Sgt Grit Newsletter - 17 JAN 2013

In this issue:
• Clan Leatherneck
• Marine Paratrooper
• We Like It Here

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Future Marines. My grandchildren Ricky Jacobsen and Andrew Plonka.

Thank you,
Richard Jacobsen

Future Marines

Clan Leatherneck

Clan Leatherneck Tent

Clan Leatherneck Tent 2

Dear Sgt. Grit:

In reference to your recent Newsletters concerning the Leatherneck tartan, I would like you to know that "Clan Leatherneck" has been alive since 1998. We have participated in all the local Highland Games since that time.

Attached are pictures of our Clan Leatherneck Tent at one of the festivals and a picture of my son in his Leatherneck tartan kilt. I was a seagoing Marine stationed in Scotland from '60 to '64. My son was also in the Marine Corps for 12 years.

We enjoy your Newsletter every Thursday morning. Keep up the good work!

Semper Fi,
Cpl. Wayne Watkins

Special Red Friday T-Shirt

Complaining About Roaches

Was stationed at Camp Schwab Okinawa in 2003 (Dickie Barracks). Heard other Marines complaining about roaches, but never saw one. Woke up in the middle of the night and felt something scatter across my face. Reacting quickly I slapped (quite hard) at whatever it was and heard a crunch... I knew what it was right away. I walked over to the mirror and turned the light on. Sure enough I had crushed a roach on my forehead. I couldn't wait to get the h-ll out of there!


We Were Young And Healthy

The Warehouse for Marines in Arlington, VA, was unique because all the truckers knew that if you backed in at 4:30 we had to take the delivery... even if they had a big shipment to deliver. All civilian warehouses would refuse the late delivery, and say re-deliver in the morning!

Also, our warehouse was old probably from WWII or older? Other warehouses were newer, which meant that the old ones could not take the newer rigs backing in, which meant that the shipment would have to unloaded in front of warehouse entrance and carried by hand to the delivery dock. Some drivers helped us unload, and some took delight in laughing at us.

Computer cards or punch cards back in the 60's were heavy cartons and we received shipments of hundreds of cartons in a delivery. We all kept in shape as we were young and healthy, and we survived.

Later on in the Air Wing Supply (at Cherry Point, NC), I met a pilot and his fiance at a group function. Her name was the same as the Group Commander's. That is one way to get ahead in the Corps... marry the daughter of the Group Commander!

I never saw so much b-tching and complaining by a bunch of cry babies in my life? But, we did a job... and we did it well! The strong helped the weak and the haves helped the have nots!

One guy never showered, and he hung his skivvies in the window to dry after a days worth of sweating on the job. We enlightened him when he was in the shower. One guy stood on another Marines shoulders and poured lighter fluid thru the screen and we burned his skivvies. He threatened to go to the First Sgt. We told him go ahead you scuzzy maggot!

Another guy did not like to shower either and this guy was named "Filthy Finnigan". We took him in the shower and used a wire brush on his body. He asked for a transfer and we never saw him again.

We also had a guy who took showers at midnight and we caught him taking all the remnants of soap and squeezing them together. He was too cheap to buy soap at the post exchange. We called it "rainbow soap". Can't make this up!

Semper Fi

You have to see the humor in your enlistment and forget the bad moments!

Bruce Bender
Cpl 1963-1967


Sgt Gary Steuer called it Rainbow Soap. I will not take credit for someone else's quick wit?

Marine Paratrooper

Cpl Roy Ford

Silver Star Citation

Sgt. Grit,

Re: Iwo Jima Marines.

Roy Ford, Marine Paratrooper, was there for the entire campaign. I have been hanging out with Roy off and on for a couple of years now. He has too many stories to tell here, but I'm sending some info about him for you to share.

Roy is curious if any of his buddies are still alive. Some of their names can be seen on the "Association of Survivors" card in the photos. After recovering from being seriously wounded at Iwo, what does Roy do back in the states? Roy rode Broncos bareback. One tough Marine!

Phil Babcock

Iwo Pictures

Iwo Marines

Frank York and Wife

These are some photos that a reader of the newsletter sent in from the WWII era.

We Like It Here

Semper Fi Marines. After reading the last two newsletters, and hearing about lyrics to different songs from the field; it brought back some we made on sea duty.

Serving aboard the USS America from '89 to '91, I enjoyed the experience of long hours with nothing to do but stare at the wall in front of you on post, clean, drill, clean, inspections, and cleaning! We changed the Eagle, Globe, Anchor to the bucket, mop and cross brooms and drew a nice replacement picture on the chalk board.

While in the guard shack one night we came up with a couple of verses to a new tune to show our enthusiasm for our positions aboard ship. This was sung to the tune of "Oh Christmas Tree":

We like it here, we like it here, f--king 'A" we like it here.
We polish our boots, we shine the brass, just to kiss the First Sgts arz.

We like it here, we like it here, f--king 'A' we like it here.
We haven't seen home in quite a while, but we'll still clean the red tile.

We like it here, we like it here, f--king 'A' we like it here.
Even though we have malaria we'll still police call the f--king area.

We like it here, we like it here, f--king 'A' we like it here.

That's all I really remember, but good times all the same! The real adventure began when I entered the FMF with E, 2/2, 26th MEU, SOC, but that's another story...

Bryan Butas
Cpl '89-'93


In Response to: Missed Bob Hope in 10 Jan 13 Newsletter.

This is a quote from Cliff "Chip" Ivie Cpl of Marines RVN '69. I couldn't help but laugh, and wondered how many others had caught the slip (I hope it was a slip)?

"I know what it is like being away from home and loved ones during the Christmas holidays."

Keep up the good works,
Semper Fi,
Loyd Potter
Gunny of Marines
'73-'77 and '79-'96

Short Rounds

MEGA, "the Marine Embassy Guard Association" will be holding its Annual Reunion at the Sheraton National Downtown Hotel in Nashville, TN on April 10 - 14, 2013.

For information, go to:, and click on Reunion 2013.

Was at the local Lowe's the other day, picked up enough in tools to make taking advantage of Lowe's retired military discount worthwhile... whipped out the ol' ID card at the register, which of course, caused the cashier to have to call a supervisor for 'an over-ride'. Guy comes up, was either visually impaired or didn't notice the cover, and sez "OK, soldier... you want the discount, drop and give me ten".

When I said "which arm?" He said: "oh, crap... a Marine!" I got the discount... and let him slide on the 'soldier'...


So I'm not as lean but h-ll I still am mean and I still sh-t green!

Semper Fi,
Ray Buckno,
CPL '64 - '67

Boot Camp

I remember a few names from Boot Camp; just the f--k ups. Whenever they screwed up, the whole platoon (as a unit) paid the price. I also remember the T-54 drops who had to repeat Boot to get it right. And, I won't mention those names to not disrespect fellow Marines that eventually did make it.

One thing I have not seen from those recounting Boot experiences - Grudge fights. The whole platoon got in a circle and the D.I. invited us to pick someone that was riding our asses or we didn't get along with. Once chosen, the two would get in thee middle of the circle to bare-knuckle it out. I was the first to ask for a grudge match. A Hispanic kid that had been riding me all through Boot. He probably saw me as some worthless, four-eyed white kid. He came at me with a flurry of windmill punches that I easily blocked and just one straight right to the side of the jaw and he went down and refused to get back up. I had no further problems with him the rest of Boot Camp.

I've read quite a few accounts of Boot, talking about 13 weeks. When I went through Boot Camp in early '66, it had been shortened to 8 weeks (Nam was in full swing and they needed bodies on the line quickly).

One humorous event. After I enlisted, I was at the Fed. Bldg. in Cincinnati getting my physical. While I was finishing some paperwork, they brought in about thirty draftees in two ranks. Shortly after that, a Major in dress blues comes out and looks over the two ranks of draftees. He then picked out eight of them. Those poor guys had come in expecting to serve their two years in the Army and suddenly they realized they were going to Marine Boot. They all looked totally shocked and two even started crying.

Love the newsletter. I'm retired, so its the highlight of my week

Bill Reed
E-4 Cpl.
Marine Barracks in Gitmo
1st LAAM in Nam - DaNang & Hai Van Pass


To Robert A Hall in re: Tartan c/o Sgt Grit (if possible)

I have a USMC sash from a Scottish weaver and shopped for tartans while in Scotland. Not many have samples however. While mine is beautiful, no weaver that I've seen has the Marine green right, yet. If you know of one I'd like to know it. The green in mine is between grass and Kelly green, otherwise a beautiful piece. Great job.

Lee Mears (yes, I'm a girl)

Thank You to My DI

Severn Patchin Webster

This past October I went on a 3-day bus tour of Parris Island sponsored by the Marine Corps League, Sgt Jason M. Ileo Detachment 1147 of Centerville, MD, along with a few other detachments from Maryland. There were about 40 Marines who went on the trip. We had a great time seeing first-hand all the training the recruits undergo in becoming Marines. It brought back a lot of memories for me. One of the proudest moments for me was seeing 509 Marines graduate. This really reinforced my belief that the Corps is in good hands.

The real reason I decided to go on this trip, along with my boot camp brother, Marine Ken Webster, Platoon 358, he belongs to Anne Arundel County Detachment 1049, was to celebrate our 50th year since graduating from Parris Island. Our graduation was on October 23, 1962, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. We all thought at the time that we were going to war with Russia.

I would have to say for me that the highlight of this trip was meeting up with our Drill Instructor, Sgt. Leonard Patchin. I looked him up in the Marine Corps Association Membership Directory (see photo) and found that he was living in Port Royal, SC. We met him for dinner and had a very special time telling sea stories and getting to know him all over again. He was still in great physical shape and could, if necessary, run our b-tts all over the Island.

He gave us a special tour of the Island where we got to see our old Third Battalion barracks before they got torn down. We then went to see the new Third Battalion barracks. They are really modern looking. He took us over to tour Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Elliot's Beach and other forgotten places; there were a lot of changes. My real reason for wanting to see Len again was to personally thank him for all he did for me. He embodies, to me, what it takes to be a Marine.

I have belonged to the Marine Corps League for the past 22 years and have met so many great Marines, and made lots of friends from all over this wonderful Country. I have received awards and honors along the way, but I couldn't have done any of this without first becoming a Marine. I told Len I couldn't have achieved any of this without his guidance, leadership, and discipline. I owe this Marine so much and will never forget him.

We all were especially glad we had the opportunity to renew our acquaintance, only this time not as a DI and recruit but on equal terms as one Marine to another. In the photo from right to left: Severn, Patchin, Webster.

All in all, this was an outstanding trip for me, and one that I will never forget.

Semper Fi
Jack Severn
Marine Corps League

It Wasn't All Fun and Games

Another Marine mentioned a while ago that he felt less like a Marine having spent his tour in a support role. For those who spent their active duty in combat, you have to understand the mindset of the support Marines. Intellectually, we knew the mission was a team effort and the team needed cooks to prepare the food, personnel to keep us supplied, and techs to keep the equipment up and running. As a Ground Radio Repair Tech, I was in that last group. I was in Nam but sitting in a shop all day working on radios and hoping at night that a 122 rocket didn't fall on my head.

However, I got a reprieve. Another Marine mentioned the phrase, "What are you going to do, send me to Viet Nam?" Not being the sharpest tool in the shed, I put a "Sir" in the middle of it. I said it to my CO when he wanted to move me from simple wire gear to labor-intensive single sideband (TRC-75). As punishment, he made me a Grunt and shipped me to our outpost on Hill 826 (Hai Van Pass). I finally got the chance to do what I had enlisted for.

It wasn't all fun and games. There were the sweltering patrols through the steaming jungle, days spent in the heat refortifying the bunkers and stretching concertina wire on the perimeter and night after night of guard duty on posts on the perimeter. But, I finally got to use my M-16 as something other than decoration and earned my Combat Action Ribbon.

Cpl. William Reed
Nam, 1st LAAM Bat., '68-'69

Old Breed

I want to know if I am an Old Breed. I turned 89-years-old this past Oct. 12th. I joined on Dec. 9th, 1941. Did my Boot Camp at San Diego. I am Robert F. Dowdy W.M. Serial Number 331609. I was in Plt. 200. I was dishcharged in 1945. I was in the Pacific for 32 months. I was with the 7th Marines. I served under, at this time, Col. Chester Puller. I was first in C-1-7 and later in HQ, 1-7.

I was a runner to Col. Puller several times on three landings. I was stationed on the USS Little Rock in the Gulf of Mexico when the war ended. After doing my four years I was discharged. I joined the reserves in 1947 in Houston, TX, and I was called back in 1950 to Camp Pendleton.

I would like to hear from anyone has serve with me. I have only ran into one Marine that was in with a lower serial number than I have. I live in Fairfield, TX.

Robert F. Dowdy

Spoken Words I'll Never Forget

Sgt. Grit,

As you are aware in 1971 General Puller passed away and even today many a Marines are still learning from him. At the time of his death I was stationed at HQMC, Henderson Hall, MT Company as a General Staff Car Driver (MOS 3531).

Myself and another Corporal were assigned to drive for Casualty Company and to report to the grave yard where General Chesty Puller was to be buried. Our orders were to wait for the funeral to be over and drive certain VIP Guest's wherever they wanted to go.

First of all, as we arrived at the grave yard we observed that no one, not even Casualty Company Personnel had arrived yet to set up the grave site for the mourners, the only item prepared for the burial was the grave itself. Having been assigned to drive for several funerals in the past we were somewhat experienced on how everything was to be arranged at the grave site. We quickly performed the task and just in time, as the funeral procession and the Commandant's helicopter were arriving.

As the funeral ended I had been assigned to drive Astronaut John Glenn. As I met him and was shaking his hand I stated that it was an honor to meet him. He replied and I quote, "Corporal, it's more of an honor for me to meet you then it is for you to meet me." (spoken words I'll never forget).

I was taken aback by his statement to say the least. Later I found out what he meant. Mr. Glenn seen my Viet Nam Service ribbons on my chest and apparently he requested an assignment to go to Viet Nam but his superiors felt his Astronautical experience was much more valuable to the country, then it would be for him to be in combat. Thus his statement to myself.

For our additional efforts to TCB at General Puller's grave site that mournful day the other Cpl and myself were awarded Letters of Commendation.

As Always, Semper Fi Marines from Tucson, AZ

Cpl. Leonard M. Bugey, Vsm Vcm Vgc
USMC, Viet Nam 1968
Life Member:
Agent Orange Victim, Open Heart Surgery,
Diabetes, Diabetic Neuropathy

Blast From The Past

While enjoyable to read stories of family members carrying on the tradition and old friends reuniting, it's even more fantastic when you get to experience this:

1985 Korea

1985 in Korea, 2nd Lt. Taggart on the left, Cpl. Thornton, M.A. on the right.

Fast forward 27 years...

2012 Afghanistan

Cpl. Thornton, S.R. on the left, Col. Taggart on the right in Afghanistan in 2012.

Semper Fi, Brothers!

USMC Cpl. '82-'86
Michael A. Thornton

The New Marines' Hymn - Humor

New Marines Hymn

The Flight Line

Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #3, #8, (AUG., 2013)

In July of 1965, a Detachment of 10 UH-34's from HMM-161 moved from Phu Bai to Qui Nhon in the II Corps area to support the SLF BLT, which came ashore with HMM-163, to secure the port area, during the arrival of the Army's 1st Cavalry Division.

At least, that's what the Chronology says. I don't remember things being that way at all. Prior to us leaving Phu Bai we were briefed that the Army was having trouble supporting their own Special Forces bases. Especially, the outposts out near the border and, that they (their Helicopters) were getting "Shot at", so they requested our assistance. Part of our mission was to provide a line for re-supply and, also aerial cover during some of their ground operations.

As it turned out, we carried pigs, goats, chickens and ducks. The Army was living like Kings when we got down to Qui Nhon. They had Hooch Maids and a regular mess hall and, a small place, like a PX, where you could buy some of the things that you needed. They also told us that we could have a couple of the strong backed tents to live in plus, we could have Hooch Maids. This all seemed fine to us except about 2 weeks into our stay in Qui Nhon, we had a rude awakening. We finished flying one evening and were told that our "Skipper" (Commanding Officer) would be down the next day for a "look around". We thought that he would be pleased with the way we were being taken care of by our "Sister Service" (the Army) in a war zone, but were we in for a surprise.

When he (our CO) landed and climbed out of the Aircraft he shook hands with the assembled Welcoming Party (those 2 or 3 not flying) and asked to see the area where the tents were put up. I guess our Detachment OIC (then a Capt) said that we were not using the tents and that our quarters were over this way, whereas he pointed in the direction of the very small Army Base. To which the "Skipper said, I didn't send you guy's down here for a vacation so that you could live in the life of luxury. This is a combat area and MARINES live in tents, not the Hilton. The next day we were moving into the newly erected tents provide for us, up by the Flight Line. The ARMY engineers put them up for us. But, We were not allowed maids, D-mn it! A couple of days later we even had power provided by a half worn out generator. But, that's another story all by itself.

I guess by now that you've noticed that I've skipped around a little here and it was not meant to confuse you it's just that it's hard to sort some of this stuff out when so much was going on at the same time, and of course you know that the authors mind is rocking and rolling. So, just hang in there with me and we'll get there together. The author is also writing his Auto Biography and, it's hard to keep these two writings separate. Certain stories are just to large to place in a one page, once a month publication. So, I've elected to not include certain stories because of them just being too long.

Back a couple of issues ago I think that I told you about our informal Zoo. It consisted of a couple of Monkeys (Ho Che and Alice) and, I believe later, a goat. The two Monkeys became our unofficial mascots and were the charges of Sgt Milt McFall, one of our Crew Chiefs. Now, I don't know if you've ever been around a pair of monkeys for any length of time but, they are, without a doubt, the filthiest animals that I've ever seen. I'll just leave that up to your imagination and, I'll see if I have enough info to start the next edition of the Flight Line. Type at ya later!

Hollywood Marine Enjoying His Grits

Growing up in Southern California I was used to eating hamburgers/fries and lots of Mexican food. My Father liked just a few things and his food had to be cooked to the point of almost being burnt. I was amazed in Boot Camp by people complaining about the food, this stuff actually had taste!

One morning going down the line in Kaneohe, I said, "Oh, look they have cream of wheat!" "That's not cream of wheat you Jack Azs, Them's grits"! Sgt. Avery, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was behind me and had pointed out my error. He told me to put a "mess of 'em" on my tray and he would show me how to eat 'em.

We went to a table occupied by four other members of our Platoon and he announced to them with a big grin "Selders here ain't never ate grits?" Then they proceeded to teach me the finer points of eating this wonderful southern staple. Cpl. 'D' was from Georgia and he liked his covered with maple syrup, Cpl. 'E', from Mississippi, mixed his with chopped up fried eggs and bacon, Cpl 'W', from Texas, and Sgt Avery liked theirs with just butter, salt and pepper (my preference).

They got a big kick out of watching this "Hollywood" Marine enjoying his grits. I have never lost my love of grits and still thank those guys for educating me every time I eat grits.

Cpl. E4 Selders (I use E4 because there were still Cpl. E3's and
Sgt. E4's in the Corps, but their time was running out)


Sgt. Grit,

Was just reading your newsletter and saw a couple stories that stirred up old feelings and pride in being a Marine. If I may, I will make a comment on both.

Marine Daniel Rangel commented on coming home and the way we all were treated by the people who disagreed with what was going on in Nam. You know you said what we all felt and went through at the time and it has made us mad and people like Hanoi Jane will always be remembered for being a friend to the North Vietnam Army and V.C. We all had or have real bad feelings over this. When I came home we were told not to wear our uniforms unless we wanted trouble, to be spit at and to have human waste thrown at us. I found this to be disgusting and I have fought with my own feelings over this part of my time in the Corps and service to my Country for many years.

I have come to one decision: I would not do anything different, not one thing. The reason is, yes, there were a lot of Americans who were against the war and were very open about this. Our Country has never welcomed us home as they have all the other Veterans of various wars however there were those who were there that support us. They were not as open and vocal as the others but they were there. The overriding thing they said and it still rings true today is this: what we did allows everyone in this Country to be able to do what they did in support or against the war. We stood and protected the freedoms of this great Country so those who disagreed had the right to stand and say so and those who agreed could stand and say so.

The ones who disagreed could have showed some respect and done their showing of disagreement without the spit, human waste and other really negative things they did. You need to say what you said because that is what you are feeling and everyone needs to get it out. Thank you for your service and thank you for being a Marine. We may not have been cared for at the time but we need to be the ones that take the high road accept the thanks given and move on. A Marine will always stand tall and take the high road no matter what. I believe that and I know it to be true in almost all cases. The one I still have trouble with and I am still working on is Hanoi Jane. She has said she is sorry but that for some reason does not seem to ring very true.

Mr. Terry Graves thank you for the support you give to the Marines. Not everyone can or will serve but we all need those who support who we are and what we do. Many people come out to show support in many different ways and one day your support may be very personnel when and if your son enlists in the Corps. In all times of war and peace there has been many who were at home but were very busy doing many things supporting the United States Military and more to the point the United States Marine Corps. We need this support. We need to know that what we do matters to those at home. We need to be willing to go into harm's way and know that there are people at home who support us in our missions.

It takes people who serve, people who support and veterans groups as well as those elected officials to make this whole thing work. This whole thing is having people ready to stand up and do all they can to keep this Country free from the enemy without or within our Country including making the utmost sacrifice of all, your life. To do this we need to have the support of the people and the Country.

I served it seems so long ago now. I attempted to go back in for the Gulf War. I would go back in now if I could. I was and am willing to do this because of people like you who I know support us in all we do. Thank you for your support.

Semper Fi
SSgt. Joseph E. Whimple
U.S.M.C. 2-70 / 12-76
0311, 3072, and most proud of being a D.I.

Drive DI's Nuts

Did my PI boot August to November 1964, Platoon 379. SDI was SGT. Wells, about 5'6", 125lbs of coiled stainless steel perfection. When we were out on the "grinder", he yodeled cadence in such a manner that for a few weeks the other platoons in our series drilling at the same time would fall under his Cadence. It would drive the other DI's nuts and of course there would be squat thrusts forever, etc.

SGT. Ricker our other DI was a 6'6" lean drink of water from I believe Texas who loved to run, forwards, backwards, sideways through the formation while out on the road. He could call cadence, but SGT. Wells just had it over all of them. He may have still been there a year later. I thank him to this day for his training, I have no doubt I made it back then in large part because of his efforts.

Chuck Reardon
Sgt. of Marines
Court House Bay '64-'65
Viet Nam '65-'66 3rd SP Battalion
Camp Lejeune '66-'67 Hq. 2-10
Sea Duty '67-'68 USS Essex CVS-9

Former MOS

Rich asked:

Can you have an 03XX MOS in the Air Wing?

Yes, you can have an 03XX MOS in the Air Wing. Just crew on a helicopter, get shot down, remove the guns from the plane and join the grunts until they get you out. Sometimes it takes a few days but another chopper will come along eventually and you can resume your former MOS.

Phu Bai '68-'69

Where Were You

After reading about the Marine getting in touch with someone from over 40 years ago, I'd like to tell my story. A few years ago, I joined the Motor Transport Association. Looking over the members list, was my old CO from 2nd M.T. Bn. I copied his address and we have been in touch on line since then. Six years ago, I was in his area and we agreed to meet for breakfast.

One of the questions I always ask people of my age, "Where were you when you heard President Kennedy was shot?" I then asked him "the question". His answer blew me away, because he was exactly where I remember hearing of the assassination. As I told him, we were within 10 ft of each other.

Now I bet I started another discussion, here.

Tom B.

Yodeled Cadence

In reference to the inquiry of L/Cpl R. Kotula in the newsletter dated 10 Jan 2013. I believe the DI you mention who yodeled cadence was Sgt Robert Mullins of Plt 366. He was a Jr DI when the Plt was formed on 26 August 1965 and later became the Senior after SSgt Littlefield (senior) was assigned to DI School as an Instructor.

The Plt Graduated on 20 Oct 1965. I know nothing of his career or activities since leaving PI on 21 Oct '65 other than a rumor that he was involved in an auto accident.

Kent H. D.

Operation Frequent Wind

To Wilfred Reyes, Operation Frequent Wind, was the evacuation of Viet Nam and the securing of the Civilian and Military Sea Command Vessels that had refugees, US personnel, CIA, Vietnamese Nationals that worked for the US and every other Vietnamese that could steal a helicopter, boat or anything else that could fly or float. They almost sank the Blue Ridge with helicopters landing on top of one another. The operation encompassed, Da Nang and Saigon. Hope this helps.

"Refugees" would commandeer civilian merchant ships and demand passage to a safe harbor. The ships were "freed" by Marines who boarded, usually at night, and removed the offenders and searched the vessels for contraband, weapons etc. When you first saw one of these ships from a distance it looked like the whole ship was in motion from the mass of humanity that was clinging to the sides and superstructures.

A continuation of this operation involved the processing of the refugees at Subic Bay, PI and Guam. The members of this group were from various commands stationed on Okinawa and transported on Naval Ships including the Debuque County, USS Blue Ridge and various LST's, LSD,s, etc.

Jack Pomeroy

In response to Wilfred Reyes question on Operation Frequent Wind.

I was part of that operation in the Spring of 1975. I was part of India detachment, 7th Comm Bn, Camp Hansen, OKI. Flew from Oki to PI, got on the USS Dubuque for a "ride" to the waters off the coast of VN. After several days of cruising back and forth with a lot of other Navy ships in view, we were "ferried" over to the SS Pioneer Commander (civilian cargo ship). After several more days, or maybe a week (the memory isn't what it used to be) on board the "fun" began. While we were not privy to what was going on on-shore (Turns out we lost the last two Marines (Embassy Security Detachment) in Viet Nam that day), we did see a never ending flood of boats heading towards us and the other fleet of ships out there (both USS and SS).

Throughout the night and morning we loaded 5000 Refugee Souls on board who were being tended to by one small detachment of Marines (maybe 30 of us, not sure anymore... that memory thing) and one Corpsman. From there we steamed to Guam. We dropped off the refugees, spent the night in barracks (slept in a real rack, not on the deck of the ship) and were flown back to OKI the next day. I don't recall "clothes washing" that entire month, and I know Mama-san refused to wash our clothes when we got back... we were ripe... Good times.

A few days later we were sent back to Subic Bay, P.I. to guard the RVN Navy ships that were now anchored in "nests" in the bay... Good times there too. 24-on, 24-off for a couple months... Olongapo City... whoop, whoop.

Sgt of Marines 1972-1976
Rick Hessler

"It was my honor and privilege to serve my Country and to wear the uniform of a United States Marine."

VW Powered Dune Buggy

In answer to Cpl Selder's question about Ontos crew MOS... can only speak to my experience and time, but left 2nd ITR at (camp) San Onofre with orders to 1st Anti-Tank Bn at Camp Horno round 'bout 23 Nov of 1957 as an 1800... at the time, the '18XX' field covered tracked vehicles... tankers were 1811's, amtrackers were 1813's (from memory... GMAFB, it's only been 55 years)... and there may have been some other variants for SP Artillery, including AAA-AW (the 'Duster... twin 40MM anti-aircraft turret on a Walker Bulldog tank chassis)... one kept the two zero's for six months, which was enough to be deemed 'qualified', and then you were more or less de-boot-ified, and could call yourself an 1811... however either some deep thinker, (or the 'real' tankers' union), decided that the Ontos, being an 'Anti-Tank' vehicle, was really an infantry weapon... and by virtue of CWO-4 'Gunner' Baird (Bn Adjutant/S-1) having a rubber stamp... we all became 0351 Anti-Tank Assault Men... I think, could be wrong, that later on, the Ontos MOS was changed to 0353, with 3.5 Rocket Launcher types and BAT (Battalion Anti-Tank... 106MM Recoilless... Jeep, Mule, or ground-mounted... keeping the 0351). Later on came TOW, and Dragon, and other big-bang thingies...

The 0351 earned me a set of orders to 2/1 (second 'transplacement" Bn, when the Bn got a quota for four Cpls (E-3) with 18 months service remaining... and there were only three. Wally Mattison and I moved to San Mateo... and Joe Page was in some 'SS-10" test program (SS-10... a precursor to the TOW missile... and this was 1959... Wally is now a retired landscape architect, lives down GA way... and we're still in occasional touch...

The TOW Company in the Tank Battalions in the late 70's had launchers mounted on M151 trucks, 1/4 ton, 4X4, yadda, yadda, AKA 'jeeps' (doggies called them 'MUTTS"). The TOW Company belonging to the Tank Bn at 29 Palms in the late 70's had to be billeted up at Barstow/Yermo... just a tad remote, because there was not, at the time, sufficient barracks space on 29 Palms... it's only 125 miles or so. The Force Troops Maintenance Management Officer at the time (good friend of mine... in fact, I sleep with his wife... and have, for purt 'near fifty years), had some difficulty with the TOW Company... they did OK coming and going from Barstow (via paved road) but with a Second Lt. in the lead vehicle, would go blasting through the desert dust in convoy... which was OK until the lead vehicle stopped... four vehicles damaged was a minimum... finally suggested that the interview for assignment to this "Death on a Wire" herd should include the question: Do you now watch, or have you ever seen, the TV program "Rat Patrol"? And any positive response was to be reason for disqualification. (for the younger set... 'Rat Patrol' was loosely based on a British long-range patrol outfit in WWII that roamed the African desert, raising h-ll with Rommel's forces... and they drove Jeeps)... even the pinnipeds (SEALS) got into the armed, fast, off-road, dune-jumping game later on...

Somewhere along in there, late 70's, early 80's... there was a target range constructed at the Stumps... this thing involved a VW-powered dune buggy that followed a buried wire, carrying a tank silhouette target, and mostly in a trench. (the paper/cardboard target was a lot less expensive than the buggies... a big scale 'whack-a-mole' for tank gunners... dunno if the TOW guys got to shoot at it or not... but there probably is still hundreds of miles of fine guidance wire lying about out there in the sand and rock...


Lost and Found

Looking for John Champion, Brownsville, TX. Korea, MACS-3, 1954 to 1955? Or any other Grunts.

Cpl Paul Dougherty


"This is not a world in which one can turn the other cheek. Doing so does not avoid violence, but rather encourages it. The bad guys threaten, but they do not seem to want to be hurt. They should be taught that their presumed victim is more dangerous than they are. This is not a matter of weapons but rather of will."
--Lt. Col Jeff Cooper, USMC Ret. 1920-2006

"A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

"In the beginning of a change the Patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a Patriot."
--Mark Twain

"A ship without MARINES is like a garment without buttons."
--Adm. David Porter, USN

"A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood."
--General George S. Patton

"Any politician who can be elected only by turning Americans against other Americans is too dangerous to be elected."
--Thomas Sowell, Economist, USMC-Korea

"Sometimes it is entirely appropriate to kill a fly with a sledge-hammer!"
--Maj. Holdredge

"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it."
---Benjamin Franklin

"Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
--Abraham Lincoln

"The MARINES have landed and have the situation well in hand!"
--Richard Harding Davis

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

"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."

Sgt Grit

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