Sgt Grit Newsletter
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 25 OCT 2012

In this issue:
• Mix Napalm
• Replacement Draft
• Good Times, Good Times

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I took these photos at an Antique Mall in Ogalalla, NE. They wanted $95 for the photo which is more than I wanted to spend. It is dated June 1951. More than likely many of these Marines went to Korea. Maybe someone can identify someone or themselves in the photos.

Jim Grimes

Fisher House

We would like to thank all who have donated to the Fisher House charity over the previous quarter. We are happy to announce that the total donated came to a grand total of $5199.50.

Thanks for your selflessness and generosity in helping to provide Fisher House with this monetary gift that will allow them to continue to provide help to all of our military families in need.

Mix Napalm

In response to Michael Bolenbaugh's newsletter concerning flame tanks in Viet Nam.

I was in flame tanks sent from Camp Hansen in Okinawa and landed in Chu Lai Viet Nam in May of 1965. As I recall the flame tank had a .50 Cal copula mounted, a .30 Cal turret mounted and the main flame tube. It was very similar to the M-48A3 gun tanks.

The flame tank had a crew of 3. One of the interesting things about flame tanks is loading the napalm gas mixture into the main tank. In Viet Nam as in Camp Pendleton, Camp Lejeune, and Camp Hansen, we had a machine that would mix napalm and gas and pump it into the main tank. In Viet Nam however, that machine because of the heat usually never lasted long, so we had to mix it by hand in a 50 gal. drum with a paddle and then load the mixture into the main tank using 5 gal. buckets. Quit an operation plus the fact we smoked all the while doing this operation.

Cpl. Andre
USMC Flame Platoon

Serious Breach

I was a PMI and Range NCO and there were very severe punishments for recruit firing infractions. For example, firing on anything other than the targets. Case in point; after moving from the 200 yd. line back to the 300 yd. line one of the coaches forgot his binoculars and they were sitting on the 200 yd. line bench. As soon as firing commenced there were numerous dust boils around that location.

I ceased fire on the range, and had the coaches who instigated that serious breach of safety removed from the range. Three of them lost a stripe.

Does the Corps have a since of humor? Yes, and then sometimes, not at all.

Firing Range NCO

Replacement Draft

Sgt. Grit:

To the best of my knowledge, in June of 1951 the Corps started to take draftees. When I was in Pendleton, Tent Camp Two, 2nd Trng Bn during the Spring of 1952, Company Clerk of L Co., I had to list two of them as AWOL one Monday morning. Shortly after making the morning report the First Sgt opened his newspaper and saw a headline "Two Marines Shot by Passing Car". His remark to the Captain was "there's where our Sh-t Birds are".

It was later determined that while on weekend liberty the two obtained a pistol somewhere and shot themselves in the foot, hoping to get out of about the 20th (?) or so replacement draft. We neither saw nor heard from them again. I'll bet that they would have been better off going with the draft. A trip to Canada was not in the vogue then. There were not many, but occasionally we would get reports of deserters. While stationed at NAS Lakehurst we received one about a Trenton, NJ, Marine. I often wonder whether or not the FBI or CSI ever collected those duds. If any readers know whether or not deserters were apprehended I would like to know.

I would also like to hear from anyone who may have served with George R. Waropay, KIA, Sept 16, 1951. He went thru PI in Plt 101, 2nd Bn, graduating in the Spring of 1951. He was going to join the Air Force until I suggested he enlist with me in Dec '50 in the "Trenton" Platoon.

The readers may find the attached photos taken at P.I. I would guess in late March just before our graduation. Must be because I know that before that we had no leisure time nor possession of a camera. I don't even remember taking a camera with me. The group photo is of four guys from Charleston, S.C., Barton, Starling, Risher, and Dean. The other pic is doing our laundry Sunday morning. No, the automatic washer weren't broken, that's the way it was done then, cold water and a scrubbing brush, then hang them up with little pieces of string, "tie-ties".

I don't think Dean got out the same time as most of us because he was so tall they had trouble getting his uniforms. Incidentally, those utes are WWII herring bone twill and field shoes. No leggings, we didn't have to wear them too often.

Jim Black
S/Sgt 1/51 1/54

Dontcha Know

Managed to find a nice lady to put up with my aging butt and got married 30 Sept 2012. Had my brother and two back-to-back buddies (one Marine and one civilian) come from out of state. The Pastor, a former Marine don't you know, is a former work buddy and great friend as well.

Anyway, as Marines will, they all got to talking about where, when and who while I was busy on the "honey-do" list. Turns out, my good friend 1stSgt E.A. (Sweet Rick) Blish was the Pastors DI out in California. Talk about a great day! In the photo is the Pastor, Jimmy Tyson of Murfreesboro, TN and 1stSgt Blish of Deatsville, AL.

SgtMaj Tom Schlechty, USMC (Ret.) '68-'94

If things are going really good, you're about to be ambushed.

Rack Full Of Rifles

I went through Boot Camp at PISC from July 1958-Oct 1958 and our DI had our Platoon use a mixture of 1/3 Boiled Linseed oil, 1/3 shellac, and 1/3 denatured Alcohol. We had to rub this into the stocks after we had sanded the older finish off. We were to rub this mixture until it became warm to the palms of our hands as it was to get it really deep into the wood. Did this most of the last parts of our training for the final inspection. Come to find out this is just some of what woodworkers call French Polish as they use it to get a good looking piece of furniture in those days before all the new stuff for finishing came out. I have used this on my own rifles with wooden stocks, but instead of linseed oil I use Formby's oils that work much better.

We used to hang our rifles from the top rack with the ties used to roll up the shelter halves for field marching packs. Mine happened to fall to the floor one night when we jumped into the racks because the darned tie had slipped out of the link at the end. Slept that night on a rack full of rifles.

R. K. Otto 1807416
GySgt Retired

"Good Times, Good Times"

Just reading some posts. This might shed a little light. Marine Bergmans: "Back in the Day" ('60s, '70s etc.) we (Recon) were required to complete a Field Medical School prior to deploying on a mission, including I.V. insertion. Each Recon Bn had its own Corpsman staff, but when we hit the air (or the boats) we were, out of obvious necessity, self-contained.

Cpl Hornsey: Originally the dustplate covers on the M-16 were manufactured by Detroit Transmissions (which later became GM's TurboHydramatic Div).

Cpl Zar: Just came back from Parris Island recently (my Grand Niece graduated - 4th generation Marine, 1st woman). As we used to say, "Good times, good times" (at least for us D.I.'s). D.I. School treated me like I was still with the "Thumpin' Third" (which is no more; all 3 Bn now down by "Mainside"). I was impressed with the number of "Mustangers" in RTR now. So, they are still around, thank God! As always, they were revered by the enlisted and respected by the "regular" officers. Best Mustanger I ever served with, bar none, was Capt. Bill Vincent. Who knows and understands the enlisted man and woman better?

Semper Fi, Keep It Above Ground
G. Willard
0311 Grunt, 8651 Recon, 8511 D.I.

Short Rounds

"Six to the front, three to the rear... lean back, dig 'em in and strut, strut, strut."

Plt 1056, PI 9/11/66
E. De Lise, Sgt of Marines '66-'70
RVN '68/'69

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome
"... and ALWAYS have an exit plan"
-Semper Fi-

While on recruiting duty during the Vietnam conflict, I used to visit the processing center, where draftees learned their fate. Sometimes the parents were with them. If I spotted a draftee with his parents, I would approach him and announce that he was being drafted into the Marine Corps. The parents would often freak out. Cheap thrill, I know, but I was just a young Sergeant at the time.

Ron Hughes

To all you former Marines, If you miss having your S.O.S. for breakfast, you can order canned S.O.S. from the Vermont Country Store. I tried some, It sucks! You can also buy it frozen under the Stouffers label, much better! Chow down!

Cpl. Richard Burdick
WWII Marine

As you were! Another oft-repeated phrase in the barracks was: "Don't get p-ssed... Re-enlist!


I heard a very, very sad story at Camp Lejeune during one of my stints there. I ran into a guy at a slop chute who was called to his draft center. He, along with many others, were sitting in a large room when an Army sergeant walked in and earnestly asked, "Is there anybody here who really doesn't want to be in the Army?"

He and five others raised their hands. "Come with me. You six are now in the Marine Corps."

Rick Feinstein,
Sgt USMCR '63-'69

While digging through old papers and pictures in the basement of our Legion Hall (537 Oregon, Ohio), I found a small paper that had written on it words that really impressed me. Hope others feel the same. "It is not the price you paid to belong, but the price you paid to be eligible." Author unknown

C. Walters
Cpl. of Marines

Sgt Grit,

In reference to Lt Col Burkholder's on a shotgun type and model he used in Viet Nam. He may have use a Winchester Model 12. In '66 on various patrols I handled a Winchester Model 12, 12 gauge shotgun, 28" barrel, with a 3" chamber, and fired 3" mag 00 buck brass casing shotgun shells.

Cpl V. Rodriguez
RVN '65-'66, D 1/3

Great Imitators

Sgt. Grit,

It was July of '67 and a small contingent of us were arriving in San Diego airport at night. Because we were carrying packets of papers, a luggage porter asked if we were looking for the Marine reception committee. We answered "yes" and he pointed to an area and said there was someone there expecting us.

A Marine Sgt. escorted us to a dark parking lot where a bus was waiting and as we hit the dark lot "all h-ll broke out". There were at least two maybe three Drill Instructors who started yelling and shoving people around while instructing us to get on the bus. As we were being jostled around I was pushed into a DI and I stepped on his shoe. Bad mistake. "You stupid s.o.b., what the f-ck are you doing? Do you want to step on my other shoe, so that they match? Get your azs on the bus!"

We finally piled on the bus and heard "Eyes straight ahead, and no talking". Shortly we were told to get off the bus and on the yellow footprints, and do it now! I remember the haircut, being issued utilities, boots, underwear, and then mailing my possessions back home. We packed all into our seabag and proceeded to march (plod) around the base. It must have been 2:00 or 3:00 AM when we finally got to a Quonset hut and they told us to get in the rack and shut up. I was exhausted but kept hearing these strange loud noises all night (airport jets).

Around 5:00 AM, I hear these unusually loud voices saying "get your azs out of the bunk and get dressed and on the road, Now!" Then a metal trash can came crashing down the concrete floor. I wasn't fully dressed but I was on the road as I wanted no part of that crazy person who was throwing heavy sleepers out of their racks.

I did not have a bowel movement for at least five days, I just did not have time. The first days were a blur. As time went by and you had time to reflect, the DI's were hilarious. They would say things that would crack us up, only not with them there, just later when we were alone and could repeat them. We had some great imitators.

We carried the M-1 in boot camp but qualified with the M-14 and while at the rifle range, our DI would have us get in the sleep position for lights out, he would holler "Attention", and then repeat after me, "Good night Chesty Puller, wherever you are." After we sang it out, the lights went out. I still think often of Chesty Puller.

Thanks for the many memories, Sgt. Grit. I read your newsletter as soon as it hits my computer. Semper Fi Marines.

Sgt. C

Character Witness

I enjoyed your story of the man who shook the hand of a man who shook the hand of a man who shook the hand of Chesty Puller.

I was in platoon 1006, formed July 6, 1969, at PI. One of my junior DI's was a Sgt McKeon. He was a helo mech and wore combat air crew wings. This meant a lot to me because I had joined as an aviation Marine.

One night, Sgt. McKeon told us the story of his father, the famous SSgt McKeon who led the Ribbon Creek night patrol, in 1956, which resulted in the drowning of 6 recruits. He said Chesty Puller was a character witness at his father's court martial. This only endeared this DI to me even more.

That is my close encounter with Chesty Puller.

Goodnight, Chesty, wherever you are.

Lanny Cotton
Sgt - USMC, 1969 - 1973


My brother's company built the frigate named after Lewis B. Puller. I was a Marine in 1957 so he sent me this picture. I thought you guys would be interested in seeing it.

Bob R.
Semper Fi.

Extra Instruction

Sgt. Grit,

I have two comments for Lou Ferrante regarding left-handers in the Corps.

The first comment is personal. From birth, I have been a 100 percent lefty. However, my mother always told me that the left side of the body was controlled by the right side of the brain. Therefore, as a left-hander, I was one of the few people in the world who was always "in his right mind." Somehow, that made it easier to endure the difficulties of not having the right tools, etc. while growing up.

The second comment is pure Marine Corps. Arriving at thee rifle range as a lefty, I received "extra instruction" in how to assume the proper right-handed firing positions. This sometimes included range instructors placing themselves directly on me to hold me in the correct position. Due to this "extra instruction", I qualified Expert with the M-14 and later Expert with the .45.

The system works!

Semper Fi!
Greg Coleman
2540440, 2/5 at An Hoa

Barrel Of My 16 Turned Gray

Back in June 1964, shortly after standing on the yellow footprints at M.C.R.D. San Diego, I was issued a M-14 with cosmoline all over it. At I.T.R, I was given a M-1 and was trained using tactics and equipment from Korea and WWII.

Remember eating c-rats that were older than me. After that of course, I got my old friend back, the M-14. Well there are a lot of stories from 1964 to Jan. 1968. As I'm sure all of you know what happened Jan. 30, 1968. A bit of a dust up called the Tet offensive. That's when things got interesting. By this time, everybody had M-16s except us Marines stateside. At least, I think, most of us at Pendleton. At that time we were getting ready for a big inspection by some high brass from H.Q. Washington. We knew something big was up when word came down that the inspection was canceled.

It was a week or so into Feb. when we got word that a few of us were going to Nam. The requirements were that those sent, had to have a year back in the states after a tour in Nam. I did. Also you had to have 120 days active duty left. I had 128. So as I like to tell everyone, when President Johnson needed 10,500 more people sent to Nam, without me it would have been 10,499.

A friend of mine, a Sgt., and I from H. Q. Co., 5th Shore Party Bn. were going to Da Nang to be attached to the 3rd Shore Party Bn. We along with all our gear were sent to a staging area where I was sure we would be issued ammo for our M-14s. Nope. Well, off we went in I think was a big C-141. Made a short stop in Hawaii. Got to run around the terminal wearing our utes. Fun. Ammo? No. Made another short stop on Wake Island. Being a history buff, I went to a couple of the 5" gun positions used by the Marines at the start of WWII. Ammo? No. One more stop in the Philippines at a Navy base I think. Excellent chow. Found out the plane was having some engine problems. Okay, ammo? no. Finally Da Nang.

We were dumped off by the runway at the airbase. Saw the Batman T.V. show for the first time on a movie screen. Sometime after dark, five trucks come to pick us up. Ha, ha! Ammo? Nope. Off we go into Da Nang where there are rumored to be some hot spots from Tet. The only ones with ammo are the five truck drivers with M-16s. The Sgt. and I end up out in the boonies with some infantry unit, can't remember who. Again, rumor has it that they are going to get hit that night. The Sgt. and I dig a hole, put our shelter halves over it and put a couple of rows of sandbags around it. We might drown if it rains but we might survive a mortar attack. A Lt. says in case of trouble we can run to the nearest M-60 and strip ammo from the belt. I'm sure the machine gunner would be happy with that.

Everything goes okay. The next day we get a ride to the 3rd Shore Party. Across the street from Freedom Hill, not bad. Still no ammo. The armorer lets us strip an M-60 belt finally! About a week goes by and we finally trade the much loved M-14 for the plastic toy called the M-16. We heard of all the problems they are having with the d-mn thing and we don't trust it. A small group of us go out to a sand pit with some cans and just like with my little .22, we had fun shooting em up. I may have fired too long of a burst because the barrel of my 16 turned gray.

Well, that's how I was introduced to the M-16.
Charles Engler
U.S.M.C. '64-'68
Chu Lai '66
Da Nang '68

Gravesite Of Chesty Puller

Sgt. Grit,

After taking my Grandson Vinny to visit a number of Civil War battlefield sites this past summer here in the MD, VA area, he asked me if we could visit the grave site of Chesty Puller, whom he had heard me speak of a number of times. Vinny thought we'd just take a short trip down the road to Arlington National Cemetery to visit Chesty's grave site but I told him that Chesty wasn't buried there, but instead just outside the town where he retired in Saluda, Virginia in the Christ Church Parish Cemetery, Christ Church, VA, right on Route 33, named the General Puller Highway.

I told my grandson that Chesty surely could have had the high honor and accolades of being buried at Arlington but instead chose to be buried in a humble church yard cemetery where his wife, Virginia, is also buried next to him. I had the honor of being in attendance when Chesty spoke to my Marine infantry company, I/3/2 at Camp Lejeune in 1964.

Our company had won the base drill team competition that year and also had won the Top Squad in the Corps that year during the annual competition. Chesty's speech was a little slurred due to some illnesses but I recall him saying, "If anyone ever tells you the Corps isn't the best, you kick their azs."

Attached are some photos of my visit to Chesty's grave site with Vinny where we had the honor of paying our respects to a great Marine Corps legend.

Nick Dazio
Sergeant, United States Marine Corps (1961-1966)
Boot Camp, Parris Island, SC
ITR, Camp Geiger, NC
Marine Detachment, U.S.S. Northampton, CC-1, Norfolk, VA
India Company, 3rd Bn., 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine
Division, "Betio Bast-rds", Camp Lejeune, NC
Delta Company, 3rd Bn., 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division
1965 Dominican Republic (DomRep) Intervention
HQ Company, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Camp
Lejeune, NC

My Friends In The Navy Complained

Saw some discussions regarding Vietnam era USMC draftees and have some personal experience there.

I served at the USMC Recruiting Station, Los Angeles from 1 July 1964 - 31 July 1967. When I reported to duty the USMC had its own location at 755 South Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles. Upon reporting for duty, I believe the SgtMaj named LaJeunesse was the first person I met, and I was also greeted by a very large dog that he brought to the Station every day, a Bouvier des Flandres that was thankfully very friendly.

Also, the SgtMaj never tied his shoelaces and the story was that he once fell while climbing down into a Higgins Boat and almost died when he couldn't get his boots off to surface. Eventually our building was part of a major downtown revitalization project, and we were eventually moved to 1031 South Broadway, in the same building with the Armed Forces Examining Station (AFES) where all the other Services were located and where draftees and enlistees were sent for their physicals and examinations prior to induction.

Sometime in late 1966 I believe we got orders that the Marines were going to accept draftees in order to meet the buildup required to meet the manpower needs for Vietnam. Our LtCol in Charge and our SgtMaj made me responsible for selecting the people to be drafted, I believe on certain days of the month, but I don't remember the frequency. Originally I got the records of all the draftees that were being inducted in Los Angeles, and selected the "future Marines" by how they scored on their tests, any special skills, and any physical limitations (the Army was getting pretty lax in physical exceptions). However my friends in the Navy complained that I was taking all the best people, and went to our CO with a complaint.

Thereafter, on induction days, I would get the number of "future Marines" that we required and when the inductees were lined up, I walked down the line and randomly selected the number of men required, every 3rd, 4th or 5th person in line. The inductees had no say in it, and the ones I selected stepped out of line and were sworn in by one of our officers and off they went to MCRD San Diego.

That was a cold-blooded way to get the numbers, but for almost a year that's how we selected USMC draftees, most of whom I assume ended up in Vietnam. Every time I walk down the Vietnam Memorial Wall, which I just visited at the end of September, I think about all those young men that passed through our recruiting station in those days, and pray that not too many ended up memorialized there. I have enough personal friends on that Wall already.

Jim Holden
Former SGT of Marines

Ultimate Authority

Dear Sergeant Grit:

I pastor a small Baptist Church in Morganza, Louisiana. My son, Jonathan, is a corporal, presently stationed at Okinawa. One of the members of my congregation, who is 100 percent Marine, sent this to me and I thought I was going to fall out of my desk chair when I read it to the end. Hope your readers enjoy it.

God bless,
Larry S. Bossier,
Pastor, Bethel Baptist Worship Center

Now we have it from the Ultimate Authority:

A Soldier, a Sailor, an Airman and a Marine got into an argument about which branch of the service was "The Best." The arguing became so heated the four service men failed to see an oncoming truck as they crossed the street.

They were hit by the truck and killed instantly. Soon, the four servicemen found themselves at the Pearly gates of Heaven. There, they met Saint Peter and decided that only he could be the ultimate source of truth and honesty.

So, the four servicemen asked him, "Saint Peter, which branch of the United States Armed Forces is the best?" Saint Peter replied, "I can't answer that. However, I will ask God what He thinks the next time I see Him. Meanwhile, thank you for your service on Earth and welcome to Heaven."

Sometime later the four servicemen see Saint Peter and remind him of the question they had asked when first entering Heaven. The four servicemen asked Saint Peter if he was able to find the answer. Suddenly, a sparkling white dove lands on Saint Peter's shoulder.

In the dove's beak is a note glistening with gold dust. Saint Peter opens the note, trumpets blare, gold dust drifts into the air, harps play crescendos and Saint Peter begins to read the note aloud to the four servicemen:

Memorandum From The Desk Of The ALMIGHTY ONE
TO: All Former Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines
SUBJECT: Which Military Service Is the Best

1. All branches of the United States Armed Forces are honorable and noble.

2. Each serves America well and with distinction.

3. Serving in the United States military represents a great honor warranting special respect, tribute, and dedication from your fellow man.

4. Always be proud of that.

Warm regards,
USMC (Retired)

From The Stern

I love Marine McNeely's picture of the flag against fall trees in WI. Worth framing. Attached is one I took several years ago, from the stern of the Maine Windjammer Lewis R. French.

Robert A. Hall
Once a SSgt, Always a Marine.


Recruit to D.I. "But?"

D.I.: "You start a sentence with the word 'SIR' snuffy."

Recruit: "Sir, YOU SAID..."

D.I.: "Numnuts do I look like a female sheep?"

Recruit: "No Sir."

D.I.: "The next time you make this mistake, your azs is grass and I am the lawnmower!"

D.I.: "You could not find your azs with both hands. Why do want to f-ck up My Marine Corps? Are you a Russian spy boy?"

"Is anyone religious here? (One recruit steps forward) "Son why would God send me such a sorry bunch of weirdoes?

(No matter what the recruit answers he is dead meat!)

After inspection one day the D.I. says, "What did I ever do to incur the wrath of God upon me? Why did he chose to torture me with all of you sh-tbirds?"

"What a cluster f-ck you turds make. Are you sure that the Chinese didn't send you over to get even with me for not tipping enough at the take out place last month?"

"The next time you answer me like that, you can give your heart to God because your azs is all mine."

Bruce Bender

Schooled On All Tracked Vehicles

I went through Tracked Vehicle School at Camp Del Mar in early 1963. I was schooled on all tracked vehicles the Marine Corps used at that time. They were in the process of updating the M-48A1 to the M-48A3. Mainly the conversion to a diesel engine.

Tanks were M-48A3 and M-103, Amtracts were P-5's, self propels were M-53's and M-55's, the tank retriever was the M-51. The Ontos was M-50. In early '64 the M-50 became the M-50A1 due to the replacing the GMC 302, 6 cylinder engine with the 360 Chrysler V-8. The M-51 had a AVSI 1790 engine and still a gas burner as were the P-5's. The M-53's and M-55 were being replaced with the M-109. I started out with MOS 2141 and after schooling on the M-50A1 I became MOS 2143.

Tom Tuck
August 1962-October 1966


Sgt Grit,

Attached is a piece of history from Vietnam. Military Payment Certificates from Circa. 1970 /1971.

A Former Hat


Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)

During November of 1965 the District headquarters at Hiep Duc, in western Quang Tin province, a place we would come to know well, was overrun. MAG-16 and MAG -36 helos lifted in the ARVN counter-attack force, taking hits in 20 of the 30 UH-34s involved. Hiep Duc was retaken, but abandoned later by the ARVN as undefendable. I have to pause here an clarify that MAG-16 operated out of Marble Mountain Air Facilit (MMAF) and MAG-36 did their flying from Ky Ha AIR FACILITY, The SLF (Special Landing Force) was aboard The USS Valley Forge LPH -8.

Last but not least was the fact that HMM-161 flying out of Phu Bai in the North and HMM-363 was working out of Qui Nhon in the South. The VMO units (both 2 and 6) were spread out to cover everybody. Sub-unit One (CH-37c), helicopters came ashore in Sept of 1965 and were responsible for Heavy lifting chores.

Operation HARVEST MOON was launched in the Phouc Valley west of Highway One between Da Nang and Chu Lai in December of 1965. Both MAG-18 and MAG-36 plus HMM-363 from Qui Nhon and HMM-261 from the SLF (Special Landing Force) supported Task force Delta and the 5th ARVN Regiment as they swept this familiar ground in search of VC or NVA units.

As part of Operation VAN BURIEN, HMM-363 lifted a recently arrived USA ARMY's 1st. Bde, 101st Airborne, Infantry Battalion from Tuy Hoa to their operational area southwest at CQ 0542? I can't remember where this is at, but I was flying with HMM-363 so I know that I've been there.

Six squadrons (HMM's 161, 263, 361, 362, 363, 364 ) were now in country plus 261 aboard Ship, all with H-34Ds. These squadrons, plus a detachment of CH-37Cs ((H&MS-16) and two VMO-squadrons (VMO-2 and VMO-6) with UH-1Es made up MARINE Helicopter assets in Vietnam. III MAF had 39,092 personnel in country by the end of the year.

In the beginning of Jan. 1966 the Special Landing Force (SLF) of the 7th Fleet at the beginning of the year consisted of BLT 2/3 and HMM-261 aboard the USS Valley Forge. HMM-362 replaced HMM-261 on the 5th of Jan.

The 9th MARINES devised a tactical arrangement termed "SPARROW HAWK' at the beginning of the year with units from MAG-16. Each regiment maintained a squad sized reaction force at a special LZ. The squads were used as additional maneuver elements rather than reinforcements. They were heli-lifted by "Sparrow Hawk" helicopters on strip alert at MMAF (Marble Mountain Air Facility), and a combination of HMM Helicopters and gunships from VMO-2.

Operation "Double Eagle II" began on the 28th of Jan. With a two-battalion amphibious operation south of Quang Ngai supported by MAG-36 and a heli-borne assault by the SLF BLT and HMM-362. A similar US ARMY operation south of the MARINES in Binh Dinh province was carried out at the same time. HMM-363 moved further south to Tuy Hoa, again in support of the 101st Airborne, which was opening another airfield at Phu Cat. In Feb. HMM-363 rejoined MAG-36 at Chu Lai, after five months in support on the US ARMY and Korean operations at Qui Nhon, Tuy Hoa, and Phu Cat in II Corps.

Gets Sticky... Real Sticky

For Cpl Steere... this old woodstockian, M-1 type, remembers that linseed oil was rubbed in by hand, just about any and every time you had the weapon out to clean it... like shining shoes, there were different schools of thought on the best way to do it, and some used the plastic handle of a toothbrush to burnish the finish... 'boiled' linseed oil, as opposed to 'raw' linseed oil, has not been heated... the 'boiling' comes from the appearance of the oil as it is processed by bubbling air through it... this promotes polymerization, and 'boiled' will set up or 'cure' faster than raw... the weapon grease used for storage/preservation in the day was cosmoline (probably a proprietary brand name), which was soluble in most any liquid hydrocarbon... gasoline, e.g... for firing purposes, the whitish grease was 'Lubriplate' (TM), which was a lithium-base grease... used to have a small container with a screw-off cap, maybe 3/4" long, that fit in the butt well of the M-1, along with the cleaning rod and chamber tool... good stuff, a little would go a long way, mostly for the operating rod/bolt shoulders.

The NVA also carried linseed oil... they had a small circular metal can with two screw caps on it, two compartments inside, that hung off a shoulder strap or was tied to the haversack. One of our 1stPlt hard-chargers acquired one of these in the middle of Operation Hastings (July '66)... we were pretty much out of cleaning gear, for our M-14's, and only one side of the can he acquired had anything in it... and that resembled oil... so he used it to lube his weapon... problem was, instead of lube oil, it was linseed oil... which, when exposed to air, gets sticky... real sticky.

Fortunately, we had only a day or so hump after that before flying from the Rockpile back out to the Princeton, so there was no real negative outcome to the boo-boo.

On left-handers... fine young gent from across the street reported to Canoe U (Annapolis, Naval Academy) this year. We volunteered to work the polls, and his Dad came in earlier, told me he had just received his confirmation letter... Kyle came in later, to vote for his first time. I noticed when he signed in that he wrote with his left hand. When it fell his lot to use my voting machine, I congratulated him on his good news... then told him it was a shame he wouldn't be able to select the Marine option at graduation... because we don't take left-handers... It took him a bit to realize I was kidding... (maybe)

Kewl... good ol' AOL spell-checker thinks I have perfect spelling... even with an extra 's' in suggestion... (actually, I suspect it does not check the 'subject' line.) Anyway... the whale fecal boli entry flushed out an old saying that might run as long and well as 'shortness', and that is 'tightness"... referring to collegiality, etc. of an acquaintance, buddy, ponyo, etc... as in "we're tight... like two b-b's in a box car"... had also thought of another old saying in reference to liberty that is way too un-PC for today, but it went 'got j-wed, screwed, and tattooed"... used to hear that from Korea-era salts... along with descriptors of payday being 'when the eagle sh-ts'.

"Came here to chew bubble gum, take names and kick azs... I'm outta gum, and my pencil's broke"... 'got my first office hours for having buffalo sh-t on my spear'... "my first SRB looked like a cross-section of Dillinger's diary"... (last is actual quote from one 1stSgt Laird, C Co, 1st AT Bn, CA 1957...) really big AJ-squared away Texan, reputed to have been Eleanor Roosevelt's driver before the SS took over all security... think his PEBD was sometime in the early thirties... introduced a very hung over PFC to the wonders that can be accomplished with the assiduous application of four-aught steel wool to heavily galvanized genuine USMC garbage cans... and to the idea that it could take up to two weeks for a missing liberty card to be replicated... said PFC having ridden back through the San Clemente gate from a company beer bust, whilst seated in a large pan of potato salad in the back of a six-by, and having left some empties and comments with the gate sentry... zinc (major component of 'galvanize) can be brought to a gloss equal to the finest linseed oil finish on walnut rifle stocks... trust me... BT, DT...



"Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay as soft as we are now. There won't be any America, because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race."
--LtGen "Chesty" Puller, USMC

"Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights; it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims. When unlimited and unrestricted by individual rights, a government is man's deadliest enemy. It is not as protection against private actions, but against governmental actions that the Bill of Rights was written."
--Ayn Rand, 1964

"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold."
--1st. Lt. Clifton B. Cates, Navy Cross, 2 Distinguished Service Crosses, (later Commandant), USMC, July 19, 1918 commanding 96 Company, 6th Marines, near the French town of Soissons.

"Casualties: many, Percentage of dead: not known, Combat efficiency: we are winning."
--Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC, MOH, (later Commandant) Tarawa, 21 November 1943.

"We fight not for glory, nor for riches, nor for honour, but only and alone for Freedom, which no good man lays down but with his life."
--Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland, 1320

"In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."
--Edward Gibbon

"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
--Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

"Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share."
--Captain J.E. "Ned" Dolan, USMC (Ret.) Platoon Leader E/27, Korean War

There is the right way, the wrong way, and the Marine Corps way.

You can always tell a Marine, but you can't tell them much.

Sgt Grit

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