A story told to me by a friend.
In 1960 I was a senior Drill Instructor at the San Diego Recruit Depot. The morning routine was for the DIs to awake before reveille. No recruits were permitted to be out of their Quonset Huts at that time.
One particular morning I and Sgt Black, the junior DI, were standing outside on the platoon street drinking coffee as daylight broke through. Sgt Black sighted something out of the corner of his eye (he the recon Marine). I heard him bellow, "Come here turd!" at this short, sulking figure in utilities buttoned at the top (as required of recruits).
The figure rushed over to us and stood at rigid attention. Only then did Black and I recognize the figure as Lt Gen Victor Krulak, Commanding Officer of the Recruit Depot (and father of the future 31st Commandant). Apparently the General's wandering was his covert observation of conditions to ensure his dictates were being followed. One of these policies was that recruits be addressed as "Private" and not by derogatory terms (a policy generally ignored by DIs, tradition not so easily dispensed with).
Sgt Black and I immediately knew we were in deep do-do. "How do you address recruits, Sergeants" Without missing a beat, Sgt Black, now at attention, answered, "Sir, 'Turd' is the acronym that stands for Trainee Undergoing Rigid Discipline."
A moment of silence... then the General cracked a smile and ordered, "Very well, carry on." He then strolled off to another area.
In This Issue
What do you think of the new "blast panties"? That is, the new protective underwear. I has been issued to 1/5. Early reviews are positive.
The technology used today is impressive. The protective gear, drones, precision bombing, night vision etc... Young people today like to use/overuse the word amazing. But it is truly amazing! In Vietnam the discussion was whether you needed to zip up the front of your flak jacket. The art of war has certainly come a long way.
Here we go, those who survived, sticker shock, irritates me, Gomer, Chief Officer, 651 inches, off we went, BAS driver, the big cylinder, Isherwood, Dixie Diner, they were cocky, spun my helmet, here's the puzzle, pizzin match, ANGLICO, and of course Short Rounds and the quotes.
Come here Turd!
American Thing To Do
Hey Sgt Grit... I was a young man fresh out of High School when I joined the Marine Corps in May 1963. I graduated on a Thursday and left for Boot Camp on Monday morning. I joined because I loved America and loved everything that it stood for then and stands for now. But, I joined to do my duty, as my father and grandfather had done in World War II and World War I. I did it because it was the American thing to do and I was an American.
I made friends in the Corps before during and after combat in Viet Nam. I served with the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines and the 1st Battalion 1st Marines in Viet Nam. I was proud of both units, but the Walking Dead were the men I first went to combat with and I remember them because they were my first combat friends. From Boot Camp. to ITR to San Mateo and the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. I can't recall many of their names now, except for those who died in Viet Nam and who served with me in 1/9. We became brothers after the war, during reunions, during baseball games and at family outings, weddings and funerals.
I loved those men who survived the war and I love them today. I honor the memories as more and more of them join the ranks of Belleau Woods and Tarawa and Korea and Happy Valley and Marble Mountain and other places including Iraq and Afghanistan. I also saw many a brave and honorable man fall inside and surrounding the World Trade Center. Without seeming disrespectful, I fight for the American Way and The Honor and History of the Marine Corps and the United States of America. I loved the men next to me and beside me, but I never fought for them, except to the fact that they were brave men who stood next to me and were willing to die to save me and combat the common enemy. I would give my life for them if I had too, but I have done that for the American people since the war was over also.
As a young enlisted man I never met an officer that I thought I could talk to or relay my heartfelt feelings to. So how could I fight and give my life for him? However, after the war, when we were on common ground as citizens, I admired them as much as I did the men that fought next to me in the dirt and mud between Da Nang and Hue City. I loved them because they were Americans, because they were Marines and because they stood up when others didn't. That is the American way.
I hope to always fight for what is right and to fight for the American Way along side and among the finest and best men and women in the world. Without Glory there is no sacrifice, there is no Honor. There is no Marine Corps without Honor.
Sgt of Marines John E Miller 2062660
C/1/9 and A/1/1 Viet Nam 1965/ 1966
What an Honor
I was looking for a patch (MACS-2) for my Marine Corps League jacket for an outfit that I served with from 59-61 at Kaneohe Bay and wasn't having much luck. I searched the internet and found out that the Squadron was at Cherry Pt. NC, another base I had been stationed at twice. Thinking that they might know where I could purchase one, I wrote them. Not only did they know where, but they sent me the patch and a challenge coin along with an invitation to attend their Change of Command Ceremony on 16 June, 2011. This was something I could not resist.
I am honored and privileged to say not only did I attend, but was treated like a celebrity. I was assigned an escort, 1st Lt. Chandler, for the entire day. We toured the MACS-2 site as well as the base itself, attended the ceremony and participated in the social event following. This was all arranged by the Squadron Adjutant, 1st Lt. Keramidas. My visit also including spending a short time with outgoing and incoming CO's, Lt. Col. Chris Richie and Lt. Col Darry Grossnickle.
At the end of the day, I was privileged to meet with about 20 of my fellow "enlisted" in a conference room and just have a general bull session about life now and how it was 50 years ago. To say that things have changed is a "sticker shock". However, one thing I did learn, is that the Marines of today are just as proud and just as dedicated as we were. Sure, we old salts always believe we had it harder, but that doesn't matter, because the one's that came before me can say the same thing.
The one thing that I stressed to them which they will learn later on, no matter if you serve 4 or 30 years, ONCE a MARINE ALWAYS a MARINE...
I was a Vietnam Marine and served at Camp Books, FLC, from 1970-1971.
My son, Matt, served with 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, from 2006 to 2010, and was deployed to Fallujah, his first time out. The battalion was assigned a float on the second deployment.
My father served with "M" Company, 3rd Bn., 8th Marines, in World War II. "M" Company was the battalion weapons company. I've attached a photograph that was taken, of "M" company, in June 1943, when they were at Camp Paekakariki, New Zealand, some months before the assault at Tarawa.
What prompted me to send this photo, was that I was watching the HBO series "The Pacific". In the final disc, there is a profile of the Marines who were depicted. The first is of John Basilone. There are several photos of "Manila" John, wearing his winter service greens after his return to the states in 1943.
Sergeant Basilone wears the rank insignia of a WW2 Platoon Sergeant, one service stripe, and the 1st Marine Division shoulder patch on the left sleeve of his blouse. There is no rank insignia on the right sleeve.
After seeing that, I noticed that the same is in the attached photo, although the Marines are wearing combat jackets.
I do recall that World War 2 Marines wore rank insignia on both sleeves. My father's uniform certainly did. I guess that I'll have to give him a holler, and see what he says.
Feel free to post that photo.
Sergeant, USMC 1969-1972
Recruiter Was So Impressed
I would like to thank GySgt Newell for his kind words.
My daughter wanted to join but she has a heart condition which would not allow her to join and she was broken hearted.
However while in high school she became friends with the local recruiter and helped steer several young men to join the Corps. Her mother and I told her that she did her duty by talking to these men and encouraging them to join.
We have often told her "they also serve who stay home".
The recruiter was so impressed with her that to this day they correspond whenever possible.
She has gone to several FMDA events and never fails to say "thank you for your service".
She supports the Marines and even helped decorate a 4th of July float one year and rode in it waving a flag.
After reading what Gunny Newell said she feels a little better. Thank you Gunny Newell.
Luis M. De La Cruz
HM3 FMF/ 3rd Tracks
Sign Comes Down
Your story from Ray Gomez with the sign that says it does not come down till they come home hit my heart like a rock slammed it. I have a friend that joined the Marine Corps shortly after I did with the same name (Ray Gomez). When I saw that name my heart basically skipped a beat and as I read further I saw it was not the same Ray Gomez that I knew. We were both from Pueblo, Colorado. My heart goes out to you Mr Gomez. None of us should lose anyone close to us. God Bless You. I Hope your sign comes down with no losses of your friends or family.
What Irritates Me
I am one of thousands of Marines who served their country as a reservist. My service was with the 155 guns out of Norman, OK and it was during a time when we were not at war. Yet, we trained monthly and every summer so we were ready and able if ever called upon. Including the 6 months active duty and the seven summers of two week summer camp (29 Palms in my case) and one weekend each month. We spent a total of around 408 days in uniform.
Yet we are eligible for zero percent in veteran's benefits. And what irritates me even more is when someone asked me if I'm a vet, I have to honestly say no. I served, and I served proudly, but my country nor the Marine Corps considers me a vet. We trained hard and was ready if the nation ever called upon us. I know men, I'm sure you do as well, who spent a lot less time in uniform and got out for one reason or another, yet they are able to not only claim benefits as if they had served their entire contract.
My suggestion is simply this, I went to rent a boat the other day and was asked if I was a veteran so I would be eligible for a ten percent discount. I told the man I had served, but had no documentation to prove same. I don't carry my "Honorably Discharged" papers with me, do you yours? No, probably not. Why not offer to the reservist of this country a reduced copy of their discharge papers laminated in plastic that they could carry in their wallet and at least get something for the years served? This guy said he would have given me a discount if I could prove to him I had served even as a lowly "reservist."
Sgt. E-5 USMCR
I'm sending these photos of my Beagle Gomer Beagle, USMC to Sgt. Grit to give other Marines & Friends some ideas for their pets. I got a Woodland Camouflage harness from an on line vendor (Hug-a-Dog) & customized it with patches from Grit in honor of my Dad, Hawk Rader Jr., A/1/8 2 Div WWII Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, 2 USMC uncles, & all past, present & future Marines who have served & will serve the USA. Needless to say, Gomer really gets a lot of attention when he's wearing his "uniform" when we go out & he waves the flag for the Corps & USA.
Gomer is an adopted Chocolate Beagle boy, 4 1/2 yrs. old of Catonsville, MD. He was named for Gomer Pyle, USMC because his personality resembles Pyle's: happy, enthusiastic & slightly misguided! He didn't like the name given to him by the rescue group but responded the first time when I started to call him Gomer.
Gladly Shared The News
In response to the post by Sharon Hill in the American Courage #254 that showed a graduation picture of Plt. 12-A, graduation date Nov. 17, 1965, with a male Drill Instructor and two female Instructors. That is the same day I graduated with Plt 287, K Co., 2nd Recruit Training Battalion (Second to none!) from Parris Island and it seems I remember a male Drill Instructor with Plt 12-A on that date.
We did not know there were females on the Island training until we saw them on graduation day, although I don't know what good it would have done any of us to know that. If it had been important for us to know I am confident our Drill Instructors would have gladly shared the news with us.
God bless our Corps and especially our warrior Marines deployed,
R. A. Kiser, 2149375
Cpl of Marines
Push-ups Will Be Next
Hey Sgt. Grit,
As always, I enjoy reading your great newsletter....all the stories really bring it home, and remind me how proud I am to be "One of The Few".
Several months ago, I sent you a picture of my nephew, PFC Jason Johnson, and I, when I attended his graduation from MCRD San Diego, last October, almost exactly 48 years after I had graduated there. Well, he is now a L/Cpl and just got home for a 10 day leave after MOS School, before he reports to Miramar.
His Mom reports that was home less than 24 hours, and he was already trying to teach his 2 year old nephew how to say "Ooh- Rah", and I suspect that push-ups will be one of the next lessons. It appears we have yet another future Marine in training!
I have to say, my nephew wanted to become a Marine from the time he knew what the word Marine meant. He followed his dream, worked hard, and accomplished his heart's desire. Already, you can tell that he has the dedication to, and love of The Corps that we all share. I am proud to have him as one of my Brother Marines.
Keep up the great work,
Patrick C. Verd
Cpl. USMC - 1962-65
The T-shirt He Designed
Just a thought on who can display the EGA
I served in the 5th and 3rd Marine Divisions between 1967 thru 1970. I left the world as Johnny and returned as JOHN. Like the saying goes everything I needed to know in life I learned in The Marine Corps... Many years later I passed on those same values and lessons to my two sons. The one thing that I required of my boys was that the made a contribution/difference to the community they lived in. Service "YES" but one of their own choosing.
Both went off to college and entered the educational field. The youngest became a high school music director and every semester he invites the Marine Recruiter to his class to speak to his students (the only teacher in the district) about life lessons/options/commitment and responsibility the same thing he learned from his old man. The oldest son became the director of admissions at a local university and started a Veterans Support Club with the help of the local Marine Assoc. The t-shirt he designed for the club has all the services emblems but made sure the EGA was on the top
They may have not served in my Corps but they sure as h-ll car wear my EGA
Sgt of Marines
1967 thru 1970
I love the stories about left-handed or missing salutes. Fortunately I never had the pleasure of receiving an impromptu education on when/who to salute, but on a related note, I had conflicting educations on how to address warrant officers (other than sir/ma'am of course). One night while I was working for the OOD manning the phone and radio while he was conducting rounds, a CWO3 called and identified himself as "Chief Officer" so-and-so (can't remember his name). I presume he referred to himself as "Chief Officer" because "C-W-O-3" and "Chief Warrant Officer" don't exactly roll off the tongue. At any rate, I went with it.
He said I needed to give a message to the OOD and later a different message to my CO. After addressing his needs, he hung up and the rest of the night was uneventful. However the next day, I reported to my normal station at the Co. HQ. The CO wasn't in yet, but the XO was, so I told her that the "Chief Officer" had a message. She proceeded to chew me out up and down that "Chief Officer" is a Navy term. For fear of losing my PFC stripe, I didn't mention two tidbits: 1) that the CWO called himself "Chief Officer" and 2) the Navy has Chief Petty Officers and Chief Warrant Officers, but to my knowledge no Chief Officers unless referring to a billet versus a rank.
Seeing as your newsletter reaches Marines and Corpsmen far and wide and from several generations, I wonder if you would mind sending this out to our brothers and sisters to settle the debate of whether it is appropriate to address a CWO as "Chief Officer".
A. T. Sexton, LCpl
Have been reading a lot about male or female D.I.'s for WM's.. Sometime in March or April 1965 platoon 110 was on the big grinder in front of 1st. Battalion doing what you usually do on the parade deck.
Way off in the distance we noticed another platoon doing the same thing but slowly getting closer and closer. Even when I could hear the cadence I didn't realize the other platoon were WOMEN! The respective D.I.'s marched us to within about 10 feet and when we were even with the WM platoon, our D.I. hollered" PLATOON HALT!, RIGHT FACE. Now the two platoons were standing at attention and staring at each other...
Everything was dead quiet for about 2 or 3 full minutes when, in a very loud and gruff voice we heard the female WM D.I. scream at her platoon..
"girls, there's 651 inches of d-ck over there and you ain't gettin none of it ", with that she gave a right face and they marched off, never to be seen again..And our D.I.'s were running in and out the ranks looking for a single smirk... NOT ME !
Richard G Williams ( Will )
LCpl Keyth Howry
Served '61-'65, at White Beach, Okinawa. Was a Base Dive Master @ Camp Squab, Okinawa from '63-'64 Marine Corps League - Sooner Detachment 559
I read a recent letter in the newsletter where someone was complaining or was jealous of our Marine 'arrogance'.
1985 - 1991
I was a member of 2nd Landing Support Battalion, 1985-1988, in French Creek on Camp Lejeune, NC. We had a ANGLICO unit next door to us! I was with Beach And Port CO, we also had a Air Deliver Platoon with our Company, which was made famous during the hazing incident about pinning on the wings in 1995?94, can't remember! But as far as I can figure there is always need for, Air, Naval Gun Liaison Company's, AKA ANGLICO!
Hey Sgt Grit,
I believe the Marine who wrote of the Horseshoe in this last issue was mistaken by a year. He said it happened in April 1950. The Korean "Police Action" didn't start until June of that year. We got there in August.
W F Mitchell
Wow, I couldn't believe I saw the article about the shark in Okinawa. Me and some of my buddies were snorkeling off Camp Schwab the day that shark was caught. Ironically, it's also the only time that we had swam out past the reef. We about flipped when we saw the report in the paper. Thanks for the memory jog.
Michael Cunningham USMC '83 -'87
I read your news letter each week, and love it. I'm a "Cold War" Marine, and didn't get into battle. But, it's like all of us say, we never leave the Corps. It is a part of us until death, and even then, we guard Heaven's Gates with pride. And you know what? Nobody does it better.
Look forward to next week's news letter.
Sgt. Grit, As an ole "Jarhead" and d-mned proud of it ! I do enjoy your newsletters. And all the stories you post. Please keep up the "great"
work you do With Respect.
Sgt. R.D. Burns 11-61 to
I have my 1st mess kit and my boonie hat from South East Asia the hardest school I ever went to. I know a kid that is in the AF and can't hack it and wants out what has this generation come to.
To GySgt, H. E. Newell
Your words were most appreciated,-Thank You
I and my wife of 50 yrs just returned from Calif. My grandson is L/cpl Aaron Snyder stationed there. He gave us a 3 hr tour of the base first time I had been back since 1959. I had tears as I saw the old places. My wife went into cardiac arrest 3 times Nov 10th as we waited to go to P.I. to see him graduate so was so happy we made the Calif trip and wonderful 10 days in San Clemente...
"We must take change by the hand or rest assuredly, change will take us by the throat."
-- Winston Churchill
"Lest I keep my complacent way I must remember somewhere out there a person died for me today; As long as there must be war, I ask and I must answer, was I worth dying for?"
"A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired."
"No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly."
Coup Down Saigon Way
Looks like Dennis D. Krause unknowingly crossed paths very closely in the 9th MEB. While I didn't volunteer as he did I was plucked out of G2 1st MAW and added to the ranks of the 9th MEB back in the day, and like he, enjoyed time on "Greasy George" Clymer.
And I definitely recall that very same swim call. Once or twice was enough for me as well. And he got it right, below deck was an oven. I don't recall feeling any coolness, but rather what stuck in my mind is the weird feeling when jumping in and going under, that relatively speaking, it was bottomless. This was in the S. China Sea and it's really deep there.
The 9th MEB floated off of Nam for I don't know how long. It seemed like an eternity. Lots of ships of various kinds and that was it, you just floated, perhaps moved around a bit, They'd invent things for you to do. I was on the G2 staff so I had a job and a place to go, but the grunts were penned up with nothing, literally nothing to do. Scuttlebutt was one took his rubber mattress, went overboard and started peddling to land.
We were off Danang and then things got interesting. Seems there was a coup down Saigon way and the Admiral got orders to move the fleet down there in case we had to evacuate Americans. I was on the Admiral's/Generals flagship, which may have been the Clymer, (I moved to another ship somewhere along the way, but don't recall its name off hand) and as Dennis said, these ships were long in the tooth). when the order came in.
I remember this scenario well. Though we were afloat, doing nothing, going nowhere, Uncle Sam actually paid you. In US dollars I think, not funny money (military script). The way this was done is a Captain carried the money from ship to ship, with a Sgt packing a 45 in tow for protection. He was ferried around in a small boat, pulled up to the Jacob's ladder (staircase), would come up, sit behind a little table and dole out the cash to we troops, who signed off that they rec'd it. You could opt for it all or part. But he had to have enough case for all. So he had a LOT of money.
It so happened that one eventful day, A bunch of Marines, including me were standing on deck (hanging around doing zip) just as he came aboard our ship. They say timing is everything in life and that day it was for the Marine Captain & Sgt. Literally a few minutes after the Captain & Sgt set foot on deck, the Admiral himself stuck his head over his perch and shouted the order down to the navy guys that we we're ordered to pull out and head to Saigon. Included in this short order was to "pull up the Jacobs ladder and get under weigh" This, as you can imagine got the Marine Captain/paymaster's attention. He and the Sgt quickly gathered themselves and the Captain, politely and properly asked the Admiral who was still looking down from a high, the words just out of his mouth, if the Admiral would hold that ladder a moment so he & the Sgt could get off.
The Admiral said "Captain, my orders are to move my fleet South IMMEDIATELY, and that's exactly what I'm going to do... Welcome aboard" And stunned he watched the crew hop to, pull up the ladder, and off we went. And that poor Captain and Sgt were with us all the way to Saigon and back (eventually we came back when the coup quieted down Big Minh was overthrowing Little Mihn or vs versa). All they had was what they were wearing (uniform of the day, not dungerees) their 45's, and a pile of money. And I suppose a neat story to tell.
What else comes to mind, is the Admiral had a very high pitched voice, which amused the Marines to no end, but you had to be Very careful of when and where you were amused.
Along the lines of vintage liberty cards being sent in, attached is mine from the 9th MEB. As you can see it wasn't a card per se. just a piece of fragile paper. You carried them with you, not much liberty as you may think, being on a ship. When we pulled into Subic, you had a step in front of you before that pass meant anything, you had to get off the ship, i.e. be on the roster approving it.
Subic is another story. As well as the tour to Bataan and Corregidor.
Dear Sgt Grit,
If possible please send me an e-mail or address for Dave Coup who wrote a call sign story in your July 14 news letter. He stated that he had been in 3/7 in 69 RVN. I also was in 3/7 from 9/69 to 10/70. I was in H&S 106's for 6mos, I was wounded on 3/20/70 outside LZ Baldy. After being hit I caught Malaria.
When I returned to duty they needed someone with a military drivers license for the Battalion Ambulance driver so I spent the rest of my time in country as the BAS driver. (jeep w/stretcher). The call signs for us were Bn. Aid Station was "seven up" and mine was "seven up mobile". In the last 41 years I've only met about five or six 3/7 personal. I'd like to contact Mr. Coup to see if we knew each other.
Thanks for all you do,
Bore Evac (that big cylinder on the gun tube)
I want to weigh in on the call sign discussion. I was in 2nd Tanks A. Co. for the initial phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003). We were known over the net as "IronHorse" while 1st Tanks went by "Tiger". The individual platoons were colors (Red 1st Plt, White 2nd Plt, Blue 3rd Plt) and each tank had a "name" written on the bore evac (that big cylinder on the gun tube) My tank was "The InFamous - Smooth Operator". my Tank commander and myself each wanted our own name for the tank. I was "InFamous". I know that the gun bunnies, 10th and 11th Marines, were known as "Patriot" and I think that I heard them referred too as "Gunslinger" but I may have been mistaken.
My company was attached to 2nd Bn 5th Marines and they were known as "Grizzly". There was another unit that we were close to, that I think was a Grunt unit known by native American names: "Geronimo" "Apache" and another that was always garbled when it came across the radio. We never referred to Army units by call sign just by who they were. If anyone was a part of those units in that time frame please feel free to clear up the gaps in my memory.
Semper Fi, Do or Die
Sgt. Matthieu "InFamous" Linen, 1812/USMC(R) A. Co. 2nd Tank Bn, 2nd MARDIV, II MEF, MARFORLANT
From Inside This Bunker
While in Viet-Nam during 1966 as a very young PFC attached to A Co., 1st Tank Bn. I was walking past a bunker one afternoon on my way back to the tank and from inside this bunker I kept hearing someone calling;... Isherwood, Isherwood!.
I thought, who would be calling ME from this bunker, it's not tanks bunker, we didn't have any, besides, no one in there knows my name!. So I walked inside and there were radios everywhere, Marines pacing about checking maps etc.. A Marine asked me what was I doing in the bunker. I told him I heard someone calling my name!. Finally a Major came up to me and asked what my name was, I snapped to attention and said... ISHERWOOD Sir!. He thought I was joking and asked to see my ID card, when I showed him, he spoke some expletives and said; well I'll be d-mned.
Charles B. Isherwood
Sergeant Major, U.S. Marine Corps (ret)
Regimental Sergeant Major, 2d Marines (97-98)
More Call Signs
Enjoy your newsletter and items available. Enjoy the different comments. In RVN 65-66 with M-4-11 we were Plain Mike, and our Plaid Mike 6, Jim "JO" Black passed away this year. I recall a unit we were shooting for as "Dixie Diner" and there were others.
We were part of RLT 7 and one of the first lstMarDiv units in Chu Lai TAOR. I served an earlier tour with VMO-2 ( Cherry Deuce) when the tour was 18 months we flew a lot in the Philippines and around Colombo. I did a later tour with the Silver Eagles, VMFA-115 as my last WestPac tour in 71-72 and retired in 76. Keep up the good work.
Bernie "Gunny" Melter
Way too many to remember them all but here are a few from the old days. Some were ground and some air and I've tried to ID as many as I could recall in my brain housing group. I was a young 2531 during the first decade then a 6406/3060 during the last 12 years.
Blend Charlie (Charlie Battery, 10th Marines, circa 1957-1958)
Tinge India 28 (India Battery Radio and Comm Chief, Vietnam 1965)
Primrose 22 (while flying with the Army's 220th Aviation Company in an O-1E at Phu Bai)
Catkiller (220th Aviation Company, US Army-1965)
Bearmat (3rd Battalion, 4th Marines Hue Bai 1965)
Falcon (USAF switchboard call sign, maybe in Hue')
Eagle (part of the 'network of ground communications)
Crowd 26 (3rd Marines Naval Gunfire in Danang)
Shove, Moment & Minute (all various switch in the network)
Catkiller (HMM-161 at Dong Ha)
Hillsboro (Direct Air Support, Airborne C-130)
Joyride (another control agency)
Red Crown (Navy ship and a control agency)
Ringneck (MAG-11 and VMFA-542, F-4s)
Gunfighter (USAF 366th TFW F-4s at Danang)
Misty USAF Fast FAC's Hostage (Marine OV-10s)
Longrifle ( Army 175's at Camp Carroll)
Sandy (USAF A-1E Skraiders flying SARCAP rescues)
Best regards, Semper Fidelis
1956-1978, and beyond
I just read the stories about call signs and it brought back fond memories. Sgt Grit will get a kick out this. After boot camp and ITR and boot leave I was ordered to the 11th Marines as a basic 2500. First came 2511 (wireman). Being the boot of the comm section and during a firing exercise at Pendleton I was thrown a handset of a PRC 9 radio and told to stand watch while everyone went to chow. The battery's call sign which I will never forget because I got my a** chewing because I never answered any calls to me because they forgot to tell me what my call sign was. The comm chief branded it into my brain so that like my serial number I have never forgotten it. It was "Prowl Delta," and Division was "Issuewood." By the way I became a radio operator on a forward observer team attached to the 5th Marines.
GySgt, USMC, ret.
If it's not too late to add a note about call signs the ones I remember best, while in Vietnam, was Florida Vacation and our call sign was Lima Bean 62. At the time I was a radio operator on a Forward Observer team and that's how every fire mission started... "Florida Vacation this is Lima Bean 62, fire mission, over..."
The other thing I remember from back then was that from time to time we would call in for a radio check. That was to be sure we still had good radio contact with the Fire Direction Center FDC. It would go something like... " Florida Vacation, Lima Bean 62, radio check, over". The response would be..."I hear you 5 by 5". Meaning Load and Clear. However, we would also call in..."Florida Vacation, Lima Bean 62, (FOR) a radio check, over". At that time we would turn the frequency knobs on our PRC-25 to another band and then BS with each other for a time before returning back to our designated frequency. I don't think the officers ever caught on to what we were doing.
R. W. Hoffman
Charlie Battery 1/13
Ignored Our Advice
After reading several comments on the Marine Army rivalry, I go back to late Fall 1968 at a CAP unit south of Chu Lai. We had run into heavy Machine gun fire on several patrols. A Cap unit did not have the firepower to handle this kind of weapon. We called Arty but usually was too little too late.
An Army grunt Company was to make a patrol through the area. They stopped at our Cap asking some questions about the area. They were about 150 strong. We had 13 Marines and a Corpsman. They were cocky and generally ignored our advice. 15 minutes after leaving our compound, they made contact. Their radios went crazy. They begged us to send some help as we were the nearest unit. We thought it funny, an Army grunt company asking 13 Marines for help.
Walter E. Seneff
Sgt 1965-69 Nam 67-68-69
Improvise, Adapt, Overcome
Our Plt was placed on Bn. Guard for a 24 hr. period. Some of us were chosen to stand movie guard. We were marched to the movie area and positioned in a semi-circle to prevent anyone from getting in to see the movie without paying. Having been placed at parade rest with our backs to the screen we all knew we were not to view the movie. I couldn't stand it, so just as the movie was starting, I quickly spun my helmet liner 180 degrees and also my cartridge belt and then did an about face. In this back- azz position I watched the movie fearing for my life if discovered. At the end I repositioned my gear and body so that I was ready to be relieved by the guard detail. To this day I don't remember what the movie was but it was the best I had ever seen. And I would never do it again.
Carl "Dave" Daugherty, MGySgt Ret. USMCR
All Kinds Of Reasons
I have had a question for over twenty years now, and maybe one of your readers can answer it. I signed up as a reservist and went through Parris Island in the Spring of 1991. I was definitely the "old man", since I turned 30 while aboard lovely and delightful Parris Island, but that's another story.
Here's the puzzle. We reservists were treated just the same as the guys "going active", except for one odd thing. While we were getting measured for our uniforms near the end of boot camp, they had us wear our covers all through the process inside the building where they did the fitting (active-duty were bare- headed). I've heard all kinds of reasons for this, from them wanting to pawn off the substandard uniforms on the reservists to the idea that reservists were more likely to put on weight and they took that into account when fitting (since we were under the same height/weight standards as active duty, this never made much sense to me).
Anyone out there have something more than rumors on this? Former (or current) Drill Instructors? Do they still do this?
Thanks for this and for all you do,
In the newsletter of 6/30/11, Doc Jerry Walker refers to Kilo Company Third Battalion Seventh Marines as the best rifle company in Vietnam.
Knowing our Marines as Corpsman do, he should have taken into consideration their competitive nature, and expected his statement to start a pizzin match.
Maybe it won't, but if it does I want to stand with my brother Corpsman and with his statement.
It was an Honor to be allowed to wear the Eagle, Globe & Anchor. You can take the Corpsman out of the Navy, but you can't take the Corps out of an FMF Corpsman.
Larry '' Doc '' Spohnholtz
Kilo 3/7 - April 66 - May 67
Sgt Grit I have noticed a lot of WI. plates of late with the army insignia on them and also the Bronze Star, It seems to me that they must have passed them out like popcorn I have a brother-in-law who was not in the Army long enough to get his socks dirty served 2 months in Nam and his Mother got him out on a hardship which was as phony as a 3 dollar bill. He is also a bragger and we have not talked in years.
My other gripe is I keep seeing the army and Air force people wondering around town in there utilities and bloused boots like a bunch of wannabees. Sure would like a answer because no one seems to be able to tell me about it.
Sgt Vitek Nam 62-65
Didn't Miss A Thing
I enjoyed Marc's response to the army veteran who thought that Marines were all arrogant. I've traveled this great country from east to west, north to south. The back of our motor home, is in your motor vehicle section, with a U.S.M.C. logo has drawn very positive responses from many old and young Marines around this country. I'm usually the old guy with some sort of Marine Corps logo on my shirt or hat. I don't care where I'm at, golf course, grocery store, camp ground or wherever I will always get a Semper Fi from another Marine. I've even had other branches of the service come up to me and give me a Semper Fi. I don't take offense when a non-Marine says this to me. I take it as a badge of honor that they take the time to talk with me. I can only think that they don't have the same bond, that we as Marines have.
I have to agree with another writer that stated, "We can't all be Marines". We all know that other services provide a function, that we as Marines would not want to do. Yes, we are different as Marines and will carry this burden for the rest of our lives. We will always stand out against all other services of the world. To those Marines that never saw combat, be grateful, you didn't miss a thing. If you really feel that bad, go help out at V.A. hospitals or rehabilitation centers and you might not feel so bad about missing the horrors of war.
Thanks Don for this venue to voice our opinions and stories about what it was and is to be a Marine.
Fritz (Mac) McDowell
Sgt McDowell's Motorhome
Marine Corps Motorheads
To Marine Gardner who questioned my statement. You misread my letter. Read it again. ANGLICO (it should be all Capitalized) was disbanded within the Marine Divisions. I served in ANGLICO, 1st Signal Bn. and ANGLICO, 3rd Signal Bn. This had nothing to do with 1st/2nd ANGLICO, FMF. Our task was to provide Air and Naval Gunfire support to Marine Division units. However, in Korea this wasn't always feasible due to the location of 1stMarDiv out of range of Naval guns. The Naval Gunfire teams were assigned to U.S. and foreign units within range. During Inchon-Seoul I was with 3rdBn. 1st KMC Regt. In N. Korea, we were with ROK Capital and 3rd Div. We were then reassigned to US 3rd Inf. Div in the Chosin operation and to cover the evacuation of Tenth Corps. I suppose that normally some of those assignments would have gone to FMFPAC ANGLICO, but I guess there weren't enough of them.
GySgt (Ret) 0861
Semper Fi Marine