Sgt Grit Newsletter - 17 MAY 2012

In this issue:
• You're In Good Hands
• Flapping in the Breeze
• The Tiger

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Dad and WWII Marine Buddies (see more pictures)

Submitted by Julie Robertson Haimowitz

In This Issue

Geezzz, I knew chow was important and I liked most of the what I had. The number and variety of chow stories has been great. There is a short story about the Cuban Missile Crisis, I would like to hear more.

Here we go: anything we wanted, made him a homicidal maniac, Hey Sir, the hands of family, just screens with shutters, Cuban Missile Crisis, and daring me to step on grass, more things that go boom, just walked away, just won't be the same, Corps idea of a joke.

GriTogether June 9th - Be there!

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

You're In Good Hands

Sgt Grit,

I have a story I thought you might enjoy. I recently had to go in for surgery for the removal of a cyst in the family jewels. My cardiologist and heart surgeon both approved but still, a person cannot help being apprehensive before surgery.

They had just gotten me all fixed up on the operating table, they always have to add extensions for my height and I was enduring all this wishing it was over. It was then that young man, maybe in his thirties who was the anesthetist smiled, leaned down and said, "You're in the hands of the Marines now." I turned to him and said "Semper Fi!" He paused for a second and then came back with "Do or die!" Then it was old home week. We both went through MCRD Sand Diego.

All apprehension was gone. I was in the hands of family. We had to stop reminiscing so he could pass me the gas.

Bob Blacketer

Flapping in the Breeze

Reading all the wonderful memories about boot camp, about the tall recruits, the short recruits, the fat recruits and the skinny recruits made me remember a particularly amusing incident that occurred early in first phase. I was a member of Platoon 1046, Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California in the summer of 1978. I'm a small guy now and was even skinnier back then. I was never put on double rations, but was often selected to be an "early chow private." Most likely, because I could run fast and low and didn't eat much.

I was determined not to stand out or be noticed or singled out. I wanted to be a wall flower and survive. For the most part I was successful. However, there were some recruits that were destined to stand out. Some were just destined to be on the radar and get "special attention." This is the memory of one such recruit. His name was Allen B (we had 2 recruits with the last name of Allen so our Drill Instructors used first initials for clarification). Allen B was a tall, extremely skinny kid from Anaheim CA. He was, as far as I knew, a normal kid, just kind of goofy. He was just the kind that attracts attention. He was the kind that turned out to be the favorite "abuse toy" of our Drill Instructors.

In first phase we were billeted in the hotel shaped barracks and my rack was right beside the Drill Instructors hut on the port side. I was within 15 feet of the "classroom" and had a very clear view. Allen B was bunked on the starboard side a few racks down from the classroom. We had returned from PT and were undressing and heading to the "rain room." Now for some reason, Allen B had completely disrobed with the exception of his boots and socks. All of a sudden we hear the same thing we've heard every day since we arrived, "Allen B report to the classroom." So, being a good recruit, Allen B immediately proceeded, in his current state of undress, to report to the classroom. Then, we heard the familiar command, "side straddle hops, begin." So there he is, buck naked and doing jumping jacks.

He was right in my line of sight. We hadn't been given the ever popular command of "port side report to the rain room," so I was stuck there. I was stuck there watching this tall skinny naked kid doing jumping jacks in his boots with his flaccid member flapping in the breeze. I wanted to laugh. It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life. At the same time, it's also a mental image that I've tried to erase over the years. But alas, it just won't delete from memory. I know what kept me from laughing, as anyone knows that went through recruit training. It was the fear of being "invited" to join that helped me keep my composure.

Allen B was on double rations from the day he arrived at the Depot until the day he left. He was also given "special attention" from the day he arrived until the day he left. But, he did make it, he finished with us. He never dropped out. He never gave up. He never complained. I never saw him again. But, I can only imagine that his boot camp experience either made him a homicidal maniac or one of the meanest, baddest Marines that ever walked the face of the earth. Allen B, if you're out there ... Semper Fi Marine and OURAH!!!

FYI: If Allen B or anyone that I went through recruit training or served with reads this, please join Sgt Grit's Buddy Page. I'm a member and would love to hear from ya'll. It's easy .... Even a Marine can do it.

John Hardin
1978 - 1984

The Tiger

I was on hole watch at the Rock Pile in Viet Nam in '67. I was actually in the bunker unlike so many other Marines who felt that being in the bunker "gave away your position" to a possible sniper. I felt safer in the bunker because there would be only one approach to me and not 360 degrees of possible assault. During my watch this night I would think I saw something from time to time. I would check my sighting by looking away and then back again. This method worked for me to decide if anything was moving out there in the darkness in front of me or that I was imagining things.

It had been maybe an hour or more when there seemed to be something approaching at an angle from left to right. I strained to see and then tried my "look away and then back" method. Whatever it was did not disappear and came fully into view. It was a full grown tiger approximately 100 feet out. It stopped and looked right at me. We were both frozen, stone still, and staring at each other.

We had just been issued the M16 rifle with bipod and mine was set up and directed quite by accident directly at the tiger. I had no idea how the rifle would perform never having shot it yet but I was confident and unshaken. The M14 I had turned in for this new rifle had a nonfunctioning selector switch. If need be with the M16 I now had the ability with full automatic at my thumbs' reach to drop this tiger where it stood. Unfortunately I wasn't in full automatic. I never wanted to expel a great number of rounds in the first moments of panic and then regret having little ammo to continue. So there we were, the two of us, staring at each other. I thought at that moment how a deer would freeze when a predator was nearby. I admit I felt a little like that deer. I had heard how there had been instances of tigers attacking Marines from time to time in Viet Nam so I had reason to worry.

I thought it would be a shame if I had to shoot this beast and wake everyone up. Sleep was precious in the bush. So I kept quiet and still until the tiger finally snorted at me as if to dismiss me as nothing to concern him. I felt somewhat insulted but was relieved when he finally walked off to the right of me. Although I must have been conscious that he was somewhere in the area I gave him no more thought.

What seemed just a few moments later the Sergeant of the guards came along to check on me. I warned him about the tiger. He guessed that the tiger had come up from the dump. The Rock Pile I had found was teeming with a variety of animals who loved to roam at night into our perimeter to scrounge for food. I guess I should be happy I didn't end of as that tiger's evening meal.

Anonymous 3/3/3 Marine, Viet Nam 66-67 MOS0311


I had the following for my status on 1 May this year -- somehow I think you may appreciate it.

You hear young Marines at public functions, when a veteran of some particular battle is introduced, the young Marines usually make a lot of noise. I've always been like that.

Lately, I've been reading various books on the United States Marine Corps' required reading list -- books like Flags of Our Fathers -- A Message to Garcia -- With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa -- Rifleman Dodd.

I feel I've learned an entirely new type of respect for these guys. I'll probably never OOH-RAH at a formal presentation again. Simple, silent respect seems to have become what I will feel. Don't get me wrong, a hearty OOH-RAH is still in here, it just won't show up at presentations. Those guys sure don't seem to have enjoyed what they had to do, and I don't think I will enjoy it, either.

Thanks, Sergeant Grit and crew,
Earl Needham

Bolt Home

Dear Sgt Grit:

I would like to tell you a story that happened in 1958 When I was at Parris Island. I was in the third battalion, platoon 315. We were there about 7 weeks. About that time the drill instructor had the smallest recruit walking guard duty. We carried the m1 rifle at that time.

About three o'clock in the morning while walking the area, he saw two people running through the brush. He called out, who goes there and saw two figures duck down in the bushes. Then he saw them get up and run again. He yelled out a second time, who goes there and saw them duck down again. The third time he saw them get up a run He slammed home the bolt of his m1. At three in the morning it must have sounded like thunder to the two guys that were running.

They both stopped and came out of the bushes with their hands up. The next day the drill instructor had him fall out front and center. The drill instructor had made an apple with a worm sticking out of it and colored it. The recruit was made worm of the day. I thought it was a funny story about Parris Island that should be shared.

Semper Fi. Your friend and brother Marine Robert Marshall

Cuban Missile Crisis

Sgt. Grit,

I joined the Marine Corps in Cincinnati, Ohio and flew to MCRD San Diego 7 Sept, 1960. Platoon 186, GNY Sgt Dishotel, SGT McGrath, SGT Dudley, and Sgt Klunk. I respect and Thank Them. 1961 - 1962 USS Renville 227 overseas tour, Okinawa, Japan, MT. Fugi Tent City, Subic Bay Philippines, Hong Kong, sailed back stateside on the MTS Mann.

I never read about anyone being in on the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1963 Camp Pendleton the word came down to Mount up. We were on Alert. Kennedy said Move the Misses. We boarded planes and flew across the states and down to Cuba, Git-mo. It was dark when we arrived so we slept on the Grinder at Git-mo. The next morning we moved up to the storm fence and dug in.

For some reason, myself and another Marine were moved down the line to a cement bunker. The Cuban Patrol Truck would come by yelling and waving their weapons at us, after a while we got tired of their Bullsh--t . We found a 6" x 10' Drain Pipe and stuck it out the window of the Bunker. The Cubans Hauled Azz.

Sometime later a navy guy drove a jeep through the storm fence. It was said he was drunk, but who knows? Anyhow we had a 6 By Full of Marines on one side and an old junky truck full of Cubans on the other. No shots were fired. The officers settled it. I forgot how long we were there, maybe 3 weeks, but we would get relieved and go back to the Golf Course for R&R and Baths. When the Government settled the Missile Deal, we boarded ships and Sailed through the Canal back to Camp Pendleton.

1964 transferred to Naval Weapons Station, San Francisco Guard Duty for a year. Discharged SEPT. 7,1964. Maybe some friends of mine will read this and have some return.

Robert Fry 1936227
Corporal once


Sgt. Grit,

I hail from a family of Marines. My dad, like you, served in Vietnam. He was awarded a Silver Star with purple hearts in 66' Operation Hastings for his actions. I actually went to Vietnam for two weeks in 2010 with my dad's skipper to see their combat sites. My dad has passed but leaves a strong legacy. My three brothers also served in our beloved Corps ranking from a WO3, Sgt and a CPL as you can see the Marine Corps runs deep in the Brickey family.

Danny L Brickey SSgt USMC (1982- 1994).
Jake David Brickey - Grandson - 11-9-2011

Read More on this outstanding family

Short Rounds

For Bob Reiseck - Sounds like you were part of the 3rd MEU back then... The reference for the Marine Expeditionary Medal is SECNAVINST 1650.1H (pg 4-14), and the required dates of service in Thailand back then were 16 May 1962 - 10 August 1962... Sawadi khrup !

Jim Mackin
MGySgt USMC(Ret)

Platoon 273 1955
Robert Manning

While I was stationed at Camp Hanson, Okinawa, Japan, I was promoted to Sergeant permanent on 1 December 1958. Within months the new rank structure was put into effect. All of those holding this rank were allowed to keep the three stripes, but our title was Acting Sergeant. I was discharged on 14 July 1959 with the rank of Cpl. [E-4}. I was also in the flame platoon while at Camp LEjEUNE. We were called "Ronson Raiders".
S/F Ray

Worst Chow Hall I ever ate at was in Camp Mujuk (Pohang Korea) Where we ate Block Egg every day for a month during breakfast.


While in the butts one day a young Marine kept screwing up. Over the P A system some said, "You are a warm body and a social security number. You can be replaced a-shle.
Ted Marino

Sgt. Grit
Kudos to the gentleman in a previous newsletter who recommended the book, The Last Stand of Fox Company. Just finished reading about the Marine company that held the pass against 10,000 Chinese so the Marines entrapped at the Chosin Reservoir could evacuate. Three Medal of Honor winners in one engagement. Who says Marines don't cry, I was misty eyed when I finished this incredible book.
Cpl. B.J. Moses, USMC

We were back from the rifle range probably about week 6 and near the obstacle course. Not sure we were in formation but perhaps in a semi relaxed learning circle when Pvt. Henry a black recruit suddenly said "Hey Sir can I make a head call I have to pee?"

Sgt. Dickerson looked at him and said "Hey Sir. Hey Sir." Indicating his displeasure and then said "Side straddle hops. Ready begin."

After about a hundred Sgt. Dickerson relented and let him go.

Jim Grimes

Hey Buck Sgt. Grit, I too was a Buck Sgt. I was promoted to Sgt. E-4 (Buck Sgt.) in 1955, and was one of the first if not the first Sgt. E-5 promoted in the rank structure change in 1958. We wore 3 stripes w/rocker on our utilities until the new 3 stripe w/crossed rifles came out. It was kind of frustrating not to be a Staff NCO after such a long time working towards that goal (7 and a half years for me). Anyway we were still referred to as Buck Sergeants.

Semper Fi
Sgt. E-5 John Vogel Ret.
51 to 61

On May 8th another Good Marine changed duty stations. He was my friend... he served in Korea about 1960. I don't remember his rank... we must have talked about his Time In, I just can't remember his info. His name was Garland Reagan... and he lived in the Dawsonville, Ga area. He was a man of Honor that I greatly respected. He died from complications of a stroke.

L/Cpl Mark Gallant


I served in the Army for 6 years with the 2nd Infantry Division received my Honorable Discharge then signed up for the Corps which I also received my Honorable Discharge. As a veteran who served in both services to compare the Army to the Corps there's no comparison Corps comes out on top all the time. Once a Marine always a Marine.

I'm 67 years old now and the other day I tried on my old Marine uniform and it still fits (see attached photos) I sent both the one from the past which I was 32 years old then and the one for the present. I'll see if it still fits me when I'm 87 years old and I'm sure it will.

Semper Fi

C.J. Tauzin


Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #2, #6, (Jun., 2012)

If you remember last month I explained or, tried to, the Air Medal and the different devices that you may see affixed to the Ribbon bar. Well, hopefully , I got the info out to you were you could understand it because now I'm confused, not really, Just kidding . A recent trip to Camp Pendleton and the Base Exchange made me realize just how much things had changed. But, I don't want to get into that, I just want to fill you in on Aircrew wings and how they are achieved and awarded. I will tell you that their not half as confusing as the Air Medal which I covered last month. Again, I'm going back to the same book that we used as reference last month.

The Combat Aircrew Insignia is an oxidized silver-colored winged metal pin, with a gold colored circular shield with a superimposed fouled anchor: the word "AIRCREW" in raised letters on a silver-colored background below the circular shield, above the shield is a silver colored scroll. Gold stars up to a total of three, as merited, are mounted on the scroll.

The Combat Aircrew Wings are awarded to air crewmen who have participated in aerial flight during combat, and those enlisted personnel who qualify for non-technical aircrew positions and serve in those positions in aerial flight..

The MARINE must be a volunteer and a regularly assigned member of a flight crew on board a MARINE Aircraft participating in Combat operations. The MARINE must also be a graduate of an established coarse of instruction and or OJT qualifying him for a position in the flight crew of a MARINE Aircraft. Combat aircrew who have qualified to wear the combat stars may wear the Combat Aircrew Insignia on a permanent basis. A maximum of three combat stars may be awarded for display on the Combat Aircrew Insignia.

A MARINE who qualified to wear the Naval Aircrew Insignia and the Combat Aircrew Insignia has the option of wearing the one of his choice. It should also be noted that to maintain an Aircraftmen qualifications he will be tested and trained on a constant basis. He will have what is called a "Check Ride" by a NATOPS Instructor. The Instructor will present different hypothetical problems to the Crew member being qualified or re- qualified, to see if the crew member re-acts in the proper manner and if they take the prescribed action to neutralize the situation presented by the instructor. He at this point will either maintain his qualification or will require additional training.

The abbreviation NATOPS, stands for Naval Aviation Training and Operations Procedures Standardization. This standard is service wide (NAVY and MARINE CORPS) and once a Crew member is qualified in a particular Aircraft type, he or she must maintain that qualification until they take on a different job or decide to drop their flight status. Flight status is extra money providing you get at least 4 hours of flight every month.. It was $110.00 a month when I was flying.

Now, If you think that $110.00 a month extra was a good deal then I'm going to ask you if you liked canned SPAM. Sure the money went further in those days. (early 60's to early 70's ) but the hours that you had to put in to keep your Aircraft in the air was sometimes excessive. Sure, the end of the normal work day in CONUS was at 1630 but, we many times didn't get back to "Home Plate" (Santa Ana) until after then and that's when the work started. Greasing, Lubing, Fixing and cleaning was the next order of business. Getting ready for tomorrow and hoping it would be better than today !

Privilege To Order

That summer, just after the beginning of the Korean War, I was transferred to McAlester, Oklahoma as a guard for the ammunition depot there. We were very short handed: instead of four-on, four-off, day-on, day-off we were eight-on, four-off, day-on, stay-on. Only once did I get Liberty that entire summer.

But the food... WOW! The detachment had a sergeant and a PFC who did nothing but farm. And, all the produce from their efforts went to the mess hall. Watermelon, cantaloupe, eggs; vegetables, milk, meat... etc.

Since there were only 55 Marines in the detachment, we had the privilege to order anything we wanted for breakfast. Should you ask for eggs over easy, the cook would let you watch and tell him when to flip them. Steaks, chops, were also cooked to order. At any time during the wee hours of the morning anyone who was off duty could use the kitchen to make sandwiches, fry eggs, etc., etc. And, all the fresh milk you could drink.

There is no restaurant ANYWHERE that had better food. I still have drool-mares when I remember those days.

SSgt. Norman C. Reddick... 1948-52

To Like Rabbit

Sgt. Grit,

Just wanted to comment on the "Mess" story by Major Murphy concerning "Rabbit" being served.

Being a country boy, during the depression years, I happen to like rabbit very much, squirrel and possum also. Upon returning from Korea, via Navy transport, in November 1951. We, of course, docked at Treasure Island, San Francisco and immediately fell-in on the dock for chow. I was told that the Mess Hall there was capable of handling ten (10) serving lines simultaneously. As I remember, at least six (6) of those were open. Guess what the primary meat course was... Rabbit!

Having been on C's for 14 months in Korea and then a week or ten days aboard ship, this was one of the two most memorable meals during my twenty two plus (22 +) years in the Corps. The other being on my twenty first birthday when we boarded ship at Hungnam harbor, North Korea after the withdrawal from the Chosin Reservoir's great snowball fight!

Thanks for your labors with this newsletter, keep up the good work.


C.R. Scroggins, GySgt. USMC (Ret.)

Metal Bowl

RE: Sgt. Bob Rader and his post about metal bowls. I sometimes think I do not remember very well. Hallucinating? I always thought we drank from metal bowls in boot camp. No handle, just a bowl. Aluminum I guess. This was Plt 1000 Setp 1958 PISC. As I remember, it was coffee, milk or bug juice. Didn't matter as long as it was wet. The bowl would make me wonder, just who in their right mind would volunteer to come to this place and drink from a metal bowl? I guess we all did and wouldn't trade the memories for anything.

Semper Fi
Dave Baker CPL. E-4
Echo 2-2 Charlie 1-8 New River Air Facility MP Det.

Interesting Predicament

Sgt. Grit,
I have been a member of your awesome website and reading all the stories for about ten years now and it seems that those of us Jarheads that went through boot camp from '87 and up do not post many stories here. I have read a lot of Viet Nam stories and God Bless those Marines for the h-ll they went through and God Bless those that fought so hard they did not return. I am just wondering why it is that none of the boys during the late 80's have any stories. I have quite a lot but do not know which one to share.

Since I have just read a post from a Sgt. of Marines that ran into his D.I. that changed his life from being a Fat Body Marine into a Lean Mean Fighting Machine in '88, I will talk about an experience I had with a series D.I..

I went through Basic Training at MCRD Camp Pendleton in October of '87. I was the "scribe" for our Plt. 1111 while there as I have always had a creative ability, most notably drawing. My Senior D.I. was Sgt. Marin with Sgt. McLaughlin and Sgt. Duran (just so happened to be his first series and we knew it). Sgt. O'Loughlin (subsequently switched with Sgt Bahney from 1108) was the Hard A-s and Sgt. Duran just gave everything he had to sound like a hard A-s.

Most Marines will remember the intake procedure, whereas most remember the treatment from their D.I.'s but I remember most of both. Intake was the first three days that we all were so scared after standing on the yellow foot prints to getting our heads shaved and to getting to know our fellow recruits before getting to our barracks to meet our D.I.'s for the first time. I remember being confused and scared and not knowing which way to turn because we kept getting barraged with information and questioned if we really wanted to be there.

I remember the separation of souls that created our squad leaders for the first phase basically because they just had enough and wanted to show they could be in charge of their fellow recruits. One recruit, forgive me I cannot remember his name at this time, was really gung-ho and I liked him and followed him. He was a natural born leader is what I was thinking then and did everything he asked while a member of his squad because I wanted to be like him (had no clue who I was at 18 yrs. old and pre-graduation).

He and I became good friends for the duration of the time he remained sane. What I mean to say is that somewhere in the middle of second phase, he lost his mind and wanted out of boot camp and did not want to be a Marine so he became belligerent towards our D.I.'s. It was not long after that we heard he was taken before Lt. Col J.R. Morris, Commanding Officer of 1st Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD and apparently punched the Lt. Col. He was out of the Corps right then, though we were also told his time was to be spent in the brig for a month or so before he could go home. No proof but it broke my heart as I never understood what broke his spirit.

It was all downhill from there as we made it to third phase, but that is when I had a SERIOUS momentary lapse of reason. We were in Mess and Maintenance phase and I was chosen to stay back and guard our squad bay, simply because I had earned Sr. D.I. Sgt. Marin's trust as the scribe. About a week before I had received some uplifting mail from my mother that included chocolate Chip cookies in a Pringles can and those of you that remember, we were not allowed to have any of our GeDunk until the Sr. D.I. said so.

Well, being on Guard duty at the squad bay led me into an interesting predicament as I was able to enter the D.I. quarters as part of my guard walk. Low and behold, I saw my Pringles can and thought to myself, "one cookie...what could possibly happen?" and in that same thought I also envisioned a sister series D.I. or one of my Jr. D.I.'s walking in. Of course I paid no mind to that thought and grabbed the Pringles can and opened it up. I slid out a cookie and thought to myself, "what do I do here, shove the whole thing in my mouth or just take bites?" I concluded that eating it whole and at one time would be better and faster with less opportunity to get caught. WRONG ANSWER RECRUIT!

Just as I shoved the cookie in my mouth, in walks a sister series D.I. He immediately started asking me questions but I was in a quandary in my mind. "If I chew, he will notice. I cannot just swallow it whole as it was the biggest of all the selection of cookies I could have picked." At that point, must have been 45 seconds after the D.I. walking into the D.I. Hut, he figured out what he caught me doing. He immediately started yelling at me to swallow or answer him, knowing all good and well that I could not do either. I was screwed! All I remember from there was that I was doing push-ups in this D.I.'s squad bay for the next four hours until my Jr. D.I.'s returned from Mess hall duty. I remember having to fill each square of the linoleum tiled deck that my sweat touched. I ran out of sweat after about an hour and remember spitting in the tiles in hopes to fill them as instructed and be released back to my squad bay before my Platoon returned.

All did not end well, though I learned a valuable lesson which was taking a cookie that in the civilian world was clearly mine, was not the accepted practice during Boot camp. I graduated and things were fine from there but I forfeited my meritorious promotion to PFC due to my lack of insight. It took me a while to fully understand just what that D.I. kept telling me, "I hope that was the BEST $231 cookie you have ever eaten F--king numb nuts recruit! I really hope it was worth it to you!" It became quite evident once I started receiving my Pay and Leave statements where I lost that $231.

This story here is probably the first time I have talked about this incident since it happened. I am still a shamed of my choice but grateful for that D.I.. It could have been much worse. I wish that while I was on active duty I had seen any of these D.I.'s to thank them for turning me into a Marine, but I was not as fortunate as other that have sent you stories before me.

Still Humbled and Reminiscing,

Plt. 1111 '87
Sgt. '87 - '95
Carey J Clark (a.k.a. Carey J. Herron)

Dallas Huts

Hi Sarg;

A thought about Mess Halls Oops - Dining Establishments. I was stationed somewhere - can't quite come up with where. The Mess Sgt had a system that required NO THOUGHT. He would go to the Commissary and draw rations and then serve whatever he drew three meals a day until they were gone. Nothing like Lamb or Pork Chops for Breakfast, Dinner and Super for three days or longer.

Had Koreans working in the halls (in Korea) they would have their meals after the rest of us. It was amazing to watch them add sugar to their coffee - no less than three or four spoons full to each cup. Sometimes more.

The last meals I had there was in Pusan while waiting for the troop ship "Pvt Saudio S. Munimori" to be repaired. She had run aground and had bent the propeller shaft. (Munimori (sp?) was the first Philippine soldier to Die in WWII). There was a Ship unloading an AA Battery there and while we were waiting, my buddy and I volunteered to drive TD 18's to help with the unloading. Much better that laying around tents all day. The AA's were positioned on the north of Pusan which meant we had to go thru the main part of town to get there. The Koreans had nothing but respect for the Bulldozers. None of the attempts to get close enough to them to run over the Evil Spirits following them.

Lived in Quonset Huts at P.I. Moved to Cherry Point and Dallas Huts. Dallas Huts are - were - square plywood buildings with room 16 people. No windows, just screens with shutters. We had a gasoline stove for the winter time - the same stoves furnished in Korea - when you were lucky.

We were told that the Tech stripes with straight bars were the best. Those with Curved bars meant the wearer was a cook.

Enough Awready.
Edwin Tate GySgt Ret'd

Repainted Navy

In Ref To: Bill Carey Cpl of Marines 65-69. The Marines in Korea were called the "Rag Tag Circus". Repainted Navy and Army vehicles; cold weather gear issued almost too late (all the gear was Army suplus). Had to wear the EGA on the top flap of our cold weather Korean "p-ss cutters" so we wouldn't be called "Doggies!". WW2 C-rats and ammo.

We were belting .50 ammo and found a letter in the case from a woman in Maryland who wanted to correspond to anyone who found it; dated 1947. A lot of various equipment "midnight surveyed" from any doggie units. Wore the high ankles boondockers and couldn't survey them till the soles were flapping. Had a Korean papasan resole them with jeep tire rubber. soles and heels... better than issues.

I wouldn't have it any other way! Been there done it!

WALT V, SGT of MARINES 1952 to 1960.

Heels On Sidewalk

Sgt Grit,

On boot camp funnies -- I was at MCRDSD in June of '59. Second or third week I ran to DI hut. Senior DI ASSgt Greer was in hatch facing street. ASgt Greetham was facing him as they were in conversation. I came up about a foot behind ASgt Greetham and bellowed out SIR. He went straight up and came down with a fearful look.

They kept me at attention for about 5 minutes waiting for me to grin or laugh. At one point they had me heels-to backed up to grass with my heels on sidewalk, bent backwards and daring me to step on grass which was no-no. Keeping straight face through all this was hardest thing I did in boot camp, and to this day don't know how I did it, because I laugh easy. All in all I got away with it.

Cpl Farley
Semper Fi

Long Legged Bird

Semper Fi MSgt Godwin,

I graduated NAS Memphis as an engine mechanic in '66 and because I was the Marine with the highest graduating score I was given my choice of Duty Stations (The list was short) we all went to MCAS Yuma. When I reported in I was I think number 56 in the Sqdn (VMT-103).

On the airfield stood 20 aircraft TF9J aircraft just a little younger than most of the new wing wipers. MSgt Godwin was correct the barracks were not squad bays but rooms. We had 4 to a room with two rooms sharing a complete bathroom, sink and shower. They were air conditioned and you could hide beer in the duct work but it blocked the airflow, difficult choice.

With all the talk about chow halls in the last couple of issues I can remember Mess Duty at Yuma I believe it lasted one month. The food I can't remember but unloading a reefer truck was a thing of beauty. Temps in the high 90 to low 100 and from the truck to the giant freezer caused your boot soles to freeze and it was a skating party.

Had a Gunny once tell me to get a haircut from the flight line and went immediately to the base barber who could not cut my sweat soaked hair, he sent me to the barracks to shower and then back to the barber and so now its chow time and back to the flight line where the temperature was above 98 and all flight ops cancelled because these old birds just took forever to get airborne with two pilots aboard.

Later we got the brand new TA-4F what a beautiful long legged bird. We flew all day and a lot of nights and could carry more things that go boom than a B-17. Thanks again MSgt Godwin for bringing back the golden memories and friends from Yuma.

Bill Carey 216..09 USMC
1965-69 For pay purposes (thanks Tom Downey)

RVN 68-69

Just Walked Away

Good morn' Sgt.

This is somewhat similar to the Marine working on Wall Street. I more or less ran into the same scenario. Working at the new construction of what would finally be known as Bank of America in Boston Mass. in the mid '70s, we had quite a few protesters in our area. Not only marching, but handing out Newspapers about Vietnam.

One of these fine gentleman (I use that term loosely) was approached one day by the local constabulary advising him not to be in that particular area with his newspapers because quite a few of the Iron Workers on the job were Vietnam Veterans. It did not matter to this young man, as he told the officer "he had the rite to be anywhere he wanted".

The crux of the story; as the Iron Workers came down for "break", the paper boy was spotted and chased down the street. He was tackled by one of the Workers and looking up said to his tackler "you wouldn't hit a man with glasses on", and with that, the Iron Worker took the glasses off the boy's face, and then hit him.

P.S. The Boston Policeman (a Vietnam Veteran) just walked away.

Won't Be The Same

Having been a Marine Cook (3371) I have enjoyed the numerous stories lately in the newsletter, regarding a variety of opinions of Mess Hall Chow in The Corps.

I have to say, that I cannot remember one instance of ever not being proud of the chow we put out during my time as a Marine Cook. (As a side note, I have to say we made some of the best SOS in the Corps, and I still make it at home... the family loves it)

Anyway, we could always tell if we were putting out good chow, by how loudly the troops were complaining! When we left Camp Pendleton in 1963, and arrived at Camp Hansen (Okinawa) all we heard was... "How come we can't have chow as good as we did at Camp Pendleton"? When we returned to Camp Pendleton in 1964, then it was..."Why don't we have good chow like we did on Okinawa"? Guess we must have been doing something right!

I salute all my fellow Marine Cooks for a job well done... guess we are just a memory now, as civilians have taken over our Mess Halls... just won't be the same!

Patrick Verd
Corporal of Marines 1962-65
3/7 - 1/9 - 3/5
Proud to be One of the Few

42 Years Service

Alfred "Sarge" DeSerio, 105 Oldest Living Marine in the United States at 105 Alfred "Sarge" DeSerio, 105, died Saturday at St. Francis Country House, Darby. Born in Philadelphia, Mr. DeSerio was a resident of St. Francis Country House. He was a former longtime resident of Collingdale.

Mr. DeSerio was a proud member of the United States Marine Corps and was the oldest living retired Marine in the country. He served as a Master Sergeant in World War II, Korea and two tours of duty in Vietnam. He retired from military duty on December 1, 1970 after 42 years of distinguished service.

After his retirement from the Marines, Mr. DeSerio worked at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital until his retirement in 1988. Mr. DeSerio was a member of the Upper Darby Marine Corps League Detachment. He was predeceased by his wife Mary Conway DeSerio, who died in 1985. Survivors: his fellow Marines and his St. Francis Country House family and dear friends, The Barnes Family and Mary Sullivan.

Funeral Mass: Friends are invited to attend 10:45am Thursday at St. Francis Country House, 1412 Lansdowne Avenue, Darby, where friends may call after 9am. Burial: at Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon. Arrangements: by Marvil Funeral Home, Ltd.

Published in The Daily Times on May 8, 2012

1969 Platoon 1066

The Marines of MCRD San Diego 1969 Platoon 1066 held our 4th annual reunion in Branson, MO this past weekend. It was a great success. What made it especially memorable was the generous donation of merchandise from SGT GRIT. Your USMC goodies were the highlight of our banquet and the reunion. Everyone got T- Shirts, pens, magnetic decals, catalogues, etc.

We even put together a 50 question "boot camp" quiz for the guys to take that Sgt. Grit himself would have been proud of (he may want to take it too). The top two scorers were awarded the books you provided. Two of our former Drill Instructors attended and one of them, Tony Gatling, had the highest score. But I guess that makes sense - he taught us the stuff 43 years ago. Our other DI, Eddie Alley was there with his new bride, Edna. As a former Marine herself, she loved the "Woman Marine" T-shirt you included.

On behalf of all of the Marines of PLT 1066 we want to say THANK YOU SGT GRIT for again contributing to the great success of our reunion.

Semper Fi,

Just Plain Lethal

Sgt Grit, Attached are three pictures that I just came across yesterday while looking through old photos. The top photo is of me marching as the guide next to Sgt Mazenko on graduation day (Oct 27, 1981 - Platoon 2063 Parris Island).

Back then for graduation we marched in Columns of two with the SDI out in front and the "junior" DI's each marching in front of a section of the platoon, but not sure how it is done today. I was a squad leader at times during boot-camp (got fired several times, by Sgt Ishmail and always reinstated by Mazenko, but that is a story for another time), but never served as guide, so when Mazenko selected me as his guide for Graduation Day, I was all filled up with extra pride. My dad took the photo, but I did not know he took it - must have zoomed in, because he never got that close to the parade deck as far as I know.

All three of my DI's were excellent, but Mazenko was just first- rate in my opinion. A hard-azs prick, as was his vocation, but I respect him so much even to this day! He was a Marine's Marine and I would really like to be able to get in touch with him one day and thank him for turning me into a Marine!

The second photo was taken in the (back then) newer brick barracks on Camp Geiger sometime around 1983 after we returned from the bush, but before leaving for our second Med cruise and eventual return to Beirut. This would have been just after the bombing.

All the guys in the picture were 0331's. My best buddy Tim Wheeler, who I keep in touch with to this day is on the far left. He was too "short" to make a second Med, so he ended up getting transferred out to the rifle range working the firing lines before he got discharged... "All ready on the right, all ready on the left, all ready on the firing lines"...

The guy next to Tim is Danny Wilson who was a tractor-trailer driver before joining the Corps but who was put into the Infantry, and the guy who is third from the left is Thor Dellerson, who never drove a car much before in his life before the Corps because of where he grew up in Manhattan, but who was put into Motor-T when he joined the Corps driving the cattle-car trucks that we all rode in. The Marine Corps idea of a joke, right? Anyway, Thor requested a transfer to the infantry, where he became an 0331, and one of the best machine gunners I ever saw. He was deadly accurate with the M-60 from the tripod or firing "John Wayne style" from the hip - just plain lethal! We were all serious about our craft, but he was a just a natural handing that weapon.

Aside from me, who never shot higher than 216 with the M16, all three were expert rifle marksman, and in the case of Dellerson, he was also wickedly accurate with his .45 and fired expert with that weapon as well. Incidentally, he had the highest pain threshold of anyone I ever knew. I once saw him accidentally hit himself in the back of the head while working out with num- chucks (or whatever the h-ll they are called) and all he did was flinch and rub the back of his head slightly - no noise whatsoever! The last I heard from him back in the late 80's, he was working as a prison guard at Sing-Sing I believe.

Danny Wilson was the platoon's resident auto mechanic. At any given time, you could possibly find him out under someone's hood fixing their car before swooping home on the weekend for a 72 or 96. He was quiet, but had a wicked, dry sense of humor. I really miss all those guys! I am on the far right in the picture - the guy with the ratty stash!

The third picture is of my cousin Freddy Kunkel and the photo is dated 1963 on the six of the picture. I have not heard from him in years since he moved out to western Ohio, but from what I recall he served in Barracks duty and I think he was in the Hawaiian Islands. Can any of you old-timers look at the photo and recognize where it was taken? Thanks for your help! Thanks for the great newsletter Sgt Grit!

Semper Fi

Mike Kunkel
Cpl, 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Plt

Your buddies are looking for you - make sure you can be found!


This Sunday, May 6, marks the 70th anniversary of the fall of Corregidor and the beginning of my father's 39 months as a prisoner of the Japanese. His squad -- Company E, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines -- was ordered to dig its foxholes on six-hundred- foot-high Topside, the highest part of the island. There, on reduced rations, they endured months of intense bombardment. The Corregidor garrison, including all Marines, was ordered to surrender by U.S. Army Gen. Jonathan Wainwright. The epic siege of Corregidor had lasted over four months.

Topside is pictured here in 1982 My father's foxhole was there. The white rotunda is the Pacific War Memorial, erected in 1968, where memorial services will be held this Sunday.

My father, Casey T. Bazewick, now 93, and his family will join in spirit with all, on Topside, to honor those who gave their lives in the defense of Corregidor and Bataan. I hope you will take a few moments on Sunday to join us in spirit, too.

Casey Bazewick, Jr.

Second Honeymoon At Parris Island

I posted a story about a married couple going through PI at the same time. Here is another similar story.

Sgt Grit

I was looking up some information to see if I can find my parents pics and I found this article on your site

I just wanted to let you know that this has happened before, to my parents. My father, Stephen Dale (14 year Gunny) and my mother, Linda Dale, were married and went through boot camp together back in the mid 70's. I have all the documentation and local papers and still have the press photo shoot with the headline "Marines spend second honeymoon at Parris Island"

Thank you and Semper Fi
Steve Dale Jr


Responses To Sad Mom:

Mom... I am a VietNam vet, USMC, now in my late 60's... and although I can't speak for your sons, let me say one thing... war has a terrible effect on young men who serve... I'm on my fourth marriage, and as many families, some of my kids won't talk to me, the others do... it's only been the last ten years or so that I've really come to realize what a jerk I was all those years, and all the pain I'd caused others... I've been in counseling through the VA for better than 20 years, medicated, etc... and it finally made me see what I had been and all the bad stuff that I had created... The VA is changing, but they still might be able to benefit your sons, especially if they are combat vets, we have a knowledge that the civilian counselors only get from books... hang in there... Semper Fi...
Bob Yount

I served in the pre-cellphone Marine Corps. I can only imagine what a senior enlisted man would do to a young Marine who pulls out his cell phone while on duty to text with his mommy. Your boys should be calling and checking in with you but you need to get over that texting thing. The Corps is a little busy right now with far more important things. I wouldn't be upset to learn that the Marine Corps outlaws cellphones on base.

Semper Fi,
MS Lewis


Good Afternoon Sgt Grit,
Your newsletter continues to top my "most want to read" list. I find some of the stories very interesting and most very factual. This brings me to the problem that I have and it concerns my name being attached to something that I believe to be in error. It glitch appears just under the heading "The Honorable Harry S." where it says "in reply to Jim McCallum", etc.

Please be advised that I have never written an article about or concerning Harry S. Truman. Apparently, Bill Carey the author of this particular article somehow got my name confused with someone else's. I write a lot of articles but, never have I even mentioned Harry S. in any of them.
Jim McCallum

Carving Some Gnarly Turns

In the day of Quonset huts, M-14's and 'don't even think of parking on the grinder' at MCRD SD, say, oh... 1962 or so, one just did not see Second Lieutenants anywhere around the Recruit Training Regiment... and not many First Lieutenants, either, for that matter, unless perhaps, they were assigned to the Regimental S-2 (Intelligence staff) as 'spies' (that's what we DI's called them... for good reason). General Officers at the time would have come from the pre-WWII days of the Corps, and had known and/or served with each other in parlous times and places.

Most major commands, Recruit Depots included, had some pretty good sports teams... and it just might have been that there were some fairly serious bets made between flag officers when "my boys are going to kick your boy's azzes next week" phone calls were made... and 2ndLts with outstanding collegiate sports records, leaving the Basic School, might find themselves assigned accordingly. So it was that one of the Series (four platoons) in L Company, 3rd Bn, found themselves with a very tall 2nd Lt of Polish extraction and reportedly quite the NCAA basketball star, as the Series Officer. The Series Gunnery Sergeant was GySgt Morgan... a crusty old dog, with broken time, and several WWII, (and one Inchon) beaches behind him.

At the time, surfing was just beginning to become really popular in Southern California, thanks in part to the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, Along with that came 'sidewalk surfing'... which started as a board with a set of steel roller skate wheels nailed or screwed to the bottom of a piece of 'two-by' lumber... the real root of 'skateboard'... before Tony Hawk was even a gleam in his Daddy's eye.

The 3rd Bn Quonset area was comprised of asphalt streets wide enough to hold four ranks of a platoon, crossed with sidewalks just wide enough for two individuals to pass... and one fine day we were treated to the sight of 'our' Lieutenant, sans cover of any kind, carving some gnarly turns on his skateboard, coming through the company area. Fortunately, the platoons were all out on the grinder, and only a couple of sick, lame or lazy recruits had their vision of Marine Officers damaged beyond all repair. I have never seen a human head explode... or, at least ,not when a .50 BMG wasn't involved, but I was pretty sure Gy Morgan's skull sutures were approaching the yield point... and that was when I learned that miscreant junior officers had something similar to 'restriction to quarters, except for duty, chow, sick call, and religious services'... it was called 'being in hack'... I think our Lt spent much of his MCRD assignment there... with possible exceptions for games VS Pendleton, El Toro, 32nd Street (Navy) etc...

On the subject of sports teams, was once inspected at Marine Barracks, Naha (Okinawa) by the CG, FMFPAC (have a 8"x10" B/W glossy of that here somewhere)... LtGen Alan Shaply (sp?)... who looked like he had been carved out of a piece of beef jerky... didn't learn until much later that he had been the CO of the Marine Detachment on the USS Arizona as a Major... until about 5 or 6 December, 1941. He had been relieved by his replacement, had orders to his next assignment, but elected to stay on board the Arizona for a bit, because the (his) MarDet had a major baseball tournament game scheduled for Sunday, 7 December. He was in the crow's nest enjoying the Sunday morning...

Re the flame flingers (flame tanks)... recall that some of the TM's (maybe all?) for the M-67 were from the douchebag branch... or, as the Army calls it, "Chemical Branch"... M-48 manuals were "ORD", since the Ordnance Branch was the daddy rabbit for tracked vehicles... that 'Branch' thing is a BFD for the Army, for some reason, while we seem to have done just fine for a couple hundred years with one label... "Marine"

"Awright... you, you, and you... report to Supply and draw asbestos suits... you got butt detail today on the flame range" (lots more fun than sending a newbie to the motor pool to get a 'J, double E, P driver... ")

Flame Platoon, H&S, 1st Tanks brought one flame tank into Bn Maint yard for some turret work, spring of '67... at the time, Bn Hq, Maint, etc. were in a compound at the NW corner of the intersection of route 1 and the road that went out to Liberty Bridge and An Hoa... old French watch tower (concrete, couple stories) overlooked the intersection... from memory, the crossroad going the other way went around the south end of the DaNang airstrip. There was a bluff below the tower, and some quarry activity had gone on there... the road up into Bn Maint was on the west side of that...

Anyway, whoever was working inside the flame tank managed to step on a pedal... and shoot a 'rod' of jellied fuel across a truck. The 'rod' wasn't ignited, thankfully, as said truck just happened to be a M49A2C... more commonly known as 'a 2,000 gallon gasoline or fuel tanker'... this one was, BTW, loaded... It took quite a bit to get MGySGT Oswald P "Red" Shea excited... a helpful trait in a Bn Maintenance Chief, but this little mishap was sufficient... the smoking lamp was out, even after the stuff was cleaned up, and thereafter, flame tanks would 'unload' against the bluff/quarry before coming into the maintenance ramp. (Hq would have to call Division, etc. to advise in advance about the smoke/flames... this was about under the F-4's turn onto final (air wing talk there... hope I got it right?)

The road into the ramp passed down an lane with wire on both sides, and dead-ended in an ARVN camp... some sort of MP unit, with armored cars that came and went... probably patrolling around DaNang city... the ARVN Sgt Major provided laundry service from a ville... just nothing like some fresh utilities redolent of charcoal smoke (gotta dry'em somehow... ever heard of a monsoon season?)... it was also rumored that there were other services available in the ARVN compound, also under the corporate umbrella of the ARVN SgtMajor... perhaps not on the economic scale of a Secret Service deployment, but similar services...

I Swear He Jumped

I joined the Marine Corps at age 17 in Miami. My father signed me in. I couldn't go to Parris Island until I turned 18. I was in the 105 howitzer Battalion. Marine reserves. This is a true story about an exercise in everything going wrong.

It was around labor day in Miami. the battalion wanted to do an exercise on miami beach. They had the 105 howitzers on the beach, pointed out to the ocean. This was to be an exercise of a beachhead. They had two squads of riflemen in the sand firing blanks at the invading enemy. The invading enemy was two row boats with Marines in full field packs There was a crowd of people standing around watching.

There was a Marine with a flame thrower coming up from the water. There was another Marine with a flame retardant suit doused with lighter fluid. When everything got underway the 105s were firing blanks out over the ocean. Every time they fired a blank a big blue smoke ring came out of the barrel. The people watching thought it was part of the program, and applauded at the smoke rings. The flame thrower fired a burst at the Marine with the flame retardant suit. Then he was lit from the lighter fluid and was supposed to run to the ocean and jump into the water and put out the flames. About six feet from the water he tripped and fell. I swear he jumped six feet from a prone position into the water.

They had a medi-vac helicopter That was supposed to rescue a wounded Marine from the rowboat. This was all to show the people how the Marine Corps works. The medi-vac hovered over the rowboat and dropped a harness to the rowboat. The Marine hooked the harness to the wounded Marine and the copter started to haul him up. About six or eight feet above the rowboat the harness broke and the Marine dropped back into the rowboat. When he hit the rowboat he went straight through the bottom of the rowboat with full field pack and one M1 rifle. It was a memory I would never forget.

Semper Fi. Your friend and brother Marine Robert Marshall

We Paid The Price

In May of 1967, I was part of a Marine replacement group that loaded onto buses at Camp Hansen, Okinawa headed to Kadena AFB for a flight to Danang, Vietnam. After a short bus ride, we arrived at Kadena and our CO was informed that the airplane that was to take us to Danang was broke down and our flight was going to be delayed.

After goose and grab aszing, smoking cigarettes and just being Marines for about 3 hours, we were ready for noon chow. Our OIC, a Captain told us he was going into the mess hall and make arrangements for us to eat. I remember we were looking forward to a decent meal at an Air Force dining facility (not a mess hall). Not! Captain returns and tells us that under no circumstances would the Commander of the "dining facility" allow a bunch of Marines to enter his facility. After much moaning and grumbling (I think the facility was fingered by one or two of us) we boarded the buses for the ride back to Camp Hansen for chow. Obviously, a bunch of Marines had trashed the dining facility on an earlier visit and we paid the price... Thanks Marines, you know who you are.

After arriving in Danang and flying around to several different combat bases for 2 days, I finally arrived at DongHa in time for breakfast chow. At that time, there was several hardback hootches around that were used as mess halls. I got up to the serving line and no-s--t they were serving steak and eggs for chow and the mess man asked me "how do you want your eggs?" I was totally blown away, one of the best meals I ever had in the Marine Corps and also the last time it ever happened...
Semper Fi
Kim B. Swanson
LCPL 66-69


5/25 Rose Garden Marine and Seabee Reunion '72 and '73
5/28 MarDet USS Antietam CVS-36

See more upcoming reunions and post yours!


USMC with the blood stripe down the middle. Cross rifles in the background.
Posted by Terry Hardy

Old School Bulldog USMC
Posted by Mike Liggett

See more USMC Tattoos


"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom."
-- Albert Einstein

"Among the natural rights [of the people] are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can."
--Samuel Adams (1772)

Henry Kissinger who said that doing something illegal was no problem and that doing something unconstitutional just took a little longer?

"If I do my full duty, the rest will take care of itself."

"In case of doubt, attack."

"It's the unconquerable soul of man, not the nature of the weapon he uses, that insures victory."

--General George Patton

"I should deem a man-of-war incomplete without a body of Marines... imbued with that esprit that has so long characterized the 'Old Corps'."
--Commodore Joshua R. Sands, USN in a letter to Brevet BGen Archibald Henderson, (5th CMC) 1852

"Visit the Navy-Yard, and behold a Marine, such a man as an American government can make, or such as it can make a man with its black arts, - a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity, a man laid out alive and standing, and already, as one may say, buried under arms with funeral accompaniments... "
--Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience, 1854

"Reveille, Reveille... heave out and trice up, clean sweepdown fore and aft, carry all trash to the fan tail, the smoking lamp is lit in all authorized smoking spaces, stand clear of the mess decks until pipe-down", only a squid would put tomatoes in SOS)

On the phone: "motor pool... two-bys, four-bys, six-bys, and big ones that bend in the middle and go pshew!... if you can't truck it...

"Hey diddle-diddle, straight up the middle"

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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