Sgt Grit Newsletter - 15 DEC 2011

In this issue:
• Survior of Several Islands
• Non-PC Corps
• More USO Tours

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Unisex Marine Red and Black Night Pants
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Newsletter Archives

Hi Sgt. Grit,
Christmas is coming and while we all have a lot to be thankful for as well as being sad for the loss of loved ones, I must say that having my 88 year old Gunny Sgt. home for Christmas from rehab, after a fall that cracked two places in his pelvis, is a joy in itself.

He is a survivor of not only, Iwo Jima, but Guadalcanal, Saipan and several other islands I can't spell without looking them up. He is a gem and he is one good looking guy and looks more like 68 than 88. I take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you at Sgt. Grit a very Merry Christmas and a successful New Year. I feel so proud to be the wife of a Marine veteran and part of the best band of brothers in the land.

Semper Fi
Marion Rogers, spouse of Darwin "Gyp" Rogers!

In This Issue

This time of year is always gives me mixed feelings. I grew up surrounded by family Christmas traditions. My mother was a big fan of Christmas and did a lot to make it special. My wife does the same thing. So why the mixed feelings. I think it goes back to my days in the Corps.

I only missed one Christmas home. But I came very close to missing all three while I was active. I get a big lump in my throat when I see pictures and stories about Marines this time of year. Wondering how many will miss Christmas at home. Over all Christmas is not that big a deal considering what Marines do all over the world. Christmas to me kinda captures all the emotion surrounding the sacrifices we made and that Marines continue to make today. Merry Christmas Marines!

Here we go: quit your whining, your Mother is, Uncle Sam's Moldy Crotch, "There it is", great amount of pride, quick death, all sorts of indignities, His eyes welled up, one good looking guy, then blowing them up, and milk'm, if it's fought in ADDIAS, humping that base plate, a few helo inserts.

Graduate of The University of Science Music and Culture
Sgt Grit

Grit Bucks

Con Thien

Hi Sgt. Grit,

4.2 Mortars Conthien Enclosed is a picture of one of the mortar crews stationed at the firebase located at Con Thien back in February of 1968. The Battery was Whiskey 2/12 and consisted of 6 guns, one of those being a 4.2 in Howtar (half howitzer, half mortar), located at the center of the battery.

Howtar Conthien That particular gun had the wheels removed and was nailed on top of a wooden platform in which had to be greased with axle grease in order for it to traverse. (2nd picture). After many months of service, this gun was later on removed and sent to a museum somewhere in the States.

Bobby (Hobo) Hancox Vietnam 67/68

LZ Baldy

Sgt. Grit:

Contact fire mission Talk about those 4 deuces got me thinking about the good old times in Vietnam in 1969. I'm attaching a couple of photos of the big mortars in action from my battery, Whiskey 3/11. Our battery was composed of 4.2 mortars and 155s so we could have a pretty good range of coverage. I was the FDO at the time and we were at LZ Baldy and built our site from scratch, scrounging everything we could from the Army. I was the FO with India Company 3/7 and later the LO.

Round leaving tube Enjoy your newsletters and always look for a familiar name. Love to relive some of the old Corps memories from Quantico and Lejeune. Remember carrying my Olympus in my flack jacket on patrol and when a moment came up would snap off some great pictures but lost half of them when they were sent to be developed and never returned. I've got some decent ones and my wife put them in a photo book for me. Was in 3/7 from March thru July 1969 and Whiskey 3/11 thru January 1970. Semper Fi,

Brian A Sekardi
Ist Lt, VN 69-70

I Was Floored

Sgt. Grit,

I wanted to pass along the news that another Marine is guarding the streets of Heaven. My father, Sgt. Willy R. Walker passed away on 11/20/11 after a short battle with ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. He served in Vietnam from '66-'67 and I believe was at An Hoa. My father taught me many lessons in life, most reflective of his time in the Corps, but the lesson he taught me while fighting this terrible disease was courage. I read the quote on your most recent newsletter and it fits my father perfectly. "Courage is endurance for one moment more" My dad showed courage every moment of his fight with ALS even to that last moment.

I would like to share a quick story. At my father's funeral the Marine honor guard was there and stood guard over him while I spoke. When the time came and the two Marines started folding the flag, a third started playing Taps from a nearby hilltop. The notes floated over us and although I've heard them many times in my life, they were never more beautiful. The two Marines finished their solemn task and took turns saluting the folded flag. A young Sergeant, probably similar to my father's age when he was in Vietnam, presented the flag to my mother as I stood next to her with my arm around her. He finished the prepared words and stepped back giving the honor salute.

My mother then surprised him by saying "Sergeant, I accept this flag but I ask that you do me the honor of helping me present this flag to our son." I was floored, and the young Sergeant was taken aback as well. His eyes welled up and he nodded to my mom, she extended the flag back to him and he then smartly stepped over to me and presented the flag to me with my mother's hand on top of it. I took the flag, with tears in my eyes, and I looked into his eyes to see that this young Marine I had never met and who had never met the Marine he was honoring, had tears in his eyes as well. Having no prepared statement or words, the Marine stepped back, rendered the honor salute and simply said "Semper Fi" As I stood there I heard my mom say "Always Faithful".

After hugging my mom and sister, I wanted to thank the Marine for his impromptu actions and his genuine emotion but he had about-faced and disappeared. If you are reading this Sergeant, please know that you gave me a moment that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Semper Fi.

Proud Son of a Marine,
Mike Walker

2011 Christmas Closeouts

Guest Of The Country

I served with 2/4 Marines... part of the first RLT that went ashore at Chu Lai... 1965... Our American flag ordered down by a General... He said we were guest of the Country...

Flag that 2/4 Marines flew in Chu Lai 1965 I have a picture of a flag that 2/4 Marines flew this flag was put up when word the general was flying in to meet with the battalion commanders at 2/4 preparing for Operation Starlite. If you know the history, it was the first encounter with the NVA regular Army... historical and may have the only original picture that has surfaced... After Starlite even the general would not tell us to take it down..

thanks William ( Stubby ) Ralston...

Non-PC Corps

"eat the apple, fu-k the Corps"---my buddy joe holasek was quite an artist--he drew a cartoon of a wormy, half eaten apple, with the above saying lettered on it and had it inside his footlocker lid--until he forgot to hide it before an inspection--joe owed the JDI 1000's of squat thrusts on graduation day--another was "Uncle Sam's Moldy Crotch"--has anyone else noticed that pictures of the brass in leatherneck magazine NEVER have sea dips in their barracks covers? they all look like "norman new guys".

sgt. john stevenson USMC 1963-1967

Sgt. Grit;

In response to the story about calling the Marine Corps "The Crotch", you asked for other sayings or words.

In the 1969-1972 time-frame:

*other than The Crotch, the Corps was fondly referred to as "The Suck" too
*Payday was the day "The Eagle Sh--"
*While in Vietnam, we often referred to the "Big PX in the Sky" if someone didn't make it
*"There it is" was a way to emphasize something
*"Splibs" were black Marines

Love the Newsletter!

Dennis Miller,
Sgt - USMC
Vietnam 69,70,71

Sgt Grit, I will always remember the saying "the Crotch" but another "saying" was, when things and time got out of hand, it's a Marines right to b-tch, some would say "what's with this Green Mother F--KER; it was popular in the late 60,s and early seventies.

M W Hanley 1967-73

And yeah I remember the Buzzard on an 8-ball with a fishhook and tangled line. I've still got a coffee cup with that on it somewhere. Eat the Apple and F--k the Corps was another saying -

Steve Neff
Retired Cpl of Marines

Sgt. Grit;
I am confused at this "OO Ra" stuff. When and why did it start? I got out in 62 and the most complimentary greeting to a fellow Marine was "Semper Fi", or "Semper Fi, Mac." I had never heard the phrase until 12-13 yrs. ago when my youngest graduated boot camp. (he is now a SSgt) Somewhere it changed. Doesn't seem to have the same level of respect to me. Am I alone, or does anyone else feel this way. Maybe I am the "OLD CORPS " now?
2nd Lnd Spt. Co.
1st Serv. Bn.
1st. MarDiv

Another nickname for The Corps,
at least in the late '60s to the early '70s, was:
"The Green Weenie".
Larry Anderson (SGT) 1968-1972

Bob Hope

Looks like Sgt Grit and I were at the same place, at least one time. He noted that he went to the Bob Hope show in Da Nang in 69. Wonder if he remembers the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps that was providing music until the show started. I was a member of that D&B and will always have a special place in my heart for Bob Hope. He gave us a little taste of home when we most needed it.

Brad Price
L/Cpl Da Nang 69-70

Martha Raye and others on stage Sgt Grit,
Here's a shot of Bob Hope's Christmas Show on Freedom Hill in 1967. Les Brown and his Band of Renown and Raquel Welch share the stage. (Raquel's the one wearing a white top.)

The stage at Bob Hope's Christmas Show on Freedom Hill in 1967 I also saw Martha Raye in "Hello Dolly" at the same venue in early 1968. I rode in a Navy launch with Martha across the DaNang River going from the White Elephant to Camp Tien Sha. She was a pure delight to be with and lifted everyone's spirits.

Cpl. Jack Stanfill
III MAF Drum and Bugle Corps.

I had all but forgotten about this event until I read the Bob Hope stories.

I was one a few Marines, Sailors, Airmen & Soldiers to see Bob Hope do a Christmas show outside of a war zone.

In 1981. Mr. Hope performed his first ever Christmas season show outside of a military base at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth Texas.

I was on I&I duty in Dallas and was in charge of the annual Toys For Toys campaign. As a result I had met the owners of Billy Bob's. Since 1981 was a year of peace they had convinced Mr Hope to do a show there. They then went to a few selected individuals and requested they buy tickets to the show. Tickets were $50.00 general admission, $150.00 for a table & $250.00 for a front table. The catch was you had to spend an equal amount on tickets for a service member.

The owners had decided the best way to say thank you to Mr. Hope would be to allow service members in at no cost to the service member & donate all profits to Mr. Hope's favorite charity. None of which Mr. Hope was aware of.

Mr. Hope was indeed pleased to hear of the donation to his favorite charity but the look on his face when the house lights came up and something in excess of 1500 service personnel in dress uniforms stood and applauded, well, there are no words to describe the mutual admiration.

As the only Marine getting tickets, and because I knew the owners, I was able to score 2-$250.00 tickets and 8-$150.00 tickets for my Marines on the I&I staff.

K. E. Norwood
GySgt USMC Ret.

No films exist of this performance due to the camera crew forgetting to load film. But my buddy Al Brown took these pics.

Jerry Colona and Bob Hope Bob Hope

I was just back from Phu Bai that day so had no idea until I got back to Da Nang that he was even going to be there.

Carol Baker Helicopter landing

Steve Neff
Retired Cpl of Marines

Grit - just wanted to chime in on the Bob Hope shows. I was lucky enough to catch two of them at Freedom Hill, '67 and '68. I've been in love with Ann-Margaret ever since, and Bob Hope will always hold a special place in my memory. Merry Christmas, and Semper Fi!
--- John Clary, 1st Recon Bn, Alpha Deuce, Feb '67-May '69

Boy, This will Knock Your Socks Off.
Bob Hope (YouTube Video)

SSGT Joseph E. Whimple's story of seeing the Bob Hope Show on Okinawa in December 1971 brought back a couple of memories for me as well. I, too, was stationed on the rock in 1971. I was a TOAC maintenance tech with MAC-4, MACG-18, 1st MAW.

Word came down from the Sergeant Major's office that they were looking for four volunteers to go down to see the show. So I called my men together and asked if anybody wanted to go. The consensus was not that good. You have to remember that Viet Nam was getting more and more unpopular every day. Some of these guys were draftees, and many took offense to Bob Hope's gung-ho pro-war stance, and didn't want anything to do with him.

After I heard enough of their BS about not going, I finally spoke up and said, "Look, I don't care what your opinion is of Bob Hope, or the war. You can think whatever you want about that. But he is here to entertain you. And right now, you really ought to thinking about your Mothers." That stopped them cold, and I was asked what I talking about.

I responded, "Well, when this show is aired back home in the States in a couple of weeks, you can bet your sweet azs that your Mother is going to be sitting glued to the couch watching the show, just to maybe get a glimpse of you in the audience. So if you don't want to go and maybe enjoy the show for yourself, perhaps you might want to go for your Mother." I got my four volunteers for the show. I only hope their Mothers got to see their sorry as-es in the audience.

SSgt Wes Kent
1965 - 1973

I can remember those shows also and they helped with us being home sick. Man those are days to remember. Bob thanks for the memories that you gave us where ever you are.!
L/Cpl Jeffery Wordlaw
3Rd. Bn. 3Rd. Marines
1St. Marines FMF West Pact 1St Mar Div.

Reading about the Bob Hope USO Show reminded me of Christmas 1967 near Danang. Someone had to stay behind to "man the store". My troops came first! I stayed behind and from what they told me, I missed a great show. Including Ann Margaret. Oh well, that's the way us Marines do things. I am still glad that one more of my guys got to go!
Jack Robertson, GySgt (retired) USMC

So you were and old cannon cocker yourself. I was with 11th Provisional gun battery 67-68 at An Hoa (two 155 guns and two 8 inch M55 model latter replaced with M110 and down the road was Whiskey Btry 4 duce in support of 5th Marines). Bob Hope actually came to An Hoa just before Tet. I was a senior Cpl. and got to escort the tour for two days. Best tour of duty I ever had till my wife saw the photos a few years later.
Capt. T. L. Johnson, Jr.
United States Marine Corps Ret.

Nine Years

Sgt Grit,

I joined the Corps 8/26/84. Following recruit training I was a BB stacker for 6 years, and left active duty as a Sgt of Marines. I then joined the reserves so I could be a Grunt. I was a mortarman (0341) with Wpns Co 2/24 for 7 years. During that time I deployed for Desert Storm with 2/24 and was promoted to SSgt (1/1/94).

After 1994 the Corps was promoting less and less in the Grunts, and I watched year after year as my fellow well qualified Marines were forced out because they had been passed over. I survived the cut, but I lingered as a SSgt in the Corps for 9 years, 9 long years before being selected for Gunny. I was a 2P (passed over twice) with all the required PME, and thankfully I had the support of several SgtMaj's who took care of me and saw that I got one more chance to be selected.

I was finally promoted to Gunny on 1/2/03 and deployed with 2/24 to Iraq in 2004. Nine year's time in grade and well worth the wait!

Danny Kaye

Hi Sgt Grit,

I read one of the items of my latest newsletter and it was about Bob Hope and the USO tour. I was in the Corps 60 - 63 and was lucky enough to be stationed at Iwakuni MCAS from '61 to '63 in the Base Band H&HS-1 Squadron. We performed at several "People to People" programs throughout Japan and Okinawa. Then in December '62 we were honored to perform a USO Christmas show at the Naval Base at Sasebo, Japan with Danny Kaye, for the Naval/Marine Personnel and their families.

Our Band Leader at the time was WO Bartholemew LaRocca. He was a great leader and we mostly played Classical Music. On this specific assignment, he instructed us before the show to be ready for anything from Danny Kaye because he was spontaneous in his performances. WO Larocca gave us a particular song to play if Danny tried to surprise us. Sure enough he was playing to the audience then jumped up on the podium with the wand and started conducting. As we were forewarned we immediately played a few bars of the music we had planned and he cut us and turned to the audience and said... "these guys are good"... "I have never been able to pull this off in any of my USO tours".

Needless to say thanks to WO LaRocca we were prepared. As it is with all Marines, we are always prepared. It turned out to be a great show for the Navy/Marine personnel and their families as well as for our Band. We had a great amount of pride in what we did.

When we returned to Iwakuni, we were told that Bob Hope had performed at our installation that same night. I didn't get to see the performance but thanks to the "Armed Forces Radio Network" (AFRN) I listened to the pre-recorded program. As a matter of fact, this happened to be my birthday... Dec 22.

Thanks to you Sgt Grit we are able to re-live some of our most memorable times in our lives.

Mike Ware

Military Discount

Funny story: In out shopping with my wife and while waiting on her to come out of the dressing room, I hear a young lady ask the cashier about a military discount. I asked her watch branch did she serve and she said the Marines. I asked her where was she stationed and she then replied "I smoke too much. I can't really remember." That was strike one. Next, I asked her where did she attend boot camp, Parris Island or San Diego, MCRD. She replied "I went San Diego." That was strike 2&3! Every Devil Dog knows d-mn well that there are no women recruits in San Diego, MCRD! It funny how people will lie because they want to be the best!
Jason Jefferson
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With Black Stripes

Sgt. Grit,

Enjoyed "Doc" Beal's story about the green dyed job they did on their white skivvies.

It reminded me that I still have two of my 1945 boot camp issue of green t-shirts. One pristine, the other pretty moth eaten. They are still in my boot camp issued sea bag along with my two original issued green blankets (with the black stripes across the top). Each year I get out the good green t-shirt to wear under my various shirts at the annual China Marine Association reunion. It is now back in the sea bag after being worn the end of September and early October at our 2011 reunion at Fredericksburg, Virginia when we dedicated a beautiful monument to "All China Marines--1819/1949" just below the Chapel at the Marine Corps Museum, Quantico.

Semper Fi,
Ed Fulwider

Quick Death

In an earlier edition of Sgt Grit News, Bob Tollison recounted how the Marine Corps considered adopting the beret as head wear during the mid 1970s.

I was stationed in the Washington D. C. area at that time, and a member of the Marine Corps Uniform Board told me that a majority of the board were in favor of adopting the beret and a green service jacket without the belt for male Marines (like our Army and Air Force counterparts). Anyway, the board briefed General Wilson, the commandant at the time, on what they thought were the merits of these ideas. General Wilson responded, in effect, that neither idea was new or inspiring, and if they wanted to "follow" the rest of the services (and the world for that matter) then go ahead and propose adopting a beret and beltless service jacket. Both proposals died a quick death after that.

Dave Marvin
Major, USMC (Ret.)

Photo taken in Arizona this morning

Devil Dog Rd highway sign

Devil Dog Rd
Semper Fi, Mike McConnell. CPL 85-93

Short Rounds

Re time in grade:... I was a Captain so long I thought CMC had changed my first name to "Forever"... ('bout 8 LCPLs quit your whining...)

In the Dec 8 newsletter, Sgt Devoe says he was a LCpl for 36 months. I have him beat. I was a LCpl for 51 months from Feb. 1994 to May 1998. All without an Article 15 or NJP. I was also a contract PFC.

LCpl Jonathan Mercer/2651
1st Radio Bn and 1st SSCT

Read all the discussion about four deuces in your newsletter. Here's a little info that I have out on the web.


You were not the only 2 guys to miss Bob Hope in 1969, no one in the motor pool got to go either, David Creighton HQ Battery 11th Marines 1968-69

I agree with the Marine from Platoon 328 about the Quonset Huts.. I went through boot camp in March, April and May of 1961 with Platoon 315. Gunny McDowell was our senior drill instructor. My youngest son with through boot camp in 1993. The only Quonset Huts left, at that time, were the ones we had lived in, next to the San Diego Airport. The first couple of nights I thought I would never get any sleep but after that you never noticed the noise.

Cpl. A. H. Johnston 1961-65

I was there 66 to 67.. Never went on R & R. Never saw a USO show.. Have a lot of memories, some good, most bad! I'm very glad the men of today's Corps are treated better than we were! God Bless the MARINES! John V.

In response to the Army soldier... for god's sake show some pride in your army traditions, celebrate the army birthday down at the army league, esprit de army or whatever you over envious United States Soldiers do... personally I liked FMJ and I enjoyed Jarhead it shows what over trained bored Marines do to pass the time Ooohrah Cpl Radtke TA 85-89

Best USMC Movie: Full Metal Jacket
Worst USMC Movie: Full Metal Jacket
WTF? The first half of Full Metal Jacket was the best-brought back lots of memories. The second of Full Metal Jacket was the worst-Vietnam was NEVER like this.

Former 03

Decaying WWII Ordnance

Here is another story about Vietnam era 4.2 inch mortars from a different angle. I was a 2311 ammo tech at the Dong Ha dump during 1967. One day we got in a big shipment of "four-deuce" from Subic Bay. As many of the wooden boxes looked decayed and black mildewed we broke them open for inspection. Sure enough the rounds were in bad shape with corrosion including some Willie Peter! The boxes and paper work inside were all marked with the dates 1944 & 1945! Why they didn't do the inspection of this decaying WWII ordnance at Subic is beyond me.

We ended up putting every last round into Grade 3 and then blowing them up, what a waste of shipping space, time, and of course a shortage of ammo for the 4.2 units along the DMZ. As to those units, I only remember seeing "howtars" and not tube/base plate configuration. I saw them at Gio Linh for sure, and I think Con Thien too.

Daniel Schafer
L/Cpl. Ammo Section

Shameless, Audacious, Capitalist Plug

Dropped in to see the Baron of Bladders, the Prince of the Prostate, today at the plumbing shop... or, in other words, had an appointment with the urologist... comfort being the keyword, was, as usual, attired in sweatshirt, jeans, boots (zipper side... firefighter stuff) and... suspenders... those happening to be the latest pair purchased from yer emporium at the DC 1stMarDiv Reunion PX... the blue with MC seal.

The receptionist, a new one, immediately wanted to know where I got them?... seems her Dad is a 63 YO ;daily suspender wearing retired Marine, DI at PI at some point, and working with a JROTC (AF... haven't figured that one out yet) unit at a HS here in middle TN... while I was being subjected to all sorts of indignities (look up "cystoscope"), she was keen to check out , told me so when I was checking out... think her Christmas shopping for Dad just got easier... good to go!

(First one of these, or similar event after bladder cancer surgery, I ever was subjected to, involved an office nurse named 'Gidget'... who didn't bear much resemblance to the Gidget of the movies)... after the exam, the Baron told me he would have the office nurse remove the catheter... (usually known as a "Foley"... goes where you'd just as soon not have it go... ) so Gidget came in, advised that I should take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and that I might experience some cold water sensation... she got hold, smoothly removed the tube, and then, most demurely, said "I'll wait outside while you get dressed"... had to wonder what there might have been that she hadn't already seen? (just wait, Sonny... you'll get as old as some of us lifers are now... and it'll be your turn... LOL!)

Gonna have to run Dad down... the HS isn't far from here (We, of course, here in Hendersonville, have a MC! JROTC!)


USMC Suspenders and other accessories

Korea 1950

1st Marine Division Song

1st Division Marine Song

Drill Instructor At Chow

Sgt Grit,
To start. To all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Can you all remember the words of your Drill Instructor at chow. "Swallow it hole and chew it later." I use it often when out with friends.

Also when the corpsman come in to hold revelie with "Skin'm back and milk'm down."Mostly heard on "the Rock". Just a couple of thoughts of my youth.

Semper Fi to all and to all a good night.
Jim Leonard
SSgt Ret. 0811/0812

1970 Christmas Card

Here are copies of our Christmas in Danang in 1970 A Christmas Card and an Dinner Menu.

Merry Christmas from The Angry Two - VMO-2 RVN Christmas Menu cover Inside Christmas Menu - Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Dinner was good, but as in other holidays, we ate in shifts and the food was delivered in large insulated vats to the different hangers for those unable to get to the Mess Hall.

Merry Christmas - First Marine Aircraft Wing FMJ Republic of Vietnam Christmas Menu cover Inside Christmas Menu - Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

Semper Fi

Choo Choo
Sgt of Marines (NLA)
RVN 70-71

I Can't Forget Korea

These old lyrics have been going through my head for months now. Can't find them anywhere, but I know they came from the 60s off of some obscure album I listened to at MCRD San Diego in Comm/Elect school ...

"I can't forget Korea, and I won't forget ol Guam
Where Syg Mon Rhee and Stalin
They made their speal at home.
They saved their greatest fireworks
Til the Marine Reserves came through
And all we got was a crock of sh-t from you, and you, and you."

Any help from Sgt Rock?

Kent M. Yates

Ready For The Next War

Don... for Terry Enfield of plt 328, 1966... hate to pop your memory bubble like this, but those remaining Quonsets are just across the road from the obstacle courses, and from April '62- April of '66 (my tour) they were used for the storage of pugil sticks, helmets, boxing gloves, and during the era of the metal silhouette M-14's used for the PRT, those were stored there as well. They were not far from what at the time was 3rd Bn area (my first two years were in L Company... closest to the 'little grinder', next to the airfield fence)

If you can visualize standing at the obstacle course, looking at those Quonsets, to your left, at the corner of the road would have been one of four WWII "H" shaped two story buildings. This was 3rd Bn Hq... to the east, in the same quad was DI school, and north of that were 1st and 2nd Bn Hqs'... all since long gone, and probably several locations changes since...

I did note on my last visit to the Depot, that the shrubs delineating the O courses have grown... quite a bit! If you have your platoon book, it may have a panoramic picture of the depot in the era... you may have been close, but I think at the time all of the series lived on the east side of the road by the four mess halls (3 in use, 4th was hand to hand classroom for a long time., and the Quonsets behind the O course huts on out to the road to the east weren't used...

For those who do not recognize "PRT", it's not a misspelling of "PFT", but Physical Readiness Test... this was run in helmet, light marching packs, web belt, one canteen, and dummy rifle... all metal, same weight as an M-14 with loaded magazine... the test involved knotted rope climb, step-ups on an 18" bench, 40 yard run to pick up and fireman carry back a 'wounded' buddy (hopefully, somewhat close in weight), a long run that involved hitting the deck in a firing position three times and then jumping over a 8' ditch... all this capped off with a 3 mile run, (with gear) 36 minute max time (everything else was also on a time basis)... considerably more realistic (IMHO) than running in sneaks and flyless skivvies... forget which, but about the time running became popular (it hasn't always been), somebody General commented that "we'll be ready for the next war... if it's fought in ADDIAS"... ddick



Ontos Group of Ontos and Marine saluting camera

CWO3 Tom Stevens
Cuba 1962
Vietnam 1967-1968 Dong Ha

Australian Photo Journalist

Dear Sir,
Denis Gibbons's photograph of fire fight between Viet Cong and US Marines Hi my name is Shaun Gibbons.

My father, Denis Gibbons was an Australian photojournalist in Vietnam 1966-1970.

Unfortunately Dad passed away a few weeks ago.

Attached are a few photos from a series he took with a US Marine Unit.

Denis Gibbons's photograph of fire fight between Viet Cong and US Marines Denis Gibbons's photograph of fire fight between Viet Cong and US Marines

The only description I can find with the photo sequence is

Fire fight between Viet Cong (VC) and United States (US) Marines, Hoa Vang textile Factory, there were two Marines wounded in the action.

I was wondering if you knew of any way I could find out what unit is in these pictures, and if there are any surviving members?

Thank you so much for your time.


Clumsy Heavy

After reading the stories about that heavy clumsy mortar, it brought fond memories. In '56 Delta 2/11 at Pendleton had 6 howitzers and 6 mortars. The battery would alternate training cycles with them, especially out in 29 stumps. We also fired by the use of the searchlight batteries. Being a wireman at the time, the gunny thought it would be a good idea to cross train. Assigned to a section I was designated to the base plate. Carrying that clumsy heavy piece of metal to the firing positions caused some bruise shins. Since the battery trained not show a lot of tire tracks we would travel in set of tracks then the firing sections would off load and carry all the equipment to their positions. I was glad when it was decided that I would train as a radio operator and assigned to an FO team. But humping that base plate has never left me. By the way when we used the howitzers, one mortar was emplacement at battery center and used for illum missions.

Semper Fi
Albert Dixon
GySgt, USMC, ret.

31 Month PFC

The Green Weenie
Uncle Sam's Misguided Children
University of Science Music & Culture

I'm sure there are others with more time in grade but I spent 31 months as a PFC E-2, from 1December1962 until 1July1965, with no legal proceedings involved (thank you 1st Sgt Linehan). Most of it was bad timing.

Arrangement of Marine chevrons and Eagle, Globe, and Anchors I left 29 Palms just as I had enough time in grade for L/Cpl and spent 14 months in school where rank was frozen. Upon reporting to my first duty station after school - Cherry Point - I managed to p-ss off S/Sgt Gehrdes and then ended up working for him. That tacked on another ten months TIG. I received my promotion to L/Cpl at the same ceremony at which I got my Good Conduct Ribbon. I don't recall where or how I got these PFC chevrons but it was shortly after I was promoted and I wore them for the rest of my time in grade. No one ever questioned them.

I'm in the competition for shortest time in grade as a Corporal with 40 days. Promoted to Cpl. as a re-enlistment carrot, on 1August1966 and released from active duty on 9September1966.

Best Marine movie - Full Metal Jacket
Two worst Marine movies - Firebase Gloria and The Boys in Company 'C'

Will Hayden of Red Jacket Guns (TV show Sons of Guns)
John Besh - Chef and Food Network personality
Bob (Robert) Parsons - Founder and CEO of Go Daddy

Not Marines!
Don Knotts - United States Army served as an entertainer
Bea Arthur - not in the military

Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.

Watching The Blue Flame

Sgt Grit,

Relative to the excellent article submitted by the GySgt Jim McCallum "He was p-ssed but.." in the 12/7/2011 newsletter, I would like to say that we were next door neighbors at the greater Hue' Phu-Bai International aerodrome back in 1965.

I was with Battery I, the 105mm/155mm artillery battery that supported BLT 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines out of Kaneohe Bay. I rode many a dawn or dusk aerial recon with the 'Pineapple' (big yellow pineapple painted on the nose) squadron and a few helo inserts on some operations in the TAOR and have a few photos from those rides.

I also recall an early two-aircraft launch out of Phu-Bai about 0400 for Danang where my seat in dash-two was on the starboard side, aft of the large (open) door. Once airborne we apparently shut off all of the external navigation lights and continued south blacked out through the noted Hai Van pass. When I leaned forward and asked the crew chief where dash one was he pointed forward to the right and said "right there".

Although it was pitch black we were flying position on the leader by watching the blue flame from the engine exhaust on the left side of the nose cowling. Thinking about intermingling main rotor blades in the dark, I was d-mn glad to kiss the ground at Danang! Equal number of take-off's and landings make for reasonably good memories. Thanks for the rides Gunny.

Semper Fidelis
Joe Featherston

Festival Of Trees

Flier about Gunny's tree Gunny and Troy and fellow Marines Thank you again here is the final product all put together I will go and try to get a couple of more shots for you I sent this on to the media with the following. This would not be possible without You and your team's great help we have enough stuff to start next year's tree as well.

Gunny's Dog Tag Christmas tree At the Festival of Trees this year you will find this tree. Not the largest not the most fancy but look closely if you can catch one of the 64 Dog tags on it you will see they are the Names of all whom have passed from Utah serving their country since that dreaded day on / 911. Even though the tree has a largely Marine theme to it, it stands as a tribute to all those whom have given all and give all every day. So if you get a chance spread the word and stop by and take a look maybe even if you can make a bid on it and help a another great cause. This tree is donated courtesy of Marine League Utah West Det. #1332

Semper Fi
Gunny & Troy

We Called It A Barracks

I have posted on here a few times in the past, and thought I would add my two cents about some of the current hot topics here.

Regarding Vieques, the only place we went was pretty much off limits, it was "the Canyon" by Isabella Segunda. You could get a drink, a lady of the evening, or a fight, whichever you were seeking. As for Camp Fuji Japan, many a Marine with a 48 or 72 hour pass set out with the best of intentions of going to Gotemba, the nearest big town, or maybe Tokyo, but never got past Tomaho, that little collection of shacks, bars, and brothels right outside the gate. It wasn't much, but it filled the bill in a pinch. We were issued those green shirts at Fuji for cold weather training. As for Jacksonville, NC, if you were lucky enough to have scored a date with a gal, you always took her for Sunday breakfast at the Duchess Cafe. It was the place to be seen and show off the fact that you had scored on Sat. night. On one of the rare occasions where I had scored, when I woke up the next morning and saw what I had scored with, all I wanted to do was get away from her. However, she insisted that we go to the Duchess for breakfast. I was hoping nobody I knew would be there, but as luck had it, there were some guys from my barracks there. I never did live it down, they spread the word about the stray dog I had picked up at the pound, and I was razzed about it for months.

As for best-worst Marine movies, I agree with the general consensus that Jarhead stunk. The problem with Heartbreak Ridge was that no platoon, and least of all a Recon platoon, would be shown in that light and would show the disrespect to their top sgt,. Clint Eastwood's character, that they showed him. The best depiction of boot camp was Full Metal Jacket. There were only two things wrong. First, Pvt. Pyle would never have graduated with his platoon, he would have been set back long ago to one of the various motivational platoons, either Fat Boy or Slow Learner platoon. Secondly, he was punished for having a jelly donut. I never saw any kind of donut, or any pastry or sweets of any kind for the entire 13 weeks. There was no jelly on the table for our toast in the morning, you ate it dry or with a tiny pat of butter. Other than that, FMJ was great.

Regarding the Circle at Lejeune, where you went for a ride, I recall that there were signs for just about anywhere. I knew a guy who went to Wisconsin on weekends. He said had 8 hours at home before he had to start back. My oldest son was a Marine, 2-5, and youngest son 4 years in the Army. I always laugh when they talk about their roommates in the service. I tell them that I had roommates too, about 60 of them, and we all lived in the same room, we called it a barracks. More recollections later.

Paul Lindner, Cpl. 1959-1963

Till I Die

Sgt Grit: I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1952, among my uniforms was 6 pairs of Khakis, one mustard colored shirt, and herring bone dungaree's, which I still have, including 2 dungaree covers, which I wear at times. I turned in three pairs of khakis for three pair of Tropical worsted, Seems like I was always in them. Very comfortable to wear. I believe in '53 we were issued the green flannel shirt. I have a photo of myself wearing a khaki "IKE" or battle jacket, I still have my dress green "Ike" jacket.

After boot camp I was stationed at Camp Mathews as a rifle instructor, M-1 carbine, BAR, m-1 garand, 45 pistol and hand grenades. Later was at area 15, Camp Pendleton for cold combat IT. I met Major Paige at that time. Went overseas on the USS Gen. Nelson Walker TO Japan. arrived at Kobe, traveled to camp Okabou for assignment, Was assigned to 4th A/Ts,75 recoilless rifle, later was sent to South camp Fuji [TAD] to Dog Co.3rd tank Battalion,3rd Mar. Div. FMF. I commanded an M-47 Gen. Walker. Enjoyed JAPAN a lot. Middle camp is where Gotemba is, North Camp was used by the US Army, 6th Cav. at this time. 1953.The 4th Marines, 3rd tanks and 3rd battalion infantry were the aggressors on Iwo Jima, Marlex problem, took on the 3rd MarDiv. loads of fun touring such an historic place, caves and all. Later assigned to Marine Barracks Long Beach, Ca. Discharged in 1956.

Still on temporary active duty till I die, A hearty thank you to all who have served and those to come. SEMPER FI.

Don Davis 1273704
Sgt of Marines 1952-1956

I Felt Better

I found it interesting that Marine Jim Harvey (1957-1959) served during the same time period I did and he was with Golf Battery 11th Marines 1st Marine Division. I served with Fox 2nd 11th Marines 1st Division. We received the 4.2 mortars painted in Army brown in April 1957 and made trips to 29 Palms and a place named Pickle Meadows in the mountains near Reno in the winter. The mortars apparently were not good in supporting the 5 Marines as out training at the time pointed out. We were also given 105 mm how's in 1958. Marine Jim Harvey probably experienced all the same field trips as I. Personally, I felt better manning the 105.

Marvin Haverkamp

God Made More

hey grit when it comes to sayings used in the 60's how about eat the apple and f--k the core, what about gedunk and pogey bait. ever been to dogpatch with 2 dollars.

does anybody remember chu lai steak, that was a chunk of spam about the size of a football and then the cooks would look at you when they cut it and if you shook your head yes he would cut, if no he would move the knife and your piece would get bigger with each head shake. then they fried it. oh for the memories. terrible stuff, but every now and then i buy a can of spam and fry it. i kinda like it.

how about lime Kool-Aid, the red cross workers were round eyes and the Kool-Aid was actually cold. seen ann margaret when i was at chu lai and haven't been the same since. at least when you've seen something like her you knew you had a reason to go on fighting, biting, kicking and scratching to get home, because you just knew that god made more than just one.

l/cpl j tracy 2192776.

Famous Marines

Lloyd Haynes, TV. 1952-64.

Louis Hayward, movies and TV. WWII, photographer, Tarawa.

George Roy Hill, movies. Pilot, WWII and Korea.

Don Imus, radio. Bugler, 1957-1960.

Bob Keeshan, Captain Kangaroo. Enlisted at the end of WWII.
Never served in combat or with Lee Marvin.


"May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us in all our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy."
--George Washington

. "A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards."
--President Theodore Roosevelt

God Bless the American Dream!
Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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