We had the city of Chicago send me a city flag with the four red stars on it.
Then - we could not fully understand why we took some incoming...
I took the flag down and had my state flag instead. They must have thought a four star general was living in that hooch!
11th Engr Bn
In This Issue
Here we go; it's not flood, blew me away, Ontos and movie, he never wavered, Pr*ck E-7, hero?, expected more, plank holder, just keep going, over-privileged kid, old wild west, we stopped thumping, so it seemed logical, Goliath, with a bulls eye, on 3 wheels, heartwarming videos.
Fair winds and following seas.
Khe Sanh Bridge
This bridge is over Interstate 40, about 50 miles west of Albuquerque.
Not A Big Deal
Hello Sgt. Grit
Here is the Mighty Mite at Camp Courtney on Okinawa in 1960-61. At that time it was an experimental vehicle. I saw the invoice for it and it was $23,000. About blew me away. I liked it so much, that I bought an MGA when I got back to the states.
As Cpl. Ted Picado said, I made LCpl twice. Back in those days, getting busted for fighting etc, wasn't such a big deal as it is now. I understand it to be a career buster these days. I have really enjoyed your newsletter these many years. Thanks,
LCpl Ashley Wilson,
A native of Louisburg, NC now resides in Ridgeway, Virginia. I served from 1981-1985, Cpl Morgan, Philip Steve at Camp Lejeune NC and Cherry Point.
Records and Public Affairs has no record of a Dad having served in the Marine Corps and now have 4 sons serving. This is very rare.
Cpl Morgan, Justin Kyle
2nd MEF, 2nd MHG at Camp Lejeune
Cpl Morgan, Jonathon Philip
CLB-6 HQ, on his 2nd tour of Afghanistan
LCpl Deadmond, Jonathan Scott (Stepson)
B Co., 4th Combat Eng. Battalion, Roanoke, VA.
PFC Morgan, Seth Jackson
Graduated Boot Camp 9-9-11, attending SOF next 59 days,
MOS- Security Forces
"Flood" and "Air Raid"
When at Camp Matthews for our rifle qualifications our Senior DI, after our adventure on Little Agony, which resulted in only 10-12 making it to the top (with their seabags), decided we needed a few new commands when marching to chow.
The first was "flood". When this command was given all sh-t birds were to get to a higher point so they wouldn't drown. Two or three trying to climb a palm tree was not lots of fun. Then there was "air raid". This required the same birds to seek cover in a ditch, etc. Of course there were none in evidence when this command was given. Many drowned and more were killed in the air attack.
Of course neither was a real marching command in any manual. But when I was recommended for meritorious promotion to corporal our top had the Gunny and my platoon Sergeant quiz me about effective rates of fire of weapons and close order drill commands. There's a command to let troops break ranks, while marching, without saying: "squad, platoon, company halt". Now when ask what this command was; I could only think of was it's not flood, but maybe, which I said "air raid". The Gunny almost fell off his chair he laughed so hard. My platoon Sergeant just smiled. They were both in on this little set up. There is such a command, I later learned. It's "GAS". I did get the promotion.
Art '53-'63...1/9 3rd...1/5 1st
On 3 Wheels
Here is a picture of a mighty mite I parked behind my barracks in 1965. After driving and working on Willys Jeep I thought the mite was a piece of junk.
We had to pick up the brand new mites from the rail head and take them to our shop at Lejeune to modify them because they put self locking nuts on the axels, but did not reverse thread them. About 8 of 10 we drove most of the way on 3 wheels because they would fall off.
Cpl G.D. Sprenkle
In 1963 right after boot camp I was assign to 2nd Anti-tanks 0353 at Lejeune for a short stay we found we could get more speed out of those little buggies, Ontos, by bending the top of the gas pedal back.
Of course this a 10 ton vehicle but once you got it moving it could roll right along. When I first got there we had both six cylinder and 8 cylinder versions and these vehicles were setup to be a hit and run tactical operation device. But anyone who was in Nam with them will remember that's not how they were misused.
I do recall an incident with an Ontos and an on base drive in movie theater, a small group of us wanted to see the movie but we didn't have a vehicle so we appropriated an Ontos from the park and followed a path through the woods and came out at the back of the drive-in back row the only problem was when pulled out of the woods the 106 barrels were right over the back end of a car.
The people in the car were kind of upset at first till we handed them a beverage, we did back up a little, and good time was had by all. We did put the Ontos back where we got it from with no repercussions except within a couple of days I was sent TAD to a Special Operations Group which involved several excursion to the different locations throughout the tropical paradise of South East Asia. (Yuh Right)
Sgt. Jerry L. USMC
Viet Vet 63-66
I'm sitting here crying just as I always do when I read your newsletter. There's always something in it that touches my heart.
My son, my Marine, served the Corps from 15 August, 2005 to 15 August, 2009. His MOS was 0331 and he was deployed to Iraq twice with 2/3.
Ben made it through both deployments safe and sound. He came home on June 25, 2009. He had saved up his leave days and surprised us by coming home early.
That was one of the happiest days of my life. He was finally home and I thought he was finally safe. But, then on April 23, 2010, on my husband's and my 33rd wedding anniversary, a drunk driver took his life. Ben made it through the war and then was killed only five miles from home by one of his own countrymen. I miss him more than words can convey.
Ben loved being a Marine. When he was in 3rd grade, he decided that's what he wanted to be and he never wavered from that decision. He wanted to serve his country with the best-the Few, the Proud.
I was and still am so very proud of my son, Cpl. Benjamin A. Bradley. He was a good Marine, a good man and a wonderful son. He had so many hopes and dreams for the future, one of which was to re-enlist in the Corps.
Thank you for your newsletter. It's one of the few connections I still have with Marines. It's important to me to stay connected to this family that meant so much to Ben and still means so much to me.
To all who have served and are currently serving-thank you. Thank you for standing up and serving your country with the best fighting force in the world-The United States Marine Corps.
God bless you all.
Marine Mom forever
Did Learn Something
All over the TV news and in the papers are heartwarming videos of our brave Marines and soldiers returning home from our distant wars. They range from welcoming crowds at the airport to surprise visits with their children. This is great. Lord knows they deserve it.
What I want to say here is that times were once different, and that I think the country learned a lesson, maybe felt a little shame. We now understand how much it means for these young men and women to come home to a receptive country. Maybe this generation owes something to my generation?
Now... for my little experience coming home. After being wounded in Nam in May of 69, I bounced around different Naval hospitals until they decided I was ready for rehab. This would be at the closest VA hospital to my home town, the VA hospital in Iowa City, Iowa.
The little white turboprop plane with the Red Crosses on the side had only myself and two other Marines on Board. Myself and another guy were still not able to walk but we were going to be fine after some rehab. the other man had lost a leg. The excitement we felt was almost unbearable. This would be our first contact with the real world. Not some far off overseas or stateside closed up tight, restrictive military base hospital. These would be non military, everyday home people, civilians, now taking care of us...
So, our little plane lands at this little airport that has one little short runway, surrounded by cornfields and all is beautiful until we arrive at their small little terminal. Now believe me here... It's hard to believe in today's times... but standing on the other side of the runway's chain link fence was no fewer than fifty anti-war demonstrators waving banners and chanting their slogans. All this for one little plane with three wounded warriors returning home.
Now my first reaction was wow. These are some dedicated University of Iowa students to come out here on a hot day just for this puny little plane. It was not all that surprising because we would read the papers and knew the county's mood... But d-mn... As we were carried off the plain we were thankfully a hundred yards or so from these people, I couldn't hear a single word they yelled, but you could still here the noise, see them waving their signs and feel their anger and contempt... Hard to believe isn't it... Looking back I wonder if maybe these people were waiting for another later plane to arrive that had someone more important on board. I don't know. Point is they turned on us.
I see our warriors coming home now days, and it both saddens me and uplifts me. Sad for myself sure, but inspired by the love shown to these warriors. This is the way it should be. Maybe we did learn something.
PFC P. Thorpe
Talk about Bucket of Blast or Steam. I have a funny story as well. I had just reported for duty with Weapons Platoon, Kilo Co. 3/2 in early '89. I was told by my Platoon Sgt. that I was to find the Company Gunny and ask for the "Pr*ck E-7" to be returned to the Platoon radioman. Our radios at the time were the old PRC 77's (The Pr*ck 77 as they were called).
Being a Boot fresh out of Infantry School I did what I was told without question. Well, I found the Gunny and proceeded to ask away. It did not end well for me, I thought that I was back in Boot Camp! I always had a target on my back from the Gunny after that. I laugh about those little things now, but it did not seem so funny then. Man, I miss those times every now and then...
Cpl. of 0351 Marines
16 years after, My First Tattoo
Sgt of Marines
See more Marine Corps tattoos
Sgt. Grit, once again a great article.
Regarding CWO DeLaricheliere, the Commandant is right "a Marine is a Marine", we earned the title when we pinned the Eagle, Goble & Anchor, It doesn't matter what our MOS was or is or if you were an officer or enlisted, how long you served nor if you were combat veteran or not.
One other thing, why is the term hero used so loosely today, am I being too objective!
OK... (as you can tell by the DTG here, I cheat... and read the newsletter on Wed eve... can't wait till Thursday)....
RE motivation platoon... I was a plank holder in Motivation Plt at SD... opened for business about February of 1964... while we did a considerable amount of PT, it was a unit totally separate from the Fat Farm, or, officially, PCP, for Physical Conditioning Platoon. Our barracks were opposite one another, with PCP being by far the larger unit.
Across the street, and next to the original swimming pool (now gone... however, it was just to the east of the back side of the Base Theatre (which hasn't changed in the 54 years since first I saw it), was Correctional Custody Platoon... adjacent to that was the casuals (crutches, etc). Besides the aforementioned, Special Training Branch at the time included the Hand to Hand combat instructors, and the swimming pool instructors.
Motivation, at least at MCRD SD, was usually limited to 15 recruits... who got a lot of very personalized instruction. PCP would at times be well over 100 bodies. After two years in that place, will assure you there is nothing you can tell me about the human race that would surprise me. The last time I was aboard the Depot (last Sept), there was a rather large pine tree growing about where the door to Motivation Platoon Barracks would have been.
In regards the wheel coming off the Mite... there was a period when all Mity Mites were on Admin Deadline, and not to be used... because there had been incidents of wheels coming off!... from memory, it had something to do with over-torqued lug nuts. The Mite was popular in off-road racing, might still be for all I know... there is one in the Command Museum at MCRD SD... stairwell on the first deck, NE corner.
The Ontos originally had a six-cylinder in-line truck engine, supposedly a Reo... in bass-ackwards, as the XT-90 Allison cross-drive transmission had to be at the front, with outputs to the front drive sprockets. Ontos was later up-graded to a Chrysler industrial... might've been the ubiquitous 318, but some old fuzzy memory is thinking something like a 342 CC. Sometime in the '58-'59 frame, the entire Bn, on-line, all 270 recoilless rifles (6x15x3) fired at once (more or less... lol) at the Bn Cmdr's command... Cone Hill on Pendleton, nowadays known as Range 403... there were HP-AT rounds 'kissing off' each other going downrange. We heard via the grapevine that we had broken windows in Fallbrook. Anybody else remember that event?
20 September 1957, 54 years ago at age 17, I earned the title of "United States Marine". Being a Marine has help me accomplish goals in my everyday life. When I was In the Army I was told by many of my Commanders and Senior NCO's that they expected more out of me then the other soldiers because I was a Marine. So because I am a Marine I did more.
I thank SSG Connly, SSG Connell & SGT Jackson, my DI's. They guided me for 13 weeks to make me a Marine. I learned from them that there was no such word as can't in the Marine Corps or in my life.
Marine D.A. Popper
Never Give In
I'm responding to a letter in this week's newsletter concerning duck walking at Camp Matthews a Cpl."Murch" was asking about... Yes Cpl. I remember very well learning the fine art of duck walking while at Camp Matthews Rifle Range... As you no doubt remember we lived in tents and in the evenings we had to sprinkle water around on the ground and then rake it nice and smooth...
I was there in Nov.1956... While there somehow I twisted my ankle and could hardly get around on it... Every evening when we had finished qualifying we headed back to our tents in a column... Once we reached the bottom of that steep hill... Which I don't know if it had a name or not... But it was steep... We were told to get into the duck walk position with our rifles up over our heads, and we duck walked all the way to the top... It was rough but for me at that time my foot was swollen so big I could hardly get it in my boot, and in that position it was extremely painful trying to make it to the top...
When we got back to our tents and it was time to rake the grass I didn't go out...The day before I had swiped a salt shaker full of salt and took it with me... I filled my bucket with hot water and poured in that salt, while the others were raking I was soaking my foot...
Luckily some of the guys made excuse's for me knowing what I was going through and I made it through without getting caught... My biggest worry was if I gave into the pain and complained I'd been sent to sick bay and more than likely taken out of my platoon and setback... I can still remember thinking "I'll die on this hill before I'll stop and get separated from my platoon "... And yes after a few evenings soaking my foot it started to get better... And Thank God it did...
To me the best part of this story is what it taught me... I was just a 17 year old kid at the time this all happen, but I learned a life's lesson that has served me well for almost 55 years... The lesson was to never give in or give up, just keep going... I was in total misery the times the Marine Corps made me duck walk up that hill on that bad foot, but I've thanked the Corps many, many times for the lesson it taught me...
Along with many more lessons I picked up along the way... I have always been proud of how the Marine Corps took a 17 year old kid and taught me things that have guided me in all my life's decisions... God Bless the Marine Corps and the fine art of duck walking...
My name is Howard W. Kennedy... I was with the 3rd Marine Div. on Okinawa with Kilo Btry, 4th battalion, 12th Marines... Oh ! I was on the 155 Howitzer and when a replacement came in our thing was to send him down to headquarters for a can of Muzzle blast...
Time And Trousers
Your last newsletter contained an article about "duck walking". It brought to mind some of the screw-ups that I made. I arrived at MCRD San Diego on Thanksgiving day in the early 50's and was assigned to platoon 1027. After a few weeks of standing at attention for hours on foggy mornings I came down with pneumonia. I spent about a week in the base hospital and was released to rejoin my platoon. I was in some office waiting for orders to rejoin the platoon when a PFC asked me what time I was released from the hospital and I said, "About 2:00 pm". He screamed,"2:00 pm you aren't going back to your platoon when you don't even know how to tell military time". The s.o.b. sent me back to the receiving barracks where I started boot camp all over with platoon 1029.
Several weeks later we were formed on the "grinder" to have our first inspection. The inspecting officer was right out of h-ll and was a 2nd Lt. I would much rather be inspected by a 2 star General than a 2nd Lt. When he stopped before me he noticed that my trousers had a wrinkle in them and asked me if I had an excuse for this. I answered, "Sir, Private Gerling did press his pants". Big mistake !
He had my DI have me duck walk around the perimeter of the grinder while shouting at the top of my voice, "I am a c_ _ _ I wear pants, Marines wear trousers". There were WM's, civilians, and everyone else standing by laughing at this sight.
After, what seemed like an eternity, the DI sent a couple of recruits down to tell me I could stop. They had to hold me up until the feeling returned in my legs and I could walk. To this day, I don't even own a pair of pants but have a lot of trousers. I tell folks about this now and they are shocked and say it was cruel but I tell them it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I went into the Corps as a skinny and over- privileged kid who was not very disciplined and I left boot camp extremely fit, both physically and mentally. The proudest moment of my life was to know that I "passed muster" and could someday pass on what I learned to others.
Sgt of Marines
My brother was in the Corps back in '60 and he stated it was common place to see whole platoons duck walking. Being just a kid, I asked what a Duck Walk was and he showed me and had me assume the position. When I went through recruit training in '74 I was waiting to assume the position for the Duck Walk but we never did. I wonder if any of the newer bunch has had the pleasure?
Does anyone know if they still have the 4.2 MOTARS in service??
Sgt. B Pierce 1955 til 1958 Okinawa, Yokosuka, Sasabow, Yokahama, Philippines, Subic Bay, Korea, Treasure Island, Ending in BARSTOW, Calif.
short one... Love my Reno VA. To see old and young alike all branches respected admired loved and cared for, just to be counted among them is a great source of strength an honor beyond everything but the honor to be called MARINE.
Wild Bill (ells) at PI Pvt 1969 - 1972 3rd div
It is our birthday. Raise whatever and sing out the one song we know by heart, remembering they who sing now in the streets of heaven. In all ways faithful USMC
This is in response to the unsubscribe that was in the 09/15/11 newsletter.
My initial thought is "The Marines are looking for a few good men!" Obviously your son couldn't cut the mustard and measure up. He probably wouldn't have made amounted to a pimple on a real Marine's azz anyway judging from the way you talked (buttheads?). I'm sure you taught him well. So buh bye now and have a nice life.
Cpl. Fred Lowery
I have to agree with 1stSgt Galant. I was at MCRD San Diego and never once heard anyone ever use the term troop or trooper. Even at Fort Benning Jump School we few Marines never let the "Black Hats" call us trooper. It's a Marine thing.
Sgt 5th Force Recon
In addition to bucket of back-blast, steam from the engine room, left-handed monkey wrench, galloon of side tone, and hole stretcher, don't forget being sent to Supply to pick up 100 feet of shoreline.
Once, in beautiful Chu Lai by the sea, we sent an "FNG" to the H&MS13 radar shop for three feet of Fallopian tube. We then called down there to let them know he was coming, with instructions to "keep him moving." He was gone for three hours.
Semper Fi - SEMPER,
Mike Gollihur, former Sgt of Marines
VMFA-115 Radar, Chu Lai 67-68
As a recruit at Parris Island in 1952 "platoons" was the name and we referred to the motivation platoon as "Simple City" .
John Darracott USMC (Retired)
1967, Down a trail, was there a Camp Stone Bay housing XYZ Companies in ITR. I love to know.
In response to Dave Johnson letter about the Army wearing the Marine Corps patch. If an Army individual is in combat for more than 30 days with any unit, Marine Corps or Army, it is authorized to be worn on their uniforms.
July 1971-December 1999
I was the Platoon Commander for PCP & MRP at MCRD San Diego in 1987. I concur with the 1st Sgt, recruits were not assigned the Physical Conditioning Platoon until after the initial PFT.
Capt USMC ret.
Ah yes, remember it well..Was in downtown Jville MP's in 1956, and the glories of Court Street will never leave you...Was one beautiful structure called "Moms" which was a shotgun bar about 40 ft long, a door at each end, couple of windows on the side and little else in amenities... Sometimes on Friday we would turn the lights off from an outside fuse box and then block both doors to check it out.. You could hear the knives and guns hitting the floor and was always a very entertaining visit... and you (Mike) have the nerve to ask me if I remember Court Street...
Sgt Wackerly 53-56 And yes it was the "better" part of town...
I have a lot of memories of Jacksonville, N.C. one of them being Court St. Some I share with my wife others are still my secret. I was at Camp Lejeune and Camp Geiger 1965/66 before shipping out to Viet Nam. Spent many nights in a club called" Jazzland" watching those beautiful girls dance in those cages well out of our reach. I even bought a thing or two on credit. Didn't matter that I was only 17,credit was available and beer flowed like water. There was a movie house called "Onslow" just down the street from "Iwo Jima" spent some time there watching xxx movies, today they would be rated "G". A lot has changed with time, from my first day on those yellow foot prints at MCRDPI,S.C. platoon 394 .But you can bet your sweet ### I am still 100% MARINE..
Sgt. Y.D. Hodge
Back then most of the action was on the North end of the street about a block off Hwy. 24, there at what used to be the triangle intersection. There was a real good pizza place we frequented and just around the corner from that was the Lighthouse bar. There was a slim good looking blonde gal named Lisa that worked there and she wore her bikini and had her camera so you could get a 5.00 instant Polaroid with her. No telling how much she made doing that, I never saw her dance at all, it was always pictures. I wish I knew where all the pics I had went, ha. Pretty much all the bars had bikini dancers but there was no top/bottomless stuff going on then. If they changed that ordinance it was well after I left.
Couple of doors down from that was Rathskellars. One night at Raths, after a lot of hard drinking, me and one of my brothers, Benny got into it with each other one over a pool game. Well the next thing you know the bouncer was on us and we stopped thumping on each other and teamed up on him. Then we broke and ran out down the street, laughing. You know how it is, we might have been thumping on each other but the bond runs deep, we were still buds. We found out later from the rest of the guys that the bar banned both of us.
Those were the main ones that me and my buddy P's went to the most. There was a regular pool hall down a couple of blocks on the left and close to it was the walk in adult movie theater. Across from the pool hall was another bar we went to sometimes but the name escapes me now.
Now to show how much it changed, there never was a tattoo place then. If you wanted to get one you had to go to Fayetteville. I heard a couple of years after I got out the city ordinance changed and then the place exploded with tat parlors. It was beer only at the time, but if you were 21 then there was a ABC package store across Hwy 24 from the end of Court. One or two buildings down from that was a motel. We all used to pony up on a room for the weekend and have a company party. When we weren't too hammered we also had the pool to use.
Coming into town from Lejeune was a regular family type drive-in on the right, the adult one was across town. No matter which one we went to we were always sneaking people in, in the trunk or back of a van, along with our liquid refreshments...fun times.
I have plenty more memories of Court, but this is long enough anyway so I'll save the rest for another time.
Cpl. Fred Lowery
1341 Engineer Maint.
I remember Court Street in Jacksonville, NC, back in the 1974-76 time period It was one of those areas that was best visited in groups so someone was there to cover your back when a fight broke out. I was an MP at Camp Lejeune during that time and pulled town patrol every once in a while. I would always look forward to town patrol because I knew it would not be a boring night writing traffic tickets or minor offense reports.
Court Street was the closest thing I had seen to the old wild west style law enforcement until I went overseas. There was one area about a block over and off of Court Street that we were very careful about driving through because our patrols had been shot at in this area.
I particularly remember a huge Jacksonville PD office named "Tiny". I swear he weighed 300 to 400 lbs and took up half the sidewalk when he walked foot patrol on Court Street. When he started running you better not be in front of him because with all that weight moving in one direction once he got going he wasn't going to be stopped. The only place I got more stick time than Court Street was Iwakuni, Japan. Yep that was a fun time in the Corps.
Jay H. Fine GySgt USMC/Retired (1974-94)
Sgt. Grit; Re Court St. On July 20,1957 I had the phone watch at 8th Motors and came across the following "poem". J'Ville,
Dear J'Ville, you moth eaten town,
your unpainted houses should all be torn down,
your winters are cold and your summers are hot,
your air is to humid with mildew and rot.
You make us pay double for all that you sell,
but you think your self perfect, that gripes us like h-ll,
but when you reach Hades and Satan greets you,
you'll feel right at home, he's J'Villanese too.
I noted on my copy I had 352 days remaining on my enlistment. Remember the Brooklyn Spaghetti House, the bus terminal, the pawn shop across the street, and the large bar across the street from the pawn shop. Lastly, the "Second Front" across Rt 17 from the walk out gate at Geiger.
Semper Fi Cpl Rowe
Hi Sgt. Grit,
About Cpl. Mike Kunkel write-up on Court Street in J-Ville. Back when I was with G/2/6. I would be out on the town and back. In those days no one had a credit card.
The shop keepers would snag a young jar-head in there store and would try and sell you anything and all you had to do was show your green Military ID Card.
Not me! but a few of my buddies would buy a gold Marine Corps ring from them! walk next door to a Pawn shop. Get cash for it and then sell the pawn ticket and get drunk. I think you know the rest.
In a few weeks when it came time to make the 1st payment. They were standing tall in front of the old man.
Sgt. Woody Woodworth
US Army Retired
3rd Marine Div.
Many of later admired Marines of today got their start or served in China. A classic example of this is Chesty Puller who Commanded the Mounted Marines in Peking in the 1930's. Plus there are pictures of Uniforms and equipment from the late 1890's to World War II. Three Commandants served in the China Marines, early in their Careers.
Sgt. Grit, There is a site called; "THE CHINA MARINES" that was or is being put together by a Man who believes the story should be told. The story of the China Marines is put together well with names, pictures, stories and information that will make all Marines marvel at the Bravery, and stamina of these Marines. It is well worth going to this site and reading the history of the China Marines.
I have to warn that anyone who visits the site will have to be dragged away because it is a considerable story, broken down into chapters or time periods and areas and battles. here is the site chinamarine.org/Home.aspx,
I sent an email to the person responsible for this wonderful information and he said there will be a documentary on the Subject of "China Marines" later this year with a connection to the Marine Corps Museum where they will sell DVD's.
Take a quick look and be amazed at what this man has done and the research he has done to present what he has.
GySgy. F. L. Rousseau
Corpsman's Heroic Action At Okinawa
Dear Sgt. Grit:
I am submitting the press release I wrote for the United States Marine Corps about my dear friend, PhM (then) 3/C William G. Lynne (1st Platoon, George Company, 2d Bn/5th Marines) for his heroic action during WWII on Okinawa. With the help and tireless effort of many fine Marines, I was able to get this award for valor pushed through in time for Doc to receive it in Detroit, Michigan.
Sadly, Doc passed away five days after he received his award. All of George Company, their families, and those who worked tirelessly for Bill, are stunned, yet grateful.
Again and again, I experience pride and awe as I see Marines' loyalty and devotion to each other and their families, across generations. My heart is full of sadness about losing Doc. I am also bursting with eternal gratitude and joy that I am part of the Marine Corps' family.
Sincerely Semper Fidelis,
Carolyn Hutchings Carino
My special thanks and devotion to Major General Lawrence D. Nicholson and Lieutenant Colonel Rex. Sappenfield who spearheaded this award process with me.
Press release and details of citation on Sgt Grit Blog posted Sept. 27, CORPSMAN AWARDED after 66 YEARS.
To Sgt. Grit and company.I served with the Marine Detachment on the USS CORAL SEA CV-43,from 1978 to 1981.Just wanted to share this with you and all my brothers.I set this up in memorial for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.Click onto the slide show and also to the BLOG, "The man who collected flags".
See the slideshow
SEMPER FI- R.W. Scharnikow L/CPL MAR-DET-78-81.
Former Police Officer
I am writing in response to the letter from Cpl. Curtis J. Sieck. His words sounded more like an Army recruit than that of a Marine. Number one, there were several platoons outside the normal training platoons. One was the "fat farm", for boots who were unable to complete the course without appropriate additional training. Another was the motivation platoon, who were people with more psychological problems, who were given additional Gung Ho motivational training, movies, etc., to get their heads around what was expected of them if they wanted to get through Boot Camp. They were two distinct and separate platoons and there was no overlap.
Also, Marines did not and do not refer to their unit as a "troop". That is an Army term, specifically the Cavalry. Boot Marine recruits belonged to platoons, as we all know. It was platoon # whatever, Motivation Platoon, the fat farm platoon (I'm sorry, I forget the official title), the Corrections Platoon, and maybe one or two other "special" platoons.
As a former Marine and a former police officer, I just have a sense that when people use inappropriate language to describe their time in the Corps, the antennae go up with a red flag attached. I have run into several wannabes and it always sounds the same. If I'm wrong in this case, then, Cpl. Sieck, square away the language and terminology.
Fmr. Sgt., 1965-71
"And when you have served among good people, fellow Marines, some of whom you came to love with the same intensity as you do your own family, there are few others you will meet in your lifetime who can ever gain that same level of trust and respect." Senator Jim Webb, "A Time to Fight."
The Exploding Armadillo or How Three Young Marines Spend a Day of Leave
It was the best of times ... It was the worst of times ... Wait, that's the "How I Spent My Summer Vacation Story".
On a side note; the summer of 1978 I was the guest of the United States Federal Government, Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, United States Marine Corps, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA, Recruit Training Regiment, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Charlie Company, Platoon 1046.
Under the tutelage of Senior Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Yoshii, Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Scales and Drill Instructor Sergeant Gorell, three very jovial and informative gentlemen. A summer I'll never forget.
This is about how three young blood thirsty killing machines spent their time off one day when they had pockets full of cash and there was an absence of appropriate adult supervision.
You see my lifelong friend Greg and I had just spent three of the most intensive months of our young lives being indoctrinated into the United States Marine Corps by Drill Instructors whose job it is to tear us down to nothing and then rebuild us into proud members of one of the most elite fighting forces on the earth. We needed to blow off a little steam. Here's a hint, it doesn't involve excessive amounts of alcohol, at least not on this day... This day it involved excessive amounts of ammunition. Hey, it's the South, we do stuff like that.
This happened in early September 1978. Greg and I left for Boot Camp at approximately the same time, so quite naturally we returned home at approximately the same time. My brother Russell had joined the Marine Corps two years earlier. Russell scheduled leave (that's vacation for you civilians) to coincide with Greg and I completing Recruit Training. We all returned home within a few days of each other, and being good Marines, we quite naturally hung out together.
One day while on leave Russell and I went out to where Greg lived near Lake Arrowhead close to Henrietta, TX, we had arranged for a shooting day out in the country. Once again, it's the south... It's our pastime. But oddly enough it's a pastime that is frowned upon while inside the city limits. Oh, and they won't let us shoot at signs from a moving vehicle either... So they say....
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In response to Cpl Miller. While stationed at Camp Del mar I had chance to see several amtrac in the museum there. The p-5 he mentioned with the 105, was designated How-6. The howitzer was mounted in a stabilizer type system similar to the type in the flying gun-ship. Now whether it was ever used in combat, I can't say. I never saw one in Vietnam. The other amtrac was called Goliath. It was a monster of a vehicle capable of bringing a M48 tank ashore. Again if it was ever used I don't know, but there were two very interesting vehicles in the Corps arsenal.
GySgt, USMC, Ret.
We Believed The Story
Sgt. Grit and Marines -
I just finished reading Duck Walk by Murch from plt. 137 back in 54.
I fondly remember 'duck walking' at Matthews in '53 up hills we called Little Agony and Big Agony. I recall our DI would march us down the hill and then duck walk back up, all the while we would be quacking on the return. One evening I remember an Officer standing at the top of hill observing us quacking as we 'marched' ha! back up. I thought the DI was in trouble. Not a chance. Fact is, he turned us around, march us back down, and we quacked back up again.
Another fine memory from Matthews. After final qualification those who didn't qualify had to put their utility jackets on backwards, with a bulls eye in the middle. They then ran around the tents flapping their arms and yelling "I'm a s--t bird" over and over.
While there, my plt. had two guys jump the fence and go over the hill. The story going around was that our DI, SSgt. Humphries helped them because he felt they didn't belong in the Corps anyway. Humphries supposedly took their sea bags and threw them over the fence while yelling at them to hit the road. I don't know if that is true or not, but knowing Humphries I wouldn't doubt it. We believed the story though.
Anyway, they got caught pretty quick and we saw them on the way to the brig. Remember the brig chasers? Word was that if we got between them and the brig rats you joined the brig platoon. I still can see the prisoners doing the 'brig stomp' while marching to the mess hall. Quite impressive.
Oh man... great memories from the 'beloved cr-tch'. I'm 75 now, and as Humphries said 58 years ago I would never forget him. He was right. Once a Marine, ALWAYS a Marine. My heart jumps even when I see a commercial on TV.
Bill Morenz -
Plt. 220 - 1953
106 Recoilless Rifle
October of 1962, 2nd ITR at Camp Pendleton. I remember sitting in the bleachers for the demonstration firing of what we were told was a Jeep mounted 106 Recoilless Rifle. It made an impression on my young mind because of the .50 cal. spotter round that was fired before "pulling the trigger" on that big 106 mm mother. They had set up a wooden crate (or some wooden pallets. I don't recall which.) behind the rifle to demonstrate the danger of the back-blast. I and my fellow new Marines were all duly impressed when it blew that crate to smithereens. Did they hit the target? I don't know. I was too busy watching the destruction caused by the back blast.
From Wikipedia so take it for what it's worth:
The M40 recoilless rifle was a lightweight, portable, crew- served 105 mm weapon intended primarily as an anti-tank weapon made in the United States. The weapon is commonly described as being 106 mm, but it is in fact 105 mm; the 106 mm designation was designed to prevent confusion with the incompatible 105 mm ammunition from the failed M27.
Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
"Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence."
"A Marine will dive into the Jaws of Death and bring back the Jaw Bone."
--WWII era Comedian whose Brother was a Marine
"He shows the Resolute countenance of a Marine who just went through H-ll and has lit his cigarette on the tines of the Devils pitchfork."
--A Marine Serving in Iraq or Afghanistan
"We Marines are Truly Blessed. We get to enjoy the Sweet Taste of Freedom because we know its Price."
--Marine Veteran, John Chipura, Survivor of the 1983 Beirut Bombing. (He became a New York Fireman who wrote the above for the 225 Birthday of the Marine Corps. He was killed September 11 at the World Trade Center.)
"The first day I was at Camp, I was afraid I was going to Die! The next two weeks, my sole fear was that I wasn't going to Die! After that I knew I'd never die because I became so hard that nothing could Kill Me!"
--World War I Recruits Bootcamp Comment
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
--President Reagan, 1985.
God Bless the Marine Corps