| || || Reference the comment made about Hollywood Marines stopping to pose for the picture on Iwo Jima. I thought it was because Parris Island Marines don't know what it's like to hump a hill. Or do forced marches. |
Sgt. Dave Bernal
2nd Bat, 1st Mar, 1st MarDiv
In This Issue:
There is a story below about 'snookering' your DI. I would think these are few and far between. I know I certainly never did, and I never had the nerve to try.
Is a loose flash suppressor good for an alibi? Two stories one yes, one no. A lot of great pictures, they really add to any story. Thanks for send them.
Recruit influence and DIs not being impressed, this poor kid didn't have a chance. And yet again many outstanding stories of M-1s and M-14s.
There is one last story about 'Hands on training' and how it makes a recruiters job more difficult. I have a few final thoughts on this subject. Two things jump out at me. There is a real love/hate thing going on with DIs and recruits. Starts out as hate and fear of DIs. For most it ends up with profound respect and admiration and even awe for what Drill Instructors bring out of you.
The other thing I noticed is this. I do not believe there was one story about real physical harm being done to a any of you. Of course, there is Ribbon Creek and a few other examples. But those are exceptions and would most likely have happened anyway. Looking back, I know in my case, they knew exactly what they were doing. Their blows were well placed so not inflict damage, but to get your attention, cause stress. Mistakes in Vietnam cost lives, and the needed ability to deal with daily stress.
And to the crazy, psycho, b-stards who got me through boot camp and later Vietnam, Thank you!
Fair winds and following seas.
Hi Sgt. Grunt,
I am the wife of a squad leader in the Marine Corps currently serving in Afghanistan, Sgt. Adam Keliipaakaua with 3/5 India Company. His unit is currently serving in the very hostile district of Sangin in the Helmand Province. They have been getting some serious action out there and have been giving the Taliban an a-s kicking and reckoning that only the United Marine Corps can inflict! I wanted to share two photos of Sgt Kelii, as he is known, a true American warrior and hero.
Pic 1:U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Adam Kellipaakaua, center, with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, conducts a security patrol in Sangin Valley, Afghanistan, Oct. 18, 2010. The battalion's mission was to conduct counterinsurgency operations in partnership with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. David Hernandez/Released
Pic 2: U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Adam Kellipaakaua with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, concludes a search of a compound during a security patrol in the Sangin valley of Afghanistan Oct. 22, 2010. Marines conduct security patrols to decrease insurgent activity and interact with the local populace. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. David Hernandez/Released)
Love your website, thanks
Sara Inanloo Keliipaakaaua
Improvise, Adapt, Overcome
The ONE RULE that a recruit NEVER violates is "Don't even try to snooker your DI". Some 55 years later, I confess that I did it and got away with it. Here's the story:
It was qualification day eve at the PISC rifle range. Our Sr. DI, S/Sgt R.H. Massey decreed there would be a contest next day as we fired our "U.S. Rifle, caliber .30, M-1's" for record. Each miss, (Maggie's drawers) would cost the shooter $1; a deuce $.50 ; a trey $.25; and a four $.10. The money would be pooled and given to the high shooter.
Hurricane Ione was on her way westward and the winds were 25 - 30+ mph across the range on "Q" morning. It was very difficult to fire in that much wind, especially offhand, but fire we did. For whatever reasons, some put too much windage and/or elevation on their M-1 sights so lots of red flags were waved that day. I managed to fire 223, just barely above the minimum for Expert Rifleman, but as it turned out, I was high shooter. S/Sgt. Massey announced that fact to the platoon. They were unimpressed, but ready to pony up and pay their debts.
S/Sgt. Massey summoned me to his "house" (I assumed, to collect my reward). He said "No t-rd should have that much money, so I am canceling the contest. Now get out of my house!" With the obligatory, "Aye, aye, sir!", I executed an about face and returned to the squad bay.
As I entered quarters, I suddenly realized that no one knew what S/Sgt Massey had said to me. Also knowing that the rest of the platoon had their money out ready to pay the high shooter, I walked in and loudly announced, "Alright you guys, Sgt. Massey said to pay up!" And pay up they did, each what he had calculated he owed (although I never audited the score books). It amounted to about $180, nearly three times the monthly pay of a Pvt. in 1955.
S/Sgt. Massey never found out. If he did, he never said a word. And maybe he knew, but liked my "initiative". To my fellow recruits of 1st Bn, Able Co., Platoon 86 - "Sorry guys. It was just business!"
J. B. Tonkin
USMC 1955 - 58
4th Combat Engineer Battalion
My name is Thomas Albert, I was a Corporal with the 4th Combat Engineer Battalion out of Lynchburg, Virginia from 1991 to 1995. Enclosed is my Boot Camp Photo and some members of my unit.
Walking Barefoot Across America
There is never a dull moment here at Sgt Grit. Today we had the pleasure of meeting Ron Zaleski who is walking across America "barefoot" to get signatures for his petition that calls attention to the need for mandatory PTSD counseling for all military troops prior to discharge. You can read more about his cause at
Ron needs all the support he can get!
44 Years Later With Our Senior DI
44 years after boot camp, 3rd Bn. Parris Island, we meet at Quantico, Va. with our Marine Corps 'Dad'.
Back row- Wm. Simon, MGySgt.(ret)-plt.3086 and Carl Mott, Cpl.(vet)-plt.389.
2nd row - Ed Horan, Sgt.(vet) -plt.3086 and Ray Edwards, Sgt.(vet) - plt.3086.
front - Lawrence Ward, Mustanger 1stLt.(ret) our Senior DI and 'Dad'
As a matter of interest and exceptional pride, here is a photo of my grandson Jeremy Braden Mazur, a graduate of Platoon 3090, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion out of MCRD Parris Island on 19 November 2010. The other gent is CWO-4 John R. Williams, USMCR, Ret. (with over 39 years of service as an Air Traffic Control officer and me in Marine Corps League uniform, with 22 years of active duty). John and I bring more than 61 years of Marine Corps service to this graduation and Jeremy picks up the tradition from here on.
Continue the attack! You're doing well Marine!
Mustang Major of Marines
Origin of 'Oohrah'
The submarine's klaxon that sounded 'Aaroogah' in preparation to dive came from the fondness of the Model-T Ford's horn we learn from an old Navy man, not from Germany, even though 'klaxon' sounds German.
Anyway, the WWII Marine Raiders from the old Camp Catlin used to go out of Pearl Harbor aboard a submarine for rubber boat drills. They would pull their rubber boat up through the sub's hatch, inflate it on deck and go ashore. In actual circumstances, they would sneak ashore under cover of darkness.
These Marines copied the klaxon sound and said 'Aaroogah', but it never caught on. It was 1st Amphib Recon that heard the Raiders, and made their own 'Oohrah' which we use today.
In the early 1950's, 1st ANGLICO, out of Camp Catlin conducted rubber boat drills from a destroyer out of Pearl Harbor, again hitting a beach on Oahu, and when finished, met a 6x6 with a keg, and ended with a beer bust, and bringing the equipment back to base. Oohrah!
Some photos - then and now
Sgt. Max Sarazin, 1194840
1951-1959, Korean War veteran
I believe it is Slop Chute, not Shoot nor Shute. To feed the hogs, we poured the slop down a chute into the trough.
G. L. Graham
1951 - 1974
Mule Patrol in Cuba.
Does anyone remember riding Mule Patrol from outpost # 1 to the beach? Does anyone know what year it was terminated?
W. Schulte, 657862
I was reminded by a friend and fellow Marine, N.L. Sheridan, that we both celebrated the 185th Marine Corps Birthday at Camp Mathews by going to the movie and seeing the D.I. starring Jack Webb. Fifty years has gone by fast since we where both in Plt. 290 MCRD that November 10th,1960.
This is the first time I have heard anyone make reference to S/Sgt Hanschumaker. This man was a true psycho. If this man is still alive I would love to meet him one more time. Our Company Commander transferred me to a platoon two weeks behind us to keep me from being killed by this phys co. I have wanted to meet him since then. I cannot even remember the Plt. number. We started in June 1966, our other DI's were Sgt. Trout and Sgt Zoha, MCRDSD. if anyone knows the Plt. number I would love to find out.
GYSGT Windle (Pat, Tiny) Townley
Parris Island -Platoon 1006, Oct.,1958 - Jan.,1959 Was a long time ago, yet in many ways, seems like yesterday.
Semper Fi and Happy 235th Birthday
C.B. Chappel Cpl. E-4
Response to the aerial view of MCRDSD:
WOW! What a treat! I remember my dad saying to me when he came to my Graduation on May 13,1988 that there were many Q-Huts on the edge of the "Grinder" and tent's. back when he was there in 1951. Now I have a better idea of what it looked like when he was there!
Sgt Wesley Marsh
July 1966, Operation Hastings, Third Battalion Fourth Marine Division. After 44 years from the date of action, Ned Seth will be awarded the Navy Cross which has been approved by SECNAV. Details will follow.
3/4 Bn Scout 65-66
It makes my heart glad every time I turn to your site and see all of the stories of other Marines that shared a similar experience. My tour was 1972-1976 I was made a Marine on Parris Island, Plt: 345 3rd Bat. SSgt. Winger, Cpl. Wyatt and Sgt. Green were the Marines that transformed a young teen (17) years old. into a Man, into a warrior, into a Marine. It is with great admiration and pride that I wish all of the Marines here and, abroad a Happy Thanksgiving, God, Country and Corps.
Semper Fi Sgt. M. Cantrell
I joined the Marine Corps in Aug. 1963 MCRD SD Plt. 267. We were issued brown boots, shoes and leather gear. Before leaving boot camp or ITR in Dec. 1963. We were ordered to dye all our spit shine leather to black. Does anyone out there know the official date the Corps change to black leather. Also we were issued wool dress green uniforms. Before leaving active duty in Feb. 1968, I had to have gabardine dress green uniform. What is the official date the Corps change over from wool to gabardine uniforms
Jim Wood Sgt. USMC 1963-68
I want to pay tribute to a old Corps Marine who passed this morning Earl Strout, we signed up together went through basic together and were in the chosin together with 1st div 3rd battalion recon I company a wonderful human and a true Marine to his dying breath will be missed
s/sgt ed runner usmc retired thanks
Should of seen our menu for Christmas of 66 at Chu Lai.
RamTwo, you'll have to go back with me to 1943. Lived in Georgia, but the Corps determined I would go to Dan Diego. Marine Corps training was/is the same on both coasts. San Diego had a more desirable, year-round climate; San Diego did not have any sand flies, or sand crabs, or other enemy combatants. Because our life and limbs were not threatened, daily, by these creatures from the Black Lagoon, we were dubbed "Hollywood Marines".
James D. Broome
Thank you for sharing this menu from Danang. Our menu in Pleiku in 62 wasn't as elaborate but the blessing was much the same and much appreciated. Our blessings to you and our prayer for continued success in whatever endeavor you find yourself.
Who remembers and has comments on the paper sleeping bags?
Sgt Michael Tryon 1963 - 1967
Hi, Grit. Great job on the newsletters. I will be ordering resupply over Thanksgiving.
In response to LW Dornan 2156329, I arrived on PI June 30 1965 vs. his July 5 1965. ( Plt 245 and we lived next to the receiving barracks). We were on the 12 week training cycle so we must have been close to the last ones. Marines landed in DaNang in March 1965 and the Corps was expanding rapidly.
Lw, let me join your brothers in talking about the old Corps...
Enjoyed reading J. P. Cawthon's letter about Sea-Bees & Pharmacist Mates or Corpsmen. During WW2 and I would imagine during any time the C.B.'s and Corpsmen were a Marines friend. C.B.'s always had a hot meal for us in combat and Corpsmen were always there for our wounded. I would like to add that the Navy Chaplains were always there for we Marines and they helped me with my religious walks.
Sgt. Marion B. Stults
I just wish to say God Bless the Marine Corps
Discarded French Fries
So I get off work and picked up this friend of mine who was a teletype operator at the Marine air station in Santa Ana. He's not allowed to drive on November 10th since he accidentally brushed into another car on another November 10th driving home after salutation to the Crotch. It's the wife's SOP for him. We sat around and told sea stories.
I was reminded of the time I spent at Camp Pendleton being with the MP Company. This armorer wing wiper who's on light duty was assigned as our armorer while he gets his medical discharge. I relieved him when he went home for two weeks. Being a good Marine and trained in the arts of supply admin 3041, I took stock of all the 45's in the arms room. Lo and alas, some of the 45's are missing! "I surely am going to jail," says I. On the duty log book, I began to scribe all the missing arms.
Two days later, the supple gunny comes walking in and says, "I'm checking the arms room."
This gunny had taken over the supply hut from a sergeant who rotated out and he never was privy to the arts and method of supply admin 3041. The supply room was a mess! The gunny and his two lance corporals worked 12 hours a day six days a week duty for a whole year trying to straighten out how many pillow cases and mess gear are on hand.
So he walked in and started taking rosters of the 45's. Afterwards he steps out of my split door check in room and announced, "Corporal Batayola (coming from his mouth was Corporal Baytola), you have many 45's missing. (and the proverbial saying) you're going to jail boy." I was in his crosshair of his sight picture.
Both of my knees shook knowing the proverbial jail in the brig will not help me to the next step of promotion to civilian.
I pulled out the log bog and announced to the gunny forthrightly, "No gunny, I ain't going to jail. I've logged all the missing arms like a goodly trained Marines in the arts of supply admin 3041." He looked at me, closed his book firmly, and did an about face. I think I heard his brain say, "Good supply admin 2041 Marine." Maggie's drawer!
On the lighter note, you knowing very well the imbibing limitation of this supply admin 3041 Filipino (and alcohol affects me the same way in the last 42 years), I had two beers. More than that and I start a fight, dance without a shirt, or sleep under the table with discarded French fries.
Cpl. Batayola of the Marines
I'm enclosing a picture of my squad, regimental landing team-26. We left Camp Pendleton in 1966, aboard the USS Iwo Jima. After arriving in Vietnam we were transferred aboard the USS Diluth L.P.D. Our landing team of 26 Marines reinforced the 1/3 during the Khe Sanh Seige and was awarded the presidential Unit Citation by President Johnson. Would love to hear from my brothers.
Sam Leonard Sgt USMC
276 701 7504
(Photo notes) I'm 2nd from the right 2nd row. I had two other Blood Brothers, one served in Vietnam and the other served in the Korea War.
Would Get so Excited
Just read your [Sgt Grit News] M1 to M14: There was an article from a Cpl. P. C. "Whitey" Johnson about my Platoon (253). He mentioned Cpl. Brown and the drill that he taught us "To The Winds". It was beautiful when done correctly.
Cpl. Brown did to us what he did in the movie - Stop a Fire Watch and ask for the 11 General Orders - he would get so excited that he had a glazed look in his eyes. That was scary. I think the best thing that I remember was our S/DI S/Sgt Camp and his "Swagger Stick" . He was about 5' 5" or 6" but his RAM ROD finger and his knowledge demanded all the respect that he deserved. When he poked you in your chest it hurt and got your attention.
Here are a few of pictures: Platoon (Top row - third in from the right)/Recruit pictures & me now.
S/Sgt. J. D. Camp JDI H. W. Jones and JDI Cpl. J. R. Brown were the best on the Island. I would like to know if anybody knows where they are now?
"Semper-Fi" 'Til the day we die, to Cpl. "Whitey" Johnson and all Marine
Gy/Sgt. Lew Souder, USMC/Ret.
1956 - 1976
Platoon 392 Photo 1960
I wish to join all the other Marines who treasure their graduation photo and chose to share it with others. This photo was taken on a very special day. It was the day that I was positive that I had officially joined the "world's best fraternity". It was also one day before I was to leave the place that was a source of high anxiety, but also a source of camaraderie, enlightenment, achievement and pride.
Looking at the photo I am the first Marine in the row second from the top on the left side.
L/Cpl William Joseph
"60" - "64"
March 1973, Plt 2001
Submitted By: LCpl Ralph Harris
First To Shake Your Hand
Here is a picture of me and my Plt. that graduated at Parris Island oct. 3rd. 1966 I am 3rd row down 2nd last on the right of the picture . I was originally suppose to go to 2nd. Bn. but on the way to Parris Island my paper had gotten lost so I had to stay in receiving till it was straightened out. Bottom line my paper work could not be found after a week so I had to be sworn in all over again and ended up in the first bn. with a bunch if recruits from NYC
Great bunch of guys but ended up with a senior DI that I thought to be the most sadistic Marine that I have ever known. He was called on the carpet twice for abuse of recruits and we were called to testify against him. but we stood behind him and said no such thing had ever happened. I went through Parris Island hating this man and wanting revenge. I ended up in nam with f- co. 2-26 wounded and decorated BSM-V.
I just want to say thank you to that man for putting me through the h&ll at Parris Island because that h&ll was nothing compared to the h&ll I was about to experience over there in nam. Once again thank you SSgt. Avery. If ever I get to see you ever again I would be the first to shake your hand for making me the Marine my people could be proud of
Cpl. Joseph A. Francis, 2266894 Purple Heart. Bronze Star Combat V Full blooded Mic-Mac Indian From P.E.I. Canada
Parris Island platoon 3091, grad 21 Jan 1980
Submitted By: Kenneth
I'm on left end of row two...Don't count the D.I.'s standing as as row, only the recruits behind them.
This pic was taken two days before we had graduation ceremony (April 3, 1957) on the main parade ground at "mainside" of the island where the "Iron Mike" statue is mounted
Note: When I graduated we started with about 80 and graduated with about 70-75 with 3 DIs. The above two pictures have about 45-50 recruits and 4-5 DIs.
Doesn't mean anything, just interesting how things change.
One step ahead of the draft, I joined the Marine Corps Reserves and Plt 146 at Parris Island in early June, 1964. My sister was getting married to a Chilean naval officer July 11, and wouldn't it be nice if I was home for the wedding, preferably in uniform.
Forget it, I told everybody. That ain't gonna happen, not at Parris Island. But then it did. Turns out my stepfather, a midlevel Canadian diplomat attached to the United Nations and a bit of a legend in his own mind, had written the CO at MCRDPI on his U.N. stationary insisting that I be sent home for the wedding. Accompanying his letter, I later learned, was a case of Canadian whiskey.
"What the F--k, Private, you been writing home to say you been maimed?" our senior drill instructor, GySgt Kirkley, screamed one day in the barracks. "Colonel wants to see you, boy, and Colonel don't never want to see none of you t-rds."
So off we marched, Sgt Kirkley and I, to see the colonel, or as it turned out, his adjutant, a captain. "Well well, Private, so we're going home for Virginia's wedding, said the Captain, as I stood at attention next to Gunny Kirtkley, whose face at this point was a deep shade of purple. "Speak up, Private, you do want to go home for Ginny's wedding, don't you?" Now I may have been a lowly scumbag recruit, but my real daddy didn't have no stupid children. "Sir, no sir, Pvt Pearson replied. "The private wishes to remain here in training to become a Marine with his platoon, sir"
"Well, you're going, Private, like it or not" That's when I noticed a manila folder on the captain's desk with my name on it and, stamped in big red letters, the words "Political Influence". So off I went, back to Massachusetts for the wedding, where I found myself addressing other guests, including women, as 'sir'. Come Sunday night, it was right back to Plt 146 and the fond embrace of Gunny Kirkley, who found infinite ways to punish me for my sins. Looking back, I made it through and am still proud to have become a Marine.
Semper Fi, Tony Pearson, Cpl, USMCR
Some Will Say
Your latest Newsletters have some very interesting stories concerning individual Marines' experiences from Boot Camp days, including a few with serious allegations of mistreatment of recruits by some Drill Instructors. My boot camp experience (April-June 1947) certainly wasn't "pleasant" (nor was it ever intended to be) and some uncalled for personal abuse also occurred, but none of it serious enough to cause permanent harm.
Unfortunately, however once any report of boot camp abuse, once it gets in the public domain, can have possible lasting deleterious effects for Marine recruiting. Many stories are also often exaggerated beyond the original occurrence by the time they are repeated up the food chain, and by the time a Marine Recruiter hears it from a potential recruit's parents (and occasionally from the candidate) it is so horrific that it becomes the reason they don't want their Son/Daughter to be a Marine.
I experience some of this even today when as a an 80 year old would-be Recruiter I still try to talk young men into considering joining the Corps and hear boot camp maltreatment stories from them. Many I can explain and/or assure are gross exaggerations, but not all. Now I know some will say, "If boot camp stories scare a recruit, we don't want that kind of an individual in our Corps anyway," and I would agree, except when some of these youngsters still want to be Marines but stress they hear these stories from their parents and cannot convince them to sign them in, or give them their "blessings" even if they were over 18. Instead, anxious to get into the military, they join another service rather than wait another year or for any "blessings." Fortunately, recruiting is not a problem for our Corps today, but it wasn't always so and could be in the future.
I recall the difficulty of having to "defend" stories about excessive malice or physical hitting of recruits when I was a successful two-tour Recruiter (NY/NJ Dec50-Mar52; KY Dec55- Jan60) who thoroughly enjoyed the experience and challenge of finding new, qualified and suitable recruits. Both tours were at a time when if it weren't for the fact that there were wars going on (Korean War and later the Vietnam War), and an active military draft in place, all of which resulted in a couple of the military services having "waiting lists." This afforded Marine Recruiters an available "pool" of possible recruits we might not have otherwise have had, or we would have had an even more difficult chore of even coming close to making our monthly assigned "quotas" (yes, we indeed did have them). Consistently missing those quotas could have had a deleterious effect on many more Marines careers than it did.
Imagine having to defend the Ribbon Creek Incident that occurred on the night of April 8, 1956, when Staff Sergeant Matthew McKeon, a junior drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC marched his assigned platoon into Ribbon Creek, a swampy tidal creek, resulting in the deaths of six Marine recruits. (McKeon was found guilty of possession and use of alcoholic beverage).
The first month after that "incident" as NCO-In-Charge of a two- man "recruiting sub-station" I lost six or seven hard-to-come by potential recruits--at a time when even one lost recruit affected our entire States' quota. I lost them not because the potential Marine didn't want to go, but as a result of the headline stories that incident created, their parents either wouldn't sign for them (if under 18) or flat out told them they'd disown 'em if they did. The fallout from that "incident" lasted several more months before it died down-in fact, we recruiters were directed to write reports about the affect of that incident on our recruiting efforts.
Related to this subject, the following quote is from the review of a new book about Boot Camp titled, "This Recruit: A First Hand Account of Marine Corps Boot Camp Written While Knee Deep in the Mayhem of Parris Island http://thisrecruit.com/:
"After the hump we moved all our belongings into our new squad bay. Then it was time to change over into PT gear and begin cleaning the rifle range barracks. We got undressed "by the numbers" and the Drill Instructor's first order was to remove our right boot. Knotted laces prevented me from untying my boot so the Drill Instructor bent down, reached around the back of my leg, grabbed the heel of my boot and completely upended me. As I lay on my back, with my foot in the hands of this madman, he pulled and tugged on the boot, indifferent to the fact that he was literally swabbing the deck with my flailing body. When somehow the tied boot came free of my aching foot, the Drill Instructor hurled it toward me as I lay in stunned disbelief on the deck. The size eleven combat boot drilled me in the chest and, although adrenaline prevented it from hurting, it knocked the wind out of me. Defeated, I rose and returned to my spot in front of my footlocker. As I stood on line with one boot on and the other still cradled in my arms, I began shaking violently, consumed by rage, despair, and regret."
The "common denominator" here is uncalled for and unnecessary physical torment and gross misconduct. This book (certainly the quote) appears to have some of the same kind of stories many of us write in the Newsletter and elsewhere, though I don't recall any one else calling their DI a "madman," or saying they were beginning to "(shake) violently, consumed by rage, despair, and regret" as a result of their DI's behavior. Would most parents sign "consent forms" for their 17-year old Son, or for that matter, their daughter, after reading this?
So any future "Ribbon Creek-type incidents" or major mistreatment stories we all like to tell, including those that appear to be contained in this book, may not only have serious political/military overtones, but in difficult recruiting times (even allowing that today's recruiting is not quite as difficult as it was during the Vietnam War for instance), could have current or future harmful recruiting results.
Does that mean we shouldn't tell such stories or write such books? Of course not, I just intended here to relate how other "unintended consequences" could occur if and when we do.
Gerald F. Merna
1stLt USMC Ret.
HMLA 267 Flightline
Here's two submissions both Camp Pendleton Flightline 1969
Semper Fi choochoo
Give Me Tomorrow
I hope this finds you well. Da Capo Press just published a book that I thought would interest Sgt Grit and the newsletter readers: Give Me Tomorrow: The Korean War's Greatest Untold Story-The Epic Stand of the Marines of George Company, the amazing story of a legendary Marine company's valor in the Chosin Reservoir. If you haven't seen one yet, would you like to take a look at a complimentary copy of this book for review?
A little about the book: Written in the tradition of Band of Brothers, Give Me Tomorrow tells the untold story of "Bloody George," a Marine company formed quickly to answer their nation's call to duty in 1950. George Company 3/1 would find themselves at the tip of the spear in some of the Korean War's most bloody battles, making no less than five epic stands. These modern day Spartans held off ten to twenty times their number of enemy troops. A band of survivors, the men braved not only the overwhelming enemy but also weather conditions of 40 below on the frozen tundra of the Chosin Reservoir.
(For more information about the book, visit: GiveMeTomorrowBook.com. You can also find Patrick O'Donnell- author of We Were One-on Facebook)
I went to boot camp in 1951, we were using the 03 for sniper training, our regular weapon was the M1, at that time you fired every weapon the Marine Corps had, 50 cal, 30 cal. Rifle grenade, flame thrower, 45 and 38 hand weapons BAR, which I ended up with in Korea, carbine, bazooka. and of course the M1. also at Camp Mathews we had a couple of weeks of hand to hand, went to infantry training just up the road Tent Camp 2 for more weapon training. Retired Jan 1971 at Headquarters Marine Corps in Arlington, Va. Tours in Korea, Lebanon, Vietnam. Good life wish I was still in.
MSgt W.L. Robishaw
Sgt. Grit! James V Merl wrote that he kept the same rifle from Boot Camp in 1957 until he left Okinawa for Camp Pendleton Ca. for discharge. I was in the Marine Corps from Jan.1952 until Jan.1956 and never heard of this policy. Whenever I changed units I had to turn in my weapon along with my 782 gear. The only time that I took my M-1 with me was when we left Staging Regiment for Korea and left it there when I rotated home. So I was wondering when they started this policy and if they still do it.
Ira Joseph 1224347
I was at Camp Pendleton in January-February 1955 (and again in June 1956, prior to boarding the troopship USS Bexar at San Diego). I remember the "Devil on the Shore of Tripoli" song/ditty a little differently from another poster's recollection. The words, as I recall them, started with "Mine," as in "Mine eyes have seen the Glory of the coming of the Lord" in the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," after which the song/ditty was fashioned, and also had a different fourth line:
Mine eyes have seen the Devil on the Shores of Tripoli.
He wore the Globe and Anchor just the same as you and me.
He also had a Guidebook and a hash mark on his sleeve,
And a woman in his arms.
Glory, glory, what a helluva way to die;
Glory, glory, what a helluva way to die;
Glory, glory, what a helluva way to die,
As a ragged-azs Marine.
control tower operator, MCAS Quantico, Virginia, and MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Sgt. E-4 Semper Fi
Loose Flash Suppressor
I just read the question from Sgt. Liam Jones about what would happen if an M-14 flash suppressor happened to come loose during qualifications. I was a fresh armor out of Small Arms Repair School and got sent to Camp Pendleton in the late summer of 1970. I was the one running up and down the firing line answering the call of 'armor'.
During that time M-14's were still being used for qualifying. I do not recall ever having a flash suppressor come loose at any time on the firing line. However, if one had come loose, I believe I would have given the shooter an alibi.
We were told that if for some reason the rifle did not function because of something the shooter did or did not do then that did not qualify as an alibi. If however something beyond his control caused the rifle to malfunction (broken firing pin, hangfire) then he rated an alibi and would get to shoot over.
Granted, a flash suppressor could have been loosened on purpose, but that required more investigation time then you have when you are on the firing line. Also, I did not recall receiving any manual on what to do in each case encountered on the firing line. It was mostly experience and feedback from other armors.
If I remember correctly, the NCOIC of the firing line usually made the final decision but he relied on our feedback. Hope this helps.
Cpl. David Mendiola
Sgt. Liam Jones posted a question in the last newsletter about what would happen on rifle qualification day if the Flash Suppressor (which includes the front sight) on the M-14 rifle were to loosen up and shooter started getting some Maggie's drawers? Would the shooter get to refire the shots? The answer probably is NO.
During a Slow Fire phase such as Offhand or at the 500 yd line,-- All shots fired are scored as is, and the shooter loses. The shooter should have checked the rifle for proper functioning before going onto the firing line. Also, there would be no way to know how long the sight had been loose and which shots should be refired.
During a Rapid fire phase, the shooter might get an "alibi" for that string of fire if he (or she) notices the problem, stops firing, and raises his hand without applying "immediate action". The line officer will then come over and determine if the "alibi" is warranted due to a "rifle malfunction:". If the alibi is granted the shooter will refire that string of fire on an alibi relay.
I believe that I saw something like this problem happen to Sgt. Barbara Boxer, Marine Corps Rifle Team in about 1996 at the National Championships, Camp Perry Ohio. Sgt. Boxer got up from the 600 yd firing line in the middle of her string of Slow Fire and went to the Marine Corps armorer's van, had her rifle repaired and then returned to the line to finish the required number of shots -- all in the 20 minutes allowed for the 20 shots for record. No alibi was granted, no shots refired, all shots scored as is.
We Marines don't forget how to shoot. Even at 68 years old, I requalified this past summer as "Expert" using the AR-15 (M-16 type) rifle.
Here's a few pictures of this event that included the USMCR rifle team in attendance.
Jim Evenson Marine, Nam '66,
Distinguished Rifleman's Badge #1256
The Marine that is looking for the record, The Making Of A Marine can use this info to find it on the internet...
THE MAKING OF A MARINE NO. 804
Published by DOCUMENTARY RECORDINGS
Narrated by JOHN HART
Recorded, written and edited by GEORGE CASEY Of Los Angeles, Calif.
It was recorded in 1960 at MCRD San Diego.
Hope this helps...SEMPERFI...
J.K. Mc Daniel 2108089
In the newsletter dated 21 OCT 2010, Howard M. Hada (#1989822), asked about this record...I found the record on Amazon
D.J. Ken's Mobile Music
I recently read in one of your newsletters of someone wanting a copy of "The Sounds Of Boot Camp". I was a Drill Instructor at Parris Island from Jan '70 to March '73 and while there one of my platoons were involved in making a recording that was later released as "The Training Of A United States Marine, Parris Island". It was Copyrighted in 1972 by Documentary Recordings and their address is Box 24605, Los Angeles Ca. 90024. There are several pictures in it along with the LP and the Platoon of mine that was involved have several pictures included.
Don't know if the company is still in existence as of now but it may be worth a try for someone to write them and inquire about it or other recordings they may have made previously or later than the one I have. If it is worth having, it is worth a try. What do they have to lose other than a postage stamp. I have no Phone number listed or I would include it.
Billy J. Russell
I have the 33 1/3 LP "Making of a Marine in the original sleeve. I am willing to part with it for one of my brothers.
N. D. Houvener
MAG-11 DaNang 65-66
Re: ARTICLE KOREA 1954
To: Jack Strumpf
I was also at K-3 at Pohang in 1953-54, 1st MAW MACS-2 MTACS-2
Technician: Repeater and Carrier Telephone Equipment They didn't have that kind of equipment when I first got there, so I was stringing wire on poles and working a switchboard for 6 months until it arrived. I was there for quite awhile, so we must have met. Sorry, I don't have a picture.
Bob Roper 1335776
M-1 to M-14
Boot SDiego Sep 61 Plt 272 -1985066- Cpl Petri SSgt Marez, and ole Corps SSgt then passed test 2d time GySgt Myers who always came back to Plt at 2AM (but they not suppose to do that - recruits need 8 hours duh). Walking with Jesus... Walking with Jesus Left right left right... Get out of those racks you &&&&
We had M-1's then to 1962 March staging Bn we transported 2500 M-14's over to Okinawa to be further transferred to Marines in Vietnam Danang... however We turned them in 3 times and got M-1s. Then the third time at formation Sukiran (12th Marines we fixed up the army's condemned barracks we moved from Hague Quonset huts to Concrete Typhoon barracks.) I raised my hand and asked Gy Parson's Hey what's the deal we have turned the M-13's in 3 x's and got them back 3 x's. Oh the wise college kid huh...
Well the piece on the right side was cut wrong and if u fire the d*mn weapon full auto for a long time it freezes and locks up but you have a d*mn good club... shut up and don't ask so many questions...
Our m-1's were put in the ocean off white beach and we got M-14's toward the last of '63 when we went to Vietnam aboard the terrill county when Diem was being ousted...
When I made capt and was back over to D/2/12 & E/2/12 who do I see Is GySgt Parson. When I asked him how did he succeed in staying a GySgt His lst action was Millson I thought I made u an officer... He still; had the same tooth pick he had in 63 when I last saw him. Said they never did get the M-14's right and guess the bad M-14's were with the good ones at 12th Marines and ninth Marines in 60-65 volunteer's on the strip Danang
I enjoy reading the stories and comment from all of the Marines. I arrived at Parris Island on July 27, 1970 and was issued a M-14 for the duration of my tour at that vacation establishment. I saw a number of them go flying down the squad bay and bounce off the wall or columns and still shoot just fine at the rifle range ( tough piece if iron). That was the last time I handled a M-14, we had M-16s at ITR, and M-1s to qualify with later.
For a time stamp, my group was given Selective Service numbers and about half way thru boot that was changed to our Social Security number, so my sea bag has both numbers on it like the rest of that group. Our D.I.s were Gy Sgt. H.B Woods, Sgt. J.Taplin and SSgt. R.B. Pennell a good bunch, they did their job well!
Semper Fi to all that have gone before and to all that will follow.
MCRD, P.I 3 rd Bat. Platoon 393 Oct.16, 1970
MAG-13, El Toro 1971-72
MB Treasure Island 1972-74
Sgt. Ron Shelor 2666232
Cpl. Dufour asked the question when was the M-14 introduced at Parris Island.
I'm not sure but the first time I saw the M-14 I was on patrol along the fence line down in Gitmo. One of Castro's soldiers was carrying it. I did not know what it was and asked another Marine who had been there longer than me and he told me "Oh, that's the new M-14 that we're supposed to be getting". That was the Spring of 1961.
L/Cpl. Wm. Joseph- "60"-"64"
My experience with these rifles is this:
I was in platoon 317 in February of 1962 in what was the 316 series (316 - 319) We were told that this was the first FULL platoon to be issued M-14s. We qualified at Camp Matthews, and went on to ITR at Pendleton at San Onofre area where we were issued M-1s.
I thought that was pretty cool, since I liked about any rifle, but I learned a lot of my shooting skills with an M-1 my brother bought from what once was the largest military surplus center in the world in Lincoln, Ne. (It has become a hydraulic pump supply house now.) We also received training on the BAR model 18, and I dearly loved that gun.
We were truly the 'transition Marines' of time. We learned both the M-60 and the Browning 1919 A-4/A-6 models and the 3.5.
I have always wondered how much more difficult it was to Qualify with the M16 as compared to the M14 that I used from Boot camp( PI) all the way through the wing. I served 1966-1970. Got issued an M16 when I got to Danang but never even fired it. I was a test equipment repair and calibration tech. I flew to all the Marine Air wing bases but never got in a jam, I also carried a 45 when I travelled. But we all fired the M16 for the first time in Pendleton in the pre west pac training just prior to going over.
I was a high Sharpshooter Rifle and Pistol, (always choked a bit on Qual day) but when I fired the M16 I couldn't imagine how one could do the 500 yd line. I mean the M14 was a dream but this mattie Mattell thing didn't seem like it could even get down range, never mind hit the paper.
I know there are records kept and many big time Experts who did as good, maybe better, with the M16 as with the M14 but can anyone tell me whether it was as difficult as it seems from this ole Air winger who never really got in any bad situations. I'm sure up close and personal the M16 would be maybe a superior device since it's light and fast but out there like 300-500 yds can it still do the job?
I always admire the "Real Marines" who did the actual combat. I felt like I wasn't really doing my part since all I did was travel around with a Tube Caddie and an Oscilloscope. Sure like all Marines I was trained but really I had it made. My heart goes out to the guys who were in the "suck" and did it every day. I just wonder if they had the best weapon for the job. I hear that Special Op's are trying to get M14's since they hit harder.
These kids today are amazing, all the vests and gear they take into the field and the conditions are easily as bad if not worse than it was in Nam.
Sept. 1961- Plt 370, we were issued M-1's & told we would be one of the last to train with that wonderful Marine weapon, the M1 Garand per Gy/Sgt. Delkoski, the meanest 5'7" SOB you could ever ask for. We went to ITR ( Camp Geiger) in Dec, broke for Christmas & returned in Jan. to complete our training, with an M1, in the dead of Winter in NC. I can't remember ever being that cold again, remembering the 'force march' in the middle of the night about 5 minutes after we got our shelter half's put together & got in our sleeping bags. Remember you were told to take off your utilities & sleep with them. Dressing in your bag & packing your gear while being challenged to your manhood is seared into my memory.
A buddy of mine was having trouble so I took his backpack & wore it on my chest and our Plt. was the first back to our base. Another Marine carried his weapon & 2 others carried him. Later we found out he was seriously ill with pneumonia.
Cpl. Peter J. Stein
4th Plt. 'B' Co. AmTracs, Courthouse Bay, NC Sep. 61-Sep 64
PS- I believe Cpl. Harkness (earlier submission) was in my company .
Grit... re the M-14 manufactured by Singer... neva hoppen, GI... not even listed as a mfr of M-1 or M-2 carbines, and some of those were even made by Rock-Ola... which some of your more 'ahem...seasoned' readers will recognize as a prolific maker of juke boxes... all quickly available on Google...
Pendleton range qualification day 1958.
Just before my firing time I leaned my M1 against the rear tire of a 6X and went back to fill my canteen from the water trailer. 6X driver did not see me and moved forward, dropping my rifle and crushing it with the truck. Nothing but splinters and steel parts. Went to the armorers trailer who put on a new stock but did nothing to the internal parts. I just knew it would explode in my face if fired, so asked for a new rifle, and was denied. Asked the range officer for a new one and was denied, he handed me a clip and ordered me to fire it. Closed my eyes, moved my head to the side, fired the whole clip. No problem. Fired it for record and got a 247.
Cpl C. J. Jump 1635070
1956 - 1962
I've read all the recent stories related to the M1-M14 and there are a lot of varying opinions. Although I wasn't issued the M-14 ( PI 1960 ) I did have a chance to use it later on.
In 1961 I was stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii; 1/4 C Company 1st Plt. Later in the year (I don't remember the month) we were issued M-14's for a "fam" firing trial. We carried it in the field through the sand, mud, rain and lava pits while firing at pre-determined targets. Needless to say it didn't perform very well. The primary malfunction was jamming in the magazine area. This occurred with live rounds as well as blanks.
We gave it a failing grade as compared to the M-1. There was also a toggle switch on the side of the weapon that would switch from semi-automatic to full automatic. We were not allowed to select full automatic. If I remember correctly it was rendered inoperative. We were told that full automatic was not yet perfected.
We then moved to the firing range. Getting into position seemed awkward. We agreed that it had to do with the magazine, but with practice that could be overcome. However firing on the range was a disaster. We all had difficulty attaining even a marksmanship rating of 190. Myself and others previously fired expert with the M-1.
The M-1 is a great weapon, just not good for close-in combat or jungle operations. The M-14 operated just like its namesake (Singer) and was terrible. Evidenced by the quick removal from the Military during the early part of the Vietnam war.
Sam Goody Sgt
1959 USMCR 1960-63 USMC
Coming into the family in 1967, the M-14 was well in use at PI. This was an outstanding rifle and great at long range. It is due to the quality of the M-14 and the marksmanship training, that I was able to qualify with a 249. With the like abilities of my fellow Marines (recruits), we obtained the, MCRD Match Member winning platoon ribbon. Sorry to say my score was only second highest, my fellow Marine's 250 score took the trophy. When we went on to ITR, we were issued the M-1 which may have been a great rifle at one point but the abuse they were receiving in ITR training caused concern has to their firing ability. ITR training was not good to these rifles as it was a matter of just getting the Marine through, to make them available for Viet Nam. Sad end for a great rifle.
Sgt. Dale N Scouten
USMC 1967-1971 (always) 2358268
PI Plt. 3028
I have read CPL Tooley's story 4-5 times and there is either a 'typo' in his story when he says his DI's, "Sgt Barefoot and SSgt Dobson taught us to open the bolt on the M-14 with the left hand" should it be the M-1 or, as every PI trained Marine like me, knows MCRDSD Marines are issued 'sunglasses' and if it there isn't a 'typo', an M-14 that was different from all the rest in the Corps. If it's not a 'typo' I'm still trying to figure out how I would engage the 'bolt lock' if I used my left hand to move the operating rod & bolt to the rear for inspection arms. I guess I could have done a long reach with my right thumb to engage the lock but I believe this wouldn't make for a smooth precise military movement plus I think the rifle would be unstable while doing this.
Different subject, when I was at PI I remember the 'nicknames' for the 3 RTB's as; 1st - Twilight Zone, 2nd - Dodge City, 3rd - Disneyland
CWO3 Rick Leach, Retired
Plt-290 PI Sept-Dec '65
In reference to 'In this Issue', I take it the M-16 A-1 and A-2 are both obsolete by now since I never hear anything about them and the M-1 and M14 are both frequently talked about. I'm sure everyone knows as well as I do that the M203 Grenade Launcher is only compatible with the A-2. If that's inaccurate, I've never seen the M203 attached to any other weapon. What did they replace that with nowadays?
Dear Sgt Grit.
When I enlisted in 1958 I was issued an M1. By the time I retired in 1978, I was carrying the M16. I used the M14 in Nam in 1966, and the M16 in 1970. I know this is just one man's opinion, but for my money the M1 was the best of the bunch. She was a muzzle heavy old b-tch, but if you treated her right, she would put one twixt your running lights at 500 yards every trip of the train. and you didn't need a scope to do it.
My name is Herb Jacques I enlisted Aug 1942-MCRD San Diego SN 444596. I was issued an M1 not an 03. Just a point of info.!
Old but still a Marine.!
They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake."
[Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991]
Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done!