This Thanksgiving we have much to be thankful for. As Marines, families, friends, and as American citizens let us humble ourselves and be thankful for all that we have been blessed with in 2012.
The Next Best Cake Cutter
So up here in the Northern part of A'stan (Jalalabad), the Veteran Marines outnumbered all eight of the uniformed, but we celebrated anyway, graciously arranged by MAJ Copeland and the local USO. The oldest CPL on hand was born in 1956, to the youngest LCPL born in 1992 (I have socks older than that!) We had a great time, and blew the 'soldiers' out of the DFAC with our rendering of the HYMN.
The next best cake cutter - Ka-Bar!
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The anniversary of Tarawa is coming up on 11/20 and I thought I'd send some info and photos of my Father, Hawk Rader Jr., D/1/8 2DIV ('Canal and Tarawa) then A/1/8 (Saipan, Tinian). He went to help St. Peter guard the gates of Heaven on 7/12/11 and I still miss him very much. I was lucky enough to hear in great detail of his experiences in all of his battles, including Tarawa. I attended the 2nd Marines' annual Tarawa Day services with him at Lejeune in 2003 and '04 and saw how much the memories of that battle affected him until the day he passed on. Dad was in 4 major battles before he was 20 and talked about them, he said, to help get over his experiences rather than keeping WWII inside him.
After WWII Dad went back into the Marines and was stationed primarily at Camp Lejeune until he got out of the Marines in July 1951 as a TSgt. I myself was born at the old Lejeune Hospital in 1951, now 2nd MEF HQ. Due to lack of housing on the base, post war, my Dad married Mom at Lejeune's Protestant Chapel in 1950 and they rented an apartment in Swansboro, NC above a garage at Casper's Marina, a fine place still in business there. Dad was quite a fisherman and hauled in some great catches, as typified by one of photos.
I hope all the Leathernecks and friends out there will enjoy these photos.
One Donut Per Recruit
The story of the recruit and the fudge made me think of the following boot camp incident. I entered MCRD San Diego in August, 1961, platoon 161. One morning, after chow, the platoon was at attention waiting for our DI to return to the platoon area. We saw him coming from a distance and noticed that he was carrying something in both hands. As he got closer we could see that it was a tray of donuts that he had brought from the mess hall. Donuts were served to us that morning, but only one per recruit.
Somehow, one of our fellow recruits managed to get two, which did not go unobserved by our DI. When the DI got back to us he called that poor recruit up to the front of the formation and asked him how many donuts he'd eaten that morning. To his credit, the recruit responded that he'd eaten two donuts. The DI then asked how many he was supposed to get and the recruit said "One Sir." The DI then told him that since he liked donuts so much he could eat every donut on that tray.
The donuts were arranged in rows and were partially stacked on one another so that more could fit on the tray. I guess there were at least 100 donuts on that tray. The recruit began to eat as we silently looked on. He had nothing to drink to wash the donuts down, and after he had eaten several donuts, he swung around and threw up in the pickle grass that grew between our Quonset huts.
That became the routine, eat as many as he could and then vomit them up, until they were gone. I don't remember how long we stood there watching this scene, but it was well over an hour. That poor recruit was miserable for the next couple of days, but he made it to graduation. I'll bet he still breaks out in a cold sweat every time he passes a donut shop.
Stephen C. Lenker, 1960828
Cpl. of Marines
Two Years After Boot Camp
In 1956 I was stationed at the Marine Guard Company at the Long Beach, California, Ship Yard awaiting discharge. One afternoon I was on guard duty at the ship yard where all the ships were tied up. As I looked down the walkway, which was several hundred yards away from the ships, and who do I see coming? None other than my senior DI, Staff Sgt. Wooding.
Here I am in class "A" uniform with braid and helmet and sun glasses on. As Sgt. Wooding came close I said, "Hey Sgt. where in the h-ll do you think you're going. He looked startled and looked at me head on and straight in the eye and said, "Lovett! how in the h-ll are you!" This was two years after Boot Camp and he remembered me by name. I about died laughing. He stuck around for an hour and I was off duty and we went to town and shared a few beers and kicked around boot stories.
PFC Larry Lovett 150XXX
Platoon 354 - June 1954
No Marine Is Ever To Old
Dear Sgt Grit,
Mike Shaw made the comment about the word "lad" being used. Used to be quite a tradition in the Marine Corps... officers especially referring to Marines (in a group) as "lads..." The Marine Corps Officers Guide of 1964 addresses the subject and states that "No Marine is ever too old to be called a "lad..."
James F. Owings
Seventeen Kinds Of H-ll
Re. Cpl. Glazer's story about Con Thien.
In '68 while I was with HML-167 I was assigned to fly some congressmans' aide around. Toward the end of the day when we left Dong Ha, this numb nut wanted to go up to Con Thien to say "hi" to the son of one of the congressmans' constituents. Knowing what the situation was up there, I explained to the idiot that even if we got out free, the Marines there were going to catch seventeen kinds of h-ll. I flew him over at 4000 feet and let him wave as we flew past.
J. M. "Mike" Jeffries
Capt. USMC Ret.
Note: Speaking of "seventeen kinds of h-ll". It is a real p-sser that we have to hyphenate, camouflage, disguise our normal Marine language that was taught to us by our beloved DI's. But then of course smarter people than you, I, and our DI's make those decisions to protect us from ourselves. Ahhh... I feel so much safer and freer now.
Pretty Much The Same Agenda
Ghost terds, hot towels, swabs, head, scuttlebutt, bulkhead, fore/aft, starboard, port, formation, cover align, parade rest, chowhall, weapon, ammo, and probably 7-800 acronyms for every action and PC of equipment we ever trained with or on.
Crazy junk like that is what serving in our Corps sets us apart. We all started out with pretty much the same agenda, join the Marines, prove I'm tuff, be the first kid on my block with a confirmed kill, but I doubt any of us knew what we were really getting into. (except possibly Ddick) one huge family that really gives a sh-te about each other, especially on our birthday. 8 to 80 friends or strangers, enlisted or officer, grunt or winger, it never matters United States Marines thru 'n thru. Happy Birthday Semper Fi and stay safe another Year.
Cpl Radtke '85-'89
I'll count the cadence...you count the exercise....begin
1... 2... 3... one sir. 1... 2... 3... two sir...
Thought you may find this somewhat interesting. It was passed on to me by an old friend. The audio is of poor quality, however the spirit of the Ole Navajo makes up for the audio quality.
Marines' Hymn in Navajo
Lou Simeon Fmr. Sgt.
Your 11-08-12 Newsletter had a 1954 P.I. Platoon #346 Grad. picture sent by Richard Barlow (6th from the left, front row). It shows about eight recruits with soft covers... no Garrison cover's. Also, Sgt. J.J. Kendall appears to have STAFF CHEVRONS on his long Trop sleeve... Maybe Mr. R. Barlow can explain these point of interest.
Former E-5 Sgt.
John Soto (2nd and 3rd Mar. Div.)
I read that letter from that Marine Sgt that is a retired postal worker. I served during that same time. Sept '75 to July '86. Remember this Sgt, you are a U.S. Marine, You always will be. Wear it proud and keep that can-do attitude. I stand tall and thank ALL other vets for their service. I am a U.S. Marine and you are too!
Sgt USMC '75-'86
Earned my Combat Aircrew Wings at DaNang in 1968.
GYSGT C. Weidman
I was at the Iwo Jima Memorial yesterday and saw the Marines standing on rock. Does anyone know if these rocks came from Mount Suribachi?
I have been reading comments about draftees in the Marines. On this the 237th anniversary of the Marine Corps I am compelled to comment. A Marine is a Marine. It doesn't matter how you came to be in the Corps, you earned the title "Marine" when you successfully completed boot camp. Get over it. Celebrate unity, not divisiveness.
CPL J Kanavy,
RVN 0311, 1966-67
Two letters in this issue I would like to comment on. I do not know when the Aircrew wings were authorized but I do know that they were issued in July, 1944 because I received mine on the 4th of July, 1944 at MCAF, Edenton, NC after completing training as a gunner on the B25, known in the Corps as the PBJ.
Gunnery Sgt. 1943-1957
What The FMF Meant?
You may add this to your Puller Stories.
I met Chesty just before the Korean Conflict. He was CO of FMF Hawaii, (A Bird Col.). I was a Navy PO3 (Electrician) at Navy Radio Station #41 in Wahiawa, Oahu, T.H. The Marine barracks were across the street from my electric shop. My Girlfriend was a secretary in the Admin. building where Chesty would confer with the CO regarding his Marines. She told Chesty one day that he should go across the street and have a coffee with her boyfriend, which he did.
He came into my shop one day and asked, "Are you Lu?" I stood at attention, saluted and said, "Yes Sir!" He said, "I hear you have some good coffee here." He became a friend and a frequent visitor.
One day he asked me if I had anything to lace the coffee. I refered him to a test panel on the wall that was on hinges and would swing out. I told him that there was some old 7-Up bottles behind it with 190 proof alcohol. I told him to help himself, if if I got it he could court martial me... if he got it he was on his own... high balled him. He returned my salute and stated, "fair enough". From that day on he went to the test panel for his lace. One day he asked me if I knew what the FMF meant? I said, "Fleet Marine Forces." He said, "wrong, it meant Fighting Mother F------."
The detachment of Marines he commanded was a splendid bunch. I spent some great liberties with them and knew them all. They got a barrell chested bulldog and named him Chesty. They got a Sailor's white hat and would hit the dog with it and when he saw a Sailor with his hat on he would growl at him. The dog would follow Chesty around when he inspected the Marines.
When Chesty was surrounded at Chosin in Korea, he called his men and told them that the enemy was on their right flance, on their left flank, in front of them and behind them. "Don't think they will get away this time." What a morale builder. All ammo, food, and essentials had to be air dropped. On one drop a shute with cases of condoms was inadvertently dropped. Chesty gets on the radio to Japan and asked them if they thought we were scr-wing the enemy to death.
What a wonderful man he was... I think of him often.
EMC, USN, Retired
Mostly To Humor Me
I wrote this for the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union. It appeared on the opinion page of the paper's Nov. 10 edition.
Sgt. of Marines
November is a momentous month for me. Important dates include Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, my sons' arrival at home for school break and, most important of all, the anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps, on Nov. 10. The phrase "once a Marine, always a Marine" refers to one of life's certainties. The first day at boot camp is the beginning of a process intended to weed out those who, for one reason or another, don't measure up to the Corps' exacting standards. Those of us who survive this trial by fire are justifiably proud of our accomplishment and are conscious of being accepted into a brotherhood dedicated to excellence in which the stakes are always presumed to be life and death. That's a thing that sticks with us --- forever.
I don't do a lot of celebrating on Nov. 10; it's more a day of reflection for me, as I look back and remember the places I went, the things I did and the people I grew to love... or hate. I dig out my photo albums and marvel at my progression from a 17-year-old Private to a 19-year-old Sergeant to 20-year-old Veteran as I traveled from the West Coast to the East Coast, to the Far East and back home. All of it is hard to believe and impossible to forget.
In the past, my wife, my two sons and I marked the occasion with a birthday cake, as Marines all over the world do to recognize another year of Marine Corps history. This was done mostly to humor me because, despite their willingness to share my pride, the depth of feeling I have for the Marine Corps and my lifelong attachment to it are unfathomable to them, as it is to anyone who isn't a Marine.
I tried to enlighten them this summer, on a visit to Camp Lejeune, N.C., the main Marine Corps base on the East Coast. My son had won a scholarship for his junior year at college from the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, which is dedicated to helping the children of Marines, and one of its national award ceremonies was held at Camp Lejeune. I had not set foot on a Marine Corps installation since my discharge at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in 1971, five days after I had left Vietnam. My excitement at doing so once again was, to put it mildly, extreme.
It increased exponentially as we entered the banquet hall and mingled with foundation officials, scholarship winners, parents, and Marines resplendent in their dress blue uniforms, some of whom were with their children while others were there to represent the Corps. All of them were spit 'n polish personified. I felt great regret and envy at no longer being able to live the life even as I knew that I was... and always will be... one of those few good men (and, these days, women). Because Marines believe that the quickest and most effective way to achieve an objective is the direct approach, I had no qualms about asking Maj. Gen. Raymond Fox, Commanding General of the II Marine Expeditionary Force, who I bumped into at the hors d'oeuvres table, to explain to my wife and son why being a Marine is an honor, a privilege and a responsibility. He did so without hesitation, telling them that the values taught by the Marine Corps, which honors and reveres its past (here he glanced at me), prepare Marines for a future (addressing my son) of accomplishment and self-reliance and instill in them a pride and a sense of achievement that will last forever.
I could see that my wife and son were favorably impressed by what the general said and by his evident passion, but his words struck me like a clean shot to the heart. Simply put, the Marine Corps has given me an identity... I am a Marine, I have always been a Marine, and I will be a Marine forever. It's an identity I gladly embrace and jealously guard.
On this Nov. 10, the 237th anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps, I'll be at work, surrounded by co-workers who neither know nor care that it is a special day for me and my comrades. I don't mind. I'm one of the few and the proud and I'll be with my own kind in spirit, if not in body.
Happy birthday, Marines.
For some reason all the lists of units within the 5th Marine Division never seem to mention 13th Engineers, Camp Pendleton, Calif. 1966-67. I have attached a photo.
Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, known simply as "The Wall". Although I have never seen the one in Washington, D. C., I have seen the traveling wall several times when it is in the area. Inscribed on it are over 58,000 names of those who gave their lives. To those who were there and came home I dedicate these few words.
When we look at the names on the Wall
The question haunts us one and all
I did not want to die
But why was it them not I
Former Sgt. of Marines
Last night I was pleasantly surprised to watch a piece on TV about Father Capodanno, the Bn. Chaplain for the 3rd Bat, 5th Marines. I was unaware of a Chaplain, any Chaplain, receiving the Medal of Honor. They had many of the surviving Marines, including the Battalion Commander on the program talking about Father Capodanno. Father Capodanno had a ship named after him and it was the first ship in the United States Fleet to be Blessed by a Pope, Pope John Paul.
Father Capodanno was also Canonized and is now referred to as a "Servant of God" . What an Honor we have, to have had a Chaplain to be awarded the Medal of Honor for his Battle Field Dutys to His Marines. Looking him up on the web will give any Marine an idea of the Great People that have served we Marines.
GySgt. F. L. Rousseau,
Father Capodanno's official Medal of Honor citation is as follows:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Chaplain of the 3d Battalion, in connection with operations against enemy forces. In response to reports that the 2d Platoon of M Company was in danger of being overrun by a massed enemy assaulting force, Lt. Capodanno left the relative safety of the company command post and ran through an open area raked with fire, directly to the beleaguered platoon. Disregarding the intense enemy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and mortar fire, he moved about the battlefield administering last rites to the dying and giving medical aid to the wounded. When an exploding mortar round inflicted painful multiple wounds to his arms and legs, and severed a portion of his right hand, he steadfastly refused all medical aid. Instead, he directed the Corpsmen to help their wounded comrades and, with calm vigor, continued to move about the battlefield as he provided encouragement by voice and example to the valiant Marines. Upon encountering a wounded Corpsman in the direct line of fire of an enemy machine gunner positioned approximately 15 yards away, Lt. Capodanno rushed a daring attempt to aid and assist the mortally wounded Corpsman. At that instant, only inches from his goal, he was struck down by a burst of machine gun fire. By his heroic conduct on the battlefield, and his inspiring example, Lt. Capodanno upheld the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.
A Day Over 150
It was with a lot of interest that I read "Top C's" entry concerning re-adjusting to the civilian world after a stretch with the Corps recently. In one of the paragraphs he stated that the Air Force personnel getting out took a couple of weeks to re-adjust to the civilian world, Naval personnel six months, Army soldiers a few years and Marines never re-adjust. As for myself, I whole heartedly agree with the Top on the re-adjustment periods.
I for one will always consider myself a U.S. Marine, only serving in a different uniform. I have been off active duty for a long time and some members of my family know that I was born to be a Marine, will always be a U. S. Marine and that I'll be laid to rest as a U. S. Marine. One member of my immediate family members is just now beginning to understand about what it means to be a Marine. My brother's son joined the U. S. Marines almost 8 years ago and upon his graduation from MCRDSD, my brother and I flew to San Diego to attend his sons graduation. On the day of my nephews graduation, my brother and I were strolling around in front of the Base Exchange and while there, we stopped and got a coffee. While we were outside, I struck up a conversation with a Gunnery Sergeant. Our conversation lasted for about 20 minutes and when we said farewell my brother immediately asked the question "What is it with you Marines? You acted like you knew that Marine all your life." To which I responded that, "I've known that Gunny my entire life and I know every Marine that exists, living or dead because we are brothers and sisters and I'm as close to them or closer than I am to you!" To which my brother responded, "I just don't get it." At which point I told him that he wouldn't for a long time.
Now after having his son in the Corps for 8 years, my brother has finally gotten it. Incidentally, today is November 10th, our 237th birthday and it just so happens, my nephew called me while I was typing this e-mail to wish me a happy 237th birthday. And to think, I don't feel a day over 150.
William D. Barnett
SSgt of Marines
1970 - 1973
1976 - 1984
Fellow Marines and Friends,
Today is the Marine Corps Birthday and I want to wish every Marine, and their friends, a warm and Happy Birthday celebration. One constant in my life has been the Corps and the intimacy every Marine has with each other... sometimes misunderstood by outsiders... but always there and WE know what that means every day of our lives.
As I get older (I just had my 82nd birthday) that fraternity becomes even more significant and everywhere I go, wearing Marine Corps artifacts, and I do every day, I meet Marines who stand out and go out of their way to exchange comments with me. I live in Canada now but still meet Marines... whether they are tourists here or simply other Canadians who have served in the Marine Corps. A significant number of Canadian young men have served and some are retired from the Corps, and are combat Veterans or have served in any capacity after earning the title "Marine" (however this also includes Hospital Corpsmen - I know of one here who is a "Chosin Veteran").
Wherever in the world you are please accept my congratulations for being "one of us" and have a safe and happy Birthday!
Clifford D. Kelly
GySgt (E7) Retired
Life Member - Marine Corps League
Life Member - VFW
Life Member - National Association of Radiation Survivors
"Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we so proudly serve.
In many a strife we fought for life
and never lost our nerve.
If the Army or the Navy
ever look on Heaven's shores,
They will find the streets are guarded by
The United States Marines."
Happy Birthday to Our Beloved Corps and to all who serve or have served.
Ed (Lt) Dodd, USMC forever
My Own Example
In ref to "Mr. DI"... In P.I. our two junior DI's were murderous maniac Chosin Vets who were kept in check most times by our Senior DI. Below is a DI Creed instituted after the 50's which they should of adhered to back then...
"These are my recruits. I will train them to the best of my ability. I will develop them into smartly disciplined, physically fit, basically trained Marines, thoroughly indoctrinated in love of Corps and Country. I will demand of them, and demonstrate by my own example, the highest standards of personal conduct, morality, and professional skill."
USMC '52 TO '60
Old Guy In The Skirt
Mom and I attended the 237th with our son and his family. The young guy is our son, the CO of VMFA-112 the old guy in the skirt is me.
J. M. "Mike" Jeffries
Capt. USMC Ret.
I just finished reading the Nov. 14th newsletter titled "I Asked Him" and I am writing concerning an article written by Condardo M.W. In the article was a picture of what he thought to be MCRD San Diego in the 1950s. He was exactly right, I was there in 1956 and those were my platoons Quonset huts. The building in the right center was our Mess Hall, the square buildings were the Heads and the long tables toward bottom of the picture were our wash racks where we did our laundry usually every Sunday. The time I was there I was in the middle row of Quonset huts about the 3rd or 4th one up from the heads. The plane the picture was taken from is landing at the old Lindbergh Field. I was glad to see this picture. I was there 56 years ago and thought I'd never see those old huts again. Thanks to Condrodo M.W. for the picture and firing up some old memories.
Howard W. Kennedy
Dear Sgt Grit hello (hola),
This is Zoey and I just finished reading a story from 1st Lt. and it inspired me to mention that since my father is a Retired Marine CWO3 and the memories that he gave me makes me a proud Marine daughter. Not only this, I have always wanted to attend one way or the other a Marine Corps Ball, and thanks to a friend, we went to a catering together in Maryland for the Veterans' Ball and I too got to see the Marine Corps Ball even though I was catering. It was such a Wonderful experience which brought me back to my father's memories. Thanks again. Sgt Grit.
Zoraida aka Zoey
Despite The Problems
The Marine Corps Veterans of Long Island held their Birthday Ball despite the problems caused by hurricane Sandy. Attendance was outstanding, our guests of honor were a retired Colonel and an active duty Lt. Col., who came up here from New Orleans.
On 11/11/12 we provided a color guard and firing party at Calverton National Cemetery, to remember and honor our vets. Marines on Long Island, N .Y. are representing the Corps with respect and honor.
Marine Corps Veterans of Long Island
Here's my birthday cake. I have ordered one every year since I got out in 1980. Semper Fi Always!
Well, another 10 November has come and gone. This one wasn't one of my favorites, until the end anyway.
I started the day with a two mile walk down the main drag of Clovis, New Mexico. Since it was the Marine Corps' Birthday, I decided to add a mile, for a total of three, and I wore a Marine utility cover, just for old times sake.
Living in an Air Force town, you see a few Marines here and there, mostly retirees. They all seem to have a big USMC license plate on the front of their car. Always before, I have seen at least ONE, but not this time. Nope, zilch, nada. No Marines during my walk. That wasn't what I had hoped.
Back at home, time to get ready for the day. S, S, and S. Yep, you know. For the rest of the day, I looked everywhere, but came up empty. I couldn't even attend the Marine Corps Birthday celebration that night at the local VFW, due to an earlier commitment in Roswell. Gee, I was really disappointed.
That night my wife (another Marine, at least!) and I met our youngest son (born on November 10!) for dinner. We had ordered and were waiting, when a man wearing a MARINES ball cap walked in. FINALLY! Another Marine!
He never did notice me trying to get his attention, so I watched where he sat, and then went out to the car and got a cigar to give him for a Marine Corps Birthday gift. I walked over there, and interrupted his ordering, and told him I had looked all day, and he was the first INKLING I had seen of Marines. Gave him the cigar, and wished him a Happy Birthday. He cried.
After a minute, we spoke. He seemed to be a little confused as to the date, thinking "it" was tomorrow... the eleventh. Seems he was a Viet Nam vet, and I suppose he got treated like crap by our country back then.
Since he was confused over the date, I'm not even sure he was a Marine, but I'm not sure I mind too much... at least I got to brighten somebody's day, and perhaps take some of the pain away.
Clovis, New Mexico USA
Shooting At The Antenna
I feel for the 81 mm Mortar Crews on operation or hump. Those base plates and tubes were back killers. I was a 2531 FO/RO for 81 mm Mortars during my tour. 5/67 - 6/68. When first in-country, I was issued a M14 because "on paper" I was in H&S CO. The Grunts had the M16.
On may humps/operations I carried a PRC25 with spare battery, M14 with 10 loaded magazines, 2 canteens, 4 days C-rats, pancho, sometimes 2 frags, and at times a LAAW. Try running in combat and calling in fire-missions at the same time with that load, and all while "Charlie" is looking for and shooting at the antenna or the M14 because they thought I was a sniper. I'm 5'9" at 130 lbs at PI, only a few lbs heavier entering RVN. My arse was dragging by the end of those humps.
The FLIGHT LINE
Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #2, #12,,(Dec., 2012)
Several days after HMM-161s operation in the Ba Long Valley, 10 Aircraft were launched on an emergency mission in support of Operation HARVEST MOON. The mission consisted of transporting two waves of troops and cargo from Tam Ky to the combat area. The squadron supported Operation HARVEST MOON for about a week. It's helicopters flew troop lifts, resupply, medical evacuations and moved artillery from one firing position to another.
The monsoon rains and bad weather were still hampering flight operations, but it did not prevent distinguished guests from attending what is believed to be the first unit mess night in Vietnam held at Phu Bai by the officers of HMM-161. All of the honored guests delivered short speeches and the close cooperation between the 1st ARVN Div and HMM-161 was emphasized when Major General Chuan presented a very attractive 1st Division plaque to the squadron. To what extent "carrier qualification" was practiced later that evening has not been recorded.
On the 28th of December, 1965, a MARINE, KC-130 arrived at Phu Bai carrying members of Squadron HMM-163, Advanced party, from Futenma, Okinawa. At the same time an advanced party from HMM-161 boarded the same KC-130 and returned to Futenma. The two squadrons were to switch locations and aircraft at the beginning of the year. On the morning of its departure, January, 4th, 1966, HMM-161 flew a 16 aircraft strike mission lifting the 2nd Batt., 1st MARINES. After 10 minutes of preparatory fire by artillery the Commanding Officer led the helicopters into the zone. Little resistance was encountered. After the troop lift was accomplished the Commanding Officer led the flight in a low flyover at the Phu Bai airfield. By 1700 that evening all squadron members were on their way to Okinawa via KC-130 aircraft and HMM-163 had assumed the mission at Phu Bai.
Upon arriving in Okinawa the squadron personnel settled into their new routine. The unit was scheduled to spend 3 months in Okinawa replenishing, reorganizing and training flight crews. It then would return to Vietnam and replace another squadron which in turn would return to Okinawa and from there possibly home. As many of the original squadron members were due to rotate back to CONUS before the squadron re-entered Vietnam, new personnel were constantly being transferred in to replace the old "Pineapples".
It was a busy interlude. The squadron flew many training hops: Pilots renewed their instrument cards and received NATOPS Flight check rides: mechanics, crew chiefs and other squadron personnel had rifle and M-60 re-qualification; and of course all hands had to take the MARINE CORPS Physical fitness test. As the time approached for HMM-161's re-entry in to Vietnam, advanced parties were again exchanged. This time the squadron was to relieve HMM-361 at the MARBLE MOUNTAIN Air Facility (MMAF) near Da Nang. This occurred at a change of command ceremony on the 31 of March of 1966. On the morning of 2 April 1966 the squadron boarded four KC-130 aircraft and departed for Vietnam. It arrived at Da Nang and started work immediately, taking over the aircraft of HMM-361 and establishing itself at the MARBLE MOUNTAIN Air Facility.
We would like to share with other Marines a photo show of our 237th Birthday Ball here in FL. (see below link) Oldest City Detachment #383, Marine Corps League, St. Augustine, FL, Birthday Ball Photo Show.
237th Birthday Ball Photos
Adjutant â€“ Oldest City Det. #383
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Happy Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day.
It was a perfect, warm day with a cloudless blue sky in Da Nang, Vietnam. The Marine Vietnam Vets now living in Da Nang celebrated the 237th birthday of the Corps today on China Beach. We had a good turnout of Marines, Navy and Army as well as a number of civilian friends.
On this occasion, our friend Mr. Hoa from Tam Hoa, Dai Loc, Quang Nam, home of CAG C-2-2-4 was meritoriously promoted to Corporal. Hoa has maintained the memory of those Marines who protected his village and continuously expresses loyalty, honor and devotion for all Marines in what could be described as extremely hostile territory for the past 45 years.
Hoa is the owner of Hoa's Place, a world renown backpacker hostel on China Beach at the foot of Marble Mountain.
Hoa's Place in DaNang
In attendance: Photo 3845 Back row Left to right: Al O'Neill, Chuck Palazzo, Chaz, Richard Parker, Bill Ervin front row Left to right: Keith, Suell Jones and Dick Brown. Al O'Neill was with the MPs at Camp Tien Sa, Chaz was with the 3rd MEF landing at Red Beach, Richard Parker was a Navy Sea Bee, Bill Ervin and Suell Jones were with Delta 1/3 3rd Mar Div. Keith was an officer unit unknown and Dick Brown was with 1st MAG VMFA 115 ordnance.
Chuck Palazzo and Suell Jones are officers in Veterans For Peace Chapter 160. Veterans For Peace, Vietnam. Chuck also has an IT company.
Bill Ervin is a professional photographer and local motorbike and jeep tour guide.
Dick Brown works in aviation quality assurance in Vietnam.
Al O'Neill has an English pronunciation school in Da Nang.
Dick "Charlie" Brown
RVN Service 69-70
Wife Went For Coffee
Pictures taken at Rock Island Arsenal. Pictures taken this past fall on a weekend getaway to Davenport Iowa of Marine Corps. Ontos and assorted tanks and artillery pcs. Later toured the museum and it was awesome. Spent 2 hours looking at the display of weapons (wife went for coffee). Semper Fi, 237 Years of serving are country.
Sgt Dan Vitek
3rd Batt., 9th Mar, 3rd Marine Div 1965
H&S Company, Batt. Armory
"Happy Birthday Marines! 237 and counting - You don't look a day over 225. Semper Fidelis!"
"I am convinced there is no smarter, handier or more adaptable body of troops in the world."
--Winston Churchill | Referring to the U.S. Marine Corps
"Elections are advanced auctions of stolen property."
"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere."
"Do all that you say you're going to do. Don't aggress against other people or their property."
"Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it were some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics with haircuts to ungentlemanly lengths, worshipping their Commandant almost as if he were a god, and making weird animal noises like a band of savages. They'll fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action, and are the cockiest sons of b-tches I have ever known. Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond man's normal limits, but their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and, generally speaking, the United States Marines I've come in contact with are the most professional soldiers and the finest men I have ever had the pleasure to meet."
--An Anonymous Canadian Citizen
"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."
"The more people chant about their freedom and how free they are, the more loudly I hear their chains rattling."
--English novelist George Orwell (1903-1950)
"One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary."
--philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
"Every nation has the government it deserves."
--Savoyard philosopher Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821)
"Marines have the answer to the "ultimate question." Question: What is the meaning of life? Answer: Service to others no matter what the cost."
Happy B-Day my fellow Marines! SEMPER FIDELIS!
"Rise and shine, it's Grunt time".
Keep your interval!
Microphone clearing sound. Weird whistle:
Then... Now hear this! Now hear this!
All Marines topside go below.
All Marines below go topside.
All Marines forward go aft.
All Marines aft go forward.
All Marines in the middle stand by to direct traffic!
That is all!
God Bless the American Dream!