Each year around this time my memory goes around to the time when I was in the Corps on Okinawa. We had just gotten back to the rock after a float including the waters by Nam. We were told that we could go see a Christmas show if we got into clean utilities and clean boots. We did and they took us all down to see the Christmas show.
I did not know until we got there that the show was the one and only Bob Hope on his USO tour. This was December 1971 so it must have been his last, or close to it, time doing the show. It was a great show and it sure did pick us up a lot. He was a great performer and always had the top acts with him. The most important thing was that he always did the USO tour for the troops the ones out there doing the job and missing being home. He always want to give to them a little touch of home, happiness and the Christmas spirit and he did a great job of it.
Thanks Bob for the memory and rest in peace on the streets of Heaven as an honorary United States Marine for all you did for us.
SSGT Joseph E. Whimple
Bob Hope: The Vietnam Years DVD Box Set
Note: I got to go the Bob Hope Show near DaNang (Freedom Hill I think) in December 1969. I have always had a soft spot for Bob Hope. You could tell that all his entertainers and crew wanted to be there and wanted to put on the best show possible. Only two Marines from 11th Marine Hq Btty got to go. Not sure why I got picked. I was just a dumbazz Lance Corporal at the time. What an outstanding memory.
Merry Christmas, Sgt Grit
God Bless Bob Hope!
In This Issue
As I was saying, I took the used heat tab in my right hand and the John Wayne in my left and charged, I knew the rusty Ka-Bar was unserviceable but with my devil dog attitude I had the advantage. Charging up the hill I discarded my 782 gear to gain speed, slashing as I went, I noticed the 144th mess kit repair battalion was ready for an attack but not from a well-armed Marine. to be continued
SSgt DJ Huntsinger
Here we go: She asked, Sand Flea Sunday, Maggot Monday, Bob Hope, little Bolivian girl, Land of lice, rice and diarrhea, snooping and pooping, I choked down the meat, beat the living crap, illumination and fragmentation, just like the movies, chasing ghost terds, dude that movie followed the army.
"I gave you as-holes at ease, not base liberty".
Remember Dec 7
The events of Dec. 7th mark the beginning of the Pacific campaigns. We won't forget the lives lost at Pearl Harbor and those following this tragic day.
Here's an interesting piece about the insight Admiral Nimitz had into the Mistakes" the Japanese made when they bombed Pearl Harbor.
Chicks Dig Marines
Every year here in the City of Dearborn, Michigan the selected Veteran of the Year is honored at the City's official Veterans Day ceremony. This year's selection was a Navy Veteran who was in from 1985 to 1992 and served aboard the USS Carl Vinson. Once Richard was selected I immediately started planning a special recognition for him that only a Marine would do for a sailor. A few years ago I purchased a Marines t-shirt for his son Jason to wear. He actually wore it for school pictures months later. Richard gave me a 5 x 7 of the photo. Unfortunately I purchase the t-shirt at a local Army-Navy store.
Richard, whose nickname is "Bobber" for obvious reason, also has two daughters. One a sophomore at Michigan State and the other a junior in high school. There is a t-shirt in the Sgt Grit catalog that says, "Chicks Dig Marines" so I ordered two of them. Once the t-shirts arrived I gave them to Richard's wife so the girls could wear them to the ceremony.
When recognized as the Veteran of the Year at the ceremony everyone in attendance stood and applauded Richard for his accomplishment. Everyone then sat down while Richard's daughters, seated in front of him with the t-shirts on, remained standing. Although it took a while for Richard to determine what the girls were wearing, once he read the t-shirts he immediately look at me and said, "Dude." Mayor O'Reilly then brought the girls down front and next to the podium so that everyone in attendance could see what they were wearing. The ceremony has been aired on the local cable television channel over the last two weeks. Additionally, in an article of the local paper they referred to Richard as a Marine veteran. The attached pictures were taken during and after the ceremony.
Sgt. Grit, thank you for having products available to assist in keeping the age old Navy/Marine tradition alive and well. Richard tells me that he will get back at me but this one will be tough to top. Fortunately, I don't believe the Navy has a site like Sgt Grit.
2484603, Cpl., 2531/8662
USMC, 9/68 - 7/71
Skinny Kid From Colorado
Thanks for your newsletter, it is invariably the highlight of my Thursday. Your various letters prompt a number of memories, and I thought I would share a few short ones.
During boot camp at MCRD San Diego in 1969 we had done something out on the grinder to disappoint our senior D.I. so he had us untuck our utility blouses from our trousers, pull our covers down over our eyes, unlace our boondockers, stick our hands down in our pockets, and shuffle back to the squad bay mumbling "I'm slimy, I'm slimy" over and over again. There was no physical suffering in any of this, but we all felt like pure sh-t. Whatever it was that we had done (or not done), we NEVER made that mistake again.
ITR at Camp Pendleton required us to walk many miles up and down hills all day, firing all kinds of weapons and blowing things up. And they called us Marines! To me it didn't matter that we were eating C-rats left over from the Korean War; for a tall skinny kid from Colorado life simply could not be any better than this!
A few years ago I was sitting in my room in a small village in the Andes of Bolivia, taking a short acclimatization break from mountaineering in the Cordillera Real. Outside my window a little Bolivian girl of 9 or 10 was practicing the Marines Hymn on her wooden flute over and over again. It just brought a tear to the eye of this old Corporal, and remains one of my fond memories of that trip.
Semper Fi Brothers and Sisters
P.S. Did anyone else other than the Marines I served with in 1969-1971 call the EGA the "buzzard, ball, and fishhook"? No disrespect intended, that's just how we talked amongst ourselves.
Note: What other sayings do you remember? "The Crotch" was used a lot in '69 to describe the Marine Corps. Young guys not really disrespecting the Corps, just being, young guys in a difficult situation. Sgt Grit
Here's a picture of a 4.2 mortar crew from 1953, Korea, with the 5th Marines. At the time it was a very good weapon. I was in 4.2 mortars for three years. My question is are they still in use in the Marine Corps anymore? My guess is they are not because it would be easy to trace where you were firing from.
Bob Holmes, Sgt. Usmc SF (1953-1955)
Regarding Jim Harvey's comment about the 4.2 and G-3-11: when I reported in we had 8 105's and as many as 6 4.2's. This was in November of 1958. We eventually got cut down to 6 105's but we kept the mortars, too. Called fire for both weapons on FO teams during live fire exercises up until my discharge in 1962. Witnessed one of our gun chiefs, Anufe Tilli, a Samoan, lift a 4.2 baseplate out of a six-by by himself. More than once!
My 1st duty station was MCAS Kaneohe Bay Hawaii with 4.2 inch mortar battery 3/12. When the entire 1st Marine Brigade was "mounted out" to Vietnam, they took away our base plate mortars, and issued us the 107 mm howtars which were the 4.2 mortar tube mounted on a PAC 75 frame. Our battery was also renamed from the 4.2 inch mortar Battery to the 107mm Howtar Battery, 3/12. Hope this clears it up for some of you ?
Lisle Neher (63-69)
Grit, There was a Battery of 4.2 Mortars at Con Thien (Nov 1967). Not sure of unit, but I think they had 4 tubes. We were at OP #3. They were just down the hill from us. They would fire occassionally in support of the grunts doing search and destroy around our perimeter.
RVN 67 - 68
In your last issue there were a few interrogatives about the use of the deuce. There was a 4.2 battery, Whiskey 2/11, in AnHoa through 1970. It was located out past 3/5 facing the East German hospital I was assigned there before transferring to Echo 2/11 as an FO assigned 5th Marines; mostly Kilo and Mike. I replaced Lt. Murphy.
I think old Grit would know this battery. We hauled those on a few ops in the QueSons.
My call sign was Rabbit Hutch62 and I relied heavily on the 175's; 8" 155's and of course Fox and Echo's 105's. This was in 69-70. I rarely saw An Hoa. We worked from Liberty Bridge to Hill 65. Vince
The heading for Greg Wood's (Cpl., USMC 1966-67) submittal concerning four-deuce mortars was 4.2 MM. I believe that should be 4.2 Inch! Having had some experience with them in December of '68 in Arizona Territory (RVN) when they landed on H-2-7 (oops), I'm certain they were a lot bigger than 4.2 MM.
H-2-7 Vietnam, 68-69
Concerning the 4.2 inch mortars. I was in Golf Battery, 3rd Bn, 11th Marines from October 1958 until August 1959. Each gun crew had both; a 105 howizer and a 4.2 inch mortar. Sometimes we trained with the 105 and sometimes the four deuce. The 105 was much easier because we usually just moved to a new location and set up. With the 4.2 we usually had to carry it several hundred yards-- mostly uphill.
Cpl G M Caldwell
In re: Gary Woods article about four deuces... maybe a misprint from those civvy proof readers? Heading of 4.2 MM is a bit off, I think; that would make them smaller than the useless POS M-16 round, that was 5.56 MM. I think it should be 4.2 inch which would make it about 25 times larger and a bit more effective!?!?
Land of lice, rice and diarrhea, '66-'67
Black Friday to Sand Flea Sunday
Sarge how about Suribachi Sunday, Medevac Monday, Tarawa Tuesday, Wake Wednesday, Tet Thursday, Fubar Friday, Semper Fi Saturday!
How about a Boot theme, Sand Flea Sunday, Maggot Monday, Three S Tuesday, Whalesh-t Wednesday, Toilet Seat Thursday, Fire Watch Friday, and Scuz Brush Saturday.
Ron K. K3/7 70-74
You asked for Marine Theme Days like "Black Friday" or "Cyber Monday" for the newsletter. This will get me in trouble, but here goes:
Marine Theme Days:
M1 Monday: Buy all your buddies ammo.
Tanker Tuesday: Get your tanker buddies a gift certificate for a haircut.
Washer Wednesday: Have your kids wash their clothes with a brush and bottle of Wisk on a concrete slab outside, so they appreciate mom.
Trudging Thursday: Buy your kids ALICE packs. Take them to the mall and fill with your shopping. Have them follow you around until you've covered at least five miles.
Fast-Swoop Friday: Put your family in the car at 4:00 pm. Drive 500 miles in seven hours to a strange city. Spend the weekend drinking, partying and failing to pick up girls. Sleep four hours total. Drive back Sunday evening, getting in at 4:00 am Monday morning. Try to function at school or work.
C-Rat Saturday: Feed your kids Ham and Limas for dinner so they appreciate the food you give them.
Squid Sunday: Buy a sailor a drink. The fruity kind with the little umbrellas. (Docs get real drinks.)
Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt, USMC 64-68, USMCR 77-83
DaNang Golf Club
Was there in 1965/66/67 and was not quite like this... Ah... the wages of time!
I suppose that they found good use for all that sand we put in those 'sand bags'. Wonder what they did with all the sand bags? Remember the phrase "now, you ain't gonna believe this j but...
Subj: Danang Golf Club
Looks like they built it near Marble Mountain.
Hard to believe...
Danang Golf Club
Then I Choked Down
As a young lawyer in Feb. 1983, I was trying a case in the court of the Hon. Paul Simmons, in Wagoner, OK. I was from Tulsa, and opposing counsel was a Wagoner boy, so I half expected some favoritism or "home cooking" as we call it. Things were looking dreary for me until we broke for lunch, and Judge Simmons asked us (the lawyers) to come into his chambers.
As we walked in, I noticed various military memorabilia, then I saw a handsomely framed "Honorable Discharge" hanging on the wall. It was a Marine Corps discharge, with the name Paul Simmons inscribed on it. The date was late 1945. But it was the signature on the bottom --- that of his CO --- that caught my eye. The name was Lewis B. Puller. I stopped in my tracks. "Judge", I said. "Chesty Puller signed your discharge?"
The judge smiled. "You must be a Marine," he said. "Yes, sir," I replied. "1972-1976". He opened his desk drawer and pulled out a pack of Saltines and a small can of pink meat. "Would you join me?" he said. I asked him what it was.
"Raw ground meat and soda crackers. It was all we had to eat for several days on Iwo. I do it during the annual anniversary of the first days I spent there."
I gulped and said, "I'd be honored, judge." Then I choked down the meat and cracker.
By this time the other lawyer was visibly upset. He started relating his days in the Air Force Reserves, mumbling something vague about his squadron. Judge Simmons all but ignored him. Then I told him about my uncle, Harold Odom, who was an infantry officer on Iwo. He was from a small town in Louisiana. The judge sat back and thought a minute, then he described my uncle to a tee. "Short, wiry guy, blond hair, squinty eyes, mean as a snake?" I said, "Yes, sir, that's him." He smiled again. He had actually known my uncle, who had served on Guadalcanal, Bouganville, Tinian, Saipan, Iwo, and Okinawa, before being tragically killed in a car wreck in Oregon as he was driving home after the war. By this time the other lawyer had his handkerchief in hand, wiping sweat from his forehead.
After the Iwo ceremony, we went back into the courtroom. Like I said, things had been looking very bleak for my side --- before lunch. I don't think we were in the courtroom another fifteen minutes before the judge ruled in my favor!
Cpl. R.C. Odom
I was issued two green, cotton cold-weather shirts when I got to Camp Pendleton in early 1969. Sunny California wasn't always hot and they came in very handy in the early morning chill. I wore one under my everyday utility shirt on cold days. That was fine but they weren't allowed to be worn in any other way. I still have one, complete with its military creases. It's in my closet and, best of all, it still fits. Kind of.
Sgt., USMC, 1968-71
What was omitted from the Chesty run story is they stopped by the boyhood home of the General in West Point, VA. and I'm sure there was a contingent of V.M.I. Cadets at graveside also. My son, who I lost this summer, was a V.M.I. grad. and Marine and was educated in the West Point School System.
Sgt. H. J. Cook, Jr.
SRO West Point Police Department
Several weeks ago, a Marine wrote about the remaining Quonset huts, at M.C.R.D. San Diego, being in the second battalion, In April of this year, Several members of platoon 328 and our Sr. Drill Instructor, toured the base, we were informed that the Quonsets where in 3rd Battalion possibly some that even plt. 328 used some 45 years ago. Our Sr. Drill Instructor Staff Sgt. Steffan agreed with our guide's assessment. I do agree with the other Marine, that the grinder is about 1/2 the size it was in the mid 60's.
Cpl. Terry Enfield 66-69
Re. Green "T" Shirts; The first time I saw green was in the P.I. (Subic Bay) '62. Our unit S/2. Hq M,C. Was volunteered to be "Advisors to ArVn.
Our C.O. distributed 150 packs of green RitsDye. FOR OUR White Skivvies.
We were "REQUESTED" to wear them 10 min. After they came out of the "Soup". Guess what we (87) all looked like.
HMC/M (E9). FMF
The D.I. in the "requesting permission" picture is retired Maj. Robert Iversen. He was my neighbor on Pendleton, 1982-86. You don't get the S_ _ts from dirty socks, and it takes 24-48hrs for microbes to do their nasty stuff. Not a very professional thing to do, asking recruits to crap on themselves. I was a D.I., Parris Island... 74-76.
I saw someone write in that they were a 26 month L/Cpl. I don't know what the longest time in grade is for L/Cpl, but I was a L/Cpl for 36 months. I enlisted as a contract PFC graduated boot camp in Jan 1984. I picked up L/Cpl in Sept.1984. I finally picked up Cpl. Oct 1st 1987. I got off active duty in Nov. 87. Went into the reserves a few years later and got out as a Sgt. Do any readers have more time in grade as a L/Cpl than me?
Sgt. Ed DeVoe/0481
All The Smugglers
Reading the stories, regarding the illegals at Camp Pendleton, I was reminded of an incident that happened in 1973. I was assigned as a Senior Patrol Supervisor, Base Military Police and we used to come across and detain the aliens walking through Pendleton all the time out by San Onofre.
As anyone who has served there knows there was a Border Patrol Checkpoint about halfway between Oceanside and San Clemente on I 5. One night there was an accident on I 5 about a mile south of the Checkpoint. The wreckers were there yellow lights flashing etc. All the smugglers bringing the illegals north thought the checkpoint had been moved and dumped their loads right at the side of the highway.
The illegals started their trek through Pendleton on the East side of the highway, where unbeknownst to them one of the grunt battalions was doing some snooping and pooping and had established a Battalion CP. As we all know when a CP is established on these training exercises concertina is strung out, flare traps and of course guard posts. One of the guides leading a large group of illegals tripped a flare and all h-ll broke loose.
The Marines guarding the CP let loose with their M 60s and M16s thinking it was the aggressor force, blanks thankfully, lit up the sky with flares and captured 28 illegals. The Battalion Commander, unknown, decided not to waste a good exercise and decided to make POWs of all the illegals. He did the blindfold, hands and feet tied, tags etc. The Border Patrol with Military Police assistance picked up the Illegals, it was a very shi--y job literally. There was a marked decrease in smuggling for the next couple of months.
Everyday a holiday, Every meal a feast.
Missed Pay Day
There was a time (I think in late 1940' or 50s) when we also had a flannel shirt in a tannish color. I served from 43-63 and can recall other items, such as what we called 'tankers jackets', (they were primarily issued to tank crews), we also had 'fair leather' belts, with a big brass buckle.
And the original 'barracks cap' had a thin wire frame, sea-going Marines were allowed to have a 'dip' in the cover. I recently sent you an order in which I mentioned the difference in chevrons from the present. There were what was called 'straight arm' and 'rockers'. Specialty Marines, such as aviation mechs, mess cooks etc. had bars across the bottom of their sgts chevrons, one bar for staff sgt. two bars for techsgt, and 3 bars for mastersgt. Rockers were only for 'line personnel and had one rocker for platoonsgt and two rockers for gunnerysgt and three rockers for 1stsgt Pay grades were inverted from the present. First pay grade was 1st sgt, 2nd grade gunnery sgt etc.
In the late 1940s the rate insignias had many changes due to the attempt of some politicians to destroy the Corps by incorporating the Corps into the Army, and started by changing to Army rate insignia. There was a missed pay day for Marines in early '48 because the Navy was not allotted enough money to pay for Marines, apparently another attempt to destroy the Corps. Later we were given the back pay due us. I was an E6 GunnerySgt that got changed when I retired to StaffSgt.
Struck A Good Point
Being bored a few days ago while on lay off.
A friend introduced me to a lady and we have been corresponding by Email.
well the subject came up that I was a Marine Corps Veteran. During and in Vietnam.
she being 5 years younger asked some questions. about Vietnam and politics in general. Just for understanding my viewpoint, not to argue.
well it came around to Boot camp.
Well as they say a picture is worth a thousand words. So what is a video worth???
Anyway I told her how it was, then told her to watch the Youtube version of Marine Corps receiving and Army. And then the Army award procedure, Vs. Marine.
The Army dude was told to sit in a chair laying on its side, rather than standing it up and sit, he got down and tried. Not much intelligence and self- thinking there.
She asked, why did you join the Marines. Well then I had to explain. You don't join the Marines. You enlist, and then you must pass the test, to become one.
So she asked, How did you go through all that hazing in bootcamp.
Told her it was a challenge that had to be met, to prove that you could indeed become one of the best.
Must of struck a good point though.
As she is coming to visit during Christmas.
Anyway Hope you all have a Merry Christmas down there in OKC!
Sgt of Marines (NLA)
Ps. Under executive order, the Office of personnel management, has promulgated new hiring policies and guidelines
It is now possible for an NON veteran to outrank a Service connected DISABLED veteran Thus making it harder for those of us that defended this country and the Constitution to be hired as a federal employee.
If you all think this isn't right. Let your voice be heard. contact your representatives.
Locally 5 NON VETS were referred for hiring by the Air Force over equally or even better qualified Vets.
My son was in 2nd recon. and later a recruiter. I ran out of ideas for Xmas so I went into my workshop and made him a knife, pistol, and weather station. Hope he likes them.
Larry Fisher ( Cpl.1962-66 )
Meant No Disrespect
Please pass to Jerry Williams who commented on B-1-13 in this newsletter that I certainly meant no disrespect at all to the original gun crew on that 105. I hold all of those cannon- cockers who served up north in great respect and admiration. My battery, (I-3-12) in support of 3/4 out of Kaneohe Bay with the 1st Marine Brigade was one of the very first direct support batteries in country in the Spring of 1965 assigned the TAOR out of Hue Phu Bai. We served with distinction and still have great pride in Bat-tree Eye. Suggesting that 'tacmark' for the gun at the Museum was sort of tongue-in-cheek. My compliments to Jerry, and to his gun crew.
Spirit Of Brotherhood
In regards to the "failed tradition" of visiting Chesty's grave on our Corps' birthday, Brother Steve may be somewhat uplifted by the following.
Over the past couple of years it has become common practice for the Vietnam Vets MC, (renamed now with the induction of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans as well as currently active duty brothers to the Vietnam Vets/Legacy Vets MC), Chapter "C", Virginia, to require prospects and encourage "hangarounds" to our motorcycle club to visit the General's final resting place as part of indoctrination into our brotherhood. These men are from ALL branches of service and come away from this experience and the accompanying history lesson with a new found respect not only for General Puller himself, but for the United States Marine Corps in general. This tradition began as a solo "mission" given to an active duty prospect some years back. The prospect, now fully patched, is an active duty member of the U.S. Army.
In the spirit of brotherhood across branches this brother picked up the torch and began taking all new prospective members on this excursion as a way of bonding them to the organization and reinforcing their appreciation of both the history of the Corps and as an example of outstanding service to our country by our overall military establishment.
Take heart, Steve. Your friend and our beacon to selfless performance of duty to God and country will not be forgotten, nor will his memorial go unvisited.
You can put any name you want on my cut,
...as long as you call me "Brother"... LRB
Stag, Secretary, VNVLV MC Chapter C, VA
SSgt of Marines, 1968 - 1975, 2492966
Once a Marine
In WW II, a young man from Jackson, MS joined the Marines. His name was Erskine Wells. A recent graduate of Ole Miss, he put plans for law school on hold and joined up to become an infantry officer. He served in the South Pacific with Gen. Puller, and became, if memory serves, the most highly decorated Marine from the Jackson, MS area of that particular conflict..
As a Captain, he commanded I Co, 3/5, 1st MarDiv when he received the Navy Cross for heroism. He led a bayonet charge against the Japanese when his company was surrounded and almost completely out of ammo once. He also received a Silver Star.
One may Google him and read about his two citations. In addition, the text of his funeral eulogy is also posted there. I commend it to all who read this.
Now Erskine was and continued to be a very Godly man, a leader in his church for many years, and one of the founders of Reformed Theological Seminary and of a Christian day school for children in Jackson, MS. A small and quiet lawyer, you would never know he had ever been a Marine of great distinction in some of the fiercest fighting in the history of the Corps.
I have entitled this, "Once a Marine..." Here's why. Erskine, when he was in his 80s, was driving home from work one evening and noticed a car following him. He pulled into his driveway and the following car did also. As he got out of his, the driver of the other one got out and ran to him demanding valuables. As Erskine told it to me, "...Well, Nell had already died and life wasn't all that much fun without her any more, and I knew where I was going if he killed me, so I just said to myself (something like), 'It'll be a cold day in you know where when you take my stuff!" and he jumped on the guy who outweighed him by at least 50 pounds if not more, and who was 50 or more years younger, and beat the living crap out of him. The guy finally got free, outran him in a race to his car, and got out of there as fast as it would take him!
I have been privileged to serve with the Marines, and was privileged to know one of the best, Captain Erskine Wells, as my personal friend.
Robert E. Hays
HM2, D 1/4, 3rd Mar Div
Illumination and Fragmentation
Hello Sgt. Grit !
Just received my latest order and the Vietnam veterans t-shirt is great and the tankard is beautiful !
Just read some bits about the 4-deuce mortars and thanksgiving Dinners...
1969 - 2nd Bn, fifth Marines - an hoa.
We had a battery of 4-deuce mortars out on the "finger" right Behind the armory and across the road from the German hospital. Man-o-man could they pour out some fire-power ! the night we Got hit and almost over-run on june 7th, the 4-deuce battery Poured beau-coup illumination and fragmentation rounds around The bunkers to keep the nva's heads down... one illumination Round landed on my company's storage hootch and all my Gear was burned to a crisp... but what the heck...
Also, the day before I was to rotate back to the states, I was Ordered to take three men and go out to the observation post 300 yards out in the middle of a rice paddie that had three boulders that formed a protective cover... to say that I was a bit nervous is an understatement! At about 03:30 a.m. we saw movement and for the rest of the night I called the 4-deuce battery for illumination which they readily gave... when I returned to the Company c.p. the next morning my friend roger parker came up to me and said: "that d-mn 4-deuce battery kept us up all night, and I knew it was you ivie !"... I just smiled and packed my gear for the return home.
Next: thanksgiving in the Arizona territory
While out in the Arizona territory with my company, we were told that on thanksgiving (the next day) we would be receiving a real turkey dinner with all the trimmings by chopper... Hot d-mn ! real turkey ! mashed potatoes ! my mouth was watering already... but my platoon commander had other plans for my squad... we were ordered to go out 2 clicks for a night ambush and after sun-up patrol the perimeter... No turkey for me or my men ? crap ! but Marines do not question why... while we were patrolling, we could hear the chopper coming in and cursed all the pukes who would be gorging themselves on succulent turkey and giblets!
As we walked back into the perimeter, we saw everyone puking their guts up all over the place ! all the hot chow the chopper brought was spoiled and everyone was sick, but not us ! we all opened up cans of c-rats and offered some to the guys near us and they all turned green and ran away !
Happy thanksgiving guys ! gobble, gobble !
Cpl. Clifford "chip" ivie, fox 2/5-rvn
Always faithful -
Time In Grade
LCpl Mark Gallant wrote of his 26 months Time in Grade as a Lance Corporal, when replying to Col Roberts' comments. The funny thing is that when I read Col Roberts comments the first time around, it rang a bell. I picked up LCpl May 1, 1989 as a Reservist with MACS-23 in Aurora; Four weeks later I augmented to active duty and a career as an Aviation Ordnanceman (MOS 6521). From there, I chased the cutting score to Corporal for three years, three months - that's 39 months Time in Grade as a Lance Corporal. The field was that frozen; shortly after I became eligible for promotion I noticed an oddity. Every month (or every quarter?) as the cutting scores came out, it was again a few points higher than I had earned in that same time, no matter how much my score had improved. Like Col Roberts, I gained the nickname "Lance Colonel" and "Grand Ol' Lance Corporal of the Marine Corps" from my fellow Ordies.
Finally, Aug 1, 1992 - after three years, three months (39 total months Time in Grade) the cutting score dropped - not just a few points, but enough that seemingly half the MOS 6521 LCpls were promoted. That of course packed our NCO ranks... I followed the cutting score again as a Corporal, this time for forty months, pinning on Sergeant on Dec 1, 1995 at MALS-39, Camp Pendleton.
Shortly afterward, we got word that HQMC was going to combine MOS' 6521 and 6541... it was time to look for another career as it was apparent there weren't going to be any promotions in that field for ages.
Jim "Yucca-Man" Langdon
Sgt, USMC 1988-2000
Just Like The Movies
Re the Brits and ribbons... around May of '60, following Operation Blue Star (Formosa/Taiwan... same ting), 2/1 floated into Hong Kong harbour ('at's the way they'd have spelled it... with the 'u') on Princeton, LPH-5, for a week's liberty.
Since the correct chevrons were in short supply, newly minted Corporals in pay grade E-4 (it's a pay grade... not a rank... at least not in the Corps!) were allowed to substitute the older skinny Sgt chevrons temporarily... one of them at the time was me. McPherson, who was a real Sgt, albeit an "Acting" Sgt (pay grade E-4), and I were on libo together... somehow, Mac gets us hooked up with some British Army Sgts, and we got an invite to visit the Sergeant's Mess at the Kowloon Army base.
Mac had both a Good Conduct and a National Defense ('Firewatch') ribbon, and I had just the latter... the Brits, it seems, get about one ribbon per war... and can be considerably older as Sgts. They seemed quite impressed with us, having ribbons at our comparatively tender ages. Some of the memories of the afternoon at the mess are a bit foggy... in fact, were a bit foggy just the day after, due to the over-whelming hospitality of our hosts.
At 1500, it was "time, gentlemen"... and the joint closed for a while... we rode to one of our host's quarters, in his right- hand drive Humber, met the missus and the kiddies, and the Amah (Chinese maid)... had a nap in the kids' room, whilst the Amah shined our shoes and pressed our trops... we went back for the evening, and it was like walking into a J Arthur Rank Organization movie (well, no gong at the beginning... for those of you old enough to remember Brit movies of the era)... Cooking duty revolved among the members of the Mess, and it fell our lot to be there when one of the Sikh Sergeants had the job... the curry... once the pain subsided... was delicious.
And, just like the movies, it was mostly people in need of better dentists sloshing down Guinness, playing darts, and listening to the BBC radio. The Brit uniform, dark green, loose weave, and worn with the sleeves rolled up, seemed just the thing for the climate... considerably more practical than our long-sleeve trops. Liberty secured at midnight... probably a good thing for Mac's and my liver.
BTW... don't ever ask me if I'd do it all over again... that would fall into the category of a reallydumbass question...
Captain Gene Dillow
Dear Sgt Grit,
My parents' best friend in WWII was Captain Gene Dillow, a Marine Aviation fighter pilot who shot down seven Japanese aircraft during the fighting in the South Pacific including over Guadalcanal. He was taken off the line and brought back to Cherry Point, North Carolina to serve as a pilot instructor and test pilot and was later killed while test-flying the F4U Corsair which became the mainstay of the Marine Aviation fighter units in the Pacific and during the early period of the Korean War. Captain Dillow commanded enormous admiration and respect by all his friends and throughout his community in Anna in southern Illinois. Remembering Captain Gene Dillow U.S.M.C.
Black Leather Jacket
I was honored to be invited to Washington DC to attend a Vietnam Veterans Day celebration at the Wall by the History Channel and Honor Flight Conyers and prior to that I purchased a black leather jacket with USMC and combat air crew wings on the front. I wore it from my flight origin in Atlanta until my return. I stopped counting at 20 the number of people who ask me where I got it (mostly women who wanted to buy it for their husbands). My answer was Sgt Grit online so if your sales for this product increased I would expect some compensation. LOL! It was an ENORMOUS Hit.
Embossed Black Leather Jacket
From Facebook Best Movie
We asked a question about favorite Marine movie. There are dozens more responses on Facebook. Just a sampling below.
I have to say the best: "Full Metal Jacket, Taking Chance, Heartbreak Ridge, so many more I love" The worst: "The Marine, Major Pain, Jarhead" Most likely there are more I dislike but to many to list. In general don't really like any Marine movie that is unreal (such as "The Marine") in that movie John Cena plays this real baddasz Marine Recon savior to everyone in the Marines but yet when he gets out of service he cannot find no better job than a security guard. WTF? If he was that much of a baddasz in the service why was he unable to get a decent job? Also how did he afford a nice house and wife on that kind of job? Last but not least, How was he able to stay in the Marines get promoted be the best thing that hit the Marine Corps and still never get popped on steroid use? To farfetched for me....
Jeffrey O Hobbs
Tony Caudo Jr
Best: Tie between Full Metal Jacket and Heart Break Ridge Worst: Tie between The Marine and Jarhead.
The Sands of Iwo Jima and The Flying Leathernecks were two of my favorites.
If you haven't seen The DI, that is a must see!
Best: heartbreak ridge and Full metal jacket, worst: jarhead
The Great Santine
Best: Jarhead Worst: Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket and The DI for best... Marine and Jarhead, the pits
The Boys In Company C..with R lee Ermey for best, Jarhead for worst...
Full Metal Jacket,...classic.
Full metal jacket was the best and I won't /wouldn't watch jarhead or Marine. And to the one Guy that didn't like platoon, dude that movie followed the army.
Join the Fun on Facebook
Darryl Bradley Sr.
My Beirut ink. Done by "Johnny" in Derry, NH
How a Marine Became a Arapaho Warrior
Ahhh - Ho ! ( Hello )
My Name is Three Dogs, My Native Name that is. You see I am a real adopted Arapaho of the Oklahoma, "The Cheyenne and Arapaho"
I did my time on Recruiting duty for the Marines in my home state of Oklahoma. I recruited a young Man from the Arapaho Tribe and spent a lot of time with him at family Pow Wows, and medicine dances. When it was time for him to get ready to go to boot camp I was calling around the reservation Looking for him and got his brother on the Phone. He said, " Ahhh-Ho, so you are looking for little John, My little Brother." I said "I think so I did not know he had a Brother."
He laughed and said "You don't remember me?" I am John Redbird Jr, Little John is John Redbird the first" You and I went to Boot Camp together in 1973. I had recruited the little brother of one my own Boot Camp Platoon and didn't even know it until just before he went to Boot Camp.
When Little John came back from boot camp, they had a Dance for him to induct him into the Warrior society, and when I was out Gourd dancing with the Men, Mother Redbird came out and placed a Blanket over my shoulders, and gave me a Dancing Gourd Rattle. She then said this one is a Redbird. Adopting me into the Redbird Clan of "The Cheyenne and Arapaho" of Oklahoma. This was one of the true high lights of my time in the Marines. Having grown up in Oklahoma I always had a great feeling for our Native American tribes. I was a VERY special moment for me.
My Daughter-in-Law is "Full Blood" Delaware, and My wife Dr. Hill is almost one half Cherokee. We go to real Pow-wows when ever We get the chance !
AHHH-HO (can also mean so long or good bye)
Thomas G Hill
GySgt USMC (Ret)
"Three Dogs" Redbird Clan
A Marine Sergeant wrote this in response to an army guy who posted a comment on the Marine Corps site that he was sick and tired of "Marine arrogance".
The Sergeant says...
"I think that's what makes Marines special, if only in our own minds, is that elusive Quality of Esprit De Corps. It's the fact that we, as individual Marines, don't feel that we are individual Marines. When we wear our uniform, when we hear our Hymn, when we go into battle, we are going with every other Marine who ever wore the uniform.
Standing behind us are the Marines who fought during the birth Of our nation. We're standing with the Marines who fought in WWI and gave birth to the legend of the "Tueful Hunden", or "Devil Dogs". We are standing with the Marines who took Iwo and Tarawa and countless other blood soaked islands throughout the Pacific.
We are standing with the "Frozen Chosin" and our beloved Chesty Puller. We are standing with the Marines who battled at Hue City and Khe Sanh and the muddy rice paddies of South East Asia. We are standing with the Marines who fought in Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom and now, are fighting in Afghanistan.
Like real brothers, their blood courses through our veins, and when we go into battle, we would rather lay down our lives than be a disappointment to them. We carry on our backs, their legacy, their deaths and their honor. We carry that for the rest of our lives.
The Marines Corps uniform doesn't come off when our active duty is over. We wear it daily in our attitude, and our love of Corps and country. We wear it on our tattoos and our bumper stickers. We wear it in our hearts.
It's why, no matter where we are in the world, on November 10th, every Marine celebrates the Marine Corps birthday. It's why we'll never be an army of 1. It's why we never stop being Marines. It's why, for most of us, being a Marine isn't something we were. It's something we are.
It's the most important part of who and what we are. Some say we're arrogant. We say we're proud. We have a right to be proud. We are the United States Marines The most feared and ferocious group of warriors to walk the face of this earth.
When Americas' enemies formulate their battle plans, they plan on going around Marine units, because they know D-mn well that they can't go through them. We are what other branches wish they were.
We are the modern day Spartans. This isn't bragging. It's written in the battle history of our country. When there's a parade and the Marines march by, everyone pays a little more attention. Some say "arrogance". We call it "pride". It's why, in a crowd of service men, you can always spot the Marine. Why are Marines special? I don't know. We just are.
Mike Farrell, MASH. Served two years in the 50's.
Glenn Ford, movies. Enlisted 1942-44 (Sgt), photographer serving at San Diego and Quantico.
Christopher George, The Rat Patrol. Served approximately 1949+.
Scott Glenn, movies. Served approximately 1960+.
James Gregory, movies and TV. WWII, Okinawa.
He Was Pissed But
I'll set the stage for this event which happened in either late May or early June 1965 when I was flying with HMM-161. HMM-161 had been together as a Unit for some time without really having guys transfer in and out like some units do and we had been deployed together from MCAS Hawaii to Vietnam. It should also be known that most of the members had re-enlisted for this Duty Station and we were assured that we'd be there for 3 years, (Ha,Ha). The average time in the Corps for most of the Unit members was about 8-9 years. So we're not talking about guy's that didn't have some experience as to what was going on. The fact is that some of our Section Leaders had flown Helicopters in Korea. The bottom line was that we had a well-oiled knowledgeable machine and we were very proud of it.
Flying helicopters was our business and supporting the 1st MARINE Brigade, The Aussies and anyone else that needed it was our daily commitment and we spent from before the sun came up till after it went down trying to fulfill our obligations. There were many days that just didn't seem to want to end but, when it did, you prepared for the next by preflighting your A/C with a flash light or whatever method fit the bill. Everybody helped everybody else to get the job done. The entire Flight line crew was a very cohesive unit and things have to happen in a very timely manner to keep it running smoothly. This true story is that one would not have conceived could have happened but, it did. And, the part that I enjoyed the most was it happened to my best buddy so that I had the rest of my life to stick it where the sun didn't shine every chance I got. Plus, the humor that came from other sources after what happened was never ending.
Now, I don't know how many of you have ever flown in an old H-34 (called a Dog) helicopter in the early days of Vietnam. If you had the time to look around the inside you would have noticed that there are no Bathroom facilities in this "Flying Penthouse". If you were a Crew Member and were flying all day and had to make a run to the Head, depending on if you had Breakfast or not, you would notice that there was only a pilot relief tube and non for the 2 man Crew down in the belly. But, that wasn't a problem, because we (the Crew) could just take a leak at the next refueling stop. Not a problem. Not until your breakfast caught up with you and you had to sit down and think about it for a while. Now, we have a problem, and only getting back to home plate ( our base landing strip) would solve the dilemma that now could be a very pressing matter.
Before I go any further I should also state that all the troops in a Squadron are not Flight Crew and there are other tasks that have to be done while the Flight Crews are out flying all day and sometimes in to the night. Our Sgt/Maj ( Sgt/Maj Hamm) was the director of some of the activities that were taking place back at "Home Plate". in this case it was Huy Phu Bai Airport. One of these chores was to move the 6 holer to the rear of the pit that it was sitting over and the following day it was to be burned out by adding Aviation Fuel and then lighting it to dispel all the Evil Spirits that dwelled there. It should be also noted that this particular 6 holer was out on the Flight Line so the Troops didn't have to travel too far to make there sometimes hasty offering to the Spirits. It is also not common knowledge but 1st Sgt's and Sgt Maj.s do not come the same fields that they're assigned to. In other words our Sgt/ Maj. had zero Aviation background and did not know how we operated as an Aviation Unit. But, he was well versed in burning out 6 holers and even larger depositories.
Now, to the meat of this story. Several of our A/C had a late commitment that lasted into the early dark hours of the evening. I was already on the ground and had completed my Pre-flight for the early launch and I was walking off the Flight Line and heading back to my tent when I saw Ron running for the 6 holer ( or its previous location) when I heard a splash and a boisterous "OH SH-T" and I didn't give it a second thought because I was tired and my day was over. As I got back to my tent I heard another Splash and the word's DA-N, D-MN. Now, I started to wonder what the h-ll was going on. Well' it wasn't but a few seconds later that I heard Ron and the Sgt/Maj. having a heated discussion as to when and how a 6 holer should be moved and burned out. Ron seemed to become an instant authority on the "Location, Care and Cleaning of a 6 Holer" and wanted the Sgt/Maj it hear what he had learned. Needless to say that the Sgt/Maj wasn't impressed with Ron's thoughts on the subject and told him to get out of his tent. Ron had one thing in mind when he saw the 6 holer and he didn't notice that it had been moved directly behind where the hole had been dug and was now open for his welcomed entry. When he climbed out he apparently had toilet paper all over him and the smell was unbearable so he thought by jumping in the Fresh Water res. used for the showers that he would be able to get rid of what had attached to him. Well' it got rid of some of it but, in turn contaminated that reservoir also. Now, we had no fresh water for showers, etc. That didn't make the Sgt/Maj. happy.
Ron and I have shared many crazy events in our MARINE CORPS careers. This is only one.
Thinking of the events of this evening I have to look back and I can still visualize my buddy Ron as he burst into my tent after confronting the Sgt/Maj. Actually, I could smell him before I saw him and when I did, what a sight ! He was pissed but, eventually had to laff about it himself. I asked him later did he make to the 6 holer in time and he couldn't remember. Ron, was a great friend and he left this world without even saying good bye and he knew when he was going. But, we had a "Cold Beer" together.
In Memory of Sgt. Ron "Legs" Whitcomb.
"the ole gunny"
Good morning Sgt Grit I just finished writing a letter to my nephew, who is in his 3rd week of recruit training at MCRD San Diego. It's been 26 yrs since I marched across that parade deck oooohrah so of course the memories just roll out when you write or talk to someone who's there.
We were the Pepsi generation according to our D.I.s I never hear anyone bring up the term sub Marine which was a recruit way of getting exercise while also chasing ghost terds with a hot towel from the whiskey locker, i don't recall using a swab on the squad bay deck, only in the head. And how long after Boot Camp should it take to realize that you can make a head call w/out someone counting backwards from 10 at the top of their lungs skipping a few #s here and there? Ahhh the memories, get on the road for chow.
SEMPER FI to all and happy holidays it was a small price to pay to belong to the world's finest
Cpl Radtke T.A 85-89
"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the forum of the 'new, wonderful good society' which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean 'more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.' Julius was always an ambitious villain, but he is only one man."
"There are no good wars but good men fight them."
"The Galleries are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down in the arena are the doers. They make mistakes because they try many things. The man who makes no mistakes lacks boldness and the spirit of adventure. He is the one who never tries anything. He is the break in the wheel of progress. And yet it cannot be truly said he makes no mistakes, because his biggest mistake is the very fact that he tries nothing, does nothing, except criticize those who do things.
David M. SHOUP, General
United States Marine Corps
Courage is endurance for one moment more...
Our enlistment has a start and finish date. The "Oath' does not.
Supreme Commander of Sgt Grit Marine Specialties