Saturday's newspaper dated 22 Sept 2012, myself (second with rifle, M-1 Garand) with others from the Honor Guard. The forth is Terry Reams also a Marine, Marine Corps League, Mt St. Helens D889 and American Legion Post 175, Castle Rock, WA. This was at the VFW post, Toutle, WA. My 75th birthday was on Wed this week.
Japanese Sniper Rifle
I thought you might like to see a couple of old photos, one picture is of me holding a Japanese sniper rifle from WWII that my older brother brought home with him. He sure made me proud and as the second picture shows me
as soon as I turned 18, I was
in Korea in 1953 in 4/2 Mortars.
Check out the old utilities we had back then.I was in Platoon 16 at San Diego. Would do it all again...
Sgt Bob Holmes
I had a friend who went through boot camp at MCRD San Diego in the Spring of 1965. They used M-14's then, and M-1's in ITR. It was the same in 1967 when I went to MCRD San Diego. Whoever thought they were qualifying at Parris Island in 1965 with .30 cal. ammo instead of 7.62 NATO must have been mistaken. MGySgt Mackin is correct.
Good to see you're still around, "Top". We served together at Base Communications at Camp Lejeune, NC in 1970-71.
John "Frenchy" Lariviere
Sergeant of Marines 1967-71
I absolutely still lace EVERYTHING left over right.
PISC, 1st BN, Plt 1007
Hilton J.E., Cpl of Marines
We had a most successful reunion, first in 46 years, of my Warrant Officer OCS and TBS class (the 7th WOBC of 1966) in the Quantico/Washington area in late August. As usual, the Sgt Grit organization came through and capably supported the reunion with a "goody box" of mementos that went over very well with the group. Many thanks for your continued generosity and for all you do for the Corps.
Mustang Major of Marines
To answer Mike Benfield's question in the last newsletter concerning the inverted "V" on tanks... it means: This End Up.
Ron Morse, Sgt (USMC 69-75)
This is an answer to the M-1/M-14 question. I was in PI Starting June 1961 and we had the M-1 issued to us. At the end of boot camp we started testing the M-14 for a short time. The DIs did not like the M-14 and instructed us to brake them during testing. Plt 231, 1961.
Cpl R D Husome
With regards to newsletter 9/27 and the platoon on the right in PI. The Plt was 196. The year was 1956 and the three DI'S were from left, Sgt Stiles, SSgt Phillips and Cpl Ashe. the photo was taken in early Oct just prior to graduation.
Jack Seiwell 1956-1960
And the Lord said, "Let there be light". And I popped Illumination.
R. W. Morrison
I was sworn in to the Corps in '65 and reported to MCRDSD in Jan.'66. In boot camp we were issued M-1's, which we did everything with. It was at the range at Camp Edson that we were issued and qualified with M-14's. After the range back at MCRD we still had the M-1. When I arrived in Nam in '67 I was issued a M-14 then had that until the switch over to the M-16's (Mattel toys). I loved and missed my 14.
Sgt Simmons 65-69, Nam 67-68
Answer: Hey Mike... That inverted V started back in Desert Storm, it was the international/coalition symbol for "Don't shoot, I'm on your side"!
I went to MCRDPI In Jan'62 in Platoon 201. We used the M-14 to qualify (left handed Expert on my part). At ITR, we used the M-1. And yes, the C-Rats were from the 1940's, as they were in Nam. By the time I got to Nam in 1968, the M14 was gone and the troops used the M-16 (junk back in those days). For my part as a Combat Engr. Officer, I carried the M-79 and a 1911. Felt more comfortable with them in my hands than with the M-16.
Mustang Captain 0102586
I've passed more light houses than you have slop chutes. I wore out more sea bags than you have socks. Four rows of fruit salad a half pound of battle stars and my first shot on record day was a ricochet deuce on the wrong target!
C. R. Milster
I was most thankful to see the clarification between an Air Crew Combat and an Air Crew Member. I earned the second during WWII, I ended my six years with the last year being an active Crew Chief on an R4D and while I cannot recall then ever seeing the Air Crew Wings. I learned later when they became available that I was entitled to have them, as I was flying almost daily back in 1944 -1946. No I never earned the Air Crew Combat Wings.
M/Sgt Howard J. Fuller
I went to Parris Island for recruit training in January 1966... Platoon 215. We were issued razors with the new stainless steel blades. One of the first things our D.I. did when we got to our barracks was to take all of our stainless steel blades and give each one of us blue blades. No slack given here.
Co. A, 3rd Shore Party
The Gunny Gets A Medal
Gunnery Sergeant George Garden has turned 91. Sometimes he needs a little assistance going up and down steps and has a problem with verbal expression, but his mind is clear and his memory almost pristine.
He received his Baptism of Fire in the Pacific during World War II. He vividly remembers the days and nights in Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa, and he can never forget the indescribable cold of the Chosin Reservoir Campaign during the Korean War.
He was my platoon Sergeant during those difficult days in Korea that have become Marine legend. Over the years the Gunny and I have kept in touch by phone. I have often wanted to travel to see him, but time and events did not allow for that.
He joined our company at Wonson, North Korea, just before we moved north to Koto-Ri. He was with the 1st replacement Draft that was needed to replace the casualties of the Inchon Seoul Campaign. He was, for this young Corporal, a Marine to emulate. He was a true Non-commissioned leader of Marines. He never talked at you, he talked to you.
So, when the mail arrived as usual at my home, among the many advertisements was the yearly letter that I have received from the Korean Government inviting me to a function related to my service in the Korean War. As I read the invitation to attend the dinner at a Washington, D.C. hotel, I thought of him. No one, in my mind, deserved to be honored for his service more than the Gunny.
So, I called him. "George, Did you get an invitation to the Korean War Dinner in Washington," I asked. "No", he answered. "Do you want to go?" I asked. "Sure, but I have to ask my girlfriend," he answered. "She has the GPS!"
So, he came, and we saw each other for the first time in 60 years. Although much older, he still is the same guy I knew in the field. He talked to me, not at me. He was, as I remembered, a man to emulate. I hope that I can measure up.
They gave George Garden a medal that evening. Along with the Purple Heart and the many campaign medals that he has earned, it is one that he will treasure, because it validates his service not only to his country, but to a county that said "Thank you" sixty years later.
Lt Col. Robert J. Dalton
Marry His Sister
An ol' Viet Nam vet sent me this pic. He was enlisted in country, but retired as Col., Army Reserves. Anyway, several years ago, I worked with a young Vietnamese guy, in aircraft manufacturing. He offered me $10,000 to go to Saigon and marry his sister, and bring her back to the states.
He showed me some pics of his parent's house that was in a slum area, but their place was really nice. Spiral staircase! He even brought me back some 333 beer. His sister was very pretty. 41 and still a virgin. Kind of like re- enlistment. I thought about it, then I laughed about it and then I forgot about it.
PS: That part about re-enlistment; today, wish I had. LOL!
Mercury Vapor Lights
Regarding Sgt. Gary Harlan showing up drunk at boot camp.
Not the first, I am sure, definitely not the only. On 24 FEB 76, my 17th birthday, I flew out of Chicago's O'Hare airport enroute to Parris Island. Yes, my Mommy signed the papers. Being an alcoholic, I have a gift at manipulating people. I manipulated the stewardess' to keep serving me booze, though I was clearly drunk. Something about being a warrior and going to Marine Corps bootcamp, blah, blah, blah.
After the last hop, we boarded a bus (Trailways, I believe) which took us on the final leg to PI. I passed out enroute, and was awakened by a loud mouth guy wearing what looked like a state troopers hat, yelling, "We're missing one, where is he?" I woke in an alcoholic stupor and not knowing where I was or what I was doing there, I told the dude, "Don't worry, you'll get him." Instead of my normal response, which would have been, Shut the f--k up. In hindsight, glad I didn't say that.
The bus pulled away and started to turn on to the road, that I presume leads to the causeway off the island, when I awoke a second time. This time, a little more clear headed and remembering my mission, I asked the driver, "Hey, is this Parris Island?" The driver, with a tremble in his voice, said, "Oh crap, you're the one they were looking for." I felt a pang deep within me that I can't describe, and the driver turned into the next driveway and returned to the disembarkation point. Opening the door for me, I stood on the last step of the bus with a DI pointing his finger at me yelling,"You, get off that f------g bus and get on these yellow footprints, Now!
It was four in the morning, and I can still clearly remember the mercury vapor lamps behind him. Still too stupid to be scared, I got on one of those footprints and started making a smart asz comment to a fellow recruit. The recruit did not smile, say anything, or even look at me. I looked over and saw what looked like a gorilla charging at me in the jungle. The DI then proceeded to welcome me to Parris Island. A fear, the likes of which I had never experienced before or since was instilled in me at the moment in time. A fear that did not subside until I boarded a bus on the way out of there on my to Camp Lejeune on 25 MAY 76.
God Bless the Marine Corps Semper Fi, You maggot Devil Dogs.
Pvt. Robert Wiser
Note: The editing was done by me, not Sgt. Grit.
In 1949 and 1950 we were issued 30 cal ammo for the Garand that had been manufactured in 1939, 40, 43 and 44. We also were issued 50 cal ammo for the Ma deuce that had been manufactured in 1935, 36 and 39. Never experienced any hang fires or other malfunctions. I have bought 30 cals at gun shows frequently that have been dated 1939 and 45. I have shot the h-ll out of it, and it works fine. God Bless all Marines. There ain't none finer on this here earth and many of the best and bravest are guarding the Heavenly Portals waiting for the rest to get there.
80 years old, and served from 1949 to 1961, absolute best
years of my life.
All Freshly Pressed
At the end of World War II, I went home with great anticipation of doing Great things with my life. I registered for College and the day it started was the biggest Chinese Fire Drill ever. I left without even attending roll call. A Friend said lets go catch a Merchant Ship, so we went to Seattle. The Merchant Sailors were on Strike, my friend went home, I went to Reno, won the Great sum of $75.00 at Keno.
I Bought a ticket to San Francisco and after bumming out on Limited Tenure for the SFPD walked into the Marine Recruiting Station and asked if he could use a good Pfc. He said, "H-ll Yeah" and the next thing I was on my way to Treasure Island. I ended up in the Guard Detachment, I wanted to get an "Emergency Driver's License" to drive the MP Truck around.
The Navy Transportation ruled the roost and a Chief took you out in an International Pickup with standard transmission. He gloried in taking Marines into San Fran and those wonderful hills. You would get to the stop sign just before going over the top of the hill. You had to stop, slip the stick into low, all the time keeping the truck from going back down the d-mned hill. Then you slipped the clutch, stepped on the gas and went up over the hill without jerking and stalling the d-mned truck. Don't know how but when we got back to Treasure Island he said I made the hill almost as good as he could, any way I got my Emergency Driver's License. But, a lot was happening to the Marine Corps about this time.
The rank structure was changing from Platoon Sgt, GySgt, 1stSgt, SgtMaj and The Technical rates Like SSgt, TSgt, MTSgt (flat rockers) to all round rockers and SSgt, TSgt. and MSgt. We still called the Gunny and 1st Sgt. and SgtMaj by their title. Also, about this time, Marine Corps Orders went out requiring Dungaree jackets to be inside the trousers instead of outside as before.
HST had done his best to get rid of his hated Marine Corps and had it limited to only 75,000 men. There wasn't enough men to fill all the billets needed. Then they began bringing back the War Dead and Burial Detail Companies were formed to bury all they were bringing back.
I was transferred to Hunters Point Naval Station Guard Detachment, but it was also a Burial Detachment Company. If you had Guard Duty and had the first watch, you prepared for Guard Mount. Now any ordinary Marine would pay $7.50 and get 3/4" soles on his Low Quarter shoes and a Horse shoe cleat on the heel (later banned), shoes had to be spit shined even if you wore them on liberty. The Greens had no rear pockets in those days so we sewed up the front pocket and carried our small billfold and cigarettes in our socks. We washed our pistol belt in salt until it was white, and spit shined the pistol holster until it looked as good as our shoes.
The green trousers were steamed pressed and starch was run on the inside of the front crease, Sharp. The shirts were creased twice in front running down the center of the pocket and three creases on the back of the shirt. This was only for Undress Greens and we wore no ribbons and medals on shirts then.
If you had the Burial Detail, you had your Blues all freshly pressed at the press shop in the basement of the Barracks, by Cpl. Smith. You polished your buttons, emblems and belt buckle to a high sheen. Inspection was held and the burial detail was loaded on a bus taking them to San Bruno National Cemetery for Catholic burials in the morning. Meantime, the old Guard was relieved and they prepared their Blues for Protestant Burials in the afternoon. The buses passed one another on the highway as the first Burial detachment went back to furnish the Guard for the rest of the day. When you got back to the barracks you took off you blues, removed the buttons, emblems, ribbons and medals and turned them into the press shop in the basement for tomorrows burial detail. Day on, Day Off, Friday duty had the weekend off. I believe we almost filled San Bruno Cemetery during those Hectic days.
Nearly all the men from Hunters Point ended up in Korea with the 1st Marine Brigade.
GySgt. F. L. Rousseau
MIAs and POWs
MIAs and POWs are very important to me.
When the first MIA-POW bans came out, I went to get one and a woman asked me to get one with her brother on it, I did. His name is, Spec. 4 David Munoz, lost on 5-13-69. He has never been found or returned. I also got another, he is Lt Col Herbert Lunsford USAF. Lost on 7-26-67, I wear these at every Honor Guard Duty I am in and also all Marine Corps League functions, and American Legion functions to honor them and others, who are lost.
I have two family members that were lost in WWII, Robert Eugene Schooling, Sgt, 447th Boom Group, USAAF, KIA/MIA 1-11-44. The school kids in the Netherlands found him and he was buried by them to protect his body from the Germans, after the war he was returned home.
Russell Ray Pruett, Seaman 1st Class, USN, KIA/MIA 9-11-43. USS Rowan was torpedoed off the coast of Sicily during the invasion of Sicily. and his body was never found.
Wm David Schooling
Marine Corps 1955-1959 MOS 0341
Marine Corps League D889 Mt St Hellens, Longview, WA.
American Leagon 175 Castele Rock, WA
John Halpin sure brought back some good memories about DI quotes! Someone else wanted to know if their was a book out on DI quotes. I got a kick out of the ones submitted since. I remember a few when I went through Boot in '57, like "Your azs is grass an I'm the lawnmower!" Or, "If your brains were dynamite, you wouldn't have enough to blow your nose!" And the rest would have to be in a book entitled, "For Marines Only".
B. OTIS '57/'60
The following member has unsubscribed: xxxxx.com from all lists. They were logged on the Opt Out List for all lists.
IP: xxxxxxxxx Date: 9/24/2012 Reason: My dog (ex-USMC EOD sniffer) died. USMC gave me this dog after my son, his last handler, died in a RPG attack outside Fallujah. The dog was severely injured as well, but lived for another 6 years due to excellent medical treatment by in-field medics and Veterinarians in Germany.
The dog's name was Copper and a marker is to be placed at Camp Pendleton.
First Name: xxx
Last Name: xxxxxx
Injecting A Pronoun
Wow, someone else remembers Sgt. Sheckler as their D.I. I am referring to Cpl James Laei and his post to Sgt. Grit in the Sept. 20, newsletter.
Staff Sgt. Sheckler was my Senior Drill Instructor with Platoon 289, 2d Battalion, MCRD Parris Island in August of 1964. He was all Marine and looked it. Barrell-chested, jutting jaw, built to take you down in an eye blink. Most of us in the platoon believed he was a recon Marine, but that was based on zero actual knowledge. I guess it was his physical dimensions that we thought he could only be a recon Marine. He was as tough a D.I. as they come, but fair by all measure.
Very early on I was a fast learner of his method of reinforcing what you are told. 1964 was still recent enough to recall the famous Ribbon Creek incident and how D.I's were now no longer allowed to put a hand on you as a means of discipline. However, away from prying eyes, lessons were learned quickly. His teaching method and that of his Junior D.I.'s was simply 2 or 3 seconds of pain, rather than 15 or 20 minutes of push-ups or squat thrusts. It seemed reasonable enough to me.
While I cannot recall the exact subject of the conversation between me and SSgt. Sheckler, I do recall injecting the pronoun "you" into the conversation. Well, he literally picked me up by my utility jacket, my feet were no longer touching the deck. He "placed" me against the bulkhead, which was actually about a foot or more away from where I was originally standing, shouting something about female sheep and how he was not a ewe. Lesson learned understood and never to be repeated again. 2 or 3 seconds and class dismissed. Efficient, effective and retained.
Some months before I enlisted (maybe even a year) I recall a Life Magazine pictorial/article about Art Buchwald, who some may remember had a regular column in The Washington Post and whose political opinion pieces always had a clever and comical take on political issues of the time. The Life piece had Art going through P.I. again (yes, he was an aviation Marine in WWII). The D.I. in the Life Magazine photos bawling out Art was none other than SSgt. Sheckler. Unfortunately for me I never got to finish boot camp with Plt. 289. Halfway through our series I contracted a knee infection that put me in the Beaufort Naval Hospital for a month. I finished boot camp with the 3rd Battalion, Platoon 389.
Throughout my lifetime of meeting all kinds of people, I will never, ever forget Senior Drill Instructor, Staff Sergeant Sheckler, U.S.M.C.
Sgt. Grit, you run an outstanding newsletter. Thanks for allowing me to share a moment of my time in the greatest military outfit that mankind has seen fit to create. Semper Fi to all Marines.
Ed Barewich, Cpl.
Someone, Somewhere Discovered
My 17th birthday was in January 1950, joined the Marine Corps Reserve in March 1950, unit was 5 Signal Company based in the "old Japanese School" on Terminal Island; was assigned as a Wireman. Graduated from Phineas Banning High School, Wilmington, CA in early June; went to summer training camp at Pendleton Scheduled June 18 to 30th.
Formation June 26 to be told of the recent "event" and told we would return to 5 Signal base and report back in 10 days. When we reported in we were formed up and marched to the Long Beach Naval Station and assigned barracks. Two days later we were bussed to Pendleton. (Watched elements of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade going north to embark at Long Beach). We were assigned barracks in what turned out to be an Advanced Training Regiment. Became acquainted with things like BAR's, 60 mm mortars, etc. Someone, somewhere discovered many of us had not been to Boot Camp! Pack up and another bus ride to MCRD San Diego; no yellow footprints!
(Grew 3 inches and gained 30 pounds). Made PFC and ordered to Camp Lejeune at Courthouse Bay to train for Demolition, High Explosives and Land Mine Warfare (then MOS 1375), made Corporal. Ordered back to 7th Engineer Batt, FMF at Pendleton. Life as a Combat Engineer was varied, interesting and sometimes intense. Released from active duty in '52; transferred to 10th Rifle Company at Naval Ammunition Depot, Seal Beach, CA; 5 years Ready Reserve.
Best thing that could have happened to me.
Critchfield, Sergeant William J, 1075135
Dogface Senior Grade
I'm in again. Just finished reading the latest rendition of the "news" and am reminded of a few things.
Chow at PI in the forties was never outstanding - they had Peanut Butter on the tables then, I don't believe they do now. There was a saying that the peanut butter saved more lives than plasma.
We were refused liberty by the Major, CO of our squadron at Cherry Point, one weekend because the grass wasn't mowed around the HQ building. He wouldn't accept the fact that it was the reasonability of the civilian force to cut the grass. Even the Chaplain struck out on this one.
Still don't know why we had to have a "Mess Pass" on board the evac. vessel coming out of Hamhung, Korea. I don't think there was anyone there that didn't want to be there. And, my father-in-law was a "by the book" Air Force Colonel. My daughter, his only grandchild at the time, was the only one to ever call him a "Dogface Senior Grade" and get away with it. I convinced her the Air Force was really an ally of the Corps.
'sall for now. Semper Fi
Ed Tate Ret'd. GySgt
A special Thanks to Max Felser of the 1st Marine Division Association Bodfish Chapter! He has sent our Showroom Director/Reunions Coordinator a few gifts on behalf of the Bodfish Chapter and himself.
He sent hand selected, single barrel Jack Daniels Whiskey, a DVD copy of the 1st Marine Division Association Reunion this year in Portland, OR (in which she also attended) and a signed picture of Tim Matheson from Warner Bros. Studios.
Thank you Max you're the best! Bodfish Forever!
I just found this NCO Swagger Stick at the bottom of my footlocker. It brought back some memories of the versatility of this little torture device, especially when in the
hands of an imaginative Drill Instructor.
In response to an article in the newsletter of 21 Sept, by Larry Fleagle and tanks.
Sorry Larry, there were no M-60's of any kind in Vietnam, but the tank retrievers were M-88's. Mentioned by you were three tanks on Hill-55 in 1965-66, here are a few pics of those tanks. One of a truck also, if you were there you would remember this truck and who died in it on the road to Hill-55.
B Co, 1st Plt. 3rd. Tank Bn.
Talk About Being
I do remember the "Swagger Sticks". We had M-1s in boot camp and got my first M-14 in 1964 in Japan. Managed to "acquire" five auto selector switches prior to our landing at Chu Lai in 1965. Also managed to get an "M-1 Thumb" in boot camp and suffered thru a few rifle butt thumps on my breast bone.
While at San Onefre, I was in the third fire team, third squad, next to the last man and humped a Browning Automatic Rifle and ran everywhere we went! Also at Chu Lai, we ate the last of the WWII and Korea C-rats with the green Lucky Strike four pack of cigarettes. Went from 171lbs down to 156lbs. Talk about being "lean and mean". Original service number started with 14XXXXX. Old saying was, "To Die For The Corps, Was To Live Forever." Still goes and I am now "75 years of experiences". Younger brother is also retired USMC Gunny as am I.
MCRD time frame was Oct-Dec 1961. Platoons 277,278,279,280. (Kilo Company, 2nd RTR) We departed PISC via chartered bus on 22 Dec 1961. Arrived at Infantry Training Regiment (ITR) Camp Geiger, NC the same day.
All four platoons hand carried their issued M-1s to Camp Geiger. During final PFT at PISC we used borrowed M-14s from a recently organized 2nd Battalion platoon. The logic behind borrowed M-14s was to keep the M-1s in pristine condition for final personnel inspection, and graduation.
Keep in mind the rifle stocks shined with three months of hand rubbed linseed oil. My first duty station after ITR was MAG-14, MABS-14, (Motor T) 2nd MAW. I was issued an M-14 from our armory that was physically located in our barracks. If you didn't log out and clean your rifle once a week, you were referred to office hours. Life was much simpler back then.
Comment: Marines at the Marine Corps Museum stated M-1s came back to MCRD in 1966 because all the M-14s were sent to Viet Nam and staging battalion at Camp Pendleton. True or False?
Martin D. Smith
MSgt USMC ret.
Volunteer Docent USMC Museum
When I tell people I was drafted into the Marine Corps, they say The Marines never drafted men into the Corps! Go back to 1944, I was 18yrs old, and called up for the draft. After our physical we (I) was asked what branch of the service I preferred? I chose the Navy! A few minutes later a hard asz Marine Sgt. came into the room and announced, "I need 6 volunteers for the Marine Corps! Raise your hand!" Nobody raised their hand? So then after looking through our papers, he bellowed, "When I call your name, step out in the hall!"
So there we were, 6 volunteers, drafted into the Marine Corps. I served 2yrs in the Pacific before and after the end of WWII.
Cpl. Richard Burdick
(Now 86yrs old)
If You Happened To
After serving two overseas tours, I carried a short timers stick twice. What I remember about them was not only did it help count down your time, but during the last 10 days before you rotated home, there was no liberty so that if you happen to contract a VD, the symptoms would show up during that time. During your last 10 days of base liberty we were allowed to visit any unit on the base at any time to say goodbye to any friend as long as you had a short timers stick.
Try To Turn
Some thoughts about my boot camp. I was 17 years old when I joined the Corps July 17, 1957. When I arrived at MCRD, Dago I was assigned to a special all Texas platoon, # 384, 3d Bn. It took 11 days to form the platoon (I still have my cruise book). The first day of training we went to the barbershop to get a high and tight hair cut (read some fuzz left on top). Then to clothing issue i.e.: 3 sets of herring bone twill utilities, 6 sets of underwear (White), 6 pair of OD cushion sole socks, 1 pair of roughed out boon dockers and 1 pair of roughed out boots. I still suffer from shin splints from those d----d boon dockers since we wore them for everything.
Spit shined boots were for inspections only. Did you ever try to turn roughed outs into a smooth dark brown spit shine? Yes, this was years before black shoes and boots. I didn't want to turn this into a book. I would be happy to share further if there is interest. I find that at 73 yrs. old I remember more about my ancient past than I do about last week. SEMPER FI
L W Cannon
GySgt (retired) USMC
Finally Got His Bearings
There have been recent discussions on when the M-14 rifle was first issued. In the past, I posted a letter which indicated that my platoon was the first platoon at MCRD San Diego to be issued the M-14. We were Platoon 316 and we arrived on February 10th, 1962. My buddy was in Platoon 315 and was the last to train with the M-1.
When we arrived at ITR, we were issued the M-1. I was part of the first guard duty. The Corporal of the Guard who was unaware that we had trained with the M-14 went ballistic when he inspected us. The first Marine pulled the bolt with his right hand. Of course the left hand is utilized with the M-1. He could not believe it. When he finally got his bearings, it was explained to him that we had the M-14 in Boot Camp. He could not believe that we were going to get weapons and rounds with no training. Adapt and overcome.
Yes, we stood on the Yellow Footprints.
Cpl Jack Dufour 1962 -1965
OORAH! Sgt Grit and a loud and hearty Semper Fi to all of you hard chargin Devil Dogs standing tall in Sgt Grits cyber formation.
In response to Bruce Benders crazy things we remember, as put to me by a very upset SSGT Thude (DI, Plt 3039, 1985) its left over right "THING". This is America, we read from left to right, this should make it easy enuf to remember, now just be-f--king-gin maggot.
Sir, begin, aye aye sir. Still lacin up left over right, he had a way of making it stick in the old brain housing group. later on while stationed at Northern Training Area in Okinawa, it was somewhat ok to refer to known Staff Sgts as Staff, (not always) I was schooled by one of or more salty Staff Sgts as to the difference is a staff is a stick used to stir sh-t, and a Marine Staff Sgt is not. Point taken and dually noted. It sure would be hard to imagine what it's like to go thru life without being a United States Marine, sounds dull. OORAH!
Cpl Radtke T.A. 85-89
I'll Be A Son Of
I was issued my M-14 at MCRD San Diego in September of 1970. We were handed the rifle and had to yell out our rifle serial number and sign the rifle card. My rifle serial # was 619201. My hometown zip code with a 1 after it. As I ran out of the armory, Sgt. Perry grabbed me by my stacking swivel and my rifle and shouted, "What is your rifle serial number Mother------?" (his favorite term of endearment) "619201 Sir", I screamed. The look on his face was priceless. "I'll be a son of a -----" he mumbled as he released me and handed back my rifle. I've often wondered what happened to old 619201 and Sgt. Perry. I hope life was good to him. He was one h-ll of a Marine.
Saw an article several months ago about a certificate given to members of 2/2 called the bearded bum certificate. Enclosed please find the attachment with the certificate in it. It was signed by Lt.Colonel David A. Brewster. I don't know if all Marines got one but we who were at the jet airfield side of Guantanamo, opposite mainside did receive one. The Cubans had the beards so the Colonel thought it a good idea for us to grow a mustache "To confuse the beards across the fence"!
Recent articles concerning the M-1 Garand and the M-14 seem to be a point of confusion as well. I do remember being issued the Garand at MCRD Parris Island, Platoon 381 in August of 1960 and again at Camp Geiger ITR. I still had the M-1 at Camp Lejeune until the later part of 1961 or early 1962, at which time we were issued the M-14.
Sgt. of Marines
Lincoln Type Hat
Not judging, just some observations of how the Corps has changed since I went through Boot Camp at MCRDSD Plt 220 in March 1961.
Many changes in the Uniform. I was issued several different uniforms. Green Utilities - never heard the term Sateens. They had the flaps on the Blouse pockets and the interior map flap. Some older non-coms had Herring Bone utilities. Khakis - not many guys wore them because they looked as if you slept in them after 5 minutes of wear. Summer Tropicals - I think they were the classiest looking Marine Uniform there was. Greens just the same as today. If you were issued it or could find/buy it, you could wear it as Class A greens - Ike Jacket. Ike jacket was more comfortable to wear than the large Green blouse, I was given one. Brown shoes, Brown barracks cover brims and Brown dress gloves which looked better with Tropicals and Greens than the present Black shoe and Black brimmed barracks cover. EGAs worn on dress Tropicals Blouse collar.
Dress Blues - Class A had a blue cover and belt. Class B had the white cover and white belt. Class C White cover and Tropical blouse. Officers had Dress Whites.
Other changes - no more Thumping in Boot Camp, also no swearing, or racial, gender, religious slurs. No more Smoking lamp is lit. Sea Going Marines. Starched Utilities and starched covers. You could get creative with the starched cover for a little bit of individualism, knew one Marine (Trammel) who pulled it over a coffee can to dry to get a top hat or Abe Lincoln type hat affect. Sea Going Marines and Salty Marines wearing the Sea Dip on their Barracks cover. Blousing bands, Chain laced boots, Bottle shined boots. Boot eyelets showing brass for salty Marines. Rifles kept in barracks, Squad bay barracks. To get off base for liberty-only Class A uniform (no utilities allowed off base unless some kind of very rare duty), or civilian uniform consisting of collared shirt, slacks with belt, socks, regular laced shoes. Many wore their issued dress shoes for this and wondered why they were spotted as Marines, of course their haircut also helped in this matter.
No motorcycle use allowed in 11th Naval District. MPs on gates and in town wearing Class A's with white helmet liner with red circular stripes, red MP arm band, white duty gear with pistol, gold pistol lanyard. Some talk about squat thrusts - try squat jumps, they were outlawed while I was in Boot Camp. They wrecked your knees and kidneys. Many changes to weapons and vehicles. Big thrill - pull the trigger on a live flame thrower.
Last but not least Serial numbers that would tell if you were boot to somebody.
Cpl of Marines 1958xxx
When I Raise
"When I raise that sword and give you an EYES RIGHT, I wanna hear them eyeballs click. Is that understood?" Sir, Yes Sir!
Plt 271 Sr. SSgt Harrison 1959 graduation ceremony, MCRDSD.
Cpl. D. McKee
P.S. Regarding the boot lace controversy, I ran upon this on a Forum for new recruits;
Boot laces. No offense to any other Marines who do this, but laces that are wrapped around your boot just look nasty. Lace them left over right, pull them tight, put knots in the end, pull the loops until the knots are at the end, and tuck those babies in.
Had This Guy
Oct 1967. Boot camp! San Diego. Just started T-Days. Had this guy in our Platoon, Deep, Deep Southern lad. Really heavy Southern accent. There are certain things that you never forget about Boot Camp, and Private Bishop was one of those "things".
We all remember the way things were done in Boot Camp. Proper etiquette being one of those things. Bishop chose the slow, painful way of getting out of the Corps; but it worked!
Did I mention that he was my bunky? He kept me informed as to how his close, and personal relationship was developing with the Drill Instructors. So, he began his campaign.
He did a lot of stupid things to get the Drill Instructors' attention. I have to say, I would have tried to find a better way, though. Getting the Drill Instructors' attention all the time could be very painful. But the one thing that finally got him GONE was the "Emergency Head Call" request.
No matter where we were, or what we were doing, seems he always had to PEE! Oh, Did I mention he had this really heavy southern accent? Well, it seems every time we were in formation for close order drill, or whatever, he would come out with, "Suh? Suh? The private gots to pee, Suh!" He would just break out with that request All Of The Time, wherever we were.
So, finally, our Senior Drill Instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Gallihue, put him in the back of the platoon, and told him, "Look, Bishop! Whenever you have to p-ss, just GO! Don't say anything! JUST GO!
That last step was Bishop's get out of the Corps card. It got him what he wanted. After a few days of just breaking ranks and going to the head, we just didn't have Bishop in our platoon anymore. So, I guess being "stupid" got him what he wanted. But our Drill Instructor told us he would probably just have to go into the Army. Don't know if that is true, but I certainly hope he had to serve SOMEWHERE! Hate to think he skated serving all together!
Thanks, Grit. For tolerating us Marines out here with our memories of serving our beloved Corps. The ONLY place we can go to be heard by our Brothers and Sisters on such a large scale. The best years of my life were the years I served OUR CORPS! I have never had that feeling at any other time in my 64 years of life.
I would have made the Corps my career, but I did not have a miltary wife. A story for another time. The Corps definitely became my family. I was allowed to do so much while in the Corps. I even had a back seat license in the F-4 Phantom while at MCAS Cherry Point, VMFAT-201. I got to do many things while serving. I was a Door Gunner in HMM-263 Peachbush at MCAS Marble Mountain, South Vietnam, where I took lives, and I helped in saving lives. And, HMM-263 was the very first VMM squadron. They are now, VMM-263, Ospreys.
On my very first mission as a Door Gunner, I got to help our Corpsman save the life of a badly wounded Marine. Where else could a man have the privilege of doing so many things? I have met "new", young Marines of today, and I am told that I am their "HERO" for serving in Vietnam. I tell them I am no hero, but I was honored to serve with some heroes. May God Bless Our Marine Corps, and those that serve her well.
Charles (Chuck) Brewer, Sergeant of Marines, Served 1967-1973, AOA School 1968 at NASJAX, MOS 6511 Aviation Ordnance, Vietnam 1969-1970, Volunteer Door Gunner HMM-263 1970, Senior Instructor NCO Leadership MCAS Beaufort, SC 1970-1971, Honorary Lifetime Member USMC Combat Helicopter Association (Popasmoke), Combat Veteran. Proudly served our Country, and our Marine Corps with Honor, Faith, Courage, and Dignity.
Oorah! God Bless Our Corps. May she always Reign As The Elite Fighting Force that She is today.
Chuck Brewer, Sergeant of Marines For FR--KIN' EVER!
Here are some scans of a couple more Propaganda leaflets (front and back) that I picked up while out on an operations south of Chu Lai in the Summer of 1966 - maybe on Operation Texas or Utah (?).
Operation Utah seems to have been forgotten by most USMC Historians. I have often wondered if it is because of the high number of casualties that resulted - 98 to 104 Marines Killed and 278 wounded - on an operation that started with limited enemy information that resulted in only a couple companies being sent against an entrenched enemy battalion. To read an excellent description of this battle, entitled "They're not supermen," Meeting the NVA in Operation Utah, March 1966 -- Author unknown by me, Google the title.
I entered this battle as part of a 'reactionary platoon' from 11th Marines sent in with the 155mm battery set in place just east of Hwy 1, and a short distance north of the main area of fighting. (See pg 114 of this article) We were told we would be a blocking force and if a green flare was fired to get down in our holes as the 155s would be firing beehive rounds over our heads. We saw only light contact, but it was the first time I fired my M-14 in Nam.
Here is a picture of our 'reactionary platoon' getting ready to move out on Op Utah. Note the pict date. Yours truly - yup, that's a Full Auto M-14 with a bipod. We were young once. You can also see what they mean by the "Sands of Chu Lai"
PS - I can still shoot as good as way back then - even better! My marksmanship training in the Corps has not been forgotten. I shot a 455/500 pts last Sunday in an "EIC Leg match". That would be a 227 in a USMC scored match. I have retired the M-14 and now use an M-16 type rifle as they are more accurate - even at 600 yds.
3/11, 1st Mar Div - '66
In your recent story in the newsletter, "His Wife", you said your SOS wasn't what you remembered. Here is a good recipe that tastes like I remember. I can't recall where I got it, but it was from another Marine who experimented until he got it just right. Give it a try, and I hope you like it.
Marine Corps SOS
1 & 1/2 Lb. (24 oz.) of lean hamburger
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 C chopped onion
3 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. granulated garlic (or jarred minced garlic)
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 C milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown meat, drain. Back to the pan, add oleo or butter and stir. Add chopped onions and cook until they are translucent. Add flour, stir and cook for two to three minutes. Add garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and mix thoroughly. Add milk and stir until it thickens.
GySgt, Ret. 77-00
A Lot of talk about M-14's and M-1's. In boot Camp we had the M-14 except at the Range where we qualified with the M-16. Then at my first regular duty station at K-Bay, HI with A 1/8 we had M-14's again. We would go out in the bush and attach a BFA to them so we could fire and have some feeling for the real deal. The M-14 was a great weapon and I loved it. I only had one problem with while at K-Bay. We were out in the bush once again using a BFA. I was using semi-auto and on about the fifth round the ejector clip and part of the bolt blew apart sending small pieces of metal flying.
Those around me were not injured from any of the small flying pieces of metal but it sure woke me up. I did not care for the Mattie Mattel toy gun very much but it was a good weapon once they finally got all of the little issues ironed out of it. After K-Bay all I ever carried as far as a rifle goes was the Mattie Mattel M-16. As a squad leader I would carry the blooper and the 1911-A1 .45. I really enjoyed both of these weapons. I had SO much fun with each I wish I had one of each today. I mean I know you can get a 1911 A-1 from many different arms makers in fact I have a Springfield Mil Spec but I would love to have an original Colt 1911 A-1 as well as the blooper.
Thanks for your newsletter and the store. I read the newsletter completely every time I receive it. I have ordered many items from your store and find the items to always be of top quality and worth the price. Thanks for doing all you do and thanks to your staff for always being so kind and helpful. You have a great bunch working for you.
SSgt. Joseph E. Whimple
MCRDSD 2033 graduate May of 1970 Live free Ride free
While Going Forward
Another story concerning the M-14 rifle.
While I was stationed with the 1st Marine Division Drum and Bugle Corps, 1962-1963, we were issued the M-14 in July of '62. In August we were to qualify, that's where the trouble started. Do any of your readers remember on qual day the stock breaking at the pistol hand grip behind the trigger housing group. This happened while going forward into the prone position. When this happened the range was shut down, followed by turning in the M-14 and being re-issued the M-1.
After the M-14 were replaced with new stocks we were again turning in the M-1 and being issued the M-14 again. The qualification took place in August of 1962.
Jim S. 5591,
1st Mar. Div. D&B
98 Percent Hard, Dirty, Dangerous Labor
Here's one for them as was swingin' with the wing in the 60's and 70's ('swing with the wing, and don't sweat a thing... if it don't fly, f-ckit')... especially gearheads and motor T types... Mighty Mites have been in the newsletter of late, as somewhat of a rare bird, but one familiar to many in its few years of active service... and were mostly issued to ground units, having been designed to be transportable by the then standard helos. A more rare model vehicle was used by the wing, that being a Jeep FC (Forward Control... or 'cab-over') truck... (only ones I ever saw were at El Toro). This thing had a 3-cylinder, two- stroke cycle diesel Cerlist engine, and with the right injection pump, could be 'multi-fuel'... capable of running on some of the heavier aviation fuels, as well as diesel.
It must've had a megaphone exhaust, as (from memory) it was really loud, and drivers and passengers wore 'earmuffs' (hearing protectors... AKA "wing-type 782 gear"). It might have been a V-configuration, although I'm not sure about that... seems balancing would have been a problem. The GamaGoat which came along later, was also a 3-cylinder two- stroke (Detroit Diesel 3-53), but it was certainly an in- line engine. Although these things (M678 and other FC variants) were off-road capable, I think they were used mostly on and around Air Stations... any input from (ahem... an 'older') wing MT veteran, pictures, even, would be helpful.
Now, the Wing used to (and probably still does) operate with two kinds of money... not Greenbacks and MPC, but "Blue dollars and Green dollars". This kinda ties into Marines being "Naval Aviators"... whether they've ever landed on a carrier or not. My grasp of it was that the aircraft, and lots of things that went with them, like 'yellow gear' (ground starting carts, etc.), were purchased with funds provided by the Navy... or 'blue dollars'. This included jet fuel... JP-4, JET-A, whatever (not my thing, fuel farmers welcome to speak up). It also seemed to be SOP that whenever a 'fast-mover' was done for the day, that it would be 'de-fueled'... drained... emptied, and that fuel could not be loaded back into any jet... something to do with possible contamination, etc.
The drained fuel would be stored in big tanks... and was available 'free' to fuel the multi-fuel M-series green.. (Marine Corps Green) vehicles of the various squadrons on the base. The best part of this was that the fuel had been purchased with 'blue dollars'... and written off as a cost of flying (for lack of a better term). This also was a real boon to the Wing MTO, and his budget... which would have probably a couple hundred thousand dollars in it for fuel... which, if not needed, could be re-allocated to other MT needs. It was a sad, sad day indeed, when the M-series (M-35, M54, etc.) trucks with multi-fuel engines were replaced with the new 700 and 900 series vehicles, because these had Cummins engines, made to run on #2 diesel... not just any liquid hydro-carbon (paint thinner, peanut oil, etc.) as were the multi-fuels.
It was easy to identify squadron MTO's at happy hour... the pilots, including the Special Services Officer, if he owned a pair of wings, would all be wearing their flight suits and talking with both hands, and the MTOs would be huddled over a table, wearing their GAA-stained utilities, punching figures into calculators, and scribbling penciled figures into blanks on draft budget forms... having new trucks was great... but there is always that law of unintended consequences... one other aspect of the Cummins engine was that the injection pump relied on fuel for lubrication... and instead of a mechanical cable arrangement to turn fuel on/off, these had electrical solenoids... dead batteries meant a slave start was necessary... towing to bump start one of these trucks was guaranteed to produce one result... and that was a ruined injection pump... and a lengthy conversation between the MMO and the MTO... (well, the 2ndLt MTO probably thought it was a way too long conversation, as it involved his IQ, education, parentage, having a third boot about his personage, etc.)
Army quite likely had M-60's in country (VN)... can tell you for a certified fact that the Corps didn't... and that big ol' retriever at 3rd Tanks was not a M-60, but an M-51... 60 tons, V-12 air-cooled, fuel-injected, super-charged gasoline engine, (AVSI 1790) producing 1,080 BHP at the flywheel at 2100 RPM, 24 sparkplugs, 4 magnetos, etc... boom would lift 30-tons retracted, 15 fully extended, had about 30 degree swing either side of center... main winch is a 45-ton Gar- Wood, spooling about 400 ft of inch and a half cable... which could also be reved back through the cab and through the boom... 'lil joe' was a much smaller winch, mounted inside upper right front, and had several hundred feet of smaller (3/8") cable... deal was to pay out lil joe, hang a snatch block (that is not anything to do with time of the month or absorbent padding) on the load (stuck/broke tank, e.g.), run the cable through that and back to the retriever and use that line to drag the BIG snatch block out to the load for at least a 'two-part' line... roughly double the pulling power at the load, half the speed. For a real mess, the line might be bent back once more and secured at the load, making a '3-part line'. Whatever you had hold of was going to come along... not very fast, but at roughly a 135 ton pull... if was coming!
Early 1967, one of the companies of 1st Tanks had a light section (2 tanks) tasked to support a grunt platoon at the Nam-O bridge, between DaNang and the road up Hai Van pass... from memory, the bridge got dropped one night by some VC frog persons... at any rate, one of the two tanks had been backing down a narrow road, which had a high railroad embankment on one side, and dropped away to the water on the other... the roadway crumbled, and the tank slid down the embankment... left front fender in the water, both tracks thrown, and somehow both tracks thrown to the inside (under the belly of the tank)... Yankee 53 (Bn Maintenance's retriever... each company had one each as well) was sent to recover. First thought was to put the retriever on the far side of the railroad tracks and pull from there... until somebody pointed out that yonder area was a French minefield... so we parked her on the tracks... not the best of situations due to uneven loading on the suspension.
A little work with the oxy-acetylene torch took care of the track... once cut, it could be worked with... then a three- part line was rigged, and the tank was pulled back up on the road... with a couple of spare track blocks and the other tank, re-tracking the recovered tank was routine tank crew work... and Yankee 53, with her crew of Commander, Driver, Cutter/Welder and Rigger, plus one 2nd Lt went home to fix the three broken torsion bars caused from balancing on the railroad tracks. The 'glamor' of armor is usually 98 percent hard, dirty, dangerous labor... and no real tanker I ever knew ever wanted to be in any other field.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
"Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool."
--Plato, 427 BC
"H-ll hath no fury like a bureaucrat disregarded."
"Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as the sturdy horse pulling the wagon."
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
"Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. [I]ndustry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them."
--Benjamin Franklin (1753)
"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."
"The world is suffering more today from the good people who want to mind other men's business than it is from the bad people who are willing to let everybody look after their own individual affairs."
--Clarence Darrow, 1908
"Today is a good day to die!"
"As You Were."
"I'll be out of the area all day"
God Bless the American Dream!