basis 0800) and especially a new lieutenant, they had to qualify with an ax. The trick was they had to hit a piece of wood ten times with an axe while blindfolded. And to make sure they didn't cheat, after putting on the blindfold, we removed their cover. Giving the command to begin, most swung the axe with vigor. After the tenth blow the blindfold was removed so they could see and there on the piece of wood lay their cover or what was left of it.
Another stunt was to asked a new lieutenant if he would help catch the muzzle blast so we could reuse it. Drawing a diagram showing what happen when we fired the howitzer how the muzzle blast dropped directly down upon exiting the muzzle, how it was caught in a bucket. Most wouldn't fall for it, but one did and he had moved out near the muzzle with a bucket during a fire mission. I had to call the exec and tell him I was out of action due to personnel in front of the gun. I then had to explain the reason. Needless to say, we couldn't do it anymore.
Most men were not angry and took it in good fun.
Albert Dixon, GySgt, USMC, Ret.
How about some SeaGoing (MarDet) stories.
Let's Hear From You
I love hearing all of the stories from the older Marines. I served 93-97 and have often thought of going back in to help the boys out. I'd like to hear more stories of what's going on now. It's hard to find Marines telling stories of what they experienced in Afghanistan. I know that they're probably busy as h&ll, but where are the Marines that are just getting out?
Let's hear from you!
You Have No Idea
I underwent boot camp July - October 1955 and we were taught the eight man squad drill as well as LPM drill. Upon transfer to H&S 1-10-2 FMF, CLNC, we never used it. Was transferred to Marine Barracks - Clarksville Base, TN 11/56. At an IG inspection the following spring, we were turned out on the drill deck (really a parking area) to demonstrate that we had been drilled properly by our leadership. None of us had used 8-man drill since boot camp. As we marched down the deck, as the squad NCO, I was ordered to direct "SQUADS RIGHT ABOUT".
As we marched away from the inspectors, I quietly asked the squad if they knew what to do when I gave the order. None did. I elected to keep them marching straight ahead, then ordered "To the rear, MARCH!" Arriving at our starting point, the inspector simply said to me, "You have no idea how to do that do you?" I honestly said, "No, sir."
I never knew whether or not we got negative ratings over that, but I never heard from any of my superiors about it and we never practiced squad drill after that.
Alpha Company 1st Bn 7th Marines
Alpha Company 1st Bn 7th Marines will hold their 2009 biennial get together June 4th-7th at the Doubletree Hotel in St Louis Missouri.
For more information please contact Nat Holmes at 479-855-9135, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: New Urban Assault USMC Motorcycle (UNCLASSIFIED)
I want one of these....
Designed as an equalizer for inconceivable and unpredictable lane changes, and other traffic related anomalies perpetrated by the cell phone using, motor home/SUV driving morons in California imposed on the rest of us. The below pictured machine was designed for that purpose.
Each mini gun fires at a rate of 3000 rounds per minute (6000 total). During initial test and evaluation it was demonstrated that a single 2 second burst would, and did blow a 40 foot RV with tow car clean off the road, leaving an open and unobstructed route ahead. It will vaporize an SUV in seconds!
Tests further indicated that after two or three RV's/SUV's in a row were eliminated, or "friggin smoked", others voluntarily pulled off the road and thus became a "non threat."
OBEY GRAVITY ... Its the Law
After My Uncle
Dear Sgt. Grit,
When I came across the story in the newsletter dated 1Jan2009 entitled WE MARCHED OUT, it immediately took me back to Boot Camp. The writer mentioned that he was in platoon 112 and had remembered a short D.I. who liked to punch recruits in the gut. That short D.I. was one of my junior D.I.'s, Sgt. J.R. Strickland, a Korean War vet. My senior D.I. was SSgt E.J. Massengill (another Korean war vet). My platoon was 113 and I was the Guidon Bearer. Sgt. Strickland called his short, rapid jabs to the gut "thump time".
Our platoon was formed on or about 8 May 1957 (I had enlisted on 6May57 in New York and traveled by train to Yemasee). The platoon graduated during the second or third week in August.
In Feb. 1969 while in training at Camp Pendleton for deployment to Vietnam I ran across SSgt Massengill at the PX. He was now a MSgt and I was a SSgt. I went over and introduced myself, told him I had been the Guidon Bearer of Platoon 113 and that he had, in fact, chosen me to be the Guidon Bearer, and thanked him for preparing me to be a Marine. He thanked me for remembering him and apologized for his not remembering me. I told him that with all the recruits that he trained to become Marines it was no wonder he wouldn't have remembered me. I told him that after my uncle, who was a Marine during WWII, he was the second Marine who really had a profound influence on me.
As a parting note, I greatly enjoy your newsletters. I had always thought that at some point in time I would run across a story or reminiscence that would trigger my memory. It happened and I thank you for it. Keep up the great work.
Richard A. Barr 1646556 USMC
SSgt of Marines 6May57-5Nov69
Honorably discharged at Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor
P.S. The picture of you in your catalog saying that you arrived in DaNang in March of 1969 also jogged the memory. I also arrived in DaNang in March. We may very well have passed either other while going through processing. Small world, indeed!
When I was in Plt.2019 MCRD San Diego back in "74", we marched to the mess hall at zero dark thirty for morning chow. We would halt at the main entrance in two lines and the DI would call "Form for chow". The recruits on the right would do 4 right faces, and the recruits on the left would do a right face a step forward and a left face, then we closed ranks as the DI said "Buthole to bellybutton ladies."
Coming to the steam tables one morning I decided to have a western omelet which I'd never tried before. Of course in boot camp it's "Take what you want, but eat what you take", so I emptied my plate, dropped my tray at the scullery, and formed up in the assembly area to the left of the building. I started getting a little queezy, and promptly lost my breakfast at my feet. I haven't been able to look at a western omelet in 34 years now.
2-6-74 to 2-3-78
Geeeeezzzzz.......Western Omelet, what did I miss in boot camp? All I remember was getting my gray sectioned metal tray, going through the line. Not saying a thing, not one word, nothing, nada. Holding my plate out and being thankful for whatever the SOB on the other side of the line was motivated enough to put on my tray.
Time Of Transitions
I went through boot camp at Parris Island in the summer of 1960. Gen. Shoup was the Commandant. We trained in 8 man squads and in 13 man squads. There were other changes during 1960-1961 in addition to the elimination of the swagger stick. USMC issue 'battle jackets" were eliminated, unless you could buy one from someone who had been issued one. The old style strength test was replaced by a new test which was based more on actual events than on pure PT. The old WW2/Korea twill utilities were replaced with a new olive drab cotton utility. Collar emblems for summer service A uniforms were eliminated in 1961 as I can best recall. Pith helmets went away as well in the Tropic climates. It was a time of transitions and there have been many since the sixties. Thanks for all your great work Sgt. Grit....
L/Cpl C. Anderson
If You Got Hurt
I have to add my two cents worth regarding the football teams at Camp Pendleton. I also played on one of these suicide teams. I say Suicide team because I played for the Navy Hospital team against Marines in the staging battalions before their shipping off to Vietnam in 1967.
To say there was some animosity is beyond question and added to the equations was the fact that if you got hurt in such a game it delayed your deployment. I can relate that I have never seen so many broken bones, strains and contusions in a sporting event. And to add insult to injury, after the game we had to treat the Marines we had just played. We usually lost the game, but hardly ever suffered any injuries as it was a known fact that we had the last word, so to speak. Most if not all the Corpsmen from there did go FMF and did serve with our Marines in Vietnam.
Barry "Doc" Stevens
VN '68 1/26
In My Sleep
Hi Sgt. Grit,
I went to a recent "Shot Show" in Orlando, Florida and guess who I saw standing in the front of the "Glock Booth" ? R. Lee Ermey a.k.a Gunny Hartman. Who can ever forget him from the movie Full Metal Jacket as a hard core DI. His voice is very distinct, sometimes I hear it in my sleep. Few of my personal favorites that he delivered in that movie...."Until you leave my island, you are nothing but a worthless human being"...."You give your soul to Jesus but you a$s belong to the Corps".
What a thrill it was seeing him, I took a picture with him and had a Full Metal Jacket DVD signed by him. Check out the picture, still as lean and still a Marine! I hung my picture with him on my Marine Corps wall next to my picture with Sergeant Major David Sommers back in 1990. I'm proud to be an American and most of all being a United States Marine !
Does anyone remember the Book (paperback) cartoon about Pvt Schultz, a gorilla who befriends a Marine in the Philippines on an Artillery tour with the 3rd MAR DIV 12th MAR REG. I think it was like a comic book about how the Marine dresses the gorilla in Marine fatigues and passes the gorilla off as a PVT in the Corps, He's in formations, standing inspections, and is taken onboard the ship sailing back to Okinawa for more adventures within the 12 MAR Reg. I think it was written by a CPL in the Corps and it was very funny reading and the cartoons showing all these crazy adventures and how he got away with all this. I tried to find it on the internet, no luck. This was back in 1958 so I hope someone out there remembers this so I don't sound too crazy.
Bob Fournier L/Cpl 57 -61
4th Week, 1961
I was in about my 4th week of boot camp, Plt. 370 Oct 1961. It was still hot enough for 'Chrome Domes', helmet liners painted silver to reflect the heat. We had just come from some PT and were waiting in a chow line when the DI insisted we close ranks far enough that the man in front of us smile.
Well, it was about 85 non-windy degrees. Our platoon was looking straight ahead, no eyeballing, The closeness allowed me a rare view of a sand flea working it's way from the back of the neck of the recruit in front of me to go inside the ear of the Marine. His head was trying to move w/o moving & it even looked like he was trying to wiggle his ears to dislodge the 'pet'.
After a minute or so, he couldn't stand it anymore & while sweat was dripping everywhere, he moved his right hand index finger into his ear, turned it quickly & moved his hand back in a split second....Happy ending? no way...his slight motion, in a tight formation, brought no less than 2 DI's, one on each side, asking the recruit if he was trying to overcome ED or something to that effect.
Needless to say, my proximity to all this, the speed of the hand movement, the faster speed of the DI's along with the verbal shower of words & spit on both of us hit me in such a way as to appear hilarious...Oh, no, I didn't laugh as much as I wanted to because I bit hard on the inside of my cheek to return my sanity.
The recruit was pulled out of line & told he had to seek put the family of the dead sand flea & plan a proper burial. I always wondered if the memory of that incident was as vivid to that guy as it was to me.
Names of Plt. 370 DI's were Gy/Sgt. Delkoski, (short & mean) SSgt. Timmermeyer (tall & skinny) and Sgt. Davis, who saved one of our recruits from choking on a chicken bone.
The 3rd Batl. barracks were relatively new & made of brick (It was called Disneyland because the other battalions were in Quonset huts.) Disneyland hadn't been built yet.
In 1957 at MCRD San Diego, it was 13-man squad drill...recall SSGT J.A. Hollingshead remark that he had to know and teach something like 435 different steps...Squads Right About (or left, too) was a doozy...the Squad Leader (I were one, even if known by the DI's as 'Jugbutt") had to boogie between two squads to wind up on the right spot...beautiful, if done correctly...
From memory, the first ALMAR from CMC Shoup said something to the effect of: "From this day forward, Landing Party Manual drill will be the only drill performed in the U.S. Marine Corps, and so long as I remain Commandant, that will not change"
It is now about 47 years later, and it's still the LPM. There is one difference, seen only in recruit training, and that is the use of four squads where the manual calls for three... mostly to cut the length of the platoon column. It is now 43 years since my Campaign Cover went into the press to stay, so anyone who is more current, feel free to correct me...
Trick question: When is the only time that one steps off with the right foot first? Answer follows the next sea story....
Dirty tricks dept, #2...in antiquity, I chewed. Red Man, mostly. I didn't expect anyone else to have to deal with my 'gaboon', which was a #10 tin can, kept at the left side of my desk in the I-I office, and attended to it myself.
One of the I-I staff, SSGT George Gallegos, was as rough & tough a Marine as ever came out of New Mexico...but he just could not deal with the chewing/patooie thing...
Came in early one morning with a brand new #10 tin can...(so far, so good)...poured the entire contents of a can of Coke into said receptacle...removed a sizable amount of chew from the pouch du jour, wadded it into a tight ball, and deposited it in the new, coke-filled can, having hidden the original can.
I called SSGT Gallegos to bring in the unit diary (or whatever...). Marine that he was, he entered the office, and reported smartly. After advising this key member of our little band of Marines stationed out in the hinterlands of Illinois, surrounded by civilians, to stand easy, I began to pat pockets, open and close desk drawers, look in a locker, etc., finally exclaiming "D*mn....I'm outta RedMan!
(You can see this coming, can't you?)...reached into the new can which was residing where the can always resided, fished around until I found the wad, picked it up, squeezed out most of the liquid, and tucked it into a jaw. SSGT Gallegos excused himself suddenly, for some reason...perhaps to locate some Reservist lurking down the hall who went by the name of 'Ralph'...who knows? Never did tell him the rest of the story.
AND, the answer is: Right Step, March!...if you didn't know that one, you owe me all the squat-whoopies but one...
Hard As A Rock
Marines playing football without a helmet? No joke there.
April, 1962 we finished our combat training in tent camp at Comp Pendleton and went to great wooden barracks mainside. We got a new platoon leader at that time, 2nd Lt. Eddie Lebaron, who had made Little All American at College of Pacific, and of course we enjoyed playing football in the late afternoons before chow. No equipment, no helmets, just young Marines in great physical condition. Mr. Lebaron was in the best shape of all, I think, and when I tackled him, it was like hitting a stone wall. He was hard as a rock.
And we played on the blacktop in front of the barracks, no soft dirt for us. We were all privates and privates first class, after just getting out of Parris Island, and Mr. Lebaron made me plt. sgt. He remained our plt. leader while enroute to Kobe and then on to Korea aboard the USS Menefee, APA 202.
Former Sgt. Joe Hodges, AT-7 Korea
I am a four year veteran who served during peace time. I remember mounting out from Camp Pendleton to San Diego where we boarded ships destined for the Caribbean during the Cuban missiles crises. People lined some of the streets to wave at us. I was privileged to be placed aboard the carrier, Iwo Jima. I believe the carrier had to stop at the Panama Canal to remove the elevators to traverse the locks.
While waiting, several military trucks with red crosses on them back up to the ship. They offloaded blood plasma which made us aware of how serious this effort was going to be.
My MOS was 2533, radio telegraph operator and so the Navy asked the Marines to provide signalmen to augment their staff. This meant we Marine communicators had to revisit learning semaphore. It also meant we had to utilize infra red signal lamps at night since the fleet was in a "lights out" situation.
One night, my Marine buddy, Tom Machuga and I were standing watch and climbed to the highest most part of the ship to receive and send messages by signal lamp. During our signaling, the flight deck lights came on and the alarm signals went off. I thought we had been hit by a torpedo and we would end up in the water. Turns out my fears were alleviated when it was soon announced that it was a false alarm. Seems a fire watch on the flight deck discovered a flashlight beam from one of the life boats was turned on.
Pill Pusher Finally Made It
A small correction...the Medal of Honor referred to in this newsletter was awarded to George E. Wahlen (corrected spelling). Only five men of the original 240 men in his company came through the campaign without being either killed or wounded. At Camp Pendleton in 1945 George received two Navy Crosses (in addition to several Purple Heart medals) and was ordered to go to Washington to receive the Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman. Truman quipped "I'm sure glad a pill pusher finally made it up here!" with a smile. In 1948, Wahlen enlisted in the Army as a medical technician and retired as a Major in 1968. He now lives in Utah. Semper Fidelis Doc!
Mustang Major of Marines, Retired
In A Cigar Box
You left out 1st Sgt. C Ward. He had so many medals that when he wore his Dress Blues he had to wear them on both sides and then only the important one's, the rest he kept in a cigar box. He lied about his age in WW11. He went in at 16. He was at all the battles then he went to Korea and was at the frozen Chosin. There's a book about Hero's of the Korean war and they did a whole page on just him. Then in the late 60's he was on his way to Nam.
Jim Lowell 3/8 2nd Mar Div. 66 to 68
Go Any Faster
I went aboard the Olmsted at Moorehead City Jan 9, 1958 as a member of H&S-1-8, motor transport. I had joined the U.S.M.C.R. Sept 20, 1956 at 17, just a month after my birthday. I went to Parris Island Feb 20,1957 and after ITR was sent to H&S 1-8.
While aboard the Olmsted I was assigned to B-1-8 as their jeep driver for Capt. Anderson and remember winding up at the 7 UP plant and having them bring out cases of ice cold 7UP for all the troops. 7 UP never tasted so good. We still had to get up in the hills, and it was ungodly hot so Capt. Anderson had the troops put their packs on the jeep and trailer to help them out.
Most of the guys were soaked with sweat and beat from the hike up the mountain. I wish I could have done more. I remember that there were some Gypsy's where we camped and Gunny Ortega grabbed one of their chickens and showed me how to hypnotize it. As I remember it he had relatives in Spain and took some leave there. I also heard rumors that he used to sneak around all by himself in the night because he either wanted to fight or go home.
One day I had a mishap on the coast highway and wrecked my jeep so immediately became a BAR man for B-1-8, but after 9 days and a shortage of drivers with a 6th Fleet license I was transferred to S-3 1-8 and was at headquarters when they towed one of those helicopters off the hill. My CO was Capt. Hutchinson and we had a Sgt Larson or Larkin. I also remember a Major Michaels who I took into Beirut one night and he gave me h&ll all the way back because the jeep wouldn't go any faster and he was tired.
PFC Mike Henchey, 1608832/3531
At No Time
I just finished reading the latest newsletter and felt I had to respond to all the posts from "cold war Marines", "between war Marines", and "never-in-country war-era Marines".
I served from 1978 to 1996 before receiving a medical discharge. During that time I had the honor of serving with former Sgt Major of the Marine Corps Lewis Lee on the Drill Field in 1985-87 and again in Okinawa in 1989-90. The entire time I knew Sgt Maj Lee, who in addition to his two purple hearts, had several other combat related decorations, never called me anything but Sgt, SSgt, Gunny or Marine. As a K-130 and C-9B Loadmaster, I had the opportunity to transport many Marines who were veterans of WW II, Korea, and Viet Nam. At no time did I feel they considered me any less of a Marine for not having served in combat with them.
I recently had the honor of attending the 223rd Marine Corps Birthday Ball with the 1st Battalion 24th Marines 4th Marine Division in Lansing, Michigan where I am a member of the Marine Corps League. The Guest of Honor was General James T. Conway, Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was the sixth Commandant I have had the pleasure of meeting and not one failed to personally address me as "Marine."
I don't know where the shame has come from for many of my contemporaries for not having served in combat, we all served and were prepared for whatever came. The last time I checked, the title is not "Combat Marine" or "Non-combat Marine", the title is MARINE.
John S. Hall
Healthy And Semi-Retired
Dear Sgt. Grit:
Great catalogue and newsletter!
It's a shame that "Young Marines" such as yourself and I cannot get back into the Reserves (even the Army) since we are "Too Old" I am the same age as you are, namely a healthy and semi- retired NCO from the sixties!
If we were Old "Surgeons" we would be able to get an AGE WAIVER!
Keep up the Good Work!
Proud To Say
I'm honored and proud to say that I served with my fellow brothers and sisters in America's elite fighting force! My father, also a Marine, served 3 tours in Vietnam and received the Purple Heart. My tour of duty includes: MWLK 1st MAW, Okinawa, Japan. Then 1st FSSG MP Company, Camp Pendleton.
Devil Dog Tattoo
Semper Fi - Devil Dogs!
I enlisted in the Marine Corps in Jan 69. My platoon was 307. Our sister platoons were 304, 305, 306. There was an investigation into the beating of recruits by their Drill Instructors. Recruits from 304, 305, 306 filed the complaints.
My Drill Instructor called me into the Drill Instructors Hootch. That's the last thing a recruit wants to hear. I pounded on their hatch and yelled PVT Manos reporting as ordered.
Inside, there was a Major and a Gy/Sgt. I recognized them as part of the Investigating Detail. I stood at attention when my Drill Instructor, Sgt J.I Justice asked me "who can hit the hardest, Sgt Pornavetts or me". My reply was "the Private doesn't know. The Private has never been hit before". I felt a sharp pain in my gut as I bounced off the wall lockers.
I quickly stood back at attention when Sgt (the black glove will strike tonight) Pornavetts asks "who can hit the hardest, Sgt Justice or me". My reply was "the Private doesn't know. The Private has never been hit before". Then I felt that pain again as I bounced off the wall lockers.
I quickly came back to attention. Now both Drill Instructors are yelling at me, "who can hit the hardest". My reply was "the Private doesn't know the Private has never been hit before".
Next thing I know is I feel severe pain on both sides of my gut as I flew into the wall lockers and dropped to the deck. I tried to get back to attention as quickly as I could and all I can here is "Who can hit the hardest, Sgt Pornavetts or me. Who can hit the hardest Sgt Justice or me".
My reply was "I don't know. The Private has never been hit before but the Private believes since Sgt Justice is left handed, he can hit harder w/his left hand and since Sgt Pornavetts is right handed, he can hit harder w/his right hand. But the Private doesn't really know because the Private has never been hit before. I was dismissed.
Four weeks later, my platoon was on the Parade Deck for Final Drill Comp. So far, we had failed to win not one streamer. My Senior Drill Instructor, S/Sgt Brown was looking straight at me when he gave the order to go to Port Arms. I was sweating profusely because I had just finished a session w/S/Sgt Brown the night before. He carried a lead pipe in session and my entire gut was black and blue.
My rifle slipped from hand. The sharp metal sound from the butt plate of my M-14 hitting the deck could be heard clear down to Florida. I quickly recovered and the feeling of DOOM engulfed me. My platoon finished w/no further incident but the damage was done.
Four days left until graduation and I was DOOMED to repeat the entire 8 weeks of Boot Camp. Our guide on was out along w/the other platoons but what was the use. S/Sgt Brown said to me "I will see you back at the barracks". I was going to go through another 'attitude adjustment' and then get recycled back to week 1. I was DOOMED!
Then a miracle happened. Platoon 307 was awarded the Green Streamer thus sparing my life. I did not see S/Sgt Brown until graduation day. Right after we graduated, I had to 'field day' my Drill Instructors quarters since I did not have any visitors come down to see me graduate.
It took me 38 years to figure out why Platoon 307 was awarded the Green Streamer. Platoon 307, to a man, did not turn in our Drill Instructors, while Platoons 304, 305, 306 did turn in their Drill Instructors. Was this the end of my ordeal at the hands of my Drill Instructors?
We were boarding the bus the next day. The grin on my face could not get any wider. I had one foot on the bus step when I felt an excruciating pain go up my butt. I turned around and got another sharp pain in my chest and there were my Drill Instructors w/a big smile on their faces. They asked me "Who can hit the hardest". My reply was "the Private doesn't know. The Private has never been hit before."
SGT of MARINES
Angelo J. Manos
JAN 69 - JAN 72
Hershel "Woody" Williams, MOH
In regard to Sam Hood inquiring about any Medal of Honor recipients still alive from Iwo Jima, I can report that Hershel "Woody" Williams is alive and living in the wilds of WV. He earned his MOH on Iwo by knocking out 7 Jap bunkers with a flame-thrower and also taking out several Jap soldiers who attacked him while he was performing his mission. He is active in the Marine Corps League and is on the legislative affairs committee fighting congress for benefits for veterans. Woody is a motivational speaker at schools and numerous veterans memorial services and is constantly in demand. He is the only MOH recipient still alive in WV and the whole state is extremely proud to have him in out mists.
Marine Corps League
Department of WV
Then I See
Naturally now that I want the reference to it not being the same, someone wrote about in a recent news letter I can't find it.
The writer was slightly bemoaning the fact that he doesn't see the brotherhood of Marines as much any more as we fondly remember.
To a point I too have to agree with him.
I wrote a letter to the CMC last fall after my trip to Pendleton and MCRD -SD, about the base conditions I encountered (trash on roads, parking lots, curbs, etc).
To this date I have not even received a courtesy reply. Nothing zilch!
I was taught if someone writes you a letter of praise, or admonishment, whatever, good manners, dictated that you reply. Apparently the CMC never was taught that lesson of Etiquette. But I also see it in the numerous Marines I have known for years, and newer ones that I meet from time to time. They just don't show the brotherhood. Maybe that's based on the individual, and perhaps he hasn't come full round the circle yet.
At one time or another we've all despised the "crotch" and couldn't wait to separate.
Then slowly we come around to missing it and some of the good and even bad times we had.
It's funny that attitude I see from many of these Marines, They wear the hat, shirt, logo, to show people they were in the Corps, but to many it's a show of farce.
Because of the few that have that attitude, I try my hardest to present just the opposite appearance. I try to let everyone know I don't "just wear" the colors, I try to show it by actions.
I greet every Marine, for what he is or was, A fellow comrade in arms, we each endured the same trials of boot camp and beyond, whether it be San Diego or Parris Island.
We all had the same training, same type drill instructors (good and bad), but they all did their job, they trained us.
Then I see the Hyper link from a week ago. Taking Chance, a new HBO special.
Then the old feeling of the true meaning of Semper Fi comes back, and confirms that the faith, brotherhood and comradeship, has NOT died.
It's still there.
The movie should be a must see for all. I'm sure it will be highly emotional in different ways for all who see it.
Chance Is from Wyoming and that has a special meaning for me as I too reside in Wyoming.
This is not Kevin Bacon's first time portraying a Marine officer in the movies. I don't think they could of made a better choice for the actor in this role.
Movies (based on a real event) as this confirms to me that we are the FEW and the Proud.
There's just fewer of us from time to time to uphold the PROUD! Unfortunately I only get one channel on an Antenna, where I am at so will have to have some one record it, or hope that HBO releases it on DVD (I'm sure they will).
In the meantime, those that believe the old spirit and brotherhood, has or is fading away and the newer Marines are not being instilled with the same. It is still our responsibility as the ones that have come before, to show and display to them and others, what it is all about, That without fail, we as Marines, will always take care of one of our own!
That is our legacy and our responsibility.
Sgt of Marines, '68 -74 RVN 70-71
Some Old Marines
In July 1952 when I entered Boot Camp in San Diego, depending upon your size and the supply stock, we were issued different sets of uniforms. Some were issued the old "dungarees" with the large 'hand grenade" pockets while the rest got the newer utility uniforms. Most of us got issued six sets of gunnysack summer uniforms while a few got issued four along with one set of the new gabardines.
We were all issued a short green winter jacket we called the Eisenhower jacket. While we were in Korea HMC banned the use of these jackets except for wear aboard the base. This caused a lot of problems when we hit San Francisco on the way home as none of us had been informed about the new rule and almost everyone had held out that jacket as the one to wear the first day on liberty.
Most of us were issued the short rough hewn tan boondockers while a few were issued the taller black shiny boots. While serving with the 1st Marine Air Wing in Korea we were told the short boots were for "airwingers" and the black boots were for the "real" Marines. The problem was if you looked around you, that wasn't the way it turned out to be. True, most of the pilots I saw wore the short tan suede boots. But the official statement was that we had to not only shine those things but put a spit shine on them. Ya, sure! One could write a whole book on the silly different ideas that came up to accomplish that feat. The most common one was to use Zippo lighter fluid to burn off the rough stuff, then use knotted up "com" wire to smooth what was left. Better yet was to pay some young Korean to do it.
We were also issued a black metal tie clasp but were not allowed to wear it for inspections, parades, etc. etc. And the only way to get a set of blues other than buy them was to be sent to Sea School, the Band, or something like recruiter duty. One of my fellow boots asked during clothing issue about the dress blue uniforms and the Lieutenant in charged replied, "We only issue those to the peace time Marines." I guess they didn't think we would have occasion to wear them. Once I was sworn in I never again got close enough to even touch a set of blues until long after I was out of the Corps.
Some old Marines have said those days during the mid fifties were not the proudest days of the Corps. In a few more years there won't be anyone left who can remember them. Even the late James Brady, an old Marine rifle platoon leader, goofed when he wrote his fiction novel "Marines of Autumn". He made one of the characters in the book a Marine Gunnery Sergeant. There were no Gunnery Sergeants in the Marine Corps during the Korean "conflict."
I am still proud to say I served my three years as a Marine and I still proudly carry in my wallet the card they gave me certifying my honorable service. Semper Fi! (and a OoooRah if it works for you)
T. W. Stewart, Sgt. (E-4) USMC 1318421 (1952 - 1955)
Knows What To Do
When I arrive on the yellow foot steps at USMC SAN Diego. I thought, I was handling the yelling and storming about very well. I had been warned by Marine buddies who has gone through before.
After, we shed our slimy civvies and took a shower. We boxed our clothes to be sent home. I approached a Marine who was sitting down and writing down our mailing address. I thought, "This is normal for the military to waste man power doing this. When I was told to sign the receipt, my hand shook so much all I could do is draw a large "X." It was then I figure out the Marine Corps knows what to do.
L/Cpl Crabb 2341550 VN 1967 - 68/ 0311
Marines Like To Show
There is a man in Oklahoma City that owns a Marine Corps specialty store. With the way Marines like to show their pride I'm sure he has a full-time business just keeping up with orders. Yet he takes the time to post newsletters that make us laugh, cry support Marine families, voice our opinions and from time to time reconnect to the brothers we have served with.
We hear from Marines that served on Iwo Jima to Iraqi Freedom, we share their pain, laugh at their stories and share their grief. It is to this Marine brotherhood, he has dedicated his life! I hope his pride won't get in the way of posting this letter of thanks. For all that you have done for us, a deep thank you from all Marines past and present to a truly Outstanding Marine, Sergeant Grit. Because of you our Marine Corps has a voice for everyone to hear.
Semper Fi !
William Whitley, Corporal of Marines, Viet Vet
Proudly, a member of The Walking Dead
I Yelled To The
Saved a Marine from friendly fire while on Cpl of the guard duty:
We were assigned up at LZ Stud and during that time we had to pull ( APR 68') guard around the perimeter. It was our turn so on this night we were located up and down the north side of the base which looked out and into the mt side.
While working as corporal of the guard - I stopped in to visit my Marines and confirm the password for the night when I first observed a Marine named "Root" bring up his weapon m-16 rifle and stated there's someone out there.
Root was about to snap off his safety when I stated wait - keep in mind that he gets pretty dark out there in the bush/countryside. I yelled to the figure way out by our triple concertina to get his A$s.....in here.
It comes to find out that it was a Marine named "Rourke" from new york who almost got' his ticket punched that night. Seems Rourke got lost while trying to get back to his position.
11th Engr Bn Vietnam 2/68-2/69
Lt. Col. Frederick A. Locke Ret. USMC
The Purple Foxes, (HMM-364)
Lt. Col. Frederick A. Locke USMC passed away on January 25, 2009. He graduated from Bucknell University and named to the 1952 Olympic Soccer Team. He served the Marines as a Helicopter Pilot receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Metal with Combat V, two purple Hearts, Combat Action Badge and Presidential Service Medal. He served as a pilot for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson. He is two-time past president of the Lehigh Acres Rotary Club and past board member of CHA.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann Locke.
A memorial service will be held at 1 PM on Feb. 21, 2009 at Lee Blvd. Baptist Church. Lt. Col. Locke will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery April 14th at 11:00 AM.
With Another Great Gift
I served our Corps from 1987 - 1991 and I too was stationed with Headquarters, 11th Marines. I had many thoughts of getting back to Las Pulgas over the years, it never seemed to work out. Last year my wife surprised me on our 10th Anniversary with a trip to California. We took one full day and spent it on the base. I had never seen combat, I had surgery two weeks before the Gulf War started so I couldn't go over with the 11th Marines, going back was like a flashback. It was like I had never left. Sure some things had changed, but for the most part, CamPen was still the same. We visited my old barracks room, office, and many other places that I had spent some of the best days of my life. It was a great trip and my wife, who had never fully understood what I would try to describe to her about the Corps, was fully impressed with every Marine that we met and talked to.
When we returned from our trip, she surprised me with another great gift. A gift certificate to get the Marine tattoo that I had always wanted. She had taken a photo of a painting that someone had done on the Post Office wall at Las Pulgas. It was of a Marine Bulldog carrying a mail bag. It actually looks like the Xmas shirt that you have on your web site. Since I've worked for the Post Office for the last 15 years we thought it fit just right. I've attached a photo of my tattoo.
Keep up the good work!
Little-known benefit aids veterans of wars Those who serve during conflict are eligible for up to $19,000 a year.
The Special Pension for Veterans' Aid and Attendance pays up to $1,644 a month, $19,736 annually, toward assisted living, nursing homes or in-home care for veterans 65 and older who served at least 90 days and one day during wartime - stateside or overseas. Veterans and their spouses can get up to $23,396 annually and spouses of deceased veterans, $12,681.
Dear Sgt Grit.
I have enjoyed many C Ration meals. My favorite was sausage patties and gravy (this probably the most thrown away meal in the Marines).
One day I was in Ocean Side and bought this small cast iron skillet and a bottle of Heinz 57 sauce. The next time I went to the field I opened a can of patties and put them in the skillet and fried them on both sides and added some Heinz 57. They weren't bad. In fact I enjoyed many a meal cooked in that little skillet.
Also the best hot chocolate was made by crunching up a coupla coca disk in your canteen cup (for best results you had to use a tent peg) and a chocolate disk and boil.
A fast way to heat up c rations was to put them on the exhaust manifold of a vehicle.
former S/Sgt. Norm Barnes
We ate C-rats during field problems at Camp Lejeune early 1950. They appeared to be left over from WWII. It was easy to heat them on the manifold of jeeps and six-bys. They were no too bad. Had to be sure you punctured the cans so they did not blow up. I found a few left over from that era and still have them. Some day I'm going to rev up my old jeep and see if they are still good. I liked the spaghetti best also.
I used heat tabs and when I did not have heat tabs I used C4 to heat with.
I liked the Ham and Limas. Open them and pour the grease off and melt cheese in them. Then I would put hot pepper in them that I got from some of the villages letting them heat through and through.
Robert D. King
A Khe Sanh Survivor
Good Morning Sqt. Grit,
Whenever I had the misfortune of opening up that "box lunch" and discovering the dreaded "Ham and Lima Beans" I knew I would be going hungry. Try as I might to exchange this dreaded choice, there was but one answer, "I hate Ham and Lima Beans!"
I ended up eating the crackers and following it up with one of those stale Lucky Strike cigarettes.
If you will permit me to follow up with one more "food" story, there is probably not another Marine out there that could swallow the concoction of Corned Beef and Cabbage served from any Marine Mess Hall. While on Okinawa, and being in supply, I would make the weekly laundry (bedding) run to Naha Naval base from Camp Hague. Of course, we always looked forward to our meals that were usually prepared by civilian cooks. Well, on one of those trips, the entree was Corned Beef and Cabbage. I mustered up my courage and took a taste. What a shock! It was great. Today, I can eat Corned Beef, but I am happy to say, I have never run into the dreaded ham and lima beans servings.
Just a word to all those Marine cooks that I might have offended, thanks for all the memories and for all those long hours that you guys have to endure to see that we are all taken care of on base and in the field. Aside from all of the joking of the chow, you Marines are greatly appreciated. By the way, my favorite menu was always "cold cuts" night. See, I can't stop jabbing at you guys.
Always a Marine, Roy Summers, 3rd Mar Div
P.S. Sgt. Grit. I am sure there are a lot of "Mess Duty" stories out there from those of us that have "served."
I wanted to show my dedication to the Marine Corps. I finally got this tattoo after being out for 18 years. Still feel like part of the family and nothing will ever compare to the Corps.
Semper Fi-Dave Hoffman
I was your Corporal when God said 'Let there be light', and you told me to throw the switch as you didn't want to leave your 'comfee' chair and coffee.
God liked our performance so well he made me Sgt. and told us he needed more men like us and said 'Try a Tavern, I hear Tun's is good place to fine a Few Good Men!'. I will await your excellent staff's responses.
In Semper Fidelis,
Sgt. USMC '64-'68, Nam '66-'67
Sorry Sam. Medals of Honor, or any combat decoration are not 'won', they are awarded. There is no competition in seeking the award.
Lt. Col. Don Belsey 1964-1996
At Quantico the summer of '58 in the T&T Regiment, we learned the 8 man squad drill. In '59 at Quantico, Camp Barrett, we learned the 13 man squad drill. By assignment time to the 1st Brigade in 1960 we were back to the LPM. Three methods in three years. The squad drills were certainly more challenging, but looked great when properly done. The good old LPM was easier to learn and much more flexible. And Marines always look sharp in close order, whatever the Drill.
Hulen Jenkins, 1959-1966.
Just received first newsletter reading the different stories reopen many old memories they truly never go away. I'm thankful for SGT GRIT, good to see so many Marines and be among them. This site is a keeper.
well done Sgt, GRIT
PFC. MICHEL DUMAIS
1st MARINE Div,
3rd BN 5th MARINES
RE: MOH Recipient Woody Williams. I had the honor of meeting Mr. Williams at the funeral of Jack Lucas in Hattiesburg, MS, last year. He attended with four other living MOH recipients. My wife is from WV, and we had just been up there. He is a delightful person. We chatted about his small town home and other WV stories.
Marine Corps League
While on mess duty in August, 1948 at PI during boot training, I vaguely recall about three or four recruits, wearing boondockers, herringbone dungaree trousers, blue shirts or suit jackets, and straw hats eating chow while being guarded. They were skin heads like the rest of us and did not wear the hats while in the mess hall.
S/Sgt Joe Brancati
Plt 133 ... 1948-52
I always like to say,
"The hardest time I had was when the NCO club ran out of ice!"
Cpl. Keith Grisham, 3534 '82-'86
RE: Jerry Wilson' suggestion that The Corps change our name to SHEEP DOGS!? Not as I'm alive....
Drill Instructor of Marines
This is to all the families of all my brothers and sisters that never made it home. You will always be in my thoughts till we meet again. God Bless and Semper Fi
Cpl Treciak (Inactive)
In answer to Jerry Wilson's question in the 19 Feb. Newsletter. Don't replace your Devil Dog patch with a sheep dog. In the sheep, wolf, sheepdog analogy sheepdog is a generic description as in some are pit bulls, some are labs, some are German Sheppard's (you get the idea). And some very special ones due to their training are DEVIL DOGS. They are all still sheepdogs guarding the sheep. So keep your Devil Dog patch as a guardian of the sheep.
Ken, Mad Dog Sgt. Of Marines 63-68