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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 14 NOV 2013

In this issue:
• Not Everybody Can Be A Marine
• Recruiters Never Change
• Two Promises

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Sgt Bob Stanley USMC
'66-'69 Vietnam '68-'69

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Sgt Grit

Not Everybody Can Be A Marine

(A Story of Creation)

In the beginning was the word, and the word was God. In the beginning was God, and all else was darkness and void, and without form. So God created the heavens and the Earth. He created the sun, and the moon, and the stars, so that light might pierce the darkness. The Earth, God divided between the land and the sea, and these he filled with many assorted creatures.

And the dark, salty, slimy creatures that inhabited the murky depths of the oceans, God called Sailors. And he dressed them accordingly. They had little trousers that looked like bells at the bottom. And their shirts had cute little flaps on them to hide the hickys on their necks.

He also gave them long sideburns and shabby looking beards. God nicknamed them "squids" and banished them to a lifetime at sea, so that normal folks would not have to associate with them. To further identify these unloved creatures, he called them "petty" and "Commodore", instead of titles worthy of red-blooded men.

And the flaky creatures of the land, God called Soldiers. And with a twinkle in his eye, and a sense of humor that only he could have, God made their trousers too short and their covers too large. He also made their pockets oversized, so that they may warm their hands. And to adorn their uniforms, God gave them badges in quantities that only a dime store owner could appreciate. And he gave them emblems and crests, and all sorts of shiny things that glittered, and devices that dangled. (When you are God you tend to get carried away).

On the 6th day, he thought about creating some air creatures for which he designed a Greyhound bus driver's uniform. But he discarded the idea during the first week, and it was not until years later that some apostles resurrected this theme and established what we now know as the "wild blue yonder wonders".

And on the 7th day, as you know, God rested. But on the 8th day, at 0730, God looked down upon the earth and was not happy. God was not happy! So he thought about his labors, and in his divine wisdom God created a divine creature. And this he called Marine.

And these Marines, who God had created in his own image, were to be of the air, and of the land, and of the sea. And these he gave many wonderful uniforms. Some were green, some were blue with red trim. And in the early days, some were even a beautiful tan. He gave them practical fighting uniforms, so that they could wage war against the forces of Satan and evil.

He gave them service uniforms for their daily work and training. And he gave them evening and dress uniforms sharp and stylish, handsome things, so that they might promenade with their ladies on Saturday night and impress the sh-t out of everybody! He even gave them swords, so that people who were not impressed, could be dealt with accordingly.

And at the end of the 8th day, God looked down upon the Earth and saw that it was good. But was God happy? NO! God was still not happy! In the course of his labors, he had forgotten one thing. He did not have a Marine uniform for himself. But he thought about it, and thought about it, and finally satisfied himself in knowing that, well... Not Everybody Can Be A Marine!

Recruiters Never Change

Grandpa was a WWI Marine, Dad a WWII Marine and I a Vietnam Marine. Dad and I had normal enlistments and knew, as much as anyone what we were getting into. Grandpa was different. He was a poor Illinois farm boy and one day decided he needed to make some money so he literally got up before sunup and walked about nine miles into town to enlist in the Army. What else was there?

After standing in line for some time he was really frustrated. Gramps was 6'5" and solidly built. As he said, "Some Sergeant came by and asked him if he was tired of waiting." Gramps' answer was yes and the SGT. told him to "follow me".

They sat down and unknowingly Gramps enlisted in The Corps. The Sgt. took him across the street and bought lunch. He put Gramps up in the only hotel in town and told him to meet at the Railroad Station in the Morning. Somewhere along the way Gramps learned he was in the Corps. He was just happy to be out of line and enlisted. Later in France he became part of History and a source of never ending pride. Recruiters never change.

He only talked about enlisting, nothing else. I now know why, but He had so much to share.

John Sprague

A Mentor I Will Not Forget

For Ddick who responded to my description of 1963-64 boot camp, Plt. 379, MCRD SD and DI Sgt. Larry Grubbs. Sorry I thought his name was Johnny, for some reason that I cannot remember. Most boots don't know and will never know their DI's first name, but seldom forget their rank and last name. You're correct about Plt. 379 being in India Company. Sgt. Grubbs, your friend, was a picture perfect Marine. I'll never forget him standing on the wooden platform in front of the Quonset huts in the early, early a.m. He was an intimidating figure in his perfectly creased utilities, square jaw and electric blue eyes. When he spoke, we listened. When he ordered, we moved. He was a terrific teacher, leader and Marine NCO. Every Private in Plt. 379 respected Sgt. Grubbs, although several were scared sh-tless of him. Many in that platoon went on to be recipients of numerous medals and awards in Vietnam and across the Marine Corps. One never made it passed the rank of private, but was given a Silver Star in Vietnam for removing five NVA from the ranks of living human beings... with his bare hands. This individual had been our platoon guide. I always hoped that someday I would have the opportunity to thank Sgt. Larry Grubbs for teaching me how to be a Marine. He certainly was one of the most important people I encountered during my youth. A mentor I will not forget. So sorry to hear that he is now on duty mentoring raw recruits in the beyond. Because you were his friend, you have my respect and admiration.

On Friday, November 8, I'll be the Officiating Officer during our local Veterans Hall of Fame induction and recognition ceremonies. I'll be wearing my dress blues, with Sgt. E-5 stripes, and I'll be thinking of Sgt. Larry Grubbs, and Ddick.

Semper Fi.

Sgt. Dan Bisher

M1 Garands and 45's

I arrived at MCRD San Diego January 1966 and all h-ll broke loose. The DI's had us all scared and confused. It was around 2 a.m. by the time we hit the rack, and 2 hours later we were thrown off our racks to go outside in formation... talk about a reception I'll never forget. In my platoon, 312, we had military Navy officers from South America... 5 of them, and none spoke English. We had one Hispanic DI (Sgt Reyes) but wasn't always around to interpret for them, so me and other Hispanics had to interpret for them. I recall one DI was cussing the h-ll out of one of them and I had to interpret word by word. He didn't seem to happy but he took it. A couple of them were in their late 30's while most of us were in our teens or early twenties. They did pretty good in boot camp and did everything we did. I never saw them again after graduation.

I was sent to 29 Palms my first year, most of the time as an MP. In 1967, I was sent to Seal Beach NWS Marine Barracks as a MP also... we were issued M1 Garands and 45's. We also preformed funeral details for fallen Marines around our base... escorted civilian trucks with warheads to different locations... and worked with local and state police in handling military off base issues with Marines. I was sent to requalify with my rifle at El Toro Marine Corps base that year. I was the only Marine, out of about 200 on the rifle range with an M1 rifle... it was almost new... everyone else had M14's or some with the M-16's. I had several old salts, Korean and one WW-2 vets that wanted to so trade weapons with me so bad, some promised me money, beer and even women. One Sgt looked at the M1 and had a big grin on his face and tore it down in seconds. He said he used it in the Korean war... gave me some tips to set the sites. After qualifying I managed a 231 out of a possible 250 with this rifle and took a large trophy back to base, top gun. Extremely accurate rifle.

In 1968-1969 I was deployed to Marble Mt, MAG-16, South Vietnam and served with different helo units. Ask me to do it all over again? Greatest experience of my life. I'd do it all over again.

Semper Fi.


I was at 29 Palms in 1971. I was crossing a large vacant field somewhere between the PX and our Quonset hut. I doubt the field is there anymore. It was at least a hundred yards square. To say it was hot is needless, but it was very sunny, not a cloud in the sky anywhere. My walk was directly into the sun, so the bill of my cover was pulled down and I was trying not to look up. I was at least 50 yards from another person going in the opposite direction that I was paying very little attention to. I might have noticed a slight glint off his collar, but I attributed it to maybe a little brass shining through an un-emnued (sp) spot on his chevrons. Like I said, he was downhill maybe 50 yards from me when we passed. He came storming at me and very vocally asked why I had not saluted. Being a good Marine and not wanting to argue with this Butterbar I snapped to attention and sharply saluted saying "good afternoon 2nd Lieutenant" hard to see those butter bars when you are walking directly into the sun from 50 yards away. Needless to say he was flustered when he returned my salute. Hard to keep from laughing when I quickly walked away.

Also who remembers emnue? Not sure if I spelled it correctly and do they still use it?

Jim Grimes

I Have Some Questions

Since it has been a very long time since I have talked to any active duty Marine, I have some questions about barracks life and the mess hall.

Pay is a lot better now than the $85.80 to the $130 plus pro-pay I received from Jan. '57 to Jan. '60. We had to live pretty close to the bone then. But now with pay being somewhat respectable, I wonder if E-1 to E-4s still live in barracks. I was lucky. I mostly always lived in a Quonset hut either at Pendleton or on Okinawa. Consequently, I rarely stood field days. I hear all of the Quonsets are gone at MCRD San Diego. Not sure at Pendleton, but would suspect they are gone there also. I also wonder about disbursing offices at nearly every camp and/or base. With direct deposit, ATMs, do they even need such an animal outside of headquarters?

I here that fast food joints have invaded the bases. That action probably wiped out the slop-chutes. Pizzas and burgers probably seem a lot better than the chicken-ala-king, tuna casseroles, and cold cuts that we ate at the mess halls. I mostly liked the food at Pendleton. Once before I left for Okinawa, the cooks and bakers school of the 1st Marine Division came to Camp San Onofre where I was permanently stationed in the Disbursing Office. It was a feast that those Marines put on for us. A choice of Turkey, roast beef, ham, all the trimmings, pies, cakes, puddings, everything. I was never so stuffed. As a nearly 75 year old jarhead, I wouldn't mind checking into a mess hall now and again just to see what they're serving!

I'd like to thank those Marines who saw combat for sticking up for us office pogues. I don't think I could have made that unit at Gitmo shown in A Few Good Men, but I would have hung in there. Even though I've been out almost 54 years, I still consider myself a proud Marine. Semper Fi.

James V. Merl

Nothing More Needs To Be Said

I have read your great newspaper for a number of years, and have always enjoyed it, sometimes with a smile, and sometimes a tear. After reading of all the Marines who joined by accident due to recruiters being away or busy, I would like to offer a different view.

When I was 6 years old I contacted paralytic polio, due to having to have surgery at the wrong time of the year. I was in bed with a very dark future when I heard on the radio that the 1st Marine Division had landed on Guadalcanal. I was living in NE Oregon and had never heard of nor seen a Marine, but decided at that moment I was going to be one. I also decided that it was pretty certain that I would not be accepted paralyzed in bed. The only solution was to get up and walk.

Now fast forward to 1953. After 12 years of effort, sweat and a few tears of frustration, I enlisted in the PLC program at Villanova University and was set for my physical. I had told the recruiter that I had, had polio, but was now recovered. I was sent to the Naval Hospital at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and went through two days of testing. At the conclusion it was decided that I was fit for duty. All they could find was a slight curvature of my spine at my shoulders. I also enlisted in the Marine Corps Active Reserves, 2nd Supply Bn. at the Navy Yard.

I went through my two summers of training, plus active duty training with my Reserve Unit. If any of you think that taking Boot Camp at Quantico's Camp Geetge (sp?) was a breeze, let me offer the fact that our Platoon started at 44 man strength and 14 of us graduated. In June of 1957 I was Commissioned a 2nd Lt and sworn in as an officer and a gentleman by an Act of Congress, and by order of the President of the United States. There was never any one more proud. I then reported to Basic School, which at that time was 9 months, and during that time 10% were decommissioned and given the rank of Sgt. (E-4). After that, I served with 2nd and 3rd Tank Battalions, and as Maintenance/Motor Transport Officer for 3rd AT Battalion. I left Active Duty on 1 October 1961. Today I am the proud member of Marine Corps League 414 in Michigan, I am proud of what I have accomplished, of entering into aviation, and that I have been employed as Manager of Aero Clubs, Flight Instructor, FAA Designated Flight Examiner, and Chief Pilot for a Corporate Flight Department. None of this would have been possible if not for the training, and deep pride of being a Marine. Wherever I go, I let everyone know I am a Marine by wearing my hat with the Globe and Anchor.

In April of this year, at 78 years of age, I had to have my left knee replaced. I then went through rehab, and stressed to all that I am a Marine and I can take and give out anything they can offer. I finished rehab two weeks early. Nothing more needs to be said.

Semper Fi forever!

Edward L Dodd, 1st Lt, USMC

My Birthday

To all my follow Marines, the time is coming for another Marine Corps Birthday. My daughter asked me when my birthday was and I responded 10 November. She looked at me a little strange and asked again, and I said the same. Then she went to her mother and asked her. Her mother responded the 10th of November is the Marine Corps birthday therefore you dad states it is his birthday and he was actually born on 28 November.

I became a Marine in May of 1970 when I graduated boot camp. I will be a Marine until the day I die. I consider 10 November my birthday because the Corps saved and changed my life, and because I am a Marine. To all of the Marines who are currently on inactive duty in the civilian world, all of the Marines who did 20 plus and to all of the Marines currently serving on active duty all over the world HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope ya'll have a great and safe celebration of this great day in our history.

Stand tall and be proud of all each one of you have accomplished by becoming a Marine, and serving as a Marine no matter your time period of service or your MOS. Remember as the Marines always reminded you... all Marines are Riflemen. We are an uncommon service and brotherhood. We take pride in being a Marine. We take pride in our Country. We take pride in our beliefs. We take pride in all we do and accomplish regardless of what anyone else may think. We stand and render the appropriate respect to our Country's flag as it passes. We do what we can to help our brothers. We do what we can to help children not have an unhappy Christmas. We do all we can to help our communities. Ever notice how many cops and firefighters are Marines?

We have a long and storied history in combat and in serving during times of peace. Some Marines have made a little piece of history when on liberty. Remember we will always be United States Marines. As we believe, when we pass from this life we report for duty to our Father in Heaven's unit of United states Marines.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY and may we celebrate many, many more of the Marine Corps birthdays.

Semper Fi!

SSgt Joseph E. Whimple
U.S.M.C. 2-1970 / 12-1976

You Better Believe It

Can't remember whether I sent this to you before, but the recent stories concerning the initial intent to join the Navy and winding up in the Corps caused me to want to tell my story.

Right after graduating from High School, two buddies and I went to Shreveport, LA with the intent of joining the Navy. One buddy's Dad was a Navy Retiree and had some influence on our decision. When we arrived at the place where the Recruitment Offices were, we found that the Navy shared space with another service. At that point of time, I don't believe we even knew what a Marine was. It just happened that the Navy Recruiter was out. While we waited for his return, we kept noticing this handsome man, dressed up in a magnificent uniform and especially noticed his chest full of medals and the red stripe down his light blue trousers. We asked him what branch of service he was in and he proudly advised The United States Marine Corps. He went on to tell us what a great place Parris Island, South Carolina was. I believe that he even referred to it as "A Vacation Paradise". After this pitch we agreed to take the enlistment papers back home for our parents' approval/signature(s).

When we arrived at the train depot (I've forgotten the name) I knew we were in trouble when I was awakened by a tall Sergeant whacking me across the soles of my shoes, with a swagger stick. I cussed that Recruiting Sgt. all the way through Boot Camp, but stuck it out. Was a Squad Leader and later Right Guide. Later got caught in Mr. Truman's extending enlistments and wound up in Korea with The First Provisional Marine Brigade in Pusan 8/2/50; made Inchon Landing; Wounded and evacuated in September taking of Seoul. Would I do it all over again? You better believe it.

Andy Anderson, SGT.
Carthage, Texas

My Dad Still Kids Me

This is in response to Sgt Wayne Stafford's story, Sea Going Bell Hop... I too was a Navy Brat, before I joined the Marines, I lived on Guam, Philippines and Japan as a Navy Dependent. My dad retired a Senior Chief (ET) and then joined the civil service working at 32nd Street in San Diego... his retirement speech from civil service was grand, he had served from the end of WWII to 1972, then did another 20 years in civil service. Just after he retired from the Navy, I was running around being the typical rebellious teenager, both Mom and Dad wanted me to go into the Navy, which of course drove me away from them. Most of my friends who were going in went Army, so I went to an Army recruiter who sat me down and promised me Ranger School, Jump School, Special Forces etc... being a Navy brat I knew that he can promise me everything and deliver nothing. So, I left and across the hall was the Marine Recruiter, SSgt Grey (who later was my company Gunny when I was a Corporal), told me all I can promise you is that we take care of our own and suggested infantry, you will see the world (from the ground). I just liked the way he talked to me, like man to man, not someone trying to sell me candy. I wanted to sign right then and there, but being under 18, he wanted to meet my parents. I thought oh, my God, dad is going to flip, all I heard from him growing up was what a bunch of rowdy trouble makers the Sea Going Bell Hops were, foul mouth, always in trouble, coming back from liberty drunk, beat up and a mess. The recruiter stood fast on not letting me sign until he met my parents. So we drove over to the house dad was not home from work yet, so I introduced mom, who was smitten over the Marine (go figure), SSgt Grey did two tours in VN and had a build like a body builder, not that dad was bad looking, stood 6'4" (was easy to see on the deck of a ship when coming into port) and he looked like John Wayne (really if you look at my dad at 20 and John Wayne at 20 they could be brothers), but mom was taken by the Marine. Then dad came home, walked in, I already knew he saw the Marine car in the driveway, as he came in, SSgt Grey stood up and offered his hand, dad looked at him, looked at me and went into the den and closed the door. Did not talk to me for over a month, all my mother could say was why the Marines? You could sleep in a nice warm bunk on a ship, not in some mud hole someplace, I said, yes, but not everyone could be a Marine.

Being in the area, during Boot Camp, mom tried to see me several times... Needless to say, My Senior and Company Commander got to know me very well and I got to know the pit, fire watch and Sh-t Details very very well, if it was punishment or nobody wanted to do it, I got it. I understand my mother tried to get the base SgtMaj let her see me. One of my most proudest moments was on graduation, I could see my father in the bleachers, standing tall, I actually walked up to my mother before she recognized me (last she saw, I had long hair and weighed 15 more pounds). Being a Military brat I think helped me when I was at infantry school and my first unit, I knew things others did not and knew my way around bases. I would not trade my best day since retirement for my worst day as a Marine, yea my dad still kids me and we go back and forth with the jibes, but he is my dad and I am his son and nothing was going to change that. Happy Birthday Marines, love ya Dad.

Richard King
GySgt USMC (ret)

Pretty Un-Sat

As you know, I'm on the top of the lung transplant list at the Madison, WI, VA for pulmonary fibrosis. Met another Marine (the VA only does them here), also on the lung transplant list for PF. Same blood type as me, hard to tell who is higher--maybe we'll each get a lung from the same donor, making us double brothers! We are lucky enough to live here, but John and his wife Donna are nice folks from Louisiana, stuck in a hotel, no car, not ever winter coats. (Boy, are they in for a shock!) So we took them loaner coats and have been taking them shopping and out to eat so they don't go nuts. Just what Marines do.

We are both Vietnam vets, but I was Radio Relay and John 0311, so he had a MUCH rougher time. Has the scars on his head where he was hit when his platoon was overrun. Took a while to get him to open up about Vietnam, he's a fairly reserved guy (unlike me!), not the type to brag. He said he only got his Purple Heart five years ago, when he was 61, and it showed up in the mail unexpectedly. (I'd have been beating on my Congress Critter's door!). I thought that was pretty un-sat!

Robert A. Hall

Marine Santa

I am working with a group of students out of Vista, CA, having the kids write Christmas cards to deployed service members. This was just too good not to share with you. I hope you enjoy. The kids are going to be so excited! It came from Joli Ann Lechtag Elementary in San Marcos, CA.

Happy Birthday and have a wonderful Veterans Day!

Submitted by
Jolene T.

58 Candidudes

The enlistment stories that are posted reminded me of when I decided to go into the military after college in 1974. I contemplated joining the USMC in 1972 because one could get into an aviation program with only 2 years of college at the time, but the recruiter talked me out of it. His thoughts were, but by the time you get out of flight training, why bother, VietNam will be over. I guess it made sense.

Fast forward two more years and I wanted to fly something so I started talking to recruiters. I didn't really know that recruiters didn't much want to talk with soon-to-be college graduates so the Coast Guard guys pretty much ignored me, the Navy recruiters seemed too busy with nothing, the Air Farce recruiter took great pains to tell me how their pilots all came from their academy... yada... yada.

On the way out of the centralized recruiting office, the last office was the USMC. I believe the recruiter was a Sergeant who took the time to listen to what I was interested in doing and would not let me leave until we got the Boston OSO office recruiter on the phone and got me set up with him. No promises, just a guarantee of hard work and reward of becoming a Marine Corps Officer if I could make it through OCS.

At OCS in the summer of 1974, as I recall, we started with 58 'candidudes' as the Platoon Sergeant liked to call us and 32 or 33 graduated a few months later.

Seven years later I returned to the non-Marine world after boring holes in thousands of miles of sky around the world in a Marine Corps Phantom and one ejection from a TA-4 over Texas. Life never got better after 2 subsequent careers later.

Reflecting on the time flying what was a great but obsolete airplane at the time, I don't think any of us ever worried what would happen if we got into a hot war with state of the art airplanes, but we were ready. I got to believe that us cold-warriors did help to prevent WW III through our preparedness and readiness to fight if called upon.

Bob Foley
Former Captain of Marines

Happy Birthday Marines

Here is my annual Marine Corps Birthday graphic... Happy Birthday to all Marines.

Semper Fi

Raise Our Empty Beer Cans

Just a note on my first birthday in our beloved Corps. DaNang 1969, I was stationed at COC, Hq III MAF, my duty tour was 1900 till 0800. My top said because it was my first I could go to the club for two beers, Martha Raye was coming with the CG to wish us all a Happy Birthday. I went and had my first beer in front of me when a couple Marines had a disagreement, chairs and tables were flying. The MP's showed up and cleared the club! The NCO in charge of the club said, "Wait a minute, the CG and Martha Raye will be here in 10 minutes." About 30 of us sober Marines were let back in, set up the tables and were given a can of beer. Martha comes in, wishes us Happy Birthday, and tells a few jokes. She then raises a glass to toast the Corps, we all stand and raise our empty beer cans we were given. I reported for duty and told the top I was ok because I only had 1 sip of beer! I have since made up for that on every Birthday.

M Larkin Cpl
RVN '69-'70
Wpns Bn, PI '70

Bubble Bath Marine

Thanks Sgt. Grit because of your newsletter Cpl Jimmy Pilet sent me this news clip photo that I've been trying to find for many years. It's one of the few good memories of the time back in 1966 Vietnam. Thanks again and Semper Fi!

Sgt McLeod

M1 Carbine


While it is true than M-2 & M-3 (infrared) Carbines were too late for WW2, M-1 mods & related items did see use in the closing days of WW2. Thirty round Mags - were available, but still nearly as rare as a "prototype" item (I have a '43 date 2-cell 30 round Ammo Pouch (factory made / not a depot mod) Though I can't recall any WW2 photos, if 30 round Mags made it overseas, it was probably in conjunction with Iwo and/or Okinawa. It is seems clear that only post-VE Day (Army) occupation troops actually saw the 30 round Mags. (I would like to hear any Veteran experiences with WW2 use of 30 round Magazines, and/or "in-use" wartime photos).

The M-4 Carbine Bayonet was available (judging by photos) well before the mating lug was a standard add to the basic M-1 Carbine (my (2) Carbine Bayonets date to Spring '44 & 1945) The Carbine Bayonet was meant to replace the M-3 Trench Knife, after production of the M-3 ceased in '43.

I have seen clear photos of U.S. Army Troops at Okinawa, in '45 w/ bayonet lug fitted M-1 Carbines (There was an Ordnance mod kit available from about '44 - though I know of no source listing how many were modified) I had never heard of or seen (before the Sgt Grit News article) of pre-Iwo issue of similarly equipped Carbines.

The "Type III" Adjustable Sight, intended to replace the earlier "flip sight" was available in about Fall '44, and probably saw service on Army/Marine Corps Carbines, as early as Peleliu. Again - I would be interested in WW2 Veteran remembrances...

C.G. Reus
USMC '83-'87
(Airwing) Airframe Maint. - H&MS-11, VMFA-314 (USS Coral Sea)

Another story about ten rounds in the M1 Garand. At PISC in 1959 the command was "with a clip and two loose rounds, lock and load. We were taught to set the clip in the receiver, lay two rounds in the clip and push them all down with the right thump. It still works today. We have 12 M1's in our Legion (post 537 Oregon, Ohio) that we use for military funeral services. I can still load two loose rounds with the best of them and I am 74 yrs. young. Not as lean or as mean, but in my heart, still a Marine.

Cpl. E4 C. Walters
Plt. 215, 1959
Does that make me Old Corps?

Sgt Grit,

Regarding SSgt Wes Kent's letter in the 7Nov13 issue; until I was promoted to the rank of SSgt (E5), I always qualified with the M1; my first 2 years in the USMCR, I was armed with the M1 Carbine, being assigned to the 60mm mortar section of a rifle company.

I was transferred to boot camp at MCRDep, SDiego, from the Marine Barracks, U.S. Naval Station, also SDiego, in April, 1951. From that time on, it was always, "with a clip of 2 rounds, lock and load".

In the 1960s, after I had to revert to Sgt(E5), when the M14 was issued, the magazine was loaded with 10 rounds to start with. After arriving at MCAS, Yuma, AZ, in 1964, I managed to get assigned to the Station Rifle Team, using a match-conditioned M1. All through these matches, run by civilian rifle clubs, the same routine was followed, 2 rounds lock and load.

Everyone remembers 10 rounds off hand at 200 yards. 10 rounds rapid fire sitting; load 2 rounds, the full clip of 8 rounds was put into the cartridge belt for easy access. Pick up your brass and move back to the 300 yard line. Next was 5 rounds each at sitting and kneeling; then 10 rounds rapid fire prone. Pick up your brass and move back to the 500 yard line. Next 10 rounds slow fire. The only difference here, the civilian matches went back to the 1,000 yard line.

I still have many "dust collectors" from these matches. I was fortunate to purchase my own M1, from the Civilian Marksmanship Program, in Aniston, AL, and have over 1,500 rounds of ammo.

Semper Fi (hold your front sight at the bottom of the black)

James R. McMahon GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)

Sgt. Grit,

Some M-1 Carbine bayonets even made it to the top of Suribachi.


I have been following the M-1 Carbine discussion with interest and sharing it with a close friend and WWII arms collector, Richard Jacobson, a retired local police lieutenant. After consulting several collector's websites and other historical references, Rich assures me that there were indeed M-1 Carbine bayonets on Iwo.

This very topic has been an argument among collectors for years. The above photo was taken by Rosenthal moments after the iconic flag-raising photo was snapped. Note the carbine at the very left is an old style issue, while the carbine held high by the Marine 4th from the left has a bayonet fixed. Most of the remaining rifles in the photo can be identified as Garands. Bradley, Hayes, Sousley and Stank are among the happy faces. Most didn't get to go home.

Semper Fi,
B. F. Overton
CWO4 USMC (ret)

Sgt Grit Facebook

This week the most popular post on the Sgt Grit Facebook page displayed an image of a Drill Instructor verbally motivating a young recruit. The phrase around the image states "This is the Moment That You Realize... That He Doesn't Care What Your Recruiter Told You!"

Here are some of various comments left by our Fans.

John Sharrow - Oh yeah. I received my draft notice while at PI - the DI told me to write to the Army and let them know I was already spoken for - My Azs Belonged To The USMC!

Patrick Lumby - He doesn't give a rats azs what you were told.

George Berry - My recruiter GySgt Lew Izzard, promised me a rifle, pack, and a hard time. Got all three.

Leopoldo L. Bernardo Jr. - Lol. I remember that day. T-16, Senior Drill Instructor Inspection. MCRD SD.

He is the Drill Instructor in the image!

Martin Ramirez III - What in the bowels of Satan is up with that nasty cover? Push, just push...

Daniel Han - I went though boot camp during the holidays, and at receiving, a recruit asked the receiving DI when we get to book plane tickets home for Christmas. All 3 of them busted out laughing. The recruit said his recruiter told him he'd be able to come for Christmas. "Guess what? your recruiter LIED to you!"

Michael Castle - Recruiters LIE. Just sign here and tell them what you want. When you get to SD or PI they will fix you right up!

Read the rest of the 147 comments made about this post on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.

Choice of MOS

During boot camp (Plt 184, MCRD San Diego, 1958) we were offered our choice of MOS. Because I had some radio broadcast experience in high school and MCRD had an AM radio station I asked for whatever MOS that was. When I reported to 1st MAR DIV at Pendleton, I reported to the base newspaper and was interviewed by more rank than I'd ever seen, can I say scared Sh-tless?, and was told the Division didn't have a radio station, but if I could type they might be interested. Needless to say guys in my high school didn't take typing, and I was to return to Headquarters Bn for reassignment. The assigning SSgt offered me two options; 5th Marines or a little Recon Company at Camp Delmar. Having paid attention during boot camp to the history of 5th Marines I knew I didn't want that, so I took Recon. I was assigned to the motor pool so I didn't have to pass the PT tests, they didn't take boots in the company anyway, and I truly enjoyed my years with those Marines. I finished my enlistment with 1st Recon Bn at Camp Horno and then moved back to the beach at Delmar. I'm still glad I couldn't type.

Cpl Ray Manley

More For Sgt Spoon

Put those Blues back on...


Good Afternoon, another good newsletter as always. In ref to SGT James Spoon about not being in the line of fire while he was in the Marine Corps - SGT you should not belittle yourself for not being in firefight. I know a lot of MARINES in the same situation, ALL of them are proud to have been MARINES and would not have it any other way. Instead of being sorry for yourself, get off your b-tt and find the nearest Marine Corps League Detachment and join it, and also if there is one in your area get involved with the YOUNG MARINES. Now get off your b-tt and quit being a whiner.

Semper Fi
Ruben B Scott
Greater Atlanta Marine Corps Detatchment #647 and Raymond G. Davis Young Marines

In response to Sgt Spoon's submission, "I'm So Tired", I'd like to say that although I did 12 years active duty, 1 year as a Reservist and 4 on the Temporary Disability Retirement List (TDRL) and never served in combat, that I never felt that "Like everybody else you don't care" or gave credit to those of us in this category. In fact, common sense tells us that the majority of Marines fall into this category as the number of support troops is always much greater in any military service. The clerks, cooks, administrative personnel, etc. far outnumber the troops who serve in an actual combat status. During WWII for example, it was learned that of units that saw combat, only 22 - 25% of Army personnel actually fired their weapon. Surely this number has risen, but my point is that even those who serve in combat units may never actually see combat (as in the 1st Gulf War).

Combat vets have my utmost respect, but then all Marines have my respect since when most Marines enlisted (at least in my era) they didn't know what their MOS would turn out to be. We got to list 3 choices but nothing was guaranteed. You went wherever the Corps thought best. I've never felt "ashamed" about my service. On the contrary, I'm proud I volunteered for the toughest branch of the United States military. Spoon, buy yourself a Marine Corps cover from Grit and wear it with pride. Anyone who earned the title "Marine" has that privilege and right!

Submitted With Pride,
James A. Howerton II
SSgt USMC (Ret)

An answer to Sgt. Spoon. You know Marine, I do know just how you feel. I didn't make it to Nam and over the years I thought perhaps I should have. Wondered often how I would have handled the h-ll of it. Even felt down that I had not. However, allow me to say this. I never, ever, wanted to be a Marine. Another story.

I was anxiously waiting, in Jan. '66, the signing of paper work for Air Traffic Control School in the Air Force. As you might guess who got drafted one day before my appointment to sign the paper work for my Air Force school and enlistment... Me. At the induction center they asked for three volunteers for the Marine Corps. Out of 90 men not one-stepped forward. About an hour later an Army Lt. walks in and reads off three names the third being mine. I was given the Oath of Allegiance into the Marine Corps by an Army Lt., Go figure! Then off by train to P.I.

After Parris Island and ITR, I was assigned as a grunt to 3/8 at Lejeune. Volunteered to be a radioman and was sent to classes on said equipment PRC-10, basic communications including stringing wire. This was all in training for a Med cruise that 3/8 was slated for. As men were pulled from our ranks for Vietnam all of the companies radiomen were placed on the bottom of the list. None of us were culled out.

I am saying all of this because even though I never wanted to be a Marine, I still wanted to serve my country and be part of what was going on. I willingly became a Marine not from it being beat into me, as every man in our P.I. platoon was 'harshly disciplined' at least once, but by what I saw and experienced. The pride, history, and team attitude, one for all and all for one. I could never serve my country with any other than the Marine Corps. Sure I feel a bit out of place reading all the accounts of these men who served in harm's way. These Marines need to tell their stories and we need to listen. That is what helps make our Corps what it is; we are all part of it, a brotherhood, no matter when we served, unlike any other branch. I have a bottle of sand from Green Beach Iwo Jima, another bottle of soil from a shell crater in Belleau Wood. I did not fight in either place, but I still feel the pride in their accomplishments just as I do with our Vietnam brothers. It's all a portion of being part of the United States Marines. Someone decided I was not to go, and that's it. I have taken my feelings about this and redirected them.

As for this Marine, I will do all I can to see that what these men did there and wherever we fight is honored and not forgotten. I feel truly honored to be part of 238 years of peacetime and wartime history. With so great a cloud of Marines who have gone before us and surely will come after, know this. What we did while serving, we did to the best of our ability. It was a required element to the operation of the Marine Corps at that time. I still blouse my shirts and always pin an Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on all of my covers, and even wear an old brass duty belt buckle. I am still proud to be a Marine even though I did not end up in combat and was drafted. What difference does it make? I will love and support our Corps until I die, that's what counts.

Semper Fi Mac
Dick Jacoby L/Cpl.

That's BULL SH-T Sgt Spoon, all we need to know is that you served in the Corps. Whether you served in combat or not, your still a Marine. It doesn't make you any less of a Marine if didn't see combat. If anyone tells you any different they can go to h-ll. It doesn't matter what those ASZHoles think. Be Proud!


Ted Barragan
Cpl - USMC
'66 - '68
L 3/4, 3rd Mar Div

You're correct in your statement about some "combat" Marines receiving services that you were not eligible for. However, what you may not be aware of is that these are our brothers and sisters who have been wounded and earned the right to these services in order to have a chance at a normal life. On the matter of you being disrespected; that's a failing on the part of the other person.

The respect is due because you earned the title of Marine not because of your experience while you were on active duty. I'm certain, that if you had been ordered in to combat you would have gone and done your very best to carry out your missions. Like the rest of us, you would have been scared sh—tless, confused, and very determine that the person on the other side was not going home. You would have fought your azz off for the Marine on your right and the Marine on your left. You would gladly share your food, water, ammo, and stories about home with them and know with absolute certainty that they felt the same way. I know these things about you because you're a Marine! Just like the rest of us.

Semper Fi Marines and Happy Birthday to us!

Robert H Bliss

Khaki Mafia

Sgt. Grit,

I am constantly amazed that most people don't remember the biggest boondoggle of the Vietnam War. Profiteers started early, after all this was a war and just the trash was worth tons of money. The brass from the fired artillery shells alone was worth Millions. But, what was later called the "Khaki Mafia" controlled all (so called) USO Shows. There was payment from the unit showing the usually Oriental Girls kicking up their heels. There was kick back to the shows Manager. Many things going into Vietnam, regardless whether it was Government orders or private orders came from or through the Khaki Mafia. The Khaki Mafia was a group of Army Soldiers who saw the money available and got out, returned and started the illegal commerce which soon had money pouring into their pockets.

It was so bad there was a Congressional Investigation and charges filed against a bunch of people, but the end result was few got convicted and most got rich. One guy said the IRS sent seven men out to investigate his income, he gave them his bank book and said, "Just leave me the Change"!

One of the leaders was the first (I believe) SMA of the Army and all this is recorded in Robin Moore and June Collins Novel about what was going on at the time. But they only touch part of it, there were others allowed (by pay back) to operate their own skin game.

While the Marine Corps wasn't involved in this, Marine Units were paying the Khaki Mafia for the USO Shows. A friend of mine, retired from the Corps, went to Vietnam, during the War, to buy some of the "Trash" and was warned to leave while he was able to. If you went to Bangkok down to Patpong Street and into a Bar, it was usually ran by an Ex-GI who was reaping from the Harvest of money available from all who went there.

Read the book: "Khaki Mafia" and see what went on around you while you were looking for the Yellow Brick Road and digging Charlie out of his holes, and find out about the Khaki Mafia for real or read the novel by Robin Moore and June Collins, same info.

But all this is normal during major Wars, during WWII the Black market by the GI's was quite profitable and many came home with a bundle.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired

Teenage Mind

Sgt Grit,

I had the pleasure of Celebrating the 185th Marine Corps Birthday at MCRD, Nov 10, 1960. True to form, the DI's didn't give Plt 285 any slack on the Glorious Birthday. I did get a nice piece of cake for chow call; however, since I only had a couple of minutes to eat I don't really remember much about what it looked like. I'm sure the cooks outdid themselves and it was some really special cake.

Although my memory is getting a little hinky, I think I was at Camp Matthews qualifying with the M1 as I was in my 8th week of recruit training. Being a special day we probably didn't have to duck walk back from the range to our tents that day. At the time, I was a 17 year old high school dropout. The discipline and training acquired in my 4 years in the Corps left an indelible mark on my evolving mental fortitude as after obtaining my High School GED while stationed in Okinawa, I went on to successfully pass the requirements for a College BS degree in Management at the ripe old age of 50.

Looking back I wouldn't trade my Marine Corps experience for anything, although at the time my teenage mind couldn't quite understand why I was doing some of the things the Corps deemed needed doing.

Semper Fi and Happy 238th Birthday to all Marines and to the Marine Corps!

L/Cpl Darvis Rupper 1960-64, 1st Recon Bn

Two Promises

After I graduated from high school in 1964 I announced to my father that I was tired of taking orders from him, tired of getting up early and tired of making my bed so I had solved all those problems. I had joined the United States Marine Corps. My dad smiled at me and said, "Well, son, it looks like your troubles are over." I left for Marine Corps boot camp 2 days later.

In 1966, I was assigned to a new engineer battalion that was being formed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Later that year we deployed to Chu Lai, Vietnam. I spent 13 bloody months in country and then returned to the States in 1967 followed by an Honorable Discharge as a Sergeant E-5 in 1968. That same year I joined the Indianapolis Police Department. For the next 32 years I worked as a police officer until January 2000 when I retired.

On 17 April 2009, I received a phone call from a recruiter for a major defense contractor in response to a job I had applied for online. After interviewing me he offered me a position as a Law Enforcement Professional (LEP) advisor to the military. It was a one year commitment and I would be going to either Iraq and/or to Afghanistan with a U.S. Marine Corps infantry battalion. He said if I took the job it would help save the lives of young Marines and Soldiers who were being killed by IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices.)

After the phone call from the recruiter I told my wife I wanted to accept the job. I told her I loved America and I felt honored to be able to serve our great nation in uniform twice in one lifetime. With reservations and lots of tears, she said she would support me in whatever I wanted to do. I said goodbye to my wife, my kids and to my grandkids and I flew to Washington, D.C. for training on 30 April 2009. I was 63 years old.

After training I received orders to report to an infantry battalion at Camp Pendleton, California. When I arrived there I met several other retired law enforcement officers who also had volunteered for the LEP Program. Our group underwent more training at Camp Pendleton and then we received our individual assignments to various units throughout the Marine Corps. I was the only advisor to be assigned to a battalion at Camp Pendleton.

I had not kept a journal when I went to Vietnam and I regretted not having done so. You forget names and details over the years so this time I made a decision to keep a journal detailing my deployment. I emailed the following journal entry to my wife on 10 May 2009:

Journal Entry - Sunday, 10 May 2009 - Oceanside, California

The afternoon was spent washing uniforms and other clothing, calling my wife to wish her a happy Mother's Day and generally getting myself ready to report aboard my battalion tomorrow morning. I spent the early evening catching up on some emails with family and friends and then I drove alone down to a fish house overlooking San Diego Bay for a celebration of sorts.

The following story I have never told to another living soul before now. I am recounting it now so my family will know my real reason for volunteering for this mission to save young Marines and Soldiers from being killed by IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices.) I want you, my family, to know the real reason I volunteered for this mission in case I don't come back.

Let me go back in time. The date was 13 January 1967 and I was stationed in Chu Lai, Vietnam with the 9th Engineer Battalion, United States Marine Corps. That morning my fire team and another fire team had been assigned to a patrol area off Route 1 north of the village of Tam Ki. I was ordered to stay in camp by my company commander for some reason that I do not now remember. I do remember I asked him if I could go on this patrol and take care of my other duties when the patrol returned, but he was unyielding and ordered me to stay in camp. I went to where my buddies were loading up the truck so I could tell my guys to watch their backs and to crack a few jokes before they left. I had my camera with me and I shot the below photos as they loaded up.

My buddy Marines loaded extra ammunition on the truck and climbed aboard. I told them I couldn't go with them because the Captain was making me stay in camp. In true Marine Corps fashion, they all gave me the "one-fingered-salute" as noted in the below photo.

Then they drove out the front gate and towards the area they had been assigned to patrol. I busied myself with my assigned duties for the next couple hours or so until another Corporal ran up to me and asked me if my fire team had left the base by truck. I said they had and he spoke words to me that I will never forget. He said, "Their truck hit a mine buried in the road, Judd. Your whole fire team is dead." I just stood there. I couldn't and wouldn't believe it. I told the other Corporal he must be wrong. It had to be somebody else. The other Corporal told me the truck was a 9th Engineer truck because it had our battalion markings on the doors. I remember walking to the motor pool where they brought in damaged vehicles. I sat on a sandbag and waited. It wasn't long before a Marine Corps flat bed trailer was pulled into the motor pool with what was left of another truck resting on the trailer. I walked up to it and saw the 9th Engineer Battalion logo on the door. I still had my camera. I took the below photos.

I sat down again on the sandbag and stared at the damage to the truck and my heart sank. The next thing I knew my Captain was standing next to me. He said, "Corporal Green, I'm sorry to tell you that your entire fire team was killed in that truck."I don't have words to express how I felt. I guess I would say now that all people have defining moments in their lives that change their core being. You are just never the same as you were and you will never be what you would have otherwise been. That moment in time stood still for me and it seared my soul forever. My buddies, my fellow U.S. Marines, the guys I ate with, slept with and had laughed with had vanished from my life and from the face of this earth forever. I want you to know who they were because I have never, ever forgotten their names or their faces or their smiles or the sparkle in their eyes. They were:

Private Jeffrey Thomas Dines USMC of Waterloo, Iowa, 19 years of age.

Lance Corporal John Patrick Eads USMC of St. Louis, Missouri, 21 years of age.

Private Aaron Burr Jones, Jr. USMC of Wilmington, North Carolina, 18 years of age.

Lance Corporal Michael Joseph Kehoe USMC of New York City, New York, 20 years of age.

Private First Class Leroy Pierson USMC of Hamilton, Ohio, 20 years of age.

And the NCO who took my place that day was:

Sergeant Bobby Gene Jackson USMC of Marshall, Missouri, 26 years of age.

Now I will finish my story about the celebration dinner over looking San Diego Bay and you will understand. Once again, I have to go back many years. The time was the summer of 1966 and the place was Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. A bunch of young Marines were getting ready to ship out to Vietnam. One evening it was decided that we would treat ourselves to one last great meal before we left. We drove down to a fish house overlooking San Diego Bay and got a table outside. I can't remember what any of us ate but I can remember lots of laughs, arms around each other's necks, punches in the shoulders to see who could 'really take it like a Marine' and just a great time of fun and fellowship for a bunch of innocent, young guys getting ready to go off to war. We all made a promise to each other that night. All of us would return to that place when we came back from Vietnam, to have dinner and to celebrate coming back home. We couldn't admit it then, even to ourselves, because we were tough Marines, but what we would really be celebrating was our love for each other as brothers in arms.

Tonight, 10 May 2009, I was alone at a table outside on the deck of a fish house overlooking San Diego bay. The evening was cool so no one else was eating outside and I was glad it worked out that way. The waitress had looked at me rather strangely when I requested a table outside because it was so cool. I ate a great meal and afterwards I asked the waitress to bring me a brandy. I sipped it and looked out across the sea that we all had sailed across to meet our destinies in 1966. I remembered that celebration some forty-three years ago and the promise we all had made. I raised my glass and toasted those brave, young heroes, my buddies and fellow Marines, six pieces of my heart that were torn out so many years ago. I was the only one to make it back and it was my duty to them to keep the promise.

To my family, all of whom I love more than I can tell you, now you know why I had to accept this mission to go to Iraq with the Marine Corps. I will use my skills as a veteran police detective to seek out insurgents and terrorists who plant hidden explosive devices that kill young Marines and Soldiers and I will do my best to stop them. I have made a silent promise to the young Marines in my battalion to do all I can to help save their lives and to help them return safely to their families. God willing, I will keep that promise too.

Journal Entry - Saturday, 28 November 2009 - Al Asad, Iraq

Today I was honored to meet the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway, when he visited our infantry battalion in Iraq. He told me he had heard that I served with the Marine Corps in Vietnam and I told him that was true. The General asked me why I had volunteered to come to Iraq at my age. I handed him a copy of my journal entry from 10 May 2009 and told him that would explain it. He shook my hand and pressed a Commandant's challenge coin into my palm. He thanked me for my service to our country and to the Marine Corps. I told him it was an honor to serve again.

Journal Entry- Sunday, 20 December 2009 - Al Asad, Iraq

Today I received an email from my wife. She told me that I had received a personal letter from the Commandant of the Marine Corps. It said:

Journal Entry - Monday, 3 May 2010 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Today the last of the Marines from my battalion returned home after our deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. We left the U.S. with over 1,100 Marines and Naval personnel in our battalion. They all came back home safe.

Second promise kept.

Below are two more photos. The first photo is a picture of me in Chu Lai, Vietnam, Cpl Judd Green, 9th Engineer Battalion, 1966 - 1967. The second photo again is of me in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, Law Enforcement Advisor Judd Green, 3rd Battalion, 24th Marines, 2009 - 2010.


Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #7, #2, (FEB., 2017)

I know that I've skipped around a little with the Flight Line but, I think that I mentioned earlier that putting all this in chronological order is not very easy, so just bare with me. In this issue, I'm going to go back to Hawaii and try and recap a time when we had some problem where somewhere in the MARINE CORPS's fleet of UH-34's an axle on one of the 34's snapped off during a landing. And, it almost caused an accident. That situation grounded all the H-34's in the Fleet, and the following directive required that those axles would be further inspected using the dye penetration method for crack fracture exposure and determination. The word came down from the Maintenance Office that all axles would be removed and inspected when we were scheduled for removal. Basically they wanted to have some control on which aircraft were going to be down for axle removal and not at the whim of the Crew chief. This didn't appear to be a problem. But, the problem arose when some of the axles couldn't be easily removed as was first thought. That situation required some head scratching and some different methods of getting the axles free from the their positions in the landing gear housing at the bottom of the strut.

The axle was housed in a circular tube with (4) 3/8's bolts running both vertically (2) and horizontally(2) thorough the axle and the housing. Now, what I forgot to tell you is that this happened when HMM-161 was at Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii and nearly all the Aircraft had been hovered at one time or another near the waters surface thereby causing the Salt Water to accumulate in every nook and cranny that it could find, even if attempts to wash it away were practiced daily. The Salt Water found it's way between the faying surfaces and began the process of corrosion that had to be neutralized and treated otherwise it would cause failures in the base material (Metal). Now, I will also tell you that the H-34 had two models and they had different style Landing Gear. The early 144 series Aircraft were affectionately known as "Bent Leg" and the 145 Series and above were equipped with what was called the A frame type. My Aircraft at that time was a bent leg or, the early (144645) series. If I remember correctly there were only three of this series Aircraft in the Squadron, but I'm not sure.

The bottom line is that we tried all the tricks that we could think of to separate the axle from it's housing without success until someone came out from the office in the TUG or tow tractor and that's when some body said lets hook the tractor on to the A/C and someone slam on the brakes up in the cockpit and lets see what happens. Now, you've got to know that there was no one standing around that had any brains so we said Yea, let's give it a try. I climbed up in the cockpit and the Tug pulled forward and I jumped on the brakes and damned if the axles didn't turn in the housings, but it did twist and damage the brake lines running to the rear of the brake housing units. They would have to be repaired, but that was no big problem. We now had loose axles after shooting them with a CO2 fire bottle. What a way to make a living, HuH! What Procedure?

Why Are You Here

1967... things were picking up in Viet Nam, and most of the artillery units, Hawk missiles, etc. had departed 29 Palms for Westpac. There were units training, mostly to provide individual replacements, it seemed, and others (a Comm Bn, for example) that were not yet needed in country. The Commanding General was 'dual-hatted', being both the CG of MCB 29 Palms, and the CG of Force Troops FMFPAC... which meant there were two General staffs... a Base G-1 and a ForTrps G-1, and so on. Besides the general staffs in those commands, there were 'special staffs'... those being mostly technical in nature. General staff officers pretty much are Colonels, Lt. Cols, with a smattering of Majors. As the Force Troops Ordnance Officer, working for the Force Troops G-4, I was one of those benighted creatures known as 'A Second Lieutenant'... filling a Major's billet, mostly because at the time there was only one officer with an ordnance MOS on the whole 463 square miles of sand and rocks... me.

We were to be visited by the CG FMFPAC (3-star General), and that of course meant briefings... in the CG's conference room... at the time, one end of an un-used barracks at the top of Fourth street. Just acetate transparencies and chalkboard. Both General Staffs were to be there, lined up, and introduced to the General (and his Chief of Staff, and assorted hangers-on)... and the line was in order of rank.

As they came down the line, and finally got to the end, the rank suddenly dropped from a Major to (gasp!) a 2ndLt. Before our Chief of Staff got around to introducing what resources he had to keep an eye on the boom-boom stuff, the General looked at me (kindly) and said 'Why are YOU here?" Having long been distinguished as a smartazz, it was no surprise (to me, anyway) to hear "well, sir... somebody's got to sweep up when we're all done here tonight" He liked that...

For Cpl Bob West, who couldn't recall the how-to of handling 2 rounds and a clip for starting off a string of rapid fire (200 yard sitting, 300 yard prone)... well, I forgot to answer last week... but the deal is, you took the two rounds and sort of twisted them in the clip... one pointed one way, the other pointed away, at probably a 45 degree included angle... when it went into the weapon under your thumb pressure, and as you released the bolt. the bolt would take the higher round into the chamber... and the other was nicely aligned with the follower... squeeze off the second one, hear the 'bling', grab the full clip from the cartridge belt, and insert. (still works with mine... and considering the current price for those clips, wish I had a buck for every one we swept up and trashed (entirely possible they were recycled by the Base Property Disposal Office... at least for the ones from the ranges...


Lost And Found

Help Needed... Back in 1966 the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines formed up at Camp Pendleton, California. They were part of the newly reactivated 5th Marine Division. The 5th had been deactivated on 5 February 1946 and stayed that way until 1 March 1966.

In the very early hours of 6 September 1966, the 3/26 (Reinforced) left San Diego by ship with its final destination being Vietnam. The ships that carried these Marines overseas were the USS Lenawee, USS Valley Forge, and the USS Belle Grove.

I was with Charlie Battery 1/13 and we were part of the reinforcement units attached to the 3/26. I really could use some help finding the rosters for the entire 3/26 (Reinforced) who left San Diego on that September day. I believe at the time we left the 3/26 consisted of Headquarters; India, Kilo, Lima, and Mike Companies; Charlie and Whiskey Batteries, and maybe others.

So my question is; does anyone have the rosters of these original units from September 1966?

Ron Hoffman
2548 Manitowoc Road
Green Bay, WI 54311-6570

Short Rounds

I have since found out my M-1 Carbine (1943) was re-fitted with bayonet lug during the Korean War, the original did not have a bayonet.

Edward Hoffman 561xxx

"To us and those like us - 'MARINES'... 'OHRAA'!"

Todd Sheaf

I note that he was a P.I. boot in 1959. I was also and I had an Angelo in my platoon 112. I still carry a 4" scar on my left wrist from the Angelo that I knew. Morning head call, when we shaved with the old style razors, we were about 8 to a wash basin. All at the same time. I stuck my hand in the sink at the same time he stuck his razor in to rinse it. Blood all over the place and off I went to sick bay.

J. D. Lawrence
'59 - '63

No finer group of rascals have I ever had the pleasure. We the few are allowed the privilege to celebrate the 238th year of our Corps. Semper Fi to all my brother "scaly beasts" out there and let us hope we can bear witness to a few more. Semper Fi... Semper Fi.


SSgt Joseph E. Whimple
U.S.M.C. 2-1970 / 12-1976
As a side note, at the time I was assigned to the field all D.I.'s had to be a Nam veteran.

I do not know where you came up with the notion that all Drill Instructors had to be a Vietnam Veteran. I was on the Drill Field from 1974-76 and I was never in Vietnam.

Paul DeLaricheliere
SSgt USMC 1971-1979
CWO3 USMCR 1979-1999


I am saddened to report that on October 22, 2013, Sgt. Dennis Daray reported to his final duty station with St. Peter to guard the gates of Heaven. Dennis served in Viet Nam from February 1967 to March 1968 and was a veteran of the siege at Khe Sanh. He fought the good fight, but lost the battle with cancer. He was my good friend and I will truly miss him. Semper Fi Brother.

Carl Fite
Former Sgt of Marines
VN 12/66 thru 1/ 1968
Papa Battery, 3/12 (2533)


"Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."
--Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963

"The truth is that war caught us unprepared, as usual. We were supposed to have fine smokeless powder, but on Guadalcanal our guns smoked so badly that they gave away our positions."
--Chesty Puller

"Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on, when you don't have the strength."
--Theodore Roosevelt

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged."
--President Abraham Lincoln

"A nation of sheep breeds a government of Wolves."
--Edward R. Murrows

"All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work. Work is not a curse; it is the prerogative of intelligence, the only means to manhood, and the measure of civilization."
--Calvin Coolidge

"Rise and shine, another day to serve the Corps!"

"You people are lower than whale sh-t... and that's at the bottom of the ocean!"

"You people are too slow, it you were in combat you'd be dead!"

"You people aren't even a mob, a mob has leader. You clowns are a heard. I'm going to get me a sheep dog."

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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