Sgt Grit Newsletter - 26 SEP 2013

In this issue:
• True Difference In Aviators
• I Denied The Request
• 800 Yards And More

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Sgt. Grit,

My brother-in-law owns the Chesty Puller house in Saluda, Virginia. Recently he sent me some photos of an award ceremony that took place there. I have no other information as to who these Marines were, or who was getting awarded what. It's a pretty good picture of the group in front of the entrance to the Puller house.

Garent Gunther
USMC '68/'70

Chestys House

The Very Next Day

Semper Fi Sgt. Grit,

After Ground Radio School, I was stationed at the Radio Shop w/2-8 at Lejeune for just a couple of months, so I only got to "Swoop" to Cincinnati a couple of times before I got TAD to the Marine Barracks in Gitmo. After 6 mos. in Cuba, I was back at 2-8 and anticipating the ability to Swoop home again.

The day I got back, I was offered a Med. Cruise which would ruin my chances to Swoop. I asked when the next Nam orders were coming through and was told it would be about 6 months, so I turned down the Med Cruise. The very next day, I got my orders to Vietnam.

Cpl. Wm. Reed
Nam '68-'69

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True Difference In Aviators

From brother Marine, Vietnam Warrior Truman Powell in Tyler, TX.

Here is the true difference between aviators!

On a carrier, the Naval Aviator looks over at the Catapult Officer ("Shooter") who gives the run up engines signal by rotating his finger above his head. The pilot pushes the throttle forward, verifies all flight controls are operational, checks all gauges, and gives the Cat officer a brisk salute, continuing the Navy/Marine tradition of asking permission to leave the ship. The Cat officer drops to one knee while swooping his arm forward and pointing down deck, granting that permission. The pilot is immediately catapulted and becomes airborne.

Air Force Pilot:

We've all seen Air Force pilots at the Air Force base look up just before taxiing for takeoff and the ground crew waits until the pilot's thumb is sticking straight up. The crew chief then confirms that he sees the thumb, salutes, and the Air Force pilot then takes off. This time-tested tradition is the last link in the Air Force safety net to confirm that the pilot does not have his thumb up his azs.

Paul Sutton

Rib Med Banner

Make Sgt Grit your one stop shop for all of your Uniform Supplies such as medals, ribbons, and mounts. Mounting orders may take up to 7-10 business days to ship.

MCB Kaneohe

Pacific War Memorial

To Moe LeBlanc, Cpl. E-4. If you contact MCB Kaneohe and explain your situation, an escort will be provided while you are visiting and you will be shown around. BE PREPARED. Almost nothing is the same. All the housing and barracks and work areas have been rebuilt with new construction. I was just there in July and was amazed. They do have an excellent Pacific War Memorial just inside the main gate. An exact copy of the Marine Memorial in D.C., see picture.

SSgt. Moore, J.C.

Never A Thought

So, six of us from Camp Lejeune beside the NJ pike, about 2am, 2 NJ Troopers on scene, drunk that hit us crawled back up the ditch, and they sent him off in an ambulance. They talked to each of us individually, then spoke between themselves and then one said, "Got to go up the road and make a phone call." The second trooper wrote up "AN" accident report. Cpl Bacon was driving, his sister was the registered owner and his mom had the insurance, oh yes, car was titled in Georgia. So he wrote it up as sister driving, mother as passenger both unhurt but shaken and unable to sign report. He told Bacon get this to your sister and tell her what happened. Insurance will pay off no problem. About that time two more NJ highway patrol cars and a Sheriff's Deputy showed up. They conferred and then the Sheriff took Cpl Rengnerth to the next exit and home. One took me and Mick Donlon to Holland Tunnel and a NY state trooper took us both to our destinations in Queens. Donlon got my lady friend's phone number and address and told me his brother would pick me up Sunday about 1pm to start the ride back.

So he took us about ten miles up the NJ pike and let us out. We were both is dress greens making it easier to hike and cops pretty much left servicemen in uniform alone. First car was a family of 5 on a rush trip to Florida, and would take one guy right to the gate on base. I gave the ride to Mick as he was on liberty from the base hospital, and had received a knee operation the week before. Not because I was a nice guy but because his knee hurt. My ride took me to Washington D.C. and dropped me at the bus station, but the ticket agent said sorry nothing south till tomorrow morning. It was now about 10pm, they steered me to a restaurant about 4 blocks away where Marines gathered for rides. I walked there and ordered a burger ($1.00, remember this was '56 and burgers were 25 cents) no more than got there and someone yelled Lejeune... there were 6 of us going so one guy sat on the floor in back. Got to the main gate about 5am and they said everyone out and we unloaded. When they saw my ID and that I was an MP, they said, "Hold it, not necessary." One of them asked if anyone was in the wreck in NJ and when I said that would be me, he told me Donlon had gotten dropped off a couple of hours earlier and was telling them the story while he waited on a jeep to take him to the hospital.

Bacon got a newer car and I made a couple of more runs north with him. He said his sister and mom were celebrities in their small Georgia town as they had a wreck in NJ and had never left the state. Was a real no harm no foul deal. Never a thought of being late, just figured we would be ok and usually were.

Sgt Don Wackerly
'53-'56 Mobile View

I Denied The Request

Sgt Grit,

Thanks for the newsletter, it sure brings back memories. I would like to share one of mine about the first and last day on the job.

In 1968, while serving with "D" Co, 1st MP Bn, FLC, 3rd MAF, I was in the Company rear area when they needed a "Chaser" at Battalion. Having been in country for at least six months by now, I should have known better. Not knowing what a chaser was I told that all I had to do was watch a prison working party fill sandbags. It sounded like skate duty, so I volunteered.

I was to report to Battalion with my helmet, flak jacket, cartridge belt, and M-16. I was given my instructions and told that I had to strap on my helmet, button my flak jacket, wear my cartridge belt, but do not insert a magazine. I knew nothing about Marine prisoners much less about how they should be handled, or how they act. I found out later that they were from the 3rd MP Bn Brig.

The sandbags were being filled behind the Battalion Headquarters offices and the Officers and Staff NCO Club. I was told that the prisoners could drink water, but to make a head call... if one goes, they all go. There were three or four on the detail. All went well for a while and then one of them requests to make a head call, and I escort them to it and back. It was later in the day and it was getting hotter, and I was in my 782 gear. A few more bags were filled and another prisoner requested to make a head call. Being untrained and a nice guy I granted the call. Well as soon as they returned and filled a few more bags the next one requested to make a call. Now I knew they were taking advantage of me. I remind them of our recent call and I denied the request. Well now they all start acting up because I am denying use of the head.

Being trained as a Grunt, 0311, I though to myself... why am I here taking verbal abuse from prisoners. I'm hot and buttoned up and getting angry. Fearing that I might lose control I instinctively reached for a magazine and inserted it, locked and loaded, chambered a round, and took off the safety. As soon as that round chambered the prisoners started yelling and screaming that I had locked and loaded and threatened to shoot them. Man, I never saw so many Officers and Staff NCOs at one time so quickly. Someone calmed the prisoners down and took control of them. I was told to disarm and relax, wait to be relieved, and to report to my 1stSgt in the Company area. I received a small b-tt chewing and was told that it would be the last time that I would be allowed to "Chase".

I did go to the 3rd MP Brig later as a Spanish interpreter and translator for one of the men in our platoon who had been sent to the brig. He requested to write to his mother in Spanish and needed help. That was the better duty.

Thanks again Sgt Grit, to you and your staff.

Edward "Taco" Contreras, Sgt (Ret)
1st MP Bn, D Co
Cam Le Bridge

Hard Duty

Images from Gun Camera

Just read this article about a MARINE that was at K-Bay. I was also there from '63-'64 as my last duty station. I was at Station Special Services, hard duty. I was a lifeguard at the Enlisted Pool... shower shoes and a bathing suit was The Uniform of the Day. I also had the privilege of going to the Aviation Physiology school so that I could go up in a jet. One of my bosses was a pilot and had to fly so many hours to qualify for flight pay, so he gave some of us the opportunity to fly with him. WE got these pictures from the gun camera.

John Cerullo

The Only One

Being in boot camp at San Diego in 1963, I remember the CMC Test well. I didn't look forward to jumping across the 8-foot wide ditch with helmet, pack, & rifle. It probably wouldn't have been so bad if the ditch wasn't surrounded by 10 inch deep sand. It would be difficult to get a good run at the ditch. The dreaded day came. For some reason I was in front and had to be the first one to jump the ditch. I just knew I wouldn't be able to get enough speed up to get across, and would break my leg and be set back for weeks. I got one foot across and my thigh hit the other side of the ditch. It hurt, but it didn't break. The Platoon Commander told the DI that we didn't have to jump the ditch. I was the only one that did.

Sgt. C. Jones
Plt 136 1963
RVN 1966

We Slept Late

In 1966, having volunteered for Vietnam, I was suddenly surplus to my unit, G/2/10, which was preparing for a cruise to the Caribbean. So I caught three weeks of mess duty with the Reserves at Little Creek, Virginia. Our last duty at Little Creek was on an LSD for mess duty for three days, as the Reserves prepared to assault the beach. We were billeted way up in the bow. The Navy Chief messman was to wake us at 4:00 a.m., so when I woke about 6:00 am, I was worried. We hustled down to the galley where morning chow was just about done. As senior man, I apologized, saying no one had woken us. "Oh," he said, "My fault. I figured if I went up there in the dark and woke up some Jarhead just back from Vietnam (none of us were), I might get killed. So we did chow without you."

I shook my head sadly. "Some of them are kind of hair triggers," I confided. We slept late the next two days as well.

Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt

Old School Boot Camp Picture

1952 Boot Camp Photo

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I am one of your customers! I served in the Marine Corps from June 1952 to June 1955, with 15-months service in Korea. I joined on my 17th birthday, was out on my 20th, and was a Sgt. at age 19.

Attached is my "Old School" boot camp picture. I am on the top row, last on the right.

Semper Fi!

The Great Snafu

Sgt. Grit,

After 68 years I have to tell this story of the great snafu. It was in Tsingtao, China, June or July of 1946. I had the detail of controlling malaria for this period of time, this was done by spraying insecticide in and around the city of Tsingtao, mostly water ponds, etc. The mixture was 5 percent dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane commonly known as DDT and 95 percent diesel fuel. Two Chinese coolies were assigned to mix the elements into one drum container. That day the schedule was for a R4D transport plane to fly over the airbase and the city of Tsingtoa to spray the insecticide. After a half hour or so, I knew there was a problem when I saw birds dropping from the sky, and clothing hanging to dry had burn spots. The snafu was that the drums were marked in error, the DDT drum was marked diesel fuel and the diesel fuel drum was marked DDT.

I would like to hear from any China Marine who was stationed in Tsingtoa that may remember the incident. For the rest of the story?

John Feneck
Semper Fidelis


Words that are very difficult for a Marine to say when drunk:

1. Specificity
2. Anti-constitutionalistically
3. Passive-aggressive disorder
4. Transubstantiate

Words that are downright impossible for a Marine to say when drunk:

1. No thanks, I'm married.
2. Nope, no more booze for me!
3. Sorry, but you're not really my type.
4. No thanks, I'm not hungry.
5. I'm not interested in fighting you.
6. Thank you, but I won't make any attempt to dance. I have no coordination and would hate to look like a real fool!
7. Oh no, I must be going home now as I have to work in the morning.

Honesty of Marines

In re to Honesty of Marines post in the 5 Sept 2013 newsletter.

A Marine identifying himself as Dan G. was not happy with this. He writes, "I know there will be those who read this who will more than likely get their skivvies in a knot. But, since when does being a good Marine and representative of this great country and of the Corps mean we need to be remembered by the "profane language that is promoted?" Where is the honor, pride and integrity in that kind of conduct?"

Sorry to tell you this, Dan, but you're the one with his skivvies in a knot. I suspect most readers read that submission like I did—as merely tongue-in-cheek, not to be taken as a serious statement about what it means to be a U.S. Marine. I wouldn't have been inclined to respond to your letter had you not gone on to make the ridiculous comparison between Marines and the criminally insane: "What a sad day, when we must take delight, as proud Marines, to say that our "Honesty" is rated along with the mentally ill, the criminally insane and the prison populations."

I just returned from a four-day reunion in Louisville, a reunion of Marines who served with Lima Company, Third Battalion, First Marines in Vietnam from 1966 through 1971. There were about ten participants who served during my tour, about half of whom came with their wives. I would have been surprised and disappointed had anyone reverted to the language we commonly used in the Nam in the presence of those women. As any Marine grunt will tell you, the use of the f-word was a regular feature of our conversation back then: "F-it!", "What the F, over!", "out-f-ing-standing", and countless other forms.

The honor, pride, and integrity we celebrated at the reunion had nothing to do with the way we spoke back then. It had everything to do with the fact we were are a group of brothers who were willing to give our lives for one another. And many did.

Semper Fidelis,
Gary Harlan
Sergeant of Marines

Sitting Targets

Just to add a little more flavor to that story about swooping. I was at Lejeune from July '61-'63... Never heard it called swooping. I had just bought a new 1962 Chevy II convertible and I made I think it was 26 straight weekends... off at 4, left 1-2-2 then up to the circle to pick up some riders. And sure enough, the car would fit 5 plus me most of the time... A little tight at times, but the price was right.

We would share driving at times, and it would be a straight shot to. Used to tell the civvies that if you want to go anywhere faster than any bus you could go to the circle and hop a ride. E> W> N> S>... then off we went to NYC. I lived in upstate NY in the little village of Suffern, NY, so I would drive to the Port Authority Bldg. and there is a little bar on the SE corner and would drop off the fares there. Then on the way back I would pick them up at the same spot, and off to Lejeune to be back at 0600 Monday morning.

I remember running the gauntlet through Virginia and the Richmond Petersburg Tpk. many a time. Got our share of tickets and one incident I remember quite well... I still have the warrant for my arrest (from I think '62) his name was Sgt. Householder, but he was State Police so no shenanigans. There was a time though I think it was in North Carolina that we got pulled over and they took us to the back of a gas station where there was a little kangaroo court... You paid the fine or you spent the night in the Klink and were UA. We were kind of sitting targets with our stickers so proudly displayed.

John Cerullo

800 Yards And More

Sgt. Grit,

From the Winchester Lee, Straight Pull Rifle to the M1895 Krag to the 1903 Springfield Rifle the Marine Corps was stressing Marksmanship. In World War I the Marines, using Marksmanship, destroyed the German Army's ability to crush their opponents. Marines fought against hundreds of Maxim Machine guns in the Belleau Woods, though suffering casualties that would stop an ordinary army from advancing. The Marines advanced on and on until they reach the end of the Belleau Woods where they pursued "With Fire" the Retreating enemy.

The Germans and their allies were shocked at seeing their soldiers killed and wounded at 800 yards and more when they faced the American Marines. The French and British Armies were amazed at the Marines attitude toward the enemy forces and the accuracy of their rifle fire.

Then when the Marines jumped to their feet and rushed the enemy with Bayonets destroying his moral, German Army Troops jumping up hollering "Comrade, Comrade" to keep from being skewered by a Marine Bayonet, it showered Courage and Honor to the Individual Marine.

Many stories have been written of those times and those Marines, the remarks made by Marines (some of whom became Marine Commandants) are now the living comments of our History and words that guide our New Marines to even greater Glory.

Reading about today's Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq shows the Courage, Marksmanship and Elan that still amazes the world and our enemies. Each Generation brings new names to solidify our Existence and touch each of us with their Glory.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired

Island of Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima

The smokey approach upon the Japanese island of Iwo Jima.

Fred Killebrew

Fred Killebrew 1944

Fred Killebrew 2013

I first met Fred E. Killebrew on a golf course near Houston, Texas in April, 2013. I arrived at the golf course by myself and the person behind the counter asked if I would play with two brothers, Fred and Charley Killebrew. I soon learned that Fred was 90 years old and his brother, Charley, was in his early 80's. Before long I also discovered that the brothers were former Marines. Fred had fought in World War II and had served two tours in the Pacific, and Charley had fought and been wounded in Korea. After getting to know Fred better, I asked if I could have an interview. I conducted a series of interviews with Fred and the first was on June 7, 2013 at his home in Seabrook, Texas.

Upon reaching his home, I immediately saw a large pole, flying the flags of the United States and the Marine Corps. The welcome doormat was a Marine Corps mat. Once inside, Fred introduced me to his wife, Betty – his wife of 68 years. Around the walls were pictures of family members, including his son Tom, a former Marine, who had died in 2005. There were other plaques and memorabilia, many related to the Marines.

Fred told me he had been a gunner and radio operator in World War II, flying in a SBD Dauntless and in a Grumman Torpedo Bomber. His flight log from World War II had been in his house when Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast in September, 2008, and he had lost it. He did not have an exact record of the number of missions he flew in World War II, but it must have been over 200. He did show me his flight log from the Vietnam War and at the beginning of that log, he had recorded his flight hours from World War II. He had flown 413.7 hours in the SBD Dauntless in World War II. He said that each of his World War II missions averaged about two hours. During the Vietnam War, Killebrew flew 286.5 missions. He and his pilot bailed out while in the Pacific in late 1972, and in doing so, Killebrew broke his neck. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1974.

Since Fred had lost his flight log from World War II, everything he told me was from memory. He was born September 10, 1922, in Galveston, Texas, and was the son of Emmit Dewitt Killebrew and Grace Kemp Killebrew. Fred's father had enlisted in 1914 in the U.S. Army and had been a sniper in World War I. Fred's grandfather was Cherokee and had been part of the "Trail of Tears" in the 1830's.

Although other family members had been in the military, Fred was the first to join the Marines. He had wanted to be a Marine ever since he was twelve years old. At age nineteen, he joined the Marines, leaving in the middle of the night from Dallas, Texas on April 11, 1942. He traveled to San Diego as part of the Second Recruit Battalion, Recruit Depot and trained for ten weeks. Fred admitted he was a "know it all" in boot camp, because he had three years of ROTC while at Lamar High School in Houston, Texas. He had graduated in 1941, and was already familiar with close order drill and other Corps regimen. While in basic, he received $21 per month as an E-1; however, out of that amount the government took out $6.50 each month for a life insurance policy and another $4.20 per month for medical expenses. After those and other deductions were taken out, Killebrew remembered he had $8.30 left over. While in basic, Killebrew made a 98 on the General Military Subject Test which placed him in the highest group. Fred entered the Corps an E-1 and left basic the same rank.

After basic, Fred wanted to be a pilot, but he had not been to college. The Marines required pilots to have two years of college. Instead of pilot training, he went to radio school at Texas A & M in College Station, Texas as part of the Marine Aviation Detachment where he trained for about two months. There he had his first leave. He had just won a large amount of money while gambling and decided to buy a uniform and paid $142.00 for his dress blues.

Fred did not, however, want to be a radio operator, and after radio school, he returned to the North Island at San Diego. He met a Chief Marine Gunner Rice who told him about a position opening in gunner school. Fred entered gunner school on October 1, 1942 as part of Air Regiment Sq-2, Service Group, Marairwings, Pacific, FMF, NAS, San Diego and trained on twin .30 caliber machine guns which he remembered fired 3,600 rounds per minute. Fred's desire was to be a gunner on Marine aircraft; however, Fred was not able to fly during gunner training, because the Marines had so few aircraft available at that time. While going to school, he also taught Morse code as a side job.

He graduated from gunner school in late October, 1942 and departed San Diego enroute to Samoa, a distance of over 4,700 miles. He sailed on the M.S. Day Star, which was a Danish ship seized by the United States in World War II and turned over to the American President Lines to operate in the service of the U.S. Fred couldn't remember how long it took him to arrive in Samoa, but he guessed it was several weeks, because the ship zig zagged the entire route. He remembered crossing the equator and becoming a shellback, which is a time-honored ceremony to recognize military personnel who cross the equator for the first time.

In January, 1943, Killebrew was assigned to Headquarters Squadron, Marine Aircraft Group Thirteen (MAG-13), Fourth Marine Aircraft Base Defense Wing, in Samoa, which had been activated 1 March 1942, in San Diego, California. A week later the group's forward echelon was en route to Samoa. Major General Charles Price assumed command of the Defense Force, Samoan Group, in April 1942 and was in that position until May, 1944, when he assumed command of the San Diego Area.

The first planes from MAG-13 arrived at Tutuila (Samoa) on 2 April 1942 at which point they assumed responsibility for the air defense of American Samoa. In the early days of the war Samoa was seen as very vulnerable and open to attack by the Japanese, especially prior to the victories at Midway and Guadalcanal. MAG-13 pilots were mostly untrained and each MAG-13 squadron was also instructed to organize as an infantry company should the need to defend the islands ever arise. Fred was stationed at Tutuila Airfield on Samoa, and flew in the war for the first time. He flew in PBY 5-A planes with pilots Whitey Hobbs and Tony Roscoe. He flew anti-submarine and escort missions and served as a radio operator and as a gunner. He remembered flying to Suva, the capital of Fiji and other nearby islands. I asked Fred his first impressions of Samoa, and he said it was beautiful. I asked what else he did on Samoa besides fly missions in the PBYs, and he told me that he dug trenches and latrines, helped install lights on the airfield, and whatever else he was told to do as an E-1. He was an E-1 for 13 months before being promoted.

Fred later departed Samoa and went by a LST, riding in the fantail, to Funafuti in a large American convoy, a distance of over 700 miles. He couldn't remember when he arrived; however, it must have been approximately April or May, 1943 and he did not leave Funafuti until a year later in April, 1944. During World War II, the atoll was part of the British-owned Ellice Islands. Funafuti gave the Allies a protected rear area as they prepared for Operation Galvanic, the invasion of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands in November 1943. Japan did not learn of the American occupation of Funafuti until March, 1943, just prior to Fred's arrival. That spring the Japanese began air attacks on Funafuti. During the 13 months ending in November 1943, Japanese bombers struck Funafuti nine times. Fred related that he did not fly while on Funafuti. His primary duty while there was to serve as Corporal of the Guard for men guarding ammunition sites. Fred remained on Funafuti until the spring of 1944 when his first Pacific tour in World War II ended.

Killebrew returned to the United States on April 25, 1944 for a 30-day leave. He went from Miramar, California (near San Diego) to Dallas and Houston to visit family and friends. After his 30-day leave, Fred shipped back to Miramar, California at Marine Corps Station, El Toro where he was an instructor in gunner school. He also completed turret training on the .50 caliber machine gun and began to fly in the Douglas Dauntless. The Marines then sent Fred to the 474th where he trained and flew with Lieutenant Douglas Albert Daugherty. The Lieutenant then got orders to go overseas, and at that time pilots and gunners traveled together since they had trained together. Killebrew departed California on September 25, 1944 for his second tour in the Pacific.

The Marines assigned Killebrew and Daugherty to Marine Observation Squadron 1 (VMO-1) which had been commissioned on July 1, 1937 at Quantico. This squadron was redesignated Marine Observation Squadron 151 (VMO-151) on July 1, 1941. When Fred joined the VMO-151, he was assigned to Eniwetak in the Pacific Theater, where he flew anti-submarine patrols and scouting missions. He also flew missions to the Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Marshall Islands. Along with the rest of the Marshalls, Eniwetak was captured by the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1914 during World War I and mandated to the Empire of Japan by the League of Nations in 1920. The Japanese administered the island under the South Pacific Mandate, but mostly left local affairs in hands of traditional local leaders until the start of World War II. Americans captured Eniwetak from the Japanese in February, 1944.

Following its capture, Eniwetak became a major forward naval base for the U.S. Navy. The daily average of ships present during the first half of July 1944 was 488; during the second half of July the daily average number of ships at Eniwetak was 283. Following the end of World War II, Eniwetak came under the control of the United States as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands until the independence of the Marshall Islands in 1986.

Fred said he had not been at Eniwetak long when the Marines broke up his squadron again, and sent him along with four other gunners and pilots to Saipan. While in Saipan, he was a gunner on a Grumann Torpedo Bomber (TBF). He didn't remember how many missions he flew in Saipan, but he said it was several. He stated that he didn't see any Japanese planes while on any of his patrols.

Fred departed Saipan and returned to Eniwetak for more service. Killebrew again flew anti-submarine patrols and escort missions for American ships in and around Eniwetak. He said his job wasn't to shoot down Japanese aircraft, but to keep Japanese planes away so American pilots could drop their bombs. Lieutenant Daugherty and Killebrew flew the Douglas Dauntless SBD which carried a single one-thousand pound bomb or two five-hundred pound bombs under each wing. Fred stated that often when they flew anti-submarine missions they flew so low that if they had a tail hook it would have been in the water. They often were so low that he remembered waving to American Sailors on ships while looking up at them. He also related that on one mission Lieutenant Daugherty went into such a steep dive on one bombing mission that Fred passed out. At this time the pilot and gunner did not have any anti-gravity suits. Fred also told me that Daugherty was killed in the Korean War when he misjudged a night landing on an aircraft carrier.

Fred told me several stories about his time on Eniwetak. Another man in Fred's tent was named T. L. Huddleston. He had received a letter from his wife that he needed $1,000 as a down payment to purchase a home in the United States. Huddleston told Fred he didn't have the money, but Fred told him that he did. Fred loaned him the money, but a short time afterwards Huddleston was killed while on a combat mission. Many men in Fred's unit urged him to stake a claim to the money through Huddleston's estate. Fred declined stating, "His widow needs the money more than I do."

When Fred arrived on Eniwetak, the enlisted men had to walk a long distance to take a shower. So he and several men started digging a well so they could construct a shower near their tent. Everyone in Fred's tent helped except a man named Dave Leader. Fred told Leader, "You'd better come out here and help if you want to use this shower." Leader replied that he did want to help, but he was taking a nap. He would help the men when they thought they were close to water. A short time later, Fred told him that the men had dug enough and that it was his turn. Leader said okay and went to the well, dropped in a hand grenade, and after the explosion, announced, "Boys, we struck water".

Fred related another funny story. One time he was flying with Lieutenant Daugherty, and while on a mission, Fred asked if there were any American submarines in the area. Daugherty told him no, that if he saw any subs, they had to be Japanese. Fred told Daugherty that he saw what looked like a sub at 3 o'clock. He told Daugherty he had seen the shadow. Daugherty called for other planes to launch a bombing run. They dropped their bombs but quickly discovered that the Japanese sub was actually a whale.

When the war was almost over, the Marines shipped Killebrew to the island of Tinian where he boarded a merchant ship back to the United States. He arrived in New York on September 11, 1945. He was supposed to land at San Diego, but the ship was rerouted to Panama. After he went through the Panama Canal, Fred was then rerouted to Galveston; however, before he arrived in Galveston, the ship was rerouted again to New York (pier 92). Fred gave his orders at a Marine station in New York. He was a staff NCO at the end of the war (which in World War II was an E-3). Later he shipped to Cherry Point, North Carolina as part of the 9th Marine Air Wing. Following the end of the war, he took leave to Dallas where he met his future wife, got married, and returned to Cherry Point Air Station, North Carolina.

Interview conducted by Dr. Wilson - an Assistant Professor of History at College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas.



Because "Bad Mother F'er" isn't an official job title in the Navy!

PFT Test

The purpose of a physical fitness test cannot be stated any better than what General Douglas MacArthur once said, "Physical qualities may well determine the destiny of the intellect." It is paramount for every leader to set the example for the younger Marines, and it begins with physical fitness.

As I mentioned from my last post on Recruit PFT and the CMC Test, I intentionally left out the Marine Corps PFT test, so as not to confuse it with recruit training. Once Marines report to their regular duty assignments, all Marines, regardless of age have to take the "Annual PFT Test". The purpose of the test is to measure the upper body strength, the abdominal strength, and cardiovascular fitness of each Marine. As with today's Marines, the basic test still remains the same, with the exception of the sit-ups which have been replaced with crunches. The below listed requirements are for male Marines, from the ages of seventeen years to twenty-six years old.

During the seventies and eighties, the PFT consisted of three events: pull-ups, sit-ups, and the three mile run. There are two required minimum standards to pass the test. One, the participant must complete a minimum number in each event. Two, must pass the test with a combined overall aggregated score. First complete: complete a minimum of three pull-ups no time limit, forty sit-ups under two minutes, and run three miles under twenty-eight minutes. Then have a combined aggregated score of one-hundred and thirty-five points. Example, a minimum of three pull-ups, forty sit-ups, and a twenty-eight minute three mile run would be a total of ninety-five points: Which means that the Marine had to double up on the other two events to pass the overall test.

One good scale to pass the overall test would be to complete five pull-ups, fifty sit-ups, and run three miles in 24:40, with a total score of one-hundred and thirty-five points: Passing with a classification score of 3rd class.

Classification scores are broken down into three groups: First class from three-hundred points to two-hundred and twenty-five points; second class to one-hundred and seventy-five points; and third class to one-hundred and thirty-five points.

The one major difference in the PFT from yester-years; to the modern days PFT is the sit-ups. In the olden-days we did sit-ups; the scoring was somewhat different than today. In the past, eighty sit-ups in two minutes counted as one-hundred points. Today's Marines do crunches; one-hundred crunches in two minutes counts as one-hundred points. The scoring basically remains the same.

For us older, senior Marines, all we need to do is three pull-ups, forty sit-ups, and walk three miles in thirty-three minutes to pass the PFT test.

Semper Fi, Marines
Herb Brewer, 1st Sgt, RET

Beirut Bob

Beirut Bob beside his truck

Side View of Beirut Bobs Truck

Bob Colyer is a good customer who drops by Sgt Grit whenever a load brings him within a couple of hundred miles. All the staff knows him well.

His handle is self-explanatory. Very proud and motivated Marine.

Semper Fi Bob
Sgt Grit


Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #6, #7 (JUL., 2016)

Since I wrote the last issue I got an assist from a good friend that remembers all the facts that I forgot. It must be something in the water here in Arizona. That's why I try and limit my water intake unless it's just a small amount. But, my iced tea bill is out of sight.

My principle character in the previous issue that I referred to was actually Morris R. Williams, MGySgt who everyone affectionately referred to as Willy. My recollection is that he was the Assistant Maint. Control Chief whereas MGySgt Witt Lambright was the Maint. Chief. This was circa 1967/68 and the unit was HMMT-301, based at MCAF Santa Ana, Calif. We were a designated Training Squadron and our mission was to prepare Flight Crews for duty in Vietnam. The entire Squadron was made up of recently returned Combat Flight Crew Veterans both Pilots and Crew members. The mood was somewhat lighter than it was in Country, and one of the Pilots brought a pet Myna Bird in a big cage into live in the Ready Room. Now, I don't know who thought that this was a "good Idea" but it was not. The pilots began to teach this bird all sorts of foul language some of which he already knew, and the bird didn't care because he was getting fat eating all the treats that he was getting just to say some foul phrase.

Well, some where in the span of time Willy somehow acquired the ownership of the bird and moved it into the Maintenance Office, where the traffic was sometimes pretty heavy and even the pilots would stop by. In this case it was a Major J. T. Zych. It seems the Maj. was making "pretty bird" noises with his face close to the cage when Willy's bird cut loose with a major insult. My source remembers the Major glaring at everybody in the office and demanding to know, who owned the bird. Willy, somewhat meekly, said "Mine Sir". Major Zych, his face and shaved head glowing red fairly bellowed, "take him out of here, NOW". I think SNCO's, NCO's and lowly clerks, plus the usual maintenance office hangers on, all beat Willy and the bird out the door. My source say's that he avoided eye contact with the Major for several days in fear of busting out in laughter. The story doesn't end there though. Willy's next adventure was when he showed up at home with the bird that his wife didn't know he had.

Even Vaguely Polynesian

"FIGMO"... (G, M, O, for Got My Orders... the F, I, most can figure out, even if not from the era).

Check Out Sheet = a license to goof off for the last several days in a given unit... "lessee... do the library today, dental tomorrow, Special Services (now called MWR) Monday... etc. Gunnies usually didn't bother much with short-timers... "Where's Schmuckatelli?"... "He's working on his checkout list today, Gunny"...

"Only two good duty stations in the Corps... the one you came from, and the one you're going to..."

Officers eat last (hard to imagine that in some of the other branches... just not in their culture... have been in a chow line just in front of a BG... and he was adamant about it (eating in inverse order of rank in the field).

"Non-swimmers to the deep end of the pool" (used to happen every time... he who claimed to be a non-swimmer had to prove it) Have seen grown men with arms and legs wrapped around the pillars holding up the roof around the perimeter of the pool pleading not to be put in the water (old pool at MCRD SD was open to the sky in the middle).

"What... you Punaho boy?"... the swimming pool staff in my time ('62-'66) were nearly all either from Hawaii or Samoa... seemingly born under water, lived in trunks (recruits swam buck n-ked)... and woe be unto any recruit who hailed from Hawaii who could not swim! (Punaho being an expensive private school in Honolulu).

One DI from a series (4 platoons) would be detailed to collect the non-swimmers from the series, march them to the pool for swimming lessons... "third-class swimmer" involved 7 widths of the pool, no hanging on the sides. Had a bunch up there one day... the instructors would use the deep end, have the recruit jump in from the side, and see if they could make the seven trips. One of the testees was a long lanky AA kid who made it across a couple of times (somehow), but then stopped in the middle and tried to stand up in the water... (it doesn't work...) He bounced off the bottom, and as he broke the surface, hollered, "throw me the rope!"... to which he heard "Private!... lean forward... kick you feet! Swim! (sic)... this happened twice... the third time up, he added "MF'r" to the request for the rope... to which this ambulatory Tiki SSGT statue said... "Thas' it, Private... you gonna drown"... They didn't go after him until he was on the bottom of the pool... although he was fine after being hauled out, I would be willing to bet that he never ever again used that form of address to anyone who looked even vaguely Polynesian...

At one point in my time there, the NCOIC of the pool was a Gunnery Sergeant Johnston who had become a POW when Wake fell... there wasn't too much that got him excited... don't recall if the Gunny was there that day or not...


Lost And Found

Any one got info on this. PI Platoon 97, have a good friend named Elmer.


Sgt. Grit,

Tom Johnson trying to locate former Marine Corporal Kenneth Jones, served with 3rd 8" at An Hoa, Vietnam between 5/67 'til 6/68.

You can reach me thru Sgt Grit.

T.L. Johnson, Jr
Captain USMC (Ret.)

Short Rounds

Anyone else remember wearing EGA's on the collars of their khakis and trops? I think they changed that in about '59 or '60. You could see where the holes had been in the collars of the khakis for the rest of my hitch.

Kent M.

Hello Sgt. Grit,

Just wanted to pass a long a website from our unit that made Marine Corps history from the Gulf War:

I feel this a great story that can be put out by others of what 109 reservists did in Desert Storm 1991. I gave you the link to read on what we did versus writing a huge email. I hope you can take the time someday to see the history we made. I am doing this, because I'm a customer and get your newsletter showing that it has articles and stories in it.



"The defense of a nation is the duty of all it's citizens, but, service as a Marine is the honor of it's elite..."

"It is very imprudent to deprive America of any of her privileges. If her commerce and friendship are of any importance to you, they are to be had on no other terms than leaving her in the full enjoyment of her rights."
--Benjamin Franklin

"Don't you forget that you're First Marines! Not all the communists in H-ll can overrun you!"
--Col. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC rallying his First Marine Regiment near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, December 1950

"Marines die, that's what we're here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means YOU live forever."
--The mythical GySgt. Hartman, USMC; portrayed by GySgt. R. Lee Ermey, a Marine Corps Drill Instructor using his own choice of words in Full Metal Jacket, 1987

"You'll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"
--Capt. Henry P. Crowe, USMC; Guadalcanal, 13 January 1943

Col Edson Quote

--Col Merritt A. "Red Mike" Edson, the Ridge, Sept. 1942.

"Close it up, close it up, a--holes to belly button, a--holes to belly button".

"You little maggot, I'm gonna screw your head off and s--- in the hole"!

"YOU! YOU! Do I look like a female sheep boy!"

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Oklahoma City, OK 73179
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