Sgt Grit Newsletter - 01 SEP 2011

In this issue:
• Ontos Stories
• 40 lb IED
• Burial Duty

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How many Marines remember the "Mighty Might"?
It had the appearance of a Jeep but was smaller and gave the appearance of a sport jeep. The thing would seem to fly or maybe because of the lighter body would move out. the thing would climb hills I think better than any other vehicle.

In "63" Viegas PR I was dumped off of the back of one and landed on the back of my head, taken to sick bay and was informed of a minor concussion, not to go to sleep for the rest of the day and then back to duty.

Semper Fi
Jim Barr
SNCO of Marines Vietnam Vet 62-73

In This Issue

Labor Day is coming up. We all like to whine about our hours, our pay, our boss, (OK I'm my own boss) our short or no lunch breaks, on and on. Take a breath, sit back and think of those millions without jobs. Then take it a step further and think about our Marines in Afghanistan and other places around the world. We all know the conditions and have experienced it. Take a moment and say a prayer for them. Think about your brothers and be grateful for what you have.

"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us." -- George Orwell

Here we go: no shoes, will never go away, he had to be one or yours, great cake, 6 bee hive rounds, Wolfpack, Bataan-Corregidor, tough foe indeed, X-Day, ribs showing, cannibalization, doesn't work that way, my soul belongs to, thru a maze, Truman, a female, immovable object, the other side, Tabasco Mac, God had it in for me!

To All My Fellow Belleau Woodsmen

'Carry On, Marine!
Sgt Grit

America's Team Shirt

No Booze Allowed

Stationed at Iwakuni in the early 60's. The whole squadron was then transferred to the Ticonderoga, (CVA 14) followed by the remaining time of our tour on the Coral Sea. (CVA 43) A side benefit was that we 'toured" all the big liberty ports in Japan.

At some of the ports, the ships were too large to be allowed to dock at the pier. In those cases we would anchor off and take liberty boats to shore and back. At times, the climb up the gangway could be dangerous to one's health.

Now we all know that there is no booze allowed on any US Navy ships. This particular night one PFC came aboard in a state of significant disrepair to person and uniform. This hard charger saluted the flag, the sentry on duty, and said something that sounded like, "request permission to come aboard." At the time however, he was carrying two full bottles of Saki. The sentry, knowing full well what the rules were, as well as how this PFC was going to feel in the morning decided to give the guy a break.

(A significant crowd was gathering, waiting to get aboard, but also watching this unscripted episode of Gomer Pyle.)

The sentry said that he was going to turn his back and count to five. When he finished, he would turn around, and if everything was 'in order', the rumpled PFC would be allowed aboard. The one condition was that the sake had to be thrown over the side.

The sentry turns and starts counting; the PFC goes to the deck edge; the sentry hears two splashes (assuming that this was the Saki); the sentry turns, and sees the soon to be private trying to get through the hatch with his Saki, missing his shoes..!

J Cooke, SGT , VMA 121 '58-62

Never Reported It

This is the first time I have written. I wanted to know if anyone remembers a rocket attack on Jan 4, 1970, 1:05 am at Camp Hoa Long, Viet Nam. I was with 5th BN. HQ. Co. MT. I was on guard duty that night. There were two rockets that hit outside our wire and the 3rd hit inside our camp. I remember that there were several injuries but don't remember if any of our guys were killed. I got a scrape on my arm but never reported it cause like I said it was just a small cut.

I was able to hide the butt of the shell, and later put a plate on it with my name, date, and place on it and sent it home. I use it as a pen and pencil holder. Every now and then I just look at it and just thank God and my fellow Marines that I made it back. I also had "You really don't know what it like to be alive, till you have nearly died" I never really made time to think about the Nam, I just kept myself busy with school and later became a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff . Now I'm retired and now realized how I just blocked 1969-1970 out.

Cpl. Roberto( Bob) Castro
Long Beach, CA. originally from Texas

40 Pound IED

Hello Sgt. Grit,

I wanted to write to you about a home coming the way they all should be done. LCpl Brandon Long and my son, Cpl Justin Smith, went to basic and OSI training together. After OSI they went onto separate paths. My son went to Charlie Fast 5th platoon, and Brandon went into infantry.

December 21st, 2010 Brandon was in Afghanistan on patrol when he stepped on a 40 pound IED. Brandon lost both of his legs, died 4 times, and lost 80% of his blood. He finally was able to returned home to Fort Wayne, Indiana on June 4th, 2011. Brandon was shocked when he arrived off the plane and was greeted by 15 friends and family members at the gate. Imagine his surprise further when we left the security area and was greeted by the American Legion riders and 500 of his closest friends from Fort Wayne he never knew he had. This wasn't including the 300 riders parked across the street waiting on him to ride behind him to Leo Indiana for a welcome home party.

You can go to Fort Wayne Journal Gazette and search Brandon Long to get the news paper coverage and photos! Our parade of bikes, cars, police and fire was 1 to 1.5 miles long. The police blocked traffic for us, and people were lined up all thru town to wave at him with flags etc. Vets were all lined up, cars pulled over saluting him. It made you proud to be a Hoosier, and an American.

Jeff Smith Proud Marine dad

His Cake

I served 8 yrs active... got out as a Sgt. My son just graduated high school and has already sworn in to go... Ship date is in March... This was his cake for his graduation/goin away party. Courtesy of Jillian Greer at Petit Fours in Toledo Ohio! thought you guys would enjoy viewing it!

Sgt Zieroff II, P. M. 1993-2001

With A Chain


Lieutenant Asher: I drove a 2 1/2 ton truck in Vietnam and a few of my runs was running 105 ammo up to a place called Cua Viet. It was up the Cua Viet River from the city of Dong Ha. It was a beach, all sand. I would drive my truck, with the ammo, on to a Mike Boat at Dong Ha and they would float me up the river. Once at Cua Viet, an Ontos would pull me, with a chain, up the beach to the gun batteries. After the gunners unloaded my truck, the Ontos would drag me back down the beach and push me back up on the Mike boat. The Ontos sure worked good for that.

Mike Finch
H.Q. 1/11 68/69

Cua Viet

Sgt. Grit,

Haven't seen anything on Amtrac lately, so I'm sending some pictures taken in 1968-69 around the Cua Viet area. Maybe someone can recognize them self or know who they are, In the first picture the guy standing in the hatch I think his name is Richard Hill from Calif.

Sgt. Larry Walker
Vietnam 1967-70

Blew You Cover

Noting GySgt Edwin Tate USMC ret'd comments on the use of Michelin maps at Normandy in WWII. I was in Amtracs during the Kennedy/Khrushchev showdown and we did an "almost Cuba" we were in the process of mounting out, planning etc. for a Cuban landing.

I worked in S2/S3. We didn't have enough maps or good maps until someone found, acquired a small supply of ESSO (oil company) maps of Cuba. I also ran a Map room for awhile in the 1st MAW/G2 while the Danang Landing in Nam was being planned. Though I wasn't in the "need to know" list, it didn't take rocket science to know something was coming down and where. as my entire supply of the Chu Lai/Danang area maps were scarfed up, as well as my Navy counterparts.

So Gunny Tate's observation highlights what was a common problem prior to internet resources... when the military decided to zero in on some area there weren't enough maps around, and if you started asking for volumes of them from suppliers you blew your cover, so you had to be resourceful. Besides Michelin and ESSO made quality maps, more up to date and better than the ones available through military channels.

Don Harkness

WWII Posters

I found these on the internet and thought you might want to post them in the weekly letter.
I have never seen these three WWII posters and found them unusual.

M. N. Verhagen, USMC, Cpl. 1966 - 1970

Calmness When Directing

I was read that GySgt Wadley has passed on. I started my Experience at M.C.R.D. San Diego, CA on 29 Dec 1967.
I was a member of the 2nd Recruit Bn, Platoon 202. My Senior D.I. was GySgt Martin, my D.I.'s were SSGT Wadley and SSGT Aames. With their hands on instruction we were able to understand, leadership traits and principles, history, and of course our Commandments the "11 General Orders".

I will always remember the one on one instructions and their always calmness when directing us when we faltered. I'm not sure how many times the Gunny placed the brim of his Smokey on the bridge of my nose and how many bends and thrust a recruits could actually do.

I salute those Drill Instructors and the many more keeping our Corps "on track and on target". In times of stress and discomfort these training's has help this recruit trough 25 yrs. Remember its "God, Country, Corps". Goodbye SSGT now Gunny Wadley may I see you again at Saint Peters Gates.
Master Gunnery Sergeant W.V. Contreras Jr. 2399203 OORAHH

Locked And Loaded On Him

Did you ever pull a weapon on an officer? I did.

I was stationed at Kaneohe Bay with the 1st Marine Brigade in 1972. My unit, Comm Spt Company, was tasked with providing communications with the Commanding General Fleet Marine Force's airplane until it touched ground whenever he was traveling. I was in charge of the "Radio Shot" several times. We had a TSC15 Van with a 1500 Watt Single Side Band duplex radio system that was situated at the top of Camp Smith, Hawaii near a helo-pad and pistol range. We would spend several days living in a Quonset hut that as I remember was somewhat sunken in the ground reminiscent of a bunker. There was a three hundred foot circle of yellow rope around the van that marked the secure area. We had to maintain constant voice, coded teletype, and telegraph service with the General's plane until he touched down somewhere.

The radio was connected to a 50 foot tall Collins Antenna which looked like an old TV antenna only ten times as large. It was remote controlled at one time until a certain Lt. left the cover off the base and went to lunch during a daily rain. After that we had to turn it by hand. As I recall we could transmit to Okinawa and Iwakuni, Japan easily as well as Camp Pendleton on the West Coast. It was sensitive enough I could pick up BBC late at night and listen to the Lone Ranger or hear cab drivers in Tennessee.

At noon Camp Smith personnel, mostly officers, would do their PT runs from the base to the top of the hill and run a lap around our site and then go back down the hill. Most left us alone. One inquisitive guy in PT gear came under the rope to see what we were doing. I politely told him he needed to leave as this was a secure area. He told me he was LtCol So and So and that I should show him some respect due to his rank. Since he was in PT gear and had no ID card I was not sure who he was.

He was determined to look around and I once again politely told him to leave and he got more belligerent. I finally pulled my 45 and locked and loaded on him, telling him if he did not leave I would shoot him. He left in a huff, threatening to have my head when he got back to his office.

At that point I could see my Sgt. Stripes being ripped off and my butt in the brig. Later that afternoon a full bird Colonel shows up and asks for an explanation which I give him in full detail. I was shocked as he said do not worry I had done nothing wrong and that he would have a short talk with the LtCol and we would not need to worry about him or anyone else again.

I ran the Radio Shot several more times and true to his word we never had another problem.

Jim Grimes SGT 1969-72

Ribs Showing

Sam Hess, Sgt E-5
USMC 6-63/ 6-67
Chu Lai Graduate

In Mostly One Piece

I was a Marine and still am I guess, Served 1969-1973 1 yr in Viet Nam, Served as a Radio Operator. FOR
Pick up a little Shrapnel, no big deal.

Got home Safe and in mostly one piece. Now 2011. Have been active all me life and got sick, went to the hospital, and caught meningitis and now in a wheel chair.

I still proudly am a Marine, my car as all the usual stickers of Marines, Viet Nam and so on, BUT NOW my Wheel chair has an eagle, globe and anchor decal on both arm rests.

I am not going to let the wheel chair crumble my spirit, ONCE a MARINE, ALWAYS a MARINE! Semper Fi!

l Love your website, keep up the good work!


Army First Sergeant

While attending the Hawk Missile course at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala an Army S/Sgt informed me that he had put me on report for disrespect of a commissioned officer. What happened is that we had an Army First Lt. as an instructor and when I addressed him, I always referred to him as Mister, as we did for junior officers in our Corps. I explained our Corps tradition to the reviewing officer and apologized to the Lt. and then started addressing the Lt. as Sir.

Attendance of the Army school was an experience. The First Sergeant did not take to Marines at all. He criticized us for our spit shined boots saying that the Army had determined that it was bad for the feet and any criticism that he could throw at us. There were NATO troops in attendance and finally the First Sergeant said that " You Marines give me more trouble than the NATO allies". After so many shots that the First Sergeant took at us, I responded to him by saying," First Sergeant, what makes you think that we Marines are your allies".

This was during the Cuban Missile Crisis and we were integrated into a Hawk Missile company and put on standby to go to southern Florida, however, did not happen. That would have been very interesting, if we had gone.

Cliff Jobes

Will Never Go Away

I can relate to SSgt Parkers experiences escorting KIA's and what it was like at their funerals. Before I joined the Corps, I served in the Army and back in 1968 at my first duty station, the call went out for volunteers for the Honor Guard/Burial Detail. I had to do it and put in the extra time after my regular days duty to train for the Detail. Some days we had two burials a day and it was hard watching the KIA's relatives grieve and I went to Nam with the thought that I could come back as a KIA.

After my tour in Nam, at my new duty station, I volunteered again to be part of the Honor Guard/Burial Detail there, but this time I was the NCO of the detail. As time wore on, volunteers in the Officer and NCO Ranks were few and far between and I found myself in charge of the entire detail and then it began to work on my mind. I had one KIA's mother refuse the Flag and I had to quickly present the Flag to one of her children. Some times when presenting the Flag to the NOK, I could feel the tears filling my eyes and I came close to breaking down right there. Anymore when I hear taps played, tears fill my eyes and I think back to those days in the late 60's and early 70's or the funerals I attended for fallen fellow Deputy Sheriffs, who were killed in the Line of Duty. Those times will never go away.

Former Army SSGT and former USMC SSGT VJ Zigmont


"Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army."
--Orders given to Communist troops in the Korean War; shortly afterward, the Marines were ordered to not wear their khaki leggings.

"No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass."
--George Washington

"It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn."
--George Washington

"A society that puts equality ... ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom."
--economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm."
--James Madison

"Panic sweeps my men when they are facing the AMERICAN MARINES."
--Captured North Korean Major

Short Rounds

Sgt, Grit,
I enjoy reading your newsletter from all our brother and sister Marines. Please keep up the good work. I proudly served with the Corps in 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion and the Sixth Marine Corps District from 1973 to 1977. I pray for all of the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airman who are still in harm's way each day. God bless America and God bless the United States Marine Corps.
Luther Yates
Sgt of Marines

I am a former Marine SSgt., I was in the Corps from 1975 to 1984. I was first stationed at 29 Palms Ca., after I went to boot camp at Parris Island, S.C.. I then promoted to Sgt., and transferred to camp Pendleton, Ca. I spent an overseas tour in Okinawa, Japan then came back to Pendleton. I want to thanks all who have served before me, giving me the opportunity to be a Marine, and those who have served after me. Semper Fi to all...

Rocky Hamilton

I graduated in boot camp sept, 15, 1950. that was platoon 33, 1st Rct bn, MCRD San Diego, Ca. Our senior DI was Tech Sgt J. C. Dozier. He read a statement that President Truman made that the Marine Corps was nothing but a police force for the navy. Sergeant Dozier didn't quite appreciate it and said " that SOB". I was wondering in if anybody still remembers that.. God Bless the U.S. Marine Corps
Semper Fi, C.B. Feeny 1126964 former Sgt.

Sgt Grit, I want to thank the two Brother Marines who commented on my letter posted in the 18 August 2011 newsletter about my duty as a burial escort. I am truly gratified by their gracious remarks. I t meant a lot. Thanks Marines ! Semper Fi 'til I die ,
Wayne R. Parker Cpl. USMC 65/ 69

In regards to James Murphy (1951-1971) 1164618/060665/1302 (plus a lot of other MOSs), give me a break I went and copied and pasted the definition from a web site .I know my left from right and my parents were married, (I checked)
Ron Morneault 74-89

Doesn't Work That Way

Semper Fi, Remo Williams.

I too was a Marine who "did nothing" except my job. I enlisted in December of 1968 and got out in December of 1972. I was "In Country" with 5th Comm. Bn. in Vietnam from January 19, 1970 to February 24 1970---1 month and 5 days. I was on mess duty and helped clean up radio jeeps to be sent back to the states. Then about 25 others and I were sent to units in Okinawa. I went to 2/4, a grunt battalion. We went on two "floats" while I was there but never got close enough to see Vietnam again (just off shore).

After Okinawa I was sent to Camp Pendleton and 1st Shore Party Battalion for my last two years. I used to feel bad because I didn't see any combat but I realized that I performed my duties as assigned and to the best of my abilities. That IS what Marines do. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Stateside Marines are just as important as any other Marine. Not all Marines can go into battle. It just doesn't work that way.

Hold your head high MARINE.
You served honorably. And that's the truth.

Larry V. Anderson (Sgt. U.S.M.C. 1968-1972)

Cups In The Air

Sgt Grit
Not sure if I related this story before...I was a JDI 2Bn F Co SDiego 1958-59. I was in the duty hut doing paperwork when the OD came in. I stood and saluted and he asked if I had seen my house mouse. I said something like "Sir we can't have house mice".

Then I asked why he was asking me and his reply nearly knocked me out. He said, "I was coming around the company street and saw a recruit with two coffee cups. When I told him to stop, he threw both cups in the air and was gone around the end of the street in about a nano second. I knew he had to be one of yours."

Truth was, yes indeed he was. I told my mice if they were ever challenged they better toss the cups in the air and be gone before they hit the ground. I suppose the word got out.
Semper Fi
Rocky Kemp 1439323

Can Of Sardines

I have an Ontos story. In the summer of 1967, we had Ontos at our co. base camp called the "mudflats" which was SE of Danang approx 18 miles out, but never saw it used. Also saw one in Hue during Tet opened up like a can of sardines. The best one was May 1968 at Hill 558 outside Khe Sanh. We had one which was kept under cover most of the time.

One day we received a rumor we would be over-run that night by the NVA. Well, at dusk they brought out the Ontos and parked it on a small knoll facing a tree line to the east. The tree line was approx 1/2 mile away. I guess we wanted to let the NVA know we were ready for them. The Ontos crew fired off all 6 tubes at once with "beehive" rounds towards the tree line. Then about 3 seconds later the leaves on the tree line disappeared. It was quite impressive. Needless to say we were not attacked that night.

RVN 5/67 - 6/68

USMC Museum

I took this photo when I visited our Marine Corps Museum near Quantico. If you have not been to the museum it is well worth the visit. Just make sure you plan for an entire day to see everything. The Marine Corps Museum is the only national museum that serves beer (they have a Tun Tavern in the building).

Todl, Dennis R.
Semper Fi

Wolfpack Reunion

On 30 July 2011, some of the Marines of 3rd Light Armored Infantry Battalion got together for the 20th anniversary reunion from Operation Desert Storm. With the help of Facebook (as well as one Marine knowing where another was living) we got about 100 from the Wolfpack back together for an amazing weekend. We also streamed a live feed and had another 100 watching from around the world. Our unit is credited with firing the first shot in Operation Desert Storm as well as receiving many individual and unit honors as well. We even had parents, spouses and children of our fallen brothers present which was a great healing moment not just for them, but for us as well (14 total lost in ODS).

Anyone who has ever been attached to 3rd LAI/3rd LAR is more than welcome to join our FB page and find his way home. His brothers are waiting. Semper Fi.

Dave Trei
Cpl., USMC
3rd LAI Bn, 7th Marine Regt., 1st MarDiv.
Twenty-nine Palms, CA '88-'93


Dear Friends,

Amazing news about my father, Casey Bazewick, Sr.!

Today I learned that the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Foundation of New Mexico has found, in an archive, a film of the liberation of his prisoner-of-war camp in Mukden, Manchuria, taken shortly after Japan's surrender in August 1945. OSS paratroopers had just liberated the camp.

I had no idea this film existed.

"Hoten POW Camp Liberated" is now on YouTube

At 0:35 in the film, you can see Hoten POW camp where he had been a POW since November 1942. POWs were enslaved, starved, beaten, tortured, shot, and subjected to medical experimentation. He endured three Manchurian winters, with temperatures plunging to forty below zero and colder. From the fall of Corregidor, May 6, 1942, he was a prisoner of the Japanese for over 39 months.

At liberation he was almost 27. It so happens that today is his 93rd birthday. My wife Kristi and I showed him the film at his nursing home. He watched it intently twice. For me, it was most moving to see his reaction. What a gift for all of us!

He doesn't seem to be in the film, nor is there anyone he recognizes, but clearly he remembers the time and place.

In the attached still photos, taken at the same time as the film, he smiles at us across the years, standing shoulder to shoulder with the 4th Marines of the camp. In wonder, we smile back at him, 66 years later.

Two years ago, he was awarded the Purple Heart for beatings he received at the camp, which nearly cost him his life.

Best regards and Semper Fidelis,

Casey Jr.

Hard To Believe

Sgt Grit,

Since you collect quotations, thought this might interest you. It did me.

"It was hard to believe. I realized intuitively that any invasion force which could push ashore so rapidly would be a very tough foe indeed."

Initial reaction of Saburo Sakai, leading Japanese air ace to survive WWII, upon observing the amphibious landing of the First Marine Division on Guadalcanal.

"ZERO!", 1991, Bantam Falcon Books, page 155.

Semper Fi.

--D. L. Mellott, 0302


X-Day, The Invasion of Japan, History Channel, 14 August 2011 This is the first TV program that explained SOME, I repeat, SOME of the problems facing the Americans and to a lesser extent, the Allies, in the Invasion of Japan. The program told about the 600,000 Japanese Troops (including children) stationed all around the Islands of Japan. But! This Program was another Television Program that was intended to apologize for dropping the Atom Bombs on Japan. What they failed to mention was the 5000 planes the Japanese had hidden that would be used as Suicide Planes against the Invasion Force. They failed to mention the thousands of Suicide boats that came from the hundreds of Tunnels around the coast of Japan. This is only two of the Terrible events the Japanese had planned for the Allied Invasion.

If someone wants the facts they can read the 2nd Marine Division Book about when they occupied Japan. They stacked aircraft, with cranes, until there were 50 or so high, and burned them, hundreds of planes. The Suicide boats had Ford and Chevrolet engines in them so they could go 30 knots or faster, inside the bow was 200 pounds of TNT, or two depth charges on either side, so when they came to a ship, they cut the engines and slammed into the ship. Remember the U.S.S. Cole and what happened to it in October 2000, that was the intention for many of the Allied ships in the Invasion Fleet during the Invasion of Japan.

Read about Okinawa and the Suicide planes that rained death onto American ships there, About 50,000 casualties and lots of ships. The Joint Chiefs had estimates of 250,000 Allied Casualties the first day of the Invasion and about the same number or more Japanese Casualties. Some Commanders estimated the casualties (as mentioned in the TV program) to be over one million, both allied and Japanese. Ask anyone who went to Korea what he saw when his ship approached Japan, they could still see the Tunnels with the tracks coming out of them, for the Suicide boats to be launched.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired, WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

Personalized Cosmetics

Just wanted to share with you the enclosed picture of my '98 Ford Explorer to which I added a bit of personalized cosmetics, my bumper had began rusting out which a few holes and blemished chrome. I found some digital camo duck tape would have preferred digital woodland marpat which I could not find and applied to bumper.

I don't tow or have a need for hitches; so, I purchased a dummy grenade, had a boot welded to the bottom and attached to the bumper hitch hole, what a conversation piece this has been! This along with my Vietnam Veteran tag and Marine plate frame has created new friendships as well as those surprising "Thank you for your service" greetings.

I served with the 1st Marine Division in DaNang from Feb '69 to May' 70 I too extended my tour while there; however, was with the 1st pull out or 1970 and sent stateside to HQMC in Arlington to finish out my obligation; Just wish I'd stayed for 20!

Danny Hopkins


For lt. Martin Richard Asher's question about the Ontos in VietNam... am pretty sure both the 1st and 3rd Anti-Tank Bn's were in country by '66. and possibly a company or more of 5th AT's... although my first assignment after ITR in '57 was as a loader (and later, the OC) on C-22 at Pendleton, I did not serve in Ontos in country, although I can recall operating with a section around TamKy. As time went on, the repair parts were just not available to keep them up, and many fell to cannibalization, etc. Others were modified with home-grown versions of multiple .50 Cal, dug in as perimeter bunkers, etc.

There is (or was, as of a couple years ago), a like-new, running, total restoration of an Ontos at Fort Knox... a 7-year labor of love by the volunteers who restored her... she had gone to the Patton Museum about 1973, and had sat outside in the weather for the next twenty years. There is another museum piece along Del Valle Road at 29 palms, painted in desert camouflage (bogus idea, don't think it ever happened during the service life of the M-50) I knew of another being restored by a private owner in Texas... Google probably has multiple sites...


Many Nurses Passed

Sgt. Grit,

Sgt. Jack Pfaller, whose article "It Is The Same" that was published last Thursday didn't live to read it. Sgt. Pfaller, a proud Marine, stood his last watch on 16AUG1011. He was 65.

Sgt. Pfaller's article related how well he was treated when the hospital staff, in which he was being treated, saw his Marine tattoo. He wrote "but the Respect I received from the nurses and techs proves the saying that once a Marine always a Marine.

It wasn't till I tried to call him to compliment him and tell him about a similar situation I experienced that I learned he had passed on. Here is the story:

A few years ago I was forced to have back surgery. On the day I was to enter the hospital I plastered a removable EGA tattoo, that I got from Grit, on my butt. I was assigned to a nurse who told me to undress and put on one of those silly gowns without a back. Which I did. She escorted me into the operating room and told me to get on the operating table, face down. When the nurse pulled the gown off my back, I heard a loud gasp and a whisper to another nurse in the room to come here. Which she did. Another loud gasp and a chuckle. It was quite amazing how many nurses passed through the operating room in only a minute or two; most pausing alongside the table with a giggle.

Finally, the nurse bit; big time. She asked why I had a Marine Corps insignia tattooed there. I said "when I was in boot camp my drill instructor told me that my soul may belong to Jesus but my arse belongs to the United States Marine Corps". By now the doctor and full operating staff were there and the operating room erupted in laughter. That's the last thing I remember. But, after recovering in my room, over the next two days, I was frequently asked by a nurse if I would show them my tattoo. Grit's tattoo made a lot of people laugh. Great fun. Hope you enjoyed it Sgt. Pfaller. Semper Fi.

Ray Kaufmann

Bucket Full Of Sand

In response to "Dirt", I didn't watch G.I. Jane, but what Bob is speaking of I believe may have been similar to what took place with me at San Diego in 1974, during my attitude adjustment in Motivation Platoon, I went in in July of 1974 and was with Plt. 3079, the Senior Drill Instructor sent me to Motivation Platoon, I was there almost two weeks where we were awaken at different times during the evening and sent outside and sometimes we dressed in satin trousers, sweatshirts, and carried or drug a bucket full of sand thru a maze while being sprayed with a fire hose from different positions thru out the maze by Drill Instructors, and at times afterward we ran thru the base still wet and covered with sand carrying the buckets. I went on to rejoin Plt. 3096 and graduated in December 1974.

I then went to C and E school across the grinder, then back to Indianapolis, IN where I spent 9 years as a reservist attached to CommSpt. Co. 4th MarDiv. I meet every Friday for breakfast with other members of the detachment, Col. J.D. Richards, LCol. J. Wolfe, CWO-4 N. Hyatt, Sgt. C. Lawler, Pfc. D. Swindle (WWII veteran of Tinian, Saipan, Roi Namur and Iwo Jima), the meeting itself is a history lesson, also included are an Army and Navy Veteran, these last two suffer great verbal abuse at our hands, but are great guys.

Thank you all for letting me comment and to everyone who has served and is still serving, "Semper Fidelis"

David E. Minardo
Sgt. 1974-1983 USMC

James P. Farber Detachment # 1183 Avon, IN.
Marine Corps League

Exiting His Aircraft

Sgt. Grit,

I remember her well, a beautiful white lady from long ago. I was taken to the ship after being burned in Vietnam in 1967. Despite being in a lot of pain, the nurses, doctors and medical staff were top notch and did everything they could to treat us and make us comfortable. The Marines in my ward were also helpful in even holding a cigarette for me since I was unable to hold my own, due to 36% second degree burns, including both hands.

Several things stand out in my memory. We were off the coast of Dong Ha and had an alert (general quarters) possibly from RPGs being fired at us. I feared I would not be able to save myself since my bandages had me wrapped like a mummy. Thankfully, nothing came of it.

I left the ship to go for further treatment at the 106th Army hospital in Japan. On the way down the ladder way on the side of the ship, two sailors carrying my stretcher slipped and almost dropped me in the South China Sea! The bandages would not be like water wings. I began to wonder if I would make it since the med-e-vac chopper had already almost dropped me, on a stretcher, out the gunner's door at around 500 feet. As I started to slide out, a Marine door gunner put his foot down to stop me from "exiting" his aircraft. At this point, I was wondering if God had it in for me!

It saddens me to hear the ship is being scrapped, but realize the mortality of ships and Marines as inevitable.

Semper Fi.,

Chuck Holland (L/Cpl.)
Combat Engineer, Vietnam
B Co.,7th Engineer Bn., 1967

Ontos Success

Sgt. Grit,
I found this article pretty easily:

Ontos -

The h-ll with Tibet, free us!

Semper Fi
Dick R.

What Was That Smell

Hey Sgt.Grit!

Just read the notice in your newsletter about the U.S.S.Sanctuary being scrapped. So sorry to hear that... while in the Que Son mountains in 69 with Fox 2/5, I was on night ambush and got some strange reaction to some kind of pollen. By morning my eyes had swollen shut and my head was the size of a watermelon!

The med-evac chopper picked me up, and as we were flying I smelled the sea! Where the heck was I going? When the chopper landed, the Corpsmen (I think they were Corpsmen, I couldn't see) lifted me up and I found myself in an air-conditioned place and, what was that smell ??? Perfume ! Oh my god ! I'm dead and have gone to heaven ! My head was burning and I was shaking from the air conditioner when I felt a blanket cover me and a voice as sweet as a summer breeze say: "don't worry Marine, we'll take good care of you"... an American! And a female Nurse ! And I couldn't see ! But I could feel movement and I realized that I was on the U.S.S. Sanctuary... I apologized for the way I smelled and the nurse told me she was going to give me a sponge bath... oh... my... lord!

After receiving the most wonderful sponge bath in my life (had a lot of trouble controlling myself) the doctors gave me medication and after 3 days my head and eyes were back to normal.

During the three days I was on the U.S.S. Sanctuary I received the best care any Marine would need. And the sweet angels of mercy who took care of me were the most beautiful and respectful women I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. The doctors were attentive and the Corpsmen were polite and helpful... I want to thank them all for their dedication and care, not just for myself, but for all the Marines who received the best medical care, a kind word and a helpful hand during their stay on the U.S.S.Sanctuary... this vessel should not be scrapped... it is a ship full.

Of honor to be cherished by us all.
Semper fi!
Clifford "Chip" Ivie
Corporal of Marines, RVN 69-70, Fox Co.2/5

Came "God" Himself

While going through Boot Camp at San Diego in 1952, we were marched to the warehouse to get a final fitting measurement for our Dress Uniform. I was the Right Guide and as we came close to the warehouse where we were to get measured, our D.I., Cpl Ray had us headed right straight towards another Platoon that we were in competition with. They were in an "At Ease" stance and the closer we got the more I thought that Cpl. Ray would give us some kind of command so that we wouldn't "run into" their formation. No such command came and so, being "Good" we continued straight ahead and even though you aren't supposed to break the ranks of another formation, in a short time I was almost half way through that Platoon's formation before the fight broke out.

None of the D.I.'s seemed to be too concerned about this until out of the warehouse came "God" himself, a full Bird-Colonel. Needless to say the D.I.'s then got interested in getting us separated.

When we were finally back in proper formation the Colonel came up to me and asked me is I didn't know, as Right Guide, what I was supposed to do when I came to an immovable object. I informed him that yes I did know, that I was supposed to "Mark Time". The Colonel, in a less than friendly tone, then asked me why I hadn't Marked Time. Before my brain "kicked" in, my mouth responded with: "Sir, they weren't immovable." The last I saw of the Colonel, he was retreating into the warehouse trying not to let anyone see how hard he was laughing. We heard no more about that incident.

Cpl. Edgar Hemmelman.

The Other Side

I was in crash rescue at chu-lai in 66 and we had no f4s.only A4s. We did have 1 f4 come down from DaNang to try an experimental shot from a catapult that morrest had rigged up. Yes he was fully loaded with bombs and 20mm cannon shells. He had a major malfunction upon launch and crashed off the end of the runway in a huge orange/black fire ball. We didn't see the pilot or the R.I.O. eject and a chopper that was in the area picked them up and took them to the hospital before we got to the crash site. Talk about a pucker factor. Fighting that fire and trying to cool that ord. while 20mm shells were cooking off really gets your attn. Thankfully both a/c crew survived.

Now to the escort duty. In April of 1967 I received orders to Marine Barracks N.S. Treasure Island. My orders didn't state what for, just report to C.O. Well I arrived on a friday evening and there were 18 other Marines checking in at the same time and we were trying to figure out what was going on. Since there was only one gate we didn't figure we were going to be gate guards, so then we thought they were going to build a brig. Little did we know that we were going to become remains escorts.

That monday morning we were to report to the SGT. Major's office. Well we get in his board room and they inform us of our new official duties. They told us that they considered this a "Hardship Tour" so we would have no other military duties. We were issued 2 sets of dress blues and a card to memorize when we presented the flag to the next of kin. And we were off.

We covered all the states west of the mississippi. I did go to vancouver british columbia and a fellow escort went as far as American samoa. our sister escort plt. out of Philly covered the east. I went to Drexal Hill pa. which is a suburb of Philly. Anyway to make a very long story short. I was single at the time until oct 68. When I would come in off an escort I would toss my orders. after I got married I would toss them but my wife kept them. "Pack Rat."

I escorted remains from april 68 to Jan 70 all in all I figure I went on well over 50. My wife kept 26 of my original orders. When my discharge date came up in 70 had I re-enlisted it would be more escorts or go back to nam. I had enough of death from plane crashes and grief from other people that I gave up 10 yrs and got out. I can feel for the cpl. that went on 7 and guarantee that I remember each and every one I went on and will till the day I die.

When I go to the wall I not only see the names on the wall of the guys that gave all, but the other side of the wall of the families that gave all. God bless them all. Thanks for letting me rant. Sgt. David Chandler 1880506 [Ret]


"Gimme a huss" Cut me a huss, I need a huss, etc., etc. I had heard (and used the term) for years but never knew where it came from until surfing a while back and came across some info which I will share but make no claims to its validity: One of the most important helicopters to come into the Marine Corps inventory was the CH-34, designated as such in 1962. Prior to that time the bird was known as the HUS-1, first delivered to the Marine Corps around 1954. When a lift was needed Marines would call for a HUS and that came into the Marine Corps vernacular as a term for needing help in some/any form. Truth or fiction??


Going to Boot Camp in Sept 78. We were the last series on Parris Island, to be issued sateen utilities. We received 2 sets of sateen's and 2 sets of cammies. the next series received 4 sets of cammies.

I was able to wear them till MCO. retired then in 1980.

Sateen's were great for Friday inspections. And gave me a part of the "Old Corps" . Just like the old sateen starched cover, went way to the cammie cover.

Love the news letter. Semper Fi

Sgt frank thompson
Plt 1082 (PI) Sept-Dec 78
3rd LAAM Bn (A Btry) 7222 May 79-June 82

Tabasco Mac

Sgt Grit,

I would like to add an addendum to the comment by Cliff Jobes about the fact that a member of the family that produces Tabasco sauce was a Marine Brigadier General. There is more to the story.

The family member was Walter S. Mcllhenny and he entered the USMCR in 1935 transferring from the Virginia National Guard. He was a crack shot with a rifle and was a member of the USMCR rifle team in foreign competition in the late 1930's. 1942 found him on Guadalcanal as a First Lt. and it was his actions there that made him a Marine Corps legend during World War II. During the Guadalcanal campaign he was awarded the Navy Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart and became known far and wide in Marine Corps lore by his call sign/code name "Tabasco Mac". He received a second Purple Heart at Peleliu. At the National World War II Museum in New Orleans lies Mcllhenny's helmet and the Samurai sword that dented it. Mcllhenny was eventually able to dispatch the Japanese officer that wielded the sword.

After the war Mcllhenny replaced his father as the President and CEO of the Tabasco Corporation and vastly expanded the Tabasco empire. He retired from the USMCR as a Brigadier General in 1959 and died in the mid-1980's.

Jim Quam
Sgt. of Marines

Have an outstanding Marine Corps day!

Gung Ho


Sgt Grit

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