Hello being a former Marine my family receives your catalog regularly. My son Brandon Devlin is a cadet in the MCJROTC program in South Iredell High School and will be attending the Marine Corps ball again this year through the program.
Between Halloween Thanksgiving and the Marine Corps birthday my wife was inspired to honor my son's commit to the Marine Corps and create this little masterpiece. Her photo was selected to be featured in our local newspaper and I was hoping that maybe you can find a small spot in your upcoming issue to add one of these pictures. Her masterpiece is titled "Boo Rah" Semper Fi
In This Issue
"Ray" you sent me a story responding to my comment about smart comm guys. I stupidly deleted it. Please resend to me... so much for smart comm guys.
Last year I went to my first Marine Corps Marathon to watch my son-in-law run it for the first time. This year my daughter decided to run with him, so I was there again this year to watch her. It is great to watch the young Marines help the crowds and the runners. It is very well organized, as you would expect a Marine event to be.
Below at the end of the letter you will find a few photos from the event. A lot of costumes. A lot of flags being carried to bring attention to various causes. Also, Drew Carey, Marine Sgt in the 1980's, ran. One picture is of him as passed by. He just took up running in the last year and this was his first full 26.2 mile marathon. He was struggling a bit towards the end, but he made it.
Here we go: China Marines, swooping and revenuers, didn't realize, "Oh? ven vas you dere?", for a long moment, what a hulk that was, 30 seconds to spare, do the math, traversing rice paddies, fun with that one, numerous landing exercises, month's pay was gone, meet at the Top Hat, NVA shell at Khe Sanh,
Fair winds and following seas.
Here is a (faded) photo of an Ontos firing at night in Vietnam in 1969.
While going through a closet to discard junk saved over the years...
I came across some dinner menus that had fallen out of some photo albums from Vietnam
So here is the cover and the inside of our Marine Corps Birthday dinner menu and a picture with me as one of the cake escorts. Didn't realize at the time the honor that was bestowed back then. Took time to realize that!
Course our hangar was no where's near the chow hall. So our meal was unceremoniously delivered in big vats.
Reading the C.G.'s message; Yesterday was the Old Corps, today is now, and tomorrow is the New Corps!
This was at VMO2 1st Marine Air Wing Nov 10, 1970
Sgt of Marines
"Oh? ven vas you dere?"
Full disclosure... spent first tour '66-'67 split between K/3/5 (Plt Sgt) and 1st Tanks (Ass't Maint O... long story) and second tour with ForkLIftCommand... last six, seven months running LSU 1 at An Hoa, rotated home August of '70...
So, anyway, having acquired sufficient years to become a suspect for prostate cancer, I was visiting my friendly local urologist in Fremont, CA... Dr. Assali (just nothing like having a Greek urologist... good man, actually... Harvard Med, three years in the Navy at Balboa Hospital)... he had an Office Nurse, name of Helga, who had an accent, and quite a few miles on her, not all on paved roads...
Doc had determined that a prostate biopsy was in order, and that it was something that could be done 'in office'. Now, this involves some longish stainless steel thingies with nippers of some sort on the end, and these are introduced at an after orifice usually involved with things passing the other way... So, as they say, there I was... left side recumbent, best side exposed, (think 'full moon, here) on a cold steel table, staring at files filed with medical records (arranged in alphabetical order... good idea... ), and Doc is behind me, getting his pound of flesh with his stainless steel sample- getters (four times, as I recall...) Helga is in attendance as well.
As they must be taught at Harvard Med, the Doc felt obligated to enquire my status while doing whatever it was that he was doing back there, with a "how ya doin?" (probably in more cultured tones than that, but that was the basic question... ) My reply was: "Doc... I been shot at with real bullets, and this is just a medical procedure, so let's get on with it"... This prompted Helga to ask "Oh? vere vas dat???" Refraining from some snarky comment about from my age you couldn't tell?, I just replied "Viet Nam"
This brings the next question: "Oh? ven vas you dere?" This led to the usual recitation, not that I thought this Brunhilda would have the slightest notion about any of this... as it turned out, she had also been at An Hoa, working with a German medical mission, and we probably had not been more than 500 meters apart at the time... big difference was: she was outside the wire... and I was inside. Doc finally said "you two can tell your war stories later, I need to get this procedure done"...
In 1968-69, several Marines from Memphis, stationed at MCAS New River, NC would jump into a '57 Chevy about 17:30 Friday and head out for home. There was no interstate through the Smokies, so we took 25/70 out of Raleigh, I believe. Anyway, it had more twists and turns than a politician at a town meeting and the driver made tires squeal at every one of them. We made great time and by 06:30 Memphis time, the boys were back in town - a mere 900, or so, miles from base.
In August, I made 4 visits to home. One was not a swoop, but Marine Corps authorized trip. I was with HMH-361, which was a CH-53 squadron. The late Captain Rudy Nebel was flying a cross country to Millington, TN, just north of Memphis and I hitched a ride. My family came out to the station and got a tour of the helicopter and were treated to a wild takeoff show by the Captain when we left. He dipped the nose of the bird way down on takeoff and quickly gained a ton of airspeed before pulling up on the collective and rocketing the thing into the wild blue. Later in Nam, I was glad those birds could GTHOD that quickly!
Anyway, back to the swoops. Seems that our goings and comings drew attention along the route through the mountains. With clock like precision, we blasted through the mountains every Friday night, heading west. Then, after leaving Memphis as late as possible on Sunday afternoons, blazing back east through the mountains in the wee hours of Monday. Once, on a cold winter's night, with windows fogged up, we noticed a car was actually keeping up with us through the mountains. We couldn't tell who it was but the next thing that happened was way off the charts.
It passed us on an outside curve like we were standing still, slowed down and made us pull over. By the time we were stopped, another car was close behind us, as well... both doors open and men in jeans and jackets pointing hand cannons at us. The two men from the front car came walking back to our car, full of now very concerned young Marines. The men were also dressed in civvies, carrying those huge multi-battery flashlights which also make great bear-killing clubs and 19ll .45s stuck in their jeans in the small of their backs. We thought we were done for.
They made the driver get out and the others gave our car a thorough inspection, under the car. After a few minutes, the driver got back in and told us that the men were federal revenuers on the lookout for moonshine runners. They figured we had a load to take to somewhere west, like Nashville or Memphis, and were trying to duck under their radar by our late night driving. Did I mention that it didn't help that the driver had jacked up the rear of his car and, for some unexplained reason, had painted his gas tank white? That tank looked like a huge tank of 'shine to the Feds.
The driver said he told them we were Marines out of Jacksonville, NC "just trying to visit our families as much as we could before being shipped out to Nam" - a favorite excuse for all sorts of vehicular infractions. They simply told us "y'all drive careful, now" and blasted off into the night. We took off, laying rubber, and at a sharp curve just down the road, we spotted the cars, lights off and back up a small gravel road, waiting for other "cars of interest." We were never again stopped in that area.
Cpl Joe McCoy
Hue/Phu Bai and Marble Mtn. RVN - '69 - '70
Hey Sergeant Grit, I see in the last supply letter there was a picture from Cpl. Lou Albert standing by an Ontos. I'm fairly sure the vehicle is an Otter. here is a picture of what is left of an Otter destroyed in its revetment by an NVA shell at Khe Sanh about March or April '68.
R/S Cpl. Ted Picado 2183987
Let's Di Di
Just thought I would pass on another story to you. As you know after 30 some odd years of earning the title Marine, not all the stories we tell will be about our outstandingly good behavior. For instance while aboard the U.S.S. Guadalcanal LPH-7m (MED- I.O. 1980), my best buddy and I were standing on the cat walk after the smoking lamp was out and the ship was darkened. We had used sea rat cans to cover the cherry on our cigarettes which we were both aware was very much against the rules. We were almost finished with our rule breaking mission when a Marine came up behind us on the flight deck. We realized we had been busted when we heard him say in a very squeaky voice.(What in f--k and double f--k do you two think you are f--king doing?) (that by the way is a direct quote)
My buddy Steve Coggins thinking this was just some swabbie or winger with no rank and a big head replied, well it looks like we are smoking a f--k and double f--king cigarette. The next thing the Marine (standing at least 8-10 feet above us) says was do you know who I am? I asked and answered at the same time. No, who in the f--k and double f--k are you? When he replied he was LT. f--k-ing Blinkey (not sure on the spelling) Steve said wow what the f--k? Then said that is f--king wonderful for him and asked (quote) Do you know who we are?
The LT. looked at us for a long moment and said no, who? Before he could finish his next tirade of extreme explicative and colorful metaphors and question, I said good lets DI, DI, (P- a term of endearment when you don't want to use names). We were on the mess decks in record time before he could figure out he just got blown off by not 1 but 2 Pfc's working on L/Cpl. I think he may have had an idea who we were but could never prove it, as it was very dark outside that particular night at sea. I still think of that story to this day and still get a little chuckle about it.
I haven' seen or heard from Steve since 1982 when I dropped him at his mom's house in Stone Mountian Ga while my wife, son and I headed to Texas. I thought I was done being a US Marine. Well for about 5 months anyway. Just could not get the bennies and paycheck outside that I could when my uncle still loved me. So I re-upped, yes sir, give me 4 more years then re-upped again for 6 after that and a nice fat re-enlistment bonus. But I still miss my friends, especially Steve Coggins. If you reading this please get hold of me. My e-mail is my name at yahoo.com.
Thank for your time sarge and for the shout out to one of my best buddies in my Marine Corps career as you can tell by my spelling and punctuation I was a grunt not a pog. Semper fi and keep up the good work and the stories coming I enjoy reading every one of them.
sgt. monington usmc (ret)
Hey Sgt Grit,
One of my favorites from Parris Island came from my Senior Drill Instructor was this phrase that I still use today, 35 years later.
"They can kill you, but they can't eat you".
I'm not sure if Chesty Puller came up with that one or not. My DI was a big Chesty fan. Every night, in our rack before lights out, we all sang the Marines Hymn and ended with "GOD BLESS Chesty Puller".
Sgt. Ezekiel Owens, Jr., Plt 273, PI, 1964: "Marines are considered 'Shock Troops,' cuz when we come in it just shocks the sh-t outta 'em!"
Robert A. Hall
After an especially ragged day on the grinder, our junior DI bid us goodnight with a cheery, "Good night, ladies." or "Sleep tight, girls."
Sgt. Dick Stites, 48-52.
You've got 5 minutes... and four of 'em are already gone...
Bends and muthers, all of them that have not been done... ready begin...
Flippity flop, mob stop...
Rise and shine maggots, another day to serve the Corps...
There are only two ways off my island, a greyhound bus or a pine box...
We're on YOUR time now, people...
Yea, though I walk thru the valley of death, I will fear no evil, because I'm the meanest MF in the valley.
You've got 30 seconds, 30, 29, 28, times up maggot!
Did somebody give you "eyeball liberty", sweetpea?
Good night Chesty Puller, where ever you are...
R.W. Morse (Sgt, 69-75)
One of the old standby's sayings at PI. "Ladies PT is strictly mind over matter, I don't mind and you don't matter." Bend and Thrusts forever, begin.
At the Marine Corps Marathon
Pic 1: Crowd near finish line
Pic 2: Daughter in green
Pic 3: Daughter and son-in-law after race.
Pic 4: Drew Carey in the yellow and black jacket near center of picture. That's about as close to fame as I get.
See all the Marine Corps Marathon photos
I was in the first Ontos to be in use with the 4th Marines, Kaneohe Bay, TH (Territory of Hawaii). 1957 (or early '58). I was a Cpl (E-3)
Bravo Co. 3rd Anti-Tank Bn., 1st Marine Brigade, TH
Bob Nichols 1st Sgt USMC (Ret)
Sgt. Mark Southerland's story is the perfect example of... "Improvise - Adapt - Overcome"
Sgt. Jeff Strayer '79-'87
I just wanted to add to l/cpl Vaughn's memories, It was Birdland and Jazzland / WITH Paul peek and the peek-a-boos at jazzland. We called the bus the vomit comet. I was there 62-64. Went back in the 90s. Court St was a victim of urban renewal and is now a memory.
Cpl E Libby 192065
I-3-8 AND 2ND recon bn montford pt.
It is my sad duty to report that another WW2 Marine has gone to Guard the Gates of Heaven. His name is "Boone" Cochran. He was a veteran of the Pacific Theater and landed on Iwo Jima and many other of the Islands. Rest In Peace Boone... you've done your tour, now it is time to rest.
HMC(FMF), USN, Ret.
VFW Post 6723, Alderson, WV
Sgt Grit, I have 4 grandsons in the Corps. Yeah. One of them is in the 1/9. How did they get the name "The Walking Dead?"
Proud Marine Corps Grandfather in Colo.
I stand corrected by another K-3-1 Marine regarding the vehicle in the pic. That was an Otter that I am standing next to in the pic attached. The Ontos that provided support for us on some operations had six 106s mounted.
K-3-1 Marine, Vietnam 1966
sarge... i was with 1-12 in nam in 65... i saw in the summer amtrac with 105mm on them back then... do you know what a 107mm howtar was? I served on them in mortars 1-12 in 1964
Michele von Bergen
On the subject of Berets, Baker Co. 1/4 at Kaneohe Bay T.H.. 1957-1958 this company was allowed to wear a red Beret around the company area only. I believe the CO's name was Captain Anderson. The firewatch on each deck was required to walk his post at night wearing a helmet, cartridge belt light marching pack and an M-1 with fixed bayonet. If anyone out there was in First Bn. 4th Mar. at the time and knows about this, please respond on the subject to Sgt. Grit. I was next door to Baker Co. in A/1/4.
Troy Goodspeed, Master Sgt. Ret.
Staff Sergeant Donald G. Brayton, '48-'53, veteran of three battles during the Korean Conflict, Brother, Father, Grandfather and Uncle to Marines all, as of 22OCT11 reported to his last permanent duty station. Thanks Dad for showing us the way. Semper Fi!
Sgt. Russell S. Brayton
To my fellow Marine(s) that did not get a chance to give back, what they gave us I feel for all. I was in service (80 - 84) overseas an sat on our butts on ship wanting to make Beirut a parking lot. It was my hardest time in Corps, got into a lot of trouble due to my wanting payback. Lost a known friend and several brothers I didn't meet personally. Hope my fellow Marines get payback for us all. Thank You W.G. Thompson for saying what I wanted to say for a while.
SEMPER FI Marines. Forever faithful K. A. Turkington
Hey Sgt. Grit and Staff.
Just wanted to say hello. Couldn't do it in person Was on the road with my Dad and went through your AO on Sunday. Was thinking about you guys. Also we saw the Khe San Bridge on I-40 you recently had a picture of. Glad to know it is there and in the proper colors.
Thanks for all you do and Happy Birthday to you and all of our brother and sister Marines everywhere!
As a cook at MCRD San Diego, When recruits were serving mess duty, we used to send them to supply for a case of dehydrated water, or the keys to the basement.
L/Cpl Richard Jenkins your Father-in Law is a China Marine. All Marines that served in China from 1927-Nov 28 1941 and served in China right after WW11 for a few months during China civil war are China Marines. I was in the 1/4 First Marine Brigade Kaneohe Maine Air Station. From 1957-1959.
The Fourth Marines are the China Marines and they were China From 1927-1941. Majority pre ww11 Marines were China Marines and led the Marines in WW11. I had 2 1st sergeants 3 Master Gunny Sergeants were China Marines. They told us the history of 4th Marines.
Cpl James E White Jr
Barrel Was Shorter
Last time I was by there, one LVT-H6 is serving as a museum piece at Pendleton's 21 area (Del Mar)... parked along the main road, parallel to I-5, but inside the base. 1st Armored Amphib moved into the same compound with H&S, 1st Tanks just SW of DaNang air base when they got 'in-country'... the CO was Major Daryl (sp?) Howarth, and I remember a Lt. Gooch (Mustang)...
the Tank Bn folk thought it quite funny at first to slip over into the Armored Amphib hooch area after dark and holler "Fire Mission"... which would result in these hybrid cannon cocker/bilge rats bailing out of their hooches in skivvies and flip-flops, running to man the guns. Word soon came down to knock that crap off...
Our Tank Bn XO at the time was Major McKee... he and Major Howarth had been Lts together in armored amphibs in Korea... which would have been a use after WWII... am pretty sure about that, but will check and correct as necessary...
Another thing about the How-6... like all vehicles in the family at the time, it had twelve 40-gallon rubber fuel cells under the deck plates (used in pairs, via a rotary switch, so as to maintain trim when swimming)... of course, they also had quite a bit of 105MM ammo carried in the main compartment as well, and "NO SMOKING" stenciled all over the place on the interior... never mind what might come out of the breech when the howitzer fired! While the ammo was the same as any other 105 howitzer round, I believe the barrel was shorter than on the regular towed howitzer.
Lt. Gooch was twice decorated for standing outside behind the turret directing fire as his tracks charged a tree line, firing flechette rounds to support grunts taking heavy fire. Besides the P-5's paired with the How-6's, they also had a R-1 retriever, which my Bn Maint SNCO's borrowed one or two times to pick up one end of a mine-damaged M-48 enough to get blocks underneath... 'bout all a R-1 could handle, but... improvise, adapt, etc.
Have a b/w picture of that around here somewhere...
Sgt. Grit: Sending you pics of the vest I purchased from you. I wore it at the United States Seagoing Marine Fleet Review (reunion) in Branson, Mo.
Got many complements on it. We would like to thank you for your support of our organization. In our business meeting the members voted to donate $3000 to the Semper Fi fund and $1000 to Honor Flight Tri State in Cincinnati.
Jim Ploger Sgt.
I Sailed On Some Oldies
Yes, I sailed on some oldies. USS George Clymer APA 27 (Greasy George), Bayfield APA 33, Cavalier APA 37. Also on the first (I believe) Helicopter Carrier, USS Thetis Bay (Ole TB). What a hulk that was. We (1/5), shipped to Korea on Henrico APA 45. A month or so later we boarded her again for Inchon.
Regarding Camp San Onofre, back in the Forties, that was called Tent Camp 2; Las Pulgas was Tent Camp 1. There were no tents, the tents had been replaced by Quonset Huts by the end of WW2. BLT-6 (6thMar) and BLT-7 (7th Mar) were temporarily billeted there in 1949 while the 16 Area barracks were remodeled.
I'm not sure, but San Mateo may have been Tent Camp 3, which was used for a while around 1951 or '52. I can't say when they were re-named, probably in mid-fifties because Camp Horno was already there when I returned to Pendleton in '57. I don't recall it being there when 3rdMarDiv. left for Japan in '53.
Lots Of Guys
I swooped from Lejeune to Framingham, Mass in 1970 on a 96hr pass. My buddy McHugh had assured me that there were always lots of guys going back to Lejeune on Sun. afternoon. Well we had a nice visit and when it was time to go, went to where all the "Swoopers" were only to find exactly, NONE. Believe me I was sweating. At the time I worked as Msg Center Chief MCB Camp Lejeune and my boss wasn't especially understanding about U.A.
Back to story... I went into a store, got a piece of cardboard and a Magic Marker, wrote Camp Lejeune on it and started hitch hiking... Got one ride of about 100 miles then a carload of Marines picked me up and took me the last 600 right to the front of my barracks... a quick whore's bath and shave and I was at work with about 30 seconds to spare.
As I recall, MSgt Bishop's words to me were, "Coup you look like crap. It must have been a good weekend."
Would like to respond to Paul Baptiste, Newsletter 27 Oct 2011, in reference to Honor Flights.
Through Sgt Grit, I was contacted by a gentleman who works closely with the Honor Flights out of Memphis. He has contacted the daughter and it looks like it's going to happen. Thanks for your interest. And, many thanks to Sgt Grit and staff for helping to make this happen.
Greetings Sgt. Grit. Just want to report on the 1st reunion of the 3rd 155/175 gun btry(SP) held at Quantico Virginia on September 22 to 25th. We had a great turnout of 47 members plus guest, totaling 88. It was a long awaited pleasure seeing a lot of guys I served with after 40+ years. We were all just young kids back then.
Went to the Marine Corps Museum, a trip to D.C. and we had our reunion Banquet at the Globe & Laurel restaurant. Had a lot of fun giving out the Sgt Grit goodies you sent! I'm sending a group picture of all the guys who attended and looking forward to our next reunion. Keep up the good work.
L/Cpl Ed Kirby
3rd GUNS, V.N. 68-69
Do The Math
Reading the stories about ITR at San Onofre brought back a bad memory. I graduated boot camp down the road at MCRD with platoon 119 in April '67. As I recall, one platoon from each graduation ceremony was chosen for mess duty at ITR, while the rest went on to training. Platoon 119 got the honors this time.
For 2 weeks I and another private worked in the outside scullery washing metal meal trays. Everyone on mess duty reported to the mess hall at 0400 and the day ended there at 2000, 14 days straight. At that time, we were serving approx. 2000 Marines each meal. Do the math; that is a lot of dirty trays. That duty was probably the worst I had in the Corps, including 'Nam.
But you know what? I wouldn't trade a single day in the Marines for anything in the world. My only regret is that I didn't stay in. I'll be smarter in my next life!
Lou Albert's story, in Newsletter 6685, included two pictures. In the picture on the right, I was surprised to see the vehicle he was standing beside. It was not an Ontos, but an Otter. The official vehicle designation was Carrier, Cargo, Amphibious: M76.
In 1968, I was with 11th Motors and was platoon commander for about 30 Otters. They were built back in the 1950's to transport cargo and personnel on land and water (they had a propeller in the back). Originally developed for use in snowy northern climes, the Otter was light weight (if memory serves me right, the hull was made of aluminum and magnesium), which meant they were great for traversing rice paddies, but did not provide much protection for the crew. The only armament was a ring mount for a .50 caliber machine gun.
God bless the guys who kept them running. There were no spare parts, so several were cannibalized to keep the others running. Seeing that picture brought back a lot of memories.
Thanks for the outstanding Newsletter
I enjoyed reading the stories about the "errands". This story is not about an errand, although at New River in 1969, we did enjoy sending the new guys for "rotor wash" or "flight line".
In the Ch-46, there was a relief(p-ss) tube under each pilots seat. I guess it was for long flights. It consisted of a funnel with a rubber tube. I used to tell the new guys that it was the emergency intercom. I would take the funnel from below the seat and talk into it. Of course, to hear, the other guy had to hold it up to his ear. Had a lot of fun with that one.
Being in Jacksonville for 3 years, I did the Court Street thing too until I wised up.
Semper Fi and Happy Birthday Marines!
Former Sgt. Dave "Hump" Humphrey
HMM-264 avionics, 69-71
G/Sgt. Rousseau ask about being aboard the older APA's I was with shore party, Ist MarDiv and remember two APA's: APA27 (USS George Clymer) and APA 227 (USS Renville) I guess I remember their names because of the numbers. We did numerous landing exercises on the beaches of Pendleton 58-62. I was on a number of LST and LSD, but don't remember their names.
The day before I got out, we all turned in out M-1 Rifles.(24JUN62) Everyone but me drew new M-14's since I was getting out. Semper Fi
Myers, J.K. Cpl. USMC
Sleeves - My Opinion
I served from '78 to '84 and remember the day when I rolled up my utility sleeves for the very first time. I was in one of the last platoons to be issued the old solid olive drab sateen utilities. We were issued 2 sets of sateen utilities and 2 sets camouflage, but this was several years before the camouflage covers. During 1st Phase in boot camp we had to keep our trousers un-bloused, sleeves rolled down, top blouse button secured and cover un-starched. We LOOKED like boots.
But on the last day of 1st Phase, as part of the "ritual" of leaving MCRD San Diego and heading for Camp Pendleton for 2nd Phase we were allowed to start looking the part of Marine. For a solid week or more we had been instructed on how to properly starch a cover, blouse our trousers and roll up our sleeves in proper Marine fashion. So the day we boarded the busses we had our crisp starched covers on our noodles, our top blouse button was unsecured with collar laid flat, our sleeves were rolled up tight and crisp; and our trousers were bloused. It was the first time I started to look like a Marine and the first time I started to feel like a Marine.
I respect the Commandant; the office, the policy, the rank and the man; but I feel we've lost something.
Note to readers:
Recently the Marine Corps changed the policy and no longer allows rolled up sleeves.
In Plt 131 @ PISC in 1962 one of our DI's was walking thru the squad bay after a very bad evening on the parade deck and called the Plt a bunch of DRUT's.
No one knew the meaning of the word, as the DI asked.
He then told us told us that we were not good enough to be called turd so turd spelled backward is drut.
Also, many things are still the same at Parris Island.
My grandson recently wrote and said that his guideon was rolled up and how embarrassing it was to march with-out it. My return letter to him was that we had our guide-on thrown on the roof over our hatch way until we improved. I told him by the time he got my letter his guide on would be unrolled, he was shocked to realize that we after 50 years the same things are done to teach a lesson.
SNCO of Marines
1967 Da Nang
Here is an ONTOS in action taken in 1967 at 1st AT Bn near Da Nang
Several weeks ago a letter was printed regarding the 3rd Engineer Battalion going from Japan to Okinawa. I was in the 3rd Engineers having joined on 4 Aug. 54 We loaded two (2) LST's at Kobe, Japan and sailed on 15 February, 1955 and arrived in Okinawa on 18 February, 1955. We unloaded on the beach by Kadena AFB. The 3rd Engineers were stationed at Tengan and the 3rd Shore Party Battalion was stationed at White Beach, Okinawa. We were the first Marine units stationed on Okinawa since the end of World War ll.
A Month's Pay
My thanks to Sgt. McAdams for clearing up something that has been with me all these years. I had just graduated MCRD SD on 10 July 1957, and had my first liberty weekend from 2nd ITR, San Onofre. Came back late Sunday night, laid my clothes on the rack and crawled in.
Next morning at muster I heard my name called and the Troop Handler handed me my wallet with ID intact, but nearly a month's pay was gone. I just figure that was my lesson for not locking it up someplace, if there was a place. The fact that I got my ID back told me even at 17, that it had to be a Troop Handler, but I figured it was SOP. I was naive enough to think that a Marine would steal from another Marine, at MCRD it was unthought of.
In those days, it was a lot of money to lose, but even harder knowing another Marine had my money. At least I know it was not acceptable conduct, seems the other TH had to know.
Again, thank you Sgt. McAdams.
Cpl (E4) 1957-60
Sure has been a long time since I heard the term "Swoop." I used the Swoop Circle at Lejeune and don't recall what the mileage limits were but knew we were exceeding any limits by driving to Detroit. As I recall the drive time was about thirteen hours. Remember leaving one of our passengers at a gas station because he was taking too long in the head. Don't know if he ever made it back to Lejeune.
For the ride back to Lejeune everyone would meet at the Top Hat on Telegraph and VanBorn in Dearborn Heights at 1400 hours on Sunday. Caught a ride back home for my brother's wedding with a Sergeant in 2nd ANGLICO. His name was Richard Swingen. Honest, that was name. Often wondered if that's where the drill instructors got the term from?
2484603, Cpl., 2531/8662
USMC, 9/68 - 7/71
I am answering the article about the gents from 3/8 had this month on Beer Barrel Highway, rte 17. Well this goes back to '64 and a little later. Camp Geiger at that time was the home of 2d ITR, 2d Rad Bn and 2d Topo Plt. Outside the gate were two bars that were plain Jane but on the inside had a huge pic of Chesty Puller, Most Famous and decorated Marine of all time. Now to go to Court Street, you had the usual pawn shops that were coupled with 'Get Your Dress Blues Here' and a small monthly installment plan. There was Birdland and Jazzland. Jazzland was across the street from the bus station (vomit comet) that ran every hour back and forth to Lejeune.
Birdland was caddy corner on Court Street. Down the street from Birdland was 2d Force Recon's hang out, THE PUB. We had huge wooden jump wings on the wall centered in the middle of the bartenders wall. There was the 8 ball pool hall, the USO down by the river and of course Fisherman's Wharf. And of course you had the lay away plans at all the jewelry shops. My God, there are ghosts still walking those streets. A lot of good memories were left there, many of them. I remember distinctly all too well that bias and prejudice that this area had also
There was recent discussion about our Corps possibly experimenting with berets, like the doggies. I can confirm that we also were issued green cravats, like the army, somewhere about '55 or '56. Also, previous to this, those of us on garrison duty with the 3rdMarDiv in Japan about '53 and '54 were issued flannel, long sleeve green shirts that were worn with the standard field scarf. I will say that the shirts were warm and comfortable, esp. since they did not scratch or itch the wearer. Semper Fi,
Bob Rader Sgt '53-'56
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